vrijdag 31 mei 2024

Blue Period volume 11 - Tsubasa Yamaguchi

 Time to revisit our favorite manga about art, with the next volume of Blue Period.

And Yaguchi starts to realise he needs an income as TUA is an expensive course.

He reacts to an advertisement, and to his amazement comes out at his high school art teacher, Saeki-sensei, who also runs art courses for children.   He is assigned the group of 3 to 5 year olds for his day, but one of the kids clamps him up in a discussion about Picasso.   This causes him to study more on the artist, and Haru asking about him.  They go together to an open exhibit, where he teaches Yaguchi the points of Picasso's art and cubism.  Learning how expansive Picasso was as such, as he makes a paralel with the anime shows he saw as a kid.

This makes him decide to look at art with his own eyes from now on, instead of guided by opinions, while as a return favor Haru asks him if he can join the teaching job as he is intrested in the art children make.  He joins miss saeki's class as a teacher as a result, and while Yaguchi bonds with the parents mostly, Haru and his braids are a hit with the children.

Yaguchi learns that one of the kids, Miku, is partially colourblind.  Miss Saeki arranges a field trip to the park to teach about colours and how everyone sees the same colour differently.  But when Shoya's mum comes to pick him up, she barely cares about his art that he made, making Yaguchi realise this might be the reason why the kid is unmotivated in class.  As he talks with Shoya outside the class, he finds out he loves to draw mecha and forming a bond Shoya starts to blossom open in artclass.

Saeki tells the children that in april, for the end of the course, they will rent a small gallery to hold an exhibition, with the children able to show off their artpieces.  Haru asks wether Yaguchi wants to consider joining him on a trip to Europe next year in order to visit various special exhibitions.  Back in class, he notices that Sae, a young girl who attends a lot of different extra classes like art, swimming and more might be reaching her limits, as he sees how her art is changing.

In two weeks, Studio Saeki's art class exhibition opens, and the children start the preparations.  During these practice presentations, Sae breaks down and starts crying as she thinks of herself not good enough in anything she does.  Haru goes to visit her and together they make a collaboration piece to giver her a breather, but when her dad, with the best intentions, wants to rip the piece in two to give each a half she quits the art class as well as all her other classes, her parents realising they have been pushing her to hard.

As the exhibition begins, Sae and her dad come to watch and wish Haru the best of luck with his studies, although he believes he isn't made out to be a teacher.  Their part-time job comes to an end, as holidays are over and Yaguchi returns to TUA campus to start his second year...

woensdag 29 mei 2024

Warhammer Underworlds: The Exiled Dead

 Okay, so this is an odd cookie in my painting schedule, as I just painted them up "because I felt like painting them" and no other reason.

Surely, I will actually play them one day, probably in Nemesis with something like Paths of Prophecy coupled, but it's not like that is on the planning anytime soon. 

While I went for a pretty normal colourscheme on the two leaders of the warband, I did do some experimenting for the skins of the zombies.

Using a series of blueish grey's, that I previously tried on the robes of Cyreni's Razors Namarthi thralls, I  wanted to recreate a look of a cold skin, and I must say I think the result is rather okay.

For the coils I went for some blue wiring, making it look from a distance that it is actually power jumping between the antenna instead of a wire running along them.

But they where a fun little project to paint in between, and went rather smoothly and fast, chalking up another warband completed for this year.

You gotta rock bang boom, electric boogaloo.  Turn the voltage higher...

dinsdag 28 mei 2024

Stormbringer issue 16

 Now I don't follow this series of Age of Sigmar magazines, but this cop I picked up from Vinted, costing me 8 euro incl shipping.

The reason being it has the terrain set from Beastgrave in it for Warhammer Underworlds, a box that can be found for around 30 euro these days.

So okay, the issue is in french, but being a Belgian that is no problem to have a read.  

The issue starts with some background in the big beasts roaming in Ghur, and the dangers they bring.  Next up is a short piece of fiction, before taking a look at life in the Mortal Realms.

We then go to the main part of the magazine, based around the scenery pieces that came with it.  How to assemble them, paint guides, but also rules for terrain on the tabletop.  A small scenario using Stormcasts and Kruleboyz is included, which uses the terrain pieces and models that came with earlier issues, including the necessary battlescrolls.

So not a bad issue to be honest, but of course the big allure of these types of magazines come from the goodies included with it after all.

maandag 27 mei 2024

Babylon 5: The Road Home

 Almost 2 decades after the end of this fantastic sci-fi series, JM Straczynski is back with this CGI animated movie.

And it takes place when John Sheridan takes command of the ISA, so before the episode "Sleeping in Light" which ended the story of the beloved space station.

When participating (reluctantly, as he doesn't see himself a politician) in the opening of a revolutionary power station, Sheridan begins to feel unwell.  It turns out the station using tachyons, causing him to become unstuck in time and space as warned by Zathras all those years ago.

He jumps 23 years into the future where he meets Dr Franklin, though he is told it has only been 18.  The reason is because Franklin can't bear to tell John he died 3 years before, as he tests him to prove that Sheridan is out of phase, and that he must go to Epsilon 3 to get a time stabilizer from The Great Machine.  Sheridan then shifts to when he was just appointed CO of Babylon 5, at his parents farm on Earth.  He next travels to Z'ha'dum during the ill-fated expedition of the Icarus, when they awoke the Shadows from hybernation.

He fails to prevent this from happening, as he goes to an alternate timeline where Sinclair is still in command of Babylon 5 during the Shadow War.  The station is under heavy attack (and a nice animated version of Ivanova's alternate timeline distress call from the main series, and how it came to be) and about to fall, as he and Sinclair come up with a plan to destroy the station.  The blast will take out the Shadow fleet as well, buying the fleeing shuttles the time to escape.  He shifts before he can complete the plan, but Lyta and G'kar sacrifice themselves to fullfil the plan.

He shifts to his own timeline, in Lochley's bedroom.  They go down to the surface and meet with (to many according to Sheridan) Zarthras, who tells him all timelines will collapse onto each other if they can't stop what is happening.  Before they manage to stabilize them though, he is shifted back to Earth.  He finds himself at the dying moments of the planet, with Ivanova and Mollari.  The Shadows had won the war, and the Vorlons, being "sour losers" want to destroy every planet influenced by the Shadows, in the case of Earth by pushing the moon onto the planet.  

As Earth is destroyed, John is shifted to The Rim, meeting up with G'Kar who tells him about the will of the universe, and that love is the strongest emotion of all.  He then shifts to a moment on Babylon 5 where his alternate has been in command for 2 years, and the Shadow War never happened.  Zathras arrives, informed by an alternate universe Zathras, but when he starts shifting Zathras tells him Delenn has been chasing him through time all the while.  A portal opens allowing him to join hands with her, and return back to his home and timeline.

So this was a fun "revisiting old friends" movie, even though some of them have of course other voice actors as they passed beyond the Rim in the past years (Franklin, Garibaldi, ...) but a good fun experience never the less of the classic series.

zondag 26 mei 2024

On the Painting Desk 283

 So, as predicted last week, the Exiled Dead already passed the Horns of Hashut in paint works.

Which was a bit to be expected, as I just enjoy painting the Underworlds warbands, because that is like the only game I'm actually playing these days.

Now, with last sunday being a tournament for said Underworlds, my exploits being able to be found HERE, that meant I wasn't painting even though it was crappy raining weather.
And as sort of predicted last week, the Exiled Dead got the attention of the spare time, in that manner that they are... finished, and will be featured in the coming week on the blogpage.

That also means I already undercoated a fresh Underworlds warband, and it will be hammerin' time as the Condemnors enter the fray!

I did some painting though on the Akhelian King as well, so he keeps progressing steadily, as well as a little bit of work on the Horns of Hashut's Shatterers.

But next week, I hope to have started painting something not shown yet... so check back next weekend!

zaterdag 25 mei 2024

The Haul Report 397: Wintermaw, incl tournament loot

Okay, first things first of the loot: the Wintermaw trophy!
Yes, I won last weeks tournament in the GW store in Antwerp.
 Well, things definitely took a turn for the better this week.

My Wintermaw copy arrived, so that means assembling and painting those lovely Skinnerkin as soon as I get round to it!
I obtained mine from a store in Lommel, and with a 20% discount that was a good deal, even with the 3.95 shipping, it only came to 67.95 for the box.

But there is more Wintermaw, as playing in the local Warhammer store event, I obtained some goodies.  
As well as issue 500 of White Dwarf, which in all honesty I only bought for the Underworlds and Warcry rules for Grombrindal, as well as the cards.

But my listing last week took another unexpected turn, as hours after I posted the previous episode of the Haul Report, I received an e-mail that my White Dwarf is being send, so that's way shorter then the prognosed 195 days from the order confirmation huzzaaah!  Though I should have checked the tracker earlier, apparently he was already in the store when I went to play the event doh!

That means I only have Rivals of the Mirrored City in back order, and I hope still that one day I will actually receive that set...

The final piece of loot that came my way is this classic Nightvault deckbox, a cheap find on Vinted.

So, that is a very GW'y amount of loot this week for sure, now to paint some more!

vrijdag 24 mei 2024

The Ark

 So, time for a recent sci-fi series I found on SyFy, about colonists out there in space to save Earth, nothing spectacular new on that front.

Time to sit back then, and see if this series is any good!
When a proximity alert goes off, lieutenant Sharon Garnet is awakened from cryosleep.  Soon discovers a hull breach has taken place, and starts the procedure to awaken the rest of the crew.  However, the deck with the full command staff has been destroyed, and ow she, and lieutenants Lane and Brice the only remaining ranked officers.  In the messhall, they explain the situation and how low ranking department workers now have to step up as heads, while Agnus, an agricultural genius, begins building a bay for growing vegetables as both water and food rations are low, having awakened a year before planned.
Soon though, their inexperience causes the death of some crewmembers, as for example engineer Dades was replaced by a man called Perry, as everyone wanted to be on the Arc to escape the dying Earth.  He is locked away, but later found murdered.  As the crew tries to find out all the things that happened, and what caused the impact damage, they find a strange substance that has eaten through the hull, and almost causes Brice to lose his hand as it eats through his EV suit.  However, there is good news as well as Markovic gets the water recycling unit running after mining a passing comet, even though this causes the engine to shut down.

In order to get going again, they decide to try a slingshot around a nearby sun, and then deploy the solar sails.  This will put them back on track while they work on rebooting the engines, as Strickland, in charge of security, continues his investigation.   This leads to Trent, and he is uncovered as a murderer, but he redeems himself by sacrificing his life for the ship, going into the engine room during a radiation leak.  But he confides something in Lane before he volunteered. 

The water from the comet contains an unknown molecule, causing the crew to halucinate, making it harder for docter Kabir to find a cure.  But as they overcome the issue, they manage to create a device that not only locates the strange substance that caused the damage, but also the uranium32 for their fuel.  They trace a planetoid rife with it, but upon arrival it isn't the exoplanet full of the stuff, but Ark-3 behind it.  Boarding the vessel they only find 2 survivors, one dying shortly afterwards on dr Kabir's operation table from his injuries.  Ark-3 was seemingly attacked by a weapon of the same substance, and when Avi and Agnus reboot Ark-3's camera footage, they discover it was attacked by Ark-15, one of the vessels of Maddox, who bought out William Trust, the original designer of the Ark's.  Trust also caused Klampkins decease on humans though, by releasing chemicals in the atmosphere in a failed effort to save earth, an condition lieutenant Bryce suffers from and explaining his gung-ho behaviour.

Trust and his wife are actually stowed away on Ark-1, known only to Lane, but when Ark-3 goes in lockdown he awakens him to get the access codes and save the people trapped on the other Ark.  Trust explains his plans, and learns from his wife how he came to be on Ark-1 instead of Ark-5 as planned.  Ark-15 however catches up with them, and the lone survivor of Ark-3, Kelly, is actually a crewmember of that vessel.  She was on the other Ark to search for a DNA repository containing various species from Earth, as Avi deducts one of those might be the key to the cure for Klampkins.

Together with doctor Kabir she starts working on a cure, as the rest tries to stall for time with Ark-15 and prevent them from destroying their vessel.  Ark-15, led by Maddox herself, holds several of them hostage, and it turns out Maddox has Klampkins herself.   Bryce is cured from the illness, although he has to have himself bitten by the spiders in order to have the poison, which is the cure, go into his system effectively.  As a rescue mission for the captured crew is undertaken, they realise they now have a strong bartering chip.  They establish an uneasy truce with Maddox, curing her as well and, and agree to share their destination, Proxima B.  Trust develloped a way to have the planet, which doesn't have rotation, to do so, but although he first tries to kill Ark-15, Ark-1 prevents this.

However, starting to rotate the planet causes a disaster, as it's oceans aren't filled with water but liquid methane, igniting the planet side that comes into contact with the sun and causing it to explode.  Ark-1 is gravely damaged, but Ark-15 comes to their aid, as Maddox contacts Garnet saying "she still owed one" and sends their shuttle over with repair crews and supplies.

And so the season ends, with the two Ark's now near a destroyed planet.  While this would have been an open but do-able ending, it has in the meantime been confirmed a second season is in the works, so we can see how this rather enjoyable future will play out further.  
It ain't a classic, but it is definitely worth the watch.

donderdag 23 mei 2024

Warhammer Underworlds Battlereport: the first night of neck-romancing

 So, time to start playing a completely fresh warband and learn the ropes with them!

And for this week's casual gaming night, I opted for the Crimson Court, the awesome looking warband containing 4 vampires!

Now, in the future, I will often be switching between warbands as I want to try and taste them all (no pun intended), and I have some plans build up for both Nemesis and Rivals formats with different bands, but now it's time for the call of the night, as I will be fielding these guys in Ekeren as well should I get to play there as TO.

I expect the warband to play a rather "tanky-spanky" style, compared to my usual all-out aggro manner of playing, so I will have to restrain myself a bit from the all out rushing.

Facing me in the first game of the Crimson Court is Peter and the ill-fated lovers of Zondara's Gravebreakers, a warband I became very wary about after my previous encounter.   

The boards where laid down, and off we went with this duel amongst the dead!

I needed to learn to restrict myself, and I slowly let the Hunger take hold of my fighters as Cracktomb entered my territory to do some digging.

The zombie was quickly taken down by Gorath the Ennias for some early glory and upgrading purposes, only to be raised near Zondara immediatly after.  

The Vampires took a rather wait and see stance in the first turn, resulting in a 3-2 lead for Zondara on the board.

At the beginning of the second turn, Vellas von Faine rushed in, guided by Bloodthirst, and scythed away at Cracktomb and Zondara, but not causing any wounds, only managing to push the zombie away a bit.  But Ennias, also Bloodthirsted and with Vampiric Might, rushed in and with a critical hit resulting in him wounding for 4 damage, he eliminated Zondara from the game.

Allas, in retaliation Vellas was felled by the maddened Ferlain, heartstruck by the loss of his lover.

The result was a 7-4 lead for Zondara after this round, even though it might look okay for the Vampires with one of the two lovers taken out and Ennias now a threat to the werewolf as well to one-shot it if needed.

Peter realizes this, and Ennias is quickly surrounded by his force, but manages to survive as Prince Duvall enters the fray and engages Ferlain... managing to wound him.

Using a power card, Peter withdraws the werewolf to safer areas and upgrade him to 5 wounds, meaning he would be out of my reach to finish off.  If he had remained at 4 wounds, I could gamble on the Inspired Gorath's Vile Transference to get the kill.

But as it stood, it was time to cycle cards while Ennias weathered the storm, Peter forgetting to give an upgrade to do 2 damage as the Armour of Marusi would negate the single wound his zombie would do on the bestial vampire.  I offered afterwards to let it count and give him the win, but he politely declined the offer.  Must be the first time there was negotiating to be allowed to loose I guess.

But as such, the game ended at a 12-11 victory for the Crimson Court in their first outing.

For the second game, Wouter sat down across me, and fielded the Gnarlspirit Pack.  A potent warband that I never faced before, I would be at the receiving end of some brutal aggro, talk about a world upside down.

 The boards where set and I took on the rather far away deployment like in the first game to see what these mystics would bring. 

That predator sure looks scary...

Lupan Longcut made the first charge, wounding Gorath with his spear before Ennias countercharged.  But Crimson Kheira rushed in, finishing my von Carstein spellcaster, definitly a set back.

Prince Duvalle charges her in return, wounding her, before Vellas joined the fray but she misses in this battle of the red-headed ladies.

As a result, a measly 1-2 score is on the board after round 1.

Beginning the second round, Vellas now does take Kheira down, mumbling something about how that savage can even think of looking as good as herself.

Led by Sarrakar Blackwing himself, the Pack starts closing in on the vampires, and as he is now a level 3 wizard his Raptor Bolt starts damaging my neck-romancers.

Prince Duvalle, weakened by such a bolt, falls after a failed attempt to wound the mystic leader, and Gorl Spinehammer is just to much for him to handle.  This leaves only the inspired Vellas and bloodthirsted Ennias to handle the pack.

The round ended with the Court and the Pack both having obtained 5 glory points.

Ennias, again empowered with Vampiric Might, charges Sarrakar, hoping for the crits against all the defence boosts the wizard has to hopefully one shot him, but misses fragrantly, but saves himself against the odds on the return attack.

Vellas in the meantime flees to the other side of the board, boosted to move 6 by an upgrade, as Ennias falls in the end against the savage might, a loss that would cost me dearly, even though it allowed me to score the surge of having all my surviving models in enemy territory.  I cycled through some cards to hopefully score, but fell short barely in the end.

The Gnarlspirit Pack took home a 10-9 victory against the Crimson Court.

Surely, this second game had some what if moments, like Ennias twice failing a chance to one-shot his leader, but it will take some time to get used to their playing style and objectives, as it is a whole lot different from my usual rush-in warbands.

Never the less, one up one down on a new warband first outing is not to bad, now to finetune them a bit in the future and figure out how to Hunger them out faster before taking them to the Into the Under-Ekeren event in all probability.