HGUC Gundam (Version 7-11 1.5)

So it only took about 5 weeks to complete one HG kit.  At this rate, my backlog is going to take years to finish.  Anyways, while later than the rest of the crowd, here are a few pictures.  I didn’t bother with the weapons since I’ve already got like 5 beam rifles and Gundam Hammers from other kits.  This Gundam is doing nothin but pimpin 7-11.  Anyways, tackling one kit at a time!

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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.

The State of the Gunpla Union – 030110

New month, new state of the Gunpla union.  Yep, It’s March already, January and February just flew by for me.

First up, Gundam  talk.  It’s my turn to talk about the upcoming releases that have my fellow Gunplars (and I as well, admittedly) in a furor.  So what’s on this humble Gunplar’s watch/rant list?  

MG Musha Gundam Mk-II

Um, yes, I’ll take one please.  The bad boy of Gundam Musou makes his appearance.  I can see this kit being very suited to my twilight color scheme as well.  No need for a special overprice glorious set like the original Musha Gundam either, I’ll take it just as it is.  It will also be interested to see how the Gundam V2.0 frame is used, considering this looks to be a much builker mobile suit than the Gundam.  Pricing is tentatively set at 6,300 yen, or around 4,400 yen at most retailers in Japan, and scheduled for a May release.

 MG Wing Gundam

Buster at Plamo Addiction said it best, but this is the Gundam that started it for a lot of Americans.  Suprisingly enough, it’s taken them this long to bring out a kit of the original anime version.  No endless waltz versions, or version Ka’s or PG’s here.  Simple MG TV series goodness.  I’ve got friends who’ve said if they’d ever build a kit, this is what they want to build.  Well here it is, at a nice price of 4,200 yen (2,900ish yen! in Japan) scheduled for an April release.  I’m in the same boat as Buster on picking this one up based on principle, Wing Gundam wasn’t even my favorite Gundam from Gundam Wing (that would be Deathscythe, of course, along with the Epyon), but it is still nostalgic to me as it’s literally America’s First Gundam.  

MG Unicorn HD Color Ver. + Cage

Box art is bad ass.  It looks like I might double dip on this one, a March 11th release @ 7,785 yen (again, 5,500 or so for those in Japan).  Unicorn is really a sexy beast, I can rationalize by saying I’ll keep my original Unicorn in Unicorn mode, and build this one in Destroy mode.  Yeah, that’s it…hehe.

Other March releases of interest include two more Gundam Unicorn HGUC kits, the Re-Zel Commander type and the Loto, this then apparently concludes the current rush of Gundam Unicorn stuff as is apparent from Bandai’s move back to other series for the time being.  As noted elsewhere, they’re most likely going to start lumping most things under one HG line, but this in itself is a maybe.  Currently there are three HG lines, HGUC, HG Seed, and HG 00.  HG Seed hasn’t seen releases for a long time so I guess it’s done, but the amount of kits there alone seem to rival HGUC with it’s current 100+.  HG 00 of course is still going, but for the most part they consist of the same kit, in different colors, or slowly adding weapons to it.  Anyways, It may be that this “Across the Universal Century” idea, which in itself is bad English, will address the older HG kits that weren’t properly scaled, or are quite outdated.  Aside from the Gundam X and God Gundam, could this mean new kits for shows such as Gundam V, W, X, Y, Z?  Oh wait, there was no Y there.  Anyways, only time will tell, but I am interested to see if they will “update” older kits this way then, and bring older HGUC kits into the 2010s.   

Oh as to what the name, “Across the Universal Century” says to me, it comes across as UC kits only, so why non-UC kits?  The Japanese translation, at least according to Dengeki Hobby is 「宇宙世紀を超えて」what our Japanese friends apparently meant “going beyond the Universal Century” but unfortunately, they decided to go with the literal translation of koeru, to end up being “Crossing” or “Across”

Seriously, Bandai, you need an English checker over there in Shizuoka?  I’m willing to move, just give me the job. 

Ahem.  Moving on, the latest March release schedule shows those special edition PG’s set for release on the 18th, I’m still surprised that there aren’t any pictures yet, considering that they are to be released in less than three weeks.  Looking forward to seeing how these kits are going to look.  So basically my March wish list (otherwise known as the if I could afford it and the wife wouldn’t kill me for buying all this Gunpla list) for March consists of the MG Unicorn + Cage and HGUC Loto Twin Set on the 11th, the Re-Zel Commander version and PG Gundam Special Edition on the 18th.  Hmm… yeah, that all isn’t happening…   

I will admit after my January rant of over priced MG/PG goods, it seems like stuff coming out now and in the future are reasonably priced, outside of a few kits (Titanium Sinanju, I’m looking at you.  You too, Trans-am Exia).  Some kits especially are quite nice for the price, the SD Unicorn, and the MG Astray Red Frame are two that come to mind.  Both are selling amazingly well, to the point of being literally sold out, which is something I’ve never seen with Gunpla to this point.  The amount of volume you get with the MG Astray is mind-boggling it seems, and puts the PG to shame.  Not that I’ll be picking it up.  I will say two words about the SD Unicorn:

Highly recommended.

What other Gundam news is there?  Unicorn OVA was good, glad I rented it off of PSN.  Don’t think I could justify the cost of the blu-ray though for only what amounts to about 50 minutes of animation.  Again, quality animation is great, but waiting six months for another episode seems long.  Gundam 00 was done in HD, and they did that weekly.  I know OVA’s are a step up from TV quality, but fifty minutes shouldn’t take that long.  I guess it’s kind of depressing because this probably means it’ll take a total of 3 years (Episode 6 in fall 2012?) to finish at this series…  Speaking of Gundam movies, the 00 trailer is out, still kind of up in the air, don’t know if I’ll see it in the theaters, or just wait.  Depends on what goodies they have for advance ticket sales maybe.

Anyways, what’s on your purchase list for March, and for those who saw the first episode of Gundam Unicorn, thoughts?

Char attacks!

Today we’re going to take another look at something else that showed up in the mail, and I have given you a slight hint at a while ago.

Char…?

Yep, Char attacks, with the gentei limited Char set that was part of the goods line up at the Nagoya Gundam Expo last year. How’d I get to Nagoya for that one? Actually I didn’t, this a tale of learning how to dive into 2 chan for info when you need it. Basically, as some of you may heard, Bandai decided to not set a limit of how many kits you could buy at this event, and well, people went nuts apparently. It was reported that some people were buying 10 of the same kit and so on, for scalping, friends, or whatnot, and Bandai managed to sell out of their stock on day one. Well, in a move that only would probably happen in Japan, Bandai was nice enough to allow event goers the chance to order the sold out items to be delivered at a later date. Of course, to keep it to those who actually showed up, they gave out passwords to access it.

Well, you immedietely had people auctioning off the card on Yahoo Auctions, but a quick check on 2 chan revealed the password (which was like GundamNagoya, or something like that, nice hard password there). So a quick check online and I made my order for the Char set. It’s to be noted that they did the same for the Gundam Expo that was held in August, and will do it again in the future when you stop to think about it. Could be a good way for a reseller to make a killing on getting some of those limited goods out of Japan, but the only downside is they give you an extremely limited window of opportunity for odering. I wonder as well if they would fill an order for say 20 or 30 of the same kits? But I digress, back to the kit(s) at hand.

The Char Nagoya set consists of the clear versions of Char’s Gelgoog, Z’Gok, and Zaku II. While I’ve stated that I’m not a fan of clear Gunpla kits, the Char one’s definitely stand out, and was around 2,500 yen if I recall, meaning that you didn’t have to pay an extreme premium for the three kits. One plus I found about clear kits is that you generally don’t have to worry about sprue damage standing out so much, so this makes them a quick build. I think I did them all over the space of two evenings. Overall, the two HGUC Zaku II’s I have now are both Char’s and special editions. The Z’gok s now one of 4 I guess, if I count the enforcer along with the MG one that I have, but it’s another Zeon model that I like. Overall, I seem to be doing very good with avoiding building “regular editions”, haha. I didn’t take much in the way of pictures, but here’s what I have, so enjoy.

The State of the Gunpla Union – 021010

 Ahem, a second post in less than a week?  Could I truly be getting back on the ball?  Well, poking fun at myself aside, I am planning on finally getting some of this backed up content over the next week, so look forward to it.  No really, I mean it!

Anyways, let’s get on with the Gundam talk for this month’s State of the Gundpla Union address.  First off, guys, some great responses over the HG/MG/PG rant I did last month, you all kept that going despite the fact I wasn’t around for a week or 3, much appreciated.  Today I’d like to go over a slight follow up on some of the things I talked about. 

The Unicorn OVA SP Pack @ 7,875 yen – While still pricey, the updated info turns this Unicorn into a 1.5 version beast, with a ton of bonus swag.  Still a tad pricey, though.  Had they thought to included the first run novel only gatlings as well it’d be a sweeter deal.  With the OVA finally set for release this month, and with five more episodes to go, I can only imagine what comes next.  Full Armor Unicorn? Banshee?  Safe to say yes on both?

Sinanju Titanium Edition @ 12,600 yen – The price is still a freaking hell no, but I will admit nice blingy red there.  Unfortunately you’re going to pay an arm and a leg for something that’ll have splotches from where you snipped the pieces off the runner.  I’m happy with my twilight colored SInanju, thank you very much!

New to this month of I can’t believe they’re going to screw us over is the announcement of not one, but three(!) special editions of already released Perfect Grade kits!  While no pictures are yet available, the information Ngee Khiong has put up calls for a Clear version of the PG Strike (21,000 yen) along with Extra Finish versions of the RX-78 Gundam and Mass Production Zaku II (Both 23,100 yen).  Let the Gunpla 30th anniversary whoring begin!  While I can kind of see charging a premium for the “extra finish” for the Gundam and Zaku II (albeit an additional 100 dollars seems excessive), charging an additional 70 bucks for what is simply clear plastic, is simply outrageous.  I mean it’s f’n clear plastic, how much more money does that cost?  I’m going to call it, this year is going to be the year in which Bandai tries to one-up themselves each month with in over-valuing their goods new and astonishing prices.

On a side note, I will admit that I am, sadly, intrigued by the extra finish Gundam PG.  It’s the only PG that I technically don’t have, and to be honest with you, the HGUC Extra Finish version I have is really nice looking.  I think it’s a matter of how bad would sprue damage be on a PG kit.  The bigger the piece, the bigger the cut, right?

So on to the HG kits, you know, I am really finding myself pleasantly surprised time and time again.  Due to my not paying attention to what’s available in the HG line, every time I casually glance at the store I find something new.  I don’t think I mentioned this last time, but to me, one of the major pro’s of having a low cost is that allows Bandai to put out kits that they simply can’t, or won’t do in MG or bigger sizes.  In particular you’ll find a ton of Zeon/Axis/Neo-Zeon kits in the HGUC line that are variants or experimental units, or just even the regular grunts.  ESF also has a ton of kits, and I’ve got my eye on the Hazel as a potential quick build.  I did pick up just one Zeon kit the other day that I’m looking forward to putting together this weekend maybe.

Z’Gok Experimental and, yep, the ReZEL

I realize that with my picking up of the ReZEL kit that I’ve gotten every Unicorn Gundam kit put out so far to date save for the HGUC Unicorn mode Unicorn Gundam.  I guess I really really like the design of the mobile suits in UC 96!  I haven’t really planned to get the Stark Jegan, but I just might now considering my line up.  One other thing I also realized I’ve done with most of the kits in this era is paint them.  While I said I was done painting, we saw what happened with my Geara Zulu, so what does that mean for the ReZEL…?  We’ll have to see!

Moving on to non-Gundam stuff, as you all know I did head back to the states for a while.  It’s always an eye opener to head back after such a long period… but as Bon Jovi said, you can always go home, so it was good to be back, eat real pizza and lots of Tex-Mex food, while snagging stuff that’s hard to get here.  That said, this time a couple of things I noticed going back to my own country.

  • Americans are generally nicer.  Granted I’m from the south so that may have something to do with it, but the Japanese idea that American nicety is “just for the tip” feels so misplaced.
  • Things are much more slower paced.  Again, this is the southern mentality here, but not so many people in an absolute rush.  Downside was that I noticed that extends to the register and checking out. 
  • More green, more space!  Yeah, that goes without saying, but even in Dallas, it didn’t feel anything like the concrete Jungle that is the Greater Tokyo region, or even Kansai. 
  • More expensive.  While the strong yen was good to me for buying things, I notice how things are getting just a little more expensive.  Again, I go home every 15 months or so, so it jumps out at me a little more I guess.  Also, I notice how stores don’t discount games or anything like that.  Everything is retail, or a shoddy 5 dollars of if used.  Still snagged some good deals, and retail America price for games/movies is still cheaper than Japan but I guess that “gotta find the best deal” mentality that Japan drilled into me is coming to the front here. 

Overall it was good, and there was a definite “twinge” coming back to Japan.  I love Japan, but the social interactions just aren’t the same… 

Anyways, what are your thoughts on the Gunpla news of the day?

Let’s kick the Gundam off with..

Could it be? Yes, it’s time for the first serious Gundam post of the year. Time to get back on that horse. While I should get back on track with the PG 00 Gundam, I’m going to start off with a little something that showed up while I was in the states.

Hmmm?

What could this be?

Yep, something I totally forgot about (I tend to have this happen a lot it seems), the Gundam 30th Anniversary Premium Box, which was only available through Bandai’s Premium Hobby website.

Premium = Limited baby

This Limited Premium set is also numbered, and it looks like I got a fairly low number. Would have been nice to get in within the first 100, but you take what you can get.

#000170

It’s a big box too

Bigger than I thought it would be.

So what exactly does the Premium Box come with? Well, it comes with clear versions of all the main Gundam’s from the television series. Movies, OVAs, and the upcoming Unicorn Gundam aren’t part of it, but all in all you end up with 13 kits. It also comes with a full color booklet which covers each TV series.

Opened up

The kits, in order of TV series

The inner box has a picture of the completed set

The booklet

Another shot

The kits themselves slide out of the cardboard “box” which features the original cover art of the original kit, as well as when the kit was first release. In a way, some of these kits themselves are pretty hard to find now a days, so this is a good way to get them, albeit they are the clear versions.

The original Gundam 1/144 kit, all in one runner!

The more recent 00 Gundam

The Turn A, which I’ve never seen in stores. I’d love to find the 1/144 kapool…

Seeing the original box art is pretty cool too

Overall, this is a really neat set, and the collector value seems to be fairly high. For the time being I’m not planning on building any of the kits, simply because it’ll fall into the if you build one, you gotta build them all. So for the time being I’ll just covet my nice shiny black premium box.