Tuesday, September 20, 2016

28mm Sp'Ork Trompa - my first laser-cut design

Okay, the title is a little misleading -- I haven't actually gotten this made yet because I'm still trying to figure out how to get this from Sketchup to an SVG or EPS file, and then I have to figure out where to get it made (besides Ponoko, which has one of the worst-organized websites known to modern man).  But still, this project should work once I get it cut and assembled!

I recently succumbed to the temptation to get back into Warhammer 40K, a game I haven't played since George H. W. Bush was president (seriously, I'm not kidding).  Really, it was a combination of "Gee, all my friends are playing it" and "Wow, here's a garage sale that has a small fortune of Orks for a pittance."  Orks have been my favorite race since I first cracked open Rogue Trader back in the dim days of 1988, and I still love them for the sheer breadth of scratchbuilding possibilities they represent.

Thus, inspired by the many cool MDF models available over at miniaturescenery.com, and also by this incredible scratchbuilt Stompa on CMON, I decided to try designing my own Ork walker.  Ladies and gentlemen, and my personal friends, I give you the Sp'Ork Trompa.

This build will obviously require some finishing touches, such as rivets (lots of 'em), armor patches, and Ork glyphs, but the core structure is there.  Oh, one additional thing -- the Gatling will require six lengths of styrene rod or brass tube, specifically 8mm diameter by 80mm length.

This first pic shows a true-to-size comparison with the $115 Stompa model kit from Games Workshop.

I inserted a silhouette of an Ork Boy with a rough height of 32mm, since Orks' heights are highly variable.

An "unpainted" version so you can see the seams where the parts meet:
 And now, the component parts.

Once I can figure out how to get this cut, I'll post an unboxing, assembly, and painting update.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

15mm Sci-Fi VTOL Gunship

This is the Rainclaw science-fiction gunship, suitable for wargaming in 15mm or 1/100 scale, although it might also work for 10mm.  The model's wing/engines can be mounted straight for flight or at an angle for VTOL operations.  There is a 4mm diameter hole for mounting on a flight base or portion of rod.  I would recommend a length of spring-steel wire, brass rod, or acrylic rod.  


Saturday, September 10, 2016

New 15mm Space Corridor System


Introducing the National Cheese Emporium's 15mm Sci-Fi Corridor System!  This set provides the tiles and walls necessary to recreate any scenario from any edition of Space Hulk.  In addition, the 20mm base footprint of all the pieces mean that the walls could be used in conjunction with Litko Aerosystem's laser-cut 15mm corridor system, which I personally own a pile of and can heartily recommend!  You would just need to trim the small tab off the foot of the wall pieces.

This set consists of 2 basic floor tiles, 2 basic walls, 1 interior corner, 1 exterior corner, 4 different styles of doors, 1 staircase, 1 ladder, 1 base tile (mounts either the staircase or ladder pieces), 1 iris portal tile, 1 descending staircase tile, 1 chute tile, 1 breached floor tile, and 2 different "Xeno entry point" tiles.

Obviously, there are not enough pieces here to create anything.  But here's the deal:  a customer purchasing this set has my express permission to make their own molds and cast copies of these pieces to their heart's delight.  They may make as many copies as they like for personal use or even for their gaming club;  all I ask is that they not reproduce them for sale without consulting me first!

I made as much effort as possible to make these moldable using a single-sided mold, much like Hirst Arts molds, but they have detail on the back in case the customer wants to make a two-part mold.  There are as few undercuts as possible, as well.  The trickiest piece will be the interior corner, because I couldn't find a way to make it without there being an angled undercut or making it three pieces.

On the doors, the concept is that the customer would cast the style he or she wants twice, then glue two of them back to back to make them 1) double-sided and 2) make them more stable.  On that point, though, the way the doors sit on the angled walls, they actually can't tip over.

As always, I've limited my markup on each set sold to just $1, so the price you see is entirely dependent on Shapeways' material pricing.  If I could make them cheaper, I would!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Sheer Creepiness of Facebook

On a completely non-gaming-related tangent, I have come to find the degree to which Facebook weaves its tendrils into my life very disturbing.  Consider the following:

In 2010, I switched cell phone carriers and got a new number.  The number I now have was previously assigned to a retired Mormon gentleman named Jim (I won't give his last name out of respect for his privacy).  Since acquiring this number, I get calls, messages, texts, and even image-texts on at least a monthly basis for Mr. Jim from his friends and family (including, and I'm not making this up, his daughter).  Often, men will call for Jim asking questions about Mormon church activities, and once I even got a message from Jim's physician saying that the test results were back and Jim needed to come in to discuss them with the doctor (I made it a point of returning that call to let the doc's office know that they needed some other way to get ahold of him).

Last year, just before taking a vacation with my kids and ex-wife in Washington DC, I downloaded the FB app to my iPhone so that I could be posting pics while on the fly.  After being back from our trip, I deleted the FB app.  And then a funny thing happened. 

I started getting friend suggestions for Mr. Jim's friends and relatives, including his son.

Make no mistake.  Jim and I are not "friended" on FB.  But suddenly FB is bombarding me with friend suggestions for people at Brigham Young University, where Jim's son apparently went to college.  I have no other connection to these people, and where FB usually says "3 Mutual Friends" or something like that, there's nothing.

Again, this is coming after I uninstalled the FB app from my iPhone.  Still, I can see how the FB app would have looked into my contacts and phone number and whatnot and then data-mined its way to connect me with Jim and his friends and family.  Because, hey, that's how the app works, and while it was on my phone, I did get calls and messages from Team Jim.  But now it gets even creepier.

Meet Aaron.  This is the gentleman who had the misfortune to be in front of me a couple weeks ago when a small car in front of him slammed on her brakes and caused him to slam on his.  I was not fast enough on my brakes, and ended up plowing into the back of his truck.

Luckily, we're all okay, and because Aaron's truck was much larger than mine, he came out of it with a dented fender while I am now driving a rental care and waiting for my insurance company to decide whether to put a bullet in my Ford and bury it in a shallow grave.  Aaron was terrific about the whole thing, a real trouper and very cheerful and polite.

While we were exchanging insurance info, we each used our smartphones to take pictures of each others insurance cards and driver's licenses, as well as the damage.  Because this is the Twenty-Teens, and no self-respecting American would use a pen and notepad to jot down their info when they can just take pics and send texts.  Handwriting something is so 2005.

At this point, I have not had the FB app on my phone for nearly 15 months.  And yet, what to my wandering eye should appear, but a FB friend suggestion sitting right here!  Yes, somehow FB not only found out about the accident, it found out who was involved in the accident and then suggested that we be friends.

I'm not making this up.

I went and checked on Aaron's feed, and he has not posted an update since mid-2015.  Maybe he has FB on his phone;  I have no idea.  But somehow, FB gleaned this data from the two of us and used it to decide that we might be friends.  Even then, if neither of us actually updated our contacts or upload the pics we took... how did FB know?

What.  The.  Hell.

Facebook, you are creeping me out.  I dread the day you achieve sentience and we are relegated to serving you in the silicon mines.