Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I, the Gundam idiot

Aaaaah... Gundam 00.

The final episode for the first season has been aired in Japan over the weekend, thus making hundreds of thousands (probably, millions) of viewers left with more questions than answers.

But I'm not here to talk about the latest series per se. I wanna talk about how this series got me started in Gundams... or Gunpla. No thanks to the first episode, which (if not for the sake of utter curiosity and not putting precious bandwidth to waste) I almost did not watch in its entirety, the world of Gundam was introduced to me.

I used to think that a Gundam kit or toy was just that -- a toy. Blame it on the toy shops I used to frequent wherein they would display an already-built Gundam without much of a splatter of paint over plastic, much less weathering and panel lining. Of course, the occassional custom kits by serious(?) modellers would be displayed once in a while, with a price tag that would be enough to make one utter an expletive.

Seeing as how the first episode tickled my fancy quite a bit, I watch the second episode the following week. The third episode on the next. The fourth one... well, you get the picture.

The next thing I know, I was searching for local forums that catered to fans like me. Yes, during those days, I became a fan of the Gundam 00 series. I found a couple of Filipino forums that had discussions on the said show, and as expected, I saw the Gundam kits some members have built and have arduously modelled. I literally said to myself -- "Holy sh*t! These are not toys anymore! These are effin' works of art!". Man, I want to be able to make one of those! Before I knew it, I was consuming the entire day searching left and right (up and down), browsing, reading, gawking about anything and everything Gundam -- sites, online stores and toys! It seemed like I wanted to cram as much information as I can into my brain regarding these wicked pieces of built plastic! BTW, did I mention that I was working? I read and backread the forum boards again and again, studied the tutorials intently, and window-shopped online for kits, just to satisfy the craving. There were times when I had Firefox, Opera, Safari and IE browsing different sites, each with dozens of tabs.

Yes, I was bitten by the G-bug. Hard. The following days I mustered up enough wits to buy my first Gundam kit -- the NG (that's "no grade" for us laymen) 1/100 GN-001 Gundam Exia, the main mobile suit of the current series. This is what I've been able to accomplish on the said kit:

Sanded, test-fitted, primed-white, and posed.

I still haven't finished on my Exia, and I kinda like its almost-all-white color-way, but I have bought 2 MG ("master-grade") kits since then... but that's another story. :)

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