Sunday, 26 August 2012

Warhammer Painting Progress - Part I

Yesterday morning I was sorting out my paints and generally clearing out a drawer when I came across a packet with "Forge World" emblazoned across the top. It took me a few seconds to realise what it was - A Space Wolf Venerable Dreadnought I'd bought from a Forge World day at Warhammer World a few months ago. I'd completely forgotten about it. If this isn't a sign that I buy too much hobby stuff, I don't know what is.

And then the very same day the new Warhammer 40,000 box set was revealed with some stunning Dark Angel and Chaos Space Marine models. Obviously, I have to get it.

But let's get a handle on things here. I need to get on top of the painting. Get stuff done and finished before moving onto something else.

So I thought I'd list what I still have unpainted as a means of motivation and keeping myself and others who might read this blog up to date on my progress. So here goes:

  • 5 Tactical marines
  • A Devestator Squad
  • 3 bikers
Space Wolves:
  • A Venerable Dreadnought (which I still need to buy the arms for)..
  • Striking Scorpians
  • 5 Dire Avengers
  • Swooping Hawks (Going to buy some Finecast ones of these to replace my metal ones)
  • Harlequins
  • Avatar of Khaine
Dark Eldar:

  • Lelith Hesperax
  • Finish Basilica
  • Two Bastions
  • Quad guns etc
  • Grimnir's Thunder
  • Flaming Scimitar
  • Seadrake
  • Skabrus
  • Treasure tokens
  • All auxiliaries
  • Navigation rod, wind gauge etc.
  •   Karazov on the Throne of Judgment.
Wow. I've depressed myself now. A lot of work ahead.

When I've finished the Blood Claws I'm working on at the minute, I'm going to go back to Dreadfleet. And we'll just see how we go from there.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Top 5


 Fellow list-lovers.

The words of a friend of mine from a piece he wrote a while ago:

"....every list has to be preceded with a disclaimer that the list is only valid for the period of your life up until now. you cannot claim that x will definitely be your favourite film of all time ever. that just cheapens the value of the list.
I'm looking forwards to day when the man visits me on my deathbed with the reel-to-reel to record my definitive lists. Be prepared."

Brilliantly put.

I want to address something that I’ve been experiencing over the past year or so. I’m finding it easier to make definitive lists.

For as long as we’ve been doing Top 5s and Top 10s, it’s always been quite scatological, determined by your mood and experiences at the time. The lists have come with an unspoken caveat that this is transient. In the moment. Likely to change.

But recently I have found that I can more easily slot a song choice into a list and say – that’s it.
With films, I’ve never been able to answer the question – “What’s your favourite film?” We’ve always had to categorise. Top 5 Action, Horror, Romance, Comedies and so on. But I was watching Casablanca sometime last year (something I do every couple of months) and as I half-mimed along with the words coming out of the TV, I was struck with a thought: This is it. This is my one. Casablanca is my one. My favourite, my be-all-and-end-all.

You might argue that I was just in the moment and enjoying the film to the point that all others felt inferior. But the thought has stayed with me. Casablanca stands firm. My number one, with a bullet.

How did this happen? Why is it that I can now say that Elvis Presley’s “American Trilogy” and “If I Can Dream” are in my Top 10 songs along with “All My Loving” by The Beatles and, dare I say it, my FAVOURITE song, “One Fine Day” by The Chiffons?

Is anyone else experiencing this? And what does it mean?

I fear it has something to do with age. Have we reached the point for the first time, where we have seen enough films, read enough books, listened to enough songs to be able to make more informed and concrete decisions?

What is going on?

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Musical Moments in Movies

I wrote this article as a note on Facebook a few years ago. Thought I'd share it here - My ten favourite musical moments in film. The rule is – they must be songs and not scores, and no musicals. (In no particular order).....

1.) The end of Jerry McGuire when Bob Dylan’s "Shelter from the Storm" plays over Jerry, Dorothy and Ray’s walk through the park.

2.) Another Cameron Crowe movie: Vanilla Sky. David Aimes removes the mask and heads drunkenly into the night in search of Sophia as REM’s "Sweetness Follows" kicks in.

3.) Dazed & Confused. "Tuesday’s Gone" by Lynyrd Skynyrd serenades the party as it winds down. The empty cup, over the tap of the empty keg just the perfect image.

4.) "Just Like Honey" by The Jesus and Mary Chain, growing in strength as Bob and Charlotte part ways in Lost In Translation.

5.) The long tracking shot into the Copacabana club in Goodfellas is probably the most perfect shot in cinema. Made all the more so with "Then He Kissed Me" by The Crystals.

6.) Singing "Falling Slowly", Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova fall in love before your eyes in Once.

7.) Edith Piaf singing "Tu Es Partout" as the troops wait for their finest and, for many of them, final hour in Saving Private Ryan.

8.) Fight Club. The Pixies. "Where is my Mind?" = Possibly the best ending to a film ever.

9.) Creedence Clearwater Revival’s "Fortunate Son" greets the arrival of Forrest Gump into Vietnam.

10.) Jim Carrey in Yes Man, urging a guy off the ledge with "Third Eye Blind’s" Jumper.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Mean Machines Sega

Inspired by @warllama40k's video reviews of White Dwarf magazines, I dug out this old copy of Mean Machines Sega and made a video of my own. 

Here it is, devided into two parts. The quality is a bit rubbish, but ne'mind.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Tom and Me - Part Two: Believe in Ghosts

While everyone moved onto the PS2, I was left behind. It would be some time before I would get one myself, but in the meantime, we upgraded our computer.

The first game I bought was Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon. Combining the tactical gameplay of Rainbow Six with more open warfare, this game – along with its two excellent expansions 
Desert Siege and Island Thunder – made a big impression.

I bought Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm on the PS2 sometime later and while it wasn’t up to the same standards as the PC games, it entertained, largely due to the headset that came with the game, allowing you to issue orders to your squad with voice commands.

Now the PlayStation 2 might have been selling bucket loads around this time, but it was the Xbox that was gaining ground as the most powerful console on the market. That is no excuse, however, for the difference in quality between Ghost Recon 2 on the Xbox and the version over on the PS2. The latter was pretty terrible. It did, however, introduce Captain Scott Mitchell and a third-person perspective to the series.

For the PS2 at least, we were back to first-person for Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, but that was eclipsed entirely by the same game on the new Xbox 360. It is difficult to quantify how important GRAW was to the 360. When the console was released we had PGR3 and Call of Duty 2 among a few others. They played and looked well, but it wasn’t the big step up we were all expecting. Then Advanced Warfighter came along and blew us away. Stunning graphics and terrific gameplay which – aside from a few glitches and a lot of screen tear – still holds up even now. GRAW set the ball rolling for the Xbox 360 in a big way.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 didn’t make any huge leaps, but it refined the mechanics of the previous game and was a joy to play.

Then everything went silent. Ghost Recon Future Soldier was set for a 2009 release, but was pushed back to 2010. It would be delayed twice more until it finally released in May 2012. Thankfully, it was worth the wait.

With brilliant stealth gameplay mechanics and graphically sharing some similarities with EA's Frostbite 2 engine, Ghost Recon Future Soldier came along at the perfect time for all those looking for a Call of Duty alternative.

The game garnered positive reviews and sold well, proving the market is still there for Tom Clancy flavoured gunplay.