zondag 18 maart 2018

Star Wars The Last Jedi

So finally Noshi and me saw the latest instalment in the Star Wars saga.

Now, the comments I read about it told me it was like the previous film: a rehearsal of the Empire Strikes Back this time.  Well, it isn`t... it`s worse.

Plot (from Wikipedia)

Resistance forces, led by General Leia Organa, flee D'Qar when a First Order fleet arrives. Poe Dameron leads a costly counterattack that destroys a First Order dreadnought, but after the Resistance escapes to hyperspace, the First Order tracks them and attacks the Resistance convoy. Kylo Ren, Leia's son, hesitates to fire on the lead Resistance ship after sensing his mother's presence, but his TIE fighter wingmen destroy the bridge, incapacitating Leia. Disapproving of new leader Vice Admiral Holdo's passive strategy, Poe helps Finn, BB-8, and mechanic Rose Tico embark on a secret mission to disable the tracking device.
Meanwhile, Rey arrives on Ahch-To with Chewbacca and R2-D2 aboard the Millennium Falcon to recruit Luke Skywalker to the Resistance. Disillusioned by his failure to train Kylo as a Jedi, and under self-imposed exile from the Force, Luke refuses to help—even after he learns of Han Solo's death at Kylo's hands—and believes that the Jedi should become extinct. Unbeknownst to Luke, Rey and Kylo communicate through the Force, puzzling the two enemies. As the rival Force users learn about each other, each has future visions of themselves as partners.
R2-D2 persuades Luke to train Rey. After Kylo tells Rey about what happened between him and Luke that caused him to choose the dark side of the Force, Luke confesses that he momentarily contemplated killing Kylo upon sensing that Supreme Leader Snoke was corrupting him, causing Kylo to destroy Luke's new Jedi Order in retaliation. Convinced that Kylo can be redeemed, Rey leaves Ahch-To to confront Kylo without Luke. Luke prepares to burn down the Ahch-To Jedi temple and library, but hesitates. Yoda's ghost appears and destroys the temple by summoning a thunderstorm, claiming Rey has all she needs to learn, and encourages Luke to learn from his failure.
Holdo reveals her plan to discreetly evacuate the remaining Resistance members using small transports. Believing her actions cowardly and risky, Poe leads a mutiny. Finn, Rose, and BB-8 travel to the Canto Bight casino and acquire the help of the hacker DJ, who says he can help them disable the tracking device. They infiltrate Snoke's ship, but all but BB-8 are captured by Captain Phasma.

Meanwhile, Rey lands on the ship, and Kylo brings her to Snoke, who reveals that he facilitated the mental connection between her and Kylo as part of a plan to destroy Luke. Ordered to kill Rey, Kylo instead kills Snoke and, with Rey, defeats Snoke's guards. Rey believes that Kylo has returned to the light side of the Force, but he instead invites her to rule the galaxy with him, which she refuses. They use the Force to fight for possession of Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, which splits in two.
Leia recovers and stuns Poe, allowing the evacuation to begin. Holdo remains on the ship to mislead Snoke's fleet as the others flee to an abandoned Rebel Alliance base on Crait. DJ reveals the Resistance's plan to the First Order, and the evacuation transports are slowly destroyed. Holdo sacrifices herself by ramming Snoke's fleet at lightspeed; Rey escapes in the chaos, while Kylo declares himself Supreme Leader. BB-8 frees Finn and Rose, who escape after defeating Phasma, and they join survivors on Crait. When the First Order arrives, Poe, Finn, and Rose attack with old speeders. Rey and Chewbacca draw the TIE fighters away with the Falcon, while Rose stops Finn from completing a suicide run against the enemy siege cannon, which penetrates the Resistance fortress.
Luke appears and confronts the First Order to enable surviving Resistance members to escape. Kylo orders the First Order's forces to fire on Luke to no effect. He then engages Luke in a lightsaber duel; upon striking Luke, Kylo realizes he has been fighting a Force projection of him. Rey uses the Force to help the Resistance escape on the Falcon. Luke, exhausted, dies peacefully on Ahch-To. His death is sensed by Rey and Leia, but Leia tells surviving rebels that the Resistance has all it needs to rise again. At Canto Bight, one of the children who helped Finn and Rose escape grabs a broom with the Force and gazes into space.

What I liked about it

Well, not much actually... this was indeed the Empire all over again (speeder fight, training on a desolate planet with a dark side cave on it, a selfmade man turns traitor for a best deal, ...) with the finale of the Return of the Jedi (the council chamber fight...)
* The humour was good, with the space penguins playing a nice part in it together with BB-8
* The Snoke cut up sequence was unexpected
* The filmatography of the rebel cruiser crashing into the First Order vessel
* The whole Luke at the end sequence
But unfortunatly, counting that all together, I liked about 15 minutes of the whole 2.5 hours of film...

What I didn`t like about it

Well, a lot.  And not only the fact it`s a mix up of Empire and Return with barely anything original.
* The bombers: open bay doors but no decompression without a force field in place?  And really, why are they so slow, the old B-Wings and Y-Wings did a far better job...
* The non-development of who Snoke was
* The overhyped Phasma, who had two movies and 10 minutes screen time it seems...
* The fact it has to rely on jokes instead of good movie making.
* Leia`s Force pull... she should have been cooked in space by then... get your science right.

Now, this all makes it pretty predictable what will happen in the final movie of this trilogy, mark my words.
Rey is going to try and turn Kylo again.  She gets beaten around, but he then realises his errors of his ways.  Hux steps in and takes over the command of the First Order, and will prepare the weapon of doom plot from that movie to wipe out Rey and the Rebellion.  Kylo sacrifices himself to stop it all.  the end.

No, I`m not looking forward to the overinflux of Star Wars, with stand alone movies, a series coming up... Disney is doing a good job of running it into the ground by overexposure for sure...

Guilty Crown: Lost Christmas

Rounding out the anime series we watched last week, Lost Christmas is an OVA extension of the series.

Now, I thought at first this would be an expanded version of the Lost Christmas event we saw in the series... but it is something totally different.


In 2029, Scrooge escapes from a research facility where he had been confined as an experimental subject. His body was remodeled by genetic manipulations and he uses his psychic power to kill the chasers. One day, he meets another experimental subject called Carol. When three psychic chasers hunt down the two, Carol asks Scrooge to use his right arm to extract a weapon from her body. 

This is in general terms actually an origin story based on the videogame, lasting only about 15 minutes and then some additional material from the DVD.  It explains in short the first encounter with a "Hand" power for the antagonist of the series itself, and how he came in possession of his electronical eye, but has for the rest nothing to do with the actual series characters themselves.

What I liked about it

* Scrooge is actually a cooler good guy then Shu in this short movie, and maybe it can be an opening to a new series?

What I didn`t like about it

* It`s short.  Very short.

The Haul Report 125

I`m still going strong in my oath to not buy more then i can paint, and working down the stacks first, inspired by the AHPC8.

So this week, I got next to nothing to my collections, just this little WW1 coin from Dinant last weekend.

Everywhere in Belgium these coin machines are located at historical places, ranging from zoo's to monuments like the Dinant citadel, and I have quite a collection of them already.  The coins cost two euro in the machines and are a nice souvenir to take along in my mind.

And that`s it.  I even survived a geeky con without purchases, but more on that later...

vrijdag 16 maart 2018

On the Painting Desk 38

So it`s done... everything that I wanted to enter in the AHPC is now off the painting desk... and it`s time for some cooldown (see this post from earlier this week).

And I might not have done as much as I liked in this final week, nevertheless some decent entries have been put together.

So where will I be going now?  Well, the first thing I`m going to do is round out everything that is still on the desk in the video, but in a waaaaaay more slow rate then the past three months.  Three months yielding about 300 figures hacks in on your paint drive, deadlines and such.

But now I can go about painting nice and slowly for a month or so, before firing up the engines again and actually getting things done like the Slaanesh army, the Tau project, the final Dark Age figures (yeah... final... until we order some more xD), the blood bowl team and more of the projects you see in the bar on the left of this blogpage.

It`s been great fun to participate, and I`ll be back next year for sure... but now, I`m sitting back and threat myself to the Made In Asia event this weekend first to emerge in something completely different.


donderdag 15 maart 2018

They where the terror of the woods...

So this is it, the final wednesday entry for the AHPC8, and what a journey it has been!

This challenge is great fun, and very, very motivational on the painting front.

As has become a bit of a habbit for myself the past weeks, I've been painting up one of our Crisis entry models as the 'post opener' every time, and this time it's our Bokkenrijder (buckrider) we gave as entry model in 2010.

The Bokkenrijders where folklore figures that rode through the sky mounted on bucks, but also the inspiration for a band of ruffians operating in southern Limburg (a province in Flanders) during the 18th century.  They took the iconography like leaving a buck head sign on doors of raided farms to inspire terror in the local farming communities.  This link to the occult also resulted in many innocent men being trialled and executed as being a bokkenrijder.

The model was sculpted by Paul Hicks as usual.  Now, to see the other Crisis models painted up when I get round to it, just glance at my little corner of the internet once in a while under The Vault tab of my page, or feel free to add me on Facebook or such.

But that isn't everything that I painted up this week, as I'm breaking through the 1500 points mark this week.  Like, just in time to double my target.

One project for this challenge I as such finished in the nick of time, is completing all those Gripping Beast plastic Dark Age warriors I had lying around, in the form of another two partial units of Bonnachts: one armed with swords and shield, the other with spears.

A small 'in between' entry are these 15mm Dark Dwarf cultists, produced by 15mm.co.uk and which I picked up years ago at Salute when I still planned to play HOTT (it never got 'launched' at the club though, so they just lingered around on the stack).

Another base of Shang chinese spearmen has also been completed.  Nothing to impressive and I still don't know if I'm going to continue building on this force for the Mortem game, I will first have to see if the people at the club are convinced to try those rules.

And finally another small expansion for my 40k Slaneeshi legion, because a week without pink power is a week wasted.  The model is from the Raging Heroes line of figures, and I thought she made an excellent Herald for the deamonic compartment: both sexy and gruesome blended together in one vicious looking lady...

So for this week, that grants me the following points:

Bokkenrijder 1 x 28mm = 5 points
Bonnachts 8 x 28mm = 40 points
Cultists 4 x 15mm = 8 points
Shang Chinese 4 x 28mm = 20 points
Herald 1 x 28mm = 5 points

For a nice total of 78 points

And that is it, the final time I got to badger... I mean, bugger, Ray with my weekly entries.  Now all that is left if the very last entry on the final day, which for 'cycle completeness' will of course be 6mm epic forces for my Emperor's Children.

woensdag 14 maart 2018

Guilty Crown

The latest anime series I watched together with Noshi, Guilty Crown is a 22 episode long anime in the likes off... yeah... what actually.

It combines the genres of mecha, high school harem and hardcore sci-fi together, making it a rather unique viewing experience.  And not a bad one to boot.


Shu is a young boy who accidentally gets involved in the activities of Funeral Parlour, a terrorist organisation opposing the facistical Anti-Bodies.  This force was raised after the events that became known as Lost Christmas, in which a large portion of Nippon was wiped out to a mysterious disease.  When he is in the middle of an attack by the Anti-Bodies, he tries to save a girl named Inori, but ends up the recipient of a strange genome intended for Funeral Parlor's leader, Gai.
This genome grants him the power of the kings, which allows him to pull out objects named Voids from people's hearts, as a manifestation of their personality.  Unwillingly as such, he becomes the ace up the sleeve of Funeral Parlour.

However, when a rescue operation goes sour and Gai is lost, he is forced inside his highschool with his classmates, and some members of Funeral Parlour.  Day by day, the wall encircling the school district is brought closer and citizens ruthlessly massacred, causing Shu to take some hard decisions and becoming that what he always fought to prevent...

What I liked about it

* The first 12 episode arc.  This anime / underdog part of the story made for a nice thriller / mecha melange.
* Ayase, the disabled mech pilot of Funeral Parlour, who despite her handicap takes a serious role in the series, especially in the second arc of the series.

What I didn't like about it

* The rather forced ending of the Gai arc and the reasons behind what he chose to do.  Perhaps one more episode to string this out a little would have been better instead of the so-so all has to be done in 5 minutes last one.

A fine series, of which we have to watch the movie that came a while later still, with some strange twists in it.

Back to Eorzea

Paint decompressions... that's how I should call it.

After painting, basing and varnishing almost 300 figures for the AHPC8, I'm taking a step back for now.

Not that I quit painting, but I just am turning down the speed, and work through the figures at a far lesser deadlined rate then the past three months. To that end, I'm also filling the "geek-time" with returning to my favorite MMO, Final Fantasy XIV.

Just like Noshi, who came out of her winter break for the game this month.  So that lines up nicely, and we can go on dastardly duo-ing the instances.  Or better, she rules them and I'm her wind-up minion being dragged along, as I'm way behind her, just rounding out the main storyline quests.  Now the whole gear grind and instance unlocking is upon me...

I finally joined her guild as well, in an effort to on the one hand get some old raid contents sorted out, but more importantly to not be solo grinding and queue waiting the whole time.

Now for the next weeks, my goals are on the one hand to level up my gear with my 'main' class of Red Mage(power to pouf and panache!) and on the other hand boost up the crafter alt in tailoring and botany to unlock at first the desyntesis parts. Because that way I can trash all the loot from the lower level instances, as well as push on in the end game content and "sponsor" the bloody expensive Materia VI's...

And try not to get to distracted by hunting down minions xD...