Thursday, March 31, 2022

Command Centurion

Sean bought me some miniatures for a birthday that was a couple of years ago now, including this fearsome Cylon warrior. Just to be different, I painted him gold to make him one of the rare Command Centurions you used to see on the original Battlestar Galactica. 
 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Clumsily-Painted Cargo


 

These will look better if I add some weathering effects. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Overgrown Ruins

Last weekend I painted and dressed (is that the right verb for adding fake foliage?) these 3D-printed ruins. In contrast to my other efforts posted this week, I'm quite pleased with this piece. 


If it ever becomes possible for me to play games in person again, I hope to put this to use as perhaps a resting spot or a lair for monsters or villains. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Discarded Backpacks

As game pieces, these serve the same function as yesterday's suitcases: as traps or caches of loot. You could fit a lot of bottlecaps in one of these. 
 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Discarded Suitcases

Who just leaves suitcases in the street like this? People in the midst of calamity, perhaps. Pieces like this can be used as traps or caches of loot in roleplaying or skirmish games. Maybe I'll fill one with land mines and the other with Benjamins. 
 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Books with Skull

Here's a small pile of books topped with a skull. This will come in handy when I need a library of the macabre. 
 

Friday, March 25, 2022

Poker in the Coals

I believe this miniature is supposed to represent an old-style forge, but I could be wrong. Maybe it's a BBQ. Either way, painting it was simple: I just primed the whole thing in black, painted the poker silver, and dry-brushed some grey onto the coals to make them look partially consumed. 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Eyes Don't Quite Have It

Here's my first attempt to paint eyes. As a first attempt, I hope I can call this a partial success in that the eyes are in roughly the right places and they're about the right size. I used the smallest brush I had, gripping it as closely as possible to the tip for maximum control. Alas, these measures were not enough to create convincing eyes, at least not in closeup like this. But it's a start. One day perhaps I'll even try creating whites and pupils, but that day is months in the future. 


 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Grandfather Clock

I painted this wee grandfather clock the other day, and I'm very happy with the face. Those numbers are almost too small to be believed, but I managed to make them legible by first painting the whole face white and then very carefully drybrushing the (thankfully raised!) numbers black with the smallest round-headed drybrush I had. The results are not uniformly perfect, but good enough to get the idea across. 
 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Tiny Dancer

Here's a versatile 28mm dancer that I figure can be used in all kinds of games. Her costume is simple enough to be almost timeless, and for a wonder her facial features are readily distinguishable. A super light touch with the right wash really helps. She's a little messy when seen in closeup, but on the table she'll be okay. 
 

Monday, March 21, 2022

The Magic Handcar, Part I

For many years now, I've indulged a number of pleasant fantasies about strange magical journeys. Sometimes I'm sailing or rafting down an endless river through tropical jungles; sometimes I'm slingshotting from star to star. But most often I'm pumping the walking beam on my magic handcar. 

When I bought my first Walkman, I often listened to music late into the night while voyaging through the theatre of my mind. I don't remember the exact song that sparked the creation of the magic handcar, but it hit the radio around the time of Elton John's "I'm Still Standing." 

In most versions of the journey, I'm walking along the rails through a heavily wooded forest on a summer afternoon when I come across the abandoned handcar, which leads me to believe that the rail line I'm following must also be abandoned. On a whim, I hop aboard and start pumping the walking beam. There's a long, groaning squeal that sounds like a cry of mixed pain and relief, and after some hesitation, the handcar sluggishly moves forward. Once that inertia is overcome, it takes very little effort on my part to keep the handcar going; indeed, it seems like just a couple of pumps keeps the handcar in motion for dozens of kilometres at a speedy clip, fast enough that I'm afraid to pump much harder. During the time it takes me to experiment with speed and braking, I've already journeyed perhaps a hundred kilometres through a forest that's grown so dense that it's formed a canopy overhead that filters out perhaps three-quarters of the sunlight. Some branches grow so close to the rails that I can easily pluck berries and fruits from the bushes and trees, a harvest so delicious and sweet that I can hardly believe it's real (and of course, it's not - but it is). 

As my adventures and explorations continue, I find that the handcar has an endless cache of supplies accessed by a small trapdoor near one corner of the vehicle. Even though the space revealed when you open the door seems to be only a couple of feet square, it seems to have whatever you need: a book, a beverage, socks and underwear, toiletries, binoculars, and so on. Moreover, along the course of the railway there are occasional rest stops where one can find bathrooms, showers, a picnic site, more supplies, and a myriad of other self-service options that seem tied to the particular function of each rest stop. 

The long journey is solitary but pleasant, and the rails take me across jungles, deserts, mountains, along coastlines, through ghost towns and mines, and sometimes forwards and backwards through time. I never seem to see anyone, and yet I sense that there are multitudes just beyond my reach. 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Minor Wordle Triumph

Yes, I've been on the Wordle train for a couple of weeks now, caught up in the fad like so many others. A few days ago, I opened up the latest puzzle and guessed "PLANK." With all five letters clear misses, I resigned myself to needing at least four guesses to solve the puzzle. I started from scratch with "MOVIE," and my eyes bugged out as all five letters came up green. I imagine this will remain my best Worldle score, and it comes not from skill but from random chance. 


 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Crimson Scorpion

This fellow from the Pulp Figures collection is called Crimson Scorpion. 

 


Friday, March 18, 2022

Luggage

And here we have two tiny pieces of luggage. 
 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Crimson Companion


Here's a companion for yesterday's hooded villain. Looks crude, amateurish. Still trying to apply Jeff's tips, but while the spirit is willing the flesh and eyes are weak. Well. More practice required. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The Crimson Murderer

Here we have The Crimson Murderer, no relation to the Evil Hooded Minion Master found at Pulp Figures, of course. I'm afraid my figure doesn't have as much depth or realism as the example found at the Pulp Figures site linked above, but my version isn't horrible, either. Certainly it's good enough for tabletop play. 
 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Earl's Lumon Business Card

 

Sylvia and I have been watching and thoroughly enjoying Severance, a mysterious horror/satire that addresses late-stage capitalism and the banal inhumanity of office life. And in a clever bit of viral marketing, you can now create your own custom Lumon business card--even if the thought of working at Lumon fills you with dread, as it should. 

Monday, March 14, 2022

Electro-Pulse Cannon

Tonight I painted a pulp-era doomsday weapon. I was tempted to paint it silver and black to make it look like it came from a black and white serial, but in the end I added some copper elements and a slightly blue beam emitter. 
 

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Civilization? I'll Stay Right Here

After just 5,454.9 hours of play, I have unlocked half of Civilization V's achievements. This amazing milestone comes just 11 and a half years after I bought the game back in September 2010. 
 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Friday, March 11, 2022

Cosmetic Revolution

If you're so inclined, you can buy fake eyelashes to enhance your appearance. And yet, as far as I'm aware, you cannot purchase fake ear hair or nose hair. Imagine thick, lustrous noselashes and earlashes sprouting from nasal and aural cartilage! It would be difficult to bat them, though. 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Solar Bathos

The sun's kiss
Bathes my laptop in golden rays
Beams that obscure this text and all text
For my monitor is covered in dust
And my keyboard is filthy too
In astra, veritas
Where are my wet wipes?  

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Shorty Shotgun

Here's a 1930s-vintage mobster type. I call him Shorty Shotgun, because his flat base makes him look a little shorter than most of my other 28mm figures. I tried a different colour scheme for this guy, giving him a burgundy hat, tie, and shoes and a grey suit. 

Close-up photography reveals that I missed painting a tiny bit of Shorty's sleeve and hat. I may rethink the base's colours. I was going for "sidewalk," but missed. You can also see that I had too much ink wash on my brush. Poor Shorty, going out without washing his face. 

It took a steady hand to add that shock of red hair, which is probably less than a millimetre thick. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Stoic Survivor

Here's an unnamed survivor miniature for Fallout: Wasteland Warfare. This time around, I'm actually happy with the face; I tried to follow Jeff's advice about how much ink was there should be on a brush (very little), and that advice seems to have worked--at least for the face. I'm afraid I miscalculated how much ink the rest of the figure would require, and as a result, her clothes look a little muddy. I could have wiped off the excess, but I kind of like the look; these characters, after all, live in a grimy post-apocalyptic environment. 

I'm pleased with the wooden floor and the discarded boards atop it. I wish I'd noticed the patches on her coat; I would have painted them different colours. 

Monday, March 07, 2022

Captain Oopserang

Here is Flash arch-enemy Captain Boomerang in 28mm scale. My results here are mixed. I like the base and his jacket, but his boots, gloves, scarf and shirt--all the white parts, essentially--look mottled and unnatural to me. I was painting with the lightest coats I possibly could, but the white paints I've found have a bad habit of clumping. Oh, I know what I should have done--thin the paint with water, maybe? 


 

Sunday, March 06, 2022

A Man and his Mules

Or maybe they're horses or donkeys or...anyway, a man and  his pack animals.



Saturday, March 05, 2022

Themes & Nanogenres Makes Earl Look Like a Maniac

Letterboxd rolled out a new feature for its Patrons, and my list for 2022 makes me look like an utter maniac. I blame myself for finishing the Halloween series this year and for watching a couple of the Hellraiser films, but honestly, I've watched far more straight drama films, comedies, romance films, Westerns, etc. than I have horror this year. Very weird. 
 

Friday, March 04, 2022

Bad Friday

Left Sylvia's food at the drive-through after paying for it, got high-centred and stuck in the snow just before getting home (some folks came to rescue us after about 20 minutes), and then overcome with nausea and other unpleasant symptoms from a new medication. A less-than-ideal start to the weekend. 

Thursday, March 03, 2022

An Engaging Beginning

SPOILERS AHEAD for the season two premiere of Star Trek: Picard

Season two of Star Trek: Picard begins with "The Star Gazer," a surprisingly well-constructed and thematically cohesive premiere. There's a compelling flash-forward teaser that puts the crew in exciting jeopardy, followed by a more thoughtful exploration of Picard's emotional journey as he closes in on being a century old. Laris is back from season one, and very welcome she is as she pushes Picard to explore something other than outer space--his need for love and companionship. But Picard is still Picard, and though sorely tempted, he can't manage to break through his own emotional barriers. But to his credit, he realizes Laris is right--he's missing something, and he seeks the counsel of his old friend Guinan, now tending bar in 10 Forward--a terrestrial 10 Forward, that is, in 25th-century Los Angeles. It's fan service to be sure, but it offers a sensitive and thoughtful conversation about Picard's fears and weaknesses. Both Patrick Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg are great here, and clearly still in control of their characters. And the 10 Forward set is absolutely gorgeous; it's spacious and completely believable as a bar, but with little touches of the future. 


Meanwhile, we take a quick tour of the quadrant to check in on the other lead characters: first, Jurati and Soji. Much to my delight, Dr. Jurati's murder of Maddox in season one is addressed, removing a huge plot and worldbuilding oversight from that initial season. Her characterization here is better than last year too; she's a bit more seasoned, a bit more vulnerable, clearly feeling some remorse and a little less sure of herself than in her first appearances. Synthetic being Soji is at peace with herself among her people, and she and Jurati clearly have a friendly relationship, demonstrate efficiently through dialogue and acting choices. Here too, the production design is amazing; the Jurati and Soji's scene takes place on a planet in the Beta Quadrant, and they're having a dinner party in a very luxurious indoor-outdoor patio with a stunning pool feature. 

Seven of Nine is out doing her thing, defending far-flung colonists from space pirates, when she runs into Captain Rios, now a Starfleet officer again, and commanding the new USS Stargazer, the namesake of Picard's first command. Characterizations are again on point here, as is the production design; the Stargazer is a thing of beauty inside and out, sporting a modernized version of the four-nacelle design fans will remember from Star  Trek: The Next Generation.

Picard is on Earth saying goodbye to other cast members from season one: After a nicely-done speech to Starfleet Academy, he sees young Romulan Elnor off on his first starship assignment, while his former adjutant, Raffi Musiker, back in Starfleet's good graces, takes command of the USS Excelsior. It's nice to these characters progress; Elnor, though seen only briefly, is more relaxed and at peace with himself, while Raffi clearly has her mojo back after her troubles in season one. The Starfleet facilities are, again, stunning, a great showcase for Star Trek's utopian vision. 

The main plot begins as the Stargazer is sent to investigate that great Star Trek trope, the mysterious space anomaly. Turns out it's broadcasting a plea for help--specifically for Jean-Luc Picard. Picard, of course, interrupts his self-reflections immediately to answer the call of duty, and what follows is not what anyone expected--including me, and it was nice to be taken by surprise. One element of the incident at the anomaly was poorly staged, making Picard look indecisive when clearly the audience wasn't supposed to take it that way; they should have taken one more pass in the editing room for this sequence. 

The episode ends with a big bang followed by a compelling denouement that ties back to themes from the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation and sets out the story arc for this season--a story arc that was somewhat outlined in the trailers for this season, but that I now believe (and hope) may be somewhat more interesting than those trailers suggested.

Oh - there's also a great scene of young Picard with his mother, one that reveals a painful family secret that provides critical context for Picard's emotional journey through the series and this season. 

All in all, a strong opener for what I hope will be a more consistently good season than we were offered in season one.  


Wednesday, March 02, 2022

My Mighty Moose

Tonight I painted this moose miniature from Pulp Figures. I must say, I'm quite happy with this one. The drybrushing turned out great, the colours blend well together, and the foliage looks welcoming.





Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Daughter of the Empire

Here's one of the miniatures from Pulp Figures' Daughters of the Empire set. As you can see, I came up with a different colour scheme than the one pictured on the Pulp Figures website, but I like both. I'm particularly happy with how this character's facial features turned out, and I tested my limits a little bit by painting a stripe of gold around the base of her skirt and very delicately painting the buttons on her top.