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Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Terra Losa Rainbow

On Saturday night, a rainbow appeared on the drive from Mom's place to home. I shot a photo of it with my phone before picking up a Coke for Sylvia. 

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Some Thing from the 80s

I'm pretty happy with this Thing. Fans of John Carpenter or 1980s science fiction or horror films will recognize this monstrosity. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mexican Rifleman

For once, I'm happy with the skin tone and facial hair...aside from that darn black blot on his forehead. Rats. The things you don't see until the zoomed-in photograph...

I think the earth tones work, too. I hope they do, at least! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Change One Letter of a Star Trek Episode Part Three

"The Mage"--Captain Christopher Pike and his stalwart crew encounter the mysterious Xevious Galagan, who claims to be a powerful mage with the means to destroy the Enterprise. But is he sorcerer or charlatan?

"Where No Mao Has Gone Before"--The Enterprise uses the slingshot maneuver to transfer a United Earth team of historians to study the Chinese Civil War undercover. But when they return to the future, they find it inexorably changed . . . 

"She, Corbomite Maneuver"--A beautiful alien causes chaos on the Enterprise with an irresistible erotic technique she calls the Corbomite Maneuver.

"Fudd's Women"--an irascible rabbit hunter from the 20th century is rescued from hibernation--but he falls in love with the three Enterprise crew responsible for reviving him.

"The Man Tray"--The Enterprise visits a strange new world where women rule, and men are served up on platters--literally...

"The Baked Time"--An accident in sickbay releases all the THC in the ship's stores at the same time, and the crew mellows out.

"Charlie Y"--An Earth teen named Charlie desperately seeks to live out his existence with a species of emotionally distant, non-corporeal aliens, and Captain Kirk wants to know why.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Change One Letter of a Star Trek Episode Part Two

 "The Alternantine Factor"--Sulu discovers that his pet plant, Beauregard, has an unusual chemical compound that could, under certain circumstances, endanger the ship. Can Sulu find an alternative to alternatine--or will he have to part with his pet?

"Tomorrow is Jesterday"--The Enterprise visits the planet Harlequinade, a popular resort planet. But once every thousand years, the natives celebrate Jesterday--and the joke is on Kirk and his landing party...with a potentially deadly punchline.

"A Waste of Armageddon"--The crew of the Enterprise encounter two planets at war, and one world wipes out the other just as the Enterprise arrives. The genocidal victors celebrate--only to discover their now-extinct rivals held the ultimate salvation of their killers. "Now, a choice bit'll have to savour the taste of your wasted...Armageddon."

"Spice Seed"--The crew isn't exactly happy about being assigned to a milk run--in this case, shipping grain from one world to another. But this is no ordinary grain, and its strange seed will soon spice things up on the Enterprise . . .

"The Devil in the Park"--Sulu, Uhura, and Scotty visit a national park on Andoria. They're not prepared for certain Andorian traditions--including a ritual reenactment of the crimes of a notorious Andorian serial killer...

"Errand Ox Mercy"--On a planet that mimics the culture of the American Ancient West, Captain Kirk fights for the freedom of sapient oxen used as beasts of burden.

"She-City on the Edge of Forever"--The Enterprise encounters a world of sapient cities, including one that identifies as a cis woman--a controversial choice on this world of ancient tradition . . .

"Operation--Annihilato!"--In the lighthearted season one finale, Sulu concocts a special alien-influenced sundae for his friends. But the Annihilato contains so much sugary goodness that the ice cream party soon gets out of hand . . . 

"The Return of the Archies"--A long-forgotten teenage pop band from Earth's 20th century is discovered, alive and well, on a distant alien world. To make matters all the stranger, they seem to believe no time has passed, and carry on as though they were still in the swinging 60s in a small Earth town called Riverdale. What is the impossible secret behind the return of the Archies? (Yes, this one breaks the rules, but it was either this or "The Return of the Urchons.")

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Change One Letter of a Star Trek Episode Part One

 "Valence of Terror"--a chemistry experiment has gone wrong, giving Mr. Spock twice his strength, endurance, intelligence, and charisma. But does absolute power corrupt absolutely..?

"What Are Vittle Girls Made Of?"--While on a diplomatic mission to assess a new world's eligibility to join the Federation, Kirk uncovers a disturbing phenomenon--this appears to be a culture where limited, ceremonial cannibalism continues as a sacred tradition . . .

"Dagger of the Kind"--On a familiar but somehow deeply alien world, Uhura finds out that some forms of kindness can kill . . .

"Piri"--The Enterprise surveys a planet of strange cities decorated with floating spheres, and for reasons unknown, some members of the crew begin to mutiny in an effort to live on the new world forever. Guest starring Catherine Schell as Piri.

"The Conscience of the Bing"--an ancient, primitive Earth AI is accidentally given sapience during a routine software update. Now it wants the Enterprise, and it's rapidly growing smarter than the crew. Can Kirk find a diplomatic solution?

"The Galileo Semen"--An ill-timed sexual emergency on the Galileo shuttlecraft creates a messy--and dangerous--situation.

"Court Partial"--Sulu, once ship's physicist, now ship's helm, decides he wants to pursue another career change--the law. But a mischievous alien decides to test Sulu's aptitude by putting his friends on trial in a kangaroo court--and only Sulu for the Defense can help them escape a deadly sentence!

"The Menagerie, Part A"--Fleet Captain Pike visits his old ship, and presents Kirk with a bizarre mission: to assemble an alien zoo by collecting specimens from across the Federation. Has Pike gone mad? A disturbed Spock plans to find out, even as Captain Kirk reluctantly follows Pike's orders.

"The Menagerie, Part Z"--Spock uncovers the real reason his old captain is creating an interplanetary zoo--and now he's forced into the impossible position of betraying one captain or another.

"Shore Heave"--On an Earthlike world whose civilization is being devastated by global warming, Kirk must attempt a controversial and untested geo-engineering method to save a coastline populated by millions.

"The Squirt of Gothos"--An alien takes the form of a little Earth child and is both adorable and annoying as hell, testing the crew's patience.

"Areno"--On planet Areno, Space Gladiators gather to challenge each other. But a diplomatic misunderstanding puts Dr. McCoy in the alien arena--armed with only his wits!

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Dragonclaw Cargo

I have painted some cargo for the Dragonclaw

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

I Love It When a Paint Job Comes Together

Or when it almost comes together, at least. I knew that diagonal stripe was going to give me problems, and boy howdy did it. I attempted to mask the model, but that strategy didn't pay off this time. 

Altogether, though, this looks pretty good on the table and should be a fun component to future 7TV games. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Miniature KITT

Here we have the iconic Knight Industries Two Thousand, colloquially known as KITT. It's rendered here as a 28mm scale model for the 7TV metaskirmish game, painted by yours truly. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Today's Yuk

Q: What's left when your container of paint runs dry? 
A: Nothing but a pigment of the imagination. 

-Today's joke inspired by a quip I made recently after my friend Scott spilled paint all over his leg. 

Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Priest and the Pitchfork Zombie

Zombie moans
A clash of two species
Faith at a fever pitch, forks up
A scent of ascension dissipates forever
Blood, fire, and steel clash in dissonance; a shower of sparks, a spray of ichor; ARGH!

Friday, April 12, 2024

Last Night on Earth Zombies

I've painted some of the zombies that came with Last Night on Earth, a pretty good zombies vs humans board game. The playing pieces aren't that detailed, but adding some paint still leaves them looking better than they did as plain grey plastic. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Fast Food Nostalgia

Every now and then, I think about how much I enjoyed grabbing a chicken fajita at the drive-through for lunch during my time as an auto parts driver in the early 1990s. I drove a white Ford pickup with a red interior; it had a standard transmission, and I learned how to drive standard on that job. 

When things were slow and I could take a true lunch break, I'd sit in the truck and read while eating my bagged lunch. When I was busy, chicken fajita time. It was a simple meal: just a couple of pieces of plain roasted chicken, chopped onions, and slices of red and green bell peppers in a plain flour tortilla. But boy, were they good. Those fajitas and CBC 740 AM got me through that job. (It wasn't a bad job, but some of the customers were pretty mean to me, and I've never had a very thick skin.) 

I liked McDonald's pizzas. They, too, are gone. One day, perhaps in our lifetime, McDonald's itself will be just a memory. Nothing lasts forever, including civilizations. 

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

RSS Dragonclaw

I have painted . . . a sailing ship! 

The severed dragon claw anchor for which the ship is named. 

You can fit a lot of miniatures on this ship. Also, a lifeboat. Or rowboat.

A nice day to relax on the deck. 

Nothing will befall the ship when it's manned by this crew! 

Sunday, April 07, 2024

Fib Fib Fiber

Fiberscope probes
Fiberoptic connections scream

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Have You Fibonacci Today?

8-bit computers
Created neon memories

Friday, April 05, 2024

What Was Chekov's Greatest Feat?

In "The Best of Both Worlds," the USS Enterprise-D arrives too late to participate in the Battle of Wolf 359. Commander Riker, Commander Shelby, and the rest of the bridge crew see the wreckage of 39 Starfleet vessels floating in space. 

"The Tolstoy...the Kyushu...the Melbourne," Shelby intones mournfully as wreckage drifts across the Enterprise viewscreen. 

The Tolstoy Shelby mentions was originally intended to be the USS Chekhov or Chekov, according to different sources. Though you never see it close enough to distinguish, the modelmakers settled the question by spelling the Springfield-class ship miniature's name as Chekov. At the last moment, though, the showrunners realized it was a pretty somber event for the name-dropping of original series character Pavel Chekov, so Shelby's dialogue references the Tolstoy instead. 

Still, this leaves continuity nerds with an interesting issue to ponder: Because the USS Chekov exists canonically (it was seen on screen in an episode, the miniature has Chekov's name on it, and it appears the majority of the creatives who worked on the episode intended for the ship to be named after Pavel Chekov). What, then, did Pavel Chekov do during his career or in his civilian life to deserve this rare honour? There is no USS Kirk, USS Spock, or USS Scott. Chekov may be a legend by association, and he played a role in saving Earth and the Federation more than once, but surely Starfleet would recognize his superior officers before Chekov himself. 

Indeed, whether or not Chekov ever rose above the rank of commander is ambiguous. The last time we see him on screen, in the opening scenes of Star Trek: Generations, Chekov wears a commander's rank, though a reporter calls him "Captain Chekov." There are two ways to take this: the reporter mistook Chekov's rank, or knew that Chekov had just been promoted or was about to be promoted, but hadn't changed his rank insignia yet. I like to imagine Chekov had the right stuff to be captain one day, so I assume the latter. Indeed, some behind-the-scenes materials assert Chekov was supposed to be a captain in Generations, but that they couldn't find any more of the metal captain rank pins to affix to his uniform. 

For the purposes of this question, I'm going to assume that Chekov did indeed reach the rank of captain and that he had adventures of his own after leaving the Enterprise-A in 2293. 

We hear nothing at all about Chekov until the third season finale of Star Trek: Picard, set in the year 2402. As that finale opens, we hear the voice of President of the Federation, Anton Chekov (played by original Chekov actor Walter Koenig), quoting his father, Pavel, that "hope is never lost" even as he warns everyone to stay away from Earth, as it's under attack by the Borg. 

Pavel Chekov never said "Hope is never lost" in any of his onscreen appearances, though he might have said it "offscreen" at any time during his career, either as a fresh young ensign or a veteran captain or admiral. (Chekov jokingly refers to himself as an admiral during the hospital chase scene in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.) Even so, his son Anton uses the phrase in a way that suggests many of the people in his (very large) audience will understand the reference. 

I propose that sometime after 2293, Pavel Chekov--Captain Chekov of the Federation Starship Unrevealed at This Point in Time--led his crew on a historic mission with desperate stakes and impossible odds. Maybe he saved an entire civilization from extinction; perhaps he inspired the Federation with a brave act of sacrifice; maybe he wrote a great novel that included the words quoted by his son. 

We'll likely never know. I would be shocked if Chekov is ever seen again in visual media; Koenig's voiceover role in Picard was a surprising and very welcome gift, but I'm sure that's the last we've heard of the character (and even then it was an indirect reference). 

And yet, despite poor Walter Koenig getting less accumulated screen time or character development than the rest of the original series main actors, his character definitely leaves a lasting legacy in his universe, one that rivals those of even Kirk and Spock (as measured by the in-universe impact of those legacies). 

Nice work, Pavel. We'll probably never learn what you did, but you clearly made a difference to the people of your corner of the multiverse. 

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Sean's Birthday 2024

It's Sean's birthday! Here we are in Leaf Rapids. He's older now, and no longer wears jumpers. Happy Birthday, younger brother!  

Wednesday, April 03, 2024