Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Meijin Modeler - Anazasi Custom

I've featured lots of spectacular work and awesome builders on this blog, but most of them are from overseas. Today I am proud to share an interview with a truly talented countryman, who has been in the hobby since I first heard the word "Gundam". A well renowned commission modeler with hundreds of projects under his belt, he has made his mark in the plamo community as one of the top builders to come from the Philippines. Ladies and gents, let's all welcome Vanz Hilario - more popularly known as Anazasi Custom.

Click on the Read More link for the rest of this post...

Q. What is your full name, nickname, or online name?
A. My name Vanz Najoseki Hilario aka Vanz Anazasi and Anazasi Custom.

Q. How old are you, and how long have you been building kits? 
A. I'm 37 and I started building Gundam kits way back 1997. But I first started on Macross kits way back in High school 1992.

Q. Are you married? Do you have kids?
A. Yeah, I am now married and have 4 kids. All Boys, I have 1 in college who is only 16 yrs  old taking up I.T. My second son is graduating his 4th year in High School this March, and both my youngest are in elementary.

Q. Where are you from and where do you currently live?
A. I'm from Valenzuela city, Philippines and still a resident here.

Q. Where do you get your kits from?
A. When I lived in Tokyo in 2005 I usually bought at Yodobashi Camera and Yamashiroya in Ueno. Then me and my wife made it as a business selling original Gundam kits. When  I went home to Manila, my wife bought Gundam kits at Akihabara, DonQuijote and Yodobashi camera.

Q. What other hobbies do you have aside from Gunpla / Model building?
A. actually have tons of hobbies. I also play my Electric guitar and love to play rock or alternative music. I often tinker with my Honda scooter, and I am also a comic book writer. I also mix different wines and cocktails which was my job when I was in Tokyo.

Q. What was the first kit you ever built?
A. My first build was a 1/72 scale VF-1S Super Valkyrie Macross kit which I bought at STC Isetan Recto when I was in High school. It was so near to my alma mater, Mapua Institute of Technology.

Q. What kind of kits do you usually build? Is there any specific line you collect or just build anything you like?
A. Well, I actually love Jets or Airplanes .Mostly those which came from anime movies like Macross.
Then for Gundams I first collected and built EW HG 1/100 kits. After that I started collecting U.C. era MG kits, starting from RX-78-2 limited version. I mostly build 1/100  Master Grade kits which are more challenging and more detailed.

Q. How did you get into building gundam / mecha kits?
A. It was when I got married that I started collecting and building Gundams. Gundam Wing was showing on a local channel and that's when I got hooked on Gundams. My first Gundam collections were from Endless Waltz around 1999. I love the anime and OVA  and when my Japanese brother-in-law, Taki san went to Manila to visit he brought 6 boxes of HG 1/100  Endless waltz kits. The only one missing was Heavy Arms Gundam. All of them were straight builds, and then after that I started collecting U.C. 1/100 Master Grade kits.

Q. How many kits have you built to date?
A. Hahaha! They were so many I lost count. Including my first collections, those I built in Tokyo, commission works both local and abroad, and still working on now. Roughly 350-400 pcs.. Imagine I started way back 1992 and still build kits until today 2015. So, pretty much that many. last year alone I have more than a hundred already.

Q. What is your favorite kit? Why?
A. Well, it's between ELS qan[t] which I scratchbuilt a 1/100 MG scale and the Sazabi Formania Resin kit which I think I already built 5. Formania was so awesome in terms of armor details and totally different from your normal Sazabi plastic model. Then came Sazabi Ver.ka.

Q. What is your least favorite kit? Why?
A. Hmmmmm...I dont have any least favorite I guess.

Q. What is your dream kit?
A. I think I already built almost every PG kit and a few resin models and tons of MG kits as well. For a dream kit that I haven't build yet....Probably Full Armor Unicorn PG or Space Battleship Yamato 1/350 scale.

Q. What is your favorite tool in your toolbox, and why?
A. My side cutter and Hobby Knife. I use both most of the time.

Q. What do you use to paint your kits?
A. I used a dual action airbrush (4 pcs, 1 for normal color, 1 for clear, 1 for metallic , 1 for top coat) This is to make sure no paint residue will mix on each individual AB. I have 1 Procon Boy LWA and 2 BR-130, then 1 BR-181. I always use Mr.Hobby colors, GX Metallic ,Gunze which are solvent based acrylic paints and I seldom use Aqueous paints. Then for hand painting I used Vallejo Game colors. For spray cans I use Tamiya colors and Mr.Hobby/Mr.Color.

Q. Where do you get inspiration for your custom projects?
A. Usually, I get my inspiration from CGI and some from the clients themselves who gave me some picture references. Usually Japanese scale modelers and Singaporean modelers.

 Q. How do you stay motivated to finish large projects?
A. Well, I always keep my mind at ease everytime. I don't get caught up with any distractions, I always listen to rock and hiphop music to make the project more enjoyable. And I don't go online too much. I just surprise them

Q. Do you work on multiple projects simultaneously or do you focus on one project at a time?
A. Multiple, coz if I got stuck on the first I would shift to another then while working on it I'm thinking about what to do with the first.Then when I finally get the method I'm searching for, then I continue on the next and so on and so forth .Not all plastic are the same,they have different surfaces and different properties and types so I study them well before I can apply the first paint.

Q. What techniques do you use when building your kits?
A. usually I just cut, sand and clean the parts. I don't usually snap fit them. I imagine which colors would be suitable on each part before applying paint. Separating them by batch colors, mechanical to moving parts etc.

Q. Can you share any building tips?
A. Don't apply decals if you are planning on painting it. Build the head last because most tiny parts are in the head and to avoid breaking the V-fin/antenna.

Q. What techniques do you use when painting your kits?
A. Apply thin coats first even when priming, make sure that all parts are in pairs, separate the moving parts and the mechanical parts. Mix a batch of paints that you would only need. Estimate just how much you will need. If there are some left overs just store them in a clean container/bottle.

Q. Can you share any painting tips?
A. For painting tips , just apply thin coats until you reached your desired tone of colors. If you have bright colors as desired color scheme, apply a white base or white paint before applying your bright colors(red, yellow,Orange etc).

Q. What kit/s are you currently working on?
A. I have so many .I'm still working on hot toys Ironman MK V and MK IV, NBA figures/resins, Gp00 Blossom resin kit,  3 Singapore projects (PG Strike, PG 00Raiser, MG Geara Doga), Nu Gundam Ver.ka, Sazabi ver.ka with gatling guns and hangar project, Strike Freedom MG, 1/24th scale Lexus LFA and  Harley Davidson motor bike, and another one from New York.

Q. What advice can you give to people who are just starting in the hobby?
A. The best advice is never give up. Just be safe and stay away from user friendly friends on the net. Study by researching on google or youtube. Apply those you have learned but be very careful. Limit your time between family time and hobby time. Always spend more time with your family. Hobby time is just relax time for you. Do not get distracted from idiots on the net. Keep on reading blogs, posts that might help you. Ask someone where you can buy hobby stuff, and always take good care of your tools. Place them in a safe place away from children.

Q. What advice can you give to people who have been in the hobby for a long time?
A. Guide the newbies in this hobby. Teach them the right way.

Q. Do you have a website or blog?
A. Dark Side of the Sun ,
facebook page:

It's builders like Anazasi Custom that put my country on the global plamo map for all the right reasons, and in a way brings pride and confidence to my fellow Filipino builders. Big thanks to Vanz for sharing his plamo journey with us! Rage On, Pinoy builders!

That's all for now, stay tuned for the next episode of Meijin Modeler!
(*All images and links used with permission from the artist)

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