Thursday, December 20, 2012

"Banagher Links, launching!"

This project went smoothly, and I was able to finish in about 5 weeks time from initial snap-build to final top coat. The build is fairly straightforward - with very few panel lines and rivets added to break up blank armor panels. I went with my planned color scheme although the blues and greys ended up on different parts. The shading is a bit more subdued than I intended ( I didn't expect mr.hobby white to have such good coverage LOL). Tamiya panel line enamel was used for panel lines, and lots of decals give it that "ver.Ka" feel.

for more pics and info click on the Read More link..

Friday, December 14, 2012

Knockoff your socks off...

(shelves at a knockoff store)
I was having a discussion recently with a fellow gunpla otaku and I felt like I had to clear the air and set things straight regarding my stand on knockoff models. I do not promote bootleg kits, nor am I encouraging anyone to buy them. The quality is always poorer than the original. I do not deny purchasing and building knockoffs, but that doesn’t mean you should…You do not see a guy jump off of a bridge on TV and decide you can do the same because you like jumping..or bridges…that’s  just plain stupid. My advice would go like this: before you get into this hobby, decide what kind of collector / builder you want to be. Are you a purist? Someone who likes to have the branded stuff because you don’t like worrying about quality? Do you like the prestige of an all-original collection? Do you hate the idea of a replica? In that case, go Bandai…That is, if you can afford it. How often do you intend to buy kits? How fast do you build? Do you like to paint or modify, or do you just put a kit together as fast as you can, shelve it and move to the next one? Do you intend to compete? Are your kits for your eyes only? All these things come into play when getting into a hobby like this, or any hobby that involves stuff getting displayed in some manner...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Omedetou Gozaimasu Kampfer!

After waiting for what seemed like a universal century...the results are in - and the Kampfer Desolator made 3rd place!

Click on Read More to see the complete list of winners and their entries:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

To Hell and Back

It's been a while since my last post, but I'm back from my gunpla hiatus - a little later than expected, thanks to my brothers lending me their copy of Diablo 3.

I finished the game up to Hell difficulty, grinding a Wizard up to Paragon level 5...after that it felt pointless to finish Inferno. I tried teaming up with a buddy for some multiplayer farming, but it just got to the point where I was asking myself: where are the returns? I log out after a couple of hours of straight grinding, and I would feel empty - as if i'd lost those precious hours to oblivion, without anything to show for it. I wasn't always like this when it came to online gaming - i could farm for hours on end, and it gave me a sense of achievement to have my toon dressed in the best gear. Now it just feels silly.  I guess I just outgrew online gaming altogether. Gunpla is my poison now, and there is no going back!***

(***Except for Magic:the gathering - that game has the gravitational pull of a black hole. It will suck me back in the moment I smell a freshly opened booster pack.)

Click on the "Read More" link to see what else I've been up to!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kampfer Desolator Cost Analysis

In the aftermath of the Kampfer Desolator project, I shared the final pictures on a number of gunpla forums and social sites- and I've received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback for the model. One of the modelers even went as far as to donate a generous amount to my gunpla budget! I have a donate gadget on my blog, but never in my wildest dreams did I think anyone would use it! To the person who donated (whose name I'd rather not divulge in case he gets spammed by donation requests), I want to thank you for your generosity. Rest assured that all donations coursed through this blog will be spent on gunpla materials only.

On that note, allow me to share my thoughts on the rudiments of this hobby, along with a cost analysis I wrote up for this build. The objective of which is to illustrate how a project like this one might cost in terms of time and money. I know most of you can do the math on your own, but in the essence of the blog's title I think it would be fitting. I intend to do a cost summary for all succeeding projects I undertake.

Let's crunch some numbers!

Kampfer Desolator Cost Analysis

Monday, October 1, 2012

MG Kampfer Desolator

After over 3 months of mutilating plastic and inhaling cement and paint vapors, I am proud to present to you - the Kampfer Desolator!

View the album to see the rest of the pics!:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

MG Kampfer WIP 6

This is WIP 6 for the MG Kampfer Desolator. You can find previous WIPs here:


Just a quick update, and possibly 2nd to the last WIP for this project. I've finished building and painting the backpack and the weapon, and have started in on the mini-diorama.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

MG Kampfer WIP 5

This is WIP 5 for the MG Kampfer "Desolator". You can see the previous WIPs here:


(Warning: Pic heavy!)
Just a quick update on the build - I've wired everything, added the canisters and other metal bits.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

MG Kampfer WIP 4

This is WIP 4 for the MG Kampfer. You can find previous WIPs of this build here:


(warning: pic heavy)

I made major progress in the past couple of weeks. The final modifications for the main mecha are now in place: I've painted, sealed and panel lined about 80% of the kit, I'm about 50% done with the decals, and around 70% done with the wiring.

Here are the final mods prior to painting (missing the backpack and main weapon. Both arms and shoulders will look the same)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Alternative Aftermarket Parts

I've been reading a lot on scratch-building and customization lately and I came upon these articles. I just want to share what happens when an Otaku is NOT on a budget, and has a passion for building stuff.

This guy built his very own Warmachine suit, complete with opening face plate and rotating mini-gun...

And this guy thought it would be cool to build his very own Tumbler...

Hats off to these guys for their dedication and perseverance!

I wish I had the resources those guys had, but as the title of this blog implies, I am short on funds but full of imagination, so I'm always on the lookout for cheaper ways to acquire or build the parts that I need. Thrift stores (japan home, saizen etc.) and electronics shops (deeco) are a mecha builder's mecca (pun intended) - hiding parts for customization that would otherwise cost an appendage to obtain.
A number of items i've found at these stores are as follows:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

MG Kampfer WIP 3

This is WIP 3 for the MG Kampfer. You can find WIPs 1 and 2 here:



This build is taking FOREVER...and I'm loving it! In the past weeks i've been putting the panel scriber, pla plate and putty to good use. I think I've just about worn out the 1st blade of the scriber..It did come with 2 spare ones but I hope Lil's carries extra blades for cheap. Anyway it's a great tool for adding panel lines and cutting pla plate and I'm glad I have it in my arsenal. Less talk, more pics!

(sorry for the terrible quality of pics)

scribed the lower half (most of the lines were patterned off of the G-System Kampfer)


Some pla plating and scratch building...

Opened up the foot armor, and I built a waist spacer to improve the proportions of the body, which looks kinda stumpy on it's own.

Overall design, showing approximate height when the spacer is added...

I was also thinking of doubling up the shoulder armor to make the shoulder canisters look shorter and to blend it in with the rest of the design. I'm still 50/50 on this mod...maybe when the waist spacer is done I'll figure it out.

That's all for now. I still have a lot more pre paint work to do for this model, which is fine given how bad the weather has been lately. I thought I might be able to use this as an entry to GBWC in October, but alas, the new rules require entry kits to be purchased at sponsor stores only. Anyway I started this project for myself and I'm happy it will stay that way. No pressure means I can take my time and go crazy with this build.

Later gunplars!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

MG Kampfer WIP 2

This is WIP 2 for the MG Kampfer. You can find WIP 1 here:
MG Kampfer WIP 1

Long time no post! I've been very busy lately, what with the news that my wife and I are finally having a baby! I'm going to have to save up from here on out, so new hauls will be few and far apart, if i get to buy anything at all...luckily I was able to stock up! I purchased a bandai MG Duel Assault Shroud, a china MG Unicorn, airbrush set! I split the cost with my bro-in-law. Since neither of us can paint kits that often, we figured we could maximize the investment if we shared it instead. We purchased the Tamiya Sprayworks basic set - a good platform to learn airbrushing. From here on out my gunpla will be airbrushed, and the Kampfer will be the first kit where I get to try my hand at airbrushing. I'm a long way from the painting stage still, but i've made significant progress in the build. Here's my progress about a month into this project...

Seam fixing, pla plating, drilling and panel line scribing...

repurpose armor panels as gatling gun and thruster covers...

open up armor for hydraulics mods...
snap build the rest of the kit and prep for mods...

stay tuned for more!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

MG Kampfer WIP 1: Turtle Power!

Introducing my next project: MG Kampfer "Desolator"

This is will be the 1st WIP post for this build. The Kampfer is one of my favorite mobile suit designs, and I was lucky enough to purchase this 30th anniversary release for a bargain. It includes extra clear armors, which opens up a lot of room for modding. The rounded armor sections remind me of a turtle - so I decided to build a concept around that. I have no green gunpla yet, so I wanted this one to be green. What kind of turtle is green and awesome? A teenage mutant ninja one of course! If you were born yesterday, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" was a popular action cartoon back in the early 90s. The protagonists were four turtles that found their way into a puddle of glowing green ooze called
"mutagen" that was seeping out of a canister. It turned them into humanoid turtles with the ability to think and speak and crave pizza. They meet Splinter - a kung-fu sewer rat - who teaches them the way of the ninja...and rest is history. Combining these ideas, I came up with this:

The line art is just a rough draft of what I have in my head, so I won't follow it to the letter..err..line.

Phase 1 was to snapbuild the kit - sanding and drilling along the way, adding detail where I felt it was lacking, and of course, wiring the radioactive canisters into the model.

Here's my progress so far:

built the arms sans the hands, which I tend to do last coz they break easily. I've managed to bore out the places where the spikes are supposed to go. I used the clear shoulder on the other arm so they both had slots for canisters. I've made the shoulder canisters by carefully drilling into the bottoms of glass fuses, injected it with some hair gel tinted with Tamiya clear green, then placed a yellow led to seal the hole. I test fitted the canisters using masking tape and they work ok. I just did a bit of puttying to smooth out the canister slots.

I built the head and torso, did some detailing on the arms and drilled more holes for rivets, and added a mono eye LED:

arm detailing: rivet holes, wire effects, elbow canisters

...not sure if I can still add LEDs to the elbow canisters as there isn't a lot of room left for their own battery (which bring up weight issues) or if i can figure out a way to wire it into the torso, which is rather hollow. I might just have an external power source in the end, as this thing is going to have a LOT of LEDs..

canister led test:

I intend to use a bosny chrome or gold base, then apply tamiya clear green mixed with tamiya clear yellow, so the finish will be something like my Sinanju. It will be hand painted, so I expect it to be a bit uneven, but if I play it right I might be able to use the blotchy effect to my advantage and achieve some form of shading/shadowing.

This is going to be one hell of a project, as it will be my first serious attempt at a clean model (ie. no nubmarks, fixed seamlines, smooth paint), not to mention the amount of modification I need to do to make everything work - wiring through the arms and legs without messing up the articulation, building the custom backpack, weapons and so on - and in order to keep myself motivated to maintain quality I have entered this model into Gundam Eclipse's Summer War competition!

Find out more about it here:
and you can follow my WIP thread here:

(not sure if you need a forum account to view those...)

I will still update the WIP here on the blog, but expect faster updates on the Summer War thread.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

ToyCon 2012

a very well done Warmachine cosplay
Last weekend, ToyCon 2012 was held at SM MegaMall, and I was able to check it out with my wife, my fellow otaku brother-in-law and his wife. 

The event was fairly large - mega trade halls 1, 2 and 3 were packed with booths, toy displays, gaming areas, a full stage, and a toy museum for different collector groups. There were so many people we had to squeeze ourselves through a sea of cosplayers looking for toy deals. Surprisingly, I found no good gunpla deals at all! Everything I picked up was overpriced. I guess the idea was to haggle for better prices - but getting a 50% discount on something priced twice as much as normal is just stupid.

 I guess the retailers had to make a profit, or get back the fees they paid to join the event or something. Perhaps die hard collectors looking for that elusive action figure to complete their set would have had a blast at the event, but honestly the prices really killed it for me. Even the bootlegs were overpriced. (How did bootlegs get into the event anyway?) I did enjoy the toy displays - the 1/6, 1/4 and life size sculptures took the cake. 

these are busts...not cosplayers.

You can see a few more pics of the event here: 

My greatest disappointment was not making it in time to submit my mecha contest entry... I was going to enter the mecha contest with my Delta Plus which I had detailed up..but we arrived late due to heavy traffic, and I had to lug around my backpack containing my entry for the rest of the day. I could still enter the Delta Plus at the next event anyway so no big deal. Here are some pics of it that I took the night before.

Stay tuned for my next project: MG Kampfer!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


This is the last part of my Hi Nu VEVO build. In my last post I achieved 99% completion, missing only the main back thrusters and some minor details. I have finished them, and this model is now 100% complete. (at least until I think of something to do with the mediocre rifle)

For such an impressive backpack design this model only has two big thruster bells jutting out of the back. They look unexciting next to the fin funnel system and giant propellant tanks, so I decided to modify them. For some reason this kit had some extra side skirts, so I used those as fins, and then attached two metal thrusters to complete the effect. Here’s what I ended up with:

I think they go really well with the design and give this powerful MS the propulsion system it deserves!

The modified thruster systems are attached using the same ball joint, so they can still be moved around without obstructing the fin funnels. I also added some spare hydraulics (also from the kit, it has a lot of spare parts) to the funnel system dock. - they’re those red cylinders near where the funnel system attaches to the back.

I'm glad I took my time with this build, the end result speaks for itself and I really learned a lot of tricks along the way. My advice to anyone building this model is to be careful when snapping the parts together...the plastic is thin..the thinnest i've worked with in fact, as it seems the manufacturer decided to sacrifice durability in trying to achieve better detail. The only fitting problems i had were the tiny vents that kept falling out of the shoulders..nothing some glue couldn't fix. I 'd recommend this kit to anyone who want's a highly detailed model that looks good even straight out of the box. I haven’t purchased a new kit yet, but I’ll be keeping myself busy drilling and adding rivets to my previous builds.

Till next time!