- HMM 020 LIMITED Lightning Saix Irvine Special


Number of Pieces: 427 | Number of Frames: 38 | Custom Pilot: Irvine

    The Irvine Special summed up is a beautiful tragedy.

    This variation is one I've wanted to see ever since a fan-made garage kit was seen at wonder fest. This safety armor was never seen in model kit form, so this is a first.

    Starting off with the most minor nitpick is their choice to call it the Irvine Special. It was a safety mechanism in the show, and as a point of fact the first thing Irvine did when he got the Saix was dump this scrap heap. Nonetheless, it's a suitable way to plug selling the extra pilot and different colored eyes.

    My second major nitpick is the huge different in pre-production photos. It was shown as a two-tone paint scheme with light and dark silver. The silver was a beautiful airy blue, but respectably I can say that was photography conditions. The armor is actually a dull dindgy gray with slight metallic fleck, closer to what is seen above. Closer to the anime colors. It is all one color, though. The eyes are also clear orange, there are no painted eyes. It does however come with the original green eyes.

    The biggest problem though is the armor itself. It was a wonderful idea for them to make it, but the fact of the matter is that it was supposed to go around a fully built, fully armored Zoid, and this wouldn't be without complications. MANY pieces come lose from just basic posing. Some pieces that are meant to slide on the unarmored Zoid are completely blocked by the armor and force it apart or put it at risk of breaking when the movement is now restricted to zero pose-ability. It's amazing that they made it, but plain and simply there was no good way to make it a kit-well-done. It just wasn't possible working with what they already had for the Saix.

    Note: The Saix in this review uses the silver chrome CP. The Irvine Special comes with basic silver claws and teeth.



Pros:

    First release of otherwise anime-exclusive kit
    Comes with painted pilot figure
    Metallic fleck paint

Cons:

    -Single color used for all 'extra' armor
    -Color much different from box and pre-production photos
    -None of the pipes stay in place and fall lose when limbs stretch or pose
    -Armor constantly pops apart from shifting pieces pushing it outwards

- Box and Inserts




- Instructions




- Technical Data


[Data]
    Over-all Length: 18.4 m
    Highest Point: 8.8 m
    Weight: 65 t
    Max Speed: 325 km/h


[Weapons]
    AZ Double-barreled Shock Cannon (Drops down from chest armor)
    Laser Killer Fang (Teeth)
    Micro Missile Pod (Back, between shoulders)
    Pulse Laser Rifle (Two barrel gun on back)
    Strike Laser Claws (Paws)


[Equipment]
    Camera-Eye
    Ground-to-Ground Sensor (Dark gray paw parts)
    Heat Suspension Armor (Red fins on back)
    High Speed Booster Pack (Back of gun)
    High Speed Mobility Preservation Equipment (Restraining Device. The reigns in the mouth and the attached pack over the base of the neck. All silver armor on the legs.)
    Particle Stabilizer (Fins by tail)
    Sensor Unit (Ears)
    Tail Stabilizer (Tail)
    Wing Stabilizer (Wings on gun)

- Gimmicks



Cockpit:
    The cockpit flips open to reveal the pilot. The eyes are attached to the nose and don't open with the canopy, but as seen they are a bright orange like the Command Wolf. It also comes with green eyes.




Backpack:
    The pack over the shoulders will become increasingly annoying as you mess with the kit. There is nothing actually holding it on -- it only sits there because of the 'pipes' attaching it to the pieces in the jaws. Unfortunately the pipes constantly fall out while the head is being moved, and thus this piece will simply tumble off too.




Chest:
    Like the back pack the chest armor simply slides into place with no pegs holding it on. It stays connected fairly well, but in the back there are two 'vent' pieces that constantly pop off.




Shoulders:
    These pieces are supposed to wrap around the leg, so you'll want to assemble them while the legs are detached. The bar going across the front connects the two halves, and as you can see it commonly pops out of the socke because of the rotating 'wheel' on the outside of the shoulder. In the second image you'll see the pipes in the back of the leg, which fall out constantly.




Rear Legs:
    Again you see pipes and parts that pop out of place. The bars in the front are still popping out. I really do like the look of how the pipes wrap around the legs, you just can't pose it. Also pay close attention to the red 'fins' in the backs of the leg. These are meant to slide down when the leg stretches out, but now they're blocked by one of the bars that goes across the armor. Be very careful of this! You may break the armor when these pieces try to slide out (as they are now restricted from doing so).




Paws:
     The paw armor simply slides over the foot, but it oddly seems to stay in place. As you can see in the later pictures the paw is on a ball joint that has a wide rotation ability.




Body:
     Really this has nothing to do with the Irvine Special, but the Saix is still quite flexible with the body able to bend and twist.




Tail:
     Well, once again nothing to do with the Irvine Special specifically, but the tail is jointed to be able to turn, rotate, and swing up and down at the base. It can also bend down half way through.




Back Fins:
     Both of these can swivel up or tuck far down beside the tail of the Lightning Saix.




Laser Gun:
     All the same as the original but a lot of people are still concerned about warped fins from the original Saix. This has been fixed in the original's reissues and is still nice and straight on the Irvine Special. In the first picture you can see the joint that allows it to flip up and down. This is constantly coming out and the gun is kind of awkwardly shaped, makng it difficult to fit back in.