Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A bit of Washington - My whirlwind trip the finish

And a few miscellaneous pictures to wrap it up.

A line up of food trucks during lunch (all the way down the street!).

This duck is cheating, he is standing on that concrete block, kind of reminds me of a politician

I should know this breed but it escapes me right now. There are actually two of them, but the other one is out of sight behind this one. (Now I remember Bernese Mountain Dog, not quite as big as my Great Pyrenees).

This is a "gate keepers" house. I have no idea if its for the gates to an estate or if there was a canal through the area and it was for the gates to a lock.

Because I managed to get lost I found service area for the passenger trains for Union Station

And of course I would take a picture of the back of Union Station instead of the front. The trains are obviously more cool than the architecture in this case.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A bit of Washington - My whirlwind trip part 2

This is more of what you normally see photographs of from people that have visited DC. So here are a few of the buildings and monuments that I took pictures of.

US Capital

Smithsonian Castle

Lincoln Memorial

WWII Memorial

WWII Memorial Pacific side

WWII Memorial Atlantic Side

Minnesota, on the Atlantic Side. My three great uncles that fought in the war were from Rushford MN.
34th Infantry Division
390th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 568th Squadron
168th Infantry Regiment (also known as the 168th Marines)

Statues at the Vietnam Memorial

The Vietnam Memorial - The Wall

Vietnam Veteran ready to answer questions

Washington Monument

Washington Monument from the WWII memorial

Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial
The White House

A bit of Washington - My whirlwind trip part 1

I had a meeting in Washington DC last week, one of those places that I have never been to. Since it was part of a business trip I didn't really have a lot of time so I couldn't actually visit the museums and monuments the way I would have liked. So a fast walking trip was the plan. 10 miles and two hours late I made it back to my train. I have never managed to get lost when I have walked but the DC streets are very confusing. Today I'm going to focus on some of the buildings and architecture that struck me as interesting, the monument pictures can follow on another day.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Building the boards for Calamity - Part 1

Building the actual boards for Calamity is likely to be a long process since work is restricting my free time so much. While I have decided that I still like to travel I have decided that I don't like to travel for work and being out of town 3 out of every 4 weeks means I don't accomplish much.

But I would really like to have the boards for Calamity done for Tacticon which takes place on Labor day weekend. I figure I better get started with something to show a little progress. In this case I have some issues I need to solve one how the support for the boards will be built and how everything will go together. Since I want to include both a small creek or river (so I can build at least one bridge!) as well as a slope some planning is definitely in order. The best way to visualize in three dimensions is to build a model. So that's what I'll build first a model of the supporting structure for the boards. For this particular model I decided I would go with 1/8" = 1" so 1 1/2 measured inches is equal to a foot. Its easy to measure out and it won't be huge, but will be big enough to show some detail.

I'm building this out of strip styrene from Evergreen. The base supports will be cut from 1x2 so in my chosen scale these will be cut from 1/8"x1/4" strips. Since I need to show some change in elevation as well, the outside will be made from 1/4" plywood which scales out to 1/32" (again my chosen scale of 1/8 makes the measurements easy). Of course they don't sell plastic strip like this so what I actually purchased was pack 189 (.125x.250) and a package of sheet styrene 9030 (.030 thick).

This is what I ended up with:

Marking out 16" centers for the center supports

All three 2'x4' sections finished. They are pretty close to being identical and they will certainly work for modeling purposes
So with the basic frames in place (which are actually 23 1/2" x 47 1/2") I'm ready to add the "plywood" side pieces.

On the left side its 5" in height on the left its 4" in height so the longer side pieces will have be cut at an angle to match the ends.

Here you can see how the foam will rest on the 1x2 supports and have the edges protected by the plywood. I'm considering going with 1/8" plywood instead but it may not be strong enough for traveling if I do that.

I think I like the slope, but I realized if I go with the current measurements of the plywood sides that I won't be able to include one of the features that I had wanted to add. I may add two more inches to the height but keep the slope the same.

So that's part 1 hopefully there won't be such a long gap in posts in the coming months.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Aspen Modeling Company Horses vs Calamity Miniatures

It has been a long time here without a single post. Traveling for work has really killed my hobby time. While I have managed to get a miniature painted here and there I haven't really been able to focus on getting anything completed. From a request on the Lead Adventurers forum I managed to find my Aspen Modeling Company S and O scale horses. Aspen's products are geared towards model railroading but a lot of their components are quite useful for gaming purposes as well, especially if you are doing a little extra detailing on your western buildings. I was hoping that their horses would be a good scenic item as well. They are nicely sculpted and the price is pretty good. I started off by ordering a couple of S Scale horses which arrived promptly. These horse were cast in beauty and look like they will paint up nicely, not that I have had time to paint.

I think that overall they are going to be to small for my purposes. Compared to most of the miniatures they are closer to ponies than horses. However, miniatures vary a great deal from manufacturer to manufacturer so I have some side by side comparison shots for you to make your own opinions from. As a side note when looking at the pictures, I have removed all the original bases from my western miniatures and re-based them on lower profile bases so side by side they can all be measure from the same ground zero (there are a few differences in height for those mounted on "interior" bases because of the green stuff used to carve the wood floors).

Here are the S Scale (S Scale is 1/64 or one real inch is equal to 64 scale inches):
To be honest I don't remember who makes this mini. If you know drop me a line.

To be honest I don't remember who makes this mini. If you know drop me a line.




Black Scorpion

Wargames Foundry

To be honest I don't remember who makes this mini. If you know drop me a line.
With the horse mounted on its own base it would base for a smaller horse for some of these miniatures a mid sized horse for others and a small horse or pony for the largest (Reaper and Black Scorpion). I decided that S Scale was probably not the right choice, so I ordered a couple of O Scale horses from Aspen to see how those might work. The O Scale horses are cast in resin and are a little rough but should clean up okay.

Here is how the O Scale horses stack up (O scale is 1/48):
To be honest I don't remember who makes this mini. If you know drop me a line.

To be honest I don't remember who makes this mini. If you know drop me a line.


Wargames Foundry



Black Scorpion

To be honest I don't remember who makes this mini. If you know drop me a line.
As you can see the O scale horse is going to be large even for the tallest minis and gigantic compared to the smaller ones. While I can see getting some use out of the S Scale versions I think the O Scale ones aren't going to work at all. Someone on the Lead Adventurers forum mentioned that Perry Miniatures had both a pack containing a horse holder and four horses in their ACW line. I think that might be the best way to go to get some horses to tie up outside the various businesses of Calamity.