Monday, December 31, 2012

Aquazone Breakfast News: 133

I'm posting one last comic for 2012 to compensate for my lack of a comic while out of town last Friday. Expect to see another one up this coming Friday.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Aquazone Breakfast News: 132

And that's a wrap for Advent--though not for this storyline. The regular Friday post will continue this tale, though it might not be up on Friday. After posting daily through Advent, I'm willing to let it slide a couple days if we're not back from the in-laws' until the weekend. Merry Christmas to all (and to all a good night)!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Aquazone Breakfast News: 130

Just to be clear, the Battledroid is using "Sith" as an expletive, rather than mistaking the 'super' battledroid for a Sith Lord.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Aquazone Breakfast News: 128

One will note that there is a lot of ragging on General Grievous's starfighter in this comic. Most of that is directed more toward the actual ship than this LEGO depiction (though the model isn't perfect...), as it is one of the ugliest ships in the Star Wars movies, in my opinion--and not in a good way.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Aquazone Breakfast News: 122

And we're caught up! For the record--or any new readers--the Evil Peachies made an appearance over a year ago, in a sequence of comics starting at Comic 35 and running to Comic 40.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Aquazone Breakfast News: 121

(For now this is a placeholder post. My eight hour shift was fruitful and multiplied, so today's strip won't be up until tomorrow morning. I did take pictures today, so hopefully this won't turn into a massive pile-up.) EDIT: As promised:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Aquazone Breakfast News: 114

Could Jarbanian and his colleague be biased about their origins? Probably no more than Lucien and Alex...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Aquazone Breakfast News: 107

There's an extra AqBN up today! Advent and December both start on Saturday, and I plan to go into daily, Advent-style, posting that day. In the meantime, however, I figured I needed a two comic bridge to go from the hiatus back into the swing of things, so the daily posting starts today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

8057 Wreck Raider

Just a smaller post today, but 8057 Wreck Raider is a smaller set. I'm actually kind of surprised I never posted about this set before--I took the picture below over a year ago, last summer when I posted about a few other Aquazone sets in my collection, but somehow it never translated into a post of its own.
For being the smallest set of the line, Wreck Raider is surprisingly robust. It features a powerful submarine vehicle. For a set of its size, it also has a fairly decent collection of parts, including a number of curved red pieces. Ultimately, though, the highlight of the set--as with so many sets--is the minifigs, who belong to both sides of the theme's conflict: explorers and Atlantis fishmen.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

9469 Gandalf's Cart

It's been about two months now since I cashed in my accumulated LEGO VIP points to add a couple Lord of the Rings sets to my collection, but as that happy day took place in the middle of my computer's convalescence, it has taken until now to post about theme--but we'll only cover the smaller one today. Indeed, 9469 Gandalf's Cart is the smallest set in the Lord of the Rings line, barring polybags. It features Gandalf driving a cart full of fireworks and Frodo Baggins. In reference to the Movies, it belongs to the earliest part of The Fellowship of the Ring, when Gandalf arrives in Hobbiton for Bilbo's 111st party.
Unlike most of the sets in the theme, however, it does not include any "stationary" elements such as landscaping, buildings, walls, or trees, and I kind of like that, since although it does draw on a single scene from the movie, the set does not feel limited to this particular scene. The most limiting elements in the set are the fireworks, but Gandalf is supposed to have a wide reputation for fireworks--though I daresay I don't imagine him going into places like the Necromancer's dungeons with them. Of course, the ever-present problem for me with LEGO's licenced themes are the flesh-toned minifigs. As I've done with previous sets, I've tweaked the minifigs in Gandalf's Cart to be more compatible with my old-school minifig collection.
Gandalf has not only had his flesh-coloured parts removed. He's also had his hat changed to blue and his beard to an old-school Majisto white. The main impetus behind these two changes is to be more faithful to the books. The first description of Gandalf from The Hobbit says:
All that the unsuspecting Bilbo saw that morning was an old man with a staff. He had a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over which a white beard hung down below his waist, and immense black boots.
(J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party") This also brings my new Gandalf more in line with the "traditional" LEGO Gandalf I used to make, as seen in the picture below, though the Iceplanet head I used before has been updated to a "Triton" from the Collectible Minifigs Series 7.
Frodo did not get quite as rigorous a treatment as Gandalf, but the final result is rather nice--I think the face works well as a Pippin. Note, however, that I've switched hairpieces with Merry's from 9472 Attack on Weathertop.
Overall, I am quite happy with Gandalf's Cart. It's not a ground-breaking set, but it is a solid one--though expensive. More so than the other sets I have, the licensing felt noticeable.

News Update, Thanksgiving Edition

My computer is back in business! This means that, all things being somewhat equal, Grandfather's Tales is back in business. I plan to put up a regular, set-reviewing post later today, to get back towards the swing of things, and I should have a new AqBN up next Friday. I'm not sure how I'm going to make up the lost time (about twelve weeks) of AqBN, because I'm also not finally sure what I'm doing for Advent this year. I have not acquired an Advent Calendar and I'm not sure I really want to, but I *DO* want to do Advent on AqBN again this year. What will probably happen is that I will not attempt to recover the lost AqBN weeks in any way, in favour of getting right into the Advent, more-than-one-day-a-week routine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

News Update

As may well have been noticed, there have not been any updates to this blog in a few weeks. The problem is twofold. On the one hand, I have been without home Internet since the start of September; one the other, my personal laptop (on which I have done most of the work for this blog, especially the webcomics) has "died," at least temporarily. As of today, I now have home Internet, so the first problem is addressed. This means that there might be a few irregular, non-Aquazone Breakfast News posts going up, but as long as my laptop remains out of commission, it is unlikely you will see a lot of work here, and certainly no webcomics. Once my laptop is back and kicking, I hope to make enough webcomics to make up for the weeks missed, but I would not expect that to take effect until sometime in November--and I have no idea if that will affect the Christmas season (last year had a daily schedule). If you're still around to read this: good on you! and hang in there.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Aquazone Breakfast News: 103

Bricklink has *not* been behaving for me today, so this is uploaded to Blogger for now. I'll correct it to a proper upload after the long weekend. Hopefully... UPDATE (03/Sept/12): Well, Brickshelf is still being wonky, but majhost worked for me, so we'll use that for now.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Aquazone Breakfast News: 101

All manner of computer problems have descended on me this week... my laptop seems to be dying. Simply *making* this comic took a day and a half of sitting (patiently?) through the endless restarting of my laptop. All things being equal, I *hope* to have next week's comic up--and up ontime--but who knows...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Aquazone Breakfast News: 100

Add a no-Internet situation at the new apartment to the rigors of moving and posts here will continue to be infrequent for a while--though I hope we won't see an AqBN-free week again.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Space Police Patrol Ship

So far 2012 hasn't been a high-intensity year for MOCing. 2011 wasn't either, and things like wedding planning have made for understandable distractions; nonetheless, this year hasn't been completely without some from-scratch MOCing. The largest example of that was the Space Police patrol vessel that is the subject of this post.
Although Space Police II (the 1992 sets) has always ranked high on my list of favourite LEGO themes, its predecessor from 1989 only ever existed on the fringes of my LEGO world--chiefly because I was barely acquainted with themes that old. Nonetheless, a Space Police (i) ship has been on my radar for some time. I picked up a few figs on Bricklink over the years, as well as a few basic "Space Police pieces" to use when the day came. The day came when I added to my collection of Panel 3x6x6 Sloped with Window pieces. I have four of these, in blue with dark trans-blue panes, from 6520 Mobile Outpost, an Arctic set. To this I added four of the same piece in red, from Bricklink, with trans-red panes, and then swapped the panes: red panes in blue panels, to use here, and blue panes in red panels for use in a Spyrius ship.
These large window pieces and the trans-red cockpit that had sat waiting in my collection for three years were the first elements of this ship. Then I started amassing blue and black "spacey" parts that I could use with them, and the basic shape started to come together. The triangular girders on their side ended up being pivotal to the shape of what came, as did the decision to put the cockpit windshield on the side, ala the Millennium Falcon.
In addition to the parts that I had, the size of the ship was also determined by the crew: three of my four Space Police (i) figs are posted aboard--none of whom sport a classic "plain" head, a good sign that they were all acquired as parts rather than complete minifigures. As a general rule, I like the classic plain head... but I'm not always keen to outfit entire armies with it.
The interior shots don't show much of what's inside the ship, which is okay, because it's not particularly interesting. There are a couple of consoles, presumably monitoring the "power generator" and/or the "hyperdrive/warpcore/lightspeed-thingy" and a bed so that the crew can take turns sleeping. It doesn't have a jail cell, which might be counted a deficiency in a Space Police vessel...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

An Old Prince

One of my habits when buying things from Bricklink is to browse through all the minifig parts a store I'm shopping has in its catalogue. This isn't my only such habit; I usually also take a look at whatever old grey pieces are in stock and whatever trans-yellow pieces might be there. As a result, although I've never really set out with a goal of collecting old minifigs, I've built up a number of classic Castle figs over the years, figs from prior to the 1984 debut of Legoland Castle. On the parts to these figs that I acquired was a torso to the prince (or lord or king or what-have-you) who comes with 383/6083 Knight's Tournament, LEGO's very first jousting tournament set. According to Bricklink, this torso only ever came with this set. Unfortunately, in the condition I got it, the torso was a little bit worn; in fact, all the gold was worn off completely. In and of itself, this isn't such a surprise--there are probably more examples missing the gold printing on Bricklink than have it, and gold printing has vanished off many early torsos, such as the Classic Space torso and Lion (Legoland Castle) torsos. I added the torso to my cart without really knowing what I was going to do with it. Should I convert it into a soldier's torso? Rebuild the prince and ignore his missing printing? As you can see, I decided to "customize" him back to his original appearance with the use of a little gold-star sticker:
As you can no doubt also see, I decided to upgrade the prince a little bit so that he could hang out with the other royal minifigs in my Castle realms. I decided against giving him a crown--I kind of like the fact that this guy doesn't have the ubiquitous crown-helm that all the later kings have--but I did give him a sceptre (stolen from the KK2 in the Knights' Kingdom Chess Set.
I also gave him a cape, in the style of the Dragon Master and Royal Knight cloth capes of the mid-1990s, though of course this is actually a paper cape. It should be noted that, in addition to the tri-colour shield emblem of his torso, the prince's cape also sports the crown off the emblem of the main faction of knights in 375/6075 Castle. In my LEGO world, all the pre-Legoland Castle factions are united under the Knights' Tournament Prince, thus making him the titular "crown" of those original Crown Knights. Presumably the Tri-Colour family acquired the throne or married into the original Crown family at some point.