Monday 17 April 2023

Jessie's Prints - Episode 26 - The TIme Traveller

This week, I are mostly been printing...  Steampunk Time Traveller Girl

Whilst crusing around the STL sites (as you do) for a version of the H.G. Wells time travelling sedan chair, I came across this wonderful model on the site Pinshape.

The Timetraveller by Gokcen Yuksek

Wow what a model.  It's big snd impressive and scratches that anime and steampunk itch.

Timetraveller by Gokcen Yuksuk

This really stretched the capabilities of my Photon Mono X build volume.  The base had to be split in two and some of the months rails didn't print properly so some PLA was used to join the months together.  However, The figure printed perfectly first time and I excitedly glued her together and to her base.

Timetraveller parts

She comes in 25 parts, the body and base (7), the hour ring (2), the month ring (1), a small square controller (not pictured) 1) and the year ring (13).  I resisted the temptation to glue everything together as the rings are meant to float freely allowing you to rotate them.

Gokcen has released several of her models for free on pinshape and most of them have this same whimsical steampunk aesthetic.  Don't be surprised if I have a go at one of her other models.

Sunday 16 April 2023

Heroquest - A mid life crisis story

A fun day was had by all at the first Dragons Keep Roleplay Club Game Day of 2023.

Having recently picked up a copy of the re-issue Heroquest boardgame I was eager to revisit my childhood and go do some dungeon bashing 90s style

Heroquest - Now and Then

That first scenario is so tough and you essentially get thrown in at the deep end, ultimately facing off against a Gargoyle which is the toughest monster in the core set.  Needless to say we ploughed on and over the course of some very enjoyable hours Conan the Diabetic and his chums managed to get through 3 challenging scenarios.

Can't wait to pick up where we left off.

Friday 14 April 2023

Dungeons & Dragons: Honour among Thieves

On a rare trip to the cinema I saw the latest Dungeons & Dragons Movie...

It was fantastic 

They pulled it off, and managed to put together a movie which pretty accurately reflects what playing a game is actually like.  Previous incarnations have made the cardinal sin of taking themselves too seriously because they built a world in which there are real consequences and motivations.  This is not D&D.

Dungeons & Dragons Honour Among Thieves

Let's face it most parties you have every had the honour of joining make up their plans on the spur of the moment.  Most of those plans go south almost immediately and the party scrapes a victory by the skin of their teeth.  This is well portrayed in the character of Edgin (Chris Pine) who even styles himself as the team leader and planner.  Every party needs a tank and Holgar (Michelle Rodriguez) fills this role with aplomb, they even give her a surprise romantic plot twist just to round out her character.

Low level mages are crap and this party's spellcaster is no different Simon the Sorceror (Jussie Smith) plays this to a tee.  Individual player agency even if that sends a plan spiralling into failure is a critically important part of the playing experience.  His triggering the bridge trap even whilst the rules are being explained to him is classic D&D.

The elf druid Doric (Sophia Lillis) is the only character that I struggled with because it was played as a jack of all trades.  This may have been for plot reasons but she felt a little NPC to me.  Talking of NPCs, who can forget the excellent Xenk Yendar (unpronounceable name starting with X... check!) the insufferable super character who cannot be bested in combat as he's too important to the plot to die, even though everyone kind of hates him.

Even the DM makes a sort of appearance as the hand of fate that tips the scales against our characters.  most noticeably in the carefully orchestrated portal painting scene when the frame "accidentally" falls over onto the floor.  So D&D.

Easter Eggs Galore

When you are dealing with a muti-generational fictional universe adored by millions you are going to need to lean on the fan service.  It's why your core audience, the fans, are going put down the cold hard cash to go see your movie.

This is where many of the current crop of properties go astray.  Instead of giving fans what they want the directors writers and producers all want to "subvert expectations" or lean into "representation" in order to chase some ethereal demographic of what they would like their audience to be.  This is so mind numbingly empted headed thinking that it beggars belief.  The first rule of any product is know your audience.

What this team did was mine the massive back catalogue of source material and pull out a few monsters that everyone is familiar with.

Aaracokra, Dragonborn, Rust Monsters, Owl Bears, Displacer Beasts, Gelatinous Cubes, Mimics and of course dragons.  Colour me surprised when up pops Themberchaud the fattest Red Dragon you are every likely to encounter.  He will be familiar to anyone who has had the misfortune to wind up in Gracklestugh the Duergar fortress city of the Underdark.  Last I saw of him he'd slain his jailers and was merrily setting the city on fire.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves Themberchaud

Familiar spells peppered the action like bullets from a machine gun.  Having a knock down drag out fight between two mages wielding Bigby's Hand was a sight to behold.  

In the run up to release, the internet was wild with complaints about how they should have written this with the characters of the original D&D Cartoon from the 80's.  The producers listened and lo and behold up they pop as contestants in the great games.  Nice. 

Will it Suceed?

Well if the runours are true and it cost $150 Million to make then it needs to turn $300 Million in order to break even.  With the recent debacle over the OGL and the social media backlash, I'm not so sure that it will.  Unlucky timing perhaps because without that cloud hanging over its head it should have been a no brainer choice for every D&D fan out there to go see it.

Thursday 13 April 2023

Savage Dredd - Gangs of Mega City One

Mega City One has its fair share petty criminals and none come more petty than the juve gangs who vie for supremacy in their respective blocks.  Here are just a few of the gangs I have created for my Judge Dredd campaigns set in Sector 55.

The Squid Squad

Residents of Little Korea, the squid squad are easily identifiable by their neon pink all over jumpsuits and black facemasks.  They are one of the most organised and disciplined gangs in Sector 55 and should be approached with caution.  Their suits offer protection against all chemical attacks and their masks include breathers and headsets rendering Stumm Gas and Sonic cannon ineffective.

Squid Games Squad

I found a free guard model on Thingiverse 5021982 and scaled them down to 15mm to match my other Judge Dredd minis.  This was pretty much the limit of how small I can print a standard 28mm mini as they were a little vulnerable in the ankle area.  I love how they came out and with a quick lick of paint they are absolutely ready for a rumble in Mega City One.

The Fatties

It is almost impossible to find models of fat people on the internet.  Of course the officially licenced range has some fantastic minis but these are 35mm.  Milliput to the rescue.  I blobbed on some putty and roughly sculpted some corpulent citizens to flesh out any gathering.  I only made 5 but if I get a really great scenario idea that needs more then who knows. 

Judge Dredd Citizens - The fatties

There is a distinct lack of protest banners as whenever they are depicted in the comics they always seem to be shouting about something or other.  I did have a go at modelling belly wheels but it was an abject failure.  They of course come in a wide variety of jumpsuits and track suits as they are always in training for their next big weigh in.

TV Media Crews

In Mega City One there are almost as many TriD TV channels as there are citizens.  From documentary channels to citizen broadcasters the airwaves are chock full of options for the discerning viewer and 24 Hour News is just one small slice of that media cake.

Judge Dredd Citizens - TV Media Crews

Looking like a cross between the anchor men of old and corporate shift workers, these guys are a common sight at any incident.  They band together like fleas on a rat, but when they smell a story it's dog eat dog.  Oh and don't think that they aren't above creating the odd incident on a slow news day.

The Barbarellas

These costumed crusaders can usually be found defending their home turf of Jane Fonda Block.  The Barbs, as they are colloquially known, work double duty as an organized crime gang and the block's Citi-Def. 

Judge Dredd 15mm - The Barbarellas

Armed with stub guns and reflective body armour styled after an old holovid from 1960s.  Membership of this gang is exclusive and you only get in if you are a prime specimen of health and vitality.  One of the gang's most lucrative rackets is running the many Fonda Fitness Centres which also give it access to a steady stream of new recruits in peak physical condition.

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Jessie's Prints - Episode 25 - Efreet

This week, I are mostly been tasting...  Middle Eastern Delights

Regular readers will know that my favourite D&D setting is Al-Qadim but it was never well supported in terms of minis.  Time has been kind to the genre though and there are plenty of neat minis that can be downloaded all over the internet including. 

Efreet - Pinshape 48509

As soon as I saw this guy I new I had to print him my other two Djinn are a bit too weapony and this guy is all about giving out wishes.  I'm really pleased with the paint job on this guy and his muscles benefitted from the zenithal highlighting that I've been doing lately.

Efreet Fantasy Geni

Talking of Al-Qadim, I recently acquired a copy of the Caravans boxset for the collection.  Whilst in these woke times there is absolutely no chance of WotC revisiting this setting on account of "Cultural Appropriation", I absolutely love how different it is to regular D&D.  If you are interested or have never heard of one of the best settings TSR ever came up with check out my Al-Qadim article.