The State of the Gunpla Union – 101211

Whoa, an actual State of the Gunpla Union address?  Yeah, it’s been that long.  As you may have already noticed, updates have been (un)surprisingly lacking in the previous couple of months.  Bluntly put, I literally have no life now thanks to my beautiful son.  But I’m sure my fellow parents out there know how that is.  So by no means am I unhappy about it, but the reality has set in that the time that I now have is extremely limited.  So that means things just aren’t happening, like gunpla and gaming.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t stop thinking about it and talking about it.  So let’s talk about Gundam stuff.

First up, Gunpla stuff.  As Gaigun already posted, there was another 7-11 Gundam campaign similar to the one done about 2 years ago.  This time around not just an updated Gundam figure, but a 7-11 Zaku II and Beargguy as well!  Suffice to say these things sold out pretty much the day they were lined up in 7-11 stores around the country.  It doesn’t help that each store only got like 2 of each kit.  But somehow I managed to snag a full set at Akihabara on a business trip thanks to a cool 7-11 manager.  There was some other nifty stuff like another lucky draw for Gundam stuff, as well as a tie up with Nissin Cup Noodle too, so I snagged things here and there.  I actually have another set of the cup noodle gundams, which would be cool to use for a contest….   I am trying to build my 7-11 Gundam but I’m literally going at a pace of one part per night, so I’m still an arm, leg and head away from completion.

For other gunpla news, I have to say that the MG Sandrock is looking better and better, aside from the ridiculous amount of decals (Thanks Katoki!).  To be honest, Sandrock and Shenlong Gundams were never my favorite and I found them quite bland next to Heavy Arms, Deathscythe and Wing, but I’m liking the look of this design.  After Heavy Arms, all that is left is TallGeese (and honestly, I never liked TallGeese, I don’t understand all the love it gets) and Bandai will have milked a majority of the GW mobile suits.  There are still the EW versions though… Leave to Bandai to take all your money!

MG Sandrock

In other MG news, this year’s big December release is the MG FA Unicorn.  Honestly, I’m kind of up in the air on this.  I’ve already built two MG Unicorns, and two HG Unicorns, and I still have another one sitting around.  Toss in the… inflated… price for all the extra weaponry and I have a hmmm, going to have to pass on this one feeling.  The green psychoframe is cool, though, but not worth the price of admission.  I keep looking at it and thinking, why is this call (F)ull (A)rmor Unicorn?  It gets just another shield and really no more armor, shouldn’t this be the (F)ull (W)eaponry Unicorn?

MG FA Unicorn

The next RG Freedom looks good as well, but since I have only built 1 of the 3 RG I already have, I’m in no rush to pick it up.  With RG’s coming out at a rate of 1 every 3 or 4 months, I figure the next one will probably be around February or March.  While early to speculate, I wonder if we won’t see something from Gundam OO next?  There is always Gundam Age, but they will probably release the MG long before moving to the RG line.

RG Freedom

But as you all know this year’s hobby show is from October 13th, so we should get quite a bit of info for the next six months or so of Gunpla releases.  I’m sure it will be dominated by Gundam Age materials, with a section given to the GW MG line up.  But perhaps we may just see the next PG in store?

Speaking of the hobby show, applicants to the Gunpla World Cup Japan Round who pass the first round of picture submissions will have their pictures displayed at the hobby show for the second round of judging.  As you all know, I submitted my GP01.  While not going all out, I did a paint job, panel lining, and water slides followed by a flat coat.  Sad to say I did not pass the first round.  I had hopes that Bandai wouldn’t take all bling bling kits, but would take some more.. solidly done kits to even it out.  Probably they did take some average kits to make it look fair, just mine wasn’t one of them.  So here are the pictures that I submitted.  Will need to do a full photo session soon because I am quite pleased with how the kit turned out.

So I guess the next couple of days should have some exciting news if we are lucky.

Moving onto other thing Gundam, what’s hot in the blogosphere is Gundam Age.  Having watched it real time on Sunday, I must say I’m not sure what to think.  The general reaction seems to be positive, but that it’s definitely aimed at the younger generation.  I think that’s quite true as a lot of the jumps in logic simply don’t allow for deeper… interaction so to say as other series have.  As an aside I have read that some people think that all Gundam series are aimed at kids, but I think that is not so true with some recent series (especially regarding UC timeline series.)

Gundam Age

Anyways, back to the subject at hand, GA Ep 1 was your standard enemy attacks colony, hero gets in Gundam, and fights off first enemy stories.  The style of design quite reminds me of old Super Robot anime series which definitely is not quite Gundam, but still good.  Stereotypical design?  Yeah, but vibrant in the colors and music is decent.  But we still come back to the fact that GA is aimed at a much younger crowd, as we again see how things are glossed over, such as the actual horrors of what the attacks do.  Aside from Frit’s mother dying in the opening scene, I get the feeling that this will be a much lighter death free Gundam.  As for design, the Gundam Age itself is decent, but not feeling everything else.  I’m pretty sure when we get to the part swapping power ranger/super robot style episodes things may get pretty lame.  I can see it already, with the heavy mech style Frits going to move in to close range and punch the crap out of his enemy… hmm…

Anyways, first episode is decent, but the series will require a certain turning off of expectations that previous series have for seriousness and more adult themes.  The good thing is that Bandai is at least giving the older crowd some UC love based off the plans to take the Origin and animate it.

So what are the thoughts on upcoming gunpla, the hobby show possibilities, and lastly Gundam Age?

Advertisements

The State of the Gunpla Union – 073111

First of all, I’m still alive. Yes, really. I know it’s been two months since the last post, but as you all know, life happens.  Honestly, there have been a couple of big things that have kept me busy. The first being work, but there is only so much you can say about that. Work is work right? As for the other thing, well I’ll get to that in a bit. First off lets catch up on Gunpla and things.

I’m obviously two months late in chiming in on this but let’s talk Gundam Age. At this point I’m sure everyone is quite aware of the facts, but for those who may have been living under a rock as it seems I have for the last two months, I highly suggest you check out Falldog’s write up here on Gundam Age, if you haven’t already. I’ll wait, go ahead.

Ok, now that you’re back, my opinion is disappointment, but I understand the reasoning behind the move and this media mix style. I’m fastly approaching the middle age bracket that wants to see more UC timeline anime and higher quality kits and what not, but Bandai needs to worry about the youth bracket and to sell those toys as I guess it makes more money for them now.  While Bandai has been unashamedly forward about the media mix style with anime, games, and toys route they are taking with Gundam Age, they thankfully decided to remember the older bracket and give us the animated version of The Origin Manga. While a retelling, the manga was excellent, and I hope they give it a full TV series at least rather than an OVA.   And bluntly put, First Gundam is old animation-wise, so a remake would be awesome on the eyes.

Anyways, back to Gundam Age, on the mecha designs, I will give the Age Gundam a thumbs up and will build the eventual MG, but everything else… Well I guess you have to keep it simple for the seven year olds right?

OK, I’ll build this at least

In other Gunpla news, as we all know, MG Gundam Epyon landed during my blank period, and yes, it’s built and done.  I haven’t taken much pictures of it yet as I’m probably at least going to try and complete decal hell with it and top coat it.  Initial thoughts is that it’s pretty awesome, but for reason, the proportions bother me.  the length of the legs compare to the tiny torso really jumped out at me.  It’s a small nitpick.  You really can’t tell in pictures.

It’s Bluepyon?

I saw this over at Plamo Addiction, amazing paint job.  Flipping it from the dark red to this blue, and having it come out this good is pretty damn nice work.  Honestly though?  I might be going against popular opinion, but I just don’t think blue suits Gundam Epyon.  I think the style fits a darker color scheme, but that is just me.  To reiterate though, it’s an awesome paint job.

Anyways, onto kits that I’m working on or have finished, and really need to just do a month of nothing but photo posts.  First off, the PG GP01 is almost done, considering I started back in March, I should really finish this up.  This also will be my entry into Bandai’s Gunpla World Grand Prix.  One thing I’ve learned in entering contests in Japan is that unfortunately Japanese don’t seem to like recolors as much as westerners do, so I think I’m going to have a better chance with this kit than perhaps my Sinanju.

GP01

I’ve also finished the RG Zaku II, and I have to say it does look really good.  Tiny tiny pieces though, and the movable frame is really stiff which means it does feel like it’s easy to break.  It’s on the table ready to get decaled this week.

RG Zaku II…?

Other completed kits include the HG G-3 Gundam that was a limited kit at last years Gunpla Expo, along with the Ex Finish Char’s Rick Dom which also was a limited kit from a Chara Hobby show a few years back.  I also did finish up the HG ANA Gundam kit too. Nice and blue, but having built the ANA Unicorn first, I think I spoiled myself.  I’ll have to build the ANA 00 Gundam to see if it comes out on top of the three ANA kits.

1/144 Line up

As mentioned, I also finished the MG Epyon, it’s going on the decal table sometime this month too.

For the time being it’s on the shelf

And I’ve had some free time in the last couple of days, so I’ve been doing a simple snapfit build of the Nu-Gundam.

Surprisingly straightforward and easy

And last, but definitely not least is the PG Strike Freedom.  The countdowm has started, and it will be done by the end of the month.

Thanks to Kjasi for the awesome video.  Nothing like lighting a fire under your ass like a countdown.

So in short, August should see the PG GP01, PGSF GAF GBP, RG Zaku II, and Nu-Gundam all being fully completed.  A bit ambitious, but I’ll see what I can do.

But as you may recall, I mentioned a limited edition kit dropping in July.  It was a few days late, but I did get it last week.  Besides work, that other thing I mentioned that was going to keep me busy?  That would be ASM Junior, and he’s a limited one of the kind.

With that said, things maybe slower as gunpla takes a bit of a back seat, but I will continue to post when I can.  As is, I’m already looking forward to being able to build Gunpla with my son in the future.

The State of the Gunpla Union – 053111

Looking back at the month of May, it feels like I did a lot, but yet didn’t get much done at all.  If anything, May was a mountain that I finally got over.  Due to that it felt like forever, but actually passed by in a whirlwind do to a variety of reasons.

First up, work.  I’ve talked a little bit about it last month, but May has ended up being the busiest month yet with some long hours and ups and downs, but things worked out for the most part with the issues that I was dealing with and life is settling down again.  I see another mountain in the distance but it shouldn’t be as bad as this last one.  If anything, I’m hoping this will let me finally get to go on some business trips abroad as opposed to all domestic Japan only.

One of the major perks of May through was meeting the mastermind behind Gundam Australia.  What was supposed to be just drinks and dinner turned into a 10 hour adventure in Osaka.  No one tells a better story than the man himself, so I highly suggest you check out his full report at GAF of what went down.  Well, full story so far as what we can legally tell you.

On the home side, the SO and I continued our spring cleaning and re-arranging of of how our room layouts are done.  I’ll be finished moving all my gundam stuff and setting up my workshop in our spare room hopefully in the next week or two.  This means I’ll actually be able to start taking pictures again, as the running gag is that… well I never get around to taking photos!  But actually, there is a bit going on at home that I’ve not posted about, so once we finish moving things around, I’ll actually have more room to do pictures and stuff without bothering the SO.  With a window by the desk where I’m setting things up, future plans no include a possible investment into a spraybooth along with a compressor.  This may allow for that eventual move into airbrush land.  But that all depends on things over the summer so nothing set in stone yet.

But now onto the important stuff right?  Gundam!  I actually didn’t get much of anything done aside from the Gentei Destiny Gundam.  I was actually fairly impressed by the kit, especially that it could hold it’s giant sword with no problems.  Pictures will eventually be showing up, but I think there are a couple on the facebook page.

The main thing I posted about though was my participation in the Gauntlet of the Apocalypse.  If you’ve not checked out the thread, then click the pic below and check it out.


Some amazing teamwork and synergy is happening there, and it’s the little touches that really makes this build special.  My particular favorite is the GAF Blog post providing breaking news on everyone’s progress.  I will definitely being doing what I can to make sure the retrofit of my Strike Freedom is ready in time for our initiative.

In other kits, the progress on the PG GP01 is about 80% done, I just need to finish the waterslides on a few parts and top coating and the GP01 Version will be done.  The full Vernier parts will take a little longer, but I’m not sure if I’ll even use them yet.  I’m also going to knock out some more HGUC kits to get boxes out of the way.  At this point I think I’ve got 3 versions of the HGUC 78-2/3 Gundam I need to build, so I just might do that.  But being too ambitious usually leads to nothing getting done at all so I’ll keep plugging at it at my own pace.

On next to the latest kit news, we saw the 50th Shizuoka Hobby Show this month, and to tell the truth I came away from the news quite disappointed.  No where near as exciting as last year, and only with short term release information.  In fact, the only “new” MG to be announce was the Delta Plus.  I held off on the HG Delta Plus because I figured Bandai was going to do something like this, similar to the HG ReZel, by releasing in well within a year or so of the HG release.  At this point, I’m sure we’ll have a MG Geara Zulu by the end of the year.  Aside from the already announced Gundam Wing MG kits (and you notice that Heavy Arms and Sandrock were the HG 1/100’s still) and 00 Raiser and Epyon, it was quite barren.  HG kits saw some love you could say, or at least G Gundam kits did, but overall, I found this years show to be a bust.  I will say that the SD Kshatriya looks awesome though!

So, the last major kit on my list to buy at this point is the Epyon, and I’m done for a long while unless something awesome is announced.  And given that there is a new series to be announced next week, I’m sure there will be new awesome kits coming out this year… perhaps.

Looking good!

But, I’m still on track for a special kit arriving in July as well, so that will probably take up some of my time for the foreseeable future aside for the PGSF, so perhaps it’s for the best.

While nothing exciting on the horizon in my opinion, what’s everyone looking forward to, or planning on spending these long summer months working on?

The State of the Gunpla Union – 043011

This month’s SOTGU is a bit delayed (as usual) due to a couple of different things.  Long story short, April was just a really really hard month.  It didn’t help that I caught a cold the last couple of days of the month.  I basically spent the first few days of the long Golden Week vacation getting over a cold, only to have an operation yesterday to remove an impacted (embedded?) wisdom tooth, to now spend the next few days in pain waiting for the swelling to go down.  But going back to April, it was simply a hard month.

Why is that?  Since I’ve been stuck in bed for the last few days for cold/teeth/swollen face reasons, I thought back on it, and I guess it comes down to work.  As everyone knows, I now work at a much bigger company than when I was in Tokyo, and on top of that, a major Japanese global conglomerate.  This April was the first time I got to really see how the workings of such a company works on a variety of levels.  I really could go into it, but I’m sure it would be boring to most.  To say the least, it’s very different from the small-sized company I worked at before.  In short, my April consisted of: 1.) HR Ops dealing with 200 new grad and mid-career hires. 2.) two business trips to Tokyo/Yokohama dealing with benefits for international employees. 3.) Working on preparing services and operations in Shanghai and supporting the employees scheduled to be expatriated there. 4.) Working with employees scheduled to be expatriated to other locations abroad. 5.) Dealing with issues with currently expatriated employees in Singapore/America.  6.) Counseling and followup to employees affected by the earthquake last month. 7.) Writing reports and preparing my first evaluation with the company. 8.) And as usual, helping out my co-workers with anything and everything in English.

Whew, that’s most of it I think?  Now it might seem that I’m complaining, but the truth of it is, despite all of this, I love my job.  It has a ton of responsibilities, but I’m given the chance to make help the company move forward, and it’s great experience overall.  Still, this month came with some of the frustrations that come with an old school Japanese mindset trying to work in global market…. That and I’m hoping this first evaluation will reflect well and that it will come with the appropriate compensation.  What this does mean though with the added responsibilities and leeway I’ve been given, that does mean more work, and even being on call now in light of crisis management since the earthquake.  I now get to carry a blackberry for work despite not being a manager, due to some of my unique roles.   So overall, less time for Gunpla it feels like.

But some other good points of April included being able to meet up with GaiGun in Akiba during one of my trips to Tokyo, as well as getting in and actually finishing the HGUC ANA Unicorn Gundam.  I also went ahead and knocked out the regular HGUC Unicorn Unicorn (Destroy Mode Ver.) even though sadly it plays second fiddle to the ANA version.

Various Destroy Mode Unicorns

Other than the two Unicorns built, the only other Gunpla action that happened this month was the my ongoing progress with the PG GP01.  You can see more pictures of it on the Facebook page, but if things go well, I should be finished with it sometime this month.

Building, decaling and topcoating as I go

There really isn’t much out on my radar going forward though, as I’ve said for the last few months, aside from the RG Strike and MG Epyon.  If I had more time I would use it to tackle the backlog but it still sits there unattended due to more pressing needs.  Still, as I started spring cleaning in late April, we moved my work desk to the spare room where everything is stored, and with the absence of the PG GP01 the backlog does look somewhat smaller?

The new location of the work desk

The current backlog (with some exceptions)

The current backlog part 2

There are a few other kit boxes that aren’t “stocked” in the spare room, consisting of the RG Char’s Zaku II and HGUC 0 Gundam, but you get the idea.  I still haven’t moved my more recent built kits to the rack yet though, and they sit lonely in the Japanese tatami room.

A variety of grades

Now I know a lot of people are wondering what happened to the PG Strike Freedom, well, there are some plans coming for that soon enough, so you’ll be hearing about it again shortly.  I’ll probably try and whittle down the backlog by doing some of the gentei kits that I would only straight build anyways.  We’ll see!  I guess though aside from the RG Strike, most people are finding a bit of a lull in gunpla?  For us here in Japan (us being me and GaiGun that is), work, and dealing with how the aftermath of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear plant disasters certainly have put a damper on things.  Add in to PSN being down and now there isn’t even much desire to game…

The State of the Gunpla Union – 033111

Much like GaiGun, I’ve not found the desire to blog or gunpla in the recent weeks following the Tohoku earthquake.  To be honest, I’ve done not much of anything aside from work and coming home and watching the news.  No gaming, no gunpla, not following the latest gunpla news or anything.  As I mentioned before, thankfully everyone at my company was safe, but there arose the situation where people were still affected by loss of homes or family.  Also, as a former JET, I was saddened to hear about the loss of a JET member as well.  This earthquake, tsunami, nuclear crisis, and rolling black outs affecting the Kanto region will continue to affect things for the long term it seems.  But life goes on, right?  We pick up and rebuild, and even if I wasn’t directly affected, I need to pick up and go forward.  I’m happy that the efforts I’m doing at work is going to help our employees and those affected.

And with that said, let’s get back to the Gunpla!  Moping around isn’t going to get these kits built.  March obviously didn’t see much done, but I have started on one thing…

Yep, doing the PG Strike Freedom got me in the PG mood and I’ve started on the PG GP01.  Yeah, I know I need to get back to finishing up the PG Strike Freedom as well.  As you see, it’s looking big and pretty here.  In fact, it’s so big that it will be pretty hard to take good pictures with my current setup most likely.

But yeah, the goal is to actually get some stuff taken in April, as we’ll be doing some spring cleaning and rearranging a couple of our rooms.   With that said, I’m debating on what to do with some of my older already built kits.  Not that I’m going to throw anything out, but my original backlog was somewhat of a giant lot of stuff I got cheap, and in that were a few kits that I just built and that was it.    So, I may be passing on those kits to people who might want to take them and make them something special.  This is just something floating around my head right now, so I’m not sure how this will work out.  Of course, by reading that, you may think I’m getting out of Gunpla or something.  I’m not, but priorities are priorities, and Gunpla has always been somewhat of an escape for me.  Now with a job that keeps me busy, and that I actually really like, I’m having less time to build then before.  There is also a Gentei kit coming in July that I’m saving up for too, so  I’m thinking about that too.  But no worries, the gunpla is still going on, just not as much.

Of course there are kits on my radar coming up.  As mentioned last month, I’m looking forward to both the MG Epyon and RG Strike.

MG Epyon

RG Strike

The RG Strike especially looks like it’s going to be amazing if the pictures aren’t lying.  If anything, the Strike might be the first real look at what the RG line is capable of.  When you really stop to think about it, the RX-78 Gundam is as about as simple as it gets, and the Zaku-II as well.  So the Strike might be the line’s real chance to shine.  Other than these two kits though, there’s not much else coming out at this point that has got me excited, or that I can really concentrate on

While it’s a bit of a short post this time around, I figured it’s good to get back on the ball, even if it’ll take a while to get back into things.   We’ll see how April goes!

The State of the Gunpla Union – 022811

So nearly four weeks since the last post, has it been that long?  I was reading Z’s blog the other day and he mentioned that when he gets away from blogging, it gets harder to come back.  Talk about being in the same boat there.  Anyways, any way you put it, another month has gone by, so let’s catch up.

First off, the obvious four week gap in posts probably equates to two or three things.  First up, the inevitable life.  Work is ramping up into full gear and I’m heading (or juggling you could say) a few big projects that is taking up quite a bit of my time.  Add in that I spent nearly a week out of town at various locations in Japan means that there is less time to Gunpla.  The good point is I did get to meet up with GaiGun for our usual get together in Akihabara (which is pretty much still month despite the fact I live half the country over?), and catch up on all things life and Gunpla.  But yeah, work has kept me busy to a point that when I come home, the last thing I want to do is look at the computer, which of course keeps me from actually writing blog posts.

Something we saw in Akiba – A red Hi~nu

The other big factor in lack of posts is that it took honestly longer than I expected it would to get everything needed for the PGSF wing joint fix.  While I was able to get the pipe, glue, and putty no problem, the actual 3 or 4 dollar pipe cutter needed to make nice uniform rings, was out of stock literally everywhere in Osaka.  I was a bit dumbfounded because I didn’t think that many people needed to cut pipes at the same time to warrant it being sold out everywhere!   However, I managed to locate the needed cutter while on my business trip in Yokohama (a lot of them too, go figure) so everything is finally ready to go.  But now that I have the goods, I’m finally getting back to the PGSF, and that should be my next WiP before finishing up the initial build of the kit.  You should see the wing fix in action first on Gunpla TV as I’ve provided GaiGun with a few to give the wing fix a try on video.  Fingers crossed that it’ll work out good.

The goods for the fix

For those following my facebook page though, you’ll notice that while the PG SF was on pause, I did go ahead and start cleaning out some of the back log, and knocked out four HG kits over the last couple of weeks.  The Qubeley Mk-II, the Qubeley (Pearl Coating Version), the Gundam Mk-II (Ecopla version), and the Extreme Gundam.  In fact, I actually started and did most of the Extreme Gundam at the hotel while on my trip.  Gaigun and I joked a bit about this, but now I think I may have to start carrying nippers in my bag when I travel in case I get the Gunpla bug.  HG’s really are great kits for those quick and simple builds that don’t take up weeks of your time.  The downside is you need to do a little extra work to get the truly awesome full effect.   Still, the important thing is I’m still knocking out stuff, I just need to blog about it more…

Knocking out those HG kits

But anyways, another month has passed, and that brings with it some more gunpla news.  First up on the MG side, we have upcoming releases for a retooled Wing Gundam, Gundam Epyon, and 00 Raiser.  First off, the 00 Raiser was simply a matter of time, and is a pass on my part.  I wasn’t impressed with the kit overall in PG size, which means I’m not going to be impressed with it in MG size.  Especially considering you need a full five led sets to get the full effect.  I guess we should be grateful that Bandai is being generous and giving us at least on with the kit, considering they didn’t do that for the Quan[T].  The retooled Wing Gundam does look fairly appealing, but it’s still likely a pass for me at this time, since I already made a Wing Gundam I’m happy with.  This leaves Epyon on my list of a big yes.  Simply because it feels like we’re finally moving towards some of the kits people have been want to seeing in MG form in a long time.  Fingers crossed still for an MG Kapool someday though…

On the HG, SD, and RG side, there is a bit of excitement as the next RG is the Aile Strike.  While I’m somewhat not surprised that they went this way, and had actually hoped for something a little more… different than the usual pattern, I am looking forward to seeing how well the RG quality and what not translates to the Aile Strike.  On the other hand, the upcoming SD Sinanju is definitely on my list. HG’s that have me interested are the upcoming ECOAS Jegen and Dreissen, but I still want to see finalized pictures for them before I make any other decisions.

RG Aile Strike

SD Sinanju

But like I said, I’m looking more at working through the backlog, then increasing it, and so my goal is to actually knock out quite a few kits.  Initially I may just just snap builds to get the boxes and plastic out of the way, and then go back once we hit spring to start doing painting or mods to models that I want to do so for.  But in general, the next things to knock off on my HG/RG list is the D-Mode Unicorn, and the RG Zaku-II.  I’m also looking at doing the PG GP01 just because that box takes up a lot of space.  Anyways though, things blog-wise and actual build-wise will continue to be affected by my work load, so we’ll see how March goes.  What’s on peoples upcoming want lists or to build list for March?

Oh, and while I say I don’t want to increase my backlog, I couldn’t help but jumping on ANA yesterday to fly to Tokyo on business, and grabbing a couple of special order cards while I was at it….