Weekend workbench 2016-02-27

I finished priming and painting the faces and arms of the 6mm Vikings and Anglo-Saxons. I like priming with black gesso as it is very matte and masks no detail, but I never seem put enough on to account for its extreme shrinkage during drying. So lots of spot touch ups were needed.

I bought a painted band of 12 Warmachine Cryx Bane Thralls at CaptainCon a few weeks back. The band consists of a leader, a banner holder, and 10 soldiers. This was an impulse purchase, something I don't normally do, and while I do intend to sell them I decided to find a use for them until then. So I am making a Saga warband and battleboard. The band was 2 thralls short to make 3 hearthguard units so bought 2 from GAV Games and painted them up this weekend. Now I need to think about the battleboard ... perhaps there is something on the Revenant battleboard that I can use.

Book of sci-fi artist Simon Stålenhag work

Tales from the Loop – An eerie account of a physics research facility gone awry

Tales from the Loop

by Simon Stålenhag

Design Studio Press

2015, 128 pages, 10.1 x 11.2 x 0.7 inches

Buy a copy on Amazon

Unfamiliar with sci-fi artist Simon Stålenhag, I was sucked into his eerie dystopian history the instant I cracked open Tales from the Loop. His hyper-real digital paintings depict beautiful Swedish country towns where snow falls in the winter and children play in nature. But each of these pastoral scenes are jarring, with intrusive machines, robots, discarded equipment, and power lines upstaging the otherwise serene landscape.

The book explains that these paintings were inspired by childhood memories of the author, who grew up in a large area of Sweden that housed an underground experimental physics research facility known as The Loop. Alongside each painting is a short essay from the author’s memory. For instance, the three cooling towers in the photo above were built to release heat from the core of the Loop. The towers, which “started like a deep vibration in the ground that slowly rose to three horn-like blasts,” remind Stålenhag of a miserable day he had with a boy named Ossian, who had lured him to his house to play Crash Test Dummies, but ended up bullying him with the help of his brother until Stålenhag went home in tears.

Each painting is accompanied by one of these short yet captivating stories, and their detailed, relatable quality had me going. As I read about Stålenhag and his best friend Olof sneaking off with a boat on a nice summer day to a disturbing machine-littered swimming pond, I kept thinking, “I must go online and research the Loop! How could I have never heard about this creepy place?” Then I quickly got to the robots. Huge dinosaur and prehistoric animal robots. And towering two and four-legged machine robots, crushing everything in their paths. Suddenly, with a “Wait a minute!” moment, I knew I’d been had. The same way I was duped when I saw The Blair Witch Project and thought, at first, that it was a real documentary. But my gullibility doesn’t bother me – what a fun treat it is to be swept into a horrific alternative reality, only to find out it’s masterful fiction.  

Stalenhag’s Tales from the Loop is striking, creepy, and captivating. It’s both an intriguing coffee table book and an engaging novel of sorts. And for me, it was an exciting ride.

– Carla Sinclair

February 26, 2016I have several of sci-fi artist Simon Stålenhag's prints. I just discovered that he has a new book, Tales from the Loop, of them out now.

A marked resemblance to this author

A marked resemblance to this author.

Weekend workbench 2016-02-20

Weekend workbench saw painting of a dozen 60mm × 20mm blue and red bases for use in learning To the Strongest while I prepare the actual figures and bases. A long time ago I bought some Baccus 6mm Vikings and Anglo-Saxons to play DBA and so am preparing them while I contemplate which 6mm ancients to buy. Which is really a non-decision as by the end of this year I am likely to have Rome and all her enemies.

Side note: While looking for map examples (and finding the kids book!) I also found these 3D models of ancient battles (DecoBoco Map Sengoku).

Unsettled note: Star Wars X-Wing is still in the box. Sigh.

Alcatraz by Jimmy Treehorn

One of the Wednesday Gamers visited Alcatraz recently and saw the giant model of the island and its buildings. The model was built by Jimmy Treehorn. Here is a collection of photographs of its construction. Very informative regards creating a large, strong landmass.

I really enjoy seeing how others build things. In software development, at least the kind I have mostly been a part of, very little of what is designed and implemented ever gets used. So, one has to have a mindset of the journey being the reward. Seeing other people's journeys is rewarding too.

Beautiful opposition & equivalence:

Taylor Mali's "Totally like whatever, you know"

Melissa Lozada-Oliva's "Like Totally Whatever"