Be Kind, Please Rewind

01.25.2021

The latest mall addition is a good old fashioned video store - Blockbuster!

When putting away the Scooby gang last time, I noticed my box for non-game specific minis is almost full. But fear not, I've got an empty box sitting at the ready.


4ground-mall scenery

Those Meddling Kids

01.21.2021

For my first batch of painting for the year, I went for a group of minis which I don't really know how long I've had sitting on a shelf. Quite a while, at least. The Hasslefree version of the Scooby Doo gang. Each has a different name so as to not infringe on any copyrights, but the key there is that without the correct colors it's not Scoob and the gang. Although I learned, based on my color choices and reference pics to the cartoon, that just getting close to the right color combinations is good enough for people to recognize who it's supposed to be.

There was really nothing special about this batch, save for I think these are the best eyes I've managed. Brush-felt tipped pens, with ever the slightest of touches, while paying close attention with my magnifying headband glasses ended up being the right combination - this time around. I also ended up using those brushes, think of it as painting with ink, to touch up hair and some clothes parts.

The Mystery Machine in the last pic is a Jada 1:32 Die Cast toy I came across at Wal Mart. Normally 1:48 and maybe 1:42 will work with 28mm, so this is a big accessory. The van is just under 2 inches wide, which is what most vehicles in 28mm treat as 1 lane. For $10, it's close enough to work. There's a resin van and add-on decals you can get for the right scale, but again, for $10 this was a quick prop to add in.

Only I will really notice, but I'm not going to add my spreadsheet update any longer with each painted mini post. Any gains or losses are hard to notice unless you go back to the previous post, and I don't plan on getting done anytime soon. Maybe when a category of minis gets done I'll make a special note, but no more "0.3% more complete!" paragraphs :)

For next time, I'm still working on a Blockbuster Video store for the 4Ground mall. After that, I think I may work on a non-mall building while also finding another batch of minis to paint for when the mood strikes.


gaming miniatures Hasslefree

Rite Aid

01.09.2021

The latest addition to the Mall of Potham is a Rite Aid Pharmacy. For whatever reason, the idea of a raised pharmacist area was stuck in my head and I wanted to try and pull it off. In the end - eh. The narrow width of the layout didn't really work with the "open to the side" area that was in my head. But that's ok - it works for game purposes, which is one of those things that's important down the line.

Cutting the floor from a slightly larger piece of wood was my first use of my super cool Black Friday purchase - the Wondercutter. I got through my first use without a trip to the ER, something I was honestly a little fearful of. I learned an ultrasonic knife (a) makes no sounds, and (b) you can't see the blade vibrate. While all of that should seem obvious, it wasn't until putting knife to thing-to-cut that it clicked that the blade really was vibrating (ultrasonically fast).

Pay no attention to the minis in the pics below, they're only there for scale and usually live in a box to test paint colors/mixes/things I don't think will work. The zombies are from Star Trek color tests :)

Up next for the mall is a Blockbuster Video Store. Given my penchant for movies, the interior for this one should go pretty quick.

I've also primed a Scooby Doo gang for when the painting mood strikes.


4ground-mall gaming miniatures

Can 2 Stores Make a Mall?

12.27.2020

October/Black Friday 2019 my big purchase was the 4Ground Mall. After a month or two I finally started putting the mall together, and by the middle of April the basic mall was built sans any content. I knew filling out the guts of the stores would be the big time consuming part of this project. That's ok though, I'm not in a hurry. This was intended to be a long term project. That was part of rationalizing the cost for this.

Now, after another 6+ months, I can claim 2 stores as complete (enough) to qualify as mall tenants.

1. Ammunation
You can tell I play too much Grand Theft Auto when the 1st mall store is named after a store in the video game. I didn't want to stick with the options printed up in the provided mall directions, I'm much too quirky for that. The Ammunation store was thought to be mostly done a few months ago, but after looking at what I how I had decorated the store, it just didn't feel right. The first change was the entrance sign. Although I like the Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to add depth to the sign, it looked like a cheap key fob. The Mod Podge was just me over-engineering what I wanted, so version... technically, 4... was just a piece of clear transparency film over the sign graphic printed on card stock. A lot more miscellaneous clutter was added in to help give the store a little life and personality. The room in the back will have some personality added later - right now it's just got gun-themed posters I would imagine gun-nut me would put up.



2. (Sara's) That's So Art
One of the top 3 coolest Christmas presents I ever received were the Hero Forge minis from Sara last year. Since last year, Sara has stood up her booming custom art business to the point where SHE HAD NO TIME TO TOP LAST YEARS PRESENT. I made sure to express my dissappointment and how I took the lack of notice and personal attention as a personal affront. Just to make her feel worse, I turned one of the mall stores into her art shop, complete with me and Tyler looking around.



Unfortunately, Sara didn't fall for my personal affrontedness and just commented on how cool it was.

Now I can claim a little hobby progress from the past few months. Not a lot, but some. Salesforce certification studying got in the way a lot more than I intended.

I've been working on a pharmacy for the mall, but I keep finding my ideas for setting up the interior aren't working well enough to follow through on. Another iteration is primed to try, literally. Maybe this one will work well enough to build upon.


4ground-mall gaming miniatures scenery

Passed!

12.09.2020

After 3 months, I thought it time to check in on the interweb. Last time here I mentioned a 6 week bootcamp for the Salesforce Platform Developer certification. The bootcamp ended up being trailhead lessons I'd done over the past couple of years, save for two. There was also some overview about how to program and caveats for what happens in Salesforce. I knew most of those going into the class, too. I would have been disappointed, but the price of the class included a voucher for taking the exam, and was reduced to the cost of the exam. In essence, free training and tips.

Post bootcamp, I took a half-day webinar on prepping for the exam. Again, I was good on most of this stuff.

In April, I purchased training materials from Focus on Force. Good content, and 15 practice exams. I was making 75-90 on practice exams. On the real exam, I would have to make a 65 (out of 100). I felt good going into this.

My scheduled exam time came and I began my remotely proctored test. After 55 minutes of my 105 minute allotted time, I had answered everything and gone back and reviewed those answers I was unsure about. Out of 65 questions, there were 5 that I had no idea on. The scenario based questions were a little different from what I had studied - and there were a lot more questions about messaging services than I was expected. As I submitted the test, I was pretty sure I'd passed - maybe something in the 70% range.

59%. 3 questions short of passing. Well. Shit.

The summary of my score tells me what percentage of each major (5) categories I got right. In essence, I really didn't know what I had gotten right and what I had gotten wrong.

After being down, a little mad, and not knowing what to do next, I realized a couple of things. This test was an exam to see what I knew, not guide me to study what I didn't know (those category scores just weren't as helpful as I wanted). My high scores on the Focus on Force practice tests had come from me taking those tests enough that I had basically memorized those answers and questions - in that order. It's the way my brain had gotten geared for tests in school - these will be the questions asked, and these will be the answers.

So I went back to re-study, now that I knew what the test looked like. Better understand what solutions go with general scenarios, that was my big lacking. I did this for 3 weeks and scheduled my 2nd attempt. To make my life easier, the half day webinar I sat in on included a discount voucher that could be applied to follow up exam attempts (so it only cost me $30 instead of $100). Attempt #2 saw me more confident. Luckily for me, I saw questions I remembered from my first attempt - questions I had gone back afterward and double checked what the right answer should be. I went through and once again had everything answered after 55 minutes. This time, I went back and double checked every question regardless of my first impulse on whether or not I'd gotten it right. On the second pass I changed some answers. Some of those I'd marked to double check, some not. When it came time to submit my answers, I was confident. Surely I'd done better than the last time. In my gut I was sure I was in the 90% range.

73%. I passed by 4 questions. Not 90%, but I passed and can now claim Platform Developer Certifiability.

It still bothers me that I don't know specifics on what I missed. It bothers me more that there are things I was sure I was right on and that I know, but I'm wrong. I'm most likely doing some of that wrong stuff day to day.

There are a couple more certifications I told myself would be nice. After the uphill battle of getting this one, I'm not speeding toward trying to grab either of those. My brain has to learn that my old method of studying for tests doesn't work here. And while I know how to program and code, there are some quirky Salesforce things that are possible that I just don't do, but need to know how to do when the day comes along that they're needed. That's the hard part to figure out how I need to learn and retain.

With all of that work/Salesforce stuff going on, I really haven't done much else for fun. The 4Ground Mall managed to get 1 store "completed", which I need to take some pics of. There was a little Black Friday procuring of some minis on sale. I've also been working for a homemade shelves idea to go in the mall stores - now on version 3. With the holidays coming up I should have a normal hobby-related post before too long.


programming/interweb salesforce work

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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!).

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