Mar 162018

This year’s SCGMC special theme is the Bearguy and all shapes, styles, and variants of the popular kit. To go along with our theme, we created a cute Bearguy themed shirt design. We have one in Pink and one in Blue. Wear them proudly! We currently have a limited number of these shirts, about 30 for each color. Like our other shirts, get them while you can, because you never know when we’ll get a chance to reprint more. Here are what our Bearguy shirts look like:

The other design we have is in even more limited numbers because we’re not sure how many people would really get the tongue in cheek joke here. The term elitist has gotten a bad reputation; but for those builders that have spent time honing their skills and becoming better, and teaching others how to build and get better; this is for you guys. You are truly the gunpla elite. You have helped judge gunpla events, you have helped critique others’ builds, and you have passed on your experience and knowledge to new and experienced builders alike. The granddaddy RX-78 stabbing its eyes out meme has been around and I even built a chess piece version of that meme years ago. Our other shirt we have up for sale now is based off the chess piece designed by our own Bhop: the Gunpla Elitist T-Shirt. Get your elitist shirt while supplies last and wear them proudly at any gunpla event you attend!

This also helps us bring you guys SCGMC every year, so every dollar spent goes right back into making the competition bigger and better!

Mar 152018

Towards the end of the Mercedes build, this kit arrived. The sculptor calls her 死神のデス代 or just “Death/God of Death”, I prefer the less final name of Grim Reaper. I picked her up off yahoo!japan auctions right after Winter Wonfest 2018. Unknown to me was that the sculptor: was already planning on releasing the kit to folks outside Japan through her webshop: Yesterday there was a twitter update with two release times: March 17 @ 22:00 Japan time and March 18, 2018 @ 15:00 Japan Time. So for those interested in this kit, keep a watch on her webstore at these times to get it. Her kits sell out, and I don’t think she does multiple runs; so if you want it, get it now. Build her later if you want. I wanted to build her now, so I started a few weeks ago.

The nice thing about resin figure kits are the parts count. The down side to a low parts count is a decent amount of masking when getting around to the painting. The cleanup work is also a sizeable chunk of work. The first thing I usually do is pin together the major parts. The smaller bits are left off so I can get a general idea of what the kit looks like and what I need to do to approach the build. A visual really helps. Plus, pinning is one of the fun things about resin kits, you get a sneak peek into the end of the project.

Turnarounds done, the real work starts after the jump. Continue reading »

Mar 022018

The body paint is done, or so I had thought.. so on to the fun decal work. The paint for the body is tamiya bright gun metal which is a semi gloss finish. That means I need to clear coat the crap out of the body before getting to the decal stage. I did the gloss coat in the last update so on to decals. This car isn’t too bad for decals, it’s not one of those itasha style cars, but it is a GT car. Luckily, it still isn’t as decal intensive as most race cars. The process is slow, and with how I worked, it should have been even slower.

Once the decals are on the surface, I need to let them dry out completely. Then on goes the decal softening solution. This stuff will help melt the decals into the panel lines and get the decals to curve along the surface as if they were painted. The decal softening solution will wrinkle the decal in the process. It is very important to acknowledge this and leave it the hell alone to dry on its own. It will flatten out. Caveat, it will flatten out if the surface is flat and upright so that the decal and the softening solution don’t pool in any specific direction but flat onto the surface. The spoiler has 3 decals on three sides, and doing the softening solution process really should have taken 3 days – one for each side. But in my haste, I rushed it and did it at the same time. This pooled and shifted the decal so when it wrinkled, it stayed wrinkled. Huge lesson learned here. Paint and surface prep you can mess up on all day long. Those are easy fixes; decals unless you have a bunch of spare copies, is a one shot deal.

More after the jump. Continue reading »

Feb 192018

I’ve been traveling quite a bit for work in the past month. Hell, 3 out of the last 4 weeks were spent in Eastern Standard Time zone. So work has been pretty slow on the project. Since the last update, I’ve gotten some decent work done when back at home base. Starting off with the suspension. The masking for all the small bits is done and the parts get assembled. A quick test of the untouched car body over the suspension gives me a rough idea of what will be visible once everything is together. So I probably spent too much time painting things that will never be scene. Well, I haven’t built a car in a while, so I’m stumbling through a good number of things.

Next up is the cockpit so to speak. I glued the roll cage together since I needed to putty up some of the attachment points. Again, things that will most likely NOT be seeable once the whole thing is put together. After the test fit, gluing, putty, and sanding, the cage as well as the cockpit tub is primed. Then placed on the recently finished chassis for a quick snap.

More on this update after the jump.

Continue reading »

Feb 072018

So a quick little update. I was out of town for the past two weeks so work on the thing slowed to almost a complete stop. But I was able to get some paint on here and there, then after a week of curing, getting some masking, and more paint and the suspension is still being worked on, but at least I have the struts done. There were two levels of masking to get the three paint colors on without having to hand paint the tiny things that will most likely be completely hidden once the Mercedes is assembled. But, maybe we can see this with the wheels turned and some flashlights.

The real meat of today’s story started about a week ago on my break between two trips. Sure, I’m working on a model type that I haven’t done in over ten years. So why not make things more difficult by doing a simple mod. Go with what I know. Lights. I thought about it for a while and figured I’d make copies of the headlights and foglights. They were originally chromed so that was removed with a bath in some industrial strength cleaning agent. Then into a lego enclosure padded with playdough and the first layer of silicone is poured. Curing for a day, the mold is removed, cleaned off, flipped over, and replaced in the lego enclosure with a brushing of vaseline to keep the next layer of silicone from completely sticking to the bottom half.

Resin is poured and I now have working copies that I can mess with while keeping the originals safe. Incase this completely blows up in my face, I still have the originals to use. The resin copies are drilled out and some small LEDs are wired up in parallel and inserted into the drilled out space. I’m test fitting everything with blue sticky tack to hold things together temporarily. It looks fairly decent so far.

The LED systems are wired and tested out. I’m using yellow/orange LEDs for the foglights and using white for the headlights. The original car has a slight yellow tint to the fogs, so I’m taking some creative license. Plus, I don’t have soft white LEDs. The LEDs in their new resin lenses are placed into the original housings. The fit is perfect. Some more sticky take is used to hold everything together. All these things will need to be glued together after it is painted. But this works for testing fitting in the immediate.

The housings are test fitted to the car body with more sticky tack and it’s starting to look pretty good. I didn’t like the detailing on the original headlight lense and I think the LED lens looks pretty close to the original projectors. So this could work. The foglight housing is test fitted and powered up. Followed by the headlight housing. I think it looks pretty cool for a quick little mod. Going with what I know about LEDs makes this easier than say, cutting the hood and scratch building an entire engine.

Jan 292018

Last week at SprueFest, one of the things for sale was a Tamiya Mercedes GT3 AMG kit. It looks pretty good and the price wasn’t bad because of the sale so I picked one up. I also gently nudged fellow TGG Jeremy into getting one. I suggested that we should do a build off and set the deadline for August 1, 2018. This sets us up with plenty of time to get the damn thing finished and as a bonus, we could take it with us to IPMS Nationals in Arizona that so happens to start on August 1, 2018. That was last Saturday and the kit was getting ready to join the rest of my backlog and partially built kits on my shelf when I left it on my table because I was in Ecuador all week for business. Returning home a few days ago, I was ready to shelve the box but decided to open it and take a look. The last time I build a car kit was a Ford GT40 back in July 2007, so just 11 years ago. Before that, I think it was before I was even in high school. So time to learn some new tricks.

Since I started working on the sucker, I made a facebook post to remind Jeremy and then thought why not open this up for anyone else. So the challenge is to build a GT race car. Other than the deadline, and car type, the challenge is open ended. So if you’ve only build gunpla or other scifi, time to see if those skill translate to cars!

Continue reading »

Jan 202018

This past Saturday was the 2nd annual Spruefest event held by the folks at Brookhurst hobbies with support from various well known model building entities in Southern California. They had expanded their scifi category to actually split out from scifi completely and have a separate Gundam category, and being sponsored by the local Bandai distributor Bluefin, the qualifying gunpla must be Bandai only products. As a group, we usually post up about the event and hang out once we get all our gear set up and have a good look around the model room at the various kits. The room closes so the judges can concentrate. It’s a decent sized space but packed with 400 models, it gets pretty tight. So at such events, we’re force to go entertain ourselves for a few hours. Typically we find someplace and just gorge ourselves. This year, a few of the guys wanted to go karting. So we gathered a group that was interested and drove off to Anaheim’s K1. We got registered and waited about an hour before our race was on. I haven’t karted in a long long time. And being a little older, my body is telling me so just after one race. But damn was it fun. We headed back to the contest location and had a late lunch before heading back towards the competition.

We’ve been through enough competitions that we just take everything with a canister of salt. Sci-fi is generally regarded as a red headed step child. Gunpla is a niche within sci-fi… so we’re used to the folks snickering at our toy building abilities. Funny how as I was growing up, ALL MODEL kits were found in the toy sections of any local drugs store. But I digress, we just go to have fun. Winning or not winning doesn’t matter to us. It gives us a good laugh at the results. It is this reason we created SCGMC. But, we also gotta support the hobby and help folks educate as many people as possible about our silly little hobby. It’s the only way to grow it. We figured we were in good hands with Bluefin heading up the judging. I was in the contest room putting away my kits when they got to our category. I missed the announcement for a few wins – Gundam Diorama, and Large Gundam. They split the large scale Gundam into two categories just because there were such a huge turnout. Funniest thing is that the categories are separated into Small Gundam (1/144 and smaller), Large Gundam (1/100 and larger) and then Gundam Diorama. They had DQed a few of the diorama pieces based on the idea that those entries were more vignettes than dioramas – which is something we do at SCGMC, we’re pretty strict on our idea of a “diorama”. For us, we put emphasis on a story being told, and usually require more than one focused involved character. Going back to the two other categories, since they have separated the 1/144 from 1/100 – things shouldn’t be too difficult. Angel enters his GIANT 1/144 Dendro, so it is rightly entered into the Small Gundam category. He ends up winning one of the splits for Large Gundam. At this point, we wonder how much say Bluefin truly has at a contest they’re not running, but sponsoring. Again, this goes back to our general acceptance of how the model community as a whole views and accepts our niche. Regardless, it was a damn fun day. I snapped a quick video and snapped some quick pictures. I should have gotten MOST of the entries.