So it looks like the BAKUC competition is going to be returning to America again. I gotta say, I’m pretty excited about this. I thought bringing the competition to America was going to be just a one-time thing in honor of the hobby’s 30th anniversary, but I guess not. It’s really refreshing to see Gunpla getting a bigger presence in America again, especially at cons. Once again, the competition is going to be in the hands of Bluefin distribution. I unfortunately don’t know anyone that made it to the finals last year, and I doubt I’ll actually make it there, but hey, who knows.
The rules are bit stricter this year, however, or rather, they’re a bit more defined. Last year a lot of questions came about like, “So, this is the BANDAI world cup, does that mean we can enter anything as long as it’s a Bandai product?” Turns out that was not the case; apparently some of the Japanese judges refused to look over some Evangelion and Macross kits. So keep that in mind-it can only be Gundam stuff!
Another question that came up was conversion kits-are they allowed? Once again, that’s a big fat no. Yes, you can’t even enter with B-Club kits which are technically Bandai. Also barred from the competition are those neat magazine pack-in conversion kits, like the ones that come with Dengeki Hobby or Hobby Japan. A shame, really, since I’m going to be getting one of those soon. I guess I can still enter that in the convention-specific contest, though.
Oh and by the way, the 1/144 scale Dendrobium kit is also banned. It makes sense, though; I mean it IS 3 feet long. I sure wouldn’t want to compete against something that needs its own table!
New to the competition is an out-of-box competition. This one seems to have pretty strict regulations. While you can still glue and paint it, there’s one thing that really stands out to me: no custom color schemes-you have to use the suit’s default color scheme. No outside decals, either. I’m kind of bummed about the “no custom color schemes” bit, but I guess this gives me a chance to do some wacky paint mixing.
I really like the idea of this division. It’s really sort of a way to even the playing field. It’s not the kind of thing that’ll send anyone to the finals, but it’s a cool challenge. I especially like the quote about the Sazabi on Bluefin’s website… that thing was crazy.
So what do I have planned? Well, I’m especially interested by the OOB division. Making modelers work out of their element is something I love to see, and I’m giving myself an extra ultimatum for that: Instead of doing my usual 1/144 scale Universal Century kit in custom colors, I’m gonna do a 1/100 Alternate Universe kit in default colors. What one will it be? Well, let’s just say I never built it because of the amount of shelf space it’ll take up…
That’s not to say I’m not entering the main division-of course I am! I’m going to follow up last year’s GM Sniper Custom with another HGUC+MSV kitbash-this time, the Full Armor Gundam. I’ll likely get that one started in the coming months. I just need an HGUC Gundam first.
BAKUC will be held at 5 cons this year-Sakuracon in Washington state, Fanime and AnimeExpo in California, New York Comic Con in (where else!) New York City, and Otakon in Baltimore. I’ll be competing at those last two conventions. I hope to see some of you there!