Happy Chinese New Years! Welcome to the year of the Ox (cow, bull, Moooo – you get the idea…) This month’s build gathering was significantly larger than the previous. The holiday season is over, and people are getting back into the groove of things. We had a couple of new people as usual; and the house was filled. Due to the weather, I didn’t feel like firing up the grill, so we invaded the local “the Hat” with about 21 of us, there were a few folks that left and a few that stayed at the house to build. Getting tables was an interesting experience; as when we first arrived, the place was packed, so we agreed to bring the food back to the house. But while standing and waiting for our food, tables started freeing up, so we started sending people to hold tables. It was fairly successful at first, but then some folks would get up to get their food, there by leaving the table unattended for some other Hat patron to grab; while a few others didn’t fully realize that there were over twenty of us and gave up tables…. Well the debacle was fixed and we had a pretty decent time – I think we ended up taking up just 5 tables. On to the actual build gathering…

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As stated earlier, we had a total of about 26 people over at the house, not exactly at the same time, as some folks needed to leave, and others came later. I forgot to grab the folding chairs at my mom’s place, I also didn’t know how many I’d have come over either as I didn’t get a full head count. No big deal, the folks are fairly inventive and found ways around everything. End table as a chair, the living room couches and coffee table as the third build table, people in the workshop room; etc. It worked out.

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Otakufuel was on hand after missing the previous two gatherings. So the house emptied out onto the street to Otakufuel’s Scion xD and the parting of monies from fools began. Great prices from Otakufuel, however they’re moving away from supplying models because of distribution problems, and I’m guessing the further shrinkage of the model building community as a whole. Granted, it’s not necessarily evident with the constant growth at the gatherings. But a piss poor economy, horrendous exchange rate, etc etc, are all contributing factors. It sucks. But there is hope that some day, we’ll be able to get models from Otakufuel again.

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Here are pictures of various people working. Folks sanding, masking, painting, etc. For most of the model build gatherings, folks have been coming to me with the questions on paint, techniques, etc… today, being fairly overwhelmed, I started to push folks to learn from the other people at the gathering. Jose was a new person and interested in building resin figures, but I was busy attending to other issues, so I had Dave help him out. Once a few other resin figure builders came along, I think Jose got a little more comfortable and was able to learn more from the various people. Terry was after me all night to help him with decaling his 1/60 Excia – he gave up and went to Dan and Angel for help. I stopped by his work area and gave him a few pointers to help out, but Dan did an excellent job on helping Terry out.

Granted I understand why folks would come up to me for their questions; the website, forums, the fact that I’m the loudest, etc etc. But it is good that folks are starting to trust the abilities of the other model builders. Even the newer modelers are starting to help one another out. This is the ultimate goal; you build a model for someone, they have a nice model.. you teach someone to build a model, and they build their own nice models. Folks are becoming more comfortable with one another – from my perspective, this is an amazing site to see.

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Here are a small sampling of the projects folks were working on; as usual, not everyone worked; some folks just came to hang out which is perfectly fine. Fun times had by all is all I ever ask.

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Dan (Funaka) brought over his AoZ battle group along with his Trophy from the BAKUC competition. I took some pictures of his kits. Amazing details, and after setting bits and pieces of it worked on over the past year, the completed project is a awesome site. Pictures found online do no justice to show just how well this project was executed.

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Here are some pictures of the 1/60 Excia that Terry spent applying decals. This is Terry’s first attempt at using waterslide decals. And thanks to the help of Dan, he’s pretty much mastered the technique with this kit. The decals add an incredible amount of dimension to the kit, and so Terry isn’t so filled with hate and rage when he looks upon the kit. There are still a few steps left that he wants to do, but the decaling stage was fairly tasking and delicate work requiring a good amount of patience and concentration.

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No build gathering would be complete without breaking into song and rocking out on Rock band. This gathering was a little mellower than the previous as folks were fairly renewed in their goal to get work done; so building continued late into the night… The group dropped down to about 15 or so people around 11 to midnight, so I got to sit down and get some work done. I remolded the parts for the Infinite Justice; panel lined the MG Shin Musha, and pinned the Hustler. My HP-C died, I have no idea what is wrong with the thing, but it has been acting up for a while now. I may have to restrict use on my airbrush to only folks that know how to use the airbrush. I will be getting another HP-C, so for now, painting is stalled on all projects.

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Here is the Hustler pinned. She has optional clothing for her shirt, to have it open or closed, and possibly a mix of open and closed sides. I’m still on the fence as to how I’ll approach the subject. The final inside shirt part would consist of four pieces – the two collar pieces and two shirt parts. The vest is cut up along natural seams so it can be taken apart, so I embedded magnets all along the two halves of the vest to ensure a good connection between the two pieces. What I am thinking about doing is to glue the collar piece together, then cast it. Then I would have a solid collar piece that should be significantly stronger as a single part than as two separate pieces. Additionally, I can create casts of the shirt pieces and effectively build three versions of the inside shirt. Completely closed, half open, and fully opened.

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Click here for the rest of the pictures taken at the build gathering

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