Wednesday 27 September 2023

Geek Dreams are Real Dreams

In 2019, I bought tickets to see The Fellowship of the Rings at the Royal Albert Hall with live musical accompaniment by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (who performed the original recordings for the movie). I can't tell you how excited I was for this. As a lifetime lover of the books and the films, this  seemed the pinnacle of my fandom!

And then covid stuck. The performance was rescheduled... and rescheduled again. It finally settled, some two years later, on the same day as my sister-in-law's wedding in Sweden. I gave the tickets away. The disappointment was crushing...

This past weekend, four years after I bought those original tickets, I made it to the Royal Albert Hall to see The Two Towers with my wife. The only tickets I could get were expensive box seats, but I wasn't going to miss it again!

I can honestly say, it lived up to my hopes and expectations. It was absolutely epic! The music, the singing, the giant screen. I had purposely avoided watching the movies for a few years, hoping the event would hit with more impact. The last march of the Ents. Gandalf and Eomer arriving at Helm's Deep. Sam's speech at the end. I got some chills! 

And yes, I've got tickets to see The Return of the King next year! 

Friday 15 September 2023


I have really been enjoying Ahsoka on Disney+, and so I thought I might assemble myself a little Jedi figure. 

The body and arms for this figure come from the Stargrave Scavengers Box set. The right arm is actually a zombie arm but its got such a great hand that looks like its doing force tricks. Thankfully, the zombie aspects of the arm are so minimal that you can just paint over them. 

For the left arm, I took an arm and cut away the hand weapon it was holding. Then I drilled out the hand, and glued in a piece cut from a large paperclip. I had to use a little greenstuff to reposition the arm just slightly. 

The head comes from the Stargrave Mercenaries set.

Painting was a fun, uncomplicated experience. I wanted to give him Jedi-ish robes, though with a tad more colour than is usual. I gave him green skin, because it contrasts so nicely with the brown coat. To add a bit more colour I gave him some magenta spots on his head and at the end of his head tentacles. 

I have no idea how to paint a lightsaber. Since they are perfect cones, you can't really layer or highlight in the normal way. I'm sure their are youtube tutorials, but I couldn't be bothered. So, I mainly painted it light blue and gave it a coat of gloss varnish. The camera angles make the lightsaber appear bigger than it actually is.

I had enough fun with this that I might just have to make him a padawan... Or maybe not. It's all a bit of fun, with no specific need.

Monday 11 September 2023

Mining Robot


This fantastic figure is the Mining Robot that was released in support of Stargrave: The Last Prospector. I have no immediately need for such a figure... but it just looked so much fun to paint! I gave it a pretty basic paint job. Started with khaki, washed it, highlighted it, filled in a few little details. The biggest thing was adding the hazard stripes. I love the thought that even in the Ravaged Galaxy, or a galaxy far, far away, people still use hazard stripes. It's about safety, people!

This robot makes a great crewmember, adversary, or terrain piece, so I can see it getting onto the table in a lot of different scenarios.

The other figure is part of my colonial marines, assembled from the plastic Stargrave Mercenaries II box set. I can't remember if I've showed her before. That project is slowly developing. I need just one more figure to have the 5 complete fireteams I want for my company.

Tuesday 5 September 2023

Crew Recruits


With three members of my new Stargrave crew complete, I recruited a few more from figures I already had painted. The figure on the far left comes from the Stargrave Cyborg pack. I'm going to use him as a burner in my crew, as that arm cannon looks like it would make a perfect plasma thrower. The other three guys are all assembled from the plastic Stargrave Crew set, and really highlights the diverse figures you can make from the box. 

The guy with the red leather jacket is going to be my chisler. He's got his cutting tool in his left hand, ready to break open any crates or safes. In the orange is my pilot. Well, he'll actually start as a recruit, but when I can afford it, I will upgrade him to an apprentice (pilot), which will be explained in the forthcoming supplement Stargrave: Bold Endeavour. He'll be helping out with the time machine controls, but mainly he's around for when other piloting is necessary, as seems to be the case in a lot of space opera adventures. Finally, we've got the team medic. Again, he'll start as a recruit until enough credits are obtained to upgrade him. 

Is it coincidence that they are all facing the same way, or do I have a natural inclination to make figures face to the right? 

With these guys on the team, I just need three more figures to fill it out.

Friday 1 September 2023

Royal Guardsman


I was playing around with some bits from the Frostgrave Knights box set and the new Stargrave Scavengers box and assembled a 'knight with automatic weapon'. I didn't have any plans for him, wasn't even sure I was going to keep him... and then I started to paint him. I used the same blue I had on Queen Valdea. I started thinking he was one of her royal guardsmen. I gave him a shining silver breastplate, greaves, helmet, and elbow guards. 

There is something very Doctor Who-ish about a futuristic knight, which fits right into the warband I'm building. By the end of painting, he had earned a place on the team. So, I revised my Queen Valdea story a bit - she was rescued, along with a single member of her royal guard!