Battlestar Galactica Cylon Raider Miniature Comparison

Here are a couple of shots that shows the Konami Raider, the Titanium Raider from Hasbro and the new Hot Wheels Raider. The Konami Raider is slightly smaller than the other two, which are almost identical in size006008

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Battlestar Galactica Viper Miniature Comparison

Here is a shot that shows the Titanium Viper from Hasbro, the new Hot Wheels Viper and the Konami Viper.  I have to say I’m quite disappointed in the Hot Wheels Viper, the paint job is wrong for the Classic Viper and it doesn’t have nearly as much detail as the Titanium or the Konami Vipers.

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X-Wing Miniatures

Here are a couple of shots of the X-Wing and Tie Fighter miniatures from the X-Wing miniatures game compared to the Titanium models from Hasbro from a couple of years ago.

XWing1 XWing2


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Seventeenth Century Nun’s Prayer

Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will some day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of other’s pains, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint-some of them are so hard to live with-but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the Devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.



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Interplanetary UFO

In my previous post I talked about building the “Interplanetary UFO” model, which I has recently been re-released and which I had built when I was younger.  Well, I have since pulled out my bin of old models and located my original “Interplanetary UFO” as well as one a friend gave me that I subsequently modified.  There are several differences between the old version and the new version.  The first thing I noticed is that the old version is much more translucent than the new one and doesn’t glow as brightly.  It’s possible that this could partially be fading that occured over the years, but I don’t really think so.

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Another difference is that there are some peices that the new version comes with that the old one didn’t. Frank’s Home Page > AMT Leif Ericson Galactic Cruiser and U.F.O Mystery Ship gives a complete explanation of why this is but basically the parts that were in chrome in the original Leif Ericson kit weren’t included in the original U.F.O. kit but are included in the new kit, although not in chrome.  These include the “Phaser cannon” on the tip of the nose, a small ball peice on the top of the conning tower and three peices of landing gear for the small shuttle.

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Another major difference is the original release the upper and lower pieces main body and neck were each one piece.  At some point AMT decided to make the UFO fit into a smaller box and the ships neck was cut.  This is also the case with this newest release, although interestingly in the new version of the Leif Erikson the neck has been reconnected.

This adds an extra ring to the neck, but doesn’t look too bad:

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A friend of mine had also built the UFO kit but didn’t want to hang onto it so he gave it to me and I proceeded to paint it and start gluing extra pieces to it. It’s got some chrome parts from an R2D2 kit, some parts from a Klingon D7, a few parts from “USS Cygnus” from the movie “The Black Hole” and I think a few missiles from a random tank model. On the bottom is also a bridge piece from some sort of “USS Enterprise” There’s also a couple miniature stands that I thought made good sensors, and some straight sprue pieces. I think there are also a few “Space Shuttle” parts as well. It predates the Firefly T.V. series but could have made a good “Reaver” ship for that show.

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Model Building

It’s been years since I built a model, even though I have a few unbuilt ones that I’ve been hanging onto for years. I decided to give it another try, and to warm up, I built the recently re-released “Interplanetary UFO”.  It’s a model with an interesting history and my Pinterest pages have some links to some pages with good information on it.

I forgot how annoying it is to try and get the pieces to come off the spruce with a clean cut.
Anyway, I now have it build, I haven’t put any decals on it yet, but here is what it looks like under regular light, and under black light


There is a very similiar model, the Leif Ericson, which isn’t made of glow in the dark plastic but does come with a lighting kit. There are also a couple minor differences in the parts. I haven’t built that one yet, but hope to soon.

Here are the boxes for the two kits:

UFO and Leif Ericson

And the backs of the boxes:

U.F.O. and Leif Back

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New Year, New Plan

Well, last year’s plan to get healthier and lose weight didn’t work out so well. I signed up for the 5 Peaks trail runs and a 5 K. Zombie run, but I didn’t make out too well with training for the running. I ended up pulling some muscles in my leg and having problems with my hip and lower back.
Spent some time in Chiro/Active Release getting that fixed up and then broke my leg on an easy hike at the end of July. That pretty much did me in for the rest of the year.

However, it’s now a new year, the leg is doing well, although it still hurts when I’ve been fairly active.
I’ve got a simpler plan this year, each day I’ll either do 10,000 steps, or at least an hour of some sort of exercise. If I can pull that off for at least 5 days out of 7 each week I’ll be happy.

I’ve got a few tools and apps that will help. I’ve got my Garmin Forerunner 305 that I’ve had for a few years which I can use to track my heartrate, pace, distance and map my route, although I mostly just use it for heartrate.

I got a Fitbit One for Christmas, which tracks the number of steps I do each day, as well stairs climbed and distance travelled. The Fitbit website keeps track of how well I’m doing and allows for weight tracking and Food logging as well. There is a Forum section and I joined the Calgary Fitbit group, which has 22 members.

The Fitbit One and Website can also be linked, which has a very good iPhone app and website for tracking the food you eat each day. This is going to be one of the harder things for me to do consistently, but it has been shown that if you do track your food, you have a much better success rate in losing weight. It can also be used to track the types of exercise that you do, and will feed the food and exercise info back to the Fitbit site.

Another app that I have been using for quite awhile is TactioHealth. It has nice graphs for tracking weight, Blood pressure, activity and several other things. It also imports the step information from the Fitbit. With the other new apps and websites I’m using, it’s become a little redundant, except maybe for the Blood pressure, have to check if any of the other ones track that. However, I’ve use it the longest, so it has more historical information than the other apps/sites, so I’m still using it.

I also use an app called Pedometer GPS+ when I’m walking. It has some nice mapping functions and other features, again, now somewhat redunant with other items.

I also picked up an Omron Blood Pressure moniter a few months ago that I can use to track my blood pressure.
On the days that it isn’t nice enough to get out and walk, I’ve got all sorts of fitness equipment downstairs, a couple wobble boards, three bosu’s, all sorts of resistance tubing, a bench, a couple of exercise balls and various weights. I’ve also got a recumbant exercise bike upstairs that I picked up used a couple months ago to help with strengthing my leg.

So, basically, I’ve got more than enough stuff to be able to do this to track my progress, I just need to do it :)

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Novus Fantasy Roleplaying GameNovus Fantasy Roleplaying Game by Tim Dugger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The back cover of “Novus” says:

” Firehawk Games did not set out to reinvent the fireball, it tried to make a fun and flexible game that can easily be adapted to many different styles of role-playing and many different settings. Firehawk Games wants to give you and old school experience with modern, up to date rules, and we believe that Novus fits the bill perfectly.”

I think the author did a good job with what he wanted to do, reading through the book was reminiscent of reading the old D & D Rules Cyclopedia, with some of the style of Rolemaster and HARP, which isn’t surprising since the author was involved in both of those, particularly HARP.

One thing that was new to me was the Snags and Boons. If you suffer a fumble, failure or are exceptionally successful then instead of just getting a bonus or being assigned a particular occurrence, the player gets a certain number of Snag or Boon points which they then immediately spend to purchase a modification to whatever they are doing, which could be extra damage, or breaking a weapon or many other choices. It’s interesting to me because it does give the Player more control over what happens in those cases.

The 128 page book gives you everything you need to get started in playing a game, character creation rules, races, backgrounds, character classes, spells, and monsters.

The system could easily be used to run most of the older AD&D or Basic D&D modules, particularly the ones designed for lower level characters.

Although I haven’t play tested it yet, it seems like a nice little system. Unfortunately, I don’t really think there is anything outstanding enough about it for it to get much attention, or to cause most players to want to switch from whatever their current favorite system might be.

I think to really be successful, it would need to get used as the underlying system for some sort of popular setting like “Game of Thrones” or another popular TV or book series.

Having said that, it will be interesting to see what sort of follow up material is produced and how well it does. There are a set of short pdf “Libram Novus” articles that are available that I will have to check out as well.

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Skill & Shackles: The Wormwood Mutiny

Pathfinder Adventure Path: Skull & Shackles Part 1 - The Wormwood MutinyPathfinder Adventure Path: Skull & Shackles Part 1 – The Wormwood Mutiny by Richard Pett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first of the Pathfinder Adventure Path books that I’ve purchased, although I’ve glanced through many others. I’ve always enjoyed running adventures that involve ships and the seas, so this one appealed to me right off the bat.

For those unfamiliar with the Pathfinder Adventure Paths, they are published roughly monthly and will have a six issue run devoted to one large campaign, split into six individual adventures.
This is the first part of the six issue Skull & Shackles campaign.

It starts with the Player Characters having been press ganged into the crew of the pirate ship Wormwood.

The first half of the book is the adventure itself. There are a few preset encounters and a sizable dungeon type section near the end, but alot of the focus of this first book is on the players interactions with the crew and getting a rating of “friendliness” between the Players and the crew members, which will become important as the adventure moves on. This means alot is left up to the DM to handle as far as giving the crew members personality and coming up with additional situations for opportunities for interactions to take place. This means I don’t think this would be a good adventure for a novice Gamemaster to try and run, and even experienced Gamemasters could find it challenging.

There is an abstract system for handling some of this, but I think that relying on it too heavily could detract from the enjoyment of the game and could cause the first part of the adventrue to drag out somewhat.

I was a little suprised that they didn’t include a table that could be copied for actually keeping track of the standings between the PC’s and the crew, I think a GM is going to need one and it would have been nice to include it. Also, although several important crew members are described in alot of detail, there are a large number that are only given very brief descriptions, not enough to really give them much personality. This would mean additional work on the Gamemaster’s part to flesh these characters out if you want to roleplay encounters with them rather than just rolling dice to see if side with the Player Characters or not.

The second half of the book includes more background material on treasures, pirate life, creatures, a short work of fiction and an outline for the campaign as a whole.

Overall I was fairly impressed with the book and look forward to seeing future installments.
Whether I will get a group of players together and run it remains to be seen, I’m still learning my way around the Pathfinder system, and running through an entire Adventure Path is a fairly long term committment. I think I’ll see if I survive as a player in the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path first :)

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Rise of the Runelords Player’s Guide

Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide (Rise of the Runelords) (Pathfinder)Rise of the Runelords Player’s Guide (Rise of the Runelords) by F. Wesley Schneider

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A handy little 16 page color guide to supplement the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path. As a player in that adventure, it gives some good background information that is helpful in creating characters that will fit in nicely with the adventure. It would have been nice to have a little more information on the town of Sandpoint, but that’s about the only complaint I have about this $2.00 product.

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