Some little bits done before Electric Love

26 08 2017

I did manage to do a few bits and bobs before and during my time at Electric Love, but I don’t seem to have photographed everything. I plan to remedy this before too long.

This was inspired by the Blanchitsu articles in White Dwarf and I rather liked the floaty bits that people had made. This is part of my ongoing Imperial Court which is slowly building up.

This is a little speeder I’d lasercut and will be putting up for sale.


My old gaming buddy Seb had sent me some figures. With them was this halfling which I liked but just didn’t quite know what to do with. So rather than having it sit on the leadpile I thought I’d paint him up and return him. I had a blast painting him and I made the most impractical gaming base ever.

This was the Mayor of Helsreach, a freebie figure from Curtis of Ramshackle Games.
http://ramshacklegames.co.uk/
He was given out at the annual BOYL event at Wargames Foundry
http://bringoutyourlead.co.uk/
I really want to go to this one day.

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Mini Maker Faire Salzburg

22 05 2017

As usual life keeps me busy so this is a late posting. I haven’t even had time to paint, that’s how busy it’s been.
Today (not really) I’m sat at the Mini Maker Faire in Salzburg, the first one at this location.
http://makerfaire.com/
I feel a little out of place as everything is tech orientated and hands-on whereas my display is quite static.
mf3
Just across from me is a packed Lego Robotics table.
I’ve produced some bits and pieces to sell, very different from my usual stuff, made mostly from off-cuts of wood found at Happylab.
mf2
The event was really well organised and very friendly.
A lot of people stopped by to admire my stuff and ask questions about what I had made. Many children were fascinated by the little waterway in my display board and kept touching it to see if it was real water.
I met a few people who have been using Happylab and it was nice to be complimented on my finished work as they had only seen random unfinished bits.
Number One Son greatly enjoyed working on the electronics and made, with instruction, a singing pencil.
mf1
I can’t see things like this happening in England, children with knives and soldering irons. Another reason why it was good to move. Number One Son would like to do more electronics. So I think a crash course for me might be in order as I cannot read a wiring diagram.

Star Cops in action!

Star Cops on patrol


Here are some more photographs of the event.
https://www.makerdays.at/faire/impressionen-der-makerfaire/





Sometimes I wonder why I bother

3 05 2017

I really cannot for the life of me understand why people are prepared to pay me double the amount I pay myself laser-cutting for a few hours work pulling up weeds in their gardens.
Is there no value to creativity?
On the plus side though, it means I can afford to get a few tools for the workshop.





Wot i lerned dooing my bord

24 02 2017

I learnt quite a few things actually and most, in hindsight, are pretty bleedin’ obvious. I’m not out of the woods yet, by a long way but I thought I might share these nuggets of wisdom with you.
* Do you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve?
* Make a plan
* Do you have an idea of the budget? Does the project realistically fit this budget?
* Screw the plan up, throw it in the bin and start again
* Tell your Wife/SO you love them
* Does your Wife/SO have any idea about what time, money, mess and swearing the project involves?
* Do you?
* Tell your Wife/SO you love them
* Do you have enough materials at hand to complete the project?
* Go and buy what you need
* NOW!
* Revisit plan
* Check plan
* Set yourself a reasonable timescale breaking down jobs into manageable chunks/milestones
* Start building
* Check plans
* Start swearing
* The razor saw/scalpel/hammer is your friend
* Tell your Wife/SO you love them
* Tidy as you go
* It is better to paint any fiddly or hard to reach parts BEFORE assembly
* Photograph as you go. Somebody may learn from your stupid mistakes.
* As you build you’ll get flashes of inspiration for your next project. Write them down. Do not, repeat, do not start this next amazing project until this one is done and dusted.
* Don’t be afraid to ask for people’s advice on dedicated forums.
It’s what the interweb is for.
Actually it’s for porn (Avenue Q)
Or pictures of kittens
* Speaking of which, if the kitten wants to play either put it out or play with it. You cannot work with kitten.
* When doing closeup touching-up don’t keep the paintbrush in your mouth
* Tell your Wife/SO you love them
* Take your time don’t rush. If that extra detail takes five minutes, take those five minutes. The end result is worth it
* Finished! Now collapse in a heap for five minutes
* Where the photon are you going to store it now?





Rogue Stars Gameboard

22 02 2017

My regular readers will know that I set myself the goal of making a gameboard to run a demo game of Rogue Stars at the Austrian Salute this year. I’ve yet to play it. Here is a progress report.
plan First off a plan. I wanted to have raised walkways and a twisty-turney town part. My initial plan was a little too ambitious and too large. It was based on a metre by metre board, it was only when I got the rule book that I learnt that the play area was three foot by three foot play area. The idea is that the board can be used for a variety of games so it needs the maximum amount of empty space and the minimum of fixed scenery. I still wanted my twisty-turney streets. So a back wall is used and the scenery only projects about seven centimetres into the play area.
tokenSomething else the game uses is tokens. So I knocked out a couple of examples. The wound marker was something I already had and thought I would use.
gateHere was the first building, the Gatehouse. I would have liked it higher and more imposing, but using steps at one centimetre intervals didn’t allow it. Next time I will make the steps at two centimetres. Maybe.
houseIn all there are three different types of Desert House that I have made for the board. This is one type, the others have either a glass dome on top or stairs up the side. One problem is that they make the wall buildings rather insignificant.
startwallThe beginnings of the wall, trying bits out for size.
backwallA view of the wall buildings in situ. There is an edging to the gameboard which I have added extra shapes to suggest some depth.
progressYou can see everything painted up and glued down and work started on the cliffs.
viewThis is an overview where I am working on the positioning of the landing pad and the goods yard.
cliff1Work started on the cliffs using my new EBay purchase, a hot wire foam cutter.
cliff2Filling in any gaps with “No More Nails” a most excellent product which I haven’t yet sourced over here. If anyone knows what it is called in Austria/Germany I would be most grateful.
cop2
cop1
I plan to have three different groups of adventurers for the game. This is the first group, the “Star Cops” lead by the redoubtable Captain Robert Smythe. Figures by Pig Iron Productions
http://www.pig-iron-productions.com/
Nice figures and I will certainly be revisiting their ranges.
bridgeCutting the foam to insert a small bridge.
road1Glueing the roadway together.
road2One unfortunate effect of painting the roadway was that the card warped. It did straighten a bit when it dried. I shall say that it warped in the hot desert suns.
overHere we are at today’s state of play. There are four more stepped houses to make, but as they are loose they are a lower priority. The next job is to glue the roadway down and then apply sand.
More pictures will follow when this project draws closer to completion.

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Play your dream

17 02 2017

I’m working on my gameboard for the Austrian Salute. And this slogan just popped into my head this morning. It doesn’t seem to come up on any searches, obviously a bit more than a casual search is required, so I may appropriate it.
Next post will be a proper one with pictures an all.

My new friend Arnold Image copyright BBC and used without permission

My new friend Arnold
Image copyright BBC and used without permission

 

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2016 Been there, done it

14 01 2017

This was started on New Year’s Day and then it got put down and buried under stuff.

I am sat here feeling slightly obfuscated, mostly due to schnapps, brandy and presecco seeing out the old year.
2016 was a year that a lot of interesting and clever people shuffled of this mortal coil. The way East/West politics are moving 2017 could be the year that everyone dies.
I didn’t paint much, far less than I wanted to. The Dragon was prevaricated on. It seemed that every time I picked it up I was asked for help with something else so there was no “Zone” achieved.
But there shouldn’t be too much beating myself up. My workshop is set up and I can airbrush to my hearts content. One project for this year is to make a spray booth with PC cooling fans (from the recycling center) to extract spray. The hobby room is done, bar one small speaker shelf. So I have my space for painting and gaming. And I have been working on the garden making a path and building a wall. This involves going to the farm with a wheelbarrow and taking a rock and wheeling it back, so quite time consuming.

Financially the laser cutting has not been a success this year. Etsy resulted in zero sales. Handing out my business card at Salute resulted in a huge spike in blog views the following day, but zero sales.
What I find frustrating in my target audience is that they will happily fork out thirty or forty quid for one figure they owned as a teenager but will balk at paying twenty for scenery to grace their collection. There was a thread I was following where collectors were boasting about the prices they had paid for a metal Thunderhawk Gunship. It was jaw dropping.

I am going to continue with making laser cut scenery, if only for myself. But getting some money for it would be nice. The last year has seen a readjustment in family finances. I have gone from having a huge disposable income a couple of years ago to having none. My Wife stopped working at the beginning of last year and despite having no income we’ve lived comfortably. Having no rent or mortgage helps tremendously and visiting fleamarkets for clothes and entertainment makes what we do have go along way.
I have backed a few Kickstarters this year, not as many as I would have liked. Ten Minute Heist and Dwarves in Trouble are two board games that look like fun to play with the Boys. Then came the addiction, miniatures. Space Raiders, scifi orcs sculpted by Kevin Adams. Greenskin Wars, goblins sculpted by Kevin Adams. Goblins and Sea Demons, sea goblins sculpted by Kevin Adams. Return to Colony 87, scifi civilians. Kev White does Matt Dixon, female fantasy miniatures. And finally Ramshackle Games’s Jetbikes.

The product of the year for me has been Foundrys Sable Mix General Detail Brush. I was going to replace it at the beginning of the year but it kept on going for “one more paint job”. In fact it is still going strong, so I might not replace it just yet.

Although I’m not very good with my predictions I’m going to say that 2017 will be the year of NMMs. Non Metallic Metallics, where you paint something to look shiny and metallic without using any metallic paint. For those of you who don’t quite get what I’m on about, think about a photograph of a shiny teapot. You don’t have metallic inks when you print a photograph. What you see are whites, greys and whatever background colours are being reflected. So the object is to try and replicate this without metallic paint. G’Dub is already putting painting guides out with this technique with some of their new products.

Talking about G’Dub, I have liked watching their Warhammer TV on Youtube. It has been very instructive and has kept my Boys entertained. Just remember kids, always thin your paints.

Something I got as a Christmas present was a copy of Osprey’s Rogue Stars ruleset. It is a bit dry, mostly tables of equipment, physical traits and very little fluff. From reading of reviews apparently one gets the hang of it very easily. The advantage, as I see it, of having very little fluff is that you can create your own universe in the flavour you want. Magrathea anyone?
I’d like to make a go of this and try and run a demo game at the Austrian Salute this year.
The game is figure light, four to six figures a side and the playspace is three foot by three foot.
So I have approximately ten weeks to learn the rules. I’ve taken the step of joining the Austrian gaming forum, diefestung, to find opponents. Then painting the figures and making a terrain board which will showcase my laser cut work.
Oh, and make sure I have enough stock to sell.
Speaking of stock I must really extract my digit and design more big objects. The ideal solution would be one big thing a month.

This year I must be more focused on my painting. First jobs are to finish off any jobs that haven’t been completed. Then I need to decide which army to concentrate on and finish it. A prime candidate would be my Roman army, just a fortified camp and two commanders.








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