Lex Petros: September 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cortical Stimulator: My interpretation

After watching countless episodes of Star Trek Voyager on Youtube, I decided to embark on making a prop which exists not in my collection. The life-saving cortical stimulator, a 24th century medical equipment which induces neural activity in the brain by electric shocks, much like a defibrillator except it channels pulses straight into the cerebral cortex instead of via your torso.

Parts needed:
An old calculator, flip-flop circuitry, glue,
paints, parts you can scrounge out from your
tool box and a vivid imagination

The "On" button is in gray and as you may have
noticed, is a recycled calculator key pad. Also notice the
now exposed circuit board of the deceased

3 hours later, something to add to my ever growing
prop collection.

Labels: ,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gift Of Love Charity Bazaar: 24th to 26th September 2010

The Gift of Love Charity Bazaar is the brainchild of 3 individuals who decided to come together to play a part in supporting all women.

Aims and Objectives:

  1. The promotion of Breastfeeding in observance of the World Breastfeeding Week in August 2010, to create better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.
  2. To help raise awareness for the need to end violence against women in Malaysia.
  3. To help and support 'Enterprising Mothers' in the promotion of their home-based business.
This event is open to all "Mommy-preneurs" and other Advocates to step onto the stage with us by getting a table (for a minimum donation) to promote and sell your products and services.

All proceeds will go towards an organization who will support our aims and objectives. WABA will be the main beneficiary this 2010.

This year's charity event will be held in Tropicana City Mall in Petaling Jaya.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

eFX Star Trek Prop Prototypes for 2011: Tricorder Mark VII TR-580, EM-33 Pistol, Laser Pistol & Communicator and TOS Type 1 Phaser

As Trekkers are eagerly anticipating Star Trek XII set for release in 2012, eFX Collectibles showcased their prototype props about 2 months ago making the wait even more anxious. The Trek fever is starting to brew as many are left guessing what's left in store for the forthcoming year leading up to the latest J.J. Abrams' Trek film.

The spy photos of the TNG Mark VII TR-580 Tricorder reveals the prop-maker's appreciation for nostalgia. Observe the tricorder's casing. The glossed over light dull gray is reminiscent of the screen used prop on many TNG episodes. The prop has really curvy corners; staying true to form. The 80's creation was said to be a box of flickering lights, but I believe I speak for most Trekkers when I say, who cares? For one, this design was one serious attempt to imagine a future hand-held multi-purpose scanner.

A first look at the fully-deployed TR-580. The LCARS display is true to it's screen-used prop having more blue and reds compared to the yellows and orange in Star Trek Voyager and Star Trek Deep Space 9 (DS9).

The sensor array hints that this would be the version set after the 3rd season of TNG, with sweeping LEDs and the lower assembly...

... as opposed to the earlier version; Mark VI TR-580 which incorporates a small hand-held sensor at the bottom of the unit.

Following behind the tricorder is the Star Trek Enterprise EM-33 Pistol, a pre-cursor to the newer Phase Pistol which you will see Captain Archer brandishing in many episodes of Enterprise. The latter was introduced circa 2151. According to canon sources, one of the disadvantages of the EM-33 was the need to compensate for particle drift, making the transition to the next generation, point-and-shoot phased pulse weapons difficult for some Starfleet personnel.

Next, the TOS Laser Pistol and communicator set. These were seen in the episode "The Cage". Crude but effective. The laser pistol was introduced circa 2250s but this seem to contradict the Enterprise timeline during which the Phase Pistol had been around since 2151. It makes little sense that Starfleet would issue lesser-yield handheld weapons.

Then, a little teaser for the TOS die-hard fans. A prototype cast of the Type I Phaser is shown here. This hand-held weapon was normally seen incorporated into the the Type II Phaser circa 2260. I've always personally liked this one, equipped with a targeting sight and is always considered a "back-up" weapon for Starfleet personnel.

If eFX is consistent, these things will be announced on their website a pre-orders and fans could lock in one with a payment of a small deposit and the balance upon completion of the prop. Usually, eFX limits these things to no more than 1,000 units in a run, possibly less.

If eFX is planning to replicate all the tricorders in range...well, let's just say it'll be a long way to go...

Labels: , ,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cheap Display Cases @ Daiso, One Utama (New Wing)

Fellow collectors...If you're looking for small dimension display cases, you should pay a visit to the RM5 shop Daiso Japan located at LG308e, One Utama Shopping Centre (new wing). If you're coming up the escalator from the Reebok store, it's only your left, right at the end near Cold Storage.

This store has approximately 200,000 items for consumers of all ages. Don't expect electronic wares in here, but you'll find a myriad of useful wares, tools, receptacles, toys and even Japanese snacks and munchies.

These plastic display cases are found on the second last aisle from the back of the store near the other plastic ware and opposite the gardening section.

The one shown here is a 69 x 69 x 59mm (Width x Depth X Height) plastic display case with my Star Trek:TNG comm badge in it. This gives me incentive to bid for a screen-used comm badge going on eBay now. :)

Next, we have a 8.7 x 9.3 x 9.3 cm display case with a flat base. Ideal for porcelain figurines and 1:64 scale die cast cars. I house my 2008 Hallmark Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan diorama Ornament which makes a snug fit. Now it's free of dust and actually enhances the "dramatic" moment of the USS Reliant ambush on the bridge of the Enterprise..."on screen Mr. Sulu..."

This one has the same dimensions as the former, save as it comes with 2-semi circular mounts on the base designed to raise flat items to give it some character like this TNG Type 1 hand Phaser.

The other variant I purchased is a 21 x 7 x 8cm plastic case in which my Type II hand Phaser rests. In fact, the fit is so perfect, the phaser hardly jostles when I move it around. This variant has somewhat a octagonal design which frankly, I think they could do without but instead have smoothen, rounded corners. I think the design was deliberate to make these versions for stacking as depicted by the pictogram on the packaging instructions. I can't have my cake and eat it too...

One thing to bear in mind though, there is no refund policy. I suggest visual checking your merchandise before checking out.

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 10, 2010

Star Trek XII: Charting the Future

To continue to go where no one has gone before...

The 2009 Star Trek movie was not a let down. I almost always walk into the movies with high expectations. It was nominated for 4 Oscars at the 82nd Academy Awards and won the Academy Award for Best Make-up, making it the first Star Trek film to win an Oscar. Midway through the shoot, Paramount Studios chose to delay the release date from December 25, 2008 to May 2009, believing the film could reach a wider audience...which evidently turned out to be true!

Now that the slate has been wiped clean and the new franchise dubbed "the alternate time line" has taken flight, I greatly anticipate the 2nd installment to be another heart-stopper.

For that, I know that Roberto Orci
(Screenwriter), Alex Kurtzman (Screenwriter), Damon Lindelof (Screenwriter), J.J. Abrams (Producer), Bryan Burk (Producer) are involved. It's almost for sure that the drama, character development and action will be present. Still, one has to wonder the premise now for the 12th movie in the Star Trek franchise. Star Trek 2009 took me by surprise. Even non-Trekkies (for lack of a better word) were astounded and I do believe most of the closet cases have revealed themselves after the awesome debut of the new cast. J.J. Abrams' direction was superb, to say the least.

Apart from the sometimes annoying lens-flare, his work takes the audience into a plateau of dynamism and movement. If anything which he can't do is make it less remarkable. I would not render my vote J.J. Abrams polls with vacillation. He's the man for the job.
From what I've been reading, the cast in the 2009 movie has signed on.

Word has it that Bruce Greenwood has been husting it for Admiral Christopher Pike. Lest he be strapped to a life-support machine and warps into oblivion as in the Original Series, his reprisal will ever-so guarantee the brass behind Kirk's success. After all, since George Kirk does not live to see James T. Kirk grow up in this time line, Pike is the catalyst in the young captain's career. I really loved his character in the 2009 movie.

Almost nothing has slipped out about the new plot, save as Abrams indication that past stories would not be rejected to form the substratum of the alternate time line sequel. I'm sure fans around the world like me are just dying in speculating the next installment. Could there be a Wrath of Khan tie-in? Who knows? Or does Kirk finds his love interest in Dr. Carol Marcus?

Maybe this time ILM will get the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 sizing right! For the uninitiated, the size of the new starship has been subject of debate. The design size was 366m according to Alex Jaeger of ILM, and this still makes sense, considering that in this case the shuttlebay door and the torpedo launcher would be the same size as on the TMP refit. Also, the hatches would be reasonably tall compared to just 1.8m on a 302m ship. The VFX team at ILM, however, purportedly scaled up the ship to as much as 725m (200%!), the main intention apparently being to be able to squeeze in all the big shuttles.

Shooting is said to start in January 2011, which makes a summer blockbuster release in May 2012 (or thereabouts) a very real possibility, failing which, Christmas 2012 would be a nice present for Trekkers.

Evidently, the Star Trek 2009 movie replica market is not letting up yet. Playmates came out with a few waves of figures and play-sets and of course, the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 starship. Just the other day, I came a across a superbly molded resin core Phaser with chrome and steel plating on eBay. It's 1:1 and the mirror finish does it justice. A nice little, advance birthday present for me I suppose.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

USS Enterprise Workshop Manual

(click on the picture to read m0re)

Coming October 2010

Basic reading for Starship Engineering 101

Small enough to fit in the captain's chair arm compartment

Good bedtime reading after a long duty shift