d386 Lego Miscellany: T18, Trains, Haruka, Kagurazaka, MASS, and Cyber Derp


There’s been a fair bit of Lego stuff going on as of late (though I am trying to keep drawing on the side) so I figure it was time to make a post!

Continue reading “d386 Lego Miscellany: T18, Trains, Haruka, Kagurazaka, MASS, and Cyber Derp”


d373 5AT 2013


I apparently didn’t have much to say about the old 5AT back in d93 (yes, the old 5AT had been sitting around for seven years, which is almost as long as the Kagurazaka), so I’ll start from the top.

Much like the ACE, the 5AT is an advanced steam locomotive that was developed and not built. The difference is that the 5AT is a much more recent design, and that the construction has only been recently shelved (obviously it could still be built – with a higher probability than the ACE). It seems to me that the 5AT was also much further along in development than the ACE ever was. There are a lot of detailed calculations and CAD models on the <a href="5at.co.uk"5AT website.

Continue reading “d373 5AT 2013”

d371 ACE 3000 Part 1


One of the themes of my art has always been the juxtaposition and combination of ancient and advanced technology. As long as I can remember, I’ve had space trains and space ships. Those outrageous shenanigans continue into the present, but I am just as fond of more subtle shenanigans like art-deco space or steam intermodal.

As such, I’m a big fan of modern steam, or attempts to modernize steam, and that’s where I’ve gone with my more recent Lego train models such as the 5AT, SR Leader, and even to some extent the venerable FF7 Locomotive. Today’s MoC is a continuation of this “series”; the American Coal Enterprises (ACE) 3000 is an advanced steam locomotive concept that gained some traction in the late seventies and early eighties during the oil crisis and lost it all when gas prices came back down.

The ACE has been kinda-sorta done for a while. You can see the beta version in this USS Melvin pic from March.

Continue reading “d371 ACE 3000 Part 1”

d360 121016 Maehara and Konoe


Wow, a post about Lego. How many years has it been?

According to d188 it’s been more than four years, though I know there is at least a mention of my Technic clock somewhat more recently.

I had a pretty bad run leading up to my Lego hiatus; I didn’t finish the Sakurazaki (because it was ugly), and I did finish, but never liked the Curran (because it was ugly). Heck, I don’t even have a Brickshelf gallery of the Curran, even though I do recall taking it to a BayLUG meeting, if only because I had not finished anything else. Whether or not these “failed” ships contributed to the hiatus is debatable.

That being said, the Maehara, seventh in my line of “Akamatsu Ships”, is really everything the Curran wanted to be. After building the monstrous Aoyama and turning her into the much smaller Tsuruka, I was pretty set on getting away from the modular ships that defined Lego in high school. I’m not sure if I had begun to consider unified styling or overall form for the Curran as well, I definitely wasn’t able to implement either if I did.

I was really happy with the Maehara when I finished. To me the overall form and the Art Deco accents suggest something between a WW2 fighter plane and a classic car, and I really liked that. The styling isn’t totally consistent, but I did plan out the basic layout in advance, and I followed it fairly closely. Furthermore, the unified construction gives the ship a relatively sleek and sturdy core structure, which definitely was not the case for most ships of the past.

Also unlike the ships of the past there are very few greebles on the Maehara. The first gen ships in high school, the Urashima and Springfield are basically simple shells covered in greebles for “visual interest”. But because greebling is kind of a local thing, the ships are also disjoint and really messy. As such, I made it a point to limit the amount of greebling on the Maehara so they wouldn’t distract from the rest of the ship. I do have my signature greeble, though, which is floodlights.

… and the complete Brickshelf gallery, though there aren’t really that many more pics.

Moving on to the Konoe. I do realize that my naming scheme is about to get messed up if I don’t want to use “Su” or “Konno” as ship names; I do have a couple more ships to go before I decide though.

Continue reading “d360 121016 Maehara and Konoe”

dcomic 470


Man, this is actually late. You totally forget about the days when there is no school. I was actually about to hit the sack before I remembered… ho fuck, it’s Monday. Or rather, Tuesday as of 41 minutes ago, PST. Today’s comic reverts back to good old fashioned pencil and paper. For great justice, really. That digital stuff… yeesh. Comics are done up through 486. Still sixteen ahead as of now, but they’ve been going really slowly as of late.

Anyways, last week I built a table I’d been meaning to build for a while now. I was fed up with the small surface area of the small folding table I was using in my room as well as with the inefficient use of the space underneath the table. So way back in like May I decided I was going to build one myself. Just so I could make it exactly the way I wanted it to be made. The only to do that seems to be DIY these days… whether it be computers or furniture or whatever…

So I went down to good old Home Depot and bought some wood (I’m really glad they cut it for us, I would probably be significantly less accurate with my circular saw) and some other little tidbits and brought the lot home. I had a really simple design layed out for this thing involving only 10 piece of wood: 6 four-by-twos and 4 four-by-fours and thus I was somewhat concerned that it wouldn’t be very sturdy, especially once I felt how heavy some of the wood was.

My requirement was that the table have casters (for some semblance of portability) and that it be able to support more than my weight and ultimately it did both. A lot better than I expected for that matter. Construction took barely an hour and a half and it took another hour to slowly move the thing downstairs. The completed table is 68 x 24 x 32 inches. And here is a picture [100614: Dead link].

The new table replaces the one centered in this picture. Since it’s 32 inches tall, it lines up perfectly with the sill that my monitor stands on. However, that means I really need a new chair, since those folding chairs are already a bit short for a “standard” 30 inch table. I’ve been wanting a rolling chair in this room for a while now…

This is the (and I just thought of this name – it’s epic!) Ebon Magician Curran – or what’s left of the original draft before I dismantle the superstructure completely. Justin and I are planning to attend the next Baylug meeting (this Sunday) and I am thus trying to rush a new MOC into life without much success. The Curran, at the moment, seems to be falling into the same pitfall as my last large ship, the Sakurazaki.

Somehow these proto-modular ships have this tendancy to become extremely bulky. I was originally trying to get RID of some bulkiness by doing away with the modular aspect of my earlier ships, but it seems to have failed for larger ships. My one success (of three now) has been this ship (she should be the Pikeru now that I come to think of it XD) which I think is really slim for her size. We need moar like that one and we are unfortunately not getting it.

The real pinnacle of the modular system (in my book) has been the now deceased (sacrifced for the son of a Curran no less!) Tsuruka. For the most part Tsuruka verifies my thoughts that the modular system works best for smaller ships; much larger modular incarnations, Narusegawa, Kagurazaka, Aoyama, and even the failed Sakurazaki to an extend have been extremely fragile and largely ungainly. Even the Tsuruka – especially the cargo module – was such to a degree.

Hopefully the next incarnation of the Curran will bear some fruit. That’s all for now.

dupdate 070425


Errr… I just drew something for the first time in weeks yesterday and I was gonna use it as an update, but it was for art and therefore it has been turned in and is not in possession and subsequently cannot be used for an update. Oh darn.

Not to mention I just shaved two years of hair off the top of my head. that’s quite interesting.

I do have a hellalotta sketches from a rather prolific drawing period from a coupla weeks ago, but there’s nothing terrible interesting; I’m just practicing a buncha stuff, so we aren’t getting a drawing this week.

So here’s two Lego MoCs; one for last week, one for this week.

Last week’s got my now dismantled internal-combustion-punk barge, posthumously named the Minase. Frankly, I’m been religiously keeping to my two naming schemes for the past couple years, but I think I’m about to ditch it.

The Minase‘s descedant, the Sawatori is currently intact, will show pictures at some other point, but now, the ship you’ve been waiting for. It’s been under construction since mid-march, incomplete and partially dismantled, the Sakurazaki.

At this point, I want to note my naming scheme. Spacecraft names have alternated between characters from Akamatsu’s Love Hina and Negima, going by whom I thought were the “main” characters. Subsequently, we’ve had Urashima, Springfield, Narusegawa, Kagurazaka, Aoyama and now Sakurazaki. Atmospheric ships, though I don’t care so much about the name, have gone by Kanon characters, also in order of importance: Aizawa, Tsukimiya, Minase and Sawatori. Thus the ship I’m working on now SHOULD be the Misaka, but at this point, like I said, I think I’ll deviate…

But anyways, the Sakurazaki holds the distinction of being my only recent SHIP project to not reach a state of completion before being dismantled. I say recent because variants of the Charmer (She’s the blocky yellow ship on the left) have had this distinction… but does that really count?

Well, construction on the ship began in March (when my last prolific drawing streak ran down XD) based on the “success” of the Minase… meaning I was really pleased with how the latter ship turned out. I was trying to apply a similar contouring style to a larger ship which apparently didn’t work out so well. The Sakurazaki was also my first fully double-decked SHIP – built to MASS to boot. More than 100 studs long, she also weighed quite a bit – and took up a monstrous amount of parts. Interestingly enough, I believe (just from guessitmation) that the Kagurazaka still weighs more.

Ok. I’ll finish next time. I don’t feel like writing more.

dupdate 101006


Everytime I make a new html file, Windows tells me it might become unusable. Right.

So I’m here to rant against my scanner/printer unit today.

It’s an HP, of course, an officejet some number or another. I have to say the hardware is pretty good. Despite being made of mostly plastic, it’s pretty robust. I’d know, because I end up hitting it a lot.

However, with every succeeding generation of HP officejets, I despise the software more and more. The bundling these days is absolutely ridiculous. The first color printer my family bought was an Epson Stylus 400. It came with maybe a couple megs of software. Pure printer hardware, very reliable, very clean, very elegant in my book, as far as consumer software goes. That printer is still working, along with the software.

The software for current generation of HP officejets, assuming you install the full hardware bundle, takes up 500+ megs. 50 of it is the dedicated printer software. The rest is for an updating program, an “Image Zone”, and some other stuff that I never install, God knows what crap it does. There isn’t an option to install the Image Zone. I have to manually remove it everytime I reinstall the printer software.

When I scan a picture with this *wonderful* new software I have to do several steps:

1) Select “Scan Picture” from the home “console” for the HP officejet.
2) Select how I want the image to be “routed” after it is scanned: ie, saved directly to the disk, sent to the (Oh noes) Image Zone, etc. and hit “Scan Now!” (My exclamation).
3) Then the officejet scans the image.
4) But I can’t just save it yet: I can choose “Scan New image” or “Accept”.
5a) If I hit “Accept”, it asks whether I want to scan a new image.
5b) If I hit “Scan New Image”, it rescans.
6) So say I hit “Accept”.
7a) It asks whether I want to scan a new image. If I do want to, it tells me to go to “Scan New Image”.
7b) If I’m done scanning and I say no – here’s the killer – it exits the program!
8 ) Several minutes later, AFTER the program is closed, a window will pop up and ask me what to save the images as.

Now the biggest issue I have with this is 8). If I’m unlucky, the window WON’T pop up, and I have to rescan everything, which usually involves the officejet being “busy” and thus a reboot of both my laptop AND the officejet.

What happened to the good old fashioned “Save As”?

dupdate 060721


The 5AT is complete. Brickshelf Gallery once moderated. See 5AT.co.uk for more information.

So anyways, this was a pain. It didn’t need to be a pain, but nonetheless, I took it apart and rebuild it (Almost from scratch) about three to four times before I came up with something that I was happy with. And even then, it was only very small external changes from version to version. Much of the part that I was unhappy with was with the internal structure.

Once the new wheels came, I could get effective pictures, though my camera doesn’t seem to be doing very well lately…

I had to dismantle my old motor unit in order to get all the red needed to build in the tradtional DB color scheme. Now I have a Hogwarts Express motor unit. Oh well.

Anyways, I’m surprised J wrote so much.

The end.