Moon Light and Open For Business


Once I saw Christian's Moon Light, I wanted a moon light. I saw that Amazon had 16-color moon lights. The lone review on that light stated it was problematic. With only 1 bad review I decided to take a chance and ordered one. It arrived, I charged it up... and the damn thing didn't work. There was another Amazon option that caught my eye - a newer model/print, and larger. So I ordered that one, as I needed a box to ship my return of the non-working light back in. It makes sense to me! The newer, bigger light arrived and it worked like a charm.

I'm not as good a low-light photographer as Christian, but it was fun playing with the different colors.

With the mini mart and coffee shop complete, it was time to add them to the cityscape of the zombie apocalypse (or whatever else might come along down the road). My regular, modular map tiles are 7.5" square(ish). The mini mart had a 6.5" square footprint, which would allow for a 1" leeway for space, maybe a sidewalk around the building. The coffee shop was 8" x 6", so it would overflow a little.

And that overflow option bothered me. I wanted a parking lot for these shops. I'd made some parking lot tiles for the map before, but they didn't really work. The spacing was all off. I opted to try to layout something using some multiple(s) of 7.5" that I could keep together instead of cutting into sections, and it would still work with the pieces I'd been using. After some fiddling, I settled on a 22.5" x 15" layout - it would fit on foam board that I already had, and it would give me enough room for the 2 buildings and a little parking. Even though I made everything in Paint Shop Pro using a 22.5" x 15" image, I split it into 7.5" squares for printing. Gotta love letter size paper. Everything printed out fine.

Learning my lesson from the Gaslands track where the glue I was using made the board bow, I taped the 6 pieces of printed map together to line everything up. From there, a light spray of (Locktite) adhesive on some foam board and it was stuck good enough for me, which is good enough for someone who's had glue problems lately.

And then, I had to play around with actually setting things up. New buildings! Moon light! I even remembered I had a star field for X-Wing that I could use as a backdrop!

I look forward to using more of Christian's ideas. Between the Walking Dead Lucille threat tracker and moon light, I've got to make sure he doesn't start charging me royalty fees.

gaming miniatures hobbies moon light ttcombat walking dead

Mini Mart and Coffee Shop


It's been almost 2 months since I first mentioned working on the TTCombat buildings. Beleive it or not it hasn't taken that long, I just keep going back and tweaking things.

The TTCombat buildings are more of a budget line of MDF building. That's not a bad thing. While I really like the 4Ground buildings, they can get a little pricey. Nice, but pricey. TTCombat would give me a chance to exercise my skills at nicing up some buildings. The first 2 commercial buildings in what constitutes my zombie apocalypse thus far.

At some point I'm going to have to explain the setting for my scenery and how it's not just for The Walking Dead.

The first building I worked on was the Convenience Store, well really a Mini Mart. I was shooting for a 7-11 color scheme thanks to a batch of spray paint that I picked up when Hobby Town USA was closing up. Honestly, how often am I going to get to use orange? I primed the interior and exterior white, masked off the middle and added some accent stripes of red and orange. It turned out pretty good. I then got cocky and tried putting a red strip along the top of the interior. Either I didn't mask it properly, or the paint just decided to bleed. It did not turn out well. I decided to go work on the second building while mulling over how to turn a messy red line into a happy mistake.

For the Coffee Shop I wanted to go with the overplayed Starbucks color scheme. The problem I would have to avoid is using too similar a green that I used on the Mini Mart roof. I thought I was going with a lighter green with the can of something Dodge Charger Green something something. I was going with a brighter green. Way brighter. but at least it wasn't the same! I stayed away from masking frenzy on the coffee shop. I started having fun adding printed out what not to the walls - a menu, random coffee propaganda. The kit came with a counter, table, and chairs, and it fleshed out the interior really well.

I returned to the Mini Mart after the coffee shop was done, and there may have been a sale at Hobby Lobby. To cover up the bleeding red line, I picked up some clearance duct tape that was lacking most duct qualities. It didn't stick very well. It was a decorative dark red. It was thin. No wonder it was on clearance. But it suited my needs as a replacement stripe to go along the top of the wall. I'd also been 3D printing shelves to go along the walls. I tweaked the settings of the shelves - I'd learned when getting furniture printed for the houses that the default "real" volume makes everything take up too much room. The first thing I did was change the shelves from 15mm depth to 6mm. Yes, that's tiny, but I wanted something with just a little relief on the walls - honestly I'd been thinking of just printing a picture of shelves to glue to the walls until I thought it'd be cool to use that printer I've got! The best part is... it worked! It took a while, as I printed out 15 shelving units that took anywhere from 2 hrs to 8 hrs (I was learning how to tweak things!) to print. Once they were primed, I figured grey was a good shelf color, and the random products painted I used the sticky tac to hold it all against walls or floor, where appropriate. I've got plenty of sticky tac as that's what I use to mount minis on blocks to hold when I go to paint them, yet most people use it to hold up posters. After the walls were lined with shelves, I decorated the otuside with some random sales propaganda. The Mini Mart turned out a lot better than it was looking when the coffee shop started.

I really need to work on some proper map tiles for these 2 stores. Parking with an entrance, and how to deal with the footprint of the buildings. I've been meaning to work on this for a while, but I keep putting it off.

3D Printer gaming miniatures hobbies ttcombat

Nashville Trip


Nashville has long been my close/weekend getaway spot, but last week said location became the target of a business trip. Is training business? It think it is.

Back in March I took a class in Nashville to become a Certified Scrum Master. This time I went back to become an Advanced Certified Scrum Master. Same venue. Same trainer. I even managed to stay in the same hotel room.

Advanced Scrum Mastering involves a lot of facilitation. Since March, I've learned that was a skill I was especially lacking. Besides being the second of three certifications on my current career track, learning how to (better) facilitate made me want to take the class RIGHT NOW. So I did.

I learned a lot in the 2 days of class. I learned things I was doing wrong. I learned I was just not doing some things that I thought I was - the difference between coaching and mentoring sneaks up on me faster and harder than I would have thought. I lucked out again with class and was with a good group of 20 people. Within that group I found that with any problem I thought I had coming into the class, at least one other people shared. It wasn't always the same person, and in a way that made me feel better.

As with any multi-day trip to Nashville, Dr Blondie is in charge of my evening meal selection as long as she's in town. Class was scheduled for the right week and she was, indeed, in town. I give Dr Blondie a very specific rule for dining selection: No nation-wide chains. The local joints ruled again as we went 3/3 on good eats!

My personal side trip was to go to McKays to trade in some boardgames. Dr Blondie introduced me to this used Everything I'm Interested In store on my last trip. On the boardgame shelf at work (ie Overflow Storage), the top shelf is mostly taken up by Target/Clearance riff-raff that nobody is going to play, and is not worth the shipping cost for anyone I might be able to sell to online. Various versions of Scene-It, Trivial Pursuit, Jenga, and that damn Jeff Foxworthy Game that got about 3 rounds played. It was an opportunity to free up some shelf space and get some store credit, so I loaded up the car before I left with about 30 of those games. Oddly, it didn't seem to make that much of a difference when looking at the games I left in my office.

I wasn't expecting much for trading in the games, and Dr Blondie told me they likely wouldn't take everything. I bet they wouldn't take Mall World, near the top of my list on bad, uninvestigated impulse buys. But they did take Mall World. They took everything I brought. For the ~30 games I brought, which I admitted were crap (crap in great condition, but crap) I was hoping for $3, maybe $4 per game of credit. By the time they totaled up everything up, I had $212 in credit.

I was overjoyed with $212 in credit.

I didn't spend it all. I barely made a dent in it. Now I've started a list of things specifically to look for on my next McKays trip. DVDs over a year old. A couple of books that they might have that I'm in no hurry to read.


The day back was a long day. I gave Brenda a heads up that I was going to be in Nashville in case she was planning any trips to Florence. I'd hate for her to fly into Huntsville while I'm 2 hrs away in Nashville. She took this opportunity to find a great deal on flight into Nashville (on Tuesday), then back home on Saturday. I had 4 hours between the end of class and picking up Brenda at BNA. Pizza with Dr Blondie took up part of that, plus she let me use her home internet to take care of a little work that made Wednesday start off a little easier.

I forgot that BNA uses cell phone waiting instead of park & wait at the terminal, and the waiting area was pretty full. I ended up making 3 laps around the terminal when Brenda called to let me know where she was, which happened to be about 20 ft away. She got loaded up into the car, and we got to Florence about midnight. A little after 1 and I was home and in bed. While normally on End of Sprint Wednesday I go in about 6, I slept completely thorugh the alarm and didn't get out of bed until 7:15. Luckily, it didn't make a bit of difference.

mckays road trip work

Police Force and Pringles Cans


Branching out to a new line of molds, the Foundry Wargames police (Shotgun Cops and Street Cops) have been added to keeping the streets of Potham safe during the zombie apocalypse. More important, I finally unboxed the 3D Printer.

You're supposed to print some type of calibration trinket right after you plug in a 3D printer. I have no idea how to tweak anything a calibration do-hicky would show needed tweaking, so I went straight to printing something useful. At some point I saw add-ons for cans to make them look like tanks (storage, not armour) for wargames. My favorite showed a Pringles can with a lid replaced by a tank door/end. After looking on 3D file sites for "Pringles Can Tank Top" unsuccessfully, I ended up taking part of a model of a tank and just sizing it (80mm) and printing it. The end result turned out A LOT better than I thought for my 1st print. Even better, work has small can of Pringles that I can take when empty. I had 2 Pringles cans begging for printed material. As such, I printed away.

I've never painted a Pringles can before. It felt weird.

This is the first 10 from the Foundry list to mark off. Still making progress on that list!

Next up are a couple of TTCombat buildings, those same buildings I've been mentioning and putting off. Actually 1 of them is already made, I've just been behind on blog posting. The Convenience Store will a 7-11 motif will pop in to the zombie apocalypse, with the Coffee Shop to hopefully follow soon after. The Foundry version of the A-Team is also primed and ready for paint.

3D Printer gaming miniatures wargame foundry

Hello Laidies


I'd mentioned previously that I had attempt(s) of a water tower for my zombie apocalypse in progress. The first two, well three, attempts failed horribly. Me and paper mache do not work well together. I'm just going to leave it at that. Before tossing the bevy of whatnot I was using for those failed attempts, I hobbled together 1 last go which would have the minimum of effort & chances for me to mess up. The result is passable enough to use. That may only be due to all the failures that preceded it, so the bar was pretty low.

I also got a batch of Reaper Chronoscape minis painted. 2 sets of Ladies of the Evening (which I just subconsciously typed as Laidies... that would be some branding!) along with a Sheriff Buford. I finally committed to using my high class, snooty Kolinsky brushes and I believe it made a difference.

This time I played around with using Milliput for base filler as Laidies (I'm going to use that all the time now) would seem out of place standing amid the grassy knolls I normally flock. I had mixed results as I couldn't get the rough spots sanded down and even out like I had hoped. An alternate plan for handling that is already in the mix for the next batch of minis.

Just for fun, I made some more scatter terrain with water features. A little spackle for elevation, seal it. Prime it, seal it. Add some flock, seal it. Add more flock to cover the spots I missed, seal it. Add Woodland Scenics water and let it sit for a day. I left off extra bushes/tress so it can be used with different scales.

On the overall lifetime progress chart, this gets me to 248 painted minis! This is another 1% complete from the last batch. I'm blazing through things to paint. Maybe I should go get more to paint?

gaming miniatures

Blog Archive

As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).

Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?

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