Sunday, 16 September 2007

The Quest for Great Nautilus...

My first experience with VSF was 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas. This may, in fact, have been the first novel (regardless of genre) I ever read. For quite some time, Captain Nemo has been lurking in the back of my head but he's recently inspired a gaming quest.

Let's start our tour with the essential 28mm miniature - The Captain Nemo from the London War Room.

I first became aware of this company through another VSF fascination; that being Mars. I'd already assembled a small, mixed unit of City Dwellers before I noticed the Extraordinary Personages page. The Nemo figure immediately went on my "order this some time" list.

There are actually two versions of Nemo from the London War Room and I made my determination of which to buy based on availability of suitable miniatures for the Nautilus' crew. One cannot just have a Nemo without a submarine.

But there was one other figure that moved all the figures mentioned here from the "some time" list to the "now" category. Artizan Designs has recently released a Swami miniature and he immediately seemed to be a perfect "second in command/spiritual advisor" to our exceptional captain.

This made if fairly simple to narrow the field of searches for what I estimate to be a crew of fewer than 20. It was also helpful to have started the quest with a fair degree of familiarity with companies that make wide ranges of historical figures.

I must admit that I didn't look for every example of Indian/Sikh figures; I was filling a roster and planned to stop when that was accomplished. Three visits later - to Wargames Foundry, Perry Brothers, and Copplestone Castings - and the quest seemed complete.

These figures have all now arrived and the submarine is fully crewed. I may have to add a few from Castaway Arts; I discovered them after the last recruits reported for duty.

I added a few extra figures from Artizan Designs to justify the postage costs.

For similar, I revisited the Martian selections from Parroom Station. If you look at the Scout and some of the Hill Tribesmen, you'll notice a happy accident of simultaneous collecting.

I should note at this point, there's a female figure in IND232 that my wife informs me is Nemo's daughter. There's a tremendous number of roleplaying ideas in that statement.

And here's the Martian Scout:

Now, we need a Nautilus. I happen to have one of Comet Miniatures' efforts.

I bought it many years ago at a convention and have never painted it or mounted it on a base. It lurks (much as Nemo does in my mind) in my attic - but is no less loved for not being on display.

Our Excellent Host recently reminded me of the Comet Nautilus and that prompted a look on eBay to determine its value. This auction, now ended, shows the relative cost of finding one not-in-one's-attic. It turns out to be worth $36.67, with another $10 for shipping.

Upon visiting the closed auction, a "related item" gave me the VSF opportunity of a lifetime - if you'll pardon what may be a cliche.

I actually plan to use these blueprints to build a 28mm-scale model of the Nautilus. I haven't quite decided whether to build it in sections, with interior diorama spaces, or as one solid piece.


Tas said...

I love that Comet version - I want one in a waterline version too for Aquanef

Surely the 28mm Nautilus has to have interior detail! Check Parrom for bits and bobs to flesh it out

Lord Jim said...

Ahem. Just wanted to tip you the wink, old son - that Captain Nemo figure 'from the London War Room' is also from Parroom Station. Credit where credit is due, eh? A momentary lapse, I'm sure.

The other Nemo is for those of the Masonic persuasion; those fellows are everywhere, eh what?

Tas said...

Quite so Lord Jim, quite so indeed. Thanks awfully for bringing that important clairification to all of our attention!

Nothing wrong with a good night with the chaps and a few whiskeys down the lodge you know!

Tas said...

The TMP crew made some good suggestions for other figures here:

Zophiel said...

In point of fact, I am a member of the aforementioned fraternity. This fact of my life may account for choosing the non-Masonic figure from Parroom.

Depending on which source one considers for statistics, one might reasonably expect to encounter at least one Mason in any set of 1000 persons.

Bill Crum said...

"Monsters in Motion" has a garage kit Nautilus, no scale listed but its probably a large model, for $130 or so. "Reviresco" has a selection of VSF divers for undersea action.

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!