The State of the Gunpla Union – 073009

This week’s notes, along with a photo dump of various pictures over the last few months.

 First off, the Exia snap-build is done.  This is a kit that would benefit from panel lining, so that’s something to do between Sinanju sessions over the next few weeks. 

exia03

 Quick impressions :

  • Smaller than I thought, but that’s to be expected of anything other than Sinanju.
  • Hologram strip parts are neat, but really don’t stand out from a distance. 
  • The led GN drive is cool. 
  • Don’t really like the feet, while having toe, sole, heel for articulation, they kind of suck. 
  • The bling bling swords really come off nice. 
  • The only problem though is again, Bandai puts the sprue cutting points on the blade, so you get a nice chunk of the finish cut off no matter what you do.  
  •  Also the regular swords (hell if I can remember if it’s GN 1, 2, or whatever) tend to fall off the hands pretty easy.  
  • Lastly, it’s not easy, or even recommended to switch between regular Exia and Repair version, so for those who want both, you’ll have to pick up one standard kit and one ignition kit.  For those who then want both kits to light up, you’ll need two ignition kits.

 Now, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and pose with it just yet though, just finished, so these are just initial impressions.  Still, at the cost for the gimmicks, and weapons alone is well worth it.   Overall, was worth waiting past all the HGUC kits and 1/100 kits for this.   Makes you wonder what’s nexts in the Gundam 00 MG line up, hopefully they do the other Gundam’s before jumping to 00, although I would be interested in an O Gundam.

 Next up, the HGUC Kshatriya has been announced for an October release, but I finally stopped to check out the price.  At around a whopping 4200 yen, this is ringing in as a high baller.  Unfortunately, while the price of the MG line is gradually going up, a majority of the kits have managed to stay in the 3000 to 5000 yen range.  HG kits, as we see here, tend to run the gambit though, which some being available for as low as 300 yen, to 4000 yen plus.  I for one would like to see a little more stability in their lower end model line.  I’d buy the Kshatriya at that price if it was an MG kit, but HG is going to make me pause.

Moving on, the buyer for the remaining HGUC Green Tokyo Project Gundam 30th kit has fallen through from lack of response.  If interested, it’s asking price is $40 US dollars (or 4,000 yen) shipped anywhere in the world.  Please post or mail if interested.

Now for the Sinanju summer project, for the time being, I’m stuck waiting for good weather.  Unfortunately the color I picked is fairly sensitive to humidity, going so far as to have a warning to not spray on humid days.  So the project is going to go fairly slow for a while. 

Lastly, I’d like to do a little photo dump of random pictures taken over the last couple of weeks.  I had thought about making it a separate little trend, but figured I’d tack them on the my State of the Gundam Union posts whenever the pictures have piled up.

Here’s the Gunpla parts shop that Danny Choo mentioned before.  It’s the Yellow Submarine shop in the Radio Kaikan, 4th floor.  Quite a load of parts, so could be good if you wanted to stock up on a variety of weapons, etc.  The prices varied from 200~300 yen to 3000 yen(!).   Planning on hitting it up again this weekend so will try and take more pictures.

 pd01

Yellow Submarine also carries pro shop releases.  They had quite a few of the Mechanical Clear Gundam 2.0 available.  I’m debating picking up one the next time I go.  The only problem is that Pro Shop releases can’t be discounted, even by places like Bic Camera, so it’s the full 4,410 yen…

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While checking out the 4th floor of the Radio Kaikan, I saw quite an awesome life sized helmet and figure for Gabranth from FFXI.  Unfortunately, the helmet is over $1,00 dollars, and the figure, while bad-ass, is also around $450 dollars.

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Akihabara Station’s Electric City Exit is under construction.  Wonder how they “new” Station will look

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Debating on making a jump to my first DSLR.  While apparently the Olympus Pen is not technically a “true” DSLR, it’s got style, and takes damn good pictures by the samples I’ve seen.  Now just to use my upcoming 30th birthday as an excuse to get around the price…

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Last, saw my first rainbow in a very long time, while out in Kohoku New Town for dinner. 

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SGB WiP – Sinanju #4

We had great weather this weekend which allowed me to get ahead on painting.  First off though, we have to put the new waist together.  I went ahead and shaved the peg down on two sides to give it a little more movement and to prevent breakage.

Hard to tell, but slight shaving of two sidessinanju10

With the waist put together, I finished the painting of the entire inner frame.

Piled togethersinanju11

And the finished frame is as follows:

Backsinanju12

Sidesinanju13

Frontsinanju14

Kneelingsinanju17

Now, we all know Sinanju is a big mother, but it’s always fun to compare! And while Exia is still not fully built, it is easy to tell that Sinanju stands head and shoulders above Exia.

Front comparisonsinanju15

Back comparisonsinanju16

As for the outer armor, I’ve started painting from the feet. At first I was worried that the colors chosen for black and red would be too similar, but after putting the feet together, they came out really nice. Still a little too early to reveal the colors here though! I finished painting up the leg armor next today, and will put the legs together over the week. Depending on weather, I may be able to work on painting the other parts as well over the week. We’ll see how it goes.

SGB WiP – Sinanju #3

A short update today.  Unfortunately it’s decided to rain for the whole week so I’ve not been able to paint any further.  Also, I’m needing to pick up some more paint as I realized this is going to take just a bit more than I thought.  On top of that, I need to wait for the replacement parts to arrive.  Or so I thought!

I made my order for replacement parts, and dropped it in the mail Wednesday morning.  Well, guess what was waiting for me today when I got home!

sinanju09

That’s amazing turn around time right there.  Bandai claims 1-3 weeks needed for arrival, but I got it in 2 days.  Unbelievable.  They may whore out kits and steal our money with rehashes, but damned if they don’t have great service!  I picked up two spares of the waist, along with extra booster tanks and booster armor for testing some colors out.  So hopefully will be able to completely finish the inner frame this weekend!

MG Exia

As you all know MG Exia was released today. I stopped by Bic on the way home to check it out. By far the Ignition model seems to be outselling the regular version, as it should be considering the value. What suprised me was the difference in box sizes.

exia01

Of course I picked up my own while I was at it, along with the latest Katamari Damacy.  Looks like I’ll be building this along with my Sinanju!exia02

SGB WiP – Sinanju #2

Well, I didn’t get to do quite as much as I hoped this weekend, but the current progress stands as such:

Most of the inner frame, and weapons are completesinanju05

From there, I’ve gone ahead and painted the internal frame, the color for this is Light Gun Metal. The color came out much better than expected, and looks pretty damn good. I managed to get most of the parts sprayed, but it turns out that I’m going to have to pick up another can this week to finish it off.

Internal frame paintedsinanju07

In the mean time, the plan over the week is to start masking the black parts for painting, as well as figuring out what AM boosters to use. Looks like I’m going to have to pick up a few more as well to fit the back boosters maybe.

Going through my current stocksinanju06

I’ll probably stop by the 100 yen shop as well to get a couple of plastic boxes for seperating parts as I’ll probably start snipping out the outer armor to prepare for spraying. I test painted a couple of parts today, and the colors came out great. It’s a rather scary process as several coats will be needed to really spray over the red, but so far so good. Also, this is a first, but I may be forced to go with a glossy coat, because, I dunno, the colors I’m using are going to look much better glossy than flat so far. So, the order should be: 1. color 2. top coat (flat?) 3. water slides 4. Final top coat (glossy)

This is going to be a bit more time intensive than I thought!

Hmm, what colors to use…sinanju08

SGB WiP – Sinanju #1

For those who may not be aware, thanks to an invite, I’ll be joining in the Sinanju group build that is being held by the model forum at Gundam Australia.   You can check out the link here, and I’m sure they’d be open for more participants if people are interested.  Participants include my several of my fellow Gunplars such as Lupes @ It’s a Gundaaaam, Busterbeam @ Plamo Addiction, Gundam Guy, Gaijin Gundam, as well as the forum administrator Sonar, otherwise known as frequent poster Tonzo, and other forum members.

Anyways, on to the current plan!  First off, my plan at this point is a straight build, but with a custom paint job.  While I was originally planning on a blue theme, I’ve actually decided to go to a different color(s). 

 The current Sinanju related materialssinanju01

Taking a page from GaiGun, I’ve decided to go monochrome with the materials shot as to not reveal my color scheme just yet.  For the time being I’ve got my plans for the internal frame, as well as outer frame.  I’ve not thought ahead to the weapons, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.  AM boosters will be used as well as the official Sinanju waterslides. 

As for the actual WiP, you’ve all seen the snap builds elsewhere, so I’m not really going to go in depth on that part.  The current plan is to build the internal frame completely first, figure out what’s going to be visible, and paint the frame accordingly.  The painting on the external frame will happen afterwards.  Anyways, I whirled through the torso and legs, only to have (amazingly enough) my first experience with parts breaking.  And what broke?  The F—ing waist!

The completed legs and torso…sinanju02

Tragedy occurs…sinanju03

So, now what?  Well, I read about a place that sells spare parts in Akiba, and so I trucked on down there Friday night (will post pictures tomorrow) and they had the Sinanju legs, but not the waist parts, so I’m officially SoL and having to ordering the parts from Bandai.  So, that puts a one to two week delay on finishing the the full inner frame.  Still, that shouldn’t be too bad since I won’t have time to paint except on the weekends.  In the meantime though, the plan is to finish the rest of the inner frame and do my first painting there.  More updates as I progress…