Saturday, April 30, 2011

June is BUILD-OFF month!

Since we have plenty of people doing build-offs, MAC Forums will hype it up and make June the "Build-Off" Month. The idea is simple, the management should be easy, since the build-off "rules" will be between the two facing off, and we'll be featuring them and their progress, in a separate section ideally, labeled as such.

Anyone who are currently doing build-offs or will do build-offs will be featured, though June will be the "official" launch date. The feature will run until October 2011, in time for the BMWKC, so I'm pretty sure there'll be plenty of people joining in.

Just to clarify, the Build-Offs won't be a competition. It's more a showcase of the individual skills of people in their respective build-offs.

The Build-Offs we have so are are:

DC23 <> ToyMaker
(The O - upcoming)
HummingBird <> Aulon
(Strike Noir - ongoing)
Krescenhaze <> Davime
(Unicorn - ongoing)
Kriz <> Aries
(Patlabor - ongoing)
Kamm <> Decay
(Sazabi - upcoming)
MatX <> Falldog
(The O - upcoming)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

Note:  I edited my previous Turn X update, removed the random stuff, and placed it instead here.


I bought a couple of Vallejo Paints.  I was trying to get the eyedropper type, but it seems one prolific Energizer Bunny who also recommended it beat me to the lot I needed (red, black, and gold).  I will try those paints soon for a hand-painting project.

I also got a Dafa art knife at National Bookstoire, not that I really needed one, but, this will be used primarily as a needlepoint scriber so I can keep my two pin vises on permanent drilling duties.  It has an aluminum shaft and a brass head and I do believe the Bunny has one too.

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The nifty thing about this little tool is it has a blunt end that can be used as a scoring tip, for flattening "lips" that occur after cutting, and to score fold lines for easier bending without "wounding" the plastic.  I might get another one for goo measure.

On a separate trip to Joli's, I got a couple 9"X12" each of 0.5mm, 1.0mm, 1.5mm and 2.0mm HIPS (funny how they measure the thickness in metric and cut them in English).  Lo and behold, I chanced upon WHITE 1.0's.  As it turned out HIPS actually mean High Impact Polystyrene Sheets (not plastic, but that's besides the point because they're indeed plastic still).  I also got a couple each of various diameter pipes at PhP15 each, and in my sojourn to a gig a couple of week ago, I got a pack of 3mm Tamiya square beams.  Them Tamiya beams are now sold at PhP250, which is PhP 52 more expensive since the Japan incident.

But, these two deserve the limelight.

Hence, the title...

MG Turn X Gundam ver MatX WIP Part IV

A Turn X update, FINALLY!

Real life work seems to cut my Gunpla time, sometimes it's more my frustration and exhaustion over the projects that drains and prevents me from working on the modifications.

When I first saw the scratch-built Turn X a few years back, I always contemplated the difficulty of it, owing the fact that it is scratch built, and back then, I didn't know the extent of mine own capabilities since I was only doing minor modifications.  This build however is a bit frustrating and more difficult as compared to scratch-building the entire thing because I have to consider the frame of the Turn A and build around it.

The Turn X's head, for example, is also the cockpit.  If I want to incorporate that feature in, I would have to scrap what I've done so far and build one from scratch.  But that defeats the purpose of the conversion. Maybe I'll include a scratch-built option with the cockpit, but I would have to make do with this for the meantime and work on other parts to make up for lost time. 

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I've managed to achieve the basic shape of the Turn X with plaplates (yes, this would have been rather easy with putty, but, that's hardly the purpose of this build).  All I really need to do now is add the details.

The Turn X's Chest and Upper Torso

OceanSean gave me another resource that led me to this nifty bit of information:

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It's a 1/144 kit modeled by K-Taro (not the MMA fighter, I'm sure). I suppose this was the Turn X before it got mangled by the Turn A in their first battle.  It's symmetrical with a few exceptions, like that bigger right hand.  Personally, I like the non-symmetrical mangled version better.

Like I mentioned earlier, I had to make a lot of considerations modifying the the Turn A's upper torso, specifically the proportions between it and the Turn X.  With this modification, the resulting 1/100 Turn X chest/torso would be around 10 percent bigger than it actually should be since I will simulate the Turn X's cylindrical torso by building around the Turn A's torso armor so I can keep the frame intact without modifications.

It's a good thing the Turn A's chest frame is designed hollow (in the lore, it contains 6 nukes, which strangely enough, was thrown instead of fired).  That made it "easy" for me to build an adapter for the Turn X's pentagon chest base.

The adapter itself is connected to the chest base and as a single unit connect to the missile bays, which in turn, connects to the chest cavity.  The only modifications done so far are on the yellow and blue armor attachments, which will be modified further to simulate a cylindrical torso.

The base itself will be textured to simulate the damage it sustained as rendered in illustrations.  I've seen one illustration where it showed the chest "glowing" red, so, If I have time, I might incorporate LEDs.

More later...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's Official!

AEUG (Association pourl’essor de l’univers Gundam) is the very first and the only official structure in France that promotes Gundam and Gunpla. AEUG attends lots of events such as the Japan Expo in Paris. In all of those events, AEUG holds Gunpla workshops selling FG kits to kids from 4 years old and help them build Gunpla by supplying them markers, nippers and sanding files.

We are very happy to announce that MAC Forums will have them as a promotional partner for the upcoming Europe Gunpla Cup, and with Hobby Link Japan as a sponsor, this becomes quite a major event for the Gunpla community.

Aside from Japanese, I ALSO need to learn French.  One of my sisters lives in France after all...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gundam Manuals and Guides, in English

We've known for quite some time now that if one needs a reference to a certain Gundam kit manual, one only needs to go to either Dalong or Hobby Search/1999.  These two sites have been most useful for a quick look and are complete and updated.

I've only recently scanned the MAC Forums and found this link drop courtesy of OceanSean.  The websiteis called Mech9 and provides manuals, symbol descriptions and color guides in English, a very useful resource indeed for the rest of us who are Nihon-challenged (just as I previously intimated on my Mariemon post that I need to learn Japanese

The site also features Gunpla and anime news and whathaveyous, and also has models in display.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mariemon: Gunpla and Pastries!

While scanning my blogrolls, I chanced upon BusterBeam's post on Mariemon.  My initial thought as I clicked the link and looked at the first picture of the post was "hmmm, another Pokemon?"  

It was when I began reading his entry that I realized Mariemon is a female Japanese modeler who also loves to cook.  Her blog (it's in Japanese, so, I can only guess what she's talking about through her pictures) is a mix of the stuff she does, and, as it turns out, she's the endorser for the Hobbyist: ePlamo (she even has her own paint line).  The shop's and paint's anime icon bear her likeness.

It's very rare to see the opposite sex in this hobby of ours (the only other REAL girl I know so far is Becky Law), as such we have to content ourselves often with man-love over Skype and the Forums.  She is a refreshing break from all the testosterone-laced modeling.

She can hold my Gunpla anytime...

I have to learn Japanese...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Dragon Ronin Astray Revisited

 For one that has been done a long time ago, The Dragon Ronin Astray has been getting a fair amount of views and also a few inquiries if I'd still finish it.  Since I was a bit stuck on the how to proceed with the Turn X (it's not so easy when I'm considering whether the conversion parts have to fit on to the Turn A's frame, or build a new frame altogether, for some parts, like the chest), I revisited the Ronin's WIP and dismantled the kit.

There'll be a few things I have to rework on the Ronin, but it's mostly the Samurai armor I designed for it.   I'll be simplifying it, for one, and would have decide whether to keep the frame flat black with red accents, or dark red with gold accents.  I've also broken down the WIP into several parts, since personally, I've had trouble with the page loading forever with all those pictures in one post, especially when my internet access is at a crawl.

This project was leaps and bounds for me.  Before it was the Big Red/Hi-Nu, and the Impaler/Sinanju, both of which paled in comparison to the amount of work I had done in modifications, as well as having developed a few "new" modification and scratch-building techniques as I was working.

I'll work on this soon, probably as I work on the Masurao, and the "secret" project DC, myself and a few others are planning.

Friday, April 22, 2011

One Thousand!

Almost One Year.  One Thousand Members. And 30 Thousand Posts.  With support from popular people of the Gunpla Community, like Gundam Guy, Gunjap, The Toymaker, Julius Lim, to name a few and fellow MAC brothers, MAC Forums grew from relatively fast.  We didn't really plan to be an International Gunpla Community, but, it seemed a good idea at the time that was actually the BEST idea ever, especially since we've linked with ZeroG (which was my first Gundam Forum) and GAF.  We've reached a thousand members way ahead my predicted date, and we're even become more active than when we first began with a skeleton membership.

We must be doing something good.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Europe Gunpla Cup

At long last, the gears have been oiled, the tank fueled, the crew all pumped up, and the track all set for the Europe Gunpla Cup 2011.  This is actually the first competition of its kind for Europe, which seems to lag in term of Gunpla events, not to say there aren't any great Gunpla modelers in that region.

Our very own Kamm takes point on this truly unique event, and we're proud that it's being hosted at MAC Forums, and with no less than Hobby Link Japan sponsoring the Prizes.  Kamm made a video for it as well.

  1. All entrants must live within Europe. Simply having an origin of Europe does not qualify you to enter.  "Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom"
  2. Entrants may enter kits previously made prior to start date of competition. Also kits completed after start date are accepted. No form of BOOTLEG kits may be entered. Entry of such a kit will result in disqualification.
  3. Entrants may enter into as many categories as they so choose and as many kits as they see fit. Passing off other peoples work as your own will result in disqualification of all entries made by that person which will be followed by a disqualification.  Entrants must be able to provide some form of "Work In Progress" at the judges request. This is for clarification purposes. (WIP Only needs to be shown if judges ask).
  4. All entries must be submitted within the MAC Forums:  Visit the section labeled "EU-GC Entries" and create a thread under the relevant category "Diorama", "Customized" and "Straight Build Painted".
  5. Starting date for entries is April 20th.
  6. Closing date for entries is September 1st.
  7. The use of Resin is strictly forbidden.
  8. Diorama Size limits is 50cm X 50cm X 50cm.
Mechanics and Prizes can change without prior notice, but we'll keep everyone updated.

Submission of Entries:

When creating an entry please provide the following information:

- Name:
- Location:
- Kit:
- Category:
  • Photo size 1600 X 1200 for Judging. 800 X 600 for Gallery Posting.
  • You may provide 5 MAIN Images per entry (front, side, back, two detail shots).  Additional photos, like WIP photos, technique shots, modification and scratch-build methods are much appreciated and encouraged but not necessary especially for Customized category, and can be posted as a regular WIP thread in MAC Forums Workshop
  • the MAC Forums and Hobby Link Japan logos must be present in the submitted entries.  A blank PSD/PNG file with the will be provided for consistency. You can download it by clicking on the thumbnail below.


Diorama : MG Epyon

Customized : MG 00 Raiser
Straight Build Painted:  MG Deathscythe Hell

PLUS : An RG Strike for the Runner-Up in each category.


Entries will be judged by 2008 BAKUC World Champ DC23, Scratch-Build Master Julius Lim, and myself, The Mod-Man from Planet X Who Never Sleeps*, MatanglawinX.   The criteria for judging will be announced later.

So, what are you waiting for?  Get ready your Gunpla for this first-of-its-kind event of the year!

(*Kamm said so...)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Updated MAC Forums Hi Res Logos

For wallpapers and banners, here are the updated versions.



MAC Forums Events

In line with MAC Forums' upcoming Anniversary, we've got a few things brewing down the evil genius' lab:

The MAC Forums BearGGuy Group Build -  A joint group build effort between GAF and MAC, featuring various interpretations of the HG BearGGuy from the Beginning Gundam Series.

The MAC Forums Mecha Concept Group Build - a project inspired by Rzero1 when he posted funky-looking but nonetheless great Junk Bots mechas all made with household items that most people would consider throwing in the trash, and the spearheaded by Kriz.  The GB prompted no less than 30 active WIPS in the Forums

MAC Forums Wallpaper Design Contest - A simple Photoshop/design skill competition to celebrate the Anniversary and is open to everyone in the MAC Community.  The prize is a kewl RG Strike, provided for by Gundam Guy/GG Infinite.

EU Gunpla Competition - With three categories; Straightbuild Painted, Custom/Modified, and Diorama.  This will be spearhead by none other than the Handpainting Assassin, Kamm.

And of course, the Anniversary itself.  Stay tuned!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

The MAC Forums Website

Since I've been a bit busy with real-life projects as well as covering for my co-instructor this weekend, I haven't been able to work fully on the Turn X.  But, we've recently set up The MAC Forums website in preparation for MAC's first Anniversary this coming July.  This will serve as MAC Forum's Portal and front page wherein we feature the latest and greatest works of MAC modelers.  The website is in blog format, powered by Wordpress.

As usual, Don's taking care of most of the content, with Kisapmata working on the website engine.  The website was done to expand MAC Forums' online visibility, giving access to non-forumers and browsers alike in a user-friendly format.  It's still under heavy construction, but has enough content and is already navigable and will give non-bloggers much needed exposure.

We'll be adding more feature to the webpage as we approach the big event.  Stay Tuned!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Scratch Built! New Features Page

SCRATCH-BUILT!  I don't really do features as DC23 and others do, mainly so because don't really have much time even for mine own updates, but this should change that, I hope.  Instead of just featuring the usual bedazzling finished fully-painted model kits (which, I will so as long as it fits the category), I'll be featuring mainly work-in-progress of scratch-built/scratch building projects as well as customs by fellow modelers, and some of my Scratch Building efforts as well. 

First off, the one I consider my master in the craft, none other than the uber-crafty (pardon the apparent redundancy), Julius Lim.

Master Ju's current project is a full Blue Frame 2nd Revise conversion of a PG Red Frame Astray. The nifty thing about this is that aside from converting the Red Frame into the Blue Frame, he's also building the BFA's Tactical Arms entirely from scratch, and his progress is nothing less than amazing.

Master Ju's Scratch Built Tactical Arms for the BFA

Equally amazing is Julius' 2008 BAKUC entry, his Scratch Built/Sasabi Conversion Sinanju

I have related to Julius more because we have similar drives in creativity, as such, his techniques mirror mine as each of us work on our individual projects.  I do pick up a few things from him, as I consider his skills far more advanced than mine.  The difference is, Julius is more meticulous than I am; he measures most everything, while I, most of the time, just try to wing it with estimates.

So, watch out for the regular features, as I scour the web for those who are not afraid of letting those intimidating pieces of plastic get in their way.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

MG Turn X Gundam ver MatX WIP Part III

More Head Madness

I'm beginning to realize the difficulty of avoiding putty with this endeavor.  The difficulty lies mostly on how to add volume  and extend the back of the head of the Turn A following the 1/144 Turn X as a reference.   Unlike simple plaplate detailing, this one, like the thigh and calf mods, require a little bit of forward thinking and is actually testing my patience.

But I must press on.  Using more plaplate trimmings, i used the base of the Turn A's head armor/helmet as a guide to cut on the plaplate so that it at least follows the shape of the base.  I then trimmed it later on and added more plaplates to the back of the head, using the head itself as a guide as well.

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I later trimmed those extensions, angled appropriately for the next step,

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which is adding the cover for the extended head.  I've managed to trim the Mohawk's connection, and will use that as the base for the Turn X's mohawk as well.

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Despite having to wait a few hours for the cement to cure for me to safely work on the modifications, I do feel I'm actually start to work relatively faster, considering my last update was only a couple of days ago, and my initial post regarding this project was only a couple of days before that.

It took me at least three weeks to do the leg and foot modifications, but I was still experimenting on what to do, so, compared to how I worked on the Chimera before, I'd say I'm working faster.

Taking photographs usually delays me from making updates, but I guess I'm getting the hang of it, taking photos right after a modification.

I've just finished watching "Moonlight Butterfly" where the Turn A and Turn X had their duel to the death.  The Turn X had a relatively short appearance in the film, Less than 10 minutes, and it was at the latter part approaching the end. The main reason for this, as I have read, is because the Turn X was too complex for animation, and since it was still done with conventional cel animation, the animators limited its appearance. It even appeared initially as just the head, with another MS strangely hitching a ride on it.  Also, the Turn X's cockpit is encased within the head.  I would have to forego that option to simplify the conversion.

That's it for now.

And These Came in the Mail

Rather, I had these sent to my school since I was on an off-site training.  Bosny Philippines has once again graciously sent me free...