Warlord Games - Strontium Dogs - Middenface McNulty

Originally I had recorded a video of me painting McNulty but sadly the sound messed up and it was beyond my abilities to fix. So instead you are getting treated to a McNulty case file. Enjoy!

Archibald "Middenface" McNulty

Archibald "Middenface" McNulty is a fictional character from the series Strontium Dog appearing in the British comic anthology 2000 AD, as well as his own spin-off series. He is a frequent companion of the series' star, Johnny Alpha.

Middenface McNulty gets his name from his rather peculiar mutation: his skull is covered in hard bumps. Due to this, he has an unnaturally hard skull, meaning he can take strong blows to the head which would normally kill a man.

McNulty, like so many other mutants oppressed by the villainous Nelson Bunker Kreelman, joined the Mutant Army, where he met Johnny Alpha. Following the mutant war, Middenface joined the Search/Destroy Agency, where he often teamed with Johnny Alpha on his bounty hunting missions. In particular, McNulty aided Johnny with the hunt for William Blood Moon, a fanatical colonel in the mutant army who believed that mutants were the superior type of human.

McNulty was an infamous alcoholic and only stopped drinking during the Second Mutant War when he was captured by four norms (or non-mutated humans). He assumed, in not being drunk, he would have a greater advantage in defeating the enemy. He was tortured by electrocution in an attempt to get him to give up Johnny Alpha’s location, but he managed to resist the interrogation and escaped. Middenface lost an arm during the conflict and was captured again. This time, he was used as a hostage in an attempt to ensure Johnny complied with his captors’ desire for him to hunt down Jim Jing Jong and avoid a nuclear war.

Once Middenface regained his freedom, he decided to become a freelance trouble-shooter once his bounty-hunting licence was revoked by the ‘norms. Following his retirement, Middenface’s drinking got worse following the death of his great friend Johnny Alpha… 

Overall I love this character and I am so happy to have him in the collection! I hope you enjoyed the write and leave me a comment below. As always I hope you enjoyed and will support my blog by using the link below.


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Miniature Monday // Warlord Games Judge Dredd: Fatties

Excited for this week's unboxing. I have got the League of Fatties boxset. So watch the video and give me follow here: Link to my Youtube


Fatties are bored citizens who have turned to gluttony as a means to pass the time. They are so gigantically fat that they need a belliwheel to prop up their prodigious gut.

In the future, fatties can count as athletes: competitive eating is an international sport, ranging from the Olympics to criminal back-street eating games. Some contests even have fatties eat items like bedspreads and car parts. Mega-City One has fat camps where parents send juves to gain weight and poor citizens may try to bulk up in the hope that eating games might be their ticket for prosperity.

History

The intensely fat were still a rare sight in 2080. The first eating championships started around then, attracting people with its 'good times' decadence.

Fatties were commonplace in the 2100s when gluttony was one of the few traditional pleasures that weren't illegal. This gave rise to both the coveted Mega-City Fats award and the first one-ton man, Big Lard Ringer (who was swiftly arrested after he rolled downhill).

When food rationing was enforced following the Apocalypse War of 2104, the fatties were left distraught. Begging and fraud spread throughout the community. On the flip side, many norms began assaulting them for being fat when others were starving (and some suggested eating fatties as a compromise). A group of Fatties called the League of Fatties began stealing or looting extra food to keep up their prodigious girth. To restore order, the city passed the Fat Control Law: all Fatties were restricted to four special blocks and not allowed out until they were below 300 kg [661.3 lbs]. There they had to submit to a regimen of exercise and a tightly regulated diet. The fatties that did get out often binged on food to celebrate and ended up back in the blocks the next day.

Illegal eating championships went on for years, with fatties smuggled or broken out of the blocks.

In 2107, rationing was over and the fatties were allowed back into society. Eating championships were legal once more and attracted huge crowds.

The fatties were so common and the eating championships so lucrative that by 2123, thin juves would be sent to fat camps. The heftier juves were astounded to learn 21st-century camps had expected them to lose weight.

I hope you enjoyed the video and will grab a copy yourself. As always, I thank you for reading. I hope you will take a moment to use one of the links, and help support the blog. Thank you.

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Book Review 146 // Konrad Curze: The Night Haunter by Guy Haley


I've tipped my toe back into the worlds of Warhammer. This time I am headed straight for a Primarch novel. I wanted something grim, dark and pure Warhammer, so I had to go with Konrad Curze. I had high hopes for this title, let's see if it meets my needs.

Titles: Konrad Curze: The Night Haunter (The Horus Heresy: Primarchs #12).
Author: Guy Haley.
Fluff:
A Horus Heresy: Primarchs novel.

Few among the legendary Primarchs are as feared as Konrad Curze, the Night Haunter. Even before his fall to darkness, he was a sinister legend, a remorseless killer. This is his story.

Get a copy via my Amazon account: Link
Book Type: Hardback.
Page Count: 208 pages.

Wow. Wow. Wow. Here ends the review...

But seriously, wow, what a great novel. I read this so quickly, I shocked myself. This book follows the leader or Primarch of the VIIIth Legion aka the Night Lords. Who in the Horus Heresy Era are the terror troopers of the Emperor's Forces. They are scary-ass troops, who aren't scared of making a mess if it means putting the fear into the masses.

I could write a whole post about the Night Lords and how cool they are but ultimately this book is about their Lord Konrad Curze, the Night Haunter. Gifted or more likely cursed with the ability to foresee the future, Konard's visions are filled with death and destruction, including his own death. This has lead to him becoming aloof and withdrawn from his brothers and he seems rather unhinged. These characteristics ultimately lead to his downfall and allow him to be manipulated by Horus.

Overall the book leads us on the behind-the-scenes tour of this Primarch thought process. We get to witness his final hours through his own mind and explore his life from his own twisted viewpoint. He could have been the best of the Primarchs, a true seeker of justice, but instead of writing his own fate, he allows his fate to be controlled. This really helped to bring Konard to life for me. And make him more than an emo kid with daddy issues.

Overall a surprisingly strong outing from this title, I am excited for some more Traitorous Legion Stories. As always I hope you enjoyed and will support my blog by using the link below.

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Audio Review 48 // Alien 3 by William Gibson


Say what! Another Alien post you say, sure I can do that. I hope you are enjoying this run of Alien sci-fi as much as I am. I can promise you one thing...there is more coming. Hahahahaha. But back to today. We enter the new and unexplored world of Alien 3 by William Gibson. I was excited to listen to this so let us dive in.

Title: William Gibson's Alien 3 (Aliens / Predator / Prometheus)
Author: William Gibson.
Buy using my Amazon link: Hardcover / Audio
Fluff:
Audible is bringing William Gibson’s lost Alien III script to life in audio for the first time, to mark the 40th Anniversary of the birth of the Alien Franchise.

Alongside a full cast, Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen reprise their iconic roles as Corporal Hicks and Bishop from the 1986 film Aliens.

Father of cyberpunk, William Gibson’s original script for Alien III, written in 1987 as a sequel to Aliens, never made it to our screens, although it went on to achieve cult status among fans as the third installment that might have been after being leaked online.

This terrifying, cinematic multicast dramatization—directed by the multi-award-winning Dirk Maggs, is the chance to experience William Gibson’s untold story and its terrifying, claustrophobic and dark encounters between humans and aliens, as a completely immersive audio experience.

The story begins with the Sulaco on its return journey from LV-426. Onboard the military ship is the cryogenically frozen skeleton crew of that film’s survivors: Ripley, Hicks, Newt and Bishop.

We travel aboard and hear an alarm blare. Our heroes are no longer alone...

Starring: Tom Alexander, Barbara Barnes, Michael Biehn, Cliff Chapman, Samantha Coughlan, Ben Cura, Dar Dash, Harry Ditson, Mairead Doherty, Lance Henriksen, Graham Hoadly, Lorelei King, Laurel Lefkow, Martin McDougall, Sarah Pitard, Michael Roberts, David Seddon, Andrew James Spooner, Siri Steinmo, Dai Tabuchi, Keith Wickham, Rebecca Yeo.

Review

This is why I love audible, they are breathing life into an unproduced screenplay that the fans have loved for years. This is a real top-shelf move by them and I really appreciate the effort. I am excited to see how the story should have progressed and ultimately moved into the Earth War book by Bantham Publishing.

It was not a perfect story and had its issues as Gibson attempted to limit the role of Ripley in the story, which he does rather well by putting her in a coma, but I feel the story lost some of its heart by doing this. Luckily we still have Newt, Hicks and Bishop for entertainment and boy did they bring it. We are finally introduced to a wider galaxy beyond Weyland Yutani and the marines, we discover rival companies and space-faring colonizers. We see that the Xenomorph isn't such a big secret after all and is in fact big business for the group who can weaponize it first. We also get to see how the xenomorph infects people in a purer form, think Prometheus film and you aren't far off.

Overall an amazing story experience, which only makes me feel sad that it wasn't chosen as the successor to Aliens. Was it perfect hell no! It suffered from far too many characters and locations, and we were jumping across non-stop, which made parts hard to follow. But it was ultimately a short, sweet, listen and something that a true fan will love to listen to.

As always I hope you enjoyed and will support my blog by using the link below.

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Beer Review 156 // On the Lam by Bicycle Craft Brewery


I'm on a roll with Bicycle Craft beers at the moment, so with this in mind, I hit up their On the Lam IPA.

This is a New England Style IPA that is described in their own terms as an "Aggressively hopped" beer, using Mosaic and Citra hops. We are told to expect pineapple, mango, tropical fruits and of course citrus. So let's crack open this 6.6% brew.

The picture says it all, it pours an opaque yellow and is topped by a thick creamy white head. The aroma is all tropical and citrus and makes the mouth water. On the first sip, I am greeted by a strong pineapple that mellows as you drink, opening it up to the taste of lingering mangos and citrus after taste. It absolutely coats the tongue and leaves you wanting another sip. A truly delicious brew and highly recommend you try it if you have the chance.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. And if you are ever in Ottawa come to say hi!

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Comic Review 151 // Aliens vs. Predator Omnibus Vol.1

Am I a sucker for reading all these Aliens, Dark Horse comics or can I just not find anything else to read at the moment? Who knows? What I can tell you is that I have now moved onto the Aliens vs. Predator series and it is going to get crazy!

Title: Aliens vs. Predator Omnibus, Vol. 1
Editor: Chris Warner
Author: Randy Stradley
illustrator: Glenn Fabry
Fluff: Mankind's two ultimate nightmares come together in mortal combat, and whoever wins - we lose. On the remote planet Ryushi, a small ranching community becomes an unwilling participant in a deadly ritual: extraterrestrial Predators have seeded Ryushi with Alien eggs in order to create the ultimate hunt. But what the Predators don't know is that an Alien queen egg is amongst those they've sent as potential hunting stock, and when the Predators arrive, the hunters become the hunted amidst a monumental swarm of Aliens, and they may need to turn to the very same humans they regard as little more than potential trophies to give them any hope of survival.
Style: Kindle
Page Count: 446 pages

Review

First up is a bit of important info. These comics have actually been made into novels by Steve and S.D Perry. Not sure if all of them have? But I have picked up the first volume which contains Prey, Hunter's Planet and War, so expect the book reviews soon.

So up first Aliens vs. Predator, set on the cattle farming world of Ryushi. It is a straightforward story and this is one of its strengths. The Predators chose this world to seed with Alien eggs, unknowingly allowing a Queen egg to be among the chosen eggs. They also failed to realize that Humans have now settled on this planet and between the three sides all hell breaks loose. This leads to an iconic three-way battle, with Machiko Noguchi (the lead character) teaming up with the head Predator to kill the Queen.

A great opening story that set's the pace. The artwork is dated but the story is still epic, would have made for a great film or tv series. 

Then we have a short tale title Blood Time. And shows a behind the scene of Predator on a ritual hunt and what happens to cheaters!

Duel is next up and heads back to Ryushi. Here a group of  Marines searching for Noguchi, encounter a Hunting Pack of Predators and unknowingly rescue an infected Predator, leading to the first Xeno/Pred hybrid. This Hybrid proves deadly and it is only by teaming up that they can survive this fearsome new horror.

This was a great tale and I really enjoyed it.

War is the sequel to Aliens vs. Predator and has Machiko back. But that is not all it is a cross-over from Aliens as well, in comic form, it is called Frenzy, whilst in book form, it is called Berserker (on my to-read list). In this, we find the Max unit team saved from deep space only to discover the world that saved them is the newest hunting ground for the Predators. So of course, chaos reigns and we have Humans vs. Aliens vs. Predators but at least this time the humans have a murder robot to help out. Solid enough story and it was nice to have some proper cross-over action happening.

Eternal - Okay a bit of a meh tale finally, in this story we are sent to Tokyo, where a scavenger manages to get his hands on a crashed Predator ship. Using this resource he manages to create a technology empire like no other. He also is super old having used the technology and the eating of hearts to stay alive 736 years. How he managed all of this is never really explained. Also, a lot of the technology didn't make sense either, the fashion and cars all harkening to the 19th century. Ultimately I am very confused, but it is safe to say soon his greed leads to a bloom of Xenomorphs and a hunting pack of Predators. Honestly, you can skip this story and not miss out.

Old secrets is a one-shot story, merging the tales of St. George and the Dragon into a Pred/Xenomorph story. It's cute, a bit silly but truly a solid piece of storytelling. Let's be honest if someone on earth is hiding Xeno eggs it would have to the church!

Then the final tale The Web. Once again tracing its origins to the first tale, we follow another survivor of Ryushi. His tale is a darker one and without spoiling the plot, he is totally insane! It is a great, fun, insane finish to this book.

Overall a surprisingly strong outing from Dark Horse, I am excited for volume two. As always I hope you enjoyed and will support my blog by using the link below.


Miniature Monday // Painting Lt. Gorman from Gale Force Nine


What up! I'm back. I've got all sixteen xenomorphs from the core game painted and awaiting a good coat of varnish. This means it is time to move on to the heroes of Hadley Hope. I had to start with the biggest hero of all time, Lt. Gorman. His ability to handle the stress of leadership during the film was awe-inspiring. This of course is the true reason, it had nothing, and I mean nothing, to do with him having the simplest scheme to practice on.


In honour of this hero, I have made a short video that I hope you will enjoy watching. If you do, maybe give me a subscription over on Youtube. I am slowly, creeping up to 100 followers and every follow means the world.

Enjoy!



Book Review 145 // Attack of the Necron by Cavan Scott


Bit of a strange book this week, I've been noticing my oldest taking more and more interest in my hobbies, and though still too young for most aspects of the games I am trying to prepare to introduce her to 40k. So with this in mind, I purchased Attack of Necron, a children-friendly book set within the world of 40k. This is an easy read and comes with pictures!

Title: Attack of the Necron (Warped Galaxies #1)
Author: Cavan Scott
Illustrator: Cole Marchetti/ Magnus Noren
Fluff:
Brave champions and the forces of the Imperium battle alien beasts and mechanical tyrants across the gulf of space.

On the hive world of Targian, Zelia Lor helps her mother search for ancient tech, digging up treasures of the past on the wind-blown plains. They are happy. They are safe. All that changes when the Necrons attack. Without warning, a host of robotic ships appear in the skies above Targian and rip the planet apart. Separated from her mother, Zelia must escape the doomed world, her only hope a scrambled transmission promising safety at a mysterious place known only as the Emperor’s Seat. Launched in an escape pod, she crashes on an icy wasteland far, far from home. But Zelia is not alone. She is joined by a rag-tag group of survivors – the street-tough Juve Talen, gadget-obsessed Martian boy Mekki and super-intelligent alien-ape, Fleapit.

Get a copy via my Amazon link: Attack of the Necron
Type: Paperback
Page Count: 212 pages

The story follows Zelia as she is forced to flee off-world after her mum's research team sets off an awakening of Necrons. As she flees the planet she is joined by her mum's assistant Mekki and youth from Mars, and Talen, a street rough and ready Juve who helps them escape the planet. Into this mix throw in some Space Marines, Necrons and the tech-savvy Fleapit.

The story moves fast, which is unsurprising considering it's a kid's book. It is also extremely easy to read and at 200 pages with drawings, it all goes by quick. I could complain that it is too short, the characters deserved more development, but it's a fucking kids book, it doesn't need that. But the action is exciting, the characters unique and overall a fun little read.

Having now completed it, I know I am happy to share this with the young one, and will be buying the follow-up books soon.

I hope you enjoyed the review and will grab a copy yourself. As always, I thank you for reading. I hope you will take a moment to use one of the links, and help support the blog. Thank you.

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Audio Review 47 // Aliens: Phalanx by Scott Sigler


Will I ever move on from the Alien franchise? Who knows? What I do know is that the following audio drama was epic. So read on!

Title: Aliens: Phalanx
Author: Scott Sigler
Fluff:
Its Medieval carnage meets Alien as a pre-industrial society fights against extinction brought about by a massive infestation of Xenomorphs.

Ataegina was an isolated world of medieval castles, varied cultures, and conquests, vibrant until the demons rose and spread relentless destruction. Swarms of lethal creatures with black husks, murderous claws, barbed tails and dreaded "tooth-tongues" raged through the lowlands, killing ninety percent of the planet's population. Terrified survivors fled to hidden mountain keeps where they eke out a meagre existence. When a trio of young warriors discovers a new weapon, they see a chance to end this curse. To save humanity, the trio must fight their way to the tunnels of Black Smoke Mountain--the lair of the mythical Demon Mother.

GET A COPY via Amazon Associates link: Aliens: Phalanx 

Style: Audio Drama

Review

First, up the author, Scott Sigler requests no spoilers in the reviews given about this book. I respect that and really understand why. If you could please reframe from spoilers in the comments thank you. If you want to discuss the plot with me reach out privately through email or on social media and we can chat.

The story's biggest and most interesting feature is the setting, no Corps, no spaceships, no lasers, pulse carbines or incinerators. This is a hack and slash novel almost hitting fantasy over sci-fi. Set on a part of the world barely explored, which we know is possibly an Island, made up of mountain holds dug into the landscape and hidden away. We also know of Northern Raiders from another Island but that arc is not really explored.

The world, in general, is at a feudal/pre-medieval level in my opinion. They understand bronze working, crossbow production and basic military warfare like the phalanx. They have some medical knowledge, but most of this seems to be handed down from generation to generation. There is this overwhelming feeling that more has been forgotten than remembered, and each hold seems to have unique personalities and traits along with religions. It also seems each hold specializes in one thing, be it a certain medical crop, mineral or manufacturing process. In theory, they should work together to create a better world, but isolation and fear reign supreme instead.

Into this interesting world comes the "Black Demons" aka the xenomorph. Our poor citizens, don't have the knowledge or true understanding to know what they really are, and instead of fear them almost like a boogie monster. Expect to read terms like demons, spiders and tooth tongues throughout the book. This really brings it all to life as they are exactly those things when you look at them. 

The book's main focus is Ahiliyah, and what a great character. She is easy to relate to, be it her struggles in a male-dominated society, or her forward-thinking viewpoints. You quickly grow to love her. Also, the other two main characters are enjoyable after a while, whilst the villains/other casts all play an important role.

The story as a pre-warning is more about the humans than the aliens, it deals with their struggles which have been shaped by the alien presents on their society and as a book it contains, plenty of twists, turns and shock value. Great listen and was more than I expected. I highly recommend it!

As always I hope you enjoyed and will support my blog by using the link below.

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Beer Review 155 // Pride in Place by Collective Arts

Pouring a Collective Arts beer is always an adventure. Combine that with Dominion City and we should be in for a treat.

Beer: Pride in Place
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.5%
Info:
What better way to celebrate the seasonal summer strawberry harvest than with our friends from Dominion City Brewing Co. in Ottawa!⁠ As an ode to the best of summertime, we created an IPA with strawberry and basil - a pairing balanced with heaps of fruity Mosaic and Strata hops to give a beautifully unique melange of flavours.

As I pour the beer its colour reminds me of pulped pink grapefruits, topped with a white lively head. As I lean in the aroma is sweet and full of strawberries and a little lemon hint. It smells great and I am excited to sip. Unfortunately, the taste left me feeling meh, the strawberry seems passive, it is there, but not as bold as the aroma would have suggested. As the beer warms the basil starts to arrive, with some floral hops, overall a surprisingly light, sweet, beer take could have been bolder in the finish.

I would definitely recommend trying, but I am not in a rush to buy more. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Comic Review 150 // Virus by Chuck Pfarrer


After reading how Distressed in the Bug Hunt series was based on a comic Virus, I just had to go off and find a copy to read. Turns out it is an extremely hard comic to find. I will have a link below for an amazon version, but I recommend looking around instead of paying these high ass prices!

Right, let's go.

Title: Virus
Writer: Chuck Pfarrer
Artist: Howard Cobb
Publish Date: 1992
Publisher: Dark Horse

Don't worry about catching this virus -- it will catch you! When the crew of the ocean-going tug The Electra runs across an abandoned Chinese radar ship adrift in the Pacific, it seems like their ticket to Easy Street; Maritime law says they can lay claim to the ship and the millions of dollars worth of top-secret electronics on it! However, collecting on those millions is easier said than done. The Wan Xuan may be abandoned, but it's far from deserted. Something is alive inside the ship's computers, and it's building monstrous bodies for itself from pieces of machinery and the corpses of the hapless Chinese crew!

I got all the 80's action/sci-fi movie vibes from this comic. The plot is straightforward to follow. The mysterious weather front, causes the boat and its crew to be washed off course, leading them to discover an abandoned Chinese warship. Upon investigation, they soon discover that the ship is not what it seems, and it would seem an alien force has infected the ship and is feeding off both machines and humans, creating weird and crazy-looking bio-mechanical monsters.

I found it kind of strange just how accepting the characters were to the idea of the creatures, and they just roll with the extreme body horror that unfolds around them. The artwork feels very much of the era and plot though fun was lacking depth. Very fun to read if in the right mood, but didn't age well overall. I can definitely see how the plot of Distressed was inspired by this.

As always, I thank you for reading. I hope you will take a moment to use one of the links, and help support the blog. Thank you.

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Buy the Paperback edition (expensive): Virus

Miniature Monday // Painting Xenomorphs

Welcome to the next installment of my Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps by Gale Force Nine series. I am painting all 15 xenomorphs based on the tester model I completed last week (see here). As always, I would love a subscription and a hello!

I hope you enjoyed it? I also hope you will give me a follow over on Youtube. Here are some photos of the final results.


Thanks for the visit. See you again soon.

Book Review 144 // Judges Volume Two edited by Michael Carroll


Look at this!  A non Aliens book, what on earth. After finishing up the Bug Hunt series I felt it was time to get back into the world of Judge Dredd. I've got a few titles in need of reading but this one had waited for the longest and was destined to be read. So here are the details:

Title: JUDGES Volume Two
Writers: Michael Carroll, Joseph Elliott-Coleman and Maura McHugh
Fluff:

The second volume of the hit new series exploring the early history of 2000 AD’s all-powerful “Judges.”

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 2041 A.D.

Eustace Fargo’s new justice system has been in effect for eight years. The old days of waiting times and backlogs are over: quick judgment and instantaneous sentencing. The old police academies have all shut down, and the new order is triumphant.

But are things any better? Unrest is worse than ever. Criminals are more likely to kill rather than be caught.

There’s a war coming for the streets…

This omnibus collects three novellas by Michael Carroll, Joseph Elliott-Coleman and Maura McHugh.

Book type: Paperback, 
Page Count: 432 pages
Published: May 26th, 2020 by Abaddon

This series continues on from the stories begun by volume one. It contains three stories so get some tea and enjoy the read.

Golgotha' by Michael Carroll

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 2041 A.D.

“The last police academy in the country has just passed out its last officer. That’s you.”
All Errol Quon ever wanted was to be a cop. Friends, family—even the instructors at the academy—urged her to quit, but she stuck to it, becoming the last cop ever to graduate.
Quon’s assigned to Golgotha, Alabama, and partnered up with Judge Unity Kurzweil, hunting a lead on an old case. And there are still a few things the last cop can teach one of the first Judges...?

Great opening short story for this collection. It follows the last ever police recruit Errol Quon, and her challenges to complete the Police Academies before the Judges shut them all down. We read as the Judges become an active force throughout states, overriding the local police forces, and only some small towns are even accepting a new police officer. The town of Golgotha is one of the last bastions and even here the police force is in its twilight years. It is a rather depressing but world-building tale, showcasing how the Judges are tearing out the old for the new and that they aren't all-powerful. Could their biggest weakness will be their lack of humanity?

I enjoyed the story and Carroll's writing style. Perfectly written, that left me wanting more of this character. I really hope Carroll has more stories to tell.

Psyche by Maura McHugh

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 2044 A.D.

2044: Phoebe Wise has always known she was different; she joined the Judge programme to get away from all that. But the Department has other ideas. Radical, outrageous ideas.

2141: Pam Reed is the best pre-cog Psi-Div has rushed to a crumbling block in one of the oldest sectors of the Meg to dig through files thought long-lost.

And something has reached across the decades to bring the two Judges together, and protect a future that almost never was.

Great exploration of the creation of Psi Divison of Megacity One. Future PSI Judge Reed is exploring the ruins of the past when she is suddenly linked to Judge Wise, one of the leading "Talents" in a radical new program. The story jumps between the two timelines with the focus being in 2040, the storytelling is engaging and absorbing and held me all the way to the end. Great story.

The Patriots by Joseph Elliott-Coleman

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 2047 A.D.

There’s a new threat on the streets of America. Driven by radical dogma and fired by their hatred of the Judges, they’re somehow able to turn ordinary citizens into enraged killers. And they have the gall to call themselves ‘The Patriots.’
Judges Charlotte Clarkson and Niamh Douglas are assigned to the case: track the radicals to their source and uproot them...

The final book of the volume. The Judges are in control of law and order, but humanity doesn't like a dictatorship and soon terrorist/freedom fighter groups are rising up and pushing back. We know they fail ultimately, but the dark story arc and bleakness in the idea of knowing they fail, adds to the story nicely.
The way the terrorist group acts is devasting and without giving away too much, actually aids in the rise of the Judges. It is a good stop for the story arc, as we start seeing the creation of Sector Houses and even the Sov's get a mention. We also get tie-ins to the Psyche novel and another mention of Thurgood the arms manufacturer. And of course, the general population finally gets to see the true might and power they handed over to the Judges and the general population seems to finally realize that life has changed forever.

A very solid ending tale to the series. We now get to start seeing the force that will become the Justice Department and some of the stories gave me the shivers, how quickly freedom can be lost is a scary thought.

I hope you enjoyed the review and will grab a copy yourself. As always, I thank you for reading. I hope you will take a moment to use one of the links, and help support the blog. Thank you.

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Buy the kindle edition. Judges Volume Two. Paperback.



Audio Review 46 // Vengeful Spirit: The Horus Heresy, Book 29


A bit of a change of pace this week for the audio drama. I recently found myself struggling to want to read a Horus Heresy novel. I've been enjoying my xenomorph-themed books too much of late. But I knew if I was to progress in this series, I needed to move onwards. With this in mind, I chose to do this novel via audible and did not regret the choice.

Vengeful Spirit

Author: Graham McNeill.
Listening time: 15 hrs and 11 mins.

On the planet of Molech, the Titan Legions go to war against the armies of Horus.

Once the favoured son of the Emperor of Mankind, the name of Horus has become a curse to the loyal defenders of the Imperium, and a rallying call to the traitor forces tearing across the galaxy. While their allies wage war on a thousand different fronts, the XVIth Legion descend upon the Knight World of Molech & home to House Devine and their feudal levies, and a principal seat of Imperial military power. Just what could have drawn Horus to attack such a strongly defended planet, and what might he be willing to sacrifice to fulfill his own dark destiny?

Finally, the Heresy story arc moves forwards. It is a very small, dull step, but it is a step. There seem to be four storylines all happening at once and the story jumps between all of them. This for me I find distracting and caused me to have to relisten to parts as I got lost between characters.

Up first was the Loken story - Loken (back from the dead) leads a squad of Knights (see Garro Stories), as they infiltrate the Vengeful Spirit. Their goal is to mark a pathway for Leman Russ' forces to follow, allowing the loyal son the chance to execute Horus. Full of death and action, with a few part-time characters from other stories getting some page time. This is more a prequel to a future novel and should have been its own short story. This is was a good solid aspect of the book.

Then we have the House Devine Story. It involves a character I loved hating, and his story is hard to explain without giving away too much. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book, but once more could have been written as its own short story and would have been a great one.

The third arc is Horus' story. The attempt to rediscover his forgotten past. He knows he has visited Molech with the Emperor, he knows something important had happened...but what? Turns out we officially get the story behind how the Emperor got his epic powers. Though interesting at times, I found this arc of the storytelling a bit dull. Sometimes I liked Horus and his sons, whilst other times I was just waiting for Loken once more. He didn't seem impressive at all and has lost a lot of his spark of the earlier books. Meh to be honest.

The last arc is made up of everything else in between, we have another perpetual character appearing with a dull story to tell. We also have small groups of Ultramarines and Blood Angels, that seemed rather flat and lifeless and didn't really improve the story in any meaningful way. The Deathguard are also involved but seem to have become just whipping boys of the Sons of Horus. A lot of unneeded filler.

I am glad I chose to listen to this book, not sure I could have read this one. I am also not sure if I missed something whilst listening, as I see a lot of high reviews of this book, but I just don't get sadly.

As always, I thank you for reading. I hope you will take a moment to use one of the links, and help support the blog. Thank you.

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Beer Review 154 // Aromatherapy by Beyond the Pale Brewing Company



Visiting an old favourite today. As should be common knowledge by now but I work for Beyond the Pale Brewing Company here in Ottawa. So I have a regular supply of brews. I try not to constantly review their beers as it is a conflict of interests, but during the summer I find myself sticking to what I love, hence today's long overdue Aromatherapy review.

Aromatherapy was a beer first released about 4 years ago when I started at BTP. Back then Vermont was killing the beer scenes with Hill Farmsteads and Heady Toppers dominating the trading scene. The brewmaster at BTP wanted a beer that could satisfy his IPA needs. With this in mind, they created Aromatherapy. The pour is a clear golden yellow, capped with a perfectly white head. It looks beautiful in a glass and reminds me of the pre hazy boi days. The aroma is inviting with full-on stone fruit characters and a fresh-cut grass backdrop. The flavour is balanced and bright, giving it a refreshing taste that makes you want more. Really enjoy this beer and always have a couple kicking around in the fridge for when the thirst is upon me.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. And if you are ever in Ottawa come to say hi!

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Book Review 143 // Bug Hunt: Distressed by James A. Moore, Dangerous Prey by Scott Sigler and Spite by Tim Lebbon.


Just like that, we have reached the end of Bug Hunt. It was quite an amazing read if I am honest. I always worry about short stories, but so far I have had no real complaints. Some outperformed others but overall I have zero regrets about reading this title. I hope the final three tales hold up.

Distressed by James A. Moore. Moore kicks us off with a Colonial Marine story. A team of Marines lead by Captain Ogambe receive a distress call and head off to investigate. The ship in question has been struck by an object that is leaking a powerful light. Soon boarding party is on the stricken craft and discovers survivors sealed away in the rear of the craft, along with the bodies of those not lucky enough to make it to safety. It turns out the object is a mechanical sentient machine, that is actually consuming the ship! What a great opening story for the final three, featuring zero Xenomorphs. This left me with so many unanswered questions. What was it? Where did it come from?

edit: I did some research and the alien may have been based on the creature featured in Virus (a dark horse comic). Expect a comic review soon.


Next up is; Dangerous Prey by Scott Sigler. A rare story here as we experience a tale from the viewpoint of a Xenomorph! No idea what planet it is set (as why would the alien care?). All we know is, that a group of colonial marines have come in and killed nine of its kin. Lurking away to avoid further confrontation, it manages to grab an injured marine to drag back to the hive. Having completed its goal the drone starts to succumb to its wound. In this state, it is uncontrollably drawn to the Queen, which also seems to be on death's door. At the same time, the marine is getting treated to a face-hugger special. At this point, the story speeds up as we join a large group of Drones tasked with killing the marines. Which they do in style! This part shows how the aliens collectively work together and was a great interaction. This story ends with the birth of a new Queen, who is feed by the old Queen to pass on her collective knowledge.

Overall a solid story, not sure how canon it is story-wise? But was definitely fun to read from a Xenomorph viewpoint.

Argh! The last tale, I'm sad. Plus side it is written by Tim Lebbon, who has produced a few Alien or Predator titles. I have high hopes for his final tale.

So the final tale does not have any Xenomorphs! A sad time indeed. We are introduced to a group of Colonial Marines known as the Devil Dogs, their mission, to discover why the research colony of Weller's Well has gone quit. After landfall is made it is soon discovered the research team is all dead. Killed by extremely localized heat (little to no damage to the building). The cause, a small, fist-sized insect that can fly and spit thick lava-style flames. As casualties mount the Marines elect to ignore their orders, choosing to retreat and blast the site from orbit. Unfortunately for them, nothing goes to plan, with one of the marines actually having been bribed to secure a sample. Chaos ensues and one of the characters is left behind in error due to suit malfunction. As she scrambles to reach the squad she realizes they are leaving without her, with only one hope of communication she attempts to reach the communication station, only to discover a swarm of bugs blocks her path. Here ends the final tale.

I'm of two thoughts on this last tale.
  1. Great Sci-fi story following the marines, very enjoyable.
  2. No Xenomorphs. I wanted to finish on some Xenomorph action.
Have to restate this is a great story, if this was located in the middle of the book I would imagine myself raving in joy over it. But due to the urge to finish with some Xenomorphs, I am left feeling hollow.

This was a great fun series and I am so glad I took a risk on this book. I hope you have enjoyed the journey and will grab a copy yourself. As always, I thank you for reading. I hope you will take a moment to use one of the links, and help support the blog. Thank you.

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Miniature Monday // Unboxing Aliens: Ultimate Badasses

I'm continuing my adventures into Gale Force Nine's Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps. This time I crack open the expansion pack Ultimate Badasses. In this set, we get the final members of the Marine platoon sent to LV 426. In this set we Sgt. Apone, Cpl. Dietrich, Pvt. Crowe, Pvt. Drake, Pvt. Wierzbowski and the legendary Carter Burke.

In the following video, I unbox the expansion and build the marines. Hope you enjoy it.

Book Review 142 // Bug Hunt: Darkness Falls by Heather Graham, Hugs to Die For by Mike Resnick and Marina J. Lostetter & Deep Black by Jonathan Maberry


Long title this week, as I review the next three stories from the short story book Bug Hunt. We will get through Darkness Falls by Heather Graham, Hugs to Die For by Mike Resnick and Marina J. Lostetter & Deep Black by Jonathan Maberry.

As with all things let us start at the beginning with Darkness Falls (not the bad movie with the same name). Set on the planet Oleta, we are introduced to the main characters: Police Chief Tarleton and ex-colonial marine Captain Angela Hall. We found out that something terrible is happening at a local mine and the Police Chief believes Xenomorphs are involved. After refusing to help Captain Hall is arrested and driven to the mine anyways, where she sees on the monitors the first squad wiped out by what can only be xenomorphs. Unwilling to watch more people die pointlessly we watch as Captain takes charge and dives headfirst into the conflict. The true highlight of this story is the Blue Moon Centipedes. Gigantic centipedes seeded to this world due to their tunnelling abilities, saving the mining company money by using their tunnels. The only problem is when they breed with xenomorphs! Creating huge multi-limbed and clawed organisms. Great read, really enjoyed this one and a standout tale.


The next tale is Hugs to Die For by, Mike Resnick. Set sometime after the main trilogy of Alien. In this story, we are shown inside a Weyland-Yutani science lab, where they use Facehuggers to collect the acid blood to use it within the industrial industry and a melting agent. Now of course shit hits the fan and somehow the Facehuggers team up and make the great escape. It was an enjoyable tale but lacked depth, some interesting moments but ultimately a read and forget tale.


The final tale this week is Deep Black by Jonathan Maberry. A double strange tale for this one, up first, it is set after the third film and has the heroes(?) visiting the prison complex of the film, and the second strange part is the first person viewpoint it is written through. The complex has long been abandoned and our group has been sent to investigate a strange energy reading from an advanced stealth ship. Soon they make landfall and discover a Jĭngtì Lóng (rival to Weyland-YutanI) stealth ship, a highly advanced ship, that can mean only one thing, they are searching for Xenomorphs. Soon the team realizes there is no sign of humans and the only heat source is coming from inside the Jĭngtì Lóng ship. Unable to get a clean reading due to the stealth tech, the team loads up and prepares to enter the ship! Solid enough tale, a bit slow compared to the other two but would make a great opener to a novel.

Well, overall a good run of stories here. I am sad to think that next week is the final three! What will I read next? As always, I thank you for reading. I hope you will take a moment to use one of the links, and help support the blog. Thank you.

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Audio Review 45 // Nameless: Season One by Dean Koontz (Part Two)

Last week I entered the world of supernatural thrillers! I got hooked on Dean Koontz's fast-paced action/murder/thriller series. So here are books four, five and six. To read up on the first three use this link.

Book 4: Red Rain

In a town where the corrupt are protected, a bereaved mother seeks retribution for an arsonist’s deadly crimes. Only Nameless can help ease the burden of her grief—and satisfy her rage—in part four of this thrilling series.

After a suspicious house fire, Regina Belmont lost her two children, was left disfigured and was abandoned by her gutless husband. Brokenhearted and bullied into silence by corrupt officials, Regina’s only recourse for truth and justice is Nameless. There’s something about this case that’s breaking Nameless’s heart as well. But can he bear to remember why?

So I now feel Mr. Nameless is just a full-on vigilante now. He is in town helping a disfigured woman, horrifically burnt after an arsonist burned down her home, killing her two children. Turns out the town officials are corrupt and turn a blind eye to the plight of the woman. Why here comes Nameless to kick ass and get revenge! Like the earlier books, it is a solid tale, rather entertaining for something so short. We also get some more flashbacks about Nameless, which is starting to confuse me.

Good solid tale.

Book 5: The Mercy of Snakes

A series of suspicious deaths in a retirement home draws Nameless into the confidence of a terrified former resident—and into the dark heart of a shocking conspiracy. In part five of the Nameless series, it’s time to hunt.

Oakshore Park is Michigan’s most exclusive assisted-living community. Presided over by two killer angels of mercy, it’s also the go-to facility in assisted dying. For a cut, they make impatient heirs happy. Nameless must concoct a scheme just as cunning. But righteous retribution stirs disquiet in the avenger as light starts to shine on the black hole of his past. Should he welcome it or keep running?

A little change of pace here. As Nameless heads into old folks home for wealthy elderly people. It would seem one of the residents suspects foul play. As soon Nameless starts investigating some dark secrets come to light. Firstly it seems the Doctor in charge is taking payment to die off the elders for their children to inherit the wealth. But he is not alone, as his assistant and ex-stripper now turned pharmacist help him out. This is a dark look into modern society and is sadly completely believable. Great read and a really good ending.

On to the final story!

Book 6: Memories of Tomorrow

What strange science made Nameless who he is? What catastrophes have been erased from his memories? In the stunning conclusion of this series, the dark past comes flooding back, and Nameless must decide how much he really wants to know.

In Indiana, a murderous psycho has kidnapped his own six-year-old stepson, Jamie, and secreted him away in a subterranean cave. It’s become their bunker. For Nameless, the case is breaking down his defences, and it may force him to face his memories.

The finale of the season and what a finish! Nameless is tasked with rescuing a boy kidnapped by his psycho stepfather. The only issue is he is hiding out in some deep caves, that seem to have police crawling throughout them. This story seemed to be a lot intense and really dove into Nameless's past finally. The ending took me by surprise and left me wanting more. I feel season two will be on the cards very soon.

I found the Praying Mantis Bride, closely followed by Memories of Tomorrow to be my standout stories. With The Mercy of Snakes in a close third. Great series and a great step out of the norm for me. Let me know if you enjoyed it!

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Beer Review 153 // Jelly King Strawberry and Rhubarb by Bellwoods Brewery


There is something so special about a Bellwoods Brewery Jelly King. I have always found these to be a delicious and refreshing brew. But when they combine with fruit they just go to an all-new level of amazement. This week I crack open Bellwoods Brewery: Jelly King with Strawberry and Rhubarb.

Straight up the pour is something a little different. Rather hazy, slightly orange with tints of red to the edging. The head is lively and bubbly white, releasing aromas of strawberry into the air. With the first sip, I would say the rhubarb dominates, offering up sour notes to offset the sweetness of the strawberry. I have the same problem with beer as I do with a lot of Jelly Kings... It always seems to disappear way too fast. I actually got to enjoy this brew as I started prep on McNulty and watched Tabletop Tactics. So ultimately this create beer paired wonderfully with a great evening.

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Comic Review 148 // Aliens/Vampirella


I got lucky last week and managed to get my hands on a digital version of Aliens/Vampirella. Got to be straight up and say I know zero about Vampirella, I know she is a vampire and wears red but that is it. So I felt completely blind going into this and was just left hoping I would enjoy it. But before we dive into the review here is the commercial fluff:

Title: Aliens/Vampirella
Author: Corinna Sara Bechko
Artist: Javier Garcia-Miranda
Fluff: Two iconic horror franchises collide, as Vampirella - the fan-favourite supernatural heroine - faces the most nightmarish creatures ever to appear in cinema: the Xenomorphs from Alien! As the first human colony on Mars digs deeper into the crimson soil, they discover the catacombs of a hibernating civilization, tens of thousands of years old. The evidence suggests that they are Nosferatu, an ancient and sinister species that Vampirella is all too familiar with. Called to the Red Planet to investigate, the monster hunter and her human allies find a chamber with hundreds of ellipsoidal, leathery eggs... and after they hatch, the true horror begins. In space, no one can hear Vampirella scream!
Page Count: 144

As I said earlier I went into this completely blind, but I found myself enjoying it. The basic plot is Vampirella (a female Vampire), is sent to Mars to aid a human research/colony team who has discovered some ancient Vampires and possibly a long-forgotten vampire base. The only problem is this base was overrun by the Xenomorphs!

Overall the story is pretty straightforward and lacks depth, but this is fine as it is full of action. Due to my lack of experience with Vampirella, I am not sure how well she came across? I can tell you she kicks ass and makes for an impressive monster hunter. I am now intrigued enough to go check out some of her line of comics. The xenomorphs come across as their classic horror villain selves. I found the Queen to be a bit lacklustre, but overall they did a great job. The artwork is clean and well-detailed, it helps portray the story well, but could have been a touch darker to add to the mood. It felt a bit too clean.

It wasn't all great. It had some missed opportunities. Firstly the other characters, were dull, pure filler. I get it, they needed some people to die, but so bland, give them some depth! The ending was weak, I am sorry to say this, but a Vampire/Queen with wings fighting a Vampire Bat just wasn't as exciting as it should have been.

Overall, I enjoy this. You need to check it out!

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Miniature Monday // Xenomorph


Welcome to my first officially painted Xenomorph! Made from the Gale Force Nine; Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps set. I tried something a little different when making this, I hope to do a video soon but for now, here is a quick rundown of what I did.

  • Step one: Primed Black, pretty hard as it started off black, to begin with.
  • Step two: Zenith Highlighting, could have been bolder at this stage.
  • Step three: Dark Blue Contrast paint.
  • Step four: Black Contrast paint.
  • Step five: Drybrush grey.
  • Step six: Metal paint on the base, with brown wash and some green blood!
Overall, I am very happy with the result, I will test a silver highlight before the contrast painting, but I have an effect I like so I may stick to this recipe.

In the coming weeks, I will be continuing this path of Xeno, features and I hope you will continue to support me and on youtube. I thank you for every bit of support and feedback I have received since starting over there, it means a lot.

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Book Review 158 // Dead Drop by Mike Brooks

I love these Necromunda short stories so much. I fear that when they end, I come to miss the setting and the mini adventures taking place wi...