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J. M. Taylor's Profile

Customer Reviews: 176
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Helpful Votes: 1256

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Round 2 AMT Star Trek Enterprise 1701-C 1:2500
Round 2 AMT Star Trek Enterprise 1701-C 1:2500
Offered by ToysNGamesEtc
Price: $14.99
22 used & new from $12.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, Compact Scale Kit!, July 14, 2014
I enjoyed building this model. I hadn't built a kit in 20+ years, and thought I'd take it up with these 1/2500 Star Trek kits. The actual build of this kit was pretty straight forward, and all of the plastic pieces fit together very easily with minimum sanding. I used Tamiya's Extra Thin Cement as it wicked into the tight seems of this model nicely and didn't build up.

Some have commented on the difficulty of applying the water slide decals on this model. Most went on very easily for me. The main saucer sections have a raised grid-like pattern on them that can make it tricky to slide the decal around for positioning purposes. I found that cutting those decals into smaller pieces made them less likely to tear while applying them. I also used Micro Sol afterward to get the decals to 'melt' into the raised pattern on the saucer. That gave the decals a cool painted-on look.

I used acrylic paint to paint the Bussard collectors, parts of the nacelles, the main deflector, and the shuttle bay doors. I also carefully painted the phaser arrays on the saucer. The rest of the detailing was from the decals. I also used a .005 Micron pen to fill in the windows. The decals are translucent so the darkened windows show through well.

One thing I didn't like about this model was the lack of a stand. The other ships in this scale from AMT don't have them either. Some only have a hole in the star drive for a homemade stand the builder has to devise (like this Enterprise C). Others, like the Enterprise D don't even have that. I'm only marginally handy so I'd have appreciated if AMT had included a base of some sort. Look online for inspiration - some modelers have made bases where many of these ships are mounted in dynamic poses.

It's a pretty easy build, even for a guy like me who hasn't played with a kit since he was a kid. A bit of patience with the decal is required but well worth it.

Star Trek - USS Enterprise Iconic Vehicle
Star Trek - USS Enterprise Iconic Vehicle
Price: $34.99
20 used & new from $28.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really neat toy (or model) of the newest Enterprise, June 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I, like many, balked at the Abrams version of the Enterprise. It looked too stylized. The phasers pulsed like a machine gun and weren't a steady stream. The bridge looked like an Apple store. But like many, I too have difficulty with change. And the more I looked at the newer Enterprise, the more I liked it. The more it 'sunk in'. I liked the pulsing phasers (in battle, they seem more exciting and even practical). I love the over-sized, beefy nacelles - they scream 'power' to me. So with that, I decided to buy this for myself.

The sound clips are scant: only about four or so. They are loud and clear, but don't do much for me. The nacelles, deflector dish, and lower sensor suite on the saucer glow a nice bright blue when activated. The top of the saucer has cutouts where white light shines through, illuminating the areas where running lights exist in the movies. The impulse engines glow a nice crimson red. The only thing I did to change it was to open up the saucer section, and apply black acrylic modeling paint to the inside of each saucer half. This cuts down on light bleed though the plastic of the model.

The ship itself is very sturdy, and feels like it could take a tumble from a kids' hands, unlike my Diamond Select models which are more for 'big' kids.

How does this stack up to the Diamond Select models? I'd say favorably. The DS models have more intricate paint jobs (at least my two do), but the lights and sounds are comparable. This Enterprise absolutely destroys the DS models with regards to its display stand. The DS stands that I have needed to be glued internally before I could display them. They simply would keel over and crash. The new Enterprise has a socket and the stand has a ball, and friction keeps it steady. You can pose the ship in any angle possible, and its solid as a rock.

The major downfall of this Enterprise for me is that the saucer section is canted upwards. This is mostly noticeable from the side. Others have mentioned this issue, and said there was no way to correct it. Unfortunately, I have to agree at this point. There are screw on the inside of the saucer where the 'goose neck' attaches, but this joint also seems to be glued or otherwise sealed.

There are lots of nice details etched into the molding of this ship, but the paint job doesn't highlight them which is a shame. I used a 005 black Micron pen to fill in a few details, but left the rest blank.

Aside from that, this is a fun ship to have set up next to your TV or on your desk. It also doesn't cost an arm and a leg like some of the Diamond Select models either. Unless you build your own model, or until an outfit like Diamond Select acquires the rights to make the new Enterprise, this is your best bet for a 'JJ-prise' of your very own.

Star Trek: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 High Definition Ship
Star Trek: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 High Definition Ship
Offered by HeroKingdom
Price: $69.99
6 used & new from $69.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Sharp Details, Excellent Sculpt, Sub-Par Stand, May 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I don't usually buy toys/models like this but after playing the miniature game Star Trek: Attack Wing by WizKids, I found my love for the Trek ships rekindled. A lot of thought went into the smaller details of this ship. The top and bottom of the saucer have a port and starboard blinking running light, one red and one green. They are quite small compared to the other lights, so the proportions seem correct for what they are. The top of the bridge and the bottom of the saucer (the bottom phaser ports or where the captain's yacht would be on the newer Enterprise models) both light up with a very bright white light. Not too distracting for my tastes, but I can see where some wouldn't like it. Finally, the Bussard collectors on the front of each nacelle are really stellar (bad pun - couldn't help myself). To simulate the motion and lights of the 1960's studio model, a steady but slowly changing color LED or LED's was placed in each. The colors will constantly change from red to orange to yellow and back. It's a fairly subtle effect, but it looks very impressive! There is a tiny bit of light bleed on the top edge of my saucer where the running lights are, but the rest of the plastic is opaque enough to carry forward the intended effect.

The sound clips are great: Audio and speech are clear, and the appropriate sound effects are all present and identifiable. A nice touch: hold down the bridge button for 5 seconds or so and all lighting effects come on without sound. Much appreciated!

The sculpt of the model is great: the saucer section and the warp nacelles are all spot-on straight and in line; no sagging that I could tell. The details such as port holes, shuttle bay doors, and paint details are all rendered and applied clearly and beautifully. Another nice touch is that Diamond Select used screw hole covers that are the same color as the main body, minimizing the site of silver screw heads popping out. There are no jarring breaks in the exterior visuals due to hardware. The only qualm I have with the sculpt is that the seams where different pieces are joined (like along the warp nacelles lengthwise) are very noticeable. But for this price, I'll live.

The glaring issue is the stand. It is nicely shaped with the base looking like an all black command insignia. A thin piece of plastic arcs up and at the top of that is a ball joint and a cylinder that fits over it. the cylinder has a peg that snaps into one of the battery cover doors the ship comes with (the other cover is smooth with no opening if you don't care about the stand. Another nice touch by the manufacturers). The overall stand has me suspicious of its quality, especially the ball joint that only stays in place via friction, and the saucer section of the Enterprise model is heavier than the rest, and off center. The ship will tilt forward over time making me worry about it's safety. If I wanted an Enterprise to crash land, I'd put Troi behind the wheel, you know?

I want to display this on a small shelf by my TV because, again, I think it's a great looking model for the price. But I need to figure out some more secure method of mounting this thing.

Stand aside, and for the price, I'm actually really impressed by the Enterprise. I don't know how great it would be for younger kids, but for us older kids with a penchant for sci-fi, it fires the imagination!

Clear Sleeves: Standard Card Game Pack 50 Sleeves
Clear Sleeves: Standard Card Game Pack 50 Sleeves
Offered by Art's Game Store
Price: $5.05
24 used & new from $0.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Star Trek: Attack Wing!, May 4, 2014
These fit the main ship, secondary weapon, crew, captain, and most other 'standard' cards that come with Star Trek: Attack Wing. For the damage deck, I use the FFG's yellow packaged clear cards since they are geared for a much smaller size. Both types of sleeves are clear, easy to insert cards in and they retain the cards perfectly. Do discoloration at all. Highly recommend both for Attack Wing and X-Wing as well!

Star Trek Attack Wing: Starter Set
Star Trek Attack Wing: Starter Set
Offered by Sepco Entertainment
Price: $31.50
31 used & new from $26.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like X-Wing but with more depth and variability, April 27, 2014
My brother introduced me to X-Wing by Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). Not being much into board games, I was surprised at how fun and easy to play that game was. Plus the miniatures for that game are really quite well done: all ships are to scale with one another and the detail on the paint schemes is impressive. I wanted to play that game more often, but felt it would be redundant if I bought the same game with the same Star Wars theme, so a quick look online made me aware of Star Trek Attack Wing.

WizKids paid some cash to FFG to license their fantastic game/movement system which was a big chunk of why I enjoyed X-Wing so much. Everything just flows so well. So I bought the Attack Wing starter set and decided to have a go.

At first I was somewhat underwhelmed: the beautiful details of the X-Wing ships were not replicated on the iconic capital ships of Star Trek, especially in the starter kit. The Enterprise D, and the Klingon and Romulan ships are all painted somewhat poorly. That's not an issue for many people who enjoy repainting their ships anyway. Indeed, there are many tutorials and tips online for people who have done this very thing. Of lesser issue to me (though others chafe at this) is that unlike X-Wing, the ships in Attack Wing are NOT to scale to one another. Personally, if I was playing a ship that was much smaller than the Enterprise D on screen as a scale model, I wouldn't be able to see much of anything given the size of the Enterprise D model. I'd rather look at the ship without needing to use a magnifying glass!

To me, the difference between Attack Wing and X-Wing is that the Star Trek game has more 'meat on its bones'. While X-Wing has interchangeable pilots, special attacks, etc., Attack Wing introduces various captains, tech upgrades, secondary weapons, captain abilities, and multiple crew members. Each ship can hold various numbers of crew, tech, and/or secondary weapons. All have various point values that force you to make various choices when you construct your fleet. And the captains, crew, etc. are all interchangeable between ships (in most cases).

Even better, you don't even have to just do a straight 'shoot 'em up' with other players - both this starter set and the other ship expansion packs come with really interesting missions that sometimes mirror Trek movies or episode scenarios. The starter set comes with a large planet token, space mines (which are often used with other non-included expansion ships) and objective tokens. Many of the missions make use of these. The mission packs give your play more diversity and bang for your buck.

Finally, this starter set can be augmented and enhanced with other expansion ships that also come with their own models, tokens, etc. As more of these expansions have come out, the modelling and paint jobs have improved so WizKids must have gotten the memo. In all honesty, the expansion sets are quite addictive to collect, and actually add substantial value to the game overall. New abilities, crew, captains and tech means new strategies that are open to the players.

I only knocked off one star for the paint jobs on this starter set. The value of this is up to you. Game play and variety-wise, it gets five stars easily. If you've played X-Wing, you can play this game. If you haven't played X-Wing or Attack Wing, the former may be slightly easier to jump into than the latter, but not by a huge margin. Either is a fun game to pick up and spend some time with friends with. Also, check locally at various game shops: Many hold tournaments for both games with special prizes also.

Have fun!

Plano Molding 5231 Double Cover Stow N Go Organizer, Porche Red
Plano Molding 5231 Double Cover Stow N Go Organizer, Porche Red
Price: $9.99
5 used & new from $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome for Storing Star trek: Attack Wing miniatures and game pieces, April 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been able to store all pieces of the starter set as well as multiple expansions in this organizer very easily. The adjustable compartments even allowed me to store the movement templates with no issues. I wish it was a bit larger, as I likely will run out of room for other expansion ships at some point in the future. Also, I don't store my any cards in it aside from the smaller 'damage' deck. The other play cards I keep in cheaper plastic deck boxes. But this is a good investment for taking your game and fleet with you on the road. The latches are solid and everything stays put.

One caveat: the clear dividers for the outer part of the box were a little off in terms of how well the sat in their holders. Some would leave a small gap between it and the bottom of the compartment it was sectioning off allowing small game tokens to slide into other compartments. A little judicial switching around and trial and error alleviated this. Just be aware that not every divider will sit snugly all the way down in its holders. Still, its a minor issue for a quality box.

Blackhole Cat Litter Mat - Headshape 23" X 21" (Dark Gray)
Blackhole Cat Litter Mat - Headshape 23" X 21" (Dark Gray)
Price: $36.99
3 used & new from $36.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Collects some but not all litter from your cat's paws., April 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have a long-haired cat who tracks litter all over the apartment. I bought this mat to hopefully alleviate the issue, but it has only been somewhat helpful. To be fair, the mat DOES trap lots of litter, and the way that mat opens to deposit this trapped litter back into the litter box is simple and effective. The build quality also seems quite solid. However, my cat likely would benefit from having the fuzz between his toes trimmed. He simply overloads the mat. It may work very well for a short-haired cat though.

36" x 36" Vinyl Game Mat - Asteroid MINT/New
36" x 36" Vinyl Game Mat - Asteroid MINT/New

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Quality, Beautiful Coloration and Images, April 26, 2014
I have this asteroid mat that I use to play with Star Trek: Attack Wing. For that game, the minimum playing field is a 3'x3' square, which this mat is. The mat has a heavy, thick feeling to it without actually being very thick at all. It feels substantial and durable. The print on it is like the picture even in person: vivid colors and the asteroids and background effects are all clearly defined. The texture of this mat helps the Attack Wing (and X-Wing for that matter) game pieces move around, but with a bit of added traction. This helps prevent players from accidentally moving the pieces while sliding them along the templates. My brother has a mat from the same company that has a blue planet on it; the quality of that is equal to this. A fun and functional addition to Attack Wing, X-Wing, or whatever other space themed game you might be playing,

LDR 512 P3515 Bellows Type Cup Toilet Plunger
LDR 512 P3515 Bellows Type Cup Toilet Plunger
Offered by WIN BIGGER
Price: $15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Give your toilet a helping hand!, April 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Whether it be using too much toilet paper, or eating three back-to-back bowls of your favorite bran cereal, sometimes the Porcelain Goddess needs a boost. Mine was in need of such assistance recently, and my old hard rubber plunger that came with a cheap brush in a designer stand was not working cutting it. I might as well have been attempting to push a cinder block through (in fairness, the density of my 'offering' to the Goddess was likely very near a cinder block). Regardless, I bought this for future issues, and the bellows design is very flexible and creates quite a bit of force. Humor aside, something like this seems like overkill. Until you need it!

Haunting in Big Bear Lake a true story
Haunting in Big Bear Lake a true story
by Jodi Polos
Edition: Paperback
13 used & new from $141.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and eerie, in desperate need of proofreading, March 25, 2014
I love a good ghost story, and I've read multiple books on the topic. I've never had a paranormal encounter, so I can only experience them vicariously through books such as this one: the first person account/journal style narrative.

In the area of content, from an entertainment standpoint, the author recounts some disturbing and uncanny events. Some of the imagery and scenarios she describes oddly stayed with me after having read the story.

Where the author trips up is in the technical aspects of writing; other reviews have mentioned the poor grammar, odd sentence structures, and repetition found throughout the book.

I'm not a grammar Nazi, but it really takes the reader out of the world the author is trying to create when words that had previously been spelled correctly (such as 'through') is later written as 'thru' but it's used in the same context. It's as though she forgot she was writing a book, and started texting instead.

My criticism is essentially only directed to her lack of editing. I found the meat of the story interesting, and if indeed these events are as true as the author claims, she and her family have my sympathies. I do hope she finds peace somehow.

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