The Tundra Bull support campaign

The Tundra Bull support campaign
I currently have my Tundra Bull moc running on Lego Ideas, please click on the picture and cast your vote to help it reach the 10.000 mark!

vrijdag 1 augustus 2014

Lego Chima Magazines

Just a quickie this morning, showing off these two mags I found in the store.

Now, I did buy a copy of the Crug one for the Smurf as well, but it turned out his minifig lacked it`s legs, so I`ve given him mine.

I mailed the publisher (the dutch Junior Press) and they promised to send a replacement end of august / debut of september, so no worries there. 

Now, I often dare buying those mags for myself, when it comes with the Chima or Ninjago minifigs as they are usable `somewhere` in `something` that I`ll be building `sometime`.  The Friends version I usually pass on, while the City one I only buy for the kid. 

Those magazines come at around 5 euros a piece, so that is not to shabby for a booklet and a limited edition figure...

donderdag 31 juli 2014

Myth Cloth Review: Pegasus Seiya v2

It has been a while since I got the time to add some of these to my collection, and then even more before I actually managed to blog about them, but this is one of my most recent acquisitions.

And like all of the old bronze series, he is actually but ugly...

Seiya is the big guy of the series, both in the original series, but also in the recent new Omega series he is the one going into the spotlight.  Seiya is a hot-headed youth, and often rushes in head first to battle (an evolution he made through the series, he was far more tactical in his battles in the beginning of the saga), and will become the new generations Sagitarrius Gold Saint.

Fiercely loyal (and in love) with the godess Athena (and this is revealed in the closing episode of Omega), he will battle to great lengths to protect her against all commers.

The model is of the second version seen in the anime, the Asgard and Poseidon chapters.  Now, bronze clothes are by default not the hardest to assemble (okay, bar Shiryu`s shoulder claws) and this one is no exception.

Containing of the regular mix of metal and plastic parts, he builds up smoothly, but like the v3 version, I think it would have been better if he was a tat more `shiney`.

All in all, at 25 euros he wasn`t expensive at all, and now I have the full series of v2 models together...

woensdag 30 juli 2014

The Wolf Among Us episode 4

Well, I finally finished my fourth episode of this awesome series, and am ready now to head into the finale.

The Wolf Among Us is a dark investigator series, based on the Fables comic series.  Your are Bigsby Wolf (aka The Big Bad Wolf) and your looking into the murder of two prostitutes, Lily and Faith.

In this episode, we start off by you being patched up by the doctor after your beating by Bloody Mary at the end of episode 3.  Then your called to your office where `the little mermaid` is waiting for you...

You try to unravel the mysteries and connect the dots about who and where the `Crooked Man` is, and in doing so, you don`t mind breaking a few bones. 

Now, this episode you can seemingly unlock very fable IF you go to the pawnshop first, then the butchers, like I did (by accident) today.

Along your investigations, you promise to help out Beauty and Beast, as well as Johann the Butcher and Toad.  You manage to repair the mirror and find the way to the crooked man`s lair, but only after you defeated the Jersey Devil thanks to... the Woodsman!

But for the most part, this is a `setting up` episode to the grand finale, as a lot of background issues are solved, and you end up at a portal leading to the Crooked Man`s hide-out, in which you are welcomed by Tiny Tim and how he tells you Fabletown needs both good and bad.  And then you walk in and light a smoke as you sit down to talk... and the episode ends.

Now to get to the final part, god I like this series and think it far better then The Walking Dead, but that might be due to the setting.  Anyways, Telltale did a great job on it, and I can`t wait for their take on Game of Thrones!

dinsdag 29 juli 2014

PSN Level 19 reached

I don`t know if I should be proud or should cry, but it took me 8 months to reach this level.

I guess one could say I had a bit of a very big cooldown period after last years Playstation challenge...

But the game I broke the barrier with is the first Skylanders game by finishing it`s storyline.  The Smurf doesn`t intrest himself jack shit in it, as I bought the third one as well, but only played 2 levels in that with... the GF.  So one of these days I`m going to tackle that one as well, as I slowly am getting a taste again for the game. 

Though this is mostly due to the Lego: The Hobbit game now that I started it.

Alongside those, I really am going to play chapters 4 and 5 of the Wolf Amongst Us soon, I love the storyline, but it is that kind of game you want to play when you`re not disturbed to `go in` the story, nor when the kid is around as decapitated Snow White isn`t really suited for an 8 year old.

Well, I might not get to 25 this year, but at least I still hope to platinum all my remaining Lego games and hopefully see how the Walking Dead goes once the GF gets her backlog of in the meantime 3 episodes (what is that, 7 months or so) done...

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien - Book review

Okay, I admit.  This is the third time I started reading the book, but the first time I actually managed to finish it.

Where The Lord of the Rings isn`t a `simple` book with it`s family trees and references to events in the past, the Silmarillion is even far more complicated and it is advised you go look at the appendix often.

This version is actually the collection of the Unfinished Tales, so apart from the tale of the War of the Jewels, it also contains the stories of how the Valar came to be, how Middle Earth was formed and the sundering between the Elvenkin, the fall of Numenor and the events leading to the Last Alliance, where the Lord of the Rings picks up.

Add to this the heaps of elven names that often change during the course of the tale as characters `from then one became known as...` combined with the original Valar names for places, then to be changed to their elven names, then to go to how Dwarf or Man called it, over the black tongue of Mordor... well, you get the picture.

The first shorter tale in the book details about Iluvatar, Manwe and the other gods in the Middle Earthen pantheon as they created the world (flat!) and the elvenkind.  One of these Valar, Melkor, will become the evil Morgoth and even as early as these days he already went to war but was contained.

Then we go to the evolution of the Elves in the second tale, and how the Silmarils, mighty jewels of incredible beauty, where created, but also how this caused a rift between the Elven kin, resulting in genocide and exile at one point, and then the main story begins.

The Silmarillion itself is all about the history (spanning 1000s of years) of how Morgoth tried to possess and own those mighty stones, and he forges many dark servants to get to this end.  He also uses other powers at his possession, being manipulation, illusion and deceivement, and he goes to war with the Elves to be beaten back and at a high cost is finally, but temporarily, defeated. 
Over the following centuries, he slowly gathers his power together again, in the meantime souring up the bonds between Dwarf and Elf, while influencing the new and young race of Man into largely corrupt rulers, as they covet power and greed above others.  Not only does this result in treachery, but when a big alliance of Dwarf, Elf and Man faces the renewed power of Mordor, part of the human allies turn sides and results in the loss of many elven and dwarven rulers.
But it is in the end the strength of Man that manages to reclaim the jewels from the Dark Lord, and as the Silmarils are divided among their rightfull place of wind, air and fire, on places they cannot ever be recovered, Morgoth is at last defeated and the War of the Jewels ends.

The next tale is the one about Numenor, and now readers of `just` The Lord of the Rings will start recognising names.  As servants of the Elves, the Numenor became mighty among men, but when after more then 20 kings (who back then could live more then 200 years), corruption starts seeping in.  In Morgoth, the dark power has returned in the form of Sauron the Deceiver, trusted Lieutenant of Morgoth and out to free his dark lord from the prison he was put in by the Valar.
To this end, he allows himself to be actually captures by the armies of men, and starts working towards corrupting all and bring them to attack the lands beyond the Sea.
This results in the sundering of Numenor, where the gods strike back before this comes to fruition and reshape the world (now round), causing the lands of Numenor to sink into legend.

The final short tale is the one where we will get to know most names and places from.  Gil-Galad, Isildur, Orhtanc, the Rhovanion... places and names we know from the Lord of the Rings as this is the set up to the battle of the Last Alliance, and the forging of the Rings of Power and the likes.

A simple read?  Not at all, this book requires quit some concentration, referencing to the appendices and it does help one knows LotR as well to get some help from the songs scattered all around in that book.

But I am glad I finally finished it, the tales, though not simple, are exciting on their own if you don`t want to connect the dots between family lines.  We get tales of love, of treachery, of discovery.  Battles with dragons and balrogs, massive fields of blood, and some intresting plot changes.

But one person seems to have been ommited, even though it is said he is as old as the Earth itself...

maandag 28 juli 2014

Culinary Expedition: Hofstraat 24, Antwerp, Belgium

People who know me, know I like `the good life`.  I didn`t get my athletic cathedral of a body (oi, Sumo wrestlers are athletes too!) by a diet of salads and water.  No, I like the better dining experience.

People who know me very well, aslo know I did cooking school, but even though I graduated, it was during that year that my psoriasis broke out on my hands and I could kiss a career in cooking farewell, but that does mean I have some knowledge of `the french cuisine`.

So it was that today, the GF and me went to a restaurant called Hofstraat 24, in well, errm, the Hofstraat in Antwerp.  We had received a `Bistonomie` giftvoucher at out b-day party, and this restaurant offered a lunch menu, so of we went.

The kitchen served there is labelled as `what you see is what you get`, no fancy hankypanky tricksies and such, just pure and decent food... and after the meal, I can only agree.

Located in a historical building near the Grote Markt (the central place of the city of Antwerp), the interior is divided in two.  On the one hand there is a classic interior room with heavy chandeliers and classic paintings, on the other hand a very lightfull glassroofed room with modern art.  We opted for the former.

The lunch selection we could choose from was for the starter either salmon or bellypork, I opted for the pork, the GF for the fish.  Both where exquisite in taste, and i`m pretty sure the salmon was first `cooked` in lemon juice before going under the salamander for a cripsy finish.  My pork was nice and crispy, no hard fatties at all.

Main course wise, we both chose the plaice with fresh tartar, some salad and thick fries.  The other option was rabbit with prumes, but that is more of a wintery dish for myself.  After filetting both mine and her fish, and it was a big piece of fish we both got, we really enjoyed this in essence simple, but very delightfull meal.

For deserts, we took the Creme Brule.  The voucher allowed for coffee or desert, but we just took both, and in all fairness I must say they charged the coffee and not the desert, whom ofc was a bit more expensive then a coffee.

Together with half a liter of sparkling water for the GF, and a Coke Zero for me, we had to pay a grand total of 17 euros due to the voucher, and studying the map outdoors, the plaice was a genuine main dish (normally at 22 euros), while the starters where a bit of stripped down ones from their normally big starters.  So all in all, that voucher is worth around 60 to 70 euros and is more then recommended to get there.

Even without a voucher.

But the only small minus point for me was the coffee.  I like it waaaaaay more stronger hehe, but that is just a matter of taste and not a breaker on this excellent experience at all!

Return of Bionicle

Announced at SDCC, Lego is apparently bringing back the Bionicle theme in 2015.

Bionicle is a series of Lego like Hero Factory, consisting of large constructable `action figures` and had a cartoon running with it during it`s first outing.

Now personally, I`m not to much a fan of the theme as there are not to many parts I can salvage from them to use in builds.  However, it does have an avid fanbase, so it`ll probably have a decent run.

But personally, I`ll be looking the cat out of the tree and if there is an intresting piece for MoCcing, I`ll probably resort to BrickLink for those...