Saturday, April 20, 2013

When in doubt...

When in doubt, I ask questions.  Everytime I go to unfamiliar place, without a predisposed knowledge of the ins and outs, I normally just ask people nearby; the vendors, the trike drivers, the guards, or, the cops, when there are in the area, for directions.  Most are helpful, some are not, and if it was the latter, I simply ask more people until I get it right.

I've written a few tutorials, some of which might be helpful to some people, or not, depending on the fact if I have written the tutorial well, with enough descriptive pictures supported by descriptive text.  Most of my WIP posts are tutorials within themselves, especially when I include step-by-step photos.  Also, when there's something I can't find online, I go ahead and try it myself.  Even if I find something online, I still go on ahead and try it myself, because, I might not get the same result after all.

I've also started selling a few items that I actually use.  White High Impact Polystyrene Sheets (WHIPS) are cheaper alternatives to Tamiya Plaplate and are of comparable quality.  They are also slightly softer than plaplates and are more pliable and bendable.  My White Sticky Stuff and Clear Sticky Stuff (yes, there's a joke there somewhere, as the names came from a joke in one of the groups) are cheaper alternatives to Tamiya Regular and Extra Thin cement.  I have never kept it a secret; the Sticky Stuff's base formula is Hudson Polyurethane Reducer (PUR).  PUR is available at local and mall hardware stores, usually in 1L and 4L cans, and although I keep telling people that, they prefer to get it at smaller amounts instead of the whole shhh-bang.  You can use pure PUR directly as cement, as I have repetitively mentioned, as well as numerous buyers can attest.

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Hence, why the Matx Hobby Stuff Page was born.  My main products are the Sticky Stuff and WHIPS.  As was expected, I get a lot of inquiries regarding the two items, and although current sales are a bit slow, I have recovered my investments a few times over. 

I sell WHIPS at PhP80 for 1mm and PhP40 0.5mm, quite a steal considering Tamiya's 1.0mm plaplates are now at PhP170 a sheet at the same size.  My Sticky Stuff are at PhP80 per 85mL bottle and comes with a free applicator, whereas Tamiya cement are now at PhP180 at 40mL.  So, simply put, that is my main selling point.

I have been using these items even before I decided to market them as MatX "signature products" hence I can guarantee that they work.  Hudson PUR is actually a thinner for Polyurethane Varnishes.  The term "reducer" is a fancy name for thinner.

It's not uncommon for me to get questions regarding my tutorials (even though the inquiry was something I specifically showed on the tutorial, with photos) or about the products I sell.  My Sticky Stuff often get hit.  So, it's quite amusing when I get inquiries like this:
Him: boss you there? one quick question

Xander Xinger: ?

Him: i find one store here that sell one of your suggested alternative for tamiya cement..polyurethane reducer, i can use this as it is?

Xander Xinger: yup

Him: im still cautious on using this it might melt not only the sheet but also the armor part

Xander Xinger: a little should be fine.  also, TEST it on runner slabs

Him: and the clerk said its not a glue its a thinner.  is that okay?

Xander Xinger: dude, I've been using it. who do you believe, the clerk, or me?

Him: you of course. haha. okay..

Xander Xinger: again, it won't really hurt if you try it

Him: ill begin testing

Please note, I am not offended nor annoyed, but rather amused by what transpired above.  It's one thing to ask questions about something that isn't obvious, but quite another to do so when it is too obvious, like on a tutorial.  I don't blame the guy for having doubts, in his position, I would probably have doubts, but I've been into Gunpla long enough to realize no amount of asking questions or getting answers for them will suffice for something I don't do or try myself.  That's how I got to develop most of my tutorials, and discover alternative materials, after all.  My consistent use (and getting consistent results) of the Sticky Stuff should have been enough proof.

Anyways, No WIP update for the Hellraiser yet, but here are a few teaser pics (all of which are either modified or scratch built with WHIPS and Sticky Stuff).

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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...