Thursday, May 29, 2008

[WIP] Dinomania build sideways progress

Some sideways progress indeed. Chopped up the Flakpanzer and just tacked it onto the dinosaur just to see what I need to do to make it look a bit more realistic(!). Some sort of padding and strapping is in order methinks.

You'll notice a different diorama base, a better one from Miniart. Think I need to get hold of a square wooden base to put it on or something.

I am Iron Man!

Went to see Iron man last night.

What can I say? Excellent film, no complaints whatsoever.

No spoilers from me - just go and see it, you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The start of 2000AD

Mangamax shares his feelings about the start of the iconic British comic 2000AD. I for one agree with him that it was the start of something wonderful, not only in the storytelling, but with the fantastic artwork that the comic promoted week after week.

Truly a legend that is still going strong!

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Wogan 'may quit Eurovision role'

From the BBC's Entertainment section: UK Eurovision entrant Andy Abraham finishes last as Sir Terry Wogan says he may quit as contest commentator.

I agree that the voting system has to be reviewed as even I was able to predict where the scoring was going and I know nothing about geography! Are we even certain that these countries actually hold a public vote?

What a farce.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

[WIP] Dinomania build starts to come together

So, I started putting together the build for the SFM:uk Dinomania Group Build.

The Triceratops went together very quickly, but it is not the best fitting kit in the world and will need a lot of clean up. But I wanted to get an idea of how it would look with the other stuff, so I put together a 1/35 German Infantry figure and the house corner (a very disappointing kit, but salvageable). And this is what it looks like. It's a start.

[WIP] Meteor and Fireball pics

Here are some pics of the Meteor in situ with a Fireball SG.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

AFSSA E3C/E3CM Meteor: WIP Update

Managed to get some time today to progress this build. Basically added some more cabling to the back pack, assembled the arms and legs and shot some white primer on to have a look.

Lots of seams to fill and the pose to finalise before I start painting!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Betting Site Lays Odds on Final 'Battlestar Galactica' Cylon

Think you know who the secret skinjob is? A Costa Rica-based gambling site lets you back your best theory with a wager.

The secret identity of Battlestar Galactica's final Cylon is one of sci-fi's biggest mysteries, fueling endless debates and theories on blogs and web forums. Now a gambling website is letting BSG fans place bets on which character will be revealed as the last skinjob.

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Steven Moffat Takes Charge of Who

BBC Wales and BBC Drama has announced that Bafta and Hugo Award winning writer Steven Moffat will succeed Russell T Davies as Lead Writer and Executive Producer of the fifth series of Doctor Who, which will broadcast on BBC One in 2010.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dino Flakpanzer - oh my!

Just kicked off the second of this year's Group Builds over at SFM:uk, called "Dinomania".

Essentially several of us are taking a 1/35 Tamiya Triceratops (or two) and doing anything we like with it. Currently there are four participants, but there may be some more in the future.

My plan is to somehow turn mine into an alternate universe Dino Flakpanzer (anyone with a better name, let me know). I have some spare 1/35 WWII figures and accessories in the bits box, so will try and do something with them.

It's a pick-up build, so quite a long deadline (near the end of the year) so don't expect too many updates, it's something that will be worked on in parallel with the other planned builds this year.

Just for interest (and so you can see how I'm doing), here is my self-imposed build list for 2008:
  • MaK Fireball SG and AFSSA E3C/E3CM Meteor asteroid diorama
  • MaK Forum Group Build: Feuerspritze
  • SFM:uk 2008 Competition Build (secret!)
  • MaK Krote diorama
  • SFM:uk Dinomania Group Build
  • Anything else that tickles my fancy!
Let's see how I get on with that lot!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chicago, my kind of town!

Well, it's not the first time I've been to Chicago and the city certainly lived up to my memory of it.

The hotel was elegant (although the room was a tad pokey compared to the others I've stayed in over the past few days) and the deep pan pizza I had at Gino's was fantastic (although I couldn't eat a whole medium one - I only managed two slices!), just watch out for the buffalo wings - they are hot!

I have also discovered that business travel can be good for you! In the weeks preceding this long batch of travel and meetings I was suffering from high blood pressure (I even had spots before my eyes - not a good sign). Now, with the exception of being extremely tired and looking forward to the long flight home, my blood pressure s done and my vision clear. I suppose focusing on one thing at a time is a factor, but I'm not a doctor ...

Anyway, really looking forward to actually getting home. Just one more day now - hooray!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Toronto, shiny happy people?

On the face of it, Toronto is a clean, vibrant city with lots of nice shiny buildings, a scenic waterfront and bags of culture.

However, this seems to come with a price.

You can't seem to walk 100 metres without being approached by a homeless person wanting money. The problem is worse at night. On the steps of the hotel I'm staying in, not more than five minutes ago there was a drunk homeless person just outside the doors hassling the other people and I was approached by another wanting money.

I have no idea what the city's policies are to tackle this problem, but I have a fleeing that whatever plans they have in place, it doesn't look like it's enough.

Anyway, on to the next city ... how I love business travel ...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sitting in a hotel room, staring at my laptop

Yep, here I am in a very sunny Toronto and I'm cooped up in my room tippety-tapping on the keyboard (albeit a nice shiny keyboard now that I've cleaned it).

The main problem with business travel is not the meetings and the endless taxi rides to and from airports and hotels. For me, it's the bits in between. The hours that seem to stretch on and on when you've done all your prep work for the next day and the post-meeting notes and all you have to look forward to is the mind-numbing banality of the hotel television channels and the overwhelming feeling of loneliness.

So, munching on the free turn-down service chocolates and the coffee from the in-room machine, I sit here effectively talking to myself in an attempt to keep sane until the next fleeting human contact.

Anyone know any good restaurants?
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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Quebec, a city of the new old

Having conducted my business in Quebec, I took some time out to walk around the city and soak in the sights.

My impression of Quebec is that it is deeply proud of its history and heritage (2008 is the city's 400th anniversary) and much of the architecture reflects this. However, because it is such a clean city (in the old area at least, which is the area I'm concentrating on) it looks to be a strange mix of the true old and new old.

Beautiful nonetheless.

The best thing about this hotel in Quebec

is that it has free WiFi, so I can access the Internet whenever I like!

I don't know if this is the norm with hotels in Canada (I've only stayed in a few), but it is a real selling point for me, especially if I'm looking for a hotel to stage a business event in. It makes such a difference if there are no access rates (which seem to be standard in the UK and in Europe as far as I can tell).

Perhaps if more hotels stopped seeing WiFi or even normal wired Net connection as a source of income and simply an essential customer service (imagine if hotels were to charge you for putting the lights on or having a shower!), I think they would encourage more business.

Just my two pence ...

Two-handed Polar Bear done

This is my second Polar Bear, "Long Walk".

Essentially a stock build, with modifications to the left hand (to make it grip) and a new right hand (built from another left hand). The rocket carrying tubes are scratchbuilt from the filters from a 1/35 Tiger tank kit, with styrene tubes and channel.

The snow is a product from Games Workshop, which worked quite well. I brushed some Future on the suit to make the snow stick to parts of it. I also attempted a winter whitewash, although I'm not convinced it worked too well.

Still, you live and learn!

Bay 37 Finished

Well, the Group Build is over and the group have cast their votes and the winner is ... not me! :D

There were three of us that all got 4 points, so the admin's vote was given to CFX for his creativity. All the entries can be found here.

Anyway, here's some pictures of my finished diorama, "Bay 37".