Sunday, 14 December 2014

Life at university - a 3 month hobby review

As you may have noticed from my occasional moaning about having no money or time and my posts on Glottkin in particular, I am a student. I started at the end of September and as I come to the end of my first semester I thought I would do a little review of what I have done in the hobby thus far.

If you haven't seen my rambling several weeks into the semester you can read them here: My Glottkin woes and hobby life as a student.

Much of this post will just be random thoughts I have had combined with the occasional self-promotion for things I have posted or will be posting in the new year. There is also a mini-review of the latest Hobbit film near the bottom which I might write up more fully when I have seen it more than just the once. As it was the Lord of the Rings films that got me into the entire fantasy genre, seeing the final film of the Middle-Earth saga was quite the roller coaster.

I still can't believe its all over...

My main expenditure hobby-wise has been the End Times books which between the two of them sorely restricted my budget for other things last month, especially as I had to pay more than I would have liked to get hold of Glottkin. *Shameless plug time* You can read my End Times reviews by clicking on the links below:

I have really enjoyed the End Times series thus far and I look forward to seeing where this whole thing goes in the new year. It is an exciting time for Warhammer fantasy and I just hope that they don't make a mess of it at the very end. 

The End Times series does seem to have had a subtle knock-on effect in Forge World as they will not be re-printing the Tamurkhan book, something I may talk about in more depth later. For those who want it there are fewer than 200 copies remaining on their website and I would recommend you get it now. I ordered myself a copy as I have wanted one for years and this seemed like a good enough excuse. I certainly hope this doesn't mean the total end for their fantasy range or the squatting of Chaos Dwarfs a second time. It would be quite a shame as I have occasionally entertained the idea of starting a Chaos Dwarf army and now that I have a Forge World account that temptation has grown, though I am also quite tempted by some of their Horus Heresy stuff. Damn you FW, my bank account is groaning in anticipation...

This is my relatively bare hobby station at the moment. These past three weeks have seen little to no painting as I have been writing essays, in fact I probably ought to be writing an essay on the 1981 English Riots instead of this. Hopefully I should get some painting done over Christmas including some canvas and watercolour pieces I have been working on which I think I might put on the blog as well.

This is my Dark Eldar army in its current state. I haven't yet finished posting all the pictures of this army on the blog yet but I have had it on top of one of the cabinets in my room and I have done some small amount of work on it this semester so I thought I would post it on the blog. I do like to have an army on display, always makes me feel more at home. For the first few weeks of uni I only had a handful of Inquisitorial stuff out on the side and I just had to have a finished army brought down just to make me feel more comfortable. My miniatures are something my flatmates often come and have a look at and they were quite a good talking point this first semester for making friends with the people I have to live with now. 

Last month I added a unit of Wyches and a Raider to my army as my Dark Eldar were on the side looking at me and I had some spare cash at the end of October so I thought: why not? This has resulted in me not really buying anything for my Witch Hunters Project which I have now moved onto the top of the cabinet so that I don't get distracted with more evil space elves. 

I really enjoyed painting the Raider which is odd as I usually don't like painting vehicles. It took a lot longer than I thought it would but I am really happy with the results. Traditionally my Dark Eldar have largely been a terrible foot-slogging force so adding a dedicated transport was well-ovedue. 

As a bit of a random aside I also did some sketches for some Warriors of Chaos characters, I tried to think of a bit of a unique spin on each of the gods that wouldn't immediately come to mind but make sense. I am largely happy with these ideas though on reflection I find myself least happy about Slaanesh as gardening is already taken by Nurgle. I have always liked seeing non-conformist Chaos armies and it is something I would like to try in the future. I have been doing sketches over the past couple of months for a possible Warriors of Order army I might attempt if I have time so look out for those as I post them periodically. 

Finally I just wanted to talk briefly about the Hobbit miniatures as one of the ten people who actually buy some of these models. This release has largely been hit and miss for me with several models such as the Escape From Goblin Town set and most of the infantry boxes have been really good. Some models however have missed the mark completely or been ruined by a sub-par paint job. For example the model of Bilbo above has an....interesting face. The largest problem however is the price which has definitely limited what I have bought, £20 for ten men in plastic is a bit much, £15 for three men in finecast is ridiculous. The Smaug model in particular is quite impressive but expensive, if I do ever buy a Smaug miniature there is a dragon kit by Geene Miniatures that appears larger and is less expensive I might get in the new year if I have enough money. 

I also saw the last Hobbit film the other day, mild spoilers ahead. I would give it a 7/10 as it was mostly enjoyable with some great moments. The acting, effects, casting, music, landscape, art direction, cinematography, etc. were all fantastic but I have the same problem with it as I have done with the other two which is largely the writing. Several key characters seemed to drop off the face of the earth (Dain, Radagast, Beorn, most of the dwarves), several characters stuck around when they shouldn't have (looking at you Alfrid) and the ending felt a little rushed (basically the opposite of Return of the King whose extended ending I actually liked). Overall the film felt a bit fragmented, as if it was largely just tying up loose ends rather than being a story in itself. Other than that though, fantastic; I think all the actors and the talented people behind them really knocked it out of the park. I look forward to seeing the Extended Edition to see if any of my minor gripes are addressed.

Also you may have seen my article about Bolg and as follow up I thought I would just point out that the live-action version of Bolg actually appeared for a few brief frames in the final film as an unnamed orc gaoler in Dol Guldur.

Right then, can't really think of anything else to ramble on about. I probably won't be posting anything on the blog over the next three or four weeks whilst I am on holiday but I will return in the new year with all manner of things for you to read.

Enjoy the holidays.

Doombringer out.

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