Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Poll Winners: CCA and UC 0096

Not that I was really surprised. Out of 106 votes about 85% of you choice CCA/UC96 over Zeta/ZZ for best Zeon MS designs.

New poll is CCA vs. UC96. As usual I'm going to take the first 100 votes. Eventually we'll get to the best U.C. MS of all time (as voted by your peers) and I have a strong feeling I know where it's going to end up. Anyone want to take any bets? We know it's a CCA or UC96 Zeon suit.

So here's a glimpse at the winners. All pics are from MAHQ. Props to anyone who can guess what the red MS at the bottom is (my new favourite Zeon suit).

And before you get your panties in knot about why blahblahblah wasn't included in the pics, I intentionally chose MS that you might not immediately associate with their respective eras.

But I think we all can agree that it's all about the Hobby Hi-Zaku. Stripped of weapons and made for the public, it's a "sports" mobile suit. Kinda makes you wonder how much people are paying to get one. Even if it's fictional, I am curious. I can't even hazard a guess.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Recent Work: XN Raiser swords and 3x Bazooka

I've got to make at least one post this month about what I've actually been doing as far as modeling goes.
Recently in the Gundam Australia forums we've been talking about 'weapons block' in regards to the Sinanju Group Build. Weapons Block refers to the lack of motivation to complete the weapons of a kit as the main part of the project nears completion or is in fact completed.
I'm going in the opposite direction entirely now. I'm working solely on the weapons. And to make matters worse, these weapons are optional.
Anti-weapons block in action so to speak.

First the XN Raiser swords:

Base swords with clear pla-plate. I know. I was surprised when I first saw it too.

Drilled some holes.

Then removed the center sections.
Why did I do this?
This is why:

I loved the idea. Techically, it would make the blades lighter if this were real. Not as stable but offset by a decease in weight, increase in blade speed coupled with a superior cutting edge. Not a bad trade off. And it looks cool. So I thought why not... I'll give it a shot. And so far so good! I've done a test fitting and it looks like it'll work but there's the issue of painting. I'm still thinking of the best way but it looks like painting the easiest way will force me to give up on the seam lines, otherwise it will be a large pain the butt to keep paint off of the clear pla-plate.
No pictures of this but I did work on the edges of the blades. I removed that extra nub at the tip of the blade and sanded down the cutting edge and tip until it was actually sharp.
I still want to do a bit of putty work to remove some of the small mistakes I made while I was removing all that plastic, but I'm worried that my basic putty will weaken the plastic too much. I don't think epoxy will really be effective for the small amount of puttying I want to do. Dilemas.
For now my main effort of going into the 3x 1/144 bazookas:
We've got a 360mm, 380mm and 400mm. One from my Powered GM, one from the Odaiba Gundam and the last is from a Kotobukiya weapons set.

Special effort went into eliminating the seam lines for these.

The outcome was acceptable. Not perfect but pretty good.
Nothing better than erasing a seam line from existence!

I sanded them pretty hard with 240 grit paper. I like having a bit of a rougher surface before I prime and I wanted to get a bit of texture.

Primed with Mr. Base White 1000 (Mr. White Base? Amuro? Bright? What?) then sprayed with Gundam White (paint ran out just as I finished the 3rd bazooka. Awesome timing.) I thought that the resulting white was a bit too 'cold' so I did a light coat of "Racing White" on top of that to make the white a bit softer.
These weapons will be used by the Odaiba Gundam and the O Gundam so while the white I've achieved doesnt watch the armour completely, it is a close approximation. All things considered.
I've already hand painted the non barrel parts in gun mental. Should have done some masking but who can be bothered. That **** takes a lot of time!
So I'm getting there! Slowly but surely. I've given up on trying complete things at fast paces. Life just gets in the way too much. But I'm still working! Still plugging away just at my own pace, such as it is.
That's all for now but I want to leave Gundam Guy a present.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mr. Mark Setter & Mr. Mark Softer

Sounds like the names of real people. "Mr. Mark Setter and Mr. Mark Softer, please come to the office."


It was a nice day yesterday so I decide to ride around on my scooter and enjoy the weather a bit. Went across town to the 'real' hobby shop (Tokyo folks, it's like the Yellow Submarine of Nagoya) and was looking at some AM parts. I've picked up quite a few over the last couple months because I just pick up things that I think look cool regardless of if I need them or not. It's a never a NEED really. More of a WANT. And they're cheap so I can justify buying an extra weapon or 'detail up' part.

This is what I bought today.

Never actually used either of these two solutions before. Can anyone give me advice or direct me to a site that talks about it?

I imagine that it works like the name implies, but are both really necessary? Like couldn't I just use one or the other? I'm under the impression that the softer just melts the decal into place, and the setter keeps it from moving around. Not sure though. It was cheap so I bought both just to try them out. That night I spent more money on a half pint of Guinness than I did on these two solutions.

I didn't think that Aurora stickers would be so expensive (I was expecting to pay under 400 yen) but most of the versions I saw where around 600. I settled on a pack that didn't really give you a lot but were of fairly decently quality and colour effect. Not sure when and how I'm going to use them but... I like having the option. Was also looking at AM thrusters as well but... no... not yet. Those were a bit more expensive than I thought they'd be too.

The metal plate detail part is just to fill in some of the gaps that plastic models have occasionally. Like on the back of the skirt armour or the inside of the shoulder or something.

Extra 1/144 hands just in case. Not that impressed with the stock ones that came with the Odaiba and 0 Gundam. Can't have enough hands. Especially with all the weapons I have for my 1/144's to use.

So there's a peek into my Gundam shopping habits. I buy cheap, random stuff that I don't really need or know how to use with the intention of learning how to use it someday just in case I ever want to kick it up a notch. Although that day I was EXTREMELY close to buying an airbrush set just on impulse. Decided against it. I'm going to do a bit more research before I pick one up but I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be moving into the 'airbrush' zone sooner than later. Specifically after I pay the rent this month. I've spent enough money on spray paints to warrant the cost of getting one. Not to mention I hate all the waste. I mean you're using a big cloud of paint just to paint one small part and you have to do it multiple times to get a good finish. Not to mention aerosol cans and the environment and blah blah blah. Also... really want to try shadowing techniques. There are a bunch of reasons why I think I'm going to get an airbrush soon.

Alright. I'm going to stop here before I digress any further. Been thinking about Gundam stuff a lot recently. More than usual. Looking at the work I've been doing this month, I think I've kicked the meticulousness up a bit too. Spend more time, looking at more details. It's a fun hobby!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Master Kawaguchi DVD - Torrent file / War Machine

Just a small post saying that I've made a torrent of the Dengeki Hobby - Master Kawamura's Way of Gunpura DVD that I put on YouTube earlier this year in June. You can download the torrent link here.

I tried uploading it to a torrent search engine but failed (for some reasons... I have no idea what happened really. It seemed OK but wasn't really.) So you can all just get it here.

If it doesn't work out, let me know and I'll try to sort it out.

The video itself is a large .avi file. Over 500mb and it's a direct DVD rip of the disc I have. Not sure why it's so large since it's only 60 minutes and it's not like the quality is that great but still... If you want it, it's available.

In non Gundam related news (but similar mecha walking tank kinda way) I wanted to show a pic of the comic that I've been reading a lot of recently.

War Machine has got to be one of my favourite characters ever. I've liked the suit since day one and I've read every comic book with War Machine in the title and that has Jim Rhodes as the main character. The newest version has great covers but the inside art isn't that great. They redesigned the character so that he can integrate with any kind of technology. For example he can take the parts of a plane and add them to his armour, or a tank or missiles that have been shot at him. Very cool. I'm enjoying the tech aspect to it but it is pretty far fetched sometimes. I could write it better.

I am big Iron Man fan but I enjoy reading War Machine because it's a different take on Iron Man. Jim isn't as smart or as much of a playboy but he's a soldier. The War Machine armour and the Iron Man armour are quite different and it makes for a interesting comparison at times. However from a design standpoint... I like this one the best. It has got to be my absolute favourite mecha 'suit'.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Re: Gundam blogs, specifically my own.

Let's face it. We're a dime a dozen.

Everybody and their mom has a Gundam blog these days and that's cool. The more there are of us the better as far as I'm concerned. Strength in numbers and all that. I could talk at length about the subject but I'm only going to touch on a couple of things in this post.

This post will serve a two fold purpose. 1) To talk about Gundam blogging in general and 2) To thank all of my readers as I've reached a personal milestone concerning this blog, that being getting 30 subscribers.

First I've seen a couple of blogs mention about post numbers, hits, page views etc. so here are mine:

Latest full numbers are for the month of August 2009.

5652 hits / 11731 page views.

Compared from my first full month of blogging in February 2008

828/1619 respectively.

The growth percentage formula I'm using is # of increase, / by starting number, *100. Round off to the nearest whole number

That's an increase of 583% for hits and 625% for page views in about a year and a half of blogging. I will accept that. In fact I'll go so far as to say that I'm pleased (^_^)v. It's always good to know that people are looking at the stuff you're posting.

The next thing is something that really shocked me when I first saw it.

178% growth in a day?! Totally random. Never seen it before or since. I still wonder wtf that was all about. I don't think I did anything special that day. Blah. Who knows.

As I mentioned before Gundam blogs are numerous but we are not all cut from the same cloth, so to speak. Z's blog concentrates largely on reviews and even though he started after me his blog gets considerably more traffic than my own. What I get in month he can get on a good day. Which is natural, he has a more resource oriented blog, not to mention a lot of ****ing Gundams and quality reviews/pics. I can clearly see why his blog is so popular.

Blogs like Ngee Khiong concentrate almost solely on the newest Gunpla/toy news. And then there are my favourites, traditional Gunpla blogs like Lupes and Gaijin Gunpla which concentrate largely on the craft of Gunpura itself. Not to mention all the other blogs in between like Gundam Guy's blog who does a bit of both. We all hit something a bit different. And there are a lot of aspects to this little hobby of ours.

My blog has become something I never really intended it to be. It's a mix of everything. I talk about the models I'm building, physical paradoxes in the theoretical technologies (yeah. sorry about that.), art, mecha, asian women (huh?) That reminds me. I think it's time for a break.




What was I talking about again? Oh right. I'll talk about almost anything related. And let's not forget philosophical rants and ramblings. Hell there are even a couple resource sections here.

Initially I created this blog in order to chronicle my experiences as I was just starting to engage in Gundam models a bit more seriously. I made this blog just after I panel lined a model for the first time.


I've come a long way since then and I have a lot of you to thank for that. This community has taught me so much and I'm grateful. Grateful for your support and encouragement. Grateful to all of you for continuing your own blogs and providing insight for the rest of us on how others do it and how we, ourselves, can do it better.

I know... where is this all coming from? Why now? It's not really a special time at all really but it is something that's been turning around in my mind for a bit, especially after I recently got to the 30 subscriber mark for this blog. That to me means more than any number of hits I get. I'm happy to have readers and I want to thank all 30 of you for subscribing.

So, "Thank you!"

Here is some candy:

I won't compare this blog to any others. I believe it's become a unique entity unto itself, different in it's own right. We are a dime a dozen but no two of us are exactly the same. We're all different and we all have different approaches. We all have a different take on what we want our blogs to be. I like the diversity. I want to encourage all of you bloggers, forum operators, webmasters, modelers and most importantly the readers and lurkers to continue what you're doing. Our community is stronger because of your efforts.

Here's something for all of you. Thanks again!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Down Goes the Gundam

Never got a chance to see it in person myself. What a shame... but surely they can't just let those parts just sit in a warehouse somewhere doing nothing. I bet you they're going to put it up some place else someday. Hope it's soon! It'd be such a waste to just throw those parts away. I mean it was up for what? Like a month? Ridiculous.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Origami for Parts Separation

I knew I'd ignite a **** storm with my last topic and sure enough I did. Easily the most commented on post of my blog, with a pretty decent discussion going on about the 'physics' (or lake thereof) in the Gundam Universe.

Moving on to something much simpler but still dealing with physics in another manner... Origami.

I learned how to make this box when I was 9 years old and I never forgot how. I decided to make a couple out of some useless flyers we had sitting around at my parents place so I could separate my parts for painting. Back at my apartment I have boxes and bags and everything I need for parts separation, not to mention the space but back home... well I just improvised a bit to make things easier on myself.

What's that? You don't know how to make one? You want to make one too? OK, take a look.

How To Make An Origami Star Box

Of course I learned this from a book years ago... before there was even an 'internet' (God I'm old.) never mind streaming video. If you're anything like me, once you learn it you won't forget and you'll be able to make one from any kind of paper, any time you want.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Physics and the RX-93

Alright, I've been kind of dreading making this post because of the backlash I may (or may not) receive but I'm going to do it anyway. Over at the Gundam Australia boards Sonar/Tonzo made a comment about my attention to realism and the physics of these imaginary machines. I've done this more than once refering to the wing binders of the Sinanju and the weight of the Infinite Justice being supported by such thin ankles. I mean look at this!

These are supposed to support just under 40 tons of weight each?! One crack at the area where the red line is and this thing is going down like a... uh... 18m tall walking tank... >_> *cue nervous look*

I'm at it again today with something that has really been nagging at me. The RX-93.

Just mentioning this I'm sure a lot of you know where I'm going with it. All stats are from MAHQ.

Dimensions: overall height 23.0 meters; head height 22.0 meters
Weight: empty 27.9 metric tons; max gross 63.0 metric tons

Big. We all know that.

Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 4 x 18300 kg, 2 x 12300 kg = 97800kg at full burn. 26 verniers (which I understand to be minor stabilizing thrusters. I have no idea what 'apogee motors' are. I know what an apogee is but the motor idea... that's lost on me.)

Sinanju is 128600 kg for the record. I previously said that each wing has an output of 64300kg of thrust per wing which may not be the case. The thrust output for the waist and leg thrusters isn't listed, so if the total thrust is 128600 kg including all the burners than the wing output is probably less than 64300.

Right. Who cares. Imaginary machines. But it's the principle of it! If you're going to make the numbers and put them out there, make the numbers right!

OK putting those numbers off to the side... I want to talk about the design on the RX-93 and how it would work within the rules of physics for this reality.

I don't have any problem with the Nu Gundam by itself but when I see it with the fin funnels attached I have a bit of trouble suspending my disbelief.

Look at that. Shouldn't this thing be toppling over? Obviously, my main issue is where the supposed center of gravity/mass would be with a suit like this. With the thrusters distributed symmetrically around the suit itself, it would take a massive amount of computations and thruster control to make this thing maneuverable. I know it's a prototype suit but still... the principles...

We can have to assume a couple of things first for lack of more detailed information:

1.)All 6 funnels have the same weight and mass as each other.
2.)The suit itself is built with even weight distribution with the center of mass running somewhere along the central vertical axis.
3.)The weight of the rifle and shield balance each other out.

The weight and position of the those funnels would cause the whole center of mass to swing outside of the suit, towards the shield arm. Provided that the Nu has even thrust from all burners it would be spinning left constantly because of the extra weight.

Now launch a couple funnels... the weight and center of mass change again, unfold them but keep them docked and the center of mass changes yet again! Imagine it in this configuration.

Better than the conventional one but still... how can you balance this thing? It's constantly fluctuating. The on-board computer must be going crazy trying to compute how much thrust is needed from each thruster independently just to make this thing go in a straight line. Never mind the psycoframe system and the processing drain that must take... it bugs when when I think about it. The only way it works for me is with another set of funnels on the opposite side, in the same configuration, to balance it out.

But that still won't change the fluctuation issues. And don't get me started and the HWS version!

Makes my head want to explode. The strain that shield thruster must put on those thin elbow and shoulder joints... my goodness. I don't know, maybe those future materials can handle it... but still... it bugs me. I take my Sci-Fi machines seriously! and I can suspend my disbelief for a lot of things.

U.S.S Enterprise? Ridiculous ship design. Well, until they got to the E-Type and after but whatever. I can let it go.

X-Wings, A-Wing, Y-Wings, hell even the B-Wing. Star Destroyers... now you're talking. And don't get me started on the Macross Valkryies... I mean... just... the pinnacle.

So I'm sticking with the Hi-Nu as the superior design all around. (Yes. With this colour scheme.)

There are no stats outside of height and weight so I can't pick on it. Symmetrical, smaller, more efficient, good thruster location and balancing and most important for me... believable. As much as anyone can believe in these machines but... you wouldn't have read this if you didn't want to believe in it somewhat right?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pimp My Gundam - Volume 1

It started out with me trying to find a music video for this New Jersey Kings song on Youtube. Couldn't find one so I decided to make one but I didn't want to do it the conventional way so... I just combined two loves together. It's not really peanut butter and jelly. More like tofu and cheese. Or pizza with BBQ sauce instead of tomato sauce. It can work! It doesn't have to be an anime soundtrack all the time!

This will be, without question, the funkiest Gundam slideshow you will ever see. Plamo Addiction proudly presents, Pimp My Gundam - Volume 1.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

LM314V23 Victory 2 Buster Gundam

Back when I was in high school and first started getting into Gundam models I didn't know anything about story lines, model grades or anything like that. Also my local hobby shiop didn't have a great selection of kits to choose from. I bought this kit solely because I thought it looked cool on the box. It's not a bad model. But it certainly is not good.

Look at this thing.

Looks like a hunchback. No neck. Stiff. This model has a lot of issues. I know it's an old kit and I should cut it a bit more slack but... no. I'm not going to.

Let's start with the balance issues. I've never been able to get this model to stand up in any kind of a decent pose. It's always toppling over. This pose is the best I could do! Next the joint articulation isn't that great. Especially at the ankles. Not a lot of movement is capable there. Hate those old school hands too. Proportions... well there's no neck, and practically no upper leg. The knee is almost where the waist is! The face area could use a bit more work too. The helmet brim sits pretty low on the eyes. The head seems a bit fat, the arms too short.

If it sounds like I'm really hating on this kit it's because I am. I don't like it that much... but the core design is pretty good I think. I like how the V2 Buster looks... but I don't like this model of it really. Not recommended.

Upgrade outline: Oh boy. Lengthen the upper legs, joint/armour mods for more articulation in the ankles. Custom hands, new/longer neck. Serious work on the weapons. Probably keep the colour scheme but change the red parts for a matching blue. Maybe change the light blue to a dark metallic blue and the yellow to gold. Widen the face opening of the helmet to bring the eyes/face out more. Seam lines, panel lines.

Rating: 4/10. I like the Gundam, but I don't like this model kit. If they made a MG version of this I think it would be wonderful.