Saturday, December 13, 2014

MSM-08 Zogok


Big thanks to Zarwiain my Reddit Secret Santa Gift exchange match. My goal this year is to finish all three of his gifts before the end of the first quarter of 2015!

Suit Lore

MIP one of civilian companies responsible for creating mobile suits and fighter craft for the Principality of Zeon created the Zogok as a distant offshoot of the Z'gok and shares some similarities in design and capability. Like the Z'gok The Zogok is capable of amphibious operation and was designed primarily as a close combat unit. To fullfill it's role as a close combat weapon Zogok features several pieces of integrated weaponry such as the rocket punch and head mounted boomerang cutters.   

This particular Zogok features a borrowed heat sword from the MS-07 Gouf and two Sturm Faust single shot rockets.

Mini Review

I have wanted this HG kit since it was initially released in 2013. It has such a odd and eccentric design and I felt drawn to it. Right out of the box the Zogok looks fantastic, and there are very few seam lines that need to be addressed. 

The articulation of the kit is just okay, I found that the design of the arms somewhat limits the poseability of the arms. I personally found it difficult to convincingly aim the Sturm Faust or post the sword in a mid-swing position. One the positive side the Zogok's design kind of lends itself to comical posing like the Acguy or Juaggu.

Despite the very minor issues with the arm poseability I strongly recommend this kit to builders interested in building something a little bit different from the run of the mill Zaku or Gundam. It's a well designed kit with a very cool and different look. 

If you're interested in picking up this or other kits consider purchasing through the Amazon links on my site. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and doesn't cost you a dime!



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Micro-tutorial: Custom Color Schemes


One of the top comments in a survey thread I made a month ago was to create small 'bite sized' tutorials. This is going to be the first in a new series.

With the recent success of Gundam Build Fighters more and more people have become interested in custom mobile suits, paint jobs and kit bashing. In this micro tutorial I am going to offer some basic tips and tricks for newcomers that are interested in painting custom color schemes. 


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Vic Viper by Kotobukiya


Suit Lore

Vic Viper is a name a lot of old school gamers should recognize. For those of you not familiar with the name Vic Viper (V2 for short) is the protagonist ship from the Gradius series. More recently however Vic Viper made a cameo appearance as a LEV (Laborious Extra-Orbital Vehicle) piloted by Leo Stenbuck in Zone of the Enders: Second Runner (Anubis if you're in Japan). ZOE:2ndR was a game originally released for the PS2 in the early 2000s, but has recently been rereleased and remastered  for the Xbox360 and PS3. If you've never heard of, or played ZOE I would highly recommend picking it up, it's a fast paced, stylish, and fun mech combat game created by Metal Gear legend Hideo Kojima.

Like the Zeta Gundam, V2 is able to transform between a mecha and an aircraft; it's sleek and nimble design hints at it's role as a fast attack craft.



Kit Talk

Unfortunately like a lot of Kotobukiya kits I felt like this require a little too much work to get it to a presentable level. I fixed seam lines on the arms, wings, upper legs and crotch, due to the assembly of the lower leg I left the seam lines exposed on the lower part of the leg. All of the joints needed to be modified to accept the parts after the seam lines were fused.

Out of the box this kit is mostly molded in a warm white color similar to the color of the EZ-8 Gundam. I opted to pre-shade this kit due to the simplicity of the of the design and lack of complexity in the geometry of the armor panels. 


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Builder Spotlight HeyItsJay from Jay's Gunpla


Click on any image in this post to be taken to Jay's Gunpla Blog.

It's been a while since I've done a builder's spotlight, but a few weeks ago Jay from Jay's Gunpla sent me an email about launching a blog and I offered to feature him.

One of my favorite aspects of this hobby is that there are so many awesome builders out there. If you're just getting started in the hobby and would like to have your work featured send me an email!


If you're a regular visitor to my blog you may realize that this MG Strike Freedom looks familiar. Jay took second place in my 2014 Gunpla Competition. His Strike Freedom is extremely impressive considering this was the first kit he ever airbrushed!


Although you wouldn't realize it based on the very high standard of work he has consistently generated, Jay is still new to the hobby! Hopefully you'll keep an eye on Jay like I will; I expect that this is only the beginning for him, and that he'll continue to improve in leaps and bounds.

I'm eagerly waiting to see your newest creation Jay, so keep up the great work!

Monday, December 1, 2014

MG RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (deactivated mode)

MG RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (deactivated mode)



With the recent conclusion of the Gundam Unicorn OVA this kit shouldn't need much introduction. 

Suit Lore

The Unicorn Gundam was a revolutionary mobile suit design developed during the UC Project as an Anti-Newtype weapon. The Unicorn has psycoframe material integrated into it's entire internal frame; this material increases the responsiveness of the mobile suit to incredible levels. A capable pilot is able to essentially using the Unicorn as an extension of their own body, and in some cases appears to react so quickly that it appears that the suit acts according to it's own will. An example of this occurs about 30 minutes into the 2nd OVA when Banager Links sorties against Full Frontal's Sinanju for the first time. As Full Frontal closes in for an attack the Unicorn dodges a blow and Bananger remarks "You dodged him for me?" indicating his confusion. Along side the full psychoframe the Unicorn also featured the NT-D (Newtype Destroyer) system; this system unlocks the Unicorn's full potential for a limited time period (to protect the pilot). 

The Unicorn Gundam was completed at the Granada facility alongside the Banshee; at which point the Vist Foundation took control of the project and thus started the events of the Unicorn OVA. 

If you're interested in picking up this or other kits consider purchasing through the Amazon links on my site. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and doesn't cost you a dime!




Hit the bump for the full photo shoot. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

MG MSN-06 Sinanju Stein


Suit Lore



The lore section for this kit is going to be pretty short, because there isn't a whole lot of information available for the Sinanju Stein. The MSN-06S Sinanju Stein is the successor to the MSN-04 Sazabi and was built with data collected from both the Sazabi and the RX-93 v Gundam as a part of the UC project. The Sinanju Stein was designed to test the sensitivity and sturdiness of the psycho frame material which would eventually be incorporated into the RX-0 Unicorn. 



The Sinanju Stein was stolen by the Slevees covertly by disguising the theft as a transfer. Interestingly it was during the theft that Full Frontal abandoned his custom AMS-119C Geara Doga. And interesting choice considering how strapped Neo Zeon must have been for resources and mobile suits at this point.

Mini Review

I'm really conflicted about the Sinanju Stein. On one hand I'm always excited to see Bandai release MSV kits, particularly when they're regular releases instead of p-Bandai kits. But on the other hand, the Sinanju Stein isn't an exciting design; in fact I think that the reason why this kit has languished on a shelf for the better part of a year. 

Unsurprisingly the Sinanju Stein shares many of the same frame components as the Sinanju, aside from the frame however most of the outer armor is completely new. Despite the differences in parts the Sinanju Stein does share a lot in common with the Sinanju like its height, bulk and inability to hold its rifle reliably. I overcame this last hurdle by fitting the Stein with a set of 1/100 EFSF replacement hands. 

One aspect I really appreciate about the newer Ver Ka model kits is the inclusion of waterslide decals in the box; the Sinanju Steins plain color scheme and geometry really benefit from a complex Katoki style decals scheme and it's nice that I didn't have to pay another $5 for a decal set on top of the kits cost.

If you're in the market for a Master Grade Sinanju variant I don't think I could recommend this kit over the original Sinanju Ver Ka; the design simply isn't as interesting or even as detailed as the Sinanju. 

If you're interested in picking up this or other kits consider purchasing through the Amazon links on my site. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and doesn't cost you a dime!



Kit talk

This kit is built pretty much out of the box with a few minor mods to the design as well as the color scheme. 

I used BMC Chisles .2mm and .5mm to scribe panel lines around the vents located on the shins, on the sides of the upper legs and I made smaller notches on the shoulders. 






The color scheme of the kit is close to the original with slightly darker take on the main off white color and grey details


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tutorials, blog updates and stuff to sell

Tutorials:

Thanks to a lot of great feedback from my readers I have a much better understand of the material that you guys want to see. Within the next few months I'm going to start posting some bite sized tutorials on a number of different subjects.

Weekend WIPS and small updates:

Some of my long term readers have noticed that I'm not posting as many small WIPS or updates anymore. The reason I stopped is: I felt that they were cluttering up the site, and I wanted to focus on bringing more substance to each post. 

If you still want to see those small updates you can check out my google plus feed here: I routinely post photos of things I'm tinkering with.

Stuff to sell:

I have a few items both finished and brand new that I've decided to sell off. If you're interested in anything you can send me an email to hash out prices. Nothing here is set in stone so feel free to make me an offer; I'm even open to trades.

(Brand new) 
PG 00 Raiser (includes both Bandai decal sets) 
$240 shipped anywhere in the US and less if you're willing to pick it up (NY or PA).


(Used kind of) $30
98% of a MG 00 Gundam. It's just the 00 Gundam no weapons other than the beam sabers, no raiser. The kit is missing knee armor; one piece on the head and one piece of the front crotch piece are damaged. Kit is still on the runners.



MG Aile Strike 
$175 



MG Crossbones X2
$200 P-Bandai exclusive I will include the manual and front box art if you're a collector 


HG Byarlant & Marasai attack on Torrington set
$100



1/48 Sinanju head display 
$40
Just an FYI this is actually a knock off model :( 



Monday, October 27, 2014

Feedback for new material.


Firstly I'd like to give a big thank you to everyone that reads my blog, leaves comments or has participated in any of the contest or other activities that I've held. You guys are awesome and have continued to inspire me to create new content and complete kits. 

I'm reaching out to you all today because I need your help! I am looking for feedback and I would like to hear from you! What do you guys want to see and read more about?

I have ideas for more kit and tool reviews, writing new or revamping old tutorials, and more step by step WIP posts on current kits.

If you're so inclined, leave a comment below and let me know what you'd like to see more of.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

RG GP01Fb "Zephyranthes"


Mobile Suit Lore

At the end of the One Year War the Federation began the Gundam Develpoment Project. The goal of this project was to develop mobile suits superior to Zeon suits developed during the OYW. For example, the MS-14S Gelgoog "commander type" out performed the RX 78-2 in terms of: generator output, speed, mobility and beam weapon selection.

The GP01 was the second of five prototype mobile suits to be developed during this project. The five mobile suits developed during the project were assigned names based on different genera of flowers: GP00 "Blossom", GP01 "Zephyranthes", GP02A "Physalis", GP03 "Dendrobium and Dendrobium Stamen" and the GP04G "Gerbera". Excluding the GP00, every mobile suit developed during the Gundam Development Project appeared during the Stardust Memory OVA in one form or another.

The GP01 was constructed by Anaheim Electronics sometime between 0081 and 0083 in Von Braun city at the Livermore facility on the Moon. The GP01 was designed as a multipurpose mobile suit that could operate both on Earth and in space (with calibrations). GP01 was later transferred to the Torrington base in Australia by the Albion to undergo terrestrial testing alongside the GP02A.

During the events of Stardust Memory the GP01 was heavily damaged by the Cima fleet and returned to the Livermore facility on November 6th 0083 to undergo emergency repairs and refit. Two days later on November 8th the GP01Fb "Full Burnern" emerged from the Livermore hangers to begin testing and shakedown runs.

The GP01Fb would later be destroyed following the Konpei Island incident alongside its sister suit the GP02A.


Kit Links




If you're interested in picking up this kit or any of the add-ons I used to enhance it, consider using the Amazon links posted above. Anything you purchase from Amazon through my links helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you any extra!

Kit Talk

My goal in painting this model was to further separate different parts and details by using two different shades of white, as well as incorporating more grey into the outer armor details. Many of the small detail areas on the pads of the feet, lower legs, skirts and thruster pods were hand painted with a small brush.

I've found through experience and experimentation that brush painting small areas is easier and less stressful for me than micro-masking. Additionally I found that lighter fluid can in some cases remove Mr. Hobby paint if it's still wet and on a gloss surface (very handy for correcting mistakes if you're uncoordinated like I am).  

The decal scheme of this kit was modified to reflect more of a Katoki inspired design reminiscent of the RX 78-2 Ver. Ka. This is most evident on the shoulders and the shield. I also intentionally threw two AE decals in for Anaheim Electronics.

Photos



hit the bump if you would like to see more!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The reasons why I won't buy a PG Unicorn at launch


This is an opinion piece so keep in mind the content of this article is based on my thoughts, aesthetics and speculation.

Backlog

This has been my slowest year doing gunpla in terms of building and buying new kits. Despite only purchasing a few kits and selling off many more I still have a backlog including the 2012 holiday release the MG Nu Gundam ver ka and the 2013 holiday release the MG Sazabi ver ka. Both of those holiday kits have been sitting on my self since their release.

Standard release

Based on current information both the PG Unicorn and the seperate LED set seem to be standard releases. The nice thing about Bandai is that they never seem to stop manufacturing standard release kits.

Aesthetics

The vanilla RX-0 Unicorn with red psycho frame is actually my least favorite version of the Unicorn.

Speculation

Bandai often releases many color variations of the same model with (relatively) small variations. This makes good business sense because Bandai likely invests a significant amount of time, money and personnel into the R&D required to develope each kit. Every variation of a given kit allows Bandai to gain more value out of their investment.

The MG  Unicorn is definitely one of the most reissued kits Bandai has produced to date. Here's a probably incomplete list of all of the MG Unicorn based kits:

Unicorn ver ka
Unicorn ver ka Titanium Finish
Unicorn OVA
Unicorn MS cage version
Unicorn Full Armor ver ka
P-Bandai Unicorn Full Armor clear version
P-Bandai Unicorn Full Armor red psycho frame version
Banshee OVA
Banshee OVA Titanium Finish
P-Bandai Banshee Final Battle/ver Ka
P-Bandai Banshee Norn
Phenex 

Based on this I anticipate that Bandai is going to eventually release variations of the Unicorn kit similar to how the PG Strike Rouge was a variation to the PG Strike. Technically the PG Red Frame and even the Strike Freedom also share some similarities to the PG Strike's inner frame.

My hope is for a PG Full armor version down the line since the current PG Unicorn already has most of the FA's weapon systems (gatling guns, hyper bazooka and beam magnum) included with it. 

What are your thoughts

Are you going to buy the kit on release?

Is there a version of the Unicorn that you really want to see made?

Would you be willing to purchase a PG Full Armor Unicorn?

Leave a comment below, I would like to know what my readers think about the PG Unicorn!



Monday, October 13, 2014

Attack on Torrington winner announced



The randomly selected winner is Leo! He submitted a HG Unicorn (unicorn mode). 


For everyone that submitted but didn't win, don't worry I'll have more giveaways in the future.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WIP RG GP01-Fb Zephyranthes


I've been working on and off on this kit for a while now. A while back I talked about what I am planning on doing to the kit, and that hasn't really changed. I still anticipate modifying the decal scheme to be more reminiscent of the decal scheme on the original RX78-2 Ver Ka with the large ship designator and ESFS decals on the shoulders and similar design on the shield. I still also plan on incorporating the long beam rifle or 'ore gun' into the kit. 



I decided to incorporate more color separation into the design by masking. This kit features a lot of panel lining that creates great opportunities for breaking up the larger pieces for multiple colors.






The lower legs are a great example of this. I used off white on the top parts of the legs to match the bottoms. Then using grey I highlighted the various micro thrusters and vent structures. Similarly I used the same grey to highlight the recessed areas on the thighs, and forearms.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

HG Marasai Complete


MS Lore

The RMS-108 Marasai is a second generation mobile suit designed and manufactured by Anaheim Electronics. The Marasai was developed using Zeon design principles, which are clearly evident in the final look of the mobile suit. Compared to the older generation mobile suits of the One Year War the Marasai features many important improvements such as a movable frame, gundarium alloy armor, a more powerful fusion reactor and an array of beam weaponry.



Although originally designed for the AEUG the Titans pressured Anaheim Electronics into providing the Marasai as a Titans mobile suit. The Marasai was used almost exclusively by the. Titans until the end of the Gryps Conflict. After which, the Marasai was quickly retired as the Earth Federal Forces wanted to to distance themselves from the reputation of the Titans. Many of the retired Marasai eventually found their way into the ranks of Neo Zeon; either through salvage, theft or purchase from corrupt EFSF officers and politicians. After the first Neo Zeon war, many of the Marasai were destroyed. However a few more still remained in the hands of the Zeon remnant forces on Earth. While in the hands of the Zeon remnants many of the Marasai received additional upgrades and retrofits while the remnants waited and bided their time.



This Marasai is equipped with a Feyadeen rifle which were originally equipped on the RX-110 Gabthley; as well as a "Sea Serpent" a wire guided grappler capable of using electrical shocks to cripple an enemy mobile suit. On an interesting note the Feyadeen rifle had a higher output than Zeta Gundam's standard beam rifle despite both being designed and built around the same time.



Kit Links


If you're interested in picking up this kit or any of the add-ons I used to enhance it, consider using the Amazon links posted above. Anything you purchase from Amazon through my links helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you any extra!

Monday, September 29, 2014

HG Byarlant Custom Complete


MS Lore

The RX-160S Byarlant Custom is an interesting beast. Like the Delta plus or some of the older Zeta series the Byarlant Custom was design for sustained atmospheric flight. Unlike those nimble mobile suits however, the Byarlant Custom doesn't rely on aerodynamic wings, instead it brute forces its way through the atmosphere with an array of enhanced thruster units placed all over the body. To offset the huge rate of fuel consumption the Byarlant Custom mounts two massive fuel tanks on the back mounted thrusters.  



The Byarlant is sort of hulking chimera monster of a MS. It features parts from the RX-110 Gabthley, and NRX-055 Baund Doc and new head optics retro fitted onto the original RX-160 Byarlant chassis. Unfortunately one aspect of the original Byarlant that wasn't corrected was the armament. The Byarlant Custom is sorely lacking in the firepower department only featuring two lower powered rapid fire Mega Particle Cannons that also function as Beam Saber emitters; and two monstrous claws that the Byarlant was essentially able to use to bludgeon a Zee Zulu into submission with. 

Kit Links



If you're interested in picking up this kit or any of the add-ons I used to enhance it, consider using the Amazon links posted above. Anything you purchase from Amazon through my links helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you any extra!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Attack on Torrington Base Give Away



I've decided to hold a quick and simple give away for my readers. 

This giveaway is open to any of my readers in the US that are subscribed to this blog. To participate you will need to email me two photos of any MS involved on the Assault on Torrington during Unicorn Episode 4. One photo must include your name and the email address you be submitting your photos from on a piece of paper near or on your kit. You can email me by using the contact me button at the top of the page.

Some examples of MS involved in the Battle of Torrington are:

Zeon Remnants

Zaku 1 Sniper Type
Zaku Cannon
Marasai
Dom
Zogok
Zaku Mariner

Federation

Byarlant Custom
Unicorn
Jesta
Delta Plus
GM II Semi Striker

I'll accept any MS that you can provide a screen shot of that MS during the Battle of Torrington!

The winner will be chosen on 10/11/14 at random and the HG Marasai above will be shipped out at no charge.

Best of luck to everyone that decides to participate !

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