Thursday, November 22, 2012

Haribon Tidbits

I haven't been updating my WIP here, mainly because I didn't have time to do so since taking step-by-step pictures and writing a pseudo tutorial take basically the same amount of time (or even more) as building. I did however took a few progress shots every now and then. With a few things left to build/modify/enhance/paint, the Haribon is done.

These are random photos I took whenever I can.

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Preliminary design of the Haribon's Custom Headdress

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Modified/Scratchbuilt parts Test Fit

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Ankle Guards (beveled and unbeveled), Wings, Shoulder Armor (prototype)

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Painted with Bosny Spray Cans

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Photo credit: Voltaire Bernardo aka Sotanghon, hotsauce not included 
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Errors caused by paint "reacting" to the surface of the plastic

That line (left) is where the plastic from opposite gates meet. Although I didn't mind it at first since it'll covered by the headdress, but an OC attack can make any attempt of holding back futile, so I progressively dry-sanded it down with 1000/1200/ grit sandpaper, till the part looked like a heavily-weathered, but shiny, then re-primed it with flat black (initially primed it with grey), and repainted.

I also got the texture I usually like on the gold leg and upper arm armor, but I didn't like how it turned out in contrast to how the other parts did, so to make it consistent, I re-sanded, re-primed, and repainted. I believe this is how most other modelers tackle microscratches. When you sand down primed parts with higher grits, the primer acts like a pseudo filler, filling those very minute scratches one may not be able to spot immediately).

If not for the obvious speckles (which aren't really that obvious in some lighting, I'd say I came close to getting the sharpness of an airbrushed kit, just because I increased my spray distance from 6 inches to 12, and waited for the paint to build up with more thin coats at that distance than a few coats at 6 inches. I still get the texture from time to time, especially when the temperature or humidity suddenly changes while I'm spraying, but I guess, this new aspect of painting made me more cautious and patient.

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More OC Madness

This bugged me till I couldn't take it anymore (well, I wasn't rushing it anyways since the GBWC have come and gone). I later realized that the layered armshield (right) was too simple and "odd looking" because of how the layering was stacked. So, I gave in and redesigned the thing by reversing the layer stack and added details as well.

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The Haribon's Binary Blade 2.0 System™

This comprises of 4 interchangeable blades (plus the dagger), the two longest blades mount together as the Main Binary Sword (MBS) on the central mount, but can be held independently when mounted on the Binary Scabbards, to which the medium and short blades are mounted. Those in turn can be mounted to an adapter (not yet built), to make a lance. The hexagonish part is the backpack mount, where all the blades are mounted to when "not in use." The fifth blade is the Binary Dagger (not yet built), which is actually a mini-version of the MBS. The MBS and the Medium and Short Blades can be mounted together to form the Ultra Binary Lance (cue Voltron-type Music).

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With the Wings Mounted (Total Wingspan: 60 cm)
Photo credit: Voltaire Bernardo aka Sotanghon

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"The Chosen" Diorama Concept. The question is, who chose who?

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The MG Falcon Flyer: When I break a part, I imagine other possibilities...


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Of Storytellers and Stone Cannonballs

Even with a lower entry turnout of entries this year, the GBWC wasn't so uneventful to at least some people, both entrants and spectators.  I've previously posted about being good sports and "all that jazz," but that is not what this post is about.

Well, almost not.  As a creative consultant cum art/creative director cum experimental photographer cum writer/songwriter cum all-round repairman (as a joke, I say I cum a lot), I try as much as possible to be "original" with any form of creative effort I involve myself in.  That's getting to be a very difficult effort more and more these days as I get older and them young 'uns just keep getting younger and craftier, but, like a warrior hell bent on whatever, I guess I'll carry on doing creative stuff, or any semblance of it, till I can do it no longer.

Jude Devereaux once(?) said, "there are no new stories."  He is very much correct in that aspect that every story ever told have been told and retold a million times over, in a span of a million or so generations.  But, a friend amended that adage, quite wittingly, if I may add; "there are no new stories, only new storytellers."  I have since then adapted that as my personal philosophy.

You may ask, has this anything to do with Gundams or Gunpla, or is this another one of your "socially relevant posts?" I'm getting to that, and the answer is both.

With exception to my Facebook posts, I haven't been posting any blog updates with regards to the Haribon, because personally, I believe the project is actually done, and during the last couple of weeks I had building, I barely had enough time to wander out of my "cave" to even write anything.  For me, writing takes time.  This post alone took hours convincing myself to write, because I reasoned that the Facebook post related to it should be enough.  In that post, I talked about covering all my bases, but how is not posting a blog update be that?

A few hours earlier, I was at awe with a Facebook post at both MACFB and GundamPh regarding most everyone's fave kit off all time (I say most, because some don't see why it's everyone's favorite kit).  I'm talking about another Sinanju, this time "hybridized" with pair or Desthscythe wings.  More on that later.

So what, you may ask?  Well, ever since I started the Haribon a few months back, when all my plans of conquering the universe with the Bathala got derailed by a GBWC rule change, I had to rethink a lot of things mainly because I didn't have a backup plan, and to begin with, I didn't even have a plan A.  With barely a couple of months for me to build anything MatX style, I began that long, short journey into the unknown with nothing but an idea, and a "perfect" kit" for that idea.

Hence, my kit choice for the Haribon was no fluke.  I never even knew of the Marasai till I saw the MG version at GundamGuy's blog, so when I went a-hunting for kits at TRU Makati (before they closed for the transfer), I wasn't at all a bit surprised when I saw an MG Marasai hidden behind several kits deep, in that two arm-span display case.  The salesperson remembered me well, and he connected me to another modeler (whom I happened to know) who also had the kit reserved, but that's another story.

At this point, you're already wondering, "where the hell is this going?  What has one seemingly irrelevant thing got to do with another?"  At this point, if you're still reading this, I can only bet you don't even know you're knee-deep into a story, carefully woven to draw you in.  And this story is about Stone Cannonballs.

This is what you did, "Senator..."

Well, during the GBWC, people said things, other people heard what those people said, and told other people what they heard.  if you've read the bible, or listened to gossip, you'll find out fast that as the story changes lips, the story also changes.  But, like in our current events, like how a certain senator has fast become our country's shame, some people copy other people's ideas, but how can Person A copy Persons B's "idea" if neither has seen each other's work until the event?  Person A actually ASKED ME if he can copy from me with the Ronin (If you're listening, dear senator, that's what asking permission to "reference" someone else's is), and he credited me later on (and that is what we call accreditation, or citing one's source).  Person A asked permission and credited me, despite the fact that I don't even consider what he did as being "copied" if at all.  He used the techniques I used on the Ronin and I believe he made a few improvements on his own (that is called innovation) applying what I did with cans with an airbrush. 

But that's not what this story is about, though they're still rather connected.  There are times, when two people separated by distance and culture, think somewhat alike, and somewhat at the same "wavelength" as the expression goes, come up with similar ideas without even knowing it, till one sees what the other has done.

And here is where the story comes together.  A few hours ago, someone posted this at MACFB and GundamPh:

"Encounter" by Yamatatsu, 2011 GBWC Japan Champion

I got a mild panic that ran a few seconds, because the concept is rather similar with that of the Haribon's original dio.  Mine had the Haribon hovering over water, pointing at a human atop a seaside cliff.  I later decided to ditch the water + cliff scene as the deadline loomed mainly because the Vallejo Water effects took longer than I have expected to look like water, the case being I was biting more than I can chew and choking after i tried to swallow it.  Forget the other elements involved, I recognized the concept being too similar on two elements;  the human and the robot standing over.

Since I wasn't able to enter at all, I wasn't planning on revealing anything else but the Haribon, and how far It was in completion, and how far I have gone in terms of speeding up my builds, not to mention how closely I have come this time to achieving AB quality using cans (yes, my spray can detractors, I have discovered a not-so-new way to use cans).  I wasn't going to show the diorama, but a few people are privy as to how it looks like.  A few hours after seeing the great work of Yamatatsu above, I felt compelled to reveal the diorama, citing the incident above.

"The Chosen"

This is where the Stone Cannonballs come in. I got this idea from an episode of Mythbusters, during a discussion at Facebook about the above photo.   Apparently, the English could have used these Stone Cannonballs to prevent enemies from using their own ammo against them, either by reusing the ammo or melting them into new cannons. 

I'm quite familiar with how some people use ignorance (or being ignorant) an excuse to accuse someone of, say, COPYING someone else's work (like how that same senator is now accusing the long-dead Kennedy he copied from to take the heat away from him.  I mean, how DUMB, and in this case, a senator, can one person be?)  that even though I posted this earlier on, I will still be accused regardless.  That's just fine by me, except that since now I've covered all my bases so far, they can't accuse me anymore even if they try their best because this blog post, and my FB posts are now DATE STAMPED Stone Cannonballs.  They can't shoot them back at me anymore; these are designed to "shatter into pieces but still inflict the same damage like a steel cannonball."  If you can't figure out the allegory, it doesn't really matter, but it simply means I prevented "the enemy,"  whomever that is, to shoot at me with mine own ammo.  They won't even be able to "shoot blanks."

So there.  As I delve into Yamatatsu's diorama and mine, the differences in concept begin where the similarities end.  We were telling a different story with a rather similar scene or setting.  I'd like to believe that adage "great minds think alike," but how can I say it without sounding crass (as far as some people are concerned)?  He obviously likes the Sinanju as much as I do, since this is his second Sinanju entry as far as I know.  Of course, like I mentioned earlier, I can't really compare his work in terms of skill to mine.  I'm not ready for a water effect diorama, and a friend was right in warning me about it, that it's one of the most difficult to pull off.  Hence why it changed in the first place into something I could pull off quick.

There are no new stories.  But new storytellers can instead tell the same story in a different light...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Have Contest, Will Join!

To end my blogpost slump, here's to all you Gunplanatics out there.  We have two community contests, one international and one local, to fill whatever void that was left in you in the previous month or so.

First off, from Italy's Gundam Dipendente.

English Rules HERE.

And locally, we have Gundam Philippines' GPH Builders Challenge.  You can click on the links for rules and stuff.

While were on the subject of competitions, and if I haven't mentioned it enough (in my previous post for that matter), when joining competitions, be a good sport.  The first person you should always best is yourself on your previous build, and who knows, you might be able to best someone else.  I know it's not as simple to do self-assessment; we've all had that moment, or moments, that we felt we were the best, and though that might well be true, competitions are as unpredictable as the judges decisions are.

What are you waiting for?  Get your head out of the gutter and join up.  NOW!  Also, aside from these two competitions, I'm privy to another one, a big one I suppose, being cooked up as of this posting and will be announced very soonWatch out for it!

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...