Friday Things: 12/12 - The most charming Grinch storyteller, gunpla shopping guides, and a Disney Broadway medley

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[It's getting colder and colder... we've even started getting small amounts of snow! I mean, it melts right away - it isn't cold enough for it to stick or anything - but still. SNOW!]

On Books and Comics:

A look at Amazon's best-selling books of the year. I'm pleased to see I've read exactly zero of these - it might provide some future reads if I'm stumped sometime in the future.

I have mixed feelings about the rumors re: Marvel and Sony and Spider-Man, but this passage in particular appeals to me greatly: "The idea is that the Spider-Man romance movie has been played out over five installments, so any new Spider-Man films would focus on the difficulties of being a teenager and a superhero with a romance side-story, not the film's focus. Marvel also thinks that the origin story is well-trodden territory, so any Spider-Man movies under this deal would begin with Peter Parker already leading a dual life." (via Latino-Review)

This little 5-year old girl signs a super duper charming rendition of How the Grinch Stole Christmas - love it~

On Disney:

The more I see and hear about Into the Woods, the more excited for its release I become. Now you can listen to Anna Kendrick sing "On the Steps of the Palace."

I can't get enough of VoicePlay's a cappella Disney Broadway medley.

Stuff I did:

I vlogged! Yippee!


I already shared my pal Lauren Orsini's holiday shopping guide for your anime fan/otaku pals in a previous link dump, but she recently shared another for folks who are into gunpla. It's great.

"Color Chasers" are these cool little gadgets that follow black lines and make sounds based on colors painted on those lines. They look pretty neat~

"25 Things No One Tells You About Leaving Miami" is on point. Bahaha.

"What Would Yellow Ranger Do?" Great comic about the struggles of looking different and getting that question from people with expectations, not curiosity.

[Have a great weekend!]


Friday Things: 09/12 - the return!

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[I've returned! It took a little adjusting for me to get back into the swing of things after my break, but things should be back to normal, now. Here's this week's digest of things that caught my attention recently.]

On Books and Comics: 

Ginger Alden, who was Elvis Presley's fiancée at the time of his death, is coming out with a book about their relationship during the last year of his life. Consider my interest piqued, though I'll probably wait a while to pick up a copy.

There's a great interview over at Comics Alliance with the creators of Lumberjanes. They have some wonderful responses to the questions that were tossed at them, about their outlook of the comics industry and where it's going, and how they feel about media for children.

On Art:

I'm usually delighted by pretty art done on post-its, and these paper cut-out post-its by Akira Nagaya are no exception.

How-to draw Minnie Mouse - cute and easy-to-follow video tutorial with a Disney Animation Academy artist.

Disney Princess portraits rendered into fine art paintings. Stunning.

I didn't know it was possible to create such beautiful artwork with... a typewriter!



On Tees:

If you're a fan of Studio Ghibli and like cute tees, you might want to check out Hot Topic.

Cool tee that Stephen Amell (from Arrow) is promoting for charity. Buy one if ya like!  




My pal Lauren Orsini has launched a blog with her husband called Gunpla 101. It's already rad, and it's only going to get better as they populate it with content.

(via BoingBoing) This guy covered 99 Red Balloons using red balloons to make all the sounds. Preeeetty neat.

[See ya next time!]



Adventures in Gunpla: SD Knight Gundam

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Now that I'm in Japan, I'm seeing gunpla at pretty much any store that also sells toys. Like, you go to a store that has some kids toys, and there'll be at least a corner of gunpla somewhere tucked away. Big store with lots of collectibles and more high-end toys? A boatload of gunpla!

So now I find myself trying (and failing) to avoid the "bug." I've bought two SD kits so far, and the first one was Knight Gundam. I picked this one up because I like the design, including the actual eyes and spiffy cape. This one also transforms, and I guess I'm not technically 100% finished since I didn't build the transforming parts, but the Gundam itself is built.

Knight Gundam was pretty easy to put together - possibly the easiest of the three I've made so far. I'm thinking that it's partially because I'm now more familiar with the pieces and I can look at the runners and start to identify where all the bits will eventually end up. That and, it's just an easy kit. But whatever - I'll take my small victories!

Anyway, I'm happy with the result, and my little Knight looks rad with his gear on. My next kit is SD Gundam AGE-FX, which is another one that I picked out specifically because I like the suit's design. I haven't actually watched AGE, so I'm not sure about the pilot (I've heard he's kind of lame?), but the green parts look neato and I am always down for an extra splash of color in my model kits.

Adventures in Gunpla: SD 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G

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I figured it was about time I built another Gundam model, so I picked out 00 Gundam Seven Sword as my next piece.

Since I had already built the SD Stargazer Gundam, thanks to an enabling friend, it took me much less time and effort to put little Seven Sword together. I put the main body together in one sitting, and made the weapons later on during a second sitting. I've found that this is perfect craft material for when I'm recording a podcast or something, because it keeps my hands busy doing something relatively quiet. Otherwise, I spend the podcast staring at my computer screen and trying to avoid typing things with my loud keyboard.

I tried to take a few more in-progress shots this time around, but since I was excited to keep going with the building, I rushed and botched that. Blurry shots -- yay! I did grab this image of the separate body pieces lying next to each other before I made the legs and put this little guy together.

Once he was all finished up, I made his weapons but ran into a pretty major problem - I couldn't store them all on his own body because my kit varies a bit from the instructions I got. He came with two GN Catars, two GN Sword II Shots, two Beam Sabers, a huge GN Buster Sword, and a GN sword II Blaster. He also came with parts for a shield, but I couldn't really make out how it was I should put it together, so I skipped it and instead put all the weapons together (except the Beam Sabers) to make one huge mega weapon. It's pretty rad, though the Gundam can hardly handle the weight (see image below).

If my kit had come with the correct leg parts, I would have been able to store the Catars there, then the Sword II Shots at his hip, the Buster Sword on one arm and the GN Sword II Blaster on the other. The shield would go on his back and he could be hanging on to his Beam Sabers. This wasn't the case, but I'm not really complaining since I still enjoy the current look.

I'll go back and take some better shots later on, and probably even pose him together with Stargazer Gundam! Now that I've got two of these little guys put together, I'm seriously considering buying little bases or stages for them so I can have 'em in action poses rather than just standing on my shelf.

I'll also be putting up another update here once I get through both of the kits with my microns for the panel lines. I keep forgetting to do it, but when I go back to draw them on to Stargazer Gundam I'll run them over 00 Gundam Seven Sword, too.

What should my next kit be? I actually don't have another one on standby yet. I've got a few listed on my Amazon wishlist (it's all jumbled in there with all the other stuff I've got on the list, so sorry if you've got a lot to sift through to get to the gunpla), though I haven't decided which I should pick up. I'm also open to doing non-SD kits like an MG Dynames or something.

Buy this kit:

Adventures in Gunpla: SD Stargazer Gundam

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As it tends to be with all things geek, it only takes an enabler to get you into something new. I love puzzles, and more recently I've gotten into robots, but I've never put the two together. A friend handed me an extra SD kit he had lying around (an SD Stargazer Gundam, as mentioned in the title) and showed me which tools I'd have to use to clip the pieces off the runners and all that, and sent me off on my way.

Before I knew it, I had this in front of me. He's absolutely adorable! And of course, there's something incredibly satisfying of having a model sitting on my shelf that I put together all on my own, with my own two hands.

Now, I feel like I'm at the edge of a deep, gaping hole. The gunpla-heads are all looking up saying, "Come in, the water's fine!" Meanwhile, I stare down into the abyss and wonder: "Do I want to get myself into this?"

The answer is yes. I'll be adding "Adventures in Gunpla" to my column repertoire, though it won't be too often (I hope) given it takes time to pick out a new kit, purchase it, wait for it to get home and then build it. For now, I'm going to stick with the ones that come together without glue and ones I don't really have to add paint or anything to. Honestly though, I might get into painting them sooner than later considering that I can already tell decals are going to be the bane of my existence.

Building SD Stargazer was easy peasy. I did make one terrible mistake and accidentally nipped off a peg, but thankfully it was on the back and there were several pegs, not just one, which would be used to attach the bit with the thrusters. I got away with that one, but I'll have to be more careful in the future.

I took a few pictures, but as it is the piece is incomplete. I noticed that there are more details in the images than what I'm seeing in front of me, and I've got some Microns I'll be using for that. I learned today that they're called "panel lines." I'll be updating again once I'm totally finished with this kit, so look forward to it! It's going to be awesome.

[Buy Gundam SD-297 Stargazer Gundam - BB Gundam Seed C.E. 73 Model Kit on Amazon]