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Akano's Blog



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Family vacation

Posted by Dr. Akano , in Life Jul 26 2012 · 181 views

Going to spend some time with KK, Tekulo, my mom and my roommate for the next week. I'll have BZP access, but I'm not sure if I'll actually be on during that time, so if I'm quiet for the next week, you now know why.

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The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

Posted by Dr. Akano , in Life Jul 25 2012 · 360 views
music, Zelda, Awesome
Just saw the concert.

Amazing. The Twilight Princess movement was my favorite of the main symphony, but the best encore was, without a doubt, the recently added Majora's Mask suite.

This Zelda fan is quite pleased. :)

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New Skin is New

Posted by Dr. Akano , Jul 23 2012 · 270 views

And I likes it! Thankee to Than and Watashi Wa. :)

Also, an awesomely amazing photo autographed by Yakko Warner/Pinky himself, Rob Paulsen, came in the mail today. I am quite happy. :)

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Set Review: 6769 Fort LEGOREDO

Posted by Dr. Akano , in Set Review, LEGO Jul 23 2012 · 1,191 views
Fort LEGOREDO, Western, Bandits and 2 more...
In continuing my trend of reviewing 90s LEGO System sets, I'm turning my criticism to one of the most beloved, nostalgic LEGO sets arguably of all of LEGO's existence.

Presentation
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.


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Ah, the desert. Something about it inspires adventure. Perhaps it's the survival aspect of it. Anyway, the box pulls off the desert background very nicely, and the action of a bunch of cavalry men attempting to catch bandits gives off the Wild West feel. Also, the back of the box has alternate models, which LEGO doesn't do anymore and is something that I personally miss a lot from the newer sets. The large set also has the flap on top which opens to reveal the interior of the box. The plastic/cardboard sheet inside was used to preview minifigs and/or exclusive/unique pieces, but seeing as mine was used, this is not the case here. :P

Building
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?


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This set is rather ridiculous with the space its pieces take up, so I couldn't organize them completely. There are 668 pieces total, which makes for a mild build. I think I built it up within an hour, since the build isn't terribly difficult. Also, I couldn't help but hear Gerudo Valley in my head as I was building. I can't imagine why. :P

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These pieces and the 1×2 and 1×4 log pieces are extremely prominent, in case you couldn't tell.


Set Design
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

There are four 16×32 baseplates in this set (no, I'm not kidding), so the build is split up into four parts. First, let's look at the entrance. the entrance:


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A fort? That's easy! Feel free to follow along with my simple step-by-step instructions. I make building FUN!!


The entrance is pretty...entrancey. The watchtowers are cool, even though (as seen from the back) they have no ladders to lead up to them, so one must wonder how a guard could get up there to look out from there. The doors are barricaded from the inside with a bar made from a 1×10 plate and two 1×2 hinge pieces, as are the other doors on this set. It's pretty cool how they designed that (it is a fort, after all).

Now, the walls:


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The first wall is rather nondescript. Just a guard wall with a ladder leading up to the top.

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The second wall has a little more going on. There's a side entrance and a rock wall made with, which I recently found out is called, a Big Ugly Rock Piece (BURP). The cactus at the bottom of the wall hides a cache of coins. This wall also has an actual tower on it to place a sentry in, which is cool. We also have a flag like the one at the entrance adorning the tower.

The final part of the set is headquarters:


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This is my favorite part of the set, as it actually has something going on other than being a wall. The headquarters reminds me of the Hydeout in the Borscht Bowl Club from the first case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. It has its secrets, like the hiding place in the chimney behind the fireplace.

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I don't know what you're talking about; I'm not hiding anything.


Or the spinning table that sends the bandit or cavalry member to the prison/floor below.

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You have a full house? I only have a two pair: a pair of ones, and another pair of ones.




Here, you can see the Colonel and Dewey Cheatum (no, I did not make that name up) playing at the aforementioned table. Rotate the table counter-clockwise, and Dewey ends up doing time for the vast number of card-based crimes he's committed.

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Not pictured: The incarceration of whoever came up with the name "Dewey Cheatum."


The room is accessed by its minifig regulars by a set of stairs that can also be found in the LEGO Studios Vampire Crypt, along with others.

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Now that we've covered the set itself, let's go over the minifigures:

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There are two factions. Let's first go over the bandits.

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From left to right, we have Black Bart, Flatfoot Thompson, and (*sigh*) Dewey Cheatum. Of all the figs, I think Dewey's is the coolest. His playing cards style vest and top hat clash a lot with his nasty gold-toothed scowl. It's as though class and hillbilly merged. Flatfoot Tom has a great western villain face, and Black Bart always struck me as the muscle of the gang.

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The cavalry contains three soldiers, two lieutenants, and the colonel (whose face somewhat resembles that of the LEGO Chess king). Since this set is the headquarters of the cavalry, it contains the largest number of their figures, which is definitely a plus for this set.

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I may have shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot this guy.


This set does not contain the sheriff (but Sheriff's Lock-Up does, and I hope to find a good one soon...), but it does contain his deputy. He has a white hat and hair and a sweet cowboy vest. Not much else to say about him; however, he looks to me like he's always chill about everything, even if a gunfight were to start.

Playability
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?


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Other than the doors opening and closing and the table trap that leads to the prison, there isn't really that much functionality with this set, which disappoints me a little bit. However, this set is a great setting for a western adventure, so while there isn't much to do with the set, there is a lot that someone could come up with at the set.

Final Thoughts
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?


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Who shot first, Dewey or the Colonel?


This set, being a very nostalgic set, is quite pricey. If you can find this set for less than $100 and you want this set, grab it. I understand why it's so loved, but I personally wouldn't place it as more important than, say, Pharaoh's Forbidden Ruins or Night Lord's Castle.

Pros
What's to like?
  • Big
  • Many minifigs
  • Classic theme
Cons
What's not to like?
  • Price
  • Not much functionality
I hope you enjoyed this one. :) For the gallery, go here when it becomes public. :)

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New set acquisition and such

Posted by Dr. Akano , in LEGO Jul 19 2012 · 241 views

I got another 90s LEGO System set this week, and am currently writing up the review. I won't tell you what it is just yet, but I'll give you a hint: it was immensely popular, and I don't think it was one that I've talked about wanting to get. It was also featured in the PC LEGOLAND game.

So there are three-ish hints. :P

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LEGO Bag End

Posted by Dr. Akano , in LEGO Jul 12 2012 · 376 views

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I have been waiting for this to be announced since I heard LEGO was doing a LOTR/Hobbit line. Want. 8D

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Rv B Episode 6

Posted by Dr. Akano , Jul 09 2012 · 201 views

I love Wyoming's mustache. It looks like it came right out of LEGO Star Wars. :P

Also, backstory and appearance of Sigma! Woot! ^_^

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Reflection

Posted by Dr. Akano , in Comics Jul 07 2012 · 283 views

The other day I decided to look at my comics from start to finish to remind myself of where I started and how far I've come to get to the comics I have today, and I have determined the following.

I sucked in the beginning. I mean, I was awful! Did I really actually think some of those comics were post-worthy? Holy Mukau!

Seriously, go over to my topic and read the first couple comics. Then, cry in a corner. For several hours. That's what I did. :P

In unrelated news, I've been toying with the idea of voicing some of my comics in a sort of strange animated-comic sort of way. Would anyone anywhere think this would be entertaining? KK may even have a role. :P

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Comic And Question

Posted by Dr. Akano , in Comics, Life Jul 02 2012 · 284 views
Akanos Comics, Productivity
New comic is up! It covers the subject of learning new things.

Now, I have a question to pose to you. My friends were talking about being productive with their evenings (both are fellow physics grad students), and I had mentioned that I had felt really productive lately due to the fact that I made two reviews (one of which no one has commented in yet. show it some love!) and finished my latest comic. Then they replied, "I wouldn't really call that productive; you just do that for fun."

To be fair, my one friend was working on a paper she's trying to get published, but I feel I have to defend myself. While I do enjoy writing these set reviews and my comics (which I'm sure you all would love me to update more often), they do take honest work to produce since no one would want to read a review written by a twenty-three-year-old that looks like it was written by a four-year-old. I tried to convince them otherwise, but they kind of shrugged it off.

So, my question to you is this: do you think that working on these "hobbies" is not productive? Just curious on your opinion. :)

P.S. Please do not say anything hurtful about my friends, as they are my friends, and I do love them very much.

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Set Review: 9473 Mines Of Moria

Posted by Dr. Akano , in Set Review, LEGO Jul 01 2012 · 543 views
Moria, LOTR, Lord of the Rings and 2 more...
Today, we take a journey to Middle Earth and take a look at the LEGO reimagining of the Mines of Moria.

Presentation
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.

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I really like the LEGO LOTR logo with the one ring on Sauron's finger in the upper right corner along with the map of Middle Earth in the background. The back highlights various parts of the set. I do like their cave-like choice of background for the front picture.

Building
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?

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This set comes with four bags of pieces which build the well & Balin's tomb, the wooden doors, the center of the wall, and the outsides of the wall. The build took me about 2-3 hours or so (not counting distractions). I must admit that at times I jumped the gun with some of the smaller pieces and thought I had run out of pieces, meaning that I was frantically searching my pile of pieces for I piece I simply misplaced during the build, so follow instructions carefully. :P

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Again, this set does come with stickers (grr!) for some of the detail, such as the dwarves' record and Balin's tomb.

Set Design
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

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I totally forgot the cave troll in this pic, sorry.


The set consists of three main parts: the wall, the door, and the tomb and well.

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The door has some pretty good detail, but some of that is provided by stickers with the wood plank patterns. They also included the axe that locks the doors shut for about 10 seconds from the movie, and this axe has a metallic copper blade, which I thought was cool. I also like the use of spyglass pieces as torches. Looking from the back, the wall on the right has a lever that makes it fall.

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I like the detail of the cave troll; however, he has absolutely awful balance while holding his hammer, so the number of poses he can have while wielding it are limited. He has a tendency of falling forward, since his mold is rather forward-heavy, even when not wielding the hammer. If you have studs beneath his feet, then he should be fine, but he's rather unstable just standing on a table.

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The wall consists of bookshelves with some of the oldest books stickers can convey. There is also some of the dwarves' treasure underneath the floor in its own little nook. For some reason the treasure chest moves in and out.

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The sides of the wall have towers that can be toppled using levers underneath them. The box shows one of these landing on the troll.

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These are my favorite parts of this set. I don't know if it's the fact that they're small and simple or if it's because these are the parts most focused on in the movie, but I love the well and the tomb. The tomb actually opens to reveal Balin's skeletal remains.

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Shouldn't Balin's skeleton be dwarf-sized?


My only qualm with the well would be that the skeleton does not have any armor/helmet on it unlike the movie. Otherwise, I love this part of the set. :)

Now, onto the minifigures:

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The heroes are very true to their movie selves save probably for Pippin; I don't really see Billy Boyd when I look at him; in fact, Pippin's face isn't too different from Shire Frodo's face. My favorite is probably Gimli,since the detail in his face, beard, and helmet are amazing. Boromir's appearance is probably second in terms of movie accuracy.

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the goblins are pretty creepy looking, and while I'd say their faces are pretty good, they seem to have too much hair (but maybe I'm remembering the movie wrong). I do like the shield that the one carries, as it's very jagged and looks goblin-made.

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All the characters have back printing on their torsos, which is more impressive on some than others. They also all have flip faces, which is amusing for Gimli, since all that changes when his beard is on is that his eyebrows go from neutral to angry. Also, they tried to make Legolas look intimidating, which just never happens in the movies. :P

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The hair/helmets of the characters all seem to be new molds to match the movies. I particularly like Gimli's helmet, which again has a lot of detail put into it (including printing).

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As far as interesting pieces go, there are quite a few jewels in this set. You also get a set of weapons that came originally in the Heroica games which I found interesting. They're mainly there to litter the ground of the tomb, probably to serve as the weapons of the dwarves who once populated the halls. You also get a bone and a rum bottle that originated the Pirates of the Carribean sets.

Playability
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?

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For the Shire!


This set has quite a bit of play to get out of it, since you can basically reenact the battle in the tomb with it. It's also makes for good scenery for any type of underground adventure you'd like your characters to embark on, so there's a good deal of potential. Any Lord of the Rings fan, of course, will just want to spend hours having our heroes take out that cave troll. :P

Final Thoughts
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?

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For any fan of the movies this set is a good pick, since it is, I think, one of the more accurate depictions of one of the movie scenes. All the minifigures in this set, save for the skeletons and Gimli, are exclusives, so it's a must-have for those who want, well, at least half of the Fellowship. :P

Pros
What's to like?
  • Great detail
  • Very true to the film
  • The minifigures
  • Cool pieces
Cons
What's not to like?
  • The price tag
  • Cave troll is a bit unbalanced
I hope all the LOTR fans who are reading enjoy this review. For the gallery, go here when it becomes public. :)

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Oak Log Bans

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About Me

Akano
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Premier Members
Stone Champion Nuva
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1,500+ posts
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Proto
+2 for Premier Membership
+1 from Pohuaki for reporting various things in Artwork


Name: Akano
Real Name: Forever Shrouded in Mystery :P
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Likes: Science, Math, LEGO, Bionicle, Comics, Yellow, Voice Acting, Pixel Art, Video Games
Notable Facts: One of the few Comic Veterans still around
Has been a LEGO fan since ~1996
Bionicle fan from the beginning
Twitter: @akanotoe

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My Lovely Topics

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Hieroglyphs And The Like

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Recent Comments

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