Mancave Cabinet No.2

Over the weekend I built another cabinet, this time to serve as both a cabinet for my TACOPS computer, laser printer and supplies, and a conveniently located coffee table. The plan was to replace the existing cabinet, and try to recycle as much as possible, thereby keeping the cost of the project down. First task was to strip the cabinet down to component parts, along with a couple of other donor pieces of furniture, then cut everything to size and assemble the basic structure. Then, the cool part; Adding some 2″x1″ trim around the outside to make it look more like the “crate” cabinet I’d already built.

As a complete after-thought I added the 2″x1″ surround part to the top as well, (originally I had planned for a smooth top) which has actually worked out really well, giving me somewhere to display some military patches!

Now I need to buy another piece of glass! Unlike the other cabinet, this one will get a coat of paint, either ‘Kahu Green’ or ‘Air Superiority Grey’ with stencils on the sides, making it look like some sort of official crate…..

Now, with the two cabinets built, the ManCave space is opening up nicely. Once I get the boxes of stuff stored away, and the cabling better organised it is going to be quite a pleasant space!

F421 on an ‘Arctic Patrol’

Canterbury steams past the outlying ‘Stacks’ off St Kilda

Canterbury is on her way North into the Arctic Ocean.. After yet another PC Upgrade and shuffle-around F421 is now running on a nice new PC, and is heading North from Scotland, into the Arctic Sea via Norway. I’m enjoying having ‘my’ ship up and running again, and having it on the big screen in the ManCave has been especially cool…

Mancave Cabinet “Part Deux”

With a little planning, a sneaky visit to Mitre 10 on the way home, some elbow grease and beer, I now have a cabinet which looks alarmingly like the CAD renders!

The shelf above the TV is next on the agenda….

With a few of my treasures in place and the home theatre head unit hiding nicely in the bottom it is looking like the business. The finishing touch will be the glass top and some lighting.

Looks quite cool with a few bits’n bobs in it. The glass top will allow me to use the recesses in the tops of the crates to display small items.

Since I posted the concept drawing for this cabinet I have had a couple of very kind offers of glass for the top, unfortunately the cabinet is much bigger than it looks, so I’ll be pricing a 1200x410mm piece of glass in the near future 😉

Mancave Cabinet Beginnings

A couple of nice packing crates from work have built the basis for my funky, industrial looking display cabinet. With the crates was some nice looking 200x19mm planks which will provide the shelves, a little bit of plywood; another cast-off from work, and a glass top and I should have the display cabinet I’ve been looking for 🙂

A quick render of what it might look like

Website update

Sine moving to the new server I have lost the email functions the site used to have, and I’ve been too idle to figure out the issue… I also had to close down the ‘leave a comment’ option since I was being continually spammed. Tonight I managed to fix the Comments part of the equation, by adding a ‘reCAPTCHA’ function, hopefully that will keep the spammers at bay!

18/02/2020 Update

Since I have been doing weekly ‘Sim Work’ nights I have achieved quite a lot. This week I didn’t really go near any of the sims, instead I spent the evening clearing out, and organising the garage. I have a fair collection of useful stuff (also called ‘junk’ by my beloved wife) hoarded, I mean ‘stored’ in the garage, but in recent times it has gotten a little out of control. Tonight’s mission was to strip out the cabinets under the TV in the ManCave to make way for the ‘cube’ shelves currently in the soon to be defunct ‘Upstairs Lounge’. Part of my big rethink is to move the 737 sim downstairs, for the exact same reason I moved the Arrow…. it is not terribly pleasant up there in cold or hot weather. As part of this shift I am closing the Upstairs Lounge, and incorporating what I can into the main ManCave space. I’d like to move my comfy arm chair down, but I don’t know that I will have the space. Back to the story.. To move the cube shelves I needed to move the current cabinet, to do that I needed space for it to go into in the garage, hence the sort/tidy/chuck-out session to make room, and make better use of the space.

End result is that I now have the first of the old cabinets removed, and loads more room to move. Who knows, next week I may get the re-purposed shelves downstairs and into place! Photos to follow once the dust settles 🙂

JYAI Strikemaster Released

John Young has released his Jet Provost/Strikemaster AI packages for FS9/FSX and P3D. John’s models are beautiful, and as ever, work flawlessly in the sim. Now my Ohakea flight line will look great with a mix of A-4’s Macchi’s and Strikemasters from the 1991 ‘Changeover’ period!

Download the Jet Provost/Strikemaster Packages from Military AI Works:
Package BAC Jet Provosts and Strikemasters for FSX & P3Dv4 (JYAI)
Package BAC Jet Provosts and Strikemasters for FS9 (JYAI)

More 2020 Musings

As I alluded to in the last post, I have had a serious re-think on what I will be doing with my sims. Notable is the separation between VR and physical cockpits.
The other major change is about adding more structure to my sim-building, by creating a Task List for each sim, plus the ManCave, and having a scheduled evening each week to ‘work’ on the tasks. So, Tuesday is now Sim-Work night. I’ve had a couple so far, and made some good progress on getting ’58 up and running in FSX with TacPack/FSX@War/CCP/FSCAI. It feels good to have a bit of a plan, rather than just doing a bit here and there as time allows.

TacPack + FSCAI testing

I now have 4 Task Lists roughed out, and the first task on each identified. Part of the new plan is to continue on a task until completion, which is not something I’m good at!
I plan on posting some sort of on-line task-list to show what I am up to… but that’s to come later. For now my priority is the re-activation of ’58, but as an FSX sim. Tomorrow I hope to get Nigel’s TA-4k configured with weapons and usable, then it’s on to hooking the sim up to it’s PC and configuring inputs! Very exciting.

2020 Plans

Over the Christmas break, sitting on a beautiful beach I spent a bit of time sketching out the direction I wanted to take in my hobby. One of the key decisions was changing direction of the Skyhawk (we shall call he ’58), away from the VR/DCS path I had started heading down. After a couple of VR test flights in the cockpit I came away somewhat underwhelmed, and I think it was diluting what ’58 was all about. So after some soul searching I decided to change back to using MS FS in ’58, but to move to FSX:SE and to investigate VRS TacPack. TacPack offers a ‘Combat Environment’ within FSX, allowing me to shoot guns, drop bombs, fire rockets and shoot sidewinders. This is basically what I had always wanted to do in the Skyhawk anyway, with the added bonus of being in a somewhat familiar simulation environment, in which I can develop content.

Tonight, I did some *more* PC shuffling, and moved the TA-4K sim PC back into the server ‘pile’, hooked it up to the KVM switch and did some TacPack testing. I flew 2 ‘Tacpack Powered’ aircraft; the T-45 Goshawk, and S-3 Viking, playing around with dropping bombs and firing rockets.

A stick of MK82’s makes quick work of airliners on the ramp…

TacPack not only lets you drop bombs and shoot stuff, it allows you to add SAM sites, Carriers, Drones and Tankers to the environment in real time. Unfortunately I selected the wrong ‘team’ for the Carrier to be on…. and so it defended itself with RIM-7 Sea Sparrows…..

Oops… must learn to set the ‘teams’ properly!

Which made short work of my Combat Hoover….

From these quick tests I can see that I have plenty of options for getting ’58 ‘Combat Ready’ using FSX:SE

There is a tool which applies TacPack weapons and sensors to almost any aircraft in FSX which I will be experimenting with to try and get a workable Skyhawk into the sim, using Nigel’s TA-4K model. It’s *another* change of direction, but I am comfortable that this is the right way to go.

A bit of Spring Cleaning

Once again, a ManCave visit lead to a bit of a cleanup! With the ongoing re-configuring of the sims, and the ManCave itself, the place has become a little messy…

So, after a busy couple of hours the space looks much better. With the room much tidier you can see the increase in usable space, which is a nice feeling given the radical changes I’ve made!
Still plenty of work to do; The printer cabinet needs to be ‘relocated’… out of the room, The cables need to be routed out of the way, and the carpet needs to be fixed up 😉