Archive

Archive for July, 2013

Child of Mecha – Happy (Re)Birthday!

July 21st, 2013 No comments

com_logo

Back in the day before I was “worthy” of being part of a serious model building community, there was a website and forum called .”Child of Mecha.” Unfortunately it shut down around 2007, just about the time I was getting really into serious Gunpla modeling.I was a member of a few other forums, but they’ve kind of dropped off in the years since. Tim, who runs CoM is re-launching his site and forum and it’s been totally redesigned and tested to merge with current social media. So come check it out and let’s rebuild a strong online national/international online Gunpla community.

Click on the picture links above and below to get to the newly-launched CoM site. You can also find CoM on Facebook.

com_logo

Categories: Generic Ramblings Tags:

Almost 6 month of “Progress”

July 21st, 2013 No comments

After completing my T34/76 I began work on a large project that was meant to be my entry in the 2013 Gunpla Builders World Cup. It was meant to be a 2-part diorama with 2 heavily-modified 1/100 G-Fighters flying in formation in one section and a 1/35 Core Fighter and some crew members posed near it in the other section. I got some work done on it but then put it aside once it became clear that household projects and two kids were taking away most if not all of my modeling time and the amount of progress I was making was depressingly unsatisfying.

Here’s some of the work I accomplished before I shelved it:

01-IMG_6276

02-IMG_6277

04-IMG_6282

06-IMG_6286

08-IMG_6290

10-IMG_6296

12-IMG_6300

15-IMG_6310

17-IMG_6317

19-IMG_6320

20-IMG_6324

21-IMG_6330

22-IMG_6333

23-IMG_6335

I then went on a bit of a model-building hiatus as I completed several Spring Cleaning projects. I did one round of eBay sales as I got rid of some models I had decided I was probably never going to build. Next we went to work on the garage, going through a lot of boxes and throwing away some things and putting others in the garage sale pile.

After the garage sale we turned our focus to home improvement. We added a large patio to the back yard and a doorway from the back of the house to the back yard. We got that done in time to host my younger daughter’s first birthday party.

Once that was done I gave myself a break for a few weeks and I managed to completed the cockpit of this 1/48 scale iDOLM@STER F-22 Raptor.

25-IMG_4575

26-IMG_4578

27-IMG_6372

28-IMG_6374

29-IMG_6376

30-IMG_6379

31-IMG_6385

32-IMG_6391

33-IMG_6393

34-IMG_6396

35-IMG_6397

36-IMG_6402

37-IMG_6403

38-IMG_6405

39-IMG_6408

40-IMG_6412

41-IMG_6416

42-IMG_6419

43-IMG_6422

44-IMG_6425

45-IMG_6428

After that it was back to work. I spent about a month cleaning up, photographing, boxing up selling and shipping off a bunch of collectibles I had accumulated over the course of about 8 years back in my 20s. About 5 years ago I boxed it all up (loose and un-dusted) and it was just taking up space in my garage. When all 40+ eBay auctions were done I was sick of doing it but I got over $1500 for it all. I took some of that money and got myself a DSLR camera. The rest went into the vacation fund.

Once the auctions were over we went on vacation in Cancun and then came back and threw a 4th of July party and then it was Anime Expo. Next weekend is my daughter’s birthday party and after that our calendar starts to ease up.

Just before going on vacation Bluefin asked us to help them build 25 HGUC Sinanjus for display at Barnes and Noble bookstores, who are looking to expand their range of merchandise beyond books and music. I built half of one at the July build gathering and adopted the one Ed was working on. I grabbed one more from the case to take with me. I took these three kits with me to Cancun and managed to complete assembly of two of them there and just start the third. I built most of the rest of that third one during Clem’s Gunpla panels at Anime Expo and recently finished it at home. I’ve also “processed” a fourth from my own stash by cutting all the pieces off the sprues so I can carry it around in a Ziploc bag. I hope to finish this one in the next week and then panel line them all and trade them in for a nice credit at Bluefin
46-IMG_2492

After that I don’t know what I’ll work on… Finish the F-22? Go back to the G-Fighter diorama? Start something different? We’ll see.

Categories: Generic Ramblings Tags:

Anime Expo 2013 and the Gunpla Builder’s World Cup

July 21st, 2013 No comments

Anime Expo began this year on the 4th of July. I don’t know if it was because of the holiday or because I got there later than usual, but the line for badge pick-up was crazy. I waited three hours for my badge, twice as long as I ever have before. People in line are excited and goofy and there are cosplayers mixed in and we’ve all got our smart phones so I wasn’t too miserable until the start of the third hour when the line was losing its charm and there was a long stretch in the blazing sun. Rather than looking forward to the con I was just looking forward to getting to the shady part of the line that was near the end. I literally threw my hands of and yelled “Yes!” when I stepped into the shade.

Since I had to get back home for the 4th of July party I was hosting, and I wasn’t anticipating a THREE HOUR line, I essentially had to drop off my entries for the Gunpla Builders World Cup, say “Hi” to the guys at Bluefin and then turn around and go right back home just in time to be late to my own party. So much for Day One…

The next day I carpooled with Clem, Angel and Clem’s wife, Yuki. After we got there and they got their badges (thankfully they didn’t have to wait in line with Clem’s presenter connections) Clem and Angel set up their entries in the Bluefin booth for the GBWC. While they were doing that I took photos of the entrants with my new Canon Rebel SL1 camera.

Next we walked the exhibit hall for an hour or so comparing prices and stock at the various Gunpla booths and sometime around this time we were joined by Dave. Next it was off to Clem’s G-Rated Gunpla panel. Due to past complaints about Clem’s completely disrespectful sense of humor, last year’s panel was late at night, poorly advertised and poorly attended. This year he requested two, one in the daytime, where he promised to be on good behavior, and one at night for an 18+ crowd where anything went.

The G-rated panel was pretty boring. Not that it wasn’t interesting and informative (for new model builders), but model building is kind of a dry topic when you take away Clem’s equal-opportunity racist jokes and sexual innuendo. There were a lot of set-ups for jokes that were left hanging there as Clem chanted to himself, “G-rated, G-Rated, G-Rated.” I got lots of progress done on the HGUC Sinanju I brought to snap. There were about 170 people at this panel and Angel and I stood by the exit door and passed out flyers for this November’s Southern California Gundam Model Contest to almost all of them.

Next we crossed the street to a welcome parking lot full of food trucks. Back in the bad old days you had to eat whatever you could carry around all day in your backpack or eat the overpriced crappy food inside the convention center. Last year a few food trucks were scattered in the streets around the convention center, but this year they were organized and there were a dozen or so trucks parked in the lot caddy-corner from the front entry of the convention center. The first day I got Philipino-style nachos with Adobo chicken and the next day I got some really good Indian butter chicken and samosas. So much better than cheese and crackers.

The last big event of the day was the Gundam Unicorn Episode 6 screening. However, it began with a panel by the director and Clem got disgusted and left. Angel, Yuki and Dave went with him back to the exhibit hall but I stayed because there was nothing really for me in the hall and it’s always more fun to watch anime in a crowd of nerds.

After that I caught up with the guys in the hall and then we pretty much took off. I was home in time for dinner.

The next day was Saturday. Saturday is always the big day of the convention with the best events and the largest crowds and this day was CROWDED. It felt like the most crowded AX day I’ve seen but maybe I’m biased by the memory of the three hour line. We carpooled again (with Sue Yin playing the part of Yuki) but I went off on my own once I got there to see the Attack on Titan panel and screening. I got there almost a half hour late (a dog loose on the 60 freeway and lines to park held us up) but the panelists were late, too (probably as stuck in traffic as we were) so they hadn’t let people in yet. Unfortunately about 50 feet in front of me they cut off the line saying the room was full. Oh well, back to the hall.

We walked the hall some more and hung out at Bluefin. We were talking to Casval so long that Steve asked us to get out of the booth. Heh…

We hit up the lunch trucks again and then went to the Production I.G. panel. I was anxious to hear about the new Ghost in the Shell OVA. About half way through, we got a text from Casval that they were going to announce the winners of the GBWC. So, after deciding it would be rude not to, we got up and sneaked out of the panel to return to the hall. But then when we got there, somebody from Bandai had disappeared. Then Xavier was gone… We totally could have stayed, lol.

Clem’s Nu box art diorama didn’t win. I kind of thought he would but I think the Japanese judges just didn’t go for the concept. The winner was a nicely done Zaku Cannon in a really nice and uncharacteristic flying fight pose. I never caught the name of the winner since Xavier never really threw it (he said it was probably Thai and he didn’t want to butcher it, so he just kind of mumbled it). Clem’s Nu got best diorama, a guy named Mai who we didn’t know got best 1/100 for his up-armed Duel Gundam. A kid got the well-deserved Junior award for his large Zeta-Gundam hangar diorama and I got best 1/144 for my Rick Dom and GM “Ambushed” diorama. I really expected Vin to win 1/144 with his really nicely-built GN-X variant but the Japanese judges… they weren’t so much into basic modeling skills. One of the winners’ kits featured prominent gouges around the nubs and unfixed seam lines. It kind of took the wind out of my sails to win a contest where the judges awarded a model that looked great from two feet away but had issues on closer inspection. We asked the guy who built the model in question, and his response was, “I don’t do sanding.” Haha, to me that’s like a pilot saying “I don’t do take offs.” Maybe we can get him to our build gatherings and brainwash him into a case of Advanced Modeler Syndrome.

While this was going on I was missing another panel (the Japanese voice actor who voiced Jerid in Zeta Gundam). I wanted to go up and ask him how it felt to play the guy who loses over and over throughout a 50-episode series.

Anyway, once the GBWC hubbub was over and the hall was closed we wandered a bit and settled at the Lounge 21 (I think that’s what they call it) where you can relax and have a drink. Brandon popped over for a while and it was kind tense since his girlfriend and Clem had recently decided they don’t like each other. Awkward…

Finally, it was off to Clem’s 18+ panel. It was more fun than the G-rated version and I learned something. Not about models but about something really horrible that can happen to the female anatomy. Shudder. I ducked out a bit early to go the “Ghost in the Shell: Arise” screening. It was awesome. I’m really glad they’re making new GITS works and this one’s a prequel so you get to see how the team forms and Motoko’s teenage years.

And that was it. I skipped Sunday because there were still lots of things to do at home (that garage still isn’t clean yet, ugh, but there’s nothing to stop us now, I will have a car parked in there in the next week, I swear). I had a nice mellow Anime Expo. Last year I ran from panel to panel trying to absorb every bit of AX (maybe trying to recapture the magic of the first few years I went) and came away tired and a little disappointed. This year I spent less time planning, more time with my friends, went with the flow and left wanting more instead of burnt out and maybe that’s the better way to do it. I think I realized this year that while each guest or event might be the only time you’ll get to ever see them or it, you’ll probably be able to see something like it the next year.

Categories: Events Tags: