Old Mini Monday 09 – SciFi-05

Old Mini Monday 09 – SciFi-05


While visiting my brother, he rounded up all his old painted minis and let me borrow the box of them to share on the blog.



From Left to Right: ?, Terrorist 2, ?




Ral Partha, 1985.



“Rebels”. The mini on the far left always reminds me of the Star Wars Rebel outfits for some reason. The other two remind me of guerilla fighters. All three work well enough for generic henchmen in a SciFi/Modern campaign. I don’t have any interesting game stories for this bunch.


Tangent – The End of SciFi

This marks the end of the SciFi/Modern minis that my brother had, unless he happens to find some more in the back of his closet. While I love SciFi, these minis have been a little harder to track down and I think I’ll have more luck with the Fantasy minis overall.

So for this tangent section, I ask “What was the last really good SciFi movie or novel you read?”.

I think there have been some good SciFi movies put out in the last few years, and most of them have amazing special effects…but I don’t think most of them would stand out as great.

The ones that stand out in my mind are Star Wars: A New Hope, Alien, Blade Runner, and Terminator 2. Each of those movies drew me in so thoroughly that I totally forgot I was watching a movie. I felt like I was totally immersed in their world. When Star Wars came out and the first ads appeared on TV, I was pretty young. I didn’t know what “Special Effects” were, and to my little brain, I guess I thought we were watching another galaxy through a portal. Even today, I rarely think “Hey, there is a guy in that Wookie suit!”. Pretty amazing stuff.

When I watched Terminator 2, I was old enough to know what “FX” were, but they were so far advanced for the time that it just blew up my reality. The action was so hard hitting, that I didn’t stop to even wonder “How did they do that?!”.

For some reason, Alien made me never want to travel on a spaceship. Combine that with Apollo 13, and I’m surprised anyone wants to be an astronaut! Whereas I’ve always wanted to visit the high tech, bustling world of Blade Runner.

19 thoughts on “Old Mini Monday 09 – SciFi-05

  1. Always good to get the brain ticking, so here goes. Not my most favourite genre but … Alien I read before I saw the film and loved both. Aliens as a follow up was good too but switched off after that. Terminator was a great concept and the first film was wonderfully dark with some great one liners as well. T2 Judgement Day benefited from a bigger budget and the effects were great but some how the first lower budget film edges it for me. Like with Alien I switched off after that. I don’t like it when Hollywood milks it, it devalues the originals but I get why they do it. War of the Worlds was an enjoyable read and I loved the album by Jeff Wayne as well. The Tom Cruise film was OK. Haven’t seen the new Blade Runner but liked the original. As soon as the winter arrives I’m going to sit down and have a Star Wars-a-thon, which is to say I will finally sit down and watch them all back to back!

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  2. Not sure when the *last* Star Wars movie is supposed to hit the theaters, but maybe next year. It’s a bit odd shifting from the new to the old, if you watch them chronologically. Same bit of weirdness with Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies.

    I’m not sure why, but Terminator I thoroughly bored me at the time. I’ve since rewatched it, but it wasn’t too memorable for me. T2, I don’t like as much as I did when it first came out. Alien, Star Wars (original trilogy), and 2001: A Space Odyssey, I can still watch over and over. Aliens, loved it when it first came out. Not so much anymore.

    Blade Runner is a bit slow compared to modern movies, and the new Blade Runner keeps the same pace, if not slower. It definitely pays its respects to the old, but I’ve heard not everyone is crazy about it. The Wife and I went to see it at a late night showing, as a movie date. After a long day with the toddler, we were pretty tired, so a super slow movie, was probably not the best fit. I want to give it another go, when I have more time and am less tired.

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    1. Oh yea, Fifth Element needs a rewatch soon! I also like Looper, with Bruce and JGL. I’ve never been a big Trek fan, some stuff I’ve liked, but I tend to enjoy other SciFi franchises more.
      I think it’s because I couldn’t really relate to commanding a Star Ship. Maybe a little more when I had my managerial job, but even then it seemed pretty far removed from our reality.

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    1. Thanks man, I feel like he and the lady could be a team. She’s probably the brains of the operation. Or perhaps she’s the money, like the woman in Ronin.

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  3. I think it’s the helmet, as much as anything, that gives the one dude a SW Rebel Trooper vibe. I know I thought the same as soon as I saw him, before I scrolled down to your comment. The flak jacket is actually pretty similar, too.

    Trying to think of the last really good solidly SciFi thing I read, I think I have to go with Ann Leckie’s Ancillary series. A lot of other stuff that has SciFi trappings, but is really Space Fantasy or Horror or something, tho. For movies, arguably Black Panther. Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold. The main plot is a romance, but there’s a bunch of transhumanist and genetic engineering stuff as well.

    Unpopular opinion: Alien 3 is actually really good. It’s just that it’s a suspense/thriller movie instead of a real SciFi film or a horror flick, so people’s expectations get thrown off. It does need to be the later Director’s Cut, tho. The theatrical release got wrecked by bad editing. 4 was just garbage, tho. Possibly even worse than the second AvP film.

    The Fifth Element is more what I call Space Fantasy than SciFi, but it is a great flick. I actually noticed that one of the heads in the Orlock Ganger box reminded me of Zorg, so I tried to paint it as closely to him as I could, put a bunch of gloss varnish on the bare side of his head to try to get the effect of that plastic thing he had on.

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    1. I’ll have to look through the Orlocks to see which one. That’s pretty cool.

      I have a hard time with the CGI in Alien 3. Also killing Ridley seemed like a real weird move, but I think that had something to with Sigourneys contract? It was directed by Fincher though,
      who is one of my favorite directors. The fourth was pretty flawed too. I think they both had some good ideas though. Also unlike a lot of the rehashes we’ve had, were at least original.

      I’ll have to check out your SciFi recommendations!

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      1. My tolerance for bad CGI is pretty high. Like, it’s gotta be at SyFy Original levels of bad before it really registers. Probably mostly because my eyes are so bad that even with glasses, my vision is still substantially impaired 😉

        I actually kind of liked that they killed off Ripley. The way a number of things had been set up, it was the only way to keep Weyland-Yutani from winning. I am still pissed at them for killing off Hicks and Newt offscreen, tho. I also think it might have actually helped the fourth film if they had just moved on to a new protagonist, acknowledge that *no one* can survive everything, that death actually matters, even for action movie protagonists.

        I feel like a lot of the issues with Resurrection were because it was Whedon’s first time as primary writer for a full length film that actually got made. All his stuff before had been script doctor work, just fixing up parts of other scripts, and so this one ended up with a lot of individually good bits that didn’t actually come together to form a good, coherent movie.

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      2. Oh, yeah, also: The Martian. Both the book and the movie, tho they’re good in different ways. I was skeptical when I first heard about the movie, because the book, as it’s written, is almost unfilmable. But they did a good job of keeping the important parts of the story while shifting around the stuff that wouldn’t work in a moving medium.

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  4. Do you count audiobook? If so the I think my last really good one was The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven. It’s a bit of a long one – but really good. I also bloody love BladeRunner (and quite like the new one), so much so I did a BladeRunner event in London a few weeks back.

    I see what you mean about the Rebel Trooper look. Retro 🙂

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    1. Of course, anything that Luke has read, listened to, or touched, has to count! 😉

      What was the BladeRunner event about? I can only imagine.


      1. It was Secret Cinema – which if you haven’t heard of it you should definitely look up. It’s incredible. If you look it up you can see the kinds of events they did for other movies. Really really cool.

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  5. For a slight tangent, I went and saw Solo on Monday. I went in with extraordinarily low expectations, and with those in mind, I felt that it was actually okay. Not brilliant, but then most Star Wars films have been sub-par to be quite honest, with very few exceptions. It was certainly better than The Last Jedi, at least!

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    1. Star Wars sub-par?! Blasphemy!

      Are you a Trekkie?

      As mentioned, I’ve always loved Star Wars. The prequels, not so much. Force Awakens and Rogue One, I enjoyed. The Last Jedi was hit and miss for me.

      Solo, pretty much the same. I felt the actors did a decent to good job, but the script got caught in the trap of trying to explain way too much, too neatly.

      Wait, did you like the LotR and Hobbit movies? Those are almost like Star Wars in fantasy realm.


      1. I’m a Star Wars fan. More of the world building and design these days than the actual films, but I have life-size helmets & lightsabers, too many statues and mini-helmets and way too much other stuff to be healthy. Trek is okay, but never grabbed me to the same extent – as in, I enjoy it well enough when I see it and know most/many of the characters, but don’t particularly seek it all out, haven’t seen all the episodes of any season let alone series, haven’t seen all the films, etc.
        But still, let’s look at the films for quality:

        Ep1: Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Maul and Lightsaber duels good. Anakin and everything about him bad. Jedi Council WTF. Also, Jar-Jar. Overall: Bad movie.
        Ep2: Obi-Wan, Dooku good. Clones cool. Yoda duel cool. Everything else kinda meh or worse. Poor Hayden and Natalie with that script. Overall: Okay-ish movie (it’s been a long time)
        Ep3: Liked the darker tone. Clones and Jedi fights cool. Some flaws (NOOOOOOO!). Best of the prequels. Overall: Decent movie.

        ANH: Great movie, even today. Shows it’s age in being almost entirely for white males only. WTF Chewie medal? Overall: Good movie
        ESB: Best of the bunch. ‘Nuff said. Overall: Good movie.
        RotJ: Great at the time but has not aged well with serious flaws. Ewoks beat Stormtroopers, Fett dies like a bitch. Good but badly flawed. I think Ep3 just edges it out. Overall: Decent movie.

        Ep7: ANH redux – Which I’m actually okay with. Good to see more diversity. Didn’t like Han dying since he was the best part of the film, but I get it. Was likewise fine with Kylo being something very different. I liked this one. Overall: Decent-to-good movie.
        Ep8: Space battle was cool, and I like the designs of the walkers and new ships… But… Uh… WTF? Slow-speed space chase. Pointless CGI side quest that both fails and takes up 40mins. Rich people are bad (brought to you by Disney!) Free the animals! (oops – the slaves are still enslaved!). When did Rose suddenly fall in love with Finn? Luke.. oh dear Luke. No wonder Mark Hamill wasn’t happy. I know it made a ton of money, but it was one of the worst.

        Rogue One: Fucking great. Can I swear here? I do wonder how it would have been even more gritty if they hadn’t messed with the director.

        Solo: Mostly fun, except whatsisname is never going to be able to replace Harrison. Over-explained a bunch of things that didn’t need to be explained. Silly space kraken on a par for silliness with the underwater scenes of Ep1. Lando the Pansexual was also pointless and silly. Despite the many flaws, was still okay. Lucky I went in with dramatically lowered expectations after hearing feedback (and seeing Ep8). Okay movie.

        So, out of the 10 films, we’ve got three good movies:

        Three decent movies:

        Two okay movies:
        (Solo might be higher and Ep2 might be lower – it’s been awhile since I’ve seen the prequels or RotJ)

        And then two bad movies.

        I also feel like I’m being pretty generous with those breakdowns, too.

        I mostly liked the LotR films. The Hobbit was okay with a mix of good, great and WTF.

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        1. I’d agree with most of that. Though I would place Ep2 over Ep3. Didn’t like the Yoda Duel, but really liked the Obi – Jango Duel. Ewan played a much better Obi in Ep2, in my opinion. I could watch more sideline Obi adventures like that, and really enjoy them. Ep3, Hayden just got worse and worse acting wise.

          I think for me, when someone says “Star Wars”, I immediately think of New Hope and Empire. It’s like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. But the good outweighs the bad for me.

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