Category: Site News

Rocket Punch is back… sorta

I decided to move servers and hosts earlier this month and it wasn’t… smooth. Not that it’s ever been smooth for me when it comes to moving domains.

Anyway, the most important thing is that the website is now back up. Next is slowly putting back all my content. I have stuff going all the way back to 2009 so this will take a while. I’m also taking the opportunity to streamline the site and do housekeeaping though.

A look at Rocket Punch in 2016

So I was a lot more active in updating the site in 2016. But it’s for one obvious reasons I just built more models. Still, it’s interesting to see the growth the site has seen. Some facts from 2016:

Towards the end of 2016, I debated adding a RocketPunch Facebook page to run parallel with this site. For one thing I think it would drive more traffic to this site and since it’s a lot easier to update, I’d have more content up. I ended up scuttling that idea because I didn’t really want to have to add more sites to update. Also, I think I’ll end up updating the Facebook page and start to ignore this one (I’ve seen it happen often). Lastly, the plan is never to start monetizing this site anyway and I’m happy the way it is.

So looking at ahead at 2017, I hope the updates continue in a more or less consistent basis but this will of course, depend on whether I can keep up with building like I did last year.

Onwards!

A look back at 2016

12 is definitely a huge milestone for me as I’ve never ever completed more than 4 in a year. I hope I can build on this and perhaps get more builds done. Then perhaps the mountain that is my stash will finally start to lower? 😀

That being said, I could have probably finished more since my last build was the F-14B in October. But a few things happened: 2 of my airbrushes started going wonky, I did some traveling with the family, work piled up, I fell sick a few times and most importantly, my son has started building model kits and my focus went there.

This year was a year of a few firsts:

  • First figure
  • First weathering with salt and sponge chipping and filtering with oil paint
  • First groundwork
  • First helicopter kit
  • First custom decal work
  • First bare metal finishing

In the new year, I hope to:

  • Finish at least a dozen builds again
  • Hoard less (which I think would be a lot more doable in 2017)
  • Expand further into other genres

So which one is my favorite build of 2016? I’d have to say the VF-102 F-14B but the Snowspeeder was the most problem-free and for the first kit I’ve ever severely weathered, it didn’t turn out half bad.

And that’s it! To more finished kits and less last minute disasters, bring on 2017!

A look back at 2015

First and foremost, I finished the most kits in… ever! 4 isn’t a lot, but considering I’ve only ever finished 3 kits a year and with my last kit being finished in 2012, this is a big deal!

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I would have probably been able to finish another one before 2015 ended. Unfortunately I had an endless stream of minor illnesses in November and had a long trip overseas in December. Anyway, I’m perfectly happy to finish the year with 4 completed kits.

Now to be fair, 3 of the kits weren’t started in 2015 itself: they were all in various stages of construction when I finished them. But I hope to finish 6 to 8 kits this year. Fingers crossed.

I’ve also done a few other things in 2015 worth noting:

  1. I’ve switched to using Acrylic paints for everything from priming to detailing like washes and panel lining.
  2. There is something to be said about using a high quality airbrush. I finally took the Procon Boy PS-269 platinum out of the box and it’s a dream to use. But at the rate I’m building, I’m not sure it’s worth the retail price they ask for this bad boy (I got it off my friend who hardly used it and got out of the hobby).
  3. I think I’ve finally gotten the hang of taking photos of my completed kits. It’s not perfect yet but I think it’ll just take some minor tweaking to get it just right.

I hope 2015 is the start of more productive years to come. Seeing the big pile of kits in my attic is not just an eyesore, it’s an earsore (looking at the Missus)…

A short history of Rocket Punch

It all began after I took a short web design course over a summer in 1998. I was also into abit of scale modeling then. So I did what came naturally; do up a website about scale modeling. And wow, more than 10 years already and I’m still doing both of them.

So take a trip with me down memory lane as I present here a short history of Rocket Punch.

When time began…
This was during the Internet’s infancy and many websites offered free webspaces without requiring ridiculous amounts ads (both popup and non-popup ads). In fact, GeoCities only required a small animated banner somewhere on the website. Such good times.

I called the first ever incarnation of my website Mecha Model Factory as I was doing primarily mecha kits. This was in 1999.

Behold evolution…
As GeoCities became more draconian with their ads, I moved the site to a starhub.net.sg domain (I had a dial-up account with the ISP) with one of those free short URL redirectors (http://modelfactory.cjb.net if I remember correctly). This was in 2000. I renamed the site The Model Factory as well since I’ve gone into other genres of scale modeling, namely combat aircraft.

Then 2001 came along and as I learned more about web design (like CSS, SSI etc), I integrated them into my site.

Then myrightfoot.com came along…
I then decided to get a domain name for my personal site. I settled on myrightfoot.com. Why myrightfoot.com you say? Well, it was catchy and My left foot was a movie, so I didn’t want to confuse people. I know, so considerate right?

The Model Factory (TMF) resided as a subdomain http://tmf.myrightfoot.com . It was at this time that a good friend of mine Lion (pronounced Leon) helped me design a mascot for my website which you see below. I drew the airbrush.

My foot disappeared and something mad happened…
My webhost went kaput and along with it my domain name which I couldn’t get back. So I decided to get a new domain maded.com. It’s pronounced Mad Ed’, which is a combination of my fullname.

Instead of a subdomain though, the hobby section resided as part of the main site.

It went through a few variations until…

MadEd also got lost and we come to Rocket Punch!
Yeap, due to an administrative cockup, I lost the maded.com domain also. Meh. I then tried to find another domain name that actually reflects what the site is all about.

At the end of the day, I decided on Rocket Punch, because 1) it’s catchy, 2) it’s easy to remember and 3) it’s a robot cliche. Best! Why a .biz domain though? Well, all the others were taken! So I took the only one that’s available, which is how we get rocketpunch.biz.

When I first began, I had an idea to use the main rocketpunch.biz domain as a freelance web design site so for the first 5 years of existence, my scale modeling site resided at the http://toys.rocketpunch.biz even though I still referred to it as Rocket Punch.

For 4 years it remained like the design you see below.

Finally in 2009, I received some feedback that the thumbnails I used were too small, especially now that 90% of screen resolutions out there are more than 1024×768 that I’ve always designed for.

My good buddy Chairul, graciously helped me design (FOC no less) the Rocket Punch logo that adorns the site. So what you see next is the finetuning of the site.

In March 2010, I decided to finally try to integrate some sort of Content Management System (CMS) into the site. For the last decade (goodness me, decade?), with the help of only CSS, SSI and Javascript, I manually handcoded everything. After 10 years, I finally have so much content that if I were to redesign the site again, I’d have a ton of content that needed to be ported over one by one.

In the end, I spent a weekend integrating WordPress with Rocket Punch. WordPress has evolved to something that is ALMOST what I’m looking for structure-wise. There’s still some things I needed that aren’t available but I’ve worked around them somewhat. As of 2016, it has gone through 2 designs.

So what does the future hold? Who knows to be honest. As Rocket Punch has evolved into a blog and updating is so much easier, I’ve started exploring other aspects of my hobbies. Things like G.I.Joe, Transformers, Star Wars and other things I like are now starting to popup here and there on the site.

This site now generates about 7GB worth of traffic a month (as of 2016) which isn’t a lot, but at least it means it’s getting out there to some folks.

One thing’s for sure, it’ll always remain as a site where it’s about one guy cocking about his hobbies. ONWARD HO I SAY!