Star Fleet Saturday didn't take much time to prepare this week, since the scanning of the second instalment of Televi-Kun had already been done last weekend.
So, enjoy what's turning out to be quite an interesting project.
In the last few weeks, the site has had a few other improvements.
The media system will use the new HTML5 video and audio tags to play mp4 videos as well as audio files without people leaving the page or opening a new tab. That seems to work pretty well.
The website can also handle webp images, although it doesn't perform any server-side resizing, since this new Google format is pointless, and hopefully, it won't catch on.
There are quite a few additions to the Star Fleet area of the site:
Publications - X-Bomber Super Manual
Toys and Merchandise
Star Fleet Saturday was a bit delayed this week...
I finished scanning the first instalment of the Televi-Kun X Bomber manga and full-colour feature, that were published in November 1980.
It's been a bit of a tricky process getting to this point, since the books themselves are not that easy to obtain, and not that easy to scan, as it turns out, either.
Anyway, out of the six instalments, I've managed to track down four in total and I'm working on the other two.
I may not manage it, but I will try to scan the second; December, instalment next week.
At the same time, the site has undergone quite a few other updates and additions. I'll write a little update, summarising those at some point.
It took me a long time to find it, but here's the third out of the six volumes of Zentrix DVDs released in Japan.
This one was in a red box, which I seem to remember, indicates that it was a retail copy, rather than a rental one.
It's taken me about 2 years to get this far but, hopefully, I'll eventually manage to get the rest.
I saw volumes 3-6 as a set on Mercari but I can't justify the £400+ cost for the three that I still need.
Menu screenshots and cover scan
I contacted my friend; Maria, whom I met over Facebook, (before we both ditched it), to see if I could complete the fan artwork section a bit with some of Maria's illustrations.
They really capture the nature of characters from the show well.
Anyway, I received some great scans; far better than what I'd found before.
Go and check them out because they're great. I've asked whether there's even any more where those came from.
Also, I have received my latest care package from Japan with another instalment of the TV Kun X Bomber manga.
I will have to get busy scanning those so I have something to show you next week.
The Star Fleet fan work area has undergone some remodeling.
I wanted to get rid of the separation between models and artwork for artists that needed their own folder. Sometimes, artists would have done illustrations and models or sculptures and it made no sense to split those into two separate folders.
Artists with their own folder are now all grouped together therefore:
Fan Artworks - Contributors A-Z
At the same time, the fan stories page was a useful guide to which contributors had written stories; better than sifting through individual folders.
So, the fan stories page is unchanged, and the fan artwork and fan models pages are still there to display content that's not organised into folders by artist.
There are also three new additions to the artwork folder:
- Lee, Shiro and Hercules by _108
- Makara by akunotsubo
- Orion and Makara by womanimel (shown above)
I designed this as a really vicious, mid-sized attack ship.
The 'saucer section' is effectively two structures that channel and attenuate the beam from the polaron cannon emitter in the centre.
The saucer also mounts two dorsal phasers on each side.
The ship has two forward and aft torpedo launchers, but beam firepower makes up the majority of its arsenal, to avoid the need for resupply in the field.
The ship is about the same length as a Prometheus or Excelsior class and is fast and highly manoeuvrable, and protected with a rapidly-regenerating shield system.
Uploaded a number of new items into the Fan Artwork folder:
- Dai-X and others by bludgeon3
- Dai-X and Shiro by nakaR6 (shown above)
- Dai-X by yakitetuiro
- Lamia by watari_saburo
- Makara by jamescorcoran78
- Princess Keeli and Dai-X by 3D12aRfHh5pUTZV
Edit [ 2021.04.10 ]
I found the Feb 1981 edition of TV-Kun, so we should now have 2/3rds of the TV-Kun X-Bomber manga.
I've just got to see whether it makes its way to the warehouse before my other items run out of their 45 days of storage.
Over the weekend, I brought a few search tools, that I'd been working on for a while, to the point where people can get some use out of them ...
The "contact" link on the menu bar has been replaced with a "search" button.
The site-wide search uses DuckDuckGo, which is a very privacy-oriented search engine.
The accuracy of the search results seem to be getting better-and-better, the more it gets used.
The two search boxes below, search within the titles and contents, respectively, of the site's database. Currently, it returns news and version history results, but this will be subject to change as part of a larger overhaul of the news subsystem.
There is also a link to the SFXB Forum's advanced search page.
Initially, I planned to build the search features more specifically into the news module, but it works better to have the search functionality together and accessible on the main menu.
Navigation [ 2021.03.12 | 18:31 ]
I improved the navigation for the News/CMS subsystem and added a way for people to 'like' anything that they come across.
At one time, the system did originally have a commenting system, which worked quite well but it was disabled because moderating the comments created quite a bit of overhead.
Image Upload [ 2021.03.09 | 16:46 ]
Behind the scenes, I added an image uploader and resizer, to make adding site updates quicker and easier and to get away from the problem of linking to content in the site's main content directories, where the file and directory paths can sometimes be subject to change.
Next Episode ...
Lastly, I finally binned my facebook account. If you'd like to contact me to make any suggestions about the site, don't hesitate. Use the link over on the right.
Alternatively, drop us a line on the SFXB Forum.
I have a mountain of new stuff to share on the site.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be tidying a few things up and trying to get those added.
Then I'll be going back to the game itself to see if we can finally get that finished.
I tidied my Star Fleet Saturday folder out a bit and made a few additions to the site...
I found some additional images of Matsukami's X-Bomber model from prinzemathieu on deviantArt:
Matsu Kami - X-Bomber
I added two images of some nice 3D-printed models of PPA and Qonto (from Sankukai) by twitter user; gooo_yaaar:
Fan Work - Models
I made a correction in regard to the 1993 poster that, on closer inspection, was for the Japanese laserdisc release rather than the soundtrack LP.
Laser Disc and DVD Sets
I added the seller photos, for completeness, for that, plus the B-club magazine, that arrived a while back.
I tidied all Star Fleet-related artwork from pixiv into its own folder and added, amongst other things, this nice painting by Kiriho.
The contents of other Japanese artists' folders have also been expanded/updated:
PLC and YmiscY
Edit [ 2021.03.28 ]
The below galleries have also been updated and expanded with new images:
The Firestorm section of the website has been expanded with some recent acquisitions from From Japan; scans and rips from the CD releases of the credits music from the original Japanese Firestorm show.
Star Fleet Saturday gets real easy when the content gets posted on our own forum.
Brad has been very busy yet again modelling the Dai-X.
Click the image above to see the progress on the forum.
I found another one of Maemura Kyotsu's paintings on From Japan the other week. Check out the second set of images on the page below:
Maemura Kyotsu Paintings
I cleaned up my office and found a very old drawing. Obviously the Star Trek TNG episode Best of Both Worlds made an impression when I was younger.
So I coloured it with Sharpies and did some work on it in Photoshop.
Here, a Galaxy-class ship encounters a new type of Borg cube and puts a big hole in it.
I may have got my hands on volume 3 of the Japanese Zentrix DVDs.
These were always difficult to get a hold of. The only way was to get them second-hand or as ex-rentals.
When I decided to try and round them up in 2019, you could get the whole set of 6 ex-rentals for about £200-300, which seemed expensive.
I haven't seen an offer similar to that for about a year now and they only show up individually and rarely at that. You often see used volumes running for well over £200 *each*.
However, a while ago, I managed to get volume 2 for a much more reasonable figure (in fact there were two and I ordered both), and volume 1 a while before that.
Just now, I saw volume 3 pop up for a fairly reasonable amount on FROM JAPAN and I've ordered it, although there's no actual photo on the listing; just the description and product code.
In the fullness of time, I may be able to get the other three.
In addition, it was very slow going trying to find any further instalments of TV-Kun that have the X Bomber manga in them.
March 1981 popped up and I've grabbed that as well. I already have the first two instalments; November and December 1980, but I have yet to scan them.
Wow, I really hit the motherlode here!
Lots of copies of all 8 volumes of the US VHS tapes of Star Fleet.
I think I'm right in saying that, these are the source material for the original SFXB website, and are where all the still images and videos on the site came from, before the DVDs were released in 2009.
I did give everyone else in the group first refusal, but Andy seemed to be running short of space, so I will look after them.
I'm running a Star Fleet museum now; every DVD release, laserdiscs, endless publications from all over the world; and now VHS. 😉
I guess the site is the same in a way.
I remember years ago, that a friend of mine passed on the laserdiscs and 2004 Japanese DVDs when he went travelling.
I don't know how he got them in the days before Rinkya and FromJapan.
I will get these scanned in because the covers are a really interesting impression of the show; a bit like the French comic books.
At the moment, I have absolutely masses of material from Japan and elsewhere to scan and add to the site.
Thanks very much Andy!
You might've noticed that Star Fleet Saturday hasn't been so regular, lately.
This is not an indication of a lack of interest in the site on my part; more that things've been a little difficult of late.
What I might move towards is either just releasing updates when they're ready, or an alternating thing, where I do an update on the game one week and something about Star Fleet the week after and so-on.
In any case, I have a small mountain of scanning material to work through for Star Fleet, so I made a start on the 2005 Special Effects Hero BEST Magazine VOL.5, which you can find here:
With things dragging on, we've got to keep ourselves entertained somehow.
I wanted to do an old Galaxy class ship that'd been refitted and pressed back into service after a good number of years.
It has practically no windows; only armour ... and more phasers.
Make sleep great again.
So Facebook has now banned the actor who played Captain Hunt in Andromeda...
When I watched all of Andromeda right-the-way-thru at University, I realised that, despite the show itself being crazy, the answer to "Which starship captain's better; Kirk or Picard?" was actually "Hunt", because he combined all the qualities of both.
On the one hand, Hunt was the inspirational leader and swashbuckling, womanising starship captain.
On the other, he was the disciplined military strategist, diplomat and idealist.
At the same time, he could also be very sarcastic and flippant; almost to the point of being arrogant, which oddly made him even more likeable.
Nobody could've been cast better in the role.
I did not have to look far for this week's Star Fleet Saturday.
Brad has been very busy reworking his X-Bomber 3D model and started work on the Dai-X as well.
Take a closer look on the SFXB Forum
Migration Away from Facebook
I've been busy migrating all the content that I put on facebook onto the website.
This has taken me about a fortnight but the process is now finished.
The website's hosting has also just been renewed for another 3 years (and 6 months for free).
Doctoku's AI Upscaling Project
On the SFXB Forum, user Doctoku has created a 720p AI-upscaled version of the first episode of the original X Bomber Japanese version of Star Fleet:
SFXB Forum thread
Google Drive direct link
SFXB Forum Issues
At the same time, I learned that newly-registered users on the SFXB Forum were having problems accessing the forum.
This problem in the forum's database has been fixed with a bit of SQL trickery, but it means that we had trouble with spam users who registered over the past months who were then able to disrupt the forum with spam messages as well.
I've pruned all spam users from the forum, along with any of their messages.
I've also tightened up the registration requirements and added a number of spam mail domains to the blocklist.
Lastly, after a recent upgrade, there were problems with the 'breadcrumb' navigation. That's now been fixed.
I added a much cleaner and better version of Japanese artist Shiina's Star Fleet illustration to the Fan Artworks section of the site.
The other week, I found this nicely-styled illustration by Ryuhi Misaki on twitter.
I found this yesterday. It's an article scanned by twitter user; bomberxf01, which the person claimed was part of an initiative to make a movie of the show, after the series ended.
The write-up didn't mention a date when the article was published, but I don't see how they could have produced a movie, with all the props, sets and puppets having been destroyed by fire ... unless they planned on re-creating them.
The situation with the unknown enemy is growing serious and the NX-191052 has arrived to reinforce NX-140646 at Starbase 17.
The Lin Wood is essentially four engineering-style hulls, containing a total of four conventional warp cores and four 'Best of Both Worlds'-style deflector cannons.
These four main weapons are capable of simultaneous fire, or a continuous, sequential rapid-fire cycle, where at least one cannon is firing at any given time, which can be sustained for at least several hours of continuous output.
The 8 phaser strips are intended for point defence and the 18 photon torpedo launchers are there for no real reason, just in case; the intention being that the vessel would normally be escorted by an entire battle group.
Since the ship contains no holodecks, large cargo bays, cetacean ops or petting zoos, the ship can maintain a surprising maximum warp for extended periods, the exact value of which is highly classified.
Star Fleet Saturday has a habit now of occurring on the Saturday...
I already had a photo of this painting of Dai-X from prolific comic book artist; Lee Bradley on xbomber.co.uk.
Well, the original came up on eBay before Christmas, and now I have it, thanks to Dominique, and now the website has a better scan of it ...
Captain Pepe is taking no prisoners ...
I was reminded by a post on one of the Star Fleet groups that I had collected quite a few Star Fleet images from Japanese artist; U1timate, which he often likes to do around Christmas time.
Fan Artwork > U1timate
Merry Christmas and here's to another year of Star Fleet Saturdays!
Star Fleet Saturday gets pushed on a Saturday this week, rather than Friday, for various important reasons.
The lovely painting from last week's instalment sold on Yahoo Auctions. I think it was bought over FromJapan, since I think I recognised the username and its feedback was very high for a normal, private individual.
This week, here's a great illustration of Dai-X from pixiv, by Japanese artist Rokugo Aono.
Well here's something new ...
This painting was done in 2004 by Maemura Kyotsu as part of a range of illustrations commissioned by Gentosha Comics.
The style reminds me a lot of the Toshio Okazaki illustrations for the Showa books, but maybe even finer.
In any case, the painting is being sold in Japan on Yahoo auctions:
Here's something a little different this week...
Twitter user 059100 had some pictures of him trying his Dynamite Action Dai-X (I found one of those on Yahoo Auctions Japan the other day) out in some toy vehicles, that are apparently from Kamen Rider. ;)
Gerry Anderson & Christopher Burr's Terrahawks - The Bray Studios Production Sale. Auction 30/11/20
I saw this shared by my friend and master model builder; David Sisson.
Without that, I would've never come across it.
This is a great video. If you watch to the end, you get a great look at the MEV, which is completely different to the Captain Scarlet MEV.
This intriguing vehicle is used about twice in the show; to my memory; and only briefly. The only close-up shots you get are from the side.
You can see here that the crane arm (with laser cannon) is rail-mounted, so it can travel to the front of the vehicle and pick something up in-front of the cockpit.
I remember that the gun on the crane arm is gobsmackingly powerful; creating absolute havoc among the enemy with only a few shots.
Also, you can see that the vehicle must come in two variants; one with caterpillar tracks as seen in "To Catch a Tiger" and then with skis, like you see here.
They must have a few of these machines on SpaceHawk, since the one that you see is marked as #4.
I like the space tank as well, with the rows of zeroids on either side, which would've presumably worked like phalanx guns for suppressing fire or missile interception.
These models have held up surprisingly-well, given that nearly 40 years have passed by.
Updated Nov 27, 2020, 10:45 AM
With the working from home extending on forever, I thought I needed a bigger chair.
So I went looking online, saw this one, and that was me finished.
I call it the hypnochair because you can stand and watch the light patterns for ages.
256 Booby Trap: Human Factor (Unused Cue) - YouTube
My friend Bruce shared this ace unused track by Ron Jones, that was done for the TNG episode; Booby Trap, which was a good and memorable episode from reasonably early in the series.
This version has a lot more power than the version that was used, and it stands up much better on its own but it might be that the final version fits the quiet tension of the show better.
In the scene where the finished version of this track was used, Picard schools his crew by manoeuvring the 642m Enterprise D through an asteroid field with practically no engine output; only a single burst from the impulse drive and a few corrections from the RCS thruster quads.
This was one way Picard was an absolute chief; something they completely forgot when they made the new Picard series.
I'm going to watch Earth Final Conflict through again.
It's been many years since I struggled through all 5 seasons of it.
But the series does have a lot of really excellent weapons and equipment...
The skrill bio guns, the below Beretta 92F with an under-slung attachment and illuminated ammo counter ...
The pull-out global link communicator is another great idea, which makes me think of the flexies from Andromeda.
I noticed as well that the character; Augur has a great wrist-mounted, full-colour portable computer; a bit like a Psion or Nokia communicator.
I seem to remember that this show gets extremely wild and crazy after the first season, but we'll see again how it goes ...
Here's a bit of inspiration for us on a Monday morning;
... a ship that the ASDB refers to as 'The Beast'.
The saucer section detaches as a separate ship, with its own nav deflector and warp engines tucked in underneath, and can perform a planetary landing.
The ship has 3 shuttlebays and is armed with type XII phasers, a limited magazine of transphasic torpedoes, as well as a full complement of quantum torpedoes; giving it vastly more firepower than a starbase or planetary defence array.
The triple hull is protected with adaptive shields and a self-replicating ablative armour.
The engineering hull has two giant, horizontal warp cores and a further, miniaturised warp core is located on the saucer section.
With a length of over 900 metres, I wanted this ship to bridge the gap between the Sovereign and Galaxy class ships, and re-introduce all the holodecks, cetacean ops and science/exploration/humanitarian elements that seemed to be removed from the Sovereign class, while retaining all the agility and firepower.
Meanwhile, the ship has 32 holodecks, which can run any program, but the default program is always golf.
There are 2,000 gold-pressed latinum, self-cleaning toilets onboard.
Not gonna have time to finish this in Photoshop tonight, but it looks almost alright, the way it came straight off the scanner.
Here's a lovely illustration of the Dai-X by Japanese artist; Shiba, which I found on Pixiv.
I got two Japanese magazines with some material on X Bomber delivered today, along with an old copy of the UK Fantastic Films magazine, which covers the show.
It'll take me a while to scan the relevant bits but we should have some updates for xbomber.co.uk soon.
At the same time, I managed to get the November and December 1980 instalments of TV-Kun magazine, featuring the first two of the six parts of one of the Japanese X Bomber manga stories.
They're sitting in a warehouse in Tokyo, but they are legally mine.
I had a chance to get instalments 3 and 6 from the same seller this week but I was deluged with work and it completely slipped my mind to snipe them.
A while ago, I came across pictures of a nice little Japanese guide to the series from twitter user; ruchishogun...
The X-Bomber Super Manual (B6 size / 72 pages) was published in August 1985 and a 2nd edition was released the following month.
The publication was apparently prompted by the rebroadcast of the series on TV Saitama that year.
It's another old thing that I found and coloured;
I think it was supposed to be a Romulan ship; half-way in size between the TNG scoutship and the Nemesis Warbird.
I have a couple of other Romulan ships here:
It has been quite a week. Here is Dai-X, floating in space.
He must be having an upside-down nap - his eyes aren't lit up anyway. 🙂
I saw this on twitter, from user; mattarhythm_com.
Really nice job
When collecting the Bomber X comics, every time I got a delivery from France, they'd always have really wonderful stamps.
But this last one had the most impressive assortment.
In the UK, there's just 3 kinds of stamps; 1st class, 2nd class and 'put it in the car and take it yourself'.
I think I drew these little pirate ships as enemies for the stardart that I scanned back in May.
Search > Stardart
On 23rd October 1982, Star Fleet first aired on ITV in the UK.
And yesterday, I finally got the last one of these.
I had to get it from the French Rakuten online marketplace. It just wasn't coming up on eBay, even after months and months
I was able to do scans of all the covers and I'm in the process of slowly scanning the inside pages:
There we go...
I'll try and get the behaviours programmed for these this week ...
Thanks to Matsu Kami for the reference photos, which saved me from digging out the relevant issues from my vast trove of Star Fleet material.
I got my pictures back from the framing shop behind the Chantry in Morpeth. The guy there's very good.
I see that the Eric Chu Terrahawks one is now available again on the Anderson store, (but not in the original size).
Mine had a bit of a crease in one corner when it arrived, so I found a mint one on eBay.
The red one is from Japan, advertising the PS2 game based on the Chinese CGI anime show; Zentrix, which is a really lovely TV series.
The black one shows all the principal vehicles used in the Japanese-made Gerry Anderson show; Firestorm, which is also one of my favourites.
I was trying to pick up some of the six issues of Televi-Kun that contain X Bomber articles and instalments of the manga.
Unfortunately, I timed that right around the 40th anniversary of X Bomber appearing on television in Japan.
People were bidding *insane* money and the fact I was using a bidding proxy didn't seem to help me either.
Anyway, I cost them a lot of money by bidding and saved myself a lot of money by losing.
What was quite annoying was that you then saw the people who'd won the auction putting images of the exact same item on Twitter.
Here's kyano13neo with some images of Lamia and Makara, as well as a two cool alien ... what-even-are-those? ... monsters, fighting the Dai-X.
I saw an interview with Go Nagai, where he explained that he'd wanted to have giant monster and robot battles in the show, but I guess the budget and length of the series didn't stretch to it.
To Do List
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