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)

Friday, January 25, 2019

Clue - Supernatural Edition

I was quite surprised to see this one sitting on a retailer's shelf so I had to pick it up. I paid full retail on this one but since its going for at least double that on eBay I felt it was a decent buy. I also spotted copies of Clue - Zelda and Clue - The Walking Dead in the same store, I'll be going back at some point to acquire those.

This is one of those editions that's price is driven by the incredible popularity of the TV show. I watched the first couple of seasons and I have been surprised at the longevity of the show. It was only a matter of time before it ended up as a Clue game.

I have decided to name the variants of the game, just to make it easier. Supernatural is what I will now refer to as Clue Game Variant 1.

Variant 1 adds a second deck of cards, typically called the Intrigue deck. You acquire an Intrigue Card either rolling a question mark on one of the dice, or by landing on a question mark on the board, or being moved to another location as part of a "rumor". Each card allows some kind of action to be taken by the player. Also in the deck are 8 cards, for Supernatural they are Demon Cards (In Star Wars I believe they are Stormtroopers, I will have to check), they are simply put to the one side, but keep track of them! When the 8th card is drawn the game ends. It adds an interesting little time element to the game.

In addition, each character in the game has a power that they can use once in the game.

Let's take a look at Clue Supernatural:

Instead of nice tokens, this version comes with cardboard pieces and plastic bases for them

The weapons, however, are very cool,

The Intrigue Cards

Character Cards, I would recommend shuffling them and dealing each player a character.

The card backs. I'm not sure about the cards on the right. There are two of them and both sides are printed with the wood planks.

A look at the collection

Thursday, January 10, 2019

BB-39 Arizona Project III - First Package

I received the first order for the Arizona. This is one of the kits from MK1 that features wood decks and about six sprues of brass etched parts and a limited set of instructions. To be frank, I'm a bit intimidated by the parts at this point, and there are at least two more sets of brass etchings that I would like to order! I have never worked with brass etchings and while I have a few metal working tools I don't think I have what I need for this build. I need to go look at some tools at Micro Mark and see what would be more useful than what I have.

I might even pull out one of the Eagle Transporter kits with brass etchings to work on first before I take on the Arizona. 

At least I know how to work with wood!

These are apparently what passes for instructions for brass etching upgrade kits.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Acquisitions - Expanding the PzKfw III Library, Haynes

I couldn't resist this addition to the Pz III Library. The Owner's Workshop Manual from Haynes. Now I have used these for years on my MGBs and I even have one for a Jeep CJ in anticipation of one joining the fleet. Its a very different look at my favorite German tank. Its an interesting mix of background, history and wonderful photos and diagrams. Mike Hayton managed the actual rebuild of the Pz III at the Tank Museum and Dick Taylor wrote the book. I would recommend this as a must have for those that love the Pz III.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

BB-39 Arizona Project II - Upgrading the Parts

As I mentioned in the previous Arizona post I found a number of excellent WIPS on various forums. I have picked out one in particular to use as a good online reference for changes that can be made to increase the accuracy of the Trumpeter kit.

The forum is "The Ship Model Forum" found at shipmodels.info its apparently part of the modelwarships.com forum. This particular thread is titled: "1/200 Arizona finally Done!" and the author is Jeff Sharp, 23 pages of mind boggling detail. There are a number of other good ones in that forum but his is definitely the best.

Along with the online WIP, I'll be using the two books mentioned in the previous Arizona post; "Battleship Arizona, An Illustrated History" by Paul Stillwell and "USS Arizona" by David Doyle part of the Squadron/Signal Squadron at Sea series.

Then there are the parts (I'm listing these because often the WIPs that I have seen don't mention where the parts they used came from):

KA Models - the deluxe accessory pack MD-20001 which includes a tone of photo-etched parts as well as wood decks. Most of the parts are going to come from this.

Eduard Model Accessories - USS Arizona part 3 Life Boats #53104

Floating Drydock - Studded Anchor Chain

Shapeways/Model Monkey (model-monkey.com) [Steve Larsen] - Steve has created a ton of 1/200 scale parts for ships and many are specific to the Arizona. I'm not sure what I will use if any. He makes a replacement for the turrets that are exquisite but very expensive.

Northstar Models - makes four sets of US Navy crewmen in various working positions. Three of the sets are pretty large and would amount to just over 200 crewmen for the deck. They are the best looking crewmen I have seen in this scale so far, but they are likely in the wrong uniform for deployment in Hawaii.

I have also decided that I'm going to build this as a waterline model. That means I won't have to work on the lower hull or figure out how to mount it which sounds like a royal pain. At this point that's the grand plan. We will see how well I bring the to fruition.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Carousel Horse - The Patriot

A few of you may remember that my dad carved full size carousel horses and animals as a hobby. This is the last horse that he "finished". After he passed away my mom took this up to Oregon to be painted by the dad's carving mentor Ken Means. What Ken discovered is that my dad had not actually glued all the components together so it ended up being a bit more work than expected.

After seeing what Ken did with the paint work on this one, it really makes me appreciate just how good a carver my dad was. I'm definitely considering going back and repainting a number of the horses that I worked on to get it closer to Ken's style of painting.

This style of horse is known as a flag or patriot horse since it uses and American flag and Eagle motif. I think Ken did a fantastic job bringing this one to life.

It is hard to catch the subtlety of the shading in the mane. Everything seems to be a bit washed out in the photograph. There is a lot of black and brown shading that really makes it stand out and the eagle clutching the flag is amazing. I think I learned a lot just looking at this one.

This is one of the three horses that I have painted. While I think he still pretty good (I painted this one in 2002) I think he good use some freshening up. In true carousel style I would paint over the existing work rather than stripping him down to bare wood.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

2019 State of the Blog

Another year has come and gone in the world of the blog. I didn't finish much in 2018 but I certainly started quite a few things. I need to do less starting and more finishing in 2019. Looking at a few numbers it seems that there are still a few of you out there following along so I'll try and keep things moving along for another year. I still find the whole blogging exercise useful in trying to keep projects moving, still not finishing but at least moving along.

From a numbers perspective, now encompassing 7 years of data:
676,568 page hits
106,147 unique readers
218 followers (Thank you for sticking with me!)

In seven years I have managed to post 1078 times , not quite sure when I went over the thousand mark but it must have been about half way through 2018. I'm still aiming for 12 posts each month but I had a hard time hitting those numbers in 2018 coming up a bit shy at 126 posts, that's still a pretty good effort I think.

For 2019 I have a few things that I would really like to get to. 
1. Complete the Sledgehammer diorama for Reaper Con on Labor Day weekend. This is the most ambitious diorama I have taken on and its going to get the bulk of my posts this year.

2. Complete two or three more entries for Reaper Con. I still want to finish off the little sci-fi diorama that has been sitting here for three years now as well as the Hogan's hero diorama that I started messing around with last year. I need a couple of single entries as well.

3. Move forward on the Arizona project. While I don't expect to finish this one this year I'm looking forward to starting on it and it lends itself to a lot of sub-builds that can be finished and set aside.

4. Lino Cut print block. We did a Christmas card for 2018 using one of my dad's old block cuts. We were very happy with it and we want to do our own design for 2019. That will take some effort but I have 11 months to complete it.

5. Fill in the hobby gaps with the AWI project and various railroad projects. We just cleaned up the hobby room which of course brings all kinds of stuff front and center again. I have six kits from Stony Creek, in particular, and I would like to get one or two of those built this year.

That's as far as I'm willing to commit to right now!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

BB-39 Arizona Project I - The Research

The holidays are finally over and we can all breath a sigh of relief. I never get anything done during holidays, all my projects come to a complete halt during these vacations. I did manage to acquire a couple of reference books for the Arizona build though. The first is "Battleship Arizona, an Illustrated History" by Paul Stillwell. After hanging out on a couple of the big model ship forums this seems to be the book that everyone refers back to. So I find a very nice used copy for a good price.  The second book is a much newer publication from Squadron Signal Publications, "USS Arizona" by David Doyle, part of their Squadron at Sea series. This one also received some very good comments and recommendations. Between these two books and the large number of WIP threads in the forums I think I can do a pretty good job on this one. I haven't built a ship kit since I was much, much younger so its a bit out of my comfort zone.

I have a few things to think over for sure. A couple of the WIP threads have pointed out a lot of inaccuracies with this kit and how to fix them. I don't think the average person would even notice them so I have to decide how detailed I want to get with it. I have a full set of upgraded brass parts and a wooden deck and that might be as far as I go. I'm also figuring this one will be a very long project even for me.

I ordered this directly from the author, David Doyle, rather than Squadron. 

This book on the Lexington showed up with the Arizona book. I didn't order it. With the holidays over I'll follow up with author's website and see what to do with it. I left it in the shrinkwrap figuring that I would return it to them since I didn't pay for it.