So I am sitting here in a coffee shop in some part of the world where I don't understand the language, thinking about toys and the new stuff coming out this year. The first on my mind is Acid Rain World and their soon-to-be-shipping / currently shipping construction mechs. There's a yellow mech and an exclusive blue mech. What has my interest are not the mechs themselves, but the tools they come with. A power-tool with a removeable tool-head.
Acid Rain World
The current tool for the yellow mech is a pick-axe, and the blue has a shovel. There's so many other tools that could be made. Here's where my thoughts are drifting: jack-hammer, mostly. There's a lot of photos showing the yellow Acid Rain mech moving rubble around, and some folks take photos showing the blue mech with it's huge shovel moving that rubble around. But I'm waiting to see someone with a jack-hammer pounding away at the rubble, making rubble. Just imagining the camera view showing the mech on one leg and pressing down on the hammer with the other would itself look awesome. So that's what I'm planning on making once the mechs arrive.
The 2016 Joe Con has ended recently and there's a lot of excitement about another Joe Con next year. It was expect that this would be the last, final Joe Con by Fun Publications. DioWarriors wasn't able to make it to the Con, so thoughts are hopeful for next year. Not too excited about Sky Patrol, but that's okay. Pythona makes up for it. :-p However, concerning the actual figures and stuff mentioned at the Con for the line is a little disappointing.
Hasbro plans to release some good figures this year, a number of them I am personally interested in collecting: female Cobra officers and zombies. There are some others, and honestly I don't remember what they were. A number of folks have mentioned that the Joe line is just re-using existing parts, kitbashing them into a new character or as an old character. This is true. The line is not the best concerning figures these days. There's some much better articulated and better designed ones now -- choice is good -- it's just that it seems Hasbro is releasing figures just to keep something going. So the offerings are a mix: GI Joe isn't on the chopping block, but kinda feels like it just happened to escape being on the block.
It is obvious Transformers is getting the Hasbro love (and even that the Transformers fans are complaining of shotty products) and also Star Wars (and even that the Star Wars fans are complaining of shotty products.) GI Joe looked like it was being left out with other very small interests: ROM, MASK, etc. I'm really wondering why Hasbro doesn't see GI Joe in a better light. Grouping the Joe brand with forgotten lines like ROM, or other lines so far below the RADAR that folks don't talk about unless one hunts for a very specific Facebook group, is disheartening. Then comes JoeCon and suddenly GI Joe is in the light and there's a positive feeling in the air for the line leaves me to think that there's a tug-of-war going on within Hasbro on how to treat the brand.
So, right now the Joe fans (including me) are tossed a bone to keep us busy -- and it's a good bone -- while Hasbro continues to consolidate the brands. Some of the "new" figures seem like "meh" to certain collectors while others are cheering. I'm cheering for the ones I'm interested in, and feeling "meh" about the others. But I'll collect them all and comparing the prices of a Joe figure to Acid Rain World, Marauder Task Force, and Boss Fight Studio, the Joe line promises to be a real bargain for army building and custom fodder. So I'm happy at the same time.
Boss Fight Studio has been very active, and that's a good thing. Rumors of a zombie line coming soon to Kickstarter using the HACKS system is being voiced, but seems the rumors are dying down. There's a cowboy line coming out soon too, another kickstarter promised for it. I like how this line is looking, and certainly has potential for a strong custom following. Some interesting ideas are already being voiced. This will certainly be a line to watch and pledge.
Thinking about Kickstarters, the Eagle Force folks have a nice thing going with the figures they've been posting. I never did get into Eagle Force when they were originally introduced back in the 80's. Then when I did develop interest, the gold uniforms and the smaller-than-Joe scale kinda turned me off from them. Now, however, I'm excited to see what they are planning. Can't wait to pledge. However, I really hope they are compatible to Marauder Task Force or HACKS for custom potential.
And talking about Marauders, the exoskeleton power suits revealed during Joe Con 2016 looks very nice and very promising. Wasn't expecting to see that. Their war dog figure looks good too. And that has me wondering why we don't see more animals in the figure lines. Everyone wants to do a figure, I do too, but a well articulated animal would be nice. There was someone making and selling highly articulated dogs and cats about two years ago. The animal figures shown looked approximately 1/18 scale and very segmented. The aesthetics wasn't there in terms of fitting in with the current aesthetics of an action figure, but the articulation was quite impressive.
The last thing to mention is the various kickstarters (KS) out there. Animal Warriors of the Kingdom is about to conclude their KS. They have some interesting figures worth looking at in a future article. Another KS concerning dinos was successful. Creative Beast Studio is making 1:12 scaled dino's that offer some interesting alternative world potential. Combine that with the Animal Warriors of the Kingdom and one's imagination can really soar.
Animal Warriors of the Kingdom: www.kickstarter.com/projects/thekingdomcomic/animal-warriors-of-the-kingdom
Beast Design Studio: www.kickstarter.com/projects/creativebeast/beasts-of-the-mesozoic-raptor-series-action-figure/description
A cowboy kickstarter is coming soon too. Figures designed by BFS means some interesting custom potential, interesting integration with existing toy lines, and for those looking to make a single story for their figures will have some awesome fodder for that too.
Last thoughts before leaving the coffee shop: SDCC and Acid Rain... there are some very nice exclusives being introduced there. The Acid Rain line started slow a few years ago, but now it's easy to see the potential of the world envisioned -- several countries separated by barren wasteland where anything could happen, or exist. And beyond the wastelands are other countries, isolated, some primitive and some advanced. The Acid Rain World is like a large canvas with only parts of it painted.
And then again, that is true for much of the other toy lines coming out. It would be nice to see diostories being done again, especially with the options in the kickstarters. Mutated animals in the wastelands between the territories. Genetic experiments gone wrong and dinos are now loose. Soil Ghosts (ARW) riding the dinos terrorizing a town modeled after the Old West.
Metal paint works like the real thing because it's real metal -- it is the real thing. Bronze, copper, or iron particles are suspended in paint. When the paint dries the metal particles are exposed to the elements and oxidation begins. Some brands of metal paint make use of an activator that increases the rate of oxidation in case you can't wait for the natural oxidation process.
At DioWarriors we use the Modern Masters brand of metal paints and their rust activator. The process is simple: paint an object like you would normally paint, wait for it to dry, then apply the rust activator. The activator will begin working immediately, but the results might not be noticeable until a few minutes or an hour or more later.
The Modern Masters metal paint is water soluble, so it can be thinned. Never use the main jar as your primary paint source. Instead, put a little bit of it into a little cup or artist pallet. Keeping the main jar exposed to the air can cause some of the paint to dry and begin oxidizing.
Some points to keep in mind:
Clean up is easy and the paint is very thick so passing a cloth can remove much of the paint from a surface when it hasn't dried. Using regular brushes are not harmed through any chemical clean up -- just water. Like the paint, the rust activator is also water soluble -- simply rinsing the brush will clean it.
Working with metal paints are a lot of fun and they add a lot to realism. Using other weathering effects, such as paint chipping, can really add to the sense of realism. There's all sorts of various techniques you can use to further your weathering effect -- oil stains, soot, mud and grease build up -- that when used together with oxidizing metal paint can achieve a truly stunning look. But even without any other technique, the effect using metal paints can be just as stunning.
However, some caution: be aware that other paints that use metal particles will also react with the rust activator. Many metallic paints use inexpensive metals to achieve a metallic luster. Some brands use the actual metal -- real gold, real nickel or copper, etc. And some of those will react through ionisation when placed next to another metal. Even in paint where the amount of metal is small, there still can be an effect.
There's all sorts of reasons to want a heavily rusted machine. A rusted machine or object can really enhance the story of a diorama. Here are a few ideas:
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