Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Top 3 Most Wanted MG's

I guess this is the closest we're going to get to Bandai asking for our opinions on this subject.

You have to be able to read KATAKANA to understand the Gundam names. The rest of the stuff you can fill in arbitrarily.

I voted for Heavyarms, Nobel Gundam and Tallgeese.


I'd love a chance to work on those verniers... Someday maybe!

Go and vote! btw... what would you choose?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SD Unicorn Gundam - Try this one on for size

The Janitor has done it yet again! Wow. More here.

Unicorn OVA Sinanju

I like it! It looks quite sturdy and strong. Powerful. Like a Sinanju should. I think what they're going to do in Ep.2 is going to be really good. Too bad we have to wait until Autumn to see it though.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

GFF Metal Composite Unicorn

It comes with the FA version parts? This looks like the thing to get gents! Check out the comparison with the MG version. Almost the same thing! Actually I bet you can't tell which is which? Is the one with the bazooka the MG version? Or vice versa?
Plus you get the 2x gattling guns!
... Possibly another thing I can't afford to pass up. Just one question. Can YOU?!

I know you want more so here it is.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

HG Astraea Type F

This armament is ridiculous. Talk about "stacked". I don't think I can afford to pass this up even though I'm notoriously anti-red mechs.

The Astraea design has always been one of my favourites from the 00 series, if not my favourite outright. Glad to see this model coming out. Avalanche Exia, I'm sure, is going to make a lot of people happy as well.
Lots of great stuff coming out soon and it couldn't be happening at a better time for me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ring of Gundam

I love the animation but the story... Equal parts impressed and disappointed with this.

"This is a hybrid of traditional computer graphics and animation produced by the study director Robot Kunio Kato (La maison en petits cubes). The mecha design is veteran Kunio Okawara while the acclaimed composer Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop, Macross Frontier, Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex) has treated the music. The date of issue of the film and its size distribution are still undetermined.

The history of Ring of Gundam is set in an era long after the events of the first Gundam series and the "One Year War" well known to fans of the saga.

In this scenario, a giant ring of 600 kilometers in diameter fluctuates in lunar orbit. The forces of the Earth Federation come across an object named "Beauty Memory" hidden in a massive rocky plateau on Earth: the keywords of the story are "The Memoirs of Amuro" ...

A preview of the video was presented during the Big Gundam Expo held between 20 and 23 August at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, as part of celebrations for thirty years of Gundam. The video is now online over 5 minutes long and seems complete."

Here's the source.

The Bird-Man has arms. And a weapon.

It's coming along slowly. Trying to find a way to blog from my cell phone but will probably have to bring the quality of the pictures down a bit for it to not cost so much. Bluetoothing it to my desktop is probably a better call. Short post today.

Good thing about this kit is that they give you 3 different pairs of hands. They need to start making that standard procedures on Master Grades in my opinion. Even most HG's come with a couple pairs of hands.

Monday, March 22, 2010

100 000 hits!

I was hoping that I would have been able to catch this earlier but I lost track of time and I'm already 1000's of hits over.

I just wanted to thank you all for you patronage so here are random pics of my life.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Bird-Man Cometh

Veiled reference for the Macross Zero fans. I've definitely enjoyed building my first Macross transformable model. It's no Gundam, that's for sure. I think I have an idea of what people have gone through building the transformable Victory Gundam after doing this. Lot's of small pieces to accommodate the transforming mechanisms.

Truly an engineering masterpiece. I have found new respect for Macross Frontier mecha design.

Not done yet obviously but just wanted to show you all what I've been doing with my time recently.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gunpla Owners Club

I, like many of you, have often wondered what these little tickets are for.

Well as it turns out... there aren't for anything. Yes that's right. They are apparently... USELESS. So I'm going to save you the trouble of reading through this. Don't bother with these tickets because you don't really get anything for them especially if you don't live in Japan. You don't even have the option of accessing the website.

If you want to know more then by all means continue. If that's enough info for you than stop here.


Sucker for punishment eh? Alright.

First if you go to the website on the ticket, it will take you here. Assuming you can access it.

OK you have to make in account... Do that and then you get to this page.

Here you have the option to make a 'list' of the models that you own. You can choose from PG, MG, HGUC, HG, BB Senshi and Other.

After you make your list you can... look at a low quality image of the box art and model and read a write up about it. >_>

The other options are to change your personal information and receive information about upcoming products, specials. I guess. That's what it seems like. There are also options for common questions (nothing relating to this issue that I could see.)

Anyways... it seems largely pointless. I just decided to click at the top to input my number since that's why I came to begin with. Do that and you get here. Why didn't they just put this address on the ticket in the first place?! Login and all that crap again.

Do that and you get here where it displays your points information. How many you've accumulated and used and so on.
This begs an important question.

There is a counter for points that you've USED. So what can you use them on?! ZERO information on that anywhere that I could see. If there is it isn't in an obvious spot which just makes me think the whole thing is a scam. If you want people to collect points you'd put the prize(s) in a obvious spot as enticement right? No. Not in this case.

Moving on.

There's also a bunch of other redundant options like taking you to other useless pages or pages that you've already come from and so on. All we want to do is input our number right? And maybe after that we can find out what they actually do?! Alright, click on the option in the green box below.

Now here is the point where I felt that I got a nice kick in the pants. I put in my number and it said that it was INVALID and that I should put in a VALID number. Tried it again with other tickets and got the same result. I wondered why and then I realized that the last sequence of digits must contain 5 numbers but most normal models only have 4. You only get 5 from 'clear parts campaign' models apparently.

Props to ASM for doing the research on this. I couldn't verify this myself because I haven't purchased a clear parts model to know for sure. Can anyone verify this? To be fair, in the fine print on this site it says that only clear parts campaign numbers will be accepted.

But wait it gets even WORSE.

If you read the fine print on the ticket it says that it was a EXPIRATION DATE but it doesn't tell you when it actually expires! They can shut it down at any time! Which they have done apparently. From what I can tell they'll accept these points until the end of the year (fine print at the bottom) of this page.

No, I'm not done yet! You can see there are some 'medals' that you can get but they actually have no point that I can see. It's just to compare with your friends it seems! You don't actually get anything!

This service means nothing if you're not in Japan and even if you are it means next to nothing.

Here's the best part. In order to be eligible for the trip to the factory you need at least 40 points. You get one point per model. So in order to become eligible for the tour of the factory you need to buy at least 40 models. If you buy the cheapest clear parts model, that being MG Ball for 2000 yen, you going to have to spend 80 000 yen to get 40 points. And you'll get 40 MG balls in the process and a possible tour of the factory. Great.

Even better considering that they often give away free tours of the factory. I looked into it.

Call me jaded but for some reason... I'm not surprised by any of this. At all.

If you think I'm mistaken about any of this I ENCOURAGE you to prove me wrong. PLEASE DO. I would like nothing more than to hear that I'm actually wrong about this stuff and there actually IS something all of us can get from our devotion to this hobby of ours. The fact that you can spend accumulated points has me a bit perplexed... and that's this final part of this puzzle that's missing for me. Either way... I definitely don't support this system. Thumbs down.

I just don't get why they'd even go through all of the trouble, to finance and develop this system. To print up thousands and thousands of tickets, all this website development just to make a system that serves no other purpose than to basically be an overgrown pissing contest. Blah. At least THAT mystery is solved. Kinda. Right now I just want nothing to do with it all. I feel cheated in a way.

Still though... You never know... maybe next year they'll change the system and our points will actually be worth something. I'm not willing to throw them away just yet but... I'm certainly not getting my hopes up.

Maybe you have a sour taste in your mouth like I do now. Here is something to cheer us up.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Advanced Hazel

Another post I saved as a draft but forgot to post. Tardy, tardy.

Well here it is. I gotta say... I love this kit. It starts off pretty simple but once you put the "Advanced" parts on it becomes... more advanced?! haha

Anyway one of this things I liked about this kit is that you can build just the stock Hazel without any improvements. All the parts are there. Then you can 'add' on the "Advanced" parts making it into a different machine... and what a machine it is! If you decide to use the sub-arm unit the way that I have here this kit suddenly becomes quite a piece of work!

One thing that surprised me was the shield boosters. You get two different shield boosters. Essentially you end up making 3 different shields. The shield boosters are supposed to be attached to the backpack but I decided to combine them both on the left arm. I don't know. Just felt like experimenting I guess. I mean shields are supposed to be on the arms right?

Another thing that I thought was usual was how the two shield boosters are actually different colours. I spent a lot of time looking for an extra navy shield or an extra white one but they don't exist. One shield booster of each colour. Don't know why that is but there's probably some reason for it in the story.

I wanted to try and get a fully armed thing going but the only way to connect the shields to the arm is by a shield connection piece that attaches to the arm. It's not possible to just plug the shield peg into the arm slot. There is an arm slot but there are no shield pegs so I made one using a piece of a leftover sprue. It doesn't fit perfectly but it's good enough. Thats how the normal shield is attached to the right arm.

Two of the extra weapons are from some Kotobukiya weapons packages that I picked up randomly during one of my many shopping trips. The other is the beam pistol from the O Gundam. He's not using it.

The sub arm unit is very good at grasping all different types of weapons. Actually it got me to thinking that ALL hands should be made similar to this because it's so damn effective. I had a lot of problems with the standard HG 'half' hands because they split apart quite easily and cant hold some weapons that have larger/wider handles. Even with regular weapons they split apart easy so I used tape on both of them to keep them in place until I'm ready to do the real work on this kit.

Which brings me to another good point about this kit. You get a lot of hands. Like 5 different kinds. The manual has them X'ed out because they were made for the Hazel Custom (white one) but that doesn't mean you cant use them.

The manual also has the standard V-fin and head parts X'ed out but you can still use those two and just keep the configuration that you like. It's not difficult to change between the two at all. We're not talking MG Exia to MG Exia Repair type of stuff. Not by a long shot. You can change between the two in less than a minute. No kidding.

The kit itself has a lot panel lines and a lot of little details that will come out well when it's time to paint. Especially on the shield boosters. There's a lot going on there and with a bit of work it could look really nice.

I like the boxy legs myself with all the intakes and thrusters. It looks strong and strudy and it is. Overall range of movement is pretty good but when you have the 'heels' to the feet the ankle joint movement goes to practically nothing.

I used all the foil stickers on this because I liked the contrast and the completed look it gave the kit (even though I didn't even spend the time to remove the nubs properly. It looks fine from a distance.)

The pedestal. Cheap sake.

I use two types of pliers. One to remove pieces from the sprues and the other to remove sprues from the pieces (if that makes any sense.) I cut the useless parts of the sprue off to minimize the amount of plastic in the box. Makes things simpler for me. I don't thought the "useless" parts away though. I keep them in case I want to mod another kit later.

Backpack is simple and probably looks better with the shield boosters attached. Without the shield attachment unit the backpack itself is quite round and compact. I like it! It's a very unique and functional design.

Experimenting with a new photo location in my room.
Four guns and three shields? It's like a one unit battalion!
One of my favourite things about this suit is the head. No eyes. But the long sensor on top of the head has an unobstructed view of everything above and behind it. Kind of gives the impression that with a good targeting system this machine could hit 4 targets at once quite easily.

18.1 meters tall!

Last shot. All white background. I don't really like the fluorescent lighting im using. I have some options as far as that goes though. I prefer the more subdued lighting in the first couple of shots but it makes it harder to see the details. I hope I'll have figured something out by the time I'm ready to take the final shots.

Summary - Advanced Hazel is a great kit and I spent more that I should have on it (it was a souvenir from a trip with some friends) but you know what... it was totally worth it. I love this thing. Every aspect of it. One of the first mobile suits that I ever really liked was the Mark 2 Titans and building this kit made me realize just how much I love the Titans colour scheme. I don't plan on doing a recolour of this. Titans all the way! 5 out of 5.