This is playing catch-up for December so recent January stuff has been omitted.

Clack is Back

I would like to tentatively say that clickclack, The Clackman, ClackFactory is back. This came as a very nice surprise to everyone. It has been quite a long hiatus and it is very exciting to see geekhack with this member back. I am very interested to see what happens in the future and what current geekhack will be like with clickclack back.

The small resurgence resulted in completing some past sales and completing the keypaciter sale.

I found the keypaciters to be one of the more interesting keycaps I’ve seen in a while and seeing the photos they do look very special. Also, a special mention to Whizzard who created a similar design first.

Massdrop Vader

Dark Lord Vader Keycap The other exciting thing to happen in December was of course the release of The Force Awakens. In due time, a dishevelled Vader helmet keycap was put on massdrop. This drop went very quickly and I didn’t even see the live massdrop page.
It was created by HiddenPower who you will most likely know from their previous War of Betrayal series of keycaps.

Nubbinator

Nubbinator has been doing something very interesting for a while now. I never see too many sales but I see caps and an understanding that Nubb knows what they are doing. The project I am interested in is the Modular Cap System. This is interesting because of the ambition and also because it does seem to be working to an acceptable degree, and only getting better.

This project is really encompassing two things. The modular cap system works by itself having stems that can be swapped out into a specially made keycap that fits all of these stems. The other part of this project is Nubbinator’s TMX stem which is a Topre and MX stem.

Modular Cap System Stems Modular Stems

TMX Keycap Render TMX Keycap

I am very interested in where this is going and I really like the idea of the TMX stem. But I’m not really sure how this will be released, if it will be open sourced or just a Nubbinator thing.

Of course I would love to be able to use this for myself but this is not mine and I would be fine with it staying a Nubbinator thing.

SpinningWaffle Wooden Caps

wooden cherry keycap This was very surprising to my eyes as I have heard more about people making wooden keycaps but not actually seen them. From these initial images they do look really nice.

Krytone Year of the Sheep

Sheep krytone krap

Krytone has been creating a new store and it has been intermittently working. The last time I looked it was down for maintenance. Pictured above is the sheep which I imagine has something to do with the Year of the Sheep sale.

Bcredbottle

Bcredbottle has continued to make progress with some alps keycaps to fuel some giveaways

Pictured above is my favourite.

Gen.S Keycaps on Techkeys.us

For those who missed out on all the opportunities to get these gem keycaps, a couple of colours are still available on teckkeys.us

KatzenKinder

Something worth mentioning is that KatzenKinder now has a blog. I’m not sure how long this has been around but it is here now.

Bro

Just like KatzenKinder Bro now also has a blog. I did find this a while ago but forgot to put it in somewhere.

Many Giveaways

In the Christmassy spirit there were a nice spate of giveaways that popped up in the lead up to the new year.

  • Retro Caps giveaway_2015

  • BroCaps

  • Booper Keywok Artisan In keeping with the Star Wars theme of the month, a couple of keywoks.
    As well as the booper giveaway a new keycap was revealed.
    This is Enraged Bruce enraged bruce shark artisan

Meowcaps V2 Been and Gone

Meowcaps V2 lineup These were the more popular of kudos_and_goodspeed’s debut keycaps that I did not see a lot of in the wild. But this second round was bountiful. It is fair to say that KeyKollectiv has been doing some very good things these past months.
I think the simpler paw design is one of my favourites. But the technical ability in furt makes it a special keycap.

Don’t forget, KeyKollectiv also has a blog.

Zazie

Zazie had an incredible debut with some excellent patterns and colours. This was a beta sale of sorts with some defects.

R.A.G Caps

/u/flehrad had another sale in December featuring a lot of designs and colours. Also, featuring the more unusual MX tab’s.

Badnewscaps

This is a maker who came out of nowhere with a surprising amount of designs. Not only a lot of designs a very BN mark.

_joe_king

With only one keycap they are doing ok.

Carbonman24

This is a very well sculpted keycap and appears to be painted. I have no love for super meat boy but this will certainly appeal to many.


Typed on SSK

Red white and blue HKP

After previously contacting martin for information for the artisan series introduction, I began to think that martin might be a bit of an interesting subject for an interview. Hot keys project is different from some makers because of the volume they produce and how keycaps are made and orders are fulfilled. For a closer look at Martins caps I did a spotlight on the raven and armor keycap.

Firstly, who are you? Just a small explanation of who you are in relation to what you do.

A little bit about myself is that I am originally from the field of interior design. I love designing and creating things and it is through my designing days that I had started to develop an interest in designing keyboards and keycaps. I felt that in a profession where the use of keyboard is so important, it makes work easier if we had a more interesting and lively keyboard to work with, hence the idea in developing different types of keycaps for this purpose. I am also a fan of collecting collector items, and the idea of making keycaps something of a collectors item really appealed to me. Moreover, the fact that no one is really into designing these things made it an even more interesting idea for me.

Why did you start HKP? and what do you do differently and why?

How is HKP different from the others, I think with my collections I have more virtual and robotic designs.

Do you think that people think of your keycaps differently to other makers who do the more limited production runs?

Compared to the other makers who do more limited production runs, I am a bit different in that I want more people to be able to have access to my keycaps. I enjoy seeing people being able to have a nice keyboard and be able to use the collection of keycaps that I have designed. All in all it comes down to self fulfillment and satisfaction in seeing others use my products.

70s Blank Fn

Did you have any prior experience with sculpting and casting before starting HKP/gasmaskkeycap?

My prior experience with sculpting and casting would come from my interior design days where I would think and design a product from scratch and see it being made into a real project/product. I also enjoy being able to play around and utilize different materials and colors to create different projects.

Gasmask keycap jelly

Is gasmaskkeycap.com dead? And was this just to evolve into HKP so you were not constrained by the gasmask design?

Gasmask is part of HKP. I wanted to deliver a broader range and variety of products hence we assimilated the products into our HKP line.

What inspires your designs? Particularly the gasmask.

The inspiration for my designs comes from all the online video games that people are playing. I felt if the younger generation enjoys war games and FPS games then the production of the designs particularly the gasmask should appeal to them. Seeing that the keycaps are targeted for this particular clientele, it was pertinent to find a common theme and design which will appeal to them.

Do you find that any other keycap makers inspire your own? And is there a maker in the community you currently like?

I like the designs of Brocap as his designs are unique and specialized.

What is the status of revisiting previous designs and colourways? You have made quite a few which I think many people are interested in. My particular favourite is the Iron Mask. Could this make a return?

The idea of revisiting previous designs and colorways highly depends on the popularity of the keycaps. If the customers like a particular design and that design sells well, then I will try to design/produce another upgraded version of the first.

Do you have a favourite design of your own? And colourway?

My favorite design and colorway of my own collection will be the Raven. The black over red creates a stimulating color tone for the keyboard, and the fact that additional parts can be added onto the keycap makes it more interesting and fun.

black and red Raven

I have been looking through your archive on geekhack and you have made a lot of different colourways. Do you have a number of all the variations of keycaps you have made? e.g. how many colours of gasmasks?

Below is the keycaps that I produced, about the color each type at least more than 10 kinds, in the future I will produce more different colors to fit different people.

  • G2

  • Warmaster

  • Raven

  • Armor Cap V2

  • Trooper

Gray Wolf Topre G2

Is HKP going to expand into anything else? Maybe other keyboard related products. I ask this because you previously made a keycap display case.

So far, all products are centered around keycaps as this is my area of interest however, there is a possibility in branching out into more product ideas. The keycap display case was designed so that users have a place to store their collection of keycaps as you know how small a keycap is! Plus there is not a case available to store keycaps made for collectors, so I thought this will be a good idea.

I think I read somewhere on GH you collect converse, what is your opinion on the Chuck II’s?

I feel Chuck IIs is an upgraded version of Converse and I find its concept is like that of my keycaps. They focus on adding and layering over a basic design. They are trying to upgrade the simple version by allowing the wearer to choose from a variety of designs, accessories and materials

And do you continue to collect them?

Yes, I will continue to collect Converses and sneakers as I am a collector fan at heart!


This was done a bit of a while ago now but it is still very relevant. Martin continues to produce these keycaps to a very high standard of quality.

Current Sale 9th of January 2016
The current HKP sale is GMK/Cherry and Topre Blanks. This features some very nice colour combinations and some excellent colour matching for gmk. The most appealing to me is the 70’s colourway Topre Esc and Fn.

HKP GMK/Cherry and Topre Blanks Order Form

To read a little more about some Hot keys. I did a spotlight a couple of months ago.
Artisan Spotlight on Hot Keys Project


Typed on SSK

Keyboard of the Month

This is something that I kept overlooking and even forgot when I was entirely aware of it. So I have missed the boat ever so slightly. The last keyboard of the month was in fact the keyboard of the year, which does make sense because it is of course a new year.

The Keyboard of the Month was started by katushkin on geekhack and it’s a good to celebrate some of the extremely interesting keyboards that people have assembled.

Winning this year’s title, is E3E’s Duck Eagle With Hotswappable Alps.

Granite R4

Tengwar Granite R4 Beta1 My favourite addition

Granive R4 is looking as though it will be running in the near future (possibly a couple of days), and the current designs are looking excellent. Also, note that this might be the last time Granite is run.

The images are of the beta stage so things can change and input is welcome.

Sentraq S60-X on Massdrop

Sentraq S60-X keyboard on massdrop This has been in waiting for a long time and it has now come to massdrop. Despite the interesting lead up, there does not seem to be an overwhelming amount of interest. This seems to be mostly up to the price of $129 + shipping. But it could also just be a factor of the large amount of 60%’s that have been on sale recently.

What does make the S60-X stand out is the fact that it is a DIY kit. If you are looking for a kit this looks to be a solid community designed 60%.

Interview with Eitti Wada

For those who don’t know Eitti Wada is the creator of the HHKB. This should interest you enough to read the interview. It was also conducted and written up by Andy (livingspeedbump) of keychatter.

K-Type Prototypes

K-Type Prototype Angled

The K-Type is a tenkeyless made by Input Club who created the Infinity Ergodox and the Infinity 60%. For this reason there is a fair amount of belief that this will be a nice keyboard.

There is not much new information, but nor is there much information needed. The price is really going to be the important factor. The pictures do look fantastic and I am very happy to see a usb-c connector. See the forum post for additional images.

The K-Type is currently at CES so if you want to see it in person you will have to find a way to get there. See the Forum post for addition information.

K-Type Flat

Topre Keyset

It was not much of a surprise that the Massdrop was not successful. It just wasn’t making up the numbers these past few weeks. But it is not completely dead. And I am happy to see that the original thought is still there. This was entirely brought about by peoples interest and I still think with some tweaking this could be a future possibility.

The Latest update from Massdrop employee.

Hey everyone, we are currently still talking to Topre about this drop and we are bringing up a lot of points that were made here in the discussion.

Topre is checking things out now but with the holidays coming up we probably won’t have an answer until next year in January. So in the mean time we will let this drop end. Once we are ready we will bring this back!

The Katana Keyboard Prototype

Katana custom symmetrical keyboard ergononomic I would like to mention this as it is an interesting custom keyboard from the community. It has a very interesting description “a tilted, rotated, symmetrical custom keyboard” which certainly caught my eye. The inspiration for the design Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 which is a keyboard I hear a lot about.

I am working on an Artisan Roundup for December and something else. I am just a bit slow.


Typed on SSK