Sunday, May 31, 2020

Paint Table Sunday: Jaguar Tribe and back to Romans!

I finished another seven figures yesterday (that's twenty-nine in May!) in the shape of the Lucid Eye Jaguar Tribe for Savage Core. I stupidly decided to paint central American style art jaguars on their shields and really wish I hadn't. The good thing about the Savage Core rules, though, is that this is all you need for a force (plus the two jaguars).

I have already got the Atlanteans under way but, even though I have a few more Savage Core forces to paint,  I will not start another one of those for a bit.  Instead I will progress my 1864 Danes as they are rather more straightforward figures. I did a bit on them today and I might even get them finished next weekend, especially as my Nigerian work seems to have finished for a bit so I can do some in the early mornings if it stays sunny.

Current projects

I was reading a piece in Variety about the twentieth anniversary of the film Gladiator (2000, naturally) which is this year. While interesting, in a behind the scenes way (I met Ridley Scott a number of times and disliked him immensely), it contained two extraordinary statements. Firstly, the otherwise estimable actor, Djimon Hounsou was quoted as saying that there were no slaves in Roman times (obviously slaves were only owned by American plantation owners who were sold them by the dastardly British). Secondly, Richard Harris said that Romans didn't wash, hence Connie Nielsen's herb fan in the film. I know he was Irish not British but had he never heard of the city of Bath? Perhaps he thought it was named after the biscuit. This just adds to my utter bemusement as to why people (they are probably the ones who refer to themselves as 'folk') would take any notice of anything an actor might say and treat it as if it were worthwhile, correct or important. Most actors are an ill-educated bunch who fall into acting because they are too stupid to get a proper job and messed around at school doing impressions and being the 'class clown'. I really hope, in a post viral world, that people realise what a worthless bunch most of them are.

Very happy to be assimilated

That brings me to Star Trek: Picard which I realised I can watch on Amazon Prime. I am quite enjoying it, even though I found the Picard character rather annoying in Star Trek: The Next Generation.  In fact, most of The Next Generation cast were annoying, other than Michael Dorn's Worf.   I hadn't realised Star Trek had jumped into the random swear words pool as I've not seen Star Trek: Discovery. But Stewart is an Ac-Tor who also thinks that people should take notice of what he says because he cam memorise a few lines and employ a portentous voice.   In fact, I was surprised how frail Stewart's voice was in Picard (I hadn't realised that he will be eighty in July). I was surprised to see a Star Trek TV show with state of the art modern digita1 effects. I was also surprised to see how good Jeri Ryan looked at 52 (Borg implants, eh? - she claims not).  She was, of course, the only reason to watch Star Trek Voyager and, indeed, her appearance in that show pushed the ratings up 60%.  There have been some complaints about some nasty violence but, of course, the actors in the bedroom scene (in Star Trek? I thought they all went to bed and had a cup of replicated cocoa) keep there underwear on so God doesn't get upset (or, rather, her peculiar self-appointed representatives on earth don't get upset). 

McGregor: characterful

It is much better than two of the other Sy Fy shows I am watching, Pandora (shot in Bulgaria, so you can imagine the budget and, indeed, all the sets look like, well, modern Bulgaria - I even recognised some of the buildings) and Vagrant Queen (shot, more interestingly, in South Africa on an even smaller budget).  The latter is saved for the Legatus, in a Jeri Ryan sort of way, by South African actress Alex McGregor who has an interesting nose (I do like a lady with a characterful nose - see also Claudia Black from Farscape).  It does generate a slight urge to think about some dusty SF backwater type gaming. I wondered what Rogue Stars might be like but saw some reviews of it which put me right off.

Would you like mayonnaise with your fish and chips

The third  Sy Fy channel series I am watching is Siren which is a quite good fantasy (not Fantasy)  series about feral mermaids set in a fishing town in modern Washington State and filmed, inevitably, in and around Vancouver. One of the main locations is Horseshoe Bay and I stopped there for lunch once, with my particular friend Sophie, on the way up to Whistler and an insurance brokers' conference which, I am afraid, we largely ignored when we got there in favour of invigorating outdoor activities.  The mermaids, when not walking around naked (no, nothing is shown as that would be too rude for Americans) when in human form eat a lot of raw fish and those scenes, for a fishaphobic like me, are really offensive.  Although the lead actress is quite cute (despite being Belgian) the male actors are almost unbelievably ugly.  I know they are supposed to be in  a fishing village but some of the beards make me feel ill.  You really need that blurring effect to be deployed that puritan TV shows use if anyone is naked.  The following programme contains offensive beards. Ugh. At least Siren has survived for three series, I suspect Pandora and Vagrant Queen will not be so lucky.

Perhaps being a bit ambitious here, although Eric the Shed would have them painted in an afternoon.

Anyway, this is all an extraordinarily roundabout way of saying that my next figure painting project, now the Jaguar Tribe are done, is going to be...Romans. Not Early Imperial Romans, even though I have a bag (my daughter tells me that the boxes are much more eco-friendly and I should boycott firms who put figures in plastic packaging) of Victrix EIR which do look lovely. No, thinking about Gladiator got me seeking out the unit of Aventine Praetorians I started years ago for the Macromannic Wars (as depicted at the beginning of Gladiator). I found them quickly enough but then I couldn't remember where I had put their shields and pila but eventually located those too. Disappointingly, I thought I had painted a bit more of them than I had and they are not going to be quick to do but am happy to get going on them again after an (ahem) seven year break.

Completely, contrary to my intention I bought into The Drowned Earth Ulaya Chronicles Kickstarter during one of their live chats this week.  Two things changed my mind: firstly, the dinosaur I painted last week came out quite well and secondly, we won another contract for the Nigerians (no, fortunately it is not the Oil Minister's daughter)and we get paid by the UK).  Actually, another reason is that creator James Baldwin says some interesting things about creating games and figures and sends every backer a personal thank you note. It won't be out for a year, though so no pressure on the painting!

Today's music is Oscar nominated American composer Marco Beltrami's score for 1864. I also own his score for Gods of Egypt (2015) which I have played when painting some of my Dark Fable Egyptians.

Today's wallpaper is another illustration by an artist who worked for La Vie Parisienne in the nineteen twenties and, appropriately, features Ondine, the sea nymph who falls in love with  a mortal (yes, The Little Mermaid is based on the same story), The French in the twenties were not worried about their mermaids being naked. This is the work of French artist Léo Fontan (1884-1965), He also designed posters for the Folies Bergère and worked on the interiors of some French ocean liners in the thirties. Some of his book illustrations were very graphic, in more ways than one.


  1. great read as always...fancy a socially distanced coffee next week?

    1. That would be good now I have my big report out the way!

  2. Patrick Stewart is a shining example of why you should ignore every non-Star Trek script-related word he says.

  3. Splendid read and lovely work on the Jaguar Tribe. Twenty nine for the month is a very impressive tally.