Monday, June 27, 2016

Minecraft Series 6 End Stone Codes

I have yet to find them all. Heck I didn't expect another series out so quickly after the first. But I grabbed two of the boxes bc the others were partially or fully opened so I couldn't guarantee the right codes, and that's the whole point! This is going to be a post in progress until I can fill them all in. Feel free to post in comments if you know the codes and what they are. =)

Minecraft Series 6: End Stone Codes

C- Steve with shield (awesome orange and green creeper face paint scheme)
K- Nether Portal Pigman* only in one packs

*only in one packs

The options are magma cubes (3 stack), laser-firing guardian*, Alex with shield, blacksmith villager*, baby horse*, Steve with shield, pig in minecraft, spectral damage zombie, shulker, potion-drinking witch, exploding creeper.

Monday, June 20, 2016

US GI Steel Pot Helmet - A Retrospective

I've always like the old M1 steel helmet. I've had several in my lifetime. It was already being replaced by the PASGT kevlar 'fritz' helmet when I was a little boy (which has, itself, also been replaced), though it was still the face of the US land forces in movies and TV long after it was gone in reality. While intellectually I know that the Kevlar successors are superior ballistic protection, the M1 has always given me a satisfaction in wearing it that is hard to explain.

The example shown here is actually my third. The first was a Korean war era, rough textured shell that my dad had in the garage, which he was (precariously) using to store reloadable brass cases. I asked him if I could have it, and he looked at me funny and asked why. When I told him because the neighborhood boys and I could use it to play war, he laughed, moved his stuff out and let me. Ah, the '80s! Needless to say, a 9 year old with an uncovered, unlined, adult size steel helmet took more dings from the headgear than anything it could have protected him from. Sadly, this little piece of my childhood was lost in our first big move when I was 11.

My grief was short lived however, as a few years later, I replaced it for the princely sum of $5 at the local Goodwill store. Said currency scored me a Vietnam era successor, this time with a smooth, reflective, darker painted finish. This was my first helmet to have a liner, and boy did I realize what I had been missing. Without the suspension of course, any impact to the helmet's surface is transmitted directly to the wearer's noggin, but I didn't know that as a kid. As I was growing out of 'war' playing in the yard at this point, I didn't really use that one much. I think I traded it away for a jacket or folding knife, neither of which would have lasted very long.

The pictured helmet was bought shortly after my marriage, from some surplus catalog or another. The price was right, about $10 after shipping, and including the liner, suspension, and cover. I was a little miffed when it arrived and the cover proved to have a big fluffy edged tear at the top. This was the days before online reviews for anything except Ebay. Still, it's a good piece, dating from just before the transition to the PASGT system, and like you would expect from the late '70s US army, is well maintained, clean, and in good shape. it has the old fashioned hook and bead chin strap, which is anachronistic on a helmet of its generation, but I'm not a stickler. Of anything. At all.

The reason I dug this out and am waxing poetic about it is that I recently went on a bit of an arms and armor kick. I know, you are going to have a heart attack and die of not surprise, right? Still, for once in my life, instead of deciding I needed a new 'thing,' and go looking for some overpriced replica of medieval nonsense, I went to my garage and got out the real steel. I actually priced these a bit online, and was shocked to see that a decent, usable, steel helm set up the way mine is has gone up considerably since I last bought one. Getting just a cover to replace the torn example you see would cost more after shipping than I paid for the entire set I have now. I will likely still do that, since mine is a bit shredded, but  it does make me feel a little happy to have found this old friend.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Making My Shield - The Easy Way

For once, I am not doing something from scratch, and in the most difficult manner possible. Though I certainly considered it. These round pre-made coffee table tops have been kicking around the hardware store I shop at for years, and practically every time I'm there, I look at them and say "I should really get one of those for a shield." But then I back off because they are like $14, and I need more projects like I need more holes in my head.

Then one fine day, I was there with my wife, and almost all of them were gone, except for the one you see in the photo above, and it was marked down to like $3 on clearance. Even I can live with that kind of discount, ladies and gentlemen. So I brought it home and it sat in my garage for about a year (conservative estimate). I simply couldn't decide how I wanted to assemble and paint it.

Now I know.

More to come.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Cool Stuff My Daughter Made - Fathers Day Edition

Seems like only the other people in my family are doing interesting stuff. I guess that's not fair, my job involves a good deal of me doing cool stuff (while armored, I might add!), but I can't really post about that. The point holds, however, I have not been very active hobby wise. I do have a few projects shaping at the moment, so not to fear, good readers.

My daughter has been toiling secretly in her room the past few days. I figured it was making doll clothes (to be fair, that's usually what it is when she runs her sewing machine). But today, when I came in from mowing the lawn, she had this wrapped in a little paper bundle on my keyboard.

She made a tri-force!

We've already established how my wife is pretty awesome, this is just the reminder to all that my daughter is too!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Cool Stuff My Wife Made - Magnetic Privacy Curtains

Hey all, Counterfett here. So I'm still busy learning the ropes at my new job, so I've been too busy to do much post worthy. Fortunately, it looks like Mrs. Fett has been doing some cool stuff while I've been away. On that note, I took these pictures a while ago when she made new curtains for our back doors.

Honestly, I would rather just get security doors without windows in them (why you would want a door that is so easily penetrated is beyond me), but this at least increases the cooling efficiency of our house as much as possible, without any home renovations. I basically just forgot to post this when she did it.

She sewed magnets into them, since the door is metallic, and that holds them in place, using a minimum of materials. They also don't get snagged on anything, since they don't swing around when the door is opened or closed. I'm not a big interior design kind of guy, but I thought these were really slick.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Custom Amiibo Animal Crossing Villager- TOM FAWKES edition

Be aware that I am writing as I am doing it, and the tenses may change as this is a work in progress, but until I send it because it is a surprise I will not be posting my journey. So bear with me, ok?

I am making a custom Animal Crossing Amiibo, the villager. This is my first custom so I am, in fact, making it for a gift for one of my favorite Youtube/twitch personalities. His name is TOM Fawkes, and one of his identifiers that he uses (or props rather) is known as Balloonicorn. I figured this was simple enough to do, he may appreciate it, and I get practice for my future custom- Villager with bear hat (the one I always play as: complete with flame shirt or the like, red shoes, bear hat, and I'll be making a new leaf symbol of him to hold).

So I got a villager and to start I took off the plastic casing. I soaked off the cardboard after I peeled what I could. In the picture you can see I removed the photo from both sides, and set it aside. I wanted to remove the glued paper section that was still on the plastic case. I soaked with water and used my fingers to remove as much paper as possible. HINT: using hot water will help remove more of the glue making it overall easier to get a clean look. I then used cotton swabs in a bit of acetone to remove what was left over as well as a bit of elbow grease. That ink gets good and stuck! But be careful because too much acetone will dissolve the plastic and you will be left with no casing. In my case, I did one side with rubbing then washed with water, then moved onto the next side. It's like rinse, lather, and repeat!

The paper cardstock and clear case part:

I then worked with a paint program to create the duel sided card for the display. I can glue the case when completed, but I will not because TOM may want to display it with his one-of-a-kind amiibo. I put them both on a single page, printed landscape, on 8 x 10 setting, and made sure that the picture was not fit to screen. Worked to the right scale and everything. Perfect fit. Glued down.

Tom Fawkes:

Balloonicorn backing:

Onto assembly, or disassembly as it were. I pried open the gold from black part of the amiibo. It is kinda glued, so use patience. I didn't but it didn't matter as I was only interested in keeping the black case and the chip. I will be creating a custom top portion soon.

The villager's foot is actually molded onto the golden smash portion of the amiibo, making it a challenge to remove. I got half of it off no problem, until of course I yanked too hard and the leg popped off. No problem, glue to the rescue. Especially, since most customs I've seen have either been recast, strictly painted, or altered using glue. So I figure I'm safe there. It was at that point I realized that no amount of tugging will cleanly remove that foot from the stand. The clear supports ripped off the color, no sweat I'm repainting anyway. But still, why does it even need that part? Really Nintendo? But I digress.

Front view unaltered:
 Rear view unaltered:
  The chip inside (white), black case, and golden bottom part: See where it broke- that's where I pried it:
 Taken apart:
 Remolded: See the left hand brought up, and right arm brought down- he may end up holding something...
 Fixing the leg with a bit of glue:
Stands fine all on its own:

Painting it with Tom's favorite color, balloonicorn symbol, and other accessories.

Face painted a lighter shade- toasted marshmallow and sunkissed peach.
Shirt changed to orange and shoes to coordinate as well as khaki pants!

Face features on and icon painted onto shirt.

Testing on stand so I can make board the right size.

Put on accessories, glued wii fit board after painting on the grey on the white clay, and attach the figure to the custom base.

I also made a bit to cover the amiibo bottom paper part with some left over foil stock from my massive scrapbooking collection. Really makes a punch and gives it a much more lux and custom look.

Finalized box form Tom:
 Here is a shot of the orange strip I cut and glued. Looks way better in person:
 Finalized Balloonicorn box form:

See how I kept it separate so that he can display as he chooses. The orange works with grey but much better with the orange TOM face.

Update 5-29-2016: I sent it already in March of this year and he said he likes it. A success in my book!
Here is the final TOM form- complete with custom interchangeable shades of yellow and blue.

Minecraft ICE Series 5 Codes and Pictures

I was near a TRU and stopped in to see that they have the Minecraft minis series 5 called "Ice." So I grabbed one of each letter to figure out that I had one of each and can then post codes. I have not seen these out yet anywhere, so that I liked. I hate buying mystery figures- it really does piss me off. I don't know why they continue to do so when inventory can be easily done now that there is no need for mystery figures. But I do love that the Minecraft series at least have codes so you can know which ones you are getting and not buying unnecessary repeats. I say that cause I will be getting more of the ones I want!

Pics will follow soon but for now here are the codes and matching descriptions.

A- Spawning Zombie Pigman

B- Attacking Ghast

C- Steve in mismatched armor

D- Iron Golem with flower

E- Killer Rabbit

F- Alex in boat

G- Chicken Zombie

H- Teleporting Enderman

I- Donkey with chests

J- Siamese Cat

K- Wolf with bone

L- Skeleton in flames 

I wanted to post these asap so that if you find them you can know which to get. Enjoy your hunting down and playing of Minecraft Ice Series 5 minis!