Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Beer Review 91 // Focus by Beyond the Pale

Welcome to this little boozy corner of the internet. Once again I am enjoying work brews during this COVID-19 new world. Let's be clear the thoughts are my own, I am not sponsored by anyone and I drink what I like and enjoy what I like. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts below.

Details

Name: Focus - Pacifica Hops and Munich Malts

Style: SMaSH Ale (A single malt and single ale).

Brewery: Beyond the Pale Brewing Company

Country: Canada. Ottawa, Ontario.

ABV: 5%

Commercial Fluff: The FOCUS series is a SMaSH beer, each time highlighting a new malt and a new hop. This version is Munich malts giving it a beautiful clear copper colouring with easy-drinking bready malt flavour, whilst the Pacifica Hops adds a gentle refreshing orange zing.

Own Opinion

The Label: Very traditional looking label, not as exciting as some of the beers. The colour stripes change each time.

The Pour: Beautiful orange/copper pour that has a wonderful lively white head. Great looking brew.

The Aroma: As described it has a great bready aroma from the malts. Smells like a proper German-style beer.

The Taste: A tasty slightly sweet brew. Great clean tasting beer, the malts lead the way in flavours, but as the brew continues you get a soft gentle orange flavour creeping in, so easy to enjoy.

Would I buy it again: Yes. It's a very enjoyable brew and extremely easy to drink. Almost the perfect patio brew, almost.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Comic Review 82 // Lobo/Judge Dredd - Psycho Bikers vs. The Mutants from Hell

It's been a busy week at work, sorting out an all-new online system for the post-COVID-19 life and training of staff didn't leave me as much time as I hoped for comic reading. I did manage to read a quick one-shot crossover comic. Starring Judge Dredd from 2000 AD and Lobo from the DC Universe.

Details

Title: Lobo/Judge Dredd - Psycho Bikers vs The Mutants From Hell.

Author: Alan Grant & John Wagner.

Artist: Val Semeiks and John Dell.

Commercial Fluff: Law and order meet chaos incarnate in this one-shot! Transported to Mega-City One, Lobo teams up with Judge Dredd to crack skulls and beat down a wild uprising of the Undercity mutants.

Review

I remember reading this when it first came out way back in 1995 (25 years ago ouch!). I had fond memories when I was twelve years old but as I re-read this tale I see the flaws that I missed in my younger years.

I've started to read a few crossovers now and though not the weakest (F**k you Funkoverse Dredd!), it was definitely in the low rankings. The story itself is pretty straight forward Lobo chases a mutant across dimensions to Mega-City One and of course, gets the attention of one Judge Dredd. Soon we have multiple fights breaking out and a cameo from Mean Machine. The action is fast and furious and over the top, the comedy is low brow and a little lame. The artwork is the only true highlight from comic and I now realize how blinded I was as a twelve-year-old.

I'm glad I re-tried the story and I feel you can't win them all. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Book Review 78 // Mechanicum by Graham McNeil

From last weeks towering Hive World of Necromunda, we travel back to the 30k story arc and adventure onto the sands of Mars and watch the Forgeworlds crumble to rebellion! The priesthood of Mars has always captured my imagination and I have enjoyed a lot of Graham McNeil novels over the years so I am sure this will be a treat!

Book Details

Title: Mechanicum

Author: Graham McNeil

Publisher: Black Library

Type: Paperback

Page Count: 416

Commercial Fluff: As the flames of treachery spread throughout the Imperium, Horus plots to subvert or destroy all those who would stand against him.

On Mars, home world of the Mechanicum priesthood, the great manufactory-cities have long produced much of the weaponry required for the expeditionary fleets across the galaxy - making the world invaluable to whoever controls it in the coming war.

Now, the Warmaster's agents begin to stoke the fires of rebellion, turning the loyalist forges and the mighty Titan Legions against one another. And, with whispers spreading of an ancient terror lurking beneath the Red Planet's surface, the Dark Mechanicum rises...

Review

Let us start by saying Mechanicum is a stand-alone novel. It has no link to previous novels beyond the wider rebellion. As usual, McNeill writes a tale that is great at world-building and we are treated to realistic characters that have genuine depth.

As the story unfolds it becomes clear the Mecanicum is playing both sides. Whilst remaining "loyal" to the Imperium they are in fact shorting them of equipment, while at the same time they are favouring the Warmaster's forces with all the new equipment. This is starting to cause a lot of friction between the different factions and the anger is rising along with the aggression. The tension keeps building until conflict finally happens.

I don't want to spoil too much but we start to learn about the Dragon of Mars and a secret order who protects the truth. This was a different change of pace compared to the other novels and though it doesn't contain a lot of Space Marines it definitely helps move the story on. I do hope we revisit the Red Planet once again.

Let me know your thoughts below.

Starting in May I am reading all things Thousand Sons. With five Fridays available I plan on finishing the Ahriman series with Sorcerer and Unchanged, Thousand Sons Horus Heresy, Magus The Red and Prospero Burns. I hope you will follow the blog and join me on this adventure.


Monday, 20 April 2020

Miniature Monday // Street Judge Part 04

Welcome back to Sector 102 and the painting adventures of Judge Silar. Last time we checked in I had him at tabletop standard, check in with this link. This time I've done a little touch-up and I am a lot happier with the final result.

Street Judge Silar

Move: 6"
Shoot: 4
Fight: 3
Evade: 2
Resist: 3
Cool: 4
Special: Gunfighter, Respect the Law, Let's Ride!
Notoriety: 18
Equipment: Lawgiver MK2 Pistol, Day Stick, Boot Knife


Born in 2101 John Silar was born in Sector 203 and when his parents died during the Block Wars of the Apocalypse Wars, he was drafted into the Justice the System. He excelled through the school and completed with honours. Since that time he has seen the rise and fall of many great Judges and survived many tragedies - Necropolis, Judgement Day and Chaos Day. Now stationed in Sector 102 he has one of the highest arrest rates in the Sector and viewed a future candidate for Sector Chief.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Beer Review 90 // Paradise Lost Pear with Chai by Blood Brothers

Welcome to a very exciting beer review. I got hold of some great beers from Blood Brothers recently as part of a much needed giant isolation re-stock. This one seemed the most interesting out of the bunch, let us crack it open and see where it takes us.

Details

Name: Paradise Lost Pear with Chai

Style: Sour

Brewery: Blood Brothers

Country: Canada, Ontario. Toronto.

ABV: 6%

Commercial Fluff: A golden sour ale brewed with loads of fresh pear and chai spice. Tart pear provides a perfect balance to the Chai spice, resulting in a delicious aroma of spice and smooth pear finish.

Own Opinion

Label: A classic label, in a nice purple colour instead of their traditional black. It helps it stand out more.

Pour: Opaque golden pour, thin head that dies very quickly which is a shame.

Aroma: Beautiful aroma coming off this beer. Big pear aroma, cinnamon and cloves, lots of brown sugary goodness too.

Taste: The taste is like an amazing fruit pie filling, lots of pear and chai coming through. This needs to be a real pie filling it is so good!

Would I buy it again: Yes. This was quickly finished and I was left with the feeling of "why didn't I buy more!". Great brew Blood Brothers so I now need to get more.

Have you tried this beer before? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Comic Review 81 // Judge Dredd - Red Razors

Moving on over to the far side of Dreddverse for this comic review. Today we head into Sov territory to discover how the other side lives. The title of this comic is Red Razors, a tale I fondly remember from my teenage years. I hope after re-reading this it will still hold up.

Review

Title: Red Razor

Author: Mark Millar

Artist: Nigel Dobbyn, Steve Yeowell,

Commercial Fluff: You're Next, Comrade! Sov-Block two is the only remaining city in future Russia, a cultural melting pot, where capitalist American influences have melded with more traditional lifestyles like ultraviolence, kidnapping and murder.

Thoughts

First up this is a collected set of tales telling the full story of Red Razors. I personally wish they had set the tales up in the actual timeline order, rather than as written. It felt weird reaching the final tale and it ended up being the introduction to the character. With this in mind, I will start with the final tale and then go back to the start.

Rites of Passage (Originally written for Prog 971) - We are introduced to a sixteen-year-old killer, who is attempting to gain access to the most dangerous Gang in town the Red Deaths. To gain full membership Red Razor has to kill too of Sov-Blocks Two most dangerous criminals, who also happen to his parents!

This is an amazing starting intro to a new character. Though Razor doesn't say much, his actions speak volumes. Flaming his mother and sticking a bomb in his father's mouth, to gain entry into this ruthless gang. We also see Spike for the first time, a blindfolded gang leader with bold visions for the future.

Then we jump back to the first comic strip in the book.

Red Razors (Originally written for Judge Dredd: The Megazine 1.08-1.15) - Where the above tale was written to introduce us to Red Razor, this one seems to introduce us to Sov-Block Two and how it fits into the Dreddverse world. We learn that following Mega-City One's bombing of Sov-Block One,
Sov-Block Two had to rebrand and opened its door to American culture. Jump forward to the now and Sov-Block Two is a cultural nightmare, fast food chains, a religion based around Elvis and a Chief Judge who bought out the position. Into this mix, we have a pensioner terrorist group wanting to revert the city back to its Marxist days.

A weird tale involving the thief of the Bones of Elvis and Red Razors' adventure into the Cursed Earth. It was cool to see what had happened to Sov-Block One and the Justice Department, Judge Nutmeg was a creepy villain, but the whole western culture taking over felt like a cool nod to how the cold war affected Russian culture.

The Hunt for Red Razors (Originally written for Progs 908-917) - Sov-Block Two has regained control of itself culturally, pushing back on western culture. But the city is still torn in two as the Red Death has a large control of the city. Into this mess, Red Razor is hunting down Spike his former mentor to finally bring down his old gang. When the face-off finally happens Spike detonates a bomb blowing them up. Razor survives but his brainwashing is damaged causing him to go, rogue, causing a huge embarrassment to the Justice Department. Then into this mix, Spike is back. In an attempt to bring Spike into the Razor Judge program, Spike is given a new cyborg body. During the chaos of Razor going Rogue the Red Death lead a raid on Justice Central capturing Spike and bringing him online before his brainwashing. Throw into this mix Judge Dredd and we have something for everyone.

Absolute chaos ensues and we finally get the showdown that the tale has been building up. It was weird to throw Judge Dredd into the mix, seemed a little forced. But this strip bought back all the good memories of my teenage years. Such a great ending especially the final wordless panels.

Overall this volume is a nice send-up for a branch of the Judge Dredd world that has been overlooked. It is also a nice take on the Cold War era as we get to look at a soviet-style megacity. Basically, a great read that I had left to long.

Let me know your thoughts and drop me a comment below.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Miniature Monday // Dan Abnett Block - Sholen Skara Blood Pact Lieutenant.

Following on from last Monday's post (link) I have the model I wish to use as the Blood Pact Gang Lieutenant. It was one of the figures in the Warlord Games starter box set, a bald, mask-wearing, duel pistol-wielding hoodlum. A pretty simple looking plastic model painted quite quickly with Games Workshop contrast paints. It's made with their plastic resin sets, which turns out to be quite fragile if you drop them. But let us move on - here is Dan Abnett Block top Blood Pact Lieutenant Sholen Skara.

Lieutenant Sholen Skara

After being recruited into the Blood Pact Gang early on by the mysterious Urlock, Sholen got involved in The Great Block Purge. During this aggressive Block takeover, Sholen led many of the raids during this early time and helped Urlock take over the entire Dan Abnett Block.

Now the main enforce for the Blood Pact Sholen leads raids into other blocks throughout Sector 102 in the hopes of furthering the Urlock's goals.

Move: 6"
Shoot: 4
Fight: 4
Evade: 2
Resist: 4
Cool: 4
Notoriety: 16
Weapons: Pistol and Pistol
Skills: Gunfighter, C'mon you Lily-livered Scumsuckers, Drokk the stinking Jays!

That's two gangers down and 21 points built and painted. I feel I need a lot more low-level punks to really flesh out the gang. As always let me know your thoughts, thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 10 April 2020

Book Review 77 // Terminal Overkill by Justin D. Hill

I was super excited about this book, I was a big fan of Necromunda the first time around, played hours and hours of it as House Goliath and Delaque. And I have failed to restart with the newest inception (shame on me) and I was hoping that this book would reignite my passion. I will let you know if it did after the review.

Book Details

Title: Terminal Overkill

Author: Justin D. Hill

Publisher: Black Library

Type: Paperback

Page Count: 336

Commercial Fluff: In the polluted, sprawling hive cities of Necromunda, life is short. From the decadent heights of the Spire to the murderous deeps of the underhive, those on the climb must be bold and brutal, or face a violent end.

When the barbarous Fettnir, Goliath overlord of the Chemfall Butchers, turns his attention to Escher territory, the result is nothing short of a massacre. Brielle of the Wild Hydras escapes the slaughter and is cast into the deepest levels of the underhive. Determined to avenge her family, Brielle vows that she will end those responsible, but to reach Fettnir and the bounty hunter who murdered her mother, she must first survive… and the darkness is full of horrors.

Review

As mentioned I was hoping this book would spring me back into Necromunda and boy did it do that!

But before I get too excited I do have one little peeve, the title and cover artwork. Weird thing to be annoyed about but the cover suggests that we could see a team up of a Goliath and an Escher, which we don't, also Terminal Overkill made me think it was going to be some sort of train/shuttle terminal adventure, it wasn't. (Though I kind of want to make an abandon train terminal for ore as a back drop for Necromunda games). But that doesn't really matter as the story was great.

Weirdly not a straight forward tale this book kind of reads like a diary. In which we see the entire life of an Escher from start to finish. It is also full of classic story arcs, like the hero is wronged, exiled, grows strong and comes back to kickass. But this was done really well.

A favourite art piece from Necromunda.
The main character Brielle, is an easy character to like, and you follow her as she fights and struggles to survive in the Underhive. The settings we find her in are pretty inspiring, be it her original gang's base of operations (The Wild Hydras), which was similar to a wild west town all the way to foundry of the Goliath's (The Chemfall Butchers), which was very factory/industrial. The other main character I guess is Fettnir, he is mentioned a lot but only turns up towards the end. But the author makes a get job of making him the big bad wolf/boogie man, and you can't help but feel the tension and fear building as you slowly reach the final face-off.

Overall a great read and the perfect reintroduction to Necromunda. I'm definitely tempted to put some money into the figures, but not sure about the rules let. As I doubt it will knock Judge Dredd of the top-spot, but it will give me a fun little side project to work on (maybe if the figures aren't too huge I could use them in Dredd?).

Ultimately I am feeling inspired and thinking about terrain ideas thanks to this novel. So a pretty big win in my opinion.

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts below. Next book will have us heading back to the Horus Heresy with Mechanicum. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Audio Review 14 // Master of the First

Welcome back for another Horus Heresy review this time in the form of an audiobook.

Title: Master of the First
Written by: Gav Thorpe
Running time: 36 minutes
Performed by: Gareth Armstrong, Tim Bentinck, Jane Collingwood and Jonathan Keeble

Commercial Fluff: The Dark Angels and the Night Lords fought one another to a bloody stalemate during the Thramas Crusade and, though the Lion eventually claimed victory, it left the First Legion scattered and under-strength. Back on Caliban, those Dark Angels loyal to Terra grow impatient for a return to past glories, nominating Chapter Master Astelan as their leader – meanwhile Jago Sevatarion, First Captain of the Night Lords, still languishes in a dismal gaol cell. Both must consider where their own personal loyalties lie, and what path they will take in the days to come.

This audio reveals the truth of what has been happening on the Dark Angels home world of Caliban while the Lion has been battling against the Warmaster’s forces on the other side of the galaxy. With ties both to ongoing events in the wider Horus Heresy, and to Gav Thorpe’s Legacy of Caliban series, this is an audio no Dark Angels fan will want to miss.

Review

Went into this audio book pretty blind. All I know is that so far Gav Thorpe has done a great job of writing Dark Angel stories and he continues with this short adventure. This tale is set on Caliban and starts to truly show the divide forming in the first legion. We are at the training fortress with Luther, some terrans and the new breed of First Legion Troopers. The morale on the base is poor, with most of the Marines feeling slighted by the Lion, this is leading to a lot of anger and contempt to build from within. This contempt and anger starts to fester more and more until it flows over into pure hatred and ultimately murder.

Another great story that makes me want to create a small Dark Angel force. I love the back stabbing, the secrets and who was in the wrong. I highly recommend spending the 40 minutes to enjoy this tale.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Beer Review 89 // Turbo Cobra Ninja by Beyond the Pale

Welcome back for another work brew review. Still stuck at home so haven't been super adventurous with my beer ordering. So I am sticking with my work beers. Up this week a style I am not a big fan of the Belgian yeast brews.

Details

Name: Turbo Cobra Ninja

Style: Belgian Strong Ale

Brewery: Beyond the Pale Brewing Company

Country: Canada, Ontario. Ottawa.

ABV: 9%

Commercial Fluff: It's a 100% pilsner malt Belgian strong ale. Experience the aromas of banana, sweet malts and candy sugar. Then as your tongue gets wet hang on for a ride of banana yeast notes finishing dry and tart. Perfect for a hot day!

Own Opinion

Label: A bit of strange one but so is the name. I like that parts of the label are clear to allow the silver can to show through.

Pour: Golden pour with a lively white head. Looks good and the head hangs on for quite a while.

Aroma: Banana yeast is coming to the foreground (I hate that banana yeast aroma I find it so of putting).

Taste: Sweet, boozy, banana, cloves and a little spice. This is proving to be too Belgian for me.

Would I buy it again: No. Though I know it is well made and is enjoyed by many of my friends. I just can't get passed that banana aroma and taste. I'm so sorry I can't get passed it as I feel this is winner otherwise. But to each their own taste.

What are thoughts? Is their a style of beer that no matter how many attempts you just can't drink them? Let me know in the comments I would love to hear more.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Comic Review 80 // Judge Dredd: The Restricted Files 04

With this review I am jumping out of order and missing the Restricted Files 03 (review is coming), and heading straight into file 04. My reasoning is the stories in 04 happen before a lot of the stories in 03. So we are doing a little jump around. With that lets get going.

Judge Dredd: The Restricted Files 04

Story: COULD YOU BE JUDGE DREDD? Script: John Wagner Art: Carlos Ezquerra
In this fun story arc, you get to make decision as Judge Dredd. With each decision you score yourself points and at the end see how you did.
Highlight: The beautiful art work by Carlos Ezquerra. It is just such a joy to view.

Story: MR BENNET JOINS THE JUDGES Script: Mark Millar Art: Peter Doherty
Mr Bennet in the was a cartoon show involving a Bank Manager, that during his lunch break would go to a fancy dress shop. Inside the shop normally he would pick an outfit and go on a fun packed adventure. Well this time he gets a Judges uniform and heads off to MC-1 for what will be his final adventure.
Highlight: Faced with a gang hiding out in a fuel depot the Judge just blow up the site rather than risk lives trying to take it back.

Story: SINNED-IN CITY Script: Robbie Morrison Art: Adrian Salmon & Jim Vickers
Looks like 2000 AD is taking a poke at Sin City. The main character even looks like the main guy from Sin City. It's not the greatest story but funny enough.
Highlight: The weird theme of the tale, the main character has gone crazy due to his sex doll deflating.

Story: THE MEAN MACHINE Script: John Wagner Art: Cliff Robinson
During a prison break Mean Machine manages to escape and gets into some classic mischief. It's a tale of comical headbutting and what will he to get up to next.
Highlight: Looking for a hideout Mean Machine disguises as a cook to hide from the Judges. But soon he is headbutting customers following a complaint about food.

Story: STRANGERS ON A ZOOM Script: John Wagner Art: Jim Baikie
Great little adventure taking us on the Zoom line. Whilst chasing a mugger, Judge Dredd ends up on Zoom that happens to have a lot going on. Up first is the mugger, then a gang of armed robbers and finally a human bomb. What a great read.
Highlight: The zoom line. I don't know why but I really like the zoom line and the crazy adventures that 2000 AD seem to make up around it.

Story: TRUE GRIT Script: Gordon Rennie Art: Roberto Corona
This tale joins up the Missionary Man Marshal Cain and Judge Dredd like a classic 1980's action film. Judge Dredd is casing down some escape criminals who have passed into Texas City territories, which happen to be run by Marshal Cain.
Highlight: Judge Dredd makes an error (WHAT!) and Marshal Cain rides guns a blazing to the rescue. I need more Preacher Cain in my life.

Story: LETHAL RESPONSE Script: Gordon Rennie Art: Mike Perkins
In a privately owned hab-unit with real grass, the rich upper class of MC-1 prey on unsuspecting perps. Luring them in with poor security to then kill them as they attempt to rob the place.
Highlight: Judge Dredd grows wary of the amount of lawful killings happening at the Hab and goes to investigate. When the security system is turned on him we see him outwit everything. Including itching powder :)

Story: NAKED CITY Script: Gordon Rennie Art: John Richardson
The Nudist Popular Front is on a rampage in MC-1. Like many crazes in MC-1 the Nudist movement had gone from annoying to extreme in a matter of weeks. With massive rallies happening, along side clothing shop arson and forced stripping, the Judges are forced to talk with the leaders in an attempt to end the craze. When it becomes clear a common ground would not be found, Judge Dredd calls in weather control and forces the city into two weeks of harsh cold weather. Bringing a sharp end to the craze.
Highlight: The silly childish jokes that are made throughout the tale, mostly about genitals and size.

Story: FUNERAL IN MEGA-CITY ONE Script: John Wagner Art: Colin MacNeil
Dood Daddleberg on of MC-1's oldest Sky Surfers has died. Many of the sky surfing community has come out for the funeral and with them have come the Judges. The justice department are hoping to catch Marlon Shakespeare aka Chopper, the wanted Sky Surfer.
Highlight: The Sky Surfing Judges, never seen this before. But now I want to make some for gaming. So cool.

Story: HORROR HOUSE Script: John Wagner Art: John Burns
Doctor Roboticus's Horror House is this tales scene of a crime. The owners kid has been taken captive by some local perps. Judge Dredd stalks his way through the Horror House turning the exhibits against the perps.
Highlight: Judge Dredd doesn't speak once due to laryngitis. Which makes him seem even more scary.

Story: THE BOSTON CRAB Script: John Wagner Art: Henry Flint
For this tale we join a Mutant Fight Club down in Deng's Wharf and learn all about the Boston Crab. A Cursed Earth mutant with mutations of brute strength and hands that have become more like snapping claws. Having been conned into fighting in exchange for earning credits, the Boston Crab now fights weekly against other mutants, not knowing that his manager is planning on betraying him in the current fight.
Highlight: The artwork is wonderful, I am a big fan of Henry Flint and his style of artwork.

Story: DREDD HAS BEEN MURDERED Script: Alan McKenzie Art: Paul Peart & Robin Smith
Judge Dredd is investigating a murder at the Holo-vid film studio. Weirdly for him the actor killed was dressed as Judge Dredd. But who in the cast killed the actor?
Highlight: The constant comments on Dredd's chin and how obscene it truly is.

Story: RAPTAUR RETURNS Script: Alan Grant Art: Sammy Martini & John Cromer (Tony Luke & Dean Ormston)
Raptaur is a xeno form that I have let to meet in the Case files. I do already know of it though as I had the graphic novel as a kid. It was pretty much a rip off the Xenomorph and pretty much kicked Dredd's ass for most of the comic. This tale seems to have left off from the tale with a lowlife citizen discovering a worm like creature that turns out to be a second Raptaur. Judge Dredd and PSI Judge Karyn are already attempting to track it down.
Highlight: Raptaur escapes into MC-1, I hope the follow up tale is in this collection.

Story: THROUGH THE PERPHOLE Script: Gordon Rennie Art: Jim O’Ready
A tale making a mockery of Through the Keyhole an old TV show from the UK, were z-listed celebs would have to guess who's home they were being shown around.
Highlight: Urgh. Pure filler I don't have a highlight for this tale.

Story: CONFESSIONS OF A VEGETARIAN Script: Jim Alexander Art: Sean Longcroft
Weird tale that doesn't make any sense to me. It barely contains Dredd, just a few images and mostly is just weird. Didn't like it.
Highlight: Moving onto the next story.

Story: DEVIL MAN Script: Robbie Morrison Art: Jim Vickers
Pop star Cliff Richlord (based on Cliff Richards) is a hit pop star with the grey army of MC-1. But for some reason this upstanding man seemingly never ages. I this tale we follow three women (who seem to be based off the Golden Girls) as they discover the truth behind Richlord's success.
Highlight: Zoo animals being washed out of the exploded swimming pool! That's a sentence I never imagined writing.

Story: SLEEPING SATELLITE Script: Si Spencer Art: Morak
As an old NASA Satellite starts it's crash landing into MC-1, the Judges prepare a sector for the impact. But little did they expect there to be a frozen astronaut from a different era, stored inside.
Highlight: Didn't have one.

Story: DIE PAINFULLY Script: Jim Alexander Art: Stuart Mac
Dolph Schwartz a famous action movie actor is having staff issues. His cloned stunt doubles are protesting poor health care and even worst civil rights.
Highlight: The clones seemingly having a higher IQ than their gene sire.

Story: FAT BOTTOM BOYS Script: Robbie Morrison Art: John Hicklenton
Weird story about a perp who is stealing the rear ends of fat famous people!
Highlight: Finishing this tale, I loved the idea as it was very MC-1 type of crime. But I seriously struggled with the artwork I found it confusing and distracting, way to much detail to the point that I couldn't understand what was happening.

Story: JUDGE PLANET II Script: Si Spencer Art: Shaky Kane
Wow I am hitting some weird ass stories. Another tale that I truthfully can't stand, weird artwork, weird story telling, weird theme. Just not an interesting read for me, so let us move on.

Story: PERCHANCE TO DREAM Script: Pat Mills Art: Calum Alexander Watt
Following an attack on a Justice Carrier, Judge Dredd is injured and falls into a coma. Whilst out of it, Judge Dredd dreams of a MC-1 that is without Joe Dredd but instead ran by Rico Dredd (his long dead brother).
Highlight: Enjoyable story, could almost have done with it being longer. Really delve into an alternative reality. I would love to see a in-depth version of this tale.

Story: THE MEDIEVAL DREDD Script: Simon Jacob Art: Simon Jacob
Two slightly comical monks are on the quest to fulfil a prophesy. Upon completing the spell, the pair of monks manipulate MC-1 into a Medieval alternative version. Were Judge Dredd is a knight.
Highlight: Dredd's sword acts like his Lawgiver, when used by anyone other than Dredd it self destructs taking the perp with it.

Story: THE INCORRUPTIBLES Script: Paul Neary & Marc Wigmore Art: Paul Neary
A weird tale based off the Capone story but with the police characters are replaced by MC-1's finest.
Highlight: A fun retelling of a classic tale, very much a filler tale and not much else. Not sure why this story even came into being.

Story: DREDD OF DROKK GREEN Script: Alan Barnes Art: Trevor Hairsine
Another alt-reality tale, this time Judge Dredd is a British boddy, working the streets of London. When one of the other police officers are killed over antiques it is up to Dredd to solve the case or at least try to.
Highlight: Lovely artwork, once again deserves to be more than a one of tale. Could have been fun watching PC Dredd clean house.

Story: BLACK DAY AT BAD ROCK Script: Robbie Morrison Art: C. Bravery, Jack Couvela, & Del Frost
Set during Judge Dredd's time as Sector Chief of 301. Judge Dredd leads a crime blitz on what is believed to be the worst Citi-Block in the sector. We are then treated to a few pages of classic MC-1 crime action and justice.
Highlight: Bit of a classic tale setting which made for a fully enjoyable read. Highly recommend this one.

Story: SUGAR DADDY Script: John Wagner Art: James Joyce
Sugar Daddy has travelled the stars to learn magic and upon returning to MC-1 attempts to control Judge Dredd. Turns out the Sugar Daddy is strong and actually takes physical control of Dredd!
Highlight: The artwork is strange on this one. It looks like a rough sketch of what they plan on drawing rather than a finished piece. A bit strange.

Story: OUT OF THE BLACK STUFF Script: John Wagner Art: Sean McNaughton
A young alien from off world has somehow ended up in the Black Atlantic on earth. Swimming to shore it arrives at MC-1 and unknowing scares the hell out of everyone causing the Judges to hunt it down. Lucky for the alien Judge Dredd realises it is only a kid and takes the alien alive.
Highlight: Great one shot tale, classic Dredd vs Alien mash up. I do enjoy these kinds of tales as Dredd can't always be on epic world destroying adventures, sometimes he has to do his real job.

Story: ON THE JOB Script: John Wagner Art: Rufus Dayglo
Judge Dredd is being interviewed for a Holo-vid Show. We get to see Judge Dredd at work whilst answering everyday citizens questions.
Highlight: I like the fact it is more of an intro to Judge Dredd and the franchise rather than a straight up one shot tale. You can tell it was for Free Comic Book day but it is a nice fun read.

Story: HOUSE OF DEATH Script: John Wagner & Alan Grant Art: Bryan Talbot
Wow. A Judge Dread choose your own adventure. Not that easy to play electronically but still was a lot of fun to play through. Dredd has been called to an illegal cult gathering, but as Dredd delves further into the house you realise all is not as it seems.
Highlight: SPOILER: The Dark Judges. I love the Dark Judges they are some of the most creepy villains in comic form. Can't fault a story with them in.


And with that we have reached the end. Now timeline wise it was the correct choice to do four before three but it is going to drive me nuts having done that. So expect three very soon, like extremely soon as I am now opening it to read.

As always I hope you enjoyed this little jump into the comics and let me know if you enjoy these or not? And please hit up follow I do enjoy seeing a new member join in.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Miniature Monday // Dan Abnett Block - Sirdar Blood Pact Ganger

Looks like I am on a roll with some painting finally. This time I have completed a Warlord Games - Judge Dredd Block Ganger.

Now the issue is I needed a gang for this to be the first member off. In my rush to paint, I hadn't really put much thought into the back story. All I knew was that I needed a gang that is using Dan Abnett block as a base, and I knew it had to be linked to the works of Abnett in some way. So what better way than by picking the name from his legendary Gaunt's Ghosts series....

So with little build up I would like to introduce the First Official member of the Dan Abnett Block - Blood Pact gang.

My plan is to have these as the dominant gang of the Dan Abnett block, completely running the show and the main villains for the Judges to face off against. Moving forwards with the rest of the gang I am going to use red a lot, and any scenery painted will have Blood Pact tags on them. Now of course I could go down the rabbit hole and ritually scar the models etc, but I feel that is a step to far. Most of the rank and file members of the gang won't even understand the reference to Abnett. Instead I want to portray the leadership, as having found a copy of Gaunt's Ghosts and been crazy inspired by it. Forming his own Blood Pact.

This model was a pretty easy figure to paint. First up I sprayed the model grey and gave it a light dry brush of white to pick out the edges. From there it is all contrast paints for the flesh, black trousers, the red and the purple hair. Then the yellow was simply a yellow wash, with the white being a heavy dry brush of paint and then some silver on the chains and pistol. From start to finish it took me about 30 minutes. Is it a masterpiece? No. But it pretty pretty for tabletop.

Sirdar - Blood Pact Gang Punk

Sirdir didn't stand a chance in Dan Abnett Block as a juve. Growing up in the lower levels of the city block, under the fancy shop levels. Sirdar and his older brother would spend weekends robbing shoppers and tapping Dults as the left the shopping level. At the age of 12 Sirdar watched his older brother get gunned down in pointless gang conflict. When the Blood Pact gang started up Sirdar saw an opportunity for revenge on the gangs of Dan Abnett and soon joined. Now officially a Dult himself Sirdar is now a veteran and many believe he collects the ears of those he kills and even has the ears of the ganger who killed his brother.


Move: 6"
Shoot: 2
Fight: 2
Evade: 2
Resist: 2
Cool: 2
Notoriety: 5
Weapons: Chain and Pistol

I hope you like this introduction to the gang and a bit more insight to the Dan Abnett Block. Now the real question is who to paint next?


Friday, 3 April 2020

Book Review 76 // Battle for the Abyss by Ben Counter

Following on from Legion comes Battle for the Abyss by Ben Counter. I'm pretty excited for this book as it has the Word Bearers properly in it. Better than that they are gearing up to kick Ultramarines ass!

Book Details

Title: The Horus Heresy #8 - Battle for the Abyss

Author: Ben Counter

Publisher: Black Library

Type: Paperback

Page Count: 416

Commercial Fluff: Now that news of Horus's treachery is in the open, a time of testing has come. Some Legions have already declared their allegiance to the Warmaster, while the loyalty of others lies firmly with the Emperor. As Horus deploys his forces, loyalist Astartes learn that a massive Wordbearers fleet is heading to Ultramar, home of the Ultramarines. Unless they can intercept the fleet, and destroy the mighty battleship that has been sent to reinforce it, the Ultramarines may suffer a blow from which they will never recover.

Review

Having come in straight after Legion this book had a lot to live up to. The novel takes us back into the main time line with the Traitorous forces starting to make their moves whilst the loyalist still haven't worked out what is happening. The story mainly follows the legions of the Ultramarines and the Word Bearers.

The Word Bearers have managed to create an all new class of battleship, which they have named The Furious Abyss. Bigger than any other battleship built so far and with the fire power to take on entire fleets, this ship is designed to destroy worlds. Now the Furious Abyss is heading to Calth leading a fleet of ships, their mission is to destroy Calth whilst the Ultramarines Legion muster on the surface.

Elsewhere Captain Cestus of the Ultramarines, receives a distress call from his brothers who's space craft has been attacked and destroyed by an unknown Warship (The Furious Abyss). Now Cestus is teaming up with a mixture of characters (Brynngar - Space Wolves, Skraal - World Eaters & Mhotep - Thousand Son) to track down and hopefully stop this new menace.

A 30K retelling of a Goliath and David situation. It could only ever have one outcome, but it was definitely a fun trip getting to the end. This is a solid and great read. It was always going to be challenging following on from a Dan Abnett tale. But Counter does a great job at getting us back on track following on from the events of Istvaan.

Would love to hear your thoughts, drop me comment below.


Thursday, 2 April 2020

Audio Review 13 // Watcher in the Rain

Unlucky for some it is time for Audio Review 13. Now it won't surprise anyone when I say that it is a Warhammer 40,000 tale. Back in February I had my first adventure into Warhammer Horror with the House of Night and Chains

Title: Watcher in the Rain
Written by: Alec Worley
Running time: 74 minutes
Performed by: Matthew Hunt (Narrator), Deeivya Meir (Narrator), Melvin Rawlinson (Narrator), Richard Reed (Narrator), Toby Longworth (Narrator), Andrew Wincott (Narrator)

Commercial Fluff: In the far reaches of Imperial space, a ferocious warp storm approaches an Administratum world, cutting off the entire planet from the rest of the Imperium. As their towering grey spires are punished by endless rain, countless administrators, tithe-masters, and book-keepers are forced to evacuate. Among them is Greta, a lowly data-drone with a terrible secret, wanted for questioning by the sadistic Imperial interrogator Stefan Crucius. As disaster strikes and the pair are left stranded in the depths of the drowning city, captor and captive must co-operate to stand any chance of escaping. But a mysterious presence stalks them through the abandoned, flooded towers, a dread entity each must confront but which neither dare acknowledge, a Watcher in the Rain

Review

Wow. Once more Black Library have created a immersive world to get lost in. The acting was exciting, the sound effects on point and add depth to the surroundings. And what amazing surroundings they are. We are flung to an Administratum world that is starting to find itself absorbed into a warp storm. As the populace attempts to evacuate the weather weirdly turns south and starts constantly raining, causing the cities to start sinking in overflowing waters.

Into this mix we meet Greta Vern a data drone who seemingly has been wrong accused of a crime by Interrogator Stefan Crucius. Following a quick chase scene the pair are forced to work together in an attempt to escape the sinking city and the planet itself. As the pair continues through the city the Interrogator seems to keep seeing someone or something watching them from a far, is it Greta's cult or something far more sinister...

I really enjoyed this tale from start to finish and the insane patients that have escaped, really made for an exciting and weirdly believable scenario for the pair. I found myself surprised and happy with the conclusion of the tale which I will do spoil.

A definitely worth while listen that I plan on listening to again soon.

Have you partaken any audio dramas of late? What should I check out. Let me know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Beer Review 88 // Gravity of Winter by Beyond the Pale

Like a lot of people at this time, I am stuck at home with too much free time. So what is better than blogging and beer. I have to be honest and say my fridge is full of work beers, please expect a lot of BTP reviews over the next few weeks.

Today's brew is a beautiful porter.

Details

Name: Gravity of Winter

Style: Porter

Brewery: Beyond the Pale Brewing Company

Country: Canada, Ontario. Ottawa.

ABV: 7%

Artwork: Captain Tom

Commercial Fluff: Back for the winter - This porter is brewed with 7 different malts & fermented with a Scottish ale yeast. It boasts a medley of chocolate and coffee roast flavour with underlying dark fruit tones.

Own Opinion

Label: A beautiful winter scene Ottawa, in a cold but colourful palette of colours. The amazing artwork on this can is by the talented Captain Tom go check out his Instagram @captain_tom

Pour: The pour is a deep, dark brown almost black colour, whilst the head settles into a light chocolate brown. Very photographic.

Aroma: Bold roasty malt aroma coming off this brew. A little chocolate, but it is mostly roast and coffee coming from this.

Taste: Yep that is delicious, nice coffee notes hit the tongue along with some chocolate malt which adds a slight sweetness. As the tongue gets use to the flavour a little bit of a fruity taste starts to appear. Kind of like a xmas fruit cake, so raisins and prunes. Very pleasant and very easy to drink.

Would I buy it again: Yes. I really enjoy this beer, it is in my top five brews from BTP and always one to be found in my fridge during the season of it's brewing. I just wish they brewed it more often.

Drop me a comment, say hi, let me know how your doing. I read all the comments and attempt to respond when possible.

Beer Review 94 // Happyness by Superflux

The last of my Superflux beers is now drunk. It is always fun trying new beers and this was no different. I won't waste any time so let ...