Sunday, January 25, 2015

Writing Through

Just as I wrote before about outlining, now I’m thinking about the idea of ‘writing fearlessly.’  I can’t remember who I heard the term from, but after the last bout of writing, which felt like crap to start with but ended fairly decent (I think), I know what it means. 

It means to just write.  Put words down.  They may be/will be crap.  Or brilliant.  Or just more and more words.  Every time I’ve sat down and looked at a scene and said "how the hell am I going to sort that one out?" I’ve managed to just start writing.  Then, of course, I’d delete the sentence I just wrote and rewrite it.  Maybe I’d leave that one, then do (and re-do) the next.  The third one, maybe I’ll keep that.  The fourth isn’t bad either.  The fifth sentence; woah nelly where did that dialogue come from?   Ugh.  Let’s rewrite that, but the sixth is actually pretty good.  And so on.

Anything can be fixed.  That’s what I tell myself, and I’m quite confident it can be.  Maybe not enough on this piece of work, but on the next, and the next, and the next.  Practice and persistence.

Writing fearlessly means pushing through to the end and pushing aside those doubts and the need to constantly make it better.  Finish first, improve after.

At least with the outline, I know where I’m going, so I don’t have to think about what is going to happen in a scene.  I only need to fill it out and make the scene happen.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fuegan, the Burning Lance

Another post with finished models.  While I didn't get much writing done in the last few days, I've been productive at the painting table.  Here's some shots of the Eldar Phoenix Lord I've been working on (by working on I mean that I did most of him a while ago, then finished the last few bits recently).

The photo setup isn't the greatest, but it seems to have worked with just a backdrop of white paper and the camera with flash.  I still need to trial some different methods of taking pictures of models, but for today it'll do as I've got a bunch of other things on my plate.

I'd say he looks pretty good.  For those who are interested, the main colour is P3 Khador Red Highlight.  The gun is P3 Blighted Gold (sweet colour for that ancient look) and the green trim is P3 Iosan Green.  It should be noted that the Space Marine helmet on the base is done in the colours of one of my most excellent foes, a Dark Angels successor chapter.  Fuegan has waded through many of those warriors, and it's a good way to 'poke' my friend, with whom I had a good narrative campaign going.  Also, the GW technical Blood Spatter paint makes for good blood dripping out of the helmet.

That's all for now.  More on the painting of a wizard character I have later.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Comic book shelves

One of the projects I was working on around the house before I was deployed was a set of shelves to hold my comic book collection.  Turns out the design I worked out fit in the basement pretty well.  Sadly I didn't take many in-progress shots, but I was more concerned with getting them done (and the basement was a mess as I had to build and sort/shelve as I went).

It was designed to hold the long comic boxes (roughly 30 inches long), three per shelf.  I tested the first shelf just on two beams with three boxes, and I couldn't detect any sagging or deflection, so I know these are sturdy.

As it turns out, they also hold an assortment of other things, including Sterilite brand bins we picked up at Wal-Mart.  With three of these we have lots more storage, rather than the disorganized mess of moving boxes and other stuff.  Much better.  If the ceiling were higher I could put another row on top, but c'est la vie.  I'll have to wait until the next house.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Photo Box

Back again.  What a year!

Since the last time I posted, I was posted to HMCS Regina as the Assistant Engineering Officer, and deployed for NATO Operation Active Endeavour.  That took from May to September.  As a short notice posting it totally threw the plan for the early part of the year.  Believe me, when I came back from four and half months of 24/7 work, I spend my post-deployment leave thoroughly enjoying myself.  Good intentions to post notwithstanding, I didn't even get in any gaming.  I just spent time with my family, worked around the house and generally chilled out.

As the days go on, I'll put up some of the more interesting photos from our various ports of call.

However, for this post I'll show you the photo box I've made.  The plan for it came from Privateer Press' magazine No Quarter issue #53, dedicated to all things PP (Warmachine, Hordes, et al.).  The concept is to have a box, with paper sides, that allows the light to be more evenly diffused so that photos of miniatures look more 'even' and hopefully aren't tinted as much by the bulb colour.  So, without further ado, here's the glorious box (and the two desk lights that will be the first light sources):

Here's a look at the two miniatures without the benefit of a photo box.  This is just with the desk lights, though I did try to angle them beneficially for the light.

Now we have the same photo, only with the two of them in the photo box.

This photo is a bit dim, though the light is diffused and there are no glares.  I moved the lower lights so that they were down at miniature level.

This gives the final results:

It's better, but still a bit dim.  I'll have to play a bit with the combinations to see what lights up the models well but without creating the glare from the first photo.  At least it's a start.  Maybe invest in a higher power lamp too, but we'll see.

The box itself is just a moving box (almost rid of those!), with the sides cut out and tracing paper put over the holes.  I used tracing paper rather than regular printer paper as advised in the NQ article as I found I would have to overlap the papers to cover the hole completely.  I was afraid of either darkening the light or creating a shadow line in the photo.  I also didn't feel like buying a whole ream of 11x17" paper, which I can't feed through my printer and wouldn't really use for much.  Tracing paper I already had on hand.

I may need a smaller box, as this one might be too wide, forcing me to keep the lights too distant to avoid shadows.  If the sides of the box were closer, I could have the lights closer, even if I have to back them away from the paper a bit.  More experimentation is needed.

The models are characters I painted for my daughters in the Pathfinder Roleplaying game campaign we play at home.  Since I hadn't really photographed them before, and they're some fine looking minis, I figured they'd be good test subjects.

Fore those who care, the models are: 03574 - Juliette, Wizard (as my daughter's character Ezreth) and 03566 - Valloa, Elf Thief (as my other daughter's character Merisiel), both in pewter from Reaper Miniatures .

Next up will be some larger models.  Maybe some warjacks will do better in the larger box.

After that, some photos and drawings of the comic box shelves I built over the last year.