Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Martian Paint scheme

Gadzooks! I've found it! At long, long last!

Astoundingly, I believe I have finally developed a paint scheme that I actually like for my Black Hat Martians. I have fretted for months over the color of their reddish flesh, and finally have found something I like for it: Ceramcote Terra Cotta. Highlight with a touch of Vallejo Medium Flesh mixed into it, then Kel's Magic in brown (Now it's Didi's Magic, I hear. Way to go Didi! And thanks for helping my son out at Paint N Take back at Historicon, by the by.).

So finally I can really get moving on that project. I'm rather backlogged with the askaris and the Imperial Guard types. I have yet to get any regular Imperial Martians, though I have requested some for Christmas.

Another Martian project is one step closer to fruition as well: I have purchased 7 large Stingray toys with which to make the deadly Martian Flying Devil Ray. One or two will be left in a wild state, the remainder shall be transformed into one of many forms of flying cavalry. I obtained the idea through careful reconaissance of the VSF games at Historicon '07.

Other projects on the boil, and at least partially purchased include many Mage Knight critters being used as mounts for other nations: chatte du vapeur for the French, some dragonflies and both steam horses and rams (the beast, not the siege weapon, though usable as such!).

Well, that's it for tonight. I will do my best to finally update the photos on the Photobucket as well.

Remember, they call it golf because all of the other four letter words were already taken.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Colonel Sir Mimsey Popinjay, III

   Having noticed the rather lifeless (not to say dull!) nature of the posts to this journal as of late, I have decided to include today a catalog of names I frequently have found in use on my table when VSF'ing or colonial wargaming. I do hope that this entry meets with higher approval than the last few, or we shall simply have to have the copywriter sacked [ulp!]. Or perhaps put to the question as to why his efforts seem so lackluster and then sacked [double ulp!]. His writing has become about as exciting as an Amish Kama Sutra.

   Nothing against the Amish, naturally, but then, those Luddites would almost assuredly never know I said anything derogatory about their love lives in this format. At any rate, on with the names:

   Popinjay is the main British officer, used many times. Somehow, he has survived repeated military disasters and not been cashiered for incompetence! Influence at the Horse Guards, I am sure.

   He is often bedeviled in the dry hills of Afghanistan and the Northwestern Frontier by the wily Pathan leader Chief Wherda Hecawee, or his twin brother, Hooda.

   Herr Kolonel Waldo von Grossnarbe leads the Imperial Germans.

   Capitaine l'Phideaux leads the French usually.

   Finally tonight, a request of you, my good friends and faithful readers of this sad little chronicle. I am in need of a good Martian name or two and some Venusian names as well for those leaders. Martians are red men as Master Burroughs indicated in his excellent works about the life of his 'uncle,' John Carter. Yet I hate to merely repeat names from those novels. The Venusian lizardman chieftain [GW Saurus on Cold One] needs a grand but lizard-y sounding name. I thought Slee Stak might be good, but haven't decided. I also need a better name for the leader of my yet-to-be-assembled Venusian Highland Parrotmen than P'all Ewannacr'ka.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Terrain and Poll Results

Good evening, Gents. A general update this time.

Purchased a few pieces of Egyptian-y terrain today. A ruined temple wall which put me in mind of the time the Colonel and I... er, never mind that. Also a pair of statues, which will look suitably gargantuan on the table. Photos will be posted sometime in the near future.

Also, purchased via difference engine some bits of creatures that rhyme with 'brutes' and are produced by a major manufacturer of overpriced plastic and metal toys based out of England. While I am all for free trade and supporting the British economy (hear hear!), $2+ per multi-part plastic is a bit hard on the finances. And I need them to model up the parrotmen of the Venusian Highlands. Naturally, they are in the grander scale of 28 mm rather than the One True Scale, which as we all know, is 15 mm.

And speaking of the Great Scale Schism, brethren, it seems the advocates of the 25/28mm Scale have won out on the polling here. Poor benighted fools that they are, they have chosen the path of least resistance. Still, I suppose its not all bad. I'm not ashamed to say I dabble in both scales.

No painting done today, as the memsahib hosted a Ladies' Gathering today to celebrate the forthcoming nuptials of a young friend. Had to close up shop, take my two impressionable young sons and flee as if the hounds of Hades were after us. An afternoon at the kinetoscope provided entertainment for the three of us.

Finally, I am preparing an additional section of my journal in which to place certain interesting documents and photographs, so that they take less space in this area. When this task is completed, you Ladies and Gents shall of course be the first to know.

Now then, where's that tea cart gone off to?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Caloric Ray Emitter Statistics

The Caloric Ray Emitter has been patented (RP No. 1888-07-034621) by Professor K. Blooie, FRS, of the Smitterdown Technical Institute, North Whinging. It emits a previously unknown ray with the ability to rapidly heat whatever material it is shone upon. The ray itself is invisible to the human eye.

The CRE is still undergoing trial at this time in Her Majesty's forces prior to a decision on issuance to the lads. There is a "rather vexing tendency for the Teslatronic Coil to vaporize, causing a suboptimal [and often fatal, ed.] discharge of stored voltage into the operator and rendering the wepon itself useless," according to the Professor.

In G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. terms, it is worth 2 points and possesses the following attributes:

Name: Caloric Ray Emitter
Short Range: <12">Shoot # Modifier: 0

A Minor Correction

I hate to report it, but it sems that the facts of the incident leading to the death of Corporal Fanningshire have strayed from the true course of veracity. Apparently, the wepon he was reported to be carrying in the photostat was not the Portable Flamegun as originally reported.

Apparently, Flameguns are doctrinally limited to use as anti-materiel weapons, and certainly not anti-personnel. Such a thing as roasting a man alive in a burning stream of naptha would be barbaric, and best left to the Hun!

No, the intriguing device carried by the late Corporal Fanningshire prior to his demise is properly known as a Caloric Ray Emitter. I am not sure just what those Royal Artillery and Royal Society chaps have created, but apparently it makes whatever or whomever it is used against very hot, very quickly, causing "extreme thermal blooms." Though what flowers have to do with this, I've no idea. In living things, these "blooms" cause the water within the body to boil away to steam, a sort of organic boiler explosion, I suppose. Sounds bloody dreadful.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Not much today, Gents!

   To be honest, I have not been diligent in the workload in front of me, Gentlemen. Absolutely no painting got done other than a truly awful flag for some 15/18mm Black Hat Martians which I have already decided is simply rubbish.

   I did a bit of work on an Inventor character for my good friend Jim S., who is going to play in a Steampunk GURPS game with my children and I late last night after the memsahib and the progeny had retired.

   I also began to dig through a pile of boxes I received over the summer via numerous auctions-by-post. I found many interesting items therein, including some giant dragonflies, a steam-powered ram (the animal, not the siege engine), and a few large steam golems (all MK toys, I think). Just the thing when I eventually purchase some more 25mm riders to mount upon them. Also found no fewer than 5 Mordian Iron Guard Mortar teams, two painted a nice kharkee and three sets unpainted. These will eventually be used by the Kaiserlich Forshcungsanstalt fur Geheimewaffen (KFG), or German Imperial Research Institute for Secret Weapons, the Hunnish answer to Her Majesty's brave and resourceful Royal Artillery Field Testing Platoon.

   In addition, I have been going over supplies and creating shopping lists. The gentlemen at Litko Aerosystems should be receiving an order soon, as I am in dire need of basing materials. I'll probably also be contacting the London War Room for a few trial pieces of Martian cavalrymen. Perhaps the Martian Johnnies will wait for my Christmas list to the memsahib.

   Well, that's all for now. Off to the grocer's and a restaurant.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Royal Artillery Research and Development Field Platoon

Gentlemen, I present to you incontrivertible photo-static evidence that Her Majesty's Government has begun experimentation with weapons of fantastic power... the Royal Artillery's Research and Development Field Testing Platoon. Or, at the very least, Lieutenant Hiram Goswalding and four members of his platoon. Can you hear the Hun tremble? As well he might!

These fine young men are sporting an array of new weapons currently being tested for safety for operator and effectiveness against the enemies of our beloved Sovereign. Only in Britain can the likes of these fine brave lads be found, willing to test Electrorifles, Voltaic pistols, Chainswords, and Portable Flameguns with nothing but "very nearly certain its safe" assurances from the mad scientists who have created these weapons.

A round of applause for the lads, gentlemen!

Oh, and please drop a few quid into the hat as it passes. The photostat of young Corporal Fanningshire (pictured above, carrying the flamegun) was taken only moments before a catastrophic failure of the Bening Patent Igniter. He leaves behind a widow and three small children.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

To Tank or Not to Tank?

I am torn on the final bit to be added (or perhaps not) to the ASA Mk. II. The old girl is kitted up with a bit of a torch, you know, the better to fling fiery death upon Her Majesty's enemies. Serves the blackguards right, you ask me.

At any point, the final question is whether or not to mount external fuel tanks on the weapon itself. In a suitable fiery red enamel, and bronze fittings - no sparks, you know. That might set things off prematurely, don't you know old boy!

I could simply leave the old girl the way she is, sans tanks, of course. But I have the bits just sitting there... Oh dilemma! The travails of Odysseus when confronted with Scylla and Charybdis spring to mind! Oh, the blessings of an Eton education, to bring up a classical reference at the most useless of times.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

ASA with Scale!

Okay, so here it is... ASAs put against both 15mm and 25mm figures for scale comparison. Obviously, the ASAs are much more terrifying for the 15mm Pathan (Stone Mountain) than the 25mm Tommy (GFI/Minifigs).  However, they are pretty scale neutral, which is always a big plus for me, since I have projects in both 15 and 25mm scale.

The ASAs started life as D&D Minis "Hammerer" prior to a bit of cutting and the addition of a few bits from GW. I can post a series of photos and instructions on this very simple conversion if there's any interest.

To the left: A Pathan chieftain between two towering ASAs (Mk. II on the left, Mk. I on the right).

On the right: Private Jones 3421 of the 24th between two ASAs. The pose is in front of a recently captured French tower (note the tricolour).

[Editor's Note: As of February 2010, both the Pathan and the Tommy shown in these photo have been sold or traded away.]

ASA Conversion

One of my first conversions for VSF, this Mk. I Armored Steam Automaton ("ASA") terrifies the wogs something horrible, it does. Well, at least as long as it keeps up pressure.

Do you know, it occurs to me that it would seem more terrifying if the pictures had a human in scale. Perhaps I shall pit it against a luckless squad of French Foreign Legionnaires or some Pathan Johnnies for the next photo. Should probably adjust the image to a more appropriate 'sepia' print too... Oh well, still just getting the hang of this thing, I suppose, so you will just have to wait and see what happens next.