Name: 2006 Chevrolet Camaro Concept
Designer: General Motors
Price: Rs 89
The Chevrolet Camaro is an automobile manufactured by General Motors and Chevrolet under the Chevrolet brand. The car shared its platform and major components with the Pontiac Firebird, also introduced for 1967.
Here is some trivia about the Camaro:
On June 28, 1966, General Motors held a live press conference (the first time in history that 14 cities were hooked up in real time for a press conference via telephone lines). Chevrolet General Manager Pete Estes announced a new car line, project designation XP-836, with a name that Chevrolet chose in keeping with other car names beginning with the letter C such as the Corvair, Chevelle, Chevy II, and Corvette. He claimed the name, “suggests the comradeship of good friends as a personal car should be to its owner” and that “to us, the name means just what we think the car will do… Go!” The new Camaro name was then unveiled. Automotive press asked Chevrolet product managers, “What is a Camaro?” and were told it was “a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.” 😉
On January 6, 2006, the first official word regarding a fifth generation Chevrolet Camaro from General Motors came at the 2006 North American International Auto Show, where the 2006 Camaro Concept was released. The concept car features the following: 2-door, 4-passenger, rear-wheel drive coupe, while the body-styling is an homage to the first generation Camaro
Wishing to emulate the performance heritage of the Camaro range, the GM team, which designed the latest model, have produced a shape which, whilst retaining elements of the past, looks boldly forward to the future. The unmistakeable front grille and enormous hood bulge hint at the performance capabilities of the V8 engine, whilst the large wheels and tyres with exposed brakes point to the speed of the Camaro Concept.
From the 2006 GM press release:
Combining dramatic design and exciting performance, the Chevrolet Camaro Concept recaptures the spirit of one of the most popular sport coupes of all time and redefines the Camaro for new generations of fans. The Camaro Concept embodies the performance and passion that have made first-generation Camaros some of the most sought-after collector cars, updating the formula with a fuel-efficient powertrain, sophisticated chassis and contemporary design execution. The goal is to make the sport coupe relevant to younger enthusiasts while retaining its appeal to its current fans.
“Millions of people of all ages fell in love with the Camaro for all of the right reasons,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president, global design. “Camaros were beautiful to look at and offered performance that could rival expensive European GTs. Yet they were practical enough to drive every day and priced within the reach of many new car buyers.”
I’ve decided to catch up on my Gundam lore (back stories rather) in my free time these days and I’ve just finished watching the 8th MS team. So far, most of the Gundam series that I’ve watched (which includes the on-going Gundam Unicorn, Gundam 00, Gundam Seed and Seed Destiny, and currently still watching Turn A Gundam and Gundam Wing) are like a regular Hollywood / Bollywood action movie where 1 (or a handful) of protagonist(s) beat the stuffing out of the grunt mobile suits and then hit a minor obstacle called the boss (or ace pilot as they are called in the Gundam universe). So when I heard that the 8th MS team offered a different perspective, I was tempted.
For those not familiar with the series, the 8th MS team is more like a multi-character war movie. The setting looks like the US – Vietnam war (complete with jungles and rice paddy fields) for most of the series, though it does shift to a desert in the middle for an episode, and finally a mountain / cityscape combination for the finale. In many ways, the characters seem similar to war movie based characters you’ve probably seen in other war movies.
There’s the protagonist, Shiro Amada, who is called newbie even towards the end of the series by his team (or at least one of the characters). He starts off as the … well, newbie who always wears his ‘flight suit’ in his mobile suit, only to realise that its impractical when he gets lost on his first mission. He’s then seen wearing ‘casuals’ for most of the series as is case with the rest of the team (there’s a hint of uniform here and there so you can tell they are ‘feddies’) oh yeah, and the Zeon are called ‘zekes’. If you are a fan of war movies or the like, you’ll probably like this series more than the regular Gundam series.
Here are some of the characters you can enjoy in the series:
Michel Ninorich – the young guy who writes to his girl friend from the battlefield everyday. In any Hollywood flick, he’s just asking to get killed in action.
Eledore Massis – The musician stuck in the battlefield. He’s just written a chart-topping song about love and is waiting to cash in all the royalties.
Terry Sanders Jr. – aka The reaper aka the jinx… apparently the only survivor of multiple teams he’s been with. All his teammates die on the 3rd sortie together. All cracks by fellow MS team pilots are at his expense (coupled with the newbie as team leader, the other teams rate the 08th MS’s chaces of survival extremely low)
Karen Joshua – at first I thought she was the mechanic, but turns out she’s an MS pilot. She’s the battle-hardened veteran (for this location) of the team and can’t stand all the new entrants (Eledore and she are the ‘survivors’ of the last replacements and the previous replacements that were sent over)
There’s little to no political intrigue (unlike other series) and somewhere towards the end, you get a dose of military policy. There’s also the plea for peace, thus wrapping up the Gundam angle.
There are a couple of other frequent characters, like the annoying Kiki Rosita or the strange ‘engineer / mechanic’ of the feddie base who has access to everything from alcohol to signed command papers (if indeed there is such a term)! The female lead is, not surprisingly, Aina Sahalin who is pilot from Zeon. The guy I thought who would be the final bad guy ended up not being the bad guy, so that was a little of a twist for the stereotype -_-
The series is a crisp 11 episodes + 1 OVA (about 25 mins in duration. Actually, from what I’ve seen online, they are all OVAs released over a period of 3 1/2 years (Source: Wikipedia), unlike the other 50 episode series, but that’s because this is a ‘side story’ to the main series and occurs during the ‘One year war’. While the 11 episodes are all about the war and soldiers from both sides, the OVA is an epilogue to the series, which I felt was a bit unnecessary, but I guess its for the closure. All in all, a great series. Also, if you are into gunpla and are looking to weather/ battle damage your kits, this could be a good source for inspiration, considering that Gundams rarely appear ‘battle-damaged’ or even weathered for that matter in other series (unless its the final fight for the series or for that mobile suit 😉 )
So… no toy angle?
Along with its ‘companion’ Zaku kit, the Ground war set is something I’ve been eying for some time now, but I haven’t sealed the deal for 2 reasons… These two just beg for a diorama and I don’t have the skills nor the space, and I don’t like keeping kits lying around. Thanks to this series, i figured a couple of things from this kit (though I’m not sure if this kit is from that series…)
First is this…
If you compare the above 2 pictures and then compare them to the Zaku one, I was a bit mixed as to what role these little tank like hover vehicles played (HLJ has them as “two hover trucks”), and what was that arm with the spike extending out the side? I first thought it was to help the hovertank / truck make fast turns by pinning one side in the ground, like the Scope Dog from Votoms. In the 08th MS, you’ll find out that these (at least the one with the arm) is in fact a type of ‘Audio Surveillance Hover Truck’ which has a Gatling gun for defense purpose. The arm with the spike is meant to go into the ground and is a sensor to pick up sound made by other mobile suits, etc (Kind of a ground sonar to compensate for the radar jamming ability of Minvosky Particles (called the Minovsky Effect). In the 08th MS, they definitely do not charge out front of the Gundam!
Somewhere towards the end, one of the Karen’s Gundam loses its head (literally, not figuratively) in battle and the head is replace with a GM head. That probably explains why the Gundam body has the GM head here (Though, HLJ lists it as ‘two interchangeable GM heads’ so maybe those heads are just for the diorama?)
Anyways, both the Zaku and the Gundam ground war kits come with a LOT of accessories… Sample this…
And the Zaku…
Those funny star shaped pieces are mean to replicate the tanks blowing up…
Btw, if the finished Gundam can actually pull of this type of a post, its probably the best kneeling pose I’ve seen on a Gundam. The shield actually says 08, so maybe this is the 08th MS suit… ok, this small shield, besides being used as a tripod for the gun (In the anime, its just rammed into the ground), its actually meant as a small shield to help protect the pilot rather than the whole mobile suit (Karen shows how quite nicely in one of the episodes)
Ok, this was a lot longer than expected… Until next time!
Name: Lamborghini Diablo Roadster
Price: Rs 89
A list of dream cars can never be complete without a Lamborghini in it.
The Lamborghini Diablo is a high-performance mid-engined sports car that was built by Italian automaker Lamborghini between 1990 and 2001. The body style choices were either a 2-door coupe or a 2-door roadster.
The Diablo was the fastest production car in the world for the 1991 model year, having a top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph), which exceeded the 324 km/h (201 mph) of the previous title-holder, the Ferrari F40. The Diablo held the title until the release of the Bugatti EB110 in 1991, which claimed a top speed of 343 km/h (213 mph).
The car became known as the Diablo, carrying on Lamborghini’s tradition of naming its cars after breeds of fighting bull. The Diablo was named after a ferocious bull raised by the Duke of Veragua in the 19th century, famous for fighting an epic battle with ‘El Chicorro’ in Madrid on July 11, 1869.
The Diablo’s pop-up headlamp units, the tried-and-true V12 engine under the lid, the rear air ducts all make this a “classic” super car. In the words of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, the Diablo was designed “solely to be the biggest head-turner in the world.”
Name: Skids and Mudflap – Ice cream truck version (Autobots)
Series: Transformers Revenge of the Fallen (Deluxe class)
Price: Rs 499
Skids and Mudflap are the 2 idiots from the ROTF movie. And while the 3 idiots at least have some redeeming qualities, these 2 have none. I really have no idea why they were made to look like that or even behave like that (its their behaviour that sooooo irritating), so much so that even though I’d have loved to have got a hatchback car to the collection (their other deluxe alt modes), I have skipped them entirely. The only thing that makes them somewhat acceptable is the really good alt mode this form has… On to the review!
This has got to be one of the ‘cutest’ alt modes I’ve seen. Hell, even The Girlfriend likes this. This is the mode the twins spend in most of the time. Time for a 360…
As with most ‘car’ tranformers, ground clearence is negligible, if not non-existant. A saving grace however is that none of the vital robot parts (read painted / faces) are near the ground so that’s good.
The pink and white colour scheme has become so ‘iconic’ that any combination of pink and white on a vehicle (that’s really rare) prompts The Girlfriend to go ‘skids and mudflap’!
Start by splitting the ice cream truck in half (front and back). You’ll first notice that the halves and not really equal in size and hence not really halves. This leads to 2 ‘unequal’ twins, one scrawny, and the other brawny. Since the alt mode is deluxe class, and that splits into two, you end up with scout class size bot modes. Of course, since they are twins and I can’t really recall who is who in the bot modes, lets lead with the front being Skids…
Bot mode: Skids
Skids’ small feet make him a challenge to get standing, however, once you’ve got the balance, he’ll usually stay standing. Just don’t expect any fancy or over the top poses. Another annoyance is the ‘hood ornament’ that comes right in front of his face in the bot mode (think that caused his eye problems?) On to Mudflap…
Bot mode: Mudflap
Or the lack of it thereof… given their looks and their design, I’m finding it extremely hard to think of them doing anything other than standing. Their lack of weapons does not help either. Also, like I mentioned, they spend most of their time in ice cream truck mode.
This is the only version of Skids and Mudflap I can stand. They would have made good bots if it weren’t for the dopey eyes and of course, their sparkling personalities in the movie. Wonder if the makers were sending out a message to hatchback car owners? Recommended for the ‘cool’ alt mode.
Name: Toyota Celica GT-S
Price: Rs 89
The Toyota Celica name has been applied to a series of coupes made by the Japanese company Toyota. The name is ultimately derived from the Latin word coelica meaning “heavenly” or “celestial”.
The Toyota Celica GTS belongs to the seventh generation T230 series of Celica (1999-2006). This is a 3 door liftback/hatchback with an FF (front-engine, front-wheel drive) layout. It boasts of a more sportier look (hence the “S” in the name)
The 2000 model year Celica was an element of Toyota “Project Genesis”, an effort to bring younger buyers to the marque in the United States. Toyota wanted to appeal to the same buyers of the Acura Integra and Honda Civic. Toyota took time to lighten the car and lower cost whenever possible.
Power window and door lock controls were placed in the center console so only 1 set was necessary for both doors. Initial moonroofs were made of polymer plastic instead of the traditional glass.
Name: TrooP Carrier
This was one of the toys left behind when the nephews came a-visiting. Shot it before I return it. I really liked the way this car has been ‘weathered’ with the traces of ‘mud’ on the body paint of the car and the completely brown underbelly and tyres. I don’t know much about this car except that from the front, it looks like a Mahindra Scorpio, and the name on the underbelly does not mean much to me. On to the pictures!
Since it already came with some mud on it, I decided to put it in some more mud… my laziness / lack of time meant that I went as far as getting a potted plant…
Name: Dodge Challenger SRT8
Price: Rs 89
We’ve already seen the Dodge Viper… today it’s time for a closer look at the Dodge Challenger.
Dodge is a United States-based brand of automobiles, minivans, and sport utility vehicles, manufactured and marketed by Chrysler Group LLC
The Dodge Challenger SRT 8 is a rebirth of a muscle car legend. The third, and current generation, was introduced in 2008 as a rival to the evolved Ford Mustang, the fifth generation Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird.
Assembled in Canada, this hard top, two-door coupe with a sun roof and hood stripes, chrome wheels and leather interiors is a blend of muscle and luxury.
Created in the image of the iconic 1970 Dodge Challenger, the all-new Challenger concept car is poised to deliver pin-you-to-your seat power from its Hemi 6.1 engine and head-turning styling that have made the Challenger legendary!
Picture Courtesy: Oyunlab