Been a while, figured I’d wait until I had some gunpla to post. I’ve been sucked into the world of MSG Battle Operation. And in between sessions of Feddy and Zeon bashing, I’ve managed to hit up the Hollywood Bowl twice, go to Vegas, go to Colorado for work, help a friend with mold making and resin casting, and actually got some paint thrown onto an MG Zaku Mine Layer. And it is at this opportune moment that I realize, I didn’t take any pictures in Vegas. I took the camera with me with the original intent to hike the Ice Box trail in Red Rock, but the heat and a night of drinking and gambling killed all possibilities of that happening.

MSG Battle Operation came out the end of June. It is an PS3 only, Japan only, free to download, *free to play, online battle game. Jumping through the hoops of getting a Japanese PSN to download the game, once installed, it can be played with any PSN – it is just beneficial to play with the Japanese PSN in cases where you want to go beyond the free to play limits. The game is fairly addictive if you have a group of friends that play along side/against with voice chat up and running. Here’s a quick little video taken from my side of a completely private 4v4 game we had a few weeks ago.

My Japanese PSN currently Ranked: 曹長 Level 10 for which I should get to 少尉 sometime this week. My US PSN is sitting at rank 上等兵 level 6, and really not progressing, just on to play with others that are at or around that rank level, at least until they start getting close to my JPSN rank – I guess I could stop playing the JPSN account altogether and run with everyone else to catch up, then with the limited plays, I could get other things done *cough*gunpla projects*cough*wedding crap*cough*spend time with the future wife*cough*; but knowing my addictive personality, we’ll see if I can follow through.

So on to the Hollywood Bowl shows. We’ve hit three shows so far, Smokey Robinson, the Pixar concert, and Placido Domingo with Gustavo Dudamel. Three very different events but very entertaining. Yuki was quite entertained with the 72 year old Smokey Robinson shaking his money maker on stage. The next event was the Pixar concert. There were screens set up showing clips from all their movies. The bastards even did the whole first 10 minute tear jerking montage from Up. Ugh, people were just weeping everywhere. True testament to the amazing story telling and character development abilities of Pixar. They also showed some clips from Brave with music. The bagpipe player heard in the music of Braveheart was on stage playing the necessarily Scottish instruments for the Brave segment, pretty cool as I’ve always enjoyed the music from Braveheart.

We ended up giving the tickets to the Juanes at the Bowl to Angel’s parents as a thank you for taking care of our three little monsters while we went off to Vegas. Also because we had tickets for the Dudamel and Domingo concert. I also grabbed two tickets for my dad and step mom. It was a very entertaining and the crowd was the most geriatric I had ever seen. I was quite surprised that some of these folks made the climb into some of the Bowl’s seats without need of ambulance support. But it was a very fun evening, I tried to snap a few shots from our seats which were fantastic. My parents seemed to enjoy the event as well.

Last week, I traveled to Colorado for the first time. I may have had a short layover in Denver in my past, but this was the first time spending a few days in the area. Arriving into Denver, I had a connecting flight to Colorado Springs which is about 70 or so miles south of Denver. I had toiled with the idea to just rent a car and drive down so that I could spend some time hitting up some of the local sights before having to spend most of my time work related. I landed in Denver around 1, and my connecting flight was at 3:40, I ended up grabbing some lunch and waiting for my connection,. only to find out that due to a mechanical error, the connecting flight was cancelled.

A quick jaunt to the customer service gave me a sliver of hope that I would be routed to the next flight to Col Spgs at 9 something that evening. I should have listened to my intuition and just went straight to the rental agency, I would have already been in Colorado Springs by this time. I got the rental, set the GPS for Pike’s Peak, and headed down.

I got the the toll gate for Pike’s Peak a few minutes past 6pm and had to turn back around. The gate closes at 6. No worries, I should be able to hit this up in the next few days. Along the way, I noticed that there were several spots of interest that forked off the highway; so I stopped over at the Red Rock Canyon and did a quick hike and snapped a few pictures.

The next few days were spent busy. I ended up getting out of work every evening too late to hit up Pike’s Peak, but there was one spot I was able to see, Seven Falls. The park is open late and they have changing colored lights that shine against the falls. It’s the tail end of summer, so the water flow wasn’t overly impressive; I’m sure that during spring this becomes a much more impressive sight, but regardless, it was still nice to see. I snapped a few pictures here using both fast and slow exposures to get different water effects.

Fun with some different camera settings.

It’s starting to get dark and the lights are on, so the water will have a slight colored tint.

Night falls and I get some more pictures before heading back to the hotel.

The rest of the pictures from Colorado Springs and the Hollywood Bowl trips are here: August 2012: Colorado Springs and Hollywood Bowl

The build gathering was small this month and fairly relaxing as I still needed a little bit of recovery from the traveling. I finished sanding the Zaku Minelayer at the gathering. Later that night, I got the parts washed and run through the and Sunday night, I set to getting some paint onto the kit. I’m once again experimenting with a paint scheme and doing a fairly non traditional painting plan. I have the parts in sub-assemblies and have painted them. This was done for simplicity and speed. The major appendage parts are painted in Finisher’s gloss black and the center armor pieces are painted in Finisher’s Silk Red. Last night, I sprayed on a clear gloss for all the black pieces.

Next update for this project will hopefully come fairly soon as this will be a speed build of sorts.

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