Friday, November 13, 2015

Malaysia 2015 GBWC - A lil' Ah Pek's Opinion

Yesterday finally I brought myself to IPC to have a look at Malaysia's 2015 GBWC exhibition.

Being a self-claimed retired modeler, this is the second time I can have a look at the entries from a 3rd person view :p

First I would say this year's response is an all time high. Well, lots and lots of new challenger works; which I will see it as a very good sign for Malaysia Gunpla community. Having a lot of entries and newcomers is definitely a good thing, but how's the overall standard of the entries?

Besides the few veterans, majority I observe falls in the same group: Lots of kitbashing n creativities shown, but quite lack of the emphasis in fundamental work. Maybe it is also the way Kawaguchi is choosing the entry to go to final; i realised it's somehow slightly different from the traditional scale modeling criteria, where fundamental works aint emphasized so much but creativity n diversity of subject come first. In fact, focusing too much onto fundamental works somehow might have become a hindrance to achieving high in GBWC. Meaning, time should be spent less on basics, but stretch more of the wow factor.

As a result, I see a lot of big crazy slapping of parts, big amobitious effects n dioramas but all falls flat on execution; well, at least from a POV of a traditional scale modeling. Being a old timer, it's kinda hard for me to see an entry that uses 3 or 4 kits bashed together, but showing all the weakness in tackling mold line, sink hole etc. However, will i be giving advices to improved all these if i were asked to give comments? I am not sure anymore, especially if i know the modeler is trying to get something from the "competition".

Maybe is best for me to say, maintain a ok finishing kit, but stretch more on your presentation n kit bashing, that will help him go further in GBWC.

I realized I am totally outta league.

So, instead of giving comments n opinion closely regard to the competition, I now see it more like a retired old man seeing a carnival. Just pick some of my own favorites n say my own thing; that probably kawaguchi will have a big laugh.

Here's some of the entries that i find interesting, and my comment as an ah pek:

1. This is Jeffho's outta box entry. Hoho, seems like Jeff is kinda like gambling on this one. It can be a hit or miss thing for him as having a realistic female face so far aint something Bandai has shown interest in. Anyway, For me, I absolutely love it!!! Especially love it as in not showing a lot of skin as to commercial product that was targeting to Otaku's lack of opposite experience n unrealistic female anatomy fantasy.
Finishing is definitely top notch, I would even say from my limited time spent in looking at all the entries, the best finishing of all. Decal work is definitely my favorite! Carefully chosen, placement designed, workmanship; are just perfect decal work
The only pity thing is it is limited to the 50cm height of the competition rule. To me, this perfect grade sized kit should levitate even more, than what it is not; the extra space between the kit n the beautiful base would definitely give this nicely done kit a more majestic look.
Huhu, u can call me bias, but hell, Jeff being in the top list of my favorite Malaysia modeler is definitely no mistake.
The eyes, well, maybe the upper eye lid should be slightly lower. Now i suspect the eyes r a lil scary for some.
Overall, it is kit like this that makes the trip to IPC worth.

2. Phoon's. Frankly, the real thing looks much better than photo. This is sometimes that surprised me as Phoon's work usually are photogenic, looks much better in photo than in real.
Inititally, I hated the blurdy hole in the middle of the book  (Hahahaha sorry Phoon). But as usual, phoon is an artist that works better with hands n eyes than careful planning. The way he tackle the rational problem of having a hole in the middle of the book really well. I must say so well, it is extremely clever n nice!
Besides that, from photo all the non-related props at the back (the gasaphon thingy) do looks so good and they really adds a lot to the overall beauty of the whole dio/vignette. In fact, overall this is the most enjoyable work of him for me in recent years.
Definitely, despite looks like an easy project, I think the workmanship, art value of this diorama si definitely one of phoon's best!
Being an ah pek, of course i will still nip pick a lil, I would think the contrast of real-life-full-color vs the fade color from the the book's graphic of the main character should have been more contrast. That will b a better transmission  of message that the color of the character is transforming from book graphic to real life.
P/S: the workmanship of the background, the cutting of various shape is very perfect.... Phoon, u use CnC machine? Huhuhu. is as good as that.
 photo IMG_20151112_150509-2.jpg

3. This is Evon's. Ok, maybe just being bias as her sex. No, really, this caught my attention. I always fond of the mixure of gloss n semi gloss/flat finishing on the armor. (yeah, shermen's blue frame is still my favorite, and elliot's black unicorn kinda painting style still in one of my arsenal of ideas).
Not only that, I am amazed that the flat/semi gloss part is actually created naturally by the existence of pearl powder, not due to a final flatbase filled top coat. From my experience, this is nvr easy to achieve; and might cause problem at later stage; eg silvering of decals; which I am kinda afraid to attempt that effect. Evon seems to pull it off pretty well.
As for the grumpy ah pek side: the pose. standing straight is not much to see nor comment. The only thing i dont get is, I suspect the back where she should have done quite some stuff, but posing as such, she could have just save all the time she spent there. It makes no difference; nobody can see them.
Again, back to having prejudice on sex in this hobby, I would really hope she could be determine to spend enough time for next year for a better project; so, Malaysia, or probably the whole world would have the first female open category GBWC champion. Hohohohoho!!!!

4. Another female modeler's work. Ok, yes, i remember she is a female (we more like brothers :p)
Jac's work actually surprised me. I think she has an art sense that is still not "commonized" or "polluted" by the typical Gunpla builders' preference.
I feel so fresh seeing this work of hers.
Yes, there're still some workmanship issue that i believe she can definitely take care off, which she didnt (I suspect the usual last minute rush). However, from the subject, idea, to choice of color, I m simply loving this. Especially the color of the inside wall of the sphere. Probably is from her art sense developed from miniature painting. The best is, in her work, there is a sense of surrealism art, which is my favorite art style. Ok, true, weirdo, probably love to dream a lot kinda weirdo, produces beautiful work.
I am imagining how her rendition of phoon's work, if it is build-ed by her. hahahah!
In terms of workmanship, a little more tidy up would be really nice. I am not even talking aboutthe small details on the suit. Just a simple perfect clean glass face mask in contrast to the dirty space suit would bring the whole piece up a level.

5. I know him thru Facebook, with the name Kah Hoe.
Ok, this is definitely bias. First, his age. Second, from photos, his workstation. It really makes me cry, then feel so ashame, then have so much respect for him.
Without considering this two factors, i think his work is pretty good, is one of the best but not really the best. In terms of creativity, the major problem is carrying a little too much of Andy Wong's last year champion work; only with a lesser integrated design n slightly weaker workmanship. Well, from the words, it sounds like it has nothing much to shout about? But no, again, i look into the disadvantages he has: his age and resources he has, this fella is screaming 'I m the king' silently.
I see a lot of potential in him!!!


That's about all, from a old ah pek. All the best to everyone!!!!