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United States | GunplaGallery Profile

Hello! Please introduce yourself

My name is Josh and I’m the owner and sole artist of Doghouse Hobbies Studios. By day I work at a local community college helping students with their educational journey, and my off time consists of playing or watching ice hockey, building Gunpla, or hanging out with my wife and our 2 dogs (who are rescues), Hatty Biscuit and Sunny Bear. We love dogs and love to help rescues.

I started the “Doghouse” handle as a single spot to showcase my builds to separate them from my personal account. So many people have accounts to show off their work and it actually helps with creativity and learning the craft. I chose the name Doghouse for my wife’s and my love of dogs. (and because I'm usually in trouble for something, aka “in the Doghouse”)

I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and currently live in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois as of 2020. Growing up I would watch anime and other sci-fi cartoons from the 80s and 90s (Robotech/ Macross, G-force, Dragonball Z, Saturday anime on the Sci-fi channel) and fell in love with the mecha genre. I was introduced to Gundam like many of the others in the States through Toonami and Gundam Wing in the late 90s and Early 2000s. Once I found out they had models I was hooked. My first Gunpla kit was a no-grade 1/144 Deathscythe from Gundam Wing. Then when the original Gundam series and 08th MS team aired in the early 2000s I became a Universal Century fanboy and haven't looked back.

My little sister also got into anime and got into Gundam (although more of a Char Aznable fan). We would make our own build sessions at our kitchen table or while on family vacations in Northern Arizona. It was nice to have something in common that we both enjoyed and could connect with.

In 2008 I ended up taking a break from basically everything so I could focus on college and my potential future career (aka adulting). In 2017 I was going through a divorce and still processing things in my life. My sister gave me a 1/144 HGUC Gelgoog Marine as a gift and told me she missed seeing me enjoy something I once loved. My girlfriend (now wife) was very supportive and thought they were a good way to kinda forget my troubles. I ended up digging out my old models and started to rebuild and “upgrade” them with paint and weathering. After a few I thought to myself, I have some skills to do this the right way now. My sister did bring me back to something I loved.

In 2020 my sister unexpectedly passed away due to a heart condition. Since Gunpla was something we liked together, every time I sit to work on my builds think of her and hopefully, in some way, honor her by trying to build something that people will want to look at and enjoy, maybe even help them to understand a technique or process.

I've set some personal goals for myself with this hobby. I want to make a trip to Japan for a Gunpla pilgrimage (and to go to a place my sister was able to go to), continue to improve my skills and never stop learning, and take the top prize in at least one competition.

Gunpla to me is a great outlet and a good form of therapy. It helps with critical thinking skills and how to problem solve. Outside of Hockey is my favorite thing to do.

Tell us about your favorite gundam project you have worked on so far?

That’s a hard one since I kinda have a few that I’m in between at the moment. Right now it would be my build for the Gunpla Builders World Cup.

My close second is my collection of kitbashes that I've been working on. In high school, I made a Gundam story with my friends based on the UC Timeline and have been working on refining it over the years. The story is that we’re mercenaries fighting for either the EFSF or Zeon with our services going to the highest bidder (but it's not always money, usually a moral thing). Our Mobile Suits are made up of other MSs that we would find or repair from battles. Lately, I've been building what I envisioned those mobile suits would look like, with some input from my friends. Building the kitbashes has been a rewarding experience and help in advancing my building skills.

I Will say that the one I’m going to be most proud of when I build it will be my MG RX-178 MK-II Gundam Titans colors - this was the last kit my sister gave to me. I want it to be perfect.

Describe your process when starting a new project

I’ll start by having a rough idea for my builds either in my head or I'll draw it out. Usually, it changes based on the limitations of the kit itself or my own skills. If something I want to have the kit doesn't work right away then I look to see what I can do to make it work or what would be a close compromise. I'll research using Google or Instagram to see if someone has already done it or to see if there's something similar I could use/do. Since I've been doing a lot of kitbashes lately, my process has started to drag out some.

I do a straight build of the kit/kits first. If I’m going to kitbash then I’ll figure out what can work without too much modification and then work my way up to what I may have to cut, sand, glue, or make. Then it's to clean up the seam lines, add details, and/or modify. I try my best to hide seams but I know that’s something I still need to work on.

After it’s all together then I take it apart again and it’s time to prime, paint, varnish, decal, varnish, weather, and then more varnish. Since I have been using acrylic paints for the last 4 years I varnish each layer I work on so as not to have too many scratches. I am starting to dabble in lacquer paints for more than just protecting the paint I just put on.

One of the things that I need to be better at is keeping a notebook of my ideas, how I built a kit, what paint colors I used, and actually documenting the build process.

Who do you follow on social media?

I try to follow anyone who’s willing to post their work to let the world see. You can always learn or be inspired from anywhere. It also takes guts to post your work for the world to see and judge and I've only recently taken that step myself. Some Instagram accounts that have helped me that I'm always referencing are @lupes @anubispla @ea.gunpla @hafgunpla @cobrapla @donsuratos and his daughter @nicosuatos. They may not know it but they have been a huge help in giving me inspiration and “oh that’s how you do that” moments.

If you also wish to follow my personal account you can at @jtucer73. Just know it's pretty boring and I don't post a lot. You've been warned.

Give us a tour of your workspace/workbench.

I have taken over one whole bedroom in our home and have made it my studio space. It's usually messy, but there's always something being worked on. I compare the room to Disneyland because it's always changing, and evolving and will never be truly completed.

The bench is a second-hand computer desk butted up to an IKEA shelf. On the bench are my main tools and HobbyZone storage units. I primarily use Dspiae, Godhand, and Tamiya tools. I also have my laptop set up here so it is a general workstation. The Ikea shelf houses my air compressor, modeling books, decals, Spray booth and all of the extra parts I use for some kitbashes in the little white drawers. The Desk Char is one that my wife happened to find on the Facebook marketplace. It's comfortable enough and hasn't fallen apart yet.

Above the spray booth are my paint “racks” made from 1” PVC pipe and some HobbyZone OM14 modules. Most of these are AK 3rd Gen Acrylic paints, but I'm starting to mix in some Mr. Hobby Lacquers and Aqueous paints. To the right of the booth are my thinners, cleaners, primers, and varnishes. Below those are extra storage and all of the weathering paints.


To the far right of my bench is the closet which has become my photo booth and Backlog storage. I use a Nikon D5300 Camera with various lenses to get my shots. I mainly use a black background with about 4 desk lamps with 5500K daylight 100-watt bulbs. Again, this is my current setup, and I'm still playing around with it to find the best setup.


Behind me is the showcase wall. This is where the finished or built and on standby Gunpla is displayed. This wall is going to be rearranged soon and will have the display cabinet in the center with the shelves on either side. Someday…


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