An American in Akiba – July 2010 Edition

While July is not over yet, I probably won’t be heading back to Akiba for a while so here is the photos for this month. First off, lets start with our Gundam updates.  As you recall last month, we got a chance to see the O in it’s test form, but this month we get to see the new Deathscythe in it’s completed form.

Deathscythe on display

Deathscythe

Looking at it, I have to say I’m actually a little underwhelmed by it.  Maybe it’s the head, or the colors, but something just doesn’t hit me like it should be.

Next up, Asobit City, which births a lot of awesome kits you see in Dengeki hobby magazine.  While GaiGun and myself were there, they just happened to be doing the RG Gundam.  By the looks of it, the colors seem to be a mix of Okawara colors and FA Gundam Colors.  They also had some really nice looking metallic/extra finish style kits on display that looked amazing.

Building the RG

Musha Gundam Extra Finish Version

Extra Finish Zeta, Quebeley, and Rick Dias

Closeup on the Quebeley

Next up, scouring the back streets to look for cheap gunpla, and in my case, to gawk at my favorite things, the gentei kits.  And this time we found pretty much the everything.

Gunpla going for cheap

Stacks of old kits

Limited kits

Even rarer limited kits

Yet more

That Full Color Plated Version PG Gundam is going for 43,800 yen!

More stuff, including PG Astray’s bonus runners.

PG Gundam Animation Color + Weapons – 19,800 yen

PG Gundam Okawara Colors – 18,800 yen

PG Gundam Casval’s (Char) Use – 25,800 yen

PG G-3 Gundam(!) – 25,800 yen

PG Zeta Gundam Multi-Coating Version – 48,800 yen

MG Zaku II – Tri-star Gaea Use – 34,800 yen(!)

Yeah… that’s a lot of expensive model kits there.  Nearly 500 dollars for some kits.  And I was surprised to find a G-3 PG Gundam.  Needless to say, that one was gone when I went back a couple days after I saw it the first time.   While I did look mainly at Gundam kits this last month, I did swing by Kotobukiya as I wanted to see the Rockman kit.  Unfortunately they had already taken it down and put up the new mini Hoi-hoi-san in it’s place.

Mini Hoi-hoi

Regular Hoi-hoi pimping Kotobukiya

Other than that, I treated myself to a new lens, and am having fun taking pictures of the same places all over again.

Akiba in the day

Akiba at night

A gathering of Ita-sha

Gundam Cafe

And a really tiny car

That’s all for this months addition.  Next up on the plate is a new kit review for HLJ, followed by the revival of the monthly State of the Gunpla Union, which will catch you up on my situation.

ANA X Gundam Sky Project – Update

Apologies for no updates this last week.  I’ve actually had quite a bit of movement on the interview side, so I’ve been out of town, so to say.  But, as the title of this post hints at, I made sure that I returned to Tokyo via ANA, just for the chance to snag some super gentei Gundam Goods.  As you may have seen Gundam Guy’s post on this, one of Japan’s major airline carriers, All Nippon Airways, is doing a collaboration with Bandai for the Gunpla 30th Anniversary. During the month of July and August, fliers have the opportunity to order a 1/144 Gundam or 1/148 Gundam in ANA’s blue colors.  (Pictures below courtesy of GG)

1/144 Gundam

1/48 Gundam

Box art

They make it pretty hard to get as well, since you have to ask for the specific card on the flight to order, which is filled in with date, flight number, seat, and even the staff number of the cabin attendant that gives you the card.  From the date of the flight you have two weeks to send in the card to order.

In-flight shopping magazine and order card

So, I now have an order card, so that of course means I’ll be picking up some kits.  The question is who’s interested?  There is a order limit however, of 3 of each kit.   I’ll be getting a 1/144 kit for myself and a friend, which leaves an extra 1/144 kit.  If there are people interested in the 1/48 kits as well, I’m willing to pick these up too.  As a heads up, the cost of these kits for me is 3,000 yen for the 1/144 kit and 8,500 yen for the 1/48 kit, and so expect my asking cost for the 1/48 to be at 8,500 to 10,000 yen.  If folks are interested in the 1/48 kits, please drop a comment, and first come first serve, etc.  If not, then I’m going to forgo getting the 1/48 kits, and will be dropping the order card in the mail on Monday.

All the 1/144 kits are taken for, and one 1/48 is claimed.  I’ll just be ordering the max of both kits, and if no one is interested, I can always flip the remaining 1/48 kits on YJ Auctions.  Anyways, if anyone is interested in the remaining 2 1/48 kits, please leave a comment, thanks!

-update-

I’ve received the three 1/144 kits today, but it looks like the 1/48 kits are out of stock, and so a slight wait is needed until they receive more stock.  Surprising, but perhaps they have less stock of the 1/48s because they are bigger and more expensive.  I still have one 1/48 kit available if anyone is interested.  Please drop a comment if you are interested.  I also may be flying ANA again in the next week so I will be getting more 1/144 kits then should I fly.

MG Full Armor Gundam Gallery

Welcome to the FA Gundam Gallery.  Again、a big thank you to HobbyLink Japan (www.hlj.com) for providing me with a sample kit for building and reviewing purposes.  For those interested in getting your own FA Gundam, hit up the link here to get it from HLJ.  For those who haven’t seen the review, check it out here.  And finally, enjoy the pictures!

MG Full Armor Gundam Review

Welcome to the review of the Master Grade Full Armor Gundam.  A big thank you to HobbyLink Japan (www.hlj.com) for providing me with a sample kit for building and reviewing purposes.  For those interested in getting your own FA Gundam, hit up the link here to get it from HLJ.  Depending on things, we may see more of ASM meets HLJ type reviews in the future as well.

The FA Gundam in the house!

So on to the review, I’ve changed up my work flow a bit, which you see right off the bat with me starting with the review first. I’ve done an initial snap-fit build for testing and reviewing purposes, and depending on how I feel, I may go back for painting/modifications.  I’ll be going over four areas overall

The build – Let me just say this, the Gundam 2.0 frame is a joy to build.  It goes surprisingly fast, the overall build of the Gundam frame, minus the full armor parts only took roughly six hours or so.  Of that, maybe an hour or so was spent for basic gate/nub cleaning.  I can see why GaiGun said in the past that the frame is great, but it’s a shame that it gets covered by the armor.

Building the legs went very smooth.

As did the arm, just a shame you can’t see the frame with the armor

Building the Core Fighter

For all of this, they still managed to let you put the Core Fighter in the torso if you like.  The core fighter itself has some amazing engineering, but tiny parts made me afraid I would break something.  The downside is there isn’t much waist movement, regardless of if the core fighter is there or not.

It goes here

So when all is said and done with the initial build we get this boy.

Hi, you talking to me?

Let me show you my light sticks

At this point, I find this Gundam pretty impressive just for the coloring scheme.  Downside is there are some fat nubs on some of the green pieces, which means you’re going to have some gate damage that will stand out no matter what.  With the normal color scheme, it’s pretty easy to hide with white pieces, but not this time around.  But the draw isn’t just the color scheme.  Next we look at the…

Gimmicks – Well, you already know what the gimmick is by the name of the kit.  That would be that set of Full Armor.  As this Gundam (RX-78-1) is part of the FSWS project, it comes with a Full Armor System & Weapons System.  Snipping these out and cleaning them up added another couple of hours to my total. This Full Armor kit uses a new idea to attach the armor to the Gundam, that being gel sheets.  Basically, the gel sheets function as double sided tape, which means you should be able to take it off and on easier.

Look, more green armor!

Gel strips

Unfortunately, the gel strips don’t work quite as well as advertised.  For the most part, a majority of the pieces are a simple snug fit over the top of the original armor, but for the pieces that use the gel strips… well they spent more time falling off then staying it felt.  A solution would be glue or something stronger, but that’s an end all solution.  Other than that, comes the big cannon, and when it all comes together, it that looks something like this.

Bad-ass?

Compared to another Full Armor kit such as the FAZZ, the difference is night and day.   The fact that you can pose the Gundam, have good articulation, and take it off the full armor without worrying about breaking something made me like this kit much more than the FAZZ.  The FAZZ still gets points for simply being big and menacing though.  Finally, before we get to the final pictures, lets talk pros and cons.

The Pros:

  • Articulation is superb, even with the Full Armor attached.
  • Color scheme looks good, but I’ll be interested in seeing what schemes modders come up with.
  • Its a fast build.
  • Gel strips means you can take the armor off freely.

The Cons:

  • Gate/nub damage will stand out on some pieces, due to the darker color scheme.
  • Doesn’t come with the standard armaments, so no beam rifle, bazooka or shield.
  • Gel strips don’t work as well as you would think, meaning some pieces will continually fall off.

Overall, the FA Gundam is fairly easy build, and recommended for those who are looking for an easy kit with great articulation.  There is a lot of potential for some great color schemes as well.  It still does have it’s frustrations, with the gel strips in particular, and some fairly big nub damage that will stand out.  For those who may to try out a Gundam 2.0 kit, but aren’t fans of the anime colors, then this could be your kit. So the pictures?  I’ve got a few of those, and so that will be coming up in the photo gallery in the next post.  But just to get you started…

Ready for the gallery?  Click away!