Incredibly busy week as we approach the end of February, and the end of the year as well.  As some may know, Japan considers April to be the starting point of a lot of things.  From school, work, and finances, April is very important to Japanese.  Which in turn makes March very important as it’s the end of the school, work, and fiscal year.  With that said, you’ll be seeing perhaps even more bad news economy wise, as many Japanese companies are holding back on reporting financial reports and forecasts for April, which trying to add up all the money made over the last year.  Anyways, this is keeping me busy at work, which is of course contributing to my backlog.


Which, is todays topic by the way.  Lately in the community there has been some talk of backlogs, and how they come about, and how they burn people out.  I kind of stopped to think about it, especially with my huge backlog, and how that came about. 


While I had built the Strike Freedom Gundam a few years back when I first watched Gundam Seed and Destiny, I first started seriously getting into Gunpla with the release of Unicorn Gundam.  I worked on that over a few months last spring, and after finishing, thought about working on something else.  I’d always been a fan of Zeta Gundam, and picked up a Gundam Mk-II, and from there, made the leap to the Perfect Grade model of Zeta Gundam.  I hadn’t really planned to do anything more from there, because, truthfully, even at 30% off, Gunpla is expensive (especially MG and PG kits).  But, fate would have it, that while I labored through the PG Zeta (Zeta is probably not the best choice for your first PG kit!)  I browsed around and found out that there was a White Unicorn version of Zeta Gundam.  Unfortunately, this was quite literally a limited edition release, and had long been unavailable in regular stores.  What’s a guy to do, but check out the auctions. 


For those who live in Japan, and have a good grasp on Japanese, Yahoo Auctions can be a veritable goldmine.  Imagine it as eBay, 10 years ago, when everyone wasn’t a dick, and you didn’t have price gauging.  I jumped on there, and discovered a few auctions with the White Unicorn Zeta Gundam, and eventually picked it up.  Then, I started looking around, and what do you know, there are quite a few people selling things at hefty discounts.   At this point I had finished watching Gundam 0083 (which I really liked, by the way) and fate would have it, someone was selling the PG kit of the GP01, for a flat 100 dollars, and would even knock down shipping for me.  This is where sometimes the Japanese side of “auctions” are just amazing.  Not only was the guy nice enough to drop the shipping to half (12 to 6 dollars), he even recommended me a surplus seller to buy direct from.


So, in the space of a  week I picked up two kits, got in touch with the surplus seller, who would sell at 50% to 70% off, and well, that’s history per se.  I think most people have kits they would “like” to build, but the cost is prohibitive.   For me, a majority of the kits are so, I would have loved to build the Musha Gundam, or some of the PG kits, but no way was I going to pay 12,000 yen for Strike PG, and all.  But when you get an opportunity to purchase said strike for 6,000 yen, well you don’t pass it up.   Through my new source, I then pretty much picked up a load of kits to build as I go, and next then you know, I’m at around 20 kits. 


In a way, being able to purchase at wholesale cost really keeps things guilt free.  In fact, I wish knew about this seller before I bought the PG Zeta on my own, as it would have saved me nearly 50 bucks!  Thankfully, it’s cheap, so the wife is happy (I buy her a case of beer with the savings, ha)


So in a way, that’s how my list has grown, which consists of 1) I really want to build this! Kits and 2) I’d build it if it was this cheap kits.   Future purchases already include the PG Astray, and hoping to get the Shin Matsunaga Zaku II, as I want to try my hand at using metal parts with it. 


But, pictures speak much more than words, so here’s some pictures of our spare room, to give you an idea of what I’ve got.


My display rack, with PGs and more abound 



 Everything else shoved in a cornerbacklog02


Shin Musha, waiting for seals and decals



Need to finish up the Hi-ν as well…



Of course, the big problem with backlogs is just that.  It’s a backlog, which means you’ve got to work through it.  Depending on the person, it could be stressful, or maybe they’ll just never get around to it, or maybe one kit could make you just not want to build any more.  For me, I like building kits, maybe it’s the monotony, or creating stuff, I’ve loved this kind of stuff since I was a kid (I was the kid who had tons of legos) so I get into it.  However, I can’t stand doing seals and decals, it’s just tedious to me.  Which unfortunately, if you notice, Hajime Katoki looooooooooves seals and decals, which is why I’ve haven’t gotten too far with my Unicorn, and haven’t even started on my Shin Musha yet.  For others, it could be painting.  While I slogged through doing the gold parts of Shin Musha with Gundam Markers,  Reading other blogs about painting Sinanju’s gold parts has pretty much put Sinanju low on my backlog list…


Going off on a tagent, painting, and especially painting small tiny things, is why I really don’t touch the SD kits, while I have a couple, it’s really annoying that a majority of them require painting to really look good.  Then again, SD kits are generally 300-400 yen, so I guess that’s why you can’t expect the same amount of detail. 


Anyways, in the long run, my huge backlog is actually a rather recent thing, with all of these being collected in the last 6 months.  At this rate, I’ve got well over a year’s worth of building to keep me occupied though!


How about everyone else?  Is there any certain series or style that you collect or have piling up?

The State of the Gunpla Union – 022309

So here we are again, another week. Actually a fairly busy weekend for me, from hitting Akiba on Friday night (and PG Astray!) to driving to and from Hamamatsu over the weekend.

Over the weekend I drove to Hamamatsu (about 270 KM away from where I live in Yokohama) with wife and friends for a college club reunion. While I drove when I lived in Tohoku, it was the first time to actually drive west. It was pretty cool getting behind the wheel again, and using something other than the bullet train allowed me to see some new scenery.

Mount Fuji from the Toumei Highwayhama01

The reunion getaway was held at Lake Hamanako, where we pretty much crashed for Saturday, while everyone caught up with everyone else.  I have to say, I was hesitant to go simply because of the fact that of 9 people, I was the only guy.  (^^;)  But I guess you could also call me lucky…

Lake Hamanakohama02

 Sunday was cave spelunking and temple visits before the drive back.

Spelunking in the Ryugashi Cavehama03

Visiting Ryotanji Temple hama04


 Overall, it was a fun time, and the ease of being to rent a car and just drop it off suprised me.  Wife and friends are already planning day trips..


Anyways, on to the Gundam related stuff.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get started on seals/decals on my Shin Musha last week due to lack of time.  While I can come home from work and spend maybe 30 minutes or so on building a kit, when it comes to seals/decals, it’s a hassle to start and stop.  You really want a good couple of hours to sit there and work at it.  When it comes to Gunpla, I would say that, while the end product looks great, the hassle of doing it tends to be a big hurdle.  So, at this point, Shin Musha is finished, just to need to find the time to actually do the seals.  On the other hand, since it’s easy to do 30 minutes of constructing before bed, I’ve started on the HD version of Zeta Gundam.  While Zeta Gundam is my favorite gundam, I am a little displeased with the shoulders, and will blog on that when I get a little further. 


 I did pick up the HD version of the Hyaku-shiki as well on Friday while I was in Akiba, figured I might as well finish up my AEUG Set (Although technically I would need to pick up a Rick Dias too then I guess).  With a month till the Astray drops, hopefully I can cut through the backlog, but we’ll see how this goes.   It seems that things are slowing down as people prepare for the March Bandai goods rush…  I was rather hoping to see the test model of the GFFMC Zeta Plus at Akiba but it was already gone.  I’m still debating on it, but budget is budget….  Anyways, this week should see a slew of new news as most Hobby mags drop on around the 25th.  I will also be putting up a quick shopping feature of specifically Yodobashi Akiba, as I can’t seem to get over to Akiba except on a weekday night lately so I don’t have much time to walk around the Electric Town.

One good thing is you may have noticed the links slowly but surely increasing.  In a way, I didn’t realize how many fellow Gundam bloggers there are out there, in various countries.  Even more suprising is to find fellow foreigners in Japan as well Gunblogging (I just made that word up!)   Anyways, a shorter note this week, but will get back up to speed hopefully as there are no plans for cross-country trips anytime soon!

PG Astray! Part 2

Quite lucky today when I stopped by Yodobashi today.  It turns out they had test models of the Astray on display, including the first run bonus parts!  The clear parts were better looking than I thought they would be.

Without further ado, the pics!