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Shakandara

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Posts posted by Shakandara

  1. I think the "ready to paint or play with, right out of the box!" line on the back of every bit of Bones packaging is marketing hyperbole, pure and simple. Many of the figures can be played with immediately on opening (I've been doing just that with my order, as a matter of fact - pew pew pew!) but a large number require fitting, gluing, boiling, bending, and all of them must be washed and dried before you can hope to apply paint.

     

    There's a substantial difference between doing things like washing or gluing, and running pins into a figure. The first two require zero skill, and only superglue for assembly (when necessary). The latter requires a pin vise, special bits (not always easily found, depending on your local hobby scene), and pinning material. I have no problems performing these tasks, but I'm also an experienced modeller. Most of us here on the forums probably are, but we also do not represent the average consumer. It's easy to lose sight of that at times when you are surrounded with people that have roughly the same skillset as you.

     

    ~v

    • Like 3
  2. Sausage is another good one to start with. It doesn't take long (3 hours or less, at 225), and is pretty much impossible to eff up. And even if you do... it was what? $3 worth of meat? Big deal. Chicken legs are also easy to do, have a similar time frame, and are also usually super cheap. Pro-tip: finish them on the grill with high, direct heat to crisp the skin, as smoking at low temps tends to produce rubbery skin that isn't particularly appetizing (it'll look amazing, and taste pretty good too, but have an awful texture in the mouth). 5-10 minutes on the grill fixes that real quick.

     

    Once you've got some confidence from doing those, then step up to ribs. They really aren't hard either, but have to maintain temp for a longer time, and be careful not to over cook them (pull off the bone is great; fall off the bone is over-cooked).

     

    They you should have the confidence to know you aren't going to screw up that slab of brisket you just paid $40 for, because cooking it is no different than what you've been doing so far. It just takes longer.

     

    ~v

    • Like 2
  3. If necessary, you should be able to drill up through the bottom of the base and up into the leg to put a pin in it - cut a small notch into the bottom of the base and bend the bottom end of the pin into an L shape at the right angle and then glue it. It won't be bending anymore...

     

    This would, however, entirely defeat the purpose of being able to take them right out of the package, glue them to a 25x50mm square base, and start playing Warlord with them. And the fact is, those two models don't matter to me, personally. I've got 10 centaur cavalry models painted for my Warlord army; I don't really need any more.

     

    Thanks for adding your comments though; if the body mass vs. ankle size does prove to be a long-term issue with them, perhaps someone else will be able to make use of this tip.

     

    ~v

    • Like 2
  4. Interesting, rg, as it looks *nothing* like a pork picnic. It looks a whole lot like ribs, without the bones. Plenty of fat, with good intramuscular. I'll also snap some pics of it when I finally get it ready for the smoker.

     

     

    If you die can I have your bones?

     

    From my corpse? Sure. My collection of minis? Those are spoken for. :;):

     

    ~v

    • Like 1
  5. So I saw something I'd not seen advertised before in the circulars this past week at Fiesta: pork brisket. Say what? Not too long ago, I heard about beef clod for the first time (the beef equivalent of the pork butt), and for some time now, HEB has been selling pork ribeyes (which are awesome on the grill). Anyway, I figure at $1.88/lb, it's worth trying the pork brisket, and it was even cryovac packed and frozen, so I didn't have to try to do anything with it this weekend. I guess the gaming group is going to get the treat of BBQ again for session soon.

     

    I'll report back when I make it!

     

    ~v

    • Like 5
  6.  

     

    Lol.  As someone from Australia when someone talks about BBQ'ing meat here they are saying that they will grab a steak or two, maybe some kebabs and go fire up the outside BBQ......

    Maybe throw a couple of shrimp on the barbie?

     

     

     

    God help me, I watched the whole thing... :lol:

     

    ~v

    • Like 4
  7. Just a heads up, the Centaurs *will* stand on 2 legs quite well, have faith! I didn't think they would either after I looked at how smushed mine were. But a few seconds in hot water and they fixed themselves. Here's a before and after:

     

    Thanks for the pics, and the posts from others who are/are not having problems with theirs. My concern about them is actually over the long haul. With Bones I, it was completely possible to boil and reset Deathsleet. Then, over time, it would gradually start to slump over.

     

    Since my Chiral arrived so badly smushed over (the regular centaur isn't as bad), I have some reservations whether not the ankles will be able to hold the body mass upright in the correct position 6 weeks from now, not minutes after boiling and resetting.

     

    I hope that they do!

     

    ~v

  8. There are a number of benefits that the Gold Pass gives that aren't line items that you can remove - the extra paints, the two bonus figs, the extra Reaperbucks (which Bryan mentioned something about not showing correctly in the cart, but showing correctly in the Reaper-side inventory for your purchase).

     

    I think it would probably be a safer bet to book things individually if you are trying to get something less than the Gold Pass, than taking a Gold Pass, and using it in a way in which it was not intended in the shopping cart.

     

    ~v

    • Like 1
  9. My ex-brother-in-law never understood why his barbecue tasted so weird. My father was the one who noted he was using branches off the pine in the backyard...

     

    I literally shuddered when I read this. I have had the misfortune of tasting BBQ once that was bitter, and left the tip of my tongue numb, before I knew what caused it (this was shortly after moving to TX). I'll never forget the experience, and it's become a personal crusade to make sure that others don't have to experience it.

     

    I have to agree with rg too, when it comes to my absolute favorite, I love a slow-cooked whole hog. Give me some belly and cheek meat, and a bit of the crackling skin, and you can send me to heaven without a care. But past that... damn, it's a tough choice. I love burnt ends from the point end of the brisket. And that little layer of flesh on the fat cap of a pork butt? Absolutely incredible. The bison ribs I did a few years back for one of our summer parties were ridiculously good too. The list goes on and on.

     

    Of course, I have my personal preferences too, like everyone else. I don't sauce anything during cooking except pork ribs, and I only do that because my daughter prefers them that way (after they are done in the smoker, about 10 minutes over low direct heat on the grill). I also don't make my own BBQ sauce; there are too many perfectly decent ones out there (Stubbs, Sweet Baby Ray's, etc) that are cheap enough that I have a hard time justifying the time in making my own. And though I serve my BBQ to my guests "dry", there's always sauce available if you want it, and I take no offense if you use it - that's your choice.

     

    I do make my own rubs; I believe in seasoning, and doing so thoroughly. Store-bought rubs are expensive, and loaded with salt. I buy my basics from a local spice market (Flores) at dirt cheap prices, use 1/2 to 1/3 the salt of what most recipes call for, and craft my own rubs to suit the meat I'm cooking and the people that are eating it (some of my friends are pansies when it comes to heat, so I leave the cayenne out of the rub when making 'que for them). I dry rub everything except poultry (wet rub) and sausage (none). I rarely do anything to the meat prior to the day I start cooking it (I used to dry rub a couple days ahead, and I've not found an appreciable difference). I trim some of the fat cap off the brisket if it is really fatty, and I butterfly the point, to get more surface area for smoke (and thus, more burnt ends). For ribs, I remove the membrane off the back. Poultry gets brined for 24 hours unless it is already in a solution in the bag, and then a wet rub under the skin. That's the extent of my prep work.

     

    I usually use a blend of woods when I'm smoking, and that changes depending on what I'm cooking. I often use hickory and pecan for beef, pecan and applewood for chicken and pork, and just applewood for sausage.

     

    I've also had plenty of 'que that was not made this way, and I was perfectly happy to consume it. Other than what Doc mentioned about super-sweet sauces, the only other thing I really don't care for is Carolina-style. Sorry, the vinegar just doesn't work for me. ::):

     

    ~v

    • Like 3
  10. Agreed on the brine. In fact, I don't brine anything except turkeys and chickens, and those only overnight. Everything else doesn't need it.

     

    Which brings us to Inarah's 2nd point: smoke penetration. I think this is mostly correct; you don't generate any further smoke ring past the first several hours (that's a chemical reaction that happens only at certain temps, and you must get the meat out of that temp range or risk toxic BBQ), but there's some debate as to whether or not continued smoke adds any additional *flavor* to the exposed meat. I'm in the camp that thinks that it certainly won't make the meat taste any worse leaving it in the smoker, so I do. Also, that means it is outside, and not in the oven, heating up the house. :;): But I am hardly what many would call a purist; I use a propane smoker, which helps me maintain a much more consistent temp in the smoker than a hardwood charcoal fire would, without all the tending. It also allows me to get away with long-duration overnight smokes, so that I can have brisket and pork butts ready for parties at noon, without having to stay up *all* night to make it happen.

     

    To answer Corporea's question, brining doesn't affect meat the same way that a marinade does. Marinades can cook meat because there is usually some form of strong acid (vinegar, citrus juice, etc) in it. This is rarely the care in a brine, which is salt water, plus some seasonings. The goal of a marinade is to break down some tougher tissues while adding flavor. The goal of a brine is to add moisture while adding flavor (by using osmosis to pull the liquid across the cell barriers).

     

    IMO, brining most meats is unnecessary (except chicken and turkey, and some very lean cuts of pork - because we've spent generations breeding the intramuscular fat out of them). That fat rendering during the low and slow cooking process is what makes pork butt, ribs, and brisket so nice and tender, without drying out. If you are really concerned about these cuts, rather than brining, wrap them in foil after the smoke period that Inarah mentions above. Your 'que will still have plenty of smoke, and the foil will help retain the moisture. Honestly tho, I never do this for any of my meats, and I don't have any issues with them drying out, even after 12-14 hour smokes.

     

    EDIT: Also, it seems these days that more than half of the whole chickens you find in the grocery store are already in a brine solution. Normally, that sort of thing would piss me off, but for making BBQ, I actually look for those birds. Saves me a step; I can just rub them down, chuck them in the smoker, and be off and running! No brining necessary. ::):

     

    ~v

    • Like 4
  11. There are many, many ways to use smoke, fire, and particularly sugar to render perfectly good dead animal into inedible mess...

     

    I think that we are actually on the same page here, Doc, just saying it differently. What you are considering to be "many many ways" to eff things up, I look at as simply. "why you gotta slather all that junk on it, bro?" Beyond that, there are only a couple of things that you can truly do to screw up BBQ (while still following the basics of low and slow with smoke). Oh, you used pine (or any other variety of conifer) as your wood to generate smoke? Uh, yeah. Throw that meat out. You cooked it until the internal temp was 250 degrees? Yeah, you can throw that out too. You cooked your pork butt over direct heat? It's not a steak, so that ain't gonna work.

     

    The one that sneaks by so often (and so much so, because it's given as bad advice by "professional" chefs) is the one about soaking your wood. There is absolutely no reason to do this. Let me repeat, for those in the cheap seats:

     

    NEVER SOAK YOUR WOOD.

     

    Warning: Wall-of-text Incoming...

     

    For most of you, this is probably contrary to everything you've ever heard about smoking BBQ. "But that's how I get my smoke!" WRONG!!! Here's a quick lesson in combustion and chemistry.

     

    There's a reason we don't use pine and other conifer woods to smoke BBQ - because of the chemicals in the wood (mostly the pine tars in the sap), they don't burn cleanly. It leaves behind a nasty black tarry residue called creosote. This is not something you want on your meat; not only is it a carcinogen, but it makes your BBQ bitter, and gives you a numb feeling on the tongue. Hardwood fires generally don't have this issue, because they burn more cleanly. However, if you soak your hardwood (to keep it from combusting and burning up too quickly), two things happen. First, you artificially raise the combustion point of the wood, as the water that now permeates the wood now has to reach boiling temperature first. But it doesn't stop there; because the majority of the water is temporarily locked inside the cells of the wood, they actually go beyond normal boiling temp (because they have nowhere to go) and become super-heated steam. This super-heated steam carries off chemicals from the wood that would normally burn off cleanly; steam that moves off into the air of your smoker and around your meat. Second, because the wood is wet, it does not burn cleanly like it does when it is dry. This causes the normally clean-burning hardwood to produce creosote, just as sure as if you'd used a conifer. Billowing white smoke from a smoker is a bad sign; it indicates that the fire isn't burning cleanly, and the meat isn't going to taste good.

     

    So how do we do we get good smoke, without burning up our wood too fast? Believe it or not, I use a single fist-sized chunk of hardwood to smoke up to 40# of meat in my smoker, for 12 hours. I'm able to do this because I wrap that chunk of wood in heavy-duty aluminum foil, and poke a single tooth-pick sized hole in the foil. This starves the wood for oxygen, and instead of burning, it sits there and smolders. This produces a faint, pale blue smoke. As Ms. Melons suggests, you can still smell my smoker from a block away, but you'd never know it was in my backyard, because from more than a few feet away, you can't see that it is doing anything.

     

    So please, don't soak your wood, whatever you choose to use. ::):

     

    ~v

    • Like 7
  12. Right off the top? Your build is not legal. The rule when it comes to Solos is you must have an equal or greater number of leader-led troops. Since the Gargoyles are a Band, they do not count. Thus, one too many Solos, as it stands now.

     

    ~v

  13. As my buddy here at work would say, that looks FD, Shadowraven (the second letter stands for "delicious"; I'll let you ponder what the first letter stands for on your own...).

     

    The funny thing is, unless you let yourself get caught up in the regional purism nonsense, there are very many ways to do BBQ right, and only a very few to do it wrong. And what so many people that don't do it don't realize is, is how incredibly easy (note: this does not equate to fast, just uncomplicated) it is to produce really good 'que. The little things that various pit masters swear by is what makes their particular BBQ theirs, but at the end of the day, it is all about the right amount of heat, some good smoke, and the right amount of time.

     

    Everything else, figuratively speaking, is just gravy.

     

    ~v

    • Like 4
  14. If we weren't friends before, I definitely want to fix that now. 

     

    When exactly did you say I should come over for 'Q?   :ph34r:

     

    You just missed ribs this past Sunday. ::):

     

    Also, we've got a chalkboard in the shape of a pig hanging in our kitchen. Written across the top is "FREE BBQ TOMORROW". Funny, it always says this... :;):

     

    Honestly, if I lived about 3 hours closer to Reaper, I'd seriously consider trying to bring some BBQ. I brought kielbasa one year, and that worked ok, but brisket or pulled pork give me pause. The logistical difficulties in transporting a quality product that far (while maintaining an appropriate temp) are far more complicated than bringing cheesecake.

     

    It's unfortunate, because if there is one thing that I do better than make cheesecake, it's make BBQ. :devil:

     

    ~v

    • Like 8
  15. So I posted a link to a song that Rhett and Link did about BBQ back in the RCon thread, and I'll repost it here. The first thing you need to know is that they are a pair of internet comedians and song writers. So the BBQ Song they did certainly has a bit of tongue in cheek, and isn't meant to be 100% accurate. However, it has a a lot of really good base information about the variations of styles and cuts used in BBQ across the southern US.

     

    If you really want to dig deeper into BBQ, Alton Brown did a fabulous Good Eats episode called Right on Q that covers a lot of what BBQ really is. If you are serious about good 'que, I recommend watching it. There are also some mailing lists out there that have a ton of experienced pit masters that can offer up tips on all sorts of BBQ-related topics.

     

    Finally, if you want to talk BBQ theory, I'll be glad to take to task some of the common misconceptions and horrible practices that some people do to their 'que (chief among them, soaking wood chips and adding anything other than water to a water pan).

     

    EDIT: BBQ pics, just because. ::):

     

    ~v

    • Like 6
  16. There will be no sullying of the BBQ. Though to be honest I appreciate many forms of BBQ.

     

    Truth. If you are friends with me on FB, you are well aware that while I love some Texas-style brisket, I am by no means a one-note BBQ cook. Sausage, chicken, kielbasa, pork butt, oysters, ribs (beef, pork, and buffalo), turkey... and more.

     

    Also, this should be required watching for everyone that likes any sort of BBQ:

     

    The BBQ Song.

     

    ~v

    • Like 4
  17. I'm pretty sure I was always meant to live in Texas, even though I grew up in PA. I wore a cowboy hat in high school (and subsequently got the nickname "Big Tex" because of it), have owned pick up trucks for the last 20 years (I'm on my 3rd one), and bought my first pair of cowboy boots shortly after moving to Texas. My oilskin duster *is* my winter coat down here.

     

    I don't care for most country music, and I'm ridiculously allergic to horses, but I love Texas BBQ, so I'm pretty sure that makes up for those two. :;):

     

    ~v

    • Like 6
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