Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Monster Modelworks - The Brick Freight House Background Flat Kit

I received a note from Monster Modelworks that they were discontinuing a kit that I wanted. So I figured I better get it while I still good. I love the products from this company, they really know how to put a laser cutter through its paces. This is basically the dockside of their Freight House kit (which I think is also discontinued). The back edge of my version of the Patch, is only about 3" deep so this will represent one of the industries on that back side. I think I need to go finish my Freight House before I start this one though. I should finish laying track and get the layout into place too. So much to do, so little time.

Here is a quick look at the kit. 

Nice sturdy box, I love sturdy boxes

Three sets of instructions to get you through the kit. Don't worry two of them are about how to paint and weather it.

Sealed backs of parts. Despite the complexity it should go together pretty quick

Close up on the brick detail.
Definitely looking forward to getting this one together.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The May Distraction

Its been pretty quite here as of late, I have been distracted by other things; ReaperCon, ex-wife passing (memorial service tomorrow) and my son managing to unseat the ball joint on his car. I could at least fix my son's car, or so I thought.

We opted to replace the entire control arm to avoid having to cut off the ball joint which is riveted to the control arm. I figured that sense we were in there we should go ahead and replace the bearings and after we had it apart the brake rotor as well.

Everything was going quite well until we had to seat the ball joint back into the steering knuckle. It proved to be almost impossible with the control arm ends already in place so I unbolted them, got the ball joint into place and then spent three days trying to get the control arm back in place. I eventually had to take the control arm back out unseat the ball joint and start again. Fortunately once I finally had it right I had it all back in place in about and hour and a half. The hardest bit was getting the brake pads back into place. Fortunately one of my son's mechanic friends stopped by and had the brakes in place in about 15 minutes. I had already been struggling with it for 45 minutes.

Its all back together and runs fine and the brakes even work! But it ate up my entire Memorial Day weekend and we had to share my car for a week.

Tools and parts, originally I figured about six hours...5 days later and about 14 hours and I was actually done.

The offending culprit a worn out ball joint that popped out of  the socket on the control arm

The brake rotor is off and I'm ready to remove the hub

Hub is off and the new control arm is in place with the ball joint seated.

Oops, forgot to put the stabilizer linkage back into place. Decided to replace these worn parts as well

Thursday, May 14, 2015

And the World Turns

My ex-wife, the mother of my two sons, passed away last night. She has been battling cancer for sometime now. While we have been divorced for a long time this is hitting me harder than I expected.

Here is the way I prefer to remember her, a happier time with her first born. Be at peace.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bringing Organization to Your Desk - TGJ Hobbies Kickstarter

I don't push Kickstarters very often but I have seen this product in person and met the guys who are involved. We all go through various permutations of organization on our workbenches. My current iteration uses paint racks and drawers from Basius in Australia (that was a hefty shipping charge). Had TGJ Hobbies been on the scene when I was looking into this they would have gotten all my money.

While these racks are actually to deep for my main workbench they would fit well on my secondary workbench which is considerably deeper. What I really like about these racks is that they are constructed from finished plywood rather than MDF and can be stained (I recommend before assembling them). They are quite sturdy and the modular design allows you to create a variety of configurations to fit your horizontal and vertical space as well as choice what you need to accommodate your various brands of paint.

See get on over and check out their kickstarter: TGJ Hobbies Kickstarter

This is an example of every thing but the kitchen sink

An example of a custom cut. They did these as an exclusive item available only at ReaperCon. This is an initial test run, The logo came out quite a bit darker on mine.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Favorite ReaperCon 2015 Entries

Last year I was feeling a little over whelmed with the number of entries we had to deal with. We doubled in sized last year jumping from 200 to a tad bit over 400. This year we added another 100 to that total ticking just over that 500 mark in the closing 15 minutes of the Saturday deadline.

500+ entries from 137 entrants, I couldn't be happier with the turnout. There were some truly stellar entries too, sometimes it makes it really hard to sit down and judge these things. Kind of evaluating where those levels between bronze and silver or silver and gold are can be really difficult. Which is why I track the scores of all our judges so I can pick up on trends and make sure Michael and I can keep the teams balanced out for the show.

Anyway here are some of my favorite entries from the show this year. You can find a complete gallery of images on the ReaperCon.com website

Justin McCoy - Gold

Mary Proffit

Mary Proffit

Jason Anaya (This is an incredible conversion of Reaper's Grudge bust)

Jessica Rich

Aaron Lovejoy

Marike Reimer

Marike Reimer

Michael Proctor

Michael Proctor

Glen Phillips

Erin Hartwell

Erin Hartwell

Martin Jones - I love this concept it just feel a little short for me

A scratchbuilt Borg Queen

A Scratchbuilt Sophie

Cutebutpyscho - I did a variation of this a number of years ago (actually longer than I think)
Here's mine, I'm thinking 2009. I think Erin's is better, smaller more compact although the posing is a bit awkward

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

ReaperCon 2015 - Day 4

I was pretty pleased with my performance in the competition this year. Although disappointed with my showing in the ordnance category.

Bulletproof Ghost (Trenchworx) - Ordnance Bronze

Sentry Duty (Hasslefree) - Painter Silver

Steady Lads (Reaper) - Diorama Gold (And was in the top six for Sophie consideration)

Shopping II (Hasslefree) - Best Hasslefree Entry ($200 GC from Hasslfree)

Sunday is the final day and the show ends with my auction. The auction is unique, Reaper puts up stuff on the auction table and attendees donate items and then I sell them off for the ReaperBucks that folks have been accumulating over the course of the convention. Its a blast and its by far my favorite auction to do. Unfortunately I never have the chance to take pictures on Sunday.

Its Tuesday and I have come down with a major case of convention crud and I'm sicker than a dog at this point. Just want to get home and curl up and sleep right now.