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.

Tidbits & Updates

Unfortunately apathy has taken hold of me quite hard over the last few weeks so not much is getting done.  I’ve found myself caught up in a bitch of a catch-22 actually.  Most of the things I want to do involve me being at home, but I find myself feeling apathetic and nothing gets done.  Heading out though and I get into the mode to do this or that.  Then I return home only to fall into a funk again…  Still, I’m pulling myself out of this funk, slowly but surely…

With that said, some updates!

First off, look at what I finally decided to get on the road to completion.  With the rainy season about to hit the Kanto region of Japan from tomorrow, I realized I needed to get paint touch ups and top coating done for the unicorn.  All that’s left is decaling, then the final coat.  I haven’t decided if I’ll panel line it or not though, we’ll see after the test build.

Top coated!

Threw another coat of purple on the psycho frame to bring it out more.

I also ripped through the ReZel the other week, continuing with the painting of the HG Unicorn kits, I did a quick paint using the a certain blue favored by Lupes and GaiGun.  More pictures eventually!

ReZel

Switching subjects, the latest pick ups from the other day.

Musha Mk-II, 1/144 Epyon, Eggplane Valkyrie

Not suprising, Bandai is pumping out all the old old school kits, and so I picked up the 1/144 Epyon on a whim, since it was only 400 yen, the other day at Yodobashi.  Musha Mk-II is also next on the burner as soon as GAF is back up and the Unicorn is done.  I have a few ideas on color schemes, but things are still just simmering.  In the mean time, check out Plamo Addiction and It’s a Gundaaam, as my fellow Gunplars there have started in on the kit.

Planned posts this week are the follow up photo shoots of the Wing Gundam, and a post on the cleaning up of my work space.

Bonus!

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?