Friday, January 16, 2009

My 1st Anniversary Give Away! / My Manifesto

You know what's lame? I forgot my OWN anniversary. Wow. *writes a bit*

OK, somehow this entry ended up becoming a manifesto of sorts. What's a manifesto you ask? Simple answer is "A public declaration of principles and intentions." Some how appropriate for a 1 year anniversary post.

The earth has made one complete revolution around the sun since I started this blog. One whole year has passed. And what a year it's been. I never thought that I'd get into Gundam this much. It's been a consuming hobby. Not all consuming but very 'enveloping' none the less.

It all started with simply doing the panel lines on my 1/100 Red Astray and painting the sword. After I spent that much time and attention to the details of the kit I must say... I was hooked. MG OYW Gundam followed. My first major recolouring operation. Then MG Force Impulse with an extra Excalibur anti-ship sword that I ordered directly from Bandai. Very rewarding project. MG Infinite Justice was assembled but I left it at that while I kicked around ideas of what to do with it. I've decided now but don't know when I'm going to get around to working on it, because MG Sinanju has been made a priority.

This isn't even including the HG's. GM Powered, GNX-III A Laws, FG Rasiel and Sefer. Even my old kits have come back out, Perfect Grades, Strike, Mark II and Zeta came out of their old boxes to join their brothers again. MG G04 was my first 'refurbishing' project that became a massive operation in customization and I am still really looking forward to finishing that one.

I went back to Canada and looked at my old model kits that I haven't seen in years with new eyes. I brought back the first Gundam I ever bought, NG S-Gundam, and an old Macross Strike Valkyrie that I never finished. An old HG Hi-Zaku came out of hiding. I slowly inched away from hand painting to painting by spray cans for a more even look. And it was less time consuming as well. I got a magazine subscription. I calculated it last night. I've spent about 40000 yen on Gundam stuff this year. That's about 3400 yen a month. It's not really that much in the grand scheme of all my expenses. Considering that one night out on the town can cost me about 10000 yen.

But it's never been about the money. It's never been about having the best blog, or the most hits, and even having the latest news. It's never been about that. It's always been about doing what you love to do. And for some ridiculous reason, I love these little plastic robot things that you assemble yourself. Maybe it's the amazing articulation. Maybe it's the fact that I think they just look ****ing cool. Or that I associate good memories of my childhood with them. I'm not sure why exactly, but I do know concretely that I do.

None of my friends or family are really into this kinda stuff. And oddly for a long time I kept it a secret. Actually I wasn't into it this much back then. I'd just assemble them and put on the stickers. Pretty basic. (I'd always sand down the nubs though, which is funny because that is a step that I've pretty much eliminated now but using a sharp knife). Red Astray changed all that. Or at least... it was my decision to be more thorough, and not accept what the company gave me or expected me to do. I did what I wanted to do with it.

I browsed the web and saw the masterpieces that people were creating. Some people may not think that word can apply to something like plastic models but I disagree. With the time, effort and care that some people put into their models, I believe that the moniker is fitting. They've earned it.

But I don't think I have yet. Sure I painted the frame of the MG Impulse and did a relatively decent re-colour job on it, but I still took a lot of short cuts. Basically I know what I have to do to make a good/complete model, but i haven't done it yet. Knowing the path and walking the path are two different things, and that can apply to a lot of different things in life.

And that brings me to another point about modelling. The qualities that it cultivates in the individual. An attention to detail, an eye for colour, patience, persistence. A vision. A plan. Maybe even a work ethic. Knowledge of tools and techniques. And most importantly... knowledge of yourself. Your limits, your desires, your styles and preferences... These are not bad things. They are not things to be embarassed of.

Sure we may be branded as otaku or geeks or nerds or whatever but what does that really mean? It simply means that we are passionate about something. I'd take that over feeling nothing and living a bland mundane life any day of week.

Do what makes you happy. In my case I've decided to share that with others who may have the same interests and i know now that you are legion! I am not alone. WE are not alone. There are others who are like us. And brothers! Together we are strong! WE affect industries! Games, models, toys, videos, anime, movies... all of these billion dollar industries are at OUR command. The customers, the fans, the otakus, the nerds, geeks, hobbyists, or even those on the fringe who are simply just curious. We can choose to support these industries or not. The companies will take notice and if there are enough of us, they will give us what we want. They want us to be happy. Because they want our money! haha

I felt alone before when it came to my interests but after a year of doing this I realize now that nothing couldn't be further from the truth.

So that brings me to the topic of my giveaway.
I wanted to celebrate the one year anniversary of my blog by having a contest. The theme is FRIENDSHIP.

In this era of human history, 3 wars are currently waging. All in the middle east. Gundams and Mobile suits are weapons. KIDOU SENSHI (機動戦士) literally means "mobile war fighter". These machines are often portrayed as tools of destruction, rightly so as they were created for that purpose.

A game I play occasionally in Japan is the Gundam POD game called SENJOU NO KIZUNA (戦場の絆), literally, "Bonds of the battlefield.". Even in war we make bonds and friendships. So I'd like all of you, who are willing to participate, to send me pictures of your Gundams... in PEACEFUL poses with other Gundams!

For example:

Image Hosted by

The deadline is the end of this month. I will post the best photos on here and at other boards as well. Don't worry, I'll be sure to give you FULL credit.

Along with your photo please tell me your top 3 MASS PRODUCED mobile suits that currently have a HG 1/144 model version because... one of those models will be your prize!

I will buy you an HG version of one of those suits and send it to you. For free. You will pay nothing unless there are some recieving charges on your end which you'll have to take care of. In the rare case that I cant find any HG version of your requests, I'll make a judgement call based on your answers and choose one that matches your style but I'll confirm it with you first and you can make the final call yourself.

Send your pics to:

2 photos per person, and then I'll choose which ones I think are the best. Please try to keep each file size to under 1 MB and no larger than 1200/1600 pixels.

Content is #1! I won't be judging on how good your camera is or how well you take pictures. That said, blurry shots and photos with really bad flash photography probably won't win.

That's it!

So to everyone out there, I'd like to say, thank you for reading my blog and for visiting this place occasionally for the past year! It's been fun! and I am MORE than ready for Round 2!

Much love and peace.