The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

You know it’s fall when…

| November 9, 2015

Actual conversation in my house:

Hey, can you hold off going to the range? I need you to watch the boys while I help my dad follow a blood trail.

Catching up

| September 14, 2014

So, yeah, August came and went.

Liz was gone for a couple of weeks, hunting Dall’s sheep above the arctic circle in Alaska with her dad. It was the trip he’s always wanted to take, and it was the experience of a lifetime for the two of them to share.

Meanwhile, I got to spend the two weeks with the boys, which is great because I don’t get to spend days with them like Liz does. So, my boys and I hung out, I cleaned up around the house, read them some books, we laughed, giggled, rolled around on the floor, it was grand.

For the second week, my mother came to visit, and we visited Professor Bond’s Emporium. It’s a cool shop in a neat old mill, I hope it sticks around. The website is a bit out of date. If you’re interested, you’d need to pop in to the store or call to see who is playing what when. They have a good inventory of Magic cards and assorted board games, with some Warmachine and RPG books.

Anyway, I picked up Betrayal at House on the Hill and X-Wing. Both are quite good.

X-Wing uses the best preplotted movement system I’ve seen (if you’re in to that sort of thing), which apparently as licensed by WizKids for use in their Attack Wing game. Otherwise, it’s just a cool, fun dogfighting game. I think the system would be great for a reboot of the old Crimson Skies boardgame.

Betrayal is interesting. Basically, you and the other players cooperate in exploring a haunted house, which is different each time you play because it’s made from randomly drawn tiles. As you explore the house, there are events that happen to you, items you find, and omens, which often work like items, except that as there are more omens revealed, the more likely it is that the haunt starts. Once the haunt starts, you look up in a book of 50 different haunts which one you’re playing (based on the omen and room combination), and that tells you who the traitor is. The traitor then tries to complete some objective (typically killing the other players by some means) and the remaining players try to complete their objective and survive. So, there is a tremendous amount of replayability in this game.

While my mother was here, we watched a lot of YouTube videos from The Painting Clinic, which got me thinking again about getting an airbrush for miniatures. Since Liz is going back to work, I figured I had a little bit of pocket money. The missing piece to this when I last looked at getting one several years ago was a spray booth – they were either expensive or took up a lot of space when I wasn’t using them. So, anyway, I found:

  • portable airbrush booth
  • A cheap airbrush kit (Okay, so this wasn’t the kit I got, but it was the kit I should have gotten, because the compressor has a tank, and there is a quick disconnect fitting, and it has an airbrush holder. I ended up getting a lesser one, and buying the other things separately – it saved me some money while I was experimenting, but I’ll likely have to buy a new compressor with tank, etc. So, I should have just bought this, it would have been cheaper in the long run).
  • After some experimenting, I got a second airbrush. The idea here is that I use one airbrush with the 0.5mm needle for thick stuff (mainly gesso, which I use as a primer) and the other with the 0.3mm needle with thin stuff (namely thinned Vallejo acrylic paints).

What I’ve found is:

  • Primer – 0.5mm airbrush, 1:1 gesso to glass and tile medium. This flows fine, though tends to gack up the airbrush, so I throw it all in the ultrasonic cleaner every time I use it. I do wish the spray was broader, but it works, and I only need to spray one coat (when I brushed it on, for some reason, it always took 2).
  • Paint – 0.3mm airbrush, 2:1 Vallejo to my standard thinner (3 parts distilled water, 1 part flow aid). This works great for general painting, though this spray can actually get broad, which is nice for basecoating.
  • My old crappy craft paints don’t work well through the brush, mainly because they’re a little chunky and tend to jam up the brush. That said, I don’t know if it’s the quality of the paint or the age of the paint – they’re really old. So, that’s what I’m experimenting with and what I’ve figured out so far. I’ll post pictures once I have something that’s actually more than just primed. I’m working on planets and asteroids for space games, some resin Victorian buildings for Dystopian Wars, and a Warmachine gun carriage (which right now just looks like a big red box – but it takes me about 15 minutes to spray a coat, whereas brushing would take me like an hour, and it takes 5 coats to get the color right).

Aaanyway… it’s bedtime.

Lizzy brings home dinner

| November 23, 2007

Long day

| September 23, 2007

This was one of those weekends where I worked on a lot and made a lot of progress, but didn't really finish anything. But, progress is progress, I suppose.

I also found a gaming shop about half an hour away which does open gaming several times a week, so I'll probably show up and play. Of course, 40K is out for a little bit, since GW changed all the books I need, again, so I need to grab up to date ones and rejigger my army to conform to the rules.

I also hung out and talked about conspiracy theories and other odd bits of unexplainable trivia with a neighbor from up the street. He's a friend of my father in law, and ended up building a house up around the bend.

One interesting topic to come out of the discussion was that he was reading that archaeologists have uncovered evidence of multiple nuclear incidents from about 8000 years ago, which leads to discussion of an advanced society and/or extraterrestrial nuclear war. You can google “ancient nuclear war” for more information. Maybe it's just nutty conspiracy theory, but if these were indeed ancient nuclear explosions, where did they come from? If they were not, what are they?

I haven't seen Arthur all day. Usually he comes out and hangs out when I'm working in the yard, and he also usually comes in at about this time at night. I have to say that I am a little concerned, but Liz also thinks I'm a little paranoid. Still, my father in law found some coyote scat down by the creek, so hopefully Arthur is okay.

Also, apparently New Jersey exported some bears to upstate NY, because they have a bear problem, but the environmental management folks didn't want to issue hunting licenses for them because “the girls in the office thought it was mean to kill the cute bears”. So we now have them in NY, where permits will be issued for the bears (they're extending the bear hunting season in the Catskill region by something like 3 days this year because of bear overpopulation there).

Now, both Coyotes and Bears will generally leave people alone (barring rabies and protecting cubs), but Arthur would make either of them a nice snack.

In other news, my father in law put up a trailcam, and we've been seeing about one deer per day on it. I also saw two does this evening, and the aforementioned neighbor said that he's seen two bucks running around.

He's also heading out to Wyoming shortly.. for elk, I believe.

I forsee a need to order from these fellows (because I like sausages). Summer sausages… polish sausages.. breakfast susages. Mmmmmmm.