This past weekend was a busy one. I’ve been focusing on getting the HGUC Gouf Custom done, so there is a little bit of an update on that front. Saturday was the July build gathering. Normally, the gathering is either smaller because folks are tired from AX and it’s summer so folks are just busy with various summer activities. Or there is an explosion of new folks because of the workshops and panels at AX. But neither was true this time, it was just the normal gathering, about twenty or so came. It was fairly productive too, in comparison with the last build gathering.

On the SCGMC front; we have vendors and trophies. But more about that after the jump.

Ok, first, the important news, SCGMC; I’ve been contacting several potential vendors for our event. With the size of our venue, and the space we’ve allocated for vendors, we can potentially have about 5 or 6 vendors – so long as they each have 1 6ft X 3ft table. What I want to avoid is having a bunch of vendors that just sell the same items, so it becomes a price war. Great for customers, but horrible for the vendors; and vendors are the backbone of our hobby. We absolutely need them. A thriving gunpla market means the hobby is doing well; so we need to make sure our vendors do well at our event. I had talked to the local vendor Robot4Less when we first started to plan this event and they told me they were definitely going to exhibit at our event. So we have a gunpla vendor.

More recently, I’ve been in discussions with another vendor, TatsuHobby, another gunpla shop, but they specialize in resin mecha kits and resin conversion kits for gunpla. I’m very happy that we are able to get TatsuHobby to join our event. There is a huge gunpla aftermarket that is very rarely ever seen in the US shows. A good number of modelers that work with resin conversion kits and just resin mecha kits have mostly relied on international orders; so I believe having a local vendor that sells such products further separates our event from the typical model competition. This is not just another model show/contest; this is a Gundam/Mecha model show/contest.

TatsuHobby is also doing a contest as part of their 2nd anniversary celebration. The contest is for folks living in Northern California, and their rules set is very specific. But the winner will win a trip down here for the SCGMC event. Damn cool! For all the information regarding TatsuHobby’s contest, go here: TatsuHobby Contest

And another recent development are the trophies for the SCGMC competition. Instead of ribbons or plaques, I decided to do what the local figure modeler group does for their competition trophies; challenge coins. I’m ex-military, so I have a special affinity for challenge coins. We created a little image and some wording then sent it out to a few companies for some proofs and quotes. Satisfied with one of the companies, I had them make our trophies, and a few weeks ago, I received the items. The black metal will be our first place award, followed by the silver for second place, and bronze for third. I pulled one of the coins out and showed it around to the folks at the model build gathering this weekend and hopefully it got some motivation for the folks to get cracking on their respective projects. Because, lets face it, these coins are damn cool!

On to the build gathering. A number of the core folks had mentioned that they were not able to come; so I was expecting a small group. In the email reminder I send out, I mentioned that we would probably go out for dinner at one of the local joints. As the gathering started and folks started to shuffle in, I was already deep into masking off my Gouf. Funaka texts me saying his daughter’s birthday party wasn’t as large as they had expected and that they have a ton of uncooked leftovers, so he wanted to have us go over for dinner. I told him to send me another text when his daughter’s party was over. The build continued. I got the masking done and sprayed some paint. The shield needed another level of masking – HGUC kits are fun like that.

We had a decent sized group building. Travis who hasn’t been to a build gathering in well over a year makes his triumphant return. I had forgotten that Travis was allergic to dogs and with the recent addition of Izzie, Kenken, and Latte, his allergies were starting to take control. Earlier in the year, I had some horrific sinus infection and I got prescribed some strong allergy meds; I handed the bottle over to Travis who noticed that the bottle was not labeled, nor were the drugs, but he freely popped one. Jokes were made that he’ll be passed out after being rufed. His allergies still persist a bit, I’m guessing the drugs haven’t taken effect yet, but Ed pulls out his little medicine bag of tricks and hands over another tablet – and he pops it too. We told Travis that he’ll just pass out and we’d all have our way with him such that he’d be pooping cum for the next two weeks. The nickname Toothpaste is given to him. Arin who we haven’t seen in a while came over too. A group of them made a run to the Robot4Less shop, and I think Arin left his bottle of Mr Leveling Thinner at the house, he had to leave early to go skool some tools in a smash bros challenge. Kids these days. Manny, who has been MIA for the last several gatherings showed up too.

I get the necessary work on the Gouf done and let the parts sit and cure. Apparently, for a good half hour to an hour, Travis is completely zoned out due to the effects of the drugs hitting him; but we find this out later. In the meantime, I get to work on building the GM Cannon II. This is the last GM that I need for my GM diorama. It’s about 6 or so, and I get some new texts and a call from Dan asking about what to do with his left overs. Since the meat was uncooked, it’s odd to grab everyone, go over there, and have them cook food for us, only to return to the house. So we used the leftovers as a good excuse for Dan to come out to the build gathering. Once his daughter’s party was done and cleaned up, he came over and we fired up the grill.

Just as we finished dinner, Angel shows up. Time to drink. Both he and Dan are on short leashes tonight and need to return to their respective wives at a decent time, so with bellies full of food, we started dropping shots. The bottle of Jager was finished off with some Jager rootbeers, in hindsight, I should have lowered the amount of rootbeer. Too bad the redbulls were at Angel’s place, we could have done Jager bombs, which are far more tasty but the rootbeer/jagers were not bad. Angel started dropping tequila shots, and we fired up rockband. Dan was hammered very quickly. This was reminiscent of the gatherings where Dan needed to leave early because he had work the next morning. Invariably, every time we had one of the “Dan needs to leave early gatherings” the alcohol flowed much more freely and we got much more plastered than the normal gatherings. Dan cut himself off at about 10:10; in hopes that he’ll be sober enough by midnight. We played another couple of songs and then all returned to the tables to resume building, only buzzed and drunk – the perfect atmosphere to handle sharp pointy objects. Roy from Robot4Less showed up and we building alongside all of us too.

Getting close to midnight, Dan realizes that there is no way he’ll be sober enough to drive, so I tell him that I can drive him home. He needs his car, so I’ll be driving him in his car and Angel will follow us to drive us back from dropping Dan off. Midnight rolls around and Dan’s definitely unable to drive, so we take him home and silently leave so as to not alert his wife to our shenanigans. Apparently Dan woke up fairly hungover so I wonder how he fared the rest of the day.

Returning to the house I continued to build and a few more folks packed up and headed out. The last folks left around 2:15am. Another good build gathering. I spent some time cleaning up then crashed out.

Waking up the next morning, the first thing I did was to clear gloss coat the Gouf. The build progression slows down as cure times are very important in the following processes. The parts were clear coated then left to cure for several hours. 5 hours later, I applied a few decals to the surface of the kit.

Since I beat the crap out of the kit and I will be weathering the little bugger up, having fresh and clean decals on it just doesn’t make sense. So the decals were left to settle on the kit for another several hours before I can get to weathering them. A few hours later after the setting solution has done it’s job and completely evaporated, the hobby knife and 150 pink sanding pad are employed. The decals are weathered then a final clear gloss is sprayed over all the decals to sandwich and protect them from the upcoming weathering sessions.

If all goes well this week, I should have this little bastard done by Friday or so.

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