Tagged: otakon

MG Blitz Gundam Build Log part 1

Very rarely does Bandai put a kit out that makes me want it immediately, especially when it’s not from Unicorn in any way, shape, or form. There are some designs to which I’m weirdly attached, yet never actually bothered to buy a kit of. Sometimes it’s just laziness, or I meant to actually get one when something came up and I lost interest. Of course, with the stupid decisions I make regarding how I build kits, you never know. One minute I’m building SEED 1/144s left and right, the next I’m going on about how much I hate doing non-UC 1/144s.

The Blitz Gundam is a suit I’ve always loved for some strange reason. It’s one of those rare suits from SEED that just oozes originality. Yeah, the whole “black stealth Gundam” thing was kind of done with Deathscythe, but Blitz actually did things DIFFERENTLY, in a way that just made it awesome. The basic Gundam may be kind of generic, but you have to love that color scheme and weapon selection. Heck, the thing pretty much has its own cloaking device! The Romulans would have been proud.

Also, this thing was my main for awhile in SD Gundam Online, which just made me like it more…

So yeah, I was pretty excited to get this kit. I figured I’d build it last out of my Otakon MG bunch as sort of a “save the best for last” mentality. And you know what? I’m glad I did, because this kit bas proven to be a lot of fun so far.

Much like the AGE-1 Titus, this has felt a bit simplified, but less in a “they wanted to make it easier” way, and more of a streamlining manner. The kit still has features everywhere, with all sorts of moving parts that really don’t need to move, like the shoulders. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

The Return from Otakon 2012

Well everybody, I’m back from Otakon! It was quite an awesome adventure, and definitely one of the best cons I’ve had this year, and perhaps ever. I’d say the only really detracting factor for me was being in a room with a horribly loud snorer that made sleeping the first night… quite difficult. But hey, earplugs were invented just for this occasion. But anyway, enough rambling about that crap, let’s get on to the real reason why we’re here: the Gunpla contest and all the stuff shown at the Tamashii Nations/Bluefin booth!

Oh, remember how in one of my previous articles, I was talking about how I was going to enter a ton of kits this year? Well, it turns out there was a limit of only three entries. I’m glad I filled out the entry form online, because otherwise I would’ve brought about seven kits for nothing. Because of this, I decided to narrow things down to just the F91, Delta Plus, and the Qubeley, because despite all the problems I had with that thing, I’ll be damned if it wasn’t coming along.

I was one of the first people to get my kits put in the case, so I was able to land myself some prime real estate. I stuck my three kits in the top of the front case, with the Qubeley front and center just being fabulous.

The competition was pretty good this year. I was happy to see people bringing all sorts of well-assembled kits. It was nothing like New York Comic-con though… seriously, I’m afraid to enter there. However, for some reason, there was no Otakon competition this year, just GBWC. Even the people running the competition were confused about the lack of an Otakon competition. Apparently the Otakon people just never got back to them. As a result, the contest was limited to just Gundam stuff this year.

I can’t remember everyone’s names, so I’m going to list of the kits that won each category. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

The Challenge of GBWC 2012

Well folks, it’s that time of year again.

It’s time for Otakon.

While all of my friends spend countless hours trying to get all their cosplays done in time, I find myself relaxing while working on my Gunpla projects for the Gunpla Builders World Cup! Hey, it helps to have a friend that makes your costumes. Anyway, I’ve had a lot of creative juices flowing lately. It’s caused me to create a ton of stuff through stream of consciousness, with some coming out better than others. Either way, I’ve got plenty of stuff lined up this year.

First off, the Delta Plus from Unicorn. Yes, the same one I was working on almost two years ago and never finished. The Amuro custom colors I tried back then just didn’t work for me. Instead, I broke out my Neutral Gray and British Crimson and went to town with it, and the end result is just fantastic. I’m really happy with this one!

And yes, I’ll get to reviewing it soon.

Of course, I had to have my Out of Box entry, so here’s my Zeon Marasai. Nothing special done here. I used Model Masters Olive Drab and Marine Corps Green for this one—a pretty good color match, all things considered.

This year, I’m thinking of breaking into the 1/100 scale division. For whatever reason, I’ve been really into the suits from the F91 era lately. Unfortunately, all the old kits from that movie and its side stories are nearly impossible to find these days. So, I dug out my old Master Grade F91 and let myself go wild. It was supposed to be Harrison’s unit, but I decided against it because I didn’t want to work with that much yellow. I went for a low-visibility color scheme, based on the idea behind the G3 Gundam’s color scheme. I had some custom decals for this one ordered, but they haven’t come in yet.

As great as the F91 looks, I wish I felt that confident about my custom Qubeley. I was inspired by a really nice one I saw on the Internet and wanted to make one like it. I tried but I’m not too happy with this. The white paint wasn’t very agreeable even with the purple mixed in. Still, it’s coming with me because of how much I worked on this. Once I get my decals in, I’ll be giving this a nice pearl coat.

I finally started working on my Gundam Epyon Master Grade, using a silly new method I thought up. I build one section of the kit (body+head, arms, etc) in my room, and then move to my basement to paint them. It works sort of like tunnel-vision, and keeping the rest of the kit far away keeps me from getting distracted. So far, it’s been working pretty well!

And for the heck of it, I’m gonna bring my old 1/100 Epyon, too.

To keep myself busy while I let parts of Epyon dry, I decided to pull out an SD Deathscythe I’ve had sitting around. Hey, that division doesn’t have much competition. 😉 (sorry, I forgot to grab a picture of this one!)

…and for the local division, I’ve got my GM Sniper II. Sigh. Stupid Bandai announcing an HGUC after I blew so much money on three sets of conversion parts. Still, I slaved over this stupid thing and I’ll be damned if it isn’t coming with me. Shame I can’t enter it in the main division, though.

I’ve got three and a half weeks until the actual con. I’m sure everything will come together, because damn I’m excited. I’m hoping this’ll be the best one yet. Remember that the contest comes to New York Comic-Con, and you should grab some stuff to build for that at FPNYC!

Post to Twitter

HGUC Guards Type Geara Zulu Review

By Loran

Yes, yes, I’ve been sort of slacking with the Gunpla reviews. But don’t worry, I’ve got a good one this time! Yep, it’s the Geara Zulu, one of the kits I won at Otakon this year. Normally I don’t build kits like this. I much prefer to paint and stuff as I go, but I felt like doing a “rough build” this time around for the purpose of the review. I figured this makes it easier to tell what needs to be painted, especially when you consider that with a design like this… you’re going to need a LOT of paint.

The Geara Zulu is the primary grunt of Gundam Unicorn. This variant is called the “Guards Type”, which I believe is used by Neo Zeon officers. The kit itself is mostly made up of parts from both the standard Geara Zulu and Angelo Sauper’s custom unit. As a result, it has a bunch of spare parts, namely the sleeves, collar, and even the legs. I’m thinking of using some of them to construct a custom suit, maybe perhaps some blue and silver.

Also, I’m not one to complain about Katoki’s designs, but is it just me or do the legs seem REALLY long here?

There’s nothing too impressive as far as poseability is concerned. Bandai kinda peaked with their standard-issue HGUC poseability a few years ago. I do have some complaints, though. The skirt armor is a fused piece, which I’ve come to expect but it’s especially annoying here… it has to be cut down the whole seam. This could get messy.

Like all of the other Zeonic suits in Unicorn, the Geara Zulu has all sorts of little lines on it. Obviously this can’t be represented in plastic without any sort of paint applications, so this kit comes with TONS of stickers. I’m not going to bother with them of course, so I’m going to get myself a really, really thick paintbrush. I’m thinking of doing these details in silver instead of white, to better align the suit with the Sinanju. I might do those ugly yellowish details in gold, too. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

New High Grade Model kits for August-October

By Loran

It’s that time again! Yep, I’m going to be looking at some of the upcoming Gunpla releases for the coming months, namely the stuff I’m interested in. That means one thing: It’s mostly gonna be HGUC stuff. If you prefer Master Grades, well, I struggle to wonder why you even read my reviews since I’ve only done… what, one or two of them? Yeah, they’re nicer kits, but they don’t really interest me… though I do plan on getting myself all five of the Gundams from Wing (Version Katoki, of course) plus Epyon once they’re all out. That’ll be a fun project.

With the release of the HGUC GM III and GM Cannon II earlier this summer, I’m actually really surprised Bandai is giving us another GM so quickly, and it’s none other than the GM II, one of the suits I thought we’d never see. So far the only pictures we’ve seen are uncolored resin hardcopies, so it’s difficult to tell if they’ll be giving us the Federation or AEUG colors first. Personally, I’d prefer the AEUG one myself. This leaves us with only two anime-original GMs that need HGUCs right now: The GM Sniper II and the GM Ground Type. Get on it, Bandai! The GM II launches in October.

Here’s one I’m excited for—the Jesta from Gundam Unicorn. I can’t quite explain it but I LOVE this design. It’s basically the sexy baby of the ReZel and the Jegan. It has this feel that reminds me of one of the GINN variants form SEED that punches for its melee weapon in the game. When I look at this suit I don’t see it shooting stuff or using its sword, I just see it running around punching other suits. And that’s awesome. The Jesta will start punching stuff in September. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

The Road to Otakon & BAKUC prelims 2011

By Loran

Otakon is almost upon us once again, and that of course, means many things: cosplay, buying stuff, and general nerdery… but for me, the most important part is the model contest once again. Good ol’ BAKUC Earlier this year I was so pumped up for what I was gonna build. I had them all planned out: I was gonna do G-Savior, I was gonna do my G-Falcon Gundam Double X, I was gonna do a Full Armor Gundam kitbash.

Well… a few things happened.

I started on the Double X right after finishing my Zaku F2. I’d had the kit for about two years; I picked it up at Otakon in 2009. It’s an awesome design, and, let’s face it—that thing isn’t getting a Master Grade anytime soon. I was ready to tackle one of my favorite designs til I realized something.

“Wow, there’s a huge jump when you build something made in 2010 versus something made in 1996…”

Needless to say, that one got shelved for now.

I wanted a non-Gundam entry, too… so I picked up this Armored Core kit I won at Otakon in 2008, with this set of weapons I got from FPNYC that same year. This project ground to a total halt when one of the pieces flew off into the oblivion of junk in my basement…

My next goal was a kitbash. There was the Full Armor Gundam kitbash which I started a few months ago… and quickly shelved because it was turning into a disaster. There was no way for me to get replacement parts in time, so I turned to something else. I wanted to put the parts to use, so I remembered this amazing kitbash I saw a few years back: The original Xabungle kit plus the HGUC Gundam.

I was all ready to throw this thing together, when the drive just… stopped. This had nothing to do with the project itself; I’ve been wanting to do this for ages. The drive was stopped thanks to my current Zoids obsession, brought on by finding a boxed Liger Zero at a thrift store for $5. So hey, it’s just like last year!

Enough of my rambling, however. What WILL be coming with me to Otakon this year? Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Summertiiime, and the Livin’s Easy

Holy comicbooks, Batman, there’s no new manga out this week! That’s okay, since so much has come out in the past few weeks, you

probably need a little respite to catch up with all of it. Or if you’re on top of your game, you could use your regular reading time to start sewing some cosplay, because summer’s here and that means it’s convention season, baby!

I get a lot of questions from customers about conventions, and they’re lucky I’m here to answer them, as I’ve been regularly attending anime conventions for just about ten years now (and boy, have things changed in just one decade). Since I have the chance to this week, I figured I’d throw together a primer for all you FP customers who haven’t experienced a convention outside of NYAF, or are interested in starting yourself on the circuit. There are conventions all over the country of varying sizes and quality, and come summertime, there’s one pretty much every weekend somewhere, so don’t worry. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Loran’s Otakon Adventure part 2: The Competition

by Loran
Otakon 2010 came and went, and it was a decent year, to say the least. Not as good as previous years, but passable, nonetheless. Of course, what I’m here to talk about is the model contest, and thanks to the presence of the BAKUC prelims, it was one of the biggest I’d ever seen. Unfortunately I couldn’t get any pictures of the entire table on Saturday thanks to some a-hole pulling the fire alarm. It went off RIGHT as my friend and I were checking on the progress of the judging. Arg.

There were about 30 entries this year across all categories, but only a handful were entered in BAKUC. Prizes were given across many different categories, including Best Small Scale, Best Large Scale, Best Diorama, Best Figure, Best General Mecha, and Best in Show. Both Best Large Scale and Best in Show went to our very own Monty, who wrote a review on the HGUC Unicorn Gundam kit earlier this year. He won for his awesomely-done Char’s Gelgoog, and his prize for Best in Show was a Perfect Grade Titans MK. II! He also won the local BAKUC competition and got a Master Grade Full Armor Gundam for that. The look on his face when they pulled out the Perfect Grade was priceless. Of course, he was in the masquerade, so I had to drag all of his stuff back to our hotel room, along with my prizes.

Oh yeah, I didn’t mention that-my GM Sniper, which I covered here a few months back, won best small scale! It also placed second in the World Championship preliminaries for BAKUC, and my Hi-Nu Gundam placed second in the 1/144 category for the US championship! I didn’t get any prizes for the BAKUC stuff, but I won two SD kits for the Otakon competition (Monty got one as well, which he later gave me cuz he didn’t want it-oh well, his loss!).

It was nice to enter the contest again. The real fun came from getting to chat with other modelers, exchange tips and other random comments. It’s not the kind of thing you get to do much anymore, mostly due to how inactive the Gunpla community has become since 2002.

I’m a little upset that my white Gelgoog-a restoration job made from two kits-didn’t place in any category. Which I find kinda ironic, mostly-as sort of an in-joke from ’08 I made my badge name “Gelgoog Builder”, and I didn’t even enter the winning Gelgoog! Whoops.
It turns out that BAKUC had been looking to do preliminaries are a few other cons before the year is out. I’m hoping to get them to come to New York Anime Festival/New York Comic Con in October. This will give us a second chance to compete, and hopefully bring in more of the local crowd. I’ve come to notice that comic conventions tend to draw in more Gundam fans than anime cons do. Fancy that. Regardless, if this ends up working out, I hope to see some of you there. If not, myself and some of the other contributors will be hosting a panel at the con sometime that weekend. We hope to see you there.

Post to Twitter