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Doug Sundseth

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Everything posted by Doug Sundseth

  1. Doug Sundseth

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    Our son just got back from signing an Army enlistment contract. Cheryl is a little freaked and mostly proud; I'm a mix of proud at his decision to serve and happy that he has made a substantive decision about what to really do with his life. And I'm happy that he's both apprehensive and excited about the decision. (And it was his decision entirely. We were supportive, but not really any more; he needed to decide, not be pushed into something.) He's been running and doing calisthenics for the last couple of weeks to start his physical prep, and he's been doing that on his own, which indicates to me that he's self-motivated enough to succeed. He has the advantage of an uncle who was an infantry First Sergeant, a grandfather who was career Navy and Air Force, and a bunch of friends who have served or are now serving in various services, so I'm hoping that he won't be as shocked by the changes that are coming as some kids are. The only downside for us is that he has to report for transport on Labor Day here in Denver, so we'll have to leave Dallas at least a bit earlier than we planned on, but it's all good. His training is at Ft. Sill, so we should be able to watch his graduation ceremony a couple of months later.
  2. Doug Sundseth

    LYRA, the world's best TITANIUM Morphing Nano EDC Knife

    Depends on the airport security regime. US TSA: "In general, you are prohibited from traveling with sharp objects in your carry-on baggage; please pack these items in your checked baggage." There was apparently a proposal to allow small knives again, but that was quashed/withdrawn. ETA: Essentially the same restriction seems to apply for Air India. (Too many countries to check more.)
  3. Doug Sundseth

    18036 Reaper Pro Paint "Bloodstone"

    And it's not just monitors. The light under which you look at a swatch (or the bottle) can give you a very different appearance. The paint in the pot can be different looking when it's dried. And the color of substrate when painted on can have a huge effect on the appearance. Oh, and different scanners or camera brands can give you very different results on specific colors*, even when everything else is the same. The only consistent way to compare colors on computer is by using the same lighting, substrate, camera, and monitor. And that's not going to match what you see anyway. This is what we call a "hard problem". * There's one specific shade of yellow-green that I have to hand calibrate every time it shows up, even when every other item in the photo shoot is perfect and nothing has been changed. It's the exact color of one of our products.
  4. Doug Sundseth

    Getting to Know You JUNE 2019, brought to you by WOOF.

    Reaper and Ral Partha: Breadth of coverage in the general fantasy area and quality of sculpting. WizKids: Breadth of coverage and price. Sculpting is a bit hit-or-miss, but the good figures are very good and the price is right. And they're easy to find in store. Dark Sword: Sculpting, artistic vision, casting quality. Wargames Foundry: Quality sculpts and a very wide range of models for historicals gamers. A bit old now. Essex Miniatures: Essential for the 15mm Ancients and Medievals gamer because of their breadth of range. Quality is fair to good. Old Glory 25s (includes the lines that they rep): Good breadth, figures look good on the table, price is very good for metal minis. FeR: Brilliant sculpts, excellent subjects, quality casting, priced accordingly. Scale 75: See FeR. Some sketchy dealings with artists mitigate my enthusiasm a bit. Nuts Planet: Again. The idea of "derivative work" being protected seems about as important as to Scale 75. Nocturna: Not as many models that I want, but the ones that I want, I want. Tamiya: Plastic models definitely count. (See also Bones, WizKids). The best easily available brand of models. Wingnut Wings: The model you always wanted to have built, and cheaper than a new car. GHQ: The source for 1:285 vehicles. Brilliant sculpting and casting. C-in-C: Not as good as GHQ, but they have things that GHQ doesn't and the prices are a bit lower. (Looks like these are now mostly available from LegionsIVHire.) And Heroics and Ros: Because what they can do in 6mm is hard to match anywhere else. And because it's pretty unlikely that anyone else will mention them.
  5. Doug Sundseth

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    Tonight's musical interlude: The Sound of Silence ... adjacent.
  6. Just finished The Kinds of the Wyld, by Nicholas Eames. The premise begins with a world much like a fairly typical D&D campaign: monsters of a variety of descriptions, corrupt kingdoms, rowdy taverns, and more heroes than grains of sand on a beach. None of which makes for a peaceful world. In this world, the daughter of a retired (and broken down by time) hero is caught in a siege by a rampaging horde of monsters. And that hero decides to get his old adventuring band back together to rescue her. Solid characterization with likable protagonists, interesting (if a bit chaotic) world building, entertaining (though frenetic) plotting. I would wholeheartedly recommend the book, especially for people who have played and enjoyed fantasy RPGs. Which doesn't mean that anyone else will like it, but there you go. Note: I listened to the audio book version of this piece and was pleasantly surprised not to get the typical British reader with an RP accent. I don't have a particular problem with that style of narrator, but it gets a bit cliched after the first few dozen times.
  7. Doug Sundseth

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    Though you have to work really hard to get a wedge to smoke.
  8. Doug Sundseth

    [Game Mastering] Keep on the Borderlands & Beyond

    In my early GMing, there were no published adventures (that I ever saw, anyway). The first published site/adventure that I saw was the City State of the Invincible Overlord (and later the accompanying Wilderlands of High Fantasy), which I used quite a bit at the time. Amazing thing for its era.
  9. Doug Sundseth

    Impudent Mortal Presents: Mech Cockpit Simulator (Battletech)

    Only if there is some element to the record sheet that is sufficiently creative to activate the copyright law that is not necessary for play and the project creator doesn't have an agreement to use that element. From the information I have, that does not rise to an obvious violation of IP. Perhaps you have other information from a closer reading of the project information or other, non-public sources. The situation here is very fact specific, which is to say that litigating it would be expensive for all sides and the results would depend on erratic decisions. It's also not clear to me that this project would harm anyone in any way, so there wouldn't be much point to complaining about it on the part of the Battletech IP owner. And it might well help to sell more copies of Battletech. The more interesting question is whether this violates the Trademarks of the game. This is a much closer question to my eyes, but ultimately I think the usage is nominative rather than a violation of the mark. NB: Not a lawyer and this is definitely not legal advice. Talk to a lawyer who is licensed to practice in your area and who specializes in IP law if you want something to act on.
  10. Doug Sundseth

    Movies - Recently Watched or Plan to Watch Soon

    Second season, about midway through. I can only binge-watch a single show for so long before I have to switch to something else. Right now, that's Criminal Minds, but I can feel that I'm getting close to another switch, because the tics of the writers, directors, and actors are becoming more obtrusive and irritating with each episode. After watching something else for a while, I can go back again without the same visceral reactions. Hmmm, maybe back to Dexter next? (Speaking of viscera. )
  11. Doug Sundseth

    Impudent Mortal Presents: Mech Cockpit Simulator (Battletech)

    It's not clear to me that there are any copyright violations. I haven't seen a Battletech box in a while, but IIRC, the record sheets used to be free for copying. When added to the fact that game rules aren't covered by copyright, it might be wise to avoid accusations of tortious conduct.
  12. New Bones Kickstarter? Never heard of such a thing.
  13. Doug Sundseth

    Getting to Know You JUNE 2019, brought to you by WOOF.

    Pretty much exactly my experience. I've never wanted to leave the hobby, but at times it's not been a high enough priority to get much time.
  14. Doug Sundseth

    So... who's ready for ReaperCon 2019?

    Just remember: Never put "A Safe Place" in The Safe Place™.
  15. Doug Sundseth

    Ed Ribbon and Ed Shirt Info

    I think Ed did sculpt that shipping container (the one they did before Bones IV). Could be wrong, but ISTR hearing that discussion. Somewhere. Which is obviously really solid information.
  16. Doug Sundseth

    ReaperCon 2019 Ribbons

    If you can get the company to include a note on the label something like, "Hold for arrival of guest < name > on < date >", there shouldn't be a problem (though talk to the hotel if you want to do this). It's a pretty common thing for business hotels.
  17. Doug Sundseth

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    He's an amazing artist. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend his Gold Mine diorama video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b25H-5BeWvY Well, actually I recommend all of them, but that one was particularly amazing.
  18. Doug Sundseth

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    New Luke Towan diorama-build video up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04OqLFCXz8U
  19. Doug Sundseth

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    That's what the liquid nitrogen is for.
  20. Doug Sundseth

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    You obviously need instruction on the virtues of bone drills and epoxy.
  21. Doug Sundseth

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    I so much wanted to like that game. I even bought the 2nd Edition rules by mail order from Avalon Hill. They didn't help. It had so many of the elements of a really good game (especially for the time it was released), but the combat system was wonky, the various modules that you added (through the programmed learning thing that AH used for complex games) had great flavor but at best marginal rules, ... and it ended up being not much fun.
  22. Doug Sundseth

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    Magic Realm, Settlers of Catan, Tikal maybe. There's a list of games with hex tiles here: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/39556/games-use-hexagonal-tiles For Mummy's Mask and Kingmaker, I printed out some blank hex sheets with 2-3" wide hexes (on the biggest sheets of paper I could run through the printer) and drew the terrain as the hexes were explored. In general, we assumed that the players could figure out the type of terrain adjacent to any explored hex, but details were only revealed during exploration. If you don't have access to a file with blank hexagons, let me know and I can email you something. Pretty sure it's a magic entrenching tool. Made out of glowing blue obsidian. Of course.
  23. Doug Sundseth

    Getting to Know You JUNE 2019, brought to you by WOOF.

    Burnt Sienna. Really good for leathers, add white and it makes a nice array of skin tones, thinned works really well for brown rocks, very nice base for red and auburn hair. Straight out of the bottle. I prefer the Black Watch tartan. Plaid is OK, but I think I prefer Delta Ceramcoat.
  24. Doug Sundseth

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    You probably already know this, but because moon photography questions come up regularly on photography forums: Remember that the moon is a gray rock in direct sunlight. To get a good exposure, you need to photograph it as if you were out on a sunny day. I've found ISO 200, f/11, 1/200 second (moony 11 rule?) or the equivalent a pretty good place to start. I have a picture someplace around here of Jupiter and the four Galileean moons taken through the 16" reflector on the top of the Physics building at the University of Wyoming. It's pretty much a big ball of fuzz. To get anything even sharpish, you need really good sky conditions (happens better in the winter, when standing outside with the roof open runs coldish) and a dark sky (hard to do in a city) in addition to a synchronized telescope mount. Oh, and it's sunlit as well, but between 5 and 6 AU from the sun, so it gets about 1/30 the solar illumination. Because Jupiter's albedo is around 0.5 while the moon's albedo is around 0.12, though, you might have to back off on the brightness by a couple of stops. I'd start somewhere around 3 stops brighter than a moon photo, call it f/4, ISO 200, 1/200 second and adjust.
  25. Doug Sundseth

    Getting to Know You JUNE 2019, brought to you by WOOF.

    Built many (many) 1/72 aircraft when I was a kid. But painting? Why would I paint the airplane silver when it was already cast in silver plastic? All those planes went away when we moved to Germany the second time (limited household goods allowance). I've built a few planes since then, particularly some years ago when I was playing Mustangs & Messerchmitts fairly seriously. No pics at present, though.