Friday, 28 May 2010

Boardgame envy: Stronghold

One of the reasons I love board games is that they incorporate a whole heap of graphic design. I often download the promo images for games for this reason. The more high-rez shots I can get of packaging, rules, components and boards the better. I would love to own so many of these games simply so I can handle all the components and drown myself in their design. Alas, the Gods of money and storage space do not smile on me enough to allow me to indulge my passion as much as I would like.

Stonghold is one such title which may never make its way into my mittens.

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Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Nikon envy

I became really interested in photography in about 2000 and have pursued it more or less seriously since then. I think it's the same now, but when I began you really had to align yourself with a brand (partly to ensure compatibility between all your bits of kit). I opted for Nikon as it was, and still is, renowned for great build quality whilst being cheaper than Leica and Hasselblad. In my more obsessive phases I would pore over the glossy brochures Nikon produced, and submerge myself in the otaku catalogue sites like that at

Here are a collection of wonderful Nikon promo images I found on my hard drive.

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Sunday, 23 May 2010

Lucky Little Dice

A week or so ago I held the second Lucky Little Dice - my board games club. We gathered again at Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green at the kind invitation of Sheriff Vanderhorne. Much fun was had, many games were played and I think everyone drank more than they should have.

I played (and was deeply baffled by) Fluxx and we cracked open a copy of Arkham Horror. However, we decided it was too late to start reading the rules for the latter and we'd probably drunk so much that we'd be easy fodder for the Old Ones. Instead we pored over the wonderful artwork and marvelled at Miss Miranda's efforts to imitate the sounds each Mythos nasty would make. My she's a talented girl, and here's her slightly NSFW blog.

Miss Miranda with her favourite Mythos critter.
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Friday, 14 May 2010

Reenactment: The Ancient Greeks go to Bushey Park

There is a legend that Brutus came to this island after the fall of Troy and founded London. Last weekend proved to me that, if he did indeed come to Britain, then he would not have retained his Mediterranean garb. I know because I wore it and nearly froze to death.

I became a member of The Hoplite Association at the end of last summer and I joined them for my first show a week ago. This was in Bushey Park which borders the stately Hampton Court Palace. The site is not far from my home in Hackney and so I choose to commute for the two days rather than camp. This was fortuitous because the weather was plain awful. I borrowed a spare Persian outfit from Hoplite Steve and this covered my three shirts and two pairs of leggings (but not my socks, as the first photo below reveals).

We are a small reenactment society and can never compete with our peers in putting on large displays. Consequently we focus on audience interaction and make great efforts to talk to the public and engage them in discussion. I really enjoyed "working the crowd line" as the public were very happy (if somewhat surprised) to see us.

It was a great day and a highlight for me was watching Hoplite Andy reign himself in when someone asked him if he was a Viking.

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Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Photoshoot: Put your best foot forward

My friend LaLa and I have been working on a performance piece where we "twin". We dress in identical (or nearly so) clothes and go out and about. It's more of an immersive and interactive thing rather than the traditional audience/performer concept. It also bemuses the hell out of passers by because seeing two adult women dressed the same is a very freaky thing.

We decided to christen our venture with a photoshoot. Sheriff Vanderhorne of Resistance Gallery kindly loaned us the use of his premises and Ekaterina did an amazing job with her camera.

The photos here are from the first of three concepts we shot that evening. LaLa is an excellent Tango dancer and she was keen to integrate this into the project (this led us to practicing Tango steps in a park on the previous weekend, much to the amusement of those passing by). The shoot was organic in how it developed and the results are very Mulholland Drive. I'll post the pictures from the other shoots in due course.

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Kilian Eng

Stunning retro work from the super-talented artist inspired by airbrush art, early computer games and 80s cinema. Blog here (now defunct) and new tumblr page here.

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Thursday, 6 May 2010

War of the Worlds; Goliath

Below is the awesome new trailer for Heavy Metal's War of the Worlds; Goliath. I came across this about a year ago and grabbed some of the wonderful concept art that's floating around the net. According to their productin blog the movie is scheduled for release on DVD in "early 2010".

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You just fucked with the wrong Mexican

The awesome new Machete trailer:

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Awesome short films

Below is the trailer to Philips Cinema's new series of short films entitled Parallel Lines. Click here to see the full site.

I got wind of this because I am on Johnny Hardstaff's mailing list. He's a whole bunch of awesome and directed the Darkroom segment.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Giger in Finland

I rooted through my Spam folder the other day and found a lovely message from reader Marco who had emailed me to tell me about a Giger retrospective in Finland. Marco linked to the Giger Work Catalog site which covers various Giger exhibitions across the globe. I had no idea so much of Giger's stuff went on display so regularly and I shall endeavour to try and go to any future exhibitions is possible.

Images from the Finnish exhibition below, with many more on the Work Catalog site.

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Sunday, 2 May 2010

New work: Mantic Games' design competition entry

Below is my entry to the Mantic Games' "Design a sleeve" contest which closed on Friday.

Mantic opened for business in 2009 and has swiftly proved itself a heavyweight in the mini world. They produce excellent quality plastic fantasy figures at a price point just below that of the industry leaders, Games Workshop. Mantic immediately caught my eye when they began trading because of their slick packaging and corporate design which was both highly professional, restrained and mature. This is a combination rarely seen in the fantasy wargames market. When they announced their competition, I was keen to have a crack.

Amongst the company's innovations are the boxes Mantic's minis come in. These are akin to VHS video boxes in their general shape with layers of foam inside to protect the mini sprues. Once the sprues are removed, the boxes with their foam doubles as containers for the completed minis. This is the kind of considerate thought that has assured the swift rise of the upstart company. Mantic is about to start selling empty boxes to customers needing more transport space and their competition was to design a sleeve for these empty cases.

My approach to the challenge was to ensure my design; a) was consistent with their current corporate image b) yet showed a degree of freshness and c) was not tied to one race (being empty boxes they could be used to transport any race). I found it difficult not to wed my scheme to any one race. I opted not to use any of Mantic's illustrations because of this problem and I think my solution of using the silhouettes does the trick.

It was a fun little side project to do and I am pretty pleased with the results.