Too Busy and Not Dead

12.05.2019

In the past month, I've painted absolutely nothing. The only hobby-associated thing I've done was (finally) finished a batch of the 7½" to 6" map tiles: 64 double sided grass/sidewalk cakeboards cut and glued! There was a lot of documentaries and GTA Roleplay Youtibe videos in the background while all of that was going on.

It's the busy season at work. I'm in the midst of "I'm not sure how to do ...." and anywhere from 10 minutes to a day later I've got it figured out. Roughly half the time it's actually close to the right way of figuring it out. I feel like I'm behind where I should be, and I'm vocal if anyone asks, but I've yet to be called out for it. I've committed to being done in 2 weeks. Roughly a week to wrap up all the stuff I know needs to be done (which I think should take 3 days), then another week for testing and filling in holes. So yeah. 3 weeks. Maybe 4.

I've got a side web project for Contractor Craig I've been trying to find time to fit in also. I started down a rabbit hole of setting up a mobile-friendly picture uploader. After a long break, where and (maybe) how those pictures get uploaded will depend on the site layout. The site's a pre-paid template. The goal there was to bypass the early grunt work. Now it's time for the middle grunt work of putting pictures in the right spots at the right size, and making the colors pretty enough.

Once I get caught up on all of this, I'm going to take a couple of days off and paint. Or build some buildings. Thanks to Black Friday sales, I've got 2 floors of mall to eventually build.

And that's a helluva teaser right there!


work

Web Exclusives

11.03.2019

I didn't mean to paint anything. Not really. I wasn't planning on priming a batch and then spending the week working through them all and trying to get them done. And I didn't do that. I primed some stuff I thought would be interesting to paint, and then I painted a little here and there when I thought about it. I didn't worry about "I have yellow on the brush, what all needs to be yellow?". I didn't rush through the final color that a mini needed to be called finished. Just some nice, relaxing painting.

I had purchased some "web exclusives" from the Mantic website. I'd shown my batch of points I sent in previously on a post I'm too lazy to link to. A special Abraham and Negan were bought. There was also Rick's Badge to replace the cardboard 1st player token - I play solo, so why do I need a 1st player token? A bag of guns rounded out the web exclusives. Those last 2 just sounded like they would be fun to paint. What else am I going to spend Mantic Points on?

I've been grabbing Zombicide minis for test painting (those details are really too boring to go into). Amidst all that grabbing I came across a couple of clutter minis. Mattresses piled on top of random crap. The cast was good enough to actually tell the distinct parts in the pile. Those could be fun to paint! As such, they made it into the batch to be primed.

Even though it's been rainy and humid, I really wanted to prime everything up to paint. I waited until the rain had quit for a day, but even then you can see that the primer ran and pooled a little. Some day I'll find the right patience to wait until the weather cooperates, or I'll switch to airbrush priming.

Over the course of a week I painted a little here and there. Taking my time, plus my $10 magnifier glasses from Amazon, really makes a difference. The 2 clutter minis were 95% contrast paints. The badge went through a few transitions of Tin and Gold before ending up with whatever it is now. The letters on the badge were fun. The letters are recessed and I just filled them with Nuln Oil and a properly small-tipped brush.

I've got to learn to work better with light colors, especially white. The white I put on for t-shirts is too thick. Thin layers weren't sticking to cover errant color strokes underneath. Thick (enough) layer shows mottled brush strokes. Going over the thick layer with just a wet brush helped, but it's still something I need to work on.

This is my 1st try at a new camera setup. There's likely to be lots of iterations on tweaking before settling on something for a while.

Normally I would mention something about progress here, but to be honest I've done more than what shows up on my little spreadsheet with things that don't count toward the progress I track. The case in point is that I painted parts of almost a dozen Zombicide minis as color tests for Star Trek Adventures. I've got a painting guide, but I don't trust it 100%. I don't even trust it 80%. For my peace of mind, I decided to test (and DOCUMENT!) color options before committing to the Trek figures. This is something that I wanted and needed to do, but I've got nothing shareable to show for it. Eventually there will be some Trek minis to show, but not now.

The 4 Walking Dead minis shown above were added to the Painted total, but they weren't in the To Be Painted total before. I believe that is a net gain of 0.


gaming miniatures hobbies walking dead zombicide

Can I Support Those Digital Copies?

11.01.2019

I've been buying movies for a long time. The first movie I bought, on VHS, was 1989's Batman. In 1997 I started getting DVDs (Starship Trooopers was the disc I bought). Being elderly, I like having a physical copy of a movie. It's come in handy those times when, living in the boonies, my internet decides to take a vacation. Over the past year, I've been purchasing fewer physical movies. The prices don't drop as fast as they used to, and the prices are going up a little bit (about $3 from what the average new release week prices were a few years ago). Stores are carrying fewer and fewer discs. I went into Target this past week and found the DVD section was now 1 aisle. 2 years ago, it was 4 aisles.

I've been watching more streaming video, like everyone else. Amazon Prime and Netflix have become the "stations" that I watch. Movies that I'm traditionally on the fence about purchasing, or waiting for a good sale, often end up streaming on one of these. For the past few years I've had a "wait for a $10 sale" movie list. Amazon's streaming service has managed to put a lot of those movies on my wait list on sale for $10. At that point, why not spend $10 for the digital version and not worry about storing the physical disc?

I've got a lot of dedicated space for those discs. With the living room remodel, an impressively rough estimate of 9'x13' of wall space is now covered in Ikea shelves just to hold those discs. In my quirky way of keeping track of things, with the latest purchases of XMen and Spiderman I now have 2256 DVD titles. That number doesn't include all the extra discs of TV shows. Running a quick query, I've got 506 seasons of shows. Conservatively, if a season fits on 1 disc (and not 7, like season of Star Trek: TNG takes 7 discs) when add on 506 discs to 2256 titles. Granted, that 2256 includes 1 entry per TV show, but I think there are more multi-disc seasons than not so it's still a conservative average. 2756 discs. That definitely takes some room.

As such, I'm trying to embrace purchasing digital/streaming copies and ignore the voice in my head that says "what if the place hosing the movie goes under?" I almost exclusively buy from Amazon which means that shouldn't be a problem. But the voice with the question is still there.

Movie formats change. DVD, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, 4K/UHD. I'm not sure if today's streaming format will be supported in 5 years. I still pop in that 20+ year old Starship Troopers disc on occasion, so it's something I actually worry about. I've gotten screwed twice with apps I enjoyed that were no longer supported due to my device being too old to support the upgrades (stupid 1st gen iPad) or whatever place was hosting the server, and a server was required because it was an app, shut down.

All of that is out of my control. I hardly ever rent a movie because I'm traditionally more apt to watch something I like more than once. It's a $10 purchase vs $3 rental that I gamble on and most likely lose money on in the long run. Maybe this is the time to convince myself to switch to renting more streaming movies instead of purchasing everything outright. Can I make a New Years resolution in November? That sounds like a good one.


movies/tv/dvd random

I Am A: Chaotic Evil Human Wizard (7th Level)

10.25.2019

I was cleaning up bookmarks while moving to a new everyday-laptop and came across a still-active link with 100+ questions that would tell me what D&D character I am.

I Am A: Chaotic Evil Human Wizard (7th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength-12
Dexterity-13
Constitution-13
Intelligence-14
Wisdom-16
Charisma-11

Alignment:
Chaotic Evil A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. He is hot-tempered, vicious, arbitrarily violent, and unpredictable. If he is simply out for whatever he can get, he is ruthless and brutal. If he is committed to the spread of evil and chaos, he is even worse. Thankfully, his plans are haphazard, and any groups he joins or forms are poorly organized. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together only by force, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to topple or assassinate him. Chaotic evil is sometimes called demonic because demons are the epitome of chaotic evil. Chaotic evil is the best alignment you can be because combines self-interest and pure freedom. However, chaotic evil can be a dangerous alignment because it represents the destruction not only of beauty and life but also of the order on which beauty and life depend.

Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Class:
Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard's strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus.


Detailed Results:

Alignment:
Lawful Good ----- XXXXX (5)
Neutral Good ---- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Chaotic Good ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXX (13)
Lawful Neutral -- XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
True Neutral ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (16)
Chaotic Neutral - XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (19)
Lawful Evil ----- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (22)
Neutral Evil ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (27)
Chaotic Evil ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (30)

Law & Chaos:
Law ----- XXX (3)
Neutral - XXXXXXXX (8)
Chaos --- XXXXXXXXXXX (11)

Good & Evil:
Good ---- XX (2)
Neutral - XXXXXXXX (8)
Evil ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (19)

Race:
Human ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXX (13)
Dwarf ---- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Elf ------ XXXXXX (6)
Gnome ---- XXXXXXXX (8)
Halfling - XXXX (4)
Half-Elf - XXXXXXXX (8)
Half-Orc - XXXXXX (6)

Class:
Barbarian - XXXXXX (6)
Bard ------ XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Cleric ---- XXXX (4)
Druid ----- XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (14)
Fighter --- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Monk ------ XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Paladin --- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Ranger ---- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Rogue ----- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Sorcerer -- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Warlock --- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Wizard ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (16)


random

Bikers & Crows

10.19.2019

Pictures with no context. That's what this batch is. There was a sale on an expansion - The Others: 7 Sins - Sons of Ragnarok. Bikers, with some kind of game affiliated backstory that I don't know and will never pay attention to. A box of bikers for around 12 bucks was a good enough deal for me to jump on. The zombie apocalypse could probably use some bikers.

While raiding the bajillion Zombicide minis I've got for use as test subject (more on that farther down) I came across crows. I thought it would be neat to paint some crows so I pulled out a few (there's 4 or 5 per stand). After the fact, painting crows is boring. Black paint is too dark and covers up all the details. Various shades of black/grey with various types of highlights and drybrushing - all boring.

Normally, down here, there would be a painting progress update from the Excel file I keep up with all of this stuff in. Not this time, though. The section of the spreadsheet I clip to show is only on the minis I think I'll make long term progress on, which is roughly ¼ of everything. The minis painted this time fall into that other ¾ that's there, I just don't pay much attention to it. 10 things painted, no stats to show for it.

The next things I'm painting are similar. I'm prepping to paint Star Trek minis, and I have to get the color/shades right. Once you factor in primer color, washes, contrast colors, suggested colors, etc, I'm not 100% sure which direction to head. As such, some of the Zombicide 600+ mini masses are volunteering to be color tests. I'm not planning on any of these that I paint to be saved/usable, I just want a red shirt to be the Mr Scott red shirt that I've seen all my life. Is that too much to ask?

Yes, it probably is.


gaming miniatures hobbies

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