I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Sunday 31 October 2021


 It is still very damp here so I've had some time at the computer. I decided to spend a couple of hours remodelling the connecting rod that went a little awry last week. A couple of hours turned into five. I'm happy with the end result, just as well.

It all starts in FreeCAD.

I draw a Sketch which once it's fully constrained it turns a lovely shade of green.

To achieve the end result I revolve the sketch creating a cylinder of various sections. It's then just a matter of creating another half dozen Sketches on Datum Planes and from them creating Pockets to chop away the bits I don't want. I suspect the next one could be done in half an hour assuming a following wind.

I then popped it into Blender so it looks it's best.

I like how these have turned out, now to re-model all the other bits to a similar standard, assemble them and see if I can get the thing to animate. If I don't weaken then that's this winter sorted.
My primary reason for posting this stuff is to give me motivation to carry on with it. I find it all too easy to say sod it and find something else to do.

Saturday 30 October 2021



This as it stands is finished. Marks out of ten? I'd give it three. I quite like the concept but the proportions are all over the place. I am going to remodel it and hopefully get it all perfect. 

I have never tried to model a multi-part assembly before and it's harder than I anticipated. Not to worry it passes a couple of hours a day and I'm finding it therapeutic.

In other news it's still raining so I'll get wet yet again.

Enjoy your weekend and spare a thought for the dyslexics for first thing tomorrow is when their cocks go black.

Thursday 28 October 2021


 I'm still having fun with this little engine. I have had several crashes using Blender 3 Alpha and it's my own fault as I have a stable release but became enamoured with the efficiency of the new render engine. It's not very efficient at all when one has to keep recovering stuff, not to mention Hot Keys going on the blink and sundry other problems associated with development software. Were it a Beta release I'd report the issues.

I have developed a system or workflow which suits me. I construct a 3D component in FreeCAD, save it out to a file and then import from the file into Blender for assembly and colouring in.

I've got a bit further.

I've still got hours of playtime left. I like this method as I can see what the end result will look like. I have about five major bits left to do. The crosshead, connecting rods, a crankshaft and bearings. Then it will need a sparking plug, fuel delivery system, electronic ignition, sundry packings, glands and a fuel tank. I will be gone some time but winter hasn't really started yet. This is as small as I dare go, to give you an idea how large it is what you see will all fit inside a box 100mm x 125mm x 125mm high. The base it all sits on will add another 50mm or so.

Lots of polishing up and things to redesign to keep me amused. It's starting to look quite satisfactory. I'll post again when I've got some more done.

Tuesday 26 October 2021


I am having endless fun. I have been playing with a small engine design. It's a two stroke with a double acting piston in a glass cylinder. I do the modelling in FreeCAD then export as an Obj. file and import into Blender for assembly and rendering. There's no real need to other than FreeCAD can't render proper and I like pretty pictures and colouring in.

I'm using Blender3 Alpha with the Cycles X render engine. It is not that stable but there again it's a development release two steps away from being spot on. I did get one Cycles X render with eight hundred and fifty samples then it wouldn't play nicely again.

This took about a minute and a half to render in CyclesX, unfortunately the HDR lighting was really nasty so I changed it and when I came to render again I couldn't get anything but the old Cycles render engine. 

I said. " Well I'll be away to the foot of my Grandma's stairs."

These were re-lit and took seven minutes plus a bit a piece for the same number of samples. Not bad for an old 900 or thereabouts NVIDIA GPU. I'll see if Santa can't cough up for a bigger one. I don't need a state of the art quad thingy graphics processor as the wait gives me time for a roll up and a think about the meaning of life. I only have a laptop and haven't the room for a proper machine so I can't go too silly. I've also got to find my Arctic Paste to smear on the coolers as GPUs generate some serious heat. I had a big computer clean up a few weeks ago and for the life of me couldn't recall which safe place I'd popped it in. Arctic Paste works well but only lasts a couple of years. I blame global warming or whatever the numb nuts are calling it this week. 

The ring with the slot in is the exhaust, it needs a manifold and pipe adding. The end caps need a way of getting petrol mixture into the top and as it compresses a pipe connecting it via a couple of clack valves to the bottom where it will have a spark plug. Some end cap modification will be required, they need something as they a boring. The engine will be upside down for no reason other than I fancy having guide brackets on top of the cylinder supporting plate and connecting rods running from them to a couple of crank pins or big ends. I have decided that the cylinder is far too short. The glass is 20mm x 2mm wall Pyrex or more than likely a Chinese borosilicate glass rip off Pyllex I guess. The grey bits will be machined from ductile iron as it remains dimensionally stable at the sort of temperatures likely to be experienced, I can't imagine the cylinder getting to much more than 500°C, if that, but will have a check. Sealing will be silicon rubber, it will stand dogs abuse.

Next week Glasgow is hosting something called Crap 26. It's all about taxing plebs to within an inch of penury but more importantly it will provide a wonderful stage for virtue signalling by mega bucks hippy folk that should have grown up thirty years ago.

 I'm expecting endless amusement. Most delegates have wisely decided to stop at Gleneagles or Edinburgh. They have found a fleet of electric cars to ferry them backwards and forwards but located only one charger so have had to hire in a number of diesel gensets. It gets funnier, NHS Scotland are cancelling all but emergency or critical appointments as they don't want the delegates held up in traffic. I suspect that all the domestic rubbish will be shoved up side streets in time as the bin men are currently on strike. Glasgow council have a fleet of a hundred or so electric vans parked up unused, their excuse is Batflu, no testing and believe it or not Thatcher. She's been dead for decades. For fucks sake even Vegans can work a switch and two pedals. I guess the batteries in them will be buggered by now, probably for the best, I can't imagine the great and good sitting in the back of a van all the way from Gleneagles to Glasgow. I have noticed that the Glen Devon road and the A91 have had some resurfacing work done so as not to jolt the delegates delicate bums.

Have fun.

Sunday 24 October 2021


 Christie or Kristy called round yesterday to enquire whether I had any thoughts on her latest pipe dream. Fortunately I had. It's been wet and dry here, cool and warm so I've had time to play in FreeCAD. FreeCad is free so one oughtn't to moan but it is an absolute bugger to do complex things in. I don't know how many years I've been playing in it but I get disheartened and go back to Blender. I used to play in SolidWorks but they have gone a bit snotty and won't let me have it for nowt. I have promised I'm a student but they don't believe me, if they saw my work they would. I'd be given a private tutor as a Special Needs person.

She sketched out a very rough outline of what she imagined would be a pleasing little engine and wanted some ideas on embellishment. Were I doing the job I'd do one with just the basics, make it, try and make it work then polish the structure for the next one. She would like a table engine like this but IC not steam.

This is a Stuart Models James Coombes steam engine. It is an early colliery pumping engine. 

I have been looking at modelling the pillars and flywheel. Most Victorian engineers were very proud of their creations and rarely missed any opportunity to embellish them. I am getting enthused so may do the whole thing.

These look crap, all out of proportion but some Victorians liked curved spokes. I enjoyed doing them as lofting sections along a Bezier curve is a recipe for some really inventive words. FreeCad is parametric so I can go back and adjust stuff anyway I fancy, I can pick the start profile, the end profile and the curve and it updates in a minute or so but not if I've popped fillets on. Never do fillets until it's going out to print. 

Columns can be anything you fancy. It's hard to get one that looks the business.

These are not too bad to do. Hard to imagine it starts as a simple circle. Cast in solid brass or silver it would look okay I think. I'll keep persevering with this job in FreeCad. It is far from user friendly but once one susses that mm or inches after something means any number and if it has 0.000  it only means 0 or 1, they also use true and false which as far as I know means the same thing in computer speak. It's not Blender but Blender is very user friendly. FreeCad can do stuff Blender can't but it is far from easy. Not to worry I can remember when I got my first digital camera and downloaded Photoshop Elements for free. I hadn't a clue which way was up but then as my camera collection grew I got the proper PS6 for silly money £1.2K if I recall, after that it went to monthly. It was expensive but then most cameras are three grand plus and lenses start at £500.00p. I don't have to think what to click in PS or Blender, give it another week/year and FreeCAD could be the same....Dream on Adrian, dream on.

Enjoy the week ahead, don't forget your booster jab. It's only another three weeks to flatten the curve. You could also look at Sweden or Florida and ponder whether it is worth bothering.
Last week I called at the dog vets for some ear drops for Alf, the pompous wee lassie asked if I was jagged. I told her I'd let her know if she told me whether her genital warts had cleared up. I never did find out as the boss came through and handed me the drops, cost me thirty quid bet if I hadn't been a smart arse they would have been twenty. This Batflu will never go away as it has spawned a whole new income stream for the lazy and incompetent.

Wednesday 20 October 2021


 It's been a funny old week, very wet and warm but today it has turned a touch freezio and sunny. I have been looking into designing and investment casting some posh decorative bits for my muses(pain in the bum) table engine with a glass cylinder. I was just sketching stuff out and my draughting compasses broke again, they are forty years old and have been repaired twice before so I bit the bullet and ordered a new pair; £6.99p from Amazon, possibly less than a tin of brake cleaner and tub of Loctite to repair the old ones.

They look fine if they are all metal, I pick them up tomorrow as I have to get somebody else with Amazon Prime to order them, saves a fiver delivery.

I am having trouble using FreeCAD it really hates generating a helix. I looked at classical columns and can do those.

The one on the left is mine and the one on the right I stole or borrowed. The one I did FreeCAD has no trouble with. The one on the right is a very low poly model and would 3D print in wax but even at a few inches tall would take a lot of cleaning up. I could re-mesh in Blender but haven't mentioned that.

 As you can see it's a bit bumpy and I suspect would create too much work to finish. I could ask the pain in the bum to fork out $50US for a decent model but that would cause much sucking of teeth and then without doubt it would require modifications. She has yet to find an investment caster that will work for nothing but has found a gullible soul with a 3D printer that can print a wax master for nowt. She has gone away to see the lass with the printer. I did say that the column will have to have runners, risers and air bleeds popped in by someone skilled in the mysteries of cire purdue. 

I have been trying to do a sort of barley twist pillar in FreeCad it all but stops the computer.

I don't like this and neither does the computer. I'll give it a whirl in Blender, maybe make the circular bits subtractive so they cut a hemispherical groove in the column. I'll try starting with a square or some other polygon and extruding and twisting it making a classic barley spiral.

It's all time but I never stop learning, it keeps me amused and the upside is I can work 2D CNC with only minor hiccups.

Does anyone else think the NHS is unfit for purpose? It has been half private for years as they pay massive PFI and charge for medicals and anything else they can get away with. If one needs anything but triage and stabilisation then it's best to go private and have the job done by a surgeon one knows to be clued up. How many billions has this government thrown at the job? It's not at all cost effective when some GPs refuse to look at folk or look after them and hospitals are sitting with empty beds when the poorly of the populace are denied access. It employs a lot of dross, some middling and many really good folk but there is not a system in place for differentiation between them. Hence the rubbish get paid the same as the superb.

I'll leave you with this.

Have fun.

Saturday 16 October 2021


 I don't know why I feel so little compassion, from what I have heard and read about the tragedy yesterday David Amess was a very nice bloke. It does beg the questions that firstly if one accepts the truth of this then what was he doing in politics and secondly why if he was a paragon of virtue did it take him forty years to do nothing about it.

The MSM have been dancing on a pin head since the story broke but once again when an Islamist or Dindu commits a murder he is referred to as a man, possibly a British man.


  Ann Coulter had it spot on when she stated that the longer it takes the news media to identify a murderer the less likely it is to be a white male. They now have to admit that he was a British man of Somalian extract.

 With one notable exception being born in a stable is more likely to make one a horse and hence being born in Sub Saharan Africa makes one an African. Most folk have some pride in their origins and he most likely does but stabbing and slashing is what they do, proudly. It turns out that he had been referred to a de-radicalisation programme by our so called security services. A pound to a penny that was free but if I get caught speeding and opt for a De-(Driving like a Looney) programme it is far from free. Going all stabby seems a less heinous offence.

Poor fool, had he never heard of the quotation by Churchill. "One who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last is delusional."
So sad for his family I assume. It is just part and parcel of living with folk don't have any comprehension of the basic fact that actions and words have consequences.

I expect this will be a really popular post but having said that I'm a dreamer.

Friday 15 October 2021


It's another day in paradise.

Sir David Amess has been murdered. Many will never have heard of him before today and I'm one of them, it appears he was a career politician. It's upsetting but personally not as bad as the death of the bread delivery man or the postie. There's risk in all jobs.

I expect to hear no end of bollocks from his fellow bureaucrats. Sad dick Khan expressed his sympathy for the death, made it sound like natural causes were to blame, he didn't go as far as reiterating his catch phrase "It's just part and parcel." so showed some restraint.

Our beloved Angela Raynor has had to block everyone on her Twitter account. Guess she is wetting herself in case he shouted "For Angela." and not Allah prior to the attack.

Queer Starmer will be waiting to hear what BoJo has to say before backing him up by using language which though technically different will be to all intents the same.

It's all very depressing for normal folk. Some people actually vote for these self serving nobodies but they are the ones that think it's about democracy. Democracy is a dream in the western world and always has been. 

Pity if it takes the death of a middling trougher at the hands of a third world Islamist who had we a sane government oughtn't to be here makes our Home secretary start using her powers to round up the buggers and deport them. First she'd have to get a law passed to make human rights lawyers culpable for the sins of their clients. Can't see that happening. Can You?

On a lighter note I understand that Priti is not down for an honour from the Queen this year but the Post office is considering giving her bum it's own Post Code.

Wednesday 13 October 2021


 A few years ago I posted about Tensegrity furniture. I worked and worked on them for a lassie that wanted a cast iron one making. Cast iron was a non starter as she had a budget of 3/6d and although easy on the eye she wasn't easy enough to persuade a foundry and machinists to create her a wobble table. She was doing a course in summat arty in Glasgow. I eventually persuaded her to do her design in ply wood, spend a week polishing and finishing it and it could not only look like cast iron but be good enough to get her first prize or whatever it is one gets at art college. She didn't win but was happy, I less so as I'd spent some of my decreasing brain cells pissing about on a non starter.

She polled up again about three weeks ago. She is now working for a company with a very posh laser cutter doing the instructions for it. She's grown up now and understands that all machines cost a fortune and have to earn their keep and they pay her a wage as a bonus. Being young she has been looking to set up a small shop in her dads shed to produce interesting things. She showed me this. It's a two stroke engine designed and built by a Dutch chap called Jan Ridders.

I was fascinated it sucks fuel at the top and exhausts at the bottom of it's stroke. Hardly efficient and neither is the evaporator carburettor but what attracted her was seeing it run in the dark. See from about 2' 30". I like it as an ornament. It has a glass cylinder and a graphite piston. She wants to design and make one that looks like a piece of jewellery for folk to start after a dinner on the table. She is going to find several problems. The first is that the glass has to withstand both thermal shock and high temperatures. Not a problem as borosilicate does this. The problem is getting tubing to tight internal tolerances. I'm working on it but when I tell manufactures I only want a metre they get a bit snotty. I guess that I'll have to diamond hone to fit. Fine unless the daft bat sells a hundred then I'll teach her to diamond lap cylinders.

She then said how do you make a spark plug. I replied you don't you buy them and make sure your design will accept the smallest available. I have made them but it's not cost effective.

On a different tack I fuelled up this morning at BP. 2p difference between the silly bio 10% fuel and proper stuff. I guess that car drivers have sussed that low MPG fuel is a waste of money and BP have cottoned on and still have proper petrol to sell. You can't beat them it's all 10p dearer than it was before they ran out..... Bastards they are and we never ran out here.

Have fun.

Wednesday 6 October 2021


 I wonder how I can retain my sanity when confronted by the nonsense in this world.

 It's not too bad when I concentrate on the important things in life.... Will we manage to get a bid accepted on a knackered Aermacchi 350, can I re-programme the throttle sensor on my Golf, will the idle bugger sorting the hardware on the EDM get his finger out or does he need a poke with a pointed stick. 

It's been not a bad Wednesday, it's bright and sunny the grass sown three weeks ago is just sprouting. The Golf is about sorted, the throttle lag business I managed at no unexpected cost, no VW mapping just the air cleaner sensor. It then had a strange turn and the wipers wouldn't work unless one was in gear and moving and the washers didn't work at all. This was down to the bonnet release catch switch, cheers David. David is Polish, Poland is next door to Germany so he has a head start. Who in their right mind would think to interlink the wipers, washers and the bonnet catch. It's a grand car but such thinking must be strange even to Germans, happen not. Now I did have a warning light telling me that the bonnet was open when it patently wasn't. I gave it a squirt of brake cleaner and when it didn't go out I popped a bit of black masking tape over where the annoying light was showing. I now have a new switch at vast expense that tells the car to behave properly and all is well.

Here is a bit of video of Cumbre Vieja. I have a look several times a day, I like volcanos.

 I made the mistake of popping a title and audio on. It took a while for me to realise that NL video editing is not what Blogger wants even though I used crappy H264 Codecs and MP3 for the audio. I banged it through Any Video Converter to old MP4 and hope it works. Such are the trials of Blogger but had I used YouTube they would have done me for plagiarism or buggery. Perhaps not the latter as I strongly suspect it's accepted if not compulsory at YouTube.

What I can do nothing about is the green nonsense. Earlier today I was chatting to a distressed lady in the Co-Op who was with a green energy supplier, They had sent her notice of a price increase as gas prices had gone up, who cares but they want locking up, both the lady and the supplier. We get energy from the national grid and it can't tell where all the electrons are coming from. On a windy, sunny day we may have renewable for a few hours if we count in nuclear. She had just received a notice from said con artists informing her of an increase due to gas costs increasing by 15%. Didn't like to tell her that gas futures are up 37%. Told her to take them to the Advertising Standards Authority. Give that useless Quango something to do.

The other thing that most accept is that when one hears of wind energy you get numbers, they are honest but duplicitous. They know most folk don't understand numbers. Installed capacity is about 24 MW. When quoting the numbers they switch to energy produced 64,000GWh is accepted. MW is theoretical power output and hence GWh is energy output over a year so dividing MW by 365 works fine, for those hard of the adding, taking and dividing persuasion it means they are about 30% efficient. The bird killing, vista destroying windmills work a third of the time. Add in the cost of them, their maintenance and depreciation and it must be far cleaner to dig coal and frack for gas. The bloody volcano above is pumping out more CO2 in a day than we could ever hope to produce in a year. 

Not to worry the Doom Goblin will with a bit of luck offer herself as a sacrifice for the future of us all. 

Not to worry.

Unless you are a bit simple.