56th All Japan Model & Hobby Show

September 26, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Posted in Events | Leave a comment
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Rather than staying indoors all weekend due to rainy weather, I decided to have a look at this year’s All Japan Model & Hobby Show. Instead of heading straight to the Bandai section like always, I detoured towards the Junk City section to look for gunpla spare parts. Then I navigated towards the Hasegawa section to buy some aircraft spare parts and waterslide decals. Also managed to grab a 1/72 scale VF-1 Valkyrie Battroid kit. Now that shopping’s done, I could finally take a leisurely stroll with my camera.

The Kotobukiya section was dominated by Frame Arms Girls, with some Zoids kits as well.  At the Max Factory section, there’s the 1/350 scale Cherno Alpha and Gipsy Danger from Pacific Rim. It’s gonna be a plastic model kit instead of a ready-made figure so I’m looking forward to its release. The Little Armory section has the upcoming MP7A2 and M134 minigun kits on display, which will be followed by MP5 SD6 and M4A1+M203 kits. Still no release date for the KLX250 motorbike though.

And then finally I made my way to the Bandai section. I was greeted by a plethora of Iron Blooded Orphans (IBO) kits, possibly to coincide with the 2nd season of the anime. Also there were the same stuff seen during the previous C3Hobby show, namely the RG Build Strike, HG Guncannon, HG Zaku I Origin (Char), HG Bugu, HGUC GM Ground Type, RE/100 Bawoo and MG Psycho Zaku.
Then there’s the pleasant suprise which was the MG GM Sniper II. I would’ve been happy with a RE/100 version, but an MG kit is even better.
Finally there’s the Premium Bandai stuff: HG Sword Impulse, MG Nu H.W.S pack, and extra armor & weapons for the MG Fullarmor Thunderbolt Gundam.  Someone should tell Bandai they managed to misspell ‘hangar’ twice: ‘hanger’ on the background art, and ‘hunger’ on the boxart. It’d be hilarious if they kept the spelling error on the official box art.

HGUC Gouf

September 14, 2016 at 11:31 pm | Posted in 1/144 scale | 1 Comment
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Introduction:
This project started with the HG Gouf R35 kit. I used bits and parts from that kit for my other (still ongoing) projects, leaving me with a handful of unused parts. Instead of leaving them as junk parts, I decided to buy more parts to build a complete Gouf. Fortunately I was able to procure some HGUC Gouf Revive and HG Gouf Prototype parts from Yellow Submarine for this project. From the offset, I already decided that this Gouf won’t be blue. I went for the Sand colors of the Gouf Prototype (P-Bandai version).

Materials & methods:
You can read the works in progress page here. The color scheme I went for is pretty simple. Just 3 colors to consider:

  • Thighs & biceps: Light gull gray (spray can)
  • Body: ~90% german gray + ~10% propeller color (Mr Color 131)
  • Limbs & head: 95% khaki + 5% smoke gray

For all other parts (backpack, joints, power cables, weapons), I used the various shades of gray and gunmetal spray cans I have at my disposal. After adding decals & clear topcoat, I applied very light weathering effects in the form of enamel wash & paint chipping. Then it’s the final flat topcoat layer.

Results:

gouf_01

Discussion:
I think I will summarize this build as a Gouf with an identity crisis. With different weapon attachments, it can look like a Gouf R35, a Prototype Gouf, or just a plain ol’ Gouf. I feel that’s a good thing. Adding modular weaponry was one of the fun points in this build.
Since 80% of this build used HGUC Gouf REVIVE parts, I thought I’d comment on it a bit:

  • The leg articulation is very good; the knees can bend quite a lot. The feet could’ve used a bit more articulation, though.
  • The front skirt armor tends to pop out, especially when posing with the legs raised.
  • Torso is well articulated, but the polycap joint in the chest feels a bit flimsy; the chest tends to sag sideways or backwards.
  • The chest power cables also likes to pop out from the front socket. Not sure if it’s to do with the soft M.S.G cables I used.

To conclude, this was a fun kitbashing project that led me to realize my own gunpla building niche: adding modular weapons and painting existing color schemes on different mobile suits.

Little Armory M82A1

September 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Little Armory | Leave a comment
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#For a brief intro about the Little Armory series, refer to this earlier post for the M4A1 assault rifle#

Little Armory M82A1 anti-materiel rifle

LA011_M82A1The M82A1 is one of the more ubiquitous sniper rifles in media out there, be it in video games or movies. One of the earliest Little Armory releases was the M82A2, a variant that had a bullpup design. I have no problems with bullpup designs, but the M82A2 just didn’t tickle my fancy. The M82A1 is just so much more sexy looking.
The Little Armory M82A1 has plenty of parts, but once everything is assembled, the only excess parts are some spare bullets. There’s no spare magazine this time.
la011_001The scope lenses were made out of black, opaque plastic. So I drilled holes in the scope and inserted clear lenses from M.S.G. For painting, I just used a combination of black, german grey and gunmetal from spray cans. I handpainted the spare bullets with enamel gold. Here’s a comparison of the size in relation to other Little Armory kits:

la011_002

Now for some shots of just the rifle itself:

And now in the hands of the typical cast:

Final thoughts:
Overall, the Little Armory M82A1 is a very nice looking kit. In terms of size, it fits well with HGUC kits but it may not be too easy to pose with.
Although it feels generally solid, there are some flimsy and fragile parts. The muzzle brake connects to the barrel with a tiny peg so be careful not to drop it. The bipod can swivel sideways but as a consequence, it can easily be detached from the rifle with just a slight touch. Also, if you really care about details, the opaque scope lens may disappoint.
Despite its flaws, I still love this kit and have no regrets about getting it.

la011_022

 

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