A 25mm Emperium: Part 2

•November 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Alrighty guys, we now return to the nerdom of Warhammer 40,000. I just got the commander of my army painted; Lord Kaldor Draigo of the Grey Knights. He took a total of around 20 hours to paint and was a jumbled mess of touch-up, after touch-up, after touch-up. I’m still trying to work out making him as simple grand master for the sake of keeping matches balanced, because for all of you who aren’t familiar with Matt Ward, he is the Games Workshop lore masochist. If an army had sensible and interesting lore before, Ward makes sure that it looses any semblance of it’s former self with every update that he is a part of. But this post isn’t about the crimes of Matt Ward, it’s about the outcome of my long hours of laboring over a small utility desk covered in paint. Here he is!

Draigo from the front. I still need to go back and touch up that Astronomican Grey on the Ice Blue bottle at his waste. It’s the underlying base coat were it chipped off during an unintentional rendezvous with my thumb nail. On a more somber note, the heraldry shield on the front of his left shoulder was rather deformed from a pretty messy miscast of the resin. A bummer, but a bearable flaw.
The shield and pauldron in all the their glory. Unfortunately however, I have been confronted with my first bad experiencing with a Citadel Finecast miniature. The crescent shaped elbow guard-ish piece of armor just above the black tubes was disfigured on the other arm. It was more like resin flash than actual miniature because it didn’t get filled in entirely during the mold casting process.
Now this was my first attempt at a lightning design on a power weapon so it could stand some improvement, but I’m rather pleased with it overall. I painted the sword Regal Blue and then dry-brushed  it with Ice Blue. After that i added the lightning which i painted in Skull White, and then applied one more overall dry-brushing of Ice Blue.
Stay tuned for Part 3!

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Movie Review: ULTRAMARINES *Spoilers*

•October 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Title: ULTRAMARINES
Production Company: Codex Pictures
Director: Martyn Pick
Producer: David Kerney and Bob Thompson
Screenwriter: Dan Abnett
Budget: £6 million, $9 million

Well Codex, for what it’s worth you made a descent first attempt. ULTRAMARINES is a science fiction movie(Imagine That!) set in the Warhammer 40,00 universe which follows the struggles of Captain Severus of the Ultramarines, Apothecary Pythol, and a squad of newly appointed tactical marines. The screenplay was written by Black Library legend and accomplished novelist Dan Abnett, who has had dozens of books worth of experience, but lacks any sort of film experience. It is a CGI film that uses motion capture technology to acquire intensly human *cough* *cough* facial expressions for the animated character models. And what I mean by this is that it ends up giving what looks like a couple of 80 year olds in power armor a stressed look of constipation at key moments in the film. This is much to be expected however, when trying to utilize such features in a film with a budget of only £6 million. There were plenty of good things to be found in this film as well though.
The movie opens up with a short sparring session between the main protagonist and his captain. The Ultramarines soon receive a distress beacon however, which beckons them to the distant backwater planet of Mythron were a company of Imperial Fists spacemarines were stationed. After being forced to take a long distance ground approach to the shrine housing the beacon because of a strange weather anomaly, the marines find the area around their destination littered with the carcasses of the besieged Imperial Fists. There is an abundance of eight pointed stars fashioned from corpses, which immediately alludes to the fact that the forces of chaos are to blame. Sure enough, 10 minutes later you have chaos spacemarines killing the superhuman spacemarines with single bullets to the stomach and shoulders. Oh yeah, did I mention that they are supposed to be superhuman? That’s right, 7’5″ men in power armor with almost 20 extra organs for durability, which are the pinnacle of bio-engineering warfare are dying from lone bullet wounds to the stomach. Did I mention they have 2 hearts!? But we’ll just pretend that this nonsense is actually much more believable than it really is, for the sake of enjoying the movie. At any rate, the marines finally reach the shrine were they find a demon of chaos which manages to kill Captain Severus in a rather anticlimactic battle that ends with both falling into a seemingly endless chasm(Yup, even Warhammer has them). Commands are passed down to the main character(The black sheep of the squad) Proteus, along with a shiny new chainsword which has proven to be nothing but a badass looking paper weight up to this point. Despite the death of their captain, Proteus decides to continue on to the source of the beacon which ends up producing a whopping 2 surviving Imperial Fists. This number is in fact less than the amount of men the Ultramarines have lost just looking for these 2 scrubs. Proteus discovers that the entire purpose of the beacon was not to attract rescuers for themselves, but rather an ancient codex(Fancy talk for old book) that was given to their chapter by the emperor himself(Lore Nerds attack!). By now they are all on their way back to the extraction point, but are ambushed by traitor marines who want to wear their skin as berqas. This subsequently ends in an epic battle which sees the return of the very much not dead Captain Severus, who apparently guts a can of spinach and proceeds to kill everything in sight. They then proceed to return to their ship were Proteus accuses the Imperial Fists Chaplain of corruption. A corrupt chaplain? What a shidiot. It ends up being the captain who is corrupted by the demon which goes on a brain feasting rampage across the ship. Long ending short. Rivals Proteus and Verinor team up to take down the demon in a hammer filled final battle that sees Proteus becoming the new captain.
It really should get a lot of credit though for 2 key areas that it did succeed in. The first is the sound. I say sound rather than music, because it does more than simply music well. It has very gothic choral music with a heavy atmospheric feel to it, which fits the theme of the film amazingly. That aside, the real surprise in this department was the weaponry’s sound effects. The bolter had such a heavy booming crack that made it sound like a device of raw, explosive power. Along side the bolter was the chainsword, which sounded like a lighter chainsaw that would give off a cringe inducing squeal as it stalled and sputtered its way through the bone of foes. The second upside was its credibility. It stayed so closely to the Warhammer 40k lore that it might as well have taken it back to the champagne room and tongued its throat. It was however a little too accurate, to the point of making cliched one liners such as “We march for Macragge” and “The Emperor Protects” occur every 3 minutes. Alas, that unfortunately sums up most of the good in this movie. Oh wait! The snazzy presentation of the collectors edition that I purchased was a definite bonus.(Even though due to shipping errors by Codex, all orders arrived 3 weeks late)


The Bad? Well I’ll put it this way; There are enough bad things to point out that I am going to abandon the traditional paragraph style for a bulleted list.

  • Too many “We march for Macragge!”s
  • Very little character developement.
  • Too much walking around aimlessly in a dusty, detailless landscape. (Probably done to save money. Who needs a rich environment anyway?)
  • Apparently the Flamer is really just an unnecessarily large flashlight?
  • For being written by Black Library legend Dan Abnett, this movie’s story was rather simple and uninspiring.
  • While voice acting was great when it actually happened, it seldom made an appearance throughout this film.
  • Movie was veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery slow paced.
  • CGI quality was inconsistent, looking stunning at some points in the movie, while breaking down into early 2000’s video game graphics in others.
  • Last one is just a simple little gripe, but what the Hell is with the Imperial Aquillas on the strike cruiser? They are all supposed to look the same. Those ones were blobby and uneven. They looked like the normal Aquilla’s retarded inbred cousin.
After all is said and done though, would I watch this again? Being a Warhammer enthusiast, Hell yes. But I highly doubt anybody else would ever seriously consider watching this film again. Overall, I’m going to have to grade it based on all other low budget science fiction movies, so it will actually fare quite well. Based on the budget, and being produced by a company with 1 previous movie under its belt(and that’s just the animation team, not the actual production company), I would have to give it a..
7.2/10
For more information and purchasing options visit
http://ultramarinesthemovie.com/home

A 25mm Emperium: Part 1

•October 28, 2011 • Leave a Comment

If you haven’t been able to tell so far, I’m kind of a Warhammer 40,000 nerd. It is a table top science fiction wargame set in the fictional universe of the 41 millennium. I’ve been spending a fair amount of my free time since I was 11 building, painting, and gaming with Games Workshop’s range of plastic and pewter miniatures, so I decided to share my newest adventure in the wargaming world with my readers.
When I was younger, I picked up the novel GREY KNIGHTS by Ben Counter and instantly fell in love with the Grey Knights. However, back then the Grey Knights were part of an army called Daemon Hunters and their miniatures were all very expensive and made of clunky pewter. This changed earlier this year though, when the Grey Knights got there own codex and a new set of plastic miniatures. Yeah, plastic. My childhood dream had come true at last, so I knew that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to start a new army with them. I swung by the nearest GW store and picked up a core force and some paint.
I just recently started painting them and have decided to post my progress on here for you all to see. I will add posts periodically as I progress through the act of painting the army.

First off is the First Grey Knight Strike Squad. Their armor is Astronomican Grey, with Regal Blue on the right Shoulder pad, and Shining Gold for the lettering in the armor.

Next is there transport, a Razorback. This is essentially a Rhino APC with a Lascannon Turret on top. Same basic Astronomican Grey hull, with a lot of Boltgun Metal washed in Badab Black.

And now for the complete squad, Rhino and all.

Now all that is left is to decide on which washes to use..
At any rate, stay tuned for part 2!