BOOTLEG NATION: SPL-SF-STUDIO 1/100 TS-MA2 MOD.00 Moebius Zero Build Review

The 1/100 TS-MA2 MOD.00 Moebius Zero kit has been out for a while now and I just had to make a review of it for the BOOTLEG NATION segment. Since I used to collect bootlegs I’m diving back into the murky pool of knockoffs just to make further studies of bootlegs for those who are unfortunate enough to be out of reach of these things. And so far I have not seen much reviews of these kind of bootlegs which satisfies my curiosity I also hope to enlighten those who are also curious about these things as well, without further ado let’s begin:

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Brand:
The Moebius kit was produced by SPL-SF-Studio, it is one of those obscure bootlegger brands out there that sprung up overnight just to put this kit out on the market. With further digging on the internet I found their page on Weibo (HERE), it didn’t reveal anything much other than an info about a  planned 1/144 scale kit that didn’t get into production because they can’t find a willing manufacturer. I bought the kit for 27 USD, which is a bit pricey for a bootleg, but that is the cheapest price I can find for this kit, some sellers mark this for 45 bucks, others even higher!

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SPL-SF-Studio logo on the box.

Box:

It’s the type of box I would expect from a bootleg. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, recent bootleggers have this thing of putting their kits in stiff reinforced boxes, much like the shipping cardboard boxes, only thinner. I have seen this type of box being commonly used by Dragon Momoko, Daban and TT Hongli. Not like Bandai, which uses regular cardboard for their boxes for their kits.

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Front of box.

The weird thing is that it is spelled on the cover as Mobius Zero, not Moebius Zero with an ‘e’. Minor changes to names of the MS/MA in the box of bootlegs is a common thing, so no surprise there.

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Side of box, the same image is also on the other side.

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Top of box.

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Bottom of box.

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It’s proudly made in China! It even has a Chinese flag on it, how proud can a bootlegger be? Even a big company such as Bandai don’t plaster the Japanese flag on their products.

The box of the kit that I got has a lot of dings in it. It’s actually in a lot worse condition when I first got it from the courier. I’m not sure with others, but I can never get any of these bootleg kits in pristine boxes, unlike nearly all my Bandai kits, they always have dings and even crumpled areas in them.

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Half of the box was actually squished. All other bootlegs I got have dings, but not as bad as this one.

First look inside the box:

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Contents:

The box contains four bags of parts.

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A wire for the gunbarrel pods.

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And assembly manual. My kit came with two assembly manuals. Somebody somewhere must be missing theirs.

Runners & Parts:

The kit has 14 runners, from A to H.

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Runner A. Note that it has two loose parts.

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Loose parts from Runner A, A15 & A1.

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Runner B, 4 pieces.

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Runner C.

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Runner D.

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Runner E.

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Runner F. This contains the add-on weapons.

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Runner H.

Plastic Quality & Details:

At first look, the runners don’t look so bad, but it has that flimsy feel to it. The plastic feels soft and soapy smooth. The type of plastic they used in this kit is not PS like majority of Bandai kits, so plamo cement doesn’t work on this sucker,  if you want the pieces to sit in its place, you’ll need to use super glue.

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As you can see there are flashes almost everywhere. They’re not prominent, but they’re not all absent, the flashes are at that right amount that it annoys you when you notice them, but not noticeable when you don’t pay them much attention.

Sadly the kit I got has a damaged peg. I’m not sure how this particular peg got damaged, I doubt its from the shipping because if it is, the tiny peg should still be inside the sealed plastic packaging and the other peg should have been damaged as well.

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This flimsy looking piece is one of the major parts that connect the cockpit and the thrusters.

The damaged tiny peg is responsible for holding up the full weight of the of the first half of the model. Maybe they should have designed this a bit better?

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The flimsy mid section of the Moebius kit.

Some gates look like they were added much later after the master molds were created for this kit.

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There are these weird gates that look like chunks of plastic tacked on to certain pieces, if you’re using a precision cutter you might damage it cutting these things as they are much thicker than your average gate.

The details are pretty crisp, but there are horrible gaps and imperfections.

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Plastic part is slightly curved, not straight.

Assembly Manual:

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The manual has this hilarious branding, “Extra Ordinary Detail Collection 001,” with that you can be sure this kit is nothing like any other kit! You could be reading it wrong if you read it from its acronym symbol, “Xtraordinary Collection Detail.” With the numerical ‘001’ it seems they plan to release more kits, but it’s been a while now since this kit came out and SPL-SF-Studio seem to have gone silent.

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The manual is printed on glossy paper and regular thin paper. The print quality is so-so, and sometimes it’s hard to see certain areas where pegs should go, or where a certain part should be at, just like the one below.

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This manual illustration makes it seem easy, but reaching the location of part A18 is a bitch! Prepare to dislodge and lose some tiny fins while trying to plug in that sucker!

I’m not sure where this base connector is installed. All I see are light and dark gray lines all over the panel. It will require some fumbling around to see which part should go where in this bootleg. In comparison to a similar mobile armor assembly manual from Bandai, each illustration of the part is clear and easy to see (as pictured below).

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Assembly:

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Like any other bootlegs I have assembled before, this kit is no exception. It has some poor fittings and it’s poorly engineered, there are pegs that are as thin as 1mm which has a very high possibility of breaking. Because of its cheap soft plastic, you’ll get lots of stress marks just fitting the parts together.

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Yes, this thing is hollow. Much like the 1/100 HG kits. You can’t expect some sort of inner frame on it with this kind of engineering.

Some parts have overly complicated assembly parts that could use less pieces.

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Those tiny orange fins are composed of two pieces, two! they could have just molded them into one. they are a bitch to put together and they are a bitch to keep in their place as they keep falling off.

One thing I have to point out with this sort of kit is that the plastic casting is not as solid as Bandai’s. Some parts are too loose, and majority of the pegs are uneven that they don’t sit flush in their place.

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I just have to mention, the piece for the stand is a bitch to put on. The base adapter is not a clip-on, you have to sandwich the lowest thruster stem in between it and then lock them in place with two smaller pieces so they would hold together.

Another thing I encountered while building this kit is that one of the guns have way too many piece in it. The problem is that the the two halves of the gun won’t sit flush against the center piece.

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The thing won’t close even how much force I put on to it.

As it turns out, both halves have bumps inside them. No wonder they won’t close!

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I had to machine the bumps down so that the parts would fit.

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The bumps after machining.

Complete Kit:

If you can manage to look past the flashes, uneven parts fitting and the horrible gaps, it actually looks pretty cool.

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Articulation:

All four gunbarrel pods can swivel up and down. hatches are on a swivel joint so they can be opened and closed to reveal smaller boosters inside.

Pros:

The kit is surprisingly detailed, looking past the gaps and the stress marks, this thing will look even better if painted and given some extra TLC. The weapon set that came with the kit is pretty cool, the weapon set might just be the saving grace of this entire kit.

Cons:

I can’t stress enough how poor the fittings are of most parts. Some parts pop off so much that I already lost two pieces. Poor engineering, it could have been designed better, one major issue are the barrel guns. The Moebius Zero is better known for its satellite gunbarrel pods that detach from the main body. But in this kit the barrel guns are integrated into the body itself that you will have to take them apart just to replicate the satellite gunbarrel pods action. And there are no base/stand connectors on all 4 barrel guns, you will have to use the clamps of the Damashi stage just to hold those suckers in place. The bootlegger should have learned from the 1/144 Moebius Zero and the 1/144 Gunbarrel. The plastic is clearly of cheap quality, the kind they use in assembly toys that you get with gums.

The docking mechanism design for the Strike Gundam is very loose, and it droops since it can’t support the entire weight of the Moebius (even though its mostly hollow), again this is because of the cheap soft plastic that the kit is made of and bad engineering of the fittings. The auto cannons could have been designed to be pushed inside the gunbarrel pods, for a larger scale kit this is just disappointing.

Verdict:

The kit is poor quality, I will not suggest this kit to beginners as this thing is a challenge to put together, it requires gluing, sanding and some modification of parts only to make them fit together. I would better suggest the 1/144 EX Model kit to save you from frustration, but if you’re a solid fan of the Moebius Zero and you want a 1/100 scale representation of it that you can dock with the MG 1/100 RM Strike, then this kit is for you.

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3 responses to “BOOTLEG NATION: SPL-SF-STUDIO 1/100 TS-MA2 MOD.00 Moebius Zero Build Review

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