Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #2 - My Words of Wisdom

Thomas Edison once said, "Genius is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration." Or something to that effect any way. Though this rings true of modeling for me today, that wasn't always the case. In my early days, the projects took on about 99 percent inspiration and only about one percent of hard work. What I lacked in technique was certainly made up for in enthusiasm. There were seams left exposed, gaps left unfilled, brush strokes in the finish, and foggy canopies. But I loved the hobby. I lived, breathed, ate, and slept modeling. (My wife would argue that hasn't changed)
I've been modeling for over ten years now, and like to think that I am but a shadow of my former self. The enthusiasm and inspiration are still high, but the amount of perspiration I am willing to pour into a model (not literally, because that'd ruin the finish) has been on the rise since. Of course, this is owed in great deal to more years under my belt but also due to the amount of interest I had in the hobby back then. I've read a quote that says a hobby is what you make time to do, not what you do when you have time. With that mind set, you can't help but improve.

This week's Sprue Cutters Union challenge is to identify three things that have impacted your modeling, good or bad. Although I've already pointed out that a great deal of enthusiasm will go a long way, I'm not going to use that in my countdown because along with enthusiasm you need some measure of assistance. I don't know many modelers who have taught themselves the art without having interacted with others - exchanged ideas, received criticism, etc. This hobby is very social. We are not monks, silently building models in our mountaintop sanctuaries.
So, to start this countdown, I will share with you one of the most important influences to impact my modeling.

At number three...
FineScale Modeler

Call it a bit of free advertisement if you will. Never the less, this monthly publication had an immense effect on me. For a young modeler, it was like hobby porn. The pages were full of color pictures of beautiful aircraft, and weathered armor. I was regaled with fresh new ideas and techniques. It was reading FineScale Modeler that taught me the fundamentals - decaling, washes, dry brushing, masking - and so many other tips from readers just like me. I simply couldn't wait for each issue to hit my mailbox.

Along with the magazine, they support an online forum that I participated in for a long time. Much like the magazine, I utilized the forum to gain a better understanding of the hobby. I learned how to use the tools I had effectively, and most importantly, I got feed back from knowledgeable and friendly individuals.
Of course, you could substitute this publication for any one of the hundreds that are out there. I haven't subscribed to FineScale for several years now. Not because I fell out of love but because I ran out of room. With over fifty issues saved, I just didn't have the space to store them. Never the less, as I've become a more experienced modeler, I like to think I've grown out of the book stage, learning things on my own and perfecting the techniques.

But for a new modeler, I highly recommend getting your hands on a magazine of some type or joining an online forum. The information is priceless and hopefully it will shape your enthusiasm for the hobby, as it did for me.

At number two...
The Airbrush

Nothing changed the game, in terms of finish, as much as making the purchase of my first airbrush. It was a Paasche VL paired with the 500D compressor, a Father's Day gift (best one to date), that took my models to the next level.
Prior to obtaining the zenith of modeling tools, I had been using regular paint brushes, which can be quite useless and time consuming depending on what you are painting. Don't get me wrong, I have seen a few people that can pull off an amazing color scheme using only a brush, but that seems more the exception than the rule.

I really don't even have to explain the benefits of an airbrush over any other method of painting because I am most likely preaching to the choir. Granted, the hand brushes still get used for small details and figure painting, but for armor and aircraft the airbrush is the way to go. I recall painting a 1/35 Dragon Panther by hand when I first started modeling, using Model Master enamels. It was time consuming and sloppy. Two coats were necessary. The first model I painted with the Paasche was an Italeri M1 Abrams, and it was then I realized I would never go back.

I still use the trusty ol' Paasche, even after five years. Its the only brush I own, and since it is easy to maintain, it will likely be on my books for several years to come (though I've been eyeing up a Grex....). If you have the money, its a worthwhile investment and well worth it to learn. Get one.

And finally, the number one most important influences on my modeling...
 Road Trips

 If you haven't been to a model convention, do so. Having read my blog long enough, you'll know I have a good relationship with my father. He is the one who started me on this road and we've shared the experience of modeling ever since.
Our greatest shared experiences come when we pack a lunch for the day and head off for parts unknown just to get a glimpse of the latest creations by modelers across the region or even across the country.

Our first show was the AMPS International Convention in Havre de Grace, Maryland back in 2009. Since then, we've attended numerous shows ranging from Mosquito Con in Wayne, New Jersey to AMPS East (now Armorcon) in Danbury, Connecticut. Traveling for several hours both ways gives my father and I an opportunity to catch up and spend some much needed father/son time together - something we don't get now that we're much older. Beyond that, attending a show gives you the opportunity to rub elbows with some talented modelers. You never know what you might see, and with some shows sponsoring seminars and workshops, you never know what you might learn.

One of the best things, of course, are the vendors. My father and I quite often spend more time in the vendor rooms than on the actual show floor. The kits and other merchandise are plentiful and the prices are usually fair. I've never come away from a show with less than three kits. In fact, the majority of my stash is made up of these cheap convention finds. The ride home is spent laughing maniacally at the deals we scored while then trying to figure out a way to sneak them all past the wife...

I hope to continue this tradition with my father. Our next show is planned for September when we hit up Jersey Fest. It'll be our first attendance at the mainly Sci-Fi oriented event. (Yes, I'll have pictures) If you have the opportunity to go to a show, I highly recommend it. Even if you have to go alone, rest assured you will have good company on your way home with several inexpensive kits.


Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!

Yet Another Plastic Modeler - Jeroen's list is very similar to mine!
The DogsChuffers Scale Model Workshop - Craig shows us his top three tools!
Martin's Scale Models - Martin's top three also includes the airbrush. May be a recurring theme!
MattBlackGod's World - Danny gives us a brief look into his modeling inspiration. Another shout out to Dad!
Eternal Wargamer - Frank tells you to get motivated!
Kermit's Workbench - Rich tips us off with some important techniques!
Doogs' Models - Another great take on this topic from Matt. Takes the airbrush theme a bit deeper with "modulation".


Want to join the Sprue Cutters Union? Its simple. If you model and have a blog that is all you need to start. Just write a post in response to the weekly topic, copy the link in the comments section for that week's assignment and you're in! Check out more detail about joining the Sprue Cutters Union.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Revell 1/72 PT Boat - Part I

Welcome to the introduction to the next big project here at the workshop. It is Revell's 1/72 scale PT Boat (as if you couldn't read the title). Its a classic kit that shows its age but hopefully it will finish nicely.

This kit was purchased by my father about four years ago as part of our tag team modeling alliance we have. Our pact ensures that when he buys a kit, he puts it together and I paint it for him. It is a well orchestrated plan that allowed him to return to the hobby without having to spend so much time and money on it purchasing paints and other tool. Its a deal that I appreciate because painting is my favorite part of this hobby, and if it wasn't for his interest in different subjects, I wouldn't have ever thought to work on a PT Boat. So I get a little diversity on my modeling palette as well.
The kit was bought rather cheap from a model show, that if I recall correctly, was in Runnemede, New Jersey. He built it swiftly and has been sitting on my shelf waiting to be finished for several years, much like the B-25. Now is the time to complete it!

The Build:
Despite the deal being that he constructs the kit, I paint it, there are times when my father leaves certain items off the model for me to attach later. This eases transportability as well as painting in some cases. Moving a model from his house to my house with every fiddly bit attached can be dicey if we're not careful. So, he generally completes about 90-95% of it before packing it up and delivering it to me. Its only a 20 minute car ride but I think we all know the hazards of transporting a model across town.

This is how I received it.

Not really the worse for wear but you can see the starboard side gun turret railing has been knocked off and will have to be reattached. Clearly there are other parts not glued on, namely the torpedo tubes, machine guns and other small parts.

Since this was early on in his return to the hobby, his filling and sanding techniques were not the cleanest. Some work will be done to clean up areas around the boat...

Nothing a little file won't fix.
The kit is full of small parts, all molded in plastic. It was dreadfully difficult to cut them from the sprue without running the risk of breaking them, or losing them to the abyss. Moreover, once freed from the sprue, cleaning each little part of the rampant flash and ejector pin holes was tedious. So much so that in some cases I simply replaced the part with brass wire...

After everything was neatly attached and as clean as I could make it, I started the rigging. I didn't have the appropriate size string which arguably would have looked better so I had to use some thin copper wire, which I'm hoping will look fine after painting...

Finally, everything is together and its ready for paint. I've never painted a boat before so this should be interesting. I'm currently deciding if I was to paint it gray or that sea foam green that was also common of PT Boats of the era. I'll be plucking through some references until I decide.
Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #2 - Words of Wisdom

Last week's assignment for the Union had modelers talking about their first experience building a model all on their own. It was a fairly successful venture down memory lane, and this week I'd like to expand on it slightly. We were all noobs once, that was pretty clear. If we only knew then what we know now, imagine the possibilities.

- Words of Wisdom -

Pick the top three most significant things that have impacted your modeling, good or bad. For example, a technique, tool, advice, resource, etc. Share it with the rest of us! We learn from achievements, and from mistakes!

Remember, all it takes is a passion for this hobby and a blog to go along with it! All you have to do is write a post in response to this topic by Sunday and you can be a member of the Sprue Cutters Union. Take a look at the Sprue Cutters Union page for more detail. Once you've written your post, either email me the link or drop the link in the comment section below.
The goal is to send new readers to our sites, so don't forget to include the links to other modelers' responses when you get an opportunity.
Spread the word.
Join the Union!

"Call the Ball" Weekend WIP

If you've been following me enough you'll know that often times the weekend tends to distract me from my main project. Though I already stated I will be working on a PT Boat full time now that I've finished "The Hunt", I got a little side tracked on Saturday by a little F-14 I had sitting in my stash. Sometimes you need a quick pick-me-up build to get you amped for the next big kit. At least I do any way.

So, off of the shelf I grabbed the 1/144 F-14 Tomcat from LS and put it together in only about two hours. One of the most fantastically easy builds in the history of my modeling experience, the hardest part was ensuring the cogs that swept the wings back and forth lined up so that the action was correct. I messed this up once as a matter of fact, but otherwise, it was picture perfect. The fit couldn't have been better.

Detail is scarce, but come on, its nearly the length of my index finger. Never the less, I added two fuel tanks under the fuselage because I felt it needed something there. The kit only comes with four AIM-7 Sparrows so I wanted to bulk the model up a bit. It seemed to help though I don't know how accurate they appear. But whatever, I'll do what I want! They are made out of 1/72 Mk 84s I believe. I just removed the tail section and stuck 'em on...

As you can see, the tail hook is down and so are the landing gear. In my typical fashion, I've taken inspiration from the photo above and have titled this build "Call the Ball" in reference to the multi-colored optical landing system that aids a pilot during carrier landings to ensure he is on the correct approach. As if you couldn't guess, the base will be made out of a jar lid again.

In case you were wondering exactly how big a 1/144 scale F-14 is, I've sat it next to a 1/72 Yak III for comparison. Pretty tiny to say the least.

Now the cat just waits to be painted, but you'll just have to wait until next weekend for that because I'm on to bigger things this week with the PT Boat. Stay tuned for an introduction to that project.
Thanks for reading!

The Union Dues: Your First Model

Last week's task for the Union was to write about the first model they ever built on their own. For the first ever Sprue Cutters Union assignment, the response was pretty satisfying and it was interesting to read some fellow modelers' first experiences with the hobby. In case you missed them, here are the contributed articles. Give them a read!

Doogs' Models
Yet Another Plastic Modeller
Kermit's Workbench
Eternal Wargamer
The DogChuffers Scale Model Workshop
Martin's Scale Models
The Combat Workshop

Six blog (and one Facebook) responses, not too shabby!
There was even great participation via the comments section on both The Combat Workshop's Facebook page and this blog, as a lot of people shared memories of their early modeling lives. Read some of the comments here.
The next topic will be posted shortly.

For all members, to help grow our respective audiences, don't forget to add the links from your fellow contributors onto your post.
If you want to join the Union, all you need is a blog and a passion for the hobby! Spread the word! Join the Union!

Friday, July 26, 2013

"Welcome to Hell" - Finished!

Well, that didn't take long. In just about two days of work, this little vignette is complete. Its really simple. There were no fancy techniques or fun tips for me to share really. It was just a cool way to blow off steam and find a way to display a 1/144 scale T-55.
When I last left off, the base structure had been completed and needed paint and final touches. This was all accomplished last night, so here it is from start to finish...

I started by painting a black strip along what is intended to be a road.

Around the edges of the road I painted dark brown which I lightened in several layers to create a mud and dirt effect...

Sand mixed with brown oil paint creates some rubble piles in the streets...

Test shot with the tank in place. The fingers give a nice sense of scale, eh?...

Now for the building. Layeres of gray were sprayed and lightened in the same manner as the brown dirt...

A thin coat of tan was sprayed over the gray to vary the color slightly...

The tank was then repainted, giving it some color modulation. The details were picked out with some dry brushing...


Simple and fun. Didn't take much time or resources and it looks really nice on my shelf! Hope you enjoyed this little build.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

"The Hunt" - Finished!

Yes, after a couple of weeks off due to work restraints I was finally able to finish the last couple of steps for this diorama. All that needed to be completed was the rework and repaint necessary on the Weequay alien figure. 
After sealing his joints with super glue and milliput, I painted him using Vallejo acrylics, matching his original colors as best I could. A wash using burnt umber ink and some dry brushing gave him a lightly weathered appearance. He'll just need a dull coat to take a bit of the shine off of him.

Nothing beats finishing a project. Its exciting, and especially after a diorama like this, I feel quite a sense of accomplishment. 
What did I learn? I believe the next time I won't get so complicated with the water. I'm not totally sold on how it turned out. In certain angles it looks more like textured earth than murky water. I'm not so sure the base had to be quite so large either. But it is what it is. Over all, I'm happy with it. I think it replicates the original concept picture pretty well, I just hope the story is as clear to you as it is to me.
Enjoy the finished pictures!

On to the next project!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #1 - My First Model

I remember the birth of my interest in modeling like it was yesterday. My father took me to the local hobby shop to pick out a model as a reward for doing so well in school. Though I don't remember my age precisely, I'd venture to guess that I was around eight or nine at the time. Until that date, I had been scarcely exposed to the hobby, having only seen the finished results of my father's hard work on a shelf here and there. But it was this trip to the shop to purchase an A-10 Thunderbolt II that would spawn a passion that has been in me ever since.

However, that A-10 was not my first build. As a matter of fact, I doubt I so much as helped my father cut or glue anything. You see, in these early years of my modeling career all I ever wanted to do was play with the finished airplane, at of course my father's expense. I'd poke my head in his office, check his progress and await the moment the paint had dried and the decals had set. Then it would be mine to fly around the expanse of the living room.

I grew older and the need for living room air strikes subsided and with it the modeling. Work and life in general had conspired to stop both myself and my father from continuing the hobby. For a good five years at least. Until one day, as I was walking through a local Michael's Arts and Crafts store here in New Jersey, a box wrapped in plastic caught my eye. I don't even remember what I had originally been in that store for, but I remember what I left with...

There are probably not many aircraft modelers that have not built the ubiquitous Revell Spitfire Mk II. It would be this kit that I would cut my teeth on this hobby. Seeing the model on the shelf had sparked some memory of those days past with my father and I decided it was time to grow up and do some modeling of my own.
Much like every one else, my initial work left much to be desired. Gaps were left unfilled, seams left unsanded, and the decals had more silver than a pawn shop. But I loved it! It was brush painted with those tiny obnoxious bottles of Testor's enamels. The landing gear was left up and I proudly hung this accomplishment from my bedroom ceiling. The modeling bug had bitten me hard, and this model was soon followed up by an Fw-190, P-40, and UH-1 Huey Hog. All of which are Revell kits, and they all took their rightful place dangling by fishing line from the ceiling.

I still have this model in my possession. It has gone through a transformation, both intentional and unintentional. As my skill progressed I no longer looked at it as my latest, greatest achievement. Instead, it became a test bed for new techiniques. Downgraded from First to guinea pig. I used it to refine my post shading skills, and even dry brushing. At one point, I intended to model it as a crashed Soviet Lend-Lease Spitfire but that plan was never seen through. Here is how she sits...

A sad state of affairs as you can see. The trademarks of an early modeler are still visible in the seam along the engine cowl, and the terrible paint around the canopy. Note even the reconfigured ailerons, an early attempt at adding some realism.
The blame for its sorry structural condition is owed, for the most part, to my three year old son. Not only was this little plane, once the trophy of my collection, turned into an experimental canvas but also degraded to a child's play thing. Some rough landings at the hands of a toddler pilot have hewn the horizontal stabilizers and one propeller blade right off. Not to mention the missing canopy.
But I'm not complaining.
It has given my boy the same joy that I once felt when my father finally passed those models down to me. The price of hard work and much time converted into the happiness of your child.

There you have it. My first model, which was so significant to me back then, may very well encourage my son to pursue the same hobby years down the road. A father can only hope, any way.

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!

Doogs' Models - Though not necessarily his first model, Matt takes a walk down memory lane
Yet Another Plastic Modeller - Jeroen gives us a look at his stealthy first model
Kermit's Bench - Rich's first model was red hot!
The DogChuffers Scale Model Workshop - Craig's first model may resurface in an upcoming project

Want to join the Sprue Cutters Union? Its simple. If you model and have a blog that is all you need to start. Just write a post in response to the weekly topic, copy the link in the comments section for that week's assignment and you're in! Check out more detail about joining the Sprue Cutters Union.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #1 - Your First

The Sprue Cutters Union is ready to go live and I'm excited to kick it off! This inaugural assignment should be an easy one for all you model bloggers, and may even be a little nostalgic. So, for our first task I thought it would be a good idea to get to know each other a little better, but rather than telling me your name and all that personal mumbo-jumbo I thought we'd skip to the chase. Lets get right into the gritty details...I want to know:

- What was your first?? -

Tell the community about the first model you ever built without the help of any one else. In other words, your first solo. Of course, the length of your post and the amount of detail you include is all up to you. Extra credit if you still have the model in your possession, though if you do - pics, or I won't believe it!

Remember, all it takes is a passion for this hobby and a blog to go along with it! All you have to do is write a post in response to this topic by Sunday and you can be a member of the Sprue Cutters Union. Take a look at the Sprue Cutters Union page for more detail. Once you've written your post, either email me the link or drop the link in the comment section below.
Don't forget to include the links to other modelers' responses when you get an opportunity.
Spread the word.
Join the Union!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Introducing the Sprue Cutters Union!

Welcome to the Sprue Cutters Union! I have been blogging for some time now and have been following the works of other bloggers and social media pages for an equal amount of time. I am constantly impressed by the quality and quantity of work that can be found online. So much so that I decided to create an avenue by which fellow modelers convene to share their work, thoughts, and musings about the hobby thereby generating traffic for themselves and blogger counterparts. This idea was not without its inspiration, however.
If you've been following my blog long enough, then you'll know that on occasion I have been known to participate in the League of Extraordinary Bloggers run by Brian from Cool and Collected. That site is dedicated to fans and collectors of pop culture items like toys and other bits of nostalgia. I decided to apply the same concept to my blog only with a focus on scale modeling, but I'll pretty much be following the same format just for the sake of simplicity. Plus, it works, I've seen it.

So what is it exactly? Technically its called a "blog carnival". A blog carnival is a way to collect links pointing to different blog articles cover the same particular topic. Essentially, it is a place where bloggers can share their works with other like-minded individuals - in this case, scale modelers.

How does this work? This, of course, only works with a little organization and a lot of enthusiastic participation. The organization is simple.
Once a month, preferably sometime within the first week, I will name a topic specific to the hobby (on most occasions but I don't see why we can't venture away every now and then). For example, if I say the subject is the Me-109G than any blogger who wants to participate can write an article to fit the subject - in this case, Me-109G's. Aside from the article having to meet the specified topic, the blogger is then required to have the article posted on their site by the end of the same month. Once that is accomplished, just post the link in the comments section of that month's topic.
I will make a post containing all of that month's entries with links to all the blogs that participated. Then, of course, the next topic will be announced and the cycle will continue.

I did mention this is only as good as the enthusiastic participation. This means YOU! I require that all contributing blogs include links to all, or at least three, of the other participating sites. To make things simple, you can take the list of links that will be posted by The Combat Workshop after the month's assignment is complete, or take the links from the comment section from that month's topic. This will generate traffic for every one which is why a lot of participation is nice. After all, isn't the point of having a blog to have people actually read it?

End Game
At the end of the day every one benefits. It should increase traffic to your site and will hopefully add some new readers to your following. But remember, this should be fun! I look forward to see how a lot of different modelers respond to the same subject.

So what do you say? Are you in? All it takes is a passion for modeling and a blog to write about it. Feel free to save the logo above and use it in your post or upload it to your blog.
Spread the word.
Join the Union!

The fun begins Monday!

Members so far:
34 and counting!

A Scale Canadian
Bill Weckel
Bounty Jumper
Build the World With Me
David Knight's Weblog
Digital Sprue
Doogs' Models
Fill 'n Sand
Greg's Models
Jay's Scale Model Adventures
Kermit's Workbench
Lt. Smash's Models
Martin's Bench Corner
Martin's Scale Models
MattBlackGod's World
Migrant's Wanderings
Miniature and Model Painting
Motorsport Modeller
Ninetalis Scale Models
Plastic Models
Scale Modeling My Way
Scale Model Ink
Scale Model Soup
Scale Model Workbench
Shutterace's Blog
Tarasdad's Adventures in Scale Modeling
The Classic Kit Junkie
The Combat Workshop
The Eternal Wargamer
The Museum Modeler
The Scale Workshop
Uncle Damian's Garage and Hangar
Yet Another Plastic Modeller

Friday, July 19, 2013

Our Trip to Washington...(or how I learned to stop worrying and love the GPS)

So, it isn't often the wife and I are able to get out of the house for more than just a day. In fact, we haven't taken a vacation, just the two of us, since our honeymoon back in 2006. Three kids will do that to you. So will a fear of driving to locations I am not familiar with. For as long as I've known my beautiful wife, she has always wanted to go to Washington DC to check out the monuments and for an equal amount of time, I have resisted. That trip entails not only driving some where I am not familiar with, but also city driving - both of which are on my list of things I hate to do (the list also includes cleaning the gutters, and stretching sprue). I live a stones throw away from Philadelphia and I've driven in the city a grand total of, you guessed it, zero times. Don't like it.
But with time so grows confidence. So also grows the feeling of intense guilt when the wife says I never take her to these places. So for Valentines Day I promised her a trip to DC this summer to take in the sights and enjoy ourselves. Having secured our children in the safe hands of my in-laws, we set off last weekend to our nation's Capital. And so it was, I placed all my faith in the little Tom-Tom GPS.
With only one hiccup along the way, we arrived no worse for ware and on time none the less. We spent the entire Saturday wondering around the city, taking in all the touristy things, like monuments and museums while half of Sunday was spent at Arlington National Cemetery.
Now, I know you're thinking, what on earth does any of this have to do with modeling? Well, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has a nice display of models along with the static aircraft on display. Like this one for instance...

But, if you're into those monument thingies, well, I've got a few of those pics too, like this one...

But come on, you don't really want to see those...
For more looks at my trip to Washington DC, take a look at the photo album I put up on Facebook. I hope you enjoy the few pictures included there. In any event, it just goes to show that models can be found almost any where you go, and a vacation doesn't mean you have to suffer through hobby withdrawal.
Thanks for reading...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

"The Hunt" WIP - Episode IV

This episode begins with some good news - the base work is finally finished! Always nice when one aspect of a build reaches completion. All that is left is to complete Wedge's alien adversary and this diorama will be done.
There is a little bad news, however, and that is that I will be busy for the next two weeks with work (no, real work, not model work) which will seriously cut into my activities. So, even though I'm nearly done, it may yet take a while to finish. I'll get updates posted when I can, but otherwise, remain calm and work on your own models...

So, I poured the second layer of Realistic Water and added some acrylic gel medium to create some texture to imply a slight current. After the medium dries, I dry brushed it in hopes it appeared as white caps on fast moving water. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't...I haven't decided yet.

Looks okay for my first attempt at this sort of thing. You never know unless you try right?
Well, that concludes this episode, and I genuinely hope to at least get this finished by the end of this week. In the mean time, check out my blog roll or my links page for other great sites to follow while I'm so inactive.
Thanks for reading!