If you’ve come from dannychoo.com, then you may have seen my post where I posted my purchases from WHF Final. One of them was of this;

Normally, I have a rather strict rule about finishing my current project before working on another. The only time I have worked on 2 projects concurrently was when I built WildFalken, but then I knew that it wouldn’t be very long. Technically, I’m working on 2 now, but all my efforts were being focused on Ignis. However, I couldn’t pass up this one so I bumped her up the queue!

For those of you who don’t know a thing about this item or it’s maker, this is a variable pose figure created by a group called liquidstone. They are event only and the group have only made figures for the characters in Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. This figure depicts Fate Testarossa in her final form, True Sonic Drive

(Mini Translator note: A lot of guys (and fansubbers) translated her form as “New” sonic form or 新 ソニクフォム. But Liquidstone and a lot of other model makers have been using 真ソニクフォム Which translates to “true” sonic form due to the different Kanji. Don’t you just love how words in far eastern languages can sound identical but have completely different meanings? -_-‘

In any case, I’ll be using the translation from the modellers from here on out.)

So back to the figure, If you think fraulein Revoltech or Figma, then you’re half way there. Of course, there isn’t currently a figure for fate in her true sonic form and there are currently no plans, although there is going to be a Fate in her standard combat form from Figma.

So far, so exciting. We’re going to get a movable figure of Fate wielding 2 separate blades and looking really cool, right? Well, time to hold your horses, cos when you open the box, you are greeted with this!

Yup, you have to build it yourself!! plus, the parts aren’t labeled so you need to pay close attention to the instructions to find out which parts are which. It’s a bit of a pain, esp for the small parts. And let’s not forget the separate joint parts too!

OK, if that hasn’t scared you yet, well done. But now the first word of warning. This figure is HARD!! REALLY HARD!!!!

Don’t even think about getting one unless you’re fairly confident about your modeling abilities. Especially
regarding drilling holes and pinning! The reason I say that is because you will be expected to drill holes in the parts to fit the joints in. The parts are also resin, not plastic so plastic glues like Poly cement won’t do anything here. Some parts are also incredibly fragile! You are also expected to cut some of the joint sections to allow for a clean fit.

Long story short, I didn’t do a particularly good job. My main problem was that I didn’t have the correct size drill part. I bought a new one, but the diameter was 3mm while the joints (and by extension the required hole size) was 2.9mm. It may sound like a small amount but it makes all the difference. In the end, I had to fill the sides with some putty to make the fit, but it meant that the joints aren’t as strong as they should be. This is definitely one thing which would benefit from a streamlined production method.

But wait, there’s more!!! And it lets me get something off my chest… I HATE WET TRANSFERS!!!

anybody who collects games workshop models or the older gunpla will know exactly what I mean. Wet transfers are effectively stickers which require you to soak them in water to loosen the adhesive before putting them on the surface. Then, when the water dries, the adhesive sticks to the new surface.

Here’s the wet transfer for one of the eyes. I had to cut it pretty close to the detail, or else it would make things difficult when I put it on the new surface.

So after soaking in water, you should be able to see that the transfer is sliding off the paper.

After that, it’s just a matter of putting it on the surface and positioning it correctly. Sounds easy right? It’s not!!

First and foremost, the transfers are very hard to position and have a tendency to stick to your finger very closely, if you aren’t careful. Just a small amount of contact is enough for them to latch onto you! The second thing is that they are very fragile and easily damaged. The figure came with 4 sets of eyes and eyebrows. During the course of putting them on, I destroyed 2 of them! There’s a reason why you are given 4 sets!!

but enough of the whining, I’m sure you all want to see how she turned out right?

The above pics just show a standard pose with her 2 zanber forms. If you look closely, you can still see the putty around some of the joints. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I was unable to remove them completely, but on the plus side, they aren’t visible all the time.

Front and back shots so you get an idea on the details. You may also be able to see some of the parts damage I spoke of earlier. With regards to the joints, I was pleasantly surprised about how inconspicuous they are (aside from the shoulder joints). They’re not as invisible as the Frauleins but the pose options are better and they look a damn sight nicer than the figma disc joints imo!

The figure came with 2 interchangeable heads which you slide under the hair and attach to the main head but I tend to stick with the one on the left.

Another cool feature which I completely missed at first is that the swords have a built in mechanism to replicate the Cartridge system from the anime. It’s a minor touch but it’s appreciated.

For a size comparison, you can see that the liquidstone figure is quite large. Next to Fate is Fraulein Asuka. I don’t have a figma to compare at the moment. I’m waiting for my Nanoha.

Pose-wise, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. You can coax quite a variety of poses with a little… OK, alot of effort.

The main problem comes with some of the more dynamic ones, although my, less than stellar build is also to blame.

The main problem is that the swords (esp the oversized single zanber) are quite heavy, so the parts can sag quite easily. It probably wouldn’t be as much of an issue with a perfect build, but even then, I think there will be some issues with the single zanber blade at the very least.

My attempt at copying the pose on the main box. The stand was “borrowed” from Fraulein Asuka

Despite the failings, I still really like this figure. It’s the only iteration of Fate in true sonic form (my fave form) so far and it was a very interesting experience to build.

Had this been mass produced, it would have been one hell of a product! It can easily stand up to revoltech and figmas with a good build and the right tools. In fact, I would say that it kicks their asses!! I really do wonder why this series probably hasn’t been as popular as I think it deserves. Oh, right! Aside from the event only availability, there’s that little pesky pricetag.

But if you want to oggle the rest of the series, you can find them on the liquidstone website.

Would I recommend getting one? Not unless you’re pretty skilled and confident. Or you can find someone willing to take the plunge for you. For most ppl, I think Figmas would provide a more convenient (and cheaper) alternative which will be more than sufficient. But if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll try and hunt down a liquidstone nanoha…