Thursday, October 29, 2015

Last Sail for 2016

 On Sunday, October 25th, I sailed the Bucentuare across the Chesapeake to Annapolis to put her up for the winter.  It was a grey rainy day with light winds and 50 degree weather.  But a day on the water always beats a day on the land.
 I did get templet with the navtronics on my newly installed B&G system.  The chart can plot the most efficient direction to go based on wind speed / direction and final destination.  I need to enter the specific factors for my boat (hull size/shape and sail configuration but it's a pretty cool tool!

There were lots of freights to dodge!
 Anf here she is, tied up on the floating dock at the boatyard where she'll winter.  The boatyard crew will lift the Bucentuare out of the water with a giant fork lift and place her of stilts to ride out the winter.  After a bit a re-fit she goes back in the water in late March of 2016!
I did spend a little time on the work bench planing the top.  Lots more to do!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Visiting with Royalty while in London

 War-Gaming Blogging royalty that is....
I just got back last night form 5 days in London on business.  The highlight of the trip had nothing to do with business but rather my chance to meet in person Tamsin, Ray and Big Lee - 3 glitterati of the gaming blogger world.

We met for dinner Thursday night and had a wonderful time.  One of the unexpected joys of combining a hobby interest with social networking is it does allow you to both meet and become friends with people who share the same passion but are located in areas that you'd never be aware off without the intersession of the internet.  Maybe there is something to this whole internet thingy?

Sadly, I was was a bit late to dinner due to my underestimating how angry the London traffic gods can become and arrived after dashing the last mile and a half on foot as it was faster than the cab.  That's saying something as I tend to have a bigger issue with "wind resistance" than the average person when trying to move "fast".

Anyway, dinner was great and I really enjoyed getting to know them person and will try to make sure to stay over a weekend on one of my next trips to see if I can worm my way into a game at the legendary Postie's.  I've also decided that I will be attending Salute in 2016 so need to go about adjusting the board meeting calendar for purely "business" reasons.

Many thanks to Tamsin for picking the place and to both Ray and Lee for making the trip all the way into central London.  It was a great pleasure to meet you all.  If any of my blogging friends fins their way to the DC-Baltimore area here in the states please let me know - I'd look forward to meeting you.

Most of the week was focused on one company in particular but at least I got to spend some time in a conference room with a very interesting view of the Royal Academy of Arts.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Workbench Part III

 A good bit of progress this morning on the terrain workbench.  The first picture shows the bench top planks in the process of being planed.  I just focused on the sides to ensure a tight fit.  I'll do the top next week.

 Second test fit of the workbench top - all looks to be in good order except the second to last plank from the right - it's warping up in the upper right corner of the picture so I replaced that one with a straighter board.
 Attaching the top - the sides are glued together and then screws into place.  It's a bit tedious but will be very stable and removable if I damage the worktop and need to replace it.

 I'm making very rudimentary drawers to slide under the top and used exceed 2x4's to make a crude guide.

The worktop is attached and level - the board clamped along the top ensure not bending.

Next up on the project list

(1) planing the work surface
(2) Building the drawers and shelves
(3) Attaching the vice (pictured to the left)
(4) Drilling 3/4 inch holes at 6" intervals for the bench dogs
(5) Sanding, sanding, sanding....
(6) Decising on what finish, if any to apply
(7) Cleaning out the garage so the bench can be moved to it's proper place (I'm dreading this step the most!)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

New Recruits for Green Squadron

 Finally a little painting work (just a little).  The guys over at WWPD have been having a re-go at X-Wing and seem to be having a great time.  I decided to join in and will be playing in their upcoming campaign game at Fall-In.  It all looks a bit silly and a whole lot of fun - usually a good combination.

 I've done some minor painting of a X and Y wing so they can fit into the eclectic paint schemes of "Green Squadron".
 Not the most elaborate of paint schemes but it gets the job done.
Here's a shot of the ships before being dabbed with some green and orange paint.

I've got to pop over to the UK again for business next week so not a lot of painting progress

Any London based gamers up for a diner Thursday night?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Work Bench Progress

 Some progress was made on the new workbench I'm building.  Technically the workbench is designed for building cabinets and other assembly heavy projects but I suspect it's main use will be in the building and scenicing of sectional terrain panels.

 The support frame is almost finished.  You can see where I was practicing making pocket holes of the center brace.
 I still need to add some support braces on the legs - they'll go in between the to long rails to ensure the workbench if very sturdy.

The overall workbench will measure 38.5 x 72 inches.

 Arrgghhhh!!!!! the lower left corner is slightly out of plumb.  The easiest way to fix that is a bit of shim material and we'll be all nice and square.

 The two gaps created by the three rail work top support will be used for some drawers I'll build.  This is where most of the wood working tools and bits will be stored.

 All of the length's of wood for the workbench top have be cut.

Quitting time!, the next step will be attaching the workbench top pieces and then a lot of hand planing of flat surface.  I got a good wood vice on sale that I still need to figure out where to attach.  Decisions, decisions....

Monday, October 5, 2015

New Tools for a New Project!

 My lovely, yet fierce, wife has some "home improvement" projects for me to do this fall which require some new tools.  First up is this sweet little baby - A DeWalt DWS780 Miter Saw.  Yes this is a tool that is just as pretty as the name implies.  She's got a 12 inch blade and can cut up the 16 inches wide.  The blade rotates for both Mitre and Bevel cuts.  Even sweeter - Amazon was running a special where the stand was free, which typically costs $200.00).   Combine that with free same day delivery and what's not to love?  Amazon is piloting same day delivery in our area!  I'm doing my best to help make the pilot a success.

There also may be a new plunge router and router table in the delivery but more on the that later.

 My first project is to build an assemble workbench that will be 35 inches wide by 72 inches long.  The table will be used to assemble some cabinetry my wife wants but it's real purpose in life will be to assist me in making sectional terrain pieces.  The new DeWalt saw made the frame pieces a snap (the legs and cross braces).  Pictured to the left are three of the legs clamped down while the glue sets.

Here's a shot of the fourth leg all clamped up and the long braces.  I'll probably assemble the frame tomorrow night and then need to get some more lumber for the work top.  The table will feature a recessed portion for the router table.  The design of the table is intended to support over 1,000 pounds so it will be a sturdy beast.

What are some of the projects that will be be built with the new stuff?  Some cabinets for the wife and a few other storage-related additions.  Gaming wise there will be some slotted trays to add to the sides of my game table, some boxes with removable lids to transport troops to tournaments and some sectional terrain storage racks.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wargames Illustrated Issue 336: Shameless Self Promotion

Issue 336 of Wargames Illustrated has the Historicon'15 show report and I was both very surprised and a bit chuffed to see that my two games got a full page spread (page 91).  The whole show report is really very well done and there are some great looking games profiled.

The only disappointing thing is my co-host for the games, Mike M's name isn't listed.  These games would not be possible without his efforts and brushwork skills.  Mike painted most of the British force and helped co manage the games which with 10 players can be a bit challenging.  We also had a great set of players who were able to shoulder aside my bad jokes and find a way to enjoy themselves anyway.

I know it seems both silly and a bit self aggrandizing but it is very rewarding to get a little recognition for the efforts of Mike and myself.

We'll be retiring the ACW theme from next years show and focusing on a linked set of games that span the American War of Independence through the War of 1812.  How are we going to do that?  To be honest, that whole "thinking" part isn't really started yet.

There was one major goof packing up from Historion'15 - I left the naval gaming mat behind - it was stock marine grade vinyl but that's easily replaced.

With the cold weather descending upon the Chesapeake, there'll be more time for painting and thinking about convention games.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Prepping for Huricane Joaquin

A busy few days here in St Michaels as we were under the threat from Huricane Joaquin as you can see from the scary track to the left.

While it looks like the storm will head out to sea it pays to play it safe.  I spent the past few days boarding up the house and moving the sail boat to a safe anchorage in a creek.

We still have heavy rain (up to 8 inches today) and 40 knot winds but at least it isn't a Huricane!.  Hopefully I'll get some painting in later today.