Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good Knight Stories

Hey Everyone

I guess you could have noticed that I was kind of absent for the past few weeks and JQ has been constantly updating the blog. Thing is, I lost my tripod head (somehow) and now it is difficult to use my macro-lens to take new pictures of the minis/models :( Unfortunately I've been quite occupied for the past few weeks and personally to me it's a bad excuse to say "I'm busy"...especially something that I am quite passionate about! In the meantime, I will try to get more posts up and running, another tripod soon...or maybe come up with new ways of taking shots of models aka 'stretching my imagination'.

Fantasy fans, the time has come for more fantasy posts! Over the summer I visited the Metropolitan Museum of New York, and the best section is of course...WEAPONS AND ARMOR. I'm a guy and these things turn me on right away and I loved to just look at the suits of armor and various weapons all across the world during medieval times. European full plate, Japanese Samurai suits, and even Middle-Eastern calvary armor. Awesome stuff...just being face-to-face with actual objects that are ubiquitous in the fantasy genre makes fantasy feel so real.

Italian Cuirassier Armor (aka Empire pistoliers, mobile shooting calvary), with a bullet dent.

Well, I am taking a course called "Religion and Fantasy" in college...which has turned out to be a really insightful experience. It talks about the various religious themes behind the fantasy novels/movies we have today, through examining essays written by the authors themselves and studying how fantasy (which includes sci-fi) profoundly touches the inside of our souls. For a long time fantasy got 'bad rep' from the general public and only recently is fantasy starting to generate active interest in it.

In essence, people who baulk against our nerdom do not understand fantasy at how it touches our deepest desires (eg. escape death), how it consoles its audiences (especially for kids in fairy tales and the complexity of life), how it calls us to live to our 'higher natures' rather than 'lower natures', how it critiques current social institutions plus many other aspects. To some, it may seem to be child-like play of make-believe, and even others think it is just a form of escapism from the realities of life. And yet, I cannot deny being overwhelmed by well-developed fantasies such as in Star Wars, Blade Runner, LoTR, Alien etc. There is just this force of attraction it has for me, and I'm sure it's the same feeling you all get from fantasy too! Even imagining modern military (as in JQ's Dashland) can be considered fantasy.

Some images to capture the smaller details in armor...

What experiences do you guys have with the fantasy/sci-fi genre? How does it attract you? Those are indeed deep questions and I find that they reveal the true power fantasy has to give to the world we live in. A part of me wonders why medieval times appear to be the staple of a lot of fantasy novels, games and movies, like LoTR, D&D, Warhammer, Dragon Age, King Arthur, the Hobbit, Narnia...

PS: I intentionally left out the Japanese/Middle-Eastern armor...they'll be coming in future posts!


  1. In my opinion, the reason why Medieval and Ancient times are a good resource for Fantasy because there was little presence or a feeble presence of science. As such there was a sense of mystique in those times.

    Mystique and mystery is what fuels the Fantasy world.

    Of course when it comes to Sci-Fi, we are looking at the other extremity or a different paradigm.

  2. Might I add this though.
    The correlation of fantasy or fiction that spawns out glorious battles and make countless of people stir up their imagination are always derived from the darkest days of men.

    I mean look at it this way. From the dark ages, WW2 and Vietnam.. all these have brought platforms for wargaming, stories, movie films and many other stuff.

    Perhaps Sci-Fi maybe the exception but I am sure that it is adapted from the past and has its own weightage of historic dark times of humanity.

    But i guess it is only during these times of hardship and despair that heroes are truly born.

  3. Very natural case of how heroes are made.
    Its always pretty circumstancial to the times the world is in.

    My fantasy world is always rife in conflict. Whose one isn't though.

  4. Been to this museum before!!!
    If only you could don the armor and replay fights of a knight.

    Pretty exhausting and hot within those armor though.