The Thirteenth Hour Podcast Exclusive Preview: A Conversation with Catherine Mary Stewart about Night of the Comet

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast Exclusive Preview: A Conversation with Catherine Mary Stewart about Night of the Comet

https://archive.org/download/podcast-cms-preview/Podcast%20CMS%20preview.mp3

This past summer, I recorded an interview with actress Catherine Mary Stewart (Night of the Comet, Weekend at Bernie’s, The Last Starfighter), who supported a little Lego project I did kind of on a whim – making Lego minifigures of Samantha and Regina Belmont from Night of the Comet, one of my favorite movies.  

This is just a 10 or so minute preview of the full interview, as the original was meant as a surprise thank you to the auction winners of the figures. 

But!  You can unlock the rest of the conversation by answering the questions below.   Your answers will be the password. 

1.) In the 1984 film, Night of the Comet, Regina  (Catherine Mary Stewart) is shown playing an arcade game.  Which game?

a.) Pac Man

b.) Pong

c.) Tempest

d.) Mario Brothers

 

2.) In another 1984 film with Catherine Mary Stewart, roles are reversed, and she plays the girlfriend of an arcade game ace.  That film was:

a.) Wargames

b.) Real Genius

c.) Sixteen Candles

d.) The Last Starfighter

 

3.) According to Catherine Mary Stewart, her previous training in which discipline helped prepare her for the physicality (e.g. fights, stunts) in Night of the Comet?

a.) dance

b.) dirt bike racing

c.) synchronized swimming

d.) falconry

 

4.) In this film, Reg and Sam face off against killer zombies.  In 1986, Kelli Maroney, who was Sam in Night of the Comet, was in a film where she faces off against killer robots.  Both films feature a key component of US 1980s culture.  That was:

a.) Teddy Ruxpin

b.) the shopping mall

c.) trickle down economics

d.) video rental stores

 

Go to https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/749825591 and enter your answers as the password (no saces, all lowercase) to access the conversation.  I annotated the audio with pictures and some video, so there are some additional tidbits on the vimeo version that provide a bit more context to the audio.

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #372: Making more Rocketeer Figure Castings, Dragon Fall Reading Part 7, and More

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #372: Making more Rocketeer Figure Castings, Dragon Fall Reading Part 7, and More

https://archive.org/download/podcast-372/Podcast%20372.mp3

This week, I’ve been casting Rocketeers using the mold I made recently.  Working on the third copy now.  Surprisingly, I’ve been pretty happy with the mold, especially since the resin I am using to cast the limbs (Smooth On 65D) has a working (pot) life of only about 2.5 minutes before hardens, so you have to work fast.  Here is the latest guy to come out of the mold with parts from the first one post priming scattered around.

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I think part of the difference here was that I used a base figure that was a little easier to work with and I got a better mold to be begin with.  

In the second part of the pod, we are reading Chapter 5 in Dragon Fall (1984) by Lee J Hindle.  

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More from Dragon Fall next week!  Soon – stay tuned for a podcast exclusive episodes with actress Catherine Mary Stewart (about Night of the Comet) coming this week.

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #371: Making a Rocketeer Figure Mold, Thirteenth Hour Figure Updates, Dragon Fall Reading Part 6, and More

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #371: Making a Rocketeer Figure Mold, Thirteenth Hour Figure Updates, Dragon Fall Reading Part 6, and More

https://archive.org/download/podcast-371/Podcast%20371.mp3

This week, I’ve been finishing up the Thirteenth Hour action figures.  I’ve gotten almost all of them put together and am now putting on the finishing touches.  I ended up revising the color scheme when I had to redo all the limbs so be simpler and now am glad I did – no shading, brighter colors – simpler, just like the original 5 points of articulation Kenner figures of the 70s and 80s.  Logan and Aurora on Lightning below.  Aside from some finishing touches, I just need to add some clear blue-green resin to the console on Lightning the hoverboard’s front.  You can see a slight depression there at the front, near Aurora’s feet, where the clear resin will go.

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Hopefully, some of the knowledge gained there will help when making 5 points of articulation Rocketeer figures.  I just finished the mold this week.  It’s always exciting to see if your hard work and planning will pay off when you crack open the mold for the first time.   

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In the second part of the pod, we are finishing Chapter 4 in Dragon Fall (1984) by Lee J Hindle.  

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More from Dragon Fall next week!  Soon – stay tuned for podcast exclusive episodes with actors Catherine Mary Stewart (about Night of the Comet) and Billy Campbell (about the Rocketeer) that you can unlock!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #370: A Look Back at 80s Choose Your Own Adventure/Endless Quest Style Books, DnD, and Dragon Fall Reading Part 5

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #370: A Look Back at 80s Choose Your Own Adventure/Endless Quest Style Books, DnD, and Dragon Fall Reading Part 5

https://archive.org/download/podcast-370/Podcast%20370.mp3

This week, I’m taking a little trip down memory lane, talking about some of the Choose Your Own Adventure style books I recall liking as a kid. 

Endless Quest Series OneTime Machine #06: Rings of Saturn: Cover, Arthur: 9780553244243:  Amazon.com: BooksBattleblade Warrior - Fighting Fantasy Books 31: Ian Livingstone, Steve  Jackson, Marc Gascoigne: 9780140324129: Amazon.com: Books

One of the show’s previous guests, Chad Derdowski (on episodes 107, 108, and 119), wrote and illustrated his own (hilarious, I might add) 80s inspired Choose Your Own Adventure style fantasy books, Fortune Favors the Bold and its sequel that are brilliant.  Look up his work on IG here!

I’ve been reminded of books like these since I’ve been working on something specific for Patreon members – a Thirteenth Hour specific Dungeons & Dragons style series of scenarios.  I’m modding an existing rpg platform called Quest and adding some additions to the combat system to allow for more nuance there and hopefully make it less dependent on pure luck.  Patreon members – stay tuned.

My brother, Jeremy, wrote an article on his blog about the one issue of Dragon magazine we had as kids.  We read it often (even though we didn’t understand what it was about) due to the great fantasy art and the fact we knew it was about games, and though we couldn’t really comprehend what role playing games were, the game books, the imagery, the rep (Satanic panic and all), and the miniatures all made it an alluring mystery.

And another Jeremy!  Shout out also to a different Jeremy – Jeremy Lesniak from Whistlekick.  We’ll be recording a show this week about his martial arts-themed novel, Faith.  Maybe we’ll even get to discuss some of these things in the context of his story.

In the second part of the pod, we are starting Chapter 4 in Dragon Fall (1984) by Lee J Hindle.  

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More from Dragon Fall next week!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #369: Rocketeer Custom Action Figure Updates and Dragon Fall Reading Part 4

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #369: Rocketeer Custom Action Figure Updates and Dragon Fall Reading Part 4

https://archive.org/download/podcast-369/Podcast%20369.mp3

This week, I finished a prototype of a 3.75″ Rocketeer figures made from adding clay to an Iron Man action figure I found in Walgreens.  A few pictures:

This picture shows the almost completed prototype on the left and on the right, the second one which I succeeded in taking apart before adding the clay.  I also modified the right hand to be able to hold a pistol.  The black thing on the floor is an EVA foam so the pistol can slide into it:

These are the things I used to make the head.  I cut the Iron Man head off at the neck (sorry, Iron Man) and inserted a screw into the base.  I drilled a hole in the resin Rocketeer helmet and screwed the red base into it.

This was for the second version, since in the prototype, I wasn’t able to get the parts apart first, but the process was basically the same.  Speaking of which, here’s the completed prototype:

In this version, there is no functional Mauser holster; it’s just sculpted on.  Of course, in the Dave Stevens comic (aside from a few covers) and in the film, the Rocketeer has no holster.  I think it the movie, he uses his pants pocket.  But I figured, eventually, he might opt for a holster as being more secure and convenient.  I drew him as having a holster in the game as well.

 

I have also made some sow progress on the Thirteenth Hour figures of the same size (3.75″).  I had to recast most of the arms and legs, repaint them, and then individually fit them to the torsos again after the last mishap, so at this point, hopefully that learning experience will help when making the Rocketeer figures.

In the second part of the pod, we are reading Chapter 3 in Dragon Fall (1984) by Lee J Hindle.  

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More from Dragon Fall next week!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #368: Rocketeer Custom Action Figure Updates and Dragon Fall Reading Part 3

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #368: Rocketeer Custom Action Figure Updates and Dragon Fall Reading Part 3

https://archive.org/download/podcast-368/Podcast%20368.mp3

This week, I give some updates on the making 3.75 inch Rocketeer figures from the 3.75″ Iron Man toy as reading the next part of Dragon Fall (1984) by Lee J Hindle.  

A few pictures of the process of painting the figure.  The next to last photo shows a duplicate I’m sculpting except this one should be able to be dissembled for resin casting.  

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More from Dragon Fall next week.

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #367: Custom Action Figure Updates, Final Faction, and Rocketeer Video Game Updates

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #367: Custom Action Figure Updates, Final Faction, and Rocketeer Video Game Updates

https://archive.org/download/podcast-367/Podcast%20367.mp3

 

This week, I talk a bit about a few concurrent projects such as making 3.75 inch Rocketeer figures from a 3.75″ Iron Man toy as well as the Rocketeer video game I’ve been working on.

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The Rocketeer prototype so far with the mold for the pack as well as one of the resin casted packs and the helmet (ironically, the same size helmet that I used for the Lego Rocketeer minifigures).

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I did successfully get a separate stock figure cracked open and will be sculpting some clay over these parts to look like the prototype to allow for making a resin copy.

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Looking forward to painting this guy and adding some details.  Speaking of painting …

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I’ve been repainting The Thirteenth Hour figures (even parts that didn’t need to be painted) to reflect a simplified color scheme with more bold, primary colors.  Also reworked Logan’s arms to hopefully fit better and be more stable.

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I recently went to a Dollar Tree and found the Final Faction line of toys – only $1.25 each!  It’s a surprisingly good value for the price.  There are accessories, comics, and apparently, even a cartoon show.  They may be good bases for making future Thirteenth Hour figures if I can get them apart (which I think should be easier than something like the Iron Man figure since there are screws in the back).

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This is the first issue of the comic …

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Someone writing it clearly had a sense of humor having a back page like this … 

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Just like in GI Joe, the back of the packing has a short bio and some stats.  There’s also a QR code for the cartoon!

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Progress of the Rocketeer game …  Did a bunch of pixel art and story creation this week, adding to aspects of the world of the game, like this NPC enemy, a German foot soldier.

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I finally figured out flying and shooting straight and added some backgrounds.  There is now a full fledged short story behind the game as well.

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More coming soon!  Will get back to reading Dragon Fall next week.

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #366: Adding a Synth Layer to “I’m Here, You’re Not” and Reading from Dragon Fall, by Lee J. Hindle, Part 2 (1984)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #366: Adding a Synth Layer to “I’m Here, You’re Not” and Reading from Dragon Fall, by Lee J. Hindle, Part 2 (1984)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-366/Podcast%20366.mp3

This week, we’re doing two things – adding to a track we started in episode 364 and reading another segment from Dragon Fall by Lee J. Hindle.  The track I’ll be adding to is for the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack album.  It’s an additional layer to complement what we did before.  I also came up with a variation of it for another part of the book that uses the same central theme; just a different voicing. 

We will also be starting Chapter 2 of the 1984 novel, Dragon Fall. It’s pure 80s overload!

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More coming in subsequent weeks!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #365: Reading from Dragon Fall, by Lee J. Hindle, Part 1 (1984)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #365: Reading from Dragon Fall, by Lee J. Hindle, Part 1 (1984)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-365/Podcast%20365.mp3

This week, we’re starting to read from a short fantasy novel from 1984, Dragon Fall.  When I was reading some reviews of it, people mentioned they liked it, though there were plenty of 80s references that might get annoying if you weren’t into things that might date a book (not a negative in my mind).  It seems like the sort of thing that would come right out the era of Dungeons and Dragons, heavy metal, and the Satanic panic. 

More coming in subsequent weeks!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #364: Musical Interlude – Creating “I’m Here, You’re Not”

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #364: Musical Interlude – Creating “I’m Here, You’re Not”

https://archive.org/download/podcast-364/Podcast%20364.mp3

This week, I’m making one last track for the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack album.  Just when I think it’s done, I think of another track I want to make.  I think that’s because I really do think of all these tracks as accompaniments to various sections in the books.  The nice thing about that is once you find a central theme (e.g. elements of The Thirteenth Hour theme is one), you can repeat and vary it throughout depending on the needs of the scene.  This one goes along with a short segment from The Thirteenth Hour where Logan meets his crewmates again in a dream:

For awhile, all was dark, and I could hear nothing. Then the familiar elements of my recurring nightmare aboard the ship came into focus. But this time, I wasn’t afraid.

And there before me, were all seven members of my crew, smiling, looking down as I lay in my bed. It was like I was in the hospital, recovering from an injury, and they’d stopped by, flowers and get–well cards in hand, to wish me well.

“Guys?” I ventured. “You’re … okay?”

“We are now,” Jake said softly, laying a hand on my arm. The other men nodded. I looked for traces of resentment or anger in their faces, but I saw none.

“I’m sorry, guys, I don’t know what to say … I …”

“It’s okay,” they said.

“You’re not mad?”

“Why would we be mad?” Ben asked.

“I … I dunno. I’m here, you’re not … it just seemed like it should have been the other way around.”

“But it wasn’t,” said Phil, shrugging. “We’ve been watching, the whole time, and in some ways, we’re glad it’s you, and not us,” he said, laughing. The others nodded.

“We’re … we’re really proud of you,” Jake said. “The cards were stacked against us from the beginning. That asshole, Darian.” Other nodded vigorously. “We’ve been amazed you’ve made it this far. I certainly don’t think I could have, not alone.” More head nods.

I wasn’t sure what to say. “Thanks,” I said finally. “I’m glad we could meet again.”

“Well, we’ve been trying to get in contact with you as soon as we could, but … it never quite worked until now.”

The nightmares. “I’ve been having the same nightmare over and over since the ship went down. It always ends the same way.”

“Well, now you know how it ended. Here. Today. Now.”

It felt as if a weight had begun to be lifted from my chest.

The track we’re making today is basically a slow reworking of The Thirteenth Hour theme, similar to what I did with Empty Hands and the meditative theme that became the music video of pixelated Logan flying through the clouds.  This track is most similar to the latter but won’t have the angelic accents that that track ended up with.  I’d like to give it a more somber tone to fit with the nature of the passage above so will be thinking about which sounds would best pair with the base layer I made this week.  I was thinking of something haunting, kind of like the sounds of a Theremin, but am not sure I can make that with my midi keyboard.  But I may be able to find something close.  We shall see!  Stay tuned!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #363: Starting to Make Video Games Again!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #363: Starting to Make Video Games Again!

https://archive.org/download/podcast-363/Podcast%20363.mp3

This week, I talk a bit about two upcoming projects – starting to make video games again after a few decades of not doing it!  Though I’ve used a number of the animations and sprites I made in various things, most recently the music video of Logan using the music Jeff Finley and I made, for the most part most of the work I did making games using engines like Klik ‘N Play and The Games Factory sat mostly unused all these years.  But every now and then, I’d take a look at the games making software out there, since the dream of making a Thirteenth Hour game in some capacity has never really gone away.  Fast forward to now, and I discovered a freeware games making program called GDevelop, which seems to have the abilities of the programs I used before with more user-friendliness.   So, I decided to learn how to use the program by making a simple, one level game of the Rocketeer where he runs, shoots, and flies to escape from a facility where he’s (almost) been taken captive.  Turns out, I’ve been able to reuse some of the animations I did in the past, which has saved a lot of work of creating everything from scratch.

rocketeer idlerocketeer run

So, more updates to come as I learn the program and advance the game!  

Speaking of games, the second project I’m working on is learning more about becoming a DM to be able to host DnD games set in the Thirteenth Hour universe for Patreon members.  So far, I’m looking at modifying some of the existing systems out there to fit the world and the ideas I have.  So stay tuned!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #362: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About Lionheart (1987)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #362: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About Lionheart (1987)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-362/Podcast%20362.mp3

This week, my brother and I are watching the 1987 fantasy film, Lionheart starring Eric Stoltz and Gabriel Bryne.  Not one I’d seen as a kid but I have a feeling that if I had seen it, I would have liked it and watched it over and over despite it being kind of dark and understated in parts.  It has some very cool, unrepresentative-of-the-film box art, but despite that, if you’re interested in something a bit different than the usual hack and slash, give it a go if you can find it.

Lionheart - Rotten Tomatoes

Amazon.com: Lionheart [VHS] : Eric Stoltz, Gabriel Byrne, Nicola Cowper,  Dexter Fletcher, Deborah Moore, Nicholas Clay, Bruce Purchase, Neil  Dickson, Penny Downie, Nadim Sawalha, John Franklyn-Robbins, Chris Pitt,  Alec Mills, Franklin J.

Lionheart (1987) – Military Gogglebox

This film has a really nice score done by Jerry Goldsmith:

Jeremy and I will be back next month to discuss the 80s medieval film, Ladyhawke!  

Check out Jeremy‘s work over at Pixel Grotto, CBR.com, and Classic Batman Panels on IG.  You can support his work on Ko-fi and get access to in-depth, exclusive Batman content here.   If you are of the DnD persuasion, his articles on DnD Beyond may be right up your alley.  Thanks, Jeremy, for coming on the show!  

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #361: Making a Retrowave Music Video, Night of the Comet, Toys, and Being a Kid Again

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #361: Making a Retrowave Music Video, Night of the Comet, Toys, and Being a Kid Again

https://archive.org/download/podcast-361/Podcast%20361.mp3

This week, I finished the music video I started recently using the two synth – handpan tracks Jeff Finely and I worked on together.  I finally figured out enough of Adobe Premiere to accomplish pretty much what I was going for in the video – i.e. flying through fantasy landscapes with a trail of smoke coming out of Lightning.  Now, in the book, it’s actually three rainbow smoke trails, but sometimes, I will just draw it as one large rainbow that trails afterwards.  I couldn’t quite get the rainbow effect but did get the smoke trail to change to the colors of the rainbow, which is good enough for now.  Here’s a short clip of what I started with (pixelart Logan superimposed over stock fantasy landscape animations I purchased off pond5.com):

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And here is the full video:

 

This was the last collaboration Jeff and I did, by the way, based on some ideas originally conceived by Brent Simon:

You can find out more about Jeff on his previous appearances on the show (episode 101, 102, and 176).

I also recently rewatched the 1984 film Night of the Comet to prep for a conversation with one of the leads from the film, Catherine Mary Stewart about the movie.  This is a little addition to the Lego Friends minifigure package I made of Sam and Reg from NOTC, but if you’re on the Patreon, you will be able to find the interview there.  If you’re a regular podcast listener, you will also be able to unlock the interview to listen to it.  Yes, that’s right, gameification!  Since Regina Belmont was an avid arcade gamer in the movie, it only seems right.  Stay tuned for details.  The Night of the Comet figures will be auctioned off starting in August, most likely, all proceeds to benefit the nonprofit Alliance4girls.org

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I also recently went back to my parents’ house and brought back a few things from my childhood for my own children and took pictures of some of the things I wanted to remember:

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A collection of some of my and my brother’s old figures to share now with my kids.

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Remember some of these guys?

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 We saved a bunch of the boxes from the computer games we had as kids.  Little did we know that ot only would most games not comes with big boxes anymore but people would collect these things for exorbitant prices on eBay! 🙂

More on Patreon … but in the meantime, let it be known that 7/8/22 is “Be a kid again day!”

In other words, a great excuse to play with some toys!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #360: Flash Gordon (1980) with Obi, Joe, and Adam

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #360: Flash Gordon (1980) with Obi, Joe, and Adam

https://archive.org/download/podcast-360/Podcast%20360.mp3

Today, I’m joined by my friends Joseph Esch, Adam Crohn, and Obi as we talk about the 1980 film, Flash Gordon. This film was a blast, and it was a hoot to record as well.  The show goes off the rails within the first few minutes, but I think that makes it all the better.  I’m not sure I would have entirely gotten the humor had I seen this as a kid, but as a adult seeing it for the first time, I thought it was great fun.  If you haven’t seen it before or even if you have, here are a few clips of scenes from the film:

This is a fun compilation set to the theme song by Queen (warning – the theme song may get stuck in your head!)

If you enjoyed this outing, just know the four of us will be back soon.  In the meantime, you can find Adam, Joe, and Obi all together on Adam’s Star Wars podcast, I Have Spoken, episode 19 (thought on the Boba Fett series).  You can find more Adam and Joe on our first joint collaboration on The Lost Boys parts 1 and 2 as well as on Rambo: First Blood Parts 1 and 2 as well as their epic collaboration on Steakuums:

We will return on Patreon for more discussion on Flash Gordon cartoons, serials, comics, and toys!

Last but not least, if you’re in the US, happy 4th, and belated happy Canada Day to our Northern friends 🙂

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #359: Musical Interlude – Adding to a C#m Chord Progression on Synth with Jeff Finley

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #359: Musical Interlude – Adding to a C#m Chord Progression on Synth with Jeff Finley

https://archive.org/download/podcast-359/Podcast%20359.mp3

This week, I’d adding to the second repeating chord progression in C#m that I did with with past show guest Jeff Finley on the handpan.  We started this track in episode 354.  This track ended up having the repeating chord progression C#m B C#m B C#m B / C#m B C#m B A B at 100 bpm.   In this episode, I’m adding to Jeff’s arrangement with a little synth layer to hopefully complement what is already there.

For the first track we did, Jeff did an amazing job with accompanying and arranging the track started in episode 352.  That track is showcased in a music video on Adobe Premiere I started this episode with  pixelart Logan superimposed over some stock fantasy landscape video I purchased off pond5.com.  Here is a preview:

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I’d like to try to figure out how to add some rainbow colored exhaust to Lighting’s tail like I envisioned in the book:

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #358: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About The Heroic Trio (東方三俠, 1993)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #358: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About The Heroic Trio (東方三俠, 1993)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-358/Podcast%20358.mp3

The Heroic Trio in 2022 | Jackie chan movies, Martial arts movies, Action  movie poster

This week, my brother and I are watching The Heroic Trio (東方三俠 – literally – “Eastern three heroes”), a 1993 film we first saw on cable TV as kids, around the time of the British / Hong Kong handover in 1997.  Whatever network it was (TBS or TNT, I think) showed a bunch of Hong Kong films back to back during that 24 hour period (if I recall correctly).  This was one we watched, and man, or man, what a weird one we sat through.  I’m surprised that it was shown on network TV given some of the stuff that’s in it, but who knows, maybe no one had watched it beforehand.  I recall hoping we’d catch one or two kung fu flicks, and though this one does have some high flying wire-fu martial arts, it’s hard to classify this film, since it has a lot of variety – noir, superhero, action, comedy, and horror, not to mention the particular feel of Hong Kong cinema at the time.  Click on the coverart below to buy your own copy or check here where you can find it streaming.

The Heroic Trio (1993) - IMDb

If you really want to capture the spirit of Hong Kong cinema, you may want to see if you can find the film on VCD.  VCD was a format that never really took off in the States, but in many parts of the world, like in Asia, where VHS had issues (humidity / heat and thin film aren’t a great combo), VCDs were a low cost alternative that was comparable in quality to VHS, especially in the days before DVDs and DVD players were widely available.  Jeremy and I talk on the show about places in NYC where you used to be able to find tons of these discs, but they (probably) are much harder to come by now, though occasionally, you can find copies on eBay.

Here are a few clips – a trailer, another fan made one set to the intro song sung by Anita Mui, one of the leads, and a clips of one of crazy fight scenes from the film.

Jeremy and I will be back next month to discuss the 80s medieval film, Lionheart!  Perhaps in the future we’ll do more Hong Kong cinema of the era.

Check out Jeremy‘s work over at Pixel Grotto, CBR.com, and Classic Batman Panels on IG.  You can support his work on Ko-fi and get access to in-depth, exclusive Batman content here.   If you are of the DnD persuasion, his articles on DnD Beyond may be right up your alley.  Thanks, Jeremy, for coming on the show!  

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #357: Making Minifigure Packaging and Finishing Night of the Comet Minifigures

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #357: Making Minifigure Packaging and Finishing Night of the Comet Minifigures

https://archive.org/download/podcast-357/Podcast%20357.mp3

This week, I wanted to share the final product of the Night of the Comet minifigures!  They’re done!  I figured out how to make the lettering on Sam’s cheerleader uniform and do the packaging so the two figures can both nest in a protective case.

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This short video shows how I made the coverart to look like the original poster.

notc box art

This is what the Night of the Comet coverart looks like.  Like the other similar ones I’ve done, I’ve used Chinese characters for the title – in this case, a literal translation of Night of the Comet (彗星之夜).  I’ve taken to not using the English title with these toys partly since it makes it a little harder for the movie studios / eBay to flag it as objectionable for copyright reasons. However, the biggest reason for the dual language packaging is that it reminds me of the imported toys (which were mostly robots and little figurines from places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan) I remember seeing on the streets of Chinatown when I was a kid in the 80s.  Like the others I’ve made so far, these will be charity auctions, this time to raise money for the US nonprofit alliace4girls.  I don’t know if this was something that was done intentionally when NOTC was written, but it’s a bit unusual for the time since it’s an action movie with two female leads who not only survive but thrive by virtue of their own resources.  So I figured pairing with a nonprofit that helps support and empower girls and women would fit.

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There are now three such figures in these cases!

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Making the cases for the NOTC figures.  I used paper covered foam for these (don’t know if I will use that material much in the future, though).

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This technique for foam pieces looks promising – using a hot knife or soldering iron to essentially cut though the foam easily with little to no mess and cleaner lines than with a traditional blade.

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By the way, I had the chance this past weekend to make it to a drive in showing of a double feature of Chopping Mall and The Last Starfighter.  It was a fun time!  More coming on a Patreon exclusive episode with additional pictures, audio footage from the event, and more!

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Sam, Reg, and Cliff all approve of the drive in action.

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #356: Making Night of the Comet Minifigures!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #356: Making Night of the Comet Minifigures!

https://archive.org/download/podcast-356/Podcast%20356.mp3

This week, I wanted to share a little bit of a recent project.  After finishing the Lego Rocketeer and resin Beverly Switzler figurines, I thought it be fun to do figurines of Reggie and Sam from the 1984 cult classic, Night of the Comet.

If you haven’t seen the film, it’s great! You can actually watch it for free on YouTube, that is until YouTube flags it and takes it down.  But until they do, it’s available here: 

Ever since I first saw this film over 20 years ago, I’ve been trying to get people to watch it.  It used to be only on VHS, but now you can also find it on DVD. If you can catch it, it’s a lot of fun.

Anyway, I used the model bases for the Lego friends minifigure line to create the main characters, which are more elongated and a bit more realistic looking that the traditional, squat Lego minifigure body.

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Prior to painting Sam’s cheerleader outfit …

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After painting … still working out how to do the lettering on Sam’s uniform (see below):

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This scene, by the way, is available here:

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The lettering on Samantha‘s cheerleader uniform is too small to realistically paint, but I think I should be able to edit some images on Photoshop that I can print out.  The tricky part, as always, is getting the dimensions right, but I think it should be doable. 

Like the Lego Rocketeer and Bev figures, I think I going to house them in a clamshell case and auction them off on eBay as charity auctions. 

More updates shortly!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #355 and Like a Hood Ornament #43: Welcome Obi from Obi’s Toybox As We Talk All About the Rocketeer!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #355 and Like a Hood Ornament #43: Welcome Obi from Obi’s Toybox As We Talk All About the Rocketeer!

https://archive.org/download/podcast-355/Podcast%20355.mp3

This week, I’m joined by special guest Obi of Obi’s Toybox as we talk all about one of our mutual favorite topics – the Rocketeer!  We were introduced by our mutual friend, Adam from AC Toy DesignThe Rocketeer is a pretty hopeful, optimistic film, so I think it’s no wonder that people that like it tend to be nice people.  Yet, I seldom meet folks in day to day life that know much about the film or the comics, so aside from my family and this podcast, I mostly keep that interest to myself.  So it was a rare pleasure to be able to talk with someone else on all manner of things Rocketeer related.  A few things we touched on for reference:

The comics by Dave Stevens:

Dave Stevens The Rocketeer Signed Print (c. 1991).... Memorabilia | Lot  #13920 | Heritage Auctions

Serials that influenced Dave Stevens, e.g.:

The 1991 film:

The Rocketeer Is Getting A New Movie With A Black Lead And A Brand-New  Backstory | Cinemablend

The board game

The animated series:

Toys!

The Rocketeer Action Figure By Diamond Select Disney Toy Walgreens  Exclusive 699788835654 | eBay

The trading cards (we open a pack on the show):

I just found this wonderful looping clip of ambient sounds and music from inside the Bulldog Cafe made by Saint Ambience.

Thanks, Obi, for coming on the show!  We will be back soon for a discussion on anther pulp hero, Flash Gordon!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #354: Musical Interlude – Making a C#m Descending Chord Progression on Synth 2

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #354: Musical Interlude – Making a C#m Descending Chord Progression on Synth 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast-354/Podcast%20354.mp3

This week, I’m making another repeating chord progression in C#m for a little collaboration with past show guest Jeff Finley, who recently told me about an instrument called a handpan, which is kind of like a steel drum you play with your hands, that, at least to my ears, sounds a bit like a synthesizer.  He did an amazing job with accompanying and arranging the track I started in episode 352, and this is another track that hopefully we can work on together.  

This track ended up having the chord progression C#m B C#m B C#m B / C#m B C#m B A B over and over.  Like the last one, this track was recorded at 100 bpm to make room for the handpan and allow it to breathe.   

This was our last collaboration, by the way:

You can find out more about Jeff on his previous appearances on the show (episode 101, 102, and 176).

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #353: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About Mazes and Monsters (1982)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #353: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About Mazes and Monsters (1982)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-353/Podcast%20353.mp3

This week, Jeremy and I are tackling the 1982 TV movie, Mazes and Monsters!  This was a movie (based on a novel by Rona Jaffe) released in the midst of the popularity of Dungeons and Dragons as well as the public fear/backlash of the Satanic panic and all that.  Not surprisingly, it’s a bit of a shlock fest, but we have a surprisingly nuanced discussion on a variety of topics related to the film, role playing games and adjacent activities, distant parents, 80s social panics, steam tunnels, and more.  You can watch the film for free on Tubi (click on the VHS cover below to watch) 

Mazes and Monsters (TV Movie 1982) - IMDb

Ironically, the showing of this TV movie was sponsored by Proctor and Gamble, who acquired the stomach discomfort drug Pepto Bismo also in 1982!

Mazes and Monsters (TV Movie 1982) - IMDb

Mazes and Monsters (TV Movie 1982) - IMDb

The main cast of Mazes and Monsters with their characters and game paraphernalia.  Below, the article about the book the film is based on from the 7/1983 issue of Dragon magazine is below.

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There are a few things that are notably positive about the film that I think deserve some mention.  I liked the scene where two of the characters are painting their miniatures.  I liked the fact they had game notebooks.  Then there’s the interesting subject of gender, which has an interesting history in DnD.

I think it was notable that the story actually included a female character at all, and she took a more active role in the story (the fact the book was written by a woman may have had something to do with it).  Glacia (Kate Finch) was the party’s only fighter, which I think is notable since Dungeons and Dragons was still fairly overtly unbalanced in its gender roles.  At the time of the filming of this game, DnD was still in its first edition, where female characters of different races had lower stats (e.g. lower strength) and the game was generally written using only male pronouns (e.g. “fighting men”).  Although the female : male player ratio is more even today (about 60% male : 40 % female), it was apparently much more male dominated at the time (estimated around 10 % female in one source I found). 

As we talk about in the episode, DnD drew heavily from earlier (more male dominated) historical wargames, so it’s interesting to hear what female players of the time thought of it (here’s a interview with RPG pioneer Jean Wells, the first woman hired by TSR).  However, my main exposure to DnD as a kid in the 80s came not from the actual game but from TSR’s Endless Quest books, many of whom were written by a woman, Rose Estes, a TSR employee who, like many other women of the time, was frustrated at the male centric nature of the game and the play – centered around stats, dungeon crawls, and combat – which she felt took away from the telling of a cohesive story. 

So I think it is admirable that this film gave the fighter class role to a woman, who, though she does feature in a requisite love triangle, is not passive in her involvement in the main story.  She seems to be the only one for most of the film that actually owns a car, and the movie does not relegate her to passenger status in favor of having one of the male characters drive it.  Again, perhaps the film was just staying true to the original source material, but in that case, good on them for not changing it. 

Also, as mentioned in the episode, my interpretation of the film’s ending differed from most of thoughts found in the reviews I read at the time or since.  As much as the game was depicted as an experience potentially blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, I thought they also seemed to be saying that this was a way, separate from the world of distant adults, where four lonely young adults could connect with each other.  Such is the power of make believe (normally relegated to the word of children), even, in the end, cutting through psychosis.   When I saw it, the ending seemed to be saying that while aspects of day to day adult reality can be drab, disconnected, and limiting, it doesn’t have to be that way as long as there is still a human connection that binds people together.

Check out Jeremy‘s work over at Pixel Grotto, CBR.com, and Classic Batman Panels on IG.  You can support his work on Ko-fi and get access to in-depth, exclusive Batman content here.   If you are of the DnD persuasion, his articles on DnD Beyond may be right up your alley.  Thanks, Jeremy, for coming on the show!  We will be back with another look at another fine piece of cinema!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #352: Musical Interlude – Making a C#m Descending Chord Progression on Synth

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #352: Musical Interlude – Making a C#m Descending Chord Progression on Synth

https://archive.org/download/podcast-352/Podcast%20352.mp3

This week, I’m making a repeating chord progression in C#m for a little collaboration with past show guest Jeff Finley, who recently told me about an instrument called a handpan, which is kind of like a steel drum you play with your hands, that, at least to my ears, sounds a bit like a synthesizer. 

He mentioned that his handpan is in the key of C#m, so we thought it’d be fun to make another piece of music together.  So this is me just starting something, and then I’ll send that over for him to add to, and we can go back and forth and see what we come up with, kind of like a remote jam session.  

After playing around with a few, I ended up liking the descending chord progression C#m A E B and thought it might be fun to see what we could come up with around that.  Though there is a bit of a melody, for the most part, I purposefully didn’t add much.  It is just those 4 chords repeated again to allow Jeff to add to it.  (Jeff – recorded this at 100 bpm with each chord held for about an 8 count.)  Looking forward to what we can make together!  

This was our last collaboration, by the way:

You can find out more about Jeff on his previous appearances on the show (episode 101, 102, and 176).

In other news, I’m almost done painting the Beverly Switzler figurines for Ernie Trinidad’s postproduction backers for his Howard the Doc film.  These were tough!  I used reading glasses to see the tiny details and am glad I chose to make her eyes closed rather than open since trying to paint eyes on a figure this small is always a headache in more ways than one.  I didn’t realize I’d made so many – nine painted ones and four glow in the dark ones.  There’s definitely more than I need, so I may auction some off for charity like I did with the Lego Rocketeers.  Speaking of which, this past week, it was Star Wars Day (5/4), which is also United Nations Anti-Bullying Day (as of 2012).  Combined those two things and the Lego Rocketeer in a little skit.  There are some stills below the ones of Bev.

And the clip:

Stay tuned to episodes on more 80s fantasy and Rocketeer content coming soon! 

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #351: Masters of the Universe (1987) with Joe and Adam

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #351: Masters of the Universe (1987) with Joe and Adam

https://archive.org/download/podcast-351/Podcast%20351.mp3

Masters of the Universe (1987) - IMDb

Today, I’m joined by my friends Joseph Esch and Adam Crohn to talk about the 1987 film, Masters of the Universe, which despite being a fan of the toys and the cartoon as a kid, I missed seeing at the time or since.  I went in with no expectations, not having watched the cartoon in decades.  I knew it was different from the source material, having read some reviews prior, though as an isolated 80s sword and sorcery movie, I think it works just fine.  As a Masters of the Universe property, I’m not so sure, but Joe and Adam, who know much more about the franchise than I do, had a lot more to say about that I could offer, so I felt like we went into a fairly balanced discussion on the film, with both positives and negatives.

I want to thank one of the concept artists on MOTU, Edward Eyth (who also helped design the silver art deco version of the Cirrus X-3 on my favorite movie of all time, The Rocketeer), for helping to provide some insights into the design of the film.  Hopefully we weren’t too harsh!

In the meantime, check out more Adam and Joe on our first joint collaboration on The Lost Boys parts 1 and 2 as well as on Rambo: First Blood Parts 1 and 2 as well as their epic collaboration on Steakuums:

In addition, check out the links below for some of Adams original MOTU designs.  We will return on Patreon for more discussion on the toys.

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #350: Musical Interlude – Making a 30 Sec Synthesizer Countdown Track

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #350: Musical Interlude – Making a 30 Sec Synthesizer Countdown Track

https://archive.org/download/podcast-350/Podcast%20350.mp3

This week, I thought I’d make a little piece of music as an unsolicited surprise for my friend Jeremy over at Whistlekick, who also does a little morning show called First Cup where he and other martial artists often congregate over his livestream (weekdays at 6 AM EST) to discuss various martial arts things as well as giving each other encouragement for the day.  It’s a nice little group (check it out on Youtube, Twitter, Twitch, and FB!), and lately, I’ve been trying to get up early to work out and do other things at that time to start the day with them.  I, as a perennial night owl, have always loathed mornings, but, you know, I gotta say, it’s nice to get your workout done in the morning, since at least then it gets done.  Time tends to slip away later in the day.  First Cup has thus been a motivating factor in helping me drag myself out of bed :).

Anyway, lately, Jeremy has been using some instrumental music to accompany a screen where he shows the countdown until the livestream starts.  I think he’s had a few difficulties where Youtube will flag his intro music as being proprietary even though he used royalty free stock tracks, so I figured I’d make a ~30 sec track to accompany that bit so if he wants, he can use it.  But even if not, no music ever goes to waste here at The Thirteenth Hour podcast!  I can also use it later for something else – e.g. I sometimes use musical bits to bookend podcast tracks (like into between the intro and an interview). 

This track was made entirely on the synth and was comprised of 5 different layers mixed together.  It is also one off the few times I actually used the pitch bend effect there to simulate electric guitar note bending.  

Next week, we’re going to start covering Masters of the Universe from 1987!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #349: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About Highlander (1986) Part 2

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #349: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About The Highlander (1986) Part 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast-349/Podcast%20349.mp3

This week, my brother, Jeremy, rejoins the show to talk about the 80s movie, Highlander.   You can listen to the first part of this episode here  and, if you have not seen the film, you can actually watch the entire film for free on Tubi as well as some sequels, like the director’s cut version of the sequel, the animated series, and the TV show, which a kind soul also uploaded to Youtube).  After the conversation with Jeremy is done, I pop back in for a bit to give a few thoughts on the sequel and the cartoon.

Amazon.com: Highlander : Movies & TV

Like last week, I thought I’d post some period specific articles on Japanese swords since the movie cites their history and borrows from the mythos even though it’s superficial.  This article comes from the June 1980 issue of Black Belt magazine and talks more about the swordmaker Masamune, who is cited in the film:

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As much as folks rag on the sequel (and for good reason – just don’t take it too seriously), I have to say, I really like this quote, the bits with Sean Connery, and the bagpipes in the background.  RIP, Sir Connery / Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez and Godspeed!

And check out the music in the intro of the animated series.  Always loved the electric guitar lead mixed with the symphonic backing track.  I think I only watched the show a few times as a kid and had no clue what was going on (since I hadn’t seen the movie yet, not that it matters; they’re only tangentially connected), but after poking around on Youtube, I found this clip of the ending theme.  I don’t remember it at all, but it sounds a bit like The Thirteenth Hour theme in a different key, which is maybe why I like it).  Love the guitar there.  Possible unconscious reference?  

It was really nice to be able to share this little slice of the 80s with my brother, since he not only did he remember a lot more than I did, but he’s one of the few people who knows the influence films like this, however obscure, had on the writing on The Thirteenth Hour books (more next week).  Check out Jeremy‘s work over at Pixel Grotto, CBR.com, and Classic Batman Panels on IG.  You can support his work on Ko-fi and get access to in-depth, exclusive Batman content here.   If you are of the DnD persuasion, his articles on DnD Beyond may be right up your alley.  Thanks, Jeremy, for coming on the show!  For those on Patreon, stay tuned for a bit for you guys!

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