Volks: Aschen Brödel

Aschen Brödel is a reserved (and sarcastic) android by nature – but when when Code: DTD activates in her programming, run for your life!

It was some time mid last year when a friend gave me a Nintendo DS game called Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontiers. Yup, what a mouthful! Super Robot Taisen is also commonly known as Super Robot Wars – but this game is actually a spin-off of the SRW: Original Generation series. The game is published by Atlus in North America, which means you cherish it as if it were your first born child (Atlus games are known to go out of print fairly quickly)! lol While I have heard of Super Robot Wars before, I never looked into it or knew what it was about. I had a slight idea that it contained characters or robots/mechs from different series (such as Gundam and Macross). But knowledge of that didn’t matter much as Endless Frontier was a spin-off with a mix-match of characters and a different story line.

Aschen Brödel is an android which closely resembles Lamia Loveless from SRW although I’m not entirely sure what the relationship is between the two. Aschen’s designation is W07, a battle android using primarily hand-to-hand attacks. Her personality is quiet, reserved and rather sarcastic (in a mean way) most of the time. She is usually throwing insults back and forth with other characters such as Suzuka, Kaguya and Xiaomu, which is rather entertaining. But the oddest part about her character is when her core temperature rises, her programming kicks into Code: DTD (Dust-To-Dust) mode, which transforms her into a hyper-active android that sometimes borderlines crazy. When in DTD mode, parts of Aschen’s clothing and armor “burns off” to alleviate overheating, which conveniently exposes much more of her “skin”. ;-)

Initially, I didn’t even know this figure existed and I had long finished the game (although it had a lasting impression on me – good game). The idea of looking for an SRW figure was out of my mind. I didn’t even think anyone would create characters from this almost unknown (in NA anyway) game. But after I received my Sheryl Nome figures, I started browsing around eBay and chanced upon Aschen’s figure for sale. I thought to myself, “Hey! I know her!” I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to buy her as the pictures I saw didn’t indicate the quality of the figure. I was new to the scene, so I didn’t know Volks as a company nor their reputation. Plus, if I got Aschen, I knew I would just have to get Kaguya and Suzuka as well.

I then started browsing around the Internet for more information on this figure and saw Tier’s review of Aschen. Well, no thanks to his review and photos, I’m three more figures poorer in the wallet. After I made the purchase, I also chanced upon another review at Wawawa Wasuremono. These reviews have been around for awhile, so chances are you have seen them already. But if you haven’t, check them out!

Volks adaptation is sculpted by Misaki Serika, which captures Aschen in DTD mode with her signature “Aschen Kick” pose. What surprised me when I first got the figure was how bendy her leg was sculpted! I honestly don’t recall her leg bending so much during her kick in the game, but I guess in an odd way this adds to the sex appeal of the figure. Her head and body is tilted in a strange way, which might make displaying her a little difficult, especially with the HUGE display base which I’ll talk about later. Her head is is also tilted a little downwards, so I had to take the photo from a lower angle to get her face.

With Aschen’s arms crossed, she covers up most of her chest area, which is a bit of shame because she actually has a nice cleavage with her top exposed during DTD mode. But all’s not lost! At least you have the right breast peeking out between her arms with a bit of nipple detail. Daring.

The paint job was done fairly well, but as you may have already noticed, it is very glossy. The paint application also appears thick and certain areas borderlines on overly thick. When paint is too thick, the surface will look a little bumpy, which I think is most evident when you look at her hair. The paint application is fairly clean on this figure, which I found to be opposite from the Kaguya figure (which I’ll be reviewing after this) by Volks. I do like how they’ve painted her lips, however, which looks like real lipstick. Also, in the above image, you may have also noticed Aschen’s face isn’t sitting flush with her hair, this is due to the fact her face is removable and I didn’t snap it on properly prior to taking the photo. Gave the face a good push afterwards and her receding hairline was gone.

Aschen comes with two swappable faces, one with eyes opened and the other with her eyes closed (more cheerful, which reflects her DTD mode). I wish it came with a more serious face though (and with her hair down), a face that reflected Aschen’s more reserved personality – I think she looks prettier in that mode. Her face can be changed by first removing her head, then the side ear pieces, the hair and then the two front bangs. I recommend removing the hair on the back first before the two front bangs as they might be stuck in her head pretty tightly. With the rear of the hair out of the way, you’ll have more grip on the bangs to pull upwards – the material is rather soft, so you wouldn’t want to break it in half!

Here’s a closer shot of the hair and ear piece (it acts as a hair/head band while in her normal mode), which is flipped upwards because she’s in DTD mode. You can see the bumpier texture in the hair and head piece due to the thick paint application, but at least there’s no overlap! The lines are painted confidently with no deviation. The skin is clean, though it lacks shading (like on Sora). The top part of Aschen’s body is fairly exposed in DTD mode, if only her arms weren’t blocking most of it! ^_^’ Her neck fits into the collar piece tightly and you can’t see any seam lines, which is a good thing. In fact, I barely noticed any seam lines on Aschen at all, especially the legs and waist where you’ll often find the lines on other figures.

As stated, Aschen has a nice cleavage, but from this angle it looks like she’s missing her right breast. The over-exposure of the shot doesn’t help either! Her weird pose sort of distorts the position of her breasts, stare at them long enough and they’ll start looking displaced. From the top, her battle gauntlets look like a samurai helmet if you ask me. It lacks finer details, but it doesn’t look bad when looking at the figure as a whole and farther away. In fact, I rather like the below shot (round round goodness) :-P !

Aschen’s upper arms are equipped with some sort of revolver weaponry – it’s been awhile since I’ve finished the game so I can’t recall if it was actually a weapon or if it just stored ammo (or just decorative). In this shot, you can see a slight paint overlap between her skin and the black tip of the armpiece, this was one of the only very few paint errors I found on her. Her boots are done well with clean lines, it also has a little more detail compared to her gauntlets.

One issue that might become a problem later down the road may be leaning. The entire figure stands on one leg, locked in by one small peg at the base. The standing leg feels quite solid though, it is heavy and it feels like there’s some sort of heavy rod inside supporting the figure. I’m not sure how well she’ll hold up over time, but I haven’t seen any reports yet of this figure leaning. Even though her leg looks and feels sturdy, she is still standing on her toes. It may help if you keep her further away from sources of heat (such as display lamps), just in case.

From behind, her hair is one massive piece, but contains some details that help make her hair look more dynamic. There’s also some slight shading in her hair, so it’s not just one huge glob of green paint. The color is fairly bright though, so staring at it long enough my make your eyes sore. :-P Since Aschen’s hair is removable, her right foot doesn’t attach to the hair.

Since her hair is flowing, it doesn’t obstruct the rear of her suit or her ass. In fact, due to her pose, you get a fairly ecchi view without much effort. While rear right cheek looks alright, as it’s being pushed up by her leg, the left side looks a little flat. There’s still a roundness to it, but it would’ve been hotter if it was just a bit rounder. Normally her legs would be covered in her green spandex like uniform, but DTD strikes again! It’s a wonderful fighting mode. =P

Can’t help but blush a little when taking the next shot. What’s interesting is the pelvic area sculpt has some muscle detail and there’s some wrinkles in the suit due to the way it clings to the body, which also hints at a vaginal imprint. Usually on other figures, this area of the body would be flat or smooth to hide certain details. So should this figure be considered an ero figure? Probably not, but it might be close. lol

As previously stated, Aschen comes with two faces, one with eyes opened and the other with a smiley closed eyes. I think I actually prefer her with the happy eyes closed face. It suits her DTD personality and compliments the pose – it also matches the original illustration much more closely as well. Doesn’t she look much more fun? :-) I think I’ll be displaying Aschen with this face on (most of the time).

The last detail about this figure is the display base – it’s friggin’ HUGE! I’m not sure how it’ll fit in my display, hell, I don’t even know how it’ll fit anywhere! This is especially true if you get the other two figures in this set (Kaguya and Suzuka) – although it may have been a cool idea that someone at Volks thought of, but it’s horrible when it comes to practicality. The three figures’ base forms into a large circle and they all stand facing different directions. It looks crowded and like a blob of mess, your eyes won’t know what to focus on. And what if I didn’t get all three figures? I’d be left with an ugly 1/3 circle to contend with. If you have the talent, I strongly recommend designing your own base. :-)

Update: After I posted the images, I just realized I did something really stupid. I mixed-up the positions of Aschen and Suzuka, no wonder it looks like a mess! Even my one year old could’ve figured this out! I’ll get updated pics up soon…

I currently don’t have any “artistic” photos of Aschen like I did with Sora as I only started taking fancier photos after working with Suzuka. Since I went back to take some photos of the insane display base with the three figures combined, I decided to attempt a few more shots with Aschen. Her pose is definitely unique, but I just couldn’t draw any inspiration from her while taking the photos. :-( Here are some of the images with the rest in the gallery.