What should I work on next?

12 November 2012

Out of my Cave for a Moment...

   I have been woefully absent from any sort of gaming for the past three months or so, thanks largely to my nasty grad school habit taking up almost all of my free time (time not spent working, eating, sleeping, or spending time with the family). But today I took a few moments to peek about some of my old haunts, and found some treasures.

   Parroom Station makes some of my favorite VSF minis. And Bob Charrette there is rolling out a new game, called Secret Science. I have played in one of the demos at Historicon a couple of years ago, and enjoyed it. But the game is about to be made available, and there have been postings at the Parroom Times Despatch that include many photos of upcoming miniatures. Lots of goodies, one of which I have snagged (sorry Bob, hope you don't mind the publicity) to show you what I mean.

Ol' Number 17

   One of the neat things that they are producing is a set of exhausts for the automatons, to indicate different motive forces. Another awesome thing is the expansion of Masked Minions, with alternate heads (comes with the old style as well, which I will keep to, personally). And finally, a preview of some 'enslaved' troops, with freaking mind control helmets. Mind control helmets! I must have some. Exactly the sort of thing the Tsar would do to political dissidents...

   I was going to ask for guns for Christmas this year. Real ones, not models, that is. But... I may have to have some toys. I mean, really... just add more to the Lead Mountain in the game room.

23 September 2012

Bring on the Lizardman of Tribe Khurrasssann

   You see here the entirety so far of the lizardmen of the Tribe Khurrasssann. Thirty of the buggers (not forty, as previously reported), ready for battle. Now I just need to work on their support troops, the salamanderi, and the heavy cavalry. My thanks to good friend Tom, who painted up twenty of these for me. Tom is lightning fast with a brush, I gotta say.

The entire horde.

Comparison shot of mine and Tom's.
Tom's needs static grass and clearcoat.

Some Photostats of Summer Work

   Not entirely sure if I have posted these photos before. This is some of what I did manage to accomplish this summer.

A granary, for Venusians

A French Armoured Dig, for either 6mm or 1/1200

Two stout English lads, on Mars. (Empress Figures)

Doctor Vardu, who manipulates the very thread of life into unnatural weaves...

A heliograph section (15mm, Peter Pig)

The Colonel seems to have something on his coat sleeve. 
"Hmmph. Bloody lazy batman."

20 September 2012


   It has been a spell since last I subjected the internet to my insanity...

   And with grad school currently kicking my arse all over the place, might be a bit longer before there is anything of substance. Sorry Charles.

   Not much to report, honestly. Had a friend paint up the rest of my Khurasan lizardmen. They look quite nice, and I will take pictures as soon as I take the time to get some basing done. Maybe this weekend. That'll give me 40 of the blighters ready to terrorize Venus.

   Must dash. 50 more pages to read tonight so I can write my paper tomorrow night.

14 July 2012

The Naked Celtic Wargame Society: The Steam Tank Project

   Worth looking at. I especially like the use of a panzergrenadier trailer... an idea that might get stolen.

The Naked Celtic Wargame Society: The Steam Tank Project: Prussian improvised steam tank. This is one of my latest WIP for the new Martian scenario.  My Prussians just did not have enough suppor...

06 July 2012

Interesting eBay finds

   Found these models when looking for a way to recreate the vehicle found in this TMP post. I thought the Triarch Stalker would make a good vehicle for a Mad Scientist bent on Domination of the Solar System.

Triarch Stalker (40K) Proxy / Alternative: $50 from here

SM / SoB Whirlwind Alternate: $16 from here.

Necron Scarab Alternate (x12): $10 from here.

   The eBayer who has these also has other interesting 40K proxies that could be used for VSF projects, I think. Worth a few seconds to take a peek, at any rate.

05 July 2012

Hospitals Suck

   Especially UTMB. If you are in the Houston area, stay out of these people's clutches if at all possible.

   My wife went in hospital for severe back pain and leg weakness last Saturday, released Tuesday but is essentially bed ridden and pretty dependent on me. This is why I have done no hobby work to report on to you all. She is doing better (a bit), but still not out of the woods. If you are the praying sort, please add her to your list (Chandra). Thanks.

29 June 2012

VSF - The Modern Major General: New Blog!

VSF - The Modern Major General: New Blog!: OK, so here's the new blog - all I need to do is try to work out how to use it and what to put in it! Basically, I have enjoyed reading so...

Tube Tool

   If you make your own models, or convert models, or just like to customize models some, and you have ever needed tentacles or cables, this tool might be for you. It is called the Masq-Mini Transparent Tube Tool, and it looks really easy to use with some pretty good results.

   You can read a review of the tool on Graven Games' blog. Which, incidentally, is where I got the images you see here.

27 June 2012

Handwavium Found on Venus

   The following photostats show a new set of handwavium crystals. The green rock powers the most amazing of modern technologies by providing intense heat without consuming oxygen.

[Editor's Note: This is a new set of resin crystals my sons bought from Acheson Creations a few years ago at Historicon, I think. I saw it sitting around, and just decided to finish it. Very handy for VSF terrain and objectives.]

26 June 2012

Micro Art Studios

   I saw these while bouncing about the internet. Thought they might be of interest to some folks, especially the bug tank. They are from Micro Art Studios.

24 June 2012

HMAS Dragonfly... almost there...

   Almost finished... so, a few more pictures.

View from portside. Notice porthole in lower deck.

View from aft. Propeller shaft and rope railings clearly visible.

Portside. Embarkation point.

Starboard view of deckhouse. Note white ensign and Nordenfelt gun.

Main deck gun. (Not permanently attached yet)

Doctor Vardu's assistant, finished. I like the sunflower apron.

15mm Peter Pig Heliograph team (part of it), nearing completion.

   I threw in a couple of other pictures of stuff I am working on while I was at it.

23 June 2012

The People Have Spoken!

   And thus, the heretofore unnamed scout Aeronef shall henceforth be known in the RNAS rolls as...


   Work is nearing completion on this project. I have installed the rope railing around the entire deck, attached the lower hull to the upper, and the tail section as well. The Nordenfelt has been mounted, the white ensign attached, and very little still waiting completion.

   What is left to do? I need to attach the scratchbuilt hatch onto the superstructure. I need to touch up some spots where handling has rubbed the paint thin. I need to attach the deck gun. I need to print a decal with the ship's name and attach it. The whole model needs to be clear-coated. Finally, I need to devise a flying stand of some sort. To the Dollar Store!

DRAGONFLY              Dragonfly                          (Stencil)

DRAGONFLY             Dragonfly                         (Algerian)

DRAGONFLY                          Dragonfly                             (Black Adder)

DRAGONFLY               Dragonfly                                    (Brush Script)

DRAGONFLY                   Dragonfly           (Copperplate Gothic)

DRAGONFLY           Dragonfly (Engravers)

DRAGONFLY              Dragonfly           (Lucida Calligraphy)

DRAGONFLY                  Dragonfly                    (Old English Text)

16 June 2012

Fan Boy Gushing Moment

  I was just checking out Frank Chadwick's Space: 1889 blog, and noticed that Victoria's Boys in Red is mentioned in his links.

   Yes, I think it is cool that the guy who wrote the game that got me interested in VSF in the first place oh so many moons ago knows about my little blog.

   I know, it's kinda sad. But in a cool way.

13 June 2012

Unnamed Scout Nef Project

  A few shots to see what has been going on. I decided to go with the rope and stanchion railing as suggested by the poll. The first photo shows how I did it. Simply, it is some 1/16" brass tube cut with a razor saw to about 20mm lenght, inserted into holes I drilled in the model with my Dremel. To that, I used superglue to attach some beading cord that looks like braided manila. I had thought to use some small brass rings glued to the stanchions and then run the cord through them, but could not find any that I liked well enough.

Rope Railing Closeup

Upper Hull Section
   You may note the change in color scheme. I decided to match a historical pattern of the Victorian Royal Navy, with black hull, white superstructure, and yellow ochre stack. Also, questioning the use of ventilators. It came with a pair, but I don't know that I want to use them.

   The tail I am considering painting a blue-white-red roundel upon the upper half. Also need to figure out how to do a decal for the name - which I need to decide upon! Check out the poll for that, please!

Tail section assembled, needing more paint. Roundel?

Newest Lower Hull. Help from a Mad Man in a Blue Box?

   Changed the lower hull plan from the original idea. Originally it had two resin portholes on each side, but the starboard pair were damaged at some point, so I cut them all off. Then I added round gunports over the four portholes, going to fit each with a Hotchkiss rotary cannon. But once I looked at it, I decided that it was over-gunned at that point. Cut off those ports, added a washer to each side for a single porthole - that's the engineering area, not a passenger lounge, after all!

  Plenty of work still to go. Need to finish cutting the stanchions for the main deck's railing, finish painting the deck gun and the Nordenfelt for the pilot house deck, need to make a hatch for the roof of the pilot house, finsih painting the details, and then there is asssembly! Oh, and a line for the ensign, of course! I was thinking smokestack to rear of the armoured boiler box. I've some small-ish eye pins I could set in for that.

Name the Scout Aeronef

   She needs a name! I've started a poll to help, but not sure I have all the names that I liked on it.

   Wikipedia lists all the gunboats of the Royal Navy here.

   Vote in the poll, and if you chose "Other", give me the name in the comments here, please.

French Cuirassier Mechanique

  From Agent Skrapwelder, we have received this item: a French mechanickal walker! Apparently, napoleon III has decided to get involved in mechanickal warfare, probably at the urging of his Minister of Science, Jules Verne. Better late than never, and an excellent first piece.

   As you can clearly see, this two-legged, steam-driven device is fitted with a heavy armour glacis plate, and armed with a Gatling-style machine gun and a spar torpedo underneath. The open cockpit provides the cuirassier piloting it with excellent visibility, while still able to duck behind the thick glacis for protection. The device on the shield is from His Imperial Majesty's coat of arms.

[Editor's Notes: This was converted from a GW Sentinel by Skrapwelder. I purchased it from him about two months ago, and repainted the shield to my taste. The rest of the work, minus a few paint touchups here and there, is all his. It is the first piece of 28mm VSF I have for the French.]

11 June 2012

For the record...

...food poisoning sucks.

I'll be back tomorrow with some updates on the scout aeronef.

09 June 2012

French Automata?

   I was perusing the telephonic differencing engine web this fine Saturday morning, simply gadding about, you know, when I came across a few mechanickal designs that interested me. I believe the attached photostats will give you an excellent idea of what is made. They come from a "Cygnar," which certainly sounds French to me. That, and their somewhat medieval-gothic design also reminds me of the sort of thing the French would admire, a throwback to the days of chivalry and all that.

Cygnar "Lancer"

   The medieval nature of this automata (or is it, perhaps, piloted?) is evident in not only the design of the 'head', but also the weaponry chosen. The long (probably galvanically charged) spear would be quite dangerous if it were to get close enough to one of Her Majesty's landships or armoured walkers, and the heavy defensive shield would provide some protection to allow it to get close.

Cygnar "Minuteman"

   This lighter "Minuteman" machine is obviously quite speedy. Armed with a pair of light cannon and six (!) mortars mounted in the shoulders, I can imagine it would be effective assaulting an infantry position. The downward pointing vents also hint at some sort of limited flight capacity, or perhaps are a braking mechanism for an assault by airship?

Cygnar "Cyclone"

   The last machine which I shall discuss today is the "Cyclone," so-named for the storm of bullets it appears capable of delivering. Twin rotary guns mounted under each arm would enable a veritable hailstorm of lead to pour forth from this fiendish device. Imagine the slaughter if our noble cavalry were to be found in the open before this monstrosity! Happily, it is a slow beast, and not as well protected as the Lancer. Still, it is sure to dominate any battlefield area in which it is given an open field of fire. I would suggest targeting the Cyclone with artillery until it is eliminated.

[Editor's Note: All three of these are available from Privateer Press for their Warmachine game. I cropped the photos from their website. No challenge is intended. I just like showing off neat minis and thinking of ways to use them in VSF games. I need to pick these up when I get started on the French. Maybe before then, so they don't go out of production before I am ready to go. Could be used as piloted for 15mm, surely, but not sure about it for 25/28mm - probably have to be automata in that scale.]

04 June 2012

Scout Aeronef, Part I

   I recently obtained a 25mm scale Scout Aeronef, made by Ironclad Miniatures, from someone on TMP. The casting looks very nice, but has a few flaws. The worst of these was the portholes on one side of the lower hull were about half gone. I don't know if it was a casting problem, or if they were chipped at some point afterwards. Either way, they were not going to work. So, I got creative.

Stock, primed gray.

   Here is my 'creative' solution: I cut off all four of the lower hull portholes and replaced them with these plastic fittings. The fittings are from my wife's O2 tanks, and I have been saving them as I could for something just like this! However, these do not match the perfectly good portholes on the upper hull or superstructure. So I decided they would be gunports instead!

   The plan is to make a set of four revolving barrel cannons to protrude from the gunports. 3-pdr Hotchkiss Revolving Cannons for a broadside armament! Huzzah!

As you can see, it needs more rivets. And some replacement rivets.

Starting to paint the upper hull and deck. Not glued yet.
   I had to do a few other minor repairs to get started, but the project is on! I should finish in a few weeks, as I am easily distracted by other projects and a massive "Honey-Do" list from the memsahib. Silly me, I thought that I had the summer off from work, being a teacher and all!

   Oh, does anyone recognize that piece in the background? It is not going to be fitted to the scout aeronef - too heavy. But it will see use.

30 May 2012

Colonel O'Truth's Miniature Issues: Suit You, Sir!

I guess today is "Link to other Blogs Day".  But if you don't already follow the Colonel's blog (and you should if you are a fan of all things VSF-y), you might miss his latest update on his current project. And that would be a shame.

Colonel O'Truth's Miniature Issues: Suit You, Sir!: Hi, All! Bazalgette Light Armoured Perambulatory Contrivance - ready for battle! ... almost... I've been threatening to update my repor...

One More Gaming Project: Quick and Easy 10mm/15mm Cemetery

As advertised, this is a very quick and easy terrain idea. And it has me thinking about an idea for the stanchions on the scout aeronef as well.

One More Gaming Project: Quick and Easy 10mm/15mm Cemetery: I needed to make a quick cemetery for the Cemetery Hill portion of my upcoming First Day of Gettysburg game at Origins. I got the idea to...

24 May 2012

Railing poll for the Unnamed Aeronef

   Ladies and gents, as I am suffering from over-analysis of a minor detail, I turn to you for assistance. At the top of the journal, you should see a poll. Please choose which option you think might look best for the scout aeronef. A few pictures here should help with your visualizations.

Roped Stantions. From Baron Von J.

Stantions available from Reviresco - with solid rails

  Any other thoughts, please feel free to comment!

22 May 2012

Now on the Table: Scout Aeronef

   I have just primed (in dark grey, if you must know) the casting of the Ironclads Miniatures Scout Aeronef that I purchased last month from Messer Skrapwelder. Soon it will be receiving the attentions of a brush!

Ironclad Miniatures's File Photo

   I like the model, but it has some casting flaws, especially around the portholes where it is thin. I am going to remedy this on the lower deck by making the portholes into gunports! A pair of Hotchkiss Revolviing Cannon in each broadside will teach Johnny Martian a bit of respect for Her Majesty's imperial authority!

   I also want to install a railing around the deck, a QF deck gun, another railing around the superstructure, possibly armoring the (currently) open superstructure instead. Maybe add a Nordenfelt up there as well? Any tips on how to do the railing would be appreciated.

19 May 2012

Fin Men of Venus

Rebel Minis just announced it's 15mm Deep Ones and though they certainly would work as such, their armament and long tails make them equally and perhaps better suited as yet another denizen of the jungle World of Venus. While they could be used as just another race of lizard men, I came up with a cool idea of them being some sort of swamp dwelling species that would be feared by all - the fin men.

Fin men would be a species of Venusians that would dwell in the murky water, their pale grey flesh melding them into the silt and muck, rendering them invisible to all bu the keenest eye. They would prey on the other beings of the jungle world, ambushing them when they ventured to close to the water's edge, taking them with club, claw and their long, jagged, snaring teeth. When fighting in force, it would be in the form of raiding parties, slipping through the dark jungles at night, pouncing on unsuspecting settlements and dragging their victims back to a certain doom beneath the quiet surface of the gloaming marshes and mires.


16 May 2012

From the Black Pyramid...

   Black Pyramid Gaming is a British company that I have purchased a few small items from and with which I  was quite pleased. Most of their VSF material is in their Tea Wars line. I just dropped by their website and saw a few items I did not recall. Thought you good souls might be interested in seeing them. There are other interesting items available on their website as well.

Medium Landship

   The landship comes with two other weapon choices (not shown), and accessories to be added on. You can add an external boiler, a coal bin and smoke stacks, and sponsons, either single or double.  Not the cheapest 28mm landships around, but it does look pretty nice.

Mycroft Holmes (and his valet)

    Holmes is in an armoured, steam-powered conveyance. This happens sometimes when you are an important government official - safety from common street thuggery, you know.

Iron Men
   Of these I am very much not fond. Too static, too rigid. Honestly these, and the companion Iron Men II set, are my very least favorite minis in the range. Just do not like them.

Lord Fecitt

   On the other hand, I really like this set of figures. The steam-powered penny farthing is wonderful, and the mechanical dog is great, too.

General Gordon
      General Charles "Chinese" Gordon with a 'steampunk' turn. This fellow is great. He's in a fez. Fezzes are cool. And nice armour, with rivets! RIVETS!!!

   There are other interesting models available there. You can look around a bit here.

15 May 2012

A Really Great Charity

   A friend of mine, an officer in the US Army, just let me know about this small scale charity that is looking for some funding. It is to help returning soldiers deal with PTSD by building models.


   Please click on the link and go check it out. If you feel so inclined, please donate.

14 May 2012

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #12

The Kaiser's Aether Marines


   The Kaiser's General Staff realized there was a need for troops in the Empire's off-world colonies even before those colonies were established. A temporary levy of line troops was sent with the original colonists to Venusstadt, but they proved inadequate for a variety of reasons: equipment failures, heat prostration, and poor familiarity with jungle maneuvers all led to less than satisfactory results when dealing with threats from local natives and wildlife. A new solution was needed, and a young officer named Oskar von Goster had it.

   Von Goster took advantage of the Kaiser's new holdings in equatorial Africa to train a new kind of soldier. These troops were to be prepared for service aboard airships and in colonial Venus, and were given the unique designation of Luftschiffetruppen, or "Airship Soldiers." Equatorial Africa provided the Germans with a long period of acclimatization to tropical conditions similar to those that would be encountered on Venus. It also provided the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of jungle fighting, so different from the tactics of open field warfare taught to the line infantry. The emphasis on small unit tactics and low level leadership initiative was quite different from the iron discipline of the Prussian line regiments and the esprit de corps of the hussars and uhlans. Service is entirely voluntary, the troops coming from any line regiment. Because of the extended training, Luftschiffetruppen will serve an additional two years with the colours before transferring to reserve status.

   One year of jungle and small units training is followed by four additional months of shipboard training with two small training vessels built especially for the task - another first in military history. The K.As Midgard and K.As Asgard were launched in early 1872, and are used to train the Luftschiffetruppen in airship landing assault, aerial assault, and aerial boarding techniques. The training vessels are also used to train the Aetherbattallions and the sailors of the Kaiserliche Aetherflotte. They are based in German Southeast Africa, at Wilhelmshafen.

   The first battalion of Luftschiffetruppen was ready for service in August of 1872, and embarked upon K.As Loki for transport to Venusstadt. A second battalion was entering the second phase of training at that time, and a third was just beginning the first phase. The training schedule called for three battalions to be at various stages of training at one time until a full regiment was built. An additional regiment was authorized by the General Staff, to be created at a reduced pace over the following five years. There are currently two regiments of Luftschiffetruppen serving in various capacities for the Kaiser's Imperial ambitions. The First Regiment is stationed permanently in Venusstadt Kolonie, the most important of the German off-world colonies. Second Regiment has a battalion stationed on Mars, and a second one serving as marines aboard airships on both Mars and Earth. The third battalion provides security troops at the Imperial German airship fields all across Earth. In addition, there is a training battalion that feeds new men into both the service regiments.

Service History

   The Luftshiffetruppen have fought in every major off-world battle since their deployment. Innumerable small conflicts with Venusian natives and Martians have been settled. Possibly the most famous of their battles was the Second Defense of Venusstadt. A large force of Venusian lizardmen - the largest recorded host of the vicious brutes - attacked the walls of Venusstadt at dawn on 21 July 1878. Luftschiffetruppen at the downport responded by stampeding a herd of domesticated dinosaurs through the foe, then opening fire with their Mausers. Additional support from a Gatling-armed walker and some special weapons of the Aetherbattalion contingent were also instrumental in halting the scaly warriors' advance against civilization on Venus.

[Editor's Note: It's been a long time since I last posted a Reginald's Regiments. This one has been sitting for a while. I decided it needed to be put out there, finally.]

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