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Everything posted by Anasazi37

  1. Yep, September and October. Screen cap from the Tamashii Nations site:
  2. Decided to go a different route. Based on the prices I'm seeing for opened/used ones on Mandarake and other sites, I can just buy a decent 3D printer and make my own using designs that are widely available online. I've been meaning to buy a printer anyways. Now I can do that *and* get these bad boys in 1/35 scale!
  3. Standard or Limited Editions, totally fine with ones that have been opened and displayed as long as they're complete and undamaged.
  4. Quick update: I am still stuck in calibration hell. It's the difference between having a "hobby" scanner, where you can show friends and family that you built something that scans stuff in 3D, and a "metric" scanner, where you can produce consistent results with high accuracy. For hobby scanners, you can calibrate each piece of the system independently, which is relatively straightforward. For metric scanners, you have to use an approach called bundle adjustment, where you calibrate all of the pieces simultaneously because they are, in reality, heavily dependent on one another. That's very difficult to do well. I've known from the beginning of this project that I'd need to do bundle adjustment, but I wasn't looking forward to it. There are several aspects of the scanner that make its adjustment more difficult than those I've tackled for other sensors. I'll get there, but it's going to take a bit more time. Lots of math to do and code to write.
  5. ALPS is still the most affordable desktop option, unfortunately. OKI makes a color+white desktop laser printer for about $6000, but the results are crap because it doesn't hold onto the sheet between the print passes for white (background) and color (foreground), so you end up with misregistration/misalignment for designs at the scale we care about. They do make one that works the way we want, but it will set you back at least $30,000 and it's quite large. I'm pretty sure that Toyhax uses some kind of screen printing approach. Also not cheap.
  6. I source my ink from Japan, where it's kinda still made, but not always easy to get. Definitely not cheap. The other problem is that the most widely available ink is made for the most recent ALPS printer, which was never sold in the US. There are slight differences in formulation, which can cause problems with the older printers if you're not careful. Even then, it doesn't always work well.
  7. Demanding, aren't you? He's not on a shelf yet, but this is what I'm thinking of going with:
  8. I now have my 1D displayed with the gunpod slung over the shoulder in this way. Looks awesome.
  9. You just described how I've operated for the past twenty years. First and foremost I needed the decals/stickers for my own projects, and I have high quality standards (a.k.a., a bit of a perfectionist), so they had to be good. Because of the quality, the sets would attract interest from other collectors. If there was enough interest, I'd occasionally do small print runs. These days it's a lot more expensive for me to do those runs because the printer I use (ALPS) and the ink it requires are rare, but even back in the day it wasn't cheap. I'd set the prices so I could recover my printing costs, but that's it. Definitely not a money-making venture.
  10. Official product page for the VF-31AX is now up on Tamashii Nations: https://tamashii.jp/item/13691/
  11. "Includes proctological exam gimmick for all three modes"
  12. My VF-1D arrived safe and sound--a day early! Came via FedEx. Expertly and lovingly packed by the proxy. Sharp corners and crease-free surfaces on everything. They sometimes take a few more days than I'd like to process orders, but they consistently come through.
  13. Two things: That's a really crappy packing job. Thanks, DHL. Feeling bad is great and all, but I'm hoping that Luna Park will offer some kind of partial refund for damaged boxes. Over 200 units? I think there was a limit of four per person, so that means they got 50 people to help. I think that's impressive, but maybe it's small potatoes compared to the big proxies.
  14. Likewise. Mine just shipped via FedEx. I've been living vicariously through everyone else's complaints for a week. It's just not the same.
  15. Still under wraps for now. Might be that way for a bit....
  16. That's a good question. Pre-COVID, they worked with commercial airlines and anyone else with space in the holds of their aircraft, I think. With fewer flights leaving Japan these days, maybe DHL or another global courier service? It would partially explain why EMS costs as much as FedEx and DHL right now. We've all heard that the price increase for EMS is temporary, but I'm not convinced that it will go back down.
  17. Finally received the "item is ready to ship" email from my proxy. Just in time for them to be closed for the long holiday weekend. Still, I was at least able to pay for shipping. If it helps anyone, they said the package weight was 1820g and the dimensions were 29 x 39 x 20 cm. They offered three shipping options: EMS ($57), DHL ($50), or FedEx ($58). I went with FedEx because the other two are "delivered" by my local post office. I have quotes around that because what actually happens is that I have to drive there to pick stuff up. For just a little more, FedEx brings it right to my door. One less middleman, one less opportunity for my precious 1D to get lost or damaged.
  18. I'm still on the fence about this release. On the one hand, my goal with collecting Delta valks has been to get just enough to cover all the kinds of things that have been released, but not complete the full Flight. So I have a Messer with Super Parts and Lil Drakens (flying alongside), Arad with Armor, and Keith with Lil Drakens. The AX is a new variant, so I can probably justify buying it that way. On the other hand, buying it would just encourage Bandai to release ten more Hayate valks as reissues, lottery exclusives, or Malibu Stacy variants instead of giving us other things we actually want.
  19. Ouch. That was a fast entry into the club. Still waiting to hear from my proxy. They tend to be slower to process orders compared to other services, so I'm not worried--yet.
  20. For my collection of rare resin-cast parts, I'm going for reproduction-grade scans, but for other projects, it can be more about getting the basic shape of the object and then doing customization on top of that. I *think* calibration is starting to improve. These are front and back scans of a 1/55 chestplate, where each one is actually two scans combined. The third image shows how for the front scan, one of the two contributing scans had a gap in coverage that was filled in by the other. I'll still do some automated alignment to get them even closer, but it's starting to look better.
  21. Automation to the rescue for most of that, thank goodness. Since the scanner's raw output is a point cloud, I can run it through some pretty sophisticated open source software that builds a mesh, looks at the results to see how "smooth" things are in a local region around each point (which become the vertices of the mesh), and makes adjustments. It's not perfect, though, and you risk losing fine detail if you let the software be aggressive about making adjustments. So yeah, there will be some hand-tuning of meshes in traditional CAD software as well. I think most of those programs have "mesh cleanup" options, too. I know you can draw a polygon around a section and ask it to simplify the geometry, which usually means "make this smoother." Even in the current test/calibration setup, the scanner is picking up the very subtle resin casting seam line on the top of the VF-1S head and the little panel line circle right at the front, just above the visor.
  22. Still fighting with the calibration process, but here's a quick single scan of a Chris Barretta 1/55 VF-1S head. I'm not zoomed in at all, so should hopefully be able to quadruple the resolution when the system is ready. I'll definitely have to combine multiple scans from different angles to create a good surface model.
  23. I noticed that it popped back up for sale on MyKombini about a week ago: https://mykombini.com/en/july-2021/21403-dx-chogokin-macross-vf-1d-valkyrie-and-fan-racer-bandai-limited.html It's selling for ¥33990. That's less than eBay, but not by a lot. TWE items like this one rarely sell at MSRP after release, but keep an eye on Amazon Japan, Yahoo Japan, and the For Sale forum here for folks looking to offload extras. There's often a small window of time right before and after a release where the prices aren't horrific, but then they start to climb. For example, the DX Hayao and Max valks regularly go for ¥30000 on Mandarake these days. For a long time, they were closer to ¥27000. That's where the DX Roy is right now, but I expect him to join the 30K Club later this year.
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