Archive for May, 2012

In Progress

Posted: May 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s been a while since I last posted, and today I wanted to take a few minutes and show the reason for that.  I’ve been working on a big dice bag order, and since I make all the dice bags I sell, it takes some time to process large orders.  In this case, it’s an order for 48 dice bags, two dozen of my standard design and two dozen of the “freestanding” design – this is the design that’s reversible if you choose to switch your bag around.  With these dice bags, made in suede and lined in cotton, it’s not as neat-looking as the bags sewn from various prints.  Probably best to keep the suede on the outside.  These are going to Artisan Dice in Texas, who I’ve mentioned here on the blog before.


A pile of the freestanding dice bags.  The one in front is getting the lining sewn in, hence the pins.  After this step, all the bags still need the drawstrings run through them.



What my desk looks like right now.  I think there are currently about 16 of those bags piled up, ready to be drawstring-ed.



Here is most of the other half of the order – the standard bags in gunmetal gray.  I’ve decided to name the colors, and now we have choices of hobbit brown, gunmetal gray, and ranger green.

In addition to working on the order, I’ve also been looking at places to advertise, to bring a bit more traffic to the shop.  I’ve put up an ad on, and will be looking to advertise on Tabletop Gaming News as well.


Some linkage:


My Etsy shop can be found here: Greyed Out

Check out my favorite garment, the Utilikilt, here: Utilikilts

I’ve owned a utilikilt for over a year now, and have been wearing it proudly as often as possible.  I have the Workman’s model, and it’s great.  Lots of pocket space, comfortable, easy to clean, rugged, pretty much everything you could want in a piece of clothing.  They’re a bit pricey, but definitely worth it for something that won’t fall apart on you after half a year of hard wear.
I’m a member of the Utilikilts Evangelist program, which basically means that I get a small commission when someone visits the Utilikilts website using my link and then ends up buying a kilt.  My unique link is  here

I signed up for the program because I think that they make an awesome product, and every guy should get a chance to try on a kilt at some point.  It really does change your whole perspective on wearing pants.  I get lots of comments about my utilikilt, and I’m always happy to talk to people about it.  For me, the main selling point is that it’s a) ridiculously comfortable and b) has lots of pocket space.  I really hate having stuff in my pockets, so big pockets mean I can carry more stuff without awkwardness.  If someone ends up buying a kilt using my link, then that’s totally awesome.  But more than anything I’d love for people to just check out the site and see what’s out there.  Like I said, they do make some really cool kilts.  And if you’re in one of the cities with a Utilikilts retail store, check it out!  On one last note, be sure to measure carefully when you order – it’s not only the ladies’ fashion industry that lies about sizes.  Get a tape measure and a friend to make sure you’re getting a kilt that fits you perfectly.

Project:Lego D6

Posted: May 11, 2012 in photography
Tags: , , , ,


“Sir, this laser pistol is rated to shoot through ceramite plate armor. If you don’t come willingly, I will be forced to use it on you.”

Author’s note:  Updating less frequently with a higher word count obviously didn’t work, so I’m going to try going back to the previous schedule.  Updates every two or three days, with about a thousand or so words each time.  I’m writing largely in my Moleskine, by hand, so it takes a certain amount of time to get all the words down on paper.  My current notebook is dedicated just to this effort, so I don’t want to put down too many words in Pages alone.  

On an editorial note, as I was typing this section I already had ideas for what I want to do in revision, and how I want to eliminate/change a lot of the explanatory text that right now might seem a little long-winded.  As always, this is the rough first unedited draft.  Thanks for reading.


Mellira explored the Twilight while Janus slept.  Most airships shared the same design elements, although the layout varied from ship to ship.  The body of the airship was attached to a light steel framework that held the nacelles via several superstructures along the length of the deck.  The engines were at the aft port and starboard sides, with the engine room running down the last central quarter of the body to aid in stability.  Crew quarters took up hull space by the engine room, with the kitchen generally being forward of the engine room.  The middle and bow sections contained cargo or passenger space, and occasionally extra engines as in the Drake.

The modern airship stayed in the air through a miracle of science.  At the beginning of the 19th century, the whaling industry was in full swing, and business was booming.  One of the dangers in whaling came from the squid species Architeuthis Rex, colloquially known as krakens.  Monster cephalopods, they often grew to the size of their main prey, sperm and right whales, with tentacles strong enough to rip the masts from whaling vessels.  In 1823 the Lucky Patriot was attacked and severely damaged in a kraken attack, but killed the kraken in the process.  The beast was brought back to Boston, where it was dissected and studied.  One of the scientists, William Rensher, discovered purely through accident that the fluid used by the beasts to control their depth, when mixed with common preservative chemicals, created a gas with tremendous lift capability.  The gas was also highly toxic, however.

The mixture soon replaced heated air in pleasure balloons, and the first airships evolved not long afterwards.  Kraken hunting was extremely dangerous, and the first ships to succeed became wealthy.  Even a small amount of the “lift juice” produced a huge volume of gas; a benefit when three out of four kraken hunters came back empty handed, or simply never returned at all.

Mellira was curious and inquisitive, and took her time going into every nook and cranny on the ship.  Unlike sailing vessels, airships had no need for bilges, so the cargo holds generally used as much space as possible.  The engines put off a huge amount of heat, and to counteract the colder temperatures at high altitude each airship used a system of pipes to shunt the heat through the ship.

Mell pushed through a door in the hold, and was surprised to see the sikh’s guards playing chess.  They were in the middle of a conversation, and silence fell immediately.  Their captain – lieutenant, she reminded herself – stood up and approached her.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude,” she said.  She moved to back out of the room, and the lieutenant stopped her with a light touch on the arm.

“Please wait.  Allow me to walk with you.”  His English was flawless, only slightly accented.  She nodded, and led the way back to the deck.

“My men are not used to the flying.  I find that being away from the open sky helps to keep them calm.  So we play chess to pass the time.  You are Mellira, yes?  I am called Fasim.”

“It’s nice to make your acquaintance, Fasim.  Your English is very good.”

“I studied at Oxford for several years.  I had to become fluent very quickly, and lose as much of my accent as I could, to avoid the joking and laughter.” He carried himself as she expected a soldier would, noting his surroundings with a watchful eye even as he told her of Oxford.  His father was wealthy, and sent his son to study literature and military history at one of the finest institutions in the world.  Fasim had joined the sikh’s guard  upon his return, and although he was offered an officer’s position he chose instead to start at a trooper’s rank.  Mellira watched him as he talked; if he was nervous at all he hid it well.

“I was promoted several times, pleasing my father each time he heard of my advancement.  This mission is my hope for a captain’s rank, and I assure you, my men and I will do everything in our power to capture Mr. Slyne and retrieve the gold he has stolen.  If it became common knowledge that Marrakesh lost her treasury, we would be under constant attack by those who perceive us as weak.”

“Of course, that sounds reasonable.  As the sikh’s men, I wouldn’t expect anything else of you.  As part of Captain Janus’ crew, I wouldn’t expect anything else of us, either.  Ruther did after all steal our livelihood.  I imagine that there’s already been talk of the many gruesome things we’ll be doing to Mr. Slyne to make him regret his decision to commit grand piracy.”

Piracy, Ms. Mellira? I am not sure I understand,” said Fasim.

“He stole vast sums of gold, as well as an airship.  It’s the airship that makes it piracy, you see.  There have been many glorious songs written about pirates, and most of them involve gold and ships.  Airships are ships; therefore piracy,” Mellira explained.

“I …see.  Were most of these pirates not hanged, or am I mistaken?”

“No, you are entirely correct, Mr. Fasim.  The ultimate fate of any pirate is to hang from the gibbet until dead.  All the best piracy songs leave that part out.  The last infamous airship pirate, Captain Red Rob Bart, died in excruciating pain after the American Air Fleet blew holes in his nacelles and the toxic fumes consumed his lungs.  He was too arrogant to wear a gas mask in combat, and paid the ultimate price.  His ship went down near Baltimore, with all hands aboard.”  Fasim looked ill, and Mellira grinned.

“Don’t worry.  We have enough gas masks for everyone.  You and your men will be safe,” she said.  “Just remember to breathe.  A mask is helpful, but too many people panic and forget to breathe naturally while wearing one.”

“I will try to keep that in mind, thank you.” The lieutenant took several deep breaths and appeared a little less green.  Mellira decided that she liked the man.  He appeared competent, highly intelligent, and very obviously cared a great deal about doing his job correctly.  Qualities to be admired in any man, much less a professional with a gun who might well safe your life.  They stood quietly for several minutes, watching the clouds pass, before Fasim broke the silence.

“You will forgive me, I hope, but I must check on the men.  They can be as children at times, requiring constant supervision.  Perhaps I will see about coffee at the galley, as well.”

“Men will always be like children, Mr. Fasim.  I’m afraid that for some men that will never change.  As for coffee, tell the cook not to be stingy with the beans.  I’ve grown to like your strong Marrakesh coffee, and this morning’s batch was weak.” She grinned, and he returned her smile.


Quick progress post on what I’m currently working on.  I’m doing a big order of dice bags, and today I cut fabric for a few hours, to save time later.  I cut all the pieces at once, to keep from having to do so later.  It’ll be 48 dice bags in total, and this is just the first half of the project.


Tonight I’m also planning on getting some more written for Airships of Marrakesh; I may go back to the old schedule of 1,000 words every few days, because that seems to motivate me more than 4,000 words every four days.  So we’ll see.  Either way, I know I’m behind on my updates, and I apologize.  There is more steampunk airship action to come soon, I promise!

Khador Re-paint Upcoming

Posted: May 7, 2012 in Uncategorized


Here’s what’s next on the painting table. Just stripped my old paint off these, and I’m planning to repaint in a new scheme, various neutral greens like my IFP.


“I think it’s best if we approach here, from the west.”



Thomas realizes that he’d left the oven on before leaving for work that morning.


I just discovered last week that Lego does series of collectible minifigs. The bandit is from Series 6, and Series 7 has just been released. I think I’m going to aim to collect all 16 minifigs, so I can continue trying for fun pictures like the one above. If you’d like to donate to the cause, I have a donations button set up at the sidebar. But if not, that’s totally ok too. Thanks for reading.


At the edge of the Moleskine Sea.