Saturday, January 30, 2016

Strike a pose !

For some bizarre reason, January has felt longer than usual against any of the previous months. When time itself just slows down that little bit more for a few of us and some days feel like they have 48hrs instead of 24hrs. There have been colder days during this month with lots of rain and wind, plus snow, but very little of it around and nearby Aris HQ.

Panasonic Lumix ::
Just as we entered the new year, I decided to buy a Digital Compact Camera and went for a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ55EB-K from Amazon UK. I was specifically looking for a fixed and auto focus zoom, you'll be pleased to know that this model features both and a lot more besides.
This photo was taken with my Honor 4X, it's a quick and dirty shot with sun shining from the left. Not quite perfect, but purely for illustration. I really like the Macro zoom and fixed modes, plus the ability to record in Full 1080 HD. The last few Lego speed build videos were recorded with this Camera and I am very happy with the overall recording quality. The only thing to be aware off, is that it can take between three to four hours to charge the Battery and you aren't able to record in Full HD unless you have an SD Card, plus your limited to only 30 minute videos. I think that it is more than enough to be honest, you can always do a continued recording or a jump cut. Still, a very worthy purchase ! :)

Mrs. A also changed her Mobile Phone, from a Microsoft Lumia 535 to a Doogee 5X from Amazon UK, which is a great budget Phone for less than £50 ( GBP ). Not bad with Android 5.1 and a 5" screen ! :)

Lego :: ( Let's Build )
Each year, Lego release several new sets and I had my eye on a few towards the end on 2015. I waited until January 1st / 2nd and ordered four, three are from the Creator series and the other is from the City range. You could regard this as a bit of a haul ! :)

The Van and Caravan is great with an addition of Dog, including a Bone. I decided not to use any of the stickers. I might start doing this and may even scan the original set, then print them on sticker sheets. In order to do that, I would have to cut them to shape. It sounds like a bit of an ordeal, but would save the original set. You could buy another set of stickers from somewhere online, like Bricklink or eBay. As far as I know, Lego don't sell additional sets of sticker for any set, unless they are missing from the original packaging, which would be quite rare !

I was really looking forward to this Soarer Creator set and particularly like the overall shape and look of the main model. I have yet to make the other two builds, something to look forward to at a later date. After I have built each model, I take of photo for posterity and then disassemble them, to be placed in press and seal bags. This stops any dust getting near the bricks ! Also, I try not to leave direct sunlight, as this might dis-colour the bricks as well !


The Fast Car set is pretty awesome with a retractable roof and angled / rotated doors. This was an unexpected feature, but very welcoming to see ! :) There is no ability to steer the front wheels, although this really doesn't matter, it's cool enough as it is ! ;)

I would class this Log Cabin set, as cute ! It is also packed with lots of character and neat touches that rewards enough imaginative play value. I really like the addition of the Moose, Bucket and Fish on a Barbeque. Genius ! :)
Those super nice people at Lego sent this along with my order, which was totally unexpected, but very much appreciated ! :)

Lego Speed Builds :: ( January 2016 )
We have three speed build videos for you this month and hopefully, there will be at least two, depending time constraints. One of my key goals for this year is to keep recording and designing builds. The costing does vary, some models cost as little as £3 ( GBP ) to as much as £15 ( GBP ), this of course excludes postage costs, which is usually only a few pounds ( GBP ).
I have to say, I am over the moon with this build. It shows Yoshi from my perspective and uses the classic brick style to bring him into a new light. This mostly uses new bricks with just a few used ones.
Ah ! This has to be my most ambitious build to date ! Not only did the Sinclair Logo take more than 30 minutes to build at first, but I also encountered the 30 minute recording rule on my Panasonic Lumix. The latter part of the video had to be stitched together, as it now contained two parts. I usually like to do layered builds, so everyone can see how to build each model. This one of course, was just that bit different ! :O
If you have watched one of my earlier speed build videos with a Caravan, you might notice a subtle change to this model. The original was modelled from the 636 Car and Caravan set.

I gave the car an American Station Wagon look, thought it looked quite appealing and liked the end result !
Next months speed build videos have already been recorded and will be available to watch via my YouTube channel from February 1st 2016.
To finish off this section of Lego :: ( Let's Build ), here is an 11 second stop motion build of a cool gift covermount from December 2015 issue of Lego Star Wars magazine published by Egmont. It could almost be done as an animated GIF ! :)

Funded Kickstarter Projects ::
Over the last few months I have been anticipating the release and arrival of a few funded and completed Kickstarter projects. One is the 8-Bit Computer Collectible Cards, which could be used as a Top Trumps type of card game.
The cards are hopefully going to be shipped at some point in February 2016, so by the time my monthly blog post is published, there may well be an update with these wonderful cards ! :)
Reformation by Matt Gray has really got my ears excited ! The first Commodore 64 track I heard of Matt's was 'Way Out in Space' and I found it on a Compunet Demo Compilation 5.25" Floppy Disk from a friend in College back in the late 1980's. Matt Gray has come a long way since then and has achieved so much ! I have a feeling that this project will be fully completed by the end of February and will be shipped sometime in March 2016.
You have to check out this trailer, which will give you an aural taste of what Reformation is going to deliver in the weeks to come !
The Amiga Years is another excellent documentary styled film by Nicola Caulfield & Anthony Caulfield who brought us Bedrooms to Billionaires. Hopefully, we might see this project before late spring or early summer. It is surely to be an epic film to watch ! :)

I'll provide updates of any incoming Kickstarter projects I have funded and will know doubt provide everyone with a show and tell if any are delivered.
So, until next months blog post ... Be creative, be safe and be kind !

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