Gunpla Keitai

First post on the fly from my new iPhone4 here, but while out and about today I happened to run into that Gunpla keitai due out in September. I managed to get a couple of pictures, so I thought I would share them with you. I would have tried to get more, but the large number of people prohibited that. Better some than none though, and as the new iPhone has an excellent camera, look for more on the fly posts in the future.

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An American in Akiba – June 2010 Edition

Welcome to the first post in what I hope to be a monthly posting all about Akiba!  I realize now that I have good reason to go to Akiba once a month, and everytime I go there is always something new to see.  And what’s the point of taking pictures if I’m not going to share?  This new series will of course have some Gundam shots in it, but mainly be about things I find interesting in Akiba.  Still, lets start this post off with some Gundam shots, specifically, The O!

This last weekend GG from Gaijin Gunpla and I got together for our monthly meeting at the Hub, with intents to watch some good soccer and drink lots of alcohol.  Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get to see good soccer, but at least we drank a lot.  Heading over to Yodobashi Akiba afterwords, we found ourselves face to face with this big boy.

Master Grade The O

Yeah… he’s a lot bigger than I thought he’d be.  Weighing in at nearly 700 grams, it looks to be a bulky and hefty kit.  Will be very interested to see how the engineering worked out for it.  In other Gundam news, we also saw the Full Armor Gundam and the HGUC ZZ Gundam on display as well.

MG FA Gundam

HGUC ZZ Gundam

Other than looking at Gundam stuff, one store I always tend to visit is Kotobukiya in the Radio Hall Building.   Kotobukiya tends to have a wide range of otaku goods, including their own line of kits, but one of my favorite things is looking at their movie related items.  In general you’ll see a lot of Star Wars, comic book heroes, and sci-fi goods on display.  These are usually some awesome figures, but I find them better to look at than to think about collecting!

Iron Man Mark 1? Figure

Aliens

Yoda kicking some ass

I also like checking out the back streets of Akiba’s Electric Town.  While not really related to Gundam goods, it’s great for picking up PC parts, memory, and other things.  Plus, maids, kebabs, and general otaku-ness.  So, a few pictures from here and there.

Gamers, next to the station, which is under renovations

Asobit City, which has gradually shrunk into a fraction of what it used to be.  But they sell American games!

Waving from above, a maid tries to attract customers

Heading down the backstreets…

While a short first edition, next month I’m going to try and pick up on some more of my favorite stores, including those that sell used Gunpla kits, including those rare limited ones, as well as pick up on places to get your import (American) game fix.  If there are any requests or theme pick ups for the future, by all means drop a comment and let me know.

Master Grade Wing Gundam: The Pictures #1.5

I’ve decided that I’m going to hold off on the final photos of the Wing Gundam until after the waterslides are released next month.  I’d like to finish up the Wing Gundam completely with decals and what not before the final review.   Still, I’ve gotten great comments for this kit, so I am going to go ahead and put up some more photos that I’ve taken since the last time, to tide everyone over until the Wing Gundam is totally finished. Without further ado, here are some new pictures, including some “natural light” shots, that are a bit limited as I was trying to keep the neighboring apartment complexes out of the shots.

Welcome to ASM 2.0! Now Let’s Play with Plastic!

There are two good ways to pull yourself out of a funk: 1) A complete redesign of your blog, and 2) a new Gunpla contest!    As you can tell, I decided it was time to make a change, to both clean up the site, and to get myself into a new mindset.  And a new Gunpla contest to enter is a great way to change my mindset too.

The HLJ Playing with Plastic Gundam Competition

ASM is proud to be a blog supporter of HobbyLink Japan’s first Gundam Competition, which features two main categories for you to enter in: Photography and Video.  The Photography category has several sub-categories to choose from as well, which means you don’t have to worry about your snap-fit kit going up against an uber-mod or vice versa.   And of course, it wouldn’t be a contest without prizes, sub-category winners will receive a new MG V Dash Ver. Ka, and the grand prize just so happen to be a brand new MG The O. Participants also get a 10% discount voucher towards a purchase from HLJ.  Shameless plug here, but I used HLJ quite a bit when I was in college back home, and stand by their service.

But enough about shameless plugs, lets get into the details.  You can check out their page here if you want for the full details for both photography and video, but here’s the break down for the photography side:

Entries are limited to only one of these subcategories.

-1- Best Gunpla Diorama

Set the stage for your Gunpla in this category. What makes the model for some is what’s around it. Whether it’s the remains of a broken down building or just Acguy laying down poolside, make the Mobile Suit show more than just its innards. For this category, entries shall be considered on the following areas: Build of kit, Scenery, and Originality. Multiple kits are allowed to be part of a single diorama, however multiple entries will not be accepted.

-2- Best Gunpla Straight Build

Not everyone builds Gunpla to make an all-out reenactment of the One Year War. In this category, everyone has a chance to shine with their Gunpla creations. The kit should not be painted, but panel linings and markings are totally up to you. Just show off your kit in its best dynamic pose and style. Entries in this category shall be considered on the following areas: Build of kit and style. Only a single model kit will be allowed for consideration. Entries with multiple kits or multiple entries will not be judged.

-3- Best Original Gunpla Work (Modifications)

For some, the best part of Gunpla is turning it into something else: turning your Zaku into a weapon of the Soviet Union, making the Susanowo a true follower of Bushido, or whatever else may come into your mind. Entries in this category are expected to bring something new to the table, add to the functionality of the kit, and take the mobile suit to something it has never been before. Whether it’s your own custom creation or the task of creating the Juggler GM, make it yours. Entries in this category shall be considered on the following areas: Build of the kit, Originality of the design, and Style. Only a single model kit will be allowed for consideration. Entries with multiple kits or multiple entries will not be judged.

Finally, of the top kits, only one will be crowned Gunpla of Gunplas .  In every contest, there is a kit that stands above the rest, considered to be the best of the best. Each model submitted in the contest will be eligible for this title. The staff will select their favorite submission. The winner of this category will not be eligible to win in its original entered category.

How to Enter:

Entries must send an email that includes your name, address, kit model name, extra accessories, modifications and Tomopop Username, to andreas@Tomopop.com. Winners will be announced no later than August 31st.

Photo submission specifications for Best Gunpla Diorama, Best Gunpla Straight Build and Best Original Gunpla Work: Entries should include shots of the front, left side, right side and rear. Additional pictures are more than welcome and encouraged.

Picture Submission
Specifications:
Landscape Width 900px x Height 600px
Portrait Width 600px x Height 900px
72dpi

So what does this net you overall?  Here are the prizes!

Gunpla of the Gunpla Grand Prize
MG The O

Sub-category Winners
MG V Dash Gundam Ver. Ka

Sub-category Second place winners
Real Grade RX-78-2 Gundam

And finally, as I mentioned before, all participants receive a 10% off voucher towards a purchase at HLJ.  This is a great opportunity for Gunplars to really show off their stuff, and I’m very sure this contest will be much more transparent  then certain other web contests held in the past.  In other words, you all have a chance!  So get building, get designing, and get that plastic ready!   I’m looking forward to seeing what my fellow Gunplars will be bringing to the table!

Tidbits & Updates

Unfortunately apathy has taken hold of me quite hard over the last few weeks so not much is getting done.  I’ve found myself caught up in a bitch of a catch-22 actually.  Most of the things I want to do involve me being at home, but I find myself feeling apathetic and nothing gets done.  Heading out though and I get into the mode to do this or that.  Then I return home only to fall into a funk again…  Still, I’m pulling myself out of this funk, slowly but surely…

With that said, some updates!

First off, look at what I finally decided to get on the road to completion.  With the rainy season about to hit the Kanto region of Japan from tomorrow, I realized I needed to get paint touch ups and top coating done for the unicorn.  All that’s left is decaling, then the final coat.  I haven’t decided if I’ll panel line it or not though, we’ll see after the test build.

Top coated!

Threw another coat of purple on the psycho frame to bring it out more.

I also ripped through the ReZel the other week, continuing with the painting of the HG Unicorn kits, I did a quick paint using the a certain blue favored by Lupes and GaiGun.  More pictures eventually!

ReZel

Switching subjects, the latest pick ups from the other day.

Musha Mk-II, 1/144 Epyon, Eggplane Valkyrie

Not suprising, Bandai is pumping out all the old old school kits, and so I picked up the 1/144 Epyon on a whim, since it was only 400 yen, the other day at Yodobashi.  Musha Mk-II is also next on the burner as soon as GAF is back up and the Unicorn is done.  I have a few ideas on color schemes, but things are still just simmering.  In the mean time, check out Plamo Addiction and It’s a Gundaaam, as my fellow Gunplars there have started in on the kit.

Planned posts this week are the follow up photo shoots of the Wing Gundam, and a post on the cleaning up of my work space.

Bonus!

Gundam Cafe

Apologies for the delay in updates.  A friend of the wife and I stayed with us for the last week and so Gunpla and stuff was on the back burner for a while.  There are a couple of good things that came out of this though.  The first thing that I’m going to pick up on is the Gundam Cafe.

Yep, I finally got the chance to go this last week.  While I had been hoping to go with fellow Gunplars Buster and GaiGun, going on a Saturday tends to see lines like this.

However, due to my current freedom, I was able to hit the cafe this last week as our friend wanted to stop by Yodobashi to pick up some stuff before heading back to the states.  If you’re able to go in during a weekday, it looks like there isn’t much of a wait.  Lets take a look at the interior.  You’ll note that overall the walls seem to follow the armor styling and marking of the RX-78.

From the entrance on the right side there is the gift section, as well as the gunpla-yaki area.  You can go to both without entering the cafe.

The non-smoking part of the cafe.  You can see the history of the RX-78 Gunpla in the back there.

The screen by the counter shows various menu items, this right here being Char’s pilot lunch.

The screen in the cafe area goes through various advertisements.  This one is an add for Jaburo coffee and the Gundam Cafe.

By the main counter we have a fairly big Gundam overlooking all.

A closeup of the Gundam Gunpla at the back of the cafe.

Next up, the food and drinks.  Since we had already eaten lunch, I just tried the Haro latte.  For the drinks, everything was just your regular cafe latte, etc, with only the Haro latte being different.  I would imagine that the bar time might have more specialized drinks.  The food however followed Gundam naming conventions, with Char’s ice cream, Acguy ice cream and so on.

Haro latte

Caramel latte, which comes in a regular Gundam cafe cup.

Char ice cream

Overall, the food and drinks, for what I’ve had, is nothing special.  However the prices were quite reasonable, for example, 350 yen for a latte.  This puts it on par with other cafes easily.  That was a bit of a suprise to me, but I am still not sure how the bar time prices go.  Hopefully I’ll get the chance to check it out soon.  If you collect a certain amount of points you’ll get an ID card that supposedly lets you get secret menu items, as well as saluted by the staff when you order.    So, a good experience to have, not quite sure it’s worth the long wait on the weekends, but definitely worth checking out once.

The Gundam Cafe at night.

Bonus!