Influenced by the plastic model club’s 部長 and my roommate, I grew interested in Gundam resin conversion kits. And so I spent hours diving into the internet looking up all the current Gundam garage kits, and contemplated how I want my Gundam collection to grow. A frequent problem I ran into was the lack of details and pictures of the parts the kits include. I had to dive into Chinese forums and find the makers’ websites, which was a challenge since I can’t read Chinese. Then I got side-tracked on searching for scans of 00P, 00F, 00I, and some 00 mechanical reference books…
Anyways, I decided upon purchasing 2 versions of Avalanche Exia Dash MG conversion kits. One features many articulated parts not yet on any Avalanche Exia model kit. The other is an original design of the Avalanche Exia Dash. For the other GKs I want, I either don’t have the base kit or I haven’t built it yet, so perhaps someday in the future. And that was how a week of February disappeared…
The first day of February actually begin with a club gathering. More members than usual contributed to the display of gunpla, resulting in a good variety. 部長 displayed anything of his that had lots of accessories. My roommate displayed his finished MG Heavyarms EW. I had two Valvraves, MG Exia, HG F91, and Robot Damashii Vox Aura. 後輩 displayed his finished Gundam Alex. A member that is known for his Warhammer figures showed off his MG Build Strike Gundam and RG Wing Zero EW this time around. See another side of the story at the plamo club’s blog.
The next Saturday, I went over to 部長’s house (you will see me write that a lot), and I was glad to see 後輩 there too. Since my 1/100 Kyrios has arrived, I opened the box to check out the parts. Outside was wet from the rain earlier that day, and since I wasn’t in a rush to paint anything, I just spent my time chatting. 後輩 worked on his HG Gyan for practice and he had trouble as always. He also had a Musai battleship from Gundam. I asked 部長 how his Gundam X models were coming along, and he modified the X Divider onto his MG Gundam X. He had lost the chest vulcans but he took my advice and bought a pack of metal replacements. We looked online for the Robot Damashii Extreme Gundam’s option set and found one on Mandarake for ￥6000. We made the order, but we were notified that it became unavailable.
We discussed if each of our tastes in mecha has a theme, and 部長 mentioned that he likes Gundams with a bunch of accessories and equipments, while 後輩 likes military-esque designs. Meanwhile, my kits are almost entirely from 00, but that is because I like the series. But then I like Unicorn and Build Fighters too, and I have no models from them so I’m not sure. I would say that I like edgy and sleek designs. That day, 部長’s parents came over to visit him in the evening. A little later, 部長 was showing me his old Super Sentai robot toys, but then I got distracted by 後輩 flipping through Dengeki Hobby magazines and hopped over. It is a lot more fun to browse through them together with friends. As I get ready to leave, I realized that I had a part that needed to be primed, orz. I chatted with 後輩 as I walked him back to his dorm and then headed home.
Sadly, I forgot to take photos for this week’s club gathering. The 3 of us were huddled around a single desk working at our own models. 後輩 and I were learning how to cement seam lines, me with my Valvrave’s shoulder armor, 後輩 with his HG Gyan. Afterwards, I continue straight building 1/100 Virtue’s armor. Probably because of the rain earlier in the morning, only one other member showed up. She had a RG Wing Zero with a broken arm and she tried to cement it back together. We ended up arguing about the ease of cutting and scribing pla-plates. When the gathering is over, I finished Virtue’s armors for the chest and a few parts of the hip.
Even when I’m at home with my free time, I worked on my Valvrave’s shoulder and HG Exia’s revamp. Polishing the GN Condensers took hours of work and the GN Drive gave me trouble too. My 1/100 Dynames had a broken peg and I replaced it with a magnet. Besides working on models, I found time to finally do some house cleaning. I also fixed up my bed and changed the bed sheets to my Dracu-Riot one. I changed up the poses of the S.H.Figuarts on my desk and switched the PC’s wallpaper too.
Already the weekend is here and I found myself at 部長’s house again. I sawed apart HG Exia’s thighs to replace some parts and tested painting Valvrave VI Hiasobi with the airbrush. I was astonished at the incredible smoothness and brilliant colors. It seems like I can finally add gradients to my list of possible techniques now. Meanwhile, 後輩 struggled to airbrush, or even hand paint, his battleships. 部長 had progressed on his GP03 resin kit, old Gundam X, and his MG 00[Q]’s shield modification. A little later, we went out for dinner together at a restaurant called Jack’s. I had some slices of chicken with mashed potatoes and the other two had burgers and we shared fries. It was actually quite good with a decent serving size. When we got back, we flipped through some magazines and I noticed that these issues had Valvrave Undertaker from chapter 5 and onward. It was getting late, so I will read them next time.
The next day was the club gathering and 部長 brought with him a mountain of boxes. Those were all of his unfinished kits, which consisted of many Gundam SEED MGs. Only one other person showed up and it doesn’t seem like he has made any progress on his tank since the last time I saw him weeks ago.
I quickly painted the GN cords, finished up my modification for HG Exia’s thighs, and then resumed on building Virtue’s armor, of which I got both GN Cannons done. 部長 worked his GP03 resin kit, which was quite rare to see him actually work on a kit during club hours. After the meeting was over, 部長 and I went to a pho restaurant for dinner. He asked me to recommend him some anime but his perspective on anime is entirely different and overall negative, so I really didn’t know what anime he could not possibly complain about. In the end, I recommended him Amagami SS and he can skip any heroines he didn’t like. See another side of the story at the plamo club’s blog.
Monday was a holiday and since I wasn’t busy with anything, I visited 部長’s place again. 後輩 did not show up, busy with his assignments presumably. 部長 had to study too, so I worked silently in polishing some parts, which I spent too much time on. I finished up and switched to spray painting VVVVI Hiasobi’s frame. I had taken my Kyrios and MG Exia with me, but I didn’t have time and I went home as it got dark. I actually didn’t stay for too long this time.
Chinese New Year was on Thursday 19th, and so my parents wanted me to come home for the weekend. I was hasty to start painting VVVVI Hiasobi, so I packed up ahead of time and went to 部長’s house until my parents arrived to pick me up. I was painting gloss black but I had difficulties with dust and I also couldn’t finish before the sun set. *sigh*
Back at my parent’s place, I watched some Gundam Build Fighters and One Piece with my little brother. We also played Gundam Breaker and we just could not beat a certain survival mission with waves of Strike, Red Frame, Wing Zero, Strike Freedom & Unicorn, and lastly two PGs at once. Even when we upgrade to all MG parts with our best modules, the PGs dealt insane damage that KO us in just a few hits. Other than the game, we spent some time building gunpla. Me and my MG Exia, he and his HG Build Burning. He straight built his parts quickly while I spent forever on a few white armor pieces. I asked him if I could have his HG GN-X because it was just falling apart on his desk. I also decided to finally start the HGUC line starting with the Unicorn Gundam. On the eroge Dracu-Riot, I progressed to the H scenes on Rio’s route.
Unrelated to my hobbies, I got a new used bike because my previous one is falling apart. It lasted for a surprising 3 years. When I got back to my apartment, I spent too long tweaking the bike and looking online for accessories, sleeping late as a result.
During the week, I came to realize that there are many series that I “wouldn’t mind watching” but not actively follow. Looking at my current list of anime, there are too many series that I would like to finish watching, but I always go for something else that interests me more. Now I have many series stuck on hiatus with no motivation to start again. I did, however, sat down for an episode of idolm@sters after dinner.
I also started watching KanColle and the 1st episode of Cross Ange. I first noticed Cross Ange when I came across its teaser for the PS Vita game. Soon afterwards, I saw the Robot Damashii and immediately thought of Strike Freedom Gundam. My initial impression is that the show appears to be really interesting and and it quickly took a dark turn. For whatever reason, I found the erotic service to be surprising. The transformable mecha design is really cool though. I look forward to seeing how the story progresses.
On Thursday, I went to 部長’s house to resume working on VVVVI Hiasobi. I decided to simplify the process and paint white on the black first, which’ll reduce the amount of masking needed. However, I should not have primed the parts because the sky got dark by the time I got to painting the white. Although I tried to continue by using a lamp, it was really hard to see properly. In fact, I couldn’t tell the grey primer apart from the white. I gave up and called it a night.
The next day, my big (and pricey) box of paints from HobbyWave arrived. I went to 部長’s house, not only because I wanted to show off the paints, but a certain member of the club who has never been there was visiting too. While she got a tour of the house and tools, I resumed on the Valvrave. Now I could see the grey VS white, and how bad some parts turned out. Anyways, when 部長 finished giving the tour, he found out that he just accidentally skipped his class. The other visiting member proceeded to test out painting gradients for her custom color RG Wing Zero EW. She showed me that the color scheme came from Cardfight Vanguard. A bit later, the two of them played Gundam Extreme VS on the PS3, while I failed terribly at painting the VVV’s heat fins. After Gundam Extreme VS, they then got distracted with Touhou. To end the day, we all went out for dinner at a burger restaurant. It was good, but I am not a burger person.
For the third day in a row, I went to 部長’s place again. The first thing was repairing my VVVI Hito’s broken wing connector. Afterwards, I tried out my new polishing and sanding cloths on the VVV’s hip and shoulder armor. I was really impressed with the Mr.Laplos Polishing cloths in particular. Originally 後輩 wasn’t planning to come, but I begged him to join us and he showed up. The two of them messed around with my PS3 Gundam Unicorn game, but the game was too complex for them to enjoy, as it has a very different style than Gundam VS. I experimented with the Crystal Color paints, based on a build I saw in Dengeki Hobby, and I was getting good results. Trying to find the article though, I kept getting distracted by all the other pictures in the magazines. Well after the sun had set, I was showing 後輩 some funny Gundam 00 videos. It was pretty late, so I started to pack (slowly) and 後輩 waited for me.
As 後輩 and I were biking back, the subject of housing came up and I invited him to come check out my apartment out. As he opened the front door into the dark living room (AKA my room), he walked in pretending he was a spy on an infiltration mission or something. And then he started freaking out over my posters and figures on my desk. He tried to take pictures but it was too dark for good photos. I proceeded to show him all my stuff. After enough distractions, we went to my roommate’s room where he then got distracted by the Gundam models there. Anyways, together we continued talking about rent, expenses, and how 後輩 should pick a place he will not regret. By then, it was around 10pm and since none of us ate dinner yet, we went out to eat at Dot Island Grill. Me and my roommate had a chicken bowl and salmon bowl, respectively, while 後輩 had trouble ordering his meal. As we ate, 後輩 tried to tell us about battleships models and stuff, but we don’t really know anything. All in all, it was a really fun day.
Anime I watched this month:
- KanColle (started)
- Cross Ange (started, 1st episode only)
- Sword Art Online II
- Zoids New Century/Zero (still hard to watch and I had to power through them. Liger Zero finally used the panzer unit)
- Gundam Build Fighters Try
- Gochuumon ha Usagi desuka?
- Monogatari Series: Second Season
- Shinryaku!? Ika Musume (resumed)
- Rinne no Lagrange (just one episode)
As for manga, I only read a little bit of Shokugeki no Souma.