Monday, 24 December 2012

Twelve Treats Of Geekmas #1

And so to top this must-have list this geekmas we have.... drum roll please.... TA DA! It's only a blooming zombie-proof house. Details here for all your end-of-the-world needs. Happy holidays everyone!

Twelve Treats Of Geekmas #2

Always fancied your own copy of the Necronomicon but just can't track one down at your local secondhand bookstore? Why not impress your fellow cultists this geekmas with these 'genuine' pages. Simply display in your downstairs bathroom as a conversation starter!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Twelve Treats Of Geekmas #3

Where to keep all those dice?! How about a Drawstring Black Suede Warhammer 40K Eye of Chaos Embroidered Dice Bag or Pouch? Take a looksee here.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Darklands (BaneBeasts) Minotaurs - Out Of The Box

I've finally got my hands on part of an order from the now-sunk Maelstrom Games. These are the minotaur lord and standard bearer. I've been anticipating these because the plan is that they'll be central to my beastmen army. 

The standard of the resin on these guys is pretty good although they're not without a few problems. The standard bearer body and head is very crisp and detailed but the standard has a great deal of flashing - so much so that it verges on a mis-cast in a few prominent places.

The lord is much better. There is a major flaw though, as the above photo illustrates. The shaft of his great weapon is extremely flimsy and I managed to snap it simply getting out of the packaging - and I assure you I have a soft touch!

Here they are in a size comparison shot with one of the Scibor minotaurs. The Darklands offerings are noticeably shorter, which makes me wonder whether they could be fielded in the same unit. Perhaps with a similar paint job and scenic bases they'll blend in? We'll see. 

Above you can see that it was simple enough to replace the broken shaft with a plastic one from the standard in the GW Gor set. Overall I'm pleased with these guys but there is a bit of a dampener on things due to their marginally smaller scale when compared to the Scibor models. They're still great miniatures. 

Friday, 21 December 2012

Twelve Treats Of Geekmas #4

Ok so this one isn't real, but it's a fun joke.

From The Guardian:


Upgrade your home’s health with this kit inspired directly by the technology on the fictional USCSS Prometheus. Take care of everyday bumps and bruises with plasters and witch hazel. Deal with alien impregnation with surgical lasers and unbelievably strong self-administered opiates. This box has the lot!

Twelve Treats Of Geekmas #5

According to numerous sources the viewing experience of season three of HBO's Game Of Thrones will be greatly enhanced with officially licensed beer:

And if that doesn't suit you, how about these unlicensed beer labels?

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Twelve Treats Of Geekmas #6

With it being the 200th anniversary of the publication of the phenomenally influential Grimm's Fairy Tales, there was only ever going to be one candidate for a stocking filler today. There are hundreds of editions, but here's one in hardback (it has to be really) that gets my vote:

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Twelve Treats Of Geekmas #8 and #7

Double treats today for the refined gamer. Both of these come from the company Geek Chic, who produce wonderful furniture designed for gaming in the shape of RPGs and boardgames. First off, feast your eyes of The Hoplite, possibly the most gorgeous table I've ever seen:

And secondly, here's the GM's Valet, where the classy GM can hatch diabolical plans with which to test their plucky heroes:

These are ridiculously expensive, but when my numbers come up in the lottery I'll be putting in my order!

Tau Ceti - 'Habitable' Planet... The Real Tau Empire?

This made me chuckle. According to The Guardian today, scientists have discovered a solar system a mere 12 light years away that looks as if it has a planet in the habitable 'goldilocks' zone (neither too hot nor too cold). The star at the centre of this system is called Tau Ceti. The planet doesn't seem to be named yet, but I do hope they call it T'au...

"Far from Terra, in the eastern fringes of the galaxy, lies the empire of the Tau..."

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Twelve Treats Of Geekmas #9

Leia in her slave gear was always crying out for the art nouveau treatment. I suppose this does it justice.............................. Part of a much wider range available here.

New Kromlech Plague Demon Equals Wow

I need new minis like I need a new hole in the head, but this new fatty from Kromlech looks bags of stinky fun. I understand there's a new Great Unclean One due soonish. If that doesn't do the job then this fellow certainly will!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Possible Genestealer Cult Limo From Antenocitis Workshop

I wasn't planning on have limos as part of my genestealer cult force. I like the humour behind the old fluff but that's about as far as it goes. That being said, Antenocitis Workshop produce this rather nifty looking "Dodge Matador" Air Car that might form the basis of an acceptable limo-style vehicle. Something to think about. These would also work well for gang-style street-by-street fighting in 40k.

Twelve Treats Of Geekmas #10

It's only a TARDIS PC! Now, how do I convince work to get me one of these for the office...?

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Twelve Treats Of Geekmas #11

Check out these sNESsy retro gamer decorations by GingerPots - makes me miss the old NES shoe box... Properly festive geek chic!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Twelve Treats Of Geekmas #12

A festive countdown! Who could ask for more? These kinds of things catch my eye all the time, so if you're looking for a treat for a geek, or a geek looking to self-treat (always my favourite option), here is the first of a countdown of twelve...

Surely everything is better if you say it with a t-shirt?!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Falling Off The Hobby Horse, But Still A Closeted Hobbyist

Dear friends, family, followers, and those of you who ended up here looking for a pdf copy of the new Chaos Space Marines Codex... A warm welcome to you all! (And to the final group, might I suggest looking here?)

I'm afraid this is one of those '...and life...' posts. I don't tend to do that sort of thing unless it directly has some kind of hobby element to it. But in the last two weeks I've not only fallen off the hobby horse but also dropped into the self-replicating-abyss-of-hobby-hiatus... (I should probably add a ! round about now). So the issue is one of a hobby that has mysteriously evaporated.

Obviously there's nothing at all mysterious going on here. What's changed for the first time in ages is the rhythm of my life, a forecastable side effect of my new job - oh dear, how I cringe at the very mention of that word in this space. This is a j-o-b free zone and I intend to keep it that way.

It will probably come as no surprise that I'm a closeted hobbyist. It would be my guess that most people are. I can't imagine how I'd start that conversation. No, that's a lie. Because I've had the conversation before, but before I worked with people in a different way and, well, it didn't matter. (Notice that I maintain distance by never stating what I do. It's just the deal we have, ok? Right... now I'm concerned this is reading to much like Fight Club). Moving on. 

Now I have to stay closeted in a way I've never had to before. The closet has been built around me. I now work regularly in an office environment - not everyday, but enough so that I have office-style relationships for the first time ever. People are so very nosey. Everyone divulges. Everyone listens. Everyone wants to know more. How do you make that work?! Help me folks?

Is it worth coming out?

What have your experiences been?

Conversely, how do you mix your job into your hobby spaces?

Are our experiences specific to where we work and what we do?

And do let me know if I'm over thinking this!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Epic Pooh - A Timely Antidote To Hobbitses

It's hard not to be swept up in the enthusiasm for The Hobbit. I mean the movie, rather than all the GW products, which (as with the LoTR) leave me soundly unmoved. As I'm reading Michael Moorcock's rollicking epic fantasy series The History of The Runestaff at the moment I remembered that he'd written something wonderfully damning on Tolkien - it is, of course, his excellent essay Epic Pooh. (The link takes you to an up-dated version). 

This collided with another recent ponderance of mine that I've never - never - successfully re-watched the LoTRs movies. My only attempt, with the fattened version of The Fellowship... ended about half way through. It's actually rather dull and un-compelling (aside from the fact that they could've just flown to the end of the third book, blah, blah, blah).

Don't leave the Shire because all experience beyond is dangerous. And everyone you meet will be a thinly veiled racial stereotype.  
If you've never read Moorcock's essay then I urge you to now. Some highlights include:

On Tolkien and 'merrie England':
"Writers like Tolkien take you to the edge of the Abyss and point out the excellent tea-garden at the bottom, showing you the steps carved into the cliff and reminding you to be a bit careful because the hand-rails are a trifle shaky as you go down; they haven't got the approval yet to put a new one in."

On 'the Shire':
"The little hills and woods of that Surrey of the mind, the Shire, are "safe", but the wild landscapes everywhere beyond the Shire are "dangerous". Experience of life itself is dangerous. The Lord of the Rings is a pernicious confirmation of the values of a declining nation with a morally bankrupt class whose cowardly self-protection is primarily responsible for the problems England answered with the ruthless logic of Thatcherism. Humanity was derided and marginalised. Sentimentality became the acceptable subsitute. So few people seem to be able to tell the difference."

On the strangely undeveloped sense of what 'evil' is:
"After all, anyone who hates hobbits can't be all bad."

And a broadside on crappy mainstream sf and fantasy:
"If the bulk of American sf could be said to be written by robots, about robots, for robots, then the bulk of English fantasy seems to be written by rabbits, about rabbits and for rabbits."

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Chaos Marines Size/Dimensions Comparison

Following a request from Gafapasta Antisocial the other day, here's a size/dimension comparison shot of one of my Avatars of War Plague Marines alongside a standard chaos marine and one of the Chosen from the DV box.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Alternative Nurglings Using Scibor Goblins, And Other Unclean Thoughts

First of all I should say that I picked up these Scibor goblins from the sinking ship Maelstrom Games, so they were a fraction of their normal price. Secondly, the idea for using them as alternative nurglings came to me as part of a more general money-saving-through-making-the-most-of-what-I-already-have scheme. So the idea is simply to base these up three to a 40mm round base and, hey presto, there you have it. I actually really like these as nurgling stand-ins. They have a little more substance to them than the GW offerings, which are OK, but I've never been particularly keen on them as grinning tiny impish things. These retain some of the impishness and fragility and also benefit from fitting into the look of my 40k Nurgle force more generally.

I also have these five old style plaguebearers, to which I'll add ten more from the new plastics.

And here's an old style Great Unclean One - stripped and pinned (my goodness, did that take a while!). Rumours abound that all the greater daemons will be replaced with new and suitably scaled-up plastic kits sometime around February, so I'm going to use this guy as a Herald of Nurgle, with him counting as riding a palanquin.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Bonegrinder - Giant - Ghorgon = Size Comparison

Everyone likes a useful size comparison shot, so here's one featuring the beastmen Ghorgon, the Warhammer Giant, and the Bonegrinder Giant from Warhammer Forge. I didn't buy the Bonegrinder myself; my brother recently bought it from eBay. I think it's a rip-off, not an original. But that doesn't matter, because the model is rather neat and pretty flawless. Really, it's too big for normal gaming. But it was half normal price and it's destined for a place in an ogres army, where it's additional size will be more suitable. On another note... I really must finish my two big-bad-guys off!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Plague Marine Conversions, Part The Second

For stage two of these guys I decided that third party backpacks just weren't going to cut it, so I delved into by double-Dark Vengeance box and fished out the backpacks from the chosen (which I'll replace with standard chaos ones from GW via mail order). Here are a couple in shiny-white primer, and a few more wearing a base-shade of Daler Rowney Antelope Brown ink, which has proved to be an amazing base-shader (with a littler medium and a drop of water added.

The first test model alongside my version of Typhus from Scibor
The base-shaded 'command group'
Some in white primer toting various weapons 
A bit of base shading done on the Scibor snail
Probably the best example of my base shading approach on a mildly kitbashed Helbrute

Friday, 16 November 2012

Warhammer Forge Mourngul

It's the end of the working week so that means it's time to spin the Forge World wheel and see where she stops... And it's a very pleasant surprise this week in the shape of the Mourngul. As with all their stuff I have no use for this at all, but it would look so very good in an undead army that I'll make some space for it once other projects are nearer completion. I love the sculpting on this model; such a neat solution to getting a highly dynamic, almost flying monster, without the need for a flying stand. Now that my week is full of 'real job' rather than the academic bumbling that was previously my forte I do appreciate being pleasantly teased with new toys that tempt me to part with my hard-earned!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Hobbit: New Photos Of Goblins And Trolls

Some new monsterous-gorgeousness from The Hobbit. I really love the way they've rendered these goblins and the troll; they look so earthy and of-the-ground, which is exactly the kind of mythos I like surrounding kobold-type creatures. These pics come from Geek Tyrant

Friday, 9 November 2012

Choose Your Own Adventure At The Cabin In The Woods

Just saw this on Bloody Disgusting's Facebook feed. Really cool retro-interpretation, don't you think? (If you've not see the movie yet.... watch it! It's rather entertaining :-) 

Thursday, 8 November 2012

A Manhattan Gotham Mash-Up

A bit of a double-cult crossover geeky fun here, as the very talented artist Cynthia Sousa Rodgers - who goes by the deviant art handle of 'theamat' - blends the coolness of Manhattan and Gotham. I really love geek chic stuff like this. Here's the link.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

There's Still Life At Maelstrom Games It Seems

Both myself and my brother have outstanding orders and we've both received emails today of some sort from Maelstrom Games, despite the continued absence of their website. Mine was for an order I've already physically received (I have a couple of others outstanding). My brother, though, had an email saying items in an order had been split and would be dispatched separately. Not sure what all this means or whether anything will actually turn up... But, it is news that there's life of some kind at Maelstrom Games and I'm sure others will be glad of some kind of news. Further up-dates to follow ...

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Plague Marine Conversions, Part The First

Yes, yes, I've been distracted again, but these Avatars Of War Corruptors of Apocalypse are just too tempting to play with! Here they are in the first stages of conversion into Plague Marines. This was always my plan and I'm pleased with how it's gone so far. The 40k weapons have been straightforward swaps for the great weapons these guys are supplied with, and fortunately it's been easy to clip these down to make a range of nasty looking plague knives. The next stage, which will occupy me during the coming evenings, will be the addition of some extremely festering backpacks. The standard marine issues - imperial and chaotic - are just not right for this job, so I'm planning something that's a cross between exhaust vents and fungi (like those on the Nurgle Daemon Prince...).

Friday, 2 November 2012

Avatars Of War Corruptors Of Apocalypse - Out Of The Box

Ah, new month, new toys. Today I'm doing one of my quick out-of-the-box reviews of the Avatars Of War Corrupters of Apocalypse. As always this is simply a series of photos of the basic parts that come with a set of miniatures - the kind of thing I would find useful if I was thinking of buying something, particularly if I was thinking of easy conversions. And that happens to be exactly what I'll be doing with this lot over the next week or so, as I turn them into my version of Plague Marines. Overall I'd say this was a pretty good quality set. It's the first time I've seen 'warcast' up close and it seems to be reasonable: not the best resin, certainly not the worst. There are a few slightly dodgy areas of casting, although nothing like finecast miscasts. The detail is generally crisp and pleasing and these are suitably characterful models. For a Warriors Of Chaos WFB army these would be absolutely brilliant. I, of course, will be slightly converting them 'John Blanche' style into the 40k universe.  

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