Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

MG Blue Frame vs. PG Red Frame: Proportions

Stolen from Sandrum.

The Red Frame looks like an old clunker next to the Blue Frame! What's with all that bulk!? At least the Blue Frame as the "anorexic" design we're used to seeing from CE suits. To be fair I'm not completely satisfied with either of them.

What does it say when the MG's have better proportions than the PG's? Hell I'd take the 1/100 proportions over the PG Red Frame's (I already have both of them though...)

And don't get me started on the PG 00 Raiser and how it's wing binders don't even move making it inferior in some ways to it's HG counterpart! Put the PERFECT back in Perfect Grade for goodness sakes. Are the day's of the quality of the PG Strike behind us? Is this the 'new' standard? I'm not impressed.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

um... wtf?!

Why is my airbrush spitting out cobwebs?!

That was crazy! Kinda cool actually but it's going to clog up my air filter at this rate. Hope I
didn't ruin my brush! I just got it! This was with "Mr. Color #90 - Shine Silver" Acrylic paint. Maybe I thinned it with the wrong stuff? I have lacquer and enamel thinners but no acrylic so I used the lacquer. Bad call?

Ugh. Now the trails and tribulations of a rookie airbrusher begin.

Anyway here's the current pose for my EE. I'm working on making this pose the 'standard' one. The Sinanju would make a great toy! There's so much you can do with it! Too bad I'm always concerned about the paint job and stability. Otherwise I could have even more fun with it than I do now!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Entering the Airbrush Era - Preface

It hasn’t been a full 2 years since I started to take this hobby seriously. And by seriously I mean simply doing panel lines for the first time. Since that time when I first started working on the 1/100 Red Frame, I’ve learned a helluva lot and even started this blog in order to track my progress.

A short while back... near the middle of this month, I reached a turning point. Came to a crossroads so to speak. And I crossed it. I didn’t stick with what I knew and decided to do something that made sense practically and financially.

I bit the bullet and bought an airbrush.

It all started when I tried to paint my Sinanju bazooka in metallic black after priming. There was no paint left in the can. Not enough to paint even one part properly. And I said to myself that this was it. I wouldn’t spend any more money on these cans. It was a waste. A waste of space, paint, metal and probably money even though I'd thought that I was saving money.

Now I realize that as soon as you have an airbrush, the amount of money you spend on paint decreases considerably. Like almost next to nothing in comparison. You'll be using a lot more thinner though. However large amounts of thinner is much cheaper than large amounts of spray paint.

That said... I realize now that even with an airbrush you probably will need to buy the occasional can of paint and primer now and then. I painted my Sinanju with TS-40 Tamiya Metallic Black.

They don't make paint vials of that. If I wanted to stay consistent I'd have to buy another can of it... totally defeating the purpose of me buying this airbrush to begin with. The closest I could find was Mr. Color #78 Metallic Black.

I haven't tried it out yet to know if it will work or not. Either way I decided to use some left over flat black that I've had for years and also have an abundance of.

Sometimes I feel like I don't want to go through the trouble of using the airbrush and cleaning it when I can just spray the part one time with a can of spray paint and get it over and done with quick.

To each his own though right? I'm happy to at least have the option now. And the added control and creativity that an airbrush provides.

Considering all the paint like I’ve bought until now, I'd say the price has just about evened out. I have about 12 cans of paint and have already gone thought about 10 or so already, not including primers which are more expensive. At over 500 yen per can I’ve probable spent about 15000 on paint already. And that’s with me using paint semi frugally. I know for a fact that Gai Gun and ASM use paint and top coat considerably more liberally than I do.

So... I'd been to the shop earlier to buy some AM hands and aurora decals and while I was there I decided to browse the airbrushes just for the sake of doing so. I was curious.

There is no doubt that these things are expensive. I saw some set getting upwards of close to 40000 yen. That's pretty risky and intimidating for the beginning modeler who is just interested in recolouring and not much more than that. Some sets came with brushes but no AC adapter, or an adapter but no brush. Or just brushes with no compressors. I didn’t want that any of that. I wanted the whole set up so I could get off and running quickly and that's what I got and that's what I did.
I went for the simplest, most basic set-up I could find to suit the type of work I'd be doing. Recolouring. I don't need a super fine brush because I'm going to be painting flames or lightning on these things. I'm changing a grey part to blue, red to green. That type of stuff. I don't know about double action or single action or whatever, but the trigger grip looked like it was easy to use so... I didn't know anything about compressors either but it said it has a special molded body to reduce noise and that was enough for me.

But I have to admit that I did deliberate over it for some time. I must have walked around the store with all the stuff my arms for 30 minutes before I decided to just get it over with. I rationalized it by thinking that a couple hours of private tutoring will make enough money to pay for it. I can sacrifice that. Why I am such a cheap bastard! Just go for it already. No wife, no kids, decent, stable job, I've got money... so why not?!

After picking it up and using it for a while I have to say that I’m pretty happy that I did. It has given me the effects and finish that I’ve always wanted. And I realized that one of the things that got me into modeling was seeing all those finished products that had been done with airbrushes. We all know that if we want to get the most out of this hobby it’s going to result in an airbrush purchase eventually. I am no exception to this.

For the sake of archiving I'll talk about my first experience with the brush in a seperate post.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Back from Thailand

Saw almost nothing Gundam related except for this.

I was in Bangkok for a couple of days on vacation. Traveling alone... man that is a tough city. Lot of people trying to scam the tourists! Be wary if you're planning on going yourself! There are 1000 ways to lose money there. Muay Thai fights were awesome though.

I've been really busy recently and haven't been able to post or work on plamo like I'd have liked. Some of you know that I had some work at NHK a while back + my regular job and then prepping and going on this short vacation... had practically no time to use my new toy! Blah.

Oh well. As some of us 'older' modelers know, sometimes like really gets in the way.

Either way I'm back and my schedule has finally opened up a bit so I'll be able to work on my models more and post a bit more often.

I've been spending a lot of time just 'testing' out some of my ideas but not actually doing any 'concrete' work. I'm kind of in an "R&D" stage right now and I'm not doing much production and manufacturing. Soon enough. I think I've got main "Sinanju Ver.2 Upgrade" concept down now. Hopefully be able to get some more stuff done before the month ends.

Let me show you one thing that I've done so far.

Hated the fact that the rifle never seemed to sit flush on the palm so I corrected that. Sanded them down flat and got rid of the little angles, grooves, valleys and whatnot that Katoki put in. Then I glued it. If you couldn't tell by now I want stability in this model. Even if I have to make permanent decisions. I mean 'go hard or go home' right? I'm happy with it though. I like knowing that the rifle isn't going to fall out of the hand now because if I'm going to do that hybrid rifle/bazooka thing I'm going to need all the stability I can get. So far I don't regret and it's been working out like I'd hoped. More on that later though. Still kicking around a couple of ideas in my head, concerning extra hands.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Concerning Figure FM

Go here.

and somehow try to find this page by clicking through the menus.

Notice that all the articles have ZERO views.

Why are there only like 4 people posting Gundam related stuff in the 'feeds' section (and one of them is mislabeled because his content isn't even about Gundam), but when you click on the Gundam category you get a bunch of customized posts made for Figure FM?

Otaku FM was way better and everything was working fine. Why mess with a good thing? Especially a good thing that actually worked right? Oh well. Doubt I'll be using it much if it stays that way. I don't know what's going on with this system but I'm not really impressed.

On a side note, here are some pics of my Sinanju after I've started working on it again. (I know they're all practically the same but I couldn't decide which one I liked best so I just put them all up. Like shopping... If you can't decide between one or the other... Just get BOTH!)

This thing is going to be so sweet when I'm done. I can feel it. Sweeter than the way I left it in April. You just wait. I'm not all talk.

btw notice anything unusual in the last pic? Kind of obvious considering the big green arrow! haha

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sinanju Rocket Bazooka - Work Log 1

I thought that I was done with this thing but it turns out that I’m not really. Not entirely at least. Admittedly I’ve done more to my Sinanju that most people have but… after seeing what the guys at the Sinanju Group Build have done, I’ve been forced to return to the Ebon Enforcer to see what and where it can be upgraded.

The first major upgrade will be to give it a new weapon. Many of you already know about the special limited edition rocket bazooka that was included with Vol. 8 of the Unicorn novels.

I bought one (or two hehe) with the intention of someday using it with my own Sinanju.

That day has come.

First let’s start with the basic construction. I’ve spent a lot of time recently working on bazookas for the 1/144 O Gundam and Odaiba Gundam. You could say that these were a couple of appetizers for this big MG size one (Literally. Extended it is as tall at the Sinanju practically.)

I spent time preparing the surface for painting which included; pre assembly, removing mould lines and removing seam lines (using the time honoured method of liquid cement, patience and sanding.)

I used 240 grit paper first and then 1200 to get the surface smooth. I'm a stickler for seamless barrels so I was pleased to no end when I saw that the barrel for this bazooka was all moulded in one piece and not in seperate halves. That said I did take the time to remove what little bit of mould lines there were.

I even went so far as to remove the mould lines from the bazooka shells and the handle. I don’t think anyone would really notice but… I would. And did.

After that primed and started to spray and that’s when I came across my first hurdle.

Everything started and stopped with this one can of paint.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More purchases

Went for lunch with my co-workers and decided to stop off at a local DIY shop just because I felt like shopping that Friday afternoon (Oct. 2) since I had no classes.

Picked up a couple of things.

This stuff along with a new cutting board, and a tree. Yeah I bought a tree.

I bought two wooden triangles for 100 yen each and that long wooden stick for just under that price. I bought that mini hand router/etcher just because I thought I could use it for something later. Under 2000 yen so... whatever. The mini clips can be used for any number of things but I often use them to hold parts while I'm spraying them. Under 150 yen for those too. Yeah just bought some cheap stuff that I could use later, just for the sake of buying things and supporting the Japanese economy. Gotta get that money flowing right?

I used the wood to make a cheap stand for the Odaiba Gundam. Not really planning on doing much more with it yet. Down the road yeah but I'm just moving back and forth between projects now. I don't care much when things get done. I just want to do something.

A lot of stuff has been going on with me and plastic modelling recently but instead of making one massive post about it all I'm going to try and make many smaller posts to break it up all up just for the sake of time.

I'll tell you this much though. The way that I make models has changed forever now. More to come. In the meantime here's some Shinozaki Ai for you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

LM312V05+SD-VB03A V-Dash Gundam

I'm still not done with my "Those Who Were Left Behind" series, about my Gunpla that I've left back home in Canada. Today I bring you the 1/100 HG V-Dash Gundam.

So hard to find good box art these days. Sorry couldn't find a better pic.

Technically this model is the V-Dash Gundam, but it just looks like the regular Victory here. I have the "Dash" parts but there are so many problems with this model that I just left them in the box because they don't exactly fit right anymore.

This model was given to me by someone who found it at a garage sale. Who knows who the original owner was. This was the condition that I got it in.

Also another comparison of flash vs. no flash pictures.

I'm not sure if I'll ever upgrade this thing but I kind of want to just to say that I did. I mean... what a disaster. Loose, exposed and broken joints, random parts are glued together, lame hands, uneven sticker application, gaping, dirty seams in some places, not to mention some random parts are missing. It'd take a lot of work to make this look good but... it'd be a challenge and it would be fun to try and make it into a MS that I could be proud of.

Upgrade outline: My goodness where to start. I'd seriously go back to basics on this kit and get rid of all the seam lines, intense sanding and make the surface flawless as I could for painting. Get rid of those terrible hands. Lower the visor with pla-plate or putty. Shoulders will need a lot of work. Re-work the face... There are a lot of things that I'll have to do just to get this model functional, never mind the painting part. I really don't think I'd change the colour scheme much for this. The traditional colours seem to fit. Either that I'd make the red and blue parts different shapes of green, just for the sake of being different.

Rating: 2/10. I can't do anything with it! It barely stands and it took at lot of effort just to get it into this pose! Poor guy. Even with a massive retooling he couldn't be anything more than average by virtue of his design.

I thought it might be kind of fitting to talk about this now considering the news that a Katoki version of V-Gundam is now slated for release.

Look at this thing. What do you think?

Me? Totally not feeling it. I mean all those curves! Thick in the wrong places, straight in the wrong places... What's the point of releasing this outside of appealing to the V-Gundam fans? I look at this thing and I think... boring. Blah. Maybe it's just me.

Never was a big fan of V-Gundam anyways. I hear it's a really depressing series and hated the fact that the main characters name was "Uso" which means 'lie' (as in fib) in Japanese. That and I fell asleep during the first couple episodes. Just didn't capture me. Not even a big fan of the mecha designs to be honest. It's not high on my list of Gundam series to watch.

Here's a pic of the V-Gundams evolution through the series courtesy of Dalong's message boards for all you fans though.

Monday, October 5, 2009

MS-07H8 Gouf Flight Type

There are many things in life that people can be addicted to.
Booze, gambling, sex, food, drugs, cigarettes... The list is endless. I have many vices and am addicted for more than a few things.
One of those things is gunpura. I just can't stop myself from building a new one from time to time simply for the sake of building a new gunpura. I didn't do anything special. Just cut and assemble... but I tell you... seeing that assembled model, even without paint and touch ups, panel lining or seam lining or whatever... just seeing it, making and having it around is worth the 800 yen or so I paid for it.
I am addicted to gunpura and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon.

It doesn't come with that cannon in the right hand. I added that in myself.

A finshed version (check his WIP here.)

Just a pic of it that I liked.

As I was making this post, I saw the above pic and this song popped into my head.
I'll put this one here for Tonzo.

Related track from the same era. For all the lurking 'heads' out there.

Basement beats with hard rhymes... the good old days I guess.

Not planning on doing too much with Gouf right now. Just wanted to build something. This is my first non-Fed 1/144 kit and I have to say that I like it a lot. The Zeon designs just seem so much more... robust than the Fed suits. I'm going to enjoy working on this kit when the time comes. I've already kind of decided what I want to do with it but more on that at a later date. Right now I'm just going to leave it as is and go back to working on other things.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

MS-08TX-N Ifreet Nacht

From this month's Dengeki Hobby


Personally... As soon at they release a 1/144 version of this kit I'm all over it. F*** my backlog. I LOVE this thing! If Gundam's were made after the image of samurai this was definitely made after the image of ninja. Easily one of my favourite Zeon MS designs.