Friday, 30 November 2007

Christmas Cheer!

Today marks the start of the Christmas season out here in the colonies, so WWS would like to wish a very Merry Christmas to all our visitors. May your stockings be full of little lead men, paints, rules and other silliness!

For those of you wondering what you might serve to your family and guests on the day, here is a traditional Victorian Menu and recipe:

(Menu from Godey's Lady's Book, December 1890)

Raw Oysters
Fried smelts.................................Sauce tartare
Potatoes a la Maitre d' Hotel
Sweetbread Pates............................Peas
Roast Turkey..................Cranberry Sauce
Roman Punch
Quail with Truffles.............Rice Croquettes
Parisian Salad
Crackers and Cheese
Nesselrode Pudding.............Fancy Cakes

Have blue-point oysters; serve upon the half shell, the shells being laid upon oyster plates filled with cracked ice; six oysters and a thick slice of lemon being served upon each plate.

Put into a pot three pounds of shin beef, one pound of knuckle of veal, and three quarts of water, and simmer gently. As soon as the scum begins to rise, skim carefully until it quite ceases to appear. Then add salt, two carrots, the same of onions, turnips, and a little celery. Simmer gently four hours, strain, and serve in bouillon cups to each guest.

Clean about two dozen smelts, cut off the gills, wash them well in cold water, and then dry them thoroughly. Put in a pinch of salt and pepper in a little milk, into which dip your smelts, and then roll them in cracker dust. Put into a frying pan some lard, in which, when very hot, fry your smelts a light brown. Also fry some parsley, which place around your fish, and serve with sauce tartare.

Put the yolks of two eggs in a bowl with salt, pepper, the juice of a lemon, and one teaspoonful of dry mustard. Stir with a wooden spoon, and add by degrees-- in very small quantities, and stirring continuously-- a tablespoonful of vinegar; then, a few drops at a time, some good oil, stirring rapidly all the time, until your sauce thicken, and a half a pint of oil has been absorbed. Chop one pickle and a tablespoonful of capers, also chop a green onion and a few tarragon leaves, and mix with your sauce.

Wash eight potatoes, and boil them in cold water with a pinch of salt. When thoroughly done, peel them cut them in thin round slices; put them--with three ounces of butter, a pinch of salt, pepper and a nutmeg, the juice of a lemon, and a tablespoonful of chopped parsley--in a saucepan on the fire, and, when very hot, serve.

Boil four sweetbreads, and let them become cold; then chop them very fine, add about ten mushrooms, also chopped fine. Mix with these a quarter pound of butter, half a pint of milk, a little flour, pepper, salt, and a little grated nutmeg. Put upon the fire, stir until it begins to thicken, then put in puff-paste that has been prepared, and bake until light brown.

Open a can of peas, soak in clear water for half an hour, then put upon the fire in clean water, let them boil up hard, drain well and serve with butter, pepper and salt.

Clean and prepare a medium sized turkey for roasting. Cut two onions in pieces, and put them in a saucepan with two ounces of butter, and color them slightly. Grate a pound of bread into fine crumbs, add the bread to your onions, the turkey's heart and liver chopped very fine, quarter of a pound of butter, salt, pepper, a pinch of thyme, and mix all well together. Stuff the turkey with this mixture, sew up the opening through which you have introduced the stuffing, and put it to roast, with a little butter on top and a wineglassful of water; roast an hour and a half; strain your liquor in the pan, pour over your turkey, and serve.

Take one quart of cranberries, pick and wash carefully, put upon the fire with half a teacupful of water, let them stew until thoroughly broken up, then strain and add one pound and a quarter of sugar; put into a mould and turn out when cold.

Put in a saucepan on the fire three-quarters of a pound of sugar with three pints of water, boil ten minutes, then put aside to become cold. Put in a freezer, and when nearly frozen, stir into it rapidly a gill of rum and the juice of four lemons. Serve in small glasses.

Take one cupful of rice, wash and boil it, and let it get thoroughly cold. Beat up with it one egg, a teaspoonful of sugar and the same of melted butter, salt and a little nutmeg. Work this mixture into the rice, stirring until all is well mixed and the lumps worked out. Make, with floured hands, into oblong rolls about three inches in length, and half an inch in diameter. Coat these thickly with flour, and set them in a cold place until needed. Fry a few at a time in hot lard, rolling them over as they begin to brown to preserve their shape. As each is taken from the fire, put into a colander to drain and dry.

Cut in small pieces six cold boiled potatoes, the same quantity of beets, and also of boiled celery--both cold. Mix the yolks of four hard boiled eggs with two tablespoonfuls of anchovy sauce, press through a sieve; add, little by little, four tablespoonfuls of oil, one tablespoonful of mustard, two tablespoonfuls of vinegar, a few tarragon leaves chopped fine, two pinches of salt, two of pepper, and the whites of four hard boiled eggs, cut in pieces, mix all well together, and serve.

Place on separate dishes, and serve with the salad.

Remove the shells from two dozen French chestnuts, which put in a saucepan with a little water, then peel off the skin, and put the chestnuts in a saucepan on the fire with a pint of water and one pound of sugar. Boil them until very soft, then press them through a sieve; the put them in a saucepan with one pint of cream, in which you mix the yolks of four eggs. Just before boiling put your mixture through a sieve, add an ounce of stoned raisins, an ounce of currants, two sherry glasses of sherry wine, and freeze it like ice-cream. When frozen, cut four candied apricots, four candied green gages, half an ounce of citron in small pieces, three ounces of candied cherries; mix them thoroughly into the pudding, which is put into a mould, a thick piece of paper on top, and the cover securely shut down upon it. Put some cracked ice, mixed with two handfuls of rock salt, into a bowl, in the middle of which put your mould, covering it entirely with ice and salt; let it remain two hours, then turn it out of the mould, first dipping it into warm water.

Put half a pound of almonds in boiling water, remove the skins, then put the almonds in cold water, then put them in the oven to dry. Pound them to a paste, adding the white of an egg; then add a pound and a half of powdered sugar, again pound well, adding the whites of two eggs. Spread on a pan a sheet of white paper, pour the mixture into little rounds somewhat smaller than a fifty cent piece, place them on top of the paper in your pan, about an inch and a half apart. Put them in a gentle oven for twelve minutes, the door of the oven shut; at the end of that time, if they are well colored, remove them from the oven, let them become cold, turn the paper upside down, moisten it with a little water and remove the macaroons.

Arrange grapes, apples, bananas and oranges upon fancy dishes, with gaily colored leaves and ivy branches around them.

Take one quart of boiling water, one even cupful of freshly ground coffee, wet with half a cupful of cold water, white and shell of one egg. Stir into the wet coffee the white and shell, the latter broken up small. Put the mixture into the coffee pot, shake up and down six or seven times hard, to insure thorough incorporation of the ingredients, and pour in the boiling water. Boil steadily twelve minutes, pour in half a cupful of cold water, and remove instantly to the side to settle. Leave it there five minutes; lift and pour off gently the clear coffee. Serve in small cups, and put no sugar in the coffee. Lay, instead, a lump in each saucer, to be used as the drinker likes.

And here are a few more links to put you in a Victorian mood for Christmas!

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Dreadnought Mk IV

Continuing their Iron Grip range, Isotx have unveiled the Rahmos Airforce's Dreadnought Mk IV Class, and awesome she is!


One of the most powerful and dangerous classes of airship in the world is the massive Dreadnought class. Built from the ground up to be the most effective battlewagon available, the Dreadnought Mk IV is only outsized by the brand new Carrier and a few individual vessels such as the Majestic. The pinnacle of line-o-battle warship technology, the Dreadnought Mk IV lies on the verge of a naval revolution. While it keeps its main armament in its broadside batteries of 8” and 10” guns, its effective firepower is multiplied several times over by the addition of newer, larger guns in higher mobility mounts – eight 12” guns, four per side, are housed in armored wide-angle casemates, and two 14” guns are contained in an armored gun turret amidships, facing forward. Powerful and accurate, these larger guns are capable of dealing devastating damage at long range, often before enemy ships can close within broadside range. With the advent of more powerful heavier-than-air planes, the Dreadnought was built with antiaircraft protection in mind, and the ship is studded with 5”, 3”, 40mm and 20mm rapid-fire cannons. The firepower unleashed by the antiaircraft battery makes it almost immune to enemy fighters, and extremely dangerous to larger bombers. Two aerial torpedo launchers give the ship some very heavy alternative firepower in medium range encounters. Triple drive screws give the airship a respectable top speed, and the huge numbers of ducted lift fans make it capable of gaining altitude more quickly than any other large ship of its type. No other single warship from any rival nation can match the Dreadnought in combat capability.

“Raked prow and cannons proud, she plies the skies, great majesty endowed. Propellers spin, machinery loud as the Dreadnought soars and conquers the clouds” – from Ode to the Dreadnought.

They also have some new, VSF style artwork here:
Thanks to Tom for sending me these links!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Tooth and Claw Review

You may recall my post earlier this week on the new VSF hunting rules called "Tooth and Claw" by Chris Peers:

Jim at the Lead Adventure forums has posted a review of these rules . He writes:

Here's a quick review of the Tooth and Claw rules, bearing in mind I haven't actually played any games with them yet.

The rules are in glossy colour format throughout although the rulebook is quite slim, more like a magazine supplement in fact. There are 31 pages of text and a large double spread centre section featuring a game in progress. The last couple of pages are adverts for WI, Dee Zee and Copplestone which seems a waste of space.

The contents page on the inside front cover is a welcome addition if you're familiar with Chris Peers rules! There are 10 chapters covering introduction to the game, setting up, crreating characters, sequence of play, positioning of animals, human movement, spotting and shooting, animal attacks, animal statistics and scenrios plus a page of alternative settings at the back.

The rules are written in the usual extended prose 'narrative' style favoured by the author which can make finding specific rule references a bit hit and miss. However, they do read well and are clearly explained, with some nice photos and contemporary drawings to add colour.

The mechanics are very similar (if not virtually identical) to Saurian Safari although there are a few nice touches such as personal traits for characters e.g. nerves of steel, rules for gunbearers, stalk movement, snap shooting and so on. The game sequence follows the familiar rolls for animals to appear, rolls to determine priority of movement, rolls for spotting and shooting plus effects of hits and animal reactions. These are largely the same as Saurian Safari including misfires, reloading etc.

The animals are well covered and include a wide(ish) range of Ice Age / Prehistoric beasties. If you have a look at the DZ miniatures range you won't be surprised to find them all featues in the rules, together with a few additions such as Terror Birds, giant gorilla type things etc. There's plenty of variety and the reaction tables give a nice randomising effect when it comes to their behaviour.

As expected there are a few things missing, most notably a QRF (although I suspect someone will produce one sooner or later).

One thing I noticed was that there are also no rules for terrain affecting movement e.g. snow, swamp, etc or for vehicles of any kind, unlike Saurian Safari.

Overall, a set of rules with some good familiar features which should help speed play but perhaps a little too glossy at the expense of innovation. Worth getting if you haven't tried to play Saurian Safari or as a change from your usual hunting party v. dinosaurs scenarios.


Thanks very much for the reveiw Jim!

The Lead Adventure thread is located here:


After this review was posted, I asked Jim :
"It would seem to me that those of us who already own Saurian Safari wouldnt be gettibng much new material, except perhaps for some of the characters' persoanl traits section. Is that about it? "

He said:

I think that if you're after something different then T+C isn't it.

On the other hand, the mechanics of the game are not entirely the same as SS so might provide a clearer and more focussed alternative e.g.the rules for placement of animals seem to be much more detailed withless left up to the umpire to decide.

With regard to the animals themselves the biggest difference from SS is the use or a Priority stat for each creature which determines it's order of movement. I'm not sure but I think this might be a Mammalian Mayhem system?

The other characteristics are Flight (used in the initial positoningof the animals to ensure they aren't too close to hunters), Movement, Strength and Attacks. I'm sure that these could be worked out for theSS dinosaurs and vice versa. Each creature also has it's own notes which determine it's reactions, behaviour etc.

There are some useful rules for the different types of creatures including gore and toss attacks for Jumbos and Rhinos, which could be crossed over into Saurian Safari too. This would add a lot more detailto the game which is either a good or bad thing I guess.


Thanks again Jim!

Christmas Sale at Brigade Models

Time to stock up on all those lovely Nefs you know you want!

This year we're doing something different for our Xmas offer. From now until the end of December, we're offering a sliding scale of discounts based on the size of your order - so the more you spend, the higher the discount that you'll receive.
  • if your order is between £30 and £60*, you'll get 10% off
  • between £60 and £100, you'll get 15% off
  • between £100 and £200, you'll get 20% off
  • if by any chance you get over £200, you'll get massive 25% off

That's all there is to it - so get shopping !

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Skull Island

All these recent posts on Dino hunts have got me thinking about planning some expeditions over the Christmas break.

In doing my readings at the library of the International League of Esteemed Leviathan Hunters, I came across some intriguing accounts of adventuring on the mysterious Skull Island.

There is also a Yahoo group dedicated to gaming on the island of Kong:

Monday, 26 November 2007

SMS Rhein/Mosel - German Monitors

...are paper models which are free to download from paper Shipwright:
One of these would be handy for my Hunt for the Great White Pleasiosaur!

Evil Plan Generator

At last - an evil genius "cunning plan" generator!
I have been waiting for this for some time...

Adventures in Jimland

Adventures in Jimland is a fast paced, not very serious set of rules for hunting in deepest Darkest Africa and primarily uses a card system to generate encounters. Gamers take the role of Explorers who can be supported by a number of soldiers, Askikirs and Beraers (depending on how much money you have).

Use them as is, or with only a slight tweak, they could work well in the Land that Time Forgot. Either way, the "Reports from Jimland" are an amusing read. Oh yes, and its free!

There is also a Jimland scrapbook here, showing some adventures using 15mm figs

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Dinosaur Movie Trailers

Conveniently in tune with the recent "big game" theme at WWS, Prehistoric Pulp has posted some YouTube clips of some great old Dinosaur movies including The Land that Time Forgot, Gwangi and The Lost World.


Saturday, 24 November 2007

Redcoat Painting Guide

The Wargames Illustrated website has a great guide on how to paint your redcoats to ensure that they look their finest while campaigning for Her Majesty.

Its written specifically for the Sudan but fits for any overseas British troop deplyments throughout the Empire, on Mars and beyond!

Friday, 23 November 2007

NEW Prehistoric animal hunting rules

Tooth And Claw is a complete set of miniature wargame rules for the most civilised past-time of hunting extinct prehistoric mammals, by Chris Peers (author of Saurian Safari and Mammalian Mayhem)

Inspired mainly by the re-release of the splendid Dee Zee Miniatures models (though it does cater for a range of other creatures not so far included in this range),Tooth And Claw offers an exciting and challenging evening's entertainment. It uses fairly conventional skirmish wargame mechanisms to enable players to take on the roles of Stone Age tribesmen or Victorian big game hunters as they go in pursuit of some of the most dangerous creatures of all time - the monsters of the early Age of Mammals and the giants of the Ice Age.

All the players in Tooth And Claw take on the role of hunters, with the animals being controlled automatically. A game of this type lends itself perfectly to one-off scenarios, which can be played either solo or with a group of players. Players can either co-operate or compete against each other, according to their temperament or how you set things up.

The rulebook is 36 pages and fully illustrated in full colour throughout.

Available from all good hobby shops and from around 22nd November.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Calm in a time of crises!

I love this clip, from Monty Python's Meaning of Life.

Note how calm the Officers are in a time of crisis, how loyal their soldiers are, and how much they drink before breakfast!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Trip to the Moon

A fascinating 1911 artist's concept of Astronef travel!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Dinosaur Revolver!

In response to my Dinosaur Gun post yesterday, I was sent this by one of the guys at the brass goggles forum. Its a Dinosaur handgun - the Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express Magnum.

And just check out this ammunition -more bearers will be required for the baggage I suggest
(shown in actual size)
Good show indeed, but hardly usable by the Ladies methinks...

Monday, 19 November 2007

Dinosaur Guns!

Searcy Enterprises, a smaller California double rifle builder has produced 0.600 calibre Nitro Express double hunting weapons ideal for use in hunting ultimate game!

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Things in Jars

Next to oil smeared mechanisms and steam exhausts, nothing (to me) says VSF more than creepy things in jars.. .

Here are some creepy cryptozoologcal specimens, necropathic spectregraph, and a Bio-aetheric correction device

More stuff in jars here, including "how to" instructions for making your own for your laboratory:

Saturday, 17 November 2007

North Head Miniatures

This new kiwi based company manufacturers naval miniatures. They are currently concentrating on modern and contemporary pieces, but have plans to do WW1 Gunboats and Pre-dreadnoughts in 1/1200 scale soon which will be great for Aquanef fleets. One to watch for sure!

Friday, 16 November 2007

Sandokan revealed!

You may recall the images taken by Mssr Vsanvlak of the aerial conveyance in the employ of the infamous Asian Pirate Sandokan

Well, he has also manged to take some rare pics of the man himself, who is Wanted throughout the Empire and by many other nations too. Well done V!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Steampunk Laptop

Yep, another amazing steampunk retro!

This may look like a Victorian music box, but inside this intricately hand-crafted wooden case lives a Hewlett-Packard ZT1000 laptop that runs both Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux. It features an elaborate display of clockworks under glass, engraved brass accents, claw feet, an antiqued copper keyboard and mouse, leather wrist pads, and customized wireless network card. The machine turns on with an antique clock-winding key by way of a custom-built ratcheting switch made from old clock parts.

Thanks to Karsten for emailing me this link!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

10,000 Hits, BC

Goodness me - 10,000 Hits in just 3 months!

I continue to be astounded and humbled by the patronage here. I think it is a testamony to the great contributions by all the team here, and certainly Mssr Vanvlak is the most prolific manufacturer of fine VSF models so far.

Many thanks indeed Ladies and Gentlesirs!

And in a complete coincidence, I found out today about the upcoming film "10,000 BC" (due for release 7 march next year), which looks totally wicked.

Have a look at the site below to see a trailer. mammoth heards, sabretooth togers, prehistoric man...all it needs is a few fine chaps and a lady or two hunting in their best safari attire!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Martian Empires released

Black Hat Miniatures and Fighting 15s have teamed up to form Oozlum Games , whose first ruleset is Martian Empires, a set of fast-play big battles rules (units are 4-8 stands of 4-5 figures each) for Victorian Science Fiction games.

Excellent... According to their post at TMP:

Martian Empires is in full colour throughout, runs to 52 pages excluding covers, and includes full rules, army lists and five introductory scenarios. The rules are priced at £15.00 GBP. The ISBN for Martian Empires is 978-0-9555686-0-2. The rules have been developed over the last three years, and there is a thriving forum dedicated to Martian Empires here.

Martian Empires is the first in a series of rules that we will be publishing over the next few years based on the Huzzah! system.

Great cover; a combiantion of Redcoats, Steam tanks and lizard riding Martians. Its just missing some sort of aerial conveyance!

You can find Oozlum games here:

And buy Martian Empires online here:

VSF Fashions and Accessories

The following outfitters have been brought to my attention.
These reputable establishments have everything for the esteemed Gentleman and discerning VSF gamer.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Victoria's Boys in Red

A new VSF Blog has popped up on the horizon - Huzzah!
James's first post introduces his journal well:

Welcome to my brand-new foray into the realm of telephonic difference engineering. Here you will find my journal of attempts to recreate Her Imperial Majesty's Invincible Armies and their triumphs (and defeats - not that there were many, mind you!).

In essence, this 'blog' (Barbaric word, that. Must be an American term. Wholly unsuited for the Queen's English, but there you have it) is a record of my forays into miniatures wargaming of the VSF variety. I have spent years talking about VSF gaming, and precious little time actually doing it... NO MORE!

I have dropped the chink on these little lead men, both in the One True Scale and their larger cousins. It's time I got some use out of them. It is hoped that by publicly posting my progress (or lack thereof) I will be forced to get some painting and modelling done and some games played or suffer eternal scorn from my fellow wargamers.

At all accounts, please enjoy my journal. I shall endeavour to keep it up to date and entertaining as well.

Good stuff Sah, I look forward to dropping in for more sillyness and ramblings!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Pinging the Nautilus hunter...

Wizkids Games makes a very clever "constructible" card game under the name "Pirates." They have released ten sets but the best of them must undeniably be "Pirates of the Mysterious Islands" — as it contains the most famous Nautilus.

For those of you who may yet be unfamiliar with the game — the purchasing strategy of a box of 36 booster packs will gather most of the ships, crew, and treasure that constitute any given expansion. In a quest for the Nautilus, which is a rare card, I've bought two such boxes but was not rewarded with the sought submarine.

It becomes more cost-effective at that point to resort to eBay for filling in the holes of one's collection. I did not honestly expect to find Nemo's vessel and was pleasantly surprised to be proven incorrect.

But I'm aware that Tas is hunting the submarine as well. The seller was offering TWO! I wonder if I can rely on the post to get it to the antipodes before the close of the year.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Sir Henry Bullshott's Toys

Today I found this great site, which has some fantastic VSF conversions.

My favourites would have to be the Samurai Iron Giants and the Divine Wind Bombers (pictures in the right) in the Japanese Gallery, though all the galleries have great stuff in it.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

More Aeronef Artwork

Follow this link takes you to a page of a guy who has been collecting steampunk style artwork. These heavily feature Aeronefs and similar craft, all by a number of authors around the web

I particularly like this one (despite it being a sketch only) which was inspired by the Warlord of the Air series:

Warlord of the Air by ~RonnyRonin on deviantART

Monday, 5 November 2007

More Ray-Guns and antique weapons

Up there with the Weta range of steampunk zappers are these great gadgets from Kropserkel creations

An online workshop gallery of some of the world'smost elaborate costumes and props.This site demonstrates examples of our creative efforts to enhance, distort, and conceal the human form inand for all media. Our 10 year showcase includes original Kropserkel creations and painstakingly accurate reproductions of objects and characters from popular media.
I would also have to say that the idea and concept of a Captain Nemo light sabre (shown below) was both original and awesome!

And thanks to the boys at "VSF and 15mm Wargaming" for the heads up and link!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Special Moments

For once, this is not a VSF post. Instead, I would like to share a special wargaming Dad moment.

I have been trying to get hold of some if the great WW1 Wings of War minis (1/144 scale) but they are rather scarce. Then along comes a top bloke called Luis, aka Cuban Commissar, who buys some from his local shop and ships them to me (thanks again mate!). When they arrived this week my 6yr old son helped me open the box. He pulled out one and said:

"This looks just like Biggles's Sopwith Camel!"

And indeed he was holding a Sopwith Camel! What a proud moment for a wargaming Dad :-)

Friday, 2 November 2007

Steampunk X-Wing

My friend Luis found this great bit of steampunk crossover art on the net and sent me the link - I think its just stunning. Its by 'amoebabloke' at deviant art who says simply 'this took me aprox 5 hours start to finish'.

Great work amoebabloke!

steampunk x wing version 2 by ~amoebabloke on deviantART


Its seems I caused a minor stir by coining this phrase the other day...
In any event, fellow cryptomundians seem happy with the new label!

BTW this is the 3ooth WWS post!

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

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