Saturday, August 29, 2009

Decided! "Super" XN-O Gundam w/ 30th Anniversary RX-78-2

Only July 8th, I first made this post about the XN Unit. Technically I shouldn't call it the XN Raiser unless it is combined with the O Raiser. In the manuals they call the unit by itself the XN Unit so that's what I'm going to refer to it as from now on. As you all know I ended up getting the O Gundam but not for the purpose of combining it with the XN Unit. I got it because I loved it and wanted to do a simultaneous build with the 30th Anniversary RX-78-2 (which, hence forth I will refer to as Odaiba Gundam).

After working on them both in Canada I came back to Japan when my XN Unit arrived shortly thereafter. After assembling the unit by itself (which gave me a surprising amount of difficulty! Backwards parts and I swear the instruction manual is actually incorrect in one section and can be a bit confusing at times.) I tried combining it with the O Gundam. It can fit into the slot on the back of the waist armour and in the slot where the GN Drive connects. I elected to leave the GN Drive in place and set it in the back skirt. I changed the configuration a bit and I finally got the XN Unit into a position that I was satisfied with. I intend on paint the XN Unit in the same colours as the O Gundam (modified roll out) and making it the "Super XN-O Gundam" paying homage to the "Super MK2 Gundam" I mentioned in the previous post. Take a look at some of my pics.

Yeah I know what I said about "No Flash" but I'm leaving those flash pics in just so you can see the details a bit clearer and to blot out the background nonsense (although I wouldn't call Milla Jovovich in her underwear nonsense)

Now you can see the core concept of what I'm going for with this project. The Odaiba Gundam is similar to my MG OYW isn't it? What can I say... I'm a fan of the 'Mace Muffler'!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What to do with the XN Raiser?!

Reminds me of Super Gundam a bit. I'd like it if the XN Raiser faced down but that would require putting it where the GN Drive is... Not sure what to do... maybe add it to the Cherudim GNHW/R? I was going to buy that too. Or just the O Raiser? Blah... not sure... For now I'm just going to assemble it and see what I can actually do with the thing.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

XN Raiser

Just as I'm about to leave for the week look what comes directly to my door (I had to sign for it).

They have some really good shots of it combining with the other 00 MS. Pretty cool actually. I'm going to think about what I'm going to do with it while I'm gone.

Gundam Pic File Dump

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam
Speaking of ZZ, check this bad boy out. Sick.

Just dropped around 250 new pics into my flickr. Some you may have seen before but they're higher resolution now. Some are continuations of old sets I put up a while ago but didn't include all the pics for some reason. Some are just straight up new pics that you've never seen before. Take a look! You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it.

Either way hope this will keep some of you occupied while I'm gone. Again. I'm back in Japan and this time I'm running a summer camp for about 30, 18 year old Japanese girls. I know. Hard life, but someones got to lead it.

Anyways I think Nas said it best;


Saturday, August 22, 2009

MG FA-010S Full Armor ZZ Gundam

Don't get it confused with the FA-010A FAZZ. They're different. The same but different. I personally like the colour scheme of the 010A more than the 010S, but the S version is what the A version was designed to be, so it's the chicken and not the egg so to speak. Either way if I had the choice back then I'd have chosen the A version. Looks cooler to me. Either way this is the one I got!

I remember posting on some forums almost 10 years ago when I first got this (in a local hobby shop in my hometown) asking about if it could transform into G fortress mode. I received some wishy washy answers saying how it was 'difficult' to do. I realize now that it is possible but I never tried myself. Oh well. Just wanted to try and get a bit more use out of this kit because you really can't do much with it. Forget about posing this thing. This is about as good as you're going to get it. Take a look at other pics of this model online. They will all be in this pose. You might as well just glue it together and make it a statue, unless you want to try making it into the ZZ or G Fortress (which is possible with a small amount of scratch building for the shield/wings which are absent from this kit.)

Why did I buy it? Why would anyone buy this kit? Because it looking friggin' insane with that massive Hyper Mega Cannon. Same thing as the Heavyarms. What self respecting red blooded male doesn't have at least a mild appreciation for BFG's. I mean... let's be honest here.

That aside... there was one very personal reason why I needed to have this kit. I realized too late that what I was actually looking for was the A version. Not this S. Little did I know at the time that I got my start in Gundam from Sentinel series MS. Looking back... it was an awesome place to start. I still think to this day that the Sentinel series has some of the best mecha designs. Period.

I spent a lot of time making this model, particularly the chain that attaches the cannon to the backpack (which is massive btw)

The extra armour sits a bit loose in some areas and can fall off quite easily. Basically this isn't really a model that can or should be played with. As sturdy and as bulky as it looks it's really quite fragile.

I don't recommend this kit for conventional modelers or beginners. It would look great for a diorama or in the hands of an expert but for most of us... it might not be that satisfying.

Upgrade outline: Where do I start? seam lines, panel lines, hard core weapon/missile pod detailing. Oddly, I don't usually like the red/blue/white standard Gundam colour scheme but I think it fits this mech. That said, I would repaint it but with pastels and a bit of shading. Not unlike this Zeta Gundam.

Fix the antennae (it's broken) and mod the head a bit to make it look sharper and meaner. Glue everything in place and put it in a bad ass pose on a stand.

Rating: 5/10

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just say NO to flash w/ XXXG-01H2 Gundam Heavyarms Kai (OVA version)

Let me show you why you shouldn't use flash in your pictures young man. To his credit, he's got great poses and his lining/decal work is solid. But come on... you're going to go that far and not even take decent pictures? Give your models some more credit!

Check it out!

This is your Gundam model 'au naturale'.

This is your Gundam model with FLASH.

Any questions?

Just say NO to FLASH

This message has been brought to you by Busterbeam; "For a FLASH free Gundam modelling community."

Yeah I'm a cheeky bastard. Moving on...

I bought this model in America in a shop called "Target". I found it during a road trip to Buffalo. It was cheap and it looked cool so I bought it. Glad I did. It really is a great looking model. I don't have many complaints. It looks pretty good OOB (out of the box) and stands up reasonably well, that is if you're willing to let it's arms just hang to it's sides. Which brings me to my one major complaint about this model. The arms are way too puny to hold those massive gatling guns outward. I had to use a little bit of wood glue on the elbow joints just to get them to hold up even a bit. Otherwise... I love this model.

Let's be honest... no one is going to buy this thing to do some agile space flying battle pose. You're going to buy it because it looks freaking badass posted up with those giant double gats in either arm. None of us really have high expectations for this model so it's hard to dissappoint since the proportions are spot on.

Upgrade outline: seam lines, panel lines, hard core weapon/missile pod detailing. I already like the colour scheme so maybe just some flat topcoat.

Rating: 8/10 - Really... it's just cool to look at.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

OZX-GU01LOB Gundam L.O. Booster

I bought this Gundam in Canada long before I knew anything about Gundam at all. I bought it just because it was cheap. Didn't even really care for the design that much. Actually I think I just threw out a lot of the extra parts because I didn't like how they looked. But I did like the core suit (which is essentially the OZX-GU01A Gundam Geminass 01 from the Gundam Wing side story: G-Unit. Yeah I know. I wonder if 50 Cent has anything to say about that.)

In a recent issue of Hobby Japan one of the modellers re-did one of these old Geminass type models in the 'Gundam Love' series of refurbishings. Cannot remember which issue it was in but I remember being surprised at seeing it.

Anyways, here's mine with a bit of line art.

This is supposed to be a suit from the Gundam Wing universe but as you can see it doesn't really have many similar design traits with any of the 5 main suits, their upgrades or their Endless Waltz versions.

That said... I like this model a lot (The 01 on the shoulder indicates that he's the 'boss' of his scale, in this case, 1/144). I like the core design, especially the head. Relatively simple armament without all the extra crap attached to it. I think the proportions are good but it doesn't have a lot of articulation.

This model could use a severe paint job. Particularly those single molded feet. Yikes. The main reason why I like him is that he's a bit shorter than the rest of the 1/144's but he looks tough. He looks like a work horse, without the gimmicks or tricks but he's also got a couple of those too. The plain multi-purpose suits tend to get the 01 ranking with me.

Upgrade outline: Custom shoulders (simple), strip the fins from the legs, paint the whole thing (white, black, gunship grey, gun metal), seam lines, panel lines, putty the gaps in the rifle.

Rating: 7/10 (as a model but it ranks quite high as a personal favourite)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

0 Gundam - Roll Out Colour Version

Just wanted to say thanks to Bandai for another slap in the face. Or maybe I should be slapping myself for not being a bit more patient. Right in the middle of making my own 0 Gundam - Roll Out ver. and this comes out! Blah. Better if I make my own anyway. Still though...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Simultaneous build - 0 Gundam & 30th Anniversary RX-78-2

I'm going to interupt telling you about my Gundam's from home to update you on my current project.

I sprayed the coloured parts on the runners with some primer before I left Japan. This colour scheme will actually look similar to the final paint scheme I'm planning.

I'll tell you right now, both of these kits are amazing. The 0 Gundam has got a lot of movement and you can get some great poses with it. Same with 30th Anniversary Gundam. They both use the same polycap panel. I'll speak on the details more as I progress but here are some pics after they were assembled. I didn't even bother to remove the nubs. That process would come later.

More to come.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

HGUC MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki

The 3rd model that I'm showing from my collection of 'those who remain behind', this HGUC 1/144 Hyaku Shiki is also a model that I bought in Japan and brought back to Canada with me after my '1st life' in Japan finished.. It was purchased at the same time or close the time I bought the HG Buster Gundam.
I owned a 1/100 no grade Hyaku Shiki from before and wasn't satisfied with it (you'll see why soon.) and ended up buying this one with 'revenge' in mind. I'm glad I did. It's a really good model. Great proportions, decent articulation and a reasonable number of accesories make this kit a winner.
The one problem is the metallic gold finish fades in places and it's really hard to correct that. Also covering up seam lines and nip marks, with any kit that has a coating like this is, a difficult thing to do completely.

That said... it is a beautiful model and recommended for any Z Gundam and Type 100 fans..

Upgrade outline: Frame highlighting/detailing, change the colours of the wires/tubing and feet, probably change the torso to flat black, weapon detailing, after-market hands, additional weapons.

Rating: 8/10

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

GAT-X103 Buster Gundam

I was forced to leave a lot of models behind in Canada after I went to Japan. The Mark 2 was one of them. I bought him in a local shop here in Canada.

This 1/144 HG Buster Gundam was one that I brought back from my first life in Japan (as a young man who'd just graduated from university and was living in Tokyo. For the record I'm on life #4 now and I'm watching my own students graduate from university. The moral of this story: Gundam is timeless.)

The is one of my favourite HG kits that I own. Articulation, proportions, design are all great for a model of it's time. It was also one of my favourite mecha designs from the Seed series (at the time I bought it Seed had yet to be concluded in Japan.)

I like the fact that there is no regard for melee combat in the design of this suit. It's a long range killer. Now, there are a couple of variations of this suit that have been made since Seed ended but I still think this one is the best. Of the 5 original GAT series suits, Buster is definitely one of my favourites and remained one of my favourite MS throughout all of Seed.

I would love to do a custom colour scheme for this and give it the treatment it deserves but that will have to remain a project for another time. I don't think doing this kit over would require much effort on my part as the stock kit is quite impressive in it's own right.
Upgrade outline: Panel lines, custom colours, seam lines, decals ?
Rating: 9/10

Monday, August 3, 2009

Testing out different light sources.

Using my Mark 2 to test out some different lighting combinations. I didn't use a flash but I used different combinations of 3 different light sources.

In the end I settled on natural sunlight.

If sunlight wasn't an option I'd go for the one just above this picture. I like a bit of shadow in my pictures to provide some depth. It does make the details a bit more difficult to see but I like the added 'drama' haha I didn't edit these photos at all for the record. Only a bit of cropping.
Which one do you prefer?
These are just the options I have here in Canada. I think I can take better shots back in Japan but the problem with that is... my apartment is terrible when it comes to natural sunlight. I mean... it's really bad.
As far as other modellers go, I've always liked the way lupes does his photos. What do you think?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Love at first sight. MG Gundam Mark 2 ver.1

Now that I'm back home and spending some time fixing up my old models, I feel it's important to talk about the Mark 2 in detail before I go on.

Mark 2 was the first MG that I ever bought. I think that was just over 10 years ago, when I was in university.

I remember thinking, I like the colour (Titans) and I like the weapons. Quite simple. Shield, rifle and bazooka.

After assembly I noticed that it was superior in almost every aspect to any of the other models I had. Before I came to Japan I only had two MG's. Mark 2 and FAZZ. And we all know there's not really that much you can do with the FAZZ.

I know a lot of people out there could care less about the Mark 2 and their reasons are valid. It's plain, it's not really that special, too bulky, etc. All true. But those are some of the reasons why I like it.

I liked it even more once I started learning more about Gundam.

MAHQ says that the Mark 2 is based loosely on the RX-78 design. Aethetically and armament wise I'd agree. The Mark 2 was a technological breakthrough in many ways. Starting with the moveable frame construction and the 360 panaramic display cockpit. Both innovations became the standards in future MS production.

For more on moveable frame technology, click here.

Let's not forget that the Mark 2 was a prototype that that was slated for mass production. Only 3 units were made. This is one of the things I like about the Mark 2. It was unique but it wasn't at the same time, innovative but not. It wasn't a straight prototype like the RX-78-2 but it certainly wasn't a mass produced unit like the GM. Not many MS fall into this category.

If you think of mass production, the slim/simple armament is a good thing. I mean it doesn't even have built in vulcans. It is simply a frame. That's it. No stock weapons, AT ALL.

Are the core of the Mark 2 is base MS technology at work. Innovative design with a variety of applications.

I'd say that the Mark 2 frame didn't really get it's day in the sun because it got out classed quickly but the next generation of transforming MS, but even still I have to give the Mark 2 the credit it deserves.

What they really should have done was have the 3 Mark 2 units come out with different weapons loadouts, or different configurations or something to really sell the versatility of the suit. Like Strike Gundam's, Striker packs or something. It'd be the perfect testbed for something like that, but instead they went with the Hazel for that, but I won't speak on that because;

1. Because I don't know much about it
2. Because it should have been the Mark 2 dammit!

The official succesor to the original Gundam was the Mark 2. It should have been played up more!

Zeta, ZZ, Nu, Unicorn - all decendants of Amuro's RX-78. But try mentioning the Mark 2 in the same breath as those MS and it feels like it doesn't fit and that's not right.

In the end the Mark 2 didn't carve it's name in history as much as it's successors or predecessor. It that aspect it is lackluster and perhaps even sub-par. Regardless, I will always love and stand beside the Mark 2 for a 1000 other reasons.
I make this blog post in defence of it and to preface what will follow.

All images from Dalong's scans of the MG Mark 2 v.1 and v.2.0 manuals.

My question to all of you is; What is your favourite MS and why? You don't have to go into as much detail as I did obviously but I am curious as to what of you will say and your reasons.