The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #396: A Shadow in the Moonlight Interlude – Different Archery Styles

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #396: A Shadow in the Moonlight Interlude – Different Archery Styles

https://archive.org/download/podcast-396/Podcast%20396.mp3

This week, I’m following up on the last few weeks’ episodes centered on the hunter from The Thirteenth Hour prequel, A Shadow in the Moonlight (read it free in the US!).

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But this week, instead of figures (which we will come back to in an episode or two), we are going to talk about archery.  At the time when I published this little novel, I was in the process of rediscovering archery.  I had been working on instinctive shooting (no sights) for some time as well as learning to make my own bows out of PVC pipe.  (You can actually find a post from 2016 – episode 33! – about some of the bows I was making around this time of rediscovery of traditional Western archery.) 

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Some years after that, I got interested in the drawing style used in many parts of Asia – using the thumb and a protective ring or piece of leather over it (see picture) – since I was researching it for a Thirteenth Hour sequel and I also genuinely wanted to learn it.  It is my preferred way of shooting now, and I discuss these things on this week’s show while shooting a few arrows.

Thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #395: Making the Hunter From A Shadow in the Moonlight in 3.75″ Form Part 1!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #395: Making the Hunter From A Shadow in the Moonlight in 3.75″ Form Part 1!

https://archive.org/download/podcast-395/Podcast%20395.mp3

This week, I’m taking a motorcross figure I got from Aliexpress to make the unnamed hunter from The Thirteenth Hour prequel, A Shadow in the Moonlight (read it free in the US!).

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Last week, we talked about making the same character but in miniature form, so this week, I figured he deserved to have a larger version as well.  It’s actually a very simple design but I’ve always meant to do something more with it since there are only a few illustrations I ended up doing and something about the hood, cape, and lack of any distinguishing facial features has always been evocative.  

These motocross figures came with the other ones I discussed last week. I couldn’t tell from the pictures, but they were quite differently constructed and much more difficult to disassemble.  Luckily, the huge tolerances on the loose joints will make painting it easier, since I can’t get it apart to make sure the joint parts do not scrape on each other.  I figured the overall wiggle factor of the figure (high) would work for a character that spends a lot of time gliding through the moonlight sky.  

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The face sculpts on these guys are hilarious!

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Painted black …

img_0297The hood as been sculpted on …

At the time of this writing, I have sculpted the hood.  I initially thought of sculpting of the face but instead just turned the head around so the back of the head is now the front.  I think the only facial features I will paint on are eyes.  After pairing it black with an airbrush, I moved the main joints around to see which areas the paint wore away from, then tried to Dremel those areas Dow. I think that is the best I will be able to do since the rest of the figure is held together with rivets I can’t easily remove.  

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Thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #394: More Experimenting with Making Articulated Figures and Making the Hunter From A Shadow in the Moonlight

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #394: More Experimenting with Making Articulated Figures and Making the Hunter From A Shadow in the Moonlight

https://archive.org/download/podcast-394/Podcast%20394.mp3

This week, I wanted to continue seeing if the Aliexpress motocross action figure I found would work well as an articulated figure for both the Rocketeer and Logan from The Thirteenth Hour.  I’ve been quite impressed by this humble, unbranded, inexpensive figure marketed (depending on the seller) as a motorcycle rider, soldier, or “worker.”  I decided to keep the figure as intact as possible and just add epoxy clay to parts I wanted to modify since I tend to find sculpting easier than finagling with joints and sourcing parts, as the joints are much better than anything I could create from scratch.  As mentioned, this figure I found really is quite versatile, and for Cliff, all that was needed was to add the chest bib, jodhpurs, and sleeve cuffs.   Here he is after some sanding:

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For Logan, I think all that will needed will be the front and back halves of his tunic, the scarf/hood neck piece, the belt as part of the pelvis, and perhaps a bit of volume to his (rather parachute-like) pants.  I would like to make an Aurora as well, but sourcing female figures is more difficult.  I may actually modify this male one to have a female torso (the strategy the 80s GI Joe 3.75″ toys used) since then I could keep the joints intact.  The main challenge with Aurora will probably actually be her skirt if her legs are really mobile – I probably won’t be able to get away with the sculpted one I did for legs that could only move forwards and backwards – perhaps cloth?

In the meantime, I decided it was high time that the hunter from The Thirteenth Hour prequel, A Shadow in the Moonlight (read it free in the US!), needed his own figure.  This one was made from two modified Hero Construx figures with the addition of some clay, black paint, a cape, bow, and quiver.  

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Lastly, I finished up the mini Rocketeer made in episode 389 (the sculpt along).  Here he is solo and with a clear translucent buddy.

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Thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #393: Is There a Way to Work Smarter Rather Than Harder to Make Custom Articulated Action Figures?

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #393: Is There a Way to Work Smarter Rather Than Harder to Make Custom Articulated Action Figures?

https://archive.org/download/podcast-393/Podcast%20393.mp3

This week, I’m sharing a bit of a possible shortcut to making articulated custom action figures.  I recently discovered a source of inexpensive GI Joe style figures (minus the pesky O-ring) that can be disassembled easily.  I found these motorcross guys on the website/app Aliexpress.  Bought one on a whim wondering if I could modify it.  Turns out, it was quite easy!

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Here’s the motorcross rider with a different set of legs I took from a figure from The Corps line.  I wanted to see if they could be made to fit.  With some modification, yes.  Within seconds, I took out three screws and motorcross guy was in pieces!

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Said modifcation referenced above is widening the joint space on the new leg to fit the bigger joint pegs on motorcross guy.

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The neat thing about this style of legs (that GI Joe and its competitors used and now replicated with motorcross guy and his pals) is that a single screw holds it all together.

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Next stop – adding clay to modify this body into a Rocketeer.

I’m curious to try this method to make a new wave of more articulated Rocketeer and Thirteenth Hour figures!

Thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #392: Sculpting a Logan Figurine and Like a Hood Ornament #48: Rocketeer Minifigure Painting and Making a Game Piece 3

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #392: Sculpting a Logan Figurine and Like a Hood Ornament #48: Rocketeer Minifigure Painting and Making a Game Piece 3

https://archive.org/download/podcast-392/Podcast%20392.mp3

This week, I’m continuing projects from the last few episodes, painting the Rocketeer minifigure made during the sculpt-along episode as well as Rocketeer game piece. 

Pictures of these figures after the first coat of paint.  Once the paint fully dries, it will be time for another coat or two as well as the details, like the jacket buttons and helmet lenses.   I also still have to paint the flames and smoke on the game piece figure.

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I recently ordered a large figurine from the company Hero Forge, making it about as close to Logan from The Thirteenth Hour as I could.  I was planning to sculpt a little onto the parts that I couldn’t make exactly the same and then cast the head for a custom Logan Hero Construx figures.  

Here is the figure before …

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And after.  Once the clay is dry, still a fair amount of detail work needed …

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Thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #390 and Like a Hood Ornament #47: Rocketeer Minifigure Resin Casting Updates and Making a Game Piece 2

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #389 and Like a H90 and Like a Hood Ornament #47: Rocketeer Minifigure Resin Casting Updates and Making a Game Piece 2ood Ornament #46: Rocketeer Minifigure Sculpt-along

https://archive.org/download/podcast-390/Podcast%20390.mp3

This week, I’m continuing a project started back in episode 384, making a little game piece of the Rocketeer.  My progress on that project was forestalled due to a batch of bad silicone, and it took awhile to get a new batch.  I ended up switching to a different line within the Smooth On catalog called Mold Star 16 (since I could find it), and it ended up working out great.  To celebrate, I made little cup molds of all the pieces of the Rocketeer mini figure parts I made last time (arms, legs, torso, head) as well as finally making a mold of the Rocketeer board game piece I prepared for molding in episode 384.

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I had fairly low expectations of how the game piece would turn out, but once I broke in the mold, it actually worked quite well despite the complexity and intricacy of the game piece.  

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I used one of the copies of the game piece to extract copies of the rocetpack and the helmet to modify the Hero Clix figure to the left (which I sanded down a bit to prepare it for the clay additions below – adding to the arms, making the chest bib with the buttons, and the jodhpurs).  It will then need to be sanded down once cured to smooth it all out.    

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I attached the head using a pin to hold it in place (in addition to some superglue).  I also angled the hed so it is looking a bit right, toward the upraised hand.  It just felt more dynamic a pose.  I just need to flesh out the smoke in back with some additional clay, sand things down, and then prime it for painting.

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The first resin Rocketeer minifigure duplicate made from the figure we created last week.  So far, I made four of them.

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Thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #389 and Like a Hood Ornament #46: Rocketeer Minifigure Sculpt-along

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #389 and Like a Hood Ornament #46: Rocketeer Minifigure Sculpt-along

https://archive.org/download/podcast-389/Podcast%20389.mp3

This week, we are trying something slightly new.  I’m sculpting a custom Rocketeer minifigure from a base Flash figure (the DC superhero) with Aves epoxy clay in real time, and am doing my best to describe the process just through audio so you can do it at the same time if you so wish.  If you want to follow along, here are the base materials:

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Tools are pretty minimal, but it may help to have an X-acto knife, some tools or pieces of thin wood to shape the clay, some Vaseline to smooth over the clay, and a Dremel for cutting down parts of the figure (if you wish – I shaved down parts of the shoulder to make the figure less top heavy) and sanding the final product.  Because of the size of the figure, it may also help to have a pair of reading glasses or a magnifying glass, though that is not required.  Good lighting, though, is very helpful (a camping headlamp can really help).

We are going to be sculpting jodhpurs, adding the front bib of the Rocketeer’s jacket, adding cuffs to the sleeves, and making the helmet.  The first four parts are basically adding pieces of clay and a bit of definition. 

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The next part is a bit more complex – adding clay to the head and then a piece of carboard to provide structure for the helmet’s fin.  Adding clay to the outside of the cardboard piece will be stronger when it all dries than just trying to make the fin out of clay alone. 

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Here is the final result.  After it all dries, I will do some final sanding to touch up a few spots.  I will also be reworking the shoulder joints a bit so they fit better.  I may also consider making molds of all the parts to be able to make resin casts of the pieces so make some duplicates.  

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I am using the same rocketpack I used for the Lego minifigures since the scale is about the same, though you could make your own (for the movie version – two torso sized bullet-shaped cylinders connected by a central rectangle).  Next step after all this will be priming and painting.

If you made one of these along with this episode, send me a picture or tag me on social media!  Would love to see wat you created.

Thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #388: Mega Contrux Custom DnD Thirteenth Hour Figures

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #388: Mega Contrux Custom DnD Thirteenth Hour Figures

https://archive.org/download/podcast-388/Podcast%20388.mp3

This week, I’m discussing a discovery I made awhile back when considering how to showcase figures in The Thirteenth Hour DnD style campaigns we have been doing over on the Patreon via Discord.  (I typically have a second camera set up to show an overhead view of the figures – so far, just during battles – this is an ongoing work in progress.)  I thought it would be fun to include some miniatures but wasn’t sure how to find ones that would fit. Plus, I wanted them to be able to hold things in their hands and be somewhat customizable.   Enter Mega Contrux minifigures.

Mega Bloks are a long time competitor of Lego that originally started as large scale bricks for young children, though just like Lego, they now have a number of highly complex, licensed properties more appropriate for the fingers and brains of older kids (and adults).   Mega also has much more detailed, articulated, and realistically proportioned minifigures, and those are the ones I used for making The Thirteenth Hour minifigures.  I started with a figure from their Assassin’s Creed line (I’m not sure who this guy is, but his costume has a number of similarities to the Imperial Ranger uniform – a tunic with large shoulders, grey pants, a hood, and a midsection piece that can be modified to make the triangular belt they wear).

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Just like Lego minifigures, the Mega ones break apart for easy customization.  

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This skirt can be flipped around to make belts when painted.

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From left to right – Aron, Blake, Lance, and Wander the wizard.

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Wander was made very quickly with the same base figure with a tunic and wizard’s hat made of the same material.  Added a bit of epoxy clay for hair and a beard.  As you can see, there is a Lego baseplate in the background which I have used for positioning the figures during the game.  One of the advantages of using these kinds of figures is that they have holes in their feet, making them easy to position.  Mega figures also can use the full range of Lego hand held accessories (of which there are many), which makes it nice to customize them.

Want to learn more?  Check Thirteenth Hour Arts out on Patreon!

Thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #387: Packaging for Upcoming Toy Projects!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #386: Packaging for Upcoming Toy Projects!

https://archive.org/download/podcast-387/Podcast%20387.mp3

This week, I’m discussing packing for some of the upcoming toy projects I have been working on – 3.75″ Rocketeer action figures, the similarly sized Thirteenth Hour figures, and the Thirteenth Hour magnet dolls (the later two are basically part if the same project – the upcoming Once Upon a Dream LP launch.   Each of these creative projects require some way to contain their respective parts, necessitating some kind of box with decorative coverart.  While I can’t say it’s my favorite part of the whole process, I do think the packaging is of similar importance to the piece of art itself – the package is for protection, foremost, and makes it easier to ship, but it is also an accessory in its own right.  It adds to the overall experience of the toy since it may add context, additional information or other pieces to collect, and a place to house the figure when it’s not being used.   

Here are some visuals to go along with the audio.  

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Thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #386: The Marginal Utility of Time, Reflections on 2022, and Future Goals

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #386: The Marginal Utility of Time, Reflections on 2022, and Future Goals

https://archive.org/download/podcast-386/Podcast%20386.mp3

Happy new year, and welcome to 2023!  This first episode of the new year is all about time.  Though time exists independent of all of us and will go on and on regardless of whether we exist in it or not, it is a finite resource for us living creatures.   I think of an expression (which I might be paraphrasing) that my mother, who studied economics in college sometimes used (one I thought was humorous due to the extravagance of the words) – “diminishing returns of marginal utilities.”  If I’m getting this correct, the “marginal utility” part describes the satisfaction that one experiences by consuming one unit of something.  While economists are usually referring to “utility” in terms of as a product, I think the concept applies to some nonpurchasable items as well, including time.  In some cases, the more time you have, the less you value it; yet when you have less, it becomes more and more precious.  Gaining even a bit more would yield a net positive marginal utility.  But none of us, regardless of our station in life, can get more of it.  We all have however much time we are given, and none of us know how much.

There is a quote from the novel “The Sheltering Sky” by Paul Bowles that is inscribed on Brandon Lee’s tombstone (it came up in one of his last, if not the last interview he did prior to his death) that is particularly poignant and gets at this idea:

“Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you cannot conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, or five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”

Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens echoed similar sentiments when it came to his own work in ways I think many artists will be able to relate to.  In the podcast, I include a segment from one of Dave’s journals read by Billy Campbell from the documentary Dave Stevens: Drawn to Perfection

When I was initially writing The Thirteenth Hour as a teenager, I think I was trying to put these idea into words in my own way.  I suppose I had a different view of time since I was younger, but looking at it decades later, I think that is one of the underlying messages of the book – taking life by the reins and making the most of it, that the world can what you make of it if you believe in your dreams and don’t sit passively by, letting time pass you by.

Interestingly, the Buddhists have a slightly different take on this since they believe in do-overs.  Life, from a Buddhist perspective, is about suffering, and escaping this cycle of birth and rebirth is to finally find peace (a.k.a. nirvana).  But for those of us still in the world, there are some interesting insights in this drawing below of the samsara (wheel of life).  There is a segment of the wheel below (the one with the animals in it) that is called, not surprisingly, the animal realm.  The Buddhist view of non-human animals is that they are not as evolved, not as intelligent (human-centric, I know) and so creatures born into this part of the samsara earned their lot in life though past negative karmic action.  I don’t know if I agree with that, but I think you can also use aspects of this as an analogy for parts of human existence.  When we are in the animal realm, we are focused on survival – just getting through the day.  But when we get a breather and have better resources, we can enter into the higher realms where we have increasing ability to reflect on our situation and focus on more than day to day needs.  Times like the new year sometimes give us cause to stop, pause, and reflect on where we want to go.   So in this episode, I not only reflect on some of the positives of the past year and some goals for the one to come.

The Wheel of Life - Samsara | Thangka Mandala

Thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #306 and Like a Hood Ornament #33: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 14, Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of The Rocketeer (6/21/1991)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #306 and Like a Hood Ornament #33: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 14, Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of The Rocketeer (6/21/1991)

The day this episode releases will mark the 30th anniversary of The Rocketeer.  In celebration, I have a few special things for this episode, including a few accompanying video segments.  

The first is the opening of the Diamond Select version of the Rocketeer figure:

There is also a short segment with a number of other Rocketeer figurines:

The next segment is annotation of a short part in the film where the Rocketeer is caught in between G-men, gangsters, and Nazi storm troopers, eventually leading to those iconic scenes where he’s taking off by the American flag. 

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Although he is shown in both the comic (on covers mostly) and in pictures holding a Mauser C96 pistol, he never actually gets to use it in either the film or the original comic (more next week).  This clip shows how he obtained it in the film:   

This week, I’ll finish a little Rocketeer one screen game made with the app Pixicade.  It will be a shooting game, since those are very easy to make the the built in physics engine the app has.  Here is a preliminary drawing:

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Now onto more family friendly things!  Some pictures from the Rocketeer cartoon part of the episode:

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Lastly, check out episode 43 of I Used to Like This One for a guest appearance I made on the show to discuss the 1991 film version of The Rocketeer for the 30th anniversary of the film.

Lastly, thanks for all who joined in for the live Facebook concert of Thirteenth Hour music with the custom Logan action figure that happened on 5/30/21.  You can replay it here:

Set list:
1.) The Thirteenth Hour Theme*
2.) Empty Hands+
3.) Dragons’ Eyes*
4.) Forever Young (by Alphaville, acoustic guitar cover)
5.) Dreams Go Far*
6.) I Will Remember You (by Amy Grant, acoustic guitar cover)
7.) Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things*
8.) Searching for Forever*
 
*from the Long Ago Not So Far Away LP (https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/…/long-ago-not-so-far-away)

If you would like to grab a little piece of The Thirteenth Hour, pick up a patch of Logan flying off into the sunset and bask in many of the things we discussed in this episode – silver flying machines, cloudscapes, and the sun setting on another day signifying a hope for a better tomorrow.  The patches come with a high quality mp3 download from Once Upon a Dream, the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.

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If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape – last week only!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #305 and Like a Hood Ornament #32: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 13

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #305 and Like a Hood Ornament #32: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 13

This week, I’m continuing to work on the new custom action figure of Logan from The Thirteenth Hour, this one made by a character from from the show PJ Masks that I had to fix.  I’m also in the process of painting the Lego Friends Rocketeer.  My progress so far:

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Some pictures from the episode:

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Lastly, check out episode 43 of I Used to Like This One for a guest appearance I made on the show to discuss the 1991 film version of The Rocketeer.  Next week, it will be the 30th anniversary of his film!

Lastly, thanks for all who joined in for the live Facebook concert of Thirteenth Hour music with the custom Logan action figure that happened on 5/30/21.  You can replay it here:

Set list:
1.) The Thirteenth Hour Theme*
2.) Empty Hands+
3.) Dragons’ Eyes*
4.) Forever Young (by Alphaville, acoustic guitar cover)
5.) Dreams Go Far*
6.) I Will Remember You (by Amy Grant, acoustic guitar cover)
7.) Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things*
8.) Searching for Forever*
 
*from the Long Ago Not So Far Away LP (https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/…/long-ago-not-so-far-away)

If you would like to grab a little piece of The Thirteenth Hour, pick up a patch of Logan flying off into the sunset and bask in many of the things we discussed in this episode – silver flying machines, cloudscapes, and the sun setting on another day signifying a hope for a better tomorrow.  The patches come with a high quality mp3 download from Once Upon a Dream, the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.

img_2898

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #304: Starting a New Custom Thirteenth Hour Figure and Like a Hood Ornament #31: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 12

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #304: Starting a New Custom Thirteenth Hour Figure and Like a Hood Ornament #31: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 12

This week, I started working on a new custom action figure of Logan from The Thirteenth Hour, this one made by a character from from the show PJ Masks that I had to fix anyway.  I used Aves Apoxiesculpt clay to add to the base figure’s clothes to make them look more like what Logan wears in the book.  

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On the left, you can see some progress on the Lego Friends Rocketeer.  Speaking of the Rocketeer, there is a Rocketeer game I alluded to in the episode you can download for your phone.  More details here:

Some pictures from the episode:

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Lastly, check out episode 43 of I Used to Like This One for a guest appearance I made on the show to discuss the 1991 film version of The Rocketeer.

Lastly, thanks for all who joined in for the live Facebook concert of Thirteenth Hour music with the custom Logan action figure that happened on 5/30/21.  You can replay it here:

Set list:
1.) The Thirteenth Hour Theme*
2.) Empty Hands+
3.) Dragons’ Eyes*
4.) Forever Young (by Alphaville, acoustic guitar cover)
5.) Dreams Go Far*
6.) I Will Remember You (by Amy Grant, acoustic guitar cover)
7.) Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things*
8.) Searching for Forever*
 
*from the Long Ago Not So Far Away LP (https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/…/long-ago-not-so-far-away)

If you would like to grab a little piece of The Thirteenth Hour, pick up a patch of Logan flying off into the sunset and bask in many of the things we discussed in this episode – silver flying machines, cloudscapes, and the sun setting on another day signifying a hope for a better tomorrow.  The patches come with a high quality mp3 download from Once Upon a Dream, the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.

img_2898

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #303 and Like a Hood Ornament #30: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 11

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #303 and Like a Hood Ornament #30: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 11

This week, I started working on a few of the action figure projects I mentioned the episode before last.  I got a chance to do some of the preliminary clay sculpting.  There is a little more to do, then some fine tuning with files and Dremels and such. 

img_3831

 

The figure on the left that currently looks like it’s wearing a diaper is from the show PJ Maskswhich my kids occasionally will watch.  If I can puff out the pants to resemble to baggy fatigue trousers Logan wears, sculpt in a belt – perhaps the yellow one Logan usually has on as part of his base uniform or the utility belt he is issued with lots out pouches and a sheath knife (more of a challenge but more interesting to sculpt those small details), puff out the sleeves of the arms a bit, then add a head than is not so disproportionately large, I’ll have another Logan custom.

@13thhr

Making jodhpurs and the Cirrus X-3 for a custom #legofriends rocketeer. Using apoxiesculpt.

♬ The Thirteenth Hour Theme (Trailer Version) – Joshua Blum

On the right in the picture and in the video above, you can see some sculpting going on to make a Lego Friends figure look more like the Rocketeer.

The second part of the episode is watching The Rocketeer cartoon, episode 11, which is one of my favorites, as there is a toy Rocketeer in it!

Some pictures from the episode:

rocketeerrocketeer3cliff's hatbruce

Lastly, thanks for all who joined in for the live Facebook concert of Thirteenth Hour music with the custom Logan action figure that happened on 5/30/21.  You can replay it here:

Set list:
1.) The Thirteenth Hour Theme*
2.) Empty Hands+
3.) Dragons’ Eyes*
4.) Forever Young (by Alphaville, acoustic guitar cover)
5.) Dreams Go Far*
6.) I Will Remember You (by Amy Grant, acoustic guitar cover)
7.) Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things*
8.) Searching for Forever*
 
*from the Long Ago Not So Far Away LP (https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/…/long-ago-not-so-far-away)

If you would like to grab a little piece of The Thirteenth Hour, pick up a patch of Logan flying off into the sunset and bask in many of the things we discussed in this episode – silver flying machines, cloudscapes, and the sun setting on another day signifying a hope for a better tomorrow.  The patches come with a high quality mp3 download from Once Upon a Dream, the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.

img_2898

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #301 and Like a Hood Ornament #28: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 9

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #301 and Like a Hood Ornament #28: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 9

This week, I’m discussing a few upcoming custom action figure ideas (a few Rocketeer ones, another Logan one) coming this summer.

A few pictures:

This little lady from PJ Masks has a broken hip. But if I can fix it, I think I might be able to use the body to make a custom Logan figure, since the tunic is pretty similar.  

I’ve slowly been collecting pieces to make a 3 3/4” Rocketeer custom figure as well as a Cliff and Jenny set (made of Lego Friends pieces and a few other accessories).

The second part of the episode is watching The Rocketeer cartoon, episode 9.  

Some pictures from the episode:

bulldog1bulldog3bulldog4 

There are lots of great interior shots of the Bulldog Cafe in this episode!

Lastly, thanks for all who joined in for the live IG concert of Thirteenth Hour music with the custom Logan action figure that happened on 5/15/21.  When I figure out how to get it onto another platform, I’ll have another concert there as well.  

If you would like to grab a little piece of The Thirteenth Hour, pick up a patch of Logan flying off into the sunset and bask in many of the things we discussed in this episode – silver flying machines, cloudscapes, and the sun setting on another day signifying a hope for a better tomorrow.  The patches come with a high quality mp3 download from Once Upon a Dream, the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.

img_2898

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #279: Working on a Thirteenth Hour Custom Action Figure Part 4: Making a Silicone Mold and Shrinking with Mineral Spirits

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #279: Working on a Thirteenth Hour Custom Action Figure Part 4: Making a Silicone Mold and Shrinking with Mineral Spirits

https://archive.org/download/podcast-279/Podcast%20279.mp3

This week, I’m making a silicone mold for the guitar I finished last week.  While the mold for the synthesizer is quite easy, this one is a bit more complex since I’m going to be trying a trick I learned on youtube with a video (below) made by Crafsman, who I support on Patreon.  (He has a lot of great resin casting and toy making videos; check him out!).  The trick here involves the use of mineral spirits mixed into the silicone with the idea that over time, the mold will shrink as the mineral spirits dissolves out, leaving you a smaller mold.  This effectively gives you the ability to shrink objects (in theory – I’ve never tried this before).

img_2577

Since the guitar I made was a bit too big for Logan’s hands, hopefully, the technique will allow me to shrink it down by about 25%.   Here’s the video in more detail described by the Crafsman:

By the way, the one piece mold for the synth I finished recently.  Now it’s time to pour in the resin!

img_2574

And the setup for the guitar mold seen from the top down. I ended up using a thin plastic box as an exoskeleton for the mold.  It was what I had lying around, though it didn’t have a flat bottom and the flexible sides meant it had to be supported from both sides, as shown below, where the body and most of the neck of the guitar are already submerged in silicone.  The toothpicks are meant as air vents.

img_2573img_2575img_2576

The bottles on the sides are supporting the mold as it dries, so it cures straight (a consequence of me suing a somewhat flexible container).  Now, it’s a matter of waiting a few days for the mineral spirits to diffuse out of the mold to see if this actually worked.

img_2508

Last week, a friend of the show and frequent guest / collaborator, AC of ACToyDesign needed some help for funding a surgery for his dog, Mooge.  In the span of the past week, Adam and Mooge actually exceeded their finding goal (click above for more info from Adam), so thank you to all that helped!

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #278: Working on a Thirteenth Hour Custom Action Figure Part 3: Making a Clay Acoustic Guitar

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #278: Working on a Thirteenth Hour Custom Action Figure Part 3: Making a Clay Acoustic Guitar

https://archive.org/download/podcast-278/Podcast%20278.mp3

This week, I’m working on another accessory for the custom figure of Logan from The Thirteenth Hour that I started two weeks ago.  Last week, I made a synthesizer, which is basically done, and today, I’m working on an acoustic guitar for Logan to sing with.

Here’s how the synth came out (from last week):

img_2528

And here’s what the guitar looks like so far:

img_2529

I also randomly made a little rectangle that will be one of the playing cards that Logan throws in the book.  The #2 plastics in the background above, by the way, may be in a future project.  I’ve always thought it would be fun to essentially recycle used plastics into useful things, like little toys.  I just need to figure out how to do it safely.

img_2527

These musical instruments will be for some upcoming (perhaps in 2021?) videos with Logan singing some songs, either accompanied by the synth or the guitar.  Some will be his own songs, and a number will be essentially cover songs.  I imagined that Logan would sound a bit like the singing rooster minstrel (voiced by folk singer Roger Miller) in the animated version of Robin Hood:

img_2508

Lastly, a friend of the show and frequent guest / collaborator, AC of ACToyDesign needs some help this holiday season.  Adam recently found out that his dog, Mooge, has lung cancer.  (If you need further convincing that she is adorable, click on her pic above to go to her Instagram account).  Her vets feel confident they caught the cancer early, and that she has a good prognosis. But … as anyone with a pet knows, surgery is expensive. That and follow up visits are estimated at around $7500 (!). This holiday season, please consider supporting or sharing Mooge’s gofundme to help raise funds for her treatment.  Thank you!

img_2509

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

Look for the episode Shawn, Colin, and I did on Willow on I Used to Like This One or wherever you listen to your podcasts.  Check them out on Patreon to help support their work!

From my first rewatching a few years ago:

A reposting of a previous post of a Madmartigan figurine I had as a kid:

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #277: Working on a Thirteenth Hour Custom Action Figure Part 2: Making a Clay Synth

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #277: Working on a Thirteenth Hour Custom Action Figure Part 2: Making a Clay Synth

https://archive.org/download/podcast-277/Podcast%20277.mp3

This week, I’m working on an accessory for the custom figure of Logan from The Thirteenth Hour that I started last week (that I am just about finished now).  I’m making Logan his own synthesizer to play!  He’ll use them for some upcoming videos.  But today – we’re starting the sculpting process for the keyboard from Aves Apoxiesculpt, the hard drying clay I used to make the initial sculpts for all the minifigures I’ve done as well as the custom sculpt parts of the Logan figure that I wrapped up this past week.

Here is how Logan looks so far:

img_2481img_2482

And here’s how the sculpt started:

img_2480

The keys will all be from toothpicks.  I’ve slid 21 keys (which will be the white ones) into the clay before it hardened.  Here, I’ve added speakers and a central console.  Once the clay hardens, I will further sand it and add a few more details that I want to show up on the final cast version.  As you can see, I have yet to add the black keys.  They’ll be smaller toothpicks glued on in between the keys.  There will be 15 of those (3 total octaves).

img_2487img_2488

“So I’m going to be playing this thing …?”  Yup!  And next week, a guitar!

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

Look for the episode Shawn, Colin, and I did on Willow on I Used to Like This One or wherever you listen to your podcasts.  Check them out on Patreon to help support their work!

From my first rewatching a few years ago:

A reposting of a previous post of a Madmartigan figurine I had as a kid:

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #276: Working on a Thirteenth Hour Custom Action Figure

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #276: Working on a Thirteenth Hour Custom Action Figure

https://archive.org/download/podcast-276/Podcast%20276.mp3

This week, I’m working on a custom figure of Logan from The Thirteenth Hour.  In some ways, I’ve been planning this for years.  It was the original reason why I got into clay sculpting, though I ended up going the direction of making minifigures entirely from scratch first.  But I’ve been meaning to go back to try making customs.  This isn’t the first custom I tried my hand at (the first custom figure was a mini of Aurora), but it is the first one I’m making where I’m actually using all these spare action figure parts I’ve been slowly collecting over the years from yard sales, flea markets, and the loose bins at comic con conventions where I attended as a vendor.

This first custom, detailed in episode 264, was only about 2″ tall and was part kit bash, and the rest was sculpted.

Here’s a bit on the plan for the figure:

And the progress so far …

img_2401img_2402img_2419

More to come in the next few weeks!

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

Look for the episode Shawn, Colin, and I did on Willow on I Used to Like This One or wherever you listen to your podcasts.  Check them out on Patreon to help support their work!

From my first rewatching a few years ago:

A reposting of a previous post of a Madmartigan figurine I had as a kid:

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #264: Starting the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream” and Custom Minifigure Making

Episode #264: Starting the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream” and Custom Minifigure Making

https://archive.org/download/podcast-264/Podcast%20264.mp3

This week, I’m working up and wrapping up few concurrent projects – starting the recording of the backing track for “Once Upon a Dream” discussed last on episode 261 and finishing up a little “kitbashed” minifigure of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour discussed a bit last episode. The magnet dolls discussed last episode are in the editing process, so I’ll be printing those out soon!

magnet doll clothes

One of Aurora’s costumes is this one from a picture in the book:

I’ve been working on a custom miniature of Aurora in this outfit made from a few different Wonder Woman mini figures.

I ended up using parts from all three different verions of these little Wonder Women to make the figure, plus some Apoxie Sculpt clay and paint.  These are the pics from last week. Here’s what the finished figure looks like:

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #243: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Flying Through the Clouds and Like a Hood Ornament 3 – the Rocketeer’s Rocketpack

Episode #243: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Flying Through the Clouds and Like a Hood Ornament 3 – the Rocketeer’s Rocketpack

https://archive.org/download/podcast243/Podcast%20243.mp3

This week’s show is all about flying, both in the traditional part of the podcast as well as in the Rocketeer segment.  I’ll always aim for them to be related if possible, since, after all, The Rocketeer was one of the things that influenced the writing and creation of the Thirteenth Hour world.

In the first part of the show, I’m reading from the chapter where the main protagonist, Logan, is gifted a silver hoverboard he calls Lightning that has its own onboard magical “computer” (though that’s never exactly stated), allowing for a kind of magic artificial intelligence, and runs off the power of the sun (again, never exactly stated, at least not in this one).

Just to get us in the mood, I thought I’d include the intro from the 1984 film, The Neverending Story, for the quintessential audiovisual cloudscape experience:

Here is the passage from The Thirteenth Hour:

Lightning beeped cheerfully and drifted slowly forward down the lighted blue pathway that I had walked down earlier.  She really picked up speed in the windy section near the entrance. I crouched down low, white–knuckling the board with both hands.  Maybe I should have practiced a little first, I began thinking to myself.  But Aurora was in trouble, and I needed to concentrate on that.  The flight to Cordel would have to be my practice.  Lightning shot out of the Palace and began to climb steeply.  My heart plummeted into my stomach, and I prayed that we would slow down, eyes shut, knuckles even whiter as I gripped the edges of the board for dear life. 

The board beeped then; I opened my eyes slightly, and by shielding them against the torrential winds, I was able to see a message flash across the complicated, yet impressive looking front of the board. 

“Relax, Logan!  There’s no way you can fall.  Both your feet are now strapped in. You can let go of my sides if you want.  Have fun!”  

I looked down; my right foot was now securely strapped onto the board.  I stayed crouched low, but let go of the edges, first one hand, then another.  As soon as I did, I felt as if I were going to fall backwards and began to flail my arms.  Lightning slowed down a little, allowing me to regain my balance.  But at every dip, my stomach felt like it was shooting up to my throat.  I wanted to grab onto something solid, but I realized that there was nothing but air to hold onto!  In desperation, I gripped the side of the board again, but it didn’t do any good.

“This is harder than I thought!”

Another message flashed across the screen.

“Well, it really isn’t too hard once you get the hang of it.  Just relax and let me do the work.  Now, how about some aerobatics, my favorite?”

“Uh, wait a minute!  Aerobatics?  Is that anything like acrobatics?  I don’t think I’m ready for that!” I yelled.

“Sure you are!  You just don’t know it yet!  All you have to do is hang on!” flashed the screen.

I yelled a succession of curses as my stomach shot up to my throat as Lightning spun around three times in succession.  The screen read, “Barrel roll maneuvers complete.”

Whatever that meant!  She ended up in an inverted position, with me looking at the sea, dizzy.  I had paid so much attention to the insides of my eyelids that I hadn’t looked around to notice how high we were.  We seemed to be traveling at an insane speed.  The waves far below flashed by in a blur.  The wind kept getting caught in my gaping mouth and bellowing out my cheeks while I struggled to close my mouth.  At one point, I felt like I was going to fall out, dangling only by the straps holding my feet onto the board.  Instinctively, I grabbed both sides of the board.  Lightning rolled back over, and I breathed easier. 

“This might help you out.  I am going to deploy an invisible shield that will surround you and myself.  It’s just like a big bubble.  It will cut air resistance and protect you.  And just in case you’re interested, it will prevent you from falling should you manage to slip out of the foot restraints.”

“We couldn’t have done this before?” I croaked, as wind caught in my mouth, hard that time, stunning my vocal chords.

“No, my programming instructs us to be at least fifty miles away from the Palace before I deploy the bubble shield.”

“Why fifty?”

“If I overheat, I could self–destruct.  The explosion would level anything in the surrounding area within a fifty mile radius.”

“Self–destruct?” I repeated, horrified.

“The shield has never been tested before.  There’s a very slight chance that it will overload my systems.”

“Overload?” 

“Is it just me or is there an echo here?  It’s alright.  The shield’s up now. All systems are operating well within normal limits.  However, it’s written in my programming to warn all passengers if they aren’t.”

As if they could do anything about it, except maybe jump off and die hitting the ground instead of in a mid–air explosion.  The wind didn’t seem to be blowing as hard now, though I couldn’t see the shield, nor could I feel it.  But I noticed that it was much quieter, and I could talk without shouting, although there was still a ringing in my ears from the rushing wind.

“It seems to work,” I said, feeling around tentatively.

I looked back; I couldn’t see the Palace.  When I asked how far we were away from it, Lightning flashed across her screen, “About 75 miles right now.” 

Jeez, we were going fast.  We couldn’t have been in the air very long; under an hour, I guessed.  I looked back again and noticed a plume of colored, sparkling mist in our wake.  It looked just like a rainbow.  I looked under the board; the mist was coming out of three separate locations on Lightning’s bottom side. 

“Those are my engines.”

I realized that I had been so caught up in the excitement/horror of my ride with Lightning that I had never even questioned how she generated her power.

As if reading my mind, Lightning flashed, ”I can show you the owner’s manual later that discusses more of the specifics, but for now, all you need to know is that there’s a readout on my display that shows how much power I have left.”

I found the icon on her display, which read 95% power.

“You know, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or anything, because I really appreciate you going fast since you know I’m in a hurry and all, but do you think you could slow down just a little?  I think I left my stomach somewhere behind the last mountain.”

“No, according to my scanner, you still have it.”

“Oh … it was just a manner of speaking, you know …”

“A joke?”

I laughed.  “Well, almost, I guess.”

“Tell me a joke then.”

“Oh, I don’t know any good ones.  When we find Aurora, we’ll ask her.  She’ll know some.”

“All right.  Nothing like learning how to swim by jumping in the deep end, huh, Logan?”

“Right.  Without a lesson.”

“Well, no one ever did learn to swim in a turtle pool.”

“What’s a turtle pool?”

“You never had one of those?  One of those little plastic kiddie pools about a foot deep that you fill up with a hose?”

“Plastic?  Kiddie pool?  Hose?”

“Ehh, never mind.  Probably just some stuff that hasn’t been invented yet.  One of these days I really have to organize my files.”

“So … how long until we reach Cordel?” I asked.

“About thirty minutes.  How do you like flying around like this so far?”

“I like it, especially with the bubble shield.”

“Good!  We’ll always fly with it on from now on.  I’m glad you like flying!  I knew you were a flyer when I first saw you!” flashed the board, with a few friendly beeps.

“We’re going to take a little detour, and I think I’ll throw in a few tricks, just to keep things interesting.  Wouldn’t want you to fall asleep or anything!”  

“Oh, I really don’t think you’ll have to worry about …” 

Just at that second, I tried to scream as Lightning shot upward suddenly, but my voice was still somewhat hoarse.  All that came out was some kind of croaking sound.  Then she hung a hard right, shot into a loop with a couple of twists thrown in, and straightened out high above the clouds.  My stomach, however, took a little longer.

“Guh … give me a minute to recover,” I panted.

“Okay.  It’s pretty much a straight trip from here, so we’ll take it easy so you can get used to doing turns and things like that. Of course, you can always count on me to fly, but I thought you’d like to give it a shot yourself.”

By shifting my weight left and right, I was able to make turns.  By leaning forwards or backwards, I could either climb or dive.  I even tried a tentative loop with all the grace of a one–legged stork.

“Hey, not bad!” flashed the message board.  “See, it’s not so hard!” 

“I guess …” I said.

“Logan, I know what you need!  A little attitude!  How about some music?  ‘Cause there isn’t much to see up here.  Just clouds, and when you’ve seen one, you’ve pretty much seen them all.  And there’s nothing like music to boost your confidence!” 

“Music?” I asked, a little surprised.

“Yes.  One of my unsung talents.”

“Hey, Lightning, that was a joke!  Well, kind of, anyway.  I think that’s called a pun.”

“Really?  Well, see, things are looking up already!”

I heard a sound suddenly.  Or sounds, rather, but they were like nothing I had ever heard before.  The music sounded slow, at first, then it picked up pace, until the speed of the music matched the speed of our flying.  It was strangely futuristic, but at the same time, it seemed like I had always known the melody. [When I was originally writing this passage, I had the melody from When in Rome’s “The Promise” in mind.]

There were words sung, too, but in a language that I neither understood nor wanted to understand; somehow, the mystery of the words added to the mystique of the music.  In a way, this is in vain, as my description here will do no justice to the melody, because there are some things that are perhaps impossible to describe in words and are better left unspoken.    

I felt, at that moment, an incredible rush of energy and indescribable exhilaration.  I felt ready to take on the world – or, at least, a dragon or two.  All my fears of flying vanished like the mist of the rainbow behind us. The feeling of gliding through the air with the wind rushing through my hair, sleeves and pant legs flapping back and forth, and the music rushing up to meet my ears was indescribable.  But it is perhaps best compared to that day, long ago, when, as I stood at the top of the hill near the castle, looking out at the landscape around – I let the wind take my hand and lead me to dance.

I later wrote a song for Long Ago Not So Far Away about this part of the book that became the song, “I’ll Fly Away.”  It has two versions, both below – with varying levels of synth and tempo depending on your mood!

Today’s Rocketeer segment is also about flying – the Rocketeer’s rocketpack!

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Today marks the third Rocketeer segment as a part of the podcast.  Below are a few previous episodes about the Rocketeer:

Ep 18 on comics (Dave Stevens)

Ep 53 on rewatching the Rocketeer as an adult

Ep 235 on making the resin miniature Rocketeer

This week, we’re discussing three versions of the rocketpack (in descending order below): 1.) the sliver-purple one with fins from the comics, 2.) the finless silver double barrelled Art Deco one from the movie, and 3.) the silver and purple double barrelled one with fins from the cartoon that came out this past fall.

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The Rocketeer - Meet Kit Secord (Promo) - YouTube

Here are a few design ideas on the gloves and rocketpack from the film, showing the original prototype (closer to Dave Steven’s original drawings), then how it evolved into the double silver bullet shape seen in the film (these come from The Rocketeer Official Movie Souvenir Magazine).

Here are some excerpts from the original comic drawn by Dave Stevens about how the rocket pack was controlled and refueled.  (The images below come from The Rocketeer: The Complete Deluxe Edition, which is unfortunately quite difficult to find now – look on Amazon and eBay for used copies at more reasonable prices).

This little animated .gif is, of course, from the point in the movie where the Rocketeer, not above a little self conscious vanity, asks how he looks.  Peevy, not above a little blunt honesty, says “Like a hood ornament!”  The Rocketeer blasts off for the first time, Peevy gets blown backwards into the hangar, and I get a name for this part of the podcast!

Stay tuned for more Rocketeer gear talk next week!  Stay safe!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #242: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Reflection in Seclusion and Like a Hood Ornament 2

Episode #242: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Reflection in Seclusion and Like a Hood Ornament 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast242_202003/Podcast%20242.mp3

On this week’s show, I thought we’d do a little more quarantine / seclusion real talk – specifically on self reflection when alone with your thoughts, as many people are these days, kind of like Logan in one part of The Thirteenth Hour, which we’ll be reading from shortly.  We may ignore or put off deep thinking in day to day life, either out of discomfort, fear of what we’ll find, or lack of time.  But, on the other hand, sometimes being alone with your thoughts offers the most freedom of expression, since there is no one else to censor your thought process except you (and the voice of society, upbringing, etc – though that’s still you, just your interpretation of those things).

Here are are some of passages from The Thirteenth Hour referenced in the episode:

I don’t know how long I sat there – I was vaguely aware of the sun going down at some point, but my mind wasn’t really on that.  I struggled a lot that day, but not with nausea or sleep.  I had always been a pretty optimistic person – most dreamers are, I think – and liked to think that people were basically good inside.  I wanted to believe that there were happy endings, and that it wasn’t just something people wrote about in books so they could vicariously experience something they never knew in real life.  I basically wanted the world to be a good place, or if not good, at least non–imposing, leaving me free to do what I wanted.  I had always thought if you left people alone, they’d leave you alone.  But that didn’t always happen, did it?   It was like being a grain of sand in a desert where a simple gust of wind or footprint could shift the position of the grains all around you, changing your own position.  Perhaps accepting that was part of something called growing up, but I sure didn’t have to like it.

If it’s just one person, perhaps life is simpler, but when there is another, things get more complicated.  I wanted to believe that love could work out, too, even though I still didn’t really know what it felt like.  But I was an optimist and wanted to believe that I would know what love was like one day.  But if love meant surrendering part of yourself, could you really do that if you felt ashamed of what you had to give? …

… And though I never asked her to, she came each day after that, even if it was just to sit by me and put cold compresses on my body as I drifted in and out of feverish sleep.  Sometimes I wondered why she did, since I had so little to offer in terms of companionship.  But finally, one day, the fever broke, and I awoke to find that the pounding in my head had gone.  I looked out my window – night.  I did not feel like sleeping anymore and began to test my unsteady legs.  As I hobbled in and out of the shadows of my darkened cell, I found my mind wondering when Aurora would stop by.  Of course, not until daylight, many hours from now, a realization that stung a little at first.  But the more I thought about it, the sting became an ache that racked my body painfully until I was forced to sit down on the floor.   There, with labored breaths, I thought back on specific things that had happened over the past few weeks, over the past few years, over the course of my life.  Then there was a spark, a sudden flash of light, and it all became so clear; I marveled how I could have been so blind.

It was then that I understood why the bards so often sung of love, because for the first time, I actually knew what they were singing about.  Because it was then I knew that it was love that I’d been falling into all along; I just hadn’t known enough about it to realize what it was.  And then, to my surprise, I rolled over onto the floor and began to cry.  Maybe I was happy, maybe I was sad, I didn’t know.  But I hadn’t really cried in such a long time that it was like I was experiencing it for the first time.  The tears that flowed from my eyes pushed away the dirt and sweat and grime, leaving a clean streak behind, fresh and ready for the future. 

(POV change to Aurora) I found him sleeping there on the floor the next morning.  He did not stir when I walked in.  I knelt down and felt his forehead; the fever had passed.  For the first time in many days, he looked like he was at peace.  I did not disturb him.  But after a few minutes, he opened his eyes and saw me next to him.  Then, he sat up slowly, looked at me, and smiled.  There was something different in his smile, but I smiled back all the same.  And then I knew what it was; he understood!  Then we put our arms around each other and stayed that way in that dank, dirty cell for a long, long time.   

I wrote a song for Long Ago Not So Far Away about this part of the book that I talked about a little back in episode 51 (recorded around the time I wrote it).  The lyrics and associated chords are below:

Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things

Intro

C
There’s this girl that I know
G Am
Actually, I’ve known her all my life,
F
It seems, to me.

C G
And when she found me, as a child
Am F
All alone, without a soul, to call my own.
C
Best friends were we
G Am F
Did I ever say how much that meant … to me?

C
And so … the seasons go
G Am
Promises of childhood seem so bold.
F
Can they grow old?

C G
Now I hold her hand but
Am
As an adult man, and something is …
F G
Different this time.

C
That grey dress she wears
G Am
Seen it a hundred times before
F
But not like tonight, not like tonight. ‘Cause
C
There’s a fire in her eyes
G Am
The wind catches a lock of her hair
F
And my heart lifts in time.
C
There’s a smile on her face
G Am
One I know that time can not erase …
F
But it feels new.

C G
And then all at once, it hits me like a thousand tons
Am F
How I could’ve been so blind?
C G
And that’s when I knew why songs are sung of love
Am
Because, because, because … it was love
F C
I was falling in … this whole time.

Instrumental: C G Am F C

The album version of the song (instrumental version above):

 

When I was producing the song, I added more layers and an electric guitar segment to the latter parts of the song to beef up the song what is essentially a four chord folk ballad to create a dichotomy between the slow, tender, piano part with a louder, more biting, aggressive part reminiscent of an 80s metal ballad.   I wanted it to be that way to capture the balance between Logan’s tender realization in a time of vulnerability contrasted with the flash of insight that he must lift himself up out of a hole in the ground (quite literally – he is a dungeon, after all) with his strength of will.

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Today also marks the second Rocketeer segment as a part of the podcast.  Below are a few episode mentions about the Rocketeer prior to last week’s show on Cliff Secord’s biography:

Ep 18 on comics (Dave Stevens)

Ep 53 on rewatching the Rocketeer as an adult

Ep 235 on making the resin miniature Rocketeer

This week, I’m reading from some of Dave Stevens’ handwritten notes on the backstory he created for Cliff to give depth to the character and explain some of the motivations Cliff had (which, admittedly, were somewhat self serving).   This comes from The Rocketeer: The Complete Deluxe Edition, which is unfortunately quite difficult to find now but has pages and pages of storyboards (like the one below) and notes from Dave Stevens on the characters and story he wanted to create.

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https://imgur.com/gallery/yYmEOnO?s=sms

More coming next week!  Stay safe!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #241: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Exercise in Seclusion and the Start of Like a Hood Ornament 1

Episode #241: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Exercise in Seclusion and the Start of Like a Hood Ornament 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast241_202003/Podcast%20241.mp3

On this week’s show, I thought I’d touch on the topic of exercise, specifically what you can do if you happen to be isolated (either due to a global pandemic or imprisoned for other reasons, like Logan in one part of The Thirteenth Hour, which we’ll be reading from shortly.

As it turns out, there’s actually quite a lot you can do even if you can’t go to a gym.  Although being quarantined does not necessarily mean you can’t go outside (the virtues of short duration outdoor physical activity is something we discuss briefly though a scientific paper – see the abstract below), you can do a remarkable amount inside, even if you have little to no equipment.  I’ve done a version of the workout that inspired the little passage in The Thirteenth Hour for decades.  That workout was really nothing special – just having been the body weight exercises we did in martial arts classes and other calisthenics I recall from an old Canadian Air Force fitness manual I had as a kid that we probably got at a garage sale.  If you’re interested, Arnold Schwarzenegger put together a similar routine that is available for people to access here.

study

Here’s the passage from The Thirteenth Hour:

They’ll break you if you let them.  I wasn’t the strongest person out there, and though I always had hope, now I had purpose again.  I started from the beginning, with my body, the only way I’d learned how.  Every morning, after I woke up, I would wash my face and clothes, if they needed washing.  Then I did calisthenics – pushups, sit–ups, stretching – like I had done when I was in training.  My muscles felt deconditioned from lack of use and malnutrition, so much of my strength had left me, and everything was more difficult now. 

It’s hard to take it slow when your never–resting mind can envision all the things it’d like your body to be able to do once more.  But in the end, sometimes it’s best to just get busy trying and spend less time thinking. 

When I could comfortably walk around my cell and jog in place, I slowly motioned through the different hand–to–hand combat techniques that I had learned during my training.  Who knows, I thought, if I make a break for it, I’ll need those techniques the most.  After a few weeks, my stamina began to reassert itself, allowing me to wage ongoing battles against that cloaked magician, Klax.  Whenever I felt myself growing tired, I saw his form in my mind and practiced harder. 

More than once the guards rushed into my cell, thinking that I had collapsed or died because I was lying face down on the cold stone floor.  I was actually just resting, but my guards had grown somewhat fond of me, they said, and didn’t want anything bad to happen to me.  I was never sure if they were telling the truth or not; I’ll bet Klax would have had their necks if they had been so careless as to let me kill myself without his being able to see. 

My agility came back last.  The cell was not large enough for much, but the ceiling was high and my boots were padded, so I figured it was worth a go.  Pretty much anything is, though, after you’ve been cooped up in the same room for weeks. 

I tried standing on my hands again, at first with my feet resting against the wall to accustom my arms to the change in weight they’d be frequently bearing in the near future.  Then handstands without the wall.  Then handsprings, and finally, aerial techniques.  As for the latter, the first few times, the guards must have heard the sound of my feet slamming into the stone floor because they came running.  They saw what I was doing, took it as a suicide attempt, doubled their checks on my cell, and, of course, made me stop at once, lest, by golly, I crack my head open on the hard stone floor.  I was too far into my regimen to really care what they thought, and it just meant I had to practice when they were asleep or weren’t looking.  And try to land softer. 

 

There were a few times when I did go overboard and missed beaning my noggin on the stones out of sheer luck.  It goes with the territory … sooner or later, everybody ends up bailing in midair.   One minute you’re in the air, next thing you know, your jump seems off or things just feel weird, and if you have time to think anything at all, that’s about when you think some bad words, along with “this could hurt.” 

But I knew that once I regained confidence in my body and what it could do, I would stop bailing.  I knew my body would get used to being in strange positions in the air again, and I knew the best way to not get hurt was to go all out on each technique.  I just wasn’t quite there yet, resulting in a few midair problems and hard landings on an unforgiving stone floor.  I hurt an ankle after a bad landing – an easy thing to do if you’re practicing on a hard, uneven surface like the floor of my cell – but thankfully escaped anything worse.  Luckily, I had a good set of boots – one of the few things Darian’s Army did right – that were light and flexible with thick, padded soles meant to withstand miles upon miles of marching and other abuse.  Later, Aurora found me a mattress, which she intended for me to sleep on (which I did, of course), but what she didn’t know was that it was the mat I used to soften my landings.

https://imgur.com/gallery/yYmEOnO?s=sms

So I finally took the plunge and created a little profile on Tik Tok.  To be honest, I don’t get 95% of the stuff on there, but it has some videos of people making stuff and doing flips, so that’s enough for me.  I mainly just use it to post some videos of the resin minifigures I’ve made.  This is the backflip animation whose frames are above.

Today also marks the first Rocketeer segment as a part of the podcast.  Now, obviously, there have been many episode mentions about the Rocketeer before, though here are a few:

Ep 18 on comics (Dave Stevens)

Ep 53 on rewatching the Rocketeer as an adult

Ep 235 on making the resin miniature Rocketeer

But this week’s show marks the first time starting an actual segment (kind of like how I used to do a starving artist segment before) that I’m calling:

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https://imgur.com/gallery/yYmEOnO?s=sms

That’s “Like a Hood Ornament” if your interface doesn’t support graphics (that’s you, iTunes show notes).  You may recognize the moniker as a line from the 1991 film.  Today’s we’ll start out with the fictional bio most likely written by Dave Stevens for his protagonist, Cliff, who inspired Logan in many ways.

More coming next week!  Stay safe!

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #240: Adam from ACToyDesign Returns to Talk Toys Part 3

Episode #240: Adam from ACToyDesign Returns to Talk Toys Part 3

https://archive.org/download/podcast240_202003/Podcast%20240.mp3

Generally, I eschew any and all current events, especially anything that could be political in any way.  However, if you’re reading this, you’re undoubtedly aware of the global pandemic.  Everyone can do your part!  This is not just a you thing, not a me thing, this is an everyone thing.  This is a perfect time to stay in, read that book you’ve been meaning to get to, binge watch your favorite show, or rewatch some old movies.  The things you wanted to do aren’t going anywhere, but you gotta be around to enjoy them later.  Be safe!  Next week, we’ll talk about what happens if you want to work out while confined inside a little room (kinda like Logan was in The Thirteenth Hour …)

And now, in the spirit of escapism, let’s talk toys!

This week, we have another special episode – Adam from ACToyDesign and the IG account @mom_gave_them_away returns for the second part of his followup since his last appearance in October to discuss toys and toy making!  Look for part 1 and 2 as well as Adam’s appearance on our two shows (1and 2) on Terminator films 2-6!

We had a whole discussion on the nature of heroes and how supposedly straight laced ones, like Captain America, reflect a kind of hero that can be great for kids to have as role models.

Image result for captain america

Check out Adam’s show on the many roles of Willow‘s Warwick Davis.  Willow did have a short lived toy line, but many 80s movies did not, for whatever reason.  In this episode, we talk about toy lines that we wish would have been made (or ones we might work on making out of resin some time in the future).  Like …

Image result for batteries not included

Batteries Not Included

Image result for short circuit

Short Circuits 1 & 2

Speaking of Short Circuit, check out this absurdist video by El DeBarge for “Who’s Johnny?” Absolutely classic!

Image result for the last starfighter

The Last Starfighter – why there were no ships or more widespread video games (I think there might have been one?  There is a fan made game that looks just like the one in the film you can find here, though.) made from this film, the world will never know.  Adam did, however, find these prototype figures by Galoob that, had they seen the light of day, would have been amazing!

Galoob Last Star Fighter

Image result for howard the duck

Howard the Duck

Image result for flight of the navigator

The Flight of the Navigator

Check out ACToyDesign on Patreon.

If you enjoy Star Wars, check out his new show, I Have Spoken!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #239: Adam from ACToyDesign Returns to Talk Toys Part 2

Episode #239: Adam from ACToyDesign Returns to Talk Toys Part 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast239_202003/Podcast%20239.mp3

This week, we have another special episode – Adam from ACToyDesign and the IG account @mom_gave_them_away returns for a followup since his last appearance in October to discuss toys and toy making!

Adam’s modding tips:

-Wash your figure with soap and water if you are intending to work on it.  This will remove oils that happen to be on the plastic.

-Lighter fluid may be worth using if the figure is old and been handled a lot and has a lot of oil on the surface.  If the plastic is starting to break down, as resort, you can try some lighter fluid (maybe test it on a small spot first), to see if that will get rid of the stickiness.

-Magnifying glasses (or reading glasses) may help you see details closer (I have tried this – it does work).

Here’s what I was working on while this episode was going on – the body of Kit Secord from the Rocketeer cartoon, and below was the paint job Adam was working on for the custom Voltron figure he was commissioned for.  You can find many more on his Patreon page below.

img_9935img_0129

Check out ACToyDesign on Patreon.

If you enjoy Star Wars, check out his new show, I Have Spoken!

Check out the second part of this conversation next week!

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #235: Adam from ACToyDesign Returns to Talk Toys Part 1

Episode #235: Adam from ACToyDesign Returns to Talk Toys Part 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast235_202002/Podcast%20235.mp3

This week, we have another special episode – Adam from ACToyDesign and the IG account @mom_gave_them_away returns for a followup since his last appearance in October to discuss toys and toy making!

Check out ACToyDesign on Patreon.

If you enjoy Star Wars, check out his new show, I Have Spoken!

Also, here is a close up for the custom Della Caine figure Adam discussed on the show:

If you’re interested in getting into resin casting, here are a few tutorials we put together.  In this first one, Adam discusses how he sculpted his Chudbaby figures, one of the clay figurines he discussed in the episode we did back in October.  (Check out his whole line of resin figures here.)

In this video, Adams discusses one way of making a 2 part silicone mold:

When making the Rocketeer resin figure for my kids, I experimented with filming parts of the process, which ended up being 2 parts awkward (working around the camera) and 1 part messy (trying not to get resin of silicone on the lens).  The end result is over on IGTV, though I’ve included the posts here.

In this one, we go through how to think about casting a figure strategically, where to put air vents, and how to position the figure in a 2 part mold (then we make it).

And in this one, we go through the resin mixing and casting process as well as some basic fixes for what to do if parts of the cast don’t fill completely.  I use a glow in the dark powder to make the final figures glow, so show that gets mixed in the resin mixture.

This last video shows more detail of the mold being opened (always exciting!) and a sped-up rundown of the post-mold-opening cleanup sequence:

The finished product next to an equally bright (in the dark) Logan, who was created in a very similar manner:

View this post on Instagram

When I was originally creating the character of Logan, the protagonist of The Thirteenth Hour, back in 1998 I think I was channeling the traits of a lot of the heroes of films and books I’d enjoyed as a kid – a little bit of Atreyu from The Neverending Story (dedication to a task despite all reasons in the world to quit), a little bit Marty McFly from the Back to the Future films (the combination of awkward physicality and the ability to fly with a hoverboard), a little bit of Alex from The Last Starfighter (just a kid from the middle of nowhere destined for great things), a little of Young Indy from the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (idealism, seeing the best in people), and a lot of Cliff from The Rocketeer (an inherently forward thinking optimist who succeeds not necessarily because he is especially talented or intentional in what he does but more a combination of good intentioned but bumbling incompetence that favors the lucky and the brave). So here are both flying men as figurines in their glow in the dark forms. I think they’d get along were wires crossed and one of the other ended up in each other’s world. . . . #davestevens #rocketeer #rocketeermovie #finheads #rocketeertoy #actionfigures #customtoys #designertoys #apoxiesculpt #resincasting #makingtoys #warhammer40k #smoothon #bttf #backtothefuture #martymcfly #michaeljfox #atreyu #theneverendingstorybook #theneverendingstory #michaelende #noahhathaway #thelaststarfighter #alexrogan #lanceguest #youngindianajones #youngindy #indianajones @spflanery #cliffsecord #billcampbell

A post shared by Joshua Blum 📘🎨 #Author #Artist (@the13thhr) on

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #230: 2020 Goals and Making of the Rocketeer Minifigure Part 1

Episode #230: 2020 Goals and Making of the Rocketeer Minifigure Part 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast230_202001/Podcast%20230.mp3

Happy new year, everyone!  During this episode, I reflect a little on what happened in 2019 and what I’d like to do in the coming year:

  • con’t working on The Thirteenth Hour sequel draft
  • finish painting the Aurora and Lightning resin minifigures
  • continue collaborating with a number of fellow podcasters whose work I’ve enjoyed (more below)
  • publish a second Thirteenth Hour soundtrack to compliment Long Ago Not So Far Away (a few more tracks to go)
  • continue the D and D campaign my brother and I were doing
  • and finish this belated Xmas present for my daughter, a little resin Rocketeer figure (she got interested in the original Rocketeer after watching the animated series that launched this past November – most of the episode is actually spent discussing how that came to be so I’ll just put some pictures here of the progress to date):

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At some point, I will make a little video showing the creation of the figure as well as making the mold as well as the casting process – parts I had the most questions on when I was just learning how to make resin figurines.

I wanted to give a shout out to some fellow creative folks out there who work I’m glad to have found in the past year!  In some cases, I had the pleasure of working with them this past year, in some cases not yet.  The hardest part of podcasting is meshing schedules, so collaborations are always tricky to arrange, so I’m grateful to whatever we’ve been able to do (or will do in this upcoming year).  I mentioned most of these folks on the show but not all – more to come in 2020!

Happy new year and best wishes in all your creative pursuits in 2020!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #220: An In-Person Conversation with Adam from AC Toy Design / @mom_gave_them_away

Episode #220: An In-Person Conversation with Adam from AC Toy Design / @mom_gave_them_away

https://archive.org/download/podcast220_201910/Podcast%20220.mp3

For this week, I’m doing the rare in-person podcast with guest host Adam Crohn from AC Toy Design (a.k.a. @mom_gave_them_away on Instagram), who’s been on this show a number of times before (see episodes 144 and 145 plus episodes 159, 160, 161, and 162 on four Arnold Schwarzenegger 80s movies).  I happened to be in Chicago for work, so Adam was gracious enough to take time out of his day to show us around the city and record a few shows.  On this week’s show, we are discussing the process of our resin casting projects – both of us in the last year or so have created minifigures and spend much of the episode comparing and contrasting our experiences.  Lots of great discussion on 80s throwbacks as well as toy design and creation.

See below for some pictures of the figures we made:

 

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Want to get one of Adam’s figures for your own? Check out his store at:
https://actoydesign.bigcartel.com


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If you’d like to pick up one of these figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there. The glow in the dark figures are currently done. The painted minifigures will be available shortly.

**A few of the other links we discussed on the show:

-Death by Toys (custom Kenner style action figures): http://www.deathbytoys.com/

-Support Adam on Patreon and get exclusive tips, media, and figures: https://www.patreon.com/adamcrohn

-Check our Adam’s Youtube channel for a tutorial on resin casting your own figure: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4IVGqEbVnAKLrVQXcSgnFA

-Gallery of some of Adam’s custom figures: https://www.artstation.com/adamcrohn

-Adam’s other Instagram accounts:

–>custom figures: https://www.instagram.com/actoydesign/

–>You Like Toys Podcast: https://www.instagram.com/youliketoyspodcast/

—–>listen time the podcast on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/adamcrohn

—–>listen to the podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3W1GcWGS74a8K3ssbL3ECM

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If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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