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Archive for September, 2011

Unicorn Gundam… Otra Vez

September 27th, 2011 No comments

For those that are Spanish-impaired, “Otra Vez” means “Again”…

Steve at Bluefin called us up last week hoping to get some TLC for the Unicorn. Back in early summer we spruced up the 7-foot-tall Unicorn he got from Bandai with some extra detailing and decals. Unfortunately, the polyurethane clearcoat we used yellowed pretty badly (especially after being baked in the heat of a container and then left out in the sun during transport back and forth across the country). Also, the Unicorn took some damage from rough handling.

Since Clem and Angel will be out of town and I’m trying like hell to get my GM Team build done we didn’t have a lot of time to work. We debated repainting the whole thing but thought that would take up too much time so we went with weathering it with the idea to make all the yellowing and scrapes look like battle wear.

Your typical garage: washer, dryer, lawnmower, kid’s toys, 7-foot-tall robot…
Gundam in my Garage

I took delivery Saturday morning and had to explain to all my neighbors what the heck this thing was. You see, I build these models and the nationwide distributor is local and we help him out sometimes, blah blah blah. I’m a anime Gunpla nerd freak.

Angel, Clem (Gamerabaenre) and Manny (mbizzle) came over around noon on Sunday and after a bit of debate the Mexicans got to weathering using medium gray pastels while the Chinese guy started adding paint chips. We were going to put him on supplies, but…

Gundam Group Effort 1

Gundam Group Effort 2

Anyway, the Unicorn has no head at the moment. It’s somewhere in a box in the Bluefin warehouse. Somewhere. We weathered the rest of it in just a few hours and then the other guys all poisoned themselves as we did a group flatcoat. I had my mask, so I had fun watching them turn red and then run out of the garage for some air and hen run back in and keep spraying.

Unicorn Weathering Complete

Unicorn Weathering Complete

Unicorn Weathering Complete

Unicorn Weathering Complete

I think it came out pretty good. It looks like a ship out of star wars all stained and discolored. It’s got a lot more definition now and looks a lot less like a chunk of wood. Clem said since it’s all beat up and missing a head we should pose the gun pointing up in the famous “final shot” pose. Haha!

September (and August) Update

September 27th, 2011 No comments

I haven’t put up a post in a really long time but there hasn’t been one big thing to post about, just little things and some slow progress on my kits.

In late July I took a road trip with several of Those Gundam Guys to ComicCon. I had never been before so it was a novelty but I didn’t really care for it. There was a good panel on resin casting but aside from that the most interesting thing that happened was that I went to go geek out on Scott Hards at the HLJ booth but when he saw the vendor pass I had from Bluefin and went totally cold on me. That was awkward. I didn’t try to explain anything because I wasn’t going to throw Bluefin under the bus, but I like HLJ, too. It made me reflect on the state of the hobby. At least here in Southern California we have this great Gunpla store (Robot4Less, no I don’t work for them… but they are kind of my buddies since I’m there a few times a month) and we want to support it, and Bandai is really pushing to get Gunpla into America via American-based sellers so that’s great. Anime and Gunpla seem to be solidy on the rise here in America. But as much as things have progressed, we still don’t have everything. While Scott Hards was giving me the cold shoulder at ComicCon I had a couple kits on the way from HLJ. Earlier in the year I had ordered some Macross items from them because nobody “legit” in the US carries it because of the whole Harmony Gold Robotech/Macross licensing debacle. I wonder in time if gunpla will become so mainstream in the US that regularly checking out the Japanese vendor sites will become a thing of the past?

Anyway, here’s Gamerabaenre’s account of the day:
Comic Con 2011

August included a family camping trip and a build gathering at my house.

It was pretty uneventful except for the part where Clem hit one of the neighborhood kids with his car. Actually, it was more like one of the neighborhood kids hit his car. I was at Robot4Less with a group of people when it happened but when Terry called me and said the street was swarming with cops, firemen and ambulances, I was pretty sure I knew which group of kids the “victim” came from. They’re about 7-11 years old and play back and forth across the street with no parental supervision. It was a matter of time… And what have the parents done since then to deal with the issue? They got some cones to put up in the street when the kids are playing. Still no adult supervision. Nice.

I’ve been working on the GM Team diorama group build thing with Those Gundam Guys. I’ve spent plenty of money locally on that project (I bought 4 of the 6 kits I’m using in it from Robot4Less). We’ve got a pretty good start on the group base and I’ve worked out how it’s all going to look. We got together a couple weekends ago and worked on the base in a coordinated effort to get it… closer to done.

Pinned GMs

Pinned GMs

John Woo GM

John Woo GM

Brandon the Bearded One aplpies plaster paper.

Brandon the Bearded One aplpies plaster paper.

At the last official build gathering a group went to R4L and I worked out a deal with Jeff and we split a pair of the HGUC/UC Hardgraph Ground War sets so that we could each get one MS and one each of the tank, hovertruck, Wappa and troops/accessories. I later sold of my MS kit to another member, so I managed to just get the vehicles for about $13.

TinyTanks

TinyTanks

I put these little kits together at the build gathering. They’re pretty impressive. The tank and hover truck are each about 20 pieces and despite being only 2 inches long have some really great detail. The Wappa isn’t quite as good but to be fair it’s probably not even an inch long. I’m putting some work into replacing some of the stowage rails on the back of the tank with actual metal wire. On the kit it’s just solid plastic slabs and it’s the only bad part of the kit. The bottom of the railing is mesh on the “real” thing and at that scale I’ll accept solid plastic, but the top is open railing and really has to be replaced (at least according to my AMS). The Wappa has similar issues where solid slabs of plastic are supposed to represent railing. I may fix it or I may just leave it out. The cost-to-benefit ratio is not that great for the Wappa.

The rest of the project is primered plastic. Between these GMs, the not-Rick Dom II and my Super Valkyrie (officially shelved until the group build is done) there is a LOT of primered plastic around my workbench…
Surface prep on the GMs is almost done and after that I’m looking forward to really finishing this build quickly and maybe getting the Valk done by the SCGMC.

The other news is that I’ve given into Roy’s requests and prodding and put some of my kits up for sale at Robot4Less. I have mixed feelings about selling my stuff. On the one hand after going to all the contests and then sitting on my shelves for a couple years, what am I getting out of them? On the other hand, I spent months on these projects and the 6 or 7 models I’m selling represent about 2 years of work and half of my total collection. I’m hoping to make enough from them to buy a DSLR camera but who knows…