30 April 2012
Artwork from battle.net
Diablo III is coming out on 15th May. Just like StarCraft II, its previous game was released nearly 12 years ago.
While I watched others play the previous games in the past, I hardly ever got my hands on this series. With a lot of urges from friends and relatives, I'm going to give this latest instalment a go ^^;
For those who want to add me, you can find me with the BattleTag Qbicle#3750. See you on the field! Read More!
29 April 2012
While this is no new stuff, Japanese news site GIGAZINE dug out concept arts of space colonies that were from NASA Ames back in the 1970s. It is interesting to see how they reflect on those that were first seen in Mobile Suit Gundam, and later also to other series to this very day.
First type is the O'Neill cylinder or Island Three, which is a cylinderal shape space colony.
This is the form that is most seen in the Gundam metaseries, with distinguishable rotating cylinders and huge solar panels to support inhabitants inside. One can easily see how the designs were taken into use for various series.
Examples are shown below:
Space colonies in Universal Century era from Mobile Suit Gundam
Heliopolis in Cosmic Era from Gundam SEED
Industrial 7 lineart in Universal Century 0096 from Gundam UC OVA, as seen in an older post
Second Type is the Sanford torus, which bears a doughnut shape.
In the concept arts there is the rotating space colony itself and a large solar mirror, where the latter reflects the needed sunlight to the angled mirrors in colony for power.
While not as common as those of O'Neill cylinder, this version is also seen in some Gundam series:
Laplace in Unversial Century 0001, as seen in the beginning of Gundam UC OVA.
Space colonies in After Colony era from Gundam Wing
And finally there is the Bernal sphere. which is a little like a Hollow Earth.
Despite being the oldest proposed designs for a space colony (way back in 1929!), this form is hardly ever seen in the Gundam metaseries. I can only think of one at the moment:
"Quanqiu" (全球, literally meaning "global") in Anno Domini from Gundam 00
The concept arts were also mentioned by Gundam Guy.
It's informative to see how much influence the space colony designs had on those in Gundam metaseries, and this was a time when the space race between USA and the then Soviet Union were still ongoing (but perhaps also starting to approach its end at the same time). While there are some designs that were not directly from any of the 3 above (such as PLANT from Gundam SEED), one can see the details put in to make them seem authentic if it were to happen in distant future of mankind :o
Colony concept arts from NASA
28 April 2012
Despite having a lot of Federation grunt units, such as the Balls, Jestas, or recently the GM IIIs, I find myself not having a lot of grunt units for the Zeon side.
I got myself a HGUC Zaku I Sniper Type Yonem Kirks unit in end of March, and realising that I got a normal version some time ago, I thought I would do both of them at the same time ^^
Front view of the Zaku I Sniper
The Zaku I Sniper Type first appeared in Harmony of Gundam, which is a series of mechanical designs from Katoki Hajime for units that would appear in the One Year War of Gundam's universe, and the designs would later make appearance in games such as Senjou no Kizuna (Bonds of the Battlefield), Crossfire (aka Target in Sight), and Battlefield Record U.C. 0081.
According to the lore, the Zaku I was already an obsolete unit by the time the One Year War started with the iconic Zaku II being the mainstay of the Zeon forces, so it was regulated to duties that were outside front lines. However, as the war progressed and situations steered worse for Zeon, more and more Zakus I were pressed into the front lines. The Sniper Type was retrofitted with long range beam weaponry and a specialised generator backpack to accomodate it, making these obsolete machines becoming a threat for the Federation forces, even years after the war.
The backpack of Sniper Type is big, which holds a generator separate from that of the Zaku itself mainly to supply energy for the beam sniper rifle
The monoeye used for the Sniper Type is derived from the Reconnaissance Type, which has a much larger sensor for greater zoom, as well as a side antenna for obtaining ambient and atmospheric data which are inputted to a computer for firing calculations.
The beam sniper rifle is the Zaku I Sniper Type's main weapon. It has to be attached to the generator backpack before use, as the Zaku itself cannot supply enough energy to the weapon for firing.
A special kneepad is installed on the right knee for kneeling position
Zaku I Sniper Type taking up a firing position in kneeling stance
The kneepad deployed for kneeling position
Different angles of the Zaku I Sniper Type in firing position.
Yonem Kirks' unit from Gundam UC, which was seen in Unicorn UC OVA episode 4 as Yonem Kirks leads a large insurgency strike against the Federation forces at Torrington base
An optional weapon apart from the beam sniper rifle is the 105mm Zaku machinegun, which is used mostly for self-defence
Yonem Kirks' unit has a blade antenna on the head for greater communication capability as a commander unit
The shoulder armour is slightly different too, where there hooks supposedly for attaching Magella Attack tank tracks on them for extra protection (much like the tanks in real life back in World War II)
One of the most notable addition of Yonem Kirks' unit is the two barrel cases attached to the backpack, which holds spare barrels to change for the sniper rifle when it gets overheated.
There are minor differences on the backpack between that of Yonem Kirks' and the ordinary version. Apart from having tabs and holes to insert the barrel cases on one side, the other side had minor cosmetic differences too.
When the beam sniper rifle is not in used, the cable normally attached to the rifle simple reconnects to another part of the backpack.
As the Zaku I Sniper Type shares a few parts with the ordinary Zaku I and the Zaku II, some accessories from other kits can be attached onto the side skirts, such as the heat hawk or the Sturmfaust one-time use rocket launcher, giving the Zaku I Sniper Type optional armaments for self-defence.
Posing with the big gun~
A 2-unit sniper team in position. Thought I would have one of the Sniper Types with a Zaku machinegun for self-defence and to act as a spotter, which is the case for some military doctrines in real life.
Time to change the rifle barrel! Did a swift job on an ejected & overheated barrel, which was originally part of a cotton bud rod ^^;
As for overall impression of the model itself, the Zaku I Sniper Type isn't the kind of MS one would expect to have much action poses, but the arm articulations give it good range of mobility to pose with for the beam sniper rifle. The mesh pipe took me some time to connect as they can come off rather easily, and I decided not to stick the latches (like these and these as seen from hacchaka) on the torso of Kirks' unit; might leave them for modding in the future.
27 April 2012
Things had been rather hectic recently, be it work in the weekdays or that friends dragged me to play Diablo 3 open beta with them over the weekend, hence the lack of update for more than a week.
I find out that I haven't taken pictures of my Black★Rock Shooter doll for a while. I'm still at a process of learning (abeit very slowly) more about what to do with the girl, with some personal comments about it after the jump.
If there's one thing about taking pictures of dolls, then it's that they are much harder to take compared to other toys. Their articulations are much more restricted than typical action figures, and are not recommended for any dynamic poses.
I notice that a lot of doll enthusiasts or hobbyists focus a lot into photography, which is something I haven't been very serious about. The fact that I'm still using the same point-and-shoot over these years and procrastinating on getting a new camera does tell you a lot about my attitude towards it. In short, I am very casual on photography, but sometimes I feel that those who are really into it tend to frown over those who are not, and it does not leave a very nice impression on them from my perspective as an "outsider".
Another thing about dolls is that they can change clothes, head, or even the wigs, and that way one can change them into a completely different character with different traits or features. I personally have no intentions of changing clothes of my doll, as I want Black★Rock Shooter to stay as Black★Rock Shooter. It may or may not put me at odds with others.
It appears that to make dolls more interesting, it's a good idea to bring "life" into them. Try out different poses and see what fits them and what not, then define the character. By shaping dolls with personalities...
... It also makes you look more into what kind of person you are yourself.
Since I am not big into writing stories of toys (though I have done so before), so not surprisingly I still haven't given my doll much of a character. But then since Black★Rock Shooter is quite a stoic character with little emotions for most of her portrayals, I think giving her a quiet, yet cool demeanor will be fitting, even though it may give me more restrictions into how to pose her.
But if there's one behaviour that I can picture for my girl, then it's that she likes to lie down and laze around a lot. It's one of my favourite poses as it is rather sensual, but also relatively easy to pose too. It looks my laziness got onto her as well ^^;
Though there is one grudge she has right now - she does not have her signature weapon ★Rock Cannon. The only one I have right now is that of a figma's, which is only 1/12 scale (the doll is 1/3 scale).
But that's no big issue; she can wait for a bit longer as I'm pl- Σ（ﾟдﾟ;） Wait when did she take my 1/144 Dora?! o_O
Hm... It does look quite fitting though. But please be careful with it; the completed model is long discontinued, and it's one of my most prideful collections! >_<
Let me finish what I was saying earlier - a proper ★Rock Cannon is on its way (I mean it!). Now now darling, put down the Dora gently, I'll let you play with your own big gun once it arrives! >_< Read More!