Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Random Stuff via Periscope

I loaded a clever new app on my phone - Periscope. It allows someone to shoot a quick video with immediate interaction with viewers.

In our needy world of constant approval, this fits right in. Don't you get those emails asking you to take a survey about whatever service you've had done? Go to the doctor, auto service, restaurant, whatever - how did we do? Love me, please!

Despite all that needy crap, I think it's a cool little app (monetize it! make monies! I make 6 figures a day with Periscope and Twitter! How am I doing?). Sorry... random nonsense.

Still fun to be able to interact with like-minded people.

So here's my latest Periscope episode. The files actually delete themselves after a while on the 'Scope website. I'm sure Comrade Hillary Clinton is interested in anything that deletes her communications. Don't have to wipe a server now!

But you can link your Periscope site to ad it will save your files. From there, you can download the file or share them out into the series of tubes that make up the interwebs. 

So here it is...

Friday, November 27, 2015


I've been reduced to taking pictures with my iPhone. Spotty results at best. Sometimes I get a good shot, sometimes I don't. My crappy 53 year old near vision doesn't help much either.

I've got a decent DSLR, but my daughter has been using it at college for a digital photography course. Did she bring it home during Thanksgiving? Nope! Well, she'll be home in another week, so I'll get it then.

I also got a new version of Photoshop which I've used in the past to clean up and sharpen my image quality. I think I first used PhotoShop Elements 3 many years ago and have been sticking with that well beyond subsequent releases.

There are quite a few new tools in this new Photoshop that are turning out to pretty fun enhancement tools! Let's take a look at some results.
Straight out of the iPhone. Not so much. 
Kind of blurry and the colors are washed out.
Using the Vibrance tool, the colors really "pop" now. 
Maybe a bit too much, but I like the results.
Budo vs. Zombie Viper
Dark Ninjas (Retaliation) - 
they really need a cool clan name
Red Ninjas (Retaliation)
same here, they need a cool clan name
Tunnel Rat crawling in a Lego structure.
Cobra Vipers rescuing an injured soldier. 
Rescuing? I'll explain later.
Bulma! Or is it Spiral?
Deadly "sisters".

Black Friday Deals!!

I think I first became aware of this yesterday through a Facebook post. A check of my email confirmed it. The Zombie Initiative set was going on sale as one of the Club's Black Friday deals.

I've got to admit, that's a damn good deal! Yes, the Club is expensive. I know that. Everyone knows that. But this deal brought the price per figure down to basically regular retail prices.

Fifteen figures for $150 plus shipping! Sweet! 
Dang, I'll take this as my whole Christmas!

This would be a great set to display and I've got a bunch of Zombie Vipers already and I've got Cesspool and he needs Toxo-Vipers and the Eco-Force guys are cool and Tj'Bang looks great! And I NEED THIS IN MY HANDS!

But then I started thinking. I needed to read through some reviews , get some other opinions. In my opinion, Justin Bell does some of the best reviews of GI Joe figures out there in the interwebs. Sure, there are others. Fred Meyer does some good work as well.

I decided to plow through Justin's review of the whole set again. Justin is pretty honest with his opinions and I appreciate his views on these silly ass toys.

A quick read though of all of the figures began to question my enthusiasm. The Eco-Force crew was pretty well done by the Club. Tj'Bang looked really well done; he would be a great addition to my martial art crew. Outback and the Steel Brigade Commander were less than desireable. I had done a very similar custom with the same parts that the Club used to make Outback, so I really didn't care too much about the new one.

The bad guys all looked pretty good. The Toxo Vipers and Zombies looked really great. Even Repulsor looked well done. Lab Rats? Not so much, but they would work as background scenery.

Justin's review didn't really tilt my opinion as whether to buy or not. At around 11:00 pm last night, while watching my kids play video games, I just really had to consider the value that this set would bring to my collection. Yes, I know it would be really fun to get ahold of and play with and make dios and photograph, but did I really need it?

Want and need have become important as I have gotten older. For so many years, I bought figures and toys mainly out of "want," I don't need any of them.

I decided that I don't WANT them enough. There are other GI Joe items that I WANT and needed to make a choice. None of us NEED any of this stuff. All of it is just pure WANT.

I guess it's probably pretty obvious by now that I'm not buying this set or any of the other Club Black Friday items. There are figures that I want in the future and who knows what Hasbro's plans for GI Joe are.

Hell, maybe I'm just getting older and becoming more reflective of this stuff. Contentment is a big issue. And STUFF... how much STUFF does one person need? Check online or the news for all the insanity regarding Black Friday for just a bunch of STUFF.

I am content with my collection, I have enough stuff right now, and that's good enough with me.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bring on the Bad Guys

If I looked back through all of my posts, I wonder how many of them would be focused on Cobra, rather than GI Joe. There's just something about Cobra that fascinates me. Yeah, I know that they are the bad guys and the leadership is a bunch of nutcases, but what about the troops?

Too often in the cartoons, Cobra soldiers of whatever type were usually shown as bumbling inept soldiers. That concept just doesn't work for me. I imagine that to troops are hardcore tough soldiers.

My plan of rebooting the GI Joe/Cobra conflict requires a tough Cobra army, lead by competent individuals, not a clown who's going to constantly scream, "Cobra, retreat!"

I think I've done this before, but I thought I would revisit the leadership of my Cobra forces. There's a bunch of characters to go through. so click on the image of this odd Cobra Commander to see a Who's Who of villainy.

I could use some help with some of the characters.

Influences and Source Material

As I begin this process of rebooting my world of GI Joe vs. Cobra, I have to acknowledge the influences that have shaped my thinking. If these writings become more popular beyond the relatively limited scope of my regular readers, I don't want a bunch of rabid, sweaty, stank-breath pseudo-fan boys whining about how my material sounds like stuff that's been done before.

No kidding. I get it, even before I begin this project. I'm going to be using bits and pieces of various events of GI Joe's long history. Some of it will be very familiar, some will hopefully be from a new, weird viewpoint. Mine.

And there will be some cases of "why are you using that character that way?" Like I've said before, once the toys, of any line, enter my home, they also enter my weird world. So don't be too surprised if I figure out a way to integrate Bossk and Hellboy into my GI Joe vs. Cobra conflict.

So here's probably a partial list of the GI Joe influences in my life:
  1. Larry Hama & the Marvel comic series - Of course. The godfather of the Real American Heroes line has had the biggest impact on my love of these toys. He took a toy property and helped to shape it into a world filled with fascinating characters. Plus he wrote most of the original file cards. Larry is still hard at work writing GI Joe comics, while I have let that side of the hobby slip away. 
  2. The Sunbow cartoons (including the mini-series and the movie) The cartoons brought the characters to life, giving them voice and movement. I'm sure there are plenty of GI Joe fans out there who read the comics with the voices of the cartoon characters in their heads. Sure, some of plots were goofy and bizarre, but they brought the characters to life.
  3. Devil's Due Publishing - Their comic run with GI Joe picked up post-Marvel years and soon became an intriguing, tougher, brutal world for the characters. Sure, there were some crazy stories, but that's what is cool about GI Joe vs. Cobra. Crazy works!
  4. GI Joe: Resolute - a harder edged GI Joe that became a fan favorite, but was a bit too harsh for Hasbro folks. Can't blame them, they've got toys to sell.
  5. GI Joe:Renegades - GI Joe meets the A-Team. A fun show, canceled way too soon. I really like the world of Renegades, with Cobra being a national "legitimate" corporation. That concept is going to be a huge driving factor n my world.
  6. GI Joe: Rise of Cobra - Really? Yeah, I guess so. I'm not sure how the events of the movie will fit in, but there were some exceptional action figures came out of that line. We wouldn't have Helix without RoC and Helix is a very important character to me.
  7. GI Joe:Retaliation - A better cinematic look at GI Joe with a bit of Renegades type plotlines.
  8. Justin Bell, Monte Williams, Andrew Peletier, Andre Bynoe, many others - I really don't remember when I first discovered his website. Justin was well into his huge series of dio-stories and I truly enjoyed the work he put into his GI Joe universe. I don't really know him, but he's a huge GI Joe fan and his storytelling skills are top notch. Monte does some exceptional toy photography work and usually adds an element of weirdness. Andrew has an amazing imagination with his assorted dio stories. Andre has a unique creative eye and has some impressive photographic skills. There are many other individuals out there in the GI Joe fandom that have and will serve as an influence in my world.
  9. IDW comics - I've been out of the comics for several years now and I don't regret that decision at all. Something had to give in my collection and I chose to keep the figures rather than keep up with the comics as well. I suppose that it was probably a year or two after Rise of Cobra that I stopped collecting the comics. I do have a couple years worth of IDW's run, including the amazing Cobra series. I really liked the "alt" history of IDW. This was what was needed for GI Joe - a modern reboot of GI Joe.
  10. Modern politics - I'm generally a pretty conservative dude and and am pretty disgusted at the general decline in culture in the United States. Rinos and liberals and socialists and communists won't really like what I am going to write about. I'm going to bash on some Republicans as well.
  11. Conspiracy Theories - I'm just going to let this hang out there and flap in the wind - the government story behind the events of 9/11 is full of shit.  I used to be a little hardcore in my digging into the events of 9/11, but I've pretty much let it go. I just think that there is a whole lot more to the "official" story that us sheeple don't need to know about. Doesn't mean I can't revisit it and spin it around with some Cobra influences.
  12. My bizarre imagination - Stuff has been stewing in my head for years. All of the above influences and other crazy stuff swirl around and congeal into a weird glob.
That's probably just some of my influences. I just wanted to clear the air and acknowledge to the world that I'm not claiming 100% originality in my work. It's all about the fun for me. Don't be a whiny b!tch and get offended.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tragedy Averted

What normal GI Joe collector doesn't carry around at least a couple figures with him at all times? Seriously, if you don't, then I question your loyalty!

I'm a huge fan of the modern update of the Cobra Viper and have amassed a pretty decent collection. I think I'm at around 14. Well, I've had one on display in my office at work and recently brought him back home.

Just a gentle twist of the head, and SNAP! Off came the head!

Modern GI Joe figures have a simple ball and socket construction for the neck and head. A post with a ball rises out of the shoulders and the ball snuggly fits into the socket in the head. This also allows for some easy customization.

With this particular Viper, the ball snapped off and remained secure in the head socket. My initial thoughts were that this guy was going to get his head permanently super glued back onto the neck, with no chance of ever looking to the right or the left.

I gave it a shot. A very slight dab of superglue onto the exposed neck post, let it dry, and hope for the best.

After letting it dry overnight, I checked the head and it was secure. Just a very gentle twist and the head actually moved a little from left to right! What?! Bonus!

At this point, I'm very pleased. I've got some minor side to side movement and I'm happy. Off I go, about my day and the Viper resumes some semblance of active duty as a guest in my coat pocket.

Another day goes by and I figure I'll give the neck another try. Surprisingly and quite pleasantly, the head now freely turns completely around on the repaired neck post.

Yeah, I'm really pleased with myself right now. he next step on checking the repair would be to pull the head off and see if the post survives. Yeah... No... I'm okay with the current status of this troop. No more tests needed. I should probably mark this guy somehow in case I want to try some custom work with a Viper or two.

Who am I kidding? I've sacrificed one Viper for a custom Zombie Viper custom (still in progress, because I am lazy). No more Vipers will be sacrificed to custom ideas.

I suppose I should tag him in some way. If finances ever become desperate and I need some cash, these Vipers could earn me a pretty penny. 
Nah, screw that. I sold my vintage Vipers years ago. I'm not doing that again.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thoughts on Collecting

Life has been pretty quiet around the Reasonably Intelligent Rambling compound these days. My wife's mother passed away on September 7th. She lived to an amazing 91 & 1/2 years of age. While her passing was not entirely unexpected, the loss of a loved one is always a sad and possibly sobering event. My mom has been gone over 25 years, so my mother-in-law had easily become my second mom. 

You may ask what this event has to do with the general content of this silly blog. I suppose I've just become a little more reflective of all the crap I've collected over the years. As I watched my mom-in-law's health begin to decline, I couldn't help but to consider my own mortality. I just turned 53 recently and I really don't feel "old". The death of a loved one is still a sobering moment when you consider your own life. 

At this point in my life, I think about if I'm still around at 91 & 1/2 or beyond. Will I have an interest in these silly action figures? As my health declines one day, what will matter to me? I kinda' hope I'll still have a bit of a love for toys. Perhaps, one day, many years in the future, I'll pass along to whatever is next clutching an old Snake Eyes action figure. I certainly hope so.

But I still have to consider what about all this shit that I have right now? We moved into a new house around 2 & 1/2 years ago and brought 16+ years of crap from our previous home. Hell, I've still got some of my old books from when I was a kid!

Sure wish I still had that damn Mattel Space:1999 Eagle from when I was a kid.

So where am I going with this random nonsense? I've signed up for the next set of figures from the GI Joe Collector's Club. I recently bought a large chunk of this year's "50th Anniversary" figures. I still like GI Joe - can't help it. 

The Club recently revealed a mock-up of their Club Exclusive Membership figure - Pythona! Based on this mock-up, I'm not really surprised by the parts choice that they are going with. I've heard that the body is the reactive armor Scarlett body from the Rise of Cobra series. Plus a brand new head sculpt of course. There are extensive paint apps on the body as well as what appears to be a fabric cloak.

I'm all in for this figure - without question. I've always liked the Cobra-La concept and thought that the execution in the animated movie was pretty well done. I loved the idea of an organic-based technology. Never liked the connection to Cobra, but that's a post for another day.

What the heck does Pythona have to do with this post? Rich on Pop Critica recently posted an article about Pythona and his thoughts on GI Joe and his own collecting habits. While he posts some valid points about Hasbro and the Club (maybe, sort of), I was more interested in his selling off of his collection and his disappointment of the brand. I really can't see myself ever getting into that frame of mind.

Sure, I'm disappointed as hell at Hasbro for the treatment of what should be their flagship line. I've written about those feelings several times on this blog. And now, supposedly, Hasbro is going to help out with Action Man's 50th Anniversary in a much bigger fashion than they did with GI Joe. If true, that just sucks.


Supposedly, GI Joe is poised for some sort of relaunch in 2016, probably still in the 3 3/4" - 4" format and I'm fine with that idea. But is it viable for the long term growth of the brand? The vintage, original GI Joe is done. That time is over. I doubt anything like that will ever be seen again.

Change must occur for the survival of the brand. But the core of loyal fans is getting older and I don't know if kids are interested. I don't think so.

I'm getting long-winded here. I'm actually enjoying writing this post and I hope it isn't too "rambling" and still somewhat "reasonably intelligent."

If indeed GI Joe changes into something that no longer interests me; maybe it becomes just a bit too juvenile, even for this old kid, that's just fine with me. If in a few years, the small Joe's have gone the way of the original GI Joe and the world is stuck with 5 POA POS's, then that's fine too.

I have enough of a collection that could keep me mentally engaged for a long time. The overall concept of GI Joe vs. Cobra, to me, is timeless. It can be lifted out of history and the concept can be dropped into modern history. Actually, in my twisted, weird GI Joe world, the events of the 80's is pretty much disavowed. It's time to (cue the song) "Let it go!"

I've written about that before as well. I frikkin' loved GI Joe back in the 80's, but that's done, it's over. We've all matured, let the story mature as well.

I've really enjoyed flushing my brain with this post. I'm inspired again and I've had some pretty crazy ideas for my own personal reboot of the line.

Hell, once the toys entered my home and my mind, everything else that others have said and done about GI Joe are just bits that help form my new vision for GI Joe. These are my toys and my imagination and that's a scary combination.

Stay tuned, I might piss off a few folks, but I'm going to have some fun!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Gung Ho: Revisited

I really like the new update. Honest, I really do. This new version is a great update of the classic o-ring figure. But there's something just a bit off...
There's just too much baby blue. Plus there's just too much YMCA vibe to that much blue. If only Hasbro had gone with the look, but toned down the light blue, maybe darker or dirtier? Maybe some green tones?
I posted a pic of this new Gung Ho on my Facebook page for this nonsense blog and Arnold Barrios, a fellow GI Joe collector, posted his simple and effective upgrade to Gung Ho. Use a Retaliation Roadblock body!
This is Gung Ho's head on the "Ultimate" Roadblock figure. Looks amazing, but I really didn't want to lose the "Rock." 
So I figured I would try Gung Ho's head on the "Battle Kata" Roadblock body. Very nice! I think I like the green more than the tan of the other body. Seems like I'm getting more and more giants on my Joe team. Roadblock, Leatherneck, Repeater, and now Gung Ho! 
So what? Who cares? They're just toys! 
I suppose I'll leave him like this for now. I like the look of this new easy custom Gung Ho. The green uniform is a nice upgrade from that awful baby blue outfit. Maybe one day, if I luck up and find another, I'll try some custom paint work on the original version.

For now, this will be my default Gung Ho figure.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Corps!

That loveable, oddball, military toy line is at it again.  Largely known for their brightly colored, poorly articulated figures and their garish, misshapen vehicles, Lanard is at it again with a few gems. 
These two ladies... 
I don't think there have ever been any female characters in the history of The Corps. This is a first for Lanard and these lethal ladies seem to be a pretty big hit among the GI Joe collectors. Usually found at Walmart, The Corps has been a staple of the boy's toys aisle for quite some time. They were around way back when I worked at Walmart. Walmart seems to have a good relationship with Lanard to keep the Corps presence in the toy department. Maybe Hasbro could take a lesson? Didn't Hasbro have a military toy line once upon a time?
The most attractive feature of The Corps line from Lanard is the price. Each of these three-packs were under $7.00. For the most part, nearly all of these figures are disposable. 
The male figures in the 3-pack on the left are pretty lame. The guy all the way to the left has an amazing three points of articulation. The guy in the middle has decent upper body articulation, but the legs have the t-crotch syndrome.
The 3-pack on the right isn't much better. Same t-crotch articulation on the guy on the left. The guy in the middle has five whole points of articulation. I'm pretty sure that the male figures will be headed to the trash. I may try to salvage a couple of the heads and see if they would work with some Joe figures. The weaponry and gear are pretty lame and will head to the trash bin.

The two ladies are quite different. They have the traditional o-ring style of articulation. Pivoting knees, ball and socket hips, a slight waist articulation, swivel shoulders and elbows, and a ball and socket neck joint. Both figures share the exact same body mold. Different paint jobs and different head sculpts give the characters separate identities.

They have specific names, but I don't recall them at the moment. The two ladies are a bit too cartoony to integrate into my main GI Joe line, plus they are a bit too tall in comparison to Joe figures.

So why did I buy them? I'm pretty much a sucker for decently made female action figures.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

50th Anniversary Reviews: Round Two

The next wave of GI Joe product has arrived and it's time to take a closer look at some of the offerings.
In my opinion, Gung Ho is the best figure from all of the  two packs, three packs, or vehicle sets. I'm not 100% sure, but I think Gung Ho is a brand new figure, no reuse of any other parts. The prototype of this figure appeared a few years ago as part of the "Concept Case" shown by Hasbro at a GI Joe Convention. I'm pretty sure nearly all Joe fans have been quite pleased with this release.

Hasbro captured the original spirit pf the figure in this new version. While not as big as Leatherneck or Retaliation Roadblock, Gung Ho is still larger than the the average GI Joe figure. I've always thought that Gung Ho was a big dude based on cartoon and comic appearances. Not a huge beast like Hasbro did with Leatherneck, but still an above average person.

The drawbacks of this figure are minor. I'm not really thrilled with the weapon load-out, primarily because the mini-gun is a bit too cumbersome and the other weapons seem a bit small. That's not a big deal when I've got a huge supply of weapons for him to chose from. I don't think a character has to be locked in to using a weapon similar to his original version. 

Hasbro did a nice job matching the baby blue color pallette of the original figure. Yeah, that's a nice match, but I think most Joe fans would have been happy with a more subdued shade of blue or perhaps some green tones. Not a major complaint. Maybe if I luck up and find another, I might try my hand at a paint job. And I'm not really thrilled with the lower legs. I'd rather have the side to side pivot of the ankles over the new style of foot articulation.

The Cobra Shadow Guard that came with Gung Ho headed off to eBay. Not a huge fan of the figure, I thought I could maybe make a few bucks on a resale.

Next up is Storm Shadow and Spirit. This version of Storm Shadow reflects the design of the original figure when he switched from Cobra to GI Joe. Stormy looks pretty good, but his head perches a bit too high on his neck. I've drilled out the head a little to make it sit down a little lower. Stormy has a decent collection of weapons. Ninjas everywhere.
This is an interesting take on Spirit. The skin tones are much darker than previous versions. More accurate ethnically? Don't know, but he still looks pretty cool. I really don't like the vest that Hasbro used; it's too clunky and interferes with head movement. I'll probably use an extra vest from a Retaliation GI Joe trooper since they share the same torso.
Next up is the Shipwreck and Cobra Commander two pack. I really like this version of Shipwreck. Hasbro picked a nice selection of parts for the build. I was originally thinking custom potential, but I think he's my default Shipwreck now.
A black uniform Cobra Commander with snappy red highlights. The red hood and the red gloves look pretty cool in contrast to the black uniform. The red shoes? Oh, how pretty! They just don't work. Decent figure, but the red shoes kind of spoil him a little.
Next up is Alpine from one of the three packs. This figure has been notoriously difficult to get due to the limited release of the original DVD set that he came with. I wanted this set primarily for Alpine, but once he's in hand, I'm not really impressed. Sure, he looks great, but he's a bit of a throwback to the 25th Anniversary era of figure construction. I'm still glad to have him in my collection. 

The Rock Viper that came with him? I get the inclusion as an opponent to Alpine, but I've never been a fan of the figure. Off to eBay!

Next up is the Iron Grenadier and Steel Brigade two-pack. Not much to say here, these two are just straight re-released figures. I like the IG, but I've never been that impressed with them to go nuts with the troop building. A big bulky figure, kind of cumbersome. Those blue and white paint apps on the legs are just sloppy.
Can't go wrong with another Steel Brigade figure. This has always been an excellent figure, but I may use him as custom fodder. I usually use the vests on some other figure. Personally I think a better two-pack would have been the Steel Brigade trooper and this next guy...
The Cobra Shock Trooper. Always a winner (mostly). A great set of gear and loads of custom potential. The drawback, for me, about this figure, has always been the head sculpt. Without all the gear, it just seemed to be a bit too high. I've wound up using most of the ones that I do have as customs, one serving as a body for Scrap Iron, while the rest have been mixed with the Renegades Cobra Troopers.
In my opinion, these two would have made for a better two-pack. Hell, they are both basically the same figure. Same body, same webgear, and I think that they would make for better opponents.

Just one more quick look at Gung Ho and Shipwreck. The new body for Gung Ho does give him some height and bulk when compared to Shipwreck. That's the way I always figured that Gung Ho would be.

But I'm still not really thrilled with the overall look of Gung Ho. That outfit is just a bit dated and it's just too much baby blue. I've got to do something about him.

Overall, of the figures that I have bought, this is a pretty decent set of figures. I've recently seen the two vehicle sets and am tempted, but I'm not ready to drop that kind of money on them right now.

Hoping for bigger and better things for GI Joe in 2016.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Women of GI Joe

I imagine ever since Scarlett showed up way back in 1982, I've always had a fascination with the women of GI Joe. There's been only a few back in the original run - Scarlett, Cover Girl, Lady Jaye, Jinx.

I've never had a problem with adding additional female troops to the team and have always looked out for other female figures that would be fairly compatible with the various GI Joe female bodies.

Click on Helix' picture to see many more!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Action Figures and 3-D Printing

3-D printing is pretty damn cool.

I have limited access to the use of a 3-D printer and I've recently tried to make some original designs for use with my various action figures. One of my most notable attempts was to create a small "stage" to use as an environment to just take simple photos of the figures.

I use Google SketchUp as the design tool to create the actual 3-D model that will eventually be printed. I decided to create a corner with a floor platform.

The design phase went pretty well; at least I thought so. In creating the various extrusions coming out from the wall just a little, I have discovered that I'm really not that creative and just need to "play" with SketchUp more.

I used white PLA filament and the original print turned out decent, but there were errors in the print. More on that later. The next option that I decided to try was to add color. I used a combination of permanent markers and acrylic paint (of dubious quality). Mistakes were made. Bad choices. Combined with the mediocre detailing, it looked like shit. So just spray paint the whole damn thing, right?
Not good. Not good at all. As the paint dried, it kind of shriveled and distorted the wall section and the floor panel. Ugh.
Oh, that's good! The paint bubbled up on the plastic! Wonderful...
Time to try again. 

For the next print, I tried a new color filament - Army Green!
 The color doesn't quite hold true for this picture. It's a bit too washed out.
Here are the two pieces glued together. There's a slight curve on the front edge due to the cooling of the material as it is extruded and layered. That's a design issue to consider. On the original print, I printed both pieces on separate print jobs. This time, I figured I would just load them together and print both together. Not a good choice. The closest edges had stringy filaments connecting them together as the print head went from one piece to the other.

The printer builds from the bottom up, laying down thin layers of material in tiny little layers. That's also a drawback to current 3-D technology because the tiny layers show up in the finished print. I'm thinking they could be sanded; maybe I'll try that on another print in the future.

In general, I'm pleased with what I created, but I'm not satisfied. This will work for now as I go back into the redesign stage. I really need to improve on my "geebly" skills for all the extra detailing. Plain walls are boring, but these look weak in their design. It's the learning curve, that's all.
Here's another shot of a design flaw with the extrusions that I pulled out of the wall in SketchUp. The printer wants to just build the bottom edge of the extrusion but it really doesn't have any surface to print it on. As you look at that square-ish shape with the circle pulled out of it, you can see the distorted bottom right corner. The printer just couldn't recreate the design. Additionally, along the bottom edge of each extruded shape, there were loose filaments as the printer lay down filament in an attempt to create the pulled out shapes. You following me? Play along...

So there's things I need to consider as I redesign new pieces similar to this. I won't paint this one and I won't reprint it. That's what is fun about this whole process. The math involved in creating the virtual 3-D objects as well as figuring out how to create the slots needed to assembled the pieces.

Another option may be to build them in individual walls and assemble them at the corner. If the model is flat on the printer bed surface with the detailing rising out, then the details may print cleaner. Lessons learned, I suppose.

For now, I'm back to the virtual studio to try again. Stay tuned for future 3-D printing updates!

I decided to take a bunch of pictures of various figures just to showcase how the environment can work as a background. Enjoy!
 Looks decent, but those crappy details... Ugh!
 No, Tartarus. You're too big.
 Goblins and Dwarves?
 Hulk like!
 Bombstrike is pleased!
 No, Al... You don't fit.

Stay tuned for more 3-D printing updates!