zondag 28 mei 2017

SAGA Irish Warband starter box painted

The first painting "goal" of the new start has been achieved, as I finished my SAGA starter Irish box yesterday.

This set, by Gripping Beast, grants you 25 models, and good for 4 points in the SAGA gamesystem, though of course I`ll be using them in a variety of game systems, as they are just that, dark age era Irish.

Now, said Fianna where once again painted in mostly mudded and earthly colours, but with some blues and such tossed in infrequently to better represent their higher status.

And that completes the full warband now, and they stand ready to march to war:

Now, the intricate weakness of the Irish is their general lack of armour, and in SAGA that makes them VERY vulnerable to enemy missile fire.  If you play in tournaments or tournament set up style tables, cover will be very limited and huge open spaces are probably predominant, so that is NOT a good position to be in.

To that end, I`ll be expanding the warband with it's two final points (6 seems to be the playing standard) with numbers over quality.  An additional unit of Bonnacht's and one of Kern's are on the shopping list now, giving me not only 20 additional figures, but some limited counter ranged attacks as well.

Worst case, they have to become "shields" then to get the better quality units into contact, though my main battle plan will probably revolve around trying to get the wardogs into enemy missile fire troops to disturb them...

I'll make sure to tell about the trashing defeats in the future!

Build Report: 30116 Rapunzel's Market Visit

In today's build report, I'm tackling a 2014 polybag from the Disney Princesses series.

This was a promotional set back then that you received if you spend 30 euro or something at "mini-doll" ranges (Friends, Princesses as Elves and DC didn`t exist yet).

The polybag, which contains one figure with the titular character, also contains the the instruction leaflet and about 30 pieces to make the stall.

The Rapunzel doll is nicely executed, and it wasn`t long before her long blond braid hair piece was used in a moc ;-)

The stall begins life as a 2x4 tan plate, to which a connector piece is added to become the towing hook.

As the wheel axles are attached, we place a brown plate on it to make it's "bottom", with bricks and curved pieces for the side.

Merchandise is then placed on this surface.

The sunscreen is then build using a mixture of blue and pink, and raised on pillars on the cart.

Some additional pieces came in this polybag as well.

Adding the wheels, the little set is then completed:

It`s a cute little polybag, and one of the better promotions in my eyes from the last years for sure.

Haul Report 83

Hello everyone to another weekly oversight of stuff I obtained for the hobby.

And other relevant geeky thingies ;-)

The first thing I picked up this week was a bit of light reading, in that I grabbed the may / june issue of Wargames Soldiers and Strategy, on which I gave my 2 cents worth of opinion a few days ago on this blog.

A fun little thing was picked up by my mum at a garage sale, with some little pots from The Hobbit, and this for an absolute superb price of... FREE.  Free stuff is always cool.

Wayland Games delivered my first part of an order with them, in the form of a box of skirmishing ACW infantry, but the bases are still on back order unfortunalty. 

And that's about it for this week, a small and modest haul, but I can say already that this hobby is actually way cheaper then LEGO ;-).

Less "must have" buying pressure I think hehehehe...

zaterdag 27 mei 2017

SAGA Bonnachts

As I was watching a heap of movies while painting earlier this week (huzzah for multi-tasking), that means of course I got a couple of figures finished.

The first of the two remaining units I finsihed from my SAGA starter was the Bonnachts, or "regular warriors" for the force.

This unit numbers 8 warriors, primarily armed with javelins and I went for rather simple shield designs, keeping most of the more decorated shields for the Fianna. 

The occasional hand weapon was added in the mix for some variety, but the biggest difference with the hearthguard is the total lack of armour on these blokes, as the Irish had poor access to this.

Next up is the last unit of Fianna, who I just need to base and varnish, and the starterbox will be completed, making it just a case of thinking on how to expand the warband to the 6 point "battle ready" level.

Which, knowing me, will be more in the direction of Zhukov's famous "quantity is a quality in itself" and foregoing the more elite and flashy units like the heroes and all. 

Those will be for the general Dark Ages expansioning afterwards...

Doctor Strange

Another "victim" of my lazy thursday movie marathon this week, the Marvel Universe has entered the magical dimension.

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, who really "feels" like Sorcerer Supreme Steven Strange, this is an origins movie and an dimensional introduction movie in one.

Following an accident that ruins his hands, top surgeon Steven Strange becomes depressed and tries to find ways to regain his skills.  When he learns of a paralyzed man that can walk again, he travels to Kamar-Taj and under the wings of Mordo and the Ancient One he learns the ways of... magic.

He learns faster then most sorcerers ever had due to his photographic memory, and he learns about the Dark Dimension.  He rushes to the defence of the London sanctum, holding of Kaecilius, a servant of the dark demom Dormammu.  Later on, Hong Kong becomes under attack and while it seems the heroes are outclassed, the creation of an infinite time loop, resulting in Strange being killed over and over again, forces Dormammu to strike a bargain with him in order to escape the loop.

This was a visually very impressive movie, think DiCaprio's Inception style of things going on.  Cumberbatch puts down a true Strange, and his comic vibe is very present but... of the heroes selected by the MCU, you now have TWO very arrogant, ego-tripping rich guys running around, in both Strange and Stark.  Which gives it a bit of a feel of "that thing again", compared to for example the Netflix "poorer background" heroes like Luke Cage.

But never the less, it was a very intresting movie and I for one will be happy to see Strange again in Thor: Ragnarok.

Recon: Secrets of the Sea - USS Monitor and CSS Hunley

This two part documentary, which can be seen for free online on channels like YouTube, is investigating the fate and recovery of two iconic ACW ships that changed the way of naval warfare.

You can take a look at the documentary HERE for example.

Both ships where "firsts" in their own way, even though they never faced each other, and both went to an unglorious end as they sank following watery conditions instead of being defeated in battle.  CSS Hunley was the first submarine vessel that made an armed attack on another vessel, and it's firing mechanism still hasn`t been unravelled with 100% certainty.

USS Monitor on the other hand was the first full ironbuild warship, which didn`t have any additional sails anymore and which changed the looks of sailing ships, both wooden or ironclads, to a thing of the past.

The documentary, which details both ships in both parts, follows not only their development and how they functioned, but also looks at the efforts that where made to finally rediscover and salvage their respective wrecks.

Hop over and you can enjoy this little masterpiece on ACW inventiveness.

vrijdag 26 mei 2017

Dead West

Yesterday was a holiday, so time for some lazy movie watching and figure painting.  And what better to start with then a good western.

I mean, look at that cover, that promises to be a nice tale of modern day gunslinging!

Well... except it wasn`t.

This is a road trip of a serial killer that seduces women left and right, then kills them if they don`t live up to his standards of being girlfriend material.  But when the brother of one of his victims sets out for revenge, this becomes a chase with a lot more bodies in it`s wake.

Now the funny thing is, this was a movie I had no expectations about except for it (wrongly) being "something with cowboys", yet it turned out to be one of those hidden gems.  For the almost two hour run of the film, I was following the screen intensively, so not much got painted in those hours, BUT...

Yes there is a but.  The movie "climaxes" around the 1hr15 mark, and the remainder of the time feels, well, "different" from the earlier part as it takes a strong turn and loses momentum.  This made it a bit of a pity, as what was turning out to be a great movie, makes it just a "rather good one" due to this in the end...

Still, it`s definitly worth watching!

donderdag 25 mei 2017

CSS Alabama vs USS Kearsarge Cherbourg 1864 - Mark Lardas

Part of the Osprey "Duel" line of books, this details not only the titular duel, but ALL duels between Confederate raiders and Union hunters.

Well, all 3 engagements that is, in which a total of 5 ships over the whole WAR have been involved.

From the back cover:

During the American Civil War the Confederacy's commerce raiders sought to weaken the United States by driving US merchant shipping from the seas.  The pinnacle of commerce raider designs, CSS Alabama, enjoyed considerable success in this endeavour, capturing some 60 merchant vessels.  One of the US Navy's most advanced warships, the cruiser USS Kearsarge, spent most of the war hunting these Confederate raiders, culminating in an epic clash with Alabama off the coast of France in June 1864.
This book presents the complete story and development of the Confederacy's commerce raiding force and the ships the Union sent against them, covering three dramatic warship duels: CSS Alabama vs USS Hatteras, CSS Alabama vs USS Kearsarge, and CSS Florida vs USS Wachusett.

The book itself is nicely illustrated and has a real trove of ancient maritime pictures, both from the pre-war up to the post war era (even Antwerp's cathedral is pictured!) as it goes through the whole history of the types of ships.
From how they both had fleets of unsuitable paddlesteamers to the faster raiders and ironclad cruisers, and how that affected not only the size of the vessels, but also how it shifted the balance of power in duels between the older and newer designs.

A nice and informative read of a not often spoken part of the ACW.

woensdag 24 mei 2017

Build Report: 75091 Flash Speeder

It`s been a while as I did one of these, but I`m going to try and work away all stored build reports before the end of the year (and I had weekly material for that until 2019...) before tossing them off my hard drive.

Starting this avalanche of build reports, we have the Star Wars Flash Speeder set, based on the "prequel trilogy" Naboo vehicle.

Opening the box we get three bags of parts, a small sticker sheet, and the instruction manual.

The first figures we get are the two Battle Droids.

The speeder begins on a 4x6 black plate, to which greens are added, the predominant colour of the small anti-grav transport.

Large Technic bricks make up the sides, using short pins to add the rounded edges.

The bottom plate is added to underneath these bricks.

The "core" of the vehicle is then filled to give it the required height and build base where needed.

The front end plate of the vehicle is then assembled.

We start building up the central part of the vehicle, where the seatings for the figures will be placed afterwards.

The rounded front side is then added as well to the speeder, again using snot techniques.

Trans clear horseshoes go on the bottom, and secure the plates.

Adding the windscreen, the hubcap area of the speeder is then given form.

We get three more figures in this set, this time for the good guys, with Tanaka probably being the most intresting of the whole set.

A bit more detailing at the front.

Next up is the raised area at the back, where the gun platform will be placed.

The passenger seating is installed in front of this.

 The back spoiler / wings are then build and installed on the, well, back of the speeder, and covers the antigrav engine.

Curved slopes are used to make for a smooth transition between this spoiler and the back of the passenger seats.

The sides of the vehicle are also build using snot, and the large green curved slopes give a nice and smooth look to it.  A point of note, during playtesting (aka, the swoosh test) these tended to come loose though, as the front ends of it aren`t that well secured compared to the back ends.

The big guns are then being build up, which holds a long bar shooter at it`s center.

These go on either side of the back wings.

A flick missile blaster is then installed at the center of the back area, representing the large blaster that fires at the hangar during the Phantom Menace finale.

And the vehicle is then completely done.

We had a few additional parts in this set as usual:

And the full set completed:

The pro of this set is that I love it's green colour.  But the big drawback for me was the sidepods, not to strong when handled by childish hands during play...