zondag 4 december 2016

The Haul Report # 58

Well, it's been a rather good week in new aquirements, though I`m trying to cut back the coming weeks though.

Yeah, I know, I said that a lot already, but I really am going to need to focus on building a lot of moc's for 2017 and the Middle Earth project, so bar the Dimensions, I`m trying to keep aim.

The first big aquirement was this huge bag of loose elements, which could be seen in a small haul video earlier as well.  After splitting and sorting, 75% of the lot is usefull for my building, while the other 25 will be hopefully compensating the purchase price.

It even only had a minor stack of rubbish in it...

From Facebook, I acquired some additional Star Wars clone troopers, who are going into my exchange pile to get some more Tolkien figures in the future.

Talking Tolkien, Samwise, Merry and Pippin fell in the mailbox this week.  I also got some custom dark grey cloaks for them from a UK based BL store, and you can`t see or feel the difference.  Great find, as they cost about a third of an official cloak.

I went to fill a small pot of elements from the PAB wall as well this week, as it included the 1x1 round tiles in light grey, but it seems someone bought it all out, and they didn`t restock yet.  So in the end I only got about 120 of them, and filled the small pot with over 1000 black 1x1 round plates instead then.

Through eBay I also got this little lot for peanuts.

The final haul was the arrival of my second part of Black Friday amazon purchases, with 3 Nexo sets for trading.  At 9 euro a set, this was a nice bargain!

And that`s it for this week, see you all again in seven days for any new finds and additions :-)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Yesterday, we finally went to the theatre to watch the newest instalment in the Potterverse (it was a kid / school thing it took a while), and I must say I really adored the film.

You see, this is all about the magical world without a bunch of kids hitting puberty running around...

The story is set in New York during the middle of the 1920s, a time when wizards where doing their best overthere to remain hidden, the wizarding world is being terrorised by Grindlewald, and as Newt Scamander, the main hero, states that the americans have idiotic laws in place.

Newt has travelled to the States with his suitcase full of mythical creatures, as he has a true zoo inside it, and wants to bring "Frank" home to Arizona.  However, an accidental meeting with Jacob, a No-Maj (Muggle) sets in motion a series of events and he has to recover some of his beasts.  Like the escaped, adorable Niffler... who wouldn`t want one of those.

In the mean time, the Second Salemners, who are claiming wizards live amongst them, are trying to weed out the wizard community and expose them, while an auror named Mr Graves (a fantastic performance by Colin Farell) tries to keep it all in check and bring Newt in for disturbing the balance.

What follows is a 2hr13 rollercoaster of great visual effects, a nice storyline and just a great family time in the theatre.  This film is going to be part of a new trilogy, and I must say I actually look forward to the next instalment!

Rating: 8.5 / 10

zaterdag 3 december 2016

Classic Lego Build: 6604 Formula 1 Racer

With the shocking news that the world champion quits the sport yesterday, it is only fitting to build a small Formula One car today in the build report.

Set 6604 dates from 1985 and counts less then 30 pieces, but it does carry the number 1 at the front, so in a way it was fitting.

The driver is a simple minifigure sporting the old style helmet without the reinforced chinstrap.

Based on the old "levelled" car base, the steering wheel is added at the front while the black cones will serve as basis for the rear wing.

The printed number 1 slope is added at the front of the car, while slopes are added as sidepods and a wedge piece becomes the backwing.

Engine exhausts are placed under this rear wing, while the wheels go underneath completing the vehicle.

And the full set completed:

While this isn`t something super spectacular, this is a build I played a lot with as a child, as F1 has always been a sport this "tifosi" has been wild about.  And back then, you didn`t have the Ferrari sets yet after all ;-)

vrijdag 2 december 2016

Piraten - Michael Crichton

Called Pirate Latitudes in english, this is the posthumously published book for author Michael Crichton (Jurassic World, 13th Warrior,...).

The manuscript was discovered by his assistant when they where cleaning his office, and the book was good to be published, which was duly done then.

It details the adventures of the fictious captain Charles Hunter, a buccaneer for the english in the Carribean of the 17th century.  He has formed a plan to steal a silvergaleon from the heavily defended fortress harbor of Manteceros, together with his band of companions. 
The plan involves a daring climb of the mountain bordering the fort, and the "invention" of grenades to cause mayhem.  While it all falls into place, the plan isn`t without risks and detours, including the betrayal by one of his closest allies.

I wasn`t to wild of the book to be honest.  While it does keep in touch really well with the historical setting, the book is trying to do to much in the 300 pages.  His nemesis for example had been killed around halfway, so why did they try to introduce him as a real danger. 
The same goes that we have sea battles , a capture, the actual heist of the ship, a hurricane, an attack by cannibalistic tribesmen, a daring prison escape,  a vengeance action AND even a Kraken attack all in one paperback.  To much is just to much, and this goes at the price of his "trusted companions" who are glorified extras at best.  The book suffers from a "Hunter saves all" syndrome just to much.
No, I definitly have read better Pirate setting books for sure.

Rating: 4 / 10

woensdag 30 november 2016

The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun - J.R.R. Tolkien

First published in 1945, this book has been made available again to the public after 61 years, and of course I ran to my local bookstore (Standaard Boekhandel here in Mortsel, as it's ran by a fellow BeLUG member) to reserve my copy.

So when it arrived a few weeks ago, I sat down and thoroughly enjoyed this work by Tolkien, which has nothing to do with Middle Earth... or does it.

The Lay is a poem with 508 lines, and was written during the time Tolkien delved into the Breton mythology.  It is based in Brittany (France), and the Aotrou and Itroun aren`t names, but titles (Lord and Lady) in the language back then.  It deals about a childless couple, where the Lord strikes a deal with a Corrigan (witch / faerie) to get children.

While they do receive two children because of this, it comes at the ultimate price for the parents.  The book also includes two shorter poems, Corrigan I and Corrigan II, and for all the stories the necessary notes and remarks are included, both on the terms used as from where the tales originate.

It ties in with his Middle Earth masterwork in how the forest of Bereliand came about, and how he envisaged all forests to be places of myth and magic.

Mind you, this isn`t "light reading" but a nice work none the less!

Classic Lego Build: 6612 Fire Chief's Car

Another one of those small 80s boxed sets that would appear nowadays as a polybag, 6612 Fire Chief's Car is a small little vehicle from a big subtheme.

Numbering a measly 25 pieces, this isn`t something truly spectacular, but it comes with a nice little figure in the form of said Fire Chief.

The build itself is a pretty basic affair.  The chassis is a combination of some small plates to form the base.

Red plates are used to build up the sides of the vehicle.

A tile with the fireman symbol is added as the engine cover, and the seat is put in the driver area.

All that has to be done then is adding the wheels, and we`re done:

Nothing to fancy as I said, and honestly not much of a looker either.  Not everything that is vintage is great looking after all, and Lego has since released far prettier fireman cars.

dinsdag 29 november 2016

Classic Lego Build: 6624 Delivery Van

Every City builder, no, every AFOL should have a copy of this set.  

Why?  Because we all get nervous when we get a delivery note when our orders arrive and it`s already 3 minutes past that estimation of course!

So what better then to "toot toot" this little 1983 delivery van over our desk, until the liberating sound of the doorbell appears?

This little set, containing about 35 pieces and a minifigure of a delivery guy, isn`t the hardest of builds, and easily available on BrickLink and the likes.  The figure is really basic, without any printing on it`s torso.

The van itself starts on the old black chassis parts, and a raised mudcap piece goes at the front.

Installing the steering wheel, we start adding the red of the van itself.

The windscreen is added, and the cargo space is made up of stickered panels.

Hinge plates are used for both the roof, as the backdoor of the little van.

All we have to do is add the wheels and some details, and this little car is ready!

Well, like I said, even if City isn`t your theme, this is just a MUST HAVE for any AFOL who is honest with himself ;-)