Tag Archives: hobby room

Post 500! My how things have changed…

500

6 years and 499 posts ago I started this little page.   It was always meant to be a look at toys.  From reviews to just out taking pictures.   Over the years it has grown and changed a lot.  Here are some of the stats that have blown me away:

81,794 views.

Views from 125 different countries.

Top 5 Most Used Tags:

  1. Transformers (168 times)
  2. Hasbro (65 times) though I should have used it more often.
  3. Marvel (Probably most in the recent year or so with so many Legends figures)
  4. Generations (A long span of figures from that Transformers line)
  5. Transformers: Prime (There were a LOT of figures over the course of the show)

Top 5 Most Tagged Figures:

  1. Optimus Prime (Not a surprise, except I thought Bee might be higher)
  2. Bumblebee (Second only by a few posts)
  3. Iron Man (We have had lots of Tony over the years from Legends to MiniMates)
  4. Megatron (I was a bit surprised Megs was so high, but he just keeps coming back)
  5. Wonder Woman (I was surprised she was so high on the list.  Lots of Ame-Comi figures)

 

Over the course of 6 years, I went from collecting a few things, to collecting a lot.  I had an old shed in my backyard that I converted into a Fortress of Solitude.

Laying the last of the shingles on the new roof.

I was able to make this the place to keep all of my toys.  Safe, protected, and out of the way of my wife.

Since then, I have also upped the ante on camera.  From humble beginnings with a tiny digital camera, to the much better Canon Digital SLR I am running around with now.  I used to throw a camera in a backpack and go, and now I actually have a special backpack to keep the camera safer from harm.

Many of my early posts were pictureless.   It was a time of figuring out what I was doing.   I had the most posts I ever made in my first year 2010, but I also had the smallest amount of visitors.  As I found my way, I also needed to add more pictures, so I sought out Flickr.   I started my Flickr account about a month after I started this blog, and boy are the stats over there huge.  I think it really tells something about pictures being worth a thousand words.   My views over there are 1.3 million views, with 4327 pictures being posted.

The early stuff was not good.  Too dark, and very static.  It was a steep learning curve.   The biggest thing that helped me to get better at pictures was to look at other people’s work.  See what they were doing that I liked, and ask questions.   Now I can take a well lit picture.  So my focus is moving on to getting better dynamic lighting.  I have people I follow that take some of the best photos I have ever seen. They inspire me to be better and do more.

At some point daylight clicked and I took my toys outside to shoot.   Boy did that help.  But of course, then the setting was a bit weird.  Can’t keep taking pictures of Transformers on the deck. Something had to get better, but that was not going to come for a long time.  For some reason I was stuck on the figures, and didn’t focus on the background.

The reality of making better photos came in small steps.  I made a photo booth out of PVC pipes.   I added opaque fabric to allow for diffused light.  I then bought a fold-up photo booth to again boost my photos.

What really hit home was this summer.   I started to play around with backgrounds.  I started to experiment with insulation foam.  From there, I had to up my lighting game.  The results were night and day.   I wasn’t just taking pictures any more, now I was telling stories.

Did you know toys could be posed?  Boy did it take me a long time to come to that realization.   I was always a guy who loved to take the toys out of the packaging.  They are meant to be played with, not kept in the boxes on a shelf.  Well, then I would just stand them there and take pictures.  What better way to talk about their articulation than to actually show them in motion.

It was really a way of thinking that needed to change.  Even to the extent of ” I am going out somewhere?” “Bring a toy, because you never know where you might end up to take pictures.

So, 6 years and 500 posts in, and I feel like I am just getting started.  I have finally found my stride, and I am ready to bring it on!  I have a new big diorama I am working on, to help get away from the alley scene.  I have a few other ideas in mind too.  I have started to carry a blank book around with me to write down my ideas.  Going back over the past 6 years of pictures, I feel like I have done some of my figures a disservice, and I want to make it up to them.

I leave you with a funny stat that surprised me.  4327 pictures, ranging from Marvel to Transformers, from anime to cartoons.  And the photo with the most views, far, far, far beyond second place was this picture of a Monster High doll:

This was some fun I was having while my sister came to live with me.  We bonded over toys and photography.   This picture was taken a year and a half ago and has over 5,800 views as of today.  Something about a lady riding a motorcycle I guess.

Up next, a look at a figure that is no good.   I was glad I only picked up one of the wave.  Don’t need a whole shelf of that garbage.

Until next time my friends.  There are pictures to be taken and stores to be searched.


New Year, New Display

I built this display out of necessity. The need for shelf space taken up by Hot Wheels. I figured if I could make something on the wall, I could save a ton of flat space.

This is made with 3 pieces of the foam core board. Black on black (meaning black foam in the middle. I used two inch strips to make the shelves, spaced 2 inches apart. That leaves one space double-tall at one part. I had enough left over for a second display on top that is made 7 inches tall with a 2 inch shelf half way.

The shelving his held together with sewing pins in the back and on the sides. That makes it really strong, and at some point I could foreseeable take it apart again, and make it into something else, but I probably won’t.

So, I ended up with room for 80 Hot Wheels, 31 Legion Class Transformers, and my Big Hero 6 collection on top. Of course, you can always set the sizes differently for whatever you want to display.

It was really easy to make, little to no mess. Definitely no glue mess. And it helped clear up a lot of room around the shelving in other places.


At Long Last: The Hobby Room!

Ta-Da!   The interior of the hobby room is built and put together enough to show pictures.   I am really excited about how it turned out.  It is packed from the ceiling to the floor with all of my toys…  okay, not ALL.  Many are going to need to be stored.  Luckily, I have a plan.  I am going to rotate the toys so I can have a museum style system where I change them out every so often and then I get to see all of my stuff.

My homemade book shelf.

Cabinet from IKEA

Three glass display cases lit with LED strips at the top.

One of my favorite pieces of art, drawn for me by comic artist Terry Dodson.

Legos, Legos, everywhere... too many to display.

Minimates. This took forever to set-up. The display was built from scraps around the house.

Finally, I get to display my models that I build in college. Happy to have room to get back to the hobby now.

Of course there are more pictures.  There are a lot of detail shots, and descriptions of what you are looking at on my Flikr account.  Click to be taken to the set.


My Life with a Bookcase

Today marked a milestone for me.  I have been plugging along on the hobby room all week, but today was the fun day.   I finally got to the place where I could build myself my Manga bookshelf.   It is specially designed to be narrow in depth so it can hold my mangas.

Those are my hands on the left, getting putty in the nail holes.

The book case is five feet long, the width of the window.  With three full shelves, that makes 15 feet of manga storage.  I have my collection scattered around the house in different rooms, so I am not sure how much space my current collection will take up, but I am pretty sure I will have room for growth.]

The bottom shelf is a little shorty shelf, so I don’t really know what to do with it, but I am sure I will think of something.  🙂


My Life in the Flooring Buisness

Last night I went to IKEA and got my flooring. The hardwood planks will be going down tomorrow morning. By the afternoon I should be working on the molding around the room, getting the molding around the door, the base board, and the crown molding. It is going to be awesome.

I am thinking that by about Thursday or so, I will be back at IKEA to get started buying furniture. A desk and three glass display cases are in the first go.

I have to do a little measuring to see what all I will be able to fit in there.


My Life in Storage Hell!

As many of you who have been on my blog know, I am in the middle of a remodel of an old shed I have in the back yard.  I guess it is not so much a remodel as it was a tear down and rebuild from scratch.  None-the-less, I am getting to the end of cubbies around the house to stick stuff.  Note exhibit A:

Under the desk in the bedroom

I  have a number of these around the house.  This one happens to be Iron Man 2 and GI Joe.   Believe me, I am a toy purist.  Out of the box is my motto, but I was really hoping to get the hobby room finished before I went through and got rid of all of the boxes.

Thankfully, as of 11:20 yesterday afternoon, I am on summer vacation from work for two months.  With any luck, I will be getting the hobby room ready to move into in the next few weeks, with a last bit of sanding, texturing, and a bit of paint, and I think I will be ready to move in.   I do have some special projects for the hobby room, but those I will share as they come up.  For now, I have to know who feels my pain and REALLY is running out of room?


My Life in Construction (Drywall DONE!)

The walls are finally drywalled.  Hmmm, is drywalled a word?  Well, it is not coming up as a problem for the spell checker, so I will go with it.

We (my wife and I) got the walls on in just a few hours.  It was a little hard working in the small area.  120 square feet sounds like a nice size until you try to wrestle with a bunch of 4ft x 8ft pieces of drywall, and a 6ft long table for cutting the pieces.

Everything is done except for the little ceiling pieces leading up to the skylight.  It was getting a little dark, and I was really tired, so it will wait for another day.

A look at our new high security system.  Haha!  We went for an electric lock since it would have cost us more to buy a door handle, and a deadbolt, and then get them keyed to match.

This way we also get to go out to the hobby room without having to remember a key.

The hobby room is getting there.  It will not be long now.  I can feel it.  I have to go to the hardware store and get mud and tape for the walls, and then it is a race to the painting.   Guess I will have to get over to Ikea sooner than later to start looking for furniture to go in there.  Oh yeah, we need flooring too.  Dirty old cement is not going to cut it for this project. Off to think about that one too.


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