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Everything posted by Anasazi37

  1. I do have printable versions of both Wave decal sets. Scanned them a long time ago, at least 15 years, but recently redid the coloring so they print better. Still have the originals.
  2. Since it's a web exclusive item, you'll have to keep an eye on the secondary market. Mandarake, Jungle, Yahoo Auctions Japan, and Amazon Japan are solid options. You might get lucky with Anime Export or MyKombini, too. You'll want to keep an eye on several sites right around the release date. You should also check out the For Sale section here, as MW members sometimes buy multiples and then sell their extras to fellow collectors who missed out on placing pre-orders.
  3. There are times when something like that makes sense, but not for decals or box art. Why punch yourself in the head when you don't have to?
  4. Agreed. Bandai likely wouldn't retool their packaging for new variants in an existing line. My wife says that she knows exactly when I'm taking valks out of their packaging. From another room in our house, she can hear the squeaks, pops, and cries of frustration as pieces fly everywhere.
  5. I'm pretty sure that the VF-31 and SV-262 DX releases from Delta all come in styrofoam trays. I pulled out my VF-31S box and it's definitely styrofoam inside, and the other Delta boxes I really don't want to dig out are all the same form factor. Interesting that Bandai would use plastic for one series (SDFM/DYRL) and styrofoam for another (Delta). With that said, the armor for the VF-31S came in plastic trays, and that is the latest Delta release, so maybe they've switched over to plastic for everything. The VF-1J DX (first valk in that line) was released only six months before the VF-31E DX (most recent valk in that line). That could have been a crossover period in manufacturing. Guess we'll see when the next VF-31 is released in concert with the movie!
  6. Depends on the nature of the distortion. The options available in Photoshop tend to be pretty limited, what I'll call "affine" because that is fairly common way to describe them. Essentially combinations of rotation, scale, and translation. That includes grabbing corners of an image and "stretching" them out to improve alignment. For flatbed scans, that's generally sufficient because of how the optics of the system work. A robust automated approach can nail that kind of task, but off-the-shelf graphics software generally doesn't excel in this area. The situation becomes way more complicated if you take actual pictures with a camera and want to stitch those together seamlessly. Goes from a two-dimensional problem to a three-dimensional one.
  7. Decals are pretty resilient, so they should be usable even after 30+ years, but they can be fragile. I usually brush on a coat of Microscale Liquid Decal Film to protect the entire sheet, then start cutting out and using what I need. Sometimes the water-based adhesive has weakened a bit, so using a setting solution is a good idea.
  8. As I've been getting back into customizing valks, after many years of not doing that, I realized that I needed to fix a broken Yamato 1/48 VF-1S Roy before I could turn it into a Minmay Guard Paris Act. It broke where pretty much all of the Yamato 1/48's break: the infamous hinged part attached to the backpack, BP-8. I thought about just gluing the broken bits back together, but also wanted to look around online to see if anyone made a replacement, because a glued part will be a weaker part. Indeed someone did: https://www.shapeways.com/product/LGBVNSENS/ps-mac-001a-2-macross-robotech-bp-8-backpack-hing?optionId=123455663&li=shops I bought a two-pack, just to be safe. Surface texture is a little rough, but that's to be expected from a 3D-printed part. Some light sanding will take care of that. Otherwise, all I had to do was make the holes on the hinges a little larger to get the rods through them and the hole underneath a little larger so the screw went in all the way. Worked great! The plastic is strong enough to support transformation without breaking. The one thing I don't like is the vernier, which is at the wrong angle and is the inverse of what it should be. The central line through the circle is supposed to be at the same level as the surrounding surface, with the rest of the circle indented. This replacement part is the opposite. Not a big deal, though. I'll just fill it with some putty, sand that down, and then put a vernier decal on the same spot. That or use a Dremel to remove the raised sections and then put the original Yamato vernier in there. Maybe it's different so it doesn't look exactly like the original BP-8? Now to actually start working on the custom.... Would I recommend this replacement part for collectors who just want to fix a broken Yamato 1/48? Yes, if you're going to display it in Gerwalk or Battroid mode without armor, or any of the three modes with armor. In all of those cases, you won't see the part at all.
  9. Awesome! USPS estimated that most of the domestic orders would be arriving today, but I think some folks might be waiting another day or two if they're waaaaaaay out east.
  10. Fingers crossed that they aren't just rearranging deck chairs on a sinking ship. If they get their act together, I might order from them again, but for now, I just hope that everyone with open orders gets them fulfilled.
  11. Quick update: all orders have been printed, coated, and shipped! PMs sent to everyone.
  12. Oh good, I was thinking that it would be pretty easy to remove the alpha channel in ImageMagick, but hadn't looked into it. Graphic design, computer vision, photogrammetry, and remote sensing people all use different terms for pretty much the same stuff. You basically have to speak four different technical languages to find useful information online. Only 1 bit for the alpha channel? Interesting. Really must have been a binary mask (1 = use, 0 = don't use). You don't see that very often. Usually it's a gradient value between 0 and 1 or 0 and 255. I don't see a need to go beyond 24-bit for this kind of project. 16 bits per color channel is excessive and printers aren't really set up to deal with it. Keeping more raw scans that you can then postprocess in different ways is a good idea. I love that you're building enough flexibility into your scripts that you won't have to make changes each time you run. Command line options FTW. Bash, PowerShell, or something else? Manual works if your scans are completely distortion-free, as you point out. I've been doing this kind of processing on imagery for about 15 years now, professionally, and what most of us in that world end up using is a combination of automated and manual. Automated quickly takes care of about 90-95% of the work, then you can manually tweak a few spots to fix small misalignment issues. But even the automated approach will benefit from distortion-free scans. Means less work overall. If an image is shifted or rotated, that's an easy fix either way. If there are deformities of different sizes and types because the original image isn't perfectly flat, that's a lot harder for a person, or even software, to mitigate.
  13. I'm sure the PF version will cost at least another $150. And since it's a collaboration with Max Factory, the decals and pipe cleaner arms and legs will be sold separately for at least $60 each, but each set of arms and legs will only contain one arm and one leg, so you'll have to buy two for each valk.
  14. Having done the same for this kit (designing decals), I know it's not at all easy to accomplish. Great work!
  15. KiKi is a good option. I got some last year based on @sqidd's recommendation and it worked well. Doesn't take much if you apply it in the right places. Plus, even if you manage to get the screw covers off without damaging them or the surrounding plastic, which isn't guaranteed, you will likely run into parts that are glued together. While that's mostly an issue for folks wanting to disassemble valks in order to customize them, it could get in the way of what you want to do.
  16. Pound for pound, probably one of the most expensive resin kits I've obtained, but I do plan to build it. At the other end of the spectrum is the 1/72 Monster that Mike Salzo (@mslz22) made. That thing is a well-crafted behemoth and I'm still trying to figure out how he didn't lose money on it, given how much resin he had to use for each kit. I'm looking forward to building that someday. I have no idea where I'm going to put it, though. Maybe next to my Plamax 1/20 valks--when I build those, too....
  17. Oh yeah, I saw that. Honestly, given what you get on top of the base price, it doesn't seem that bad. At that point, what's another ¥4400? That's retail, though. The prices I'm seeing on the secondary market are...higher. With that said, the VF-0D PF seems to raise the bar for what we should expect from now on.
  18. All sets have now been printed. Hope to coat and pack them over the next few days and then ship everything out on Friday.
  19. All this talk about the Arcadia VF-0S got me thinking about why I don't own one, and the Reactive Armor to go with it. I was scratching my head about it, so I went to Arcadia's site and was instantly reminded of why I passed on them: VF-0S (Regular Finish) = ¥38280 (tax included) Reactive Armor = ¥19580 (tax included) Looked at the usual sites and it seems like the price of the 0S is holding steady at close to MSRP in the secondary market. The armor seems to show up at MSRP or a bit lower. So, they're holding their value, which is great, but that puts them at a level that's hard for me to justify right now. I'd love to see the 0S reissued in the price range of the VF-4A, with the armor scaled down in price as well. That would be much harder for me to pass up. I'm not going to hold my breath, though.
  20. Oh, I plan to! This kit and the 1/60 Ghost X-9 are at the top of my build list. Once I finish my 3D scanner project....
  21. Gotcha. Wasn't sure if that one was in your binder of goodies.
  22. You're using hugin, eh? It's one of many photogrammetry-inspired applications out there that can stitch (mosaic) images together. They all pretty much do the same thing. Their automated workflows tend to a do a decent job, but not always a perfect one, so long as there is decent overlap between the images, the images were collected under similar conditions, and the images contain enough "interesting" stuff for the underlying computer vision routines to find and link across them. This kind of image processing is a subset of what I do for a living, so I can geek out over it in a big way if I'm not careful. I think you're right about hugin using the alpha channel (RGBA). My best guess as to why it's doing so is that it needs to know which pixels contain useful information and which pixels are just background fill that can be ignored. This is important during mosaicking because the software might have to subtly warp the images to make them fit together well and when it does that, background fill is introduced. If you don't ignore that stuff, you end up with lots of useless and annoying black areas in the end result instead of something seamless. The alpha channel is where the software keeps track of that, where a pixel value of 0 means "ignore" and a value of 255 means "keep." The software, after mosaicking, likely just spits out the RGBA version because the end result is going to have some background fill around the edges. My advice is to let hugin do its thing, then use another application to remove the alpha channel (convert from RGBA to RGB). You'll have larger files in the interim, but once the RGB version is created, you can delete the interim stuff.
  23. Man, you really don't appreciate how small the SF-3A Lancer is until you see it in person. Mine arrived the other day. No regrets on buying it, but wow, it's small for something at 1/60 scale.
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