Sickness

Oops, Griff informs me that Brent has succumbed to that horrid illness that is going around. I suspect the siege scenario might be postponed. I can’t really complain mind you as the last attempt was postponed because I was sick!

Ah well, give me some time to pour the tower builder mold tonight.

No PVA for me

Argh. Turns out I left my wallet at home! Just as well I carry about $12 of change around with me most of the time otherwise I’d be rather hungry about now. Still buying more glue will have to wait…

My son’s first birthday too today BTW. But you can probably figure that out from the ‘on this day’ link on the last post!

Guardian Weekly

My sister was staying with us recently on hiatus from her ICRC work and thankfully left a copy of Guardian Weekly in the house. This newspaper is excellent and I’ve definitely been converted to a reader. It’s everything the NZ Herald isn’t. Namely coherent news articles and interesting opinion pieces covering a wide variety of international news.

In quiet desperation I’ve given up on news coverage in New Zealand. The Herald these days has reduced itself to the lowest common denominatior with minimal international coverage (usually 1.5 pages), excessive sporting news and a sensational grind of high profile local crimes and political teacup storms. The remaining pages are 3 colour junk mail reprints.

To date I’ve been getting my world news from various web-sites (www.reuters.com and www.bbc.co.uk/news). The problem there is of course you tend to only select stories that directly interest you. The Guardian weekly is excellent because it gives me everything I’d get from the above web-sites and more. I’ve yet to find an article that didn’t interest me somehow.

An example is the Beslan tradegy. We’ve been bombarded with graphic coverage from the scene by local media (presumably because pictures of bloodied and traumatised children help ratings and sales)…but to date I’ve seen no coverage that has even attempted to explain what could have motivated these desperate attacks. However the latest issues of the Guardian Weekly have described Russia’s recent brazen electoral fraud in Chechnya and detailed the suspected warlord behind various Chechen terrorist acts.

Anyway, the Guardian Weekly is available from Whitcoulls for $4.95.

TopMark

Just shot down the road to TopMark and picked up a 20kg bag of Ultracal 30 which comes in a handy 20L plastic pail. Turns out TopMark also sell Hydrostone but for some reason it’s $10 more for the same amount. Ahem, so I’ll give Ultracal 30 a crack. Also grabbed another 5.5L Ultrasil kit.

Ultracal 30

I must say the people at TopMark were very helpful. Answered all my questions and offered some useful information and advice. I think in the future I’ll just deal directly with them. The only downside is they’re open normal business hours only.

Glued together a master wall and gap filled with Klean Klay. Might mix and pour the fresh Ultrasil tonight. Also threw together two 90deg fieldstone wall pieces and tried molding one of these pieces with the dregs of my old Ultrasil kit. Unfortunately I think the RTV has aged too much and doesn’t appear to be setting. Ah well I’ll give it another 24 hours.

Mental note to self: Best to use RTV and resin products as quickly possible after opening and not rely on products that have been sitting in my garage for a year.

Think if I can get a decent mold of the flat wall piece I’ll also put together another wall section with a arrow slit or two and mold that to make a tower builder mold.

Wall Building

Planned a Hirst Arts Fieldstone wallbuilder a little last night. Think I’ll build up 2 x 4″ x 4″ fieldstone walls and mold them. Wonder if a 2″ x 4″ fieldstone wall section would be handy too? Priced up good old Ultrasil and apparently TopMark sell Ultracal as well which is what I’d heard. Petra Ceramics are no longer selling Hydrostone so unfortunately I’ll have to get used to working with another type of plaster. Argh. Latest TopMark prices are:

Ultrasil RTV kits:

550gms $40.80 + gst
1.1kg $76.50 + gst
5kg $314.50 + gst

Ultracal 30

22.5kg $56.10 + gst

I’m sorely tempted to shoot down there next week and blow $96 bucks on a bag of Ultracal and a 550gm Ultrasil kit. These products come from different companies, so why are they both ‘ultra’? Must have unimaginative marketing depts.

Searching the Internet I knew some other Hirst Arts users had created custom fieldstone wall builders. I might have just enough RTV left in the garage to build a single 4″ x 4″ fieldstone wallbuilder on the same pattern as this. Might try putting it together tonight. I should also have a enough Hydrostone left to do a handful of experimental castings… stay tuned Griff!

Shrubs and Terror

Threw together my first hedge from plastic fish tank plants last night. Just need to texture and paint the base and it’s done. Think a set of these will do nicely!

Hedge

On a darker note. It’s terrorist acts like this that have finally made me (a fairly liberal guy with a young family) realise that the only way to deal with these people is to kill or overpower them as quickly as possible while attempting to minimise the effect on their victims. We also have to accept that there will always be casualties in these situations – indeed that seems to be the primary requirement of terrorism. We cannot allow these kinds of acts to be seen to gain any sort of leverage for obvious reasons.

As an aside it also seems that terrorism is an act that requires international media coverage. Would we have as many terrorists if each and every horror they perpetrate wasn’t so eagerly and fully covered by the international media and so vicariously consumed by people like you and me?

Time to switch off the telly and sit back with a good internet connection. At least then have greater control over the media coverage you’re exposed to.

Briefly Tempted

I was briefly tempted by the new GW ‘How to Make Wargames Terrain’. However on further investigation it turns out the book only has a couple of good ideas anyway and certainly not worth $55NZ! Maybe at $20NZ I would have picked it up. Their tips are strictly for the novice terrain creator. I do like the look of their roads and rivers however. Might have to create a few of those for WHFB terrain.

Added ‘on this day’ to this WordPress blog a couple of days ago. Req’d some PHP hacking but it’s actually turned out to be quite useful. I’m almost inspired to return to those old posts and back-fill the detail with some photos of the resulting pieces etc.

Carving Polystyrene

Picked up a couple of 1200mm x 900m x 50mm polystyrene from Plastic Box. Might try borrowing Griff’s General’s Compendium for some inspiration regarding terrain. Spent an hour or so in the garage tonight and carved up a couple of simple hills for WHFB.

Hill 1 Hill 1 Hill 2

Based the large long hill on 3mm MDF with a bit of leeway so I can do some extra rock detailing around the base. Offcuts from the hill will be useful for this. The steel work desk I bought a while back still has a workable socket which is handy for plugging in the hot wire cutter (I disconnected the rest as they were in a block on top of the playable surface). Dug up the textured paint I bought from Resene a while back as well and painted an offcut just to see how it adheres to polystyrene.