zaterdag 30 april 2016

Miniature sun x 2

Well, something brightend up my day (not that it has changed my foul mood much)

Wasn't expecting 2 boxes the size of my lower arm though! The picture they used for the lamp was a stock photo of a normal 20W lightbulb, and this lamp is considerably bigger!

Much bigger then a can of fizzy drink!. It is a good thing I kept my fittings for it up high....

Old light on the right (60 watts), new light on the left (275 watts)
It is currently slightly overcast but with enough sunlight to make me squint when I look outside. When I rolled down the shutters and closed the door (which completely darkens the room) and hit the switch it really is just like a very sunny day. So much light even, that when I rolled the shutters back up and turned off the lights, it actually darkend :D

After a quick check there are still some shadows on the table but nowhere near as pronounced as before, so taking shots of games in progress will not come out looking dodgy due to the lights, and I have the option to lower them for a bit to get closer to the table if I need to.

And in other news, my request for a shrink has been turned down, but upgraded to a request for more specialist care and help with my application for a company that specializes in finding fitting jobs for autistic persons like myself, to prevent me falling inot the same trap over and over (work for a year, unemployed for 5-9 months, work for a year etc).

And the catch of the week is that I actually spent money to buy stuff this week. I bought 2 big lots, 1 of 6 boxes of mostly OOP GW plastic scenery, new in the box (1/3rd of that has already been sold off, briging my total expense for 2 boxes of GW trees, 1 box of Arcane Ruins and 1 box of Battlescape (the ruined Rhino with some craters) down to 50 euros, which, frankly, is a bargain. The other lot is 4 BFG fleets in one go (Imperial, Chaos, custom built Ork fleet and custom built Dark Eldar fleet with lots of ordonance and escorts plus a box full of planets and asteroids to fill out my own collection. I'll sort out what I need for myself and put the rest back up for trade with friends or forum members as we are trying to get a BFG thing going again locally.

And that is it. After today there will be no buying or swapping for a month (all of May), just selling. Goal is to collect 100 euros in Paypal sales to fund the 4x4 Cobblestone and the 4x4 Concrete mat. Bonus would be selling another 100 to fund either a additional third 6x4 Spacemat or upgrade the 2 4x4 mats to 6x4 mats. If I would be able to sell another 100 it would be 6x4 mats all round. Miniatureswise my wants list is now very, very small, I just want to get cracking with painting miniatures and building more scenery in the evenings.

So, some good news, some bright news, and some bad news that turned into good news. If all goes well I could be painting again next, wish me luck!

maandag 25 april 2016

Brick wall

With the completion of my room I've settled in a day to day routine of grabbing a box from the attic, sorting it, listing stuff, storing stuff and putting the empty box back into the attic. However, I have run into 2 problems.

1. I've only just started and already 3 cabinets are brimming with stuff. I will have to be much more stringent and get rid of a lot more stuff, if I want to have enough room for the future. More stuff sold is better as those funds are going straight into my new mat fund. Sofar, I'm focussing on selling books and magazines. 5 euros here, 10 euros there, but it all adds up.

2. My mood has turned sour, with more dark thoughts then the average Chaos Marine has. As much as I keep telling myself things will work out and I just need to keep going at it, dark thoughts keep drifting through my mind and I can't seem to purge them. Even worse, now that I have clarity about my knee it has gotten really bad and I've lost my temper a couple of times this week and gotten rather abusive (verbally) with Kim. I won't stand for this so I will be making a appointment with my doctor tomorrow to explain the problem and get a referral to see a shrink. And have some good talks, provided my insurance covers it. Or the insurance of the guy that ran me over.

Is it all bad? No, of course not, I've been going at it every day and I have cleared another 3 boxes today. I just need to put up some markers telling me what cabinet will be for what items, and mark the drawers accordingly so I can see what goes where. But I'm sticking to the "take 1 box down, and don't get a new box until you have finished this one completely" mantra

I'm also picking up a large box of Games Workshop scenery, new in the box. I spent some money on it but nowhere near it's real current value, so I will keep a few bits that I don't have yet and sell off the rest to break even or even a small profit. I should also stop visiting Oldhammer. That place will be the death of me (and my wallet).

Dammit, all I want to do is grab my tools and get building again and relax, but every box I grabbed sofar conatined everything but my is almost a consipracy!

Hope to have better news later this week :)

woensdag 20 april 2016

In the beginning....

Right, just a quick update, it is actually rather busy atm.

Hobbydesk cleared and ready to get back to work. Details like storage boxes for tools and what not will have to come later when I get a bit more into it.

A 2nd whiteboard, now on the door, to keep track of my trades, purchases, hobby plans and notes during games.
Spliced the powercable for the lights and spaced them a metre apart so they will cast no shadows on the table when the new 200w daylightbulbs arrive (Only 40w standard bulbs in them now) and be colour real for the photographs
I'm now in the progress of getting everything out of the cupboards again, one at a time, and checking all the boxes, removing the ones that should not be here or have a different content or are empty, and relabelling the ones that remain (if not correctly labelled already). Also all of the boxes with paint and tools will be relocated to the paint cabinet, to keep that under one roof so to speak.

I'm on easy mode right now, so doing it slow for the rest of the week. Friday evening, Erik is coming over to move one wall of cabinets by 10-15 cm's so we have space to put the table in when not used (I had kinda forgotten about that part). Next week, I can start attacking my Nemesis.

This is my Nemesis.

Storage boxes go back 4 rows deep

Loose stuff just tossed in there during the move

That is half the attic stuffed to the gills with hobby stuff, stuff from my old house and everything I could not let go of yet. Starting next week I will tackle that one box at a time, sorting, dumping, keeping and selling the contents. There are at least 50 storage boxes and then a lot of loose smaller boxes and stuff.

Also, in other news, I just got back from the Orthopedic doctor. The RMI showed that I have sustained damage to the cartilage of my left knee, which is permament. He reccomends physiotherapy to manage the pain. Not the kind of news I had been hoping for :( Back in 3 months for another check up and a meeting with my insurance company as I can't afford to pay for that much physiotherapy, so the bill will have to be footed by the insurance company of the guy that ran over me. Much discussion to ensue about that one I think.

I'm taking a few days off for R&R, do stuff outside the house. Or something.

maandag 11 april 2016

Happy as a clam

(which is a very weird expression when you think about it. How do you know a clam is happy?)

Anyway, over a year ago, my wife commented that a) the mutual Hobbyroom looked a bit like Beirut and b) the girls are growing fast and they might need a bigger room soon. We laughed, we discussed, we yelled, but eventually agreed that the new (smaller) hobbyroom would be all mine and she would be happy as a clam with a Netflix subscription. I made plans, drawings, measured everything....and then nothing happend. 2 kids, the house and work is a tad much combined to swap around 2 rooms in any hurry unless you want top drag it outfor a long time.

So, after my accident, when my boss told me my contract would not be renewed (bastard), we decided to make the best of it and get as much done as possible in the first few months before I find a job again (more IF I find a job again, tbh).  1 Month ago to this day, I hit the ground limping and have not stopped since. I completely cleared out my storage locker (4 x 7 metres of it), gave away loads of stuff to charity, also dumped tons of gaming stuff in the garbage containers and boxed up everything else that I thought had any value or I wanted to keep in the first 2 weeks alone. In the next week, I completely cleared out our hobby room and put all of it, with the stuff from the storage locker, in the attic. The attic now has more lead shielding then a Soviet sub. One week ago, our kids went on a week long vacation to my parents and we went full steam ahead to completely redo the old hobby room (painting, wallpapering, sprucing up the 2nd hand furniture we got for them) and at the same time, start the hobbyroom in the newer small room.

In the plans I had drawn up a year ago, the new hobbyroom was 12m2 which meant I would lose one Ikea Billy cabinet from the 4.5 I owned and would only have room for a 4x4 non permanent gaming table. I had planned to build a mobile storage unit/gaming table. I had budgetted the entire move at 500 euros including all the new stuff I had to purchase.

Well, things went a bit different :)

My budget shrank to 300 after a unexpected medical bill. The cabinets I had chosen are no longer produced by Ikea. in retrospect, this was a good thing. My focus had been on miniature storage in drawers. Lot's fof drawers. While clearning them all out for the move I found out only 1/3rd actually contained painted or WIP miniatures, the rest was filled with kits, plasticcard and scenery. When cleared, I found I had enough drawer space left to keep me going for another 10 years at my current rate. With that in mind, I switched over to space for scenery. I like a well stocked table. No 40K pool tables for me. In the first 2 days I placed all of the Billy's, drawers and work stations.

Then we filled up the rest of the room with stuff from the kids....we could not get into bed otherwise. 2 Days later the kids room was fully painted and wallpapered and ready for furnishing, so we cleared the hobby room of kiddie stuff and went to Ikea to pick up what we had not been able to buy second hand. I picked up the 2 cheapest kitchen cabinets that they had, and after a trip to the DIY picked up all the wood needed for the mobile storage/gaming table and a 4x4 table. The wheels might be freebies from my previous employer, but they were brandnew and rated at 100 kilos for the 4. I bolted them to the base with extra metal plates to prevent any sliding around the MDF boards and nailed the Ikea kitchen cabinets to the base. A 80x80 MDF top on that, also nailed down, and Bob was my uncle (odd expression might I add)
 And with that, it was sunday, the kids came back home and they ran right into their old room, puzzled looks on their faces at what had happend (somehow, neither of us had told them we would be changing the rooms, we had both assumed the other had told them....oops). After some nudging they went to their new room and they loved every inch of it (Thank God!). That evening, I rolled the storage unit to the middle of the room (takes hardly any effort even if it does weigh over 70 kilos) and put the two 2x4 boards on top.
Just need to add trim to the edges and 2 clasps where the halves meet to clamp them together. A job well done....or so I thought! Then my buddy Chris says, why don't you fit in a 6x4 while you are at it? Well, because it does not fit, the room is too small....or is it? What I had failed to realise is that I had planned to make the mobile storage unit around 90-100 cm's so as not to aggrivate my back problems. Normal 75cm tables make my back hurt, unless I sit down in a chair in front of it. Like the old man that I am, or something. I had missed that it would be able to pass over my desk with ease, freeing up another 50 cm's of room. Some quick math and a ruler showed it would be possible to place a 6x4 table after all. Cue a late sunday evening, doing the math on the amount of free space, if the unit can handle the additional weight, how to support the 3 boards, where to store the supports and most importantly, to stay within budget. And redo the math 2 times over to see if I have not missed anything. Endconclusion; it is possible.

So, after dropping the kids off at daycare, I went back to the DIY for more wood (we are on first name basis now) and built two laddersupports, 150x40 cm's (which granted, will make a carpenter cringe the way I finished them, but they work and are built earthquake proof), put them on the moveable storage unit and put the boards on top of that.
 Best thing is that even with my average Western European man figure (obese) I can fit between the boards, the cabinets and the door and have space left over. And to squeeze every inch out of my storage space, this is why I kept the supports in 2 pieces.
 Now they store on top of the cabinets, in the 5cm niche between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling.

So, after 6 days of hard work I have, besides a fresh start:
2 workstations
4 3/4 of cabinet space
A 4x4 or a 4x6 gaming table

All in 12m2

Enough miniature space for the rest of my life.

Billy Cabinet space for paints, tools and scenery
2 workspaces - 1 with PC and 1 without, so I can spend more time on the hobby instead of aimlessly surfing fora for like every evening till 1 in the morning.....
My main whiteboard - free, cause someone had dropped it on a corner a long time ago....I don't mind. I want to get a 60x80 one to go on the door, to make notes while we are gaming.
More Billy's, for rules, unpainted miniatures and kits
The mobile cabinet/gaming table holder. More space for scenery, it holds 10 Pappis boxes (slightly larger then A4 sized paperboxes) that I have started using for scenery builds (my scenery may not exceed in size the dimensions of such a box, for easy storage)
There is a free wall left of my hobby desk, and above the gaming table. Eventually, either some art or my helmet collection can go there, but for now, I've spent 280 euros of my budget for this build, and I have to buy a new lock for the door tomorrow (the wife insists I keep the door locked lest the little ones start rummaging in here) so that will be maxed out. After that I can start sorting out all of the boxes we put in the attic and start bringing them down for sorting into keep, sell, or trash/give away for free. Something that will keep me busy for some time to come.

I am Gunbird, and I'm as happy as a clam for the forseeable future. Hobby wise, anyway.

Man Cave - Extended

Plans were made over a year ago (if anyone remembers that) but after 5 days of hard work getting the girls new room ready (my new room wasn't actually the main goal of this excercise, more room for the girls was), I can finally say, it is done. Ish.

All the storage space is there, 2 fully functional desks, and the gaming/storage unit is up and running.

With the 4x4 gaming table in place it looks like this (just bare boards for now):
Plan is to add thin and slghlty raised wood trim on the sides and use latches to keep them together. Nothing out of the ordinary there.

Then Chris says to me, why don't you fit in a 6x4 table. I say that that won't fit, then look at the above picture again and start to wonder (snowball effect starts here). I had done the match 1 year ago and even with the most space possible it just could not fit. What I had failed to take into account however, is the fact that my working desks are at 75 cm's height, and the gaming table is at 97 cm's. I had somehow missed to see that the 2 can overlap. This instantly adds a potential half a metre to the space for a possible 4x6 table, leaving a full 60-80 cm's on the doorside, plenty of room top open it and get in. The space on the sides is sufficient, my 2 chairs slide underneath the table so they don't waste space either. But just slapping a third board down won't do, it needs support. But I have to keep the costs down. And it has to fit in the available space that I have.

I like a challenge!

Currently, the base cube is at 65 kilos. A 2x4 18mm MDF panel weighs about 7 kilos, so add 20 kilos to that, makes 85. The weight limit for the 4 wheels combined is rated at 100 kilos (but I know they can take more then that), so ideally I have to design a subframe that weight less then 15 kilos, is no thicker then 4 cm's, and storable. Also, I have to keep the costs down to a minumum to stay under the 300 euro budget for the entire project. I'm currently at 225 for the table and the first 2 boards, including trim, fixings and paint. I can store the rack 2 ways, on top of the cabinets, or sideways. But both options mean they can't be very deep, 50cm max. For ease of storage and extra back up support I decided it should be in 2 lenth pieces. Ladder shaped. And as thick a wood as I can afford, still fit under 4cm and have enough strength. 38mm x 89mm pine, 330 cm's is currently on sale, 3 pcs for 19 euros. 2 beams will provide me 4x 150 cm pieces, the 4rd beam and the remaining left overs will net me 16 "steps" for the ladder, each 22cm wide, for 2 strong 40x150 ladders. The length overhang for the 4x6 board will be 15cm on each end, the width overhang 20 cm, which will be more then adequate.

So, 20 for the frame, 6 euro for the extra trim, 9 euros for another 18mm 122x61 MDF sheet plus 15 for screws and latches. Cutting to size is done for free. So say 50 euros for a full frame plus another board, on top of the 225 I already spent still keeps things in budget.

I've redone the match twice now, and I will do it again tomorrowmorning to see if I have not missed anything.

vrijdag 8 april 2016

Trading places, Part 2

Everything is in position!

Everything is proofed for my fathers approval on sunday (so clean, no hobby stuff showing etc) and next week I can clear out the cabinets again as everything is just thrown inthere to get it out of the way - no system what so ever. And I have to remove the flying turtle and put it up in the kids room of course. And I see I left the Woezen and Pip sunscreen there too :D Ok, small things to do on saturday then, but the basics are finished!


Kim said she is proud of me having accomplished so much in such a short period even with my handicap and my bad knee and back, she is overwhelmed. <happy dance>

woensdag 6 april 2016

Trading places, part 1

Captains log, something or other. Day 2.

Behind me I can hear my in laws painting the new girls room, and I can take a break after 2 days of hard work getting things in place, with more then a little bit of help from Modhail. After I dropped the kids off at daycare on tuesday, I raced home to get started and move most of the kids stuff into our bedroom as well as get the first bits of kit into the new hobbyroom.

From this:

To this:

Went quick enough. i managed to avoid having to dissasemble the cabinets so saved a lot of time. I then ran into the tiny problem of not having enough boxes to get all the remaining scatter sorted.
We decided to call it a day, I installed my PC and found out that......the WiFi was so bad that I managed to get a 1kb/s connection. Nothing loaded, connection time out errors all the time. After moving the PC a bit and fiddling with the antennas I got as much as 40kb/s but that is useless for me (and anyone these days), so a quick spending of some coupons paid for the order of a range extender, and that was it for Monday.

Tuesday came and Modhail helped me shift the really big, bulky and heavy stuff into the new hobbyroom. Everything in the new hobbyroom is now in place. Sadly for me, so if all of our kids stuff so my hobbyroom is now filled to the gills with stuff andf it will be impossible for me to sort anything out for the next 2 days while Kim paints.

So we put plastic wrap on the floor, wrapped Kim in plastic:
And off she went. Poor thing, she painted the first metre or so, then remembered she should lightly sand the wood first so stopped to do that, then rememberd she would have to clean it all with a damp rag, so I helped her out a bit. Around dinner time she had managed to do all of the woodwork and edges in the first coat of white.

After dinner her folks passed by to help out (they are still here actually, not finished yet) and 2 walls are now becoming white in a rapid fashion.
At the moment I'm boxed in sitting here (I know how a sardine feels now):
Booster arrived, though delivered 10 doors down the street cause the delivery man had problems with reading, he thought he had to drop it off at 64 and as they did not open the door dropped it off at 63 instead, who happens to be a good friend of ours. I only saw this because the online update said it had been delivered at 63. If I had used another company I would have never known. :/ Anyway, the damn thing works, after some trial and error, I can get 10-15Mb/s now which is more then enough for Youtube and blogging. Damn thing works so well I now have reception in the parking lot behind our house!

Other mailmen arrived today that did find my house. 10 Macragge Marines arrived, to be used as paint testers, 2 old Citadel Chaos Hounds, my Brigade Miniatures order (later more) and a surprise present from Tobias from Germany. Besides being a post apoc gamer, he is also a very gifted sculptor and a fellow Asperger. He sent me a care package to help cope with all of the stress lately, something I highly appreciate :)

The next 2 days will be more painting, wallpapering and getting the furniture back into the room, as well as some fixings, lights and assembly of a additional cabinet for clothes (you know, girls....) but at a more relaxed pace then these last 2 days. Can't force paint to dry, can I?

zondag 3 april 2016

Impact - what a lovely day

Today, I had a day to myself to viist the Impact wargamesconvention in Eindhoven, run by the Hired Guns from Uden. Usually this is held in Uden itself but they had been looking for a bigger venue for a while and found it in Eindhoven. This made me happy as Uden is further away from me then Eindhoven, though with travel time (bike to train >> train to walking and everything added up it makes no real difference. Just cheaper.

Today was a good day.

First, a photoimpression of the tables I looked at.

Gerard Boom and his Styrodur....he unfortunately had lost his voice....

Plenty of Dystopian Wars gaming going on, there were also multiple X-wing tables

Ludwig's Arhem table, with all buildings 3D drawn and printed by himself

Scrapheap challenge...I spent so much time in the coffee area chatting with Sander, Jan-Willen, Rikh and Britt I managed to completly miss out on this!

My apolagies if the pictures don't pan out phone since yesterday and I'm still getting used to it. Must also get a memory card for it.

I spent the morning chasing after people I was trading with and casually skimming the rather smallish Bring and Buy (all 2 metres of it). Found another Macragge flyer for 15 euro, but on closer inspection it was missing the main body with the tailsection so I passed on that...too much money for an incomplete kit. Seller didn't even realise it was missing the part untill I told him about it. Tons of books for sale, but I'm passing on more books as I'm looking to sell most of my own. Did find a big bag of Warlord Late War Germans and 4 Lunar Class Imperial Cruisers for BFG (2 standard and 2 with Nova Cannon) which will make excellent additions to my Imperial Fleet.....that I must paint in the near future. Modhail insists :)  The Germans I picked up for TNT conversions at a later date.

My trades were a box of 30 Warlord Ancient Brits (new in the box, also for TNT conversions), a big stack of Styrodur 5mm plates so I can make even more wall sections and couple of 1/72 aircraft kits (C-47, Do-18, Me-262 and a MH-60K Nighthawk (which I need for my Black Hawk Down stuff)). Also a small stack of WH Zombie sprues, a SM vehicle accessories sprue, a large post apoc battlebus of some sort. Finally the 2 GW Cityfight books, a Necromunda Enforcer warband and some 28mm Inquisitor models.

I didn't buy much. Just a NIB Inquisitor Gideon Lorr for a eyewatering 5 euros (this model has sold listings on Ebay ranging from 10-25 Pounds, none of them NIB) making this a extremely good deal and some radioactive D10 dice for the TNT Demo kit. I had intended to buy brass wire from Dax Magic, but as I had not sent a message in advance they did not carry them with them. My own fault. I will make a purchase at a later date as I found 2 more strands of wire when cleaning so I can go on for a while.

There was plenty more stuff, a lot more traders compared to the previous edition of 2 years ago. Loads of stuff though that does not interest me, like X-wing and other collectable miniatures games. I had looked for some FoW stuff from the Israeli wars, but found none, only tanks of Vietnam stuff and 2 vendors with the new Team Yankee stuff. The little bit of interest I have for that period is aimed soley at 3mm right now, so no loss. Most of the prices of kits I can't afford anyway. I might try and save up for a box of Crusader Sergeants, but that is another 26 euros maybe better spent somewhere else. I'll cut off any spending for a while as I need to save up for the battle table.

At the end of the day, after trades, entry fee and train fare, I came out with more money then I had started with....always good!

Socially it was great fun as well, I met plenty of fellow wargamers that I have dealt or chatted with before, Rikh also showed up (Frostgrave last Friday) and I finally got to meet our expat Britt Green, and I'm expecting to see him here for a game of Frostgrave soon. We all had a long chat with Sander and Jan-Willem about wargaming, cultural differences between the EU, UK and USA and of course ze war.

And then it was time to go home again. I arrived at a jolly place as a few of our friends had arrived to keep Kim and the kids company and we all had dinner together. I had a really nice day, I've got plenty of energy now to tackle the rest of the work tomorrow and get the new room done asap.

+Edit+ Almost forgot, earlier this week I traded some old metal nids (Hive Tyrant, Lictor, Screamer Killer, some Warriors and Hormagaunts for a brandnew box of this:
Stupid picture won't turn correctly!
Talk about trading up :)