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Archive for December, 2010

Upgrading the GP01 Hangar

December 14th, 2010 No comments

Since I won the US leg of the Bandai Gunpla World Cup I’ve realized two things about my GP01 Hangar. First, I’d have to make it so you could break it down int components that I could fit into a box and take as an airline carry-on . Second, I’d have to fix some things and improve others so as not to be embarrassed at the World Cup since most other models there will be much better than mine.

So, even though I had just started on my Super VF-1D, I shelved it and got to work on the hangar. The first thing I had to do was an inventory as several of the little 1/100 crew members had come off the dio and one was missing, although I found him on the third attempt.

Once it was all found, here’s what I had:

The first thing I tackled was the cherry picker crane thing. It’s composed of a rod that pivots on a rectangular beam. But, the rod was too thick for the original beam and when I first built the dio I cheated my way around this my shaving down the sides of the rod to fit… definitely cheesy:

So, I replaced the rod and then built out the beam so that it would be able to fit the rod without cheating:

Next I took a look at the inside of the bottom of the torso where the core block mounts. There isn’t much detail there, so as a start I added some Kotobukiya bits (I also added some to the tops of the hip armor and knees) and then painted the entire inside the dark gray internal color. If I have time I’ll do more later.

Next I made the gun and shield mounts removable using evergreen telescopic tubing. I mounted the larger tubes in the framework of the gun/shield mounts and drilled holes in the base for the smaller diameter tubes that fit snugly inside. Friction holds the frames in place, but I also built some side braces from sheet styrene both for detail and to keep the frames perpendicular to the base:

I also picked up this 1/100 scale Vaught A-7 Corsair II kit from Tamiya. 1/100 scale airplane kits are pretty rare. Tamiya first made these kits in the 70’s but the scale didn’t take hold. Fortunately they were re-released in the last few years. The A-7 and F-104 kits have sidewinder missiles, and now my core fighter will have sidewinders as well. IIRC The PG GP01 comes with missiles, but the MG does not.

Next was the core block mount. Since the mount is just a kitbashed GP01 ankle, it has a socket polycap inside it already. So I dug the unused GP01 leg I had out of the spares box and cut off the ankle ball. It fit perfect into some plastic tube I had so I drilled a hole and mounted the tube into the base and then glued in the ball. Voila, ball-and-socket removable core block:

The last thing I’ve done so far is to make the main frame for the GP01 torso to sit on removable. I did the front end like I did the smaller frames, with two layers of tubing. But the rear had to be held in place to keep the whole stand from tipping forwards. So, I swung by Clem’s and “borrowed” a couple of 1/8″ rare-earth magnets. I matched these with some 1/4″ ones I had. I put the 1/4″ ones in the base and put the 1/8″ ones inside some tubing (so it wouldn’t pop out, I couldn’t glue them really well) and glued the tubing into the framework. I tested it by placing the GP01 torso on top of my metal miter box and it held.

Now that the basic structural fixes are in place, I have to do some touch-up painting. What I really want to do is to now add as many small details as I can to make the diorama more competitive. But I’ve only got a week and a half to go, and because I’m dealing with a built model that I can’t (CAN’T!!!) mess up I’ll be somewhat limited.

Categories: Models In-Progress Tags:

I’m Going to Hong Kong!!! And Tokyo!!!

December 14th, 2010 No comments

So this year I was lucky enough to win the USA leg of the Bandai Gunpla World Cup. I once got third place in the online version of this contest and since then I’ve been dreaming of winning. As the prize for winning I’m being flown to Hong Kong to participate in the International 30th Anniversary Bandai Gunpla World Cup. I’ve also added (at my own expense) a trip to Tokyo, since I’ll already be in Asia.

I’ve been online and talking to friends and reading books to prepare for the trip, which is in part why I haven’t had an update for a few weeks.

I’d like to take a minute to thank Steve and Xavier at Bluefin who distribute Bandai kits in the US and who, along with Bandai and some help from Clem (GameraBaenre) put together this event-based version of the contest. Steve has been especially helpful (and patient), acting as a travel agent for me as I first added my wife to the trip and then added Tokyo to the trip.

While in Hong Kong I plan to shop for aftermarket Gunpla stuff, check out the yearly Gundam Expo there and of course do the tourist thing and check out the Peak, the skyline from the harbor and see the giant Buddha on Lantau Island. Then I’m off to Tokyo to visit the 1:1 Gundam in Shizuoka and shop in Akihabara.

Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yeah, I won with my GP01 Hangar Diorama, which I’m currently modifying for travel and upgrading for non-humiliation. I’m going to have my ass kicked by all of those fantastic Asian modelers.

Categories: Generic Ramblings Tags: