Thursday, 31 May 2012

Ben Quadinaros and Otoga-222 Action Figures

This is the first podracer I've bought (not including Anakin Skywalker), I do plan to collect podracers eventually but because of the whole Kyle Newman/Forcecast petitioning for this figure I decided I had to have one.

Ben Quadinaros looks cool as a figure, but doesn't work well as one, he has almost no articulation and doesn't even have a 'peg hole' in his feet (in the first photo you can see I've had to use sticky tac to make him stand).

Also included is this equally unarticulated figure of an Otoga-222 Maintenance Droid. Was nice of them to add another figure to the pack to make up for how basic the main figure is, but I'll have to be honest I had to look up the droid cause I didn't recognise it all, according to wookieepedia though they are fairly prevalent around Mos Espa in episode 1 so I'll have to keep my eyes open in future.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Display Upgrade part 2

Continuing on from last week's post about my plans to add a new set of LED lights to my action figure display. Above you can a photo of the LEDs in action, just as test of the LEDs and the power supply I soldered the power supply directly to the strip. I was glad to see it worked and my research payed off and the LEDs themselves seem to be bright enough for the job.

Here's something I only considered last week, my display is made up from a bunch of different shelving units and tables. So in order to be able to add more light in the future, and to be able to still move the different units separately if needs be, I've picked up these. They're sold as connectors for batteries but I'm going to use them to connect the LEDs between my shelving units. I have the circuit all finalised on paper now and have started to solder together the connectors but have nothing really to show just yet.

Also this week we've completed the switch, very simple idea here, the switch is spliced into the extension chord so I can plug all my lights into it and have one switch to turn them all on.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

"Did I miss something?"

Only a very quick set of photos this weekend, just some fun shots of Anakin, Obi-wan and Palptine escaping down the elevator shaft in ROTS. If one or two look a bit odd, well that's what happened in the movie.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Yarua Action Figure

Another figure I picked in Dublin a couple of weeks ago, Yarua the wookiee senator from episode 1, as a kid Yarua was the first wookiee I was aware of after Chewie so was happy to add him to the collection.

Nicely sculpted but a little lazily painted, not quite sure where those eyes are supposed to be looking.

As is customary on this blog now, when photographing any senator I like to put them in the pod for a shot.

Finally this week, a group shot my slowly growing wookiee collection.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Display Upgrade part 1

Most of the time on this blog we're talking about buying action figures so I thought it might be fun to do a series of posts looking at the other side of this hobby, displaying them. This is my action figure display as current. As you can see it's grown a lot over the last year and I've had to add several sets of shelves (and cheap tv stands) to make room. However its now out-grown my old lighting system. The lights I have currently are very good in the spaces I have them however are very expensive at £30 (approx $47) for a set of four and there are a lot of dark patches to fill.

Introducing this under-cabinet lighting, at just over a pound a meter I'm hoping it'll be a cheap way of adding a lot of light to my display and at the same time make it simpler to add new shelves and lighting in the future.

Looking at it more closely you can see its a strip of LEDs already wired with resistors in a protective plastic bubble. The strip can be cut every 5 cm and wired to another section of the strip which should allow me to run this all around my collection, lighting the dark areas and supplementing the existing lights.

So I've been doing my homework, trying to recall Technology lessons from over thirteen years ago and have done a bit of shopping. So far the spend has been a good deal lower than if I'd simply bought more of the existing lights.

Also as part of this upgrade I'm planning to add this switch. I'm going to splice it into an extension chord from which I'll run both the existing lights and new LEDs. I'll then attach it below the bottom shelf and I'll have one switch that turns on all the lights in the display (something my eccentric side is very excited about).

It's going to be a quite a big bit of work and so far all I've managed is these couple of excel sheets calculating how much LED strip can I use in each section and how much wiring I'll need. I'm a little nervous about doing all the soldering, it is over a decade since I've used a soldering iron so fingers crossed I don't screw it up. I have plenty of wiring on its way to me so I just have to be careful when soldering on to the LED strip.

Here is a video I made last August to try and convey the scale of my collection then but it'll also give you an idea of the shelving set up and a better look at the existing lights. Of course as part of this upgrade I'm going to have to take down all my figures. Which is a good opportunity for a well needed dusting but more importantly a new setup video for 2012. Check back over the next few Tuesdays and see how I get on.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

"Lord Vader... Can you hear me?"

Another set I picked up at Invasion Dublin this year, in front left you have an FX-6 medical droid, in the center is Darth Vader with removable helmet and chest panel complete with medical table, behind Vader is a 2-1B and on the right is a DD-13 (also known as a 'Chopper Droid', presumably to chop off the burnt stubs?)

All the figures seen in these top two images come in one pack (with the exception of the FX-6), I picked the pack up as I thought it was really cool concept and thought it'd make for a cool blog post. Some limitations however in that only two pieces of Vader are removable.

The helmet unfortunately is one piece, mask and helmet separately would have allowed for some better photos. The above photo really wasn't possible with the scale we work in (at least not for us) but I like the lighting so I've left it in.

More detail in the face of this figure would have been nice too, his skin is all one colour, some pattern to the burns/scars could've made a massive difference.

Properly cheating here in that the above is NOT THE ACTION FIGURE, instead its a happy meal toy where you open it up and it has a maze game inside. It's just a trinket I've kept but was the only way of getting this shot and look for more of these 'cheats' going forward as it'll allow us to do a wider ranger of shots.

The table itself is maybe the coolest part, it pivots from flat to standing and has a clip/switch at the bottom so when fully upright the wrist restraints pop open.

This Palptine I've used a few time before, it originally came in a battle pack with Yoda, two Clones and a senate pod.

I'm sure many fans didn't want to hear any more whining about Padme right after Anakin finally becomes Darth Vader in his full glory, but I think it's well delivered by James Earl Jones and ties the two iterations of the character together nicely.

Palpatine is fantastic all throughout Revenge of the Sith, again the delivery of the lines is great.

What we need now is a birth of the twins battle pack to go with this, come on Hasbro, I know I'd buy it.
(Also to note, this is a different Vader figure in the last photo, the one from the set doesn't have enough articulation for the pose.)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Darth Malgus Action Figure

Long time readers will know my favourite action figures are the ones based on video game characters. So when I first heard news last year of a Darth Malgus action figure my anticipation was high and this figure did not disappoint.

For a start its really solidly built, as you can see above, but it also manages to have decent articulation in the arms and legs.

Quite often with highly sought after figures like this I find Hasbro never really expected you to open it, a good example is the Darth Revan figure, looks great but doesn't stand up straight even with the help of a stand. The Darth Malgus however is great, really well balanced, I'm just hoping they bring out some more SWTOR action figures so I can play about taking some fighting photos with this.

While we're on the topic of The Old Republic I thought I'd drop in a little piece about my experiences with the game itself, normally I'd do a post on the game but I've nothing physical in my collection to photograph. I played as a Sith Warrior who I named 'Keteor' as seen above, after listening to the audiobook of Deceived I thought Darth Malgus was the coolest character in the TOR era so wanted to play as something similar.

I did really enjoy the game, especially the cut scenes and dialogue choices, however it's like any MMO, it's designed to keep you playing and working a 45 hour week I honestly didn't feel I could justify paying for it on a monthly basis when I wasn't getting a huge amount of time to play it. I do plan to go back to it at some stage soon as I'd like to finish the Sith Warrior story but I doubt I'd ever finish all eight storylines.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Stormtrooper Lego Necklace

What a great Lego figure, the iconic Stormtrooper.  I love the Stormtrooper footage from A New Hope, seeing them pouring through the doors at the beginning of movie followed by the mighty Darth Vader and, of course, I'm a huge fan of Han in the armour.  I'm currently reading Death Troopers (very slowly due to University) and really enjoying it.  Even though the thought of zombie Stormtroopers is terrifying, maybe they should bring out a zombie Lego Stormtrooper!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

"Don't Get Cocky!"

This Luke figure came as part of a deluxe pack that included a gunner seat with window from the Millenium Falcon. Its proportions aren't great but it makes for some fun photos.

This Chewie and Leia I've shown before, so far any time I've attempted to take photographs inside the falcon cockpit I've had to leave the roof off, in future I think I'll have a go at photoshopping the window frame back in.

This is the Han figure that comes with the Millenium Falcon, it's notably better than the Luke I've used in this post but they're the only two figures I have with the headsets.

This is a first for our movie scenes, these Tie Fighters are part of my Titanium collection. Not 100% happy with the contrast between the metal ship and the plastic figures but going forward I plan to do some more work with the titaniums as there's a lot of shots we can do with that collection.

Bit of a cheat here in that I actually took the lid off my Hasbro Tie Fighter and just placed it behind the figure.

As you can see here the guns are actually in the wrong place on the model, I still like it and think its neat.

This is a sticker on the gunner seat, its really small so sorry for the low quality photo.

I'm really happy with this one, I did of course have to use photoshop to make the Tie Fighters 'fly' around the falcon,

Check back next weekend to see where in the Star Wars storyline we jump to next!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Invasion Dublin III

Last weekend our friends in the Emerald Garrison put on the third Invasion Dublin in the Citywest Hotel with  special guests Billy Dee Williams, James Arnold Taylor, Jeremy Bulloch, Mike Edmonds and Star Wars artist Will Sliney plus the convention had all the usual Invasion activities along with a couple of new attractions.

We arrived down at the hotel right in the middle of James Arnold Taylor's Q&A and I have to confess to rushing everyone directly to the stage so I wouldn't miss a second more than I had to. I've been a massive fan of James since first seeing his Youtube videos and hearing him on the Forcecast. Whether you're a fan of Star Wars or not you've definitely heard his voice before as James is one of thee best voice actors in the business.

This was worth the ticket price for Invasion alone, at the end of the day James performed his show, 'Talking to Myself' and it is an absolute must see. In the course of the show James lets the audience in on just how much fun and entertainment his job as a voice actor allows him.

If you haven't seen this video I implore you to check it out, it was filmed at a different convention but is part of the same show we got to see in Dublin. I did get the chance to speak to James but was embarrassingly star struck, which I don't normally get, so I gushed a bit then left the man alone but he was very welcoming and it felt good to tell him he was a hero of mine, plus he commented on my Forcecast t-shirt which was cool, think it got across the kind of fan I am.

We only got speaking very briefly to Billy Dee and unfortunately missed his Q&A. Shannen did get her picture taken with him and it was nice to say we met him.

Jeremy Bulloch and Mike Edmonds did a joint Q&A. Jeremy is absolutely great, I had the awesome opportunity to chat with him at length at last years Invasion Dublin 2, he has all the time in the world for fans and Invasion wouldn't be the same without him. Mike Edmonds I'd never met before and was amazed by the number of characters he's played, to name a few he's Logray the Ewok, the Ugnaught who puts Han into carbon freeze, Og from Dark Crystal plus he was in Time Bandits and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Also in attendance was Will Sliney, a Star Wars comic book artist, we didnt get meeting him but you can check out his blog at, if you're reading modern Star Wars comics chances are you've seen some of his work.

At every Invasion there's always great photo opportunities as their lifesize replicas are just plain awesome, above you can the Y-wing, AT-ST, AT-RT and the TX-130.

New for Invasion Dublin 3 was Yoda's hut complete with a screen accurate replica of the Jedi Master himself.

This is something the Emerald Garrison have done before but not at any Invasions I've been at, they call it Recreating the Magic and at Invasion Dublin these two guys live sculpted these in latex.

This had started out the day before as a solid bock of latex, hopefully this photo does some justice to how detailed it was one day later.

How to draw Star Wars was another of the activities I had seen at Invasion before and seemed like a great idea for the younglings.

As far as I could gather the Star Wars films seemed to be on a continual loop in part of the convention hall which would be great if you were down for the whole weekend, over the four days you easily could've taken in all six between other activities.

Also on display were some of the replica helmets and masks that have been created by members of the Emerald Garrison.

Below is just a sample of the Emerald Garrison characters that could be seen over the four days. These images are used courtesy of friend and fellow Star Wars fan, Owen Quinn, thanks Owen!

Owen Quinn is the author of The Time Warriors book series, so please take the time to check out his link:

You can find the Emerald Garrison's website at and the Invasion website at

I leave you with one final picture from the convention, Star Wars weddings, were I took Shannen as my non-legally-binding Imperial wife.

PS. Yes, I did buy some very cool action figures at Invasion, look for the first post this week.