Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Comic Shop post update... That had gotten a little out of hand.

This is an update to the The Comic Shops. A Trip Down Memory Lane post from 30/03/14.

I wanted to include a very pacific image i found online many many years ago ( like mid 2000/01 ) while i was looking for the Epic Heroes shop in Edgware. It was a image that made me really want to go. I went so far as to pester my mates to take a trip down there. It wasn't hard just a trip to the Forbidden Planet in London and the a little train journey to Edgware. I look back at my time at university and i have to add mite a lot of the best memories i have are our trips to the comic shops in London or to Oriental City shopping Mall in Colindale. Sadly Oriental City is now gone.
But i will remember it fondly as the pace i first got my Gundam and Patlabor and a really cool Studio Ghibli boxset on dvd... though they were bootlegs. Though i did get them in  a shop that looked just like  
WH Smiths... 
( i was young how was i to know... but know i only buy offical dvds or blurays now. )
They even had a points cards and so that was fun. For every £5 or £10 spent you would get a stamp.... and once you filled the card you got money off your next perches.They sold everything from books, magazines and dvds. While the mall had everything food courts supermarkets and so on.       

This was normilly done in the sameday. So we would attened the morning workshops or lectures then the rest of the day would be free so we would go out on adventures. Or meet up out side the university and go to London and be back in time for the afternoon workshops... Good times indeed... 

But this was ment to be just a quick post to say i found this super cool picture of this comic shop i used to go to...  and it has gotten a little out of hand so getting focused and back on track.... 

Here is the picture.

I was talking to a friend about the blog post and said i had wanted to include this picture as it was the image that made it impossible for me not to go.  
Just look at the WALL OF MECHA! 
How could i not go. I ended up picking up some of the Macross figures of toys that you can see on the top shelf. I really wanted to get the Transformers Generation One Reissue but at the time i just did not have the space to display them. 
Heck i don't have the space to display the stuff i have at the moment.
I do need to take a look at the collection and think about have a ebay cull and sell off a lot of the items that no longer mean as much as they used to. And i differently need to define my collection more that i have. But that can be a subject for a later post. 

What i might think about is doing a post about the comic shops i have been to over the years maybe try to get a few friends to write down a few thoughts and things... I don't know yet a work in progress idea for the future.   

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Star Trek and Kickstarter.

Star Trek fan film productions that have been popping up on kickstarter lately but before i get in to Kickstarter lets get a little background on my love of Star Trek first.

Star Trek one of the corner stones that my fandom has been built on. For as long as i can remember Star Trek has been apart of my life and a big part it was and has carried on being. I can still remember being a child and watching The Original Series ( TOS ) on BBC 2 and later on Sky 1 and in 1987/8 Star Trek started a new show called The Next Generation ( TNG ). Showing my age... i can still remember watching Star Trek the Motion Picture on ITV Thames while i was on a school holiday.  
And in between there have been movies and other TV shows. Though my opion is mixed on the other TV shows i have and always will be a massive TOS and TNG fan. My favorite time period is the TOS Captain Kirk, Spock and Dr McCoy nothing can beat it though TNG does come close. It was a bright future and a hopeful future. Something we all can strive for. 

I have very fond memories of going to the Star Trek Generations 2 convention back in April of 1996. It was a 3 day convention at the Royal Albert Hall in London. It was also my first Star Trek convention. Going all 3 days with my dad and even my brother came on the 3rd day. As another first it was also the first proper cosplay i had ever done. I wore a TNG costume to all three days. The uniform was an Easter gift from my parents and i still have it even after all these years.

( photo taken in 1998 but it's the earliest one i have )

Then in October 2012 there was the Star Trek Destination London convention at the London Excel center where the London Expo is held each year. 

This was a great convention but at the time i was disappointed i had hoped for a big U.S. style of convention with a lot more to see and do in between going to talks. It was also one of the few times my brother has gone to a con. But looking back i did have a good time and i have good memories of the con. I hope they have another one in the UK i will have to go to it. The last one was in Germany and i was unable to go.

I have watched Star Trek, read the novels, brought audio books, read the comic had the toys and built the models. I am a fan and not ashamed to admit it.

 I got in to fan audio and films in the early 2000's while i was studying at university. It started with Star Wars fan films and that lead me to finding Star Trek New Voyages later to become Phase 2 and Star Trek Farragut. One of the first i saw was Star Trek Hidden Frontier. I do enjoy the production that fans have made as you can see the passion and the love they have put in to it. Even when the results do not look anywhere near as good as the TV shows it was based on. But that does not matter because it is a labor of love. and over the last few years fan production have come a long long way in all areas of production. And That leads to Kickstarter...

There are currently two Kickstarters going on that are looking very interesting and do deserve support. Now i am not telling you to become backers as that is up to you and can only be decided by you. I have backed them and i just wanted to make people aware that these are in production and it is something you should keep an eye out for once they are made. Or if you want to back them then do so.

The first is 
Star Trek Ambush

This is set in the TOS time period and is a semi sequel to the classic TOS episode Balance of Terror. It is also UK based production and so far things are looking very promising and there are not many UK based fan productions and none i can think of off hand.

The second is
Star Trek Horizon

This is set in the Enterprise period so set before Kirk and crew. Enterprise was cancelled after only for seasons and it was a sham as the show was really good towards the end and was going to cover some very interesting things if it had the seasons it should of got. So it comes down to the fans and this production is looking very good.

If you can back them then please do i am sure you will not be disappointed with the end results. As for other Star Trek Kickstarters there was Star Trek Prelude to Axanar that ended at the end of March and i can not wait for that. I backed that as soon as i saw the cast... A lot of Star Trek and Battlstar Galactica actors are in it. There was also the Star Trek Renegades the follow up to the fan film Star Trek Of Gods and Men, and Star Trek Continues. Both kickstarters i missed out on backing but all were successful in getting funded and all are looking like something fans should be excited for. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Darth Vader Chest Armour Phase ONE Complete.

After such a long time i have finally started work on the my Vader suit. Now i have not finished, not by a long shot but the first phase is compete. So what was Phase One? Well it comes done to cutting the Shoulder Bells... I have to ask. 

Why are the called bells anyway?

But back to what has been going on lately. The hope for the day was to get the bells cut and sanded and then put back on to the chest armour. I am happy with how it has turned out. But remember i am not going for a screen accurate costume. More of an idea of what the costume looked like to me as a child. Also a lot can be hidden but a cape.... if thing don't go to plan.   

The tools for the job. I got my Dremel tool and some blades or are the called discs??? anyway i got set up and i started cutting. It was at this point i started to doubt myself... I mean i have never done something like this before and the first time is a little scary. But after cutting a few test bits off i made the leap and started to cut.

I know i should not be holding the bell and just cut but i have to make do with what i have and i have a habit of doing things on a wing and a prayer. So with health and safety out the window i carried on regardless. But... But i did wear goggles. 

One side done and on to the other.

One down one to go.

With both bells done i then sanded the edges to smooth them out. This is just the primary stage so It was not sanded down to be perfectly smooth as i did not have the right sand paper but that will be sorted when i go to Phase Two Sanding and Painting.

With the bells cut and i was happy enough with the shape i started to reattach them to the chest armour. I know that the bells are covered in the glue from the masking tape i used but that will all be removed before i start to paint the armour.

Both bell cut and back on the chest armour done i will be ready to move to Phase Tow in the next couple of weeks.

With the bells done and i can move on to panting but that will come later. I am happy with how things went Doing all this will change the silhouette of the suit when the cape is worn. I just never liked the rounded shoulders of the Ep 3 Darth Vader suit. This means that the cape will fall straighter off the chest armour also it will look narrower than it did before. When ever i wore it it felt to big and cumbersome to walk around in. Also with the smaller bells or are they just pad now? Ok that is beside the point but with smaller ones i should have better movement in the arms as well.  
And more importantly 


So with this done i feel like things are moving forward i will not get this done in time for the May expo but i am hoping to have it ready for the October Expo. But cutting the bells and repainting the chest and leg armour is the easy part... Once those are done that will leave me with the helmet.... And i wont lie that has me worried. The helmet will be a BIG job with a lot more work involved than anything i have done so far.... 

That is in the future as for now Phase One complete time to move on to Phase Two.