Tag Archives: nostalgia

Crowdfunding Spotlight: 28mm Alpine Gnomes from Old School Miniatures on Kickstarter

5 Jun

 


So, it’s been ages since I’ve posted a Crowdfunding Spotlight article here, so without further a do, I want to draw your attention to these interesting little fellers.

Old School Miniatures have a campaign running for these 28mm Alpine Gnomes, which I have to say, have a distinctly Oldhammer feel like some thing from 2nd/3rd Ed Warhammer. Even the pic below is like an old White Dwarf advert for Citadel, which is why I was attracted to the project in the first place.


As you can see, it’s mostly for file and rank gnome troopers, ideal for those who ever wanted to field an entirely gnomish army then this is up your alley! As far as I remember, there were always a shortage of such minis if you ever wanted Gnomes, just a scattering of character types really,  which was fine if you wanted them for a character, but not great for wargaming, so these could be for you if you are gnomishly inclined.

Check out the Kickstarter page and pledge while you have chance, there’s a week left and it’s funded, so you will get your gnomies if you chip in.

5 reasons I F*%king love Hawk the Slayer!

3 Jun

I’m sure this movie needs no introductions. You can call this one of my guilty pleasure’s of the celluloid variety, as ever since I first saw it, I loved it ever since.

In an age growing up where fantasy media was limited to a handful of films on VHS, no one could ever understand why I liked this movie so much, no amount of me telling them would make them understand why. So with that in mind, I’m going to present five reasons I fucking love that film, even to this day!

1. THE SOUNDTRACK

The music and theme tune on the movie is brilliant, a weird mish mash of synth-pop, fantasy and nostalgia. It suits the film and themes perfectly (I think) A real curiosity of sorts, but cool none the less. Check it out:

2. THE CAST

What can I say about the cast ensemble for this low budget fantasy movie? Well, lets begin with the iconic stars in this film. Jack Palance as the older scarred and evil brother (and Hawk’s Nemesis) Voltan, The giant Gort played by “Carry on” mainstay Bernard Bresslaw, Shane Bryant as Drogo, Annette Crosby (Margret Meldrew from one foot in the grave), Patricia Quinn (Rocky Horror show)  as the witch, Harry Andrews, Roy Kinnear, Warren Clarke, and so many more decent well known British actors. There’s even Ferdy Mayne and the guy who was the original Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars IV (the cut out bit that was later CGI and put back in) Quite a decent cast for such a low budget.

3. THE ACTION

The frantic and sometimes comical nature of the action scenes is something I hold a soft spot for. Crow’s multiple cut and edited arrow shots were pure cinematic cheese,  as kids I remember my mates wanting to be him in games we played at school. Even though Crow the elf, was in my opinion the least developed of the party of heroes, he was bad ass due to this quick cheapo edit effect!

4. THE CHEESE

Hawk the Slayer is no masterpiece of cinema. I admit that it  was never going to win Oscars for any part of the movie, acting or script. What makes it good is that it is not good. Sure, it’s entertaining enough, but it’s no LOTR trilogy, but it has that feel of my childhood days playing red box D&D home brew adventures. This film is cheesy as hell, a little bit camp, and ropey SFX, but I still love it just for old times sake!

5. THE HERITAGE

When I speak of heritage, by that I refer back to the cheese,in which the plot and setup of the movie, is pretty much just that of probably many of our childhood D&D and RPG games. Beat for beat, these standard fantasy RPG tropes are in force. The party of heroes, the hero’s brother being the big bad, defend the Abbey mission, raid the enemy camp, the showdown etc. How many of us out there used this movie as direct inspiration for our own RPGs, wargames, and LARP (trust me, loads of LARPers has cited this movie as inspiration, it’s almost like one anyway!) Also this movie has a real Hammer films vibe too, now that’s real heritage!

If you haven’t seen it, go away and watch it NOW, if your into RPGs, fantasy or similar. If you have, go re watch it.

I now retreat to dig out my DVD copy of it from the vaults to become a starry eyed 80’s kid again and remember good old times….

Seven things I miss about LARP…

10 Jan

Elf in a box

Now what seems like an age ago, I used to LARP (live roleplay, LRP for the purist!). For years, week after week, come rain or shine, snow or winds, we would all cogregate in our meeting spot each weekend to travel up to the local woods in which we used. Many an event we’d attend, from other clubs (Bloodbath, the Keep, myth, F&H to name a few) to weekend long fests. A great time we had, and I still hold some great nostalgia about that time.
Even so I still have loads of my old kit laying about, I fear my days of running about like a maniac weilding a rubber axe, are now long gone, especially with my knee injury, but still there are loads of stuff concerned with the whole LARP scene I really miss. So, I thought I’d share them with you lot, seven of the most missed conventions and nuances from the strange world of LARP, that I miss and hold with affection.

1. “You can’t see me, I have my finger in the air!”
Players of LARP will tell you that generally when you see another player (be they PC or monster/npc) doing this are classed as either out of the game, or invisible, or similar. Totally bizarre I know, but many times this used to make me laugh. Just one of the conventions that used to crack me up.

2. Time freeze! Time Stop! Time in and Time out and other bollocks!
I remember new players getting confused as hell with these, and amusement ensued when players got it wrong and the head ref would shout abuse and blow their stack. Herding kittens is akin to this one. Who knew the difference between time stop and time freeze was one was standing still and listening to the refs, and the other playing statues with an added “lalalala got me fingers in me ears and me eyes is closed” employed usually for the evil refs to teleport some rock hard creatures in behind you to give you all a good kicking!
3. Orc in a sack, elf in a box
Some people really do pay a fortune on their dream kit and costume, indeed some really do look the “bee’s knees” so to speak. Others spend hours on hand making their stuff from bits, that looks fine too. Some think that the only effort they need is to stick a hole in an old blanket, a pair of trainers and some levis. While I’m no costume nazi, it always made me giggle when I saw these piss poor efforts. Orc in a sack was the very worst example I ever saw, in which a guy once asked a couple of us what kind of thing we would recommend for a half-orc assassin to wear. We suggested scruffy dark and dirty rags and robes, maybe he could get some old potato sacks to fashion into costume. The next week he returned, indeed he’d taken part of it on board, just rather than hessian potato sacks, he’d used brown paper ones instead! Elf in a box is literally that, cardboard armour too! Never did fail to raise a chuckle, still at least they tried!
4. Weapon calls and weirdness.
Double bastard flaming through, and weird calls like that, if your a LARP player you’ll recognise stuff like the first bit. I much preferred more realistic combat systems to be honest over the ones that were more power based, much less hassle when you’re fighting to not have silly unwieldy calls to make. Others would probably agree, but I’ve played tons of different LARP systems and a lot of the time, they get it wrong. I do still hold great memories of ridiculous sounding battles. I’m not even going to get started on the magic systems….
5. Hammy death scenes and comedy melodrama
Many LARPers regard themselves as excellent actors. This is simply not the case as most LARPers are pretty bad at it. Thinking that one is the next oscar winner to that of someone who doesn’t is another thing. Just there’s a lot of X-factor like wannabes in the LARP community (Maybe its an attention thing, I’ve never asked a shrink about LARP…) that really don’t think they are piss poor actors. This of course leads to some great and funny situations, which add to the entire episode being played out. This “epic” quest being played out becoming more like Monty python rather than LOTR. Kinda of like being told to keep quiet in church, but that makes you want to laugh more.
6. Comraderie
One of the best parts of the LARP scene is other LARPers. The community itself, the other compplete nutters that play out in your various worlds and stories. I remember great times spent outside of the game, either partying, or preparing our kit, nice cooperative times where the universal concept of humanity and brotherly love meant we as a group could come together and work to common goals. But, seriously there are lots of really great LARPers out there and I’ve made tons of really good friends over the years through this hobby, and it’s one of the things I really miss out of everything else probably. Happy days.
7. Ambience
When you’ve had one too many beers, or a good smoke, or both, the edges of the world your inhabiting start to fade a little, this is especially true in the case of those long fest nights spent visiting other groups camps, or simply wandering aimlessly into a strange half seen encounter between others. These things used to be outstanding I think, the darkness tends to mask a lot of the hokey half done effects and allows your mind to fill in the blanks. Memories of escaping from god knows how many vampires in a skirmish encounter at about 1am, by crawling on my belly through the pitch black, it was truly horrific, sheer fear and exhileration that I felt was second to none. I could regale you in true quality experiences that were just so atmospheric and mystical, but it’d go on for a long time. Safe to say any lack of suspension of disbelief was not present and LARP and reality merged.

Although I’ve listed just seven things I miss, there are more. I look at my various LARP and airsoft/painball kit and think about what adventures they have served with me and how many kills they have made (Obviously LARP deaths, LARP aint real kiddies!) and feel the rosy glow of nostalgia. Maybe, if I strap my knee up I might attempt some new quests, show these young uns’ what I can do. Who knows, but it’s going to have to be done I think, my eldest is almost a teen and I think he’d get a kick out of it too.
LARP is a strange hobby, but strange in a good way, yes it’s misunderstood and mocked, but it’s all good in the long run. I’m proud that I was a LARPer, and gained lots out of it. If you’re unsure about LARP, give it a shot, it may not be to some of you, but for those it does fit, you’ll never regret doing it!

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