Thursday, March 31, 2011


Blogger Views

http://www.wargamingtradecraft.com/view/sidebar
I'm giving you a bonus post this week as Google's just announced "Views".

Essentially, they take advantage of your RSS feed and formats it in a number of unique views, but only work in newer browsers.

Your Site dot com (via Blogger)

For those of you on the Blogger platform, Google makes it incredibly easy to get yourself a domain. First off, it lets your site stand out from others and seem more credible, but another benefit is that it's much easier to remember a domain name rather than somedomain.blogspot.com. Having youremail@yourdomain.com also looks a lot better than just @wherever.com. Again, lending more credit to yourself, especially if you're running contests, fundraisers, sales and any other situation where you might be asking people for money or personal information.

* This doesn't get rid of the yoursite.blogspot.com address - just adds a domain.

It's only $10 per year and gives you a basic Google Apps account, providing up to 50 email addresses, unlimited aliases for them and a Google Web Hosting account.

Postapocalyptibuggy [Part 12]

The ongoing chronicle and my first attempt at posting Work In Progress shots, this is my entry for the Massive Voodoo Mad Max Car Competition. I'll list them all on my Step by Step page, or you can view the current WIP series.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Tin Snips

I talked about them previously in my generic post on various cutting tools, but these are tin snips. You don't always need access to something like these, but they're useful to have, reducing the wear on your normal cutters by not straining them on thicker metals. File these under "useful things to buy if they're on sale."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Safety Goggles

Anytime you do anything that could end up with parts flying, wear safety goggles. If you wear glasses (like me) they do make safety goggles for you. Most hardware stores carry them, even the glasses-friendly models. If you want to get fancy, you can get safety eye where with your glasses prescription. Larger cities usually also have safety supply stores if you want more selection.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Rubber Washers

See that little black circle that I've circled in red? It sits non-descriptly on one of the ties attached to this hose. Rubber washers are often attached in this subtle manner to all sorts of things like garden hoses, shower heads, etc... It's pretty safe to say that if it has water flowing through it, it comes with a rubber washer or you need to get one for it.

Weekly Update

Last Week at Wargaming Tradecraft


Busy week, lots of good content posted. I started the week by talking about Your Work Area, then How to Light It and how to Store Your Bits. Blog-Fu's content this week was Creating Your Own Widget.

Work on the Postapocalyptibuggy has continued and I think it's ready for paint!

The big news this week is that this site is now located at www.WargamingTradecraft.com ! Go to the announcement post to read about the details.

Also, my post on Bringing a New Style to the Hobby hit 2000+ views this past week and I just think that's awesome, having so many people viewing it. It blows me away that people are still checking it out so many months later. I do have plans to explore what I talked about in there once the Postapocalyptibuggy is complete.

Last Week in the Community



BTW, wouldn't this make an AWESOME battle report generator?
http://kinecthacks.net/accurate-scene-reconstruction-with-a-handheld-kinect/

Heyyy, Canada's government just fell to a no-confidence vote for withholding public information.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/03/25/pol-defeat.html


Charity


Massive Voodoo has listed some minis that they and others have painted and placed on eBay. 100% of the proceeds of these auctions will go to Japan relief. If you'd like to help raise money, contact them and they'll plug your own eBay mini auctions. Or, check out the auctions they show off and place a bid.

News


A History of Squats via Blood of Kittens
http://chaossquats.blogspot.com/2010/09/squats-in-white-dwarf-1987-1992.html
http://chaossquats.blogspot.com/2010/09/squats-in-white-dwarf-1992-1995.html
http://chaossquats.blogspot.com/2010/10/squats-in-white-dwarf-1996-2000.html
http://chaossquats.blogspot.com/2011/03/squats-in-citadel-journal-1999-2002.html


Tutorials


Ron looks at Wet Blending http://blackdotbarrel.blogspot.com/2011/03/quick-look-at-wet-blending.html

Some genius fake glass-working: http://fantasygames.com.pl/mini-bottles/

Here's an interesting walk through from Vallejo http://www.acrylicosvallejo.com/blog/2011/03/allah-truck/\

More excellent hutting from Dethtron http://www.houseofpaincakes.com/2011/03/gaming-on-budget-huts-part-2.html

Ron also talks about weathering http://blackdotbarrel.blogspot.com/2011/03/start-with-clean-model-before.html

Ooo, crystals http://paintingmum.blogspot.com/2011/03/of-crystals-and-doctors.html

Tips


Drew over at Garden Ninja (one of the blogs that inspired me to start my own) gives some painting tips for beginners: http://gardenninjastudios.blogspot.com/2011/03/basic-techniques-for-beginner-painters.html

OST gives some good list building advice http://darkfuturegaming.blogspot.com/2011/03/list-building-and-playtesting-how-to.html
and looks at some nice to-order banners http://darkfuturegaming.blogspot.com/2011/03/hi-tech-miniatures-resin-banner-review.html


Gallery


"Eldar Ranger" by YuliaPW
Now that's some green stuffing http://masteroftheforge.com/2011/03/21/artscale-terminator-librarian-wip/

Some excellent weathering/rusting of metal http://eyeoferror.blogspot.com/2011/03/chaos-patrol-boat-part-2.html

More great weathering of metal: http://senjistudios.com/?p=2047

And a really nice looking Grey Knight Termie: http://tentakelgames.com/2011/03/21/how-to-paint-a-grey-knight-termie/

Larry's made some nice terrain from the stock GW stuff: http://paintyourtoys.blogspot.com/2011/03/city-of-death-repaint-pt1.html

Some nice lookin Imperials: http://excommunicatetratoris.blogspot.com/2011/03/elysian-sergeant-and-troopers.html

Hive Fleet Nostromo grows http://wpggamegeeks.blogspot.com/2011/03/troll-forged-alien-larva-brain.html

Awesome Female Pathfinder http://yuliapw.deviantart.com/art/Eldar-Ranger-201802247
Now that's cosplay: http://alberti.deviantart.com/art/Warhammer40000-Queen-Lachryma-202384977
Chillaxing in only the way an Ork with a rocket strapped to his back can http://albertoarribas.deviantart.com/art/Happy-Hour-199547408

Musing


Gmort talks about fluff vs balance, great article: http://www.houseofpaincakes.com/2011/03/fluff-vs-balance.html

Brent discusses making old codexes new again http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2011/03/40k-making-your-codex-new-again.html

Learning to love losing: http://hobbyinfobythekingelessar.blogspot.com/2011/03/learning-to-love-losing.html

Dethtron talks about hope for the FLGS: http://bloodofkittens.com/dickmove/2011/03/26/hope-for-the-flgs/

This isn't a gaming blog, but I found PA's talk about Duke Nukem's history rather inspiring.
http://www.penny-arcade.com/2011/3/23/one-many-possible-responses/

On painting http://ruinouspowers.blogspot.com/2011/03/im-painter-not-gamer.html

Loquacious has more tips for new gamers: http://www.houseofpaincakes.com/2011/03/new-kid-in-town-getting-army.html

Gaming


On the momentum in a game http://darkfuturegaming.blogspot.com/2011/03/guest-post-on-momentum-and-pace-of-game.html

Thor tells you to play what you enjoy and pull the trigger on your opponents: http://creativetwilight.com/2011/03/introspection-click-click-boom

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Postapocalyptibuggy [part 11]

The ongoing chronicle and my first attempt at posting Work In Progress shots, this is my entry for the Massive Voodoo Mad Max Car Competition. I'll list them all on my Step by Step page, or you can view the current WIP series.

Wargaming Tradecraft dot com

I am proud to announce the launch of http://www.WargamingTradecraft.com

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Postapocalyptibuggy [part 10]

The ongoing chronicle and my first attempt at posting Work In Progress shots, this is my entry for the Massive Voodoo Mad Max Car Competition. I'll list them all on my Step by Step page, or you can view the current WIP series.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Bits, Bitz, Extra Models and Junk


Bits, bitz, spare parts, extras, pieces, to do list, scrap, junk... we have different names for all the extra parts we have laying around. Every time you have some spare parts left over, save them. Whenever you've got pieces you don't feel like or can't use right away, find somewhere to store them. If you see a unique or rare figure you'd like to paint eventually, pick it up. Glance over at something that's on sale and looks useful, then buy it. Whether you're at your favourite local gaming store, a hobby shop, craft or art supply, surplus warehouse or hardware source, you can find items that can be turned into miniatures, vehicles, terrain and everything in between.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Create your own Blogger Widget

If you're interested in creating a widget for your blog, then listen up!

Why might you want to make one? A couple reasons - Usually, these are seen on blogs offering some sort of networking. From the Warp, House of Paincakes, Wargaming Tradecraft are just a few examples of this.

However, there's nothing stopping anybody from making a Blogger widget of their own. Back in the day, and still seen on the occasional blog is a form of quid pro quo link sharing - If you link to me, I'll link to you.

For whatever reason you want to do this, creating a widget makes adding a link as easy as clicking a button.

Postapocalyptibuggy [part 9]

The ongoing chronicle and my first attempt at posting Work In Progress shots, this is my entry for the Massive Voodoo Mad Max Car Competition. I'll list them all on my Step by Step page, or you can view the current WIP series.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Lighting Your Hobby Area

(repost for update on Colour Temperature)



Proper lighting is essential when you're painting. The wrong type of lighting will make things look very different. Today I'm going to talk about different kinds of lighting and the a/effect it has on your hobby.

First off, why is having the right light important? Put simply, when you're trying to paint anything, you want to be able to see the colour's you're actually painting.

Makes sense doesn't it?

The extreme example would be painting with a red light - obviously not something you want to do. Well, even "white light" has different levels of "white", so you'll still be casting a light on your colours that makes them look different than they actually are.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Your Work Area

In an effort to actually get some work done instead of losing my weekend to Community, (which is probably the best show you're not watching and yeah, that's Chevy Chase.) I'm going to talk about setting up your work area and other similar topics this week.

So folks, this is where the magic happens! My opa actually built this desk when my dad was a kid.

There's all sorts of things that create a good work area. A desk is a great place to start as it creates a static work area where you can leave things set up and store all your stuff.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Weekly Update

Last Week at Wargaming Tradecraft


You can keep following the Postapocalyptibuggy. In Blog-Fu, I discussed Following Trends. I also don't have anything lined up in Blog Fu beyond this week.. so.. hope you've all enjoyed it. Anyone have any ideas?

Finally, I looked at Letter Punches.

This week I'm going to discuss a number of topics revolving around your work space - stay tuned!

Also, I'm probably going to play with my layout some in the next little while. I like what I have, but I've noticed and so have a few others, that  it can be laggy from time to time, especially on older systems and remote desktop. Blogger does some strange things with layering, and I'm going to look at removing all transparency effects as a start, and see what else I can do.

Last Week in the Community


Postapocalyptibuggy [part 8]

The ongoing chronicle and my first attempt at posting Work In Progress shots, this is my entry for the Massive Voodoo Mad Max Car Competition. I'll list them all on my Step by Step page, or you can view the current WIP series.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Letter Punch or Letter Stamp


These are what are called Letter Punches or Letter Stamps. Not exactly something you'll find a whole lot of use for, but if you find them cheap, then why not. (I believe I got these for about $8)

Punches are made out of strong metal so that you can hit them with a lot of force. You can mark light metal (like the following hobby material) and hard metal. (like keys) They come in different sizes and fonts, these don't include numbers but some do.
Either line up your letters ahead of time, or take them out one at a time. By taking them one at a time, you can keep them all in order easier.

To fight rust, they're sometimes conditioned with oil. If that's the case, careful about what you handle while working with them and wash your hands after. (Oil makes for terrible painting surfaces, wash with dish soap before priming if you get minis dirty)
 Here's some hobby metal. It's 40 gauge, which means it's crazy thin - don't handle too roughly or you'll damage it.

(Why can't measurements be real?)
 All you do to use these, is place it against a surface, firmly, and hit the other end with a metal (not rubber) hammer. To make the letters clear and readable, the indent needs to be strong; that means hit the punch hard, so don't miss.

The surface you're punching against should also be strong and able to take this force as well as relatively smooth. (A rough surface will impart it's texture on your metal.) A block of wood's a good choice. I use a glass palette atop my painting area - you can bet I remember to remove it before I start stamping.


Spacing becomes important when you're punching. Starting over with this sort of thing means you've wasted your punching material.

I've cut some paper in the size that I need the wording to fit on. Then, I use a knife to mark the lines I'll be cutting out later as a guide.

This'll take some practice, but spacing and alignment can be tricky. Get the letters as close as possible to each other without overlapping. As you can see on the left, I dropped my "Y" a little.

Punches are usually square so you know which way things are angled. Try to keep your characters straight, unlike the "E" to the side.

Most punch sets are designed to be read from the side you're punching them on. That means the text is sunk into the surface and reads left to right. If your material is thinner, the letters will jut out the other side and be raised. They won't be readable though, because they'll be backwards. (There are probably mirrored punch sets out there though.)

Here's the trick - depending on the letters you use, you can write backwards (right to left) so the letters jut out the other side of thin metal. Interestingly enough, a lot of our alphabet works reversed when using capitals.

Symmetrical: A H I M O T U V W X Y 1 8
Work turned around 180 degrees: B C D E K N S Z 3 5
Can't be turned around: F G J L P Q R 1 2 4 5 6 7 9

Symmetrical letters are the same on both sides if you drew a line down the middle. Other letters can be turned around to face the other direction and still be the same. As you can see, numbers don't reverse as well. (Some numbers might work either way depending on their font, so I've listed them twice.)

After you've got your metal punched, cut it out with a knife if it's thin enough, or use tin snips to cut thicker metal.


And here we have license plates for the Postapocalyptibuggy. "KTHXBYE" - Kind of a modern take on "Eat my dirt!"


Saturday, March 19, 2011


Postapocalyptibuggy [part 7]

The ongoing chronicle and my first attempt at posting Work In Progress shots, this is my entry for the Massive Voodoo Mad Max Car Competition. I'll list them all on my Step by Step page, or you can view the current WIP series.


These steps ended up being shorter than I was expecting. On the bright side, a couple good tutorials came out of it, so wait a bit for it.

 Fire works really well to damage plastic vehicles. Just always be careful when playing working with fire.

I really attacked the body with melting then tearing and hammering. Some very strong damage. Also worked around the windows as if someone tried breaking in.

Dents to the roof too. Same method. Now, before you ask "Who gets their roof dented?" - have you SEEN Road Warrior?
 The rear of the vehicle went together quickly. I felt like assembling it first, and I'll age it next.
The rear bumper doesn't have a lot of work to be done to it, but I do heat up an edge, then slam it into the corner of some wood.

Postapocalyptibuggy [part 6]

The ongoing chronicle and my first attempt at posting Work In Progress shots, this is my entry for the Massive Voodoo Mad Max Car Competition. I'll list them all on my Step by Step page, or you can view the current WIP series.


Oh, this went so well, it was a shame it broke off later when Fire got too close.

So the plan is to take the driver door off. Since the most fragile part will be the section between the door and the front window, I cut it out first.

The cutting is all done by patiently running a knife across the places I want to cut, over and over again. Patiently. It's thinner material.

I've been exploring the use of fire a lot on this project, so I even used it to attach the door. (Still a little glue to make it stronger)
 Y'know what's awesome about this being MY Postapocalyptibuggy?

Gull-wings.

Yeahhhh! :-D
 It's an aged vehicle, so I slice under the trim. It naturally curls up.
 I'm going to add a covering over the top of the front wheel wells. To do this, I cut some strips from paper backing, glue them together and cover them in more glue. I've covered them so there's a better, singular surface, instead of just a few pieces of paper.
 I've got some wire mesh from hobby stores and it's turning into window protectors. Check the placement, then cut it to size.
The windows are glued into place. You can see in the far one that I've also cut/torn them up a little bit.

I create weld and other marks using filler.. I'll probably end up cutting it down some, now that I look at it in this photo.

I've also glued a piece of paper backing across where I drilled bullet holes when doing the inside, and used putty to create the fake weld joints.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Following Trends

In the gaming world, there are plenty of things going on. There are new companies coming into the business, new artists modelling minis, new rulebooks being launched, models being released, new systems and so on. If your blog talks about these things, you'll end up seeing benefits in a number of ways. It does mean a little work - signing up with newsletters, reading forums and keeping up with news. (But maybe you already do all this)

The age of Internet inundates us - there's an information overload in progress. You indexing all this stuff takes a load off your readers shoulders. People like news, geeks like geek news. You keep them interested. It's another form of content that you can deliver. This is the positive way of looking at following trends and it builds loyalty from the people who know they can come to you for that information.

A more selfish way of looking at following trends is search engine traffic. Now keep in mind, I don't get a lot of random traffic from Google - most comes from the awesomess that is everyone reading and following Wargaming Tradecraft and spreading the love. Search engine traffic, while a factor, is a very small source of readers for me. (But I'm not a news site)

You can find these stats and others by visiting http://draft.blogger.com and clicking "Stats". I wrote a single post on New Eldar Unit Rumours (cause I totally taste the rainbow) and look at this list of top all time search keywords - and that's from one post. These days, a single Grey Knight post could net you a few new visitors.

By the way, don't forget to credit where you get your news from - more on that in a later post though.

There are a few things to watch out for when you're the person reporting news. First and foremost, is to watch out for rumours. If nobody trusts your information, it doesn't matter how much you talk about new stuff. To solve this, you'll have to determine the credibility of your sources. Talking about a press release from Games Workshop is one thing, but if you heard it from some guy on a forum who's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate used to work for Games Workshop... maybe you shouldn't race to be the first to report it.

Secondly, keep in mind that there's a lot of sites out there talking about news. You might actually alienate your readers when they have to read through a bunch of blogs all reporting the exact same information. Sure, you can add your own unique view on the information and being the first to report something can be kind of cool, but by the time most get around to reading it, you'd still be just one of many. One way to temper this would be to only report on larger news pieces, so you're not constantly pouring out news.

UPDATE

As Old School Terminator also points out, images are another way to gain extra traffic through this method. Just as many people search for images of this stuff as they look for textual information.


Postapocalyptibuggy [part 5]

The ongoing chronicle and my first attempt at posting Work In Progress shots, this is my entry for the Massive Voodoo Mad Max Car Competition. I'll list them all on my Step by Step page, or you can view the current WIP series.

Going to have more spare time the next while, so expect many more updates on this, especially over the weekend.


Here's some of the stuff I worked with tonight:


We don't see a lot of this in miniature figure plastic sprues, but I've come across a few different parts working on this project like this. It seems for injection, these round dots are attached to a bunch of parts - pay attention so you don't miss removing them. (It's not always this obvious)
 I've glued the firewall on and a few bits to it as well. This was an awkward part to glue as for painting reasons I'm waiting until later to glue the sides on. To make sure everything was lined up, I had to tack the sides in place first.
 Here's the overhead console. Slicing the visor some, then a little bit more fire to make the plastic bendable and the visor flips down.
 Just piecing things together, no gluing, but this is how things are shaping up.
Since the overhead handles are so tiny, I put a couple drops of glue where they'll end up and used tweezers to attach the handles.
 The inside of the front grill with a few parts glued together.
 More inaccuracies with the instructions.

This part here doesn't have anywhere to connect to on the other side... so I've just glued it in place on one side and while everything is propped together, it'll dry.
This is another part that has no chance whatsoever of fitting where the diagram says it should... so I've glued it to another part it connects to, and will use that as the main supporting piece.
The hood with hinges glued on. Not much to say here, but I will return to the hood when it's time to create some more damage.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


House of Paincakes Contest

Apparently I missed plugging this on my weekly update, so I'll tell you all about it here:

The House of Paincakes is having a blogroll naming contest with PRIZES!

For full details, go here: http://www.houseofpaincakes.com/2011/03/blog-roll-naming-contest-fame-and.html

You've got until this coming Monday to get your entries in, so put on your thinking caps. (Not to be confused with your THINKING CAPS)

Monday, March 14, 2011


Weekly Update

Last Week at Wargaming Tradecraft


The Postapocalyptibuggy continues.

I discuss Creating Fake Weld Points, Preventing Super Glue from Drying and Link Within.

Updated my "Supplies" and "Manual Drills" page as I was in a hobby store and actually saw a few in packaging.. apparently they're supposed to be called a "Pin Vice"

Last Week in the Community


Dream Forge games has put out a call to get community support in building their Iron Core system. People who help with anything from rules to typos and eventually beta testing will earn points to track their involvement - These people will then be able to have their names / alias' immortalized in the Iron Core universe.
http://dreamforge-games.blogspot.com/2011/03/ever-want-to-be-immortalized-in-game.html

Also, a final reminder, the 15th is the last day for the Blood of Kittens Meme Contest:
http://bloodofkittens.com/blog/2011/02/16/network-news-adepticon-art-projects-and-prizes/


Tutorials


Ron gives some help painting red: http://blackdotbarrel.blogspot.com/2011/03/red-can-be-elusive-color-to-get-right.html

The Brush Brothers have a very detailed shield painting tutorial: http://thebrushbrothers.blogspot.com/2011/02/shield-freehand-step-by-step.html

MV shows us some flag building http://massivevoodoo.blogspot.com/2011/03/tutorial-how-to-build-up-flag.html

Lauby has a tutorial over at the HoP on painting some Sons of Horus http://www.houseofpaincakes.com/2011/03/user-content-wednesday-painting.html

Ron shows more awesome green stuff sculpting http://blackdotbarrel.blogspot.com/2011/03/sculpting-scrollwork-and-other-elements.html

A beautiful step by step from PaintingMum http://paintingmum.blogspot.com/2011/02/mega-tutorial-how-i-painted-54mm.html

via The Trading Post:
Nesbet shows off making a light box, taking pictures and editing pictures.
http://nesbetminiatures.blogspot.com/2011/02/tutorial-miniature-photography-part-1.html
http://nesbetminiatures.blogspot.com/2011/03/tutorial-miniature-photography-part-2.html
http://nesbetminiatures.blogspot.com/2011/03/tutorial-miniature-photography-part-3.html
(For a little more of a condensed tutorial, take a look at mine)


Gallery


Think you're good with tiny tools? http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/the-book-surgeon-15-pieces

Karitas has painted up some nice looking Sentinels http://excommunicatetratoris.blogspot.com/2011/03/sentinel-squadron.html

Musing


Loq talks about getting free stuff over at the HoP http://www.houseofpaincakes.com/2011/03/gaming-on-budget-getting-stuff-for-free.html

James at Warp Signal has an interesting comparison of Dune to 40k http://warpsignal.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/unseen-influences-frank-herberts-dune/

The anatomy of a good player: http://captureandcontrol.blogspot.com/2011/03/anatomy-of-good-player.html

Gamer Psychology: http://needsmoregrimdark.blogspot.com/2011/03/using-gamer-culture-against-gamer.html

Gaming


Studio McVey has released it's FREE Sedition Wars ruleset here. Their models are a little expensive, but look great and are quite detailed.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Cleaning Your Files

A file is a tool that's generally pretty sturdy. They're made out of steel, they're strong, won't bend or break and just keep on working. This makes it a tool you're going to have around for quite some time, and like anything they'll stop working as well as when you initially bought them.


Eventually, your file ends up with a smooth(ish) surface and it stops filing. Usually your file is fine; the metal isn't worn down, what's happened is residue from all the stuff you've filed off fills the rough surface. That's all the junk you now need to clean out, but it'll be in there pretty good considering the force you use a file with.

Water? Maybe - but you want to avoid rust. (and a file will chew through a Rust Eraser) Sponges? A file will tear them up. Another file! Well, kind of. Obviously another normal file will just grind and destroy both your files.

There are tools for cleaning files. They're not very expensive, and can be found at hardware or surplus stores. I found mine at Princess Auto, a rather large tool chain up here in Canada.

Looks like a filled pin cushion with a handle. The pins are weak enough to avoid damaging your files and small enough to rub away all the gunk.
To use it, hold the file or the brush and rub the other against it quickly and with some force.

Pay attention to the angle you use. You may have to rotate them to find out what works best. Files have different patterns that make up the rough areas. Sometimes rubbing with the "grain" is best, other times against.
The files won't be perfect, as there is wear on them as you use them, especially when you're using files on other metals like pewter. However, when you're done, you'll notice a significant improvement.


Thursday, March 10, 2011


LinkWithin

How many times do you visit a website, read an article and then close the window/tab? Often enough probably. That's exactly what other people are doing when they visit your website. They don't realize what other treasures you have and often don't feel like spending the time to find out. (It's an unfortunate reality)

There's an awesome Widget out there called LinkWithin that will add a hook to the bottom of each of your posts that will display similar articles. They won't appear in your RSS, just your website, which is ok because people in RSS are already following your site and have probably already put some effort into exploring it. These hooks grab visitors attention and give them an easy way to explore other posts you've written, increasing the chance they'll become a regular reader.

It looks like this:


If you monitor your site stats, (http://draft.blogger.com) internal referrals from these links will show up as from "widget.linkwithin.com". In just a few days of adding it, the widget became number 2 on my Weekly Top Referral stat, within a week it's number 7 for overall referrals, which shows it's doing it's job and readers are finding more use from Wargaming Tradecraft than ever before!


Just visit the LinkWithin website and sign up using the simple form located there.

You don't have to create an account and there's no password to remember. Just fill in the fields and you'll be directed back to Blogger a LinkWithin widget will be added. (They suggest dragging it under your "Blog Posts" object for maximum compatibility)


Curious as I was about how as a free service they intend to make money, I took this from their FAQ:
"6. Are there ads in the widget? How do you make money?
We plan to introduce revenue-sharing features in the future, but they will be optional."

My guess is they're waiting for Google to approach them with a fat cheque.
.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Preventing Super Glue from Drying Out

We all know the usefulness of super glue. In any situation where you want to glue two objects together, super glue will make a strong bond. Only when both parts are plastic do you want to use plastic glue.

But how often does your super glue dry out or harden?

Glue with a clear spout lets you see the glue and dried areas, which helps you track down signs the glue will dry out.

Cleaning this is actually rather easy, it's just a matter of remembering to do the work. Every time you use your glue, take a close look and watch for slightly darker rings that weren't there before.

If any are found, face the bottle up then squeeze on the bottle a little bit, then unsqueeze. Repeat this step as many times as it takes for the bubble to go away. It'll either drop down into the bottle or work it's way up to the tip, creating a little bubbling super glue - so don't have it too close to you; don't want it getting on you / in your eyes.

Afterwards, quickly squeezing the super glue should expel the air from the bottle, and suck air back inside - making a wheezing sound. (Don't squeeze it too far, don't want to squirt super glue) If you don't hear this, you have a blockage. (hopefully still wet and not dried inside.

Just remember to always do all this after using super glue, and to look close. (Just use the listen test quickly)

Having some long pins on hand can also help remove clogs or pop spout glue out. Worst case will mean using pliers to cut off the spout at wherever the glue has dried.


Postapocalyptibuggy [part 4]

The ongoing chronicle and my first attempt at posting Work In Progress shots, this is my entry for the Massive Voodoo Mad Max Car Competition. I'll list them all on my Step by Step page, or you can view the current WIP series.



Today I worked on the inside of the truck. So, mostly seats. All the seats get their backs glued on. They don't line up perfectly, but after the glue dries, just scrape or cut the mold lines away.

For the back seat, I start by creating a spring sticking through the material. This is done by hand drilling a hole then wrapping a thin wire around a second larger wire and glueing the newly created spring in place. On the passenger side, I cut holes in the head rest (using pliers) and the back of the seat (cutting and digging with a knife) and cover them with some fluff from a Q-tip.


I'm not sure how that fluff'll prime, but I'll try it and see. I'm thinking that'll be bullet damage... we'll see what happens when I paint it all up. At most maybe some stains - nothing like the pop-tart scene from Pulp Fiction.

Next up is the driver's seat.

Now, I'm a tall guy, so that headrest is going to be too low for me. By scoring it a few times with a knife (running the blade across it, cutting a little deeper each time) I can just fold the headrest off. A serrated knife would work too.

The headrest and chair have their backs glued on. To make room for the raisers, I make sure to cut holes so the wire will fit. I glue the thick wire for the head rest, then glue the actual head rest on.

These are probably old chairs and need some patching. America may have Tim the Toolman Taylor, but in Canada, we have Red Green. That means Duct Tape; lots of Duct Tape. For scale, I use masking tape cut into small strips. Now, something to realize about masking tape is that it's good at masking - obvious, I know, but I point it out because if you don't apply a little super glue after it's on, the tape will peel off after it's painted. Use a paper towel to pat down the glue and absorb the excess.

I also super glue some small paper squares to the back of the chair, and after it dries, apply more super glue, then use tweezers to fold/curve them down. (As if some books were tucked in the holder behind the chair)

I end up assembling the passenger seat relatively plainly. A tip for roughly up plastic surfaces rather quickly:

Apply some plastic glue in small drops randomly. Follow this by using your finger or a tool to rub the glue around and watch it eat/melt the plastic and drying quickly. Since plastic glue actually eats/melts plastic, this creates a rough surface. I do this to most of the inner pannelling and some spots on the chairs.



The center console's a little sparse, so I add a few things. First is a cup made from a Q-tip's wood, the top drilled in some to create a rim, and voila! a Mug. 

Second is a fold-up map. This is made by folding up some paper like a map would be, applying some super glue inside and holding it closed with tweezers for a bit. I think glue this on top of the console.
I'm planning on leaving the driver door open, so I score it a few times before folding it back and peeling the door right off.

The other section I rough up some, as if someone unloaded on it from the outside. I also melt the panel a little and push it out... bullet force is enough to at least partially pop car panels off.

(There's nothing like finding bullet-riddled cars abandoned on company property while doing the rounds to make for an interesting day)


To make things easier to paint, I'm not going to glue these larger sections together. To see what they look like though, I use white tack to make it all stick together. (blue tack is oily and should be avoided - think of it like eating chips then handling your minis) HOWEVER, the downside of gluing it together later is that when everything's nice and painted, I'll have to scrape sections and glue plastic - this means being more careful.

I meant to note in the last step that I haven't glued the steering wheel column on for a reason. The section with all the dials is provided as a decal.. I don't do decals. So, I'll leave that area open and paint it later, while a wheel would block it, making it a real pain to work in.

I also haven't decided if I'm going to fill this up with junk supplies, so I'll decide on that later.



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