Whats the humdrum about Chaps? Adventures into Victorian Science Fiction and Steampunk with ramblings about Aeronefs, Dirigibles, Land Ironclads, Anarchists, Dinosaur Hunting, Terranefs, Aquanefs, Mad Scientists, and all manner of electric contraptions and steam conveyances. It may not make sense, but there will be claret and a nice cheese board at the end. Tally-Ho and "Vôtre dans une sauce au vin blanc!"
Monday, 31 December 2007
The Almighty Hangover Emergency Cure
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...)
Sunday, 30 December 2007
National Geographic Map Collection
Saturday, 29 December 2007
- sounds like fun eh? Something fun to do with your friends on New Years Eve perhaps!
Friday, 28 December 2007
Another Vanvlakian Astronef creation!
Thursday, 27 December 2007
Another T&C Review
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
Dictionary of Imaginary Places
Tuesday, 25 December 2007
Another Dr Steel videographic proclamation!
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
...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
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. http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Hivequeen/
Monday, 24 December 2007
I'm dreaming of a White Wine Sauce Christmas
May your cup runeth over...and keep running!
Sunday, 23 December 2007
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
Friday, 21 December 2007
Imperial German painting guides
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Tas's Factorium Back in Buisness!
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
Dr. Steel Holiday Greeting
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Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Pre-Dreadnought prototype from 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 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
- You may recall that last week I posted a link to Thunderchicken's 15mm VSF gallery here:
Well he has produced something new and outdone himself this time - modifying Eureka Miniatures' 25mm scale Lucifer Hardlove's steam chair to a 15mm vehicle.
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: http://eurekamin.com.au/product_info.php?products_id=1937
Sunday, 16 December 2007
Kinder s'prise model
Well done indeed!
Saturday, 15 December 2007
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!
Friday, 14 December 2007
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
Or you can stand fast and take it like a man of course!
Thursday, 13 December 2007
Science vs Pluck
‘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
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 (...as 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
Carnivorous Plants Part II
QRF have a range of '15mm' scale (Actually standing about 17-18mm tall) plants, various types including spine shooters, stranglers and grapplers.
Hydra Miniatures also have their new "plant men" - just the thing for Venus I think!
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
Fenryll offers these nasty looking pot-plants:
And Kilroy Industries has these nice looking 'spider' plants
Monday, 10 December 2007
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
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
Friday, 7 December 2007
New 15mm VSF pics
Thursday, 6 December 2007
Battle in the Clouds: The Airship Destroyer (1909)
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: http://www.4shared.com/file/30890666/85821b8b/The_Airship_Destroyer_aka_Battle_in_the_Clouds_1909.html
Thanks very much indeed Roger - Huzzah!!!
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
Tooth and Claw:the RPG
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
This will be excellent for mapping areas for Redcoats to explore and claim in the name of Her Britannic majesty!
Festive Season Expeditions
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!
Monday, 3 December 2007
How to build a 15mm Colonial Nile gunboat
Sunday, 2 December 2007
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
Jim 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...