Day 3 – finally attended an actual panel/screening and cracked out the suit for the last time. We usually don’t armor up for three days straight, but this year it was good enough to make an exception for. Only a day left now until the ‘con officially wraps up, though ironically tickets for AX 2017 are already on sale.
Today’s the Barbatos’ last stand – we’ll more than likely never be suiting up again since we want to relax and take Day 4 cosplay-free tomorrow. We spent a month grinding away putting the suit together only to wear it for three days total. Worth it.
Good to see that even on the third day wearing the armor around, it’s still being very well received. It’s obviously not as pristine as it was on the first day, but it’s genuinely heart-warming to see people’s astounded reactions to our work.
My usual cameraman who takes 300+ pictures a day at the convention wasn’t with us today, so with the camera in my own hands I only took a few shots of cosplays that particularly caught my attention.
Gundam World Cup wrapped up judging today – that Zeong I was rooting for yesterday ended up getting Best of Show!
This Puchigguy display also got an award if I recall correctly – the name of the piece had me in stitches. Those who watched Build Fighters will know.
I really want that particular Racing Miku, and there really aren’t many things that have even caught a cursory glance from me in the Exhibit Hall. A sexy mascot for a racecar team, what’s there not to love? But aside from the $100+ price tag, I’d also have a tough time justifying displaying her in my room.
So I mentioned yesterday that we weren’t quite able to make it to Day 2’s Gundam/Sunrise panel, which apparently had plenty of juicy exclusive news that included Iron Blooded Orphans stuff (shame the Barbatos couldn’t make it there).
As such, we were on a mission today to make sure we made it to the Gundam Thunderbolt screening presented by Sunrise, even if it meant walking city blocks in the suit.
For whatever reason, this screening was held off of the central convention grounds inside a video room in a neighboring hotel about a block down. It was far from what we’re used to, but we were prepared to go any distance for this panel.
Departed two hours in advance as a contingency for picture stop delays along the way.
Make no mistake, walking on open streets and especially crossing intersections in a slow, cumbersome mech suit is no simple or easy task.
I’m not often exposed to such high class areas as this. It was one of those buildings that we just felt awkward walking into because there were plenty of people in suits and ties sitting around going about their professional business and staying classy while here we were clomping through the corridors in our giant robot suit.
We got in line about an hour early to prevent getting capped out as we did during yesterday’s Gundam panel. The irony is that while the line seemed long outside, only about half the room was filled when we actually got in.
Partner couldn’t even really sit during the line wait – it wasn’t worth it to de-suit him while there, so we just popped the chest and arm armors to allow him to breathe a bit easier.
Seated in the video room for Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky. This screening presented by Sunrise is for the compilation movie that includes bonus animation and scenes not featured in the original ONA run of the series.
The whole thing ran for about an hour, give or take. I had already seen all four episodes online, so it was nice being able to discern the bonus footage added in that nicely fleshed out some scenes like the epilogue and Gundam v. Zaku fight.
Then it was time for the panel session, with the Gundam Executive Producer, musical composer, English voice of Io Fleming, and voice director. It was cool hearing these guys talk about the show – apparently Thunderbolt came as the spare time project of the same guys who did the Unicorn OVAs – no wonder why the art and animation is so gorgeous.
We were highly concerned about having him sit and only take up one seat in a crowded video room, but it turns out that wasn’t a serious problem since there was so much empty space anyway.
At the tail end of the panel discussion was the raffle drawing – they gave out a surprising amount of goodies, including both a HGUC Full Armor Gundam and HGUC Psycho Zaku.
Never ever are we lucky though.
Char won something though. Sieg Zeon! (Sike, I’m actually a Feddie, How many Zeek suits are there on this site?)
A little Gundam family group photo.
Once we made it out of the video room we managed to catch the Gundam Executive Producer Shin Sasaki for an autograph on the armor. Every year we’ve had someone involved in with the franchise leave their mark – it was actually the coolest thing because these guys recognized Barbatos straight away, despite us actually being at a screening for a different metaseries.
He was even concerned that he didn’t want to ruin our armor by signing on it in Sharpie – please Mr. Sasaki you only made it better.
Met a Cagalli on the way back to the main hall – so far the biggest Gundam fan we’ve met at the ‘con – loved her excitement at the suit.
Had a little extra time to kill by the end of the day so we hit the cosplay sets in the Entertainment Hall for a little photoshoot.
None of the sets available there are really in proper scale or built to flatter giant robot cosplays, since I think we’re in the minority for what we do here. The sets also seem to remain the same every year, since we actually took some photos in our Nu Gundam here last year too.
Finally, grabbed some loot for the day. We actually almost lost all this stuff too – I happened to set it aside while we were taking the photoshoot at the Entertainment Hall and totally forgot to grab it when we left. We only realized we were missing our purchases when we exited the convention center, so I had to run back and check the location – thankfully a kind event worker had noticed and turned them into the Information Desk for us.
I said yesterday that I wasn’t really in the mood for Gunpla, and that I wanted a non-Gundam Super Robot kit if I was even going to pick anything up. Turns out, I lied just a little.
These kits aren’t all mine though – the Exia and 00 are my partner’s, since he wants to build up a MG 00 collection. I just happened to snag a G-Self because the price was too good to pass up, and it’s a Lead Gundam so I would’ve eventually had to grab it anyway for the All Gundam Project – why not get it now when it’s discounted right?
Big shout out to the guys over at Toy Arena for always hooking us up with our Gunpla and plamo needs – I bought my Efreet from them back at Robot Toy Fest too – they’re usually at plenty of ‘cons!
Thankfully today felt productive – we got just about everything we wanted to do done and had some great experiences talking to new people and enjoying the Expo. Tomorrow’s the last day and the Barbatos suit has seen its final light, though every minute wearing it around was worth it, given how much people took to it.
Read on the rest of the Expo: