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Never thought I’d actually have a use for this pic…

But yes, After a rather random encounter, I have been graciously been given Free hosting on the relatively new Kokido Kombine by it’s gracious webhost, 7.
So this is goodbye to wordpress.com.

The new blog should be pretty much functional now and I’ve kept the layout so far so it should look all familiar to the regular readers. No doubt, since I am now free from the restrictions of wordpress, I’ll be experimenting with the layout at a later date but for now, I will need to ask everyone who visits to go to the new URL and if you are linked to my blog and/or use the RSS feed, please update the address. It is now:

http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net

I will be posting on the new one from now on but the original will still be around and the posts and comments have been migrated already. I’ll be updating the RSS feeds which I know of shortly.
Not much else to say but “see you on the other side!”

GJK

Question: How do you keep up to date with figure releases and event news?

I have a feeling that the answer for most people is by reading pages such as Dannychoo or specific forum pages. But I’m sure there are a few who buy japanese magazines to get their fix. The most prominent of which are Hobby Japan and Dengeki hobby. They are the most readily available (heck, I can go down the Japan center and buy a copy) and cover a wide range of products, from PVC figures to gunpla to collectible toys. Their monthly release schedule also allows them to break the news about new items relatively quickly.

But there are other, more specific publications out there which cater to smaller but more dedicated groups. A lot of these are for the more military minded otaku out there but there are 2 magazines which I buy semi regularly. They are Replicant and Hobby Maniacs

These magazines are more geared towards garage kits and often have extensive coverage of large events such as wonderfestival. They also cover PVC figures as well, but unfortunately, only come out once every 3 months or so.

I tend to buy the copies published just after a big event to get a broader view of what was available at the event, although by the time the magazine is out, hope for many of the kits is pretty much non existant. but it can really inspire you when building your own.
They also often have some very useful tutorials on how to do certain figures.

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Quick post this time round. I’ve been asked questions regarding how to build figures both from this blog and other communities for quite some time so I thought I would try and help people out by putting up a quick “help” section on the blog. Eagle eyed readers may notice that there’s a new page next to the “about page” on the top called “Glossary and Techniques”

Basically, all I did was write up a quick explaination on the basic steps when I build a figure and provided explainations for some of the jargon I use, particularly during the WIP posts.
Most of the info was stuff I posted early on but I appreciate that not everyone will be able to look at the back posts to look for info or pointers on how to do some parts of their figures so this new page is just to consolidate such info and provide an easy access point for anyone who’s curious or looking for help.

I’ll add more stuff as and when I feel they should go in, but if you think there should be more bits of info on the page, let me know and I’ll see if I can accomodate it.

Hope some people find the page at least a little useful.

As many of you will already know, the public beta of windows 7 was “leaked” recently and I I decided to take the plunge and try it out. At the moment, I’m using it as my main OS but I also still have my XP partition so I can flip back at any time without any problems. After all, this IS a beta so it’s not a good idea to use it as your only OS! Having said that there’s a lot to like about windows 7. and a fair bit to hate as well, although it’s a much nicer OS than vista, even though they are very very similar.

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Looks like TokyoToyz has a little competition now.

I found out about this site randomly through the E2046 newsletter. Not sure how I got myself onto the mailing list (prob when I registered my competition entry or something) but it gives occasionally useful info, like this, so I keep it around.

Anyway, on this weeks newsletter, they announced that they are now partnered with Eye On Asia, a UK (Wales to be precise!! WOOHOO!!! Wales actually has something (I’m from south wales originally)) based site which deals with pretty much the same stuff as tokyotoyz, anime figures and merchandise.
Selection is a little thin at the moment but prices are reasonable (primarily due to the state of the markets and exchange rates tho) .

But I guess the biggest draw now, is that the store will be able to sell resin kits from E2046, not just the unpainted ones (my preferred stuff) but also the much vaunted GATHERING line of prepainted kits.

Of course, they will still have to deal with availability issue, same as E2046, since they don’t provide such figures regularly, and it is on the rather pricey side, but if you are UK based, they will arrive much faster than if you ordered direct from E2046. You also don’t have to worry about exchange rates or additional customs charges so the prices probably balance out.

If you’re based in the EU, check it out, you may find it a shop you may use in the future. For those outside the EU, while the shop does do international shipping, you’re probably better off sticking to ordering from established japanese sites like HLJ.com as the shipping costs from the UK will probably kill your wallet.

Seems I had a little time on my hands today so I decided to tidy up a few things on my blog. Most of it is behind the scenes stuff, like adding tags to older posts, but it did give me a change to add the blogs of some of the more frequent visitors to my links section.

I haven’t really been keeping up with that as well as I should and for that, I apologise. But it’s such a great thing finding interesting blogs from like minded individuals who love figures of all sorts, and even better when I find some who are into resin kits. It allows the small community to discuss things and trade advice and techniques.

Linking blogs has also led me to sites I would otherwise not discover otherwise. Many thanks to Johnson Huang of gkhaven for showing me the ARTZONE website.  You are right, the guy is amazing!!
It’s not all good though, the best sites make my own works feel inadequate… orz

Again, I apologise to those not on the list but if you want your site added, simply leave a request in the comments of a post and I will add you in. Likewise, if you want to add me to your list, feel free to do so. Just make sure you also leave a comment saying so. That way, I can check if you are already on my blogroll and add you if you are not (we don’t want to feel like we’re getting something for nothing afterall…)

And on a side note, I finally got round to finishing Gears of War 2 and Valkyria chronicles the other day. I much prefer Valkyria out of the 2 but they were both pretty good fun.  I’m cautiously looking forward to the Valkyria chronicles anime which was recently announced since the plot was very predictable and no frills but still very well written and would make a good story on it’s own.
But the best I think I can hope for is that they don’t play around with it too much. We all know what happens when you mess around with the source material too much *cough* Erementar Gerad, JINKI: Extend, Kurogane No linebarrel *Cough*

But here’s a cute chibi pic for the valkyria crew to finish. Not sure why they replaced Largo with Edy tho (plus, according to her traits, she’s a “Rosie-Hater” Who the heck can hate Rosie???)…

Just a quick update for today. I thought I would share my progress on my current project. not really much point in announcing what the kit is yet since I’ve been working on a custom base for it since I finished Ignis and it’s still not done. Once the base is complete, I can get to work on the main figure part.

The “how I did it” for the base will be in a single post once I’m done but after this experience, I may try to avoid doing custom stuff all together!

So this is how far I have gotten so far. The basic shape is done so all that’s really left are some props. Overall I think it turned out OK but cutting styrofoam freehand is not something I would recommend. The base has a lot of uneven parts and is not properly circular as a result. But I can’t think of a way to get around it…

Overall it’s not too bad for a first attempt.

I bet a lot of you are wondering what the hell it is! Well, I’m not telling, but it shouldn’t be much longer before it’s completed and I will display it along with the figure.

Bit of a rant I’m afraid.

As many of the regulars are aware, I have an iphone 3G and I both love and hate the device. Love it because of it’s ease of use, great design and good apps… when they work!!!

The iPhone is rather notorious when it comes to the stablility of it’s apps, esp 3rd party ones from the appstore but my biggest beef was with the safari browser, which managed to crash itself at random intervals and even when I’m not doing anything other than reading text on a fully loaded page, not even scrolling!!!

Sufficed to say, I lost count of how many times my device crashed and the 3G reception was kinda crap unless I was standing outside in the middle of the street. When a mac user starts preaching to me about the stabilty of macs and apple software, I just say one thing: iPhone.

Firmware ver 2.1 was supposed to fix a lot of problems so I updated. The good news is that it did something with the apps! They don”t crash anywhere near as often anymore but they can still crash an rather annoying moments.

Unfortunately, for me, the cost of more stable apps was a massive drop in phone reception… ALL phone reception!!!

My flat used to hover somewhere between a few bars of 3G reception to full edge reception. Now, I’m lucky to get any phone reception at all in some places!!! and the device seems to have gotten worse at generally detecting reception as it can take a very long time.

Way to go apple!! You fixed somethings by breaking others!!! I can’t be the only one who’s had issues with worse reception or other problems since firmware 2.1, can I?

(image is from gizmodo)

OK, so HLJ always has a mini sale on so they can get rid of old stock but it may actually be worth having a gander cos there are some pretty SWEET deals going on right now!!

Admiral Haruhi Demands that you go forth and destroy!!! (your wallets)

Personally, I be eyeing the PG strike Rouge & Genesic GaoGaiGar but there were a fair few MG kits I would have been willing to buy if I didn’t have them already…

For figures, I guess I found the following rather interesting but I still wouldn’t buy them (Snobby resin kit builder present!). Overall though, this is really a sale for mecha fans!

Al Asif & another blood (Warning Loli!!)
Shigure & Miu from historys strongest disciple Kenichi
Francesca Lucchini (you know? The Strike witch with the most popular pantsu, apparently)
Morrigan & Lillith
Erstin Ho

The last 2 are actually resin kits so I *might* spend on those… Note that not all items on sale are shown on the page. The GaoGaiGar isn’t at the very least so it may be worth browsing the whole site and seeing what you find!

Well? What are you waiting for??? go here and peruse!

Bit of a late shout out but today has been rather busy for myself.

In case you are unaware, Danny Choo has announced a little project he has been working on with Goodsmile company (you know, the guys who make the Shuraki series, Nendoroids and a whole bunch of other stuff) and it’s a company website showing off their products in ENGLISH (japanese site to follow).

The site is powered by Dannys Mirai platform (hence why he’s been working closely with them) but what is exciting for figure fans is that a company like Goodsmile is trying to raise it’s profile with fans and consumers outside of japan!

In the future, they may try and make it easier for people outside japan to get their products directly (not that it’s particularly hard at the moment tho). Or they could be like Volks who have an english site but state that they will not ship internationally when you try to place an order…

Hopefully, that will not be the case but many eyes from the west will be watching the evolution of this site with great interest.

You can go here to check out the original announcement over at dannychoo.com or go have a look at the site over at http://eng.goodsmile.info/top/eng/