The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #285: Recycling LDPE and PP Plastic into Plastic Synths!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #285: Recycling LDPE and PP Plastic into Plastic Synths!

This week’s episode continues from the last three week’s crafting episodes … but instead of HDPE (high density polyethylene, a.k.a. #2) plastic (which worked pretty well, as described in last episode), this time, I’m experimenting with LDPE (low density polyethylene, a.k.a. #4) cut from a lid top (instead of Perler beads which I used last time) as well as PP (polypropylene, a.k.a. #5) plastic to do essentially the same thing as last week.  Again, I was not sure this would work. 

Just like the last few weeks, I’m using the silicone molds I used to make Logan’s synthesizer (watch for more stop motion animation music videos with him soon!):

For this project, I’m again using cut up strips of #4 and #5 plastic.  Here are the cut up bits of #4 plastic in the synth mold getting heated up with a heat gun.   As mentioned last week, heating plastic leads to fumes, so it would be a good idea to do this with some eye and mouth protection (safety goggles, a mask) in a well ventilated area, like a garage or outdoors.  I wouldn’t do this in your kitchen oven!  A pair of winter gloves are great for protecting your hands.

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Like HDPE, both LDPE and PP gets viscous and gooey when heated.  PP took longer and did not take to the mold as well.  With both of these, if you touch it or try to tamp it down too soon, it gets everywhere, just like hot tar.  It’s pretty easy to scrape off a smooth surface later, but I found I needed to wait longer than HDPE for it to become workable (PP – the longest).  As before, you will probably need to add additional plastic, heat that, and repeat the process until you fill the mold, like below.  I think I had to add 4-5 layers of plastic strips until I filled the mold.

 

img_2962

Here are the LDPE synth (red) and the PP synth (white) when they were just taken out of the mold the first time.  If you look closely at the details, you can see some of the strands did not liquefy.  So I heated the synth sides, flipped them back into the molds, pressed down, and … you can see the results below.

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The PP synth worked okay – kind of rough, but it did work.  Here it is next to the the lid it once was.  It took a whole lid to make the synth.

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Here are the different synths according to plastic type, in order of ease of use, from bottom to top.   There you have it, recycled plastic toys!

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And, as mentioned in the episode, the patches I mentioned a few weeks ago are now ready and available for purchase here!  They 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!
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 #284: Recycling HDPE Plastic into Plastic Synths!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #284: Recycling HDPE Plastic into Plastic Synths!

This week’s episode continues from the last two week’s crafting episodes … but instead of wax, I’m using plastic.  Not the two part pourable resins I’ve used so far but cut up pieces of HDPE (#2) plastic from milk jugs, bottle tops, or some other containers.  Or, this episode also contains a segment of using Perler beads, which is actually a different kind of plastic, LDPE (#4) but can also be used, with somewhat different results, I’ve found, though I can by no means say I’m an expert in any of this.  I just thought it’d be fun to try as an experiment.  I had no idea any of this would work, and frankly, it almost didn’t!

Just like the last few weeks, I’m using the silicone molds I used to make Logan’s synthesizer (watch for some stop motion animation music videos with him soon!):

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For this project, I’m using cut up strips of #2 plastic.  I’m using a pair of kitchen shears for cutting up greenery into little bits, but I’m guessing you could also use a paper shredder for a similar effect.

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Here are the cut up bits in the synth mold:

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Applying heat … there was a funky plastic, so it would be a good idea to do this with some eye and mouth protection (safety goggles, a mask) in a well ventilated area, like a garage or outdoors.  I wouldn’t do this in your kitchen oven!  A pair of winter gloves are great for protecting your hands.

img_2904

HDPE gets viscous and gooey when heated.  If you touch it or try to tamp it down too soon, it gets everywhere, just like hot tar.  It’s pretty easy to scrape off a smooth surface later, but If you wait 10-20 sec or so, the plastic will be more amenable to tamping down into the mold.  You will, however, probably need to add additional plastic, heat that, and repeat the process until you fill the mold.

img_2903

The HDPE synth is the black and purple one in the pic below.  It turned out better than I expected, not quite as sharp as resin but with a similar level of detail to when I made crayons or wax candles in a similar way.  The bottom two were done using Perler beads.  I couldn’t get them to liquefy quite as much, so the details they picked up from the mold were less well formed.

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Those of y’all who are Patreon members should be getting yours in the mail, but the patches I mentioned a few weeks ago are now ready and available for purchase here!  They 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 #283: Upcycling Broken Crayons Part 2 – Making Candles!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #283: Upcycling Broken Crayons Part 2 – Making Candles!

This week’s episode continues from last week’s crafting episode.  We made multicolor synthesizer crayons last week, so this week, we’re using some of the wax from the crayons and combining it with wax from broken candles to make … synthesizer candles!

Here are some old, broken birthday candles …

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… I tested this with just candle wax in the same molds we used last week, which actually worked really well …

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… and became liquid wax after being put in the oven …

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… of course, wax candles without a wick are just wax.  So here are a few wicks from the broken candles. 

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So, candle wax + crayon wax mixed together and heated until liquid …

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… and here with the wicks dropped in the liquid hot wax.

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The final result … the crayon wax sank to the bottom of the mold, and the candle wax rose to the top, creating a blended pink – blue pattern for the face of the synths and Logan’s hoverboard … one of a kind upcycled candles!

img_2854

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 #282: 2021 Crafting – Upcycling Broken Crayons!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #282021 Crafting – Upcycling Broken Crayons!

Happy new year!  To start us off, I thought we’d combine resin casting, recycling, and creativity in one project – making crayons!  Whaaa, you say?  What’s that have to do anything?

Well, let’s find out!

If you have or had kids, chances are you have some old / broken crayons around.  I gathered up a broken bits, took off the paper wrappings, and …

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… tried to enlist the help of one of my children to help with the latter part.  It occupied said child nicely …

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… for about 10 minutes.  Then I was left to complete the boring part …

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I used the same silicone molds I used for casting resin.  The silicone performed wonderfully under heat (350 degree F x 10 min +/- 3-5 min until the crayons are all melted).  Basically, you cram a bunch of crayon bits inside (more is better, the wax will melt down; you want the wax to be thick enough to hold.  A silicone cookie tray would be better, actually, since they tend to be deeper, meaning you can cram in more crayons bits).  As you can see below, just like with resin casting, bubbles rise to the surface.

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Once they start to solidify, we do need to wait a bit for everything to cool, though you can stick the mold in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.

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The synth on the top, as you can see, is an example of what happens when the wax doesn’t melt fully and air bubbles get in the way.  So this one, despite loving the colors, I broke back up and redid (really easy to do).

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Some of the final products – the ones to the left were done with cookie cutters.  You can totally use metal cookie cutters but be aware they they may leak wax out the bottom.  You can get around this by putting clay around the edges and using a heat gun to apply focused heat to the crayons in side the cookie cutter.  That is how the orange leaf on the left was made.

img_2763

Overall, a fun project to do with kids, especially if you’re stuck inside on a cold or rainy day, folks are sick, or you’re just waiting out the pandemic like so many of us are.  And if you don’t have kids but are feeling a bit strapped for cash after the holidays or the havoc the past year has done to the economy (at least in the US), just head over to Etsy and see how much people charge for handmade crayons.  Holy upcycle, Batman.

What can I say … don’t hate!  Create!  🙂

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 #281: 2020 Reflections / Future Goals + “Many Miles” Vocals

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #281: 2020 Reflections / Future Goals + “Many Miles” Vocals

This week, I reflect on the year and look back on the goals I had for 2020 back in episodes 230 and 231

Despite all the zaniness of the past year, it’s been a good year creatively.  Besides the things discussed on the show, I also started a Thirteenth Hour Arts Facebook group as well as a Patreon, so many thanks for all your support!

Lastly, I’ve decided to wrap up by trying to finally finish a song that I’ve tried to work and rework many, many times, the aptly named “Many Miles,” a song I wrote for the next Thirteenth Hour book and last worked on in episodes 190-199).  I’m working on the vocals today. 

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 #280: 80s Christmas Songs and Reworking “Many Miles” for the Zillionth Time

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #280: 80s Christmas Songs and Reworking “Many Miles” for the Zillionth Time

https://archive.org/download/podcast-280/Podcast%20280.mp3

This week, just before Christmas drops, I thought it’d be fun to talk a bit about 3 songs from the 80s that aren’t traditional Christmas songs but are, in many ways, still holiday songs. 
 
The holidays often serve as a time to reflect on the year and think about what you’d like to see happen in the future – a time of hope, good cheer, and family.  Of course, it’s not that way for a lot of people.  And that contrast is why I picked these three songs:
 
1.) The Waitress  (1981) – “Christmas Wrapping”
 
I didn’t know who did this song about a woman who’s a bit over the hype of holidays season until recently but always thought it had a great hook. There is also an almost 30 second funky instrumental break in the middle that I think would actually be a good breakbeat.
 
 
2.) The Pogues (1988) – “Fairy Tale of New York”
 
I love the piano intro, the penny whistle, and bantering / squabbling couple duet-ting in this song of hopes, dreams, and disappointment.
 
3.) Band Aid (1984) – “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
 
There are things to like about this song – e.g. the melody, the chord progressions, the collaboration, the underlying good intentions (raising awareness of famine in Ethiopia and raising funds for assistance) – but … the lyrics are horrendous!  They reinforce the stereotype that Africa is a place of “dread and fear / Where the only water flowing / Is the bitter sting of tears” and “nothing ever grows / No rain nor rivers flow.”  Ok, folks,  I get you were writing about famine, but the entire continent?  The best gift “they’ll get this year is life”?  Holy self righteous Jesus, Batman.  But, if you put images of colonialism and missionaries doing God’s work aside and ignore 95% of the lyrics, you get a song that essentially about remembering to be grateful for what you have and that there is a “world outside your window.”  
 
 
I’ll do a deeper dive on Instagram this week!
 
These songs were something I was mentally thinking of for a Christmas song episode with show guests Joe Esch and Adam Crohn (last on the shows when we discussed 80s foods and The Lost Boys – 272 and 273).  We had tossed around a bunch of ideas for nontraditional Xmas movie ideas (like Gremlins and Die Hard) and then the song one, but never quite got around to recording.  As you may know, Adam has been tied up with more urgent things than recording podcasts these past few weeks as his dog, Mooge, just had surgery for lung cancer and will need extended treatment in the near future.  Of course, nothing in life is ever simple.  You can read more about their challenging journey on the GoFundMe by clicking on Mooge’s picture below.  But the upshot of all this and the connection to the above is that I’ll be looking at some ways to continue to raise funds into 2021 to help Adam and Mooge and will post more over the coming weeks.

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So in lieu of retro Xmas movie podcasts this year, please go check out Shawn and Colin over at I Used to Like This One for several weeks of Christmas movies.  They’ve put together a much better lineup than I ever could.  So far, they have episodes on Home Alone, Lethal Weapon, and A Christmas Story

Lastly, I’ve decided to wrap up by trying to finally finish a song that I’ve tried to work and rework many, many times, the aptly named “Many Miles,” a song I wrote for the next Thirteenth Hour book and last worked on in episodes 190-199).  I reworked the intro, created a new opening riff, added a short chorus section, and cut out a few redundant verses.  So – essentially starting almost from scratch and reworking it from the ground up.  I have a backing track done so far and will be figuring the vocals next.  So far, I think it will work!  I was practicing while holding my son earlier today, and we were singing along with the new repeating riff (and it sounded okay!). 

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).

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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!

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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.

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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):

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

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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 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 #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 …

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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:

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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 #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.

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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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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 #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 …

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Batteries Not Included

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Short Circuits 1 & 2

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

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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

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Howard the Duck

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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 #234: Collaboration with Jeremy Lesniak from Whistlekick – Benny the Jet vs. Jackie Chan from “Wheels on Meals” (1984)

Episode #234: Collaboration with Jeremy Lesniak from Whistlekick – Benny the Jet vs. Jackie Chan from Wheels on Meals (1984)

https://archive.org/download/podcast234_202002/Podcast%20234.mp3

This week, we have a special episode!  Jeremy from the martial arts site and biweekly podcast, Whistlekick, and I are watching a fight scene from the movie Wheels on Meals and commenting on it.  (You can listen to the same episode with a slightly different intro and outro on Whistlekick as well; it’s episode 471 on his show.)  We are watching it half speed, which you can do on Youtube along with us by picking the playback speed (click on the gear in the lower right hand corner of the Youtube video window).  Here’s the clip:

And here are the notes I made highlighting some of our coments:

0:11 ground striking sequence with great choreography.  Nice neckspring by Jackie Chan (JC).

0:20 note the eye contact – this is clearly a contest

0:23 Benny the Jet (BJ) takes off his jacket while doing a spin back kick

0:33 if you look closely you can see this spin hook kick is blocked – but not by much.  Suspect the actors made a fair amount of contact while filming.

0:40 JC takes off his shirt to be manly.  JC does stomp/push kick, ends up on his back as does BJ

0:57 Note the slight head nod … as if to say – good shot

1:12 BJ has JC “on the ropes” (“on the table”)

1:18 BJ does a nice spin crescent that snuffs out the candles – wonder how many takes it took for them all to go out?

1:30 JC gets nailed in the nose (happens several times during this fight)

1:54 nice sweep by BJ

2:00 unintentionally funny dubbing followed by JC using a chair as cover and for rest – start of round 2!

2:24 JC is loosening up, BJ seems much more static in contrast – much more than he does in his usual fights.  Perhaps done intentionally?

2:42 vaguely Drunken Master style evasion by JC

2:56 BJ does a R leg mid round kick, JC avoids by dipping his upper body low and doing almost a meia lua de compasso with R hand on floor (capoeria style spin hook kick)

3:29 tickle escape

4:07 Manson Gibson / Kathy Long style spinning backfist by JC

4:12 lead leg R kick by JC setting up hands

4:46 close ups of JC pummeling BJ – though you can see most shots are blocked by BJ.  Probably happening fast enough a lay audience may not pick it up?

5:16 flying knee from across the room, kind of like what we saw in Ong Bak years later

Do you have any suggestions about other martial arts movie fight scenes that would be good to delve into like this one?  Leave a comment below or email me or Jeremy.

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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 #233: Lunar New Year 2020 Celebration with “Beautiful Warrior” – a Kung Fu Story Reading

Episode #233: Lunar New Year 2020 Celebration with “Beautiful Warrior” – a Kung Fu Story Reading

https://archive.org/download/podcast233_202001/Podcast%20233.mp3

This week, to celebrate Chinese New Year 2020, we’re reading a Chinese fairy tale, Beautiful Warrior: The Legend of the Nun’s Kung Fu.  (Click on the cover below to find your own copy.)

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Chinese culture doesn’t really have fairy tales like they do in Europe, but the idea is the same – unlikely protagonist confronted with an insurmountable barrier finds mentorship and uses his or her inner strength to triumph in the end.  Like the heroes of those stories, the two women in this story embody those ideals.  It also has the great line, “No problem can be solved by a drunken monkey.”

Check out some of the beautiful paintings done by the author, Emily Arnold McCully.

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And, before we finish, here are a few pictures of the glow in the dark Rocketeer figure I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.   It’s done!  Now I’m just making copies.

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If you haven’t checked out the episode on the CGG podcast on the Rocketeer (including some on the comics and the games), you can check it out here.

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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 #232: Making a Thirteenth Hour Shadowbox

Episode #232: Making a Thirteenth Hour Shadowbox

https://archive.org/download/podcast232_202001/Podcast%20232.mp3

This week, we are making a shadowbox, something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time, since I’ve always wanted to create more of a story to put the figures in.  An opportunity to showcase some art at a local art showing presented itself, and not quite knowing how to show my minifigures, the organizer of the event suggested a shadowbox.  Coincidences of coincidences!  This was the chance to experiment with them.  I found two cheaply at Goodwill and came up with a simple scene (that I had already made a picture of back in episode 141) to display.  Here are some pictures of the process:

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A few pictures of the Rocketeer figure I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.  The sculpt is just about done!

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If you haven’t checked out the episode on the CGG podcast on the Rocketeer (including some on the comics and the games), you can check it out here.

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And yes, if you were thinking the Rocketeer in the upper left quadrant is holding something that looks like a Super Soaker 30, look no further to the cut scene below it for more detail.  The one on the lower right is from Broforce, which features a character that plays homage to the Rocketeer.

Brockteer

The game Dark Void also does the same:

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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):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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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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 #155: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Redux – Molding and Casting Aurora

Episode #155: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Redux – Molding and Casting Aurora

https://archive.org/download/Podcast155_201807/Podcast%20155.mp3

Over the past few months, I’ve been working on making a figure for Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour like the figures I made for Logan and his hoverboard (you can see the step by step making of these figures here in parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8).   For a number of reasons, this process was more labor intensive that the first time.  I suppose in some ways it was more challenging as well.  I was using the drawing below as the model for this figure of Aurora:

The two clay figures side by side.

Making the first mold. The tootpicks are there as vents to allow air in to help the resin to flow through the mold better.

Pouring one half of the mold.

There’s usually some cleanup to be done around the seams.

Experimenting with making a second mold to see if I can improve results.

Usually, it’s necessary to trim areas inside the mold to make sure they aren’t getting in the way or obscuring the sprues (air vents).

Three completed figures.

Glow in the dark Logan and Aurora.  Pretty soon, you should be able to find these for purchase here, on the ebay store, and via social media links, like on Instagram.

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

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 #141: Making a Thirteenth Hour Graphic and Case of the Almost Assassination 4

Episode #141: Making a Thirteenth Hour Graphic and Case of the Almost Assassination 4

https://archive.org/download/Podcast141_201804/Podcast%20141.mp3

Today, I’m making a little graphic in Photoshop for a future promo flier.  I’m using the Logan figure we made and painted a few episodes ago as well as a plastic castle from the movie Frozen (which my daughter must have watched now at least a half dozen times).

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I’m using a pre-rendered background (the one I made for the cover of the EP Between Two Worlds).   Here’s the image with Logan and the castle inserted in it.  But they look a little weird floating there just as they are, don’t they?

palace 1

So I smooth out the images and softened the edges.

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With a few more highlights using multiple layers superimposed on top of another.

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Also, my brother and I recorded the next chapter in our Roll20 D and D adventure set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour.  This week’s more of a traditional dungeon crawl though the snake and trap infested sewers below the Capital City of Tartec.  Like any good serialized adventure, it ends on a cliffhanger just as our heroes get out of the clutches of death (a sewer crocodile, to be exact) and into the frying pan.  Catch the next episode here by clicking on the picture below:

e38ab88c-34c3-4ca1-bd7b-b53d06855cacb324fc84-2dd5-407e-a30e-059b3fa40459d0b40822-b6b3-4375-9e69-f213645ed14cff0382a7-6274-4b51-aab0-b6ef05297769

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

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 #139: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Part 8 – Painting the Figurine

Episode #139: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Part 8 – Painting the Figurine

https://archive.org/download/Podcast139_201804/Podcast%20139.mp3

Eight weeks ago, I discussed a project to start making little figurines for characters from The Thirteenth Hour books (Listen to parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7).  Today, we’ll be painting one of the figures to look like the pictures below:

File Feb 11, 3 16 05 PM

Starting the painting process …

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I have a bunch of these little hoverboards which I’;m painting separately:

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The more or less finished product:

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I’ll just do a little touching up on the shadowing and I think it will be done.

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The front console glows in the dark.

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

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 #137: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Part 7 – Molding and Casting Resin Duplicates and the Case of the Almost Assassination 3

Episode #137: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Part 7 – Molding and Casting Resin Duplicates and the Case of the Almost Assassination 3

https://archive.org/download/Podcast137_201803/Podcast%20137.mp3

Seven weeks ago, I discussed a project to start making little figurines for characters from The Thirteenth Hour books (Listen to parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6).   The model for this figure is Logan riding his hoverboard, Lightning:

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Last week, we made a 2 part mold.  I’ve since made another one and have cranked out a little army of resin Logans and Lightnings.  I’ve been adding bits of glow in the dark powder so, when exposed to sunlight, they glow in the dark.

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I’m still experimenting with the right glow in the dark: resin ratio for the best effect.  Here are some pictures of making a second mold.

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Each figure requires a little cleanup around the edges once its been pulled from the mold.  Some of these, especially the ones where there wasn’t enough glow in the dark powder, will probably be painted in color.  Look for those in the near future!

 

 

Until then, check out this little adventure my brother and I have started – an online D and D adventure (done through the site Roll20) set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour, set a few years after the book of the same name. My brother wrote the story, is serving as the game master, and is playing one of the main characters. We did the first episode last week. This week, the game is afoot as the Sherlock Holmes style detective work continues around the Capital City of Tartec – poisons, potential scandal, mysterious secret societies, and old conflicts all brew together with a cliffhanger ending – catch the next episode here by clicking on the picture below:

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

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 #136: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Part 6 – Molding Attempt 2 and the Case of the Almost Assassination 2

Episode #136: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Part 6 – Molding Attempt 2 and the Case of the Almost Assassination 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast136_201803/Podcast%20136.mp3

Six weeks ago, I discussed a project to start making little figurines for characters from The Thirteenth Hour books (Listen to parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.)  Here’s where we are so far with the figure:

 

Today, I made a 2 part mold of the above figure after finding that the molds I made last week were a bit too simple to work correctly (at least for me).  I found these videos very helpful in making a 2 part mold and basically just followed along:

Here’s where we started, putting Logan in a bed of clay to form one side of the mold.  The holes are to form guide posts to line up the two halves.

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He got buried here under a layer of rubber …

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Here’s the half that was made:

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Adding a pouring spout and some air vents:

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Here it is

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The resin will go in the big hole and the little ones will hopefully help it flow more easily.  Hopefully it works!  We’ll see this upcoming week.

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Until then, check out this little adventure my brother and I have started – an online D and D adventure (done through the site Roll20) set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour, set a few years after the book of the same name. My brother wrote the story, is serving as the game master, and is playing one of the main characters. We did the first episode last week. This week, the plot thickens as potential scandal and intrigue bubble to the surface! This episode plays like a rerun of Law and Order SVU. Catch the next episode here:

Some screenshots above … the first, the scene of a grisly murder. In the second, King Darian IV has had his morning cup of joe and now feels extremely stimulated!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

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 #135: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Part 5 – Molding/Casting Attempt 1 and the Case of the Almost Assassination 1

Episode #135: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Part 5 – Molding/Casting Attempt 1 and the Case of the Almost Assassination 1

https://archive.org/download/Podcast135_201803/Podcast%20135.mp3

Five weeks ago, I discussed a project to start making little figurines for characters from The Thirteenth Hour books (Listen to parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.)  Here’s where we are so far with the figure:

Here is what I hope it will all look like:

file-feb-11-3-16-05-pm.jpeg

Today, I was making a mold of Logan’s hoverboard (since seemed like a simple shape) as well as a practice figure (which was an approximation of the Logan figurine itself).

I was using this mold making starter kit:

Here were the objects, hot glued to the bottom of some paper cups, ready and prepped for pouring on the liquid rubber.  Instead of the Logan figure, I’m using a stand in for a practice run.

The mold after curing seen from below:

Believe it or not, all this rubber peeled right off.

Getting ready to mix and pour the resin …

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As you can see, the result were mixed.  Lightning turned out better than expected, and the little figure of the Flash lost some limbs.

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Over the next week, I’ll continue to practice.  Probably will need a different type of mold for Logan.  Stay tuned!

Until then, check out this little adventure my brother and I have started – an online D and D adventure (done through the site Roll20) set in the world of The Thirteenth Hour, set a few years after the book of the same name. My brother wrote the story, is serving as the game master, and is playing one of the main characters. Click on the picture below to watch the first session on YouTube:

The two main characters, Lester and Claudia, in Hero Forge miniature style, also done by Jeremy:

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

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 #134: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Part 4 – Adding the Hair

Episode #134: Making Thirteenth Hour Figures Part 4 – Adding the Hair

https://archive.org/download/Podcast134_201803/Podcast%20134.mp3

Four weeks ago, I discussed a project to start making little figurines for characters from TheThirteenth Hour books.  So today, it’s all about the hair!  (Listen to parts 1, 2, and 3)

Here is what I hope it will all look like:

file-feb-11-3-16-05-pm.jpeg

And here are a few people and characters from which I received inspiration – for Logan’s hair, that is (as well as some aspects of his personality):

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Rick Hunter from Robotech

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Sean Patrick Flannery’s take on Young Indiana Jones

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I think they based his haircut on River Phoenix’s mop of hair from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

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Bill Campbell as The Rocketeer

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… which, of course, was based on the comic Dave Stevens drew (pictured below, since he used himself for a lot of the modeling for his hero, Cliff Secord – probably part wish fulfillment and part frugality/convenience).

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All these guys had similar unruly mops of hair that inspired Logan the illustration, so Logan the figurine obviously needed to follow suit:

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Here’s where I started

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Starting the hair transplant!

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Still a few minor details to go, but Logan’s almost done!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞