Posts Tagged ‘star wars’

Seen today – a police officer outside New Scotland Yard with a Rebel Alliance insignia pin on his stab vest. In light of the demonstrations (lots of police vans and horses around today but no sign of any confrontations) some people may find that slightly peculiar.

As a follow-up to Desert Island Discs, the team at work have been doing our top ten films, and this week was my turn. The only condition was that one of the ten had to be set in London. Once again, I’ll be buggered if I’m writing all this lot up and not turning it into a blog post.

Forbidden Planet (1956)

I remember watching this, aged about 8, sitting on the floor at school during one of our headmaster’s film nights. As most people know, it’s Shakespeare’s Tempest mixed with a bit of Freud and set in outer space. The special effects contain some real “how did they do that back then?” moments. And notice that the starship is a flying saucer and the crew are all men – that was the status quo in almost all science fiction back then and would be for another ten years, until Star Trek rewrote the rules. The “sequel” is also well worth seeing 😉

Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966)

My London film. Well the first half is set in 22nd century London (that looks awfully like 1960s London).
This is the second of the two Peter Cushing Doctor Who films, big(-ish) budget, technicolour, remakes of the first two Dalek TV stories. To be honest I prefer the TV version – the scenes of Daleks patrolling an abandoned London are much more atmospheric in B&W. But this film is more important because this was repeated on telly almost every summer holiday from the mid-70s onwards so several generations of Doctor Who fans grew up with this version in their childhood memories. So much so, that at least one later TV episode references events as they took place in the film, not the original.

The Italian Job (1969)

(Also got some London bits) I haven’t seen the remake. Why would I want to?

Kelly’s Heroes (1970)

Just a private enterprise operation.

The Sting (1973)

Probably the best confidence trick movie ever. And parts of it are ripped off by almost every episode of Hustle.

Star Wars (1977)

I am a member of the Star Wars generation. This film came out at the exact moment in my childhood for me to be hooked. And that’s why we have the original here, not the “more grown-up” The Empire Strikes Back. This was when George Lucas knew how to have fun, before CGI, before the “expanded universe”, before we all became cynical.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

There have been 11 Star Trek movies to date. Some of them are rubbish; some of them are good fun; two of them are really quite splendid. This is the film that saved Star Trek. After the worthy but dull and expensive Star Trek The (Slow) Motion Picture, this is the film that remembered that Trek should be fun and brash and really over acted. This is the film that gave us some of the finest Shatnerisms. (Including, of course, Khaaaaaan! )

Aliens (1986)

I think that the Special Edition of this was the first film I owned on video tape. An incredibly influential film – twenty years later and films, comics, computer games are still playing with variations of the future-war look created here. “I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

The Usual Suspects (1995)

This was from a period when I was going to the cinema a lot and seeing a lot films that have really stuck in my mind (Unforgiven, Apollo 13, Once Were Warriors, Quiz Show, Strange Days, Ed Wood) but this one stands out. Repeated viewings are about spotting clues and inconsistencies but if you saw it first without any spoilers, watching the story unfold without knowing how what came next was something special.

Hot Fuzz (2007)

(Also got some London bits) Best British film of the decade? If you grew up in the home counties, where winning village of the year was a big deal, then parts of this film are worryingly accurate…

Yesterday, I tweeted "According to my LibraryThing records I’ve read 141 books this year: 26 novels, 7 non-fiction, 102 graphic novels and 6 ‘other’."

Then I went out and bought another two graphic novels… But it must be said that most of the comics I’ve read this year came from West Norwood library, and now that I’ve exhausted most of their good ones, and some of their bad ones, I think 2010 may be slightly less weighted towards graphic novels.

How many of my 2009 books have you read?

Available as a poll over on Live Journal (you don’t need an LJ account to vote, just an OpenID account which means an account from, Google, Yahoo, Blogger, etc.)

Read the rest of this very true thing…

Earlier today, for reasons best known to herself, linked to the Wikipedia page on Allen Keys. In the sidebar they have diagrams of various shapes of screw head. One of them is the Bristol head:

Remind you of anything? How about The Empire (from Star Wars for the culturally ignorant…):

I’ve bought nine Rebel Storm boosters in total (hangs head in shame) and in those I’ve got three Rare miniatures and six Very Rare miniatures. I’m not sure what the odds of getting a Very Rare should be but I’m certain that they shouldn’t be double the odds of getting a Rare one. If they are then the prices on eBay are seriously out of whack.

So I’m offering my services to the general public – I’ll pick a random pack off the rack for you in return for a small fee. Go on you know you want me to.

Lord Vader struts his stuff
Darth Vader’s dance workout video is available now in all good stores

Anyway, the Very Rares I’ve received have been a fairly useless bunch:

  • Princess Leia, Captive ×3
  • Darth Vader, Ballet Dancer Sith Lord
  • Jabba the Hutt
  • Wampa

See? No Luke; no Obi-Wan, no speeder bikes; no Emperor; no Dewback; no Boba Fett.

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So what did I get in my box? Ten miniatures – the Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader miniatures that are in every starter set plus two different stormtroopers, a rebel trooper, a rebel pilot, an Ithorian scout (that’s Hammerhead for us old timers), a Bespin guard, a Gamorean guard and a Tusken Raider.

I had seven out the ten as action figures back when I was a kid. Hmm, so I’m going round in circles. Except that these are smaller. Ever decreasing circles perhaps?

The miniatures are about 30-32mm toe to eye. This makes them as tall as many of the larger “28mm” miniatures available. However, these are much slimmer – realistic proportions rather than the chunkiness we’ve come to expect from metal miniatures. It’s not too much of a problem with the aliens and armoured figures but the ordinary humans won’t mix too well with other ranges.

The miniatures are made from a rubbery plastic and spring back into shape if bent. I’m not sure whether this will make them harder or easier to convert than metal figures. Some of the poses are a little strange – The Rebel Pilot seems to be trying to “walk like an Egyptian” whilst the Rebel Trooper is leaning alarming far forwards.

The paint jobs are okay. I doubt I’ll totally repaint them but I may touch up some of the details. (The photograph above isn’t very flattering to my painting abilities – I may not be great but the flash really hsn’t helped matters. Time to buy some matt varnish perhaps?)

I think I’ll be buying some more, I’ll mostly be hunting for the common troop types – with luck the collectors will be flogging them off cheap having bought a gazillion of them to get their hands on the very rare figures.

The rules? Read them, seem okay for what they are. I doubt I’ll be using them much. Daleks vs Stormtroopers in Stargrunt II anyone?

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