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Urbanathlon

Urbanathlon

The day after my 41st birthday, I decided to go in a competition to prove how much I had improved my fitness. It was a way of being able to have a goal to work towards and also a way to celebrate that I would be the fittest I have ever been in my entire life to this point.

The Urbanathlon itself is what they call an Obstacle Course Race (OCR). Most seem to heavily involve mud (or glasses stealer as I like to call it), but the Urbanathlon is like a triathlon or decathlon, but in an urban setting – hence the name.

The race itself was 12 kilometres and 10 obstacles. I had to do a lot of training since I had never jogged (or ran) before. However, the practice that I had helped a lot and I was able to finish about 900th out of up to 3000 competitors. Not the most glamourous of finishes, but I made it.

Below are some photos that are low res (stolen from the Urbanathlon site) of me in action. Check out the website at http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/mens-health/urbanathlon/course-melbourne/ to learn more about the race.

UrbKeith1

UrbKeith2

UrbKeith3

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Posted by on August 13, 2013 in Fitness/Weight Loss

 

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Padding the bag

Padding the bag

Now that the material is cut for the inside and outside of each face of the bag, the next step is to put the padding in the middle and sew each panel up, ready for assembly. The padding I used is in the picture below, and I used two layers in each panel. The padding was fairly cheap – I think around $15, from memory.

So the first step is to cut the padding out. This doesn’t have to be too exact as the padding is very expandable and moves around a fair bit. To do this, I lay the padding down on the table – two layers – and then put the inner material on top of it to get the shape.

I then used my sharp scissors to cut around the shape.

Once that’s done, flip the whole thing over and lay the outer material for the panel on top of it to make a material, padding, padding, material sandwich.

Next I need to hold the layers in place while I sew them together. I used pins to do this and made sure the padding was right at the edge of the panel. This way, when sewn, the padding shouldn’t move around at all.

Putting the pins in at the angle shown means that you can sew over them easily and then remove them once the sewing is done. Continue doing this the whole way around the panel ready to sew. In the picture below, I use many more pins than I did for the other panels, but you only really need to put in enough pins to hold it all together. It doesn’t have to be perfect either, it’s only to hold it while it’s being sewn.

Once you have all the pins in place, it’s time to hit the sewing machine. Essentially, it’s just a matter of sewing right around the edge of the panel to hold it all together. Since I left some extra room around the poweriser when I traced the outline, I’ve chosen to sew in about the width of the foot on the sewing machine. I just used a straight stitch to hold it together as each panel will be sewn again later and that will add strength then.

Sew all the way around the panel and when you’re finished, remove the pins and cut off any threads that are hanging around. The finished product should look like this.

Once that’s done, it’s a good idea to quickly test and make sure that the poweriser still fits in there. The more testing the better, otherwise you may find a problem way too late to fix it.

Yep, we’re all good. Now to repeat another three times.

And then when that’s done, a little more testing…

Perfect! Now, I just need to make the sides of the bag and it’s almost ready to be sewn together. Stay tuned to the next exciting blog! 🙂

 

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More on the poweriser bag

More on the poweriser bag

Last post I ended with the outside material cut for the poweriser bag. Next we need to do the inside material for the bag.

Because no one is actually going to see the inside very clearly, I decided to use some material that I had left lying around from other projects. It’s not bad material, it’s thick enough and does have a pattern, however some of it is not big enough for the whole size of the bag. This means I may need to cut it and sew together parts to make it big enough.

For the parts that are big enough, it’s just a matter of getting one of the outer pieces and lying it on top of the material and cutting around it. If it isn’t big enough the first step is similar. Lie the largest piece down on the table and then cover it with the outer material.

 

Then cut around the parts that are over hanging to be able to make as much of the shape as you can. Once you’ve got the first part of the shape, the next step is to find another piece that’s going to fit in the gap. When you place it on the table, over lap the old piece with the new piece as below…

 

Lay the outer material down again and cut around the edges so that the new piece also is trimmed to the right size.

Once this is done, we’re ready to sew the two pieces together to make the whole thing like one piece of material. Remove the outer material altogether and any scraps let over from cutting.

As you can see above, the next step is to put pins through the two pieces where they overlap so that we can then lift the piece of material up and take it to the sewing machine to join then together.

Once on the sewing machine, it’s just a matter of sewing along the edge of the join with a wide zig zag stitch to ensure that the two pieces are held together. Ideally, we want to over lap the stitch a little so the fabric doesn’t fray. To make sure the join is very strong, we’ll do three rows of stitching.

First row….

Then flip the material over and do exactly the same thing, but on the patterned side this time…

Then (and you can see this in the above pic as well), run the same stitch right through the middle of the two other stitches. This probably isn’t necessary, but I wanted to be sure that with the weight of the powerisers I wasn’t going to have any problems with seams coming apart.

Each join was done the same way and I was able to get all four pieces out of the left over material I had. Here’s a view of the other side of the material.

The key thing to remember is that it doesn’t have to look great, no one will see this side of the bag. Secondly, it has to be strong. And thirdly, remember that the pattern part should face out on each part you sew together.

Finally, cut off the loose cotton where you’ve sewed and then put it aside then start on the next one. Once all four pieces are done, I’ll continue on with the next steps in the next blog post.

 

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Work begins on Poweriser Bags

Work begins on Poweriser Bags

So finally work has begun on the bags that I need to carry around my powerisers (jumping stilts). The big problems are that they are heavy, awkward to carry and rattle around in the back of the car. Therefore I need something that’s strong, padded and huge. Being as though it took my months to find a place that sold the powerisers and a lot of money to buy them, the thought of finding a bag to house them in that isn’t too expensive gives me nightmares. It would be easier to make my own, I thought….

So I started as always with a plan. And, as always, that plan goes through a few iterations. My previous posts on this topic show that, but here’s the latest plan.

 

This plan is a little complex in that I want to be able to wear it like a back pack, but the first iteration will just be bags I can carry and then I’ll add straps later to make the backpack method.

The first thing that I did was buy some denim-like material for it’s strength and some padding to go in between the material. I guessed at how much I would need and then would buy more if I was short. The material and padding was under $50, but I don’t remember exactly how much.

I stored the materials for quite a while until I had some time to start the bag, so the first thing I did was got the iron out and made the material as flat as possible. This is so important because it’s much easier to cut out and sew that way.

 

Next I needed to work out roughly how much room I needed and I had to set up my “workbench”. The dining table did nicely for that.

 

Once I had everything set up and the material was ironed, I laid the material down on the table and placed one of the powerisers on top of it to trace around to get the shape I would need. I also had to keep in mind that there would need to be extra space for the sewing and also that I had to be able to slip the poweriser in fairly easily.

 

From there it was just a matter of tracing a line around to get the shape. I did this with a coloured pencil to make it easier to see… although it wasn’t that easy to see in the end. Here’s a close up of how it turned out, though.

 

You can just see the brown line. Also notice how far away from the edge of the poweriser it is. From here it was just a matter of cutting out the shape.

 

A couple of tips. Firstly, I bought a pair of scissors that I only use for cutting fabric. They’re very sharp and stay that way because I only cut fabric with them. A good pair of scissors are worth their weight in gold. Secondly, notice how I only cut two edges? Where possible, I try to use the edge of the fabric – it means less cuts and less chance of problems.

This shape then makes up one side of one bag for the poweriser. The other side of the bag will be the direct opposite, so the easiest way to measure it is to flip the piece I’ve just cut upside down on to the top of some more material and cut around that.

This gives me both sides and they will come together similar to how they look in the above picture. Then I needed to cut the material for the other bag. I used the FIRST cut out so that all the material comes from the one pattern. And of course it needs to be done twice – one like the original and one a mirror image. This will give me the outside parts of the bag – the first step.

 

 

The next step after this is to make sure that the sizes are all okay. The more you test the less chance of making mistakes. I laid the material down on the table and draped the top part across the poweriser to make sure it all fits nicely.

 

It all seems okay, so the next part is to cut out the lining to go on the inside of the bag. More on that in the next post.

 
 

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How miniature is miniature?

I thought I’d just make a quick post to let everyone know just how big the actual miniatures are.

To find something that is the same size, I put a 50c (Australian) piece next to the miniature. However, since I have many international friends who read my blog, I have also put an iPhone in the background.

The iPhone is a good indicator of size because everyone has one and they’re all pretty much the same size.

 

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Miniature update

Just a quick update since it’s been a while since I posted. I have now got the skin on all the girls so next step is to take them one by one and get the ready for the wash stage. After the wash, they’ll be dry brushed for highlights and then they’re complete. It’s getting exciting.

The first person in the list was always Crystal Beth. She is the first one ready for inking. Notice the detail in the pics. This is each angle of the miniature.

Okay on that first picture, check out the following: The wheels and shoelaces. The green bands around the knee pads. The helmet with the jammer star. The face and general skin tones.

Notice the number painted on the back.

Check out the face and skin tones.

Probably the best picture I took of the miniature. Check out the detail. It will look even better once it’s finished. Anyway, one down another 9 to go…

 

 
 

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More skin and some green…

More skin and some green…

Okay, it’s been quite some time since I’ve done an update on the miniature painting. That’s mostly because it’s been a while since I’ve done any painting. Time is my enemy.

However, I have got myself set up and ready to do some more painting. This is my workstation (on the dining table with a towel to protect the table).

Anyway, the end of the last session of painting saw a little bit of a disaster. As I was packing up, I dropped Brit Knee on the floor and her head fell off. I was devastated so I kept the head and vowed to fix her next time.

This session therefore started off with me glued her head back on. I had to file down her neck first to make the join better and to get rid of some of the paint. Then I glued it right back on there and gave it a lick of paint once the glue was dry. It turned out okay (except the photo is blurry)

Next person up for their skin to be painted was Thunder!

Next up to get skin was Blood Bath Binki. Not that you can normally see her skin for tattoos, but I’ll put them on after the skin.

And then the lucky last person to get skin is Captain Ratz!!

Now that all the skins are done (and yes they are a bit messy in parts, it’s time to go through and add the next level of detail. GREEN!!

So I’ve decided that since these miniatures will be used for the board game, I really need to differentiate between teams. Also each skater has to have a “position”. Therefore I have decided that all deviants will have green helmets – the pivot and jammer will have a black stripe or star. This is moving away from the realism a little, but it’s more important to ensure that they’re easy to see. Besides, someone may have given them all cool helmets as presents. Why not.

Anyway, I have started painting up some of the green bits. They will be highlighted later and therefore will be a little lighter in colour, but this is the base coat. I did helmet and wheels this round and then once I’ve painted the uniforms and skates, I’ll do the top bits as well (like laces and belts, etc). It’s important to get these in the right order – for example, it’s easy to clean up green by going over it with black, but harder to cover up black with green.

And that’s all for now. More after the next painting session which will hopefully be soon!

 
 

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