August 28, 2013

Long Hiatus

I know it has been over a month since I have been on here, and to be honest, nothing has changed on the wargaming side apart from selling most of my Tau to a friend.  Outside of gaming there is a little more to report.  I am changing jobs.  After 5 years at my current position I took on a second job to catch up on bills, set money aside for Christmas, and ultimately create a savings account for the replacement of my teeth.

Things escalated quickly though, the other job has convinced me to go full time, not that it took much convincing.  I was ready and in need of a change, I felt stagnant at my current position and have been missing too much time with my family lately.  I will no longer be working overnights and should have a few evenings a week to just hang out with the family.  What this means for Orktopia in the short terms is there won't be any modelling until work stabalizes, but after that I am hoping to find time early each morning to get a little something done.

The next step is to get back in touch with my old gaming group, as I should be able to meet up there from time to time again and also make a bunch of small terrain pieces to fill the battlefield with.

Good night for now and see you soon, with any luck much more regularly.

June 18, 2013

Dis is wer da trukks is builded: Part II

In my last post the frame was up and I was debating the location of the fuel drum.  I decided it would be best standing up and went with that idea.  I am very happy with it.  Adding a couple pieces from searchlights and I think I have a fairly good looking pump.  I intend to add a Lascannon battery pack to this to give it that authentic working feel and calling the tank done.



After finishing the Tank I needed to get the front wall cladding up so I could start working on the doors.  I tried to be as haphazard as I could about placement while still making sure it looked like it would hold up.  I still intend to add big bolts everywhere, because bigger bolts hold better.


Of course I had to take a picture of the capacity of this place, making it much bigger than I originally intended.  I am impressed with the results and feel it will definitely suit my needs even after adding crumbling floors to the adobe side wall.


Having finished the front face I went straight on to adding the door hangers, 2 boards overlapping each other that the door itself will slide into on the top thus allowing them to slide away from each other.   I added a small nothc in the middle to keep the doors from moving more than halfway, and they work OK, not that I expected perfectly smooth sliding.  Doors closed.


Doors open.  I forgot to leave room on the bottom lip for a lower guide on the doors.  I could glue one on but decided not to.  I have plans for the front of the doors, but the back I need to keep smooth so they won't catch when I open and close them.  My intent is to use liquid bead to make welding lines on the front and back after they are painted.  The bead is also pretinted so it shouldn't scrape off and also create a tiny cushion.


 Having gotten the front wall finished I took a few minutes and spray painted it.  My thought is with this being new construction it should actually look fairly new instead of aged and hobbled, but I can see some extra color is in order.


Having the main wall and doors well on their way makes me happy and confident that I will like the finished building, allowing me to now switch my focus onto the interior.  I think it's time for some tool chests and a half started trukk.

Seeya Next time

June 13, 2013

Dis is wer da trukks is builded: Part I

I know I am doing this out of order, but I guess I need the inspiration of a decent Trukk to get up the urge to make the trukk shop.In the last few posts I kept you up with the Ork Rokkit Launcha, a piece of Orky tech that I built to defend Orktopia from both land and air machines of war.  Now I want to show you where the trukk that makes this mobile is being assembled.



So here is the trukk that inspired me to start the trukk shop.  The trukk is over half complete but I want to finish the shop before I get the trukk itself done.  Because of this, I am not posting a WIP of the trukk yet.


I started with a plan to make this shop using several nearby buildings as the base of it.  While this idea still strikes my fancy it would have been a huge pain.  I would either have to glue 4 buildings together to make a huge complex or I would have to cut the base so each building could be positioned at the edges of the trukk shop.  After doing the mock up I realized how annoying this would be, especially since I would have to pull out every building whenever I wanted to use Yaddat's Trukk Shop.


Instead I came up with this, a 3 story ruin with a building across the road that would work for Yaddat Addawerk's hut.  I confiscated a section of road where the Trukk Shop will be built between these 2 buildings.  After figuring all the measurements out I currently have the ability to have 2 trukks in here at the same time, but that took this build to 13 inches long and 15 inches wide.  I could have shortened it up quite a bit either direction, but my vision demands space.

The ruins complete 1 wall, so there are 3 to finish.  Yaddat Addawerk likes to make a big hoopla about his newest vehicles, so the Shop must be enclosed so nobody can see what he will build next.  The framework is easy enough, a mixture of plastic I-beams and wooden dowels will raise this building quickly, then I will apply a mixture of sheeting material to close it in, followed by assembling a cap for the roof.  The roof itself will be about half flat, allowing a lookout tower to be added to it.
 



 Almost all the beams are up, I am adding a couple of small ones from the ruined building towards the other supports.  The garage doors will be 7 inches tall and double sliding doors.  The can up front is where I have decided to place my fuel tank, but I think I will stand it vertically.

That's all for today.

June 09, 2013

A Purdy Big Gun IV: Putting it all together



Revolver rokkit launcha, CHECK.  Belt drive rokkit launcha, CHECK.  Base with lift and turn ability, CHECK.  Now to get everything together.  This isn't going to be very hard since I started with the double barrel rokkit launcha in mind.  I hooked everything together and then remembered I needed hydraulics for the lift cylinder.  I melted a couple of corners from plastic pipe and added thick wrapped floral wire that reminds me of hydraulic hoses.  Using bits of Tau weaponry I made a hydraulic pump to add the pressure needed to lift or lower the guns.
Here you can see the gun fully assembled but the tension springs are not added to the belt feed yet.  It took me a while to decide what should be done for this section.
 
 After getting everything positioned I decided to lock the lift in place instead of leaving it free.  every time I moved it the hydraulic hoses snapped off and it also makes it more stable and less likely to be broken by a bad movement.
 Everything is now glued and prepared for tension springs.  It also needs the gunner at this stage.  Looking at the Ork in front of the belt shows you how massive this gun ended up being.
 Gunner and tension spring added.  I will grab a picture of the tension assembly later.
That's all for now folks.

June 02, 2013

A purdy Big Gun Part III, platform base.


I need a base to mount my big guns to, something Orky and ready to go.  To this end I actually want 2 mounts.  A vehicle mount, and a stationary mount, maybe a building rooftop.  I am going to use a can lid for my swivel base.  I am also going to modify the Kannon and the Satellite dish to mount properly onto the can lid with magnets.

 From the can lid I took a piece of trukk chassis I had lying around.  I added to this a piece from the imperial city box and then some kebob sticks to mount my smaller tank rollers on.  The large roller has a smaller roller glued into it and is mounted to the end of the corner piece from the city box.  a couple of wires and it should make a good looking small motor.
After this I needed to figure out how high everything had to be to keep from dragging on the ground.  I decided I wanted a platform under the guns for reloading that would turn with the gun, so I had to go even higher.  The top tube ended up being 2 1/2 inches tall.

I want this to be able to lift, or at least appear to lift into an anti-air position, so having some sort of lift mechanism is a must.  I chose to go with a pneumatic cylinder, pictured above.  when the cylinder is connected it will be completely closed in a horizontal gun position, and completely extended, pressed against the holding tube in the top right for a vertical shot.
 Owing to my desire to see this assembled, there is a huge gap in my pictures once more.  Here I took lollipop sticks and built a frame off the top of the Trukk chassis I started the base with.  I added granny grating, corrugated aluminum made with a paper crimper and soda cans, and some plating I found at the hobby shop.  At this point the base is ready except for setting up a way to fill the cylinder. Next time we will get it all together.

May 30, 2013

A Purdy Big Gun Part II the other side

Having gotten a decent start on the revolver side of the rokkit launcha, I decided to switch over to the right hand side.  My original intent was another revolver looking gun, but I quickly changed my mind on it.  I kept thinking about a belt fed gun, but realized it would take a lot of belting to make a decent looking strip of rokkits.  Then this idea came to me, set up a tank track and weld catches on for the belting.

The track and rollers are from Imperial Guard Tanks.  Each clip is made from a hanger for a Christmas tree ornament, twisted and turned into a predetermined pattern to hold the rokkits.  3 clips are visible here, I intend to have 12 of these total, 1 for every other track plate.  I will then have to decide on some way to turn the track so the clips will unload their rokkit at the right moment.

 I didn't take any pictures of the launch tube in this build unfortunately, but what will happen is the track will move up the outside, and just after it starts to come down, the rokkit will be laid out into the launch tube and released from the clip, then ignited.  For the delivery engine I chose an electrical piston, it will move half a turn at a time, putting the next rokkit right into place.  The toothpick in the above picture is the piston, with bits of a flamer making an oil chamber in the bottom, and an IG lascannon ripped up to make the engine.
Here is a test fit of the track mechanism before having added the engine.  The back plate is thick card from Hobby Lobby.  The launch tube and carraige assembly are all scraps of plastic tubing I still have, going to need to make an order for more soon.  As soon as I connected everything I realized I started this project upside down, so everything is turned the wrong direction.  An easy enough fix but twisting it changed the appearance I wanted.
Here you can see the complete and cut down track side gun with the launch tubes and carriage assembly.  I added some plating to make it stick out better and look more Orky, now I need to build a base.

May 23, 2013

A Purdy Big Gun

OK onto a new Ork project, the gatlin rokkit launcha.  This will be anti-tank anti-aircraft, and should look amazing, I hope.  WIP photos so far and I will do my best to explain them simply.
 First Picture is the chamber with 6 rokkits loaded and 2 ready to add, plus the spinner and locking plate.
Above is the mounted and locked chamber being test fit by Shaddy.
 Shaddy overlooking the initial test of the chamber with the barrel and exhaust added.
 Chamber dropped and ready for reload, I decided the chamber will be swappable to make reload faster.
 Work engine added, this will run the roller that turns the chamber as well as the reload mechanism.

 Rear view of the engine with belt added, and showing the opening behind the chamber for the exhaust port.
Here's lookin at you.  So there are the pictures of the left hand side.  I will be starting the right side either tonight after I get some sleep or tomorrow after getting home.  It will look similar, but never exact.  I still have not decided if this will be a stationary ground mounted piece, or if it will, or even can be, mounted in the back of a trukk.  That is a decision that can wait until the gun itself is finished.

May 22, 2013

Care and feeding for your new pet zombies

So I now have a mass of zombies and half as many survivors from Wargames Factory.  I also have models from the Zombicide and Last night on Earth board games as well as war game miniatures from Necromunda and Warhammer 40K to use.  I think for the time being I am stocked, but only for the moment.



Now that all my current zombies are assembled it comes down to the slower task of painting.  I have decided that I would like to also incorporate all of my zombies into the categories for Xtreme Zombie Hunter, a fun game that I really wish I could get hold of more copies for.  Grimey Games has been offline for at least a year now and looks to never be returning, which is very sad for me.

I will be dividing the zombies into 4 groups, red yellow orange and green, green and orange will each have one extra zombie.  The colors will be somewhere on the zombies themselves, shirts pants or dresses.  Bikini clad zombie gals will be wearing that color bikini.  I think you get the idea.


Survivors will be painted randomly according to how they are dressed, unless they are player characters where the player will have say in their clothing.  With a base of 30 survivors to paint, this could take a while.  My biggest asset here is I am not painting wargaming miniatures that are all painted the same color for army coherence and uniform appearance.   It is much easier to lose focus and interest when you still have 280 miniatures that need the exact same 4 colors added to them.

You can spot the 5 painted law enforcement officers in the back ground, they will be joined by a Coast Guard officer in a red rain jacket you sometimes see them in.  Before them are 10 miniatures that  Iwill be organizing into bad boys, drifters, and townsfolk.  The numbers of each group will not be carved in stone, and will change as new models are introduced.  Right now there are 12 Townsfolk, 6 drifters and 6 bad boys.

Pictured above are mostly townsfolk.  I originally organized miniatures based on the weapons they carried, bad boys had automatics, townsfolk armed with pistols, shotguns, and melee weapons, and drifters with whatever I wanted to give them.  This will also change as I paint them and decide what role each miniature will play.  It doesn't matter in the larger scope since none of the games designate what group a character should belong to, it just makes it easier on me to store and search for the miniature I want to depict.

My next decision is what to do about terrain.  I really like having terrain available for my games.  The war game terrain I currently have is very outsized for these miniatures, making them all look like children.  I can easy push the heads through my chain link fences, not to mention ever building has a 12 foot ceiling.

In the other games I play and the larger than life miniatures this is not an issue, but these are truer to scale and do not have foot thick biceps on every model.  On the other hand my Orks look scale beside these guys, 9 foot tall brutes that could tear a human apart like ripping towels off a roll.  I'm hoping to get up from sleeping this evening and magical pixies have seen my need for assistance and painted all 91 remaining raw models, I'll keep you informed.

May 13, 2013

COPS Hell Town

So my last post I introduced you to Officer James Gardner.  I forgot to show off the rest of the force.  So here they are, the entire Hell Town Police Department.  Air Marshall turned Detective Cameron Spencer, Officer Tyrone Leon, Los Angeles County Sheriff turned Hell Town Police Chief Gabriel Florence, Officer James Gardner, and Officer James (Jimmy) Ramirez.



 And for your enjoyment, the first 30 zombies that are going to try and break down the walls that divide Hell Town from the outside world, and also keep them from dinner.  I do not have any of them named since they will probably all do recurring roles on the set.


May 12, 2013

Followers of the Dead

I am an avid zombie fan.  I watch movies, play games, read books, and assemble miniatures devoted to the rotting dead.  Tonight was no different.  I have been playing Dead Island part of the night.  I took a break to watch Shaun of the Dead while I worked on character sheets for All Flesh Must Be Eaten, a role playing game where you try to survive in a zombie filled world.

Last weekend I assembled 30 male zombies, this weekend I am working on 36 female ones and developing 29 male survivors and one young female with pigtails that didn't turn out as good as I hoped she would.  I have begun working on the survivors as well, but my intention is not to assemble them all immediately.

As for survivores I am going to wait as the game develops and see who I will need next.  First I will need my players, unfortunately for the girls, I will have to make do with the females from Zombicide and Last Night on Earth for now.  These miniatures are fairly close in size to those from Wargames Factory.  For the men, I have the male survivors box from Wargames Factory in front of me and am assembling those I need right now.

I am currently working on the earliest survivors my players will meet, the police.  I have a Sheriff and three officers, two are going to be in black and the third in blue.  I also have a squad car and a suburban, each redecorated a little too early.  I intend to have the survivors of LA rename part of it Hell Town, and have painted the vehicles to show this, not thinking that my players are starting day 1.  I have the blue shirt officer, now known as Officer James Gardner, painted and ready to play.

 
Officer Gardner has been with the force for only 2 years.   He is a native of Los Angeles and decided early in life he wanted to be a Police Officer.  He isn't sure why he was spared while his wife and daughter died, but he has made it his mission to protect survivors from the menace.  He has named his squad car Daisy, in memory of his little girl.

May 06, 2013

Getting back on the internets

Between work issues, personal issues, and just plain life issues last month hit me hard, and I am still shocked and pained by parts of it.  For work issues I can now admit that I found myself overwhelmed.  I found myself getting further and further behind because I could not focus.  My mind wandered on all sorts of issues at work and away.

The worst of the issues with work last month came on April 18th, when one of my managers, and one of the few people I considered a friend and mentor, passed away.  He had only found out he was sick less than 2 months before, but the cancer was at a stage where there wasn't much that could be done about it.

It has been over 2 weeks, and even as I types this I find it hard to hold back tears.  It is funny to say though, that this drove me nearly as much as it bothered me.  I have taken the reins once more on projects I let slip aside because of lack of time, patience, and my overwhelming desire to micromanage everything else I oversee, and have brought myself and my workload out of the slump we found ourselves in.

The personal side still has issues that need be dealt with.  I still feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I need to do to get my house in order.  Adding to that workload that I have already been skirting is the fact that spring has FINALLY hit North Dakota and the yard requires all the attention I can muster to get it in shape.  I was fortunate to get the last 6 days off to get some time to relax and reflect, as well as get some cleaning done and organizing what turned out to be mostly a pile of throw away bitz boxes.

As for gaming, I have been hit or very miss.  I was able to purchase Zombicide, which I am thoroughly enjoying.  Imagine a group of 4 to 6 survivors hitting the streets in the hopes of finding a safe place, food and water, as well as some kick ass weapons to destroy the zombie hordes with.  The game plays itself around you, your team moves then the zombies react to it, if they happen to catch you then you get wounded.

We had trouble the first couple games but now we understand the mechanics and the game has gotten quite a bit simpler.  We still can be defeated if we make the simplest of mistakes, but our crew are hardened veterans of the war against the undead now.  The zombie horde is controlled by a mixture of cards telling you where and how many zombies join the fight each turn, and noise and heat given off by the characters to tell the zombies what direction food is.  I recommend this game to any zombie fan out there and intend to continue playing it forever.

In modelling news I finished assembling the male zombies.  I do not have pictures yet but will be getting them up shortly.  The female zombies are in various degrees of assembly, some finished, some with heads, some with arms, and even some still on sprue.  I will be working diligently the next couple of mornings to get them finished before this weekend.  The last group are the male survivors, the female survivors are a couple of months away still from the sounds of it.

The survivors I am taking my time with, deciding exactly who and what I need before assembling anything other than the 4 lawmen I knew I wanted.  I am creating non player character sheets for the civilians and military personnel I intend to use and then building their miniature based off of that sheet.  So far I have to build an air marshal, a pilot who is egotistical, a couple of children who's parents are nowhere to be found right now, and couple of airport maintenance workers.  I have 30 miniatures available to make survivors from so I need to pick and choose until I receive more funding.

For those of you who don't know already, I am a role player at heart, even above war gaming.  My passion for role playing stems mainly in the zombie infested wastes of our world gone dead.  This springs forth in a game called All Flesh Must Be Eaten, where of course, you play a survivor trying not to succumb to the armies of the dead.  This newest attempt to play, if we ever actually get going, will take place at Los Angeles International Airport, and will be partially made up, and partially researched, from there.

The next part is not yet common knowledge for my players, but it will be explained to them as we start.  As they were in the air between Sydney Australia, traveling back to the states, an unknown power activated biological weapons across the entire planet.  Many people simply died from the chemical attack, but more than that changed horribly, their minds filled with toxins and rage, losing most functions except the need to destroy anybody who seemed unaffected.

Minutes before the attacks went off all over the planet, all television was interrupted by a shadowy figure calling himself Judgement, and warning the world that the Day of Wrath was upon them.  And so we find our heroes just hours after the plague has begun, the threat of Wrath hangs heavy in the air, but the toxic clouds that created it have already dissipated.  I am not planning to make a new blog here for my Followers of the Dead campaign, instead I will be using a website called Obsidian Portal.  Followers of the Dead can be followed here and of course updates will be mentioned on this blog as well.

Lastly for this post, I recently rummaged through my Catachans and created 6 basic platoons to throw up for sale.  I will have pictures of them in my next post.  Anyway that is all I have for now, I need to try and get a nap in before I return to work tonight for the first time in a week.... ummm...yay?  :)

April 11, 2013

AAAAAAAAAH! ZOMBIES!

USPS originally stated that they should have arrived on Wednesday, but zombies shamble slower than expected and here they are Thursday at noon.  I couldn't wait to rip them open and check them out.  I have a set of male zombies and a set of female zombie vixens from Wargames Factory sitting in front of me, and I have to say I am not disappointed in the least so far.

First thing is the price on these.  There are 30 male figures and 36 female figures in their respective boxes, and they came in at 20 bucks each.  True I could have saved a couple more bucks from TheWarStore but that is besides the point.  I have been looking through a lot of miniature websites and these guys are the only one I found to come in under a buck a figure.  After looking over them though I feel they are worth twice the price.

Let's focus first on the male zombies.  This is an older set for the company, it contains 5 sprue in a crammed tight box.  My first complaint here is there are no bases for the males.  No problem I have several dozen extras and know where I can get more at any time.  My second issue is that the left arm of every male miniature is attached to the body.  I love complete customization and this ruins it for me.  Every body will look half the same before painting.

There is one zombie nearly complete wearing a duster/labcoat, understandable since the coat needs to flow properly.  The other five models per sprue are split at the waistline.  The bodies are slightly rounded on the bottom and the legs are indented so the pieces will pocket together and look pretty seamless , with some sort of pants making any existing seam look like clothing.  There are 8 arms per sprue and 9 heads and the detail is a little lacking compared to companies such as Games Workshop, but I am fine with that, they are only zombies.

Each left arm has a little peg for filling plastic into the mold, but otherwise the mold lines are very subtle, nearly non existant.  They are also slightly smaller than previously mentioned GW zombies, but they seem more realistic because of it.  Without assembling them and seeing how they fit I am very happy with this purchase so far.

Now onto the females.  This set is fairly new, infact I think it might be their latest release.  There are only 3 sprue in this box but they are twice the size of the male sprue and there are 10 bases in the molds.  Each sprue contains enough for 10 complete zombies and 2 crawlers.  Here the bodies and legs are all connected, I can understand after looking at them why this had to happen, it would be impossible to get the models to look as nice as they do while trying to make invisible the split between the top and bottom.  The best part is not a single arm or head is attached to the model.

Speaking of arms and heads, there are 32 arms on this sprue ranging from nubs broken right off the should to carrying briefcases, shopping bags, and ever a lifeguard float.  As for the heads there are 15 available, 2 of them even flowing over the shoulders.  There are no fill pegs on this set and the mold lines are once again barely there.  One final note on both of these sets is I love the fact that the sprue were designed to stack and lock into place so they don't tangle during shipping, not something I have seen before.

I've got 66 miniatures to assemble, a new bottle of glue, and of course, it's now past my bedtime.  I guess this will have to wait until tomorrow morning and this weekend.  Though I really wanted to have models assembled and primed before Saturday evening I know this will not be the case, but I now have the beginnings of my undead conquest of post apocalyptic Bismarck, let the survivors shake in their hiding places.

April 09, 2013

Fleshy Bitz

My regular Saturday board game group has slowly become just the few of us who started playing together years ago once more.  Sure others show up here and there but everybody has their own things to do and extra members will become even more sporadic with the weather starting... well hopefully starting to turn nicer once more.

With that in mind I was happy to announce last Saturday that I wish to start role playing again, and it seemed the group is up for it.  Dungeons & Dragons is always a fun game full of monstrous entities and all manner of deep delving mayhem, but nah.  Maybe a good game of Mutants & Masterminds to get the super hero juices flowing and shake the boots of the no goods who run around Bismarckolis, BORING!  Spycraft always gets a group going with it's death defying fights and covert operations, yeah let's leave that one under the covers for now.  With the main games out of the way, what does that leave us?

ALL FLESH MUST BE EATEN! is here for devouring brains and horrors so terrifying that you will giggle just so people don't know you wet yourself with fear.  I have to say I love this game.  Running building to building, finding any way to escape the horde for another hour of life, hoping your best friend doesn't fall asleep on guard duty, all the while trying to find enough ammunition to kill one more walker and a safe place to camp out of their reach.  There is nothing like the feel of knowing that what you are playing is so brutal that death is likely at even the quietest of moments.

This coming weekend I am hoping to get everybody's character sheet done.  I have decided that to make things easier since I have two new players to the group, I am going to let them know each other and have survived a week together already.  This will mean that they are aware of the undead menace, are not to the point that they are still unwilling to believe it and die because they won't pull the trigger, and that they hopefully have some sort of small shelter figured out or at least a plan on how to get to one.

Enter into this a box of Zombicide! with 80 miniatures between zombies and survivors and some stunning zombie miniatures from Wargames Factory, add a few hearty players who want to survive, and a dash of insane attempts to jump across building rooftops or race through a horde of zombies for safety, and you have a recipe for fun thrills and chills. I'll get some pictures posted of the zombies and Zombicide as soon as they show up, including painting pics, I am going to have help getting that done for once.

Today I grabbed shipping boxes in order to get my Catachans ready for sale, the first of the miniatures I am going to downsize on.  I intend to keep a few models laying around for extra survivors and a complete unit of veterans to crew my Valkyrie and jump out as reinforcements.  The Chaos Daemons will follow closely behind as I decide if there is anything else I want to get rid of.  I have an idea about cutting my armies down to 2500 points each but I don't think I will achieve that goal.

Last for today is I have TAU EMPIRE.  While I am cutting back on my miniatures, I am not quitting the hobby.  I will be continuing to get the rule books and the armies will still evolve alongside, but at a more limited rate.  I see 3 models in the new book that I am definitely interested in.

OK I need to get pics of my Catachans taken, so off to work.

March 28, 2013

Fixing

Two weeks without a post.  I do apologize to those of you actually hoping to follow along.  Let's see, what has happened in two weeks.  Well my daughter has had her 11th birthday.  We got our first fish for the salt water tank as her gift, a clown she named Nemo.  The 55 gallon aquarium has suffered 5 fish deaths in the last 10 days, three of them were rasbora that were just recently added to the tank, and the 30 gallon lost another snail.

Our gas boiler went out and leaked gas into the house for a couple of nights before we even realized it.  Friday and Saturday were not bad days and the coldest the house ever got was 63 degrees.  We realized it early Sunday morning and the plumber came out right away, but it wasn't fixed until nearly noon on Monday.  I ended up nauseous and dizzy all weekend and both boys complained of being sick this weekend.

I finished the last 2 books I own of the Horus Heresy series, The Primarchs being my last book.  At the moment that means there are 4 books left, Fear to Tread, Shadow of Treachery, Angel Exterminatus, and Betrayer.  Hope that is enough of a hint for those of you looking to get me a birthday gift next Thursday.

Well that about sums things up... wait... you want to know about Orktopia, Warhammer 40k, and wargaming don't you.  Well to be honest, there hasn't been much of any of it over the last two weeks.  I have been working on and off on some simplified rules I am intending to try out, as well as a little painting, but honestly I have spent more time watching movies and playing video games and feeling blah.  I did however grab my Chaos Space Marine Codex and start sorting and pointing out the army, I am at 5000 points without adding any special weapons or equipment.  Army is bigger than I thought.

Don't know what it is about March but I have never liked this month.

OK enough ranting and back to painting.  I want to get something done, just not sure what yet.

March 15, 2013

Late again

I missed my Thursday afternoon blog I know and I am sorry.  I sort of lost track of days since I did not have Wednesday off, and once I realized it I decided my news today would be important enough, at least in my opinion, to hold off a day on.  First I am off for the next 3 days so that is awesome.  The wife and kids are all elsewhere, so even more of a bonus since I can spend the weekend nekkid if I feel like it.  And finally, I got live critters in my salt water tank today.

My newest aquarium now houses 6 hermit crabs, which scattered the second they were released and are now hidden within the rocks.  I can tell from watching them I am going to have to work on the rocks a bit more though, maybe put a little pressure on them to get the bottom gravel a little more even.  I am unhappy with one of them, the shell is the same color as my substrate and he is curled up in it so he is invisible.

The fresh water tank has added visitors as well, a new school of 5 Rasboras has joined the 23 fish previously surviving in there, although one of the little buggers was well hidden for a bit, making me think he might have been eaten.  Lastly in the freshwater is a reticulated butterfly sucker fish, an awesome looking little algae eater that I had to rush to the store this morning to make sure I got her.

In gaming and building news I have finished gluing together the Dark Angels from Dark Vengeance.  I have taken a break from Orktopia itself for the last week, but I need to get some paint down soon.  I have been reading the Flying Lead rules and enjoying them, I think they will suit my side game purposes.

Well I am off to sleep for a couple hours before I start enjoying my weekend off.  See you next time

March 10, 2013

40K Assemble

Yesterday, I hung out with friends and played a little board game known as Carcassonne. Carcassonne is a game about discovery, each player on their turn lays down a map piece then decides if they would like to use that piece in an attempt to score points as the world expands.  The game went faster than most of our first time games, and there would easily have been enough time for a second game but everybody was too tired to want to play again.  So home by 10pm, took a short nap, then wandered off to work and did the 2 minutes worth of work I needed to, switching the mast clock over for daylight savings.

This left me plenty of time to come home and work on painting Orks and assembling buildings, which I did neither.  I became engrossed in the movie I had turned on, Equilibrium.  Christian Bale plays a highly skilled and motivated "Cleric" in a world that views feelings as a crime.  The movie has it's high and low points but has some excellent fight scenes, especially towards the end.  After this I went to read my latest Horus Heresy novel, The Primarchs.

I fell asleep around 6am, woke up around 8 and asleep back at 9.  After that I was woken up at 2:30 and tried my best to stay awake, failing several times while snotling watched Power Rangers Space.  Finally I went and began the install of a faucet at my landlord's basement bathroom, which will resume once I get the missing pieces, then o n to waiting less than patiently for The Walking Dead to start.  Another slow episode, but I enjoyed it just the same, and finally home for a short nap before waking up minutes ago, posting this message, then heading onto work.

Oh, I forgot to mention what I got done.  27 Necrons are assembled, 20 warriors, 5 Immortals, a Lord and the Annihilation Barge he came with, good thing too since it appears most of the HQ models are finecast, and I won't purchase any of that again.

I also took some time to assemble the Chaos half of the Dark Heresy box.  There are some finely crafter miniatures to add to my CSM army as well as 2 squads of Cultists and the Hellbrute, which is going to need a lot of modification IMHO.

I also went on a small spending spree, having been pointed towards a game called Flying Lead.  Ganesha games produces this small skirmish scale game along with several others, Fear and Faith, and Mutants and Death Ray Guns, which are the 3 I now own in PDF.  They look about what I was after and maybe need a slight tweaking to work, but I think for the Call of Duty style game experience I want, these will be a good starting point.

I suppose I hd better get to work now, I will be trying to assemble the rest of my Necrons and Dark Heresy forces tomorrow and will get pics up as soon as those feats are accomplished.  Goodbye for now.

March 07, 2013

Floors and Paint

Once again there is not a whole lot to report on the gaming front.  I spent the majority of the weekend and the week working on my new salt water aquarium when I wasn't reading or sleeping or working.  The last few days have been pretty ho-hum, haven't had a lot of motivation but have been able to force myself to clean.  As such my gaming room is almost organized after the remodeling caused by the latest devastation of Hurricane Logan.

The aquarium now just needs to sit and wait for a week.  I am letting the salt cycle and watching water levels to ensure the tank is not evaporating too swiftly.  It is a slow and boring process while I wait for the day I can add fish.  Everything looks stable and the stand settled from it's slight twist the second water started weighing it down.  I need to shim it up 1/4 inch on the south end, but that is because of the grade in the concrete work.

Now that the aquarium is set up and ready I was able to make some time for my Orktopia.  I did not get a whole lot done but I was able to prep a couple of areas that have been bugging me, namely the floors.  I grabbed a pencil and traced out the appearance of large stones into the foamboard floors I had cut to fit one of the boyz huts and the Loota shack.  I then cut out any areas that didn't fall into my rounded stone theory for the floors, leaving small cracks and holes that were once filled with who knows what.

After that I took all 3 of the finished floors and cut pieces out to place patches over.  I know in the case of the plate I didn't need to cut the floor beneath, but chose to anyway.  I added a card stock plate which I used the magic beads to "bolt" into place, a fiberglass mesh used in paper crafting, which on the Loota shack I glued and bolted with beads and on the boyz hut I glued then ran toothpick tips through, and finally a large space granny grating which was glued, then had card plates glued on, then finally had the card plates bolted through with beads.


As with my other metal patches, I am not 100% sold on these but I am not stuck with them and will make the most of it.  I have one more boyz hut which needs a roof and the bike shack.  After that I will be ready to start painting.  Oh, and magnets, everything still needs magnets.

Lastly on the list of projects started is the Kannon.  I needed to add paint to it so I could see if there was anything else I wanted to do to it.  I have paint and it looks a little lacking now, I am unsure if it needs more patches, more welds, or if it needs something else completely.  I will give it another look in the morning and hopefully have it fixed and finished by Sunday afternoon.


That's it for today folks, work is calling and I guess I better answer the call, but before I go Ruuk wanted to pose in front of the bike shack garage door.


March 04, 2013

Reporting nothing to report

So instead of having a ton of new pictures to show off whatever terrain I wasn't working on I spent the weekend being lazy.  I did not build any terrain, paint any miniatures, or fight any battles.  Instead I built the stand for my aquariums, then tore it apart and cut it in half, and reassembled it to house a single 75 gallon aquarium.

I washed the gravel that will cover the bottom of the aquarium, not once, not twice, but 4 times once I finally finished.  Even with all this washing and all the water I used to change the water multiple times, the tank is very cloudy.  I can see through it finally, but the inlet tube and power cord behind it are both blurry.  Part of this is the milky cloud that is my water and part is the residue that has stuck to the glass.

I am going to let it sit one more day, then I will wipe down the glass inside, and finally add the salt and get the tank circulating and adjusting.  I have a few weeks to go before I will add the first fish, and 2 large purchases left before that.  The tank is missing heat and lights at the moment, and a glass top to keep dog hair out.

In gaming news I have sat down and read Freebooter's Fate from cover to cover and can't wait to get a game going.  I need to get miniatures though, since other than a bunch of skaven and a few skeletons and D&D minis I have nothing fantasy, let alone Piratey.  The rules are interesting and I think and hope I will find the game enjoyable, but proxying 40k miniatures for pirates is going to have it's own share of complications.

Lastly, I finally have a clean garage again.  A week of lumber sitting in the middle of the floor along with the aquarium and it's equipment and everything else that I can not get placed meant I had to tiptoe around.  Thankfully that has been resolved and I now have room to work, paint and play once more.

That is all I have for now, Thursday I hope to have pictures of paint on buildings... no seriously...

February 28, 2013

Biker garage door: TUTORIAL ALERT

OK, it is Thursday morning and I am back on schedule, mostly.  The aquarium stand has not come together as I would have likes and I am now back to square one on the supporting frame.  But that is not what this morning's report is about.  Today I want to show you a garage door, nearly complete.

The garage door is assembled and working properly.  I am thinking I need to add a hinge in the middle since the door sags when it is open, but can not make up my mind yet.  If you are following along just to see what I am doing and have no cares for how to do it you may want to skip through to the bottom, but stop along the way to look at the pictures.


Here is what you will need to make your own Vertical Bi-fold hangar door.
  • Card stock: this is my material of choice for most of my metal like pieces.  You can find it for free or purchase it rather cheaply and it has a multitude of uses.  I grind it with my dremel, sand it with paper, burn it on the edges, and even wet it down to get a rusted ripping effect.
  • Toothpicks: I keep both round and square toothpicks on hand at all times.  The are nice and small, easy to work with and can always be cut in half and used as stakes or spears.
  • Floral wire: I find this to be a must for any Ork builder.  It comes in a variety of strengths and thicknesses, as well as being non-coated, plastic coated, thread coated, or even paper coated.
  • Tubing: Tubing is one of the few things I really have trouble getting ahold of.  I tend to buy it from Plastruct and don't keep enough on hand lately.  A cheaper way to get it is to buy electrical wire and pull the copper out, this would also give you material similar to non-coated floral wire.  I used 2 sizes of tubing here, one that the floral wire fits through and a second that the round toothpicks fit through.
  • Magnets: I fell in love with magnets for building, they are becoming more versatile for me every day.  In this case I found some strong cylinder magnets and semi weak flat magnet strip.
  • Beams: I used I beams pushed into the foam to make the guide rails on this project.  My tubing fits into it without any sticking so it worked perfectly. 
  • Tools and glues: scissor or tin snips preferably, it cuts the thick card stock better, knives, a small saw blade, files, and of course PVA and CA or super glue.



Hinges first, they took a while to get right and a lot longer to dry properly.  Cut 4 small even strips of the smaller tubing, and glue one to the squared section of a toothpick.  This will give you a little extra surface to glue to as well as help glue the piece to the garage door without gluing your hands.  I did this in pairs and there is a little trick that lines everything up if you leave a lot of the toothpick available.  Allow all 4 strips to dry to the toothpick, adding more glue to fill the gap between toothpick and tube, sand smooth again after dry.

While the hinges are drying, measure out the doorway you have to work with and then take off 1/16" from the width and 1/8" for the height, mark and cut out your card stock.  By cutting your door this tight you will have very little room for error, but it looks great if done right.  You will need to cut this door nearly in half, I went a little large on the bottom for no reason other than not having it perfect.  The split here needs to be straight across the door or it will fold wrong and fall out of the guides.

Right about now your tubing/toothpick should be usable.  make a tiny bend in one end of the floral wire and feed it through 2 of the tubes from the unbent end all the way down.  If you push the wire through like the picture above, the toothpicks become guides to make sure everything lines up.  Carefully glue the toothpick and tube to the card stock over the split between garage door halves.  Do this again for the second hinge and any other hinges you feel you need.  In the picture above, the garage door for the bikers is getting a mid door hinge.

That is all it took to make the door itself with a working hinge.  To finish the door you will need a pivot, I chose a tube large enough to fit a toothpick into it, shown on the right of the picture.  I placed a magnet behind it as a stop point for the toothpick and to help hold my door in the open position.  On the bottom, left in the picture, is my guide roller with another magnet, set to grab the top one.The roller doesn't roll but it still keeps the door in the groove and moving properly.

Play around with the amount of space on the pivot and roller.  The pivot has to be placed high enough that minis won't hit the finished door, but low enough that it won't buckle when opening.  This has a lot to do with the thickness of the materials used, here a tube of the same diameter as the pivot catch was used to space the catch.

For those interested I hope you find this helpful in making your own doors or similar projects.

TUTORIAL OVER

Here are some pictures of the almost and now completely finished garage door.  As I took the first couple of pictures I realized there is no window to see who is outside, and promptly fixed that.  First is the door closed followed by it open with the magnets holding it in place, there is enough weight on the door now that it slams shut rather roughly.


 Here is a close up of the door on the garage before adding the window and  after having added the window while the mesh dries in place.  I didn't need anything more than a peek hole for them
And finally the back of the door.  I will eventually make the back look a little better but getting the door working so I could carry on was the priority here.

One final picture and a thank you to Bugbait_nz on Terragenesis for showing off this innovative technique, The Orks have been welding repairs onto the kannon, and added a few patches.  The welds are just PVA glue put down thick and allowed to dry without touching them and the patches are card with liquid beads.  I need to get better at the liquid beads, which BTW are all over the garage door in case you were wondering.

Thats it for today everybody, time to get some sleep and prepare for work this evening.