About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 58-year-old Aspergic gardening CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Friday, January 17, 2014

N is for New Show?

You lucky people within travelling distance of Michigan....

Royal Oak Farmer's Market - Toy Show - This Saturday

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

S is for Search Terms!

C is for Christmas Present....to Myself!

Not strictly a revue - this one, as nobody sent me a free copy, so more of a new acquisitions post! But as it's still available in Waterstone's (and probably on-line?) it's worth looking at as if it's a review...

...so go and buy it today! It's Brilliant! To quote the Fast Show character called... err... Brilliant

"Ain't it Brilliant that there's a game with Penguins that hunt fish, brilliant! And they steal fish off of each other, brilliant! On little ice-flows and everything... ...Briiiiilllllllliiiiiiaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnntttttt!"

So, Fantasy Flight Games are responsible for this simple, quick, fun game, and it bucks the rule that the more figurines ('Minis') in a game or the more likely it is to prove popular the more expensive it will be, being only £9.99p pre-sale...that's about 7 dollars! Compare with a Hobbit game containing two figurines which is retailing for 29.99!

You get a bunch of pre-cut punch-out cards with the little ice-flow fish-hexes, 16 Penguins in four poses and four colours, and you can play with 2, 3 or 4 players, varying the number of belligerents on the board. We've been playing 2-player with all four pieces each, and you can do best-of-three within the hour.

The pieces; these are beautiful little sculpts, and working on the principle that cartoon characters and anthropomorphic animals are scaled to the universe of Roger Rabbit, i.e. the same size as equally hight'ed humans - these are 25mm ('Old School', when 25mm was 25mm not 28 or 32mm!).

I don't know who the sculptor is and there doesn't seem to be any credit on the packaging. They are a dense PVC and the red and yellow proved bloody hard to photograph!

The early stages of a quick game, the pieces are shuffled and set up in a block of rows of seven and eight tiles, this is to be done upside-down and then they are turned-over, this is the most time-consuming state of the proceedings, however if you do them on a piece of card, put another piece on top and turn them (carefully) it takes half as long!

Players take turns putting a Penguin on a one-fish hex, when all the antagonists are placed, the game proper starts. A piece can move in any direction, off a side, in a straight line for as many hexes as the player likes. The hex the Penguin has been stood on then gets removed.

In the example above, yellow is leading the move-cycle and in fig.1 has placed its pieces slightly better than red, but red has answered well, both positioned for a feeding frenzy of orange 'threes' or purple 'twos'. Fig.2 and move-cycle 4 is about to commence (or move 7?!), red seems to be stronger with more 'threes' in the bag, but as the game progresses and players begin to isolate each other you can see the yellow seems to be getting the upper hand (fig.3). By fig.4 you can see that yellow is going to clear the 'ones' nearest the viewer, a battle is going to occur far left, far right a yellow will pick up only one more, leaving one untouched on the board, a smaller battle top in the furthest corner will leave yellow up...but in the centre those two reds are going to clear all the 'twos'.

We've played dozens of games now and they are all really close, with the obvious winner sometimes loosing after the final count, with only 100 points up for grabs (10x3, 20x2 and 30x1 fish, on 60 hexes), you only need to count one pile, celebrate or commiserate and start again!

It really is Briiiiilllllllliiiiiiaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnntttttt!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

News, Views Etc...Links, Art Etc...

So a round-up of recent bookmarks and other stuff which may be of interest to others....

Setting off with My Modern Met who I've rediscovered through Facebook;

Pierre Javelle and Akiko Ida play with food!


Zeng Chunhui carves wood


Brian McCarty makes us think about war

Further afield this made me laugh;

Knitler and the Knotsies

In Morgantown - West Virginia, Toy Soldiers are being used to teach....art and history by the looks of things!;

The Dominion Post/Charleston Gazette

Meanwhile, my namesake has some rather nice watercolours here;

Carlota Attlee Fine Art

And looking at the life-size fad we visited before;

Not a Game!

Wrapping-up this post...

A Company History Prinze August - from the horses mouth!

Monday, January 13, 2014

K is for Kosmic Kit!

I've been hideously busy for the last week so you've only got two days to track these down if you haven't found them yet - although they will probably be reissued a couple of times over the next year or so going on previous performance of these freebies...although that should be measured against the fact that the magazine has gone from weekly to bi-weekly in the last year?

Four, free, approximately 54mm, polystyrene plastic, clip-together, figure kit sprues...in one issue! What's not to like? They come with a pack of the usual collector cards and various other 'old stock' (mostly previously issued stationary sets), if you're lucky you get the T.A.R.D.I.S. pencil top (with notebook), compatible with OO gauge.

There is a least one left in the Sainsbury's by Basingrad's station - as I saw it there tonight and left it (I was tired and not thinking straight!). I will be looking at more Who stuff as soon as I've sorted out the photographs. HMA for Dr. Who Adventures magazine....get 'em if you can.

They aren't the best kits, fit will require filling before painting, but I've seen worse...and they are Free!