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The Tomenosuke Blaster Kit: A Closer Look
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temponaut
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Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:01 am    Post subject: The Tomenosuke Blaster Kit: A Closer Look Reply with quote

I was one of the people waiting on line at Hollywood Collector's Gallery in Setagaya, Tokyo last Saturday, 12/13, for the sales debut of the much-anticipated Tomenosuke Blaster. It was a very professionally managed event, with staff members coming out to poll each person in line about which version of the Blaster (finished or kit) he wanted to purchase (yes, "he." There wasn't a woman as far as the eye could see!), then giving each person in line a chance to handle a finished Blaster (after first donning white cotton gloves), and even serving each of us canned coffee to enjoy while waiting.

In addition to meeting and chatting with the production team, I managed to come away with both a finished Blaster (for myself) and a kit (for a friend).

As I know many of you are interested in the kit and contemplating a purchase, I asked my friend whether it would be all right for me to unpackage, photograph, and describe the parts of his kit for the propsummit community. He enthusiastically agreed.

I've been a bit short on time (lots of end-of-the-year deadlines at work), so my apologies in advance for (1) the length of time that's already passed without my posting about the kit, (2) the way I expect to post my upcoming photos -- in installments rather than all at once, and (3) the hurried photography and consequent mediocre quality of some of the pictures. I'll be posting detailed shots of many of the individual pieces in a future post, but if anyone would like me to photograph anything in particular, please let me know and I'll do my best.

And now, without further ado, here's the first photo installment. Very Happy


This is the kit box. It's the same design as the box for the finished model, but in different colors. With the kit inside, the box is quite heavy.



All parts are neatly bagged. The kit includes an exploded view of the Blaster with all parts identified; on the reverse are instructions for care and maintenance. Two additional sheets provide instructions for building the kit and wiring the electronics. All instructions are in Japanese. Tomensuke Shoten has described this kit as a challenging build.



Here are the parts in their clear plastic bags. The bag in the middle of the top row contains six smaller bags; these six bags -- holding the electronics, screws, detail parts, and tools -- are shown in the second photo below.




The metal parts (with the exception of the jeweler's screwdriver) and the grips, out of their bags. On inspection, it appears that the laser sight is made of machined aluminum and the barrel jacket of machined steel. The rest of the metal parts are made of cast white alloy and finished both by machine and by hand. Metal parts are unpolished. The fit of the pieces is exceptional.



Parts made of thick, black plastic, some still on the sprue. A few plastic parts have metal fixtures already in place (to accept screws, etc.). Note the serial number (matching the WorldCon) on the lower left area of the right frame piece.



It has been generally believed that the only plastic part on the original Blaster was the bottom cover of the magazine. As you see, Tomenosuke Shoten elected to do several other parts in plastic as well, including the entire magazine, parts of the frame, the hammer, and the left and right covers. This makes the finished Tomenosuke Blaster somewhat lighter than other "all-metal" models... but the T-Blaster is still plenty heavy! I've heard speculation that the decision to do these parts in plastic may be related to facilitating export of the kits, but don't know whether this is correct. The answer may be on the blog somewhere; unfortunately, I haven't had time to study the entire blog closely.

More coming soon!
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jfuste
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting.... And, will be available WHEN? Very Happy
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joberg
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dom arigato Temponaut for your efforts and helpful description of that piece of art, truly beautiful.
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phase pistol
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks sharp and clean, and neatly packaged.

Do they give you tips on finishing and painting? Or are you on your own in that.

- k
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BeastMaster
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you're lucky to have a built one and it looks a dam fine bit of kit! though I feel a little better now as I'm a bit disapointed with the plastic parts. why would they do that?

I still swear by the sidkit, for price and quality.
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hirohawa
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great!

How does the white metal parts compare to the Sid Kits or Coyle versions?

Thanks
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Mr Webber
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations temponaut, that is a fine addition to any collection and being there for the release makes it even more special.
Is that raised lettering on the box or just a cool printing effect?
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andy
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the record the entire "magazine" and housing if it is from a Steyr and not recast is made of plastic. The only questionable parts in my mind have been the custom made parts including the "screwdriver". Basically the other black painted parts.

The box art also seems to have been foiled (sorry bad joke for those that know about the artwork snafu). The Blaster logo is in metal foil for real.

Andy
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Mr Webber
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy Wrote:
Quote:
The Blaster logo is in metal foil for real.


Excellent, its the little things........
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temponaut
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jfuste wrote:
Interesting.... And, will be available WHEN? Very Happy

That's a good question! Laughing

The online ordering page became active on December 13, but propsummit members who placed recent orders have been told that the initial lots have already sold through, and they are on the waiting list for units scheduled to become available in February 2009.
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temponaut
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

joberg wrote:
Dom arigato Temponaut for your efforts and helpful description of that piece of art, truly beautiful.

Douitashimashite, joberg.

It's a beautiful piece of work, isn't it?

I'll be posting more detailed photos of the various parts shortly. Very Happy
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temponaut
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

phase pistol wrote:
Do they give you tips on finishing and painting? Or are you on your own in that.


It looks to me as if you're on your own.

There are three loose sheets of instructions and reference information packaged with the kit. Let's call them Sheets 1, 2, and 3 for easy reference.

Here's what you get:

SHEET 1
Side A: Exploded view of Blaster with each part labeled and identified.
Side B: General maintenance and care information; production team credits; disclaimer.

SHEET 2
Side A: Key to screws used in assembly; basic assembly guide.
Side B: Basic assembly guide (continued).

SHEET 3
Side A: LED Unit assembly instructions.
Side B: Assembly advice.

The "assembly advice" on Sheet 3, Side B points out several mistakes that are easy to make in assembling the kit, and gives some general advice for working with the pieces (e.g., "You can achieve a sharper look by sanding with sandpaper that has been wrapped around a ruler or similar instrument").

I don't see anything about painting and/or finishing the model. The assumption seems to be that anyone trying to build this kit will have considerable experience to begin with. Even the assembly guide seems designed for a modeler who might fine a map of how all the pieces fit together useful, but who doesn't need "instructions" per se.
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temponaut
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BeastMaster wrote:
you're lucky to have a built one and it looks a dam fine bit of kit!


Yeah, the more I study the kit the happier I am to have one that's already beautifully finished! (I'll be posting pics of the finished version, too, when time allows.) It's a gorgeous kit, and I sure don't have the skills to do it justice.

BeastMaster wrote:
I feel a little better now as I'm a bit disapointed with the plastic parts. why would they do that?


As Andy mentioned in his post above, the "magazine" and housing from an authentic Steyr are actually made of plastic. I did not know this. I also don't know whether the housing on the WorldCon Blaster is plastic or metal (as it is on the Coyle and SidKit versions). I asked phase pistol about this and he said that, out of respect, he avoided tapping and probing parts of the WorldCon Blaster when he was handling it, so he's not sure whether the housing was metal or plastic.

On the other hand, we know that the frame and hammer on the actual WorldCon must be metal. On the T-Blaster, they're plastic.

Perhaps we should ask Tomenosuke Shoten directly about the decision to make these parts in plastic instead of metal?
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Last edited by temponaut on Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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temponaut
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hirohawa wrote:
How does the white metal parts compare to the Sid Kits or Coyle versions?


I'll be posting some closer, more detailed shots of the white metal parts soon so you can get an idea of the quality. Smile
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temponaut
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

offworld66 wrote:
Congratulations temponaut, that is a fine addition to any collection and being there for the release makes it even more special.


Thank you. Yes, it was fun to be there, to meet the production team, and to see so many other BR fans roll out for the opening. The guy who runs Elfin Knights was right in front of me in line.

offworld66 wrote:
Is that raised lettering on the box or just a cool printing effect?


As Andy wrote above, it's metal foil. Rather than being raised, it's actually slightly debossed, an effect of the stamping process. There is also some foil stamping on the sides of the box, which I think you'll see in some of the upcoming photos.
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temponaut
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy wrote:
For the record the entire "magazine" and housing if it is from a Steyr and not recast is made of plastic.


Thanks for this information, Andy. I didn't know this.

Do you know by any chance whether the housing on the WorldCon Blaster is plastic or metal? It seems reasonable to think that the entire magazine and housing assembly might have been taken from the Steyr rather than just the bottom cover.

andy wrote:
The only questionable parts in my mind have been the custom made parts including the "screwdriver". Basically the other black painted parts.


The other black parts include the right and left frames, the right and left covers, the hammer, and the cylinder. These parts would have been metal on the actual prop, I think.

What is it specifically about the jeweler's screwdriver that you have identified as questionable?

andy wrote:
The box art also seems to have been foiled (sorry bad joke for those that know about the artwork snafu). The Blaster logo is in metal foil for real.


For those of you who don't know about the snafu: the original box for the finished Blaster was printed with certain colors "above" others when they should have been "below" them. Tomenosuke Shoten actually went to the trouble of shipping a corrected box cover to each person who purchased a finished Blaster at the shop on December 13. I'll post comparison pictures of the box tops in another thread soon for your reference.
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temponaut
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Photo installment #2, featuring a closer look at some of the plastic parts.


The magazine cover. All of the plastic parts are thick and clean. Nice, sharp lettering.



Front end of the housing. Cleanup on the plastic parts is minimal.



The inside of the left frame, showing pre-installed metal fixture for screw. The second shot below shows more clearly the neat placement of the fixture.




The right frame, showing a metal piece pre-installed. I'm not sure whether this piece serves any mechanical function. At first I thought it might be a protective cap for the ejector rod, but the cap is aligned with the barrel and of course the rod fits into the slot underneath. The metal cap may serve an aesthetic function (providing what appears to be a metal opening at the mouth of the barrel when the cylinder is swung out on the finished model) or perhaps it's a means of blocking the barrel in order to comply with foreign import laws. Does anyone have another theory?



A close look at a pre-installed metal fixture on the right frame. Everything looks very neatly aligned for clean assembly.



The Bulldog serial number inscribed in the right frame, matching the number on the frame of the WorldCon Blaster. A great touch! The second shot below shows the serial number as it appears beneath the grips on a finished Tomenosuke Blaster.




The right cover (top) and the left cover (bottom).



Closer view of the left cover. Note the channel that runs along the top of the piece, with holes at left and right. This channel is the seat for the laser sight.



Another angle of the seat for the laser sight on the left cover, followed by two views of the finished Tomenosuke Blaster showing how the jeweler's screwdriver sits in this seat. You can see the top edge of the channel conforming to the curve of the screwdriver. The channel holds the laser sight neatly aligned with the barrel at the angle you would expect if the piece actually functioned as a sighting mechanism.





More to come!



Thanks, Pilot.
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andy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am pretty sure the Steyr clip and housing are the original parts on the "Worldcon" hero. I have borrowed a real Steyr clip assembly and the consistency and finish of the plastic is the same (minus the scratches). Even some swirls and sprue marks match. Meaning it is not painted while the cylinder cover look painted.

Andy
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temponaut
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, Andy.

The plastic magazine and housing, then, would be correct on the Tomenosuke Blaster.
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phase pistol
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great pics, Temponaut!
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