Loran’s Otakon Adventure!: Prelude

By Loran

Well guys, Otakon is drawing near. And by near I mean way too close. It’s funny, up until today it didn’t feel so close, and I wasn’t particularly excited up until today. I’ve gone for several years, but for once there was no actual buildup. Now of course, I go to cons all the time but I never talk about them here. Well, this time is an exception, because as I mentioned before, they’re holding the preliminaries for BAKUC, along with their own model contest.

BAKUC is Bandai’s world-wide Gunpla competition. It’s something I’d only heard about in passing a few times. I never thought I’d actually see a competition in the US considering how little interest there is these days in Gunpla. Otakon only gets a handful of entries in their contest each year, so it’s nice to see a bit of attention added to it. I actually entered back in 2008 with my HGUC Gelgoog Cannon, and surprisingly won “Best Small Scale Gundam Kit”. I won a Kotobukiya Armored Core kit, a limited edition one, no doubt. Unfortunately, like 70% of kits I get, it has sat unbuilt in the corner of my room for the past two years. I didn’t enter last year because I was in a masquerade skit and way too busy to do, well, anything related to Gunpla.

So what am I going to be entering this year? Well, most of the stuff I do isn’t quite BAKUC material. You see, most BAKUC stuff involves doing all sorts of crazy modifications like replacing joint systems and all of that wacky stuff. Personally, I’m not too into it. I’m always fearful that I’m gonna sacrifice some stability of the kit while doing so. Thankfully, BAKUC is also doing a local thing where contestants can just enter normal kits, stuff with cool color schemes and whatnot, and that’s what I like doing. I’ve decided on three kits to bring with me, all of which have been covered previously on the site:

GM Sniper Custom: This one I can probably get away with entering in the main competition because it’s a “heavy” kitbash. Not many people do GM Sniper Customs, sadly. It’s a really cool design that deserves more love.

Gelgoog Marine Shin Matsunaga Custom: This kit has a special place in my heart due to its beginnings. It’s a kitbash made from two second-hand Gelgoog Marine kits that I bought off somebody. They were really dusty, dirty, and in overall rough shape. I gave them a new lease on life after spending a few days completely repainting them and making some minor modifications. I just wish I had more decals to give it.

Hi-Nu Gundam: You know, I wasn’t thinking of entering this originally, til I remembered the time I spent making it. I worked so hard to get all of those tiny little silver details on him just perfect, looking at every possibly picture in the manual. It was a labor of love, I guess.

I honestly don’t think I’ll win or anything, but getting a chance to display my kits in public at a con is a fun experience, as well as getting to talk to other kit builders. Maybe I’ll see some of you guys there, who knows!

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