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Otaku display cabinet July 24, 2010

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Gunpla, Personal.
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A few months ago I bought my own flat.

One of my ambitions for owning a property has been to put my huge collection of crap somewhere. More specifically, I’ve always wanted a display cabinet full of gunpla, gashopons and other figurines ^^;

And here it is! (click through to go to the original Flickr gallery if you want the captions and other info)

Thankfully, this wasn’t as expensive as I’d imagined. Have a look online and you’ll find a heck of a lot of advice on inexpensive otaku storage. I discovered Ikea sell a range of affordable display cabinets including a few for under £50. This one is their DETOLF cabinet — very common in comic shops and otaku houses ^^.

It costs just £40 and features a lovely magnetic glass door and shelves. It also features an expandable hole at the top for lights if you so wish. It’s perfect for MG and PG gunpla, though the shelves do rattle a bit when I walk across my living room (possibly because I have wooden floors, so the reverberations are stronger than with carpet). The flatpack itself is also pretty damn heavy, but it’s easy enough to put together. You’ll need a second person to help you though, as the glass is heavy and you’ll want to be careful with it!

Ikea also have a smaller, wall-mounted cabinet (which I now can’t seem to find online) that looked good for those with a ton of gashopon. Maybe next year ^_-

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1/60 PG Skygrasper + Aile Striker September 15, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Gunpla.
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I finished up my PG Strike Gundam set over the weekend with the final touches to the PG Skygrasper and Aile Striker.

Full picture gallery on Flickr.

This kit has always seemed a bit of a cash-in (well, all gunpla is, but this even more so!). As soon as the PG Strike came out sans any of the Striker weapon packs, you just knew there would be a booster kit coming. And although it looks pretty sleek, I can’t imagine many fans were that bothered about the Skygrasper fighter jet to be honest (it’s a bit of a useless vehicle that acts mainly as a transport system for the Striker packs or a way to get Tolle Koenig killed :p).

Nevertheless, it does add value to the kit. As well as the Aile Striker pack most people would be buying it for, you get the Skygrasper and a pretty solid display base on which to mount the Skygrasper or PG Strike Gundam.

And the kit looks beautiful. It’s also fairly quick to put together. Though Perfect Grade, there aren’t actually that many bits to snap the Skygrasper together. The Aile Striker has a few more fiddly parts but no more than any MG model would be.

There are some decent decals to add, including custom markings for Mwu, Cagalli or Tolle, depending on which SEED pilot you fancy. And you can largely get away with not painting, but if you can be bothered some careful licks of paint to the piping on the back boosters and the cockpit consoles  — not to mention the-almost-impossible-to-paint scale figures of the pilots — would give you complete detail too (I for one, couldn’t be arsed :p).

The real joy came in combining it with my 1/60 PG Strike Gundam, which I completed a few months ago. As to be expected from an accessory kit, everything fits together perfectly and the finished Aile Strike Gundam looks really impressive and quite sturdy with some good poseability based on the frame’s incredible articulation.

If there’s one criticism of this kit, it’s that the landing wheels for the Skygrasper have to be removed rather than folding into the fighter itself. Maybe that would have been too much to ask, but this is meant to be Perfect Grade, right?

Next up: A nice and simple one…. BB Senshi Destiny Gundam.

Japan trip 2009: The otaku experience August 9, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Film, Friends, Gunpla, Japan, Personal, Travel.
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Gundam and I, Odaiba, July 2009

Gundam and I, Odaiba, July 2009

So, I’ve written all about my Japan trip. But given the nature of this blog, it’s the geeky things you want to hear about right? ^^

Otaku highlights include the 1/1 scale Gundam in Odaiba, seeing Evangelion 2.0 in a Shibuya cinema (review to come in a later post) and discovering the ‘Akihabara of Osaka’ Den Den Town. (more…)

1/144 HG Strike Noir Gundam June 14, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Gunpla.
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Some kits sit around for ages before you actually get around to making them. I got this one about three years ago, when my sister went on a trip to Japan. I’d actually wanted it mainly for the free promo DVD that came bundled with it. She came back with a heavily discounted box — marked down because it was sans DVD. Let this be a lesson kids, be honest why you want something when you ask people to buy things for you.

Thankfully I like the Gundam itself too — who wouldn’t love a black version of Strike Gundam with added weaponry? The Strike Noir is the main mecha from the Gundam SEED: Stargazer OVA anime, a spin-off of Gundam SEED Destiny with little to do with the main show. That actually worked in its favour given the stinking pile of crap Destiny turned out to be. For a three episode series lasting a grand total of 45 minutes, it was pretty good and I loved the ‘upgrades’ of the original SEED Gundams.

This is the first 1/144 kit I’ve made in a while, and probably the last I’ll do, since I’ve vowed to invest only in the better quality MG and PG kits. To be fair, Bandai’s gotten pretty good with it’s HG 1/144 line these days. With HG, a 1/144 scale figure no longer looks as cheap and nasty as the no-grade versions. While a splash of painting helps, there is nowhere near as much as used to be required and a quick and dirty job using just the stickers would yield a decent looking model.

Gallery on Flickr

(more…)

1/60 PG Strike Gundam April 18, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Gunpla.
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Flickr gallery

Finished up my 1/60 PG Strike model kit this weekend. It’s the first gunpla kit I’ve done in over a year. I struggled to find time last year due to moving, work, real life etc. Somehow it always seemed like there was something else I should be doing with my time instead. As such, all my leftover kits (and the MG Infinite Justice I got for Xmas) were left back at my parents place. But I try and do a bit every time I go back home to visit the folks. As such, this one — already a huge undertaking — took longer than if I’d spent every weekend on  it.

The whole thing took me about four months and reminded me how much I love gunpla ^^. The construction process I find very therapeutic (I’m a cleaning freak, so the clipping and washing of parts is a nice methodical task for me) and it’s nice to do something that doesn’t involve staring at a screen for a change :p

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1/100 MG Strike Freedom Gundam December 29, 2007

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Gunpla.
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Strike Freedom

Gallery

I spent a lot of time doing this one properly and thankfully it paid off. This is a really beautiful kit, and probably the best one I’ve put together. (more…)

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation – Movies 1-3 (complete) July 1, 2007

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Gunpla.
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ANN

In short: The show that launched a thousand Gunpla.

Thoughts: Zeta Gundam comes with a reputation as the greatest Gundam series ever created. From what I’ve seen, I have to agree. Without a doubt it has more of an edge, better characters and a story that outguns any of the Gundam universe I’ve seen thus far. (more…)

1/72 Zegapain Altair June 24, 2007

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Gunpla.
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Plamo from a different series for a change. I was really taken with Zegapain when it aired, mostly for the story and not so much for the mecha designs. But I did grow fond of them as the series progressed and the battles got that bit cooler.

Anyway, this kit was roughly equivalent to a 1/100 Gunpla model in terms of size and detail. I thought it would be a little less work, as there’s a number of clear plastic parts, but it still took a few weeks of work here and there. Gallery after the jump. (more…)

1/144 HG Sword Impulse Gundam May 28, 2007

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Gunpla.
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It’s almost a year since I bought this kit, so it’s about time I finished it. I’ve been working on it a bit at a time over the last few weeks and decided to finish it off with a two hour painting blitz last night.

Gallery after the jump. (more…)

1/144 HG Shiranui Akatsuki January 1, 2007

Posted by ayasawada in Gunpla.
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‘Shiranui’ means ‘mysterious lights over the sea’ in Japanese and corresponds to a flashy entrance in sumo apparently. Akatsuki means dawn.

This very bling Gundam looks absolutely fantastic, but took a lot longer to build than I expected. I started it late in the holidays, as I figured the gold plating meant little painting required and therefore a quick build. I was half right, but a number of the grey parts needed to be re-coated grey or black, which took a while (particularly if you realise after you’ve put whole pieces together). The gold plating also tends to pick up smudges quite easily and isn’t particularly amenable to  markers for panel-lining. I therefore gave up halfway through. Really though, the gold is so bling that you notice very little else and gives off a spectacular glow in the photos. Gallery after the jump. (more…)