zaterdag 31 januari 2015

Koken Eten: Lihapullat

Or as I tend to call this, Hutseknutsebutse...

Lihatpullat is basically a finnish meatbal, think Ikea balls but then finnish, with a whipped cream instead of a red berry saucy thingy.

Now, I actually made this past thursday, because I could do the preparations during the day, and as the Smurf has soccer practice after school, could finish it after his training.

Now, the biggest difference between a regular meatball and this recipy is that instead of mixing chapelure under the minced meat, you go for a piece of white bread that has been soaking for a few minutes in fresh, unwhipped cream.

Mix the meat, an egg, the cream, the bread, some pepper and salt and an onion all together in a huge mixing bowl.

Roll large balls from it, and those you bake lightly in pan.  Saving the baking juice that comes off, and put the balls in the oven, about half an hour at around 150 to 180 degrees...

For the sauce, use the remainder of the cream where the bread had been soakin in together with the baking fluid, and knock it together.

I served it with a baked potatoe, as for the purpose of easiness with the training I could cook them already in the afternoon and have them rest and dry out before putting them in the pan.

Easy peasy little dish...

Labour Rating: 2 - It`s easy, it takes a bit of time but this can be divided over the whole day.

GF Appreciation Rating: 8 - no problems here

Smurf Appreciation Rating: 9.5 - I was actually a bit nervous, as the little guy is someone who barely likes anything to eat.  But this was a winner.

The Plan episode 50

Perhaps the headliner this week is that I grabbed some s13 bags, and had a few characters to add to my collection as such: The Evil Wizard, Classic King and Goblin are now part of my collection.

Now, all in all, it was another calm week in playtime, meaning I didn`t get that much to Legendary status at all.

In fact, the only minifigure that has achieved this status for now is the Constable.  Yes, I know, a low ratio but a character is a character, and now I have 3 fresh ones to rake in some additional achievement points during the coming week.

My goal for the next days is another modest one, trying to get the `basic` achievements sorted with the newest additions, and HOPEFULLY that will also be enough to get one or two of the minifigures to their Legendary status, though that is something I can`t promise.

I`m namely trying to get at least all of Series 9 already to `pre Lost Creations achievements completion, before thundering in there again to get some more points on the list completed...

A hard and grinding job for sure, but I`m going to be completing my figures the coming week as well for series 12 as I`m going to sort through the loose flyers I have for them, so that should yield at least a lot of new characters for the coming weeks!

See you all then!

vrijdag 30 januari 2015

Work-in-Progress: Weathertop part 1

The die is cast and the choice has been made, after Lake Town, the next display I`m going to attempt to build will be Weathertop.

Standing on a smaller baseplate as this is the only set in the `location` for the Tolkien range, the baseplate has been build up now.

The general idea is to recreate the clifftop on which the ancient ruined tower stands, as seen her by the movie still.

Next time, I`m going to try and figure out a way to connect the rounded walls on plated bases to be able to build the cliff beneath it, but the key words for me in BrickLink searches the coming weeks and months will be `light grey` and `slope` I fear, as I estimate this all rather part intensive, and still have to figure out exactly how high I`m going to try and make the cliff...

donderdag 29 januari 2015

Building the Comanche Camp

Okay, let`s face it, this little build is now paling with the Marvel Helicarrier official announcement an hour ago, and which drove me in a religious frenzy.  Okay, it`ll be costing me 350 EUR, but I`m a Magic player, I have a `few` binders of good stuff I break open every so often when I want something big (Black Pearl, Orthanc...) and for those that might know what I talk about, if anything REALLY big ever comes out (and we`re talking 4 digit prices) I have been playing that game (and keeping my rares) since day 1.  Or should that be day "9"...

But that is not relevant to today`s build, the 79107 Comache Camp, one of the sets from the The Lone Ranger ermmm range.

Just like Prince of Persia, the movie was, well let`s be polite, not that great.  And just like with the Prince of Persia range, this reflects on the Lego sets as they quickly tumbled in price and found their way to clearances and such.  Completely undeserved, both the Lone Ranger and Prince of Persia are actually a great range with excellent sets in it!

This set, one of the smaller in the range, hasn`t received that much love it seems here in Belgium, as I managed to pick up no less then 5 copies of it a few months ago for less then 10 euros a piece... and with some negotiating tactics, they even gave me some more discount on top of that to clear shelf space (okay, I had a lot of old Dino sets with me as well, but in the end, each of these 5 came down to 7.88 euros a set...)

The set itself contains two polybags of pieces, the booklet, two base plates and two plastic tent sails to create the tipi with.

Minifigure wise, we get The Lone Ranger and his sidekick Tonto (I just love that crow on the headpiece), as well as Red Knee, another great Indian minifig.

And a canoe.

The first build we do is a small weapons rack to go alongside the tipi.  Nothing spectacular or challenging here though.

Up next is the tent itself.  This starts with mirroring a build on the two small base plates.

Notice the excellent colour selection this set has, even those alone are worth every penny I paid for it.

Once both halves are done, they are connected using technic pins, and a campfire is added in the centre.

We then build the large poles around which the tent sail will be put.

Adding the sails, remember to `open` one side for the entrance.

The other part of the build is a large rocky formation with traps, which includes a pit full of scorpions.  Apart from the excellent colour selection, this set also contains a heap of small animals (scorpions, a fish, the crow from Tonto...) which are always usuable in a MoC somewhere.

The launcher is the first level of the rocks build.

This is then enclosed and the critters are put inside, ready to be tossed out of the pit if you push the handle.

The full set put together

And the additional pieces:

If you can grab this set in serious discounts, don`t hesitate for a moment, it comes full of very handy pieces in `the good colours` for most MoC landscaping, it has nice minifigures, and even by it`s own is a sweet little set to put on a shelf for display, a real top set from a real not so top movie!

Avengers Helicarrier

She has been revealed, perhaps one of the most anticipated Lego sets of the past years... and the one I have actually quit smoking for to make a lot more brick budget available (but that is for a later post, it`s only day 2 so far but no problems at all).

The mighty Helicarrier, ever since it was easter egged in the Ideas logo when the Birds set came out...

And it is a beast indeed.  Expected to cost 350 USD (should be about 300 euros), it comes with 5 minifigs (Fury, Hill, Hawkeye, Widow and Cap), but also a lot of Microfigures (those small ones often used as oscars and such)... in colours, and with faces!!!

As soon as this set goes `live` for the VIP members early access, I`m ordering!

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis review

The first 2015 release movie I`ve watched this year, this is the newest animation movie from the DC comics stables.

Detailing the origins of Aquaman, I found it actually better then a heap of superhero movies from the past, and of course Green Lantern rules all ;-)

His swagger, his humour... he even sounds like Captain Mal from Firefly!

Oh wait ;-)


When a submarine of the US Navy gets captured in the oceans after an attack by unknown `people ` and the whole crew massacred, the Justice league member Cyborg responds to investigate the cause of the mysterious attack, but he is attacked himself though he gets away.

Meanwhile in Athens, Supermand and Wonder Woman are enjoying the view, finding life as heroes rather lonesome.  In a bar, a strange guy is talking to a lobster in an aquarium.  When another patron wants the beast for dinner, a huge bar fight ensues as he saves the beast and returns it to the ocean.

After the attack, Cyborg contacts the other members of the League, which in his opinion doesn`t really exist to begin with.  Only Sha-Zam and The Flash answer his call...  and the latter get`s Hal on board as well.  Sha-zam and Cyborg go to collect Clark and Diana, who are enjoying a dinner, while Green Lantern tries to get `the bat`.  He solves a car chase Batman was conducting... and ruins the investigation`s bigger picture that way by his show off attitude.

They find out it are warriors from Atlantis, a mythical people of a fabled land long gone.  In Atlantis, it`s revealed that the ruling queen hopes that Arthur Curry, the odd guy from the bar earlier, returns to his people and take up the mantle of leadership, as he is the son of the Atlantean queen and a human lighthouse watcher.  But it is Black Manta actually pulling the strings behind the curtains, manipulating the prince Orm and all to unleash war upon the surface.

He plays out both sides against each other, and Arthur is about to be overcome when royal bodyguard Mira intervenes.  Queen Atlantea knows Black Manta and prince Orm placed the coup, but is killed by her son when she is about to reveal this.  Arthur, Mira, Green Lantern, Cyborg, Superman and Wonder Woman arrive in Atlantis, they find the deceased queen and Atlantis is preparing for war.  Orm meets them and confesses to killing her, before overcoming them all and tossing them into The Dark Trench.  Arthur breaks free, and together with Superman overcomes the monsters down there.

Orm sends a massive tidal wave onto Metropolis to cover the advance of his army and starts his assault on land.  The League moves in defence though, and as Aquaman faces of Black Manta, he defeats them Jaws style...  Orm using the Atlantean trident manages to hold them at bay, until only Aquaman and Batman are still standing, but as Aquaman is about to be defeated by his half brother, Batman reveals the truth of the confession who abandon the war and their prince, and taking on Aquaman as their rightful ruler.


A highly enjoyable animated movie, and of course the timing is `just that` to get the general public into the Aquaman mythos as they have to start building a hype around him for his solo movie in two years.

It did take a few moments of watching after all the anime I look at before i got `re-used to` the western drawing style, but the characters are well done as you see them in the comics, Hal being his cocky self for one (even fighting by creating a huge vacuum cleaning mech).  The one oddity though is when the never known Atlanteans attack Metropolis, the army general immediatly knows who their leader is... by name even.

All in all though, Aquaman remains an often ridiculed hero, and to be honest, I`m more in the Namor the Sub-mariner camp myself as well...

woensdag 28 januari 2015

300: Rise of an Empire review

I admit, I never liked the original 300 movie.  I`m just not a fan of the cinematic style of the movie or the over the top scenes this produces.

The movie as we know ended with the fall of the Spartans and the united Greece army standing ready to face the persians, but this movie isn`t really a sequel in the manner of the timescale.

It actually plays partly together witht he first one, as the fall of Leonidas and his men happens somewhere halfway during the story in this movie.

Themostecles is the hero of the battle of Marathon 10 years ago, and now a council member in Athens when he needs to mount a defence against the persian horde.  Back then, he had killed the mighty persian king Darius, but he curses himself not to have killed the son as well, Xerxes.  Manipulated by the greek born admiral of his father`s mighty navy, Artemsia, he embraces dark powers and becomes the monstrous man now commanding the persian forces, in order to defeat and destroy all of Greece.


As the democratic states argue what to do as the 1 million strong army marches on their borders, Themostecles tries to unite them to the fight, and seeks the help of Sparta.  They refuse, choosing to make their own destiny however (aka, the first movie), so Sparta won`t be lending it`s ships to the fleet he is building.  Only 50 small ships as such engage the huge persian fleet, but they manage to overcome this first wave by ramming their midsections, and as such sink them. 
The second persian wave sails in, and the Athenians retreat into the fog, luring the ships of the enemy to crash on the rocky coastline, Themostecles taking down the present persian commander in personal combat.

Artemsia sends an envoy to Themostecles and he accepts.  She wants to seduce him into joining her, but after some fierce nookie he refuses (he, who would resist Eva Green, she looks ravishing in this movie). 

The next day she floods the waters with tar and uses suicide burners to set the sea on fire and destroying a lot of Athenian vessels.  Returning to the senate, he learns the Spartans have just been defeated and Leonidas`s sword has been returned as proof of this.  But Themostecles manages to use this token as a way to unite the states and gather a fleet near Salamis.

As Xerxes ravages Athens, word reaches him of this event and the persians go to the all out attack so they can take down another hero of Greece.  As the full might of the Persian navy faces the far smaller Athenian one, Themostecles plans on reaching Artemsia and kill her in order to break the chain of command of the enemy.  She answers the challenge and they face off, injuring each other... but right at the moment Artemsia is about to be victorious, the united greek navy arrives.  At the front war shouts go up as the sails unfurl and show the red triangle, SPARTA HAS COME and is out for blood!

Artemsia chooses death over surrender and falls to Themostecles, but lives just long enough to see the "wind of vengeance" from Sparta tear their foes apart, led by Queen Gorgo, the widow of Leonidas...


Oddly enough, I actually liked this movie better then the original.  It is still not my style at all, but the naval aspect, for me, made it more enjoyable to watch.