The State of the Gunpla Union – 083110

After a nearly six month break, welcome back to my monthly State of the Gunpla Union Address.  While I’ll pick up on the Gundam stuff in a bit, I actually wanted to let everyone know how things have been.  Since it’s been a while, the post today is a little long, grab your reading glasses and dig in.

First up, as you all are aware, I became unemployed in mid-April, due to lack of economic improvement in the industry I was in.  At the time I was unsure of how things would turn out, it’s hard enough to get a job in America, much less in a country where English is not the first language, and everyone is a foot shorter than me.  Still, I had obligations here, big ones in the form of family ties, that made it hard to pack up and leave, although I did consider it more than once.  That, along with the general goodness that is Gunpla, gaming, and several trips to Akihabara to meet up with fellow Gunplar and drinking buddy Gaijin Gunpla helped me get through the first couple of months.  And just when things looked like they wouldn’t be going anywhere, I had movement from three companies in July.  A whirlwind of first and second and final interviews took place in the space of about 3 weeks, and by the end of July I had not one, but two job offers to choose from.  Not to brag or anything, but I consider myself very lucky this time around, as Japan, while awesome and convenient on so many levels, is still very closed to foreigners in terms of jobs other than English teachers or Recruiters.  So, with that said, I had two offers, and they both shared a common factor.  Both companies were located in the Kansai region, specifically, Osaka.

So what does this mean?  I’m technically no longer ASM in Tokyo, but An American Salaryman in Osaka. Hmm, doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as well…  But, you go with what you’re given right?  The job offer I took asked that I come as soon as possible, so I actually joined my new company on the 27th of July, coming to Osaka before even figuring out where I would live.  From there, August has been nothing but a blur, with a ton of things to do, starting a new job and house hunting in Osaka while also returning to Yokohama to pack and move to the new home.  From there then it’s the unpacking and buying of new furniture and all things needed, while also visiting the in-laws for the summer Obon holidays.  Still, I managed to squeeze in the Gundam Super Expo and the historic(?) meeting of the Gunplar minds at the 1/1 Gundam in Shizuoka.  A busy month to say the least?

So what am I doing now?  Like my previous job, I’m doing HR, but in a new industry, specifically pharmaceuticals.  This is the next step up in my career, and I get to do global support, and with luck I’ll get to travel some, going back to the states along with England and Ireland sometime in the next year.  Still, I’m pretty sure it’s not as cool as being able to build Gunpla on the clock like someone else I know!  Overall though, I’m in a new stable position and so I’m happy how things worked out, and I consider myself lucky I only had to go through 3 months of worry and anxiety.

With that said, let’s get on to the Gundam stuff!  A brief recap of things.

The Gundam Super Expo: Wasn’t bad, had some good gentei stuff which I’ll need to post up later (still haven’t found which box my Heine Destiny is in though..).  Still, considering it was a free expo this year, there wasn’t much “new” info as there was at last year’s Gundam Big Expo.  They’ll be touring around Japan this year though, so for those in Nagoya, Osaka, and Sapporo, you’ll get the chance to check it out.

1/1 Gundam in Shizuoka:  This will be getting its own post up next, but as much as we hype it up, this truly was a great meeting of the minds, which honestly should happen more.  I also realize how lucky we all are in Japan as it’s very easy to meet up.  This wouldn’t be possible back in the states due to distance…  My thoughts and pictures will be up next.

New kits: With the move, my backlog is doing nothing but increasing, with me picking up Gunpla despite all my tools being backed up.  The new damage to my wallet coming in the form of:

  • 1)     RG RX-78-2 Gundam
  • 2)     HG RX-78-2 Gundam (ANA ver, Gentei)
  • 3)     HG RX-78-2 Gundam (Shizuoka ver, Gentei)
  • 4)     HG RX-78-3 Gundam (G30 Ver, Gentei)
  • 5)     HG Angelo Sauper Geara Zulu
  • 6)     HG Gundam Mk-II (Ecopla)
  • 7)     HG Guntank (Ecopla)
  • 8)     HG Guncannon (Ecopla)
  • 9)     HG GM (Ecopla)
  • 10)  SD Unicorn Gundam (Clear Ver, Gentei)
  • 11)  SD RX-78-2 Gundam (Shizuoka ver, Gentei)
  • 12)  MG Heine Westenfluss Destiny (Gentei)
  • 13)  MG Tokugawa Ieyasu Musha Mk-II (Gentei)

Listing that up, I realize that’s… a lot.

Arguably the best of the bunch?

Upcoming kits on my radar:  There is a lot of stuff coming up that is looking really good.  Hands down PG Strike Freedom is own my mind.  Ver. Ka means awesomeness yes, but my main question is, will it come with the dragoon system?  Line art shown so far shows only the mobile suit.  I’m sure it will, but I can’t wait to see a picture.  Secondly, New Ver. Ka kits seem to be traditionally released in December, so does a PG Ver. Ka mean there is no MG Ver. Ka this year?  Third, money, money, money.  The PG prices have been on the rise, jumping to an astronomical 26,000 yen for the PG 00 Raiser, where will PG Strike Freedom stand?  Any which way, for those in Japan, ordering from Amazon will most likely be the cheapest option again, with up to 47% off preorders on Gunpla.

Next up, MG ReZel, for the most part yes.  I’m just a bit surprised on the turnaround time from HG to MG.  For the most part the turnaround time feels longer which means you have this “Awesome, they are making an MG version!” kind of feeling.  This time around though it’s more of a “I just bought the HG version, f*ck!” feeling, with a slight bitter taste to it.  Still, the ReZel is an awesome kit, so I’m interested in seeing how they’ll do the transformation, and if it’ll require part swapping.

MG Deathscythe, despite being my favorite design from Gundam W, memories don’t hold up to harsh reality, with a stunted looking head and no wings making Rob a sad man.  At this point a no buy.

HGUC kits: Delta Plus, yes, yes, and another yes.  Hi-nu Gundam (GB Colors), a re-color, but I like the scheme so yes.  Sinanju, maybe, Sinanju is an awesome machine, but the idea of that trim in 144 size scares me.  Double O kits and other Gundam Builder kits, in general, no.  Double O designs just don’t really do it for me, and aside from the recolored Hi-nu Gundam kit, GB kits also aren’t really jumping at me.

RG Char Zaku-II, at this point, I don’t know.  How many times can you build a Zaku?  Of course then again, how many times have we all built the Gundam?  I’ve not started on my RG Gundam yet, but the word is it’s awesome in detail and awesomely easy to break. Not sure yet if I would want to do that twice over.

That’s pretty much it for now on upcoming kits for now, what new additions have you all gotten that you’re excited about, or what upcoming kits are you looking forward to?

In other good news, GAF is back up, so for those missing the place to hang out and chat, discuss Gunpla, and participate in group builds, hilt up the link and re-register.

Lastly, things will still continue to be slightly slow on updates until around the beginning of October.  While I’ve been at work with the new job for a month now, I’ve still got unpacking to do at the new home, and squaring that away.  Also, I’ve got family coming next month so I’ll be out and about with my dad for a couple of weeks.

Thanks to all for sticking through with me over the last few months, and please continue to do so going forward.

Now… what to do about the blog name…

1/1 Gundam in Shizuoka

As people may know, the 1/1 Gundam has been erected again, this time in Shizuoka, home to Bandai themselves. Today saw an epic meeting of Gunplars, as Buster from Plamo Addiction, GaiGun from Gaijin Gunpla, myself, and Gundam Guy from America got together to witness the awesomeness that is the 1/1 in person. Much gentei Gunpla was bought, including Tokugawa Musha Mk. IIs for a majority of the group, and more importantly, much alcohol was consumed afterwards. I’ll be back online in the next few days, so look forward to pictures from myself and my fellow Gunplars. In the meantime, here are some shots from the iPhone.

Gundam Super Expo: Photo Dump

For the time being, here’s the massive photo dump.  More thoughts later.

Gundam Super Expo Live Blog

The live blog starts….now! Well, in the fact that in heading towards the venue. Since I’m heading back to Tokyo from Osaka, it’ll take a few hours. Schedule in lunch with the former co-workers first, and my scheduled arrival at the expo is around 2:30 JST time. So check back in about five hours!

1:50 – Well lunch is done and I’m on my way to the venue. Wonder how the crowds will be. While free this time around, for most company workers, summer holidays don’t start until tomorrow or Thursday. However, it is summer vacation for students so there might be quite a lot of kids there.

2:05 – at tokyo dome and there are a toooon of preteen girls here for some concert at Tokyo dome for a band vie never heard of.

2:20 – wordpress app giving me some trouble, but anyways in line fir goods first.

2:25 – the special goods line is moving very smooth. By comparison the regular goods area seems to be packed. I see tv cameras, time to try and get on the news!

2:40 – in line for regular goods, then going to go in the back way.

3:05 – finally in the expo. Models have crappy backlighting which makes it hard to take pictures. Will update pics tonight.

3:10 – awesome, they are showing the first ep of gunpla builders!

I’m impressed, it’s pulling models from all gundam series. Light hearted, but better than I was expecting.

3:25 – just going to start upping pics. Will up nicer ones tonight.

ANA Color Double O Raiser, available from 9/1 on ANA flights!

4:30 – and I’m out. Unfortunately, most models on display have a bright white light behind them which pretty mucus makes taking photos with the iPhone impossible. So expect in depth updates later tonight with photos from the dslr. Overall, not bad, but not great either. There wasn’t much in the way of new info like last years expo. There was also a heavy emphasis on bb/sd series so I wasn’t quite interested in that. The gunpla history and sections on how it was built, alnog with the celebrity models were neat though. Overall, the only new thing was the ana color double o raiser. Also, for the gunpla tour this year, two additional limited goods were announced. Clear version MG Zaku II and clear version HGUC Zeta gundam.

Overall, not bad for a free expo, and worth a couple of hours of your time if you are in Tokyo over the next week.

Required viewing

I’m afraid I’m still away from home, and a computer which is why there is a lack of Gunpla and updates. Currently I’m in a bit of a transitional phase but I’ll post more about that in a couple of weeks when things settle down. Let’s just boil it down to a new job in a new location.

In the meantime, I’d like to point your attention to fellow Gunplar Gaijin Gunpla who just finished his Musha Mk II. Due to me posting from the iPhone I can’t do any fancy linkage, so just copy and paste this link and check it out.