2012 Christmas GET!!!

I guess I sort of jumped the gun with the end-of-year posting, since I tend to get at least a couple kits for Christmas.

And are they a doozie! So, a couple new MG's, and both are one's I've been fiending for since they've launched. The MG RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee -as well as the HGUC RGM-86R GM III- were gifts from my mother, who I can't believe managed to acquire the former without resorting to online measures. The Mobile Suit Gundam Complete Collection 1 was from my fiancee (Much needed since they're now out of production). And finally, the MG RX-0 Full Armor Unicorn Gundam was more of a present to myself, using Christmas money. ^__^;;  The Action Base 1 Clear was ordered specifically for the FAUG.

Thing's gonna be a beast.

I've got the Complete Collection 2 on order, finishing the original Gundam again, and I still have one more kit that will be on the way as soon as it's released...


Year in Review: 2012

 You were a bit of a stunner, weren't you, 2012? You brought so much dread and misery with you and some very rough patches for my hobby and my life. I'll be glad to see you go, but some good -and some necessary evil- came from you. And for that, I can't completely say "good riddance." But if you show yourself around here again, I may ask you to step off the premises.


That time of year, I guess...

So, it seems inactivity is a trend around the last 3 months of the year. ^___^;;
I'll assure you it's more of a lack of time more than a lack of interest, but working retail - ESPECIALLY during the Holiday season - is very exhausting, mentally and physically.

 Illustration by Noritaka "Tenko" Suzuki.

The LSP diorama is on hiatus until I can afford to get some casting materials to create the LAST DAMNED PART FOR IT. I need it to be clear, and I do not have the luxury of buying everything necessary to perform resin casting right now. I was looking forward to having it completed by the end of this year, but not everything works out as planned, right? *sigh*
I'll post more in-progress photos of it when I get the chance.

I have gotten a couple new kits done, though (as well as one I've had for a bit, too). Including one I'd been waiting on since it's announcement...

HGUC 1/144 RX-160S Byarlant Custom

This is the first kit I've ever pre-ordered, and I think it was well worth it. This guy definitely has a review coming up in the future...

 BBSenshi NZ-666 Kshatriya

I bought this one right after we moved to Indy for my fiance, but only just completed it a week ago. This is my third attempt at full panel-lining (And my second successful XD).

HG U.C. Hard Graph RX-79(G) Gundam The Ground War Set

This was my most recent acquirement, and another I'd been meaning to get for a while. I decided to build this one with the intention of making it MCPO Karen Joshua's "GM Head" Gundam Ground Type.
It's a shame this set doesn't include the Gundam's beam rifle, though...

I'm compiling stuff for my end-of-year posts, so look forward to those relatively soon (obviously).


Might I just say that the design of this thing has grown on me? ^ ^;


Last Shooting WIP 3: A Baoa Qu base

Okay, the next part of this is not a kit, but the scratch build of the display base for the whole diorama.

I chose to make it roughly 10" x 10" x 10" to conserve space but still provide decent room for detail.
The frame is made up of 3/16" black foam core cut into panels. I used craft glue and painter's tape to stabilize it while the glue dried.

Testing to see if the size will be good. Orginally, I was going to have the back wall continue upward for the actual facility detail to show. But cut that out, as I didn't have the material to extend the back wall, plus the Zeong head coming up over the top will hopefully prove more dynamic.

The next step involved crumpling newspapers and ads to start the base for the rocky structure the Gundam will be standing in. This will be covered with plaster cloth to create the rocks, themselves.

With that done, I used basic acrylic artist paints (not craft paints) to finalize the detail and give depth to the terrain. I decided to add an extension to the bottom using the little bit of foamecore left over.

That's it for this part, but more will come into work on the base, as it will have some more work to hold the models themselves.



Last Shooting WIP 2: MSN-02 Zeong

Okay! Back again with the shorter (photo-wise) WIP for my diorama.

... Probably confused, right?

Well, I wasn't stopping with just the RX-78-2 this time around.

LSP-001 - "Escape" Work in Progress Report
Episode 2: MSN-02 Zeong

That's right! I'm also doing the MSN-02 Zeong (head) to reenact the entire scene from the last episode of Mobile Suit Gundam!

 Back View.

Here, you can see all damaged parts created for this. I hand-crafted the melted surface using an epoxy.
The wire sticking out of the side is used for mounting the head to the Gundam's rifle beam.
I actually drilled out the hole in the Zeong's "mouth" Make it a bit more dynamic.

The explosion from before is made from poly-fiber, which I hand painted to give it the explosion depth. The scrap pieces being blown away are just parts of putty, which have been painted.
The centerpiece is the Zeong's right "ear" with the horn being bent toward the tip. The painting was done to look as if the part is reflecting the explosion.
Note that this is my first time working with suck detail, so I'm not ashamed to say I'm extremely proud of this outcome, thus far!

And here's the Zeong mounted onto the Gundam's beam rifle shot. I had to break out my Tamashii Stage 3 (Mega Man X customized) to balance the Gundam, since it isn't properly balanced to hold the weight of the Zeong's head above itself yet.

Once again, I could NOT be happier with the look of this, thus far. But, a couple things are still missing...



Last Shooting WIP 1: RX-78-2 Gundam

I've posted most of these pics in a bazillion other places, already. Buuuut, this is kinda my main hub for this hobby, so let's get to it!
Once again, this project was started way back in January, but the move and subsequent struggles following sent this to the back-burner for much of the year. But with no other models to work on right now, it's about time I finish this. Starting with...

LSP-001 - "Escape" Work in Progress Report
Episode 1: RX-78-2 Gundam

Front and back views of my modified HGUC 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam. I used the Animation Color version from the first Gunpla Starter Set that came with the MS-06 Zaku II. The beam was taken from my scrapped RG 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam.

Here, you can see some of the modding I did to the torso, including some serious retooling of the right shoulder to tilt it higher and stabilize it there. I used two thin runner sprues to serve as pistons in the exposed opening. I also separated the upper torso from the waist on the right side to complete the necessary arching for the arm to go almost straight up.

The neck was filled with putty and scraped at a bit to achieve the head's blown-off look. ^ ^
I painted the neck the same off-white/green (color accurate to the anime), and dry-brushed some black and silver. Then highlighted the highest parts with a combo of red, orange and yellow to make it appear still heated.

The arm was treated similarly to the neck. However, it required me to cut off the peg from the shoulder bock, and puttied the cavity to make it look marred up.
Painting was also similar treatment, but I didn't use the lighter highlights, since the arm was blown off many moments before the head, so the heat would likely have dissipated quite a bit. The shoulder armor simply had a few dings added to it with some "burned" paint treatment, since it is near the wound.

These were all very easy modifications, and I like this cleaner look versus the overly dirty look I originally approached these projects with. This better accentuates the damaged parts and draws your eye to those rather than disguises them within a chaos of messy paint streaks. ^ ^

The compact size of the HGUC makes this much easier on my paints, since I don't have to mix a whole lot as compared to an MG.
And, as I'm sure you're probably going to ask, why didn't I use the RG since I had it.
Well, that reason is 2-fold. 1: The HGUC is more accurate to the original anime in simplicity, making it feel more nostalgic. 2: Because I didn't like the RG. At all.

I'm not going to speak for the whole line, but I felt the RG was too flexable for such a small size. I couldn't pick it up without accidentally altering it's pose in, like, 12 different points. >_<

But, that's all for the RX-78! The next part had a lot more going for it, mod-wise. Despite being smaller in mass...



Familiar Territory

Yeah, I haven't been able to do what I set out to do since I've come back to this blog, but that doesn't mean that I've given up, either. The MG Gundam Sandrock turned out to be in vain. Due to far too many slip-ups and a subsequent lack of motivation, I wasn't able to complete it prior to the contest's deadline. So, that model's been scrapped till I can get replacement parts for what was messed up.

As for my reviews, I've fallen even further behind due to an old ailing problem: My camera.
The thing won't stay on for more than long enough to take maybe one photo, if I'm lucky, and refuses to hold a charge. And I have no way to tether it to an USB adapter, since my PC is in a whole other room... I have another back-up camera, but I'm having a hard time figuring out the odds-and-ends of it. If I ever can, I'll use it to finish the 5-or-so reviews I've had writen for, like, 3 months, now.

The final thing, and something I've been meaning to work on since I started it back in January, was a reboot to a project I started way back in 2005...

Mobile Suit Gundam: Last Shooting Project
(Logo design by me)

As it states, it's the "Last Shooting" or dioramas from the final battles from each series. I had done a few of these previously, though in Master Grade from. However, for this reboot, I've decided to take the smaller, more cost-effective route and go with the HG 1/144 brethren. This allows me to also make stages and backdrops I was unable to do in my youth.

It's definitely a work-in-progress, as I hadn't gotten the next part to work on this. However some "things" have come out recently to help with a dilemma I had run into when I first started...

Anyway, I have a teaser pic, taken back in January when I first set forth on this project:

Once I've finally been able to continue this, you'll all be the first to know.
And, as I so often have to do, I apologize for the lack of activity. But I won't let this place die so easily.



I'd been waiting for 9 long months, but Bandai did not disappoint! And for those who recall, I listed this in my End-of-year Wishlist...

HGUC 1/144 RX-160S Byarlant Custom
Release Date: November 2012 / Price: ¥2,730

While this pushes the ever-growing bocklog of Unicorn-based HGUC's I need to get to 16, I really don't care! This will either be a day-one purchase or is going on my wishlist to everybody (and I'll graciously accept duplicates! XD) 
I know there's also a lot of talk going around about the just-announced MG 1/100 nu Gundam Ver.Ka. But, frankly speaking, It's too far a departure from everything I love about nu Gundam.

It's too riddled with random panel lines and layered parts, and completely lacks the streamlined look that Izubuchi gave the original. I dunno. Color me Gravely Skeptical.
It feels like Katoki's trying too hard to tie its design to Unicorn...

Well, just a random news post from Slowpoke me.


A New Zero Appears! (Also, new blog!)

Through a complete stroke of luck, I managed to obtain the last D-Arts figure I'd been missing, thanks to a gift card to Amazon.com!  Now I have all the Rockman X D-Arts (Aside from the Iwamoto Comic Ver. and the Comi-Con Metallic Ver. exclusives of X) currently available...

Also, if you noticed the side bar, I've started a web comic blog: RPGags!

It's something I'd been meaning to do for a long time now, but just never got around to it. To those worried, this shouldn't get in the way of the inactivity on this site. XD  (I'm trying, honest ^ ^;)

Actually, with this Zero obtained, I can officially finish off a couple reviews I'd been needing this for...




Finally just got this in today after pre-ordering the thing in March...

Ominous box is not so ominous...

My D-Arts (Tamashii Web Exclusive) Vile (VAVA) from Mega Man X (Rockman X) finally came in!

 Expect a review of this thing... eventually. *shrug*


D-Arts Zero (1st Ver.) Review

When the D-Arts X (Mega Man or Rockman, pick your poison) was announced, it didn't take a Reploid engineer to know who was following suit. Though, the iteration used certainly took everyone by surprise.

Though, it's only logical to go with the first appearance's version rather than straight to the one everyone's more familiar with. Some thought this was a stupid move, but I was grateful to see Zero's X1 design get a figure, after being glossed over in the old Mega Armor Series during the mid 90's.


Things I've Done Since Last Posted...

In between working on my MG Sandrock and actual working, mostly, I've repainted a couple pieces of mine.
One that's been reviewed, and one that is planned to be eventually.

My 1/48 scale RX-0 Unicorn Gundam and MSN-06S Sinanju Head Display Bases.

I decided, giving their size and crisp sculpt, they looked too plain just painting what needed painting. So I did a full paint job on these two.


And Then, There Were 5...

After a long wait - Over half a year, to be more accurate - and the absolutely HUGE scare that the rest may not see the light of day in the U.S., the next episode of Mobile Suit Gundam UC is finally released and available locally, solely through RightStuf (seemingly)...

And my delayed pre-order just came in today! I should have done it when I first read found out about it...

And now, with Episode 6: The Sky and the Stars being released next Spring, and a 7th episode in the works, I can officially say what I said back in December...

Two more to go!


MG Sangrock: Status Update

"It wouldn't surprise me if one day he started saying that his 
lack of effort is the reason there's no air in outer space." 
                                            -Duo Maxwell (EW Episode 1: Silent Orbit)

Not much, here. Figured if I can't get a new review up, then I can at least update you guys with my in-progress of the MG 1/100 Gundam Sandrock Ver.EW I'm doing for the Gundam Wing Revival Project Group Build.

All the inner detail I've done for the cockpit, including the fully painted Quatre Raberba Winner. I'm doing a lot of the frame detail by ear, but the cockpit and pilot's seat were all referenced using screenshots from both the TV series and Endless Waltz (for higher detail's sake). I wish I'd taken more pics of it, but C'est la vie...

And the completed frame.  Once again, I devised the color layout for the frame by ear, not referencing anyone's floating around on the interwebs. I'm quite proud of the results thus far, as I almost never put this kind of detail into an MG's frame; seeing as it never gets seen once buried beneath the outer shell.

Also, not normal for me, I painted the standing Quatre figure, for--
Honestly, just for the hell of it.

Don't expect to see anymore updates for this, though, as I'll save those for a full review some time after the contest!

Until next time, old friend.


Gundam Wing Revival Project

Any of my readers like me, who were brought in the Gundam fold with New Mobile Report Gundam W? Or just a fan of the largest cross-media alternate universe-based Gundam series? Now's your chance to show your appreciation toward the almost-20 year old series (Japan), as well as your Gunpla prowess! A facebook group called the Gundam Wing Revival Project is running 2 build competitions (depending on your preferred build style) and a photo competition for those who feel their builds aren't up to snuff but can pose 'em till the SUNRISEs! (I see what you did there)

You can find all the rules and prizes in the above link, and be sure to read 'em carefully for your corresponding level. And just an FYI that yours truly will be in the second competition with my unbuilt MG XXXG-01SR Gundam Sandrock Ver.EW.

Hope to see some fellow Gunotas there, as well!


HGUC 1/144 MSN-02 Zeong Review

Char’s final mobile suit used during the One Year War, the Zeong held the title as being the first MS that Char piloted that wasn’t a unit customized for his use (On-screen, anyway). I never got this one previously, so this was a brand new addition against my old line-up.


HGUC 1/144 MS-06S Char's Zaku II Review

 In 2001, when the US releases of the HGUC line were out (to run alongside the broadcast of Mobile Suit Gundam), there was the issue of lack of 0079-based kits in the line, with the RX-78-2 Gundam just being released in Japan and was converted for domestic sale (with the Hyper Bazooka and Core fighter removed for unknown reasons, aside from making it cheaper, I guess). Especially with the lack of any of Char’s mobile suits being introduced into the line. Bandai did a quick-fix for this problem for us with a recolored HG 08th MS Team MS-06F/J Zaku II, complete with it’s own original boxart and manual.



Well, 3 months later, we're finally at our new base of operations (or "home," as some people would like to call it). I've got a job that's... well, it's a long story I won't bore you all with, but NONE THE LESS it's a job. I've gotten reacquainted with old friends, and my love for art has been steadily returning to me... But you're not here for any of that stuff, are you?


And I don't expect you to be, since this is a Gunpla blog, after all! 

This is an updated photo (from my new setup) of all model kits - Gunpla and Plamo alike - done during the Year of Our Lord (Kamina) 2011. I've got many more since then (listed largely in my last post, and all but one done and assembled). I've been writing out my reviews for the next few kits, and I've planned to format them (as Blogger has changed a bit since I've been away) and get them up soon.
(For real, this time)

So, until then, a teaser of my builds since my "back home again"...



This will officially be my last post from our apartment in Ohio, as packing has begun, jobs have been notified, and we'll be out by the 1st of March.
As stated in my previous post, I had a backlog shipment of models in the works for any potential bored time (since we have to re-establish many things one at a time once over there).
And it delivered... in two shipments.

My first order actually came from Image Anime, since they were the first to get 2 of the 3 kits I ordered.

HGUC 1/144 RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee ([Unicorn Mode] & [Destroy Mode]) and the HGFC 1/144 GF13-001NHII Master Gundam & Fuunsaiki.

I told myself that the Master and Fuunsaiki would be a day-one purchase, and I let it slip. Now that I have it, I can cross that one off! The Banshees were kind of a "duh" choice.

My next order from Gundam Store and More just came in today. I knew it was large, but I wasn't expecting two boxes to be necessary!

HGUC 1/144's RMS-099 Quattro's Rick Dias, RX-93-v2 Hi-v Gundam, Extreme Gundam, RX-78GP01Fb Gundam GP01Fb, MRX-009 Psycho Gundam, MS-18E Kämpfer, MSN-001A1 Delta Plus and HGFC 1/144's GF13-017NJII G Gundam and 2(!) GF13-017NJ Shining Gundams

The reason for 2 Shining Gundams is to have one to switch between Normal and Battle modes and one to stay in Super mode, since the hidden parts change from grey to gold in Super Mode.

Needless to say, with 13 new kits (and 1 Master Grade still left), I should have alot to keep me busy until I get comfortable income again!

So that's it! Hopefully, my hiatus will be short lived, and the next time you all hear from me (aside from those who follow me on Twitter (@OZKai) and Facebook) will be for a review!

And please, wish us luck in this journey!

Goodbye! Until we meet again!