Monday, April 12, 2021

Undertow in Phoenix


Another review of a local Tiki bar here in Phoenix, it has recently moved to a new location and the wife and I went to check it out.

We went last weekend to check out this bar after there move to their new location. Undertow is a nautical themed tiki bar, its an immersive experience and very well done/  The bar has an elaborate back story and I would guess the owner must be a gamer. 

Back bar and there is a Dodo bird back there!

One of the two booths at the bar/

Our Porthole

The Undertow only allows you to be there for about 90min, so that's why you need a reservation, and they load the main bar first, then the other seats about 30min later to stagger the groups. When you do a reservation you have to put money down, which was credited toward your bill.

They have a large drink selection and various rums from around the world. They have some classics as well as some that they created as well.

Cloak of the Black Panther

Cures & Mysteries 

Piranha's Kiss of Death Elixir

Song of the Sycorax

Talon of Tenacity 

Overall I loved the place and will be back, the only downside is that there is no appetizers offered so you need to make sure you eat something before or after you go. It is a cool environment and definitely not like a regular bar, I highly recommend it. So if your looking for an interesting themed bar, this is your spot to check out.


Monday, February 15, 2021

Th Golden Tiki


This past weekend the wife and I took a weekend trip to Las Vegas, one stop that I knew we had to go was the Golden Tiki, someplace that I have wanted to go for a while.

As the Sign states, the Golden Tiki

We made reservations for noon and set out for adventure, for those that dont know, the Golden Tiki is an over 21 bar in Vegas that is a mix of Disneyland Tiki room meets traditionally Tiki bars of the past with an adult theme thrown in, perfect for this Ex skipper!

The wife out front of the Golden Tiki

We arrived a little before noon, to get our temps checked before going inside. The person at the door met us and checked our temps and gave us the ground rules, no smoking inside, you can wonder around but must have a mask on, but if your at the table you could keep the mask off.

As you enter the doors, your in a small cave, the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song was playing with a small water fall with torches in the wall with another door. As soon as we opened the door we were transported to the Tiki bars of old!

Front of bar

Going towards rear of bar.

They sat us at a high top along the wall, everything was Tiki, the wall paper, the decor, the music everything, it was amazing! They had a variety of drinks and we got to ordering our first set, I ordered the Painkiller and the wife ordered Three Dots and a Dash. I watched as the bartender made each drink and garnished the drinks as he was done with little umbrellas and fruit. We also ordered two appetizers, Shrimp Cocktail and Pork Meatballs in a sweet chilies sauce. All of it was amazing! Next up was a Mai Tai for myself and the wife got Navy Grog that was served with a flaming sugar cube.

Navy Grog

Both drinks were amazing, and with that we ordered two more appetizers, Coconut Shrimp and Crab Rangoon. Once again everything was perfect. Our waitress Asia did an awesome job and the kitchen brought the food within minutes of placing the order.

We then ordered another round of drinks which we both went for the Piranha Punch which was absolutely amazing!
Piranha Punch
We spent almost our whole two hours there and spent with tip about $200.00 for everything (we tipped very well. My wife had to take a picture in the Giant Clam shell seat and i love all the shruken heads in the case behind it!

A pearl in the Clam Shell

There were a few other pictures we tool, but I wanted to keep it PG, so be warned, this place is Disney meets R rated, there are paintings of nude women and pictures of nude or topless women on the tables. Also the door handles in the restroom are umm...Golden Tikis! LOL

This is now a must go to place for us and will happily return and make the 4 hour trip from Phoenix to Vegas just for this place alone. I highly recommend this place if your in Vegas, make sure to make a reservation though as it can be pretty busy.

Aloha TK

Monday, February 08, 2021

Been a rough few weeks...


I am still alive and still here, just had some very personal stuff going on and the Hobby time came to a screeching halt. I am slowly starting to get back in the grove, so will have more updates soon.


Sunday, January 17, 2021

Rail fanning Gila Bend AZ


Today DrunkenSamurai and I headed down to Gila Bend AZ to catch Ga few trains running at speed, this is on the old SP Sunset Route and today Union Pacific did not disappoint. We arrived around 8:00am and went and found the old SP Steel Water tower in Gila Bend and checked that out.

Southern Pacific Steel Water tower from days of old.

We then went down a little further to find a good spot to take some photos. In Gila Bend there is a passing siding and we parked so we could see the signal lights, as these are approach lit, y knowing if anything was coming they would alert us. 

Can't see them, but further down are the signals.

It didn't take long before the signals came alive and wed saw a train heading East bound to us, if fact the train was pulling into the siding which told me there was traffic either behind it, or making its way west bound.

Mixed freight heading to Tucson

Getting closer

Two Big GE units on the head end.

Well, once this train pulled into the siding and cleared us, I saw the headlight of the train coming West bound. This Stack train was flying, I was a good 30' from the tracks and when the wind rush it me, it made me stumble back, it was awesome!

A flying train, it had wings!

Two helpers rear of the train.

It was an awesome day, we ended up catching about 6 or 7 trains today all along the Sunset route, only thing that would have been better was to see SP units, but I think UP has repainted them all now.


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

New Books, New/Old model!


I have some great new books that arrived the last few days, I was recommended to pick up these three title from a friend, all the Books are from Lance Mindheim. The three titles are How To Design A Small Switching Layout, How To Build A Switching Layout and How to Operate A Modern Era Switching Layout, all found on Amazon.

Lance Mindheim collection

All these books are great for novices and old timers alike. Lance does a great job pointing out some pitfalls that we all fall into when planning, building and operating. Most of which I already knew, but there is also a few things that were new to me. These are a great collection to anyone's library and are very easy to read, I highly recommend them.

Also I felt like I wanted to build something, so I busted out this Walthers Open Air Transload building that I got a few years ago. This kit will be going on a module that I am planning for my group that I belong to. Its a pretty close match for a transfer building that used to be down off of 107th Ave and Buckeye here in Phoenix (Avondale really) that was named Western Seed Production.

Walthers Cornerstone Kit

The kit was pretty straight forward and had a two sided instruction sheet. I got this assembled in two nights and now is ready for paint. I remember when the Cornerstone buildings first came out years ago, I had built a few for myself and friends and those kits were very fiddley to assemble. But this is a newer kit and it went together very nicely and its very sturdy. I was very pleased how the kit went together.  

Loading Dock side

Back of building

Rail serviced side

Truck serviced side

Now I have fully assembled the kit and will be painting on it in the next few days. So stay tuned to see progress on painting.


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

JC, well maybe?


Last year I order a couple of these awesome little jungle boat from Sarissa Precision and promptly put one together. As some know, I floated down the river of some of the most famous rivers in the world in Anaheim CA, well when I saw these I knew I had to have them for some pulp gaming.

Keep your hands and arms inside the boat!

These boats are modeled more after a famous movie called the African Queen and is very l close to its namesake boat Sarissa Precision has done a great job in capturing the feel of the boat and its very easy to assemble.

Never get out of the boat man!

Well as I said, I got this about the middle of last year and got it built, then sadly it sat on a shelf (boat on a shelf for xmas?) and I did nothing with it. Well last week I wanted to work on something other then model railroad stuff, so I took down the boat and decided to paint her on up.

New paint for the old girl

I painted the whole thing with a Krylon Beige paint as and under coat. Then the out side got painted with Reaper/CAV Blitzkrieg Grey on the outside of the hull, followed by a wash of Army painter soft tone. The inside deck was kept beige with the soft tone wash and the roof canopy (which is tissue paper over the top) was painted khaki and washed as well. Boiler was painted black, then Pig Iron from P3 and washed with strong tone.

No what to call her???

Well there you go, painting took less then a day and I really like how it came out. Now I do have another kit and I think I may modify it to look like my former ride that I use to work just so I can have two different looking boats.

Hit it skip!


Sunday, January 03, 2021

Rolling in the dirt shop!


So this past weekend I decided to weather up a few cars that I assembled on New Years Eve, first up is an old MDC double door box for WP, I added weight and Kadee couplers, just waiting for the metal wheelsets to arrive. I used my usual suspects for weathering, Vallejo Environmental colors, and really weathered up the roof as it was silver.

MDC Double door Box

Roof weathering.

Next up is an old Athearn Double door Box painted up for the Longview Portland & Northern which was a car we would see in Anaheim from time to time as it was for wood products. Same products were used for weathering.

Athearn Box

Roof weathering again.

Next up is a single door Golden West Service box from Athearn, GWS was just starting to enter service after the SP merged with Rio Grande and I would see these cars all the time along the 5Fwy in Souther California on my way to work for the mouse.

Athearn GWS Box

And lastly another LP&N box from Athearn, this one being a single door FMC car. once again these would make there way down from the Pacific Northwest and were something we would see in Anaheim.
Athearn FMC Single Door Box

So there you go, four more cars for the railroad and now are fit for service once I get my metal wheels for all these cars.


New Year and what I hope to do...

 Well Friends 2020 is behind us, about fricking time! Now I sit here wondering what the new year will bring for my hobby, lets place some ideas here:

Model Railroading - Well I want to continue working on my layout and getting my modules up and running for the club I am with. So far this is looking very good as of today I was working on a few rollingstock just today, so that's a plus already. At the end on 2020 I got all the track laid and now I am sourcing wire to get it all wired up, my plan is to have the NCE DCC system working by the end of February. Modules should be up sometime in March, I just finished paying my buddy for them so I now can actually start working on those.

FoW/TY/FoN - Well I would like to get back to Flames and need to get inspired to finish up a few units for the game for each of my armies that I have. I know Drunken Samurai will be happy to see this as he is usually the one I play the most.

Kill Team/ Necromunda - I really love these games, and want to get them back on the table in the new year. I had plans for building a Inquistor based Kill team, I may get back to that, we shall see.

FFoL - I love the Fistful of Lead games, at the end of October I purchased the Starfighters rules as well as a couple of token sets for the various games. I knoe Wiley games is going to be working on a Big Stompy Robot version as well as a Samurai game, both I am waiting on pins and needles for. So if these come out I will be picking up the rules and doing some of both!

Pulp - I yreally love the pulp gaming scene and love Pulp Alley and wanted to get this back on the table. I backed the 2nd edition rules and have them, I have models, I have terrain, just need to play some games.

Gaslands - I really miss playing GL, I have to date built 50 cars, when you only really need about three cars! I have built some terrain and really need to get this back on the table. I love the game and really do miss racing around the wasteland and hope that I can get it back onto the table this year.

Warlord of Erehwon - This was another late comer last year and I really love this game as well, it scratches the itch for fantasy. I would love to get it back onto the table this year.

Bolt Action - Well I only got in a few games of Bolt last year, I really love it and want to play it more often. I bought terrain for South Pacific buildings and want to make an effort to get in more Pacific games this year with Drunken.

Black Powder - Well I want to get this back on the table and as I write this I am thinking of the new Epic scale warlord is going to come out with and I may jump on getting into it. Still have not decided yet, but I am thinking about it.

Stargrave - So, Osprey announced a futuristic game called Staregrave from the same author of Frostgrave. I am very interested in seeing this and if its any good may go out on a limb and purchase it, really depends on the state of affairs with the world.

So there you go, some hopes for 2021, we shall see how this rolls out.