Printing, Expos, and Even a Little Work

Chris Van Deelen

Surprise.

Another week and I’ve managed to post another blog.

This week was pretty much like every other week … work, not able to take a break during lunch to write, so that story I have been trying to finish is still in the works.

We shall see what next week happens to look like.

I guess in one aspect I have kind of lied. I did manage to convert several of the monk items for the upcoming book to Pathfinder, and while doing so I did manage to learn a little more about creating items, so the prices seem a little better now.

If I had not been so busy this weekend (cleaning my basement, my car, taking care of the yearly taxes, spending time with my beautiful wife, picking up my vacuum cleaner from the repair shop, and of course picking up my comics and the latest Pathfinder companion) I would have probably spent a little more time on the conversions.

This week will probably see more work in conversions, and who knows – maybe I’ll even get back to writing up a few new magic items for the weekly post.

Again, we shall see.

I did finish off a couple of books (well, duh!) this week. The first was The Cyclops Initiative by David Wellington. This is the third in his series of techno thrillers which is a major change for his style of writing, considering his first novels were about zombies, then vampires and finally werewolves.

Something is quite amiss in Jim Chappel’s world. He feels his current assignment is a punishment until he and his partner are abruptly pulled off it. From there things spiral downhill rapidly when he is the target of the very government he has been working for. A warrant is placed on him and he needs to get to the bottom of why before what looks like a series of terrorist attacks using drones brings the country to its knees.

Pretty good, and finally get to meet a character who has been exclusively in the background during the first two novels. And it also seems like this might be the end of the series, the way the novel was concluded.

The second novel was called Armada by Ernest Cline. This is not a sequel to his first novel, but still has all the earmarks the author clearly loves – the 80’s. Music, video games, RPG’s, movies, you name it.

This time the novel is set in the contemporary day, with one young man seeing what appears to be a fighter right out of an online game he loves to play. Feeling he might be suffering from the same sort of delusions he believed his father was, he goes home to re-read the journal of his long-dead father.

Without spoiling anything, the novel was more of a character study heavily laced with the authors love of all things 80’s and geek.

Although I was starting to get a little annoyed at it, the novel did click with me, with one exception near the end, which frankly annoyed the shit out of me. I won’t spoil it for anyone who wishes to read it.

Very much worth picking up, even if you never read his first novel, Ready Player One.

Now to update you on my 3D printer work. This week I printed out an Eagle from Space: 1999 for a friend of mine. It took maybe 6 hours in total for all the pieces and for the most part, it seemed to have printed quite well, although it’s not quite up to snuff as a model for the venerable spacecraft. You can see the parts I printed out at the top of this blog.

I also sanded and filled the gaps in Poe Dameron’s blaster and added the first coat of primer to it. Later this week I will add the second coat and let it dry. After that – time to get the various colors I will need to paint it.

Maybe tonight after I am finished posting this blog I’ll use the filler on the small gaps in my Chirrut Imwe prop.

I finally managed to make a spool holder, one which will comfortably fit the spools I get from my local supplier. I also printed out a spool stand to use on the outside of my printer. I haven’t tested it yet, but I plan on doing so fairly soon.

My next project?

I’m really waffling about what to print next! I kind of want to print Poe Dameron’s helmet, but it’s going to require a LOT of filament (like a full roll!). I will have to see.

Now for the bad news. I found out – as most of you probably have, that Bill Paxton died due to complications from surgery.

With his passing, I have to share my story with meeting him and what it ended up causing me to do.

Back in 2014 when nearly the entire cast of Aliens came to Calgary (and yes this was pretty much the first time there was such a reunion anywhere!) I had to meet them.

I got my photos with almost the entire cast, and I had no intentions of getting autographs.

That has never been my thing.

So the photo I have attached was when I was dressed up as Amon. It was Friday night, just after I got my armor from Spat. I did not have the time to change and go home to get my armor.

Bill shook my hand and asked me if I was supposed to be a lumberjack.

Anyhow, the next day I wore my armor for the very first time and used my VIP pass to cut to the front of the line to meet with him.

He was impressed by my armor (again, thanks Spat!) and we talked for about a minute.

I then pulled out my iPhone and told him I was about to play my actual ringtone for him.

It was his 'death' scene from Aliens.

As I played it, his grin grew wider and wider and he starts to laugh. The next thing I know he's reaching over the table, pulling me in close and he autographed my armor right then and there.

This started the whole bit of me collecting as many of the autographs from the various actors who appeared in the movie.

Thanks Bill - you really made my expo that year and even though I've been a fan for years, you gave me one of my favorite memories!

I'll miss you.

So last night my wife and I watched a movie called Gantz:O on Netflix. This is was a strange computer-animated film about groups of people who have died and then miraculously been resurrected to join teams of men and women who are put into a game in order to hunt and kill monsters.

The animation was amazing – except the girls, who’s often larger than life boobs kept bouncing up and down with every little movement.

I know – I’m getting old.

The monsters they were fighting seemed to have been pulled from every corner of Japanese mythology, and the movie really was rather gory.

Still, it had a straight forward plot and that made it easier to understand.

Lots of action, and I won’t deny I enjoyed it.

Oh yeah – the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo is about 2 months away. I did end up purchasing the Celebrity Fast Pass after all, and purchased three photo-ops today… Christopher Lambert, Jeremy Renner and John Cusack. I am sort of waffling on getting more – maybe with Colm Meany and Kristian Nairn. We shall see. After all, there are still two months of announcements to go.

I’m still hoping to see a few bigger name stars like Jason Statham, Keanu Reeves and even guys like Josh Halloway to show.

Or maybe some more voice actors from Star Wars Rebels.

Here’s hoping.

And that’s it for this week.

Stay warm (spring is less than a month away), safe and happy.