Graflex Pt. 01

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:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6c1fwo6hxb07a16/IMG_0030.MOV

I have a few ideas. It’s one of those things people don’t mention when they talk about these hilt kits.

Advertisements

Discovery Ships

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:

Continue reading

Yesterday’s Deliveries

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. 😎

Phase II Enterprise

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:

PhaseII_WIP01

Continue reading

Da Sabers

Just in case anyone is curious, here are all of the lightsabers I have at this point in time.

20171013_105430

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.

Return to CGI, Pt. 2

If anyone calling them self a Trekkie sees these images and doesn’t know what ship I’m doing, I’m going to have to ask you to turn in your Trekkie card. 😉

Windowshot_2017-11-13_17:14:53

Windowshot_2017-11-13_17:23:14

The rear end of the engineering section is based on the one from TOS. I did it as close to the schematic drawings and the handful of pics of the incomplete model as I could, with a bit of embellishment of my own thrown in. That’s been the most time consuming part of this build so far.

Star Wars Action Figures

I forgot about these until someone on a forum mentioned action figures.

Back in 1999, I decided I was going to get all of the Episode I action figures. Don’t ask why, I just did. Anyway, I’ve had all of these in a box for ages, so I decided to take it all out and snap some photos.

That’s quite a group, I almost didn’t fit them all on the dresser. 😉

Continue reading

Saturday Morning Star Trek

Ah, the seventies. Who could forget it? Well, to be honest, I could because I was born in 1979. 😉

These days, most people know of the existence of a TV series in the ’70s that was a revival of Star Trek. However, this wonderful series was nearly lost to time, until it was put on VHS back in the late 1990s. Then, in 2006, after CBS acquired Paramount, they wanted to do a DVD release, so to gauge fan interest they did a fan poll to decide if the series should be considered part of Star Trek canon. Fan interest was there, and the series got a release on DVD, and that was fantastic. Fast forward to 2017, and you can get the box set for $12.99 in the U.S. on Amazon:

I love this series. For those who don’t know, here’s a brief history. In 1969, NBC messed up big time and canceled Star Trek, due to its old faulty rating system, which made it look like the show was a failure. When they re-ran the numbers in the early ’70s using better demographics, they quickly realized that the show in fact was winning their target demographic, males age 18-45. So, they immediately syndicated Star Trek. Hungry for more, they decided to do another Star Trek series, this time an animated series done by Filmation. What followed was essentially Star Trek season 4, a series of 22 half hour episodes aired on Saturday mornings. Was this the best move? Well, the series won an Emmy in 1975 for Best Children’s Series, so you be the judge. This was the first Star Trek Emmy win.

To me, it’s just a great series with some good writing. There was a writers’ strike going on, but only for live action shows. This meant a lot of writers were left with nothing better to do. So, many of the same people who wrote for TOS came back. All of the actors came back except Walter Koenig, though he did write an episode. Aside from their iconic roles, Majel Barrett, Nichelle Nichols and James Doohan provided a number of the voices for other characters, George Takei also voiced a few aliens. They replaced Chekov with a three armed and three legged navigator named Arex, who would have been impossible to create in the 1960s on TV. In fact, the series had many more aliens that looked nonhuman due to the much less limited animation format. Anyway, add it all up and you have a really good series, though it did suffer from a few technical issues, most notably coloring issues. (most animated show suffer from coloring issues)

Anyway, I was on Amazon the other day because I needed to order a couple things, and that box set was right there on my main page under my recommendations. I saw it, saw the price and had it in my cart before I even had time to think about it. So, now it’s all mine. The box is pretty cool, much nicer than a lot of Star Trek box sets. The white case is plastic, and the discs are inside in a thing that pulls out. I guess, with four discs, they figured they could go a bit more elaborate with the box. All said, it’s a steal at $12.99. 😀