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Archive for september 2016

Star Wars The Clone Wars season 3

By : Tomsche69
Force Friday, and I actually managed to catch up a small bit more on Star Wars, as I finished the 3rd season of the series.

Hey, give me some credit, it's only like 5 years old...

Plot

Named "Secrets Revealed", this season details mostly the inner political struggle of the Republic as the Seperatists, led by Count Dooku, cause havoc and turmoil.
Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka face off many enemies on the battlefield, while Padme works behind the front lines to strive for peace, an initiative she almost pulls off before her friend within enemy lines is killed.

Obi-Wan in the meantime investigates a coup on Mandalore, while the Night Sisters train a new weapon to help in Ashajj's thirst for vengeance.
And what is that mysterious object found in space?

Opinion

While the series consists of a lot of smaller stories, usually spanning 2 - 3 episodes each, I thought there where some really good ones in the mix. And it helps the animation has once again improved over the previous series.
The Mandalore one was intriguing, but I especcially loved the mid-season arc where Anakin is confronted with the choice between the Light and the Dark side of the force, I thought this a really strong 3 episode storyline.  Considering WE know how it will end...


Rating: 6.5 / 10

Build Report: 75111 Darth Vader

By : Tomsche69
Happy Force Friday everyone, and it would be no less then suitable to build a Star Wars set for the occassion.

Hailing from the range of buildable figures, this was actually the only one I bought.  I don`t like the "necks" on the normal humanoids, but the dark lord of the Sith with his already mechanical look is something entirely else.

In the box we get the instructions, two bags of parts and the large cape.

The body is made up of a skeleton from Technic parts, to which more details will be added later on.



Pins in various lenghts are added to connect it all together, and to have the limbs attached afterwards.



The central body is completed and ready to be expanded on.




It even makes use of a regular droid body :-)

A decorated plate serves as Lord Vader's chestpiece, with all the meters and buttons of his enviromental suit.


Next, the legs are build up, following the style of Bionicle with it;s large, bendable joints elements.



Armour plating is added next to the legs.


We then proceed to the arms, who follow the same basic structure as the legs.

These are then attached under the armoured shoulderpads of the main body.



Next, his large red lightsaber is put together and added to the model.


We then swing the cape over his back.  A sturdy piece of cloth for sure!


The final thing to add is his head and the full build stands completed:


It also came with some additional small pieces:

I really liked this set, even though I`m far from a fan of the whole range.  He has great poseability and looks really nifty on a cabinet or shelf on display.  This is one set I`m really happy with that I bought it!

Work in Progress: Buckleberry Ferry

By : Tomsche69
Okay, so thanks to the sorting work by "Padawan Mum" I could build calmly this afternoon, and I must say I got a lot more finished then anticipated.

I would have been glad if I just would have done the wooden raft, or ferry...

But I got on a roll, and apart from the ferry, I managed the house nearby including a try out of the "thatched roof with hands" technique for the first time.  I also "plate build" the walls to give it a more realistic texture.





The sides of the water where then completed next.

I also managed to include the big tree that stood near the pier, and the detailing on the floor.

All in all, this meant I actually completed the build bar the minifigures, I still need to trade or order some more Hobbits and the horse for the Ringwraith, but bar those things the whole thing is completed :-)

Macross Delta

By : Tomsche69
Set 8 years after it's predecessor Macross Frontier, Delta is the newest series in this mecha / music franchise.

But can it beat the incredibly high benchmark set by Frontier?

Plot

Hayate Immelman comes into contact with a girl named Freya, a Windermerian.  Together they travel to ragna where Freya wants to join the tactical sound unit CHAOS, and their girlband Walkure.
Hayate in the meantime enlists as a pilot, tasked to protect Freya when she gets enlisted from enemies on the battlefield.

However, Windemere is looking for revenge against a dimensional weapon used by NUNS (the former UN Spacy) and throught the song of the wind they look for the Star Singer that can activate the ancient protoculture structures in the galaxy.
When a war breaks out, Walkure is send all over the sector to try and contain a disease that spreads as a result of these vocal attacks, and counter it with their own singing.
Mikumo, the lead singer of Walkure, is revealed to be genetically engineered and Roid, first commander of Windemere kidnaps her to make her the Star Singer. 


Opinion

No.  That`s the short answer, it doesn`t even come close to Frontier.  While it has the virtues of still fantastic animations, two strengths typical for Macross seem to be missing in this series.
The first and foremost: an epic, bombastic soundtrack.  Walkure lacks the punch of Ranka and Sheryll's Lion from Frontier, or Planet dance from Fire Bomber in Macross Seven.  I admit, the music evolves with the timeperiod the series is released in, and teenage bands are more of a thing then the rock pop music of the era Seven came out, but I`m not a fan of this band.
A second integral part that is missing is the typical, strong love triangle.  Here, it was clear Freya and Hayate are an item in denial, while "rival" Mirage Jenius (yep, family off...) played a big backseat role in this.

On the other hand, the way the mysterious merchant explains how all Macross series so far are part of one big continuity was a huge top episode, and a strong point compared to for example Gundam with it's gazillion alternate timelines.

Rating: 5.5 / 10
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Voltron: Legendary Defender

By : Tomsche69
I was 6 years old when I watched the original back in 1984, and loved the "series with those lions".

Now, 32 years later, Netflix ran the first season of the remake, produced by Dreamworks

Plot

When Shiro returns to Earth after being AWOL for a year, he and some students at the galactic command want to go and search for the others that where on the scientific expedition.  They see something falling from the sky as the rest of Earth learns they are not alone in the universe.
While looking for the crashed vessel, they stumble upon a gigantic blue mechanical lion.  This transports them across the universe where they learn they have been chosen to become the paladins of Voltron, the mightiest weapon in the universe.

They must find and pilot the remaining lions, in order to form the giant robot and battle Zarkon's evil Galra empire with the aid of the last remaining Altheans, princess Allura and her aid Corzan.

Soon they learn how to form the mighty machine and the Castle of Lions takes off to try and stop the evil forces.

Opinion

This was a great first season, and ending with a cliffhanger, the thirst for more is present, and a second series has been confirmed.
I liked the animation, though I still prefer the more japanese anime style over the american equivalent, but never the less it is strongly drawn and the characters are okay, from serious Shiro all the way down to comical relief Coran.

Another good thing in my opinion is that the heroes are vulnerable, and they still need to learn to control Voltron, getting bumped around often.  Though they carry the day, it also helps that not every episode the robot is formed and solves it quickly.
And the first episode after the one hour pilot... hilarious!  Loved the cheerleader stacking attempt, but you have to watch the series to get that.

Rating: 7 / 10
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