Gaijin Gunpla

Yes, you read that headline correctly!

The world-famous, until now Japan only, Gunpla Expo has crossed an ocean and just had its first international appearance, in Chatswood, NSW, Australia.

And I was there opening day.

Actually, I was there everyday because I work right there and live not far from there. Being fortunate in that regard I took advantage the day before the event to pop over to the venue before work so I could see an old friend.

Yes, that’s the granddaddy Gundam, standing all by himself in an almost empty Westfield Mall in Chatswood. It was good to spend a few minutes together again without a lot of people around.

I am actually glad I got to see him like this because I’m not going to be seeing him in Odaiba when I’m next in Japan.

The next day, Saturday, I again dropped in but this time it was much different.

People everywhere!

It was difficult to anticipate how popular this event would be. Sure we all love Gunpla (which is likely why you’re reading this) but having never had an Expo outside of the birthplace of the hobby there really wasn’t a way to estimate what the turnout would be. And it was impressive.

The lineup for merchandise went right around the perimeter of the event. I abstained from lining up for various reasons (time, backlog, wanting people who have never experienced event kits to have a chance to get one) but I took my time to see the displays.

Given how small the space was that they used, they crammed a lot of plamo in there with some new stuff I’d not seen yet.

There’s the MG Astray Turn Red which in Japan may be only available on the P-Bandai site but looks like it will make an appearance internationally.

There’s the RE/100 Guncannon Detector.

No longer building kits as a job I’ve elected not to pick up the recent RE/100 kits but the line seems to be doing well in bringing some more abstract kits to modelers’ worktables.

And, oh, what’s this?

It is the next Real Grade kit which, by default, got me all excited. I actually wasn’t aware of this release until I saw it at the Expo. Man, I’m slipping.

Next to that was probably the kit at the event that got the most attention.

Many Gunplars have been speculating as to what the 200th release in the Master Grade line would be and Bandai blew those expectations out of the water with the announcement it would be the MG Deep Striker. This thing was huge and the display made sure to state so.

We have two more months to wait!

The other display I found myself spending extra time around was this case.

I have built all three of these kits and looking at them there reminded me of what an amazing experience those builds were. My PG Red Astray is still in Japan (though I plan to go fetch it in the coming months), but the Unicorn and Banshee were kits I value so much that I shipped them over to Australia. I just need to make some space for them and pull them out of storage. And finish that Exia.

Though the Expo set up was quite small they used every inch of the space available to them. Around back of the Expo they had this along the entire wall.

If you weren’t paying attention you may have missed it.

But you wouldn’t miss what was displayed on one side!

Star Wars kits! Yes, the vehicle kits are available in Australia. Huge news for modelers and Bandai plamo fans, as well. This is a big thing. Speaking of big things check out the PG Falcon!

Doesn’t that look amazing. The PG Millennium Falcon may be one of the best kits Bandai has ever produced, from what I’ve been told, but even so this one had a lot of extra attention paid to it.

I recently met the modeler responsible for this masterpiece at the Gunpla Builders Australia Christmas Party and he was very welcoming and down to earth. Really made me feel like I belonged in my newfound home. I am sure I’ll be hanging out with him again and will learn a lot when it comes to modeling. Gotta up my game. They are all pros around here!

The Expo ran for a week and I made an appearance almost every day during my lunch break. I had a chance to talk to the organizers and commended them on getting something like this accomplished. I know how difficult it can be to satisfy Bandai but the people at Hobbyco pulled it off. It was so successful that it looks like it will be a yearly occurrence. I’ll be able to go to Gunpla Expo every year. How crazy is that!

Categories: Events, Gunpla and Life

14 Responses so far.

  1. Paul Emical* says:

    Hello Syd,

    if I’m not mistaken, the GM Command Colony Type is actually the 200th MG.
    The Deep Striker should then be the 201st. 😉

  2. Manpig says:

    Deep Striker actually isn’t MG #200, it was originally planned to be but it was delayed. It’s actually MG 202 after the GM Command (200) and Banshee Ver. Ka (201).

  3. redwood says:

    Bandai is also releasing P-Bandai Black Tri-stars in RG form! Also, Tallgese as regular release. Happy days!

  4. Fury-S12 says:

    So good to see Bandai making such a push into aus it can mean only good things for the hobby at large.

    i didnt even hear about it until it was happening though, guess im not following the right australian gunpla news sources

  5. Guille says:

    Man, I wish we had half of that here in Chile, at best we have something called “Latin Millitare” which at best shows some custom works (still pretty good) let alone receive recent releases, if you get a normal release a month after you’re really lucky.

  6. noob_sauce says:

    Isn’t Joshua Darrah from Australia? You need to get in touch with that guy and do a podcast or something. Or at least buy one of his prints. His builds are absolutely amazing.

    @joshuadarrah on Instagram. If you haven’t heard of the guy before, you’re welcome.

    • S2 says:

      I know Joshua and we have corresponded occasionally. I have 2 of his prints. They are spectacular.

      • noob_sauce says:

        I hope I didn’t come off as too snooty for something for the “you’re welcome” but that wasn’t meant for you, Syd. It was for people who might not have been aware of his work previously.


      • S2 says:

        I didn’t get any snootiness from your comment. Everyone should definitely see his work. It is exceptional and he’s pretty generous with things like WIP and how he does it.

      • josh says:

        Ha ha! You bet Syd and I have said hello before! Now that you’re in Sydney Syd, I might bump into you when I fly down for the GBWC in July, see ya man! Josh

      • S2 says:

        We will definitely have to meet up if we get the chance.

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