Tuesday, March 31, 2009

a restful week

To no surprise I didn't get a lot done last week while I was off. It snowed more than it thawed so I had a bunch of shovelling to keep up with. While I didn't paint any figures, I did get ready for pre-paint.

I started making a replica gas mask bag for D3 to use as an Indy satchel. G also wants one too. I've ripped most of the seams out of an old pair of jeans to use for the material but need to cut and sew (and dye).

We did get our computer guy to look at our systems. We should be able to take parts from the surplus computer Shan got from work and cobble together with some upgrades we've put into our old computer to keep us afloat in the world wide web for a bit longer.

I still have to draw up some floorplans for our potential upgrades to the house. It could be a very interesting summer.

Friday, March 20, 2009

at odds

I’m off next week so I probably won’t be able to update as often – my home connection is not so solid. Unless I get presented with a to-do list, I’m basically free-range for the week. Depending on the weather, I may have to move around some snow to help it thaw. I’m thinking I’ll try and paint some figures and try to take some more pictures for boardgamegeek.

I also started making an Indiana Jones satchel for my son so I might try to finish sewing and dye it. My daughter also wants one too.

If I have time, I might do a quick sift of my room. I may even work at the Man O War ships I started years ago. I might do some terrain.
We’ll see what I can actually get done.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We are the world

My mom needed a large world map showing country divisions but without country names and had asked me if I could draw one for her. I found a political map on wiki and took it home. She had told me back at the end of January that she needed this for the beginning of March. Naturally, I did it on March 1. Truth be told, she didn’t get me the paper size until mid-February so I didn’t procrastinate all that much.
I had picked up a small opaque projector from Michaels years ago. The only other thing I’ve really used it for was upsizing a Ghostbusters logo to use as a pattern for hand-stitching the logos and that was over 6 years ago. I first came across these in elementary school – using the camera obscura principle to enlarge pictures in books on the wall to trace.

The map I was using was quite small for the size I needed it – it almost would have easier to draw it freehand but I figured I’d give it a try. In looking at the projector, I noticed that it was rated up to a 75 watt bulb. It had a 60 watt in there now. I’m wondering if, now that we have the compact fluorescents, I can put a brighter (and cooler) bulb in there for a sharper picture.

I was only able to upsize a quarter of the map at a time. I had to keep moving the image and then re-aligning the map to get the entire thing done. My main problem was that the focal range was about 4 inches off the page for the size I needed. I kept holding up the back of my hand or even an extra piece of paper for a clear image when the lines all merged together in a mess. I think it came out pretty well – I had to freehand in Alaska and I think I added in an extra country behind Albania but it looked not too bad.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

blip - blip - blip

I thought I was able to get the last two Treehouse Aliens figures I needed to complete the entire Colonial Marine set. I was looking forward to painting them up and using them with an upsized Aliens boardgame. Unlike other upsized games, this one has a solo-play feature that should allow me to use it more often.

The figs came in. I didn’t get the Drake – I got a Vasquez instead. The figure was in the packaging and was tipped back in the photo – making me think it was a Drake instead of the Vasquez that I already have. So I still need a Drake. I had been looking forward to starting in on these next week when I am off. I might still start on them - depends on what else the wife thinks I should be doing.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Watchmen - sooo goood!

They did change a few things from the book, but basically the Watchmen movie was very true to the book. I’ve heard that some fans of the book didn’t like it. I’m not sure why – both the wife and loved the book and we both love the movie.

Granted, if you hadn’t read the book, you might be a bit disappointed if you were expecting your standard superhero fare. This isn’t going to have the same happy ending as Iron Man or Batman film. The heroes you end up cheering for aren’t necessarily the people you would like.

Not to put down Heath Leger but if he deserves an oscar for his Joker, then Jackie Earle Haley definitely deserves one for Rorshach. He nailed the character perfectly. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Comedian was quite good too.
I wasn’t as impressed with Ozymandias but at least Bubastis looked pretty good – a shame she didn’t have more screen time. But with 2 hours and 45 minutes running time, something had to be trimmed. It doesn’t feel long though. I look forward to the dvd with the expanded newsstand scenes. Since the ending’s event was modified it was an easy trim – the foreshadowing wasn’t as relevant.

The key thing to remember when watching was that the original story was told in 12 issues before it was collected in the graphic novel, each of the first several issues were mainly dealing with one of the character’s story at a time as how it related to the overall story as a whole. The scenes with Dr Manhatten’s backstory reminded me of this in the theater. It doesn’t have a detrimental effect on the movie but may help explain if it leans a bit towards being disjointed. Also, the blue guy’s naked (as in the book) – he dangles a bit here and there but it’s not distracting unless you’re looking for it.

A special thank you to you Zack for bringing this to life.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Being placed under abreast

As is common, there have been a bunch of new shows out with a female police/FBI/etc lead and a male analyst/outsider lead - Fringe, Eleventh Hour, The Mentalist, and now Castle. I’ve noticed a trend where the women aren’t dressing appropriate for a FBI agent or Police detective. Take a second look – most of them are running around with their shirts unbuttoned to their bra lines. I expect it would be hard enough to be taken seriously as a female officer without having your cleavage spilling out all the time.

I suppose a lot of them are trying to capture the X-files chemistry – but look back at the first three seasons – Scully (Gillian Anderson) was always dressed conservatively – pretty buttoned up and yet still remained a cutie. I find returning show Life is also handled well - Dani Reese, played by Sarah Shahi, can be incredibly attractive and yet dresses believably as a detective. Robin Tunney’s Teresa Libson from the Mentalist dresses appropriately but then has hair spilling down to the middle of her back. Amanda Righetti on the same show is an adorable redhead but is dressed believably and also has her hair tied back.

I'm liking all of these shows and would recommend them to others. The stories are pretty solid and the characters are good. The next time you watch, take a moment to notice apparel. Just saying is all.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Who Watches the Watchmen?

We will. It's the comic geek ultimate movie - 20 years in the making, and I keep running into friends who haven't even read it. I mean, even with it being sold in Walmart (which surprises me due to the violence and rape scenes), I can understand the general public not being exposed to it. I can understand them not knowing the characters or even that they were based on the old Charleton characters but had to be changed when DC decided to intergrate those characters into the DC universe but to not have even read it?

There were a few defining graphic novels when the format was still fresh. The Dark Knight Returns, Maus, and Watchmen are the main three. The Killing Joke is close but doesn't quite make this level. How could twenty years have passed and people have not been exposed to Watchmen before the movie?

From what I have seen of it, it looks like Zack has kept true to the original vision. I really look forward to seeing it on the big screen. I hope it does well enough. There has certainly been enough hype and a fevrent enough fanbase, but will it spill over into the general public? Will they go see a superhero movie about heroes of which most of them have never heard? I am concerned it may become another Daredevil or Serenity - both great films done very well - but just not well known.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Figure painting versus buying total

One of the sites I visit – Matakishi’s Tea House lists his monthly figure painting total – with figures painted versus figures bought. He also has some great looking terrain projects that he has done and some great tutorials. He isn’t updating as much as he used to though.

Since I just bought a bunch of Starship Troopers figures and have hopes of painting again this year, I figured I would start to keep track. Since I probably have at least several hundred and at most about 2K figures already, it should be not improbable to stay ahead of the curve.

I had picked up a box of SST Spiders on Saturday at Imagine Games so my February total is:
Painted: 0
SST boxed set 20 Arachnids / 10 troopers
Powersuit boxed set – 8 troopers
Chickenhawk and Ape Marauders – 1 each
Hoppers and Blaster/Blister boxed sets – 3 each
Plasma bug – 1 figure
Spiders boxed set – 3 figures

Feb - figures bought 50, figures painted 0
2009 total - same