Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcome Home


She was good about it. She expected me to come and get them eventually. I was going to ask her if she wanted to keep the ones I bought for her but they were already in the box so I didn't say anything. Probably for the best...

It was a bit awkward but we could both say some things that were on our minds. This year is wrapping up and I spent nearly half of it with her. She was a great partner. I was very lucky.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

PG Strike Freedom - Progress thus far: 4 - Completed Frame Work

I'm pleased with how it's turned out so far. The gold I sprayed on the body ended up being a bit pinkish but it's OK because it more than makes up for it in luster. The gold I used on the wing frame was actually gold leaf and it was very yellowish and required a different type of spray pattern. Not totally even but definitely acceptable.

All together there are about 5 different types of gold on this thing now so there are some nice contrasts even though it's one type of colour. I like it. This is basically how I wanted the frame to look and there isn't anything else to do. I'm going to be working on the backpack and the rifles next. So far the wing repair job seems to be holding up. Very happy with this.

2010 Nagoya Gunpla Expo

I went at the beginning of the month. Sorry it's taken me so long to get around to the pics. Still haven't really found a great uploading system yet but I think I'm getting there.  You can see the full gallery by clicking on any of the links at the base of the pictures or by clicking here.

My former 'apprentice' and I went to this together.  Actually she was the one that told me about it.  I had no idea that it was going on.  A surprising (and refreshing) amount of young women were there.  I kept wondering why but the more I talk to people the more I'm starting to realize that Gundam isn't just for middle aged men. Not that I'm middle aged but you know what I mean.  Most of the JP guys that are into it were born in the late 60's or early 70's and were in elementary school when the show was first broadcasted.  So for me it's really cool to see young women (in their early 20's) showing an interest in this stuff.

It was actually kind of fun because my friend could teach me Japanese things (language, culture, celebrities) and I could teach her about Gundam things.  Mutually beneficial.  As it should be.  After we finished I bought her some sweets.  I think most girls like that type of thing... and she was such a sweetheart so... *shrugs*

1/48 Gundam painted to look like the 1/1 Gundam in Shizuoka!  They dd a great job with this.
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
My first look at the PG Strike Freedom with my own eyes. I was really shocked at the size!  Now I'm building the thing myself.
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
Want this jacket!
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
Prototypes of two of my favourite models.  I really enjoyed seeing this for some reason.
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
All young women here.  All of them taking pictures of Gundams!  I think they thought it was cool that all these famous Japanese celebrities designed Gundam colour schemes.
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
I think this one was designed by 3 members of the Japanese soccer team.
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
Seamo knows his Gundam.  Colour reversal.  Very clever.
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
Blue Destiny Nemo? As much as I like Feddie MP suits I  never really liked this.
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
Nice plaint job with the flames!
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
Zaku 1 in Gundam colours from the voice of Amuro Ray/Ribbons Almark himself.
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
Rikusen/Ground Gundam squad from the members of Glay.  I really liked this one.
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
Byaku-Shiki.  Kind of a funny name if you understand Japanese. 百式・白式
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
They had a rod of "Gundarium" there that you could touch and lift!  Quite light! haha Lighter and tougher then titanium apparently.
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
Bronze rod there for the sake of comparison along with the historical usage of the metal. Very heavy!  How did the ancient Greeks swing around swords of this?  Never mind wearing armour and shields.  No wonder those guys in "The 300" were so muscular!
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
Stainless steel and Titanium also provided for the sake of comparison
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
This is how a PG should be done.  Beautiful!
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
I thought this was funny!  Apparently building Gundam is good for your brain!  They did a study on it.  Certain parts of your brain are activated when you make Gundam that help with remembering things!  It's recommended that children build Gundam first and then do their homework/study!  Very interesting!
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
Mine.  New York Cheese Pancake.  DELICIOUS.
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010
Hers.  Strawberry parfait.  After she tried mine she wanted to trade. haha
From Nagoya Gunpla Expo 2010

I went to the Gundam Expo the year before (or was it the year before that?) and it was good but it was some stuff that I'd seen before at the Gundam Museum (when it was still in Matsudo). I wasn't so keen on going this year but I'm glad I did. It was much better than before. I didn't buy any of the special goods there though (not really into 限定 stuff as much as other folks not to mention it was a bit over priced in my opinion). Besides I'd already bought a MG model and parts before going so... I was good. I saw the model I'd just bought before there but it was MUCH more expensive at the Expo. Oh well. Gotta know where to shop! That's half the battle sometimes.

At any rate it was a good day!  I'm glad I got the chance to see this stuff and the best part is that it was all FREE!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gundam Be@rbrick

I suppose it was only a matter of time considering that they have a Be@rbrick version of just about EVERYTHING already... but needless to say I was quite pleased when I saw this in the local convenience store.  Gundam everything here!  Little toys sold in conveniece stores, attached to candy, attached to noodles, attached to drinks.

Why am I leaving again?
I went to get some whiskey and decided to pick up the Pepsi while I was at it.  I don't really intend on mixing them.  That whiskey is ultra cheap.  Like $4.  I was in the mood for it since I was drinking with my newest 'assistant' that night and she's really into whiskey and was telling me about it.  Funny how it takes a woman to teach me about stuff like that.  If she saw the crap that I bought for myself I don't think she'd be pleased but she'd drink it with me anyways.  That's why she got the job.

Sorry I should have cropped this.  Here's the little guy standing on top of one of my paint vials (since I was painting the PGSF today.)  Cute little thing.  I wanted to pose him next to a Dom but then I realized that... I don't have a single Dom.  It's shameful.  It's one of my favourite suits but I've never gotten around to getting one.  Funny since I was this close to buying a 1/144 Tropen today.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gundam 00 'A Wakening Of The Trailblazer' - Full Movie Video

Props to G.G. for this post.  Who in turn thanks someone named Seighart.  Thank you too whoever you are!

I haven't watched the whole movie but I did confirm that the link was good and that the file/video wasn't crap.  Decently quality, no subs.  Under 400 mb if you decide to download it to your computer.

Take a look while it's still up!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry X-Mas!

Present for you! Choose one!

Yukie Kawamura (Top Left), Ryoko Tanaka (Top Right), Hwang Mi Hee (Bottom Left) and Ai Shinozaki (Bottom Right).  I choose Ai!

Merry X-Mas guys! Hope you have a great one! I won't be recieving any Gundams from my non-existent gf this year... but that's ok. My ex got me two last year so I'm just going to pretend that she got me two years worth! haha

Peace and Love to all of you around the world during this holiday season!

Oh and here's something for you folks that aren't really into this type of stuff.

It's only right considering this is my X-Mas Gundam. Damn this thing looks good!

Or maybe this is more your style?!

PG Strike Freedom - Progress thus far: 3 - Painting

Starting with these pieces.

Have to admit I'm a bit gun shy about painting considering some of the bad experiences I've had.  I don't really want to prime as I'm just going from navy blue to black...  Maybe I'll just lay off the enamels this time.  That said... none of these parts will really suffer from the plastic weakening a bit as they aren't joints.

I gotta think about time.  If I'm really going to finish this thing in a reasonable amount of time and still maintain certain standards that I hold myself to I'm really going to have to get cracking on this.  I can't afford to get caught up in large obstacles and lose my motivation.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

模型战士Gunpla Builders Beginning-G Part.C

Who knows how long it will be on the net for so take a look while you can.

I gotta say... Beargguy is really cute! I love the weapons! I also liked how the girl pilot (Rina) didn't know that it's a suit for underwater combat and it was trying to swim in space. Funny!

It looks like this is the final episode of the series and we are definitely treated to some lovely battle scenes! I love seeing all those different custom Gundams fighting each other! Battles you never thought you'd see in animated form!  Red Frame vs. The O?! Even some models you never thought you'd see! Hyaku Shiki with a gold Gundam shield! So much cool stuff!  I can't even begin to talk about it all!

And the new Beginning Gundam 30 with it's extra parts looks really cool!  Powerful!

I really enjoyed this series!  Looking forward to watching it again later on down the road in better quality.

Mirrored Gelgoog?!  Nice!

Monday, December 20, 2010

PG Strike Freedom - Wing Breakage

I can't say I'm surprised this happened considering how crappily this part was designed.  All that weight from the wings supported but a part that is basically a 1cm/2mm piece of plastic.  Impossible to tell what a piece of junk this is from the outside.  You have to wiggle the part in with a bit of pressure to get it placed correctly.  Unfortunately doing that will cause this piece to break.  Naturally.

Complete and utter CRAP.  How could an incompetent design like this pass quality control?!

Actually when I saw the break I was pretty angry.  They put all this work into making the wings beautiful and have movement and springs and auto extend capabilities and then they attach it to the back pack like this.  It just typifies some of the ridiculous things and policies I've seen since I've been here in Japan.  Like... you're going to do all of THIS but you aren't going to do something simple like this?!  Ugh.  But this isn't a Japan bashing topic.  This is a PGSF bashing topic now.

Maybe I could have avoided this if I was more careful (I did get the other one in without an issue) but I'm not the only one who's had this problem!  Thanks to Lupes for hooking me up with the link.  Apparently it's such a common problem that there is a dedicated fix for it out already!  Thus the reason why I'm not posting my own pictures.  Others have already had the problem.

I don't know where the hell I'm going to get my hands on aluminum pipes that size never mind finding a way to cut them.

Man it's frustrating... I was at the final stage of this section of my build process and then THIS happens!

Why design it like that?!  Pointless design detail that serves no purpose except serving to make a part that needs to be much stronger, much weaker.  Morons.

Anyways I'm pissed off if you couldn't tell.  I'm going to work on my own fix because I don't have aluminum pipes hanging about (probably going to do something similar to the RG RX-78-2 leg fix.)

Wish me luck.  Pics to come.

Times like this I need to just calm down and look at something beautiful.

Thank you for being there when I need you Nozomi.

Friday, December 17, 2010

PG Strike Freedom - Progress thus far: 2 - Wings

Easily one of the most monotonous aspects of Gunpla that I've done (but that doesn't mean it wasn't fun). Luckily I'm doing all of this while enjoying some lessons on Quantum Physics so at least my mind is somewhat occupied while my body is on auto-pilot doing all the cutting and clean up work. The assembly doesn't take that much brain power either leaving me to concentrate on bigger things like... photo electric effects in Selenium atoms.

Well, I say that but it IS easy to mess up on things if you aren't paying attention.  Double check surface designs!

Anyway take a look at the video series if you're interested.  I've certainly learned a lot and am planning on going through the videos again! So much great stuff to learn about modern technology.  I've been going through these videos while I've been teaching my own semester here.  I started teaching my first class this semester on the same week as when I watched the first video in this lecture series.  My aim is to start and finish both at the same time, like I'm actually in school, but both as a teacher and as a student.  I have 15 weeks of classes to teach and there are 26 videos in the series so if I do about two a week I should be OK... and I think I am. 

I figure I spend some much time teaching others... why not teach myself something while I'm at it?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

PG Strike Freedom - Progress thus far

We all occasionally wonder where we came from.

Regardless of the what the end result may be... I'm glad I bought this model.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The life and times...

I suppose there's no easy way to say these things so I'm just going to spit them out.

I'm leaving Japan.

I'm going back to Canada at the end of the January and I'll probably be staying for some time. At least a year. Probably longer. Depending on how things go with work and living and life and stuff. I'm not opposed to coming back to Japan at all but there are just some things that I need to take care of at home right now (considering I've been in Japan for nearly a decade and came here shortly after I graduated from university and really have no idea of what it's like to live an adult life in my own country.) Family things and personal things mixed.

That and I've basically achieved all the goals that I've set out to do when I first came here... There isn't really much left for me but to enjoy what I've made for myself and that's great and all but... it's not me. Guess I need a bit more, or something different, or a change of pace or something.

Which brings me to the next thing. Some of you may know that the GF Group Build is basically... non existent now. I'm not sure what she did with her Zaku but based on the last time I talked to her it's probably in a bunch of pieces/is a pile of molten plastic in a dumpster somewhere. I'm still going to finish mine and I fully intend on making it a monument to my relationship with her.  I'm going to paint it in a colour that she really likes.  I'm going to make it beautiful.

However since her departure... I've gotten some new Japanese female "assistants". Yes that's plural (I'm single now so I'm allowed) and yes they are actually helping me with my Gunpla. They asked me about it and I showed them and we started building stuff together and they've been helping me with my projects. It's been great. It's nice when a young woman shows an interest in your hobby. Oddly I started to realize that it's actually kind of a fun thing to do as a couple and I might have been able to add something more to my previous relationship if I'd learned some of this stuff sooner.  Oh well.  Live and learn!  More on this later.

Anyway, because I'm leaving Japan I've decided to buy as much Gunpla stuff here as I can and ship it all back to Canada (I can never pay those prices again considering how I've been living here), to feed my addiction for a while (think of a smoker who buys a couple cartons of cigarettes to last him for a while). The thing is... I'm trying to build as much as I can so I can minimize the amount of space they'll take up in the boxes I'm sending back. This is in addition to my not insignificant amount of kits I already own here.  I've been building a lot recently.  It's bad, building all this stuff, end of year madness and because I'm back in the field again, social engagements are... abundant.

So I'm going to be busy this December and January. I'm not sure how often I'll be able to update but I can say this... You're going to be seeing this blog going through some changes in the coming months. 2011 is going to be a very special year for me I feel.

I leave this post with a pic from my main assistant's place. Actually more like an "apprentice", god bless her. I finally managed to build all 4 of the Althun Zala's HG's (yeah only bought those nearly 3 years ago!) and I made them all at her place. It was really fun actually. I'm lucky to have met such a cool person!  Her favourite colour is pink so I thought it was fitting that I build 4 pink/purple Gundam's with her.

She suggested adding the flower.  I thought it was a nice touch!  The little guys at the bottom were included with Nisshin Cup Noodle to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Gundam.  She built those.)

Unfortunately, I was a bit too honest with her and she's now holding all four of these Gundam hostage until I change my 'behavior'... which essentially means I have to make her my new girlfriend. I don't negotiate with terrorists so... I think I might be forced to give these guys up! :(

I'm sorry guys!!! I should have taken you when I had the chance!!! T_T

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Red Frames

Sorry I've been out of circulation for a bit.  I've been really busy and a lot's been going on.  Hopefully I'll have the chance to make a post about it soon.  Thanks G.G. for your concern.  Just in a time of transition right now.

That said, even though my personal life as been somewhat of a whirlwind recently I still make time for Gundam!  This MG Red Frame was a spur of the minute purchase.  Not in the plans at all but a few of the guys around here made some comments, namely Z, said that I'm the only person that loves the Red Frame as much, if not more, then him, and Sonar who said that he hadn't seen me this excited about a model since when the MG Red Frame was announced (referring to when PG Strike Freedom was announced).  Then I saw what Z did with his and it got me thinking... Why the hell didn't I buy it?  This is a model I should have.  Now I do.

No full gallery just yet but I have to post about this before I allow myself to talk about the PG Strike Freedom which I just picked up today.

Couple of comments about this kit.  I ****ing love it.  The mechanical details on the parts are superb.  The parts are small and there are a lot of them so it makes painting and detailing a bit easier. Initially the proportions threw me off a bit (because I was so used to the 1/100 version I think) but now they've grown on me and I like the way this kit looks a lot.  I made a couple of changes to this kit already.  Can you see them?  I only changed two things concerning the weapons.  I'm so glad they included the extra parts from the MG Blue Frame!  Not enough though... I need just one part to get the Blue Frame's feet but that wasn't included... but I'll take whatever I can get.  Lovely, lovely kit.  Highly recommended.  I'm really looking to giving this kit the attention it deserves someday.  This write up doesn't fully express how I feel about it the suit and this kit but I'll write more about it sometime later.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

RG RX-78-2 Gundam - Leg repair

Long overdue post but here it is finally. As I was building the frame the leg broke because the joint was stiffer than the plastic. I guess I didn't work it loose gently enough, although I'm not really sure how I could have done it better. I'll be more careful next time.

Anyway, after the break... I took a break. Came back to later after I found the parts I needed to fix it, namely a 1mm drill bit and 1mm steel rods.

Tools required.

Here's where it broke.

Where I drilled the holes.  Had to be pretty precise with this as there wasn't really much room for error. 90 degree angle straight down the shaft of the leg plastic.  Worked out fine luckily. 

Insert rod.  No jokes please.

Cut rod, apply cement to the broken surfaces, insert into bottom half.  Apply some pressure for a couple of seconds while the cement dries in place.

Leave it to dry for a while, test it out gently. Works perfectly.  Actually I think it's stronger now than it was before.

No problems standing on it's own now.

Following this I could continue my work on the model and it was really a joy to build and detail. I'm still suffering from weapons block now as the main suit is completed but... I'm glad to have it done and standing with the rest of it's 1/144 brothers.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Delta Plus / Delta Gundam

I love the Delta Plus... but I love the Delta Gundam more. Actually the original reason why I wanted to buy the Delta Plus was just so that I could make the Delta Gundam. I was sure that I wasn't the only person that had that idea and sure enough other modelers did end up making it... but it wasn't as abundant as I thought it'd be. I thought a lot of people would be going for this mod but as it turns out not many did. Looking at what the modeler below did I can kind of see why. It's not really that easy. Comparatively it is because you're making a more complex design simpler but there are a couple of things that have to be almost completely redesigned (the shield for one).

I like the Delta Gundam more than the Delta Plus because of the colour and the simpler design. It's a shame the suit wasn't fit for use during the AEUG/Titan's conflict. It would have made a great suit for Quattro to pilot but he would have stolen the show from Camille and they'd have had to call it Delta Gundam instead of Zeta.

This begs the question... what on earth would a Double Delta Gundam look like?

Perhaps similar to this?

It's not pictured here in wave rider mode but it looks cool.  Very cool in my opinion.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Painting Copper

I saw this tutorial at FitchenFoo and couldn't help but marvel at the techniques this guy uses.  I'm really a sucker for metallic paints and this guy has got his technique down it seems.  Truly an inspriration.

Worth a look.  I think we can all learn something from him.

That said I think a lot of it has to do with materials.  He's picked up a lot of tools and good materials to work with.

One thing I don't get here is that he says he primed and then sprayed flat black and then went on with his Alcad copper.

You can see here that it still looks pretty shiny and has a nice finish even with the flat black undercoat...  Is that just because the Alcad paints are that good?  I thought when you're painting metallics that you should put down a coat of gloss black and then do you metallics.

Did he do this because he was going for a more lusterless/weathered final look from his copper?

There are times when I feel that I'm so far away from really making the type of stuff I want to but sometimes when I see stuff like this and I see the possibilities I feel like... this is probably going to be a hobby that I'm never going to be able to really give up.  There's just so much... depth!  The sky is really the limit with this stuff sometimes.  From simple snap builds to stuff like this...  So much to learn...

I have a strong feeling that next year is going to be a good year for me in this regard. I plan on really stepping my painting game up a notch. Less buying. More refining.