Friday, February 29, 2008

Captain Jack Sparrow by Medicom

Johnny Depp - what an actor!! He certainly turned "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)" into a trilogy through his acting and the potrayal of his character, Captain Jack Sparrow. Never seen another pirate quite like him. His "Jack Sparrow" is certainly a one-of-a-kind character - can't imagine anyone else being able to fill the role coz he made the role his. Never heard of the term an "anti-hero" mentioned of a character before - there were just heroes and villians, no in-betweens, until now. Jack is the Pirate Lord of the Caribbean Sea and can be treacherous, surviving mostly by using wit and negotiation rather than weapons and force; although he will fight if necessary, he tries to flee most dangerous situations. The opening sequence where he arrives in Port Royal looking to commandeer a ship was simply brilliant. What a ride, what an adventure!

Medicom released this figure in 2006, before Hot Toys came on the scene with their version in 2007. Hot Toys followed up with the superb "Dead Man's Chest" Jack Sparrow.

Pirates never looked this good, or so cool!

His pistol and sword

Jack's magic compass

Space Pirate Captain Harlock by Medicom

Didn't really follow the manga or anime series but Captain Harlock stands out coz he's a Space Pirate - how cool is that! Created by Leiji Matsumoto, he is responsible for both Space Battleship Yamato (1974) and the debut of the highly popular series Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 (both 1977) which made him one of the most popular artists in the entire manga-industry.

Captain Harlock had a cool spaceship too, the Arcadia. On a recent episode of Mythbusters, one of the myths was that pirates wore an eye patch so that when they had to go below deck after storming the ship, they simply switched the eye patch so that the eye that had been accustomed to the darkness (being shut under the eye patch) could immediately adjust to the dim light and said pirate would not suffer any vision loss from going into a dark area after having been in the bright lights on the deck of the ship. This was proven to be true - an old-fashioned night vision device!

Captain Harlock without his cape

Captain Harlock's Weapons - Gun & Sword

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Space Battleship Yamato Mechanic File Set

Released by Bandai in 2006, this set comprised 8 different sections which formed the complete battleship when put together (approximately 36cm long). What was interesting about this set was it offered a cross-section view of the battleship, showing all the technical aspects such as the propulsion, wave motion gun - the Yamato's "trump card", torpedo tubes, side missiles and the hangar where all the fighter planes are contained.

The Yamato has three bridges; Bridge 1 contains the helm, radar, communications and command positions (including those for engineering and ship's defences). At the top of the command tower is the Captain's personal quarters, a chair on a vertical track giving him the option of moving to his command post in Bridge 1 quickly. Either side of the main bridge are radar units, and below is Bridge 2, the main navigation centre of the ship.

Directly below the command tower, on the underside of the ship, is Bridge 3

Space Battleship Yamato with wings deployed

Cross-section view of Yamato

The Wave Motion Gun functioned by connecting the Wave Motion Engine to the enormous firing gate at the ship's bow, enabling the power of the engine to be fired in a stream directly forward. Enormously powerful, it could vapourise a fleet of enemy ships with one shot. However, it took a brief but critical period to charge before firing and required all non-essential power systems to be deactivated, and left the ship powerless and adrift for a short time after firing.

Six forward-firing torpedo tubes (three on each side)

The three larger and two smaller three-barrelled gun turrets of the original Yamato have been converted into powerful energy guns or Shock Cannons. Each turret fires three energy beams which spiral around each other to form a single, more powerful beam, capable of severely damaging or destroying enemy warships. The Pulse Lasers are a set of two- and four-barrelled gun turrets lining the sides of the spaceship, firing energy pulses which can destroy fighter planes and detonate missiles.

Rocket missiles could be fired vertically from what was once the smoke stack of the original Yamato. A fleet of fighter planes were contained within a hangar in the ship's rear underside. The Cosmo Zero fighter piloted by Susumu Kodai (Derek Wildstar in Star Blazers) was usually launched from one of the catapults on the top deck near the stern. The hangar also contained other non-combat planes for reconnaissance and transport.

Space Battleship Yamato 1/1300 Scale Diecast

From Space 1999 rocket ships (previous post) to another spaceship that I grew up with in the 70s, the Space Battleship Yamato from the anime series of the same name ("Star Blazers" in English). The Space Battleship Yamato was created from the wreck of the World War II battleship Yamato, sunk in the sea near Okinawa and converted into a spacecraft by the Earth Defence Force in the late 22nd century to do battle with the Gamilons, an alien race that had declared war on Earth.

This limited edition 1/1300 scale reproduction is a diecast metal and plastic reproduction. Over 20cm long, it comes with 3 Cosmo Tiger Space Fighters, has an opening bay door for storage of the Fighters and its wings open at the touch of a button.

For a bigger scale and more awesome Space Battleship Yamato which offers a cross-section view of the entire ship, check out my post HERE.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Space 1999 - Group Shot

Space 1999 Laboratory Eagle with Booster Rockets

With Eagle Transporter

Space 1999 - Laboratory Eagle with Booster Rockets

In 2006, Product Enterprise released this lovely Diecast "Deluxe Eagle Gift Set" which comprised a Laboratory Eagle with Booster Rockets, a Laser Tank and a Alpha Moon Buggy.

Laboratory Pod

Laser Tank

Moon Buggy

Laboratory Eagle

Booster Rockets

Laboratory Eagle with Booster Rockets

There's also the Space 1999 Eagle Transporter

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Space 1999 - Eagle Transporter

Space 1999 was a British TV series produced by Gerry Anderson, famous for the TV series Thunderbirds. Martin Landau (Commander John Koenig, leader of Moonbase Alpha) and Barbara Bain (Doctor Helena Russell, head of Medical Section) were the two leads in the series. Choosing American actors as leads made me think that this was an American production when I was watching it in the 70's.

13 September, 1999 - The Moon is blasted out of Earth's orbit by a nuclear explosion, causing it to be sent hurtling out into deep space and taking the stranded inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha on it on a fantastic and perilous journey. Key to the crew's survival is the Eagle Transporter, the primary spacecraft of Moonbase Alpha.

Released in the UK (Product Enterprise) in January 2004 and Japan (Aoshima version) in February 2004, this Eagle Transporter was the first in a series of Gerry Anderson vehicles for collectors. Subsequently other versions of the Eagle appeared. This was a Diecast metal model with a detachable Pod (secured with two spring latches).

Eagle Transporter without pod; showing only the command module and the superstructure - containing the landing gears, access corridor, aft compartment and the main propulsion system.

The service pod - the Eagle could be outfitted with different pods for different missions

Next up: Space 1999 Laboratory Eagle with Booster Rockets