dinsdag 4 augustus 2015

Earth 2

This is one of the television series I enjoyed back in my youth days, hailing from 1994 but the effects still are `okay` to current day standards.

Cancelled after a single season as it wasn`t `boom and bang` enough for the network so the writers where fired, there has been a trailer of what season 2 would be and the common census is that we might be glad this didn`t get made.

The series is a sort of a classic, as it is the very first series to star a female commander with Devon Adair, months before the Voyager launched on her famous journey.

It handles about a group of colonists that try to find a new Earth to start over, in order that a condition that effects and kills the children can be cured.  This sickness comes from a lack of fresh air, but the government is opposed to the project and tries to sabotage the mission even before it takes of decently. 

Upon arrival of the scouting vessel, an accident causes it to crash to the planet`s surface, and the advance party is required to survive of the planet while travelling to an area called New Pacifica, where the rendez-vous with the sleeper ship is planned.

On the way, they encounter a variety of aliens, some holding the secret to the past of the planet... and to Earth.

In a way, just as with Firefly and Terra Nova, it is a pity it only lasted a single season.  There was still a lot of untapped potential, and for that time, it risked tackling some serious topics like the colonial era on Earth and it`s slavery or even what sort of punishment would be moraly adequate or humane when they (temporarily) abandon one of their own for experimenting with a child`s blood to understand more of the planet.

Display updates 4th of august

It`s a bit of a short update actually, but the GF and the Smurf have restored the The Burrows set to it`s original glory, ready for me to start incorporating it to it`s display perch.

I also managed to do a little more work on my Rivendell set in between, but nothing realy spectacular.

But The Burrows first.  The general idea is to have a sort of representation from the second movie when Harry and Ron come flying in to the Weasley house, and to that end I`m going to balance harry out of the door as he was a few scenes earlier before the actual arrival.

I added a handle to the inside of the car, changed one of the `seats` from a flat tile to a normal 2x2 in order to avoid having Ron tumble out of the car when it`ll be sideways, and already installed an angling piece in the bottom to have it mounted on clear bricks later on.

I also got myself some copies of the Weasley`s from the set, so the Smurf didn`t have to give his minifigs, but boy did I spit out my coffee when ordering them.  The three Burrows Weasley`s (Arthur, Molly and Ginny) together with cheaper, more common Harry and Ron figures, blew me away for almost 65 euro excluding shipping. 

This thing once completed is going to have cost me about 100 euro extra for the figures, baseplate and additional bricks.

On the other hand, my own project, and third Tolkien display, has been steadily progressing, as I layered up to the height where the Council of Elrond set will be sitting, and now I`m in the process of creating the rockworks of this build.

Once the set is incorporated, I`ll be doing another update as that will be the moment I`m going to be thinking about exactly how to do the backside mountain face, and incorporate the waterfall and walkway... with a deadline of half of november, I better start ordering a LOT of grey slopes.

maandag 3 augustus 2015

Jurassic World review

Finally we made it to the movie theatre!  With the kid having holidays and a heap of full calendars and weekly away trips, we had a hole today and went to see this blockbuster.

Now, I always loved the original one (okay, the book was better even) and so it was great to see this new episode in the series.

The movie was produced as a stand alone in mind, which is great as it doesn`t set up sequel points left and right, and builds on the early trilogy in a non-repeating or rechewing matter. 

Isla Nublar has finally became the amusement park the late John Hammond had dreamt off, but unfortunatly to boost attendance numbers, new creatures, or `assets`, have to be found.  Enter Dr Wu, who plays a very mischievous part in this and has created a very intelligent, highly evolved monster out of T-rex and Raptor DNA, mixed in with some other beasties allowing it to `cloak` for example.

When this beast gets out, things quickly go south.  Claire, the operations manager of the park, and Owen, a marine involved in trying to tame and train raptors, go out to find Claire`s nephews and are hunted by the monster.

The references to the old movies are just fantastic, like the old visitor center, still having the banner of the final sequences there lying on the floor.  And the T-rex is actually that beast of 20 years ago, still sporting the scars of the raptor attack.

It was a great movie and awesome entertainment, and in the meanwhile it has been become known that there will indeed be a fifth Jurassic movie in a few years, which we can only sheer about.  Screw storylines over multiple movies, sometimes a cinema visit just has to be pure relaxation.

Now if only the GF would stop making so much noise when something happens ;-)

I want a Harley!

Okay, I know, I just turned 37, but that doesn`t mean that in the crazy mind that I possess, I ain`t thinking about the `a bit further` future.

And lately, I have been thinking of things once the 40 mark hits, the age your like really expected to start the third leg of your journey in life, after the puberty face and the get starting to build a life with someone phase (pun intended).

Now, usually I only plan what I want to get / achieve / complete on a short term, meaning months, half years, a year tops.  But earlier this week, I was actually talking with the GF on the what to do once they finally manage to find out and solve the issues I have with my legs, and that has kept me in a chair now for almost 8 months.  It`s a complicated medical thingy, which I basically don`t understand half off myself, but bottom line is that I have a `technical defect` in a place where it shouldn`t be at all.  Long story...

But yeah, that means life is a bit on a downburner in 2015 due to this, added together with the rather `complicated` system of belgian social security meaning this also puts me out of my schoolbenches for the moment.  Another long story, but let`s label this as typically belgian.  And we have a LOT of those `typical belgian` things in the administration here.

Never the less, we do get by, but as I said, the brain has been churning lately and I have come to some personal decisions regarding my future `me`. 

Come to face it, once I score those two last remaining Tolkien sets, my biggest Lego purchase goal is completed and since there aren`t really any `must have` lines out at the moment apart from Jurassic World, the wishlist is basically compiled of harder, or even next to impossible, sets to get at a decent price.

My in the not so far future main Lego purchase goals will be mostly plates and bricks I think for the displays I`m building of those Tolkien sets ;-)

And indulge myself further in the lifestyle intrest of the girlfriend (which I might be putting down these days as `apart from Lego` hehehe).

But `me` then.  The first goal I`ve set up for the coming years is to finally get those tattoo arms finished up, like completing my Saint Seiya sleeve and have some decent work done on the Lego arm on the other side.  Long overdue!

In the further on future, and I`m giving myself 3 years for this, I`m going to get those driver`s licenses all sorted out.  I did a boo-boo when I was waaaaaay younger and due to that have mostly been using public transportation and a pair of decent shoes to move from spot A to spot B. 

So whatever new mode of transportation I`ll be getting, `Fast` won`t be in the description (okay, unless I can get my hands on  a Mustang `69), so my eye fell on that other machine I always admired and loved: the Bedford!

I just love the looks of that machine, and I doubt speeding tickets on the highway will be anywhere in sight... unless for slow driving teeheehee.

But the real dream is the machine that is featured at the top of this opinion piece, and lend it`s name to the title: a classic Harley Davidson Panhead motorcycle.  These things are made for cruising, not `flying over the street` like those japanese toys. 

So yeah, a lot of radical thinking and ideas have indeed popped in this odd bugger`s mind, and perhaps some rather unexpected for those around, but a man does need to have dreams and goals in life now doesn`t he, and since moving to the States of the UK is out of the order with the GF...

But first, let`s see if we get those knees in working order again, get that huge pile of evergrowing bricks sorted out and find a way to liquidate all those other odd stuffs I`ve collected and hoarded over the years ;-)

Inspirational Lego 29

Another monday, another gorgeous selection of Lego finds from the internet to start the week with a smile.

And this week, the selection is varied again.  There truly are a lot of talented builders out there if you ask me!

Big sailing ships are one of the most gorgeous things to display in a house.  Lego build sailing ships add an extra dimension to this, something I see when non AFOL`s come over and stand watching The Black Pearl.
But this build is something special, it`s actually a small scale build of a large ship!

Talking classics for dsiplay, after sailing ships, classic cars are another one of those `crowd pleasers` you get for your living room.  This 1957 Jaguar is just as awesome as a die cast model, but definitly a lot cooler ;-)

Totally different but no less impressive is this spacerocket launch site!

Great crossover builds are that: great and crossovers in theme.  In this build, humour and The Simpsons have been mixed in with the classic Adam West Batman scene where the dark crusader and Robin scale the wall of a building.

This CS17 Globemaster won Best Airplane at the recent BrickWorld, and rightly so.  The curvature of the hull is just fantastic, as is the whole security department guarding it.

Another cool, historical, airplane build is this WW2 classic: the P-40 Warhawk

A totally different kind of plane turned up in the currently running spaceship challenge in Andromeda`s Gates.  I love this dragonfly design for a starfighter, making it look fast and agressive in one go.

Now, I have the Helm`s Deep set, and it is on the `to build a display for` list in the future, but this moc`ced version is just damn impressive...

Estline ferry, a really lifelike build.

And we end this week with some very solid advice!

That`s my selection for this week again, be sure to drop by next monday to indulge in some more fantastic eyecandy!

zondag 2 augustus 2015

Way to go Mum!

Well, I think I can say I tought my mother a good eye for Lego bricks then.  

She and dad often visit fleamarket`s in places I don`t even come near, and so she called me yesterday to tell me she had bought a bag of Lego, which she checked on them being the real deal, for 20 euro in far away Zandvliet.

So that `bag` turned out to be, as I like it, a whole pile of loose bricks, all nicely wrapped in one of those junior school bags you used to have for your gym shoes.  Sorting through the heap, it had a nice selection of all kinds of basic bricks, not to many bionicle stuff in it, a good catch.

In the `excellent` section amongst it was this large Bionicle helmet piece, something I had my eye on long time for a build in `temple` style, but always shurned the big shipping costs.

Judging by the few minifigs in the bag, there is also some Exo Force material in there, which is great, and there was some more cool stuff.

A set of `thick plates`, always handy, and two smaller grey baseplates, definitly handy.

But perhaps the coolest part was this `screamer brick` that still works perfectly.

And what did I do?

Well, I managed to exchange a Lisa from my doubles for Groundskeeper Willie, the only other figure from Simpsons 2 I wanted next to Comic Guy.  One little Lisa is now on her way to Hong Kong, thanks to Miniature Trading, I just love that website as a tool (the link is at the bottom of the blog).

Changes to Minifigures Online

It`s about a month now since the Lego MMO game changed from a free to play to a buy to play gamemodel as the `beta` was ended and changed to official release.

This brought along a lot of changes in the weeks it was down during june, and though I haven`t been playing exactly as much as I`d liked to have (yeah yeah, silly Facebook game based on the Pawn Stars show from History channel is currently occupying my zombie hours), there are some nice changes.

First of all, the biggest change is perhaps that the `bricks` system is gone and not replaced by something else.

But bar that, the achievements remained the same, even though a lot of new minifigures from older series have been implemented, which can drop if you complete The Lost Creations, something I really should start throwing myself into.  Apparently, even after level 35 it is said Mr Gold parts can drop.

The other changes are mostly of a graphic nature.  The maps and mini maps have received an overhaul, and some small changes have been done to the levels and storylines.

A great new feature now though is that the game comes with voice-overs and small cutscene animations.

It doesn`t give a big benefit anymore if you`re a subscriber, and all those that where have automatically received the game without needing to purchase it, but the second bonus chest is gone now.  Instead, every level and minidungeon now have the newer series (like 13) included in the possible parts for a figure that drops.

This also means that the exchange 3 parts for a random one has been eliminated, and changed by a system where you get 250 stars for every 3 parts you turn in now, handy as all the max level skills for the figures are opened now as well to max them out further.

All in all, the game now looks a little bit `slicker` without having changed a big deal.

Now if I can just get myself some free time again and chuck down some more achievements and complete some of the few figures I still need...