The Universe is a whole... the things in it separated only by a lack of understanding
i think i found myself a gem in the bookshelves. while looking for good buys over at Booksale on my vacation i stumbled upon this beauty of a manga by Makoto Yukimura, Planetes Volume 1. it's a pretty fun read about the challenges of man as he goes beyond the confines of his home planet and beyond the stars, feeding his insatiable appetite for resources and progress. it's basically something of a Hard Science-Drama fiction~ presented in the lives of an ordinary space debris clean-up crew, Hachirota (Hachimaki by his friends) Hoshino, Fee, Yuri (his last name escapes me). the nationalities of each are Japanese, American and Russian, respectively. and since this is a story based on space travel and astronauts, it's a rather clever symbolism for three of the pioneering agents of space exploration.
the stories all begin as spotlights for each character, growing into a bigger, cautionary tale about life in space. in fact it begins on a rather grim note as we see in the first chapter how Yuri lost his Japanese wife to a Debris storm that decimated their commercial spaceliner, leaving him as the lone survivor, to Fee saving the world~accidentally from space terrorists wanting to keep outer space clean and uncolonized... by making a shitload of a debris belt around the planet earth that will keep people from leaving and kill everyone that already left, to Hachimaki dealing with Deep-Space Disorder (a sickness that induces extreme anxiety by being exposed to the sensory deprivation of deep space).
i think my favorite so far is chapter 2 where Hachi meets a Lunarian ( a human born on the moon colony) named Nono, she's taller than Hachi, and appears to be a young, healthy woman, when in reality, she's only 12 years old. the low-gravity surroundings have accelerated her growth, but in comparison to earth-born humans she is very weak. she longs to experience swimming in earth's oceans but is content with her moon home. as Hachi mentioned in the story;
you accept the world you live in, no matter how desolate it is.
i want to share with you now my three favorite pages of the story that i found reproduced on the world wide intarwebs (Copyright 2001 Makoto Yukimura, 2007 Mangahut.com)
Beauty is, as they say... in the eye of the beholder.
at the heart of this story the author presents a challenge to the reader about what we call our homes, in contrast to those like Hachi who question their decisions of leaving the earth to explore and colonize outer space, Nono has known nothing but the world of outer space, she views the earth the way we would view the moon from here; distant, mysterious, beautiful.
i wouldn't label Planetes a sort of sci-fi environmentalist yarn, but more of a reflection of what we are as a race of "intelligent" beings, this is our possible future, we can make it work, or we can make it better.
we are all dreamers, and one day we'll wake up to find we're living our dreams.
~ Miko Tizon, 2009
if you're interested in reading this manga, you can find it online here
finally found time to pre-paint this thing. originally this piece was intended to be used for by SD gundams i got a bit bored with it and shelved it. when i bought the VOTOMS Micro-World kits from Wilvin's stall at the 4th Annual Manila Toys and Gifts show, and seeing as i was on a sort of mecha-binge these past days i figured why the hell not?
so here's the kit:
it comes with three bots, 1 pilot, 2 human figures and 1 carrier as seen on the pic on the left.
these things are TINY. man, no wonder these types of mechs only came in 1/48 scale kits.
here's shots of the Dio:
the kit came with three Scopedogs, i'm using two built ones in varying poses
the white spot below will be an explosion with accompanying exploding Scopedog.
still undecided if i'll add the carrier at the bottom part of the Dio.
more to come once i return from Christmas vacation.
I'm rather satisfied about the look of most of these, there are a few things that I'm a bit unsure of particularly on the Frost Saber, which somehow feels like the colors don't blend well with the design. I am partial to a royal blue coloration but that would obscure some of the details on it. meh. maybe it'll grow on me eventually. the regular sabers though I plan to do in a uniform, military color. most likely olive green. or do a squad of random mechs and do them in team colors. the Enforcer came out very cool, and I think that orange patch breaks up the dominant desert yellow. it's sort of a signifier of rank. sorta.
the BJPM line though long gone is my new favorite toyline! they're do-it-yourself kits that share the basic premise of lego and stikfas with a little gundam thrown into the mix: build your own models. this includes coming up with your own custom formulas! they make use of a ball and socket system made of 5mm joints and that also makes them ideal for kit conversions of other toylines or say.... articulating your transforming robots ;) i was able to buy a shitload for cheap, most of them gun shell dolls and a dragoon kit in limited gray color.
here's some micro-mechs i came up with:
the Saber Combat Shells:
the Sigurd Heavy Shell:
the Draconis Custom Shell:
the Dragoon Archer:
the Dragoon Skirmisher:
Dragoon "Arachnis" Commander Custom Shell:
the Dragoon Squad Unit:
i like how the system gives me the freedom to build in a way that i desire. the inspirations behind them is primarily my love for the Front Mission mech games, and i tried to emulate the look with these guys. still on the fence whether i should paint them though. but i'll try to :)