The Elder Thoughts

RPGs, miniatures, books and other rants

Book Review: The Art of Mad Max Fury Road

The Art of Mad Max Fury Road book cover

The first time I saw Mad Max Fury Road it got me speechless. I had so much fun and adrenaline pumping watching it that it became instantly one of my all-time favourites. I've already watched it half a dozen times and it simply gets better each time. So when I read about An art book of the movie, I researched a bit what its contents were. I was primary looking at drawings, sketches and details of the vehicles (especially the War Rig), and decided to give it a go after peeking some really cool picutres and storyboards.

I think I made the right decision. Along its 176 pages, you'll find not only production insider details or elaborated descriptions, but tons of drawings, not only of the movie itself but from earlier ideas, discarded scenarios, initial drafts of the characters and vehicles... There are even cool maps of the other bad guys cities (nowhere to be seen in the movie), and of course lots of pictures of the vehicles and making ofs of some of them. Combine with it some really good stills of the movie, with high quality and nice, vivid colors (as vivid as the movie, that is), some from different angles than the ones displayed at the film.

I might be biased due to my liking of the movie, but I enjoyed every page of this art book. Now it remains to watch the movie once more, with this "extended knowledge".

Comic Book Review: Aliens: Rogue

Aliens: Rogue comic book cover

I recently read Aliens: Rogue. I as wary, because I love both Aliens and Predator worlds and I recently experienced the horror of reading recent comics who destroy the lore and setting thanks to the (more or less) recent movie Prometheus; They are so bad I'm not even going to waste time writing the reviews, just stay away from them.

Anyway, back to this title, it was a nice surprise. An aliens comic like the old ones, with twists and fresh ideas but without polluting the core concept of aliens. A scientist on the brink of madness has apparently been able to tame Aliens, by genetic engineering. And even more terrible, he's been able to "build" an alien king. But of course things never go 100% well and hell breaks loose.

Interesting and well drawn, I enjoyed it.

Comic Book Review: Warhammer 40000: Will of Iron

Warhammer 40000: Will of Iron comic book cover

Between breaks from latest Zelda videogame, I got my hands on all numbers from Warhammer 40,000 latest comic,Will of Iron. Counting the free issue that came with White Dwarf it's 5 issues. Dark Angels versus chaos with the Inquisition in between is a classic in the WH 40k lore but could result in an engaging tale. Sadly, it falls behind on this wish.

The story is lacking more thrill, more action. The plot advances but not much, and while the artwork is really great (including the alternative covers), pretty comics aren't everything when overall it feels like a bottle half-filled with air. Even reading all the issues together, I get the feeling they copied the main idea of comics of delaying by splitting action in many issues, when here should fit better a graphic novel, where story advances at a faster pacing. I've read lots of mini-series (e.g. Alien and/or Predator) and here just feels things were hacked out for the future.

Dialogs are not bad but just mentioning 2-3 classic Dark Angel topics (pretty much everyone knows now about The Fallen) feels like exploiting once and again the distinctive mark of this Space Marines chapter, instead of exploring something different. There are some known characters here and there but as satellite pieces.

Not bad but I'd say to wait until there is a second "season" so the story really progresses.

Closed for vacations at Hylure

I tried to resist. I really tried to be strong and not buy the Nintendo Switch just for the new Zelda videogame. I started to play and finally finish all previous titles. I actually finished Zelda (the NES original) and A Link Between Worlds, and started playing Zelda II and Ocarina of Time (3DS enhanced version).

But it was futile. All those reviews praising the game so much and even my girlfriend encouraging me to go for it were too much. And I can't be happier of the decision. The videogame is such a masterpiece, such a carefully designed and crafter open-world Zelda experience, that I have just stopped most of my other hobbies because all I want to do right now is to go explore more of Hylure.

Around 50 hours put at it and still so much to discover and do, it already nears Fallout 3 and GTA V on my "most time spent at" top (apart from the original Quake, that is). So probably don't expect to see much painting photos here during around one month!

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Update: I finished the game and although I'm still finishing all secondary quests, upgrading all armours and trying to expand a bit the inventory (700 seeds is too much "exploring" for my taste), I added some screen captures of my adventures to the Assorted gallery. Some are spoilers so... beware ;)

Sample screenshot from Zelda Breath of the Wild

My old LEGO Dragon Knights castle

One of my current goals is to "reduce waste". Not wasting time in absurd tasks, not burning energy in negative or harmful actions, like getting angry or complaining when I could remove, ignore or change those negative sources, but also reducing my physical goods. I've been hoarding toys, devices and "things" in general since I was a child, and while the emotional value is and will always be there, the less I have to care about (where to store, put, maintain etcetera) the better I feel, as I can use those energies to focus in other more relevant tasks. Tasks both "serious" and hobby-oriented, like painting, reading, playing games and videogames.

One of my few remaining LEGO items was a castle from my childhood. If I recall correctly I got it around when I was 14 for christmas, built it in a morning and then slowly expanded and filled it with extra pieces and figures. Since then, I have never ever dismantled it, and while I gifted all my LEGO blocks (bags and bags of them, imagine that I even had a CPU case made with them, like Google's first computer).

I now wish to reuse the space it takes to better distribute other items (mostly Warhammer 40,000 scenery that I have currently piled up), so I decided to take some photos of it and let another memory go with a better new owner, my nephews, so they also enjoy it and who knows, maybe they come with a better new design!

Front view My beloved castle, front view. Walls have extra height, and every wall and tower has some ranged weapon, from crossbows to muskets.

Main gate Main gate, with two knights marching.

Main tower Main tower, with a flag and a wizard ready to launch fireballs to attackers.

Front guards detail Detail view of the front guards

Aerial view Aerial view of the interior, which is quite packed

Closer aerial view Closer aerial view. Horses with dragon helmets can be seen waiting for their riders. Also note the cannon, a movable ballista, more guards on every wall and toewer, and some treasure chests. Under the cannon there is a floor gate and underneath more chests and barrels too. All of them full of precious gold coins.

Left side view Left side view. Again the extra wall height can be appreciated, and under the pillars there is water.

Campfire The army general and a city soldier talk around the campfire, while another wizard seems to be busy behind them. There is also a castle king inside a tower (I forgot to take a picure of him), looking exactly like the general but with white arms, trousers and helmet dragon decorations.

Horses Horses detail view (wizard and king's). A ghost can be seen in the chests building, lower floor, but even better is my custom ninja/assassin (just painted a normal head with black), awaiting instructions.

Back view Back view, with the treasure holding building on the left and the king's tower on the right.

Main tower back view Main tower back view, with the forge on the floor above the gates, and two more mounted warriors ready to exit the castle if needed.

Forge room The forge room, also containing vials and scrolls for the wizards to ready their combat spells.

Treasures Rear view of the treasures and the horses.

Rear exit The treasure building has an escape ramp that can only be opened form the inside, for an emergency where the treasure had to be moved quickly. Outside there was water and a small boat, docked and ready to be used by the king (but I already gifted this pieces).

Courtyard view More details of the courtyard: The cannon (and ammunition near the black well), the horses (here we can see general's black one) and the ballista.

Courtyard view II More courtyard. The awaiting riders have simpler armour, only having a dragon decoration at the helmet. We can see that the wizard is preparing some potion near the shooting range.

Right side view Right side view.

Left side internal view Left side internal view. If you notice there is a guard behind the tall grey wall, but cannot be seen from the outside.

Front view And that would be all. May the wisdom of the castle king help you out, and remember that this lands are under the rule of the dragon knights!

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