Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Personal update: I'm moving!

A few weeks back I accepted a job offer from a company in a different city a few hours away from my current city. I've already packed the majority of my stuff including the kits I'm working on, the kits I've built and all of the materials I'll need to continue building.

I don't know if I will be able to continue building in my apartment, but I certainly hope I will be able to.

You may not see many updates from me in the coming weeks as I begin to unpack and setup in my new home. However don't worry, I haven't gone away for good! Even if I'm unable to continue painting I will find some way to stay involved with Gunpla.

I don't know what effect this will have on my ability to accept new commissions just yet. Unfortunately for now, new and existing commission work will be postponed indefinitely.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

MG Geara Doga Full Frontal Custom

My MG Geara Doga 'Full Frontal Custom' won the 'Best Large Scale' kit at the GBWC event at NYCC 2013. Of the three kits I planned on producing for the show the Geara Doga was the second kit completed but also the kit that took the most time to finish. 

The Geara Doga Full Frontal custom is a version of the Geara Doga that made an appearance in the video game Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Postwar). In the lore this was the mobile suit that Full Frontal used before the Sinanju Stein was stolen. His Geara Doga custom was abandoned during the Sinanju Stein theft operation.

The sleeve details on the Geara Doga's wrist armor took the most time to complete. The sleeve detail was scratch built onto the Doga's existing wrist armor out of pla-plate, pre cut pla-strips and putty. The details is slightly over sized compared to the HG Version of the kit, but I wanted the detail to stand out against the kit.  I also modified the Bullpup rifle included with the kit into a design more similar to the Geara Zulu's with an additional scope and a front loading magazine. 

Painting the kit was straight forward. The only areas that required a bit of thinking were the thrusters on the feet. The 'Char Salmon' color was custom mixed for this kit, the darker red paint is from the MG Epyon, and the yellow is the same yellow used on the MG Wing with a little extra orange. 

Hit the bump for the full photo shoot!

Geara Doga WIPs

I still need to take photos of the finished Geara Doga Full Frontal custom.  However here are some of the WIP photos I took while getting the kit ready for the GBWC event!

This is how both wrists looked with the pla-stripes glued along the outside edges. Notice the vertical band which eventually formed part of the 'winged' design of the sleeve detail.

This image shows that the strips have now been added to the back of the wrist. Notice how there is a slight gap and over lap of the wrist and pla-strip. These imperfections were eventually, cut, sanded and fill with putty to form a more consistent edge.

Here's the first shot of the wings. I made a template in Adobe Illistrator in a bunch of different sizes. Cuts the templates out of paper and used them to cut matching sleeve details. 

Lots of primer and putty later resulted in a smooth-ish finish. 

The cuts in the 'wing' designs were made with an X-acto knife and panel line scriber.

Here's a reference illustration for the design of the bullpup beam rifle.

Using some wave parts, and pla tubes I extended and changed the position of the barrel.

The old magazine slot was filled with putty.

And a new 'sensor' was added where the barrel used to sit. Eventually I also added a scope to the side of the rifle from the MG Sinanju.

Monday, October 14, 2013

MG Wing GBWC 'Out of the Box' Entry

The Wing Gundam should be familiar to most western Gunpla builders. This was the titular suit that made Gundam popular in Western Media. Overall this is a great kit, with an interesting frame (similar to the EW kits), good color separation, pose-ability, stability and detail. I've built most of the MG Wing (EW) kits with the exception of the Shenlong at this point. So I can firmly say that this version of the Wing Gundam is probably best of the bunch.  

This MG Wing was my 'Out of the box' submission for the Gundam Builders World Cup held at NYCC. However, I don't think there was an out of the box category this year. The tag that Bandai had for my kit was listed as 'Open*' and I believe it was the only kit I saw listed as such. Ultimately this put the Wing into the same category as my Geara Doga 'Full Frontal' custom which won the 'Best Large Scale' category.

Although the Wing didn't win any categories I was still happy I was able to show it off. 

Hit the bump for the full photo shoot.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

GBWC gifts/prizes

Bandai was very generous with gifts to participants this year.

When I dropped my kits off on Friday I was given this set of pink tinted beam effects parts.

I know Bandai sells a similar kit, but I don't think the retail version is tinted any color. Very cool, I'll have to try to incorporate them into the next build.

At the end of the competition every builder also received a decal set for each kit entered. I displayed three kits, so I received three sets: HG Sinanju, MG GM 2.0 and MG Zaku J type.

My MG Geara Doga was the winning kit for the Best Large Scale kit. So the prize I received was the MG that Stryder Prime (the overall winner) didn't choose. He chose the MG Strike Rouge Ootori, which left me with the MG Full Armor Unicorn.

New York Comic Con wrap up

Bandai Booth 2013

MG Sazabi

Without a doubt this was the crown jewel of the display. I wasn't really sure if I wanted this kit before seeing it in person. But now I know that I must have it in my collection.

MG Wing Zero Proto/TV version

This was the second most exciting new kit on display. I wasn't sure I would like the proportions of the 'old' Wing Zero compared to the newer Katoki designs. Although this design includes many of the elements of the TV kit I can firmly say that it looks much better that I could have expected.

RG Strike Freedom

The PG looks pretty 'plain' by comparison to the RG. And I was really surprised they decided to use the bright chrome gold for the inner frame details on the wings.

HG Thunderbolt kits

Personally I don't like the way they look. But I know there are a lot of people who do.

Random MGs

Random HGs


Stryder Prime's Sinanju Stein won best in show. 

My Geara Doga Full Frontal custom won best large scale 1/100. But I stupidly forgot to take photos of it, or any of my other entries...

This RG Zaku one of the small scale categories. I don't remember if it was 'best small scale' or 'judges favorite'.

This RG Gundam MK II won the other small scale category.

Other Stuff

Proton Packs from Ghost Busters and Marty's hoverboard

A little bit of personal therapy:

I knew that the trip to NYCC this year would be a little 'weird'. It has been less than two weeks since Rich passed away, and only a few days since the funeral service. I had hoped that attending this event might provide a bit of closure. He and I were the ones that decided/encouraged our friends to start attending NYCC last year, and he was really looking forward to it this year. So it seemed appropriate that we would go despite his absence.

Friday was pretty enjoyable; I spent the day with eight friends as we took in the sights and sounds of the convention. I think we all lost ourselves in the delightful chaos of the event.

However today (Saturday) I spent most of the day wandering the event alone. Most of my friends only purchased Friday passes, only Rich and I had planned on sticking around for three days. I decided to stay at the convention to compete in the GBWC event. Although I spent most of the day alone, it really only hit me after the winners of the GBWC contest were announced. We gathered in front of the display case with the prizes we won for photos, and it occurred to me that I didn't have anyone to hand my camera off to. Rich was the one who hung around with me last year for the GBWC event, and the one who took my photos last year when the winners were announced. Despite: winning a category, a great prize and meeting some very talented Gunpla builders from Gundam Eclipse; after the photos the only thing I wanted to do was put as much distance between me and the convention as possible. I packed my kits as quickly as I could, shook the hands of the other winners and left.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the experience as a whole; but I needed to get my thoughts out there.