Saturday, 2 August 2014

Hello Everyone a report from University

Greetings one and All. It is I Gowan James Ditchburn and I am here to tell you I am still alive. Well I think I am an over-long discussion with some philosophy students may make me rethink that.

Anyway this is where I live :-D. Okay it is not pretty (an understatement perhaps). This is Huia Residence a former nurses home (not nursing home) built in 1969 in the then favoured style... the same one everyone hates today.
Behold the brutalist beauty...
it holds 321 residents... which seems odd as I would have thought a brutalist architect would have despised such a humorous number and gone for something well even and possibly a multiple of 10. Then again renovations could have taken place to accommodate this number.

Now for where I learn/work/read the news (that is how I procrastinate... it is rather depressing). The Architecture and Planning building. AKA the longest running joke in the university because it is an architectural disaster.
This is literally the only image I could find, not a surprise
Now for all of you out there who love pictures of highways here is a picture I am pretty sure is taken from our studio room. Studio is our special place we share with the second year students and unlike other courses where that would mean building a stadium to house more than 1-2 thousand people all the first and second year planning students would just about form a Roman century. there is around 35 second years and 45 first years.
Can you spot Huia???
Well your probably wondering what I have been up to...

No modelling I am afraid. Although I am sure the owner of the corner shop has been stalking me as aircraft kitsets have magically appeared in her shop in recent days. including a 1/144 scale A380.
This semester I shall be making models although at a much smaller scale than what I am used to. But with access to lazer cutters and 3D printers I will be getting close to the cutting edge tech for our hobby.

So what have I been doing?

Well in halls I have made lots of friends some of whom have left us sadly because they did not pass or quit their courses. Tonight I shall take part in a quiz and I shall probably be studying (well I have to do it at some point).

In University the list of amazing things I have learnt is so long I shall not be able to cover it. For those of you who forgot I am taking a Bachelor of Urban Planning (Honours) or BUrbPlan(Hons). Yep there is no denying that the degree I hope to achieve has a ridiculously long name. As you would expect this means I have to cover a lot of things but even I was taken aback by the shear range of topics. For instance in this year alone I have an economics, a law, an urban issues (ecology), and visual literacy paper on top of my two studio papers, the introduction paper (which itself covered a range of topics) and a general education paper (I chose statistics).

Despite being somewhat overwhelmed I am enjoying every minute the things we cover are all highly relevant to the world we live in. Although at times it is depressing to hear about how many problems there are and how it is so hard to overcome them, climate change just wont go away, it is with a certain sense of pride that we carry on, knowing we will one day be at the front line combating these issues.

well that's about it from me.

Oh and if you want to have some help planning a miniature city please get in touch :-D it's what I love to do. I'll make sure your city is well laid out and would be a joy to live in! Just so you can bombard it and have tanks roll through it streets.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Off to University. the beggining of a new journey

well I'm off very soon actually. on the 23rd of February I move up into my accommodation up in Auckland and on the 3rd of March I will begin my 4 year course in Urban Planning. I'll have to update my profile about me as well by the looks of it.

Sorry for not being active recently in truth it's been over a month since I painted anything, my mind is elsewhere and Oronegro has been put on hold. I will return! that much I can say, perhaps at the university I can join a club and maybe do some painting. but not for a while will I do anything substantial that much is for sure.

apparently I am not following anyone according to blogger which is annoying as I wanted to see some of what I have missed. also I cancelled my storage plan with Google so I have no idea if or when photo's uploaded onto the extra space will be deleted. again a real shame and not one I am happy about. I hope to get to view some of your blogs again. I hope also to one day revive Oronegro perhaps in a different way, perhaps focusing more on the realistic elements than the fictional ones. But most of all I want to keep in this hobby! I have loads of models, figures and kits that need to be made and one day I will come and put them together and paint them up.

so this is not goodbye although perhaps for the short term. certainly it feels like I have said goodbye after walking out the door with all these weeks of inactivity. So to leave you I shall just put together a small collection of images that cover my time here.
Me, Miles and Trent respectively on our trip up to the Pinnacles.

me last year when I got the principals award

the Leopard 2 A6 my favorite tank, one of my favorite models also

sunrise of table mountain in the Coromandel

a recent get together of all Oronegrean forces

the fearsome blue T-90A a cool tank

some 18th century Oronegro  stuff, fun and a nice break from Modern Oronegro

the ships Anne, Paul and Peter, names shared both by some of my family members and followers of my blog

the mighty pirate ship the Abigail

named after my sister

who is also in this photo, she is enjoying her first few weeks of high school right now

My dog Oscar enjoying one of his walks. I'll miss taking him out everyday, when I am at university

one of the many print outs I did for my projects

my attempts at sculpting

The Germans

an outdoor game that I played what seems like an eternity ago

my first sculpt

one of my first war-games and one that made it onto the blog... solo play sadly as I only played 1 game with another person and I was on their side as they had no clue what to do.

Argentina! this trip is what lead to Oronegro certainly. it would not have been a South/Central American imagi-nation otherwise

some of the people who went on the trip. many of them are off to University this year also.

the Teatro Colon, very beautiful place

sunset on las Pampas

Me, in a tree, as you can see

another sunset  shot in Argentina

and one more Argentina photo for good measure.

ah the tournament grounds I made so long ago!

one of the knights

some Russian knights as well

My very first 1/72 scale model! (which I painted)
some Romans

A better shot of my first photo on the blog

my first blog photo!
 Well that's all for... well I don't really know how long. I wish you all the best of luck and hopefully the blogs I follow shall reappear on my blog roll.

So long
have fun
live well
I'm off

I will return
in my own time

goodbye everyone, blogger let me enter a kind and helpful community and although I do not know when I shall rejoin it, let me say that each member of the community I met so far has been great to know and I regret not getting to know you all better and seeing more of your work.

but it's not like me to end on a sour not so here's some Monty Python to brighten up the mood

incidentally this is my 160th post as well

Saturday, 21 December 2013

To the Pinnacles (and back again) another great outing.

Well before I post any more pics of models on this blog I shall show to you my most recent tramping adventure I did with two of my friends. this walk took 3 days instead of the previous 2 and has some very nice pictures... anyway onto the adventure.

the three adventurers. from left to right Me, Miles and Trent

OH and By the way this post contains around (I may have deleted some I thought were duplicates) 60 photos...

Day one: 11th of December

well we set off at around 1 pm. this days tramp was predicted to be about 3 hours long.

to start out the track looked like this, nice and easy and very pretty.

then we got to the old road built into these hills for the Kauri loggers. here's Trent up ahead of me.

that overhand covers the path to a swing bridge... which is used when the river crossing is impassible due to floods

a break for afternoon tea after climbing more steps than in the escape rout of a skyscraper.... no wonder the preferred group name of people going to the hut is #Hatestairs.... seriously though there were loads of steps.

looking up the side of the valley.

a cool rocky outcrop the Coromandel is full of these sometimes weird and wonderful formations

looking of into the distance... photo bombing done by Trent :-P

this is the old path/road cut into the hills really nice... much better than some of the paths around town.

a little stream which clearly becomes nasty during floods

another outcrop a volcanic plug I assume.

Oh yes and that is table top mountain the same as from the previous hike but from a different angle.

getting close to the hut... hut is not really the right word as it is not a small structure at wall (bigger than many houses in fact)

and the last picture of day one taken just before we got to the hut.
we got to the hut an hour early and after meeting a few people including a guy from school we settled down for the night.

Day 2:

Day two was a day of very little adventures in the morning we all went up the Pinnacles without our bags... as it is only a 50 min climb... spent the rest of the day relaxing and chatting to other people from all storts of countries. Germany, Belgium, France, Singapore and Sweeden to name a few. Trent and I went up with a group in the evening to watch the sunset but Miles was to tired and went to bed early... here are the pics of the day.

early morning mist runs over the pinnacles but clears quickly although it leaves the air nice and fresh perfect for a climb

very pretty place and in the morning light it is even better.

it's strange to think that nearlly all this is re-growth... these slops were heavily deforisted in the 19th and 20th centuries.

our goal

our goal again.

we start our climb and look back at table top mountain. a new angle but still impressive,

Trent and Miles up ahead. we only took our water bottles on this climb as we didn't need anything else... well I did bring the Camera and the Binoculars.

Table top mountain again but from a higher angle thanks to thousands of steps the path increases in altitude quite rapidly.

as we get higher the surrounding area is revealed to us.

a look back at the hut. so far away now... and it hadn't taken us that long to get this far.

zoomed in again but another look at table top mountain or flat head as Stephanie (Mile's mother) called it.

a look down a valley... breath taking but it's a shame you can't get an impression of depth this is really cool in 3D.

not at the top yet. at over 750m the pinnacles give you a great view of the surrounding landscape

At the top? not sure... next photo I am more sure.

the view from the top.

there is a sign saying don't go here. but the lady who took our picture and climbed the pinnacles 7 times said we should go and check it out.

cool eh?

Mayor island in the distance.

some pretty little flowers growing amoungst the rocks

these rocks are not barren at all, they are practically covered in life.

table top mountain in the distance as well as other hills that make up these ranges

looking south east (roughly)

these are not the teeth of some ancient monster although this is middle earth so maybe.

a cool rock... what do you see? I see some stone giant pulling the finger. anyway this was taken once we decided to go back down.

one of the old Kauri dams. we took at look at once we came down and soon got bored.

an arty farty shot. :-P

miles walking along the stream

anyway we decided to follow the little stream by the Kauri dam... this isn't a trail but it was easy to follow.

this was taken very carefully as the water would kill my camera

a mini waterfall.

anyway after a restful day and dinner which we shared with a French man as our pasta dish was more than enough Trent and I went up with a group of 2 German boys and 2 girld from Duneidin and went to the top of the Pinnacles again to see this!!!

Certainly something I recommend you all see.

one more for luck!

DAY 3:

Day 3 was a long way... hours of walking as we took another route out heading east. We were going to Rangihau road where we got picked up by Mile's mother and taken to their batch (holiday home to non kiwi speaking peoples) in Tairua. in Tairua we could relax and do all the kayaking, swimming, sea biscuiting and set skiing we wanted but first we needed to walk! and this time the trail was not nicely pathed by loggers.

this morning was really misty! this mist did no lift until around 10-11am.

the sign at the point where the path from the hut meets the trail... interestingly another sign gave us the impression that the time to the Rangihau Road end (the route we were taking) would take 7 hours!

tree's in the mist

clambering up hill and down dale through swamp and over rivers we went.

at the top of the hill shown in the previous photo this shot was taken... electric cabels dissapearing into the mist.

OH and this is the track... well one of the nice bits. other times it was just waterlogged mud that would swallow your boot, leg and in some places you up to your waist.

after tramping through the undergrowth on a narrow trail we came to an area where all the trees had died. how??? No idea but from now on the track was designed so that a 4x4 could pass so the walk got easier.

we came to a stream and filled our water bottels. a look up stream and all the tree's are dead.

BUT downstream is this.... all I did was turn around. this is the same place.

After 5 hours of walking we came to the end of the trail and found this! this guys gate is right next to the gate (off camera to the left) at the end of the track

cool sign.
After 5 hours we made it to the end of the trail. really happy and well ahead of scheduel we had a bit of a walk yet to the pick up point further down the road. we must have got to the end of the trail just after 11 as we reached the pick up point just before 12 an hour early.
anyway we had to walk for another hour to get to the pick up point. this is the river by which we rested and waited.
after getting picked up we spent the next couple of days in Tairua going home on the 15th. unfortunatetly I didn't take any photo's because we had an awesome time. it was my first time going sea buiscuting, pulled by a jet-ski... and I didn't fall out. great time saw some amazing marine life, such as a huge sing ray. it was great. but I imagine that you've read enough now so I'll leave it here.

for Christmas I shall return to Tairua so perhaps I can bring some pics back from then. BUT UNTIL THEN UNLESS I DO ANOTHER POST I WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY, HEALTHY AND JOYFULL....