Friday 4 January 2019

30 Day Doctor Who Challenge #1

I saw this knocking about Twitter the other day and I thought it might be good for a laugh.

Day One: Favourite Doctor

For me, it has to be Matt Smith. My first instinct was to say Sylvester McCoy because he was “my” Doctor but that owes more to the New Adventures novels than to his actual TV stories. I grew up in the 1990s, the books were all the new Doctor Who we were getting and, to be frank, there was lots of sex and violence in them and that really appealed to twelve year old me who didn't have the internet.

But speaking for actual performance it has to be Smith, the youngest person to ever play the role and somehow the one best at selling the idea that the Doctor as truly ancient being. The Eleventh Doctor is also one of those rare incarnations where I can see some vestige of Hartnell's scientist explorer in the mix. The performance owes a lot to Troughton, which is always a bonus, but also to McCoy in his darker moments.

Sometimes the lighter, “zanier” moments of the character feel forced but in the end that works because a big part of the Eleventh Doctor's personality is that he's consciously avoiding dealing with his issues which is a level of depth not really afforded to any previous incarnation.

Plus, every now and again Alex Kingston turns up to force Smith to up his game just to keep the audience's affection which helps.

Thursday 3 January 2019

Pride March of the Dinobots

Last year I bought a Transformers toy on eBay. Just one, a little one: the Iron Factory version of Windblade (“Miko for Iron Titan”) because it was cute and I needed a new fiddle toy for my desk.

Ever since then the eBay algorithm has not let this one impulse purchase go and keeps recommending me all sorts of Transformers stuff. It knows how to tempt me, too. Like, reissues of the G1 Seacons who I adored as a kid but never completed the set. Cheap (read “knock-off”) modern Combaticons and Protectobots. There was a fan made masterpiece-style First Aid the other day.

Masterpiece. First Aid. Really.

Anyway, eBay threw one at me the other day that I just have to share with the world:
Yes, an entire Pride Flag of knock-off Dinobots based on the Power Of The Primes combiner version of the team. So, according to the Wikipedia article on the original 1978 Pride Flag we have Grimlock representing life; Sludge representing healing; Swoop representing sunlight; Snarl representing nature; Slag/Slug representing serenity; and, Slash representing sex.

I unironically adore how Snarl looks in green, by the way, it really suits the guy.

Wednesday 2 January 2019

High Elves pt.1: cobbling together an army list

I have no idea what I'm doing. I love the High Elves, I love their background but as far as the mechanics go I am going in completely blind here. I wanted an army list to work to but trial and error is very much going to be a thing here. The following is mainly based around units I have, units I definitely want and a strong feeling that magic and shooting are what I should be focusing on here:

Loremaster of Hoeth, great weapon and heavy armour. 230 points

Mage, Level 2 Wizard. 120 points
Mage, Level 1 Wizard. 85 points
Lothern Sea Helm with spear, light armour, shield and Reaver Bow. 125 points

20 Lothern Sea Guard, full command, spears, bows and shields. 270 points
5 Ellyrian Reavers, full command, spears and bows. 125 points
5 Ellyrian Reavers, full command, spears and bows. 125 points

20 Swordmasters of Hoeth, full command. 290 points
10 Shadow Warriors with champion. 150 points
Lothern Skycutter with Eagle Eye bolt thrower. 120 points

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower. 70 points
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower. 70 points
Flamespyre Phoenix. 225 points

Total: 2005 points

The Loremaster of Hoeth is my general for no better reason than I really like the model and want to use it. He has a couple of Mages backing him up in the Magic Phase, though I don't know what lores I'll be going with just yet. Finally, character-wise, is a Lothern Sea Helm who I'll have spare after making the Skycutter.

Actually, Lothern units have turned out to be something of a theme of the army with the Sea Helm. Sea Guard, Skycutter and Eagle Claw Bolt Throwers. I just happen to like the looks of them, to be honest. I just don't like Archers and Spearmen, the models are very old and chunky so their more modern (and more heavily armed) Lothernii brethren made the cut. Similarly, I got a couple of units of Ellyrian Reavers cheap on eBay so that's the Core taken care of.

The Loremaster needs some friends to stand with so the Swordmasters were a natural inclusion. The Shadow Warriors are, again, just a unit I like and one that will let me take a break from painting white.

And, finally, a Phoenix. I want one. They look great.

Its quite elite by my standards with just over seventy models and only two ranked infantry units. I usually don't have this many ranged units, either, so that's a whole new play style to try out (and eventually fail at and just refocus the army on White Lions and Tiranoc Chariots if I know myself at all).

So, I've got the Loremaster undercoated and the Reavers halfway built, its time to clench my teeth and once again try to paint white.

Tuesday 1 January 2019


The end of 2018 I had a bad couple of months healthwise but with some recent improvements on that front I find myself rather looking forward to 2019. Well, at least on a personal level, as far as the big picture is concerned I still live under a government whose principal reaction to diplomatic reality is to threaten to eat live hand grenades unless their demands are met but let's focus on the positive...

And I suppose that's where I want to begin. I've spent so much of the last few months (a fair whack of the rest of the year, too) sick and unmotivated and the world is just horrible right now that I want to write more about things I enjoy. I'm not saying I won't complain, the Tory Party still exists, but I want to focus more on things that bring me joy.

A few projects to help me do that:

Weekly Comic Reviews
I'll say one thing for being ill over the Christmas period: I got a lot of reading done. The ever-present comics backlog has been reduced from “horrendous” to “manageable” so I feel I can actually get to a fair majority of the comics I buy soon enough to review them.

Various Hobby Stuff
There are a couple of army projects I want to make headway on this year. First of all: High Elves. I have the models. I've had the models for years, in fact, but I've been too scared to paint them. I've decided to say screw it and just paint all that damn white. I've already got the first one undercoated: a Loremaster of Hoeth, my absolute favourite HE model ever and therefore my General.

That's going to be my big start of year project. Naturally, once the Sisters Of Battle have the decency to be released that'll happen. I've wanted that army for over a decade and now its happening in plastic I have no intention of resisting. On that subject we're getting new Night Goblins in a week (oh my goodness, that plastic Mangler Squig!) so I foresee my Orcs & Goblins being dusted off in the near future.

Big Finish Backlog
Yes, the other shameless act of overspending weighing down my hard drive: Big Finish audios. I have a horrible habit of pre-ordering things, downloading them and forgetting them. Its the curse of digital media. Might as well write some reviews of the things whilst I'm at it.

Expand My Reading
I feel like I've fallen into a bit of a rut with my reading. I tend to default back to old Doctor Who books, Black Library stuff and the same old comics series. So I'm going to spend the year trying out new things lit-wise. There are a couple of stone cold classics that I want to try out but I'm just looking all over for new stuff.