Transformers Furai Arcee model kit
Posted on 17 Aug 2023
As I've often said, I'm not really one for making models, but thanks to Furai's rather excellent snap-together kits, I might be forgiven for thinking I'm actually quite good at it.
Of course, all the skill is really in the kit, the clever designs allowing you to clip the parts and just push them together snugly to eliminate glue (and the subsequent mess that can create) and if, like me, you want to see some smooth paint on your figures, a can of spray paint applied to the parts on the sprue can produce surprisingly good results.
I managed to put together a pretty good Windblade, which was the first in this new line of fembots, masking the cheap looking plastic sheen with some lovely matte black paint on the dark grey parts and a bit of candy apply red gloss to the red parts. Subsequently I've ended up with a very premium looking shelf queen with minimal effort.
Happily Arcee is made much the same way. Again, you don't need to paint her - and she'll look perfectly serviceable "raw" - but I decided to add some matte white and gunmetal to make her shine, and to get around losing the tiny Autobot symbol and white details on the pink, I just applied some matte gloss to remove that sheen. Subsequently I have an absolutely stunning figure that retains her colourways but with a softer, more premium look.
After my initial build, which took about 6 hours (though I wasn't rushing) the figure looked great. However, a comment from a member of a Facebook group I frequent had me dismantling her feet for an adjustment. The kit has Arcee essentially wearing grey shoes with white anklets, but the classic G1 character always had white feet and grey anklets. It's a key design element, and once I was aware I'd missed it, I had to make the change. Sadly I was out of white matte paint at this stage, so after an unsuccessful run to the local model shop, I was forced to wait a few days for extra supplies to arrive.
As frustrating as this delay was, I have to admit I'm very glad I made the switch. The figure is now far more evocative of her G1 incarnation and the difference it makes is just stellar. One of the great things I've discovered about modelling is that you can add your own touches once you have the confidence, so while it's not exactly as Furai intended, it's a much better look for my tastes.
The design itself is gorgeous - lots of panel details with great curves and sharp details, a very modern take on the original design with the addition of a very cute anime-style head. This won't suit everyone of course, but for an aged anime connoisseur like myself, it's perfection.
If I have one minor gripe, it would be that the stickers are ridiculously small, to the point that normal tweezers won't do the job. Luckily I have some very specific needle style modelling tweezers that handled things very well, and the little splash of colour they add across the body really do make the figure "pop". I will say that Windblade managed to add in some blue details between the panels with actual plastic parts, which I definitely prefer, but it's not an issue worth skipping Arcee for.
While I managed to get this kit on pre-order for a very reasonable £55 at Kapow Toys, it's now sold out just about everywhere. The cheapest I could find was in Edinburgh for £75 + postage, and I'd struggle to justify that for such a small kit, especially when gunpla is less than half the price for the same scale. If they do another release, as they did with Windblade, I'd highly recommend jumping on it. It's a fun build with a beautiful pay-off, bringing us a fan-favourite character with an anime twist.
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