Thursday, 24 October 2013

Facebook posts


This post is a rant, I woke up in a bad mood, a few things I saw early in my day wound me up and I decided to let it out here rather than climb a clock tower with a high powered rifle and play extreme tag.

I use my phone as my alarm clock, as I'm sure the vast majority of people do these days. It's usally a safe and reliable way to get my lazy ass out of the comfy world of sleepy land.
Until this morning.
My phone (for reasons best left to itself) decided to switch itself off during the night, despite it being plugged in. This resulted in me oversleeping by an hour and consequentialy being late for work.

As I was madly rushing about, trying desperately to find a way to shorten my morning routine, I decided to take 2 minutes out to have a breather and try and center myself before I spontaniously combust on the spot.
I thought I would take a moment to check Facebook; possibly someone's witty post, or a good LolCat picture would brighten my day and set me off in a better mood.

But no.

The very first post I was confronted with was:

These posts have been doing the rounds for a while now, but this morning I just flipped.
At best, that post is blatent bullshit, and at worst it's bloody racist!

If I were to say that all blonde women are dumb, all black guys love watermelon or all people with big noses are Jewish, I'd be beaten to a pulp (and deservedly so) for being an ignorant bigot. Yet it seems perfectly acceptable to come out with wildly sweeping statements, claiming as "Fact" that people of a certain group will act a certain way because of their eye colour. Now I know that you may well read this and think I'm overreacting to something that's supposed to be a bit of fun, and maybe I am, but it's more the style of post that I'm angry about, rather than the details.

More and more I see posts and pictures put around Facebook that are claiming to be facts, where in actuality they have absolutely no basis in reality whatsoever. Many people will see them and probably do as I have done for a while, give them a thoroughly good ignoring; but there are those who will believe them, and that's what worrys me.

Another of the posts that's been doing the rounds is:

  • This year July has 5 Fridays 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This only happens once every 823 years. This is called money bags.

  • This particular one infuriates me!

    There are only seven days to a week, therefore there are only seven possible ways a month can begin, and by extension, only seven possble combinations of how many weekends there can be in that month.
    Even if we take into account skipping a day through a leap year, it only extends it to at maximum, 10 years before every day of the week has been used i.e.

    Mon, Tue, Wed, (Skip a day) Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon, (Skip a day) Tue, Wed, Thu

    I pointed this out to a friend last year, and was berated for nitpicking and basically being a downer for her. Well excuse me for using fucking maths rather than ignorantly believing whatever shite pops onto the news feed next.

    There's nothing wrong with having a giggle, intentionally being a bit controvertial or just blatantly taking the piss, as long as people are aware that's what you're doing!

    So next time you see a post claiming to be a "Fact" (especially the artsy picure ones), do yourself a favour and take 2 minutes out to do a quick bit of research, who knows, you might just learn something.

    Wednesday, 9 October 2013

    Pyramid Head Helmet Tutorial

    Here's my tutorial on how to make your very own Pyramid Head Helmet.

    First off I'd like to say a big thanks to Dax79 for his YouTube tutorial, that's where I got the dimensions from (check out his vids, after reading my stuff obviously lol).

    What are you going to need?

    Cardboard (I used the box from an office chair, but the neater condition the better)
    Ruler/tape measure
    Stanley knife
    Glue gun (An absolute must! My little £4.50 gun from eBay has made my life soooo much easier!)
    Masking Tape
    Polyfilla (Not vital if you've got good condition card, but I needed it)
    Kitchen non-slip matting (You can use any mesh type material you like, but this stuff looks really good)
    PVA Glue (Not vital, but handy to keep the mesh in place)
    Thin plastic piping (A good couple of meters, not sure on exact dimensions at the mo)
    Random bits of pipes and tubing (For the bolts and attachments)
    Black spray paint (You can save a bit of money and use standard paint, but it will take longer to do)
    Red/Brown paint

    If you've got everything gathered, it's time to rock!

    The first pieces you're going to be making will be the front face of the helmet.
    The picture below is not to scale, but will give you all the sizes and angles you need:

    Next are the sides/back, which again you need 2 of. Again the picture is not to scale, but you get where I'm going with it. The dashed line is a fold line, the reasons for which will soon become obvious.

    As you can see, the rear edge of the front piece is smaller than the front edge of the rear piece, this is to allow for the cut out for your shoulders. Just cut out a nice curve from where the front and back meet, round and down to the fold line.

    This next bit is all dependant on how you want the helmet to sit on you, and also how broad you are across the shoulders.
    You may wish to fit a hat inside the helmet (a workmans hard hat seems to be popular), in which case the helmet will have to be made to go around it.
    In my case I decided not to do that, and to have the helmet sit on my shoulders and rest up against the back of my head (mainly bacause by the time it was finished, it was starting to get heavy!)
    So if like me you want to do without the hat inside, you may need a bit of assistance here.
    Tape the four parts together, and pop it over your head. Play with the width until it's at a comfortable place for you, then measure the width at the widest point.

    Once you've done that, mark out on your card the outline of the helmet, set up to the width you just measured. This is going to make up the sill of our helmet.
    I didn't have a piece of card big enough to make the sill in one bit, so I did it in a couple of pieces and doubled up on the thickness for extra support.

    Now it's time for the outer edge bits, I made them 5cm in width. I also made sure that the grain of the card was going in the other direction to the rest of the helmet, this helps to give it extra strength.

    Once they're done you need to make yourself some eye holes. The size of these are entirely up to you, it all depends on how much you want to see (see below for an idea of the size I made mine)

    And that's pretty much it for the initial making of bits :)

    Glue gun time!
    I found it best to make up some hinge pieces and use them to attach the two front parts together (if you look later on, you'll see a pic of them) then make up the sill part. Now put the helmet into the sill, and secure it in place.
    Don't worry about going nuts with the glue, the great thing is that once it's all painted, the glue around the edges makes it look like it's been welded :)
    As you can see, I added a strip down the middle to cover up the hinges and the edge of the cardboard.

    Do the same with the back two pieces, and if you feel it necessary (I did), add some supporting pieces inside to keep it nice and solid.

    This next part you may not need to do, it depends on the quality of the card you used, and also the quality of your craftsmanship.
    In the above picture you can see a gap between the front and back sections, also there were some gaps around the back. To make sure this wasn't going to be an issue, I added more hot glue (yay!) to make the whole thing solid, and then back out to the garage to use a whole lot of Polyfilla.

    I used the Polyfilla to try and smooth off some of the more wrinkled areas, and to fill in the gaps between the joins in the card. *Word of warning* Do not do what I did and get impatient waiting for the Polyfilla to dry, and use a hairdryer to speed up the process, it will melt the glue you've spent ages diligently putting in place!!

    Once the Polyfilla is dry, you can sand it down nice and smooth, then you're ready for the first coat of paint.
    I was a bit silly and used metallic black car paint, it's great quality but quite expensive (over £7 a can), I'm sure you'll be able to find a much cheaper alternative!

    Through the eyehole on the second picture you'll see the hinge pieces I added, and yes that is Larp kit in the background :)

    Now we're onto the good bit, this is where the helmet really starts to take shape.

    Once the paint is dry, it's time to fix the mesh to the sides. I did this by first painting a layer of Copydex PVA glue onto the helmet, waiting for it to go tacky and then placing the mesh onto it. The PVA glue won't be good enough to hold it in place permanantly, but it's good enough to stop it moving while you glue it in place and trim it to fit (I placed the top edge in first, glue, trim the bottom, glue, trim the back and more glue)

    You can see the pipes on the side, I didn't actually measure these, I just cut them where it looked good (I'll get the measurements at a later date)
    The bolts on the side are elecrtical plug caps, but you can use whatever you find, bottle tops, bits of wood, whatever is at hand for you. The main bolt on the back was somewhat more tricky:
    For this I used a wider piece of pipe and a plactic nut (both available in your local hardware store, B&Q for those in the UK). The hard part was attaching it to the helmet because I didn't want to cut a hole in the helmet incase I buggered it up. Instead I cut a wedge out of the nut and then glued it in place; fiddly but ultimately it worked a treat.

    Onto the final furlong, we're ready for the last coat of black paint
    And then the detailing. For this I got some red paint, mixed in a little brown, and using the rough side of a scouring sponge, dabbed on the paint.
    I was hoping for a more rusty look, but it came out looking more like a lot of blood spatter (not a bad thing in my opinion!)
    So there's the final piece :) All in all it took about 14 hours (longer if you count stuff drying), but well worth it I think you'll agree. The next part of the costume is the skirt part, I've almost finished it, so I'll have the tutorial on that added over the next few days.

    Tuesday, 8 October 2013

    Halloween Costume

    It's heading towards that time of year again, whan the geeks and freaks can dress exactly how we want for a couple of days and no one will bat an eye, gotta love Halloween!

    Last year I went as Deadpool (comic version, not film), which was great fun and I was tempted to do it again this year, that is until me and the missus watched a certain horror film inspired from a game franchise, you may be familiar with Silent Hill :)

    Those who have played the games or watched the film will know the big bad, Pyramid Head, and that what I've decided on for this years costume.

    I've done a LOT of research, trawling through multitudes of Comic Con pics, YouTube tutorials and other blogs describing the production of their Pyramid Head costume. In the end I settled on a design, bought the materials and started to work.

    I've never tried anything this adventurous for a Halloween costume before, normally I'd just get a pre made one or go rooting through my wardrobe and see what I can put togetherm, so something I've completely made from scratch is quite a challenge! That being said, I have completed the helmet and I'm part way through the apron (just gotta stain and paint it), then the fun of creating the Great Knife!

    I've been taking plenty of pics, so once it's all done I'll put together 3 seperate tutorials, for the helmet, skirt/apron, and the knife, detailing how I put it all together. I know there are loads of other tutorials out there, but I'm hoping I can create something comprehensive.

    I'm really happy with how things have gone so far, if the knife comes out as good as the helmet then I'll be such a happy monkey!

    Planning for the Future

    I have been in the RAF for over 13 years so far, and although I've had fun it's time for a change.
    I've been an aircraft tech for a long time, and I'm good at what I do, but I've never felt passionately about it. However, throught the years my thoughts have always come back to one job that I would love to do. I know many of you will laugh because the odds of being successful are minimal (especially with the recent govenment cutbacks), but I'm still going to do it.

    I'm going to be a Crime Scene Investigator.

    Quite a leap I know, but it's something I've been passionate about for many many years, and I've decided to do what I want to do, rather than do what is the 'easy and logical' choice (which would be I.T).

    I know that it's nothing like you see in tv (especially here in the UK), the hours are long, the pay isn't exactly rock star wages, and you can experience some pretty nasty things, but to have the potential to really help someone is something that I have to persue. Finding the evidence that helps to put away a criminal, or free an innocent, or simply giving a grieving family closure, that's what I want to be a part of.

    I've signed up for an Open University Course (S104 for those in the know), so that'll get me on my way with qualifications, and I've got myself a pretty decent camera so I can practice taking photographs rather than the usual snapshots I've done in the past!