What should I work on next?

27 March 2013

Another Kickstarter done.

   The Empire of the Dead: Requiem Kickstarter has funded. Here is what I expect to be receiving (also a PDF of the rules, but I couldn't find an image):

The Gentlemen are Hunting.

One of the boxed sets I am getting as an extra add-on.
Werewolves of London.
Warren Zevon, eat your heart out!

Actually, not one of my favorites. But I'll take it!

I like Iron Head Ned and Jade Dragon. The rest, meh.

Ordering the weapon sprue as an extra.

I LOVE this figure.

Of these, certainly the Tesla Projector and the Clockwork Butler.
Possibly HM with Gun and John Brown.

Of these, certainly Lightning Jack.
  I actually have some points left over (8, I think). I am leaning towards the additional Gentlemen set and some of the maybe individual figures. Total about 54 minis, plus rules, and a set of tokens (not pictured). All of this for just shy of $200, including shipping from the UK. Not a bad deal, I think. I also love the Brotherhood faction minis, and will be getting them at some point in the future - maybe Historicon.

22 March 2013

EotD: Gyrocopter

   Continuing on with my recent flying things fetish, I present to you the Steam Gyrocopter that is being made for the Empire of the Dead game.

   As usual, the model is not mine, nor the paint job, nor the photograph, but I think it is quite nice. I am looking forward to seeing some pilot figures for it. I especially like the upholstered seat. A gentleman couldn't be expected to fly about over London on some hard wooden bench? Might get splinters in his tailcoat!

19 March 2013

Fresh from Down Under

   I received in the post yesterday a small package all the way from Australia. Yes, I received a shipment of troops from Victoria Miniatures, at long last. Not that the shipping time was the delay factor. That was rather prompt, I thought.
  My initial thoughts are that they look very nice. I have taken one set of the Rough Rider legs and test fit them on the Dragonfly from Popular Mechanicks, Vol. 7. For the record, they fit fairly well. A bit of hobby knife surgery on the soft plastic of the mount and the fit is even better. I am going to try to knock at least one or two of these out in the next week or so.
   So, anyway, look for my Praetorians to hit the auction block in the near-ish future.

10 March 2013

19th Century Vernacular

These terms, and quite a few more, can be found on The Art of Manliness.

Bunch Of Fives. The fist. Pugilistic.
Cat-heads. A woman’s breasts. Sea phrase.
Cut. To renounce acquaintance with any one is to cut him. There are several species of the CUT. Such as the cut direct, the cut indirect, the cut sublime, the cut infernal, etc. The cut direct is to start across the street, at the approach of the obnoxious person, in order to avoid him. The cut indirect is to look another way, and pass without appearing to observe him. The cut sublime is to admire the top of King’s College Chapel, or the beauty of the passing clouds, till he is cut of sight. The cut infernal is to analyze the arrangement of your shoe-strings, for the same purpose.
Fizzing. First-rate, very good, excellent; synonymous with “stunning.”
Gentleman of Four Outs. When a vulgar, blustering fellow asserts that he is a gentleman, the retort generally is, ” Yes, a Gentleman Of Four Outs”—that is, without wit, without money, without credit, and without manners.
Hugger-mugger. Underhand, sneaking. Also, “in a state of Hugger- Mugger” means to be muddled.
Job’s Turkey. “As poor as Job’s Turkey,” as thin and as badly fed as that ill-conditioned and imaginary bird.
Keep a Pig. An Oxford University phrase, which means to have a lodger.
Lay down the knife and fork. To die. Compare Pegging-out, Hopping The Twig, and similar flippancies.
Nose in the Manger. To put one’s nose in the manger, to sit down to eat. To “put on the nose-bag” is to eat hurriedly, or to eat while continuing at work.
O’clock. “Like One O’clock,” a favorite comparison with the lower orders, implying briskness; otherwise “like winkin’.” “To know what’s O’clock” is to be wide-awake, sharp, and experienced.
Saucebox. A pert young person, in low life also signifies the mouth.
Saw Your Timber. “Be off!” equivalent to “cut your stick.” Occasionally varied, with mock refinement, to “amputate your mahogany.”
Scandal-water. Tea; from old maids’ tea-parties being generally a focus for scandal.

08 March 2013

Popular Mechanicks, Issue #7


  Ornithopters, or 'thopters, as they are sometimes abbreviated, are aerial vehicles which achieve motion through the flapping action of two or more wings, in the manner of a bird. The first design was developed by the Italian master engineer and artist, Leonardo d'Vinci. Unfortunatley, Master d'Vinci lacked modern technology for power and lift, so his design was limited to gliding.

   With the advent of lightweight steam plants for power and the discovery of unobtainite for the cancellation of the effects of gravity upon an object, modern engineers have been able to resurrect d'Vinci's dream. The modern 'thopter is a small aircraft with incredible maneuverability and the ability to take off and land vertically. It is easily distinguished by the high-pitched humming or buzzing sound of the wings as they beat against the air, reminiscent of a giant bumblebee. Two companies are currently producing ornithopters for military and civilian use: Tobsen 77 of Germany and Shapeways of America.

   The Shapeways model was designed by a Mister Afrodri.

This model (the Mark I) is armed with a Maxim gun in the nose.
It is designed to go with 15mm troops.

   The design from Tobsen77 is significantly larger than the Shapeways model, designed to accompany 28mm troops. I believe that the French Aeronautique plans to purchase some for evaluation of its suitability as a scouting platform with light combat capability. It is armed with both a pair of water-cooled machineguns for aerial attack and a light bomb load for surface attack.

The "Libelle," testbed in neutral paint scheme.
  One final form of 'thopter technology is in development by the British Royal Artillery Research and Design Works in Bedfordshire: the Individual Ornithopter Mount. The size of a horse, it utilizes cutting edge handwavium steam turbines to provide an aerial platform for individual operators. These operators are armed with torpedo lances and galvanic rifles. Able to make use of the extreme maneuverability and speed offered by the IOM, the concept is to use IOMs in a manner similar to lancers in attacks against armored aerial vehicles. One hit from a torpedo lance can cripple or destroy most light aerial vehicles (of, say the Aphid-class), while an entire troop's lances should bring down any conceivable aerial juggernaught.

  Unfortunately, at the time of this article's release, our photostatic crew have been unable to capture an image of the IOM in flight. However, we have managed to obtain this image of one at rest for your enlightenment. The handwavium reaction tanks at the front of the IOM are clearly visible, as are the wings, landing gear, and saddle. Cooling vanes for the galvanic generator adorn the 'head' as well, and a flexible tail-like rudder assembly assists in sharp turns.

Pictured on the tarmac floor of the Design Works aerodrome.

[Editor's Note: I own neither the Shapeways nor the Tobsen, yet. Both are on the 'buy it someday' list. The photos are taken from the makers' websites, without permission, and are used here only as reference and not for commercial purposes (other than possibly as advertising for their manufacturers). If you would prefer I remove them from this site, as always, please let me know. the IOM is a Mage Knight Soaring Gunner's mechanical dragonfly. I am awaiting a shipment of riders from Australia, a la Victoria Miniatures, to provide riders.]

04 March 2013

Presenting... the Johnson Mk VII


   This image was provided to display for non-commercial purposes, and is not for distribuiton without permission from the owner of the artwork. That would be Osprey Publishing, from whom I have been graciously granted permission to show it off.
   The walker above has been developed for the upcoming skirmish VSF game, In Her Majesty's Name, a variant of the popular In the Emperor's Name rules. I am not sure about the background material to this device, but from what I gather so far, the Johnson Mk. VII is an industrial exoskeleton driven by steam. Naturally, what was developed for industry can be turned to military uses, so I suspect there are militarized models in the works as well.
   Can you say EXCELLENT RESULT? Because I certainly can. Yes, I shall certainly be purchasing one of these models when they become available.
  Please let me thank Craig Cartmell and Phil Smith for the help in getting permission and providing the image.

Deep Wars...

   Oh my. Just look at these miniatures available from Antimatter Games. Very shiny. Oh, so very shiny. Designed for an underwater game, looks to be skirmish-type. But think of the Victorian Science Fiction uses for these... Look for the picture, then their official name, then my thought.

Salvage Mech Construct
Automaton Crab - an amphibious automaton.

Angus McBain. 
Looks like an aethersuited officer or sapper to me.

Rear View of Angus.

Sea Dog. 
Civilian or Navy rating in aethersuit?

Armored Dive Soldier
Aethermarine. Galvanic Discharge Rifle is harpoon capable for safety.

Heavy Support Trooper
Heavy Support Aethermarine

Chariniform Light Assault Mech Construct
Automaton Shark. A frikkin' shark!

   These photos are from the Antimatter Games website, and are being used without permission. If anyone connected with Antimatter Games would like me to remove these photos, please let me know. However, the intent is not to claim these as my own, but to spread (positive) information about your product.

03 March 2013

2 Posts, 1 Day!

More of the design artwork for Empire of the Dead's Requiem release/Kickstarter campaign.

   Apparently, a pair of so-called "Resurrection Men," Burke and Hare are the sort of scum and villainy one expects to find in the worst tenements of London.

Terrain for Hippos

   I found out about this awesome terrain making blog via I See Lead People, my buddy Eli's excellent gaming blog - which you should be following if you are not already! They just had an entire month dedicated to Victorian Science Fiction terrain in January, and some of it is really great looking. You should run over and take a peek. Here's a link.

An example of one of their simple projects:

The posts are funny and informative. I give it two thumbs WAY WAY up!

01 March 2013

Colonel Moran

   Newly released image of the unlocked Colonel Moran. I have no idea who he is, whether he is historical or fictional, but I do know that I want one of these figures, because he has "cashiered Army officer turned mercenary sniper" written all over him. And that would be all sorts of fun.

More on In Her Majesty's Name...

   The following notes have reached yours truly by telephonic differencing engineering. I believe some of you might find them insightful. They are responses from Mister Craig Cartmell, a Welshman and confidant of sorts to Higher Powers.

Hi JW,

    The first of the walkers, beautifully illustrated in the rule book by Jessie McGibney, is the Johnson MkVII.

     If you can imagine a Victorian Version of the Powerloader from Aliens with the steersman strapped into the front. The steersman's arms and legs are linked to control lines that move the walker's arms and legs. He has smaller control levers that are manually operated and allow him to change gears and use the various types of equipment that can be attached.

     The Johnson MkVII was designed to be used in mines, quarries, factories and docks.

     Obviously the military were fascinated by this and most of the great powers have developed armed versions of this device.

Hi Snodipous,

     We have done most of our playtesting on Charles' kitchen table which is 3' across and 5' long. However, we have only been using the central 3'. So a yard or metre square is adequate for an 'ordinary' game.

     The more players, the more space to allow the companies to each come on sufficiently far from each other. Or if you want a longer game with more tactical manouevering, then 4' square or even a standard 6'4'. Though you might get a little lost in all that space.

     We have found that the more terrain the better, but we recommend that you lay it out together in a pleasing arrangement. This is a narrative skirmish game, so 'realistic' late Victorian layouts add to the fun and the stories you will tell afterwards in the pub.

The previous messages were brought to you by the letters T, M, and P.