Saturday, 24 October 2015

FF #16 Seas of Blood

Haha! I'm really nervous now. How long has it been since I started writing these reviews??

Well, after what seems like forever (how long is that, actually?...) With far too much I have to do and not enough time for what I'd rather be doing... er,  I have managed to re read Seas of Blood =) 

So here you go then; (and I'm going to refrain from any stereotypical piratical outbursts during this review... Land lubber!)

#16 Seas of Blood

The city of Tak is the greatest den of thieves, pirates and cut-throats that the civilized world has ever seen!

In this city of scum, there are two pirates infamous for their ruthless greed, their daring raids and their countless skirmishes with death. One of these villains is Abdul the Butcher. The other is YOU. Only one of you can be King of the Pirates. A wager is laid, a race is on. But which of you will win?

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need for this rip-roaring adventure. YOU decide which course to sail, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.

Pirates are cool.
Even Johnny Depp managed to be semi cool when he played one (not anywhere near as cool as Geoffrey Rush was though) And yes, this book allows you to be that cool, badass Pirate Captain you always (maybe) dreamed of being.

Love it. Pirates and monsters and magic and no babes and adventure. I played the shit out of this book as a pimpled youth and enjoyed it just as much as a pimpled adult. I still have my original copy...

How did I get my curtains to hang horizontally? 
Well, that's the magic of computers that is...

The idea is awesome. You basically sail the Inland sea in search of treasure and babes (but usually only finding treasure) to fill the hold of your ship and win the contest with Abdul to become the King of Pirates.
 Being a cut-throat badass with a boat full of naughty pirate scum, you can go for broke and act with surprising impunity, honestly, I didn't remember how violent this one was!
Nothing is sacred to the thirsty pirate, I sacked towns, burnt a monastery, started a fatal brawl in a tavern after cheating at dice, stole shit, chopped people up and sank their ships, drew a dirty penis on a wall and raped an Elf-chicken... unbelievable. I was about 7 when I read this for the first time. And people wonder whyI turned out like this...

This one is Andrew Chapman's work again, the last book he wrote for FF I think? I did a bit of interwebs detective work (because we can do that now, back in the old days you just had to remember stuff) and the few reviews I found treated it a bit harshly, I thought.

But you know what it is? It's the same problem that 'Rings of Kether' had. It's the whole 'two separate story lines that somehow come together and make a cohesive tale' problem.

Ok, I'll try to explain. On the first play through everything was pretty normal - leave Tak, raid caravan, sink ships, sack town, take slaves and sell them yada yada.
The second time through however things got weird quick.
 After doing some of the aforementioned normal pirate shit I decided to take a bit of a swim and found a sunken vessel. Sounds normal, right? So I starts poking around and find myself beseeched by a group of creatures calling themselves The Sea Sprites - Guardian keepers of the Salt Skull... OK.
So I have to help the sprites out by going deep down under the ship and battling a Krell who has stolen a priceless artifact of immense power and importance that separates salt water from fresh water (the skull)
Turns out the Krell can talk too; but it doesn't matter cause I stick him and recover the skull, which I then good natured-ly return to the sprites who bless my floating syphilitic eyesore and send me on my way.

 'Hahahaa, yummy, a human for me to... 

Right. So that was a weird way to spend an afternoon.

 I could go on about how un-piratey of me it was to bother with returning such a treasure - but lets face it, it's a gamebook. There's only room for so many options and we'll have to save the plot-exploding player decisions for RPG's... I'm not even going to talk about the swamp goblin horde/sunken castle adventure or the giant birds nest/dungeon crawl brain maggots...
Gets away from you, does this book.

The rest of the book is great though, there are a good range of foes to fell and some genuinely funny interactions (bit like some of the moments in 'Space Assassin') which I wont spoil. Some of the enemies you meet are other pirates who know about your bet (and I reckon were paid off by Abdul to get in your way!) And some folks who just don't know whats about to hit them! But the crown jewel as far as this books writing goes however has to be the ridiculously cool fight with the Cyclops.
That was fucking fantastic.

The art is by Bob Harvey, who also did the interior art for 'Talisman of Death' and I came to know and love while reading the 'Way of the Tiger' series. He has a cool style which is perfect for this kind of setting - sort of eastern mythology meets Sinbad. I did read that he is often compared to Alan Langford ('Island of the Lizard King', 'Sword of the Samurai') and, yeah I'd agree with that, but I would say that Bob has more D&D going on in his work.

And that cover... love that cover =)

Rodney fucking Matthews is the man! I didn't have a print of this piece as a kid but I did have a HUGE fantasy locomotive by Rodney on my wall. Great cover with a perilous scene from the book displayed to wet your appetite!

So yeah, 'Seas of Blood' Buy it and read it already!

Can I go now?


Friday, 9 October 2015

Realm of Chaos belligerents (and friend)

Tally ho peeps!

After a rotten week of no sleep and too much work I finally managed to photograph these fellows for your viewing pleasure =)

 Apologies for crap focus... it's been one of those weeks.

The Dark Elf is a Reaper 'Bones' figure (can't remember what the name was sorry) that will be acting as my first protagonist in my inaugural game of RoC. He went through a plethora of hues before I finally gave up and varnished what you see before you.
 One thing I have learned in the years I have been blunting bristles on lead and plastic is to have a solid picture in mind of where you want the paint job to end up - yes sometimes a 'voyage into the unknown' is a great way to get some unexpected results - (that approach basically sums up my normal painting ethos...) =(
But honestly, to save yourself from inserting paint brushes into your vital organs in a fit of frustration, have a finished product in mind before you start and it all seems to go swimmingly =)

Some shots of the thugs;

 Another figure from the Bones range, painted up as a Templar of the Lodge for my Griffon faction. Olgier really liked this guy's pose and will be getting used very shortly in Hybrid.

 See, just use the same colours as the other guys were painted in and everything is fine!
No need for self mutilation!

 It's a funny feeling completing a miniature you know you will be playing against, it's a bit like "oh good, you came out well, can't wait to kill you off!"

 I probably think about these things too much.
Token effort to add a bit of detail to the drapery, gave up.
But the shield came out nice.

 This guy was a breeze, but I loves me some Dwarf painting!
One of these days I'll have a chance to find my old Bugman's unit and photograph it for the blog, not sure if the paint job will hold up though, I did paint them in my teens!

 Being a follower of Tzeentch I hinted at the stunty ones affiliation by using yellow and blue on his gambeson (?) The blue is actually 'Hawk Turquoise' which I will use with glee at any opportunity, a gaming friend of mine will be rolling his eyes right now if he reads this =)

"stop looking at my arse!"

 Ok, this guy is an ok result tinged with some painful memories. The only thing that remained constant throughout the torturing process was that his cloak stayed purple. Honestly, from now on all characters get a colour sketch before I start on them...

 Bit of focal difficulty again... I like using the snow paste though =)

As this mini is representing a level 25 Dark Elf Chaos Wizard; Olgier isn't putting much longevity on his first Chaos champ... He obviously doesn't understand my unrivaled ability to fuck up when in possession of overwhelming odds...

The Goliath's are up next. Yes I have a painting plan for them...


Friday, 2 October 2015

Focke Wulf Mission Sechs...

Guten Morgen meine Freunde!

The three Fw's are finally built and ready for some pigment =)

I might do a double post today as the trio of fantasy figures I was working on is also complete, just have to make sure they are dry enough to photograph!

Here are the Focke Wulf's, naked one last time (that sounds almost dirty...)

 The TA152 had some major gap issues on the left wing root, time to try out my new tube of Tamiya epoxy putty! 
Apart from the incredibly sharp smell the stuff works like a dream =) The sanded down rear section of the cockpit receives a shaped bit of plasti-card to cover the hole and, if I my calculations are correct (never happens...) the canopy from the Academy D9 set will fit on no worries.

 Here's an interesting mistake. The TA152-H1 was armed with a trio of cannons - usually a pair of 20mm MG151/20s in the wing roots and a 30mm MK108 firing through the nose - I had to drill a dirty hole in the prop hub of my TA to accommodate the 30mm - mind you this kit is ancient, and it's hardly a big ask =)

 Just a couple of shots to show some of the structural differences between the fighters.


And that's a wrap =)

Great fun all in all. No real complaints but I'm far from the most discerning aviation modeller!
If you are after a new project I recommend all of them - having said that the Academy kit was the easiest to fit together OOB satisfactorily. The Aifix A8 is amazingly detailed and accurate and the TA152 from Frog/Revell is the only kit of this fighter you can have for reasonable money.
Of course if money is no issue... 

So, good then. Watch this space, I'll be back later with some Reaper and Citadel goodness!


Friday, 25 September 2015

Focke Wulf mission Funf, and other shit.

Hey all.

Here are some progress shots of the three Focke Wulf's =)

Safely contained in their cardbord box, the trio (aided by the ever useful clothes pegs) pose for the camera. You can see the fuselage of the TA152 has been cut and sanded down here and is ready for the cockpit rebuild =)
The size difference between the fighters is pretty plain in this shot. It's amazing to read the spec sheets on various planes throughout the War, even the Spitfire ends up significantly larger and heavier than she started out (and with about 2.5 times as much horsepower!)

Landing gear on! You have no idea how tricky it was to get the Revell/Frog TA152's oleos' and gear to look right... Swearing time. Airfix did a good job on the A8's undercarriage and, as usual, no complaints with the D9 from Academy - basically the same straightforward build as their Fw190 A6-8.
So, what else? Well after Olgier and I rolled up our RoC warbands last weekend I decided some new figures were needed to fill the battlefield!
I haven't given GW my money for about 10 years now (something that isn't about to change...) so a new source of figures was needed. Unfortunately in Wellington there isn't really a lot to go and look at as far as the wargaming scene is concerned, but...

Enter - The 'Caffeinated Dragon' Wataaah! I scoped this shop on the way back to the workshop after a test ride a week or so ago and figured I'd go have a look.
And guess what? They sell Reaper minis! 
 Problem solved =)
 This is where I'm up to about now. The Reaper minis came from the 'Bones' range as I had been wanting to try painting one up for a while now. I plumped for a dastardly looking Elf to become my Dark Elf Wizard and a rather heroic looking Paladin type to fill in for the Griffin Templar for games of Hybrid =)
The Dwarf between them has been in my collection for a long time and used to hang out in my HeroQuest box along with Jim the Jabberwockey and various other assorted guff. He'll be starting his wargaming career as Olgier's Tzeentch loving Chaos Dwarf Champ. 

And yes, the Necromunda project continues...

New to my painting table of woe is this...
Something a bit different for me, we'll see how it goes =)

See you!


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Tales from the Realm of Chaos part one.

Hey all, I'm still busy as a rabid beaver unfortunately, but Olgier and I have managed to get around the rulebooks to at least contemplate playing another game in the near future.
Having completed my swamp terrain we decided it was high time it saw a battle or three!

After dusting off the (admittedly PDF) copies of Slaves to Darkness and Lost and the Damned we started on the slightly amusing adventure that is rolling up a Chaos champ and his/her retinue =)

My Champ turned out quite well (total surprise given my usual propensity for dismal character stats...) and Olgier's SECOND attempt also came up with a usable acolyte. I wont waste time upon them at this point as there will hopefully be far more to come.

But what I will share with you is the tale of Olgier's first attempt at a champion...
In the finest traditions of Lothar Bubonicus and Werner Thunderfist, I present;

The Saga of Heinlager McGoatKind

This is the saga of Heinlager.

It was to be a fateful day, that thirteenth day of the thirteenth month of the thirteenth year of the epoch of the thirteen lost Saints of the thirteen moons. Some would come to regard that day as a Monday.

But it was upon this day that Heinlager McGoatKind, who was both filled with hatred and a longing for revenge, sealed his pact with Tzeentch. Stealing away into the most secret of the latrines under his care, he cursed his peers and his overlords and swore to gain his eternal dominance over them all. Whispering dark nothings into the swirling long-drop, he pledged his mortal soul to Lord Tzeentch and bellowed with shrill mouse like squeekings of the promises he would fulfill in the Dark One's name.

Many weeks passed.

 Heinlager, more embittered and resentful than ever, wept salty tears of frustration and disappointment. But The Changer of Ways had not abandoned him, and late one night called to his devotee from the beyond. Heinlager, running blindly through the cold winter night, enveloped by the raining gusting blackness, came at last to the edge of his tiny village. With his lungs burning and his knees weak he cursed his apparent lack of fitness and, wheezing as a man twice his age might, made his way into the nearby forest.

It was here that Tzeentch branded Heinlager.

 A small rash appeared upon his rump, which in the right light could almost pass as the twisting S of the Great Magician. Emboldened by this Heinlager spread his arms wide and accepted the first of his master's blessings. Tzeentch - moving in his cryptic unknown ways sought to reward his follower in a manner appropriate. A great burning light flowed from the ether onto Heinlager, diminishing his already unmanly frame to a mere two thirds of its original size. Puzzled, but not wanting to appear ungrateful, Heinlager shrugged and strode on through the forest, eager to find underlings worthy of his cause.

He did not have to travel far, for which he was most pleased as his legs were no stronger than before and were now a lot shorter... To a dimly lit copse he alighted and he came upon the most hideous child he had ever laid eyes on. On taking a second look Heinlager realised the child was actually a Goblin and pleaded with 
the creature of Chaos to stop kicking him in the crotch long enough for him to show that the Mark of the Changer was upon him.
The Goblin, still not mightily impressed, asked Heinlager to prove his claim or be turned into a pair of underpants. Scoffing at the green wretch's lack of faith he once again threw his arms to the universe and issued forth garbled yabberings to his Otherworldly Master.

And Tzeentch once again rewarded his annoying underling.

Blending the infinite magics of the very stars with cheap taxidermy, Tzeentch covered his diminutive flunky with a matted, mousey brown fluff. So thick was this coat of evil smelling hair that Heinlager would never again feel the need for human clothing! 

Snarling in triumph Heinlager challenged the Goblin to follow him into Daemonhood. Bemused by this but having nothing better to do that day, the Goblin agreed.

Long and twisted were the pathways travelled by Heinlager and the Greenskin, who was by now dubbed 'Nob-end' by Heinlager, as the Goblin's greater height did much to anger the mighty Champion of Chaos.

After much bickering and twisting of nipples in the depths of the forest did the pair arrive at a small hamlet.Feeling the hate swell in his breast and the longing for human suffering in his heart Heinlager at once called upon his Lord and master for a boon one final time.

Wide eyed and laughing insanely, Heinlager accepted his final gift from the Changer. Bursting forth from his mortal trappings and with his now mindless brain dribbling out of his misshapen ears he towered above the trembling Nob-end as a Chaos spawn!

Reaching down to the tiny green fetal form, the thing that had been Heinlager ate the unfortunate Goblinoid, defecated loudly, and then ambled back into the forest.

So ends the Saga of Heinlager.     


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Focke Wulf mission... Vier

My regular gaming buddy is still out of action sadly, meaning that the planes get the love this week and the Hybrid games will have to wait!

Wings, tail fins and nose jobs abound!

Insert part 'A' into receptacle 'B' ... pardon?

All the girls bicker and argue over who has the prettiest nose.

Tail fins on, leaping like plastic dolphins out of a cardboard sea... hmm. Too much German Bier methinks...

 Unsuspecting wings are set upon by a band of wandering clothes pegs.

That reminds me of a song...


 People sometimes ask me what I do with my spare time.
I just tell them I have a lot of building projects around the house...

 Look at the size of the TA152's wings! (yes, the big ones at the back...)

Looking to diversify the content for the next post - see you then!


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Focke Wulf - Drei

Some more shots of the triple build, unbelievably busy with things atm - hopefully I will have time to complete this in good time!

Here is the Airfix A8 - lovely fit! No complaints over this - just line it up with the inside ledges and bam! Done =)

Academy's kits are also an easy build at this point - The FW190D-9 was pretty sweet as far as a fit goes. I have to stress how infuriating it is to fit the upper dash panel however! Makes a man say bad words that does... The slot to the rear of the cockpit is for the head armour I think?

And here is the Frog/Revell TA152H1 - By far the easiest build of the lot! (It helps that there is basically no cockpit furniture!) Please note the fuselage behind the Fleiger has been cut down - this kit was designed with a closed canopy and no option for sliding the hood back - the rear of the 'Haube' canopy that this model FW was built with has been molded as part of the fuselage body in this kit, and as such had to go - the hood and screen from the Academy kit seem to be a good fit and will be installed later. (I'll try not to fuck it up...)

It's hard to tell from this pic, but the TA is significantly longer than the previous incarnations, once the wings are on the size difference that around four years of wartime fighter development will become apparent!

Hoping to get some modelling only time in soon - a selection of narcissistic Goliaths are on the table on I have some awesome fashion mistakes ready to paint on them! 


Friday, 21 August 2015

The Castle 'Aaargh!'

Well actually this is the castle 'Ploppy' (look, it was a long day alright...)

Managed to find a working copy of 'Castles' from 91', a game I was simultaneously fascinated by and frustrated with as a kid.

I'm not sure if there are any castle building/defending/management sims that came out before this?

Just a quick post to start things off - I'm dead set on finally trying to finish this game, a feat beyond my skills and patience as a lad!

To get in the er... mood?

Great building theme that is =)

Here's a few early shots of the mighty fortress 'Ploppy' - I'm only playing as a Duke trying to finish a single castle in a fantasy realm (options include single, triple and eight castles to build - three levels of difficulty and the option of building in medieval or fantasy realms)

Here she is at the start - I made a mistake and ended up with the army digging a moat on the inside of the walls... sigh

Winter and the men are still working shirtless. Those hardy, sturdy, stupid men. Hurry up and finish my dungeon!

 And this happens every Winter... it's a bit nippy outside so everyone and their dog (pictured lower right) hangs out at my place and eats all the food... GET BACK TO WORK!

"This new learning amazes me Sir Bedevere... tell me again how sheep bladders can prevent earthquakes"

I only have a little time to play this one - but have made more progress than I ever used to back in the day! ATM I am also trying desperately to take over the world (Pinky...) in Bullfrog's Powermonger, and trying desperately not to get shot to tiny pieces in Aces over Europe - fuck me but that's a hard game!


Monday, 17 August 2015

Appleseed, super-deformed.

'Super deformed'... only the Japanese could get away with using a term like that and having it mean something cute!

Pretty self explanatory post, I just managed to finish a little Elfin vinyl kit my sister gave me as a Christmas present (so long ago I can't even guess at the year...)

TBH I really enjoyed working on this one. I haven't done too much in the realm of larger scale modelling and have to say I'd do it again!

Now all I have to do is find a 1/18 scale SD Briareos to stand beside Ms Knute and it shall be complete!



Friday, 14 August 2015

Focke Wulf Mission - Swei

Some progress from the Focke Wulf project, next up - cockpits!

 At this point I'm not totally sure how I want the dioramas to look when done - but I think a mixture of pilots in and out of their seats would be the most challenging =)

Lovely cockpit design from Airfix (as it should be - this kit is less than 5 years old) Everything fits nicely - they have gone for the decals instead of molded gauges route - not a fan personally.

Woah. Lots going on in the Academy kits first few diagrams. I'm a big fan of this companies cockpits, molded gauges and a decent amount of detail - no pilot though, so we'll be using a figure from the Airfix Luftwaffe crew set. 
 And here we have the Frog kit - crazy diagrams from a time long before I was spawned...

After a bit of glue and swearing you end up with this...

So, there you go. Two empty cockpits (one with a tail) and a Flieger on a little seat...