zondag 25 september 2016

The Haul Report # 48

Hello everyone, here I am again with the weekly oversight of stuff I managed to acquire for my collections.

Now, I didn`t include all the figures I traded together at last weekend's BeLUG clubday, but apart from those I picked up some stuff left and right as well.

The first one is this new set for the Doctor Strange movie that is soon coming out, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.  It`s the only tie-in set to the movie, and I really like it, containing some great figures and a nice setting.  I received this set as a thanks from Lego Benelux for exposing at this years Mechelen Speelstad, a nice token of appreciation!

This heap of Shell Polybags was a gift from my mum.  They went to Spain on holiday, and during one of the busstops in France she came across a Shell station that had these bags still lying around, so she brought home a stack of them, priced at only 2.5 euro per polybag. 

Totally not Lego related is this gun, the second half of the one I needed to complete my Modulex Masters of the Universe figure I found a while ago and have been completing with the two missing limbs and the two part weapon, making a fantastic trade token for the future.

I also received some small Brick Link orders this week.  The first one was to prevent a voucher from running out, and the trader had a black musket.  Topped with some studs for streets and water, this was a small order I made.

The second one contained the inverted corner slopes in brown, whom I need for my Buckleberry Ferry moc.  I didn`t have a single one of these, and need 4.   However, the fella had 8 in stock, was closeby for minimal shipping, so I took them all and can now proceed on building the ferry itself.

The last thing I got was a few wins through Facebook.  I scored yet two more Lake Guard polybags (making 4 in a week with the clubday trades), as I got both of them for 11.50 total.  I also won his two ACW figures to top it all out, and in a way this puts the two big MOC plans for 2017 nicely together in a single picture: an historical ACW build and the ever continuing building on Middle Earth.

A very good week indeed, and see you all next time!

zaterdag 24 september 2016

Pirate: Privateer - Tim Severin

A few years after the original trilogy of Pirate, detailing the "semi-historical" adventures of Hector Lynch, a fourth volume was released.

A sort of a wrap up of the rollercoaster that was the first series, this book fits in nicely with the style and tone of the original books.

Plot

We pick up the story of Hector and Maria, together with his friends, when they live in the Carribean.  In order to make a living, they are looting wrecks on the Vipers, when they are discovered by a spanish merchant.  Disabling their ship to make their escape, this is considered an act of piracy in the colonies, and soon they are captured.
The band of friends are enlisted by the governor of Jamaica to discover a fillibustier, De Graff, and they set out to confront this notorious sailor.  It works out not so well, but in the meantime Maria has set out to find her missing husband.

Opinion

A good closure to the story, and it involves the great tsunami that hit Port Royal in that age as well.  The story is as sweeping as it's predeccessors, albeit perhaps a bit shorter.  Maybe the biggest drwback in this final book is that the roles of Jezreel and Jacques in particular have been backbenched a lot, as it focusses mostly on the titular character and his wife. 

But for anyone who likes those historical drama's like Blake Sails and such, this has been a good read once again.

vrijdag 23 september 2016

Star Wars Chronicles of the Force

The most recent DK publishing book related to Star Wars, this tome is updated to include the minifigs and sets from The Force Awakens and it's current range.

It`s basically an update of the previous "force related" lego book...

Now, the book follows the by now well known pattern of their publishings, in that you get pages detailing some of the figures and sets, as well as small "games" to do.  Remember these books are aimed at a younger audience then your average AFOL.


Like all books, it also comes with a minifigure, this time not being a "named character" like a Luke or an Emperor, but the rather generic Unkar's Brute.  It has a cool headprint, but I doubt the pure collector value of this figure is limited.
Is it the best book they made?  Nah, but it's okay in the Legobrary, though the figure is a bit of a let down.  I think personally a Rey or a Poe or such would have been nicer...

donderdag 22 september 2016

Classic Lego Build: 4819 Rebel Chariot

More Kingdoms I building today, though it'll be the last one of this lot as I now went through the batch of Castle I obtained a year ago and they are all being sorted out into my parts boxes.

The Rebel Chariot is a small set of about 40 pieces, and comes with two minifigures.

Both rebels with the bull head livery, they look like some ruffian troops indeed.

The chariot begins on a black 4x4 plate with slopes added to it.

This is build up to accomodate 2x6 bricks for the main bodywork of the wagon.


Bars are then added to serve as the yokes for the horse, and secured with red tiles.


The horse is then added "inside" the chariot, using a plate at the bottom of the usual brick and plate for the beasts.


The set comes also with part of the chrome equipment to form a "super rebel", this one containing the shield.  Unfortunatly, compared to the other set's elements this one is a decal, pity.

And the full set completed:

It's a nice chariot by design, and way the horse was attached was rather new back then when the set came out, taking a lunge from the old yoke pieces.  The big let down for me was the shield being a decal though, it might have been more intresting to have just a chrome plastic one, even if that would have meant no design on it...

woensdag 21 september 2016

Classic Lego Build: 8777 Vladek Encounter

Today's build report is with a set dating back to 2004.  In the theme of Kingdoms II, we where treated to an evil warlord, Vladek, who wanted to invade the Lego Kingdoms.

Now, while he wears some really evil looking armour, unfortunatly the good guys are armed in all sorts of bright colours... a bit of Nexo Knights avant la lettre.

This 30 part set contained two minifigures, in the form of the evil Lord Vladek and heroic Danju with his wolf livery.

Vladek also came with a warhorse that sported some awesome barding.

The rest of the set is actually a simple build of a catapult, starting out on a 4x6 black plate with grey slopes added.

The leverage device is then installed on top of this.



The catapult arm and basket are then put together, and added to the base, completing the war machine.


And the full set completed:

This is in a way a trendsetter set, in that it is both a precursor to Nexo Knights with it's flashy coloured knights, as well as a sort of glorified character pack as we would later get in many of the franchises.  You can pick this up cheap these days, as the Kingdoms II line wasn`t a really big success, and the Vladek with his barded horse is definitly worth it.

dinsdag 20 september 2016

Gundam Build Fighters Try Island Wars

Recently a new special was released for the Try Fighters Gundam anime, a special to give some closure and extra dimension to this excellently fun series.

Basically, Island Wars is a hommage to the epic finale episodes of the first GunPla based anime series, giving it the same sheer of greatness.

Plot (from Gundam Wikia)

In the Nielsen Labs, scientists are preparing test runs on the Plavsky Particle Mk. II, using the brand new Scramble Gundam as a test unit. The crystal to make this possible was refined by Nils Yajima. However, during testing, something causes the crystal to react badly, causing the Scramble Gundam to react violently. The Gunpla races out of the ring and towards the control room, but is stopped by the emergency system.
In the 14th Gunpla Battle Japanese Under-19 Championship, Team Try Fighters is battling Team Song Dynasty Vase in the finals. Yuuma and Fumina put Gyanko's team under pressure, but Gyanko is able to push back, holding back a tag team attack and allowing Mahiro and Keiko to use the Northern Pod support mecha to attack the two with a firebird-like ramming attack. However, Sekai arrives and deflects the attack. The battle continues with Gyanko's team striking them, only to watch as the Try Fighters escape unscathed and unleashing their new finisher attack on them, earning their ticket to the Nationals once again.

After the battle, Fumina calls Yuuma to let him know they've been given an invitation to test out the brand new Gunpla Battle system at the Nielsen Labs. However, Yuuma lies and excuse himself. Fumina reluctantly agrees but her mother arrives with the phone with Sekai on the line, agreeing to go with Fumina after hearing over the invitation. On the plane, Sekai takes notice of Fumina's face going red as she thought of her mum's teasing words and questions if she's sick, which she denies in a panic.

At the Nielsen Labs, Nils learns that another testing has caused the same problem. Scared of the testers' safety, he decides to postpone their testing for now, which Sekai and Fumina learn as they arrive on the island. They're apologized to and offered usage of the island lodging until it's ready. Sekai's bummed out over this, but the disappointment fades as they see the lodging, leading the two to fawn over it. However, as Fumina messes with a hammock, it flips her over. Sekai tries to save her, but goes over with her, ending up with him on top of her and Fumina blushing harder as her mother's words come back to her mind. However, the moment is shattered as Gyanko, Shia and Minato step out to tease them. When asked why they were there, Shia was invited as was Minato due to their positions in last year's National Tournament. Gyanko was chosen to be Shia's partner as her brother was in the European open tournament and she went in his place. The tension turns into a Newtype confrontation between the three girls, Shia and Gyanko declaring that they won't let Fumina be with Sekai alone. However, Sekai ends up walking off in the middle of it all. Minato brushes off and tells them they should all just Gunpla Battle before showing off his newest entry to the Meijin Cup - a "Titans Maid" version of the Super Fumina, which Fumina pummels him over for.

At the labs, Nils arrives and tells a fellow scientist that he feels that what's causing this is an external factor. Before he can say if it might be a hacking, the effect happens again. Out on the beach, Sekai is busy training when his Kamiki Burning Gundam gets up from its resting spot on a tree and hovers away. Sekai gives chase and is able to catch it, getting the attention of a mysterious purple-haired child, who is in awe over the Gunpla. Some distance away, Yuuma is busy working on a AMX-109 Kapool for the next shoot when Mirai takes notice of something nearby - Sekai. To Yuuma's horror, he recognizes him immediately and wonders why he's with another girl and the horror grows worse when he hears Fumina's voice. While Fumina grips as to why Shia and Gyanko are in their swimsuits, her own complaints take a backseat when the trio finds him with the girl. Promptly, the girls flip and Yuuma attempts to escape, only to run into a not-so-happy-to-see-him Minato.
Back at the lodge, the girls and Minato lay into Yuuma for his lies, which he sadly mentions he has no excuse for while Shia and Gyanko accuse Sekai of being a lolicon, which Sekai has no idea what's going on. At the labs, Nils watches as another test starts up. When things starts going red, he recognizes what's going on as what happened eight years ago. The Plavsky Crystal goes berserk and starts growing extra crystals as the young girl from earlier declares that she's found something. The reaction kills the power and Gyanko attempts to take advantage of it, only to be stopped by Fumina. When Yuuma spots something in the distance, he freaks out and Minato teases him. However, they all freak out when they see the objects coming at them. Sekai uses his martial arts to strike them down, left in confusion as they were all Mocks. Fumina's given a quick call to evacuate the island as the artificial crystal that was supposed to be tested has gone out of control. However, they all race off to investigate, finding the Labs covered in crystals. Minato and Yuuma recognize the phenomenon that happened 8 years ago and decide to get in. They're able to break in and set a Battle System to Emergency Mode. When Mirai's friend Satomi questions if she was going to go into battle, a starry-eyed Mirai gives her a Puuchiguy for her to control.

Launching from the platform, the Gunplas dive into the building, finding crystals spreading across the building and battleground portals springing up all over the place. The eight found themselves under attack by a literal army of Gunpla, which they make short work of. They are, then, confronted by the MRX-009 Psyco Gundam and MRX-010 Psyco Gundam Mk-II. The eight work together to strike down the massive Gunpla and make it to the center, where the Scramble Gundam is waiting. Nils attempts to get the gang to retreat as the Scramble Gundam is much stronger than their suits due to it being connected to the experimental system. The Gunpla easily shows its strength by evading and blocking all of their attacks. The Scramble counterattacks by opening three portals, housing the Photon Ring Ray and Diva, Celestial Being and the Colony Laser. The three fire their powerful weapons as the eight pool their resources to block the attack. The blocking is successful, but their suits are heavily damaged. Sekai decides that Try Fighters should use the New Winning Road and the others opt to buy them time. However, to Minato's horror, the Scramble Gundam changes their background to a city... and triggers a Colony Drop! The team performs the maneuver, repairing the Kamiki Burning Gundam and giving it a powerful energy boost that allows them to catch the falling Colony and destroy it. Urging the others to join in, the New Winning Road takes on new levels of energy, summoning a massive Gold God Superior Kaiser. With one punch, the Superior Kaiser defeating the Scramble Gundam and destroying the Plavsky Crystal, ending the crisis.

As everyone celebrates their victory, Fumina asks Yuuma why the suit went on a rampage. He isn't sure, but he and Sekai spot a glowing orb and everyone follows it, where they find the mysterious girl in possession of the Scramble Gundam. Sekai figures out that she wanted her own Gunpla, but isn't sure if she actually caused the reaction. Fumina tells her that she can't have that Gunpla - that she has to build her own to have one of her own. When she admits she doesn't know how, Fumina and Sekai agree to help. As this transpires, Mirai asks Nils not to tell anyone of this. He had no plan on doing so as no one was hurt, but he hopes the others can help spread the joy of Gunpla as his friends did with him so long ago. Happily, the girls help the younger one build her own Petit'gguy and control it. Sekai's amazed at her appetite and Fumina is horrified that she's curious over the Super Fumina. Sadly, it's time for her to go. She thanks everyone for what they've done and bids them farewell by teleporting... which freaks everyone out, thinking her as a ghost.

In a familiar place, the young girl reunites with her mother, who declares that she was off building Gunpla and it was so much fun. Her mother, revealing to be Aila Jyrkiäinen, agrees and tells her that thanks to Gunpla, she was able to meet her dad.
The end card shows the Petit'gguy sitting with a SDV-04 Command Gundam and a GPB-X80 Beginning Gundam.

Opinion

So we finally gotten our "Plavski gone crazy" mega battle thanks to this special, which in the original series was really magnificent to see all the Gundams battle it our on Grips.
The extra long episode, running at around 45 minutes, links to a lot of the first series, but also has for me a sort of Saint Seiya hommage.  When all the gundams combine their power into a single attack, you get the same feeling as when Seiya used the cosmos of his friends to defeat the ubervillain... including "waveing in" faces...
It was a nice thing to watch, being a fun series after all, and this special is full of the same humour, including even the love issues Sekai unwittingly has... or better said, the girls around him ;-)

Rating: 7.5 / 10


Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV

In order to promote the launch of the newest instalment of Final Fantasy, coming the end of november, Square Enix created this anime series.

Containing 5 episodes of around 15 minutes each, it dabs in the backstory of the main character.


Plot (from Wikipedia)

Brotherhood is set on the Earth-like world of Eos, occurring within the events of Final Fantasy XV.
The kingdom of Lucis, keeper of the world's last surviving crystal, has been at war with the technologically-advanced empire of Niflheim, the latter dominating much of the known world.
After many years of war, a peace is agreed between Lucis and Niflheim.

As part of the peace agreements, Noctis Lucis Caelum—son of the reigning king Regis and heir to the Lucian throne—is to marry Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, former princess of Tenebrae and now hostage of Niflheim. Noctis sets off to marry Lunafreya in the company of his loyal companions and friends: Gladiolus Amicitia, Prompto Argentum and Ignis Scientia. On their journey, Niflheim betrays and invades Lucis, stealing the crystal and killing Regis, leaving Noctis to go on a quest to reclaim his throne and defeat Niflheim.

Opinion

This is actually a cool way to get an introduction into the newest sibling of the Final Fantasy franchise.  The short stories tell the "why" Noct is going to his destination, but also focusses on the how he got to meet his friends that are accompanying him, all against the backdrop of a battle with a large demon, the same one that attacked him when he was a child.
The animation is drop dead gorgeous, and the backstories aren`t actually that far sought, as we have his friend from school, one of his guards and his butler as the other heroes.

Rating: 7 / 10