Saturday, 26 December 2009
I realised today that the question one is often asked on Boxing day is 'so what did you get'? Though those that ask do not really wish to know, they merely believe it to be the 'right' question to ask and perhaps, even possibly moreso, to initiate in conversation.
I answered this question today with a simple answer 'books and a voucher that I will never use'.
This answer was quite simple but indeed quite true!
As I write this, sitting next to me is a (quite sizable) pile of tomes which I recieved or have bought over the 'festive period'.
Firstly, was a gift to myself and the book I am currently reading out of interest. This book is 'Leviathan'. A 'young adult' book that is rather VSF in reading. Very simple, quick but great for VSF related ideas.
Secondly is a book that Ross very kindly gave me when we played Slaughterloo. It is Route 666, a compilation of 'dark future' related stories which I believe follow on from the actual route 666 story by 'Jack Yeovil'.
I also bought myself Michael Moorcock's 'Blood', 'The War Amongst the Angels' and 'The Revenge of the Rose'. I am a Moorcock fan and saw these in a charity shop in Oxford on the Cowley Road. It is an excellent Charity Shop, bursting at the seams with stuff. There are some excellent finds to be had in there. Also, from the same charity shop I found 'The Art of Discworld', a book I recall glancing in on a wander around Borders when it was at it's normal state.
I also visited Oxfam Bookshop in Oxford, quite a good one in my opinion, and discovered the illustrated version of 'Eric' for £2. I was very happy with that! Coventry Oxfam is the best I have visited for anyone concerned in the buying of secondhand fantasy/SF books. However, Astley Bookfarm cannot be ignored for anyone in that part of the country.
Hannah, my girlfriend picked up a copy of 'The Fifth Elephant' for me and my parents got me Unseen Acidemicals, finishing off my collection of Discworld Novels (not including the teen ones, I am only missing 'hat full of sky'). My parents also got me Dan McGirt's 'Dirty Work', based only on the illustration on the front being 'not too dissimilar from a Discworld cover'. Reason being it is Josh Kirby!
Hannah also got me Hellboy: Volume 1, a HUGE graphic novel which I really look forward to reading, and Watchmen, which is in fact signed by Dave Gibbons. A lovely and very unexpected gift!
Then another personal buy, today (from Waterstone's in Oxford) based on the judgement of Steve Blease I picked up 'The Chronicles of Conan' using the money my Grandparents very nicely gave to me. It is a wonderfully bound and presented book that will look excellent on my bookcase at home!
What of the useless voucher you all ask, well, the voucher is one for 'Burton', which I believe is a fashionable Men's clothing outlet. Anyone that knows me will know I am not the 'fashionable' sort, much preferring the band tee-shirt and jeans look. Anyone who would like this and would swap it for cash, I would be more than greatful!
Surprisingly, I got a few other things. A few DVDs were in store for me, the Starship Troopers trilogy set (yes, yes, I know), The Colour of Magic and Hogfather. Uponm watching Sky1 last night I discovered that Going Postal is also going to be released as a film very soon! Wonderful news I thought. I intend on watching the Colour of Magic today. I have only seen the first half.
Hannah's mum, very unexpectedly got me a 'make your own morph', after discovering I am sculpting little men to be made into tin soldiers... Quite a humourous present and I remember Morph in my childhood.
So yes, maybe it wasn't quite as true, but as you can see, had I told them the truth I may have scared them off!
I took Gavin Syme's (of Alternative Armies) advice as to yesterday. He told me to take a day off, relax and don't do anything related to 'the hobby'. I enjoyed yesterday, made sure spirits were high and had a really nice day.
I truly hope you all shared this experience and I would be more than interested to hear what you all got. Not just as a conversation opener or because it is 'what one SHOULD ask', but out of genuine curiosity.
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
He has just bought the LEU01 : Bella Manicotti from Alternative Armies, with the intention of beginning to play Flintloque and possibly even Slaughterloo.
I wish him luck!
He also wants a gnome army for Panzerfauste Legion once it is out and there are some codes for it.
I haven't got any updates, but I will have some later or tomorrow. I have been 'working' on actual sculpts for AA rather than personal ones today, so nothing on the Toad Noble unfortunately.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
This is the new VLE code from Alternative Armies. Limited to 250 casts, the set comes with Goyah, his easel, a canvas and a Todoroni subject. I loved all the miniatures in the set, but felt I could rework the subject into a rather more fitting model as you will see below.
Below the model is shown with the head and arm removed, as well as the scarf which laid down on his chest. The idea behind cutting all of this away is to allow space for me to work. Sometimes I even sand it down flat to give a smooth surface.
Measuring the arms, the originals were a little disproportionate the the body of the model and in each other. I looked at myself in the mirror, hands at my sides. My hands fall just below my groin, as represented in the photograph on the miniature below.
After attaching the arms, I chose to consider how the arms would be placed. I then took his left arm (our right) off to allow ease of handling whilst sculpting (I hate finger prints!).
Using a sculpting (dental) tool, I made 2 little dents in his face. As usual, I smoothed it out with a clay shaper, removing any hard lines.
I then gave him 2 little nostrils. For this, I looked at the Bella Lugosi miniatures from AA and considered how they were originally done and how this model would fit in. Originally, the model had tiny nostrils which were barely noticable. Now they are a bit more prominent, but not over the top.
This closeup of the face shows the detail put into the miniature's face so far. I also rolled up 2 balls and stuck them to his head. I then smoothed them out at the back to join to his head. This mades doing the eyelids later a much easier task.
Monday, 21 December 2009
I enjoyed the Sharpe music rather more! Perhaps a hash of both at the same time is required!
Rather embarrasingly, only half of my division was painted. However, I am rather proud of the ones that are painted.
The Generale Ferro Rospo overlooking the battle. Rather annoyed by his girlfriend it would appear!
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
I am just playing around with a few things at the moment and this is one thing I felt I left behind. I think it's down to lack of followers really. But that's my fault!
Anyway, I have just had my assessments at Uni and it happens that I got a Merit/Distinction level pass for the first part of it! I am very happy with that (perfection from the start is impossible, after all!). Hopefully I will bump it up to Distinction over the next project. I really need to get mounting my work!
I have also begun sculpting for Alternative Armies properly, which I am chuffed with. It is a shame I cannot talk much about it, but if I see any painted, I will be filled with pride.
I am waiting for a phonecall from GW about the job still. I have been told I will be phoned tomorrow.
Me and Hannah are waiting in our freezing home for the insulation people to come round, it appears they arrange times to turn up in Warwickshire, but then never bloody do. Perhaps there is an abyss somewhere in Warwickshire where insulation people go on the way to Kenilworth...
Sorry for the lack of Photos, perhaps I will start up again soon.
Sunday, 1 November 2009
I've been at uni for quite a few weeks now, I do apologise for the lack of posts.
I also apologise for the lack of photographs, I will bring these up later when I get the internet back in Kenilworth!
First off, unfortunately I did not get the job with GW. However, I have been to another 'practical' interview (one of their recruitment days), which I hope went well. Again, I am just waiting to hear from them. I was somewhat gutted from the last interview though. Ahh well.
I finished war of the worlds, it's a great book. It was indeed challenging, but by challenging myself to read such a book I feel I have come away from it with a different frame of mind (as we all do after reading a book). Since I have begun reading I really think I have been engaging with my mind a lot more. Since then I have also read H.P.Lovecraft's 'at the mountains of madness', it is an intriguing short story that builds up as you read it. He was an incredibly diverse and intelligent man relating to the arts as well as the sciences in an astonishing amount of detail in the snippet of his work I have seen. Eventually, I will read the rest of the collection of short stories, but I think I will do it inbetween reading other books. They are a little tiring I think.
At the moment I am reading the Lord of the Rings. By god, I cannot understand why I never did. I recall trying to at the eager age of 14, but failed miserably, becoming bored of Bilbo's party. But I now feel I am at an age where I can appreciate the way Tolkien described the events in the book and the detail he goes into. I am truly lovng it.
As someone who until he was 18, the only full book he had read was 'the hobbit', I am incredibly pleased with myself!
Anyway, onto the sculpting I mentioned. I am now sculpting for AA. This means I cannot say which miniatures I have sculpted. It is great experience for me and they do treat me well. I hope the miniatures I sculpt become part of Flintloque player's everyday lives like so many of Mike Owen's sculpts have done for me.
Last night I was incredibly happy. I saw a band I have been waiting to see for many, many years. The band? 'Therapy?'.
Jeez, it was the best gig I have ever been to, the atmosphere was awesome and the band were utterly relentless. They played on the halloween theme which was great fun. I was lucky enough to meet the whole band, gather 2 of their signiatures in their latest album, picked up some merch and got my photo with them.
I also saw 'Bolt Thrower' a few months ago. For those wargamers amongst you who recognise the name but cannot remember why, they released an album entitled 'Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness' back in the 80's... The album featured art directly form Games Workshop. They played an utterly brutal set which featured some of the best Death Metal songs ever made (considering many of the best DM songs ever made were made by themselves). Their supporting act was Brummy death metal band, 'Benediction' who also played a mind-blowing set featuring classics such as 'burying the hatchet' and 'magnificat'.
Picked up some merch, but my girlfriend, Hannah, seems to have stolen my BT hoodie as it is comfortable! Believe you me, she is not a death metaller! But bless her, she puts up with me.
Speaking of which, she bought me space hulk for my birthday! How brilliant is that? What's more is that she enjoys playing it herself!
Anyway, I must be off. See you all later!
P.S. Steve, I really want to do something with PZF:L! :)
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Haven't posted recently due to the lack of internet connection.
I also lack a digital camera, so once I get the net, all my images will be scanned probably!
Anyway, I have moved to Kenilworth, a town (with a quite impressive castle) near Warwick, Coventry and Leamington Spa. It is a wonderful area and I think it suits me far more than the social divide that is Oxfordshire. I have moved into a house with my girlfriend, which is excellent. Very strange experience but quite enjoyable.
I have found the time to read quite a few books, including 'Space Marine' by Ian Watson, a very old GW novel that is actually quite good. Very eye opening for the background and suitably dark. The description of the Squats in it are quite cool too. I'd suggest it to anyone who is into 40k. As for comparisons, I am not sure. If I am honest, quite shamefully, I have only begun reading properly (as in reading more than just a few chapters).
I have also managed to read the first two books from Michael Moorcock's 'The Nomad of Time' Series, entitled 'The Warlord of the Air' and 'The Land Leviathan'. Both were filled with wonderfully descriptive scenes that were conjured in my mind with no difficulty. In fact, I remember the cover of the Warlord of the Air from an art book on Patrick Woodroffe, a wonderful Fantasy artist who still works to this day down in Cornwall. Very 70's, but I love that stuff. The Warlord of the Air is quite original, The Land Leviathan is where the story gets a little bit repetative, but for a short read I would reccomend these to anyone with a little place for VSF and even Post-Apocalyptic writing in the case of the Land Leviathan. Thy definately show their age, but that really helps the feeling of the settings. I look forward to reading the Steel Tsar, but I must find a copy first!
At the moment I am reading the classic War of the Worlds by H.G.Wells (do I really have to say who it's by?). It is very 'wordy' as one would expect from a 110 year old book and it is filled with socialist commentary, but that aside, it is very ahead of it's time and I am enjoying it. You just have to filter out all the socialist stuff.
Painting wise, I have been painting more Flintloque and some GW stuff. I painted up 10 Bog Orcs (Guinalean Legion) for Flintloque and I have begun work on painting all my old Space Hulk stuff (Hannah and myself played it and we both love it).
As for sculpting, I have been sculpting a few packs for Alternative Armies, trying to gain some experience. I shall shed light on them when they are cast. ;)
Living wise, finding a job whenyou are a student with no experience is bloody difficult! I just had an interview for GW today and I am scared out of my wits as to whether I am 'suitable'. They said I ticked al the boxes but being excited. I attempted to end the interview with a bang, showing how I would get a beginner excited about the games. I think they were impressed, but I will have to find out! I'll update you on that position too!
So from Hannah and myself, Cheers!
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Flintloque: Todoroni Catatonic Bishop and Luca The Newt. Uncharted Seas: Orc Battleship and Orc Cruisers
So here it goes!
I'll start with the Flintloque.
The miniature is excellent, I really recommend it. The sculptor has done really well and you can tell he has paid extra attention to making it like the older sculpts. Well done him.
I have another sitting unpainted which will be converted into my style. I also plan on doing a pope, but dark sword miniatures just released a frog one, so I may just use that!
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
I haven't posted anything in a few days. But here is what I have been working on:
The AA painters must have souls of steel for their will not to break halfway through.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
Emmanuel Kant, Philosopher
This quote got me thinking quite strongly about humanity, it’s themes and it’s strengths. I think that this quote is easily perceived as quite negative, damning us, as humans for never being the same. Never acting as one which leads to all of our flaws as creatures.
It is this sense of individuality that I wanted to bring out from my work. To do this I wanted to look at portraits and how we perceive different facial expressions. I also looked at different artists work relating to this and also just ones I thought worked in a manner that no other did but I still found interesting.
Throughout creating work for this project, I visited a variety of galleries, including: Saatchi, Modern Art Oxford, The British Museum and The Tate Britain.
The exhibit at the Saatchi gallery (The Revolution Continues: New art from China) was a truly great and awe-inspiring one. The huge variety of different mediums used and the variety of different meanings were important in making it such an inspirational show. Zeng Fanzhi’s painting ‘hospital series’ was quite an inspiring piece. Taking such a harsh subject matter and painting it in such a hard way. I painted a representation of it in my sketchbook and found it so useful in creating a new style I have been unfamiliar with.
Another exhibit I saw was at The British Museum. It was a collection of art created by British modern artists including Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst, Ron Mueck, Noble and Webster and Marc Quinn. Some of the pieces I got to see are quite iconic in today’s art world. For me, the best parts were Ron Meuck’s huge realist sculpted faces and Marc Quinn’s ‘Siren’ sculpture of Kate Moss. Marc Quinn’s faces are good at portraying the flaws of a face and Marc Quinn’s ‘Siren’ mocks the ‘supermodel’ ideal in portraying Moss in an uncomforting position.
The last Exhibit I saw for the ‘Journal’ project was a collection of work by ‘Francis Bacon’ at the Tate Britain. This is work that I would have definitely let go past me last year had I not gained confidence in more strange pieces of work and artists in the past year. I am incredibly glad I went, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how the artist has applied paint thinly and thickly to create different textures in the piece as you stand back or see a smaller version of it. There is no doubt about Bacon being a huge individual, being an artist working with the theme of homosexuality in such a diverse and quite horrific manner. The artist took no lengths to hide his blemishes (or perhaps what others perceived as blemishes), though those that pointed out his problems created nothing but more problems for the artist in hand. An abusive alcoholic he may be, but an inspiring artist he was, and I am sure he will continue to be.
I have painted a large self portrait, this image was entirely posed and painted in a very different way. I think the size has created a very imposing image and the use of black in all the shaded areas has created an uneasy sense about the image. I toyed with the idea of writing song-lyric around the edges, but I have come away from the idea.
I then went on to paint another 4 images in monotone. The subject of these images is again my face and each is of me pulling a face. I chose to paint these images after being told I have a ‘plastic face’ in that I express my emotions very strongly through speech. I believe this to be because I live with deaf people who rely on such small details to determine the context in which I am speaking, making it easier to determine one word from another very similar word. This is one of these individual things that has made me different. Many others will look past, or not even know about such details.
I took the expressions even further with sculpture. Earlier on in the journal project, I looked at a pair of very simple heads sculpted by a local artist, Adam Griffiths. I like his idea, and I like his rag-tag approach, but I prefer a cleaner cut approach. I have created a series of these at a slightly smaller scale, but large enough to make very caricatured faces. Making these has been a chance to play with my sense of humour and also look at how we envisage certain parts of the face as larger to convey these different emotions.
I have since then painted a series of 6 very fast painted images (in a similar vein to the styles of Bacon and of Zeng Fanzhi) of a ‘Napalm Death’ gig that I went to in Camden Town. They are a very uncelebrated band choosing to express strongly political and atheist beliefs in a very harsh manner. I chose to paint the images fast as I took the images from stills which were blurry, but I also thought this fits in well with the theme of their music. I painted the images over the top of the bands lyrics typed out with a label-maker which has made the lyrics very hard to read another factor of the bands’ music.
In the end, I think I have made my point clear with my journal. We are all different and we should celebrate not only our own differences, but those others have. Different tastes, different beliefs and different inspirations. Everyone has the drive to go on, but how to go on and where they go on to are totally different matters.
Hope I haven't bored you too much.
Saturday, 25 July 2009
Just got back from the Wargames club after having played a game of Slaughterloo.
I played using my todoroni, only 1500 points, but it was an eye-opener to how I have been using the army. All my officers were 'Cowardly' in this game as this increases the Todoroni's pitiful form by +2.
I also took Ferro Rospo who increases the form by +1 to all todoroni within 45cm.
I then gave one of the Bellalugosi a Mounted officer (unfortunately, the rules only allow one per division).
For the first time ever, the toads did very well at not running away. They didn't do much fighting though. I would really love to try this army out properly as I found most of the board was dominated by a giant section of woodlands! One more turn was all I needed to give the killing blow to a unit of Orc Dragoons and a unit of Orc Line infantry. I would have also mopped up the rifleorcs I gave a bash on the nose with my Voligeria Light infantry.
Next week should be 40k, then more Slaughterloo and then I move. Very scary thought really and a damn shame I shan't be playing many games when I move. Especially one's that aren't GW.
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Here he is in his own glory. I am very happy with the arm repositioning and resculpting so it looks like he has some control of his Baby Hippo mount. I also redid his left hand to be holding hih hip. I'm also pleased with the Bicorne, which is sculpted entirely by myself, I tried to make it more 'show-offy', by adding unnecessary feathers and furry bits around the edge. Well, a toad's gotta' be fashionable. Right?
This is Rospo's wife, Lucrettia, who joins him on the field of battle to be sure he stays true to his vows. Granted, his vows were spoken with a pistol in his side, the holder being Lucrettia herself. I will probably paint a little lipstick on her. Just to feminise the miniature a bit more and add a little humour. I was tempted to paint a lipstick mark on Rospo's cheek as well!
Finally, the couple's spawn. Brought to the field as a reminder of Rospo's duty to his family. Should the goo be yellow?
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
As I mention in the 'description', this blog will be hugely about Wargaming, but I'd imagine I will talk about music, life at uni and other stresses life may involve. This whole thing sounds rather self-obsessed at the moment!
Anyway, we'll have to see how it goes.
What am I doing right now? - Painting Todoroni for Slaughterloo/Flintloque and also Sculpting a unit for the same system which I hope AA may end up casting. Will show photographs of the painted Todoroni later on.
What am I listening to? - Nothing at the moment, but I may put on some Ex Deo (Epic Death Metal with a Ancient Roman theme).