donderdag 14 december 2017

Hobby Goal Failures of 2017

With 2017 slowly coming to a close, I can already draw a line on projects that won`t make the mark this year.

Now, the list is actually pretty long, considering I quit LEGO, which had a few "marks" on the list pat april, to inmerse myself again in the lovely world of wargaming.

In a way, it was like coming home...

But as such, a lot of red is in the sidebar on the left of this post.  Planned building projects never got finished, or even start, because of this.  Things like the planned Fredericksburg ACW build, or the various Lord of the Rings projects, ended mid build or even in the planning stages as such.

Another result of this are the planned 50 build reports, which initially would be one every week with some leeway for holidays.  However, even though I tried afterwards with some backlog marathons to compensate, it didn`t work out as I couldn`t find the "drive" to type them all up anymore, so they ended after publishing 28 out of the 50 planned ones this year.  Considering I had material to take me well into 2019 on a weekly basis, that means a lot of sets I had build never will see the pages of this little corner of the internet.

The same goes for exposing at "geeky" and Lego events.  I had set a moderate goal of 5 for this year, but I only did Comic Con Brussels this year, as my run in that hobby came to an end just before (and also due to things surrounding it) the second one I would participate.  So that clocks of at a single show as a result.

Then, the wargaming began again, and I`m rather happy to say I`ll only strand on two projects not reaching their goals in 2017.  The first is a 1000 points Witch Elves (Daughters of Khaine) force.  I talked about it before how the General`s Handbook massacred my force this year, so I shifted to my Empire force as a result, and the no longer able to be allied Dark Elves fell of by the roadside. 
In a totally different vain I won`t reach the 1000 points Slaanesh force either, as I have been painting other units for 40k instead of my daemons lately.  That force will be back in numbers in 2018, with a large bar set for the Age of Sigmar big battle in august, but the initial start number wasn`t reached.  But I do expect to get around 200 points extra done in that force though for this year, so it`ll be with a small margin that I`ll fall short.

So all in all, that is a rather okay ratio of not reached targets.  Next week, I`ll be putting down some words about the goals I`ve set myself hobbywise for 2018, after that I`ll look back at the best things and biggest disappointments I found for myself from 2017, only to round off in the last week of the year with the achieved goals of 2017.

And then... a new year is upon us!

Marco Polo season 1

A suprisingly fun series to watch compared to the critics online, Marco Polo is a Netflix original series telling the story of the Silk Route trader.

In this first season, the focus is on how he is abandoned by his father in service of Kublai Khan, so that he and Marco`s uncle could make use of the famous trade route.

This leads to Marco being interred in the life at the Monghol court, which is preparing to take the city of Xiangyang and unifie the whole of China under the great Khan of Khans.  Opposing him is the fantastic Chancellor Sidao, a man of pure intellect, military strategy and political machinations.  I really liked this fella, compared to Noshi who got shivers from him.

When the initial assault fails, combined with a failed assassination attempt on both the Khan and on his wife, it is suspected by Prince Jinghim, the Khan's son, that Marco actually works for the chinese... and it is up to Marco to prove him wrong.

The series, which in the first part might have a bit of to many "bubs" around in order to not be taken for a gratuite show, is a rather epical series, with swordflashing, kung-fu and intrigue, and makes as such for a nice mixed viewing experience.  It has some weaker points, but the strongpoints for sure on an acting level are Kublai himself (a sublime Benedict Wong), the blind monk "Hundred Eyes" and the excellent and crafty empress Chabi.  Whom all compensate by far for the actual rather weak initially Master Polo himself, though he gets better and more to the forefront in later episodes.

It`s enjoyable, and the all mongol / asian culture the series bathes in makes for a welcome change of setting from your usual semi-historical series.  Not the greatest of series, but definitly not as weak as it was meant to be believed going by reviews in my opinion.

And now Noshi and me are going to watch season 2, laters all ;-)

woensdag 13 december 2017

Moana

I watched this film with Noshi, who told me it was really great, and I still had it on my immense backlog, past monday.

And I love it!

The tale goes about a young islander princess, Moana, who finds a legendary stone in the ocean.  She has always been attracted to the wide open waters, while the rule of the island keeps her land bound.  Until her grandmother convinces her otherwise, while the island seems to get infected by a strange disease.

Together with the (rather idiotic) rooster He-He, she sets out in the wide seas to look for the legendary demi-god Maui, and to bring the stone back to the place he actually stole it from ages ago.

I liked this film because Moana isn`t the typical Disney princess, and this is a film of courage, but also of incredible stubborness.  Another great thing about it is that the movie tells a story not really much heard in the Western world, as it is based on an islander legend from the Pacific ocean.

And if that all fails to convince you to watch this Disney movie...

IT HAS AN ARMY OF KILLER COCONUTS!!!!




dinsdag 12 december 2017

The Orville season 1

Aaaah, The Orville, Seth McFarlane's hommage slash parody on Star Trek and perhaps a series that never had such differentiating ratings on Rotten Tomatoes in the past years.

Critics gave it 21%... viewers 93%, that`s a big difference!

And I actually understand it.  Noshi, who doesn`t like Star Trek, was totally enjoying this show and the fact it`s a mixture between comedy and some seriousness and adventure.  And that is indeed a true statement, as it are in essence not only episodes that look as if they could be from the 90s Trek with the special effects, costumes and sorts of stories.  It also has a decent humor twist (Isaac is superb for example) wihtout devolving into a slapstick buts-tits jokes show.

The setting of a captain who finally gets his ship to set out and explore, only to be saddled up with his cheated on him ex-wife makes for a special dynamic, and while the series quickly gets over the difference, it keeps bringing it up from time to time without it becoming a guiding red line in the series (think Voyager / Maquis).  This causes funny episodes, but not overarch and hinder the series.

Add in a whole plethora of famous "genre actors" (heck, even a DS9 regular is on the core crew) and even Charlize Theron, and you get some nice interactions on the screen. 

While originally scheduled for a 13 episode run, season 1 ended after 12 as Fox`s christmas period schedule would have created a long gap between the last episode and the one before from past week.  As a result the 13th will be the opening episode of the already confirmed season 2... so more Star Trek-esque humour is on the way.

And yes, I liked it as well, for just that reason as many other viewers.  It`s ties to 90s Trek are strong enough to play on the nostalgia feeling, while the Galaxy Quest sort of storytelling.

It was fun, period.

zondag 10 december 2017

The Haul Report 111

So I wanted to keep it calm until after the christmas and new year season...

I failed...

Well, it is not entirely my fault, due to opportunities.  The eyecatcher this week is this Knight for 40k, who I already went paintcrazy on last night and he is 75% done now.  But Nemesis had found a deal on our clubs board, and this resulted in me getting one from him for a measly fraction of the price.  no way in hell that I would have that passing over...

In the more regular purchases, I picked up the newest copy of White Dwarf this week, together with a pack of Khorne dice from my loyalty card programme.

In the meantime, la mama had found another set of cheap brushes for the undercoating and varnishing parts, so I`m set with those for a few months now.

My Blood Bowl team arrived as well, a measly 5 days after ordering from Gaspez Arts.  I went for the bondage team, who`ll be playing as a sort of Slaaneshi Amazons (the first fluff wise, the second rule wise), and I took some loose characters to go with them.  The fact they had a 20% discount last week is an excellent added bonus.

And finally, our cluborder of Chapter Approved books had arrived as well, so I could collect that one on friday to round out a hefty week of hauls.

Well, until next week, and I won`t make any promises to myself...

Blair Witch

A direct sequel to the cult movie from years ago, which revolutionised the horror genre, Blair Witch has a fantastic horror moment as well.

Namely when you see at the clock and realise you just waisted an hour and a half...

Where the original film was great due to it's found footage concept and the fact you didn`t know what to expect, this one, well, definitly is not. 

When james, the younger brother of Heather from the first movie, finds online material that might help him find closure in what might have happened to his missing sibling, he and his friends, together with a couple that claims to have found the footage, go out and search.

Quickly it`s revealed the tape was a fake for some ghosthunters, but then things start to get weird.  Not in the creepy spooky way of the first, no, now we get time distortion, perpetual night and a house that is there but isn`t.  Don`t ask.  Google it or so, because it ain`t even worth the watch...

This was truly a bad movie.  No real jump scares like the first, and it is all repetition in essence.  Apart from more frantic running around by flashlight, the "new thing" is that the Blair Witch is apparently some sort of left behind alien or such.  And to be honest, it kinda sucks to see it... ruins a bit the mythos.

No, this wasn`t a great film at all, nor a even a moderatly good one...

zaterdag 9 december 2017

The Divided Union

The Divided Union is a now 30 year old (it`s from 1987), 5 part documentary series about the American Civil War.

Back in the days it aired on Channel 4, but you can find it on YouTube as well these days.

While it is one of the many documentary series about this war, what, from the likes I`ve seen before on the campaign, is that it doesn`t really focus on the battles.  In fact, most battles get at best a 10 minute recounting in the series.  But instead, it focusses (like in episode 1) the political run up to the war, and (in episode 5) the situation for the african american 100 years after the war.

This makes it a bit different from many other series, as it has other experts as such that shed a light on  the conflict, as it doesn`t go into the battle tactics and generals as much, but in the fate of slave and civilian alike during the conflict.

It`s worth a watch, even though you probably won`t find it in HD images I fear...