Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Kickstarter Watch - Medieval Demons

It's been far too long since I posted here.  Fortunately, I'm well and, as those of you who know me on Facebook or follow the Diplomatist Books blog know, still active.

Rather than go into a long "where have I been and what have I been up to..." I'm going to make that easiest of posts: the Kickstarter Watch.

The fine chaps at Antediluvian Miniatures have come up with the brilliant idea of casting some miniatures of demons found in Medieval MSS (and wall paintings, etc).

Some of you may remember the post where I asked why we always play with cultists based on the early C20th American imagination when Great Britain and Europe generally has thrown up some particicularly fine examples.* Antediluvian are obviously of the same mind.

*The answer is Lovecraft, obviously.  That post cost me a few followers from  among the fundemental wing of Christianity - they wouldn't like this one either.

As can be seen from the pictures above, there's lots of scope here.  The basic goal was to produce three sets of four demons, but that's already been surpassed and we now see variants with hand-gonnes and various stretch-goals (Black Terrence, anyone?), with more promised.

Although I might, for purely selfish reasons, prefer is Antediluvian concentrated on their Lost World ranges, I think that it's refreshing to see some fantasy figures that haven't sprung out of the pages of the AD&D Monster Manual or the Cthulhu Mythos for a change.

How would one use them?  Well, it wouldn't be the first time the Doctor has met up with Daemons or ventured into The Satan Pit...  They'd give a Summoner a run for his money in Frostgrave....  And it would be interesting to see what the American Investigators (or even those Darn Pesky Kids) would make of meeting some proper Olde Worlde villains for a change...

Monday, 10 April 2017

Good News Sci-Fi Fans!

As some of you will know, there has recently been a (hopefully amicable) parting of the ways at Crooked Dice Miniatures.

Graeme Dawson, responsible for the Doctor Who Miniatures Game PDF (the one that's nothing to do with Warlord Games!) and most of the 7TV 1st and 2nd edition rules has left to set up his own business The Beast in the Broch.  He's taken the excellent not-Blake's 7 range with him and is planning to draft some rules to go with them.

His website went live today and anyone who subscribes to his mailing list will get 20% off any purchases in April.  I'm sure his cash-flow could do with a boost if he's going to develop new things, so go and buy something!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Doctor Who Wednesday #20

If you've already read about the Companions elsewhere, still with me, there's more news below.

On the Painting Table

Last weekend saw the final bonus round of the Analogue Painting Challenge - 'Characters/Scene from a Scene from a Movie, TV Program, Book or Piece of Music'*.  Sadly the vignette I bought with this round in mind is still languishing in the plastic bag it arrived in before Christmas.  So, in order to have something to submit, I've had to fall back on my old favorite for the Challenge - Doctor Who.

*You've still got time to go and vote for your favorites.

I therefore present you with six 28mm Not-Doctor-Who Companions (they're even more Not Not-Doctor-Who now as most are OOP since Warlord Games got the official licence to produce Dr Who figures).

River gets the 'Alien Sand Pit' treatment.  As the other characters are mostly seen on Earth, they are on the lawn of whichever English country house UNIT is currently occupying.

The Amy Pond on the right is the only one of these figures not by Crooked Dice.  It's by Heresy Miniatures and still in production (they changed the name to 'Girl' and the colour of her hair in their pictures).

I'm not sure why I see the Paternoster Gang as Guinness drinkers, but I do.  Possibly it's easier to paint than a whiskey and soda...

Spotted On the Web

Cybermen are in the news and trending on Facebook.  Apparently, some time ago Peter Capaldi was asked in an interview which classic villain he'd like to see reintroduced into the series: being of a certain age, he chose Mondasian Cybermen.  Stephen Moffat is supposed to have said it wasn't going to happen* - but they will be back for Capaldi's last bow.  The Word on the Street is that we'll also get Ice Warriors in Season 10, which can only be good news.  Yetis next please!

*Quite possibly because they resemble the Black and White Minstrels. 

We'll have to see whether this works.  But Black Tree Designs will presumably be happy, given that they keep 'finding' old stock of them*.  I may even get around to painting up my laser team...

*Other Cybermen are available.  Warlord Games have a box-set of Cybermen-through-the-ages.

In other news, Warlord is now accepting orders for the Tetrap miniatures I mentioned in Doctor Who Wednesday #19, and they've also announced the release of a Professor Yana and Chantho set.

Derek Jacobi is a fine actor, and many of us were disappointed not to see more of his version of The Master.  Here's our chance to remedy that!

Gratuitous Sarah Jane Photo

Saturday, 4 March 2017

One for the Padre

That blogger par excellence, Capt the Revd Dr Michael Peterson has a thing about military goats.  As I missed making a St David's Day post this year, here are some pics from this week's Royal Leek Presentation...

The Goat by the way is Fusilier Llewellyn, a serving member (not a mascot) of the Royal Welsh.  It's not know if his ration includes the two cigarettes and pint of Guinness his predecessor L/Cpl William Windsor received.

And here's Taffy IV of 2nd Bn The Welsh Regt, who took part in the First Battle of Ypres.

New Stuff

This week has been another poor one as far as the hobby mojo goes.  I have done absolutely no painting, so it looks as if I will miss this weekend's (and final) bonus round in the AHPC.  This is particularly annoying, as I had wanted to submit for each bonus round, I'd bought something specially with this one in mind, and that both my Curtgeld and my normal run of Dr Who figures would have fitted in with the theme (character of scene from a book, movie or tv).

I have some excuse though - I've pulled a muscle in my back (moving books, naturally) and thus spent a day in bed, and the rest of my time feeling extremely sorry for myself.

However, nice Mr Postman did bring some consolation.

Some of you may remember that back in November 2016 I backed the Midlam Miniatures' Cult of the Kraken Lord Kickstarter.  Well, like the previous Midlam Kickstarter I back, these were delivered spot on time.

The Shrine awaits

The Cult arrives..

Jolly nice artwork
I'm been given some thought to my lack of hobby mojo and have come to the conclusion that, much as I enjoy painting figures, it is quite disheartening that I so rarely get to play with them.  I'm going to therefore make a concerted effort to get some solo playing in ("I used to play with myself all the time!").

So I was looking for something simple, fairly self-contained that wasn't too expensive and which was suited to solo play.  Warlord Games let you download the rules of Project Z for free and they seem to meet the above criteria.  And at the moment if you buy the core box, you get an expansion pack for free (£45.00's worth of game for £30.00).  So I watched a couple of YouTube videost and decided it was a good deal.

When I came home this afternoon I found the Red Card of Frustration.  Fortunately, in our case it means that the parcel in in the woodpile, so here we are-

As you see, you get a fair bit in the core box, but for Solo play I reckon you need extra Zombies, so for my free box I chose them rather than more survivors.

Sadly, the core set that was sent to me contained the rules and cards in German.  I see that this has happened to other people and been resolved quickly, so have every confidence that Warlord will sort it out.  I've sent an e-mail and will update you on the results.

But don't worry, I've not sworn off Pulp and Classic Sci-Fi, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Kickstarter Watch - LAM Dwarves


For the Dwarf fans of you out there, Lead Adventure Miniatures are running a rather nice looking Kickstarter at the moment.  There's a lot of choice and it's already funded.  Details here.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

More Charity Shop Finds (Pt 1)

I've not posted for a while, so thought I would do one of the no-thought-required posts on my recent purchases from charity shops.  I'd done all the photos, but still couldn't get the post written.  Then, yesterday, I found something remarkable in a charity shop...

So, here are recent finds.  First, books (in order of pulpiness).

It turns out that I already have the Poe, but what the hell - this is a nice edition!

I read a lot of Solzhenitsyn in the 80s (like you do when you're in the sixth form).  These are stories he wrote after the fall of communism and his return to Mother Russia.

I thought I already had this, but don't.  You can't beat Conan Doyle!  If you don't know his non-Sherlock Holmes stories, you must read them - especially his speculative fiction.  The Brigadier Gerrard stories are funny ones.

His and Her's

One of these hats was bought new on the internet.  The other was bought in a charity shop and cost a tenth of the price.  Can you tell which is which?

Tomorrow I will tell you about the amazing purchases I made yesterday (and about the Ones that Got Away!).

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Dr Who Wednesday #19

Doctors: Past, Present and Future

If you have the remotest interest in Doctor Who you would have had to be living under a stone to miss two recent news items.  First. the sad death of Sir John Hurt and, secondly, the fact that Peter Capaldi is to stand down as the current incarnation.

Tens of thousands of words have been written about John Hurt (after all he had a long and very distinguished career), and I have very little to add to them.  In a way his role in Doctor Who was a minor one - the War Doctor only appeared in a couple of episodes, but the character was a piece of genius retconning.  Without a doubt the concept could have fallen flat if he had been played by a lesser actor.  Hurt gave it a huge dramatic punch.

And Capaldi?  He had his annoying bits and pieces (which seem to be a necessary part of playing the Doctor these days), but on the whole I think his has been a good incarnation.  Let's see what he does in the coming season...

We're now faced with the old questions - "Can the next Doctor be a woman/be black?".  I'm not going to go down that line.  All I can say is that the writers made it very clear in the episode 'Hell Bent' that a male, white Time Lord can regenerate into a  black woman.  Some of the names mentioned as potential Doctors (and I'm thinking Idris Elba here) are too 'big' to be able to devote the time needed to being the Doctor (there's so much more work than merely shooting the show).  

All I will say is that I think the BBC will go with a young Doctor again - Capaldi was apparently lacking 'yoof appeal' and wasn't sufficient of a heart-throb.  It is said that 'they' want to appeal to the yoof market (more of which later) and ratchet up the sexual tension with the Companions.  Really, they're harking back to the David Tennant glory days...

The third bit of actory news was that it was Tom Baker's 80th birthday in 20 January.  This launched a lot of nostalgia on social media.  It also prompted the BBC Store to have a special offer on several of the Fourth Doctor seasons.

These special offers are worth looking out for.  For example, this week marks the 40th anniversary (yes really!) of one of the best stories in Doctor Who - the incomparable Robots of Death.  To mark it, the BBC Store is selling it's robot bundle (a collections of serials from Hartnell to Capaldi) at half-price if you use the code ROBOT50 (possibly someone was too young to spot the error).


Recently I've been watching Class.  It's a Who spin-off aimed a the said 'yoof'.  Initially is was only shown on BBC3 (the BBC's web-only channel), but is currently on BBC1 (I believe it's soon to debut on BBC America).  It's set in the Coal Hill Academy (as the old grammar now is).  Apparently all the timy-wimy stuff that's been going on there since the sixties has left the space-time barriers very thin and prone to incursion (one exchange in the first show was 'So it's like we're on a hellmouth?', 'No, a bit more like The Vampire Diaries'.  Nobody said 'Oh!  Exactly like Cardiff is in Torchwood before it got all wierd').  So it's down to a group of ethnically-diverse sixth-formers (plus an emigre alien prince and his slave/bodyguard/prisoner) to Save the World.  Basically it's a cross between the Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood before it got weird.  Those of my readers who don't like sex in Doctor Who (especially gay sex with aliens) better not watch.

On the Paint Table

I do have some Who figures on the paint table, but as per the rules of the Analogue Painting Challenge I won't discuss them until they've featured there.  That was supposed to be this week (I'm one of the Monday crowd), but that was stymied by a bad chest cold.  Hopefully next week.  All I will say is that they are Companions.

I was going to do a TARDIS for the 'Terrain: Home' bonus round, but have completely buggered up construction of the (two-piece) model.

Gratuitous Quill Photo

Monday, 23 January 2017

Painting Challenge Submissions: Pilots and Tong

Curt's wheeze of having a cull off those who hadn't submitted to the Painting Challenge by 20 Jan served to give me the kick up the backside I needed.  Just in time, I manged to get these fellows done.

The first is from Ironclad Miniature's splendid VSF range - the pilot from their steam helicopter.  I won't be submitting  the (still partially-finished) helicopter as part of the Challenge, as it was started some months ago, but included a picture of him in the aircraft for context..

He has a Bleriot quality

The pilot striding out to his Spitfire or Hurricane is from the ever-reliable Artizan - their Pilot Officer Reynolds.   I decided for khaki rather than RAF uniform as likely to use him in a Pulp setting.  I was rather pleased with how he came out.

For the EAST Bonus Round I thought I would submit some proper East End villains.  So here are Wing Fen, the Limehouse Scholar, and some of his 'students'. 

They were horribly rushed, and I'm far from happy with them - especially the bases.  My original intention was to try to base them with some Victorian paving stones or cobbles, but I didn't really have the time, so instead I went with my usual 'Home Counties gravel quarry' (in this case doubling as the famous yellow mud of the Yangtze).

Dr Wing is from Ironclad Miniatures' series of VSF Characters, whereas the muscle are from Foundry's Victorian range.

So that's my duck broken - hopefully there will be more soon!
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