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House Frogwarts
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Everything posted by Dr.Bedlam

  1. I'm GUESSING they were digitally sculpted; the pictures on the box look like renders, and to some extent, the PHYSICAL FIGURES look like renders. This isn't a BAD thing, necessarily, but I agree; Commander Riker doesn't look a lot like Jonathan Frakes, and he looks for all the world like Captain Morgan swatting someone with his phaser. You could well be right about the bodies, assuming they could just repose them digitally.
  2. Getting to Know You ... December Edition

    I generally prefer a good feghoot, but puns are good, all the way up to the point where you have that one clever fellow who runs it into the ground and keeps going.
  3. Today's acquisitions include the new Star Trek minis from Modiphius. Now, I've made a point of acquiring all the Star Trek minis as they came out. And for some reason, they always quit making them fairly QUICKLY for some reason. I got lucky when a friend found the old Heritage original series bridge crew and gave them to me. I bought the FASA minis as they came out in blisters. I wasn't fast enough with the single boxed set that Last Unicorn put out, but got lucky and found them still in the shrinkwrap in a junk shop. I have the HeroClix bridge crew from the original series. And while looking for more, I discovered that the Modiphius minis had finally hit the retail outlets. So I moved fast, and bought a box. And I am driven to consider the effects of digital sculpting and rendering on minis design and production. And some stuff the sculptors have told me. In particular, Jason Wiebe, Julie Guthrie, and Sandra Garrity have all talked in my presence about "telling a story." A miniature should not simply represent a static moment in time; that makes it look like a little mannequin. The figure should be DOING something, reacting to something, it should have some LIFE to it! Knights and wizards aren't just posing for portraits! And most work by these worthies amply demonstrates this principle of minis sculpting. Every mini I can think of offhand by most Reaper sculptors looks like it's DOING something, or ABOUT to do something, or at least REACTING to something. Artists don't generally seem to like mannequin poses. And frankly, I've got kind of SPOILED by that. I look at what they're DOING, and that tends to inform my paint job, my source lighting, and so forth. What are they doing? What are their stories? And so when I began to assemble and prep the Next Generation crew, I was looking for their stories. I noted to some dismay that the figures are dressed in different uniform eras, for one thing. Picard, Riker, Data, and LaForge are all wearing movie era uniforms with zippered fronts. Worf, Yar, Dr. Crusher, and Troi are wearing TV era uniforms. This will, I suspect, lead to a bit of discord among those who play the game, and want all the uniforms to match up. But since I wanted them mainly for display and collector reasons, it was nothing I couldn't live with. And then... I pondered the poses. Picard, Data, Crusher, Worf, and Troi are in dynamic poses. Picard is about to shoot someone with his phaser. This seems a LITTLE out of character -- Picard was more of a diplomat than a gunslinger -- but he was no slouch when he had to zap something. Data is hurrying to his aid with a phaser rifle, which does imply something needs to be shot, and shot good. Worf is equipped with his bat'leth, and assuming phasers don't work on it, he's prepared to reduce it to coleslaw singlehandedly, if need be. Troi is hurrying to help with a tricorder, as is Dr. Crusher, with tricorder and medical kit. And then we get a little weird. Tasha Yar, former Chief of Security of the USS Enterprise, is unarmed. Her fists are balled up, though, and she looks like she is prepared to to beat the universe into submission with them. Her pose is dynamic, and kinda belligerent. She's going to kick your broccoli, right here and now, bucko, and she don't need no steenkin' phaser to do it! Lt.Cmdr. LaForge has his diagnostic kit, and is looking upward, tricorder in hand, doing engineering stuff. This is all well and good. However, the base that comes on his sprue is a rocks/wilderness base. What precisely is Geordi doing? Has he come to repair a rock? Is a tree in need of a Level 2 Diagnostic? And then we come to Cmdr. Riker. He's wearing a movie era uniform... but the figure lacks a beard, a feature Jon Frakes had in all the movies. Still, no biggie; a beard can be painted on. He is in a Captain Morgan pose, one foot elevated on a rock. He holds a tricorder in his left hand. A phaser is in his right. And then I test fit the arm. It's separate, and has to be glued on. And this led to ... um... some difficulties. Y'see, I figured that he, like Picard, was taking aim at some alien threat, prepared to zap it into next week, like his brave captain and android right hand man! Um... no. Only way the arm fits and looks remotely right... he's either pointing the phaser straight UP, dangling it next to his elevated knee, or pointing it off to his FRONT. Thing is, he's looking off to his RIGHT. The first pose makes him look like he's pointing it skyward while he lectures the Pharisees or something. The second pose makes him look like he's staring at something in the distance, perhaps thinking, "Wayul, gaw-aw-lee," a la Gomer Pyle. And the third pose makes him look like he's just smacked someone across the face with his phaser. Combined with the tricorder in his other hand, I found myself imagining the dialogue. "Wow. What the hell are YOU supposed to be? (takes tricorder readings) Well, whatever you are, you're ugly and I don't like your face. I challenge you to a DUEL! (***smek***)" Perhaps I am being too OCD about this. I think I will go and tinker with them some more...
  4. You all make me glad my spouse has a more relaxed attitude about minis purchases than my ex did...
  5. Unpainted Minis from Wizkids

    I really liked the oxcart I saw online. Went to my FLGS yesterday. They had oxcarts. ...so warped and bent that it would be more trouble to fix than to build one from scratch out of balsa. The beholder was cool... but not so impressive I thought I needed a tenth or eleventh beholder figure. I did buy an umber hulk, though. Nice to finally find one that's common and cheap.
  6. Getting to Know You ... December Edition

    Can't think of anything I particularly regret. I would not now climb up on the garage roof, but it was a thing when I was seven, and it seemed safe enough THEN...
  7. Getting to Know You ... December Edition

    For some reason, I've never much cared for sweet tea. Herbal, iced, hot, with lemon, whatever, but I'm a lousy Southerner: I'm not wild for sweet tea. And the idea of tea as a morning beverage is... um... a thing I had never considered.
  8. Getting to Know You ... December Edition

    At least tequila fannybangers don't need an electric kettle...
  9. Getting to Know You ... December Edition

    Tea? In the MORNING?
  10. Barring disaster, yes! Assuming I'm over this BUG by then...
  11. Getting to Know You ... December Edition

    MORNING beverage? Cream and sugar, with a side of venom for that one chump who wants to make the ancient crack about having some coffee with my cream and sugar.
  12. I regret I'm gonna skip, and keep all my viruses to myself. May they die a horrible death, all of 'em.
  13. GW to re-release Necromunda!

    But not entirely surprising. If they wanted to hook me, all they would have had to do was SELL ME A *%#^$ GAME. SELL ME ALL THE RULES, ALL AT ONCE. Hell, I wouldn't have even needed the MINIS, I'd have bought them separately if I'd had to! But no, no, no, they couldn't do that. Can't sell all the rules in one book, no, no, just no. Got to sell it all piecemeal, and then sell all the expansions. Can't give them the option to stop anywhere, no, no, no. My answer? No, no, no.
  14. Randomness XIII: Cognitive Dissonance While You Wait

    Mmmyeah, I had that ensemble. As well as the gold plaid pants with the avocado polo shirt. Difference is, I wore them when no one laughed at you for wearing them. Sympathies.
  15. Minis we would like to see

    I've always liked the idea of Cu Chulainn tossing his Gae Bolga with his foot. Durned if I can think of how a sculptor would make him look cool DOING it, though.
  16. Randomness XIII: Cognitive Dissonance While You Wait

    A thing happened today that reminded me of the pants. There is a tale that is told among my friends and loved ones come the Christmas season. And because you are among these, I share it now with you. It is the tale of the Seven Pairs Of Polyester Slacks. Back in the early seventies, there was a fad of making clothing out of plastic. ALL plastic, no natural fibers. The worst of these was the Polyester Leisure Suit, but there were other crimes. My dad loved them. In my entire childhood, my father bought me three suits, and all of them were polyester. Purest polyester, plastic fiber, woven into formal horror. He loved them because they were easy to clean and held a crease forever. Dry clean? Ha! Just wash in cold water, and dry on low heat, and then hang; it'll all snap back into shape. Dad didn't wear a suit to work, but dress shirts, ties, and black polyester slacks were his uniform. And he loved his black polyester slacks with eternal creases and stain proofed techno wonder. Moonshots, lasers, and satellite TV be damned, as far as Dad was concerned, the millenium had arrived with black polyester slacks. But then... the dark times came. People rose up in rebellion. The rage against polyester had begun. By the early eighties, polyester clothing had vanished (along with Corfam shoes, another thing Dad liked) and he had to search long and hard to find replacement wardrobe items. Someone tipped him off that Goodwill often had polyester slacks, and he began stocking up. Polyester slacks last a long time, but they do wear out, and he needed enough pairs to get him through to retirement! (Dad was a high school guidance counselor. I can only wonder what his students in the eighties and nineties thought about this tall, Dick Van Dykish looking man in the wide ties and the black polyester slacks with Corfam shoes. I know people -- my sister in particular -- tried to explain to him that he looked like some sort of dinosaur from the Age of Disco, but he wasn't having any of that. They held a CREASE! FOREVER! AND THEY NEVER STAINED!) Anyway, this led to several people he knew giving him THEIR old polyester slacks. And one day, my father realized that he had all the black polyester slacks he was ever going to need. And then some. And that was the time that I came home to visit for Christmas... it would have been back around 1991 or so. And Dad gave me nine pairs of black polyester slacks. Or did I say seven, back up there at the top of the column? Seven? Or was it nine? I dunno, to be honest. I know it was at LEAST seven, and it might have been nine, and I don't THINK it was eleven. The upshot is that he could have given me ONE pair, and it would have been more pairs than I would ever need, thank you, I'd been living on my own for a decade by then, and wouldn't have been seen dead in a pair of black polyester slacks. This disrupted my father not at all. He had decided. He had all the slacks he needed, and he would pass the remainder on to his only son, that his only son need not languish in the absence of dress slacks that stayed creased without pressing. The Decision Had Been Made. The Slacks Would Be Given And Accepted. Now, I tried. "Dad, you're four and a half inches taller than I am, and it's all in your legs. Those slacks are too long, and clownishly so." "Well, they can be taken in, shortened up. It's easy. You know how to sew, don't you? Here, I'll give you a sewing kit to take with you." "Dad, these slacks went out of style around the same time the Village People did. In fact, some time before." "Well, those style folks don't know what they're talking about. These are amazing slacks. You know you don't need to iron them? They'll keep a crease forever. And they don't stain!" "Dad, I will never wear these slacks. They're ten years out of style. Flare legs went out with the Captain and Tennille." "Well, I don't see why. They're great! They last FOREVER, they won't stain, they'll keep a crease--" "Dad, I would walk into a biker bar butt nekkid with FREE BUTTSEKS written on my buttcheeks in lipstick before I wore those pants in public." "Well, now you're just being silly. These pants are GREAT, and you can't GET them any more! They'll keep a CREASE, they'll..." (I think he got it from his mom, my grandmother. She was the same way. She'd get a thing into her head, and would not stop until the universe bent to her will. Not OFTEN, but it happened. Often with being cold; it could be hot enough in the living room to melt lead, and the lawn could be on fire, but if SHE felt cold, every human within reach had to put on a sweater before she would finally drop it and relax, having saved us all from frozen death that none of us had the sense to avoid on our own.) And so I took the pants and put them in my car, right then and there, because there was no other way to hit the reset button; no other topics would be discussed until I accepted the fraggin' pants. And then we could have a family visit without a pants interjection every few minutes. I actually kept those pants for a couple of years. If he'd come to visit and I couldn't show him those honkin" pants, I'd never have heard the end of the horror of throwing away perfectly good pants. I did eventually discard them. They rest now in a landfill in New Braunfels, Texas, presumably with immaculate creases; I expect you could dig them up, shake the dirt off, and wear them home with pride, if you didn't mind being laughed at by passersby. And now, Dear Reader, you know why I avoid my relatives for Thanksgiving, and how for Christmas, I send my father a jolly email, and he responds by printing out a Christmas card he makes with a program he found for Windows 95 and then he sends it to me. In black and white. Color ink costs money, you know.
  17. 03809: Deep One High Priest

  18. Repainted Mage Knight Tree Spirit

    I have one of those somewhere, and durned if I can remember what it was called... but you've done a splendid job. Eeeeevil looking.
  19. Getting to Know You ... December Edition

    I'd cheerfully buy a dozen Father Christmases if they'd just SELL the dratted things.
  20. December specials?

    Someday, Reaper'll be in a great position to do a helluva couple Christmas boxed sets.
  21. Getting to Know You ... December Edition

    Random selection indicates that the person in question has a high likelihood of being Chinese, and prolly not speaking my language. So, yeah, gimme the dog. Dog language is universal. Although with my luck, the one I wound up with would be rabid...
  22. Getting to Know You ... December Edition

    My sister thinks I'm nuts. In all candor, she may not be far wrong...
  23. Twisted Films

    I am a weird motherhonker, and at my age, I see little point in hiding it. And among my many twisted peccadilloes, I like bad movies. Not just ANY bad movie, but them what's So Bad It's Good, what Ivan Stang calls "Bulldada." A movie that doesn't know how bad it is. And because it's bad, it's wonderfully entertaining. Plan 9 From Outer Space and Robot Monster are among the gems of this genre. The Giant Claw fits, because it's pretty much Rodan, but instead of a giant pterodactyl, it stars Big Bird's special needs cousin as a monster that attacks airplanes. Its main charm is in the special effects failure. And quite often, a gem can qualify due to sheer cognitive dissonance. Beware! The Blob* scared the bejesus out of me when I was nine, but I laughed my way through it when I saw it in college. My girlfriend feels the same way about The Thing That Couldn't Die, the single best AND worst movie about an evil Satanic Spanish conquistador's severed head. And this is the reason I bring this up today: The Bermuda Depths. I saw this movie on TV when I was, like, twelve or thirteen, and I found it to be weirdly haunting and beautiful. Despite the fact that it starts out as a romance, AND a Bermuda Triangle movie. Today's generations have NO idea about Bermuda Triangle movies; they're kind of a dead genre. But back in the day, man, films about the Triangle were HOT, ranging from spooky documentaries to outright horror movies, in which the disappearances of ships and places were attributed to aliens, pirates, Satan, space warps, time warps, and ghod knows what else. There were a BUNCH of these films, many of which are rightfully forgotten... including, regrettably, The Bermuda Depths. Thing is? In the eighties, I went through several years of bad movie phase... and I could NOT find this movie anywhere. I wondered if I'd imagined it. It wasn't available on VHS as far as I could tell, no one I talked to had ever heard of it, it didn't seem to be on any lists I could find. Did this movie really EXIST? Y'see, it starts out as a romance. Handsome eye candy Magnus returns to Bermuda to find out how his father was killed, years ago when he was a boy. He meets his childhood sweetheart, a beautiful ethereal woman named Jenny, who we find out later may or may not EXIST, since his friends later report that none of them have ever SEEN her. Meanwhile, said friends are on a marine biology expedition to find out why ships are disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle; they think it may be some sort of giant sea creature. And we find out that Magnus' dad vanished mysteriously right when he was finding out what the TRUTH was. And then we find out that Jenny's actually a local urban legend from 200 years ago about a girl who sold her soul to survive a shipwreck. And that the sea creature is a turtle the size of a kaiju. And... ...eeeeyeah, I know. What we have here is a movie that manages to be a supernatural romance, a Bermuda Triangle movie, a horror movie, a Giant Monster movie, AND a Jaws ripoff. Ambitious, if nothing else. And Burl Ives gets eaten by a giant turtle demon. While he's in a helicopter. I will admit that when I was twelve years old, perhaps this sort of thing was somehow more... able to take seriously... than it would be now. And yet, I REMEMBER the same weird dreamlike beauty the film had in 1978... while simultaneously in 2017, thinking, "Mighod, this thing could ONLY have been made in the age of Disco, Pet Rocks, and Bermuda Triangle movies." Does anyone ELSE have any recommendations for entertainingly bad movies? Or, for that matter, movies that you thought were insane fever dreams that turned out to be real? Or even films that terrified you when you were little, only to appall you as you got older? *About Beware The Blob: I defy ANYONE to take this movie seriously after seeing the scene with Larry Hagman, Burgess Meredith, and Del Close, who are all apparently as high as kites, and they get eaten by the Blob.
  24. Getting to Know You ... December Edition

    The Green Lantern Power Ring. Seems the most versatile.
  25. Twisted Films

    Verbal description of a John Belushi routine is not sufficient. Belushi must be experienced.