Times Gone By

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Feeding Imagination

IMG_6185.JPG    So over the last few months I’ve been using my free time here and there. A couple of hours of an evening. Or perhaps a half day or so when I have time off work. So what have I been doing? Five packs of anti-fatigue foam. A short section of hose. Two 12cm polystyrene balls. Some nylon nuts & bolts. Some craft knives. Some jogging trousers. Some plastic buckles. Some webbing straps. Two milk bottle tops (red). A copious amount of glue. And a pair of my old sandals.

The end result? A rather happy young lad. Totally worth it :D

The Emperor Protects! IMG_6200.JPGIMG_6207.JPG For The Emperor! IMG_6208.JPG

For a first build I’d have to say it’s not too bad. Some things worked really well. The elbow joints. Other parts did not work out. The back pack is just too far off centre. So the balance of the upper torso is just pants. But it was easily unbolted. And it even survived more than two hours of “Testing” :D

 

Images uploaded and posted with kind permission of the mini Marine’s parents – October 2013

Nearly finished the MKVII Aquila Space Marine

So the shell is practically done. After several months of an evening here and there. Taking time when I had time off from work. The last of the templates has been cut out. The foam cut. And the pieces glued together. So now I have an idea of exactly how big this thing is going to be. Now the fun part of figuring out how to join all the pieces together. I’m thinking nylon strap webbing and plastic buckles to hold the shoulders in place. And possibly some jogging bottoms and Velcro for the legs. As for the monster huge boots. I have an idea involving an old pair of jaywalkers. Hopefully the young lad that will be getting this will like it.

The Emperor Protects!

Mini Space Marine

Mini Space Marine

Fun With Foam

This is proofing to be a lot of fun. I can certainly begin to see the appeal of Cos-Play. If you need convincing then I certainly advise you to go and over to YouTube and search for “Sneaky Zebra”. They have a couple of montage videos of the comic-cons. Anyhoo, for me I’m yet to get serious about my build of a Space Marine from the Space Wolf chapter. After building 5 helmets and a bolt pistol, I know I have a long way to go. And to that end I’m guinea pigging a small child who also happens to be a 40K fanatic. So at the moment I’ve Shandeighed some one’s garage (as I ran out of room in my kitchen), and I’m doing a scaled down version of Mr Pilerud Pepakura build. I’m using foam anti-fatigue flooring squares. A lot of sharp blades. And a good mot melt glue gun. So far I’ve got the arms done, although I’m still to figure out how to get them to join and articulate. The shoulder pads. And the torso. There is certainly an easier way to do this. Looking at the RPF forums, there are a couple of Space Marine builds where they have used a much simpler cut pattern. Just I can’t see any downloads of the actual sizing. So I’ll stick the the Pepakura designs and modify as I go.

IMG_6050 IMG_6055 IMG_6062   Frustrating at times, but still fun :D

May The Force Be With You

HAPPY JEDI DAY! :D

Still not a strong helmet

EVA Foam & Paper

And in a completely different fantasy realm, I appear to be making helmets. I finished an EVA foam helmet in blue. And I’m just about three quarters of the way through another foam helmet. It seems that the more of them I do, the more I realize where I went wrong with my first build. But with no instructions there is quite a bit of guess work involved. So inevitably the whole process has quite a bit of trial and error for me. I’ve never done anything like this before. But I can tell you it’s becoming a lot of fun :)

So I think I’ll finish off the other EVA foam helmet. And then look at getting some 20mm EVA foam and possibly tackling a bolt pistol. I’m definitely going to need some more glue. And maybe a heat gun. And a lot of luck :D

I’m Having A Daft Idea

Hiya people. I know it’s been a while. Sorry :(

But I’m having a daft idea. It goes a bit like this. There is a very talented chap who has made an incredible 40K Space Marine outfit.

Just awesome

Take a look. So this got me thinking ” I wanna give that a shot”. As normal parts of my brain came up with “It’s beyond your abilities”, “You’ll never make anything even half as good”. But then I also found I though..

“Why not?”

So I did a bit of reading. Looked at the videos and photos. Had a look at the software that does the modle stuff. And then the next thing you know, it’s gone 2:00am and you have a bit of a MK7 helmet sitting on your desk made of nothing more than A4 paper, sellotape and PritStick.

It begins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the next day I find that I’ve got to get the thing finished as I want to be able to make a mug of tea.

I want the sweetner back

 

 

 

 

 

And then not long after that it’s silly ‘o clock in the morning and a beer or two later and you have a finished item.

Finished

 

 

 

 

 

OK, I cant see out.

Am I facing the right way?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But a beanie hat later and I can :D

I can see out

That just about wraps it up for 2012

That's it for 2012

Happy New Year

As the last few hours of 2012 slip by, I find myself thinking back a little further than I usually do. Typically this time of year will be filled with “My top ten (insert subject here) of (insert year hear)”. And then there is the aftermath of the Christmas experience and the Boxing day sales. Which is always an eye opener. Or maybe the more pressing matter of the end of year booze up. In short, reflection is not something that should happen at this time of year.

For me, I look back on the last year and in all honesty, it’s been pretty awesome. I’m relatively good health. I still have a home. The job still brings in money. Ok, so I didn’t win the lotto. But there is always next year. In all honesty, other people lives have been a lot more interesting than my own. But then again, they don’t have such awesome hats :)

So in a year of ups & downs, the over all balance is good. I hope you all had a good year. And that the next and following years continue to get better and better.

Keep Grinning,

:D

Have You Seen This Man?

Do not tickle his ears

Do Not Feed

So I recently discovered you can have a fantastic giggle for less than £24. Now there is a product range made by a company call “Spirit Hoods”. Some really cool stuff. But outside of a sale, then there’s nothing there for less than £100. Which is a lot for a fury hat & scarf + mittens combo. So thankfully there is usually a cheaper alternative. This came through  via Amazon. A company call “Grind Store” had a nearly suspiciously identical range of fury head-ware. But at £19.99 a time, considerably more affordable. Now there is the triangle of life. Good. Fast. Cheap. And you can only have two out of three at any one time. So I put in an order on the premiss of at less than £24 with postage, I won’t be disappointed if the quality isn’t that great. So it arrived in good time. It’s well put together. It’s certainly warm & cosy. But above all it gets a giggle.

Practice safe sun

Drive by grinning

In the few weeks that I’ve had this hat the response from other people has been awesome. Typically if you wave a paw at some one, they will smile and wave back. Young or old. Although to be fair I did get a very disgusted look from some middle aged fella at my local Tesco.

But there was the couple in the car behind me at the lights that laughed when I waved a paw at them as they over took me later on. The transit full of builders that were smiling at the loony with the fury hat with the ears. The lady at the post office who went from neutral, nearly pissed off, facial expression to doubled over with laughter. The ladies at my Barclays bank who actually got me to bend over the counter so as to tickle me behind my ears. By contrast, the young lady working in the Halifax managed to keep a straight face and remain professional. The lady in Thorntons who instructed her boyfriend to select her a hat from the fury range for her Christmas present. The fellas stuck in traffic as I was walking by, that grinned & waved back from me walking by. Even a got a grin of a couple of police officers as they drove past. The surprised old lady that did a double take as I stepped out of the hair dressers. But I’ve got to say hat off to her for the quick comment she came out with. “You’d better go back in sun shine, they’ve not done a very good job”. Totally worth it :D

So if you see a grinning loony roaming around the place. it may just well be me. And there are more hats to get. Oh yes. If I’d known that there was a Tiger one I’d have brought that. The more ginger the better. So I’m going to see if I can convince Santa that I’ve mostly been a good boy this year, and see if I get a Tiger one for Christmas. Or maybe the bear? Or the Husky? Drat. Too many to choose from. I blame Team Fortress 2. It’s all about the hats :)

That quick job that takes 6 hours

Washer Dryer

Surprisingly cunning

As is seeming to be the norm, days off are just as full as working days.  More so in some cases. So for me it’s the delight of being on holiday. So I managed a bit of a lie in. Which is always nice. And let my mind try and piece together a sequence of events that would satisfy my needs for domestic compliance & fun. Now I’ll be honest, as I lie there this morning staring at the ceiling and thinking of my day ahead, I had zero intention of taking my washer dryer to bits. Now I had planed on several laundry tasks. But it wasn’t to involve spanners.

Now my lovely Zanussi Jet-system 1600 washer dryer has a bit of a personality. In that if I want it to dry my cloths. Then simply putting my laundry into the machine and pressing the correct button would be just too easy. You see, inside there is a spinney thingy. And it likes to seize up. Now originally when this first happened, a nice professional man came out to my home. Pulled the machine out of it’s little home under the counter. Took the lid off. Tinkered with something and good things happened. A year later it did it again. Another man from the same company came out and did pretty much the same thing. But a couple of weeks later it went back to not drying my cloths. So I decided to save myself £80, and I pulled the machine out and took of the lid and freed off the stiff spinney thingy. And this worked. But time has passed and it’s got worse & worse. To the extent that every time I want to use the washing machine, I need to drag it out, take the lid off, free of the blower mechanism and put it back together and push it back under the counter. This has taken it’s toll on the kitchen floor. That on a very hot summer’s day led me to get a steam cleaner out to remove the glued on floor tiles that had been stuck over the original floor. So a really stupid plan of mine.

So with a mind to do a bit of laundry, I found myself pondering the possibility of a future where a considerable amount of physical exertion would not be required prior to loading my dirty cloths into the washer. So I found myself looking this machine of mine over. Trying to figure out how the hell to take it to bits. And this is where you can feel the different sides of your mind weighing up the possible future. Because lets face it. If this goes wrong. Well I’m sure it would make a good spectator sport. But for me it will be no fun as I flood my downstairs neighbor and try and figure a way to explain this to the insurance company.

So safety first kids. Turn it off at the mains and unplug it from the wall. And while your there, turn off the water supply too. then there was just the problem of how the hell do you get into the thing? For the first time in a long time, Google did not come to the rescue. Typically you can put anything in to Google and there will be a post, or a photo, or a video. I was hoping for some sort of diagram. Nope, no luck there. Strangely the image search got photos of TVs. Eventually there was a forum where the users spoke in part numbers. After several mugs of tea, I was under the impression the back came off some how. More team and I’d given it a go. Had to go and get my mechanical tool box out of the storage cupboard. Yes I have several tool boxes. A general on for the house. My electronics one that lives in the car, as it’s mainly for work. And a mechanical one that is a throw back to the early years of my life where I had a 1979 British Lay-land Mini. It was my first car. I was the 14th owner in (then) 16 years. And a full tool box and a Haynes Manual were essential. But as I have had cars that are capable of surviving a simple journey, I’ve not had much use for the spanners and socket sets. So that tool box lives out in the cupboard.

Now I had taken off all the bolts I could find that seemed to hold the back panel on. But for no amount of twiddling and eventual brute force, I could not get the back panel off. Determined not to be beaten I refueled with tea and headed back top the forum of washing machine part numbers. Eventually there was the “EUREKA” moment. A small comment about hidden bolts. Hidden bolts FFS! And yes, on closer inspection on both the left and right hand side of the back panel were two plastic covers that hid bolts the secured the panel to the frame. Well after that it was full steam ahead. And then I got to see what 8 years of hidden gunk looks like. What’s worse was it was all my own work. So stripping the assembly apart and cleaning out fist fulls of congealed fluff, hair and soap was not what I had planned that morning. But I did eventually find out what had been going on with the blower.

Once upon a time I put sugar soap in the machine so as to clean it out. What I didn’t know was when this stuff evaporates it leaves a crystalline structure on practically everything. This is a great surface for trapping debris, like fluff & hair. This eventually builds up and hinders the blowers ability to spin. So cleaning out all that crap as well has left things spinning freely. Then all I had to do was remember how it came apart and put it back together.

Well it’s that moment where you double check everything for the fifth time. After all we are dealing with water and electricity. Who are great friends and get along like a house on fire. So I took the opportunity to familiarize myself with the trip switches in the fuse box and dust off the fire extinguisher before I turned anything on. And nothing went “BANG!” and the floor stayed dry. So I ran it empty on a hot & quick wash, and nothing was a miss. I tested the dryer, and it made all the right noises, but quieter. So the job that was going to be a quick tinker took 6 hours, including cleaning up the mess.

All I’ve got to do now is hope that the evil bugger isn’t lulling me into a false sense of security and waiting for me to go off to bed before pissing it’s self all over the floor and then burning the house down.

Swimming – Now with free kitty

Sleeping cats make operating pedals tricky

How do cats find the weirdest places to sleep?

So the boring diet and the futile attempts at exercise continue. Over the years I have slowly come round to the idea that it might be prudent to look after my self. After all, I don’t have a spare body. So this has seen a departure from fizzy drinks. Swapping sugar for sweetener. And purely on a financially motivated footing, stopped smoking. Although to be fair I’m lieing to myself. I’m just telling myself I’m conducting an experiment to see how long I can go with out a smoke. Up to nearly two years now.

But there is a draw back to all of this. And as my tongue is not being subjected to a barrage of chemicals, I have found that food tastes awesome. Which led to 4 extra stone. Not great for those feeling of self esteem. Hence the boring diets. But we all know the equation. Burn more energy that you take in = eventual weight loss. Take in more than you gain = plus size clothing shopping and an aversion to mirrors. So in my case I peaked at 17 and a bit stone.

Now I don’t have a target weight in mind. The jumped up white tea tray of the Wii fit board did recon that I should be 11 and a half stone. Screw that! The only time I was near that weight in my adult life was when I was very ill. So I’ll settle for being able to see my toes without having to bend forward and breath in.

This has led me to walking places instead of driving. Taking stairs when it’s practical. Being mindful of what I eat. So being hungry and out in the field, don’t get a chocolate bar. Avoid the fast food burger chains. We all know the gig. But it’s dull as hell.

But time passes and things get a little more easy. And then I started using a cross trainer 3 times a week for a 10 minuet session at a time. Doesn’t seem like much, but it’s beginning to add up. Now a couple of months ago I met up with my friend up north, and she suggested that we go swimming. Now I hadn’t been swimming in years. At least 10, possibly longer. But I agreed to it. And it was a lot of fun. Ok a little embarrassing in that my friend still smokes roll ups and has better lung capacity and endurance than I do. And I’m the one that’s supposed to be getting healthy. But that aside, I felt good afterwards. So I figured swimming would be something that I could continue to do back home.

So after a good Google search or two, several local swimming pools were located. So I chose the nearest one. It’s at a local school. So a little odd as everything is on kiddie scale. And there is no lockers there. So trying to stuff everything into a small bag was a challenge. And it was a nice enough pool. Ok, I wasn’t expecting it only to be 3 foot deep in the shallow end. So getting in and still being bone dry above the waist was unexpected. But quite a few ungraceful lengths later of sort of breast stroke, I figured I was exhausted enough. So after showering and getting changed I headed back to the car.

Form out of the shadows trotted a tiny kitty. It looked at me and went “Meep!”. So I crouched down and said hello. This was a mistake. As the kitty bounded over. Climbed up my leg and then my front and proceeded to sent every last part of my head. Affectionate little bugger :) So after a while it used it’s Jedi powers of cuteness and ended up curled up in my arms. It didn’t seem bothered when I straightened up and started walking to the car. It didn’t even mind as I got in.

Not driving now

Not going anywhere? Why not let a random cat sleep in you car?

In fact it decided that the foot well would be an ideal place to take a nap. Now this was going to make driving a bit of a challenge. So after a while I thought “I know, I’ll start the engine. That’ll make it get out”. Nope. Barely stirred. In fact as the heater now started blowing It just became more fluffy. And being a complete softy when it comes to cats, I was battling with the thought processes involved in disturbing it but picking it up vs cat-napping it and taking it home. Thankfully there were a group of ladies in the car park. So I reluctantly picked up the sleeping cat, and gently set it down in the car park. It gave me a very confused look. But moments later it spotted the group of ladies on the other side of the car park. So it trotted over. Rubbed up against the first leg it found. Sat in the middle of them. Went “Meep”. And was promptly picked up and cuddled 7 seconds later.

Slowly getting back to normal

Well I’m just about getting this site back to how it was. I had very limited time before I went away on holiday. I left Saturday night and got back today. So after doing some domestic chores. Chatting to BT and getting a better deal that will save me a £110 per year. I thought I’d better get this site sorted. So thankfully the back up isn’t that old. And a stroke of luck in that my Google reader still has the missing posts. So I’ve managed to update the theme and some of the links. Although I can’t get the gallery working. But that will have to wait. So at the moment there are some very unfinished old posts. Not ideal, but I needed some place holders.

So in lue of incomplete posts and no storys of awesome from being up near Hull, here is a picture of a giant teddy bear sitting in the passenger seat of a car in the Morrison’s car park in Evesham…

Fluffy passengger

Teddy gets a lift in a BMW