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Nintendo Wii U 32GB Premium Pack - Black
Nintendo Wii U 32GB Premium Pack - Black

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Console, 10 Jan. 2014
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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I wanted a Wii U when it first came out but decided to hold on and wait for the inevitable price drop. From the point of view of games and update patches i'm glad i did. The console was bought as a Christmas present that the whole family could enjoy and as a father of 2 primary school age children I wanted a console that had suitable games that i didnt have to constantly monitor the content of. The graphics are excellent, until ultra HD TVs come down in price I dont see the point in consoles outputting any higher than 1080p and the gameplay, as you would expect from nintendo, is fantastic. My son and I enjoy using the gamepad and dont find it heavy or cumbersome as some other people have stated, and the opportunity to be able to play games on the gamepad alone while somebody else watches the TV cannot be praised more. No more are my children falling out because one of them wants to watch a movie while the other plays on the console, and equally my wife is getting to watch a lot more of her favourite TV programs now as I can sit next to her playing Mario or Rayman, etc... I'm not a fan of shoot em ups or football simulation games, so the games that are available on the Wii U are more than enough for me, and also I must mention the fact that all Wii games are backwards compatible so you are not just limited to what is available for the wii U.
All in all a great bit of kit and well worth the money.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 1, 2014 4:04 PM GMT

Order & Chaos Duels - Trading Card Game
Order & Chaos Duels - Trading Card Game
Price: £0.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great game, 10 May 2013
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I have really enjoyed this game so far, it is very addictive. Great artwork too and so much cheaper than 'magic-the gathering'.

Scream: Draw Classic Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, Monsters and More
Scream: Draw Classic Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, Monsters and More
by Steve Ellis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.28

4.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive guide, 9 May 2013
This is a book entirely dedicated to the horror genre. It is split into four chapters the first of which is `Tools of the trade'; basic materials and concepts. This covers the usual in terms of art supplies, colour theory, basic shapes and lighting. This is followed with useful tips on gesture drawing and anatomy of different types of horror creatures.
The book starts to take off when it looks at how to tackle facial features of various kinds of horror characters and extends into hands, arms and legs. In this section there is also two painting processes of the same illustration, one done traditionally and one done digitally.
Chapter is all about vampires and features several step by step demos of different vampire characters. Each one begins with a rough pencil sketch and goes right through to a fully rendered final piece. Altogether there are 8 vampire archetypes covered.
Chapter 2 is Monsters, all of the demos are carried out in the same way and feature Jekyll and Hyde, two versions of Frankenstein's monster, a witch, wolfman, werewolf, werebat and swamp creature.
The final chapter is The Undead with its focus on zombies, mummies, headless horsemen, ghosts and ghouls.
The demos are done in various illustrative styles ranging from comic book type illustrations through to traditionally painted images that have an `old masters' fell through to glossy digitally rendered work.
The techniques can be applied across the book and the author urges the reader to mix up the processes to create their own Frankensteins monster of techniques. I found the book to be fun and informative and is a must buy for anyone who wants to create horror art.

Dreamscapes Myth and Magic: Create Legendary Creatures and Characters in Watercolor
Dreamscapes Myth and Magic: Create Legendary Creatures and Characters in Watercolor
by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great title from the Dreamscapes series, 24 April 2013
This is another book from Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's Dreamscapes series. The title of the book indicates that it will be based around mythical beasts and magical creatures, once again all to be rendered in watercolour. It starts out pretty much the same as her other two books do and I was a bit disappointed to discover that the basic lessons section seemed to be made up almost entirely of content from her other books.
After the basics section the book is then divided into several smaller sections each dedicated to a different type of mythical creature or magical realm. Thankfully these are full with lots of original ideas and techniques looking at things like painting a daytime sky or creating cloud formations. The sub sections are each split into several subsections, beginning with mini lessons, tips and techniques before going into a more detailed step by step tutorial where you can put into practice some of the techniques learned so far. The book has lots of useful content, especially for the aspiring watercolour artist.
Stand out parts include the `moon' section features painting moonlit clouds and different techniques for painting starry skies
The `witch' section has a very good feature on how to indicate patterns on fabric.
The `phoenix' section gives tips on painting flames.
The `tree spirit' section has an excellent tutorial on how to meld flesh and wood.
As well as the sections mentioned above there are sections on `the bard', `the trickster', `the unicorn', `the dragon' and `the siren'. Each one is treated in pretty much the same way.
It's another competent and informative book and when combined with the other two books they form a very comprehensive guide to rendering a fantasy world in watercolour.

Littlest Pet Shop
Littlest Pet Shop
Price: £0.00

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great game for my daughter, 6 April 2013
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This review is from: Littlest Pet Shop (App)
My daughter loves this game. She needs a lot of help but that is more down to her age than difficulty of the game.

Prehistoric Park
Prehistoric Park
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Too addictive, 6 April 2013
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This review is from: Prehistoric Park (App)
Love this game. Me and my children cant get enough of it. We have hardly even built anything yet but cant wait to expand more. Highly recommend it!

Fashion Illustration: Inspiration and Technique
Fashion Illustration: Inspiration and Technique
by Anna Kiper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great tips for fashion design students, 26 Mar. 2013
Fashion Illustration
This is the first book on fashion illustration that I have read for a long time and on the initial flick through the book I was quite impressed with the eye-catching art. Before I even looked in the book in any great detail I found the artists own story, which was included as part of the introduction, inspiring in itself; a young Russian girl immigrates alone to the USA in order to follow her dreams of becoming a fashion illustrator.
The book begins with some important tutorials aimed specifically at the aspiring fashion illustrator, detailing the fashion figure, tips on proportion and form used in fashion design and drawing interesting gestural forms. The positions are kept realistic but interesting and emphasises the importance of supporting leg positions, the shape of the walking figure and the blocking in method to create interesting silhouettes. Also covered is the fashion figure in perspective and various rotations of the body.
She then goes into more depth when adding detail to the figure, focusing on faces, hair, skin tones and drawing the elegant forms of a fashion models arms, hands, legs and feet.
Next up is clothing the fashion figure and this fills the majority of the book. Particular attention is paid to the way that different clothes and materials behave on the body depending on the position of the model. There is a very interesting part included within this section which demonstrates how to build up layers of clothing starting from underwear through to overcoats.
A `Fashion Dictionary' is included which basically consists of labelled illustrations of a wide range of clothing. The labels are particularly useful and aid the reader in identifying the names of different types of pockets, or shapes of lapels for instance. The author then demonstrates different page compositions and layout variations to assist in producing your own design board, coloured accents are featured to add balance and energy to your page.
There is a short section on illustrating children and men and looks at the types of clothing they may wear but the main focus of this book is on women.
Another section I enjoyed was on fabric rendering techniques which demonstrates the best media for illustrating particular types of fabric and also looks at using fabric swatches to inspire or accompany your designs. This then leads into the final section of the book where the artist explores a wide range of media.
I found this book to be useful and interesting but I would have liked it that bit more if there had maybe been some input from other illustrators just to give it more variation in style.

Dracopedia: A Guide to Drawing the Dragons of the World
Dracopedia: A Guide to Drawing the Dragons of the World
by William O'Connor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a guide to dragons than a guide to drawing them, 7 Mar. 2013
This is an art book with a difference- it has been produced to seem as though it is an actual scientific journal that has been compiled by studying different species of Dragon all over the world.
Each dragon has its own section where the author describes its biology and behaviour, all accompanied by some beautiful illustrations. The sections conclude with a demonstration of how to create your own illustration of the particular type of dragon.
I do feel that there isn't enough emphasis though when it comes to the tutorials of this book. There aren't really any step by steps for drawing the dragon although it does cover painting each dragon in some detail, albeit with a strong digital painting slant.
With this mixture of journal and art instruction the book sort of loses its identity and to me is neither one thing or the other. If anything it is more weighted towards the scientific journal which means that for me personally there is not enough tutorial content and with the books subheading reading `A guide to drawing the dragons of the world' it doesn't exactly do what it says.
The artwork in the book is very good and dragon lovers will get an awful lot of eye candy in here. It is ultimately a book for fans of dragons and dragon lore and even though I was disappointed with the art tutorial content I did enjoy reading about the `history' of dragons.
In conclusion there are better `How to' books out there but it was still an enjoyable read.

Making Faces: Drawing Expressions for Comics and Cartoons
Making Faces: Drawing Expressions for Comics and Cartoons
by 8Fish
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great at what it does, 13 Feb. 2013
This book is done slightly different to other instruction books I have read because it has been created by and contributed to by an art collective known as 8fish. This means that there are 6 different artists giving their input into one theme which results in many unique techniques and insights into the genre of drawing expressions for comics and cartoons.
It begins as most of these types of books do:- with basic lessons on materials and equipment, drawing and sketching and inking and shading to name a few. It also offers some interesting techniques for drawing mouths, eyes and noses.
Section 2 covers scenarios, (like Billy finds a flower). Each scenario has several demonstrations covering various expressions that may come about for the given scenario. For instance in demo 1 Billy is happy, demo 2 joyful, demo 3 about to sneeze. Each scenario is made up of step by step process along with other variations on the theme created by some of the other 8fish artists.
Altogether there are nine of these scenarios which cover a broad range of situations and emotions, and these make up the majority of the content of the book.
Section 3 is all about storytelling and more importantly how to make your artwork more interesting and exciting. It covers framing your image and body language. This is followed by a series of step by step demos including a zombie fighting a cave girl, noir interrogation, western standoff and a battle scene.
The book concludes with a gallery of work by the 8fish artists which illustrates the quality of their work.

This is the best book I have read when it comes to drawing faces and expressions. Even though it does have a strong comic book slant to it, a lot of the lessons can easily be applied to more realistic work or book illustration. I highly recommend it.

Shojo Fashion Manga Art School, Year 2: Draw Modern Looks
Shojo Fashion Manga Art School, Year 2: Draw Modern Looks
by Irene Flores
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.54

4.0 out of 5 stars Another useful visual guide book, 1 Feb. 2013
This is the follow up to the brilliant shojo fashion- manga art school. It focuses on modern looks and has been split into 8 distinct sections based on significant events and social environments.
The first section- Around the home looks at different types of everyday wear and gets quite specific on things like sleeves, collars and feminine necklines. Other interesting aspects of this section include maternity wear, baby shoes and drawing dirt on clothes.
Section 2-Hanging out, sort of expands on the casual wear theme but this time features character reference based on social situations like First date and Going steady.
In section 3 the clothing style becomes more glamorous as we go to the prom. Standout parts of this section are applying different beaded patterns to a dress and layering up a suit. It even gives an illustrated step by step guide to tying a tie.
Section 4 is all about weddings and features different styles of dresses as well as suits for all ages and bridesmaid dresses.
Section 5 focuses on drawing different styles of school uniform as well as clothing for sports and cheer squads.
In section 6 we get to see different types of work clothes relating to many different types of jobs. Unfortunately, as the book progresses the amount of step by step guides seem to reduce and we are just given finished references. This runs through to section 7 which looks at different types of sportswear and the book finishes off with seasonal clothing featuring items of swimwear, sunglasses and padded fabrics.

Although I found this book quite useful it didn't seem to live up to its predecessor. I feel like it tries to cram too much different content into it covering all possible bases of a particular type of clothing but doesn't feature enough step by step lessons. The first four sections could have been greatly expanded to fill the book and the final four, done more thoroughly could have another book in their own right. Obviously with the subject matter this book does seem to be aimed at teenagers but is very useful for anybody who wishes to illustrate people of that age bracket.

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