Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Mr. Lulu

My son (3 years old) wandered into my office, pointed at my bookshelf and said:

'Can I have Mr. Lulu.'

I had no idea what he was referring to. The dinosaur? The mech? The Chimera? After a little bit of trial and error, I discovered he was referring to the knit Cthulhu doll that sits on top of the shelf.

Considering my daughter (5 years old) calls him 'Mr. Squidface', I'm not sure how he got that close to the name...


Mr. Lulu was hand-knitted by my sister. No she doesn't sell them... we'll, I guess if you offered her enough she might.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

In the Wargaming Mags!

It was a bit of a quiet summer on the Ren. Troll. Partly this was due to a lack of hobby activity on my part, but also because I ended up writing a slew of magazine articles, which kind of fulfill the same writing urge as blogging. This wasn’t something I set out to do, it just sort of happened. Well the first fruits of those labours can be seen in the newly released issue of Miniature Wagames (#438).

I’ve actually got two pieces in the issue. The first is a couple of pages discussing my starting point in designing a wargame, namely a game’s ‘Core Mechanics’. If you are interested in game design, you might want to have a look. I also get ‘The Last Word’ in the issue, where I write a bit about the rise of 3D printing in wargaming. This piece also features a very large photo of my face (not sure how that’s a selling point, but there you go).

Actually, the issue feels a bit like an Osprey Game Designer party as it also features an interview with Ash Barker about his new expansion for Last Days – including a new scenario, and an interview with Mike Hutchinson about Gaslands Refuelled – also including a new scenario.

My stuff aside, it’s an interesting issue that also includes a couple of cut-out card bunkers, a long interview with the Perry twins, and even a set of rules for historical battles in the Renaissance (no trolls though).

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Catching Up on Star Wars

I received an email recently stating that my Star Wars geek-accreditation was due to expire. As I deem this important to both my professional and social life, I figured I had better brush up and get recertified. I mean, I can tell my Trandoshans from Zabraks, but what’s this about Darth Maul surviving The Phantom Menace?

So, I


This is the only one of the feature films that I hadn’t seen, and, in truth, I hadn’t heard any glowing reviews. Still, I went in with an open mind. I enjoyed it, but I doubt I’ll remember much about it in a few weeks. It just seemed to lack a bit of heart. In truth, while I’ve enjoyed some of the Disney movies, and parts of others, their main accomplishment has been to demonstrate how rare and difficult to duplicate the original trilogy was.


This was, I think, the first Star Wars novel released under Disney. It was a fun read, a fast-paced adventure novel. I like that it didn’t feature any of the movie characters in a major role. Although it is the first book in a trilogy, it pretty much stands alone. I will likely read the others at some point, when I feel I need a Star Wars fix, though I’m not rushing out to get them.
            I do love the way that Disney restarted the Star Wars universe. They apparently said everything in the films was canon, everything outside of them was not. Then, they stated that everything in their new books, comics, cartoons, etc. was canon and have then slipped some of the old stuff back into the new universe (such as Grand Admiral Thrawn).


This four-series cartoon has gotten a lot of good press. I watched the first season and really enjoyed it. It’s a kid’s show, but that can be enjoyed by adults. Although it’s broken into 25 minute episodes, its 15 episode seasons means it can spend more time on character development. In truth, I think it has more of the feel of the original trilogy than any Star Wars media I have seen since. I will definitely be watching the rest of the series, which I hear gets even better.

Bought and painted some Star Wars: Legion figures.

I was a bit miffed when Star Wars: Legion came out. The figures are something like 35mm, which means they are incompatible with all of my other figures, including the Star Wars: Imperial Assault figures I’ve collected. Since I wasn’t particularly interested in the game either, I ignore them.
            Then I saw some of the new Rebel Pathfinders in the shop and decided to give them a go. They are extremely nice figures. Although they are cast in a somewhat bendy plastic, the detail is very sharp - as good as most metals. Although they need super-glue to assemble, they fit together perfectly.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Chimera!




The Chimera has always been one of my favourite mythological monsters, but for a long-time I never found a miniature of one that completely satisfied. Then, not too long ago, I came across this one from Atlantis Miniatures. It’s absolutely huge. It’s also very expensive. I loved it, but I couldn’t justify it.

Well, a couple of months later, it was given to me as an overly-generous birthday present from a friend.



I must admit that the ‘miniature’ is so big and so beautiful that for a while I was too intimidated to paint it, fearing that my paint job could only make it worse. But minis need paint – it’s just a natural law.

The miniature is composed of a very plastic-like resin. There wasn’t a single air-bubble to be found. The pieces fit together perfectly, except for the tail/serpent-head which gave me a little trouble.

Painting it began as a bit of chore as it took awhile to get the base coat down; however, once that was in place, the body was just six layers of dry-brushing. Then I spent a few hours on the two big heads, before quickly painting the serpent-head and the base. All-and-all, I probably spent between 6 and 8 hours on it.

It’s truly a centrepiece figure, and while it comes at a premium price, you really are getting what you pay for here. This may not be the last Atlantis Miniature to join my collection!