3 Houses May Be Too Much At Once

07.07.2019

Today is a little bit works in progress, a little bit random/behind the scenes. This is what happens when projects get a little carried away and look to take longer than intended.

The hobby project that's turning into a big hobby project has been a trio of MDF houses. There's a 4-house set for Walking Dead of which I picked up 3 during a sale at some point or another. As my theater project got delayed (more on that some other time) I thought I'd just whip out these 3 houses. My method of whipping takes a while.

I've long been hesitant to paint MDF as stories of it drinking up paint are legendary. I've not really experienced it myself, but I've really been limited what I paint. The kits as they come are fairly plain. I went my favored route for home and instead of trying to paint interior walls, I went by Home Depot and picked up paint sample cards for Behr paint. These specific cards are really good for what I need. They're sized to cover most walls. There's a variety of colors. Nobody in Home Depot seems to notice or mind when I grab 4 samples of 10 colors and merrily walk out without buying anything.

I've learned the method that works best for me is to glue the card to the wall and then cut and trim the excess. Before this, I dry-fit everything together (this will come in important on that theater project story for some other time) to make sure I get rooms with the same color. Once the glue dries, excess is trimmed so the walls will fit flush, or as flush as I can make them, with each other and the floor. I tend to get a little overboard with the color choices. My house has tan (Gourmet Mushroom) walls throughout, but here I pick a different color for every room. It's colorful, if nothing else.

Interior window openings have been tricky in the past, with lots of mistakes learned. Just a square opening, thank you square hole punch, doesn't look right. Windows have trim. I tried a couple of craft-stick, fine - square toothpick - frames with 45 ° corners, but my Chopper wasn't making consistent, flush cuts. Being lazy, I opted for and old fashioned square frame with longer top and bottom, and the sides are trimmed to fit between. With transparency film cut to fit the window and glued in before the paint card, it all makes for a decent window.

With the walls dry-fit into the base, I went ahead and glued all the walls together with some wood glue and let it all set for a day. Now it's ready for the next step. Ah, the next step. What is the next step? Notice the lack of doors? Part of not gluing walls to the base is so the doors can still be added - and this time I took extra care to make sure the holes for the door hing/axis are on the correct sides. I learn from my mistakes! Sometimes. The outer doors have openings for windows, so I'll likely go the transparency film + toothpick frame route for those. The interior doors are very plain. I'm currently planning on printing out some door textures and gluing them on. Door textures may not be the proper term. There's some nice pics of interior doors on the Home Depot website that I'll likely be cropping and printing. I use Home Depot a lot for this stuff. Maybe I can get a sponsorship?

There's some other little details I'm going to print out and see how they look, but I'll save further explanation until we see if it's worth it. The one part I will mention is how the floors of these 3 houses work horribly for house floors. While I'm tempted to just print out floors, which is Plan B, I'm going to see how 1mm felt works as a carpet replacement. That's crazy, you say. Home Depot doesn't have 1mm felt! That's true. Hobby Lobby has felt!

Seeing as it took the better part of 2 weeks to get walls covered in color and glued, I'm not really sure how long to expect this next phase to take.

Segueing from Home Depot, it's clearance time of year. While I always drop in for coupon usage on Tamiya Primer I'll also wander the aisles looking for anything with a red sticker that I might one day use. This year that included some Brier Patch flock and a couple of water effects. I've yet to do much with water effects but if I keep watching Luke Towan I'm going to try something or other before long. I picked up some random odds and ends while roaming the aisles, too. I was starting to run out of the Sand & Mud pigment that I use, so instead of using my coupon on primer I picked up pigment. I also picked up a couple of random packs of wood pieces, because sometimes I just need random wood pieces.

After watching way too many videos on the pros and cons of contrast paints I decided to pick some up. Most people talk about how these paints work well for painting lots of minis quickly, although the colors tend to come out flat and in pastels. The thing I noticed is that these paints seem to work well with skin tones and fabric. I paint a lot of skin tones and fabric! Contrast paints are described as a thick wash. I like to paint with a wash!

I made a list of the colors I would be most likely to use and headed out to The Deep to get what I could. They had 7 colors in stock. 5 of them were colors I wanted, so I picked them up. From there I went to the Warhammer Store, and discovered they were closed on Tuesdays. Luckily, Adam at work mentioned a Warhammer sale of some type at JCs House of Cards. I thought they were mainly a Magic The Gathering & card games of that ilk shop. Facebook listed Warhammer in their stock, so I took advantage of social media and asked if they carried/had in stock any contrast paint. They replied "yes, we have them all". That afternoon, I saw they did indeed have them all. And then I may have left with too many. But they had them all!

I'm going to practice with these on some Zombicide minis that will never see the light of day, just to get a feel for how they work.

With all the Walking Dead minis I've gotten over the past couple of years, I've been racking up Mantic Points/Proof of Purchase. The Mantic web store had some more things in stock, so I finally got my points together and placed an order. I needed 40 pts, which I managed to get together - I had to raid a couple of not-yet-opened boosters. I'm not sure I've ever mailed anything to England, but I visited my local USPS to ensure I had everything packed, addressed, and properly paid. Sometime in the next 3 weeks they should receive my points. Hopefully in the ensuing 3 weeks I'll get my point paid booty.


hobbies random walking dead

Payoff

05.01.2019

After 20 years, and somewhere around 3-5 months, I no longer have a mortgage payment to make. I haven't moved, which can only mean... I paid off the house!

Honestly I'm amazed I haven't moved in 20 years. By the time I graduated high school I figured out we had managed to move every year and a half on average. I was determined to stay put for a while. Although honestly I didn't want to go through the hassle of trying to sell the house, pack up and move to some other place, unpack, etc.

In essence, being lazy paid off my house.

On tap to celebrate this weekend is a road trip to a Birmingham Shrimp Basket with the Whitmore Clan. I think I'm supposed to be buying since I'm suddenly flush with extra available income.


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Still sick + free fall

03.15.2019

The rest of the week was blown off work thanks to being sick (6 days of triple digit temperature - I'm ready to be done with being sick!). I decided that Day 7 of Sick wasn't going to be another laying around, taking naps kind of day. Time for my brain to trick my body into getting over this shit. My brain still wasn't coherent enough to do any actual work - this was proven by the hour plus video call Tyler and I had where I think I looked at him looking at Bob's code. Instead my goal was just to not go lay down.

I spent the morning doing random piddly computer stuff. Stuff so unimportant I can't even remember what it was, 6 hrs later. But it kept me out of bed! And oddly enough when I went to check my temperature today, it was always in the 98s. Sure, it's the day which traditionally those good drugs kick in and I start to feel better, but I'm giving my brain an assist on this one!

While I had lunch (Dominos Jalepeno/Banana Peppers: the Sinus Special!) I watched a Dock You Men Tarry on Netflix, 14 Minutes from Earth. I'd never heard of the event this covers - Google exec breaks freefall record - but I was in the mood to watch something different while I lunched and this turned interesting and entertaining enough that I watched the whole thing. With that said, it's made like really bad reality TV. Music builds the tension to what you know's going to be ok is the worse culprit. But in the interviews there was a big dose of, I'm not sure what it's normally called....

When gov't contractors band together to big on a contract, they're very complimentary to each other, calling out accolades by name. This is in actual contract proposals. Convert this to a documentary setting and then notice subtleties - who's wearing a logo of which company, for example, and it skews from documentary to attempted long form ad.

Worse, or maybe just most stereotypical, was the woman who was listed as the co-founder of Paragon DSC. When she talked, it was like she didn't know she was responsible for/involved in some of these life threatening decisions, and she was in unbelievable awe that any of this was actually happening. Later, during a record breaking moment, she's texting and completely misses what's happening. I wonder if this is why she's not listed anywhere on the current Paragon website?

Now to take it easy for the rest of the night. But not too easy, my brain is still in charge of my body and my body has to listen!

I'm in an odd mood to watch Moonraker though....


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Flat Shoulder Strep Tank

02.11.2019

It's been a rough week. Calendar week, at least.

Flat

Last weekend, on the way back from Florence, I noticed the car felt a little weird. I switched the Miles To Empty monitor to Tire Pressure, and my left rear tire shows 33 psi instead of 37 like all the other tires. I was only a mile or two from a gas station, so I whipped in and aired up and proceeded home. I left the Tire Pressure monitor up so I would remember to look at it. Each morning the left rear would have a little less air in it. Maybe a pound. Maybe 2. Maybe it was the change in weather (wouldn't all the tires be affected though?). The car sat over a long weekend (reason is below!) and on Monday morning there was 29 psi in the left read, while the other tires had 35. A call to Decatur Hyundai after I got to work found me at Decatur Hyundai after lunch. The tires are rated for 50-60k, and 3 of the tires have 53k miles which puts me in the zone to worry about them. I tell the guys working if the tread's in the worry zone, just replace it/them instead of plugging it. Hypothetically they checked, and then we replaced them. Now I have tires that I shouldn't worry about for 50k miles!

Shoulder

In the above trip back from Florence, my left shoulder stopped working. I'm not sure why, but after I left my grandparents it hurt (at the rotator cuff) to lift my left arm. To the point I had no strength to lift my arm. Not that big of a deal driving back from Florence. The next Sunday morning it became more of a big deal, as I honestly couldn't lift it at all. Something was out of whack which I knew could be cured chiropractically, so I shot a message to Trevor to ask how soon Monday morning he could see me. Luckily he said "first thing". I slept fitfully Sunday night as it's amazing how a sore shoulder can keep you from getting comfortable enough to sleep. An hour here and there was what it felt like I got. Monday morning I make it in to Trevor and he tells me the ligaments between my collar bone and shoulder are super abducted - so, "tight". He pushes, pulls, pokes, gets the cold laser and zaps me, then tells me to follow up with ice and sticking a rolled up quilt in my armpit and squeezing - this will help stretch those super abducted ligaments. I did that. I slept pretty good Monday night. Tuesday morning I go in for what was expected to be Round 2, but was more regular shoulder-adjusting along with ultra-sound zapping. On Thursday I could shove a pillow off the bed behind my back. Amazing what I can count as normal!

Strep

Speaking of Thursday, I awoke at 1 am and didn't feel right. Achy. Slight headache. Throat was a little sore. I took my temp, and instead of my normal 97-ish it read 99.7. Based on the last time I felt like this, I have the flu. Not a lot I can do at 1 in the morning. I go to my regular walk-in clinic doctor, Dr Mayer, who I've been going to since 1995. I get to the office and the receptionist is there. Just her. No doctor. No nurse practitioner (which is something they must have started since my last visit in June). This does me no good! The receptionist says I should go to a Doc in a Box, or she can call some other doctor who's down the road and see if they have an opening. They have an opening, but it's in 2.5 hours. I guess it's about time for me to go to my first ever Doc in a Box. I pick the one closest to my house - it's at 72/County Line - and enter, fill out paperwork, and am in the back telling a nurse "I think I have the flu" within 30 minutes. They take a flu test and it comes back negative, but the Dr who looks like he's 15 says they get false negatives in the first 24 hrs 20% of the time. So there's a good chance I have the flu. he then looks at my throat and says it looks like I might have strep. They take a strep test. I have strep. Well great, now my self-diagnosed flu symptoms might also be strep, for future reference. I grab my antibiotic prescription and take it down the road to Publix, where they tell me there's currently a little over an hour wait on filling prescriptions.

I knew at 1 am I was sick. It took until 1230 for me to get drugs, which I took in the parking lot of Publix. I don't go to the doctor often, but when I do and need real drugs, I start taking them right away. I was hoping to get a little work done Friday and over the weekend to make up for my body fighting me. Friday was the day I discovered strep is more than a sore throat. Saturday and Sunday my brain didn't want to work, no matter how much work I made my eyes look at. But by Saturday I was back to feeling normal. This was also the stretch, from Thursday on, where the car didn't move and served as a good test for "is it the tire or is it all in my head".

Tank

There was a sneak peak on the last blog for the plastic model kit of the tank I had started painting. I ended up not adding as much visible detail as I thought. This was mainly due to details made the camo look less.... camoey. I messed around with some weathering and washes. The washes didn't go too well and left way too many streaks. Hopefully the streaks will come across as weird scratches or shadows.

This tank was a learning kit. What's the right way to put a model together after not really making one in 35 years? How much to put together VS when to start painting? I'm still not sure about that part. Now the zombie apocalypse has a tank. I can play the Walking Dead Governor Attacks The Prison scenarios now.


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Almost End Of The Month Update

01.29.2019

Here's a quick "what's been going on" lately.

I broke my first screen on an electronic device a few weeks ago. I use an Amazon Fire 7 Tablet for playing match-3 games and random audio goodness to lull me to sleep. On of those lulls left the Fire in the bed as I flopped around and learned it is not soft and fluffy like the mattress. A slight *snap* and parts of the screen cracked. It's still perfectly usable, except I can't stand a cracked screen. JeffyB knew this and put the Fire 8 on sale 2 days later. The memory card of the Fire 7 (above, right) wasn't recognized by the Fire 8 (above, left) so I'll have to start progressing through my random match-3 games again.

I've also got a perfectly fine Fire 10, but it's a bit too big for 1 hand manipulation, which evidently is a thing for me.

One of the Xmas $5 sales I picked up was a 1 year subscription to Reader's Digest. I used to always read this on visits to my grandparents (the jokes were great bathroom reading). I forget when they stopped getting it - probably 20 years ago - but I always kind of missed it and told myself I should get it. Subscription sale came along, and in supporting turning elderly in the coming months I purchased said subscription. The first issue arrived last week.

I hope it still has Humor In Uniform, it was was my favorite.

Dots and lines with the airbrush at home. Grey dots were the day of my airbrush lesson. Brown dots were after getting more stuff to paint better. Speaking of, I mentioned to Christian I'd tell him about the Quick Connect Coupler with Valve, so if you're reading this, that's what I was talking about! Tweaking the pressure at the airbrush instead of the tank works a lot better for me. And remembering to release the moisture trap, too.

I put together my first plastic model in a decade or 2. The tank I've been mentioning off and on. Making a model as a grown up is a lot different. Sprue cutters and sanding instead of twisting crap off. Taking 2 weeks of leisure time instead of cranking it out in an hour or two. Waiting for glue to to dry before attaching the next piece. Having to use tweezers to place and hold some stuff because my big-man fingers couldn't get the job done.

It's not perfect, but it wasn't meant to be. That's part of why I've got a 2nd copy of the kit. Just to get it over with, I ended up spraying some camo-esque patterns with the airbrush. I'll still go back and pick out some details and weather it, maybe add some battle damage to cover up a big gap in the back. Overall it was a nice re-entry to learning how to make a model.


airbrush computers hate me models random

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