I’m happy to report that this past week was much better. I got some forward momentum on the diorama and have a few things to show off. First up, I finally got to put my green stuff and tools to work and patched up this little guy.
Can you see any rough spots or where he is patched up? If not, then I figure I did well enough with the green stuff! Truthfully, this guy isn’t as interesting as the previous two minis and there aren’t many opportunities to show off any cool textures or advanced painting techniques either. His face and eyes gave me some trouble as well so I’m not as happy with him as the previous two minis. I may see if I can touch up the face a bit more before the diorama is finished but I’ll take a break from him for now anyway.
Friend of the site, Davekay, who runs Scent of a Gamer posed an interesting question. Since hobbits are available in metal, could I use those in the diorama? I painted the original metal hobbits a few years ago for a Scouring in the Shire campaign that never got off the ground so why not compare the two? The metal one is on the right in the picture above. The level of detail and the sharpness in the newer resin Robin Smallburrow by Forge World is definitely superior in my eyes. The differences may seem subtle but the Forge World version is both easier and more enjoyable to paint.
I also made progress on the base this week. It isn’t too exciting but I did sculpt the cobblestone on my own with green stuff. I wanted the stones to be a bit smaller than they are but I found it hard to get the green stuff to cooperate. Overall though, the base is ready for more interesting things to happen now which is great news. Hopefully seeing this wets your appetite for more as well!
This week was also better because it was my birthday. I got a few hobby related gifts which I will briefly share.
First, I got more Survivors for Fallout. I already have more minis for that faction than any of the others combined. Did I need more? Absolutely not, but I think minis make a good gift and these are one of the few minis that I want and don’t have on Amazon so I was happy to ask for and receive them all the same.
Next up is something simple but that I really wanted for Hellboy. I think some 3D doors will really up the visual immersion and they’ll be easier to see while playing and less fiddly than the cardboard door counters. I expect these will move towards the front of the hobby queue outside of the diorama as a result.
And lastly I got a big surprise from my brother who got me this fairly new kit for MESBG! I had given some thought to buying this and trying to make a display with the Forge World Ringwraiths and now I have no excuse not to do so. It will be an epic project but I have a feeling I can do some cool things with this and its definitely something to look forward to!
Lastly, I found myself with a bit of time on my birthday so I finally watched Shang Chi. I had heard good things and I was excited to finally watch it. I would have to say its one of the better Marvel movies in recent years and it made me a bit sad and nostalgic in a way that I didn’t expect.
In the early 2000’s, Chinese cinema made some real inroads in the US and I assume globally as well. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was the big one (which ironically, I’ve never seen) but quite a few movies came out afterwards because that was a global hit. The landscapes in Asian countries, the art and architecture are all beautiful. So when they put that to film with high-quality martial arts, you’ve got something well worth watching. Hero and House of Flying Daggers are two great examples but you could find more obscure movies in places like Best Buy in the US. Unless I’m missing something, either those movies aren’t being made anymore or they aren’t brought to the US any longer which is a real shame. Hero, for example, might be a piece of propaganda for Chinese communism, but it is a visually stunning movie with a poetic and thoughtful ending. House of Flying Daggers is still visually stunning and has plenty of plot twists as well.
So all this is to say, I loved seeing the amazing martial arts and stunning Chinese landscapes in Shang Chi and I’d love to see more. The movie isn’t perfect (but man, the first half of it pretty much is). The second half is focused on mythology/fantasy and didn’t work quite as well for me. It also got pretty dark there at the end. Visually though, that part of the movie is still stunning and it made me wish there were high quality miniatures made in that kind of setting. I have no business taking on a new game as my backlog is out of control right now but I think that is a real gap in the miniatures market and even someone like Games Workshop could take an Asian style like Mongolian which they did in the past with the Ogres and really go somewhere cool with it. Alas, I’m not holding my breath that we’ll see anything like that anytime soon.