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Crowdfunding Spotlight: 28mm Alpine Gnomes from Old School Miniatures on Kickstarter

5 Jun

 


So, it’s been ages since I’ve posted a Crowdfunding Spotlight article here, so without further a do, I want to draw your attention to these interesting little fellers.

Old School Miniatures have a campaign running for these 28mm Alpine Gnomes, which I have to say, have a distinctly Oldhammer feel like some thing from 2nd/3rd Ed Warhammer. Even the pic below is like an old White Dwarf advert for Citadel, which is why I was attracted to the project in the first place.


As you can see, it’s mostly for file and rank gnome troopers, ideal for those who ever wanted to field an entirely gnomish army then this is up your alley! As far as I remember, there were always a shortage of such minis if you ever wanted Gnomes, just a scattering of character types really,  which was fine if you wanted them for a character, but not great for wargaming, so these could be for you if you are gnomishly inclined.

Check out the Kickstarter page and pledge while you have chance, there’s a week left and it’s funded, so you will get your gnomies if you chip in.

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5 reasons I F*%king love Hawk the Slayer!

3 Jun

I’m sure this movie needs no introductions. You can call this one of my guilty pleasure’s of the celluloid variety, as ever since I first saw it, I loved it ever since.

In an age growing up where fantasy media was limited to a handful of films on VHS, no one could ever understand why I liked this movie so much, no amount of me telling them would make them understand why. So with that in mind, I’m going to present five reasons I fucking love that film, even to this day!

1. THE SOUNDTRACK

The music and theme tune on the movie is brilliant, a weird mish mash of synth-pop, fantasy and nostalgia. It suits the film and themes perfectly (I think) A real curiosity of sorts, but cool none the less. Check it out:

2. THE CAST

What can I say about the cast ensemble for this low budget fantasy movie? Well, lets begin with the iconic stars in this film. Jack Palance as the older scarred and evil brother (and Hawk’s Nemesis) Voltan, The giant Gort played by “Carry on” mainstay Bernard Bresslaw, Shane Bryant as Drogo, Annette Crosby (Margret Meldrew from one foot in the grave), Patricia Quinn (Rocky Horror show)  as the witch, Harry Andrews, Roy Kinnear, Warren Clarke, and so many more decent well known British actors. There’s even Ferdy Mayne and the guy who was the original Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars IV (the cut out bit that was later CGI and put back in) Quite a decent cast for such a low budget.

3. THE ACTION

The frantic and sometimes comical nature of the action scenes is something I hold a soft spot for. Crow’s multiple cut and edited arrow shots were pure cinematic cheese,  as kids I remember my mates wanting to be him in games we played at school. Even though Crow the elf, was in my opinion the least developed of the party of heroes, he was bad ass due to this quick cheapo edit effect!

4. THE CHEESE

Hawk the Slayer is no masterpiece of cinema. I admit that it  was never going to win Oscars for any part of the movie, acting or script. What makes it good is that it is not good. Sure, it’s entertaining enough, but it’s no LOTR trilogy, but it has that feel of my childhood days playing red box D&D home brew adventures. This film is cheesy as hell, a little bit camp, and ropey SFX, but I still love it just for old times sake!

5. THE HERITAGE

When I speak of heritage, by that I refer back to the cheese,in which the plot and setup of the movie, is pretty much just that of probably many of our childhood D&D and RPG games. Beat for beat, these standard fantasy RPG tropes are in force. The party of heroes, the hero’s brother being the big bad, defend the Abbey mission, raid the enemy camp, the showdown etc. How many of us out there used this movie as direct inspiration for our own RPGs, wargames, and LARP (trust me, loads of LARPers has cited this movie as inspiration, it’s almost like one anyway!) Also this movie has a real Hammer films vibe too, now that’s real heritage!

If you haven’t seen it, go away and watch it NOW, if your into RPGs, fantasy or similar. If you have, go re watch it.

I now retreat to dig out my DVD copy of it from the vaults to become a starry eyed 80’s kid again and remember good old times….

Grinning Skull Recommends: Cheap Toys that are Great for Table-Top Gaming – Part One!

29 Sep

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As you know, I’m all for money saving when it comes to gaming, and I also love toy hacks, so I wanted to share this post from over on http://cloudcraftsite.wordpress.com, check out some of his other awesome posts by visiting his blog.

Anyway, this top 5 has some cool stuff that can be easily converted for your games and models, plus links to places you can get them!!

If you like cheap toy hacks, also check out The giant scorpion toy hack and The bag “o” Skeletons review from the archive!!

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The following are just some Cheap Toys I’ve found while browsing the net that I think would have excellent potential for Table Top Gaming, whether it’s just giving them a quick paint job, or Kit-Bashing them to the point where the original model is unrecognizable (or you get the “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!?” reaction from your friends).

Item Number One: True Legends Mythical Warriors

This bucket of fantasy figures was reviewed by Fungeon Master Dave O’Gara (will post link in a moment) and I can see a few figures that have potential as either Ogres for Dungeons and Dragons / Pathfinder, or as Kit-bashed Demon Princes of Nurgle or Khorne for Warhammer/Warhammer 40k. The Sorceress looking figures would probably make for good kit-bash material for a Demon Prince of Tzneetch or Slaanesh. The terrain that comes with this set is also fairly decent, and I would not hesitate to…

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GW’s Age of Sigmar. Should I give a sh*t about it?

20 Aug

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So the old Warhammer is gone. Replaced by GW‘s latest brainfart, Age of Sigmar. As an oldhammer player and veteran since 2nd Edition WFB, I’m not sure how to take it. Of course, this effects nothing in terms of playing WFB, I’ll still be able to play, but this new direction GW has taken, leaves me a bit undecided about this new release.

I’ve read tons about it on line, with mixed reviews that usually end up as “meh”, and comparisons to sigmar’s lot being more 40K than Warhammer fantasy. It makes me wonder if it’s not the fault of the game, but rather us old guard making all the noise.

It’s a brave departure for GW to be giving away the rules free, we warhammer players can jump straight in and play no problem (I will, at some point) but on the other hand, I can see their move being a canny conversion tool, designed to suck in existing players to the new stuff. I just think I’m not excited about it at all.

I’m old skool, I was brought up with GWs products and minis, they played a large role in my childhood and beyond, but I’m not crying about how it used to be, but maybe we hold this old period of gaming history in too high esteem. I’m not saying that WFB is the best wargaming system to ever grace this planet, sure it’s ok, but, I think we older gamers are just used to it. We have become set in our ways and hold Warhammer on a pedestal.

On the reverse, there are some things with Age of Sigmar (AoS) that don’t float my boat. don’t get me wrong, I’m still tempted to get the boxed set, who wouldn’t be. Everyone likes loads of miniatures. I just have some issues with the models themselves.

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The Stormcast Eternals are my main gripe. I’m mixed about these. Even so years ago there were always going to be a celestial element versus chaos (ala the eternal champion influences from the early days) it had never panned out until now (only the chaos bit was expanded) The forces of order here, are a bit underwhelming, and far too space marine like for my liking. They are ok, but lack some oommff (So to speak)

Alternatively, if Sigmar is developed as a force, does this mean we’ll get some other new forces to represent the other lawful gods of the warhammer pantheon in a similar style? It’s possible, and could potentially create some really cool stuff.

The Khorne stuff in the box is ok, with a few good models and the rest sort of not. Again the similarities to 40k are apparent to me, so maybe this is trying to appeal to 40k players more than the rest. Since the 40k game is way more popular than WFB ever was, its a shrewd marketing move for them to do this, yeah I get it. Its just starting to feel like the warhammer fantasy flavour is from whats bolted on (like you can use your WFB armies and play it now with the free rules) Warhammer and all the miniatures from the previous incarnation, seems like its only now an afterthought to keep loyal WFB players who game in store, happy and subdued.

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Just how does this guy manage to wipe his ass?

Also, some of the Khorne stuff seems a bit too S&M slannesh to me. Am I missing something, or is it just me?

I dunno, what it is with this, i’m in two minds. On one hand, this could be good eventually, and getting onboard with the game would be good. There’s a lot of great models coming out, and even though I’m not a fan of the prices GW charge, I’d buy a few bits (the rest from cheaper decent manufacturers!) but, on the other hand, it could be a fail and not interest me enough to play with the game, only to return to WFB or kings of war etc. At least the rules are free. Jesus, you could just play the game without the boxed set and play with whatever minis you like!

With my time, concentration and funds limited, I can’t make my mind up about it.

Please, share your thoughts, do you like it? have you played it? what do you think?

 

Grinning Skull at the movies: Avengers: Age of Ultron

9 May

So while I am busy on the PC today, I thought I’d have a rant about the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s latest entry to it’s continuity. Avengers: Age of Ultron.

If you ask if I’m a DC or Marvel comics fan, Marvel wins hands down. That’s why I was quite excited to get to see Avengers: Age of Ultron and see if it was living up to all the hype. Don’t worry, if you aint seen it, I won’t spoil it (much…)

The Avengers was never my first choice with the comics, although Thor, Cap, and Mr Stark’s separate adventures interested me, I always preferred the west coast avengers comic! Still, the way the MCU is going, any number of other characters could pop up for a cameo, so as a marvel fan, it’d be worth the watch.

This time, there was no need for any introductions or origins, straight into the action attacking a Hydra base, all guns blazing. Very impressive. It’s a shame that overall the story felt rushed, but I guess with all the information and characters to fit into it, some of it would suffer as a result.

It’s true the action scenes are second to none and I for one can’t fault it. There’s some mad comic book chaos which is welcomed, so if your a fan of pure comic calamity, its worth seeing just for that.

I’m going to pick out a few pro’s and con’s that niggled me during, without giving any major spoilers away.

Firstly, new characters. We’ll start with the main baddie, Ultron. Ultron had always been a fave of mine, and I think he was portrayed reasonably well. I had thought it would be cool to see him on the screen for decades, and they did not disapoint. James Spader was a good choice to voice the meglomanical menace.

Vision: Again, the vision is a pretty cool character, and as far as the look is concerned, they nailed it, however, his introduction seemed squeezed and more contrived than I’d like. Also nice to see him kicking ass.

The Maximoff Twins: Pretty much hated both the acting and portrayal. Didn’t feel anything like them. A better version of quicksilver exists in the recent X-Men: Days of future past. Their costumes and look were poor. I’m glad this version of quicksilver died (oops, sorry!)

Hawkeye: This time they spent a little more effort fleshing out a role for him, making him a bigger player. Still think he needs the mask to make him feel more “proper”

On a side note, it was good to see a few faces from the other movies, Falcon, Warmachine and other bit players that’ll pop up again in the MCU (Klaw in the new Black Panther movie perhaps?)

On to the Story. it was just OK, I suppose, not great. I guess if your looking for high brow and intellectual then this isn’t it (it’s the comics after all..) I’ve heard lots of people going on about how the plot is getting convoluted now, given all the crossovers and movies, and that it’s getting harder for the casual viewer to follow. I think not, rather the opposite, too basic and bare, Whedon focuses more on the relationships between the characters and not the ins and outs. Could have been better, but I understand the constraints with the whole jigsaw.

I guess, to sum up. It’s an OK movie, but it’s just that. Nothing more. Will I watch the next installents of the MCU? Fuck yeah!, of course! (but then, I would watch any old shite…)

3 Skulls out of 5.

 

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