Sunday, 5 February 2012

Gallery Update & Two P1 Demitri's

Hello Readers,
I've been immersed in the world of Minimates for a couple of weeks now as most of you are aware, my projects seem to be coming along quite nicely, i'm faced with the same dilemma as everyone in collecting ''Always wanting more than your wallet can afford'' As a result some of the projects are pending payments and it will only be a matter of time before they resume.

The Batcave is one of these projects, I've gone as far as I possibly could do with this and it's pending several bricklink orders to finish off the 3rd floor study, I'm pleased to update you all though and let you know the Elevator is successfully installed into the Batcave.

Those of you who read my posts on the Minimate Multiverse will also be aware that in January I began a poll for my next Building Project, and by a substantial 10 votes margin people voted that the Baxter Building will be my next project, the home of the Fantastic 4! ~ Thanks to everyone who voted and took part and gave their thoughts and opinions, it's great that so many of you showed an interest in my project.

I've started preliminary designs on this already again using LDD (Lego Digital Designer), the ground floor lobby area and dummy floors have already been worked out. If you would like to read more on this visit the Minimate Multiverse thread here:
The Baxter Building

I've also been continuing the recruitement process into my Minimate roster at an alarming rate, in the last 2-3 weeks alone i've bought or pre-ordered more than 40 minimates, adding to the 60 or so I have, the process means everytime a new order comes in, a short bio is copied and a gallery shot added, if you'd like to see my Gallery you can view it here:
Minimates Gallery

Finally, as I said i've had some orders come in, one of them a lot of 7 loose Street Fighter Minimates. I bid and won the lot, intentionally because I wanted the P1 Morrigan, Evil Ryu, Lilith & Akuma. I knew i'd have doubles of Demitri, both in P1 & P2 but I was cool with this. When the lot arrived I was really pleased with them, However I instantly noticed a substantial colour difference with the P1 Demitri I'd just received and the one I got earlier on in December.

I did discuss this on Minimate Multiverse and it appears the one I got in the lot recently was released in a TRU 4 pack, it would also appear the manufacturer decided to change the paint and colour process.

The two photographs show the P1 Demitri's. The one on the left is the later TRU 4 pack release with the one on the right being the original release. Noteable changes are:
The colour of his hair is Lighter Brown than the original.
The colour of his flesh is peachy as opposed to the original which is pale.
The colour of the inside of his cape and boots is cherry red as opposed to a more orangey red in the original.
The colour of his actual outfit is also a different shade of blue.

Finally, and this is the standout difference is that the head/face design appears to be printed in two different colours? His eyes and brows are blue whilst his facial features like the face lines and mouth are black.

At this stage it hasn't been determined why the paint and colour choices were altered, however taking into consideration Demitri is supposed to be a vampire and the fact the early release was much paler it suits his character to be that shade/colour, then why change it?

I am not really sure why, either way I personally think this is quite cool, i am unsure yet whether all TRU 4packs have a substantial colour difference, it would be quite a strange yet funny outcome if Demitri was the only single Minimate in the Street Fighter series to undergo this change.

Hope you enjoyed the update, as always feedback or comments are welcomed. You can also reach me on the Minimate Multiverse my member name is Urban_Saboteur or alternatively over at my screen name is Superiorraw.


Thursday, 2 February 2012

Marvel vs Capcom 3 Fate of Two Worlds Minimate Series 1 Review

First of all let me start by mentioning that I am ultra pleased DST have released this line, mostly because I think it is the best way forward for fans like myself to get their hands on fighting game characters in Minimate form, having learned the SFII Vs Darkstalkers was cancelled this is a good opportunity to increase the roster of Minimates that i have for Street Fighter. It is also great that we'll get other videogame characters from this series.

The eight characters available in Series 1 are:
Arthur, Dante, Deadpool, Dormammu, Iron Man, Morrigan, Phoenix & Trish.

The two packs are packaged very well, presented brilliantly and on the reverse of each pack is a short box biography about who it is that is inside. Ideal really if like me you've bought them as a fan of Marvel and Videogames but as yet to of played the actual MvsC3 game itself. I wont lie, my knowledge of the other characters is very limited, so with the help of wiki and the small biography my review hopefully will be fair but have some information for those wondering about buying them.

Iron Man & Arthur

Iron Man - Captured by a terrorist group in a war-torn region, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark, created a battle suit to help him escape. Afterwards, he improved the battle sit to become Iron Man, and has dedicated himself to protecting the peace since.

Arthur - A legendary knight who jumped into the demon world to save his princess, Arthur is best known for his dauntless courage in the face of terrifying monsters and life threatening traps. Though he looks likd an Old Man, he's really only 28 years old.

Both figures are of good quality and well painted, they come with detachable accessories, Iron Man has replacement 'flying' hand gauntlets , assuming for the repulsor blast pose or when he's flying, what is really disappointing though with Iron Man, is that his shoulder pad armor prevents you from putting his arms straight and above chest height, so his arms have to stay lowered down, its not really suitable if you're looking to pose him firing repulsor beams with a straight arm, the design in the armor at shoulders restricts his arm movement and considering there have been previous releases of this character i'd of thought whoever made this design might of taken Iron Man's poses into consideration, maybe the shoulder pieces could be clip on or made of softer plastic to allow this movement in future releases. Iron Man also comes with a Proton Cannon which I believe is something he uses in the videogame.

Arthur is great, as far as i know he's every bit the legendary knight it speaks about in his profile, he comes with a shield and axe as well as a knights Lance. Even though he's in knights armor he can pull off a variety of cool poses. What was discussed in the forums recently was that the clip to the shield should of been seperate, so that it allowed a rotation when attached to the wrist/hand, this is a small feature that again would of benefitted the figure in fight poses, it is also a feature that is on bigger Marvel Legends such as Taskmaster or Captain America, where the clip itself is seperate from the shield.

Phoenix & Morrigan

Phoenix - While returning from space, the mutant Jean Grey was exposed to lethal levels of Solar radiation. Her life was saved by the cosmic entity know as the Phoenix Force, but its power threatened to consume her, pushing her to commit evil deeds as the Dark Phoenix.

Morrigan - Morrigan is a succubus, a demonic winged creature able to seduce men, Although she is the head of the Aensland House, one of the three major houses of the demon world, she often abandons her dull duties to go looking for excitement.

These two are really nicely done, both of them accurately represent their characters laid out in their biographies. Like Iron Man and Arthur they are well painted and of good quality, Phoenix comes with a Phoenix Force base, with a small peg that allows you to pose her accurately. Morrigan aside from the wings attached to her back is essentially a repaint, the wings have changed slightly and her colour outfit altered, if you already have the P1 Morrigan there hasn't been much of an update to her.

Because both of these characters have been released earlier on, unless you're a big fan of the Marvel/Darkstalkers line you might want to pass on them, I didn't because having just got back into Minimates and knowing this Morrigan is an alternative to the P1 & P2 offered in the early releases of the previous line. Neither of these minimates have restrictions on posing like Iron Man does.

Dante & Deadpool

Dante - Half-Man and half-demon, Dante was born from the legendary devil knight Sparda and his human wife Eva. When he was still young, his mother was killed in a demon attack. To hunt down those responsible he became a Devil Hunter and opened the shop 'Devil May Cry'

Deadpool - To cure his terminal lung cancer, mercenary Wade Wilson attempted to obtain mutant powers artificially. However, the side effects of the procedure disfigured him and also caused psychological damage, resulting in unpredictable behaviour and nonsensical monologues.

Having looked at all 8 figures, i can say these two are my favourites from this series. Deadpool can be placed in a variety of different poses without restriction and upon opening the pack they come with a slew of weapons. Deadpool has two katana swords and pistols, Dante with a rebellion sword and two pistols. Deadpool is in his trademark red and black attire which most Marvel fans will be used to seeing him in and Dante in a long red trench coat.
This outing for Dante is his first release, and i have to say i'm impressed, whilst i've not played the videogame its a great introduction to his character, Marvel fans will be pleased with Deadpool, if you're not looking to shell out on an earlier release this version would definately quench your thirst for the mouthy mercenary!

Dormammu & Trish

Dormammu - Master of the Dark Dimension, the Dread Dormammu has crossed over to the real world in hopes of conquering it. Among his many abilities are matter transmutation, interdimensional teleportation, size and shape alteration, element control and telepathy.

Trish - Originally created by a demon in order to lure Dante into a trap. Trish worked side by side with him and fell victim to his charms, ultimately betraying the demon world. Now she works together with Dante as his business partner and wields lightning based powers.

These two characters are first releases, the first thing I will say and you can probably notice from the Photos i've provided is that the shoulder based armor on Dormammu is the same design, size and same material as the one with Iron Man, so if you're looking to pose him with his arms above his head (as in to spell cast or something) ~ forget it.
It's a shame because like Iron Man, some of Dormammu's abilities and thinking ahead to how he might be posed, the same problems and solutions for this figure are the same as Iron Mans. It doesn't detract at all from how he looks and how he's painted, because he looks great, but its something DST could do well to think about in future releases of minimates, particularly where posing and armor come into conflict. What I do love about this particular figure is the long coat is made of softer plastic, so it doesn't restrict leg movement despite being long. Dormammu comes with two flame fireballs to place on his hands.

Trish comes with a small hand pistol and Sparda sword, she is dressed and equipped for Demon Hunting, the sword has a small peg which attaches to the back of her head, a small cutout in her hair allows the sword to be pushed in so when viewed face on from the front it looks like she's got it strapped to her back, the only criticism here is that if she's got the sword in her hand, and the camera shot is taken from behind you'll see the hole in her hair/head. However because Trish has long hair, i'm not entirely sure what the alternative solution would be, in previous Minimate releases where this has been a feature, they've usually clipped it onto the back, (think hawkeye or deathstroke) this isn't an option for Trish because of her Long hair, whoever designed the figure clearly wanted this to be a feature for her and viewed from the front she looks great.

Despite one or two design niggles with Iron Man and Dormammu in this series, as a group, they really come through for me, theres an equal balance of Marvel and Capcom goodness and the characters and accessories allow you to bulk up your Minimate roster on both sides, in some cases it is a new beginning especially with the Capcom side, I personally hope this line does very well, because as I outlined from the beginning it has to do well so that further videogame characters can be made. I'm not in a position here to offer up any random scores out of 5 or out of 10 but if you are just in the process of debating whether to start collecting minimates you wont go far wrong in starting with this set, theres variety in the sense you have a mercenary, a legendary knight, two demon hunters, two classic marvel heroes with one destined to help world peace and the other almost consumed by a cosmic force, a demon succubus and a Master of the Dark Dimension, just putting those out there wets your appetite for story creativity without even playing the MvC videogame.

I bought my Series 1 from Big Bad Toy Store, my wait on shipping was due to it being an International Delivery. I'd recommend their website for purchase of this series as everything is correctly marked out for you and its a very efficient reliable site.

I hope you liked the pictures and review, I am hoping to do a follow up with Series 2 of this Line by DST.

Rich (Superiorraw)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Building the Batcave in Lego! *Update*

Hello Readers,
My last update was almost 1 week ago, there has been a legitimate reason for this, as i was waiting on the arrival of my Lego Power Functions pieces, and obviously as the end of the project draws closer the updates will be bigger but spread out and less frequent.

On with the pictures and goodness hey? Here as always is an updated list of what has changed since the last update of 19th of January, followed in sequence by the pictures to reflect those updates.
Added Features

*changed the design of the Grandfather clock, added pendulum and painted it gold.
*extended the wall piece and included a custom painted gold picture frame.
*assembled and installed the furniture for the Study Room, including personal computer & desk, bookcase, lamp & couch.
*added the 3rd floor exterior wall to the study.
*finished the left hand side of the exterior wall and replaced incorrect colour bricks to the 3rd floor.
*finished the back monitor display for the computer room.
*added the 1x2 Grey corner pieces into the Elevator Chamber. (this isn't so noticeable but is quite intergral to the support between the 2nd and 3rd floors).

Elevator Development!
It has taken the best part of 24 hours to work out the mechanics of the Elevator and despite many frustrations, with the help of some online friends i was able to assemble a working elevator, you can see this from the pictures links below.

Also i've uploaded a very short video showing the elevator working, some points of note:
This is a preliminary design, intended to work out the mechanics, the next step is to reduce the bricks and size and try and install it into the batcave.
The elevator car appears to stick at the base of the chamber, i'm intending to modify the holding chamber so the car slots in and moves alot more freely, i'll possibly use tile pieces so there isn't as much friction.

#Lego Elevator Video here>>

Looking ahead

I am pretty close now to a final model, with the exception of the tiles and plates needed to finish the study and furniture (replacement of correct coloured bricks) the exterior wall and windows to the study and the installation of the Batcave its pretty much finished.

My intentions to keep adding to the batcave would be to install a small driveway and rockery to cover the entrance, for the Batmobile, this will come at a much later date though so expect there to be a substantial gap between the main building development and the driveway.

I hope you liked this update, if you are a Youtube user please add my account and request my friendship, it's always great to have more creative friends to talk to and share projects with. Comments and feedback are always welcome.

In friendship
Rich (Superiorraw/Urban Saboteur)

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Bruce Wayne's Study Room

As some of you have been following my developments, I have extended the 3rd floor to include a study for Bruce Wayne, so that while working in his Study he gets a call and walks out onto the 3rd floor Balcony in front of the Grandfather Clock.

Today I spent some time figuring out the space i had on the 3rd floor, as well as working out the size of each furniture pieces and where they will go, I'd originally planned a bigger study but due to the space requirements some of my other ideas had to be culled. Never the less i think this layout works aces anyway and it will look great when it is installed.

Here are the WIP pictures, obviously the Grey you see for the bookcase and sofa will be swapped out with Brown.

I hope you like the update, Yesterday I put an order through for the Power Functions Pieces and when they arrive i'll begin major work on the lift and elevator chamber. This will be the most complex and challenging part to the whole of the Batcave, I have also recently modified the Grandfather clock and done significant work on the 3rd floor balcony, however I am having to wait on Paint Apps drying before I can take a full photograph.

They'll hopefully be some clearer shots of this in tomorrows update.


Monday, 16 January 2012

Batcave Update: Renovated 3rd Floor

I thought i'd post a new update today, to let you all in on what has happened with the development of the Batcave in the last 24 hours.
Added Features
*Added the Telephone to the 3rd floor, mounted on a hinge brick so when flipped back it reveals the switch/button to the Elevator/Secret Clock Door.
*Added a clothes prop/hangar to the Changing area so Bruce Wayne can change to Batman.
*Swapped out 1x2 brown bricks on the base of the secret door/grandfather clock, replaced with a 1x6 brown brick to make the base stronger.
*Due to an unforeseen problem with the 3rd floor baseplate, an 8x11 plate I ordered wasn't taking so well to the 2nd floor support beams, i've swapped this out with the original plates i'd intended to use for the study, as a result the 3rd floor is now more secure, the entire plates for the 3rd floor were reconfigured.
*finished off the Elevator outer walls and main facade of the building, added the spire at the top.
*due to the swap around of plates on the 3rd floor balcony, the facade to the left of the clock has been extended by about 3 studs to cover the corner.

Here are the updated pictures.

As always to see this development in it's entirety it's best viewed on the project folder at here: 

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Rebuilding the c3 Batcave in Lego # Update

Hey Readers,
I really got stuck into the project yesterday, I started by tackling the most highlighted issues with the preliminary design, unfortunately due to the light restrictions and how poor the pictures turn out after nightfall I wasn't able to update this blog until today. The good news though is that today I can take you through the improvements picture by picture and the pictures will be nice and clear so you can see everything.

The first thing I changed was resizing the supporting archway struts on the 2nd floor, this is so that there is more clearance for Bruce to stand underneath the arch, this was miscalculated by me as in the c3 version the studs are x7 in height not x6 as what i done on the preliminary build.

Next I set to work on the Grandfather clock, removing the middle pieces and redesigning the hinges so that the door opens and closes as it should. I probably did have the right idea with the brick clips initially but i just didn't have them sorted in the correct order or aligned properly so they could move. I'll have to order another small amount of brown bricks from Bricklink to replace the grey and black you see in the photo.
In my next task I swapped out the bricks from the 2nd floor stairs to replace it with a standalone prebuilt stair piece in black, this pretty much takes him down to the supporting strut and i finished off the staircase with a small walkway step leading into the control room. The stairs still aren't finished, i'd like to add some more detail to them yet and its not a certainty they will stay like this. I just thought this would be a better more sturdy solution in the mean time.
The real big development from yesterdays build is the computer control room with consoles. I've completely gutted this room, i've rotated the original layout so that the entrance pillars are now either side of the stairs, when Batman comes down the stairs he'll be facing the control room straight away.
Next i redesigned all the consoles. I prefer this look to the original, the mismatched blue, black and two tone grey was awful, but it was only ever going to be a temp anyway. I've added more decorated technical tiles and computer screens as well as tiled the computer room floor and added a plug socket to the main monitor & server.
The final addition was something i created myself, a mounted two screen comp display over hanging the room. This is used to display various txt files and programs while Batman can be briefed on the main console screen.

This final picture shows the Batcave when you rotate the board, you can see the main archway and this is where the Batmobile will go. Obviously I don't know yet how big the Batmobile is, if i'm going to have an encased driveway for the batmobile my thinking is that i'll need a 2nd baseboard to achieve it. I guess the plan is to finish this bit off first but it's good i have some room there to develop it if need be.

I hope you liked all the pictures, comments, ideas and suggestions are encouraged. As always if you'd prefer to see the larger shots on flickr the Batcave project folder is here:


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Batcave ~ Work In Progress Pictures

So I thought i'd update this project as I got significant build time in this afternoon, first things first I apologize for the use of flash in the pictures, it got really late on here and the lighting in the house is incredibly poor, the pictures wouldn't of been worth showing if i'd not used flash. At least you get to see where i'm up to though :-)
The first thing I want to change is the foundation stud size, currently x6 in height they are too small and Bruce would have to duck to walk through them, I suspect this is a c3 brick to lego conversion thing, I probably miscounted how high the original pillars were, it's not a big deal as its really easily rectified.

*Note* if you see any mismatched colour bricks, corner pieces or plates these will be changed to a better colour at a later date, sometimes i've not had the exact grey so i've picked the closest colour, rest assured they'll be replaced in the final version.

I've reversed the control room so the monitor is facing the 2nd floor as opposed to the original. There probably will be a second baseboard accompanying this so when that is added it might very well be reversed back to the original position.
The Staircase you see is incredibly basic and yes I will be changing it. As noted in the first LDD shots, they were designed this way to get by some of the building restrictions for the software.

There isn't much to change, maybe some of the slopes will be redesigned in the final version, i'd like to swap out some of the colours and as above it maybe reverted to its original configuration.
Ok first error here is that i didn't anticipate the clock door not opening (ha) but i'll figure that out quickly enough, I also want to redesign the clock too, its a little too basic and i'm sure with some experimenting with the bricks i can get a more accurate grandfather clock/door.
I might re-use the method I used for an opening container door on my shipping container build, or go for something entirely different.

There isn't really much to change out here, i'm happy with how this part looks, the only missing pieces are the 1x3 bricks in blue that i'm still waiting on, here would be a good point to check the left side balcony over the stairs, this is where i intend to extend the 3rd floor to include Bruce's study.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the photographs of the Work In Progress model. I'm pretty satisfied that from this point onwards i'll be able to recreate a fully functional Batcave i'll just keep chipping away at the tasks and things I want to change.

As always when I have a significant update on this model project i'll post up pictures and plans.