...and here's the 1/6th scale, limited to 600 units, fully articulative version of Super Armor Fighting Suit aka SAFS, courtesy of Ma.K x Toys McCoy (yup, the same one producing replica of vintage denims and WW2 era clothings) x Medicom. Sam of XL shared that he refused to allow my preordered set to be stored within the "normal" storage area in the shop because of its stratospheric price, which is equivalent to a 42 inch flat screen TV (or several sets of the even rarer Ashley Wood and 3A WWR series of robots). Sam asked how I felt getting such princely priced figure (and turns out I am the only individual ordering from XL), I could only muttered, giberrish is more like it, about something which I hope sounds smooth and cool, when in fact, I nearly fainted on the spot when I notice the "Made In China" wordings just big enough for me to notice :). Nothing against the country of production, but for a "Rolls Royce" version of a toy, personal expectation would be at least a "Made In Japon" production, just like the denims collection. The set comes with a female pilot, which is cladded in a tank top and a "hybrid" khaki military pants. The fabric used for the pants (based on modified M51 field pants) and top is something unique, of which I have never felt before, based on my current (amateur) collections. The figure itself, apart from the obvious "pair" of "highlights" ~ sexiest seen amongst female sculpt ;P, feels kinda "freakish" at first glance, but when put besides a standard female figure, it's outstanding, and looks like one of those Ma.K sci-fi universe illustrations by the legendary sculpter and artist himself, Kow Yokoyama (curiously, the headsculpt eventually reminded me of one Takako Lopez, a sometime model for MaK female pilots). Except for the pair of US Army desert boots, which I personally feel is a slight let down (it is molded in one piece instead of separate laces and with more realistic "boots" material), the female pilot is darn good to look at. Also, being a real amateur in everything military, I actually have no idea (more like lazy) on "tidying" up the lose end of the ankle cords...well maybe if I got spare time. The SAFS (aptly nicknamed as Eggplant as its torso evokes the shape of that delicious veggie and yong tau foo ~yummy.) itself is a sight to behold. The combination of the fantastic paint (which again feels different and supposedly can be "weathered"), its retro futuristic and yet minimalistic old school design, makes it adequately stylish enough for me. I reckon the bulk of the cost comes from the numerous "gimmicky" gadgets ~ lighted up pilot hatch, information panel, emergency door exit, Excimer laser ~ that comes with the SAFS, of which I have yet got time to go through (but covered very thoroughly in various forums and blogs). If I were to nit pick, I am kinda turn off by the still visible, yet minute, mold lines, particularly on the pair of legs. The suit feels weighty but not too overtly, and "fuller" (made of hybrid material combination of ABS plastic, metal and PVC vinyl). At 16 inches, it is not tall (that honour would still goes to the Balrog) but perhaps due to total "volume" of which the suit, it is physically imposing. In the end, I do feel guilty for blowing so much cash on this set, but yet, at the same time, I also feel glad that at least now I can put aside my "desire" to own any Ma.K related materials, knowing that one of the definitive version is now part of my ever growing collection...perhaps until if they come up with another suit, a Raccoon space type perhaps?
Type : Super Armored Fighting Suit "Eggplant 6".
Weight (mt) : 0.46 (1st and 2nd production), 0.43 (3rd production onwards).
Length (m) : 1.18
Width (m) : 0.98
Height (m) : 2.23
Armor Type : Tungsten 7mm frontal armor. Reinforced with 15mm of super ceramic coating. (Capable of withstanding a direct hit from the Nutrocker's 60mm P.W.38 Laser Cannon).
Armament : 4.7cm Prg. 56 Excimer Laser Gun.
Sight : TFZ(ad.) 45
Radio : FuG 34S
Engine Type : HL375G.
Speed : Max 52 kph.
Range : 195km.
Crew : 1 ~ Corporal Marlene Tyler, 1st Company, 14th Armored Hunting Regiment, Mercenary Army.
An alternative chronology...
2807 Earth : World War IV breaks out. The war lasts for a month but the resulting destruction wipe out 80% of the Earth population and renders it inhabitable. Survivors depart on interstellar starships to a terraformed planet within the Alpha Centauri star system, designated Colony Planet K-156. From K-156, humans quickly spread across every suitable star systems, setting up planetary colonies.
2820 : Foundation of the Galactic Federation, which governs all planetary colonies.
2825 : The First Interplanetary Dispute results in a galactic war between colonies due to acute resources and foods shortage.
2855 : The Immigrant Survey Party reports that Earth is hospitable again, having recovers itself environmentally. The Earth is now covered with lush forests and vast oceans.
2859 : The 1st Earth Colonization Team arrives on Earth. Lacking proper infrastructure, many settlers would not survive the harsh conditions past the first spring.
2860 : The Second Interplanetary Dispute occur between colonies due to escalating unresolve trade issues.
June 15, 2865 : Eugene Johannes Amsel, a veteran of the Second Interplanetary Dispute, receives notification that his family can participate in the 7th Earth Colonization Team. Conrad Amsel, the eventual legendary Mercenary Army general, is born on K-156.
2866 : The 7th Earth Colonization Team arrives on Earth and begin to provide various infrastructural supports to the settlers.
2871 : The Great Agrarian Revolution. Earth becomes the major foods and resources provisional industry for the galactic colonies. The Amsel family farm and other agricultural centres become prosperous as a result. The Galactic Federation sanctions the national defense army "Der Strahl Reichwehrarmee" from the Strahl Demokratisch Republik colony to suppress a civil war on K-156, resulting in nearly 200,000 casualties.
2875 : The new found prosperity and economic boom on Earth begins to attract criminal elements from various galactic colonies. Crime and lawlessness become epidemic in the newly built cities and towns as mass interplanetary migration to Earth begins. Various gangs begin to form and viciously battle each others for control of major cities and farms on Earth as well as committing various atrocities upon the agricultural communities.
March 1, 2875 : The Strahl National Defence Army evaluates the XPK40 at Archmar Aerodrome.
March 2, 2875 : The Strahl National Defence Army approves the XPK40 and begins production of the PK40 "Fledermaus." Eddie Amsel is born on Earth. The Amsel Family begins to hire and form local militias comprising of former First and Second Interplanetary Dispute veterans to protect them from criminal organisations.
2877 : Concern about the disruption in foods and resources supply from Earth, the Galactic Federation gives the SDR a mandate to govern Earth. Three Strahl National Defense Army Police Battalions "Strahl Reichwehrarmeepolizei" and three Strahl Army Foreign Legion Battalions "Strahl Außenheer Legion" are deployed to Earth to restore peace and maintain order on Earth. Seizing this opportunity, the SDR forces begin to enforce these orders with absolute totalitarian authority. Criminal organizations and groups are eliminated with overwhelming forces, with captured survivors sent to gulags newly set up in the Siberian frontier as slave labourers. Majority of newer immigrants are forcibily relocated into pre-designated zones surrounded by security walls known as ghettos in Eastern Europe. Freedom of movements are severely restricted and there are rumours that certain ethnic groups from selective colonies are particularly targeted for removal into the ghettos. Major argricultural centers are required to pay large percentages of their income in the form of a taxation or risk commercial sanctions by the SDR. The settlers quickly realised that the SDR is no different from the criminal groups they had faced previously. Eugene Amsel begins to spread news subversively on recruiting more war veterans. The second wave of immigrants begin to arrive, majority consisting of war veterans and galactic mercenaries, under the guise of merchant traders. These veterans and mercenaries begin to organise and train the settlers for armed combats and confrontations.
2880 : The first occurrence of terrorism carry out by the veterans, mercenaries and newer recruits, now calling themselves the United Anti-Lebenstraum Mercenary Freedom Army, against a Strahl National Defence Army command post in Hanoi. This event escalates the volatile situation further, as the SDR declares global wide emergency and begins to crack down on all major farming belts across Earth. The immigration permit is suspended by the SDR but more mercenaries and veterans begin to smuggle themselves onto the planet. Meanwhile, the SDR research team at Bomvul und Zionel is formed in Neu Berlin. The program to develop a 2-legged walking tank begins.
2882 : The Earth Independent Provisional Government, led by Eugene Amsel and created from unified settlers, veterans, and various mercenaries, declares independence from the SDR. Anticipating such move, a puppet government is formed by the SDR in response to the Earth Declaration of Independence, thus rendering the independent declaration illegal within the context of Galactic Federation laws. Strahl troops are deployed to quell the independence movement. War is declared upon the SDR by the Earth Independent Provisional Government. The SDR suffered severe setback when the three Army Foreign Legion Corps, which were staffed by former veterans from the two previous interplanetary wars, defected and joined the Mercenary Army independence movement instead, resulting in the SDR withdrawing all their command posts for re-consolidation in Western Europe.
September, 2882 : The Mercenary Army maintains control of much of Earth equatorial and Southern Hemisphere zones. The Moreau College of Engineering in Bombay begins research on composite armor.
September 1, 2882 : The Strahl National Defence Army first operational sortie against the Mercenary Army is launched in Kalimantan.
September 25, 2882 : The Mercenary Army attacks the Strahl 56th Armored Army Corps "Panzerarmeekorps" with Y-15 medium tanks in Papua New Guinea and emerged victorious. The Strahl National Defence Army's 7th Armored Mobile Infantry Division "Panzerfallschirmjäger Division" is dropped into Australia as part of the commencement of Operation Strahlsstürme.
September 26, 2882 : The Mercenary Army launches a counter attack against the Strahl Army in the Battle Of Perth.
September 29, 2882 : The Strahl National Defence Army succeeds in forming a bridgehead in Western Australia after a three days fierce battle.
November 15, 2882 : The Fall of New Canberra, the Earth Independent Provisional Government's capital, following the Strahl National Defence Army blizkrieg victory over the Mercenary Army in Western and Southern Australia, and relocates to Darwin.
February, 2883 : The Strahl National Defence Army's Bomvol und Zionel engineers finish a mockup of a two legged walking tank.
March, 2883 : The Strahl National Defence Army development of unmanned reconnaissance equipment begins.
June, 2883 : Dr. Robert Gediman of the Optical Weapons Research Center in Old Havana prototypes the indirect vision system. The Moreau College of Engineering completes its composite armor defense system development. Dr Sigmund Gerstein of the Laser Weapon Research Center in Jogjakarta, develops the Excimer high output laser.
June 9, 2883 : The first prototype of the AFS "Armored Fighting Suit" is completed for the Mercenary Army.
June 15, 2883 : The 1st Special Infantry Company (composed of 14 AFS) participates in the first battle with armored suits against the SDR army in Kilimanjaro and emerge victorious.
July, 2883 : Mass-production of the AFS starts in the Mercenary Army Central Logistic and Research Centre in Rio de Janeiro. The Strahl National Defence Army first trial evaluations of an automated two legged walking tank are completed.
November, 2883 : Development of the next generation of AFS begins. Mercenary Army's armored aircraft Chaika enters service. The Strahl National Defense Army's two prototypes of the unmanned reconnaissance walker T.W-47V1 are completed.
December, 2883 : The Mercenary Army launches "Operation Snakewinder" from the Ural mountains, and attacks the Strahl navel port of Arkhangelsk . The offensive ends up in failure as the Mercenary Army suffers from lack of necessary supplies and onset of harsh weather.
January, 2884 : The Strahl National Defence Army adopts the first production units of the T.W47 "Krote".
February 14, 2884 : The Strahl National Defence Army's production delays of the PKA "Panzer Kampf Anzug" suit force the development of an unmanned hover tank. PKH103 Nutrocker development begins.
June 9, 2884 : The Mercenary Army launches "Operation Typhoon" and advances rapidly to Southern Australia. The Seige of New Camberra begins as the Mercenary Army try to retake their former capital. The SDR's PKH103 Nutrocker unmanned hover tanks make their first battlefield appearance. Using an AFS MkII Corporal Robert Bosch was able to defeat a Nutrocker by climbing on the back to disable the turret.
June 21, 2884 : The Strahl National Defence Army's PK41 Hornisse public test flight is carried out. Modified from a PK40 by Dr. Ferdinand Müller.
July, 2884 : The Mercenary Army's 54th Fighter Group (JG54) 3rd Regiment is formed in New Zealand.
August, 2884 : The Mercenary Army's SdKfz 222/232 SandStalker weapons are upgraded from the 2.3cm machine guns to the 4cm medium infrared laser Pgr 40 and put back into service.
August 31, 2884 : The Mercenary Army's Y-615 DollHouse is deployed as a counter measure against the PKH103 Nutrocker in the Australian battle theatre.
September, 2884 : Research begins for the next generation AFS at the Moreau College of Engineering. The Super AFS Prototype Arms development office obtains good results with the three prototypes of the Archelon. The Archelon units test the new indirect vision system. The Strahl National Defence Army's production of PK40 ends and replace by the production of the NS465 Neuspotter . Production was slow due to the shortage of antigravity equipment.
September 3, 2884 : Two hundreds PKA Ausf H0 initial mass-production models are thrown into the Australian front lines.
September 17, 2884 : SDR's PK41 Hornisse development is completed.
September 23, 2884 : SDR's Hornisse is assigned to the 362nd Assault Scout Company, Angriffspäher.
October, 2884 : The Mercenary Army fails to retake New Canberra and is forced to retreat 200 miles from their startout front line. The Strahl National Defence Army's deployment of Neuspotter begins.
October 22, 2884 : The Strahl National Defence Army begins major unit reorganization in preparation for the "Unternehmen Wüstensstürme".
October 24, 2884 : The production trials of the SAFS begin.
November 1, 2884 : The first phase of the new offensive ends. Most large cities and the majority of Australia now falls under the SDR control.
December, 2884 : The Strahl National Defence Army sent its Abwehrgruppen B to North America to suppress the Mercenary Army related guerrilla activity.
December 10, 2884 : The Mercenary Army's SAFS production starts.
December 14, 2884 : Four suits of the newly completed SAFS are delivered to the 14th Armored Hunting Regiment on the Australian front lines.
December 25, 2884 : The Strahl National Defence Army launches "Der Weihnachten Offensiv" against Darwin, one of the last few Mercenary Army controlled cities. Vicious skirmishes between SAFS and Nutrocker ends in eight Nutrockers being destroyed by a single SAFS piloted by 1st Company's Corporal Marlene Tyler. The resulting success would proves to be the beginning of the turning point in the entire war.