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Tag Archives: Wikipedia

Fan Vs Fan, Tales of Star Wars fandom and extended universes…

14 May
English: Opening logo to the Star Wars films

English: Opening logo to the Star Wars films (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In times gone by when I was a nipper, I remember the old crappy plastic chewbacca costume I used to own. How I’d run around the place pretending to be the famous wookie co pilot of the millenium falcon, I was nuts about Star Wars.

As luck would have it, I’m still a fan today. You know when someone asks if your choice is Trek or Wars, wars wins hands down everytime. Even though I’m not a die hard fanboy, I still enjoy the franchise, and I’m quite stoked about the news of all things episode 7. For us old school original trilogy fans, it’s what we’ve been waiting for for ages, all the old gang back to save the galaxy! Wahoo!

I like to follow the latest movie news in general, but I visit a news blog as often as I can that keeps upto date on the latest developments on the new movie  starwars7news.com, it’s a pretty good site and a good read if you like all things wars.

What does strike me as addictive reading over there, is the comments sections after each post, sometimes rather odd, sometimes funny and sometimes quite embarrassed for some of the saddo’s that post there.

You see, what really intregues me is the sheer poison and hatred that seems to be generated by the various sects of fandom over there. On one hand, you have die hard fans of the OT (original Trilogy) who think all the later additions to the wars verse is just not good, while you have PT fans (Prequel Trilogy) who talk shit about Annakin being the chosen one all the time (and darth Plagueis). Then you’ve got EU fans (Extended universe) who love all the crappy spin off novels, comics and so forth.

But guess what? They all seem to be at each others throats over there for some reason! I know that in some fans it instills a savage passion about the whole franchise, but come on, it’s a fucking film.

I’m not kidding about some of the vitriol spouted on there I’ve read, usually pretty childish and disturbing (By disturbing I mean grown ups swearing and arguing about star wars, it’s pathetic) but, I find myself visiting regularly going there, just to see what shite gets posted! It’s strangely addictive to read how these sub sections of the star wars community are willing to clash with each other, as well as all the speculative fanfic fantasists that offer their predictions of how they think the new trilogy will link back to what has been set as canon.

Funniest thing I think is now that Lucasfilm/Disney have pretty much wiped out most of the EU garbage post Return of the Jedi, this has turned the EU fans rabid at times, they simply will not let go of the mostly piss poor un-star warsy material that was generated in the time there was a star wars hiatus.

Don’t take my word for it, go and have a read your self, I find it hard to stomach myself at times, and I feel ashamed to class myself as a fan if this is the kind of no marks that make us laid back fans look like dicks!

Myself, I’m a fence sitter, there’s bits of all the star wars stuff I like and dislike, but remembering 1977 and seeing it in my local cinema, I’d class myself in the OT (as long as I can hit the rest with a lightsaber, I’m in!!)

Here’s to Episode 7 being some good!! (hopefully…)

Now did I ever tell you about the time I could have been an extra in the Phantom menace…..

May the force be with you……

 

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Project Brainstorming: Dynasty Warriors 15mm; Can it be done?

28 Jan

dynastywarrior15mm

So, this year I have quite a few ideas for new settings for my wargaming projects, since this is 2014 , I thought I’d get the ball rolling and start getting my arse into gear sorting my lists of aquisitions in order, and to see if these plans are going to be doo-able within my meagre wargaming budget.

First up is Dynasty warriors 15mm. I friggin’ love Dynasty warriors on everything from the Playstation 2, right up to the 360, and I

Dynasty Warriors 3

Dynasty Warriors 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

actually possess most of them on many platforms. I couldn’t tell you how many hours I have spent over the years playing games in this series, I honestly never bore of it. Some of you will know what I’m on about, but for those of you who don’t know, the game is focused around a plot based around ancient chinese history, with the warring states of Wei, Shu, and Wu. It’s all done in a great over the top, semi mystical cinematic style. It has all the special moves and characters, and bags and bags of playablity (check it out if your not familiar with it, it’s good!)

I’m not saying I understand everything about it, nor can I pronounce many names correctly from it, but the gameplay is solid and very much a skirmish type wargame, so that was what gave me the idea in the first place. It seems a little overwhelming at first, but once you get into it, your hooked.( Well, I am anyway!) I really want to get playing the new online version, but my web access is limited as regards bandwith, and I don’t have a great reliable connection, so consoles are my way of getting a fix.

But, now I fancy the idea of doing the game in some limited form, but in 15mm wargaming. Could this be done? How to achieve it. Ok, so it might not be anything new, could be that it’s been tried before, but that’s why I’m brainstorming it here first, I want to throw this out there, along with all the info I find out about it, so if you think you’d ever want to do the same, you lot would have some useful links and such! I’m that kind me! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to enact the whole game, just a game based around the computer game, it’s a mass war battle game, so it’ll translate pretty easy I reckon.

Right, my first considerations are the figures, which’s bad if I can’t find enough of a close enough match for the figures I need, so i’ll kick this idea into touch and plan something else. I think the good thing here is that much of what i am going to need will be (should be) available from the many varied historical miniature companies, so that’ll be a bonus. Terrain won’t be a problem either, I’ll use scratch builds (generic eastern fantasy type stuff will do) or paper models, and maybe buy a couple of really nice bits if it’s available.

Also, I’m going to need a ruleset to use, or adapt. I haven’t got there yet, but if you have any suggestions, please let me know!

So, at this point, I have a short list of manufacturers ranges that might fit, some more than others, but I’m hoping that there’s a whole load of extra bits that I can get from other places and different makers of 15mm, I might get away with some generic fantasy stuff, or some japanese historical odds and sods? Again I’d like to throw it out there, so if you have any suggestions, let me know.

Here’s the list:

irregular Miniatures
http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/15mmRanges/15mmAsians.htm

Black hat miniatures
http://www.blackhat.co.uk/online_shop/index.php?cPath=22_55&osCsid=c0c04dfbd5074065b26ba54895b7bd74

Museum miniatures
http://www.museumminiatures.co.uk/pages/prod_chinese.html

Essex miniatures
http://www.essexminiatures.co.uk/collections/15mm-ancient-han-chinese
http://www.essexminiatures.co.uk/collections/15mm-ancient-chin-chinese-warring-states-480bc-202bc
http://www.essexminiatures.co.uk/collections/15mm-ancient-shang-or-chou-chinese
http://www.essexminiatures.co.uk/collections/15mm-ancient-tang-five-dynasties-chinese
http://www.essexminiatures.co.uk/collections/15mm-ancient-northern-southern-dynasties-chinese
http://www.essexminiatures.co.uk/collections/15mm-ancient-khitan-liao

Eastriding miniatures
http://shop.eastridingminiatures.co.uk/chinese-militia-22-c.asp
http://shop.eastridingminiatures.co.uk/ming-chinese-25-c.asp
http://shop.eastridingminiatures.co.uk/yi-dynasty-koreans-26-c.asp

Magister militum
http://www.magistermilitum.com/prodtype.asp?PT_ID=370&strPageHistory=cat
http://store.lancashiregames.com/index.php?_a=category&cat_id=61&page=all

So, in that lot, I’m sure I’m going to find some pretty good matches, some not so. That’s as far as I am at the moment, I’m just looking for my basic troop types, pretty plain, armed with usual weaponry and a few different armour tyes. I do know that there are some dead ringers in there regarding this, so it’s looking positive (I’ll highlight them a little later)

So, if you know of anything that might help me with the plan, I’d be greatly indebted to you, and of course I’d share your efforts with everyone here.

Right, more stuff to do…..Maybe a game of Dynasty warriors 6, perhaps….

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Grinning Skull at the Movies: Dredd

23 Apr

79_58158_0_JudgeDreddVol39I

I don’t get as much time as I would like to watch movies, and this one is one I’ve been wanting to see for ages, given that it’s comic book heritage is straight out of the pages of 2000AD. Yes, I finally got to see the latest movie based on the iconic, Judge Dredd!!

Right from the off, you could tell that this film meant business, with an amazing chase scene, a high octane thrill ride with Dredd (Karl Urban) chasing the perps through the strangely 21st century streets of megacity one. After the first failed attempt of filmland to capture the comics style and flow (We all remember that Stallone one, eeewww….) I was wary about it from the off. The last one was a stinker, and given that this one had even less of a budget by todays standards (Dredd 3D (2012) $35,000,000 vs Judge Dredd (1995) $70,000,000) I expected it to be even more of a waste of time.

I was soooo wrong.

This film rocks!! Absolutely fantastic it was, much, much better a representation than the previous, plenty of references from the comics, some cracking action and excellent videography, all combined into a pretty great movie. It’s really a shame that Lionsgate films didn’t pimp this movie as much as it could have. Yes, it didn’t do brilliantly I’ll admit, but it should have done better. If you want my opinion, its probably down to the script and the villain (Ma-Ma, jeeezuz people, lets get some decent classic Dredd villains in there instead….you know who I’m talking about!!)

On the negatives some more, there were some bits that were far too modern for Dredd, and that kind of didn’t quite gel with some of the more uber futuristic stuff thats so prevelent in the whole Mega-city vibe. Where were all the really crazy haired and kitted gangers? Hell, those perps have all sorts of crazy shit going on, but these were a bit of a let down. There was a little bit where it did show you some rival gangs getting knocked off, but I would have preferred them to the crappy ones with MaMa.

I ain’t going to tell you the plot, but safe to say Urban never takes off the iconic helmet throughout the entire movie, which he and all involved in this movie should be very proud of.

I do think, that movieland is nearly there when it comes to doing Dredd right, maybe if they mixed in the visuals of the 1995 movie, and gave it the balls of this one (and Urban not Stallone of course) they could be onto making a truly awesome film.

I live in hope.

Go get it and see this film if your a 2000AD fan (if you ain’t already) or, if you like a good futuristic action film.

8/10 Grinning Skulls

Now where’s my Slo-mo…..

Peace out Earthlets….

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I am Iron Man!! One man’s quest to become a superhero! (Kickstarter)

3 Apr

Shaun Toub as Yinsen helps Tony Stark (Robert ...

Shaun Toub as Yinsen helps Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) with the makeshift Mark I Armor in the 2008 Iron Man film. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The thing I enjoy about looking around the Kickstarter site and its projects, is that I will find some real interesting and funny stuff there, and this is one of the latter.

TheOnlyTonyStark is trying to build himself a more robust version of this plastic carrymat Iron man suit! Well, he’s probably not anything like Tony Stark, or Robert Downey Jr either, but I don’t want to burst his bubble!

As you can see, the foam prototype isn’t too bad, and our Tony here is trying to raise the funds to get a more final all bells and whistles suit made if he succeeds!

Why? I really don’t know, but admittedly it would be cool to own one! Personally he ain’t got a prayer, even so he claims that this is so he can do visits to sick children in hospital (He’s all heart!!!) surely that kind of cash (£2000) be better spent on helping a kids charity, or donating a valuable bit of kit to the ward, rather than piss it up the wall with the construction of a replica costume!

Having worked in the industry making stuff like this, I can say 100% that unless you have access to a machine shop/workshop you’d struggle with this, and the price might be an issue too. Mistakes can really jump the price up, if you haven’t had some experience or don’t do your research about materials and construction, wiring and tech, the costs could really spiral. Not that I’m saying he doesn’t know what he’s doing, as its obvious he’s got a good grasp on the idea, but creating something solid in fibreglass or plastic for this purpose isn’t that easy.

I personally wouldn’t pay £1000 to get a carrymat ironman suit, thats just ridiculous, there’s plenty of great LARP companies and individuals out there who would be able to do a high grade foam and latex covered version for near that, or maybe a fibreglass moulded one. Another chancer trying for a freebie in a time of austerity.

I guess he could try and blag the LARP or Cosplay community for support, but you need a thick head and deep pockets if you support our Mr Stark. It just sounds as if he’s trying to blag for a free costume more than anything, which you and I know, is doomed to fail!

I wish him all the luck in the world, cos yer gonna need it!

Now I’m off to plan for my kickstarter to embed my bones with adamantium…..

Iron Man – A real suit by TheOnlyTonyStark.

Peace out…Avengers Assemble!!!

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Police warning on potent drugs ‘bath salts’ causing psychotic and naked rampages | The Courier-Mail

19 Nov
English: A box of bath salts with some of the ...

English: A box of bath salts with some of the contents spilled beside it. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Note: these are not the drug bath salts, but actual bath salts!

As you may know, here at the Grinning Skull, zombies figure heavily and I like to keep up to date with the latest news, trends and media. You may remember that I have published several news articles about the “Bath salts zombie effect” that drug users experience whilst high on these new designer drugs. Things have been quiet since earlier in the year with a few incidents in the US and eastern europe, but until now news of places like the UK and Australia have been clear.

That is until I read this article. It details the Aussie police and their dealings with the new bath salts menace over there.

Police warning on potent drugs ‘bath salts’ causing psychotic and naked rampages | The Courier-Mail.

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