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Day at the zoo

Pictures from France

Here are all of the pictures I took in Paris!  Click on them to enlargenate!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone out there!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones! Enjoy the company and happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!

This weekend was pretty crazy for us.  We held our annual Halloween Party on Friday night with  Nick, Laura, Louis, Kevin, Ryan, Joe and Jaime all in attendance.  There were so many games played that a recap of all would be impossible.

7 Wonders started the night, with Louis taking the win.  Some of us then played Le Havre, while another group played Thurn and Taxis and Princes of Florence.  I had to leave in the middle of Le Havre to take care of some customer support duties for work (by the way, having to go to a meeting with your boss while dressed as a zombie is interesting), but apparently Nick had won that game in a stroke of Beginner’s Luck.

Following that, Joe and Jaime taught Laura and my wife to play Pinochle.  Nick, Kevin, Louis and I played a few rounds of Quarriors.  I like the game, but I still feel it’s very luck driven.  In all three games I was very close to winning, but either didn’t get the right dice on the last round, or my opponents got just the right things to defeat my monsters.

That ended the night for most of the guests, but since Nick and Laura were spending the night, we decided to play some Zombie Dice and Monty Python Fluxx.  Things were getting a bit fuzzy at that point (it was about 3 am), so I couldn’t tell you who won.

Saturday was spent recovering.  We mostly just sat around and watched college football.  I was able to watch my Alma-mater, NDSU, beat up on the University of Northern Iowa for the top spot in their division.  Sunday was more football, and I spent some time working on my Menoth models.

We had a great time with our friends, and we’re looking forward to taking the kids to a Halloween Party tonight.

Enjoy the candy, and happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Pumpkin Hunting

This weekend, we traveled to visit my family and spend some tie with my grandparents.  No games were played, but we did spend part of Saturday at a pumpkin patch.  My dad took my daughter on a pony ride, and my son spent most of the time playing on the big wooden tractors and the hay-bail castle.  We all enjoyed watching pumpkins getting launched by a trebuchet and an air-cannon.  In the end we all bot some great pumpkins to carve and had a great time.


Until next time, happy gaming.

The Table!

I had been wanting to upgrade my gaming table in my basement for some time now, and with a week vacation, this was the perfect time to get it done.  So over the weekend, my dad and I stopped into the local hardware store and picked up some lumber.  I was originally planning on doing it all at home, but since I was going to be visiting my parents anyways, I figured I’d take advantage of my dad’s knowledge and workshop for this project.

The total supplies needed were:

  • Three 8′ long 1″x4″ pine boards
  • Two 7′ long 2″x4″ pine boards
  • Four 6′ long 1″x6″ pine boards
  • One 5/8″ thick 4’x8′ sheet of OSB (it was cheap, but if I were to do this again, I’d use MDF or plywood as it’s easier to work with)
  • Eight 1′ long 1″x1/2″ strips of hardwood (these were scraps from my dad’s shop, and were used for the shelf runners)
  • One 3/4″ thick 2’x4′ sheet of hardwood (another scrap, if using something other than OSB for the table, then the leftover from that can be used here)
  • 2 and 1/2 yards of 72″ wide dark green felt
  • Screws, woodglue, handles, etc.

As for tools, it can all be done using a circular saw, a drill, a screw driver and a staple gun.  Some other tools, like clamps, chisels, squares, etc. are useful but not mandatory.

Once we had all the supplies, we started on the inner frame and the legs.  The 2×4’s were cut into four 29″ lengths for the legs.  From the leftover 2×4’s, I cut two 12″ sections that would be used to help support the ends of the table.  The two 1×4’s were cut so that we had two 48″ boards and two 46.5″ boards.  The 48″ boards would support the width of the table and hold the long sides on.

Next up was the 1×6’s.  Two of them were cut to 49.5″ for use on the table ends.  Since the table was going to be 6′ long, it wasn’t necessary to cut the other two boards, but we did cut slots into the ends for the shelves.  On each end of the 6′ board, we cut a 12″ long by 1″ wide groove.  The top of the groove was placed exactly 3.5″ up from the bottom of the board, so that the shelves would be supported by the tabletop when they were extended.

Now that the frame pieces were cut, it was time to assemble it.  First up, here’s a picture of the inside frame with the legs and long sides attached.  In this picture, the runners for the shelves are visible.  They are 12″ long pieces of hardwood that were attached 7/8″ down from the top of the wood to support the shelves when they are pushed in.

Inside frame

Another picture of the inner frame from a different angle.

Inside frame 2

Yet another picture of the inner frame, this time from the far end.

Inner frame 3

The frame is now complete with the ends attached.  The other side of the shelf runners are visible here, again placed just below the slots in the front panels.

Completed frame

Once I had the frame home and assembled, I had to go get the table top.  Since I had no way of transporting a 4×8 sheet home from my parent’s I had to buy it here in town.  Luckily a friend of mine had a truck I could borrow.  As I mentioned earlier, I went with OSB board because it was cheap and I planned to cover it with felt.  If I wasn’t covering it, then something else would have been better, because OSB is ugly.  It’s also a pain to work with.  I used my saber saw to cut it, and the blade did not want to stay straight.  I ended up with one really ugly edge, but it was close enough to 6′ long that it didn’t matter.  After cutting the sheet to 4’x6′, I covered it with a big sheet of felt and stapled it all around the edge.  I then dropped the whole sheet into the frame.

Top in place with WIP shelves

Things were starting to look like a table at this point.  For the shelves, I cut the 2’x4′ sheet of hardwood into four shelves that were just under a foot wide (11 and 7/8″ to be precise).

For the front of the shelves, I cut the leftovers of the 1×6 boards to 13″ long, and then cut those down the center lengthwise so I had 4 boards that were 13″ long and 2 and 7/8″ wide.  To these I attached some drawer handles, and then glued and nailed them to the front of the shelves.

Finished table with shelves in

The final step was to attach a small piece of wood to the bottom of each shelf so that they could be pulled out too far.

Completed table with shelves out

So there you have it.  The game table is a full 4’x6′ size, perfect for playing games Warhammer.  It has four shelves (one in each corner) to hold models, drinks, dices, etc.  It has a 1.5″ raised edge around the entire table, so dice don’t go rolling off.  And the tabletop is 30″ off the floor, so it’s prefect for both sitting and standing.

Now to build some terrain that is worthy of The Table.  😀

Vote for Me!

The folks over at the House of Paincakes were gracious enough to pick my entry into their latest contest as one of the finalists.  Now it is up to the people to vote for their favorite.

My entry was:

Rooty, Tooty, Big and Shooty
Belgian Waaaagh!-fles
Krootberry Paincakes
Two eggs and Chaos

Click on the link here, and vote! The poll is on the right.

March 2nd is Old Stuff Day!

Old Stuff DayRob over at Warhammer39,999 had a great idea to have a single day dedicated to presenting old blog material that may not have gotten the attention it deserved.  So today I am presenting two older posts that I did when I was working on my Eldar army.  The first is a tutorial of how I did the camouflage on the grav tanks, and the second is a quick look at the effect that sharp highlighting has on the appearance of a model.  Here we go!

WIP: Falcon Camouflage Step-by-Step

Originally posted: 25 May 2009

I’ve been working on the Falcon all day, and figured I’d give a kind of step by step through my painting process for the camouflage and the details.

Here we start with the plain tank without any detailing and the small (1″x1″x2″) chunk of kitchen sponge.


I add some dark blue to my palette and water it down just a hair.  I don’t want it too thin or it will run or get absorbed into the sponge.  I dip the sponge in the paint and then give a few dabs onto a piece of paper so it’s not to thick.  Then I start lightly dabbing it onto the tank.


Here’s a picture after the entire tank has been done with the sponge.  As you can see, some of the areas weren’t very well covered.  It’s tough to get into the tight areas with the sponge, so I use a brush for those parts.


I take an old brush, dip it in the blue and then give it a few dabs on paper to get any excess paint out.  Then I lightly dab paint onto the tank in the areas the didn’t get very good coverage with the sponge.


As you can see the camo is much more uniform.  Then it’s just a matter of filling in the details, like the gems, the lining, etc.  Here is a picture of the tank so far.  It need the light blue highlights, some bright yellow on the antenna arrays, and some decals/icons.



Painting: Serpent Lines

Originally Posted: 24 March 2009

First a short history…

The first Wave Serpent I painted turned out pretty well, but then when I started painting my second one, I decided to try something a little bit different and really highlight the recessed lines running across the body.  I did this with a very light blue, and it turned out great.  The only problem was that now my first Serpent didn’t look nearly as good in comparison.  So tonight I decided to work on fixing that and painted all the lines.  It took me a little longer than anticipated, but I was also slightly distracted by watching Heroes and Castle.  Here are the before and after pictures.

As you can see, it just seems to be lacking something.  It’s just a little to monochrome.


With the highlighting the lines are much more defined and it really makes the effect pop.  Sure it now takes a bit longer to finish a tank, but the effect is definitely worth it.

Now I just need to go back and do the same for my War Walkers.

Happy Holidays!

It’s been a while.

I haven’t been posting a whole lot, because I haven’t been painting or playing that much.  Most of my free time has been taken up with playing the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm.  I have been doing a few things, though.

First, I have been working on some new terrain for my Malifaux game.  Here is a house that I put together using one of the World Works Games templates.  I made it at 150% of normal size and it’s a little too big.  The next one I make will be scaled up to about 115%, which should be just about perfect.


Other than that, I’ve been preparing for the holidays.  I have a week off between Christmas and New Years, so I’ve been planning a few projects like building more terrain.  Tonight, though, I made cookies.  Gina has been cooking a bunch, but she wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of these cookies:

Smoky Bacon Ginger Cookies!

Gina found this recipe in the Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies magazine.

They are awesome.  Ginger snaps are probably my favorite kind of cookie, and these add bacon to the mix, which is just amazing.

Considering that bacon fat is used, there is nothing healthy about them, but boy are they good.

8 ounces thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/3 cup sorghum syrup (or molasses, if you cannot find sorghum syrup)
raw sugar for rolling
smoked sea salt for sprinkling (personally I just used regular sea salt, since I couldn’t find the smoked variety)

Cooking the bacon. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Put the bacon dices into the hot pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon bits are crisp and have released their fat entirely. Reserve the bacon fat (you want about 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons) and set aside the crisp bacon (about ¾ cup as well) on a paper towel. Let the bacon and fat cool.

Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combining the wet ingredients. Pour the flour (and if you are gluten-free, the gums), baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk them together to combine well and aerate the flour.

Creaming the butter, sugar, and bacon fat. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and brown sugar and white sugar until they become fluffy together, about 3 minutes. Add the bacon fat and mix well, about 1 minute.

Finishing the dough. Add the egg and mix until well blended. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour in the sorghum syrup and mix until it has disappeared into the dough. On slow speed, pour in the dry ingredients, mixing until just blended. Toss in the bacon bits and fold them in with the rubber spatula.

Baking the cookies. Roll the dough into a 1-inch ball, then roll it in the raw sugar to coat entirely. Put the balls of dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. (You’ll need to make 3 or 4 cookie sheets full, so just be prepared to bake for a bit.) Flatten the balls of dough a bit, then top with a pinch of the smoked sea salt. Slide the sheet tray into the oven and bake until the edges of each cookie is starting to crisp but the center is still soft, about 8 minutes. (Turn the baking sheet halfway through.) Trust us — you might think these cookies are not done yet. They will harden and set as they cool.

Allow the cookies to cool on a rack until they have not a bit of warmth to them, about 15 minutes.

Go Raiders!

For the first time in ages, the Oakland Raiders are a winning team!  I’m crazy excited!


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