Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Children of Green Knowe

Suffering from low-level flu is generally made better by watching something retro and supernatural, so given my current infectious state I've ploughed through the 1986 BBC version of the Green Knowe story. I must confess, although I have very vague memories of it from my childhood, I had lost track of it since and was surprised to rediscover it.

The story carries quite a few elements common to a lot of the rural horror renaissance we're seeing at the moment - a haunted house, evil walking trees, an animated statue and time-slides taking the viewer back to a bucolic vision of the 17th century. However, the BBC adaption is rather less dramatic than this description might at first seem (and I'll come onto that in a moment). It has none of the ominous terror of Children of the Stones or emotional pull of The Moondial, and somehow feels a bit more like the more gentle Five Children and It. As I've just alluded to, the main issue is a general lack of drama - there is little real conflict in the story and, while the main protagonist is quite likable, he has no character arc. I actually found the flashbacks more interesting and was disappointed that the fate of the ancestors (which you learn early on) is not explored at all. This may be an expression of something quite common in 80s childrens' dramas (and the Doctor Who of the era), which is too little story spread over too much airtime so things really plod along.

So it's worth a watch if you're painting and want something on in the background. The sets and some of the visual compositions are nice as are the 17th century costumes (something the BBC always excels at). I also found there's a much more recent Julain "Downton" Fellows movie based on the second book of the series, From Time to Time. I'm quite a fan of his work, and Dame Maggie Smith is awesome, so might check this out.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Link roundup

Some werid and wonderful stuff from across the internets to keep you occupied this weekend:

[Above] Movie posters by Dan Mumford

The World of Tim Burton - a line of 6″ vinyl crossover figures.

Emily Witt’s “Future Sex” is a report on an experiment with alternative sexuality. 

Journeys in Calligraphy: Inspiring Scripts from Around the World.

Bea Nettles - Mountain Dream Tarot: A Deck of 78 Photographic Cards.

MaKtoberfest brings a parade of LEGO creations inspired by the distinctive near-future aesthetic of Maschinen Krieger sci-fi.

Isadora Duncan, the Biggest Dancer in the World.
The next time you are thinking of handing over $15 to watch yet another film about victims of a haunted house, vampires, or a Ouija board, and who can only be saved by a priest and his magic water, ask yourself why you still find this stuff scary—and what dangerous ideas you are financially endorsing in the pursuit of a good adrenaline rush. 
- DAZED Digital gets on the 70s witch bandwagon with this article, while VICE poses that many horror films are acually Christian propaganda.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Finished Death Company dreadnaught

I was pretty pleased with this guy in the end and feel he bridges the gap between the heavily decorated Blanche-ian Tactical squad and my earlier and rather more restrained Death Company assault squad. In hind sight it might have been cooler to use a blank tilting plate and paint on more heraldic iconography seeing how well that worked on the Mk7 Marines. Oh well.

The airbrushing and pin washing worked well and defined the forms without having to resort to line highlighting, which I'm slow and fairly cack-handed at. The highlighting of the reds is fairly subtle too which I like.

I'm still working on the Captain and he should be done in the next week or so.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Some finished Blood Angels

This is the first of the two combat squads and I'm fairly pleased with it. The airbrush zenith highlights and pin wash have worked quite well to define the forms, and I didn't feel the need to edge highlight the pauldron trim. Annoyingly they are a tad darker than the RTB01s but for the time saved that's probably a worthy sacrifice.

I invested the saved capacity in the heraldry which has turned out pretty well. The blue cheques (a big feature of the Blanche Terminator box art I was referencing) really pop and serve to lift what could have been quite a dark, warm coloured squad. The sunburst arm designs on the greaves and occasional pauldron were actually a lot easier to do than I thought.

I've completed the dreadnaught too and will be posting him over the next day or so. I'm painting the Captain now as a bit of a reward before moving onto the other combat squad.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Space wrecks

A collection from the excellent SpaceWreck: Ghost Ships and Derelicts of Space book, part of the Terran Trade Authority series written by Stuart Cowley. I remember seeing this book when I was very young and its dystopian visions left a massive impression on me. In days of yore before the internets I forgot the title and never could find it again. I was so pleased when I rediscovered it!


Monday, 10 October 2016

All the Eldar so far

Long time readers will remember that I started painting a retro-clone Eldar army way back in 2011. I've been adding a squad, a character or a vehicle here and there over the years. With a recent clear-out in advance of some redecoration at home I realised just how many of the pointy-eared fellows I'd amassed. I thought I'd repost the lot, especially as some have never appeared on this blog.

I've got a few things in mind to add. A Falcon grav tank now I'm better at painting larger vehicles, and some more Apect Warriors. Now I've got my core units done, I really enjoy adding odds and sods as my whim dictates.

Apologies for the varying quality of the photography. I'd love to do some 'family photos' with them on terrain at some point, but that'll take some time. Oh, looking at these I also realise I don't have any shots of my seven jetbikes.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Moonclan Grot Poker

I finished this little guy a few weeks ago. I am really enjoying Age of Sigmar as a spark to just paint lots of 'odds and sods'.

He's one of the older single-piece minis from the 7th edition of Warhammer. I love these guys as they have so much character, despite being one-piece sculpts. I wanted to see how my grey technique might work on cloth, and for that reason needed to alter the traditional skin tone. With a more traditional skin colour I feared his flesh would have just sunk back and there would be less contrast in the miniature. I'm not sure the icon on his shield works though. I did think about painting it yellow, but feared it would distract from his face, but I'm not sure grey was the way to go.

I'm thinking about doing some terrain for this grisaille series, but we'll see if that comes to pass. I also want to test if I can get bronze or brass into the mix, despite retaining the NMM grey for other metals.