Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Grunt MS Group Build:Ex Challenge #3 – Shattered Century

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Shattered Century
The Grunt MS Group Build:Ex Challenge #3

You’re a lucky pilot. All the other pilots hate you. You don't mind. You get all the fun. You get to pilot a suit that has been stolen from your enemy. Or from an enemy you've never met...
That abandoned Cold Districts GM was just sitting there, waiting for a new pilot. A daring clandestine raid on the Anaheim Electronics Research Division netted you a few Zeta Plus C1s for the Zeon army. Stolen plans allows your AEUG factories to produce shiny new Geara-Dogas’. Rewrite the history books!

Welcome to the Grunt MS Group Build:Ex Challenge #3!

The challenge:

Your challenge? Take any grunt suit from the UC timeline. Then give it to the other team.

Your grunt suit MUST be built as a member of any U.C. faction APART from its actual U.C. faction. Basically, a Federation suit should be built as a Zeon suit, and vice-versa. The faction you build it for DOES NOT have to be from the same period of the U.C. timeline. This means the Titans could be fielding a blue/orange ReZEL, or Neo Zeon could be rocking a nice new RX-79[G]. Or maybe the Zeon Remnants could get some Balls...

Because of the nature of this build, and the difference in outcomes based on a builder's skill, there are two judging categories:

General - OOB/Snap builders
Can't paint your kits due to various reasons? Not interested in painting even if you could? This category is for you! Due to what this build is about, you'll have to do some extra things, though!

Your kit must have some connection to a faction other than the original. Weapons, decals/stickers, or even random spare parts from the new faction's other suits. Grunt suits do need repairing at times. Who doesn’t want to see a RX-178 with a Zaku II’s head? The factories back at home are low on parts, and your Hi-Zack needed new legs; so why not salvage that Guntank? Please note that this is still a grunt suit build, and keep additions to parts from other grunt suits.

Assembled out-of-box.
Decals/stickers or accessories from the new faction's armoury to show it's 'changed sides'.

Allowed extras:
Clear coats.
3rd party addon sets - (Kotobukiya weapon sets, HiQ metal thrusters)

Not allowed:
(any of these will push you into the Painters/Customisers category)
Scratch building.
Weathering / battle damage.

Judging guidelines:
I want to see some well-built OOB grunts here, but more importantly I’m looking to see how clever you can be with your customisations.

Advanced - Painters/Customisers
Got 12 airbrushes primed and ready? Enough plasticard to build a house? Yeah, me too!
This category is the real thing. I want to see how much you can make me believe your kit is from the faction of your choice.

Custom painted suit in the colours of a  U.C. faction of your choice. See Rule 4 for more information.

Allowed extras:
Anything. Your build can be painted and coated, all the way through to a weathered, trashed  scratch built monstrosity. Just keep in mind these are meant to be grunt suits. Other than that, it’s open slather.

Judging guidelines:
This one is all about creativity! Go nuts on your suit. I’m judging based on both the quality of the work, and the creativity of the work. Surprise me!

The good bit:
There will be a first place and a second place for each category. There is also a prize pool of four prizes. Winners will be able to choose a prize from the pool in the following order:

Winner - Advanced Category
Winner - General category
Runner up - Advanced Category
Runner up - General category

What’s in the prize pool?
MG RMS-108 Marasai

The Marasai is confirmed, as I’m donating it. Wink The other three prizes will be revealed as soon as they’re confirmed. Trust me, though, they’re good prizes.

(Thanks to thegunny for allowing me to shamelessly steal from his rules. He did such a good job writing the rules and requirements that I’m not going to reinvent the wheel.)

Start date: 7am (0700) Friday the 8th of June 2012 [AEST]
Finish date: 7pm (1900) Monday the 23rd of July 2012 [AEST]

1. Entries must be based on a Bandai or B-Club kit. Any scale/grade is allowed. If you want to repaint a PG kit I won't stop you; just remember this is a 6 week build. Resin conversions from B-Club are also allowed. Limited non-genuine plastic, metal or resin parts such as weapons, heads, hands, shields, nozzles or other small parts are allowed. If in doubt, ask. Scratch building is allowed as are the use of any type of decals (it’s hard to find official Bandai decal sets sometimes). As there are a multitude of pirated B-Club kits around these days if you plan on using some B-Club parts or kits please include pictures of the box top as mentioned in rule 4.

2. Allowable entries. Models must have appeared at some point in the Universal Century timeline. The suit MUST be considered a grunt suit. Generally, this will mean it’s classified as a “Mass Production” suit. If in doubt, ask!
The suit MUST be built as a member of a U.C. faction OTHER THAN ITS ORIGINAL FACTION. Variants of grunt suits are also allowed, even those that may not have appeared in kit form. But for those contemplating scratch building a rare grunt variant, I’ve included thegunny’s comments on scratch building from Grunt:EX2, and I will be following his standards in the judging of scratch builds.

Quote thegunny (EX:2)
"While it's nice to see some unusual MS being chosen you have to remember this is only a (6 week) build. I'm not sure how much scratch building experience all of you intrepid souls have but some of the chosen subjects IMHO would push the skills of seasoned scratch builders."

I'm not trying to put a downer on your enthusiasm but you are putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage to those who are going to do a stock kit. I will be researching all the chosen scratch builds and I'll say right now that close enough is not good enough. If they do not accurately represent your chosen subject they will not fare well in the judging.

As I have said I don't want to hit you with a cold spoon while you're all excited   but I also don't want to see anyone biting off more than they can chew and coming away from this challenge feeling pissed off and let down, so I'd ask all the scratch builders to carefully consider their entry and if you truly feel you can deliver than go for it   otherwise switch to a tried and true kit and go to town on it.

3. Allowable techniques. Please see the definitions of Requirements and Allowed Extras for the two categories specified earlier in the post. On top of that the basic building techniques are completely open. Glue, nub removal, panel lining, scribing, and panel washes, and clear coats are allowed in both categories, as well as 3rd party detail sets/weapons..

4. The dirty details on faction changes. The faction you build your grunt for is completely up to you. It must, however, not be the suits original faction. For the General category, you’re obviously not going to be changing the suits colour scheme. Equipment/decals/markings are the easy way for a faction change here. For the Advanced category the colour scheme must be one that was used by the faction you’re building it for, and it has been used on a grunt suit. If in doubt, ask!
What’s a faction? Here’s some examples: The Earth Federation (EFSF/EFGF), The Principality of Zeon, AEUG, Titans, NeoZeon, so forth. I’m also going to point this out here: I consider Londo Bell to be a faction all on its own, and not part of the Earth Federation.
The faction you choose doesn’t need to be from the same period of the U.C. As examples: You can do a U.C.79 Zaku II in the ReZELs colours, and you can do a JEGAN as a EFGF Guntank (or vice-versa...) if you want. One note on this, though, is that you MUST change the colour scheme for the suit if you’re doing an Advanced Entry. I’m after creativity here, folks!

5. Entry requirements. To be considered as an entrant you must make a post in the Grunt MS Group Build:Ex Challenge #3 – Shattered Universe thread including the kit you will be building, what faction (and faction colours if applicable) it will be built in, and at least one photo of the kit sometime between the start & finish times. The photo must show the kit before any work is done and it must have a timestamp no earlier than 7AM (0700) Friday the 8th of June 2012 [AEST]. Feel free to post more as your build progresses. If you wish to keep your choice of faction to yourself, but aren’t sure it’s a valid choice, you can send me a PM.
Once you have finished as with the previous challenges please start a new topic in the Mobile Suit Hanger showcasing your finished kit as outlined in rules 6 & 7. Your final presentation must be posted no later than 7PM (1900) Monday 23rd of July 2012 AEST.

6. Presentation. Finished kits can be presented as stand alone figures or in a vignette (no full blown dioramas). Stands may be used to display the figure. There are some good Bandai stands around but there are also pretty good stands from other manufacturers as well. As an example of a stand you could use the Zeon or Federation Bandai action base. If you wish to do a small scene (vignette) you could for example use the Kotobukiya Chain Bases to depict repairs or re-arming. If you are going to do a vignette just remember they are only intended to be a small scene that complements the centre piece. No Cecil B DeMill productions of Ben Hur. For example if you choose to use a chain base then make it only one panel wide by one panel high. Judging of results will be focused on the suit itself. Bases might get you a few bonus points, but it’s the suit itself that is the important part.

7. Photgraphs. As the final products will be judged from photographs I feel that a few guidelines need to be in place. This is not a photography contest so no Photoshop trickery will be tolerated. You may resize and colour correct and that is it. No fancy titles, names, fades, light effects on weapons, lens trickery to hide a poorly made model, nothing! Please photograph the model against a plain background as to prevent the background from distracting the model. If you wish to present your model AFTER the judging has been completed with a bit of photo trickery that’s fine but if any shopping is detected in photos submitted for judging apart for what was mentioned above then the entry will not be judged. Also do not include any props in the photos that are not part of your finished entry. As a minimum requirement you must submit 4 shots of your finished model; front, back, left & right sides. Minimum resolution is 1000 pixels high bearing in mind that if you choose to use the forum based attachments the pictures can be no bigger than 3200x1800 to avoid any problems with displaying the images. Feel free to highlight any mods, assembly or painted effects you have done with extra close ups.

8. Points arising from previous builds.
  • A. As this is a group build all kits must be started on or after the start date of Friday the 8th of June 2012. As part of the build requirements at least one date stamped picture must be posted in the build thread showing the kit before you start building it.
  • B. As this is an Australian forum all times and dates are in AEST. There are plenty of websites that can convert AEST to whatever time it is in any other country.
  • C. The closing time is just that, the closing time. If you wish to keep your entry close to your chest and not post it until the death knock that’s up to you but if you experience difficulties in uploading your entry and the difficulties are not forum related and you miss the deadline then bad luck. 
  • D. My say on allowed kits and whether something is a valid faction is final. If I say you can’t enter with a build of a Ball as Char’s personal mobile suit (as cool as that would be), then you can’t build it. Don’t try to convince me otherwise.

If you’re in doubt about any part of the rules, ask! I might’ve missed some important things.

You've got two weeks to organise your troops! Good luck everyone!

zenma5ter's note: This is by far the most interesting Grunt GB, I sure hope some of big guns from the forum come grunts ablazing and we get to see some amazing recolour/OOB.

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