Sunday, December 05, 2010

Deathscythe EW: Session 5 & 6

It sucks recovering from a cold.  I managed to put in two sessions as I try to get better.  However, after finishing up session 5, I could not muster up the strength or the mindset to post.  Trying to put the pieces together without coughing up a storm wasn't a major issue, as I did this when the coughing was minimal.  Having a bottle of water kept nearby kind of helped a bit.  Assembling the legs were not too bad, but it ate up a lot of time due to the complexities in the leg mechanics.  It's similarly designed to the other models I have assembled.  The most I could ever get out of that session was assembling the internal pieces and part of the covering exterior.  But it was enough of a start.  I knew after a while I had to put it all away and stop there and resume on the next session.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Deathscythe EW: Session 4

Finishing up what I left off, the other arm piece was carefully assembled and put together.  As I had leftover pieces from the previous session, getting it assembled did not take long as the only thing needed to do was snip off the excess plastic and smooth it out.  Once that was done, connecting the arm to the main body was all that was left.  I find out that despite what I had described as the two parts snapping together, they don't really do snap together and remain that way.  It looks like I'll have to be extra careful when moving the arms and potentially the legs around, as they're probably not going to stay fitted on their joints.  I still wish its joint design was like the Astray Red Frame, which I personally find to be the best given the three kinds of joints I have encountered.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Deathscythe EW: Session 3

Knowing that I'll be dealing with some small parts, I got started on the arms.  But before doing that, I partially disassembled the head to add additional details in.  It was an attempt to mostly match the same detailings and appearance seen in the finished model in the photograph on the back of the manual.  It was a bit tricky trying to do this as a couple of pieces were extremely small, even for my small fingers.  But carefully I added the details in and put the head back together.  I think it looks okay, for now.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Deathscythe EW: Session 2

For the second session, I want to make sure that I finish the main body so that I can continue to the other parts that will require assembling.  A few pieces also needed some detailing so I took some extra time in order to ink the panel lines and edges.  However, as I look over the markers that I have, I find that some of the colors do not match nor do I have any color for this particular series.  Some series come with its own unique custom set of colors.  Two sets I have were for Gundam Seed, while the current one I am working on is for Gundam Wing.  I do not know how I will deal with the parts that were cut and trimmed off.  Maybe I'll go down to the hobby store again to look for some color to use just to cover it up.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Deathscythe EW: Session 1

Patience often has its virtue.  But sometimes waiting can work against you.  With the current economy as it is right now, everything is in a stinking mess.  One particular mess is the dollar/yen exchange rate.  For a very long time, the exchange rate for the yen has been over 100:1.  In other words, it used to cost over 100 yen to convert to a single dollar.  This is no longer the case.  Past entries will reveal that I have several items which originated from Japan, ordered and imported directly so that I may get my hands on them.  Because of the terrible rate for the dollar and yen, getting anything from Japan became much more expensive than normal.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

To Eyefinity And Beyond

The idea is nuts.  The experience is grand.  The cost is a tad overboard.  But when it all comes together, the description is mind boggling.  There isn't much to be said when people speak of Eyefinity. Sure it's a wild idea and the caveat is a bit disappointing to say the least.  Yet what you gained is probably something you won't be able to live without.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Unforseen Consequences

So my RAID0 drive went bonkers on me and I lost a lot of files.  A bunch of them were personal files but some of them were movies that I have kept over time.  And those movies were the ones that are bigger than a DVD+R can hold and wanted to archive.  It'll take me a bit to get around to getting those back again.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Reaching the Summit

It didn't take long for me to do this.  Seeing as I only need to nudge it a little and I'll achieve it.  The Lucky title is definitely a troublesome title to deal with.  With chances, statistics, and percentages, I had to gamble each time I walk up to a chest to open it.

Achieving the Blessed by Fate title also pushes another title over to the highest tier possible.  With that, not only did I achieve 1 goal but I have accomplished 2.  The Kind of a Big Deal title track is one that requires a lot of time, money, and dedication.  By money, I do mean that it does require some financial backing in order to make some progress on it, such as the Drunkard, Party Animal, or Sweet Tooth titles.  These titles require a large sum in order to push the title forward.  Fortunately, I have done a enough and a lot to require little compensation for most things that people have asked for.  And for me, it was because people in the Alliance were generous enough to give me what I need in order to go forward.  I never asked for much in return.  And most items I have handed out were for free or for items to help me with my titles.  Thus, the total amount of money invested in any of those three were virtually zero.

Friday, April 30, 2010

5 Years And Counting

It's been a long time.  5 years ago, a new online RPG game was released to the world.  And people got a taste of how the game Guild Wars worked.  Breaking away from typical and traditional MMOs, Guild Wars don't rely on using worlds where others can meet mid-way through.  Instead, parties are formed first and they enter in an instance of their own world, with no outsiders or anyone else to disturb them.  While at first the notion of such a thing is a welcome change due to the possibility of a rogue player wrecking havoc, it also introduces the element of not being able to meet a party that is already in a session.  Not being able to join mid-way through is part of the compromise of having an instanced world where all the loot and gold are shared amongst those in that party.  For the time being, this was a good thing.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fraudulent Procedures

*sigh* Idiots...

About a week ago, ArenaNet posted a tweet offering up 3 free access key codes on a first-come, first-serve basis.  This was an interesting opportunity to score a costume if I was quick about it.  With time to spare, I went to fire up Guild Wars in order to get the game up to date and be prepared for it.  However, just after entering the password, which I am sure was correct, I get hit with a Code=045 error.  The dialog box describes it as "payment fraud."  For whatever reason, all four of the Guild Wars accounts are locked.  I cannot log on to any one of them and found out that the NCsoft Master Account is also locked.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bad Company 2: The Online Experience

It's been a month since the game's released.  And I have promised that I would be writing this review to properly ensure that I have virtually viewed every aspect of the game on the multiplayer front.  As one might have guessed, this is to make sure that I have played it and know just how the weapons feel and work while playing online.  While other reviewers may have put in only certain amount of hours just to review the online experience, I clocked in over 120 hours just to make sure that I leave no stone unturned.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Astray Red Frame: Session 13+

It is done.  Because of bad preparation, I was unable to complete the entire thing on session 13.  This was due in part of the decision to paint a few items which have special colors and odd color blending from the plastic mix.  This was rectified with the early purchase of a couple of special color markers.

The weapons have a few pieces which are colored gold but the plastic mix that went in to making the mold gave an odd result.  The color wasn't consistent and there is some residue of the plastic not mixing well to keep the colors consistent.  Or perhaps it was due to the manufacturing process that gave such an odd effect.  Either case, the effect was bothersome enough to warrant using the markers for painting purpose.  Although the markers aren't perfect for general painting, it's decent enough to use for painting small pieces.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Astray Red Frame: Session 12

The Tactical Arms II-L is nearly completed.  According to the manual, it's missing 6 pieces.  By session 13, everything should be done.  But so far, the giant equipment looks quite good and interesting despite being incomplete by so few pieces.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Astray Red Frame: Session 11

Starting on the weapons and equipment, I look over what needs to be cut and what needs to be inked.  Some of the pieces were fairly easy to see as far as what is there to ink.  But there are a few parts where the angles made it difficult to make a straight line.  However, I hope that after passing that portion I won't have to deal with that kind of issues again.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Astray Red Frame: Session 10

My endurance could not hold out to start on the next step.  As a result, the only component I was able to finish was the waist and with it, the main body is completed.  The components connected and snap into place and I can finally see the fruit of my labor.  The time and effort poured into this now show decent results.  The additional time to ink the panel lines on the pieces proved to be worth it as the model itself now looks more detailed than I had hoped for.

While taking a few pictures, the camera picked up on whatever minor imperfections and blemishes due to the ink smears of wiping and cleaning.  But for the most part, the details are showing and I am fairly satisfied with what I have so far.  Some of the parts could have been inked as well but that may have to wait until another time.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Astray Red Frame: Session 9

So I'm now on the 9th session and the goal is to finish the other leg.  Fortunately, what I have done in the first leg has helped me prepare in getting some of the pieces ready.  And since I already have a leg done, I can use that as a reference point when looking up panel lines for inking.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Astray Red Frame: Session 8

This may go down as the component that took me the longest to ever finish.  Resuming where I left off, I aimed to finish off one single leg and perhaps start on the other leg.  Well, I only managed to finish a leg.  But starting on the next leg cannot happen as I opted to stop there for the time being.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Astray Red Frame: Session 7 & etc

Due to weather, I could not resume assembling the model for 3 straight days.  To pass the time, I turned to my Sword Impulse Gundam and started inking the panel lines.  It has already made some progress but it was very minor at best.  Piecing together the Astray Red Frame require my full attention and that was just not possible at the time.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Astray Red Frame: Session 5 & 6

Session 5 finished up where I left off, which were the arms that I was working on.  But the amount of work and effort that went into finishing the arms took up an entire session alone.  The main time consumer were the hands themselves.  Aside from clipping the pieces off and then sanding down the excess plastics, to get the more accurate appearance, I have opted to do some minor painting using the Gundam Markers as a source.  I then realized that this is much more difficult than it seems, due to the fact that the pieces were small to begin with and that physics tend to get in the way of making clean paint on the fingers.  This may end up being rectified later on by adding in red paint or removing the extra white residue that overflowed.  But for some of the pieces, they turned out pretty well and I managed to get one perfect paint job done on a piece to say the least.  Stability is a bit of a tricky issue as I do not have the equipment on hand to really keep the piece steady as I navigate the marker around it.  I personally do not know how mess it could have become if I was using this or the traditional method of coloring.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Astray Red Frame: Session 4

I think it's more appropriate to indicate each run as a session rather than a day.  After all, I may have multiple sessions in a single day, provided that I was able to do it in the first place.

As part of assembling the arms, I have managed to assembled most of what's needed but the arms are incomplete at this time.  This is due to inking the panel lines, some of which I now realize that I should have done first prior to piecing them together.  But it appears that nothing much was lost by having the assembled arms, I was able to ink most of the visible details with the markers when looking at the photograph on the back of the manual.  So far, so good.  But I am finding that some of the areas to be really tight for the marker to get to.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Astray Red Frame: Day 3

So where was Day 1 and Day 2?  I didn't bother to make a post for it.

On Wednesday, I started assembly of the Gundam Astray Red Frame Kai.  The first order of business is to make sure that I got all the parts and that nothing was somehow missing.  After looking over the parts, I started looking to see where one parts are so I can start the assembly.  The first major component is the body, which took me about 2 sessions to complete.  Some of the parts were really hard to put together and it makes me wonder if they are meant to be that tight-fitting.  But if it means that the parts are going to stay that way for a long time, then this is something I am willing to live with.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tumbling Down The Gundam Hole

I seem to be tumbling down the world of model kits, Gundam models in particular.  I do not know why but my 3rd Gundam model has just arrived via EMS/USPS.  It isn't large and it's actually a small sized box compared to other Master Grade models that I've seen.  But perhaps the biggest reason for its small size is due to the fact that it is based on an old Gundam design, which does not have some of the fancier extra equipment seen in later iterations and versions of Gundam.  The RX-79(G) is a special Gundam suited for ground-based warfare.  Gundams are normally machines used in space.  At least most of them are.  The 'Groundtype' RX-79 is one model above the original Gundam which is the RX-78 model.  However, the difference between the two is minimal and some necessary changes were needed for the RX-79 to be usable on ground warfare.  Heavy weapons and additional armor or equipment cannot be used nor brought forth due to its weight and necessity to transport them.  So all of the groundtype Gundams carry some minimal armaments and weapons in order to maximize mobility and lessen the impact of being detected by enemies.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another One

So another Gundam model has arrived at my doorstep.  This time, it's the Gundam Astray Red Frame from the Gundam Seed universe.  The box itself is quite impressive but the content and the details are even more amazing.  Like Sword Impulse before it, there are a lot of parts.  And it appears that the model comes with a support base to help with the overwhelming weight of one of the equipment.  This will be quite interesting when I pair it up with the display base that I got for Sword Impulse Gundam earlier.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Bad Company 2: Single Experience

Having played Battlefield 2, 2142, and the first Bad Company, I have some bit of knowledge as to what I am getting myself into.  Knowing the Battlefield series, I know that the focus is going to be mainly on the multiplayer aspect rather than the single player.  Despite that, I will try to review the single player aspect of the game to the best of my ability.  This is not intended to be the be-all-end-all review.  I also do not have known recognition or the kind of reputation that people would know and trust.  This is just a fan and gamer's review of the game itself.  Why?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Well Played, Canada

It was the rematch.  And again, it was Super Hockey Sunday.  Previously, in a preliminary round, Team USA on men's hockey managed to beat Team Canada on their home turf.  Seems like a sign that Team USA could win the gold, right?  Not really.  Canada bounced back and made it all the way to the Gold Medal finals, where they faced, again, Team USA.

Monday, February 08, 2010

And the Saints Come Marching Home

And so Super Bowl 44 came and went.  With it, a great show of abilities by both sides.  Both came out strong and both showed some weakness here and there.  While it seems like the Colts can easily come back to win it all, one thing that prevented it was the game changing interception by the Saints.  As soon as he caught it and ran all the way down for the touchdown, it was pretty much over.  All that was left was to hold the Colts off some and victory will be theirs.  Sure enough, that was the case.

I have never backed the Colts.  It wasn't because I hated the team.  It was more based on the fact that the Colts don't need to win that one.  The Saints, on the other hand, needed.  For a city that is in need of something uplifting and something to boost population morale, this is the one thing that can help bring the city back on its feet and breathe new life.  The Saints got to the biggest stage of them all.  And from there, they did everything they can to hold the Colts at bay and ensure everything they do will benefit the team.  Sure, there are a couple of plays that failed miserably.  But that's part of their gamble.  That's part of the risk of wanting to win.

So now the Saints can come marching home as champions.  They deserved it.  And Drew Brees' story will be immortalized as the one guy who worked his butt off to get where he's at today.  For the moment, he is the Saints' icon.

On the other side, the multi-million dollar ads aired.  And sadly, they are pathetic and horrible.  So many crappy commercials, much of which seem to cater to those with lower intelligence.  It was really stupid.  The biggest culprits are those from, Bud Light, and Doritos.  While Budweiser has not have a single iconic commercial since the Wassup days, their continuing motif with the Clydesdale horses keeps the theme and consistency going.  Denny's aired a handful of ads with a starting commercial that sets the tone for the rest of the commercials.  About half of what was aired were mildly entertaining, but its appeal does drop quickly.  Coca-Cola has been quite consistent when it comes to creating unique ads and they did not disappoint.  I caught glimpse of a Simpsons-theme commercial and it is quite good.

Mixed within these commercials are movie trailers for Prince of Persia, Robin Hood, and one other movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  Having already seen the premise and trailer for Robin Hood, the trailer spot did not stir any interests.  Perhaps the only thing that did seem to spur interest is Prince of Persia.  But I need to not put too much faith in hoping that it'll become a worthwhile movie.  Many movies tend to go sour as the hype builds up and its story being more boring or bland than originally thought.

Rating this year's Super Bowl ads, I am disappointed overall with it.  If I were to rate it overall out of 5 stars, I probably would have given it a 2.  That is pretty sad considering that there were some decent ones the previous years.

Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints for their Super Bowl 44 win.  And to the people of New Orleans, savor every single moment.  Do not let this feeling run by you, not even for a moment.  The people of New Orleans deserve something to be happy, proud, and cheer about.  This is it.  Do not miss it.  After what New Orleans went through, this is was needed.  And the people deserve it.  I am happy that New Orleans is now home to a champion.  And that's the way it should be for now.  Now... about those in Cleveland, Ohio...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ore no drill wa...

It's been eons since I've posted anything with regards to anime that it felt that it's been put on the back burner.  Well, for the most part, it is.  As new anime series continue to churn out, I get lost in the midst of all of the titles that are being aired.  I lose focus on the type of shows that I like.

I'm a nut for involving stories.  Romance, drama, a bit of comedy, and I can go for action as well.  Sci-fi are good once a while and there are some mind-boggling ones out there too.  Mysteries are also good, as I love to see little clues left behind to get people to solve it.  If only Detective Conan wasn't so lengthy.  There are now over 550 episodes of Detective Conan and not one bit does Conan look any older nor does he ever have come close to curing that little ailment of his.

One of the major hit titles is the series Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.  Two movies were made to re-envision the whole story.  However, as with any movies, details had to be cut.  And some parts were rewritten.  The first of the two movies, named "Gurren-Hen," basically featured condensed plot that goes from the beginning up until the Battle of Teppelin.  Certain episodics parts were removed in order to cut down the time needed to tell the story. And some were rewritten and redone with a different method and style to give viewers a different look.  Much of what was shown in Gurren-Hen were perhaps reused from the original TV broadcast.  But where things were different or rewritten, they were adapted for film or for different presentations.

The second movie of the two, named "Lagann-Hen," takes place at the final battle at Teppelin and goes from there to the very end.  In order to get viewers up to speed, some recap clips were shown and arranged in order to get people acquainted as to what has happened thus far since the previous movie.  Like the previous movie, it is a mix of new scenes, rewritten plot points, and original storyline.  However, it felt the ratio of new and old content has shifted somewhat when compared to the first movie, giving viewers more different scenes than before.  This is especially true going into the final half of the movie.

I have seen both the TV series and the movies.  The movies provide a nice primer for people who wanted to see what the show is about without diving into 27 episodes of content for the TV series.  While there are some things omitted or shown differently in the movies, I still hold the TV to be the original plotline.  However, the basic principles for which both the TV series and the movies stand for are the same.

I definitely need to find some new anime titles to view.  However, I am still lost in all of them with nothing to really sort and sift through them.  There is Omamori Himari which I have taken a liking to.  While not a show that is family friendly, it is entertaining for me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Is The Future?

What does the future hold for humanity?  Fear?  Peace?  War?  Sometimes, you just need to ask youself just what the future may hold for all of us.

Judgement Day, the Apocalypse, the End of the World, these are the things that is seen in the movie 2012.  It's a catastrophe movie.  And like any catastrophe movie, expect to see a lot of dying.  But what makes it sorta stand out from the rest is it isn't focused to just one country, one religion, or one background.  It encompasses everyone.  Yet as I watch how the event unfoled, visuals and unheard devastational results simply bewilders me.  Well, movies are like windows to the imagination.  Yet I cannot fathom to think or consider just what if the world could end in the same or similar manner like that.

I'm no scientist.  Is the world doomed as humanity continually chip away its life bit by bit?  Is there a chance where the people of the world could somehow find a way to extend the life of this planet?  The inhabitants of this planet were not given warranty information when it comes to how this planet is used.  And we certainly did not get the memo of any instructions on what to do and what not to do.

2012 leaves a lot to the person's imagination.  But it also instills a bit of fear into all of us.  How much time do we have?  Will the planet collapse in a way like what we've seen in the movie?  Or will it be something completely different?

If you have just hours left, how would humanity deal with it?  Repent?  Pray for a miracle?  Or accept your fate that it is time?  Life, as we know it, is not only precious but also insignificant.  The world changes but we, as humans, change it as well.

What will the future hold?  Hopefully it holds two scoops of strawberry flavored ice cream.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Final Stretch

I guess I never really did much on Guild Wars during all the time that I have spent playing.  But that was until I started actively trying to do things that I thought would take a while to do.  Case in point is the achievement, or title as it's called in Guild Wars, Incorrigible Ale-Hound.  To get this, one must spend 10,000 minutes dunk.  And the timing is actual minutes, or less if you use some tricks to shorten the effect by some margin.  10,000 minutes equates to over 166 hours, or nearly 7 days.  Obviously, nobody is going to sit around for that long trying to achieve this.  So progress on this is recorded and tallied so that one can continue where left off.  After collecting and amassing so much in-game liquor, I started consuming the item one by one.  It was perhaps one of the most troublesome to do as there are times where I'd want to do something, yet cannot due to the game taking up the screen.  And then there are times when I cannot do much due to a certain 3rd-party utility to assist the process of consumption.  On the final leg of this achievement, I turned to something different: Virtual Machines.  I downloaded and installed VirtualBox to toy around with.  And naturally I installed Windows XP on the virtual machine.  It was fast but it was also significantly slower in rendering 3D.  This is due to limited support for 3D rendering within the virtual machine itself, which has to be passed through to the real video card for processing.  It's not a major hurdle.  But at least performance is as good as it gets for the time being.

At the time, my primary character on my Guild Wars account has 29 total achievements that are set at its maximum.  There is a special achievement for getting 30.  However, the 30th achievement is quite far at this time.  None of the other titles yet to max out are not easily attainable, due to starting late in the game.  Though that sounds misleading.  To be precise, I never really pursued some of these titles because it held no interests at the time.  And even today, some of them don't hold much interest.  The only title left for me to actively pursue is the Lucky title, where the highest tier or rank on this track is Blessed by Fate.  Having spent so much in-game gold on trying to advance the title as far as I could, I am now at a point where I may be able to finally achieve that goal.  However, the only thing standing between me and that is time and availability.  Progress on this title can be done at any time.  However, the method is troublesome and somewhat expensive compared to simply sitting on a location and let the game run on its own for hours on end.

As I look at the game as a whole, I can only wonder just what else is there left to do.  I have done all that I have can do within my own personal tolerance for the game.  Doing it all over again on different characters tend to sap the motivation out of me, as I yearn for something different.  What will the future hold after achieving one of the highest achievements in the game?  I wonder... I just wonder...

Several months back, I posted on having completed a Gundam model kit.  Model kits aren't really my cup of tea.  One of the drawbacks to model kits is the unfinished appearance of the assembled product.  This is has been the case for many years.  Hobbyist have the option of applying color via paint or airbrush in order to give their assembled model kits a more accurate appearance and finished product.  There are hobbyist out there who do so much more and I am envious of them.  They take such great care and know the process inside and out.  They apply the finished color and the end result is nothing short of amazing.  If one were to stroll by a bookstore such as Barnes & Noble or your local comic/hobby store, you will find magazines and publications with images of small scale models that look quite life-like.  Helicopters, cars, bikes, aircraft, tanks, boats, submarines, and yes even Gundams, all well made and all assembled and painted to perfection.

So why blabber on about this?  Like I said, model kits aren't my cup of tea.  Yet one thing Bandai has done that I absolutely love is they make their Gundam model kits capable of being assembled without the use of cement or glue.  It is because of this that I was able to finish Sword Impulse Gundam.  And I am considering going through the assembly process once more.  Hobby Link Japan has Bandai's Gundam Seed Frame Astray Red Custom kit for pre-order.  And while the design is rather over-the-top and crazy, there is one thing that usually piques my interests and attention: swords.  Sword Impulse Gundam had a pair of long sword and it got longer when you attach the visual effects on them.  This one features a pair of swords complete with scabbards.  As Gundam is a sci-fi universe, the idea of a traditional-styled sword with scabbard is unusual.  Yet here it is as part of the design and for a Gundam model.