Hitchhikers and Birthdays.



Don’t Panic.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read those words, or listened to those words, or even spoken those words. Lots. In fact, probably some other adjective that’s bigger than lots. Because The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is one of those books for me, and over the course of my life, I watched it, read it, listened to it, and quoted it more times than I care to remember. I could tell you – in detail – the differences between the original radio play scripts and the books. I could regail you with tales of my research in to the correct method for making a really good, strong Brownian Motion producer. And I could even spend many, many hours explaining why sitting through the film is infinitely worse than listening to Vogon poetry. I could do all that and more if you asked me to, and yet there was still room for me to undergo a largely unexpected epiphany regarding my most favourite book.


I’d like to think that one of the things that all humans have in common is the ability to feel incredibly stupid without any help from others. Like when you figure out a fiendishly simple puzzle. You stare and stare at the damn thing for hours upon hours, knowing that what you’re looking for is really fucking simple, but without ever finding a solution. Then one day, like a Chesterfield sofa, it just pops in to being all on its own, robbing you of any sense of satisfaction or relief you would have gotten from solving it yourself. That’s what happened to me this year. A huge, really rather obvious Chesterfield-sofa-of-an-idea turned up in my brain, and like Arthur Dent on a Thursday, I’ve struggled to come to terms with it ever since.

Life? Don’t talk to me about Life…

You see it’s my birthday today, and I have become the very embodiment of the meaning of life.  I am Majikthise and/or Vroomfondel standing in front of Deep Thought, bewildered; I have reached the age 42 without a single clue as to what I’m supposed to do next. And this is where my epiphany comes in. Because just this year, after years and years of enjoying my favourite book, I finally joined the dots; Don’t Panic…. 42…. DON’T PANIC ABOUT BEING 42!!. Holy shit it all makes sense now. I know, I know. Douglas Adams explained where the number came from, and it wasn’t about hitting that age. But I like to think that subconsciously, the part of his brain that created the Chesterfield sofa was quietly working on the idea that hitting 42 was the kind of thing that might make the average ape descendant plunge in to a fit of soul-searching panic.

It’s not easy being a cop!

Probably not. But I do know that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has come to mean more and more to me as I’ve gotten older. A lot has happened to me in 42 years; I’ve come to terms with the fact that my father’s death means I’m never going to be able to fix our broken relationship. I’ve accepted that I’m never going to have a career – successful or otherwise – because I’ve been blessed with more children than any sane individual would want. And I’ve also learned to come to terms with the fact that society will forever shun me for not finding the “comedy” film Anchor Man funny. The one constant throughout it all is Douglas Adams’ message that life is pretty fucking absurd, and I find that quite comforting some how.

They still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

So no, I don’t have a fancy car on the drive, or job title that impresses other people, but I do have four wonderful children, and they are going to have to look after me when I’m old and smelling of piss, and shouting abuse at the world. So the universe can suck it, because I’ve figured out whats going on. I know the mice are in charge. So until the dolphins all bugger off, and Earth is demolished by an overly bureaucratic species of alien, I’m going to enjoy the absurdity of it all. Fuck dwelling on the fact that I’m 42, and have none to things that society says you need to be successful. If Arthur dent taught me anything, it’s that there’s nothing wrong with being good at making sandwiches. No, wait… that wasn’t it. Oh fuck it, I’m just going to enjoy my birthday.

Don’t Panic

Disastrous DiRT Daily Ep2.

Guild Ball – Engineers Starter Set

Time for a little update on my doings within the tabletop realm. During Salute 2015 (which I totally intended to write about, but didn’t), I picked up two starter sets and a rulebook for Guild Ball. The first set painted is the mighty Engineers. Whenever I pick up starter sets, I always make sure I have two sets of forces, one for me and one for my victim opponent, and the Engi’s are mine. The other set I bought – The Morticians – is yet to be painted, but I thought I’d post up some pictures anyway.


The starter set in all it's glory.

The starter set in all it’s glory.

Ballista - Team Captain

Ballista – Team Captain







Damaged Bunker Build – Gallery


Good news! I’ve managed to pacify the youngest child long enough to post something on here. I still don’t have too much time however, so I’m keeping this post short and sweet. Bellow is a gallery of my last terrain build. Based on the first bunker I blogged about earlier, this one has more detail, and far less cover. I tried to keep a kind of photo diary of how I built it, and hopefully you’ll enjoy watching it come together.


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Its not a game this time!


Normally when I update my blog after a long absence, I mention my latest addiction to a video game by way of explanation. This time around, something rather more important has kept me away. On the 16th of February, my other half gave birth to our third child, and as you would expect, that has been keeping both of us rather busy. Originally, my plan was to have a post about the event ready and waiting, but the baby had other plans, as she arrived two weeks early.

Naturally, all the things I usually blog about have been put on hold for a while. I’m still doing a bit here and there, but by-and-large, modelling has gone out the window for now. So for the next few months, posts are probably going to be both infrequent and brief. At some point normality will resume ( as soon as we’ve worked out what normality is ), until then you’ll have to make do with the little my sleep deprived brain can muster.

Destiny, I fucking love you!



I can’t think of another game that has polarized opinion as much as Destiny. When I hear complaints about the game, I usually react by nodding my head in agreement, before returning to work on adding to the 350+ hours I’ve already sunk into it. I’ve even concluded that had I’d been reviewing the game, I probably would have given it a seven too. Despite all that, I love Destiny. Regardless of its many flaws, Destiny is quickly becoming my most played console game, ever. With that in mind, (and before I write about the things I don’t like) I thought I’d go through the things I love the most about Destiny.

Destiny_20141119212713 Hand Cannons. Oh my god, Hand Cannons! I love these bad boys so much, I very nearly made two of these things Hawkmoon and Thorn. Once in a while, I come across a weapon in a game that has the magical X factor, and I fall in love with it. In Halo 3 it was the Spartan Laser. In Gears of War it was the Longshot Rifle. But In Destiny it’s a whole damn class of them. Nothing else feels as good as headshotting enemies with a Hand Cannon – not even killing a Hunter in PvP just after they’ve popped their Bladedancer special. Hand Cannons are so much fun to use, if I had an actual physical version, I would do dirty, dirty things to it.


Raids. When I first started playing Destiny, all the talk from those further along than I was about the Vault of Glass, and just how good it was. After a frustrating few weeks of no raiding, I eventually lucked in to a group of friends tackling the Vault, and found out for myself what the fuss was all about. Without a doubt, the Vault of Glass is some of the best designed, and most enjoyable video game content I’ve ever played. I could go into more detail, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. What I will say is that in my opinion, the Vault is the perfect example of how you create co-op gaming where every player has a meaningful role.

Destiny_20141124221420 The Iron Banner. Version One of the Iron Banner was not good. All that weaponry and armour we’d been carefully gathering and levelling was more or less meaningless in IB v1, and players were not happy. Bungie went away, reworked the mode, and sent Lord Saladin back to the tower. The first few minutes into my first game, I headshotted another player on the other side of the map with Bad Seed Down, and instantly I was converted. Power finally fucking mattered. Oh boy, did it matter. Since then I’ve taken part in every Iron Banner, and learnt the joy of headshots with a fully levelled Hawkmoon. After a shaky start with destiny’s PvP, I can honestly say that Iron Banner is one of my very favourite parts of Destiny.


Warlocks. Apart from having an exceptionally cool sounding name, Warlocks are also blessed with having some of the best looking armour in the game. The Iron Banner set for example is simply beautiful. And if there’s anything better than swishing around in robes, firing off Nova Bombs – I’ve yet to find it. I do have a Hunter and Titan, and I’ve found them quite fun to play, but they don’t have the same sort of swagger the Warlock does. Flying electrical fists and golden guns are all well and good, but let’s be honest, they’re not the same as tooling around in a cool outfit, wielding Hawkmoon, and fucking shit up with purple balls.


Project: Hide from the Dakka!



Back like the renegade master. Or something.

So back in the dim and distant past, I was working on a scratch-built 40k bunker. Despite the fact that updates on the project were as elusive as my local MP, the project was progressing well. So well in fact, that the thing was finished, used on the tabletop, and providing inspiration for the next one. Well now I’ve finally gotten off my lazy ass, and taken enough photos to write the final update.

Looking back at the overall process, there are some things I’d do differently, but I’m more that happy with how it’s come out. It looks good on the table, and I made it myself. I’m planning  to make a second one, and hopefully I’ll improve the design enough to be happy to post up the plans. Until then, enjoy the gallery of photos below.

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Nephilim Build: The Final Episode!



Dakka Dakka!

Dakka Dakka!

So here we go. Delayed by Christmas, video games, and a reluctance to pick up a camera and take photos, the Neph is finally finished. Truth be told the thing was done a while ago, but as usual, my mind had moved on to other projects, and I forgot all about the last one. Even now, I’m typing this in between working on something.

Last episode, all that was left to do was some highlighting and the main gun. Highlighting-wise, all that was really done was a touch of silver on all the rivets, and on the various metal parts and some of the scratches. Both main weapons were painted and magnetised, and that’s all! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed building the Nephilim. I’d like to get another and build the Dark Talon too, but that’s for the future.

Below is a gallery of shots of the Neph. I hope you enjoy them.

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Destiny: Crota’s Cheesy End


Sorry about the title, I couldn’t help myself.

Cheese. Bungie does not like it apparently. Not if the content of their latest update is to be believed, anyway. If you’ve been following Destiny’s progress, you’ll probably know that the new Raid – Crota’s End, has been suffering from a particularly cheesy odour since it’s introduction as part of the Dark Below expansion. Tales of Guardians using various cheesy methods to run through the raid easily, hoovering up loot, were becoming commonplace, and it was only a matter of time before Bungie stepped in.

Not cheesing this time round.

Not cheesing this time round.

Now that they’ve at least begun that process, I thought I’d talk why I’m glad they’re trying to de-cheese the Raid. Firstly, I’d like to say that I’m not against cheesing per-se. As someone who’s crimes include hiding beneath the stairs in the Cerberus Vae Strike, I’d be a massive hypocrite for a start. But mainly it’s because the whole thing is a massive grey area. Where does cheesing end and exploiting a game bug begin, for example? If its possible (although highly unlikely) to be killed whilst hiding in a “cheese spot”, is that cheesing? There’s no right or wrong answer in my opinion.

So why don’t I like it in the Raid? I’ll explain. Destiny is a strange game when it comes to challenge. Unlike similar games within the genre, its possible to replay the entirety of Destiny’s story mode content whilst being hugely over-levelled. The gear and weapon levelling mechanics eventually render the game’s “normal” difficulty curve meaningless, and beyond the odd Heroic stipulation on various Bounties, the game never really insists you turn the difficulty up. The vast majority of Destiny’s PvE content therefore, relies upon the player choosing to be challenged to remain meaningful, and that’s why I have a problem with Raid cheese.

Definitely cheesed this one

Definitely cheesed this one

Players solo-cheesing their way through Crota’s End are rendering the most meaningful content in the game meaningless. They’re rendering the achievement of earning Raid gear meaningless. And in a game that relies upon the player to keep content relevant, I don’t understand why you’d do that. What is the end game anyway? You cheese your way to a full set of Raid gear, and then do the Raid as intended? That doesn’t make any sort of sense. Destiny is all about the gear you’re wearing, and the guns you’re wielding, and I personally don’t know how you can take any pride in that when you’ve cheesed your way there.

As I’ve said, cheesing is a ridiculously grey area, and something I myself have partaken in, so I don’t want you to go away thinking I’m making a judgement here, because that’s not my intention. This is an expression of bewilderment at the specific issue of soloing Crota’s End to short-cut your way to Raid gear and weapons. So by all means, feel free to ask me why I’m not also questioning whole Raid groups cheesing bits of the Vault of Glass, or to tell me I’m taking a bunch of pixels way too seriously. I won’t mind. Yes, its ridiculous the Raid can be solo-cheesed. Yes, Bungie should fix it PDQ. But also yes, I think the players have a responsibility to resist the cheese, no matter how fragrant.


The Obligatory Festive Blog Post


it only does offline

Seasons greetings!

As we’re all in that weird period of stasis – between Christmas and the New Year, I thought I’d bore you with some words. Hopefully you had a great Christmas and enjoyed all the traditional seasonal things like turkey, too much chocolate, and PSN outages. Personally, having spent Christmas Eve night throwing up, I spent the holiday gingerly eating things in an effort to work out what made me sick in the first place.

Obviously from a gaming point of view, the big news of the holiday was the attack upon Xbox Live and PSN. Both services went down at one point, and rather predictably, Xbox Live recovered quickly whilst PSN stumbled around for days until users patience had run out. I know a lot of people got hot under the collar about the outages (probably justifiably so), but I simply can’t bring myself to be angry.

Maybe it was the Christmas cheer, or maybe it’s my time spent playing Eve Online (where the best way to beat the griefers is to just ignore them until they go away), but my response was to simply play Far Cry 4 offline and ignore it all. The ONLY time I got slightly fretful was when I realised Xur had the Hawkmoon upgrade for sale, and even then my panic was quickly alleviated by PSN coming on for long enough for me to buy it.

Apart from that, my Christmas was spent either sighing at the sight of all my children’s presents spread across the living room floor, or wistfully glancing at my unfinished modelling projects, and wishing this could all be over so I could get back to doing them. Pretty much the same as usual then! Hopefully you enjoyed your festive period as much as I did. Come the New Year normal service (whatever that may be) will resume, until then, have a good new year!

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