Friday Rodent Blogging

We at Legal Alien would like to extend our humblest apologies for missing last week's FRB. This was the look on Selene's face when she found out about the unforgivable oversight:

Doesn't she look like Marlon Brando in the opening scenes of The Godfather?

So.. you come to me on the day of my daughter's wedding to tell me that you missed last week's Friday Rodent Blogging? What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully?

So, in an attempt to make up for this, we present two editions in one:

Selene.. Awake. Hungry. Don't keep me hungry. You won't like me when I'm hungry.

Told ya.


The 22nd Praetorian

Using Mrs Doombreed's excellent suggestion of using my magnifier (see yesterday's post) we present more pics of the 22nd.

You were warned..

Colonel Ironfist:

The 22nd's Command HQ:
Back Row l-r: Mastervox Operator; Veteran
Middle Row l-r: Standard Bearer; Medic
Front: Colonel Ironfist.

Nork Deddog, Ogryn Bodyguard:

Infantry Squad:

Ratling Snipers:

Anti-Tank Squad from the Heavy Weapons Platoon:


The Sergeant from the Rough Riders:

A Rough Rider trooper:

More to come.


Cracked It, Finally

I finally figured out how to get good pictures of my models. Using my magnifying light which was bought to help detail panting, I magnify the figure and then take a picture of the magnifier, thus good pics of my Praetorian Marine sharpshooter have been taken.



Watch out for my entire range being photographed using this technique in the days (or weeks) to come.



Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a writer who specialises in haunted stuff. He travels around the country visiting haunted houses, mansions, graveyards, hotels and the like, then publishes books on them, usually with less-than-complimentary opinions on the sites.

After receiving a card telling him not to go to room 1408 in the Dolphin hotel in New York he, of course, does so. He expects to be greeted with the same rubbish he's experienced time and time again, the same pitch-to-the-tourists buildup, the same anticlimactic stay in the room.

See, Enslin is an atheist and does not believe in ghosts. And right there is my single complaint about the movie. It's yet another "prove the atheist wrong" piece of modern entertainment.

Anyway, Enslin is surprised when the Dolphin's manager, Gerald Olin (Samuel L. Jackson), tells him that room 1408 genuinely has a bloody and horrific history and that, in fact, the room is no longer open for guests. Enslin can't stay there. Enslin insists. Olin capitulates. And thus begins a night of terror and horror.

Okay, there are a few genuinely scary moments in this film, and a lot of jump moments. There is almost none of the gore that we expect in modern horror, just a little blood, but plenty of fright, some very clever directing, some above-par acting and some great special effects.

A very intelligent movie that is a great break from the lakes of blood that horror movies rely on these days.

Doombreed Rating: * * * * 1/2


They're At It Again

Remember Nadia Eweida vs British Airways in the case of "you're making me obey the same rules as everyone else but I'm a Christian so it's discrimination"?

Well, here they go again.

16 year-old Lydia Playfoot was told that she has to obey her school's uniform code just like everyone else, and that means no rings.

But because Playfoot is a Christian, she feels that she should be exempt but refuses to admit it and, instead, describes a uniform code that applies equally to everyone as - you guessed it - "discrimination."

In typical "persecuted" Christian style, she compares her pointless "purity ring" that she chooses to wear but her faith does not require with headscarves and turbans which are exactly the opposite.

Sheesh. They rule the bloody country. You'd think persecution would be hard to fake, but they're right there doing it.

Paint Week

Paint Week has not gone according to plan. When I first started thinking about this week, I was starting from the position of Mrs Doombreed working all week, leaving me at a loose end for at least five days. Much to my delight, she's been home, so we've been spending time together, something we rarely get to do. Thus, although my week has been great, my painting has been near nonexistent.

Today, I did manage to finish my Praetorian sniper:

And here is the view from the back:

I decided that a sniper did not deserve to have the standard red tunic, white helmet and belt order that regular Praetorians wear, so I gave him a green tunic and tan helmet and belt order, allowing him to blend in a little better. I'm going to call him (and the rest of the unit when I get and paint them) Praetorian Marine sharpshooters on detachment to the 22nd, much like my heavy weapon platoon is on detachment from the Praetorian Artillery.

I have to say this is one of my favourite models. He just looks great.


The Birthday Boy

Mrs Doombreed has been treating me like a prince all day, and I've had a whale of a time. We had the most amazing dinner, followed by a very tasty cake, and earlier, we went and saw Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer.

The cinema had a life-size plastic replica of the Silver Surfer in the lobby. Brilliant.

Fantastic 4 - Rise Of The Silver Surfer

Standard sequel opening - this is, obviously, the sequel to The Fantastic 4 and, as such is more of the same, just a little different. If you liked the first, this has half a chance. If you didn't like the first, you won't like this one either.

Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and Susan Storm (Jessica Alba) are getting married in the middle of a media circus, mostly caused by Johnny Storm (Chris Evans), who just loves being the centre of attention. A strange glowing comet-like object is whizzing around Earth creating havoc wherever it goes.

You already know what the comet-like thing is - it's the Silver Surfer, probably Marvel's only totally nekkid character.

Richards discovers that wherever the Surfer goes, the planet dies eight days later. If you've read the corresponding comic books, you'll know why.

Okay. Not bad. Lawrence Fishburn does well as the voice of the Silver Surfer, and things are pretty as you'd expect. Stan Lee makes his best cameo to date.

Spoiler; Highlight To Read:

Doom's back. No, not me. Victor Von Doom comes back in this film. Fans will enjoy this. Galactus also does not appear, just some cloud-like special effects.

Oh, and stay for the credits. There's an after-scene.

If you've watched the movie and missed it, highlight for details:

The Silver Surfer survived his battle with Galactus and, at the end of the movie, is seen floating unconscious in space with his board slowly working its way towards him. Galactus isn't dead either.

Overall, a good movie.

Doombreed Rating: * * * * 1/2


The Madness Begins

Ironically, Paint Week's first day did not involve any painting, just some modeling.

First up we have a standard kneeling Praetorian trooper model - "Trooper 6" - who had an irretrievably damaged lasgun when I got him. Well, some cleaning up, plus the barrel of a plastic Cadian lasgun, the scope from an old Space Marine bolter that I had lying around and the handles from some old Space Marine knives, and we have a shiny new Praetorian sniper to paint:

Next, I wedded a mortar model with a pair of Basilisk crew that, if I recall correctly, Wilf gave me, along with some bits from the Imperial tank accessory sprue, to make the bulk of my heavy weapons platoon's command squad:

Details are hard to make out because they're black-on-black, but they'll look better once they're painted.

Lastly, I took scalpel and file to an old Space Marine bike I had lying around the bits box:

Why? Because I'm doing an experiment to see if I can make it look suitable as an Imperial Guard jetbike. See, I loved the old jetbikes, and they would make excellent Rough Riders. I'm quite pleased with the result. You can't see it from the picture above, but the footplate has been placed on the back, and those foot rests look very nice as jets.


Friday Rodent Blogging

Regular viewers of Friday Rodent Blogging will know what that look means..


Eleven Down, One To Go

Okay, this is it. This is it. Last day tomorrow, so no doubt it'll drag like a bugger.

Now, onto something strange:

Auntie reports that Delcambre, LA (that's in the state of Louisiana, for those outside the US) is on the verge of banning low-riding trousers that show off the wearer's underwear. $500 fine or even jail time. Apparently, in Delcambre, underwear* is being added to the list of "indecent exposures."

Y'know. This garbage is bad. But what's worse is that the same people who tend to support this kind of law also tend to condemn Islamic countries for requiring women to wear the burqa.

Guess what? It's the same thing.

The only difference is scale. Religious nutbars banning visible underwear is the same impetus, the same egocentricism, the same prudishness as religious nutbars banning women in public with their faces showing.

Look at this. Tell me those aren't just scaled-down burqas.

*It seems that, as well as being prudes, they also missed the loophole. Stop wearing boxers or briefs and start wearing swimming trunks or some form of sports shorts instead. They're not underwear so the law doesn't apply and you can wear your trews just as low as you like. Duh.


Nine Down, Three To Go

I'm a little late, but here nonetheless. Akusai over at Action Skeptics has the latest Carnival Of The Godless up.

Go. Read. Go now!


Harry Not Going To Iraq

In a dramatic u-turn, the British Army has announced that HRH Prince Harry won't be going to Iraq with his unit after all.

The worst part for the Prince has to be the conflict of emotions. Harry's a smart kid and I'm sure he understands that his presence in Iraq would represent an unnecessary risk, both to himself (which is acceptable) and to his fellow soldiers (which is not), but he's also got to be feeling annoyed that his position is keeping him out of a job he's earned.

Of course, there are those who are missing the point entirely, talking of rank and privilege, that Harry's life is worth more than any other soldier's, but these people - or others just like him - would be just as pissed if he'd been deployed and ended up endangering others.

People who write to local rags and sign themselves "Angry from Dunstable" or "Annoyed in Leighton Buzzard."

Idiots, in other words.

Seven Down, Five To Go

Here, in video format, is the BBC report on Kentucky's newly-opened "Creation Museum" (mentioned here a few days ago).

Especially impressive is the quote from the actual scientist about how the only thing that's missing is the "yabba-dabba-do."

Excellent stuff.


Six Down, Six To Go

This is worrying. Tiny hamburgers made out of old folks.

Well, I guess that's one way to solve the Social Security problem...


Friday Rodent Blogging

I'm not entirely sure what's going on here, but I think that piece of cardboard said something mean about Selene's mother.



The so-called "Creation Museum" (yes, it is, no, it's not) has been hit by a sex scandal already. Apparently, the guy who plays "Adam" in the museum's propaganda fiction is - er - not exactly the kind of person that die-hard, right-wing, uber-bigots like to hang out with.

Four Down, Eight To Go

Two pieces of interesting news from home.

The Astute was launched on Monday, four years behind schedule. The biggest attack submarine in the British Navy, she will officially become HMS Astute in 2009 when she enters service. As is traditional, she will be the first in a new class of ships, named after her. The Astute Class will consist of four attack subs - Astute, Ambush, Artful, and Audacious - to be completed over the next few years. For those who like that kind of thing (I do) here is a .pdf with a detailed cutaway drawing of the vessel.

The second piece of news is more sombre. Cpl Rodney Wilson, A Company, 4th Battalion The Rifles, became the 150th member of the British armed forces to die in Iraq. This is neither the time nor the place for rantings for or against the war. Simply remember that people are dying.


Two Down, Ten To Go

Man, did we have some bad hail storms last night. The building in which I work is basically a big metal box, so imagine pellets of ice hitting the roof and sides over and over again. The building roared.

Here's what, to me, it sounded like:

If you've ever travelled the Tube in London, remember standing on one of those totally enclosed "bomb-shelter" platforms when there's a train approaching the station fast? Just before you hear the squeal of the tube's brakes going on, there's this ... roar. It's a combination of the noise the train makes on the tracks and the great big wall of air that it's pushing in front of it.

Like that, but twenty times louder.

When I went outside there were actually drifts of hailstones.



Good News And Bad

Bad news: Today I started the first of twelve straight days at work.

Good News: At the end of twelve days (now eleven) I have just over a week off.

So.. Paint Week cometh.

I am going to make a painting vow:

By the end of that week, the Praetorian 22nd will be finished.

First, the heavy weapons platoon needs its second squad (lascannons) based, third squad (heavy bolters) done, and command squad done.

Two infantry squads are still bare metal. A second command squad - so I can either field two infantry platoons of two squads or one infantry platoon of four - also needs doing.

The rhino, which I've decided is going to, under the "counts as" convention, serve as my Command HQ's Chimera, will be finished. And if you don't know why I'd put a Command HQ in a rhino, you ain't been in this game long enough.

My lone sentinel needs finishing, so I'll need to dust off the airbrush.

And the Chimera for my Armoured Fist unit needs final details.

If time permits, I'll apply myself to a priest I'm cobbling together from a Praetorian trooper model.

And, once that's all done and not before, I may go on to my Ordo Malleus daemonhunter and retinue.

And I have some slightly insane scenery ideas to play with.


Friday Rodent Blogging

Selene who, thanks to mysterious gerbil senses, can actually hear me thinking about giving her a pumpkin seed.