vrijdag 24 februari 2017

To boldly go.....pink?

I decided I wasn't busy enough yet and did something I should have done aaaages ago. I set up a Dutch Battlegroup FB page. Now I can finally start to take in how many are interested, what scale or scales they use, what kind of questions they have and perhaps find a way to do a meetup for people who are interested in learning about the game and giving it a try. Well, that is the plan anyway.

Then real life intervened as due to a miscommunication Kim actually wanted me to clear out the girls room and replace everything with new furniture in 2 days time (GREAT) and on the 2nd day, in the eraly hours we got a phonecall from my dad telling us both girls are sick, please pick them up asap as they kept us up all night. Best laid plans and all that....I rushed through the building process, cursing along the way, but we got it finished and Kim picked up the kids as my knees are now really shot. As sick as they were though, they loved seeing ther new layout, beds etc, and fell asleep in record time.

The room when I was finished....Kim then came in for cleaning, matress covers, sheets etc. Supergirly, superpink, and the first thing they did when they saw the bed is stuff their stuffed animals in the little house at the end. So cute :)

Dead tired, but a lot less stressed out now. The payment for school has been sorted, I'm slowly getting the hang of typing blind, and I've sold over a dozen kits in the past week so just made a preorder for 1 box of S-Models Crusader I/II's, 1 box of S-Models Matilda CS and 1 box of Roden Armoured Car 1920 for pick up at the TWENOT meeting at Overloon in March. I had preferred to pick up 2 boxes of Crusaders but alas, he only had one left. This will be the start of my British force for Afrika. I had planned thne Light Mark VI's to have been the start, but the JB Model comes without sand channels so I've put those in the BEF box for later. The PSC Mark 9 is now also put in the Afrika box and one box gives me a full unit. Now to raid the bits box as there should be a spare 40mm Bofors plus tow there somewhere. Troops can come later, Piers keeps dropping hints about something from PSC and I'm pretty curious about it.

And there seems to be some grand conspiracy about getting my room back in order...every time I plan to make an effort of clearing it, something else unexpected pops up and ruins it. And I'm stuck in some mental blockade that I want a lot of this mess gone and sold before I do anything useful hobby wise.

Oh well, that gives me more time to find a Caunter colour I like and can replicate a ton of times (and does not have any blue in it). Oh, and 2 kilos of 0.6mm floral wire is a lot of wire! But it will be fun, I say.

zondag 19 februari 2017

Naval gazing

Oh, how easy I flutter from one thing to another. At least it's one large , repeating, vicious circle! :D

A few weeks back, after watching another episode of Jinlges gaming Atlantic fleet, and noticing he mentioned it being available for Android, I went to their website, checked out the stats and figured it could even run on this clapped out PC. 10 Paypal euros and a Steam account later I was the proud owner of Atlantic Fleet and after going through the tutorials I kinda got the hang of it. Since then I've played it an hour here, and hour there, not so much, but since starting it I'm suddenly seeing naval wargaming topics pop up on my scope. A Java Sea one on the LAF, a review of 1/300 MTB's from Navwar, stuff like that. 

Remember these? It's been 7 years now since I painted most of these, and they have sat unused ever since. I bought a Convoy rulesset a bit after that but it never clicked with me (no one seems to play it) so the models got put aside. Reading about MTB games (there are quite a few more rulessets for those) makes me think why not use those in 1/3000th instead 1/600th or 1/300th? You should be able to get more bang from your table, I'm used to painting and labelling small stuff, though I've moved away from visual tabs to stickers on the underside as to not make it stand out on the table. It's not like I'll have 30+ ships on the table anyway, and simple flip of the ship will tell me what it is anyway in case anyone is confused. I have not bought anything for this though, and I do not intend to atm! I have 2 big boxes of WW2 and Modern ships that will see the light someday, and I will read up on MTB rules first before I make a purchase of 1/3000th MTB's in the future. If such a thing is available...I haven't checked tbh cause I'm busy enough with studying and yet another sick child (now it's Emma's turn to be sick....jay...) >> just checked. Navwar does E-Boats but not S-Boats for example. I'm pretty sure I might have a few in the boxes, so I'll check that first.

Seeing as my interest is still focussed on small scale engaments for a low cost, it is on the books though. Just no idea when that will be actually.

Fluttering from that flower to the next......

I'm really smitten by Gaslands. I'm not, however, by the lack of rulesset or possibility of aquiring it at this moment (it being a future Osprey release). This is also the reason I did not pick up the counter and movement marker set at Poldercon......I have no idea if something, or anything, will change and I don't want to waste money as it is so deerly needed atm. This however hasn't stopped me from rummaging through my bits boxes to find some suitable vehicles, scenery etc to have a go at for the game....since it is basically 20mm most of my collection of scenery is suitable anyway and having watched too many user videos on Crossout MMO (which is still in BETA testing) gave me tons of ideas for suitable scenery anyway, quite a few matches my ideas on scrapyards and Eastern Europe perfectly. I'm really aiming to get the most bang per buck out of my collection.....limited space, limited funds "help" in this case.

I picked up this car to be my first build to see if I enjoy making these.... I'll convert it completely to a in your face - ramming vehicle, with all the armour on the front and none in the back. Spikes on the wheel hubs, armoured visor on the cabin, and vicious blades on the front. Maybe a magnet in the roof so in the future a weapon mount can be added just in case. Since I don't have the rules, In know nothing about points cost, effectiveness and even game legality, so this is just a fun build, nothing more.

In the back is a red mug, new to my collection of quirky mugs.....I saw it at the goodwill earlier this week and I knew I needed it. I'll let you guess why that is..... And at 40 cents, it was a steal. ;)

I tend to pick up stuff to motivate me from time to time. It could be a kit that I've always wanted for one of the armies/warbands, or a piece of hardware that relates to them. It can be the weirdest things. Recently I've been googling for a Pāsdārān head band to go around my Iranian helmet (which is just a US tin pot) and I'm guessing our national Intelligence services are keeping tabs on me now cause I've been on sites from the Middle East I've never been before. All kinds of colours, printed or embroided, quotes from every saint from the Quran it seems, and not that expensive, 11 euros per band. I'm looking for a red band with yellow or white print, yellow with black print or green with white print, but decided "not today" when I got a shipping quote for 30 euros to my location for what is essentially a 100 grams of printed cloth. And I can only find 1 online shop for them. Well, maybe some other day. No rush with either my Iranians or Iraqi's.

I did make a 2 part purchase to motivate me for my study and my German army in one go. 2 part, because I bought a basic helmet for the start, and a promise to buy a Heer helmetcover for it when I pass all tests and graduate.

Is it a real one? Yes and No. It's the post war Bundeswehr aluminium version of the M40, but has no airholes and a modern inside. Piers said it was his first helmet when he did reenacting and that it was a Spanish one so I'm assuming they used the same. Well, at 40 euros I'm not complaining....I've been after one for a couple of years now and original and copies go for much more money then I can afford. This one looks the part, and with a helmetcover none will be the wiser.

Latley, my selling-purchasing ratio has been improving, I'm really hesitant to buy much of anything really and sales have been going out in dribs and drabs. Seeing as we just bought 2 new beds (well, 1 second hand and 1 new just to make sure we could get identical beds) for the girls as well as matresses our expenses have gone through the roof a bit......but the beds are worth it. Very girly (pink) and lot's of little details, should last them a few more years, now to find a buyer for the old set so we can swap it out when the girls are at my parents for a few days.

My mood is a bit foul atm, I keep running into things and there just don't seem to be enough hours in a day to get everything done I want. Yeah, I'm a crybaby :) After school tomorrow I will start drawing lines on my workspace again and get it sorted step by step till it is cleared and it becomes easier to do my homework here. Then repeat for the rest of the week.

And with a final note, I've just bought 2 kilos of 0.6m floral wire to make trees with (2kgs is roughly 1800 strands which is about 90 trees.....). Yes, it's a bit much, but with shipping included it's way more economical to buy in bulk then per 100 strands. And to my surprise Nikki was watching the tutorial with me and she really liked them, so I think I'll sit down with her and bend a few strands with her just for fun. Kim asked if I would be willing to make 1 tree per night for the next 3 months straight, and I said nay as that is not the point :D Make some test trees, see how it goes, then make a few winter trees (basically sans foliage) and then see how I proceed with more bushy ones.

That's it really. And sell more stuff, of course....

woensdag 15 februari 2017

Poldercon 2017

Just got back from Poldercon 2017. And wow.

This year, you had the choice to try out 29 different games. 29! From sci-fi to ancients, large armies or skirmishes, home made rules and commercial ones.

I went for a game of Gaslands, Rapid Fire and a workshop in making trees for the wargames table. I did not use the 4th slot as I would just overextend myself energy wise (and my wife wanted me to pick up the kids asap which is a long drive from Poldercon to my parents and home again).

Earth is a burned out shell since the cold war went hot… 4 drivers race for the chance to earn a ticket to Mars and have a future again. The rules of the race are simple. Get across the finish line 1st. Cars,fuel, guns and ammo are provided for by your sponsor. You will finish first or die trying..
This demo gives you a chance to select a car from 1 of 6 sponsored teams. Each with their own strengths and quirks to race against 3 other drivers. Finish 1st! 2nd place don’t count …but even when you are out of the race you you ‘ll get to play the audience and deploy traps ..
A game by Mike Hutchinson. Full rules allow custom build combat vehicles. Everything from a bike to a massive battle rig ,a tank or even a helicopter. Fancy a bus full of firebomb throwing anarchists? You can build it, want to ride the last of the interceptors? Go ahead. Campaign rules allow you to build and develop gangs of all types of roadwarriors Participate February 12 and claim bragging rights. When this game is published by Osprey in the near future you were part of the Beta test. More about this game on gaslands.com (currently unavailable at the posting of this Blogpost)
Start your engines, arm your guns … 3… 2…..1…GO!
 (All logic aside....racing for a ticket to Mars? Why would anyone sponsor you to get off Earth, would they not want to get offplanet themselves? Also, it's been in Beta for 2 years now?)

I love it. This is exactly the game I have been gathering Matchbox cars for all along, but never found the game I wanted. I have now.

 Simple board, some rocks, some scrappiles, some shacks and a.....baby Thunderdome?  Stat wise, we used identical cars for the demo. We just followed a loose track in a 8 shape, first to finish wins, no shooting until we pass the first marker. Everyone starts in 1st gear. Depending on the type of vehicle you can 2-6 dice (but you don't have to). Choose a template that fits with your speed, check the bonus/penalty and perhaps roll the dice to see if you can change them in your favour. No premeasuring! As you can see in this picture, my opponent misjudged the length of his template anc clipped the rock for 1 damage and some stress tokens (they are not called stress tokens but I forgot their name). After this he spun out of control and I just shifted up and sped away across the finish line.

For the next game I chose to be much more agressive, After I spun out of control your opponent on your left chooses the facing of your car. He put me in such a way that I barely made the turn but went full throttle anyway, while he had a bad luck of the dice and slammed into a hut, bouncing back onto the course, spun out of control and I set him up facing the Thunderdome in 1st gear. As the turn for 1st gear had already passed and I was in my 3rd I got 2 moves then made me make the turn quite nicely and slam into his side. Then rolling some dice I managed to shift 2 more gears up to ram him even harder and the hit flung his carcass on the Thunderdome. (I removed all of his hitpoints) But I then drove through a pool of fire and explosive bits from his wreck and losing my remaining hitpoints in the process as well. Such is life in the post apocalypse!

Everything is fully customisable. From cars to bikes to helicopters, tanks and warrigs, anything goes. Tons of weapons too (though I don't think we fired a shot all game, we were too busy setting up rams) While the template and dice and card system from X-wing doesn't do it for me, the dice and template system from Gaslands (plus the setting) do do it for me. As it used Matchbox cars, this should be a great game for kids too.

Our host gave each of us a set of stickers so we could convert 6 dice into the dice needed for the game, but sadly I somehow managed to lsoe that sheet though I was pretty sure I put it in my box, but I've just emptied it and there was no sticker sheet in it :( Crap, better send him a PM.

Next up I did the Build your own tree - workshop.

Wow. Some beautiful examples there. 

Quick, to the point, with plenty of examples and show of skill. What to do and what not to do. Really clever stuff. 

Real wood, wire trees, dead shrubs for a base. Rubbereised horsehair, home made coarse flock, everything passed the revue. I even made my won tree base.

Now to use woodglue and greenstuff to give it shape. Dead simple really, it just takes some effort. I've set my mind on making 20 dead/winter trees first to see if I can manage it. If you want to have a go, look at one of his tutorials >> Bennosfiguresforum Tutorial

Then it was lunchtime, excellent catering (the salad did suck a bit though) and then some rummaging in the 2 shops. I'd told myself to only go through the bargain bin and get models with as much use as possible, if any. Well.....

FGV502 Armour Rack & Lectern (8 euros) and FGV503 Lich Lord Treasure Tokens (5 euros) will work fine for any type of Dungeon or Cultist game (past, modern or future). FGX002 Bear (8 euros) and FGV311 White Gorilla (8 euros) are just additional monsters for the collection that work for many, many periods. All on sale at 5 euros per blister. I skipped the infantry and wizards etc for the above reason > multi usability.

My third slot was a 1940 Zeeland French vs Germans using Rapid Fire.....which I had not played in over 6-7 years now?

Lovely table. Marc will be taking this game to conventions for the rest of the year. Rapid Fire plays very differently from Battlegroup, you get to use all of your units and weapons ranges are short....I just did not like it. I did ram my panzers up the French throat who were all cowering behind the dyke and we got halfway. I think it was a draw by the time I had taken out 2 French tanks and he had no infantry capable of hurting me, but he did have 2 25mm AT guns deployed which I had planned to run over but apparently in Rapid Fire you can snap fire in your opponents turn and his shot damaged/detroyed my tank. I'm used to Battlegroup were you have to spend a order to put a unit on reserve fire else no such luck, so I was  bit miffed when that happend cause it was a new rule to me anyway. I should challenge Marc to play a game of Battlegroup with the same forces someday.

And that was the end of my day at Poldercon. I talked to a few friends, missed a few, saw some lovely tables and had a good time. 3 hours of driving later to pick up my kids I was home again, and wasted. Here are some more photo's of a table I really liked, to enjoy :)

Malebogia's beautiful table. So much detail and thought was put into it.

Another shot of his table. I'm playing Gaslands on the top left table.

Great day, can't wait for next year :)

Edit: More pictures on Pijlie's Blog. Pijlieblog

7th picture down is my slim figure as seen from the back :D Patrick, my fellow Dutch Wargames Trading FB page mod is standing next to me (Yes, I've become a mod on 2 FB groups now....the Dutch Wargames Trading site and I'm helping Piers out with the Battlegroup FB page)  and we are watching Peter Schuleins table. The house comes apart in multiple levels, and with a cellar etc....it's a work of art.

donderdag 9 februari 2017

40 years in....getting a bit serious

No lighthearted Blogpost this time. A lot of seriousnes. Reading this might even make you think for a bit. Or not, your call. Run while you can.

I've been around for 40 years now. Raised as a churchgoing catholic, always taught to study hard and find a steady job,  and have respect and compassion your elders and less fortunate. Nothing wrong with that. Drilled into me at a young age. Did leave me pretty naive though when I left my parents at 17 to study. I wasn't a difficult kid, in hindsight I was a bit too easygoing and trustful and quite the silent type. 18+ and a whole world opens up to me. Girls, wargaming, computers (well, the 1994 ones anyway) and a ton of freedom and no real rules. Well, just study hard and it would all work out. Right?

But it didn't. I studied as hard as I could but kept failing. As at that level you were supposed to be smart enough to figure it out, no help was offered, and I was afraid to ask for any help lest I'd be seen as a failure (drilled into me from a young age, don't show weakness and don't talk about your problems). Then Dad get's cancer and that just blew me away emotionally and I have no reccolection of most of 1997. Then, one day, I finally have the courage to ask for help, and request time with the schools psychiatrist. Who then scolds me for not coming sooner so we could have interrupted the year and not lost 12 months (and that was about all the "help" I got). By then my dad had recovererd after Chemo and he scolded me for going to see a psychiatrist, as that wasn't done in our family.

FFW to the year 2000, I'm in a gaming club and dad has cancer yet again. Every single person in the gaming club had been or was in therapy at some point in their lives. And they called me the Normal one.... :D But they did not judge me like many others (including my own family) did. Talking and gaming and becoming friends with many people from that club made me appreciate myself more.

Come 2002 I decided , after a good long (6 months or so) think to throw in the towel with my study. Working 40 hours a week to pay for a tuition that wanted you to show up year afyer year for the same tests (and that I failed year after year cause not being a fulltime student I was not offered any help, even when asked - well, they did answer. Just start over as a part time student. Oh, and the curriculum has changed so everything you learned sofar, all the points scored, are worthless. Talk about motivation to press on).

I think my dad did not speak to me for 9-12 months I believe? He was so angry (and he still is quite a bit) for me dropping out. Kept comparing me to my brother who did finish his degree, and his masters in Virology (though to this day he still belittles the effort of my brothers then-wife who pushed him on and on and took care of the kids and everything so he could focus on getting his degree). Am I jealous of my brother? Nope, immensely proud. He is living proof to me that people with problems (he's an Aspie just like me) can overcome their problems if they are willing to ask for help and accept that help.

Anything after the decision to quit school has been nothing but being willing to admit defeat when something does not work, get over it, and try something new. Of course, don't give up too easily, not at the first sign of trouble, but solve the problems till you find one you can't solve alone, and then try to find people who can help you solve that problem with you. Don't let them solve the problem for you but do it together, put some back into it.

Ever since I got the previous job it was pretty obvious I wasn't happy in it. Hobbytime was spent dreaming of different things, but moneywise and with Kims issues we weren't getting ahead and started to bog down. So, we asked for help. It took a while to find the right people, but with every contact we made we heard about other possibilities, help and support in raising our kids, clearing our heads, being able to get to know ourselves better.

Let's face it. For some people I'm a basketcase. But all I really do is smile all day (or at least try to), somethimes sing, whistle or hum loudly in public just cause I feel like it, I'm polite to everyone to a point were some people look at me stunned cause I have just treated them as a human being (mostly a cashier thing) and I'm a firm believer of doing good whenever I can. I don't expect anything in return for that, well, maybe a smile. And I happen to play with small toy soldiers :)

Lateley, I've been getting many questions and receiving many comments from people who I have spoken to face to face for all sorts of reasons. One of the most common ones (3 times this week sofar) is people asking me how I can keep up a smile even when I'm limping, coughing and am completely stressed out from everything. Or they praise me (and Kim) for asking for help with our problems, really accepting all the help we can get and putting our back into to get through this, together as a family, with support.

The smiling part is easy. I've been depressed 3 times now (the last one is still lingering a bit though) and if I have learned one thing it is to be happy with the little things in life. No cash, big car or big house can replace the joy I feel when a little Robin or Wren darts out from the bushes in the morning when I drop off my girls at the daycare, and I can point it out to them, and they actually see it and smile and point before it darts off again. When I'm alone I can smile cause I'm driving on my bike, just enjoying the cold air hitting my face, my ear catching the sound of a far off woodpecker and just doing my rounds, from shop to shop, bargainhunting to get food on the table. It doesn't mean I'm never sad, far from it, but I try to savour the moments when I'm happy.

The praise is something I feel a queezy about. I don't like being praised for doing what I'm supposed to be doing, but our social services worker put it very aptly during todays family meeting. In her eyes we are the perfect family that she (all of them actually) can help (don't let that go to your head kid) And for one simple reason. First, we are not shy to ask for help to prevent a future problem with ourselves, our children or our finances. When Kim had a melt down, our main concern was, what will the effect be on the children. Again when my depression popped up, what will be the effect on the children. According to child services, my parents and the daycare centre the kids show no signs (yet) of anything having affected them from our incidents. When I got run over, we asked someone to check over all of our finances to see if we could continue paying out mortgage and other bills for a possible prolonged period where I could not be at work, and our reserve funds weren't very big. Everything was checked, we passed the test with flying colours and got praised for asking help before we got into trouble. Then we sold the car, gave up some more expensive things just to have less expenses anyway and see our bankbalance rise ever so slightly from month to month.

The main recurring thing with everyone who has been helping us sofar, is praise for daring to ask for help, not just for me or Kim, but for us as a family, and putting our back into it to make things work, and make sacrifices in doing so.

Which comes naturally for use because we don't take anything for granted. The more shocking was the comment social services made today during the meeting (but to be honest, it is not that shocking)
"You are so unlike most families who ask for our help. We guide you in the right way and you go right at it, with all the energy you can muster. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, but always in the right direction. So many other families just sit there waiting for us to solve their problems for them"

In the same geste are the almost identical comments I got in the last few days during interviews. "So you have accepted that you have limitations, and using your strenghts you have chosen a new career for yourself that fits with your knowledge, and you are studying hard for it, as well as making time for your family and job- and internship hunting? I'm impressed."

It impressed my psychologist, who said she was very happy to see the huge leap in progress in 6 months time. It impressed the job agency lady yesterday, who wasn't taken aback when I mentioned I have Aspergers and a bad knee, and was candid enough to tell me that she didn't see a disabled man, but one with a clear goal and that she would reccomend me for the job. And it impressed the lady at the UWV today, who initially just told me what my tasks are now that I was getting WW benefits, and when she asked if I had any questions I just said no, I have read the site, I understand the rules, and here is what I've been doing lately go get back to work. She just sait there for a bit, doing a silent wow, and then asked if I would like an exemption from the "Must apply for 4 jobs each month" rule (else your benefits can and will be cancelled). I said I would like to continue to apply for jobs if that is ok? Even if they won't take me yet as I have not finished my degree yet, it should be good practice for when the time comes, yes? She agreed with that, then said I'm exempted till mid November so I could focus on my study and she would like to see me back in October.

All hard work and effort cause I really, really want to get back to work.

Did it all end with that then? Nah, I'm still sick and sore so this will be another early tuck in. To top that off I received the invoice for the schooling today (2350 euros) due next week. Same with the First Aid training (175 euros) due next week. After a good 5 minutes of panic, and emailing the insurance company, I've got a shortlist of things to do tomorrow, because problems are there to be solved:

-1 letter of reccomendation to the job agency before noon
- Call the training academy and ask for payment in installments (and why I'm getting the invoice anyway as as far as I know the insurance compnay would be vouching for the payment?)
- Pay the First Aid training invoice
- Continue with a rather radical decision - sell all the stuff you will not be building or painting within the next year or 2. Boardgames you don't play? Out. CD's you don't listen to? Out. Books you no longer read? Out. Sell that shit to create a financial buffer.
- List the baby room contents. It's time the girls get proper beds that will keep them happy till they are 10-12. 
- Help Kim by clearing the mess on the left of the attic so she can drag out more stuff to sell to create a bigger fiancial buffer and put more money in the kids piggy banks.

So there, you made it to the end. Since starting my study things are now slowly falling into their place, in a new order, that should stay like that till the summer holiday. Kim and I got new matching agenda apps so no more confusions about what must be done when, now I just have to get used to my new routine. This leaves less room for the hobby, but that's ok. It should make what time I do have for it more enjoyable.

Best of luck to all of you and I'll ba back next time with something more hobby related :)

Edit: my new case manager for the Insurance company has sent cc'd me all the emails plus the latest  email to the new HR manager at my former company. They have been trying to get a reply from them for 6 months  and still nothing. So, what do they don't want to tell? :D

woensdag 8 februari 2017

On the second week of school.....

Well, even more headaches to be honest, but I've been down with the flu since saturday (thx kids!) and I barely made it through monday. On tuesday I called in the support of a friend:

Not my proudest moment, but I made it through the day, went to school and the meetings and crashed after dinner. I've made a list of things to do for school and other appointments, which I had planned to do today but this morning Kim took one look at me and sent me back to bed to sleep till 11:30 so I was properly rested for my meeting with the job agency.

This meeting went rather well, even after I mentioned I have Aspergers so I can be a bit "quirky". So well even that she thinks I'm really fit for the job and she will introduce me to the company. I just need to write a letter stating my motivation for the job. And boy do I dislike writing letters like that. Fortunately my brother once sent me a template on which he ranks letters he receives from people applying for a job at his company so I use that to check my own. Deadline is friday, at noon. As I have 2 more meetings tomorrow it will be a job for tomorrownight as I really need to conserve my energy and get this damned elephant off my chest.

Hobby wise, the only thing I got done is take my sales up to 45 euros, but with so little time I doubt I will make 100 before the Poldercon event, so no spending money. I do need to sort a big box of parts for Ywan and get the Dutch bits box sorted so it can start the journey, but not in my current condition.

I really wish I had the time and the stamina to proofread the Battlegroup Tobruk army listst now Piers sent me.....well, maybe tomorrow or Friday.

I'll be back though :)

No, you may not. Sod off, I want to breathe again and get cracking on model kits.

zaterdag 4 februari 2017

Why Youtube can be a good and a bad thing.

I use Youtube a lot (well, maybe a bit too much tbh). It can be used for good, and it can be used for bad, bad things.... I also use it to relax.

Some of the channels I view I do so for the information they give me for hobby or history purposes. like for  instance:

Forgotten Weapons > more of a page for showing interesting firearms coming up for auction, but he goes into a lot of detail and history of the various pieces and as a ex-shooter I like that. Also shows the tremendous variation there is in weaponry, though they tend to focus on pistols, rifles and up to machine guns etc.

How to paint your wargaming figures (WSS Christy Beall) > weekly updated on sunday with a painted 28mm miniature, Christy paints up a whole range of figures from various companies from various periods, one at a time, showing the paints used, and talking you through the process. Highly reccomended even if you don't do anything in 28mm.

The Terrain Tutor > Mel's FB group for building anything from big to small, from a fence to an entire table. I started following this channel for his foamboard tutorials but he does so much more then that.

Tabletop Minions > Uncle Atoms show, he discusses a whole range of wargames related topics and thoughts about the hobby. He focusses a lot on Games Workshop but some of his views relate to other companies too.

Guerillia Minature Games > Daily updates from Ash, I've been here since almost day 1. It got me interested in quite a few games (and put me off some others) thx to the excellent playthroughs. From Games Workshop to Infinity to indepenent gaming companies, everything passes the review.

And a few others but from the top ones I look at every video released.

For the bad.....the following stuff usually eats up hours at a time.

 The Mighty Jingles > World of Tanks, World of Warships, The Division and other games, plus museum visits. Since I can't afford a semi decent PC that actually can run any of these games (World of Warships runs, barely, and that is about it) I sure do enjoy watching other play (and/or fuck up)

Bo Time Gaming > Lot's of PC games, purely for the comedy factor.

Big Mooney 06 > Got into him for the Kill Everything Hitman Challanges and never looked back. His Scottish accent is pure comedy gold.

Thenapple > I got here for the Fallout 4 Walkthroughs to see the world (as my PC can't handle it) and the Irish accent. Not as much content as before but I'm still enjoying it.

Stop a Douchebag World > Young people in Russia asking people politely not to park like dicks and don't drive on the footpaths. You'd think that be common sense......not so much in Russia. Lot's of stickers and sometimes very inept police. Lot's of new rich that think they can do what they like. Short videos. For a black and white thinker like me who likes rules as they make things clearer and easier, I'm amazed so many "normal" ( har har.....) people go out of their way to willingly and knowingly break the rules just go get a bit further ahead. And they sure swear a lot!

I need to cut down on it though. 5 minutes here, 20 minutes there and before you know it it's 1 in the morning.

Would you like to share your favorite hobby Youtube channels though?

woensdag 1 februari 2017

On the first week of school, my teacher gave to me....

A splitting headache, for starters! :D Nothing that unusual, ever since the accident I have them 3-5 days a week, but only in the evenings. It will pass though, I think my brain just has to get to grips being used in a very different then usual. First class on monday (20 minute drive became a 60 minute drive due to traffic jams, I'll have to remember that) was 3 hours on the Dutch language - spelling mostly. I've never been great at spelling tests (aka I really suck at them) but the chapter we got was very to the point and after a good read I was able to finish each set of 20 questions with 3 errors on average. And the errors I did make is something I can work on. Since I made my tests on  my notebook (a old school paper one btw) the test book is still clear so I can repeat the test at my leasure anc check for the correct answers. After about 6 tests the teacher signed me off on this chapter as it was pretty clear I can spell in Dutch and other then refreshing my memory, no real issues popped up. She then took some time explaining the course to me, how it works with exams, that I must attend each lesson and there can be no exceptions unless you are really sick (and I have no intention of skipping any classes as this is very important to me and I'm highly motivated.) And then 3 hours had come and gone already!

My homework for the day was math, and lots and lots of math, all kinds of it. And a calculator is not allowed.....just the way I like it. I'm actually better at it then spelling, and made a lot less mistakes, except 1 entire column where I kept forgetting to add the same thing over and over.....but that's just sloppyness and/or not having done those kind of calculations since 2007 when I left my job as a sales employee (and even there rarely). So I spent a good 2 hours doing my homework and then I just kept it up till the kids came home.

Next day, again school from 9-12 but in a different city and one that is known for it's traffic jams so I though, let's leave 15 minutes earlier then yesterday. And what do you know it, no traffic jams what so ever on my route. I arrived more then an hour before class, I arrived so early the building the class would be in wasn't even opened yet. Jay. When it did open I just took a desk in the lobby, grabbed my homework and starting checking everything with a calculator. The teacher arrived 15 minutes before the class started, and then I took another 3 hours of math tests just to complete the book and to make sure it all stuck in my head. Homework for next week is the first chapter of the Word 2010 book (I have the 2013 version at home) and to put the roster she gave me into my online agenda so I know what to train for and what homework to make and when my tests are. Though what I've done now in 2 days isn't actually covered till 3 months into the course......good reasoning behind that from the teacher. Better see how good I can spell and do math now, then wait 3 months at which point we can't cortrect it anymore. So, 2 mornings a week till the first week of June, and then 1 morning a week till November, and a 6 week holiday in the summer time.

I'm well motivated and I'll setle into a routine quick enough I think. If for some reason I can't study during the day I'll just take a set at the kitchen table with a cup of tea in the evening and work till it is finished. If I need to practice things on the PC I can do that too, but it's rather cluttered here atm so better get that sorted before next week to create a better working environment.

First Aid class is going pretty fast too, we have almost finished the book, we have a week off next week, and after that we will just practice, practice and practice some more till it's time for the test. We have been asked, if we get our diploma's, to help with a big training excercise a few weeks after our graduation. If I got the geste correctly it would be a simulated explosion/fire at the local church so a bit of everything. casualty wise.

Tuesday is a bit manic though, morning class, get home asap and take over the kids from Kim, and then First Aid in the evening and I've declared wednesday to be a resting and reading (and Blogging) day.

Final note before I start on the hobby stuff is that I've placed my updated resume on job sites and I've received 3 emails this week. 2 are a bit of a joke as they are in Ireland and in the Czech Republic, and my resume clearly reads that I'm willing to travel to work no more then 1 hour / 50 km. My knee just can't take much more then that, especially in traffic jams with continuous use of the clutch. But the 3rd one is a for a job at a printers for commercial support staff near Eindhoven Airport (a good 20 minutes from here (45-60 during rush hour) and I have a meet and greet this friday afternoon. I'm not expecting much of it, I mean I just started my training, but it will be a good excercise in promoting myself and maybe making an new contact for the future.

Right, hobby time......

I helped a few friends by reposting their sales posts in the appropriate groups that I'm a member off and both managed to sell everything that same evening. I'm happy, they are happy, and I score some more Brownie points. I sold a couple of kits this week, and some Warhammer stuff, nothing major, and decided to put all the Italians I gathered up sofar up for sale in on big bundle. If anyone is interested,

4x boxes of Italian vehicles (4 tanks, 1 AT truck) for 40 Pounds plus shipping or your best offer, and 4 Italian aircraft (Early to Mid Afrika cmpaign) for 30 Pounds plus shipping or your best offer. Take everything and I will split the shipping costs with you.

They are going because with Erik focussing on the Germans I really should focus all of my efforts on the British, and the Italians, while interesting, just don't seem to capture my imagination so much. So they can go.

Other then that, not much has happend here, but I'm delighted Piers posted a pic from the new Tobruk book....

PSC A9 Cruiser tanks. They look lovely :)

Also he posted the planned release schedule:

April 2017 - Battlegroup Tobruk
Autumn/Winter 2017 - Battlegroup 'Spring Awakening'
April 2018 - Battlegroup Westwall
Autumn/Winter 2018 - Battlegroup Iwo Jima

Discussion is ongoing for a release date for our first non-WW2 release - Battlegroup NORTHAG.
Earlier, PSC posted their planned release schedule for 2017 and onwards.

  • 15mm German SdKfz 231 8 rad armoured car
  • 15mm British Universal Carrier (and variants)
  • 1/72nd German SdKfz 231 8 rad armoured car
  • 15mm Modern Soviet T55 tank
  • 15mm Valentine
  • 1/72nd Valentine
  • 15mm Sexton
  • 1/72nd Sexton
  • 1/72 A10 Cruiser Tank

In the Pipeline
  • 15mm Steyr heavy car
  • 1/72nd Steyr heavy car
  • 1/72nd Tiger I with zimmerit
  • 15mm Stuart M3
  • 1/72nd Stuart M3
  • 1/72nd SU76
  • 15mm SU76
  • 15mm Lee/Grant
  • 1/72nd Lee/Grant
  • 15mm 250 neue Halftrack
  • 1/72nd 250 neue Halftrack
  • 1/72nd Universal Carrier Conversion Kit
  • 1/72nd 17 pdr with M5 Halftrack tow
  • 15mm 17 pdr with M5 Halftrack tow
  • 15mm 88mm and tractor 
Of the up and coming releases, the Valentines and  A10 Cruiser are on my wanted list. A 20mm Fastbuild T-55 would be nice but doubtful as the market is flooded with cheap Die casts (which I hate and refuse to use). Of the future releases, I'm looking forward to the Stuart M3, Lee/Grant and the Su-76. The Carrier conversion kit  sounds nice but I have no idea when they would release that and I feel my first 2 sections would/should be done before that.

Good times to do 20mm.

Now a final note before I take some much needed R&R, I've managed to find every single box of Epic that I have and I will be putting that up for sale soon. I had planned to in vest it in Wikkywok buildings and AB troops but lately my PC has been freezing up almost every evening as it just can't keep up with my use.....so I might have to reserve funds so to that sorted first.... 

Take care and cu again later this week :)