Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rebel Animechs: Death Scuttles Ever Closer




So, this is going to be one of Rebel Mike and my next big efforts.

The upcoming Animech Kickstarter from Rebel Minis.

Here are some sneak peeks of the pre-production masters.  Some have been sent to production molding, others to various artists for paint-ups.

 Here is the Scorpion Mech.  A nasty proposition in close combat.

Here is the Wolf Mech.  This turned out nicely.

These will be RUMV compatible, meaning that different weapons, mounts, and even turrets from the lines I did for Rebel's RUMV vehicle line will be able to be swapped out.

Also, Rebel Minis is now in the digital rules publishing business.  You can download two dozen rules sets and adventures on PDF via Wargame Vault.  Here's the link.
Or, if you like hard copies in your hands, you can go to the rules section at the Rebel Minis site.

Stay tuned for more.

Best,
JBR

Friday, August 12, 2016

New Book: Two Percent Power By Brian Manning

My friend Brian Manning recently finished a novel of superhuman fiction titled "Two Percent Power."

Link to it on Amazon is here.

Brian and his brother Allen are both friends from when I went to high school in Las Vegas.  They're both accomplished artists in their own right.  It's awesome to hold their creative offerings in my hands.

Naturally, I put Two Percent Power in its rightful place.  Don't spoil it for me!

Actually, it's going on the bedside table, elbowing its place into line ahead of a few Ringo and Weber novels.

;)

Great job, Brian, and congratulations.


Best,
JBR

Sunday, August 7, 2016

New Pistola: Sig Sauer P320 in .45 ACP

I bought a new pistol with my sculpting money and some overtime.  It's one I've had my eye on for a while.
 

The Sig Sauer P320, Full Size, is a Swiss/German/American pistol chambered in the All-American classic cartridge .45 ACP.

I sent 200 rounds through it today, about what I consider a good break-in/tryout session.  Things are looking great, so far.

No failures to feed, fire, extract, or otherwise function.  Both magazines lock back, and it eats 230 grain ball (a clone of the classic military full metal jacket load) and 230 grain hollowpoints (self-defense loads) like a champ.

The night sights work great, even in Nautical Twilight,  and I can make consistent groups, even with my withered abilities.

Muscle memory is similar to classic Sigs, with the exception of the lack of a Decocker.  This is a striker-fired pistol, which means one consistent trigger pull, not two distinct trigger pulls as found in double action/single action Sigs.

This was a major plus, for me, since I really learned to shoot semi-auto pistols with the Sig P226, the sidearm issued to me when I was doing contract security for the Department of Energy.  DOE likes their shooters proficient, and I spent a lot of time learning how to work the Sig P226 in a number of situations.  The P320 lets me draw on that experience and muscle memory with ease.

Well, I kept reaching for the decocker after shooting, but we won't bring that up.  ;)

 Here's what you get when you leave the gun store.  Case, holster, extra mag, child lock, manual, sticker (for the toolbox), and a tiny squib of Lucas gun oil.

 
 Here's the pistol in its natural element.  As you can see, it's a full-size, monolithic hunk of steel and polymer.  Very elegant lines, to my designer eye.

 The factory pistol holster is a slip-in affair, with a paddle that can also accommodate a regular belt.  It has a slight forward cant, which is not my real preference.  I'm more of a 90-degree, straight-down-the-leg type of guy.  It's handy, though.

End of day shooting.  Didn't have my camera for night shooting, but it was fun.


My paws are tiny and "artistic," so I am not able to reach the magazine release without shifting my grip slightly.  The beauty of the P320 is that you can swap out the entire plastic grip frame for about $40 USD.  I will move down to the Full-size/Small grip if and when it becomes available.

Here's a pic you guys can use to characterize me as "that quiet fellow next door," if I ever make the news.  ;)

All in all, things are looking good.  A great shooter.

In other news, I'm still writing, and may have a lead on coming back to a favorite character I wrote in the past for another story.

I'll have an update later for sculpting and other sci-fi goodness coming out.

Stay tuned.

Best,
JBR

Sunday, July 24, 2016

5000+ Words

5000 words knocked out over the last couple days.  1700 last week, to bust the rust off.  Yeah, baby.

Best,
JBR

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Shockwave Arm Brace Mod

I like my new Shockwave brace on the .300 Blackout Pistol I put together.

Adjusting the pistol's brace to suit the boy's stance and mine required taking an allen wrench to the range, so the set screw that holds the brace in place on the buffer tube could be undone and retightened.

There had to be a better way.

There is.  I found it on one of my favorite gun forums, AR15.com, in the AR Pistols subforum.

Here's the thread link...
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_122/697430_KAK_Shockwave_mod.html

I went to the local Best hardware store, and bought a 5/16x18 male threaded knob. Price was about $4.

I cut the thread to length, ground a point on it, and threaded it in. Damn. Too short. Stupid me.

So, I ground a notch in the Shockwave blade. Now, it seats flush. Almost like I did it on purpose.





My thanks to user compulynx for the idea.



Enjoy!

Best,
JBR

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Third Writing Snippet



A third snippet from my summer's writing project.

* * * * *

      This wasn't Charlie's first rodeo, so the activation of the security protocol wasn't the cause of some huge adrenalin dump like the new agents on his team were exhibiting. Just another day at the office, he thought, even though 'the office' in this case was the White House. Counting this new guy, this was Charlie Randolf's fourth administration as part of the Secret Service presidential protection detail.

      Despite the pageantry and hype, Presidents were only human, of course. They all react and overreact to different things in their own way. For only being in 'the big chair' for a few months, this guy wasn't taking it too bad. He knew them by name, didn't treat them like wait staff, and almost always followed their advice on protective matters, which was nice.

      This fellow was a Senator from back west, a decent enough dude, Charlie thought, who waited his turn in line until he was his party's inevitable nominee. The fact that the new First Lady was easy on the eyes and a former Miss Colorado didn't hurt, either.

      This was the first Secret Service security incident for the President, though, and he had looked a bit pale when he was bum-rushed by the evac team through the White House.
      That being said, it wasn't every day that the heavy weaponry and armor was busted out. Some of the junior members of the team, and most of the younger Marines, were still pretty tense and on-edge. Charlie just suited up, met his team at the response point outside the conference room, and kept his muzzle trained on the elevator doors. Just another day at the office.
      After a half-hour of waiting, Charlie, his partner Tim Martling, and the rest of his response team received the all-clear signal. Martling gave a radio acknowledgment, and the conference room doors behind them unbolted, their thick steel locking pins pulling back with a half-greased shriek from their sockets in the reinforced frame.

     The two dozen generals, cabinet members, and other staff members and advisers all emerged from the bunker, some popping antacids, other rubbing their temples, their faces a uniform shade of haunted gray. Charlie Randolf had seen some meetings go bad, but this one must have been pretty serious. The satellite feeds on the walls confirmed his suspicions. Screens with rapidly escalating counters were titled "Initial Casualty Estimates," and the numbers were already in the millions. Charlie was careful to not be caught gawking at the screens.

     The president was still seated in the room, his elbows on the table, his head in his hands. Mr. Portsmouth stood behind him, his finger tracing across the screen of a tablet, scanning through some breaking news or some other report. The displays in the room were full of maps of Texas. There were rings around the Dallas area. Big, broad, red and black rings, some solid in color, others shaded or striped, like ripples in a pond of toxic paint. Shit. That can't be good.
 
     Randolf turned to his team mate who was busy undoing his assault vest and packing it away in a large black response bag.
 
     "Hey, Martling, aren't you a Dallas Mavericks fan?"
     "Yeah, why?"
     "Not any more, you aren't. Look at that shit in there, but don't get caught."
     Martling handed his rifle off to the junior member of the team, Ramirez, to return to the armory. He zipped his gear away and stood up, slinging the heavy duffel bag over his shoulder. He scanned the screens in the briefing room for a second, then pulled back when Portsmouth looked up, frowning, from his tablet.
     "Damn. My wife's got people down there. Well, fuck it. The Mavs have a rebuilding year ahead of them, I guess."

     "Yeah, you ain't bullshittin', there. Dallas. Vaporized, man. Wow."
     "Who do they think did it? Russians? Chinese? Home-growns?"
     "Damned if I know. They were talking about some experiment that went sideways when the doors first shut. That must have been one earth-shattering kaboom. Maybe it was Marvin the Martian from the Bugs Bunny cartoons."
     "Man, you and your fuckin' cartoons, man. Just, please, don't do the voice again. You suck at it."
      Charlie Randolf did his best impersonation of an extraterrestrial looking for his missing PU-426 Modulator. Martling's unkind assessment of his talents proved true: it didn't come off so well.

     There was a shout from the inside of the armored briefing room. Randolf and Martling bolted back in to the room, their hands unsnapping the holster releases for their pistols. The president was on the phone, his back turned to them. Portsmouth had dropped his tablet, and was pointing at the two of them.

     "Agents, get on the horn. Get the National Security Council back in here. There are survivors in and around the dead zone, and something's not right. Hurry up."

     "What do you mean, 'something's not right?' 'Something's not right' that there are survivors, or there's something wrong with the survivors?"

      Chief Of Staff Sherman Portsmouth's mouth became a grim line, and his normal, cheerful disposition disappeared. "Agent Martling, I don't have time to explain, so do me a favor, shut the fuck up, and call it in. Charlie, get them back in here, and you and your team post up at the elevators again. Break out your gear."

     Martling slipped his response bag off his shoulder as he pulled out his radio. He looked at Charlie Randolf with annoyance.

     "Well, shit. You armor up while I cover the door, and then you do me. At least we go into overtime in a couple hours."

     "Yup," Charlie said, as he pulled his vest back over his head.  He winked at Martling as he secured the snaps of the load-bearing gear.

     Martling caught the look, and said, “Don't say it.”

     Charlie grinned, and said, “Just another day at the office!”

     “Dammit, Charlie, I hate when you say that. Ramirez! Get back here with those rifles!"


* * * * *

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Little More Writin'.


A little more writin'.

* * * * *

WASHINGTON, D.C.


     “What the hell do you mean, 'it's all gone?'”

     “I mean, Mr. President, that the D.F.W. area is no longer there. Gone. We've confirmed it. We've even moved one of our new recon satellites over the area. The whole place is wiped off the map. From Denton to Waco, everything is gone, or burning.”

      The tall man from Colorado was incredulous. It was only his fourth month on the job, and the new streaks of gray in his hair were a testament to the burden of the presidency.

     “You mean, like scooped out? Like a giant crater?”

     “No, Mr. President. The new particle supercollider in Waxahachie was going to come online today and run its first series of experiments. Your office was going to issue a statement congratulating them on the start-up effort--”
The President bolted up in his chair. “Well, Jesus, Sherman, we haven't put that out, yet, have we?”

     “No, Mr. President. I'm on it,” the president's chief of staff said, his hand brushing his mustache as he looked over the preliminary reports coming from Texas. “As I was saying, sir, the greater part of the Dallas area is burned away to nothing. Everything around the supercollider is a charred cinder for miles in every direction, except for an anomalous area in the center of the blast. We're looking into that now.”

      The president held his head in his hands. “Jesus Christ, Sherman...Dallas is gone. Just...gone. Gone? Really?”

      “Really, Mr. President. I've called the National Security Council. They're assembling downstairs in the secure conference room,” said Sherman Portsmouth.

“Any leads as to the cause? Anyone claiming responsibility?”

      “None at this time, sir. This is all just coming in now, so the picture isn't exactly complete, yet. The scheduled start of the experiment was slated for about 35 minutes ago. I've issued orders on your behalf to immediately stop work at the other particle accelerators at our national labs and others at private and state universities. We should also get our science folks to talk to the CERN supercollider people about shutting down.”

      The president took a hard swallow from the glass of water on his desk, and said, “That sounds like a good plan, Sherman. Good job. Let's go with that.”

      “Yes, sir. Now, we should be heading to the ready room.”

      The president held up his hand for a moment, and said, “Wait, Sherm, you said there was something strange in the middle of the burn area. What's there now?”

      “Perhaps we should move to the ready room, Mr. President. We'll have a clearer assessment of the situation there.”

      The leader of the free world blinked, nodded his head, and straightened his tie as he walked out of the executive office.
The president and his chief of staff made their way though the winding office mazes and wide public hallways of the White House. An agent was on every corner, looking towards the next guarded intersection or corridor for clearance, then bidding them come forward. 
 
      His normal security detail was double in number, and the hallways were clear of their normal governmental bustle. After they entered the conference room, the small cloud of Marines and Secret Service agents, all armored, all wearing rifles or submachineguns, closed the doors behind them, weapons pointed towards the sealed-off elevators.

* * * * *