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!