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figma Mikuru Asahina Cheerleader Version Delivery Review

It has been a while since I last purchase from the Japan ebay seller which is my Xecty S.O.F.T. normal version figure. Despite several minor packing mishaps involving my ordered Nendoroid and figma Rin and figma Len I still persist to buy from the Japan ebay seller whenever I manage to win an auction. This time I won a new figma addition to my collection: figma Mikuru Asahina Cheerleader Version. One good thing about this seller is that he will always use EMS shipping. The bad thing is that he never pay attention to the note I left him during payment to pack the item using a layer of hard cardboard for protection. Here is the EMS parcel.

Side view of the EMS parcel.

Closeup on the EMS shipping label.

This time my parcel was not opened up for customs inspection. I had the opportunity to unwrap the EMS packing seal instead of the customs inspection seal tape.

Here is a peek of my figma Mikuru Asahina Cheerleader Version in bubble wrap still inside the EMS parcel.

Front view of my figma Mikuru Asahina Cheerleader Version still in bubble wrap. I can see some depression on the top right side of the box which is not a good thing.

Left side view of my figma Mikuru Asahina Cheerleader Version still in bubble wrap.

Right side view of my figma Mikuru Asahina Cheerleader Version still in bubble wrap. From this angle the damage done to the box can been seen clearly.

Closeup on the damage inflicted.

No matter how I calm myself down, this is just disheartening.

Overview of EMS parcel envelope and my figma Mikuru Asahina Cheerleader Version.

I was not planning on opening up my figma Mikuru Asahina Cheerleader Version but having seen the damage on the box there is no point in keeping it MISB condition.

With all packing materials removed I also notice some depression on the left side of my figma Mikuru Asahina Cheerleader Version box.

Here is a clearer view of the damage on the left side of my figma Mikuru Asahina Cheerleader Version box.

Here is the closeup on the most damaged area of my figma Mikuru Asahina Cheerleader Version box.

I think next time that I buy from the same seller I need to take for granted that my items will not arrive in good condition. But I cannot prevent myself from being disheartened upon seeing my new items in such a poor condition upon arrival. If only I know how to fix up depression damage on boxes.

My Love For Life Experience Review rating for figma Mikuru Asahina Cheerleader Version Delivery: 2.5/5

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon Christmas Wallpaper

Christmas is just around the corner and everybody is talking about the new movie from the Twilight Saga: New Moon. As a special gift for my visitors I have commissioned a special Christmas themed Twilight: New Moon desktop wallpaper to set the Christmas mood on your desktop. Just right click on the picture and click on "Save As". I hope you guys like it and I might even accept requests for wallpaper design in the future if this goes well.

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Gundam OO Diorama: Chains Of Despair

This is my final submission for the Gundam OO diorama competition. The result is out and my entry was not selected as one of the finalists. I think it is because I did not spend on proper modeling goods like primer (landscaping cement), modeling paint and miniature shrubs. From a different perspective, this is actually a fun experience for me. I drove down to the beach to collect the sand and rocks for the landscape and picked up a couple of soda can packing trays for the base.

Here is the actual video of Chains Of Despair:

Even though I did not make it as one of the finalists I gained a fun experience while making Chains Of Despair. My Love For Life Experience Review of Gundam OO Diorama: Chains Of Despair: 3/5

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Gundam OO Draft Diorama

I recently join an online diorama competition featuring OO Gundam mobile suits. A diorama is defined as follows:

"A three-dimensional miniature or life-size scene in which figures, stuffed wildlife, or other objects are arranged in a naturalistic setting against a painted background."

I manage to rally up my model kits that I want to use in my diorama and here they are in a box: HG Gundam OO, HG Overflag, HG GN-X and 2 HG Tieren Ground Types.

This is a nice spot of landscape around my house which I have chosen to be the base of my diorama.
All model kits positioned in place with Gundam OO taking center stage in the middle.
My main theme is Gundam OO in chains. Notice how the GN Swords are dislodged on the ground.
Closeup on Gundam OO binded in chains.
Custom painted white "Ghost" Tieren Ground Type securing one end of the chains.
Normal green Tieren Ground Type securing the other end of the chains.
GN-X on approach for a right side frontal attack.
Overflag on approach for a left side frontal attack.
Over the shoulder view of GN-X.
Over the shoulder view of normal Tieren Ground Type.
Over the shoulder view of white Tieren Ground Type.
Over the shoulder view of Overflag.
Right side diagonal ground level view of the diorama.
Frontal ground level view of the diorama.
Left side diagonal ground level view of the diorama.
Further left side diagonal view of the diorama.
Overview shot of the 2 Tierens securing Gundam OO.
Rear view of GN-X.
Frontal top down overview of the diorama.
Frontal ground level closeup view of the diorama.
Right side bird's eye view of the diorama.

I think the diorama still needs a lot of work as there is a lot of room for improvement. I need to take this opportunity to fine tune the model kit poses so they will be more dynamic and eye catching without spending more on modeling support goods like paint and cement. This is a good time for me to improve on my photography as well.

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District 9 Movie Review

I watched District 9 with my boo on a weekday evening. I have to say that I never heard of the movie until I watched it. I guess I must be really outside the radar of their promotion campaigns. But from the poster design and movie synopsis I was expecting it to be some kind of CGI 3D movie. Then again, during that time I was not aware that District 9 was produced by Peter Jackson.

District 9 is adapted from a 2005 short film called Alive in Joburg. In the beginning District 9 is a bit slow but when the alien spaceship is introduced, good things started to kick in motion. In brief, District 9 is a science fiction movie that centers around Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley) who is tasked to relocate a race of aliens a.k.a. Prawns to a new refugee camp outside the city of Johannesburg. Things start to get violent when the Prawns showed little interest in being relocated. In some parts, District 9 is presented in a mock documentary format which I think is a nice touch. The use of CGI blends in nicely with the live action sequences especially how the Prawns are portrayed on screen.

Alive in Joburg short film

District 9 Movie Trailer

All in all, District 9 is a good movie to spend sometime with. There are some blood and gore scenes in District 9 so parents and guardians be warned.

My Love For Life Movie Review rating for District 9: 4/5

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Bruno Movie Review

I was planning to watch Bruno with my boo but she felt disgusted with the profanity found in the movie when I told her about it. Instead I watched it with my cousin on a Sunday evening. I cannot believe I was able to finish my dinner while watching Bruno now that I look back at it.

Sacha Baron Cohen returns to the big screen, not as Borat but Brüno this time around. For those uninitiated, Brüno is a gay Austrian fashion journalist who previously had some success in Milan. Due to a mishap, Brüno got himself fired from TV reporting and then decided to travel to the USA to (try to) become "the biggest Austrian superstar since Hitler". The movie basically follows Brüno through his "trials and tribulations" in America.

Brüno Movie Trailer

Brüno can be a hit or miss depending on what your expectations are. It is vulgar and full of obscenities including a close-up on a male organ being swung around. It will crack you up more often than not using outrageous sexual gay references like how to defend yourself against dildo attacks. If you liked Borat then you will probably like Brüno too. That being said, if you are old enough to see Brüno I will probably recommend it so you can experience it first hand.

My Love For Life Movie Review rating for Brüno: 3/5

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Massive HLJ Delivery Review

Oh boy! This has got to be my largest shipment yet. I took advantage of the special time limited promotion that HLJ had going previously: pay with paypal and get free EMS shipping! But a large shipment comes with its downside too, primarily it will not go under the radar of the customs department. Truth to be told, this is the first time that I have to pay import taxes and it is quite a hefty sum as well. Anyway here is the overview of the shipment box.

Top side view of the shipment box which has HLJ's url printed.
Both the left and right sides of the shipping box have the "Handle with Care" notice printed.
The bottom side view of the box has the HLJ logo and slogan printed.
The EMS shipping label is attached to the upper top side of the box whereas the billing note or invoice of my purchases is sealed in a clear plastic bag and affixed at the lower section.
Here is a closeup on the EMS shipping label. If you look closely you can actually see the total amount of my purchases: 12404 JPY (which roughly is $150USD).
Upon lifting the first cover flap of the shipping box, I am glad that HLJ maintains its high standard of packing by using bubble air pocket protection sheets.
Here is the view of the bubble air pocket protection sheets with the shipment box open completely.
In this shot I have removed most of the protective sheets, exposing my purchases: more Gundams!
First up is my Robot Damashii Arios Gundam action figure.
Next is my Robot Damashii OO Gundam action figure.
My HCM Pro (High Complete Model Progressive) Gundam Kyrios.
My HCM Pro OO Gundam.
Now on model kits starting with my Bandai HG Gundam Exia Trans-Am Mode.
Bandai HG GN-X III A-Laws Type.
Bandai HG al Saachez's AEU Enact Custom Agrissa Type.
Bandai's 1/400 scale Gundam Collection Neo2 trading figures 15 in a set.
This I bought out of curiosity: Infinite Air Cushion! Here is the item description taken from HLJ:
"Love to pop bubble wrap? This ingenious device lets you enjoy the same sensation! Press its buttons, over and over and over--unlike bubble wrap, the poppin' fun doesn't run out. It even makes popping sounds! Plus, if popped continuously for a couple of minutes, it makes random "surprise" sounds like a dog bark or door chime. This version is light pink with matching buttons, and a loop of ball chain is attached to help keep it close by. Two LR41 button batteries are required (test batteries are included)."
My first Macross Frontier model kit: Bandai's 1/72 scale of VF-25G.
Another big box: my Bandai 1/400 scale NZ-333 Alpha-Azieru diorama model kit.
Here is an overview of all my purchases stacked up so you can compare their sizes better.
I took a picture of the bubble air pocket protection sheets because I am still impressed with HLJ's packing.
Another overview shot of my purchases.
Despite being taxed close to 20% of the total cost, I can still calm myself down because I have already saved more than that amount because of the free EMS shipping promotion. Now I need to find time to spend on the new additions and also a good space to display them.

My Love For Life Experience review rating for Massive HLJ Delivery: 4/5 (Could have been a 5/5 if not for the customs tax).

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