29 Dec 2012

Fag End: Drongo's Room (WIP)

Our hobbit friend Drongo Faggins, whose front garden we took a look at the last time, spends a lot of his time lounging around in this room. Although, like all hobbits, Drongo does enjoy reading, he is not quite as intellectual as his distant cousin Bilbo, and his reading matter does not consist of scholarly treatises or great works of literature. Instead, Drongo prefers the livelier pamphlets that are circulated in his neighbourhood, many of which can be found strewn around his little hobbit-hole.

Drongo's Room

15 Dec 2012

Some Additional Thoughts on the Hobbit Movie


The release of the new Hobbit movie has led to a great deal of angst on the internet about its “serious” deviations from the storyline in Tolkien’s book. Purists seem to be especially unhappy with the appearance of the orc-chieftain Azog, who is supposed to have been killed long before the events described in the book take place. Much of this complaining, however, as I shall demonstrate, is based on a simplistic reading of Tolkien. It is also the result of a failure to think in depth about the nature of Tolkien’s work, and, in particular, about the role of the narrator in it.

13 Dec 2012

The Hobbit Movie Review

Go and watch this film! Do it now! Do not wait for payday. Do not wait to read anymore reviews before going. And do not worry about all the whingeing and complaining there has been about it in the media.

12 Dec 2012

Fag End: a Not-so-Posh Hobbit Hole (WIP)

So with all the excitement about the new Hobbit movie over the last few months, I decided to have a go at building my own little hobbit hole in 28mm scale. Unfortunately, progress has not exactly been rapid in the construction of Fag End, due to numerous constraints, and only the front entrance, mounted on an MDF base, has been completed so far.

Fag End

11 Dec 2012

Printable Miniature Pamphlets

Like greeting cards, pamphlets are another set of items that would fit nicely in a hobbit-hole, as hobbits are comparatively well-read creatures. One can easily imagine an educated hobbit like Bilbo Baggins, for example, reading and chuckling over a well-written pamphlet.

Pamphlet 1
Pamphlet 2

15 Sep 2012

Raging Heroes Blood Vestals Review

Raging Heroes are a new company making 28mm scale miniatures using 3D computer technology. Most of their figures are designed to be used in place of official Games Workshop miniatures. The Blood Vestals discussed in this post, for example, are clearly meant to represent Witch Elves from the Warhammer universe. Similarly, their flagship Asharah figure is supplied with three different heads that allow her to be used as a heroine for either a Dark Elf, Vampire Counts or Chaos army. Other Raging Heroes figures that are obviously designed as alternatives for Warhammer include their Mantis Warriors (Chaos Daemonettes) and a Dark Elf Sorceress.

12 Sep 2012

CYCLADES: DEVELOPMENT Expansion for the Age of Conan Board Game

This is an expansion for the Age of Conan Strategy Board Game that introduces a new set of game components, represented by tokens and cards from the Cyclades Board Game. The tokens are used to represent buildings and a metropolis. The cards represent priests and philosophers.

The Age of Conan board game actually consists of three mini-games incorporated into an overall game. This expansion adds more complexity to the game, and involves developing players’ home provinces.

31 Jul 2012

Miniature Ceramic Bowls for 28-32mm Scale

As I discussed here, clay pottery was used  for a variety of purposes in pre-modern societies, and adding miniature ceramic objects like bowls and jars is a great way to make your dioramas more realistic.

This is my girlfriend's method for making a miniature bowl and it is very easy. You only need some appropriately coloured polymer clay and a craft instrument with a rounded tip. The bowl will be formed around the tip, so get an instrument that is appropriately sized.

15 Jul 2012

Printable Miniature Greeting Cards

The nice thing about designing a Hobbit hole diorama is that you can include little things that might appear out of place and even a little anachronistic in most other fantasy-medieval settings. Take greeting cards, for example. One would not expect to see these in a medieval castle, or even an elven haven. But we all know, of course, that hobbits celebrate their birthdays by throwing parties, and like giving away presents. We also know that they take great pride in writing letters to their friends and relatives. So it only seems natural that they would send each other birthday cards as well, although these may not be printed but hand-drawn.

Greeting Card 1

Hand-drawn Card

Greeting Card 2

30 Jun 2012

Printable Miniature Hobbit-Hole Paintings

These two are circular because they were designed for use in my forthcoming hobbit-hole diorama.

I have circular frames for these, cut from random plastic items and painted to look like circular frames of wood, so that they can be fitted around these two to make circular paintings for hanging up on the walls.

11 Apr 2012

Hedgehog Birthday

So my girlfriend made this hedgehog cake for my birthday because... well, I had made a hedgehog house in a vain attempt to attract hedgehogs into our garden, but the bloody cat hijacked the hedgehog house instead.

5 Apr 2012

14 Mar 2012

CYCLADES: MYTHOLOGY Expansion for the Age of Conan Board Game

This expansion for the Age of Conan Strategy Board Game introduces a new set of game components, represented by miniatures from the Cyclades Board Game. These miniatures are used to represent four unique Mythological Creatures.

The Age of Conan game, although it may appear at first to be a war game like Risk, does place a lot of emphasis on players taking control of Conan in the game and guiding him on his adventures. This expansion builds on this aspect of game play, providing four Epic Quests for Conan to go on, and making his adventures an even more important part of the game.

Game Concept Explanations for the RAVENLOFT Expansion for Age of Conan

Why were Alissa and Kat chosen for this expansion instead of the other heroes?
The Hyborian world does not contain Elves and Dwarves like the Middle Earth of Tolkien. This makes the two human characters from Castle Ravenloft the most suitable for use in the Age of Conan game.

5 Mar 2012

RAVENLOFT Expansion for the Age of Conan Board Game

This expansion is designed to add flavour to the Age of Conan Strategy Board Game by introducing two new characters, the Ravenloft Heroes, who take part in three adventures that take place at the same time as the Adventures of Conan.

The Age of Conan game, although it may appear at first to be a war game like Risk, actually places a lot of emphasis on players taking control of Conan in the game and guiding him on his adventures. The expansion builds on this aspect of game play, making the adventures of both Conan and the Ravenloft Heroes an important part of the game.

23 Feb 2012

Age of Conan Board Game

Age of Conan is a strategy board game for 2-4 players. Each player acts as the king or queen of one of four major powers in the Hyborian Age - Aquilonia, Turan, Stygia or Hyperborea.

14 Jan 2012

28mm Miniatures for Castle Ravenloft

One question that is repeatedly asked in the forums has been about which miniature producers make figures suitable for use in the Castle Ravenloft Board Game. Because these queries are usually made in forums for Role Playing Games and Board Games, the replies generally claim that the best miniatures are those that come with the game itself. Some suggest buying pre-painted Dungeons and Dragons miniatures if the original poster wanted nice figures. One video reviewer even referred to these D&D miniatures as "professionally painted".

12 Jan 2012

Castle Ravenloft Board Game

 With 42 plastic miniatures (conveniently made at 28mm scale), several sets of tokens, a set of interlocking dungeon tiles on which the game is played, four decks of cards to provide random encounters and events and a twenty-sided die, the Castle Ravenloft board game is an excellent way to introduce newcomers to role-playing games.

10 Jan 2012

Wrath of the Titans Trailer

Alright so its not exactly High Fantasy, but still interesting as it has gods, heroes, monsters...and a CYCLOPS!!

8 Jan 2012

Jack the Giant-Killer Trailer

And after Snow White, there will be Jack and the Beanstalk. Although, of course, there will be a lot more than beanstalks in this film...

5 Jan 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman Trailer

Looks like 2012 will be a good year for fantasy buffs. The big event of course will be the release of the Hobbit movie in December. But while we wait , there are a couple of other re-workings of old fairy tales with a more gritty twist coming up.

First will be the new version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (except that this one will feature eight of them, not just seven), with Kristen Stewart (of Twilight fame) as Snow White, Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen and Eric Hemsworth as the Huntsman.

4 Jan 2012

Catholic League Torpedoes Golden Compass Sequel

A news interview in which Bill Donohue, the leader of the Catholic League, admits that his intention in pushing for a boycott of the Golden Compass film was to "destroy the idea of having a second and third movie based off of his (Philip Pullman's) lousy books...".

Golden Compass Movie Review

So I know that this is hardly a timely review as the film has been around for years, but I liked it so much that I simply had to give it a boost in here.