Welcome to the first issue of the Fire engineers newsletter. The purpose of the newsletter is to give additional information about the Fire Engineers world including inside information regarding the creation of the series.
This issue includes a wallpaper picture and a high resolution printable poster of the Fire Engineer. In the newsletter there is an interview with the author of the series and details form our resident origami expert how you can display your free fire engineer origami models to best effect.
The following is an interview with the author of the Fire Engineer, we ask him some burning questions about the series and what we can expect in the future.
Q. The most noticeable change to the web site launched with the release of story 2 is the illustration style, can you tell us why the change?
Originally the illustration style for the Fire Engineer was comic book based, however I began to feel this did not suit the text based story's. Also I became unsure whether I would be limiting my audience with the comic book style. In the end I realised that the character was more of a Doc Savage (a pulp hero) than a traditional super hero. I think what was happening here was that I was also discovering myself what the character was about and the more I came to know the character and his world the more I felt the comic strip illustration style was not what I was looking for for this character.
Q. What type of audience is the Fire Engineer it aimed at?
This is an interesting question. I remember an interview I have seen on TV with George Lucus (the auther of Star Wars) and he was asked a similar question. He said that he never wrote Star Wars for any particular audience, he wrote what he would like to see himself and if he liked it then hopefully somebody else would. I think he makes a very good point. I was at one stage trying to analyse what I needed to do to attract a particular audience, but what I found is that it was constraining me, so I ended up just letting it flow. In the end it becomes what it becomes and I believe the only thing you can do is write what interests you and let if find its own level
I could say I hope that older children or young adults will be interested and may learn something from the fire safety message in the stories. Equally the stories I hope will appeal to adults with a sense of adventure.
Q. The second story appears to cover a number of themes, can you tell us roughly where the story will be taking us?
In story 2 we will be looking deeply into the past of the Fire Engineer, and understand why he does what he does, how he obtained his powers and a very dark secret he has. We will learn how he met Lisa and there is a brooding story arc which will gradually build up and lead to a confrontation with the Fire Engineers main antagonist.
Q. Why did you decide to have one of the characters (Lisa) interested in origami?
Characters should have a level of depth beyond superficial characteristics. Showing her with an interest in a little known art form tells us something of the character. Note that she does not just fold origami models - she also designs origami models. Therefore outside of her abilities as a fire engineer, she has an artistic side to her. As far as I am aware having a main character with an interest in origami has not been done before. It also adds an extra dimension to the Journals as we can have free origami models relating to the Fire Engineers world.
Q. When you say Lisa is a 'fire engineer'; the main character Steven is known as 'the fire engineer', but she is also a fire engineer?
In the real world a fire engineer is a person who has an understanding of fire development and uses these techniques to help design buildings or use in a forensic way to investigate fires. This is Lisa's profession. I also chose to use the name 'the fire engineer' to name the main character. The main character (Steven) is in fact more of a fire fighter. In this context the name fire engineer is intended to suggest that he has control - he can 'engineer the fire' - put it out or control it. Essentially of course this is what fire engineers do in the real world in a remote way. They control the fire so that occupant of a building can escape etc. So I'm really moving the dynamic of the traditional office based fire engineer to an action hero. Its sort of a play on words and of course he is not just any fire engineer he is named THE fire engineer!
I have been searching for a way to preserve origami models so they can be displayed more like an ornament. The most ideal way of doing this would be to be able top coat the model with something which would cause the paper to harden.
The best solution I have come up with so far is to use PVA glue (shock! horror! Glue and origami don't mix!). Ok once you have got over the shock, its not as bad as you think. The glue is only intended to harden the paper, and this is the procedure.
1. First make the model as usual.
2. pour some PVA glue into a disposable container and mix with a small amount of water. The water helps the glue flow better, but you do not need to much. The consistency of runny custard is about right.
3. Using a cheep brush, coat one side of your model with the PVA mixture all over like you are painting the model. The appearance will be an opaque milky colour. But don't worry it will dry transparent. Place the model down on a newspaper covered table to dry with the painted side up.
4. Once dry to touch, turn over and paint the other side.
5. Once the second side is dry to touch result at this stage will be a semi rigid flexible model - not unlike a plastic toy. I would recommend giving the model at least one more coat both sides. Although dry to touch the glue will take a few days to fully harden and once it is fully dry you will have a quite solid model.
Let me know how you get on and if you have any other ideas like this.
The model in issue 2 of the Fire engineer Journal
A model of The Fire Engineer.
Free items in this issueEach issue of the newsletter will include free items, this issue includes; desktop wallpaper, a poster, trading cards, a game and screen saver.
The first in a series of printable trading cards of the traditional trading card size, featuring the world of the Fire Engineer. It is recommended the card be printed on thick photographic paper (at least 200gms) or watercolor paper, for best effect. Small size photographic paper packs for small size prints (normally 6 x 4 in) are ideal to print one card and cut to size. To ensure the size of the card is the normal trading card size, print at actual size and do not allow the printer to resize to the size of the paper.
To obtain further cards in the series subscribe to the Fire Engineers Newsletter.
This is a short game to play, it requires strategy and it is addictive! Suitable for all ages, it requires strategy skill and no luck.
The screensaver is installed by copying in to your 'username/Library/Screen Savers' directory. Where 'username' is your username on your computer.
Screensaver are Mac only at present, but work is in progress to bring versions to the PC.
Features in issue 2 of the Newsletter
An interview with the Fire Engineers artist who describes the techniques used to create the new look.
Poster of Firefly and trading card 2.
To obtain issue 2 - subscribe from the link below:-
£1.00 ($2.00) for a yearly subscription