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  1. I shipped my Hasegawa GBP from HLJ at the same time and in the same way. Arrived one week ago, after a long delay at LA Customs. Stateside customs seems to be the big bottleneck these days, but yeah, you would normally see an "arrival" notification within a few days of the package leaving Tokyo. However, a friend of mine recently had an EMS package sit in Tokyo at the "dispatch" stage for a few weeks before it finally showed up in LA last week. I don't think he's alone in that happening. Holidays likely had an impact.
  2. There are both yellow and white stripes in many places, not to mention the larger white markings like the number on the chest. Best way to tackle the stripes, for consistency, would be stencils or decals. They are pretty thin and have lots of angles. Since the underlying green is fairly dark, the yellow decals would have to be white-backed so they don't look dramatically different from the painted sections. Bandai has gone wild with the tampo on the SDFM and DYRL DX valks and accessories. They're a bit busy for me, so if you stick to the larger and more obvious markings, you might end up with something that looks better than the original.
  3. This has been my experience as well. I was mainly running an experiment to see if EMS was even remotely back to what it used to be and...nope. Granted, the package left Japan within a few days, which is good, but once it hit US customs it just sat there, so the benefit of a rapid departure from Japan were completely wiped out. I'd rather continue to pay the same amount (or less) for FedEx or DHL.
  4. Had to dig up a picture of the Roy prototype that was shown at the Tamashii Nations event. Dark green with yellow sections on the chest and near the hands. Is that what you're looking to replicate?
  5. Thought I'd share my first experience with using EMS in two years. HLJ was offering discounted shipping before Christmas, but only on EMS or Surface. I wasn't in a hurry to get my Hasegawa VF-1J GBP kit, but I did want to ship it, so I figured what the heck, let's give EMS a try and see what happens. With the discount, it was about $6 less than FedEx and DHL. It usually costs more than those options right now. I won't use EMS again unless/until things return to something like the normal we had pre-pandemic. Package was posted on 24 Dec and reached the local post office on 25 Dec. Hit customs in Los Angeles on 28 Dec and sat there for 11 days. Finally reached my city on 08 Jan and was delivered yesterday, 10 Jan. So, for only slightly less than a courier service that takes 3-5 days, I had to wait 18 days. And this wasn't a holiday or Omicron slowdown situation. I had an express mail package from Canada take just as long in early December, including more than a week at customs in Chicago. Bottom line: EMS, especially at full price, probably isn't worth it for folks in the US right now (my opinion). I understand that it might be an attractive option for folks in other countries where you get nailed on customs duties when you use a courier service, but don't expect your package to arrive quickly....
  6. That is a very nice tree . Driving most of the way to Angel Fire to get it shows some serious dedication to the holidays.
  7. Holy crapballs that's terrifying. I think I live just a little bit north of you (nice adobe, BTW) and haven't yet seen that kind of damage on DHL purchases delivered by the post office, but now I'm worried. My worst experience with DHL has been the Daigrugger that I ordered from AJ. DHL put the wrong address on the USPS forwarding label and it ended up in a completely different part of town. I was able to talk the postmaster into giving me the ZIP+4 where it was delivered (after getting the tracking number from DHL) and I then drove around and left a note at every house in that area asking for the recipient to call me. I got a call a few hours later, thank goodness.
  8. There hasn't been any news about another reissue of the Super Strike Parts set or Missile set. With that said, Bandai hasn't yet released a DYRL Max VF-1A, but one was displayed some time ago at a Tamashii Nations event, so it's likely to happen. Maybe a DYRL Hikaru VF-1A and Roy VF-1S, too. With at least one more DYRL valk coming (we hope), odds are good that there will be at least one more reissue of the two accessory sets shortly afterwards. The last five Macross DX product announcements were associated with Delta and Frontier (VF-31J with Fold Projection Unit, VF-31AX Hayate, VF-31AX Mirage, VF-25 Worldwide, VF-31AX Super Parts), so we're probably due for an SDFM/DYRL announcement soon.
  9. That's exactly what I was picturing in my mind (not the toy itself, the optical impact). That's probably on the upper end of what the end result would look like.
  10. Matching the exact shades of red and white and ensuring that there aren't visible artifacts from the printing process, so it wouldn't look cheesy, would be challenging.
  11. Speaking of Star Wars, I saw this on FB yesterday (Macross Fan Central) and had to chuckle. Both are 1/100 scale.
  12. Yes. Indeed they do. Bandai requires payment up front for TWE items, so proxies pass that requirement on to customers. Probably discourages scalpers a bit, too. Speaking of AE, my 31AX arrived this afternoon! I forgot how well they pack stuff. Thick cardboard shipping box with a thick cardboard insert all the way around the perimeter of the valk box for extra protection, and the valk box itself was bubble wrapped. Everything packed snug inside the shipping box so it wouldn't move in transit. Result = pristine item. Looking forward to opening it tomorrow.
  13. Yes, they are in Tokyo. I've ordered from them for several years now, as have many other members. More info here: I mentioned in an earlier response that the only thing you have to be aware of with AE when it comes to TWE items like the super parts set is when Bandai does a second PO for an item right after the first one quickly sells out (GBP armor parts set being the most recent example). I think AE only has one listing for a TWE item on their site, so depending on when you order, you could unknowingly end up in the second PO group because AE used up all of their available slots for the first group before they got to you. So, when the first run of the item is released, you're wondering where your order is, so you contact their customer support, which is when you find out that you'll be waiting another three months for the second run. If AE runs out of slots for a TWE item, they do refund your payment. It's not a bad idea to contact them well in advance of a TWE release with two POs to find out which one you're in. No store is perfect, but I've never had a bad experience with them.
  14. Looks like Anime Export still has some available: https://www.anime-export.com/index.php?product=55299 The 23% markup over MSRP may seem a bit high, but when you tack on the fees charged by other proxies like Big in Japan, DeJapan, and FromJapan it's about the same. You're basically paying someone $20 to buy the set for you. That seems to be the going rate these days, but did I notice that one store has a 42% markup. Yikes.
  15. For what it's worth, I ordered from AE right before the official release date, when they put their extra stock up for sale, and my 31AX has already cleared customs in Los Angeles (shipped via DHL). Seems like HLJ, AE, and AJ are the primary ones processing orders right now. I'm sure the holidays are slowing things down for most other stores. I just checked out the DHL site in Japan and it says they're closed 31 Dec to 03 Jan: https://mydhl.express.dhl/jp/en/help-and-support.html#/contact_us Maybe individual branches are taking longer breaks? Not a criticism of LP, just an observation: they seem to have logistical challenges with DHL each time there's a DX release, leading to shipping delays. One time it was because of the Olympics, now it's because of the new year holiday. There was also that big mess with DHL tossing unprotected boxes into thin plastic shipping bags, which took some time to fix. I think at this point it's fair to assume that if there's a DX release anywhere close to the time of a major cultural event in Japan, LP shipments will be delayed, so add at least a week to the release date to estimate when an order might actually ship. From everything I've seen, LP follows through on all orders, but I think they're a much smaller outfit compared to HLJ or AE, so everything takes a bit longer to do.
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