What should I work on next?

28 December 2009

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #5

The Emerald Legion

The Legion begins to deploy on the outskirts of the village of Ghola


The Emperors of Galfor have long utilised mixed infantry forces in their armies. Armed with a combination of long pikes and muskets, these soldiers resemble in some ways the tercios of Earth's history. The famed Emerald Legion, one of the most disciplined and best drilled native infantry regiments in the System, is one such tercio.

The Emerald Legion was originally raised by the Empire approximately 900 years ago, when Galfor was a mere city-state along the Great Wolof Canal. Thanks to the technological stagnation caused by the so-called Fall of the Ancients, their arms and training methods have not changed in all that time. Their training regimen is especially brutal, and reportedly less than half of the recruits are accepted as Legionnaires. A full quarter of all recruits die during the initial training.

Combat History

As you might imagine, a regiment that has existed for nearly a millenium has been in combat more times than an article of this scope may record. However, a brief history of recent events seems appropriate.

The Emerald Legion fought at both the First and Seccond Battles of Ghola, where they were overwhelmed by British technological might and unstoppable military resolve. They did give an excellent accounting of themselves, and were the very devil in close quarters combat. The Legion took advantage of the cover granted by their pavises until the last moments, when they flung themselves into the clash of cold steel against our brave Tommies and a few blue-coated legionnaires of the French Legion Extraterrestriale. Sadly for them, their numbers had been so reduced by fire from the ASA (Armored Steam Automaton), Mk II, that they were swiftly pushed back. Once their captain had been slain, the rest of the Legion withdrew hastily from the field.

The Legion has also been involved in several of the attacks on British and French outposts that have taken place lately. One such attack rapidly reduced the platoons of British and sepoy infantry protecting a convoy of unobtainite, and made off with the valuable stuff. The Emperor sold it to his German advisors, no doubt!

Several Legionnaires, positioned for battle.


The standard Legionnaire of the Emerald Legion wears a long green tunic and laced ghurr leather hobnailed sandals. Rank is indicated by yellow bands on the hem of the tunic for officers.

In battle, Legionnaires wear armor. A breastplate protects the torso, with a mail kilt hanging below to protect the soldier's upper thighs. Greaves and a metal helmet - quite similar to the ancient Roman helmet - complete the protective gear. The helmet is crested, with a plain green for regular Legionnaires and a yellow stripe for officers. While useless against modern weapons at even moderate ranges, the armor does protect against long range shots and in the general melee of bayonet versus pike.

Legionnaires are armed with either a long pike or a rifled muzzle-loading musket. NCOs may have a modern breechloading carbine as well. Officers are armed with swords. The Legion's commander also carries a baton carved from the ivory fangs of the deadly h'lee'rael sand tiger(http://vbir.blogspot.com/2009/02/tiger.html). Finally, each unit is equipped with a number of large wooden pavises, which they use as cover on the open plains of the Martian deserts. These thick wooden shields are virtually immobile during combat, but can provide a decided advantage when fighting against primitive Martian firearms. The pavise is universally painted a bright emerald green, with the Martian character for the letter "G" in yellow.

[Editor's Note: The miniatures pictured here are from Black Hat's excellent 18mm Martian Empires range. In the US, you can get them from Scale Creep (www.scalecreep.com).]

26 December 2009

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #4

The Warband of Slee-stak
(Ess’this R’sska Slee-stak)


Being both of alien origin and hostile intent, little is known of the origins of the great Gater warlord known as Slee-stak. Slee-stak and his barbaric horde of lizardmen first encountered humans when the German aethership K√§F Das Vaterland sent down zeppelin-based scouting parties. One surveying party, which located the eventual site of the settlement of Neu Berlin in the Venusstadt Kolonie was attacked by the warband. Slee-stak’s attack was stalled by German firepower, although three German √Ątherbattalion troops were slain in the fighting. The German surveyors retreated to the safety of their zeppelin launch and returned the following day with additional troops. There was no sign of the lizardmen, and the only remains of the three slain troopers were their well-gnawed bones.

Since that day, Slee-stak has become quite fond of man-flesh. He and the Kss’rssa Ess’thiss (Viper Warband) he leads raid all along the southern border of Venusstadt. Mounted on his huge carnosaur, Slee-stak runs down fleeing colonists and impales them on his massive bronze lance. The governor of the Venusstadt Kolonie has placed a 10,000 mark bounty on Slee-stak’s red scaled head.
One element of the warband, some gex archers of the primary green morph
Slee-stak himself, mounted on his favorite carnosaur.
(Photostat found in camera at site of attack)


Slee-stak’s warband seems to be divided into sub-groups based on color morphology. Most of his followers are of the smaller lizardman type, called gex by humans. They are typically armed with either stone-tipped javelins or bows. A few of the bolder gex carry bronze weapons instead. In total, there are approximately forty gex following Slee-stak.

One group of about ten of the larger ‘gater’ type lizardmen also follows Slee-stak. They share his black and red color morphology, and are likely from the same hatching as their mighty warlord. Like most lizardmen, these gaters are armed primarily with primitive stone and wooden weapons, although they have also obtained some metal weapons.

Slee-stak himself is rarely seen on foot, preferring to stand out form the crowd of lesser warriors by riding the back of a vicious carnosaur.

25 December 2009

Happy Christmas!

To all of my friends, all of my readers, and all of their families, I wish you the merriest of Christmases.

In the midst of all the gift giving, food, and time with your family, please don't forget to pause for a moment today and give thanks to God for His great gift to the world, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

May God Bless You All.


23 December 2009

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #3

Royal Artillery
Research and Development Platoon


The origin of the Research and Development Platoon of the Royal Artillery is shrouded in secrecy. It is thought that Her Majesty's Government began a secret program of technological development in the years immediately after the Russian War. Evidence for this lies in the budgetary increases to the Royal Artillery passed by Parliament at the urging of the Prime Minister and the Horse Guards. The precise nature of the expenditures is listed merely as 'Confidential.'

It is certain that the public first became aware of the Research and Development Platoon (RDP) in the spring of 1866. Every Londoner remembers that spring, of course: the rampaging dinosaurs through Hyde Park would be impossible for anyone to forget! Cnventional rifles failed to bring down the largest beasts, and conventional artillery was considered too indiscriminate to use in the midst of London's better residences. Quite right, too, as the home of none other than Sir Reginald himself is in that district! I digress. Conventional weapons being unsuitable, Her Majesty personally demanded the newly developed weapons be employed against the great monsters. One squad of electrorifle armed soldiers laid the beast low, and Lieutenant Hiram Goswalding removed the head with his chainsword. Suitably mounted by the taxidermist's arts, the head now rests as a trophy above the RDP's wardroom fireplace.

Combat History
Other than the Hyde Park Dinosaur Incident, the RDP has primarily seen service in the off-world colonies. It took part in the Ikora Pacification, the Defense of Victoria Landing, and the Second Galfor War. There have also been numerous skirmishes with natives of both Mars and Venus. The most famous of these minor actions has been the Retreat to Aphrodite on Venus, where the First Squad of the RDP acted as rearguard against a horde of the native lizardfolk. Sergeant John Cooper distinguished himself by killing the horde's warchief as the brute tried to ride down a wounded Tommy. A single shot from his Caloric Ray Emitter burst the warchief's chest in a gory spectacle of Imperial bravery and technology's superiority over native cunning and ferocity.
Lieutenant Goswalding and two privates of the RDP, atop "Bessie", a draft bronto on Venus

Sergeant Edward Tisintrite, RA RDP, aboard HMAS Bee


The RDP wears a uniform similar to the standard British infantryman of a Royal regiment: red woolen tunic with blue facings, white fringe on the epaulettes, and dark blue trousers with red seams. The cut of the tunic is different from the standard British issue, being double breasted and buttoning on the right hand side. Black boots (officers wear brown) and white equipment and sun helmet, with brass fittings to all. Officers wear brown leather equipment and a gold aguilette on the left shoulder is common.

Weaponry varies, but the 'standard' longarm for the RDP is the Johnson Patent Electrorifle. Officers carry a Grenville Voltaic Pistol and have their preference of Benson Vibrating Sword or the 1871 Jamison Pattern Chainsword. Other weapons include the Caloric Ray Emitter, patented by Prof. K. Blooie, the Bening Pattern Flamegun, and the Man Portable Hale's Rocket Launcher.

22 December 2009

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #2

Das Erste Regiment der Fliegerjaegerren

(First Flying Hunter Regiment)

The First Fliegerjaegerren Regiment was dreamt up by the notorious mad scientist Otto Maton when he worked for the Kaiserlich Forschungsanstalt fur Geheimewaffen (Imperial Research Institute for Secret Weapons) in the late 60s. Maton developed the fliegertornister device in nine months. General Muller approved testing the device in 1871, and a call for volunteers was made. No one volunteered. In the great Junker tradition, General Muller then volun'told' the first soldier he saw - Herr Leutnant Schickelgruber of the Quartermaster's Corps.

Faced with a choice of possible death by ingenious device, or certain death by firing squad for disobeying an order, Schickelgruber hesitantly strapped on the fliegertornister (flying pack). Doctor Maton wound up the clockwork springs that powered the fiendish whirling blades. Moments later, Leutnant Schickelgruber discovered exactly how difficult piloting one of these contraptions could be, by slamming repeatedly into the side of the zeppelin hangar adjacent to the test site. He was awarded the Blue Max (posthumously).

After some fine tuning, Maton tested the device himself in front of a group of elite Prussian Jaegers in 1873. Convinced the device could be managed better by real soldiers (as compared to thumbless idiots of the Quartermaster's Corps!), the Jaegers demanded instruction in the arts of personal flight. More demonstrations of their ability in front of the Chancellor convinced the Army to fund and field an entire regiment of flying jaegers.

Combat History

Due to multiple delays in finishing equipment procurement and training, the First Fliegerjaeger Regiment was not ready for duty before the end of the Franco-Prussian War. Rumors abound that the French used saboteurs to delay the delivery of the fliegertornisterren. No proof of these rumors has been brought forth to date.

As of the time of publication, the fliegerjaegerren have not participated in any major campaigns. They were used (minus their flight packs) to quell bread riots in Germany's Polish holdings. The new reciprocating weapons they have been armed with proved very effective in streetfighting.

Hauptmann Erich von Kluck, 1st Fljgr. Regiment


In the photostat above, an officer of the 1st Battalion, 1st Fliegerjaeger Regiment, is shown giving the command to launch. His blouse and trousers are of feldgrau wool. His boots, gloves and equipment carrying gear are of brown leather. His eyes are protected from the wind and small wind-borne particles by green-tinted goggles. His breastplate is steel, as is his helmet. The helmet is fitted with a brass spike and chains, and a regimental plate on the front. The battalion designation is shown on the red collar tabs, with brass numeral 1.

The fliegertornister, or flightpack is encased in sheet metal. A large brass key protrudes from the rear, requiring the fliegerjaegers to operate in 'turnmate' pairs, each winding the other's pack as needed. The officer is armed with a magazine-fed pistol, fitted with a wooden holster/stock. NCOs and privates of the fliegerjaegers are armed instead with a reciprocating carbine (Karabineautomatische) designed specifically for their use by the KFG.

21 December 2009

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #1

First Victoria Landing Foot (Sepoy)


The First Victoria Landing Foot (Sepoy) regiment was established by the Horse Guards on June 12, 1871, to provide native troops for the protection of the British Martian Crown Colony. Costs to send entire regiments of human troops were prohibitive, even using Royal Ether Navy craft for the majority of the ferrying duties. Increasing agitation from native groups, other European powers, and Feral Martian brigands were threatening the young colony, which still amounted only to a single large town and several outlying villages and outposts.

The primary British settlement at that date was Victoria Landing, and volunteers from the natives of that region were solicited. Indeed, so many volunteers were received that the British officers and Senior NCOs of the newly formed regiment could pick and choose amongst them, a novel practice, as the Army often had difficulty maintaining regimental strength from new recruits in European units. The resulting high quality of the recruits began a tradition of the First Victoria's elite status in the Crown Colony.

The 1st VL Foot saw action for the first time in the Defense of Fort Edward, the small outpost which protected the canal bridging point nearest to Victoria Landing. The town was warned of an impending attack by Feral Martians at sunrise on April 14 with only hours to prepare. 2nd Platoon, 4th Company drove off a determined aerial assault. Credit was given to the quick thinking of Private Hissha Tundal for stringing netting from nearby fishing vessels over the open areas of the garrison post. This prevented a direct flying assault into the compound, quite canceling the Ferals' primary advantage. Mentioned in despatches, Private Thundal was promoted to corporal, the first Martian subject to achieve an NCO's distinction.

Other campaigns of note have included the 1st VL Foot. The entire regiment took part in the Ikora Pacification, the 1st and 2nd Galfor Wars, and the Defense of Victoria Landing. Elements of the regiment participated in many other skirmishes and campaigns, including the First and Second Battles of Ghola, numerous convoys of strategic materials, and the Fenian Riot of 1779.

Private Ghelee, 1st VL Foot, at the ready. Photostat is taken from Ikora Pacification Campaign


The uniform of the typical private in the First Victoria (shown above) is a dark khaki blouse and trousers, with matching turban. Native red leather (from the ghurr, a large domestic beast similar to an Earthly oxen) is used for puttees, Martian boots (more like sandals), and carrying equipment. A canvas or musette bag is slung over the right shoulder, for carrying foodstuffs. The 1st VL Foot has red epaulettes as distinguishing regimental marks. The private is armed with a breechloading Martini-Henry rifle and bayonet.

27 November 2009

New Allies on Venus

Royal Hawaiians Arrive on Jungle Planet

Reporting for duty to Venus, the 25th Royal Oahu Rangers are a specialist corps of tropical scouts and pathfinders known affectionately as the "Birds of Paradise" for their use of tropical bird calls for secret communication in while on missions. Having served in various island actions both against homeland threats and in various island skirmishes, they are adept at navigating the threats of tropical environments. They are skilled in ambush, raiding and counter-raiding tactics and fight in what has been described by many Europeans as a very "un-gentlemanly" manner. Already perfectly acclimatized to hot and humid environments and undaunted by the drizzle and miasma of a rain forest, they were the perfect asset for the Kingdom of Hawaii to lend as aid and a sign of solidarity with the Republic of Texas.

Their commander, Major Thomas Kipitupu, is proud to serve his king alongside his kingdom's Texican allies. He and his men will lend all of their talents to the efforts to forge a new colony in the hostile, shadowy jungles of Venus. Forging paths, scouting new territories and lending warclub and rifle to battle any hostile forces they might encounter, I am sure the Texican Marines on Venus will quickly come to appreciate their merits.

Sadly, our staff photostat artist was confined to his bunk with a nasty fungal infection, so no photostats are available at this time. We hope he will recover soon, so he can get back to work and earn the ridiculously large sum he receives as a per diem from this journal... I tell you, it's the last time I hire one of my wife's useless relatives...

[Editor's Notes: Eli sent me the basic text of the above copy in an email. I made a few minor changes to make it fit in a bit better stylistically, but it's a great addition to the VSF storyline as far as I am concerned. I wonder what's going to happen on Venus? There should be some kind of adventure their in the nearish future if I can pull a few things together. Stay tuned!]

15 November 2009

Tiny Towns!

Martian Towns Seen From On High!
From high above the Martian city of Gwalli-Andor, at night. The town is quite dark.

The villa of Kez Ra Tohnassi, the wealthiest merchant prince in Gwalli-Andor.

The Tower of Righteous Harmony and Conduct, a cross between city hall, royal palace and a temple.

All of these magnificent vistas were photostattted by our Lead Correspondent, Mr. Eli Arndt. He took the photostats from the highest of altitudes aboard a native kiteship. You can see the acres of shining white kur plants, whose fibers make an astonishingly sturdy fabric, lightwieght and airy. Something like a cross between cotton and silk, it is one of the staples of Martian dress.

We are looking forward to additional aerial photostats from Mr. Arndt as he travels across the Red Planet. As always, his despatches are eagerly awaited by our hungry audience.

[Editor's Notes: Eli has been making some 1/1200 Martian terrain from scratch for Land Ironclads and Aeronef gaming. He showed me these pictures of the work in progress, and, well, I thought they were absolutey brilliant and deserved a wide audience. I made up the names and background material for this post, but I hope he uses the town name at least - I know I will be using it more in the future.]

11 November 2009

Lest We Forget...

In America, today is Veteran's Day. It was once known as Armistice Day, commemorating the end of the First World War, then simply known as the Great War.

In the United Kingdom, it is Remembrance Day. More solemn, I think, than Veteran's Day. More like our Memorial Day, which is a day to commemorate the fallen.

Most of my readers like to play at war with little toy soldiers. A harmless enough pastime. But let us never forget that real wars, unlike those we fight in an afternoon across the tabletop, leave real casualties: wounded, maimed, mad and dead. Their sacrifice - their willingness to sacrifice - is what we honor on this day.

So to all veterans, of any branch of service, in any conflict or in peace, and of any nation friendly to the United States (that especially includes you Brits and Commonwealth types!), you have my most profound gratitude, and the gratitude of my wife and two sons, who live in peace and safety thanks to you.

I wish that the only wars we still fought were those on tabletop, but mankind just doesn't seem to be wired that way. Maybe one day we'll get a software upgrade that will resolve the 'bug'. Until then, thanks again for watching out for the rest of us, ladies and gentlemen of the armed services.

Martian Construction Projects

Two New Buildings Begin Construction

Two new native Martian structures are under construction at this time. They are made in the traditional manner, of fitted stone covered in a layer of gritty stucco. They also have the familiar 'dust lip' threshold around the structures to prevent the fine dust deposited by the numerous sand storms across the Red Planet's face from entering the building at ground level.

A manufactory, with large vents in the ceiling to release the heat and noxious gases of industrial production. These vents can be quickly shuttered in case of storm activity. The central node houses the elevator equipment that leads to the subterranean manufactory.

An opulent home in construction. Notice the large water vapor extractor unit on the roof of the building. Luxury indeed, to provide your own water. It is believed the owners may soon begin selling water to their less fortunate neighbors.
[Editor's Notes: These are nominally going to be in 25mm, but nothing scale-specific has been added yet.]

Giant Catapult Threatens Texians!

Massive War Engine Endangers Texas!

The massive war engine pictured above, in its nearly completed state, threatens to demolish obects along the Gulf Coast of Texas! Though difficult to tell in this photostat, it is taller than ten men, and can hurl a six foot boulder hundreds of feet! Flee in terror!

[Editor's Note: The picture above is of the trebuchet my son and I built for his science fair project. In 1/72 scale (1" = 6'), it would be about 80 feet tall. It throws a golf ball about 50 feet with a ten pound weight and a 18 inch throwing arm. We tested it with different lengths of arm and different counter weights. Ain't science fun?]

27 October 2009

Photos of some of today's efforts...

First up, a blue and yellow Gater... the skin is Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue and the bony scutes are done in Vallejo Intense Yellow. Lots of work still to do on hiim, of course (and on all of these, actually...)
Her Royal Majesty's Viceroy for the Crown Colony of Mars, His Lordship Sir Gerald Blythingham, 1st Earl of Mons Olympus. Working on the tweed jacket and the pinstripe trousers still. And brass buttons on the waistcoat, I should think?The Right Honourable Mister Percival Harlod Windsome, the Viceroy's rather useless son-in-law. Mister Windsome fancies himself quite a rugged outdoorsman, but would sulk terribly if he went on safari without his fine bone china and a decent cup of coffee, as shown here.

Here we see the first glimpse of the High Martians, strange creatures capable of flying! Though obviously related in some way to the more common Martians of the cities, steppes and canals, there are significant physiological and sociological differences. These primitives have retained a fleshy membrane much like a bat's wing, and generate hydrium naturally, which is then stored in the large hairy hump above their shoulders.

Well, that's it for tonight. Hope you liked the photos. I enjoyed getting them done and posted!

Paint That Hath Touched Brush, Hath Touched Lead!


Did a bit of painting today. Took the day off. Originally, had a class to attend, but that got cancelled, and as I already had a substitute lined up for the day... I decided that I needed a mental health day.

So, I broke out the paints and primed lead. Started four figures:
  • the leader for my black and red Gaters, with a spear
  • the leader for a new set of Gaters, in blue and yellow, also armed with a spear
  • His Lordship Sir Gerald Blythingham, 1st Earl Mons Olympus, Viceroy for the British Crown Colony on Mars [Colonel Marbles figure]
  • Hon. Percival Harold Windsome, the Viceroy's son-in-law [Foundry DA series], a classic upper-class twit
I also primed ten High Martians from Space 1889's Kraag Warriors box set [RAFM], which I purchased this summer at Historicon's flea market. As long as I was out there spraying stuff, I put the matt finish on the lizard dogs and some pigs (15mm), with two stands each for Mars and Venus. The men have to have something to eat, after all.

Finally, I started working on a large palace piece of terrain. It's an interesting bit of computer box cardboard being spraypainted to fit in the Martian landscape.

So, after a long (too long!) hiatus, I had a productive day of gaming endeavours to report. It feels good. Maybe I'll keep it up for a bit.

18 October 2009

Diorama for school = Excuse to buy terrain toys

Good evening, friends. I would like to tell you about a wonderful thing: the 8th grade diorama.

You see, my son has a project due tomorrow for his Language Arts class. They read the book Uglies, and had a choice of projets to do in relation to the novel. Greyson chose a diorama based around a scene in the book. The scene: two teens making a very long jump on hoverboards (think flying skateboard) off a cliff to the roof of a secure building built halfway into a hillside.

Enter Daddy, with pink foam and hotwire cutter! We made a long cliff that will look smashing on Venus when the project is returned (if it is returned - it looks good and teachers always keep the nice ones). And a low hill to boot.

And best of all, Momma didn't complain about me buying foamboard and spray paint and such, because it was 'all for the school project.' Naturally, the scraps won't go to waste. I love it when a plan comes together.

07 October 2009



Or somewhere, at any rate. Obviously, these fellows may be relatives of the bloodeye frogs of Venus. My eldest son, Greyson, found these at Historicon and bought a good number of them. It is his first real painting project. I think they look great for a 13 year old. Much better than I managed at the same age, I promise you!

I'm not positive of the sculptor, but the minis are avialable only through Eureka Miniatures. Nic Robson, the owner, came to H-con all the way from Australia, and was a really great guy. He seemed to enjoy talking with my boys all twenty times we visited his stand, and even sent along some rules for the amphibian lads! You can buy some direct from the US distributor at http://www.eurekaminusa.com/. Go now, and tell them I sent you! Look at the turtles too. We have some of those still waiting to be primed....

They still need to be based ( I need to get some bases ordered!), but I think they look awesome.

Finally, below is a shot of the newly based (but not yet dull coated) lizard dog thingy that I got from Splintered Light at Historicon. It is part of their 15mm Lizardman army, but the fellow manning the booth (whose name escapes me at the moment - sorry!) was very obliging when I asked if I could get just a few of these fellows. I love the three eyes.

02 October 2009

A gift for the memsahib, perhaps?


Steampunk jewelry. Some of it is pretty neat. So, if your memsahib is a fan of things steamy and punky, you might check it out. Sadly, She Who Must Be Obeyed around my home is not into that look.

Hope it helps.

And look, a real post!

30 September 2009

Another Zero Month - But Not Dead Yet!

First of all, an announcement of crucial importance:


I am truly beginning to hate this time of year. I am so busy, every night after work and all weekend long, between football with the boys and church commitments...

I haven't done anything but wish I had time for gaming activities. Not a drop of paint has been used. Not a single game played. the closest I have gotten to gaming in the past 30 days is bitching about not having any time to do it with my friends.

As for blogging, well, with no gaming going on, the blogging has slowed down. My small amount of free time has been wasted on Facebook, which is evil. And addictive. Ought to be a controlled substance.

This blog is NOT dead.

I promise it will be revived. My thirteen year old did paint up some of his Eureka frogs he bought from Nic at Historicon (Hi Nic!). I'll try to get a photo or tow of them posted. They are very nicely done, especially considering his relative lack of experience at painting. Honestly, much better than my stuff at the same age. MUCH better.

And I have actually thought about priming some of the Space 1889 High Martians I got at Historicon. Plus, a good buddy locally has been hinting we should paint up the 100 15mm Zulus I have laying about so we can play some TSATF colonials. Gotta get the juices flowing again!

Well, ladies and gents, all for now, but please come back around in a week or so and see if I have made any progress. And if not, let me know about it!


31 August 2009

End of Month Update.


Is that too specific for you? I finished absolutely nothing in August. Its been two weeks since my last posting here and I haven't done a thing. Facebook is evil.

That and the start of a new school year.

But I hope that September will be better. I pledge to finish at least twenty minis by the end of September. Considering how busy September is already shaping up to be, that may be ambitious. But I will try to get something done so that I can make interesting posts about it rather than this dull dreck which is probably costing me many followers.

Would it help if I mentioned midget soldiers as the troop of choice for my students as they go exploring the New World? They take up less space on the ship and need less supplies, you see. At least that's what one of my student groups is trying to convince me.

17 August 2009

He's Back!

I know it has been a while since I last posted on either of my blogs, and I apologize for that to those of you who find either site a source of entertainment and/or enlightenment.

To be perfectly honest, I have done practically nothing gaming related since returning from Historicon. Throw in a week long bout of the crud, and even less was accomplished. Mix in a bit of 'back-to-school/work', and top it all off with a hefty dollop of analysis paralysis and there you have it: the recipe for a total lack of progress.

That's not entirely true, of course. I did do a bit of sorting on projects. Showed my oldest son how to clean up a mini before painting (careful - those X-Acto blades are sharp, boy!), and even got in a game last Saturday (Napoleonics). I did manage to get the three artillery pieces Dane bought at Historicon's flea market based up, and they look pretty nice. Two for Martians, one for the Venusians (catapult).

The paralysis involves basing. Once upon a time, I had the idea of basing troops that were not capable of close order drill on round bases, and troops that were capable on square bases. So, for example, Martian militiamen on round, British regulars on square. I still think it is a great idea. So we come to execution. I have about 100 15mm Martians based on round bases. I used Litko's 0.8mm plywood and then added the flexsteel sheet under that. I like that Litko's stuff is precisely cut. But the flexsteel just doesn't seem to have the 'grab' that something like a plain old washer does. I have lately been using the square steel bases from Wargames Accessories for the square bases, and they grab pretty well. I think what I am going to have to do is rebase all my Martians. This also appeals because I have changed my Martian base material about three times in the last year or so, and rebasing would tie them all back together. I am just hesitant to pull the trigger on a fairly big job that will cost a bit of money (not a lot, but its that much less I can use to buy more lead).

Another new project that is about to take up some of my time is a school project. I am semi-seriously considering a wargaming club at the junior high school where I teach. It will probably have to wait until the spring semester, though. A friend has kindly donated a good number of Napoleonic plastics (1/72 scale, ESCI, Italeri, that sort of thing) and I think I can make it work. I'll need more figures (a little heavy on the French cavalry - anyone interested in some swapping?) and some sort of simple rules. And basing. Painting is going to be very simple at first. I'll spray paint the French a flat blue and the British a flat red. I might go so far as to paint in faces and hands with craft paints, and perhaps even black shakos and boots. I want to go cheap and fast, not hyper accurate. These are for young teens who have little respect for other peoples' property. Once I get a few hooked, maybe we'll do a painting session or two.

Does anyone have any suggestions on rules or anything for this project?

Enough blathering for now. Please let me know if you have any ideas to help get this club off the ground in the spring.

02 August 2009

July Monthly Wrapup

Sort of a busy month, July.

The biggest event was attending Historicon, obviously. Purchased a LOT of lead there. And I have started a bit on painting some of it. Call it 14 or so minis about 90% done except for bases (which I need to order more of - they rean out of the size I needed at Historicon!).

Got to play some games at Historicon, too, and that was fun. The game that I ran went pretty well, so no complaints on that score. Do wish I had been able to get another game on Saturday, but those are the breaks at the busiest con on the busiest day, I suppose.

Other game related progress was low. I did finish up 20 15mm Masked Minions in time for the game. No progress on the Aphid-class clone. A bit of terrain finished up, again for the game. Have been working on finishing the bases for about twenty minis painted by White Ape Studios for me, and almost done with those. Then they just need some dullcote and they're ready for the display cabinet and the battlefields of Venus.

So, projects for August:
  • Order more bases, plus some Reaper master Series paints for my son's frogs.
  • Finish lizard dogs, pigs and werewolves.
  • Finish bases for explorer, and lizardmen.
  • Prime, paint, and base High Martian box set (20 figures)
  • Finish at least 20 15mm Aetherbattallion troops and officers
  • Finish Martian masked leader.
  • Finish 10 Martian sepoys (25mm)
  • Prime paint and base prototype Gashant rider.

It's a tall order. Wish me luck!

24 July 2009

Regarding Historicon Poll vs. Purchases

The results of the Historicon poll were very close. 25mm Martians came in first, followed by Masked Minions and then Germans. All the rest lagged behind a bit.

So, let's compare that to what I bought at Historicon.

As far as Martians go, all I purchased was a box of High Martians (the flying guys) [RAFM]. My son also bought some Mage Knight cannons that will probably be pressed into Martian service, as they are sort of primitive looking and bulky and just look 'right.'

For the Masked Minions, I purchased a 4 figure gun crew [Parroom Station]. I also bought a Smoke Launcher [Parroom Station] for them to crew. The gun may be used by others, of course. And it may not always be a Smoke launcher. Suppose I need rules for the poisonous cloud that it fires off. Maybe a blast template that wanders with the wind? Green-sprayed battening on an old CD base? Bears thinking about.

For our third place contestant, the Germans, I bought infantry and a massive artillery piece. Again, the artillery piece could be used by anyone, really. It is the Steampunk Cannon [JR Miniatures]. Having a stubby, mortar-like appearance, I also want to make a barrel extension for it (removable, of course) so that it can be made to look like a big fortress piece. Shouldn't be too difficult, as the barrel of the original mortar is tapped quite deeply. I'll explain my idea for it when I get around to doing it. The infantry I chose were the Prussian infantry of Parroom Station.

So, that's it for now. I have gotten a few minis primed and hope to get something painted up today or tomorrow so that I can work on those Pledge numbers I can already see I will be needing more bases. But that's going to wait at least a month for my bank account to recover from our show purchases and travel expenses.

21 July 2009

Historicon, Day Three

Okay, the last full day of Historicon was Saturday. And this report isn't posting until Tuesday. After yesterday's mammoth purchasing report, I thought it would be better to postpone this post another day. So why didn't I post it Sunday? Too busy traveling home. Anyway, on the the report...

I didn't get in a single game on Saturday. Both my games were cancelled (one a simple no-show). And I wasn't able to squeeze into anything that seemed interesting to me. So, no gaming for J. That made three games in a row cancelled, by the way, although I was able to get into a game Friday night to replace the cancelled one.

The boys played in two games: Destroy all Monsters (another Godzilla movie-monster game) and Ribbit! (GASLIGHT, using Eureka's new frogs and turtles, by Buck Surdu). In short, Destroy all Monsters stunk, and Ribbit! was awesome.

A blurry shot of the South American War Snail

Dane and another boy move the North American troops. Note the Self Propelled Gunturtle in the foreground.

A closeup of Dane's Heavy Frog Cavalry. Slaughtered to a frog by the War Snail!
Painted by Buck Surdu, I think. Minis by Eureka Miniatures.
Greyson and Dane at the start of RIBBIT!
A very cool German Flying contraption at a Pulp game I couldn't get into.
Lots of awesome pulp-y goodness in that one!
Lots more pictures in the new Photobucket Album I created, titled "Historicon 2009". Catchy title, innit? Check the sidebar for it!

20 July 2009

Home Again, Home Again

We arrived safely back home last night, but I was too tired from travelling to do much of anything, so I put all of this off until today.

The Haul

15 mm
4 x Scif Fi plants [QRF, SF-10]
1 x Zulu War British Supply Wagon w/ Driver and Oxen (painted) [Flea Market, but I think Old Glory]
6 x Horkuns [Splintered Light Minis]
4 x Lizard dogs [Splintered Light Minis, from the Lizardman Army deal]
8 x Pigs [East Riding Miniatures]
6 x Werewolves [ATH (?) - at Syr Hobbs booth]
1 x Wraith Golgoth [AT-43 Damocles set]
1 x Fire Toad [AT-43]
9 x UNA Steel Troopers [AT-43]
8 x Therian Storm Golems [AT_43]
5 x X-Squad with Jetpacks [Jeff Valent Studios, Great Rail Wars]
10 x Prussian Infantry [Parroom Station]
4 x Masked Minion Crew [Parroom Station]
1 x Smoke Launcher [Parroom Station]
7 x Russo-Turkish War Turks [Outpost Wargames Service]
11 x Colonial Japanese Infantry [Falcon Miniatures]
4 x Colonial Japanese Cavalry [Falcon Miniatures]
20 x Zulu War British (including officers) [Empress Miniatures]
2 x Zulu War British Rocket battery crew (including rocket launcher) [Empress Miniatures]
20 x ECW Pikemen, including command [Foundry]
2 x Owlbears [flea market]
1 x War Ape [Chainmail]
2 x Skeletal Dogs [Chainmail]
5 x Sailors [Paint N Take]
20 x High Martians [RAFM, for GDW Space 1889]
4 x Plastic Romans [Warlord giveaway]
2 x Plastic Napoleonic British Riflemen [Warlord Giveaway]
1 x Plastic ECW Firleock [Warlord giveaway]
1 x Dwarf Gyrocopter
3 x Space Marine [GW]
1 x Chaos Marine
1 x Skink
1 x Dead Sun gladiator
1 x Kzhag Ork
1 x Space pirate [?]
1 x Nepharite
1 x swordsman [Paint N take]
1 x Ork pirate
10 x Turtles (5 2-turtle sniper teams) [Eureka Miniatures]
20 x Frog Infantry, various sorts [Eureka Miniatures]
3 x Frog Cavalry [Eureka Miniatures]
1 x Frog Cannon (with 6 crew) [Eureka Miniatures]
1 x Mage Knight Mortar
1 x Mage knight Cannon
1 x Mage Knight Catapult

Plus a bunch of miscellaneous stuff that I won't detail here, but including terrain, some Napoleonic ships, dice, card games, etc., etc.

By my count, that's about 227 miniatures of various scales, if you include artillery pieces as seperate, but not mounts or vehicles. About 20 are already painted and ready for the table. The rest vary from bare lead/plastic to partially finished. And at least 7 (the Warlord giveaways) are probably not counting against the Pledge, as they were not bought and not planned. So only about 200 minis to add to the Pledge! Plus 60 or so more Old Glory 15mm colonials that arrived in the mail while I was out, a gift from a friend (THANKS DAN! YOU ROCK!). Oh, and all the frogs and turtles are my sons's, as are the Space Marines and some other things. So take another 40 away there, I suppose.

I better get painting...

18 July 2009

Historicon Day Two, in Photos...

As promised, here are a few photos from Day Two. Enjoy.
The boys in the Wild West, early in the morning.

A buzzard alights next to the first victim of hot lead poisoning. What a great idea!

A shot of some of the terrain for the FOW Tournament - very nice! This was Savio River, I think.

My Game at setup... a lot more figures at the beginning than were left at the bloody end.

March to the Sound of a Heatray - Valor Steel and Flesh Rules.
In the center, the Prussians advance, flanked on right by the British and the left by the French.

Historicon, Day Two...

Reports from the front coming in... pictures to follow...

So, it's early (ish) on Saturday morning. Last night was a bit late, so I put off blogging until now. Sorry about that. The Yuengling may have had something to do with it. That's my excuse, anyway.

Day 2 started early with an 0800 game. The boys tried out a new (to them) set of Western rules called "High Noon." The folks putting it on had a HUGE (200+ square feet!!!) table set up, with towns, ranches, deserts, Indian villages and mesas. Unfortunately, the boys lost (they were on a team together), but they did have a couple of very dramatic moments, including one point in which Dane dove a character through a window, came up with guns blazing, and killed one of the cowboys.

Next up was my game, "After the Unobtainite". Happily, I had all six players show up, so I had a full game. I think everyone had a good time, and I made no major mistakes. HMLS Prince Charles burned down about ten Martians before succumbing to multiple hits from the Martian artillery. Another high point of the game was when one of the Soldaten went rogue and charged into the unsuspecting back of a squad of Maton's Masked Minions! The British force was virtually annihilated in the end, and the automatons were plagued with mechanical difficulties, leading the Martians in good position to destroy the pack animals which were carting off their unobtainite for the wetland devils. Colonel Sir Harlan Sanders, KFC, will have a hard time explaining his losses once he returns to the Crown Colony!

The boys hit the painting table while I was running my game, and Dane even got a class in painting for beginners in. They continued to practice painting at the Paint N Take Event. You will see that mentioned again, as they have spent a lot of time there! Thankfully, I have checked with the ladies in charge (Heather is the best!), and I am proud to say they have gotten glowing reports on model behavior. I suspect bribery...

Next up was a trip through the dealer's area, and the flea market. I picked up a couple of things for a friend of mine back in Houston, and the boys found a new copy of a game called AT-43 (science fiction) for half off, and pooled together to buy it. It's nice because the minis are pre-painted and neat looking, so you can pretty much play as soon as you open the box. Dane also bought a few minis at the flea market, while Grey and I went looking (unsuccessfully, so far) for some Reaper brand paints. Those may just have to wait until we get back home to order some for him.

My 1900 game - the one I was probably most looking forward to, Airfleet Battles by GASLIGHT, was cancelled as Chris was very ill. I did manage to get into another game that I had wanted to try which was run using the rules "Valor, Steel and Flesh." That was fun, and the minis (by Parroom Station - the game was run by the sculptor, Bob Charette, incidentally) were fantastic. I wish I had taken a few more closeup shots of the tanks, especially. I played the Prussians in an Earth Alliance attack on a pass held by Martians. The infantry did well for me, but neither of my tanks could hit anything. I think it must have been Oktober, and the tank crews were celebrating a bit much the night before. Hangovers are not good for accurate gunnery. Honestly, I don't know if it was possible for us to take the pass, but we gave it a good solid try, and the sands of Mars are a bit more red as a result!

Grey and Dane had a game at 2000, in which they each took command of a 25mm scale buccaneer ship. They didn't win their game (we have had some rotten luck this weekend!), but did have fun. Dane blamed a couple of his allies for getting in his way so that he couldn't come to grips with the enemy, as he ended up the game essentially unharmed, but frustrated in most of his attempts to blast the British ships he was raiding.

So, once my game was finished I checked in on the boys (who still had an hour to go) and then I hit the free beer line. Yes, you heard me: Free. Beer. Yuengling Lager, no less, which I am rather fond of but have a hard time getting my hands on in Texas! Got my beer, called up my friend Patrick (Gallowglass of TMP fame), and went to hang out for a bit. He was just starting to run a Moderns game (Ambush Alley, I think), so he was busy, but I chatted with a few other players while there.

Anyway, except for the cancelled game, which I luckily replaced with another game I wanted, Day Two was another good day of fun for us all at Historicon.

I'll post Day Two photos later. Promise!

16 July 2009

Historicon, Day 1

Actually, it's kind of Day Two, as we got our registration stuff last night after we arrived in Lancaster, PA. But as we had our first full day here, we'll go with it. Speaking of registration, we had one major problem there: the boys' registrations were lost somewhere in the Internet. Mine came through just fine but theirs just went poof. So they sort of lost their pre-registered games. However, the convention staff is trying their best to help get them into their original games and letting them into the usual one sign-up per day as well.

We started the day at 12, with both boys playing in Monster Island II, each of them taking a giant monster and trying to become King of Monsters. Greyson was Godzilla, and Dane was Gamera. Grey was eliminated pretty early, but Dane came in third! Right after that, Dane had another game, this one based loosely on the Lord of the Rings. His side (the Good Guys) lost badly. He had rotten luck with his dice rolls and his allies were not much help either. Oh well...
Greyson, moving Godzilla against the military base!

Dane, planning Gamera's first move...

General Dane preparing to order his subordinates into battle against the Trolls and Uruk-Hai!

We all hit the Paint N Take for about an hour, then off to the Dealer Room, which is HUGE! Greyson got some of the new Eureka Frog Cavalry mounted on giant toads, and some frog infantry as well. Dane hasn't spent anything yet, but I think tomorrow may be his day - he's waiting for the flea market!

After supper, the boys played some Battletech for a little while and I went to my game for the day, a big Spy Game extravaganza hosted by Howard Whitehouse (aka Mexican Jack Squint on TMP). I played John Shaft - you got that right!

Random photo, but check out the dust columns under the choppers!

14 July 2009

300th Issue!

Journal Reaches 300th Article!

Yes, good friends and readers, it is time to break 0ut the champagne (only thing the Froggies have gotten right, what?) and toast the milestone achievement of 300 articles of varying sorts and quality posted into this telephonic differencing engine journal!

Stay with us for the next three hundred or so. Your humble correspondent hopes to continue to entertain and enlighten you all with tales of battle, reports of nefarious intrigues, the mysteries of Venus, and educated articles on the people, places, flora and fauna of the Solar System.

13 July 2009

Tomorrow's the Day!

Tomorrow afternoon, my sons and I will board a plane for Philadelphia, PA. We are off to Historicon in Lancaster! We are all very excited about the trip, but I am the only one feeling nervous about it as well. I sure hope my game goes off well.

An update on the Masked Minion minis: they have all been painted (finished that Saturday night). Despite a terrible migraine yesterday (all better now, thanks!), I managed to get them Dipped so that it would have a chance to dry for at least 24 hours before I dullcote and base - which are this evening's projects.

I'm looking forward to seeing the results of the poll I posted a couple of weeks ago. There's been a lot of participation. Thanks for that. Right now, it looks as if I'll be working in 25mm for a bit, either on Martians, Minions, or Germans. The results are very close between those three - so vote quickly if you haven't already, as the poll ends in about 13 hours!

Finally, for today, I want to announce that I should be able to blog FROM the convention. That's right! I should be able to post from Historicon, complete with a few pictures of the various sights and games. This is made possible by the wonders of technology and my wife wanting a new Dell Mini laptop, which I agreed to if I got to take it to Historicon.

Wish me luck!

10 July 2009

Masked Minions Unveiled!

These are two prototypes of the masked minions, one of the regular riflemen and an officer/NCO type. They are mercenaries working for Professor Maton, at least next week at Historicon they will be. A month from now, who knows? They are masled mercenaries, after all.

The coat is brown, as are the trousers. Helmet is steel, mask is brass. Leatherwork is reddish brown. Green epaulettes and collar (on the officer)

Obviously, still need to add the Dip and base work. Before Tuesday. Yikes!

The minis, by the way, are Regiment Games' 15mm Prussian Kanaltruppen from the Mars or Die range.

07 July 2009

Pre-Historicon Notes

Okay, so we leave for Pennsylvania in a week. Both the boys and myself are pre-registered for the convention. I have reservations for Lancaster hotel room and rental car, and plane tickets to Philly have been purchased.
I've talked with TSA at the airport about the best way to transport my minis. They said carry-on was fine, but it would probably be a good idea to inform the screeners what was in the bag before sending it through the x-ray machine. As far as terrain is concerned, I guess I am going to have to pack it in one of our bags. It's mostly just bulky, not heavy, and I think all the pieces I am bringing will fit conveniently into one bag. So I gotta get that packed up. I was hoping for maybe one more playtest, but that's just not gonna happen at this point I don't think. And I am still not happy with my cheesy felt road, but maybe I can find something affordable to use instead on Thursday in the vendors' hall.
So what am I missing? These first time game-presenter jitters are driving me crazy. I'm glad my game is Friday at 1 PM, so that I will get it out of the way and I can enjoy the rest of the convention. I know I am missing something in my preparations. But I can't think of what it is!
On the blogging front, I should have internet availability during the convention, so I am going to try to post each day. Well, each night, is more likely. And I have a photo of the annoying hunter from Jim's Venusian Tales to post as well. But not right now. Got to give you something to look forward to, after all!

04 July 2009

Independence Declared!

Okay, so maybe it was 233 years ago... it still rocks!

Happy Independence Day!

Now go out and shoot off some fireworks, barbecue a nice brisket, and drink a few cold beverages.

01 July 2009

New Month, New Poll...

So, the poll question is this: After Historicon, what VSF project should I concentrate on next?
  • 15mm Germans - I have about twenty or so Aetherbattalion [OG Boxer Seebattalion] to paint up already, plus I need to get some regular line infantry, artillery and probably some cavalry as well.
  • 25/28mm Germans - I have a few (5-6?) Aetherbattalion KFG troops [GW Mordian Iron Guard] left to paint. Need to buy 8 more fliegerjaegers [Eureka Minis], plus a good twenty Seebattalion to turn into Aetherbattalion regulars, and another twenty or thirty line infantry. Plus artillery, vehicles (already have some hulls for that), and again, thinking about cavalry. Yes, I like cavalry. I just hate painting horses. I could put them on my steam horses, which are already painted [Mage Knight].
  • 25/28mm British & Sikhs - Need to finish the R&D Platoon (4-5 left to finish) [GW Praetorians], plus seriously considering the Empress Miniatures to replace my older Minifigs redcoats (20-ish). I have ten or twenty Gurkhas [Ral Partha?] and about 17 Sikhs [Foundry] in bare metal as well. Oh, and 9 more Martian sepoys [RAFM Space 1889]. Get some Bengal Lancers, and mount them on some mechanical cats I already have [Mage Knight], perhaps painted like Bengal tigers?
  • 25/28mm Martians - I have ten shield gunners, ten Gashant riders, and twenty archers [All RAFM Space 1889] in need of paint. Plus the previously mentioned sepoys. I want some sverdlinker fanatics [Parroom Station], maybe 20 or so of them. And some plain sword-toting Martians.
  • 15mm Texicans - I do need to work on them some more. I have some minis already [Freikorps' SAW American Infantry], but will need more if I am going to fight real battles using the Texicans.
  • 15mm Papal Troops - Also not a high priority. I have the lead, but not the focus on them right now. Should I reconsider?
  • 25/28mm Masked Minions - These are human mercenaries, originally for Professor Otto Maton. I have ten of them, making one GASLIGHT unit [Parroom Station minis], all bare metal as of now. I want to get ten more, plus an artillery crew, the machine gun team (maybe 2) and some of the weird artillery, and 8 more Clockwork Soldiers [also Parroom Station]. If I do this, I need to get the Weird Scientist artillery crew as well, so I can use the weird science artillery for other armies. While I'm at it, I ought to get more steam spiders [Wyrd Miniatures] and toolbots [Reaper Miniatures, Chronoscope line] for Maton's mechanical menaces. And a vehicle (or two) of some sort.
  • 2mm Aeronef - I have about 27 of these in totally bare lead. [Brigade Models] I have five painted up for the Papal States, 2 more almost done (just need flags and dullcote).
Give me your opinions please! Or should I concentrate on something totally different?

29 June 2009

Preliminary Fliegerjaeger Stats (GASLIGHT)

Die fliegerjaeger need to have statistics and some rules worked up for them. I have some preliminary ideas as to how they will operate, but the rules will need testing.

The flieger gear allows a model so equipped to move at Soar 24 for one action. The model automatically comes back to ground at the end of the action. It requires re-winding as well, which is handled the same as a Reload action. Models can charge directly into combat with the flieger gear. Also, the gear is attached to a breastplate. This armor gives an Extra a Save of 5 from long range smallarms fire and Scuffle attacks.

Flieger packs (die fliegertornister) are heavy. Any model wearing one has a 2" reduction in their movement on land, and can not swim at all. Landing in water automatically kills the model. The packs are also rather awkward in close combat. When in melee, any model wearing a fliegertornister has a -2 modifier to their Scuffle attribute. There is no effect on Shooting. Finally, no model wearing a flieger pack can enter a normal building entrance. Barn doors, okay, but a standard door or window? Forget about it. Flieger packs may be removed by using one action. Putting them on again would require another action.

Other Thoughts:
I am considering giving fliegerjaeger a bonus to Scuffle on the turn they charge, if they charge in flight. This is to represent the large whirling blades which could be used as a weapon. On the other hand, you could argue that the difficulty of controlling such awesome weapons of whirling death would offset the massive damage they would do. Perhaps a SRM modifier insted of a Scuffle modifier? Or even a modifier on the charged unit's Morale test (+1 to the roll?) to stand their ground in the face of the charge? It would be pretty scary, I think.

Regarding the weapons of the fliegerjaeger, officers are armed with pistols. NCOs and jaegers are armed with reciprocating carbines (Karabineautomatische) designed by the KFG for their use. Use the regular GASLIGHT stats for a submachine gun (Range: 6/12, SRM-10, ROF 2).

Fliegerjaeger Photos

Hauptmann Captured On Static Plate!

From Neu Berlin, we have received static plates of the leader of die Fliegerjaeger. He is equipped with a fantastic invention for personal mobility designed by the Kaiserlich Forschungsanstalt fur Geheimewaffen (KFG). The long blades above the captain's head are sent whirling in a circle at astonishing speed, which forces air downward, lifting the soldier straight up into the air! Powered by an ingenious spring arrangement, the device does not last long, but can allow troops to cross thick or difficult terrain in long jumps rather than slowly crossing by foot.

The captain is also armed with a repeating pistol attached to a stock for use as a carbine. His eyes are protected with goggles from the debris flung about by the downdraft of air from his flieger gear.

One can only hope that the scientists of Britain will find some way to counter this astonishing device.

28 June 2009

Armed Forces Day (UK)

Okay, so technically speaking, yesterday was Armed Forces Day for the United Kingdom.

So, I suppose this is a belated honor, but:

To the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen of the United Kingdom:

In 1940, you stood alone against the Nazis.

Now, you stand with your allies against terrorism.


26 June 2009

Vardu Plans

The following is a quote lifted from copy text Matt Beauchamp of Hydra Miniatures' blog. It was posted two years ago...

Xenophobic and defensive in nature, the humanoid plant race of the Vardu rarely travel far from their native rainforests. The Vardu are not one species of plant-being, rather they are a variety of different species linked by collective intelligence of their surroundings. Silent yet ferocious when provoked, the Vardu use dried organic weapons from the forest - large seedpods on rigid stems become clubs, enormous dried leaves become blades. The humanoid Vardu warriors tower over most enemies on the battlefield. Their gnarled bodies are a mass of tendrils formed into strong sinews. A thick wooden hide usually protects their central bodies and their limbs and body often sprout incredible sharp thorns. Their blossom-like "heads" contain all of their sensory and sexual organs and are often opened dramatically in battle to enhance their awareness, aid in comunication, and frighten invaders. the Vardu reproduce by budding, and small sproutlings emerge from the leaf-like structures that project from their backs. These sproutlings finally drop to the ground and gain mobility, easily swarming invaders. The exotic Vardu elders are rather exotic and are easily identified by an abundance of brilliantly colored, feather-like petals sprouting from their heads and backs. Covered in sharp spines and rough barky armor, the Vardu blood thorns are the most dangerous close combat warriors of the forest. Breeds of smaller, muscular, carnivorous quadrupeds known as maw hunters serve as the "hunting dogs" of the Vardu. their strong limbs allow them to overrun their enemies and their gaping maws can make short work of their prey. Ambling quietly along the forest floor, the sporers are bloated multi-limbed fungi with massively oversized heads. A distinctive whoosh sound can be heard as the plant-thing launches a powdery cloud of spoors, choking all non-plant creatures in the vicinity. These floating clouds of spoors are also used to cloud enemies vision, thus allowing the Vardu warriors to advance undetected.

So far, only the Vardu sprouts have been released. I own twenty, for use on Venus in both 15mm and 25mm scale, although they are technically supposed to be 25mm miniatures. I love the scale-neutrality of the sprout figures, which stand between 20 and 24mm tall. As Matt himself says, "They'd be perfect for pulp/VSF games..."

Why do I bother to post about this? I am hoping to drive more business Matt's way so that he'll produce more figures. You should definitely check out his Retro Raygun stuff too, for retro-looking robots that make for great VSF automatons (see them elsewhere on this blog!).

And for the record, I have no financial interest of any sort in Hydra Miniatures, nor have I ever met Matt personally. Just a very happy customer who is looking forward to more products from a talented sculptor.