Today, like most days, is Retro Rocket Day here in the Secret Laboratory, and what you see above is something I’d sure like to see in here with me: it’s a fantastic rocket lamp, one of a series that’s available from Etsy seller highdesertdreams (Frank Luedtke & Lin Mullins).
In fact… I’d like them all, I think. Why practice moderation at a time like this?
Made mostly of different woods and metals, and finished with acrylic paint, these hail from Arizona: a state of wide open skies, clear views of the galaxy, and (now) of lamps that look like they could take you out there. Me, I’d just like to read a book by their light. But I may have diminished expectations.
Today seems to be a day for rockets. My other discovery of the afternoon tickles me especially because as we see on the right, DeviantArt artist Kate Arthur has made a miniature model of my Hepmobile rocket from Retropolis (notably, Gwen Hopkins’ ride from Trapped in the Tower of the Brain Thieves and The Lair of the Clockwork Book).
This one’s a styrene and acrylic sculpture. I can’t tell you how big it is (though I wonder) but I’m pretty sure it’s not full size.
The Hepmobile is the VW Bug or Morris Minor of Retropolis. They’re simple enough that just about anybody can keep one running, and they last forever, so long as you remember to tighten the baling wire from time to time. It’s nice to see this one so shiny and new.
You can see three views of Kate’s version here, and here, and here.
Still throwing up the girders and lofting the rocket fins, here in the Secret Laboratory. There’s stuff.
Here’s something I don’t often do. No, not the rocket. I often do that. Nope, what I’ve done is to go back to an old rocket model I made back in 2002 (I think!) and I’ve reworked it in a higher resolution and with higher resolution textures and better materials – so it’ll look like it belongs in the same universe as my more recent rockets, characters, and other objects.
It was an interesting process. My recent models and materials are way, way better than what I was doing seven or so years back – and processors are so much faster – and addressing larger amounts of memory is so much easier – that I spend a lot more resources these days on an object like this. So whereas the old model used a bit less than 80,000 polygons, the new one weighs in at over 417,000. There’s Moore’s law for you.But quite a bit of the difference is in my self, not in my stars. I did see clearly that there was a lot about 3DS Max materials that I didn’t know yet when I built the first one.
The Hepmobile, I’ve found, is a vintage rocket in Retropolis. Although it always seems to be 2039 there, the Hepmobile is older than that: it’s pretty much the Volkswagen Beetle or the Morris Minor of the retro future. Everyone’s owned one, and they just keep going forever with a little TLC.
They’re still produced (in 2039) in limited numbers – mainly because some agencies, like the Retropolis Civilian Conservation Corps, continue to use them for their official vehicles. And how do I know that? Well, for now, I just know.