Let’s Build! Warhammer 40,000 Necron Imortals (Deathmarks)

As a JET teacher in Japan during summer vacation, I don’t have any students and my office work is caught up.  So with my free-time [] I will assemble another model in my 「Let’s Build!」series.

Today I’ll be taking a look at the Warhammer 40,000 Necron Immortals/Deathmarks kit put out by Games Workshop.


This kit comes with two grey plastic sprues, five 25mm round bases, decal sheet and instructions.  It gives you the parts to build five models of 1 of 3 types, Immortals with Tesla Carbines, Immortals with Gauss Blasters or Necron Deathmarks.

For this kit I’ve chosen to assemble the Deathmarks.  An elite slot with a sniper role in a battle forged 40K army.


My first step after removing the leg parts from the sprue and sanding/shaving down the parting line, is to glue the legs to the base.


Next I assembled the torso pieces.  You can notice here that the shoulder shows quite a seem when assembled.  This is characteristic with Necron models.  I rarely use putty or green stuff on individual figures, so I just sanded it down as best as possible to reduce the seem.


The assembly for these models is nearly complete.  However, I did not yet add the head as the cowl on the figure would make it really difficult for me to prime.  On these figures I will paint the models at a different date and add the head as the final step.


Thanks for stopping by.


Let’s Build! Little Armory MP7A1

Today’s review is from the Little Armory line, by TOMYTEC.


Today we’ll be taking a look at the MP7A1 PDW (Personal Defense Weapon).  The model cost me 990 JPY and is widely available at hobby shops in Tokyo.  I got this one from Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara.


Contents includes three black, plastic sprues and instructions.


The kit comes with parts to make two guns, one with extended forward grip and stock, the other with collapsed grip and stock.  It come with two sets of iron sights, one flipped down, one flipped up.  It also comes with a PEQ unit, removable suppressor and dot sight.  It comes with 4 magazines, two to be inserted into the gun, two that are for display purposes only, and will not fit inside the model.


Most of these accessories can be put in any combination on the guns.  While they will loosely fit without glue, they are too loose to stay fixed onto the model without glue.  The PEQ unit and suppressor, however, can fit without the need for glue and can be removed or added at any time.


The plastic sculpt is very good and other than parting lines and rough areas where removed from the sprue, require little sanding or shaving.

To assemble this kit, I used Tamiya’s extra thin cement, nippers, tweezers, and hobby knife.


When it comes to interacting with figma figures, I only have Kirino to use as an example.  I noticed that because of her slight frame, posting with the stock extended is a little hard as the arm length makes some poses difficult.  Another issue is that because of the size of the pistol grip, Kirino has a hard time maintaining her grip on the MP7.  It also tends to stretch out her hand piece.  Since the plastic is soft, it shouldn’t permanently alter the plastic in a negative way, but I still wouldn’t display her with the MP7 over a long period of time.





Olympic illumination in Japan

So for the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Skytree continues its trend of special illuminations.

The standard illumination during the games rotates between white and red for the Japanese flag (日の丸):


And yellow and green for the Brazilian flag:

But on days when Japan has won a Gold Medal, they illuminate the Skytree in gold:

Gold Medal Skytree

No silver or bronze.  Guess Japan is win or go home.
Its neat to think that I might see they games in 4 years from now.  That is, after all, why the JET Program has expanded to Tokyo.

Surviving the Heat in Japan

Another hot day in Tokyo.  Currently, it is 95 degF or 35 degC.  Thankfully the humidity is rather low today.


Coming from Seattle, where the weather is usually in the mid-70’s, it is difficult to bear the heat even after being here for a year.  I try to spend as much as my time in-doors during the day, but it isn’t a panacea for avoiding heat in Japan.  Japanese schools aren’t designed to be climate friendly to the occupants.  Moreover, use of the AC is selective on a staff-by-staff basis.  In the teacher’s staff room, for instance, the AC runs at an extremely low setting.  There is a large fan, not far from where I’m sitting, but it remains unused.

In the English staff room, however, things are different.  The AC is running continuously throughout the day, sometimes even when staff members are absent.  The English room is much smaller though, and uses fewer resources to cool.

Much of the heat disparity is motivated by two separate but related issues.  First, Japan’s “COOL BIZ” policy. The current governor-elect of Tokyo, Koike, spearheaded Cool Biz as a policy from back in 2005.  It aims to reduce the usage of power that AC units consume.  Currently, from May to October, most government organizations and many businesses discard dress code of wearing a full suit to a button-down shirt with an open collar.  Sleeves can be worn rolled-up or short.  Not only does it reduce the environmental impact with reduced energy consumption, but it also saves money.

The second reason is more abstract, and has more to do with Japanese culture.  Japan is a famously austere culture, which abhors waste or over-consumption.  Followed by the fact that the leadership structure in Japan is incredibly verticalized, when a frugal boss doesn’t use the AC for whatever reason, the rest of the staff toe the line and forgo AC use too.  Japan has the saying of “gaman,” which loosely translates as “to endure with dignity and without complaint,” it’s generally out of place for a subordinate to complain at conditions which the leader has already accepted to endure.  From my experience, information is always disseminated by leaders here, and rarely is feedback elicited.  It doesn’t mean that feedback is always buffed, but it can be seen as a poor team dynamic for a team member to express their needs to the group.  Thus, since my vice-principal forgoes the AC, the rest of us with use “gaman” and make due.

Outside of work, my ongoing interest in recreational cycling and my more recent hobby of PokemonGO as started to falter.  My cycling route lacks sufficient light source to bike safely at night.  And since sundown is usualy prior to 7pm, I wait until the weekends. However with the heat, I have opted to remain in-doors as much as possible during the day.  As far as PokemonGO is concerned, I still regularly take walks after sundown.  Unfortunately, my motivation suffers once I have returned home and settled-in for the evening.

Japanese news often reports on heat-stroke casualties in Japan. The numbers seem really high, until you realize that Japan does not differentiate from heat-stroke and the less severe heat-exhaustion.  Even in extreme heat, heat-stroke is rare.  It typically requires that a person not only be exposed to heat, but fail to hydrate as well as physically exert themselves.  Heat-exhaustion is much more common.  Thankfully preventative measures can reduce the risk.

First**Stay Hydrated!  Make sure you also balance electrolytes periodically with a sports drink.  But water should be first and foremost.
-Dress appropriately.  I have done away with my button down shirt and am mostly wearing an untucked polo shirt on my average work day.  Additionally, I wear a spandex or Under Armor type shirt below.  It helps wick away sweat and dries faster than the cotton of my shirt.
-Stay out of direct sunlight.  On top of the obvious heat of the sun, Japan has a much higher humidity than my hometown.  Humidity is a multiplier of the heat and can drain the body, causing it to sweat even while not in direct sunlight or with exertion.
-Don’t overdo it.  Its always a good idea to take frequent breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned room.