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MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review

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Old 04-04-2012, 11:38 PM   #1
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MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review

MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review


MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review Part I - Fighter Mode - Introduction & fighter mode
In 2011 we learned that TakaraTomy would be redoing a notorious Decepticon in the Transformers Masterpiece line, Starscream! The original MP3 Masterpiece Starscream release had a controversial debut. While initially designed by Kobayashi Hironori, it was revised by none other than Kawamori Shoji(of Macross fame). Kawamori himself was no stranger to Transformers as he had worked on the Diaclone line, and some of the Diaclone toys were later repainted for the Transformers line.

Kawamori's revision of Kobayashi's original design could be seen as drastic to some. The F-15 alt mode adopted CFT(Conformal Fuel Tanks) which hid the robot mode parts, and 2 guns were molded on the front of the CFT's. The resulting look was that of a single seat F-15E Strike Eagle, instead of the F-15C that Kobayashi's original design resembled. Also added were optional Sidewinder missles mounted on rails. While fighter mode was seen as an improvement by some, the revised robot mode was shockingly different. Kobayashi's original design in robot mode resembled Starscream from the G1 cartoon. Kawamori went for another route, using skinnier legs with big chunks of the CFT's now resembling sword scabbards(but without swords).

MP3 Starscream ended up being rather challenging to stand in robot mode, and the folding hinges near the wings were a source of concern. Breakages were reported on the 1st release and for some of the subsequent repaints. It wasn't at all like MP1 Convoy where quality control all around was superb. With MP3 you had to be more careful when posing and transforming.

Since the release of MP3 Starscream, fans have often wondered, "why did Takara even let Kawamori change the MP3 design?". The legs were not only limited in mobility, and hard to stand, but the iconic look that Kobayashi interpreted was gone. For some fans, this was rectified with the release of iGear's KO seekers which do away with the "hip kibble" and have the lower half of the CFT's molded as part of the lower leg. However, some fans wanted to see something new, something...official. Something that went beyond just making alterations to a pre-existing mold.

Enter MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2. MP11 is likened to a revised version of Kobayashi's original design, without Kawamori's input/revisions. Add in coronation gear, like an articulated cape, and finally mold/paint MP Starscream in more G1-esque colors, and you have MP Starscream V2. To many fans, G1 Starscream was neither white nor green, he was grey. To date, this is the only MP Starscream molded in grey. It may not be completely cartoon accurate, but it's a lot closer to the cartoon than MP3 ever was. The color palette reminds me a lot of the one used on Henkei Starscream.

One glaring omission is the lack of a display stand. This is disappointing. I suppose the trade-off was the coronation gear. Understandable, but being that each previous MP Starscream release came with a stand, I wish this came with one too.

The fighter mode is sleeker, since it's based on an F-15C Eagle, and lacks CFT's. The drawback is that the robot mode parts are not hidden from the side.
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The legs are not as streamlined with the underside(when viewed from the side) as MP3, but at the same time, MP11 does not look as "fat" as MP3 in fighter mode. MP11's fighter mode looks more toyetic but it doesn't really bother me. The underside doesn't stick out as bad as Classics Starscream and the 1st movie/HFTD leader Starscreams.



The biggest thing I noticed was the lack of gaps. MP3 and some of the later repaints of it had gaps, especially where the windscreen meets the rest of the canopy, resulting in a crooked nose look. MP11 does not have that problem.

MP11 has a wealth of panel lines scribed in but there is no weathering, no ink washes applied. It's a shame too, since the toy is predominantly molded in a grey plastic, and without the lines inked in, this just results in an even more toyetic appearance. I've read some comments from members who state that the lack of panel lines enhances the cartoon-based appearance, but to me, it just looks somewhat cheap without inked-in lines. This isn't a dark plastic like that used on Striker Optimus Prime, this is the grey plastic that fans usually complain about seeing on Hasbro releases. Inking in the panel lines brings out a lot of the subtle detail that otherwise wouldn't be seen well. For example, one of the reasons I dug my MP3 Walmart release was because the lines were inked in. Looked so detailed.

What I did like(and was not expecting), was that the painted blue parts have a metallic finish. These parts include the vertical stabilizers(these stabilizers are molded in grey), forearms, and feet.

The holo-pilot is a neat change. He will flop around in the cockpit unless you push him forward.

I dig the inclusion of the holo-pilot since it gives fans something different from Dr. Arkeville. Plus, I dug how holo-pilots were used in the 2007 movie. To begin with, I'm a fan of piloted mecha and I dug the concept behind Diaclone, so I would rather have A pilot figure than none.

The randome is painted grey, however it may be molded in blue. Some paint was scratched off on mine and I did see a darker color underneath. The radar within is painted in a nice metallic silver.


The outer engine intakes can be positioned up or down:
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Oddly enough, a port for the cannon on the F-15C is not molded on the wingroot of MP11.

The airbrake is the same as on MP3, still has a chrome piston:


Unfortunately, the only weapons MP11 comes with aside from the chest missles, are null-rays.

While I definitely like the hinge system which enables them to stay on during transformation to either mode, I wish there were swappable, optional weapons. Something akin to what the original G1 Starscream had would be cool, like swappable bombs/missles.

The engine covers can still be lifted to reveal the PW F100 engine details(actually opening the engine covers is necessary for transformation, as these engine parts are more than meets the eyes!):

The ball jointed engine nozzles don't have as much range of motion as MP3's engine nozzles. Not a big deal but it is something I noticed when handling it.

The landing gear are the same as on MP3, however the nose gear seems to move tighter, and the landing gear bay for the rear is completely different, as the lower legs of MP11 are completely new:
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The rear landing gear seem to stay in place better than before.

Overall, the fit and flushness of parts is good.The horizontal stabilizers don't feel as tight but seem to be made of a much more durable plastic than on MP3. The spine sticks out just a bit but not very noticeable. There are substantially less gaps when compared to MP3. This may not be as detailed, but it is a more solid fighter mode. Also, G1 Starscream was either an F-15A or F-15C(both single seaters), with no CFT's, just by those facts alone, MP11 is a more accurate(by G1 cartoon/toy standards) Masterpiece Starscream than MP3.

There is some heft when picked up. It feels like a more detailed, main-line leader class figure. It does not feel fragile in fighter mode. While the fighter mode is pleasing, MP11 truly shines in another mode...
Attached Thumbnails
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MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review-mp11-masterpiece-starscream-16.jpg  
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Last edited by Shin Densetsu; 04-05-2012 at 01:55 AM..
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:40 PM   #2
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MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review Part II - Robot Mode

Ah yes. This is the way that MP3 ought to have looked, in the eyes of most fans. The biggest changes include the following:
  • New upper arms(more narrow)
  • New biceps(with socket for null-rays)
  • New lower legs(bigger, and with stabilizers attached)
  • New feet, front feet have a swivel at the top only
  • New torso parts
  • New head sculpt
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Transformation to robot mode is relatively easy(and easier than MP3). With the new parts, MP11 has a more balanced silhouette in robot mode. This actually results in a robot mode that is much easier to pose than MP3. No more attempts at finding a pose that can be maintained without toppling over. MP11 is easy to pose in robot mode and most importantly fun to pose.





The head sculpt no longer features a smirk, but a confident, yet shifty look. The face is nowhere near as dark as initial images suggested, and looks quite good. It reminds me of the way Starscream was drawn in the Dreamwave comics.

It is a bigger head than the head on MP3, however the sides are spring-loaded and fold in during transformation.

The chest missles are retained but the ones on mine could've been painted a lot better. The apps look cheap:


My only issue with robot mode is that the torso does not have a very secure connection to the waist. As such, moving the shoulders up/forward may result in the torso moving up with them. This issue was present on MP3 and its repaints. Surprised this wasn't fixed when it seems like just about everything else was.

Coronation gear
The shoulders each have a tab that the coronation shoulder pads plug into:
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These tabs can move as to not hinder shoulder articulation.

The coronation shoulder pads also feature tabs that flip up as to not hinder shoulder articulation:


After plugging the shoulder pads in, clipping the articulated cape on, and crowning MP11 Starscream, the end result is:

MASTERPIECE KING STARSCREAM!

The cape has 2 hinges down the middle, and is mounted on a clip by 2 ball joints. The clip itself has detents which lock it into position on either side:


Overall the coronation gear is a lot of fun. Adds a lot of personality to an already worthwhile figure. I like how the cape is made of plastic, as it has hinges which enable it to be posed. It can be heavy for the ball joints if you pose the cape straight up. However, by working the hinges and swivel, you can find ways to keep it up.

Attached Thumbnails
MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review-mp11-masterpiece-starscream-17.jpg   MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review-mp11-masterpiece-starscream-18.jpg   MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review-mp11-masterpiece-starscream-19.jpg   MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review-mp11-masterpiece-starscream-20.jpg   MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review-mp11-masterpiece-starscream-21.jpg  

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Last edited by Shin Densetsu; 04-05-2012 at 02:05 AM..
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:41 PM   #3
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MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review Part III MP3 VS MP11 brief showdown & conclusion

MP3 has a crooked nose, MP11 doesn't. An F-15 Eagle with a crooked nose doesn't look right. You can also tell, the crookedness wasn't planned! It's a design flaw on MP3(though not as bad on some releases).

Fighter mode:

This may be up to personal preference. Despite not having inked in panel lines like MP3, MP11 is molded/painted in G1 cartoon colors, and as stated earlier, MP11 lacks the CFT's of MP3, therefore, is a more accurate representation of G1 Starscream. The sleeker look of MP11 helps.

Robot mode:

While MP3 features 2 faces, 1 of which with Starscream's iconic smirk, it also feaures skinnier legs than MP11 and the notorious hip kibble. Meanwhile, MP11 features just 1 face sculpt that means business, a color palette closer to G1, is substantially easier to stand/pose, and is fully compatible with the new coronation gear. MP11 also feels more solid, substantially more durable, not as fragile, and has way better range of motion for the legs(especially since it lacks the hip kibble of MP3).

Fighter mode may boil down to personal preference(some of you may like the F-15C Eagle more than the F-15E Strike Eagle), but MP11 shines in robot mode and is the better figure than MP3. It's more playable, a lot less worrisome to handle, and looks more iconic.

So was MP11 worth buying? I would say yes, however, I would think about it if you already have any incarnation of MP3. If you handle your Transformers a lot and like posing them, MP11 is a good figure to pick up. The latter holds true especially if you found MP3 to be a pain in the ass to transform and pose in robot mode. MP11 is much easier to transform from either mode. It's a lot easier to transform than ROTF Leader Optimus. For example, on ROTF Leader Optimus there are some areas where I would just get stuck for a few minutes...to more. Not so with MP11. I'd even say Alternators/Binaltech Smokescreen was tougher to transform. If you dig alt modes and just leave your Transformers on display most of the time, you might be content with MP3. MP3 arguably only outshines MP11 in fighter mode, mainly due to the CFT's that Kawamori added on to disguise the robot mode parts, and the inclusion of Sidewinder missles. Another noticeable aspect is the fact that MP3 has panel lines inked in. MP11 has nearly all of the same panel lines scribed in but without being inked in, therefore looks more plain on the surface. While this can be easily rectified with a thin Gundam marker, I'd be remiss to leave that out of the review. However, in every other way, MP11 is the superior figure.

EDIT: warning about Gundam markers:

ONLY USE THE BRUSH MARKERS MEANT FOR PANEL LINES TO INK IN THIS FIGURE, THE REGULAR FINE LINE GUNDAM MARKER IS OIL-BASED, TOO THICK AND NOT FORGIVING. THE BRUSH MARKERS ARE WATER BASED AND EXCESS IS EASILY WIPED OFF.
Attached Thumbnails
MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review-mp11-masterpiece-starscream-35.jpg   MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review-mp11-masterpiece-starscream-36.jpg   MP11 Masterpiece Starscream V2 Review-mp11-masterpiece-starscream-37.jpg  
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Last edited by Shin Densetsu; 11-27-2013 at 05:37 AM..
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:56 AM   #4
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very nice review, only one thing, pull those intakes forward can't wait to get mine
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:07 AM   #5
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Very nice review. Unfortunately for me, I am a Masterpiece completist and I am sure that despite the fact I fully intended to skip this "redundant" version of SS, I am sure I will be picking it up, due in no small part to your review. Dammit...

That more accuarate grey really does look awesome, and the redesigned head is much better than the MP-03 version.

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Every time Hasbro or Takara save a penny by cutting corners, the third party guys make a dollar.

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Old 04-05-2012, 03:38 AM   #6
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I'm a HUGE SS fan, and I planned to skip this version since I have MP Walmart SS w/coronation kit, Ghost SS, MP-03 "GreenScream", and Hasbro Skywarp. I'm up to my eyes in MP seekers! But I HAD to look at this review. Its decided, I am getting this....

thanks!
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by nelodiavolo View Post
I'm a HUGE SS fan, and I planned to skip this version since I have MP Walmart SS w/coronation kit, Ghost SS, MP-03 "GreenScream", and Hasbro Skywarp. I'm up to my eyes in MP seekers! But I HAD to look at this review. Its decided, I am getting this....

thanks!
No problem man.

I have Walmart Starscream, Ghostscream, Thundercracker, and Walmart Skywarp, and I'm still glad I picked MP11 up.

I started inking mine in with a Gundam thin black marker too.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:48 AM   #8
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Review: informative.

Haha, well done Shin - this is something I've been considering picking up and your review certainly tips me more to the affirmative. Or more of a priority at least lol; I really want to get behind the now dubbed MP 2.0 line, adn unlike MP-10, which I also want, this would easily fit in my Pile of Loot for the budget limit. I should make a move either way as soon as BBTS get my TCC Runabout in. Then there's a Unicron to consider and at least one United Stepper down the line - the latter can wait.

With that much at least in mind perhaps my intent to get MP-11 sounds like a foregone conclusion haha. Really glad you reviewed it next to the Hasbro deco, I wonder if this will help cement fans' decisions to buy or not respectively or change more minds either way. What I liek about the figure, to name a few things, is that it is a cleaner figure overall; I like resourceful touches such as the engine area components being used in the transformation, the obvious hip kibble fix and more to my eye how good it is that the air intake fairings are an example of cleaning things up just by addressing some fiddly or fragile play elements instead of dumbing the transformation down.

The deco is also clean and to the point. Perhaps a large block of grey to some but it lets the sculpted details speak for themselves. The dominance of one colour reminds me of some comments made over United Grapple - too much yellow in his case. To which I thought that while this may be true for some while a figure's under the spotlight, that sort of thing tends to make them sit well visually within a collection of related figures. I suspect the same will be true for those who can imagine or indeed collect a good number of upcoming and as yet unforseen Masterpiece releases. That is, if this Starscream looks too grey on his own, there should be some more seekers along before too long to amend that.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:03 AM   #9
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Great review, Shin! Pics are magnificent and really shows what this MP release is all about!
Good news: My supplier mentioned April 18th release date here where I'm at!
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:12 AM   #10
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Excellent review! Its nice to hear an unbiased, in hand review and comparrison. Thank you for taking the time to do this.
* Note: I am currently based in Singapore.
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