28 February 2009
24 February 2009
Anniversary of Malevolent Mexican Massacre at Mission!
Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the fateful siege of the old Spanish mission in San Antonio. The Alamo had been occupied by Texican freedom fighters after the city was captured. Occupied by less than 200 men, it was besieged by a force of Mexicans ten times greater. And yet, they refused to surrender or flee.
Some may call Travis a fool, who threw away his own life and the lives of his followers for a chance at fleeting glory. Others say he was a patriot, willing to sacrifice his very life for freedom.
For 11 days the outnumbered Texicans would hold out. Finally, low on ammunition, they were unable to repulse the final assault on the walls of the mission. The Mexicans killed every man of fighting age in the mission, even to the sick and wounded.
Even though he had ordered the mission abandoned and destroyed, General Sam Houston took advantage of the delay of the Mexican advance by the defenders of the Alamo. He used the time to put distance between his fledgling army and the forces of the dictator, Santa Anna. The time thus gained was used to maneuver Santa Anna, self-styled "Napoleon of the West", into making camp on the banks of the San Jacinto River.
[Editor's Notes: Yes, its a bit jingoistic. So were the times back then. Most of it is true. But, if all you know about the Alamo is the story told in the movies... well, you're missing out on some good stuff. Oh, by the way, I really liked the alliterative title on this one. How about you?]
23 February 2009
22 February 2009
Primitive Dwelling of Highest Venusian Civilization
For the first time in any Human journal, we find a photostat of the primitive huts built by the elusive Parrotmen of Venus. While the Parrotmen themselves are not in the photograph, be assured they were nearby. This photostat was purchased from a German scientist's former assistant. Apparently he was wrongly accused of theft by his former employer, and so was dismissed. When packing his things, the former assistant accidentally carried off the photostatic data for the Herr Professor's monograph on the culture and architecutre of the Parrotfolk.
News of a New Aerial Gunboat, HMAS Raptor
As some of our readers may know, work has begun at the Womack Shipyard of Victoria Landing to construct a new aerial gunboat, HMAS Raptor. So far, all we know is that her shape is similar to the old Aphid-class ships, at approximately 90-feet in length and 22 feet of beam. She is rumored to be powered by handwavium reactor, the first such ship built here on Mars. Her armament is undecided at this time, but provision has been made aboard her for a small Marine contingent, to guard against boarding actions.
[Editor's Note: I will provide a step-by-step of how I built the Raptor in a future post or two. Construction of foamcore and sheet styrene, primarily. So far, I am pretty happy with how its turning out, though I screwed up the deck a bit. Next one will come out better. I also have an idea for a really cool small Martian kite. I even think I can put grapnel launchers on the kite - boarders away!]
20 February 2009
Martians Riot Against German Troops!
Cultural differences can be difficult. It seems that some Martians in Galfor objected to the uniforms of new German troops arriving in their city. These Hun soldiers are from the elite Ätherbattalion Regiment II (AR.2) recently sent as reinforcements to the so-called advisory cadre the Kaiser sent to Galfor last year.
Ätherbattalion troops in tropical climes wear the new black and white uniform tunic. And therein lies the problem. You see, in Galfor, the wearing of the color black is a privilege of royalty. Seems the Johnnies assumed the black trim meant a weak link to the imperial family, and thus that the wearer was a noble of some stripe or another. Galforrian commoners were enraged when they learned that the German troops were not all low ranking nobility.
Order was restored after a three-day riot left dozens of Martians dead and several buildings gutted by fire. The Emperor of Galfor has decreed that the sumptuary laws of Mars do not apply directly to humans, and thus the uniforms are permitted.
When news of the disturbances reached Viceroy for the Martian Crown Colony, Sir Gerald Blythingham, 1st Earl Mons Olympus, he had this to say:
Only time can tell what the long term effects of this riot will be on the relations between Galfor and her German 'allies.'"Haw haw! Any fool knows the Martians only let their nabobs wear the black! Haw haw! One in the eye for the Hun, what?"
19 February 2009
This location sells sculpture of a rather disturbing nature, but that could be quite useful:
For those of you outfitting a new yacht or aerial craft, you might wish to peruse the selection of fittings here:
Or if you are just considering construction of a nice watercraft, some rather useful guidelines on how to go about it:
I shall be adding these locations to my listing of areas of interest as well, in the sidebar.
All for now, I'm afraid. The memsahib has tea ready downstairs.
Mostly, I am waiting on an order to arrive. While waiting, I have started to develop a 15mm British aerial gunboat. Which will require an additional order. I'll be looking for 15mm guns on naval mountings and ship fittings. Let me know if you have any sources!
The gunboat is based on the old Space 1889 Aphid-class, like so many other designs have been. I am planning on constructing it using some sheet styrene and foamcore, with a few odds and ends thrown in for masts, etc. It will have a smokestack, even though handwavium reactors don't require one.
So. I have been busy... it just doesn't look like it! I painted a great little robot at the OwlCon Reaper Paint-n-Take. I have nine more on order for that, too. They'll make a great unit of automatons. I have several minis almost done, including the first ten of the re-re-painted 15mm Germans (to make them more like the 25mm scheme) and some more deathrays (ran out of leather lacing for the saddles, among other things).
18 February 2009
17 February 2009
IMVU (In My Victorian Universe), hydrium is produced biologically. It can be found on all three of the inhabited planets. On Earth, only certain subterranean fungi produce it, so it is found in underground deposits. On Mars, large flying creatures produce hydrium and store it in bladders within their bodies, allowing them to fly. As yet, I have made no specific mention of hydrium on Venus, though I intend it to exist there.
I posted on hydrium last year a few times, especially in regards to the deathrays. I also mentioned it as appearing in plants, causing floating trees. This is an idea I have discarded as too similar to Space 1889's liftwood trees.
Handwavium reactors boil water to steam for use in steam engines, turbines and generators. The process is remarkably similar to a nuclear power plant: large pipes with water in them pass through the reactor vessel, heating the water via conduction (if I remember my heat transfer types correctly). The resultant steam is then put to work. Large reactors can provide sufficient power for generating electricity for entire small towns or factories.
Handwavium is rare and widely scattered on Earth. Deposits of the green crystals have been found in England, Ireland, Egypt, Nevada, South Africa, Siberia, Manchuria, and the Andes mountains, among other places. It can also be found on both Mars and Venus in similar deposits. There is an apparent correlation to ancient civilizations' ruins and handwavium deposits. I will probably develop more along those lines in the future.
Unobtainite is a blue, slightly translucent crystal. It is entirely unremarkable until an electric charge is passed through it. Once it is exposed to 'galvanic forces,' unobtainite begins to rise upward. The more voltage is passed through, the stronger the anti-gravitational force becomes. Thus, by increasing or decreasing the voltage by a simple rheostat, a vessel equipped with unobtainite lift will gain or lose altitude.
Unobtainite has several advantages over hydrium. The most important is that it takes far less volume of unobtanite to generate the same lift, given sufficient electrical current. It can thus be carried inside a vesssel, behind protective shielding, whereas hydrium requires a large gasbag which, for all intents and purposes, is unarmored. Unobtainite vessels are swifter, with far less drag than hydrium zeppelins. Also, piloting an unobtainite vessel is much easier to do, and requires fewer crewmembers.
Unobtainite is found on Earth in small quantities. The largest deposit so far has been located in the central African highlands. It is much more common on Mars, where Martian scientists discovered its amazing properties millenia ago, at the height of the Martian civilization. To date, no unobtainite has been found on Venus at all.
Please note that, other than the name hydrium, as explained above, I do claim copyright on the ideas outlined above. Feel free to use the ideas in your own personal and private games, so long as you grant credit appropriately. Please do not print or publish these ideas in any form or format without my permission.
16 February 2009
Overdue Caravan from Hiling Arrives at Last!
The merchant caravan from Hiling has arrived, days later than expected. Naturally, the fierce dust storms of the last week severely slowed Caravan Master Golu Wakkadi's trek across the desert. Those same storms prevented aerial observation of the caravan, causing a great deal of worry amongst those merchants expecting trade goods to arrive from Hiling. Common gossip held that the caravan had fallen prey to either a band of High Martian bandits or a troop of German raiders - so carefully not in the Kaiser's uniform, but conveniently armed with the latest in weaponry from the secret laboratories of the Hun Warmachine.
With the caravan's arrival, we can at last reveal the photostats from HMAS Osprey, taken by our onboard press representative. The finest of the pictures of the oasis at Kem Shia is below.
Cousin Jonathan Celebrates President's Day
Today is also the day our American cousins celebrate their presidents. Curious habit, honoring elected officials this way. I mean, they are politicians, after all. Not like it was Her Majesty the Queen's birthday or something important. I gather that the date was chosen as it falls between the birthdates of that rascal Washington and the late Mister Lincoln.
However, in the sake of international relations between the English speaking nations of the worlds, let us wish a Happy President's Day to our American readers. One does wonder if the Texicans or the Confederates celebrate the day as well?
13 February 2009
Life Giving Water in the Burning Sands
12 February 2009
While searching the mountainous regions of one of Her Brittanic Majesty's central African colonies, Doctor Isling was caught in a sudden thunderstorm. Lightning struck the ground near his camp, where he and the rest of his expedition were sheltering from the fury of Mother Nature. Doctor Isling happened to be outside of his tent, and saw several blue crystals emerge from the ground at the point where the lightning had struck.
What Isling had discovered was the levitative property of unobtainite when exposed to galvanic influence. Other scientists would go on to find that one could control the level of repulsive lift generated by the unobtainite by increasing or decreasing the flow of galvanic energies through the mineral.
Of course, since that time, our British engineers have created means to manipulate the flow of galvanism through unobtainite and acquired a supply suitable for the production of a small fleet of aerial craft. Steam engines (sometimes heated by handwavium reaction) are connected to generators, which then feed the rheostatic devices which control the repulsor lift generated by the unobtainite.
...additional deposits are rumored to exist in the fabled 'floating island' of Laputa, being the probable cause of that mythical land's gravity-mocking flight...
...Martian princes are no strangers to unobtainite. Martian science discovered the mineral - which is in far greater abundance on the Red Planet than on our sphere - millennia ago. They reached a plateau in the development of flying craft some 2,000 years past, and have since not added to their store of...
...no source of unobtainite has as yet been located on Venus, though many strange lifeforms abound there...
[Editor's Notes: I have been considering the source for our essentially implausible flying craft. I have talked about unobtainite before, but thought that the storyline needed re-working. I hope you enjoyed it. For gaming purposes, unobtainite is available in small amounts on Earth, and in far greater mounts on Mars. Earthly steam engines power generators to feed the unobtainite; Martians use slave labor to crank a generator. I am also re-thinking the mineral handwavium, and expect to give more information about that in the near-ish future. There are also a couple of deep secret projects in the work, of a potentially commercial nature. We'll see.]
11 February 2009
I'll post some content in a few minutes, but I wanted to pat myself on the back for a minute.
Not that there's been much to crow about as far as any good quality posting on a reliable basis lately. I'll try to do better in the next few weeks, alright?
Anyway, break out the good whiskey! Tonight, we celebrate!
06 February 2009
Anything less would be an appalling failure of your Duty to God, Queen, Country and Family.
More later this weekend.