Monday, December 14, 2009

AMV From the Archives

I created this AMV almost ten years ago. Footage is from three Lupin III movies; Castle of Cagliostro, Mystery of Mamo and Plot of the Fuma Clan. The music is by "Weird Al" Yankovic, "This is the Life" which was the theme from the Michael Keton movie, Johnny Dangerously.

I think it holds up pretty well, but there are all sorts of spots I now see where it could use some improvement. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Repairing High Speed's Ramp

Cracks in the black plastic ramp on the William's High Speed pinball machine are a pretty common problem. My High Speed is no exception.

It looked like the previous owner repaired the ramp with a combination of super glue and hot glue. I removed the residue so I could take a stab at repairing it myself. There is a replacement ramp for sale on eBay, but at $99, I'd rather DIY. (or DIM?)

I took two small pieces of Wonderflex and heat shaped them to form bracing on the under side of the ramp. Once it cooled, the Wondeflex formed a solid brace.

For the inside of the ramp, I took a thin strip of wonderflex and fitted it as tightly into the corner of the ramp as I could. It is soft enough when hot to easily mold against the inside of the broken corner. I made it small enough so it won't interfere with the path of the ball.

The next step was to carefully remove the wonderflex pieces so they could be painted then glued back in place. Wonderflex will stick to itself without glue, but doesn't really stay in place against other materials.

While not invisible, the repair is pretty solid and blends in rather innocuously. Only time will tell if it holds up to regular play.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rebuilt Flipper

I ordered the parts I needed from Marco Specialties, a new coil and a flipper rebuild kit. Once I've cleaned the playfield, I'll reinstall this onto the bottom of the playfield.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coil to be Rebuilt

Removed the fried coil from the bottom of the playfield. I'll try to salvage what I can from is and rebuild the flipper.

Cooked Coil

It looks like the upper right flipper in the High Speed actually caught fire. There coil itself is slagged and there is a lot of heat/flame damage to the underside of the play field.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Assembled High Speed

First off, I got the pinball head installed on the body. The machine powers up just fine, a handful of lamps are out and the rubbers are in terrible shape. The most significant problem is the upper right flipper is out.

The play field is a mess, doesn't look like it has been cleaned in a long time. Fortunately clean up is easy with Novus 2, there is some serious damage to the paint in the middle of the play field, there probably isn't much I can do about it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

High Speed Pinball

I bought a pinball machine, loaded it up in my Rogue and brought it home. I had enough time to attach the legs, I'll mount the head in place tomorrow.

The game is a real mess, restoring it should be a challenging project.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Prop Sword Progressing as well

I've also picked up working on the Prop swords as well. I'll work on this and the Gunblade in parallel since they are all at about the same stage.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hyperion Gunblade Back on Track

Now that Anime Expo and Blizzcon have come and gone, I'm going to be able to return again to finishing up the Hyperion Gunblade prop videos. The video I'm currently shooting focuses on the priming and sanding of the prop.

The new video should be up in a week or two.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Amazon's Pathfinder Failure

I pre-ordered Paizo's Pathfinder RPG from Amazon. Amazon shipped this 5+ pound book in a cardboard wrap around mailer, rather than a box. UPS dropped the package at least two times (opposite corners are dented) and this shipping method does nothing to protect such a heavy book. So I recieved my copy of the Pathfinder RPG in damaged condtion.

I contacted Amazon and they immediatly shipped me a new copy. Sadly, Amazon learns nothing from the past experience and ships it the same way. The replacement book arrives, damaged in the same way.

I contacted Amazon, they can't ship it any other way, so they send me a refund...

I still want the book, so I've ordered it from an Amazon "partner", a bookstore that offered it at the same price as Amazon. Hopefully this one will arrive intact.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blizzcon 2009 Costume Contest

I found this very nice shot of my costume on stage at Blizzcon 2009. Not sure who took the picture, but its a great shot.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Real Life Concept Art

I met this young woman at Blizzcon 2009. She was dressed as the counterpart to my costume in the concept art. We were able to mimic the pose from the art, I just wish we could have found a better background to shoot against. :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blood Elf at Blizzcon 2009

I found this great picture of me in my Blood Elf costume from Blizzcon 2009.

This picture is based off the early concept art from Blizzard back when Burning Crusade was first announced. I had to drop a few details in order to have it ready in time.

Cosplaying at Blizzcon 2009 was a blast.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hyperion Gunblade Tutorial Video Part 5

My video camera is dying on me, it took a lot of work to get the video out of the camera and into the computer in order to finish Episode 5. I'm going to need to get a new camera very soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hyperion Gunblade Assembly Continues

I finished assembling the Gunblade, applying wood putty and sanding it. I'll be wrapping up episode 5 of the video series soon.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hyperion Gunblade in Progress

A closeup of the trigger glued into position. Once dry, the next step will be the trigger guard.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hyperion Gunblade in Progress

I've started shooting the fifth video on constructing the Hyperion Gunblade prop. I took this close up picture of the assembly process, where I'm gluing the first pieces of the handle to the blade itself.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Prop Sword Progress - Repaired

I've finished sanding the wood putty down, now I just need to repaint the blade and the sword prop should be back on track.

I'm curious how well the sword will hold up over time.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Closer Look - Hyperion Gunblade Parts

One of the watchers of my Hyperion Gunblade tutorial videos (and I'm sorry I didn't get your name) requested some close up pictures of the parts that make up the Gunblade handle.

I thought that was a good idea as I realized that the video quality didn't allow me to show the small pieces in much detail.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sword Prop Progress

The Sword Reforged!

After cleaning up the edges, I've glued the sword back together. I don't know if there is anything I can do in order to strengthen the bond. It is simply not a very good joint.

Once this dries, I'll use wood putty to cover up any imperfections.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Give Me Steam

Here is a sneak peak at the coat I'm working on for my Steampunk cosplay. I'm getting a lot of assistance from my Mother on this one.

I'm not sure how technically steampunk the coat itself is, hopefully it'll all come together once the entire costume is complete. At worse, I'll hopefully get some feedback from other SP costumers on how to improve.

Friday, May 1, 2009

To Much Stress

A minor disaster strikes while I'm working on the prop swords. After letting the first coat of gesso primer dry, I start to sand the two swords. The idea is to sand as smooth as possible, paint and then sand again, eventually the sword should be covred in primer, that hides all signs of the woodgrain.

I was sanding the side of one of the blades with to much force and the blade snapped loose along the glue line. The picture was taken shortly after I removed the dried glue.

I'll have to make repairs. Now I know I need to put support under the blade before I do anything.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

You Know My Name - AMV

I've finished, "You Know My Name", my latest Anime Music Video. I'll be submitting it to Anime Expo, Fanime, AnimeNext, AnimeEvolution and A-Kon. I will be making posts as I learn if it makes the finals at any of the conventions.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts

This magazine is all about Scroll Saw projects and woodworking. They heard about the props I've made with the help of the scroll saw, and did a little half page article about me.

If you see the magazine on the newsstands, check it out, I'm on the last page.

Check the downloads section on the right hand side of this page for the scroll saw patterns I use for my props.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sword Prop Progress

I finished sealing one of the two swords, now I'm applying black gesso as a primer coat. The black paint gives the first hint of what the swords will look like when completed. It also helps to bring out the imperfections I may have missed during the sanding phase.

I'll be putting on multiple coats and sanding in between to eliminate all signs of wood grain and other imperfections.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New AMV Update

Primary editing on my new AMV is complete. I still need to remove a bit of "lip flap" and tighten up the editing in a few places.

The ending might need a little tweaking as well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Focused Energy

There haven't been many updates here lately, the due date for Anime Expo 2009's AMV contest is May 1st and my latest video isn't ready yet. So no progress on the MAME cabinet, Hyperion Gunblade or Sword Props, but the moment the video is done, I'll pick those projects up.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sword Prop Progress

I'm trying something new with these sword props. Normally, after I've completed the assembly and sanding, I'll move right on to primer. This time I decided to try a few coats of ModPodge to help seal the porous wood. I'll sand the sword tonight after work and start on the primer the day after that.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

d20 Modern Arcana

The d20 Modern campaign continues to entertain us all. For me, there has always been something challenging about "getting into" a RPG set in modern day. Frankly, the more similar a game world is to the real world, the more difficult my suspension of disbelief. Fantasy and SciFi worlds have always been easier for me to play. Nick has been doing a great job of building up his d20 Modern Arcana world without it becoming difficult to relate to.

Sadly, we won't be meeting next Saturday, but on the positive side, there is a party to go to!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sanded Cabinet

I spent the day sanding the front and right hand side of the cabinet. I don't need to remove every speck of paint, but I need to get enough of the old material off so I can repaint it properly.

This took a lot longer than I thought it would, and it looked like I dropped a toner cartridge when I was finished.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Baccano! DVD Vol 2

Sweet! The second volume of Baccano! is now available from Amazon.

I think they're doing a solid job with the English dub.

More high quality footage for Baccano Swing!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

d20 Modern Arcana

We had to skip a week due to St. Patrick's Day, but Saturday night Nick's d20 Modern game was back in full swing. Everyone is getting a chance to exercise their detective skills, there is more emphasis on research and planning than fighting a "monster of the week".

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Empty Arcade Cabinet

I brought this old empty arcade cabinet home today. The plan is to fix it up, install an old PC inside and set it up to run Mame. This looks to be a serious project, its going to take a lot of work to get this thing looking presentable.

Should be fun!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Prop Sword Progress

The hilts for the swords are now complete. There is still a lot of work left to be done to prepare them for painting, but now all the pieces are in place. I like the way these props are shaping up, its just about time to cut the pieces for the scabbards.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

$100 Power Strip?

My sister gave me a $100 gift certificate for Wilshire Stereo, a very upscale local Audio Video store. She had won the certificate, but when she went into the place, she couldn't find anything she wanted for less than $100. This place is not a Best Buy. (If it was, I would have bought myself a PS3 game.)

So I went in there back in January, intent on spending my little certificate of Free Money. I made my way along the posh hardwood floors and plush carpeted television displays to the back of the store where the cables are offered. This collection of cables, most from Monster, were the only things in the store for under $100. I had a box of unused A/V cables at home, so I wanted to get something I might actually use, but they were so overpriced, I couldn't bring myself to spend money... ... even if it wasn't real.

However, this certificate had an expiration date, I was going to have to spend it before the end of March, or it would worthless. So I dragged myself back into Wilshire determined to exchange the certificate for some sort of merchandise. After some pondering I settled on the Monster Power Home Theatre PowerCenter, sensibly priced at $79.99.

That's right folks, I'm now the proud owner of a $100 Power Strip. (Wilsire doesn't give change on credit on that certificate, which is probably for the best.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Prop Sword Progress

I finished the pieces I'll be using to build the hilt of the prop swords. The wood putty I'm using dries a bit to brittle to handle the shaping I want to do, so I'm going to need to find something else. I don't know if it is wood putty in general, or just the elmer's stuff I'm using in this instance.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hyperion Gunblade Tutorial Video Part 4

The fourth video in my series detailing the creation of the Hyperion Gunblade prop. This video focuses on sanding and shaping the small pieces that will be assembled into the gun-like handle of the sword.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Three More Arcade Marquee Displays

I finished three more of the displays for the old Arcade Marquees I have laying around, this time for the classic Williams games Defender, Stargate and Joust.

Unfortunately, the light fixtures I want to use inside them are a bit expensive, so not all of them are illuminated yet.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Audio Project In the Works

Brad Demoss and I sat down and started recording audio for a new project we hope to debut soon. I'll post more details once it has been formally released.

I was impressed with the audio quality we were getting over iChat, especially now that I realize I had my Macbook pro on the wifi network.

Eurthasia Campaign is back

After a 3 month hiatus Jason has once more fired up his D&D 3.5 campaign. Nick, Dan, Mike, Steve, Paul and I pretty much picked up where we left off, it didn't take to much work to get back into character.

There is a strong sense that Jason's world has a large amount of "background story" and lore to delve into. The only drawback is we only meet for the game once a month, thats a lot of down time between sessions.

d20 Modern Arcana

The first investigation came to a head in Nick's d20 Modern Arcana campaign. We uncovered the cause, but perhaps not the full reason for what had happened. The d20 Modern system is different from standard D&D 3.5 in subtle ways. Its a little to bad we didn't start getting into this system until a few years after it went out of print.

Looking forward to the next game.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Prop Sword Progress

Focus shifted to the handles at this stage, the harsh edges needed to be sanded down to a gentle curve, even though the final version will be wrapped up. Maintaining the smooth edges around the bend at the end of the handle was a bit of a challenge.

I'll be using wood putty to fill in the imperfections.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sword Prop Progress

These two swords are coming along nicely. There was a little bit of an issue with one of the blades, a middle section of plywood warped significantly after cutting. So I replaced that piece with another and finished up the shaping.

Now work moves to shaping the handle and hilt.