Archive for July 2013
Monday, July 22, 2013
Posted by Ayesa Mikaela
Friend: So what are you up to nowadays?
Some may find it weird that a 20-something girl like me could be into Gundams and Gunpla at my age. When all of my friends on Facebook are posting pictures about their outfits, their babies and places that they have gone to… here I am posting pictures of my build, haul and the time I spend at home just to get my kit’s paint job right. Those close to me would not find my hobby nowadays as a surprise, albeit some have raised their eyebrows and questioned the hierarchy of my priorities. After all, it really isn’t common for ladies to be into robots — what more if you see a woman who’s WAY past her adolescence raving over Gundams?
Growing up in a household surrounded mostly by men, I grew up fascinated by robots, cars and all things associated with boys. I spent my childhood seeing my father build his Tamiya scale cars and RCs, my uncle fixing wirings in the house and my older cousin fawning over Chicago Bulls and Seattle Supersonics. Being a kid then meant playing outside in the afternoon and only going home if Dragonball Z is on TV or if it’s already time to eat. I had my share of He-Mans, M.A.S.K.s, Bburagos, Transformers and GI Joes to enjoy; much to the dismay of my mother and grandmother who refused to see the only kid in the house turning out to be a younger version of their husbands— only sassier and with longer hair.
Puberty. Such a time when girls needed to be “pretty” and “ladylike”, the toys and hobbies I grew up with were shelved; replaced by boybands, crushes and worrying over failing grades. Impressing your teachers and peers came in first and going out with your “barkada” became second on the list. I tried to push my love for Tamiya Mini 4WD during my late Elementary/early High School days but seeing as none of my girl friends would understand and would come to like it, I put it on the backburner too —along with the smell of paint I’d wake up to every weekend.
Time passed and I became a member of the rat race — no longer the girl who’d stop by hobby shops and toy stores, but the lady who worked for pennies to “save” with caffeine running through her veins; trying to make it a day at a time to keep up with her bills and the demands of society. I tried airsoft, photography and practical shooting to cope with the stress that came with work but it didn’t give me the satisfaction I wanted — the feeling of returning to my roots; creative and amazed at the simplest of things.
Derp Kyrios is Derp
While the nation was imposing gun ban at the early part of 2013, I got my hands on a bootleg Kyrios from Divisoria to ease my itching hands with the lack of things to do. I built the kit slowly, ever careful of nub marks, treating it as if it was gold. I guess in a way, I wanted to test myself — to prove that I got my father’s artistic gene which was my frustration and my mother’s passion for crafts. After finishing the kit in two days and in spite of it looking “funky” much to my distress, I took out the clear Tamiya spray paint can out of the garage which has been sitting there for so long and sealed the deal. The rest, as they say, is history.
First Attempt at Hand Painting
To be able to make something out of what others would deem as just “conjoined plastic pieces” to figuring out what tools to use and what colors of paint to get, even as early as choosing a kit to buy or what line to collect is an achievement in itself. It rewards one’s diligence and effort with its simple stance; an emotion that no one but us hobbyists/modelers/collectors can understand. We may be “childish” and our kits may be “toys” to others but to us, they are accomplishments — from the purchase to opening its box… the first piece we cut off the runner up to seeing it displayed on our shelves in all its painted (or not!) glory.
Gunpla made me discover a lot of things about myself and my capabilities. Sentimental as it may sound but it just might have reconnected me to the memories I lost while I was trudging may way into adulthood. With it came my validation; that I am indeed my parents’ daughter with my love for anything that involves detail and craftsmanship, even if it means having my fingers bleed and getting my hands dirty. A belated realization, but my kits as they stand represent fulfillment; for the things I failed to do then with my means as a kid/teen and the reflection of my folks in me as I figure out every build.
I guess it’s safe to say then that regardless of gender, no one is ever too young or too old and it is NEVER too late to learn and start a new hobby — all the more if it involves wickedly awesome robots. ;)