Wednesday, April 26, 2017

AHS Model Chisels - Review

Welcome back plamo nerds! I apologize if my recent tool revelations have been keeping you up since Monday - but I'm afraid you won't be getting any sleep tonight just yet. A wise man once said, "seek and ye shall find". I think it was Bruce Lee, but it may have been's a toss up. So I seeked (sook? sought? sought! gahtdemenglishlanguage!) and a few weeks ago I found exactly what I was looking for. Today I am proud to present the fruit of my fearless foray into the cryptic Chinese plamo market - the AHS Model Chisel!

Now you already know how cheap I am, and how I enjoy exhausting all imaginable DIY solutions before actually spending cash on tools. A while back I posted a DIY guide on how the lowly thrift store screwdriver set could be re-purposed as chisels. The results they produced were okay, but the poorman's chisels were nowhere near as sharp or as sturdy as I needed them to be, and so the search for a budget alternative to the exorbitantly expensive BMC chisel continued...until now!

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Alexen Model Angle Scraper - Review

Hey plamo nerds! Did you enjoy the hobby file review I shared yesterday? There's more where that came from! Here's the second tool in my China sourced plamo lootbag - the elusive Alexen Model angle scraper! I saw this item for sale a long time ago in one of the plamo market groups I frequented, but it disappeared without a trace before I could even figure out what it was. As it turns out, it's a highly specialized beveling tool! I shared a guide on how to do freehand beveling (aka "chamfering") using a hobby knife a while back, but this tool takes the guesswork out of the task!

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Xiang Model Files - Review

Hello there my properly perplexed plamo peeps! Never heard of Xiang Model? Me neither! So don't waste your time googling, you won't find anything, believe me I've tried. Instead, here's a quick background on what this is all about...

I was priming the DA Providence a while back, admiring the nice details on the armor, when I had an epiphany: All these new high-detail, yet relatively affordable kits come from China. The local hobby scene must be booming over there, so there must be a demand for similarly affordable quality tools. Since the Chinese way of doing things is to manufacture stuff themselves to keep costs down, such tools must exist! But if they did exist, why haven't we seen or heard about them before? I'll tell you why - because they're only sold in the Chinese domestic market, and everything is written in Chinese!

Driven by a wild theory and armed with nothing but Google Translate to aid me in my quest, I set forth to find these mythical tools. I spent hours deciphering cryptic Chinese shopping websites, finding myself in one dead end after another until I was close to giving up - but I finally found them - and what I discovered could open up some great possibilities for the local hobby community. Of course, finding them would be the easy part - I still had to confirm that these tools were real myself before peddling them to you, my beloved readers. So what does your friendly neighborhood otaku do? Take a risk, put some hard earned cash on the line, and place an order - ignoring all warning signs that this was a bad idea. Well it turned out to be a damn good idea after all, as about three weeks later a small package arrived, the awesome contents of which I will be showing you in the next couple of posts. Let's kick things of with these nice Xiang Model files! 

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

DIY Airbrush Holder

Hello my fellow nerds! I recently came into possession of one badass airbrush - a Badger Renegade Krome. It's a very unique design and has some nice features built in, but I couldn't stop worrying about the exposed tip. I ended up getting an airbrush holder with a soft rubber interior and matching chrome finish. At first I thought this would abate the symptoms of my airbrush OCD, but while it certainly looked cool, I couldn't see the tip while the brush was in the holder. I kept thinking I might have shoved it in too roughly and damaged the delicate needle. What I needed was a holder that was secure, kept the tip visible, and made it easy to put the brush in and take out without catching the delicate front end. I searched the net for other airbrush holder designs, and found the solution on my facebook feed. A fellow hobbyist shared his home made airbrush holder, and it was exactly the inspiration I was looking for!

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Devil Arts Providence OOTB - WIP 1

Happy Easter plamo nerds! I'm sure most of you spent the long weekend in far off places, basking in the sun and getting some much needed RnR. Me? I chose to stay home so I could put the  Renegade Krome through it's paces. I had just received my copy of Modulation for Mecha by ace modeler Oishi, and after flipping through it, I decided the Devil Arts Providence would be the perfect candidate for my first attempt at modulation.

The DA Providence already comes well detailed out of the box, and aside from a few seams on the backpack and the weapon that needed fixing, it was the only kit in my backlog that would take minimal paint prep. I've only done a few out-of-the-box builds, so this should be a great learning experience. Not only will I get to try a new painting technique, but I also get to gain experience with the Krome. Jump in if you'd like to see my progress over the extended weekend!

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Badger Renegade Krome Airbrush - Unboxing

I bought my first airbrush set way back in 2012 - the Tamiya Sprayworks Basic kit. It was a single-action, trigger type airbrush that came with a compressor. While it was a great introduction to airbrushing, the plastic construction of the components meant it would not last very long - particularly in the hands of a noob, which was unfortunate because it seemed it was deliberately aimed at newbies. Long story short, the compressor kicked the bucket much sooner than I thought it would, which is not what I expected from a Tamiya product - and it kind of left a bad impression on me. I had a better experience with budget Chinese airbrushes, which for the price did a pretty decent job, were easier to maintain, and parts, while not very durable, were inexpensive and easy to source.

Fast forward 5 years, I've gained enough experience to know what I wanted in an airbrush, and I was in the market for a high quality, branded kit. Naturally the Tamiya HG line was in my list of stuff to consider. The HG III in particular has some rave reviews, and I figured it was time I gave Tamiya a 2nd chance. I was about to pull the trigger (is it too early for puns?), when I happened upon a local ad for a Badger Renegade Krome. I looked it up online and found a ton of good reviews on the kit. A week later I found myself in possession of a brand new Badger airbrush, and I have zero regrets. Jump in if you'd like to see the unboxing, and there's a little video at the bottom too.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Featured Seller - Gundam and Hobby Shop

Greetings and salutations plamo nerds, I hope your summer is going well! If like me you prefer to stay indoors just building plastic models rather than voluntarily roasting yourself under the sun, risking skin cancer, which could spread to your vital organs and lead to death (well that escalated quickly!), you'd better stock up on kits! In this day and age you can order all the kits and tools you need from the comfort of your couch, toilet, or whatever it is you're sitting on right now. Here's another store feature to satisfy your plastic cravings. Allow me to introduce you to Gundam and Hobby Shop - a trusted seller of all things Gundam!

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Meijin Modeler - Mr. Dash

What's up plamo people! The blog has been churning out nothing but fire for the past couple of weeks, and thanks to you lovely nerds we just broke 300K visitors! Two posts a week is quickly becoming the norm, and it's about time we threw a Meijin Modeler feature into the mix. Today's featured modeler is a master of customization. This guy bends plastic to his will like Aang bends air, and he's about to reveal his techniques to the world by way of a full-color mecha customization book! Ladies and gents, please welcome the one and only Mr. Dash!

Click on the read more link for the rest of this post, and look for the discount code towards the end!