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Archive for June, 2011

ANA Gundam Complete!

June 30th, 2011 No comments

Woo! Just finished in time for AX! I’ll post full higher-quality pics after Anime Expo, but here’s the sneak preview:

Even with ANA’s Japanese-Address-Only rules; I still made my ANA Gundam!

Anime Expo is Almost Here! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

June 29th, 2011 No comments

I’ve talked with Clem (Gamerabaenre) who usually organizes the AX model contest, and with Steve at Bluefin, who organizes the Gunpla Builders World Cup Live Events and since I’m judging both contests I wanted to coordinate the judging and model placement since it was kind of disorganized last year.

Last year more-or-less ALL models were entered and physically placed in the artist area of the exhibition hall. We judged the models Saturday afternoon for the Anime Expo contest, and then contestants had about an hour to make the mad dash with their models to set them up again at the Bluefin booth for the judging of the Bandai Gunpla Builders World Cup Contest. Some people weren’t there to move them, and they were disappointed that their models weren’t entered in the Gunpla Builders World Cup (GBWC). Bandai and Bluefin were disappointed because all the Gunpla wasn’t displayed in their booth for most of the expo. And I was exhausted after judging both contests the same day and bummed out because I missed some choice AX programming.

So here’s the plan for this year:

ALL Gunpla that fits the Bandai rules (http://www.bluefincorp.com/catalog/bandai-gunpla-model-kit-world-cup-2011-us-championship) should be taken to the Bluefin Booth. You can still enter your Gunpla models in both contests, the AX contest and the GBWC. You’ll need to fill out both entry forms if you’re entering both contests.

All other models such as figures, non-Gundam mecha and Gundam mecha that doesn’t qualify for the GBWC, like resin kits or aftermarket conversion kits will be entered in the AX Contest at the artists display area.

See below for judging times and entry deadlines:

Important Gundam Related Information:
Anime Expo Model Contest
Judging will commence at 3:00PM Sunday July 3rd

Gunpla World Cup Competition
Entry deadline is 2:00PM and judging will commence at 3:00PM Sunday July 3rd

Gundam 00 Movie
7:00PM – 9:00PM
Hybrid Film Room
LACC Concourse Hall

Gundam 00 Panel with Mizushima
9:00PM – 10:00PM
Hybrid Film Room
LACC Concourse Hall

Gunpla Building Seminar
10:00PM – 12:00PM
WS1
LACC Room 515B

Other Gundam-Related Events:

Toshio Furukawa Panel
Voice of Kai Shiden in the original Mobile Suit Gundam. Bring your Guncannons!
7/1 10:30 AM
LACC 502

Gundam Unicorn 1 and 2 Screening
7/2 10:00 AM
LACC 403

Bandai Entertainment Panel / Gundam Official Panel
7/2 4:30 PM / 5:30 PM
Petree Hall

Mizushima Panel
7/3 11:30 AM
Petree Hall

The Gundam.com Panel
7/3 12:00 PM
LACC 502

Gundam Unicorn 3 Screening and Panel
7/3 1:00 pm
Concourse Hall

The June Report – Preparing for Anime Expo

June 27th, 2011 No comments

It’s not intentional, but I seem to be posting once a month this year. Usually that’s because it takes a month to make any noteworthy progress, but this month it’s the opposite. I haven’t posted because I’ve spent all my hobby time building like crazy. No time to blog! So I took a little time (mostly at lunch break at work) to summarize what I’ve been up to…

I’ve had some schizophrenia on my model-building lately. I’ve been at work on 4 different projects in the last month.

I’ve put down the GM/Rick Dom project for now since we’re aiming to finish the project for the SCGMC. The last thing I did was to come up with a much better weapon for the DOM:

I then took it apart and glued what could/needed to be glued. All 4 of the kits are now ready for seam work. I’m just waiting for a Powered GM kit to show up somewhere…

About the same time I did that, we had the May BG at my house and late at night, like 1 in the morning I was sitting talking to Tony, Crystal and Jeff and just grabbed my Valkyrie and started sanding it and over the next hour surprised the heck out of myself by sanding almost all of the pieces with light-curing putty on their seams.

So I got back on that project. I masked and attached the canopy and re-primed everything. I then did a round of Mr. Surfacer 500, sanded and reprimed those parts. There are just about ten parts that need some more putty work and panel line re-scribing, and then I can paint.

While working on those and waiting for the GM kit I felt the urge to snap something. So I opened up my Wave 1/72 Tomahawk and got the legs built. They’re in the background in the picture below. The Tomahawk is a real different kind of kit. It’s not Bandai in that the plastic is a lot softer, there are some minor fit issues and there are going to be more seam lines than you’d get with a MG kit of this size/price from Bandai. That said, the engineering is pretty good. Lots of seam lines are hidden by an interesting construction process where the two main halves of a part go together and then a third or fourth piece is a plate that covers the seam. It’s just the way the plate sits in place, it’s not the greatest fit and you end up with an intentional, although sometimes kind of inconsistent gap. The other feature is the mold gates on the back of the parts. It’s generally a good thing, but many of them appear right next to a tab or on the edge of a recessed lip and they’re actually a lot more work to carefully file away than if the nub had just been on the side of the piece.

In the above picture are the Valkyrie pieces that still need work (left side) and the Tomahawk legs (right side) and in teh middle is yet ANOTHER project.

Around the beginning of June I started thinking how Anime Expo was coming up and I wanted to bring something “Gundam” that commemorated my trip to Hong Kong and Japan and the whole Gundam 30th thing for the Bluefin Booth and the Bandai people that were going to come. So I started in on my HG G30th Gundam. I’m giving it the hands and weapons from the RG and I’m going to paint it up in the ANA Gundam colors of the kit I was unable to get on my trip. I got the surface prep done on Friday night (6/24). It took quite a while since the final sinish will be glossy and I have tom make sure I get rid of any surface imperfections. It was extra hard on the seam lines on the legs as they pass through a complex (and very small) topography of raised and recessed detail.

Saturday afternoon I started painting, and miracle of miracles I got the entire paint job done over the weekend. I used Mr. Crytsal Color pearl coats (Sapphire Blue and Diamond Silver) over the blue and white paint to recreate the special finish on the ANA Gundam and I’m very happy with the result. Tonight I’ll put a gloss lacquer clearcoat over the dark blue (it was a flat color to begin with, and ended up just semi-glossy after the pearl coat) and start on the decals. I think I’m going to finish it!

Oh, and there’s one more thing. As usual, Clem and Those Gundam Guys have volunteered ourselves to “Decorate” the Bluefin booth so we’re working on a 7-foot tall Unicorn Gundam that Bandai had built and paid $6000 to ship to the US. We went over the weekend and began the process of putting down a glosscoat so we can put on the decals I’m rendering for it. Clem’s got a stack of do-it-yourself decal sheets, which is good because it needed a lot of little red warning logos.

We had a bit of a mix-up with the decal paper (we thought we had clear but it was white, so we had to rush-order some clear sheets), and rendering the warning decals took a LOT longer than I had planned because the warning logos on the Unicorn are TEXTY as hell and usually run 3-4 long lines of text so all my existing simple warning logos weren’t going to cut it.

After some stressful trial and error with clearcoating the inkjet-printed decals (I’ve never done this before, Samuel Decal always prints my stuff) I finally settled on using Testor’s Decal Bonder. When in doubt (which I definitely was) go with the stuff that’s made for what you are doing.

I printed at least 100 decals for this thing on four and a half 8.5” x 11” decal sheets. I even used the white decal sheets to print “white” decals in negative over a gray and blue background so we could have decals for the gun, feet and backpack. Last Wednesday Clem (Gamerabaenre), Angel and I spent about five hours furiously decaling the Unicorn. It was awesome!

Clem and Angel went back that Friday and did the panel lines and sprayed some pearl in the red psycho frame parts to make them more interesting. I was doing my fatherly duties that night while my wife went out, so I haven’t seen the finished product, but it will be at Anime Expo this weekend, so come check it out!

Oh yeah, it should also travel along with Bluefin to their booths at ComicCon, Otakon and the New York Anime Festival/ComicCon so you can see it there, too.