Monday, 31 December 2007


Like me, you probably have a shocker right now...try Naughty Nelly's patented elixir:

The Almighty Hangover Emergency Cure
2 aspirins
600mg vitamin C
1 tablet vitamin B-complex
1 banana 1 small can V8 (or any vegetable juice)
6 large strawberries
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup orange juice
1-2 cups milk (or soy milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of nutmeg

Preparation time: 10 minutes (or longer depending on just how bad your hangover is...)
Serves 1

Sunday, 30 December 2007

National Geographic Map Collection

Over a hundred years of searchable, zoom-able maps here - just the thing for planning an expedition or next season's campaign!

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Military Memoirs

..being "a game of reminiscences over dinner to be enjoyed by a number of fellows of good cheer"

- sounds like fun eh? Something fun to do with your friends on New Years Eve perhaps!

Friday, 28 December 2007

Another Vanvlakian Astronef creation!

Introducing the new HMS TERIBUS, lead vessel of a new class of single aether-screw low orbit bombardment monitor. Another brilliant Vanvlak creation!

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Another T&C Review

...has been posted to the Lost World Gamers group:

On Christmas Eve, the last gift to myself arrived. The T&C rulebook and an elasmotherium.

Looking over the rules a bit it appears that this does incorporate the best of both SS and MM and adds a bit more. He says as much in the beginning of the book. He's really tried to make it easy to play without a GM, so solo play should be simple enough.

I don't think it'd be too hard to create dino stats for it either, though first I might expand the prehistoric mammals slightly. The animals included cover a wide array, and include several outside of the DeeZee range, but there is one glaring omission in my book: glyptodonts. I'll have to have a go at them when I find time.

Also, I think I'm going to have to get around to ordering a few more of the DeeZee animals. The elasmotherium looks great, and there are a few others I wouldn't mind owning.

Anyway, anyone still undecided on whether to get the rules or not - I'd say they are probably worth it. Despite the expense, they still cost less than some of my miniatures.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Another Dr Steel videographic proclamation!

Dear Soldiers,

We here at ToySoldiersUnite are proud to announce that Dr. Steel has just transmitted a Soldier address to wrap up the year 2007.

Visit the below link to watch our Emperor\'s speech.

Special Moment, Part II

As a follow-up to the incident described here:

...for Christmas my 6 yr old son gave me some Fokker Triplanes from the Wings of War series, saying "Biggles needs some more Huns to shoot at, they are running out in France!"

Insightful and historically accurate!

Hive, Queen and Country

After seeing this Yahoo group advertised sat TMP, I went to check it out. These guys are developing a VSF setting for wargaming and RPG and these are some of their fascinating background notes:

Hive, Queen and Country

In 1891 the Sun never sets upon the British Empire. It is an empire that spans four worlds; an empire won by accident as much as by design, its expansion founded upon faith in the ideals of a nation. With the latest innovations of technology the British flag and imperial way of life have been established on all the continents of Earth, the craters of Luna, Canals of Mars and the seas and islands of Venus. Imperialism has been propelled forward (but also sometimes reined in) by the forceful personalities of powerful men and women. In scientific, social, and political thought, mercantile and technological achievement The Empire is the most advanced human organization in the solar system. In the spring of 1891 it is to meet another society, one that doesn’t have the engineering skills of Babbage and Brunel, the writings of Tennyson or Byron or the social philosophies of Gladstone. The Hive has but one thing. The Hive has hunger.

The Focus of the Campaign

Hive Queen and Country Campaign sourcebook primarily centers on the military efforts of the First Hive War. The efforts of the Imperial forces to contain and then destroy the Hive, an alien race of terrible ferocity and hunger, take place between the early spring of 1891 and the late summer of 1892. The Hive is an alien super-organism, a group of creatures like a colony of ants or termites magnified uncounted millions of times. Introduced from off-world into Victorian England the Hive is genetically programmed to feed, eating any bio-mass it encounters, and use that bio-mass to breed more hive members. Each successive generation is better able to thrive in local conditions. The Hive will feast and grow until it becomes large enough to make additional hives, undergoing fission like a single celled. The process will begin all over. The aliens will cover the entire Earth unless they are stopped. The only remnant of earthly flora and fauna will be those species the invaders have chosen to raise in their gardens, like the fungi grown by leafcutter ants. The desperate military actions of HM forces are set against the larger background of a Victorian Era in which space travel is far more common then it is in our current era. The Great Powers, which competed so stiffly against each other for rule of Earth have all the inner planets on which to shoulder the White Man’s Burden. Before the rediscovery of Aerolyth, the contra-gravitational mineral, the Victorian era was one of rapid technological advances. Giving Victorian engineers the challenges of designing for vehicles first for aerial navigation and then space flight and the rigors of interplanetary travel was like throwing rocket fuel on a bonfire. A period of amazing growth has pushed forward the limits of human knowledge and engineering ability at an unprecedented rate.

Worlds of Hive Queen and Country

The Victorian period is one of immense progress in all fields of human endeavor; strides were made in every science, the value of human life validated as never before. Entire regions of the planet were explored, mapped, and exploited. Yet for all that was done there was much that was nearly done or left unfinished. The tradition of speculative fiction, both hard science fiction and what we now call techno-thrillers began in the Victorian Era as people rode a wave of change that made them look even farther into the future. Hive, Queen and Country takes place in a world where many of those “might have beens” became everyday realities. Where not only do great ocean liners ply the seas and vast airships cruise the sky but huge astral liners the airless darkness between the planets. It is a world, or worlds, that have the bright stamp of a human race that is vigorous, powerful, and above all hopeful for the future. It also has ancient races that are steeped in darkness and filled with hatred and envy of the Earthmen and what they represent. It is this evil, this fear, and hatred that will challenge the British Empire as never before. The worlds of Hive, Queen and Country diverges from our history in several places, firstly in 1830 when Babbage’s Difference Engine becomes a working reality and forever changes the way that mathematical data is developed, handled and stored. Next comes John Lubbock’s accidental rediscovery of Aerolyth in 1865 on the Salisbury Plain, which allowed conquest of the air ocean above the Earth’s surface. These two events lead directly to the colonization of the solar system by the Great Powers. After reaching the limits of the atmosphere the great powers looked to the vast reaches of interplanetary space for new realms to conquer. They found them in Earth’s nearest celestial neighbors, Luna, Venus, and Mars. The rockets of Hale and Mendeleyev-Konstantino and then the Etheric Engines of Ewing-Stuart gave them the tools they needed. By 1891 colonies of Earthmen stood on the Moon, Venus and Mars. Everywhere they went they found marvels and surprises. The new worlds were jewels in the crown of empire, Mars a dazzling ruby, Venus a vast opal. The moon is a dull lump of coal, but no less valuable for its lack of beauty. The race for the new worlds had begun in earnest in 1873. By 1880 men and women were living, working, and dieing on all three of the other planets. Each had their own treasures, but each also had its own ways of killing.

Monday, 24 December 2007

I'm dreaming of a White Wine Sauce Christmas

Best Wishes for a very Merry Christmas to All!

May your cup runeth over...and keep running!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

The Colonel’s boiler plated brandy Snifter

Patrick has posted his VSF rules, brilliantly entitled: "The Colonel’s boiler plated brandy Snifter"!

They are a VFS plug-in for the existing Two Hour Wargames rules and you may find them here:

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Dumont's Airship

Alberto Santos-Dumont,the young plantation owner from Brazil, spent lavishly in building sausage-shaped airships, establishing the first airport, and maintaining a fleet of dirigibles. His first flight was made in 1898 in a cylindrical balloon 80 feet long and propelled by a small gasoline engine suspended in a car below. Releasing gas to make a landing, he averted a catastrophe by signaling a group of boys to pull his collapsing dirigible like a kite by its guide rope as it neared the ground. After two failures he succeeded, in 1901, in circling the Eiffel Tower in Paris despite a strong wind, and won the de la Meurthe 100,000 francs. award for his achievement. For a decade he continued to be a central figure in French aviation, performing a series of spectacular feats with air-ships, and later airplanes, and proving by his accomplishments the practicality of flying.

You can download a paper model of this great looking airship from fiddler's green here:

Thanks to Jim J of the LostWorld yahoo group for the link!

Friday, 21 December 2007

Imperial German painting guides

Prussians are notorious about looking just right after all

Reading German would be handy for this one, but is not essential

but this one is all in English:

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Tas's Factorium Back in Buisness!

After a year of extreme labour shortages, Tas's Factorium is back in business! On the bench right now is a modular river section, jungle terrain and a dozen 15mm adventurers getting ready for a dinosaur hunt. While I am happy with the way the terrain is coming along, it would seem that figure painting is indeed a highly perishable skill...

Anyhow, I hope to have pics up in the next few days.

I had to do a bit of research for the terrain, so have compiled a section for the most relevant terrain modelling links - its on the left hand frame of the blog, below the 25mm VSF section and above the blog archive. I hope you find these useful

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Dr Steel's Christmas Message

I received the following communique today:

Happy Holidays, Toy Soldiers! With the holidays now upon us, Dr. Steel has sent a special transmission from deep within his laboratory to wish us all a very merry Christmas. Thank you for helping Dr. Steel take over the world!

May your holidays be filled with joy (and robots)

Dr. Steel Holiday Greeting

Add to My Profile More Videos

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Pre-Dreadnought prototype from North Head Miniatures

I got this email today from Simon at North Head Miniatures:

Dave and were having a discussion the other morning over the paper and our morning tea about where we could possibly expand into next year, 2008. We want to continue working on the 1/1200 Ironclads and I have a project that I am working on that we have yet to agree on. However, we both have a love of pre-dreadnoughts and WW1. So we were thinking of maybe producing a range of ships for those periods, maybe focusing on the Med and the Black Sea.

We have rather quickly knocked out a sample to see what it could look like and I have used my rather poor painting skills, as Dave was busy designing, to show you what would be possible and ask if you thought it was worth going forward. The miniature is the Italian Regina Elena . Your thoughts would be appreciated.

I for one love this period (almost as much as the Ironclad era) and heartily support the idea of expanding such a range in this scale, which matches nicely with Aeronef and the forthcoming Land Ironclads and Aquanef.

What do you think? Leave your comments here!

Steampunk Dalek

You may recall this Steampunk Dalek by Promus-Kaa:

Steampunk Dalek by ~Promus-Kaa on deviantART

Well now its animated too!

but I prefer the B&W render for truly authentic feel:

Monday, 17 December 2007

Converted Steam Chair

Great work Tunderchicken, just the thing I need to scout ahead of my mechanised force for next season's invasion of Zululand!

You can see the original model here:

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Kinder s'prise model

This great VSF/steampunk model by "leborico" was scratchbuilt from a Kinder Suprise egg. He also used "electric wires, paper, solder wire, a piece of grid from a coffee machine, gears from an old watch, copper pipes"

Well done indeed!

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Tribal Villages

Either as an objective of a punitive expedition against errant tribesmen, or an Encounter in the Lost Valley, native villages are an essential part of any VSF or colonial game.

TOP: The ubiquitous native village!
Now, complete with fire pit!

I just found this simple and effective method for scratch-building such villages at Terrain Thralls:

Friday, 14 December 2007

HMS Recalcitrant

This is a great scratchbuilt burrowing vehicle, or as I call them:


Taken from:

A great way to transport combat troops under an aerial barrage, or as a method of transportation to the Lost World!

How to Build The Heavy Mechanical Sapper

"The Recalcitrant or similar vehicle presents an ideal way of inserting those pesky, overpriced, underarmed Imperial close combat troops. With simple, easy to obtain materials it could be built in a few nites of work. The materials required are a styrofoam cone (craft store), a McDonald’s styrofoam coffee cup, some airdry modeling clay, some sheet styrene, dress snaps, paint and paper mache or patching stucco. Paper cardstock can be used to replace sheet styrene though it will take less of a beating."

"Roll out some modeling clay in a string that is thick on one end and thin on the other. At the pointed end of the cone start with the thin end of clay and wrap it in a spiral around your cone. Then work the clay into the shape of a screw thread and set aside to dry. Take your cup and cut it at an angle to make your vehicle look like it’s coming out of the ground. Wrap the piece with thin sheet styrene. Secure with a small strip of styrene across the spice point. Trim the top and bottom edges of the styrene to match the shape of the cup (the styrene wrap can be glued to the cup with white glue as well)."

"Cut some sheet styrene to make your door hatches and door frame assembly. Half of a dress snap forms the hatch wheel lock mechanisms. Cut a hole in the body of the vehicle just a bit larger than your door opening. Glue your door assembly over the hole. Add bits of scrap as decoration (fins, vents, gunports, access doors panels) as you like. Small styrene rod, round or hex shaped can be sliced for rivets and bolt heads. Cut a disk shape from styrene scrap to serve as a separation between the end of the cup and the screw drill point. Once dry glue the two pieces together. Paint the vehicle the colors you desire. Insignia can be drawn with a computer program and printed on a color printer. Cut it out and glue it on. Glue the vehicle to a base of matte board or other suitable material. Work up ground cover with stucco spackle or paper mache mash. Once dry paint it in earthtone colors. Using the same earthtone colors weather the vehicle so it looks like it has actually spent some time boring through the earth."

"Bada bing, bada bang, bada boom you’re done. "

Thanks very much indeed - Great stuff!

The speed of a T-Rex

When hunting big game, it pays to wear sporting apparel to ease sprinting...

Or you can stand fast and take it like a man of course!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Science vs Pluck

Anything that says: Tea and buttered scones should be available at all times, stronger spirits only after noon has got to be at least OK in my book, so I present this yahoo group to you here:

‘Science Vs Pluck’ is a game of the Sudan wars set at a ‘generalship’ level; in which players portray officers in the service of Queen or Khedive, and seek to solve a variety of problems posed by the enemy, the harsh terrain and climate and, indeed, their own orders. All the participants serve together in, one would hope, some degree of cooperation, while one or more umpires, control the wild Sudanese foe-men, other Imperial officers and their, troops, and the universe in general. A distinct degree of role-playing is required; players are expected to devote themselves to behaving in a properly ‘Victorian’ manner, while the umpire will ensure that his own dramatic performances of fellow Britons, Arab merchants, Syrian interpreters and suitably obsequious ‘other ranks’ are appropriately Kiplingesque.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Wheel Tank

This hybrid vehicle, shown in the livery of the White Russians, is another quality product by Vanvlak Industries:
The BK-1 Pillbug Rotary Tank

One of the less well-known tractor designers in American history, Charles ‘Cop’ Keiston was a brilliant innovator who lost out to Holt for lack of funding. Apocryphal industrial legend tells how despairing of ever finding a cost-effective method of fabricating reliable track links, Keiston was toying with a wooden model of an idler wheel when this rolled away and trundled over his work bench, scattering toy soldiers left there by his nephew. The inspired designer reinvented his concepts and came up with a tractor which was driven by one man in a fixed cabin, with an engine mount at the rear driving a huge cast wheel surrounding the driver and engine compartments. The ingenious transmission and clutch systems which drove the machine were installed in a wooden mock up, called ‘The Pillbug’. Traction of farm implements would be achieved by means of fixed trace brackets on either side of the rotating hull of the machine.

The wooden demonstrator was successfully presented at the Tanksarusse State Fair, where it attracted a lot of attention but no sales. This successful demonstration drew the attention of financier Tobias Butler, who realised the machine ( intended) had military potential. Within a week the Butler-Keiston Manufacturing Company had been registered, and the first metal tractor, the BK-1, called, like the prototype, the Pillbug, trundled across the Tanksarussee grassland five months later.

Appearing late for WWI, the new rotary tank was lacking a market. The redoubtable Butler approached Russian financiers, and through them sold four of the Pillbugs to the White Russian forces. Intending to use the Russian Civil War as a proving ground, both Butler and Keyston embarked with their vehicles in March 1919. Little is known about the performance of the BK-1. Non-rotating side sponsons were fitted to the sides of the hull in Russia, armed either with a pair of light machine guns, or with a single light cannon of unknown calibre on one sponson and a machine gun or the other.

Although the tanks took part in some skirmishes, the well-designed drive and clutch systems were beset by troubles in the cold, dusty or muddy Siberian environment, and lacking maintenance and spares, the little tanks fell one by one into disuse. At least one was however successful in supporting White troops attacking a Red troop train on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Plagued by clutch slip problems, however, the Pillbugs were soon abandoned as they became prone to gyration: the sponsons and crew compartment would start to rotate along the wheel, resulting in loss of control and a very dizzy crew.

Keiston, involved in one of these incidents, gave up his plans and returned to America to become the successful founder of a toy industry. Butler disappeared late in 1919; it was rumoured that angered by the plight of civilians tormented by the less sympathetic White commanders, he switched sides, and for some time there was mention of ‘Red Butler’ in the more volatile American West Coast press.

One of the tanks disappeared without trace; a second is rumoured to survive hidden away in a Siberian barn. The other two were sold for scrap, although one of these was preserved for some years in Kursk prior to its ultimate fate. Leading an attack against a beleaguered Red strongpoint, the tank suffered clutch slip and rolled down a hill crushing a White Cossack charge, to become the sole recipient of the Tractor-Tank-Hero of the People Star.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Greetings Gentlemen

First Off I'd like to thank Sir Paul
for the invitation to join your
select group of adventurers!
I hope that our collaborations
will provide us all with much
to add to our respective journals!
Well enough idle chit chat, lets
brake camp and see what's over
the next hill......
Don M

Carnivorous Plants Part II

Thanks to all the chaps who so kindly directed me to other sources of man-eating members of the Plant Kingdom!

QRF have a range of '15mm' scale (Actually standing about 17-18mm tall) plants, various types including spine shooters, stranglers and grapplers.

Link here:

It would also seem that Armorcast arent quite as OOP as I originally thought - Ive always loved the "Medium Man-trap."

Link here:

Hydra Miniatures also have their new "plant men" - just the thing for Venus I think!

Link here:

The 'Mouth-arm' by Emperor Miniatures reminds me a lot of the nasties at the bottom of the crevice in the new King Kong movie

Link here:

Fenryll offers these nasty looking pot-plants:

Link here:

Link here:

And Kilroy Industries has these nice looking 'spider' plants

Link here:


Monday, 10 December 2007

Carnivorous Plants

I'm currently scanning for some vegetative nasties to inhabit Venus/the Lost World/Skull Island etc

Here are some nice looking ones from the Wargames Supply Dump and at 1pund each the price is nice enough to make a small forest of them! Though there are 25mm scale, who says carnivorous trees have to be small? So these would be quite acceptable carnivorous trees for my 15mm Dinosaur Hunters

HLBS also sells some man-eating plants, this time Triffids (shown here) and again in 28mm. Watch out or that stinger could knock over one's crystal decanter!

Any more out there? I know Amourcast used to do some lovely ones in resin but they are sadly now discontinued...

Sunday, 9 December 2007

15mm Dirigible

I grabbed one of these at Toys R Us yesterday - its a movie toy from "The Golden Compass" which I think will make a superb 15mm scale Dig! A gondola, a paint job and some inevitable steampipe work and gubbins and she will be ready to take to the air!

Maybe I need a couple more now I think about it...
Didnt find the aerial galley behind it, but that has loads of potential too!

Saturday, 8 December 2007

More Tooth and Claw discussion

Its seems that Chris Peer's new Tooth and Claw rules are stirring up some controversy at TMP...

Link here:

Friday, 7 December 2007

New 15mm VSF pics

"Thunderchicken" has posted pics of his great 15mm VSF figs. German Powertruppen, Arc-light Electric Cannon, Steam walkers and Blimps: You'll find them all here!

Thunderchicken's Arclight Electric Cannon:
This beauty is quite powerful but very dangerous to use.
Gun is from the QRF WWI range, figures are Peter Pig.
I used cut down wall plugs for the electric generator.

and you can find the thread on his work at Lead Adventure Forums here:

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Battle in the Clouds: The Airship Destroyer (1909)

Thanks to an absolutely top-hole spiffing chap named Roger, this classic aeronef action film is now available for download!

Roger emailed me to let me know he had a copy then ripped it to mpeg format for all to enjoy.

Each of us should stand that man a drink!

The movie is available for download here:
Thanks very much indeed Roger - Huzzah!!!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Tooth and Claw:the RPG

Not, not the recently released rules by Chris Peers, this one is an RPG by Jared Sorensen

The author's website says:
Tooth & Claw is an adventure roleplaying game where the characters are dinosaurs living on a vast super-continent. It uses die pools based on size and age and has lots of real science built into the dinosaur creation system. I'd like to revisit this one day as a lavishly-illustrated game for kids.

The PrehistoricPulp Blog says:

Usually roleplaying games let you play as humans fighting dinosaurs. Tooth & Claw is the only one I know that lets people play as dinosaurs.

Tooth & Claw is nothing fancy. It's simply a set of rules for creating dinosaur characters and roleplaying them. There are no illustrations and it lacks flashy page design, having been cranked out on a word processor. The author writes that originally the game was to be published by a game company in 2001, but that never happened. The version he ultimately released was written in a single night so he could enter it into a gaming competition, where it won third place.

It's not a bad effort if you're looking for a rules-lite RPG. Tooth & Claw leaves it up to players to decide how realistic they want to make the game. If they want their dinosaurs to talk, no problem. If they want their dinosaurs to communicate only through grunts and body language, no problem. The rules themselves just give some basics for building dinosaurs with tail spikes, or horns, or enlarged toe claws, or pointy teeth. You could use the rules to build a Triceratops, or make up something completely new and not in the fossil record.

The game uses a dice-pool system in which players role a certain number of six-sided dice and try to get as many in sequence as possible, starting with 1. So, for example, say you role four dice and get 1, 2, 4, 5. You have two successes because 1 and 2 are in sequence. The 4 and 5 don't count because you must start with 1. The more successes you have, the more likely you are to accomplish a task or win a challenge. Positive traits let you role larger numbers of dice or let you start sequences with higher numbers than 1.

Most players will probably welcome the simplicity. Hard-core gamers who thrive on statistic complexity and ultra-realism will hate it. Tooth & Claw is a nice, easy game if you have a few dinosaur nuts at your house and you're looking for something other to do than play Monopoly. Plus it's only a $3 download at RPGnow, so it's hardly going to bankrupt you if you don't like it.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Google Mars

This is a new project by Google Labs; you can use it to view some of the most detailed maps of Mars created by NASA scientists. Select between visible and IR, show elevations or other terrain features.

This will be excellent for mapping areas for Redcoats to explore and claim in the name of Her Britannic majesty!

Festive Season Expeditions

Christmas is almost here, and so are the the kids' holidays. Which means its time once again to rope them (willingly) into my Hobby with some pod racing, godzilla fights and the odd Dinosaur hunt!

I love dino hunting rules, but am thinking of making it a little more kid friendly by cobbling together bits and peices from a few rules sets (in true wargamer fashion!!) including Saurian Safari, TUSK, the Skull Island gamers, Jimland and Bob Beatties rules.

I need something that:
  • Captures and retains imagination of kids under 10
  • Is simple but has lots of player involvement (7 and 10 year old so simple rules mechanics are a must)
  • I can half-play and half-GM
  • Has excitement vice realism...without killing ALL the players too quickly!
Thus I thought a combination of the terrain that builds as you go (asper Bob Beatties rules - I really like the way he starts with an emptytable and the players explore as they go), the Skull island encounter system which has a bit more detail by terrain type than Saurian safari,b ut the combat system I am still unsure of. The Skull Island card-flipping idea could work well, and still leaves lots of dice rollingfor other stuff. I thought also perhaps of taking more 'extras' along so the parties last a little longer...

Monday, 3 December 2007

How to build a 15mm Colonial Nile gunboat

Truly a multipurpose vehicle, useful on the Nile River, the canals of Mars, the shallow lakes of Venus or for Dinsoaur Safari Adventures!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Cryptomundian references:

I found this interesting online bookshop in the UK which seems to have interesting titles for those doing their research aiming to bag a unique trophy on their next safari!

For instance: The Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology

On every continent and in every nation, animals unrecognized by modern science are reported on a daily basis. People passionately pursue these creatures - the name given to their field of study is cryptozoology. Coined in the 1950's, the term literally means the science of hidden animals. When the International Society of Cryptozoology (ISC) was formed in 1982, the founders declared that the branch of science is also concerned with "the possible existence of known animals in areas where they are not supposed to occur (either now or in the past) as well as the unknown persistence of presumed extinct animals to the present time or to the recent past...what makes an animal of interest to cryptology is that it is unexpected." Presenting a "flesh and blood" view of cryptozoology, this reference work excludes discussion of mysterious zoological phenomena. Here, 2,744 entries are listed, the majority of which each describe one specific creature or type of creature. Those entries cover creatures that have been reported from an extremely wide variety of locations worldwide, and throughout recorded history.Other entries cover 742 places where unnamed cryptids are said to appear; profiles of 77 groups and 112 individuals who have contributed to the field; descriptions of objects and events important to the subject; and essays on cryptotourism and hoaxes, for example. Appendices offer a timeline of zoological discoveries, annotated lists of movies and television series with cryptozoological themes, a list of crypto-fiction titles and a list of Internet websites devoted to cryptozoology.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Arctic Terrain

TOP: Arctic mammoth hunting, anyone?

at the Lost Worlds forum posted a link to this great set of terrain photos, including some rather inspirational Arctic territory. Either Mammoth Hunting or exploring the frozen wastelands of the Martian poles, this is pretty cool:

TOP: The frozen wastelands of the Martian poles...

Link here:

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!

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

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