Sunday, 28 November 2010

Transformers



Back to the Transformers! Breacher was a birthday present from my friend, I was never too keen on the ROTF line in the shops, but this is actually a brilliant toy. Starscream is from the Universe line, it might be small, it's definitely good, it can transform in about four steps.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Fett Facing Front


I said it some time ago that Boba Fett needed a close up - well, here he is, scoping out Jabba's Palace. As much as I love the POTF2 line, like many of the figures Fett's representation here isn't the best. I've seen a lot of the more recent ones about, with better articulation, paint jobs, proportion (the less said about the barrel-chest the better). But I'll say one thing for this guy; when you're a kid, being able to take the jet-pack and Wookie braids off is awesome. 

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Troopers.


Note the hand reflection on the toaster behind the Clone Pilot! The ARF Trooper is pretty special though, and is kinda the inspiration behind this whole blog, being as it's the first Star Wars figure I purchased since ROTS Anakin Skywalker back in 2005. It's nice to give him a little feature every now and again, especially so considering how POTF2-centric this blog's been. Not that that's ever a problem, mind!


And this guy, the most recent addition, is also sweet. Yeah, they may not be *quite* as cool as OT Stormtroopers, but these guys sure have character. And the eagle-eyed of you may have spotted Deadpool scaring the heck out of ARF back there. Yeah, that happened.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Yoda!

Back again! I wasn't too happy with the way the previous Luke and Yoda shots turned out, so in a fit of Sunday inspiration I grabbed the figures and marched down to the park.


I much prefer this over the older one here. The tree and background looks good, and I got lucky with the lighting, and got there just as the sun had pretty much set. Also, as proof that the POTF2 Yoda figure does have legs...


One day I'll expand on it to have a swamp filthy X-Wing flying over his head whilst the John Williams score plays as loud as humanly possible over the top...

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Autobots!

And on a similar theme...


Again, Swoop takes focus. What can I say that I haven't said already about my personal favourite robotic transforming pterodactyl? The Wheeljack Alternator is completely lush, combining my love of Mustangs with Transformers - perfect. Even though he is a bitch to transform! And the Bumblebee (Goldbug?) is a Legends mini-bot, and belongs to Emma.


If I was Decepticon Communication Officer and I was this outnumbered, I'd give up too... This is my vintage G1 Soundwave, pretty worse for wear and in need of repair. It was a gift from a friend, and I think it's going to become a bit of a restoration project for me.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Slight Change of Tack... DINOBOT ATTACK!

As my obsessions shift every now and again, I find it hard to stick to one particular theme. And so, on a different note (but from the same album), I present... The Dinobots!

Transformers Animated Dinobots Swoop Grimlock Snarl

I had no choice but to start with Swoop, as he's my favourite; in fact, when I was a kid I made up a song about him. I still remember the words, but they will never be published. The G1 Swoop was impossible to find when it was out (edit: this may explain why) and I never had it, so when the Emcat got me the Transformers Animated Grimlock for Christmas, it didn't take me long to make amends...

Transformers Animated Dinobots Grimlock Snarl

Snarl used to be called Slag, and it's a name he's going to keep in my collection. Since the Dinobots were reduced in number for the animated line, I can understand why the moniker Snarl was used instead - it's cooler sounding, and potentially less offensive to us sensitive Brits... Don't get me wrong though, if Sludge and Slag/Snarl/whatever they call him are also re-designed/released, I'll be all over them.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Size Matters Not


What I've always loved about Dagobah is how it goes from being a dark, intimidating bog planet into a warm and (as long as you were in Yoda's hut, unlike R2) cosy place - I'm sure that's more down to Yoda's original endearing craziness and John William's superb scoring than the fact that the swamp creatures there don't like the taste of astromech...

There are plenty of brilliant custom Dagobah dioramas out there, although this one is my personal favourite - it's like a fishtank, and the scale, level of detail and commitment is incredible. The background for my less ambitious shot above is actually the alcove for a Mos Eisley doorway, having been plastered about 10 minutes before and still drying out. Luke and Yoda were the first on the scene for a size comparison, but with the way the lighting works already I think it's going to look pretty sweet.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Yavin Base


This Luke is actually from POTJ, the line that succeeded POTF. I was a little disappointed by the smaller scale and goofy teeth, but the plus points are the screen accurate boots and gloves and the stunning likeness to Sebastian Vettel. The background is a photograph, with a tiny bit of paint action where the picture met the surface. I like the effect of these backgrounds but they're a bit of a shortcut. When my X-Wing arrives I'll try and get a more authentic hanger scene together.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Eyes Of Evil


My enduring memories of seeing Return Of The Jedi for the first time are of Endor, specifically the speeder bike chase and the Ewok tree village. However, given how young I must've been when that happened, I'm amazed I didn't have anything from Jabba's Palace seared into my brain, Bib Fortuna in particular. The red eyes, the tailed head, clawed fingers and creepy way he touches up R2 - although I guess he loses his air of maelovence when we encounter Jabba, and realise ol' Bib's actually a weak-minded fool...

This is the second picture I've got up here with Boba Fett relegated to the background - I think he'll have to take centre stage at some point.

Monday, 29 March 2010

It's Cold Outside


One of the reasons I love the POTF2 line, besides the enormous nostalgia and younger wish fulfilment (see the Dewback post), is that you can get most of this line really pretty cheap - such as this Luke my girlfriend picked up for me from a clearance store where he was hanging out in the window with Han Solo and Count Dooku. And then there's charity shops, and car boots... It's almost enough to make me give up my eBay account. But not quite.

Nice and Easy...


The Special Editions were the defining cinematic experience of my youth, even more so than Jurrasic Park. Having had the theatrical versions on VHS, I was as excited as I would've been on blue Smarties about the new and updated content. Case in point - Jabba checking on Han in Mos Eisley. Not a bad scene, makes Greedo's appearance (and demise) a little more unnecessary, but then at the end, we get Boba Fett doing a final sweep and stare into the camera. Geek rejoice!


Friday, 19 March 2010

Dewback!


It's been a long time coming, I've finally got the POTF Dewback I wanted since they were released! The Tatooine collection is definitely taking shape, it'll be nice to get a little set together - the results will, I'm sure, find their way up here...


On another happy note, it turns out my girlfriend's phone camera has a far better auto focus and zoom than either of our digital cameras, making shots like the Sandtrooper above possible. Result!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Ready To Go


Captain Rex in a moment of calm before the storm. Who knows what the Seperatists have in store next? And what about that Order 66, hm?

It may seem I'm getting further from dioramas, but Em and I are working on something pretty special, whilst the collection picks up pace - I'm fulfilling a dream over 10 years old when tomorrow, I pick up my first Dewback!


Friday, 12 March 2010

A Real Bargain


This is my favourite so far, I like the scale, the setting and the lighting. Definitely a step in the right direction.

Leaving Hibernation


I used the same box from the Mos Eisley scene to put together Han waking up to an (eventually) familiar face. I like the colder lighting, trying to get that early morning after party feel - this was a quick attempt at this scene and one I'm going to go back to.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

A Jedi & His Droid


This was the best shot from not a bad bunch, unfortunately the very best idea for a shot I had was let down by poor focus on my camera. But I've got the blurry attempts; and they'll live to fight another day.

The Streets of Mos Eisley


The streets of a Tattoine spaceport isn't the place to be for two droids, what with all those Jawas lurking around...

Obi-Wan's Bad Dream


From here it doesn't look so much like Obi-Wan as 'Generic Jedi #4' or whoever (you can't even see the colour of his lightsabre!), but I like the Vader, as mentioned several times, and the poses are definitely confrontational.

Slaves To The Hutt


Finally got all my Ebay purchases together, and started on the shots. This was the first one I put together tonight, I like the lighting but the posability of the figures let me down a bit for what I was really trying. Ah well. Other than the poor focus on Leia's face, I like this. Note the make of envelope showing in the background...

Vader On Reflection


Darth Vader looking pretty mean. This wasn't really the shot I wanted to get, but the best I could do, which made me realise I need a better camera. Still, it's a very nice figure.

Captain Rex, Darth Vader... And a plant.


Actually, the plant is called Stephen. As per the pictures below, this was just messing around with the camera and not a serious attempt at anything, though the colours and soft lighting look nice. It's a Clone Wars Captain Rex and, well, Darth Vader, so slightly anachronistic I know. But let's face it, does anybody actually care enough to comment?

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Captain Rex gets directions from some Jawas...

Just a quick shoot from tonight, so I didn't make any props or anything for this scene but immediately upon looking at the pictures again I got some ideas, which I'll follow up this week. This was moreso to get back in the swing and get my girlfriend's new Rex toy online!


Oh, yeah, it's that way alright. Would you trust a Jawa?

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Saga Begins...

Alright, the beginning...

I was an avid collector as a kid, mainly POTF2, although I went a bit for the Episode 1 stuff. It took a while (about 10 years, in fact) before I got interested in Star Wars toys again, this time for the Clone Wars series. The advantage to collecting this time around is I can do what I always wanted to with a true commitment to the cause - make kick-ass dioramas, like the kind catalogues and toy boxes showed back in the days when everything was rose tinted...

Anyway, my first additions were an ARF Trooper (because these guys are, much like their descendant the Scout Trooper, extremely cool) and some Jawas. Because, you know. Utini.

 

And my first natural reaction? Make a scene! Using the packaging from my girlfriend's steamer, and a half-finished canvas as a back drop, I began to create scenes for Tattoine, some little story of a Clone Wars era Jawa troupe finding a perished Trooper. This just piqued my interest, and following a brief look online, I was able to find these rather superb backdrops... (backgrounds found here)


And so, with some neutral lighting from above (don't compare the trooper's shadow with the shadow on the dunes in the background!), a simple and effective scene is made. Admittedly, not much making has been done yet. But patience, padawan! I have big plans...

Sunday, 21 February 2010

First Post!

 Okay, first things first, I'm making a Jabba's Palace diorama, and I've been fortunate with my eBay bidding so far. Here's a list of my current props...
  •  Jabba's Palace 3D Diorama (with fresh out of carbonite Han)
  • POTF C3PO and R2 D2
  • POTF Jabba (with Mos Eisley Han Solo)
  • Saga Jabba's Palace Luke Skywalker
  • POTF Leia Boushh Disguise
  • POTF Slave Leia
It's only a start, and a pretty excited one at that - I may be however many years too late to the party, but eBay is a wonderful thing! But, I'm going to lay off it for a while until I start to get this project seriously under way. Unless I find a cheap Bib Fortuna...

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