EXTRA! EXRTA! Get your Apps News Here

Long gone are the days when you had to stroll down to the local newspaper stand on the corner to get news from around the world. Back in the day, if you wanted current, up-to-date news, you flipped on the TV to watch your favorite news crew vomit out the same information every other news station was reporting. What about radio? Nope! With the ability to carry around your own personal jukebox, no one listens to the radio to get their news fix - at least not if you’re part of the Information Age. And if you are reading this article, then you are.

The same goes for Apps for your phone, tablet, or the latest whiz bang pocket gadget on the market. If you want to be in the know when it comes to Apps, you got to go where the movers and shakers go. If you want to hang 10 on the latest and greatest wave of trending Apps, then you want to go where the pros go. If you want to read and salivate over the latest new Game Apps soon to be made available on the App buffet line, you got to go where all the cool kids are going. You need to go to AppsNews.co.

Platform Menu Interface
AppsNews.co offers up a powerful combination of cutting edge news for applications across all of the most popular platforms; Android, Black Berry, iOS, Ovi, and WP7.  You get the inside scoop on the latest industry gossip, info on new releases soon to hit the virtual shelves, and, everyone’s favorite – GAMES! 

Let’s face it, if you have a smart phone or tablet then you’re probably spending a great deal of your time playing Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, or Paper Toss. Don’t lie. You know you are.

So why not do a search on AppsNews.co and find out what new addiction is soon going to occupy your time on the train, plane, or toilet seat? But first you need to step away from the Angry Bird launcher. Go on. You can do it.

Article by: Michael A. Walker
Photos © AppsNews.co


Maya Rafa: Master of Steampunk

Steampunk Antigravity Clock - Maya Rafa

What’s there not to love about Steampunk? That was a rhetorical question of course. Steampunk is culmination of all those things that are holy in Geekdom; Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Alternate History stylized in a Victorian era backdrop that’s powered by steam. Now we're talking.

K.W. Jeter has been credited for coining the term Steampunk in the early 80’s, who is the leader of the Steampunk Rat Pack consisting of Tim Powers and James Blaylock. But the roots of Steampunk go much further back than that. Every genre of writers are influenced by writers before them, and Steampunk is no exception. The Steampunk Rat Pack owes much of their influence to the Fathers of Science Fiction; Hugo Gernsback (Amazing Stories), Jules Verne (Twenty Leagues Under the Sea), and H. G. Wells (The Time Machine).

Wells, Verne, and Gernsback were masters of their craft. Their works have inspired the Science Fiction world much in the same way as Lord Dunsany (The Book of Wonder), Robert E. Howard (Conan the Barbarian), C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia), and J. R. R. Tolkien (The Hobbit) have inspired Modern Fantasy.

Notebook Stone Metal - Maya Rafa

Now, there’s a new master in town - a master of Steampunk - Maya Rafa. Not in the literary sense, but in the form of Steampunk 3D art. Maya is, as the pictures will show, incredibly gifted at bringing the words and images of the Steampunk genre to life. What is even more incredible is that Maya creates these works of art almost entirely of cardboard and bits. Hollywood needs to hire this man. He is obviously talented and resourceful, and could make props for movies much cheaper than the “experts.”

Steampunk Ray Gun 3 - Maya Rafa

You can find more about Maya Rafe and (purchase) his work here:

Article by: Michael A. Walker
Pictures © Maya Rafa


AppCraver Satisfies

There are a lot of great iPhone apps out there. There are a lot of crappy ones too. How can you tell the difference before you buy them? Well, there are a few ways. You can read the public reviews in the apps store for starters. While the rating systems and personal comments can be helpful, they can also contain a bunch of spam that takes time to wade through. You can download the FreeWare version and give it a test spin before making the plunge. That’s a notable option if the app you want offers a free version, but often times they are buggy and saturated with ads. Or you could be a knowledgeable, proactive, and responsible consumer and go to AppCraver to get a thorough and comprehensive review on just about every iPhone app on the planet. Plus all the cool kids are using AppCraver these days.

Easy Navigation

What I like most about AppCraver is the navigation bar on the left side of the screen. All the apps are categorized for easy access. They also have the top rated Pay and Free apps all conveniently located at the top and accessible with a click of the mouse. Once inside you will find each app in that category ranked and rated so you can see at a glance which ones to focus on first. Alternatively, if you know the name of the app you want to check out, you can just put it in the search box and find it instantly. If you like what you see, hit the [BUY] button and you’re off and running like a champ.

While getting the skinny on the latest apps is a fine feature all on its own, it’s not the only thing you can find on AppCraver. They even offer great deals on iPhone accessories, and my favorite, interviews with the movers and shakers of the app development world. How cool is that?

One unexpected feature was the App Developer page that lists development companies looking for iPhone/iPad app developers. This is a great resource for both the person wanting to jumpstart their app developing career and app development companies looking for new or experienced talent to add to their growing business.

App Developer Job Listings

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you should definitely add AppCraver to your favorites list. I found it to be a fun and enjoyable experience, and most of all, very informative.

Article  By: Michael A. Walker
Images : © AppCraver.com


REVIEW: SelfAssemblySites For Beginers

More than ever, businesses are moving to the internet. Some are even abandoning their brick and mortar stores completely in exchange for a purely online presence. Even video giant BlockBuster (recently acquired by Dish Network) is in the process of liquidating more than 87% of their physical stores in an attempt to refocus their business model to the online community.

Unfortunately, most people don’t have the financial or personnel resources of Dish Network at their disposal to design and program a sophisticated website for their own personal use or business. That leaves you with two options; either pay someone to do it for you, or learn how to do it yourself.

The first option can be costly. Depending on the sophistication of the website you want, you can easily spend thousands of dollars. I know personally a few people who have paid in excess of $30K for a web designing firm to design their web page. The upside to outsourcing is that it frees up your time to do other things. For some people this is the best option. They either don’t have the time themselves, or they deem their time more valuable than to spend months or years teaching themselves how to design and program.

The second option will, in most cases, save you money. The tradeoff of course is your time. If you are new to the art of web design and are starting from scratch, this could turn into a considerable amount of time, not to mention, potential hours of frustration. Luckily for you there are companies out there like SelfAssemblySites.com that can alleviate a lot of the aches and pains for new comers to the web design arena.

SelfAssemblySites offers a step by step approach to web design in the form of How-To-Videos. The videos walk you through the whole process starting from how to register your domain name to more advanced topics like how to install Google apps. The videos are broken into modules, which make it convenient if you are just looking for help in a certain area of the process. SelfAssemblySites’ video instructions mostly concentrate on how to design a web page using WordPress. This can be an issue if you do not want to use WordPress for your design model.

The benefit of the Step-by-Step videos is that you can actually see how the whole process is done, instead of trying to thumb through books or info sites and piecing it all together yourself. They also have an active forum and blog where members can interact and help each other with any issues they may come across, as well as, have access to SelfAssemblySites’ experts. SelfAssemblySites is tailor made and a perfect fit for new comers to web design and WordPress, and less so for more advanced users and designers looking to pick up new tricks to the trade.

SelfAssemblySites charges a monthly subscription to access their extensive database of How-To-Videos, and are constantly adding new ones and new features all the time. Depending on which subscription you choose, you can expect to pay anywhere between $37 and $77 a month for a subscription. Now for someone with a limited budget and time on their hands, this is definitely the way to go, and in price range for most people. One of the features I like is that they offer 30 Day 100% Money Back Guarantee, and that is important. There is nothing worse than spending your hard earned money on something that turns out to be a total flop and you can’t get your money back. As Tommy from “Tommy Boy” once said, a guarantee on a box makes you,”feel all warm and toasty inside.”

PROS: Relatively Inexpensive, Easy to follow Step-By-Step videos, Learn at your own pace, Supportive Community

CONS: Limited to WordPress, Needs more content for advanced users

Article  By: Michael A. Walker
Images  & Videos  (C) SelfAssemblySites.com 


Fallout: New Vegas - Back to the Wasteland, Mojave-Style

Bethesda Softworks' 2008 release Fallout 3 was met with critical acclaim by critics and the gaming community alike. The novel mix of action-adventure and role playing has been attempted by many other titles over the years, but Fallout 3's incredibly compelling story, sweeping scale, and painstaking attention to detail elevate it to the status of masterpiece. In 2011, the Maryland-based company seeks to re-capture lightning in a bottle with Fallout: New Vegas (FNV).

FNV is not a sequel in the true sense of the word. While events depicted in FO3 most definitely factor into the world of FNV, you play a different character with different motivations than the Wanderer in Bethesda’s previous title. The game begins with the protagonist (The Courier) recovering from a near-fatal wound, with the goal to ultimately confront those responsible. The game interface and mechanics are identical to FO3 is pretty much every way, with a few minor changes in order to provide game balance, largely transparent to the player. The graphics engine and thus look and feel of both FO3 and FNV are completely identical. In fact, the similarities between the two games may prompt many to be disappointed by the apparent lack of progress from one title to the next. This is a legitimate observation, since even though FNV does offer a few more bells and whistles, it in many ways feels more like an expansion pack than a completely new title.

FNV does a lot of things to up the ante (pun intended) on the difficulty level from FO3. While the level cap has increased from 20 to 30, perks are only granted every other level and often have increased skill and stat requirements. This means that cookie cutter builds are much harder to make, and some level of specialization and planning is required for various character types to be optimally effective. Several adjustments have been made to available perks and skill bonuses, resulting in less skill points to spend. Again, the intent is to avoid “super-characters” and promote more unique characters (ergo, like classic RPG classes). This, in turn, increases reliance on companion characters and NPCs for combat or support skills, depending on the player character’s loadout. In practice, this is refreshing because it forces more of a role-playing feel rather than the player character being able to do pretty much anything himself.

Combat at low-mid levels seems more challenging than in FO3. VATS has seemingly been reduced in effectiveness, and many all-powerful items (ergo, the plasma gun) nerfed. While a bit frustrating at first, it forces many fights to be avoided until later in level – or, at the least, promotes planning to achieve an advantageous position before attacking. Changes to weapon and armor stats encourage strategic decision-making when choosing weapons and ammo for particular opponents rather than just rushing in with the same favored weapon every time. Again, while this does make things a bit more challenging, it also makes it much more realistic. Still, after reaching level 20 with any kind of emphasis on weapon and repair skills, the PC is still lethal in the extreme in almost any combat situation.

Combat does have some additional layers to it that also mix things up from FO3. Poison has been introduced to the game on both sides of the table. The usual enemy suspects sport venom with devastating effect. Opponents using poison are rightly feared, and anti-venom becomes a commodity far more valuable than its sticker price. A new skill, Survival, allows for the crafting of various food items, buffs, and – you guessed it – poisons. A PC using powerful poisons can be just as lethal as a Giant Radscorpion. Yes, really.

Other changes to combat include weapon upgrades, variant ammunition, and perhaps most importantly, “damage threshold” (DT), which made appearances in both FO1 and 2 but was left out of FO3. In FO3, armor and buff effectiveness was reflected in terms of “damage resistance” (DR). For example, DR 50 meant you took 50% less damage from any given attack. DT acts in addition to DR, providing a barrier to taking damage in the first place, after which the DR kicks in. DT will never reduce damage taken to less than 20% of any weapons starting damage, but it means that armor is a much bigger deal against light weapons than it was before.

Example FO3
DR25 against a 100dmg attack gives you 25% resistance for 75 net dmg.
DR25 against a 32dmg attack gives you 25% resistance for 24 net dmg.
Example FNV
DR25 against 100dmg reduces the first 25 damage for 75 net dmg.
But DR25 against 32dmg attack reduces the first 25 damage for only 7 dmg! As you can see, heavy armor in FNV is great against smaller arms – which it should be!

Another new feature in FNV is “Hardcore Mode”. In this mode, food consumption, hydration, and sleep are required and ammunition counts against your weight limit. While these may not sound like major issues, the need to factor all of these in – especially since they do get factored into fast travel – is daunting. For those who seek a more visceral, realistic wasteland experience, this mode is for you.

Finally, factions come into play in FNV. Both settlements and organizations (military, gang, etc) have independent though often polar opposite philosophies. At the start of the game, everyone is neutral to the PC. During the course of the game, your actions and allegiances will not only alter the reactions of various groups, but change mission options in very significant ways. Some groups may come to regard you as a hero, with deep discounts or gifts, additional mission options, and offers for companions to join you. Others may attack on sight if you near their settlements, and even send assassins to track you down if you’ve made a bad impression. Some groups, such as the Brotherhood of Steel, are familiar, but major and minor factions have significant impact on the environment and game as well. The PC will often find themselves in the middle of two groups, and have to decide how to approach problems – picking a side, favoring neither, or pitting the two against each other all being viable options.

On a technical note, the stability of FNV is occasionally suspect, as bugs do come up. While the game only crashed twice during review, numerous minor issues such as the PC or creatures being hung up in terrain, oddly floating in mid-air or minor quest bugs are indeed present on the PC version. One can only hope that Bethesda will address in a patch at some point in the near future. Regardless, for those who bravely navigated through Fallout 3's minor issues and saw the balance of the game's positives outweigh the minor bugs, the issues in FNV are nuisance on very much the same scale.

Overall, everything fans loved about FO3 is still present in FNV. The world is still huge, wide open, and you can tackle it in any way you want. If you want to crank through the main story in 20 hrs and explore nothing, you can do that. If you want to obsessively and painstakingly explore every corner, complete every mission, and not rest until your character has reached demi-god status over 100+ hours, yes, you can do that too. Side quests and plots, though often interesting and featuring good voice acting, can admittedly become repetitive and tedious. As mentioned before, many things have been added, from skill magazines, to new ammo loading and crafting stations, to new weapon types. But, even as an admitted fan of the series, it must be conceded at the end of the day, that for better or worse, this really is just more of the same. For anyone who was not a fan of FO3 after having played it, this “more of the same” feeling will leave you wanting more and might be disappointing. However, if as this author, you completed FO3 wishing there were more to see and do, this title is for you. There are enough subtle differences, areas to explore, and new weapons, creatures, and nuances to the game to make it a must-play title for any fan of the RPG/adventure series such as Fallout 3.

Article by: John  F. Beaty II
Images (C): Bethesda Softworks


BOARD GAME REVIEW: Shadows of Camelot

Table Friendly: 6/10 (3 player minimum, 5-7 recommended)
Accessible for Ages: 10+
Play Time: 2-3 Hours
Complexity: 8/10
Repeat Playability: 7/10
Quality: 8/10

Overall: 8/10   

In the world of board games, a notable variant has emerged in the last several years with much fanfare in the gaming community. In principle, these are cooperative games, which pit the assembled players against the game itself. An example of this type of game is exemplified beautifully in Fantasy Flight Games' 2008 release "Battlestar Galactica", which seeks to represent the struggle of mankind against Cylons as re-imagined in the award-winning Sci-Fi Channel series of the same name. All the while, hidden agents among the players themselves seek to undermine the collaborative efforts of the human players.

Days of Wonder, publisher of the well known "Smallworld", paved the path to games such as Battlestar Galactica (BSG) with its 2005 offering "Shadows over Camelot" (SoC). In this game, 3-7 players assume the roles of the Arthurian Knights of the round table as they seek to defeat their opponents, defend Camelot, and win glory for their cause. As with BSG, players must work closely together to achieve their goals while being threatened by a traitor within their midst. This unique blend of challenges makes for an exciting game with several different outcomes.

As the game begins, the Knights are assembled at the round table and must quickly decide on a strategy. Each must decide which task they will take up, with a handful of White Cards to aid in the decision-making process. From the sea, Camelot must watch for invading Saxons. From the forest comes the threat of Pict attacks. Challenges to the throne can cause Camelot to come under siege, and if the number of war machines massing around the great castle number too many, the Knights are defeated. Each Knight also has unique abilities, which also come into play when deciding on a course of action.

In addition to military threats, there are quests which may be undertaken with great reward. Knights may seek out Lancelot's armor, the famed sword Excalibur, or the legendary Holy Grail, all with powerful abilities. Other challenges face the Knights as well, with some having to be faced alone, while others can be tackled by multiple Knights at once. The key is for Knights to balance their resources in the form of White cards and abilities on the right tasks at the right time. As challenges are met and foes are bested, the Knights accumulate White Swords on the round table. When these blades reach a certain number, the Knights are victorious.

Though valiant, the Knights' efforts do not go uncontested. The forces of darkness seek to undermine the Knights and cause their efforts to unravel. On every turn, before the players are allowed to conduct heroic actions and play White Cards, evil first takes an action. This will either cause direct harm to a Knight, cause the military buildup around Camelot to grow, or force a Black card to be drawn. Black cards work to undo the efforts of the Knights in achieving their various goals, and even unleash the power of the dread Morgan le Fay, Vivian, and Mordred. But the greatest threat to Camelot is the traitor among the Knights. Until revealed, the traitor can undermine quests and challenges with hidden card plays. After the midpoint of the game, when they can be revealed, the traitor can adversely affect the Knights' efforts in much more significant ways, even drawing multiple Black cards and choosing the more damaging of the two to put into effect. As the Knight's efforts fail, Black swords are placed on the round table, and should they ever represent a majority of the allowable swords on the table, all is lost for the loyal Knights.

While the overall complexity and variety of outcomes in SoC pales in comparison to its newer, more refined cousin BSG, there is most assuredly a place for the Days of Wonder title on the table. SoC plays faster, is easier to pick up, and is therefore more accessible to a greater range of players than BSG. The game itself is well crafted, with a nice looking board and better than average components. The basic rules are very straightforward, but the strategies of the game and traitor factor are what make this title stand out. Playable in ~2 hours, this title is definitely recommended.

Article by: John  F. Beaty II
Images (C): Days of Wonder


Miniature Monday #4: Tools of the Trade

What would a painter be without paint brushes? A mongrel?  A scallywag? A rapscallion? Whoa… whoa… whoa! Let’s not get carried away there. No, probably not any of those, but you likely wouldn't be a very good painter, at least not when it comes to painting miniatures without paint brushes. Paint brushes are the most important tools a painter has in their toolbox, so it’s important to know which ones you will need, and how to properly care for them.


First let’s discuss what brushes you will need for painting your miniatures. If you walk into your local hobby or gaming store you will soon realize you could spend hours, with glossy eyes, pouring over the near limitless selection of different brushes available to you. Believe it or not, as with any tool type, each serves a specific task in the realm of painting. For the purposes of this article, we will discuss three basic types of brushes you will need in your toolbox that will serve you well. As you become more experienced, or as the need arises, you can add more variety of paint brushes to your toolbox. Until then, these three paint brushes will be sufficient enough to cover most of your needs when painting your miniatures.

(Necron Lord, HQ choice for Necrons from the Warhammer 40K battle game designed by Games Workshop)

MEDIUM POINT: To start, you will want a medium sized point, or also called – round tip, brush. (typical art brush size chart) A size 4 or 6 will do nicely. The medium point brush is your workhorse, and will be used to apply paint (after the miniature has been primed) to the vast majority of your miniature. For small areas, after paint has been applied to the brush, bring it to a point to do small areas. For larger areas, you can use the whole base and width of the brush. Varying between the two techniques will give you the coverage you need to apply paint to the vast majority of your model without much fuss.

(Necron Lord close-up: Fine point brush used for the eyes and detailed work on the skull and chest.)

FINE POINT: For fine detailed work, and to get to those hard to reach areas, you will want to have a fine point brush handy.  A 0 (zero), or ‘aught’ brush should do the trick. Generally with a fine point brush you will primarily be using the very tip of the brush to apply paint, but don’t be afraid to use the whole base of the brush as well. This can be particularly useful when apply detailed designs or even tattoos to your miniatures. A good technique for painting eyes is to dip the very tip of the fine point brush into your paint source; this should leave a nice tiny blob of paint on the tip. Then lightly touch the tip to the eye of the miniature and then pull the brush away. Be careful not to leave the brush on the model too long, or the excess paint can bleed onto the model.

(Necron Lord back: Dry brush and wash techniques applied to the robe)

MEDIUM FLAT: Often times you will want to add a wash or dry brush a portion of your model (we’ll discuss these techniques in future articles) to add more detail. These techniques can be accomplished with your medium point, but its good practice to use a different brush when applying a dry brush technique. The technique itself can sometimes lend to leaving your brush tips a little frayed. A good brush to use for this is a medium sized flat brush. A size 6 or 8 will be good to start out with. The flat brush will allow you to cover more area with less brush strokes, and give you a more consistence paint coverage when applying the technique.


We've already established that paint brushes are the most important tool a painter can have, but only if they are properly maintained and cared for. If you take care of your brushes, they will take care of you and your miniatures. There are two basic categories to consider when caring for your paint brush tools; cleaning and storage.

CLEANING: If you don’t clean your brushes, and clean them properly, how can you possibly ensure that your color pallets remain pure and your paint brushes maintain in tip top shape? Simply, you can’t. Whatever you do, please PLEASE don’t ever leave your paint brushes to soak in water. While this seems like a reasonable and carefree way to clean your dishes, it will do nothing but ruin your brushes. Leaving your brushes in water, even face-up, will cause the brushes to fray and fan apart. 

Over time paint can build up at the base, where the hairs of the brush meet the ferule (usually a metal or plastic clip that holds the brush hairs together). To help eliminate this problem, gently agitate the bristles of the brush with an up and down motion in the water (or preferred cleaning solution), then with slight pressure, slide the brush against the side of your water glass with a twisting motion. Repeat this as needed until the brush is thoroughly cleaned. Then with a clean, dry paper towel (or cloth), dab the flat of the brush until reasonably dry. Never dab the brush with the tip down, this could cause permanent damage to your brushes. Finally, gently twist the brush out of the towel while squeezing the brush with your finger tips. This will bring the brush tip to a nice fine point, helping to ensure the brush keeps its shape over time. If you are cleaning or drying a flat tipped brush, follow the same instructions as above without the twisting motion.

STORAGE: Proper storage is equally as important as proper cleaning when it comes to your brushes. Store your brushes indoors in a reasonably dry place, either vertically (brush tip up) in a jar or can, or horizontally in a tray or brush holder. For the same reasons as cleaning, never store your brushes tip down. It’s a good idea to also keep location in mind. Keeping your brushes loose in a drawer that sees lots of activity, or vertically in a high traffic area can lead to accidental damage to your brushes as well.

If you are new to painting miniatures, hopefully this will give you a good base to start from. For you veterans, let this be a friendly reminder. We would love to hear your comments, and as always, graciously welcome your tips as well.

Happy painting!

Miniature painting by: Alisha K. Ard
Article by: Michael A. Walker


Fun with Science Friday: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

With the massive winter storm sweeping the nation, we felt today’s featured item for Fun with Science Friday should have something to do with the science of weather – so we chose the barometer. 

Since the late 19th century, barometric pressure and measurements of the change of pressure over time, or pressure tendency, have been used to forecast the weather. A barometer is a scientific instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure. The mercury barometer was invented in 1643 by Evangelista Torricelli, an Italian physicist and mathematician. Today, air or water may also be used in barometers to measure the pressure exerted by the atmosphere and they come in all shapes and sizes.

Want a fun project? Click here to find out how to make a simple weather barometer of your own.

To have some real fun in all this snow? Try one of these delicious snow recipes:

Chocolate Snow Ice Cream
1 gallon snow
½ cup white sugar
2 cups chocolate milk

Directions: Place a large, clean bowl outside to collect snow as it falls. When the bowl is full, stir in sugar. Gradually stir in chocolate milk until you have your desired consistency. Serve and eat immediately.

Snow Candy
1 cup real maple syrup
¼ cup salted butter
Fresh, clean snow

Directions: In a medium saucepan, heat the syrup and butter over medium-high heat and stir. Once the mixture starts to boil, continue heating and stirring for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Pour over snow. It will cool very quickly, so pick it up and enjoy!

Snow Cream
3 cups of clean snow
½ cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: In a separate bowl, mix cream, sugar and vanilla. Gradually add snow until you have your desired consistency. Serve and eat.

Article by:  Alisha K. Ard


Miniature Monday #3

This week's featured miniature is a Sorcerer with a conversion from the original. As you can see from the following picture, this guy has had a staff upgrade (done by our good friend Keith Unger) and has grown a beard since he left the production line at Reaper miniatures.

Miniature Painting Tip #3 - Selecting your color scheme

When painting miniatures for gaming purposes, sometimes your color scheme is chosen for you by the game - chapter colors for 40K Space Marines, for example. In RPGs you often have more freedom to paint the model as you choose.

The color scheme of the commissioned miniature above was generally based on a painting - which is a great way to find colors that appeal to you. If you don't have a starting reference, however, a good place to start is a color wheel.

One common approach when painting miniatures is to use complementary colors to create visual appeal and contrast. There are many other ways to produce harmonious color schemes from the color wheel as well that are worth learning. For a brief overview of color theory and introduction to color harmony, click here. Keep in mind you will want high contrast to bring out the details of the miniature.

Painted miniature and Article by: Alisha K. Ard


Fun with Science Friday: Building Your own Wind Turbine for Your Home

Following our earlier Fun with Science Friday post about building your own wind turbine on a small scale, we started doing some research into building a real, working wind turbine to help power your home. We found a lot of companies selling wind turbines for home use, as well as a lot of ebooks and manuals for sale on how to build your own. And then we found this free site which shows step-by-step, with pictures, how one man built a wind turbine for $140.62!

For an overview of the benefits of channeling the power of wind energy for home use and determining if it is practical for you, read this.

Fun Fact: Texas accounts for nearly 25% of the total installed wind power capacity in the U.S., with 10,085 MW of installed capacity. (source)

Article by: Alisha K. Ard