Specialist Technician. PC Gamer. Stargate and Star Wars Fan. Computer Geek. Military Enthusiast. Science Enthusiast (Nut). Mountain Biker. Photographer. Cinematographer. Audiophile. SketchUp Modeller. Video Editor. Audio Editor. (No, my name isn't really Shane M. Schofield...it's an inside joke.)

5 comments by SCΛRECROW on Feb 14th, 2010

Quote of the blog.

"It's A Trap!" 

Blog:
Just a short blog. You're probably sick of hearing it, but I recently decided to open the archives and fix up the Lancer - Class Star Destroyer before moving on to building other models, however a "minor update" became a full blown overhaul. Suffering from mild OCD and being a perfectionist doesn't help either, I've already made 33 types of modifications/fixes/tweaks (many more individual changes), with more on the way. Some changes are subtle, others changes not so subtle. A hangar will be modelled for the Mark II version. I'll paste my change log here when the update is finished.

In other events, it's been raining...in summer, which is pretty unusual, but is a welcome change from the heat. Just reviewed the cost of my 4 textbooks for this semester: $450...yeah. The Vancouver opening ceremony was quite impressive I think. Too bad about Nodar Kumaritashvili, a sombre reminder that some sports can be dangerous.

SketchUp is a trap! Talk Later.

Good Gaming and Good Modding.
[SCΛRECROW]

Report abuse More of the usual.

3 comments by SCΛRECROW on Feb 9th, 2010

Quote of the blog.

"Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at." 

Blog:
There have been some interesting developments; new lenses and cameras, SG-1 movie in doubt and a 2.5" 600GB 10K RPM HDD is making me drool...just more of the usual.

First off, Ghost Recon 4 doesn't have a crappy name anymore, it's now known as "Ghost Recon Future Soldier" instead of "Ghost Recon Predator". (Although I think I know why they went with "Predator...the teaser video showed some sort of optical cloaking device.) Something tells me that this Ghost Recon will be quite different to the previous ones...hoping for it not to be a CoD4 clone. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to it.

I've clocked Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising (quite a while ago), overall it's a pretty well rounded game. The graphics, sound, physics were great. The campaign could do with another mission or 2 (although the bonus single missions make up for that). Co-Op with friends was definitely the highlight. The biggest issue was the AI; flashes of tactical brilliance were made dim with constant stupidity...who throws a fraking grenade at a wall? And yes, my team did get shot numerous times. Another issue is the clunky command system, sure it gives you more options, but it's implemented somewhat poorly; as soon as you give an order it should exit. The tight field of view made it annoying when clearing buildings. Dedicated servers were absent, but I don't play online often, so it doesn't really bother me. Hard core Operation Flashpoint fans have shunned it, but it seems that Codemasters targeted a wide market, instead of the realistic mil-sim crowd. Overall, I enjoyed it.

Still taking a break from SketchUp, although I have plenty of ideas now.

Winter Olympics start soon! Personally, I'm looking forward to the Ice Hockey. Yes, I'm aware that Australia doesn't have an Ice Hockey team in the Olympics. :P

Talk Later.

Good Gaming and Good Modding.
[SCΛRECROW]

Report abuse T- 1 Month.

5 comments by SCΛRECROW on Feb 2nd, 2010

UPDATE: It's nearly 1AM, but I'm excited about the Alienware M11x, the specs have just been officially released...did a test customisation and it's cheap. Should translate to about $1,350AUD here. Looks like I'm going to get one. Spoke too soon, price will be $1,699AUD, so I'll probably look for something else.

Quote of the blog.

"Change is inevitable, except from vending machines." 

Blog:
Well there's a month left of holidays before I get back to university, so there's no time to waste! Nothing interesting has been happening lately...just trying to make my next star fleet ship look right. It's so frustrating sometimes, you imagine something and it looks awesome, but when you go and model it in a program, it looks like a pile of scrap metal. So I am considering doing a major redesign...which means starting from scratch. I may abandon the symmetrical design for something different. Probably should do something different for a while.

Now for a little rant; What is with people vandalising Wikipedia? Seriously, Wikipedia is probably the most widely used source for information on the Internet, sure it's not perfect and there are some issues, but why do people insist on vandalising a free information source that many Internet users access on a daily basis? Reverting vandalism may be as easy as , but it is time-consuming and such a pain in the neck to do, especially if it gets into an edit war. I just don't understand what the vandal's objective is. Oh, and that "Uncyclopedia" is not a satirical parody of Wikipedia, but is a pile of libellous BS. The Internet is a weird place folks...it's mankind's most powerful tool for the storage and communication of knowledge and information; and what do we do to it? We fill it to the brim with rubbish instead of using it properly.

As always, this is my personal opinion. Talk Later.

Good Gaming and Good Modding.
[SCΛRECROW]

Report abuse Introducing the Nemesis - Class Star Cruiser

0 comments by SCΛRECROW on Jan 23rd, 2010

Introducing the Nemesis - Class Star Cruiser

After quite a lot of work, the Nemesis - Class Star Cruiser has been completed. It's an original design with elements coming from the BC-304s and the main engine was inspired by the Ori battleships. It is more heavily armed and armoured than the Lancer - Class Star Destroyer, but is slower and carriers less starfighters. Designed for ship-to-ship broadsides, attacking larger capital ships, assaults on orbital installations with the 4 main cannons and planetary bombardment. 360° weapon coverage as standard. In the model, one of the hangars has shields up as a demonstration, the other has the doors closed. Note that doors and turrets in the model are fully "operable". Also see the 3D tour video below.

Vital Statistics:

  • Length: 1,200m
  • Height: 136.56m (structural), 154.81m (overall)
  • Width: 585m
  • Crew and complement: 1,852 including 860 marines, 48 starfighters and 12 utility ships

Weapons:

  • Twin Heavy Co-Axial Plasma Bolt Cannons
  • Twin Heavy Co-Axial Ion Bolt Cannons
  • 16 triple heavy Turbolaser assault turrets
  • 18 Asgard beam weapon ball turrets
  • 36 Twin Dual Plasma Bolt Cannon Turrets
  • 72 quad light laser/mass driver turrets
  • 840 medium reloadable multi-purpose ordnance/missile tubes

Available on the 3D Warehouse for download.


Blog:
So the Nemesis - Class Star Cruiser has been completed. Next in line for completion is the fast carrier, and I might give the Lancer an overhaul and upgrade to Mark III status. To tell you the truth I didn't like this design as much as my other ships, the problem was that there was too much room for weapons and I had to maintain a balance of weaponry, leaving me to fill the empty space with other crap that looks important. I also felt that the design was too similar to the Lancer, even though I was going for something different; however the carrier will look more similar to the Daedalus than the Lancer because it's supposed to be the dedicated carrier variant.

Besides working on the Nemesis, I played Star Wars The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition on PC and finished it in a day. Although I wasn't expecting much from the game, I was very disappointed. First of all, it's a direct console port, no mouse support in the main menu, no graphics options other than resolution and the controls felt limiting. The missions were repetitive and every time you were battling a boss, you had to do this weird button pushing sequence to defeat them. Worst of all, the camera and control system sucked and sucked badly, the RPG style camera made it very annoying and extremely difficult on occasion to defeat bosses in duels. Sure, the eye candy, physics and sound were great, but it was very average as a game. Hopefully, TFU 2 will have a version that was developed for PC instead of being a half-assed console port. I say bring on Jedi Knight 4 already!

Good Gaming and Good Modding.
[SCΛRECROW]

Report abuse The 2010 List

14 comments by SCΛRECROW on Jan 10th, 2010

Quote of the blog.

"Good things come to those who wait." 

Blog:
The weather here in Melbourne is starting to heat up, day 3 of a forecast 4 day heat wave and it's 43°C (109.4°F) today. Going to be 33°C (91.4°F) tomorrow and then a nice 27°C (80.6°F) the day after. Gunner15 is experiencing even hotter weather in Western Australia with temperatures up to 47°C (116.6°F)...so I feel somewhat fortunate.

Since the last blog, I've made good progress on the next ship design to be released. The major structural design is finished; all I have to do now is place weapons, armour plating and add some more detail. I admit that I don't really like the design of the ship...but it's too late to change and I don't want to let hours of work go to waste, that's why I'm sticking with it. It should be released by the end of this month, but no guarantees. So, after this ship and the carrier are finished I'll have to start to design a couple of starfighters and starbombers before I get back to building big ships.

2010 List:
I guess I should have done this in the previous blog, but here's a list of the events/games/etc that I'm looking forward to in 2010.

Games

  • Supreme Commander 2
  • Ghost Recon 4 
  • Just Cause 2 
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 
  • Medal of Honor 
  • Stargate: Resistance 
  • Stargate: Worlds 
  • Star Wars Battlefront 3 (speculation)
  • Star Wars Jedi Knight 4 (speculation)
  • Rainbow Six 18 (speculation)

Events

  • Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics
  • Video Games Live (they still haven't announced a concert date yet!)
  • PMA
  • Photokina
  • E3
  • Dakar Rally

TV Shows and Films

  • 24 Season 8
  • Stargate Universe
  • MythBusters
  • NCIS
  • The Hurt Locker (DVD release)
  • Stargate: Extinction (working name)
  • Stargate: Revolution (working name)

There might be some other stuff I left out (Not purposely).

End blog.

Good Gaming and Good Modding.
[SCΛRECROW]

Report abuse So, it's 2010...

9 comments by SCΛRECROW on Jan 2nd, 2010

Quote of the blog.

"This year's failure will be next year's success." 

Blog:
So, it's 2010, a new year. I don't feel different, excited or otherwise. It's just another day. But I've come to realise that time does indeed fly. Looking at the past year, there are many lessons that I can learn from my mistakes. Biggest lesson learnt: Don't waste time. I know it sounds cliché, but it is so true.

Okay, enough reflecting. I haven't been doing much. Just watching some TV, movies, going out and gaming. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition was released on PC and for some reason I'll need 30GB of free HDD space to install it, which isn't a problem mind you; but 30GB for a computer game seems a bit excessive. I don't know, we'll just have to see how it plays.

The ships I have been working on are progressing slowly. I've gone through about a dozen variations of one particular design...ship designing takes a while, but you'll know when the design is right when it just "flows". But I've recently had a case of "modeller's block" if you can understand what I mean.

I've said it many times, but I still haven't had an opportunity to get out and take more good photos. I've taken photos, but I think that they're crap because they were a bunch of "drive-by" shots. I may upload one or two sometime later.

Otherwise, I'm looking forward to 24 season 8 and the 2nd half of Stargate Universe season 1, among other TV shows. And CES is coming soon, can't wait to see what is announced.

That's the end of this blog, so, I wish all of you a happy, prosperous and constructive 2010.

Good Gaming and Good Modding.
[SCΛRECROW]

Report abuse Stargate Universe Mid-Season Review

6 comments by SCΛRECROW on Dec 14th, 2009

First of all, this is my opinion on Stargate Universe, no one else's. If you agree, great. If you don't, I'm fine with that too. Discussion of this blog and other aspects of Stargate is most welcome, just don't turn a civilised discussion into personal attacks. If you haven't seen all of the episodes so far, don't read the blog. For the rest of this blog, I will refer to SG-1 as SG-1 (obviously), Stargate Atlantis as SGA and Stargate Universe as SGU for the sake of brevity.

Many people know and love the Stargate franchise, from the movie to SG-1, Atlantis and now in the latest spin-off: Universe. SGU is seen by some as a blatant grab for more viewers with a new style and approach. While others see it as an evolutionary step in the Stargate franchise. I see it as a bit of both. For one, there isn't much competition in terms of other big science fiction shows, so they adjusted the style of the show to appeal to a "wider" audience. On the other hand, Stargate has used the same style for its previous TV series, so it makes sense that they would try a different style.

Story wise, SGU's new approach with an inclination to more character driven stories without a big bad enemy doesn't seem right for Stargate. In both SG-1 and SGA, the main enemy were introduced in the first episode. Yes, SGU's premise is different to the other shows, it's all about survival on a giant ancient ship and their enemy is death, they are fighting to survive. The difficult thing is that while, survival is an instinct, it is an ongoing objective, if the survival story arc goes on too long, it's just going to get old. One of the story highlights of the first half of this season for me would have to be "Time", it's a nice classic time travel story with the added twist of the Stargate itself as the time travel device.

The dynamic of the military and civilians was explored on SGA, but I think that the the result was not what the creators intended, Weir and Sheppard got along too well and the real military was not really in a position to lock horns with the civilian leadership, although they did on occasion. SGU presents a situation where Rush (up to now) has been toe-to-toe with Young in a number of situations. SGU is like SGA in a way, but the effect of military and civilian interaction seems to be amplified by Rush's disrespect and rogue attitude. That said, Rush is a complex character; we, as the audience don't really know who's side he is on. All of the characters also have depth or a back story that we don't know about, so it seems that we have to wait for future episodes to learn more about their past. "Earth" and "Life" were character episodes that taught the audience a lot about these characters.

Sex on SGU. Is it warranted? That is what I have been asking myself, SG-1 and SGA were marketed as shows that the whole family could watch. But, since the creators have aimed SGU at a different audience and focused it on the characters, it is warranted in some situations, not in others. Yes, sex shows the emotion and relationship between characters, but I think that there are other ways of showing it.

Previously, SG-1 and SGA both had a traditional cinematic style of shooting scenes. SGU on the other hand has moved to a "dynamic" documentary style of cinematography. Now, this may be fine for other shows such as 24, where the premise is constant real-time drama/action. It's not that the new style doesn't work, it just feels out of place for a Stargate. But for SGU I feel that the traditional style would have worked just as well, note that I am a biased traditionalist when it comes to cinematography.

While it is nice to see something different from the Stargate franchise, SGU doesn't seem as appealing to me as the other shows. I started watching SG-1 in season 3 and got drawn into Stargate, also, when SGA premiered, I got hooked on the first episode. Unfortunately it hasn't been the case for SGU. It just seems like it's not Stargate any more. I like the way that SG-1 and SGA balanced the battle with the big bad enemy with character stories, it doesn't seem to be happening on SGU. I struggle to be drawn in by some episodes of SGU, but I want SGU to be a good series and I want to like it.

In the end, it comes down to the proverb: "To each his own". Some people will love SGU and others will hate it. I'm still on the fence and will reserve judgement until season 1 is over.

Report abuse More Holidays, More Gaming

2 comments by SCΛRECROW on Dec 4th, 2009

Quote of the blog.

"Nuclear bombs are not close support weapons!" 


Blog:

You may be wondering about the quote of the blog, well, a friend and I were discussing various uses for nuclear weapons in wars (don't ask where that conversation originated from), when he suggested that the A-10A Thunderbolt II (a.k.a. Warthog/tankbuster) should be equipped with a few tactical nukes for close support. I responded with the quote above. Caused us to laugh for a while.

Since it is the holidays I have more gaming is ahead! And I've got mods to play! I might also have another ship for the star fleet finished by the end of this year. I found out that I passed all subjects in university! YEAH! Pretty good marks...except for databases; which is the most boring I.T. unit you can do.

And look above for photo of my shiny new lenses. They are quite awesome! I love the 50mm one, it's so light, good for low-light indoors and general shooting. The big super-zoom is heavier, but can pretty much do everything.

Relaxing. Taking way too many photos! That's it for this blog.

Good Gaming and Good Modding.
[SCARECROW]

Report abuse Gaming Ahead..

2 comments by SCΛRECROW on Nov 15th, 2009

Quote of the blog.

"Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is your own." 


Blog:

It's the holidays now, so I went to a local video games store to buy a copy of Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. But they were sold out...what luck! I've also been digging through my old games library, I've restarted Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield and Half-Life 2, although I should finish EndWar first.

I've got some gaming, modelling of more ships and photography planned over the holidays. Right now I'm working to essentially overhaul one of my previous ship designs. You may see it in the coming weeks, depending on how I use my time.

On the photography front, I've been looking into getting some new lenses: Nikon 18-200mm "Super-Zoom", Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX and a Nikon 50mm f/1.8D. These lenses may not mean much to most of you, but the "Super Zoom" will replace both of my existing lenses and the 35mm and 50mm lenses will allow me to take better photos in low light. I've also got a night shoot planned...might upload some stuff later.

While is it good to be on holidays, it can get a little boring...so I just browse the Internet for information, facts, etc. Recently, I stumbled across two interesting websites, GOOD magazine and Information Is Beautiful. These two sites present general or statistical using graphs, charts and diagrams...I just like looking at data represented visually, take a look, there are some intriguing facts there.

Relaxing. That's it for this blog.

Good Gaming and Good Modding.
[SCARECROW]

Report abuse It's been a while...

10 comments by SCΛRECROW on Oct 19th, 2009

UPDATE 1: MW2 for PC is even more screwed than before. Was going to look into it, now, not a chance. 18 player max, no console commands, no kicking players, "extra" mouse control (because it's a console port) and apparently NO MODDING!!! all on top of NO DEDICATED SERVERS!!! How can you destroy a franchise like that...FPS belongs on PC, not console. Calling on the PC gaming community to unite and express RAGE. Not happy. Not buying. Read.

Quote of the blog.

"Well done is better than well said." 


Gaming, Modding and Computing Stuff.

Can't even think about playing games right now...but Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising has been released and it looks so good. Damn exams! Which means I'll have to wait a month or so.

Windows 7 is coming out in 3 days! Not sure if I should attend a launch party or not... If the release is anything like the RC, then it should be much better than the O/S beginning with "V".

General Stuff.
Well, it's been a while since I've written a blog, probably because of two main factors. One, I've been busy as hell most of the time trying to get a stack of SQL, HTML, ASPX coding done. Two, nothing "interesting" has been happening lately. Anyway, I've got some spare time right now...so, I'll continue.

So, Stargate: Universe...what to say.... No need to state the obvious, but it's certainly different; but so far, SGU has not failed to impress with the different "dynamic"/fluid shooting style, different character dynamics and different location. I guess we'll have to wait for following episodes to flesh out some character back story. Overall, I'm enjoying it, but I will wait until I have finished the first season to make a judgement. Also, for some reason, all of the episodes have one word titles.

With the Sabre finished (download link in previous blog) I can work on the other models...after exams in the holidays. Also looking forward to doing more photography at night. In the mean time, I'll probably be less active around here (maybe not, priorities right?).

That's it for this blog.

Getting sick of work. Good Gaming and Good Modding.
[SCARECROW]