Monday, September 5, 2011

Gauntlet - Epilogue 1

I will be posting the same message on my blog and at GAF as well just so that everyone is on the same page.

***

Time for the text wall.
An overdue post but a necessary one.  I put off writing it until I had the time to do so.  My life became a lot busier on the last day of August with new job orientation and starting work the very next day on Sept.1.  Couple that with plans for the long weekend and you have me out of commission for a while.
I want to thank all of you for your patience.  I know I haven’t been much of a leader for this as I don’t post nearly as much as some others do but I have to admit that this GB has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience even though I left everything for the last minute and severely under estimated the amount of time it would take.
I tried a lot of new techniques on this build.  Namely all the masking work using tape and masking solution (which worked surprisingly well).  This was also the first time that I tried using a gradient paint scheme and also doing some mods with pla-plate to reshape and essentially shorten a few select pieces.
I enjoyed tackling such a huge project and I will be the first to admit that I’m quite pleased with the end result… while at the same time admitting that there is still a lot of work left to be done on this to get it to my own personal standard of excellence in gunpla! Haha.  Still though I count this as completed as the essential parts are done.  It’s definitely battle ready.
However I must admit, if I am to be strict to the rules, I failed this test.  I didn't complete everything.  Some touch ups need to be done, I didn't do enough decals, and finally as complete assembly approached I decided to repaint some sections and change the scheme.  So I have to say... to be honest with myself and to take responsibility as leader, I'm not sure if my Gundam should be in the same ranks as the others.  But since this is my show I'm giving myself a PASS because of one thing alone.  The feeling of PURE satisfaction I felt when it was totally assembled and ready to sortie!  This is why I make models!  That feeling!  Pride?  Maybe.  But that is something that all of us as modellers earn and can own!  I'll will own that.  There's nothing wrong with taking pride in your work!  *okay need to relax. getting too excited*
There’s so much to say so I should probably just break it up into sections of what I’d like to address:
1.       The GB itself and how it started.
2.       The participants and what they’ve made
3.       The concept of “Theta +” / Design notes – Original concept / “The Gauntlet”
4.       Connection with Strike and Red Frame
5.       Technical issues of the build process and the kit itself
6.       Final comments
I will respond to each of these things in time.  Call me verbose but you don’t have to read it.  I, on the other hand, feel compelled to write about it since this blog is a chronicle of my experiences with this hobby.  If I don’t mention it here it will never be mentioned at all.  Let it rest in the digital archives.
I know that over time enthusiasm for projects can diminish quite quickly.  I’m sure a lot of us are eager to jump into our new projects.  I know lupes is already hard at work on the PG Wing and Gaigun is working on any number of kits simultaneously… it’s hard to know what he’s going to focus his attention on next!  ASM will probably be concentrating on his new son.  We certainly did miss his presence in this GB but seriously… priorities.
Anyway this whole GB started in early May with me coming home after a night of drinking and looking on the internet at lupes PG Strike Freedom.  I remembered talking to ASM and Gaigun about ours a couple of months earlier when we’d met in January and it got me to thinking about the Sinanju GB that we did during the “Evil Cow” days.  So I sent a message to all of them + Sonar at GAF asking what they thought and low and behold here we are now.  Sonar brought a tremendous amount of talent and resources to table.  Not to mention the forum itself!  A key player in all of these so major props to you brother!
Now for those of you who may be wondering what this whole Apocalypse thing is, it started last year when myself, ASM, GaiGun and Gundam Guy all went to see the 1/1 Gundam together in Shizuoka.  I can’t remember who coined the phrase (GaiGun I think) but it stuck.  That said GG has never done a GB with us but lupes has so he becomes the fourth in that situation I guess.  I liken it to Voltron when Lance had to step out of being pilot for the Red Lion and Sven came in.  At least I think that’s how it went! haha
Anyway, ASM commented on how I threw down the gauntlet to all of them and somehow we started joking about the Gauntlet of the Apocalypse and there you have it.  Humble beginnings… but I’m so extremely proud of what it’s become, with the banners and the videos and the support and so many others jumping in and building along with us.  Your names will never be forgotten except for… what’s his name again?  You know… that guy.  That did the thing? J
I thought that having a deadline would be important because if it was left open ended who knows when we’d finish.  Motivation can be lost, people can get side tracked.  Life happens.  It happened to some of us during the process of this GB and some had to bow out because of it.  A mixture of happy and sad news... My issues weren’t familial but more concerned with my career.  Still though I managed to push through it and make the time to get it done.  Because of the deadline and when I actually committed myself to working on the PGSF steadily… I was basically forced to streamline my build process.  I became a lot more efficient and by the end of it, doing a full Perfect Grade kit with paint job seems like something I can manage relatively well now.  This was my first time to ever try and complete such a task.  And I’m proud of that and the results so I’m glad that this GB gave me that experience and consequent skill upgrade.  The lesson I learned from that was; “Intimidating tasks can be overcome with steady progress.”
Anyway, even though this GB is officially over, I’d like to leave this topic open for future modellers who wish to try their hand at the PGSF or to any of the participants who completed it but may eventually feel the need to go back and do some touch ups later.  Just because the deadline has passed doesn’t mean that we have to stop learning from each other or helping others who come in late.  So now I’d like to openly invite ANYONE who has ever finished a PGSF or is working on one to post their work in the topic at GAF so we can all help each other and see what type of creativity is out there.  I’d love to see some more custom schemes.  If this topic is any indication I’m sure there are still some great ones out there waiting to be discovered.  Or created.
I’ll just leave it there for now… I’m a completionist so I do intend on mentioning all the things above in due course but I know how intimidating a giant wall of text can be so… like I’m building a model it will be done in incremental steps until it’s all finished.
Thanks again everyone.  None of this would have been possible without you.  You are all key players in this and I thank you all for your time, support, dedication and enthusiasm!
Finished but we move ever onward!
Theta is the 8th letter of Greek alphabet.