What should I work on next?

31 December 2013

Martian Reinforcements

   More shield gunners have arrived in time for the New Year. Protected by their armour, they also crouch behind their thick shields to avoid the onslaught of British lead as they advance. Once at close range, these assault troops unleash a furious rain of shot from the breechloading shotguns mounted in their shields. Unarmoured troops should take care not to allow these fierce warriors to approach.

[Editors Note: These are the last of the first 10 RAFM Space 1889 shield gunners. I now have another unit for 28mm VSF! Huzzah! I bought these at Historicon 2011, along with their five companions. I have another seven or eight waiting their turn on the paint table (and maybe some command figures), which were purchased at Historicon this summer. Have I mentioned before how much I love the flea market there? These five bring my total of 28mm figures painted this year to a nice round 100. Not bad for The Slowest Painter in Texas" (TM).]

26 December 2013

Hectic Times in Victoria Landing

   My apologies for the lack of content around here. I shall have some additional troops to showcase here in the near future - give me a day or two, won't you? Prior to the New Year, I assure you, I shall display additional Martian Johnnies, and perhaps a few of Her Majesty's loyal tars.

   In other news, tomorrow is my eldest son's 18th birthday. Please join me in congratulating him on surviving thus far, and on his acceptance to the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas [Ed.: Texas A&M University] for the upcoming Fall term. His mother shall miss him sorely, I am sure.

   Finally, I should like to wish Mister Charles Babbage a very happy birthday. I am sure we all appreciate his development of difference engine technologies which enable us to share our news and collaborate on ideas more rapidly than ever previously possible.

   I bid you all a very good evening.

25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

   May the Joy of the Season fill your heart.

   May your family be healthy and happy.

   May your future be bright and secure.

   May you get lots of toys.

   Not necessarily in that order.

21 November 2013

Bleaseworld: Wargamers To Arms! Sign This Petition!!

Bleaseworld: Wargamers To Arms! Sign This Petition!!: It's not often that wargamers get a bit hot under the collar and organise a petition but with the Royal Mail have introduced some rathe...

18 November 2013

Prussian Bombard Battery

   Three Prussian Empire BS-3 Bombards in a battery. These self-propelled high-angle guns fire indirectly and at great range. Again, I went with the dark green paint scheme that I used on the Sturmpanzer, and that is depicted on the Armoured Battlegroup box. I probably should have gone with a grey scheme, and thought about it, but chose this one for the contrast between the armour and the brass.

15 November 2013

Prussian Empire A9-V Sturmpanzer

   I just finished several pieces of armour for the Prussian Empire of Dystopian Wars. This is the A9-V Sturmpanzer, a large capital class landship. It is armed with four turrets with heavy cannon, twelve smaller cannon, one massive Tesla cannon and several smaller Tesla coils in broadsides.

Forward View

Port Side

Aft View

Aerial View

14 November 2013

A Photostat of Lady Felicity

   The last member of Lord Curr's Company of Incorrigibles to be mustered, Lady Felicity is now ready for action. Don't stare too much, gentlemen - those pistols she carries in her dainty hands are not for show! She's a crack shot with them, and has felled many a monstrosity in her world-spanning adventures.

11 November 2013

Momento Mori...

In Flanders fields the poppies grow

      Between the crosses, row on row,

   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

08 November 2013

Popular Mechanicks, Issue #8

Otto Maton's "BS" Alloy

   If you've been reading our paper for some time now, you may be familiar with the diabolical maechanickal works of Herr Doktor Professor Otto Maton, the Belgian Mad Scientist on Mars. His fiendish creations have often graced these pages, and wreaked havoc upon the peaceful peoples of the Crown Colony of Mars. For some reason, Herr Doktor has a particular dislike of the British. It probably has something to do with the fact that a British aethership disabled his vessel on approach to Mars, and trapped him there.

   However, if you have seen Maton's handiwork, you must have noticed the preponderance of brass used in their manufacture. This may lead one to ask oneself "Why brass, for God's sake? It's either too soft or too brittle, depending on the zinc content! And heavy? Not half!" The problem with your complaint is one of perception. While Maton's brass may seem to be perfectly ordinary alpha-beta brass (consisting of more than 35% zinc), it is not. In fact, Professor Maton has created a special alloy of brass which, though it requires hot working, is equal to fine steel in strength, and immune to rusting. He calls the alloy Brassified Steel, or "BS."

Maton's Foundry, in an Undisclosed Location

   BS is not a perfect metal for all applications. Its manufacture is a closely guarded secret of Maton's. After all. It is known to contain traces of certain rare elements not found in common brass including cerium (Ce), aluminum (Al), gadolinium (Gd), and handwavium (Hw). While it possesses impressive qualities, the expense of its manufacture limits its use. Plus, no one knows how to get these elements to alloy other than Maton himself, and perhaps one or two of his most trusted lieutenants.

   And an older photostat, from an after action report, for those of you newer to this journal. In it you can see a trio of Doctor Maton's flying automatons attacking a Martian Death Ray cavalry officer. In the background, far below, a column of another sort of automaton is marching across the red sands. Notice the outer shells of BS on both models. Like all of Maton's mechanickal devices, these are powered by handwavium reactors. The flying "hovertons" also utilize unobtainite crystals to repulse gravity.

[Editor's Note: It's been a while since I posted an article feature, and this is one I have considered more than once. Why do I use so much brass? Really, it's because it just looks warm and Victorian to me. Popular Mechanicks is one way of explaining away all of the Weird Science that goes on in my VSF universe with pseudo-scientific terminology. The real reason for any of the VSF silliness that I indulge in is much simpler: I like it. Now, back to studying Charlemagne. ZZZzzz...]

27 October 2013

The Huns Field a Tank!

   Although British science and engineering admit no peers, it seems that the German Empire has finally fielded their first armoured vehicle. A crude design, naturally, but it might frighten the natives, or perhaps an unsteady Frenchman. Reportedly rather uncomfortable inside (hot and noisy), it does sport a rather effective Krupps gun and thick riveted plates of armour. I am certain that Her Majesty's valiant Tommies have nothing to fear, however.

The Imperial Ritterkreuz Emblazoned!

A Long-Barreled Cannon for High Velocity Shot.

[Editor's Note: This is an Ironclad Steam Tank, although I forget exactly which of their models it is off the top of my head. Perhaps Steam 7? I purchased it at Historicon over the summer, and just got around to painting it up. I think the green looks rather nice. I considered some splinter camouflage, but decided against it (obviously). Some projects finally moving ahead!]

26 October 2013

Galvanic Ray Cannon Fielded!

   The Galvanic Ray Cannon uses electrical power provided by an easily swapped miniaturised and self-contained voltaic pile. Each voltaic cartridge holds enough power to fire the cannon once. When fired, an intense beam of superheated light energy bursts forth, striking at great distances with uncanny accuracy.

[Editor's Note: This is a project that has been languishing for literally years in my 'to-do' pile. Glad to have it finally done and it looks rather good, I think. The gun itself is obviously an older GW metal lascannon, and the trails are from the same gun. The wheels I replaced with a pair generously donated to me by Nic Robson of Eureka Minaitures, down in Australia. Nic's a great guy - missed him at Historicon this year, and I hear he's likely to skip in future so that he can attend Salute in Old Blighty. Their gain, our loss. Maybe I can talk the memsahib into letting me go to Salute...]

25 October 2013

In Her Majesty's Name! - Lord Curr's Company

   All done with these chaps! Except for Her Ladyship, Lady Felicity, at any rate...

Pinstripes are hard to paint. Lovely grey morning coat.

Love this fellows whiskers.

Especially happy with this waistcoat.

The Whole Company

24 October 2013

Doctor Vardu's Mutant Simian Bodyguard

Ape-X, Doctor Vardu's Mutant Simian Bodyguard

   The devious Doctor Vardu, the master of the manipulation of the threads of life, has created a new mutant animal monstrosity. This zoomorph blends Mountain Gorilla with a touch of Humanity, and is fitted with a mindcontrol cap to ensure that his rage is vented only upon those the bad doctor designates. The mad scientist has been assisted it seems by Professor Otto Maton, as well, by the looks of that grafted miniature Gatling gun and the steam-powered gauntlet on Ape-X's left hand.

He's a silverback!

[Editor's Note: Not quite done with this one, but wanted to get some pictures posted anyway. He's a Chronoscope line Ape-X from Reaper's Bones product. First of the Bones plastics that I have painted, and it was very easy. No primer, just a good wash with warm soap and water and straight to paint.]

12 October 2013

RAFM Miniatures VSF/Steampunk Figures

   You probably all know that RAFM makes the Space: 1889 range of 25mm figures. And that they currently have a sale going on (not sure when it ends - need to order some things, if I can find the funding). But they are also showcasing some new figures, the Airship Pirates range.

  I particularly like the Peeler, but the Air Marine artwork is interesting as well. Look forward to seeing some greens on these. And who doesn't like a 30% discount?

11 October 2013

The Dead Arise in the Empire...

   Which is to say, I received a package yesterday afternoon. It was covered with curious and arcane labels, "Par Avion," "CN 22 Customs Declaration" and the like. After listening carefully for any ticking sounds, I assigned a trustworthy lad the duty of cutting the tape which sealed the plain brown card box.

   Then we waited. After a sufficient time passed, the boy showed no signs of ill effects from his daring actions. It was therefore determined that the box could most likely have its lid (hinged on one side) lifted, exposing the contents. A well-lit room was selected for this task. The fact that it was an exterior room with minimal load bearing walls was also considered.

   The brave lad was again employed for the vital yet potentially dangerous task. Using a long stick, and prepared to leap behind the hastily raised barrier of sandbags in the opposite corner of the room, our young hero lifted the lid. 

   Still, nothing happened. No monstrous explosion, no loud report, not even a puff of brimstone-scented smoke. Nothing.

   Summoning all of my wits and courage, I removed the sandbag barrier blocking the door to the room and entered the danger zone. The young lad tugged his forelock and withdrew to a respectful distance. Peering inside the opened box, I saw... werewolves! And armed gentlemen. A myriad of weapons, some common, and others fantastical. Uncle Thulu. A group of Sir Robert Peel's constabulary. A clockwork servant, and a steam-powered hound. Ned Kelly, that Irish rogue. Lightning Jack. A pair of boffins with odd guns. A half dozen odd-looking fellows, one who is almost certainly no gentleman, two that smell quite abominably, and one that may once have been human, but is certainly not any longer. An equal number of equally outlandish ladies, including some bestial primitive and a Celestial! And Her Majesty (God Bless Her), toting a Gatling Patent Mk. I Light Portable Multi-Barreled Reciprocating Rifle, more commonly known as a Mini-Gatling. All represented in one inch tall lead statuettes.


[Editor's Note: I got my Kickstarter rewards from West Wind's Empire of the Dead: Requiem project yesterday. 55 25mm miniatures, plus some tokens and additional weapons for conversions. Lots of VSF goodies to keep me quite busy, and I still have the Society of Thule to start and Lord Curr's Incorrigibles to finish for In Her Majesty's Name. Plus that 25mm steam tank. I need to get painting!]

04 October 2013

Steam Armoured Dwarves?

   I happened on these whilst researching items of critical importance on the interconnected differencing engine. Produced in Poland (Grand Duchy, I think), by a company known as Scibor. Some sort of short but powerful man, heavily whiskered, and wearing an ornate suit of what appears to be steam-powered armour.

26 September 2013

Steampunk Pirate Playing Cards? Yes, please!

   Earlier this year I backed a Kickstarter project for a deck of Steampunk Cthulhu playing cards. The art was done by a fellow named Nat Iwata out of Portlandia. I got them in (a bit late, but only about a month - not bad for a Kickstarter project) and really like them.

   It turns out that Nat really likes making playing cards. He has another set on Kickstarter now that I am about to go back. This time, we are still 'steampunk', but the subject is PIRATES! This is perfect for anyone who likes the idea of airship pirates (Rob, I am talking to you!). Here's a sample picture.

Looks like a Knave to me.

   At any rate, you can find the project at this link: Steampunk Pirate Cards Kickstarter. We've already missed out on the Black Flag Limited Edition sets, with foil embossed cards and a special coin, which look pretty neat. And the Kickstarter is only three days old! But, I'll be sending him my $11 (includes US shipping) and hope that I see some pirates in me mailbox come Februarrrrry!

08 September 2013

Lord Curr's Incorrigibles Progress

   I've made a bit of progress on my second Company for In Her Majesty's Name. These are, as you can tell, members of Lord Curr's Incorrigibles. While they have a bad reputation, they are actually quite loyal to Her Majesty. The rest of the Incorrigibles are in the works.

"Mad Mick" McFarlane, a certified mad scientist.

Mad Mick's Arc Generator.

One of the Incorrigibles. A flashy cove, what?

The backside of Sam Warburton.

01 September 2013

Colonel O'Truth's Miniature Issues: The Nefarious Machinations of The Nefarious Doktor...

  For those of you who do not also follow the good Colonel's blog (and why not? It's brilliant stuff!), here is a link to his newest creation and an update on the massive sextupedal walker he is building. Over 10,000 rivets, and growing!

Colonel O'Truth's Miniature Issues: The Nefarious Machinations of The Nefarious Doktor...: Hi, All! Warriors of the Wutha-F'Kahwi tribe flee before The Nefarious Doktor Nefarious's mechanical terrors... On a fine Tue...

20 August 2013

From the Horizon: Harold's Patent Aetheric Interface Assault Craft!

   Mr. Harold has designed a new type of aetheric craft. Intended to rapidly introduce troops from an aethership orbiting the planet, these Aetheric Interface Craft (known to Tommy Atkins as a 'drop pod') can carry an entire squad of Her Majesty's Loyal Servants in splendid comfort [not really-Ed.] and complete safety [hardly!-Ed.]. Her Majesty's Royal Navy has ordered the construction of hundreds of these disposable units for the Aethermarines, Skywalkers, and even a Naval Brigade Artillery Group. They can also be utilised for the resupply of troops in distant areas!

   To date, attempts to use the Harold Patent Interface Craft to land cavalry have been a dismal failure. The horses, you see.

Seems to have lost its parachute somewhere...

[Editor's Notes: Okay, these are really cool, and pretty inexpensive. You can find out more about them here. And here. I am going to add a parachute draped over the side, and paint them in a lovely Victorian scheme. 15mm, and quite good, really.]

18 August 2013

Kickstarter Received!

   Actually, by the time you read this, it will have been a few days ago, and I will be somewhere in the midst of the Gulf of Mexico, on a rather large ship, heading for tropical climes. No, the feds and the revenuers are not on my trail (yet...). Just taking the memsahib on a well-deserved break from work and kids. However, I would hate for all of you nice folks to have nothing to read about, so, as a public service and a sign of what a heck of a guy I am, I scheduled this post.

  But it is a short one.

  What you see below is the deck of cards I received from Nat Iwata, a rather good artist. The plan is to use them for Victorian Science Fiction games using a card activation system.

Da Box

Reverse of the Cards

King of Hearts

King of Clubs

King of Diamonds - Steamthulhu!

King of Spades - the Great Elder One Itsself

   And, just to prove what a Prince of a Guy I am... here's a little song...

   For the record, I chose this one because it was a good audio version of the tune...

17 August 2013

Traveling to the Coast

   Not Brighton, old boy - Mexico! Actually, the memsahib and I are off on a vacation, just the pair of us. To be honest, I believe it is the first 'just us' vacation we've been on in almost 18 years. So, the boys off to grandmothers' houses and us on a bloody big ship, headed to the south.

  So you won't be lonely and bored whilst I am away, I have scheduled a post or two. Enjoy, and see you all next week.

13 August 2013

Interesting New Steampunk/Horror Game on the Horizon

   Ghost Train Games is creating a game based on an Alternate Civil War, with steampunk-y (Sorry, OFM - I know you hate the term) gadgets and a mystical powers and supernatural vibe as well. Below is a sample of a WIP green for their upcoming line of miniatures - 28mm, in case you wondered. It's called an "Improved Mechanical Locomotive Steam-Engine."

The South Shall Rise...

   And, a member of the Franklin Experimental Brigade, armed with a "Coil Cannon."

Damnyankee Gadgets...

[Editor's Notes: As usual, these images are not my own, but were obtained from the website of Ghost Train Games. I mean no challenge to their intellectual property, I just think they look cool and should be shared with a wider Victorian Science Fiction audience. Thanks to Tango001 of TMP for putting me onto these.]

12 August 2013

A new Feldwebel reports for duty

Feldwebel Heydrich

   I finally painted up an NCO for my Aetherbattalion troops. Now I just need to paint more of the troops for him to help command. And a Leutnant or Kapitan for him to follow.

11 August 2013

New German Terror Weapon!

Das Hellanzekanonen-88

   The above pictured weapon was seen by our intrepid reporters and loyal agents of the Crown as it was displayed for the German Imperial General Staff. Developed by the nefarious KFG (Kaiserlich Forshcungsanstalt fur Geheimewaffen (KFG), or Imperial Research Institute for Secret Weapons), this device focuses an intense beam of energy at a vast range. Thankfully, its destructive powers are limited to a direct line of sight! It is powered by an interchangeable galvanic storage unit mounted at the rear. A trained crew is supposedly able to exchange a depleted unit for a charged one in a matter of moments, at roughly the same speed as the loading of a conventional breechloading cannon.
   One can only hope that this new and dangerous development does not presage an aggressive move on the part of the German Empire.
[Editor's Notes: Obviously, this is an old GW lascannon. The big difference is the wheels. I got these from Nic at Eureka Miniatures (Thanks, Nic!) about two years ago. Or was it three? Any rate, I finally got around to painting it and putting it all together. I think it came out splendidly. The name, by the way, is supposed to mean "The Bright Lance Cannon, Model 1888). Now, if I could only find the crew for it, I had them here somewhere...]

06 August 2013

Paul´s Bods: Medieval Bombard (working scale model)

This is an idea. I love it. I was thinking it would work for my Martians, with their primitive artillery. Watch the video.

Paul´s Bods: Medieval Bombard (working scale model): I had the Zvezda bombard set but the Barrel I´d sent to Simon ( Je Lay Emprins ). His blog is full of Medieval  Burgundian loveliness...we...

05 August 2013

Space: 1889 Re-launch

   In case you have been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, I thought it would be prudent to make it known that the classic Victorian Science Fiction roleplaying game, Frank Chadwick's Space: 1889, is in the midst of a revival on Kickstarter.

  A German edition of the setting, complete with new rules approved by Frank has done quite well in Europe, it seems, so the good folks who made it are porting it over to English for us. Financing is being done via Kickstarter, as I mentioned, and is going very well.

   Yes, I already pledged my part. You should, too!

30 July 2013

22 July 2013

Historicon VSF Report

   I got into no less than four (4!) Victorian Science Fiction themed games at this year's Historicon convention in Fredericksburg, Virginia. My record was an outstanding 3-1.

   The first outing was a land-based Dystopian Wars match. Britain and France fought over Flanders' Fields. I played the French, uncharacteristically for me. Our mission was to defend a ridgeline from British occupation. In the end, the British managed to pull off a victory.

Landship and medium tank versus British armoured onslaught!

A pair of French Cruisers arrive

  The next VSF-themed game I played in was "Further Adventures of The League of Pear-Shaped Gentlemen." This game was hosted by Thomas Harris and Frank Chadwick. Yes, that Frank Chadwick. Fanboy gushing moment for me. We used their upcoming "Mars Needs Steam" rules - look for a Kickstarter campaign near the first of the year.

   I took up the cause of Justice as a force of Martian sepoys in the service of the British crown. The Parhoon Rifles, the Meepsor Fencibles, and the 4th Martian Infantry, as well as some gashant mounted lancers, a cannon, and two sleek airships made up my forces. Just to our right flank were some nefarious servants of the Emperor of Japan - they had to be stopped! In the end, I won the game with 30 points (points were awarded for killing the enemy and uncovering secret encounters, like the Princess and the Rock Chameleon).

My 1st Colonial Lancers
Troops of the 4th Martian Infantry fire on the Japanese.

The Parhoon Rifles stumble into a nest of Rock Chameleons!

The Lancers rescue a Martian Princess

Lancers charge into the Japanese hunting party!
Thom and Frank get a well-deserved award for an Outstanding Game

See, I told you I know Frank Chadwick!

   My third VSF game was Bob Charrette's Secret Science playtest. Again, I was on the Martian side. Earthlings were attempting to invade our sacred red soil, and had to be held back! Although my performance in the game was less than stellar (some truly bad dice rolling), overall, we scraped a marginal victory when a truly gargantuan beast on the Martian side trampled sixteen - sixteen! - enemy automatons into scrap before plowing into an enemy walker. This left the Earthers with too little a force remaining to push across the field.

My Martian Cannon, the Fist of Grond, in its redoubt.

Martian musketeers advancing

The Great Beast!

  The last VSF game was Chris Palmer's "Victoria Hawkes Saves the Queen" using GASLIGHT rules. I took the side of Prussia, holding Her Majesty in a secret location until a zeppelin could arrive to bear her away. My dice were again, rather atrocious. Most of my forces got shot down in the course of the game. However, in the end, we Prussians loaded HM Victoria into a zeppelin and escaped with her.

British Impervious Suit. One of my comrades kept shooting it for no effect with a gatling gun rather than mowing down infantry. Not a help.

The US Marines' Steam Walker...

My Prussian Kreighosen attacks the Steam Walker with that nasty can opener saw.