Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Ark Addendum - Madman's Paradise part 3 (Plus Farscape Geekwatch)

 Welcome to this week's Ark Addendum! I continue to examine Madman's Paradise.  This week's models are the prisoners, slaves, and dregs that make up The Red Wizard's subjects.  They look nicely unfortunate, no?

I also continue my Farscape Geekwatch.  Last night's episode, Exodus from Genesis, features.... no Sci-Fi references.  Boo.  There is a reference to Animal House, but I'm not going to try to catalog all pop culture references that spring from John Crichton's lips.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Farscape Geekwatch: S01E02 I, ET

The geekwatch continues with episode two, I, ET. Boy, Farscape tarted off pretty slow.  Not quite boring, but the pacing definitely needed tightening.

Anyway, after landing in a boggy planet, Crichton says: "Kinda like Louisiana. Or Dagobah. Dagobah -- where Yoda lives." He then clarifies that Yoda is "just a little green guy. Trains warriors."

So, Star Wars.  Can't go wrong with Star Wars for sci-fi references.   Farscape: The Complete Series is  for sale on Amazon.com.  Don't let this one discourage you though.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Farscape Geekwatch: S01 E01 Premiere

So, the wife and I have recently finished blazing through Battlestar Galactica, a fantastic series.  We decided to make Farscape our next sci-fi outing.

If you haven't watched Farscape yet, give it a go.  It starts awfully slow, I'll admit, but by the end of S1 it really hits its stride and becomes one of the quirkiest, enjoyable, character-driven space operas out there.

One fun aspect is that John Crichton‎ is a certified geek, throwing out references to other science fiction literature and media.  I figured that I'd pay extra attention to these and bring you the Farscape Geekwatch.

SO! For the first episode, Premiere, the Geekwatch begins with Close Encounters!  Specifically, Crichton's line, "boy, was Spielberg ever wrong. Close Encounters, my ass."

Farscape: The Complete Series is  for sale on Amazon.com.  Spoiler alert: it's one of my favorite sci-fi series of all time.  I'd heartily recommend it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Ark Addendum - Madman's Paradise part 1: The Golden One et al

Welcome back! Though it's a bit out of order, here is part one of my exploration of Madman's Paradise. This showcases The Golden One, in both his guises, as well as the participants in the reception for Ambassadar Ynara.

Eagle-eyed readers will no doubt notice that I reused Spike in a tuxedo, which had featured in  Transformers: The Complete Ark  (order it today!) I think I've said this before, but the model sheet is labeled 'space tuxedo.' I just loved that, and really wanted to work it into the book, but there just wasn't room on the page.  Well, history nearly repeated itself.  I laid out this page and was just about to put it to bed when I realized I hadn't labeled it. Once again, space was tight, but I rejiggered things and fit it in with just a bit of cheating.  (Daniel's loose collar should be next to him, not next to Spike.  Thus is the price of 'space tuxedo.' Still, it's totally worth it.  Space tuxedo.  Say it out loud.  It is awesome.

Another observation is that the Quintesson transport glyph reused the dragon character model of The Golden One, unaltered. That's a bit lazy, especially since it's a 3/4th view and not a profile. Bill and I did the reverse for a page of the G.I. Joe Field Manual. In the Real American Hero episode The Gods Below, the team encounters several Egyptian gods.  Bill noticed that the models were whimsically drawn up to look like Egyptian artwork, either in profile or directly forward. He decided to lay out the page like an Egyptian tableau. It's one of the more unusual pages in the book, but I think it's really neat.  You can see it this summer when the book goes on-sale.

That's it for now! More Madman's Paradise next week!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Ark Addendum - Madman's Paradise part 2: Mara-Al-Utha

Hello, true believers! Sorry for taking a week off, I was on vacation with my wife.  A good time was had by all... except you, I suppose, deprived of an Addendum.

So, this week I begin Madman's Paradise!  I've got a lot from this episode, so I expect it'll take three to five more installments to finish up.  This is a pretty decent S3 episode.  S3 is by far my favorite season of Transformers, due to the more complicated stories.  Rodimus has a great line in this one.  "Don't panic yet.  Stay calm till we know what's going on.  Then we'll panic."  Classic.

The particular models for today are all (well except for the prisoner, but that was the template for his body) of Mara-Al-Utha, the rogue Quintesson scientist banished for practicing sorcery.  It seems odd that a society advanced enough to construct a dimensional transport would mind sorcery.  I'd think they'd just want to analyze and quantify it.  

The small model, the Quint sans robe, showed up in  Transformers: The Complete Ark  (order it today!)  already.  I had room in the Quint section, so I figured what the hay?  I duplicate it here in the interest of completeness.  You can't really have a page on Mara-Al-Uthar without that model, can you?  I find it very interesting that the Quintessons had individual models.  This is a very similar body to the main Scientist model, but different enough to be distinct.  We see other instances of this, with multiple Prosecutors too.  We may even see an alternate Executioner, not sure.

Next week, expect more exploration of Madman's Paradise!  Hope you enjoy.

5/16 Update -- I realized that this was supposed to be part 2, which is why it starts so abruptly.  I'm renaming the post, and made some tweaks to the image itself to kind of pull it all together.  Expect four more parts to Madman's Paradise.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Botcon: Invasion box set for sale

If I may pimp my own stuff for a bit, I'm auctioning off this years BotCon box set (along with the attendee-only Straxus and the Soundwave headband) on eBay.


$350 starting bid, and if you're a reader and win I'll throw in something extra for you.
Sold! $600, more than I was expecting. Not to a blog reader though, just to a toy fan.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

G.I. Joe Field Manual cover revealed!

I was perusing Amazon.com, and what did I find but an image of the cover to the  The G.I. Joe Field Manual: Volume 1It's by none other than Bill Forster and is très cool.  I love how he managed to get an actual character model onto the cover, reflected in Cobra Commander's mask. 

While Transformers has been taking up much of my time, rest assured that G.I. Joe is never far from my thoughts.  I've got most of the Season Two pages laid out, and am just about to start working on commercial models.  If you've got any Joe character designs, especially from 1987-1990, please drop me a line.  I'm still hoping to find Big Lob out there somewhere, and it seems like a crime not to be able to have Rolling Thunder somewhere in the book.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Ark Addendum - Motormaster's Transform

Whew!  Back from BotCon and still a bit exhausted from the whole wonderful magical ordeal.  I'll probably post a somewhat abbreviated convention report, though you'll have to give me some time to collect my thoughts.

In the meanwhile, it's time for another Ark Addendum.  This time I tackle Motormaster's transformation.  I don't have many other scramble city transforms, and what I did have found its way into  Transformers: The Complete Ark  (order it today!)  This one came to me with the models for Webworld I believe.  (I did an eight part series on Webworld some time back.)

Hope you enjoy!  And there may be another multi-part series of models in the not-too-distant future.