Welcome to ASM 3.0

Welcome back to an American Salaryman in Osaka. Or, as you may have noticed by the slight site redesign, more simply, An American Salaryman. I’m your host ASM and it certainly has been a while.   Looking at the last post, I notice it’s been six months actually!  Time flies when you have a newborn, along with an increasingly busy job…  leaving some things to be put aside while dealing with said responsibilities.  One of those things has obviously been Gunpla, and the site.  Now as my son gets older, and hopefully work settles down, the idea is to get back into the fold, and really start knocking out that backlog, along with catching up on the latest releases.

As you may have noted by the redesign, I’ve moved the facebook plugin to the left here, and probably for the short term will be posting more on-the-spur pictures and updates to FB first before updating the site.  The plugin should allow you all to check out whats going on a little more real-time, rather than leaving you all hanging here.  I may look into a way to aggregate the FB posts here in a monthly catch up post but I’m not going to get ahead of myself.

On Gunpla, we saw the last thing built being the version 1.5 7-11 Gundam, and since then I’ve put a couple of kits together, nothing special, but I may try and start of slow with simple photo shoots and reviews of what’s going on.  In the meantime, feel free to look back at all the old posts here, and stick around while I ease back into the Gunpla and blogging life!

Short hiatus

I had meant to update with some new content this last week, but work and prep for my family coming to visit me in Japan kept me busier than I thought I’d be. With that said, normal updates should (finally) resume from October after my family has left.

So until then, I leave you with these.

Please see GaiGun or Buster’s site for more info on the above. I’ve hooked them, and they have continued to spread the word.

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
Landscape Width 900px x Height 600px
Portrait Width 600px x Height 900px

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!

An American Bum in Tokyo

Well, as those familiar with Japan know, April is the start of the “new year” in Japan, with school, work, and fiscal things all starting anew from April 1st.  Guess it has something to do with Spring right, the cherry blossoms, things coming back to life, etc.  Sometimes it feels really strange to me, despite living here for now over 7(!) years total.  But, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, right?

This year in particular has somewhat of a special significance as well to me, as from April, technically I will be starting on a “new journey” so to say.  I do apologize for the roundabout way of saying it, but technically I’m an American Bum in Tokyo right now.  After working over 3&½ years with my company, economic situations and future prospects have led me (and others in my company) to part ways and go on our own separate paths.  Ahem, short story, I’m unemployed now.  How am I taking it?  Quite well compared to some of my co-workers, but I feel leaving any type of job, no matter the circumstances, whether good or bad (and mine was fairly good) is tough.  The positive side is that I was starting to come to a wall where I was, and this is a good chance to focus on moving forward in my career, and maybe getting a less stressful job.   Due to the nature of things, I’ll leave my unemployment woes at that, but for the time being, I’ve got a lot of free time on my hands while I search for something new.  But before that, small vacation!  I’ll be doing some traveling in Asia and maybe around Japan for the next couple of weeks.

The first thing I’m thinking about is to change things around here.  Obviously this will be a work in progress, but I’m thinking about going with a  brighter theme this time around, while moving some of the more popular categories up top to specific page tabs that I’ll flush out going forward.  Currently just working out things in my head, but will see what happens after I get back from vacation.  On the Gunpla side, I’m going to try and knock out some of the kits that I’ve started and just put aside, as I won’t really be in a position to pick up much Gunpla going forward until I’ve secured new employment, or start doing small things on the side for Gunpla money.  I certainly have plenty of backlog to go, but unless there are some awesome releases going forward, I think my  last purchase will be the Shin-Musha Mk. II for the time being.

Oh, you know how women eat a tub of ice cream when bad things happen?  For Gunplar’s, we just buy  more Gunpla!

And it’s back to work

Just a quick note saying I’m back.  Planning on doing a photodump this week, but currently have 3 days of work to catch up with, Gundam Expo on Friday, and possibly Disney Sea on Saturday.  Can’t wait to be able to sleep on Sunday.  I’ll squeeze in some updates between then hopefully.

Oh, and a few things I picked up recently.