Saturday, 15 December 2012

Sheffield punks spend loud night....

So I actually made it out to another gig. Just down the hill from where I live is a new autonomous space - "The Audacious Art Project"... as soon as Carolyn got in from work I legged it down and squeezed in past the kids to see 4 local hardcore punk bands tearing up the place!! - I got down there just after 9pm and just caught the end of Death Job's set who were standing in for The Pact... followed by Dry Heaves, Howl and Sheffield's D-Beat masters - Skiplickers. All great bands - Howl and Dry Heaves were both new to me - and both played excellent sets. I picked up the Howl demo cassette at the end of the gig, and I've been playing it all morning. The Gig space was really nice - a good crowd of people managed to fit in there and it was a nice atmosphere... although I was a bit surprised there was no no-smoking policy...Since the UK smoking ban, I've quickly got used to not going home after a gig coughing my lungs up and smelling like a shitty ashtray. In such a small space I would have thought people would have been a bit more thoughtful for others, I did notice that most of the older punks went outside to smoke in between bands, but the younger folks didn't seem to bother. Just an observation.
Check out what the bands sound like at the bottom of the page....







Monday, 26 November 2012


Yesterday we went for a family afternoon out, exploring around Ladybower reservoir in Derbyshire. I've been loads of times before, but I didn't realise there was a nice little museum up in one of the towers of the Dam... (only open Sundays and Bank holidays apparently) which has some great stuff in there about the history of the reservoir, the two sunken villages of Derwent and Ashopton... and a load of memorabillia and interesting artifacts of the famous 617 Squadron (The DAMBUSTERS) who practiced their low level flights there in the second world war. It's only a tiny museum, but the kids were really engaged by it.
Next year (2013) will be the 70th anniversary. I was chatting to the folks in the museum, and allthough nothing is confirmed, they recon that there is sure to be a flypast by the Lancaster bombers... so we're going to try and get out to watch that. Apparently last time they did it (65th anniversary) all the roads were blocked by cars and it was complete chaos - so I think an early start and some hiking will probably be in order...
For info on what is going to be going on,  I think checking out the Dambusters Weblog is probably the best bet... 

Dambuster's 50th Anniversary flyover (pic not by me!)... 2013 will be the 70th Anniversary!

Sunken Church tower of Derwent Village. The clock tower of the church had been left standing and the upper part of it was visible above the water level until 1947, when it was seen as a hazard and demolished with explosives.

The Dambuster film. 1955....

Monday, 19 November 2012

My Daughter is a Viking Warrior!

It was "Viking Day" at my daughter's school last week.
Every day should be Viking Day.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Brown Monkey Audio....

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to draw your attention to the audio work of Mr.Brown Monkey.

This has got to be one of the funniest and weirdest things ever. Brown Monkey and his giant sidekick Sherman the polar bear find themselves in various stories by H.P.Lovecraft.
I've been following Julie Hoverson's blog over at 19 Nocturne Boulevard, She loves Brown Monkey, and has recently put a couple of his shows up on her feed, but you can find a link to all of them here:

Desert Army....

So it's time for a 15mm sci-fi update..... I've been working on these guys for a while now, it's my second army for GRUNTZ. This time I'm painting up a desert resistance force. It's a mish mash of models from various sources, but I think they're fitting together nicely so far...
The figures are the Rebel Minis "Sahadeen", and to add a bit of variety I've swapped a few of the heads for the GZG extra ones with gas masks etc.... The 2 vehicles I've done so far are Matchbox toys (see earlier post). The walkers are from Khurasan miniatures... the battle suit is from Critical Mass Games... the spider bots are also from GZG...and the little bot dudes are some old Peter Pig minis I've had lying around for ages....

This is my first attempt at hand painted camo.... I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out. Although I am tempted to get hold of some of the "MASK FX" products by CMG to try next time.... the finished camo effects look ace - but then again I haven't got an airbrush... bah!

These are the GZG headswap guys...

I've got some GZG and OLD CROW vehicles to work on next...

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Audiophiles - take note...

It's been a while, so another podcast round-up is in order!.... The podcasts I'm listening to at the moment are roughly falling into three camps: Audio Drama, Literary Reviews, and Podcasts about boardgames. So here's what's been on the mp3 player over the last few months...

We're Alive (the zombie survival audio drama serial) is just about to reach the end of Season 3...I can't really say much about this without giving away any spoilers, but things are not going well for the survivors! The writing, the acting and the production on this are absolutely fantastic, well worth checking out if you haven't already... all the back episodes are available for download from their website.

19 Nocturne Boulevard is the home of Julie Hoverson and her unstoppable audio horror drama production machine.. over the last few months she's put out some excellent shows, her own adaptations of H.P.Lovecraft's THE RATS IN THE WALLS and THE SHUNNED HOUSE are both excellent, and her FATAL GIRL series (currently 4 stories) is great fun - her own audio version of a  dark supernatural Japanese Anime series with strong female characters...

On the "literary review" side of things, The H.P.LOVECRAFT LITERARY PODCAST is still going strong, Chad and Chris have exhausted all of H.P.Lovecraft's stories now, and have moved on to talking about stories by other authors. Their new criteria is that these stories were all mentioned by Lovecraft in his famous essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature". So far they have covered:
"The Repairer of Reputations" by Robert W. Chambers
"The Yellow Sign" by Robert W. Chambers
"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
"The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs
"The Upper Berth" by F. Marion Crawford
"The Signal Man" by Charles Dickens
"The Great God Pan" by Arthur Machen
and they have just started on "The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood. The H.P.Podcast guys have also decided to start charging a subscription fee for their content. The fee is very small ($6.66 every 3 months) and in my opinion is worth every penny.

The Double Shadow podcast folks, taking inspiration from the H.P.L.L.P, are covering the dark literature of Clark Ashton Smith. They have just finished talking about his "Averoigne" series which were all set in an alternative medieval France populated by necromancers, werewolves, vampires and batrachian witches.... with episode 15 they are moving on to the "Poseidonis" stories....

A Podcast to the Curious - The M.R.James literary podcast, doesn't come out as regularly as the previous ones mentioned, but this is quality stuff, and well worth the wait! They have recently done "An Episode of Cathedral History", "The Diary of Mr.Poynter" and "The Residence of Whitminster". Very enjoyable creepy stuff - and very well researched. They've also done a nice little interview with Robert Lloyd Parry, a performer of M.R.James stories... very interesting indeed - inspired me to get some tickets for one of his Christmas one man shows when he's playing not too far from here at Buxton Opera House... looking forward to that!!

The guys at NEWS FROM PNAKOTUS are still doing their news show about anything Lovecraft / Cthulhu related. It's still a great fun show with loads of info, quality content and knowledgeable presenters, but recently they have done something which to me is VERY ANNOYING. They have changed their file format from MP3 to shiny new MP4, which means if you've got some kind of new fangled expensive listening device you can get nice images to accompany your listening pleasure. Or on the other hand, if you're like me and have an a nice little "old" MP3 player, you can't listen to it at all. I listen to quite a lot of audio whilst I'm at work, or when I'm doing stuff around the house after the kids have gone to bed. So to listen to this now I have to put time aside to be sat in front of my computer doing nothing else - which I will now have to do as it's such a great show. Well maybe it's just me. Bah.

So onto the boardgame related podcasts... there are loads of these, and you can't do much better than going to the DICE TOWER and checking out all the ones on the Dice Tower Network... The Dice Tower podcast itself is great, and I also recommend The LITTLE METAL DOG SHOW, a UK boardgames podcast. Micheal the presenter has just got back from this years Essen gaming show, so he's done a ton of interesting interviews from there... two podcasts that I've started listening to lately which are really funny, and concentrate on the less "serious" side of boardgaming, are FLIP THE TABLE and THE GAME NIGHT GUYS.

THE GAME NIGHT GUYS is a podcast in which the presenters Brian and Curtis get together every week, sometimes with other friends too, and they tackle a boardgame. More often than not the games are weird games they've picked up from charity shops (Hello Kitty Big Roll Bingo!), but they will play modern designer games too. Whilst they are playing, the guys chat about their lives and what they've been up to lately. It's all great fun and very engaging. I love it!

FLIP THE TABLE - "a podcast about The Other Side of Board Games. Most board game shows focus on the latest-and-greatest, or time-tested classics. We have taken it upon ourselves to comb our local charity shops and salvage stores for the other stuff...we're talking licensed cash-grabs, kids games that kids are too smart for, gimmicky games with strange (and only occasionally functional) gadgets, and all the other games that tend to gather dust in the back of closets..." so far the Flip The Table crew have played: Transformers, American Idol, WWE DVD boardgame, Lingo DVD game, G.I.Joe boardgame, Heartthrob, Halo DVD game, Pac-man cardgame, Donkey Kong boardgame, Donald Trump game, Robocop VCR game, Nightmare VCR game, Ewok boardgame, Gone Birding, Dexter boardgame, and Mystery Mansion....  after playing the games they go indepth into dissecting the mechanics of the games, and then end up playing a fun quiz of their own silly design inspired by the themes of the games they've just played. These guys have a lot of knowledge about boardgame mechanics,which lends this to be a very interesting and fun show at the same time.

I think that's about it for now... apart from to mention the Halloween special of The Gaming Gang, which has a couple of really creepy Old Time Radio shows tagged on to the end.... it will give you the willies!!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Boss Monster on Kickstarter...

I would just like to draw your attention to the following cardgame that is currently up on "Kickstarter".... It looks very cool indeed, and at the time of writing this you have 10 days to get in on the action. The project has already funded, so is definitely going to print. The initial funding target was $12,000. They are currently at $106,000!!! They have added a whole load of one-off exclusives for kickstarter backers, including extra cards, exclusive packaging, and "level up tokens" - If they reach $130,000 there will be more cards and other exclusives.
The game looks great - you play the role of the "Boss Monster" luring adventurers into your deadly dungeon. The Artwork is very cute - 16bit style graphics loaded with humour.

Check out the kickstarter page for more info, the game rules, and a nice little promo video...

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Mini Dungeon figures...

So I finally finished off making Jim Bowen's papercraft figures for my copy of "Mini Dungeon Adventures".... They were a bit fiddley as they are so tiny - but I'm happy with how they turned out in the end:



Lich King with Fire Demon Guards



 Reaninated Patchwork Monsters

Minions and Guards

Ready for storage.....
You can download everything you need to make your own dungeon and fill it full of monsters here: