Saturday, January 20, 2018

Save These Dates!

    The next two miniature gaming events for the Detroit Metro Area (if there are others in the next three months please advise in the comments) are Spartacon and Flintcon. I have gotten firm dates for both and intend to attend them, please make plans to do the same. These events are hosted by hard-working volunteers and are always fun.

SpartaCon Saturday, 20JAN18 9am-11pm Lansing Center, Lansing Mi. Long known as the "Weather Event" Convention this has been blessed by lovely weather for the last three years. Held in the spacious Lansing Center this has long been the best way to start the new wargaming year.

Flintcon  Saturday 3FEB18 9am-11:30pm Sy. Paul Luther Church and School402 S. Ballenger Hwy Flint MI 48532.  Website  and Facebook and email at

    Both of these events benefit from participation by the entire wargaming community, so please plan to attend and consider running a game, they don't run themselves.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gaming Update

     With the chaos of overtime, my birthday and Christmas piled into the next ten or so days I really would like to get a chance to game. Is anybody available around 1900hrs on the 15th, 16th or 17th?
Call or respond in the Comments section, also be ready with an idea of what you would like to play.....I am far too swamped to be creative. Assuming I can get stuff done around here there will be times open next week as well.

Glimpse of the future

the red trim over white plaster is striking on the model, on the real thing
 in the blazing tropical sunshine it must have been absolutely stunning

    When dealing with a long-drawn-out project I often find myself losing interest (my MOUNTAIN of semi-completed projects is a testament to that fact). The Castillo is approaching that point. To stave off the urge to just put the entire project on a shelf and walk away I decided to take a tiny portion of it and finish it. This gives me a view into the future and restores my hope. I grabbed the "small section" gateway and a wall section and tidied them up for a coat of paint. After the base coat had been applied I added the trademark Spanish red on white Bourbon colors, I may have gone a bit over the top on the gateway but it got my fires lit again

having painted it in the "as new" colors I find it too stark, for the finished model 
I am going to paint it with a light caramel color and then drybrush white over it

Details, details, details......

    Despite the rumors of my demise I battle on (working 152 hours out of the last 288 has prevented any work on the blog in the last 12 days, but I carry on!).. The Castillo has gotten to the point where there are a host of tiny details. This is slow work and less than enlightening as far as techniques go so I have not bored you with the routine but necessary work.
        As I come to new ideas or techniques I do try to highlight them and below you will find as much. In my endless quest to reduce the blueboard pile at my house I try to find ways to use it instead of other products. To this point I needed some 3/32" round dowels to use for the cable-molding on the Castillo, but I needed that doweling to be flexible enough to wrap around my corner towers which are about 1 1/4" in diameter, clearly the standard Birch wood is not up to the task; enter blue board! But It is Square! you exclaim in disbelief. Only to begin with, I reply.  Follow the madness below.

let us start with an unsuspecting 1/4" square bit of blueboard

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Really Amazing Stuff

     If you have ever watched television you have doubtless encountered some lad bellowing at you about the wondrous product he is selling (BTW why is it that they are all Aussies? Or is that just a USA thing?). Despite these strident urgings I normally resist the exhortation to run out and purchase their products. Happily OldSarge put me onto a product that actually performs as advertised; UV light activated glue, I had assumed that this was just another version of the always-disappointing superglue family. I was never more wrong! The glue consists of equal parts happiness, wonder and magical chemistry. At last we have something that performs all the amazing tasks that the nice fellow from Melbourne was screaming about on the television last night at 3a.m.

seriously, this is good stuff

     I found it at my local hardware store, and with OldSarge's ringing endorsement haunting my memory, I picked up a package. I have been trying this on every project that superglue has failed me on and it has performed admirably. The plastic resin does not dry out or stick your fingers together, it is only activated once the UV flashlight is shone on it, then it hardens in seconds. No shrinking. No fumes. No white fog forming on adjacent surfaces.  You DO have to be smart enough not to shine the UV light into your eyes. One caution; the glue is only activated by the UV  light so can only be used in applications where you can apply the light source. I am still exploring the uses of this marvel of modern science and suggest that you give it a go as well.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Entering the Modern Era

    Most people who know me personally are aware that I am a bit of a Luddite. I have  finally bowed to the advances of Modem Science and dispensed with mu "old-fashioned" land line for my telephone. Henceforth I will be using solely this new-fangled "cellular phone". If you don';t have my current number send me a email and request it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Year's End Book Recall

     Yes, you know who you are. Now bring back my books, you have had them for months and I would like them back. Don't make me name names (or worse yet, come to your house in the middle of the night). I am missing several valuable and hard to find books. Don't ruin things for everybody by not returning the books that you have borrowed.

Friday, November 24, 2017

R.U.P.'s new Rule set

     A while back R.U.P. showed up at my house with another of his lavishly appointed 15mm wargames. This one was an encounter between the Israelis and the P.L.O.  Everything was up to R.U.P.'s usual standard; lovely miniatures painted to a superb standard, Attractive terrain with a density of detail to rival a railway modeller's effort and a detailed scenario. One big change was the rules, instead of the tried and true Rock the Casbah rules from Lard Island we were to be the test subject of a new acquisition; Spectre Operations from Spectre Miniatures (who, by the way, produce some truly stunning minis, take a look at the website)

somewhere in the peaceful Lebanese countryside two infantry patrols are one the move,
 one each from the IDF and the PLO, both seek valuable intel (probably trying to hunt down the gamer that disgraced such a pretty table by leaving all those dice in the picture)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Katy, bar the window!

    Yes. it is a bad pun. If I was any good as a comedian I could hire people to build stuff for me, but things are such as they are. Having put hinges and handles on the doors it was now time to turn my attentions to window treatments, and I don't mean those gauzy shreds of fabric that interior designers like to hang around window frames. I mean the sort of thing that would keep an angry pirate safely outside your room; thick iron bars!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Another Great Resource

this is the Royal Aircraft Factory's SE1 of 1911
(yes, the front of it is to the left)

    This isn't connected to anything in particular, but is simply representative of some of the really cool stuff out there on the web. Blue Print Box has hundreds of blueprints of aircraft, vehicles and weapons. All ready to download and completely free!

Good Reasons for Attending Conventions

      One of the great things that happen at conventions is that you run into old friends. This happened to me when I attended Pro or Con. I ran into two old buddies of mine that time and circumstance had caused me to lose track of; Dave MacDonald and Kevin Davidson. I was happy to find them both well and gaming with all the energy and enthusiasm they had decades ago (Has it really been that long? OMG!). I had the pleasure of their company through two games of Pikeman's Lament and in side discussions found that Kevin has his own blog; Zhodani Commando, take a look, it is a treat for the eyes to say the least.