Page hits. I feel popular!

Friday, September 10, 2010!

This is the big announcement that was posted about before. Yes, Gaijin Gunpla is taking his now cramped Gunpla blog to its very own site,!

There you will find all the old content plus some new content I've been holding back on specifically to give everyone something new to see from me. With the new site format I will be able to update more frequently without having my posts get pushed to the bottom of the page and disappear. It is also much easier to follow along with builds I have done and am in the process of doing. A tutorial and supplies section has been added to show people what I am using to construct my plastic projects. Please head on over and check it out!

Unfortunately, the last two posts on this blog weren't exported with the others but have instead been reconstructed over there. That means the comments you left here won't appear on those posts, but if you would like, feel free to copy and paste it over there. It would please me.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Big News!

Stay Tuned to Gaijin Gunpla for some important news.

Announcement soon.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I'm in!

In a big way!
I just finished watching the Gundam Unicorn Anime and all I can say is, "Holy $&%#!"

Of course, I already like the Mobile Suit designs from the series having built the Unicorn and Sinanju but what most caused my jaw to drop, and have me instantly hooked on Gundam anime, was seeing the Kshatriya in action. That thing is awesome! The model kit was my first exposure to that suit and I thought it looked big and cumbersome. Man, was I totally wrong. That thing is awesome!

For its size and weight this thing can maneuver. Now I want to build that kit!

I pledge allegiance to Gundam, and the anime on which the kits are based, one whole-lotta-awesome, indescribable, with epic and mecha for all.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Work Table - Sept. 2010

Welcome to the new monthly blog segment simply titled "The Work Table".

It occurred to me as I was moving boxes around my work room and trying to figure out what I would be building and in what order that those following this blog might be just as confused, or even more so, than I am. Well, I am aiming to post on the first of every month what I am working on, what I have to work on, and what I want to work on. Or rather, what is "On the Work Table", "Under the Work Table", and "Coming to the Work Table".

On the Work Table

Now that I have completed the MG Wing Gundam for I am going to get back to the kit that I assembled while on vacation.

I've cleaned the parts, separated them by color, and already started on the painting and modifications (more on that in an upcoming post.) I don't plan on doing anything too elaborate with this kit, possibly because I left it sitting for a few weeks while working on other projects and lost the fire I had for it. But it will still be an S2 version. ;)

Under the Work Table

I'm pretty sure that this will be the longest part of each monthly post. Basically, this is my backlog and, as most Gunplars know, the backlog is not something that gets smaller. After the Exia build (or during), I will be starting on some of these. So what have I got piled up under the work table?


Yup. There are two of them. I have already built the Real Grade Gundam for Gunpla TV, but because I was building this for a program I didn't really get to take my time and enjoy the build. To be honest, assembling this thing in under two hours took it out of me and I didn't feel like doing it again. However, after visiting the 1/1 Gundam in Shizuoka and seeing it in all its glory once again, I felt I really wanted to build a kit that reminded me of the Shizuoka Gundam and the feelings it conjured up. But... I have for some time wanted to do an RX-78-2 in Real Type Color. So let's do two at the same time! I will be building the regular color version as a series of posts on (and will be working on some kind of base) and the Real Type Color version for this blog. It should be fun! (I hope...)

After that it's the...

This kit caught my eye when it first came out but I was busy with other things and each time I remembered it and wanted to pick it up it was out of stock. When they finally came back into stock last month I grabbed one right away. I really like the look of this suit and, at this time, have no plans for modifications other than paint, but I love the box art and will maybe try to make a base for it to try to replicate the image. Wish me luck.

MG Musha Mk-II Tokugawa Ieyasu Ver.

Picked this up in Shizuoka when visiting the 1/1. Yup, it's a limited edition version of the Master Grade Musha Mk-II that I just finished building. Sure, it's the same kit, but the included stickers and unique color means I don't feel the need to change anything. When I have some spare time I can just take my time and snap this together.

I was teased recently because, although I've had this kit for what seems like a year I haven't even gotten around to taking the lid off the box. The irony of the situation is that the person doing the teasing, who said "You will never build that kit." is now legendary for his enormous backlog. We're talking a huge amount of kits! This is good lead in to the next kits under the work table...

RX-178 'Gundam Mk-II
(Ecopla 限定)

The Ecopla Mk-II was picked up in Shizuoka along with the Tokugawa Ieyasu Mk-II. I'll throw some paint on it and perhaps alter a few things but it should be fun build on its own. The Hazel Custom, however, was picked up in Akihabara back in February with the intention of it being a group build project. The individual who wanted to build this with me is the same one who chided me on the Zaku Cannon and who has not yet gotten around to his, either. Oh, irony. How you make me smile.

Coming to the Work Table

Probably the kit I am must excited to build is the MG Gundam Deathscythe EW Version. I have heard some grumbings around the net that it doesn't have its wings, but c'mon now, it's a plastic model. Build the wings yourself. Well, that's what I intend to try to do.

I also have my sights on the HG Sinanju as well as the Delta Plus. And then PG Strike Freedom this winter!

In a month's time, let's see how my Work Table looks.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Real Gundam! in SD! it's not quite real. Or, even less real than the real Gundam.

Another day over 35 degrees. In this heat I am reluctant to step outside unless it is completely necessary, which means I need to come up with fun activities to keep myself and Gaijin Gunpla Jr. busy throughout the day so we don't just waste away watching television. Of course, there are lot of things I could be doing, and many things I should be doing, but most are not something a child could do. I noticed the 1/1 Real Gundam Project SD kit that I picked up when the four horsemen of the apocalypse, I mean, the four bloggers (of the apocalypse?) visited the 1/1 Gundam in Shizuoka on the top of the pile this morning and decided that it would be a good way to waste, I mean spend, half an hour or more.

Here are what you would regularly find inside this SD RX-78-2 Ver G30th box.

And here are the additions.
The blue stand on which the Shizuoka Gundam can be found standing, a nice background with Mt. Fuji (visible from Shizuoka?), and the Gundam decals.

The markings are the same type that were found in the new Real Grade kit. An upgrade over the normal type of Gundam sticker. However, this being an SD, these markings are very tiny. Yikes!

I won't go into the details of the build because it's and SD and there's not much to it. This, however, was not something I had encountered before.

Here's our completed kit. I actually put the markings on after Gaijin Gunpla Jr was in bed, but I did leave on the foil stickers the way she had put them on.
Look at that! She took the black stickers that were left over after you pulled of the eye sticker and put them on the kit, symmetrically! My genes, baby. I'm proud of her.

Here's a closer look at the markings. As this was built for Jr. I didn't bother to take my time with them but rather slapped them on quickly.
In other news...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hobby Japan's オラザク Contest

This morning I mailed off my entry to Hobby Japan Magazine's annual オラザク(ora-zaku) contest. It was in the January 2009 issue of Hobby Japan that I saw the first Gundam kit that blew me away, Shimakou's Black Trinity Zaku II 2.0.

I must have flipped through the pages of that magazine dozens of times looking at all the entrants. I intended to enter a kit in the contest the next year, but missed the deadline.

When I looked through the latest issue of Hobby Japan I found the entry form tucked away in the magazine, noticed that the deadline for submissions was September 1st (!), and promptly photocopied it. Then I went out and bought a memory card and moved pictures onto it, stuffed it into an envelope along with my completed form (filled out in terrible japanese ;) ), then put it in the mail on the way to work this morning.

What kit did I enter? That's a secret. Let's wait for the results in an upcoming Hobby Japan Magazine!

I want to take a moment to thank everyone for the comments they have been sending my way and apologize because it seems blogspot hasn't been showing them all. If you've sent a comment and don't see it here, it wasn't because I deleted it, it was because blogspot did something strange which I haven't discovered yet.

In other news

I'm back to masking.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MG Musha Mk-II Step 4: Weapons

This blog entry is the missing #4 from the sequence of WIP for my Musha Mk-II Gundam. Okay, that's a lie. I must have mistyped when starting the next WIP after number 3 and instead of a 4 hit the 5 key. Ya, that's it. I didn't notice this at all until someone was nice enough to point it out to me. Rather than leave #4 as nothing I thought I would blog about the work I did on the Musha's weapons; the Naginata (薙刀) and the Tachi (太刀).

The Naginata

The shaft for the Naginata that comes with the kit is far too short, so the first thing I did was use one of my plastic rods and make a new one.
I also didn't like the piece Bandai designed as the tsuba (鍔) on the kit so I altered it.

Part on the right, I don't need you!
Now the length is as it should be.

The plastic rod is wider than the original shaft which means the piece that Bandai has for the Ishizuki (鐏) won't attach. I originally considered modifying the rod to fit the Ishizuki but then decided that the Ishizuki would be out of scale with the weapon and so I made a new Ishizuki by taking the existing one and gluing it to a poly-cap I found in my spare parts bin.

I then took a plastic rod of thinner diameter and glued it into the Ishizuki then drilled a hole in the new shaft and inserted it into the shaft (after painting of course).

I used Tamiya Silver Leaf paint for the Ishizuki, Tsuba, and also the blade of the weapon because a gold blade just looks ridiculous.

Because I didn't want a gold blade on my Naginata I went ahead and ordered a part from Bandai , namely the Naginata from the Shin Musha Gundam. I then used the Gold Naginata blade as a test piece for my paint thinner process because I planned to remove the gold plating from all the pieces.

However the blade for Shin Musha's Naginata doesn't mount the same way so instead of modifying the new shaft I had just made I decided to try and paint the Mk-II's blade. And, in my opinion, it turned out looking better than the silver plated blades that came with the kit. The kit's blades are of course very reflective however, because they are plastic of course, upon close inspection they lack all the things that make real forged japanese blades interesting, most importantly the 'grain', or Hada (肌), pattern produced from all the folding. The silver leaf sprayed overtop of my sanded piece produced a result similar to a real blade. So I decided to do it for the Tachi blade as well.

The Tachi

The Tachi as a weapon predates the Katana (刀) and was worn and used differently. To get the aspects of my Mk-II Tachi correct I consulted my reference books.

The Connoisseur's Book of Japanese Sword by Nagayama Kokan. Probably the most comprehensive book about Nihonto (日本刀) written in english.

Here is a picture from the book showing the shapes of the Tachi compared to the Katana.

Generally the Tachi have a deeper sori or curve than Katana and the deepest part of the curve is found nearer to the handle (Koshizori) rather than the center (Torizori). As I didn't intend to bend the blade piece at all I would need to get that effect by bending the handle, or Tsuka (柄). I grabbed a lighter and heated the piece until it was pliable.

Another thing I should mention about Tachi is that the are mostly regarded as weapons used by warriors mounted on horseback. A warrior on horseback would usually have the weapon attacehd by a long rope, or sageo, rather than have it tucked in his belt. It also would come with more elegant mountings. But how to create those mountings out of plastic?

After gluing the parts of the sheath, or Saya, together to remove the seam lines I wanted to add a nice-looking end part to it. The end of a Saya for a Tachi has a metal piece there so what I opted to do was take one of the parts from the second saya that was included with the kit and glue some plastic stripping onto it.

I wrapped this strip completely around the part and let it dry. I then took my pin vice and drilled two tiny hold on each of the long sides and one tiny hole on each of the shorter sides. I then took my side cutters and cut from the edge of the strip to the drilled hole from two angles. Then painted it Silver Leaf. You'll see the end result in the final shot.

The next step was to make the metal pieces that go around the sheath where the knot is tied. For that I took some of the small loops I made previously made from spare parts when constructing the belt and glued some plastic strip onto them, wrapped it around the Saya, and glued the other end on forming a loop.
Once dry I slid it off the Saya and painted it Silver Leaf.

For the Tsuba, or the hand guard, I took my pin vise again and drilled a large hole on each corner so that the corners were drilled off, leaving a star type pattern. For the part on the end of the handle, or Kashira, I rounded off the piece that came with the kit.
It definitely looks more like a Tachi now.

Now the blade. And I spent more time on this than I probably should have considering how difficult it is to see the results. The first step was to remove the silver plating by dropping it into a water/paint-thinner mixture and then to sand off the remaining silver. I then sanded it down repeatedly gradually increasing the fineness of the sandpaper finishing with 2000 grit.

Real Nihonto have hamon! The hamon is the cutting edge of the blade which the bladesmith covers in clay before quenching the blade in water. The result is the very sharp cutting edge Japanese blades are famous for. How the clay is applied determines the pattern of the hamon. It can range from straight (suguha) to wavy (gunome) to some fantastically elaborate examples (sudareba springs to mind).

I don't have clay... or a forge.. or real metal. I'm working on plastic so to produce a hamon on my plastic blade I thought I would try a method similar to what bladesmiths use. I took my silver gundam marker and drew a hamon onto the blade.

Also, each blade has a Boshi at the tip. This is difficult to describe but I decided to try and make one myself. Warning, bad pic on the way...

After the gundam marker I sprayed a coat of silver leaf and the hamon was visible (sorry no pics) but the piece needed a second coat of silver leaf and after that the hamon was much less distinguishable. Just like an older blade that needs a polish. haha.

And here is the Tachi as a finished product, complete with authentically tied knot.
Not bad.