The joys of the countryside

Altough it is very pretty where I live, if you don’t have a car you’re buggered. To put it politely. I had to go to the post office to post some orders.

Mighty Fortress doors


I have actually made something that people want to buy!
Usually my Wife drives me around. This week however she is off skiing with the children.
Geographically the post office is just under five kilometres away. Very manageable on the flat. We live just over two hundred metres higher and the most direct route is cross-country. Joy.
Add to this, Eugendorf is not designed for cyclists. It is a shopping nexus on a main road with an autobahn junction.
I won’t be doing this again in a hurry.

Reflections on 2017

I’m somewhat late on this one as I’ve been laid low with a rather unpleasant flu-like lurgy.
A quick catch-up on a couple of pieces from my last post.
barbarian
Here is the Barbarian from the OS Miniatures Company. This was a challenge that I undertook to have him painted before Christmas. Nobody else took up the challenge which was a pity.
santa
This was from Warmonger Miniatures, again painted up for Christmas.
There is one more figure which was supposed to be my last figure of 2017, but the lurgy stopped that. I’ll post when it is finished.
Old age seems to have telescoped the year. Blink and I’ll miss it.
The first three months were taken up with making the Rogue Stars display board. April/May I did some landscaping in the garden converting a be-shrubbed steep slope into a flat grassy terrace.
June/July/August were at Electric Love. I had a great time and it gave me enough money to buy my own small laser cutter.
The rest of the year seemed to evaporate, lttle jobs around the house and making bits with my loot from the summer.
2017
Here is a group shot of what I finished painting. There is a lot more half finished and the 2018 goal is to finish all the half started jobs from the past few years, the Heresy Dragon being the main target, get all that out of the way so I have a clean slate. Then one project at a time, start it and finish it.
Yeah right!
Product of the Year 2017
On reflection it has to be the laser cutter. It’s small and slow but it has enabled me to prototype ideas and to make stuff on the fly. Christmas cards, party invites, party bag goodies, cake icing molds and gift tags just to name a few bits and bobs.
Heroes and Zeroes
Firstly the Heroes.
At the top of the list are the Facebook friends; EvH, DW, SR, ME and CF. They have been a constant source (sauce?) of inspiration, advice and encouragement. I might actually meet some of them in RL oneday.
Then comes the figure manufacturers who have gifted me with lovely toys this last year.
Ramshackle Games
http://shop.ramshacklegames.co.uk/index.php
The OS Miniatures Company
https://www.facebook.com/OldSchoolMinis1985/
Avatars of War
http://www.avatars-of-war.com/eng/web/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=59&Itemid=51
Warmonger Miniatures
https://www.warmongerminiatures.com/
Finally Revolution Events
https://www.revolutionevent.com/
For fun, education and loot.
Now to the Zeroes
Wayland Games for lengthy delays, poor communication and their unwillingness (or inability) to combine orders.
TNT for their lack of customer service and making life just that little bit harder.
Games Workshop for tantalising me with the new rules for 40K, promises of fewer books and then conveniently forgetting about all that.
The new plastics are beautiful though.

The tyranny of Bullet Journaling

Blame my Daughter.
I am disorganised.
I am untidy.
I am lazy.
In my ideal world I would sit at my desk and paint, all day and everyday.
However in RL there are jobs to be done, kids to be fed, laundry, chickens etc. etc. etc.
I’d never heard of Bullet Journaling before. Go and Goggle it. There are about twelve million results, I just looked. So it must be fairly popular.
My Daughter visited in the summer and spent some time hunched over a notebook. I didn’t really pay any attention.
She came back last month and on a shopping/sightseeing trip (Salzburg is very picturesque if you didn’t know) had wanted to spend a small fortune on rubber stamps for her journal. My Wife told her to talk to me first.
I had some rubber sheet especially for laser cutting and knocked off a set of the stamps she was after. She was delighted and pointed me in the direction of stencils for journaling.
I erm “copied” a stencil sheet that she wanted. Basically traced the image in Illustrator, quite roughly and cut it on my laser.
She was delighted, again, and gave me a shopping list of designs that she wanted. There are a number of stencils on the market, but I want to do better.
The material I used was Kraftplex.
Kraftplex specifications
It’s a softwood pulp pressed into sheets and I had been given some samples to try from Happylab.
Back to the original topic.
I make myself “To Do” lists on the back of envelopes etc, which I proceed to lose or are “tidied” up.
So I considered buying myself a Bullet Journal and start organising myself. I took a peek at Leuchtturm1917 on Amazon which my Daughter stated was the absolute gold standard in Bullet Journals. Not excessively expensive, however it was the size issue. A5. I have a little Man-Bag and I carry around an A6 (ish) book from Tiger (their webshite is excessively annoying). So why not just use what I have and adapt.
jour1
Using my own bastardised version I have started making my own daily task lists. In reality this means I am always busy and tasks seem to overflow to the next day, but rarely to the next week.


Here are some date stamps in the production queue.
invites
Birthday party invites for Number Two Son produced on the laser cutter.
Maybe time for a zero task day soon?

Stuff wot I made

Warning: Picture heavy!
This is a collection of photos of bits and bobs I made over the summer. I “operate in the autism spectrum” to give it it’s official designation, diagnosis seven years ago. So it has been comparatively recently that I have found out why I act or behave the way I do. It has been a revelation because I can see why I approach things in a certain way or why I just don’t really “get” people. One of the things that I have discovered about myself is that I like things to be tidy and organised. The state of my environment reflects my mental state and vice versa. I am more likely to be happy in an organised environment.
This collection of images shows my growing obsession with tidy/organised, and it helps bring stuff together that I had spread over several boxes in different locations.


This is a spray booth I have made from plastic mounting board (from Electric Love, a running theme throughout this post), LED strips from a flohmarkt and a bathroom extractor fan. At the moment the extractor hose doesn’t connect to anything as yet. In all this cost me just under fifteen Euros.

A box to store my various Dremel bits in. Made from an old Sacher Torte box where I engraved the lid.
http://www.sacher.com
make3
A set of drawers, from the recycle centre, which had cracked plastic drawer fronts. I replaced them with some lasercut wood. I’m using them to store my glass working tools and my spare Dremel.
make21
I have another Dremel with a flexible drive which I’ve mounted on a curtain rail above my workdesk.
make4
My work chair has been acquired by Number 2 Son for his desk in his bedroom, so I needed something to sit on. This came from recycling and I added a bit of timber (Electric Love) for height and some wheels from Hofer. I works well and I’m using it to store electrical cabling which once filled a box on my workshop shelves.

More bits from Electric Love. I have been storing my lasercut stock in shoe boxes, but it didn’t look very professional when I went to shows. The grey boxes were thrown out because they had had holes drilled in the bottom and were deemed unfit for further use. They were ideal for me. I cleaned them up, they had been used as storage boxes on the site quads, so very quite dusty. I used more of the plastic mounting board to make dividers. Next job is to work through my computer files and organise properly. This links to my next post. Watch this space. I also got an empty champagne box with no lid. Quick trip to Bauhaus and Happylab and voila! a new lid.
make5
These shelves, again chucked out from Electric Love, are ideal for storing my basing supplies.
make20
While working on site we would lug around big tool crates filled with everything we would need. Clearing up at the end of the festival each tool crate had handfulls of loose screws. Logistics got some under-employed jungs to sort them out by size into empty beer glasses. Once all the shelves had been restocked there was a crate of sorted screws left over. They were going to be binned so I grabbed them and took them home. I made these screw boxes with some leftover MDF.
make8
Hot glue-gun holder, instructions from
http://www.instructables.com

A box for my hot-wire foam cutter. An eBay purchase. Sadly the vendor failed to supply the correct plug. However, my super talented neighbour wired in the correct cable.

This is my self-made clump maker. You can see my first attempts at making clumps. Not too bad, but not perfect.
I have now taken advice from this site
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheTerrainTutor
and ordered better materials.
Progress report to follow.

This links in to my clump maker. Flower tufts. I’m using sawdust from work which has been dyed with cheap acryllic paints from my local pound store. More details to follow.

Boys hard at work in the workshop and the finished blasters.

Well I’ve been meaning to update. Honest!

It’s one of those things, if you don’t do it immediately you tend to put it off. And I have now, for about five weeks, and there is so much I want to share. But until I do this post I can’t.
Regular readers may remember that last year I worked at the Electric Love festival.
https://www.electriclove.at/en/media
This year I did the same, except I didn’t work as a runner (exhausting and a short contract) but as part of the Production Team making stuff for the festival. This was a seven week contract which has given me enough to buy a small laser cutter.
What was nice was the lack of “Health and Safety”, not that it was dangerous but that the responsibility was on me. The equipment was maintained and it was up to me to ask if I did not know how to do something. If it felt unsafe I was expected to stop and check that everything was operating correctly. Very different from the UK where there is a blame culture.
This was a lot of fun and I will definitely do it again next year if they’ll let me.
Again it has been working with people young enough to be my grandchildren and in high temperatures (or torrential rain) but I think I did fairly well.
I did come to the conclusion that:
1) I need to be a bit fitter and more supple.
2) My body needs to be a bit more buff. Everyone seems to have been working out, mine sags in the middle.
3) My tan is a builders tan, neck to knees all white.
4) I’m not shaved enough, all the young guys were carefully shaved, chest, pits the lot. Well I can’t comment on everywhere as I wasn’t THAT well acquainted with my fellow workers.
5) I don’t have enough tattoos.
6) I’m not a devotee to Hardstyle, a bastard offspring of trance and techno, only harder and faster.
Without further ado here are my random selection of images from my time there.

My pet snail Hubert

Never got to see this guy perform

It took weeks to scrub this red paint off

It rained and rained and rained at times. Sometimes it rained some more for good measure.

Two early adopters.

There was one day in the set-up where we had to wait for some equipment to be delivered. The young lads I was working with chose to sit in a marquee and twiddle with their mobiles. I went out and enjoyed the glorious scenery.

Some of the extraordinary wildlife.

Burnt offering. The food this year was pretty dire.

Chaos at work

Obligatory selfie at Q-Dance

Mini Maker Faire Salzburg

As usual life keeps me busy so this is a late posting. I haven’t even had time to paint, that’s how busy it’s been.
Today (not really) I’m sat at the Mini Maker Faire in Salzburg, the first one at this location.

New Home


I feel a little out of place as everything is tech orientated and hands-on whereas my display is quite static.
mf3
Just across from me is a packed Lego Robotics table.
I’ve produced some bits and pieces to sell, very different from my usual stuff, made mostly from off-cuts of wood found at Happylab.
mf2
The event was really well organised and very friendly.
A lot of people stopped by to admire my stuff and ask questions about what I had made. Many children were fascinated by the little waterway in my display board and kept touching it to see if it was real water.
I met a few people who have been using Happylab and it was nice to be complimented on my finished work as they had only seen random unfinished bits.
Number One Son greatly enjoyed working on the electronics and made, with instruction, a singing pencil.
mf1
I can’t see things like this happening in England, children with knives and soldering irons. Another reason why it was good to move. Number One Son would like to do more electronics. So I think a crash course for me might be in order as I cannot read a wiring diagram.

Star Cops in action!

Star Cops on patrol


Here are some more photographs of the event.

Impressionen der Mini Maker Faire Salzburg

Sometimes I wonder why I bother

I really cannot for the life of me understand why people are prepared to pay me double the amount I pay myself laser-cutting for a few hours work pulling up weeds in their gardens.
Is there no value to creativity?
On the plus side though, it means I can afford to get a few tools for the workshop.