I got a new Gundam (Iron Blooded Orphans Astaroth)


I got a new Gundam, High Grade, 1/144 scale, Iron Blooded Orphans Astaroth.
As usual I got this kit from the most excellent folks over at Dublin City Comics and Collectibles.

When I first saw Astaroth I knew I wanted him. I very much like his design. Although Astaroth is part of the Iron Blooded Orphans (IBO) product line, he’s actually not part of the IBO main story line in the TV show. Instead he was the main Gundam suit from a manga side story.
In the side story, the family that owned Astaroth hit hard times and were basically selling off his parts (and replacing them with cheap parts from other Mobile Suits) in order to make ends meet. This is what gives Astaroth his asymmetrical look. Anyways I digress.
Inside the box, you get…


2 bags of multi coloured sprues, the assembly instructions, and a bit of promotional flyers.
Inside the bag of sprues, you get…


… A small sticker sheet, 7 sprues, any of you that have built a HG Barbatos, will recognise the inner frame parts, and then some blue, red, and White sprues for his armour panelling.

One of the gimmicks on the Astaroth is his giant hand that pegs onto his right arm. It gives him a sort of ‘Hellboy’ ascetic (which I really dig), it has 2 fingers and a thumb that have a limited range of motion. Which can help pulling some poses, and to help hold his main melee weapon. Speaking of which…
When not in use his main weapon, the ‘Demolition Blade’ (I believe that’s what it’s called) is stored on his back.


It has a sort of ‘Buster Sword’ from Final Fantasy 7 vibe to it, which I dig. The blade has a extendable gimmick, where it unfolds. In the extended mode Astaroth’s ‘Hellboy’ hand, and a little fold out handle for his regular hand, aids the gundam wield his gigantic weapon.

Astaroth also comes with a gun and a dagger, to complete his weapons load out (however there is nowhere to store these weapons when not in use).


Visually Astaroth is one of the more unique Gundam’s in the IBO line (due to his odd parts) and has the inner skeleton that we have been spoils with in the IBO line, allowing for some great poses.
“By the power of Grayskull…I…Have…The Power…”

Now I’m not going to lie, Astaroth has a few issues with himself. The first is due to his ‘Hellboy’ hand. It likes to pop off when posing (at least mine does), and it can get in the way with his blue shoulder, so you may not get all the poses you want with him. The second issue I had with him, was with his waist mounted thrusters. They have a habit of getting in the way and can pop off during posing as they are attached too close to the hips and legs. Too me, these issues are a bit minor as I do love this suit.
It’s also worth noting that as the Astaroth shares much of the same inner skeleton as the Barbatos, if you have the Barbatos 6th form, you can perform some parts swapping to give Astaroth a new hair do.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave

I got a new Gundam (Iron Blooded Orphans Io frame Shiden… and then did a Custom)


I got a new Gundam, High Grade, 1/144 scale, Iron Blooded Orphans Io frame Shiden. I’m not usually one for grunt suits but I loved the visuals of this suit, that I had to get one. And then I gave it a custom paint job, but more on that later.
As usual I got this beauty from the excellent folks at Dublin City Comics and Collectables.

The Io frame Shiden, was introduced in season 2 of Iron Blooded Orphans (IBO), as the main grunt suit of everybody’s favourite child soldiers, Tekkadan.
In the box you’ll find…

… An instruction sheet, and 2 bags of sprues. Inside the bags, you’ll find…

… 4 sprues of various greys,and a reddish, ruby colour, and a small sprue of polycap’s.
Building the Io is surprisingly simple and enjoyable (it’s a grunt suit, after all). The Io frame Shiden comes with a surprisingly large set of accessories compared to other IBO kits. He comes with a small forearm attachable gauntlet shield, a telescopic melee weapon that looks like a cricket bat, a rifle (I don’t think I’ve mentioned before how much I love the fact that IBO has no lazer guns), and the best accessory of all… A Big Asss Balistic shield.
The only negative I have about this kit, is that I would suggest using a dap of glue on his feet as they have a tendency to split apart.

Once all built, the Io does look a bit of a Badass, as he comes with a big ass ballistic shield, as part of his accessories (have I mentioned the shield already?). As a straight build, he does look capable…

… But he did remind me of another robotic character. One called ‘Chappie’, so I gave him a custom paint job.
Introducing Io Chappie Shiden…


… I don’t think he turned out half bad, although I think I messed up the ‘bullet holes’ by drilling all the way thru but I’m happy enough.
Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave

Assemble the Fleet -web exclusive  Saratoga Class Light Cruiser 


With the relaunch of the Hawk Wargames Website, the folks at Hawk, offered for a limited time an alt sculpt for their New Cairo class Light Cruiser from Dropfleet Commander. 

I chipped in with a couple of other guys and we got some goodies. Gameplay wise, the Saratoga has the exact stats as the New Cairo Light Cruiser, but as I needed a few  extra ships to grow my fleet, and as they are visually different from my other ships, I wanted them.

I have to give it to Hawk Wargames, in how they have worked the Saratoga class into the Fluff of Dropfleet Commander…
…The Saratoga is an experimental development of the New Cairo class Light Cruiser with a focus on efficiency, incorporating the very latest systems. While the New Cairo inherits many core attributes from the older Rio class (itself several decades old), the Saratoga features an entirely new prow and amidships superstructure, conceived from the ground up.
Early field reports of the class in action have been exemplary, showing the ship able to provide equivalent combat performance to the New Cairo while consuming less energy and requiring fully half the crew to operate effectively. The few in service have served with distinction and none have thus far been lost to the enemy, leading officers and enlisted to declare it a uniquely lucky class.
Unfortunately for the Admiralty, the Saratoga’s were built exclusively at the FSI (Ferrous Shipping Industries) yards over the planet Ferrum which were entirely destroyed during the Scourge onslaught in late 2671. The yards had turned out a meagre 12 vessels for early void trials before their loss, making this one of the rarest ships in the UCMF. Compounding this, several proprietary systems were integral to the design and the subsequent collapse of FSI makes future construction of the class unlikely.

I look forward to when I go ‘Weapons Free’ with my Battlegroup of 2 Saratogas, and 4 Taipai and rip into some Xenos or renegade UCM with their burn through lazers.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave 

Winter is Coming… And a change to how we game

Winter is coming… And it’s bringing a change to competitive  gaming.

From my point of view, things have recently really started due to the recent lawsuit by Judges of ‘Magic: The Gathering’ against Wizards of the Coast (WOTC), and Privateer Press’s (PP) recent announcement regarding their Press Ganger program.

A breakdown of the Wizards of the Coast ‘Magic: The Gathering’ case is Here.

Basically, Judges of their (WOTC) tournaments, feel they are treated as employees, and should be due recompense, due to WOTC controlling the Judge program, and are in overall control of the tournaments and Judges duties during those tournaments. WOTC, of course, feel differently.

And given Privateer press’s recent announcement regarding their winding down of their Press Ganger program, which can be found Here.

So the way I see things is on one hand we have a company who expect a group of loyal fans and supporters to act as employees and to run big tournaments, without them benefitting from the rights and entitlements of employees.*

And on the other hand, (it looks like at least to me), that we have a company, that’s (A) trying to avoid a similar situation with their Press Gangers, and (B)  partially using it as part of a cost cutting program. As they’re also planning on no longer releasing cards with their models, instead relying on digital downloads and a print on demand program.

So given what’s happening with these two game systems/ companies, what’s in store from other companies. 

I’m looking at Paizo’s Pathfinder Society and WOTC Dungeons & Dragons organised play, to see how things play out. Both rely on fans and volunteers to run and promote their systems. 

Are we entering a period of gaming where more and more game companies will be leaving it up to the game stores to promote and run their systems. Instead of their previous fan base/ volunteers. I’m aware some systems already have an organised play system in place with game stores, such as X-wing by Fantasy Flight Games and Friday Night Magic  by WOTC, as in my local meta. 

But what about others such as Privateer Press, who relied on their Press Gangers for promoting and organising tournaments (big and small), and who’ll now be leaving things up to the brick and mortar stores. 
It’ll be interesting to see how things develop further.
Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave 

* I’m aware previously WOTC have rewarded judges and volunteers, with limited edition cards, playmats, and other such merchandise, for their contributions and effort during and after tournaments.

The Man Cave… Patron of the Arts

A long time ago, someone very dear to me gave me advice. Part of which was basically ‘At some point in your life have some kind of art made for you, it doesn’t matter what it is’.
Now as a self confessed geek/ nerd, I’ve always gone for things that have resonated with me, on one level or another. Whether that was toys, what I read, games, art, etc.
When I was in my early 20’s I got a tattoo, to always remind myself of what ideals and principles to strive for (my scrawny arms just happened to come free with the tattoo).

Recently I learned that an artist I know, thru my love of all things geek, was accepting commissions. As I have been a fan of his art style,  I jumped on that chance and had a piece of art commissioned of my 3 favourite characters from the Marvel universe.

The artist, was Wayne Talbot. One third of the Irish Pubcast crew, Whovian, contributor to geekirelandonline, and alround nice guy.

With his permission I grabbed a couple of his works, and thru them together to showcase some of his talent.

**Disclaimer- the first piece of art featuring ‘Dark Wayne’ was by another very gifted artist, Lisa Marie Farrell, and was commissioned by Ciaran Marcantonio. **

If you like Wayne’s style, then good news. He’s accepting some commission work at the moment.
You can contacting him on Facebook, on Twitter (@waynetalbot) or by Email (wadetalon@gmail.com)

Wicked Kingdom by Wylie Beckert 

Last year The Man Cave backed an illustrated playing card project on Kickstarter. That project was Wicked Kingdom by Wylie Beckert.

The Man Cave fell in love with her art style and needed to get himself a deck of these wonderfully illustrated playing cards.

If your a Roleplaying fantatic (such as D&D), these make a fantastic addition to your DM kit. As I use them in a similar vein to ‘A deck of many things’, and D&D’s Curse of Stradh’s Tarokka Deck. 

Check out more about Wylie Beckert’s illustrated playing cards Here!!!

And join me as I show off my deck.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave 

To Cos, or not to Cos Part 3


Unfortunately I still haven’t gotten any ‘actual’ work done on my Cosplay done yet 😔
Instead of getting a refill for my printer, so I could start printing templates. I got a chance to pick up the Numenera Starter Set by Monte Cook Games and have a piece of art commissioned for myself.
My middle daughter wanted to get in on making a cosplay, so she decided to try a little test costume.

In the meantime Andrew DFT, has released the first part in making a helmet for a Titanfall costume.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave