dinsdag 31 mei 2016

Ronson, part 1

I've gotten into the habit, that if I want to do a project I like, I build scenery for it first. If the interest dies, at least you have a nice piece of scenery.

I've been looking for opposition for my 20mm Germans for some time now and I can't make my mind up about British or Americans (and completely ignoring the Guards army worth of T-34's I have for the moment) and as the Sherman works for all 3 of them....

Started by examening this photograph.

Damage, open hatches, ok. I had a ancient Esci M4 Caliope in my stash that has all open hatches so I used that. The Caliope part can be reused on a PSC M4 hull later on. I didn't like how it looked with just 2 holes and open hatches so I added a broken track from the single track whatever the material is, and bonded it to the hull using epoxy. As it turned out, even that wasn't strong enough in 2 places. Fortunately, I only needed to pin it in one place, next to the loop, so did that. Will cover it with dirt or something else later.

 Already removed the barrel lock as it was missing in the original photograph (as it took the hit) and started to fill up the holes for the tools and the wooden cast on tools (cause they would be burned off). Decided to omit the .50 cal too. Also now adding applique armour to the sides and turret with thin plasticcard. Hope to have her basecated and decalled by tomorrow, and painted by the end of the week. I might even find the other Esci M4 I have laying around and give it the same treatment.

zaterdag 28 mei 2016

A Bridge Too Far......well, sort of. (updated 28/5201)

Instead of doing what I'm supposed to do I put on some Fallout 4 Walkthrough videos and mindlessly painted a H0 scale bridge of a cheap Slovenian manufacture. Odd plastic too, had to glue it with epoxy. Took primer well enough though. Lots of weathering and I did the wood in a different way for a change.

Uses.......20mm backwater bridge for when I build myself a river it can span, or a walkway for Necromunda. Works either way.

maandag 23 mei 2016

Bombs away!

Making use of a bag of 1/35 scale bombs I got for free a while back but the sprues had arrived mangled.....salvaging the ones with intact fins and restoring the ones that are a bit mangled. I think I can save 3 maybe 4 more.

Light cover for the adventurous amongst us. I'm not going near the things!
Light cover in 28mm, hard cover in 20mm/15mm. With bonus secondary effects! Destined for the ruined 28mm city and the TNT demo.

donderdag 19 mei 2016

Celestial Alignment

I could not have planned this better if I tried. Decided not to make a trip to Den Bosch after all for some foamballs, as the shipping costs are lower then the price of a train ticket (and I would spend a day there, buying food and drinks and God knows what), so ordered some polystyrene balls online.

What I had not realised is how well they would fit inside each other! It's a 15, 20 and 25cm ball (BFG rules say 1-15cm small planet, 16-25 medium planet and 26-50cm. I say NO, as the sizes for the big planets is something that I can't afford, can't store or want on my table cause it eats up a ton of space, so for me 1-10cm is small, 11-20 is medium and anything above that (only 25 for me then) is large and that looks just fine, thank you very much :) )

I'll do the two 20 and 25cm halves as gas giants, not sure yet about the 15 cm ones, maybe a cracked plates / lava world and a ice planet. Nothing overly fancy. The 2 each of 4 and 5cm balls will be moons, most likely with 1 or 2 full of craters like the other one..... Not sure yet if I will cut these in half too or just lop off a bit so they stand up on the table and glue a round base to them. Would have to check if I still have 40mm and 50mm round bases. Or just call Evin to cut me some.

Also nice, Urbanmatz sent me a message today telling me my mats have been shipped. Delivery in 2-10 working days. It is by GLS though, so I hope I'm home when they drop them off cause their depot is in Den Bosch.

zaterdag 14 mei 2016

Lonely planet

Wiped the board clean again today (the whiteboard that is), and relisted all of my current running projects, and BFG is on top atm. 6 Planets and 2 ships need to be painted. For the ships I have settled on the bone hull and red/gold prow for now. As my paint was all still stored in a big bin I started by sorting all of that, putting them in my new paint rack and labelling all of the (vallejo) colours accordingly. Works like a charm.

First things on the painting table are a planet and a moon, I went for a grey dusty moon with 2 drybrushes , and for a yellow/orange planet with several layers of drybrushing. Nothing fancy.

Moon left, planet right
Simple cheap o wallfiller smeared over the cut in half foam balls, then sanded down again. The moon had craters made with greenstuff, just a ball here and there and then smooth out the edges, then use the back end of a file to make a hole in the middle. Painted right over the filler, no primer coat (just in case it had not sealed everywhere, using a spray can on styrofoam can have Alien acid kind of effects - which you can put to good use) and I just gave both a nice sealer coat of gloss polyurethane varnish, and a good matte coat tomorrownight after it has time to dry properly. Then on with the next 2 planets. And the other 2. When they are done I only have 1 styrofoam ball left to do something with, and 3 already painted balls that I want to get rid of the styrofoam structure so those will get repainted too. After that I will try and grab a few smaller balls somewhere for use as (more) moons like the one on the left. And get 2 of the >25cm half shells and do something fancy with those. That should be enough for starters, and warrants a daytrip to the big city for the art supplies and hobby shop.

Then to post this weeks Paypal balance, which is now 60 euros. Not much more then last week, well, because I bought the 3 mats from Urbanmatz. Had chat with them after asking them on the FB page when the pre order would go up for their new concrete mat. If I was interested in one of their test mats? If I could give my honest opinion about it? After reviewing the pictures he sent me, taking into account that cameras can do odd things with colours, the overall picture was good. No more dragon skull and bone, and the rows of bones from the centre have been replaced with more concrete and a mossy/grassy patch. The tinge is very blueish though, unlike the khaki grey of the previous mat. See for yourself.

See the bleuish tinge to the mat?
Turns out, while his team says they are fine, he's not quite happy with it, and it may or may not get released. He valued my opinion and my order and offered me the best looking of the test mats (the one in the pictures) so I could have the mat now and not have to wait till June for a mat that might not get released. I agreed to that because the bleuish tinge is not putting me off and I like how they reworked the mat. So I put in a 195 euro order of hard earned hobby money. I was asked to give my opinion of the mat when it arrived, directly back to him. As I have no problems with that (I will Blog about the mats when they arrive) I agreed to that. Out comes the final surprise, do I also game in 4x4? Yes, I do (well, plan to anyway). If I was interested in a free 4x4 concrete testmat, free of charge? Ehm, is the Pope Catholic? Yes, I do. So that is added to my order for nada. Look out for a full review on all 4 mats in some weeks time.

unreleased 4x4 Concrete test mat - no Dragon bits in the right corner, but still the bones in the middle square - not for sale/general release. Also, notice the colour of the mat, this is like the original release
To really end the Blog for today i found myself with one minor issue......where am I going to put them? Crap, hadn't thought of that. My first thought was above the doorway:
Plenty of space, but would block either the boxes on top of the cabinets on thr right or the boxes in the cupboard on the left. Putting it just in the middle will look odd.....
 But then it hit me, the original whiteboard is 120 cm/s wide. The mats are rolls of 4 feet. Just add a plank with plenty of support and something to stop them rolling off by themselves and you are set.

Yes....that should do the trick.

donderdag 12 mei 2016

Heavenly bodies

Modhail first brought up the idea of Battlefleet Gothic (BFG), oh I don't know, 1-2 months ago? He had started playing Battlefleet Gothic: Armada and his enthusiasm rubbed off. During packing everything up I had seen a large of cruiser hulls and a few escorts from my own fleet and the fleets I purchased off people who gave up the game almost 10 years ago. It took me some time, but I found the box in the stash. A box full of memories, I had always enjoyed BFG as I really like naval/space battle encounters, so I never got rid of mine.

The ships in the box are battered though. It contains 10 Imperial cruisers, in various states of disrepair, and 24 Chaos cruisers which seem to be in a slightly better condition. But only 1 light cruiser, a Dauntless, and a handful of Chaos and Imperial Escorts. Also some interesting cargo transport conversions made with bad metal recasts, which I will try to salvage and finish as fast as possible. But I felt some hunting for spares would be in order. But the sheer cost of it all....just have a look at Ebay and it will tell you these ships are not cheap! But I like a challenge.....

First, I found 4 Imperial Lunar cruisers at Impact's Bring and Buy. Original bases, basecoated black with 1 missing the ramspike and another just one antenna, they were a bargain so bought them without hesitation. The next 4, Imperials again, came when I was trading for a old 3D template and there were some cruisers in the background. We negotiated a very good deal, these 4 came in at half price of the ones at Impact. And from there the ball started to roll and pick up speed. I made request posts at various forums and FB groups and before you knew it, through trading, swapping and a little money, I ended up with this:

My original shoe box full of ships

What I traded online and found at Impact and Marktplaats

What I bought off the local FB group - 4 fleets (2 original, 2 scratchbuilt). The scratchbuilt Ork fleet has been traded for a full Eldar fleet. I have another Eldar Cruiser in the mail and a friend has offered some Eldar Transports in exchange for services. Now I just made that sound like a bad thing......
I'll spare you the numbers. This is a lot of ships. But it seems that when making the individual fleets everybody made the same choiches, so certain ships are very common. In a way I regret selling the BFG cruisers on the sprue 6 months ago, but they went for 10 pounds each and I would not be able to afford that now. To be honest, for most of what you see I paid a lot less then 10 pounds per ship. Most for a mere quarter of that. Odd, when you see fleets of 8 cruisers, 6 escorts and maybe 1 battleship go for 200 quid on EbayUK. With those kind of prices you are looking at over a 1000 quid of stuff in the drawers, which is mental. It pays to shop around or to call in favours from friends or plain old trades for stuff you no longer need.

Anyway, back to the basics. Erik would like to do a campaign, fair enough. I have not yet found the box with all of my counters and dice, but in one of the lots I traded was a large pile of blastmakers and fighter/bombers. The turn dial and markers I can just print off and laminate if needs be. Whether the campaign will be a game of 2 people remains to be seen, We've invited some friends that we played Gothic with when it first came out and I have a ton of spare ships now so they can use those as stand ins. What has been lost in the 4 moves since the game came out is my box with Celestial Phenomena. Planets, asteroids etc. Which is great as it lets me start over again with those. I particularly like the planets and moons that have half shadows so it is instantly clear what side is the sun side. Handy for your local Eldar and some special events. I still had some styrofoam balls that i picked up at the goodwill store just for space games, so I cut those in half (or 1/3rd in once case), sanded the undersides smooth and dabbed filler on the undersides and on the halves themselves (the underside cause it makes it harder and is easier to sand smooth the bad cuts I made). 1 smaller one had a hole in it so I decided that it would be a prime candidate for a cartered moon. Haven't chosen a scheme yet for any of them, just WIP's

I also picked the first 2 ships that I want to paint. They are, of course, the mainstay and workhorse of every fleet, 2 Lunar class cruisers. The Lord Baychimo is a standard Lunar (torpedo variant) while the Eurydice is a Nova Cannon armed ship. I've started to fill in her torpedo tubes.

Now what scheme to paint them, I am still clueless! I've got a few that tickle my fancy:
Bone and Red/Gold prow

Traditional Green and white/gold prow

More of a battleship grey with a white/gold prow.
...but sofar I'm undecided. No rush.

To end todays post, a pic of some bits of background material for the TNT table at Poldercon 2017.
I (finally) picked up a Fallout 4 Bobblehead for a lot less then what they go for on Ebay and the 2 bottles I picked up from a local for free a few weeks ago. Those will be stripped of their labels and I will add new, weathered labels to then so they can stand on the table and look nice.

maandag 9 mei 2016

Hall of Heroes, Part 1

Spent a bit of time today concreting 10 wooden blocks, stripping the tabs off 10 plastic monopose Space Marines (from the MacCragge set I believe), adding steel pins in the feet, sanding down the concrete, basing 7 of them on 40x40 MDF bases and making plans what to do with the remaining 3 , using a whole lot of expoxy glue, made moulds of the Imperial Aquilla and cast that 9 times.

Tomorrow, grab some plasticcard and make 3 more bases, rip one marine apart and epoxy on the aquilas after cleaning them up with  a new sharp blade. Then remove the mould lines on all of the Marines, pin them to the paint stands and spray them Gold. If I can remember where I put my can of Gold that is.

zondag 8 mei 2016

Shed - Finished! Plans- Made! Desk - Cleared!

Bit of a delay, but my mood turned really sour...well, down. Ran into a person who bid 10 euros on my Kampfgruppe Normandy book at the local Marktplaats and when I turned his bid down proceeded to tell me it was a fair offer as it only sold for 17 euros on Ebay.co.uk. I kept it polite, told him the Sold listings on that Ebay were 10 Pounds, 14 Pounds and 40 Pounds, none of them with the authors signature and if wants to buy a 2 kilogram book in the UK and pay for the shipping he was more then welcome to. And removed his bid. I have no time with people who use Ebay prices in arguments, taking the highest when they want to sell, and the lowest when they want to buy. Life is too short for this. Besides, the book has been sold to Finland by someone who agreed to the asking and the shipping price. He even gets a bargain as I mixed up the weights and gave him a cheaper shipping option so I'll have to fork another 10 euros out of my own pocket. Meh, such is life, shows I need to pay more attention when I'm sending out quotes, but I'll be damned if I let the customer pay for my own mistake. My fault, my cost. Creating more space is more imprtant now.

Current score for 1 week of selling is now: 55 euros. Outstanding payments: 160 euros.

Sofar 1 mat is almost funded, when the other payments are made (maybe send out a reminder) or 2) both mats and shipping is funded. After a chat with Modhail it seems the only possible planned purchase will be MDF scenery for Necromunda. As we plan to do BFG first and must try not to forget Frostgrave that won't be happening for at least 3-4 months, so I can just save up.

Anyway, the shed :) It took us another full day to sort everything out, we made a nice little recycling center, labelled most of the boxes and can now easily park our bikes and kiddiestuff in the shed.

Sorted! (quite literally so)

One happy Kim :)

Trash, all sorted by type. That way you can juist drive from dumpster to dumpster (one for each type of waste). Also nice is that we got a discount for sorting it all so neatly, one load like this usually is 10 euros, we just had to pay 4. And when I mentioned to the friend who's trailer we borrowed that I only have some experience with trailers when I got my licence back in 1995, and that was backing up the 12 metre tractor trailer into the fence surrounding the truck wash I worked then (granted, not my best moment), she kindly offered to drive. Better sort out a bottle of wine to repay that good deed.
Plenty of other reasons why I'm still down though, after a big job I just cave in a bit. Well, it is pretty hard for me to focus so it uses up a ton of energy so I'm pretty burned out by the time that I'm done.

So, to recharge I plan to just do what little that needs to be done this week (which is not a whole lot), clear both desks and spend my days doing hobby stuff. It has been 6-7 weeks since the last time, a break would be nice! 1 problem, my hobby desk now looks like this:

That dog won't hunt! A bit of time, a beer and some music later.....

Still not perfect but this will suffice.
Picked a bag of 1/35 bombs, a knife and some glue and I'll have a go at assembling a few of them. Cause I have a lot of stuff to get ready for the TNT demo at Poldercon next year, the FB page for it has just been opened so it is time to promote my game. Already have  2 applicants for the 8 spaces that I have, but as far as I know you can't sign up for it untill that opens in November of this year.

Also, I think I have sorted out my goody bag for the players.
  • Custom ruler
  • Dice
  • Copy of the demo rules, laminated and bound
  • Sheet of the cardboard characters
  • Bottle of Nuka Cola
Sofar I've managed to do this cost free. The Nuka Cola (well the Coca Cola bottles I mean) I'll buy nearer to the date due to expiration dates and all that. That will cost me money, around 10 euros in total. Nuka Cola labels I can print off through a friend. Same goes for cap labels. Both free. The bottle will be a in game gimmick, exchange 1 cap for a free reroll. Laminating everything for 8 players will set me back 6-7 euros in laminator sheets. Sufficient free D10 dice from China for another 5 euro. Now I just need to find 8 blank A4 sized plastic carry bags and a job for someone that will make me able to afford the costs (and I think I just found one). Cost per demoplayer sofar is about 2,75 euro per player. That is right, it is actually costing me money to make sure people will have a lasting impression. I'm not saying freebies are a must, but I think of them as a sort of thank you note to the players for taking the time to take my demo. I'm that kind of guy.

Now, all this yapping has again eaten up my time. Another day gone, but the next 5 days will be mine. Mine I tell you!

vrijdag 6 mei 2016

Shed - Day 1

We have this arrangement with my parents that a couple of times a year, they pick up the girls, not for 2 days, but for most of the week, and that Kim and I spend that time doing the bigger chores around the house that are almost impossible to do with 2 little ones running around.

This time, we attack the shed. It has been a downright mess ever since I moved in here, and other then a vague attempt at cleaning 2 years ago nothing ever came of it. With the garden done (mind you, that was last year) we at least have the space now to put everything in neat piles.

Usually, there are 3 bicycles in here too. What you don't see is all of the additional wiring on the right side of the wall (just out of frame). The previous owner was a self declared "handy man" of the Oh My God type. Oh My God in did he really wire that with substandard wire in a wet environment and why have I not electrocuted myself yet - kind of way. Also, he liked rilling holes. The shed looks like it has been shot up by not one, but 2 MG-42's. Seriously, it is hard to find a single brick that does not have a hole in it. From the centre beam alone I removed 12 nails and about the same number of screws that were just sticking out of it.
Good solid 90 mins later. Yes, that big blue bundle on top of blue foam. I once picked that beat up package up at a local DIY for the mere ccost of a case of cheap beer. Chucking it out was too much effort for them. By this time I had removed the first 6 feet of electracl cabling that wasn't connected to anything, plus 8 power sockets
About an hour later I had cleared the shed. I jokingly added that this would make a great hobbyroom too but I got the stare so I shut up pretty quickly.
I was then moved outside so Kim could clean all of the shelves. There was plenty of work to do outside, sorting everything into piles, mostly Trash, For Sale, Recycling and Tools. I knew I had a lot of tools but so many kept popping up.
This was after removing the first layer of grime and dust and spider shit. We removed a few realy big ones (by Dutch standards anyway. We don't get anything as big as you lot in Australia or South America). After she was done I removed the ancient light from the back and another 2 metres of cable held in place by I kid you not, 12 clamps, one for almost ever 10 cm... And then removed some more nails from the walls. There is another socket in between the levels of the boards that serves no use what so ever but Kim said she wants to keep it. Ok.

Sorting station, or as Erik called it, Triage. On the right against the fence we sorted out the recyclable metals for pickup this evening, then moving to the left we have empty boxes, boxes of tools and painting supplies, cardboard for recycling and in the back the rather small pile for the communal recycling station and the cans of paint that have spent many a hot summer and freezing winter in the shed (aka fecking useless now). On the very left the row of boxes and cases after a good cleaning, ready to be labelled tomorrow or later next week.

2:00 in the evening now and still not tired. The cleanings give me a drive I usually lack. A few more hours of work tomorrow and a drive to the dump and we are good to go. As the kids won't be back till sunday we will have the entire saturday to ourselves. Tomorrownight, Kim will be out of the house, and Erik will come over for a look at the ricidulous amount of BFG I have traded in the last month or so, and set a plan for the coming months.

I've picked up a can of paint and a can of satin varnish for the gaming table, it will be all black with hazard trim like the small table. Not sure yet if I want to bother with stars or keep it plain black and let my planets (be it 2D or 3D) do the work. We'll see.

Ok, NOW I'm tired.....

maandag 2 mei 2016

Trading places - first cabinet completed!


Been going over the paperwork for the past 2 days, planning and replanning where stuff will need to go. Since I know what I have tools and paint wise, I know this cabinet will suffice for now.

So, from top to bottom:
  1. Tutorial mags and print outs, how-to books.
  2. Spare paper towels, glue, punches and pippetes for transferring paint for the airbrush.
  3. My entire paint collection.
  4. Tools, wire, scultpint tools, hot glue gun, sandpaper, Oyumaru clay and moulds.
  5. Tea shelf - cooker, tea and mugs.
  6. Basing sand, gels and texture pastes plus disposable gloves for spraying.
  7. Spraycans, wood glue and a Pringles can 1/5th filled with granite chips.
This will not stay this way. I will actually take stuff out, and I've stored other stuff that I hardly use in the attic. The plan is to take what materials that we have and place 2 rails in the space between the cabinet and the window, and lay planks to fill that space. Very shallow ones at the bottem so I can fit 2 Ikea Moppe side by side, to give me space to store my tools in a more sorted fashion and free up space in the cabinet. Going up the planks can be deeper, maybe 1 or 2 shelves for my helmet/cap collection. Anything in between is free space. Cost would be in the F-rails if Kim decides that the ones we have are needed elsewhere, but they are not very expensive, 2 of them should set me back less then 15 euros. About the same in hooks. Planks I can get multiplex and varnish that, say for another 30. I've budgetted this at 75 euros for just the rails and planks just in case, and is something I plan on doing in June. This gives me 2 months to look for second hand items (or to sell even more so I can afford this).

Yup, I can see this working.

Final note of the day, I took a small trip to Eindhoven today to pick up 2 Ikea Franklin barstools. Lady had them up for sale, the pair for 12,50 euros, but mentioned that they no longer folded hence the low price, and that they are 3 years old. I found that a bit odd so brought a can of WD-40 just in case, but I needn't have worried. The Franklin has a built in safety feature that locks the seat in place, but a quick tap underneath unlocks it. So much to her amazement I showed how it was done, gave them a quick checking up and paid her the money. After a quick clean up at home I noticed the foot rest on both of them is missing a screw, but that is a standard M4 metal screw so I will pick up those tomorrow. So 2 virtually brand new barstools (really, hardly a scratch on them), 70 euros if I would have had to buy them new, for 12,50 cash, 3 euros worth of fuel, 1 euro for the parking meter and the box of steel screws will set me back another 2 euros, just to have something to rest our feet and backs in the corner during a game......we tried sitting in the regular chairs, but with the board 95cm up you end up looking a bit like this:
Best thing is, when not in use, I can store them in the hallway cabinet my wife uses for clothes and cleaning supplies, so they take up no room in the hobby room.

Next time we will give them a try out. If 2 turns out to be too much, I can always sell 1 or keep it around for whenever we have birthdays and not enough chairs (like every single time.....).

Advanced Sniper Course, Dutch Royal Marines come out on top

From the Dutch Navy FB page:

Dutch Royal Marines Sergeant Jeroen and Corporal Bart took part in the Advanced Sniper Course from the 10th till the 16th of April, and for their performance received the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal. The training took place at the 9-Mile Training Centre in Texas. There was fierce competition from the USMC, Rangers, FBI en SWAT. During this competition they had to use US gear and weapons (M40 chambered to 7.62mm). During the competition they were judged at firing from a helicoptre, psitol shoot, live stalking, angled shot and the performance during the final excercise.

The Dutch team was Best Team, the shooter and spotter both Best Shooter and Best Sniper.

Way to go guys!