Twice, so far, that I went or passed by a certain place because I was looking for something specific or the location was along the way and found something else that is nevertheless somewhat an "ongoing" necessity (in these cases, for Project SIN). I'm already over budget as it is, with just the cost of Stein alone, so I wasn't too keen on a splurge.
There were two sets of things I was actively looking for: cranes, haulers or anything similar, and chains small enough to pass as 1/100 scale. The logical place to look for the cranes/haulers were in TK or TRU, but each cost about PhP150++. I could also go and look at Divisoria (which I still intend to do later on, but I'm so swamped, I didn't even get a chance to go there the last time I was in the Binondo area). I looked for the chains at silver stalls, and even found a few "faux gold" ones at Japan Home/Daiso, but I just wasn't ready to give up looking since I do still have enough time.
I have made rounds a few times at the newly renovated Glorietta, seeing "old" shops mixed with the new. I was there to pass time because I was waiting for my new camera to get cleaned at a service center "nearby" (a story for another time, but I believe mentioning the camera is significant to the continuity of this story). I window shopped in the usual places, and there I found the first of what I was looking for:
Mobile cranes. I found a couple of them, "hiding" in plain sight, but out of clear view, in one of the shelves at Japan Home. It was easy to miss if one wasn't looking for it, and in that clutter, I might have.
A week after, I had an "impromptu" meet with a model, who then decided to have an impromptu photo shoot. The route to the designated meeting place will take me to a place I rarely got to nowadays because it's either out of the way, or there was just no reason for me to go there. But, little did I know, my curiosity as to why a flock of girls/women were all battling for position in front of a shop at Farmers Plaza, Cubao, gave me that tingling sensation of serendipity after I saw what they were buzzing about.
Chains. LOTS of them. They are not as fine as what I need, but at 1mm diameter, and P50 each, they would do just fine for my SIN. I found it quite funny how one girl's badly designed fashion jewelry can become one modeler's source of material. These chains will be part of SIN's Hangar Bay scenario. At this point, I realized that the camera is the commonality in these two serendipitous events.
There is no Rust In Space
I've seen quite a few well-made Hangar Bay dioramas set in space, and when I say well-made, I believe the modeler has taken care in making it look as realistic as possible, except for, maybe one tiny detail: There is no Rust in Space, especially in an active Hangar Base. Most Gundams and mobile suits also won't rust, even on Earth, so, it's one particular detail I don't ever intend on putting on any of my current and future projects, unless of course the theme actually calls for it.
I'll leave it to your imagination (or googling skills) as to why.
Anyways, the SIN's diorama/base is almost done, with most of the main components built or modified. Previously, I've shown a teaser of the main diorama base and I plan to reveal it by then end of September or early October along with everything else. For the meantime, I've done something totally different with the detail on top of the main base, instead of the usual walled hangar (which I see quite a lot nowadays, especially with ready-made chain bases available). Kotobukiya has quite an assortment, but the one I needed/wanted was unavailable locally (it's out of stock online as well), and I wasn't about to order online mainly because of time constraints. Bandai's mechanical system bases are 1/144 scale, which I could probably modify, but again, I was already over-budget. Also, I took note of the fact that if I do use chain bases, it might look just like any other hangar-based themes whether I intended it or not (and I've seen recent and older entries not to be doubtful), so I dropped the idea together.
A year or so ago, I bought a Keiko Action Base at GTO on a whim (even at that time, I wasn't too keen on hangar scenes and chain bases, especially after my first attempt at it was a bust). But, this one is rather rare, and I've only seen a few of them around being used anywhere. As I have already started modifying it, I had no before shot to speak of, so I'll simply borrow one from Kakashi and a generic shot from the manual.
Regardless, I wasn't about to use it as is, so I modified it later on to fit the "overhead repair bay" concept I had in mind. First, using 1.0mm WHIPS, I scratch-built whole sections as vertical support systems, using excess parts from the main kit as added detail, and shaping them as similar as possible. Earlier, I thought of getting another such kit so I wouldn't have to build anything else any more, but, with the weather and my schedule as bad as a woman having hot flashes, I decided against it and made most of the time I'm stuck at home working on other projects.
I separated the parts into useable sections, modified them to increase the structural integrity (the plastic is made of glass-like brittle material, similar to what most Kotobukiya kits are made of), and the kit itself is a complicated mish-mash of interlocking parts, making it rather easy for me to repurpose them.
As it is, without it mounted on the main base, it kinda reminds me of imperial walkers.