The State of the Gunpla Union – 103110

Coming up a day late, but will call this an October post for the sake of maintaining the monthly post cycle. 

It’s that time for another block of text of what I think about the State of the Gunpla Union.  And, it’s another apology for lack of posts.  Just when I think things slow down, they pick right back up.  As I posted last week, current posts/photos/reviews brewing in no particular order: 

  • Kotobukiya Rockman Photoshoot & Review
  • MG Char Z’Gok EXF Version WiP & Photoshoot
  • Eva-02 Photoshoot & Review (written, just got to do the pictures)
  • An American in Akiba
  • GAF ReZel GBP Project

The main things holding me back on items 1-3 is the photoshoot.  New home means setting up a new photo set-up, and unfortunately I’m not getting good photos.  I need to stop by a dollar store to get another sheet of black paper too, as white just isn’t cutting it right now.  

I was also playing quite a bit of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and DJ Hero 2, which had me entrapped, that is until my faithful PS3 of nearly 4 years decided to die on me.  So I guess I’m partially in shock, because while I’ve sent it in for repairs, there’s a good chance I’m going to lose all that save data that I’ve accumulated.  Guess the lesson learned is to constantly back up your stuff…  

But, now that I no longer have a gaming out, that means I can get back to the important stuff, the Gunpla!

On my currently in progress list is the ReZel of course, and having just seen UC Gundam episode 2 in the theaters, I’m fired up for building both it and the HGUC Sinanju.  Speaking of which, UC Episode 2 brings on the awesomeness again, and at the same time the pain of knowing we have to wait nearly 6 months for the next installment.  Like I said, I got the chance to see it in the theaters, but having to attend a work event on Saturday kept me from going on day one.  Unfortunately, the two movie event items, the gentei gundam and blu-ray both sold out on day 1, so suffice to say, I was a pretty sad camper.  Especially when it became obvious that nearly 50% of the allotment all went to the theater in Shinjuku.  Thanks Bandai, for screwing your fans in cities other than Tokyo.  But oh well, that saves me money so I shouldn’t complain too much. 

The plan for November is to keep chugging at the ReZel and Sinanju, and hopefully whittle the backlog down a little before the big drop of the PG Strike Freedom in December.  While the RG Zaku II looks good, it’s one of those things I know I probably won’t build if I buy it right off the bat.  Also, I’m actually going to be spending a few weekends in Tokyo for work so weekends will be tight unfortunately.   By not picking up any other Gunpla, though, I have a good chance to knock stuff out. 

A bit of a shorter note this month, but still just to let you know where I’m at.  What’s on peoples to-do list for November?

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Upcoming posts

I was a bit under the weather last week which kept me from posting at much as I wanted, but I’ve got a slew of posts lining up for the next few weeks.

First up, after viewing Gaijin Gunpla’s new review system, I really like how he hits all the important points while showing the appropriate pictures to justify said points, and includes the gallery to top it off.  With that said, I’m going to give him the best type of flattery there is, by imitating him and adopting his style for reviews, with some changes, for my reviews going forward.  While I’ll be hitting the same points (Overall look, colors, build design, weapons, extras, articulation, fun factor) I won’t be doing a point system, rather trying to do pros and cons in each specific point.  So that means no fancy graph, but it’s probably best that way.  And WordPress won’t let me use flash score graphs like his reviews.

So I plan on using this new review system first with the Eva-02 Evangelion (Rebuild of Evangelion version), thanks to HobbyLink Japan, who provided me with a sample kit for reviewing purposes.  Look for that here in the next couple of days. Other upcoming reviews and photo galleries include the Kotobukiya Rockman kit, followed by the continuation of the MG Z’Gok WiP and its subsequent photo gallery.  Also on the burner is a new post in the American in Akiba series.  While I won’t be able to do the series every month, I should be able to do one every few months.  Thankfully I’m in a position where I get to travel to Tokyo still at least once a month so I’ll be squeezing in Akiba as much as possible.  And not to leave Osaka without love, I’ll be starting a new series focusing on Osaka’s answer to Akiba, Nipponbashi, as well in due time.

And finally, while I’ll be doing an official post next week some time, for those who don’t know, Gaijin Gunpla has thrown the gauntlet down this time, and another GAF Group Build. the MG ReZel GB has just kicked off.  Yours truly has already thrown in his hat, now how about you?  Head over to the GAF thread for more details!

So that’s what coming up.  And to finish off, to also imitate one of Plamo Addiction’s great traits, a picture for you.

WiP – MG Char Use Z’Gok (EXF Version) Part 1

When the urge to build calls, it must be answered!  And it called me to do a quick snap build of the Extra Finish Version of Char’s Z’Gok.  This version is a gentei kit from the 2007 Character Hobby Show, and I picked it up in Akiba this summer before moving to Osaka.  Since it’s an extra finish version, this will be a simple snap build, as panel lining and what not tends to have adverse effects on extra finish parts.  So lets jump into the build!

Red on white, simple enough

The extra finish looks beautiful

Just looking at the above parts and I can see that while the silver will have some nub damage that will be visible, the red and pink parts may hide it better.  We’ll see as we go.  The build looks to be fairly straight forward and simple, especially when you consider that the torso and head is pretty much all one big piece.  Having build the HGUC version, I wasn’t sure how the gimmicks would work, but there are a couple.

The parts for the torso/head/upper body thing.

Put together

The flaps on the front are movable on the MG, so I guess that is to help signify the vents used while underwater. The mono-eye, while movable, doesn’t link up to anything like the Zaku-II, so you have to take the top off to position it to your liking.  While we are at it, let’s put together the back tanks.  It’s interesting to note that while the outer armor is extra finish, the black pieces are done up with a light pearl glitter too.

The tanks

Moving onto the arms, one big difference from the HGUC is the usage of soft rubber piping to help accent the arms.  This also allows you to shrink and extend them as well.  An interesting gimmick and helps you get a little more out of this kit than the HGUC version.  Another point of interest is, that while not pictured, it comes with the option of creating 4-clawed hands as opposed to 3-clawed hands.  I don’t recall seeing a 4 claw version, so I went with the tried and true 3 claws.

The arms

Finished

Today we get about halfway done with the kit.  I’m taking it slow as I don’t want to cause extra damage on the color parts, but surprisingly enough, the nub damage doesn’t jump out as much as one would think. That is, aside from the silver parts.  I’m finding that to be a great thing, as this finish looks really good in these colors.  Too bad they can’t do the same for silver and gundam colors!

Halfway there….

50th Plamodel Hobby Show Gundam News!

Some exciting and incredible news out of the 50th All Japan Plastic Model Hobby Show that starts today in Tokyo!  So much that I find myself sneaking around at work to post my thoughts, and get some discussion going!  Be sure to check out Gundam Guy as he’s posting updates and pictures as it happens.  But the sheer amount of MG’s announced has me fired up for some Gunpla!

PG Strike Freedom – Looking better than I thought it would, and looks to be huge!  The gold finish is not at all what I was expecting though.  I was expecting shiny gold like the Musha Mk. II, but from a distance it looks like gold plastic like the regular MG and other kits.  However close up shots make it look lke a very muted plated gold.  Looks good up close, looks eh far away.

RG Char Zaku-II – Looking better than I thought it would be, this may be a day one purchase.  Box art is good too!

MG Quan[T] – Still looking like Exia 1.5 with a new sword.  Pass.

 

MG ReZel – Transformation gimmick looks pretty good seeing how they showed off the stages of change.  This may make me change from a get later to a get sooner.

HG Extreme Gundam – I’m liking this design, looks like I’ll be picking it up.

MG Deathscythe Hell Custom – Burning people!! Nice Bandai, you should have waited a bit longer to announce this one so you could get more sales out of the MG Deathscythe.  I’m glad I waited, because this is the one I’ll be getting.

And then there are the other Gundam W kits as well.  While we knew they would be eventually releasing them, it’s suprising to see such a fast turn around.  Heavyarms is a want!

Heavyarms

Sandrock

ShenLong

OK folks, discuss! 

All photo’s from Gundam Guy and his respective sources.

HG 00 Raiser ANA Color Kits

As I mentioned before, I was able to get access to some ANA cards, and will be able to get some of the HG 00 Raiser ANA color kits.   Please note that my coworker is providing these kits, so I will not be able to provide them at cost like last time.  Other than that, shipping is to be covered by the purchaser (~700 yen a kit) and that only paypal (in yen) is accepted.   In regards to to the 1/48 ANA Gundam kit, due to the extreme shipping cost incurred with its size, I don’t plan on ordering any.   If you are interested in the HG kits, please drop me an email at american.salary (at) gmail.com.   I’ll leave this up until the weekend, or I run out of kits, which ever comes first.

WiP: Rockman 1/10 kit

Time to get back to building!  Rather than jump straight back into a big Gunpla kit, I’m working my way back up the ladder starting with a Kotobukiya kit.  Rockman has been one of my favorite series ever since Mega Man 2 (and my all time fave Mega Man game), and I actually had a couple of the really shoddy Bandai Rockman plastic kits several years ago.  Imagine my surprise and pleasure when I heard that Kotobukiya was going to be giving Rockman their Plamo treatment.  One thing that surprised me as well though was there didn’t seem to be that much interest in this kit, when I brought it up at the meeting of the 4 bloggers of the apocalypse.   Still, after the good quality of Kotobukiya’s Hoihoi kits, I had high hopes for Rockman.  So let’s get started!

First off, the number of runners really surprised me, it comes with almost the same amount of runners as a small HG kit, less than even the Hoihoi kits, and the runners themselves aren’t huge.

All this makes one Rockman.

Starting off with the legs, its a very very fast build, with just the foot, shin armor, upper leg and joint.

Completed parts on the leg with pieces on the right.

Completed legs.

The waist itself is another simple affair, and before you know it you’ve got a lower body.

Waist pieces.

Halfway there already!

The torso and arms are as simple as the waist and legs

Torso pieces.

Headless and armless.

Completed arm pieces on the left and pieces on the right.

The head probably has the most pieces in the kit.  Like Hoihoi-san, you can switch out facial expressions, and it’s actually easier with Rockman as you simply pop it in at an angle.  With Hoihoi-san you had to take off part of the hair to get at it.

Head parts.

Completed head.

Additional expressions as well as hands.

Lastly, building his gun, which I think was call the Rockbuster (Megabuster?)?

Just a couple of parts here as well.

With that, Rockman is done.  The whole build took less than 2 hours, so it’s incredibly fast.  And the final product?

With just his hands.

You looking at me?

There are a couple of things to be done, the E-can doesn’t have the E on it already like the Hoihoi-san kits have the text on their pieces already, so I’ll have to do the waterslide there.   Also, there are a couple of blank faces to use the eye waterslides of my choice.  Next up will be thoughts and photo gallery (as soon as I get a new sheet of black paper for my background!)