13 May 2012

Place, Show, and Also Ran, Part 3

Continuing the series...


"J" is also for... JAPAN

War Flag of Japanese Imperial Army

   At the end of the 19th century, Japan was making up for a couple of lost centuries worth of technological development, especially in the military. Seeing the strength of Western armies and navies, the Japanese determined to emulate the strong and improve on their technology by wedding the bushido mentality to the advanced weapons. What resulted was the foundation of a new Imperial Nippon. In VSF, they would certainly have been seeking a place in the solar system. For me, that place is on Mars, allying with some city-states that were distant from the British, French and Germans, then dominating them and making them puppets of the Shogunate of Mars. This is a project which I have considered, but for which very little has been purchased. I am looking strongly at Parroom Station's Japanese soldiers. BANZAI!!!!



"L" is also for...  LANDSHIP

   Steam-powered tanks, or landships, are quite common in Victorian Science Fiction. I think landships make the rest of the crazy VSF technology more believable, because they might have been possible. Certainly they would have been quite primitive things by even WWI standards, but possible? Just about, at least in some form.  So, with that small but believable stretch of reality, it makes the crazier things a bit more plausible. They are popular enough to merit their own rules (Land Ironclads, by Wessex Games) as well as inclusion in pretty much all the other rules available. There are many manufacturers of models for them as well. I am partial to Black Hat for the 15mm and Ironclad Miniatures for the 25mm, myself. Many excellent scratch builds are out there as well. Seems like everyone loves steam powered tanks! So why didn't I go with "L is for Landships" in the original list? Because I was already planning on discussing steam, and it fell under that category as well.

Trencher by Proxie Models. No longer available.

HMLS Prince Albert
[Modified Black Hat Miniatures Heavy Steamtank]


"P" is also for... PARROTMEN


   Along with the ubiquitous lizardmen on Venus, the Cytherean Parrotmen are a very commonly used race in many VSF games. As far as I know, the idea originated on the Lead Adventure Forum, by a member known mysteriously as "DewbackUK".  Since then, I would imagine dozens of copycats (myself included) have jumped upon the parrotman bandwagon. For me, the project has stalled among the plethora of other things to do. But I did write a monograph on the Pappegaivolk. And I have figures for them, at least in 28mm. Like many others, I chose to use plastic GW Kroot, painted to resemble parrots, with their weapons modified a bit. Below is a work in progress photo. I chose Pellucidar over the parrotmen because my project has stalled. It might just be time to bite the bullet and send them off to be painted. Thirty or so of them, at $5 a piece... yikes! That's $150!!!!

Picture taken October, 2008 - talk about stalled!
"T" is also for...  TEXAS

   Like I wasn't going to work this one in somewhere? I'm a proud son of Texas, and my family arrived here from Alabama during the days when we were our own Republic (ca. 1837). I have a timeline of alternate history that keeps Texas a free and independent nation, through alliance with Britain in the 19th Century. There is also a VSF 'weird science' version of that timeline. The  only reason Tesla won out over Texas is because I can't imagine any VSF universe being complete without that mad genius. So, here's to the Lone Star Republic!

De Zavala Flag, the 'First National Flag of Texas'

Lone Star Flag, adopted in 1839


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