Saturday, 31 December 2011

review-my top 5 moments of 2011

With the arrival of a new year in just half a day, it seems appropriate to review my best moments of this past year. Here are five of my personal bests:

5) Getting my first guitar:
Having long wanted to start playing music, I bought the sexy guitar you see below. I have yet to learn to play it, but it sure is tempting with a guitar this nice.

4) Seeing Papa Roach/Madina Lake:
A good pair of moments, both taken from the mid/later half of the year. Papa Roach was my first major gig attendance, and one that will not be forgotten. A more detailed account of the Madina Lake gig can be found HERE if you’ve yet to see it.

3) Starting University:
With increasing prices next year in the UK, 2011 was a mad dash for a university place. With about double the number of applicants, it seemed hard to get a place for some. Thankfully, I got my place at the University of Huddersfield, and am happily settled into my course.

2) Getting my first Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought:
Having seen this design and loving it on sight, I had to have one. Even with a slight order mixup, I still created an epic centre piece for my thousand son’s collection. Its ‘brother’ is still Work In Progress.

1) Getting together with my girlfriend:
Possibly a rather obvious moment for those who know me, but easily one of the best points of 2011. Having met my girlfriend, one who actually cares and listens, it’s hard not to mention this, and even harder not to make it my best feature of this year. Nine months-and-a-bit on, I am still happy, and dream of an amazing 2012, 2013, 2014 and beyond with her.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas wishes and general festive cheer

Thought it would be appropriate and festive to wish all my viewers and followers a very Merry Christmas, and the usual message wishing for you to have a great time.

Christmas is a time of giving, and so I'll give you a Christmas message. Everyone should have someone to share Christmas with. This year, I'll be spending my first Christmas with my lovely girlfriend, as well as the usual family favourites. However, if not in a relationship, or particularly close to family, find someone at least. Firstly, it makes it all the more cheerful for you. Second, it gives you a potential drinking partner! Also, with so much Christmas 'nonsense' (knitted jumpers come to mind) it's better to look like an idiot with others than a solitary buffoon.

Being who I am, I am not much a fan of most generic 'xmas tunes' so here's a little something mores suitable.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Discussion: The art of Scratch-building

For some the beauty of a finished kit, is enough to satisfy the hobbyist's need. For some it is not. Through either a lack of funds for the high end kits, or for a skills challenge, people choose to build things entirely from scratch, using parts from other kits, plastic sheeting, sculpting putty and even rubbish.

I myself have decided to venture down this route. I doubt it will become a permanent thing, as it is very time consuming. I imagine the kit I decided to imitate, had I purchased it, would have taken about a tenth of the time to produce, and will most likely be a better finished product. However, I am content with my efforts, and considering I was considerably determined to get the details right, am happy with the final outcome.

 The above picture shows an actual Hell Blade (a sci-fi jet essentially) produced by Forge World, where as the image on below shows my attempt to replicate it. Whilst not 100% accurate, I feel it is a very good representation.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Charity highlight: Sophie Lancaster Foundation

Hey guys, thought I'd tell you a serious story about a charity that is rather close to my heart, The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

I understand that some people are seen as 'different', in this context, belonging to what is dubbed a 'sub-culture'. I myself maybe considered 'emo' to some, due to my love of My Chemical Romance and my black/red hair. I have no shame in hiding this, and openly express this image. Unfortunately, there are some in this world who see this uniqueness as an excuse to bully, abuse, and even attack people. I could devolve into a rage about these kinds of sick, twisted people, but I want to present a calmer view on this.

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation begun after the tragic death of Sophie Lancaster, on August 24th 2007, following a horrific attack on her and her partner by a group of 'youths'. They were attacked simply because they were branded 'goths'. To any right thinking and respectful human being, social intolerance is a ridiculous reason to attack somebody.

The foundation's aims are to help people who belong to sub-cultures, and also to educate others. Founded by Sophie's mother, Olivia,  they offer group sessions, with the aims of educating people on different sub-cultures, and spreading ideas of respecting people, whether they wear black, have piercings, green hair or otherwise. Support and advice for victims of attacks or abuse also exists. Promotion is achieved through their WEBSITE, benefit gigs and charity events. Currently, a campaign is being put forward, to have the UK Hate Crime legislation extended to include people from “alternative subcultures” or “Lifestyle and Dress”. I greatly hope they achieve this.

I urge you to at least look through their website, feel free to donate. Hopefully the story behind the charity will make you think twice about bullying the 'emo kid'.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Showcase: Modified Chaos Land Raider

If you were viewing this Blog last week, you will have seen a picture, showing of a corner of my latest project. Now I can reveal it to you. This is the Chaos Land Raider I have been working on in my spare time.

I originally bought it second hand, for way under half its RRP. If you had seen it, you could see why. It was built, lets say, sub standardly, with glue stains swelling from the panel gaps, parts on wonky, and even the side guns housings were upside down (unfortunately, so much glue was used this was unsolvable, so I made do).

I was also keen to try out something a bit more radical on its basic design. With the recent release of the Land Raider Proteus, a retro-styled variant of this very kit, I wanted to imitate some of its design features, namely the overlapping tracks. I did this by removing the glue stained roof/track guards, and cannibalising a second Land Raider for more tracks. These were carefully overlapped over the open hull. The roof was simply spare parts and plastic sheeting, including retro hatches.

The painting is identical to the Contemptor Dreadnought that was displayed on The Rock/Geek Journalist a few weeks ago, but with more intricate patterns. However, since this, in game, would bear the brunt of more fire, I wanted to look more beaten, worn and torn. Pigment powders made another appearance, but in larger doses. I also tested a new rust pigment (only on the engine grill, but I'll add more later on. Overall, this was a fun project, and one I am proud of. Now, to fix up the donor....