I’ve always liked the CR-Z’s styling as a sporty and stylish little hatchback – even if its performance credentials couldn’t quite cash the check its looks wrote. I didn’t plan to build it so soon, but I happened to stumble across the Mugen model in person at a hobby shop around L.A., so I figured why not – beats having to wait a month for it to come from Japan.
Yes, I’ve already built an R34 Skyline before (and in Bayside Blue to boot) but this time it’s more than a simple rebuild – I don’t like building “variations” of my cars, so the only times I’ll build a new kit of the same car is to replace it with a better version (the old one will be booted/sold/hacked for parts), or if something unfortunate has happened to that older kit. This is a case of the latter – my poor original Tamiya Z-Tune has met with at terrible fate, so this was an opportunity to build a better model of the car – this time with a full twin turbo mill.
I was equal parts excited and intimidated by the HGUC F91 when I picked it up for my HG All Gundam Project. It’s a fairly modern HG, so I can trust it to be relatively builder-friendly with all the articulation and accessory goodies that modern HGs offer, but at the same time it’s also known that the F91 is supposed to be much smaller than conventional mobile suits. This translates to a smaller model overall, where standard 1/144-sized suits were already palm-sized. I knew this meant I was probably heading into a very meticulous and detail-oriented build, but knowing that it would take some legwork to make this kit look nice out of the box is part of the reason I enjoy building these suits.
I’m kind of surprised at myself for not having built a Z33 or Z34 up until now – specifically the Z33, as it very much feels like an import poster car for the 21st century. It’s not an uncommon sight around here, and even when people not very interested in cars see them they immediately know it’s an iconic sports car, in a different way than knowing a Ferrari or Lamborghini is a sports car when you spot one.
I had taken a look at a die-cast 350z from Jada’s lineup, but none of their cars are ever in true 1/24 scale, so I got rid of it; this plastic kit may not have the Veilside kit that the Jada car did, but I’d rather have proper scaling than cool body kits.
I mentioned during Anime Expo this past year that I was eyeing up the newly released Tristan Gundam when I saw it on display at the show. Upon its initial release, it was immediately panned – every review pointed out how it was a 2004 model in a 2017 box – which I won’t refute here, it’s true. I knew this going in, but still went for it since I actually really like the Tristan’s classic design.