Kit Review: Moderoid – Trails of Cold Steel – Ashen Knight Valimar

Heed my call, Valimar The Ashen Knight!

Everything’s better with mecha – and that includes JRPG. Sen no Kiseki – also known as Trails of Cold Steel or Legend of Heroes – feature gigantic combat machines imbued with magical powers called the Divine Knights. They harness great power from godlike beings in order to battle each other as prophesized. With the announcement of the first Sen no Kiseki anime as well as Good Smile’s various voting surveys, the first Divine Knight was made into a model kit – the Ashen Knight Valimar.

Kit: Moderoid Valimar
Series: Sen no Kiseki/Legend of Heroes/Trails of Cold Steel
Price: 6,500 yen
Release date: Jan 2023
Design: The Ashen Knight – true to its name – is a gallant silhouette invoking the knight of Medieval Europe. The grey armor looks simple, but it is adorned with golden carvings along the armor (which isn’t reflected by the kit sadly). The Valimar has large shoulder pauldrons, a heavy upper body and pretty long legs. There are painted green orbs on its limbs and chest to create that magical aesthetic – which looks quite amazing. The cod piece is another story though, which I think is pretty excessive but does give the unit a unique points. The backpack is pretty much a drive system that resembles GN Drive but with large blades attach to it. The backpack balances out the proportion and give it a more majestic feeling.

Build quality: The build experience is amazing, pretty good for a GSC Moderoid. Well for as long as they have been making kits and the price they asked for this one, the expectation are pretty high. And in my opinion, they fulfilled the requirements pretty well. The plastic quality is still not Bandai-tier, but the snap fit is very satisfying. But as with many magical/knightly mechs, the Valimar is one pointy boy, so you should be careful the Ashen Knight don’t taste your blood. There are a lot of spiky parts so caution is advised when building the model since there are no safety nubs like Bandai’s HG. One issue I ran into is one of the backpack connectors are extremely loose – so much so that Jobby would have a field day swiveling it. I managed to fix it but it’s a pretty concerning problem.

The painted details are very good. There’re no blemish that I can see, the colors are vibrant and I hope it is the same with the other kits as well. Too bad the ornamental patterns on the armor aren’t painted, but I reckon it would be a very expensive process. All in all, it’s a very satisfying build.

Articulation: Well in the Northern War anime, Valimar has shown to be a decently acrobatic mech, but not too much. And the kit reflects that as well, with decent – but not amazing posability. The elbows and knees aren’t double jointed and their range are also hindered by the armor, so there’s not much dynamic going on. Fortunately, the shoulder armor can slide in and out to allow for more range of movement that allow for more dynamic poses like the Obari Sword pose and other similar ones. The feet pivot however is very nice and you can balance the giant pretty easy. There are definitely ways to engineer more into the kit, but they didn’t and basically kept it at an acceptable level.

– Gimmicks: The only thing that can be called a “gimmick” is the movable panel on the forearms. But it’s nothing significant aside from obstructing articulation if you want to bend the arms.

Accessories: The kit has pretty basic accessory for Valimar’s first form:

x1 long sword (Zemurian Ore Tachi)

x7 hand parts

The Zemurian Tachi looks pretty amazing. It’s long, painted and looks badass. The hand parts can grip the sword pretty securely as well despite the weight of the weapon. It’s not too much to say you only need one weapon to make you the coolest kit on the shelf.

Overall: Trail of Cold Steel’s Divine Knights have been on mecha builders’ wish list for quite a while. And after many surveys Good Smile finally came through for us. First we got the Ashen Knight Valimar and they have already announced the Azure Knight Ordine. This kit is quite expensive for the engineering but I guess the size and license fees eat up the price tag. It’s a decent kit and have some awesome shelf presence and make good majestic photography material. If you’re a Trails fan or just knight mecha in general, this is a must have kit.

Overall, I’d rank this kit 7/10 (8/10 if you got it on sale)


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