In which I make a nonworking fan from a working fan

I gutted my old PC the other day, and salvaged a few bits from it. First to get the terrain treatment is this small fan. Obligatory safety note: try not to electrocute yourself to death when disintegrating an old computer. I manage that first step, as this written report suggests. So here is what I did. First, I measured the sides of the fan (a smidge under 80mm), and cut some 2mm thick plasticard to provide four sides.

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Of course, I had forgotten to allow for slightly longer sides so that the “walls” would join up. Anyway, I glued the walls to the fan.

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Don’t do that! Unless you have my inability to cut a true square corner. That can lead to some very wonky buildings. Next cut some small supporting pieces. These will support the fan from beneath, so it isn’t reliant just on the glue to secure it in place. Try to ensure they aren’t too visible from the top side when you secure them in place.

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Then I got a piece of 0.5mm thick plasticard sheet. Bearing in mind my earlier undermeasurement, I cut a square with a side of 85mm.

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I trimmed a border 5mm deep around the edge, and cut the corners so that they would cover the edge of the fan’s casing.

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Then I took the remnant 0.5mm plasticard sheet and trimmed the central 45mm portion into four 11mm wide strips.

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Then I stuck these onto each corner. The aim for these pieces is for them to disguise the hollow corners. If you were more careful than I was, these can cover any minor errors. If you did it perfectly, they still look good, as they will look like corner supports once we’re done.

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These should be left to dry for a while. In that time I shall work on some pieces to detail the rather bald side of the fan. Tune in again for Part II!

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Unhappy tummykins and Planetstrike

I cannot report any progress. I was going to buckle down last night and get back to work, but some wretched event gave me belly-ache quite literally. What it was, I do not know. It may have been the wine gums I’d never tried before, which also dislodged one of my fillings, and had me tearing off northwards to have the gaping hole refilled. Bless you, dentist mine, for taking me at such short notice during your lunch break! It may have been some combination of things. I don’t know. I do know that for the past twenty-two hours I’ve been aching like a zombie deprived of his daily dose of brains. Sitting down is unpleasant, lying down about tolerable, sitting is a one-way ticket to Yowsers-ville!. The pain is diffuse, lest any of you suggest the trusty old appendix is betraying me. So instead I spent a bit of time fiddling with scenery.

All I know about GW’s 40K expansion Planetstrike is that the Defender gets to put as much scenery down as he wants. Anyone want to correct that? I don’t own the rules, so although I’ve heard of super-dooper bombardments and so on, that nugget is all I have. So I thought I’d set up a little defensive area and see if I had enough nasty stuff to fill up the rest of a six by four board. Barbed wire, trees, craters, tank traps, wire fences, walls and a few other bits and bobs all went into this. I expect the bombardments available in the aforementioned expansion would eliminate quite a lot of this stuff, but what these photos tell me is – drumrolls, please! – I need more barbed wire emplacements.

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On the theme of terrain, I finally got round to gutting my old dead PC the other day. I decanted a few fans which should look good in some urban industrial setting. Space Marine scout (sans head) for scale.

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Soldiers of fortune!

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I pity the fool who hasn’t bought these miniatures. That said, I’ve no idea what I’ll do with them. Just owning them is enough! BA has been waiting for everyone else to be finished for quite a while, patient Sergeant. I just finished off the other guys watching the recent cinematic update. I rather enjoyed it. It had no pretensions whatsoever, which was just the right way to go about that sort of thing. If you want to see it done the wrong way, I submit The Expendables, which could not decide what it was at all. Tut-tut.

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Now I just need that van!

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The game is afoot!

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I feel I should put in some awful joke about football here, but thankfully for you, loyal reader, the very thought disgusts me. As you will have deduced from the above picture, I have painted my first Sherlock. I am not the speediest of painters, and I have been finding more and more that I will start a project involving painting several models, get bored that I haven’t finished any of them, and wander off. Can you guess what my Napoleonic command types are up to right now? That being the case, I decided I would concentrate on just two last night. So I put The Hound of the Baskervilles (Jeremy Brett) on the TV, and settled down to paint the first Holmes and Watson.

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I’m quite pleased with how they’ve come out. I didn’t go for anything fancy with these first two, obviously. The large flat areas of Holmes’ clothing could do with dome sort of pattern, so I intend that for my next. Watson should match that with a less apparent pattern, I fancy. So keep your eyes peeled for the next pair. If you’re to be a detective, you must practise your powers of observation!

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Slay the Dragon

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Yesterday we hunted dinosaurs! As I forgot to take any pictures at the time, I earlier sought to recreate some of the events of yesterday. There were three groups of blood-crazed hunters with scant respect for re-eradicating terrible lizards so long as they got a nice head to mount on the wall of the old family pile! We used the Saurian Safari rules, which took a bit of time, as I was rather rusty. Still, in the end we all had a good time! The action began with three Deinoychi appearing. Nathan’s hunters (Stig, Hastings, hale and Clarke) immediately shot them up, killing one, and the other two fled the table. Then a Terror Bird turned up and Blind Willie McTell (my character with the worst shooting skill and awareness) loosed a flurry of harmless shots at it from his Winchester Carbine. Sir William Charles Armitage-Shanks blew the poor bird into the grave with his .577″ Express.

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The death of the over-sized avian attracted an adult Tyrannosaur, which bore down on my party with alarming speed. Blind Willie couldn’t see a thing, wondering what the growling was. Leaving him to delay the beast, the rest of my party backed off a bit in a show of thoroughly ungentlemanly good sense. George Quaterstrength and Sir William blasted away with their rifles, and Lord Deerstalker took a useless pop with his Paradox Rifle Shotgun. The dread beast, bloodied but unbowed, lumbered on! Was this the end for our band of idiots?Suddenly the crack of a ridiculosuly powerful gun rent the air, and the tyrant lizard sank to the ground. Niall’s Mr Tiggles had knocked the last of the fight out of the beast with his 20mm Dinosaur Gun.

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Relieved, my party drew back a bit, reloaded and awaited the next onslaught. Soon it appeared. Two Nanotyranni, perhaps offspring of the slain giant, bounded toward my plucky little band. With military precision and profligacy of ammunition the hunters smashed the foolish children to bloody pulp.

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Niall’s party (Messrs. Nibbles, Tibbles, Niggles and Tiggles) were now approached by a third Nanotyrannus. But they blasted him into so much goo in short order.

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Nathan’s chaps had been rather left out of things, so we fudged it so that a dinosaur would come on where his chaps were, so he’d have something to shoot at. Niall nudged the table, so Nathan quipped that was a sign of something big coming. A brachiosaur was what appeared! Niall left at this point as he had things to attend to downstairs.

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The model’s not of a brachiosaur, so keep your suspension of disbelief running. Anyway, towering above his party, one of his hunters failed to discern the giant herbivore. The others managed to see it and let loose with their full firepower. Then my party members fired what they could at the looming green monster. No dice. Alarmed by these pinpricks, it tore off to the right, smashing into a copse of trees.

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We kept firing! We had to get that beast before it ran off the table. The damage started to add up. It screamed and tore off closer to escape!

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Our firepower couldn’t take this brute down. Then for reasons inexplicable, it turned right round and raced back towards nathan’s party. Would it crush them beneath its cyclopean feet before we could stop it? Would the Stig be out for the count?

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Nope, it changed its mind and tore off toward the board edge again. But our hunters were too proud to accept its cowardly good sense, and pumped our remaining rounds into the creature’s back, slaughtering it. Nathan’s final round ensured a prize specimen for the museum of his choice back in dear old Blighty!

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Great Scott, Holmes!

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I present to you Doctor John Watson, Doctor James Watson, Mr Sherlock Holmes, Mr Sherlock Holmes, Mr Sherlock Holmes and Her Royal and Imperial Majesty, the Queen Empress Victoria. Several years ago I saw some models of Holmes and Watson made by Foundry, but my memory is that when I had money to look, they had been discontinued. I was chatting to a friend the other day and idly looked them up. When I say chatting, I mean online. I try not to break off real conversations by excusing myself to hunt down miniatures on the web. Anyway, there on the Lead Adventure forums was a link to the very Holmes model I’d wanted. Oh, and then there were more bits. Foundry’s £8 flat shipping fee is painful, but they arrived the very next day, so I was delighted! A friend and I once had the short-lived Holmes reference that when one of us bellowed “WATSON!” the other would reply “Holmes!” He then put a stop to it by leaving the country. As dismissals of my sense of humour go, that one was pretty good! I may see if I can get together some friends for a silly game of Holmesian intrigue.

Later today I had intended to play a game of Shako, but I realised that getting the models up to scratch in time really isn’t possible, so instead my friend, my brother and I shall be hunting dinosaurs (and some more contemporary fauna) with some energetic Victorian gents. I hope to remember to take some pictures during the game. Shako has not gone away; the Emperor will return!

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Feel the energy!

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This blog is so chill that my man, Si, is shiverin’, man! And you know that’s chilled. And relaxed. So let’s say chill-axed, which is a totally awesome and certainly not risible construct of the two. Hell, yeah.

Well, I promised you a third post today, and by golly, here it is! Now, I also promised you some false enthusiasm, and if there’s one thing I can fake it’s that. You wouldn’t believe how exciting today has been. First off, after my last post I knocked up some bases for my artillery (2″ by 4″) and my cavalry (3″ by 2″), dawgs! i think you’ll love ’em when i post a few snaps I took with my banging camera. That’s a camera which is top hole, you know, not that I use for drumming. Speaking of drumming, I think we need a rimshot over here! Hoo-yah! Let nobody say I couldn’t be an over-excited Radio DJ, baby! Funky.

Right, then I got onto perhaps the best part of the day, I undercoated some models and then – BAM! – decided I would take a nap. Take a nap like a bad-donkey! Hell, yes. Man, you wouldn’t believe how I napped. It was from about 2 till 8. That’s just how I roll, friend. Then I got up, showered, grabbed myself some pumping Cornflakes and soya milk. Oh, yeah, I’m vegan, you remember? Sorted! Word. Then I took my paints and some models downstairs and watched an interesting and amusing show on Channel Four about builders recreating a Roman villa in Shropshire or somewhere else nearby. Nearby by American standards, not by reasonable ones. While I’m doing that what else is up, blood? You know it, baby. I’m sat down there, painting away at my little toy soldiers like a madman, fool! I kept doing that through The Ten O’Clock Show, the presenters of which are settling nicely into their roles. Excellent! Then I came up here and pottered about the internet before writing this. Rad, baby.

This track will be released on Virgin Media’s The Best of Feigned Enthusiasm: Volume IV, available from all good newsagents now. Only on iTunes.

Additional:

Back to normal service now. Here are the old British infantry from back in the day.

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And here are the French staff I’m working on.

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Day 2 On the New Regime

So today was legs. It was a snow day so I slept in till 11, so even if my personal trainer/teacher showed up (doubtful), I missed him by five hours. So I improvised based on the rough template he gave me on Tuesday.

Squats

  • 12 with 20 pounds
  • 10 with 25 pounds
  • 8 with 30 pounds
  • 6 with 35 pounds
  • 12 with 20 pounds and immediately afterwards…
  • 15 or so leg extensions at 40 or 50 pounds

Lunges

  • 12 with 15 pounds
  • 10 with 20 pounds
  • 8 with 25 pounds
  • 6 with 30 pounds
  • 12 with 15 pounds and immediately afterwards…
  • 30 tiptoes with 25 pounds

Leg Abductions

  • 12 at 50 pounds
  • 10 at 60 pounds
  • 8 at 70 pounds
  • 6 at 80 pounds
  • 18 at 50 pounds

Leg Adductions

  • 12 at 50 pounds
  • 10 at 60 pounds
  • 8 at 70 pounds
  • 6 at 80 pounds
  • 18 at 50 pounds

Leg Curls

  • 12 at 50 pounds
  • 10 at 60 pounds
  • 8 at 70 pounds
  • 6 at 80 pounds
  • 24 at 50 pounds

Leg Presses

  • 12 at 90 pounds
  • 10 at 100 pounds
  • 8 at 110 pounds
  • 6 at 125 pounds
  • 18 at 90 pounds

And then I finished up with 10 minutes on an exercise bike at a medium resistance level, set to keep my heart rate at about 165.


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Insubstantial Enthusiasm!

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From The Wonder Book of the Navy, which an acquaintance in Germany kindly sent me some time ago. It’s one of those joyful pieces of Imperial propaganda from those days people like to be nostalgic about. Perhaps because we didn’t have bananas or tofu or the other essentials of civilised society. But they did have jolly big guns, which are splendid, on jolly big warships, and they are yet more marvellous. It’s a lovely book, and very enjoyable. I already had its RAF and Empire sisters. The Empire one is from the tail end of the Great War, and is even more delightfully outdated!

Anyway, photography. This topic keeps popping into my head. For one thing there’s the question of photographs for this blog. I was skimming FTW earlier, and realised I’d slid past a few blogs since they lacked a picture. Mm, advertising. It’s also intruding into the offline world because I have been moving furniture around my room again. So a chest of drawers which once was to my left is now to my right as I type. It may be perfectly placed for photography. I embedded some screws in the bookcase last night with that in mind.

Returning to advertising for a minute, I am toying with enthusing these rather dreary (I feel) didactic (or perhaps expository is apter) entries of mine with some false extravaganza of emotion. Over the years I’ve got rather used to adopting a self-deprecatory tone about wargaming, the better to blend in with non-gamers or, to use an accurate term, normal people. Lest anyone start to froth, let me set your mind at ease by iterating that I mean what I say: normal, not better, nor worse. Although normal people do enjoy football matches, so maybe they are a little worse. I’d far rather play something like that than watch it. That said, good luck getting a Ronaldo-esque display of athleticism from my formless shape. Erm, I have wandered off the track. Inane enthusiasm: keep your eyes open for it in my next entry. I shall try my hardest. And then try harder, since such things always seem to be a case of people trying too hard. That is never a good idea when weight-lifting, and is only mildly less perilous when advertising. Falsely? Over-exuberance seems a reasonable thing with which to associate falsehood, yes. Toodle-oo for now, snookumses!

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1/72-Man strikes again!

I always used to have terrible trouble with my mounted figures coming off their horses. I don’t know if pinning just never occurred to me or if the fact that I’d have to buy a pin vice played a part. Happily, these days I have a pin vice, so I’ve been pinning generals and aides left, right and centre. A 0.5mm drillbit, some staples twisted into smaller lengths and flattened with pliers, some holes drilled into man and mount, and a spot of glue.

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I realised that I haven’t been taking many photographs of this project. I suspect because the painting quality still embarrasses me and also because I’m just rushing through it. However, here’s a few shots of some Royal Artillerymen atop their new base.

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I aim to have a game against my brother on Friday, then on Saturday show a friend the ropes. I’ve itemised what I need for the French (31 assorted infantry units, 5 cavalry units and 5 artillery units) and for the British army (26 infantry units, 4 cavalry and 3 artillery units). I feel that the artillery bases look better with two guns on as opposed to one, but I haven’t enough guns for the French. So some of them will be under-strength until such time as I can deploy reinforcements to the Peninsular. Vive l’Empreur!

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