Friday, 31 August 2012

Back to the 80s

Well been a while ,been busy time what with the Mrs going to have to go home for her Fathers Funeral and me having interviews to no avail then having flu
so had a tidy out and found a large biscuit tin of essentially crap, remembered it was bits of old train sets and models (sevens Dalek parts and fasa citadel to)
It is not madness but stuff i added for use of improving and building things like models and modding (modifying or as i like to say improving ,why else you think im doing it ?) stuff 

So in a flash of total insanity i decided i would address a issue i had been having
Classic Doctor Who console,where is it Co ??
13 scale for there toy range which is huge and for me perfect as i dont live in a TARDIS so space is at a premium and if it is gonna get big i have to be very selective (damn you cod stakes) 

So vowing a oath to spend not one penny and use all this crap up i made a console 

and now here's dilemma not that simple you know 

Ok lightening fast potted history theres the 60s console roughly 63 70 (inferno yes that is the 60s console also ambassadors of death) MK1 ,
then pertwee got his own i suspect it was all new base top time rotor mechanics etc  and 70%ish of 60s controls laid out same way new bits added and lots of stripes giving it a air of futuristic yet not that different look
 from above  it looked a bit like a circuit board of some sort MK 2 ,
then for some unknown reason noting wrong with pertwee prop other than still green they take it all apart new panels all new parts
  obviously base is reused this i think is original piece from pertwee to peter there's some changes to panels just , maybe a exact copy but see no reason to change it the 60s stem looked thinner to me, also interior column time rotor tho stripped simplified for tom /peter is obviously pertwees in 74 you can make out some of the green pertwee gels still in it, tho this got new mechanics for peter as it was being manually operated the mechanism was so broken by this point
 ,why change pertwees ?, i would love to know seen 2 stories in 74 then shelved for yet another all together redesign MK3 then, 
so onto wood tiny bureau type MK  4 ( done as the console room set was difficult to put up and took a lot of studio space and couldn't be taken down until story filming end )and susspect newbury like his box prop designed this as tv working prop in mind the fact its small tiny row of buttons no column nothing to break simple

 now gets weird ,in comes ( in invisible enemy ) the old previous MK 3,(various reasons wood variant  is dropped,tho looked stunning revamped for McCoy and McGann)  this time repainted and bits broken off so now grey not off white (what pertwees should of been) new design room of columns grp roundels huge scanner screen etc and this is how it stayed from 77 to 83 
just with to use my mates parlance , cosmetic tart overs , and even more broken off and then bits added like a printer as per script for one panel then along came 82 and peter ,this prop is messed around due to transmission order being different to broadcast this console gos back and forth between changes on a story basis most notable the computer panel from tom big screen flat to peter angled monitor BBC micro computer
then 83 this is half past dead even though it has been cleaned up finally for peter (also used in the 2 Drs story 86 by the second Dr to represent a older console more akin to his and once again messed around with new bits added and parts moved about ) ,and changed colour to a lighter grey and new bits added broken stuff removed, and in comes the GRP Five DRs console MK  5, how appropriate 


so you got a box of crap " what you gona do "?

i opted for peters variant of the MK 3
why?, simple its bust its broken repainted with a badgers tail falling apart simple eh ? not a lot to do, and how can you go wrong ?,this is the Brachaki refit prop of the console world nigh on 9 years old at this point you cant get it wrong and simple to do as it is simple controls geometric shapes etc
WRONG !!!!!!!!

Be easier to do toms s 18 not a lot on there, all broken parts at this point
this had tons added ,looks to me like they did  in 74 in 83 it got a refit ,albeit on a far cheaper smaller scale and involving paint rather than new parts ,this was finally taken away all broke parts removed and new bits added with what was lying around the workshop,new parts were added as per script like the new radar green thing near door lever and the tangerine etc rest just tarted up, there's two original 70s panels right up to the end ,it is if you know your consoles and TARDIS  a real history on here dating right back to the  60s if you look, what i like  is this and the fact its so strange looking and i like the cheapness 

a prop workshop either on drugs or overly fond of liquid lunches going off the colors and suspect parts stuck on this console ,now rather randomly ,look at buttons hap hazard say the least and retina destroying color scheme,yes it was the 80s but woa how do you come up with that palette?,oh see above

It was UBER fiddly a nightmare of proportions i can not begin to describe for i do not have the words 
it is so rich in detail ,texture, layers,etc and changed so little 

 EG in season 18 2 BIG changes in its history happened namely one the console got a secret compartment under a row of buttons and lights above the door lever big red one ( Levers being only surviving 60s parts)  ,this used a new mechanism to allow it to extend ( I think it was used a couple of more times in 5th drs time) this had a huge triangle sticking out of the base which was covered  cover fell of got lost so ended up big gaping hole in console base for rest of its time.
And the printer panel was added then left to look odd and frankly crap with a couple of random plastic shapes stuck there
and the computer panel became practical 
these changes is only really significant change since 77 or 74 as first seen before more fragile clear perspex parts came off 


1974 to 1983




I have three faves Pertwees, five drs console  and key to time variant  ,or had ,this now replaces key to time 
i am loving this console its richness and a fore mentioned texture and detail and frankly mad crazy colors,it rocks it is very 80s so took this as my brief and went for the whole graphic design and feel screaming 80s design console 
banged it out no TLC or even much care more dodgy looking happier ill be it was not a perfect prop and in fantasy a very very broken down old control console (A fact mentioned several times by 4th and fifth Drs)  from a old broken time machine  

my highly sophisticated state of the art gluing machine

Slowly it is getting there,and because in no way is this a challenge enough being a alchemist turning nothing to something and dealing with buttons at 1mm or gluing myself to such a small set of parts, loosing more parts than i can count and having no measurements what soever so making this all add hock oh and blessed be the doctor who technical manual I will be lighting it as well ,kind of so thats all for part two
i think its in scale

i also as add on got one of those talk daleks ,nice to army build expensive so all others on future present lists but well worth to fatten the ranks the talking bit is nice but fan done or by some bloke on the staff failing to understand the BBC product licensed and not used actual voice clips,how cool would that have been?, bizarre and one missed opportunity 
I got from one of my top stories a Death to variant,science corps Daleks love that finish 
Character Options are still making it up as they go along surely they now how to use google ? so colour paint schemes are way off this Death to variant has a silver gun which NEVER appeared on said prop ,having spoke to head honcho he is convinced mr dewer he is correct and like wise with grey Planet of the Daleks Grey variant with grey appendages and dull grey finish not gun metal 
ah well customising to the rescue

Dalek science corps welcomes you

dalek plant mutation success

Friday, 3 August 2012

We don't Have the power

Ok this is a out and out stinging criticism so read no further as i am upon my box and got something to say 
question  are you a child of the 80s? if like me remember all the cool stuff like Thundercats A team Inspector Gadget and He Man and the Masters of the Universe right 
Well the owners of franchise Mattel decided some years ago to re release the figures for the millennium ,then in about 06 time decided to re make updated classic figures ,so be figures we all know and love but by new design standards 

GREAT fantastic bring it on ill be over this ,ermmmmmm now not quite see not having a wide range distribution or even being sold in comic book shops or speciality stores ,so how do i get my hands on this awesomeness and they are nigh on 6 inch gorgeousness designed by the four horseman of all people and very true to original figures

 which leads me to dispel few myths


Myths and Legends

 yes the cartoon was a toy comical ,isn't everything a kid sees a toy commercial ? but not blatant the cartoon and toy line were vastly different same in name only 
see when the toys came out in 1981 and 1982 it was backed by stunning art work on the boxes ,and mini comics by a series of artists like  artists such as Donald F. Glut and Earl Norem Dario Baldi and Alfredo Alcala/Mike Texiera art, the icon RUDY OBERO  ,  to create additional characters and their back story, posters, package inlays, box art and mini-comics to be distributed with the action figures.

Not in any Cartoon i watched

Totally different to what was to come in the Filmation series  even the characters looked different besides being played for laughs and not as dark as this primitive barbarian world recoverng from some unseen great war

this establishes Eternia as a place in barbarism totally forgetting its technical past but some know these secrets like Man at Arms (sans moustache) ,He-Man slaying monsters with his trusty axe not got his sword nor is he Prince Adam he is a jungle dwelling Barbarian with super strength gets magic weapons and tech no vest with force field to help him but is seen often bear chested and bear foot 
He Man but maybe not as you know him

Teela as a hot blonde who fights like a fury with Huge weapons and snake staff wanting to mary he man
(the green one in that owl snake armour is the Goddess a sort of OB1 kinda of spirit thing ) 

Tri-Klops kicking ass as a bounty hunter savage Beastman the on no ones side untill put under a spell by Skelator Trap Jaw evil and nasty kicking ass and what about Skelator the twisted Deamon Magic and alchemy desperate for two half's of the power sword to open and claim Greyskull and power therein with Evil Lyin his aide and wanting to mary Teela , this was no comic relief 
Oh did it leave to some inconsistency, but heck i was inspired by it all as a kid and didn't stop you reacting what you saw or making own adventures 

over time yes with success of Cartoon we got more lasers machines and tons of different characters,but was nothing like Cartoon half the vehicles on it never made a toy ,the toy vehicles play sets never appeared on the cartoon and ones we did have looked nothing like the ones on the cartoon 
look at these bios nuff said this some 2/3 yrs prior to filmation

so there you go and with advent of books records and bible stuff Mattel didn't do and filmation wanted to its a big ol universe that's now being put in order all added together to make one long story of Eternia and its convoluted and messy but makes sense and makes for a very rich universe that if you add the 30 years it has been around and all the things and storys would make a truly awesome book and and beat Lord Of the Rings in a trilogy (did you know there has been 5 He Man types ?.these are based on prototypes and mail away figures like Wondar He Man for wonder bread) 
Take a look at this scene ,usual folks you all know
And here is Tri Klops sent to best He Man no jokes one on one and he stands against him toe to toe he gos a few rounds but then He Mans strength is to much and bam punch knock out He Man wins 
BUT lets look at this one comic panel no Adam He Man is romancing Teela ,the text the prose is Shakespearian and old English how, ye, thy etc
once again a serious threat skeletors evil magic besting the others and transporting tri klops this could not cant not be any further removed from the cartoon also note no power sword just a Barbarians battle axe and steel shield

 Tri Klops in comics was further expanded upon to be a very awesome character and had a personality of his own a warrior hunter who was a gun for hire and a inventor of his own liked his postion power authority and spoils especially with skelator  
It is said later when He Man learns to unite and use both halfs of the sword and establishes a identity as prince Adam (bit of retcon)
 that Tri Klops is He Mans equal in swordsmanship and fencing but He Man possess skills he just dont plus his nifty visor and other skills inventing tracking etc and se how tough he is dismissing Beastman so easily no mean feat

Now back to complaint,.... these figures came out Brilliant 
The line released its first figures towards the end of 2008. Old favourites He-Man, Skeletor and Beast Man were the first releases, as well as a character called King Grayskull who had never previously been released as a toy, fare enough here was a dip in the new 2000 cartoon mythos and is kinda cool where it all began with this dude and his magic powers and castle 
vintage figures, Princess of Power, New Adventures, Concept, Mini Comics, 200x, Filmation, etc all in one toy line and making the whole thing make some sense in a sort of time line,phew
nostalgic look.
oh hell yes 6 inch lovely will do me ,The figures are produced in limited production runs (the actual numbers are a closely guarded secret), although demand has prompted Mattel to re-release figures.but still no general release beyond confines of the matty collecter web site

 Although the Classics are a small line, the line is profitable,why else make  it ? ,charity sake ?

. Approximately twenty figures are released each year. Collectors have the choice of buying figures on the day of release on the Matty Collector website IF not sold out , or by buying an annual subscription for almost all items released each year 
. There is always one monthly figure, four additional quarterly figures, and four large item slots. The latter could be a giant figure, a pack of two regular sized figures, or a vehicle.(so far only the Wind Raider)  Details of the releases are given some months in advance, but buyers of annual subscriptions do not know what the following year's figures will be when buying the subscription in the summer. 
A subscriber-only figure is sent to subscribers, but there are no financial incentives (as one might expect) for buying a subscription. No free figures or discounts are offered. Mattel also releases some items which are not included in the subscription. 

 And there is the rub subscribe in the main if you have any hope of getting ones you want oh and that means getting 19 figures you dont want for one you do, and thats sans the others specials you ge tin the year and stuff you have to buy thats not included in the subscription 

Big problem with international Shipping is customs charges. For guys in the UK its $25 for the figure (standard Human not huge twin pack monster special etc just the monthly standard single figure ) and $30 to ship. Then its $11 VAT and another $13ish for charges. Basically if we get hit for the lot its $80 for an individual figure,51 pounds for an individual figure, once a month every month ,ill let that swim about your minds for  a while 

 IF anyone from toy making land reads this,
Days of big money spent on bits of glorious plastic from are youth are over ,them days gone
xmas maybe even one on birthday once a month no
 we need to eat, pay bills and money coming in is none existent so those days are long over

and then just when you are thinking oh thanks ,they mass release some variants in 2 packs with DC (another line under mattel) so two awesome figures lex luthor and skelator/ he man superman (Like in the comic cross over DC was publishing He Man then ) great,
 er no sorry  toys r us U.S.A  only

So if you want them live in America that's great that is do they honestly think the He Man fans are stateside only i don't know weather to find this a insult or not ?, it s certainly a kick in the goulash ,Im excluded from this so have not one sadly 
Apparently theres been some horrific problems with distribution and sales via some services and people not getting there orders and Quality Control starting to be a problem,  which will happen with mail order you have no control just plonk your details down make a wish and hope '

And now lines dead begging on line for subscriptions desperate to maintain the line ,all real major figures are done bar one or two like Ram Man Meck a Neck  ,so exclusive no one can buy them  ,really there amazed at that ?

Its a shame as they have produced great stuff and even dipped into filmation territory (Granamyr has to best figure ive seen in a long time detail is unreal its pose,its stepped rout out of the cartoon) with Shadow weaver and Princess Adora (She Ra's other self) theses amazingly have never been made (She Ra) was a girls toy line and cartoon for girls to try to duplicate He Man success but with girl audience like Care Bears and my little Pony at the time ,it didn't, it flopped 
but is a good tie in to He Man and now the figures are stunning and in line with the others  

 But seems this line is to die a death (like the Ghost Busters and DC Line they do under same conditions,maybe this sub usa only thing not bright idea ? )
i like this line to see it end   is a shame but inevitable i think given conditions

well looks like Classic Thundercats on General release will get my money instead  already,I have 8 inch figures two of and looking forward to 6 inch line ,quality might be a dip on He Man line but still aforeable and available wins