OK… first Leslie Nielsen and now Irvin Kerschner. Now many donâ€™t know him, but he was the director of arguably the best of the 6 Star Wars episodes, namely Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. He also happened to direct a guilty pleasure of mine, Robocop 2. Yes, the one with the psycho kid wielding a folding submachine gun.
As a kid, I preferred Return of the Jedi (yes even the Ewoks) but as I’ve grown older, I appreciate ESB more for being much more dramatic and not dispensing on characterization. So now it’s actually my favorite. ROTJ is now 2nd 🙂 .
Anyhow, thanx for being a part of my nerd childhood sir. Godspeed.
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.
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 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 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!
Commonly known as the â€˜Viper’, it features innovations including a frameless, bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while under high g-forces, and reclined seat to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot. It is also the first fighter to be built to sustain 9-g turns.
The current 414th Composite Training Squadron (CTS) is a US Air Force unit based in Nevada. It is responsible for hosting Red Flag, Air Combat Command’s largest air training exercise. It is assigned to the 57th Wing’s Operation Group and currently flies F-16C Block 32s in the DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) role.
I actually finished this kit one day (December 3, 2008) short of the 3rd year anniversary of starting this project. It was supposed to be for a groupbuild I had with 3 friends of mine. But they have finished their kits way sooner than me heh. I’ve finally taken good pictures of my build so it’s finally up on the site.
Anyhow, I tried to replicate some of the features that Hasegawa left out in their what is now close to 20 year mold. These modifications include:
The build didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped though. In between starting and completion of the project, I had a kid, had 1 more coming, moved house twice and moved between countries once. And those aren’t even related to the build itself 🙂 .
Some inaccuracy and mistakes remain due to various reasons:
Lessons learned. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed this build as I find Aggressor schemes to be very distinctive (though challenging) and will look good among the normal dreary greys of modern aircraft. Certainly won’t be my last colorful aircraft.
I entered this kit into the 7th Jakarta Miniature Model Expo and Competition organized by Peter & Partner. It was put under the 1/48 Aircraft (Advanced) category and didn’t win. But it served as a good lesson for future entries into the competition.
The mass production capacity of the Federation basically churned out hundreds of GMs in a few short months and these were quickly introduced to the fronts, thus ensuring the Federation’s victory in the One Year War.
This is my first kit done only with spraypaint. Some mods done to improve the proportions, including lengthening the arms and the legs. The end result is a very tall (about half a head taller than the standard kit) and lithe-looking kit. List of mods include: Visor on head and slight reshaping of whole head
Very mild weathering was done. And not done very well I must say. The panel lining’s very roughly done. Need to find a better way of doing it actually. No drybrushing at all. I wanted to get it out of the way before it started to bog me down hehe.
Price: S$17.50 (est. US$10.30)
The GZ-002 Cannon Fort is the Helic Republic’s primary light mobile artillery unit. Designed to look like the American Buffalo, the Cannon Fort sports a wide array of weapons for its mission of providing indirect fire on short notice. Two 120mm guns are mounted on a swivelling turret on the Zoid’s back to provide a wide field of fire, including the ability to elevate 30 degrees. The Cannon Fort is also armed with light weapons for self-defence purposes. To allow the Zoid to be mobile, armor is sacrificed. The light armament and armor of the Cannon Fort means that they are usually paired with other Zoids to form light strike mobile units: able to move from place to place and provide fire support for other Helic forces.
Note: This is my own created Battle Story for my Zoids. I don’t really like the official version. So sue me… 🙂
The Cannon Fort is a re-release of the 1980s original. The main difference between the two versions is the color and the markings: The new Cannon Fort is dark green and black while the old one has the green parts in a medium blue. The old kit also comes with 2 gold coated mind-riders instead of just 1 dark grey one for this release.
Each part of molded in their respective colors as typical of all Zoids kits. One mildly annoying thing is the copyright molded on the front right shoulder of the kit. While that’s easily removed, there are actually a lot of other places for the copyright notice without it being so conspicuous.
The inclusion of only 1 mind-rider is also surprising since the Cannon Fort has two crew compartments: one in the head, the other in a compartment on the main turret. The stickers included are also typical Zoid quality. One word: thick. The Cannon Fort also comes with dull red colored rubber pegs which IMO, doesn’t really complement the overall subdued colored scheme of the machine.
The age of the mold is pretty obvious as the quality of the details are not up to par to the newer Zoid designs. This might also be attributed to the limitation of technology during the 1980s or it could simply be a degradation of the mold through the decades.
Typically of all Zoids kits, there are parts that are hollowed out in the back. These include all the legs and the two main guns. Since Zoids are sold primarily as toys as opposed to models, this is pretty normal. Remedying it is a simple matter of filling the spaces with epoxy putty and sand to shape.
The Cannon Fort comes with a medium-sized wind up motor and when put into action, the Cannon Fort will move forward, the main turret will swivel side to side while the two main guns will alternatively elevate.
The Cannon Fort is actually one of those Zoids that I failed to get in its original run, so it’s nice to see it being re-released. Although I must say I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the molding.
Preview courtesy of my wallet