Yep, it’s another lightsaber. (waits for the shocked gasps, doesn’t hear any, shrugs and goes on) This is a different one for me. Most of the sabers I own are from Ultrasabers or Saberforge, and I’ve only done installs on hilts from those two companies. Well, after someone in the lightsaber community linked to the Etsy page for this company, I decided to try One Replicas. One Replicas is a bit different of a company in that they make hilts that are intended to be fought with that are also very thin. Most companies try some approximation of the dimensions from the movies, but this one seems to be geared more towards the size of a sword grip. The outer diameter is 1.25″. I have hilts with that number as the inner diameter. The inner diameter on this one where the bulk of the electronics go is 25cm, which is just under 1″. The blade holder area, which also houses the LED, is 1″, to accommodate standard 1″ blades and LED heat sinks. So, needless to say, this thing is tiny on the inside. So, without further ado, I present the SSQy by One Replicas:
Well, my love for Microsoft seems to be flowing lately, as I just bought a gaming desktop on Amazon. It’s a really nice looking system at a really nice price. There are a few side effects to this purchase, including coming with Windows 10, which means I’ll be able to go back to Lightwave for CGI. My main reason for the stall in my CGI is that I still don’t like working in Blender all that well. It has ways of doing things that I just don’t like, we’ll leave it at that. (no, it’s not the GUI, Lightwave’s is no less convoluted) Other software I use is all cross platform, so it will work in Windows as well as Linux. Anyway, I’m looking forward to this. It’s going to be fun, especially the getting back into Lightwave part. Fortunately, I still have my hardware lock for Lightwave 10, though I may eventually upgrade to the newest version. I can also download the software from Newtek, which is good because the computer doesn’t have an optical drive, as they’re not used much anymore. Though, I can easily get a cheap external one if I need one for anything.
So, I did something yesterday:
I’ve been thinking of getting an XBOX One for a little while now. Yes, I’m a Linux user, but I don’t hate Microsoft, I just don’t like Windows, their game consoles are great. My 360 is several years old now and it has a 60GB hard drive. That was OK, but digital games take up more space than they used to. So, I figured I’d upgrade. I looked at new 360 E consoles on the odd chance they would be cheaper. Nope. For about the price of a 1TB XBOX One S, I could get a 4GB 360. A 360 with decent storage was more than the One S. So, I figured I’d get a One S with my Federal tax return. Then I was on the official XBOX site yesterday and I saw that Microsoft was having a deal where, if you bought an XBOX One directly from them you got a free game. I love free, so I took a look. No need to wait for my Federal return, I crunched some numbers and decided I could afford one. The XBOX One X is $499, but I don’t need one of those. It has beefier hardware and is designed for 4K TVs. Well, I have a 1080p TV, so no need for the One X. Besides, the One S can output to 4K, but it’s not designed around 4K like the One X is. But, the One X was out of my price range anyway. The One S, on the other hand, was totally affordable. I looked at a couple 1TB bundles that were $299, but the one I wanted wasn’t in stock. So, I kept going back to that Halo bundle. I love me some Halo, so that was calling to me. Sure, it’s only a 500GB system, but I can always add an external hard drive later. So, I put that in my cart.
When it came time to select my free game, there were a lot of good games there. However, Star Wars: Battlefront II was calling to me, so I selected that. However, that wasn’t all, it let me pick a second free game! So, I selected Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection, as I’ve been wanting to dive into some Assassin’s Creed for some time now. So, everything in the picture was $279 plus tax, shipping was free. And, it’s super cool that the two free games are physical copies, I was expecting download codes, like I got with the bundled Halo games. They always tell you that free shipping is 3-7 day, hoping you’ll pay for more expensive options. Nope, I’ll way. It turns out the wait wasn’t long. Less than 24 hours, in fact. I saw that FedEx truck pull up front, hurriedly disarmed the security system and unlocked the door. (and maybe freaked out the driver a bit, but he’ll survive) Anyway, I took it out of the plain box, posed it, snapped a pic and then tore into it. (not literally, I opened it like a civilized person) So, it’s hooked up where my 360 was and it’s updating right now. I have to go to work in a bit, but I’m looking forward to doing some game play after work.
So, I’ve never ordered anything physical from Microsoft before, just digital stuff. I’ve got to say, I’m pretty darn impressed with their service.
Well, it’s starting to look more like a lightsaber:
I knew the grips had adhesive on them, but I thought the screws also held them in place. Nope, they’re entirely decorative. They only go into the plastic, not into the metal. Anyway there’s not much else I can do with this thing until I get more parts. Though, I do need to figure out what to do about this:
I have a few ideas. It’s one of those things people don’t mention when they talk about these hilt kits.
OK, let me start by saying I don’t like “Star Trek” Discovery. (yes, Star Trek is in quotes, like I do with Into Darkness) Oh, how I wanted to like it. I gave it the ol’ college try, signed up for a 1 week free trial of BS All Access. Discovery was the only show I watched, so I went to cancel my sub before having to pay and they offered a month free. So, I accepted and continued with Discovery. The first two episodes (pilot) were OK, kind of like a long prologue for the series, a movie lead-in if you will. I dealt with the visual changes. Yes, the Klingons are fugly, their ships resemble nothing Klingon from before and I didn’t care much for the Starfleet designs at all. I don’t like the uniforms, sets or the ships. At least, I didn’t like them for the 2250s era. I get why this was done. Much like the Kelvin timeline movies, CBS didn’t actually make this series, they’re just putting their name on it and distributing it. So, nothing is allowed to look like it did originally, so it’s a visual reboot. However, I can look past the visuals if the story is good and if I like the characters. This is where I had issues. Like I said, the two parter was decent. I thought it was a strong lead-in for the series. I liked the characters OK, and thought it was really interesting having the main character be a prisoner. Then the rest of the episodes started, the “main story,” if you will. It pretty much jumped the shark right at that point, in my opinion.
After they got to the Discovery, the whole thing fell apart for me. For starters, adding tension by having everyone blame Buhrman for the war is stupid. Even if Starfleet tried peaceful solutions, they had to know from past experiences that the Klingons were going to fire upon them. I mean, it happened all the time on Enterprise whenever Archer tried being nice. War was inevitable, yet Starfleet has adopted this illogical attitude that it was all her fault. That’s just stupid. Anyway, what makes it worse is that the characters are all unlikable for me. Buhrman turned into this creature of self pity whose permanent stank face got on my nerves after about 5 minutes. (and the chick playing her is hot, so that’s saying a lot) Lorca is a totally unlikable character for me and always was. Stameets started off really annoying, but did get a little better before I stopped watching. Tilly was probably the most likable character. Then there was Saru. I thought he was OK until he created a computer program to “grade” him as acting Captain based on the performances of other captains. That’s where I lost any respect for him. I have no problem with any of the actors, they were just badly written. Then there was “Haryy Mudd.” Sure, let’s take one of the most beloved scoundrels in Star Trek and completely change him. Plus, they got Rainn Wilson to play him and I can’t stand Rainn.
Aside from the characters, the writing on the show is just bad. Really bad science, anachronistic technology and just dumb plots and plot devices. Please, a SPORE DRIVE!? C’mon, let’s get serious here! That’s a horrible plot device, and the way the saucer spins looks stupid. Also, there are many times where Starfleet officers on the show ignored rules, including the Prime Directive, and there’s no repercussions to it. Starfleet even ordered them to do it at times. Ugh.
So, is it all bad? I stopped watching after the episode “Choose Your Pain.” I chose to end mine and not watch that show anymore. I’d rather watch The Orville, which is more Star Trek than Discovery is. Hell, many Star Trek alums have even lent their talents to the series. But, there is one redeeming thing about Discovery: John Eaves. Anyone who is familiar with my blog should know that I’m an Eaves fan. Before I even knew who he was, I loved his work. I bought his sketchbook on the movies Generations and First Contact back when it came out because I love his style and his designs. And, he’s the main concept illustrator on Discovery, or at least he was for 9 episodes. I don’t know if he’s still with the show, but he’s working on some movies too. His work is very much in demand.
Anyway, my friend Dan “Madkoifish” Uyeno posted these on a forum, the only CGI forum I still participate in:
A little something I got in the mail yesterday, direct from Korbanth:
It’s a kit to make my very own Anakin/Luke/Rey lightsaber, modeled after a Graflex camera flash from the ’40s. The kit is really cool, it comes with parts to make any version of the hilt from the first film through TFA/TLJ. It’s going to be pretty sick, once I get the other parts to build the saber. I’m going to be doing it in TFA/TLJ style, which is a combination of the configurations from the original film and Empire. The only thing I’m not thrilled with on this kit is the glass eye, because it’s not a glass eye. I’ll have to replace that with something that looks better. Otherwise, it’s a great replica.
And, probably more importantly, direct from China:
It’s a Sega Genesis pirate cart, basically. I already own a bunch of the games on it, either in physical form or on licensed emulation based consoles. I bought this more out of curiosity than anything, I just wanted to see how good quality these pirate carts were, which isn’t very high. It feels cheap and rattles more than a real Genesis cart, but it played fine in my Super RetroTrio, not as much in my Sega Genesis Flashback HD. It read the cart, but I could only play a handful of the games due to how the Flashback HD dumps the carts onto the console and then runs the games through emulation software.
Anyway, that’s what I have for the day. Day 6 of 6 in a row coming up at work, then I get 3 off. Someone else who is also a supervisor wanted the past 4 days off, so I reworked my days so that I could be there, since one of us has to be. So, I get a nice little 3 day coming up as a side effect. 😎
Well, Christmas has come and gone. It was a good season, though busy, especially given that I work in retail. Anyway, here are a couple things my mom got me for Christmas.
No, my mom didn’t buy me beer. She got me and my dad matching steins. I provided the beer. (gotta take ’em for a test drive after all) Seriously, people I work with were like: What, she didn’t provide anything to put in it? I’m like: I’m 38, I think I can buy beer. 😛
She also got me this:
Now, this is wickedly awesome. I’m not much into comic collecting, but she knows I love reading comics and thought (correctly) that I’d like this vintage beauty. I’ve of course read it before, but it’s always worth a re-read, as this is the comic adaptation of my favorite Star Trek movie. Anyway, wickedly cool.
And, of course, ’tis better to give than to receive. My mom wanted a kitten, so we found her a free one. She’s adorable. When it comes time, I’m going to pitch in on the spaying when she’s big enough. For my dad, he wants some tool thing that’s about $100, so I’m going to order that for him. And, of course, I spent some time with family, when I wasn’t working, including my uncle that I only see ever few years because he lives in Colorado and I live in Ohio. He was visiting, which was nice, and my grandmothers and a couple of my aunts stopped by. Good times. And, on Christmas Eve, I went to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I absolutely loved it. I have three days off in a row at the end of next week, I may go again, and I’m looking forward to the Blu-Ray release, which I’ll get at work as usual.
Anyway, I hope everyone had a good Holiday season and I hope we’re all ready for a new year. 🙂
OK, this is the thing I’ve been working on, for those who didn’t get it already. I’ve always been intrigued by Star Trek: Phase II, the second attempt at a Star Trek TV series by Paramount that was doomed before it really got into production. Of course, the pilot episode became Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and many of the sets were used on the movies and even TNG, and some of the characters and stories were revisited on that show as well, but one wonders what would have become of Star Trek had that series gone through, as opposed to becoming a movie. We’ll never know because it didn’t happen, and everything worked out OK. We had the movies with the original cast, followed by TNG, DS9, Voyager, more movies and Enterprise. All told, a lot of good Trek, some of which likely wouldn’t have happened if Phase II had happened instead of TMP. Of course, the current state of Star Trek is sad, but at least we have hours upon hours of great shows and movies.
One thing I’ve always liked from Phase II was the model work being done at Brick Price Movie Miniatures, particularly the Enterprise model being constructed by Don Loos. Unfortunately, the model wasn’t high enough quality for the motion picture work as it was being built for television, so it couldn’t be used. Still, I love looking at Matt Jefferies’ sleek redesign for the ship, and at the 75% completed model that was being built. They were also working on a space dock that was significantly different than the one designed by Andrew Probert for the movie.
Anyway, I’ve built this ship before, but it’s been many years. As before, I’m using Jefferies’ updated drawings, cleaned up and made available by David Shaw. The drawings aren’t complete, but they give a complete enough view of what he had in mind for the Enterprise’s refit. There are also a few existing pics from the build in the Phase II book, which I of course have a copy of. In fact, I’m re-reading it while working on this. But, what I don’t have as far as references is where artistic license comes in. My goal is to do something between TOS and TMP, like maybe an intermediate design. Anyway, this is what I have so far:
Just in case anyone is curious, here are all of the lightsabers I have at this point in time.
Left to right, top to bottom: Hasbro Force FX Black Series Luke ANH, Kyberlight, 2X UltraSaber Aeon V2, UltraSabers Dominix LE V2, UltraSabers Aeon V3, UltraSabers Dominix V3, UltraSabers Aeon LE V4, UltraSabers Dominix LE V4, UltraSabers Sentinel V4, UltraSabers Dark Sentinel V4, UltraSabers Initiate LE V4, UltraSabers Consular, SaberForge Acolyte, SaberForge Prodigy, SaberForge Phoenix.
Some of those are empty hilts, I’m in the process of doing things with them. The SaberForge Phoenix was empty when I took that picture, a week or so before I built the saber.