Friday, August 30, 2013

More Armoured Bear!

And he's bringing some goat cavalry with him!

Are they trying to say something about Scots?
"Highland Ram Raiders," indeed!

  These are from West Wind Productions's Dwarf Wars line. Not something I would normally peruse, but I saw one elsewhere and went looking. Pretty cool figures. Makes me want to build a non-Citadel Warhammer Dwarf army.

  These photos come straight off the West Wind website. Andy, if you want, I'll take them off the blog, but they're really cool.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Top Ten Worst Movie Monsters Ever!

  In response to Laughing Ferret's awesome list of the Worst Monsters Ever, I believe I must once again weigh in on the subject. This is becoming a habit, I fear...

   Following his rules, I am limiting myself to only monsters appearing in films which I have seen. Thus, the Twilight critters are safe.


#10: The Blob (1958)

   For some reason, this movie terrified my mother-in-law when she first saw it. But really? It's Jell-o with an attitude. At least the theater is air conditioned. And showing a Bela Lugosi film.

#9: Creature from the Black Lagoon

   Fish guy from prehistoric times? All he wants is to make it with a mammal, raise a few baby fishmen. If only they had used the Creature as the prototype for some kickass Deep Ones in a version of Shadows over Innsmouth. Instead, it's a rubber suit monster with a SCUBA gear humpback.

#8: Were-Marsupials

  No, this is not a joke. In The Howling III, the action takes place in Australia. Therefore, we must have werewolves with pouches! Are these really any scarier than real werewolves? Not in the slightest. And dressing like Sister Mary Catherine doesn't scare me, either, though considering her skill with a yardstick across the knuckles, it probably should be more terrifying.

#7: I Was a Teenage [Fill in Blank] (1957)

   They were both dreadful. Michael Landon as the werewolf. Gary Conway as the Frankenstein's Monster. But at least the werewolf costume wasn't as bad as that awful Frankenstein.

#6: Mothra

   Any monster list that is not specifically anti-kaiju must have kaiju. I think that is internet law #647 or something. And Mothra is the lamest kaiju of them all. First, she can be controlled by two tiny Japanese fairies. Second, although she's big, her greatest power is... poisonous spores. Unless you count the spraying silk attack of the larval form.

#5: Giant Bunnies

   Not a typo. That word is bunnies. Giant, carnivorous bunnies, sure. But still... bunnies? Night of the Lepus tried to make you scared of them. They also did it the lazy way (regular animal, scale setting). Ho hum. These are sure not the killer bunny from Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail. After all, these are lame, and that rabbit's dynamite!

#4: The Mirror Monster

   Among the many terrible things that were in Conan the Destroyer (like casting Wilt Chamberlain and Grace Jones), this monster was pathetic. A mighty sorcerer (Thoth-Amon) chooses this for his combat against Conan? I mean, you have to break some mirrors to kill it? Gee, that's tough. Think of all the bad luck you're going to have...

#3: Giant Spider from Ator the Fighting Eagle

   Back in the 80s, I loved sword and sorcery movies. Which had a lot of bad monsters in them. I think the worst was this giant spider. I swear you could see the cables which manipulated the legs in some shots.

#2: Iguana Dinosaurs

   A staple of the early sci-fi movies, an iguana with a forced perspective or film overlay is the laziest monster ever. This one is from One Million Years BC. Which did, however, have some redeeming qualities as a film...

#1: Robot Monster

   The Ferret hit the nail on the head with this one. However, if I had ever seen one of the Twilight movies, I would have bumped this guy for the Sparkly Vampires.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Top Ten Non-Giant Movie Monsters

   The last list was fun, but there were some critters that I had to leave off since they just weren't big enough. To give them their due, I decided I simply had to do another list, this time of the non-giant monsters. And so, without further ado, I present the


#10: Frankenstein's Monster

   Extra points if you know the monster's given name, per the 'good' Doctor Frankenstein? Anyone? I like this guy because he is such a sad monster, misunderstood and maligned before he ever had a chance.

#9: Flying Monkeys

   My wife's favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz. When I saw it for the first time as a kid, these guys scared the bejeezus out of me. And the new Oz movie upgraded them.

#8: The Dragon's Teeth Warriors

   A Ray Harryhausen classic, the skeletal warriors sprung up from the ground in Jason and the Argonauts.

#7: Werewolf/Wolfman

   The allure of this monster is that he is a man. Until the full moon comes out and then hes an unreasoning avatar of hunger and death. Me likey. My favorite werewolf film is An American Werewolf in London. The transformation scene to Bad Moon Rising is a classic.

#6: Reavers

   In a nutshell these creatures - once human - are so scary because, they will rape you till you die, remove your skin and wear it as clothing, and then eat you. And if you're very, very lucky, it will be in that order. That and the fact that they appear in one of my favorite TV series, Firefly, which was made into a film, called Serenity.

#5: The Wampa

   A giant hairy carnivore on the ice planet of Hoth. He took out Luke and the tauntaun with one swipe of his paw. If he had decided that the little guy would be a better appetizer than dessert... well, that would have been the end of that movie.

#4: Imhotep

   Best mummy ever. Both Boris Karloff's version in 1932 and Arnold Vosloo's portrayal in 1999. He did it all for love.

#3: The Alien

   The Alien from the classic sci-fi horror film, Alien. Not the hordes of aliens that the Marines and convicts on a prison world could manage to kill. The original baddie, which took out the entire crew of the Nostromo, except for Ripley. That was a baaad monster.

#2: Zombies

   Man, do I love zombies. The shambling horde. The end of the world. None of this running zombies, none of this 'rage virus' nonsense, and voodoo zombies? Fuggedaboutit. Give me good old fashioned Night of the Living Dead or Dawn of the Dead (original, not remake), or, on the small screen, The Walking Dead. Those are some good monsters. We will not discuss World War Z beyond saying this: great book, okay movie, but not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination.

#1: Count Dracula

   Screw Twilight. Vampires should only sparkle when exposed to sunlight for about a tenth of a second as they are consumed in fire and burnt away to ash. The Count is another horror icon, and has appeared in many guises and many movies. He's a suave killer. And, Bela Lugosi's accent sealed his voice forever.

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Top 10 List of Giant Movie Monsters

   Inspired by the Laughing Ferret's blog post on movie monsters (not the first time that has happened!), I have decided that emulation is the sincerest form of flattery. Thus, my own


#10: Tyrannosaurus Rex

   From Jurassic Park. He eats the obnoxious lawyer. 'Nuff said? Poor thing probably got indigestion from eating that greasy junk food.

#9: Graboids

   This movie monster was the real star (sorry, Kevin Bacon) of the absolute B-grade joy movie Tremors. Now, if only they could fly.

#8: THEM!

   The height of 1950's atomic power gone wrong movies. The giant ants of THEM! had no names, but they left a stink of formic acid and boy, did they like sugar.

#7: The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man

   Who says your giant monsters can't be lovable food icons from your childhood? Not Ray Stantz! It's... the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. But Bill knew how to take care of him - all you need now is a 50-Foot Tall Woman (with negotiable virtue). Monsters can be funny, too.

#6: King Ghidorah

   If two heads are better than one, then what about three? Flying three-headed lightning-breathing dragon? Why, yes, thank you!

#5: Smaug

   I love Smaug, the Great and Powerful. He is all that a D&D red dragon should be. He laid waste to an entire dwarven kingdom. He lives in a mountain lair that can only be reached by a secret tunnel. He's powerful, huge, flying, fire-breathing, treasure-hoarding, and - here's the weakness - arrogant as Hell! Yes, Smaug's weakness wasn't the tiny chink in his armoured belly, but his hubris, in that he unwittingly showed Bilbo his vulnerable spot rather than simply flaming him to ashes.

#4: Vermithrax Pejorative

   The eponymous beast from the 1981 Disney film Dragonslayer - still the only Disney film with frontal male nudity! The Verm-ster was a bad, old dragon, just wanted some nice tender virgins for it's babies. He beats out Smaug only because Smaug was animated in a cartoon, and Vermithrax looked real (in 1981).

#3: Great Cthulhu

   So what if it's silent? It's an Elder God. You wouldn't understand what it was saying anyway, and just hearing its voice would drive you mad. Ftaghn!

#2: King Kong

   Yes, he's just a giant ape. And he never should have beaten Godzilla - darned American screenwriters and producers messed that one up. But he is an icon of the giant monster movie genre. And he did it all for love.

#1: Godzilla

   There can be only one, and this is the King of Monsters. The Big G is iconic, even through his multiple incarnations and his varying attitudes vis-a-vis destroying or saving humanity. Heck, he's even been a she on at least one occasion. He's had cartoons, a million movies, stuffed toys, a bubble gum, etc., etc.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Car Wars Counters in Progress

   I have been perusing eBay for the last few weeks, looking to buy some of the original counters for classic scale Car Wars. They run a bit, so I was putting it off, a back burner project. I wanted to attach the counters to some 3mm playwood bases I ordered from Litko back in June. The idea was to make the counters easier to handle, a little sturdier, etc.

   Then, while I was wasting time looking through Warehouse 23 at OGRE stuff, I thought I would check out the e23 downloads. This led to looking at Car Wars downloads, too, and the counters were there, in PDF form, and cheap. Like, $2.99 a set cheap. And you can print off as many sheets as you like. SOLD! Printed them out, cut out with scissors, a little white glue and BAM! Deluxe Car Wars counters. I even got the AADA Vehicle Guide set, the ones in black and white line drawings. A few minutes with Photoshop, Acrobat, or Paint, and you can color them however you like. Haven't printed those out yet, but they look pretty neat on the screen.

Some of the work so far

The oil slicks and smoke /paint clouds are reversible.

Klassic Killer Kart!

   PS: I am in Mexico right now. This is a previously scheduled post. I love technology.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Just in from Kickstarter

   Actually, by the time you read this, it will have been a few days ago, and I will be somewhere in the midst of the Gulf of Mexico, on a rather large ship, heading for tropical climes. No, the feds and the revenuers are not on my trail (yet...). Just taking the memsahib on a well-deserved break from work and kids. However, I would hate for all of you nice folks to have nothing to read about, so, as a public service and a sign of what a heck of a guy I am, I scheduled this post.

  But it is a short one.

  What you see below is the deck of cards I received from Nat Iwata, a rather good artist. The plan is to use them for Victorian Science Fiction games using a card activation system.

Da Box

Reverse of the Cards

King of Hearts

King of Clubs

King of Diamonds - Steamthulhu!

King of Spades - the Great Elder One Itsself

   And, just to prove what a Prince of a Guy I am... here's a little song...

   For the record, I chose this one because it was a good audio version of the tune...

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Imperial Army of the North (Well. part of it)

   I recently uncovered some old plastic Warhammer Fantasy Battle spearmen, for the Empire. This is a pretty good thing, because that is the army I have been building over the past few years. I will probably have it ready to go for my sons about the time the youngest one goes off to college, but that doesn't matter.

   Problem: They are already partially painted, and for the Grand Barony of Nordland, whose colours are blue and yellow, rather than for either the City-State of Talabheim or the Grand Duchy of Talabecland, in red and white and red and yellow, respectively, which are the colours and patterns in which the rest of my army to date has been painted.

   Solution: The Grand Army of the North. Instead of just the first two regions, I am making the army a consolidated force of multiple provinces and city-states. Which makes incorporating Knights Panther and Knights of the White Wolf a little easier, story-wise, anyway.

   Here are the first five, all done. I've another 11 or 13 to finish up, including command.

Right shoulder... ARMS!

The Lions of Dietershafen

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Too Cool...

Minis from Cult TV, produced by Crooked Dice

And, just because I can...

A Bunny with a Pancake on its Head.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Tally Thus Far...

   Midway through August, just about two-thirds of the year gone. Time to review my project progress, I think. And, it seems pretty good, actually! I am grading the year on four criteria: Painting accomplished, money spent, blog posts made, and games played.

   I have already painted more 25mm, 6mm, and fleet scale miniatures this year than in all of 2012. I am very close with 15mm, as well. More terrain has been readied for play, and more vehicles. In all, the only category that I am lagging behind in is re-basing, and that mostly because I did the majority of what was necessary last year!

   Expenditures are pretty high, granted. But that includes a good bit for a round trip airfare, hotel and car rental to attend Historicon. Plus the hefty spending done there. So, not too bad, and certainly less than I would have spent on a hunting lease or a fishing boat.

   Games played: I did not track these very well last year, but I would hazard a guess as to say I am playing more as well. Which was the point of tracking them - a spur to activity!

   Finally, I am already over the 2012 mark on posts this year. Thanks to those of you who follow regularly, and to those who occasionally pop in but don't actively follow: why not? What would you like to see mroe of here?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The things to which I have been up...

   Mostly, a lot of painting as I had the chance. Here are the results:

A platoon of Combine Heavy tanks, of the 301st Armor

Company Command tank, 301st Armor.
Note the antenna and the turret number.
I use the old German WWII system, because I like it.

Another view of the Combine Ranger-class heavy tank.
Paneuropean Infantry, 16eme Ligne Battalion Command

16eme Ligne Heavy Infantry Platoon

The 16eme Ligne, Paneuropean Infantry
(3 Infantry companies, 1 Heavy Infantry company, Command platoon, two Trucks)

16eme Ligne Heavy Infantry Company

The Royal Canadian Aero Cavalry swoop over the hill...

A VSF Lascannon for German forces
Circle Orboros Wold Watcher

Circle Orboros Argus

Aetherbattalion Feldwebel Heydrich
   So, anyway, a good deal of painting. I am working on some spearmen for Warhammer Fantasy right now, as well as some more shield gunners, and a Cygnar Squire, as well as part of Lord Curr's Incorrigibles for IHMN. As I finish up some, I will share, of course.