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Fly. type Musca domestica ?

 

Zerene stack.

130 steps @ 18 um.

Nikon D7100 + AFD 200 F4 ISO 200

Mitutoyo M Plan APO 5X

 

Foreground leds 6 channels 7.2ms 6800 lumen

 

Background color leds:

R : 78 %

G : 99 %

B : 7 %

W : 12 %

Color Led time: 100% = 6 msec

  

View 4.5 mm

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The Pacific Orchid Exposition is rated by the American Orchid Society as the largest orchid show in the United States and offers over 150,000 unique orchids from across the globe. The event is hosted by the San Francisco Orchid Society, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to foster the culture and cultivation of orchids and to promote orchid education to its members and to the public.

 

Because of its diverse micro-climate, the Bay Area is widely acknowledged as one of the best orchid growing regions in the world and is home to thousands of exotic species.

 

2019 marks the 67th year of the POE.

 

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Bristol Open Doors Day 2013. My second venue of the morning was one I was really looking forward to, the chance to climb the 152 ft tower and see the city from the medieval centre. Bristol had a reputation for being a city of churches, you can see from these views that there are still many spires/towers in a small area, but with a densely packed population, hemmed in by the rivers Avon and Frome, this doesn't surprise me at all. The current building dates from the C15th but replaced an C11th church already on the site.

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Inspiration:

This diorama originated after long brooding for the "Dead Snow" competition in 2010/11, initiated by a local web forum similar to starshipmodelers.com. That it finally became a Ma.K. subject has several reasons. For once, my basic interest in the Ma. K. universe and Kow Yokoyamas designs. However, so far I had never had built something in this genre. But then the competition was a good occasion to connect this latent fascination with the basic subject of winter and violence. It was also helpful that I had recently acquired a box with Hobby Base Ma.K. collectible figures in 1:35 scale. These 'Melusine' combat suits in winter camouflage were basically the starting point around which I designed this diorama scene.

  

The draught:

All in all I had eight figures at disposal, partly even with open bonnets (but unfortunately, without inner life), and I wanted to use this pure mass for the diorama. Basic idea was an advance scene of Melusine suits in the snow. While rummaging in the literature I came across the SDR raid on Torifujiograd as a „historical event“. Consequently, the idea of a wintry street scene with house walls/ruins hardened.

 

The base plate should not be greater than 30x20cm – a personal standard measure for my glass cabinets at home. With first arrangement tests it became quickly clear fast that an exclusive display of Melusine suits would not "work". An additional focus object was needed, as a visual and thematic counterpart. The problem: in 1:35 there is hardly anything suitable "from the rack". Even though Hasegawa's brand new Nutcracker kit would have been an option, it was too large too expensive, too dominant, and its date of delivery to Germany would have been too uncertain... So only manual labour remained, and the idea of a self-built, small retro walking tank in the style of MiG Production's KV-2X took life.

  

A walking tank as an extra:

Concerning the HX-39, see also the more detailed separate pictures and comments on that kit. The model was vaguely inspired by the Ma.K. "Gladiator" from the mercenary's troops: a four-legged vehicle of compact size. Because time was scarce, however I decided not to build completely from scratch but rather use 'material from the shelve', combining primarily two models with each other. What sounds simple, however, took quite a lot of search time in order to find suitable donation kits which would match stylistically. The result has become quite consistent in my opinion and from the lines at least not unplausible for the Ma.K. universe: the HX-39 "Krampus".

 

The body of this small walking tank comes from a Hotchkiss H-39, a light French artillery tank from the early 2nd world war period. The polystyrene model in 1:35 comes from TRUMPETER. The legs and their complete suspension come from a resin kit, a recast of a small SF walking tank from the Japanese 'Junk tank rock '-model series, a TACO-34M 'Beetle'.

Some spare parts from this kit like the commander's cupola or the laser weapon found their way on the new small tank in services of the SDR army. Numerous other individual parts also found their way into the model, among other things generic parts of a 'Roof Details'-set in HO scale from Coernerstone Modulars. From these elements, e.g., the machine block was built.

 

Reference for the painting of the "Krampus" were the Melusine figures. They carry a winter camouflage which reminds of airplanes of the German air force during the second world war at the eastern front: White/light grey tempera colour on dark green, with yellow marking stripes. The Krampus should just become a minor element in the diorama, however, and, therefore not stick out with exotic extras or flashy colours. Though the model was a piece of work of its own, however, it is only to be seen as an accessory in the bigger diorama ensemble.

  

The Melusine figures are reworked:

The Hobby Base figures are unexpectedly well printed and hardly leave open wishes. Basically there are three bodies/poses, three weapons/arms and three painting variations available. The suits are even marked with individual numbers!

However, one major disadvantage is that the figures are made out of soft vinyl and show now and then downpour burrs which are hardly to be mended on account of the soft, tough material. Arms and legs are simply connected to the figures' body, so they can be modified and exchanged with little effort – what I have partly used to simulate running figures or to change an arm for a better pose in the scenery.

 

Only little was changed concerning the figures' paint finish. Merely some of the numbers have been painted by hand to avoid doubles, assigning individual numbers to every figure. Furthermore, the interior of the open suits has been refined – among other things, pilots figure busts were "implanted". For these, some rummaging was necessary, too, but I made a find, finally, with a modern Israeli tank crew from ACADEMY.

 

In order to make the troops not to look too uniformly, the camouflage of two suits was changed: One Melusine (number 7) received a grey pattern, another (number 8, with open bonnet) a mottled pattern in green grey.

 

Moreover, almost all figures received personal markings with decals from the scrap box, e.g., nose art like comic eyes, mascots, even a Coraya heart, "kill marks" even a "Kölle Alaaf" banner for the commander with the number 1. Everything only little things, but these details make the diorama look much more lively.

 

From the total pool of eight figures I chose seven for the diorama which were arranged in three thematic scenes, together with the walking tank:

 

Commander of the troop (number 1) with two subordinates in direct conversation, partly with open hatches.

 

Two Melusine with hand weapons marching past in front of the HX-39 at a trot, to the frontline of the battle which is not shown in the diorama but ideally to the left „beyond the picture“.

 

A Melusine stands with the back to the viewer and instructs the HX-39 driver to wait, until the foot troop has explored and secured the next corner. Another Melusine stands beside HX-39 – he has no active function in the scene, fills primarily the emptiness under the bay window.

  

Building the diorama:

The base is formed by a 10mm MDF board. On it a 10mm-layer of styrofoam was glued – the soft subsoil would later permit "blows" to the street, creating an uneven surface. Around this base skirt from 2mm balsa wood was glued and later painted black.

 

Themantically, a street scenery with fight tracks should be shown, after light snowfall in winter. A house ruin which should overlook a street corner came to the left, rear corner. This outer wall is a prepainted plaster kit which was adapted, however, to the circumstances and refined, e.g., with nailed up windows in the ground floor (with the low depth behind the windows I found the "installation" of rubble impractical) and the rubble in the 1st floor bay window. Additionally I applied a new/better painting and ageing with easy watercolors and brick-drilling dust. The smoke traces are real!

 

In front of and around the building came an approx. 5 cm wide sidewalk which was brought on higher level to the street with 3mm balsa wood. For the surface finish I simply used pre-printed cardboards from Busch - actually for HO scale, but these looked very realistic and "non-uniform" that I ventured the application here instead of a complete do-it-yourself construction with plaster and paint. Most of it would disappear layter under rubble and snow, anyway.

 

The bay window of the house defined the position for the planned street lights on the sidewalks, on the left and on the right in the streets. The lamps are scratch constructions from brass and polystyrene pipes, the luminous bodies at the top are protective bonnets for syringes...

 

In order to hold figures and lamps, vertical drillings were put through the MDF base plate into which soft iron wires were glued as holders. Especially the running Melusine figures needed this extra hold. The Krampus stands on own legs, the kit is simply removable.

 

The HX-39 stands on the street on the right side and forms a counterpole to the building to the left. It serves at the same time as optical divider between the three Melusine scenes.

Small stone and rubble heaps as well as snowy heaps on the street from broken plaster leftovers, sand, shell shards as well as a few resin bricks also support the visual structure of the diorama. Spanish riders (Italieri) and barbed wire barricades (specialised trade) on the street provide offer additional details and enhance spatial separation. Fine sand and drilling dust bring mess on the street (and cover the good-looking paving, unfortunately, almost completely...), some longer grass from paintbrush bristle on the house wall and dry moss which forms ivy tendrils "animates" the hopeless scenario and fills some empty places beside the figures. I tried to fill almost and spot with a minor detail in order to enhance the impression of density and hurry. Consequently, the figures have been consciously distributed rather evenly across the area, so that the viewer cannot grasp the whole scenery at once – it should "resonate" with the whole arrangement a sort of hectic rush in the front section.

  

The snow comes to the country:

After basic work was done, everything was to be sealed under a thin layer of snow. To enhance the winter impression, even self-made icicles from white glue were used for decoration.

For the "snowfall process" everything was made wet with relaxed water and was sprinkled carefully, in many thin layers, with white joint mortar, resulting in a fluffy, thin snowy cover. A clinical-kitschy snow cover was to be avoided, though. I rather wanted to create the impression as if something had already happened there – thus as if already the first fight troop had passed through, and now the special command moves up to the front line.

 

Mush was formed by partial mixes of joint mortar with toned water. The puddles in the depressions in the road pavement have been poured out, finally, with brown coloured white glue what has a good, sculptural effect and light shine (like frozen water).

 

After drying everything was fixed with a water/white glue mixture as well as hair spray. Afterwards, the base of the diorama and its balsa skirt was painted, and as a final step a layer of acrylic matte varnish sealed everything.

We stumbled on a night market at Kad Suan Kaew shopping centre on Friday evening. It assembled in front of our eyes late in the afternoon and by dusk was in full swing. The choice of food there was rather mind boggling and definitely authentical Thai.

 

As a starter, we had a grilled Pla Nin (tilapia) served with Nam Prik Pla Tu น้ำพริกปลาทู , which was roasted eggplant (aubergine) mashed together with fermented shrimp paste, garlic, chilli and coriander. The silky and sweet eggplant was nicely balanced by the pungent fermented shrimp paste and rounded out with garlic, which also helped control the fishiness. A perfect condiment for the grilled fish.

 

We also had a mushroom omelette baked in banana leaves to whet our appetites before going for some noodles.

 

Julia wanted to try the Khanom Jin Nam Ngiao ขนมจีนน้ำเงี้ยว, Chinese rice noodles in a spicy broth thickened with pork blood and served with cubes of pork blood, topped with chopped green shallots, corianders, fried garlic, and eat with bean sprouts, finely sliced pickled Chinese mustard, pork crackling and fried dried chilli. Not bad, especially since I love offal! Not really to Julia's taste though :P

 

I chose the Khao Soi ข้าวซอย with chicken. It's a Muslim-influenced curry served over flat egg noodles and topped with squiggly fried noodles which soak up the curry and perfectly!

 

We finished our dinner with some sago dumplings filled with pork, peanuts and 大头菜 preserved mustard stems, a nice balance of sweet and savoury with a chewy skin. These are eaten wrapped with some lettuce and a sprig coriander. Very light but very tasty!

 

Kad Suan Kaew (Central)

21 Huay Kaew Rd, Suthep, Muang, Chiang Mai

+66 (0)53-224444

 

Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Centre:

- www.chiangmaichimes.com/shopping_1.html

- www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293917-d545072-Rev...

Wow... there is Khao Soi in Melbourne! I must try!

- Laksa Me - de Groots Best Restaurants of Australia

16 Liverpool St

Melbourne VIC 3000

Tel : +61 3 9639 9885

- Lemongrass Thai

176 Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne, Australia.

T: (+ 61 3) 9662 2244

Sulfidic norite from the Precambrian of Montana, USA. (field of view ~4.5 centimeters across)

 

Brownish bronze = Pt/Pd-rich pyrrhotite

Yellow brassy = Pt/Pd-rich chalcopyrite

Gray crystals = plagioclase feldspar

Dark crystals = bronzite pyroxene

 

Southern Montana’s Beartooth Mountains has one of only three platinum mines in North America. There, platinum and palladium are mined from the 2.71 billion-year-old Stillwater Complex, a classic example of an LLI (large, layered igneous province). LLIs are large intrusive bodies that display large-scale and small-scale layering, even including cross bedding, ripples, graded bedding, channelforms, and other sedimentary-like features. The Stillwater started out as a large subsurface mass of slowly cooling magma. As various minerals crystallized, they settled to the bottom of the magma chamber. This resulted in layering. Igneous rocks that formed this way have a cumulate texture. Currents in the still-liquid portions of the magma chamber produced the sedimentary structures mentioned above. Most of the Stillwater displays only large-scale layering.

 

The rocks in the Stillwater are ultramafic & mafic intrusive igneous rocks. Common lithologies include gabbros, norites, harzburgites, anorthosites, troctolites, chromitites, pyroxenites, and dunites. Portions of the Stillwater have been metamorphosed. Olivine is the most commonly altered component, usually metamorphosed to serpentine.

 

The main platinum & palladium occurrence is in the Johns-Manville Reef (J-M Reef), an interval in the lower part of the Lower Banded Series. There, the Pt & Pd occur in intercumulate sulfides, typically pyrrhotite (Fe1-xS) and chalcopyrite (CuFeS2). Platinum ores in the J-M Reef are principally sulfidic anorthosites, but other lithologies also occur. The J-M Reef is the highest grade deposit known for platinum-group elements (PGEs).

 

Norite is a common intrusive igneous rock having a coarsely-crystalline texture and a plagioclase-pyroxene composition. It is similar to gabbro, except that the pyroxene in gabbro is clinopyroxene and in norite, it is orthopyroxene. In the Stillwater Complex, compared with anorthosite rocks, norites are richer in bronzite pyroxene. This rock has ~69% plagioclase feldspar (= gray crystals) and ~29% bronzite pyroxene. The remaining ~2% of the rock is intercumulate platinum/palladium-rich sulfides. About 1% of platinum-palladium ore mined at the Stillwater Mine is norite.

 

This rock has an ore grade of about 1.0 ounces of Pd-Pt per ton of rock, with a Pd-Pt ratio of ~3:1 (= highest grade platinum group metals deposit in the world).

 

Stratigraphy: Johns-Manville Reef, Lower Banded Series, Stillwater Complex, Neoarchean, 2.71 Ga

 

Locality: Upper West portion of the Stillwater Mine (probably from the 53W13300 D6 area), Beartooth Mountains, southern Montana, USA

 

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...this was my 40th-in-a-row attendance at the san francisco pride parade, once even returning from tahiti the night before the parade and then leaving for kauai on monday, the day after the parade...

 

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film

 

just hit 120,000 views :)

4/5- just hit 121,000 views :)

 

I have a Facebook page

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...one of my favorite and fragrant Cymbidiums...it's the earliest to bloom, also...

 

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...this was my 40th-in-a-row attendance at the san francisco pride parade, once even returning from tahiti the night before the parade and then leaving for kauai on monday, the day after the parade...

 

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