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Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Five Heavy Duty Consoles

I've painted some heavy duty consoles, as they're named in Fallout: Wasteland Warfare. I imagine these are used to operate power plants and rocket launch facilities, etc. Lots and lots of fiddly details threatening eyestrain for these guys, but they turned out sharp and clean. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024


Dad would have been 82 today. Here's a nice photo of Dad in his natural environment by Mom. He loved the outdoors. 

Monday, January 29, 2024

Walk Don't Walk

My freehand painting needs a little work, as exemplified by my attempts to paint "Walk" and "Don't Walk" lights.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Two-Horse Town

Here's a pair of horsies, happily galloping through flowery fields. What idyllic lives they lead! 

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Red Rowboat

Here we have a shockingly red rowboat. Why red? I'm tired of painting floating things brown. 

Friday, January 26, 2024

Ejector Seats

As Sylvia and I were talking about playing "Danger Zone" through the speaker systems of vehicles experiencing turbulence or collision hazards, I started thinking about the ruckus such a system would cause on passenger jets. At that moment, another ridiculous idea occurred to me: fighter pilots get ejector seats, so why shouldn't the pilots of commercial airliners? I imagine it would be way too expensive to make every seat on an airliner an ejector seat, but surely you could do so for the pilots and maybe the flight engineer. When all hope is lost, why not save two or three people instead of zero people? 

I suppose knowing pilots can bail out the moment a flight starts to go wrong might make passengers a little nervous, but surely most people would eventually see the utilitarian value of the concept. 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Collision Alarm

Imagine this: new safety rules mandate that all vehicles be required to start playing the chorus of Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" whenever some kind of accident is about to happen, or has the potential to happen. How pumped and powerful and ready for action would you feel if your car or 747 suddenly started blaring "Highhhhway to the DANGER ZONE" at maximum volume? Adrenalin would flood your system, giving you the split-section reaction time you need to pull yourself straight out of that danger zone! Plus, you can enjoy the screams of your passengers. 

Special thanks to Sylvia for workshopping this idea with me. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

A Big Heart on an Orange Sleeve

Maybe it's just because I watched this movie at a very vulnerable moment with low expectations, but I was shocked to find myself loving Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom


Sincerity and genuine heroism. Above all else, a superhero movie should feature heroism, and far too often in this genre we've gotten what I would call surface-level heroism without the heart--witness especially the DC films of Zack Snyder. 

Yes, this movie is silly and cheesy, but it embraces those qualities and invites you to participate in that silliness. There's a moment where two characters reconcile and seal that reconciliation by shaking hands, and their gauntlets go "clang." But by that point of the film, you KNOW those gauntlets are going to clang, and it's okay because that's the tone this movie sets. 

But beyond the cheese we have a story about the importance of empathy and forgiveness told through the lens of broken families and climate catastrophe. There are no subtle metaphors here, but given the issues presented, I'm fine with that. 

This movie touched me with its aspirational qualities.  Too often, superheroes are really just keepers of the status quo who get involved in senseless fistfights, resulting in tremendous property damage and (presumably) loss of life. There are, of course, battles in this film, but the motivations feel organic and the crises authentic. Is it cheesy to call for a more united world? Is it silly to imagine people working together to fight climate change? 

Maybe what I appreciate most is that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom isn't cynical; it doesn't try to be profound or gritty. Everything's on the surface--despite the movie being set underwater. 

Say what you will about the uneven quality of the DC Extended Universe films, but the project gave us a handful of good to great movies, and with this one, at least the DCEU ends on a high note.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Earl's Rational Chili


2 lbs extra lean ground beef
2 cans brown beans
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp salt
2 cans bolognaise sauce
1 can pomodoro sauce
2 cups water
1 green bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 Spanish onion
5 green onions
2 cups shredded cheese
1 cup sour cream

Stir ground beef, beans, bolognaise sauce, pomodoro sauce, and water in a frying pan over high heat until beef is browned. Chop vegetables into small pieces and add to frying pan. Add spices. Stir for another five minutes. 

Put everything in a slow cooker for two hours. Remove and let cool for five minutes; add shredded cheese and sour cream as toppings. Serves 1-25 depending on portion size. 

Monday, January 22, 2024

Dumpster Trio

They're dumpsters, they have no lids, there's no garbage in them. But I like how they look so far--very "urban grime." 

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Ancient Sentrybot

Here's a sentry bot that's been hanging round for hundreds of years, wandering without purpose. As a result, it's covered in rust and mud and fuel stains. I tried to make the left machine gun barrel look like it was glowing from just having been fired, but alas, the effect isn't terribly convincing. Next time...


Saturday, January 20, 2024

A Pair of Radscorpions

I get a little freaked out whenever a radscorpion starts chasing me in one of the Fallout games. It makes a horrid chittering noise as it charges, and it skitters in a beeline toward you so fast that before you know it, it's driving its stinger into you, delivering an unhealthy does of lethal poison. Plus, they're just plain ugly. Yuk! 

Painting these was pretty simple; I just primed them in black and drybrushed Dark Reaper over the bodies to create highlights. I spent more time on the bases. 

Friday, January 19, 2024

Mirelurk Hunters

Here's a jolly pair of loathsome, clickety-clackety mirelurk hunters. I'm quite pleased with the look of the eyes. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Two-Fisted Gunslinging

Can't choose between energy weapons and good old-fashioned slug throwers? Why not pack one in each hand? 

(Recommended for fantasy violence only, of course.) 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Taste the Nuka-Rainbow

For some reason I have extra Nuka-Cola vending machines. Rather than paint them all the standard red and white, I decided to paint a few in the livery of different Nula-Cola flavours. 

Left to Right: Nuka-Cola, Nuka-Cherry, Nuka-Grape, Nuka-Cola Victory, Nuka-Cola Quantum, Nuka-Cola Orange, and regular Nuka-Cola again. 

Monday, January 15, 2024

Rocket Launcher

Here's another denizen of the wasteland, all nicely wrapped up in power armour and armed with a rocket launcher, perhaps the second-most weapon in Fallout. I like painting folks in power armor because they're great for experimenting with different colour schemes. 

I painted the parts for these guys while still on the sprues, which makes it much easier to get full coverage and to use different colours for different parts without spilling paint onto surfaces where you don't want it. 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Man with a Mini-Nuke

The mini-nuke launcher is one of the most potent weapons in Fallout, and now I have a painted model to carry that power into the battlefield. Kaboom! 

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Fury of Dracula Playing Pieces

These Fury of Dracula pieces are about half the size of the 28 to 32 mm figures I usually paint, so the details aren't terribly fine. Still, I think these look okay for what they are, and better than plain grey plastic. 

Friday, January 12, 2024

Public Access Terminal

Strictly for the proles, i.e., 99% of us in the dystopian cyberpunk times to come. 

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Secure Cyberpunk Terminal

The Leadbelcher primer cracked a little bit, but I like the texture it left behind, so I decided to just paint some spot colour overtop. Don't hack this terminal! 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Cyberpunk Three-Sided Terminal

Here's a three-sided terminal suitable for modern or near-future skirmish or roleplaying games. I was not brave enough to try painting text or images on the screens. 

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Trash Bags

These may be the finest trash bags I've ever painted. 

Monday, January 08, 2024

Messy Medical Kit

This paint job needs some first aid. White continues to confound. 

Sunday, January 07, 2024

Saturday, January 06, 2024

Friday, January 05, 2024

Rick Flag

Here's my freshly-painted miniature of Rick Flag, sometime field leader of the Suicide Squad. His face looks a little grimy, but given the situations Rick often finds himself in, I figure it's on-brand. 

This was my first time painting shoelaces. Score! 

Thursday, January 04, 2024

Men vs. Zombies!!!

Over the holiday break I painted the shotgun guys from the Zombies!!! board game. They're even smaller than 28mm scale, and these pieces are not finely detailed; I'd call them tokens rather than miniatures. The paint jobs are simplistic, but I think they look at least a little better than they did when they were just monochromatic plastic. 

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Ace Chemicals

I have added to my collection of 28mm-scale barrels. Ace Chemicals is best known as the company that stored their goods in giant open vats, thereby sharing responsibility, along with Batman, for creating The Joker when Batman knocked small-time criminal the Red Hood into one of said vats. The chemicals dyed the Red Hood's hair green, skin white, and lips "ruby red," driving him insane and turning him into the Clown Prince of Crime--the Joker. 

Fortunately, these miniature barrels contain no liquid chemicals. 

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

Ming's Orb

This weekend, I painted a 28mm scale robot--specifically, the nameless orb servant of Ming featured in Flash Gordon (1980). The orb floated in the movie, and the miniature fakes the effect with some smoke and flames, as though the robot is jet-propelled. I think the cloud at the bottom of the mini looks all right, but the effect isn't as successful on the supporting stem. A clear bit of plastic might have worked better. 

Monday, January 01, 2024

Movies I Watched in 2023

So many, many movies, but thankfully just a few more than last year. And once again, most of them were shorts. 

As usual, most of the films I screened were from English-speaking countries, but every year I try to expand my horizons.

My most-watched actors list for 2023 includes some surprises. I deliberately sought out the films from Bette Davis down to Russell Johnson in an effort to complete their filmographies. The same is also true of Ward Bond, Burt Lancaster, and James Cagney. The others all just showed up as a result of the decades and genres I pursued last year. 
Dave Fleischer topped my director this this year thanks to his series of Koko the Clown Out of the Inkwell shorts--delightful little shorts that mix animation with life-action footage. William Forest Crouch comes in second thanks to my screening of a Blu-Ray collection of about 200 so-called "Soundies" from the 1940s. Soundies were prototypical music videos that were set up in machines somewhat akin to juke boxes; you paid a dime to watch one. I had no idea such a thing existed until watching a behind-the-scenes short that came with the set. Fascinating stuff!