Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Too Tired for Words

Am I the only one who does this?

Since I've been "promoted" to the chair of my department, its been a non-stop administrative ride. I compare it to those colored pencils that the girls in grade school used to have. There were several lead points in them of different colors. You pulled one out and stuck into the back end, and a new lead of a different color popped out at the front end. That is how I feel about my job. I get one task just finished and another task pops out. Between that, and home life, I get very little time to work on my gaming stuff. However, I spend a lot of time dwelling on gaming. For example, I spent most of today's long faculty meeting daydreaming about finishing another building I've been working on.

Yet, when I can devote my time to my projects, I don't! My golden opportunity arises, and I pass it up.

To make things short, I long to do something when I can't, but when I do have the time, I don't.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thor's Thumbprints

I quickly made this little viking longship for my daughter. Most of it is out of polymer clay, with the yard out of a copper wire and the sail out of paper. I still have to paint it, and I will probably glue some thread on as rigging. Note the large fingerprints...clearly fashioned by the Norse gods!

Sticky Turrets

GHQ's micro armor is great, but the one annoying thing about them is the pin that holds the turret to the body of the tank. They are tiny nubbins. The slightest bump on the battlefield and they fall off:

Chinese Type 63 Light Tank (GHQ RC3)

There have been a number of posts on various sites including GHQ's rare earth magnets have replaced the tiny posts. So, I thought I'd give it a try.

I used rare earth magnets from K&J Magnetics. I use these to mount my aircraft. They have a huge variety to choose from and have very good service.

I sniped off the post and then tried to drill the hole. At first I used my old trusty pin vise, but the drill bit was too large for it, so I ended up buying a whopper of a pin vise. This thing could do some serious hurt'n in the wrong hands!

I drilled a hole in the turret and then widened and deepened the hole on the body of the tank:

You need to make sure its deep enough especially on the turret so that the magnet is at least flush with the bottom of the turret, otherwise the turret will sit at an odd angle on the body. I then glued the magnets in. Make sure the polarities are opposite.

As you can see, the magnet in the turret is a little off center. But, it seems to sit OK on the body, and nothing looks odd when you turn the turret.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Flight Stands for 1/600 Aircraft

I recently decided to conduct all of my air battles for the Gambusian Campaign using 1/600 aircraft. There are only two manufacturers out there, but they are really covering a lot of modern aircraft. After experimenting with different ways of mounting them on stands, I came across one that I think will work well using LEGOs. I sort of thought about this method awhile ago, but then came across a thread on TMP where a person explained his technique. Below is what I ended up using:

I ordered from the LEGO "pick-a-brick" online shop where you can order individual pieces (A-C). For the posts, I use clear cylindrical LEGO bricks (B & C). One brick has a rare earth magnet stuck in that happened to be the same diameter as the hole at the top of the cylinder (C). This brick is to hold the airplane to the stand. To glue in the magnet, I tried superglue formulated for car windows, but it frosted up the brick the same way normal superglue does. I ended up using a while glue that claimed to dry clear. It did. The airplane also has a rare earth magnet on it that I glued on using superglue (D). Make sure you roughen the spot on the airplane where you are to glue down the magnet. It helps hold it a lot. The base of the stand (A) is a parabolic disk that you can get from LEGO. There are different sizes, the larger size works the best. The result looks like this:

The cylinders come in several different colors and in a transparent blue as well. They can pop on and off fairly easily if you play a game were changes in altitude is necessary. I think the base I use is large enough to accomodate larger planes like bomber. !/600 scale aircraft are not all that heavy! I need to order more bricks and bases and figure out what to use to make air-to-air missiles that are flying to their target.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Update & Work in Progress

I've been swamped this semester, more so now that I am the chair of my department. Its not like I've had much time in the past, now it seems like time is in the negative territory! Plus, there seems to be plenty of family activities that are going on...not that I am complaining about those! On the up side, I recently saw two journal articles in print. This is what little I've done lately:

1. I've started working on my 1/600 aircraft for my Chalupastan campaign. I only painted a few of them for the battle I had this summer with Karl and my nephew. I am also mounting them on bases using LEGO pieces. This was something I had thought of, but someone else put into action on the I hope to take some pictures soon.

2. The plans for the Ziewback Motel are coming along very slowly. Once I decide what the back side that you don't see looks like, I will print it out on cardstock and then proceed.

3. I've been experimenting with mounting the turrets of some of my microarmor with small rare earth magnets. The problem with GHQ microarmor, especially their modern stuff, it they have the tiniest of nubbins to hold the turret onto the body. Again, posts on the suggested using tiny rare earth magnets. The problem has been how to mount the magnet. I have routed out the hole on the body and cut off the nubbin on the turret and made a hole for the other magnet. Unfortunately, the pinvise that I have can't acomodate the size of the drill bit. I couldn't drill a deep enough hole into the turret. When I glued in the magnets, they stuck out too much and look funny. I am waiting on a order for a larger pinvise to drill a bigger hole.

4. I joined an online battle using some rules called Combat Storm. If I can't game with anyone around here, I might as well on the internet. The problem is that I don't have time to go and check the website to play. They started yesterday, and I've only had the chance to check in this afternoon. I hope I don't have to back out of it, but I would feel bad if I held up the game.