In the Spirit of Adventure

For the easter holiday I’ll be traveling. Now, that is a great opportunity to test out the practical side of the Indiana Jones outfit, plus it’s good to get some real life weathering on all the gear. So, can you guess which country’s going to be the location for my (hopefully authentic*) Indy adventure?

*Hopefully a peaceful journey without too many snakes, bugs, rats, truck chases, gun battles, bar fights and other life-threatening situations.

Leap of Faith, backyard style.

Every day when I come home from office from the backyard/back alley (you see…sometimes I just have to avoid using the front entrance because I am dodging certain missionaries lurking around in my neighborhood…another story), I have to walk through this very dark alley. It’s just enough sheltered that snow doesn’t reach the very ground and gets trapped there, but there is a tendency of melted water collecting itself, making a fairly large puddle which covers just about the whole alley breadthwise.

Please note that this puddle is deep enough to get oneselves pretty wet, if one is so unlucky to step into it fall into it, and it’s just about large enough not being a one you cannot just ‘step’ over discreetly. I bet cats can drown in it, and I am sure old people would rather take the risk of going the normal route through icy roads and busy traffic and through the front entrance, than facing this puddle.

Now, due to the absent of any light sources in this alley, you can just barely see some light reflections on the puddle. Making it just about visible enough to give you an idea of the size and magnitude of the obstacle you are to face. Every day, just like Indiana Jones in “Last Crusade” I stop just about near the puddle, and do the Leap of Faith-thing. I can assure you, it is really a ‘blind’ Leap of Faith into the unknown darkness. Luckily, one big step is really what takes to overcome it; and when wearing my Aldens, it’s all magic.

Yes, I smile everytime I do it.

New old strap

Okey, I don’t know what kind of mess I’ve gotten myself into. But somewhere in the process where I was supposed to upgrade some of my Indy gear, I drifted off. Now suddenly, I’m doing a total overhaul of everything. The only things left from my old stuff that I might be able to use are the canvas military belt, Wested leather jacket and (maybe) the leather whip. The leather whip was the cheapest whip I got from eBay a few years back, and the quality is highly questionable. It just doesn’t feel right, neither does it look right.

Anyways, I’ve been bothered by the MK VII (Mark-seven) Gas mask bag strap I’ve had for some time now. It was a reproduction strap by What Price Glory (WPG). (FYI, the MK V or MK VI Gas mask bags were the the original military issued (World War II) bags the costume department used for the Indy costume. The MK VII however is very similar to these earlier issues, and is the easiest type of original WWII gear to come by nowadays.) Originally, the MkVII British Gas Mask Bag was issued to British troops and police forces during WWII as a precaution against a German gas attack.

The MKV or MKVI bag used in Raiders.

It’s like Indy’s man purse, pretty handy for keeping grail diaries, artifacts and other stuff he might need on an adventure. And as from Last Crusade, it played a crucial role in the plot, as seen below!

The gas mask bag's moment to shine!

Anyways, now back to the straps. The original MK-bags had a short cotton strap long enough to be strapped around the neck. The costume department simply removed this and replaced it with a longer leather strap which for a long time, among Indygear members was a mystery. However, it was revealed by Paramount prop masters that these straps were simply old military surplus rifle straps they got their hands on in the early 80s. And there are lots of discussions on this matter on COW. Nitpicking you say? Oh yes indeed, but that comes with the hobby (and I thought the Stormtrooper community were crazy!). The closest source is the H&K G3 Rifle strap, and I got my hands on two of these. I must say that the color is much more convincing than the WPG ones, and they have much more of that ‘off-the screen’ look and weathering. After all, these have all been natural weathered over time!

Original MK-typed Gas Mask bags issued for British soldiers.

Heckler & Koch G3 Rifle leather strap

Old (reproduction, new non-weathered) WPG Strap vs. New (real old, weathered) G3 Rifle sling.

Old ‘new’ strap vs. New ‘old’ strap!

Oh, did I mention that both the leather strap and gas mask bag smell like..old things? It’s like the smell you encounter when you walk into a flea market, or a costume department storage room. I guess the smell’s a part of the game as well? Oh geesh…I really need a gas mask.

Dynamic Emotion Response Curve: TPM 3D Edition

While SW: The Phantom Menace 3D is still fresh in my memory system, I did a quick run through the DERC with it. The DERC ™: Dynamic Emotion Response Curve is just an idea I had for a few years back, of how to in a quick, informative and interesting way  present someone’s interest in a movie, based on emotional triggering/stimulation.

*Start of irony and sarcasm*

By taking statistics, math and science into account, The DERC represents a radical new trend in data representation within the film sciences. By using an unique technique developed by myself which includes the latest within Computational neuroscience technology and statistical tools (Adobe Photoshop, notebook and Excel), we have a new way to approach the understanding of movie watching.

With a graphical curve representing the test subject’s emotion change over the movie’s running time, analyzing the movie is easier than ever. You can even run the DERC with different mathematical models for further analysis. Further models can even used for comparison, and will even feature happiness vs. sadness parameters.

*End of irony and sarcasm*

The definition of emotion used in this graphical representation is a mixture of the following key parameters: Excitement, happiness, degree of interest and entertainment value.

Please mail me for those who want to participate in the DERC project. No human brains were hurt during the analysis of this movie.

For archived DERC data, please follow these links:

C-3PO ABS helmet assembly sketch

On request by members of c3po-builder’s club. Here is a quick sketch of the plastic ABS helmet assembly method I used to secure the two helmet halves for wearing. The registration tabs are “sculpted” in fiberglass, and are used to keep the two halves together perfectly once the head antenna and neck bolts are correctly screwed into position. Please note that the head antenna bolt goes through the ‘hook’ on top of the helmet front.

For the fiberglass helmet, the easiest way will be to implement the head antenna-screwing method, together with the neck bolts (This was done for AD in the movies, and this can be seen in some of the behind-the-scenes photos). But the registration tabs are already molded into the helmet, so those are not necessary.

Two C-3PO helmet fronts with the visible 'hook' on the top of the helmet, in which the head antenna bolt goes through.