Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's Going On, Joe? #3

I made a page on Facebook for the blog.  I will be much quicker to post on there than on here, so if you are interested in keeping up with my bits and nuggets, please do like my page!  Link on the right side of the blog =>

Monday, August 29, 2011

This is a Test, This is only a Test...

I'm curious to know if some of my FAVORITE Gunpla bloggers and YouTubers are viewing my blog...

So, if any of the following folks read my blog, please leave a comment here or better yet, give a shout out on your blog or YouTube Chanel!  In return, I'm going to link to you here!  So if you are on this list, please let me know that I'm on yours.

Busterbeam at Plamo Addiction
Ngee Khiong
G-Slayer at Gunpla Kit n' Kaboodle

rrobbert184 of

Those are just some of the big ones I visit, and I hope that at least some of them visit me.  That's all, just curious.  If you're not on this short list, I may not know about you!  Comment or contact me and I will GLADLY view your blog or YouTube channel!

Until Next Time:  Happy Building!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What's Going On, Joe? #2

The American Economy and Joining the Club

I spoke last time of having not enough space for my too many kits.  This time, I will go into the whys...

Over the summer months when I was actually supposed to be on a buying suspension from Gunpla, Hobby Link Japan just kept pumping out these GREAT deals.  In the midst of that is when I acquired the 1/60 Wing Zero, NG 1/100 Aile Strike, Aegis, and Red Frame Astray, and a slew of 1/144 HG kits from various series.  I also bought the Gunpla Collection 1/288 scale Trading Kits Collection 1 and the 3rd installment of the same series labeled as Gunpla Collection DX or Deluxe series 1.  These are the half sized kits of the original 80's line of Mobile Suit Gundam kits.  I will be having a fun series of post about those as well.

So with all of those kits from HLJ over the summer, my closet has gotten full.  Well, like I said I was supposed to be on a buying hiatus because in September I'll be getting three paychecks.  Yes, the coveted 3rd paycheck!  Where as normally there are only two pay periods in a month, on occasion when there are just the right number of Thursdays in a month and they hit at just the right time and the pay cycles are inline with the stars above and the moon shines brightly upon my wallet and the sun takes its time to set on my bank account, I get a third check unbound to the monthly budgets, bills, and expenditures that strangle my usual two pay checks!  With this third check, I will purchase MULTIPLE ORDERS OF GUNPLA GOODNESS!!!

But where shall I spend this money?!  Hobby Link Japan has served me very well this past year, however, since the credit rating of America has dipped thanks to, well a lot of politics that don't belong on my blog, the United States Dollar has dropped against the Japanese Yen!  Yes, this means my Gunpla Dollar isn't worth enough Gunpla Yens to really make an overseas purchase worth the expenditure.  So in a rare turn of events, after much calculations of exchange rates, shipping cost, and the period of time I have to wait for a package to arrive, I have decided it was time to find an American Based store to quench my thirst for Gundamy Plasticy goodness.

I didn't really have to search far.  I checked up with the good people at Gundam Store and More where I got my part for the Bandai Destiny Gundam from a few posts back.  They have awesome pricing, even with their slight increase they implemented about a month ago.  AND their shipping to me (because I live only a state away, kind of) is really cheap.  But how could I make this even better?

I joined their Gundam Club!  Platinum Membership!  I submitted an order this morning that not only qualified for free shipping, but when it arrives, I will also have my free giveaways that are included in the membership sign up.  I will post more about the membership, the freebies, and my plans for the Gundam.Info giveaway sweepstakes in another posting when I get my package.

Until Next Time:  Happy Building!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What's Going On, Joe? #1

I've decided I need to make some posts about what is going on behind the scenes here in my own little Gunpla World, so I now present to you a new series of posts entitled, "What's Going On, Joe?" where I will pretty much just talk about current projects, purchases, future ideas, and whatever else is going on in my Gunpla World.

First things first:  The Destiny Plan!  I have so many pictures of these two MG Destiny EBM kits, it's not even funny.  Both kits are completely assembled, painted, details, lined, and... put away for a bit.  The only thing I have left to do on the kits are the marking seals but they don't need to go on until just before the final post, which will be a while at the rate I'm going.  I have all of the pictures I need to do a section by section comparison right up to completion, I just haven't had time to sort out all of the pictures, upload them and right up some postings.

Secondly, the Leo Conversion...  This thing is taking a bit more out of me than I originally anticipated.  It's not that anything is going particularly bad, just some things are frustrating me a bit.  It's just a hobby, so I'll let this project sit for a bit until I can bring myself back to it.  Basically, all that is left is making the butt thrusters, getting rid of the chest vents, and sanding it all down.  Then I can prime, paint, line it, and top coat it!  See, not that much left, the hardest part was the head and it just is getting me more frustrated than it needs to be for something intended to be fun.  OH!  I need to carve out the lines around the back and sides of the head too.  Then I still need to figure out what I'll do about weapons.  I have a few ideas, mainly inspired by the work of vegeta8259 on YouTube.  He converted a 1/100 HG Tallgeese III in a similar fashion, but he has done a MUCH better job than I have so far.  So I may look to his work for some guidance.

For the next few weeks, I'll be trying to crank out a bunch of kits.  I'm not going to be doing too much as far as WIPs go on these, but I will try to post pictures of final products.  Every once and I while, I'll get into a kick where I just want to do the minimum required for painting and finishing, I just want to BUILD the darn things.  So the following list of kits I plan on getting done ASAP, hopefully only taking about a week on each one:

1/100 NG Red Frame Astray (Currently clipped, trimmed, and parts are painted, awaiting final assembly, panel lining, and a top coat)
MG RX-78-3 Unit G-3 version 1.0
MG RX-78-3 Unit G-3 version 2.0
MG Guntank
1/100 NG Dynames
1/100 NG Kyrios (TT Hongli)
MG Zeong
1/100 NG Virtue
and MG G-Fighter

NOW!  All of these kits are subject to change based on my mood, so we will see how that list ends up as it goes along.

One of the big reasons for this push to get a bunch of kits built is that the section of my closet devoted to unbuilt kits is FULL.  Seriously, I'll be updating my "Hoard" posts that are linked at the top right of the page under "Obsession over my Collection".  Look at the backlog page and you will see that I have WAY TOO MANY unbuilt kits.  And that list doesn't include what's not here yet...  which I will get to in another post!

Until Next Time: Happy Building!

Friday, August 19, 2011

1/144 Leo Project Part 2

Let the Downgrade Continue!

The ankle guard on the Leo was my biggest worry, and honestly, I still not 100% happy with it.  In fact, I dare say, I'm only about 80% happy with it, but it shall do for the time being.  Here's how it was done:


I took a note card and drew this shape and cut it out


After testing out the shape and making sure it would fit roughly where and how I wanted it to...


I traced it onto some plastic sheeting and cut it out.


This sheet was pretty thin, so it's also flexible.


I test fit the plastic sheet.


And it seems to work out mostly okay.

Here are some test shots so far:





Nearly all of the shaping is complete, I just need to finish up the head (re-cut the lines around the back and sides of the head), get rid of the chest vents, and build the back skirt.  Not sure what I'll do about weapons yet.

Truth be told, I don't think this project will be done in time for the group build...  Bummer, for sure.  But Such is life.  It's just Gunpla after all.

Until Next Time:  Happy Building!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

1/144 Leo Project

Project Down Grade!

A long, long time ago, I found myself wondering if I would ever be able to do modifications on a kit with any confidence.  I had once tried to make a 1/144 Virgo from a 1/144 Veyate and a 1/144 Mercurius and it was decent for a first time kitbasher.  But what I really wanted to do was make a 1/144 Tallgeese into a Leo!  Over at the Gundam Australia Forums, there was a chance for me to finally make myself do just that.  An Ode to Cannon Fodder Group Build featuring only Grunt MS had been posted by ZETA NEWTYPE!  I decided I would join my first ever group build.

I found an old Tallgeese Model, the special clear/metallic Tallgeese III, actually and I decided I had treated it bad enough in the first year of my hobby that it deserved to be butchered!  The first thing to do would be to shorten this guy down a bit.

Tallgeese has VERY long legs, and very long feet.

I took him to Chop Shop!

My fiance bought me this for Christmas last year, glad I finally had a good use for it!

Here are the first set of mods roughly shaped.  I ground down the head quite a bit to make room for some resculpting with some putty, the boot-top knee was cut off, as were the ends of the feet.  I puttied all of that up and will re-shape it later.  I discarded the shoulder armor and put a band of putty around the tops of the arms.  I then made a roughly shaped ankle guard which I will detail in another posting.

I actually started a bit on this kit years ago and have already shaped one of the feet and a knee.

The fresh putty work looks very fat and doesn't quite fit, but I'll make quick work of that with a grinder.

More to come in the future, fellow Gunplars!

Until Next Time:  Happy Building!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Destiny Plan - Part 2

A Tale of Two Destinies - Continued

Christmas time, 2010.  It's cold, damn cold... again.  I again, just happen to have the day off on the NEW coldest, wettest day of the year.  I wake up rather late and, having nothing better to do, surf the web and watch YouTube for a good portion of the "morning".  A few hours into this routine of watching/reading all Gunpla related news and updates, a knock comes to my door!

I go to the door in my jammies and peer through the peep hole.  A Postal Worker! Come to give me fun packages!  But wait, I haven't ordered anything!?  At the very least nothing that should have already arrived!  And yet here at my door step is a man with a package.  I open the door.  The man standing there, red cheeked with a runny nose, asks through his sniffs and stuffed up nasal passages, "Are dyou Dosep?" He sneezes into his sleeve (thank you sir for your consideration of my health) and takes a large, deep breath through his clogged nostrils, sucking up as much mucus as he can to clear up his head and reiterates, "Are you Joseph?"  I nod and smile.  "Sign here, please."  I do so and sign there, where he indicated with the penned X.  And he hands me a large parcel, very long, but squat.

I thank the man and he's off down the steps to his truck to deliver even more goodies to the good boys and girls of the apartment complex!  Like our very own localized Father Christmas.

The package is wrapped in packing tape, completely wrapped in it!  The shipping label says it's from Hong Kong.  There is no outer box and I pray the contents of the bundle are all intact.  I carefully cut around one of the short ends of the wrap.  There is a thick, smelly layer of bubble wrap under the tape, but through the bubbles, I can see colorful ends of several boxes.  I cut deeper into the mash of plastic air chambers! I'm getting ever closer to the stuff within, knowing full well that a surprise, whether good or bad, awaits me just below the surface of the packing material.  Finally I am to the final sheet of bubble wrap.  I pull it ever so carefully away from the contents and slice it from the top left corner down to the bottom right corner.  I make a similar cut in the opposite directions and gently fold back the triangles.

Models!  Gunpla!  Five large boxes each containing a slew of runners!  Plasticy goodness awaits me!  I am over-joyed at the prospects of new plamo to build and tinker with!  But what's this!?  This is not a "Gundam" it says here that it is a Hi - V Fighter! Another reads "Wing Zero Fighter Custom"!  And yet another has foreign markings on it that I don't quite recognize, the there is a picture of the Destiny Gundam and the phrase "EXTREME BLAST MODE" in rainbow text across the end of the box.

I was at a loss for words here.  Strange Gunpla does not simply appear at one's doorstep.  Certainly, there is a mistake.  Why would someone ship me knock-offs of my beloved Gunpla?  Are they mocking me?  No, surely not.  Perhaps they are merely misguided. Or perhaps they, the senders, have been duped!  But WHY have I been sent these imitations of Bandai goodness?  The answer soon arrived via text.

"Hey, buddy!  Merry Christmas, hope you and your girly girl like 'em!  I just got the delivery confirmation."

A friend had sent me a PG Wing Zero Custom, MG Hi Nu, and a MG Destiny Gundam EBM, along with a second Hi Nu and Destiny for my fiance!  However, these boxes of plamo did not have the red Bandai logo placed ever so neatly in the bottom right corner of the cover art.  Instead was a white square with red and blue Chinese markings, two identical characters: Go Go, or GG...  They were TT Hongli knock offs.

Through a conversation with my dear friend, I discovered he had bought the kits from a website that shall remain nameless, thinking he was getting a good deal on the kits.  Indeed, he would have gotten a fantastic deal had they been legal and legit products.  Sadly, my friend, through no fault of his own other than ignorance of the Gundam Hobby, purchased these bootleg kits as gifts for us not knowing what he had actually bought.  I forgave him and accepted the gifts, happily.

I admit, I am and have been very curious about the TT Hongli kits ever since a certain YouTuber had reviewed so many of them.  Saying they were surprisingly good counterfeits, not perfect, and not as good as the original but passable when on a tight budget.

So I examined the Destiny first, because I was most curious about this particular model especially since I had yet to build my diamond in the rough find at Slot and Wing from the month before.



As you can see, the box is MUCH wider than it's Bandai counterpart; as wide as a PG kit, MG Sazabi, or the MG Real Type G-Armor kit.  And possibly, the best part of a bootleg is lack of quality control:


An extra set of several runners!

I'm assuming the box appeared too large to the workers in the factory as well, because they threw in a second bag of these runners, so I've got spare parts, I guess :-P.

The plan will continue to unfold soon...

Until Next Time:  Happy Building!