Sunday, February 19, 2017

Book Review: Zulu Dawn

After writing my double feature movie reviews last month, I decided to finally read the old copy of Zulu Dawn that's been occupying space in my library for, oh, I don't know for how long.

Zulu Dawn was written by Cy Endfield, who co-wrote the screenplay of the same name.

The book provides in-depth character backstories and introspection, as well as a more detailed narrative about the chain of events...

...that led up to the Battle of Isandlwana...

...along with its immediate aftermath.

Many of the scenes play out differently in the book than in the movie, but end with similar, if not identical results.

The Zulus themselves have a greater role in the book.  This part of the story focuses on the young warrior Bayele, who is selected for one of many scouting missions.  When he returns with news about the British invasion, he's chosen to lead a deception operation by allowing himself, along with two others, to be captured.  Only after getting thoroughly roughed-up, he and his comrades try to mislead the British about the location of the main Zulu army.

Bayele gains his revenge by killing Colonel Henry Pulleine...

...and Lieutenant Vereker...

...who's fate in the movie was never clarified.

Since I like the movie, I liked the book, even though it doesn't even show up on a Google search for the best books about the Battle of Isandlwana.

While Zulu Dawn may not be the most scholarly work, Enfield's narrative is very readable, especially when describing the chaos of battle.  Plus, after watching the movie so many times, it was easy for me to visualize the story.

Zulu Dawn gets a sunny 4-star rating.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

(Image from:  John Lustig's "Last Kiss")

For this Valentine's Day, I thought I'd hijack utilize images along the lines of Stern Rake Studio's webcomics and wargaming theme.

(Image from:  World of Tanks Weekend Special)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Studio's "New" Miniature Display Cases

(A display case my wife found at a neighborhood garage sale)
I was hoping to get some gaming projects completed before I went back on duty.  Unfortunately, the amount of home projects and snow removal took up most of my time.

Despite my time constraints, I managed to organize my "new" miniatures into two of my "new" display cases.

Technically, the figures and the furniture aren't new, but they're new to me, or have been put to new use.

For the past year, I've been buying painted miniatures from fellow gamers in my area, especially my talented friend Dean, host of WAB Corner.

I've been wanting to post pictures of each new acquisition, but first things first, I needed a place to put them.

During the summer, my wife and I reorganized our DVD collection and assembled some wall-shelves we got from my friend Joe when he moved.  This freed-up a display case for my prized figures to reside in.

My wife bought the second display case, seen in the led photo, at a garage sale.

Once the necessary household chores were complete, I spent an afternoon sorting through figures and placing them in the cases.  A few figures will require some "super glue surgery" because I dropped them, or didn't pick them up properly.

Once I get some additional time off, I plan on doing a series of photo shoots to show off my new-found figures.

(This was formerly a CD/DVD display case)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Snow Day in Western Washington

A couple days ago, my wife and I took a road trip to south-western Oregon to visit an elderly friend.

We returned late Saturday night, and a good thing too.

It snowed all day yesterday, which started accumulating on the roads by mid-afternoon.

By early morning today, we had several inches of snow in our neighborhood, while schools across the region closed or delayed opening.

Here's a photo gallery of Snow in Seattle.

I've been hoping to post some game-related material this week.

But for now, I'm too busy shoveling...

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Adventure of the Sherlock Holmes Exhibit

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The following is a "photo album" I concocted using Comic Life illustrating our visit to the International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes while it was housed at the Pacific Science Center

Click on any image in order to get into "slide show" mode, and to enlarge the view. 

I'm not sure where the exhibit is heading next, but my wife and I highly recommend it.

We didn't buy anything at the gift shop, even when everything was on sale, because we weren't interested in the items, or already own them.
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Movie Reviews: Zulu Dawn and Zulu

(Image from British Battles)

As the 138th anniversary of the battles of  Isandlwana...

(Image by Kieth Rocco, found on Holts Tours)

...and Rorke's Drift neared, I asked a friend and fellow war movie aficionado if he'd seen the movies
Zulu Dawn...

...or Zulu.

He hadn't.

So a few days before today's anniversary, we staged a Zulu movie marathon.

Since these movies have been out for nearly half a century, I don't have anything new to add, other than I love both films--despite their flaws.

Zulu Dawn has a 4.2 star rating on while it's predecessor Zulu, holds a 4.7 star rating.

While I love these movies, I give them about a 4-star rating myself, for the all same reasons stated by the less-than 5-star raters.

I noticed a lot of complaints about the quality of the Zulu Dawn DVD, which is something I noticed in my own copy.  The older film Zulu, has a better image.

Both movies perpetuate a few myths about the Zulu War, and have a considerable number of editing and historical mistakes:  10 for Zulu Dawn and a whopping 45 for Zulu.

But knowing these, I still enjoy films.

For writers, check out Zulu's entry in TV Tropes.

I also have John Barry's kickass score for times when I'm not in front of a TV or monitor...