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Kits: Viper II

Posted on : 05-12-2009 | By : | In : Toys/Kits, Videos

Hardware: , , ,

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Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan, we’ve been sent a kit from the original Virtual On to review. Specifically, Kotobukiya’s 1/100 scale Viper II. This was a lightly armored and mostly airborne focused virtuaroid, that also sported a very powerful secret attack – in the form of its “SLC” (or “She’s Lost Control”) dive. Like the other VR’s in the Virtual On series, Viper II was designed by mecha design magnate Hajime Katoki.

Our review covers the kit in its out of the box and unpainted form but we have also included painted photos towards the end. In addition, to give the kit some context, we’ve also captured some gameplay footage of the design in action from the recent SEGA AGES PlayStation 2 port.

This design was originally intended to transform during flight but due to the technical limitations of the Model 2 arcade hardware, the transformation was dropped. However in the sequel, Virtual On Oratorio Tangram, the upgraded Viper II in the form of Cypher retained the ability to transform. Subsequently, in the later Virtual On games this transformation ability remained with the less potent Myzr VRs.

There were also earlier Viper variants but these never made it into the final game, the narrative rationale behind this was down to the instability of the original Viper I – as it would overload its systems as the frame wasn’t able to control the output from its V Converter and turn into an indestructible fireball. This is where the “she’s lost control” originated and that the improved Viper II could initiate this manoeuvre on command. Some have stated that this functionality was derived from the V-MAX system seen in Layzner, which turned the titular Layzner into an indestructible blue fireball. It’s hard to deny such similarities but Viper II’s attack was far less potent and only affected targets on the ground (if you jumped in game you’d avoid the SLC dive entirely).

Kit: 1/100 TRV-06k-H Viper II
Price: 4800 yen
Size/Weight: 31.2 x 19.3 x 11.3 cm/560g

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The kit itself is moderately technical and does require glue in several places. The impressive aspect of the kit is how the armor panels ensconce the design itself, as they are utilised to reveal the inner panels as per the original design. This makes the kits more complex that it probably first appears, as how the parts interlock isn’t particularly obvious at first glance. That said, once assembled it is decently sturdy and suitably poseable. The jet wings attached to the V Converter can also be positioned for flight as well, which is a nice touch. As kits go though it’s not overly gimmick ridden, this is mostly on account of the relatively simple design itself though and not an indictment of Kotobukiya’s faltering engineering prowess. Even unpainted this kit still retains a remarkable level of visual accuracy when compared to how it’s rendered in game. However, we’ve still included painted pictures below.

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Overall, as with other Kotobukiya kits, the sculpt is nigh-on flawless and it’s obviously meant for more experienced kit builders who appreciate the sculpt more than having a kit based toy. Even if you’re not a fan of the Virtual On games, this kit is expertly crafted and Kotobukiya are continuing to excel themselves in the arena of mecha gaming model kits.

To finish off, here is a video of two expert Viper II players squaring off. Enjoy!

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