Friday, January 28, 2011

Upsizing Whitewash City

So I am upsizing the Hotz Artworks Whitewash City to use with the 1/35 figures I have for Rules With No Name. I’m trying to upsize it for the larger figure scale and I ran into a bit of an issue.

I’m working with the free sample – The Imperial Saloon and the out buildings in the Pioneer Set. The listed scale is 30mm or 1/60. So I tried measuring out the buildings and redrawing them at double-size to see how they would fit. They were much too big. In checking, I had forgotten to change the print setting from fit-to-page to print actual – which meant that the 10’ scale marker was only 47cm long instead of the 2” it should have been at 1/60.

When I reprinted with the right settings, the 10’ scale marker comes out at 50cm instead of the 51cm it should be but that is actually easier as each scale foot would then be half a centimeter (or 2’ real = 1 cm scale). This means the drawings are actually closer to 1/61.200 instead of 1/60 but that is pretty close and the difference is minimal for our purposes.
Either way, my double-size redrawings (even from the smaller print) then came out way too tall for my 1/35 scale cowboy – who is 5’10” in 1/35 scale (with hat – about 5’2 without hat but the base will make him look taller). Instead of doubling, according to the math, I should really upsize the measurements by 1.71. So I will redraw at the new size and try again.

Eric recommends taking the 8.5 x 11 prints and reprinting them at 11 x 17. I will try that as well and see how that compares to the upsized drawings and to the figures. According to the math, upsizing this way will be smaller than redrawing, but the convenience of having the pretty colored versions to assemble may be worthwhile compared to having to redraw them and then use those measurements to scratchbuild the buildings. We will have to see.

- - -

For those interested in the math, as I am, it is as follows.
To find the scale: 10 feet in reality = 2 inches in scale.
120 inches = 2 inches in scale. So scale = 2/120 or 1/60.

To convert the scales: 1/60scale to 1/35scale.
1/60 x = 1/35
35x = 60
x = 60/35
x = 1.7142857 or x = 1.71

Doing the photocopy upsizing.
From 8.5 x 11 to 11 x 17.
11/8.5 = 1.2941176 and 17/11 = 1.5454545.

The figure size in scale: Figure height is 2 inches. If scale is 1/35, then 2 scale inches equals 2 x 35 = 70 real inches. 70 divided by 12 equals 5 with a remainder or 10 so the 2” figure in 1/35 scale is really 5’10”.
Without hat, the figure is a little over 1.75 inches or 1 3/4”. If scale is 1/35, the 1.75 scale inches equals 1.75 x 35 = 61.25 real inches. 61.25 less 60 (12 inches x 5 feet) leaves 1.25 so he would be about 5’2”.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Man in your Pocket

When you are making terrain or scenery, it is always a good idea to keep a figure or two of the scale in which you are working nearby. This allows you to check often to ensure that buildings, vehicles, and blockades will look proper and that figures can actually fit where you want them. This also ensures that figures can see over hills or hedges and that doorways and windows look like they could actually be used.

In addition to having the figures handy when at home, it is also a good idea to carry a figure around with you when you are out and about. When I first started into 40K, I carried an unpainted plastic beakie marine around with me for about a year. After that I had a good idea of the size needed. Plus I found that, in a pinch, if I bend my pinkie, the middle joint is close to the size of a marine (being a bit over an inch long).

With starting to make scenery for my western figures, in roughly 1/32 to 1/35 scale, I should really start carrying around a cowboy in my pocket. This would really help in trying to find horses and cattle – both of which can come in random scales and can often look tiny. This will also come in handy in finding wood I can use for scale log cabins.
I was in Dollarama recently and noticed a nice folding bamboo fence that might be a great size. I didn't pick it up yet but may pop back with a little buddy. Otherwise, I was thinking about looking at those disposable chopsticks to see if they are cheap in bulk.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Terrain sites

I’ve had to refer some people to terrain building sites lately and have given them the classics.

Major General Tremorden Rederring’s Colonial-era Wargames Page.
This is one that I used to check in with all the time. Since it hasn’t been updated since June of 2006, it’s probably unlikely to change anytime soon. Which is a real shame as the General has a lot of good ideas. He’s mostly doing colonials but has some great information about ships, landships, and scenery. Of notable interest to the new True-Line-of-Site 40K is the Tabletop viewer and the Tall Grass section.
I just spent a bit of time going through it recently. I’m a bit sad about the lack of updates as it means that I probably won’t get to see the rules for the VictorianTech – a War of the Worlds-esque Battletech-type game.

From the Major General’s site I found the Terragenesis site – which is sadly no more. It has been replaced by the new Terragenesis site which has most of the old content on it. The Articles Index has a lot of good ideas and the forum is nice to visit. They do seem to be heavily into the contests lately, which is partly why I don’t frequent it as much as I used to. But I still recommend it to anyone about terrain projects.

A newer site that is also updated occasionally is the Hirst Arts tips section. Even though it mainly deals with using the Hirst Arts brick sets, there are a lot of useful info – like making a fence from epoxy glue, using water effects, and sci-fi ideas. I don't use any of the HirstArts products but they keep giving me ideas.

Another good site for inspiriation is the Necromundicon.
He's done a bunch of 40K and Mordheim stuff and has a good gothic feel to them. In addition, he has put up some rules for some games he made and terrain and bits for them. The Star Wars rules for the Galactic Heroes and the terrain to go with it are worth checking out.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Heroclix etc overview

While I did pick up a few Heroclix last year, and picked up a brick of two of the three sets released – Brave and the Bold and Web of Spider-Man, I haven’t yet picked up a brick of DC 75. I do like the DC characters – it just seems that if I pass on a brick, it seems to be a DC one. I did also pick up the Watchmen set – also a DC.

I finished no Heroclix sets. I’m a bit closer but basically where I was last year – even a bit behind due to the new sets.

I’m still close on Ultimates (6+7), Mutant Mayhem (3+9), Legacy (6+11), Fantastic Forces (0+2), Armor Wars (11+1), Collateral Damage (8+1), Supernova (9+0), Avengers (0/3), Justice League (0/3), Mutations & Monsters (1/5), Crisis (0/11), Secret Invasion (2/6), Arkham Asylum (0/6), Hammer of Thor (3/8), Brave and Bold (8/7), and Web of Spider-Man (9/11). I’m still working away at Sinister (18+3) and Origin (23+0). I’m still deciding if I’ll pick up a brick of the last set otherwise I have DC 75 (33/11).
Right now, I need 245 figures – 140 REVs and 105 U/SRs. This is over the 200 figures I was hoping to stay under and for the first time since 2008 I am over 100 Uniques/Super Rares. A brick would have brought both of these closer.
I didn’t manage to pick up any more big figures, but have Dr Manhattan on order for spring. I am not sure how many sets are coming out this year. I hope to keep up with the sets, ending the year back under 200 figures and getting the Uniques/Super Rares back under 100 figures. I’m still hoping to get the Spectre, one of the Fooms and maybe a Phoenix as well as at least one Manhattan.
On Horrorclix, I finally got the last regular figure I needed to come my basic sets. I only need 1 LE and would like another map from the Cthulhu set. I easily achieved my goal there and would like to finish these off and put them behind me.

Where did I spend my money instead of Heroclix? I added a few more sets to the Starship Troopers miniature, finished the first two sets of Monsterpocalypse, and am now down to only 1 extra figure on Star Wars Miniature Battles. I also got back into 40K, picking up 33 codices including the Sisters of Battle rules from the second edition. I also got Armageddon, Cityfight, and Eye of Terror from third edition. Also, I bought a lot of bits – both a horde of Orks and started getting my Tyranids back up to a viable level.

I hope to get more Tyranids, and more codices – being caught up on the rest of the fourth editions I am missing. I also plan to get the Babylon 5 Call to Arms books and some of the Starship Troopers RPG books I am missing. I want to get that final ARC-170 from the Star Wars Miniature Battles figure as well as the Power of the Force Luke’s Snowspeeder. I might even get a bunch of Snowtroopers and Hoth Troopers. I also want to get the All Your Base set from Monsterpocalypse and maybe even a few more of Monsterpocalypse Now. I’m definitely picking up the Voltron set.
As well, I am thinking about picking up the FASA rules and books to Crimson Skies. While these will cut into my budget, I still hope to peg away at the older Heroclix sets and maybe even grab a few more big figures – especially if I have a game room to display them.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Renovations - funding - part 2

So the talk with the bank went quite well. They have to have someone look at the house again and the proposed plans, but it sounds like we will be doing something renovation-wise.

I had forgotten the deck off the kitchen Shan had wanted to add, so the second-floor upgrade (with deck) was about $100K not $60K. Payments on that should be about what we're paying now for our mortgage and child care.
Payments on the upgrade plus wing will be significantly more, but still within the realm of possible.

This is good news for both. There are still some hoops we have to jump through and we have to have that guy take a look at it. The biggest concerns will be that this will reset the mortgage to 25 years left again plus if the economy surges back and interest rates jump significantly, we're screwed.

So much for an retiring early. Unless we hit the Lotto Max - then, no worries.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Renovations - funding

When we had gotten the Windstar back in late 2007, we had mentioned to the bank that we were thinking of doing upgrades to the house in a few years. At the time they mentioned that we could do them sooner. Then the whole recession happened.
We had moved along and talked to Renovation Masters but had issues with the person who does their designs (she was adamant on having a big window on our game room – which would end up being behind the game bookshelves). We then talked to the nice people at Character Homes who seem to be able to work better with us and our plans.

Tomorrow we talk to the bank and see what we will be able to afford. Upgrading just the upstairs, to add a bedroom and a second bathroom as well as a new roof, would cost about $60,000. Doing that, plus adding the wing with a basement, game room, and extra bedroom would cost a total of $200,000.

Both amounts are a bit scary. If they approve the entire amount, we will have a huge house that we will spend a lot of time in as we won’t have a lot of money for much else. If they only approve the second floor expansion we will have less space but also less of an increase in our mortgage payments. If they don’t approve anything then we are in trouble – well, I am, anyways as I would have to divest a large amount of stuff in order to reclaim the workshop downstairs as a third bedroom.

Interesting times.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Away go troubles - down the drain.

I don't know what my son does in the toilet, but he's clogged the drain enough that he knows where the cut-off valve is. Usually we can punch it through with simple plunging.

This weekend, Shan's folks were in and her dad clogged the toilet. Simple plunging and it was working again. Then, at 10:30 everyone gets ready for bed and goes to the bathroom. After they finish, it clogs again for my wife.

Clogs solid - an hour of plunging has no effect on it. It does allow water to drain out very slowly though, so we try pouring warm water to see if it will loosen anything but to no avail.

I call my folks after 11pm. Luckily, dad was still awake and I went over to borrow a toilet snake (and use their facilities). We snaked the toilet as best we could but still no good.

Luckily, the Internet came to the rescue. A few google searches brought us to this site. It seemed odd but at this time we figured - why not?

Like most of the others on the site, we found that it worked as simple as adding the dish soap, hot water, and a quick plunging and eveything was flowing properly again. Hopefully, you don't even need to know this but, if you do, now you know.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Books read 2010 Oct - Dec

The Great Anti-War Cartoons by Craig Yoe
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel by Nat Gertler and Steve Lieber
All New Bathroom Idea Book by Sandra S. Soria
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
The Mosaic Village: an illustrated History of Winnipeg’s North End by Russ Gourluck
Codex Space Wolves (3rd Edition) by Jervis Johnson with Andy Chamber & Gavin Thorpe

Codex Witch Hunters by Andy Hoare & Graham McNeill
Barbie All Dolled Up by Jennie D’Amato
Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer
Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip by Nevin Martell
How to Make Wargames Terrain by Nigel Stillman
Spider-Man: The Icon by Steve Saffel

Codex Blood Angels (3rd Edition) by Gavin Thorpe
Kids’ Room Decorating Ideas Under $50 by Better Homes and Gardens
The High Crusade by Poul Anderson
The Werewolf Handbook by Dr. Robert Curran
Blogging for Dummies by Susannah Gardner & Shane Birley
Calligraphy 101 by Jeaneen Gauthier
Bobby Flay’s Throwdown by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Miriam Garron
Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer
Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life by Terry Brooks
Hot X: Algebra Exposed! By Danica McKellar
Codex Sisters of Battle (2nd Edition) by Gavin Thorpe
Harry Potter Film Wizardry by Brian Sibley
Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer
Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall
101 Quick and Easy Ideas Taken from the Master Photographers of the Twentieth Century by Matthew Bamberg
Joshua Jay’s Amazing Book of Cards by Joshua Jay
Michael Jackson: The Making of Thriller: 4 days/1983 by Douglas Kirkland

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Figure buying total - 2010

While a steady stream of bits came my way, the only model that had enough bits come in to complete it was the Trygon. I have most of the bits for a Carnifex, Battlewagon, and Tyranid Warriors, as well as a lot of rippers (that I won't count until I put them together in swarms), but the Trygon was the only one completed. Now I can clean the bits and assemble before tossing on the to-be-painted pile.

I managed to finish another year with nothing painted to completion. On the positive side, this adds to the figures I could potentially paint in the new year. I did start some Space Wolves including a Razorback, assembled a Drop Pod and an Ork Truck, and almost finished some western figures.

40K Trygon/Mawloc (in bits) – 1

Dec figures bought – 1, figures painted – 0

Running total 2010 – figures bought 98, figures painted 0

- - -
In looking back at last year's total of 331/0 compared to 98/0 for this year I am certainly trending in the right direction. Even if I correct this year to be 99/0 - as I did pick up a USS Enterprise model in Oct that I didn't count to this total but should have as I counted the Klingon D-7 towards the 2009 total.
My bigest purchase was the 72 52mm cowboys and indians I had bought early in the year. Without them I would have only been a slim 27 purchased - but then I might not have been inspired to at least start the painting of them (even though I didn't finish - yet).