Monday, January 8, 2018

2017 Year in Review and 2018 Hobby Goals

2017 Year in Review

2017 started out promising in the way of hobby progress. I started to organize my space work space with the addition of some Vallejo paint racks. I made some progress on an Ordos Xenos army, and even completed a Kroot Mercenary which went on to win at the IPMS Nationals. In addition to the IPMS Nationals I attended the Best of the West and Valley Con model shows, taking awards at each. I  didn't get much else done in the way of model building but I wrapped up the year with some major home improvements including the design of a new hobby room. In the middle of all that I managed to pay off all me debt (except for the house), get a promotion at work, complete several home improvement projects, and welcomed a new baby boy!

2018 Goals and Plans

While 2017 was a year of home improvement and life altering changes, I'm looking to find a new normal in 2018. I have a couple of closets in the garage full of model kits, some new, many in various stages of completion. I want to put a dent in my collection this year and I think that regularly attending my local IPMS meetings, and competing at several model shows will help to keep me motivated. There is nothing quite like a looming deadline to light a fire under my butt.

Model Shows

A model show is a great opportunity to set a deadline, display my work, and get some critical feedback on my work. This year I plan on attending at a minimum:

Model Projects

I've got a lot of partially completed projects and I'd like to get a few of those finished this year. There are a few other new models I plan on starting and, as you'll note, I plan on diversifying my skill set this year by including a few autos and other non-warhammer builds.
  • Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper (started)
    • This is a 1979 kit. I started it last year but I'm not happy with the initial paint job. I'll be doing a bit more putty work before restarting the paint on this one.
  • Ready Player One De Lorean (started)
    • I LOVE the novel by Ernest Cline. I have purchased a Back to the Future II De Lorean kit from Aoshima and plan on building it accurate to the novel including a functioning KIT light bar.
  • Skaven Army (started)
    • I started this army last year using the "Start Collecting Box" along with a couple of additional acquisitions. I plan on building a display board for this army. After it has completed the model show circuit I will be sending it to a friend.
  • Duff Beer Wagon (started)
    • My father bought me a Monogram Tom Daniel Beer Wagon kit complete with a custom set of Duff Beer stickers. I'm looking forward to completing this kit, I've already done some extensive customization including a scratch built bed with real wood planks.
  • Star Trek Space Ship Set (started)
    • I picked up this 1976 AMT set of 3 small models at the IPMS nationals. It was partially assembled when I purchased it.
  • Edelweiss
    • This amazing anime tank from Zoukei-Mura Inc. was another gift from my father. I'm excited to see how this extremely detailed kit comes out.
  • Grombrindal
    • I hope to have last year's holiday model completed in time for Modelzona next November.
  • Roboute Guilliman
    • What can I say? This is one hell of a figure. I'm sure he'll be a blast to paint.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Hobby Room Remodel - Part 3

In Part 1 of this 3 part series I discussed the remodel of an unused den space into my new hobby room. In Part 2 I showed you how I assembled a custom closet library from Ikea Billy bookcases. In this part I'll show you my design and process for constructing a custom wraparound hobby desk from various Ikea furnishings.

Using the SketchUp model I discussed in Part 2 I designed the hobby desk of my dreams. In addition to the library, this hobby room would have to display my models, have a work space for building those models, a separate space for my computer, a printer station, and a desk space for the little lady where she could work from home and work on her scrap booking hobby.

I already had two display cabinets from Ikea so I simply arranged those in the model. I placed the Detolf cabinet in the corner nearest the library, and the long one I've had for some time, not sure of the name but it also came from Ikea was centered over the far wall. With the library and display taken care of I could focus on the desk.

Ikea has many options for those who wish to build their own desk. They have a wide selection of table tops, legs, and under desk cabinets/drawers. 

I decided quickly that I would use 3 of the corner desk tops and one rectangular desk top. As far as what I would set those atop I wasn't quite sure.

I noticed that all the legs and cabinet options in the desk building section of the Ikea website were 27 1/2" in height. Since Ikea provides great measurements of all their products I decided to search the website for all furniture with a measurement of 27 1/2". The results I received gave me a much larger variety of options for creating my desks. Searching for items with a measurement of 13 3/4" gave me even more to chose from.

I downloaded and/or built a variety of different Ikea furnishings to test in my SketchUp model. After a few variations, and some input from the little lady, I decided on the below arrangement.

Although not pictured, I would later have to add two additional table legs, one for the back of each corner desk.
The above desk build includes the following items from Ikea:
  • 4x Adils table leg
  • 3x Linnmon Corner table top
  • 1x Linnmon Table top
  • 1x Gerton Table top
  • 2x Alex Drawer unit/drop file storage
  • 1x Eket Cabinet with door 13 3/4" x 13 3/4" x 13 3/4"
  • 3x Eket Cabinet 13 3/4" x 9 7/8" x 13 3/4"
  • 2x Eket Cabinet 13 3/4" x 13 3/4" x 13 3/4"
  • 2x Eket Cabinet with 4 compartments
    • Total Price: $563.97
For the most part the assembly was straight forward following the Ikea instructions. I did make a few modifications. The smaller Eket cabinets were connected with screws from the back to form the configuration above. The Alex drawer units come with 4 rubber pads to place on the top corners to pad the desktop. Since I was also using the Eket cabinets as table support I picked up a few packs of small rubber feet from Home Depot and applied those to the top corners of all the support surfaces.

One major modification was with the Gerton tabletop. I cut this quite expensive table top down to make the two shelves of my printer station. I cut a couple of 1" wide strips from the Gerton tabletop. these were mounted to the side of the Alex drawer unit and topped with a couple of the rubber feet. The shelves were mounted to the Adils table legs with 1 1/4" galvanized pipe straps. These straps were secured to the shelf and the Table legs. In the end I'm quite happy with the look of my printer station but in retrospect I probably could have found a more cost effective solution.

The next major modification was the organization and monitor stand for my computer table. The top of this was made out of laminated shelves from Home Depot with scraps from my library project forming the vertical supports. Each vertical support was also drilled to accept shelf inserts in the future for added organization.

My hobby space is still a work in progress. As I use it I continue to see ways in which it can be improved. Storage is lacking for sure. I'm currently designing a storage system which will elevate the Vallejo paint racks and provide ample storage place in arm's reach. I'm also debating integrating a spray booth into the corner of the desk space. I currently airbrush in the garage but the hot Arizona summers can make long painting sessions in a garage unbearable.

The corner desktop provides ample space for all of my paints as well as my current projects.

The back edge helps to support multiple desk lamps.

My side of the office

My better half's side of the office.

Lots of under desk storage for all out board games.

Completed armies and works in progress are displayed in easy reach.
As with any work space I'm sure I'll make additional modifications over time but at the moment, this is a vast improvement over the previous arrangement and I'm extremely happy with how closely this matches my initial design. Whether it be model building or home improvement prep work pays off.