zondag 7 februari 2016

The Haul Report #15

Another week has gone by as we enter february with a heap of cool stuff again.  While I`ve mostly been aming to trade for crew on my to be build ships, there are some other thingies around that I really `dig`.

Facebook these days is a great place for exchanging Lego, as one after the other AFOL aimed, or selling aimed, group pops up.  And sometimes, great items for good to great prices can be found on there.

Perhaps the `top of the scores` this week is this particular polybag, which hasn`t been released yet it seems.  I managed to get it from Croatia without loosing an arm and a leg in costs. 

Another great find is a heap of these small `rock elemental` figures, whom are going to be of great use in a future Guilds of Historica build I got lined up, and which costed me half of what I would pay for them on BrickLink.

I also managed to get an extra Jungleboy traded with a local bloke, as his torso will be needed to man my Timeline build some more.

But off to manning those Brethren of the Brick Seas builds.  I obtained this lovely lot of 7 marine sets and 3 cannon sets from a facebook seller, and managed to purchase this set of pirates and accessories as well as the poster tossed in for free.

And my plans for the Queen Anne arrived, which had been forgotten to be brought along last saturday.  Guess what I will be building one of these days ;-)

On BrickLink I managed to get some more loose parts and figures from various sources.

My local secondhand shop this week hauled in those three big bags of parts each.  At 8 euro a bag, they where priced fairly, and the good thing is that it is actual `old style` lego, mostly from the 1985 - 1995 era (though some newer things are in there, like a Jungle Boy torso hehe), but not to much of all that Bionicle stuff you often end up with in those lots.

The final haul was from my trip to the Lego Store yesterday.  I urgently needed a 48x48 and since I had a 20 euro voucher for the shopping center, I went to grab one.  After next weekend, the first stones will be laid to start the city of Corrington.

I also picked up some small sets I found very intresting, namely the Elves ship I`ve been wanting for a long time, and the new little Ninjago Dragon.  That one is cool because of the `pirate` figure in ti, but the build as it is will be used in another project of mine as well.  Okee, so that left me only with a useless Cole, but he has had his head transplanted already to make one of those 7 marines mentioned above look less monotone.  And that yielded the monthly promotions as a bonus as well...

A good week for sure if you ask me, and not a too expensive one either, so that`s a double win if you ask me :-)

zaterdag 6 februari 2016

Lego Build: 30375 Sira`s Adventurous Flyer

Today`s build is a bit of a special one, as I`m tackling a polybag which BrickLink and such don`t seem to `know`.

Seems the polybag is unreleased yet, and I found my copy in Croatia, I guess it might be the promo when the new Elves range arrives in March perhaps???

But the build.  Sira is the minidoll I had my eyes on since the new sets where unveiled, with her green hairpiece which should yield immense moc`cability.  She also carries one of the new printed Elves maps, now containing a dragon egg (the theme of wave 2) instead of the key symbol.  I guess her element is going to be `wood` or `life` or such, as her torso is printed with leaves and her green brown attire.

Opening the bag, we get the usual heap of parts and the instruction leaflet.

The gorgeous Sira minidoll, with said map.

The flyer is based around two inverted arches, which form the bodywork of her flyer.

To this, we add the seat cushion, and one of those brackets to connect the minidoll with onto the build.

The wings are funnily done, being connected to the bodywork by green plant elements.

Now, that small round gempiece on the back is something I like as well. It`s printed, and it`ll be very, very handy to include in my regular builds.

And you get one extra with the left over pieces to boot!

The flyer completed:

Like with all Elves sets, I`m really digging this.  I don`t care if their target audience when they created it are girls in their early teens, I`m an end of the 30s guy and I really, really love the theme.  Great parts, fantastic colours, and as you`ll see in the not so far future, I even have found a great use for the minidolls as well...

Now, to wait out until march for those dragons...

vrijdag 5 februari 2016

Classic Lego Build: 8073 Manta Warrior

Lego seems to have a sort of a love / hate relation with underwater themes. 

For some reason, they tend not to be able to get loose from the bottom (pun intended), as Aquanauts and such "proved", and Atlantis was no different.

While the theme had some great sets (the Temple!) it`s also one where you can often buy the vehicle sets for really low bucks on the secondary market.  A bit odd if you ask me, because it had some great minifigures, like I`ll show in today`s small build, the Manta Warrior.

Though boxed, and the line HAD already polybags (deep sea beasties mostly), the Manta Warrior is a very small minifigure + a few bricks set.

The minifigure by himself is already worth the 1.5 to 2 euro you tend to have to shelf out for these small sets, as he has an awesome head, a great `helmet` and the golden trident is supreme.

So consider the few bricks as a free throw in.  The build is incredibly simple yet nothing is wrong with it per se.

You have a plate, and you put some slopes on it.  Round this out with a green tentacle and tadaa, underwater flora in a minute work.

The full set completed:

Really simple thing indeed, but I really do like it actually.  A bit of an underrated theme for sure!

donderdag 4 februari 2016

The Expanse

Perhaps the suprise hit of the winter television schedule, The Expanse is based on the novels by James S.A. Corey.

It has been adapted into a 10 episode long series for SyFy channel, and has already been renewed for a second season coming around the 2017 winter season mark.

In about 200 years from now, Earth has expanded, and then gotten into conflict, with Mars.  And in between are the `Belters`, asteroid field workers often seen as less then human due to their existence in outer space.

On one of those belt stations, Ceres, detective Miller is tasked with finding a young woman, Julie Mao, who disappeared with her ship, the Scopuli.  Another ship, the ice hauler Canterbury, discovers this vessel, but is attacked and destroyed by mysterious ships, except for a party of five that was on a salvage mission to an abandoned freighter.  These two seemingly unrelated events lead to tensions between Mars and Earth, with the Belt seemingly being the hotspot for all the problems.

As detective Miller on his investigation, and Holden and the survivors on trying to find a way home resulting in the destruction of a Mars warship by the same attackers of the Canterbury, soon find out is that both their courses are aiming towards the same goal, the fate of Julie and the vast conspiracy that is behind it.

One of the things The Expanse reflects greatly, is just how big an empty the universe actually is.  The series is dark and brooding in design of the locations, looking like a love child between Blade Runner`s cities and Firefly`s crew running amok in it. 

I really liked this stuff, and I`m definitly going to get my hands on the books, as my intrigue has been tickled inot action, like, well, a Leviathan Wakes ;-)

woensdag 3 februari 2016

Kings Port Advertiser and Ship List: February 616

Every month, SkaForHire, Game master in chief of the Brethren of the Brick Seas game over at Eurobricks is going to be writing down the results and more of the monthly MCRA, which is basically `the adventures of the players ships` in the game in a bid to get more riches and fame.

Now as this first month made clear, the risks are very, very high, and it is not the greatest idea in the world to go solo navigating the world in a cog, but then again as you can see in this report, even flotilla`s can run into trouble.

I consider myself very lucky in this very first outing of the game, as my ship, the HMS Green Dragon, seemed to not only have escaped dangerous encounters with the group she was sailing in, but also gotten an apparently incredible price for it`s wares, which has enabled me this morning to license both the Isandlwana and the Terrigan into the game for hopefully some more bounty next month.

That still leaves me with a nice `savings account` to start the actual founding and licensing of properties for the city of Quinnsville, for which at the moment I would just need 25 DBs of what I`ve build yet not registred (the commerce hall), and I`ll be getting some small amounts of DBs left and right as well probably this month from some small freebuild `scenes` I`m planning on (the actual founding of the village, the `transfer of captaincy` for the Green Dragon as my sig-fig will take on his mantle of governor, the MCRA result, etc etc)

But without further ado, here is the excellent newspaper:

Kings Port Advertiser and Ship List
New Terra’s most reliable source for shipping news.
February 616. VOL 1 ISSUE 1

Editor’s Column
It has been a long time since the Terraversa Sea has seen so much activity. We can thank the current Mardieran Civil War for some of this, but we cannot overlook the influence of Eslandola, Corrington, Oleon, and the vicious hive of scum calling themselves Sea Rats.   This month three new colonies appeared on the map. Elysabethtown and Port Raleigh on a newly discovered Island east of Nellisa, and Rassilon on the Nest of Thieves.
Rumors have it that the Sea Rats have themselves a small navy, and were out in force, while the empires have all finally sent warships to these waters. But you all are not reading this to hear about recent history, you want to know where to send your next ventures.

This is the section where we include the juiciest morsels of shipping information that we have gleaned from the taverns of Terraversa, that and the vilest slander and lies a pirate could tell! Use these tips at your own risk!

Treasure Lost!
Somewhere off the coast of LeBellan is the sunken wreck of Le Grande, a well-traveled government ship that was reportedly hauling gold! Eager treasure hunters may want to sweep the coast of this island in the coming months before some damned Sea Rat finds the missing treasure!

Bananas wanted!
It is said that the Queen of Corrington herself is pregnant, out of wedlock no less! What a scandal! It is said that her cravings can only be satiated by one food, the new world fruit, Bananas!  Luckily, Terraversa is full of such wonderful delights. An enterprising merchant may find a tidy profit in a quick run between this island and Belson.  But I wouldn’t stop anywhere in between, the Queen in hungry and Bananas do not stay ripe forever!

MAESTRO needs nails for all the coffins they are using at Elysabethtown!
That rascally new trade company MAESTRO seems to be in a bind at their new settlement. Scores of men are dying, and they have run out of nails for their coffins! The King of Eslandola has offered a great bounty to the enterprising   ship’s master who can take nails from Terreli to New Terreli for the crown.

Sea Rats trade fleet decimated, looking for new captains!
It has been confirmed that our own L’Olius, privateer for this island, has captured three Sea Rats in one glorious battle. Most of the offensive filth are being held in the Kings Port Gaol, awaiting trial – and hopefully a hanging! Rumors from the Nest of thieves have led us to learn that the faction is dying for new members. A bounty of 10 gold per captain has been assigned!  Abandon your colors now mates, I hear Bastion is pretty this time of year.

Shipping Lists:
Here is this month’s shipping list.

From Granoleon: Reports say that a large Corlander fleet has come to port, apparently taking advantage of the treaty struck after the Juniper War. And the Oleanders needed the supply! We only heard of one ship that sailed for their nation this whole last month. The Black Marlin, Saucy Jack, Swift Packet, and Sphynx made it into port with some harassment. They were guided by the ships Mermaid and Pandora, of the Corrington Navy.  The latter captured a pirate, Pardisio, off the coast of Garvey when attacked the Saucy Jack, and brought the privateer  into port for adjudication. The convoy was able to outrun a Sea Rats raiding convoy off of Holder’s Rock, but just by the skin of their teeth.   The Corlander flotilla was supposed to include the Knight of Stedor from Eslandola, but the vessel sprung a leak as it left port in Nelissa with the convoy, sadly it had to turn back without any profit. Also coming into port with a healthy profit was the Little Hermes of Oleon.  Both the Black Marlin and the Swift Packet’s purchasing agents were able to find excellent deals in Terreli, and they made a large sum over what was expected. Sea Rats, there be your target.

From Belson: Another convoy of Corlanders made it into port at Belson. The beautiful Sulky Harlequin, HMS Green Dragon, and their escorts HMS Queen’s Glory of Corrington and oddly, the Dark Lightning of Eslandola.  The Coyle Shipping Company was probably hoping for a more promising payload on their flagship’s maiden voyage, but she was profitable.  She had to outrun a pirate, but otherwise it was an uneventful journey. However, the Green Dragon was extremely profitable for such a small ship.

From New Terreli:  A fleet of Eslandolan vessels came into harbor. The Bright Owl and Aurei Lacerta, escorted by the Trovao made a handsome profit, and came back +1 vessel, as the warship caught the infamous Garvian privateer “The Fallen Angel.” A wonderful Class 5A1 prize! This might make up for the nation’s losses a bit. But that was not the only good news, the Queen of Terelli also captured our esteemed privateer “King of Mardier”  off the coast of Garvey when attacked the The Flying Colt, and brought the privateer  into port for adjudication.   We are sure Remmy Le’nine will be acquitted of all wrong doing and be back at sea again. The Queen of Terelli was also escorting the HMS Alice. Apparently the third of her escorted ships, the Appleseed sunk in the middle of the right after leaving Terelli. It is thought that all hands went down with the ship.

Sprung a leak: The Sea Rats vessel, the Parakeet took on water quickly after it left Terelli, and missed out on this trade season.

Captain L’Olius captures three Sea Rat vessels! The Parakeet was one of the lucky Sea Rats this month, for off the coast of Granoleon, laden with treasure from their run, the Sea Rat’s merchant fleet met its end to The Crooked Sparrow. A brilliant victory by our great native captain, L’Olius circled the two Sea Rat escorts, The Viper and the White Skull, and forced them to collide. He then fired a couple broadsides until their colors were struck. After which he took the Wave of Knowledge. On the voyage back to this port, he learned that the Wave of Knowledge had already been attacked by pirates, and the other vessel in their flotilla, The Dogged Wench had sunk a day earlier, not 15 leagues from the site of the battle.  IT was only when all of the crews were imprisoned at the Gaol here in Kingsport that L’Olius found out that the fifth Sea Rats vessel, La Dindon slipped away. It is rumored that she found a very handsome profit in Granoleon.

If you would like to advertise in the Kings Port Advertiser and Ship List, or just want to commit libel against your friends and enemies, please contact us. Our fees our quite reasonable.

Galavant season 2

The sublime fantasy musical was back this year, for another 10 episode run detailing the adventures of Galavant!

We left of last year with all the main characters scattered across the realms, and that is just where we are picking up again, as Galavant and Richard are trying to raise an army to get Isabella freed and Richard re-instated as king.

In the meantime, Gareth and Madeline rule over Valencia, and grow closer to each other, while Isabella together with Syd are in Hortensia.  Slowly but steadily, the storylines converge, leading to the best episode of the series, episode 9, which is a hilarious parody on the Battle of Helm`s Deep, and even includes a great Theoden impression.

Or as the former Valencian king states it: We are knee-deep in poopy-kaka.

The travels of Galavant (first name: Gary) and Richard go along the most insane places, like the Enchanted Forest, a gay bar where Richard`s uncle lives, and past Galavant`s father... before our hero is killed then ressurected.

But is Galavant actually the hero?  No, this year focusses more on Richard, and he becomes the star, the hero and the owner of a dragon called Tad Cooper, while finding both love and his manhood.  And loosing something else in the process ;-)

Riddled with song (A Good Day To Die is epic!) and laughter, and the great fact that Vinnie Jones plays a more prominent (aka, more dancing, which puts me in laughters remembering him for the beast he was at the soccer pitch during his Wimbledon days) role is a good thing. 

It was a fantastic run again, and let`s just hope that `suprise renewal` will come indeed.  And if not, well, they all lived happily ever after in this "Monthy Python of the 21st Century".

MOC: HMS Terrigan

The second ship I have been building for this month`s Brethren of the Brick Seas , she is a class 1 `Armed Galley`, based on the style of ships from the historical Battle of Lepanto.

And since the HMS Green Dragon has returned from month 1`s trade run with a nice cargo hold of spoils, I can license both this one and yesterday`s class 0 in one go, before starting to save up the doubloons to build my city.

Those venetian galleys had oars as main propulsion, the small sail granting a small boost in speed, the cannon battery serving for forward firing, and a nasty looking ram to bring enemy galleys to their destiny at the sea's bottom.

In-game, this means the class 1A`s can only operate within a single zone during an MCRA action, so she will be assigned escorting duty to the Isandlwana from february onwards.  That way, I can get `maximum yield` hopefully from the little wherry, without it going to the seabottom by the first bathtub that looks dirty at it.

Storywise, she will be the harbour guard for Quinnsville until the era of far bigger ships break out in the game, and to which end I am building as well at the moment, but that is music for far, far away still.

The ram, reinforced in iron to sink enemy ships.  It also comes with a forward mounted cannon.

Seamen row the galley forwards while guarded by the contignent of royal Marines.

The commander of the vessel, Lieutenant Lester, shouts his orders to the rowers while another crewman steers the ship.

So now I`m at a manageable `3-ship' fleet, which should get me through the initial stages of the game and provide enough bonus income to start licensing properties near the end of the month for the upcoming builds I`m doing.