Archive for May, 2013

Stripping for fun and profit

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Okay, so it was for fun and experience, but that doesn’t sound as good.

Today* I stripped… a bunch of deamonettes… All of the pictures in this are clickable for larger versions. Some are cropped pretty close already though.

IMG_20130513_202915_746IMG_20130513_202855_434My friend Will gave me a bunch of abused and neglected minis he had no intent of ever using. Poorly (and incompletely) painted, sloppily assembled, bases long gone. So if I’m going to repaint these (hey, it could happen some day. I’ll certainly catch up on Dr. Who and Buffy before I run out of mini’s to paint, but that’s another conversation) I’m going to need to strip them. I have a crap ton of other bequeathed minis in terrible shape which could be useful if stripped and reassembled (we’ll come back to this) so I figured starting with the ones I’m most likely to paint next would be good.

 

 

If you’re going to use this guide, here’s what you will need:
Patience – Lots of it!
Pine-Sol – Might as well go economy size, the extra you can use to clean your house.
Glass Jar or Plastic tub – Make sure it has a tight fitting lid unless you really like the smell of pinesol.
Stiff toothbrush – You want hard bristles here.
Dish Soap – You’ve probably already got this.
Gloves – Not a requirement with Pine-Sol, I didn’t use them but my finger skin is now all dry and crackly … it doesn’t hurt, but it’s a little unpleasent.

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So there are lots of guides out there, touting all kinds of different chemicals, most of which are more hazardous than Pine-Sol. I like low hazard and biodegradable for pretty much anything I’m going to be dipping my hands in, plus I happened to have a bottle of Pine-Sol under the sink already. So I tossed the minis in a plastic tub, poured Pine-Sol in until they were submerged just, and the let it sit for two days. Depending on how caked on the minis are, you might want to give it longer. Certainly you’re going to want to wait at least 24 hours**. I didn’t think to take a real before picture, but the mini in the pictures above is straight from the tub. A little of the paint has flaked right off, but most is still loosely attached and you can see not much care was put into painting her.

So I set up a bowl of warm water in the sink, and about 1 minute of scrubbing w/ the toothbrush, occasionally dipping it in the soapy water and/or rinsing under running hot water, yielded this version of the mini. You’ll notice there is still a little bit of paint here and there. Mostly in the nooks and crannies. I may toss these minis into a fresh batch of Pine-Sol for another couple of days to see if I can get them spotlessly clean.

Now, on the mini to the left, youIMG_20130513_210104_867 may notice has a huge green and white splotch on her leg, back and butt. I’m fairly certain that is superglue. I wasn’t really able to remove that even w/ a hobby knife. This is where some of the other more toxic chemicals might do a better job. That said, the Pine-Sol did detach all of the arms, and I was mostly able to pick off the superglue with my fingernails, only occasionally having to resort to my hobby knife.

And at the bottom of this post you can see the complete minis drying on a thoroughly soaked paper towel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Actually, I did this earlier this week, but my webhost was suffering a DDOS attack and took WordPress down for a few hours. Conveniently the hours when I was going to post this.

**One of my other friends Duncan, who is possibly the best painter I know, has apparently also used Pine-Sol to great effect. He claims that only 3-4 hours are really needed to get most of the paint off.

The Second Time is always easier

Friday, May 10th, 2013

dfwellwellwellSo yeah, 2 Forgotten Beasts slain. If we can get through this tantrum spiral and make the dwarves happy again it might actually be salvageable. Work is progressing well on our Waterworks project. A well. Aha! Do you see what I did there? Anyways, 3 lever operated floodgates so as not to flood too much. Tulon has withdrawn from society and claimed a craftdwarfs workshop. I kind of hope he makes us some nice furniture or something with which we can spruce up the place. Nope. A Crundle Bone Mask. I’m sure it menaces with spikes and stuff.

Another wave of migrants has arrived, putting us back to 78 dwarves. And somehow one of my dwarves has fallen down the well and drowned. It doesn’t matter, a small goblin ambush of only a couple dozen gobbos has slaughtered my militia and is now running rampant through my fortress. They’ve easily killed as many dwarves as the first forgotton beast did. With my dwarves already less than happy, probably a vampire lurking somewhere in my fort, and things only likely to get worse, it’s probably time to call this fort a failure and try again.

Since this is the end, here are some highlights of the fort! Our trade depot, and the lightly trapped main entrance, as well as the caravan entrance.

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Here’s the hall of the dead. All but 4 of these coffins are full. And those 4 only because I just built them. Maybe I’ll run the game long enough to bury all of the dead.

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Here you can see a portion of the fine housing. Discounting Noble housing on the end, this could once fully functional support 102 dwarves. I’d been planning on duplicating it a layer down, but now there’s no real need.

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Thus ends the tale of BalancedCudgel.

Addendum! So I decided to finish up the graves, and 22 more dwarves arrived just as I finished setting out the third column of coffins (which are basically filling up with dead as fast as I can get them crafted and then placed. It almost tempts me to continue with this fort. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen at this point?

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Why So Melancholy?

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

 

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So of the 68 surviving dwarves, 17 are unhappy. Or worse. Several have gone insane, and a few have died of self inflicted starvation/dehydration. We nearly have enough Coffins to house the remains of all the dwarves that have fallen due to the Forgotten Beast and it’s aftermath. Soon, maybe the fort can get back to normal. Or as normal as can be expected. We’ve nearly finished the great wall. The 2nd cavern is safely walled off.

A modest wave of 8 stout migrants have arrived. Apparently even the tales of sadness and woe can’t keep the good dwarves away from our magnificent fort. A human caravan has arrived, and on its heels comes Gethust the Forgotten Beast. I seriously doubt my fort can survive another dozen or more deaths, I already have regular tantrums, things being destroyed and infighting. How did Gethrust get through my defenses you may ask, well, in my flu-addled state, I forgot that hornets can traditionally fly. And this one is no exception. Then again maybe not. There were only 2 fatalities before my militia put it down! We’ve traded for much of what the humans have to offer.

The wildlife preservere is now complete. Next big project will be to finish walling off the caverns for safety.

My First Forgotten Beast

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Smunxaz Ezuspzestto Spongku Spab is DEAD! A new migration wave arrived in the middle of the battle, and our bookkeeper was one of the many killed. The exact death toll may never be known, but at least 20 brave dwarves died on the 4th of Slate, 1053. A quick census suggest 76 survivors and little damage to be repaired.

New administrators have been appointed, the hospital should be complete soon. Plans for a cemetery and memorial garden are in the works, once we can get some coffins made. We may also need to make some memorial slabs, in case all of the corpses of our fallen brethren can not be located. Even with all of the deaths, there we only a couple of injuries, so hopefully we can get things running again soon.

Assuming the dwarves stop throwing tantrums.  3 Dwarves are freaking out all at the same time! Now they’ve  calmed down and another dwarf is throwing a tantrum. Several tantrums later, and Reg Kogannoram our our Wax Worker has gone mad. More tantrums, more insane or berserk dwarves, fighting deep beneath the mountains. I suspect this will not end well.

A farmer has gone beserk, seriously injured another dwarf, and trapped a half a dozen more in a dead end. However he’s too injured to move. I’ve sent what remains of the militia to kill him as there seems to be no alternative. The elves have taken this opportune moment to show up and ask if we want to trade.

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If things weren’t crazy enough, Bomrek Muthkatbim, our Siege Engineer has been possessed! Apparently I spoke too soon. The Forgotten Beast Gethust has come! A huge three-eyed hornet. It has two long, straight horns and it squirms and fidgets. Its clear exoskeleton is warty. Beware its poisonous sting! It looks like it is on the upper cavern, which we did successfully wall off, so we may be safe for the moment. We traded for literally everything the elves had, and gave them a bunch of crapft.

So Bomrek doesn’t quite have the materials he needs. If it was just one more thing I’d be a little more circumspect about waiting to wall him off. However I have made a terrible, terrible mistake.  See the little gear in the lower left? That’s our garbage dump. And it’s got hundreds or thousands of stones. So the question is, can our mason move all of the stones off of the dump, to the new one to south before Bomrek goes insane? And the answer is no. So for future reference, make sure not to put your garbage dump within 2 squares of anything. At least Bomrek only went melancholy mad.

Unsounded

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

 

 

Go here:

http://www.casualvillain.com/Unsounded/comic/ch01/ch01_01.html

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Look I’m not kidding, aside from Saga, this is the best thing I’ve read in ages! And I’d show this one to my mom without a second thought. I mean… not that I won’t try and get my mom to read Saga at some point, but she’s not so huge on comics, and as awesome as Saga is, I think I want to wait until it’s done before I try and make her read it.

And that’s not to say there isn’t cursing, boobs and bloodshed in Unsounded. And it’s certainly not that there’s less … it’s just well, when they’re there in Unsounded they seem less shocking, more appropriate. On the other hand, I’m not trying to say anything negative about Saga either here. Both are certainly comics for adults. And both are well worth reading.

Dig Everything

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

So I’ve started a massive amount of exploratory digging. Drafted more miners (and I think I’m going to pull in a few more). I was really hoping we’d hit something in one of the Gabbro layers, but I fear I may have to dig deeper to find any metal ore besides Sphalerite. I’m so annoyed by how useless Zinc is.

Zefon Edemneth our Blacksmith has been taken by a fey mood. I expect we’ll have an awesome Zinc artifact, seeing as he’s claimed the Magma Forge. He grabbed a ton of stuff and began a mysterious construction just before Spring of the third year.  And I’ve decided to dig deeper in search of useful ore. We didn’t have to dig far to find another cavern, and somehow during the digging part of the cavern collapsed, knocking Erush and Lolor unconscious. I suppose it’s time to set up a hospital.

As if we don’t have trouble enough, The Forgotten Beast Smunxaz Esuspzestto has come! A huge one-eyed serpent. It has four long straight horns and it appears to be emaciated. Its ochre scales are large and set far apart. Beware it’s noxious secretions!

On the bright side, Zefon has made a pretty fantastic door. We’ve set it in the entrance to our living quarters level!

Did I mention that Smunxaz has come? Alath Ngotunurist, Engraver is the first to die, in the first cavern, far far underground as is fit. The miners have been instructed to seal off the shaft, possibly leaving a couple of other dwarves to a similar fate, but otherwise the whole fortress will likely fall. Mebzuth Erithstagshil, our Metalcrafter will be missed. Led Ablelsod, a Mason also has been killed.

Woe betide us, a new wave of migrants has arrived, as the slaughter and desperate walling off of the caverns proceeds to worsen. The beast has found its way up the main shaft, and is running rampant throughout the fort. Nomal Matrovod has been found dead. Apparently we also have a Vampire. I suppose that doesn’t matter now.

An emergency Militia has been drafted, the 10 most able bodied dwarves. They rush to fight the beast shortly after it kills a baby. Kol and Mafol die almost instantly. Iton dies moments later. Asmel is interrupted trying to find a hammer when he’s attacked by a Great Horned Owl Woman. Will our trials never cease? It is apparently too much for Doren Loloror, our Brewer, for he has gone stark raving mad!

The casualties are too numerous to mention now, but Bembul Paddlebolt, our weaver has picked up a crossbow, and takes two shots at the beast. The first misses, but the second one strikes it in the head, tearing muscle and chipping the upper spine’s bone and bruising the nervous tissue! This slows it down enough for Bembul to put a few more bolts into it! The beast is defeated!

So many dwarves, what should they all do?

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

It’s the summer of the second year, and more dwarves have arrived, bringing our fort to nearly 60 hearty folk. If it wasn’t for Dwarf Therapist there’s no way I could manage so many dwarves, as it is, I still end up finding busy-work for many of them. Once the massive stone dumping project is done, I think it’ll be time to set up a militia. Something I’m rarely good at. Sadly I haven’t found much in the way of metal ores on this embark, so it looks like

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everyone is going to be wearing zinc armor, except of course, that’s not an option.

A caravan has arrived, maybe we can trade for some metal… of course there’s a bit of problem, we raised the bridge just a smidge too soon, and one of the caravans is trapped half on. I have a feeling we’ll experience some FUN when we lower it. … and yeah, it destroyed the caravan. Maybe the humans won’t come back next year? Oh well, I guess we get all of their stuff for free!

More migrants have arrived. A fine meeting hall has been designed, marred only slightly by the lack of chairs, at least we have an artifact table to look at. Soon chairs will be created and it will be much more awesome a place. Maybe some statues?

DEVELOPMENT! The Forgotten Beast Kul has come! A huge humanoid composed of ice. It has three broad horns and it undulates rhythmically. Beware it’s webs! … Well then, good thing we walled off the deeps. Maybe we can pour magma on it at some point?

Another caravan has arrived, perhaps this time I can avoid screwing it up. I’ve certainly got enough trade goods at this point that I should be able to trade for everything they have and more. Meanwhile my metalcrafter has been taken by a fey mood. Mayhaps he’ll make me a Zinc Anvil or some such nonsense! And our metalsmith has made an amazing Zinc ring. I guess I’ll put him to work making Zinc Trinkets. Zinkets? Maybe we can sell them to traders, there’s certainly enough sphalerite around I should be able to smelt Zinc forever.