New models added

Well, it’s been a struggle but I finally managed to get some new models loaded to the site, as well as a slight re-design.  Aside from the rank previously mentioned I’ve also added 305th MI Bn unit crest by request.

Now for the struggle part:  I can’t publish to the website using the site builder or the ftp program that comes with it.  I can upload a few files at a time using Vodahost’s web ftp file manager, but they keep blocking me.  I keep having to reboot my router to get assigned a new ip.  So tonight I’ve rebooted my router about 15 times in order to get all the pics uploaded.  I also got the new pages uploaded by previewing them in Firefox, saving the page source, then uploading that via ftp.

In a nutshell, vodahost customer service is worthless.  It appears that each shift change someone notices my ticket is still open, sends me an email saying something inane like “I’ve rebooted the firewall, try it now.”  Believe it or not this is the response I got after the third escalation.  I tried it, and emailed back that it didn’t make any difference 15 hours ago.  I suspect that I’ll have an email from them waiting for me in the morning suggesting I reboot my computer but hold my tongue out the side of my mouth and squint so the computer will think I’m serious about it.

So, to make a long story no shorter, I’m shopping for new hosting.  At least with all the rigmarole I’ve gone through to get my pages uploaded I now know I can use their web page generator for any hosting.

Anyway, here’s some pics of the new stuff.  Marine Corps rank should be ready in a day or two.

US Army, Navy, and Air Force Rank is ready

but not available.  I’m having hosting problems, and while the models have been uploaded to my fulfilment provider I’m unable to access my site to provide links to them.  They’re working on it so hopefully it will all be up soon.

In the mean time, I’m sort of working on Marine Corps rank.  By that I mean I’m doing the Eagle, Globe and Anchor that I can then use on 1 enlisted rank insignia.  This is similar to the way I ended up doing the Great Seal despite having no desire to offer it.  I needed the Seal for 2 enlisted ranks so I made a full size one so I could offer it separately.  Similarly I’ll be offering the E,G, and A as a stand along product.

I will update again when the rank is available on the web site.


Quick update on the rank insignia.  Army is done, Navy is done except for Warrant Officer.  I still need to do Marine Corps and Air Force Enlisted.

Right now I’m trying to get a good picture of the Army rank.  I don’t want to take individual pictures of it because that’s too much to display on the site, but I haven’t come up with another way to get a satisfactory picture.

Regardless, I’ll most likely have all the rank up on the site by the end of the week.

Finally finished with the Great Seal

I finally finished the Great Seal.  I had a major delay from the whole windows read only fiasco, basically spent most of a day straightening it out, but finally have it done and uploaded to the web site.

So what’s next?  Rank.  I will be finishing US Army rank insignia then doing Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

Following that will be the 16th Field Artillery Regiment, which will complete the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division.

Yet another reason to hate Microsoft

As if I didn’t already have plenty of reasons to hate Microsoft, I’ve spent the last 3 hours trying to fix the folder permissions to allow me to save what I’m working on, namely the previously mentioned Great Seal.  I really expected to be done with that thing by now but I can’t save my changes to my shared folder because Windows 7 has decided that it’s read only.

I should explain this set up.  Close to 10 years ago, I had enough of windows.  I was tired of spending so much time so often tinkering with the operating system to get it to work right.  Viruses, malware, bloatware, whatever.  On xp, the registry setting that controls internet speed is set so low that unless you change it you can’t get high speed internet no matter what your service provider is offering.

Anyways, I switched to Linux.  Originally I used a distribution called Mepis, then tried a few others and ended up with Kubuntu.  For a while I would install every update that came along, and they came along every 6 months, but over the last few years I’ve only been installing the Long Term Support versions.  Currently I’m running 12.04 Precise Pangolin.  It works very well right out of the box.  Unfortunately, since upgrading, I’ve found that Aspire is no longer useable under WINE.  It runs, but the 3d view is garbled.  It’s probably something that could be corrected if I dig in it but I’m not really interested in digging in it any more.  So I use Virtualbox, a virtual machine running Windows 7.  Aspire runs just fine in the virtual machine along with my wacom tablet complete with pressure sensitivity.  I’ve got 6 cores of my processor assigned to it and more memory than it can use so I don’t even take a performance hit.

Now I only use the windows virtual machine for things I just can’t do in Kubuntu, mostly Aspire and Bluevoda.  Everything else uses Linux native applications.  This includes my file handling for the website.  Everything I upload to the distribution system for sale is zipped, sometimes nested zips, and it’s all done in Linux.  I’ve got 2 ways I can do this: a shared folder which the virtual windows sees as a network drive and Dropbox.  Both work, but these big files I work with can take upwards of 10 minutes to upload to dropbox, so I generally work from the networked drive.

Enter the newest (to me) windows feature: At random it will decide to make your folders read only.  And it randomly decided to do it to my shared folder last night.  After much googling I found multiple things to try, none of which worked, but I also found that Microsofts response to this problem was to explain that it’s not a bug, it’s a feature and they’re not going to fix it.  So tomorrow instead of doing something productive with my Sunday afternoon like watching football I’ll be creating a new virtual machine, installing a fresh windows 7, installing aspire and bluevoda and all the updates that entails.  And once I have that done I’ll happily continue working with it until it does it again, then I’ll start over again.

Still working on the Great Seal

As the title says, I’m still working on the Great Seal of the United States.  I should have been done with this yesterday but too much going on to be able to concentrate on it.

My nephew rolled in to town on leave from Ft. Hood late last night and I spent the afternoon hanging out and talking with him.  I had plenty to do but I have my priorities right.

Right now the only thing left to do on the Seal is the banner.  I’m not fond of doing banners, that’s why it’s last, but this thing will be done tomorrow and I’ll be finishing up the project I stopped to work on the Seal.

I’m doing Army enlisted rank insignia, very simple stuff except for Specialist and Command Sergeant Major of the Army, both of which have Great Seals in them.  The seals that will be built in to those rank insignias will not have as much detail as the main one, but will be made from it.  Once all the Army rank is done it will go up for sale as a package at a reasonable price.  It will have all officer and enlisted ranks in the one package but individually saved and zipped, so a bunch of files.  Once I have that finished I’ll be doing Navy, Air Force, and Marine rank insignia as well.

Arrgghhh, Feathers!

Welcome to the blog.  I decided to set this up so I can show what I’m currently working on, and possibly just run off at the mouth (or fingers) occasionally.

So currently I’m working on the Great Seal of the United States.  I originally had no intention of making one of these since both and have very nice versions available, but I needed it for certain insignias and I can’t just buy it then re-sell it.  Everything I sell has to be my own creation, so since I have to make one anyway I decided to do a detailed one suitable for carving separately.

Like all the models I make, this is a large, fairly high relief model.  I do this in an effort to retain as much detail as possible when the model is shrunk to a size commonly used for carving, typically anywhere from 3 to 6 inches.

That’s a lot of feathers.  I still have plenty to do on it, but there’s only so much feather sculpting I can stand in one session.  I still need to do the legs and feet, the 13 arrows, the olive branch, the head with the banner.  That banner is going to be a problem, though, since I like to provide a flat version of the banner suitable for v-carving for those who want to carve a very small copy but don’t have micro bits that will get between the letters.  The problem is making it look right while still having a flat surface to v-carve after carving the 3d portion.

But at least it doesn’t have feathers.