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Posts Tagged ‘gundam’

GM Assault Diorama DONE!

November 23rd, 2011 No comments


After a little more than six months of work, my part of the Those Gundam Guys GM Build diorama is done. 6 mobile suits, 2 support vehicles, 1/6 diorama base and a lot of paint and weathering. On the one hand quantity took precedence over quality and there are lots of small flaws. On the other hand these little models came out pretty cool and I got a lot of good shading and weathering practice, which I needed.
Follow this link to the completed Diorama launchpad page which leads to pictures of all the subjects

SCGMC – 24 Hours to go!

November 11th, 2011 1 comment

So… 24 hours to go. Let’s take an inventory.

From the left we have 1:48 mega Zaku parts that have to be shaded and then brought up to various points in the clearcoat/decals/panel line wash process for my demo at SCGMC. Then there’s the orphaned HGUC Zaku that needs panel lines and paint chips and assorted clearcoats. Then there’s 4 GM’s that are mid-paint-chipped (3 more to go) and then need some pastel work, lenses painted and battle damage painted. Then I have to go to Robot4Less to get my models that I’m taking tomorrow and pack up all the models I plan to take. then I’m gonna go borrow my parents’ minivan and swing by Clem’s to pick up stuff to take tomorrow morning.

Holy crap it’s a good thing I don’t work today!

Gearing up for the Southern California Gundam Model Contest – SCGMC

November 6th, 2011 No comments

It’s another busy time as Those Gundam Guys prepare for the first annual SCGMC next weekend, November 12th in Fullerton, CA. We’ve been emailing each other back and forth and making plans. We’ve got the plan pretty much set, so go check it out:

SCGMC Info Page

We’re having categories for Gundam UC and Alternate Universe (each split into small- and large-scale) as well as non-Gundam mecha, anime figures and dioramas. We’ve put together an impressive raffle including a massive 1/144 Dendrobium, 4 MG kits (at current count) and a bunch of other kits.

Last night we got together to organize for the event. Clem and Dave prepared the trophies and award coins. We also tried to finish our massive group project, a six-piece diorama of several teams of GMs assaulting a Zeon remnant base circa UC 0083-4. The dio is pretty much done, but the GMs still need some work. We’ve got an orphan corner that’s been through two TGGs that have given up on it, so we divided up the kits between us to finish off. At least I got the Zaku, and not another GM… ATM I’m waaaaay GM’ed out. Here’s some not-quite-finished shots of my section:

OrangeCon 2011

October 9th, 2011 6 comments

Well, this year was definitely the most interesting OrangeCon ever in the years I’ve been going to OrangeCon. Those Gundam Guys had a pretty good showing, we filled out our category pretty well:

TGG Entries at OrangeCon

TGG Entries at OrangeCon

There should be 2 more Gundam kits in the first picture and another piece of our crazy diorama to the left of the one above but somebody left early. We’ll get to that.

Roy from Robot4Less also had a couple of tables and while I don’t think he sold a lot of Gundam kits I know he did sell a few and seemed pretty busy selling paint and tools. I haven’t talked to him since the show, I’m curious to see how he did.

I set up my models and then left the show room immediately and spent a lot of time in the vendor room digging through photoetch parts and decals for my airplane and tank models (didn’t find much but got a couple things). When I got back everybody had set or was setting up their models. Me, Nathan (Pascalior), Angel, Clem (Gamerabaenre), Manny (mbizzle), Brandon (bhop), Casval (Sid R’icel), and Sean (Grand Admiral Shawn) had all entered models. It was fun to see Nathan there shaking as he set up his model, because he was all nervous. I remember being that way several years ago. Now I just throw the models in the box and go…

Before lunch I actually took some time to walk around the show room. I had to laugh when I got to this one:
Nopales in Afghanistan?

Not that there’s anything wrong with the model, it’s very well done and I think it even won a prize. But since this is a Striker, a modern armored fighting vehicle and it’s in the desert, there’s the automatic assumption that it’s got to be Afghanistan or Iraq. Now, look at the cactuses.

They’re Nopales!!! WTF are Nopales? They’re Mexican cactuses! Nopales are a pretty big part of Mexican culture. If you’re really Mexican, people joke that they can see the Nopal on your forehead. They’re even on the flag, the eagle is sitting on it:

Info about and a picture of the Mexican Flag

Wikipedia entry on the Nopal

Okay, so maybe the Strikers on maneuvers stateside in the southwest somewhere… But what about this WWII era British 25-Pounder? lulz

Nopales vs. Rommel

Hey, when I put a haystack in my Mustang vs. Citroen diorama, I researched European haystacks, because different Europeans make different-shaped haystacks… I can laugh at somebody putting the really really wrong kind of cactus on his diorama. Especially one that screams, “Viva Mexico!”

Anyway, a little before lunch I got a douchebaggy idea… What if we all pooled our People’s Choice Award votes and agreed to put them on the same Gunpla kit? The few of us that were right there did a little huddle and agreed that Angel’s The O was the most impressive. We even got Angel to vote for his own without knowing, we just gave him the number and didn’t tell him which one it was. We imagined the judges counting the ballots and rolling their eyes at all the votes for the Gundam model but then some other model winning. There were at least 40 or 50 entrants, and there were just six of us…

Anyway, after that the show room closes for three hours for judging. Normally we hit up a sit-down restaurant for a long lunch but Nathan had to go teach a class so we just went to Chipotle. We then went and killed some time at Brookhurst Hobbies. I spent some time following him and got some tips on Vallejo paint and pigments. After that we hung out at Clem’s for a while. About 3 we headed back and the drama began…

So Clem entered his Asuka bust in the contest. The contest rules state no nudity, but while Asuka’s new plugsuit is opaque:

Asuka in her Rebuild of Evangelion Plugsuit

Clem painted the lighter parts in a skin color that made it look like she was strategically “you could get away with it on TV after 10 pm” not really naked.

The head judge saw the bust and disqualified it for nudity. Clem had one of his classic freakouts. Sean tried to explain it and calm him down and I tried to remind him that we’re trying to get these people to come to our contest next month, and this wasn’t the time to make a scene and alienate the IPMS crowd but he pretty much said “Fuck it” and packed up and left. Oh boy…

Anyway the rest of us shrugged our shoulders and hung out to get the contest results. I got third place with my Rick Dom:

Rick Dom II

Angel got second with his O and Clem won in absentia with his Sazabi. Clem also placed in the diorama category and in the humor category with his Bearguy. We all looked at each other like, “You gonna pick up his trophy?” but nobody did.

I was a little disappointed that Casval’s RG Zaku didn’t win but a few minutes later they called “Casual” up to get his best Out-of-Box prize so that was great! Later on, Brandon placed for his US tank crewman figure.

My favorite Zaku

Overall, this was the best-judged Gundam category I’ve seen at an IPMS event. The three winners at Anime Expo all got prizes here, and my Rick Dom got one, too, so aside from the drama I was quite pleased.

Those Gundam Guys Sweep (Finally)

The real sore spot was what happened in the 1/48th scale tanks category that Brandon had entered. While Brandon didn’t necessarily expect to win, he was “surprised” by the winner they had picked. I went over a bit later and looked, but forgot my camera. The winner was an OOB Tamiya Sturmgeschutz in desert yellow. It wasn’t a piece of crap or anything but it definitely had some issues. There were some parts of it like the cupola and a rail behind the “turret” that were clearly a lighter shade than the rest of the kit, the kit had a slight sheen to it, and the cupola’s sheen was a bit glossier. As picky as I think of IPMS modelers being, this didn’t seem right. On the other hand 2nd and 3rd place were a pair of Marders with a lot more going on in them.

So we’re standing there talking, they’ve announced all the awards in our categories and we’re just waiting for them to stop calling out awards so we can pack up our models and go when I hear over the PA “…Angel De La Cruz for his The O.” By this time I totally wasn’t paying attention we were mainly talking about Clem so I asked Nathan, “What was that for?” He said “Something about People’s Choice.”

What??? Really? Yep.

The people have spoken

The people have spoken

I have not laughed so damn hard for so long in YEARS. And I’m trying not to because I didn’t want it to look like we’re all busting up because we had punked OrangeCon. I mean, we had… but we never meant to, nobody thought it would work. it was just SIX VOTES!!! I guess everybody else must have voted for themselves… and we were like the dogs that had caught the car.

Anyway, after I went away and made a couple texts and could stop laughing I went back and packed up. I took Angel back to Clem’s because he had stormed off and left Angel stranded without a ride. We didn’t have Casval’s big ‘ol trophy or Brandon’s figure trophy for his tanker, but otherwise here was the TGG take:

The take

Categories: Events Tags: , , , ,

Dom is Done!

October 8th, 2011 No comments

It's 2am...

Still up at 2AM??? Oh yeah, nobody parties like Those Gundam Guys!

OK I was really just putting the “finishing” touches on my Rick Dom II. I say “finishing” because as soon as I’m done posting and eating my little breakfast I’m going to go obsess over it a bit more. OrangeCon is today and I’m leaving in an hour or so. I still want to add a few fresh paint chips and get a little more dirt on the feet. This is my first time using MIG Pigments and I’m learning how to use them still. Anyway, here’s the Sneak Peak:

Rick Dom Completed 1

Rick Dom Completed 2

Rick Dom Completed 3

Rick Dom Completed 4

Unicorn Done!

October 5th, 2011 No comments

During the week, Casval dropped by on the way home from work at Bluefin and brought me the Unicorn’s head. It was in terrible shape! It was much yellower than the rest of the Unicorn, especially the left side. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture before I started work, but here’s how it looked after an hour or two of sanding:

Those really yellow areas… the whole head looked like that. This was much yellower that the other yellow parts on the body of the unicorn, which presented a problem because the pastels weren’t going to cover it and painting over it all would make the head whiter than the body.

My solution was to mask off all the non-white parts of the head and apply a mist coat of white from a spray can of Mr. Color Gundam Color White (or whatever it’s called). At this point it was whiter than the body, but hopefully close enough that the pastels would blend it in.

Next, I got to work with the pastels, though I never got a good after picture because near the end I was rushing to get it done so that Steve could deliver it to be carefully boxed up in a new crate for its next cross-country trip.

I fixed a couple of other issues. Casval pointed out that the leg thrusters were still their original gray, so I pulled them off (a pain in the ass given that I couldn’t get a straight shot at the screws that held them in place) and stuck them on skewers (they barely held…).

Another thing I did was to glue on one of the backpack thrusters that had stripped out and could no longer be held in place by its screw:

The thumb was broken and the beam rifle was swinging loosely in the hand, so I expoxied it securely in place:

I then wiped off the excess epoxy with alcohol. The large Gundam statues I had seen in Hong Kong had similarly damaged hands, but they had been kind of sloppily fixed, so I wanted to do better.

After the glue dried, I painted over it with Tamiya Medium Gray. Luckily it was a near-perfect match.

Back to the head, I sprayed a flat coat over the pastels on the head and then paint chipped it with Testor’s Steel. About this time it was Saturday morning around 10 AM and Steve called wondering if I could wrap things up. So I let the steel dry as much as possible and then flat –coated it again, so I could mask off the V-Fin:

It had gotten a bit scratched in the sanding process, but then when I pulled that masking tape off after painting the head, some of the paint came off, so a repaint was necessary.

As soon as it was dry I took off the tape and within 15 minutes Jose was there with the big truck to pick it up. I never got a good after picture, they’re all either backlit or in super-bright sunshine, but I did get one final shot…

In all, I put in about 9-10 hours on this project. I’m glad it came out looking a lot better, but I had a real alte night last Friday, first working on the Unicorn, then working on my own model. I’m still scrambling to finish My Dom for OrangeCon.

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…

See My Models at Robot4Less

July 15th, 2011 No comments

Recently the Robot4Less store got a nice big glass display case. Roy, the owner invited me to bring in some of my built models. I’m always glad to put up my models because to be totally honest I like to show them off, but also I hope they generate more interest in the hobby. Hopefully it helps Roy sell more models, too! I know I get inspired when I see other people’s work. I took five models, the Cherudim, the Peace and Freedom, the Enact, The Hazel OWSLA and the Sazabi:

I put up a little sign pointing people to my site as well as ThoseGundamGuys.org and the Gamerabaenre Forum. I also got a Southern California Gundam Model Competition sign put up. There’s another thing I want to generate interest in!

I talked to Clem (Gamerabaenre) and he said he might take a couple kits over as well. I’ll probably rotate different models through the case over time.

Roy asked if I would be willing to sell some of the models I brought it. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I have no idea what to charge for a kit and I’d have to decide which (if any) I’d be willing to part with…

ANA Gundam Complete!

July 14th, 2011 No comments


Check out all the pictures:

CLICK HERE to go to the Photo Page

Anime Expo 2011 Day 4

July 10th, 2011 No comments

The last day of AX is usually kind of slow, but it's kind of nice not to fight through a crowd everywhere.

Ahhh… the last day of Anime Expo. This time I went with Juan and Lucio since we were going to meet up with the rest of the family at the 4th of July Angels game after we left AX.

After we got there we split up since they wanted to see an early movie (The Girl Who Leapt through Time, it’s excellent but I had already seen it) and then take one last pass through the exhibition hall and I wanted to do the hall first and then watch a movie. I went back to Bluefin, of course. Steve wasn’t around, which was too bad because I wanted to work out a deal with him. I took some time and packed up my models. Most had left on Sunday night after the competition since most people had a 2-day pass for Saturday and Sunday. Once my models were gone, there were only a couple of kits left. By then Steve was back so I popped my proposition on him. He owed me money for purchasing supplies for the Unicorn Gundam, and, of course, he had a kit that I wanted, so I traded what he owed me for credit toward a Megasize Zaku. Yeah it’s got seamlines (they’re not as bad as the ones on the Gundam) and ratchety polycap joints but it’s HUGE and in 1/48 scale, my favorite scale from my old airplane days so there will be plenty of to-scale diorama material out there. I’ve already got a few ideas for this kit and if I pull them off it could be a real show stopper. I get kind of giddy thinking about the hugeness of that kit. It’s like when I was a kid and I got that Monogram 1/48 B-29 for Christmas.

With everything packed up I headed back to the car to drop it all off and then made one last trip through the hall. Since I was alone and it was much less crowded I could really check out what people had for sale, but I still didn’t find much. There was an Anaheim Electronics shirt just like one I had seen and passed on in Japan. There were some Haruhi shirts, but I was really after something either Gundam or Macross. So for the first year, I left AX without a shirt. But I did talk to Brandon about getting me a VF-1S shirt like the one he was wearing when I saw him earlier at AX, so maybe I’ll still get a shirt from AX, just kind of indirectly. And that was it, I was done with the hall, and except for this goofy wooden moustache I had picked up for my daughter, the only things I took home were from Bluefin.

The Exhibit Hall was less crowded so I could actually stand back and get full frame pics of these cars.

Itashaaaaaa! I want to get an Itasha car kit some day...

Usually I tell myself not to come home with nothing but Gunpla, but this year there wasn’t too much else I wanted from AX. Just 6 months ago I was in Japan, so I guess I was good on Japanese culture for the time being. I’ve got plenty of Anime to watch, so I’ll just watch it and build and have more things to be into next year. It’s kind of a bummer that found so little to buy this year, but it’s nice to come away from AX with a good chunk of money. My birthday is always right around AX so, I go there with birthday money. I always say I’ll spend my money on tools and equipment when I have a chunk of Birthday or Christmas money but I always end up buying kits. This year I’m actually going to spend my money on tools for my models (resin casting, here I come).

After giving up on the Exhibit Hall, I headed off to room 309. It took me a while to find (it’s two levels up just outside the Hall) because I never knew it existed. It was HOT way up there but I found it and settled in with a good-sized crowd to watch Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro It’s only the second Lupin anything I had seen and it was great. Another good movie to watch in a crowd.

Next I had a decision to make. My original plan was to go see One Piece, since I’ve never seen it at all, but I was just coming off Lupin (from thieves to pirates?) and so I went to go see Final Fantasy Advent Children instead. Another reason I went there was because that’s where Juan and Lucio were going, so afterwards we could all take off together.

I wish I had gone to see One Piece. The room was packed and they kept squeezing people in. They even stopped the movie and turned on the lights at one point to do it. Even after that, people kept shuffling people in and out, so people were wading through my row and the row in front of me half a dozen times. I ended up behind this couple with the BIGGEST heads I’ve ever seen. Of course all of them was big. Roundboy had the nerve to shout out “You should get taller!” when people complained they couldn’t read the subtitles. I thought, “You should get thinner, and then get a younger girlfriend.” I said it quietly to the people behind me who had complained, but Clem would have yelled it out, I wish he was there. This guy’s girlfriend was like at least 15 years older than him. I had seen them in line on day one and it’s one of those couples where at first you wonder, mother and son, or couple? Shudder.

But then it got worse; the last guy who settled in next to me was an ultra-fanboy who immediately asked me if I knew who so-and-so Flynn was. I didn’t care, so I guessed it was the guy from Tron but that didn’t stop him (I wish I had come up with the guy from Tangled, that would have freaked him out even more, because he probably wouldn’t have known who it was). He informed me it was the voice actor for some guy in the movie and it was the same guy who voiced Raiden in Metal gear Solid.

Yeah, I still don’t give a rat’s ass. Then he asked me if I knew what some other thing was and I told him I was just TRYING to watch the movie and I think he sensed that my next response was going to be STFU so he then turned around and started explaining pretty much everything to the people behind me.

Maybe it was the circumstances, or maybe Pixar movies just own on whatever Sony and Square/Enix have got going in CGI (even back in 2005 when FFAC was made, Pixar was between The Incredibles and Cars). The characters were flat (and often annoying), the animation was jerky, and the dialogue (much of which was over cell phones) was corny and didn’t make a ton of sense. It was kind of like a Transformers movie. I guess I should blame myself some, lots of people there obviously loved the movie and I DID go to the movie that followed up on a videogame I never finished playing…

Sadly, on that kind of low note it was time to leave if we were going to get to the Angels game. We took a slow stroll out through the LA Convention Center and I soaked up the last bits of AX.

Looking back, I’ve completely changed my outlook on AX. The first few times I ever went were back in the 90’s or early 2000’s when it was still at either Long Beach or Anaheim and I went by myself just to buy the pass to the Exhibit hall so I could buy things. I bought my Perfect Grade Gundam and my MG Sazabi from HLJ back when they used to go to AX. And then I stopped going for several years because the lines were so chaotic and you had to pay to park and pay to get in and it wasn’t worth it just to shop. One year I went and couldn’t figure out which of the massive lines I was supposed to be in (and none of the staffers I could find seemed to know either) and left in complete frustration.

The last 4 years I’ve started hanging out with Those Gundam guys and I’ve purchased a 4-day pass and now I look forward to Anime Expo every year for the experience of being in the nerdy fantasyland that Anime Expo is. It’s fun running into people I know and just hanging out and soaking in all the energy and excitement in the crowd. Being around all those young people is fun and makes me feel both young and old at the same time. As the years go by I’m more and more glad to just go and be in the middle of it all. It’s like a vacation.

And so finally… Cosplay!

Here was a decent Haruhi. I was just going to take a picture of her, but then I decided I guess I should include her boyfriend so I wouldn't seem so pervy.

Titans!

Nice, but no hamburgers???

lol. It even said GN-0000 on the side. This girl had become separated from her friends and had no cell phone. She was all lost and alone....

Multi-part One Piece!

Somebody call child protective services. Right now.

Ha!

Just for Christiana...

Get ready to toss that bitch! But wait, why is Nick taking pills right now? Noob!

The vanes on this girl's backpack moved up and down via servos. I should have taken a picture from behind.

I came out of a screening and saw this.. thing. So I followed it.

Oh, it's long cat! From behind it was either that or the river spirit from Spirited Away.

A nice Sally. She was with some firends. I wanted to take their picture, too. Heh heh.

Kira!!!! Here's a good Ranka and Sheryl.