Friday, April 25, 2008

Free comics!

I’m off next week so I probably won’t be posting much. My home system doesn’t seem to work well with blogger. For those who need to know though, Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 3. Try and pop by your local comic book store and see what they have.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Adeptus Titanicus

I finally picked up some styrene rods at Gooch’s last week. I picked up two sets – 1/8 (3.2mm) and 3/16 (4.8mm). This is so that I can put one inside the other to achieve a piston look.
I already have patterns from and I have styrene. I’ll start with a Warhound or two, and maybe work up to a Reaver.
The old titan rules can be found at the Games Workshop site so they are ripe for upscaling into 40K scale now that there are rules for them in Apocalypse battles.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Aliens – Aliens clix – Aliens swarm

I had finally gotten a copy of the Aliens board game a few years ago from ebay. I still need to get the expansion set. I’ve been looking to upsize it to either 25mm or even 1:35 size. The one holdback has been finding the right figures. The old Leading Edge figures are too hard to find on ebay and I don’t have nearly enough already.

I did pick up some 1:35 figures to mess with when we were doing the 1:32 Car Wars. One can also get garage models of the Marines online but they are a bit spendy in the numbers that I am looking at.

I had also picked up the Aliens VS Predator Horrorclix sets but hadn’t found a really good substitute for the marine in that scale. The Halo Marine figures come close as do the Horrorclix Corp Response but I would have to chase down a bunch of them to make up the full squad.
I finally got a bunch of the Aliens Swarm figures. They seem to be in army men scale or roughly 1:35 scale. I have to see how easy they are to paint – how well the paint sticks to the plastic. I’m only missing a Drake and a Hudson but do have a few extra marines.

Lately I’ve been looking at the McFarlane Aliens VS Predator figures with the thought of upscaling the Horrorclix sets to action figure scale. The figures are roughly 1:12 but they should fit on 4”x4” adequately instead of the 6”x6” or 9”x9” squares that the scale would dictate. That would make the board big, but not unwieldy. I was able to get a few packs for $5 but they are normally $10 each – each pack does give a Predator and an Alien though.

The key force driving this, is that the game gave rules for solo play. I would be able to get much more use out of this if I didn't have to wait for an opponent.

Monday, April 21, 2008

sigh - GAMA

It’s the GAMA trade show this week at Bally’s in Vegas. For those who don’t know, GAMA is the GAme Manufacturers Association. They hold an annual trade show which has been in Vegas for the last decade. In many ways, it’s like GenCon – without all the regular attendees. The Manufacturers are there showing off their upcoming product. You still get to meet a lot of the game designers and get to meet a lot of the distributors face-to-face.

They have a lot of seminars about the business and it’s a good way to network with the other retailers and hear how various lines are doing for them in other parts of the continent. It’s also a good place to bring a spouse to show them that it’s not just a hobby but that many people can actually make a living at selling or making games. Plus, it’s Vegas baby! It’s a great place to visit and look around – even if you don’t gamble.

We were looking at expanding the mail order / market game business I had at the time to a full fledged storefront. Even though it didn’t pan out, it was still a worthwhile trip. We had been to a couple of distributor trade shows up here in Canada and had been to GenCon for several times. GAMA was still a great time.

Plus they gave you samples of products. I remember having our luggage pulled aside on the trip back and being asked if I had little men in my suitcase. Being after midnight from our flight back, it took me a second or two before I could respond that “Yes. Yes there is.” Shan gave me an odd, tired look. What they were picking up on the x-ray machine was the VOR figures that FASA had given us.

This was before Wizkids had risen from the remains of FASA and only recently after Hasbro had picked up Wizards who had swallowed TSR. Wizkids has often given away their large figure at GAMA – The MechWarrior Dropship, Galactus, the Spectre, Fin Fang Foom.

As a retailer, it’s a great place to get that information to share with your regulars. To make those contacts with a veritable who’s that of gaming designers. To be the guy. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who’s in the business. I look forward to one day going again.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Foam Stormtroopers

In my searches for D3’s Boba Fett costume, I had come across this site:

On it, he has a tutorial of how he made Stormtrooper armor out of foamies for his daughter. I think that would be a fun project for the kids. I have finally found about 20 of the white foamies at Walmart and picked up a special foamie glue as well as No More Nails. I’ve already started hoarding the contact solution bottles (normally I just keep the caps – as 25mm braziers).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

new to do list - 2008

I have a week off at the end of this month and another the week of the May long weekend. There will be yardwork and housework but I am hopeful that I should be able to move along some projects.

Right now, I still have my alien egg that is partially buried in my room. I would like to be able to finish a few layers to get it ready to paint.

I have to do another good sift of my room – pulling out most of the boxes and getting rid of a bit more stuff.

I have the fiberglass shells that I pulled from the molds when we made the plaster bust of my head. I hope to be able to put them together to be able to build up masks and helmets.

I would like to transfer some of the files on disks and on the computer to CDs or DVDs while I still can access them.

I need to paint my son’s 40K figures from the Battle for Macragge set. I would also like to make him a nice figure case for them as well so they don’t get all banged up after being painted and so I don’t have to keep fixing the ankles on the Genestealers.

I have to finish the model kits for Canvas Eagles and come up with a good storage set for them. If this goes well, I would like to try to scratchbuild a few planes to use for Crimson Skies – either for an upsized Air action or for the Aces game as scenery.

I have to paint up more figures for Fairy Meat as well as make some weapons. I also want to post up here about upsizing it - with pictures.

I want to see if I can paint the Aliens Swam figures I picked up to use for upsized Aliens board game. If that goes well, I want to see about upsizing the board itself.

I want to make a 3D board for Horrorclix - either the main graveyard board or maybe some of the AVP boards. The Freddy VS Jason boards look nice too.

Now that I finally picked up some red stretch fabric (for the mask), I can finally start work on my Human Spider costume.

I’m also thinking about starting some card or styrene titans in 40K scale.

We'll see how weather and time conspire to let me achieve these or not. Plus how the to do list from the wife affects my time. The last fortune cookie I got did say "Success will come to your plans." So we will see.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Project process

I’m prone to distraction. This is no surprise to those who know me. I often have several projects that I’m working on in varying stages. There are a lot in the information gathering stage and a few in the mulling over stage. I will also start collecting materials needed until I hit a critical mass of materials acquired, time crunch, and inertia. Once I start, I’ll work away until I either hit a snag – where I need something I don’t have or can’t get, or until I have to put things away to make room for either guests or holidays.

With access to the internet on my breaks at work, I am often coming across many interesting sites that grab my interest. Those sites often have links to other sites, and my time goes by quickly. These can quickly lead me to pile up new projects.

Case in point, I recently came across the western Rules With No Name and a site with scenery for western games. This quickly moved onto my information gathering and mulling stage. I already have some western figures but will check what I need once I read through the rules. I'll also see about making some buildings.

This dovetails nicely with the Gold Rush game I have been mulling over since I came across it before last Christmas.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Aging and time

Another neat thing about aging is how it distorts your perception of time.
Think about it, when you were 10, a year was 1/10 of your whole life or 10%.
Even at 15, a year would still be only 1/15 of your life or about 6.7%.
When you are thirty, that year of time has shrunk down to 1/30 of your life or just over 3.3%.
At forty, it drops to 1/40 of your life or 2.5%.
At sixty, an entire year is now only 1/60 or 1.7%.

This effect magnifies with shorter periods, like months, over the same lengths.

This is why time seems to move much faster as you get older; because the same lengths of time are getting increasingly smaller compared to your full experience of time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

hey mac?

My computer is starting to go. It was a Frankenputer cobbled together by our friend JP close to a decade ago (7 years ago at the least). It’s done well considering that we’ve been running it nearly constantly for the last 4 years. We’ve replaced the power supply twice, added a dvd burner, and I finally added a newer video card last year. Lately, it’s been freezing up and needing to be rebooted.

At the time we built it, we had suped it up as much as we could with a full gig of RAM and 20 gig of hard drive space. This may seem like a tiny hard drive now but we still haven’t filled it. We just don’t download music or movies. I do want to get in and start some home movies though.
My mom recently went through the upgrade with her computer and has a beautiful HP Pavilion Media Center. If we had the money, I would probably buy the same model. That said, since we missed our window of opportunity to get a computer that isn’t loaded with Vista, we’ll probably end up getting a mac. I finally spent a bit of time on the site and am more convinced that this will probably be the way to go.

We’re not big gamers. We do like Diablo, Heroes of Might and Magic, and Monkey Island. We finally saw Hellgate and will probably get it. I’ll definitely take a good look at Dawn of War and another look at City of Heroes when we’ve upgraded. As long as we can co-run Windows to run the older games, we should be okay.

Looking at the site, we may just start with a macmini and see how that works out for us.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rust be gone?

So we had got the car back a week ago Saturday. It had taken a week longer than they had told us it would but the rust does indeed seem better. They said that they had to cut out a piece and replace it. We’ll see how well it holds up. So far, it’s been a week and it seems okay.

On the upside, the small car we had for the two weeks was much better and cheaper on gas.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Birthday plans

My birthday falls at the end of June. In some ways it was nice. It split the gifts nicely 6 months apart from Christmas. But because it was mostly after school ended for the summer and we were usually on holidays, I didn’t often have birthday parties near my actual birthday. Even today, I don’t usually make a big deal of my birthday.

This is one of the bigger years as I turn 40 this summer. Shan’s wants to know if I want to do anything special. I believe we had a bunch of friends together for my 30th and we went miniature golfing at the park. It was a good time. It was also before most of us had kids. The extra broodlings have an effect on what we can do for the party.

I’ve been trying to think of anything special to do for my 40th and haven’t been able to come up with anything. I thought about watching a movie but nothing really stands out – in a format with our setup. There’s nowhere special that I want to go or see. I thought about getting together and doing a big Apocalypse battle but we don’t have anywhere near enough troops. I toyed with the idea of a Cthulhu live LARP but it seems like too much trouble in too short a time.
Any of the big games that we might play (like Fortress America, Diplomacy, or Circus Imperium) we don’t really have a great set-up yet – which is also why we don’t play those more often. The bigger, upsized games (like Canvas Eagles, Pod Racing, or Assault on Hoth) take even more room which is why we usually play them at Wincon.

I've been mulling it over and I’m still looking at the possibility of upsizing RoboRally, Classic Battletech, Battletech: Solaris VII, Adeptus Titanicus, or even Car Wars and maybe playing in the backyard. We'll see.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I’m old. I’ve always been able to admit it. When you are young, even in High School, old is anyone 25 or older. Most people keep adjusting that date back as they approach it. When they turn 20, they make old 30 or older. When they get to 30, old has become 40 or 50. When that age is reached, old gets slid back to 70 or 80.

Not I. Even as I passed it, the quarter-century mark clearly delineated the Young from the Old. Crossing the half-century mark moves one into the Very Old age group. Anyone able to survive against entropy and make it into the three-quarter century mark becomes Ancient or Venerable.

When I was young, the big dates were always close together. At 5, you start school. At 10, you are in the double digits. At 13, you become a teenager. At 16, you can get a drivers license. At 18, you can drink and vote. At 20, you are no longer a teenager. At 21, you are able to drink across all the States. At 25, you cross the first quarter-century mark and are no longer young. After that the only dates that are big are 30, 40, 50, and then 55/60/65 depending on when you retire. In between those dates, I have to do the math to figure out how old I am – let’s see current year minus year I was born equals age.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April 1 pranks

As always, be wary of any emails or news on this day. Be especially wary of emails or posting from March 31 as well as revelers on the other side of the world hit April 1 before you do.

Watch out for the emails about the horrors of DHMO (or as you and I might call it - water).

Check out the and if you hit anything you're not quite sure of, there is always snopes.

Take care of yourselves and I'll post more goodness later.