Thursday, September 22, 2016

Quick Pine Trees

In case you haven't figured it out, I like to scratch build things. I try my best not to buy pre-made stuff. OK, I haven't gotten to the point where I make my own flocking, but don't think I haven't thought about it! Even when I know that there will a lot less aggravation and work just to buy something, I still go do the path of most resistance.

Recently, however, I succumbed to  "cheating." I was at Michael's craft store, which is starting to put up all of their Christmas craft items. As I passed down an aisle, there was a display of tiny Christmas trees:


The size looked like it would fit 1/300, so I thought why not and bought two packages.

Last night, I forced myself to work on them (more on the "force" part later). This is what they look like straight out of the package:


There were in various states of squishiness, and many had long strands of branches sticking out in random places. Additionally, there were the bases that were cut wooden dowels. Fortunately, the trees were not glued in and could be easily removed. I popped off the bases and mounted them on a penny using epoxy putty:


Once the putty dried, I trimmed the odd branches. They actually don't look that bad as is, but I went ahead and painted the branches a pine green using craft paint. I then painted and flocked the base:


I decided not to flock the branches. I figured at that size, it would obscure them.

I won't be using them for my Gambusia campaign, but I have some ideas for some WW2 micro armor games where they could come in handy.



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WARNING! If you are in a good mood and don't really want to hear about someone else's crap, read no further. 

So, why did I have to force myself to do engage in this little project? The past September, I've been in a major funk, low spot, dare I say depression. A big part of it is, is that I feel I have absolutely no control over my life both at home and at work. I don't want to go into the home life details, but I will with my work.  I used to be able to call my work a career, now it's just a paycheck. I promised myself a long time ago that I would not end up like my father, career-wise, but now it's feeling like I have. Yes, I am fully aware that I should be happy that I am employed, but I am starting to wonder why I wasted so many years in school (two bachelor's degrees, and master's, and a Ph.D.). It has even bled over to my hobby. Wargaming and miniatures have been a big part of my life since the 1970s. It got me through high school and has been my place to go for at least a few hours when things were tough. At the end of August, I sat in my chair at my workbench and really wondered what is the point of this? It seems like I will never get this campaign off the ground. BTW, I am feeling the same way about my research. Between that, and just being very tired at the end of the day all of the time, I just have had no desire to do anything. Last night was the first time I visited my workbench since the end of August. Last night, I just forced myself to work on these trees. I felt that here is one more thing that I bought and if I don't do anything with them now, they will just sit in a box somewhere. Fatigue be damned, I dragged my ass to my bench and started working on them. It was good therapy. No miracle happened, but at least its a start.