More Trees…Toy Trees… Toyvian Trees!

I finally got around to finishing these two medium sized Toyvian (also called Sobor on Amazon) Trees. The usual heating and bending, weighting the base, and painting.

I added a mushroom to the trunk of one, inspired by the fungal growths on the Dwarven Forge trees. This I thought would add some individuality while helping tie them in with the DF trees. I went back and reheated the trunks to further bend the branches but they were still more “flat” looking than the smaller and larger trees. I decided against heating them a third time and just accepted them as is when Mrs. GG said they looked fine to her.

With the improved weather I sprayed on some GW Citadel Purity Seal satin clear coat over the brushed on Vallejo mat clear coat.

The GW spray did a much better job of reducing the shine in person but I can see the camera is still picking up a lot of shine unfortunately. I do not have much of the GW Purity Seal left so will likely switch over to the full can of Army Painter mat clear coat spray for other pieces and hope it works as well.

So here you can see how these Toyvian Trees fit in with our GW Citadel Forest and our Dwarven Forge trees. I am very pleased! And I think they all look Great with the Deep-Cut Studio mat. If you look close you can see a 28mm Legolas in the photo for scale.

In other news I finally finished season 10c of Walking Dead.

Not bad, certainly much better than Fear the Walking Dead but not amazing. I am not sure how I feel about the Negan storyline. The relationship between Daryl and Carol is exhausting even though I like both characters and like learning more about them. I am just tired of the ongoing drama between them. I have no idea what to make of the Reapers. Walking Dead has never done military or police plot themes well in my opinion. I really hope the Reapers are not some sort of military left overs but I suspect they are given Daryl has just stumbled onto an Army base that somehow has been overlooked all these years and the woman he met mentioned being part of “a squad that was like a family to her” at one time.

I also finished Season 2 of Black Summer, the unofficial prequel series for ZNation. Unlike ZNation, Black Summer is not a dark comedy satire. It is a grueling, cruel, cynical, pessimistic horror series.

It is brutal. It is not as graphic as some zombie shows in some ways but more graphic in others. It warns you about an episode with a suicide but nothing about the countless horrifically pointless cruel betrayals and deaths. Considering how few zombies there are the death count is surprising but then the show constantly repeats the theme that “we are the monsters”. It is not just gritty or edgy, it is firmly grimdark.

It has a sense of threat, of sheer mind numbing horror that the various Walking Dead shows usually lack. But the flip side of that is that it does not have the character development of the Walking Dead. It is difficult to care about or like any of the characters. Death comes at any given second, often with no warning or foreshadowing. The zombies are the “fast” kind and seem much more capable than your usual zombies. More like feral, beastlike daywalking vampires. And folks turn whenever they die, not just when bitten. So gunfights between survivors result in additional threat for killed adversaries. Even well equipped characters who appear to have had training and experience often fail to get those Hollywood headshots they need to survive.

Mrs. GG asked me again why I watch such horrible shows. My interest is in trying to understand how humanity might react, how I might react, to catastrophic circumstance. Disaster psychology. Most of these shows have me convinced that I would likely be killed trying to help the wrong person. That I would be so focused on trying to rebuild that some selfish individual would take advantage of my sense of social responsibility.

Speaking apocalyptic movies and Mrs. GG, we watched the Disney movie Raya and the Last Dragon.

We enjoyed it. Not exactly a surprisingly plot but entertaining. Certainly a movie I think my Mother will enjoy. Pretty awesome animation. Some interesting characters. But not a classic that will stay with me forever.

Mrs. GG does not mind apocalypse or post-apocalypse shows so much as long as they have a hopeful tone. Hopepunk if you know what that is. If not, you now know your homework assignment. Let me know in the comments what you learned!

And since Negan came up…. another Doppelgänger….

There is something very unsettling seeing a person you believe looks like you playing a villain like Negan.

Do you have any Doppelgängers? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. That tree assortment is looking very good and diverse. That’s going to add to the realism of the scene a lot.

    I remain pretty dubious about the “everyone will turn on each other at the first sign of trouble” apocalyptica. It just doesn’t line up with how folks usually behave in actual disasters when decisions are being made as individuals and very small groups.

    When people can be propagandized and swayed through mass messaging, yeah, they can do some pretty awful stuff. But if it’s a short-term disaster and those communication channels get cut off, behavior changes. People will still be expecting the Red Cross and National Guard to show up and put things to right, so civilized behavior stays somewhat normalized and preparedness leaders have a strong influence on behavior. If at some point a reality sets in that I or we few are all I’ve got, then other people become very precious not more expendable. (The book Station Eleven did a good job of describing both those states of mind, I think, and the classic non-fiction work on the topic is Solnit’s A Paradise Built In Hell.)

    I don’t think these shows are actually an exercise in speculative fiction, but rather an airing of collective contemporary nightmares. There’s an amazing older (and fairly academic) book by Annalee Newitz called Pretend We’re Dead: Capitalist Monsters in American Pop Culture that explores the most popular monsters of an era in their cultural context. Recommended!
    If you’re already a fan of Newitz’s work, it’s pretty cool to see these 15 year old roots. (Full disclosure: they’re a friend of mine).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really appreciate the suggested reading.

      When I was in the Louisiana National Guard during Hurricane Andrew back in the 90’s I saw the disaster bring out the best and the worst in people. I saw neighbors steal from each other, I saw people share the last of their food, I saw people riot over some cases of soda. And that was no where near as bad as Katrina. I suspect from my experiences with Andrew that the conditions following Katrina were even worse than the official line. I did a bit of research on Katrina and the official line is already pretty horrific.

      Walking Dead is better at illustrating that compared to Black Summer which is just extremely depressing.

      Joe McKinney’s books always seemed to strike a chord with me as Joe has policing and disaster mitigation experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The trees look great, mate. Matte varnish over the top should take shine down further if that is bothering you. I like my minis and terrain pretty matte so I can certainly relate! I don’t know almost anything about The Walking Dead show but I think the move to keep Negan around and it sounds like he may sometimes be a bit heroic in the show was a mistake. The character worked well in the comics for as long as he lasted and didn’t need to be there any longer. I stopped reading the comic around the time of The Whisperers. It wasn’t that they were bad, it was just that the comic had more or less turned over most of the cast of characters and that made me start to lose interest. Hopefully the TV show can avoid that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks mate! I tried Vallejo brush on Acrylic matt varnish, I tried Vallejo Polyurethane matt varnish and finally Games Workshop Citadel Purity Seal satin varnish spray. It was the Purity Seal that gave the most most matt result. If you have a different varnish to suggest I am all ears. However, the trees look pretty matt in person now. It is the camera picking up a shine I do not see with my naked eye.

      I agree with Negan. I like redemption stories but I get irritated with attempted redemption that ends in betrayal. And at this stage I have no idea how the plot will develop with him. I also am not a fan of using “monsters” to fight other “monsters”. It strikes me as a bit too much like the ends justify the means.

      You have a point about character turnover. I have been surprised how Walking Dead has kept me interested without Rick who despite some terrible writing has been my favorite character from the start. I really liked Rick in season 1 as I could identify with him. As the show has gone I identified with him less and less but I do miss him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vallejo’s matt varnish is not very matte which is confusing but I use it quite a bit as it generally works well. AK Interactive has an ultra matte varnish and that is what I brush on when I need the “big guns” for something pretty shiny.

        I strongly agree with everything you said about TWD. A lot of the other characters like Tyrese and Glenn, don’t get replaced with as interesting or likable of characters and that hurts too. Rick becomes kind of a maniac in the comics but I agree that I still like him for some reason in spite of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I will try to get some of that AK Interactive Ultra Matte then. Thanks for the suggestion.

        At least TWD made Gabriel a more interesting and likeable character. I do miss Glenn. And Dale. I really liked Dale.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a nice little groove of trees, you’ve done a great job on them.

    I’d forgot that Black Summer was back until I read your blog. The only thing it had going for it was that I could binge it, if it had been a weekly episode show I might have given up on it. I was really disappointed in it for several reasons you mentioned. The pointless deaths/violence is why I stopped watching the Walking Dead. I just want a zombie show/movie where the main focus is vs the zombies, not vs each other. Black Summer2 had me saying “why aren’t they”, “did they really do that” etc. I really didn’t like how different the Korean woman was portrayed vs the first season, what a waste. I stopped watching the Walking Dead when Rick convinced others to kill people in their sleep. Black Summer might have to be read recaps first if it comes back for another season, or I might just not care.

    Liked by 1 person

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