Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The BlackBird Stealth Fighter

Well my Colonial ship collection would not be complete without the Blackbird Stealth Fighter. The BB was designed to sneak past Cylon detection to deliver a single missile to the FTL drives of the Resurrection ship enabling Vipers to come in and finish the job. It was a great episode and I was very sad when the BB was destroyed after colliding with a Cylon Raider. However... I brought it back to LIFE!!!! tee hee ;P

This version of the BB is scripted for VICE and has a single gun in the front where the missile was placed. I'm planning on installing missiles soon but VICE is a tricky system to work with... especially for novice scripters like me. However.... I was just turned on to a very nice combat system called VCS which promises to be a more flexible and more importantly "user friendlier" alternative to VICE. More on that in a future blog.

People always ask me what I use for sculpting. Now although I'm no pro by any means.... I do however have an assortment of tools and skills that help me get the job done. I typically use Sculpt Studio combined with ZBrush. But for this project I added another handy tool called.... The Prim Oven. To learn more about the prim oven look for it on Xstreet.

The BB is about 98% sculpted, has 2 flight modes, a single cannon, 2 particle engines and sounds, compass and more. It even has the ORIGINAL "Laura" name on the nose and signatures on the left engine taken directly from up close photos of the REAL Blackbird that was sold at auction. A little photoshop magic did the trick *winks*

So I hope you enjoy the BB as much as I do. As always.... upgrades are always FREE!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rediscovering Starbase Alpha

When I was rather new to SecondLife a friend of mine took me to a sim where people could rez ships and fly. This was great because flying ships on mainland was terrible. You never knew what you were going to run into..... like security orbs and even worse.... ban lines. So finding a place like SBA was a welcome alternative.

However not every thing was as Rosy as it may seem. SBA was plagued with many problems and mostly political in nature. None of which involved me.... for once...HA HA! This sim was and is still run by the ever diligent Paranth Itamae who unfortunately had to deal with the constant complaining from various groups of people and on a day to day basis. Paranth is a cute little furry who takes his job seriously and does it very well. He always strives to make SBA the best it can be but people can only take so much before they throw in the towel..... which is just what he did.

One day... and not surprised to hear it.... I heard that SBA had shut down. I kind of predicted it would happen with all the rumors and gossip I was hearing. I was sad that day and went on with my SL-life as always. But I had learned much later on that we had not seen the last of SBA.

Month and months later I heard SBA reopened.... but I never went back. I just thought the problems wouldn't go away and my "avoid drama" chip in my brain turned me away from visiting the sim. Well my implant must have malfunctioned because a few weeks ago I revisited the sim and all I can say is..... WOW!

SBA came back and with a vengeance! The sim looks stunning and very realistic for sci fi enthusiasts. The builds are fantastic and gone is a lot of the BS protocol of yesterday. I ran into Paranth and he seemed so much happier that it made me happy for him. He deserves to be happy :)

I made my way to the main hanger and rezzed my Viper MK-VII. Prepped for launch.... fired up the engines and departed the station to explore more of the sim. I noticed right away that below me..... was earth! It's beautiful and you almost get the illusion that you're really in space looking down at the planet. So I flew towards the planet, through the clouds and soon saw land. As I approached the ground level I saw a modest build of various buildings and also noticed a second sim. The second sim is called Station Alpha and is mainly a retail sim of all things Sci fi..... mostly ships. I ended up spending around $12k there on my new Poseidon ship and a Rhino drop ship. More on those two in another review *winks*.

I headed back towards the main sim and this time turned my sites back up into deep space. What I found is an assortment of some small and some massive ships in various locations of the sim. The rule of "don't get too close, no unauthorized boarding and no camming" still apply. I found a nice empty spot near the asteroid belt to rez my carrier and this is where you can find me these days.

All in all SBA is back and Paranth deserves a great big pat on the back for keeping it alive. I highly recommend you visit the sim and take a look around. You'll be glad you did.