New Year, New Things

Republic Y-Wing
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
So this is what I've been doing with my time. I had a few drawing commissions that needed to be done, but for the most part, I've been building this.

For those that don't recognize this, or think it only looks vaguely familiar, this is a Republic Y-Wing as seen in the cartoon network show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. If you recall the Y-Wings from the first movie, they were old clunkers, fighter bombers passed their prime but rebuilt over and over again by the Rebel Alliance.

What we see in The Clone Wars are the brand new Y-Wings, new to the Republic and flown by squadrons of clone pilots and at one point Anakin Skywalker. The changes from the old to new is one of style, mostly. Whereas the more recent ships are a hodge-podge of exposed engine works, reduced engine sizes and a removal of the manned turret, the original starfighter was sleek, fully paneled and the turret was manned.

This was also a side bet with a flickr contact, RocketSeason. I was already in the planning stages, having almost finished my Nebulon Ranger, and the episode of the Clone Wars with these ships had just aired. I wanted to build one so I started looking online for images. I found RocketSeason's Flickr account because he had posted a few images from the show. We' made a friendly bet to see who got done first, I figured he's kick my ass as this is my second ever MOC (my own creation.) However he ran out of the right type of pieces, which I was close to doing. I had to disassemble my Tantive IV model to get the pieces needed for the engine pylons and I went through most of my yellow pieces getting the striping right.

It's an ungainly model. The pylons were a problem to figure out how to attach to the fuselage. At first I had a whole design using rods and interior attachments but in the end it's just attached with a couple 90° arch plates and could fall apart any second. It also doesn't line up right and you can see where the pylons are pulling away. I had to keep it all as light as possible, learning lessons from my last model. But I'm very proud of how it turned out. I need to clean up some areas of the underside and the rear landing gear and the back where the fuselage fades out.

It measures 36 1/2" long and 16" wide and weighs ~4.5lbs. It's easily as big as the official LEGO UCS sets and I won't know until I take it apart, but I'd guess it's roughly 1,000-1,200 pieces. Before anyone asks, no it's too big for me to spend the time making instructions. Plus there's a lot that doesn't fit very well and I'd rather not have people know that I "cheated" a bit.

Other than that, not much going on. Most of the BGF has been in Louisiana so while I've had close to two weeks off, I've spent close to half of that by myself. Well, myself and the kids. I met an old friend from college this last weekend and it was really good to see him. We were best friends in college and did a lot of theater together, liked the same music, played basketball and just generally liked each other's company. When I moved to Texas, it was quick and I don't think a lot of people knew what happened. He was one of them. So over a couple of beers and sandwiches at Central Market while the kids played on the playground, we caught up and it was quite nice. It felt like no time had passed and at the same time I knew that he was only visiting and that the next time we'd talk it would likely be another decade. It's bittersweet, but the realities of time and distance between friends.

I hope everyone had a good holiday season. We all had a lot of time off and relaxed. There was much eating, watching TV, playing Rock Band and a bit of travel to meet family. I'm not terribly excited about 2009 either way. I've developed a very Zen attitude toward life and I will take what life gives me and either use it or ignore it. There are a few things I'm concerned about that will likely shake out in the next few months, but you can't worry about these things until they present themselves to you.

Our house is still happy and vibrant and full of life. It's as much a curse as it is a blessing. This time the girls have been away was peaceful. I was able to watch all three Lord of the Rings movies, draw a few pictures, build a LEGO ship and watch a little football and hockey. It wasn't totally fun and loneliness began creeping in late last night. It'll be good to get the rest of the family back.

I hope 2009 is good to you. The next few years are going to be interesting on every level and I dearly wish for everyone to be able to cope with the changes that are so likely to occur as to require instruction manuals.

Carry on.

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