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Rob Dean

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Everything posted by Rob Dean

  1. Hugging my children again...and maybe playing a face-to-face game.
  2. A little box with two packs of 1/72 scale fantasy figures arrived yesterday. It’s been a little amazing to me, over the past few years, to see as many fantasy sets released as there have been. I was really longing for them in 1975...
  3. Huh. Who is Duncan Rhodes? Not that the ideas aren't obvious, but I've been lining my boxes with magnet sheets for years (as does @Chris Palmer). I went from cardboard to Really Useful Boxes starting sometime in the early Oughts, I think. The only new trick is the carpet tape; actually gluing them with any sort of glue was a chancy and laborious process. (Later) I went and had a look. Obviously, I concur with his techniques, except that I have had a lot of miniatures based on steel washers, so I used magnet sheets and steel figure bases, and he's going the other way, with flexi-steel sheets in the boxes and the magnets on the figures. My wife asked why I did it that way; apart from the legacy steel bases, I always figures it would be easier to redo the boxes than to redo the figures if the magnets weakened over time. Practically speaking, even my older cases haven't lost their pull, so it's probably six of one and a half dozen of the other...
  4. And it was brunch ... ham, egg and cheese sandwiches on whole wheat buttermilk biscuits...
  5. I didn’t have much ambition yesterday after returning from Colorado. I got one hobby thing done; I have been letting a roll of magnet sheet relax for a could of weeks, so I cut out the magnetic liners for 3 6-liter Really Useful Boxes, fixed them in place with double-sided carpet tape, and then transferred the 1/72 fantasy bases out of the 4-liter boxes they had been in. Each box can hold about 33 60mm by 40mm bases, so there is now some room for expansion. The 6-liter boxes also nest with the 12-liter box I’ve been using for travel terrain, so they can be neatly strapped together for transport.
  6. Being with my friends and family is best, of course, but as far as someTHING that makes me happy, I’m a fellow of simple tastes: Fresh bread and a bike ride are both pretty reliable happiness inducers.
  7. As in up for 24 hours? I don’t do well with that at all; I could probably count the number of times I’ve ever done it. 2008, though; work was running an emergency response exercise and the book says that the team has to be prepared for 24-hour operations in the event of. It was a pointless exercise for a bunch of reasons, but I got tagged with a night shift after the first day shift, and barely made it to my hotel the next morning... The first time I ever tried staying awake that long was in college; I am generally a morning person, and even today (I’m nearly 60) I like to be up early and then take a nap after lunch if necessary. Anyway, it was for experiement. We had a social event right after the end of classes that ran until ~0100, and one of the guys announced that he’d be running his D&D game after, so I joined in. I was up for 27 hours, and then was asleep for 21 hours (minus a short wake and food break at about 8-10 hours into sleep). Since I was nearly incoherent and had to catch up with all the missed sleep anyway, it certainly never seemed like a tool that would be any use for school.
  8. I was coming home from a business trip to Colorado yesterday, and had to drive I-25 between Pueblo and Denver (in case anyone’s out that way). I have been in almost full whiteout conditions along that road in the past, but yesterday it was “just” unexpected icing. I lost track completely, but from Castle Rock to the airport, we passed two or three crashes, four or five vehicles spun off the road, and one overturned semi. (It was tough to be sure about which category between those first two a specific vehicle might be in). I would have thought that inhabitants of a state with frequent ice and snow would be better about driving in/on it.
  9. In my defense, those were relatively recent eBay purchases. My own figures from back then were mostly painted by the ‘90s, and seem to be holding up fine. But, yeah, that’s one way to lose them. 50 year old Airfix plastic figures are sometimes found embrittled beyond use, although I painted one from the early to mid ‘70s a few weeks ago and it was still fine. (Also not from my personal ancient collection; a flea market acquisition...)
  10. Well, I was engaged in a basement clean out last week, and had to pitch a few TSR Star Frontiers minis from the early 80s with significant lead rot, so, yes, usually they don’t go bad, but it does happen.
  11. No. I’ve never followed any of that. These days, there’s so much of it that it’s total sensory overload to even try to find something. Hi, my name is Rob and I have a project problem. I haven’t started a new project in two weeks.... Oh, this isn’t a meeting of Projects Anonymous? Anyway, semi-seriously, in my book there are projects and sub-projects...As a generally historical gamer, my idea of a “project” is a combination of period and scale, so that 54mm medievals (Hundred Years War) is a project, 40mm 18th century imagi-nations is a project, 25mm fantasy is a project, 1/72 scale plastic fantasy is a different project, etc. As of last month when I most recently updated the list, there were 23 of these, in states ranging from “own a stack of molds” to “finished”*. Here’s a typical entry: 20mm Bronze Age (II): Last Played: 05/16/20. 116 foot and 7 chariots completed. At Historicon '06 Norman and I bought into the new plastic Egyptians, Hittites and allies. The eventual size of the project remains uncertain. I am planning an Egyptian army, a Libyan/Sea Peoples army, a Canaanite army, and Greeks and Trojans. Norman is working on the Hittites, and a Syrian/Canaanite allied/opponent force. Rules: Warhammer Ancient Battles, DBA, home rules. Current Status: 1000pt WHAB test army of Egyptians completed, DBA Libyans almost complete. Norman won a PELA award at Historicon 2013 using my figures and scenery in addition to his own. Since Christmas 2019, we have been expanding this using DBA; I’ve built most of a Libyan army, so that my Egyptians have opponents. Hmmm. Looks like the narrative for that needs to be updated; there’s been a lot of work this year. A sub-project is some severable chunk of one of these, like a DBA army for the Bronze Age, which might be 12-18 stands of 1 chariot or 2-4 infantry. In sub-project level, I guess the two most recent things I started were a scenery upgrade, which is on going and I feel reasonably good about (posts about it are here and here, with the most recent completion being just under four weeks ago) and an Oathmark-inspired 25mm fantasy sub-project to get all of my Prince August fantasy molds vented and tested (most recent completions, in July, posted here). I’m feeling a little less good about that one, since I’ve basically been stalled since July. I did get a few figures cleaned up and primed a couple of weeks ago, but I haven’t gotten anything done since I did that. I’m not really sure what the last sub-project or project was that got fully finished...If I am stalled on something, I usually just go with the Muse and paint whatever I am inspired to paint rahter than attempt to force my way through something that I’m not feeling. The other strategy that works sometimes, if there’s enough done to use, is to stage a game with what I have got, and that will sometimes unlock the inspiration to get back to work on it. That was probably too complicated... * I actually have five defined phases for the overall projects: 0 — stuff has been bought I — some stuff has been painted II — a game has been played with it III — most of the reasonable work has been done, and all that’s left is filling in exotic contingencies (pontoon wagons for the 18th century, say) Finished — no significant painting planned (which isn’t to say that things don’t get added occasionally) If a significant addition for a Finished project ends up being considered, I’ll bump the status back to III.
  12. Happy holiday to you. Just out of curiosity, do you ordinarily find a vegetarian diet difficult? I’m the designated cook in my family, and do about half vegetarian cooking; my wife would miss meat if I increased that, but I wouldn’t, especially ovo-lacto vegetarian. I would need to expand my cooking a bit to go vegan and not be a bit dull. I have not, but I am vaguely aware that it’s out there. Someone ought to revisit the idea now; with all the rest of the urban fantasy in the idea-stew, it could be a hit. Did you do the story-telling in dialect?
  13. Well, my first miniature which had paint added to it was probably an Airfix 1/72 plastic WWII figures of some sort (none of those left in my collection) in 1971. So it’s getting on for 50 years...Oddly enough, the latest batch of minis I’ve finished was also 1/72 plastic, including an Airfix Robin Hood figure probably actually manufactured in the 1970s (judging from the plastic color) keeping an eye on these sheep. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and have more to learn, but...Most of it would be a repeat of what people have already said; bad brushes and enamels won’t give a good result, especially on unprepared soft plastic, practice makes perfect, etc. Most recently I’ve learned that I don’t really have an interest in painting individual works of art. For me, this is a craft in support of my wish to put on attractive games, and the most useful techniques and tools to me are those that allow me to reach a good tabletop quality faster. As for proudest of, it’s probably that I’ve been able to keep all of “this” as a family bonding activity. (Gencon, 2019, brother, sons, me, wife, from left to right). A runner up is that I have been able to put on the games that I imagined, even if it has often taken longer than I had planned or hoped.
  14. I’ve got a bunch of Wellman on my shelf (with the collected Silver John short stories in a different room this morning) and have ben meaning to read them again ...
  15. I have been organizing my basement this week. I have a *lot* of clunky first/second generation SF miniatures (Minifigs SF range, Ral Partha Galactic Grenadiers, Heritage Galacta 25, Grenadier Star Soldiers, etc...), and I am thinking that I should not purge them until I see what Stargrave looks like. I’d probably have to paint all facitions, though, since I don’t know that anyone else would want to bother with these guys. By the time it comes out, perhaps out club will be meeting in person again. We’ve had a lot of fun with Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago. Selection of Minifigs SF: Here’s a whole heap from a flea market: Alternatively, there are a lot of 1930s 54mm semi-flat Buck Rogers figures floating around the club, which might be pressed into service.
  16. Back in the late ‘80s, an opponent of mine had some of the first GW multi-part skeletons. Those things were insanely fragile; they would practially fall apart if you breathed on them. It was an idea whose time had not yet come...
  17. My wife uses 0.3mm pencils, and I ended up ordering a couple for her a while back. While i like the lead thickness, I’m a little too heavy handed to avoid snapping the points off constantly.
  18. I used to carry the Bic 4 color pens from high school into early work life. More recently, I tried them and the ink seemed hard to apply. Looking around for a replacement got me to my current favorite..
  19. I’m a bit of an office supply geek, so, yes I absolutely have a favorite. It might shift from time to time, but this one has been steady for a good long time. It is the Uni Jetstream 0.5 mm Ballpoint Multi Pen and 0.5 mm Pencil, Black Body (MSXE510005). It’s got five functions, a 0.5mm lead pencil, and Balck, blue, red, and green 0.5mm pens. The ink is very smooth, and the mechanics are pleasantly tight for something that has to have enough space in the body for the five cylinders. The middle one is disassembled to show the eraser and function cylinders. The pencil is extended. I have half a dozen or so of these around, with a spare in each of my bags and one that goes in my shirt pocket each morning. I’ve used them enough to have gone through a fair pile of replacement ink cartridges, which install easily. My other favorite is a bit more specialized. It’s a Cross fine point fountain pen. I know Cross isn’t the most renowned fountain pen company, but it works pretty well, and I’ve had it for long enough that I have invoked the perpetual warranty on it a couple of times. So, it’s still my original in a “grandfather’s axe” sense. Finding paper notebooks suitable for the fountain pen ink is the main reason why it doesn’t get used more.
  20. Looks like a U.S. State Department Freedom of Information Act(FOIA) request log of some sort...
  21. It’s day 2 of my stay-cation, and I’m trying to impose some order on my heaps of vintage figures. Where is Marie Kondo when you need her? Once identified and bagged, these have been going in card sorting boxes, so that someday (TM) I can reach for the appropriately labeled box and immediately find the Garrison SS9 Northmen with axes which I’m ready to paint...
  22. Something like a Byzantine-style scyphate coin? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scyphate
  23. Well, honestly, in my house the simplest way is to exploit the natural body clock differences. On weekends, it’s not unusual for me to be up at 0500, while she sleeps in until 1000. So I could have 5 hours of uninterrupted “me” time, enough to do a grocery store run or mop the floors and still get in as much painting as my back will stand. Since the lockdown she hasn’t needed to take a business trip, but I used to get some time then — I could, for example, take short cuts on meals that I wouldn’t do if she were around (peanut butter toast for dinner? ... sure...).
  24. I am pretty flexible when it comes to ice cream. Generally, I like something vanilla-based with inclusions, but other possibilities exist. Here in Newark, Delaware, the University of Delaware Creamery (run by the agricultural school) has “1923” (French Vanilla flavored ice cream with bittersweet chocolate chunks and salted caramel swirls) which is about what I like, but the “All Nighter”(Coffee ice cream with cookie dough, chocolate sandwich cookies and a fudge swirl) is really good too. Mint chocolate chip is up there too...
  25. Oh yes, all four plus Chainmail and Swords and Spells. This is my original 4th printing set received for my birthday in 1976. As my son pointed out, carrying that set along looks more like prep for an evacuation than for a retreat; if I were to run a game today, I would save the wear and tear on the originals and use the 2013 reprints. The next D&D game I run, though, will probably be an exploration of the original books and Chainmail without Greyhawk, a style I didn’t actually play back in the day.
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