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  • Writer's pictureGunpla Network

Not Exactly A Newtype: 11 - In The Zone

Ok straight up…. I apologize to anyone that’s been following along and has noticed a slight pause in the NEAN deliveries. And if you are following along, you may well know…..or not….that I have a new project on the go in the form of video interviews with the builders I’d consider actually near Newtypes… sooooo close its insane. So yep… I apologize, but I’m back at the keyboard now and we’re gonna get right in to it. I’ll also state that I’m probably going to ramp the articles back to once every 2-4 weeks depending on whats going on, maybe an extra here and there if something really strikes me to write about, because I really want to do an interview every 2-3 weeks.

I really want to take it further, the getting to know the builders behind the builds. I’ve always been about the human factors and getting to chat with builders, about their Gunpla lifestyle and how it influences their real life and vice versa, that’s so interesting and it helps me to identify my own inner workings when it comes to me and Gunpla and I hope it does for you also. So thank you for supporting the articles and all the other awesome articles on the Gunpla Network page so far. I really hope you continue to enjoy them and I hope you join me for the interviews because they are a lot of fun, really they are.

So what I want to rattle on about during this article is something that I had been vaguely aware of, but just last night it became really apparent to me and more so today when I was chatting with ‘Admin Mark'. We were discussing how time flies when you’re building Gunpla. I always knew that building Gunpla for me, and I assume most of you, is a form of escape. Yes it gives an artistic outlet, and yes we can watch somewhat childish cartoons, yes we can collect toys and keep them in shiny lit up cabinets.

But I think most of all, for me and possibly you, I get some peace and quiet. When I build I tend to put on a podcast on my laptop or play a build tutorial or kit review from Youtube. Something that’s there… but once I’m engrossed in the building… it’s not there. If that makes sense to you? I know it does. You know what I mean.

So last night, was only the second time I’d got to really use my fairly new airbrush.

A shiny clean Sparmax MAX-3. Got the compressor and cleaning pot and a bunch of paints and a mask that makes me look like Immortan Joe and I got my DIY booth which works a treat. It’s all there sorta waiting for me to find my feet. This week, my wife and daughter are away a few days at the in-law’s place so I’ve got a nice quiet house; no one to bug me. I love my family dearly but geez its nice to come home and just feed the cat and dog and do my own thing.

So after a dinner of typical “I’m da boss now, I’ll eat what I goddamn want”, the sorta dinner I eat when they go away, I set all the gear up. I’ve recently picked up some red’s from Vallejo with plans to repaint my Char’s Zaku II MG, coz he’s the ‘Red Comet’ not the ‘Salmon Comet’ right? Yes I understand the coloring is from the original anime…..but I’m more a fan of the ‘Origin’ series coloring so yeah I’m gonna make it happen.

So I have this SD Barbatos and I decide it’s going to be my guinea pig for the night. I start breaking it down and taking photos to see where I need to paint and what polycaps go back in to what hole etc etc etc and before I know it I’ve got all the parts sorted in to the colour batches and up on sticks, my airbrush is loaded up and I’m good to go. So now I prime. I give it a couple of runs and then go make a coffee and a snack. I come back and I start laying colour. You know how it goes from there. And before I know it, its freakin' 10:30 at night!!! I’ve got a finished paint job, I’ve put all the cute SD stickers on and getting some cool pics to share.

I’d been at it for about 4 hours straight more or less with no interruptions. I coulda sworn it was like an hour, an hour and a half maybe? I shoulda been in bed about an hour ago. I need all the beauty sleep I can get at my age. It appears, I was well and truly, in the zone. I didn’t feel exhausted. I didn’t feel I’d rushed anything. I felt I’d had all the time I needed to complete the task I had set myself, at exactly the pace I was comfortable at. I was in the zone!

Now this was just a little SD kit and you’re saying… “dude ramp it down geez…it ain’t no big thang” and in some ways you are correct. But it’s all relative. See up until only 3-4 days ago I’d spent what felt like eternity on the Sazabi Ver Ka and I can openly admit that for the last 2 weeks of the all up nearly 4 weeks of that build, I was a long long way from the zone. I’d gone about it a certain way and I have learnt a lot of lessons that I couldn’t learn any other way. So I was laboring to get it done. I almost dreaded entering my hobby room. I’d keep the door shut so that I wasn’t as tempted to go in there and feel guilty coz I just had so much real life going on and there was this beautiful kit spread form butthole to breakfast across my bench with so many small stages till completion. But, with the help of my sick daughter who needed a couple of days off school…. I got the Sazabi across the line. And I was happy with the result. And I was happy it was done. It wasn’t until the next morning, I woke up, and I bull crap you not…. the first thing I said to myself was…. “thank goodness I don’t have to work on the Sazabi anymore”. The relief was real.

And so to be able to sit down with this pre-snapped SD and a solid but casual plan to re-paint it, and then about 4 hours later have the job done like I’d been through a time portal… man….. it was sooooo good to be back in the zone again. And that’s the crazy thing. The zone is like one of those awesome power naps when you've got like half hour to nap and you get in the nap zone on the couch and wake up like 20 minutes later thinking you probably need to get off the couch only to discover you still got 10 minutes left. It’s like time slows down….and it speeds up. It’s freaky. The zone. I now, am all about the zone.

It can be achieved in many ways and everyone will have their own way of getting in their own zone. Some builders just love those huge epic dios that take like 6 months to finish. Chippin' away at 'em here and there. Or every night. Tiniest details slowly growing in to an epic creation. Each time they sit at the dio they slip in to a trance like state and the mind just does what the heck it wants. Some people, like me, need closure. And quickly. I love nothing more than taking a kit from box to posing in a single session. For that period I am deep in the zone. Almost uncontactable. If I’m left on my own to focus on nothing except the kit at hand and allow the voice in my head to yabber away, and it does, it never ever shuts up, I can find that zone and just bob around in there like some sorta floatation tank, in a somewhat meditative state, mulling over the week past or the week to come, or nutting out solutions to world hunger and diseases. It all happens in the zone.

And I’m afraid to say, that if you aren’t finding your zone, in those times where you just want to sit and chill and build, then something ain’t right. There’s times like build meets and social builds that yeah we are meeting more than building and that’s the purpose of those times, but with all the hustle and bustle and craziness that goes on in our lives, whether it be work or school or wives or husbands or kids or dogs….. it is imperative that you find time to get in to your zone. To let the mind just window shop a little. To wander around semi aimlessly. Allow it to talk. Or not talk. You really don’t know what it wants to do until you give it the chance to show you. It’s got to be done. Your mind deserves time in the zone. Gunpla is freedom….in the zone.

(Some images in this article were used with permission from the 'Gundam Meme's Official' Facebook group. Other images in this article were found via Google image search. If any of these images are yours and you'd like them taken down or given credit for then please contact us ASAP and we shall do so with out any issue at all)

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