A useful resource for spacecraft design and space navy doctrine.
Update: The action is non-stop. I found myself listening to it even when I only had 10 minutes available and I never do that. It ends with a cliffhanger, but I am going to give myself 48 hours before I impulse buy book two.
The worse part of the editing process is that when you switch between WYSIWYG and HTML editing modes Blogger changes the HTML. Your careful preparation of text, tables, and images in correctly nesting containers gets replaced with a series of HTML break (BR) elements.
It would also be helpful when editing in HTML mode if image references were local to the posting: So the first image is, for example, "image-001.png" rather than "http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FUkHMJZHKnw/VVisJCRaS_I/AAAAAAAAoQM/Sk0YJw00LkY/s1600/2015-05-16%2B15.52.53.jpg" and the anchor tag leading to the slideshow presentation be equally simple. Overall, the HTML editing experience is not good. But then, I am not their typical user.
The upshot is, unless you want a constant battle, live within the features of the WYSIWYG and accept the fact that sometimes your posting will need to be reentered.
For the mounted figures I cut rectangles from a sheet of 0.008" steel. I used a guillotine to make the cuts so it might be possible to find a "scrapbooking" circle punch to solve the problem for foot figures.
Last year I had bought 7"x4"x2" boxes for the same purpose. While I like the smaller boxes their height is not sufficient for mounted or figures holding spears vertically. The spears poke through. I would have prefered 7"x4"x3" boxes, but these don't seem to be available at a reasonable cost. (One of the best tools I have is Amazon Prime. I rarely buy anything from any other online or physical store anymore when what I want can be had from Amazon within a few days. Well worth the yearly subscription cost.)
Boards ... Last year (hum, a pattern) I built a 3'x3' framed board for playing DBA and small skirmish games. This week I decided that it was time to actually put a landscape on it. Since this is not a display board it needs to be flexible for many scenarios. However, I was not going to accept a flat field of felt with creases! I have spent far too much time painting my figures to have them play on such and ugly, non-naturalistic landscape.
My plan is to incorporate into the surface a gentle slope in a, roughly, horseshoe shape. I used a hand sander to scoop out the hollow I wanted, but it was difficult to get the shape right. In part, this was because I would catch the edge of the sander on the surface and the sander would carve out a "cliff" that I did not want. And in part, because making something that looks natural without an example to replicate is a fool's decision. I wanted it completed today and so what I made would have to do. I covered it with felt, ironed before applying, and glued it down with 3M's 77 Super spray adhesive. I will add color to the surface later.
The results are acceptable for a first try. Final judgment will come when I to see how it affects game setup and play.
Note: A non-flat surface of a uniform color is impossible to photograph!
Simple Green after removing the arms with Super Solvent. I kept the head attached.
Now primed, I am ready to paint. I like the instructions at Painting Rocks Step by Step for painting stones.
The Wikipedia page Interstellar Travel and the blog posting Spaceship Design 101 and its commentary are good places to start. Engines, radiation protection, heat dissipation, and life support seem to be the primary factors driving (real life) designs. Each factor helping to solve problems with the others: An annealed solution. But I still want cool models!
The web has a huge amount of creative work in this area being shared. If you look on Deviant Art or Pinterest for spacecraft you will find far more than you can reasonably review, especially without a plan. My current plan is to pick a rule set's ship design section and then using the point values for ship capabilities & capacities determine a visual volume of their sizes. For example, Warcosm has the following sized ships:
I have then used this to calculate volumes with the proportions of length × width × height = 5n × 2n × 1n. I then use 123D Design to look at them and make an esthetic judgement about the relationships between the ships at high and low point size. For example, here are a horizontal and vertical Dreadnought next to a Cruiser and a Pinnace.
The question now is do the size differences look right?
Update: Am disassembling & stripping the Elemental. Having the arms in place will make painting him difficult. I am also not happy with the primer (Vallejo) -- it remains tacky even after weeks of drying.
The problem now is that it is so heavy I will need both sons to move it.
To assemble a row-house you only need white glue and a careful hand. However, having a collection of Lego available for making jigs for ensuring square corners is very helpful.
To help keep track of parts, place each part from the polybag on to the parts diagrams. Extra diagrams are available at parts diagram 1 and parts diagram 2. (Note that there are extra parts that were part of the original design and no longer needed.)
Each floor is assembled in the same way. A front and a side are glued together.
The reason why the floors were raised is to allow room for the alignment tabs. Add the alignment tabs to the second and third floors.
Add alignment tabs to the roof.
I am almost done with my Welsh and my Vikings. I only need now to put on a coat of matt varnish to finish them. Unfortunately, I need to wait until the weather warms up and the rains subside. Perhaps by then I may come to prefer their sheen.
||While I wait for the weather to change, I have to organize the the parts to my row houses that I laser-cut a few weeks ago. The task is to take a pile of parts and organize them into baggies of parts for my friends to then assemble.|
|Update: Done. Nine houses with only 3 sets of the same missing part, which, luckily, is optional for construction.|
Yesterday I learned that even if your Java class serializes via java.io.Externalizable, so giving the class complete control over the marshaling and unmarshaling of the data, you must still defined a serialVersionUID or Java will create one for you. As methods signatures are included in the calculation of serialVersionUID my newly added method caused the creation of a different version id and so, unexpectedly, the marshaled data on the wire was incompatible. To fix the problem I just needed to define serialVersionUID to be the calculated version prior to my addition of the method. Luckily, the log contained the version number I needed!
Parkinson's Law: Work fills the time allotted.
Gilmartin's Law: Time taken from work for play will be returned with time taken from play for work at the end of the project.
I need something pithier for Gilmartin's law. Suggestions will be well received.
During the week I prepared the bases with sand glued and mounded around the figure's base. I then painted it. I first made the mistake of preparing with black and then painting with a too dark a green. God, they looked awful. So I asked Chris who is very talented with color for help and she picked out, from the colors I had on hand, Vallejo's 70.605 German Red Brown as a base color and Citadel's Elysian Green for the grass.
The brown was dabbed on with the side of the brush so as to leave some of the prior dark color. Then she dabbed on green in a few areas, again, with the side of the brush. Where there was too much green she dabbed on the brown very lightly. I really like the result.
Thunderplot looks to be a useful tool for quick plots. I copied some log data from a terminal window and pasted it into Thunderplot. There was no need for an intermediate file. Thunderplot found columns of integer numbers. I then plotted two line graphs from two of the columns. Calculations on the columnar data is available.
And today it is priced at $2.