Friday, June 11, 2010

Hillbillies VS Aliens - A Day of Gaming

Last weekend I attended the Jacksonville Garrison club's Rapier game convention.There were three days full of roleplaying, historic miniature, sci-fi miniature, board and card games. I spent Saturday playing, a miniature figurine version of Fairy Meat. The gang of three cannibalistic I received were to scale. This means that any item on the table was considered terrain.

Someone had left a Zombie game on the table so all the pieces from the game became cover for the fairies to hide from the other fairy gangs. The idea of this game is to eat your competitors. Each character has magic spells and a weapon. A fun game based on a deck of cards and your stats for each of your characters. Everyone went after their neighbor and at the mid point of our game session the Game Master placed a mountain of Scooby Snacks that the fairies would try to conquer. My two fairies managed to take the hill and keep it. When a fairy eats the candy it enhances the stats of the fairy so that she becomes pretty hard to kill. I lost two fairies but managed to keep the hill. Any attack to conquer the hill was dealt most severely.

My second game session was a good round of Arkham Horror. I brought my own game and had a good number of people to play. This is a cooperative game where investigators must battle monsters and cultists that have emerged from gates that open up throughout Arkham. As well as closing and sealing the gates before the slumbering Mythos god or monster awakens. There is a bit of a learning curve as there are many aspects to the game as well as rethinking what winning a game means. In this particular game everyone must work cooperatively. Giving money or clue tokens to other characters to defeat the horror that has come to Arkham.

The last game of the day was Hillbillies vs Aliens. This game was run by to great guys Rick Weaver and Dan Van Horn. The time the 1950s, the place somewhere in the back woods. The aliens have come to earth to retrieve methane gas, that the cows supply, propane, that the trailer has, and alcohol supplied by the still. The aliens must fight the cantankerous hillbillies who own the trailer, still and individually named cows. To add an another element there is the local constabulary to investigate the moonshine operation of the "family".

The game mechanics were based on 3 die 6. All figures had basic move and attack as well as fire arms. I played Mama, buxom Sister, and Granny with her purse loaded with cellophaned hard candy and a gun. My friend Mitch played the aliens. Curtis a friend of Rick and Dan's played the Law and Steve played Paul, Duke the dog and other hillbilly guy.

The start of the game saw Granny, Mamma and Sister driving off from the law who have come to investigate the still. The heap actually worked. The Aliens land at this point trying to capture the the cows. The Law had shot up the trailer without blowing up the propane. Mama nearly ran over Debra the cow (named after a character in one of her stories)

The aliens proved to be a bit incompetent by leaving the activities director named Noob the man the ship as the others went on a retrieval mission. Many of the aliens try to ride the cows while eventually using the antigravity ray. Things go well for the aliens as Paul and Duke are very formidable adversaries. Duke uses one alien as a rag doll. While Paul decides to carry off what is left of one of the aliens. Paul has figured out how to use the very small ray gun and will use it against the sheriff who just blew up his still.

Mama at this point is driving through the aliens and crashing through some bushes. Granny is thrown out of the back of the truck. She thinks she broke her hip. Bus she is feisty and manages to shoot at a few of the cow stealing aliens. She goes as far as trying to capture an alien by luring it with some hard candy.

Mama manages to keep the heap in control. Sister and Mama manage to shoot the space ship. They have thoughts on turning the space ship into their new trailer.

Noob all the while has managed to raise the ship then crash the ship for failing to control the ship. Mama and Sister believe they brought the ship down. Noob had issued a May Day alert and have brought the mother ship into play. Noob knows how ever this does not bode well for his career and successfully jumped ship to join the family.

The law gave chase to the rest of the aliens and have managed to keep most of the cows earth bound. The mother ship transports the survivors and takes off. The family have plans on the ship.

The great aspect of this game is that everyone had improvised a good deal of role playing. What could have been a basic game of attack and defend turned out to be riot, as everyone started to role play all of their characters they were in control of. Mitch for instance played the aliens with a great comic flare. I played the women with determination in wanting a better place to live. Like you see in the magazines. Curtis played is police force as if they walked out of Mayberry with the sheriff a former high school football hero who played for Oklamhoma. Steve made sure that Duke was blood thirsty. And Rick played some great cows.

Monday, May 31, 2010

I'll have Fries with That

I have been sketching business card sized art for some time. these are smaller than Artist's trading cards as these fit in my wallet and iPod cases when I venture out. I have been placing them in Starbucks and other places that allow for community posting.

This time the card is titled I'll have Fries with That. This sketch reminds me now of the upcoming movie Human Centipede. I sketched this back in March.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Long Awaited Unveiling of my Steampunkesque iPad Cases

While awaiting the arrival of the iPad. I set about working on some designs
before the debut of the magic machine. I knew that case designs would be sparse until manufacturers knew the product would take off. No Kate Spade or Vaja design yet. a deign that caught my eye was a case called Book Book. It was a computer case Book case. Very clever. It was about $80.00. I knew I could make one work on less money.

For months I carted around a pad of shrink wrapped paper that was the exact dimensions of an iPad. This help in formulating case designs. My first every day use case was created from a discarded book I found in my favorite Antique Mall Southern Crossing. It was a picture book of Swan Lake. It would fit my iPad perfectly with some modifications. I liked the fact it was dark blue and the lettering was in gold.

The modifications: I cut out all the pages of the book and reinforced the spine with heavy duty chipboard. The chip board is glued to the inside over with glue. The spine, front cover and back cover are reinforced with reliable duct tape. The silver matched well enough with the inside pages. One iPad designer on Etsy used a velcro system to attache the iPad to the book case. I did not want to go that route as once you remove the velcro in order to you your iPad with another case you would have to remove the sticky residue.

I fabricated a bracket out of basswood. Basswood is very easy and yet durable to work with. If you do not have a wood working shop this wood you can cut with a simple small hand saw found in hobby shops and Exacto knives. Once a case is made and stained, painted, and or polyurethaned the wood is durable for everyday wear and tear. The brackets were glued and stapled to the back inside of the book cover. I painted over the staples. Since this was for myself I could live with some imperfections. If you notice the iPad is not fully bracketed. This allows for easy access to rotate the case by propping the book cover up and bending the front to the back. Since it it is my case I know how to hold it. I removed the label art on the front and replaced with an image found on a Steampunk wallpaper site. I had laminated the image for better durability. The brackets were then painted gold to resemble gold edging on fine books. I am working on making a closure for it at the moment. All of these cases are always ongoing projects.

My second iPad case, would be a heavy duty travel case. I wanted something that would remind me of the old travel or lap desks that were important in the 17th, 18th and 19th century. Thomas Jefferson’s lap desk sold for $55000 some time ago. This project honed in on my Steampunk DIY nature. This was the longest project to complete. The problem was not assembling but acquiring the parts I needed. The wood was the hardest. As the iPad is an odd size, my use of basswood would not work as I could not get sheets wide enough. I had even tried getting hardwood veneers at a local wood working shop and they could not help. So I carted my dummy pad for sometime while looking for alternatives.

The alternative came in an old cedar cigar box at the same Antique shop I found the Swan Lake book. The width of the box was perfect the height I could alter. The tape hinges would have to be removed. These are items I could work with

Modifications: I spent some time removing the tape with a blade and Windex. When that was complete, the wood had to be dried, I used plenty of Windex and it soaked the wood, and flattened. This process took some time. Never rush wood drying, you may warp it. I disassembled the box. I made new brackets of basswood for the bottom of the case and the top. This is a process you do not rush as well. I glued and clamped each rail and set it aside for a number of hours. The wood glue is strong enough that I did not have to staple it. I might later one. The box was a bit long so I created an additional bracket to hold a stylist, a stand, made from one of the original brackets. The reason I stapled the brackets on the book cover is that the wood was being glued to paper covering the cover. I purchase my hinges and basswood form Joann’s Fabric. Strange they have the wood I like and Michaels’ does not. Go figure. I bought a few small plain boxes that have hinges and clasps. They work very well for this project.

The top of the case had to be carved to allow the iPad to nestle into the case without any added force. So I spent some time carving out angles in the wood. Since I do not have a wood working shop I am sure a mitre box would have made things easier. Using an Exacto knife cuts through the wood very well and made fairly easy work of this process. Once assembled I went about staining the box. Since the cigar box has tape there is some imperfections in the stain but I think it adds to its unique quality. Two coats of polyurethane to give it a shine.

To finish the project, the iPad needed to rest on something other than wood. One could sand to a fine surface but it would still scratch the back. Oddly enough the first item I found for this case was the fabric I used. My friend Maegan, a costume designer, who lives in Atlanta, allowed me to rummage through her collection of fabrics she had acquired over the years. I snagged this fine red silk that, would add any class to any steampunk project. The fabric was spray glued to the top and bottom. This case will be my travel case to add a bit of class and protection to my iPad, the Book of Eibon

Tagged: IPad, Steampunk, Thomas Jefferson
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Photo of the Day & A Minute for Yourself

May is Mental Health awareness month. Today is take a minute for yourself. At 11 a.m. Look out the window or doodle a little drawing. Do not multitask during this time. Call someone to let them know you are thinking of them. Breathe and enjoy the day Zombies do.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 2, 2010

There be a Dragon in my neighborhood

While out for my evening constitutional I came across the very curious flyer posted to a telephone pole near my Publix. I went home to get my camera and bike to photograph the poster and see if there are others like this one posted. The flyer was near a bus stop but was meant to be viewed from the sidewalk. No one had noticed it until I started to photograph it. A guy stopped to read and moved on without any comment. There were no other flyers near by even though there is a busy intersection barely a block from this telephone pole.

As you can see there is no phone number and a badly copied emblem of the Florida wildlife department. This makes me think we have a hoax on our hands. Though It would be cool to say, "There is a large dragon loose in Riverside, everybody stay calm".

The designer of the poster should have used some bold type. Catching someone's eye is the most important item in graphic design.

Tag: dragon, ducks, Riverside

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hobo Camp photos for Weekend Justice

This week's episode of Weekend Justice I talk about the on going adventures of Flat Stanley. Last Saturday we ran into some hobos who knew of Flat Stanley. Well above are two photos of the encounter. The second photo is the exact location of hobo camp

There is also an ealier post about Zombie Extermination Vehicle and Read an RPG book in public. Thanks for Visiting.

- Posted using BlogPress from my awesome steampowered iTouch.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Zombie Extermination Vehicle

Convention season is about to start with the kick off of Orlando's Megacon. A long time friend of mine Don "Of the Dead" Meyers, owner of T-Shirt Bordello brought his Zombie Extermination Vehicle by Inky Fingers, the place of my employment, to show off this great ride.

Don tricked out this former television van, which will be used to transport his great shirts to a convention near you. One thing is missing is the ray gun that Don had ordered. If you plan on going to Orlando for this convention look for the guy with a chainsaw sticking out of him. Tell him, Rox sent you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Read an RPG book in Public

This week is read an RPG Book out in Public.

From February 28 until March 6th, please bring a RGA book with you while you visit a local
coffee shop, Monster Truck Rally or even the park. Some art Museums provide great areas for reading.

Please check out the escapist for further information.

I am sure someone would ask you about the book you are reading.

Pictured is me and Flat Stanley reading our favorite GURPS Steampunk RPG book.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Flat Stanley's Adventures With Leigh of Atlanta

Flat Stanley has been enjoying a whirlwind adventures here on the East Coast of America.The first photo showing Stanley enjoying a lovely airplane ride. Was that seat paid for? Stanley has found some friends in Atlanta. In one activity he was thrust out into to bitter cold and dirty snow after frolicking in the snow he was awarded a cool alcoholic beverage. Stanley enjoyed the sweet taste of Maraschino Cherries. More adventures with Leigh later.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Flat Stanley Plays the Numbers

To support the Florida School system Flat Stanley and I ventured out to try our luck on the Florida Lottery. The Florida Lottery was voted into Florida as a way to "suppliment" school funding. Now we need to keep playing so that Janie and Louis can have supplies as state, non lottery money has been cut.

"Play on"! Says Stanley

Sorry Stanley, Scratch-off tickets favor the house in odds of winning.

Postscript: we did not win but the kids of Florida will have funding.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Flat Stanley Gets a Job

Flat Stanley arrived the other day to Inky Fingers Printing where I am the resident Art Director. After cutting him out of his imprisonment I immediately put Flat Stanley to work. There is no state law that protects flat paper boys from working. Stanley learned to punch a time clock, then he was Herve's assistant on the two color press. He wanted to help Billy on the large press but Billy would have nothing to do with Stanley. Sorry Stanley. For some reason the large paper cutter gave Stanley such a terror.

Good Job Stanley!

Flat Stanley Project

My niece, Princess Monkey Pie had sent me a small paper boy named Flat Stanley from Washington state. The idea is that I would take Flat Stanley on a whirl wind adventure in my neck of the woods, here in Florida. My idea is to allow my friends to have some time with Stanley as well. They will send images of Stanley having fun. I will post photos here of his progress and with the idea that I will make a travel book to mail back to Princess Monkey Pie.

This is Flat Stanley as depicted by Gianna Monkey Pie. Yes, those are claws. I thought he was a super model.

- Posted using BlogPress from my awesome steampowered iTouch.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Photo of the Day: Humans Stop Using Gas

This sign was down the street from my work. I am guessing the owner of Cycle City made this.
Funny thing is he drives his Volvo to his bike shop.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lost Dollhouse

This image is from my
Incoherent rambling about Dollhouse. Needcoffee's Weekend Justice wants the rambling to go viral. Here is my take.

- Posted using BlogPress from my awesome steampowered iTouch. Can't wait for the iPad

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Art that I have posted on to My Etsy Store

Steampunk President Lincoln

Angry Candy Corn
Slumbering Cthulhu


Since it is the first month of a new year, I am making the effort to get my work onto my Etsy store. I am also posting new items that I have created. I am going back to doing miniature drawings that I learned to love to do while in college. My etching professor did not think I was working, as I did not seem to be bringing anything into class. Most of of my work ranged from 5" to 1" x 2". I have enjoyed working
on such scale, as it it easy to work almost anywhere. Despite their size, some miniature paintings drawings and etchings can take time to develop into a finished piece. In etching class I remember spending as much time on a small item that most classmates would spend on much larger pieces.

Here are a few items. Most of the items range from 2" x 3.5 to 2.75" x 4.25"