The Tundra Bull support campaign

The Tundra Bull support campaign
I currently have my Tundra Bull moc running on Lego Ideas, please click on the picture and cast your vote to help it reach the 10.000 mark!

vrijdag 22 augustus 2014

The Plan - Week 28

An early bird this week, as all my bags are packed and I`m ready to go.  To Germany for a weekend with the GF and the parents to be precise, and I have a shortlist of toystores around there.

But nevertheless, we managed to get some game time in this week, no long nighters as I`d like to though, but the occassional pop in / pop out sessions.

EVE might have changed a lot to get used to after an almost 4 year break, but at least the AFK mining style is still viable to do ;-).  Though not for to long of an extended period, as my miners draw themselves full smoothly.

The biggest news in this part is perhaps that I joined up with a Corporation and Alliance again, a small scale miner ops that works also in low sec at times (0.1 to be precise).  Though I will need to specifically train in some non production and harvesting skill sets over the coming weeks (to make the Exhumers able to tank rats and gankers), it`s a very loose set of corp rules they handle.  No taxes, no forced mining ops... dig what you want in a group environment.

It surely helps for the riches, I went from my measly 23 mil ISK to 153 this week.  And `bettered` my security status from -1.63 to -1.53 by just chatting in belts, this way it doesn`t get as boring as it sometimes can be if your flying solo...

In other game news, I finally unlocked a Creator specced model in Minifigures Online with the Fortune Teller, and immediatly maxed her out.  The game is now in the waiting period to see if perhaps one more world will come out before it`s official release in October.

I honestly doubt this though, and the Lego catalog now also has an add for the game and added Minifigures Line (Series 12), which I`m looking really out for, but for now I`m trading specifically towards a Fortune Teller minifig, so that I can create a MoC with the three characters I tend to play in the game.

But that is for a post in the future...

donderdag 21 augustus 2014

Lego Space: Building the Future book review

Written by master builders Peter Reid (yes, the guy from the Exo Suit, the Ideas craze of 2014) and Tim Goddard, this book is a great addition to any Legobrary and those of Space lovers in particular.

Detailing through a great set of MoC building a fictional history of all the Lego Space lines interwoven into one, the book is stuffed with gorgeous eye candy, including the first appearance of said Exo Suit.  Tackling most of the themes like Classic, Ice Planet, Blacktron, Police etc... all with a twist, I really enjoyed this book.

I had read reviews about the book, now around nearly a year, before, and kept being drawn to it, so about a month ago I bit the bullet and got myself a copy from Amazon.  Now, you see, I am an owner of the original Yellow Castle (parts have been used over the past 30 years in all kinds of builds) and a medieval style builder.  But my biggest part of the childhood collection has always been Lego Space, and this kit has always been my favorite:

I can still build it, as none of it`s parts are AWOL, and have been doing that in the earlier time period when I came out of my Dark Ages.  It has been disassembled again in the meantime, but it remains my fondest play memory of childhood.  Set 6890, the Cosmic Cruiser with it`s jetbike that could store in it`s back.

Recently, I have been looking into building a spaceship left or right as one of the big projects for 2015, like the World of Warcraft inspired building has been for this year.  the reasons for this are two-fold:

1. Benny

2. This book.

I`m not sure in which universe I`ll be setting the build (EVE, Freelancer, Wing Commander or something else), but I already have a draft of possible candidates in pictures and screenshots, but that is a decision to be made somewhere in december.

But back to the actual topic, the book itself.

The story begins with humanity (Legomanity???) setting out to the stars and colonising at first the Moon, then expanding further into the universe.

When digworks are undertaken on an asteroid, a strange creature is found and this starts to mind-control the population of a space station, corrupting them to become eventually what we know as Blacktron, and an actual war between them and the `regular` space line breaks out.

The story then evolves on mankind fending off but not utterly defeating the alien invaders (star role for the Exo Suit here), and the discovery of the warpgate technology to start colonising outer planets and systems.  The Blacktron guys do follow but are repelled again, and space is open for the minifigs to build a new world.

So that is the story in a nutshell, taking elements from genre staples as Aliens, Stargate, etc etc... without really putting it`s finger exactly on one of those.  But when you read the book, you get the feeling of `knowing` the story more or less.  Excellently done!

Like most Lego books, this one also has building instructions for all kinds of smaller vessels and the likes, mostly in this case microscale ships. 

It is a nice and thick hardback book, with excellent colour pictures without the MoC`s and pictures actually dominating the whole story and making the rest just filler, something that has happened before in other publications.  It`s not a glorified `Look what we can build` book, but truly a work of inspiration and imagination.

A really good work to have in your possession, it isn`t that expensive going around 15 to 20 GBP on Amazon (but be certain to grab it now, as Q4 is nearing and Lego - or by extension, all things geeky - prices tend to soar higher then as people go gift shopping) and worth every cent for me.

woensdag 20 augustus 2014

Building The Council of Elrond

The most recent addition to my Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit collection, the Council was a lucky find.  I passed it on in the toy stores with the idea of `later, later`... and then suddenly it went out.  

Luckily, when looking for school utensils two days ago, the GF rang me and said they had them still in that store, and brought one along, knocking me back only 23 euros for a set.

Now, the Smurf already has this one in his collection, and I am really amazed by the elegance of the model.  It `feels` and `looks` elvish, and I think it is a great set for display purposes.

Opening the box you get two bags, the first being the assembly area, the second the elven structure.  A small sticker sheet to go with bag 1 and an instruction booklet, and to finish it off 4 minifigs are in the box.

Okay, so you get yet another Frodo and a Gimli, but you also get an unarmoured Elrond (I already have the one that came with the PS3 game and which is the cause of starting me back in Lego) and a Lady Arwen.  And both elves are truly magnificent models.

So construction works started on the base of the table part, and the play feature here is a catapult that can launch a model away from the table, revealing the Eye of Sauron when during that.

This is all covered up nicely, so it isn`t visible when the model is `closed up`.  This is to reflect the scene where Gimli tries to smash the One Ring and is then repelled.

The One Ring, which lies proudly on the pedestal.

The other stickers are to add pattern to the chairs.  I really want to know the adress of the interior designer of Rivendell ;-)

Add a tree to the whole build, and bag 1 is finished.

Bag 2 is about the elvish portal building standing alongside the gathering area.

It features an elegant tiered staircase, a pattern I should try to remember to copy somewhere one day in my own MoC`s.

As you can see, the Technic pins are the parts that connect the portal to the gathering area, while another tree is nicely incorporated into the side of the building with it`s white arches.

The roof is a simple yet elegant build, and after connecting it to the pillar parts, bag 2 is completed.

All that remains now is connect both parts together and put it in the cabinets with the rest of the collection...

This is a very elegant set and at the cheap price I paid for it, a nice addition to the collection.  I`ve also calculated the total price of all the remaining Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit sets I still miss, and let`s say I got to trade off a LOT of cards still to get it all completed, but never the less the hunt is on to get this all done before the series completely retires and becomes very hard to find!

dinsdag 19 augustus 2014

Lego Ninjago Character Encyclopedia book review

Let`s face it, Ninjago is Lego`s take on the Power Rangers.  You got four ninja`s and their old master, a red, a white, a blue and a black one, and then there is the love intrest that turns Samurai ally.

Add to this that over the course of the range, the heroes evolve (DX, Kendo, etc etc) and they get to tame dragons and steer big technical machines...  and then suddenly in the darkest hour, out of nowwhere, the Green Ranger eerm Ninja appears.

Okay, and even though I ain`t a Power Ranger fanboy, I really like the Ninjago range.  Because it has a lot of elements for (oriental) medieval building, it features ninja`s, samurai, skeleton warriors, snake warriors etc etc.  And the fact the older series often pop up in discount stores as they aren`t a licensed franchise in clearances.

The book follows the pattern of all the character encyclopedias, going release series by release series and detailing all the kits, some character backgrounds, odd and end tidbits of (fluff) information and such things.

There is also the fact that Lego has carte blanche in this and it`s stories, as it is one of their own ranges like Chima, and not bound by licenses like they are with Harry Potter or Star wars (all excellent eye candy books in themselves mind you).

And like every character book, this one comes as well with a limited edition, only with the book available, figure.  Which in this case is the Green Ninja ZX.

A sweet figure, with an awesome print on his clothing, I`m definitly going to be able to use him in one build or another!

The book is worth your euros / pounds / dollars, as are most DK Publications imho, and it is a tat cheaper then the Star Wars and Harry Potter ones to boot (again, licenses you know...)

Rhadamantys of Wyvern - Myth Cloth review

There is a reason these Myth Cloths can be picked up for around 25 euros on eBay.  They are of the older series, they have a far better looking EX version in the meantime, and they aren`t the prettiest girls in the schoolyard as they are over a decennium old.

Add to that the fact I`m one of those few not to be to excited about the Specters as a whole (to gloomy and monotone for my taste), and you understand why he wasn`t on my top spots of figurines to get.

Rhadamantys is one of the three judges of Hades, his strongest of the 108 Specter warriors.  Of those three, both in the Hades chapter as his previous incarnation in the Lost Canvas is the brute powerhouse and perhaps the most loyal to his lord and, in TLC, to the Lady Pandora (who is a real babe in that series btw).

Where he beats the three Gold Saints Mu, Milo and Aioria swiftly in the Hades chapter, this is mostly due to the fact of the energy dampening field of the Castle.  When facing off Gemini Kanon however in the Underworld itself, the scales are turned and when Kanon seems to get defeated being attacked by all three judges at once, Phoenix Ikki intervenens.

Kanon has learned the Greatest Caution technique and can now one handed block it, so the stage is set for the battle between the strongest of Hades servants, and the strongest Gold saint.  He was easily overpowered by the Gold saint in singular combat, until Kanon stripped down the cloth as it was summoned by his deceased brother to the Wailing Wall to unleash the ultimate attack of the 12 combined Gold saints to breach this.  Rhadamantys fell when Kanon launched a suicide attack and unleashing a full power Galaxian Explosion.

In the Lost Canvas, his story was even more powerful.  Here he had been given blood of Hades to recuperate from his injuries suffered by the Gold saints Degel of Aquarius and Kardia of Scorpio, but the power drove him mad.  He faces of Regulus, the Leo saint and a master of combat whome he long ago killed the father off.  Regulus pulls off launching a solo Athena Exclamation, but Rhadamantys barely survives while the saint is obliterated.  However, the young lion is now one with the earth and his soul remains, defeating the Wyvern.

Badly wounded, Rhadamantys returns to the palace of Hades, and decides to help Pandora against Alone who still resists the spirit of Hades.  The God of the Underworld`s power is to great for him though, and he is torn in two by Hades`s sword, only to die in the arms of his beloved Pandora.

The Myth Cloth

Like I stated earlier, the model is of the first series of Myth cloths, and it`s age shows.  Even though with the Appendix you can make it look a lot better, I have it in my cabinet in it`s original state.

Like all the specters, compared to Athena`s saints, it is a very spiky model, and the assembly is not to hard, but fiddly at times.  The shoulder pads and the wings being the main culprits to connect nicely together, while the knees are a bit triffling to put together as well.

Compared to the v2 bronzes, his facial expressions and sculpts are a slight improvement, but still it isn`t the best of jobs they could have done on him though.

And then there is still the actual question of how the colour of a surplice actually looks like, I find the models to be a bit TO bright for them, but heck, at least the EX is improving on that part.

If you`re a fan of the character, and not a collector for all cloths, I would advise you to buy the EX version.  If you collect all the cloths like I do, just scour the internet for the bargains, he is surely to be found on there for a fraction of his original price, still in the sealed box like mine was...

maandag 18 augustus 2014

New Lego Minecraft sets

Two new Lego sets for the Minecraft line have been revealed the past weekend, the Cave and the Farm.

Now, I am one of those very odd gamer types that has actually never played Minecraft at all, but it is a popular videogame out there, and it`s style and concept go well together with Lego as it is all blocky and buildy stuffsies.

So the chances that I am buying these for the set are minimal, but on the other hand if I ever should run into them on a clearance of promotion, I`d be glad to take them along as they have a very nice selection of pieces in them to be recycled for MoCs...

zondag 17 augustus 2014

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett book review

I saw and loved the SyFy movie, I watched the cartoons and read most of the books in the series (Soul Music still being my favorite)... but for some odd reason I never took to The Colour of Magic... until now, and I was a swift read as you get sweeped up in the story with three very unlikely heroes.

Rincewind: failed at the Wizards university, and knowing only one (but very strong and forbidden) spell.
TwoFlowers: the first tourist ever to set foot on the Discworld, a deskclerc from a rich empire who has decided to see the world.
The Luggage: a bottomless chest with hundreds of feet and very, very big teeth, he follows TwoFlowers everywhere and rampages through half the world in doing so...

Now, Diskworld is a very comical and light set of fantasy books, and truly a marvelous adventure build on strange concept, speckled full with tongue in cheeck while told with a wiff of british humour.  Sounds confusing?  Well, you kind of have to read it to see what a mean, like the first lines of the intro:

In a distant and second-hand set of dimensions, in an astral plane that was never meant to fly... ...Great A`Duin the Turtle comes... ...most of the weight is of course accounted for by... ...the four Giant Elephants upon whose broad and star-tanned shoulders the disc of the world rests...

So out there in space, there are giant turtles flying through it`s vastness whom carry on their back four elephants.  And those elephants in turn carry a flat disc that contains the world (the Diskworld), a flat plane with actual edges where one can fall off.

It is told in the book there are more of them, and research in their how is done, but the book detail a fantastic adventure as Rincewind is assigned to keep TwoFlowers safe while he travels the world in order to avoid the wrath of his home country. 

They are often joined in this deity-like chessgame by the barbarian Hrun and the talking, sarcastic and rambling magical sword Kring, as they battle an ancient horror (the way to explain they couldn`t say the number 8 is hilarious), flee from power hungry Dragon lords, fend of the guilds out for the money in the luggage to end up in the worlds first deep space explorer.

And of course there is Death, probably one of the most fantastic characters from the whole series!

Read them, they are great!

Oh, and the answer to what the colour of Magic is?  Octarine!