Thursday, February 25, 2021

Adventures in Star Wars Papercraft

One of the things that has been bugging me for quite some time now is that I don't have any cool geeky stuff to display on my bookshelves. Most of my fellow science fiction geeks seem to have the most amazing Lego Star Wars or Star Trek model kits as props to proudly proclaim their geekiness to the world. Stuff that I could only dream of and drool over.  Local prices for similar items are just insane, and that's in the rare even that they are even to be found over here.

So what's a geek on a budget left to do? Stick to sales and hope some good comes your way. In my most recent book shopping spree I stumbled across some Star Wars books published by Egmont which include some foam board paper models you can assemble.  Those looked like they could be fun, so I decided to give them a try.

Now, let is be known that I'm not crafty at all, my dexterity has a -6 penalty and I struggle with spacial orientation. I was filled with trepidation whether I would be able to pull it off, but hoped my crafting skills would be up to the task. If a seven-year-old can do it, I can do it too. Hopefully.

First up was the models from the Starfighter Workshop which included both an X-Wing and a Tie Fighter. The X-Wing consisted of 26 pieces and was suprisingly easy to put together, without any major snags. The Tie Fighter which only had 20 pieces was quite a bit more complex and the folds were quite finicky. After a couple of hours of folding and inserting pieces into each other I had something looking at least similar to the intended goal.

Then it was time to tackle the AT-ST. For something so small it had the most parts (40!) and entailed some very finicky bending and contortions to get things to fit. When it came to the legs the instructions became unclear. Their illustration didn't match what I had in front of me no matter which way I put the pieces together. In the end I had to rely on my best guess and it seemed to work. However, I somehow ended up with an AT-ST which seems far more interested in the sky than the one depicted in the book. I checked and can't see anywhere where I went wrong, so not sure if it's just the angle of the photo in the book. But it still looks pretty cool to me. The feet were the absolute worst to put together. One foot is still a bit wonky and I just can't seem to fix it. The foam board is pretty fragile so I'm going to leave it as is and not risk any potential damage from tinkering further. At least it's standing upright on its own. That's enough of a win for me.

Overall I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. They aren't perfect and it might have taken me way longer than most people to put together, but the result seems good enough. The whole process was pretty fun despite the odd frustration. I have finally fulfilled my lifelong dream of owning a X-Wing, albeit a paper one. There's only one problem - the X-Wing and Tie fighter are so big they basically take up an entire shelf of their own. But that's a problem for another day when I run out of shelf space again...

May the Force be with you!

New Arrivals: First Book Haul in Forever

It has been an entire year since I last ordered some books. So, when Reader's Warehouse announced they had a book sale going on, I just couldn't resist any longer. I might even have gone a tad overboard....

The books arrived in good order except for the copy of The Exorcist which had a damaged cover. While trying to sort out a replacement I stumbled upon the second part of the sale, so there was only one thing to do. Buy more books!

The pickings were rather slim, but I managed to find the last few SFF titles among the sale items.

I also found some Star Wars paper model kits, which looked kinda fun.

We'll have to see if my crafting skills are up to the level of a seven-year-old...

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Bookish Tech: My TBR Cart

While I haven't been buying a lot of books lately I seem to have gotten into the habit of buying bookish related things. After getting a laptop desk reading desk, my latest acquisition is another thing I didn't know I needed in my life until I saw a BookTube video by Sarah Hearts Books showing off her TBR cart. I blame her for putting the idea in my head. I searched far and wide to find a similar product in South Africa and finally found one.

When the cart arrived it wasn't quite as advertised. It different considerably from what was pictured, but according to the seller this was an 'upgraded' version. The seller has since removed the product from Takealot, so I'm kinda stuck with the one I got. And after going through the whole assembly process I didn't want to send it back and start the search all over.

My main concern is that the wire mesh of this cart is quite thin, so I'm not sure how durable it will be in the long run. I normally try to push things to their capacity, but I'll take it easy on this one. Just in case...

Over the years piles of books had mysteriously appeared around my room. They seem to have been breeding and on a mission of complete conquest. Having conquered the territories of my desk, my bedside table and my spare chair they were steadily advancing on my bed. I had to act before it was too late. The idea behind getting a TBR cart was to bring some semblance of order back to my room. 

A cart was the ideal solution since it would provide easily moveable storage space, would reduce the clutter and just looked bloody cool. And I'm please to say it delivered on all fronts!

In the end I managed to put all 40 books I had scattered around the room into my handy new TBR cart. It immediately made my room look much neater and best of all I still have loads of space to spare. I think you could get around 70 to 80 books in there if you had two rows of books per tier. Since I'm not sure how much weight the wire mesh will hold I'm playing it safe and not pushing it to its limits.

The TBR cart has made a huge difference to my life. Despite the hefty price (everything is more expensive over here) I think it's well worth it. It's like a mini-bookcase. On wheels! Who wouldn't love that? I highly suggest you look into getting one of your own. It's just so handy, even if you just use it as additional shelving space.