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Archive for April, 2011

Three GM Weekend

April 19th, 2011 No comments


This last weekend was the April “Those Gundam Guys” Build Gathering (yes, we have a name now). Earlier in the month Gamerabaenre and Angel went and got the Dengeki Hobby issue with the GM Wagtail conversion kit in it. They were nice enough to pick me up a copy. Last week I visited the Robot4Less store for the first time and picked up the HGUC RGM-79C GM Ka kit that goes with it.

Believe it or not I didn’t take this kit to the build gathering, even though the guys were planning a 0083-era GM group build of sorts that would culminate in a large diorama of a Zeon remnant base about to be swarmed by a herd of assorted GMs. But I was going to stick to my plans and work on sanding seams on my Valkyrie and maybe start up the little Tamiya 1/48 Sherman tank I wanted to build as an exercise in weathering.

Meanwhile everybody at my table at the build gathering was excited about their Wagtails and GMs and I thought about it. I had the Wagtail and I had a snapped powered GM I had picked up at the great Gunpla giveaway a year or so ago at Gam’s house. But my third GM kit was a cold-districts type and just didn’t fit.

Well, after having a beer at the gathering and wasting some time dodging Grover (I don’t know if I was extra stressed out or Grover was extra hyper or both but AAAHHHHH!!! I had to get up and move around) I polled the group and eight of us went to Robot4Less. While I was there I figured I was just around the corner from my house where I could pick up my Wagtail and there I was in a Gunpla store with an especially good selection of HGUC kits, a need for a GM and a 21% discount. Now I ask you, what would any sane man do at a time like that???

We all decided we’d have a cheap dinner and spend our money on Gunpla! I narrowed my choices down to a Blue Destiny Unit 1, a GM Quel and a Zaku F2. I ruled out the Blue Destiny pretty quickly just because it was a one-off unit. I debated the F2. It would be kind of cool to have a mixed group and the EFSF was operating Zakus at the time but I went with the Quel. I had seen one painted in regular EFSF colors in one of the earlier AOZ issues and it looked good.

We got back to the build gathering after dropping by my house for the Wagtail. I settled in and joined the GM snap-off. I built my entire wagtail. With the Wagtail I’m going for an in-between Wagtail, I’m not using all of the parts, namely the shoulders and lower legs. I’m going for a look similar to the specially designed GM Ka in Dengeki, but I’m not going to kill myself scratch building every detail, I just want the feel of it.

I worked until dinner on it and then came back and worked some more. Once I finished it, I kind of looked around for a bit. I had brought my blu ray of Evangelion 2.22 to watch and by this time of night usually we’re drinking and playing Rock Band, but several of us were on a mission to make this GM build happen so I opened up the Quel and got the legs and torso done by the time I packed it up around 2 a.m. This was definitely the most Gunpla I had snapped in one day and it was a really nice break from all the detailing and decal rendering I had been doing for the last couple months with my Valkyrie.

Sunday I finished snapping the Quel. We’ll see if I get back to the Valk or just tear through these GMs for stress relief.

Today was a VERY good day!

April 13th, 2011 No comments

The day starts off right with my wife volunteering out of the blue to pick up my daughter after work, which means I have some built-in free time in my day.

It gets better at work when I notice I have some interoffice mail. Out of the blue, a coworker who I had loaned my box set of Evangelion to and lost 5 YEARS AGO decides it’s time to pay me back. Inside the manilla envelope? Another white envelope with $60. NICE!!!

So after work I decide to go to two places. The first is Fry’s because it’s right by my work where I take a portion of my cash and pick up Evangelion 2.22 You Can (NOT) Advance. The next is a store that opened up on Brookhurst just a few blocks away from my house. The banner outside says “ROBOT4LESS” and I can see posters of the RG Gundam and Zaku and the PG Strike Freedom. My wife saw it first, a few weeks back. I walk inside and am immediately impressed by the size and selection of Gunpla inside. There’s also a sign outside for Mac repair and I expected half a Gunpla store insode, but this place is ALL Gunpla, and it’s stacked pretty high.

Their online store is ROBOT4LESS.com, and the store is located at:

1001 S. Brookhurst
#103
Fullerton, CA
92833
213-260-0160

I checked it all and and talked to Roy, the owner and Saki, who works there. I also chatted up a customer who came in. I handed out a couple cards and tried to get everyone down to the Build Gatherings, and I hope to get everyone at the build gatherings down there.

I’ll give you the quick virtual tour. It’s a typical strip-mall sized store but being ALL Gunpla that’s like Japanese-store type selection. It wasn’t Yodobashi Akiba but it was up there with the better one-story shops you’d find in Akihabara. PGs, MGs, HGUCs (YES! HGUCS, In abundance!), NGs, HGs, RGs, SDs, Older Gundam kits from Victory, Wing, Zeta, MSV, F91, CCA, etc. They also had MG Figurerise, RRR, Scopedog, Patlabor, as well as a good selection of Robot Damashii and other figures. They had some magazines with many of the recent Dengeki/Hobby Japan parts boxes. They had a FULL rack of Mr. Color (no Leveling thinner, DAMN!) including Gundam colors and a few Gundam color sets. They had lots of other Mr. Hobby products as well. They also had a couple big stacks of Gundam decals as well.

in the back they are still unpacking, but the setup is a bigscreen with a PS3 for playing DW Gundam and also hosting little build sessions. Roy invited us to come over and have a gathering at his store. I told him we might not all fit but it would be a great palce for in-between build gathering gatherings. I hope the BG group can all head over there this Saturday.

And, finally, the bottom line… How are the prices? Well, they’re pretty good for an actual brick and mortar store. I bought a 1200 yen HGUC GM Ka for $16.99 minus a 21% discount they’ve got going (see them on Facebook for the coupon) so it was about $12.50, plus tax. I picked up a couple bottles of the Gundam color, which is larger than the regular bottles (18 mL vs. 10 mL) and it was $4.99 a bottle. I checked out a Hazel Custom that was $22.00 there, before the discount. That’s cheaper than the one I ordered from HLJ recently, even with 20% off the yen price.

I hung out there for about an hour of Gundam-nerd goodness and then headed home. And the icing on the cake? On my doorstep is my order from HLJ. Inside is said Hazel Custom and the Wave 1/72 Destroid Tomahawk. Sweet!

Like Ice Cube said, today was a good day.

(Oh, and BTW I’m writing this on my new PC I got yesterday, this is the first productive thing I’ve done on it).

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