Long story short, I migrated all content to a new blog, because well, I got a bit tired of having this whole giant backend plus web editor, when I’m most comfortable when working on text files and code.
So, without further ado… please, follow me on my new blog if you like:
I realized I never posted the completed big red boi!
It was an amazing build. I was already thinking about getting the normal colored one too, sooner or later, and I don’t normally buy doubles of the same model.
I only put on the big gold sticker on the shield (aside for the chrome stickers here and there on the frame and the reflective green “camera” stickers), because I’m not sure I like stickers on clear plastic: the film edge tends to show too much. And I like the clean plastic look.
It’s big (boy it’s big, it’s basically the size of a small Master Grade… even the box is MG sized), it’s red and it’s a pleasure to build.
As it is customary with RGs, it has many gimmicks: all the funnels detach and can be posed on flying rods, in “deployed” mode (with the “petals” open and the front cannon peeking), and their tray opens, too. Several panels of the armor move, even the “pump action” handle on the big gun.
The Clear Color version is a limited edition, so it can be a bit hard to find (and not cheap), but definitely, if you like a good build, get the RG Sazabi, it won’t disappoint.
I have never been a sporty dude. Not even back when as a kid I did practice some sports (I’m technically a Judo blue belt!), it’s never been a big passion or drive. Later on in life, I never had the time and energy to get into exercising (and competition, I could hardly care less).
So obviously between a full time office job and other life obligations, I live a sedentary life
Enter the COVID
Starting with the Italian lock-downs, I started to work from home (I live in Switzerland, but just beyond the border, and many colleagues are Italians crossing into Switzerland to work: we converted very early to 100% WFH, luckily), so I basically go outside only for groceries.
Which means I’m even more sedentary: my commute is literally a handful of meters now (either from my room, from the bathroom, or from the living room, you chose)… I realized I needed something to keep me moving a bit, and hopefully reduce a bit the stress (it’s amazing how much stress changing your life routine can make you accrue… not to mention worrying about the world).
Fitness Boxing on the Nintendo Switch
I’ve never been much of a console guy, but had lucked into a cheap Nintendo Switch and have been loving it: between Zelda and Okami and others I’ve played on it a bunch, docked to my TV. So when I saw Fitness Boxing had a free demo, and considering all said above, I went… Oh well, let’s give it a try!
The demo is a bit short (it will only last you through 3 or 4 days of exercise, IIRC), but I decided to bite the bullet and buy the full game.
The game in a nutshell
Following the tradition already established by the Wii, with its motion-tracking controllers, Fitness Boxing requires you to use the JoyCons detached from the console, one per hand, gripping them in your fists. Once the exercise routines start, no button is ever used, only your movements, so there isn’t much to learn, interface wise.
The game is basically “cardio boxing” training (or whatever it’s called): you have a music track to keep your rhythm, you follow the instructor, and have to perform some type of movement (a type of punch, a duck, or a step, basically) at the right time (that is, when their icon hits the “Target” area while moving up: there is one track per hand). It’s a rhythm game, in a nutshell, only instead of pressing the right button at the right time like in bust-a-groove you have to perform one of a set of “boxe moves”.
The moves get introduced gradually when you follow the “daily training” (which you should), and the on-screen trainer (by default, an athletic lady called Lyn), with an opportunity to practice the single move, and then during the exercises they are called out and also performed by the trainer, working on the background of some dance remixes of various pop tunes (frankly, the music is kinda bad, but what’s important is the beat, that helps you keep a steady rhythm).
As you progress, the game evaluates if you were on time (and also kinda checks if you performed the right move… though it’s far less precise at that) and gives you a 1-3 star rating on the exercise. From time to time, you get rewards, which include unlocking new tunes, new trainers, and clothing/accessories sets for your trainers.
As far as games go… there isn’t that much there, there: there’s a 2 player “vs mode” I never tried, and you can do more exercises than the normal “daily training” routine, plus there’s a bit of tracking of your weight (if you input it), and some other stats. But that’s really not the point.
The point is that it’s a nice motivation and excuse for doing a bit of exercise at home: if you are starting from scratch like me, expect to be sore for a couple of days after every new move is introduced. Daily (or at least frequent) training here pays off, because it removes the “stiffness” much earlier. It’s half an hour for a normal training slot, btw, so it doesn’t require a ton of time: it’s always Stretch, then a short exercise, then a longer one, then a shorter but faster one, and then Stretch again.
It’s just enough to get me sweating (profusely!) and wheezing (a bit less, after a while), without too much exertion.
Impressions after a few months
I’ve been exercising with Fitness Boxing for a while now… even if my regularity has been on-and-off: after more than a month of daily training, I had a long pause because I didn’t feel well enough, and so on. But I’m back at it: a regular training regime, even one as light as this, does help a lot to ease stress, and judging by the clear improvements in my performance (easier movements, faster, stronger) it does improve your physical wellness.
Don’t expect a comprehensive training, or a full substitute for the gym if you are used to go to one… but it’s much better than nothing!
For people looking for a similar tool, but with more potential for a comprehensive training, I’d suggest looking into Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure, now that it seems to be back in stock.
Oh and… if you try Fitness Boxing and find it appealing, I’d advise you to get some fingerless training gloves, to have a better grip on the controllers and most importantly to protect them from sweat!
Ok, this is a bit of a departure from my usual hobby models. It’s a “metal kit”, similar to the “Metal Earth” kits (often spaceships from various franchises, or famous monuments), only… It’s huge.
Made by a Chinese company, it’s basically a kit that you build by cutting parts from metal sheets that were mostly pre-cut with lasers (and etched, and possibly even colored) with wire cutters, folding and bending them following instructions, and then inserting tiny lips of metal through a slit and twisting it with pliers or other tools.
I have to admit, making some of the parts did make me swear a good amount… but thankfully I had some good tools, borrowed mostly from my wife’s stash: long-nosed, smooth pliers (from her jewelry tools) were absolutely vital, plus a pair of Xuron pliers she already used in the past to cut metal earth kits (you can see the points in the picture above), plus a couple of precision tweezers (that I normally use to place decals).
Instructions are on two folded A3(roughly?) sheets, on both sides, and while not perfect (and printed a bit small) they were better than I expected: parts that have multiples on the sheets are color-coded so that you can find them on the metal sheets, and the two or three phrases in chinese were easily translated using the Google Translator app by pointing the phone camera to them (they boil down to basically “decorated side”, “smooth side” and “bend carefully in a curve”.
Only a couple of times I was lost about how I would have to fold or bend a piece. I did make a couple of mistakes (parts that were put together completely in the wrong direction… luckily they were mirrored parts, so I could just re-do the same error and they did fit… albeit in the wrong side. Nobody will ever notice). And I broke a part (again, because I had bent it the wrong way, and bending it all the way in the other direction, the bending line (which is scored, and sometimes perforated) gave. A bit of CA glue and a lot of swearing mostly fixed it: you would not find the part by naked eye, probably even paying attention and up close.
Many of the (tiny) details are just barely suggested by the shapes: it is, after all, a kit made entirely from flat metal bits, but the decorations and carvings make the parts much more visually interesting!
And, yeah, the cannons were special parts, thankfully: rolling up metal to make those would be impossible.
All in all, I’ll call it a positive experience. I learned a lot. I had my sessions of “model therapy” (not gunpla this time, but still helping keeping me sane in stressful times), the finished model looks pretty amazing and it’s huge! 31cm in length!
Bonus points… these kits are pretty cheap! 20 bucks on Aliexpress, or even less if you order during some promotion (but I see they can be found elsewhere: just search for “Piececool Metal Kit”)!