Weekend update: I finished building the Sol Tekkaman commission, finished the SD Gundam NT1 Alex, and entered the two, along with 4 other kits into IPMS Orange County’s annual OrangeCon competition. This was an exhausting weekend.

I finished up the detail painting and panel lines for the Sol Tekkaman kit in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Angel was over finishing up decals and panel lines while the group of us started a new game of Axis and Allies. I ended up finishing around 4 in the morning and sleeping at 6, only to wake up three and a half hours later to head out to the contest. But more on that later, for now, here are some completed pictures of the Sol Tekkaman.

Click here for the entire build progression and photo gallery

SD Gundam NT1 Alex

SD Alex is masked, primed, then painted.

Then when removing the masking tape, paint chipping. Notice that the paint removed is down to the base surface. I didn’t prime the piece before painting the Finisher’s black, but that was stripped away as well. On several other occasions while painting with the kandy style paint and masking over the kandy scheme, I’ve noticed that the paint adhesion was severly weakened and masking over kandy schemes led to paint chipping. This may be an issue of cure times such that I didn’t allow the paints to fully cure before each layer, but I have noticed that expecially with kandy paint schemes, masking over the kandy has a tendency to chip easier. Or this could just be my imagination. Regardless, this is what happened.

The rest of the kit was ready for panel lines and final detail painting. It is shown here with only one leg as some touch up for the other leg was needed along with the repair to the paint chipped shield.

And around 3-4AM Saturday, I finished the sucker and was ready to enter it into OrangeCon a few hours later.

Interesting comparison, as the NT-1 kit is a newer SD, they are considerably larger than the old SD kits, as I pulled up the little SD Kampfer I had for a side by side shot. Then I just had to goof off a bit with the pictures..

Click here for all the completed pictures of the SD Alex


OrangeCon report, first and most importantly, the group build folks made for a great showing. The Sci-Fi Mecha and Gundam category was just over run with us. There were about 16 or so models, and of them 14 belonged to the build gathering folks. There were so many gunpla kits that they ended up splitting the category: Flying Gunpla and Non Flying Gunpla. To their credit, the IPMS Judges don’t know much about gunpla so the fact they had to split the category shows they’re trying. If this keeps up, I’ll probably recluse myself and participate in judging so as to help teach these guys a few things about gunpla and proper categorization. But even for us seasoned gunpla builders, how does one fairly split the category? Of the kits, only a few were smaller than 1/100, the kits were from various Gundam series as well. So it is difficult regardless of anything to split the category fairly. Regardless, this is proof that the build gatherings are doing some sort of good; and I think we even had more entrants(people) than the car model categories.

I took over 300 pictures trying to at least get most of the kits on display. So here is just a taste of what was on display.

Damn impressive landing craft. The helipad is completely scratch built.

Seaview from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea had a full array of electronics that lit up front, internal cabin, tail lights, mini sub lights, and had working propellers. Very cool piece.

And here’s what the build gathering folks came away with: Angel got a First and Second(both in flying gundam) for his Seravee and Arios respectively; Brandon got a Second for his Marasai(standing gundam), Manuel got a Third for his Astrea (standing gundam), Nathan got a Third with his Destiny Gundam (flying gundam), and I took home a First for the Shin Musha (standing gundam).

Brandon and I also entered into the Sci-Fi fantasy figure category with his Cammy and my Kanu and Velvet. Brandon won a Second for the Cammy, and I got the First for Velvet.

A bit of confusion in the categories also had a 151mm & larger figure category, that Manuel entered his Jill Valentine, so I put my Asagi into that category as well. I guess we’re able to place our kits in any category so long as we have proper justification and it is up to the judges to allow for such. Manuel won the Second place for his Jill Valentine and I picked up the First for the Asagi. Asagi also won for the “I think I’m turning Japanese” theme award which puts all the kits that are of Japanese origins into one competition category. The theme awards is an interesting method for holding a contest that allows very different kits to compete against each other. Brandon chuckled at me when I won for her, “If they only knew where Asagi came from…”

My last award was for the SD Gundam NT-1 “Alex” I finished earlier that morning and threw into the Humor In modeling category, as the damn things are so cute and funny looking. I didn’t think I’d place as I kinda hastily painted and put the thing together, and there were plenty of hilarious and well done kits in that category. So I was pleasantly surprised to win Second place for the little SD.

The weekend is a blur as it just all melted together. Good times. Hopefully this will encourage and inspire more folks from the build gathering. Click here for all 300+ pictures.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. George Caswell

    How exactly did they distinguish between flying and non-flying mecha? I mean, Gundam, for instance, doesn’t fly… unless it’s in space, or it happens to be jumping very, very high, or it’s on the G-fighter… Some cases would be pretty clear-cut (like if the thing’s got wings) but it seems like there’s a lot of gray area…

  2. GameraBaenre

    Well, a number of the kits were on display bases that had them displayed off the base, so they differentiated by kits standing on the table and kits “flying”. Granted the split solution isn’t the most graceful, but it does give out twice the amount of awards, which is encouraging for the builders. But seriously, if you were asked to split the entries, how would you have done it? Whilst keeping it fair.

  3. Michael

    As one of the IPMS OC Board, we certainly could use some help in distinguishing between this and that as only a small number of our club is into these type of kits. Also, would you recommend that they separate anime from regular figures next year since you had such a large showing this year?

  4. GameraBaenre

    What I’d like to see is an Anime/Fantasy figure category under the umbrella of “Figures” as for all intents and purposes, they are figures and made of resin which are what most of the figures in the “Figure” category. The point of confusion is that there is a Figure category, and there is a Sci/Fi Figure category. In my opinion, that kinda lends itself to double dipping – or just spreading kits of the same genre into two different categories because the rules allow as such.

    What would probably work is to completely remove the SciFi Figure category and have the Figure category absorb that; then you can classify things with the following structure:

    –Standard size categories

    As for the Gundam kits, looking at the collection of kits that were entered, it’s REALLY difficult to sub categorize, since they are from different series of different timelines .

    Typically at Anime Conventions, the divisions are done by Scale – Large Scale (1/60 and 1/100) then small scale (1/144 and smaller). However using the entries at Orangecon, such a division would not have worked. A possible division would be done at the kit level (Master Grad kit, High Grade Kit, Non Grade kit) However, this categorization would not have worked well here either.

    The problem is that handling splits will definitely have to be based on what kits are entered. I think I would be able to help out as a consultant to the Gundam Category and make recommendations on how to make splits for future contest.

    Looking at the scope of the this contest, the best way to split it would have been to go with a Universal Centry Gundam and Alternate Universe Gundam categories. At least if I was in the contest room and the judges were looking for a method for splitting, that’s how I would have suggested based off the kits that were entered.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.