The Elder Thoughts

Book Review: The Martian

The Martian book cover

I had heard really positive comments about The Martian, so for my recent holidays I decided to grab it for my Kindle and read it. I could just say that I enjoyed the reading a lot, each day spending at least one hour (but usually was two or three) reading as much as possible from the adventures of Mark Watney, an astronaut sent to Mars who due to a storm gets hit and left for dead by his crewmates. When he wakes up, wounded but alive, refuses to die and starts surviving at the red planet while trying to think how to solve the main problem of being stranded in Mars.

The book is full of (interestingly) adventures, and really the only negative point I see of it is that our main character, being "just" a botanist and engineer actually solves every kind of problem in record time, from food shortages to all kind of accidents and environmental adversities. I am not saying he should "fail" to solve more challenges he encounters, but he is a so fast thinker that he feels so clever (like as if MacGyver went to Mars).

The story is thrilling, the topic is really specific and technical but well written so that a broad audience can understand, and I definetly recommend it to any sci-fi or adventures reader.

I also think that the best merchandising they should have done for this book (and maybe the movie, as I haven't watched it yet) is to have a LEGO kit with the rover vehicles and the habitation hub (plus Watney as a minifig).

Book Review: Dark Vengeance

Dark Vengeance book cover

Dark Vengeance is the second book based on a GW boardgame or WH40k edition I read (first was Space Hulk novel), and as a spoiler, again I feel it is a weak read made just to complement the 6th edition box set.

We're told the story of how the Dark Angels, who on their (typical) search for the Fallen hit a planet where they find not only chaos cultists, but renegade space marines from the Crimson Slaughter chapter and the battle they get into. Each chapter is told from different points of view, not only from the loyal marines, but also from chaos ones and even weirder subjects as a cultist or even the hellbrute. This makes some chapters feel... strange, culminating with the librarian being able to see far in the future some stuff by fraction of seconds (pretty much like recent Sherlock Holmes movies). Add to that that half of the story is pretty bland and typical, and yes, we indeed learn the origins of the new chapter of chaos space marines but... I felt dissapointed, I just expected something less dumb. Also, not entering into details it didn't felt to me as "the mind" of a chaos SM* would think and work that way.

I haven't read other books featuring the chaotic space marines so might be how they are portaited, but if so... I'd rather keep my imagination flowing.

Overall, a dull reading, you can skip it.

Space Marine names list + Status update

I've had some busy weeks lately so there has been not much visible progress to show here. I haven't been able to paint because I reordered a bit the workspace and had to focus on assembling pending models* to make space, plus RealWorld (tm) tasks prevented me from hobbying too much.

I do have two books almost read so book reviews will come back soon, but meanwhile what I actually did was moving to this blog the list of space marine names I have for my Dark Angels. Currently has +130 names and I plan to keep adding new ones as I read books or find more appropiate names. As I mention in the page it has only the names I personally like and they are suited for Dark Angels, so is really subjective and narrowed.

I also wanted to buy some Forge World MKII and MKIII squads (I love those two old armour versions, especially the helmets), but the pound sadly is too high compared with the euro so it becomes way too expensive. I guess they will have to wait until those rumors of FW miniatures on physical GW stores become reality.

Let's hope I can at least finish painting soon my Imperial Knight :)


* I found a great deal at Ebay, getting a cheap full Skaven army from Warhammer Fantasy 8th ed (I wanted some skaven as I'd like to recover the old Advanced HeroQuest I have and play it), so I had lots of models to assemble. Plus some ork conversions that I will showcase once painted.

Book review: The word of the Silent King

Book Cover

Although a bit too short for my taste, I have started reading some of this Black Library "ebooks" (aka "short stories", because ebook is the format, not the size), and one of the firsts I picked up was The word of the Silent King. As for the why of this specific title... probably because, even fearing what I would encounter, I wanted to read something about the Necrons*.

The short story... well you can imagine, Necrons fighting Blood Angels and incoming Tyranids, so the Necrons decide to lure the Space Marines to fight the Tyranids for them. Remember other books where just the mere mention of Eldar being right about something or negotiating with the Tau being considered heresy? Here one of the main chapters decides that is ok to pack with one of their worst enemies... to save some lives. Lives that other times they don't care to wipe out with an Exterminatus. The writing is not bad but the story is so weak, nonsense and stupid that I will avoid reading similar themed lore in the future to not get angry. I really dislike how sometimes we're destroying the Warhammer 40,000 setting in the name of money.


* I loved the old lore where they were more like ruthless unknown metal aliens with some dark past and the C'Tan, not now the more streamlined "angry race that just wants to wipe out everything" and that actually talks and even makes pacts with enemies.

Imperial Knight almost done + future projects

After more than a year, it looks I might finally be able to finish my Imperial Knight. Right now is only missing some details, the base and transfers, so while has taken me a lot, at least there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Imperial Knight almost finished

Also, I don't usually post images of my custom conversions until I have started painting them because they might take a while... but to not leave this post too short I'm going to show two vehicles I plan to paint soon. They are binded to the other because I wanted to build a Ork looted Leman Russ tak, but just one with some changes wasnt't looking different enought, so after some brainstorming, I came up with the idea of doing like in the old times... using a Rhino for everything. After this devilish mix of the APC and the tank, here are the two creatures...


Ork Dakka Burna Tank

Leman Russ body, Space Marines Rhino sides and tracks, plus some spare tank weapons and "ork panels" that I had let (bought on the net somewhere a while ago).

It was only a bit hard to separate the Rhino tracks from the main body without breaking any of them, everything else went smoothly and the tank captain has a funny crazy pose.

Ork Dakka Burna Tank photo

Ork Dakka Burna Tank photo

Ork Dakka Burna Tank photo

Ork Dakka Burna Tank photo

Ork Dakka Burna Tank photo

Leman Russ Rhino conversion

Space Marines Rhino body, Leman Russ tracks. It is more simple, but I love how just "inverting the tracks" (using Leman Russ ones) creates the feel of a completely different tank, or in my case a different APC.

As the Rhino has the sides "joined" with the tracks I had to improvise, but some spare doors (from other Rhinos) worked fine as walls. I had to make the rear door a bit smaller on the sides but in general was a quick assembly.

Leman Russ Rhino conversion photo

Leman Russ Rhino conversion photo

Leman Russ Rhino conversion photo

Leman Russ Rhino conversion photo

Leman Russ Rhino conversion photo


So... this are two of my three vehicle projects that I plan to paint when I finish with the Knight. The third one is an idea that I had after watching an old movie... but I'll leave the details and photos for when I paint it (it will be the first one of the list).