I'm not entirely idle... This was the quick project that I thought would take 2 weeks but has actually taken all summer :-0 Next problem is how to light the little guys without the light being visible.
I got the urge to do a bit more 3d printing. This was sculpted in Blender and printed using a mulitjet fusion machine by Shapeways. As you can probably see the surface texture is... not ideal for scale models although the material does seem to be durable (it's nylon balls glued together).
One good thing with SLS and MJS is no supports are needed which makes print set up simple. If I was going to print this using FDM I would break it into parts and align them for supports and to make cleanup and painting easier. Shapeways likes single part models though.
I tried filling the surface with plastic putty but it just peels off when sanded. Thick acrylic paint worked better and sands surprisingly well. Contour putty thinned with acetone would have been better although that smell.
I filled the googles with epoxy to smooth out the printlines, painted them and then added a clear of clear gloss.
But honestly this doesn't look as good as old FDM printer even when it wasn't tuned that well.
Now I just need to fight the urge to buy a new ender-2. :-)
This is a list of places that I've Standup Paddled in Pembrokeshire.
I take no responsibility for your life choices! :-)
Generally in tidal conditions you'll want to launch around high tide.
Your ideal window is probably 2 hours either side of hightide.
The tide is roughly an hour later each day.
Windspeed should be under 10mph, ideally onshore. Onshore means the wind will blow you back to the beach. Offshore means the wind direction will blow you away from the beach. It's often hard to tell on the beach if there's an offshore wind because the beach will be sheltered by the land. But you paddle out a way and suddenly the wind has you. You can look at flags or check a website.
Personally I choose not to put my head under the water within 48 hours of it raining because of run off etc
I definitely think going with guided tours is a good idea. It's safer, more social and you'll get the to see the cool stuff only the locals know about.
Magic Seaweed is good site for local conditions.
Here's a graph showing how water temperature varies through the year. More data here.
Tucked away in a suburb of Milford Haven. It's not the most scenic or exciting, but it's a good beginner spot. There's loads of free parking and there are usually other people out, either paddling or from the sailing club. There are no toilets. It's a pebbly beach
It's a sheltered bay but watch out for offshore winds.
Gelliswick Beach link
There's an activity center in Milford Marina now where you can rent boards and kayaks.
Similar to Gelliswick, watch out for offshore winds.
Plenty of parking, lots of bars and restaurants, although no convenience store. Beach is rocky
Milford Beach activity center
Milford Haven Tide Times
Small tidal estuary near Milford Haven. There is a campsite near the launch. Free parking, but no amenities. This estuary completely dries out some times of day. I ride my bike across at low tide. Great fun around high tide. You can ride the tide up the river and then back back again. You can also paddle out onto the Haven from here if you are careful. The road down to the campsite is very narrow.
Still in the Haven, well sheltered. There's a shop, a cafe and some pubs in Dale but only open in the summer. Parking isn't free in the summer. The roads out there are quite narrow.
Great spot for learning. Windswept Watersports has SUP activities and rentals.
Sandy beach that get's some surf. A lot of the time it's pretty mellow. You have to pay for parking but there's a toilet, a convenience store and some restaurants and pubs. Can get busy in the summer.
There's a surf shop where you can rent gear and buy wetsuits etc.
You can easily paddle from here to Little Haven for more pubs if the conditions are good.
Broad Haven website
Big sheltered sandy bay. Really beautiful. Great amenities. Parking is not free and can get crowded in the summer.
There is a rental center that offers lessons and trips.
Good Trails Activity Center
Llanion Cove is a launch just south east of the Cleddau bridge. On a good day, you can ride the tide from here up the river to Lawrenny, dock at the Lawrenny arms, have lunch while you wait for the tide to turn and then ride the tide back. There's an activity center here, but I think it's just for school kids. No amenities, but parking is free.
On a bad day it can be very windy on the river and the wind can come up suddenly.
Further up the river than Llanion Cove. There's plenty of parking and a pub and a cafe open in the summer. Parking is free but there is a launching fee to be paid in the chandlers. There's a speed limit on the river from here on up, so there's a lot less boat traffic and no wakes.
Solva is a beautiful little village with a pirates and smugglers feel. Plenty of amenities including a toilet and pubs/restaurants. Parking can be a bit busy in the summer. You can paddle up the inlet and around the corner to a beach. Once you get to the island you are on the sea, so you need the right conditions for that to be safe. E.g. no tide running and no wind.
Sea Caves around Dinas Island
This was a guided trip I took with Leanne. We had amazing conditions, but we were out on the sea proper and I wouldn't do this without an experienced guide. Paddling into sea caves is surreal.
It was an amazing trip. Definitely recommend.
The tour ended in Newport which is cute little village with plenty of amenities.
This was a guided trip with Outdoor Explore Wales. Starting at the canal basin in Brecon we paddled down the canal over an amazing aquaduct to a pub for lunch and then back again. It was a grand day out. Plenty of amenities in Brecon. Because of the sheltered nature of the canal I think this is the sort of trip that is resistant to changes in the weather. Martin is a fantastic guide and gave me some really good paddling tips. Need to get back up there.
Outdoor Explore Wales
I made a quick test video using Blender to study reflections for the purpose of painting toy soldiers.
It's all connected I swear. I'm actually surprised there isn't already an app for doing this.
I was thinking about taking a plane trip, so decided to compare co2 output of various activities. I thought comparing activities would give some perspective.
A return flight from London to San Francisco is about 0.9T (This seems lower than last time I checked).
So flying is bad but still much less than driving depending on how often you fly. Switching to a Tesla Model 3 ( assuming that was practical for me which it isn't yet) would almost half my vehicle co2 emissions. A VW Polo or similar would split the difference.
My actual agenda is a speculative trip to Salzberg. A return flight from Bristol is about .25t and takes under 3 hours. To go by train I'd have to split the trip over several days which adds in the need for at least one hotel stay, which in itself adds co2 footprint as well as time and stress. So dunno, but at least I can picture the co2 figures in my head better now.
The amount of co2 emitted during the construction of a car (petrol or electric) is always small compared to the energy emitted by driving it around. That has always seemed counterintuitive to me. In my mind it takes way more energy to design and make the thing than to drive it around, but I'm obviously totally wrong. Moving heavy things around really fast uses lots of energy.
You can read the whole report here.
These are pretty much just notes to myself.
Well, that turned out to be remarkably drama free....
Now I just need to wait for some more pots to arrive so I can control multiple lights from the same board.
An example table showing the English and Welsh place names with an audio clip. It's just a sample audio clip so don't get too excited.
More AI art with a theme. I really should print some of these out. I could totally see this being used to create art for a collectible card game or something like that.
Last night I decided to have a play with an AI Art tool that takes written cues and generates finished paintings. I'd been resisting doing this for a while but since there are now easily accessible cloud based tools I decided it would be OK to waste an evening on it.
Frankly I'm a bit horrified. This stuff is good. I mean it's really good and I don't know what that means. Certainly for concept art for games and movies this ability to endlessly remix and generate new images from existing content is a game changer.
The results were wildly better than I expected. So good in fact that I was up half the night thinking about what this means. I think I have future shock. :-0
If you want to try this stuff for yourself, it's very easy, you don't need a fancy computer or to install any software since the whole thing runs in the cloud.
Here's a link to a tutorial that will get you started but essentially all you need do, is scroll down until you see the description of the image and replace that with your own text, then wait fifteen minutes.
Youtube tutorial: youtu.be/FA2MNG8D5x0