Monday, March 31, 2008

HCM Pro Deathscythe

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Originally uploaded by Busterbeam

Back from my philosophical digressions, I bring pictures of the upcoming HCM Pro Deathscythe, scheduled for release in May at just under 3000 yen.

I've always enjoyed seeing kits in their 'primed' state because it provides a uniform colour that some how enhances the details. When I first heard that this suit was getting the HCM Pro treatment I had to admit that I was very surprised. It seems as if all the focus these days is on Gundam 00 or re-hashing old UC designs. Having the Deathscythe get a modern makeover was a nice treat for me.

Looking at the design of this suit you can see that it's quite different from any UC or 00 MS. Fans of Gundam Wing will be pleased. I would have preferred Heavyarms (any of them) or Tallgeese 1 but... after seeing this I do have hope.

Gundam Wing was actually the first Gundam series that I ever watched! Coincidentally it was also when I first got into Dragonball Z. Back then I was in 2nd year university and would set my VCR to tape it at 10pm on YTV. VCR haha... those were the days.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Reflections 1 - Priorities

I wrote this to myself but I've decided to share it. wtf... it is MY blog about plastic modelling. It applies and it's relevant but maybe not... conventional.

I'm not sure what happened but I ended up getting so deep into it. Learning so much and realizing that I can only go so far. Airbrushing, primer, thinner, ratios, surfacer, sanding, grit numbers, lacquers, enamels, styrene, sawing, drilling, customizing, ball joints, decalling. It's just a hobby right?!

Will it ever get to the point where it's not fun anymore? I don't know but I'm not there yet. It's still fun. I'm still learning. I don't aspire to much but I enjoy the process of improving. And actually using my creative faculties again. And more importantly... I'm making something. Concretely. Made for display. Something I can look at and be proud of. I can say, this is mine and there isn't another one like this anywhere! Yeah someone can make a better one in the same shape and colours bit that's theirs is and this.... this is yours. All yours. And you can do what you want with it. So I guess it kinda comes down to control for me.

I can manipulate this as I see fit. Anyway I want. It doesn't affect anyone else. I am the master here and it's ok! Call it a power trip if you want but doesn't it feel good sometimes to have 'complete' control over something? No repercussions? Guilt free. Of course there are other things I should be doing. More... productive you could say. But none of those productive things are as fun.

I've guess I've come to realize that I love machines. I always have. But I don't have a head for engineering. MY strength has always been in art. So perhaps my loves are manifesting through this. I don't know many people like me, but now I know they're out there and they exist and they are many. It's reassuring. Of course we all want to feel special and unique but we also want to feel like we belong somewhere. That we aren't alone. That someone understand us. It's important. Humans weren't mean to live lives of complete isolation. We're social creatures. That sense of belonging is necessary.

So I indulge and find myself being constantly amazed at what I discover. How far people have gone. What they can create. And I think that's the fuel for all of this. Why 40 minutes can turn into 4 hours. I just want to keep pushing. To bring life to what's lifeless. haha plastic designed to look like metal machines. Life?... Maybe substance is more appropriate. Meaning. Depth. More than just plastic.

But sometimes I get so sucked in and then I look back and think I've been spending too much time with the plastic robot men. Ignoring the actual humans in my life. Perhaps I even treat my models better than I do other people. Show them more attention. Think of them more... and that's not right.

No matter what you do, be it fishing, knitting, cars, games, hell even if you're trying to make a space ship in your basement... sometimes you gotta take a step back and look at what's important. Plastic and paint can always been replaced and repaired. But repairing people, emotions and all.... that's infinitely more difficult.

And replacing them? Forget it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Gundam Exia x Gundam Astraea

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam

Red Exia/Astraea hybrid design. I think I still like the regular Astraea a bit more then this or Exia. That waist bit is throwing me off and I've never been a fan of all red mechs (yes... even Savior). I still think it's pretty cool though.

Friday, March 28, 2008

RX-93 Nu Gundam

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam
Reverse side of the GN-Arms poster. I think I like this one a bit more.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Skull Squadron!

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam

Finally! Just a couple hours after posting that I found it! VF-1S!!! Now my collection is complete. But limited edition versions of Max's and Miriya's units are scheduled to come out in May. 'Limited edition' so I might not be able to get my hands on them. I'm going to try though! In June, Macross Plus unit's YF-19 and YF-21 are also scheduled to come out... so I'm in lucky I'll be able to have 4 more added to my collection before July.

I got lucky today... I was out playing 「機動戦士ガンダム 戦場の絆」 [Gundam POD game - Senjou no Kizuna. Just got my first promotion to 一等兵 (ittouhei) from 二等兵(nitouhei)which is the rank you get when you start. Currently using RX-79 Ground Gundam a lot.]

After that decided to go shopping for food (bought a bunch of nice cheeses!) and then was going to check out my local hobby shop to see if anything new came out. Even though I'd seen Overflag and Zwei on Saturday, I had a feeling my local place would have a little extra. And they did.

However on my way there I noticed a manga shop that I'd never seen before, and where there's manga, there's anime and where there's anime there are figures and plamo.

This place was INSANE. I couldn't believe that it had been so close to me but I'd never seen it. They had posters up all over the place saying NO PICTURES so I didn't take any, but I really would have liked to.

Anyways FINALLY found the VF-1S on the 2nd floor. Last one! I'd been searching for this thing for so long... and then just randomly I finally got it. Along with the new Dengeki Hobby but more on that later.

After that went to my local place and found HG RX-93 Nu Gundam - like... 50 of them (no joke). Amazingly over stocked. Plus Jumbo 1/35 Zeta Gundam. This was WAY bigger than I thought it was going to be. Transforms too. Pics of those later.

Dengeki Hobby has a lot of treats.

Zaku Minelayer
Astraea with GN Arms E
Plutone Core Fighter
Green Astray
HG Nu Gundam
MG Impulse design sketchs
1/100 Astraea
1/100 Overflag
MSJ-04 Fanton (from Gundam 00)
MSER-04 Anf (from Gundam 00)
1/144 O Gundam
HG Nadleeh
HCM Pro Teiren Space Type
MG Launcher/Sword Strike Gundam
HCM Pro Deathscythe (looks REALLY nice!) amongst others including some really lovely posters.

Not to mention my new project that I've started but haven't really told anyone about. I think I'll just leave it as a surprise... but Powered GM is going on hold for a little while. For now... just going to enjoy my newly acquired and finally united, Revoltech Skull Squadron.

but stay tuned. Lots of good stuff coming up.

GNW-002 Gundam Throne Zwei & SVMS-010 Over Flag

I actually saw these Saturday night when I popped into a shop downtown looking for Revoltech's VF-1S (Can't find it anywhere anymore! If I can't find it when I'm back in Tokyo I'm going to give up). They both look REALLY good. Zwei has got a lot of potential but overall I'm not a big fan of the design. Don't really like the 'Fang' skirts. But Over Flag on the other hand! I had to stop myself from buying this right away. I want to see Graham's GN Drive Custom Over Flag before I make any decisions and I like the Flag's so much that I might wait for a 1/100 version once it's all said and done. Gotta be patient but really nice stuff!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Gundam Art

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam
Recently updated my flikr. Decided that it's about time for me to share and show why I'm into this stuff so much. For some reason with me, it always starts here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Optimus Prime

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam

One of a kind no scale, scratch build by Yasuhiro Yamaguchi. Not Gundam but it is plamo. This is a purely and simply a masterpiece and the only one in existence. Along with the Blue Frame 3rd that I posted earlier, this one also had a 2 page spread in this months Dengeki Hobby. haha some centerfold huh. Not exactly Playboy but it satisfies in a different way.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

GN Arms - Type E

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam

I think it's kind of funny that this is out but we've never seen Exia use it yet. We have seen GN Arms - Type D in action though and man was it something else! Wow!
This comes included with Trans-Am Exia (which seems no different from the regular HG Exia except it's got red bits instead of blue ones). If I had the Astraea upgrade parts I'd be tempted to get this. Trans-Am Astraea + GN Arms Type E? Whoo! Looking forward to seeing what this bad boy can do in animation.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

MS-06J Zaku II - Rusty

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam

Not so recent but I wanted to share some pics of one of my favourite paint jobs. Right now I'm just concentrating on painting properly, never mind weathering and texturing (texturizing?). This is the finished product, but there's one more 'How-To' photo on my Flickr page in the 'Plamo' section. I particularly liked the bazooka. I don't know who would want to pilot this thing though! Looks like it could come apart anytime! I kind of imagined this being stuck outside in the elements for a long time and then suddenly had to be used for some reason.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Gundam Astray: Blue Frame Third

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam
This was the poster in the April 2008 Dengeki Hobby. Poster as well as the cover MS. Customized from the 1/100 Blue Frame 2nd L kit. Not really feeling this design so much but I'm more of a meat and potatoes MS guy instead of all this flash. I like the concept but I would have removed some of the details to be honest. I'd try and lighten it up and give it a faster look than an imposing one. You can't see it in this picture but it's got two beam rifles in the back and two blades that swing down from the back of the calves. It's primarily a bladed melee suit so I think a faster look would be better. But hey, to each his own! I'd still like to have this model!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gundam Unicorn w/ Beam Gatling Gun and Blue Decals

Advertised on Gundam Ace, Kadokawa is set to release a limited edition version of Gundam Unicorn Volume 4. The limited edition novel version will come with Beam Gatling Gun, which can be attached to the upcoming MG Unicorn Gundam ver Ka. The limited edition verion comes out on April 26, 2008 priced at 1260 yen.

I know a lot of you out there have the Unicorn but I don't yet so please excuse me if I say something incorrect. All the pics I've seen of the Unicorn show it with red decals but this pic has blue ones. Do blue ones come with the kit? I quite like the blue decals on the regular Unicorn. Seems to fit. But the red decals definitely fit the Destroy mode Unicorn more then the blue ones.
To see some more custom Unicorn colour schemes check Ngee's blog here. They're only photoshopped though! This one is my favourite.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

MG RX-78-2 Ver. One Year War - Customized colour scheme

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam



Many firsts here. First time I've had to do major repairs, first time I've applied decals generously, first time I've changed the colour scheme (twice for that matter!) and the first time I've ever painted a kit (and completed it).

It's funny looking at these pics. When I first started this project I was at a different stage in my life. So much has happened to me in just the span of this models creation process. I remember what was happening in my life when I was cutting him off the sprues, when I was painting him, when I moved him and did the touch ups and finally when I took the final pictures. All those different stages of his life were different stages of mine too. Oddly he's come to symbolize something else in my life... my own personal growth.

Full gallery here.

Friday, March 7, 2008

GNY-002F Gundam Sadalsuud Type-F

Was browsing the net and saw that someone picked up the new Dengeki Hobby recently so I decided to go out and get it myself. This one included a how-to DVD by 'Gunpura Meister' 川口名人 (Master Kawaguchi). Lot's of cool things in this one with a special on Gundam Seed Frame Astrays (evolutionary trees included), including modified 1/100 Blue Frame 2nd L into Blue Frame 3rd. Quite nice. If there's anything specific you want to see just let me know. But here's the highlight for me. Had no clue this was going to be in there.

1/144 Dynames modded into that. Wow. Naoki does good work though. You can actually see his work on Youtube here. He does the MG Alex with Chobham Armour. I remember watching this a long time ago and remembering that he was kind of a 'flashy' guy.

Also my 'White Demon' project is done. Here's a taste. Lot's of good stuff coming soon!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

1/100 GN-005 Gundam Virtue/Nadleeh AGAIN, Metallic Coating MG RX-93 Nu Gundam and today's purchases

'White Demon' touch ups: Done
'Extras': 95% Complete

Got a mail from a friend today telling me about a hamburger shop that I didn't know about. Decided to go there for breakfast (Hey I'm on vacation!). As I left the shop I saw a Yamada Denki down the road so decided to go and see if I could find some useful wires/cables/adapters (yeah... ANOTHER unusual hobby but if you saw my apartment you'd know that it's not in vain). I take a look at the game floor and realize that off in the corner there is ALSO a plastic model section.

OK well since I'm here...

It's not bad! Not as good as my regular shop (Bic Camera) but even still. Found the Pla-Plate I was looking for (which wasn't at my regular shop) and some other paints that I wasn't really looking for but decided I'd pick up now and try to use on a 'future' project. (Yes I've already decided what it's going to be but I'm not saying anything yet.)

I'm still adhering to my consumer philosophy of 'When in doubt buy both." Couldn't decide between Clear Blue or Clear Green. I'm not even sure of how to use Clear Colours. Also bought some paint mixing dishes because they were SO cheap. I saw the price and I was like 'Oh thats not bad for 1' then I saw that it was actually a pack of 12! haha

Anyways heres the front of the Virtue/Nadleeh box that I wanted to show you all AND metallic coating MG Nu Gundam. The box is HUGE for that one as well. And heavy but of course not as big as MG Sazabi. I've never been a big Nu Gundam fan but this kit looks REALLY good. Like something that would look good with a minimal amount of work. But I don't think I'll be buying any new models for a long time. Although I MIGHT make an exception for GAT-X105E+AQM/E-M1 Strike E IWSP (Lukas O’Donnell Custom) because it is one of the sickest kits I've EVER seen. I saw it at Bic Camera and my jaw dropped (sorry should have taken a pic when I had the chance). All those weapons! I already have a Strike... but... damn ! (in Zacks DOAX2 voice after someone wins at roulette)

Monday, March 3, 2008

1/100 GN-005 Gundam Virtue/Nadleeh

'White Demon' touch ups: 95% Complete
'Extras': 90% Complete

Was out running some errands and came across this. Sorry it's the only shot I have. Didn't want to take too many shots as it was kind of busy.

The box is quite large! I was suprised. You can't see it so well but HG Psycho Gundam is behind it and the box is massive for an HG. Never mind the Zeonography Perfect Zeong. Huge! This kit reminds me of the PG GP01/Fb because I rarely see it in Fb mode. I think that most people will just build Nadleeh and keep the Virtue parts as extras. After all if you want a Virtue model there are cheaper alternatives. Looks like it would be a fun project though.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Powered GM - Modifications

'White Demon' touch ups: 90% Complete
'Extras': 85% Complete

Did a lot of work last night. Realized that I'm working on a bunch of projects all at once. Moving on the Powered GM or Jim Power/JP as I like to call him while the primer dries. Took a scan of the suit and picked out the parts that I'm going to modify. These pics are the largest things but there are a bunch of smaller things that I'm going to fix too while I'm at it. Problems are outlined in red.

Largely I'm going to fix most of the seam lines. Some are supposed to be there but I don't like them so out they go. Going to cut down the protruding bit on the 'orange slipper' haha. Never did like that about the Ver.Ka stuff. Also planning on filling in the gap around the knee armour and rounding it out a bit.

Think I've been sniffing too many paint fumes today. Proper ventillation is tough to maintain in the winter time. Unless you like the cold. I'll try some ideas to get around that. Don't want to get into that habit. I'd like to keep as many brain cells as I can for as long as I can. I don't think it's natural for your nostrils to feel like their burning after a modelling session o_O!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Beam Rifle - 完成

Camera: Repaired.
Beam rifle: Repaired.
'White Demon' touch ups: Incomplete
'Extras': Incomplete
More photos: Incomplete
Total job completion rate: 93%
Beam rifle final verdict: I am pleased.

Notes - Didn't sand the beam rifle well enough after repainting the first time. Some flaking paint and rough spots where I did the repairs really stood out after repainting. Because I'm a perfectionist SOB I did it AGAIN. Regardless it's good to be back in action again.