28 September 2008

There's not much to talk about today. I fiddled around with a couple of Lord of the Rings figures but didn't really get anything done hobby-wise aside from reading most of the latest issue of White Dwarf. I found a really nice airbrush compressor at a good price and fortunately got outbid on the airbrush I want to get, because it went for a whole lot more than I wanted to pay and I found a supplier for the same model at a lower price than my maximum bid had been. So that worked out pretty well. I also found a few sites with some beginner exercises so I can figure out how to use the darn thing once I get it. I'll have to look into building a spray booth, because commercial spray booths are way expensive, especially considering that they're essentially boxes with a ventilation hood on them. Hobbytown has a little turntable thing for airbrushing, but I think a larger version of the same thing could be scratchbuilt for a lot less than they're asking. I'm still trying to finalize a color scheme for my Space Marines. The half-squad I did before look fairly decent so I may stick with the green and brown look, probably with markings taken from American WWII armor.

24 September 2008

I've been meaning to post for a while, but it always gets to be too late and I wind up going to bed before I get around to it. Even after a month of working at this new job I'm having a hard time getting used to the new schedule.

I got part of one of my Assault on Black Reach sets cleaned up and put together. I wasn't happy with the gesso priming experiment, so I went to Wal-Mart and got some primer there as some folks on TMP swear by the Rust-Oleum stuff. I'm not too happy with the results of that, either. I'll be able to paint over it fine, but it doesn't look very good and there are cracks on many of the seams. So far the best primer I've used has been the Games Workshop stuff, but there's always the chance that I'll get a bad batch or spray when the conditions are wrong and mess up some figs. I think what I'll have to do is get a bunch of figures ready and prime a sample batch, then immediately prime everything I can get my hands on. Part of my holdup currently is that I've got a bunch of figures ready to go, but I don't have anything to prime them with.

Hobbytown had their big 10% off customer appreciation sale last weekend, so I went to see what I could see. They were sold out of Assault on Black Reach sets, so I wound up getting a couple of opposing units for my Ork and Space Marine armies. The Space Marines get a Predator, which was purchased mostly because it loosely resembles a Bradley CFV. I know I have professed a dislike for vehicle in a Space Marine force, but they've grown on me recently. The Orks got a unit of Tankbustas, so the Ork army won't be entirely helpless against the Predator. I'm looking forward to the release of the new Space Marine Codex. I've also been eyeing some of the Forge World Dreadnoughts; I can't afford most of the stuff that Forge World sells, but one of their Dreadnought variants would be a pretty neat thing to have in an army.

My wife and I were actually discussing the Forge World the other day. I mentioned that someday I'd like to be rich enough to afford a Mars Pattern Reaver Titan ($1021.15 at today's exchange rate) and she told me that if she dies and I get the insurance money she'd be okay with me spending part of it on a Titan. Then we wondered if the Titan was indeed large enough that I could hollow it out and use it to hold her cremated remains. An odd conversation, but rather humorous if you're a geek and his loving wife. I imagine somewhere in her mind she knows that if she were interred in a giant miniature I would be more inclined to visit her final resting place than if she were buried in a more traditional manner.

With these Warhammer 40k vehicles and my budding WWII project I have been thinking about the benefits of painting my vehicles with an airbrush. I think it would save a lot of time as well as aid in painting the large flat panels more smoothly than would be possible with a brush. I've been looking into it. A quality airbrush and compressor will be a bit spendy up front, but it will probably be worth it for painting larger models. I know there are even some people who paint WWII German camouflage on Micro Armour with airbrushes. On that subject, I highly recommend logging onto the GHQ miniatures forum and checking out the "Show Us Yer Stuff!" thread. Some of the photos on the early pages are broken, but it's definitely worth browsing through to see the amount of detail good painters can get onto a vehicle the size of your fingernail.

I've got over 800 miles logged on the motorcycle and am becoming more comfortable and having a bit more fun riding it. I'm still trying to be responsible and keep the speeds approximately legal. I have to admit it is rather satisfying having a greater power:weight ratio and a much smaller profile than any four-wheeled driver out there. The commute is a breeze when I can get around in traffic so easily. It's getting cold so I may have to start looking at heated gear so I can ride as much as possible into the winter and then start early next year. We save over $125 in gas for every month that I ride instead of drive, so it makes sense to ride as much as weather and road conditions allow.

15 September 2008

I got a $10 coupon in the mail from Hobbytown, so I went out and bought a second box of Assault on Black Reach. Then I put the rulebooks and templates up on eBay. They sold pretty quickly and after shipping costs I'll have about $15 and a $5 coupon to put toward another set. Then I'll just need a couple of special units for each side and I'll have complete 1500-point Space Marine and Ork armies. Not a bad deal, really, especially with the emphasis on standard Troop choices in the 5th-edition rules.

My little brother and I went to the Gunfighter Skies 2008 air show on Mountain Home Air Force Base this past Saturday. Plenty of interesting planes to look at, and they also had a Bradley IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) there so I got to show him essentially what the vehicle I gun on looks like. The main difference between the IFV and the CFV (Cavalry Fighting Vehicle) is that the IFV has more seating in the back and the CFV has missile racks in place of some of the seats. There were some good demonstrations of several current fighter planes, the most comprehensive covered the capabilities of the F-18. We also got to see a P-51 in flight as well as an F-4 Phantom and a whole bunch of F-15s, which pretty much made my day.

I suffered a couple of crushing defeats in Fantasy Football this week as well as a couple of victories. Most importantly I pulled out another win in the office league, making me one of two owners to be undefeated thus far. It's important both for bragging right and because the league has a traveling trophy and prizes for the owners who finish in 1st and 2nd place.

08 September 2008

Not much to talk about at the moment. I don't really ever get around to doing much on National Guard weekends as I spend a couple of days doing whatever the mission is for the weekend and by the time I get home on Sunday all I want to do is take a nap. This weekend my allergies hit me pretty hard on Sunday morning and I was pretty much incapacitated for the rest of the day and didn't sleep very well last night. I'm glad today was an off-day at my job because I don't know that I would've made it in this morning. I had to do a urinalysis Sunday afternoon before I could leave and I just could not pee. I drank enough water that my stomach actually began to hurt and finally was able to get the job done, but it was pretty ridiculous. I think the allergy pills I took were a factor.

We drove our Humvees from the desert back to the armory on Sunday, and on the way home we passed a big motorcycle club out on a Sunday ride. Almost every biker extended a wave or a thumbs-up to us, as did many individuals in other vehicles throughout the trip. It's one of those things that makes a guy feel good about wearing the uniform.

I got my Assault on Black Reach set for 40k, but haven't had much time to look through the components thus far. There are certainly plenty of models on the sprues. They don't really come with a lot of the optional bits, but I can't really complain much as the price point is so low.

My Fantasy Baseball season has taken a bad turn. I failed to realize that the playoffs started last week and didn't manage either of my head-to-head teams very well until it was too late in the week to play catch-up. I wound up losing both games and falling to the fifth-place games in both weeks. So hopefully I can at least salvage a couple of fifth-place finishes this week. My roto team that was in first place when I left for guard weekend was in third place when I got back. I'll be working on getting those points back so I can hopefully pull off one championship this year. My other roto team has fallen pretty far back in the standings and I'll be pretty lucky if I can get it into even a third-place trophy.

And the Fantasy Football season started on Thursday. After the two games tonight we'll see how I did. I feel all right about my teams, but Fantasy Football is so hit or miss from week to week that it's hard to know how you'll do. Luckily the big Tom Brady injury only negatively affected one of my teams, as for the most part Patriots players were too overpriced in drafts for me to grab them.

01 September 2008

Not a very productive weekend, as my sister went into labor Saturday night and had her baby Sunday morning. We spent a good portion of the weekend going back and forth to see the kid and interact a bit with the family. My wife made a blanket and a nice framed poem/picture as gifts.

Saturday night we had dinner with the family of a gal my wife works with. We've had dinner with them a couple of times now; the husband is a gamer nerd but due to the fact that neither of us is very social we don't really get much talking in. I lent him my 4th Edition D & D books as he hasn't had a chance to look through them yet. Today I finally had my brother-in-law over to play Madden 09. We managed to get two games in. The first game was pretty close; I ran a kickoff back for a touchdown in overtime to win it. The second game wasn't as close; as I got ahead early and he had some bad luck in the passing game as well as some random penalties.

I get to go play army next weekend, so I probably won't be doing much hobby-related stuff for a while. I'll miss out on getting the Assault on Black Reach set on release day as it comes out on Saturday, by which time I'll be out in the Idaho desert somewhere.

I guess that's all the news I've got. Not exceptionally exciting to read about, I imagine, but at least it's an update.