Saturday, September 29, 2018


I'm thinking about including this guy as a co-host on The Anklecast. What do you think?

I don't know. He's a relative, so I kind of feel obliged. His name is Big Ankylosaurus.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Trying To Tell Me Something?

I was at my local Kroger buying some Diet Sunkist at the self-checkout, when I saw this:

Ya think Kroger's trying to tell me something?

Friday, September 21, 2018

A Long Overdue Project

Back in late 2016, I was really interested in creating my own awesome costumes with EVA foam. Once, years ago, I'd made a short sci-fi video with my kids, and I thought it would be neat to do it again. I was watching a lot of videos about cosplay creation at the time. Strangely, I came across a YouTube video about custom painting of action figures on a channel called Cosplay Chris. I guess the guy wanted to branch out with his channel and include more than just cosplay. This is the videoL

I was amazed by this video! I couldn't believe how awesome the finished product looked! I had picked up that same Marvel Titan Heroes Hulkbuster figure for my son when I saw them on clearance, and as is, it looked like utter shite. But if you could transform it to something that amazing with just some time, effort, and a few coats of paint, then I needed to look into this.

Sadly, my interest in foam cosplay waned, and my interest in action figure repainting waxed. After all, I'd been collecting various action figures for dozens of years.

I ran into a snag in my plans, however. My then four-year-old son was not about to relinquish his Hulkbuster to me to keep on my shelf. He totally wanted me to repaint it and make it awesome, but wanted to still be able to play with it. He didn't want it up on my shelf collecting dust. But the guy in the video had said it had taken "a grueling ten hours of hand painting" to make the figure look like that. There was no way I was going to put that kind of work into something only to have it destroyed by my son as he played with it.

So, we were at an impasse. Then I came across a sort of solution. The Marvel Titan Heroes line came out with a different Hulkbuster figure. Instead of the 18-inch figure that you could actually put your 12-inch iron man into, this was a 12-inch figure itself. It was a little bulkier than the rest of the 12-inchers, but it looked a lot like the 18-inch one, just smaller. I kept looking at them, thinking I should probably get one to repaint, when providence smiled on me again. They went on sale.

So, I grabbed myself one.

And that was my biggest mistake. I'd never done any figure repainting before. I had no experience at all. If I messed it up, I would have ruined my only figure. Rish Outfield, who had seen that same video from above, was much smarter than I. When they went on sale, he bought up a bunch of them. He started repainting them in various ways and documenting it over on his blog.

I was too afraid to plow ahead myself, despite having seen the how-to video and everything.

Then I got an idea. My son had an old Titan Heroes Iron Man figure. It had definitely seen better days. The gold on its face had almost completely rubbed off. I really liked the sculpt on the figure, though, especially compared to the newer versions that were coming out. I appreciate the look of the Mark III armor from the first Iron Man movie a lot more than the Mark V or Mark VI or Mark XLII from the later movies that seemed to get busier and uglier each time. But my son didn't care, as long as he had an Iron Man. So, I bought him a new Titan Heroes Iron Man, and traded it for his old one. Now I could use it as my trial run for repainting.

Now comes the long overdue part in the blog post title, because I didn't jump right into it like I should have. Instead, I got distracted by life and all its difficulties. That Iron Man, along with my Hulkbuster Iron Man, got stuffed into my toy box for a time when I would get around to repainting them.

A few years and a move to Texas happened, and my four-year-old became a six-year-old. Recently, my wife got the YouTube for kids app, and he really got into watching videos. For the most part, I can't stand the videos that come up on there, though. They're unbelievably annoying. He loves them, but he's six. Whenever he wants to watch YouTube while I'm around, I try to punch up something that we might both enjoy, like videos about Legos or other toys. By chance, the other day old Cosplay Chris came up again. We saw this video:

My son realized that he had the equivalent of the $5 space blaster from K-Mart up in his toy fact he had five or six of them. He insisted that we go out right that very weekend and buy paint to turn his toy gun into something cooler. He drew up his idea, and went to work.

I let him do it all by himself until he was satisfied that he had something awesome. I could have intervened to make it look more professional or something, but this was his thing. So, he did it all.

I didn't have to intervene, after all, because I had my own thing that I could do. That old Iron Man was still in my toy box in my closet, and now I had all the supplies I needed to turn it into something new.

This is what it used to look like...something like this, anyway, I never took a before picture, but Hasbro did, I guess.

My kid has a way of insisting on taking over everything I try to do, so I made sure to only work on it when he wasn't around. When he went to school on Monday, I took the figure out into the backyard and primed it.

It took a few coats, because, unlike the Hulkbuster on Cosplay Chris's video, this guy couldn't be disassembled. I had to paint around the arms and stuff.

After the primer dried, I put on a coat of cherry red.

For the most part, it was shining like the top of the Chrysler Building.

But a couple of spots cracked a little bit on me.

I wasn't totally sure what to do about that. It was something Cosplay Chris had said to watch out for, but he didn't say what to do if you actually had that problem. I decided to sand it down with some fine grain sandpaper, and paint over it again.

The red paint took an astonishingly long time to dry all the way. I don't know if it was the humidity of Houston that caused that or the chemical interplay between the plastic and the paint. It could have also been the fact that while I had the figure outside drying, a rain storm rumbled through and got the figure a little wet (even though he was standing on our patio table under an umbrella). After waiting a week or so, I was finally able to get to painting the details.

I brought up a picture of the Mark III armor on my computer, and got out my gold paint from Testors:

I filled in all the areas that were supposed to be gold, and it looked like this:

It was starting to look cool. However this enamel paint took even longer to dry than the last stuff. It stayed sticky and tacky forever. I have seen a lot of videos now that say to never use enamel paints, and only to use acrylic. Apparently the dry time is much, much faster. My wife and artist daughter have used acrylics a lot for their various projects, so we've probably already got a ton of colors. Metallic gold is certainly not one of them though. I assume that exists, but I've never seen it. I'll have to look for some for the next project.

Eventually, I filled in some of the spots that I had missed or where the red was still showing through because I had not painted thoroughly enough, as well as putting red back onto the spots that I had screwed up and accidentally gotten gold where I shouldn't.

Oh, it was at this point that I discovered the perfect painting palette:

This is the top of an egg carton. We buy our eggs from Costco in these containers, and it couldn't be more perfect as a place to put a bunch of different colors of paints into while still keeping them separate. And it's disposable when you're done. No need to even clean it up. Of course, you have to do this with a plastic egg container, not a cardboard one.

Now that I had the whole base coat down, it was time to put on the shoe polish.

I took the can of polish that I'd purchased out, scraped some out, and tried to mix it with water. Nothing doing. That stuff would not mix at all. Everyone that I'd seen perform this maneuver had always used this kind of polish:

But since it cost more, I'd decided to go with the other kind. Complete backfire, since I now owned a container of both kinds. I had to go back and buy the other kind, because it had to be the liquid polish. Not only that, but it needed to be further watered down when you put it on. I also learned that the hard way. When I put some on that hadn't been watered down, it just plain didn't want to come off like it was supposed to. I had to scrape at it get it off of all the big surfaces, and I just plain couldn't dig it out of many of the crevices that it had filled. Luckily, I only did that on one arm.

This was supposed to be a learning experience, right?

So, after shoe-polishing the whole figure, I thought it was looking really good. It looked like this:

I had to touch up some spots of gold after doing the shoe polish maneuver, because the polish stuck to the enamel paint much more than the red spray paint. But I think it turned out great.

I sprayed it with a clear gloss coating to seal in all my paint jobs, and that was that. I was done.

Now it's time to move on to the actual toy that I wanted to do from the get go.

The funny thing is that I might become a little addicted to this whole thing. I have a lot of toys that would benefit from this kind of treatment. For some reason, toy companies never skimp on the sculpt of their toys, but they always skimp on the paint application. I have so many cheap little toys that are filled with astounding levels of detail, but you mostly don't even notice those details, because the paint job doesn't bring it out.

This may become a regular segment on my blog.

Thursday, September 20, 2018


They had a book fair at my kid's school the other day. He went around trying to buy the toys that masquerade as books. You know what I'm talking about, right? The Lego books that have a blisterpacked figure on the book, or the "science" books that come with an assortment of rocks blisterpacked onto them. You know what I mean, the books that cost five times as much as a regular book does, but appeal to kids way more than sitting still and reading does. The ones the kids will beg for, but will never read, because they are busy playing with the toy instead. The ones that do nothing to help literacy whatsoever.

We managed to get him to buy a couple of books that were actually just books, though. My wife chose this book for him, and he actually agreed:

She read the book to him the other night. It's funny, and a bit irreverent, which doesn't bother me at all, and kids love. But I was struck by one thing while reading it. This title is supposed to rhyme.

For my wife, that wasn't weird at all. If you've ever heard a Canadian pronounce the word pasta or drama, then you would understand. They don't say that first 'a' like the rest of the English speaking realms. Instead it is the same kind of a as you find in the other word in that title, bananas.

The author, who it appears is from Australia, can similarly rhyme the title, but differently. Because they pronounce the word piranhas exactly like Americans do. But they pronounce the word bananas differently. The a in bananas is the same as the a in piranha. People in New Zealand and Britain do the same.

I found it interesting to realize that Americans were uniquely qualified to not appreciate this book. We're the only ones that it doesn't rhyme for.

That being said, I still recommend it for your kids. It's a sort of morbid, sick way. Just the kind of thing a Dunesteef fan's kid would probably enjoy.

Seems Legit

I was looking through the early Halloween offerings in the local Walmart this week, when I came across this costume:

I've never heard of a Fading Eyes Desert Dweller before. I'm not sure if it belongs to some kind of kid-centric TV property that I just don't care about, like Pokemon or The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers or The Human Centipede or Super Robot Monkey Team or something. Or maybe it just comes from real life. Before coming to Texas, I used to live in the high desert. None of my neighbors dressed like this...or had fading eyes. People had done their best to irrigate the place and mitigate the effects of the desert climate, though, so maybe that's why I've never seen anyone that looked like that there.

I just wish I knew what this costume was all about. It's so interesting. It looks like it could be part of a really popular space opera-type franchise. Like maybe John Carter of Mars or Flash Gordon might encounter these guys and have to fight to get his robots away from them or something. It could be really cool.

Am I just clueless? Does anyone know what franchise this costume comes from. If only it had the franchises name on the packaging, then I'd know, but instead it's completely generic like the Headless Horseman and the French Maid costumes that come from general culture or history or properties that have long passed into the public domain. Good thing there's no mega-corporation that wouldn't take kindly to its creation and sale in the United States.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


I've been trying to give up soda, but keep failing at it. I can give it up for short periods, but I always come crawling back. However, here's something that might help motivate me.

I really like this Diet Sunkist that I discovered recently. However, it's definitely at its best when it's really, really cold. Like, on the verge of freezing. Keeping it in the fridge just isnt' enough. So, I often throw one into the freezer for about thirty minutes before drinking it.

The other day, however, I apparently lost count of the number of sodas I'd put into the freezer, and went off to work without retrieving one of them. This is what I found the next morning:


That took an astoundingly long time to clean it all up, and there's still soda in cracks and crevices all over the fridge that I didn't manage to get.

Maybe I should really give up this soda stuff.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Sea Creature?

I saw this really interesting illustration oddly enough on the back of a box of a feminine hygiene products.

Look at it gracefully swimming through the blue flowing currents of the ocean. I don't know what kind of a creature it is. It looks kind of like one of those squids, because it has that big eye and that long tentacle looking thing...for locomotion I assume. I guess it's kind of like an oyster, because it's called a Tampax Pearl...

If you're a zoologist or marine biologist or something, maybe you can tell me what this creature is, and why they decided to use it as the mascot for this feminine hygiene product.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Dunesteef Episode 201: Ten Year Anniversary Question And Answer – Part 2

I just published our historic 201st episode of the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine. It is Rish Outfield and I answering more of the questions submitted to us via Facebook, the Dunesteef forum, email and telegram.

If you ever wanted to know about Announcer Man's history, this is the show for you.

Head over to and check it out if you haven't and you actually want to. Thanks, folks!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Decorating For The Season II

I've become an addict of a YouTube channel called Toy Galaxy. I know, big surprise, right? Half of my posts in the last while have been about my toys. It's getting sad.

I'm kind of jealous that I never made a channel like this myself. I like his background, but I feel like my own background (that I've shown many times on this blog) is even better. He does do some cool stuff sometimes though. Like at Halloween time, he makes his background go with the season, like in this video:

He did this video last year with a close up of the shelf too.

Now, I'm never going to have all the various toys that he has like the headless horseman and the Freddy or Jason figures. But I still want to do something cool with my shelf. So, I got a bunch of lights, spider webs, and something called creepy cloth from the dollar store, and put it in use on my shelves. What do y'all think?

Friday, September 14, 2018

You Didn't Even Try

All the streets near me have these fancy names like Shady Hollow St. or Rolling Brook Ln. and the like. They're all meant to evoke a feeling of living within an idyllic natural oasis. But the other day I was driving to the Dentist, and I came across a street that, while it didn't actually break the rules, sure didn't follow the trend either. It was this street:

Tree Ln. Yeah, to quote Rish's favorite Star Trek line: they didn't even try.

Yeah, it's still a natural thing they named the street after, but Tree was all they had? Did they just run out of ideas completely? Maybe the developer gave his two-year-old kid the chance to name a street? I don't know, but they sure didn't try.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Decorating For The Season

Had a few minutes this afternoon, and I thought that since the fall is approaching, maybe I ought to redecorate a little bit. Of course, my idea of decorating is a little different than some. So, I give you, Halloween decorations.

I also had this Imaginext figure. He was too small to fit anywhere on his own, so I figured he could join with the other sword guys.

And lastly, I switched out my Lego guys to some more Halloween style ones. A witch, a spider, and a spider witch. Plus three little trick-or-treaters.

That's good right? Or do I need some more traditional decorations?

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Anklecast 41: Some Heavy Talk, Part 2

I finish the story of my weight loss journey, then talk about the theory behind it. It's something that I'm really passionate about, but I know that not everybody cares so much. So, I won't be too upset if you skip it. I feel like I've finally found the key, and I want everyone who might be in a similar situation as me to also know it. It's all about hormones folks. Anyway, watch the show if you're interested. I'll be back with something completely different next time, but I'll probably come back to this subject again eventually when I finish losing all the weight.

Watch the video or listen to the audio above. Or to download the audio of the podcast, right click here, and save the file to your hard drive.

Episode 200: Ten Year Anniversary Question And Answer – Part 1

I almost forgot that I decided to start posting about our other shows when they drop on this blog, so here it is if you haven't listened yet our 200th episode just dropped the other day. It is us answering questions submitted to us via Facebook, the Dunesteef forum, email and etc. etc. etc.

If you ever wanted to know about the real, pretty boring and mundane, origin of the name Dunesteef, this is the show for you.

It’s hard to believe but it’s been ten whole years since we started this podcast. As a sort of a celebration, Rish and Big sat down and answered questions from listeners. It’s all the things you ever never wanted to know about the Dunesteef…well, not all of it, there’s still a part two that we’re stringing you along for.

Special super thanks to everyone who helped us out over the last ten years, we couldn’t have done it without all of our friends’ help. You guys are the greatest.

So, yeah, head over to and check it out if you haven't and you actually want to. Thanks, folks!