Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holidays to All!

  Hello again everyone. It has been sometime since I posted anything of use. Mostly because I had nothing really to report.  :(  

  Actually it has been a pretty good year, and I got a lot to be cheerful about. I know some people have had horrible times and I hope they can dig out and have a better one next year. Keep plugging away and it all works itself out.  Sometimes it seems like it never will, but it does.

  I am almost bursting with news that I wish to spill but I have to wait till it works out before I can post it.  Good things are on the way folks, and I thank those who have been supporting me.

 I was really planning on my next post being a release of something new, but I have been so busy making piles of plastic parts I have not had time to run anything new on the mill. That is going to change because I plan on getting some help in the shop. That's right-employees! OK, they are also my 2 teenage daughters who are pretty reluctant. But since I can cut off their cell phone service at any time, I think I can motivate them.

   So have a very Happy Holiday everyone. It is really a great time to be alive and a pretty nice planet to hang out on. The rest of the ones in our solar system are crappy, so we lucked out! And those Mayans were wrong. So we got until the next apocolypse to set back and relax.

Merry Christmas world.   And "Mr. Claus", thanks for all the orders. I am working on them right now!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pulled out some old boxes....

  Hello again.

 It has been a very hectic few months for sure. I was back on the phone with those tax people, trying to de-bug the new web site, and re-wiring my garage.  Once I get all that done I am prepping for a gangbuster 2013.

  Why? Because I am going to focus on making things for the store and not make widgets.  You may have noticed I put a price increase on the store when I re-made it. Well accountants have a way of opening your eyes a bit. While widgets seem like a great idea, they produce no residual sales. Another lesson learned the good old fashioned way.
   So I have been revving up the old CNC machines and making things more reliable. The large one I have already documented its upgrade. That motor produced an electromagnetic field similar to the Philadelphia experiment. I added some back to the future shielding and it is behaving for now and I am still here in 2012.
  But the little desktop model, man has it ever plagued me. The bearings wear out in about 2-3 days. This has grown intolerable so I figured might as well do a little modification.  When you do this sort of thing there is overkill, and then there is MAXIMUM OVERKILL!

The motor on the right came out of it. It is about as powerful as a toothbrush motor. The one on the left is going in as soon as I can make room for it.

  Just look at the diameter of that monster. I picked it up off e-bay. It is made in China but has German bearings. It has water cooling tubes, is 220 volt, 3 phase and I am anxious to fire it up.  I had a little trouble at the breaker box, which is why I am re-wiring.
  I told my friend the other day that trying to make do with this cheap ass equipment is like trying to compete in a Gold Demon painting competition using only a box of Crayolas.  Unless I hit that poweball jackpot I am still stuck with the crayolas, but I am at least going to make them as sharp as possible.
  Why do all this?  Because this stuff is setting on the PC and I want to see it in real life. This is more of the 28mm set.
  I hope they work out.
  And about that box.  I dug out an old army I have not used in ages and thought I would take some pics. I sold off a bunch of stuff 2 years ago and sometimes I think about selling some more odds and ends. This army was always one of my favorites. I only really built it to match the high elves I got stuck somewhere in another box. Selling off these 2 armies will limit my WFB games. But I really do not play that much anymore. 
  I hope some of the images do not offend, yes that one crossbow guy is yelling and making obscene gestures. And it is very cold in Naggaroth.........
General with his guard. Most infamous moment was failing a stupidity check in a tourney and making a half move into a wall of missile fire instead of running them down.
The puniest dragon ever.
Dark riders.  Made with Rohan horses, wood elf legs and plastic parts. I like this unit, although it fights like a UN peacekeeping force.
From the old days. Witch on chaos steed.
Heavy panzers. Look nice but usually behave stupidly.
Some long range hitters.
A couple of heroes.
Some air support. Butterflies are tougher, but I like the concept.
Black Guard. Stubborn made these guys very good at dying. I like to run 24 models, 8 wide by 3 deep.
Corsairs. No idea why, but core and kind of neat.
Witches. Very good in the right situation. They once splattered a unit of skaven so horribly I felt sorry for them. It is pretty bad when me and my opponent have to wear safety glasses during a table top game.
Spears. I run these 5X5. Not a bad unit really. More core troops.
And there are 3 units like this one to fill out the rest of the core requirements.
  And that is another look at a pile of lead in the basement.  I have a lot more to show someday.
  Have a good week and keep warm.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

New site active

  After a few days feeling a little like this.

  I finally sorted out the web store.  Just a friendly suggestion to folks looking for open source shopping carts.  Do not use OS Commerce.  It was not user friendly.  I found that Open Cart works so much better and has a pretty easy interface. The template comes with all sorts of PC components in it already for sale.  I removed all I found, but if you see something that makes no sense it most likely should not be there.

  I will update more when I make some new things, but for now I got unlimited web space!!!

 The blog is going to be migrating into the web site also, since it has that feature built right in.  Things are going to be as smooth as silk from now on. I promise. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Catch 22

  Just a quick note that the web site is down for a little while until it gets transfered to a new server. This is the long awaited new store with more slots available at a much lower price. I guess my old domain host was counting on customers who do not have google.
   A recent series of events have created a crossroads moment. I have given up trying to figure out how to do my state taxes and decided to close shop and continue operations in a commando fashion only. However, in order to close shop I have to have all taxes up to date. I tried to explain that the only reason I am forced to close shop is because the taxes are a hideous nightmare of frustration, and in fact if I could do the damn taxes I would never consider closing shop. The tax people failed to see the irony in all of this.  After being bounced through at least 12 different departments it became obvious that my state department of revenue is hopelessly clueless.  BUT, I have to do these stupid taxes in order to exist AND in order not to exist.

  I love the show Firefly. He just gets in his ship and flies away.
  Anyhow, I bit the bullet and hired an accountant. It was a bleak day of despair indeed.  How did we ever get to this place?
  So my accountant has gotten things sorted and I am going to keep trying to exist, if my overlords will allow it.
   Once I figure this new site out and get it hooked up I will fill everyone in on all the new directions we are headed and the mistakes of 2012 that will not be repeated.

  Have a very nice Thanksgiving and buy something nice for yourself.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Falling out of Fall-In

  Wow, is it that time already?

  I just want to inform folks I will not be at Fall-In chatting with all the good folks. I work weekends now so attending shows is out for a while.  There has been little of interest to report, other than a few odds and ends;

 1. Widget manufacturing has continued, but I am souring on this prospect very rapidly. It prevents me from releasing anything new and can be a HUGE waste of time if the deal falls through....... Right now about half the deals fall through and the other half pay off nicely.  I got to sort this one out.

2. Having said that, there are some new things in the works. The 28mm building if I ever get around to it, and some other odds and ends. Widgets are wrapping up so hoping to knock out some more parts to it. I finally had an inspiration for a 28mm tanks kit design. I was drawing a blank on this and even posted on Craigslist to no avail. Finally I thought about my days in the Air Cav and the classic image of a Huey helicopter with door gunners hanging out and blasting away. So it occured to me that in the future what used to be the cav, then became the air cav, would evolve into the Space Cav.  And they would need a utility vehicle to transport them.  I will post some pics when I get some design done in CAD.

3. I am more determined than ever to move into 28mm scale. I have been informed by some smart people that 28mm is about 90% of the hobby.  There are a lot of other things I found out that push me to think it is true.  Scale creep is a very real issue with the hobby, as evidenced by this model kit;
  Seriously, where does this end?

4. A freak storm blew up and knocked out my electricity for a while.  I have grown fond of electric in spite of my usual dislike of modernization.  Maybe some things are better than the old days. It was nice to have power again and I was lucky compared to many.  I signed up for rescue work at church and eagerly awaited a call. I was expecting some serious, "Timmy fell down the well" heroics but got nothing of the sort.  It would have been too much to hope for something like, " Genestealers are using the storm to cover an invasion. Grab all your guns and ammo and hold the corner of 3rd and Main at all costs."   The reality was they sent out e-mail requests and my power was out so I did not even get to suck water out of people's basements. If I had one of those smart phones I would have gotten the requests. Instead I look like some slacker who refused the urgent call for sandwiches down at the fire station. I might have to explain myself this Sunday........

5.  I am voting in the morning because I will be out of town on election day. Seems like folks are really taking this whole election thing to heart.

No matter who wins life will go on pretty much the same, so maybe we should lighten up and roll some dice or paint some minis.

6. I found this guy hangin on the side of the shop. A marbled orbweaver, which sounds like a Magic the Gathering card instead of a spider. Nice camo, for a pile of leaves. Not so good for the side of a building. You can see him from all the way across the yard. 

7: I have about 3 weeks to get the new store site up and running. It is half the price of the old stire and allows unlimited products. There may be some down time but I am trying to keep that to a minimum.

8: And finally another pic of a regiment from my dusty pile of minis. I picked these up at a con years ago to use as Norse mercenaries. They are Brittania minis and chunky like GW figs are. The sculpts are nice but my painting was table top quality. I like the extras they included of guys carrying off prisoners.

  Have a nice time at the con. It seems to be plagued by bad weather the past few years, but it is always fun to go to.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I hope no engineers stop by......

   Well, I have chased the gremlins back to the pit from whence they came for the time being and running full ahead full.  Who knows for how long, so I got to work while things are working.
     I sent out a couple of widget samples and found myself with a little time to kill waiting to see if I get the Ok to produce. I took the time to play around with the grey plastic and see if that grossly oversized mold would work.

     As visible in this picture the mold plate extends past the backing die plate and sort of floats in mid air.  This seemed like a good idea at the time, and it does sort of work. It allows me to make one object and avoid the central injection point problem.  It does decrease the strength of the clamping force but as described in an earlier post this can be effectively surpassed by making the parts thicker and sturdier. The pressure required to inject into a thin narrow passageway is what blows the mold open.   I like the parts sturdier anyway. I mean, my minis look a little "fluffy" so why have thin buildings?

  The point is that this extra bit allows me to make a nice single large part, even if my plastic machine  looks a bit like this guy's car.

  Seriously-this guy takes pushing the limit to a whole new extreme.  And if that super charger can fit in that Camaro, a slightly larger plate can fit in my die assembly. The main issue is that the ejector plate now only pushes on the top half of the part and I got to keep the bottom smoothed out so it does not stick because there are no pins reaching the hanging down area.

  And this is why I hope no "real" engineers ever stop by. They will blow a gasket looking at this junk yard mess. It is best to avoid smart people, that way you do not get told about your mistakes.

   So then I mixed up some of the neutral plastic. You have to mix the color in a 50-1 ratio.  I swirled it around and all it looked like was a few grey pellets in an ocean of white pellets. After running it though the machine the parts started changing color as the black got worked out and the grey came through.

 Looking at the bottom left one it shows the injection point which is in the center of the die. By hanging to one side it allowed the plastic to come in from the side and me to make a nice chunky bit.

   This shows how big the part is next to a 28mm fig.  This is the reversible roof/floor part..  I was going to make the sides the same dimensions and have them 2 stories, but maybe I will make them one story and stackable.  This is some day going to be part of a generic pre-fab set of parts for futuristic gaming.  A future without skulls.  I like finally seeing grey parts, even thought they will be getting primered black someday anyhow. 

  I also made a few packs of DBA bases because they had run out and were off the store. They are back in now. I am going to the new server in December and will be able to have more stuff.

  Finally, let's take a moment and look back in gaming history to the early days of fantasy wargaming.  This is one of my first regiments for WFB.

   Sold for about $20 for the entire regiment of metal figures. Named "Ruglud's Armored Orcs" on the package, I personalized these lads and morphed them into the infamous "Stormtroopers of Death".  They had a theme song.  "March of the S.O.D." of course.

  That lad in the front waving 2 crazy swords is the nefarious Sgt D.  A shield would only protect the hapless foe from his left hand, and who would want that. This regiment would often brutally attack their own line of goblin skirmishers just to get in the mood before a scrap. 

  This was before the tournament movement swept through gaming and made silly little regiments like this obsolete.  I kind of enjoy the story telling aspect of gaming more so than the tourney part.

  In case you could not bear the thrashing or understand the words, here are the lyrics to "March of the S.O.D."   


Ruthless and vicious, he'll stomp on your face
Deadly, malicious, stay outta his space
He'll rip your eyes out, dont you look the wrong way
And once you meet him, there's no time to pray

   He'll rip your heart out, make you eat your own lips
   He'll crack your elbows, and crush fingertips

Cause Sargent D is coming, and you're on his list

Don't cut the line, cause he'll cut off your legs
Don't waste your time or you'll spend time with the dead.
Don't try to trick him cause he'll fill you with lead
Don't beg for mercy, he'll piss on your head.

   He'll kill your sister, then mail back the tits

   He'll beat you senseless, then break out the whips

       Cause Sargent D is coming, and you're on his list

He'll pour gas on your kids, then throw 'em a match
He'll back the car over grandma, the dissect her cat
With his Stormtroopers of Death, they will come to your town
Their Uzi's rip through flesh, then it's time to chow down

   Their cause is justified, their reason is clear
   The word 'revenge' is all that they hear

       Cause Sargent D is coming, and you're on his list


  Have a great day and enjoy the hobby. It really can be a lot of fun.

Monday, October 1, 2012

More Equipment Reviews

  Today, I took a minute to be calm. I needed it.

  I get a lot of questions from people who want to do the same thing and make their own stuff.   It is in the spirit of consumer reports that I continue with another report on the tools needed to do this, and how it helps to be immune to frustration.  It is also useful to have an extensive vocabulary of words to use in special situations.  My vocabulary was really enhanced thanks to my drill instructor, and I needed every thing he had to deal with this crap.

  This is a Novakon mill.  I picked this up at a show and got the show demo unit.  The company is in Canada and I like Canada.  I might even be a Canadian someday if they would just lower their immigration standards, but that is another subject.....

   First of all, it really looks the part. When someone comes into the shop it sort of gives the impression that this place might be legit.  It is big and heavy, and when it is working it is accurate enough to safely perform a vasectomy or whatever it is they use that "Da Vinci" machine to do.

   But it is not made in Canada, it is made in China as are all of the components. The guys in Canada are trying to do the best they can, but there is a whole web-site devoted to this machine.

  I mean this is one pissed off consumer to actually register a domain name and spend so much time keeping it running and all.  I have not had that bad of a time, and the guys have been pretty suportive. Still I can not really suggest you buy this.

  First thing, it started missing steps. And when you are spending hours making a mold and the CNC decides to start cutting 1/4"  away from where it is supposed to it will ruin your day.  I fixed this by cleaning and lubricating the slides. They rusted within a few weeks, and there is no way to grease them.

  Next thing, it had all the wrong parameters. Luckily there was a forum that had some helpful steps and I changed all the inputs. It seemed fine for a while.  The coolant tank leaked and still does.

  Next it caught on fire. The limit switches were not sealed and were right in the path of the coolant. It was only a matter of time before something bad happened there. Not really a fire, just a lot of smoke and melting wires and fumes. That was the eaiest thing to fix, as all safety items are oprional and I removed the limit switches and it worked fine. The guys from Canada mailed me some new ones.

  Then the power unit to the PC died. I scrounged one out of an old PC and fixed that. Then the graphics card died too. Back to the pile of old computers and back in business.

    But 2 weeks ago the spindle finally died. It had been stalling and surging, but now it quit. The spindle is matched to this thing.



  Now, figure this crap out if you can. This thing converts electricity into some type of 3 phase DC pulses. The pulses are modulated in such a way as to vary the spindle RPM's. And this board is made in China by a company that no longer is in business. OK.  Message boards are full of folks complaining about it too.  This is pretty complex. What is wrong with a belt and pulley system to change speeds?  Nothing. It has worked fine for years. New stuff sucks in a lot of ways. 

   BTW.  The 1973 plastic machine is still chugging along and this Pontiac is still trying to single handedly destroy the ozone layer. It has one engine warning light and if it comes on it means " My engine has run completely out of oil and needs replaced."

  All of the newer cars I have ever owned are always complaining about something and wanting some high priced sensor replaced.  The old ones just broke without warning, as it should be.

 But I am off topic again.  As luck would have it the fine folks in Canada directed me to a fellow tinker in New Jersey. This man, like every American, decided to solve the problem by tearing shit apart.

Here is the table showing the crap......

   I took out of the back of this cabinet. None of it went back in.

  I have no idea what the hell any of this stuff is. The HUGE power coil on the left has "OUCH"  written all over it though.  Even I can figure that one out.

  And check this out.  The freaking Hindenburg had less warning lights after the explosion for crying out loud.

  But with the other tinker's advice I got it put together.  I really like his plan in figuring out how to make this thing usable. The components came in boxes with very explicit warning labels regarding rating, and he ignored them and over powered everything! What a guy. Check out the old motor in my hand and the new one mounted on the machine. It had to be bolted to the outside with a  special adapter. Talk about an upgrade. 460 volt, 3 phase is not stopping for nothing. I have to make sure to keep loose clothing out of the way.

   I even like the name "Iron Horse".  I spent some time in the field with a brigade named Iron Horse.

  So it is working again, with a few quirks. But working at least. My advice is to shop around a little before you make the investment. They have a new model that is supposed to be a lot better, so maybe your results may vary.

  In other news;

  I made the second part to the 28mm pre-fab buildings.  This is a basic piece of sheet steel with the linking rivets. Not sure how many different ones I want to make to put in the pack, but it is going to take a while to get them squeezed in between other projects.  ( and maintenance)

     Also, I got an e-mail from Reaper and they are planning on bringing production back to Texas. I should not have jumped to conlusions about them. I had heard that it is easier to talk Smeagol out of his favorite jewelry than it is to get molds back out of China.  I hope they can pull this off.
  I wish them luck.

  And with that I am back to work. I got to see how the new "Iron Horse" is running.

  Have a great week folks.

EDIT;  While I was writing the review posted above, the machine in question must have somehow learned of my harsh words. It made a 1" move to the left (for no reason) and proceeded to destroy a mold I spent a considerable amount of hours on. This is not the first time it has done this, and I am guessing it will not be the last.  Oh well, time to place a new block on and start over..................

Monday, September 17, 2012

Today I make a fatal error, and here it is!

  OK, I know this is a huge mistake but I wanted to clarify my previous China outsourcing post. Thanks for the feedback guys, it is always helpful to hear other points of view.

  Let me preface this by once again declaring that I am not the most educated person on earth. I quite stubbornly endured 10 whole years of the government mandated abuse known as public education. Then I realized that at age 16 I was eligible for parole and walked out.  My rejoicing that day later inspired a noted Mel Gibson film.

  So here goes.  Global trade is a very good idea. It helps everyone. Check out this guy from the UK making some really kicking slot car chassis;

  You got to see the video-

  He wanted to make slot cars that handled like 1970's era American cars. So he did! And a real car does handle like that if you remove the sway bars and shocks, and fill the trunk and back seat with bags of cement.

  The point is it is cool and I could buy one.

  Trade between nations with similar standards of living, similar workplace safety regulations, similar environmental standards, respect for each others laws, and a somewhat similar wage scale is very good. It really works out great for all involved.

  An unbalanced trade between countries who are not similar will result in a very unfair level of competition.  Throw in some government action to deliberately de-value the currency and it really starts to become a no-win situation.   (luckily our government is skillfully de-valueing OUR currency too- take that China!)     In the future the wages of China will grow and the wages of their trading partners will drop.  Very good if you make a living day-trading stocks. Not so good if you are an average worker. At some point things will level out.  While they do a lot of creative destruction is going on.

   I was at a job interview once and the boss yelled at me and called me ignorant because I complimented him on keeping manufacturing here at home. Turns out his tiny US factory was a token presence so he could bid on defense contracts and all the real work was done in low labor and no regulation countries.  I wanted to tell him a few things but thought it unwise. Maybe I should have because I did not get the job. I keep getting lectured about how I do not understand the global economy and all that. I have shipped about 600 packages to date and a staggering 0% have gone to China. In fact I will gladly post on this very blog the day I get an order from China.

  A global economy is what we will have someday. Right now we have a mess.

  So that is my take on things. As for the "we can not do it anymore" school of thought just ask around. The guy at the window at Wendy's handing me a frosty most likely worked on the space shuttle back in the day.

    And that brings me to the next item of interest;

  I picked up some little tanks and some walking robots off of these guys before. I liked them, but the tanks were too small for 15mm and the walkers were 54mm scale and a bit big for 40K scale. I am going to use the walkers anyhow. And now they are making some nice terrain pieces pretty similar to the ones I am plodding away on.  Damn. My stupid procrastination has resulted in being beaten to the market place.

  I am going to finish up some more widgets and get cracking. The reason I like making widgets is they are big and fairly easy to design molds for.   It is much easier to make a large item than try and cut nose rings on a elven face for example. And I get to sell a pile at a time so I can use the widgets to fund some much more interesting things.......

 I hope some unemployed person comes along with a desire to learn all this crap and a ton of free time to help get some things done.
   HOWEVER- I will say this. If you hire a lot of American workers you only get the use of one hand and 30% of their attention. The other one is holding their smart phone in a death grip while eagerly waiting for a text message from a casual acquaintance. Do I sound like a crotchety old timer or what?  I try my best to act my age, which means I can soon call people "wipper snapper" and chase them with my walking cane.

  In the meantime let me share with you a picture of a widget mold in progress;

  Some days I love my job.   :)

  I promise not to turn this blog into a occupy Wall Street propaganda outlet or anything of the sort.  Reaper is a great company and I wish them well and did not mean to disrespect them. They got to do what they got to do. 

.  Going to post some battle reports soon as I am itching to get out the whole city and fight some battles.  Been re-reading some Dan Abnett and he always gets me going.

  And with that, I will sign off and get back to plotting some more mayhem

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Et tu, Reaper? A politically incorrect rant of sorts.

  Just a general statement of how it feels to be an average blue collar American trying to swim against the surging tide of out sourcing.

  I finally broke down and bought in to one of those "Kickstarter" deals. It was for Reaper minis "Bones" promotion. I always loved Reaper minis and thought they were in Texas. It cost a bit, but it was a good deal and if I can help a fellow company out, great.

  Then I go this in an e-mail;

What we can tell you so far...

200 of the masters left for China yesterday! :-) We think that will give them something to do for a while while we get some sculpting finished up.

We sent in a big PO for the 29 Bones models that we can get, just so we have lots of inventory until the rewards castings come in. This also gives the Chinese factory something to do while they start making new molds too. Because you folks wanted to see what they were like and started buying them, we've run out of two models already!  "

Soooooo.  I sort of felt like I had been punched in the gut by that guy from Rocky 4.  I really should have researched this first, because I NEVER would have supported this if I knew it was to outsource production from Texas to China.

 I could write a hundred more paragraphs today about this, but it will not matter much.

  Let's just raise a glass to the memory of a workforce and an economy that is gone.  There are a couple ghosts and shadows still trying to hold on, but our days are numbered.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Some little progress...

  OK, so here is the latest project in process. This was a real pain, although it should seem simple.

  It is the first of the 28mm pre-fab construction walls. It can be used as a floor section or roof. There are plates on the sides where they are assembled on the planet.   I have to go in a fix a few issues, like the one you see here;

  If you look closely you will note that the square 8 from the bottom and 4 from the right refuses to conform the the others.  Why?  I have no bloody idea but it looks like crap. Now I have to create a program to try and go in and take the tiniest of fraction off of it.  And if I screw it up? Well then I have to take the same amount off of all the rest!  Arghhhh......
 The backside of this is going to be corrugated metal.  I like how it looks so far, I need to do a little sharpening on the edges but I am hoping this will work.  This is the first of the oversize blocks and it will be interesting to see if they function in the press.
   In other news, I do not think I can take any more custom work for a while. I am currently commited to 7 molds in addition to whatever I might try and squeeze in during the downtime. And out of those molds I have to run 10,000+ sprues.  I hope this damn plastic machine does not revolt and try to kill me again. We have entered into a quiet and wary tension. I think it is trying to lull me into relaxing and then take off another body part.
   My mind keeps coming up with more plans than are feasible, like writing my own game rules sometime. I had a really neat idea in this regard but that takes some time. I want to get it down on paper before I forget, and then get my friend to create a combat simulator, run 1000's of virtual combats, and see how it shakes out.
   And of course, I wonder how the neighbors are going to react to my new goldfish pond idea.
  Nothing like going over the top on things.
  Anyhow, that is the update. I will post some pics of the roof pieces when I press them. I am going to use GREY!!!!  Just like a regular product. Then I can start on the walls and doorways too.

    This friday is a blue moon. Not sure what tradition calls for on that event. Something with beverages, meat and fire I am sure. You can add your own variations based on local customs.

Have a great Labor Day.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Going to get things done or else.

  Well summer is winding down. Things are busy, which is good. I am employed again and this time without the overwhelming urge to turn green and burst out of my clothes.  Things work out in the end.
  In the shop I am getting more and more orders for little bits and widgets.  I take on what I can but it is stopping me from making an effort to add more of my own things. It pays better though.

  I did add a 50 by 75mm rectangular base to the store. I also deleted the rocky 40mm round. That was a very early mold and it is a pain to get to work.  I had to make a few this morning and decided on the spot to trash the darn thing.  The early molds were OK, but now I am wanting things that work.
   I am going to start the 28mm building flats at the next break I get. It seems a shame to make them flat, so trying to figure out a way to finish both sides has been on my mind.  This little plastic machine has a lot of limits, but if you look at them as more "guidelines" it can be useful. My maximum surface area limit is 14 square inches, and I just finished delivering some parts to a guy that are over 32 square inches.  The parts took every bit of plastic I could push, so there was no runners at all. This has given me the idea to push other limits as well.  Let's face it, a lot of limits are set unrealisticly low to allow for a safety margin.  I had 2 tons of stone in the back of a pickup rated at half ton. Sure it seems to sag a lot, barely stop, and sway violently.  But I did not have to make multiple trips to the quarry.
  So how can I get this little machine to think big? I am going to re-make the die and let it hang out on all sides. I am picking up a new bar of metal next week and this one is larger. It is planned to allow me to make the 28mm building sections and make them double sided and reversible. As a added bonus it should let me make some of the super large bases some folks are requesting.
   I should mention here that I am guilty of losing messages and not answering them. Since opening up the web-store and having a very public e-mail, I have been swamped by marketing. Often I intend to answer e-mails but they go off the bottom of the list so fast I forget them.  Instead I get all sorts of offers. Some marketing firm has me identified as an overweight person who needs male enhancement and a lower interest rate. It is troubling to think that this is the way the world views me.  Once I get a little more organized I will do better at keeping current on things.
  It does not help that I spend too much time building model kits into slot cars.

   In the meantime, I took a trip to Florida to gat some training on a new machine.  I took my daughter along, because she read some book called Harry Potter or something.  While there I did some research on buildings.

In case you want to go, here is a very concise review.

Some rides are nice.

 Some are not.

  Anyhow, got to get busy. If everything goes OK I hope to get an opening soon to build the new die. I will report the results, and if it works a whole new range of possibilities open up. That is if I can get caught up on making all these widgets...............

  Have a great end of summer.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

20mm in store now.

 OK, I guess 20mm rounds will sell better than the police car, so I swapped them out.  I got to get a better store someday......... but for now I got what i got.

  The 20mm rounds are 40 bases for $4.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

One Shade of Grey

  Just wanted to mention a little milestone. I found some grey plastic!  It might seem trivial, but it has been a major challenge getting any suppliers to even talk to me. Once they find out I am just some slacker in a barn they stop returning my e-mails. Some places have HUGE minimum orders in the range of 18 tons or so.
   But, I did find this one place that sold me some black pellets. They seem to get remnants from other places on an irregular basis and sell them quite reasonable.  One of those "We cheat them and pass the savings on to you!" type of places.   The only thing they ever had was black. Until now. They actually got in a supply of neutral and a few colors to add. One of the colors is light grey. I am quite pleased because grey seems to be the acceptable standard for stuff and someday my stuff will be grey also.  Things are looking up for sure.

  I also made some special request bases and put them on e-bay. No room in the store till I sell out of something and I think these bases are very obscure sizes for sure.

 These are 20mm rounds. Could be useful for a number of skirmish games. If you want penny sized bases but want plastic with a lip, these will do.

  Also, these pill shaped bases;

  These are 20mm by 50mm cavalry bases. They were ordered for some Nappies and would work good for smaller sized 25mm figs.

  These are on e-bay, and if you are paying attention you are aware that e-bay stuff is a bit higher to make up for the 15% I got to pay them.  If you want these new bases just send me an e-mail with your address and I will shoot you a pay-pal invoice at $4 per pack instead of $4.50 from e-bay.
  I am not expecting a huge demand for these sizes, but you never know.

  And finally the promised review of the Solidoodle 3 D printer. You may have read about it, just a quick google search will reveal countless press releases and articles.

  Here are the pros;
  It takes up very little space, I have not had to modify my work area at all.
  It uses no power or material.
  It makes no noise whatsoever.

  It does have one huge con;  it does not exist.

  I should not try and tell anyone how to run a business because I ain't exactly Einstein when it comes to that topic. BUT, perhaps they could have hired one less marketing guy and actually hired someone to make the stupid thing.  What good does a TON of internet exposure do you when you have no product to deliver?  It took a few e-mails but I got a refund and will look elsewhere for my 3d printing needs. I have to give the Solidoodle a thumbs down.

  I think the phrase is.  " All sizzle, no steak."

  I think I do not say this often enough, but thank you  to all the fine people I have met and who have supported this crazy little ride.

  Have a nice day.