31 December 2011

OwlCon XXXI: Coming up fast!

  OwlCon is an annual convention held on the campus of Rice University in downtown Houston, Texas. My sons and I have gone for the last three (or is it four?) years in a row.

  I totally forgot about it coming up. I was planning on running a 6mm demo of When the Navy Walked. The "deadline" for registering a game was November 4th! Have to see if I can still get a table! Since I finally got the figures I needed to be able to play (grumble grumble) Now, to paint them and base them and...

  Anyway, the convention is February 3-5, 2012. If you are in the area, come on by!

  Oh, and Happy New Year!

30 December 2011

Can't take a vacation around here...

   Good ladies and gentlemen, I aopologize for hte lack of news about the place. For some reason, the article which I had planned on (and thought I had scheduled to do so!) for last week never printed. Gadzooks! A man can't take any time away from his work around here!

  I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas Day. My family and I did, thank you.

  Today, whilst perusing many a catalouge of interest, I found a few items to inspire you, I hope. These are from Reaper (horrid name, yes, but they're Americans).


Some sort of terrible beast. It has no eyes - how does it hunt? To be honest, I am afraid to find out.

This young lady, while dressed impeccably, has a sort of un-ladylike fascination with science and technology.
As proven by her wonking big Gatling pistol.

This gentleman is clearly best confined to Bethlehem Hospital.
I've no idea what the deuce he is holding, but it looks unwholesome.

A pair of automatons, the wonder of our Modern Age.

Typical American. Big hat, big gun. But can he hit the target at which he shoots?

Primitives. Possibly of Cytherean provenance, but unknown.

[Editor's Note: It may seem strange that the editor persona harbors misgivings against Americans, since the author actually is American. And Texan, to top it off. Mark it down to late 1800s resentment against the upstart cousins across the sea. Images from Reaper's website - no challenge to copyright, just hoping to inspire others.]

11 December 2011

New Landship Sighted!


  As the pre-eminent news source for Her Majesty's subjects here on Mars, we are constantly on the watch for developments which may affect the Empire and its subjects. As such, guardians of the Rights of Englishmen that we are, we feel it needful to point out that Her Majesty's forces have produced a new sort of armoured landship.


  Fitted with a set of rotating tracks upon which it easily and swiftly traverses the rough sands of Mars, the 50' long armoured leviathan also mounts an array of artillery and reciprocating cannon that are sure to daunt even the hardiest opponents of Her Majesty's rightful claims.


   The Colour Sergeant agrees: "Right, you lot, now we follow those lads in the big tin can, and next thing, we're at it with the Hun. They won't like it up 'em!"

[Editor's Note: The model at the top is newly released by a new (?) company that has just started making 10mm VSF. The company is Troublemaker Games, and the models come at 6 to the pack. Each is 55mm long, according to the description here. I'm considering using them in my 6mm VSF project as even bigger landships.]

09 December 2011

WTNW Artwork Teaser

A teaser of the artwork for the upcoming When the Navy Walked supplement, WTNW: Airships and Skypirates. Thanks to the Armchair General for putting it out there, because I think it is a great piece of art. And I am not just saying that because I am editor and part-author of this book.

01 December 2011

Some Interesting Mechanickal bits


   While perusing a certain auctioneer's location, I came across these interesting mechanickal pieces. They appear to be some sort of prosthetic devices for missing legs.


   They appear to be of some unknown Eastern European manufacture, perhaps one of those small Balkan states, somewhere in the Hapsburg dominions? Although they appear rather crudely made to our British sensibilities, they have a certain rugged appearance that makes it seem they might still be serviceable.

  Those interested in such things might look here for additional information.

[Editor's Note: I sort of wish I had a real use for these. Just $7.49 a set. Might get them to use in 15mm vehicular manufacture rahter than 28mm leg swaps, as I believe they are originally intended.]

21 November 2011

Fortress in the Desert

  For some, the news of a quick and relatively inexpensive method of erecting fortifications in the desert sands of Mars comes as quite a nasty shock.

   "Now any flea-scratching, tuppence-a-dozen Martian warchief can build his own fortress in the sands, throwing defiance into the face of the British Empire and our efforts to civilise this planet," said Captain Harold Bigotton, late of Her Majesty's Army, now attached to Government House here in Victoria's Landing.

The fort in question...

   For others, it is a more fortunate thing.

   "Thank the ancestors! Now, when the kraal come on raids, we shall have a place to defend ourselves from them! It will probably be nice in sandstorm season, too. Much more comfortable than dhurga hide tents," responded Senil Phul, a local nomad elder.

[Editor's Note: The fortress in question is about $40.00 from Amazon.]

20 November 2011

Colonel Thorne's Aeromobile Forces

   I believe the redoubtable Colonel Thorne has been mentioned previously in this journal. If not, I have been sadly remiss in my duty towards pointing my fellows towards great works accomplished in our field of endeavours.

  At any case, the latest work from the good Colonel is a new aerocraft with an array of interchangeable payloads for mission specific tasks.


   I especially like that the pilot has a silk scarf to avoid chafing as he scans the skies and the ground below for the dastardly Hun!

  Find more information here.

19 November 2011

More Victoria Lamb Previews

   This is becoming embarassing, I think.

   But this lady's figures are just... excellent. I want them.


18 November 2011

Victorian Energy Weapons

  These were first seen as a preview on Colonel Gravis' Praetorian blog. I find them incredibly awesome. To the point I am considering re-doing my VSF Special Weapons British Unit, the Research Platoon. From the ground up, as it were, using other parts from Victoria Lamb and the good Colonel to make it all work.


Follow Victoria's Facebook page here. And if you use Praetorians for your 28mm British VSF forces, you really should know about Colonel Gravis (4th Praetoria) and Colonel Thorne (22nd Praetoria).

17 November 2011

Victoria Lamb is my Heroine


   As much as I like Colonel Gravis' Praetorian Rough Riders... these are just superb. They are done by Victoria Lamb, out of Australia, and are available here. Obviously, these lads are part of the Research Platoon's Mounted Troop.


  Ms. Lamb also has a steampunk lasgun available, and kilted legs for infantry to go with the torso here. Just wonderful stuff, really.

05 November 2011

Bonfire Night!

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Powder, the Treason, the Plot!
I know of no Reason
The Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be Forgot!

  Today is Guy Fawkes' Day, or Bonfire Night, if you prefer. In celebration of the survival of His Majesty King James I against a plot to assassinate him by blowing up the House of Lords, light a bonfire tonight!

  Official celebrations shall, as is customary, be held in Government House Square here in Victoria's Landing. The Viceroy shall give a speech at sundown, to be followed by fireworks and a torchlight parade through the streets, and culminating in the lighting of the bonfire in front of Government House.

19 September 2011

Returning with More Mechanickal Insects!

   Ladies and Gentlemen, I know there has been an extended lack of new content from this journal. For that, I do most humbly apologize. I hope this new missive finds you well. As for the delays, sadly, personal issues have been in the way of good journalism. Well, perhaps 'good journalism', in regards to this journal, is stretching the bounds of credulity a bit. Would you accept the use of the term 'interestingly diverting' in its place?

  At any rate, I have found something of interest for those of you who find mechanickal monsters interesting. It seems that some mad genius has built flying clockwork-powered wasps!


  The spinning rotor and clockwork power system reminds one of the German Fliegerjagers, with their clockwork powered packs that enable limited flight. They were, of course, developed by Doktor Maton. This device is newer, and more powerful. Her Majesty's Government suspects that it is a development of the older flieger technology, perhaps fabricated by one of Maton's subordinates.

[Editor's Note: Okay, I have got to get a unit of these. And here I thought I was done with the Automatons. Available from Fiendish Fabrications in Australia for AU$8.00. I'll be checking into US distributors, and may contact the manufacturers directly to order the number I need minus the fancy (but not fitting for my plans) clockwork base. It is a nice base. But I want the sands of Mars below mine.]

05 September 2011

Apologies

  Apologies for the lack of posting lately. Things have been a bit hectic on the personal side. The words school and hospital are involved.

  However, work has continued on When the Navy Walked supplements. Keep an eye out on the Armchair General's website for more on that.

  Also, I have been given an article for the next Aethergraph. Anyone else that would like to contribute, please let me know! More contributors means a faster turn around on the next issue!

09 August 2011

A few newly finished figures


   I have finally finished Her Majesty (God Bless Her!), Victoria I, Empress of India, Queen of the United Kingdoms of Great Britain, etc., etc. The figure came from Eureka.

She is not amused.

   Next up is Khana Reeyah, the Exalted One. The figure is a Parroom Stations miniature that has been languishing in the bin for a few years, and on the table for a year or so. Finished him up finally. His white robes are a mark of his ritual purity. The blue and gold signify his royal status and House. The golden mask is worn at all times in public.

Khana Reeyah, the Exalted One

   Last, I finished the last touches on a unit of Aetherbattalion in 6mm. I used Baccus British colonials and paint converted them. I mean, really, in 6mm scale, can you tell the difference?

II. Battalion, AR. 1

08 August 2011

More Ramshackle Miniatures


   Let me reiterate that I get no money from any of the companies that I endorse, except for The Armchair General. This is by way of full disclosure of any financial interest so no one thinks I have a financial stake in sales for any particular line of miniatures. (This notice in response to an email I received. You know who you are. You know where you can go and what you can do upon arrival.)

   I just like to go internet window shopping, and pass along any neat finds via this blog. Today I am looking at some minis from Ramshackle, in the UK.


  The first model I saw that loked interesting for VSF use was Archibald Trumpton. I like the tracked wheelchair. I'm not sure why, but it seems far more industrial and VSF than a traditional one would. It says, "I may not be able to walk, but your guts are going to grease my treads!" Attitude. We like it. Metal, just over $4 (US).


   This next one is a must if you are going to have Russians. It might require a headswap for the proper feel, but other than that, I think it is awesome. Resin, it goes for about $7. It's called the Armour Bear with Ursa Major.

  Another resin figure, good for anyone fielding automatons or battle suited infantry is the Ironstrike. My son thinks it would be great for a Papal States army - it looks kinda "Crusader" to him, and I have to agree.


   Last (for now), is Mathilda Grey. Another resin figure, she seems like she would be an excellent female mad scientist, or an assistant to an established mad scientist, like Herr Doktor Professor Otto Maton!


07 August 2011

Aethergraph Vol 2, Issue 1 is Done!

   You can find it here, or by accessing the link in the left hand column.

   Enjoy!

   Oh, and many thanks to the folks who helped me with submissions, especially Eli Arndt, of I See Lead People fame, who provided me with the final piece of art - a dead cool parrotman on the attack!

04 August 2011

Procuring Equipment for Vessels


  While waiting in queue at the Government office in charge of registration of vehicle operators for my nephew's, I took the opportunity to peruse the telephonic differencing network via my mobile aetheric communications device. At a favorite location of mine, I noticed a posting regarding a new manufacturer of weapons and equipment for Her Majesty's naval and aeronaval forces: Grand Manner.

   They have on offer a variety of pieces, and they look quite well made. These include:
  • 3pdr (37mm) Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon on Naval Mount (WWI-28-38)
  • 6 pdr (47mm) Hotchkiss QF Gun on Naval Mount (WWI-28-39)
  • Gardner Gun on Pedestal (WWI-28-41)
  • Controls (SM31) suitable for large vessels
  • Ventilator Funnels, Cleats, and Life Bouys (SM30)
  • and more...
   Grand Manner also apparently has a shipyard I was unaware of, and are creating several ships (look in their network catalog in the "Sudan" section). They look quite nice, if pricey. If they come pre-painted and assembled, they seem like good value for the money.

The Entire Gun Collection (to Date)

03 August 2011

More Vehicles from Proxie


   Additional models of armoured vehicles have been sighted at the Proxie Engineworks grounds. These join the previously mentioned Proxie-Trencher Armoured Military Tractor.


   Proxie built this unusual design hoping to increase the speed and mobility of an armoured vehicle. The two large wheels spin independently, making the vehicle incredibly agile. However, rumour has it that the system is 'delicate' and therefore still requires more development before an acceptable model will be purchased by Government.


   The Proxie-Stalker model vehicle is a simpler prototype. The lack of a turret makes for faster and simpler construction, thus making it less expensive. The heavily sloped armour is expected to make enemy artillery shells glance off as well, leaving the crew unharmed. The Proxie company offers this design with two different cannons: a short barreled 9 pdr. and a long barreled 6 pdr.


02 August 2011

Bit of Housekeeping

   Just been doing a bit of cleanup around here. Deleting old links, adding a few nifty features, that sort of thing. I'll be trying to post something new every other day or so for the next few weeks, at least on average.

   Things that have me busy right now:
  • Editing Airpirates!
  • Finishing Aethergraph Vol. 2, Issue 1. Send me submissions for the next issue so I can get it out sooner!
  • Writing paper for grad school admission.
  • Getting ready for new school year.
  • Playing Victoria II and Hearts of Iron.
  • Painting minis.
  • Blogging.
  • Taxi service for the kids.
   So not so bad, after all.

Cavalry with Odd Lances Reported


   Mrs. Gertrude Hillingbotham, 89, of Lower West Whinging, Surrey, has told the Times that Saturday last she was nearly trampled by young men ahorse. While such things may not be uncommon during a rousing foxhunt, these young men were in the uniform of Her Majesty's cavalry. And armed with, of all things, a heavy lance!

   "What struck me as odd was the device at the end of the lance," complained Mrs. Hillingbotham. "Mister Hillingbotham was in the cavalry, you know, under the old King. You know, the German one, against the Corsican Ogre. And he certainly never carried any such nonsense when he was in service! My goodness, the very idea!"

  We immediately dispatched a reporter to obtain more information, but were pulled up short by the Horse Guards and a quote of the State Secrets and Treasons Act. More information about these men can probably be found here.

[Editor's Note: Colonel Gravis has made his Praetorian Rough Riders conversions available for sale. He does not have too many sets ready at the moment, so you may want to jump on it. I can foresee a purchase, but not at the moment. I'll be taking ten, eventually, to make up the cavalry portion of the Research Platoon. Heck, I already have the walkers!]

01 August 2011

Colonel O'Truth's Miniature Issues: Rivets and bolts can drive you nuts!

   In case you don't already follow this gentleman's efforts in walker construction, you should jump over to Colonel O'Truth's electrostatic journal and catch up on the developpment of HMSW Gargantua. This, my friends, is the standard to which we should all aspire.

Colonel O'Truth's Miniature Issues: Rivets and bolts can drive you nuts!: "Hi, All. So here I am again, after another fortnight of tiny rivets and glue fumes... HMSW Gargantua is really taking shape now, alt..."

23 July 2011

AAR: Battle of Simla Valley


   News has reached Victoria's Landing of a clash between civilised Europeans and the mechanickal hordes of Doctor Maton. The battle took place yesterdayin the fertile Simla Valley. For those of you new to Mars, the Simla Valley is one of the few really fertile areas on our Red Planet, situated between two major mountain ranges, and the source of the Simla Grand Canal. It is also the site of a major German colonisation attempt, with the frontier village of Simlaburg.

   Apparently, Maton and his human and Martian followers have grown hungry in their mountain hideaways. A raid was planned, to take the food and livestock of the Simla Valley for themselves. To this end, Maton's diabolical boring machine, the Iron Mole, erupted from a rock outcropping in the valley floor, very near the village. Subterranean navigation being what it is (which is quite difficult, actually), Maton failed to erupt through the center of the village as desired.

Maton's Minions, and two of his Female "Assistants" emerge.
The Iron Mole is in the background, near the exit to the tunnel.

   Luckily for the inhabitants of Simlaburg, German and British troops were engaged in 'training exercises' just outside the village on the eastern side of the valley. Also, a large piece of German 'agricultural equipment', the Bauerwerk, was in the forest just outside the western palisade of the village, clearing more land with its immense powered saw and flamethrower. Slash and burn agriculture indeed!

The Bauerwerk clearing land near Simlaburg.

   Just as the Anglo-German 'exercises' were  about to commence in earnest, a sharp-eyed, clean-limbed Tommy spotted the Mad Genius's men emerging from the tunnel. According to reports in the German colony, one of the Kaiser's men also managed to spot them, although this journalist believes that to be Hun propaganda. Both European forces immediately turned against the mechanickal menace to attempt to stop the oncoming brazen hordes.

Germans and British about to begin their 'exercises.'

   The European forces swung to face the western edge of the valley, from whence the threat came. Before long, even the Bauerwerk noticed the oncoming hordes, and moved from the woods to defend the village and its precious food.

One of Maton's objectives: the swine of Simlaburg.

   More and more automatons emerged from the tunnel: steam-powered spiders, piloted half-jacks, hoverbots built from stolen unobtainite, scuttling steam turtles, and finally, the dreaded Destroyer, with its twin Galvanic Accelerator Cannons! The multitude of mechanickal menaces kept Maton and his assistants running about, ensuring all was in ordnung. Slowly, they advanced. Slowly, except for the speedy hoverbots, which made directly for one platoon of our redcoated heroes! For a few minutes, our men fought the swooping villains to a standstill, but their valour was no match for the armour and snapping talons of the foe, and they were forced to retreat. Just as destruction seemed inevitable, the flying machines suddenly malfunctioned and froze in place for a critical moment. Our men escaped their peril, leaving too many fellows on the ground behind them, but allowing the second platoon a clear shot at the hoverbots. The ensuing fusilade of fury brought down all but two of the tormentors.

   Meanwhile, on the left wing of the battle, the Bauerwerk fired off its industrial flamethrower, sending some of Maton's human henchmen to their eternal rewards. ASA #27 also brought its flamethrower into action. Though designed only for anti-material use, it worked admirably against Maton's henchmen, and even caught his Oriental assistant in its spray, killing the misguided woman in a mercifully short blast of heat. The second assault group, however, managed to close on the Bauerwerk and attach Galvanic-Magneto Bombs to its sturdy legs. In the process, the Bauerwerk's powered saw shredded a pair of them, but they made good their escape. However, the minions botched the job of placement, and the explosions failed to penetrate the tough metal of the Bauerwerk's legs.

Maton's human Minions assault the Bauerwerk

   With the HMLS Prince Charles (affectionately known as Bonnie Prince Charlie by its Scots crew) approaching the battlezone, the minions gathered for a second assault, rightly fearing the searing flame that gouted forth from the landships armoured flanks. The Bauerwerk charged into the steam turtles, destroying one and causing confusion in the mechanickal minds of the others, which froze in place for a considerable length of time, which the Bauerwerk put to excellent use, disposing of three more before they began to react. Maton's troops began to recoil from the strong armoured left flank and the approach of the German rifles on that end of the line. The village was saved!

   Back on the right, Maton's fortunes were also going awry. The dreaded Destroyer must have miscalculated the fall of shot with its shrapnel shell, as it failed to explode, and only killed one member of the platoon on which it fired. Rifle and cannon fire from German troops whittled away at the scuttling steam spiders.

  It was at this point that Maton's nerve failed, and he ordered his remaining forces back into the tunnel, with the Destroyer in the rear, bringing the tunnel mouth down behind the retreating mastermind. Having made good his escape, I am sure we shall be hearing from the Mad Belgian again.

[Editor's Note: A G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. game played yesterday afternoon with my sons. Dane played the Automatons. Greyson had the Brits, and I ran the Germans. Anglo-German cooperation was not good (English troops twice masked the foe from the German artillery, for instance). Really, the minions were wiped out by some lucky dice rolls, and the automatons were paralysed by malfunctions. Still need to tweak their stats - too many malfunctions. No units were totally wiped out before time ran out, but things did indeed look dark for the Mad Belgian Genius, Herr Doktor Professor Otto Maton!]

18 July 2011

Popular Mechanicks, Issue #6


Proxie-Trencher Landship

Engine parts removed for Security Purposes
Photos from Proxie Models Website

   The latest thing in modern mechanickal warfare is the armoured fighting vehicle. These take many forms, from aerial gunboats to ostrich-like walkers. But the heaviest armour and guns are fitted to the landships operated by the Royal Navy. And the Navy's newest landship is being unveiled here and now: the Proxie "Trencher"-class Landship.

   The Trencher is fitted with a new propulsion system so secret that no photostats may be taken of it, on pain of violation of the State Secrets and Treasonous Activities Act. However, we can divulge that the vehicle is armed with a main gun in a 360-degree powered traverse turret, and sponson-mounted guns to either side, as well as a heavy reciprocator in the forward hull. With a crew of ten protected behind armour nearly as thick as a light cruiser's, it can still travel at speeds rivaling the fastest of cavalry (under ideal conditions).

   The first squadron of these formidable vessels has already been purchased for training purposes on Earth. Additional squadrons are expected to be purchased for use throughout the British Solar Empire in the near future.

[Editor's Note: I just found out about these about 10 minutes ago, from a post on The Orky 15mm Sci Fi blog. The owner of that blog is making a Praetorian army for 40K in 15mm. Nice work going on there, and then I saw the tanks! I'll be buying a box of them (3 for $10!!!) today. The photo, by the way, comes from their website, and is used without permission, but I have a feeling they won't mind as long as it sends customers their way. Which I hope it does. These are awesome.]

12 July 2011

Report: Historicon 2011, Day 3

   I know it has been a few days, but I am just now fully recovered from my relaxing stay in lovely Pennsylvania. Not that I saw a whole lot of it, because I spent most of the time indoors.  But you don't want to hear about all that - you want to know about the games!

Beautiful terrain from Miniature Building Authority.

  So by now it is Saturday, the last real day of games for Historicon. I have a game at 0900, a WWII game using a rules system new to me called NUTS! It's from Two Hour Wargames. The scenario was pretty simple: D-Day, American Airborne forces approach a village held by the Wehrmacht. Wehrmacht must hold village. Didn't enjoy the game. One of the main opponents was a 'psychic.' Always knew what my troops were doing even if there was no way for the troops to have such information. I didn't like the rules either. One of my troops dropped a hand grenade into a room full of Amis, rolled the best result possible, and the result was that two of the GIs charged up the stairs and killed not one but three Germans at the top. One of the Germans was my second best guy, and a 'Hero', unloaded his SMG at the GIs, while waiting at the top for them to approach, and missed totally. An unbalanced scenario maybe, and a bad opponent for sure, but any result that leaves a group of people in an enclosed area in which a grenade has gone off totally unharmed - not stunned, not anything? Needs work.


Amis appear in the woods and ambush a Wehrmacht patrol

  My next game wasn't to be until 1900, so I thought I'd hit the vendor's area and Wally's Basement (the flea market). the boys, on the other hand, were headed to their game at 1300; a game of Car Wars. I've been playing the game off and on since about 1983. Even been planning on getting a Matchbox scale game set up. So the boys take off; about 1305, I get a call from Greyson and they need another player since there's only the two of them there to play. Had a pretty good time. Killed Greyson's car, got rear-ended by a ramplate but survived (barely!), got revenge on the rammer by virtually eliminating him. Time was just about up so we called it, and I won (only 'kill').

My car. Twin MGs and a bumper trigger.

Dane in red, Greyson in green, myself in the rear.

   My last game was one of the ones I most anticipated since registering: a G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. fleet battle. Simple scenario was that a new German aircraft carrier was damaged by a storm, and the British are trying to capture it while the Germans seek to prevent that.

Patrol boat HMS Courageous (fore) and cruiser HMS Essex

   I liked the game. It was very similar to Battles by G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T., and so it was familiar, with a few changes which had to be made in order to accomodate the third dimension. It seemed impossible to get to the carrier (the Valkyrie) before she made it off the table, and it proved so. Highlights of the game include the performance of HMS Cossack, one of my patrol boats absorbing fire from two German patrol boats and a German cruiser. After several turns, she was a wreck, and had three commanding officers killed aboard her. Finally, she settled to the surface, with no guns, no engine, and no officers left! Things looked very bad for the British side until the battleship finally got within range. Three German capital ships were crippled or destroyed, and three escorts, to the loss of three escorts on the British side. The Valkyrie did manage to escape, however.

The Valkyrie.

  The Valkyrie is a total scratch-built job, except for the mast and the flight stand. Absolutely beautiful piece of work. I especially like the raised hangar on the flight deck.

08 July 2011

Despatches from Pennsylvania, Day 2


   The major disappointment of the day was the fact that the Sky Galleons of Mars game that I was most looking forward to had a no-show. GM was at the con, and picked up his badge, but simply did not appear to run his game. It disappointed about 12 players who waited a half an hour to see if he was just running a bit late. This kind of thing should result in him paying for his entry, rather than receiving a free GM pass, barring some extenuating circumstances. For example, two years ago I had a game canceled at the last minute because the GM's wife got very ill and he had to take her to the hospital. Legitimate excuse. But this kind of thing happens a little too often to be an emergency situation (not this particular GM, just an observation in general).

   In other news, a strange rabbit-man was spotted in the Valley Forge area. If you see this man, simply back away slowly and keep your hand upon your wallet. He has a variety of devilish methods of separating innocent passersby from their heard earned money.

Nic Robson of Eureka Miniatures
Bunnyman and All-Around Good Guy

06 July 2011

One More Gaming Project: New Pulp Robot for German Army

  Another interesting thing I found, while checking the backlog of blogs I follow. I shall be stealing this idea, and am actually writing down the figure as I type this. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

One More Gaming Project: New Pulp Robot for German Army: "I started collecting Monsterpocalypse when it first came out and was struck by the conversion potential of many of the miniatures. I finally..."

Highlander Studios, Inc.: Space: 1889 15mm update

   Some excellent news that you should definitely check out!

Highlander Studios, Inc.: Space: 1889 15mm update: " The latest Space: 1889 figures will be delivered to Frank Chadwick for review. I'll have some photos of painted examples on the blog in..."

Historicon 2011, Day 0 (Wednesday)


   Up at 0300, arrive at airport security at 0440. Minis in carryon and my Crocs test positive for RDX, a military grade explosive. Needless to say, it took a while to clear that up, but we still made our plane with some time to spare. Get to Atlanta, change planes to Allentown, PA. The little jet can't take our carryons, so we have to check them anyway. Naturally, some of the minis got messed up by the bag smashers as a result. The same minis that caused all the trouble at Houston security. I should have just packed them in the check baggage in the first place, I guess. Oh well.

   That was the only real problem with the travel, though, so not too bad. Hotel was right, rental car fine, etc. Registration at the convention went pretty smoothly, and our badges are right. Free swag in the registration bag (x3, 1 for each of us):
  • 1 sprue of Perry plastic Mahdists (2 figs ea.)
  • 1 sprue of Warlord plastic Celtic Warriors (10 figs ea.)
  • 1 CD-ROM for MMO game World of Tanks, with free M3 Stuart upgrade
  • Flyer to redeem for free issue of Strategy & Tactics
   Not as much swag as in previous years, but still not bad. Already run into a few familiar faces, too. This is my 4th Historicon in 5 years now. I won't be able to make next year, but should be back for 2013, wherever it ends up being held. That's it for now, I guess. The boys and I have figured out our games for tomorrow and Friday, if we can get them. I'll be taking lots of pictures, and hope to get some uploaded as the convention progresses.

  EDIT July 7, 2011, 0653: After posting, I turned out lights and headed for bed. Immediately smashed left knee into coffee table, producing much cursing, the removal of some flesh, and a great deal of pain and swelling. Ice and Tylenol seem to have pretty much taken care of the damage, thank God.

05 July 2011

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #11


1st Velocipede Dragoon Regiment


   The invention of the steam-driven bicycle, more accurately described as the velocipede, led quickly to a military development. Faster than horses, and able to carry more equipment than a man on foot, the velocipede and its flankcar provide mobility and firepower to the Kaiser's forces. Already trained in mobility tactics and prepared to fight dismounted, the dragoons were a natural fit for the velocipede regiments.

   The uniform of the Velocipede Dragoon is very similar to that of the standard dragoons. The light blue jacket is worn, along with dark trousers and riding boots. Black infantry helmet is standard, but omits the spike of the traditional pickelhaube for safety reasons.

   Each dragoon is armed with a carbine, but one out of three of the velocipedes is provided with a flank car and a second rider. This flankcar carries a pintle-mounted machinegun that can also be detached and fitted to a tripod. This massively increases the firepower of the Velocipede Dragoons.

   The regiment itself is so new that it has yet to see combat. However, the combination of firepower and mobility ensure that the Velocipede Dragoons will certainly have a major impact on the future of warfare.

04 July 2011

American Independence Celebration

   As many of you are no doubt aware, the Americans celebrate the anniversary of the signing of their Declaration of Independence today. While we rather enjoy the traiditional pyrotechnic celebrations, it is still a bit surprising to Her Majesty's loyal subjects that the Americans have managed so well in the years since their departure from the fold. Mean to say, I know old George III was a bit, well, peculiar, but fighting a war of rebellion over a few eccentricities? Well, water under the bridge now, as they say. Just so long as they remember they are the junior partner in the English-speaking nations of the world, well, I suppose all will be well.

  See you at the American Legation celebration. I hear they are having some of those odd German style sausages on a bun, cooked over an open flame, of all things. And washing it down with beer that has been chilled. Dashed odd, Cousin Jonathan.

01 July 2011

Popular Mechanicks, Issue #5: Ramshackle "Brass Coffin"


   This ramshackle vehicle is popularly known as the Brass Coffin by our intrepid forces. It has been used by insurgent forces who can produce no better armored vehicle. Powered by steam, the engine drives a single external piston geared to the rear axle for propulsion. The two large front wheels are independently mounted on a transverse axle, and serve little mechanical purpose other than giving the vehicle some trench-crossing ability.

   The forward armour is enhanced with a thick glacis plate, angled to help shed the impact of shell and bullet. The side armour is not so thick, but has proven to be proof against smallarms fire. While the metalwork looks similar to brass, it is in fact a very advanced alloy, rustproof and lightweight, yet tough as armourplate.



   While quite well-armoured, the Brass Coffin carries no heavy armaments. It relies on troops firing from within it through the slits you see there. Also, many of its gears are externally mounted, which makes its propulsion system vulnerable to the overwhelming firepower of disciplined Regulars.

[Editor's Note: This is the Brass Coffin from Ramshackle Games. They are almost sold out, according to their blog. So if you want one... now would be the time to get after it! Photos taken from Lead Bones Blog, the Ramshackle Games company blog.]

28 June 2011

Available Again - 28mm Hardsuits



Available from Recreational Conflicts. All metal, $10 each or 5 for $45. Screaming VSF Powersuit, Aetherarmor, or even diabolical automaton. REally giant for use with 15mm, too.

I think I will be checking into these after Historicon - once I see how much of my stash is left.

22 June 2011

6mm When the Navy Walked Project Update


   Well, I have gotten all of the foot painted to date rebased. I like the new, smaller bases much better. As it now stands, each base represents a company of infantry, with four stands to the battalion. For the Prussians, this means that it will take twelve stands per regiment. I figure I want at least a brigade, preferably an entire division of troops. A division would be best because that brings in attached cavalry regiments.


Prussian Infantry Regiment
I and II Battalions in line, Fusilier Battalion in column between.

  Speaking of cavalry regiments, I decided that the fellows riding in the boring machines would be dragoons. So I'll be painting up some infantry as dragoons, but just four bases.

   I'm also going to use some Baccus colonial British to emulate Aetherbattalion. I think I will only do one battalion's worth, though. I might do a full regiment, but that would be the limit. In 6mm, the only details you notice are the helmets anyway. Color will do for the rest.

  And the walkers are officially Kurrassieren. And the FT-17s will be Hussars, as will the motorcycle- (excuse me, velocipede-) mounted troops. Still have the regiment of Uhlans, too. Need to put together my regiment of Jagers. And get more artillery. A division would have 12 batteries of field artillery. I only have four! I also need another pair of FT-17s.


Two Renault FT-17s, doing service in a Prussian Hussars Regiment

  As for the British, I haven't gotten much. I have enough to do three battalions of Highlanders. I will probably do one for Mars and two for Earth/Venus/Earthin. I need to get additional troops, preferably marching ones. I like those poses a lot for stand based gaming. One more thing to add to the Historicon shopping list, I suppose.

   Last thought for now: in future, I am going to be adding a rare earth magnet into the base of the figures. That way I can put them on small metal movement trays to speed up play.

21 June 2011

Emerald Racing Team Ready for Historicon Race Day



 
   With only a few weeks to go before Race Day, the Emerald Racing team has finished work on their first scudder. You can see photostats of the racer being put through time trials below.



[Editor's Note: This is the Skyrunners racing game craft I bought at Historicon last year. I plan on using it as a light airship in wargaming as well. It is made by Parroom Station, and can be had via Brigade Games. I came in third last year using one of Bob Charrette's scudders. I hope that my own racer will move a bit faster, turn a bit tighter, and avoid doing quite so much swooping up and down, thus earning the nickname "Vomit Comet."]

20 June 2011

New Khaki Uniform Approved for Cytherean Use


   The Horse Guards has approved issue of a new uniform for British troops bound for the tropical jungle climate of Venus. Officially designated as the Cytherean Pattern uniform, the color is not the traditional redcoat for Tommy Atkins. Instead, the cloth is specially treated cotton, which refuses to take further dyeing, and remains a drab khaki color. However, the special treatment of the fabric does enabloe it to withstand the rigors of the Cytherean jungle, and it is estimated that the uniforms will last a full three times longer than current issue on Venus. The savings in shipping costs alone will pay for the new issue.

   Below, you can see a few examples of the new uniform as it is being tried out in the field for the first time.
Officer's Kit

NCO and Other Ranks

   As you can see, the uniform seems to be wearing well. Troops have also appreciated the cooler aspect of the light cotton cloth as compared to the usual tunic. Officers have commented that the khaki color actually is better suited to aiding in concealment on the Veiled Planet, though why any of our stout boys need to conceal themselves is quite beyond this journalist!

[Editor's Note: These are some Old Glory (I think) 25s that I bought, already painted, along with some other items from eBay. They have been sitting collecting dust for over a year until I decided that they might work on Venus, if not on Earth or Mars, where the redcoat still identifies one as a British soldier of the Queen. All I have done is add some stuff to the bases to match my other Cytherean troops of the German, Lizardman and Varduvian varieties.]