It was a decently busy weekend. I went to my friend’s mom’s house and learned and made a bunch of tamales of different flavors. I’m finally started up on my latest project that I actually sorta started a few years back when I first bought it, but shelved. Then there was the build gathering. This one was very interesting. And whilst I tell the story later, I will definitely come off as a complete asshole, but you just had to be here to fully understand and grasp the big picture. Regardless it was another great gathering. At the end of the night, we piled up all the guitars, for a group picture. I’m sorta cheating, as the left handed, ultra dusty, guitars are mine… but at least I have some variety in that there’s an electric, acoustic, and classical guitars. And unfortunately, I had forgotten to snap pictures during the gathering, but I did snap a few things off my phone, a little too late however.
Friday, I spent the day at Angel’s parents house and learned the art of tamale making. We did the green sauce, the red sauce, the cheese, chicken, pork, and sweet tamales. Pretty damn cool, and pretty tiring as we were working over a dining table which was a little short for us as we aren’t midgets. But I think we were fairly successful as the folks at the build gathering scarfed down the tamales without any complaints, that or they’re just trying to be nice to me. Well, they should know better by now anyhow. Regardless, I enjoyed eating the tamales, damn tasty!
On to the Steyr Raupenschlepper Ost, or RSO as it will now be referenced as; which is a German tracked transport vehicle used in World War II. I picked up this kit several years ago when I saw one on display at a local model contest. Looking far and wide, I found a 1/35 Italeri kit. I also ordered fruli tracks for the kit as the original vinyl/rubber tracks were just awful. A few years ago, I had gotten one of the linked tracks completed and had glued the main chassis together as well as a few other two part pieces, then shelved the kit for the next few years.
After building the sniper custom, I decided to crack the kit open again as I had an idea I wanted to try out for weathering purposes and this would be the perfect kit for such tests. I spent most of my building time at this past weekend’s build gathering sanding the small parts and getting the kit together. I haven’t built an armor kit in well over 20 years, so this will be interesting.
Below are some quick pictures I took earlier in the week with some rough sanding to rid mold lines, seamlines, and random pieces of flash. This is completely different from being utterly spoiled by Bandai MGs. But it’s just plastic, anything can be built to look half way decent.
Next up is the building up of the second track. The fruli tracks are individual pewter or dicast track links that need to be connected to each other with metal wires. Good thing I had some thin metal stem wires that I used to use for pinning figures. The process is a little on the tedious side, this whole track took a few hours to complete.
Once the tracks were completed, they were measured out and placed on the kit. These tracks in comparison to the set that come with the kit are amazing and almost worth the cost of the damn things. If I remember correctly, the tracks costed as much or more than the actual kit. And a quick mock up of the main cab and the trailer side. This is such a cool little tracked vehicle. I’m going to really enjoy building this sucker. And for continuity sake, a size comparison picture with Mr Keroro G3.
These are the only pictures I took at the build gathering, and they were done from my phone as Dan’s sitting there trying to learn a few chords to play Nirvana’s About a Girl and With or Without You by U2. Hugo and Duke are hanging out while Su plays the Beatles’ Blackbird. This was at the end of the build gathering as Dan’s and my voices are completely toast after playing rockband for the better half of the evening.
Ok, strap in boys and girls, story time. So every once in a while, there are people we meet out there that are; politically correctly labeled as “socially awkward”. A very nice and neutral way of calling something a complete tool. Most times, these probably don’t know that they’re the odd ball, and just want to fit in; but you know, as much as you would like to have that big black circular block fit into that small triangle shaped hole, that ain’t happening.
The build gatherings don’t really start up until folks actually arrive and such. Terry and Christiana arrive, while Helen and I are watching Funny People. The door bell rings and I tell Terry to go get it, and he immediately says, “uh, Clem, can you come over here?” which is odd as people normally just come and go. I walk over and see the small fellow, sigh, wave, then walk back to the movie. I had seen the guy at anime cons and had known him on various forums over the years. Again, there are people that fit and those that do not. From the previous years of knowing the guy; I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t fit very well, but he wants to build and learn, no problem, build and learn. He walks in and immediately starts talking very loudly. Exclaiming loudly that he hates dogs. When I suggest that he is talking loudly, it is only that I believe the guy has no sense of volume control. He then walks in and starts talking loudly at me and Helen, I just hand signal him to be quiet as we’re in the middle of watching a movie. I also tell him to remove his shoes as I do to everyone that comes in, he nods and heads to the front door area. One of hte build guy,s John doesn’t like dogs, but I’ve never heard him exclaim as much to me; and I only found out within the last year that he didn’t care for dogs. My dogs still like him and try to get attention from him. But normally, while walking into another person’s house as a guest, the last thing one would do would to exclaim loudly how much you hate their beloved pets. Nice to meet you too.
Terry and Christiana are on their way to spend some money at the local hobby store and possibly get some food. I think they had thought that the new guy was planning on tagging along as he said something about wanting to get something to eat as well. Regardless, the three of them left, and I believe they went their separate ways.
Folks start showing up and I’ve all but forgotten the little feller. We finish Funny People and I head over and start working on the RSO. The dinning room table has filled out with John, Ed, Sean, V, Brandon, and Dave. We’re all working on respective projects. Dave goes into the workshop room to get some painting done. We’re all working and chatting along and the door bell rings. Now automatically, everyone who attends the build gatherings know that only new folks ring the door bell. I head over and take a look, yep, Grover is back. I chuckle, and return to my seat and just continue working. The door bell rings again. Folks are starting to look at me and wondering what to do. It’s starting to get a little uncomfortable. Again, I’m fine with being the asshole here. But there was a point to this. No, I wasn’t gonna let the poor guy stand out there knocking and knocking and continue to ignore it. But I did let it go for a while. He started knocking. Again, all this time, the door is completely unlocked. So I make a joke that he’s a vampire, and that he needs to be invited in for him to be able to physically enter. Still uncomfortable. Brandon’s giving me that look, and so is Sean. Gotta love the nice people in the group. I tell Ed to get the door, and he acknowledges by removing his shirt, grabbing a beer, and heads towards the door.
“Sup?” says Ed as he answers the door. I can only imagine the reaction. I can sorta hear the conversation. Grover asks if people have showed up; Ed steers the conversation towards the fact that he’s just there to get drunk. I’m laughing my ass off. A few others are still fairly uncomfortable. Ed not really knowing how far to take it, lets it go and the vampire has been invited inside. He walks over and greets us all. I tell him that he’ll need to be working at the kiddie table. The lovely area of the house that we relegate all late comers to; sometimes the kiddie table is that place to be, others it’s not. For this build gathering, the kiddie table was a quiet place. He shows us a kit that he wants to give away, everyone is working on their kits and no eye contact is given, everyone is just avoiding him. Terry and Christiana come in, apparently, when they arrived at the house, the saw him standing at the door and didn’t know what to do, so they kept driving. Returning to the house a short time later, they notice that he’s in the house so they come in. Everyone gets down to building again. Terry forgetting something in his car heads to the door. As soon as his within range, Grover starts conversing with him, and according to Dave, Terry couldn’t get the door opened faster and hasten his exit. Building resumes after we chuckle a bit.
Grover, again, very loudly exclaims that he had forgotten his tools. I know that he lives in Placentia, so I state that since he lives around the corner, he should go home and grab his stuff. Literal Larry is quick to correct me, informing me that he does not live around the corner, but at another location. I don’t know what this location is, and ask; and I’m informed that it’s off the main street that the street my house resides upon, branches. I quickly retort that where he lives IS TRULY AROUND THE FUCKING CORNER – that it would take no more than 5-10 minutes to make the round trip to get his tools. Apparently, he’s a few tools short of a full box. So he acquiesces and runs off again. As soon as the door shuts behind Grover, Terry lunges for the door, *click* locks it. Ten minutes later, the door bell rings. We kinda laugh. It’s no longer as uncomfortable, but V volunteers this time to invite the grim reaper into the house. He pulls his shirt exposing what appears to be a fur coat. Damn hairy Persians. He grabs a beer and heads to the door. “hey there!” Grover is obviously creeped the f out. But comes in and joins us once again. We hear odd noises, grunts, and such coming from the kiddie table. Dave points out that the barking dogs really bother him, to the point that he pointed at the dogs and told them that they need to be quiet. I cannot make this shit up.
As the build continues, Ed requested some help, so I head over to help him out in the workshop. Just in time as Grover has come over to chat with the folks in the dining room. After helping Ed out, about 5 minutes or so worth of time, I head out to the living room to see that EVERYONE with the exception of Sean, has left the dinning room and is now lounging out in the patio. I head over and everyone gives me odd looks and asks where I found the guy. One of the folks leans over and tells me that at first, they were kinda uncomfortable with how I was handling the initial door bell situation; but after about an hour or so, has a full understanding of why I did as much, and stated that they would have done exactly the same thing. V is annoyed. Oh the days when people used to run from V. Perhaps one day, someone worse will come along.
Poor Sean, he’s too nice a guy to tell anyone to bugger off, so he hangs and chats with the guy. Yet even a fellow as nice as Sean started making jokes about the new guy. Grover then comes over with some instructions asking who’s working on that particular kit. Not knowing who the kit belongs to, and everyone outside is shaking their heads, either lying or really not knowing; I point him towards the workshop room where Ed is alone and working. Game on, time to play some human dodge ball. A few minutes later, Ed comes walking out of the workshop and whilst in the hallway and in my line of sight, mouths a few curses in my direction. Hilarity ensues. Apparently, Ed is well versed in this game as he start steering the conversations towards hookers and strip clubs.
Dan arrives. Meets Grover, sees that he’s stuck at the kidding table, puts his stuff down and starts hitting the alcohol. I start heating up some tamales that Angel, Angel’s mom, Sam, and I made the previous day. According to Dave, Grover asked about the tamales, the stated that he was going to help himself to one. When I go to check on the tamales, Grover comes over and from the tone of voice, language, and sentence structure he used, pretty much demanded one; but stated that he would like to eat one. I handed him the one I was cooking for myself. Funnier still, he carefully watched how John ate his to learn that the husk isn’t edible. There is no end to the humor this guy brings. Angel, Nicky, and Sam show; and within 2 minutes of entering the house, I’m already cornered by Nicky to “explain myself”. Grover leaves an hour or so after it got dark. And things sorta return to normal as folks watch movies, continue to build, and drink.
For the past few years, there are a few folks that don’t quite fit in with the rest of the crowd, but regardless, they were model builders. If they wanted to learn, asked questions, etc; I or someone stepped up and gave the answer from our perspective. Not everyone in this world is meant to get along with one another. And to truly understand how awkward everyone felt, you just had to have been here. I hope he comes to the next gathering. Maybe he’ll learn something, or teach us something new, or just entertain us. I think folks just gotta get used to him, there are countless of build gathering folks that we’ve gotten used to; in the same light that folks have gotten used to me, or not and have stopped showing up to the gatherings. Regardless, this gathering was special. I’m getting a big warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.