Cave Johnson here!

This is an awesome quote. I laughed for real when I first heard it. That's not a surprise to anyone who's had to listen to my stories even once ;)

"When life gives you lemons, you gotta do lemonade, right?"
Cave Johnson, CEO Aperture Science Laboratories
"Alright, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade - make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life's manager. Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons. Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons. I'm going to to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!"
© Chris "ammnra" Myles @ Flickr

Found a couple of neat examples with google, just in case you felt like watching/listening to a bit more:

Some genious had done this in Minecraft and I approve of it! Bravo!


Clickety-click, blam blam

I've posted a couple of times about these gaming projects between a bunch of modeling-related posts, even if I'm not the best one to write about games or gaming. Some change is nice every once in a while, so I'll comment a bit on my New Vegas adventures. I have to do that pretty briefly because I can't remember where I exactly left this thing the last time.

While working with mr. House I adventured through the whole map and did all the sidequests that I found. The bothersome thing is that the levelcap struck so damn early. I should've installed a mod to get ten or twenty more levels. Not that I needed them to complete the game but because I enjoy hearing the ka-ching sound every time I do something worth something and get some experience. It's a bit late to complain about that now, but anyway.

Most of the House-specific went mostly just like the ones for Yes Man, this time I should've prevented an assassination but because the other factions didn't trust me at all ("shoot on sight") after a couple of misunderstandings, that quest wasn't even tryable. Oh well, who cares, I didn't like the target anyway ;) In addition to that the only mentionable difference I can think of was that I used a couple of skill magazines (+10 Speech, +10 Barter) so I could talk to Lanius to get a peaceful conclusion with him, just for a change. Of course I put down that NCR general and his bodyguard because he got on my nerves. I didn't even consider negotiating with him to solve things peacefully.

At some point, when I had the time, I started playing the endgame for the Legion. Because it's the endgame already, not much changed from the previous two attempts, so there's not much sense in repeating the same stories here. I got to play surgeon with uncle Caesar's head and I had to do the simpler solution because my medical skill was one (1) point too low even with the skill mags! Well, I'll do that the next time, then. The important thing is that now I got to be the assassin at the Hoover Dam. Didn't come up with anything more interesting than planting a bomb to a Vertibird (once again that Patriot's Cookbook and its +10 Explosives saved me), but I guess you could have a couple of different approaches like sniping from a tower or filling the platforms with mines.
The end fight was interesting and nicely different this time. I also got to see the Boomer's bomber at work because it wasn't the middle of the night this time. As the icing on the cake I got to execute that cocky general Oliver. Which is always good.

"Firestorm coming closer,
Napalm to the bone

Now I have just the "working for NCR"-story to be checked and that's definitely not a horribly exciting thing because those NCR people are just suspicious and plain

Of course I went and got Duke Nukem Forever, haven't got far yet. Just a couple of hours worth of fooling around, I've taken my sweet time.

The beginning is somewhat unsual for an fps game but that didn't bother me mentionably. There's a bit of walking around, looking around and listening to what people say. And fooling around with the environment. Then you get to drive a bit and after that the shooting gets to start for real. So far I've got out of the Lady Killer casino, got through the Strip to the Duke Dome and fallen down to its basement. Based on this I can't understand why half an internetful of nerds have thrown insane tantrums...

Ok, the humour is incredibly bad ("poop, ahahahahaha!" or "Hotel Fellatio, khihihihi") and Duke's oneliners are just as bad as in the good old '80s action movies just like it should be. No one *forces* you to pick up poop from the toilets and to throw it around. At least I wasn't forced to do that.
Otherwise all the extra stuff you can do is more or less how it was in the previous installment: you can fool around with the lights, play the pinball/nineball/one-armed bandit and all that. This time you can really play them instead of just "using" it and hearing some noises. Oh, and each new thing you try or game you win gives you +1-+5 Ego boost, which means maxHealth.
The only thing that has got on my nerves so far is the female characters. All three have been annoying, screaming bimbos, I don't want to hear them in my games, it's enough to hear that in the train stops in the real world... Oh, and the levels seem to be straight pipes, that's a thing you can and should always be complaining about.

The action itself is quite nice. Monsters attack and you mow them down. Some monsters stay far and shoot you, some of them rush straight at you and some just warp around and cause a nice amount of panic when they surprisingly find themselves behind your back. Sometimes an enemy falls on its knees for a while and you can execute it for your amusement. For some insane reason (consoles?) Duke can only carry two guns at the same time, but luckily the pipebombs and tripmines go to their own slots and don't count as weapons. The famous Ripper is very nice but it eats through its ammo painfully quickly.

I think that the graphics are more or less at the same level with the other 3d shooters nowadays, I can't go and call it ugly. All these cool effects are used from motion blur, focus-thingies to those things I can't remember how to call them. Lighting effects and water effects look neat and when you stand in the shower your sunglasses get wet and in the steamy pipes they get steamy. Well, I saw those "crap is on my screen" effects for the first time in Metroid Prime, so what?
At leat I haven't read a single comment that tells with some examples, why they call DNF ugly.

No, I really can't understand all the crying and bitching that people have had with this. Maybe I'm just weird or maybe I didn't expect something impossible. With my experiences so far, Duke Nukem Forever is some good old-fashioned shooter fun.


Suffering for my "art"

The contents of this post is supposed to be little and short, for a change. We just had a neat heat wave in here combined with a very nice summer flu and that didn't really invite to tinker around in the kitchen's corner. Obviously the main reason was the flu, because I quite enjoy assembling and painting in the bright sunlight.

Those stupid-looking seams started to annoy me quite a bit. At first I tried to file them flatter but that didn't really go anywhere. So the next logical step was: take the Dremel out and start dremeling!
The end result wasn't quite as smooth as I had hoped but then again, is that really a horribly bad thing in a warmachine? Not in my opinion. Anyway, I started repainting the surfaces (top torso, gun pods, legs) once again.

Now that I look at how my fixing attempt looks like on the green elements, I just feel like throwing all that crap out of the window. Damnit. I really, really wouldn't want to repaint the whole model or anything... But we'll see what happens.

Maybe it's a good thing that I'm going for the first half of my summer vacation and I can just leave a couple of more random posts to be automatically posted at some point, so this thing stays alive and I don't need to stress about it at all.
Not that I *needed* to post once a week or anything :P


An attempt at the pattern of the Omega Galaxy

To celebrate a Monday afternoon I attacked Hobby Point in my quest for plastic jewel-like things. They've been recommended in the CBT-forums as focusing crystals for energy weapons, mostly on the miniatures but I thought that I'd give them a try with these two models, should I manage to actually find something suitable. It's been said that they look better than flat pieces of plastic painted with different colours, even with skillful jeweling (that article talks about cockpit jeweling but obviously it works on other parts, too). After a bit of asking around, this is what I got:

Of course I had to try them out! I dropped one of the bigger blue pieces in the slot and to my amusement it fit like a napalm bombing in a forest. Excellent. Then I tried one of the medium sized red pieces in the smaller opening. That one fit snugly, too. Lucky me. With the primer that red jewel didn't really show too well so I tried with a green one instead. That one was a lot more visible.
The point with all this is that the energy weapons need a focusing lense, -crystal or something similar. Of course I could've just got something lense-shaped and smooth but for some reason I felt that a diamond cut would look a lot better. With the colours I could tell what kind of a weapons this model has. Obviously PPCs have blue crystals and different sorts of lasers have their own colours. So far I've just painted all my miniatures' laser nozzles plain red, without any regard for the size (Small, Medium or Large) nor the type (normal, ER or pulse). I've never thought that I'd make normal lasers and pulse lasers look any different, so I guess I could go with small = red, medium = yellowish, large = green. According to the specs this 'Mech has a pair of Medium Pulse Lasers so I'd use yellow/orange crystals in the gun pods.
It works.
Later I checked that yes, the red crystals are clearly visible as well, after the gun barrel was painted with Flat Aluminium.

Next I had to test if the Omega Galaxy's pattern would work or if it ended up looking retarded. So I started with a couple of small pieces and painted them with Tamiya's Flat Aluminium:

After that had dried I washed it with an ancient (I bought that paint more than a decade ago) Citadel Green Wash:
The first thing that came to my mind when I saw that was a Spearming bubblegum... not good. I let it be overnight and washed over it with GW's Badab black and at least that part looked a bit better that way.

Next I went and painted the rest of the torso and arms with Flat Aluminium and greenwashed it later. While applying that green wash, I decided that some AutoCannon parts should be left plain metallic to give the whole 'Mech a bit more detail. To me it looked more stylish this way.

After all that had dried nicely I applied a layer of Badab black on the whole set. In addition to that I also applied another layer of GW's Devlan mud over the metallic pieces.

I'm afraid I have to file those insane seams a bit, they look bad. Should've done it earlier, but for some reason I didn't. Oh well, they won't offer much problems, I assume.
After that I shall start working on the legs, maybe basecoating them with either Oily Steel or Gunmetal, followed by a black wash to keep a bit more uniform look on the whole model.


Project 3/2011

Finally the Marauder and Warhammer that I had received in January, had gotten to the top of my FIFO-based TODO-list. Unlike mr. L, who attacked his Warhammer first, I went directly for the awesome Marauder that I've "always" wanted in one scale or another. Sadly the playable BT-scale Unseen Marauders are pretty difficult or impossible to obtain, so these'll do just fine at this point.

So, I started on Wednesday evening by opening the box and wondering, what it contains. Three spruefuls of pieces, an eight-step instruction sheet and a sheetful of waterslide transfers that I archived away immediately. This walking tank is not going to be a silly anime toy but the emperor of the 31st century battlefields: a Marauder IIC.

Firstly I snipped pieces off the sprues, cleaned them up and built what was to be built, just like the instructions told. While I was test-fitting the foot pieces I noticed that because they're movable, it wouldn't be a good idea to leave the insides like they are. I quickly painted just about all the insides of the white pieces black so that I wouldn't end up swearing my lungs out when I finally noticed that despite all the time spent painting this thing nicely, all I could see were the insides of the war machine, being white as fresh snow...

After a while I decided that finished arms, legs and the hip piece were enough for the first spring, so I documented my doings and packed my tools away. For the next round.

While I was tinkering around the next evening I noticed that the instructions suggested somewhat weird things with the wrist pieces. The gun pods would turn sideways and that'd leave them in a ridiculous angle when the guns point wherever. So I mengelified the nicely glued seams with my x-acto knife so I could pry the pieces off without causing heavy, permanent and irrepairable damage. With a bit of heavy swearing and support-taping I got the arms fixed the way I wanted them to be. In hindsight: I should've played with the pieces a bit more to see how they'll end up being to prevent this happening yet again.

While the arms were drying I attacked the Autocannon that's located on top of the torso. As the piece was a long one, it had to be taped to keep it tightly connected while the glue dried. I also decided against cutting the gun barrel open and I just left it as it was, I didn't see it worth the hassle.

I added the rest of those decorational and supporting pieces to the torso. I can't even guess what that spherical thing in the front was in the tv-show but in this model it'll be a sensor window or something. Or at least I'll try to make it represent one :P

Of course I had to test-fit them a bit, after the pieces had dried for a good while. Looking good, though the bottom could be a bit heavier to give some more balance to the model as a whole.

Because there were so few pieces missing from the torso, I decided to add them too. All that was missing was a couple of antennae and the Jump Jet pieces. After this all the building was done, nothing was missing from anywhere anymore, the arms and legs don't need to be glued to the torso at all.

Today I eagerly started basecoating the pieces - while waiting for the Duke Nukem Forever demo to be downloaded. They all were done nicely in two sets: first the top and sides, and after a few minutes for the paint to dry, the last surfaces. After yet another paint drying break I tested if the pieces still fit together. It still looks nice. Himmel, I haven't met many models that are this quick to build! Though, as we remember from earlier Spring and the experiences with the Imperial X-Wing, it doesn't matter how quickly it's built - it'll take a while to paint it anyway. But that time is really nicely spent :)

Now I really have to ponder what to do with this thing. Personally I'm such a fanatic Jade Falcon supporter that I was going to paint these in my "own" unit's colours. That's Gamma Galaxy's 3rd Falcon Talon Cluster, but my game master Viiru said that "I don't approve of old junk to be painted in the colours of a Frontline Cluster :)" and he's actually quite right with that. He suggested painting these in the Star League Defence Forces pattern, but after consulting a couple of sources I have to say that the SLDF pattern is a bit boring and as I said, my Crusader heart beats for the Clan Jade Falcon.
To my joy I found a reference that lists the Jade Falcon Touman after the Battle of Tukayyid, if I remember correctly. For a while I searched for a proper unit for both of my 1:100 'Mechs and then I found it: Omega Galaxy - 8th Falcon Regulars
, apparently a Second Line Cluster. It's more than likely that their view of Clan politics isn't something I'd tolerate but I'll worry about that a bit later. This way I'd get both of these tin cans in the same Cluster, Trinary and even the same Star(the Talon Star of the Trinary Charlie). Not bad.

The most important thing to find out right now, is what colour they'd be, if I chose this Galaxy and Cluster. According to Camospecs the pattern would be a "metallic emerald green on top and a steel finish on the lower halves of their equipment. This symbolizes Jade Falcon`s superiority over Steel Viper. Red paint is splattered on the feet and shins of their 'Mechs to indicate their intentions with the Viper Clan". I may have to browse a site or a couple, not to mention several pdf's before this is settled. But right now it sounds decent.

These are very, very important details.