Weathering Zeon Aquatic suits

 

I finished up the Hygogg last week.

I am a big fan of Zeon aquatic suits, and really like the 5 minutes of screen time the Hygogg has in Gundam 0080. It’s animated in an unsettlingly organic way, which contrasts it to other Mobile Suits, while still being “mecha”. 0080 was also my first Gundam series, so the Hygogg was the MS I ever saw!

I decided to weather it to make it look more like a crustacean monster.  Once it was completed, I scored and dotted the parts with a scalpel, a razor saw, a file and a pin drill. I tried to put down some cuts and scrapes that might come from the sea floor while swimming, or while sliding on concrete. Once I had blocked these in, I thought about how incoming fire from solid shot would deflect from slanted or curved surfaces and marked these first with a pin drill, then expanded the holes to form small craters where shots had failed to penetrate, then scored and weathered these with the knife and file.

Around the central eye of the model, I made some cuts to draw attention to the focal point of the model. I also drilled a pattern of three dots on different places on the model to make up for the lack of detail in the early HGUC kit. The Hygogg is famous for having extendable, posable arms, but I decided to display it without it for now, as it takes up took much space on the shelf.

Painting

I tried several washes to fill the markings and panels, but was unsatisfied with Vajello brown and black acyrlic washes. In the end, I went with black acrylic diluted with 97% alcohol into a heavy wash. Once this had settled into the crevices, I wiped off the surface with an alcohol soaked rag, leaving the surface clean, but the details black.

I painted the undersides, fingers and tubes black, then drybrushed them with a dark metallic silver. Finally, I detailed the ports and exhausts with red and metallic silver.

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The back side was less detailed.

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I am happy with how the kit turned out, and I am thinking of giving it a matt varnish as I did with my HGUC Zaku II and RG Gundam. The matt varnish gives a very realistic finish, and makes the models look like painted metal, and not glossy plastic. This is notable in the last picture, where you can see the shine on the Hygogg, but not the Gundam.

I think the kit has a good amount of play value and ok poseability. It doesn’t bend at the waist and the head is fixed.  It relies on the extended arms for stability. It does rotate 360 degrees at the waist though!

The model itself is unusual looking and has great presence. Some people don’t like the rounded, organic or utilitarian look of Zeon MS. Some people really don’t like aquatic suits:

I do like them. Next on my list is another Zeon aquatic suit, Char’s custom Z’Gok.

 

As a bonus, here’s my bookstand from the previous post:

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Rules of IT

In my first job, the team was working on a server install. In the week, my boss taught me some of what he called the “Seven Rules of IT”. Only three of these were revealed to me, but I’ve figured out a few more since.

Know your fundamentals

If you know your fundamentals like the OSI model, TCP/IP, computer architechture, even if you’re unfamiliar with a situation, you can figure out what’s the issue.

No two days are alike in IT. No two sites are alike. That goes double if you are contracted in and didn’t set it up. Troubleshooting is the only skill that’s truly transferrable.

Never stop learning

Be prepared to relearn your skills every five years. Never be complacent with what you know. If you’re good, you can quickly absorb new documentation and have an instinct where to start.

Similarly, new staff are a loss-maker for 6 months. It takes 6 months to bring someone up to speed in a new job. They take too long to close tickets. If they ask questions, they can bring that down to 3 months. Always be asking questions and learning.

We’re in the insurance business

IT support gets sold because businesses need assurance that their computers will work. They need IT to deliver results, and so stay afloat. You have to make them feel trusted and secure. That requires a human touch, and personality is more important here than technical skill. Anything else can be taught, but if you fail on this count, you will always struggle.

Take your time

Even if a client is in your face screaming to get it fixed, have the resolve to take your time. If you fuck it up, you’ll spend twice as long trying to fix it. Don’t rush, research, ask ahead, and GET IT IN WRITING.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

While it’s temping to give clients more control of their IT system to take some pressure off you, you have to be very selective in permissions and security. Aclient trying to fix the issue can make it worse.

Unrevealed – input Jackman?

The final rule is Drinking and IT go hand in hand.

IT support is a depressing job. You don’t have much control over your work or hours, and you are viewed with suspicion and contempt much of the time. Most people are familiar with computers and think to themselves: “I could do his job in my sleep”. People think computers are simple – my child uses a computer everyday and they have no issues. Or the infamous words of Apple environments – it’s a Mac, they don’t get problems.

Computers themselves are dizzyingly complex, but once you understand the fundamentals, it’s easy to get a rough idea of where a fault might be. But there are complications. Otherwise this job would be easy.

The issue is the ecosystem of the computer and user. It’s not just one thing you are maintaining, but ten things.Workstations, servers, network infrastructure and the political/financial environment of the organization. And those ten things interact, so suddenly you have a hundred issues.

If you are doing a good job, people will generally not notice, unless you are doing very specific projects for people. If things are going wrong, expect to know immediately. Eventually something will go wrong in the hundred things you maintain, and you’ll be thrown under the bus. A client will kick a router like a football in frustration after a bad meeting, and bring the network down. Then it’s your problem. Someone will fuck up their install with malware while streaming porn in work, and then it’s your problem. An ISP will dig up cables, bringing the whole street down. And then it’s your problem.

Because of these two factors: the seeming ease of your job and the way blame falls to IT for every IT issue, no one trusts you. So a manageable workload gets buried under administrative tasks to ensure you are doing your job. Because no one trusts you. Because your work should be easy. Because you’re the IT guy.

These are the rules of IT.