It has been a while since my last update. Being social is starting to interfere with the Saz progression. I’ve also slacked off a bit on the pictures as well since the current progression was highlighted in the previous post and I’ve just been applying the same techniques as I did for the upper torso and head to the arms, lower torso, and skirts.

Last week, my friend Brian came out from his snow covered land of Mary toting his dive gear and fairly new dry suit that he picked up on his visit when I got married – almost 1 and a half years ago. Granted he did test his dry suit out locally in a pool, but hasn’t truly tested it with a real dive.

This past weekend was the annual Valley Con presented by the Pasadena Modeler’s Society. I like this show as they’re always changing things and not strict to the ideals and practices of the typical IPMS show; it is a nice little change of pace. Angel, Mike, and I planned on going representing TGG with some flyers. One of the venders at the event stood out to me as they sold LED packets for model lighting. Yes, this runs right up my alley. I figured they’d be a really good addition to SCGMC in November. We do have room for an additional vendor, and this won’t tread on the current vendor’s competition.

Details on diving as well as some videos and a little more discussions on Valley Con after the jump.

Sazabi work continued on the arms, lower torso, and skirts, up until Brian showed up in town. So I had gotten the parts masked, painted, unmasked, and sprayed the two tones of clear red. That’s about as far as I got and Brian came into town; so all work halted.

So, it’s been a while since my last dive. I also picked up a dry suit, but having no experience with it, I decided to just stick with the wet suit. Maybe next time I’ll break out the dry suit and test it out. The original plan was a possible dive the first day, three the following, and another 3 off a boat the next day. Age is starting to catch up to us, and not diving consistently, our plan was quite aggressive. No dive the first day as Brian wasn’t feeling all that well. We hit up the local Bruery joint’s tasting room and shared a few flights. Brian is a bit of a beer snob, so I figured this place which is just slightly out of stumbling distance from my house, was right up his snooty alley. It’s damn nice hang out place and some really quailty beers from a very large spectrum of styles.

The next morning, we woke up lazily, well, I woke up lazily. We debated heading out to Catalina Island that day and Brian was still iffy on how well felt for diving. Researching the possibilities of doing CI the following day which was Saturday, and we could bring along the wife and some friends, we learned that there was a clean up event scheduled. That nixed that possibility as the Island would be crawling with divers. We made reservations on the 12:15PM boat out around 9:00AM and scrambled to gather and test some of our gear. I needed a battery change on my dive computer, but everything else seemed to check out. We packed up and hauled out to Long Beach.

We got to the landing and there were already a good number of divers heading towards the island. Brian grabs lunch for the two of us and we snack on the boat out. I pass out as I normally do on any sort of transportation vehicle, and effectively time travel, waking up just as the boat docks. Gear grabbed, we get a cab and head out to Casino Point. Putting our gear together, I noticed that my BCD’s inflater button is locked in the depressed position causing it to inflate as soon as my air is turned on. I contemplate just doing the manual inflate/deflat, but Brian highly recommended multiple times that I just take the damn thing to the local dive shop’s kiosk set up a few hundred feet away. Aquiesing to the saftey concerns, I take the BC over to the shack and the guy swaps out a salt crusted lever. Yeah, from our last dive in Monterey, we didn’t really take the ample time to soak our gear as we should have. Lucky for me, this is the only issue I have. Note to self, soak gear for a good amount of time when we get home.

BC fixed, I head back and Brian is already ready, this is the first and probably the only time he’s ready before me. He helps me get suited up and we jump right into the water. It’s just like riding a bike. Granted there were a few things that needed adjusting, but in no time, I was accustomed to my surroundings and enjoying the dive. The dive lasted abut 40 minutes as we dropped in around 3:00PM and I wanted to get up and have our tanks filled before the shop closes at 4:00PM. We definitely could have stayed under for a full hour, as both Brian and I were over 1K of air when we surfaced. Unsuiting, Brian is a little wet and he attempts to find the leak point. His dry suit is not so dry, but a semi-dry. Brian brought along some snacks and we get some quick energy while the tanks get refilled. We chat with our neighbor divers, one of which happens to be an instructor and the president of his local dive club up in the Antelope Valley.

Brian and I wait around for a little longer and decided to suit up and get back into the water around 4:30 or so, the sun is already starting to drop, and it’s close enough to a night dive as we’ll get. I strap on the gopro camera that Yuki got me for my birthday as well as my flashlight and we’re off. This time we saw a little moray eel, some octopi, lobsters everywhere as they’re waking up and heading out to hunt. Brian molests some poor sea cucumber, and we just enjoy the dive for just shy of a full hour. Here’s the video of the first 26 or so minutes of the dive.

Getting out it was already dark. We suit down and get our stuf ready to go. There’s no 6:00 boat so we have about an hour and a half to kill while we wait for the last boat off the island. We drop off our gear at the baggage hold and head back to town for a light snack and a beer. Two dives isn’t too bad especially since we started off late. I think our last trip to Catalina, we did 4 dives. I think I’m happy with 3 dives if we had the time, the 4th dive always ends up just being bored and us sitting on the bottom of the sea watching fish and divers. I guess I just have a problem with sitting still… I’d probably fall asleep.

Finishing our oysters and beer, we head back to the pier, grab the local geocashe there, and wait for the boat. The boat out is packed with divers ready for the clean up event the following day. We get on and find a table and just crash out for the ride back. Getting home, we grab the wife and headed up to Garden Cafe for a late dinner.

The next day was spent watching tv. Dive plans fell apart as I needed to recover from the previous day. Pete dropped by and hung out with us, we watched a movie before heading out to Shanghailander Palace to meet up with Angel, Nicky, and Su for dinner. Afterward, we got our tanks filled, dropped them off at the house, and headed back to the Bruery. Angel and Su came, as we as Helen and Mike. The place is definitely more packed on a saturday evening than our last visit on Thursday night. Shared some flights, shared some stories, and a good time was had by all. We made lunch plans for the following Sunday with Pete and a few others, and parted ways. I wanted to use my gopro again and decided to do Shaw’s Cove the following morning before lunch.

Getting up around 6:30AM, Brian and I pack up our hanging gear and head to Laguna Beach. Stopping by to grab breakfast, get to the site around 8 and it’s packed. There are several classes as well as several different groups of divers. We get into the water around 8:30 and start our dive. In the middle our our dive, Brian loses a fin, see videos below.

The descent:

Sure is crowded here:

Garibaldi at Shaw’s

Other Sealife at Shaw’s:

Camera on me:

Camera on Brian, who then loses a fin and ends the video:

Last video after the fin incident:

Trying to reattach his fin cost a great deal of air for Brian, as well as trying to calm down from the entire incident. Brian gave up on attaching his fin, and I took it and attached it for him, there was a latch that was pushed forward that was preventing him from getting his fit attached. In no time, we was already down to 1K air, and not much longer, 500. So we called the dive and surfaced. Our total time was about 40 minutes. I had well over 1k of air. Lesson learned that for any such incidents, the partner will be responsible for reattaching things. I also learned that I should replace my secondary. The damn thing has been leaking for a while already, and Brian just had a really tough time breathing through it. Safety issue that needs to be addressed before our next dive.

All in all, three dives was good enough; especially after not diving for 16 months or so.

I had a trip to Columbus Ohio the following Monday, so work on the Sazabi resumed after I got back home and rested for a day. Tuesday night saw some touch up red sprayed over things. Wednesday the thruster parts were washed and primed. Thursday, I got the decals for this section done. Friday was spent working on resin parts clean up and getting those pieces ready for paint. The main red parts were clear coated Saturday evening. Yeah, there was no way in hell that I was going to finish the Saz in time for Valley Con. Guess I’ll just have ot live with showing it next year.

This past Sunday was Valley Con. This year, we came, dropped off our kits and just left for breakfast at Rosco’s Chicken and Waffles.

After that, we hit up Nicky’s new favorite comic book shop and hung out there for a little bit. We also hit up the used bookstore down the street. We finally headed back to the show around 1:30. I went around and snapped pictures of everything on the tables. Ran in the Brandon and chatted with him for a little bit, then went back upstairs as the place was just warm with all the bodies crowding around. The judging was based on a point system, and if the model reached a certain point criteria, it received a silver, if it reached the next milestone point, it received a gold. Then best of categories was based off IPMS style judging. Angel, Nicky, and I booked as soon as the silver medals were placed on the table. Mike was going to come over to the house to pick up some of his resin cst parts so I figured I’d get the scoop about the end of the show from him.

Gallery for Valleycon, all 299 pictures

Returning to the Sazabi, I got some more painting in for the rifle and thruster parts, and started assembling the front and back skirts. There is a little bit of detail on the front skirt that has a cut out for one part of the detail, and is solid for another. It looks like a design decision with the whole psycho frame opening thingy. Well, that part was masked around and sprayed. Not too difficult.

Since I’m going to show the arms now, I need to go back to the beginning of the build to where I glued some styrene over some holes in the forearm armor. I think this is for the shield attachment or something, but I just didn’t care for it, so I covered this up. I think it looks better than the holes.

Last night, I assembled one of the arms. The wiring is threaded through the pistons and up through the arm, so they’re hidden. And attaching the battery for a quick little test, the thrusters are lighted up nicely and the arm piece is probably riddled with my finger prints as I assembled the piece without my soft cotton gloves. A quick little wipe should remove those and the part is pretty much done.

I have the other arm to put together then it’s on to the legs. Hopefully I’ll be done in another couple of weeks or so.

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