Gunplar Meet-up 2011

As you all may be aware, Buster Beam of Plamo Addiction has decided to make his next move in life, and head back to Canada.  Having met with him twice last year, in Akiba and the 1/1 Gundam in Shizuoka, I knew how much of a great guy he was, and couldn’t just let him head home without getting together one more time.  A quick email to GaiGun of Gaijin Gunpla to see if he was on board as well, which he was, and the ball started rolling for a Gunplar Meet-up.   This past weekend was a three day holiday in Japan, and we used that to get together one last time in Japan for drinking, gaming, and of course Gunpla!

I just happened to be in Tokyo on business on Friday, so I used that to stay in Akiba for the night and catch up with people before meeting up with GaiGun in Akiba Saturday evening at our usual pub, to get the party started.  After hitting back a few rum & cokes to get us nicely toasted, we headed off to Yodobashi Camera and Asobi City before jumping on the bullet train to head back to my new stomping grounds, Osaka.   Upon arriving in Osaka, we proceeded to my place to continue the drinking combined with online split-screen COD: Black Ops, until about 4:30 in the morning.  The plans for sight seeing a little before Buster arrived were put aside for the more needed sleep, and after sleeping most of the day away, we headed off to Namba to pick up Buster. We did some quick sight seeing around Nipponbashi, the Akiba of Osaka, but soon moved to the drinking.

The Dotonbori area of Namba

The Glico running man

After some drinking at Namba, we moved back to Tennoji to hit up a local izakaya, or Japanese style pub/restaurant to continue the drinking.  All three of us just happen to be fans of Z’s posts about food, so we thought we’d share with you some similar shots.

The 270 yen Izakaya, everything is 270 yen!

Starting out with beer and edamame

Gyoza!

Cucumbers covered with eatable raiyu sauce

Don’t forget yakitori and takoyaki!

Several beers, cocktails, and sake bottles later…

Of course, we didn’t just get together to drink, we got together to game and gunpla as well, and we got together a bunch of kits to work on.  At least to the best of our drunken ability, we had been drinking for about five hours…

Gunpla loot

And don’t forget about Call of Duty!

But still, we’re here to build gunpla (while drinking)

Gundam UC in the background while we build.

The results of the gaming, drinking and gunpla

You could say the excessive drinking, along with Call of Duty, Gundam Musou 3, and Gran Turismo 5 kept the number of completed Gunpla down to 3, but we all had a hell of a time doing it.  We really got to work off each others synergy this weekend, and had a hell of a time.  Gunpla is great, but Gunpla mixed with alcohol, gaming, and friends at the same time is priceless. While Buster will be missed as he takes his next step back in his home country, his spirit will still be with us as one of the original 3 foreign Gunplars in Japan.

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Photodump – 090809 -edit-

On a completely non-gundam note, I now go off on a tangent, and catch up on the promised photo dump.  For the time being, this a dump and hopefully I’ll get around to labeling things appropiately.  These are all pictures from August, Consisting of pictures from Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, and Disney Sea.  All taken with the Pen.  Amazed by the quality, if I knew first hand DSLR’s rocked I would have put down for a Nikon years ago.  Anyways, as always questions and comments are welcome.

— 9/10 Edit —

A brief description of the pictures, unfortunately the gallery plugin for wordpress doesn’t let you put captions, hopefully something they’ll fix in the future. 

In order of

1  2
3  4
5  6  and so on

1 – Nagoya – Outside the station, just a picture of a tall building, I like how the blue and clouds came out for the sky.
2 – Nagoya – Inside the station, outside the ticket gates.  I like how the main corridor has signs set up every 20 meters or so, like you’re going to forget.
3 – Nagoya – Lunch, misonikomi udon, or Udon in Miso stew
4 – Nagoya – Overlooking the tracks from the 12 floor or so of the station building
5 – Osaka – At the English Hub in Namba, good shrimp and fries, not sure on the spice, but very tasty
6 – Osaka – Takoyaki (Octopus balls) stand in Namba
7 – Osaka – Walking down the Sennichimae arcade in Namba
8 – Osaka – At the crossing between Takashimaya and Marui Namba
9 – Fujiidera – A rice field in the middle of the neighborhood.  You see little plots of land like this even in the middle of cities
10 – Osaka –  Just a snapshot of the sky, I think this was at Shin-Osaka station
11 – Tokyo – On the Yurikamome going to the Big Expo, came out really nice despite the fact we’re whizzing along in a curve
12 – Tokyo – Same as the above, liked how the clouds came out
13 – Tokyo Disney Sea – The resort has it’s own train line to connect the two parks and hotels, I love how the handstrap things have Mickey Ears
14 – TDS – Mediterranean Harbor – Love the Venice feel, makes you feel like you’re in Italy, and doesn’t smell as bad! 😉
15 – TDS – Mediterranean Harbor
16 – TDS – Chip and Dale show in the Harbor, they do it 4 times a day during the summer spraying people
17 – TDS – Black Peper Popcorn is hands down the best, screw butter, give me pepper any day
18 – TDS – American Waterfroont with the Tower of Terror in the distance
19 – TDS – I find the cube style for Mickey and Pooh oddly attractive in an artsy way.  I’d put it on my wall but they only sold ladies shirts 😦
20 – TDS – Afternoon show, the Legend of Mythica, pretty damn cool
21 – TDS – Port Discovery in the evening
22 – TDS – A 50 second exposure of the harbor and volcano and all that jazz
23 – TDS – The station, as the picture says 

The State of the Gunpla Union – 073009

This week’s notes, along with a photo dump of various pictures over the last few months.

 First off, the Exia snap-build is done.  This is a kit that would benefit from panel lining, so that’s something to do between Sinanju sessions over the next few weeks. 

exia03

 Quick impressions :

  • Smaller than I thought, but that’s to be expected of anything other than Sinanju.
  • Hologram strip parts are neat, but really don’t stand out from a distance. 
  • The led GN drive is cool. 
  • Don’t really like the feet, while having toe, sole, heel for articulation, they kind of suck. 
  • The bling bling swords really come off nice. 
  • The only problem though is again, Bandai puts the sprue cutting points on the blade, so you get a nice chunk of the finish cut off no matter what you do.  
  •  Also the regular swords (hell if I can remember if it’s GN 1, 2, or whatever) tend to fall off the hands pretty easy.  
  • Lastly, it’s not easy, or even recommended to switch between regular Exia and Repair version, so for those who want both, you’ll have to pick up one standard kit and one ignition kit.  For those who then want both kits to light up, you’ll need two ignition kits.

 Now, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and pose with it just yet though, just finished, so these are just initial impressions.  Still, at the cost for the gimmicks, and weapons alone is well worth it.   Overall, was worth waiting past all the HGUC kits and 1/100 kits for this.   Makes you wonder what’s nexts in the Gundam 00 MG line up, hopefully they do the other Gundam’s before jumping to 00, although I would be interested in an O Gundam.

 Next up, the HGUC Kshatriya has been announced for an October release, but I finally stopped to check out the price.  At around a whopping 4200 yen, this is ringing in as a high baller.  Unfortunately, while the price of the MG line is gradually going up, a majority of the kits have managed to stay in the 3000 to 5000 yen range.  HG kits, as we see here, tend to run the gambit though, which some being available for as low as 300 yen, to 4000 yen plus.  I for one would like to see a little more stability in their lower end model line.  I’d buy the Kshatriya at that price if it was an MG kit, but HG is going to make me pause.

Moving on, the buyer for the remaining HGUC Green Tokyo Project Gundam 30th kit has fallen through from lack of response.  If interested, it’s asking price is $40 US dollars (or 4,000 yen) shipped anywhere in the world.  Please post or mail if interested.

Now for the Sinanju summer project, for the time being, I’m stuck waiting for good weather.  Unfortunately the color I picked is fairly sensitive to humidity, going so far as to have a warning to not spray on humid days.  So the project is going to go fairly slow for a while. 

Lastly, I’d like to do a little photo dump of random pictures taken over the last couple of weeks.  I had thought about making it a separate little trend, but figured I’d tack them on the my State of the Gundam Union posts whenever the pictures have piled up.

Here’s the Gunpla parts shop that Danny Choo mentioned before.  It’s the Yellow Submarine shop in the Radio Kaikan, 4th floor.  Quite a load of parts, so could be good if you wanted to stock up on a variety of weapons, etc.  The prices varied from 200~300 yen to 3000 yen(!).   Planning on hitting it up again this weekend so will try and take more pictures.

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Yellow Submarine also carries pro shop releases.  They had quite a few of the Mechanical Clear Gundam 2.0 available.  I’m debating picking up one the next time I go.  The only problem is that Pro Shop releases can’t be discounted, even by places like Bic Camera, so it’s the full 4,410 yen…

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While checking out the 4th floor of the Radio Kaikan, I saw quite an awesome life sized helmet and figure for Gabranth from FFXI.  Unfortunately, the helmet is over $1,00 dollars, and the figure, while bad-ass, is also around $450 dollars.

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Akihabara Station’s Electric City Exit is under construction.  Wonder how they “new” Station will look

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Debating on making a jump to my first DSLR.  While apparently the Olympus Pen is not technically a “true” DSLR, it’s got style, and takes damn good pictures by the samples I’ve seen.  Now just to use my upcoming 30th birthday as an excuse to get around the price…

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Last, saw my first rainbow in a very long time, while out in Kohoku New Town for dinner. 

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