29 December 2016

YS Masterpieces' Athanasios Diakos (HB-006; Bust)

Well, this one is admittedly a bit out of left field. . . check that, the ballpark!  

Or is it? 

I am a sucker for portrait busts, especially if they form a series, and are of a relatively obscure and interesting period/topic. The Greek War of Independence - 1821 - is certainly the latter; and YS Masterpieces has taken it upon themselves to honour their national heroes with the former. Still, in spite of some very attractive subjects, I have been a holdout for any number of reasons-- until now.

Why now, you ask? A friend and work colleague of mine sent me this "web article" on Athana- sios Diakos the other day. In a word. . . AWESOME! Then I vaguely recalled that someone had released a bust of this individual. I immediately checked Chuck's site and YS Miniatures. . . eh voilà!. . . their sixth release in the series: HB-006 - HELLENIC REVOLUTIONARY WARRIOR (ATHANASIOS DIAKOS), sculpted by Carl Reid.

At the risk of inciting the masses, I am not a fan of Carl Reid. As he has helmed this series through the first seven releases, I have been hesitant. Regrettably, this particular offering will not make me a fan. . .

But first, the contents of the box. The piece is designed in 12 pieces, including the pedestal. Casting is VG+++, with but the occasional sub-surface air bubble on the mantle: most will not even recognize the discolorations as bubbles! Fit is likewise VG+++--I imagine that it was seam- less perfection when the molds were new(er)!! In short, this offering gets high marks with regard to production quality and qc. 

Now, the "design" of the piece. The bust is based on the cover illustration of the following Greek popular history journal: 

Personally, I have issues with this. Before I continue, I will freely admit that I do not have the actual journal before me (in spite of all my efforts to track one down!), so I do not know if there is corroborating period artwork or text in the article justifying the presentation (NOTE: I found a copy of the article, and it contains nothing to justify the cover illustration). Having said that, I have never seen a black fustanella from the first half of the 19th c.; and unless Diakos was ambidex- trous, I have a problem with the kilij/pala being wielded left-handed!

I am not exactly a newbie when it comes to Balkan and Ottoman fashion, but I am not familiar with an item of clothing in this part of the world at this time that would serve as a mantle/short cape: the same disclaimer applies, and I welcome any balanced and substantive input in response!

Finally, the right arm is too long, and the likeness leaves much to be desired. Admittedly, I am not particularly well-versed in Greek iconography of the period, but the sculpted visage is sorely wanting.

In spite of the shortcomings, I am quite pleased with my acquisition! The cutting and grinding has already begun, and I am enjoying delving into this period of history!

More to follow!

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

26 December 2016

Top 15 Best Comic Book Superhero Films of All Time - Year-End 2016 Update

In order of release. . . 
  • X2: X-Men United (2003)
  • Spider-Man 2 (2004)
  • Hellboy (2004)
  • Batman Begins (2005)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Watchmen (2009)
  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  • The Avengers (2012)
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  • Ant-Man (2015)
  • Deadpool (2016)
  • Suicide Squad (2016)


24 December 2016

Holiday Greetings '16

Straight to the point. . . I just ain't feelin' it this year. I would attribute it to the unseasonably warm temperatures we have been--and are!--experiencing, but my lady reminded me that last year it was 75°F(!) on Christmas Day. I guess the bottom line is that 2016, as a whole, was a s**t year - PERIOD! And I'm afraid there isn't enough spiked egg-nog or coquito to make it right. . .

In the days ahead, reach out for "the best" and hang on tight. . . Enjoy--treasure!--whatever time you might have with family and friends, for they are the ones who willingly and selflessly will be at our side on the 365-day journey that is right around the corner.

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to wish the readership a joyous, restful, and peaceful Holiday Season; and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Thank you for your patronage and support.



When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003

07 December 2016

"Die Fledermaus"--Prepwork I (cont. #2)

I was hoping to be further along than I am, but December is shaping-up to be a fitting conclusion to a less-than-stellar year. . . 

I followed-up the pencil plot-lines with a slightly-thinned coat of primer, hand-brushed. This worked-out perfectly! Proceed slowly, rest your eyes every 10-15 mins., and you should be able to eliminate all the very elusive seam lines in this exquisite casting!

I am hoping to be done with the surface prepwork by the end of the weekend. Hopefully, that will just leave the wrapping-up of the Geschwaderstock to be done. . . 

Almost there. . . !

When the cost of a hobby exceeds the fun and doesn't attract new people, the game is over.” -
Oscar Koveleski, August 2003