Monday 24 September 2012

Alternative Creativity

 Those of you with no interest in computer games can just ignore this post. These are skins I have been making for the cars seen in the pictures for use in GTA IV. Its a private project of mine, the livery on the vehicles (all of it) was made by me in photoshop from scratch and I needed to host the pictures here so I could post them to a forum elsewhere.

The livery is not complete yet and still needs some work. Its based on the New York City Sheriff departments livery, if any one is interested. The actual vehicles are not my models, created by various other people.


Sunday 23 September 2012

A word of warning

I don't usually comment on "real life" issues within my blog as I use the blog primarily to chart and record my painting/modelling work. However my Father asked me an insurance question earlier today and I decided to share my view here as well. I should preface by saying that nothing that follows should be considered legal advice and you should not base a policy buying decision solely on what I say. Now having covered my own back I will plow on.

Those of you that know me may be aware that I occupy a reasonably senior (technically speaking) position within a large Loss Adjusting firm in the UK. Therefore my Father asked my opinion regarding a "Mechanical Breakdown" policy which the garage that he had bought his second hand car from had recommended to him.

For the uninitiated policies of this nature are sold on the basis of covering certain (unsurprisingly) Mechanical failures within your car.

However most of the policies have a number of very important clauses and wordings which are highly specific and exclude most of the items which you would probably wish to claim for. Obviously I cannot comment on every single policy of this sort, but generally speaking, in my experience,  most of these policies have wordings which allow Insurers to decline cover on the basis that the Mechanical Breakdown in question has occurred due to normal "wear and tear" of the vehicle.

Additionally a large number of mechanical issues are specifically excluded within the wording, and you may not have expected them to be. This can include your engine block cracking, failure of oil seals, and other similar issues. Equally if your Clutch or Gearbox fails the Insurer can, most of the time, decline cover citing "wear and tear" as the cause of the failure.

Lately I have noticed Garages pushing these policies, which I presume they are collecting commission on, and specifically a garage incorrectly indicated to my Father that the policy covered most mechanical breakdowns.

What I say to anyone, who has bothered to read my industry rambling, is to consider these policies very carefully before buying them. Do not listen to the Garage who tell you that the policy is good and covers this or that, as they probably have next to no knowledge of the policy. Ask them to point to the specific wording and ask lots of questions. Read the, albeit boring, policy booklet cover to cover and make notes if you want to ask more questions. Make sure YOU understand that limitations of these policies.

Personally I believe these policies are not worth the paper they are printed on and provide close to no effective cover, or I should say they do not provide the cover that an average punter will expect them to.

 But as I said above, I am not giving legal advice, just read the policy bloody carefully and if necessary phone an independent broker and ask them to explain the cover properly.

Right I'll stop boring you all now. Cheers.

Monday 17 September 2012

Bio Hazard Containment Team

I've had these figures left on my desk for some time (there is an earlier post or two regarding them in different colour schemes) and I still actually have one more left, who will be painted like this. 

I wanted to paint them up as a creepy quarantine team wearing red bio hazard suits under webbing and tin hats. I decided to paint the hats in a take on CS95 style camo. I quite like how they turned out, and I'm going to get at least another four or so and paint them up the same way. Long term I will add some zombies and maybe even get a post-apoc game, who knows. 

In other news I've started constructing the first 5 of many houses for a demo game at Partizan next year, pictures will follow when they are put together. 

Another few pics of the other three figures below. 

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Pause for thought

Whilst between meetings today with time on my hands I realised I was near the David Stirling memorial and as I had nothing better to do I thought I would have a look. The memorial itself is situated atop a hill with a bronzed statue of the man himself looking purposefully out.

Located around the memorial there are stone inserts at floor level naming those that died whilst serving with the SAS. I took the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by the men who were listed at the site, volunteers doing daring, dangerous things. If you are ever passing the memorial located near Stirling/Dunblane in Scotland it is worth a small stop to pay your respects.

I have included some other pictures below, the last of which is the metal description plate providing a brief history of David Stirling and the SAS. I have left this last picture full size so upon opening it can be expanded and the text remains legible.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Royal Rifles

 Just finished painting the first four of my Partizan haul. These are from Muttonchop Miniatures (Paul Hicks Shop) and are his ceremonial guards. I really like these figures and enjoyed painting them up. I opted to paint them up in a uniform similar to the Victoria Rifles of the Anglo-Zulu war era. But I think I might use them as Post Office Rifles in VBCW, I have the other four figures to paint up, probably do them some time in the next few weeks.

I had a go at painting with a black undercoat with these, as I usually undercoat in Grey which I find is a nice neutral tone. The black was troublesome (for me) to paint over, and to be honest I found it tough on my not great eyesight. I'm not convinced the finish is any better or noticeable different than my usual grey. I will therefore be continuing with my grey undercoat.

In other news there is a possibility of a new job (again) this time close to home in Aberdeen so no living in Glasgow during the week and trundling home at the weekends. Hope fully I'll find out about that in the next few days.

Re the quality of these pictures, I'm afraid its a bit poor as I'm painting in the flat in Glasgow and don't have access to Photoshop or decent lighting. Another reason why I would like to be working at home again!


Saturday 8 September 2012

Total Fail

As you may work out from the title my wife and I went to see the new Total Recall film this afternoon. In a word it was wooden, and just made me want to watch the original Arnie version. The whole film seemed to have lifted the best (or most well known) bits from the original reworked them a bit, made them generally lamer (and waaaaay less gory) and chucked them in the film. Colin Farrell's performance is seriously wooden, although I think he's been crippled by a cack script. The only character/actor who works is Kate Beckinsale she seems to put in a real effort and her scenes are good. There's a fairly hocky reworking of the original plot, that in my opinion just doesn't work at all, and some pretty massive plot holes. The other stupid thing about this is there are tons of British actors/characters all talking with British accents but for some reason Bill Nighy's character speaks with a weird British/american accent for no apparent reason as america isn't in the film (ie doesn't exist any more)

Overall I give this a generous 2 out of 5 and don't recommend it, if you are thinking of going to see it I would recommend picking up the original and watching that instead. Ultimately all this film did was make me want to watch the original, oh and the 12a rating should tell you all you need to know as the original was an 18 and had some seriously gory old school scenes. I'll get off my soap box now.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

The Other Partizan 2012

 I spent a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon (and morning) at The Other Partizan show at Kelham hall near Newark. Myself and some of the other chaps from GWP and VBCW Forum put on (Unsurprisingly) a VBCW game. This was our third show, I having been part of the first, and third shows (I was working abroad for the May show). Above is a picture of our table setup, which is supposed to be Houghton on the hill in Leicestershire. The BUF/Royalists are fighting to take and hold the village with the Socialists trying to retain ownership.

The royalists won and are now within striking distance of Leicester itself!

 My lightly armoured shed crashes through a socialist barrier as it approaches the village. Surprisingly my mighty shed survived the game.

 Another shot of the village, the eagle eyed will spot the lovely french cake provided by Monsewer Crapaud.
 My ambulance stands ready in the village, also my painted up Mutton Chop phone box.
My supply wagon sits in the rear, ready to reload the troops, another of the Mutton Chop phone boxes in the back ground.