Thursday, June 3, 2010

Realizing the Dream from 11 Years Ago


11 years ago, when I was just two years into Gunpla-ing, the kits shown above were the most wanted ones on my list. I hadn't watched "Gundam Wing", or any Gundam anime back then, it was their design that attracted me the most: the transformation gimmick of Wing Gundam Zero, the huge wing unit of Gundam Deathscythe Hell Custom, the missile hatches of Gundam Heavyarms Custom, the cloak and huge blades of Gundam Sandrock Custom and the huge cannon of Serpent Custom.

Back then, it was mighty hard to find a store with as many Gunpla offers as one can get nowadays in my place. The hobby just wasn't as big as it is right now I believe. I saw the boxes being lined up in a small hobby store - the only store you can truly label as "hobby store" in Kuching back then called "Alan Workshop", located in a not-so well known shopping center not too far away from my secondary school. Those who are into the hobby since my days would definitely know this nice little store. It was the only store back then that sells Spawn and military action figures.

Anyway, the shop didn't open on weekdays, or so it seemed. Every time I went there after school in the afternoon, it was closed. I still remember the days when I stood outside the shop looking at those Gunplas and action figures on display. 1/100 Wing Zero Custom Endless Waltz Special Coated version was there, a Mandarin Spawn action figure was there too.

I had the opportunity to talk to the owner on one or two rare occasions back then, who taught me on how to paint my models. The first paint brush I have was bought there, along with a few bottles of Tamiya paints basic colors. The paints had completely dried up since a few years back, but the brush is still as durable as ever - painted all my Exia Gundam's GN Swords with it some time ago.

That MG Zaku II I'm showing right now was bought from the workshop as well.

Anyway, I couldn't afford those "Gundam Wing" models back then, so it was always on the shelves for me to look on, all the way till the shop was closed. I don't know what happened, maybe the owner moved to another place, or maybe he found a better job. For many years, I couldn't find another shop with all these kits available.

Saw these old "Gundam Wing" Gunplas from a local website recently and bought them without any second thought really. These were my favorite kits back then, they still are now. Some may find this rather strange, because the release of MG Wing Gundam and the very recent announcement of MG Gundam Deathscythe EW would mean that all those Endless Waltz kits would eventually be released, sooner or later. With definitely better articulation, better proportion, more gimmicks and more color accurate for the MG version, why settle for the old 1/100 kits that seem all but obsolete now?

As the title suggests, getting those kits was never about their gimmicks or the other qualities mentioned above, but more about the feeling I have about them in the past. Of course a MG Gundam Deathscythe would be better than the 1/100 scale version in all areas, but who said that there must be a comparison to be made? I never expect it to be awesome in terms of those qualities so how can I be disappointed? There's absolutely no way that a MG Gundam Deathscythe Hell Custom can replace the feeling I have about the old 1/100 version.

Like football really, I support Liverpool not for their performances, but because they are the first football team I watched and liked, back in 1996. Part of the support is for the feeling I have about them as a kid. So no matter who's taking charge of the club as the owner or the manager, or whether they are winning or losing, the support is always there. "Worst result in 11 years" for Liverpool last season they say, so what? I have watched them for 14 years now, no Premiership title, no problem at all.

1/60 Wing Gundam Zero

Almost all the illustration of the different MSs shown in the manual are from the 1/144 scale kits' box art.

Lighting unit with AA batteries is almost unbelievable, but is mighty convenient since AA batteries are so much easier to find than the smaller ones for some other kits.
And it's red, not green.

The box art that has been on my mind since 11 years ago. ^^

Painted figures shown on the side of the box.

Collect all of them and you'll get all the important characters from "Endless Waltz". ^^

Large parts for Gundam Deathscythe Hell Custom's wings

Real fabric for Gundam Sandrock Custom's cloak.

Clear parts for
Gundam Sandrock Custom's Heat Blades

I already have 1/100 Gundam Nataku in my collection. The only one left to complete my Endless Waltz series is Gundam Wing Zero Custom, which I'm not at all interested to get really. ^^


Sam Lysne said...

Beautiful, man. Absolutely fantastic.
I've got Deathscythe Hell Custom and Heavyarms Custom, they're brilliant. I especially love the option face part for Heavyarms, the clown half face mask was a really nice touch.

Christoph said...

"Back then, it was mighty hard to find a store with as many Gunpla offers as one can get nowadays in my place."

Interesting... the exact opposite has happened here in the United States.

Starting in 2000 (when it was on TV here), models from Gundam Wing could be easily found at large stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys R Us. That only lasted a few years. Unless you're lucky enough to have a hobby store that sells them in your area, you will have to order them online because the American division of Bandai does not repackage and sell Gunpla anymore.

The nearest hobby store I know of is 18 miles away and they only have a pathetic selection of Gunpla - it's not even worth checking out. The nearest one with a decent selection is 36 miles away! I guess what I'm trying to say is you are very lucky to have multiple hobby stores near you that sell Gunpla.

RuiWicky said...

I still have these 1/100 Kits and the full set BUT all unbuild and still being stacked in my storeroom; the EW series + TV series - I bought them about 10 years back if I recall correctly. Unfortunately, there was never a 1/100 Heavy Arms kit (TV series) from Bandai. Somehow, among these kits, I'm quite impressed with the Serpent Custom, it could be due to it's size and looked heavily armed ;)

L said...

I understand the feeling you had NK, when I was a kid 11 years ago I always dreamed of getting 1/100 Deathscythe Hell. But then I moved to Canada before I even had a chance of getting one haha.

Good thing that modeling is popular here so I got one in 2007. It continues to sit on top of my display case even though the joints are all loose now haha.