header image is by Arno Volkers and used under an attribution-share alike cc license

We lost some things, but we doubled our titles.

UPDATE 2: Spaces are back!
To shellibrate:

UPDATE: Post titles undoubled! Spaces post-comma still rogue.

We recently upgraded our theme here at the HF site, and, as you can see, the lovely factory picture (which was disingenuously not of our factory) is gone.
But now every post title appears twice. Awwww-right.

New updates coming soon, including our recent finds. (Think cassettes. And maybe some beers. Yup.)

We may or may not fix the doubling and the pictures.
Oh, and spaces after commas seem all effed.
Never upgrade.

Put some M.U.S.C.L.E. behind OMFG! Series 1

On Kickstarter I stumbled across the October Toys OMFG! Series 1 page.
As a huge fan of M.U.S.C.L.E figures when I was a kid (If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about, go see the i-mockery page on M.U.S.C.L.E.. We’ll wait until you’re done.), This project is close to my heart. In fact, just the other day, I was bemoaning the lack of figures like these, wondering where the Monster in my Pocket, Battle Beasts, and the like of today were.

Well, thanks to October Toys, they’re coming.
And they look like this:

While they’ve got all the funding they need for Series 1, you can still head over to Kickstarter and help fund them (and get t-shirts and exclusive colorways).
Hopefully their success with Kickstarter funding sill mean Series 2 is not far behind.

Speaking of Series 2, you can submit your designs on the October Toys forum.

Someday I will build a better Wumpus, but for now, it’s off to find some black legos

I was cleaning the other day and ran across my box of Pixel Blocks, and decided to do something with them since I’ve had them for years and never really built anything with them.

As I’ve currently been somewhat obsessed with the TI-99 version of Hunt the Wumpus (video of game play here), I decided to try to build a Wumpus.

Well, my measly 400 block set and my limited color palette worked against me, but this is what I was going for:

Which is a bit modified from the TI-99 title screen:

This is what I came up with:

I’m pretty pleased. Obviously, it’s just the silhouette, I could have planned the colors better, and the body needs a bit more bulk compared to the legs, but it looks like a Wumpus!

I thought about getting more Pixel Blocks, but two things dissuaded me. First, they’re expensive. Really expensive. And I can’t find used ones on ebay. Second, they’re a beast to work with. Since they connect with two little channels on the sides, doing a ‘vertical’ sculpture with them like I did is rough. They can also be nigh on impossible to pry apart.

So, inspired by these:

From the AKSYS games blog

By Daniel Sosa-Navarro, from gaijin’s CommanderVideo fan art page

I’m moving on to make my very own CommanderVideo from gaijin’s Bit.Trip series (Bit.Trip.Runner is currently driving me insane with frustration and joy). I need to get a grip of black legos somewhere.

He’s only a man…

TV on the Radio on the Ukulele

Etrange et Belle does a mean version of Wolf Like Me. She also does a great La Vie en Rose and has several originals at her YouTube page.

Of course Joy Division is Playmobil. Lego would be silly.

A brilliant stop-motion version of Transmission performed on Something Else

I cannot wait to buy the official Playmobil Ian Curtis figure.

Comics Writing Month: March 2011

Things around the Factory are winding down; the horizons are still coming off the assembly line, but a bit slower, as we’re all looking forward to our Thanksgiving Holiday.

As we reach the end of November, the Factory is disappointed that it didn’t churn out anything related to NaNoWriMo. Which is why we’ve decided to start planning early for Comics Writing Month in March.

But wait, you say, isn’t NaGraNoWriMo in October?
Yes, it is. And we here at the Horizon Factory think that that was incredibly bad planning.

If NaGraNoWriMo is in October, how are we going to have time to switch the lines from Graphic Novels to just-plain-old novels for NaNoWriMo in November?

So, we’re following the lead of chiharu_octavia, a user of something called “livejournal,” and planning on gearing up the machines for March’s CoWriMo (what do you call this type of abbreviation- syllabic acronyms?). Here’s their page from last year.

But, being the Factory, we’re going to do it a little differently:

First: To prepare for Horizon Factory Comics Writing Month, make notes, do sketches, whatever. Hell, make outlines or plot out stories, on paper or in your head. Whatever you want to do. After all, it’s your thing.

Then: Since we’re writing-people at heart and not drawing-people, we will be writing a script for a 32 page comic. You can do storyboards (we like calling them ‘name,’ like they do in Bakuman), rather than scripts if you like. The important thing here is that HoFaCoWriMo is about the story, the ideas, the characters, rather than the art. That can come later, after March. Feel free to do 32 daily strips/pages of a webcomic. We like the number 32 because it fits the traditional comics multiple of 8, and it means you’ve got to average just a smidge over a page a day for March.

Finally: At the end of the month, you need to have a script/storyboard ready to go. Get your friends involved so you have someone you’re accountable to.

People in this world, we have no place to go

Cube Dudes

On September 21, 2009, Angus MacLane, Pixar animator and Lego tinkerer extraordinaire, unveiled Cube Dudes, an awesome super-deformed format for DIY Mighty Mugg-style brick sculpture.

MacLane and his acolytes have created a huge number of these guys, drawing from assorted geekery, including Star Wars, Comics, and other sundry pop culture sources.
Oona goota, Solo? CubeDude Ira Glass
I think Greedo, by onosendai2600, is my favorite, and Ira Glass (MacLane) pretty sweet, and the rogue’s gallery of bounty hunters from Empire (MacLane, again) is breathtaking.
CubeDude Bounty Hunters
Oh, and bow down to everyone’s favourite heavy metal band:
CubeDude Spinal Tap

Aside from MacLane himself, Larry Lars has some great ones, like good ol’ 2-1B:
CubeDude 2-1B medical droid

And Reasonably Clever Chris’s “disarmed” Black Knight is python-tastic. “None shall pass!”:
Black Knight - Disarmed!

There’s a great interview with Angus at BricksABillion.

Be sure to check out the flickr Cube Dude pool for a growing collection, and start building your own…


I’ve been meaning to put this up for a couple weeks now, but as this is the busy season for me, I just haven’t had time.
But better late than never…

Here is the cream of my Black Friday haul:

I saw it sitting on the floor in the local goodwill for $9, but initially walked on by. I was sure it didn’t work, and besides, I have little to no idea how to play the piano.

But, while waiting for the familia to get done shopping, I asked if there was a place I could plug it in. When I did, the little fan whirred to life, and, lo and behold, it worked. And sounded great.

So, I bought it.

I haven’t been able to find out anything about it on ye old internet, so all I know is that it was made by Sears, and has a little chord keyboard, entitled: “POLYCHORD SELECTOR”

So, I’ve been learning some ABBA, Bee Gees, and Neutral Milk Hotel songs (with the help of my talented wife).

Here’s a shot of the front, with a nice plastic filete:

If anyone knows anything about this little guy, please leave a comment. I’m guessing it’s early 80s in vintage.

Patent Documents + Printer + Frame = No More Blank Walls

One of my favorite recent activities has been trolling Googlepatents, looking for beautiful, interesting, and strange patent documents that I can print off, pop in a cheap certificate frame, and put on the wall.
All of this was inspired by a Make post about the LEGO minifig patent a couple weeks ago.
Here’s the minifig patent on my wall:

Go take a gander and see if you find anything worth adorning your walls.

I love this Eames table:

It’s especially cool because it has Eames’s own signature at the bottom of the design:

The diagrams of this “Toy Building Brick” (which may be familiar to some) are also beautiful:

And finally: