Monday, May 21, 2012

Facing the Hydra- and the I.R.S.

  Just wanted to relate some thoughts.  I was looking out the door the other day and noticed a snake squirming about in the lawn by the pond. My stupid ducks were not attacking, so I picked up the pellet gun and tried to shoot it in the head. But it was hard to figure out where the head was, because it seemed to have several. Of course I figured it was a hydra, but it turned out to be a pile of snakes wrestling.  But snakes are not known as wrestlers, so I think they were attempting some obscene act of reproduction. There was no way this debauchery was going to be tolerated on my doorstep in broad day light.

  So I put down the pellet gun and grabbed a flat nose shovel and sneaked close. Then I hurled the shovel into that pile of perverts. At that point all hell broke loose and it became obvious that throwing my weapon was a poor tactic indeed.  All in all an exciting few minutes for sure.

  Which brings me to the IRS and various local and state government agencies. It seems that my attempt to comply with regulations has been very tough. The sheer number and complexity of forms and fees is more daunting than facing an army of hydras. At any point another head can appear from a previously unkown agency and deliver a painful bite up to and including life long incarceration and confiscation of all assets. Try as one might it is simply not possible to face this monster. And the more I read instructions the more it seems it might not be worth it.  Do I want to live in terror of the monsters chomping away and trying to destroy me?  Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but how can anyone know all the rules in our tax code?

  This seems really close to reality.

 This week was a lot of loose ends again getting ready for summer. Not much work getting done on new products, and I will focus on that a bit later.  I just have a lot of things to sort out for summer and getting ready for the normal work life.    I hope the hydra leaves me alone.

 This is a pic of some new volunteers who showed up and joined my store bought ducks. Here they are skirmishing in the driveway.  I think the fact I leave food outside for my ducks has these guys loving it around here. They eat a lot too.   I'll bet they never have to fill out tax forms..................

  Have a great Memorial Day week and weekend. If I escape from the monster I might make something new someday.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Clearing the inbox

  Hi again folks.

  Well I finally made some of those billboards and put them in the store.  2 in a bag for $4, and an easy way to dress up the table top.  I have done a little google searching and there are plenty of strange billboards out there for you to use.  One thing is certain- 2 companies that should be forced to stop sharing a billboard are Giant grocery and Dick's sporting goods.  That sign just looks wrong. Google the image if you do not believe me.

 As for the size of the billboard, well it would be a large highway sign for 15mm and I think it looks better for 28mm. Here is a pic with a normal fig. This Steel Legion guy one is in the top box so gets picked for all these shots.

  When I put these in the store something had to go, so I took the Robocop diorama out and will put that on e-bay.  I think my experiment with die cast is over for now. I lowered the price of the cop cars. It looks like I am going to have enough to simulate the chase scene from the Blues Brothers.  Sometimes it sounds like a good idea but it might not be. And die cast cars are available everywhere it seems so no reason to fill a place in the store with them.
  I  manages to finish a long running project for Perry County hobbies and their space ship conversion parts. Here is the last piece of the kit.
  If you know what the term "Cheyenne Class" means you can pick up the kit from him here;!/pages/Perry-County-Hobbies/215103061852503

  Check out the photos of the lit up engines. Overall a nice part.
  This job got me thinking about multi mold kits for larger scale objects. This kit took 3 molds to make and I think I can make a 28mm tank with 3 molds. Might want to play around with that.

  The epic style bases can be purchased from

  I have one more job almost done and then another to start, but I am going to be slowing down with custom orders. Clearing out the to-do list.  I will probably only be working for one client anymore.    
   This is because I am going to be running this part time. Yes, that is right, I managed to land a real job with humans to talk to instead of wildlife. I might not be staking snakes with a pellet gun and playing ninja with some geese, but it does have other benefits. 
   The greatest of which is going to be that I can relax and work on whatever looks cool at the moment.  This is something that must be done, as running a small web store leaves too many variables in ones life. I think I will look to find a like minded person or 3 and we should be able to crank out some stuff even part time.  Will keep everyone posted on this. I start in June. 
  What this also means is I can really focus on a long term project. To that end I have been working on making my female troopers even MORE over plump. The 3d printer has not arrived. When it does I get to see what they look like and then decide if they are chunky enough for a wargame table. This will allow me to make a quick adjustment and then try again with weapons and such.  It has taken a long time but I have figured out the parting lines and other issues for making figures. The last stumbling block is trying to sort out how out of proportion to make them.  There is a good chance I am going to make some 1/32 scale "normal" people for around my slot car track.

  I will leave you with a pic of a billboard that generates business. Instantly.

  Have a great weekend.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Crouching Duckling-Hidden Fat Guy

  Well I am back a little sooner than expected, but wanted to share a pic of the prototype for the new billboard model.  I hope to run some production of these next week and get them available.

One thing I would like to do is gather a few images together and put them on a file downloading site so if you need a quick graphic to add to your billboard just download and print. If there are any folks out there with an imagination and a bit of skill with photo-shop send me some images and I will try to make them available to the world.   One source that I found amusing was from the movie "Idiocrasy"

Many others from that movie would make neat billboards but would be R-rated.

  And I was thinking quite a little bit about gaming in general and thought it might be a good time to rant.

  There seems to have been a steady shift in gaming over the years and I used to think it was just me getting older. Back in the beginning we played lots of cool games and I looked like this.

  You know you were having a good time when someone casually states,  " Hey guys it is daylight outside."  And to you it felt like maybe 9 or so.  Used to be D and D and maybe some board games. I liked Magic the Gathering immensely and become very interested in miniatures gaming. It seemed the perfect pastime- I love building models and playing games. It was like a Reese's peanut butter cup- 2 great tastes that go great together.  But something has evolved. Magic became more competitive and people started building killer decks, and we started also building killer armies. Power gaming became the new norm. I did this a bit when I played old Warhammer, equipping my orc general with a vampiric frostblade and deploying him behind some goblin skirmishers. I used his leadership bonus to FAIL the animosity test and then he killed a bunch of the goblin adding a pump to a stat with each blow. Then I used his leadership bonus so the goblins did not rout and stayed for more abuse. By the time the enemy approached the general was a monstrosity and could wipe out anything in the universe.  Legal, yes. Absurd? of course.

  I was a lot younger and not aware how stupid it was, but it was the path that games were destined to follow. There is even a company that makes a game called Warmachine. I have never played it but it essentially states in the rules to power game to prove your manhood. Egads.
  So what happens?  Most times when I play now I look like this instead.

  Which is why I am 99.9% model builder and collector and not really a gamer anymore.

  Someday I am going to write some generic rules to play around with, but everything takes time.

  OK, enough ranting and on to the important stuff.

  The ducklings had a stern test as some "Canadians" launched an invasion.

Outnumbered and facing some super-heavy enemies, they fell back to the barn calling for support. This is where my lifelong regimen of donut eating finally paid off, as I was an even MORE super heavy than the invaders and was able to repel them with a bamboo stick.  It was a tense standoff for a few minutes but they retreated and peace was restored.

  And that is the word for the day.

 Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New things in town- but not all in store.

  Ok, I got a shipment of things I think are neat, which is lots of stuff for the battle table. I always wanted my city-fight terrain to have some wrecked cars and stuff, and now I have them.

There are some nice 1/43 police cars in the store for $5.  They look good next to 28mm minis and might be useful when re-enacting an occupy Wall Street skirmish game.  These made it to the store. I will explain fully at the end.....

    This is a diorama in 1/43 scale. It has a lot of useful bits as well as a cool looking police car. A 1/43 scale person looks a bit taller but the building front and other parts are useful. I have 8 of these to sell and can not get any more, so when they are gone they are gone. $19 is not bad for a pile of bits. Of course the Steel Legion guys are not included, just wanted to show scale.

 I picked up a few more things too. Peculiar things. Like these cool fire/rescue vehicles.

  These will look great battered and smashed up as wreckage on a city battlefield of the near or far future. They have a "grimdark" look to me.

  And what is more grim than this beast.
  I am re-painting one now and this really will look the part in a smashed up gothic city.
 And last I go this little vehicle.
  It was kind of simply me going through and picking a few items to put out there and see what might be interesting to folks.  I even picked up a few of these things because they are cool bits.

  So, now I have to put them all in the store. But the store will not let me. I have an e-commerce starter package and have been bumping against the maximum amount of stuff I can offer for some time. Something old has to go so something new can be offered.  I made room for the robo-cop and police cars. The rest are going to have to go on e-bay until I decide if it is worthwhile to upgrade to a much more costly store front or maybe find a new host that is cheaper. There are a lot of costs to running a webstore and it really adds up when you are only selling small amounts of stuff.

  For now if you happen to see something in this list you want send me an e-mail. I will be listing some on e-bay too.
  One of the reasons i have this stuff is because of my increasing interest in slot cars and wanting to work on some stuff towards that hobby.
  So, I got to open lots of neat things today and I hope you got to get some ideas for your gaming table.