Yes, I am still alive……

A lot of work done but very little actually finished…. so mostly I have been doing a lot of prep work. Sprue cutting, flash trimming, basing and priming as well as some kitbashed conversions but very little actual detail painting resulting in zero finished miniatures in the last couple of weeks. Some of the work has been for me but some has been on items destined for Ebay.

I have however managed to get a few games of Core Space in, with one of those being done with Mrs. GG! Great fun with the game creating its own organic narrative as it played out. Very cinematic! However, I really need to get all those minis painted.

One of the big distractions from painting those Core Space minis has been my Twilight ‘49 project. I have spent a lot of time trying to decide just what I want to do with it. I thought about the various models I already have as well as what I would like to get, build and paint.

Operation Unthinkable came to mind, Churchill‘s plan to rearm German POWs to fight against the Soviets in 1945, in particular to free Poland since Stalin reneged on his promise of free elections in Poland. Lots of interesting modelling and gaming potential.

I definitely want to keep the Pulp feel dialed way up but perhaps less overt Weird War. Alien Invasion, Demonic cults, mutant monsters… definitely But I am unsure just how Apocalypse or Post Apoc I want to go.

But what really caught me the last couple of weeks has been France in the First Indochina War. I have been interested in this conflict for years. Dien Bien Phu was the first battle I seriously researched in an academic way, having done a report on it back in High School. And the post-WW 2 French military has a very ad hoc aesthetic… almost a Post-Apoc vibe in fact.

Seeing this trailer is what tipped the balance for me recently…. a film made by a man that was there.

I have not yet seen the movie, have you? What did you think of it?

Also, a couple of times in my life I seriously considered joining the French Foreign Legion. I wonder how my life would be now if I had….

Anyway, so I took to kitbash converting a few French Foreign Legion as well as making some kitbash converted Pulp civilian sailors to go along with some North Star Pulp Savage Seas minis I picked up.

Rather than focusing just on Indochina however, I am thinking these Legionnaires could visit a number of interesting places in the relevant time frame. And there could be plenty of Pulp villains for them to confront. Nazi Fugitives, Demons, Aliens, Undead, Cultists, Soviets, Pirates, Tribal Raiders, Local Warlords, Mutants, Dinosaurs, Organized Crime Bosses. So many options!

Or maybe I will focus on Indochina but try an alternate timeline where the French manage to win Dien Bien Phu… perhaps thanks to help from American tactical nuclear weapon deployment, which was actually suggested historically but declined. Again, I would like to see the Soviets play a key role as villains in my narrative.

Wargames Atlantic French Resistance will make various great Pulp civilians, including some sailors. I have also decided to try some Warlord US Marines and British 8thArmy bits to make more tramp steamer sailors. I quite like my old ship‘s cook with a pistol grip shotgun and lots of provisions on his back. That is a Warlord Games Pike & Shotte English Civil War Monmouth Cap on his head repurposed as an iconic sailor‘s wool watch cap.

Classic Pulp tramp steamer crew for inspiration

I have been discussing the idea of Pulp sailors on the Wargames Atlantic forum. I would love to have you join the discussion there. You could help influence some of their future kit designs.

North Star Miniatures inspired me with some of their Pulp Savage Seas miniatures. I liked that one sailor had a choice of slung rifle or sack (I went with the sack). But as good as the metal minis are I love the freedom of kitbashed conversions from multi-pose plastic kits.

And I got some French Indochina heads from Empress Miniatures (thanks to the German retailer Miniaturicum) for the iconic (albeit expensive for me) bush hat wearing heads. I was concerned they would not scale well with Wargames Atlantic and Warlord Games 28mm plastics but they seem fine. Don’t worry, some of my kitbash conversions will have white Kepis in the future. Part of the real appeal of this project is making things so individualistic.

When I primed some of my new Legionnaires I noticed the shoulder seams much more than usual and have had to order some plastic putty. I tried greenstuff on the most obvious gaps before I primed them and it was not a good time. I am hoping for better results from plastic putty. These kinds of gaps bother me more now, perhaps because I saw someone criticizing another gamer’s models over those kinds of gaps.

One thing I did to try to make these look more French Indochina and less WW2 US Army is adding helmet bands and first aid dressings to the helmets. I like that Warlord has some American M1 helmets in their kits that you can put on various hatless heads from other kits. This way you can get some real diversity without a lot of work. That said, I do not think my greenstuff helmet bands will look as good as the sculpted ones from Empress Miniatures.

While I am no fan of French international politics, I do really like the amazing diversity of the French Foreign Legion as well as the “underdog misfits & legion of the damned” mystique surrounding the Legion. There also appears something of a disconnect between the Legion and nationalist French politics, with Legionnaires seeming to fight more for the Legion itself than for France. Of course that could just be clever marketing.

French Foreign Legion motto

In a narrative sense I can easily see a unit of Legionnaires being sent on “doomed misadventures” in exotic locations as politically disposable cannonfodder, be that tracking down Lost Nazi Gold, exploring mysterious Aztec ruins, battling ancient Egyptian undead or investigating crashed alien spaceships.

You can tell I am excited about this project as I am spending a bit more on things for it than I usually do. Of course now I need to Ebay more things to help pay for it.

Speaking of spending more money… I know they are going to be expensive but I am a bit excited about the new Citadel Contrast Paints and Washes coming out.

Games Workshop Citadel Contrast Paint Shades and Washes

They look like they will be even more effective in boosting my poor painting skills. However I am aware of this preliminary review of the washes…

GW Citadel Washes

What are your thoughts on them?

In other news, for Post-Apoc entertainment I highly recommend:

We‘re Alive…

Did you follow the link?

Pretty cool, right?

As you can see there is a lot more to “We’re Alive” than I originally thought and told you about. I may have originally found it on YouTube but there is a lot more to it as various audible only podcast series, with “Survival” as well as “Lockdown” and “Goldrush” available to hear creating a fascinating post-apoc world. I enjoyed all three. Now I am on “Descendants” with its current midseason break. Again, really enjoying this and I highly recommend it. It is not perfect but it is interesting and entertaining. It has me caring about characters and works great as background listening while I prep minis. There were definitely military veterans involved in the writing, with the military aspect while not perfect getting better and better each following year of the production.

I have even started watching season two of the “We’re Alive” role playing series on YouTube. The role playing series makes a lot more sense to me now that I am more steeped in the lore of the setting.

Although the above booger hook on the bang switch bothers my inner NCO sensibilities.

As for other entertainment we have been watching….

Warning… potential spoilers ahead!

De Oost or The East. A war film set during the Indonesian fight for independence from the Netherlands. A conflict that to be honest I did not know very much about. I know a bit more now as the movie encouraged me to research it a bit.

The movie was rather entertaining, albeit predictable, up until the terrible ending. My advice is stop before the last 5 minutes of the film and make up your own ending. Whatever you conceive will be far better than what is actually on screen. Abysmal. One of the worst endings I have ever seen in a movie. It almost made me regret watching the rest of the film but there were some interestingly entertaining and very thought provoking bits overall which it made me want to learn more about the history of the region so it was not a complete waste of time.

Unless the Dutch Army does not have NCO‘s the film makers really do not understand soldiers and life in the military. I wish people making movies about soldiers would learn to understand soldiers better as it really helps make for a more immersive narrative when things are more believable. The movie Platoon with military technical advisor Dale Dye really sets a good standard for this kind of thing.

What has not been a waste of time has been completing season one of the Rookie.

Mrs. GG and I have thoroughly enjoyed the show and discussing it. It clearly has experienced Police Officers involved in the writing as even though it is still Hollywooodized (pardon the pun) there are things I very much remember from my own time as a Cop. It brings back a lot of memories for me. And we both like that it is pretty upbeat even with challenging subject matter. I would not go so far as to say it is optimistic but it lacks that bitter cynicism so prevalent (and depressing) in much of the tv content these days.

It would seem I was an interesting mix of Tim and Nolan back in the day. At least that is how it looks to me and Mrs. GG although I am not sure how my old colleagues would feel about that. And of course I worked more rural policing than routine LAPD patrol. Still I recognized a lot of plot points from my own experiences and that gave it a certain nostalgic feel that is fun for me.

I highly recommend it!

Obi-Wan Kenobi was sadly a bit disappointing for me and Mrs. GG. It was not bad but it was not great. It is Star Wars, so admittedly we had high hopes.

My thoughts on this show were best articulated in the following blog post by the Middle Aged Geek…

And if you have an hour to spend I agree with the guys on the Angry Joe show…

Angry Joe

However, these two videos on Youtube also convey my thoughts, in a rather humorous manner…

Very funny!

Oh, how I laughed!

As for the recent Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness… I seem to have enjoyed it more than many other folks did based on reviews I have seen. Scarlet Witch was ridiculously overpowered and it was tough to see some of my favorite superheroes getting killed but otherwise Mrs. GG and I thought it was pretty good.

For a bit of a laugh you might enjoy this “honest trailer”…

You may have noticed, and wondered why, I put Spider-Man: No Way Home after Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness since No Way Home came our first. Well we ended up seeing Multiverse of Madness first and yes, that was a little annoying in hindsight. It would have been better to have seen No Way Home first.

Order of viewing aside… it was an ok movie. Not amazing but not bad. It was an interesting exercise in making the Multiverse concept help reconcile different versions of the same intellectual property. Plot wise I think it meant well but did not really think out what the changes made to the various characters, hero and villain alike, would do to their respective universes. Like time travel the Multiverse concept gives me a real headache when I start to really think about it.

Anyway… here is another humorous look at the movie….

So there we go, another long blog post. Thank you to all those that made it this far! I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below.



  1. Oooh, I’m excited about the French Foreign Legion project – you can never have too many Foreign Legionnaires! 🙂 And I didn’t know there was a film about Dien Bien Phu so I’ll have to look that out! I found Martin Windrow’s book “The Last Valley” a really good read on the subject!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a lot to digest in one blog/comment! So forgive me if I leave several.

    Just watched The Land/People That Time Forgot and then reading your post has gotten me thinking on building a tramp steamer again. Bob Murch’s pulp figures have always tempted me. I have also toyed with the idea of doing the submarine and using Warlord Games Russian Naval Brigade as it’s crew. ( sorry for US links)

    Of course the movie Aliens is celebrating it’s 35 anniversary so I’m looking at GF9 again also.

    Is there a reason you didn’t mention Murch’s Far Flung French Legionnaires ?

    More comments to follow.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A submarine based adventure would be brilliant. I have had my eyes open for an affordable 28mm scaled sub without print lines…

      The Far Flung French line are great but I am aiming for later period than that. Do not get me wrong, I would love to do earlier FFL but there is only so much time and resources for me to allocate. Late 40s early 50s is something I can do with things I already have.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That makes sense for the Legionnaires.

        Glad to see that Mrs. GG is enjoying Core Space also.

        Regarding GW’s new paints, I think I will hold off for awhile. For my table top standard of painting does well with other brands (and cheaper) of paints.

        I have used Testor’s Contour Putty to fill seams and small gaps to good success. I reserve greenstuff for larger gaps.

        Thanks for encouraging me to watch The Last Legion again, I’m quite enjoying it. Might have to give We’re Alive another chance, will download some episodes for the gym.

        Still gathering my thoughts on Obi Wan.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Vallejo plastic putty we ordered finally arrived today. Post has been a bit slow of late in my area.

        I encouraged you to watch The Last Legion? You not mean the Colon Firth late Roman movie do you?

        We‘re Alive was definitely worth it for me once I started to care about some of the characters. Don‘t get me wrong, some of them really annoy me. I wanted to like Michael but he gets increasingly annoying over time. Same as Peggs. But Burt gets better as do some other characters. And I think the scenarios presented would play out well in tabletop gaming.


  3. I’m not the best source of info on military stuff as it has never been a strong interest of mine. I like a good war movie but tend to prefer Rogue One and LOTR/Hobbit to just about any other war movie I can think of. Platoon is a stone cold classic though and a favorite of mine. While I’m sure a lot of it is fictionalized, I could see how Vietnam went wrong in that movie and of course the iconic scene with Willem Defoe is as good as it gets.

    I do really like your ideas on pulp in the Twilight setting. While pulp can by really schlocky and that is fun, I think it is cooler to do it in a slightly more realistic setting. All of the minis you’ve been working on should look great painted up as well.

    I’m glad you’re having fun with Core Space still. You’ve got a lot on your plate and I’m sure you’ll get those minis painted sooner or later. I’m in a similar camp of wanting to get things done to justify more gaming but not having time to get it all done at the same time.

    Finally, I think I’m souring on Disney’s content. I saw on social media that Marvel alone has released 100 hours of content under Disney’s watch. It doesn’t seem like THAT much until you stop and think about it. It also seems to me that they’re struggling to create memorable, lasting content in the latest wave of shows and movies. Some is certainly better than others and I don’t want to paint it all with a broad brush. Truthfully, I’m struggling to keep up with it all and maintain other hobbies and interests in my life and I wonder if other people will start to feel that way too. I may have an article in me about all of these things but then again, I could see myself not writing it if I feel it is a bit negative. I don’t want to ruin anyone else’s fun after all.

    Glad you’re doing well and I look forward updates from you whenever you have the time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • For me it is all about suspension of disbelief, games or movies. Pulp schlock is like any other tool, it can be helpful or harmful. When it is helpful, it’s not my problem. *wink* Fallout gets Pulp schlock right, it is just enough to take an edge off the soul destroying grimness of a real apocalypse. Where Fallout starts to go wrong is where it starts doing things that break suspension of disbelief… looking at you Fallout 76!

      So getting the balance of gritty to fun correct is the real challenge for Twilight 49 (maybe switching to Fallout 55).

      Angry Joe and his mates seem to thing Disney is trying to do too much Star Wars too fast and not taking the time to get it right. I do not think there is too much or that it needs more time. However it does need a clear plan and a clever person who fully understands the lore to overall helm the IP. Rodriguez and Chow just did not deliver in my opinion and I put that on Kennedy being in charge.

      I am less steeped in Marvel Universe lore so the shows do not bother me so much when they start messing with previously established canon. However it is getting difficult to keep track of everything that has happened and the power creep of “mega-threats” is getting overwhelming.

      Hopefully my well intentioned criticisms, which really are just intended to encourage positive changes in writing, do not yuck other folks yum. I do not judge folks for liking things I do not. I just do not like settling for just “good enough” when excellent is within reach, ie the Mandalorian and the Avengers.

      It is great getting comments on my blog posts. They help me feel connected to folks during this time of increasing isolation.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I strongly agree about Fallout and pulp. Otherwise, slavers and cannibal super mutants would be pretty dark indeed!

        I agree that Kathleen Kennedy’s leadership with Star Wars has been and continues to be a major problem for the franchise. If you think about most of the Star Wars content that Disney has made, it is pretty derivative and The Last Jedi tried to shake things up and that was a disaster in my opinion. For me, Star Wars has always been as much about anticipation for the next big thing as it is that thing. A lot of the excitement for the Special Edition movies was having it be back in theaters again after decades. The prequels were a story that we thought we’d never see (and some may wish they hadn’t but I see the good and the bad in them). When you have multiple shows and/or movies coming out in a year, there is little anticipation. Now they keep trying to expand content for fan favorite characters to try and find a winning formula beyond Mandalorian. Boba Fett, Obi-Wan, Cassian Andor from Rogue One. The more they go to that well, the greater the risk of turning people off is if that content isn’t good. If Boba Fett is your favorite character, I don’t know how enthusiastic you’d be about him after that show for example. I think Disney would be better served taking a break from Star Wars and making a large-scale plan with content that builds and links to each other in a way that satisfies fans and is well-thought out (as opposed to the Skywalker Saga). Marvel did it really well with the first few phases and Star Wars has never gotten it right under Disney.

        While Star Wars has a lot of issues, I think Marvel is starting to jump the shark as well. Disney is making too much Marvel content and it is becoming a hobby in and of itself to keep up with it. Not only that but they’re starting to make TV shows and movies that cater to very specific tastes within Marvel’s offerings. Ms. Marvel was a big hit in the comics, especially with younger and female readers. I tried to read it and I couldn’t get into it. Not because it wasn’t good but because it didn’t speak or appeal to me enough. Now it has its own show and I have a dilemma. My freetime is limited and I’m not terribly excited to watch it. As a result, I think I need to start skipping shows that don’t appeal to me, if not give up on the Disney Plus content altogether. My biggest complaint is that there is so much Marvel stuff now that a lot of it is becoming disposable and isn’t memorable enough. In ten or twenty years, how much of the newest content would you re-watch? I know I wouldn’t watch Black Widow or Hawkeye again when there are movies like Iron Man (the first one), Spider-Man Homecoming, and others that are excellent movies and are shorter than the TV shows.

        Now granted, I have video games competing for my time. For me personally, I would rather play a great video game than watch most TV shows. There are exceptions but generally, a show has to be well done and appealing to my interests for me to watch it. There are tons of great video games that you can sink your teeth into and I’m sure that is part of the reason why I don’t have time to keep up with Marvel content right now. Truthfully, I feel a bit nostalgic for the days of two to three movies in a year because each one felt special and you could savor them a bit more. It was a lot easier to keep up and I never felt like I was behind or drowning in unwatched content. Growing up, I never thought I would say this as I always wanted more Star Wars and would have loved more Lord of the Rings but right now, I want less and higher quality content.

        I think some of these thoughts are a rehash of things I’ve said before but there are a few new nuggets in there, I think. I think I pretty much wrote a shortened version of my article so now I don’t have to worry about that after all! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree mate. You hit a lot of solid points very well.

        If I was still deeply into PC gaming I would probably have not seen most of these shows, especially Star Wars as I would likely have given up on the IP after the recent movies. And while I would have still seen some MCU, I would not have watched nearly as much if I was still conquering the Commonwealth on behalf of the Institute and Minutemen.

        Fallout 76 making Bethesda look like they lost the Fallout plot and Star Trek Online (Lifetime member here) leaning heavily into the new Trek lore (Ugh, I really hate the “New Trek” of Discovery and Picard… that is one yum I will vocally yuck) may have helped me feel better about giving up PC gaming but Stellaris still occasionally beckons thanks to their continuing updates and Starfield release info has been nagging at me. But I just do not have the time or money to get back into PC gaming.

        No… I need to be strong and live my PC gaming life vicariously through others in the occasional YouTube video.

        Which means I really need to watch season 2 of the Punisher at some point I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gaming is expensive or at least it can be but I find that it is time intensive more than anything else. Its hard to do a lot of digital and analog gaming both, even I struggle with it and I think I have a bit more freetime than others (short of those who are retired of course). The good thing for you is that if you don’t playing digital games, you might actually be able to keep up with all of Disney’s content, unlike me!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Even being a house husband (almost as much free time as being retired) and no PC or console gaming I still do not have enough time or patience to keep up with ALL of the MCU let alone the rest of Disney!

        PC gaming now seems a lot less expensive to me and Mrs. GG thanks to how much we have spent on tabletop wargaming over the last couple of years.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PC gaming can be done very cheaply if you buy on Steam when there are sales. The computer itself is your biggest expense by far. I would agree that tabletop wargaming is more expensive and I think its actually way more time consuming to get the kind of gratification that we all want. It takes most people a couple of years to get decent at painting and terrain and I was no exception in that regard!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Very intrigued by the thought of a ragtag group of French Foreign Legion on expendable quests the world over. It’s interesting and inspiring to see the continued evolution of this project.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi was a mixed bag for me. I’d never really thought his character needed a “redemption” arc, and while I’m glad he got one and I watched, it largely felt unnecessary. It was storytelling that was so constricted by existing lore that it turned into a mixed bag of low stakes and odd character choices that were forced by existing canon. That said, I absolutely loved the characterization of Vader and re-watched multiple times the interactions between Vader and Kenobi.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad to hear you FFL idea.

      Kenobi is definitely a mixed bag. Some great bits. Vader was great. He is one of my favorite villains of all time. Except for being a bit of a Mary Sue Leia was cool. I liked the actor they chose. At times she very much reminded me of Little GG. But the way the show went it messed with the canon too much in my opinion. I did not really need a Kenobi redemption story either to be honest. And while better than Luke‘s redemption story it was still underwhelming most of the time. Reva could have been much better. The actor was pretty good. Too many times the show seemed to just echo things from other Star Wars stories, hidden tracking devices, infiltrating Imperial bases to save a tortured princess, lovable rogue scam artist is not the villain we first think, spy with a robot partner. I will admit I find the “I have a bad feeling about this” meme from the original trilogy humorous but Star Wars is starting to echo itself so much that it is coming across like Battlestar Galactica reboot.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t know why I said the Last Legion, I meant The Last Kingdom 😄.

    Thinking about Obi Wan, I have come to the conclusion that I’m no longer the audience they’re targeting. Like we discussed with the different versions of I Am Legend, different films for different times and different audiences.

    After the first three episodes of Obi Wan, I went back and watched them again with Disney in mind and focusing on the young Leia story and I found I enjoyed it more. When the prequels came out, I remember Lucas mentioning he made it for the 10 year olds. My son was 11 when we saw The Phantom Menace in the theater and when I talked to him recently he quite likes the prequels as those were the movies he grew up on. I remember being in a department store and watched two kids weave in and out of clothes racks saying “Now this is Pod racing!”

    I’ve also been reminded of my age reading a thread on twitter discussing the upcoming Rings of Power where the writers were saying they were born after Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies came out and were looking forward to the new series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, yes, Last Kingdom. That was good. Unlike Last Legion. 🙂

      You make an excellent point. Maybe we just are not the target audience so much anymore. The Mandalorian was still awesome though. Not original Star Wars (A New Hope), Indiana Jones, Alien or Jaws awesome but still awesome.

      We saw the new 3 minute Comic-con trailer for Ring of Power… beautiful costuming and cinematography but Mrs. GG and I are still worried about the writing. That said, it will be difficult for it to be worse than Jackson‘s Hobbit trilogy.


  6. That seems to be the common worry about Rings of Power, how will the writing be? Some of the lines in the trailers have been cringe worthy. Also concerned about multiple directors, hope they have a common vision.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was unaware of the multiple directors. I agree with you. That said I am more optimistic after the Comic-con trailer than I was before. But then I may just be comparing it to the new D&D movie trailer that just came out.


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