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Neo

IPMS/USA Member
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Everything posted by Neo

  1. Well, we have sponsored trophy packages under “The East Oahu Radical Splinter Faction Group”. But we are certainly not radicals! Oh wait, actually we kinda are. You see, my friends and I build anything and everything, including 1/700 ships, sci-fi (including Gundam), cars and everything in between. The Plastic Conservatives don’t like that, so I guess we are liberals too! God, I hope the Ukrainians get through this madness intact. Honestly, I hope we ALL survive.
  2. For me, its dioramas with just dead people. I don’t mind a D-Day dio with a landing craft with infantry charging out from the ramp, with shells exploding all around. If there are casualties, it’s OK so long as they increase the dramatic effect and contribute to the narrative. But to do an “after the battle” scene with just dead bodies strewn about is tasteless to me. Now, if the dead person(s) tell a story, that’s OK, but it can’t simply be “he got shot in the face and died screaming”. I cannot say I get offended, I just dislike that kind of thing. Oh yeah, and Itasha cars. Don’t get me started on that one.
  3. Depending on your friend’s abilities, the first time results can be quite good. I have a friend who also wanted to try WW 2 aircraft. He picked out a Tamiya 1/72 Bf-109E, not the easiest to paint. But we walked him through it, explaining the hows and whys, as well as interjecting historical factoids about the 109. He was able to apply the inkspots using thinned paint and a sponge applicator. Yes he had a couple of missteps and mishaps. But considering he had never built and painted an airplane model, it turned out rather nice! But yeah, if you have the support of others who can provide good guidance, it makes all the difference.
  4. Nicely done! Heh heh, reminds me of the SNL skit “You’re a rat bastard, Charlie Brown!” Al Pachino as Charlie and Fran Drescher voicing the adults….wa wa wa wah. Too funny.
  5. Thank you for the support Michael. I noticed there have been several seminars at the Nationals that talked about sci-fi and Gundam. Although I have not been able to attend any of them (my problem is that it’s either shopping or looking at models…or trying desperately to finish my entry), I think that is a good start to get people interested. What those seminars cover and their format is unknown to me, so perhaps others in the know could chime in and start a dialogue to see what works and what could be improved. I would venture Step 1 is to not scare them away. Besides, you never know if they might turn to the Scale Side - a friend who started off as a Gunpla builder did. Our small group builds every kind of model, so when he expressed curiosity in aircraft and armor, we all jumped in and provided guidance, encouragement… and kits! Now he enjoys 1/72 aircraft and 1/48 armor. We like to call this phenomena “cross contamination.”
  6. As an avid Gunpla builder, I think the sci-fi categories set by the national committee are fine as-is. I am actually a dyed in the wool airplane & tank guy that crossed over into Gundam as an adult, so I can see the genre from both sides. The question of getting Gunpla builders to join ranks with IPMS is a matter of perception from both sides. On the IPMS side, I have seen hostility and ridicule towards people who “only build snap-tite action figures”. I have mentioned before in another thread that I have been told to my face that plastic models should only be of historically significant types, and nothing else. Really? How would a first-timer react to that comment? I have noticed an uptick in sci-fi modeling in recent years, not only in Gunpla, but sci-fi in general. To dismiss the genre as non-serious would be an inaccurate generalization. Some of the Star Trek guys are just as hard core as a Sherman modeler to get the details right. Many of those who dislike sci-fi have no idea (and do not want to hear of) the depth of the rabbit hole - it could even be as deep as the 1/700 ship rabbit hole! Okay maybe not, but it’s close. So there are Gunpla builders who are content to snap their kits together and put on stickers. But didn’t we all have a start somewhere? We built our models with tube glue on newspaper set on the kitchen table, with only the minimum of paints in those little Testors or Pactra glass bottles. Many who stay with the hobby make the progression to more sophisticated methods and eventually turn out better models. The Gunpla guys are no different. With weathering becoming so popular these days, I am sometimes shocked and a little intimidated when I see a Gundam type weathered to a standard equal to the best armor models. One area where the Gunpla genre differs from “scale” modeling is that it allows great leeway in detailing and painting, but that is part of the fun. Yes fun. Remember those halcyon days with the tube glue? But they have their own set of rules, and it can get pretty intense. My opinion is, dial back the snark, and give them a place at the table. They will be judged per IPMS rules like everyone else, so it’s all fair.
  7. And no glitches visible to the attendees. That shows a job well done. I did chat with some of the insiders, and they said there were a few internal problems, but they handled it all without affecting us. Well done guys and gals! 👏
  8. Yep, no complaints here. The LV crew did a great job! As a convention attendee, I saw no hitches whatsoever. The walk back and forth between the hotel room and convention was killer though! 😵
  9. Ha ha, I know it! I had 2 years, but only picked up my project again 2 months ago. So I’m not the only one. Thrash on gentlemen (and ladies), and see you in Vegas!
  10. I just fold up the regular sheets and cut them into little squares to use for painting. My friends laughed when they saw me do it, but now they all do it too! Yeah, I like the half sheet idea from the paper towel makers. It cuts down on waste in the kitchen too.
  11. That is a tough one to answer. At one Nats a first place car had a beautiful finish, but an auto modeler friend harshly criticized it because it had a different engine fitted. I would have never noticed. Regarding the Char Bis example, it never would have occurred to me to install the exhaust tips that way. But that is because I know what a Char Bis looks like. But if someone put F-15C wheels on an F-15E, I would miss it. One backwards installation I have seen several times involved the German WW II Fritz X glide bomb’s main wings. I guess it is easy to mix up fore/aft orientation. But if you knew what the Fritz X looked like, you would notice. So it all boils down to what the judges know, which for all practical purposes, cannot be 100%. So it falls back to craftsmanship for judging. My 5 cents.
  12. I’m also in Hawaii (Oahu) and received my copy on Monday, so it’s probably some random thing.
  13. I have been lucky to be fully employed throughout this pandemic. Hawaii relies on tourism for about half it’s economy, so lots of other guys have been hit really hard over here. Most people I know are not tied directly to the visitor industry however, so most have been working at home. But two have been laid off, one with their shop permanently closing. My building has increased a bit, but more from being inspired by others than having any more free time. Kit sales have been brisk over here, so I am taking the opportunity to thin out the stash. A friend mentioned that all this stay at home productivity will result in a huge turnout at next year’s Nationals. Fingers crossed that he is right and it happens.
  14. Has anyone tried to book more than one room? I made one reservation, but do not see a provision to add another room.
  15. Nice! I don’t see the clear kits finished very often. Nice poses as well. Most of the times people just stand the kits straight up and down. So boring. It drives me crazy when the feet are pidgeon toed or they are not flat on the ground. I look forward to seeing more of your work!
  16. Mark, The kits in the flyer were mostly from the Japanese animated TV show “Dougram”. Max Factory in Japan has been issuing new tool kits of the mecha and vehicles: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/search?typ1_c=102&cat=&state=&sold=0&sortid=0&searchkey=Dougram&spage=1&Make=Max+Factory
  17. The blackout is for the insides that have no frame details. It goes a long way to hiding the kit plastic as well as creating enhanced shadows. The downside is that it may not be feasible for people who don’t paint the outside of their kits, since the blackout can sometimes be seen through the parts. Awww nuts. Marie Kondo?! A sworn enemy of the Stash! My goof. Gouf? They say Marie Kondo, I say Kazuhisa Kondoh. She says de-clutter, I say buy shares in zimmerit paste and smartguns! I stopped buying the Japanese model mags like HJ because they keep getting bigger and thicker, and their content is now heavily leaning towards toys and girlie figures. I think it will only be a short matter of time before the girlie figures have zimmerit and smartguns. Oh wait, they are already here - Girls und Panzers.
  18. Well, I personally don’t like the crazy hinged left/right torso thing, even if they allow the Gundam to do rapper poses in the hood.
  19. Bandai is upping the poseability of their Gunpla kits, which is a good thing. You could not achieve those “anime poses” OOTB back in the day. I did my share of joint replacements and am glad the newer kits are better in this respect.
  20. Great comments guys! I’m not about converting people to sci-fi/Gunpla, I just want everyone to enjoy what they build and let others build what they want. Community. Brian, I’d love to see what you are “Kondoh-ing”, as I really like his aesthetic. I was able to get 1/220 resin kits of the Breda and Buran in Japan back in the 1990s. I believe the maker was Kotobukiya, but the brand label was "Goikken Muyo" - "Your Opinion Is Not Needed"! B-Club mag did a fantastic scratchbuilt Kondoh Geara Doga made around a stop motion armature, one of my all-time favorite magazine articles. Gerardo, for judging Gunpla, the first thing I look for is blackout on the undetailed inner portions of the model. I have seen very nicely painted and weathered models with shiny unpainted armpits. It’s like having open intakes on a plane where the unpainted insides are visible. Pretty much all IPMS judging rules apply to Gunpla, so it's not a leap in terms of approach. Seams still gotta be filled, paint and decals need to be neat, and stuff needs to be put on straight. Maybe we turn this into a Gunpla/anime kit discussion thread? It might encourage others to join in and share their experiences.
  21. To ease fears that Gunpla is taking over the hobby (it is, actually), here is a pic of my friend's first airplane model kit, a Tamiya Bf-109E: He had no idea how to build and paint an airplane model when he started, but we gave him advice and I think it turned out rather well. He liked it too, and so has begun collecting more aircraft kits to build. He was also interested in armor, and after a few tries, decided that he preferred 1/48 scale. This is his Tamiya 1/48 Tiger I, with the accessory zimmerit stickers: And though I build at a snail's pace, here is my second Gunpla MG build, the Zaku I Ramba Ral custom: For me, I want to start weathering my anime kits like armor models. It changes the look so much, from plastic toy to scale miniature. So yeah, modelers can go either way (scale to Gunpla, or Gunpla to scale), and it all works out. The main thing is to keep an open mind and help others out, regardless of what they build. It sure pays dividends!
  22. Sometimes they go scale. A friend who started off snapping Gundam kits together became interested in 1:72 WW II aircraft and 1/48 armor. We helped him get started and now he is quite good at building them. He has become a huge Tamiya fan. The Model Gods must be smiling on him, as he met Mr. Tamiya and had lunch with him at last year’s All Japan Hobby Show! I told him he’d better go have lunch with Mr. Kawaguchi (Bandai’s de facto PR front man) next. And while I personally dislike World of Tanks, I do realize that the game is stimulating interest in armor modeling in kids. I had a very good tank related conversation with a 10 year old kid who played the game, and was frankly shocked at how much he knew. I didn’t expect kids nowadays to know what an AMX-13 was, or be able to tell me about post war British experimental tanks. Sci-fi, Gundam, WoT- in the end it’s all good for the future of the hobby.
  23. And yet I hear the same thing told to me over and over again. It gets old after 25+ years in IPMS. Anyway, enough of my rant. I just wanted to praise Jerry’s nice diorama. I really liked it a lot! Jerry, if you can, i’d like to see more detail photos, to see what characters are in the crowd!
  24. Thanks Maddog! I feel the need to defend the genre, not only Gunpla but all other genres that are not airplane/tank/ship/car. That is what IPMS should be about to ensure its continued existence. Here are some pics I took back in 2016: This is the RX-78-2 Gundam, the one that started it all in a TV show back in 1979. The show's early history was similar to Star Trek - it originally did poorly in ratings, but became a smash hit once in syndication. The rest, as they say, is history.
  25. A big shout out to Jerry Escobedo-Sainz for his diorama of the Odaiba Gundam display! I visited the site back when they had the RX-78 Gundam, and have to say Jerry captured the scene to a tee! He even did the little bus gift shop! The current Unicorn Gundam that resides there does a light show in the evenings, which the Gundam did not. When the RX-78 first went on display, it looked kind of like an amusement park prop, but details and stenciling were added by the time that I saw it, and it looked pretty realistic, especially the inner joint mechanisms. I’m sure the Unicorn Gundam has the same level of detail. 60 foot tall Mobile Suits may be impractical in real life, but there is an ongoing project in Japan to make a full scale Gundam “move”. How far they take it is open to question, but I hope they can show skeptics like myself that they can do it. BTW, I have to comment on the negativity that this model genre gets. I was also a “scale only” modeler once, and thought the Japanese anime kits were just dumb junk. But after I built my first Gundam kit back in the early 1980s, I was hooked. I still build scale kits, but the Gundam and other anime kits also get into the mix. There is no difference to me - they are all plastic models. They can look spectacular finished using current weathering methods. Time and again I have heard the old trope that plastic models should only represent actual, historically significant machines, and nothing else. I have had that told to my face verbatim at an IPMS meeting. That is total bunk; those little plastic planes fired no shots and won no wars. Gunpla is here to stay, and Jerry’s diorama proves that very good models can be made from them.
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