Tag Archives: hobbies

I’m At a Loss


I’ve been finding it difficult to come up with ideas for blog posts, which is why this blog hasn’t been very active lately. As such, I’d like to leave it up to the readers: what would you like us to write about? Would you like to know something specific about our atheism? Do you have an argument that you’d like us to address? Would you like us to discuss a particular book? Do you have any questions about Philosophy, Biology, or History? Would you like to know our stance on a particular feminist issue? Is there something else you’d like us to write on? Let us know in the comment section.

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Hobby time!: Getting my sculpting on.


Over the last several months I’ve been fighting with a bout of depression, and more generally my degree has just taken a toll on my will to do any hobby work. Though now I’m finally overcoming the worse my depression and school is drawing to a close and it’s the perfect time to get back into the some hobbies.

Currently I waiting on a Kick starter I funded back in January 2013 called Kingdom Death: Monster (NSFW). Now this game much of its style, and its largely unparalleled quality are right up my alley, but it’s not coming until July, or if I’m unlucky August and the long wait has had some really negative impacts of my desire to sculpt and build my figurines along with running out of my primary sculpting materials I just put everything to the side. Along with my falling out with GW products (Who are doing a bit better these days in some regard but I suspect they still have some falling to do before they smarten up) I really haven’t had anything I’ve wanted to work on but that’s changed!

I’ve taken on project suggested by a friend to make a sky-clad woman with eldritch-powered bionic legs who kicks things to death for use in our kingdom death games. This gave me a good laugh at the time and I think it should be a lot of fun and will force me to practice a great deal of things I am currently lacking in. Proper human anatomy, proportions and faces being the top of that list of things to improve.

Though my supplies have only just been ordered so I’ll likely have to wait for a couple weeks as I finish my exams though to help keep the excitement I’ll share some tips I’ve pick up for those who want to do sculpting.

Heat hardening clays some in two main varieties I’m aware of.

Potters and sculpting clay:

While there are thousands of different formulations very few are actually meant for sculpting. I’m no expert on these however. Some people have had success with these and if it’s all that’s available give it a shot. When I’ve worked with them I have had little success and shrinkage, cracking and accidentally damaging your work are real problems. And be aware that clay drys, and while you can keep it moist for long periods of time it will eventually harden. As well if you have the choice pick a sculpting clay as they generally with have a much finer texture allowing you to smooth the surfaces and imprint a higher level of detail. finally be aware that while you don’t always have to fire your finished sculpture if you want it to be durable with will have to, and you need to design for it as well (the final sculpture can’t be too thick) and have a kiln.

Polymer Clays:

These I work with more and they are great for kids (generally non-toxic, but check first) and simple works, and has the ability to be the tool of experts as well. Unlike clays these polymers don’t dry out (though they do harden if you let them sit for years). Again I don’t have more experience working with these polymer clays, but sculpt has a wide range I worked with and a large amount of colours if you don’t want to paint your finish product but want it to have colour. Though if you want something cheap and a lot of it super sculpty is a good place to start. It doesn’t hold the best detail, but it will give you a good place to start and you can move to more expensive polymers later if you want to, or need the extra detail. These guys can be oven fired, though invest in a oven thermometer has these polymer clays will burn if baked to long.

Self hardening putties:

The best thing about these guys is they are self hardening and tend to be far more robust then clays, while some can be on the brittle side and some can be a little too flexible if you’re making thin sections. Though the different putties tend to mix well so if you have a couple different kinds and need something with the qualities of two different putties you can just mix them together and get what you want.

You will also need to work in stages. While you can do a lot of work in a short time if you’re not careful you can easy damage work without noticing and have it harden on you before you can fix it. This can lead to a lot of lost progress and just as much cutting and filing to get back to a point where you can fix the damage. As such it’s also good to only work on one side at a time to prevent those damage from occurring in the first place.

Plumbers Putty (Don’t bother): You might be able to find this stuff all over, but it’s quality tends to vary wildly and even then it tends to be grainy and brittle. IF anything use this stuff as filler, but generally I just use tinfoil and/or a wire frame.

Kneadatite Blue/Yellow two part Epoxie putty, “GreenStuff”:

Probably the most common of these putties you can find it over prices in GW stores and all over the place in miniature store which sell games like Warhammer and War Machine. This stuff is great for organic shapes and hold a high level of detail. However it’s pretty flexible when hard and doesn’t hold sharp edges well without a little luck.

Kneadatite Brown/Neutral, “Brown stuff”:

Far less common then green stuff, but a close cousin. Brown stuff is much harder has a longer curing time and can hold sharp edges better. It’s a good alternative if you’re planning to use for geometric shapes, or need something stronger then green stuff.

ApoxieSculpt:

It’s cheap it’s strong it hold detail well (although it is more grainy). Good stuff to work with and it plays nice with the Kneadatite when mixed and used as a base. It take of their properties and loses a lot if it’s graininess. although it’s significantly more brittle then the Kneadatite putties. I have had a lot of success with this stuff.

Procreate:

This is relatively new stuff to me and I’ll be trying it out soon, not sure how it will work, but I haven’t heard anything bad so I suspect it will be somewhere between green stuff and Apoxiesculpt.

Milliput:

Also haven’t work with this, and it’s is more expensive. From what I understand it hold better detail and cures solid I suspect is more brittle though. However It’s supposedly very good stuff so if you see it don’t be a afraid to pick some up and give it a try.

To wrap up this post I’ll talk a bit about tools. Sculpting tools tend to be the easiest thing to find, and everything from your finger to a pen, to expensive handmade sculpting tools will do the job. I suggest buying cheap ones you can generally find at hardware stores (the bigger the store the better) most are different kinds of spatulas, others look more like spear point, and there tend to also be wire scrapers those a generally meant only removing material. Buy yourself set a cheap set with lot of different shape and play around finding what tools you like best. This you can consider buying more expensive tools. Also stick with stainless steel, as they tend to be superior to wood.

Lights, make sure you have excellent bright lighting for your sculpting, make a world of difference.

The final tool I’ll bring up is one you can build yourself and those are armatures. Thing of armatures as the skeleton of your sculpture. They can be simple twigs or they can be elaborate wire frames, but they can help a lot in laying out proportions, add strength, and can also prevent a lot of waste by bulking the sculpture out. Tooth picks, wire, tinfoil, or whatever you have around that you don’t mind losing to the innards of your project can be used to help give it its final shape. Armature are definitely not to be ignored.

Withteeth


Quiz Time!


But don’t worry: I give an A for effort. Okay, actually there will be no grades because this is more about getting your opinion. This blog will be a year old in a month, and our semester is about to come to an end. As such, I think it’s about time to see where we are with the blog. If you are willing to help us out, please answer these questions in the comment section. That way we can figure out how to make the most of our blog over the winter break.

1) What do you consider yourself as far as religion is concerned?

2) How do you define religion? How do you define spirituality?

3) How do you define God or gods?

4) In your opinion, what is the importance of the Bible? The Quran? The Bhagavad Gita? Any other religious texts?

5) What is Atheism? Secularism? Secular Humanism? Agnosticism? Anti-theism?

6) What do you want to know about the above? What are your concerns about the above?

7) What is the importance of Philosophy? History? Science?

8) What do you want to know about Philosophy, History, and Science?

9) Are you a feminist? Why or why not?

10) What do you want to know about feminism?

11) What would you like to know about us as feminists?

12) If you are willing to tell us, what is your gender (not sex, but gender) and sexuality? How do they affect your lives?

13) What do you think affects a person’s sex or gender?

14) What would you like to know about gender and sexuality?

15) What are your hobbies? What do you believe to be the importance of hobbies?

16) What would you like to know about our hobbies?

For those of you who remember my Bible project, I will be getting back into it. My semester was far busier than I expected, so I had to put reading for pleasure aside. As such, I haven’t read either the Bible or Mere Christianity in a while. However, I’ll try to get Mere Christianity finished before the winter semester begins. The Bible will probably need to be put aside during the second semester, so I doubt I’ll finish that before next fall.


A Rant About The Sims


I feel like I need to rant right now. I’m a big fan of RPG’s. I like creating characters and going on adventures. Most of the games I prefer are medieval fantasy games. I like Dragon Age and Fable. But when it comes to computers (I prefer system gaming), I really like The Sims. I like it for the same reason I like RPGs: I can create a character and take them on adventures. But The Sims has some major problems that its fans seem to ignore.

The Sims kills computers. It overheats them so that they die well before they should. It is absolutely full of bugs that the designers should have gotten rid before even trying to release the game. I know of no other game that freezes as often as The Sims. Many times I have lost progress because I’ve had to shut it down without saving due to freezing. It’s also bad at crashing. Characters will completely disappear, or will freeze. Sometimes babies and pets will be impossible to interact with, which eventually results in losing them. This shouldn’t happen. To me, this says that the game creators do not care about the players. They have a monopoly and a huge fan base, so they likely don’t think they need to care: they will get the money regardless. This is a problem. In a few months the Sims 4 will be released and I highly doubt that it will be any better.

But, while I am annoyed at the creators for allowing all these inexcusable issues, I am also annoyed at the fans. It is not difficult to find people who have had these issues. Just Google “problems with The Sims.” You’ll find no shortage of people who have had all the issues that I’ve complained about. But the fans don’t seem to mind. Many even seem to excuse them as “well, it can’t be the game, so it must be your computer,” or “just uninstall and reinstall, it’ll be fine.” Sure, we could uninstall and reinstall all our expansions, of which there are tons because EA likes making people spend money, and we could buy new laptops (luckily desktops aren’t so bad, but many players seem to prefer laptops) every three years. Or the game developers could fix the games so that we don’t have to do this. Why isn’t anybody demanding that EA fix the bugs? Why isn’t anybody suggesting a boycott or a petition? Are we really so willing to give EA our money for a broken product? Are we really so willing to be screwed over?

Again, I like The Sims. I’m embarrassed to admit it, because it is such a problematic game, but I still like it. I hope other game developers make a game like The Sims so that I can play something that is, hopefully, better made. I hope that The Sims 4 is properly debugged, because this is ridiculous. If someone makes a bad product, then they do not deserve to get paid for it. If they want to make money, they should make a product worth buying.


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