22 February 2011

Work in Progress


   Well, I have finally gotten back to the painting table, at least a bit. Most of what I have to show you today (tonight?) is not finished. Still needs shading, basing, and flat clearcoat, at least.

This is a 15mm Clockwork Trooper by Black Hat Miniatures. I call them Klanktruppen.
They're Prussian. Note the red collar and blue chestplate.

Here are my new 15mm Prussian infantry, also from Black Hat.
I'm pretty happy with them.

This figure is one of a 10-man unit of Martian Archers. From RAFM's Space 1889 Line.
They are done. Finally.

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #10

Legion Extraterrestriale
1er Demi-brigade

History

   The Legion Etrangèr or Foreign Legion, was created by Louis Philippe, the "King of the French", on 10 March 1831. The direct reason was that foreigners were forbidden to serve in the French Army after the 1830 July Revolution, so the Legion was created to allow the government a way around this restriction. The purpose of the Legion was to remove disruptive elements from society and put them to use fighting the enemies of France. Recruits included failed revolutionaries from the rest of Europe, soldiers from the disbanded foreign regiments, and troublemakers in general, both foreign and French. Algeria was designated as the Legion's home.

   In late 1831, the first Legionnaires landed in Algeria, the country that would be the Legion's homeland for 130 years and shape its character. The Legion was primarily used, as part of the Armée d'Afrique, to protect and expand the French colonial empire during the 19th century, but it also fought in almost all French wars including the Franco-Prussian War.

   The Legion Extraterrestriale was formed in 1871 from elements of the Foreign Legion for service in the off-world colonies on Mars and Venus. The Legion originally consisted of two demi-brigades of four battalions each, with one DBLE (Demi-brigade Legion Extraterrestriale) assigned to each planet, and a recruiting and training cohort on Earth. In 1875, a third demi-brigade was authorized for service as security in the highport of the three French aetherports and as special aether-equipped boarding parties. 1er DBLE is stationed on Mars, headquartered with the rest of the Armee d'Mars in Nouveau Paris, the capital of the French colony.
 
   Just as the original Legion accepted anyone, regardless of their nationality, religion, color or, shall we say, less-than-lawful past, so does the new Legion Extraterrestriale. Men who are desperate to escape their past may easily be forgotten, taken off-world to march or die in the service of La Belle France.

Combat History

   The 1er DBLE has been involved in several border clashes with the colony's neighbors, including the British Crown Colony and German Marskolonie. However, the main antagonist for the French are the desert dwelling natives which raid the colony from time to time. In this, the Legion Extraterrestriale has much in common with the Foreign Legion.

   A company of 1er DBLE was involved in the First Battle of Ghola, along with a steam walker for support. The captain of that detachment won the day by personally cutting down the Martian commander of a larger contingent of the famed Emerald Legion and retrieving the priceless antiquities found in the ancient temple at Ghola.

   Other portions of the demi-brigade have been involved in patrolling the frontiers and manning small outposts in remote areas along the edges of the Martian desert. One trouble the legionnaires often must contend with in these isolated posts is le cafard, the 'bug.' The intense psychological strain of such isolation for weeks or months causes some men to lose their minds, commiting acts of desperate violence. Legion units in extended garrison always lose more men to le cafard than to combat. The textbook solution for le cafard is a rifle, and plenty of opportunity to use it.

Uniform




   The standard uniform of a legionnaire is, in most respects, identical to that of the Foreign Legion, consisting primarily of a white shirt and white fatigue trousers. A blue capote is worn over the shirt, and a light blue sash as well. Cloth or leather gaiters are worn over low black boots.

   The most iconic piece of the Legion uniform is the white kepi. The kepi is a type of cap with a flat circular top and short visor and a neckcloth. The history of the white kepi can be traced back to Africa where it was first worn by French soldiers in their Africa posting to protect them from the hot desert sun. It was adopted by the Legion Etrangèr while they served in North Africa, and passed on to the Legion Extraterrestriale.

   Other than regimental distinctions, the primary difference between the two Legions' uniforms is the badge on the kepi. The Foreign Legion wears a grenade badge with five plumes of flame. The Legion Extraterrestriale's cap badge is a three-plumed grenade on a five-pointed star.

   Officers wear the same uniform as enlisted men with two major distinctions: a red-topped kepi and gold epaulettes. Also, they are equipped with sword and pistol rather than the enlisted man's rifle and bayonet.

Armament

   Legionnaire infantry carry the French service rifle, 120 rounds, and a bayonet. Until last year, that rifle was the Fusil Gras Modèle 1874 M80, an 11mm caliber bolt-action rifle. In 1886, the Lebel Model 1886 replaced the Gras. The Lebel is an 8mm rifle with an 8-round tubular magazine and bolt-action, firing a new smokeless powder round. Officers carry the MAS 1873 revolver and the Model 1882 Infantry sword, a straight bladed weapon.

   Legion artillery support is provided by the De Bange 90 mm cannon (Mle 1877). At this time, in large part to the mitralleuse debacle in the last war with Prussia, the French Army has not procured a machinegun for service, although it is considering adoption of the Hotchkiss model.

   It is rumored that the Imperial Ordinance Commission is secretly developing weapons similar to the British Tesla rifle, the reciprocating carbine, and the portable mortar. At this time, no reliable information about these developments exists.

16 February 2011

Texican Camp on Venus


  Our good friends and allies the Texicans have shared some information on the construction techniques of their Venusian outpost. Due to constant rain and frequent torrential downpours leading to flash flooding, each of the huts being constructed has been raised several feet above the ground on stout wooden pilings.

Typical SET Hut

  It has been quite a while since we last heard from our friend Sergeant Cox of the Republic Marines' Engineers, but this fits within the descriptions he has provided on prior occassions.

[Editor's Note: The photo is from Acheson Creations. I am considering buying three or so of these to make the Texican camp on Venus. They also make some nice-looking Meso_american and Egyptian stuff that I would probably use for lizardmen construction. I have a few projects to work on first, though. But I thought they were neat, so I shared. Oh, and the reason we haven't heard much from the ol' Gunny Cox is that his creator, my buddy Jim, has been swamped with schoolwork the last few months.]

15 February 2011

Science Gone Mad!


  The photostats below are indications of many future troubles from Science Gone Awry. The first image is of a devilish new device from that mechanickal madman, the master of steam mayhem, the Mad Belgian, herr Doktor Professor Otto Maton. Through some cunning means, Maton has managed to enable an automaton to balance on a single wheel of India rubber. The resulting 'monowheel' device has unprecedented speed and agility - faster than the fleetest Arabian, and as surefooted as a mountain goat! And to top it off, the thing appears to be armed with Tesla rifles, reducing recoil to maintain stability at speed!


  This second photostat is of a development even more disturbing than the first: deliberate mutilation of the human frame. The photo was found in the camera of a missing correspondent to this journal, one Mister Kevin O'Doyle. A reward for information leading to his rescue or the apprehension of his abductors and/or murderers is offered. The camera was discovered in a pile of trash behind a ramshackle warehouse in the downport of the Venusstadt Kolonie. We believe that the limb in the hands of the great monster was that of our missing correspondent. Sadly, it appears that the damage the camera took has affected the color and clarity of the image. Still... horrifying.





[Editor's Note: Okay, I got a little clicky crazy here. The monowheel is a BattleTech clicky monocycle. A dash of paint and a rebase and its good to go. Just need a few more to make a full unit. They can be used for any of three scales, being large vehicles in 6mm, full scale automatons in 15mm, and small ones in 25mm. The big fella is a Lucahdor from HorrorClix. He's getting some greenstuff to adjust his tights to a loincloth and primitive boots, and the arm in his hands may get replaced as well. The paint job will convert to a more Frankenstein's monster kind of look. The idea is that he's an experiment by Vardu. The news doesn't know about it because Vardu's evil has yet to be uncovered. Our correspondents keep disappearing when they get close to discovering the truth.]

14 February 2011

In Celebration

of the holiday, no further posting to this blog today.

Happy Valentine's Day.

11 February 2011

Prussian Line


6th East Prussian Regiment Nr. 43:
Deploying to Venus?


  Reports have been filtering in via aethrgraphic relay that a new regiment of German Imperial troops is mobilising for departure to the Venusstadt garrison. This regiment, the 6th East Prussian Regiment (Nr. 43) has for years been brigaded with the elite 1st Grenadier Regiment (Kronprinz). The increase in German presence on the Jungle Planet is worrying for Her Majesty's government. Sadly, the militaristic history of the German Empire leads many to believe the worst of them and their motives.

   To date, it is known for certain that the regiment has been practicing aethership loading andaether-transport drills. It is the sincere hope of this journal that the Hun is not thinking of reaching his dirty paws out to grab for territory rightly belonging to Her Britannic Majesty (God Bless Her!) on Venus or elsewhere in the System. Though surely he would receive a well-earned thrashing, the expenditure of gold and blood on such a venture would be unfortunate for the Empire.

[Editor's Note: Jingoistic as it may be, I do have some Prussians coming off the painting table soon. A good twenty of them hav ebeen started, and are nearing completion, but the hour got late last night ere I could complete the task. Perhaps tomorrow, as tonight I have other nefarious plans.]

10 February 2011

A Competitor for Your Attentions!


   Ladies and gentlemen, I know that I need not warn you to pay no heed to the incoherent ramblings of the banal and barely literate authors of this journal's newest competitor. Who are they? Well, they call themselves "For Queen and Country, or Manifest Larceny." Started by someone callking himself Chad Thorsson. Obviously an attempt to blame his sick rantings on our noble Scandinavian friends.

   Surely this flimsy excuse for journalism will fold soon. So you should, if you are one of those inclined to view wreckage, immediately proceed to their telephonic differencing engine location before the authorities shut them down.

[Editor's Note: No good can be said about them. But if you want more VSF-y goodness, I suppose it might be worth venturing over there, briefly, before returning here for news and entertainment of real value. *grin*]

07 February 2011

Popular Mechanicks, Issue #3

August, 1915
Crafty British Build Low Cost Gunship

  Due to wartime economies, His Majesty's Government has developed a low-cost alternative to the more traditional but expensive airship. The new Dirigible Gunship, pictured below, is filled with H+, an artificially created lighter-than-air gas which is totally non-flammable. The design will also permit the Empire to extend its supply of unobtainite for heavier craft.


  The new gunship is capable of travelling for extended distances, with an impressive load of bombs and defensive armaments. It also has the advantage of being aethertransportable, and so can be produced here on Earth at the heart of the industrial might of the British Empire, packed and shipped to the offworld colonies on Mars and Venus, to batter the Hun!

[Editor's Note: This model is from Hanger 18 FASA's"Sky Kings" range. There are other impressive models there as well. Designed for a Weird War II setting, it seems, they are still very useful for an earlier period with enough handwaving. The model in question is 70mm long, and retails for $3.75. Since the decals are 1/285 according to their website, I assume the vehicles are supposed to come in about that size as well. I plan to use it for my 6mm WtNW force, and possibly the larger German one as well. Boy, is my pocket book running away from me!]

04 February 2011

Snow Day, 2011

  Wow. I have a day off because of 'snow.' In Houston, Texas. Heck, south of Houston. And no snow at all fell around my house. There was some ice overnight and early this morning, so probably a good idea to keep the school buses off the roads. And since I am a school teacher, that meant I have the day off, too! So what to do with an unexpected day off? Well, let's see...


  For those of you who are unaware, I am involved in helping to develop When the Navy Walked, a set of rules for VSF games.

Kevin Williams

   I found a pack of these guys in the half-price bin of a dealer at OwlCon. They are from the Chronoscope line produced by Reaper. I thought they looked just perfect for some giant walkers to go with my 6mm forces for When the Navy Walked. I like the rules best for bigger battles, and that's why I am doing a 6mm setup for them.

   Anyway, they aren't painted yet because it's too cold to prime them at the moment - I am afraid the spray would freeze before it hit the mini, it being only about 28 degrees in my garage at the moment. Haven't quite decided what kind of paint scheme I am going to go for with them. I thought I might make them for at least two of the different European empires, probably Great Britain and Imperial Germany. But do them in something like national colors, camouflage, or metallic? The really big one might be fun for Russians, but I haven't decided if I am going to try to reproduce them in 6mm. I do want to do them in 25mm, at least partly because of some really inspirirng work by Sterling Moose on the forces of His Imperial Majesty, Tsar Nikolas II, on Lead Adventure Forum.

The Blue Regiment

  I'm also trying to get some painting of my own accomplished today. I can't work on the Whirlifliegers remaining to be done, because I can't prime them. I am working on some Empress British figures and trying to finish off the ten RAFM Martian archers.

  I also ordered some more minis from Scale Creep, the Black Hat Prussians, mostly. Needed more 15mm Germans. A platoon of Aetherbattalion is nice, but I need some regular Line troops. I've also been on eBay, the black and dirty shame of it all...

   I also have to get to work on some editing, and do some work on the Aethergraph. Speaking of which - I NEED SUBMISSIONS! I'll take anything you have VSF related. Even if its just a character description. Or some odd techno-device you use in your VSF universe.

01 February 2011

Popular Mechanicks, Issue #2


New Armored Aethersuits Rumored!

  Rumors of a new armoured suit for aetherial exploration are beginning to surface. Originally developed for undersea exploration and salvage operations, the self-contained air-breathing system would also work in the Aether. These suits would allow our brave Royal Aethermarines to more safely board enemy vessels while in transit between Earth, Mars and Venus.


  Pictured above is the Iron Lung Mk. I Undersea Exploration suit. Our inside sources at Horse Guards and the Royal Artillery tell us that a second model is being built at this time, optimized for use in the aether. The biggest stumbling block is the development of a suitable propulsion system. Due to limitations of oxygen supply, the power source will most likely have to be handwavium. The scarcity of that strategic mineral will, naturally, limit the number of suits that Her Majesty's forces will be able to construct. Trials are hoped to begin this spring, with the first operational suits perhaps being ready for issue in the summer.

[Editor's Note: I just stumbled upon these Mage Knight figures. My immediate thought was VSF Divers! Then I thought, oh wait, they would be perfect (with the addition of a propulsion pack) for boarding parties in the Aether. So, I have ordered some on eBay. No one else may steal this idea until I have obtained 10 of them, though. Bid against me and suffer my wrath!  I think the conversion will be a short and simple one: new base, weapon swap, some sort of propulsion unit on the back. Done. Handwavium powered, of course!]