Awesome Saturday!

Hey everybody!
Well today has been pretty awesome, I have to say! One of those days where I’ve just mooched through, and enjoyed myself immensely!

Dark Eldar Wracks

To start with, I’ve been painting again, for the first time in a long time! I mentioned last week that I’ve been listening to a lot of the Command Zone podcasts, and I think having a lot of fairly long podcasts to listen to allowed me to get on with this stuff! I’d already painted the skin on these Wracks last weekend, following the GW quick tip video, so I spent the bulk of the day painting up the rest of the models – I’m fairly happy with how they look right now, though I might do a few extra tweaks to them in the coming days. In the main, I want to get them based, though, and then at least they’ll look just so much more, well, finished!

At my local store, we’ve all been pledging “Oaths” as part of a sort of painting campaign to get 1000 points of miniatures done by mid-July, after which there will be a fortnight of gaming that I’m guessing more and more will coincide with 8th edition. Anyway, my Dark Eldar “Oath” consists of:

Archon, with just a Lhamaean in his Court, both in a Venom;
10 Kabalite Warriors, in a Raider
10 Kabalite Warriors, in a Raider
5 Kabalite Trueborn, one upgraded to Dracon
5 Wracks, in a Venom
Haemonculus, Talos and Cronos (Dark Artisan formation)

It’s going to be tough! 36 models shouldn’t be so difficult to get done in three and a half months, but this oath was made six weeks ago, and so far I’ve not had the motivation to do a great deal of it! I need to get back into painting with a bit more regularity, anyway, and see how far I can get!

Warhammer 40k Shadow War Armageddon

While we’re on the subject of Warhammer 40k, this was a huge disappointment this morning. I checked in just after 11am, mainly to see how much it was going to be, though apparently it had sold out within twenty minutes of going up for pre-order. Reminds me of the insanity of the End Times hardcovers. I mean, hopefully this is just a temporary setback, and they’ll be making more of them – I can’t imagine they didn’t think a new Necromunda wouldn’t be popular, surely! My local GW is having a midnight launch on next Saturday morning, so I guess that’s where I’ll be headed…

On a better note, I’ve decided to try and play more games, as I’ve not done a great deal of anything so far this year! My degree course is partly to blame for this, of course, but even so! I’ve started with my favourite, Lord of the Rings LCG, and will have a blog coming out on that this coming Tuesday…

Princess Mononoke

Finally, I’ve been watching some more Studio Ghibli this evening, the classic Princess Mononoke. It was an ex-girlfriend who got me into these movies, and the first time I watched this particular one, I remember being particularly ill, and didn’t really take a lot of it in. Consequently, I’d always thought it was a little bit odd and disjointed, but that’s mainly my own perception of it than any real reflection on the film.

Like a lot of Studio Ghibli films, Princess Mononoke deals with the consequences of industrialisation on the landscape, though here it’s quite a visceral message that Miyazaki is putting across. We follow Ashitaka as he saves his village from a demonically-possessed boar spirit, but falls foul of the curse himself in doing so. He travels into the west in order to find the forest spirit, and thus cure this curse. He arrives at Irontown, and discovers that that the the townspeople, led by Lady Eboshi, are clearing the nearby forest in order to dig for iron. This has brought them into conflict with the many forest gods, including the wolf-goddess Moro and her human daughter San, dubbed Princess Mononoke.

Eboshi and the townsfolk wage their war against the forest gods, and manage to decapitate the forest spirit, which proves almost fatal for the surrounding countryside as he transforms from a life-giving spirit into one that causes death to all he touches. Ashitaka and San manage to restore his head, and thus peace to the area, though the film ends with a distinct tension still between the natural world and humanity.

The story is actually a lot more complex than this, of course, but hopefully you get the picture. It’s actually a really dark movie, and I think if you approach it with the same mindset as Spirited Away or My Neighbour Totoro, you’re in for quite a surprise. It’s certainly nuanced, with no clear good-and-evil to root for. Sure, you may hate Eboshi and her ruthless drive to eliminate the forest spirits in the name of progress, but she is also shown in a more benevolent light as the leader of her people, and she does appear to learn some lessons over the course of the movie. While I think overall the film had a profound message against the continual drive of industrialisation at the expense of the natural world, under the immediate surface I think there is more to be said for a give-and-take relationship between nature and mankind, that we should attempt to live in harmony with each other as opposed to standing still. It’s a very complex film, and if you haven’t watched it already, I can highly recommend you do so!