Monday, June 20, 2016

Liger Zero Schneider (attempt 2)


Introduction:

 If you have been following along on the blog since at least the beginning of the year, you might be aware that after finishing the Liger Zero Schneider commission it got lost in the mail on the way back to it's owner. I'm not the type of person to leave someone twisting in the wind; so I offered to completed another one. This is the second part of this replacement commission; the first part for the basic Liger Zero was posted a few weeks back here.

Kit talk:

Like the prior version I was asked to apply a coat of desert weathering. I used Vallejo's acrylic black paint and a stout brush to add chipping throughout the design along the hard edges and corners of the kit. I greatly prefer how the chipping appears on this version over the last and there are plenty of photos capturing the chipping effect in the details section below. Unlike the first Schneider this version was painted with a slight darker orange color, I'd describe it as being less of a traffic cone orange and more of a hazardous orange. 

I also added Vallejo washes of dark gray and desert dust before brushing Tamiya's Desert Modeling Masters onto the kit. The modeling masters is excellent at highlighting hard edges, but the clear coat is good and tempering and blending the effect into a more realistic appearance.



If you like my work and you want to help support me, then consider purchasing from the Amazon links on my blog or by clicking this link. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you a dime!Hit the bump for the full photo shoot!

Hit the bump for the full photo gallery!

Otaku Empire Albany NY

Nestled in the 1st floor of Crossgates mall somewhere between the Bestbuy and the Apple store is a new store I heard about from user: u/Mega_Manatee on r/gunpla. I wasn't in Albany NY for long and I didn't have too much time to poke around the store but I did have an opportunity to speak with Adam the owner and to take a few photos.



Before you walk into the space you will notice the two display cabinets on either side of the door. All of the kits contained within were basic straight builds.


Click to enlarge for the full panoramic 

Overall the store isn't very large, by my estimate It's probably a 35 x 50 ft space. More than half of the shelf space was full of Gunpla. Most series were represented and there was a good mix of MG, HG, RG, RE 1/100, SD kits as well as stands and builder parts HD packs. I didn't see any PG kits while I was in store, but apparently the day before the store was crammed so it's entirely possible that they were simply sold out. There also was a shelf full of non-gundam kits like Evangelion and Kamen Rider.


Here are a few things that stood out to me while I was in the store:
  • They had a good variety of models. Super Deformed, High grade, Real Grades, Master Grade, Perfect Grade, No-Grade kits. RE 1/100, stands and Gundam weapon kits. It was also nice to see some Kotobukiya kits on the shelves.
  • The kits in stock are a nice mix of old, new and different series and they included very recent releases. The HG prices are competitive with other brick and mortar stores. On average the HG kits I saw were only about $1-2 more than the prices listed on Amazon. 

  • In the future I hope their staff paints, modifies, etc, models in the display cabinets. Gunpla and modeling in general is a highly creative hobby and I think it's  encouraging to show that aspect of the hobby off. 

  • There's also an online shop associated with the physical store: http://www.otakuempirestore.com/ The website still appears to be under construction and the paid membership plan might need some revision overtime.
  • I hope they consider carrying a limited selection of Tamiya or Mr.Hobby paint in the future. Now that Hobby Town USA in Colonie Central is out of business I'm not sure where or if I can buy model paints in Albany anymore.



Monday, May 30, 2016

HMM Liger Zero


Introduction:

If you have been following along on the blog since at least the beginning of the year, you might be aware that after finishing the Liger Zero Schneider commission it got lost in the mail on the way back to it's owner. I'm not the type of person to leave someone twisting in the wind; so I offered to completed another one. This is the first part of this replacement commission; the second part will include the Schneider parts.

Kit talk:

Hopefully the most striking aspect of this kit is the weathering applied throughout the kit. Like the prior version I was asked to apply a coat of desert weathering. Unlike the last kit I decided to use Vallejo's acrylic black paint to add chipping throughout the design along the hard edges and corners of the kit. I also added Vallejo washes of dark gray and desert dust  before brushing Tamiya's Desert Modeling Masters  Like the last design I used a hand brush to paint all of the silver bolt details on the legs and chest.

After building the Schneider version of the Liger, the basic Liger Zero is pretty threadbare. If I were to purchase a Liger of my own I think I would need one of the armor sets (panzer) to hold my interest. fortunately you can purchase each of the armor sets individually instead of having to purchase 4 Liger Zeros to complete the collection. I wish Bandai would do this with some of there normal releases (I'm looking at you P-Bandai HG Barbatos complete set).





If you like my work and you want to help support me, then consider purchasing from the Amazon links on my blog or by clicking this link. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you a dime!

Hit the bump for the full photo shoot!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

MG Exia R2


Intro:

The Master Grade Repair 2 or R2 version of the Exia is a P-Bandai release from mid 2014. That being said this model has been out of production for a while. Despite this, the model is still fairly easy to find, but keep in mind you're likely going to pay about twice as much as the basic The MG Exia is one of my favorite Master Grade kits due to it's simple design, interesting internal frame and assorted melee weapons. The R2 version of this kit is much more subdued as it lacks most of the weapons, and most of the purple holographic GN cables. 




If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime! 

Hit the bump for the full photo shoot


Details:


With this version of the Exia I opted to mask and paint a few gray swatches like white semi circles around the central core, and the rectangular portions on the fore arms. 





The left knee and shoulder feature the only two unique decals on this kit. Both are fairly plain. Both feature the new model number: GN001RII.



Hit the bump for the full photo shoot.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dan's Crafts and Things Rochester NY


While visiting family up in Rochester NY I had a few minutes to slip away and check out a popular local Hobby store Dan's Crafts and Things (no relation!). The shop is located just off 590 in the eastern part of Rochester NY. 



Late Friday night I checked out their website. I was pleasantly surprised that they have started to carry Gunpla. So, I decided to make a point of stopping Saturday to check it out. When I arrived I had a quick conversation with one of the owners named John to ensure I had permission to photographed inside of the store.  




A few things stood out to me when I started looking over the Gunpla inside of the store:


  • The Gunpla was really easy to find. It's almost the first display you see as you enter the building.
  • They had a good variety of models. Super Deformed, High grade, Real Grades, Master Grade, Perfect Grade, No-Grade kits. RE 1/100, stands and Gundam weapon kits. Most of the kits are out on the floor, there were a few of the larger MGs and PGs behind the main checkout.

  • The kits in stock are a nice mix of old, new and different series and they included very recent releases. They had plenty of models from IBO, and the two of the new HG's released from April 2016 the HG Waff, & HG Gouf Revive. 

  • The HG prices are competitive with other brick and mortar stores. On average the HG kits I saw were only about $1-2 more than the prices listed on Amazon. Dan's also currently has a PG Astray for sale for $179.99; I'm fairly sure this is the cheapest I've seen this kit.

  • Some of the prices of the MGs and RGs could use a bit of work. Based on what I saw most of the RGs are $3-5 more and MGs are priced $7-10 more than some of the brick and mortar shops I'm aware of (Hobby Town & Gundam Planet).  
  • There weren't any completed Gunpla models on display that I saw. In the future I hope their staff completes a few display models. The colorful and outlandish designs can really attract people and get them interested. 
I really appreciate being able to walk into a store look at a large selection of kits and just browse.It's also a wonderful way to meet other Gunpla builders, or encourage newbies to dive in. I regret that I don't have a brick and mortar shop like this near where I live!

Dan's Crafts and Things is easily the largest independently operated hobby shop I've ever been in. The store employs a large staff and everyone I spoke with was polite and knowledgeable. 

Due to some of the things recommended above I recommend researching prices before committing to a purchase.

If you live in Rochester you are probably already aware of Dan's Crafts and Things . But, if you're new to the area or live outside of Rochester you should take the time to check the store out. They carry a wide variety of models and hobbies outside of Gunpla and all of the tools and paint that you might need. You can find this store's website, address and contact information here.

Just like; Garbage plates and Bill Gray's I'll probably make Dan's part of normal routine when visiting Rochester in the future. 

Additional Photos:




They passed the most important test. Ball is love. Ball is life.




Monday, May 9, 2016

The road to 100

My blog "Gunpla by GoodGuyDan" is a little over four years old as of this post. In that time I've written nearly 400 updates, over 1.5 million viewers have checked out my work and I've posted 90 completed builds. 

100 completed kits is an important milestone to me. To me it represents; commitment, growth and perseverance. You can check out my first 90 kits using the "Completed Kits" tab at the top of the page, or by clicking this link.

My New Year's resolution and my commitment to replace a lost commission have determined the first 7 slots, and I've spent the last few months thinking about the last 3. 

91 MG Exia R2
92 HMM Liger Zero
93 HMM Liger Schneider Armor
94 Bandai X Wing
95 Bandai Y Wing
96 MG Sazabi Ver Ka
97 1/35 Zaku 2 head Char ver.
98 ??????
99 ??????
100 ??????

I hope that you will follow along as I complete these next 10 kits on my way to 100. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gunpla Contest: HG Gusion & HG Gundam MKII [TITANS] Revive


My thoughts on Gundam Breaker for PS3


I recently got my hands on a copy of the original Gundam Breaker for the PlayStation 3 and I've had a lot of fun playing through it. If you're not aware, Gundam Breaker is a game where you build, customize, paint and fight with Gunpla. In a lot of ways this is the video game equivalent of picking up your Gunpla and slapping them together in some epic fight until they fall apart. It's repetitive, but it's also a lot of fun and I appreciate how well the customization is integrated into the game play. This isn't a clever or thoughtful game and it doesn't claim to be; it's loud, clunky and awesome.

 


If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

MG Nu Gundam Ver. Ka


Intro:

Every Gunpla builder should be familiar with the RX-93 Nu Gundam ver. Ka by now; because partially everyone and their dog has built this kit, and there are some really good examples floating around on the web. Unfortunately, my Nu has languished in my backlog far longer than it should have. My then girlfriend (now fiancé) purchased this kit for me the month it was released as a Christmas gift. She's been teasing me ever since because I had left it on my shelf untouched for such a long time. I'll admit that I pushed this kit off, because I didn't feel like I was prepared for it; I only started to fell comfortable with the idea of tackling it once I completed the MG RX 78-2 3.0.

Monday, April 18, 2016

State of the backlog

At the beginning of the year I made a commitment to clear out the backlog of kits that I had collected over the past few years. Now is a good a time as any for a quick update on the state of my backlog. In order from oldest to newest purchase date:

MG Nu ver. ka 12/2012 Completed 
MG Sazabi ver. Ka 12/2013 New in box
MG Exia R2 2/2014 Completed
Metal Gear Rex black version 9/2014 Sold
35th Anniversary Char Zaku Head 1/2015 New in box
Star Wars Y Wing 9/2015 Ready for paint
Star Wars Snow Speeder 9/2015 Completed
Star Wars X Wing 9/2015 Ready for paint

After 3 and a half months my backlog 25%  is complete,  37.5% in progress, 25% new and 12.5% sold. I will be taking a very short hiatus from my backlog to complete a replacement Liger Schneider (because the last one was lost in the mail).

The next kit I plan on completing is the MG Exia R2.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Tutorial: Scratch Building Skirt Detail


Intro:

A lot of older MGs and modern HGs leave large hollow or poorly detailed areas behind the kit's skirts. In this tutorial I'll show you the technique I prefer to cover up this hollow area. This technique involves layering two pieces of pla-plate together and then attaching them to the part. The advantage of the method that I use is that it's easy and versatile. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

MG Nu Gundam Ver. ka WIP


I'm getting very close to wrapping up the build on my MG Nu Gundam Ver.ka. I've been slowly working on this kit over the last 3 months. I still have a few things left to do, including waiting for more topcoat to arrive.



If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

Hit the bump for the full shoot.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I Screwed Up





I screwed up recently in a very major and very dumb way. 

If you're a regular follower of my blog then you will probably remember the first kit I completed this year was the HMM Liger Schneider. 

The story is long and somewhat complicated; but, the basic point is that I sent the Liger to the wrong address. I've tried every avenue that was available to try to recover the kit, but in the end I we have had to come to terms with the fact that the kit is unrecoverable.

However, all that being said. I have offered, and the owner has accepted my offer for me to build and paint the same kit again. You can all look forward to me taking a second crack at the Liger Schneider very soon.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

1/48 Snow Speeder by Bandai


Introduction

While the Snow speeder isn't my favorite vehicle from the Star Wars series, I did always like the faceted angular design of the hull. I built this kit several months ago and it sat partially assembled in it's box until about two weeks ago. Overall this was a very quick build that incorporated some shading and weathering techniques into the design to make it feel lived in and "real" I chose to use the Luke color scheme for the kit; but, I didn't bother to reference the  colors/weathering/etc to make it screen accurate. 

While photographing this kit I also re-shot the Bandai Tie Fighter model from last year and I felt the photos of the Tie were kinda crap. You can see those photos here. 

Kit Talk

I really liked the simplicity of construction of this model. The order of construction lends itself  well to building and painting all of the sub assemblies separately before adding them to the main model.

The detail molded into the kit is impressive: all of the control boards inside of the cockpit have raised details, and the armor panels of the exterior of the of the craft have an asymmetrical layout. The panel lines of the exterior of the craft were a little too shallow for my liking; I used a .2 chisel to deepen most of them.  

There are a fair number of areas that are not molded in color that need to be masked and painted. Decals are included for many of these panels as well the normal assortment of warning indicators.   


 If you like my work and you want to help support me, then consider purchasing from the Amazon links on my blog or by clicking this link. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you a dime!


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Liger Zero Schneider


Introduction:

I remember watching the Zoids TV show when I was a teenager; but, it must not have left much of an impression because I had forgotten about it until recently. For those interested some Zoids episodes are available on YouTube. For those not in the know the Liger Zero is sort of like the Strike Gundam. It is able to change out its armor & equipment to change its role on the battlefield; and the armor packs feature similar roles. The Schneider armor featured on this model focuses on close range combat; while the Jäger enhances speed and mobility, and the Panzer is all about long range firepower.

Kit Talk:

I built and painted this kit for a friend in exchange for a kit; He had a few requests for the build including a stock color scheme and some weathering. I mixed all of the colors in the kit as close as I could to the ratios in the back of the manual. The Liger Schneider is mostly molded in color, however there were more than a few instances of parts needing extensive masking to break the parts into their correct colors.

I applied Tamiya Weathering Model Master and Vallejo desert dust wash in several light layers and slowly built up the grime on the kit. The weathering scheme on the kit becomes lighter as it works up from the feet; with darker and heavier layers of dirt on the feet and lighter white sand towards the top of the model.

Overall this was a good build and I'm quite happy with the way the kit and weathering turned out.


If you like my work and you want to help support me, then consider purchasing from the Amazon links on my blog or by clicking this link. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you a dime!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WIP: Liger Zero Schneider

If you don't currently follow me on Google+ consider checking it out and subscribing. Google+ is where a lot of my minor and off topic content ends up. Below are a collection of posts from Google+ assembled to show the WIP for the Liger Zero!


I started this WIP off with a video. I wanted to show off some of the successes and frustrations of the kit in it's early stages.



That same night I showed off the first big bundle of primed parts. Like always I'm using Mr. Surfacer 1200. In this photo the small bundle at the bottom were the parts that came out correctly molded. The larger pile required additional sanding to clean up edges and flashing.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Tutorial: Taking Better Photos


A lot of photos I see from beginner and intermediate builders look like the photo above. They are usually taken on a messy desk or a bed; and they are either too blurry, out of focus, too dark, or the colors are blown out. Here are few very simple and very cheap ways of taking better photos of your Gunpla.

Hit the bump for the full tutorial

Tutorial: Basic Posing


I see a lot of new builders posting photos of their kits in poses similar to the one above. Typically their model's feet are close together and the body is pointed in a couple of different directions. When a kit is posed like this it doesn't look as cool or dynamic as the mobile suit its supposed to represent.



In many cases a well posed unpainted or unlined model can look better than a poorly posed, but painted and finished model. In this quick guide I'm going to provide you with some easy tips to get the most out of your models.

Hit the bump for the full tutorial


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