Sunday, October 29, 2017

WoodWorking for Wargamers: Troop Carrier Completed, post 13

 Final stages of this project - adding the top and some trim pieces.  The first step is to measure out the foot print for the top.  The most accurate way is the simplest - pit the case on some plywood and trace out the the shape.

 And here are the dimensions - well not really.  I need to enlarge the dimensions but the depth of the rabbit cut on the trim
 I milled some pine stock down to 1 inch high by 3/4 inch wide.  I'll attach the trim with a rabbit which is done on my router table.  The router bit is 1/2 inch wide and will bore out a 1/4 inch trench or 'rabbit' that the plywood top will fit into.  I need to add the depth of the rabbit to each side dimension before cutting out the top.  This will create a snug fit and look good (well hopefully).

 The next phase is testing the rabbited stock's fit. It's perfect.  Sometimes the thickness of plywood varies by 1/16 of an inch so it's always best to test fit.
 And then glue and clamp in place.
 I also added the same size trim to the bottom.
I didn't cut enough stock to make full pieces for all the sides so had to use two smaller pieces.
 I'm not the good a miter joints and had a gap on the tip.  Rather than mill some more stock I cut a shim and then put a mixture of sawdust and glue to fill the gap.  Once that fully dries I'll hit with a little wood putty and know one will be the wiser.

 Everything clamped up and in places
 Can never have too many clamps.
 Here's a shot of the case after it's been sanded and given a coat of danish oil.

 I really like Dainsh Oil as a finish - wipes on with no fuss and is easy to patch later on.
 You can see I used plywood from 2 different sheets - that's why the top drawer is some much darker in wood grain.  For most projects one should try to match the grains better.
 A shot from the rear.

I left the top with a recess also so I could fit in a tournament tray that has scenery.  I've always admired the terrain tournament boards that John B uses for Bolt Action.

There will be one more post on the case - once this cost of oil dries I need to resand and fill some spots but the case is in usable condition.

Oh and I need to add some hardware that's on back order....

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Wood Working for Wargamers: Troop Transport Case, post 12

 I had some free time tonight so snuck into the woodshop and added the carry handles and drawer pulls.  Not all that much but at least some progress.
 The carry handles are made from some 2x2 pine scrap that I cut a 10 degree bevel along.  Once the bevel was done I then cut each piece to 5 inches in length.

Each handle is attached with some wood glue and then two drywall screws through the wall.  The bevel makes it much easier on the hands when carrying.

The drawers pulls are really cheap pre0made ones - I think the pair cost me less than one dollar.

I did some more sanding on the drawer runners and each drawer slides in and out very smoothly.

There are a number of options to use to lock the drawers in place during transport.  That's an important feature as without a locking mechanism, if the case tilts forward during transport the two drawers could fall out.  That's not-so-good.

The easiest way is add a strap along the outside to hold them in place but that looks really bad.  I think I'll use a rod system that's held un place when the top is closed.

All thats left is to build the top, a lot of sanding and then a quick finish.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Dog Sitting: Is it the gateway drug to a dog?

 My wife is a cat person.  It's a grave flaw but I love her none-the-less.  In our 30 years of marriage she has resisted adding a canine to the family portfolio in a fierce and determined manner.  I have decided on a more subtle tactic than holding my breath (and one that I don't pass out as often).  Dog-Sitting.  We dog-sat a close friends dog over the weekend named Otis.  He's a bit of fru-fru breed but fun and adorable.  I think he set out with a mission to convert my wife away from the pagan cult of cats and onto the true path of enlightenment - dogdom.

While not a water dog, he did like floating in the pool with MB on his makeshift Imperial Barge.
 There two were inseparable over the weekend.
Otis is always one to help out, you can see Otis proofing reading one of MB email responses for her clinic.  I think he caught a miss-diagnosis so he's a very smart little dog.

My plan may be working - on Sunday as we dropped Otis off to his family, MB inquired on when we can watch him again.

Patience. patience as the quarry draws near the trap....

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Carnegie-Mellon Robotics Club - Club Rebuild

 Yesterday I was in Pittsburgh for a CMU related board meeting and got to visit my son, who is a senior there.  When I say visit, well he allocated me a few hours to come and pitch in while he and his fellow club members rebuild the Robotics Club.  Sean is the President of the club and its the oldest robotics organization in the USA.

I get a kick out of the kid working on the drone on the workbench despite the construction all around him - progress must be made!
 El Presidente himself, posing for a rare photograph.
The club has a very nice workshop in the back with an amazing array of tools and 3D printers.  However, the most impressive is this WW2 Navy surplus metal lathe that is still going strong.  It's a beast of a machine and very beautiful in it's own way.

Here's a link to the robotics club website.

Take a look at some of their projects, including my favorite "Couchtron" a self driving couch.  In all fairness, it's my son's project, so theres a little bit of bias.  I'm hoping he builds one for me!

Sean's really proud of the rebuild and the club is his techno-geek form of a fraternity.

I wish I could to college again.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Analogue Hobbies Challenge VIII: "The Ocho"

With the start of the next Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge on the near horizon, it's high time I began to restock my lead (and plastic) pile.  I haven't painted a miniature since mid July and the "urge" is coming upon me.  Posted is a rare action shot of the snow lord himself tallying his arcane painting scoring algorithm.  Spine-tingling action photography.

Past Challenges have seen me focusing on building out the forces needed for a summer convention game but I'm still undecided on what to do for Historical 2018.  Leaning towards a redo of this year's games (DAK & Dragons and SOCOM & Sorcery) but with better terrain and more refined rules.  Then again, I may go back to the ACW as I've got two 28mm scaled ironclads just gathering dust.  But there are other options like a Pirate game using the superb Blood and Plunder minis / ships.  Ahhhh - decisions, decisions.

In any event I have made "trips" to the Empress and Perry Brothers websites and have suitable reinforcements on the way whichever way I go.

If you haven't participated in the Painting Challenge (Ivor and Mike, I'm talking to you) then I highly suggest you give it a whirl.  It's a lot of fun.  Space is limited so, if you do want to participate get your sign up in fast once the call from the great white north has gone out.

As for my participation, I'm a definite "in" but am thinking of competing more for quality than quantity this year.  In the past three years I've been shooting for the top spot in painting output which is both fun and challenging, plus there are those lucrative endorsement deals.  It can also be a bit of a grind and my painting skills have stagnated.  Knock out a 24 figure Confederate regiment in 28mm in under 6 hours with "ok" quality - I'm your guy.  Paint up a figure that can win a competition? not so much..

So I'm strongly thinking of focusing on quality this year during "The Ocho".  Of course, I may find my skills can't get any better which may allow the competitive jerk in me to still win out....


Current Stuff slated to be painted:

- Blood and Plunder Factions
     - - French
     - - Unaligned
     - - Dutch (if the kickstarted arrives in time!)

- Moderns
     - - Lots of newly ordered Empress mini's

- WW2
     - - North Africa Campaign Perry Stuff
     - - A bunch of Warlord plastic sets
     - - Maybe some 15mm stuff

     - - 4 regiments of confederates and Union to raise my total forces to 20 regiments each, cause you can never have enough.

I'm, sure I'll be adding to this list

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Wood Working for Wargamers: Troop Transport Care, post 11

 I had a few hours free this morning and managed to rough out the storage draws for the Troop Transport Case.  It's beginning to look a bit more than just a plywood box.
 This picture shows the installation of the supports that will hold the fixed top tray.
 A close up of one of the drawers.  Rather than use storage bought draw runners, I'm using 1" inch plywood strips that are attached along the sides of each drawer and then....
Along the bottom  of each case side.  I'll need to sand and then wax the runners but this should work fine and saves me $30.00 of so bucks from metal slides.
Planing the front of each drawer before affixing the face plate
 Face plates attached - it's hard to see them when recessed.
 The top storage tray - great place for rule books and dice and rumor has it it may have a built in dice tower
A short with the drawers pulled out.  I'll attache some drawer pulls later - after I figure out how to make them.  This project should be done in a post of two

Friday, October 6, 2017

Important News: US Sail Boat Show in Annapolis

This weekend is the US Sailboat Show, which rivals Historicon as one of my favorite events.  This year will have close to 200 different boats on display.

Sadly there will be no Alerions (my boat) as the manufacturer has gone belly up and no one has picked up the license.  Such are the travails of the sailboating world.

I'm not really in the mood for a new boat - well that's what I told the wife!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Fall on the Eastern Shore

 It's officially Fall over here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland - it's my favorite time of year and I thought I'd take some photos of the fall colors in out yard.

 This photo of a butterfly in flight came out nicely with the sun's rays and pool in the background
 Nice reds and
 yellows throughout the garden.
 Our vegetable garden is on it's last legs.  Some of the tomatoes are dying off and the rest are on a race to ripen before the first frost on October.

 We did get buckets full of tomatoes this year and have a few gallons of sauce stored in the freezer to help get through the darker months of the winter.  My wife's tomatoes sauce is the real reason for my painting productivity during the Painting Challenge!
 A few more tomatoes and behind those are some Zucchinis and Peas.
The lettuce on the left is doing nicely.

We've got 2-3 weeks left before the first frosts take the garden.  Still it was a good year.