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Archive for februari 2018

Happy 8th Birthday to this Blog

By : Tomsche69
Well, that has gone fast.  It is already 8 years since I took this little corner of the internet for my own.

And while it has been swinging in flavour from time to time, as it followed my intrests, it has always been fun putting down my thoughts and stuff.

Over this time period, the blog gathered almost 1 million views, not to shabby at all.  With the average blogpost gathering somewhere between 60 to 120 views depending the topic, there have been quite some exceptions to this.

In the top 10 of best scoring posts are 4 LEGO spoiler posts from years ago, followed by 4 convention reports from Salute and Crisis from the 2011 - 2013 era.  The top 10 is rounded out by a Pokemon GO hunt report, and a fairly new entry from last month, the FIW battle report.

Now, I also found that Battle reports on average are the most popular topics to be read, each and everyong easily passing the 500 views if it's historical based, or 300 in the case of Warhammer 40k and the likes.

So thanks a lot everyone for the occasional visit to my page, and now onwards to the decennial birthday!
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Miraj Nikki

By : Tomsche69
Okay, I admit, my girlfriend has good taste...

Long before we became a couple, she was telling me I should watch this series, as it was something really good.  

Now, even though it is outside my "field" of mecha series I usually watch... she was totally right.

This is also the first post I will return to the old format of plot, what I liked or not, and such, like I tended to do a few years ago...

Plot (from Wikipedia)

Yukiteru Amano is a 14-year-old shy, daydreaming loner who observes life and jots down the events on his cell phone. His only friends are Deus Ex Machina, the God of Space and Time, and his assistant Muru Muru. Deus transforms Yukiteru's phone into a Future Diary, capable of predicting the future up to ninety days. Yukiteru discovers he and eleven others are part of a survival game orchestrated by Deus. The aim of this game is to eliminate the other diary holders, the winner succeeding Deus as god and can prevent the Apocalypse. Yukiteru finds himself protected by Yuno Gasai, a charming but psychopathic classmate who obsessively stalks him after they promised to go stargazing together a year before.
Two major players they encounter are terrorist Minene Uryu, who wants to destroy all religion after her parents died in a faith-fuelled war; and Keigo Kurusu, a police officer who wants to end the game. Later, Kurusu betrays Yukiteru and Yuno when he discovers his bed-ridden son is suffering from a terminal illness. He assassinates diary holder Karyuudo Tsukishima and frames Yukiteru and Yuno. Minene turns to detective Masumi Nishijima, exposing Kurusu's crime. In his shame, Kurusu eliminates himself from the game.
John Bacchus, the city's mayor and designer of the Future Diaries, tries to manipulate Yukiteru's debt-ridden father Kurou into stealing his son's diary. Kurou fails, unintentionally murdering his ex-wife Rea, and is then assassinated by Bacchus' men. Yukiteru vows to win the game and resurrect his parents. He and Yuno target the remaining diary holders, Minene, Bacchus, and Kamado Ueshita who runs an orphanage. Meanwhile, Yukiteru's astute friend Aru Akise, and Nishijima investigate the discovery of three corpses in Yuno's house, two being her parents, and the third identified as being Yuno Gasai, bringing her identity into question.
Kamado's diary, which can give others substitute diaries, is connected to a supercomputer, giving everyone in the city Future Diaries as part of Bacchus' plan to help humanity evolve. Yukiteru and Yuno, Minene, Nishijima, and Yukiteru's friends storm Bacchus' headquarters. He seals himself in a bank vault owned by Yuno's parents, her fingerprints the only way to access it. Minene sacrifices herself to destroy the vault but fails, only for Aru to witness Yuno access the vault and kill Bacchus. Wanting answers, Aru confronts Deus who reveals the boy is an artificial human designed to observe the game and keep it in balance, but confirms there is a conspiracy around Yuno.
Yukiteru murders his friends and then Kamado. Aru battles Yuno, destroying her diary but discovers she has a spare. Realising the truth, Aru shows a text to Yukiteru before Yuno decapitates him. As the days to the Apocalypse approach, Yukiteru and Yuno consummate their relationship. However, Yukiteru reveals Aru's suggestion that Yuno originates from another timeline and she immediately turns on him. Muru Muru, the true mastermind behind the game's course, confirms Aru's theory. Yukiteru died and Yuno won the game in another timeline but discovered not even the power of a god could bring back the dead. In her sorrow, Yuno went back in time, creating an alternate timeline, murdering and replacing her other self.
Yuno and Muru Muru go back in time again, creating a third world, pursued by Yukiteru and Minene, kept alive by Deus as a wild card and imbued with a portion of his power. Both parties battle to protect or kill the third world's Yuno and her parents. Yuno, unable to kill Yukiteru, traps him in a dream world where she doesn't exist, and then attacks her alternate self. Yukiteru remembers Yuno, escaping his prison aided by the second world's Muru Muru, and stops Yuno. Though Yukiteru asks Yuno to kill him so she can live, she instead eliminates herself and dies in his arms. Yukiteru becomes god and is dragged to the second world by Muru Muru.
Ten-thousand years later, a mournful Yukiteru has done nothing with his godly powers. However, the interdimensional walls are broken down by the third world Yuno, who possesses the first world's memories courtesy of an atoning Muru Muru. Yukiteru and Yuno reunite as gods of the second world and eternal lovers.


What I liked

* The intesity of the series, coupled to the almost girl-like lovestruck puppy attitude of Gasai.  And the way she can pronounce "Yuki"
* The motivation of the other survival game players and why they entered the game, some nobler then others, but most as part of a traumatized past
* the short Muru Muru clips after the end credits, they are bloody hilarious

What I didn't like

* the second opening and ending themes, weak compared to those from the early parts of the season.
* The alternate timeline Yuno arc, and how Yuki suddenly changes very harsh over a few minutes after the death of his parents to a cold hearted killer and manipulator.

Conclusion

While the ending might feel rushed a bit compared to the build up, this was a truly enjoyable series.  Noshi was right, and I can understand her fandom for it completely, even though it isn`t my genre.

Recommended to watch, mind you you will probably find it under it's english name "Future Diary".
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Black Library sample novel

By : Tomsche69
This little booklet came freely with the White Dwarf last month, and features two short stories and two extracts from excisting novels.

The booklet was included to celebrate the birthday of the Library (I`m old, I remember the first Gaunt novel as it was yesterday) a decade ago.

Featuring two short stories of about 30 pages each, it takes us into the universes of both their gaming settings.

The first, The Dance of Skulls, is set in the Age of Sigmar and features Neferatta who visits a ball.  There she is the target of manipulation and assasination to grab her position in the vampire society.

In the 40k story, an apothecary is on trial for having to choose between the gene-seed of a fallen brother and a young girls life.

Both stories read smoothly, though I must admit the Vampire one was more lavish for my tastes.  But one doesn`t look a gifted horse in the mouth after all...

The Haul Report 122

By : Tomsche69
This weeks episode is once again a modest one, as I only got an essential tool for a new venture of hobbying.

In the local AVA paperware store, I picked up this little "new best friend":

A small sized hot glue gun, for a measly 5 euro, which will serve for small scale work in trying to make my own cosplay costume.

I used it already for the Hyoga belt I made past friday, and you can check out that blog entry here to have a look on how I fared.

I guess the coming week will be just as quiet, but check back to see next weekend...
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Daemon World - Ben Counter

By : Tomsche69
OMG, I did it.  I finished my first book in 2018... after more then 2 months.

And the "honour" falls to this Warhammer 40k novel.

Deep within the twisted hell-storms of the warp lies the daemon world of Torvendis, a planet damned by the dark powers of Chaos.
Savage battle has raged for so long that the very bedrock of the planet is formed from strata of crushed bodies.  The arrival of a mysterious stranger threatens to upset the balance of power currently held by Lady Charybdia, princess of Slaanesh, precipitating a bloody revolution.
But are the stranger's motives as straightforward as they appeaer or do the fickle powers of Chaos have one last trick to play?

Okay, the reason it took so long for this 282 page novel is because it just didn`t grab me.  I normally have a reading speed of around a minute per page, so these sorts of paperbacks take me between 6 to 10 hours of public commuting, and I take a lot of busses in the week.
It just didn`t grab my attention, and I often struggled picking it out of my messenger bag and read a few pages.  Even though it's a Slaanesh-y (sort off) book.

So nope, this wasn`t a great one to start the year with...

On the Painting Desk 35

By : Tomsche69
A fresh week, and another clip of what is currently on the desk awaiting brush strokes.

While a couple units have been completed for the AHPC8, I guess about everything you see now will be more or less the remainder of entries.

This is due to my free time now going to be invested into the cosplay suit I have to complete in the not so far future, so the painting will have to take a little step back for a month or two...

Check back next week to see how far I got...
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Endride

By : Tomsche69
A Japanese multimedia project which consisted of an anime as well as a mobile phone game, the series was said to be inline with series like Sword Art Online and other "into a fantasy world sucked shonen" series.

Numbering 24 episodes, this series was released in 2016, followed shortly after by the game itself.

Shun is a 15 year old who accidentally gets sucked into the world of Endora, which resides in the shell of our own Earth.  Both the surface dwellers as the Endorans are unaware of the other world, and he discovers he can draw a huge sword from his chest, a Warp Relic.
He meets up with Emilio, a prince, who is out to take revenge against his father's killer, and together with a band of fellow adventurers they set out towards this goal.

The series was enjoyable to watch in that it has a beautiful, easy on the eye drawing style and animation, but the story itself is rather so-so to be honest.  While it starts all fun and games, it soon tries to take a heavier tone around the halfway mark, and unfortunatly for me that didn`t feel all to well.

I`d rate it as no wasted time if you want to watch it, but not a necessary must see either...
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Cygnus Belt Buckle: the very first cosplay effort

By : Tomsche69
Okay, stay with me.  While I always had a love for cosplay, Noshi finally pulled me over the edge of actually starting with it...

While my very first effort will be rather limited in scope (Cygnus Hyoga in his civilian clothing with his Pandora box), a few talks with a "handyman" resulted in making an trial effort first.

So I decided to make a belt buckle for the cosplay, the one the Cygnus armour carriers but will look good on the plain black pants of Hyoga.  Add to that that this is actually the very first time in my life I came into contact with both a hot glue gun and EVA foam, so it would be a journey of great discoveries...

The first thing I did was draw out the rough shape of the buckle on the foam, using... a nail.  As I didn`t have a white pencil at hand to mark the lines.

I then cut it out, and used the template to make a second one for the cut outpattern, against again drawn using a nail.


Grabbing my trusty scalpel, this was then cut out so I have the diamond shape going with the patterns to paint in afterwards.


These two halves where then hotglued together onto each other.

Using my dremel, I etched away the dried glue drops, as well as smoothen up the edges a bit.



Testfitting it on an old black belt I had lying around, the diamond is the right size for the buckle.  Okay granted, I`m lucky here, next time I try and compare sizes BEFORE I start cutting and gluing...

Preparing it for painting, I went for a solution of 50/50 PVA glue and water to seal the foam up.

Next, I undercoated it with Vallejo Black acryll paint, and mixed together Vallejo Gun Metal and water for the basecoat of the buckle.

The red areas where then filled in with Vallejo Heavy Red.

The metal was highlighted with Coat D`Arms Mithrill Silver, while the red areas first received a layer of British Scarlet, then Angel Red, both again from Coat D`Arms.

 It was all varnished with Coat d'Arms Gloss Varnish next, to give it an extra shiny, metallic sheen.

Now the only thing I had to do was attach it to the belt's original metal buckle, once again using hot glue.

And voila, my modest first steps in the world of building cosplay gear...

I must say, I am rather satisfied with it.  Surely, the edges could be a bit smoother, and the cutting and etching still is on nooblevel, but I could draw on my wargame skills to do a lot of camouflage painting.

I actually feel a lot more confident now to start our projects with Noshi then I did two days ago, as the whole shabang of watching series, tutorials and all about making cosplay gear is overwhelming as heck.  But I guess like everything, you have to try it first before judging if it`s feasible...

Diamondo Dustooooooooo!!!


Plantijn Moretus Museum visit

By : Tomsche69
Last sunday Noshi and me went out to visit another museum in Antwerp, and this time we went to the Plantin Moretus house on the Vrijdagsmarkt.



The historical house is divided into 34 rooms, each detailing another part of the art of bookbinding and printing, the art Christoffel Plantin made famous.

Christophe Plantin was a french bookbinder and leatherworker from France, who settled in Antwerp in the 16th century.  The city is in it's "Golden Age" by then, and he creates a true market of printing books, being the pionier (not the inventor though) of the field.  Soon, being the smart businessman that he is, he has offices in Frankfurt, Leiden and Paris, but the main house remains in Antwerp.

Over the course of the museum, one also finds various works of his, with hundreds of original books still preserved in the museum.




























Apart from books, the museum also contains various maps and charts that where printed by Plantijn.















In the old print atelier, there are even two original mid-16th century printing machines on display, the oldest surviving ones in the world!












The museum also has various pieces of art from his contemporary friends like Rubens on display.











































Being located in the actual house, this means you can also peak into the various rooms as they where, like the bedroom or the spring garden.





























It`s definitly worth the visit, so if you are ever in Antwerp, like for the Crisis wargame show in november 2018, you can extend your visit to the sunday and pay it a visit, it`s open from 10 till 17 on sundays.






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