Sleep Deprived Updates

Barely survived the first heatwave of summer. Not that it’s technically summer here until the end of the week. Thank you climate change!

The heatwave lead to sleep deprivation which lead to an odd obsession with Mike Batt’s musical version of The Hunting of the Snark. It’s very good but I’ve listened to it far too many times over the last week, to the point that I’m mentally throwing around casting choices and mumbling fragments of verse under my breath. “But at first sight, the crew, were not pleased by the view, which consisted of chasms and crags…”

This caused me to dig out my copy of the poem – purchased on a whim from Elizabeth’s bookstore in Subiaco in its old location out the back of the markets in around 1990 – and discovering that it’s one of only 1,995 collector copies of the Centennial Edition, published in 1981. I hopped online to check out the value and it’s worth about $100 in good nick – not that mine is in particularly good nick, and I wouldn’t consider selling it anyway. But it’s nice to know that it’s somewhat exclusive.

I’ve also become obsessed with building a 40k scale model of the epic Siegfried Light Tank. I’ve scoured the internet for photos (there ain’t many) and have managed to get a design together for every part of it except the back. I rather suspect I may have to buy one on eBay which while not massively expensive is still a bit of an investment for a tiny piece of metal. And for a model that – if history is any judge – I’ll never get finished. Although maybe if I spend money on it it’ll actually motivate me to finish it. Hmmmm. I wouldn’t bet on it.

Oh, and over the weekend when I was supposed to be getting other stuff done I did an update of my Warhammer 40,000 according to the Simpsons bit of nonsense. The current version is revision 4, but I’m already thinking I need to add the Men of Iron, and know exactly what screenshot to use. In any case here ’tis for your edification and enjoyment.

Warhammer 40,000 According to the Simpsons
Need to add those Men of Iron…

Now that things have cooled down, maybe I’ll be able to get some sleep. I wouldn’t count on it mind you…

Zanzibar, Oh Zanzibar!

So there I was, watching Joanna Lumley’s Spice Trail Adventure on free-to-air tv last night like the dinosaur I am while waiting for Annika to come on and reflecting that if they’ve killed Tosh on Shetland (on after Annika) I would be extremely annoyed when this thing appeared on my screen.

That’s no moon Zanzibar!

This – according to ITV – is a map of the east African island of Zanzibar. Now, I had never to my knowledge seen a map of Zanzibar prior to last night, but I was pretty sure it doesn’t look like that. And the reason I’m pretty sure it doesn’t look like that is because that is clearly a map of the much, much larger east African island of Madagascar.

What absolutely baffles me about this is how it could possibly have happened. Someone in the ITV graphics department obviously put time and effort into creating an accurate map of the area around Zanzibar, and then slapped a map of Madagascar into the middle of it. They even took care to not cover up the smaller island of Tumbatu just to the west. It surely can’t be a mistake. Is it some kind of protest? Some kind of prank? And how did it get through to the final product without anyone noticing it?

Just sheer bafflement all around. I’m tempted to shoot them off an email to try and get to the bottom of it. Do better ITV!

Just a Bit of Zurvár

Gur, gur beltàdlet kert ná…
Ròmanár gur pevgetslá koro modá ibiŝan darak pevnánûglá.
Spanolár badmâ pevorklá kâ aknà iskan badrokâ itatâ.
Itlá Dîŝlan idráurn pevorestlá poro admo bárizûurn darakâ.
Garad, gur beltàdlet kert ná.

Gur, gur belt-ayed-let kairt nah.
Roman-ar gur pev-gets-lah, koh-roh moh-dah ibishan darak pev-nan-oo-glah.
Span-olar badmor pevor-klah, kor ack-nay iskan bad-rockor itah-tor.
It-lah Doysh-lan idrah-urn pevor-est-lah, poh-roh ad-moh bah-riz-or-urn dara-kor.
Garad, gur belt-ayad-let kairt nah.


A Few Notes on Zurvár

Put here so I can find them easily…

Traditional Zurvár belief systems don’t have the concept of an all powerful deity. The closest equivalents would be either pak vâmâkan (‘the creator’ – the ancestor being said to have created the Zurvár race) or pak rèzaq (‘the wave’ – the spiritual plane to which certain components of the Zurvár soul are said to return to await reincarnation).

When discussing deities from non-Zurvár cultures the term báèsûad – ‘being of great power’ – is generally used. The term has no implication as to whether said powers are used for good or ill however, and would be used equally to describe (for instance) the Christian God and the Christian Devil.

When referring to a specific deity, a Zurvár rendering of the deity’s name is usually improvised. Examples from Earth’s religions include,

  • Báèsûad Kot, Báèsûad Cesùs, Báèsûad Gris, Báèsûad Cùhová – The Christian God
  • Báèsûad Alá, Báèsûad Alûá, Báèsûad Máhumd – Allah
  • Báèsûad Ašem, Báèsûad Yáwe, Báèsûad Abráem – The Judaic God
  • Báèsûad Pùdá, Báèsûad Pùd – Buddha
  • Báèsûad Odin, Báèsûad Tâ, Báèsûad Loqè – Norse Gods/MCU Characters

The Zurvár creation myth is based around five elements, and these permeate most factors of their culture, including their traditional calendar. In order they’re lòtò (boats), minak (stars), katálá (fish), rindû (birds) and táká (knots).

The traditional calendar (as opposed to the revised calendar used on Zurvár Arèáná) uses a week (mán) of five days named after these elements (dásûln lòtò, dásûln minak, etc). A month (kadatán) consists of five weeks (25 days), each of which is also named after the five elements, and five months (125 days) – again named after the five elements – makes up a full year (rin).

A date is traditionally written with the full title of the day, week and month, followed by whatever system of year identification the House in question uses. The fourth day of the third week of the fifth month for instance would be dásûln rindû dámán katálá dákadatán táká. Even before the adoption of the revised calendar however it was more common to simply use numbers – for instance sûln tò-rû-zadat “day four three five”.

The combination of the day and month element of a person’s birth is said to predict their character, similarly to that of horoscopes here on Earth.

The calendar used on Zurvár Arèáná has a split derived from the Gregorian BCE/CE system, but in a slightly complicated way.

The Zurvár calendar is based on the calendar used by the Metaphysicians’ Guild, which itself is based on the Gregorian calendar. The epoch however is fixed to the start of the Gregorian century in which Zurvár Arèáná was settled – the 20th – so the zero year of the Zurvár calendar is 1900 CE.

As such the current year on Zurvár Arèáná is ST0123, which breaks down as…

  • ST – Indicates that the Zurvár Arèáná epoch is being used
  • 01 – It’s the second century of said epoch
  • 23 – It’s the 23rd year of that century

Years prior to 1900 CE are indicated with a negative century indicator. 1788 CE for instance would be -ST0288.

The century indicator is written with a minimum of two characters, but can be expanded as necessary for dates in the distant past and distant future.

The Zurvár are humans originating from a nearby parallel Earth (although not even they can pin down their actual world of origin). They’re close enough to ‘standard’ humans to interbreed but have a number of evolutionary adaptations suited to their marine focused culture.

  • Most Zurvár have webbing between their toes and fingers. On the toes this extends almost to the tips, on fingers it rarely extends beyond the first knuckle.
  • Zurvár skin is more resistant to sunburn and is extremely resistant to UV induced cancers. It varies in tone between III and IV on the Fitzpatrick scale, but even the lightest shades almost never burn.
  • Zurvár kidneys process dissolved salts far more efficiently, to the extent that a Zurvár can drink nothing but sea water for around a week before suffering any ill effects (as such, human visitors to Zurvár Arèáná should keep in mind that municipal water supplies may require additional filtration before being safe to consume).
  • The Zurvár spleen is significantly larger than that of ‘standard’ humans, providing a larger reserve of oxygenated blood. This allows the average Zurvár to easily hold their breath for several minutes without discomfort, and remain submerged and active for anywhere up to 15 minutes. With practice Zurvár free divers routinely reach depths of 200 metres while remaining submerged for up to 40 minutes.
  • Around 30% of Zurvár have epicanthic folds. Debate continues over whether this is some kind of adaptation to marine environments or simply the result of genetic drift across the historically nomadic Zurvár population.

Emulating the Ocean Sound

The following bit of sub-par Giant Days fanfiction has been wedged in my brain for several years. I have had vague plans of drawing it, but I suspect it’s not really worth the effort, so I will instead present it here as a script (along with copious apologies to John Allison).

SCENE: Daisy’s room, Catterick Hall, first year. Daisy is studying while music plays from a portable CD player.

Enter Esther and Susan through door (dramatically of course)

Susan: Daisy Wooton, what is this noise?

Esther: Did Enya find a mellotron?

Daisy (picking up and displaying The Mollusk CD case): It’s not Enya, it’s Ween. Ed Gemmel lent it to me.

Esther (while Susan takes and examines CD case): You shouldn’t listen to people weeing Daisy, it’s not healthy for developing young minds!

Susan (looking through CD insert): It appears to concern a grown man talking to a young boy about his ‘mollusc’…

Esther (grabbing CD insert): Is that LEGAL?

Daisy: It’s marine biology! It’s perfectly respectable!

Susan (with barely suppressed glee): It occurs to me that a winkle is a type of mollusc…

Daisy (in horror): Is… Is Ed Gemmel an oceanography pervert!?

Esther (reading CD insert): I’d be concerned if someone’s ‘winkle’ “emulated the ocean sound”. It doesn’t sound biologically plausible.

Susan (finger on chin, in thought): Maybe if they were waiting in an extremely long bathroom queue…


Is this even legal?!

I Can Quit Any Time I like!

For my own reference I shall now attempt to list every unfinished 40k model and/or project I have lying around. Hopefully this will motivate me to get some of them finished, or at least stop me from starting any more.


Tanks and APCs
1x Kitbashed Church Tank
1x Scratchbuilt A7V Tank
1x Kragmeer Ice Chimera
1x Malcador Defender
4x Chimeras
1x Leman Russ
1x Baneblade
1x Buran Class Chimera
2x Scylla Light Tanks
Imperial Guard Bastiladon with 3 Crew

Avenger Strike Fighter

Kitbashed Valhallan Colonel
Giant Ogryn with Ratling sniper in a crows nest
9x Penal Troopers and 1x Overseer
Kill Team Veteran Guardsmen Box
23x Kitbashed Conscripts
Cadian Standard Bearer
Valhallan Standard Bearer
3x Psykers
1x Primaris Psyker
8x Ratling Snipers
3x Assorted Inquisitors
Vindicare Assassin (Metal)
Calidus Assassin (Metal)
Culexus Assassin (Metal)
Eversor Assassin (Metal)
Venenum Assassin (Kitbashed)
11x Kitbashed Veterans
3x Tankers (Metal)
2x Astropaths
1x Tech Priest
5x Weapon Servitors
2x Cawdor Gangers (Metal)
1x Crusader
2x Valhallan Officers
2x Ministorum Priests
62 Assorted Metal Valhallans
3x Medics
2x Ogryn Cyborgs
2x Imperial Soldiers (Metal)
2x Death Cult Assassins
1x Metal Sister Dialogus 😮
3x Acolytes
1x Daemonhost
2x Fleet Officers
2x Artillery Officers
1x Knight Pilot
10x Orlocks
Various Cadians
Valhallan Artillery Crew (inc. Ammunition Bear)
1x Space Marine (Just the One!)
Various Kitbashed Squats
Several Forge World Death Korps of Krieg
10x Naval Breachers

Artillery and Special Weapons
Imperial Thud Gun
Valhallan Heavy Mortar Team
2x Basilisk
1x Deathstrike/Manticore
1x Hellhound
2x Valhallan Bolter Teams
3x Valhallan Autocannon Teams
2x Valhallan Lascannon Teams
3x Valhallan Missile Launcher Teams
2x Valhallan Mortar Teams
Various Unspecified Valhallan Weapon Teams

Kitbashed Inquisitor and Retinue
Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Andreus Eldrict
Astra Militarum Medic Dr Jeep
Death Cult Assassin Lucretia
Adeptus Mechanicus Pilot 2-5-0-0-0
Weapon Servitor Doktor Avalanche
Crusader Brother Torquemada
Bound Psyker “Alice” (AKA The Vision Thing)
Cyber-Mastiff Napalm
Cherubim Servitor Icke
Navigator Marianne Cedd
Savant Aegypt Hwaite
Inquisitorial Shuttle Soror Misericordum

Special Characters
Knight Commander Pask
Saint Sabbat (Kitbashed)
Inquisitor Eisenhorn
Sly Marbo (Official)
Sly Marbo (Kitbashed)
Inquisitor Obiwan Sherlock Clouseau (Kitbashed)
Commissar Severina Raine
Sister Superior Amalia Novena
5x Gaunt’s Ghosts (Plastic)
6x Gaunt’s Ghosts (Metal)
Vermin Supreme
Junith Erutia (on foot)
Space Marine Pilot
2x Last Chancers (Metal)

1x Necron Pariah
1x Sslyth
2x Phyrr Cats
2x Phelynx
2x Ripper Swarms
1x Medusea
1x Genestealer
1x Grox
10x Kroot
2x Kroot Hounds
1x Kroot Hawk

Epic Models
Warlord Titan
Emperor Titan
Overlord Airship
Goliath Mega Cannon
Mole Carrier
Capitol Imperialis

16x Metal Seraphim
1x Imperial Knight
4x Sentinels
Bear Cavalry (BEAR CAVALRY!)
Kitbashed Walker/Stomper
1x Man of Iron
5x Servo Skulls
1x Giant Servo Skull
1x GheistSkull
1x C.A.T Unit
Kitbashed Squat Trike
Entire Space Hulk set
Metal Chaos Dwarf

Favourite Music of the Primarchs

Art by Johannes Helgeson

Lion El’jonson
Primarch II
The Khan
Leman Russ
Rogal Dorn
Konrad Curze
Ferrus Manus
Primarch XI
Roboute Guilliman
Magnus the Red
Horus Lupercal
Lorgar Aurelian
Corvus Corax
Alpharius and Omegon
The Emperor

And a list, for when the YouTube links inevitably break…

  • Lion El’Jonson: Tocatta – Tanzwut
  • Fulgrim: German Sparkle Party – The Something Experience
  • Purturabo: Last Resort – Pappa Roach
  • The Khan: Dchingus Khan – Dchingus Khan
  • Leman Russ: Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran
  • Rogal Dorn: We Built this City – Starship
  • Konrad Curze: Behind the Mask Obscure – Limbonic Art
  • Sanguinius: Send me an Angel – Real Life
  • Ferrus Manus: Lucretia, My Reflection – The Sisters of Mercy
  • Angron: Down With the Sickness – Disturbed
  • Roboute Guilliman: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F – Johan Sebastian Bach
  • Mortarion: Touch Me, I’m Sick – Mudhoney
  • Magnus the Red: Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band
  • Horus Lupercal: Dies Irae – Giuseppe Verdi
  • Lorgar Aurelian: Dies Irae – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Vulcan: Anvil Chorus – Giuseppe Verdi
  • Corvus Corax: Tanzwut – Corvus Corax
  • Alpharius Omegon: Hello Goodbye – The Beatles
  • The Emperor: It’s Hard to Be Humble – Mac Davis

(We can observe an obvious correlation between baldness and preference for classical music)

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