So this one is a project of necessity. So I took a few pictures of the King Tiger but I just wasn’t impressed with the result. Partly down to the camera on my phone and party down to the surroundings. So the way to go is a light box. I don’t have the money to buy one and I don’t have the time for a serious build so here is a cheap, cheap! Lightbox to get these pictures done.
Just using stuff from around the house or other freebies. I already have a couple of desk lamps. LED and regular bulb, I will be using one on each side so hope that the different lights will blend. Some sheer fabric, I got hold of some muslin from work. You should be able to pick some up for about £1 a meter. Probably an old white bedsheet should do. We will also need a cardboard box, the size depends on what we are doing to be taking pictures of. I just happened to have one of these at work which is perfect. The last thing is a large piece of white card that is larger than the back of the box. To put it all together we need a craft knife and some tape possibly scissors depending on how much fabric we have.
The first thing to do is cut out the sides of the box like so, make sure your fabric is wider than the holes you make.
Once we have the hole on each side we can either drape the fabric over if we have enough or tape squares on each side.
The last thing is our piece of white card, we cut that to the correct width and tape it to the back of the inside of the box, letting it curve onto the base.
Next, we put a light source on each side and pow our light box is made. All this has cost me £1.50 the price of the white pastel paper. The rest I managed to get for free or already had. I want to have a look and see how an LED strip would perform as a light source.
So here is the lightbox and here is one of the photos.
All in all, it has only cost me £1.50 for the piece of white pastel paper from a craft shop, I could have probably used a piece of wallpaper or lining paper will try that in future. The thing I have noticed is that on some of the pictures you can see some of the lines on the paper, this is my fault for being cheap and buying pastel paper and not spending the extra 50p to buy the white card. The end of the day it has cost next to nothing and took me under 10mins to put together. It is totally reusable and will do the job I need for the time being.
So here’s a test picture, straight away it looks good enough for my purposes.
Here are a few of the King Tiger Tank. The first as is, the second with the flash on and finally with another light source added.
So with a little bit of testing, it seems like I have a setup that works. The great thing is it pulls apart and puts together in under 5 mins. So it really is a £5 5 min Light Box.
So I have decided to push ahead with some serious blogging in 2019 and feel the model making content is a good way to go. A Lot is still a learning process. I like a huge range of models probably modern armor is one of my greatest interest. However, I grew up building a lot of model airplanes. I have amassed a large collection of models to work on but some I clearly know is beyond my abilities. So I have picked myself up a few different cheap models to help hone my techniques.
So here is what I have picked up. I will also give you a little understanding as to why I have got these particular models and what I hope to achieve.
1/48 scale Sea Harrier from Tamiya including Photo Etch.
I have always loved the Harrier, this Tamiya version is quite basic, I want to concentrate on masking and airbrushing as well as dealing with small pe parts and finally dealing with clear plastic parts.
1/48 scale Apache from Academy.
With this one I think there are a lot of bombs and guns to stick on after painting, also dealing with masking and painting the canopy.
1/35th scale Tiger Tank Mid Production from Tamiya including Big Ed Set of Photo Etch
The tiger is a tank I feel I will build several of over the years. Some of the techniques on this will be the individual tracks. Masking of the road wheels as well as weathering. Ideally, I would like to do a DAK dessert version. This will help me learn some of the dessert weathering techniques. Also, the photo-etch and Zimmerit application.
1/700th scale HMS Dreadnought British Battleship 1907 from Trumpeter
This model is such a small scale it will let me practice working with a lot of small parts, also some weathering and rust.
I have also picked up a few other products that I want to try out. These include Maskol from Humbrol, Some washes and Pigments from AK Interactive, some Glue and Glaze for sticking clear parts, finally some extra thin cement from Tamiya with a tiny brush.
I am hoping once I have built and painted the aforementioned I should have quite a handle on most of the model techniques I should need and I can get started on
If I didn’t have enough to do with the living room I thought why not build a shed. To be fair it is just one of those kits that you stick together. Managed to find this nice little pent shed. As it is for the girlfriend got some pink paint to finish it off.
We already have a concrete base at the end of the garden from an old shed so after some cleaning up and cutting back of hedges and plants the base looked good with no damage. I made sure that I had ordered that would fit the base.
So the first job was to paint all the panels, a nice coat of white undercoat then 2 coats of the pink.
I have a pretty much endless supply of used pallets at work and bought a long one for this project. Cut a couple of pieces off and made some window ledges. Then painted them up as well as all the trim in white.
Next job is getting the base down. There are 3 struts on the bottom that keeps it off the ground. I wanted to add some extra stability so added another few supports.
Next, I gave these a coat of primer and a couple of coats of weatherproof paint. I don’t know how much effect this will have but just hoping it will slow the rotting process.
Now Putting the back and both sides on followed by the roof. Need to do a small bit of tree surgery to move an overhanging branch, put the front on then tarp the front up and off to bed.
Next day and running some power. I run a power cable through 25mm plastic trunking. I don’t need a lot of power, just going to have 2 plug sockets. A string of outdoor lights and an internal led light strip. Possibly another outdoor light but haven’t decided yet. So I’m running this as an extension connected to an rcd plug in the kitchen.
I ordered these Metal Clad sockets and these some waterproof glands and a waterproof junction box.
I used some more of the pallet to make a stable surface in the shed for both the socket and junction box. Then fitted all the cables in the shed. Also fitted a small panel to hold the light switches.
Finishing off some of the outside now, fitted the window ledges as well as a trim made from the pallet. I have also attached a string of light around the outside.
So when I lifted the laminate from the front room I kept hold of some of it for just such an occasion. I haven’t finished it with some trim or anything.
With most of the outside done I have now fitted the windows. It came with some plastic windows but I decided to go down to my local glass shop. These places are usually really helpful. I got 2 sheets of tough glass cut to size and some window putty for under £15.
So, for the time being, I have had to fit a door and leave the project for the rest of the year and focus on the living room.
As soon as I get started again I will get another post up.
Sound clichéd but what the hey. After a huge November, I had a quiet December.
I love Christmas and the girlfriend did a spectacular job of decorating the house. Work was ok I arrived back at the start of December after a lengthy break. Felt good to be back!
At straight back in at the deep end got tasked with costing out a 3 course Christmas menu for 200 people. That why I love when people say “Oh I cooked for 9 people at Christmas” I cook for 160 people daily and still do staff lunch for between 6 and 15 people in the kitchen. Just makes me chuckle. Don’t get me wrong cooking can be an extremely stressful ordeal, and I am not arrogant to belittle people who find it daunting. I just got to the stage of not giving a fuck.. Tends to make things go a lot smoother. So here is my Theory…
“You have a chicken running around in a field, this chicken has one destiny… To be a delicious chicken dinner. That is *their (Gender Neutral) only goal in life, *they will do everything within *their power to be a tasty Chicken dinner. The only person who can fuck this up is YOU!! Why would you do that.. Wreck a chickens destiny.. You Sick Thoughtless Bastard!!!
So I like to stand back and let the food do most of the work, I mean everything has a destiny who am I to stand in the way. “
Food will take a lot of abuse before you have ruined it so don’t panic. I will give you 3 tips from a professional chef with nearly 20 years in the game.
You can always add but never take away. (seasoning, liquid whatever) add slowly.
Cook for your own tastes
Add Butter and Salt
That’s pretty much got me through everything
I would say
Don’t be stressed
but that just something you can’t teach.
If you want the top ten tips for being a good chef- here goes;
You can always add but never take away. (seasoning, liquid whatever) add slowly.
Cook for your own tastes
Add Butter and Salt
Don’t get Stressed
Laugh At Yourself
Some people can’t laugh at themselves. (that where you come in) Laugh at them!
Sleep with as many waitresses and waiters as you can. (when it’s over you will miss that)
If you wouldn’t eat it don’t serve it.
You can never be too high or too drunk
Never… NEVER!!! admit you are wrong, even if you have to say so or apologies.. Never mean it!
That pretty much works for a chef, Bond Villain or any other sociopath.
Sorry trailed off. So the month raced by. I cracked on with some more model making. And watched Christmas movies, oh and ate my weight in stollen.
Come to Christmas day. My girlfriends mum came over on Christmas Eve to spend Christmas day with us. So in my family, it was always tradition to have Spaghetti Bolognaise on Christmas, purely because it is so different from what you will be eating for the next 2 week.
Anyways, a little back story. I broke up from work on the 21st December and had to still get a load of jobs done in the house, (fitting a handrail on the staircase, put up some shelves in the kitchen and change some light fittings) as we as get the house ship shape for the mother in law(elect). So had been working up to the hilt and only chilled when Sam went to the station to pick up her mum. Now I really like her mum, I lived with her for a couple of years and we genuinely get on. So with dinner, some alcohol was consumed, in fact, 16 cans of John Smiths. The 2 of them went to the front room and I had a smoke when I felt the fresh air I suddenly noticed the alcohol. Not wanting to embarrass myself or girlfriend I excused myself and went to bed. Middle of the night I went to the loo, I creep so I don’t wake anyone up then start climbing the stair. Suddenly I remember the mother in law is asleep up there. Just in time, Could have been embarrassing! So went back to the other bedroom, happy with myself after that near miss, the fact that I was stark bollock naked was neither here nor there! A which point I hear a sweet voice come from the bed “Sweetheart, I think you are in the wrong room”.
“Sorry Faye” and I stagger out suddenly remembering that she took our room and we were sleeping in the loft!
The next morning Sam tells me and say her mum doesn’t want to say anything, as not to embarrass me. She is making tea in the kitchen as I walk in. I head for the 2-litre bottle of Irn Bru. (The scots make 2 things… Whiskey and Irn Bru, that is no coincidence.)(if you know about Irn Bru you Know!)
“Morning Rob, Did you sleep ok” Sniggering.
“Well, I did come down to give you an early Christmas Present… But”
And that was it, everyone in hysterics. I have found myself in lots of embarrassing, humiliating situations in my life and the best course of action is to hit them head on!
So we had a delicious Caribbean breakfast of ackee and saltfish and fried plantain. You may notice 3 pans. I don’t eat fish and Sam doesn’t eat any animal.. It is useful being a chef in this house.
After that, I cracked open a beer and got started on cooking lunch.
A different starter for each, for sam Vegan Salmon with avocado and vegan Marie rose, for Faye a classic prawn and avocado salad. For myself, the ultimate surf and turf of a fillet steak and garlic fried King Prawns.
Then after lunch, the girl went to the tv and I went and did all the washing up and cleaning. 1 Sam doesn’t get to see her mum much so gave them time to enjoy each other’s company and 2 Brownie Points.. You can take that to the bank!
Came in to watch Christmas Strictly Come Dancing, enjoy some cheese and biscuits and quality streets.
So the cheese board this year was made up of a stilton, French brie, a nice Comté, a piece of Wookey hole cheddar and the main event. Bath Cheese, https://parkfarm.co.uk/ . This stuff costs about £7 to £10 for a block of 250g. This is probably my favourite cheese now. Somewhere between a Brie and a Camembert but so smooth, teamed with a nice glass of port just amazing. Great with a Hovis biscuit, a water biscuit or even a baguette.
Then a bit of Anal Carr(– lol leaving that typo in there, talk about a Freudian slip) Alan Carr and then bed.
Then my family on boxing day and Sam’s brothers on the day after. One great thing about this was I got to speak to both her mum and Brother and ask them for sams hand in marriage. To me, I know no one owns her but Sam is old fashioned and I know it will mean a lot to her.
So pretty soon I should be engaged!
Anyways as the New Year dawns, I guess it’s time to get back down the gym and lose some of this winter weight.
Also, I really want to crack on with the blogging next year. So let’s see what happens.
I have had a couple of weeks of work so have been able to finish decorating the living room and hall. There will be some quite meaty posts coming about that.
A little bit on the tech side got myself a new netbook, I will stick a little post up about that as I’m very happy with it so far. Also did some work on my girlfriends desktop pc, basically the thing was so sluggish. So a new SSD hard drive double the ram and a clean install on Ubuntu Linux. You can check out the post HERE.
I reconnected with a few things that I love! The first being wrestling, I usually lose touch with it through the summer. Too many BBQ’s and not enough time. Generally, by Survivor Series I slip back into the fold. I have to say it didn’t disappoint. The elimination matches are not as good as they were in the late 80’s but Daniel Bryant and Charlotte Flair really took my concentration. Even caught a bit of Wargames, Love me some Adam Cole.
One of the other things I reconnected with was making models. Something I have done a lot of my life and something I fall in and out of every now and then. Started making a model car last Christmas and the half-finished Nissan has been sat on my desk all year. So putting that to one side. I picked up a howitzer and cracked on. Happy with how it has gone so far and HERE is a longer post on it. Next, I have dug into a king tiger. I saw this on sale a couple of years ago for only £17 so picked up 2 of them. I tell you what though, I’m really starting to notice some of those smaller parts now thank God for my giant magnifying glass. This one’s an ongoing project and I will stick a couple of pictures up when I have finished. At the moment looking at colour schemes and I am really leaning towards a weathered winter look.
Third Item for the month. Video games, with a busy Summer and decorating every other free second has meant I have neglected the Xbox. Still been downloading games from my live account and just waiting for some free time. So I have that new Tomb Raider game, it came out a year or so ago. I did enjoy the earlier Tomb Raider game and this lived up to all expectations. Loosely followed some of the new films but it was a very immersive experience. Gave me a few nights fun and some great graphics and the open world aspect was pretty cool.
So as well as all that we managed to squeeze in a couple of trips out. First down to London for a close friend’s 40th Birthday. There was about 20 of us and our friend found a gorgeous little Cuban Restaurant right by Waterloo station. Great atmosphere, awesome little building and decor and they put on a great buffet for the event. After that on to Adventure Cocktail Bar in Clapham Junction, now I used to practically live in the Clapham High Street Branch so getting there just in time for Happy Hour, it was time to line up the Long Island Ice Tea’s and party the night away. To finish off a perfect day a Bacon and Cheese Whopper on the way home!
Staying local we went to see the fireworks display put on by the council, good to see your council tax money being spent, as they certainly are not spending it on collecting my rubbish. Onwards toward Christmas and we popped out into town for the switching on of the Christmas lights in the local town center. A decent size crowd and a little Heart FM stage with some local kids singing and dancing. To be honest a nice little community gathering, it’s kind of what I enjoy about being out of London.
This weeks problem is the Blu Ray player. It is a Samsung 3d player. I have a Samsung Smart TV and a Yamaha Receiver.
So I had the Blu Ray connected and we were watching the Last Jedi. Both fell asleep on the sofa. So the next day the player won’t boot up on screen. However, when I connect it straight to the HDMI in the back of the tv there are no problems works fine. Doing a bit of reading it appears to be a problem with the HDMI handshake. Looking again with it plugged into the receiver the load screen boots and then just a blank screen.
I got Sam a refurbished Dell OptiPlex 780 computer a couple of years ago to go in her room. Just needed something basic as she mostly just uses the internet. It has 120gb hard drive and 2gb of ram. Paid less than £100.
Problem is it takes an age to boot and just isn’t that responsive.
So I got dragged around Dunelm on the weekend. Mostly my girlfriends’ fault, I had given her many opportunities to buy a new pair of curtains for the living room but she wanted “My Opinion”. So I gave it to her, this left us in some sort of stalemate and one hour in the fabric section. As you can imagine after this debacle I was looking for anything to clear my head The next shop we came across was an Iceland Warehouse. Now I haven’t been to an Iceland in years but Peter Andre can’t be wrong!