Thursday, May 19, 2022

The 30-Day Carnivore Challenge Near Its Completion But What About Mother's Day? Can We Survive It?

Time's running out. We're almost there. This is days 21-25 of the 30-Day challenge. However, smack dab in the middle of this segment was Mother's Day. Holidays are always tough when you're doing a healthy eating regimen, because they are centered around food that is decidedly unhealthy. Was this the end for our intrepid carnivores? Find out by watching the video.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

New Recruits

I went on Amazon the other day, and was surprised to find a bunch of things that I wanted on sale. Lots of them were going for 50% off. I don't think it was Prime Day or anything. 

I was actually irritated, because there were so many good deals that I couldn't buy it all. It would have been too much money. In this day and age of rampant inflation, that's not a problem many run into very often. "And what is this newfound restraint you're evidencing?" you might be asking, well I don't know. I probably should have just gone all out, but I held back.

I got what I could, and hoped that maybe later I could come back and find them still on sale and buy them then.

So, here's the new recruits:

They're pretty cool.

First up there's the Fortnite Jules.

She comes with this big bomb thing called Bombs Away!

I think it's a glider-type thing that you start the Fortnite game out on, flying down to Fortnite Island to spend a lovely fortnight there...I don't know. I've still never played the game. I didn't really care about the bomb. It would probably go to the little guy to play with as he pleased.

I saw her at Ross for $10 the other day, and considered buying it. It originally sold for about $20, so that's a pretty good deal. But, because of the dumb bomb thing, it cost a lot more than a single figure did. So, I passed on it, but then I saw it on Amazon for $6.68, and I thought that is more like it.

I thought she could be the town mechanic, fixing up those spaceships, speeder bikes, and mech walkers. I thought the other Fortnite figure I got could be her assistant. He is called A.I.M.

He cost the most of everything that I got, but he is an older figure that you can only find for about double his original retail price. So, when I saw it on for 50% off on Amazon, which made it its original retail price again, I figured I should jump on it. Ankletown Station has to have a lot of droids roaming about, an this guy is a pretty original looking one, what with the fact that he's wearing sweat pants and everything.

Can you think of a good name for them? I don't want to call them by their Fortnite names. Jules and A.I.M. can stay in the Fortnite world, and on my station they can be called Julie and RoboMechanic...or something way better than either of those two. 

I thought that maybe my first building on the station could be their mechanic's garage. I wanted to do something like the one that I saw at Galaxy's Edge.

Sadly, because of the rain, that's the best picture I got of it. Here's one somebody else took that shows the whole garage:

It's pretty cool. Could be a lot of fun. I just imagine the two of them back there, working on ships, and Jules yelling at A.I.M. saying, "That's not it, bring me the Hydrospanner."

I feel like I need to get started on some buildings before I buy anything else, but we're in the middle of tearing out our kitchen and renovating it right now, so I'll probably have to wait until that's all over before I can really think about that.

That's kind of a bummer. I guess I'll have to be satisfied with customizing the figures that I have a little more.

So, I did a little of that. Both Jules and A.I.M. looked a little too neat and clean to be mechanics. They needed a blackwash to give them a little bit more detail and weathering. So, I painted up Jules and wiped away the excess. Here's what she looks like now.

She's a lot messier and more realistic. I probably ought to do a little something to hive her more realism in the face as well, but I just don't trust myself on faces yet. Here's a comparison of the before and the after.

Not a huge difference. Just enough to give her a little more realism. Nice grunginess on her shirt and apron, jeans and boots. I also think the wrench looks a lot cooler like that.

I did A.I.M. too, and he looks pretty good.

Here's the side-by-side:

It's funny how you don't really notice it, but the one on the left, the untreated one, looks almost cartoonish in its purity of color, but the one on the right looks realistic. I love doing blackwashes. It makes all toys look better...or at least mostly. Rish Outfield claimed he did one that made his figure look worse, but I haven't seen pictures or anything, so I can't confirm that.

Anyway, with the mechanics set up, lets move on to the other two guys I got from Amazon. There's the Mythrol.

Whoops, I guess I moved when I took his picture. That is going to make his before and after picture a little more challenging. I guess I should have checked that before I did the blackwash on him. Here's the after.

Truthfully, this guy looks like he's exactly the same to me...I wonder if I can do a before and after with the group picture version up above.

Yeah, I don't really see anything. I think maybe there's a little bit in his face, but I'm not even sure if that's an improvement. All in all, he looks the same. I guess his clothes are too dark to make much of a difference. Either that, or I just got too excited when I was wiping off the excess.

Lastly, there's Kuill.

I love this figure. It's such a tiny little thing, yet they made it so super posable. It can get into all sorts of positions. It's rad. I did a blackwash on it too. Here's the results.

It's pretty good. His color palette is so muted that it didn't make a huge difference, but it did do a little.

It feels like the majority of the difference is due to the lighting difference and not the wash, but that's okay. It's a cool looking figure either way. It would probably be good to do a brownwash on his face to give him a little more detail there...of course, as I already said, I'm afraid to do that kind of stuff.

I considered buying several more of the Kuill figures while they were on sale. I saw a guy who made custom highly-posable jawas using the Kuill body, and I considered it for a while before deciding I couldn't afford it.

I guess I chose wrong.

Because the Jules and the A.I.M. are still on at the sale price, but the Kuill went back up to full price right away. I'll have to watch for it to come down I guess. If it did it once, it might do it again. I do quite enjoy the cool jawa pictures that Empire Toy Works sometimes does.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Taking Up The Gauntlet And Eating The Sardines - 30-Day Carnivore Challenge

Marshal challenged me to eat head cheese, and in return I challenged him to eat sardines. In the end, we couldn't find head cheese at any regular store, so we nixed that from the list, and decided to just go for the sardines. Time's almost up, so we had to get those sardines eaten. We both manned up and opened up that stinky can of fish and ate them. See how it went...

Mr. President

In a post a few weeks back, I mentioned how I'd found the Boss Fight Studious Mini Kit head packs that I'd bought with Rish years ago. One of them was the crustacean, the other was the great old one. They were blank, though, and needed to be painted up.

I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do with them. The guy who does Rotgut Station made his crustacean into the doctor at his med clinic, and I did look into doing the same thing as that...but I didn't want to just straight up copy him. Seems like it would be better if I found some  other way.

I needed something much better than that for the horrible, terrifying Lovecraftian head, though. He couldn't just be a simple doctor. Cthulhu would be something much worse than that. Then I had the idea...he should be the ruler of the whole place. 

That's what the great old one would do. He would be a despicable dictator. One that has "elections" that always seem to come out with him winning resoundingly, a landslide every time.

I thought of President Business from the Lego Movie, but this guy could be worse. We'll call him President Government.

I just needed to get him a suit to wear, and paint up the head and hands. It was going to be glorious.

I painted the head and hands a sickly green color with yellow accents, gave it a black wash to highlight the details, then had to redo the yellow accents because they'd become way too subdued after the wash dulled them. I was really pleased with the results.

I went to Target, where they had the Fortnite Agent Jonesy figure, wearing a very presidential blue suit with a red tie. I removed his head, and Cthulhu's head popped right on in its place perfectly. The hands were a different matter. They connected to the body differently, so I had to cut them off and drill a hole for the hand pegs to insert into, but quickly, I had my President Government constructed and ready to perpetrate some tyranny.

Maybe I need to get him some secret service agents that are always surrounding him, and watching for assassins as he goes from one meeting to another.

I think they have those at Oh, yeah, a bunch of different options, too.

Should he have secret service though? Or just a bunch of really thuggish guards, like our old pal Laka Baba? Some stormtrooper looking guards instead of secret service...hmm...I don't know. I guess maybe he could even have both.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Serving Staff?

One of the things that Empire Toy Works does most in his photos of Rotgut Station is show people in his bar and various food establishments.

Sometimes they're just normal photos, sometimes they're quirky, like this one with Alien Xenomorphs working behind the counter and all the crew of the Nostromo at the bar to order.

And while I think all of the photos are awesome, I'm more drawn to the quirky ones. I've seen this Fortnite box set around at Target recently, and though it costs too much and I shouldn't get it, I keep thinking it would be funny if these guys were the ones working behind the counter at the diner.

I wish, however, that Houthouse and Gutbomb were actually the less crazy versions of those characters called Tomatohead and Beef Boss. The X's over the eyes of Hothouse make him seem like he wouldn't work as well serving spaghetti to the customers.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Laka Baba

 I mentioned in my post a couple of days ago that I had bought a Halo guy

And that I was planning to put a Star Wars alien's head on it, and grunge it up so much that you would barely be able to tell what color its armor had once been. I mean, the guy is wearing teal armor...or is that aquamarine? I'm not sure.

Anyway, for once, I actually went through with something before two years had passed. This morning, I pulled out my paints, and a drill, and set to work.

Ponda Baba was the alien I chose to desecrate.

He has little articulation, and is stuck in this action pose so that I couldn't do much with him if I kept him as is. So, Walrus Man it is.

I warmed up the neck joint on both of the figures. The head popped right off of the Halo guy, but wouldn't come off of Ponda Baba for the life of me. So, I grabbed my cutters...

And played the part of the guillotine. It's alright, his head is better off separated from that body.

Ponda Baba's head was engineered differently than the Halo guy. The Halo guy had a socket in his head, and the ball joint was on the end of his neck. For Ponda Baba it was the opposite. The neck peg came out of his head, and connected through a hole in the shoulders.

So I had to remove the neck peg entirely, and then drill a socket to receive the Halo figure's ball joint. That was pretty easy, however. My wife got me a Dremel a few years ago, and the drill in that thing seems to be made for customizing action figures.

Next thing you know, the body and the head were united, and I had a whole new figure. 

This guy, I figured I would call Laka Baba. He was Ponda Baba's older brother. Before Ponda Baba became a little rebel and fell in with the likes of Dr. Evazan, his brother Laka Baba ran away and joined the Aqualish military in the fight against the Covenant. Military life has been harsh, but nobody would have guessed that Laka would be the one still sporting all of his limbs, while his little brother crossed paths with a Jedi, and now wears a prosthetic arm.

But I still wanted to further modify the figure. I wanted that armor so grungy you could barely recall what color it actually was, if you remember.

I took straight up, unadulterated black acrylic paint, and slathered it all over the armor. Then, using a paper towel, I wiped a small portion of it off. I was really excited with the results. It looked appropriately grungy, and here he is, Laka Baba, ready to fight.

I love it. The teal is muted enough now that it doesn't seem weird at all for it to be that color. Now...uh oh, here comes trouble...I feel like I should go out and buy all the Halo figures I can get my hands on so I can make more of these kinds of guys.

I suppose that more importantly, I need alien heads to go on the figures first. I have a, uh, Tessek. Maybe I could get him on the squad.

If I did that, though, I'd need to do the hands and the feet as well. Like Empire Toy Works did with his Hammerhead kitbash.

The Halo figures could probably handle a little cutting to make that possible, though, I bet. I may have to try it. Maybe then, if it goes well, I could buy more figures, and do more mashups. Greedo would be cool as a Halo figure as well, I bet. I got one of him sitting around here somewhere too...