Wednesday, July 29, 2009

GW Reverses the Trend

Well this is quite a nice surprise. Check this out:

GW 2009 Annual Report Summary
GW 2009 Full Annual Report

The executive "supervike" summary:
  • Revenue up 14%
  • Pre-tax profit up 682%
  • Debt down 84%
They've really turned it around compared to the last couple years.

Land Raider Assembly Instructions - part 1

About 10% of my traffic seems to be people looking for "land raider assembly instructions." It's time to give the public what they want.

What you'll need:
  • The interior walls
  • the floor
  • the front portion that includes the top turret mount (plus the little sensor plate that goes in it)
  • the exhaust pipe half that faces toward the front of the Land Raider
  • the interior engine detail piece (with the purity seals and adeptus mechanicus symbol)
  • both front access doors (the ones that rotate open)
These are all the pieces that sandwich between the two interior walls.

First off, prime all these pieces. I recommend gray automotive spray primer. Paint the interior walls (if you plan to... but why wouldn't you?!), the interior engine detail and the floor. Once assembled these parts will be nearly impossible to get to for painting, so do it now. You can paint the top part with the turret mount now or after assembly. Glue the sensor to the top turret mount before or after painting, but before the assembly steps below.

Once everything on the interior is as painted as you want it, you will need to trim the interior engine detail piece a little. I've found that this little fellow makes it really hard to get the Land Raider to fit together correctly unless you scrape the corners of the outside edges (left and right) to create a little taper. Being able to easily slip the interior engine piece in will make getting a good fit much easier.

After dry fitting everything to make sure you have an easy fit, it's time to glue. The rear part (engine exhaust) and the floor are straightforward, but you'll need to simultaneously insert the top front door and the top turret mount to get the hinge areas between them to mesh easily. Don't forget: don't glue the front doors! When everything's together you should have a nice square fit, with the top turret mount piece fitting nicely against the top of the two interior walls. Now insert the interior engine detail (which should go in easily.) A drop of glue from the interior of the engine area will hold it in place.

Next: the parts that sandwich between the interior walls and exterior hull.

Continue to part 2.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Quote of the Day

Overhead from a coworker's phone conversation:

"Everyone at their abuse department is so hostile."

Hence the name, I suppose.

Missed Chicago

My chance at a 2nd Golden Demon passed me by this weekend when I skipped going to Chicago Games Day. We just don't have the money for that kind of thing right now.


I'll admit though, the pressure to up the ante from the past two years was a little intense (albeit all self imposed.) In '07 I set my sights on getting first cut, and made honorable mention (for my Skaven Giant.) In '08 I wanted to get a trophy of some sort, and I took home a bronze in 40k large model (for my Ork Warboss.) This year I was hoping for at least a silver.

The funny thing is that I keep looking at my old competition pieces and I'm less and less happy with my technique. I really hope that means I'm improving as a painter.

Next year's competition will feature two of the really good ideas I had this year, which were for fantasy regiment and fantasy single. A friend of mine had a really good idea for duel (which is now "diorama") which I might steal if he doesn't want to do it himself.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The "Skilled Rider" Rule

I just had a nice description from my coworker Subbu about traffic in India. I'd say these drivers are acutely aware of their surroundings. They would have to be to stay alive I'm guessing.

Subbu was saying that when he got here he couldn't believe that nobody honked. In India, apparently everybody honks pretty much all the time. After getting used to driving here (you know, with rules and lights) he can't drive in India any more. He has to take a taxi.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Celebrity Fleshtones

Lately, I've been thinking about chucking a couple of paints that I've never really liked: Citadel's Dwarf Flesh and Elf Flesh. I mean seriously... what flesh is actually either of those colors? Dwarf Flesh looks way too orange and Elf Flesh is far too yellow for pale skin. Even cheap acrylic craft paint has better fleshtones. What I use now are P3 Midlund Flesh or Citadel Tallarn Flesh foundation, and highlight up by mixing in a white (skull white or Reaper Linen white.)

But then I saw this picture.

My wife's computer has one of those annoying Real Media news pop-ups in the system tray. I don't typically pay two seconds of attention to it, but this picture immediately got my notice. Here we find Kendra Wilkinson and Denise Richards, appearing to exemplify Citadel Dwarf Flesh and Elf Flesh.

I guess I won't throw those colors out quite yet... maybe Citadel can rename them "fake tan" and "overexposed flash" or something.

Upgrade Failed

So I finally clicked the "upgrade" button on my Blogger template. Guess what! Fail! Most of my content went over just fine but for some reason the comments link is refusing to show up on my posts. People can still leave comments, but they have to go into the post itself to do so.

Grrr. I know "black box"ing things makes life easier for 99.9% of the users, but I'm still jealously clinging to my control at the source level.

EDIT: Win! Reading some forum posts, I tried clicking the "Revert Widget Templates to Default" link (in Layout, Edit HTML, at the bottom) and it worked! I don't know what about the comment widget had been modified but apparently the default version is the good one.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cheesing Out on a Challenge

I'm having a crisis of list creation. A friend of mine and I have been gearing up for a battle between his Orks and my Space Marines with allied Witch Hunters. He threw down the gauntlet first, setting the fluff for the battle and choosing the armies. (He actually chose Witch Hunters, but I don't have enough to play 1500 points effectively, so allied SM are okay.)

So here's the deal. I don't like fielding list that would be perfect for destroying my opponents army but would be useless against an entirely different army. I think there should be more to the game than picking "scissors" if you know your opponent took "paper." On the other hand, with the fluff that has been developing around this challenge it would be completely clear that I was going to have to face Orks. Would I then be justified in loading up on plasma cannons and heavy bolters? Am I cheesing out if I take Telion to pop any Nobs with PK's before they get to whatever armor I've brought? If this was your garden variety scheduled game then I would never tune an anti-Ork list.

Should I just sort of tune an Ork list or just completely go hog wild about it?

Monday, July 20, 2009

So Now Sweet Sixteen Turns Sixty-three

Okay, random thought......

Bob's Seger's song "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" has the line "so now sweet sixteen turns thirty-one." I use that as a mnemonic to remember that the code for the coffee I like at the local grocery store is code 31 on the u-scan lanes.

If sweet 16 was 31 when the song was released (1977) that makes a birth year of 1946 (can you say baby Boomer?) and a sweet 16 year of 1962. So what rock and roll songs would have been popular at that time?

In the top 25 of 1962, 4 of them have some variety of the word "twist" in the title. (btw, way to milk it, Chubby Checker.) Most of the songs wouldn't qualify as rock and roll by any historical standard. Here I copy the list from

1. Roses Are Red (My Love), Bobby Vinton
2. I Can't Stop Loving You, Ray Charles
3. Let's Twist Again, Chubby Checker
4. Stranger On The Shore, Mr. Acker Bilk
5. The Stripper, David Rose
6. Johnny Angel , Shelley Fabares
7. The Loco-Motion, Little Eva
8. Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, Neil Sedaka
9. Mashed Potato Time, Dee Dee Sharp
10. Soldier Boy, Shirelles
11. Hey! Baby, Bruce Channel
12. The Wanderer, Dion
13. Duke Of Earl, Gene Chandler
14. Good Luck Charm, Elvis Presley
15. Let Me In, Sensations
16. Wolverton Mountain, Claude King
17. Slow Twistin', Chubby Checker
18. It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin', Johnny Tillotson
19. The One Who Really Loves You, Mary Wells
20. Palisades Park, Freddy Cannon
21. Midnight In Moscow, Kenny Ball
22. Sheila, Tommy Roe
23. Twistin' the Night Away, Sam Cooke
24. The Wah Watusi, Orlons
25. Peppermint Twist, Joey Dee and The Starlighters

If 1962 was a bland year for popular rock and roll, 1977 was lousy with disco in contrast. Bob Seger leaves us with a universal truth: if you have to pick between catchy lyrics and sociohistoric accuracy, go for the song lyrics.

EDIT: What, nobody's going to call me out about calling 1962 bland? There are 12 songs out of the 25 that don't include the word "twist" that I immediately identify as classic rock and roll songs of the era.

My New Favorite WIP holder

I started mounting high quality paint job minis on corks to avoid touching the emerging paint jobs with my filthy meat appendages. That's all find and dandy until you need them to actually stand on their own. I tried a variety of makeshift holders, and even switched to sawed-off champagne corks (so they'd be much thicker at the bottom) to try and fix the falling over problem.

Now I have it figured out. As you can see in the pic (which is a WIP from my "Big Box of Eldar" project blog) the Sabol paint tray makes an excellent WIP fig holder for these cork mounted figs. Even non cork mounted figs can be placed in the star-shaped cavities. About half an inch of insertion will hold them nicely without contacting the model to the foam. I intend to use one of these to hold 20 tactical Space Marines in the future for actual army transportation once I get them painted and properly dullcoted for protection.

Friday, July 17, 2009

650 Years Summarized

History is a funny animal. We tend to learn about events in the singular and miss the flow of one event to another. If you learned Bible stories as a kid you probably experienced this as well, learning anecdotes of history without much time context.

I'm going to connect some of the dots for a short segment of biblical history. If you know some of the stories buy aren't a biblical scholar then you might get a sense of the bigger picture.

About 1700 BC:
  • God calls Abraham to pack up and leave to go to a land that God would show him, and promises him and his wife a child despite their advanced age and childlessness.
  • Abraham and his wife Sarah have a child, Isaac. God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac but supplies a ram as substitute for the sacrifice at the last second.
  • Isaac and his wife Rebekah have children, one of whom is Jacob.
  • Jacob has 12 sons, one of whom is Joseph.
  • God gives Jacob the name "Israel" after wrestling with him.
  • Joseph's brothers are jealous of their father's obvious favoritism of Joseph (including the gift of a coat of many colors) and so they fake his death and sell him into slavery in Egypt.
  • Joseph interprets a dream Pharaoh's dream of fat/thin cows as meaning seven years of plenty were coming, followed by seven years of famine. Pharaoh places Joseph in charge of storing the plenty to prepare for the famine
  • After the seven years of plenty, Jacob and his family move to Egypt to escape the famine.
  • The children of Israel (Jacob) thrive in Egypt, until a Pharaoh comes to power who does not know Joseph. The children of Israel are forced from residing in Egypt to being captive there.
  • About 280 years after captivity in Egypt begins, Moses is born.
  • At age 80, Moses leads Israel's children (now a multitude) out of Egypt.
If you actually read all that, did it fill in any gaps? Were there things you knew of connected in ways you hadn't known before? I'm just curious more than anything. As a child I did not grasp the connections in biblical history that as an adult I see.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Akiko Rocks the B3

Oh, man. Oh, man. Oh, man. I just heard Akiko Tsuruga for the first time on local jazz station WEMU. She rocks the Hammond B3 harder than anyone I've heard in a while. And by rock, I mean jazz.

Go to her site and listen:

Thursday, July 02, 2009


The room dimmed as we danced
Spinning weightless laughing
Embracing with gaze fixed
And morning came
To prove it was not a dream