X-wing: Cobra

Not content with ruling the entire world, Cobra Commander has set his sights on outer space!  Piloted by highly trained Star-Vipers, this new fighter — Codenamed Nemesis — extends Cobra Command’s grasp to the stars.

I painted a Kihraxz fighter from the X-wing Miniatures Game over the past couple of days.  I wanted to come up with a color scheme that would look nice, and it occurred to me to try the common colors used in a lot of old Cobra vehicles from the early 80s G.I. Joe toy line.  I think it turned out rather well.

The Cobra insignias on the side didn’t turn out as well as I’d like.  I created them using water-slide decal paper I purchased for my laser printer. The decal material is very thin and transparent, and the dark blue background of the ship overpowered the thin layer of toner that was printed onto it. To remedy this I tried to hand-paint parts of the Cobra symbol so that they would show through the decal. It worked quite well, but my estimates on the size of the logos was not quite spot on.

Original paint job:

“Cobra” paint job:        I wish my smartphone could take better quality photos. So much of the detail is lost in these images.

I like this color scheme and I may try it out on more ships.

“I shall call him, ‘Mini-Bee'”

I painted up a miniature version of my car:

I’m not entirely happy with the sloppiness of the paint job.  My model-painting experience is almost entirely in acrylic, and this job was done with enamel.  I figured enamel would be more durable for something like this.  Unfortunately, enamel is a bit harder to work with and is less forgiving than acrylic.

The paint I used was Humbrol Black Satin 85.  It does not look very much like satin paint to me, though.

Death Star Trench Misconception

The other day I was listening to an interview with Todd Vaziri, a visual effects artist from ILM.  During the interview, Mr. Vaziri talked about working on Rogue One.  He brought up an anecdote about how, one day when going over the visual effects being worked on, one of the story’s writers suggested that the Death Star model needed more detail around a north-south meridian line near the base’s north pole.  The writer casually explained that this was where the final “trench run” in the original Star Wars movie happened, which was a revelation to most of the visual effects crew.

For most of my life since seeing the original Star Wars it never occurred to me that the Death Star trench run does not occur along the equatorial trench we see in long shots of the station.

deathstar

The equatorial trench on the Death Star is lined with hangar bays and is the ingress/egress area for the station.  This trench is far too large to be the trench which leads to the Death Star’s thermal exhaust port:

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The actual trench in question is far narrower and has no room for hangar bays:

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Adding to the confusion caused by the strongly visible equatorial trench is the use of horizontal shots of the actual trench in question.  In this image, the north pole is to the right of the screen, not to the top which is natural for us to assume:

trench3

Oddly enough, the movie itself explains that the exhaust port is at the north pole and that the trench runs north-south during General Dodonna’s mission briefing:

trenchanim

I probably dismissed this in the past because of the fact that the computer animation was based on an earlier model of the Death Star which had the laser dish situated on the equator.

wrongdish

Because the dish was in the wrong place, I guess I subconsciously figured the location of the trench was wrong, too.  But, no, the historic “Death Star trench” runs north-south and ends at (or near) the north pole.

trench0

It’s neat to learn something new about a thing with which one is already very familiar.

Gore’s Medal

In World of Tanks, players may be awarded “epic medals” under certain extraordinary circumstances.  These medals are usually inspired by some historic military commander, hero, or event.

The other day, I acquired “Gore’s Medal” for the first time in my Hummel.

The other awards I won in that battle:

“Ace Tanker” mastery badge

Earn more base experience in a single battle than the average highest experience of 99% of all players in the same tank within the last seven days

“Fighter” honorary rank

Destroy 4 or 5 enemy vehicles in the course of the battle.

“Arsonist” token

Destroy an enemy vehicle by setting it on fire.

“Bruiser” token

Damage enemy modules and/or knock out their crew members at least 5 times in the course of the battle.

“High Caliber” battle hero medal

Awarded to players who dealt the largest amount of damage during the battle and where the total damage dealt is at least 20% of the total hit points of all tanks on the enemy team.

 

Mark of Excellence: Hummel

I earned my first Mark of Excellence on my Hummel the other day in World of Tanks.  These are special markings that are drawn on the barrel of a player’s tank which indicate exceptional performance.

hummel_mark_of_excellence_1

hummel_mark_of_excellence_2

These in-game markings borrow from the old “kill rings” or “victory marks” tank crews would paint onto their tank guns to mark their kills.

kill_rings

Exemplary Performance

I’ve had some good games since I started playing World of Tanks again.  Here are some awards I recently earned:

The Arsonist award is not easy to get, especially with an SPG.  With a single shot, you have to almost destroy a tank and score a critical hit on the fuel tank and have the fuel tank rupture and catch fire and have the fire do enough damage to finish off the tank.

arsonist

I was wondering if I’d ever get the Bombardier award, as it entails destroying two tanks with one shot.  High-explosive artillery shells FTW!

bombardier

I was not expecting the Battle Buddy award; I had no idea it existed.  I guess it says something about an arty player since SPGs are typically not very accurate and often fire high-explosive shells which cause splash damage. It’s very easy to damage allies if one is not careful.

buddy

Destroying a third of the enemy team by yourself is a decent accomplishment.

fighter.png

The Raider award is earned when you capture the enemy base — you have to make it to the enemy flag and stay close to it for a minute or two — and do it without ever being spotted by the enemy.  This is fairly humiliating to the enemy.  It’s especially so when the enemy does it with a terribly slow SPG.

raider

The game also has a campaign for each class of tank.  Each campaign consists of fifteen missions, and each mission consists of a primary win condition and a secondary win condition. These missions are just a goal you can set for yourself — you don’t have do them.

The reward for completing a mission is typically a pile of credits and/or some in-game consumable.  Completing a mission with honors (i.e. fulfilling both primary and secondary conditions) rewards additional credits.   The reward for completing every mission in a campaign includes a female crew member (and this is the only way to get them).

I had completed the entire campaign a few days ago, but the game gives you the option to retry any mission which you did not complete with honors the first time.  Tonight I managed to finally complete the entire campaign with honors.

recommendation

arty_campaign

The results of the game wherein I completed the final mission with honors:

exemplary

And, finally, here’s a photo of my favorite tank — the Hummel:

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