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About M'Kyuun

  • Birthday 07/05/1971

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  • Location
    Spokane, Wa
  • Interests
    Transformable mecha; Lego; sci-fi; ancient tech and architecture; well engineered toys

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  1. Having only used the fine tipped Gundam markers for panel lines and such, I think hand brushing may be a more effective means of achieving a smooth homogenous track of paint. It's laborious and frustrating, but I think it's easier to manipulate the paint into smaller areas, like those wheel wells. Too, I use a fine tipped brush, which helps immensely for precision, although it makes for a slow job. I'm fortunate also, despite my coffee habit, to have a fairly steady hand, which is helpful. I still suffer from overruns, smears, and the like, but I keep a supply of tiny hobby swabs handy as well as the old hobby knife when scraping or just running the paint out of those panel lines becomes necessary, as often is the case. However, if time is of the essence, or you don't feel like expending the effort, the Toyhax set does a good job of providing all the details without the frustration of painting. In my case, I'm cheaper than I am lazy, at least in this instance. I just couldn't justify the price of the stickers for all the more of them I planned on using. Oddly, while I don't exactly enjoy the act of painting, there's still a fulfillment to be had when the job goes well, or well enough for my taste. I'll never be an expert; I simply lack the patience and talent, but like anything else, I guess it comes down to reasonable expectation of result per the amount of time and effort expended, and in some cases, I'm willing to put in the hours or days to try and spruce up these lovely little chunks of plastic. Most unfortunate, that cut on the grill. Alas, another battle scar for the old-timer. Better that than a finger, though. I wonder if a box cutter might not be a better tool than an X-acto for separating that skirt?
  2. Your Twitch came out alright; the extra bit of paint helps. It's a shame that she, and other figs, don't come more fully painted from the factory, but I'm thinking they're squeezing every last drop out of the budgets as it is. Sorry to hear your Ironhide painting and cutting went awry. I wish you success without incident next time. If it's any consolation, I had started painting the stripe on my Ironhide prior to the Toyhax set being revealed. I wanted it to look smoother (I don't own a good airbrush and the old cheapy I do own is probably gummed up with old paint at this point), so I wiped the paint off and waited for the sticker sheet. Upon perusing said sheet, there were far more I didn't want than I did; a basic sheet with the stripes, some back windows, some red stickers for the bumper, and maybe some lights and license plate decals would have been perfect. But I get that some folks want the full G1 look, which, in most cases, looks too dated to me, especially a lot of the robot stickers. Anyway, I passed on the stickers and hand painted it, which looks a little rough, especially upon close inspection, but still better, IMHO, than he did prior. No one else has to look at it but me, so that's ok.
  3. Twitch is the only Earthspark fig thus far released that has interested me enough to buy. I think she's an alright fig, but I have the same complaint about her chest not locking into place, as she's a little back-heavy with her rotors and the merest touch causes her chest to swing up and back. Not a good design by any standard. Her shoulders sit a little too low for my taste as well, but again, her design could have used tweaking before finalization. Regardless, as with Animated, I think her toony look has its charm, and though her alt mode is a made-up drone that looks like nothing real-world that I'm aware of, I still like it. It's different, but in an appealing way, I guess. Compared to Legacy deluxes, though, she reeks of simplicity and likely a lower budget despite her price tag being equal to those higher quality main line toys which in my mind doesn't make for good practice. Alas, that's life in the early twenty-first century it seems.
  4. I didn't even think about Gundam markers, but that might've been an easier way to do it. I wouldn't use a rotary cutter for the reason you mentioned- too large a gap. I think a thin sharp hobby knife is the most effective means to keep the gap to an absolute minimum. Too, if your rotary tool slips, then you've permanently marred the hip skirt. I was a bit reluctant to cut mine, but I vehemently dislike how the single piece looks in a pose, and being inspired by a few others who cut theirs, I pressed on. Glad I did- time and effort well-spent. I figured one of the third-party upgrade makers would produce a three-part skirt to replace the single piece, but AFAIK, nobody has. I also figured they'd make a detachable back cannon. Hasbro made one for the WfC Siege Ratchet/Ironhide figs, but it would have been nice to get it with the version of the character for whom it's actually known. Oh, and I got payment notifications from Pulse for both Tarn and Leo Prime. I'll probably receive them early next week.
  5. I used Testor's 1150 flat red enamel, Testor's flat yellow (Testor's Hobby and Craft acrylic 18 pack with a series of colors both gloss and flat), and a mix of Vallejo 70.991 Dark Sea Grey (FS36231) acrylic mixed with a bit of Testor's acrylic flat black (also from the 18-pack) to darken it to the approximate plastic color. I didn't get it exactly, but pretty close. I would have used flat red acrylic from that 18 pack, but both the flat and gloss red paints inexplicably cured into rubbery blobs that wouldn't resuscitate with water. It's quite odd, as they are the only paints in that set to have done so and both had their lids snapped closed. The only other comparable red I own is the flat enamel, so that's what I used. In hindsight, given the glossy appearance of Hasbro's paint, perhaps a gloss red would be a better choice. To cut the skirt, I used a brand-new X-Acto hobby knife; it still took a bit of work- ABS is tough stuff, but I managed to cut both sides while preserving the bits on either side of the center crotch piece that the pin goes through. I just followed the molded lines and kept scoring it while trying to keep the blade as perpendicular to the cutting surface as possible. Fortunately, I managed it successfully and without any impromptu blood lettings or amputations. I recommend caution if you attempt it. Too, if you go ahead and paint yours, I wish you more success than I had; initially, I masked the lines on the right side of the van but became overconfident and careless in my application and had to go back and do some clean up. After that, I free-handed everything else to better effect. Trying to get the paint looking right around those wheel wells is challenging, and I wish I'd done a better job of it. I suck at painting, though. Concerning your Earthspark Bee review, I don't think it's a bad looking fig overall. The huge intakes on the sides are a little detracting from the front, but otherwise look good from just about any other angle. Still, I think I like the Cyberverse design better, especially the bot mode. I don't own the Cyberverse fig and likely won't pick up the Earthspark version, so I get to enjoy them vicariously. I completely support your argument on the pricing of these figs as opposed to the superior Generations main line stuff. The price should reflect the quality, and anyone who's handled figs from Cyberverse or Earthspark and Generations knows there's a notable difference there in the build and engineering between them. Good review, Mike. Every success in your Ironhide improvements.
  6. At this point I'd take either, especially if it was done as well as the upcoming Legacy Skyquake. That said, I'd still like to get my hands on the original toy or a nice update that maintains the Animated aesthetic.
  7. I did some painting. I also separated Ironhide's uni-skirt, which IMHO, improves the look of the fig in dynamic poses. I waited for Toyhax's set, but it was replete with labels I didn't want or intend to apply; all I wanted was his yellow stripes, the red bits to fix his overpainted bumper area, and some grey decals for the top of his torso which didn't even come in the set, surprisingly. So, I took up brush and did my best to bring him a little closer to his toon look. I think he looks ready to start bustin' Deceptichops. 😉
  8. Yeah, I'm thinking he's going to be stealing the show every time he has a bit of scenery to chew, pun intended. 😇
  9. Great review, Mike. I'm one of those fans who was underwhelmed by the Hasbro toy, to put it kindly, but that line like many had its share of both good and bad figs, subjectively speaking. I consider Prime's Knockout and Dreadwing toys to be on the low end for their concessions in bot and plane modes respectively. Airachnid was due a better toy, especially since she was a recurring character who, much like BW's Tarantulas, often worked her own agenda apart from the other Decepticons and gave the show that extra bit of fun and intrigue. I should have a burning desire to buy this fig, but I don't. She's definitely an improvement over the original, and I don't mind the concessions to her helicopter mode, but it's just not grabbing me for some reason. TBH, I haven't been interested in any of the APC's Prime updates, as I'm fine with the original toys, which still adorn one of my TF shelves. I doubt anything better is going to come along, but for some reason, I just don't have much enthusiasm for her. I think my pique would be better served if they were making some Animated updates. In particular, Blackout, whose original toy I missed out on, and who goes for a king's ransom on the secondary market, would be wonderful. Unlike Prime, Hasbro has been mostly silent on Animated rereleases, updates, anything really; it's as if they want it to just disappear despite the fact that it was a really well-done show and there are many fans who would love to have a breadcrumb or two. I was hoping for some sort of special release on its tenth anniversary, but nothing. There is, however, a glimmer of hope that it's not completely under the rug, as in my rather minority opinion, Legacy Bulkhead was an update to the Animated, not Prime, character, and now we have an Animated Prowl fig coming. I continue to hold out hope for a Titan class Omega Supreme, but honestly, I don't want it G1-ified; I want a proper Animated-style Omega Supreme that looks like the show's version of the Ark when transformed. Given the direction of Legacy, I'm not holding my breath. 🙁
  10. You can do far, far worse than borrow liberally from Ghost in the Shell. Wanna see it! This is gonna be a fun movie. I think my wife, who loves cheesy humor (Mel Brooks and the like), will really enjoy it.
  11. I wish they'd put a cardboard box in Generation Zero- man that game's tough, especially going it alone.
  12. Agreed, but what Boston Dynamics is already doing is far beyond what I ever imagined I would see in my lifetime; it's sci-fi wrought real, and it's impressive beyond the pale. I'm awestruck every time I see one of their robots doing some feat, be it climbing stairs, doing somersaults, or just picking up a box, carrying it somewhere else, and depositing it. Even if the robot drops its parcel, the programming and technical difficulties behind all those movements and coordination is staggering. So, given the current state of the technology, and the pace at which tech advances in this era, I'm reasonably certain that an autonomous AI-controlled robot will be reality, and possibly in some limited service, by the time I expire. I'm 51 now, and coming from a long-lived family, barring no accidents, diseases, zombie apocalypses. or nuclear holocaust, I'll likely live well into my eighties, and I hope to see it become a reality in a positive way before I push daisies.
  13. 😄 Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner are, thankfully, still with us, if a little grey, and it wouldn't hurt my feelings at all if both made at least cameos in the next film. They started the whole thing, Bruce is its namesake, and as long as they draw breath and TRON films/shows/games are made, I want to see both turn up in them somewhere, along with Steve Lisberger who dreamt the whole thing up and gave us one of the most visually and thematically distinct bits of science fiction in the history of the genre.
  14. Well, give it time. We've been using unmanned, sometimes AI-controlled, drones to prosecute war for decades now. It's part of the modern landscape, as it were. People fear change and more so, what they don't understand, and more than that, preconceptions instilled in them by decades of cautionary tales in the form of fiction. That's not to say we should forge ahead without precautions; maybe I've seen Terminator one too many times, but real-world AI is still a burgeoning science, and we simply don't know how it will react should it ever become self-aware, or aware of its place in this human-run world. Caution is warranted. However, we have a historical tendency to project the worst of ourselves onto other things, be they natural or man-made, and that often colors our biases. AI may prove to be our salvation over time instead of our end, as we often pessimistically predict. It remains to be seen. I'm a fan of giving AI the benefit of the doubt, as there's certainly a use for it in dangerous occupations/ situations where a machine-run machine can spare a human life or lives, and maybe even save some in the process. I think it's worth finding out.
  15. Well, Bruce Boxleitner isn't getting any younger, and I think they struck upon a great premise in Uprising by making him a well-damaged program who's still in the fight, but not quite what he was in his prime. Enter a new kid taking on the name and the fight, with guidance from the original Tron. Just from what I saw of the show, I thought it was handled brilliantly, and it didn't hurt that they had some talented folks providing voices, including Tron himself, Mr. Boxleitner. It's a travesty that Disney didn't promote the hell out of this show and get wider viewing/ more seasons, as it was top shelf stuff. It honestly wouldn't hurt my feelings if they stole that premise for a new live action film. The real curiosity though is who or what will serve as the villain in the next chapter? I'd rather they didn't rehash but came up with a new bad guy/threat to the Grid, especially one that's Machiavellian, perhaps making him/herself out to be a Tron-type all the while manipulating things to a sinister end behind the scenes. Even better, make them a zealot, in it for what they feel is a higher purpose beyond themselves with noble but misguided intentions rather than the tired old tropes of self-gratification and narcissism. The landscape of TRON, having had little in the way of expansion over the last 41 years, is still very much wide-open territory to explore various themes, as good sci-fi often is. Hopefully the producers use it to good measure and create something thoughtful and more profound than its surface beauty would suggest.
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