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Priority SitRep

4/21/24. Yes, I know everything is hosed. I'm working on it.

December Painting Challenge

Since my last update, I've advanced only 25 steps. I didn't get anything done this past week for a variety of reasons, including a LOT of work on the new web page, house maintenance, a pet died and a few more things.

Days left: 390
Steps from last report: 1147
Steps left: 1122
Units in Weekly Delta: -22
this stage Delta Current status: On-Track
126 0 Ready 38.9%
14 0 Repair 4.3%
0 0 Garnish 0.0%
0 0 Sealed 0.0%
1 0 Dipped 0.3%
45 0 Detail Painted 13.9%
61 0 Base painted 18.8%
22 0 Basecoated 6.8%
0 0 Unpainted 0.0%
7 0 Unassembled 2.2%
48 0 Unpurchased 14.8%

 

Hopefully I'll be able to get some BIHPOM time this coming week. I'm not comfortable with only a +32 par. See you in 2021!

Changes are coming

I have grown weary of how graphics intensive the front page is, so I'm doing something about it. I dug up an old template that I bought to make another website in a project that fell through and never ended up using. I have been working with it in a "sandbox" environment (as opposed to this "production" website. In other words, you don't see it) and I am almost ready. I am still working out a few minor adjustments and one new feature.

Once I get those done, I'll move the changes over to here in the course of a weekend, probably overnight. Once that's done, I'm sure you will appreciate how much the website loads faster and certain items will be easier to find.

Painting challenge report is next week. See you then!

Switching Gears

I think I am putting too big of a resposibility load on myself by trying to report weekly. Every time I head home from work during the week I tell myself, "You need to put in the painting time!" Yet I am mentally exhausted by the time I get home and only the looming weekly deadline time makes me panic even more. I've also been catching up on several major house issues, so my BIHPOM time (pronounced BISH-POM and means "Brush In Hand, Paint On Miniature", go read See Mark Paint) has been difficult to say the least.

I have managed to get the current Team Banzai inventory of 25 miniatures all up to Detail Painted, and even started applying paint to the dozen 1st Davion Guards to move them to the same milestoone. I also got a repair in as well. Once I figure out what I want to get for the last eleven 'Mechs for Team Banzai, plus the last eight vehicle miniatures for the 101st Irregulars, that will give me an easy boost.

I am also shifting the reporting here to monthly. I have 57 weeks left to go, I don't want to flood my feed (and you) with that many posts on the same subject. So, until I get this done, the first Monday of every month will be "report day."

Here's the numbers. My current Par is +53:

Days left: 404
Steps from last report: 1154
Steps left: 1147
Units in Weekly Delta: 7
this stage Delta Current status: On-Track
126 1 Ready 38.9%
14 -1 Repair 4.3%
0 0 Garnish 0.0%
0 0 Sealed 0.0%
1 0 Dipped 0.3%
30 6 Detail Painted 9.3%
73 -6 Base painted 22.5%
25 0 Basecoated 7.7%
0 0 Unpainted 0.0%
0 0 Unassembled 0.0%
55 0 Unpurchased 17.0%

I get four days off this week due to Thanksgiving, I hope I can get a lot done then.

Painting Challenge Week 4

What did I get done this week? Not a damn thing. But then again, I had to prepare for, hold and recover from a tournament Saturday. I did update a couple of articles here, so there's that too.

I did get a bit of painting in this afternoon, but not enough to advance anybody and steps officially. I plan on finishing up what Team Banzai I have left and detail painting my 1st Davion Guards.

Painting Challenge Week 3

Work continues apace. I made my quota, however I am disconcerned that I am only getting basically just eight hours total over Friday, Saturday and Sunday to paint. Granted, I have to spend time with my family, house maintenance, eat, sleep, work and other things on top of those (Including a great game aid to premere soon!). I guess this is a roundabout way of telling myself I'm lucky to have painting time at all. I could be stuck in a low-paying job where I have to work a second (or third) job, 80-100 hours a week to have a roof and food for my family.

I am very blessed. With what I've been through, I am honestly surprised I'm still here. I sincerely you, dear reader, are blessed as well. No matter what, when the son comes up in the morning we can open our eyes, sit up and take nourishment. Be humble, greatful and thankful for those things, every day. I sure am.

Enough of the weepy shit. Here's the numbers:

Days left: 418
Steps from last report: 1177
Steps left: 1154
Units in Weekly Delta: 23
this stage Delta Current status: On-Track
125 0 Ready 38.6%
15 0 Repair 4.6%
0 0 Garnish 0.0%
0 0 Sealed 0.0%
1 0 Dipped 0.3%
24 0 Detail Painted 7.4%
79 0 Base painted 24.4%
25 0 Basecoated 7.7%
0 0 Unpainted 0.0%
0 0 Unassembled 0.0%
55 0 Unpurchased 17.0%

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Painting Challenge Week 2

I am amazed. I actually gained ground, despite that I only worked on stuff Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I even kitbashed the Goliath, he was missing a part on his right side, I found a loose Rotary Autocannon and attached it then filled in the gaps with green stuff.

So I managed to repair the frosting on the aircraft, bringing them to "ready" status. I detail painted thirteen units, printed/assembled four units and brought them to "base painted."

w2 results

Here's the numbers. By the time December rolls around, I will have enough data to understand what my actual production levels are and I'll be able to revise my estimated completion date:

Days left: 425
Steps from last report: 1206
Steps left: 1177
Units in Weekly Delta: 29
this stage Delta Current status: On-Track
120 2 Ready 37.0%
20 -2 Repair 6.2%
0 0 Garnish 0.0%
0 0 Sealed 0.0%
1 0 Dipped 0.3%
18 13 Detail Painted 5.6%
82 -9 Base painted 25.3%
25 0 Basecoated 7.7%
0 0 Unpainted 0.0%
0 -2 Unassembled 0.0%
58 -2 Unpurchased 17.9%

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Roster Builder 3.0.2

Just a quick note, I found and fixed a couple minor issues. Redownload (it should ask you when you run RosterBuilder the next time) and have fun!

Painting Challenge Week 1

Week 1 down, I got the easy stuff out of the way.

Printed 1 Mech, assembled two vehicles I printed, then primered all of them and painted the bases of 63 'Mechs and 12 Battle Armor. The next week or three will be detail painting all of these. Then comes more to print and prime. When I get to about 150 Detail Painted, then comes the massive dipping.

w1 results

Here's the numbers as of yesterday:

Days left: 432
Steps from last report: 1315
Current Steps left: 1206
Units in Weekly Delta: 109
this stage Delta Current status: On-Track
118 -1 Ready 36.4%
22 7 Repair 6.8%
0 0 Garnish 0.0%
0 0 Sealed 0.0%
1 -3 Dipped 0.3%
5 -4 Detail Painted 1.5%
91 57 Base painted 28.1%
25 -35 Basecoated 7.7%
0 -6 Unpainted 0.0%
2 -11 Unassembled 0.6%
60 -4 Unpurchased 18.5%

See you next week, same Mech time, same Mech channel!

Back to painting

Well, I’ve successfully completed this iteration. I have been working on both See Mark Paint 4th edition and Roster Builder 3.0 with every spare second I have had since April, when I released Roster Builder v2.0 at the start of the pandemic.

Now I am going to take a break from coding and writing. I am locking myself in my painting room, telling my boss I quit, telling my wife to leave me for another woman, and telling my son to feed me by sliding a pizza under the door every day until he sees me come out with all of my miniatures painted.

I’m exaggerating. Slightly.

But I am taking a step back from generating content and concentrating on bringing a total of 324 miniatures to a table-ready state. This means I can field two complete Regimental Combat Teams (eight battalions) and my Demo/Loaner battalion for a total of 9 by New Years’ Day 2022. That’s bringing 141 unfinished miniatures from various states to tabletop ready and another 64 miniatures I don’t even have yet.

To help me achieve this goal, I will be posting my accountability tracker here every Monday to keep me motivated.

Each line is a separate waypoint, from purchasing/printing the miniature, assembly, basecoating, etc., to ready. As you can see from purchasing to ready (don’t include repair, that’s an otherwise “Ready” miniature) it takes nine steps. The number of “steps left” will be a reasonable progress tracker, as I have 1,315 steps to perform and that’s going to work out to an average of 21-22 steps a week. Think of that like taking 3 miniatures from unassembled to ready every week.

I will post the numbers below every Monday so you can see if I’m making progress or not. The goal is for the “Ready” line to be 100% by 12/31/21.

Here are the starting numbers. Wish me luck!

Days left: 437
Starting steps: 1315
Steps left: 1315
Delta: 0
Current status: On-Track
119 Ready 65.7%
15 Repair 8.3%
0 Garnish 0.0%
0 Sealed 0.0%
4 Dipped 2.2%
9 Detail Painted 5.0%
34 Base painted 18.8%
60 Basecoated 33.1%
6 Unpainted 3.3%
13 Unassembled 7.2%
64 Unpurchased 35.4%

Wave 1 has arrived!

I received an email at 10:02am today that my Kickstarter Wave 1 Battletech Clan Invasion was on the way. It hit my front porch about 10:30am. SQEEEEE!!!

And here's what I got:

KS Wave 1

Roster Builder 3.0 released!

It's been 6 months since I released Roster Builder 2. Thinking up new features, writing code for it, cleaning up the interface, cleaning up code and way more. But I've finally got it to a point where I'm happy with everything.

Here is the link to the page with the app: Battletech Roster Builder.

Here's the walkthru videos. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy2ZaRpBoAw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10e2jYL5EGg

Shoutout for Aries Miniatures

I placed an order last week to Derek King at Aries Gams and Miniatures. From the time I hit "Send" until I got the email that the order was shipped was eighty-nine minutes. He said he "just so happened" to be near the computer when the order came through, but I think he's more like this, perpetually and anxiously waiting:

man staring at computer

They say for most any good or service, "Good, fast, cheap. Pick any two." With Aries, you get all three.

Ethical Printing

In my book, "See Mark Paint," I devote most of a page to "Ethical printing" because I think it is very important. Basically, put yourself in the position of the file creator, how you would feel if someone took your CCA (Creative Commons) non-commerical licensed file and started printing and selling it. It's bad juju, Karmic debt, whatever you want to call it.

This is why I stress ethical printing. If you don't, lawyers get involved and they are expensive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPnhkQZ9fzM

See Mark Paint 4th Edition

Okay Mechwarriors, See Mark Paint 4th edition is officially here!

I have added my experiences with my Anycubic Photon, and also added a chapter on safety, because safety protocols are essential when running a resin 3D printer.I added a couple more DIY projects and re-edited the entire book. I also default to 18 point font in my word processor because of my eyesight. With See Mark Paint now at over 200 pages, I decided to also release a copy with regular 12 point font size, saving 50 pages. A MOBI or real ebook format is also in the works, so this can be used in ebook readers. I just have to work on the formatting so it looks proper.

I also made these Hex Wafers to help organize Battlefoam hex trays. You can print a set in 7 minutes, then label them so you know who goes where and when they're not there so you don't leave a Mech all alone on the table after a fight.

Why I play Battletech

I used to play Warhammer 40K. I got out for many reasons, notably, the price of models went from expensive to ridiculiously expensive (and have gone to outlandishly expensive since I left), the rules changed badly enough (TWICE!) I had to purchase an almost new army to stay competitive and last but not least, many of the players were jerks. While 40K is now on the 9th edition of its ruleset, Battletechs' core ruleset has stayed stable with a single rule change since this game was called Battledroids. The rules have expanded, but never rewritten.

The biggest reason was the players. This popped up in my social media feed the other day, but I saw it years ago. Meet Shooter and Wheels. The images explain the story.

Beardy1

Beardy2

Beardy3

While not impossible, it is very hard to Cheese a list like Wheels' in Battletech, namely a "Super-focused-Spearhead" that comes out of nowhere and can slice through any general list like a flamethrower through butter. I also like to think we have more polite players as well.

I am SO Sorry!

Quick note. I screwed up the file name when I uploaded the fixed See Mark Paint. I just realized it and it's fixed and tested.

Fixes and Updates

First of all, I'm busier than a one-legged man at an ass-kicking contest. I'm doing the best I can.

Second, I FINALLY figured out why the links aren't working in See Mark Paint. They are fixed and uploaded.

Third, I am deep into a total rewrite of See Mark Paint. I am adding an entire chapter on PPE and safety because I'm learning about my 3D printer and there are bad consequences if you don't do things right. I am also adding a chapter (obviously) on 3D printing. I am almost finished with my 4th rewrite. The formatting and editing will soon follow.

Fourth, I have Roster Builder 3.0 for Windows 99% ready. This is also a total rewrite so I can just transfer the code to my Mac and Unix environments and compile them there. The Win version will be out soon, I have to get cracking on installing the interpeter and compiler in the other environments and getting them to work there. Another stumbling block is the help files and I'm taking another shot at a video walkthru.

Fifth, I know the sections just below the main banner are not working properly. I'm on this as well, but's low on the list.

Triple Teaching Moment

This past weekend, I got three friends together at one of the FLGS' and we got to play some Battletech. We currently have four stores, there's been times where we have had zero.

David I have already had some battles with, James who last played years ago, and Mike, who was very interested in playing and this was his first game. We were doing 4k BV each, and I specified 3 Mechs, nothing special. It was Mike and I against David and James.

I didn't take detailed batrep notes because I was concentrating on teaching the game. There was this one shining moment for Mike:

Mike1stkillDavid was intending to send that Locust around the back of Mike's Uziel/Gurkha/Wolverine team, so he's running and has a +4 mod to hit. Mike had different ideas. Mind you, this is his first game, 3rd turn. The Uziel rings the bell of the pilot with an SRM to the head. The Gurkha then pulls the trigger on his PPC and also hits the head. Almost perfect decapitation, there were some paint scratches from a couple other SRM hits from the Uziel.

Mike also got the other kill in the game as well. He surrounded another of David's Mechs and did the Vin Diesel "500 fights" beatdown until the poor guy ran out of CT structure. A fine example of focused fire. If that second Mech had actually survived the shooting phase, he was going to get kicks from the Wolverine and Uziel, and the Gurkha was going to stick his sword in the poor guy's back.

At that point, time was called. A fun day for all.

There's a New Printer in Town

These posts, I'm afraid to say are so infrequent that I feel I have to preface each one with "I'M NOT DEAD YET!" But that happens when you're working on a second website, an application, a book, looking for a job while fighting for ten weeks to be approved for unemployment, house maintenance, and 15 other things. I don't get a lot of time for modeling and posting here.

I managed to score some cash and acquired an Anycubic Photon printer a couple weeks ago. I've also been acquiring the ancillary accoutrements to make miniatures and I've actually produced a few.

resinmechs

I have about 80-90% of my seven current battalions, so I'm going to learn the ins and outs of the printer in filling my TO&E's out. Yes, this information will end up in the 4th Edition of See Mark Paint.

I'm actually kind of sad and dismayed about doing this. I personally like metal miniatures. I like their heft, their feel and their look. I also know that the advancement and decentralization of technology and information is pushing all of us away from the metal miniature. The production costs for injection-molded and now 3D printed miniatures are way lower and all that. For $30, I can get a liter of resin and use it to make almost a battalion's worth of miniatures, way less that buying metal from Iron Wind Metals. To me, it's just not right. I've met the people at IWM and they're good people. I hope they are going to survive this current crisis and remain profitable for many years to come. I am actually planning on making a run up there and just buying $1,000 worth of product just because I like them. Of course, seeing friends and buying Stroh's are also on the list when I'm in that part of the world.

Since I'm here, I'm also updating  and adding a few other pages. Here's my fleet of dropships:

mapscaledropships

(L ro R) Overlord-class TCB Fred Smith, Union-class TCB Benjamin Franklin.

In case you didn't know, I live in Memphis and the most-used three letter acronym here is "TCB," Elvis' phrase of "Takin Care of Business." Since Dropships deliver, I named these after very famous delivery guys. Fred Smith is the founder of FedEx, based in Memphis. Ben Franklin is the guy who's responsible for the US Postal Service.

TCB Leroy JenkinsLeopard-class TCB Leeroy Jenkins

Yes, that Leeroy Jenkins. The pinnacle of foolhardy charging into battle are those that ride Leopards into hot LZs.

Fruit from the E-book

I shamelessly plug, push and pull people for praise on See Mark Paint. I really want feedback, positive and especially negative. If I did something wrong or bad, I want to know so I can fix it and not disillusion or even hurt a new gamer. The praise helps inspire other visitors here to grab and read it. I also get inspired that others like my work as well.

That being said, I don't get to see a lot of the "fruit" from my ebook. Mr. Spenser Sparks not only did a very glowing review, he sent me some pictures on his latest miniature after he put to use what's in my book. Click on each image for full size in a new tab.

"I've watched dozens if not hundreds of video tutorials how-to guides on basing, glazing, blending, you name it.

Your E-book is the most comphrehensive and well-explained guide to miniature craft and painting I have ever seen! You really should be proud of this and are a legend for this kind of contribution to the painting and wargaming community!

Just in reading the first introduction section I learned six different very useful tips. Using a sponge to form a point and Legos while gluing, these are just amazing tips for someone like me to name a few!

I can't tell you enough how much I personally appreciate your work in this E-book and the dedication you took to make it!" -- Spencer Sparks

spencer1 spencer2 
spencer3 spencer4
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