Tuesday, April 21, 2020

2 more 74s (is fun to say outloud)

But first a little message from our sponsor:

Back to Work!

I reported in my last post that I was taking some time off due to all the COVID 19 stuff.  Well, that lasted about 2 and half weeks.  I had wanted more time away., but after increasingly shrill and threatening phone calls from the boss; I was basically ordered back to work or risked termination.  Which kinda forced the issue.  All my requests for time off were basically denied, because no one in my family had been infected.  Of course, the whole point of taking time off was to prevent infection.

Overall, I have mixed emotions about it.   While I wasn't particularly excited about losing some paychecks and prestige for "working through the hard times,"  I did feel good about putting family first and it was nice to just kinda be home.  Now being back to work it's nice having the income again and a reason to know what day it is and to take a shower, but I'm a little resentful about being forced to go back to work before I decided it was a good time.

OH WELL.  Be a man and suck it up buttercup. 

After all, with the unemployment situation that many people are facing I'm grateful to be in a good position, even if it forced upon me...
I could go into more details but it'd be too boring to explain, and I'm sure you get the gist. 

I did take advantage of the telework option. so I'm going in half time and working from home the other half, which is actually a pretty nice set up so far.  Basically I am at home for 5 days and work at my institution for 2 days a week.   YAY!  Plenty of time for house projects and using manly tools like screw drivers and wire strippers.  I've been doing so many manly stuff that I'm almost tempted to drink black coffee.  (no one in their right mind should drink black coffee, I needs me my delightful French Vanilla creamer) 

Pretty Pictures of Pretty Ships

On to the real stuff, the stuff that really matters! The stuff of 1/1200 model ships.  When I die, bury me with my ships.

Here we go with 2 more glorious miniature ships to join their fleets.  Both of these are generic 3rd rate 74 gun Ships of the Line.  It’s too bad that Kublacon is cancelled because I’d be in a very good position to finish up the rest of the ships I had planned, and maybe even make a few game enhancing extras like cool markers for broadsides firing besides me making BOOM! KA-BOOM! Sounds loudly at the targeted player.

Here is the French-y. 
This ship has red sides.

Some nice looking rigging

My fingers is sexay and I know it.
In a manly way though.

Stern cabin

Ready to go fight the evil British

Here is the British-y  (that doesn’t sound right)

This British 74 has grey sides.  Just to be different from all the other British 74s.

Some more nice rigging

Stern Cabin

Ready to fight the evil French.
(yeah I got hairy fingers, because I am, so extra MANLY)

With these two ships completed and safely in the storage bin, I'm faced with the burning question that faces everyone once in awhile....  So Now What?  

The Funky Hobby

We've all been in the hobby funk before.  I've got it now.  With Kublacon being cancelled my hobby goal is removed and I'm sort of flailing about finding a project to hold my interest.  Like most of us wargamers, I've had these periods of low motivation before, and I know they pass; though it does seem like bad timing, because at least in theory, there should be even more time for hobbyness with the whole state being on shelter in place orders.  I have 3 known cures for hobby funk.  I'm not saying these work for everyone, but these do work for me.  They are"

1) Do something else for a little bit:
I'm doing more stuff around the house.  The wife has already re-arranged 3 rooms with me as the Manly Muscle moving the heavy furniture.  I've also thrown myself in with some home improvements like switching out some ceiling fans and changing a garbage disposal that I discovered was leaking.  It also seems like a good time to finally redo our stair rails and banister.  
The main point is that I'm being very manly around the house.  I think I've described myself as manly several times in this post by now, so I'm sure I have you all convinced.  It's like taking a break from miniatures but still doing projects that engage the mind and hands, instead of just watching TV.  I'm also trying to exercise more.   This has the added bonus of earning hubby points as things in the house improve. 

2) Clean the hobby desk:
A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind.  Some say it's also the sign of genius.  But what are the odds of me having the Brawn and the Brain?  No.  Actually, the more messy the hobby desk gets the less room you seem to have.  

My wife and I have hobby desks that face each other (though she doesn't use hers much).
My side has gotten quite messy.

That's better.  All clean, everything in a place. 
Ready to go for the next project.
Now when inspiration / motivation returns, it'll be easy to pull out whatever project sparks it and get right down to it.

I left 2 unfinished 18mm CSA Brigadier generals on the hobby desk because they've been there for YEARS.
It is my tribute to all unfinished projects everywhere.  At least they don't take up much room.
One day, I'll paint them. 
3) Start a New Genre:
This is the 'break glass in case of emergency option.'  I might have to use it.  The AWI has been calling for awhile. 

In any case: I hope you all are in good health and doing well in these crazy times.  Continue to take care of yourselves and your families. 
And as usual, thanks for reading. 

Friday, April 3, 2020

COVID Cancellations (and more fun with ships)

We're all fine sheltering in place.  That's the good news.

CANCEL One Paycheck or Two

I've decided that during all this craziness that I am staying home.  We're taking the isolation very seriously.  I could be going to work but I think that is a little on the reckless side because I work in a place where the virus will run rampant.  I don't work in a hospital, so don't judge me too harshly.  I just don't want to expose my family to serious sickness.  It's hard to do the right thing by everyone, but family first.  I'm not getting paid, but I am in a position that I can afford that (well, afford is a strong word).
On the plus side, My wife is ecstatic about it as I am around to help out with the kids and home schooling.  And The Endless home projects she is discovering.   There's also a little more hobby time.

On the negative side; a week and a half in and I am utterly bored.

CANCEL One Garage Sale

I was gonna miss the Conquest Convention because my wife had decided that instead of having fun that weekend, we needed to participate in one of those huge community garage sales for children items; those things were people pack into a warehouse with all the stuff that their kids outgrew but are still in good condition so they can sell it to someone with younger kids.  She was right, of course. We got a garage full of old kid stuff that gots to go; clothes, toys, and a pretty odd assortment of My Little Pony plush dolls that daughter #1 suddenly decided one day weren't cool anymore.

We were working very hard to organize and price all these items when we got the email that the event would be cancelled due to COVID 19.  And I, the master manipulator, puller of puppet strings, immediately thought, "Well now, I've earned some hubby points by doing all this pointless work sorting items without compliant, and with the giant sale cancelled I wonder if I could swing by the convention?  But don't bring it up now, it's too soon.  She's still pissed about the sale being cancelled.  Wait 2 days and then bring it up..."

CANCEL Conquest Sac

A day later and Conquest Sac was cancelled, due to COVID fears.  

So when that fateful weekend arrived I decided that I would do some solo gaming and practice an Age of Sail scenario that I might use at Kublacon at the end of May.  With gaming opportunities low and needing some more experience with the Blood, Bilge, and Iron Ball rules and try out some of the house rules.   I broke out 2 squadrons of 4 ships each and had them sail toward each other, on a collision course with destiny for a solo game.

Game set up.

British Squadron had 1 80 gun ship and 3 74s.  French Squadron had 1 120 gun ship and 3 74s.

close up of the French


Some British Ships.
I'm in real danger of painting every British ship yellow.
For the next one, I must try out a different color scheme just to mix it up a little.

As both fleets are sailing toward each other (OK, Fleet is a strong word), I decided that each would try to take the Wind Gauge but by different means.

The wind is coming from the right.  I forget to put a wind arrow.
The British admiral signals for his ships to turn into line abreast formation and sail up wind,
The French Admiral signals for his ships to turn in succession.  

A few moves in and it starts to get critical on who will get the next sail chit first.

It's the British, and the lead British 80 gun ship opens up on the lead French 74

Getting ahead of the British is gonna be impossible,
so the French cut left to engage and pick up speed by turning down wind.
Remember the wind is coming from the right.

The lead French 74 is taking a pounding.

The British with little options, attempt to thread the needle.

"It's warm work..."

aaannndd around this time in the game I stopped paying close enough attention to report on the happening.  There was more game but my motivation to chronicle it sank.  But I ended the night with a better understanding of how the rules interpret Age of Sail tactics and how to run the game at Kublacon.

And I had a good time.

CANCEL Kublacon 

I know, you all saw it coming!  A  little while ago I got an email that Kublacon will be cancelled as well.  Expected, but still a let down.  I was progressing on the next two shops quite nicely and even mostly on target to getting all the ships I wanted done in time.

French ship on the left, British on the right.
WIP shots.  

I guess I'll finish these two ships since they're almost kinda sorta nearly done already.  The think about if I want to go on to something else or continue with being a shipyard. 

Cancel on Birthday Party

Second Son had his second Birthday, but sadly the party will have to be postponed.  My wife insists that we're only postponing it, not skipping it.  I'm not so sure.

Stupid Virus is Cancelling All My Fun!  

I hope you all are keeping yourself and your loved ones safe and sound.  All and all everything here is going to be alright.  Everything in life is only for now.  I hoping that with good thinking and common sense, we'll all see the other side of this thing sooner than later.  

In the meantime, I'm gonna try to not lose my mind with boredom and get some more painting time in.  I even had to start running OUTSIDE like a poor person instead of at the gym.  I know I'll have to go back to work eventually, but I'm monitoring that week by week. 

But let's take care of ourselves and each other.

And don't worry about me, I know I am rich in other ways....

But How long will it last?
Thanks for reading.  And I mean it; keep care of yourself and loved ones.