31 May 2009

End of May Round-up

So, its the end of another month. I got in two games this month, so not bad. One was a playtest for Historicon that was run this afternoon. I may not have scheduled enough time for the game. Painting-wise, I got a bit of work accomplished this month. Anyway...


  • Poll: Most of you think we should keep the Venusian Tales right here. The people have spoken; their will be done (now if only all our politicians would listen so well!).
  • Playtest: Automatons need tweaking. Very nasty in a fight, but too prone to breakdown. Honestly, I need more, but that isn't likely prior to Historicon.
  • 2mm: 3 Aeronefs pretty well done (need flags), another 4 about 75%
  • 15mm: Began painting six pack mules. I hate painting mules and horses. Just need to finish packs and shade, and they're ready for Historicon. Added the boiler section to the scratch-build Aphid wannabe.
  • 25mm: Began working on more Scientists and Plantmen, plus the Fliegerjaegerren are shaping up.
  • Terrain: Lots of Martian hills and rocks done, again for Historicon. Work progresses on the insulae.
Not a bad month, all things considered. I'll work up a battle report today or tomorrow and post it. Also, will do more playtesting tomorrow evening for an hour or so, once I make some tweaks to the Automatons.

28 May 2009

Test Game on Sunday

I am working on the game I am going to be running at Historicon this year, and I have several new things I need to work out for purposes of play balance. So, on Saturday, a friend of mine from my local monthly gaming bunch (almost totally strict historicals, but that's fun too!) is coming to the casa to play a game. He'll have his choice of either automatons or Martians, versus the British.

The basic objective is for the British to lead a train of mules the length of the table. The Martians want to stop that from happening. The automatons would like to capture the mules (much more difficult).

We'll be using the Battles by GASLIGHT rules, with which I need to refresh myself and which the other victim - er, player - has no familiarity. Luckily, they are pretty easy rules. I will try to take copious notes and photos for a battle report and After Action Analysis. Look for said report next week or so.

25 May 2009

The Rainy Season Ends

10 May 1881

The addition of bricks to the main building is definitely a fine sight to see. I think Corporal O’Hara and his crew have done a great job on their masonry work as well as keeping the steam generated machines running in an efficient manner. The roads are also taking shape as the rainy season has finally ended and we are just receiving the daily drizzle. The sub-base and stone roads are taking shape as I envision us someday connecting our fort with Camp Trafalgar. The Limeys are talking of building a railroad to link the two camps already and are expecting to get approval from London. I cannot imagine how many troops we would lose in building the railroad as the landscape is still unknown in many aspects and the terrain is something difficult to venture across (except by dirigible).

Seaman 1st Class Johansson has been away from his sawmill duties this week as he has been gallivanting across the sky in the Orca with the officers and also W.J. Struthers himself. If the Orca loses steam I am sure we can use Old W.J. as a power source as his tales of grandeur are never ending. The officers still hear his tales continually as they are forced to eat with him on a daily basis. This is one of those times I am grateful I am not an officer and would have to be polite to someone of Old W.J.’s stature.

W.J. Struthers III has shot four different species of dinosaurs / reptiles this week and has already had their hides treated in the sun. Not one of the species is hostile in the least, and I cannot believe he shot a Grillag to mount on his wall. That would be like shooting a longhorn and mounting its head on your wall. His men are very skilled and his cook is an exquisite baker and definitely gives Sergeant Thibodeaux a run for his money in his ability to turn out a meal. The difference is Sergeant Thibodeaux cooks meals for a whole battalion and Mr. Kinsley only cooks for small groups of people. Plus, I would never tell Sergeant Thibodeaux that someone can cook better then him. Besides reducing my rations, he would probably put one of those Cajun curses on me.

The temple has been quite amazing as Doctors Caruthers and Palmer say they have uncovered a few new artifacts from the antechamber on the north end and believe they have found an entrance to a crypt.

I am hoping to receive word form my oldest boy Ian, but I do not expect much as he is in fish camp at Gannon Military Institute for the next two months and his freshman year will be quite long and difficult. Enough for now. Time for a cigar and a walk to the mess.

Tales of Delusion

03 May 1881

Wow, what a week we have had! Between the ever boisterous noises of self promotion from the Honorable W.J. Struthers III it is amazing anyone else is able to talk. His clothes are very extravagant and do not seem very useful for spending any length of time in the field. He wears a necklace full of different teeth of animals; the biggest set of teeth he claims came from a Sasquatch in the Oregon Territory of the United States. He says he stalked the 8 foot tall beast for six days after it had killed two of his fellow adventurers. On the morning of the sixth day he shot the beast from a distance of half a mile. He says the beast turned toward him and started running a full gait and seemed to be unaffected by the gunshot of his trusty Sharps .45-70 rifle. At this point in his tall tale I started to snicker and managed to hide it in a loud cough as our new commanding officer Lieutenant Soto gave me the look to control myself. I glanced at RSM Taggart and I thought he was going to burst at the seams. In the end of the story our weaver of tales said he killed the towering beast with a slash to its neck with his trusty Bowie knife. The man definitely has a way of words and is a great public speaker but I could take no more as I would have soiled my pants if I would have stayed longer. I asked Lieutenant Soto if the NCOs could leave as we had to make rounds and double check our men and the camp to ensure we werwe ready for the expected storms tomorrow. RSM Taggart followed suit and his men left as well. Once we got outside and into the NCO mess the laughter from my fellow NCOs was uncontrollable. Sergeant Manuel McKay of the green leg dragoons does a great impersonation of the Honorable W.J Struthers III and he kept us laughing for days as he would recite the tale. Of course this was all done in the confines of the NCO mess as it would be bad examples of leadership to openly joke in front of the men.

The Dragoons have made several mounted patrols and have the best of equipment. You can definitely tell the cavalry and all supporting units attached to them get most of the military’s budget. They are very professional and seem to carry out there duties to with the greatest attention to the surroundings. It did take them a little bit to get use to the Pachysaurs as riding an upright, bipedal lizard is quite different from riding a horse or camel. Well, it is time to get some dinner and Lady V is moaning as she is hungry as well.

Memorial Day

Please, if you're an American, take a moment today between grilling and enjoying the company of your friends and family, to remember our fallen troops, who died so that you might live in the freedom you enjoy today.

Thanks.

21 May 2009

Uniform question for Fliegerjagers

So, I was looking at some notes on uniforms for German troops in the 1880s. And according to what I looked at, I made a couple of 'mistakes' on my fliegerjagers.

Historically, it seems that jagers wore black trousers with red piping, black boots, and black leather equipment.

I painted mine with feldgrau trousers, no piping, and brown boots, equipment and gloves. Of course, I can always add the red piping pretty easy.

I'm just worried that all that black will be really monotone. Opinions?

20 May 2009

25mm Painting in Progress

Just a quick post full of photos tonight. These are the figures I mentioned working on the other day.

First up is Professor Christophe de Vardu, a noted biologist, who has been very busy on Venus studying the assorted plantlife. You may notice he has German friends around him, and Her Majesty (God Bless Her!) in the far background. [Reaper Miniatures, Chronoscope line]


Next is Professor Vardu's loyal assistant and housekeeper, Mrs. Beatrice Bluefrock. [At least until I get a better name. Pulp Figures by Bob Murch - corrected from Copplestone Miniatures] Mrs. Bluefrock is holding one of Professor Vardu's prized specimens of Venusian flora. Notice what large teeth it has. And a German Aetherbattalion troop is in the far background [Copplestone Miniatures - quite nice stuff he does, don't you think?].



Here we have a mysterious Martian, known only as the Golden Mask (Effin Wakko in Martian). Who hides behind the Golden Mask? A disgruntled prince? A religious fanatic? A rich guy with spots? Only time shall tell... In the background are two German KFG-armed Aetherbattalion troopers. [Parroom Station mini. Can you tell I went to see King Tut's treasures right before I started thinking how to paint him up?]


Fourth up is Herr Kapitan Ludwig von Wappen, the leader of a troop of Fliegenjagerren. Note that he is not wearing his fliegenpak in this photo. He is armed with a fascinating piece of high tech equipment: the broomhandled Mauser with shoulder stock. [Eureka Miniatures]


Finally, a rather bad shot of Feldwebel Otto Bauer. One of Kapitan von Wappen's fliegerjager, he is shown here after having removed the bulky fliegenpak. He is armed with a reciprocator, a sort of light caliber, portable Maxim gun. It fires a hail of bullets, though admittedly it is most effective at very close ranges. [Eureka Miniatures]




Please, let me know what you think. Also, I have started back to work on some Martian terrain, an apartment building. You can find photos and some brief notes on my terrain blog, which has been in dire need of a new posting for quite some time: gamingterrain.blogspot.com

19 May 2009

First photos of Papal Aeronef fleet

This first shot is of a Prinz Eugen-class cruiser, now in service with the Papal States. Technically on loan from the Austrian KuK Kriegsluftmarine, the Prinz Eugen and her sister ship, the Herzerzog Karl, are in essence a permanent part of the Papal fleet. The three turrets each mount twin 10" rifled guns.
The two smaller vessels shown are part of a flotilla of five bomb laden aeronefs. Built by Japanese 'Nef yards due to the appalling lack of industrial capacity in the Papal States, these ships are very similar to the Type 97 Bomber. They have been dubbed the Cherubim-class, and are too small to be given names, having numbers only. Pictured are S-01 and S-02.


Another view of the Prinz Eugen, showing the Papal colors on the rear vertical stabilizer mount. Please ignore the giant plantman that appears to be standing underneath the Prinz Eugen.
More photos later.

Painting... actual painting!

Okay, so I finally took up a brush for an hour or so this evening. First time in ages.

I worked on several projects:

  • The first three vessels of the Papal aeronef fleet are just about ready to go. They still need flags. [Brigade Models]
  • Professor Vardu, a biologist working on Venus. [Reaper]
  • Frau Frobisher, assistant to Professor Vardu. [Copplestone]
  • Two members of the Kaiser's Fliegenjagers, an officer and a trooper. [Eureka]
  • A start on the prototype of my 28mm Aetherbattalion regulars. [Copplestone]
  • A little work on some of the Aetherbattalion KFG. [GW Mordians]
  • A little re-base work on Herr Professor Maton and a Mysterious Egyptian Gentleman.

Nothing finished, quite, but some actual progress on several projects. Feels nice. I took photos, but the camera is just about out of a charge, so pictures later. Plus, it's late and I am knackered. Still, progress marches on!

18 May 2009

News from Exotic Earthly Islands

Kingdom of Hawaii in the Sandwich Isles


An interesting piece of news from our correspondent Mister Eli, from the Sandwich Isles in the warm Pacific waters. He has provided in his own journal [I See Lead People - check it out!] some interesting articles regarding the development of the Kingdom of Hawaii's armed forces. I thought it might be of interest to our readers who follow the development of Her Britannic Majesty's allies around the globe and throughout the solar system. His Excellency the Viceroy had this to say:

"Jolly good! Nice to see a bunch of primitive wogs learning how to behave properly, what? Her Majesty can always use a friendly puppet regime - er, mean to say, a good solid ally in the vast Pacific waters. Good for trade, and good for Britain! I wonder if they've sent any pineapples along? I do so like a nice sweet pineapple..."




Seen above are the provincial militia of the Hawaiian kingdom. While hardly proper professional soldiers, I am sure they can settle for any pirates that might come calling in their quiet island homes.

[Editor's Note: I snagged the photo from Eli's blog - hope you don't mind, Eli! - and I think they look great. If you haven't been following the development of the Hawaiian military, you should immediately go to his blog and check out all 8 (!) installments of the discussions there. Some really interesting imagery and ideas being tossed about.]

I've Heard from the Painter

The one that I hired, you know? I expect to see final pictures today or tomorrow of all the minis.

I'll post once I get them. This will get me my British lancers, two units of Gex and one of Gaters. If I get off my duff and get painting Germans, I can play on Venus this summer.

So I've got that going for me.

12 May 2009

Paintbrush Used! Film at 11!

Well, I used one for a bit yesterday evening. About 10 minutes. Worked on aeronefs for the Pope.

So, yay! Back on the wagon, I guess. Perhaps more progress to be made later this week.

Check out the poll. Vote. You know the drill.

11 May 2009

Woefully Behind...

I find myself woefully behind these days. Haven't touched a paintbrush in two weeks. Nor have I setup and run the playtest games I need to do before going off to Historicon in only (gasp!) ten weeks or so. Not a lot of painting to finish, really, but I need to get more terrain fixed up.

I see that RSM Cox (my good friend Jim's VSF alter-ego) has been lax about journal entries from Venus as well. Do you think we should spin those off to a seperate blog? Maybe a poll or two out of what I ought to focus on here... don't be too surprised to see something like that in the near-ish future.

There has been a lot of thinking about how Hawaii fits into the alternate history, courtesy of our friend Eli. Very interesting stuff. Check out I See Lead People, his blog, for more.

I have a lot of thoughts and ideas, even a few plans for scenics and terrain that have been percolating through the old tapioca. Maybe I need to focus on that a bit, get some work done. I know if I buckle down and finish something, it always prompts me to get more work done.

Last thought before I run off to bed: I have some minis being painted right now by a service in the US. They are supposed to be finished in the next couple of weeks - I am looking forward to it, as I would love to have more Gex that I can put on the table. Maybe I can finally set a game up on Venus. Oh, wait, I'd need either more Texicans or Brits done for that... or even Germans, which I still have quitea lot to do with. Maybe them first. I posted WIP shots (of the skinks aka Gex) a few weeks ago of the first unit. Bah, rambling now. More later.

10 May 2009

Competition Out There!

There's a new 15mm Victorian Science Fiction blog out there, which i demand you all ignore completely in preference and loyalty to ME!

It can be found - and then shunned completely! - at http://martianwarlords.blogspot.com.

The terrain is particularly nice. Something I need to get back to work on.

05 May 2009

New Stuff from Forge of Ice

Fellow named Alex Bates out of Alaska has started up a new miniatures company. It's still pretty low key, but he has a few items I think are just perfect for Venus: shields made from large turtle shells! I was thinking at least a batch for my elite Gaters, who are going to be made from old GW Saurus Temple Guards when I get around to that project...


Check out the photos below, from his website [http://forum54.oli.us/index.php?topic=5205.msg43690#msg43690] where you can order them. I want to say they are about $1-1.25 per. He has some other very interesting items as well: spears, huts, peacocks (!)...



I sure hope Alex doesn't mind me snagging these photos. It is to help drive some sales for his company, after all...



04 May 2009

Interesting Poll Results

Sorry for the long delay. Things have been... hectic at work and home the last few days.

So, people seemed torn between a simple breathing mask and a full helmet setup. Personally, I lean towards the breathing mask and goggles, with a heavy coat to keep warm out in the intense cold of the aether.

But nobody (granted, out of only 22 responses) believed you could survive - at least for long - unprotected in the aether, nor did most anyone opt for a full-fledged 'aethersuit.'

Now, as always, in My Victorian Universe, the required equipment is waht I say it is. Which is breathing mask, eye protection, and a coat (at least for anything more than a very brief exposure).

So my masked minions are kitted out for aether service as well as anonymous feats of anarchy and terror. So I just got to get them painted. I figure that will be sometime this summer, maybe June-ish?

[Added Note: I think of a breathing mask as just covering the lower face, providing air, but not eye protection. Goggles would be needed to protect eyes.]