Monthly Archives: April 2016

Diorama building – Old Dock (6 inch scale)

I am always looking to make better photographs, and set my figures in dynamic poses.  One way of doing that, I had discovered a few years back, was to make a scale model diorama to get the figures into a scene.  The first diorama I did was the back alley with a million and a half bricks.  It turned out so well in my mind, and I was hooked on dioramas.   My second diorama was more recent and a lot easier.  It consisted of a fake rock wall, and a sand base.  That one was really easy, and allowed me to utilize it by any scale from Marvel Legends up to Power Rangers Zords.

Now I have embarked on my biggest and best diorama yet.  Phase 1 is the dock that I had imagined and is now a reality.  I thought ahead enough to take pictures along the way so I could take you with me on the journey to completion.

Step 1: I used thin redwood strips used for latice work. I had them left over in my shed from an arbor I built. I hacked them off at around 8 inches across. Then I split them twice to get three thinner strips that were uneven.
I built a frame with the same wood. I used an air powered nail gun that had tiny little nails in it. This probably could have been done with glue as well, but this was way faster, way cleaner, and will probably hold together better.

Step 1a: Since I used a dull chisel, the wood broke unevenly to leave the ends ravaged by the sea.  Of course if you were going for a new dock look, you would want to cut them evenly.

Step 1b:  I nailed two pieces together to make a more dynamic dock that will give me more options for photo shoots.

Step 2:  I bought a long dowel rod that was about an inch across.  I cut it into two sizes.  Three I made longer, and the rest I left short.  To get the old texture with cracking wood, I smashed them with a hammer around the edges.  The closer to the top, the bigger the split.  If parts fell off, I let them fall off.  The wood has a great weathered look at this point.

Step 3:  I nailed the posts all around the dock.  This is a good time to make sure you are keeping them all level.  I managed to get them all flat except for one on the back side that is about 1/4 inch off the floor.  Oops!

Step 4: I painted the whole dock with a wash of watered down brown acrylic.  While the paint was still wet, I added some washes of black.   Overall there wasn’t a whole lot of need for more of a wash, since the redwood already had a lot of different colors.  I used the black wash mostly around the base of the piers where water would be eating away at the wood.

A closeup of the split pier.  A hammer is all you need.  Hit it all the way around, and it will start to split.  Make sure to get down in the cracks with the wash.  You want it to be as dark or darker than the exterior wood.

Spidey is checking out the dock for the first time.  Since this is Phase 1, I don’t have a base of background for the dock yet.   For now it is sitting on the sand display.  That works, but there is a WAY bigger display coming for this one.

Up next, I am working on the base of the display. We will see how it turns out.  My first time working on making water.  So far so good.  Pictures and instructions to follow.  For now, we will get back to some toy reviews.  I have a back log starting to pile up.

Captain America – Marvel Legends – Red Skull Wave

Of course the first picture I want to post on here is Capwolf! How many Captain America’s have we had? Plus we are getting another one in the next wave of Marvel Legends to go along with Civil War. So, really the only reasons to get Cap is for the BAF part, and/or Capwolf.

Cap is fairly straight forward as figures go. he has all of the articulation in all of the right places. He is strong, muscular, and represents the comic version very well. So far, I have 8 Caps ranging from the Marvel Legends size down to the 3.75 inch figures. Sometimes they are good, and sometimes they are not the best, but overall, Cap has always had a good representation in the figure world.

I guess with this wave being Red Skull, we needed to have Captain America in there. As it stands, there are three good guys and 5 bad guys including the Red Skull BAF, so they needed another good guy in there. Guess they thought people wanted Cap in there to punch out Red Skull yet again. But this time around, they were nice enough to give us Capwolf’s head, so at least we don’t have to have quite so many of the same guy lining the shelf.

He comes with two hands, that we have seen before. He has a pointing hand, and a saluting hand, that could be used as a karate chop hand too, I guess. He also comes with his shield that has a swivel piece on the back that allows it to be worn on Cap’s arm, or it can be turned to reveal a post so Cap can wear it on his back.

There have been others who have already talked about the one last accessory that is a total waste. The shoulder straps. Within seconds of me getting Cap out of the box, the straps fell off. The only way I can see keeping them on would be to add a strap across the back that holds the two straps in tight to his shoulders. I figured I would tinker around with that when I have a free moment.

Speaking of free moments, mine have been quite filled. I have begun work on my next diorama piece that I have to say has started out fantastically. I am working with some new mediums and branching out into other concepts, such as height to my scene. I will be showing the preliminary photos next of some of the work I have done.

Sky Lynx – Transformers: Combiner Wars

Sky Lynx was a hard guy to track down. Lots of parts to Sky Reign, but it was hard to find the main body, and cool dino bird that turns into a space shuttle.

Now if you are one who hates extra parts hanging off of their plane modes, Sky Lynx is going to make you blow your top.  He is one part futuristic space shuttle, and one part legs folded up. Now this is pretty much the way he was in the G1 show as well as the toy. It is hard to make a guy like this and have him fold up all that well.

What Hasbro did do was make him fold up well within the confines of what he is. The legs virtually disappear, with the claws hiding inside of what looks to be a very large cargo bay on the bottom of the shuttle.

Once you transform him, he is really a sight to behold. A Transformer that does not have a robot mode is something a bit rare. Sky Lynx turns into a dino bird type creature. He has great movement in the head and neck area. Don’t forget about his opening mouth. His four legs also pose very well. Lastly, his tail can also be posed to some extent, raising up and down.

The directions show hims with his wings folded back, but the wings can also be posed out straight for a wider wingspan.


As the team leader of Sky Reign he is the biggest member of the team. He is also the only member of team Sky Reign that is a flyer, which is a good advantage over other teams that are made up of all land based vehicles.

Once together, the Sky Reign team creates an impressive Combiner. Sky Reign has a lion’s head instead of a giant robot’s head. This is just one more difference that let’s Sky Lynx stand apart from the other Combiners.

When side by side, Sky Reign has taller shoulders but a shorter head, which puts him at about the same size as other Combiners.

Sky Lynx comes with two bladed weapons that are identical. They are not of a whole lot of use to Sky Lynx since he doesn’t have hands. They are used as a tail for Sky Lynx’s dino mode, and lasers in shuttle mode. There were no directions for what to do with them in the instructions, so I put them side by side and made a double sword. I found elsewhere online that you can double up the blades and make a really long blade that is more becoming of a giant Combiner.

Blast Off – Transformers Combiner Wars – Bruticus

It has been a long time coming, but I finally found Blast Off. I was on a little road trip this past weekend to visit my college town. On the way up, I stopped at a Walmart to see what I could find. There on the shelf was Blast Off, 200 miles from home, waiting for me.

I have had the rest of Bruticus for quite a while, but I could not seem to get my hands on this sneaky little flyer.

Blast Off is a standard robot. He is a retool of Quickslinger, and Firefly. He is color accurate to the 1986 G1 version with a mostly green body and purple chest.

Of course, compared to the G1 version, this one is bigger and has better articulation. He has all of the requisite movements for the Combiner Wars Deluxe figures including head, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. He does not have any movement in the feet, which makes it a bit hard to make some poses.  He comes with a blaster rifle and a hand/foot gun. They work okay in robot mode, with the hand/foot gun being oversized, as it is with most of the Deluxe figures. We get to more of a problem with the guns in vehicle mode.

As soon as Blast Off was revealed, people came out of the woodwork with “But Blast Off is a space shuttle.” And I have to agree with them on this one. Generally I get the idea of repainting figures to keep costs down. But we have had some great remolds in the car based vehicles. We should get at least one in the plane based vehicles. If they can change Rook in to Swindle, they can certainly make Firefly into a space shuttle.  The jet is okay. This is the third time we have seen it, and you will see him again three more times if you are interested in getting the Generation 2 versions of all of the Combiners.

In jet mode, the top part is great. It looks like a stealth version of a Harrier Jump Jet. Down below, there is a LOT of robot body hanging around. Worse of all are the giant feet that hang down. They really needed to make the feet fold in somehow.

The weapons don’t really work with Blast Off too well. The blaster hands down pretty far, and is a bit clunky out there on the wing, but it works out pretty well. The hand/foot gun really makes a mess of the other side of Blast Off. The hand/foot guns just don’t work too well with the planes.

As Bruitcus’ right arm, Blast Off does a great job. The arm stays together very well, and holds it’s pose. Blast Off matches Brawl who is down on the left leg.

Bruticus is made up of a really good team. Two fliers, and three drivers. We can’t say he is too smart, but he is well rounded. And strong.

Up next, we are going to be finishing the other Combiner.  Same trip, different Walmart, and I found the other elusive figure.  Also a flyer by the way…

The Liebster Award

Thank you to G Quests for nominating me for The Liebster Award…

This idea of the award is to spread the word about new blogs and encourage new readers.

The Rules…

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to them.
  • Answer the questions given to you.
  • Nominate bloggers and present them with questions of your own.

So here are the answers to the questions posed to me…

Geekiest childhood memory?

I have had a lot of moments as a geek, but the best moment was probably when I was reading an old Wolverine comic and found out that we were both named Logan.  At the time, Logan was not a popular name.  It was a family name, and my grandparents had all girls.  So, as the first boy born into the family, I was handed down the family name.  Of course now there are Logans everywhere.

What’s your favourite animated show ever?

So many good shows.  I was a child of the 80s after all.  We had ALL of the best animated shows.  I loved Transformers, GI Joe, ThunderCats, Ninja Turtles, M.A.S.K. and more.  Let’s not forget the heyday of Disney TV with Duck Tails, Tail Spin, Darkwing Duck, and The Gummi Bears.As a latchkey kid, the TV was my babysitter.  I watched shows others had never even heard of.  Anyone ever hear of Turbo Kid?  That was a story about a boy who turned into a car when he got wet.

Anyway, I digress.  I was in my last year of high school, and still loving the animated shows.  My favorite show of all time has to be Superman: The Animated Series. We had just finished with the long run of the amazing Batman: The Animated Series.   Superman came on, with a brighter look, and better graphics.  Soon the New Adventures of Batman would join the block, and we would have the same animated style over the two shows that ran together.  We had the quintessential Superman in Tim Daly, with Dana Delaney voicing Lois Lane.   The shows single greatest moment came in Season 3 Episode 2.  We already had The Batman Superman Movie (which was amazing in it’s own right),  so Batman and Superman were friends.   Batman was missing and Superman donned the cowl to help Robin and Gotham.  What we ended up with was a show that used simple line drawings, but for us the viewer, we could truly see the difference of Clark wearing Batman’s outfit.  Totally awesome, and something I will never forget.

Favourite candy bar?

Another tricky question.   So many out there to love.   I gotta go with Snickers.  It really does satisfy.

Greatest album of all-time?

Who can choose?  Now we live in a world of iTunes and mixed media, so we generally don’t listen to whole albums too much anymore.   When I was in High School, I worked at J.C. Penny’s about 4 miles from home.   I rollerbladed to work after school, and I would listen to music on the way.  Back then I used a CD player and my goto music was Chicago’s Greatest Hits.  Can’t go wrong there for some easy listening.    The last album I remember listening to in full would probably be Green Day’s American Idiot.   That is a well put together album.


Now I get to nominate some people…

FigureFan Zero

‘Til All Are Mine

play evolution

My Questions are…

Where are you from?

What is your favorite movie franchise?

Have you read (comic, book, graphic novel, manga) anything good lately?

Where do you see your blog in 5 years?


Harley Quinn – DC Super Hero Girls

My last submission for the Super Hero Girls  Harley looks great. She is one of the top three of the girls that have have come out. She looks great in her red, blue, and black outfit.

Her hair is looking rather Suicide Squad, which is timely, and a great way to go.

She comes with a mask for her face, and a hammer for her hands. She is also decked out in a pair of boots that look like they are not afraid to stomp on you.  If only she had tights. No, those legs are painted that color, and that takes her down a bit for me. This figure would have been totally amazing if she had a pair of tights instead of paint.

Ressha Gattai Build DaiOh – Ressha Gattai ToQger

Build DaiOh is basically the first stand alone figure in the line made up of it’s own trains, and combines with itself to create the robot. This creates a super color definitive robot, which is quite different from the rest of the ToQger mecha, but suited for what we see with the stronger additional mecha that come about later in the Super Sentai series run.

Build DaiOh is a great looking mecha. From the top, it has a crane on it’s head. I love me some great Super Sentai mecha hats, and this one is fantastic!  On it’s chest, it has railroad tracks running down the middle, with yellow suspenders down the sides, like ToQ6.

The arms have one hand, and one Ressha. The Ressha side allows for a longer reach with the digging claw. A nice addition for battle.  All the way down, both sides match very well, to the mirrored legs.

In train mode, Build Dai-Oh is actually two trains. The front train is the torso and arms, and looks pretty much like it. This part contains the front digger, as well as the crane. Really, it has all of the important parts that are needed for track maintenance.


The back part of the train becomes the legs and lower torso (waist). It is nothing more than a rolling set of tracks itself, to allow the front train some additional height.

If you got the Appli Changer before, it came with a candy version of the Build Ressha. That one is not compatible with the Build DaiOh.

Not only does the Build Ressha that comes with Build DaiOh have more detail and paint, but it is also a working version, with the front of the engine becoming a back-hoe.

Build DaiOh, Diesel-Oh, and ToQ-Oh are all fairly similar in size.  They all end at about the same height, with Build DaiOh taking the height by the slimmest of margins with the top of it’s head.Next to Cho Ressha Gattai Cho ToQ-Oh, Build DaiOh still holds it’s own.  Cho ToQ-Oh definitely has height in the cannons on the arms, but the main body does not get much taller, save for the large railroad horns.

Combine the three together, and you end up with Cho Cho Ressha Gattai Cho Cho ToQ-DaiOh. Now THAT is a mouthful. Basically we are throwing everything we have at the bad guy before we have to go even bigger by bringing in the Hyper Ressha.

It looks great in this mode, though there are only a few changes to combine Build DaiOh to Cho ToQ-Oh. The chest of Build Dai-Oh becomes the taller chest and head. And the waist, legs become the feet. Then the two arms combine with the Fumikiriken in sword mode to create a lance that it can use to finish off the enemy with the Imagination Express finishing move.

The only problem I have with this whole thing is how the bottom part is created. The legs and waist stay together, and they take away any movement down there. The feet are connected in the back. It seems like Bandai should have been able to put a break in there to allow us to only use the feet part of Build Dai-Oh, and not have to have the waist stuck back there.

Build DaiOh is in the middle flanked by Diesel-Oh above and ToQ-Oh below.   Diesel-Oh and Build DaiOh are similar lengths, with ToQ-Oh going way longer.   That is due to ToQ-Oh having overlapping trains in mecha mode, so though the train is longer, the mecha is a similar height to the other two.

I cannot imagine a fan of ToQger not having a great time with this figure or being extremely happy with the purchase.  It is a much needed piece for the collectors, and Build Dai-Oh is a great addition to any shelf.

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