The Truth Shall Make Ye Fere

Discworld Monthly - Issue 144: April 2009

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Micro Art Studio - Discworld Miniatures
6. Competition
7. North American Discworld Convention News
8. The End

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1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 144. At the beginning of April, along with a couple of hundred other people I will be heading down to Wincanton for the Cunning Artificer's Spring Shower Event. For me this will be the first Discworld weekend I've had since Wadfest last year so I am really looking forward to it.


After the long drought of information about the next Discworld adaptation by the Mob, with Sky TV of Going Postal we have some exciting news - they will soon be looking for a small number of fan extras to be in a crowd scene. The filming will take place in Hungary and the extras will need to be able to get their at their own expense.

More details are in the news section.


It looks like the musical version of Only You Can Save Mankind which was well received back in 2004 will soon be getting released on CD. The performers are currently in the studio recording the songs. A donation to Alzheimer's Research will be made for each CD or download purchased for the next fifty years.

More information can be found at www.pjsmprints.com/new/index.html


Terry and Rob now have a Twitter account. If you haven't heard of Twitter, it is a micro-blogging site where you can post small 140 - character maximum blogs. You can choose to follow other users and will see any blog entries made by them. Terry and Rob can be found at twitter.com/terryandrob


We are looking for articles / reviews of Discworld - related products / plays etc. Real life commitments (new baby - busy work etc) mean that I simply can't write everything myself. If you have an idea for an article but don't know whether it is something we would publish - let us know what it is and we'll discuss it.


Discworld Monthly expands out... we now have a small presence on Facebook. The group will be used to announced when new issues are released etc.

www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=52773169006


Don't forget, if you visit a play or a talk and would like to let the world know about it, please feel free to email your review to and we will consider it for publication.

--
Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Monitor Repairs)

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2. News

New updates from Terry via PJSMPrints website (www.pjsmprints.com):

We have received the following update from Rod Brown at Mob Films;

Dear Rob & Terry,

I want to give you and the Discworld fans, many who have written to me, an update as to our filming plans for Going Postal.

We are planning to commence filming in Budapest at the beginning of May 2009. The shoot will last 9 weeks, which will take us into July.

The day-to-day filming schedule will be issued much nearer the shoot, probably in mid April. This will follow the recces and planning in Budapest that are currently taking place.

When the schedule is issued, I will advise you of the days we are planning to shoot crowd scenes.

I should stress that we will have plenty of Hungarian extras to complete scenes on these crowd days. However, if a limited number of invited fans are interested to make their own way to Hungary and accommodate themselves in Budapest, we would be very pleased to welcome them on set. The current plan is to have one central Budapest pick up point, and at an allocated time we would pick them up and transport them to the set.

There are a few notes of caution, which people should bear in mind if contemplating the trip:

We have to reserve the right not to film the crowd scenes on the days which are scheduled. To explain; most of the crowd scenes are filmed outdoors and if the weather is bad, we may not film in the open on that selected day and we would have to cancel the crowd scenes to film other scenes inside a studio (weather cover scenes). However, we would still pick up the fans that have made the effort to travel and bring them to set for a tour and meet with the producers, which will probably last about an hour or so, but we would have to reschedule the scenes to another day.

Once we announce the day when people are welcome to join us in Budapest, please do not just turn up on spec as access to the set will be by invitation only. There will only be a limited number of allocated coach seats and the studios are in the countryside well outside of Budapest

The other issue that I should point out at this time is that we are not in a position to guarantee "Premiere screening tickets" to anyone at present, whether you have joined us on set or not.

As to what you will receive from us in the form of recompense; everybody who does don a costume and is involved in the filming will receive the same fee as a Hungarian extra, which is about 25 GBP.

Sorry to throw out some negatives here, but I want people to fully realise what we can offer to you in Budapest if you are planning to travel.

We really do appreciate people's support of our filming, especially on set, where the fans who made the trips to Horsley Towers and Pinewood were a fantastic addition to the atmosphere of the movie.

I will supply more information right here as we get nearer to filming.

Thanks and all best wishes.

Rod Brown - Producer The Mob Film Company

-o-

IN BRIEF, THE IMPORTANT BITS FROM TERRY

To be invited to the set of Going Postal, this is what you have to do:

Firstly, wait for the announcement here on www.pjsmprints.com/news confirming applications are open.

Applications will only be accepted by email to a specific address that we will give you once applications go live. Please do not contact Mob Films or PJSM Prints directly.

If you have already been an extra, then we know who you are and then, as old hands, you don't have to send us a photo. If it's your first time then a photograph should be included in your application. You do not have to be in costume, but we do need to see what you look like ("This is a picture of me at my sister's wedding and that's me in the third row" really does not cut it.)

Please note that this is open to fandom at large, not only UK fans, but we really must reiterate that access onto set is strictly by INVITATION ONLY.

We will announce dates, progress and updates on this page (www.pjsmprints.com/news) as regularly as necessary.

As we have said, ever since this was first mooted, we will welcome invited fans to the set of Going Postal, but we cannot possibly pay for their travel or accommodation or ancillary expenses. We expect that there will be a high take up on this, since indeed it is not just open to UK fans, and so ALL applications will go into the proverbial hat. We will make the draw one week after the date the fan day has been announced on this page and let successful applicants know as soon as possible. In other words, there will be a one week window in which to apply.

A FINAL NOTE FROM TERRY & ROB

Fans who have taken part with Mob Films before know that they do this sort of thing out of an inexplicable fondness for fandom. They're doing it because fans would like to be there, not because they are actually necessary for the making of the film. It's a gift, in other words, and it's unfortunate that there's no possible way of selecting everybody, but the lucky ones who do actually make it onto the screen will be paid the local going rate for, let's face it, something that they really, really want to do in any case. Grumble by all means about the shortage of numbers, but this is film making. You could try and get a better deal from George Lucas. We don't think you will, because Rob has tried fifteen times already :)

IN BRIEF, THE VERY IMPORTANT BITS TO REMEMBER

DO be patient.

DO NOT CONTACT Mob Films directly. They're very busy planning a movie.

DO NOT CONTACT US regarding applications until applications are open.

DO NOT CONTACT US regarding travel.

DO NOT CONTACT US regarding accommodations.

DO NOT CONTACT US regarding places to eat.

DO NOT CONTACT US for the location of the studio.

FINALLY, if you are successful in your application it is for YOU ONLY. It does not include your boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, wife, husband, mum, dad, sister, brother, children, nan, granddad, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, neighbour or your special friend. Or your cat *

Terry Pratchett

* Sgt Braille has asked if he can bring his cat and will now not be
joining us in Hungary. Let that be a warning to all of you.


PJSMPrints now have the Micro Art Studio Discworld Miniatures available to purchase. See section 5 for a review of the first five pieces in the collection.

www.pjsmprints.com/miniatures/index.html


Alan Batley (creator of the cut-out Unseen University) and Colin Edwards (artist on many of the Discworld Stamps) have created a set of commemorative stamps that celebrate Terry getting his knighthood.

A framed copy of the mini-sheet was given to Terry by his agent Colin Smythe at the lunch the followed Terry getting knighted.

The three stamps celebrate: 40 years of published writing, 25 years of Discworld and Terry's 60th year.

In order to ensure the best quality printing, Alan and Colin had to purchase a small print run of the mini-sheets and now have the remaining run available to purchase. A proportion of the royalties from the sales will be donated to Alzheimers charities in the East Anglia region; Alan's mother had the disease.

Alan and Edward do not have a shop or website so are selling the mini-sheets on eBay, you can find them at:

discworldmonthly.co.uk?redir=EBAY2009031

The artwork features an illustration of a very young Terry, based on Colin Smythe's archive photographs of Terry at the launch of The Carpet People at the very start of his commissioned writing career; and Terry's early signature from those days.

The central images is of Great Atuin, and the Discworld flaying through space, celebrating 25 years of Discworld novels.

The third stamp in the sequence is of Sir Terry as we all know him today in his trademark black hat and carries the modern signature we are more familiar with today.

Each stamp mini-sheet is presented with a numbered, certificate of authenticity dated on the day of Terry's knighthood, signed by both Alan and Colin, and hand stamped with a silver Great Atuin.


Troll Bridge is dead, long live Troll Bridge.

The film production of Troll Bridge has for a long time been stuck in limbo. Daniel Knight has finally decided that the old film is dead and has decided to throw everything away and start again. This time the film maker will be using full HD equipment and will move much of the shooting into the studio.

Those that sponsored the original version will have access to the original movie on the private section of the Troll Bridge website and will get regular updates on the new production.

www.snowgumfilms.com/trollbridge/index.html


The April 2009 issue of the leading card collectors magazine "Card Times" carries a 2-page feature on Discworld Picture Cards and Terry's plans for a set of promotional Football Cards to be issued with copies of Unseen Academicals. Current issues of the magazine cost 2.10 GBP and Card Times contact details can be found on their website at www.cardtimes.co.uk/ctindex.htm

Elsewhere in this issue there is a full-page article on other Postage Stamp related card sets (focusing on Ardath's "Stamps, Rare & Interesting").

There is also some very interesting news about the Annual Cartophilic Society Card Convention at the X-cel Centre in Walton-on-Thames next month. The convention is the biggest card Cigarette & Trade Card Fair in this country and probably the world - and it is rumoured that a certain artificer will be the star attraction. It is open to the public on Friday 24th (noon to 6pm) & Saturday 25th April (9.30am to 4pm). Further details can be found on the CSGB website at www.csgb.co.uk/


The UK-based knitting magazine Yarn Forward have just published a lengthy interview with Terry Pratchett in issue 12.

discworldmonthly.co.uk?redir=YARN2009041


There is an article on Terry Pratchett in The Globe and Mail, a Canadian Paper.

discworldmonthly.co.uk?redir=GOLBE2009041


Lisa Johnson is doing a 21 mile sponsored walk on Sunday 26 April to raise money for Alzheimers Research Trust. If you want to help sponsor Lisa please visit:

www.justgiving.com/lisajohnson11


Rebecca Stevenson, who was in Terry's Living With Alzheimer's documentary is going to be running the London marathon in aid of the Alzheimer's Society - she's aiming for 2000 GBP in sponsorship money.

www.justgiving.com/rebeccastevenson


Discworld Dates...

This section will contain events that you need to keep in your diary. Entries will remain until they go out of date. New entries will include the word [New] next to them. If this section gets too large we will start pruning entries.


[AU, New] Unseen Theatre Company will be performing Making Money from April 10th to 25th (Wed to Sat) at 8pm at the Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide.

Tickets cost: Adults 18 AUD, Concession 15 AUD, Fringe Benefits 15 AUD, Groups 15 AUD, Preview Night 12 AUD, Free ticket night 0 AUD.

Free ticket night for holders of health care cards on Friday April 10th.

"Making Money" will be the first show to take advantage of the theatre's brand new website where you can now book online for yourself. To celebrate this new website we are offering a 10% discount for all online bookings made before April 1st. So be one of the first to try the new booking system at www.bakehousetheatre.com. You can still book by phone or email if you prefer, but there will be a 2 AUD booking fee for this service.


[UK] The Cunning Artificer's Wincanton April Shower Event will take place over the weekend of the 4-5 April 2009.

See www.discworldemporium.com


[UK, Updated] The Broken Drummers is a London Discworld Group that meets once a month on a Monday evening. Membership is free - just come along. New members and visitors to London are both welcome and encouraged.

April's meeting will be on Monday 13th April at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ.

E-mail


[UK, New] Liskeard Drama Group will be performing Guards Guards at the Public Hall, Liskeard, Cornwall on Thursday 23/04/09, Friday 24/04/09, Saturday 25/04/09, Thursday 30/04/09, Friday 1/05/09 and Saturday 2/05/09.


[UK] Crowthorne Amateur Theatrical Society(CATS) will be presenting their production of Wyrd Sisters at the Parish Hall, Crowthorne, Berks from 29th April to 2nd May. A portion of proceeds is to go to the Alzheimer's Research Trust.

www.catswebsite.co.uk/


[UK, New] York Rising Stars will be performing "MASKERADE" from 27th - 30th May 2009 at York Railway Institute, Queen Street, York. Next door to York Railway Station. Doors open 7pm, Show starts 7:30pm

All tickets only 5 GBP. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more.

Call: 01904 623222 or 07504 984445

Or email:

Payment by cash, cheque or Paypal

(1.50 GBP booking fee applicable to Paypal payments - fee per invoice, not per ticket!)


[UK] The Discworld stamps' 5th birthday party, Wincanton will take place over the weekend of the 11 - 12 July 2009.

See www.discworldemporium.com


[DE] The German Discworld Convention 2009 will take place at Castle Bilstein from August the 14th to the 16th. The festival will be Unseen University themed. Registration and more information can be found in form of a bilingual wiki at:

www.discworld-convention.de


[UK] Wadfest - "Wadstock" - Music With Rocks In takes place on 21st, 22nd and 23rd August 2009 at Trentfield Farm, Church Laneham, Retford, Nottinghamshire, DN22 0NJ.

Tickets cost 20.00 GBP per Adult for the Weekend inc Events.

More information at: www.wadfest.co.uk


[US] The First North American Discworld Convention will take place from September 4-7, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.

For more information visit www.nadwcon.org/


[IRL, New] The Irish Discworld Convention will be held on the 6th to the 9th November in the Falls Hotel Ennistymon, Co. Clare, Ireland. Visit www.idwcon.org for more information.


Small Ads...

Please note, DWM has no way of checking the veracity or validity of any of the items in our small ads section. As always, exercise caution when giving out your details over the Internet. We *strongly* recommend parental supervision for younger readers who
follow up any of these contacts.


Terry Sleight writes: I am looking to buy a Clarecraft Flintman, "Puge the Smasher". Damaged in a recent move, I am looking for a replacement. Must be in mint condition. To finance the purchase I have two Stylites for sale/trade. Please please please email me if you have a Puge for sale or would like to trade for two Stylites or know where I might be able to get my hands on one. Distance is no object in this matter.


Paul van Oven writes: In recent years there were several Discworld activities in the Netherlands, especially plays by amateur groups. I would like to poll the interest in organising a con mainly for Dutch dw-fans in the Netherlands. Anybody interested in joining and especially helping organising such a con is invited to contact me.


Albannaich writes: Bit of a longshot, but I would be interested to know if there are any Thud players within the city of Lincoln, Lincs, that are looking for opponents? Have board but no challengers! Thanks.

DWM replies: Have you tried the on-line Thud website at www.thudgame.com


Bill writes: I'm a British long-time Discworld fan living on the Greek island of Corfu.

I and a fellow Discworld enthusiast are considering the possibility of organising a Discworld Convention here on Corfu (or Epheb as perhaps it will become known) in March of 2010. We would time it to coincide with the big 'Karnivale' parties which are enjoyed throughout Greece just before Lent begins, which would give visitors a further reason (if any is needed) to visit the island. Our prime intentions are 2 fold. Firstly to have a great time and secondly to raise money for Alzheimers Research.

Before we start to put toooo much time and effort in though we are trying to get some idea of whether Corfu would be a destination that discworld officianados would consider visiting for a convention. A few of Terry's books have been translated into Greek, but I think it is fair to say that he's probably not top of the Greek fiction bestsellers list and as such may not attract a vast number of Greek devotees (though we will try), so we would be very reliant on visitors to the island to make the event a success.

Please, if you like the idea of joining us in a week of Discworld fantasy, games, debates, parties, dinners and other activities, could you send me a brief email expressing your interest. I promise there will be no sending you endless spam mail updates, nor trying to force you to part with huge wedges of cash to confirm any bookings! We simply need to know whether we have a Klatchiens chance in A-M of turning ideas into reality.

Many thanks for your time.

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3. Readers' Letters

If you have any letters or comments, please email them to

We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters to prevent a dark heresy.

It is vitally important that you don't pass off other people's work as your own. If you use information from other resources please let us know so we can give proper credit.

The best letter of the month will receive a Kiss the Cook print supplied as by Bonsai Trading. Sadly Bonsai Trading is no longer trading but John Pagan has kindly supplied me with a number of prints to give away.


*
* From: "Ella Wilson"
*
I picked up MORT 2 years ago and read the first few paragraphs and thought "I like this" took it on a week end away and read the whole book and as I am dyslexic this was good, I'd finally found books that I could read and understand and enjoy a lot at the age of 50. I then spent the next few months buying the whole set and reading them all,I have the map of the disc on my bedroom wall and the street map as well so I always know where I am when listening to a book like 'The Night Watch'. I can not begin to say how much joy and pleasure I get from the books. I also have many audio books and in my opinion the best read books are the ISIS Audio books read by Steven Briggs they are unabridged and he reads the books just how I hear them in my head so people give them a try and as for the T.V. films good as they were to watch I really do feel that on film company could do the books justice,The Disc World is a place were we live in our heads a place to go when the real world gets to much, Thank You Terry for giving use such a wonderful place to go so please keep going.


*
* From: "David Hymers"
*
As you live near me have you noticed (or been responsible for) the local outbreak of Wyrd Sisters productions? Last year there was one in Henley (with a Scottish Granny W), now there is one upcoming in Crowthorne and I understand that Twyford and Ruscombe Thetare Group are currently auditioning for a production in the autumn - just like buses, none for ages and then three come along at once. It's not as though there weren't other scripts available.


*
* From: "Jon"
*
The [BBC television] documentary was excellent and my heartfelt thanks to Terry for being so open and helping us all to understand the demon a little better. Many points hit home because my mum suffers from a genetic nervous condition called Essential/Dystonic Tremor which is more closely related to Parkinson's, however Terry's incredible wit and spirit, not to mention his earlier condemning of the NHS's Postcode based treatment method, made us think that while we aren't playing the same sport, maybe we're sharing the field at weekends. I'm continuing to keep her up to date with the comments in the newsletter. Hopefully Terry's fighting spirit will continue to rub off.

Essential and Dystonic Tremors are very misunderstood and terribly hard to live with. They cause involuntary shaking of "extemities" (posh word for arms and legs, but it has a severe knock-on effect to everything else, including the voice) and she can literally be disabled for several hours of each day. Because she manages to not be disabled for a small amount of time on those days, it isn't properly recognised as a serious problem! I've grown to loathe the NHS and their awful attitude to lesser known illnesses. Thank goodness for people like Terry who refuse to accept the "brush it under the carpet" method and can be heard when they yell.

To be fair, the NHS is getting a little better with research over the last couple of years (small comfort when it's got so much worse over decades), but there is still no treatment without side effects as bad as the condition. Champagne has the best effect, but you can't get it on a daily prescription, sadly!

She loves to read and although preferring books about murderers and FBI agents, she really enjoyed Witches Abroad. Perhaps Terry could do a pathology thriller based on the Discworld? She'd love that! I'd be interested to hear from any other Pratchett fans who suffer from things like Essential Tremor. Maybe we can make that one a little less fringe too.

Please pass on my regards to Terry. And Rob, who's loyalty and support were an inspiration. Everyone deserves an assistant like Rob! Mind you, I'd prefer an assistant like Scarlet Johansson, but that's just me... ;)

DWM replies: Jon gets this month's Letter Of The Month. I'm not sure that having Scarlet Johansson as a PA would be a good way of getting work done.


*
* From: "Jeff Tullin"
*
Peter Holmick in issue 143 says:

"I feel compelled to comment on the quality of the Discworld films (so far)...I love Terry Pratchett's books .. However the films ..are very disappointing. .. I can't blame the actors..So the problem must lie with the direction/production/photography."

I too feel a bit let down by the movie versions, but I think the basic problem is that we simply aren't experiencing the right media. For me, the joy of Terry's work lies in the printed page: the clever use of words and allegory. Sections like the single sheet of paper in The last Continent containing the words 'some of the sheep' had me creased with laughter. Character names like Ptracy in pyramids.. Corporal Knopf.. countless subtle and not-so-subtle references to contemporary culture.. All of this is lost when translated to the screen. Visual humour needs different gags. On screen you don't have time to stop and point at a well-crafted pun to say 'see what I did there'? It works the other way round too.. how many books contain a car chase?

So for me , watching the movie versions is a bit like eating roast chicken crisps instead of a roast chicken. You know what they meant and they're OK in their own way, but honestly.. it's not the same, and it's unfair to expect equality.


*
* From: "James Nash"
*
This is the first time I've sent a letter to DWM; it's the first time I've even felt the inclination to. (That is; usually I don't feel I have anything to say of any interest but frequently I have plenty to ask and when I do feel unclear on any matters regarding Terry Pratchett's work I either refer to one of his books or the internet. And with a plethora of knowledge available from DWM and other sources I rarely have anything to ask, any more).

I'm writing in defence of the Discworld 'movies'. Well, one of them. (Actually, now I've read what I've had to say in this letter I realise it's not much of a defence at all, but I still feel compelled to say it).

I think when there is a book (or similar) you love and want to see it adapted to a film you're never going to get exactly what you expected. I saw 'Hogfather' with my family with incredibly low expectations because no film I'd ever seen, based on any story I've ever loved has done justice to the original. (Everybody seen the 'Hitchhiker's Guide' farce?). But then what I found was a film that had managed to capture so much of the book as I imagined it that my faith in the abilities of film makers was almost restored.

There were parts that seemed like they could have been better but, on the whole, my biggest problem with the film was that small parts hadn't made the cut which I felt would have made the story a little easier for the casual viewer to understand. There were parts of the film which, to me, actually seemed like an improvement (for example; much as I tried I couldn't envisage more of Mr. Teatime's character than a typical socio path from any book or film. It wasn't until Marc Warren portrayed him that the character described in the book even made sense to me).

There were, and please forgive me for saying so, even jokes shown in the film that didn't amuse me nearly as much as they did on paper. (I had an example of this, but I was interrupted as I was typing and for the life of me I cant think what it might have been).

Even my family, who aren't Discworld fans, seemed to enjoy it. (They may not have; I've noticed that when we enjoy or detest something we tend to assume that those around us agree, and even imagine body language that supports this even when they do not).

And so when I heard that the same company was making 'The Colour of Magic' I eagerly awaited it as a child might look forward to Christmas. The end result was as tragic as... Well, to continue the metaphor; the same child after his or her parents had forgotten to buy Christmas presents, only put up the most dismal decorations and serve Doritos and salsa with cola by way of Christmas dinner.

But it was the same talented people who made both films and it does point out one factor that most people forget to consider when trying to assign blame; the perception from the perspective of the audience. With low expectations I saw a film that really impressed me, with high expectations I was deeply disappointed.

Also, when 10 different people read the same book none of them are going to perceive the same thing. Somebody will see something in some character or situation that the others may not which will colour the whole thing a slightly different tint for them. Now, imagine that a number of actors and film makers have read the same book and agree to make it into a film only they, without the ability to read thoughts, can't imagine exactly how their colleagues see it should be.

Then, once they've actually made the film and shown it to the public you're going to find that many of those most interested in seeing it will have also read the book and they, too, will have their own perceptions of what it should be.

Of course there is another factor. Some things simply work in books that don't play out the same way as they do on screen. Some of my favourite moments from the books I've read have been translated in to total and utter cheese on the screen and not because of inept production but simply because what might work in a book will not play out as well when performed by actors. I'm sure it's the same visa versa.

I'm sorry if this has been too long; if the editors wish to trim it down that's fine, if they decide not to publish it altogether then I'm certain I won't be too disappointed

DWM replies: There has been a virtual flood of negative letters about the Mob's adaptation of Hogfather and The Colour of Magic and one in (sort of) praise. Unless someone has something radically different to say about them we will probably close this issue for now.

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4. DiscTrivia

This month I'm asking some questions about Wyrd Sisters.

Q1.
What is the Fool's first name?
Q2.
What name did Granny / Nanny give to the King's son?
a) Bill
b) John
c) JonBon
d) TomJon
Q3.
What are Pilliwinks?
Q4.
What exclamation do the wiches use to show that they are just old poor women collecting firewood?
Q5.
Granny starts off well with her spell to let the truth out, but how does she finish her sentence after a short hesitation?

The results, as always, appear at the end of this issue.

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5. Review: Micro Art Studio - Discworld Miniatures

Reviewed by Jason Anthony

A few months back I received a set of the first five miniature Discworld characters from Micro Art Studio. I was really excited to get them because they look so great from the pictures on their website.

My first shock was that they don't come painted - or even constructed. Looking back at the website it does say that the items come unpainted. Each model is is made of multiple pieces and requires assembly by the end user. I've never been into painting miniatures and my skills with a paintbrush are legendary for all the wrong reasons - so for me these figurines should remain in pieces in their original packaging - which is a real shame because the attention to detail is amazing for such small products.

For the purpose of the review I have decided to get out the glue and put the pieces together. So making sure the emergency numbers are preprogrammed into the telephone (in case I get stuck to anything) I started with the glue.

The models appear to be based on Paul Kidby's paintings of the characters - the Sam Vimes model for example is the Dirty Harry look, with Vimes lighting a cigar with one hand while holding a crossbow in the other.

Granny Weatherwax looks very stern in her large hobnail boots and again looks just like Paul Kidby's illustrations. I think of the five pieces here Granny is my favourite - strangely she was also the easiest to assemble.

Rincewind looks suitably shabby in his old battered robes and hat with Wizzard on it. He also looks like he has been in a terrible accident (which I suppose he has because the glue didn't hold correctly when I fitted his head!) - I really shouldn't try to put these together. Edit - after a bit of fiddling around Rincewind's head is in the right sort of area.

Nanny is featured with a pint in one hand and her broomstick in the other. I think Nanny is the piece that I like the least and not just because I got my hand stuck to the broomstick and couldn't get it to stick to the model at first. What I initially took for a feather boa round her neck on closer inspection turns out to be Greebo.

The final model in the original series is Death. The piece comes in four pieces that need to be assembled. Now that I am an expert with the glue I can safely say that providing nobody breathes too heavily on Death he should be OK.

I have a Clarecraft Pewter Granny Weatherwax which is just slightly smaller than the Micro Art Studio one and have to say that the attention to detail is much higher on the Micro Art Studio one.

I would really like these more if they offered the painted versions - or at least the unpainted ones that didn't require assembly. If however you are a seasoned painter and have already practised your painting skills on all your Warhammer and Talisman characters you will probably find this sort of thing easy and very enjoyable.

One slightly annoying problem is with the bases. The pieces include a bar at the bottom to insert into the base to provide stability - but the bar appears to be too deep for the base so all the characters lean back alarmingly - except for Death who balances on the end of his scythe.

The models are available worldwide from www.microartstudio.com and are now available from PJSM Prints in the UK - www.pjsmprints.com/miniatures/index.html

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6. Competitions

Sorry - once again no competition this month.

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7. North American Discworld Convention News

The Banquet

The theme of the banquet will be "A Night at the Rhoxie," grand palace of Creosote, the Seriph of Al Khali. Famed in myth and legend for its splendor, the Rhoxie is said to have been built by a genie in a single night (causing it to be known colloquially as the "Djinn Palace"). Creosote himself will be in attendance, and the evening will, of course, be hosted by his grand vizier, Abrim. Attendees are encouraged to re-read "Sourcery," "Pyramids," and "Jingo" for costume ideas, but any Discworld-related or evening attire will also do nicely. The banquet will be late afternoon/early evening on Sunday night, September 6th. Menu choices and prices and how to book your reservation will be announced soon.

Memberships Update

Memberships have now reached close to the 500 member mark and we should have an updated online list soon. The current rate will go up by 10 USD to 90 USD after March 31st. We are also planning on capping memberships at approximately 900 which is the capacity of our main ballroom. The Leprecon, Inc. policy is that memberships are non-refundable, but they are transferable. We realize with the current state of the economy that some members may end up deciding they are not able to come and will want to sell their memberships. We have an area on the convention message board where you can post about membership sales/transfers and have already had a handful of people transfer memberships.

Hotel Update

The Mission Palms is filling up and we are looking into options for offical overflow hotels. Make sure that you are using the group code when booking rooms at the Mission Palms, otherwise it does show no rooms available since we have the entire hotel blocked for the convention. We've had several people indicate the hotel was full when it actually isn't, yet. The nearest hotel within easy walking distance is the Courtyard by Mariott in Tempe which currently has a very good rate for the weekend if you are looking to save a bit on your hotel and don't mind a short walk. There's also many other hotels along the light rail line which stops very close to the Mission Palms.

Additional Notes

We're working on some updates to the convention web site, including a Maskarade page, the addition of some of the Frequently Asked Questions we've been getting, and updates on what we are planning for the convention.

Lee Whiteside 2009 North American Discworld Convention Chair

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