Thor! New Metal Earth Legends Model

Thor! New Metal Earth Legends Model

Hello again friends!

Look what just came in the mail this week! Another Metal Earth model to try (because at this point with two Dinos down I’m basically a pro right?). Speaking of I know I am supposed to post the triceratops next but I couldn’t resist building this one right away. Don’t worry though, the triceratops is finished, I just haven’t gotten around to putting the pictures with words and writing the article yet. I do see the irony in that is exactly what I’m doing right now but let’s just forget about all of that for today. The crown prince of Asgard waits for no one!

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Just kidding he is going to patiently wait to be assembled

       I’m going to be honest, when I first brought the model out of the box, I was thinking to myself that compared to my last two this was going to be a breeze. The pieces are all big, and there aren’t that many of them, so I figured I would be able to knock him out in 30 minutes or so. 30 minutes later, I had built a very sleek and shiny looking arm and torso. The pieces came together nicely, and the instructions were clear, which was nice, however there were WAY more contact points than I had encountered on the dinosaurs. I would say for these pieces there were an average of 6 parts that needed to be connected, when on most of the dinosaur pieces there were about 2. Luckily, they were cut well and folded well so although they had to be lined up precisely to get all the contacts to fit, I never had any problem getting them to come together.

One of the reasons this was so easy was because of the way the metal is colored. It’s subtle, but makes it so much easier to identify which pieces go where and how they line up properly. That was probably my biggest concern after doing the previous non-colored models, that the pigments on the Legends models would make them look too much like a toy. But the more that I worked with them the more that I appreciated that you could definitely still tell that they were made out of metal and not out of plastic.

        Out of the entire build, the only part that really gave me any trouble was the head itself. I had a hard time securing the wings of the helm to the right point on the face, especially because once they were on, it became increasingly difficult to maneuver the head to secure it to the neck section. At one point I knocked one of the wings off and was then faced with the fun task of undoing all of the pieces I had put together so that I could get it back on. Normally this would just be inconvenient, but with the way that the Metal Earth models are constructed, you only have two or three mistakes that you can make before the piece itself is going to break and you are going to be reaching for the superglue. Thankfully, that didn’t happen to me this time, but I could easily see a couple places that it could have, and probably would have if this had been my first build.

I’m thankful the wings are there though because without them it looks like he is wearing a pot on his head

        Once the head was on, the rest was smooth sailing. The finished product is sleek and fun to look at. I have other Avengers lined up for the near future as well. One word of caution for any parents that are looking at this and thinking they are a good idea for a small child: you are probably going to have to build it for them. I would agree with the 14+ age recommendation on the box. But it’s fun to build models together anyways so maybe this could be a good bonding experience. As for myself, Thor now stands guard with the friendly neighborhood Dinos.

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See, I told you I finished the Triceratops

If you want to try out your own Thor or one of the other Avengers you can find them at www.metalearth.com. Please feel free to share your creations as well!

-CDL

Introducing Our New Pet, Holly the Hedgehog!

Introducing Our New Pet, Holly the Hedgehog!

Happy Tuesday friends!

The GGR family officially has a new mascot; our new Pinto hedgehog Holly. She is 3 months old, and is way more fun than I would have imagined a tiny little bush-bacon could be. I decided to get her as a kind of pick me up after Harvey and so far that has been a complete success, both for myself and for Amy. I am used to having very labor/attention intensive pets, whether it is the dogs or the various aquariums I have had over the last 5 years. My only frame of reference for a hedgehog was the blue and incredibly fast kind created by Sega, and a girl I dated in high school who had one, but she let it wander around her house all the time so we could rarely find it. So we set off on this new pet adventure shortly after Thanksgiving not really knowing what to expect.

We should have expected a lot of cuteness

        We found a breeder in north Houston and did our research. Did you know that hedgehogs are actual pigs? Tiny little pricklepigs. I always thought they were rodents. We bought her a 2 story habitat, with the top part housing her bed, food and water, and the bottom part full of wood shavings that she can crawl around in.

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It’s an easy way to keep her from getting shavings or droppings in her food and water while still being able to have the ability to burrow and scrounge around like she would in the wild. So far I would say she spends about 60% of her time down in the bottom either running on her wheel (she freaking loves that thing) or looking for the dried meal worms we hide down there for her to find.

Example, she loves finding those worms. They are like hedgehog crack.

        We also have a heater down there for her, which she likes to sleep next to when it is cold, however as it warms up she is spending more and more time up in her dino bed. Speaking of, I’m sure you already know by now but I love dinosaurs, and the fact that I found a small mammal bed designed to look like a dinosaur (or an alligator if you wanna go that way, but don’t, because why would you do that?)

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If they made one big enough this would be my new bed

        The one thing I wasn’t prepared for though, after all of our research and reading, was how much personality and expression Holly would have. I have grown up my whole life with dogs, so the idea of an expressive pet is something you would think I would be used to. The tail wagging, the barking, the yipping, even how they walk means you can tell at any given moment how your dog is feeling. With a hedgehog, I assumed all of that would be out the window and I would have to just do my best to figure out what she was feeling in a given time. Looking back now this is almost laughable. There is the obvious, if she is really pissed off she will ball up and point her spines at you (another fun fact I learned YESTERDAY is that hedgehogs have spines, not quills). So that is a pretty blatant fuck off. When she is happy, she will have her spines down and will be visibly relaxed, and that is where the cuteness factor is cranked up to 11. But there are so many variations in between. She will hiss when she is annoyed. She will pull down her face spines and give you the most pissed off grumpy face imaginable. When she is completely content, especially if you are feeding her, she will almost visibly smile. She can be playful and she can be mischievous.

Overall, we got her as a fun little project to help pick us up after the hurricane, but she has quickly endeared herself to everyone in our family. Pretty much the first thing that people ask when they come over these days are “can we see Holly?” She is quickly becoming the most popular member of our family, which is saying something considering how popular Amy is. No jealousy yet though. Side note- guys and gals, if you are single and looking for a way to meet people, get a hedgehog. I have never picked up more interest online or in person that when people see a cute hedgehog face poking out of your pocket, and this is coming from someone who was going through my early 20’s with a golden retriever puppy. My Instagram followers basically doubled the first time I tagged her in a post. I also realize how millennial and attention whorish that sentence just sounded and kind of hate myself right now but facts are facts. Holly’s got that star power.

That’s all I have for today, I’m sure there will be plenty of pictures of her popping up around here as time goes on. We also have our Instagram and Twitter scrollers as sidebars on here. Thanks for reading, next up we are going to have our first bullet journal progress update. I’ve gotten a ton of good feedback on that post and am looking forward to showing how that is impacting our lives. Have a great west of the week my geeks!

-CDL

Uh, The Head Just Fell Off… (My First Metal Earth Dino Experience)

Uh, The Head Just Fell Off… (My First Metal Earth Dino Experience)

Hello again friends,

Sorry it has been a bit longer than I had intended since the last update, I have been hit by the flu that is kicking butt around the country and have been laid up since Sunday trying to get over it. Good news though, it looks like I am on the mend and will be back to work/normal functionality tomorrow. Other good news, before I was consumed by the plague, I was able to completely finish the first of my 4 new Metal Earth dinosaur models: the Stegosaurus. If you remember this is the one I mentioned was driving me crazy when I did the bullet journal post (I have an update on that coming in the near future as well).

Before I go any further, please if you are reading this and you are one of those people who makes models all the time and have totally made better ones because the Metal Earth ones are so easy and bla bla bla, cool. I hear you. I do not have a ton of experience building these and there was definitely a learning curve involved and if hearing about my struggles is going to annoy you then please just skip this one. BUT if you feel like sharing some of your own experiences or any helpful advice in the comments please feel free, or if you have any pictures of your newest endeavor please drop them in the comments, I would appreciate seeing what some of the more skilled geeks are doing out there. Especially if you have made any of the Star Wars sets, because those look absolutely sick.

Now I guess it’s time to get back to my experience. When I talked about it last, I mentioned how much trouble I was having putting the model together because I could not get some of the tabs to big properly, regardless of what tool I tried to use. I actually went so far as to buy a $40 set of model building tools (Amy was not thrilled, but really I needed better model tools for my Warhammer figurines anyways so I’m going to go ahead and say they were not bought just for the dinos). Well, spoiler alert, I was having trouble with the small interior tabs because I had (stupidly) skimmed over a critical part of the directions and did not realize that those specific tabs I was struggling with were meant to be twisted instead of bent. This was something that took Amy all of 3 minutes to discover when she heard about my struggle and will now be my great shame for the rest of my model building career. Once I got that sorted, things kind of moved in fits and spurts. Some times things would be very intuitive and we would be making steady progress, only to hit some snag or find one piece that would just not work like it was supposed to in the instructions. But before I get into that I guess I should start at the beginning.

20180109_190311This is my Metal Earth laser cut 3d modelling kit

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These are the very tiny and breakable pieces of said modeling kit. Emphasis on breakable.

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This is a sample of the instructions that come to help you build your Stegosaurus. These are the fine line between your model looking like a sexy, sleek, shiny, metal dino or a mutated primordial monster. Read them. Love them.

        Look at all of those shiny, straight, thin, delicate pieces just waiting do be made into something beautiful. Fun fact, although you can use scissors to remove them from the frame, the instructions recommend that you carefully bend them back and forth until the little holder pieces snap so you don’t get weird hanging edges that look ugly. Also fun fact, they aren’t kidding when they say carefully, and if you don’t bend in exactly the right place it will be the actual body part that snaps, not the holder piece. It took Amy and I about 3 pieces to realize this error. But hey that’s what superglue is for right? It took about 45 minutes to get all of the pieces out of the frame and ready to be put together into our masterpiece. The pieces range in size from “wow that’s small” to “holy hell how am I supposed to pick this up it’s too small”. They are also surprisingly detailed and fun to look at.

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Example of “wow that’s small” pieces next to their friends “holy hell how am I supposed to pick that up it’s too small”. Tweezers in the background for size reference.

        Once you get the pieces out (provided that you read the instructions properly) putting them together isn’t that hard in the early stages. As long as you have places to grip with your tweezers, and a decent amount of patience it all comes together pretty well. The instructions are clear, and as the parts start coming together they look really cool.

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Cool

        There was one small problem with the instructions though, and unfortunately I forgot to take a picture for reference. But if you look at the photo above, you can see those neck bones that are bent away from the head about 30 degrees back towards the ribs. That is how the model looks in the pictures on the cover. That is how real stegosaurus neck bones are shaped according to all of the pictures I found online. The instructions however, say to bend the neck bones 30 degrees forwards towards the head. Now I would normally say to defer to the instructions, but… the picture on the front of the box, and all of the pictures on the website clearly show them bent the other direction. So this hung Amy and I up for awhile as we went back and forth on which one we thought was right, in the end we went for the bones bent back towards the ribs because it looked better. If I made the wrong call here then I’m sorry model, for turning you into a derposaurus. But I blame bad info. That was the only issue with the instructions though, other than that they were quite clear and easy to use as a guide. This got us through the next 2 hours or so, up until we were nearing about 80% completion on the entire thing. The pieces were easy to bend, fairly easy to work with, and we started to feel some real confidence building. Unfortunately, shortly after this point, right when things started looking really good, we started hitting some real snags.

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This shiny calm before the storm…

        If you look at that last picture, you may notice that as more pieces start getting added the places that you can grip and grab a section start to shrink. This becomes a real issue when it comes time to do things like put two big sections together. Not only that, but once you can actually get them to fit together properly, in order to bend the little tabs you have to put some torque on the frame itself which was then leading to bending in other places that bending should not have been occurring. I am sure this is just where experience with this type of model comes into play, but because this was our first one we were having absolute fits for the last 45 minutes of build time. These issues also meant that the further out a piece was from the center, the less secure it was overall. We would be working on one leg, trying to maneuver it into place and delicately grab a tab, only for the one we had just secured to fall off, which would then lead to some of the most beautiful and creative cursing I have heard come out of Amy’s mouth in quite some time. It all came to a head in the final dramatic moment, when we had finally completed the model and sat back to bask in our awesomesness, only to have the head fall off and clatter to the floor. We put it back on only to have a piece of leg fall off. Call us cheaters but it eventually because so frustrating that we just said “screw it gimme the superglue” and now our Stegosaurus is SECURE. Seriously I am pretty sure he could take a bomb impact at this point. So the job got done but I kind of got that feeling like when you would beat a  a difficult game but had to use a cheat code to get the job done.

Overall, I would say that the finished product was definitely worth the pain it was to build. I love dinosaurs, and I love having a metal model of one on my desk at work. It was a fun new experience, and I am certainly going to build the other 3 in the coming weeks. I think now that I have learned from some mistakes on this one the others should come together easier right? I would certainly recommend these to anyone who is a dinosaur or model enthusiast, although I would make sure that you have some very good tools for picking up and maneuvering small things. Also patience is critical. Maybe have some whiskey on hand. That’s something I am DEFINITELY going to have at the ready for the next one (which is saying something because I am pretty sure I am building that one at work), a few pieces every day. I’ll be sure to post the pictures of the others as they come together, and again if anyone reading this has experience in these or any other cool models that you want to show off please feel free to do so in the comments. Monday I will have another post up about the new hedgehog and towards the end of next week I will update progress on the bullet journal. Have a good weekend all!

The finished product. Be amazed… or at least mildly amused.

-CDL

 

Happy 2018 From GeekGoneRogue!

Happy 2018 From GeekGoneRogue!

Hello again friends!

It’s been awhile since I have posted anything new. Truth be told as much as I want to I am not even sure that I have much to say right now. 2017 has been a bitch to people the world over, and I have certainly been no exception. For those that don’t know my wife and I live in Houston and unfortunately were victims in the Harvey floods. Our house flooded and we have relocated with relatives for the time being. Slightly before that, GeekGoneRogue.com was a victim of a hack and much of the material that we had put together in 2017 was lost. Such to say, between these two things I have not had much of a desire to write anything new lately, and if I am being completely honest I was slacking a bit prior to these events anyways. But, they sound like pretty good excuses so we are gonna ride with that.

So here’s to a better 2018! It can only go up from here right? I know today is technically the 2nd, but I give myself at least a week to really hone in my plans and resolutions for the upcoming year. This year I want to write more. I say that every year, and every year I do a little better but I have not been able to see it through to the end. I don’t think that’s going to happen this time. That’s not to say I will post every day, or even that I won’t have a lapse or two here or there, but I don’t think I am going to stop. I have made quite a few changes personally in the last 4 months and so far they have all stuck. So that’s it going forward. Keep up with the blog, and finish the book. Losing more weight would probably be resolution number 3. Since August I have been able to drop 35 lbs, and I have hopes for another 35 in the upcoming year. This is the one resolution that I think is going to be the easiest of the three, mostly because I have been able to really start to enjoy running and working out. They have become an important part of my daily routine and because of that it no longer actually feels so much like work to exercise. I never would have believed it 6 months ago. As a matter of fact, I used to fucking hate when people I knew that had worked out their whole lives used to tell me how easy or enjoyable exercising was. Surprise, surprise: they were at least partially right. I can still name about a dozen things that are technically more fun to do on a daily basis, but when combined with how good it feels to lose weight, and how well I sleep at night, I’ve officially been won over to team exercise. Time to get the t-shirt (Large this time instead of XL).

That’s all I have for you tonight. Starting tomorrow I will be back in full geek form, talking about a couple of games that really stuck out to me last year, as well as how happily surprised I was to pick up Doom this weekend as part of the winter steam sale. I played through the campaign in what felt like 12 hours straight and had a blast doing it. We will also look forward at some of the games and movies coming out this year that I can’t wait to play, and all the other normal GGR stuff. In the meantime, I hope everyone else is having a smooth start to the new year. I appreciate the readers who keep up with this blog, I promise it will be better this year!

-CDL

It’s Coming! FFXII PS4 Remaster in 2017

        You may remember a couple of months ago we wrote an article maligning the fact that of all the Final Fantasy games most deserving a PS4 remake, FFXII should be at the top of the list. Well obviously Square Enix has been following our channel because lo and behold, they just announced FFXII the Zodiac Age, a PS4 remaster set to launch in 2017. Oh yes ladies and gents, not only are they going to be giving us a shiny new FFXII with all of the standard PS4 graphicy goodness; they are going to be releasing it as the International version with an all new remastered score. Can I get a hell yes?!? Check out the full new launch trailer here, I must say, it looks preeeeeeeeeeeeeety sexy.

-CDL

Racism Spoils Dreamhack Hearthstone Tournament, Blizzard NOT Happy

        First off, let’s start things off with how last weekends Dreamhack event should have ended, with a huge fucking congratulations to Terrance Miller for going toe to toe with Keaton “Chakki” Gill and finishing a respectable 2nd place in the tournament. Why are we here congratulating the runner up instead of writing about the tournament champion? Because of the torrential storm of bullshit that was being played out on the screens during the live Twitch stream. It was a fucking disgrace. If you follow gaming or the Twitch streaming community in general, you probably can already assume what was taking place. For those of you who aren’t familiar with these things, or with the dregs of the internet in general, the stream was filled with racist comments, rhetoric, and pictures that were so distracting it was hard to watch the tournament in itself. Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know (I didn’t mention it because it shouldn’t matter) but Terrance is black. He is also a good Hearthstone player. He is also a classy dude, attempting to focus on the positive and brush off as best he can what happened during his match. Luckily enough, he couldn’t see the comments while he was playing, instead noticing them after when he watched his performance. Instead of being able to soak in the moment and watch what would have been the performance of his career, instead he was distracted watching the vitriol that was being spewed forth by anonymous douchebags watching from home.

         

Sorry bud

        He and his family weren’t the only ones who noticed, Blizzard was also reading all of the comments that were showing up during the live feed and they were NOT happy about it. Obviously Twitch did have moderators in place to attempt to stem the flow, but not only were there too few, but there were actually some who were adding to the chaos by counteracting preventative measures that were being taken by some of the top Twitch Mods. The fact is it was way too little and way too late. When asked about it afterwards, Twitch has mostly avoided commenting, simply citing their anti-discrimination terms of use statement. Blizzard on the other hand, has taken a much more vocal approach. When contacted by Polygon for comment, President Mike Morhaime said, “We’re extremely disappointed by the hateful, offensive language used by some of the online viewers during the DreamHack Austin event the weekend before last, one of our company values is ‘Play Nice; Play Fair;’ we feel there’s no place for racism, sexism, harassment, or other discriminatory behavior, in or outside of the gaming community.” They have since spearheaded an effort to work with Twitch, Dreamhack, other event planners, and even players to prevent something like this from happening at events going forward. It’s nice to see that they are going to be taking steps going forward, but it does beg the question what the shit took this long? Like this isn’t a new phenomenon, this is a problem that Twitch has been having pretty much since it’s creation, so why haven’t we already been doing this? Still, better late than never I guess. Until then hopefully players like Terrance can just keep taking the high road and keep kicking ass, and I will keep respecting them for it.

-CDL

We Made Dark Souls Into A Drinking Game… It Did Not Go Well

Two of our Dark Souls noobs wanted to see what all the hype for Dark Souls 3 was about, but were worried it was going to be too hard to play. So we decided to turn it into a drinking game to ease some of the tension. Below is part 1 of the result, it wasn’t pretty. Part 2 to follow soon!

Rules were as follows:

Use an Estus Flask- Take a Drink

You Died Screen- Take a Shot

Sit at a Bonfire- Take a Drink

Beat a Boss- Take a shot (Cory Takes 2 Shots due to being a Dark Souls Veteran)

Fall to Your Death- Shotgun a Beer

Here is the link to the video, hope you enjoy!

-CDL

Geek Gone Rogue

 

Does a blog need an introduction? My mind is telling me yes, however I know that if I was a reader and somehow stumbled onto a blog and the only post was an introduction that would probably annoy me on some level. Then again who exactly am I going to annoy? This is a new blog with no content and no readers so I can write whatever I want. This is what real freedom feels like. I’m not exactly sure why I’m doing this. The idea took root in my mind and would not go away, so this will basically be a way to scratch that itch and pretend that I am a real writer until someone tells me differently. And then probably still because I am nothing if not stubborn. I will write about things that interest me, mostly gaming, sports, fiction of all kinds, and whatever else draws my eye on a given day. I hope that this will improve my writing as well as give me an outlet for various musings. My wife and dogs will approve. So I guess that’s it. I hope at some point someone will read this and get something out of it. Welcome to Geek Gone Rogue.