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FBTB - From Bricks To Bothans

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Archive for February, 2009

Ace Kim | February 10th, 2009 | Off Topic

Welcome To The New FBTB 3.0!

Welcome, everyone, to the new FBTB. While the dust settles from the reconstruction, I’d like to take a short moment to thank you for your patience during these times. To the fans that keep coming back: thank you! You are what makes this site as great as it is. To the staff here at FBTB: thank you! Without your patience and understanding and unwavering support, this transition would never have happened.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ve got some great things to show you guys. First up is the new design. I like to affectionately refer to this incarnation of the site as FBTB 3.0. I decided to go with a much darker look and feel to shake things up a bit. I have Mike to thank for that gorgeous header art. We initially thought up that scene to be drawn up in cartoon form, but he ended up constructing the scene and photographing it intending to trace over it. But I loved the photo so much we decided to just go with that instead. One of the endeavors of our staff is to involve more community members to build, and this new header art would serve as a perfect example of that.

FBTB 3.o will also have a new direction in terms of news coverage. We will be expanding our coverage to include all licensed lines, not just Star Wars. We haven’t forgotten where we come from, hence the name still being From Bricks To Bothans. We debated about changing it, From Bricks to Broomsticks, From Bricks to Brands, but in the end, we decided to stay true to our roots and stick with the Bothan moniker.

Next is a new and improved forums. We’ve done away with the “no free email” rule so those of you who have had troubles registering before shouldn’t have a problem now. There are a few other policy changes in place, so I encourage you to read up on those in the Info forum. Our forum is now integrated fully into the site, which was a long time coming. The old forums are still at www.fbtbforums.net for archival purposes, but the boards will live at www.fbtb.net/forums from now on.

Our chat room has survived the transition, for better or for worse. But now there’s a permanent link on the top navigation bar.

Probably the biggest new feature is that (almost) all of our news is now properly archived, dating back to 2002. There were a few casualties during the import process but most of it made it in. And it’s searchable!

I realize that there are still quite a few holes to fill up with content, such as reviews. During the transition, one of the things we had to sacrifice for the time being was our set index and reviews that were done. We’ll be working hard over the next few days and weeks to set up a new set database to browse and if available have a review about the set. A few of the other secondary pages will be updated in the coming weeks as well, so watch this space.

It’s 4:30 am as I write this, and I have to contact my registrar to flip the switch now. I can’t think of much more to say at this point, but I welcome your comments and criticisms. Post your feedback; I’d love to hear them.

Again, thank you for your patience. We hope you enjoy the new site.

Ryan "chief" Wood | February 10th, 2009 | Reviews

Review: 7679 Republic Fighter Tank

Tank Overall

I’ll preface this review by saying there are not many vehicle designs from the Prequels or Clone Wars that I like. It’s not that I’m biased against anything prequel-related; it’s just that generally I don’t find the designs very inspired.

That said, the TX-130 fighter tank that the Republic Fighter Tank set is based on is one of my favorite designs from the prequel era of Star Wars. From it’s first appearance in the Clone Wars video game, to Battlefront, the fighter tank is a solid good guy vessel for ground warfare. Bristling with cannons, turrets, missiles and more, the Republic’s clones are in possession of a death-dealing machine that has the droids shaking in their racks. I loved the design so much that in 2004 it served as the inspiration for my own 3vil Hovertank.

So now you know where my bias lies. I love the fighter tank design, so I had high hopes for the Lego rendition. Did it live up to my expectations?

(more…)

Ace Kim | February 8th, 2009 | News

Just A Little While Longer

Thank you for your patience everyone. I know many of you are eagerly waiting for the new forums to open up for registration. Rest assured, they will open sometime within the next 24-48 hours. Just think of this is time to put the last minute touches on your shut up and build week projects. The next message you read here will hopefully be of better news. Again, thank you for your patience.

Ryan "chief" Wood | February 6th, 2009 | Sales News

Toys R Us Sale!

From member Swoosh Factor:
“TRU has 25% off all Star Wars, Pirates, City and Power Miners sets when you buy two or more from February 6-12. I believe it’s the first time in about two years that they’ve had a SW sale.”

Sounds like a great chance to shop at TRU for a change! Head on out and take advantage of the savings!

Ryan "chief" Wood | February 2nd, 2009 | Off Topic

Oh, about the Forum

It was supposed to be open till midnight tonight. Don jumped the gun and hit the activation code on the nukes 24 hours too early. We apologize to any survivors who were on the forums at the time, and a big “Haha suckers!” to any zombies who were still roaming around.

Don’s been fired for his mistake, if that’s any consolation.

Ryan "chief" Wood | February 2nd, 2009 | News

“Shut Up and Build!” Week

So now that the forum has been nuked to (hopefully) eradicate (and irradiate!) the zombie threat, what’s a gal to do? Oh, just kidding, we don’t have any girls on FBTB. ;)

It’s time to dust off your models, pull out your bins, and spend some quality time getting to know your Lego collection again. It’s “Shut Up and Build!” Week.

Between now and the opening of the new FBTB, you’ve got a week to build to your heart’s content, and when we open so fresh and so clean clean, you can share your creations with the world! As busy as we are putting together our new home on the interwebs, even the staff is taking part in this week of building fun. We’ll be posting our creations along with the rest of you in a week!

Hit the bricks, people!

Don "Solo" Reitz | February 2nd, 2009 | Off Topic

Please Stand By

Looks like they shouldn’t have given me keys to the admin panel, because while I’m perfectly capable of “nuking” the forum – I seem to have decimated the place. Rest assured the forum and all of your posts still exist; it will be a little while before a more qualified staff member shows up to archive the place properly as planned (and I’m guessing fire me at the same time!). This is going to be a busy week…

Ace Kim | February 1st, 2009 | News

Brave New World

We’re moving!

Sort of.

FBTB.net will be undergoing a massive overhaul in the next week with a new site, new forum, and a new attitude. It’s been quite a long time since the current version of the site was first implemented. And while it has served its purpose, it’s looking long in the tooth and there are a lot of things that need to be changed, purged, updated, or added. So come February 8th, the groundwork for a new site will be laid out.

What this means for the site: the current site, which will be referred to as the old site, will be archived and still available for some time. The url will remain the same, fbtb.net, but the old site will be at another address which will be disclosed some time after the transition is complete.

What this means for the forum: the current forums will be shut down for a week, give or take a day, so consider this 24 hour notice before lockdown. Lockdown means you’ll still be able to view messages, but you won’t be able to post any new or reply to messages. Besides, the zombie infection was getting really REALLY out of hand, and so drastic measures had to be taken. Lockdown will occur Mon Feb 2 at midnight Pacific Time. The old forums will also be available post re-launch for viewing, reference, etc. The new forums will have a new address though at fbtb.net/forums

The new attitude: over time, our community has grown, evolved, and morphed into the current state it is today. There are some definite upsides to it all, but at the same time there are some other darker traits that we’ve ignored for too long, namely the attitude. The staff and I have had a discussion about it for awhile, and with the new site, we’ve decided to make a pledge for a change that I hope veteran members and rookies alike will acknowledge and adopt as well. You can read about it here.

Shut up and build week: Take this opportunity of a week’s worth of forum-free time and build something! There’ll be a thread in the new forums to share what you’ve done during the time away, and who knows, someone may just win something.

February 8th is our expected launch day; the staff and I will be working hard this next week to get things ready. Chat will still be up for real time conversations. I’ll be posting to this page with any relevant news or updates in the meantime. Please bear with us during the transition. We WILL be back, better than ever.