Thursday 23 July 2015

Airbrush take #1 and some books

I've recently bought my first airbrush and a compressor. It took me a while to make a choice. Luckily, I came across this great blog post by Arbal and pretty much followed all the pieces of advice he gives there. I've also bought several other products (thinners, cleaners, paints, etc.) that cost me a little more than I'd expected. Still, my first humble attempts show that there's a big potential in it to make a few things easier for me.
So far I've  basecoated some random old Space Marines and one Puppet Wars Vik. I've also applied 1-2 layers of paint on them as an exercise. I was particularly happy with red - it normally takes so long and so many layers to build a solid color with a brush. Here I was able to get this effect with just a few minutes of work. Cleaning the airbrush might not be the most enjoyable part but I'll get used to it. My ultrasonic cleaner will help with that for sure.

Kupiłem niedawno swój pierwszy aerograf i kompresor. Trochę zajęło mi wybranie odpowiedniego modelu na starcie. Na szczęście, trafiłem na świetny post autorstwa Arbala i w zasadzie kupiłem wszystko co autor polecił na start. Kupiłem też kilka innych produktów (rozcieńczacze, zmywacze, farbki, itp.), co w sumie kosztowało mnie dużo więcej niż przewidywałem. Mimo to, moje pierwsze nieśmiałe próby z aero pokazuję że jest w nim spory potencjał na ułatwienie mi wielu rzeczy w hobby.
Póki co nałożyłem tylko podkład na parę starych modeli Space Marines i Vik z Puppet Wars. Nałożyłem też 1-2 rozjaśnienia w ramach ćwiczeń. Najbardziej usatysfakcjnował mnie efekt czerwieni - uzyskanie solidnego koloru nakładając farbkę pędzlem to w tym wypadku dużo prcy. Tutaj uzyskałem dobry efekt zaledwie po kilku minutach pracy. Czyszczenie aerografu nie jest może najprzyjemniejszą czynnością, ale z czasem się do tego przyzwyczaję. Na pewno pomoże mi w tym moja nowa myjka ultradźwiękowa.

My notes on books is another thing that I've been neglecting recently. I usually listen to audiobooks while I paint and follow that up with a brief note on the blog. It helps me keep track of what I read. Here's an update on that.

Moje notatki o książkach to kolejna rzecz którą ostatnio zaniedbałem na blogu. Zazwyczaj słucham audiobooków podczas malowania i potem piszę o nich krótką notatkę. Pomaga mi to na prowadzenie swojego rodzaju rejestru przeczytanych książek.

The Tommyknockers is one of the older novels written by Stephen King. Unlikely for him, though, it's a science fiction novel. The action takes place in a small town in (you've guessed it!) Maine. The citizens of Haven fall under the influence of a mysterious object that is being uncovered in the forest close to the town. Prolonged exposure grants them unusual skills but not without a price to pay for that...
What I liked most about it was that one of the protagonists, James Eric Gardner (mostly referred to as just Gard"). Is not a likable character. He is a former poet and also happens to be a hopeless drunk. Yet despite all his flaws, he has one special characteristic that makes him immune to the influence of the object from the woods. We observe through his eyes as the town gradually descends into madness...

Finders Keepers is a sequel to Mr Mercedes, which was released last year. I enjoyed the first part of this trilogy so I got the audiobook as soon as it was available.
It follows the events from Mr Mercedes. The protagonists lead a safe and secure life. The first part of the novel deals with events from distant past and a murder of a successful, though reclusive writer ,and a theft of money notebooks with his unpublished works. Years later, the notebooks and cash are accidentally discovered by a teenager who is trying to use them to help his struggling family stay afloat. Things get complicated when the person responsible for the crime is released from jail...
The novel reads well and I liked how King nicely connected past events with characters known from the previous book. However, they did feel a bit rusty. They seemed much more intriguing in Mr Mercedes as we were just getting to know them. I expect more from them in the next book (End of Watch) that is scheduled for release next year. I'm a bit concerned that King sort of forces a supernatural element to the trilogy but I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out in the end.

I'd unfortunately seen the movie (which I liked a lot) before reading the book but it's so well written that it didn't turn out to be a problem. The Road is set in a not-so-distant future in the US. The country (and presumable the rest of the world too) has been destroyed by some kind of cataclysm. A father and a son journey along empty roads, trying to reach southern part of the country, in hopes of surviving harsh winter in a better climate. As they travel, they occasionally meet people, though they mostly do their best to avoid them. 
The novel received a Pulitzer prize and I believe it deserves acknowledgement. The main characters are never referred to by name, just a boy and a man. The world is turned to ruins by an unknown disaster. No towns are named too. It serves some purpose for sure. I believe that Cormac McCarthy wanted the characters, their journey, to be symbolical. They represent humanity (or what's left of it in a world where bandits cannibals thrive). And the "fire" they carry can be seen as a symbol of hope.
It's not an easy read, at times even disturbing but it's definitely a book I'd recommend. It presents a rather bitter vision of the world and humanity but it does so in a way that is both intriguing and thought-provoking.

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