Monday, March 31, 2008

Iron Suit, Will Of A Wet Bus Ticket

I mentioned the other day that I was quite taken with the new Iron Man figures, and not surprisingly, I caved and bought some more. First up, what I assume will be the movie's main bad guy, Iron Monger:

Mongrol Smush! Actually... dammit. I've just had a conversion idea for Mongrol (ABC Warriors). A new head and short legs, and it'd be perfect. Ah well.

A nice big figure with plenty of attitude. The legs are a little lacking in directional movement, but the arms make up for that:

It's pretty cool. Also included is a "super smash" feature, meaning the arms move when you squeeze the legs together, but that looks kinda lame.

Next up, Iron Man mark 1:

Given that it's a suit of armour and not a robot, I do wonder about the condition of Tony's hips after wearing that. It does, however, have a cool scratch-built look to it while being strongly tied to the original design. Being made out of scrap metal doesn't make for a good toy though (play wise, I love the look). Here is the range of movement you get out of the elbows:

The knees:

Aaaand finally the waist:

Yeeesh. The head doesn't turn either. If you're gonna buy it, you better like the pose it comes in, because you aren't changing it without a hacksaw.


It's taken weeks, but I finally finished my Guyver resin helmet. I'm really happy with how it turned out, deffinately worth the effort.

The horn doesn't match up cleanly with the helmet, I had to do some sculpting with putty to make it flow. It's not something I generally enjoy, or am very good at, but it worked pretty well. You can see the putty join in a couple of places, but it doesn't look out of place. I also added 3 pins to strengthen the join, since the horn is pretty heavy.

Drybrushing was the order of the day for pretty much everything. 4 or 5 different shades of blue went on, and the organic bits were brown drybrushed up to red, then washed with red ink to pull it all together. I did the highlights using glow-in-the-dark paint, just to see if it would show up under an ink wash, and it does, heh.

I had planned on doing the control metal using chrome paint, but noone had any, so I had to settle for a standard silver, but it's not much of a loss, I like it like this.

There's a few minor organic areas that I just did blue, I wanted to make the red parts stand out more, which I thought they might not if I overdid it with the details.

Also, the eye pieces didn't quite fit tightly, but some putty fixed that. Painted the eye cavities a deep red, which shows through nicely. Finished with a satin varnish (eye pieces added after, obviously).

So, my life has a little bit more spare time now. Who knows, I may even update this blog more regularly.

Don't hold your breath though ;)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's late and I'm tired

Must be time for a rant post then ;)
  • The term "sexy" needs to be banned from eBay, specifically in relation to comic art. If it's a drawing of a female, it invariably gets "sexy" put in the title.
  • Drawing a superheroine with deliberately super-enlarged breasts does not automatically qualify as "sexy". "Sexual", yes, but not sexy.
  • Anime dominated by teenage characters is starting to piss me off. I've only watched half a dozen different shows but I already feel well versed in the teen mecha team formula, and it's getting boring already.
  • The last issue of Birds Of Prey had Gail Simmone credited on the cover, I was all giddy with excitement for a moment there *sigh*
  • JLA is dropped. I signed on for a McDuffie title with Firestorm in it. I've had neither the last few months.
  • So too is Brave & The Bold. Just hasn't done it for me often enough.
  • Buying an Iron Man toy has made me want to read some 80's IM again. Who do I need to kiss at Marvel to get them to reprint it in one of those Essential thingies?
  • I so so so hate the title "Sex To Sexty", and eBay's comic art section is constantly full of art from it. It makes me want to rip out my eyeballs. (I'm referring to the actual name, not the book itself, just to clarify)
  • The Power Girl giant figure (12"? It looked bigger than that) finally arrived in store. I had been thinking I'd buy it, but it's terrible. The face sculpt looks ok on the box, but the final cast used is totally bug-eyed. The boob window is a shade bigger than I like, and they used flesh-coloured material on the legs, rather than just plastic, which would've looked 1000% better.
  • My comic shop is back to stocking Countdown, which sucks for me because it has had Firestorm in it (albeit not doing anything), so I've had to buy the last couple of issues.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

(Iron + Man) + Plastic - Iron = ?

Iron Man movie toys got released here this week! I haven't really paid any attention to Tony since the 80's, but I used to quite like him, and several of the new figures look really cool. So I picked up the standard Iron Man model (designated "Mark 3" for the movie line). Here's what I thought of it:

The Good
As I mentioned, these things look really cool. I didn't pose it particularly well (see later for reasons), but you get the idea.

As an added bonus, these are produced by Hasbro. I hate the ball joint system Toy Biz uses; it's great for posing, but just looks ugly. Hasbro went for a slightly simpler approach, which looks great, but isn't necessarily that versatile. I won't be playing with it though, so the look is most important.

The articulation on the upper body is excellent. The mid-torso joint is one of the best looking I've seen and has a full range of movement. The arms can handle all sorts of movement. Wrist joints are fairly flimsy though.

The knees are the standard two-joint fare you expect from a Marvel toy, functional and don't look as dorky as they sometimes do. Here's Tony with an imaginary skateboard:

I love the feet. They've moveable, and the leg section hangs over them, which looks awesome.
The Bad
The head looks like it should turn, but trust me, it doesn't. That seems a pretty strange decision.

My major problem with the figure is the hip joints. They are an absolute pain to move. They will only go in one direction at a time.

Also the ball joint they're on rotates a little too freely, so when you're trying to turn the leg to pose it in a different direction, it's quite tricky to line it up so it will go where you want it. Expect to spend some time getting the pose you want, you'll have to line things up so the leg will go foward, then spin the joint around to get some sideways movement etc. Would be a total pain in the ass to actually play with.

Once we start stocking these where I work, I expect to get some of them returned broken, sufferring from either broken wrists or broken hips from a kid just being too impatient to fiddle around to get off a decent side kick mid-stride (or something like that, heh).

The Ugly
My Iron Man has two left hands. WTF?

Ugh, I'm trying to save up for the convention in 3 weeks time, but the rest of the line are soooo tempting...

Monday, March 24, 2008

How Not To Treat Girls, Featuring Firestorm

Ever felt like you forgot something?

Normally this is where fireworks would begin, but Belle shows she's an awesome gal by being understanding about it.

Even if you were really fighting some villain last night as Firestorm, you should generally realise at this point that the girl is indeed a keeper, and do your best to make it up to her. Which usually involves doing whatever she suggests next.

Unless you've been to the Firestorm school of dating, where it makes total sense to blow the girl off again.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

X Marks The Spot... Of DEATH (!)

Welcome to the next installment of The Punisher X dishing out his brand of justice. Remember, one mark is a warning, two means certain death. Rarrraaghhh.

"Well see, there I was minding my own business, when some psycho decided to have a go at me..."

"My gun wasn't working, so why not try a brick wall?"

Oh yeah, not so tough now!

Take that!

Note: when someone's trying to kill you, this is a bad development:

Two strikes, you're out.

" was the strangest thing, I told him to leave me alone, and he just walked away..."

This is also a bad thing to have happen:


Empty gun through the neck. Oh yeah baby. Let's hear it for the 90's anti-hero.

Monday, March 17, 2008

DC don't want my money

Or atleast, they're happy to wait. Why do they and Marvel release trades in hardcover first? The Sinestro War trade was in store last week, but only hardcover. That's an extra $15 or so, and since I really don't care about the format, I'd rather not pay extra money for something if I don't have to. If they put the soft and hard covers out at the same time, you could choose. So now I'll have to wait for the regular edition. Grrrr.

On a positive, briefly flicking through the latest issue of Moon Knight in-store, it seemed pretty good. I'm kinda bummed I didn't buy it, hopefully it'll still be there next week. I like the direction of the series, it just grew in to a bit of a mess. The new writer might be fixing that. Moon Knight deserves to have a good comic about him.

Posting has been a bit light around here the last couple of weeks. Not that that's unusual, but I've been spending time on my Guyver helmet, and it's starting to look cool. Pics when it's done, and hopefully things around here will be a bit more regular in another week.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Guest Appearance: Firestorm in JLU

A very cool guest spot with Firestorm in Justice League Unlimited #3 by Beechen, Barberi, and Wong. I've briefly touched on this issue before, now it's time to cover it properly. I love this issue.

Things open with Ice, Wonder Woman, and 'Stormy sitting down for a meeting in the watchtower, when Atom suddenly appears on the meeting table.

Atom drags the team off to view his discovery- some microscopic creatures have opened a dimensional breach and are invading.

"Ants don't whine". Unless they're Emo ants. The Brazilian Emo Ant has been know to depress a cow to death in a matter of minutes.

Firestorm has an idea:


To be fair, he is the only one that came up with a suggestion.

Looks like everyone is going to have to ride the microscopic rollercoaster. Crash course time.
Lesson One: exhale. Lesson Two: vertigo.

Which kicks off a funny running gag of Ice trying not to throw up, and failing repeatadly. She spends more time puking on the monsters than hitting them. I neglected to scan a decent shot of Firestorm's costume, but you can see it pretty well here. The atom motif is simplified and running in the opposite direction. His head is more in keeping with JasonStorm's original design, which is an interesting decision. Overall I think it's a cool redesign.

Onwards to battle! As the resident heavy hitter, Firestorm takes it upon himself crank things up. As usual, he's not thinking things through.

Atom could've told him earlier though. (heh, note Ice still having problems above)

With Firestorm blowing himself away, the others are left to fight on their own. Where exactly did Ronnie end up?

The trash.

Atom and co are getting overwhelmed by sheer numbers, but Firestorm doesn't make the same mistake twice (this time atleast).

Atom closes the rift, and the invaders get zapped with the Phantom Zone Projector. Game over.

Even in the animated DC universe, Firestorm has trouble with women...

All that's left is one final lesson from The Atom:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

If Only I had 8 Fingers. Oh Wait...

It's been a little while since I visited Arroba Silver's site. They've got all the new Lantern rings available. I don't know how many they sell, but it's cool that someone's putting them out.

For a mere $360 they can be yours.

Or, for the non fanatic, buy them individually for $50 each

Also a very sexy Alan Scott ring.

I really must get around to buying both a GL and Legion ring at some stage.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

X Marks The Spot... Of DEATH

New feature time, because I'm getting bored with spending 95% of my time talking about Firestorm and The Silver Surfer. Particularly since the former has only had a handful of appearances in the last year, and the latter has had to get by on the back of a couple of shitty minis in recent times (yes, 'Requiem' and 'In Thy Name', I'm looking at you). So I'm going to throw the occassional glance in the direction of one of my favourite titles of the past, 'X' by Dark Horse.

Specifically, I'm going to be looking at the ways he killed people (and he killed lots of people!). His particular 'thing' was to mark people with a '/' for their first offence. A second offence would get you a '\', obviously combining to form a 'X' (conveniently tying in to his name. Imagine the problems if he had been called "W"). Being marked twice meant you could expect to be killed in the very near future. Which brings us to:

X marks the spot... of DEATH (cue dramatic music)

Some bad guys are having a meeting on an in-construction sky scraper. Private, yes, but oh so many places to fall from. Things are urgent though, because they've recieved some troubling mail.

Their meeting is eventful, but I won't bother you with details. All you need to know is that they tried to hire someone to kill our hero. That's probably not going to go down too well with him.

Say, what's that on the floor?

Oh dear.

And with one simple word, Peter condemns his cohorts to death. Any 5 year old can tell you, monsters never get you until you look at them.

Fatality #1:

Did I mention there were on a tall building already?

Oh, good.

Fatality #2. "WOM!" indeed.