Wednesday 30 May 2012

Back with chocolate ice-cream!

I have just had one of the nicest ice-creams I can recall ever eating. I intend to sing its praises to you. I popped into my local healthfood shop. Tomorrow night I'm off to Scotland for a wedding, so I wanted some supplies. The lady in there drew my attention to this new range they had, and then praised it to high heaven, remarking on its creaminess, its excellent texture and its gorgeous taste. Naturally, I was intrigued, and bought a little tub of Bessant and Drury's chocolate ice-cream (website: ). It's in a prettily designed little tub for individual consumption, but you can get larger ones! There's even a nifty little spoon hidden under the card top that sits in the lip of the plastic lid. I cannot recall the last time I got to eat an ice-cream with a tiny plastic spoonlet; I can't have been more than fifteen!

Anyway, the ice-cream is coconut-based, and that does make it simply gorgeously creamy. If you like coconut, even just a little, get this delicious manna from Heaven! Because it's made from coconut milk, the manufacturers have dodged the use of soya. The lady in the shop was saying how useful it is for parents of children with lots of allergies, since the most widely available vegan ice-cream in the UK is Swedish Glace ( ), which uses soya - no good for folks who are allergic to it! So they've had three or four children in with their parents buying them the little tubs this week. Lucky kids, I say! I enjoyed it so much I even ended up dipping my finger into the tub to get all the melted stuff I'd missed! In short, go and get this ice-cream if you're vegan, allergic to soya or, quite frankly, you have working taste-buds. You will love it.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Auf wiedersehen, folks!

In a few hours I'm heading off to Wales. My good friend Mark is getting married to his fiancée, Marie, on Sunday, and I'm the Best Man. Needless to say, I have been worrying myself silly trying to write a speech that's not going to send everyone to sleep. The last time I gave a Best Man's speech I got heckled by a little boy for being too dull. Anyway, I'll be back here on Monday night, I think, but not for long. I have another wedding to go to in Scotland that Thursday. I don't have to write anything for that one, praise be! I should be back from that the following Tuesday, and it is then that I intend to get back into the Wild West (see below) and make a few more gaming boards for Space Hunt. I have had a Wild West river crossing board on my bedroom floor (or chair or bed or desk) for weeks now, and I want to get it finished and up into the attic! I also finally want to get that hotel done and dusted. Until next Tuesday or so, when I shall have some wedding shots for you, I wish you all a lovely week and weekend!

Monday 21 May 2012

Gaming Board: Part 3 and some rabbits

The board is done, and I'm getting on nicely with some walls to create corridors for warring in. I've popped a lot of transfers on the walls to embellish them prettily. It's always good to have some nice numerals stencilled all over things, and some wee words on computer screens. Most are numerals and words, but a few are humorous: I've a few crazy faces to suggest mad computers, and some crazy messages to imply the same. "Kill! Kill! Kill!" and "DAVE". Heh! In closing, there are a few pictures of the wild bunnies in the back garden and our own dear Spot.

Saturday 19 May 2012

A Sinister Masked Prowler and a concomitant lack of sleep

I had a nice night last night. My brother, Niall, and I went out to Newcastle-under-Lyme, picking up our friends, B, N and L. B's been recuperating from painful medical rays, so this is the first time she's been out in a while. We met up with our friends Mawbs and Tim, and had a few drinks with them. They trundled off, and we headed off for a curry, which took us almost up to 1am. We dropped them off and headed home, where we found poor Dad still up at gone half one. Spot, our darling wee rabbit, comes in of an evening, and Niall usually puts him out for the night. He assumed Mum would, but no. So poor Dad had stayed up to keep an eye on him. I have a cunning method of catching Spot, which works a surprising share of the time. I stand before the fireplace, and he runs over to me, letting me pick him up!

Out we took Spot, then Niall poked at the internet, looking at shares, I think. During that time the milkman came. That chap must do a lot of work, as he seems regularly to come about 2 or so every morning. A bit later Niall went off to bed, and I came into Dad's Study to poke at the internet and edit Englishman some more. That's a comedy series. Watch this space. Anyway, about 4am a movement caught my eye. A few years ago some people broke into the house through one of our side windows, and stole a load of Dad's things. So now we have locks all over the place and even some (black and white) CCTV. The movement was on the CCTV. Some bloke in a light-coloured tracksuit was right outside the porch, looking around. We're set back from the road a little distance, and we've got neighbours who aren't, so we would be nobody's first choice if they broke down at 4am.

Even if they did break down and decide to bother us rather than our neighbours, they would not be wearing a mask that covered their face except for some eyeholes. I was on the 'phone to the police straight away, and they came round in a few minutes. I felt it incumbent on me to wake up poor Dad, who'd had to stay up already. When the police arrived, we walked around the garden, but couldn't find any trace of the guy in the tracksuit. We've had folk in the garden before, we know, as we've found drinks cans and bottles. It's impossible to lock down the perimeter: hedges do not a prison make.

So Dad went off to bed, and I said I should stay up until someone else woke up. Needless to say, I am currently (half seven in the morning) both shattered and sure that nobody is going to be up before ten. Again, needless to say, I haven't seen any indication that the sinister dude has returned. If anyone fancies taking over this watch so I can get some shut-eye, do say!

Thursday 17 May 2012

Board of Gaming: Part 2

That order I made from 4D Model Shop arrived at lightning speed! So I have already been able to finish off my mini board. The squares follow the standard 1.5" by 1.5" pattern, so it's a pleasing 18" by 18", which is enough for a very small game. It also obviates the need for worrying about what to do with the peripatetic pieces of plasticard - a piece that's 9" by 1.5" is more likely to slide away than this monster is! I retain my idea of doing several of these, but it's a time-intensive process, so I doubt it will be done any time soon. I'm off to a wedding in Wales next week, where I'm Best Manning. I'll be back for a few days, then off to one in Scotland, for which I don't have to write a speech and embarrass myself in front of folk! ;-) Anyway, along with the big bits of plasticard and some more treadplate, I also ordered some (slightly too small, as it turned out) red plastic tube to see how it looks when compared with the blue tubes I had in the Plasma Generator before. I am rather taken with this. It also gave me the idea that I could suggest a countdown to doom by swapping out a blue tube for a red one, with all red meaning KABOOM! Anyway, enjoy the pics, folks! if 18" by 18" is too opaque and obsolete an Imperial term for you, then I've included a scale shot of a Sentinel stood on the board.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Board of gaming

Last time grammar, this time spelling - am I not a regular laugh riot? Oh. OK. Well, anyway, this time I display the beginnings of a board designed for gaming. I have ordered a spot more plasticard, and mean to have in total 4 boards of 18" square. The mesh is indefatigable. The new plasticard is en route, but for the time-being, the 0.5mm plasticard here displayed is all I have to, ah reveal. By the time I am done, I fancy that a board of 36" by 36" (plus whatever additional corridors and whatnot) will be more than enough for games of 40K, Zone Mortalis, Space Hulk or Hunk or Hunt or Sexy Hunk or whatever! ;-) For the time being, take a gander at the 18" by 18" board I have been working on tonight.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Terrain: Generator

See, that colon makes that title make sense. Remove the colon and it's quite different in meaning! I have got pretty close to finishing off all the terrain for Space Hunt, well, er, for the time being, because I have run low on plasticard and need some more. I'll tell you what's addictive: making Space Hunt terrain! I have an 18" by 18" board I'm working on in the next room, and I'm almost certainly going to add another few like it! Addictive! Anyway, for now I've got the regular bits of plasticard flooring laid out with the generator and some wall pieces. The 1.5"-wide floor pieces are a little too thin for gaming to be practical with a wall on either side, but with 3"-wide corridors it starts getting more reasonable. Enjoy the pics. I hope to have some computers with informative displays up for you next time.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Normal service will resume shortly

I've been exceptionally busy these last few days. Most of the things I was selling on Ebay sold, and so I spent most of Sunday and Monday making boxes for stuff. For some reason I don't have a vast stock of prefabricated boxes for shipping around two Leman Russ chassis. Madness, I know! I posted twenty-something parcels today. I don't know how happy they were to see me in the Post Office. Because of yesterday's Bank Holiday they had had a really busy morning, and I helped mess up their afternoon, too. The new Royal Mail prices took me a bit by surprise: most of my international parcels cost more to post than I had charged in postage! Oops!

If any of my buyers are reading this, wondering why I haven't added a tracking number to your order yet, I probably would have, if I'd been able to get to the good PC. I managed about ten earlier, so I am still waiting for it to be free for me to add the remaining half. That said, a couple of folk only sent the money today, so I literally haven't had time and the necessary (good) computer access (this machine is zooming into obsolescence) to do it. I've got an appointment at the dentist's tomorrow, but I will make that "post things in three working days after receipt of funds" limit Ebay has for all my orders!

I've managed to do a little painting and modelling, but haven't had a chance to post anything on here. I'm happy to say that I managed to finish the Plasma Generator, and I'm progressing well with some new walls. I might do a little set-up of a table for my next post. I need to pop along to a GW at some point and pick up some Genestealers to use as the nasties. After I'd wrapped everything up last night I fished out all the old episodes of The Outer Limits that I taped back in the '90s, and watched The Refuge ( ), which was fun, if I was a bit befuddled by the concept that causing water to freeze at higher temperatures would crash the temperature of the globe. Surely, if water freezes at ten Celsius, say, then it won't chill you to touch it like it would if you touched ice at zero Celsius. Whatever! One shouldn't get hung up on that sort of detail! I had a nice feeling of nostalgia.

Speaking of nostalgia, I've watched quite a bit of Space: Above and Beyond this week, and been very pleased. There's a commentary by a load of the original folks on the first (feature length) episode and a documentary about the series, in the latter of which actress Kristen Cloke, I believe, reminisces about how dangerously close the show came to being funny by being so very bombastic. Perhaps in America it only came dangerously close, because I spent the whole of the pilot laughing my socks off. The impending conquest of Earth by aliens has never been so funny. The commentary track added a whole additional layer of comedy to it.

There is a scene in which Colonel T. C. McQueen enters a room to brief some green pilots, and flings a table across the room, saying he wants nothing between him and them, so he can look into their eyes. The scene already made me chuckle, but finding out that it was based on something an American sports coach did made it even funnier. So if you see that boxed set while you're peregrinating about the internet, pick it up. It's well worth your time, whether you chuckle at bombastic military melodrama or you simply enjoy folk angrily declaring martial phrases. Alumni of my secondary school will be surprised that the first three notes of the epic and stirring theme song match almost perfectly our (awful) old school song. Au revoir for now, folks!

Saturday 5 May 2012

Big walls and little walls, and so ad infinitum!

I have been continuing my work on the walls for "Space Hunt", and it's been going pretty well. I had completed a load of large walls, and so decided I needed one or two wee ones. Needless to say, I got carried away! In total I have seven long walls (9" by 1.5") that are giant background fuel/oxygen/whatever pipes, six long walls (of the same dimensions) that have computer access points, little bits of decoration and all that, thirteen (!) small walls (3" by 1.5") and four doorways. I think I might stop at six doorways, but I am quite keen on the idea of ensuring they all have semi-transparent viewslits (or something along those lines). Please note that the flash has rather wonkified these colours and that on all the small pieces and some of the large ones, I've pretty much just hit the pipes with an initial layer of one of the yellow Foundation paints. They will receive more attention! Now, if you fancy a model tank, then check out this listing of the stuff I am ebaying. There is less than a day to go, folks. Anyway, check out this impressive array of walls if you don't fancy it. Man, I say the dumbest things sometimes! "Impressive array of walls"? Heck, I have to laugh!

Friday 4 May 2012

Giant wall-mounted fans and why we love them

That's giant in the scale sense of giant. I don't live on a film set or a run-down industrial base or in Nakatomi Plaza, so giant fans play no part whatsoever in my daily life. I just wanted to make that clear so nobody would feel let down or upset later on. Moving on, I think anyone who has been watching this blog lately will be familiar with the fact that I have slaughtered a laptop and dissected its carcase for parts. I've only been using keys so far, as they are just right for depicting scale computer screens, but every laptop, no matter how decrepit, has a cooling fan. So I coaxed this from its erstwhile haunt and relocated it to a wee box on one of these walls I've been making for "Space Hunt" as I have taken to labelling this terrain I have been making of late. Anyway, I assembled a box in which to mount the fan, but wanted to have a covering over the fan. I made that from more plasticard and some car body repair mesh. Whether this will be glued in place remains to be seen. There is no point in having a ludicrous ventilation fan on your wall if nobody can see it! I might select a less obvious covering. Watch this space, folks! I also have a couple more walls awaiting painting, as you can see below, and some little nuggets of pre-painting goodness I shall show off next time.

Thursday 3 May 2012

Generator Room, increase power!

The Plasma Generator is coming along pretty nicely. She has had her grey undercoat and her basecoat of Ford Midnight Sky. I brought her in earlier, and started wrapping her ready for a coat of white for the hazard stripes (they'll be yellow eventually), but ran out of masking tape. I shall get some more tomorrow, and then we'll be ready for the final stretch!

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