Thursday, 28 June 2012

Audible Review: The Third Gate by Lincoln Child

I must admit that I'm a big Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child fan.  I've read all of their books.  I was excited when Lincoln Child's recent novel, The Third Gate came out.  Here's what says in summary:

"Under the direction of famed explorer Porter Stone, an archaeological team is secretly attempting to locate the tomb of an ancient pharaoh who was unlike any other in history. Stone believes he has found the burial chamber of King Narmer, the near mythical god- king who united upper and lower Egypt in 3200 B.C., and the archaeologist has reason to believe that the greatest prize of all—Narmer’s crown—might be buried with him. No crown of an Egyptian king has ever been discovered, and Narmer’s is the elusive “double” crown of the two Egypts, supposedly pos­sessed of awesome powers.

The dig itself is located in one of the most forbidding places on earth—the Sudd, a nearly  impassable swamp in north­ern Sudan. Amid the nightmarish, disorienting tangle of mud and dead vegetation, a series of harrowing and inexpli­cable occurrences are causing people on the expedition to fear a centuries- old curse. With a monumental discovery in reach, Professor Jeremy Logan is brought onto the project to investigate. What he finds will raise new questions . . . and alarm."

This is one of those infrequent books that grips me and I don't want to stop listening!  I would actually look forward to my commute every day!  I really enjoyed this book, but thought there'd be more of a "secret" or big reveal at the end.  Of course, there was a reveal, just not as big or impactful as I expected.  The narrator was okay on this one - I've heard better, but he did a fairly good job reading the book.  I give it four out of five stars.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Holmes, Watson and The Ripper!

I've finished another three Reaper miniatures.  Again, I'm going for a tabletop painting standard and not a golden demon!  First off is Sherlock Holmes (Reaper 50059), which is currently my favourite version of him on the market (so far).  I like the fact that the miniature came with a variety of hand options - I used the lantern and the book.  I pictured Holmes tracking his foe at night in the moor...

You can't have Holmes without Watson...

This is Reaper miniature Dr. John Watson (50060) and again he came with a number of hand options, which is a great addition.

A worthy foe for Sherlock is Jack the Ripper (Reaper 50012).  I went for a dark blue highlight instead of grey.  He had a selection of hand options as well (I think the others were straight razors).

Jack's base is from Fat Spider Casting, which are very nice resin bases!  I'd recommend you check them out, as they have a good selection and are of a very good quality.  I've had a few bubbles, but nothing too serious.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Hell House Review (Book and Movie)

A few weeks ago I was in the mood for a good haunted house story.  I remember watching The Legend of Hell House a while ago and thought I'd give the book a listen to since I liked the movie.  Hell House is a book by Richard Matheson, in which he spins the tale of four investigators and their experiences in "Hell House".

I really liked the audio book I downloaded on, which had great narration.  The author really gets across the atmosphere and feeling of the haunted house very well, and throws a few twists in there to keep things going.  It kept my attention to the end, the only off-putting thing I can think of is the overly sexual nature in parts of the book.  However, I feel they are justified with the perverted background of the house and the owner (I won't spoil it for you - read it for yourself!). 

The movie that was made based on the book was The Legend of Hell House (1973).  I really enjoyed this movie when I watched it a few months ago, and I remember being scared and confused by it as a child.  The actors chosen for the characters were spot on, and it's always good to see Roddy McDowall perform!  The movie adaptation was very close to the book, and I felt that the movie makers really captured the feel and scariness of the book quite well.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Corso, Ghast, and a Pug!

I have a few miniatures to show you today.  All of them have better base-work than Witch Hazel (see my first post), but are still "tabletop standard" in my opinion.  Mostly dry-brushed with a bit of touch-up afterwards.  I used Vallejo and GW paints.  First off is Corso (Reaper Miniatures), who looks very similar to a certain character in The Ninth Gate...

On the base is some static grass and Antenociti's Workshop leaf litter.

Next is Reaper's Necropolis Ghast (14502):

I gave the ghoul a wash of dark purple to give it an off-looking hue.

Lastly is a pug from Reaper Miniatures Familiar Pack IV (02756):

The grass is Army Painter's Highland Tufts.

I made him with a cataract in one eye, like my dog-in-law Rocky.  A ferocious and anti-social character in real life, he should be a match for just about anyone on the tabletop!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

A few months ago the location of my day job changed to further downtown, so I had to start taking public transit.  My wife was kind enough to get an iPod for me to ease the pain!  I had always heard about Audible from the D6 Generation podcast, and thought I'd give it a try.

Recently I listened to I Am Legend by Richard Matheson.

The narrator was INCREDIBLE, by far the best one I have heard to date.  It was good to listen to this story again, as I hadn't read it since university.  I was constantly reminded of Vincent Price in The Last Man on Earth when listening to it, as it is the best movie adaptation of the novel (in my opinion).

Saturday, 9 June 2012

First Post and Sad Attempt at Painting!

Hello and welcome to my blog!  I've set this blog up to help document my painting progress and post any other ramblings I care to share.  I have just recently gotten over a very long dry painting spell, and have gotten back into things all of a sudden.  I'm hoping that posting on the blog will help keep up my momentum and interest.

I've gone with a decent tabletop painting standard with most of the miniatures I've been doing recently, so don't expect any golden demons here!  Quickly painting them keeps my interest and gives me a sense of accomplishment, so for now I'll focus less on detail and more on speed.

This Hasslefree miniature (HFA 041 - Witch Hazel) was the first model I painted since getting back in the painting groove.  The picture is weird and it looks like there's something wrong with one of her eyes, but it's fine in real life...I'll get the hang of picture-taking eventually!

The base was done plainly, with just painted sand - I'm working on some more detailed bases now, and am quite pleased with how they are coming out!