Monday, 19 December 2011

Yachty Deluxe FREE game for iOS and Android


I have just finished work on the Art for a new dice game called 'Yachty Deluxe'. It is based on the dice game yacht, or as you may know it Yahtzee. Art wise it was a pretty simple job to do, but the end result still looks great. The game is really addicitive, the sort of thing that sucks you in for hours on end.

It's available on iOS (iPad, iPhone, etc) and on Android. And it's FREE.

You can download the game from here:

Android Version

iOS Version

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Star Wars Tri-Logos


I have started picking up a few vintage carded figures after I realised that you can (if you are patient) pick them up for pretty much the same price as the new VOTC figures! Which to me seems crazy.

Above are three of my recent purchases. A Gamorrean Guard, Teebo, and AT-ST Driver. All mint on sealed cards. The Teebo is on the roughest of the cards, but even that look ok. The AT-ST and Guard and on very nice cards that only have a few edge dings, and other minor damage. And these all cost around the £10-15 mark. Considering the new VOTC figures are hard to find for less than £9.99 this seems a better buy.

Modern figures are never going to be worth that much on the collectors market as most people these days know that it is worth keeping them carded. So it's never going to be that hard to find a mint one years down the line. Where as the vintage figures still hold a premium.

If you have time, and patients, it's worth grabbing these figures while they are cheap.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Gatchaman God Phenix

 I have been wanting to get myself a Gatchaman God Phenix for years but they have always been way above my Price bracket. Battle of the Planets was always a popular cartoon when I was a kid and I remember seeing these toys in the shops, but never having enough pocket money to buy one. And when it came to christmas I always got Star Wars or Dungeons and Dragons figures.

So for the past few years everytime one turns up on ebay I have bid on it. But they have always escaped me, going for £50 or more. Which is why I am so pleased to have won this last week. It cost me a grand total of £6!!!!

Yes, £6.

Crazy.

It is in fantastic condition, complete with two of the tiny little vehciles. It has a small amount ig yellowing, and a couple of chips, but otherwise perfect. It even came with a chunk of the box.

These ships were made by Bandai Popy, the same company that made the Terrahawks shops. So it is really heavy, part diecast, part plastic. And full of neat functions. Fold up wings that hide compartment, firing missiles, drop down landing gear, etc.

The nose section folds back, and this area is normally broken as it is quite fiddly. This one is mint.

I think I may have started a new collecting focus!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Mallet Mayhem - FREE iPad Game

I've just finished the artwork for a new game and it is out now on the Appstore.

Mallet Mayhem is an fun action game that will test you reactions to the limit. Tap the right cartoon character to score points, but avoid hitting the good characters. Big points can be made by tapping correct characters multiple times!



Download the game for FREE here : Mallet Mayhem on the Appstore

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Rocket firing Boba Fett UKG graded

Just received my UKG graded Boba Fett back in the post. This is the first figure I have ever got graded, so it is a new experience for me. I already own a few graded figures (both AFA and UKG) that I have bought from ebay or won as prizes, but this was the first time I have gone to the effort of sending off a figure to be graded.

I had seen a few of the 2010 release fetts graded by AFA and thought they looked really bad. For some reason AFA's cases are to small and they end up bending the long missile to fit it in.
UKG on the other hand have a better design for there cases and everything fits in really nicely.
The end result looks great, and this figure got a tidy U90% score.

Very happy with this and I will certainly get some other figures graded by UKG in the future.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Transformers DOTM Road Buster Deluxe review

The second of the figures I picked up from Toys R Us is the Deluxe Road Buster Figure. This is a new character from the DOTM Movie so I wasn't sure what to expect.

The figure looks great in both modes and has a good paint job in the car mode. In robot mode it all just looks a little under painted which is a shame. Transforming him is pretty easy, nothing too complicated.

They have added a nifty feature to hide the gun mount holes on the arms and top in car mode, with some spring loaded bits that pop up to fill them. This really works well and means you are not left with holes in the cars body when the gun is not there.

One bad point on this figure is the shoulder mounted cannons. These seem especially hard to unfold, and most of the time they just pop off completely. Once this has happened a few times, in really starts to look like they will break completely sometime soon. This is pretty poor, and is back to the sub standard production quality from the ROTF wave. Not good.

Again the Mech Tech feature is on the Gun which has a spring loaded attack function.

Overall this figures is good, but let down by the production quality. Which is a shame.

Transformers DOTM Deluxe Starscream review


Just picked up my first two figures from the new Transformers Movie Dark of the Moon. And I am quite impressed with them. Toys R us are currently running a buy one get one half price deal on there website, which even with the £5 postage makes them cheaper than other places.

This is the first time Starscream has come in the deluxe range of figures so I'm sure it will sell well as a lower price range figure. I wasn't expecting much from this figure as the figures from the last movie seemed to be made very cheaply and really weren't up to much. A number of the figures I bought from ROTF were broken or damaged as soon as they came out of the boxes.

The new deluxe starscream doesn't seem to suffer from this. The figure is pretty solid, and the limbs are nice and tight and don't pop of that easily. The transformation is not that complicated, with both modes looking pretty sweet. They new figures feature a MechTech feature, which is just a gimmick, much like the mech alive feature on the ROTF wave. With starscream his gun blade has a spring loaded feature. Not amazing, but works OK.

Overall I really like this figure. It is not quite as good as the Voyager version from ROTF, but for the price it is a figure well worth getting.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

CosmoNutz - Great Little Puzzle game for iPad

CosmoNutz is a new iPad game by Dare Devil Development that is fun to play and damn addictive.

The art style was created by the guy who did the graphics for a game called Speedball 2 back in the old days of the Atari ST and amiga. Sad that I still remember that game so well.

For CosmoNutz I created the models and animations for the chararacters that you see running around and being squished by boulders.

This is a really fun game based on the old Sokoban type game. I used to have a simple game like this on the PC that I managed to waste hours of my life playing. It made a change from Minesweeper at least.

Monday, 2 May 2011

ACUTE ACTION-FIGURE ADDICTION DISORDER

I have been suffering with this for years and never new it had a name.



I'm sure many of you will be fellow sufferers!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Great Little War Game - iPad, iPhone Game


I have been working on the art for this game for the last 6 months or so and it is now finally out on the iPad and iPhone.

It has been a long slog, but I am well pleased with the final game. It is fun to play and looks pretty good.

Go check out the website and follow the links to down load it to you iDevice.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Yellow Squadron get custom capes

My next challenge after de-yellowing the figures was to make some new capes for the snowtroopers. I have been looking on line for a while now to try and source some vinyl that is similar to the original snowtrooper cape vinyl, and

this article had some good ideas. But being in the UK I cannot find vinyl covered ring binders anywhere.

But it did get me thinking, and I have found that blow up beach toys are made of a similar thickness vinyl. So I popped down to a really cheap looking shop in teddington and found this:


A blow up (mainly white) foobtall. The vinyl is a very good match. Glossy on one side, and slightly patterned on the other.


I simply cut the ball up to so that I had a load of the white panels on there own. You will need to flatten them as they tended to be creased. But I just put them in a heavy book for a while and the flattend out nicely.

I used a scan of an original snowtrooper cape from here as a guide, printed it and cut it out, you can then trace around it onto the vinyl using a pencil.



Then carefully cut it out. I used scissors to cut around the edge and a scalpel to cut the holes and small slit. This seemed to work pretty well and the end result looks very good. As these are only army builder figures I was not worried about them being perfect.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Patrick the Hutt

I'm sure it can't just be me that thinks this. I watched the Sky at Night over the weekend as they had Brian Cox on. This is a program I have almost never watched, and after watching this latest episode I am amazed anyone can. Patrick moore has sort of morphed into a mumbling version of Jabba the Hutt.



He just sits in the background occasionally mumblings something (and like Jabba he could really do with sub titles) and chewing the head off a frog. I made the bit up about the frog but it is not that hard to believe.



The sky at night on BBC is apparently the longest running show ever. Not sure how as it is car crash tv.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Yellow Squadron - Ready to roll

This lot of figures took a lot longer to De-Yellow than expected. But they really were the worst figures I had ever seen. The most yellow of the figures took nearly three weeks of sitting in the 6% Hydrogen peroxide before they were anywhere near white. The very yellow Snowtrooper still has a slight tinge of green/yellow to the body, but when compared to the first photo it really is quite amazing how white it has gone over all.

Stormtroopers still seem to fair the best with this technique having almost all gone back to white.

The Biker scout is not bad either when compared to the original shot. This is left with a bit of a yellow tinge.



I have also carefully touched up the paint on all of these figures using Acrylic paints. It is pretty hard to see that this has been done and makes the figures look so much better.

For the moment I have made some temporary snowtrooper skirts. I'm looking to find some vinyl that matches the original skirts, but no luck so far. They are currently made from the top white section of plastic taken from a Forbidden Planet carrier bag.

And here is the full army of 22 figures so far:

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Great Little War Game - Promo Video



This is a video showing the new game I have been working on. Coming soon to the iPad and iPhone.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

My latest quest

This really is going to put my De-yellowing of plastic skills to the test. These are some of the yellowist Star wars figures I have ever seen!



One of the snowtroopers is so yellow it is hard to believe it was ever white. The reason I bought this lot was that all the parts that are yellow are the ones I had most success with. Stormtrooper bodies go white well, but not so much there arms. Snowtroopers bodies go white well as do there arms. Biker scouts are the same as Stormtroopers, but the arms will whiten a bit.

So from this lot I should?? Get some good figures.



To start they day they all had a nice bath.

From now on they will be known as Yellow Squadron. Let the battle begin.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Beware the Rancor



Picked up this bargain Rancor this weekend in Weston Super Mare. £9 for the rancor and when I got it home he coughed up a treat. Hidden inside him was a vintage stormtrooper gun! So it wasn't just Jabbas dancers and Gamorrean guards on his diet!

Friday, 28 January 2011

De-Yellowing Vintage Action Figures - Full guide

De-Yellowing Vintage Action Figures



A recipe for those on a budget.

What you will need:

2x 200ml Bottles of %6 Hydrogen Peroxide
1x Empty coffee jar
Sunshine – if available
Patience – plenty of it

My aim was to use the techniques other collectors have tried but to spend as little money as possible. When you read how other people have done this process they talk about buying food grade Hydrogen Peroxide %35, which as far as I can see can only be bought on line with the smallest bottle costing around £5 plus £5 postage. And to me that already sounded like a lot of money as that is the for cost of one new figure.

I am a UK based collector so I will be talking about shops and brands that are available here.

So I decided to see what I could achieve while spending as little as possible.

I had recently bought ten stormtroopers off ebay that all looked like they were in a sorry state with most being pretty yellow and very dirty. So the first step after receiving them was to give them a good clean in hot soapy water using an old toothbrush to clean the grit out of the hard to reach areas. This straight away made a massive difference to the figures.






On the left are the original figures, on the right the same figures after they have been cleaned.

Then it was of to the chemists to see if they sold Hydrogen Peroxide in one form or another. It turns out they do. In Boots the chemists you can by %6 Hydrogen Peroxide made by Care +. They did ask me what it was for, but I think they have to ask no matter what they are selling you. A 200ml bottle costs £1.01 in boots but I later found it in Sainsburys for £0.93.



I had only ever heard about Hydrogen Peroxide being used for bleaching hair, but apparently it is used as an antiseptic agent which is why the chemists stock it.

From my tests you will need two bottles of this, but it will depend on what sort of jar you use. You need enough to be able to cover the figures.

The process is simple, and this is based on reading up on various sites around the web (listed at the end). Fill your jar with Hydrogen Peroxide, place a few of your figures in the jar, put the lid on and then place on a sunny windowsill. Then you just need to wait.



Because this is a low percentage hydrogen peroxide you need to leave in the sun for a long time, which is where the patience comes in. For the best results I have found that at least 7 days is required. It is also good practice to give the figures a little shake and turn them around a bit during the seven days as they get covered in small bubbles after a few hours.

When I tried my first few figures we ended up with and entire week of rain and clouds but I don't really think it made any difference. Other sites say you need the sun to get results, but in my experience just a bit of cloudy daylight works just as well. It may be that this affects the speed at which the bleaching happens, but that is only a guess.

The plastic the figures are made of seems to make a big difference in the time it takes to De-yellow. I have mainly been working with old Star Wars and Terrahawks figures which have a body made from a hard plastic with the limbs made from a more bendable softer plastic.

The Hard body plastic takes about a week to de-yellow, but the arms seem to be affected differently. Although they are all made of a softer plastic, they change at completely different speeds. Some turn white it just a few days, others take 10 days or more. You just have to keep checking to see how white they have gone as they will go white in the end.

Because of the amount of time it takes for the plastic to turn white it is sometimes hard to remember what the figures looked like originally. So a good idea is to have a colour chart that you can use as a guide. Before you put your figures in to bleach, make a note of which colour they are, then you can compare after a few days.

There are free charts on the web for Teeth whitening, this one is pretty good.

http://www.enutramart.com/ezbright/ezbright_color_chart.gif

As you put your figures in the bath, make a note of the colour tone they are, then you can check to see how much they have changed over the next few days.

When they are done, and you will just need to judge this. Take them out and give them a good wash. You may find a powdery coating on some of the painted areas once they dry. This can just be wiped off with a cloth.







Overall the results are pretty good. Some of the figures still have a yellow hue about them, but nothing like they did when I got them.

And that is it. Simple really, and there is no need to spend lots of money on this.

Total cost to whiten ten figures £2.02

Bargain.


Sites worth looking at:

Retr0bright - http://retr0bright.wikispaces.com/

Comic Book Bin - http://www.comicbookbin.com/Action_Figure_Yellowing001.html

Exisle - http://www.exisle.net/mb/index.php?/topic/59657-de-yellowing-plastic-the-stain-isnt-permanent-after-all/

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

De-Yellowing Star Wars Figures - Stage 2 part 3

Just a quick update to show a couple of figures recently taken out of the H2O2.

The Snowtrooper turned out great. This had yellow arms to start and they ended up a very nice mint white.



The storm trooper still has a bit of a yellow tint to it. I have four other troopers in at the moment and each ones seems to be made from a different plastic. And so far none of the arms have good completely white. They are all much better, but just not fully white.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

De-Yellowing Star Wars Figures - Stage 2 part 2

It has now been 7 days since I put my first to figures in the Hydrogen Peroxide, I decided to leave it this long as we had not really had that much sunshine. After a few days both figures had started to loose there yellow markings, but you could still see them.

Now after a week both figures are looking loads better. These were very yellow figures and I never expected to get them back to 100% white, I was using these as they were both figures that I didn't really mind if they got ruined.

The stormtrooper has a few areas on the front that are a little yellow so it may be worth giving him a second bath. And the Biker scout has a bit more of an all over subtle tinge of yellow.

If you look at the images below you can see the overall difference that a week makes.





I have a few other figures in the bath now that have been in for 4 days which I will also leave the full week.

Today I added a Terrahawks figure as this is made from a dark blue plastic. I'm hoping this will have the same results as my Kate Kestrel figure is looking pretty yellow.

Friday, 14 January 2011

De-Yellowing Star Wars Figures - Stage 2

Stage 2 is the bit that I have read the most about. It requires you to dip your figures in Hydrogen peroxide and leave in the sun for a few days. Most articles seem to think that a 30% solution works best, but I didn't want to go down this route as you can only buy that on line and it works out pretty expensive.

So I decided to see what you could get on the high street. And it turns out that Boots the chemists sells a 6% bottle. This costs £1.01 for 250ml which is a much better price.


The brand they sell is Care + Hydrogen Peroxide Solution 6% 20 vols. I picked up two bottles as the jar I have to put my figures in was fairly large.

I am hoping this will do the same job as the stronger percentage, but just take a little longer.

As I bought two bottles, the lady serving me had to ask what I wanted it for. Maybe she thought I was making bombs? So I said I was mending action figures. It might have been better if I was making bombs as she did give me a very odd look.

The next bit is simple, fill the jar with the H2o2 and place your figures in it. Then leave them on a windowsill in the sunlight. As you can see I have used an old coffee jar, no point spending money on anything fancy.


That was the only problem in my plan, the sun! It's been pissing down with rain and overcast for about the last month, but I thought I would give it ago anyway as the sun peaks out every once in a while.

So now I wait...

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

De-Yellowing Star Wars Figures - Stage 1

I know this has been done and documented by other people on the web, but I thought I would keep a note of how I got on with the process. It seems people get varying results some good, some bad.

I started by getting together a selection of figures that are at various stages of Yellowing. I'd actually just won a lot of ten figures on ebay, all of which were yellow and dirty.

So the first stage has been to give the figures a deep clean in soapy water using a soft toothbrush to get into the cracks to remove the dirt. After this I used lighter fluid and kitchen towel to rub off any black marks and pen. This produced a pretty good result already as the figures were really filthy.







On the left you can see the figures as I received them, on the right is after the deep clean and as you can see some of them are already looking a lot better.

The next stage involves the chemicals.

The retrobright has been a great help to me and is well worth a read.

I'll will post more about my attempts at De-yellowing figures shortly.