Hot stuff

Plans for dinner last night didn’t start so well…I was a bit unsure about the meat that I had thawed out during the day so the dogs got a treat for dinner…

Jen Rice’s beer and jalapeño cornbread was already a contender and I had bought some jalapeños and chillies on my way back from the Rangipo Dune field on Monday evening…I had thought that I had bought a couple of cans of Guiness for cooking purposes previously but couldn’t find them anywhere so went with this instead…

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The recipe is quite simple, not much more than mix all the ingredients and bake in a greased pan, so I won’t repeat it here unless I end up changing it at all.

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Almost ready for the oven

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With the butter drizzled over the top before baking – not sure this was a good idea…

It was quite delish though and I was sorely stretched to wait for the recommended 30 minute cool down period before removing it from the pan and slicing the first slice off…the combined aroma of fresh bread and jalapeño wafting out of the kitchen was irresistible…

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Even small slices like these are very filling but I need to think some more on where this might fit on the health scale…probably about midway as there is nothing inherently unhealthy in it, i.e. no sugar but it is three cups of white flower (although I could have added some bran had I thought about it) plus the beer. I used bottled jalapeños and canned corn: I’d prefer fresh next time if I can find some…

The top crust is quite crumbly, possibly due to the butter drizzled over the top before baking. Next time, like, probably tonight, I may try this again but deleting the beer and just putting it through the breadmaker. I think this may give me a denser loaf and less wastage from crumbing – this is too good to waste one speck!!

Have created this, I was a bit lost as to what to have with it and took the lazy option of a can of soup from the pantry – there is probably a reason that it was on special: the only reason that I would buy soup…it wasn’t very nice: well, certainly not a shade on our home-made soups. I tried a spice of jalapeño bread toasted with butter this morning and that was very nice – only later did I remember that I have some dipping sauces in the pantry that I bought because I liked the containers…

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I can’t complain as I’ve had a really good break with the weather while I have been consuming some leave – having the truck (still) at the ‘doctors’ has been a bit of a limiting factor as the courtesy car they gave me is way thirsty than the mighty Ssangyong and it’s only intended for local running – but it is a bit of a crappy day today so there go my intentions to finish off the framing for the roof over the deck on the cottage…

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I made a good start yesterday…it’s not a particularly complex task but made all the more difficult because the design that I inherited in this thing isn’t the greatest and the original construction leaves a lot to be desired: almost nothing is square and the builders took a lot of shortcuts. The spacing on the original roof supports over the deck was only a few cm less than the 660mm width of the supplied roofing iron so my first attempt had to be taken down and redone at 400mmm spacing…

….so insidey jobs today…more cleaning…updating my paper model database and more progressing on this beast…

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It’s not really as chaotic as it looks…just want to get all the foam-reinforced parts ready for sanding (outside) once we get some nice weather again…

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…most of the larger sub-assemblies are done…

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Just debating whether the day deserves a fire or not…

Circle | The Daily Post

Today, let a familiar shape inspire you…I wanted a broad theme that could be simple, fun, and festive, but also complex and introspective. And so, circle it is.

Source: Circle | The Daily Post

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Circles, circles, circles…circles everywhere, doing my head in…that’s how it felt when I got to the undercarriage stage of the large scale TSR.2 I was building in 2014. Being a paper model, every shape is transformed into 3D parts from a 2D printed sheet…wheel generally mean lots of circles…

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…painstakingly cut out with a circle cutter…

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…and laminated…

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…layer by layer…

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…until something approximating a wheel is formed.

Normally the next stage would be to mount each wheel on a drill and apply a sanding stick to the spinning tread surface to form the necessary tyre profile, colouring the final product with a deep grey. On this project, however, I decided that I had reached a point where I couldn’t continue and still produce a model that would be worthy, so this was deemed a test/recce build with the real thing to occur this year hopefully before the Scale Model Expo in Wellington on ANZAC Weekend…

This is the model’s home, here is the start of my build at the Unofficial Airfix Modellers Forum, followed by my continuation build.

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It’s a big build – 82cm long when complete – and generally well designed albeit with some areas for improvement and the scale begs for more detail to the added to the pilot’s cockpit – you can barely see into the WSO’s cockpit as the canopy is not designed to open…

Watch this space for construction to re-commence but I am not looking forward to all those circles again..!

“…the scariest things ever…”

Caron Eastgate Dann pens the most recent blog that I have started following…I didn’t spend much time online over the weekend – not necessarily a bad thing – as youngest daughter came to visit for the first time in a few months…

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…but I do have to occasionally check the (e)mail for booking requests for the Chalet Raurimu, especially since it is ski season and the weather is so damn good at the moment.  Caron’s weekend post I, Robot or, “Danger, Will Robinson! “Exterminate! EXTERMINATE!) made me laugh out loud: it was so close to my own memories…

When I was a kid, robots were all the rage. Before the digital age, before the time of personal computers, they had a kind of mystique about them.

This was encouraged by the romanticisation of robots on screen as either heroes or villains. The loyal bodyguard-type robot in the 1960s series Lost in Space, which I saw in endless repeats in the 1970s, was endearing and long-suffering, as Dr Smith referred to him variously as a “Neanderthal ninny”, a “blithering booby”, a “nickel-plated Nincompoop”, a “tintinnabulating tin can” and many more sensational insults (you can see more of them here).

…so near my own experiences, it was scary…I too was terrified by Doctor Who and Lost In Space…Dr Smith was soooo despicably evil – quite the counter-role model for primary school me…last year, I found LIS Season 1 in the bargain bin at The Warewhare: for the price I couldn’t walk away and so I grabbed it; enjoyed it and the next time I was in civilisation I was searching the bins for Seasons 2 and 3 – still no joy on Season 2 which is apparently quite elusive but Season 3 kept me off the streets during the rainy part of last summer. I can switch off any disbelief or even incredulity at the sheer hammishness of the dress-up monster and alien costumes or the flatness of the characters and plotlines and just enjoy it as a new phrase I heard last week, just enjoy it as “…brain candy…”

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My own specific terrifer’s were more the Abominable Snowmen (but I tried to find a suitable scary pic but now they just look like walking furry bean bags) and the Cybermen who have so far survived their First Contact with the uber-franchised new Doctor Who…I was more a child of the second and third doctors and the Daleks really made their initial play for power against the original Doctor. That notwithstanding though, I was sufficiently aware of the Dalek evil to have the stuffing scared out of me one afternoon exploring the darker confines of the Oamaru Squash Club and running headlong into a five-foot tall metal badminton shuttle which in the shadows to a six or seven year old liked exactly like guess what!!

My earliest scary memories are of Stingray, which must have been about 1967ish – definitely before I started school…not so scary now but good still entertainment…

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…and from a few years later, Forbidden Planet when it screened as the Sunday afternoon movie – what were you programming people thinking!!! The whole idea of an invisible monster that could creep stealthily up stairs – our house had stairs – and slay whoever it liked stuck with me as the most scariest ever movie til I saw Halloween (the original not the rehashed copies) around 1980…I used to carefully check our internal stairs for any signs that might indicate an ID monster on the loose in Oamaru…

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Like Caron, I also did not get to see 2001 until sometime in the early 80s – having read the books a number of times, I must admit to being rather underwhelmed by the movie and more so by its sequel…for me the 2001 legacy is now much more that “open the pod bay doors” and some cool additions to the archives of cool spaceships with the Discovery, Moonbus, Aries 1B and Space Clipper all being wannabe builds I never got to – all bar the Space Clipper are now Uhu02 designs so I may finally get to build them…

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…and, as I may have mentioned before, I am bitterly disappointed that all those 1960s and ’70s predictions of flying highways and moonbases and jetpacks and, yes, robots, especially robots that are our friends (but not nerdy like C3PO)…curse you, George Jetson and Gerry Anderson and…and…and you other predicting type people…!

I don’t remember having any robot toys but I do love the retro look of these toys – of many toys from this era – I was lucky that my parents kept all of my toys (those that survived three younger siblings) and – one day – I plan on restoring them all, purely for my own satisfaction. Many of these are 40+ years old now and some have had quite a beating: I’m looking forward to new technologies like 3D printing allowing me to just ‘print’ out a new set of hooks for Matchbox 1972 #74 Toe Joe, or a new deck cover (I still remember when the original was broken) for #61 Alvis Stalwart (no year listed so I’ll have to be careful that I don’t get parts for what ever #61 became as Matchbox used to rollover the catalogue numbers)…

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Caron is right when she says that even the box for her brother’s robot toy would be valuable today… I misread  what she wrote and thought that the photo was the surviving memory of the robot but on checking it now, her mum is also a non-tossing mum and the robot lives. It would probably be worth quite a bit now as there are not that many toy survivors from that era but I don’t think that any amount of money could outweigh the memories that particular toy carries…that why I so glad my  mum saved mine: regardless of their actual or potential worth, they are valuable links for me to the younger me that believed in flying cars and moonbases…

So although I never had any, I still like the retro robot toys – not so much that I am likely to buy any of the repopped modern imitations – but enough that I will, in the fullness of time, build some of the paper model reproductions of these toys as they have a retro appeal in their own right…

ipmc 2013This little guy was designed specifically for this year’s International Paper Modelling Convention – each year there is a simple downloadable model – and by clicking on him, you can learn more about the convention next month and even download him and his buddies…we’re all kids at heart deep down inside somewhere…have a little fun…try it with the kids or grandkids: they’ll get hours of enjoyment watching mum, dad, poppa or nana playing with sharp knives and superglue…

So today’s meander from Supermarionation, 50s science-fiction, BBC, retro robot toys, paper models and moonbases has been inspired by The Crayon Files – please check it out, even if only to learn why its called The Crayon Files….

Afterthought note thingie – I just zipped over to Caron’s homepage to grab its URL and noticed that her home page introduction concludes “...“Actually, it’s fine,” he said. “Not everything old has to be thrown away”....” Nothing could be more right…

 

Cool things I got for my birthday 2013

My birthday was actually quite a while ago, but I have been meaning to write this since…partly by way of acknowledgement but also to show what cool people I have in my family… boysown

Many ,many years ago (so long ago that we need to use two manys, and that’s not too many!), I saw an article in Look and Learn about a revolutionary jetplane-submarine that the Americans were developing. This Look and Learn issue was one of a batch that we had acquired at a St Lukes Church jumble sale and dated back into the mid-late 60s.

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Just for situational awareness, this is what St Luke’s Church looks like…

It had a couple of drawings of what such a device might look like in action but I never saw anything like them again, until I opened this gift from Carmen…what a score!!!! Who gives a fat rat’s that she bought it in the Op Shop and it probably didn’t even cost a dollar? I like these old annuals anyway but to find one with the ‘sub-plane’ from so long ago…yeah baby!! Coincidentally, I had just finished reading Attack from the Sea, the story of the US Navy’s attempt in the 50s to develop a credible sea-based airborne attack force and so was quite on top of this subject…it’s quite sad that had the sub-plane been scratched on the back of a napkin just a few years earlier, it might have made it at least to the mock-up stage…but I digress…very cool pressie numero uno…

Image These two are pretty cool and are responsible for me writing this post …they were staying with us for the first week of the school holidays and hadn’t been here for more than half an hour before charging into my study to announce with some concern that ‘ice had turned to stone and I better come quick‘…OK, busted, yes, I had a teeny-weeny Glenfiddich while watching Shout At The Devil the night before and had left the glass on the coffee table…

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These are the ‘stone ice’ in question…my parents gave them to me…I’m not sure if it was just a particularly insightful guess or whether I had mentioned at some point how much I hate the ice in my drink melting and diluting it, especially when it is almost finished but these things rock! They only take a few minutes to chill down in the freezer and hold their cold for quite a while, certainly longer than the life expectancy of the average drink…

ImageThis is the way cool birthday card made for me by my nephew, Toby in Dunedin…it is so cool that Aunty Carmen grabbed as soon as she saw it and framed it to share with everyone who visits us…

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Toby and his younger brother, Arlo, also sent me these two pressies…the first, the Kermit green thingie is a USB port that plugs into the cigarette light of the truck and it is an absolute lifesaver. As many of you will know, I like to listen to Audible talking books when I am driving any sort of distance on my own, including doing laps on the lawnmower. Unfortunately my current MP3 player, a Creative Stone+, only lasts about 8 hours which isn’t enough for some one way trips and definitely not enough endurance for many of the round trips I make…

The sonic rocks are just cool…you can use them for lots of things ranging from the mundane like holding the grocery list on the fridge door to tossing them around and, yes, they do sizzle as well as snap, crackle and pop…I keep them hidden away most of the time because they are just the sort of uber-cool thing someone might think they have a greater need for than me…

And, finally, because I too am a cool member of my family, I gave myself this, a simple but effective paper model that will upsize quite nicely I think…one of the very first carrier-borne torpedo bombers, not so much cool as very very scary trying to get one of these off and back onto a carrier in the immediate Post-WW1 period…

So thanks to all the cool people who made this the coolest birthday….

My Little Life: Five Question Friday! 7/19/13

My Little Life: Five Question Friday! 7/19/13.

1. What is one thing you have too many of in your house?

A toughy…

…my wife would probably say these…but…then again…they keep me home at nights and off the streets…

2. Did anything go not quite as planned on your wedding day?

Not really but inherent in ‘planned’ is having a plan and ours was of a fairly minimalist type…we really just took it as it came on the day…the only real potential hiccup was the late realisation that we needed two witnesses on the day…overcome by tapping a couple of other tourists on the shoulder the day before…

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3. What is your favorite summer smoothie recipe?

Easy…leftover fruit, juice and spirits, ice cream for bulk and flavour…blend and kiss use of your legs goodbye for a few hours…

4. What is the weather like where you are?

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5. What is your favorite book to read to your kids?

No favourite per se but a definite preference for older books over those published more recently that seem to have all very nice pictures but that are found somewhat lacking in the story department…

My Little Life: Five Question Friday! 4/5/13

School days

1. Would you go to your high school reunion?

Not really something that are a big thing down here…about 15 years after we all left high school, a bunch of us got together for a weekend at an old ski lodge above Kurow and that was good but I’m not sure the big class get-together US-style would have the same attraction here…

2. What’s something that you’ve recently splurged on; either for yourself or someone else?

This…simple pleasures… a whole $1.50 in the disposal bin at the Taumarunui Library

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…although  I guess us investing in a new printer (still to be delivered) this weekend counts for me as it is A3 size and will be awesome for paper models – for Carmen, it’s just a printer…

3. How do you handle your child’s fever?

Call Carmen.

4. What’s the nicest thing to happen to you lately?

This that Carmen got for my birthday a couple of week’s ago…

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…again…simple things…simple pleasures…

5. What is your current favourite song?

I don’t really have one but I am prone to getting a  song going around and around and around in my head and not going away for ages…the worst is the theme from CHiPs

 

via My Little Life: Five Question Friday! 4/5/13.

World of Tanks gets physical

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It has been a while since I posted anything about my modelling hobby other than occasional  hopefully relevant images in the Weekly Challenges…

Once upon a time, a I used to be into gaming, either on the PC, Xbox (CLASSIC!!), or the Wii – we even have two Wii’s so that we can play NZ or US Wii games – but nowadays, I simply don’t have the time and when I’m sitting at the PC it is to work or, at the moment, look for work…so while I am aware of World of Tanks, mainly through its pop-up ads that permeate through the webosphere, I am not a player…World of Tanks, parent company, wargaming.net is also the major sponsor of David Cundall’s quest for Spitfires buried in Burma (perhaps) at the end of WW2. In mid-2012, WoT also began to post at Paper Modeling, a site I monitor pretty much daily piquing interest in the paper modelling community with promises of new paper models based on tanks in the game. Those promises are now being fulfilled at the rate of one a month.

Although the initial design work has been done to already incorporate these vehicles into WoT, the game, there is a little more to converting a  gaming 3D model to a (buildable) paper model so this is more than just a cheap marketing ploy on WoT’s part, although that we should also recognise that paper modelling is far more popular and widespread in Eastern Europe and Asia than it has ever been in the West.

At the same time, using some of my few spare moments each day, generally while watching Coro, I am building a paper model as part of the UAMF Small Scale Armour Group Build and trust me, it’s not as easy as it looks and I probably would be finished now if I had opted for one of the more basic Airfix or Matchbox kits…but I have to be different and so have taken on a what is turning into a bit of a challenge. To a certain (possibly large!) extent this is self-inflicted as I am finding myself relearning a lot of previously learned lessons (pretty ironic for the lessons learned guru!!) as the time I have been able to devote to regular modelling.

Anyway, someone posted in my UAMF thread for this GB (I can post all these link but it doesn’t really matter ‘coz no one ever clicks them) last night that maybe it would be an idea to have a paper/card (one and the same thing, really) group build on UAMF sometime this year which lead to a. me posting this response, and b. thinking that it would be an idea perhaps to acknowledge within a wider audience the efforts of those designers that design and share their paper models as free downloads (and also to note the launch of the revamped Ecardmodels.com website)…

A paper/card model GB has been mooted before but I think that there is growing interest in the idea. As Ian says, there are a broad range available for download for free, of all degrees of complexity although I would recommend some relatively simple ones for starters so that builders can come to grips with the different techniques required, especially for folding and rolling – none of it rocket science, but none of it just quite that way we do it with other media…as a start point for anyone who might be interested, I would recommend that they check out the free model section at www.ecardmodels.com (select “free Models’ from the menu bar on the left of the home page) which has a range of mainly aircraft and vehicles with a few ships and buildings as well. There are also sites like the download section of www.papermodelers.com (must register and post in order to download), the models section of www.landships.info, the free section at www.currell.net, and, for those into World of Tanks, the model section on the Russian language (YOU MUST GO TO THE RUSSIAN VERSION AS THE MODELS ARE NOT LISTED ON ANY OF THE OTHER REGIONS FOR WoT) version of the site: http://worldoftanks.ru/media/?category=10 where they are releasing one 1/50 (of course, depending on your preference, printer and copier, the scale could be whatever suits…) tank model each month…

So that’s it really, just trying to spread the paper modelling love…in this days of financial crises and ongoing insecurity, it is nice to have a modelling-related hobby that doesn’t want an army and a leg just for the raw materials i.e. a traditional kitset, but which still provides for the satisfaction of seeing a  model take shape into a (hopefully) recognisable facsimile of the original…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved

I’m not really that big on New Years resolutions as resolving can and should happen any time it is necessary…but anyway…

…work less, play more…

DSCF6544…turn the ‘desert’ into green…

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…actually finish a modelling project…

…just once…

Special Photo Challenge: Inspiration

“What inspires you to blog? We blog because there are people, places, things, and ideas that we care about so much we can’t help but tell the world about them. We want to know what inspires you. For this special mid-week photo challenge, we want to see portraits of you doing something that inspires you to blog.”

Not all things that inspire my blogging are things that I do and of those are, not all of them are things that need a photo of me doing them to illustrate them…so these are the things that inspire…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Create

Create is this week’s theme…it’s no secret that in my 2.3 seconds of spare time each week, I like to build models, especially models of unusual subjects…one of the more unusual projects on a slow burn is this build (creation) of a 1/72 model of the Soviet pre-WW2 river monitor, Udarnyj…she saw the opening days of Russia’s entry into the Great Patriotic War but was sunk by German air power in the early phases of Barbarossa…

Udarnyj is a paper model produced by a publisher in Poland, Modelik, in 1/100 scale in a A4 booklet….in 2009 they adopted a practice of including low-res images of their model parts on their website. Although the quality is less than that in the book (these models are not legally available for electronic download – i.e. they are only available in the printed book form), and not all the sheets are shown, there was enough of the Udarnyj shown to be able to construct a fairly close waterline model over her. This is what I started to build before my conscience kicked in and I ordered the book from Poland with some other similar models…

To go with other 1/72 vessels I have, I enlarged the parts from 1/100 to 1/72 using an A3 copier (increase by 139%) and printed the parts onto 110gsm paper.

This was followed by a number of nights laminating structural parts to heavier card and then carefully cutting out the pieces – care is required because the more accurate the cutting the better the fit – also because the knife is damn sharp!

Here the structure slowly develops….

I use a double-skin approach, laying down an initial skin layer…

and filling any gaps or depressions…this prevents the rib-cage effect when applying the actual hull sheets…

…so that it looks a lot smoother…

The hull sides were then added…the stripes around the foredeck are a real pain as you have to join the sheets edge to edge and there is not a lot of room for error due to the very narrow glueing surfaces.

And this is as far as I have got so far…a more detailed description of the build is here at Paper Modelers – you’ll see from the dates that this is a long term build; and since that last photo was taken, she sustained some damage in the car when I took her down to ‘show and tell’ at Scale Models Wellington in February and I haven’t had time since to repair or progress her… I have acquired some detail parts for her like plastic quad Maxims for the anti-aircraft positions and two Airfix 5.5″ guns in case I have problems rolling the main armament barrels from paper…we’ll get there eventually – our target is Scale Model Expo 2014…