Archive for the ‘ fictional worlds ’ Category

Zaku: ThreeA style

If you don’t know Gundam you can stop to read here. But if you like human manned giant anthropomorphic robots made in Japan you can understand me. I think that mecha design for Zeon side in Gundam series is the best. And Zaku is the best mecha ever. Well, there are other Zeon’s mechas and less primitive designs than those used in the first seminal anime, but the essential form of all mechas is a derivation from the Zaku features.

I like the modernisation of this mecha style, especially when they made them more huge and chunky, so I thought that the new proposal of ThreeA for a Zaku toy was a great thing. I’m a big fan of this toy maker and its robots created from Ashley Wood comics and paintings, but this time I’m perplexed. Zaku is a perfect design to me, instead the ThreeA version is really another thing. A bad thing. You can see here a preview about this toy. The worse part is the head, so small and without the monocle. Zaku is a Cyclops!!! Not my cup of tea…

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Lucca 2011: gundam

It is Gundam, do you know? The giant white robot that fights against Zion…

A view on a wall of model kits, almost all from the Gundam world.

The Gundam world support earthquake victims in Japan.

Zaku II is the definitive mecha. Enough said.

More photos took in the New Kit Generation Community Lucca Contest 2011.

A space port.

A huge quantity of Gundam models were in the fair. There was even a special stand where you could see a lot of model in showcases. A paradise for a Gundam fan like me.

At the end, if you want there is even a real size Shia Aznable’s helmet. In Japan there are plans to build a real size Zaku II, so this helmet could be useful…

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Lucca 2011: mecha

Another post on modelling. This time we are going to see some mecha.

Patlabor was a great anime (and comic) on mecha. They are showed as normal vehicles for everyday life. So the police utilise them for crimes perpetrated by mecha. You can read stories about police officers with special vehicles, with fun and clever moments. These models are among my favourites. Recently I bought some Patlabor gashapon to set a scenario for the upcoming game about giant robots from Ganesha Games… Samurai Robots Battle Royale!!!

Some models in the Groog competition showcase.

A view on some resin models by a very little Italian company, 3Evan.

I have almost bought this resin mecha for 45 euros at the end of the fair.

A model in the making. Some people were sculpting models and statuettes at this stand.

Another mecha maker, Luca Zampriolo. He is very influenced by the Kow Yokoyama’s Ma.K world, so he published an illustrated book with his works as they are part of a world. I bought the book, it is very intense. But his resin models are too much expensive for me.

A design inspired by Mechwarrior and similar kinds of mecha.

Here you can find the best of his design abilities. He reminds me of Kazuhisa Kondo and his work on Gundam world. Under this mecha there is a Zaku II, it’s clear. And a Zion sign is on the chest! It’s called Garbaldy and it is not the Galbaldy of Gundam world. 175 resin parts, 50 made.

One of his works in the NKGC competition in the Japan Palace. It is called Schnabelgun, and it seems as another Zion’s mecha gone bad, a MSN-04 Sazabi precisely! 80 resin parts and 30 copies only.
More on Gundam world on the following post!

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Lucca 2011: models

Someone think that Lucca Games is a fair for gadgets, boardgames or videogames, but there is a large attention to miniatures and modelling, you have to look better to realise it.

Here we have a heir of Blood Bowl: another ruleset, different miniatures, but the same result. I like this playing field, it has a a refined taste, with the square subdivision only suggested on the ground.

I like original ideas. These ones are skeletons on a tracker, but with a baywatch theme! Great!

Huh, the Doctor is in the fair. Old Black Tree miniatures brought to life in the painters section of the fair. They passed all the time painting. The next time I have to bring a miniature with me for them, just to have something well painted to remind the fair. This year there was a Sandokan miniature as miniature of the event, but I didn’t buy it, maybe because I don’t have plans for a pirate set. I’m stupid, I could buy it and have it painted just at the desk in front of Ganesha Games stand…

Cosimo Auricchio is the sculptor of TB Line miniatures. He is a free lance, a real artist, which sometimes sculpt even in 28mm format. Here you can see this skeleton pirate. Great miniature and great painter who highlighted the piece.

Cosimo sold dummies for sculptors, but there were others. I have not expectation on my skills as sculptor so I didn’t buy them. Narciso instead wants to try.

Inside Lucca Games there is Grogg, a coontest about modelling and painting. Here some examples of the historical type.

Do you want a bust of Thor? Every house must own its Thor bust. It is only 800 euros, limited production I suppose. Not so discreet.

WOG is the new incarnation of WOW. From the sense of wonder to an insult. Now Ares Games produce these aircraft for the popular game that was Wings of War, because Nexus Games went bankrupt. New production, some new fighters and bombers, a lot of bombers.

Preproduction models from China, that bomb us with cheap plastic toys.

Yamato in space. Huge ship, more than a simple model, it is big as a small torpedo…

Pikachu in a human form, as Japanese puppets imitate human forms. A play of mirrors…

Saint Seiya are puffs. I like only the temple in this scene, but a lot of people like these gold puppets more.

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GiocaRoma 2011

At last, my report on GiocaRoma 2011, the boardgame convention of Rome. I repeat myself: I like these events build by gamers for gamers. There were tournaments, boardgames presentations, wargames, vendors, free toy library with people who explain rules and follow you during the first turn. All inside a sporting centre near the underground, with pool and tennis camps. We don’t use the pool, usual clients did. There is a restaurant inside with low prices (water + potatoes + pizza = 6€) and a bar. The sad thing is that there was a misunderstood and the restaurant owners don’t know about the event so ice creams and other food disappeared too soon. And GiocaRoma is always very hot, so ice creams were a necessary resource!!!

This is the free toy library before the assault, early in the morning…

Over 1000 registered visitors, but hardcore gamers were less. Among boardgame players there are even women, a factor unknown by wargamers. And a lot of women are brides of other gamers. So here we aren’t only among bald and fat men as usual.

An interview for tv to Bao (an African game) promoter. He runs an international tournament and the diffusion of the game for beneficence purposes.
The orange dress of the interviewer was very pretty, indeed. Look at the shoes, she is moving like a child…

These are the cups for tournaments played in GiocaRoma.

During the first day I presented Zen Garden. Read the other post to know more about it. When I will find the time I show more on it.

Here you can see a Miles Glorious‘ delegation playing with Zen Garden.

And here other players. On the right Sinclair from Ratio Ludica, on the left Lorenzo from Zerloon Place. Their comments were enthusiasts!

And now some words about games we tried on Sunday. Carson City is an interesting game. Someone say that it is a sort of Caylus without too many mental calculations, with a far west flavour and some dices to add fun. Well, if you don’t know Caylus, I can say that this Carson City is about a placement mechanism of meeples with added a terrain where you can buy land and put buildings to have revenues. And if you want the same resource, placing your meeple (who resemble a cowboy) on it where just where another gamer placed his, then there is a duel! More fun than Pillars of the Earth! So, a great far west game!

It was a long time that I wanted to try Letters from Whitechapel because of the setting in actual Banglatown. The map is gorgeous. The game is a more complicated version of the old Scotland Yard. Fun, but not so intriguing as the box and the map. For a night with friends and a smart guy as the fugitive. I was not so smart so the play ended before than I expected.

Ventura is an Italian game distributed by Fantasy Flight Games. It is a classic game with a map, some armies around and your zone of control where you take your money to built armies. But this time all is packed in the age of mercenary armies in Italy, the age of condottieri. The new thing is that you can built the map adding terrain hexagons with specific values. So, it is a great-grandchildren beautiful variant of Risiko in a great setting. Some material are of the highest quality, others are not. However some rules are weak, so he urges some tweaks, as hidden composition of armies. I think I play again with this game because Paolo bought it.

We give another try to 7 Wonders. I like it, but Paolo tell us it is only a card game with a high price. I hope Francesca buy it.

While I was involved with Zen Garden, Paolo run an exhibition game of MEKA, still in beta form. This time in a desert setting instead of the urban one. Zakus are always the best mechas around…

Our friend Di Bartolo showed his Napoleonic game, almost ready to be published. The best terrain and painted miniatures of the event.

Subbuteo football club. For football fans only. I’m not in this category, but I like stubbornness of Subbuteo fans from ’70s!

There was Miniature Mania, a painting service from Perugia. I take some pictures. I like the weird effect of miniatures at twilight!!!

I didn’t buy anything, but there were gracious games and related stuff. Another time. The hard true is that I buy things but I haven’t the time to play with them! Sad, sad, very sad. At the end I remained only with these tickets. They were for the lottery. 1000 tickets for 10 prizes (a holiday during Modenacon 2012 + 9 boardgames), so I bought 11 tickets for 11€, 1 to 100 to have something. I only had the pleasure to give away little money for 2 days of fun. Thank you GiocaRoma!

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Happy Birthday to me

42 years! They are so many! I’m feeling a bit old, but I believe I am still young too. I play with little soldiers, so I’m young, am I?

This time I hadn’t real big parties, only a little one (4 people) on Saturday night in a pizzeria, but on Sunday I made a holiday in Canino with my wargame chaps. I’ll speak about it in another post. With parents and sister I’ll have to wait until the 13th…

Birthday is time of gifts too. Here the list. Thanks to donors 🙂

From Paolo a Zaku, my favourite mecha!
From Narciso and Diego two books: a real chronicle about a soldier that fight colonial wars, two world wars, a war against oblivion of the fallen comrades; an osprey about anti tank warfare.
From all wargame friends, fresh breath in form of encapsulated mint.

From some my female colleagues this swimwear.

From Farina, Vincenzo and his fiancé Marina, Eugenio and Serena this 8 pack of Samnites (I’m enlisting troops for Song of Spear and Shield).
And more from them this mug…

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Salute 2011: I love London

Londinium is a really great city. I love it! This is my 8th or 9th time that I visit it, and I want to come again and again. This is my report about the other things I did beside Salute together with my old chaps. And there is no Salute without a visit to London…

First thing to do in London: to see the latest miniatures painted by our guest Luca. It is late, but little soldiers are little soldiers!

This is Henry, but it is a female. It lives in the house and used to sleep between me and Narciso. I had only half bed because the other half was for Henry. It has very affectionate ways, a puss machine!

Next year will be the Olympic year. The clock in Trafalgar square.

Renzo Piano has the longest… skyscraper. The skyline has a new presence, you can always see it around London. Ready for 2012. The Belfast vessel and the Tower of London pier watch the development.

The heart of Little Italy, the church of St. Peter.

The memorial on the sink of Arandona Star, the ship with part of the Italians who lived in London, deported toward Canada in 1940.

Another ship, a reconstructed ship, with a freshwater sailor on it.

Even the Doctor visits Forbidden Planet shop.

A local delicatessen: a Dalek cake!

Real British food: gammon with eggs and chips.

British food again: fish and chips with peas.

From left to right: Luca (his left arm), me, Narciso, the right hand of Paolo with a pint of bitter, Paolo, Ornella (the back of his head).

Shop of Westminster Abbey. Maybe there will be a marry the 29th of April…

And in another shop there is a salute from the Queen.

28mm scale to show the construction of the underground. Museum of Transport.

The dock outside Canal Museum.

New London Architecture and a view on the development of the city. It is not a dead city like Rome, here there is a plan for the future realised in the present. London is a great city.

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Salute 2011: a report

Salute is hell. After one hour you get lost and nothing seems to have a sense. Too many stuff to see. I don’t think to play a thing, I cannot understand what to do, what to buy. I have some investing plans, but I am afraid by aeroport controls and limits to baggages. Sometime I find miniatures that I watched only on the web and I think that would be great to have them. I only buy things that is difficult to have through internet (single pieces or excessive postal recharges). At the end of the day I have got only a little bunch of lead, nothing if you think about the tons available in that hangar full of lead people. I put in my mind the next things to buy by mail, but it is a long list.

What I watched the most

To only watch the hall you spent 4/5 hours, so here there is only a little selection.

6mm are the best for large battles…

More than a set for a game this is a set for a museum.

I like trenches and these are the best I have ever saw.

Go aerial! Victorian dog fight with antennas!

Moongose new Judge Dread range.

Cluedo + Chthulu = detective madness!

Dr. Who game with reneactors.

Amusement park for miniatures.

007 from ’60-’70 flicks.

Circus Maximus for all.

I don’t mind the game, I like the buildings: they are from Germany.

Under the Japanese sea.

Mechanic warrior with a touch of Japan. We want always more robots, and I bought the littler to convert to a Britain robot.

Resin miniatures. So beautiful that you forget if there is a game with them, you want them and this is all.

Little Italy

You can hear a lot of Italian voices around. A holiday to London is not so posh in these times. But if you are a Gioconomicon reporter you can travel during the night to do a “to Salute and back” in a single day! These people are crazy!

I met Angelo and other people from Campania, they are of Timewarp miniature store here in Italy. And I found the 1-48 table with the demonstrative game. I met him a lot of times in the last 6 months: Lucca, Modena, Agliana and now London. The game and the miniatures are beautiful so he put a lot of efforts to spread it. I hope for him all the best. And now they have some resin building (a new range from Baueda) to sell too, that you can see on his terrain. A compact game that is almost lost in the hall, but that is very good.

Aftermath

It is inconceivable to set all this for only a 10-17 show. And people after the 15 start to abandon the Salute hangar! Maybe it is time to start to make the piss because it is Saturday, but we from Italy are awesome. We think of Salute like the best of the best as wargame event, we travel to stay here, and people in England leave the show so early…

Time to repackage what I bought. Only this?

I thought we were in winter but I found summer. So my friend wear only a t-shirt while I’m destroyed by too heavy clothes. Almost 7 hours around in the hangar. Heat and fatigue. We are ready for a shower. Luca instead is inside the hangar working for the show. We have offered our support but they had enough people.

The next year… there will be another Salute. Will we are here again? I hope so.

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