Happy New Year!
Another year ends, another one begins so we thought we’d share our plans for Addaltmode in 2016.
So what, can you expect from this blog in the next 12 months? Read on and find out…
Blogging goals for 2016….
Improve our photography:
Looking back over our toy photos from the past year, some of them came out really well but others… not so much. We’re very much learning when it comes to photography but the problems seem mostly to be a lighting issue. We do most of our pictures in the sun room in our house as this is the lightest space we have. Even so, there are times when light is in short supply, especially when trying to fit in photography time around long shifts at work. I’ve noticed the pictures we did in the warmer months have been more consistent in quality but those taken during the winter months can be a bit dark without the flash or over-exposed with it. B was given a large angled daylight lamp for Christmas, so we’re going to try using this to illuminate our toy photos in a more natural way.
We’re also planning to experiment with a more interesting background for our toy photos, as the plain white paper is looking a little tired. I just bought some marble-effect backing roll that will hopefully provide a little more interest without detracting from the main subject of our photos.
Hopefully these changes will improve the quality of our reviews and scenes. If anyone has any further photography tips or suggestions we’d love to hear them!
Try a video post:
We enjoy the largely text-based format of blogging and have no desire to become the next YouTube stars but it’s always good to challenge ourselves and mix things up a little bit so we’re resolving to try to vary our post formats and do the occasional video in 2016. We actually have a pile of Transformers Gacha Pod blind-bags that — in an amazing feat of discipline — we haven’t opened yet as we thought they’d the ideal subject for our first video, so watch this space for that and the inevitable crushing disappointment of us opening 5 of the same figure in the usual blind-bag tradition!
Publish more jointly-penned posts
The statistics for our most-viewed posts show that the ones we’ve written together, as a conversation with each other have been consistently popular. It isn’t always practical to work like this, but these posts are fun to do so we will try to do a few more of them in the coming year. As we usually read comics together (and do all the voices aloud) comic reviews would be a natural fit for this style of co-authored write-up, so expect some of these cropping up here, as well as continuing our tradition of our joint convention and cartoon reviews.
Expand our convention horizons
Speaking of conventions… We’re hoping to attend a few more events in 2016, so perhaps we will see some of you there? In addition to the local gatherings we’re always keen to support, the events we currently have pencilled in are:
Optimus (April). There was an Optimus convention in Torquay last year and although we couldn’t make it along I read nothing but praise for the event’s atmosphere and smooth organisation, so it would be good to get along to this one at UWE in Bristol. If we go we’ll likely be dusting off our Borderlands cosplays since it’d be great to give these another airing. Plus, the event’s guest signers include Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson who (among many other roles) voice-acted in Tales from the Borderlands, so that would be fitting. Johnson, particularly is someone I’d very much like to meet and thank for the work she did as Gortys, the cutest robot ever.
Exeter Film and Comic- Con (June). Yes the Showmasters circus is finally rolling into our town. We’d been thinking about going to one of these big tradeshow style events in 2016 anyway, but with Showmasters coming to Exeter for the first time it’s too convenient an opportunity to pass up. I am hoping if I work hard and keep my eyes on the prize my new big cosplay will be ready in time for this.
TFNation (August). TFNation is the UK’s new Transformers convention that has risen to fill the considerable void left by the demise of Auto Assembly. It seems there will be a lot of continuity between the two: TFN is set to take place at Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole and many of the team behind it are extremely experienced having also done sterling work ensuring AA ran so smoothly. However, it’s important not think of it as a continuation but a new entity and it will be exciting to see the fresh ingredients and experiences the TFNation team bring to the mix. One thing’s for sure though, wild Buffaloids couldn’t keep us away from this convention. Roll on August!
Like Timlah at GeekOut South-West I am passionate, not just about cosplay but about the cosplay journey: the trials and tribulations involved in turning that pile of foam, cardboard, fabric and hope into something that can be enjoyed, both by myself and others, on the convention floor. I want to continue using this blog as my cosplay diary in as honest a way as possible in 2016, as I work on some new projects and I hope you’ll enjoy sharing the journey. As well as giving Tannis and Salvador a bit of an upgrade and another airing in 2016 I am planning to work on 3 new costumes: this includes… a large full rig Windblade costume as well as more humanised versions of IDW’s MTMTE co-captains, Rodimus (me) and Megatron (B) which we’d like to wear during the day at TFNation. Yes, if 2015 was all about being a Decepticon I’m going to turn back to the light and the Autobots in 2016, although given these will all be IDW inspired costumes it’s more about shades of grey than black and white.
I’m hoping to continue improving my cosplay skills in the 2016. There’s no doubt that a Windblade costume will be a challenge. I’ll write more about the character and why she appeals to me sometime soon. She’ll be a complex build and I’ll admit I’m rather intimidated by the whole prospect but I want to aim high and give it my best shot. I got a sewing machine for Christmas – previously everything I’ve sewn has been done by hand – so that should help. I also recently acquired some Worbla and have been watching loads of tutorials on how to use it, so I’ll let you know how I get on with that (mis-shapen lumps probably incoming!)
I’ll be continuing my regular Robo-Reads book reviews into 2016 because there’s so much more robot fiction, both new and classic, left to talk about. I’ll be starting my 2016 Robo-Reads with reviews of Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse and Stephen Palmer’s Beautiful Intelligence. I’d really like to continue building up this aspect of the blog so if you have any fiction recommendations for me I’d love to hear them!
Chiptune Tuesday is currently on hiatus because I think we’ve featured most of our favourite artists from this genre already but as and when we discover more we’ll be sure to bring the feature back and don’t forget you can listen to our Chiptune playlist on Spotify in the meantime!
New Feature: Scum and Villainy
We’re also planning a new semi-recurring feature for 2016. As you may have noticed if you’ve read many of our posts, here at Addaltmode we do love a good villain. But what makes a good villain? And why are so many otherwise enjoyable films and plots let down by the lack of a rounded and developed baddie? In our new feature, Scum and Villainy we’ll be writing about villains in more detail, thinking about some key “bad guy/girl” tropes and sharing character studies and discussion of some of our favourite pop-cultural villains. It’s going to be diabolical! *Cue Evil Laugh*
2016 Incoming Toy Reviews
Though we don’t want to be just a Transformers blog, there’s no doubt that those little plastic robots and their world are the backbone of what we do at Addaltmode. Toy reviews will always be sporadic here as we don’t buy everything by any means, but we will definitely continue to share thoughts and photos (hopefully better ones, see above) when new toys do arrive.
Combiner Wars is nearing the end of its run, and we’ll be seeing out the line with an intensive bang in the gun-touting shape of my favourite Decepticon combiner, Bruticus. We’ll be celebrating finally having enough figures to make a full combiner by bringing you, Bruticus Week. Coming very soon we’ll look at a new Combaticon each day then finally join them up to make the big guy…
Combiner Wars has been fun (especially now we actually have a Combiner) but with so many retools on offer it could easily overstay its welcome, so we’re looking forward to Hasbro’s next venture, Titans Return, which seems to be revisiting the Headmasters cartoon characters. In an unusual twist, I’m actually more excited about the Autobots than the Decepticons in this line, and am looking forward to getting Rewind and (hopefully) Chromedome figures for the IDW shelf, while B is actually more up for the announced (very IDW-looking) Galvatron and Skullcruncher. As ever, we won’t be going crazy on new purchases but through the swirling mists of the 2016 crystal ball some new robot-shaped figures are definitely emerging…
Whilst we haven’t been terribly inspired by the RID2015 line, there are a couple of figures in its Japanese counterpart Transformers Adventure that we’ll be tracking down in the new year. Expect reviews with plenty of pics.
B will be completing his next Transformers Universe -inspired custom early in the new year.
He’ll also be finishing-up the modular weapons project, and customising a Generations Jetfire. He’s got a few other models in various states of partial development that he’s been playing around with which should hopefully come to fruition soon in the new year. So expect more customs and more products in his Shapeways shop as the year progresses.
So those are our blogging hopes and plans for 2016. How do they sound to you? Is there anything you’d like to see more of on Addaltmode, or do you have any recommendations for us to play, read, watch or attend in the coming year? Do let us know below. We hope that working towards these goals will enable us to continue building our little community here and meeting and chatting to friends old and new.