Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi have been going around the mecha sphere a lot these days with multiple design works across various properties. One of the first works he did (I think) is Linebarrels of Iron which got an anime adaptation back in 2009 and introduced many of us to this aesthetic. Kotobukiya also produced model kits of the Machina (i.e. robots) seen in the series. But the anime only covered a portion of the whole story and some of these amazing designs never saw a model kit treatment.
This is where Sen-Ti-Nel and their amazing design team come in as they’ve decided to release figures from Linebarrels of Iron, particularly the titular Linebarrel and its variant for the final battle, EX-Linebarrel.
Linebarrel was quite a unique design during its time of release when compared to its contemporaries thanks to its lanky proportions and sharp edges. But these also worked in its favor as we got an unorthodox machine that gives off a different vibe. With these in mind, it’s only fitting that the amazing folks over at Sen-Ti-Nel being this design to high-end action figure form as part of their RIOBOT line.
From those sharp angles to the intricate paint applications and to those sculpted details especially on the rear sections, I would immediately get this guy, if they made this into a PLAIOBOT model kit, but more on that later.
And yes, let’s not forget articulation as this guy can also pull off very dynamic poses thanks to those proportions and the engineering Sen-Ti-Nel placed on the joint assemblies. That said, you would definitely need to use the included display base as I don’t think gravity would have a tough time toppling this figure, especially if you see how small the feet are. The figure can also replicate its Overdrive mode through opening some armor panels and use of replacement parts.
For accessories, Linebarrel comes with the essentials. Weapons include two swords and the Executor, its main weapon. The set also comes with several replacement parts for displaying the figure in Overdrive mode, including a couple for the tail stabilizers and the forearm armor panels.
April 2023 / ¥36,000
Order via HobbyLink Japan
If you think the Linebarrel’s proportions are a little different, then check out EX-Linebarrel over here with its massive generator pods and those skirt panels that cover the leg units. You may also notice the ridiculous number of swords this thing comes with, eight swords.
Check out those gargantuan shoulder armors with all the design nuances you’d come to expect from Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shirmoguchi. To spice these large panels, the figure comes decked out with tampgraphed markings. The set also comes with more marking decals or stickers in case you wanted to bring out the hidden Katoki in this design.
If you haven’t assumed it yet, then let me tell you that this guy isn’t the most articulated thanks to those massive armor panels. Though it does look quite imposing just standing there with all accessories attached to it. That said, there are still articulation present in this configuration, but it’s mostly limited to the arms.
But if you really wanted to have this guy in crazy poses, then you’re in luck as most of these armor panels are removable and can be purged, leaving the Linebarrel unit in its “refurbished” form. And this guy basically does everything I’ve mentioned earlier, including the Overdrive mode.
I won’t attempt to name each piece in this photo but expect to get everything you see here if you decide to get a copy of EX-Linebarrel. Do note that RIOBOT EX-Linebarrel is exclusive to the Sen-Ti-Nel store so you may have to go to your preferred middleman service if you want one.
May 2023 / ¥50,000
Both figures are set for a 2023 release, so you still have a lot of time to save up. Though if we’re going with how the RIOBOT SRX set is doing, you should expect delays. As for me, as much as I like these designs, I would much prefer something along the Kotobukiya kits in terms of size. And if this guy becomes popular enough, we might get a PLAIOBOT version. Heck, Good Smile Company might even do a MODEROID kit just like how they’re also doing Rayearth after Sen-Ti-Nel released the RIOBOT version. But that’s just me and my wishful thinking.