I've finally received Gipsy Danger last Friday and I must say I'm a lot less happy with it than I am with Cherno Alpha.
Gipsy has a full ABS frame and that really annoys me. Here's the thing, Max Factory is still relatively new to injection plastic kit. As a company that made resin, vinyl kits and pre-painted figures they've been around since the mid-80s. However their first injection kit came out just 3 years ago. Still, the kits they've made so far have been really fantastic for someone who just got into it and I'm really glad they did. I'm just not happy that they chose Gipsy, the hero bot of the movie as the experiment for full ABS frame. Cherno Alpha on the other hand is fantastic, full polystyrene kit, zero complaints.
ABS frames are an interesting subject in tiny plastic robots. Bandai started experimenting with ABS frames at the start of the millennium. Back then it made sense for their Master Grade kits because they wanted more and more internal detail and ABS allowed them to slowly phase out polycaps which at that point could be pretty huge and take up lots of space. It also allowed them to make much smaller kits. They eventually made the tiny F91 and Crossbone MGs which were only made possible by the full ABS frame. They even started making polycapless joints in the 1/144 kits. However at the end of the last decade they started phasing out ABS. One of the main reasons for this is because it became brittle when painted with lacquer hobby paints and those are by far the most popular in Japan. Mr. Color website even has a warning about this. The tiny robots they make now are back to being majority polystyrene with polyethylene polycaps. So in the end Bandai tried ABS and decided against it. At the start it allowed them to make very mobile kits without going insane with tolerances but now that they got the tolerances down with styrene they no longer need ABS.
One great benefit Bandai has is in-house production. It's very easy for them to go between the design office and the actual injection machines and technicians and fix up all the issues. Max Factory on the other designs their kits in Japan but they're produced in China. This no doubt significantly hinders the development process with test shots taking time to ship back and forth. Also if you look closely the released kits have the occasional difference from what the parts look like in the manual so there certainly was a lot of iteration, no effort spared. Kotobukiya is another company that designs kits in Japan and has them made in China, but they have 11 years mode experience than Max Factory doing this. They also have a similarly protracted announcement and development cycle and also rely quite a bit on ABS. Maybe China just like injecting ABS more? Either way Kotobukiya still makes some fantastic kits.
This is probably a bit ranty but I needed to get it out of my system. I'm really happy these kits exist. I'm really happy Max Factory makes injection kits. I love their Dougram line, I love their Minimum Factory line and I really love Cherno Alpha. I just wish Gipsy Danger had a PS frame. It really did not need to be an experiment. Crimson Typhoon on the other hand has some really skinny arms and that would have probably been perfect for an ABS frame experiment. I look forward to how they improve in the future because they no doubt will.
Oh well, back to stuffing Cherno Alpha full of fiber optics and extra LEDs