Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Birthday Wishes and Resin Printers

As regular readers of this blog will know I am a 3D Printer owner, hobbyist maker and novice designer. 

I've owned my cheap as chips FDM Printer (a CTC i3 Pro B) for over 2 years and it has served me exceptionally well given the limitations of the technology.  With my birthday coming up I am feeling like I should take the next step and buy a Resin 3D Printer so I can printer higher definition and smaller scale objects.

What budget Resin Printers Can I Buy?

There are 3 main models that seem to be popular at the moment and are within my price range:


Creality SLD-002R
Buy it on Amazon


Anycubic Photon S
Buy it on Amazon

Elegoo Mars
Buy it on Amazon

SPECS
Vol: 120 x 65 x 165mm
XY Res: 2560 x 1600px
Z Res: 20-50 microns
Speed: 50-70mm/h
Price: £253
SPECS
Vol: 115 x 65 x 165mm
XY Res: 2560 x 1440px
Z Res: 25-100 microns
Speed: 20mm/h
Price: £280

SPECS
Vol: 120 x 68 x 155 mm
XY Res:
2560 x 1440px
Z Res: 10 microns 
Speed: 22.2mm/h
Price: £230


I am leaning towards the Creality SLD-002R on the basis of the print speed and the print volume so if anyone has any real world experience of this printer please drop me a comment below.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Reaper Bones #22 - A Flurry of Familiars

Probably the tiniest bones I have yet to paint.  Unfortunately I seem to have lost my dog mini from Pack 1 but I'm sure he'll find his way home.

Familiars 1 - (Various Sculptors SKU: 77176)

LtoR: Bat, Hawk, Dragonnewt, Weasel and Cat

Familiars 2
- (Various Sculptors SKU: 77196)

LtoR: Fairy, Coatl, Red Hood, Fire Sprite, Ragdoll and Tree Sprite


Bones Progress

Reaper Bones: 245 - Painted: 95

Related Posts

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Vintage Miniatures - Ral Partha AD&D Ogre Mage

Last week I shared the oddity that is the Ral Partha AD&D 3 Stage Miniature Illusionist.

Ral Partha made some absolutely beautiful miniatures back in the day and one such mini is...


This is a hefty beast standing an impressive 50mm tall.  He is a multi-part mini with a seperate katana and  optional left hand with dagger or holding a female prisoner.  Lost Minis Wiki has a great archive of all the AD&D range and photos of both A & B configurations of this mini.   

Ral Partha AD&D Ogre Mage - Buy it on eBay

The Ogre Mage was lifted from Japanese mythology (along with the Oni) and appeared in Greyhawk supplement (1975) hence the attire. 

I decided to go a non traditional route with this mini and paint his face red as he has a very devlish grin.


Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Jessie's Prints Episode 11 - Earth Elemental

This week, I are mostly been printing...


Schlossbauer is one of my favourite designers on Thingiverse.  He manages to make his prints just detailed enough and yet not too detailed that they print awesome on my budget FDM Printer.  If you are into RPGs, Fantasy Miniatures or just want something different to print then check him/her out.

Schlossbauer Earth Elemental - (Reaper Miniatures Hellborn Rogue for scale)

I printed my Earth Elemental at 200% scale as I wanted him to be double as both a large and a huge creature.  He came out at a nicely sized 85mm high with a 62mm diameter base.

The model prints in 4 parts (2 x arms, 1 x torso and 1 x legs) and I made sure that I laid the arms down on the print bed with the palms facing down so that any stubble left over from the support structures are on the inside and less visible.  The parts went together like a dream.  Schlossbauer's designs are well sliced and have simple keys so there gap filling is always minimal.


Monday, 15 June 2020

Reaper Bones #21 - Nova Corps & IMEF Soldiers

Every Sci-fi RPG needs a squad of tooled up bad hombres to either be the villains or to take them down.  Be it a bughunt or a hostile corporate takeover the Nova Corps and IMEF are just the boys and girls you can rely upon.

My Nova Corps / IMEF squad came came as a 15 mini set in the original Bones Kickstarter.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Vintage Mini Ral Partha 3 Stage Illusionist

Back in the day Ral Partha had a line of PC Minis which depicted your character at 3 stages of levelling up.   This was a really neat, if a bit niche, concept and the full list of these minis can be found on the Lost Mini Wiki.  

In today's world of bespoke 3D printed minis from Hero Forge, this sounds incredibly antiquated, but remember kids, 40 years ago, there wasn't a thing called a 3D Printer unless you worked at Area 51!

01-331 Illusionist

He's a weird one.  I guess you have to be weird to want to play an Illusionist as they are "all show and no go".  Ral Partha captured that essence of weird perfectly in this mini with his stupid Fez, his stupid wand, the magic orb and his particularly stupid parachute pants.

Ral Partha - 3 Stage AD&D Illusionist
Left to Right: Low, Mid and High Level Illusionist before repainting

I never liked the higher level version in this particular set and lord knows how I came to own it, I was probably thinking the low level character would make a good NPC mage in my Al-Qadim games.  The other 2 just look plain ridiculous.  As you can see stage one boy got a bit of a paint job courtesy of my step daughter when she was about 8 (many years ago).  Sadly she never completed it and I don't think she'll be too upset if I repaint it. 

These minis (and Ral Partha in general) don't command a particularly high price when you search for 3 Stage minis on eBay.  I'm not too gutted about repainting them and it's high time they got a refresh.

Primer and Zenithal Highlight

As with any mini I paint these days I prime in black and then a zenithal highight with white, both out of the rattlecan.  I find that even if I am not airbrushing the mini a zenithal highight serves a great purpose of both pre-shading and helping me to delineate areas of colour. 

3 Stage Illusionists Zenithal Highlighted

Glazing with the Wet Palette Technique

The wet palette is an often talked about next level painting technique which essentially is about using highly dilluted translucent layers of paint to gradually build up areas of colour and shading.  The preshading from the zenithal highlight is your biggest friend as it has already laid down the areas of deepest shadow and your translucent glases simply add the colour.

Blocking out the colours with glazes

Finished Paintjob

Ral Partha 3 Stage Illusionists Final (front view)
Ral Partha 3 Stage Illusionists Final (front view)

I think I have captured theabsurdity of this particular set.  The colour choices were intentionally very bold and ostentatious which only increases with level.  I also wanted to capture the ageing process in his beard and eyebrows. I'm happy with this sow's ear to silk purse transformation.

I am concious that I have never shown the back of these minis so here you go.

Ral Partha 3 Stage Illusionists Final (back view)
Ral Partha 3 Stage Illusionists Final (back view)

I could have spent much more time on these minis, but to be honest I got a bit bored with them.  As I mentioned earlier, I am not in love with them, I painted them out of morbid curiosity and I never expect them to see any tabletime. 

I might use the high level dude as some Grand Vizier in an Al-Qadim style game.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Father's Day Gifts for the D&D Dad

Father's Day is on Sunday 21st June 2020 which is only 10 days away but there is still time to get that special something for your D&D Dad.

Here are 9 special gift ideas you can buy on Amazon.




Under £10


A Dice Rolling Tray

Frankly I think these are an essential accessory to keep your dice rolling under control. 

I have one of these and it folds flat for easy storage and carriage.  The larger size is especially welcome when you are rolling a fistfull of those damage dice.
A New Set of Dice

It doesn't matter how many dice us D&D Dads have we can always do with some more.  I particularly like the wild colours on this set which make it look like they are on fire with magical flames.

Which is basically how I roll...
A New Notebook

Every Dungeon Dad needs a new notebook so he can fill it with campaign ideas or adventure journal entries. 

£10 to £20


A New T-Shirt


What better way for your Dad to say it loud and proud with a classy new T-Shirt. 

I particularly like the Dragon's head artwork on this one and lets face it Dragons are always found at the heart of a Dungeon which is right where this gift will get your Dad.
A New Pint Glass

What better way for your Dad to celebrate a particularly fraught campaign but to toast to fallen heroes from the skulls of their enemy.

Also a great icebreaker at BBQs.

"Could you bring me a drink in the head of Alfredo Garcia darling?"
An Area of Effect Template

This is one of the best I've seen yet.  Made of transparent acrylic with clear marked areas of effect for all the popular spells.

With this your Dad can finally end the argument of exactly who is getting hit by his fireball.

I particularly like the additional random direction feature on the outer ring because there are just those times when a spell bounces and you don't want it to come towards you.

Over £20


A Big 3 Level Pirate Ship

I was gobsmacked when I saw this.  I have been running games for over 35 years and have never found anything quite as practical as this 3 level pirate ship. 

Made from laser cut plywood this is the perfect accessory for the Dungeon Dad who likes to make his players walk the plank.  It also doubles as an impressive display stand for the man cave.

I'm just hoping that my step daughter sees this page and buys me one... fingers crossed.
Acrylic Condition Rings 72 Piece Set

If your Dad is a dungeon master he has probably encountered this problem on many an occasion.  How to track the various states that your PCs and Monsters can get themselves into during the course of a frenetic xombat.

Look no further because this set of clear acrylic condition rings puts an end to all that.  Colour coded for every one of 18 different combat conditions (4 rings of each type), these rings will help your dearest dad keep up with the upkeep of even the biggest skirmishes.
A Dice Tower

Sometimes your Dad needs all the help he can get and that means taking the human element out of rolling those pesky polyhedrons.

This is one of the tallest towers on the market and will cast an impressive shadow on everyone around the table.  It is made of cool blue transparent acrylic and is sure to mesmerise and randomise to equal effect.
Priceless

What every dad really wants is to spend some quality time with their kids.  So why not sit your dad down at the table and ask him to play a game.  He'll have memories of that special father's day forever.


Help Support this Channel

Please consider supporting this channel by clicking on the affiliate links above.  It won't cost you any more but a small percentage goes to help fund this blog.  Thank You and Happy Father's Day.

Jessie's Prints Episode 10 - Soda Bottle Stacking Planters

This week, I are mostly been printing...

Soda Bottle Stacking Planters - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4437199

Living in an apartment I have very limited garden space, basically it is my kitchen window ledge.  I was challenged by my 80 year old Dad (who has an alllotment channel on YouTube) to start growing some microgreens.

I used to have a ramshackle mix of pots and planters which did not take advantage of the one thing I do have which is ample amounts of vertical space and a chance encounter with an image on Pinterest made me think "I can do that with my printer". 

Minutes later, the Soda Bottle Stacking Planter was born.

Soda Bottle Stacking Planter
Soda Bottle Stacking Planter

Just print twice, glue the halves together and combine with your favourite 2 Litre bottle of soda.

"But this is a gaming blog! What the heck has this to do with gaming?" I hear you say. 

Well this is a perfect example of a crossover print.  With the addition of this ladder from Thingiverse designer Cheng Huat Wan it becomes a multi-purpose Bulk Liquid Storage Tank for use in all your Sci-Fi miniature wargames and RPGs.

I know that I'll be using mine in my Gaslands and Judge Dredd RPG games.

Bulk Liquid Storage Tank

Sci-Fi Bulk Liquid Storage Tank
Sci-Fi Bulk Liquid Storage Tank



 

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Arena - Futuristic Boxing in Space

Browsing through YouTube can be a dangerous game, particularly when you find a trove of old Sci-Fi and Fantasy B Movies

Arena (1989)

Arena (1989) VHS Cover
I distinctly remember the cover of this B-movie budget space Rocky calling to me from the shelves of Blockbuster video back in the day.  It wasn't a contender for my attention then, but in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown, frankly I can't think of any good excuse to not watch it.

The story is a simple one our hero Steve Armstrong, (Paul Satterfield) is a young kid with a talent for boxing had dreams of becoming a professional fighter and bought a one way ticket to starstation the home of the biggest fights in the Galaxy, The Arena.  A year later his dream is shattered and he spends his days as a short order cook in a fast food joint run by his boss the four armed alien Shorty (Hamilton Camp).

A chance brawl with a customer turns into a job offer from promoter Quinn (Claudia Christian) and a trial in the Arena.  However, Steve is the only human in 50 years to fight in the Arena against aliens and he is hopelessly outmatched.  Can he face impossible odds and become a contender?

Aliens, so many Aliens

The budget on this movie was pretty slim but they spent it wisely on a cavalcade of monster makeup.  It makes the cantena scene in Star Wars look like 2 men and a dog.  There is so much variety it really makes you feel like the Galaxy is teeming with alien species of all shapes and sizes.

The downside of this is of course that they spent all the money on monster makeup and next to nothing on writers, special effects, models etc.  The list goes on. 

The Director in me says "what the hell if I'm making Rocky in Space how much script do I need and this is pretty much what director Peter Manoogian must have though too.  He does his best and to be honest there are some great moments, in particular when they do an inventive visual gag based on Shorty's four arms.

Claudia Christian (Ivanova in Bablylon 5) is her usual classy self and Armin Shimerman (Quark in DS9) also does a respectable turn as the henchman Weezil who is aided in his master plan by the duplicitous alien cyborg skull (William Butler).  It's worth sticking this one out to see what happens to this guy.

It was Acceptable in the 80s

To be honest this wasn't as bad as the terrible video cover art had me believe.  The only truly excrutiating part was having to listen to the truly awful songs of futuristic cabaret star Jade (Shari Shattuck).  It's a relatively engaging story if a little cliched as we follow Steve's career reach its climax with the big fight against six time champion Horn (Michael Deak), a drug fuelled half robot half horned devil beast.

Give it a go, there are honestly worse things you can with 90 minutes of your life.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Reaper Bones #20 - Devil Women

In the 80s, Sir Cliff Richard sang:
"She's just a devil woman, With evil on her mind..."
and these two Hellborn beauties are not the sorts of ladies you might take home to meet your mum.

Tiviel, Hellborn Rogue (Derek Schubert SKU: 77118)

Reaper Bones - Triviel, Hellborn Rogue
Triviel, Hellborn Rogue - Buy it on eBay

Sinessa, Hellborn Sorceress (Bob Ridolfi SKU: 77119)

Reaper Bones - Sinessa, Hellborn Sorceress
Sinessa, Hellborn Sorceress - Buy it on eBay

Bones Progress

Reaper Bones: 245 - Painted: 69

Related Posts

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Vintage Vampire - Citadel C18 Night Horrors


I've had this mini hiding in an old tin in shame for years. 


The original paintjob was a horrible early experiment using artists inks.  I had given him a wash of blue ink over a white primer basecoat.  He was more Blue Man Group than Bela Lugosi and so it was time this scary dude got a spooky repaint.

Citadel C18 Night Horrors - Vampire
Buy it on eBay

The repaint was an experiment in glazing over a zenithal highlight with a single colour.  In my case this was Vallejo Game Colour Dark Green and I reinforced the highlights by mixing in some Vallejo Game Colour Dead White.  I picked out his eyes in Vallejo Game Air Scarlett Red and stuck a pin in him, he's done.

Like all of my recently painted minis this one got a protective coat of Windsor & Newton Matte Varnish from the airbrush thinned down with Vallejo Airbrush Flow Improver.

The C18 Night Horrors range is a particularly interesting series of minis and no doubt was designed to accompany the Gothic Horror Floorplans and GW licensed edition of Call of Cthulhu which were released about the same time. 

They were excellent value as you got 5 "classic horror" minis in a blister pack for only £2.50 which if GW used the Bank of Englands inflation calculator would be under £10 in today's money.  Well I guess it's true what they say...

"There are only two certainties in life.  Death and Games Workshop price gouging!!"

Saturday, 6 June 2020

A to Z of UK RPG in the 80s - Q is for Qadim

Q is for Qadim, Al-Qadim

TSR brought out many different campaign settings during the 80s but the one that really caught my attention was Al-Qadim The Lands of Fate.  The premise is simple it's the world of exotic Arabian adventure. Think Aladdin, Sinbad and the 40 thieves or Prince of Persia.

Why Al-Qadim is Worth Your Time

If you are like me and have been running games for the best part of 35 years, I am sometimes weary of the standard quasi medieval fare.  Your players know the monster manual like the back of their hand and there is no mystery any more.

Al-Qadim is a rich and spicy setting which is both familiar and completely alien at the same time.  The protagonists are often humans hell bent on acquiring power through strange magics and the use of elemental forces.  The strange and unfamiliar monsters range from the plethora of Djinn (Genies) to the smelly mishapen Yakmen.  All of them will be unknown to your players and therefore genuinely mysterious, intimidating and scary.

Your players are going to have to use their roleplaying skills of guile, cunning and persuasion rather than putting everything to the sword.  Trust me they're going to love it.

Need More Inspiration?

There are a ton of classic movies out there which will whet your appetite for some sun, sand and sorcery.  

Unloved and Unwanted

TSR pumped out a huge number of settings during those heady days of 2nd Edition AD&D.  Like Birthright, Mystara and Spelljammer it didn't have much staying power and it got shelved like the rest. 

I was lucky enough to pick the majority of my collection up at the height of their unpopularity when my FLGS was clearing out.  Prices are significantly higher now but investing in Al-Qadim has a solid and fun payback.

My Collection Includes

Al-Qadim The Land of Fate
The Land of Fate
Buy it on eBay

Al-Qadim Arabian Adventures
Arabian Adventures
Buy it on eBay

Al-Qadim City of Delights
City of Delights
Buy it on eBay

Al-Qadim Corsairs of the Great Sea
Corsairs of the Great Sea
Buy it on eBay

Al-Qadim Ruined Kingdoms
Ruined Kingdoms
Buy it on eBay

Al-Qadim Assassin's Mountain
Assassin's Mountain
Buy it on eBay

Al-Qadim Secrets of the Lamp
Secrets of the Lamp
Buy it on eBay
Al-Qadim Golden Voyages
Golden Voyages
Buy it on eBay

Friday, 5 June 2020

Tunnels and Trolls Adventures - iOS/Android App

Once again the Fans of Dead Games Society came up trumps.  A member pointed me in the direction of the Tunnels and Trolls Adventures app (available for both iOS and Android).

During this COVID-19 Lockdown I need some solo adventuring whilst I wait for eBay to deliver my physical T&T Solo Adventures.

Tunnels and Trolls Adventures

The app is free and comes with 27 adventures:

  • The Ascendant (Free)
  • Buffalo Castle (40)
  • Blue Frog Tavern (40)
  • Sword for Hire (40)
  • A Sworded Adventure (40)
  • Gamesmen of Kasar (40)
  • Misty Wood (40)
  • Caravan to Tiern (40)
  • Road to Gull (40)
  • Golden Dust, Red Death (40)
  • Hot Pursuit (40)
  • Sewers of Oblivion (40)
  • Deathtrap Equalizer (40)
  • Stop Thief! (40)
  • City of Terrors (50)
  • Ultimatum (40)
  • Overkill (50)
  • Naked Doom (Free)
The Characters

You start with 4 basic characters which can be selected using the horned hemet icon, these are:
  • Borgoth  - Dwarven Warrior with
  • Lelana - Elf Warrior
  • Morgan (Human Warrior)
  • Rufus (Hobb Warrior)
Like all solo adventures your class is limited to warrior types for simplicity's sake, no spell casters here.

However, there is the option to roll your own character with a fairly simple pick and place interface which I like.  You get to choose from the four basic races Dwarf, Elf, Hobb and Human and Lore panels give a little bit of flavour text to explain the race, how "Adds" work and what your modified scores will be if you select the race. 

Updating Your Character

The app handles all the recording of experience and items you acquire as you complete the various adventures. 

However, it does not level you up or equip your character with new weapons you acquire on your adventures.  Make sure that you check back regularly to update your character and their inventory.


This an introductory game designed to teach you the basic mechanics of T&T and the interface but the storyline is well written, rich in descriptive text.  It is a bit binary in terms of the decision tree, you either choose to do something or not, but this is understandable given that it is essentially targetting a newbie audience.

Your character goes from a humble villager to a starting adventurer which reminded me of the Dungeon Crawl Classics 0-level character concept.  I am a fan of this method of starting a new character as it is a refreshing alternative to the cliched "You meet in a Tavern".


Tunnels & Trolls - Naked Doom
Buy it on eBay
As author Ken St. Andre says "I'm trying to kill your character" and there's no mistaking that.  You will have to acquire a decent weapon and some bonuses if you want to successfully beat some of these challenges.

It's been a long time since I played Naked Doom IRL, but this brought the memories rushing back.  I felt a real sense of relief when I finally escaped and a nagging sense that I'd left much yet to be discovered.

The beauty of this app is that you can pick another character and be dungeon delving again within minutes.  You may have to try several different characters to find the optimal combination of Attributes and Adds to successfully complete every path.  Good Times.


This is a well written but short taster adventure which sets the scene and gets you through the wilderness and up to the gates of the Necropolis.  To continue you must purchase part 2 or as I did play using one of my hearts. 

It is very short but still it has some excellent characters and some items can be acquired which have some significance both in this part and the next.  I enjoyed our brief time together and was sufficiently intrigued to give Part 2 a go which proved much more in depth and deadly. 


A night on the town sounds like fun, you've got a coin full of gold and the Black Heart Gambling Den awaits. 

Essentially this adventure is a series of games of chance which are played using attribute checks.  The twist is that if you win you gain adventure points, if you lose you pay with your life force (CON).  An interesting concept which is definitely finding its way inside one of my cities.

Micro Transactions

The majority of the adventures must be purchased using the in game currency of Gems at the (bracketed prices) listed above.  You acquire Gems in game as loot and also buy puchasing them at the store.  You can buy 50 Gems for the $4.99.

However, the game is supported by ads.  If you watch an ad you earn 1 heart and can play any adventure once without owning it by spending a heart.   

Good Cheap Fun

This was some good cheap and incredibly fast fun whilst I waited for my solo adventures to arrive and to be honest why not take advantage of technology if it is available.  I really appreciated the fact that every adventure could be played for free.  If everything had been locked off with micro transactions I would have not given this app the time of day.

I blazed through the five adventures in no time and would have played more but the postman delivered my new solo adventure book in super quick time. 

Wish me luck as I enter the Arena of Khazan!

Tunnels and Trolls - Amulet of the Saltki / Arena of Khazan

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Jessie's Prints Episode 9 - Car Wars

This week, I are mostly been printing...

Classic Car Wars Vehicles 15mm / 1:64 - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4403771

Steve Jackson's classic automobile apocalypse game Car Wars was a big part of my childhood.  The tiny scale (and cardstock counters) meant that the whole epic game could fit  into a case slightly smaller than a video cassette.  

Many expansions were released over the years including The AADA Vehicle Guide.  By now SJG had developed a sort of short hand for describing these vehicles but the AADA Vehicle Guide was unusual in that it included a full set of elevation drawings for each vehicle.  A further expansion pack of AADA Counters was also available for play in the game. 

These are perfect for my 15mm Judge Dredd game so I thought I would have a go at modelling and printing some of these futuristic looking things.  They are also perfect for Gaslands with a bit of postapolcalyptifying and each model prints out in about 30 minutes, so faster than you can say "Can we go to the shops and buy some Hotwheels, mum?".

If you download them please remember to collect, share your makes and tip the designer if you fancy it.

Reminds me of the Volvo Ad catchphrase in the 1990 movie Crazy People "They're boxy, but good"

Superflash

Car Wars Superflash

Tonto

Car Wars Tonto


Spring Surprise

Car Wars Spring Surprise

Painted

Car Wars Cars Painted

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Schwarzenegger and Chan Team up in Weird Wuxia Fantasy

The Mystery of the Dragon Seal (also known as The Iron Mask) is the sequel to 2014's utterly bonkers Forbidden Empire
The Mystery of the Dragon Seal
Watch it on
Amazon Prime

Directed by Oleg Stepchenko this is a bizarre mix of Russian creativity and Chinese money which results in a visually sumptuous affair.  Immaculatly dressed sets, fantastic wire work and a half decent storyline make this an engaging watch.

Set in the mid 1700s, Jason Flemyng reprises his role as hapless cartographer and adventurer Jonathan Green who, having survived the supernatural monsters of Transylvannia, has made it to the court of Peter the First of Russia.  Having previously met the Tsar when he visited London, Green is eager to present the map he has made for the him and hopefully be richly rewarded for his efforts. 

However, Green immediately spots that an imposter sits on the throne of Russia and he is summarily thrown in jail where he meets the Cheng Lan, daughter of kung fu master Jackie Chan.

Pigeon post correspondence with his betrothed Miss Dudley is intercepted by the real Tsar who is currently imprisoned in the Tower of London alongside Jackie Chan.  They return a pigeon and the whole story starts to pick up pace thanks to some political influence from her father (Charles Dance).

Enter unlikely prison warden and history buff James Hook (Captain Hook?) played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He seems to spend a lot of his screen time in a weird Ultimate Fighting American Ninja Death Match ring where prisoners have to beat him in combat and climb to the top of a ladder to win their freedom.

I don't want to spoil it for you so I will leave the spoilers there.  I will say one last thing though, Rutger Haur has a fleeting cameo.

What Did I think?

I have never been a fan of movies where you can literally feel the influence of the producers.  Arnie was an executive producer and it feels like his segments are overly long and drawn out because he is in control.  There is a nagging sense of direction by committee about this movie.

The multi-national cast means that the movie is dubbed entirely in English and badly at times even when the English cast are talking you can see that sections have been redubbed to change dialogue.  I'm guessing that the intention from the getgo is to sell this movie to as many different territories as possible with their own local dubbed version so lipsync is going to be an issue no matter who watches it.  Welcome to the real world of modern global cinema.  

Whilst this is immensely fun and a much better than the original movie in colour palette consistency and delivery it is no wuxia masterpiece like Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.

An enjoyable watch if you don't think too hard.