Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Confession Of a Bootlegger

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 photo elyn3536213_624209664259559_850891718_n.jpg Too often, there will be war in Facebook; war knocking on keyboard, about original vs bootleg gunpla kits.

While they r pretty entertaining to read, and occasional put oil into fire n see the flame explode again, there s something very interesting about bootleggers (Well, these r names they call each others, the opposite camp s bandai purist or something).

First, i must make it clear that i am not a  purist. I am guilty of buying n building unlicensed products; mainly are aftermarket base, weapons, or in general, products that uses copyright images as packaging, & recast of out of production resins etc.

While i am a user of unlicensed products, I know I am guilty. I know well I am doing something that is not being fair to the original licenser though i can find a thousand reasons to justify my action. Oh well, this is the part i find interesting about many bootleggers.

 photo Mecha-Base-78910-B01-00001.jpg During any discussions/argument/keyboard-war, I just cant help but to notice how bootleggers are actually feeling the guilt of their action, feeling inferior about it, trying to convince/lie to himself until he seem to be completely believe it. Especially when they try to find reasons/excuses to justify their action: buying a pirated copy.

So what would one say when they r confronted for supporting bootleg? I ll list out the following three, which i think r the stupidest among all, with my version of explanation how ridiculous these reasons sound like:

"I can't afford the high price of the original"
This is ultimate bullcrap that deserve a big "FUCK YOU" followup with a "HAHAHAHA" as response. While a bootleg is probably 1/4 or lower of the price of a original, when u see a bootlegger owns30~40 bootleg kits n say they cant afford the original. This is not about the question of being affordability, it about being cheap n greedy. U might own lesser kits, but if u do respect all the effort the design n R&D team has put in in making the kit available. But NO, u prefer to have your 20 kits n not supporting the people who make it happen.

"Bootleg, if u wanna brush up your skill"
For a while I couldn't even swallow this, as the statement is so dumb.I dont think Lee Chong Wei will use a RM5 china made wood racket during training to boost his skill to another level; nor will Lewis Hamilton driving a Chevy pickup truck in training for the same reason to win him 2017 Championship too. Same for skill in modeling, i dont think the same methodology will work too. & people are quoting this, recommending this to others as if they truly believe it. Maybe they do, after too many times telling themselves.

"Gunpla if FREEDOM"
Well, sometimes i m not even sure the "freedom" they r saying means that winged gundam in Seed series. Honestly, this is ultimate facepalm; so bad one can have a palm plantation on his face n start having export of palm oil to earn his country some extra income. I am not having any explanation on this as i dont even know how to.

 photo Rf_Xp_Cvr.jpg As a bootlegger, my reason is simple: I am freaking CHEAP. 

When I first have this realization is at one time I was building a diorama base which in total, I need to use 6 pcs of kotobukiya mechanical chain base. I was counting: 1 pc cost about RM50 in Mlaysia, 6 boxes will cost me RM300. Being a natural cheapskate, though i know i can ultimately afford it with a tight budget that month, i d decided to go for china made, look almost similar, cheapskate people version of it: which cost about 40% of the original's price.
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Yes, my reason is being cheap. At least, I admit it. I am not standing on a moral high ground, n i dont deserve to be on it. However, while i thought i am the lowest life form in plastic modeling, i realize there r these people who dont even want to admit the real reason of their choice in choosing their model kits.

This is like the awkward moment when a sewer rogue or a embezzler sees another fellow member saying they steal to save the world.

Probably provide more laughter is a way of saving world. I think this part, at least they do.

P/S: I try to write something about the purist too, which i find equally childish n funny; but since i m not a purist, it is quite hard for me to write without prejudice.....

Monday, April 10, 2017

HG 1/48 Martian Successor Nadesico - Artillery Battle Frame Aestivalis

This project initially s a project i did to join the 2017 Tetsujin organized by HAG Singapore, n yes, it is one of the 2 consecutive FFK (missing the deadline ) projects i had end of last year n early of this year.

This is also a kit i choose to do again after the first one i made more than 10 years ago. The only comforting thing about this project is, i can compare it against my 10-year-old work, and realize i have indeed made some improvement over the years....

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After the pre-1980 released model kit GB, I had decided to make one kit to join in the fun in Tetsujin 2017 Singapore, despite knowing according to my estimation, I have just enough time to get it done, without any buffer time, & with a lot of stuff that i need to forgo. As usual, January's workload is outta my expectation, and i have had about one more week's work when the deadline hits.

About the model:

Basically I have made some proportion modification, as the usual old mecha kit, this kit looks kinda short n bulky. The first thing i did s to extend the waist, and upper arms. I d planned to do something on the feet too, to make them stand taller yet compliment the upper body proportion. Howeverm the feet isn't a straight forward kinda humanoid feet, the folding s designed to tilt n adjust the angle of the knees (the long range weapon), and also to hold n release the stabilizer at the back.

Since i find the original length of the feet actually aint too much  conflict with my modified upper body; and time's limited, i d decided to keep the original feet's proportion. Just minor mod on the joints.

Overall, since this is a simple project, not much to talk about except a few little things here n there:

Finally! I gotta use the aftermarket photo etch vent i bought dirt cheap years ago, and honestly, i love the effect.

The base is a total unexpected thing. Initially i was only planing a simple dried land with some rocks n minimal vegetation; in the middle, a friend was trying on making cracked land like in anime. So butt itchy, tried it out myself.  However, it was last minute, rush, and lack of planning; in the end, the effect aint exactly what i like, and worse, i forgot almost entirely  about the color until i have had set pretty much everything in...

Also please do not mind the main weapon, with 2 types of magazines. Hoho, just plain lazy to mod that....

Anyway, i realize i am really rusty in doing weathering now.. just cant get the feel of control brushes n paint as i used to. Gunpla's coloring process is just very technical n once u have the initial stuff planned out, basically can shut n relax the brain from making judgement during spraying. Weathering just suddenly reminded me that painting process i cannot be a zombie... Hahahahah

Anyway, the photos r below, C & C s utmost welcome!!!

P/S: BIG thank you to the good friends who aided me in this project, especially to Kirin to given me valuable advices on weathering.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

FSS GB: Wave 1/144 Engage SR3

This is a GB initiated in the early part of 2016, when a group of friends went to CKTan's model shop during a sale. Everybody was pretty hyped up and decided to have a Five Star Story group build in the end of year 2016.

My choice of kit is this kit by Wave; the 1/144 Engage SR3.

When the GB finally started, in December 2016, I was then in the midst of finishing the Vintage GB organized in HHQ (I couldnt make it on time though), and rushing for Singapore's HAG's Tetsujin Group Build. As a result, i just roughly dryfit the kit, without studying it much, before i went back to tetsujin's project.

It's definitely a painful lesson, for Wave's kits, despite this is consider on of their better FSS kits, the fitting and assemble mechanism is no where compared to Bandai's. The first problem I encountered during assembling the kit is i realized there r so much preparation work which i should have done n didnt do. Procedure n priority, which come first before another, are all screwed up, for i was simply following what the instruction manual which proof to be not exactly realistic in reality.

Second thing i would like to share is the main gimmick of this build; which apparently i failed to capture with my kindergarten photography level. I am doing a pearl that reflects blue on top of a blue/teal color. The main  problem i encounter is, while surfaces that has sufficient light to reflect, the blue  (from the pearl) is really magical, where parts that is not the highlight, the natural slight yellowish pearl, makes the color looks so dirty n muddy. I have yet to find a solution to it if i were to build something of similar color scheme.

I become worse, when all parts are joined together, which hightlighted surface is not the majority under normal light. It just looks muddy n dirty overall. If i were to put it in  a light box with various strong light source, i realize when too much of the blue reflection from pearl, our eyes tend to get numb n just find the blue aint as attractive as when we look at one single part. A little like mustard in food. A little bit will make our senses capture it, but too much, we just ignore it.

So in the end, i build a kit that is so loose in too many places (failed to join many parts together, just use blue tack or glue to barely make them stay in close proximity.; and looks dirty most of the time. Despite the dissatisfaction, i think i still have the urge to build another one, which i believe i could do better than this.

That's all for sharing. C & C welcome!

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Since i was struggling in taking photos, testing on various white balance, contrast, lighting n background, which most i consider failed. Here are some with black ground.

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