Thursday, December 31, 2009

Apparently my gf supports my hobby...

She got me these for Christmas. I was quite surprised actually! I thought she wanted me to do other things in my free time but then she goes ahead and does this!

She said that since I spend so much time looking at Gundams this was the best way to get me to think about her at the same time because she knows I'm going to associate these two with her. I think she remembers me telling her stories of how I 'dedicate' the Gundams I make to the people who have given me kits and I make them with those people in mind.

I asked her why she chose these two. This is what she said;

About Exia - She thought it was cool how it lights up and she knows I've been doing some work with LED's recently. She also watched the better part of Gundam 00 with me and it was her first Gundam series. She thought that Exia was the coolest one from the show and that it's design was quite different from the other Gundams I have around my place. She thought it would be good for me to have more variety. She also liked the shiny swords.

About Zplus C1 - She bought that on a whim while she was shopping for something else. She saw it and thought I'd definitely like that because 1. It transforms 2. It's colourless. 3. It has a big gun. Pretty simple!

Needless to say I was pleased and impressed with her choices! I guess she actually likes me!

I do believe that she bought these for me so that I'll think about her more and, in an odd way, I have to admit that I will.

I've already started on the Exia and I know what I'm going to do with it... Same with the Zplus I think. Still though... I haven't completely finished a model in some time! Hopefully I can keep my motivation but recently I've gotten it into my head just to build these kits first instead of keeping them in the box and then once they're all built I'll work on painting them one by one. I don't want any more unbuilt kits stacking up.

So a question to all of you out there who have gf's or wives. Do they support your hobby? Do they even care? or... Do they do it too?!

Well I guess that's it for me for 2009! Hope you all had a successful year and that 2010 will be even better!

Much peace and love!
さようなら 2009!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MG Red Frame Kai

Hijacking Z's content here because it totally shocked me. I didn't realize that he made this with his limited edition gunplas including a RED Blue Frame 2nd L.

Now that the MG Red Frame is officially going to be released along with a REDESIGNED Tactical Arms that turns into a CROSSBOW (omg...) and TWO katanas (omg x2... T_T) it looks like his imagination has finally became a reality.

You might all know that the Red Frame is one of my favourite mobile suits if not my favourite outright. Getting this an absolute no-brainer for me even though I already have the 1/100 version along with the PG version. The fact that it comes with the MG Blue Frames articulation makes the pot that much sweeter for me.

Anyone else excited about this or is it just me?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Best Zeon MS Design!

Hundreds of votes and a bunch of different polls have finally taken us to this point!

MSN-06S Sinanju_06
Originally uploaded by cyruz13

AMA-X7 Shamblo 3 (2%)
AMS-129 Geara Zulu 10 (8%)
AMS-129M Zee Zulu 0 (0%)
YAMS-132 Rozen Zulu 1 (0%)
NZ-666 Kshatriya 24 (21%)
MSN-06S Sinanju 74 (66%)

The people have spoken! And they have chosen the current 'flagsuit' of this blog...

MSN-06S Sinanju

wins the top prize of best Zeon MS design EVER.

Now to do it all again for the Feds but I think I can predict the winner right now...

Pretty sick paint job in this pic though eh? Frame was done in a nice bright metallic silver. Very well done.

So what do you think makes it so popular? I have a bunch of reasons myself. Way too numerous to list here... again but I'd like to hear all of your thoughts on this.

One thing that I like about it is that no matter what colour you paint it in... it's ALWAYS going to look good.

Here are some examples.

Flag Fighter?!

Last but not least

HGUC RX-93 Nu Gundam - Metallic Coating version

Considerably more expensive than your usual HGUC 1/144 kit at just under 5000 yen but... it sure looks good! This might be my first RX-93 (despite my technical hangups on the design). I find myself shying away from MG's these days because of the size, price and commitment that they demand. I don't mind just snapfitting a 1/144 together and just letting it sit around until I get time to paint it. I'm sure this model will look really good just traight out of the box with some decals and a couple touches of paint here and there for the nub marks.
Feeling like I need to do some shopping! Hey! It's Christmas!

Source is here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Macross 7 1/60 VF-22S Sturmvogel II Max Custom

I really shouldn't be buying more stuff but... I'm getting a strong feeling that I'm going to shell the cash out for this considering how much I'm getting into transformable planes... What's one more? Coming out at the end of Dec. at just under 20 000 yen! Bit pricy but... I've got the money.

If you read my long rant on the VF-27 you'll know that I'm pretty picky about this stuff but the VF-22 is definitely a design that I like. It has almost none of the problems that I mentioned about the VF-27. My only gripe is the bulkiness in gerwalk and battroid modes contrasted with the thin limbs that serve no other purpose than to be limbs in gerwalk/battroid mode. I always thought that they were a bit too thin for this machine but when I read the wikipedia entry about it I understood why and could forgive the design.

Unlike Kawamori's other Variable Fighter designs, the VF-22's legs are not its thrusters; instead, they are stored in the undercarriage of the fuselage in fighter mode. As General Galaxy has employees of Zentradi origin as majority of their workforce, the Battroid mode shows a slight resemblance to the female Zentran armor Queadluun-Rau.

That makes sense doesn't it?

Well I'd prefer this thing in the original YF-21 colours shown here but... I've always liked Max's machines. This one is no exception.
Here's the source.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Transformers Masterpiece: Skywarp

Please welcome the new member to my family. Australian buddy at work sold it to me for 2000 yen. Scooped it up in a heartbeat. Skywarp is my favourite Transformer and this toy looks amazing. Vehicle mode is perfect! Haven't even bothered to try and transform it yet or soil it with decaling. It looks so good straight out of the box.

Yamato VF-1S keeping it company in the back.

Sinanju - Eye Work 2

Initially I posted about the work I did on the eye a while back. Here is the follow up finally (I'm terrible I know.)

First let's start with shots of the stock helmet/face. Green lines show where I did the cutting to open up the face and eye slot a bit more. I basically just cut out some of the curves and extra angles in the design. More open and simpler is the look I was going for.
Very narrow field of vision. Needed to open that up to let more light shine into the eye and reflect some of the colours out. Also changed my two tone gold/black face plate scheme for a uniform black with gold lining one. Again... trying to simplify.

Decided to remove the mould line and nub marks on the blade antennae while I was at it.

Helmet removed. This is what the eye looked like. "Shine silver" acryrilc base with clear green enamel on top. I know I got the order reversed but I didn't know better at the time and it was all I had. Besides it's a small piece so didn't think it'd make a big difference. It didn't.

Sanded all the paint off, applied a tiny piece of mirrored tape to the eye then put an aurora decal lense on top of that. Captures and reflects the light 1000x better now.

This is what it looked like after and when I decided to make a quick post about it. I wasn't satisfied with it though. Even though you could only see it with the flash I didn't like the grey on either side of the eye...

So I went back and added mirrored tape to either side as well just to have more light moving around inside of the helmet

Doing this didn't change the outward appearance so much... but it's the principle of it. I feel better having done it. Leaving no stone unturned and all that...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sinanju - Eye Work

Couple more pics of the eye after I finished it and touched it up a bit. I did a couple more touch ups after this too. Perfection is a sickness.

My room is practically 100% Gundam themed. It's all you'll see in my place really. I'm obsessed I guess. This is the reason why I don't invite many people over to "The Dungeon" / "The Laboratory". PG Strike and Red Frame on the TV in front of posters and box art.

Left arm under repairs!

Revoltech Transformable Valkyries

Super stoked about this. Even though I have Revoltech Skull Squadron already... I'm probably going to get all of these too on principle.

More info here and here

Zeta Repair

Originally uploaded by sandrum
One word - Bad@$$

Better than Exia imo.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sinanju - Repair Log 1

I haven't posted much about my Sinanju recently because I quit modeling for a couple of weeks, intentionally. I needed to focus on other things, chief amongst them studying Japanese, which I didn't really do that well. Anyways now my proficiency exam is over and done with finally! I took Level 3 for the record. I'm actually just under Level 2 skill wise, I took some practice tests to make sure, but I wanted to fill in some of the blanks in my grammar so to speak. I realized now after studying Japanese grammar that you really just have to use it and practice in order to remember it. At least that's how it works in my case. It's not like remembering kanji. Oh well. Anyone else out there studying Japanese? It's a pain sometimes eh?

Now that my free time is my own again I'm looking at my Sinanju once more. I left it in a state of disrepair as I'd gotten frustrated and just washed my hands of the whole ordeal. I've finished almost all of the upgrades but was left with a severe problem with the left elbow. Massive breakage in many areas. The equivalent of a cut hamstring basically, but in the arm.

I've edited some of Dalong's manual scans to show exactly where all the breakage has taken place. Props to that fine gentleman for going through the effort of scanning the manual.

First, the hands.

Problem: I can't remember how I did it but whatever I did I did it wrong. I think I must have used my nippers to separate the fingers instead of my exacto-knife. I cut along the red lines shown below but because I used my nippers I ended up pushing too much of the plastic away and the fingers ended up sitting very loose in the joints.

Solution: I added a bit of liquid cement to the loose area and moved the finger around to prevent it from setting in place. It's semi stable now. Better than before.

Preventative measure: Use the thinnest, hardest and sharpest blade I can find to separate the fingers.


Problem: Peg breakage due to corrosive material in the Gundam marker. Slots also cracked. The plastic seems to have weakened over all.

Solution: Liquid cement the peg back to it's original place, reinforced with cemented strips of clear pla plate over the fissures. Sanded. This solution wasn't very effective because the peg would often be too large to fit into the slot because of the cement and pla plate. Worked occasionally but sometimes I'd just scrap the idea and cement the parts together. I'm trying to avoid doing that but I need stability in this thing!

Preventative measures: Use a different paint type? Prime the part before painting or just don't paint that area at all. Often I didn't intentionally try to paint the area but paint leaked in and seemed to have weakened the plastic. There is also the possibility that I may have tried to separate the parts with too much force but I think that's unlikely. Paint could have also stuck two parts together which would cause extra stress during separation. Consideration of these points must be given in the future.

Moving on...

Problem: Ring and slot breakage and cracking due to corrosive material in the Gundam marker. The plastic seems to have weakened over all.
By far the most serious problem and the one that I've spent to most time on trying to fix. I was just going to order new parts because of the extent of the damage but I decided that I'd try and fix it myself first. If my solution doesn't stick then I'm just going to throw the parts out and order new ones.

Solution: The amount of breaking and cracking was so severe here (red). I patched up part M14 in so many different areas. First I sanded and cemented the broken parts back together. Then I cemented tiny strips of clear pla plate over the cracks and fissures. Then I cemented over all of it to try and 'melt' the plastic together. It seems stable but the ring holes are now too small to fit over the pegs (green part) on part M19. I think the more plastic I keep on M14/13 the better (for stability) so I decided to shave down the pegs on M19 to allow for easier range of movement. Once I got the parts to fit on the peg I realized that they could not move in tandem because of the extra plastic I put on. They were rubbing up against each other so I had no choice but to sand them down a bit too. Katoki didn't leave much from for clearance. He made it pretty exact. Because of that I also had to shave down the protruding piece (blue) between the pegs on parts M18/19 to allow my new (and hopefully improved) ring joints to move freely.

In short it's been a real pain in the ass to fix all of this crap. I finally got it all semi-stable again but I had to cement M18/19 shut in order to keep everything inside AND I'm going to have apply another strip of clear pla plate over the front part of that joint (blue section) just to seal it all in for good and make it look uniform. There's quite a gap left there now. After that I'm probably going to hand paint on white surfacer and then do the gold over again. Hopefully that will prevent more breakage problems in this area in the future.
Preventative measures: Same as part 2.

Seem like the exact same problem I had with the wing joint but just... more of them and much smaller. Damn this model. It's getting close to a year since I first got it and I'm STILL working on it! Labour of love? I wonder.

I'll post the pics I took of this issue and the whole process a bit later.

Friday, December 4, 2009

November's Gundam Pictures

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam
Dumped a couple more photos at my Flickr. Take a look at this Jegan. One of the best visor jobs I've ever seen. Love to see what he used for it. Great digital urban camo paint job too. With weathering to boot. Click the pic for more.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kshatriya / Unicorn Diorama

ASM actually saw this in real life but here are some up close images from last months Dengeki Hobby.

This photo courtest of ASM.

Very dynamic. Love the sense of movement in this. It really does feel like its a moment frozen in time. I have never seen the Unicorn look so menacing in it's regular mode! Or the Kshatriya look so... afraid! Love the way the funnels were done with this.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

VF-27, SV-52, ADF-01 and fuschia is not a real mans colour

Sorry this is going to be pretty dense. Take your time with this one.

Couple of things to say about this as I don't post about non Gundam related stuff that often. First I am a huge Macross fan. Second, I did NOT like Macross Frontier outside of the mecha designs. Third, I very much like the VF-27. Ngee Khiong did a very nice write up about this unit and it's (seemingly) technological predecessor the SV-51, which I actually like a bit more because it avoids a lot of the issues that I have with the VF-27's Gerwalk and Battroid modes. The SV-51 has problems of it's own but I'll outline all of these points later.

VF-27 first. Check it out.

Let's start with what I do like. Fighter mode. Love it. Looks great. Awesome. I think the wings are excessively angular (I prefer simpler lines. I'd cut the number of angles down by at least half) but over all I like it, especially the cock pit. As you can see there isn't a proper 'canopy'. It's enclosed, similar to the ADF-01 Falken type fighter from Ace Combat 5 and Zero (both great games for the record. Big Ace Combat fan here.)

Oh yeah. Falken.

Actually a bit more on the Falken because there are probably some correlations between the technology used in both fighters.

From the Ace Combat Wikia page.

It's most prominent feature other than forward-swept wings is what seems to be an armoured, glassless cockpit. This is actually a 360° celestial-spherical screen cockpit layout, giving the pilot an immense advantage in combat. Instead of a traditional glass canopy, the plane utilizes a prototype of the revolutionary Connection for Flight Interface (COFFIN) system, which is similar in effect to a one-way mirror or an extremely tinted window. The pilot can still see out, but no one can see in. This is achieved via a series of real-time hexagonal monitors and external cameras that transmit the visual data to the pilot. This also allows for the HUD and targets to also be displayed at all angles, where as a normal aircraft can only show targets and data on it's front HUD display. If a target were to leave that HUD on a normal plane, the pilot would only be able to see it's green targeting square. On the Falken however, the monitors and a powerful computer eliminate that problem.

And people ask me why I love mecha. Am I the only one here that thinks that's frickin' cool?!

Now as much as I love the VF-27, I do have a fair number of problems with it. 1. The head. Not really feeling those horn things. 2. The torso/stomach. It doesn't look very stable or strong. It looks way too exposed. Like a well place shot there would destroy the whole machine. Finally, I have major problems with the Gerwalk mode. Namely the unsightly gaps and jagged tail left behind when the legs fold down. Also look at the wings. How can such large wings (with a thruster attached to each one no less) be held aloft by such a small and flimsy hinge? Did I mention that the jagged tail at the end of the body really bugs me? It does. A lot.

Finally the colour. What is that? Fuschia? I can't abide that. This is a military vehicle! Granted my favourite MS is pink/fushia but... I can let it go because it is the God of Melee Combat. Even though I have the MG version of that MS, I am definitely planning a recolour job for it and no it won't be black and gold! haha

Now, this new Grace O'Connor use VF-27 solves a lot of my problems. New head (thank goodness) and a more subdued colour (making it easier to repaint should I be inclined to do so. Plus I don't hate the tan. More ARMY like). It doesn't solve any of the other design issues I have but... I think I can work around it.

Finally... I hesistate to try a recolour on a transformable model kit. The amount of chipping and breakage problems I've had on my Sinanju has been enough to deter me from attempting a similar task on this kit, should I decide to purchase it. I have Macross TOYS but I don't have a model. I PLAY with Macross things. I don't really spend time making them look nice. So... I'm more inclined to buy one of the transformable toys should they ever come out. At best... I'll do a decent lining/decal/top coat job on it and leave it at that. I'm seriously considering buying this. I might even get Michel's blue VF-25 while I'm at it because I'm hardcore like that and it's the only VF-25 version that I really like. No super pack or anything. Just the stock fighter.
Concerning the Sv-51, I don't have any of the problems that I mentioned with the VF-27. No jagged wing lines, no sharp tail section, no horns on the head. It seems more like a bird in the Gerwalk mode, I believe it's wings actually flap on occasion. This machine is a first generation transformable fighter prototype but in my opinion it remains one of the best. I do think it's odd that the design was scrapped until the emergence of the VF-27, 50 years later. The only problem I have with it is that it looks very structurally unstable. Like it could break apart at any moment. That said... I think it looks quite frightening sometimes. Like a real monster.

Digging the feet too.

With all this talk you might be asking... what will make this guy happy? Well not much really. There's only one real veritech fighter that I truly love and have almost no problems with and it's the VF-2 SS, a design so great that this site was created in worship of it.

Not so modern, but not so common either. What can I say. Sometimes I'm just a practical traditionalist when it comes to my mecha designs. The VF-1 is one of the top mecha designs EVER in ANYTHING in my opinion. It's hard to beat. The VF-2 improves upon it just enough for me.

Alright this post is getting on in length and I realize now that I could talk about this ad nauseam so let me stop here before I get into the the merits and demerits of the VF-11, YF-19 and YF-21 and the VF-22

Actually **** it. The VF-22 gets love from me so I'm going to showcase it a bit.

Look at those lines. Dayum playa...

Finally, the Falken gets one more last salute from me because it's that damn good.

This was my wallpaper for some time.

Question to the Macross fans. Best transformable fighter and why?