janewilliams20: (Default)
Yesterday was full of them!

Browsing the Lego site and online shop, I discovered that if you have the product code of any kit, the area for "there's a part missing" will list every part in that kit, with their code numbers. What's more, I discovered how much it costs to get a replacement part (nothing), how much they charge for postage (nothing), and how much proof they require that you really did buy a kit with a part missing (none). I'm going to assume they have mechanisms in place to stop this being abused, but I was impressed.

More browsing found me the "pick a brick" area, which was much more use once I'd figured out how to get those codes. Once you've found something vaguely like what you're after, you can look for the same thing in all colours, or everything else in that colour. Prices are usually a few pence per brick, and the postage is lower than most Ebay lego. OK, you can only get things that are currently being made (hardly surprising), so I won't get getting my Romans or Spartans here, but it's still an excellent service.

We'd decided to have a day out in Milton Keynes, and visit the Lego store there. They have a pick'n'mix wall that's potentially quite useful if the random assortment of items there matches what you want. They also have another area for making your own minifig - and on asking, no, it doesn't have to be one each of head, body, legs, headgear, accessory. The price for one minifig means five bits - any bits. If there's something you're after and can't find, they'll go and search the stockroom for you. So, my Lunar army is now fully equipped with red cloaks, the Vingans all have auburn hair, and there are scimitars and flagpoles, plus arrows and quivers for when I decide that Shooters would be a good idea.

T.G.I. Fridays for lunch. Starter was surprisingly delicious as well as virtuous, and something I may try to reproduce. Wedge Salad:
"Crisp iceberg wedge with Bleu cheese dressing, diced tomatoes, crispy bacon pieces and Bleu cheese crumbles", to quote their menu.
Mains: note for future reference, their ribs are wonderful! Loads of meat that falls off the bone.

On the way home, dropped into a farm shop I hadn't visited for ages: Summerhill, in Cardington. The plan was to investigate what they did in the way of turkeys, but we were picking up meat before we got that far. No, their list did not include a stuffed turkey leg, which is what we wanted: but they could do one, no problem. Discussion of number of people to be fed, and suitable sizes, followed. What we're after is four people, but more than just the turkey as a roast: beef and gammon as well. Did they do beef? The butcher started listed the breeds of cattle he could supply. I think I know where we're going for our Xmas meat - and from the look of what was there, also the veg.

I "need" to go back, anyway - if you have a recipe for sausage (who, me?) they'll give it a try, and if it works, you not only get a discount on buying some, you get some sort of claim to fame when it becomes a regular product. I'll have to look back to that sausage-making frenzy of a few years ago, it sounds as if some of my low-fat chicken ideas will be new to them.
After all that walking, today has consisted mostly of sitting down with my feet up, assembling and basing two Lego HOTT armies. There's a few minor details still to sort out, two of which are in the post from Ebay, but I very nearly have a Gloranthan matched pair ready to go.

janewilliams20: (Default)
I'm using a nice simple variant on Kallyr's Orlanthi this time: hero-general, paladin (in case the other side have a magician), two flyers, six warband. It copes with most things.
Last game today, my opponent came up with something I'm told is from Doctor Who, involving angels. I know nothing of the background, but this meant two lots of flyer, Aerial Hero, flyer, with one of those two being the general. A beast and a couple of lurkers completed the army, and the world was full of Bad Going.
So, only my fliers, hero general and paladin can make contact with the bulk of the enemy. Four units. The warband are effectively useless. Oh, joy.
I started moving four of the warband in the vague direction of the enemy stronghold, expecting them to get ambushed by an aerial group on the way (and an Aerial Hero will make short work of them). The other two stayed back to cover the flanks of general and paladin, and the fliers went off to try to break up the big aerial groups.
The fliers broke up the groups, and died. Down to only two elements who can contact the enemy, and they can't catch up with them... one AH hit my warband and took out the flank cover. Six points down...
But thanks to movement points, the warband made it through to the stronghold and mounted a convincing if underpowered attack. One lot of aerials turned back to intercept them, and stalled. Abandoning their warband escort, Kallyr and Elmandanti (sp?) Bluespruce charged the stalled aerial group that included their general - and won! I still needed to kill one more point than they had to win the battle, but they now had no general,and needed an extra pip for each movement. The warband abandoned the stronghold to back the Beast into the edge of the board and kill it, Kallyr moved in on the second aerial hero. Job done. 

janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Had my hair done - roots are no longer grey.
Picked up new glasses, and yay! I can haz close vision again!
Toddled around town centre getting useful exercise and establishing what WW goodies are on offer in the local cheap shops. Acquired some very cheap LED lights for potential modelling use, and some vacuum bags for packing the summer wardrobe away.
Went to Matalan, found that they no longer have a "plus size" clothes area, will therefore probably never go back there again.
Back to town centre, visited "Yours", acquired two new pairs of Jeans Wot Fit as sold by two happy and helpful ladies who wear the clothes sold in their own shop, and look good in them.
Blatted a pile of paperwork (recycle bin will not go hungry today).
Two loads of laundry.

Those armies?
The Zola Fel one has had the last details added to the stronghold (mooring lines for the Temple Barge, reeds at the water's edge), and had the final texturing added to all bases. I've found a box that all the figures will go in, I've found the river terrain, and all that's left is to finalise the army list.

Dragon-newts - painting complete, basing complete, just letting the basing compound dry before I add a bit of flock and some static grass. There was mild panic when I realised that the wonderful model I'd got for the Stronghold was rather larger than the maximum size for 40mm, but I've found a "spare" that will fit the theme rather nicely. I've got the base rocks for the Black Dragon done in a paint called "granite" that's a semi-metallic black, and I did some Mysterious Stones a while back in the same colour. I've got a box for the main army, and Dave's found me a way of transporting the Dragon as well.

Need to write up army lists, but I think we're there!
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Painting of Treebeard (an ancient Giant figure) to add to the Trees army isn't going too well. Maybe I should try dong it when I'm awake and thinking straight, but at the moment, the colours aren't giving the effect I want, the brush keeps slipping, and it just isn't working. I'm also looking at the detail of the figure, and wondering whether things like the boots are really a good idea. Maybe I'll abandon this one, and pick something different. Might even scratch-build a Tree, I've done that before.

Spiders of Mirkwood, as of this morning, have all the textured bases done and drying, including the tree armatures for the Lurkers . I'll add webs to them (black thread and varnish, I think), glue the spider models on the other bases, then go round dry-brushing and flocking where needed. 

The basing compound, as usual, I made myself. Wood glue mixed with old poster paint to get the colour (browny-black), then mixed with a lot of No More Cracks (polyfilla equivalent). Got all the bases covered, wondered what I could usefully do with the spare, then realised I hadn't even started thinking about the stronghold. The remaining basing compound would become unusable in a few minutes.... this is a hordes-based army... grabbed the stronghold from the Chess army for a quick size check, compared with the Very Useful Box I'd planned on using for the army as a whole, and cut out a bit more of the mounting board I'd used to make the bases, a centimetre under the perfect Hordes stronghold (which leaves deployment space for 1 rank in front of itself, and means future recycled Hordes start as far forward as possible), A few ready-made trees came from the Stash, super-glued on to the base, and the remaining basing compound just covered it nicely.  Visiting it later, though, I see I've run into a repeat of an old problem with strongholds - the card warped under the slight dampness of the basing compound :(  At least I'd caught it before it dried, and I've clamped a plastic ruler over the top and down onto a bit of wood. It'll dry flat, though whether it also dries with a plastic ruler irretrievably stuck to the scenery remains to be seen. I may have to prune the trees a bit to get the stronghold into the required box, too.

janewilliams20: (Default)
It's all progress, but this is multi-tasking and then some. I'm trying to make sure I do at least a little bit of some sort of crafting every day - it's good for me, quite apart from things "needing" to be done. The easiest way to arrange that is to spend perhaps half an hour in the craft room (upstairs) before coming down for breakfast. Getting up and down stairs is still hard work and needs at least one hand free, so carrying things is something to plan.
Assembling and painting wargames figures is always "do a bit, wait for it to dry", and so is card-making to some extent. So I tend to do the next step on one project, and then leave it till the next day to do the step after that.

On the go at the moment:
Read more... )
Possible jobs now downstairs:
Do the skirt pocket
Make bean pickle
Do filing etc. on Dragonnewts
Research for Dragon 2 assembly
Edit: found a YouTube video that shows exactly what I need. 11 minutes in is the fitting of the saddle.
Read more... )
Bit of time on the Wii Fit now we have batteries for it.
janewilliams20: (Default)
Yes, the review last Monday did say I no longer need the Cyberleg (though I get to take it home, just in case I find I still need the support from time to time). So I went out of there still on crutches (it's a long walk), but with real shoes, and the ankle being asked to do strange things, like bend.
Since then I've been finding out where the new limits are, and being rather disappointed. Getting up and down the stairs still requires a hand-rail (though going up, I can sometimes manage to do it "properly" rather than one step at a time and making the good leg do all the work). I do get to go down forwards rather than backwards, since the foot fits on a step.
If we're out, I carry a folding stick in my bag, and try not to use it, but the distance I can walk hasn't changed much.
I tried driving. I can push the clutch down - once, and only just. 

The fracture clinic said I'd need physio - yes, they seem to be right. They suggested the department there, I asked if it could be at my local health centre instead, they said fine, we'll write to your GP. So a few days later (allow a reasonable time for snail mail), we dropped into said health centre to see how that was going.
No, they hadn't had a letter. But it seems any such letter would have to go from GP to Bedford Hospital, since that's the local centre for organising physio, and from there to the physio department in the health centre, and when it gets to them, I can join the six-week waiting list. A bit of nice people phoning around for me - Bedford don't yet have me on the system.
I can also "self-refer", it seems. Here, fill in this form, and post it back to us... no, better idea, lend me a pen (scribble, scribble) - here, have a form.
Also, after discussion, I'll be phoning Axa/PPP on Monday. I'm covered for up to 10 sessions of physio a year, and there, waiting time is more likely to be in days.

In other health-related news, I got back on the scales, now I'm no longer weighing a cyberleg as well.
Better get back on the WW Plan, then, with rather more points than I had last time. And get back to getting some exercise... I just need to find some aerobic exercise that doesn't involve much use of the ankle. Could be tricky. Yes, it needs exercise, but the limits of the ankle stop a long way short of me getting out of breath.

Yes, I'm still doing crafty things - painting of armies continues, slowly. I have more water lurkers, and soon the Temple Barge on the Zola Fel will have a tent to cover the "well" in the middle (due to the well not existing, and me not wanting to cut a big hole in a resin boat). That'll be the Stronghold done, once it's mounted, and decorated. Then I need to sort out the Watchdog of Corflu, and that's probably going to be a scratch-build - ooerr! Once that's sorted, I finish all the bases in one go, so they match.

And then, on to the 10mm Dragon-newts - only I keep getting tempted by them, and their Water Lurker is already complete. They're going to be hard - the riders need adapting, as at present they're some sort of horse archer figures, and need the bows chopping off and replacing by klanths. The Inhuman King (going to be a God) is a multi-part figure that I'm not quite sure how to assemble. The Dragon I want I have yet to acquire from Ebay, but it's going to be fun, for a 10mm army. It's a Warhammer figure (stop shuddering in horror), and comes on an amazingly small base. Intended as 28mm, so in 10mm, this is going to be a suitably impressive size. "Warhammer Fantasy Armies Dark Elves Dreadlord on black dragon" is what I'm after, and I'm hoping to get a ready-assembled one. We've got the Stronghold - a tourist shop in Devon sold me a rather nice dragon skull resin box for a tenner.

janewilliams20: (Default)
I'm making armies again, preparing for an event in the autumn, and currently working on the last bits of the Denizens of the Zola Fel in 40mm frontage, 10mm scale figures. The next part is the Temple Barge, to be the Stronghold - a large boat, moored at the side of the river.

So I start with a clear acrylic coaster intended for mounting embroidery (I no longer do that sort of embroidery, but I've got all the bits).

In the space for embroidery, I put some of my nice textured hand-made paper from the card-making stash - that looks like the river bottom, and has a layer of thick clear acrylic over it to represent the water. The paper isn't quite flat, so we have some undulations on the river bed.
Above that, where the coffee-cup would normally go, I cut out some cork tile from a completely different project to be riverbank - the thickness of the tile is just about perfect for the height of the bank, and the cork visible looks about right for the soil there with no extra work needed. A waterline model boat (intended as a 25mm canoe for two, but in this smaller scale, a large ship) also sits where the mug would go, on the "water". I've painted the top of the cork in sand, and will push in some plastic model palm trees, glue on some fine gravel/sand from the garden and add a few spare figures. Well, when I say spare figures... there's some giant dragonflies going in. They're from the bead-working stash (little silver charms). They're on flying stands made from dressmaking pins. So that's four different unrelated crafts providing bits for my wargaming here, plus DIY scraps.

While that's drying, I get my Water Elemental models and give them their first coat of paint. I get their bases, glue the same textured paper to that, and then a layer of clear plastic that came as part of the packaging from a cutting die. I'll be sealing the edges with clear varnish, I think, to be sure it all stays together. 

There will be pictures later, yes.

Next after that is the Watchdog of Corflu, and I think I may have to scratch-build it - or perhaps find a suitable cheap plastic toy and take a knife to it. There's a car boot fair down the road. I wonder if my leg is up to it?
janewilliams20: (Default)
It's a lovely spring day, so we went round the car-boot (with breakfast out as a treat - bacon & egg butty with added onions, yum!)
Dave has a lot of plastic kits to build (all right, to add to the pile of kits he'll build someday, honest), and I have this.

Undead stronghold front

I'm not sure what it's meant to be. The top comes off to reveal a plastic liner, so it can be used to store things. To my mind it's obviously the stronghold for an Undead army.

On the way out, passing the pond, we saw movement - not just the ordinary ducks and ooh-cute-fluffball ducklings, but greylag geese, and goslings! I'm not sure I've seen a family like that before. They were swimming away from us, and then very determinedly climbing the bank towards all those exciting cars and people. Toddlers! What's the most dangerous thing in the vicinity? That's where we'll head, then...

Car boot goslings

janewilliams20: (Default)
 On the assumption that I am in fact going to get there, Id' better start planning what I'm going to run, and therefore what I'm going to write. I'm stuck at home for a bit, this is a good time to try to get at least some prep done. So, O fellow Continuum-goers, here are the possible things I could do some work on. Yes, all are Gloranthan.

1) The Great Duck Point Boat Race. I've run it before, I had requests last time to run it again. I could do it straight out of the bag, but I'd like to get the rules written up better, some sample boats and crews written up ready to go, and a few more "enemy" models painted up. I'm considering providing models rather than cards with numbers on for the player boats, too, but this may cause bias towards the sample boats rather than those created by the players.
Dragon boat as "normally" used for the Boat Race, with duck crew (several)
Mostali hovercraft
any other ideas?

edit: much more detailed description of the game in the comments

2) "In Pavis Fair City" - a HQ 1.5 lite scenario I've got half-written. Detective work in Pavis, involving free beer (for PCs, not players, sorry)

3) Miniatures gaming - HOTT. I'd supply the armies, the 3*3 playing areas, a simplified writeup of the rules, and scenarios for each army to fight each other army. Games last about an hour. Each scenario would score runes (Storm, Moon, etc.)  to add up to a total at the end. Given enough participants, we could probably end up with a Big Battle if we wanted to. Ideally, though, I'd need help from another experienced HOTT player to help run this.

4) In keeping with the "end of everything" theme, a scenario for which I currently have only vague ideas, set in the fall of Whitewall. I already intend to run the Swords campaign through this from the Orlanthi point of view, this would be done from the Lunar side. The final major magical attack is underway, and somehow, the Orlanthi are resisting. Your job is to get inside and sabotage whatever and whoever is organising those unexpected defences (getting out again alive, as the city collapses around you, is optional).

5) Since I'm hosting the Storytelling, I'd better come up with a story. Anyone got any prompts for me, or suggested themes? Things you'd like to hear more of, older stories you'd like to hear again?

janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Undercoat. I've just started trying Tamiya X-21 "flat base", and been delighted with the results. It goes on as a pale browny-grey, but dries to a thin powder-white, giving a great  painting surface and not masking detail at all.
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Tudor Arms, HOTT annual competition, for those who are looking blank. Wargaming.

Richard has shown us pics of his rather lovely new Wolf Pirates. They're going to need an opponent, so I'd better adapt Kallyr's army to be a 1630 version, ready to (fail to) defend Boldhome. Also so that his army and mine aren't too much the same troop types - he's also hero general plus paladin and a lot of warbands. I differ in having flyers,and my paladin is a new addition in any case: I'll happily drop him when not facing magicians. So I take a quick look at who Kallyr had as allies at this period, and note that in 1625 at least, she had Telmori, and Argrath White Bull. I've got a half-painted Kostajor Wolf Champion base anyway, that woold give me an extra Hero, or I could do AWB - maybe as a Magician? Some sort of Praxian... I've got a couple of spare Bison Riders somewhere?

I also need Boldhome as a stronghold. This is going to be tricky. I'm not short of reference material, "Home of the Bold" has detailed maps and descriptions. My problem is a city in a mountain valley, and scale. I may try to use layers of cork tile to do a contour map of the area, and then dress that up a bit: put in the final cliff and Eastern Wall, with winding road up to the gate. Evenif I use the idea of having only a strnghold-sized area on-table and the rest behind, though, it's going to be BIG, especially front to back., I may have to do fore-shortening tricks..

Under the circumstances, it would be completely silly to try to produce a complete new 25mm "classic fantasy" (as per theme) army as well, wouldn't it? So how come I'm watching Ebay for bids, and what are all those bases and figures doing all over the painting table?
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Or so I hope.
Sitting in the pile of rubbish to be removed from our new office was a green carpet tile: short tough pile in a sort of varigated green. It looked vaguely suitable for cutting into hills or something, so I pulled it out of the heap, and measured it: 18" by 20", or thereabouts. A odd sort of size, and not big enough to add to my 24" by 24" collection. But 18" by18", four times, would give me a 36" by 36" playing area, for 60mm frontage... were there any more, I wondered? A nice friendly colleague who'd been building the heap of Things To Be Disposed Of went to look. Yes - three more. All slightly different sizes, but the minimum was 18" across. That'll do nicely!

When I get this lot home, there will be carpet-cutting. Also probable attachment of velcro to the edges, so they can be fitted together for use. I'm not sure if it'll be stiff enough to be self-supporting on a table less than 36" across, nor sure what I'll do about it if it isn't.
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Yes, it's that time of year again when I head off to the Tudor Arms near Slimbridge for a weekend's wargaming. Very good pub including accomodation, BTW, well worth using. Real ales, real ciders, real perrys, good food.
As usual, I drove down Friday, had a pleasant evening in the bar with friends, and will be home Sunday night.
wargaming bits under here )
janewilliams20: (Default)
And it got quite a lot packed in, too.
Knitting and wargaming, but not together )
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Well, actually, a box of things I paid quite a lot on Ebay for, but since I was buying several lots, the seller threw in a few little extras. Like some personality figures, and a complete extra army....

Pictures will come later, but I now have more pro-painted 25mm Lunars than I know what to do with, some Telmori, woad-clad berserkers, a bunch of centaurs who may go and help the Ducks defend Beast Valley, and a Chaos Zombie Mammoth. The extra army is plastic rather than lead, but still pro-painted. Spears, swords, bows - they look a bit too civilised to be Orlanthi, but we'll see.
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
OK, now the competition is over, I can come clean about that mysterious BUA I've been twittering on about in a cryptic manner. It was the Old Wind Temple. And I won.
Read more... )
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
So no post describing last weekend, which is a shame, because I had a great time and there were lots of interesting things. Maybe later.
edit: they say a picture is worth a thousand words: have some pictures. flickr photo-set

This coming weekend is Berkeley: the two-day HOTT competition. I'm driving down Friday night, staying in the Tudor Arms at Slimbridge where the competition's held. And, this time, Dave is coming too: not to wargame, but to birdwatch. Mmm. Hugs. Nice.

But, while I'm using existing armies, I took up the Best Built Up Area challenge, and I'm still working on the *&&*%*% thing. Last night Dave and I explored the problems of the sound effects, and decided that with an MP3 player as input, I simply had to have powered speakers, or I had no hope. And we found some! Modifying the base to fit them in required some woodworking (thanks, Dave), and makes the whole thing rather larger than I'd intended. Also gives it vertical sides :( I did the major part of the building last night, including soundproofing so the motor isn't louder than the sound effects, (went to bed at 3am with fingers covered in glue), and will do the fiddly bits and the bulk of texturing the base tonight. Then I can slap on a second layer of texture Friday morning over breakfast, and take the flock and paint with me to finish at the pub Friday evening.

Me, leave things to the last minute? Who, me?
janewilliams20: (Default)
Given a 4mm brass rod being used as an axle, and "bearings" consisting of a 4.5mm hole in some wood, how does one improve this, i.e. decrease the friction somewhat? Well, some metal tube with an internal diameter a little more than 4mm would be nice. But failing that.... drinking straws! They're just the right size. I haven't made the experiment yet, but it's got to be an improvement, and 50p gets me a pack of... well, loads.

I may have to build some surrealistic scenery out of blue plastic drinking straws as well, just because.
janewilliams20: (Default)
It's been years, but it looks like my basic mechanical/electrical design skills have not completely deserted me.

Read more... )
janewilliams20: (Default)
I'm working on a design for a Built Up Area for Berkeley, to go with my Orlanthi. I won't go into details here (spies are everywhere!), but of course it's going to have sound effects and be animated.
how I'm doing it, why I'm baffled and frustrated, why I hate Apple )


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