Monday, January 16, 2017

The Weekly Update - Monday, January 16th, 2017 - Utter Pandemonium!!!

Fifth Daughter, giving Comrade Putin a headache.

As mentioned in these pages, Fifth Daughter has come to live with us while she finishes her studies and gets her degree. Things have been going pretty well, at least until noon on Saturday; the moving company called her, and announced that all of her worldly goods would be arriving here at the little house in half an hour.

As might be expected, pandemonium broke out, as we cleared out enough space for what I ahd been told would be ten cubic meters of stuff from her apartment in Zurich. I was in a fine state of distraction, I can tell you, but she and her eldest sister simply gave me The Daughter Look, and assumed that Dad would fix it.

Well, he did; we managed to get everything ready, and then waited for three hours for the truck to arrive. When it did, we got everything in, and I managed to leave enough room in her new abode to assemble her beloved IKEA loft bed. This went together well, with the proviso that daughters should not pack their loft bed hardware in one of their 72 unmarked boxes, and carry the hardware in their checked luggage.

However, being A Dad, I got out my huge box of All Hardware From IKEA (You find them in the IKEA 'As Is' Department, five bucks for five pounds of hardware), and started to assemble the bed with what I had while Third Daughter, Second Son, and Fifth Daughter did the Dance of the Dancing Boxes and finally located the three unique bits of hardware needed to finish the installation. (Yes, I did have a back-up plan. I always have a backup plan.) I am very pleased that she got to sleep in her own bad, that night, with her own sheets, pillows, and blankets. It's a Dad Thing.

Now, besides all this 'family news', there's some very serious model-building news in all of this. Fifth Daughter's job in Zurich was as a trade show demonstration person for a huge chain of crafts stores, similar to the US chain Michael's, and she has unpacked a nice pile of stuff for Dear Old Dad's model-building projects. Amongst the goodies is a pack of very thin wood veneer with adhesive backing, which I can think of all sorts of uses for.

However, she then sprang the surprise. The sheets are intended for use in the Brother Scan-n-Cut series of machines, which are like printers except that they cut out shapes from computer files. My daughter is not only a demonstrator of this device, but also a highly-trained operator of same. And, she's brought over one of these machines - the very top model, no less! - with her. (The mind boggles.) If I can draw it, I can have it in thin veneers, like on the order of one to two millimeters; this is thinner then what I can usually get in laser-cut stuff, and it opens up a whole new universe of things for my miniatures work.

I had no idea that this technology even existed!!! I was directed to the website, and here it is:

Wall treatments, sails for ships, you name it; this is a whole new world for me to explore, and with the delightful option of being able to do these projects with my daughters.

I am, as you might guess, pretty darn pleased. It's one of the perks of being a father, and makes all the hard work shuffling boxes worth it.

There is going to be a series of posts coming along, as soon as I have the time, expanding on Fiddler's comment to my last post. Many things shall be revealed!

Mush be off; I have to move a fridge back into the basement. More later!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Weekly Update - Sunday, January 8th, 2017 - 2017: The Year In Preview

1/900th, I think, and noticeably bigger then the other ships.
I can tell you what we're getting, very shortly...

I usually get to thinking, about this time of the year, about what I'll be up to for the next twelve months. I think that this year will be a year of consolidation, with a lot of building and writing going on. No idea how much actual gaming; that will be up to other people to organize, as I've been saying for most of 2016. It's a matter of time and energy; I have to ration both, these days, so I am concentrating on what I'm good at and what I like to do.

TRE Games will be getting some more of our budgeted cash; I picked up the new quinquereme yesterday at The Source, and when I went to the TRE Games website i found that he' also done a 28mm cog. Over a foot long, and about four inches wide, this ship will fit in very nicely with the rest of the Missuma River Yacht Club and provide some much-needed help to our over-worked merchant fleet. The quinquereme will wind up as the flagship of the TRE fleet, commanding the three biremes and the three triremes I already have. He's also got a range of 15mm 'Arid' buildings, and if he does them in 25/28 mm, I'll simply have to get a set - I love his kits, and these will be perfect for all sorts of games.

What I'm looking at for this year will be a lot more on the side of getting projects done, and a lot less on new projects. I have to get the two Barsoomian flyers done - the big sticking point for them, at the moment, are the deck guns. I've been looking for something that I can suitably liven up to serve as radium cannon, but nothing has surfaced in my travels to local shops so I think I'll have to scratch-build something. I had been looking for things like Edwardian deck guns, in keeping with the ERB outlook, but at about five bucks a gun, the total inventory (for the two hulls) will account for most of the year's miniatures budget. So, it's off to the parts bins, and we'll see what we can come up with. Likewise, the big Sakbe road set will get it's vinyl cladding installed, and the detailing doen to finish that project off. That will be the big effort for the year, simply because it's such a big project.

As I've mentioned before, I don't really 'play rules sets'; I play settings, for particular worlds. These will get more support, as I refine my focus on what I do best, and I'll be getting the unpainted figures in the collection finally done. A lot of figures now in the bins by the workbench will be evaluated for use, and most likely declared 'surplus to requirements' and disposed of. I have very little possible use for a classic D&D City Guard set, so they may have to find new homes; we'll have to see, and think about what kind of games I'd like to run in the future.

I am, to be honest, looking forward to a quiet year; in some ways, we've had too much excitement around here...


Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Weekly Update - Sunday, January 1st, 2017 - The News From The Workbench

The Long Count of Years continues...

A very short note, this morning; the Missus got her pathology report from this past week's biopsy back, and we are delighted to report that the results are negative.

As might be imagined, we're both very happy with this, and a lot of the stress and worry we've been under has now been alleviated.

We had a very good time last night, visiting some old friends and their kids, and a great time was had by all.

Fifth Daughter arrives Tuesday night, so we're pretty busy at the moment; more from here later on today, I hope...

Happy New Year, everyone!!! :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Back Home...

My Missus, bless her...

Just a short update; the Missus and I are back home after her biopsy. Because of her underlying health issues, any kind of invasive procedure is a high-risk activity, so we had been a little concerned. However, she did just fine, and is now simply lying down and being comfortable.

We'll get the pathology results back on Friday, but both she and her doctors are very pleased; this has been caughter much earlier then her last bout, and the feeling is that she'll do all that much better as she goes into treatment as a result.

So, that's the news from this morning. Back to our regularly scheduled programming, I hope... :)

Monday, December 26, 2016

On The Fourth Day Of Christmas...

Ever get that 'army on the march' feeling?

It has been the last day of my official holiday, and it has been productive. No serious modeling has gotten done, but I did install the new ceiling light fixture in the 'spare room'/'dorm room' after a short trip out to the nearby IKEA. The fixture that had been in there was a ceiling fan with light, and we thought that having a daughter sleeping in an IKEA loft bed above the Whirling Blades Of Death was a not very good idea. So, the fan is out, the new light is in, and I got all the rest of our furniture out of the room and out into the rest of the house. There's a lot of small stuff, but that's all easy to deal with. And I have a three-day holiday for New Year's coming up, so we should be more or less ready for the arrival of Fifth Daughter a week from tomorrow.

The Missus has, as part of the final budget for the 2016 fiscal year, ordered up the five new figures from Bronze Age; Helium's navy and their pirate foes will soon be getting additional figures, and I really should break out the desktop band saw and get to cutting all those eighth-ray lift vanes. Lots of Plexiglass will get cut up, and I'll most likely do the transparent bases for all of my sailing ships and galleys at the same time. I tend to group jobs by the tools used, and a weekend of cutting away on Plexiglass seems like a good way to spend some good modeling time.

Speaking of ships, in the photo you can see the TRE Games biremes and triremes that come three to a pack and are nifty little models. They are larger in scale then the metal castings I've had for years, but that's all right by me; I doubt I'll be mixing the two sets on the table, unless we have a really huge naval battle. (See also "Ben Hur", in both the silent and technicolor versions.)

I also have tomorrow off, due to the Missus' medical appointment, but I expect to be hback to a more or less regular schedule later this week. The rain finally stopped; it's colder, but much more of a respectable climate for Minnesota in the winter...