“I am Kroot”

I saw a picture on Facebook the other day and it made me think…  If you’re a hobbyist, it’ll probably make you think as well.

984224_10152267479005863_2936528250641198993_n

That picture coupled with something a friend said the other day (“We need to have a game of 40k soon”) got me searching through the assorted jumble of part-armies I’ve got.

The only real “whole” 40k army I own is Chaos Space Marines, who are desperately in need of a repaint, and they add up to just over 2000 (old codex) points. Over the last few days I’ve managed to unearth practically a whole Tau army as well. Some of it is assembled, some of it is part assembled and some of it is completely unassembled.

So, in the spirit of “painting the shit I already have” I’ve got cracking. I’m trying to paint them quickly, so I’m employing spray paint (for the first time other than for priming). I would love a decent airbrush, but it’s certainly not on the cards this side of Christmas.  I’ve started assembling some of the bits that needed it, like these Kroot.

photo

And I’m painting some of the stuff I already had put together, like this lot.

IMG_5171 IMG_5172

Now they’re clearly not finished yet, but they should be done pretty quickly. This lot was all done in less than a day.

And yes, that is a Space Hulk Librarian off the side of the shelf in the first photo.

In fact there are really only three things that have slowed it all down. First, my little boy had a minor operation to correct his eyes yesterday, secondly, my mum’s dog keeps destroying Fire Warriors (three at current count) and thirdly, Destiny was released on the 9th of September… And my Titan needs just as much attention as the Tau. It is very good – expect a review soon.

10548098_10154703288890122_4588481073495805698_o

 

Stuff

Apart from the holiday photos it may have gone a little bit quiet on here, but rest assured I am still alive and kicking. And there’s plenty of stuff going on.

First, with the recreation of the Battle of Jutland out of the way we’ve started looking at stretching our sea legs a little and moving onto something a bit more complicated, namely Warhammer Historical’s Trafalgar.

trafalgar cover.png

Unfortunately now out of print (and purchased thanks to the wonders of eBay) we gave this a whirl tonight using paper markers for ships. Although it’s trickier than Victory at Sea it’s great fun, so we’re going to invest some time (and inevitably some money) into starting this up properly. I already have a miniature HMS Victory, so by default I’ve elected to go for the British fleet and another member is considering a US fleet. As you can imagine wind speed and direction as well as sail settings play a large part in this game, but the types of damage sustained are also more complicated. It’s all reasonable when you consider that typically you are using less models and they are represented at a larger scale – 1:1200 rather than the 1:3000 of Victory at Sea.

Watch this space for more developments.

The next bit of stuff is this.

unnamed

It’s a waterproof iPhone case that can be mounted on the handlebars of a pushbike.  I think the primary use of this is so people can use the satnav or phone functions while they’re riding, but I’m using it mainly as a cheaper alternative to an action camera.

I can see the point of them for road cyclists. The ability to catch footage of the numpty who pulls out in front of you at the roundabout or the lorry that swipes you making a turn without indicating (just to use two popular examples) is undeniably useful in certain circumstances, but I’m hoping to use it a little more off road than on. The cheapest and therefore worst action cameras come in at about £60. The cheapest good ones come in at around £150. I figured I have a perfectly good camera on my phone so why not give this case a go at £30. The hard case seems extremely tough and the mount is sprung slightly to accommodate for vibrations through the bars. The results are ok, but when run through the new Instagram Hyperlapse app they really smooth out.

Sorry for it being portrait rather than landscape, but the mount only really works this way up on the bars.

Now I just need to see if it will all work off road. I’ll try and do that in the next week.

The third and hardest to describe bit of stuff is a yearning to do… something.

I think what’s kick started this is re-watching Long Way Down, Ewen McGregor and Charley Boorman’s motorcycle trip from Scotland to South Africa. I’ve wanted to do “something” for a while, but now I’m really getting itchy feet. It might be time to put some miles in on the bike, book a week off work and go somewhere… Not sure where yet. I’ve planned stuff in the past, but for one reason or another they’ve never happened. I reckon I just need to stop over-thinking things and just do something.

Anyway, so there you go, lots of stuff going on, even though some of it really is proto-stuff at this point.

Straight to Video (Game)

There have been many computer game movies, but, like comic book movies they have had a patchy past. For every Kick Ass, there’s a Kick Ass 2 just around the corner (seriously – what were they thinking?). There used to be a time when this worked the other way around. Big budget movies had quite frankly awful games made of them (and yes, that still happens), but now there’s a couple of games that are getting films made. Games that might be able to buck the trend.

Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light (about to get a Redux launch on PS4 soon) are due for the treatment – although strictly speaking the source material for those are novels, but The Last Of Us is all game – and that’s been greenlit for a movie as well.

It’s got some of the fan’s knickers in a twist. They feel that a 2 hour film won’t be able to do the game justice. Or they feel that Joel & Ellie’s story worked better as a game. Or they just don’t want to sit through the same story as a film, that they won’t get the cast right, or they just stamp their feet and winge.

2608310-ellie

They are missing the point somewhat. What about those people who didn’t play the game? I know again the argument here is that people who haven’t played the game won’t be interested in seeing a film, but what about Defiance? If that show relied on an audience made up solely of the people still playing the game it wouldn’t have got a second series…

The story, characters and setting were all amazing, so why should people who don’t want to play the game be denied access to that?

sh_the_movie_02

What’s started me on this train of thought is the fact that I’m watching Silent Hill at the moment. As far as I’m concerned, this is video game movie done right. It uses some of the characters, the locations, the plot, the music, the villains and even some of the camera angles. It’s not a shot for shot remake of any of the games, but it uses the best its of them and makes a damn fine film. Anyone who’s heard that air raid siren (and I’m speaking as someone who gets to play with a full size air raid siren from time to time at work) knows that something bad is coming… Oh, and Sean Bean is in it – AND SURVIVES!

It looked amazing as well. The sets, costumes, creature effects and especially the transition between the Silent Hill above and Silent Hill below were fantastic.  I’m not quite sure how it held on to a 15 certificate in the UK though. Not with cults, skinnings, burnings, child abuse and those nurses…

IMG_20130803_201112

With comic book movies making the big bucks now, maybe it’s time for computer game movies to step up their game a bit. I’ve just read that Guardians of the Galaxy is now Vin Diesel’s biggest domestic box office hit. Let that sink in for a bit…

It’s made more money at the US Box Office than any of the Fast & Furious films. Any of the Riddick films.

It’s made more money than Saving Private Ryan.

So if the Marvel and DC franchises are now the big summer blockbusters, where are the Tomb Raiders (done properly though, like the game reboot), The Assassin’s Creeds, the Bioshocks?

People have had a shot, the first Resident Evil was ok… But the rest? A bit superfluous to say the least. There’ve been a couple of Final Fantasy Films – and one of them was good. But then there’s been StreetfighterMortal KombatDead or Alive…

My fingers are crossed that something good comes out of the more cinematic style of game making and the fact that films are starting to use a lot of tricks that games have been using for a while.

Home

As much as yesterday might have been our last full day on the Isle of Wight, we seem to have crammed an awful lot in today despite the fact we caught the 2pm ferry back to Portsmouth.

Unfortunately the start of the day was packing, and trying to fit everything back into the cars. We got there in the end, but inevitably there was more stuff to take home than we brought with us. Once we’d managed to get the doors and bootlids closed we went and had breakfast. I knew I had eaten a lot this week (and the seafood tagliatelle last night was a particular highlight) but I’ve just got on the scales at home and I’m now completely disgusted with myself. Anyway, after that we headed off to Ryde with the intention of popping into Wight Trash World, the skateboard shop we’d heard about earlier in the week. We got there ok, and found the shop, but unfortunately it didn’t open until our tickets in the carpark were due to expire. From a peek through the window they did seem to have some pretty cool stuff though.

There was some slight consolation in two small facts though.

1 – Ryde is home to this little shop. So trendy it needs police protection apparently…

DSCF1585

Purchases may have been made. And bow ties are definitely cool.

2 – It seems that Ryde is also host to an annual Scooter Rally, and it was this weekend. An estimated 5000 scooters come to the Isle every year for the rally and it looked awesome. We might be on the look out for a Vespa now…

DSCF1587 DSCF1594

Plus there’s the fact that Ryde is a nice place to visit anyway, so all told it wasn’t a bad morning.

We had a stop outside a pub before catching the ferry back and on our way into Portsmouth there was some sort of kite flying fair on the seafront which we managed to get a pretty good look at from the boat as it came in.

DSCF1600

The journey back from Portsmouth to Chatham was uneventful (just as well seeing as I drove from the ferry to Pease Pottage) and we’re settling back in now. The kids are away next week with their dad – to another static caravan site. Still, it means we get the house to ourselves for a week.

The Last Day

Well, the last full day at any rate.

It’s all gone a bit Pete Tong at the campsite today. We woke up to the horrific news (courtesy of the kids) that the milk delivery driver was new and had decided to deliver to the campsite shop last – meaning soon (not straight away you understand) there would be no milk, leading inevitably to riots, civil disobedience, dogs and cats living together… Mass hysteria.

And then they told us that there was no water on the site either.

Priorities.

So we decided to pop out to a riverside park we’d spotted earlier in the week. It wasn’t that great, but gave the kids and dogs an opportunity to let off some steam (and I took the camera again – obviously). Then it was back to the caravan via the supermarket to pick up some essential supplies. Mainly Lemon Meringue Doughnuts and a DVD copy of The Great Escape so me and my mum could run through the dialogue together… “What are you doing by the truck?”

DSCF1557 DSCF1571 DSCF1572

Once we’d regrouped we headed back down to Yarmouth for a final afternoon of crabbing AND another dinner at the wonderfully dog friendly “The King’s Head”.

IMG_4893 IMG_4898 IMG_4899

We’re all back in the caravan now (water restored and milk in the fridge) and preparing for an evening game of Scrabble. Which is a lot nicer than it probably sounds.

Tomorrow is mainly going to be the journey home and that visit to the Skate shop in Ryde,

Coast

We’ve been around the west and south coast of the Isle of Wight today, starting at The Needles this morning. We knew from last years visit that it gets REALLY busy fairly quickly, so we set off pretty early. The car park is horrific (the gradient, not the surface) and always seems to smell of burning clutch. Anyway, we started off there, took a few photos, went on the boat trip, had a wander and then headed on round to Blackgang Chine.

We’d already been there once, but it gave the kids a chance to go on the rides and do the things they missed. It also meant I could take a few photos of the view along the south coast of the island.

So this is only really a short post, and here’s some of the photos I took today.  The tall ship in the photos is the TS Tenacious which was just coming into the Solent as we were sailing out to The Needles.

IOW 2014

Isle of Wight pt 2 (which is really pt 0.9 and pt 1.1 at the same time)

The reasons for this post are twofold. First, I plugged my phone into the laptop and got access to more photos, and second, I remembered other stuff we’d done.

I’ll start at the beginning.

On Saturday we drove down to Portsmouth from Kent and caught the ferry to the Isle of Wight. I drove from our house in Chatham to my mum’s house in Larkfield and then Anita drove on the motorway down to Pease Pottage Services in Sussex where I could take over again (as a learner I’m not allowed on motorways). So then I drove from Pease Pottage (near Gatwick Airport and Crawley) through Horsham and down through Worthing, Arundel and eventually to Portsmouth before driving the car onto the ferry.

IMG_4711

This is a big deal for me (although I appreciate it really isn’t for most people I know who have had a driving licence since forever). At about the same time as I was learning to drive when I was 17 I got my first motorbike and never looked back. There was never really a need for me to have a car licence for the next 19 years as (most of the time) it’s just been me by myself. Things are a bit different now, so I figured I’d best do something about it. At least I have road sense – having ridden bikes for 19 years you either get road sense or a lot of scars). The only problem is that I never really enjoyed, or found driving a car as natural as riding a bike. I am persevering though. On the way to the ferry we also stopped off at a Hobbycraft to pick up some stuff to do. The Weeman and I both bought model Spitfires, mine a 1:48 and David’s a 1:72. I expect they’ll be photos of those soon.

Like father like son.

IMG_4741

Once we’d settled in at the campsite that was really the first day done, but we did take some photos of our new surroundings after wandering down to the beach at Thorness Bay.

IMG_4708 IMG_4710

IMG_4724

It’s quite picturesque. And breezy.

Now I mentioned Blackgang Chine in my earlier post. It’s worth another mention here for being fantastically dog friendly and for being pretty good fun (and the tickets allow you to return again within 7 days – so guess where we’re going to tomorrow?)

IMG_4660

IMG_4661

IMG_4662

The Carisbrooke Castle Joust is getting another mention now. My mum is a member of English Heritage, so the whole day out was incredibly cheap as well (the only people who ended up paying were the wife and I). I think it would be good value without the added extras on this week, but with the plays, the music, the market and the jousting it’s REALLY GOOD VALUE.

IMG_4799IMG_4761

As you can see, it was quite busy as well. From what I could tell there were an awful lot of locals there, not just us tourists, so it’s obviously fairly popular on the island.

So there you go. I feel you’re all caught up on the latest gossip from the Island. There will be more to come, but for I bid you goodnight.