Category: Hobby Musings

A visit to Warhammer – Tottenham Court Road

So I visited the UK earlier in June and I made sure to visit a Games Workshop store. Lucky for me there was one near the hotel I was staying at. Even better was the opening hours: they are open till 10pm every Monday-Saturday.

The store wasn’t big. But it was packed with people, products and display! They didn’t offer the full line of products but there were more than enough choice for both Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar. There was also a wall with the complete line of Citadel paints and tools. If you have more than 24 hours to spare, they also offered the service to order web-exclusive items and have the them shipped to the shop for collection. Nice.

There were tables set up for folks to do figure painting and play games. The store was also filled with very nicely painted figures.

I could ogle at these for hours but my son and I only had about 45 minutes to spare there.

More stash stuffers although only the Dreadnaught was mine. I resisted many of the bigger items (like the Imperial Knights which went for 100 GBP) since we had limited luggage space as usual.

Definitely an eye opening experience!

A visit to Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku

A scale modeler’s trip to Tokyo is never complete without visiting at least one of the Yodobashi Camera stores. On my trip in December, I stayed in Shinjuku and happily, Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku was only a 5 minutes walk away. Very dangerous indeed for this modeler.

It turns out that this particular Yodobashi Camera is the first ever opened and it’s huge: it takes up space in 12 separate buildings (!!) and multiple floors in each building. Quite amazing. I went to the hobby and games building and I was greeted with 5 complete floors of products to ogle at. The hobby section alone took up 2 floors.

So I definitely felt like I was a kid in a candy shop. Alas, the missus was on this trip with me and the fact is that my stash is unrealistically big (this is the subject for another post) so I just bought what I felt won’t be easily bought back in Jakarta including a new 0.2mm airbrush for when my cheap China-made 0.2mm eventually breaks down.

I also managed to visit BIC Camera in Shinjuku and Yurakucho but the selections are a lot smaller. Given a choice and a time limitation, Yodobashi Camera is the way to go although I managed to score a Fists of War kit in BIC Camera that Yodobashi didn’t carry.

In any case, any Yodobashi Camera in Japan is a must visit if only to marvel at the amount of products (be it model kits or other stuff) on display. Did I mention the building for watches in the Shinjuku branch takes up 3 floors?

A quick look at a Daban 1/144 Jegan ECOAS and Base Jabber Type 89

I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at some bootleg kits from Daban. They go for a fraction of the price of the originals so are they worth the savings? None withstanding the ethics of getting bootlegs, it’s a mixed bag.

They look OK from a distance but up close, flaws do appear particularly the Jegan ECOAS.

  • Clear parts aren’t really clear like the originals. They aren’t as shiny either.
  • Parts generally have a a light oily feel
  • Polycaps are harder and not as maleable which makes it difficult to pose the kit
  • Molding/detail of the parts are not as sharp in general
  • Instructions come in Chinese although there are still Japanese here and there. They are also folded without a proper crease
  • Sprues come in 1 big bag and most of the parts are scratched
  • The plastic feels more brittle
  • Some inconsistent fitting issues. I ended up trimming off many of the male connectors to ease fitting

The fitting issues are more prominent on the Jegan with major gaps even after trimming the connectors. The neck also flops around.

The Base Jabber on the other hand, fits very well and is pretty much trouble-free.

Obviously, 2 kits aren’t big enough of a sample size to draw any concrete conclusions. But the Jegan will definitely require some elbow grease to fix the issues so I don’t think it’s worth the savings. On the other hand the Base Jabber is quite problem-free. I’m not planning to buy another Jegan kit just to see if the fit issues are different but it’s probably safe to say that problems depend on the kits you buy. Bootlegs are definitely an affordable option to use as parts for a diorama/vignette and perhaps for kitbashing though. So, YMMV.

Painting a 1/72 modern pilot

I thought I should get as much figure painting practice as I can so I decided to paint up this 1/72 pilot figure from Hasegawa to use as size comparison for my future builds.

Colors I used:

  • Lifecolor UA003 Olive Drab
  • Mig AMMO 203 Light Compass Ghost Gray
  • Vallejo Game Color 72036 Bronze Fleshtone
  • Vallejo Game Color 72043 Beasty Brown
  • Vallejo Model Air 61056 Black Grey
  • Vallejo Model Color 60815 Basic Skintone
  • Vallejo Model Color 60879 Green Brown
  • Vallejo Model Color 60885 Pastel Green
  • Vallejo Model Wash Brown
  • Vallejo Model Wash Dark Grey

I then made a clear base made out of a blister pack. The figure is glued with white glue to the base which will dry transparent.

I think I’ll try to get a 1/72 scale WW2 figure painted too. Oh and also their 1/48 counterparts. Looks like much more practise ahead.

Hobby Kulture : All good things…

“Well it happened. As per my previous post, Hobby Kulture closed, the last day being 30 July 2016.

While the owners didn’t really talk to me about it, I’m pretty sure the closure is due to the usual reasons: declining revenues, rising costs, and more people leaving the hobby than joining (which leads to point 1). Hobby Kulture also particularly suffered from uneven operating hours due to being run part-time.

Anyway, from what I’ve heard, Kulture might be back in a different form. Fully online only perhaps? Who knows at this point. But I’m going to miss the times I got to hang out there to just talk plastic with like-minded folks. And I wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

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