zondag 13 augustus 2017

I have a cunning plan!


After a day spent with the kids, eating strawberries, baking cookies, watching them go bezerk on the trampoline and watching them devour a plate of spaghetti and 2 legs of Dr Pepper chicken (remember, these are tiny 4 year olds!) I sat down behind my PC, and had some proper thoughts for a change.

I'm planning to pick up a full length 40cm wide Ikea Billy cabinet on wednesday, to replace the half sized one. For some reason, I grabbed the tape measure and measured the distance from the window to the big Billy cabinet. It's over 120cm's. My PC table is 120cm's. Hmmm...

You see, I'm happy with my chosen set up, but there are 2 problems with it.
  • The desk and monitor is facing the window. As one of my former jobs was ARBO I really should have known better then to place a black rimmed light device in front of a big light device (aka the sun (light)) as during the day (and in the summer in the evenings as well) I'm squinting most of the time to properly see the screen. As I don't have the best pair of Mk. 1 Eyeballs to begin with, that sucks. Plus if I do want to look outside I either have to get up or bend sideways. The first is something my knee doesn't always agree with, the second puts strain on my damaged back. 
  • The 2nd Hobby desk.....great idea in theory, in practice it is a clutter focal point. I'm doing all of my hobbywork behind the PC 99 out of 100 times.
The third problem is the fact that the battletable seriously overhangs the hobby tables. Something I planned in and don't mind, but still, it's not always so convenient.

Right Baldrick, what's this cunning plan then? Glad you asked.

First up, don't spend the 10 euros to get the second hand full length Billy cabinet. 10 euros saved.
Rotate the PC table 90 degrees to the right and set up as I have now. Try to asap add shelving above the PC table, I should be able to add 3-4 levels. But I will need some damn good bolts to hold it all so I think I'm better of hanging 3 rails on the wall instead of 2 to spread the potential weight. So that's 10 euros spent. I have some spare planks and some junkers in the attic, and for now they will have to do as there is no money to get new ones cut to size.
Then, clear off the Hobby table and remove the legs, take it down and wait for Sjors to pick it up. As it is a high end office table with a swivel to move it up and down and everything, we agreed on 100 euros for the table. Plus 100 euros.
Then, move my single Ikea Alex drawers 90 degrees and stack the Moppes on top of that. The overhang on the side is minimal and the cabinet is more then able to hold the weight. When the time comes, and I have spare cash (ha!) invest in 1 or 2 more 2nd hand Alex cabinets to get the same set up as the left side of the room. The Moppe can then move inside a Billy cabinet.
I need to find a new space for the radio but I doubt that will be a problem.

The only hiccup I forsee is the desk possibly not fitting well enough between the windown and the first Billy, but atm all my measurements seem to be correct (famous last words, I've been there before).

So, what benefits will this bring? Not more room perse. It adds money to the coffers, and the room goes from being a C shape of desks and storage to a double I. The space in front of the window can be fully cleared of stuff, the windowsill is finally in reach so I can dust it again, the window can be opened without issues. Having less open horizontal space means less space to clutter thus easier and faster to clean when I have to. Less strain on my eyes, easier for me to just turn my head to the left to catch the damned cat shitting in my backyard, or the occasional Apache or Hercules making their approach to the Eindhoven Airbase.

I've discussed this with friends and Kim and checked if I'm not demented or anything, but we all see the benefits.

It now all hinges on one thing....does the table fit or not!

Fingers crossed....more tomorrow.

zaterdag 12 augustus 2017

Framed!

I took a trip to Sjors tonight to tell and explain him about Battlegroup and his choices for Overlord British, and pick up my final Billy cabinet from a local. Sadly the adress I got was incorrect so I went to the wrong, closed door. I'm pissed off due to wasted time, seller is pissed off as I did not show up. Oh well, I will find another one.

SJors was kind enough to give me the leftovers of a SdKfz 7/2 of which he used the trackwork, but is otherwise complete. I'll just salvage it for parts, starting with this:



I've added the frame that goes on top of the ammunition trailer to the top of the SandS Hi-Ace van, and put a rack from the ICM Zil-157 in front of it. I will go though my bits box to find suitable stuff to put on it. I'd really like 1-2 Britannia Afghan goats to put on top as well so I've asked around for them online. Not sure if I can even afford a trade atm for them. Must sell loads next week to even break even for this month. I'll do my bestest.

vrijdag 11 augustus 2017

Eins, Zwei, Polizei!

A bit of progress tonight on the Police armour.

 L3/33 got iron pin MG's with a bit of plasticcard to complete the look. The original barrels are very flimsy and will not stand up to wargaming use. Also drilled out the left headlight and busted it.  The same goes with both fender that have been bent out of shape.

 I'm copying a picture of one in the Balkans, that has stowage on the back as well as a bucket....I have those in my stash somewhere, I need to find it so I can finish this one for paint. Also my bag with commanders...though to be honest, any guy with a helmet will do for this.

The 7Tp and the 35S739(f) both got iron barrels as well, and when I was wrecking the fender on the Somua the PE horn cover popped off and I heard it falling "somewhere".....so I just wrecked the fender some more. both are now ready for grey primer. After this just one Panzer 35 R to build and then this part of the force is done

woensdag 9 augustus 2017

I'm back! Sandblasted and all....


Hi guys, I'm back. Holiday wasn't that great, 1 proper beach day with the kids, only a few more sunny days in which we got sandblasted off  the beach, and I now have traumatised kids due to repeated and painful sand in the eyes.. Ho hum. Rainy days for the rest. Better luck next time I guess?

In the evenings Kim and I had a few talks and I've done a ton of soulsearching, numbercrunching and talking to myself, makes about 20 pages of notes, plans and ideas in the process. I have come to the following conclusions:

  • I've gone a wee bit over the deep end with trading and swapping, as a result of this I've ended up with a rather large stash of kits and many IOU's from people whom I have sent stuff to in trade to be resolved at a later date when and if they would find/get the kit I need.
  1. Starting Monday 7th of August, I'm cutting myself back to 10 euros a week spending money, to be deposited in my spare savings account (current interest rate is 0,05% on it so it's pretty useless). If I want to buy something, it has to come out of that pot of limited gold. 
  2. Everything I sell from now on goes straight into my bank account. No if, buts or whatever you use in this expression, it goes straight to the bank. As soon as I'm out of the red numbers we'll see if we can change that.
  3. During my holiday, every person with a outstanding IOU has been contacted and asked to ship the promised goods, a replacement or cash. Of the 29 persons, all have replied by now and 14 have already sent the goods/money and another 3 wil do so this week. Others have asked for more time, some disagreed they actually had a agreement with me, one even said he assumed I had sent him a 20 euro kit plus shipping as a token of friendship....and promptly sold it and what I had wanted in trade online. Yeah.....Of the stuff that has arrived sofar, about 20% has issiues. Minor things like missing instructions, missing bits of decal or the decals completely missing, and one chap sent me a completely different kit even.....Some of these have now sent me refunds to compensate for that. Some golden nuggets in there as well, like a built O-2 Skymaster that will be very easy to dissasemble and rebuild for my needs. 

  • Speaking of needs......I don't need as much as I have now. Not by a long shot. For that I have the following plans:
  1. Gaslands and Battlegroup now share top priority. 
  2. Gaming is more important then spending money on stuff for possible projects.
  3. Gaming with painted stuff is the norm, not the exception - get them done!
  4. Erik, Ferry and Sjors all share an interest in Battlegroup with me. Sadly for me, they have all chosen completely different periods and armies.....lol. Erik is doing DAK so I have to start 8th Army with what I currently have (mostly vehicles). Sjors wants Normandy Brits and Ferry Kursk Russians, and fortunately I have Germans for both periods, and I can easily expand them with what I have in stock.
  5. I want to keep building 3-4 kits a week to a based and ready for basecoat standard, with final details, if neccesary, to be added when I want to paint a set.
  6. For now, my focus will be on Germany, Taliban, VC and Gaslands, vehicle, scenery and troops wise.
  7. I'm not excluding anything else in 20mm-28mm now, but when I have the choice of working on something 20mm or 28mm, I should go for the 20mm item.
Keeping the Dutch Battlegroup FB page will be important as well. We are currently running a 2 unit Recce build for the month of August, and quite a few have joined up already.


 For now, I've decided to go with a T-40 Light Tank for my (future) Barbarossa Russians and a Staghound for my (future) Normandy and beyond Brits. Might toss in some more units if I feel like it, and ignore the L3/33, it is destined for my German anti-partisan force and not part of the build.

Not sure what next months challenge will be.....maybe Transport Trucks or a Defence or Artilery piece.

Oh, during the holiday I made these:

2x PLO T-34/85 who now have no priority, a 7Tp for the German police and the T-40. The PLO tanks need brass barrels (not in stock right now) and the 7Tp needs a pin for a barrel if they want to survive.

As I have 2 more weeks till my internship starts, I'm using my time by sorting as much stuff in the attic as possible, sorting stuff in Pappis boxes and labelling them and sorting more stuff for sale. To speed up things I have removed my old, big whiteboard.

 So we now have a big gaping wide space.I'm replacing the 40cm wide short Billy with a tall (202cm) 40cm wide Billy. I've been looking for one locally for quite a while now and some pop up, but usually in combo with other assorted Billy's. As I want to get get on with it, I've decided to part with some spare cash and just buy one on friday at Ikea plus another dozen or so Pappis boxes. They are super useful. Next week I will move the PC and table out of the way so I can drill the wall to mount the rails in the open space, and when that is done cut to size some shelving for it. If all goes well I can then use the space to store all my battlemats, 6 more Pappis boxes, my Printer and supplies, and 2 more Moppe storage boxes. After that I only have to add a single shelf above the dooway for a additional 8 Pappis boxes worth of space. With all of that storage space I can focus of keeping better tabs on the for sale stuff and get that out of the house ASAP.

The only thing I need to solve now is how to use the wasted space on the left of my hobby desk as my Moppes don't reach to the big wall....I want to move them against that wall and create something custom for the space between the Moppe and the Cabinet that appears on my left. It's a good 20+ cm's width of space from my table upwards for about 2 metres of usuable storage space. The Ikea 2nd hand stuff I have for that is too wide sadly. But my plastic storage cubes are less then that so they could fit the bill, sadly the ones I've seen sofar are either very shallow and/or expensive per cube.

I'll find some sort of a solution, no worries :)

zondag 23 juli 2017

No news for the next 2 weeks

I'm off to the beach for the next 2 weeks. I really hate the sand and the sun, but the kids love it (well, as soon as the first mini wave his they come running back to Kim  and me, so....yeah). Just hoping it won't be too crowded, it's the first time since I was a kid I'm going on a holiday in the middle of the holiday season. I'm taking some light reading, a few kits and my notebook with me, as well as my copy of the solitaire B-17 boardgame. Other then that, not much, as we have a tiny car and no tow hook.

Cu guys in a fortnite :)

Possible beach that I will be visiting. May not look anything like this. Maybe it will. Who knows.

vrijdag 21 juli 2017

Transformers!

Catch of the week, traded for the cargo part of a 1/25 scale truck trailer. It's a load of round parts, steel beams and these 3 guys.

Great big transformers, that will do for TNT and Gaslands alike. Just need individual, but matching basing so I can slot them together of keep them seperate. I want to get these painted asap.

It will most likely be my last catch as well. Some stuff is still en route to me, but my hobbyfunds are all dried up atm. I've been shoving most of the proceeds of the sales back into my bankaccount but with both of us on benefits and expenses that are bigger then our mutual income, it is a uphill battle and decided I will stop purchasing stuff untill Crisis. So no orders for new mini's, no more new secondhand plastic and preferably cut down on my trips to the second hand stores.

The bright spark in all this is that I have found a place that would like me as an intern for 2-3 days a week for 2 maybe 3 months and maybe a job after that, who knows. I don't start till late August though.

...which gives me more then enough time for our 2 week holiday and time to clear out more stuff up for sale and get some more work done on comissions as those are needed to pay for the hobby for the time being. Also, I have tons of kits to keep me busy for the time being so spending money on that should not be a priority at all.

And thx to this Blog, Lead Legeonaries, I'm now pretty convinced I can make a shantytown easily enough using the foamcutter and cast off foam to make blocks to build the huts on for a shantytown. His work looks lovely and I will enjoy copying it.


On a personal note, some minor changes/events: My girls turned 4 yesterday and we kept the party pretty low key as we didn't have much spare cash after putting most of into a single gift for the girls.....a nice big pink trampoline with safety net etc. And they love it! And for me personally, while my knee still hurts as always, I've been having a lot less resistance while walking and cycling and I'm pretty chuffed about it. It's also been 4 weeks now since I last drank any sort of softdrink, and I now just drink bubbly or regular water and my health has improved a lot. A tone more energy, no more urges for late night snacking, and a general better feeling. Just lovely :)

The only issue ai have atm if that my focus has gone to shit. I'm just building as I feel like, with no clear goal, and I want to change that. I've set up a painting challenge on my Dutch Battlegroup page (2x Recce unit in August) to get some focus, plus I should be working on creating more Gaslands industrial scenery, and just keep the rest low key and not on a priority list.

And that is it for today. Tomorrow is the last day in daycare for my girls so we are having a small party at school, for which Kim and I got very creative. Just need to make some last minute things in the morning and then we are set.

maandag 17 juli 2017

Scourge of the Partisans

As a friend of mine has a bag of Gebirgsjäger ready for me, why not add a small force to fight the Partisans, and allocate some top of the line equipment to them?




The S-Models Pz. Kpfw 35S739(f) is a really nice model. Main body is quick enough to build, then some fiffly plastic parts and finally some Photo etc, my first ever. If you take your time these bits aren't terribly hard to add. I used a toothpick, a drop  of superglue and my round punches to roll the photoetch with and it came out ok I guess. It should look nice in grey, and I need to practice that on something (not this model!).

As I am aiming for this:


...I might need to add a antenna pot for a German radio to the turret as well. Who knows. For now she is going in the ready for paint pile, and her unbuilt buddy back in the stash.