The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Project update: Pirate ship

| September 14, 2015

We worked on the pirate ship labor day weekend and got the siding two swings up:

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This past weekend (the 12th), we got the last swing up and I cut portholes, but it’s been raining ever since so I haven’t gotten pictures of that.

We have about one day of work left, and then we’ll have completed everything we had planned ahead of time, though I suspect we’ll add things periodically as time progresses (a quaterboard and crow’s nest are the two we can think of right now).

Updated kids picture gallery

| August 11, 2015

Max and Miles – 2015

It’s now updated through August 2015, and has pictures of the Roger Williams Park Zoo.

Updated kids pictures gallery

| July 15, 2015

Max and Miles – 2015

It’s now updated through mid July and includes some pictures at the Bronx zoo.

Babies’ first Cabelas

| June 25, 2015

On the way back from a graduation in VA (much fun was had by all, but it is a loooong drive) we stopped by 嘉盛外汇 Cabelas in Hamburg, PA. This was the boys’ first trip. They didn’t quite know what to make of it.

The other project that’s been consuming my time…

| June 23, 2015

As I mentioned in a previous post, we’ve been working on a playset for the kids.

The plans and much of the hardware are from Pirate Play Ships, the rest is lumber, screws, etc. sourced locally. These pictures are from the week of memorial day, where we got most of the framing done. I need to take some more pictures once it’s finished, which will likely be in the next couple of weeks. I’ve also been shooting video of the progress, and will post that once I edit it all together. I also plan to post compiled notes and tips, etc. if someone reading this was inclined to order the plans and build it themselves. (The main thing lacking in the plans is an estimate of how many screws to buy – we’re currently up to about 15lbs of screws of varying sizes, and knowing how much we’d need ahead of time would have been helpful).

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Children for scale, of course.

New link for photos

| May 2, 2015

So, the old gallery was getting full, and I figure people want to see the most recent pictures, and not have to scroll through a lot of old ones. So, I’ve made a “2015” gallery and moved a few pictures from the old gallery to there, as well as added a pile of new ones. Enjoy!

Max and Miles – 2015

Updated pics again…

| February 26, 2015

Only added about half a dozen, but they are now up to date through mid February and include some pictures of them playing in the snow.

Gallery link.

Updated pics again…

| December 31, 2014

They are now up to date through Christmas.

Gallery link.

Posted more pictures of the boys

| November 6, 2014

I’ve updated the gallery of the boys, including first Halloween pics. There are two sets of costumes, because we went to two parties. So, this is all up to the beginning of November.

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.