Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HLJ VF-27 - WIP 7 - Wings

This is final step of the construction of the vehicle.  There are still some extras left to do but this is basically the end of the assembly process.

The parts in question.

This is worth noting.  I almost ruined the project here. I'm still not exactly sure how I got myself out of this.  I put the rod in first to test the fit and it got jammed a bit too far in.  I couldn't put in the wing piece because the rod was in the way.  It would not budge and as you can see here the connecting joint is thin and fragile.  It could break easily with a bit of forcing and that's exactly what I was doing.  I managed to push it out somehow... but try to avoid making this same mistake if you can.  Because once that rod is in... it's REALLY tough to get it out again.  You can kind of see my sweat on this piece from the amount of effort I was putting into it.

The details... the details that no will will ever see.  It's almost a shame.

Wing frame attached.  The main wing parts attach to this frame relatively simply.

More vents on the underside of the wing.  I've since painted this in Gunmetal.  The only way you can paint this is before you assemble it, so save yourself the time and just do it before you put it together (If you're inclined to do so.).

Thruster exhaust.  Couldn't let this go either.  I painted it in flat black.

And with that VF-27 assembly is finished but now the fun stuff starts.  Detailing, panel lining, top coat and probably the most time consuming part of this kit... DECALS.

Monday, August 30, 2010

HLJ VF-27 - WIP 6 - Midbody

Back to work and it's time to get you folks caught up. I've nearly finished this but my blog doesn't represent that. Just too much good Gundam stuff to talk about recently! Moving on!

Here are the parts in question.
From VF-27
Little details on the intake vent.  If you use the supplied stickers these will be covered up.
From VF-27
More details on the front side of the intake vent.  I ended up painting this in Gunmetal.
From VF-27
All assembled it looks like this.
From VF-27
And here's how much it can move.  Pretty crazy eh?
From VF-27
Once you add these little pieces to it you can connect the legs.
From VF-27
Bird man!  I know some people have mixed feelings about this but I've always liked the Gerwalk mode for the Macross fighters.  That was one of the coolest options to me.  The tripod legs provides a significant amount of stability.
From VF-27

Friday, August 27, 2010

Flickr Photo Dump

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam
Even though I stopped using my Pro account I can still upload stuff. You can only see the latest 200 photos though. You can check my Picasa web albums here and here for the latest galleries.  I guess I'll just divide my pics between the 3.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

FA QuanT Raiser XN Seven Sword

Just what would you call this?!

I know what to call it. Ridiculous. But very funny! Thanks to David for the pic.

HG GM Quel - Eco Mk.II Upgrade

First I got the Advanced Hazel.  A design which I'd loved since day one.  After learning that it was based off of the GM Quel, a design which I also love, I decided to pick that up too.  Any of the Advance of Z HG's will come with some art on the inside of the box showing you all the combinations you can do with the different kits.  The Hazel with some of the Gundam Mark II weapons really intrigued me.  I decided that I'd get a HGUC Mark II someday (even though I already have the AEUG PG version, MG ver.1 Titans and the Musha).
I could go on and on about it.  And I will... just for a bit longer.  One of the the things I love about the Mk.II (and hate coincidentally) is that the suit itself has NO weapons.  Not one.  Almost every MS (especially prototypes) have a weapon built into the suit itself, usually head/chest vulcans. I like the fact that the Mk.II is a stand alone suit and doesn't necessarily have to be used for war fighting purposes.  But that's one of the things I don't like about it too.  It's defenseless.  It's a somewhat endearing trait... but not worthy of the successor to the original Gundam I think.  But we all know that the true successor really is the Zeta... even though the Mark 2 has more in common with the original.  Digression.
Anyway, very much looking forward to finishing this and having a triple photo shoot/parts/weapon mash-up with all the HG Titan's suits I have.  I'm good now I think.  The HG Mark 2 was the last piece of the puzzle and now my collection is complete.  SO glad it's the Eco-Pura version too.  Finally, a truly black Gundam.  Finally realized.  That was the whole reason I liked the Titan's Mk.II initially all those years ago.  Not that the navy blue put me off but navy blue is NOT black.  Stoked about this!  Can't wait to paint it!
Yeah it's dark.  But that's exactly why I like it! The GM Quel looks so much more powerful now!  Here it is with Mk.II's shield, rifle, bazooka and backpack along with it's own basic shield.  This is truly one of the things I love most about Gundam. The mixing and matching of parts and weapons to create something new or unexpected.
Lovely surprise at the 1/1 Gundam.  Didn't know they were selling this.  I think it's about the same price as a regular HGUC Mk.II.  As the name implies, Eco-Pura is just Gundam's made with recycled plastic from the hobby factory.

Fireball / Drossel von Flugel

Stealing this one from Z who posted this on his blog.  I was actually introduced to it from there and have since come to realize that I really like this.  Particularly because I like the extraordinarily polite/敬語 Japanese that Gedachtnis uses.  And I like her reactions and poses.  And I like the design of both mechs (and the 3rd that appears later).  Very short and easy to manage.  Easy to watch all 13 episodes in one sitting if you're inclinded to do so.  This isn't my favourite episode but it's the best place to start.

I'd seen the character before but I had no idea where she was from. Now I know.  I'm going to keep my eyes open for the Figma model/toy of her.  I think i'd like to pick it up if the price is right.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

If it were you... what would YOU do?!

I really want to know actually.  I would probably go a bit crazy too!  Although... he really should have found his own place.


Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010

Man torches home over trashed toys

KOBE (Kyodo) A man charged with torching his home in Kasai, Hyogo Prefecture, admitted Tuesday he did it out of anger because his mother threw away some of his plastic figures from the "Gundam" animation franchise.
"Plastic figures of Gundam are like my life partners. I thought I would rather burn to death with them than have them thrown away," said Yoshifumi Takabe, 30, who pleaded guilty as his trial began at the Kobe District Court. Nobody was injured in the blaze.
Takabe told the court he piled 200 to 300 boxes of Gundam plastic figures up to near the ceiling in his room.
He is accused of setting fire to the wooden two-story house where he lived with his mother, grandmother and younger brother, at around 2:10 p.m. on Aug. 9, 2009.
His mother was in the house but escaped without injury.


Poor soul.  Will he give up Gunpla now?  I wonder about his mental stability.  You'll notice I said NOTHING about him buying 300+ kits.

Mandatory pic.

My precious...

Honestly... we just DON'T know what he had in there!  He may have been sitting on a gold mine and that woman just threw it all away out of sheer ignorance.  Sad.

Monday, August 23, 2010

1/1 Gundam - Pics (Lots of them)

I'm the last one of the four of us to blog about it (I went with Gaigun, ASM, and G.G.) but I'll be the one that gives you the most information.
First I met ASM at Nagoya station.  He said he wanted some Miso katsu so I took him to a place I know and we enjoyed that.  After that we took a look at some of the local model shops and I showed him where I usually do my shopping.  We had a nice conversation about models and paints and talked about things in detail as only people who have similar hobbies can do.  He also told me about recent events in his life but I couldn't really reciprocate because my life is relatively boring.  I don't work and I go out drinking a lot.  That's it really.  That said I can't remember when I've been this happy.
After that we hopped on the Shinkansen and just talked about life.  ASM is very friendly so we talked about a lot of different topics.  After a while we finally arrived at Shizuoka where we met GaiGun and G.G. and the 4 of us went to Higashi Shizuoka station together.  And that's when I started taking pictures.

Gundams being sold at the station.  Never thought I'd see that in my life.

You can see it from the window!  Great!

Look at those mountains in the background.  What a great setting!


Gundam Zone?  I think I entered it a long time ago!

God bless girls in Fed uniforms.  She was a real sweet heart.  Took a picture with me too.

Kind of looks like it's in a different stance depending on the angle.

Lot's of details!

Generations of the RX-78-2.  Seen while waiting in line for some of the limited edition items.  We bought a LOT.  Well, THEY bought a lot.  I had to restrain myself.

Can you imagine there being a core fighter in there?

He sees all.

Why do I have to leave?!  I can't believe I may not see it again!

More pics can be seen here.

Another thing that I'd like to mention is the notorious comparison between us and Evangelion fans.  And there is, without doubt, elements of truth to it all.  But different animes with different histories.  It's only fair.  That said, there were still a fair amount of young women there.
The place also had live music and many kinds of food shops plus a model museum.  It was like a festival!
One enjoyable point for me was when a young boy came to look at my Gundam T-Shirt (Ver. KA FIX line art) and then at his own (RG Gundam Project line art) and then at mine with a quizzical look on his face, then back at his and then I walked away (I was waiting in line for something).  Who would have guessed that I'd have so much in common with young Japanese boy.
ASM was really amazing at reserving and timing things but we lingered around the Gundam a bit too long (can you blame us?!)  as well as discovering the Tokugawa Mark II at the last minute!  Damn I wanted that but... restraint.  Restraint.  I have to stop myself.  But dammit I didn't think I'd have the chance to see it let alone buy it! Ah...  Gotta remember that I'm not actually working right now and have to be a bit conservative.  They all bought one... but I didn't.  How's that for not being a team player?  Although GaiGun and I share the eco-pura Mark 2.  And we all share the ANA Gundam now.  Plus we all have the RG RX-78-2.  That's how I justify it all. haha
After that it was time to eat and drink.  These guys aren't your standard beer drinking brutes.  Well they are and they aren't.  They start with beer (like I do) and we all moved on to other types of booze.  I tried the sake (cold type) which we all did a shot of but it was actually crap and was really only suitable for shots.  I had the worst gin/lime ever.  Honestly.  It was the worst ever and that's coming from someone who drinks a fair bit.  Food was nice but I think it was the conversation that was the best part of it all.  Apparently I predicted that the next PG would be Strike Freedom and low and behold just two days later...
There's just something about talking about the things you love with people who love it equally.  It's a relatively rare thing for me unfortunately.  Yes; very good conversation and too short.  I could have gone for a while longer but we had to get our trains back to our respective abodes.  Shizuoka was a good meeting place for us because it's nearly midway between where we're all staying but it's far so we had to leave somewhat early.
Goodbyes and then ASM and I got some more beers for train (Japanese tradition) and talked about a lot of stuff.  Largely exploits of our youth and why Japan is awesome sometimes.  I'm sure I'll be seeing him sooner than later though as he's a bit closer to me location wise now.  And I have to take him to the Gundam bars in Nagoya!
Fun times!  Definitely a day that I'll never forget.

And NOW since this is MY Gundam blog, it is time for MY rant about my impressions of the whole thing as a die hard Gundam fan.
First, I was moved.  Seriously.  I was actually moved.  The image of it against the backdrop of the mountains of Japan stirred emotions and thoughts inside of me that I didn't know existed.  Yes.  That profound and that deeply.  I didn't know that I loved it THAT much.
We look at these things in anime and in manga and in games.  We build them but the closest we'll get to the real thing is a 1/35 resin recast and that's if we're lucky AND rich.  Most of us are at 1/100 and I know that some of you don't even go over 1/144.  1/1 guys.  1/1.  This is as close as ANY of us are going to get to the real thing.
And it looks like the real thing.  I wished it moved a bit more.  It's a machine.  It's OK if it's jerky because then it would just look like a machine.  The head swivels like a machine, the mist from the vents (a good, healthier approximation of exhaust), the eyes...  It looked good.
Maybe in future incarnations more of it will move but I'll tell you one thing right now.  Japan holds on to their anime characters. Astro Boy?  It's been over 50 years and they got Hollywood to make a CG movie of it.  A 1/1 Gundam with more moving parts WILL come.
One thing that I felt while looking at it, gazing is more appropriate perhaps, is the ridiculousness of it all.  It looks kind of strange in real life.  Something that big can fly?  Jump?  Has a core fighter inside of it?  Vulcans in the head.  Beam rifle?!  BAZOOKA?!  The size of the bazooka must be... that means the shell must be... O_O!  omg...  And what's up with those colours?  That's a war machine? (Funny.  I call it a war machine and outside of the Gundam zone were people petitioning for PEACE.  No joke.)
Not only that but you can't help but look at it and think of it in a different colour scheme and even there being a totally different Gundam there.  1/1 Red Frame with Gerbera Straight?  1/1 Strike Freedom?  1/1 Psycho Gundam?!  1/1 Dendrobium?!?!?  The possibilities are endless.  It's silly but at the same time it is so, so cool.
When you look at it in real life you can't help but look at it with realistic eyes but at the same time, this "statue" inspired such an incredible sense of wonder in me.  There were times I thought that it could walk off the platform.  Or that I could ride up to the cockpit from that cable that comes down from the chest.  Imagine it walking slowly, head swiveling, vulcans firing.  Using the beam sabre to cut down a Zaku.
It was a strange dichotomy.  Or self contained juxtaposition. There's no reason for a war machine like this to come into existence but... god damn it if it doesn't look friggin cool.  Love it.  I love this Gundam.  I love Gundam period.  I thank whoever decided to make it initially and whoever decided to resurrect it again in Shizuoka.  And I'm so thankful for the chance/opportunity to see it, especially with like minded people to make the experience more enjoyable.
It was a great day.  One to remember.  One for the ages.

Friday, August 20, 2010

1/1 Gundam

No pics. I'm going to the "Mecha" of Gundam tomorrow and I'm ****ing stoked. Finally. It's like a dream come true and it's going to happen! 1/1 Gundam!!! I'm coming for you! Yeah!!!

HLJ VF-27 - WIP 5 - Panel lines / Gundam marker

As this WIP will double as a tutorial of sorts I'm including some processes that I wouldn't normal show. Here I'm just going to show the most basic lining technique. For this I'm using a Gundam marker "fude" type which means basically that it's a 'brush' type of pen. The brush head is very small, easy to cover wide areas but hard to get individual lines.

Little details like this are scattered across the surface of the VF-27.  There are a LOT of them.  I can afford to use some different lining techniques on this.  You can see just above this part a small sharp metal tool.  This is an awl that I picked up and use for deepening panel lines.  I sharpen the awl before use on a small diamond dust cutting block that I picked at the same shop (Tokyu Hands).  It sounds expensive but it isn't.  500 yen or so.  I use it for my knives as well.
This is the marker I'm going to use.  It's not my favourite but it's what I had laying around.  I've since picked up a 'pen' type marker which is more my style.
Before and after shots.  I just tried to get black ink into all the crevasses.  I wasn't too concerned with neatness.  You can later wipe the excess off with a cotton swab, cloth or tissue. Thinner isn't really necessary right now for a small section like this. I just use my fingers and my natural skin oil. 
Feel the plastic. 
Love the plastic. 
Be the plastic.
Here's the difference.  The lines are really thin and subtle but I think most of us can agree that it looks better with the lines.  I personally prefer darker and deeper lines that are really easy to see but others prefer a more subtle look and use brown and gray ink for their lines (depending on the base colour as well).  This is a section of the plane that won't really be seen but I just wanted to show one way to do panel lines and bring out some of the detail of the kit.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

HLJ VF-27 - WIP 4 - Legs/Feet

Back to work! Was busy doing contest stuff but that's all done with now so back to the project at hand. I'm actually much further ahead on this project than this stage but I'm updating you all when time permits.

Was really looking forward to making this part in particular because it's quite a different design than the regular VF-25.  I would love to paint this in some type of metallic colour when time permits.  Considerably more parts the the standard VF-25 foot.
Lots of movement and more stable than the VF-25 foot.
Lot's of mechanical details to bring out if you're inclined to do so.
Hip joint.  Very large range of motion here but later gets constrained considerably when the armour is applied.
Would love to paint this!  It would never been seen though!
I knew this would happen but I did it intentionally to show why sanding can be troublesome with Macross kits.  If you sand too much the surface area won't line up with the adjacent piece.  It's a minor thing but... if you're reading this you're probably a perfectionist similar to myself so it's probably relevant to you :)
Another thing to be careful of with Macross kits is pegs that look like nubs.  Do NOT cut these.  They are important for the transformation system and to keep the different forms locked into place.
Reasonable amount of parts.
Love these legs.  Beautiful lines.
Locking mechanism to extend the ankles out for the different transformation modes.  Small but very important.  That's basically the underlying principle of this kit.  Everything matters.  Well almost everything (outside of the horns on the head).