Alter: KOS-MOS v4

I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time – finally, I get to work on this review of KOS-MOS v4 by Alter. KOS-MOS has a huge fan following due to her character, abilities and of course, her looks. And if any figure company is to capture the essence that makes KOS-MOS popular, it has to be Alter.

KOS-MOS is a battle android from the video game series Xenosaga, the background of KOS-MOS is rather complicated, as with the story to Xenosaga, since it is somewhat religous-based. This figure represents the fourth version of KOS-MOS, as the previous three versions had been destroyed. KOS-MOS also retains the soul of Mary Magdalene, which awakens from time to time. Yes, as I’ve said, complicated! ^_^’

Alter’s previous release of KOS-MOS is of her version 1 appearance, which I will also be doing a review on at a later date. Of the different versions, version 4 is my favourite and I’m glad Alter released this figure. That said, I can’t wait to get the 1/4 scale KOS-MOS from my HobbyFan order which should be here later this month in May due to a delay.

This 1/8 PVC figure was sculpted by Yaguyu Toshiyuki, who did a fantastic job with the pose and details. The figure stands about 20.5cm from head to toe and it comes with an hexagon type base.

I like the fact this figure’s head isn’t tilted downwards nor is the hair covering her face. You can see her iconic red eyes and her beautiful face clearly although the nose is sort of non-existent, but that’s due to the original illustrations. The hair is semi-transparent with a slight shading effect.

The headpiece is a bit of an oddity – what I mean by that is the paint work looks very un-Alter like. It’s thick and uneven compared to the rest of the figure, and the finish isn’t very clean either. It seems like the painter used a lot of layers of white paint to try and cover the dark green paint underneathe. There’s also a slight drip from the bronze paint on the top right (although I think I may be able to clean this off).

The size of the collar looks a little big, but that’s due to the macro photo. Looking at the figure as a whole, it’s not that bad. The paint work in this section is fairly clean, although the paint on the collar piece looks a little thick as well. I went back to look at the figure in person and the paint work doesn’t look as thick as it does in the macro photo.

The chest area is done well, and I am definitely a fan of the way her breasts are partially exposed in this version of KOS-MOS. I think it really adds to her sex appeal, she doesn’t reveal much but provides a small glimpse of the possibilities. :-) The bronze piece of her armour looks like a tie, with the upper part of her dress reminding me of a school uniform (like the ones they wear in Bible Black).

Version 4 of KOS-MOS is pretty fancy, with a lot of parts and armour which I don’t know what their real applications are for. But they do look pretty cool as a complete set.

The side of KOS-MOS’s legs are equipped with this similar bronze armour. I really can’t recall what their exact specs are for, but they look like thigh holsters to me. Probably used to help generate her weapons? If anyone cares to enlighten me, by all means! ^_^ I like how these thigh plating are floating and not attached to her legs. They are attached via two pairs of “chains” as seen below. The sculpt of these chains could’ve used a little more attention, not sure if it’s the same on other KOS-MOS figures, but the one I have appears a little messy at some parts. Maybe these pieces serve nothing other than hold up her garter?

One thing I didn’t notice until I took a closer look at the figure was that her dress is asymmetrical, mainly the skirt part. The left side has a strap that goes around her leg while the right side doesn’t. That’s a pretty interesting design – I kind of like asymmetrical designs. lol

The stockings detail is decent and it looks pretty good. The paint work in this section also pretty good, and I think the painter did a better job than the upper body. The white paint just look cleaner and smoother.

The right leg also has some sort of plating with the word KOS-MOS written over it – the left leg doesn’t. Lines are fairly clean in this portion of the figure (unlike the headband). I actually don’t mind the thicker paint application on the knee part of the boots, since I think it makes the boots look more leathery.

Although KOS-MOS doesn’t have the armor on her left leg, wrapped around her left ankle is a dagger. This dagger can also be seen on the swimsuit version of KOS-MOS by Alter. Compared to that, however, I have to voice my complaint that the sculptor cheaped out on the details. The dagger here doesn’t have any details at all compared to the swimsuit version.

The side of KOS-MOS’s headpiece is reminiscent of bunny ears (especially when you look at her from the front). Paint is smoothly applied here and any minor imperfections seen are due to the amount of details captured by the macro lens. I really can’t see the flaws when looking at it in person.

The arms are also equipped with similar bunny-ear looking armour. They look cute and deadly at the same time. :-P Although the angle of the photo below is restrictive, there aren’t any seam or mold marking on her arms.

If the figure looks like she’s leaning to you, well, it’s because she is! But this is deliberate due to her pose of forward motion. That said, I’m not sure if she will start to lean for real in the future, since her body angle is leaning forward already. I haven’t seen any reports of this figure with leaning issues, so I think she’ll be alright.

KOS-MOS is somewhat of a wide figure due to her gun/cannon and her hair. Although most of her back is blocked, you get a better view of the gun, the rear details of her boot and the details in her hair.

A closer view of her back reveals her skeletal armour (or structure). The structure is similar to version 1 of KOS-MOS, but looks more powerful/sturdy. I couldn’t tell if the white paint on her buckle is suppose to be there or not – but I took a look at the review at FooBarBaz.jp again and that figure had the same white marks on the buckle.

Since the skirt part of her dress is open on the right side, it rises up as she moves, as seen below. I’m definitely a fan of the sculpt from this angle. The ass is round and not flat like many anime figures. ^^

The sculpt detail on the laces of her boots is done very well. Makes me wonder why they couldn’t add more detail to the dagger around her ankle?

One of my favourite details on this figure, however, is the back of her hair piece. When looking at it in person, it looks like a blob of black paint, but after looking at it through the macro lens I was surprised to see actual text! Makes me wonder what they used to paint this? Since I’ve reduced the resolution to 900×600, you might not be able to see the details as clearly. But I could actually read the words when the image was at the native 5616×3744 resolution.

Lastly, there’s her cannon – the paint work on this portion is pretty flawless and the metallic paint looks great! The cannon looks big and heavy when in fact it’s actually pretty light since it’s hallow inside. I was initially worried that it might put too much stress on her arm, but it doesn’t. I actually don’t really know what to refer this weapon as, a mini-gun/vulcan or a cannon. I think I recall the game calling it a cannon though.

In terms of overall package, this figure is currently my favourite in my collection. The sculptor did a brilliant job with the sculpt and the paintwork is generally flawless – at least with the naked eyes. I was actually quite surprised to see some tiny imperfections after uploading the images from the camera. There were a number of black specs on her white dress, so I went back to the actual figure to take a second look. They were definitely not obvious and hard to spot. Chalk it up to the 21MP 5DMKII to capture all the microscopic imperfections. LOL

Aside from the 1/4 KOS-MOS, I think this is the best figure of KOS-MOS out there currently and I’m glad it wasn’t that hard to get my hands on one. Alter also did a great job with the packaging, pardon all the dusts in the picture!

I thought this figure was rather popular but I actually didn’t see that many reviews out there in my searches. The two most easily found are from: Wanderingkind’s review (which has some interesting backdrops and angles) and FooBarBaz.jp (which had the review out since 2007). If anyone out there have seen others, feel free to let me know!

Looking back at the pictures, I’m not too content with the way they turned out, especially with the backdrop. The metallic gray backdrop created a lot of JPEG artifacts and I had to smooth them out manually. This made the background look too post-processed for my taste. I wanted to re-do KOS-MOS’s shoot, but due to time constraints I decided to go with what I have. I’ll definitely re-visit her shoot in the future though, after I get some of the other reviews out.