Tuesday 18 March 2008

Tony's Update Part 3

German steam powered land-ironclad squad – Chapter Three

In chapter three I thought I would update readers on the progress to date of the models. My plan was to produce a squad of Landships, or ‘Land Ironclads’, two assault tanks, one command tank and an assault walker.

(Please note that as one of the competition rules is not to post photos, I will hold back until the end of the 80 days). We may have to relax that!- Tas

So far the models are nearing completion the main fighting compartment is made from an oval shaped, plastic pencil sharpener bought from Wilkinsons for less than 50 pence each. The command tank uses two pencil sharpeners stacked on top of each other. The tracks on the two assault tanks and the command tank were constructed by me with wheels from a toy train and tracks from plastic card. Once the master was made I cast six sets in resin. The steam walker uses the same pencil sharpener – fighting compartment and the legs from a Wild, Wild, West Dr. Loveless steam walker, additional detail is from plastic card and plastic sprue.

The models are built to a scale of 1/180th, simply because I had some 10mm ACW artillery crew and I will be using them as crew.

In addition I was able to pick up some German WW1 crosses at the WMMS show earlier this month. My plan is to paint at least one of the models in a Flying Circus colour scheme as seen on German WW1 aircraft Jastas – for example the Red Baron!

The Fenian Airship (Toucan) – Chapter Three

As with the German Landships, I will be talking about the construction to date of the model airship ‘Toucan’. The envelope has been carved and sanded to shape from ‘blue foam’ then layers of paint, glue and filler are added and sanded, the process is then repeated until the shape is correct and the surface is smooth. The gondola area and control housing has been greatly reduced in size from my initial plan, with windows, detail and two gun ports are already modelled.The shape is very similar to a Goodyear Blimp!

I have also added the tail assembly, which follows the practice of early Zeppelins where the horizontal control surfaces are built as bi-plane assemblies rather than single surfaces. My immediate reaction is that the tail surfaces are a little too large but as I ‘Googled’ early airships I see that if anything they are too small!

Late in to the construction phase I saw pictures of an early airship that had noticeable fabric patches on the centre envelope section and I have tried to copy this texture by adding small sections sticky-back-plastic and paper labels across the main envelope. Having under-coated this section I believe the effect has been achieved.

I intend painting the centre section black (or at least very dark grey) and the nose and tail cream with a golden harp motif in the black section. I would expect the gondola to be painted brown to represent varnished wood with brass detail.

The comments above were copied from http://dampfpanzerwagon.blogspot.com/

Wednesday 12 March 2008

New LI Page at Brigade!

One can almost taste the palpable feeling of anticipation as the countdown to the release of LI continues! And that feeling is promoted this week by Brigade establishing a new page for the LI range.

Most wonderfully, you will see a link to this most humble Blog on that page - thanks awfully chaps!

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Great Yarmouth Telegraph

“His most Royal Highness the Khedive of Egypt has commanded me to inform you that he has commissioned a new fleet of Digs and Aeronefs to be built at the shipyards of Broome and Co of Great Yarmouth in the county of Norfolk UK. These ships will be built and launched within the next 75 days as the Khedive has determined that the small Turkish fleet can no longer be relied upon to defend Egypt and all her treasures. Interim reports will be issued every seven days.”

View Paul Hooper's Yarmouth Telegraph to read all the exciting news as the Khedive's fleet takes shape, gasp at the news of the cad caught spying on the facility and marvel at the behemoth Queen class aeronef!


Royal Danish Airborne Navy

Petty Officer Smith has burst onto the Around the World in 80 Models with his newly built Danish Aerial Navy!
Drop into his blog here http://royaldanishairbornenavy.blogspot.com/ to see his creations.

Thanks for sharing PO, and Good Luck!

Monday 10 March 2008

Tony's Update Part 2

German steam powered land-ironclad squad – Chapter Two

The construction and testing of the Holt caterpillar mechanism has gone well and although there is some disagreement as to whether the steam engine has enough horse power, the general agreement is that the project is progressing well. Further up the chain of command the situation is not so good. The American Government has lodged a complaint against ‘under-hand business practices’ and the American Patent office have started proceeding against the German Special Projects division for breach of Patent AS 12867/1887 ‘Chain Track’ Held by The Holts Tractor Company of Ohio.

One point of interest to the reader is that the Holt patent track laying system is the basis of both the German A7V, and the French Renault tanks.

This is not the only issues affecting the project as the German Navy is still refusing to release any armour platting and now Krupps have written to Herr Dr. Lacher to suggest that they are being put under pressure to refuse to supply the naval designed guns! The political intrigue surrounding this project is growing by the day and it will take all of Dr. Lacker’s skills to negotiate a suitable outcome.

We have a compromise – The German Navy have agreed to allow the steel plate and naval guns to be used, provided that the project is now a joint venture and the Land Ironclads are now referred to as Land Ships! Herr Lacher is said to be ‘delighted at the combined expertise of the Imperial German Army and Navy working together. It is hoped that this amalgamation will speed up both development and construction times.’

The Fenian Airship (Toucan) – Chapter Two

The airships envelope has been successfully test filled and although the event went without a hitch, there is concern that the existing envelope may need to be increased in size, or at the very least altered to include one extra gas bag – a similar experience has been encountered in a number of dirigible builds, and the usual way around this is to extend the envelope in the centre section. O’Driscall is against such actions and it might be that the gondola will have to be reduced in size and/or the maximum load reduced.

The high pressure steam engine has also been delivered and is undergoing trials, to confirm its maximum pressure out-put and to investigate ways that the whole assembly can have its weight reduced. On this point a new member and specialist engineer has been brought in to the project to oversee the mechanical specifications and build, Robert Lock, a Welshman, who has worked in Italy and been involved in many similar project’s will also help with the building of the gondola. ‘Bob’ Lock has also expressed an interest in piloting the airship, a position that has already had a number of candidates and should prove a ‘delightful aside’ to the more serious project of construction!

The ‘Fenian Ram’ and ‘Irish Folly’ are both engaged in testing the new Shillelagh stick bombs. The bomb is shaped like the British Congreve Rocket, but intended to be dropped rather than rocket propelled. Many civilised nations have reportedly tested such devices, few will admit to owning any!

The comments above were copied from; http://dampfpanzerwagon.blogspot.com/Tony

Thursday 6 March 2008

New Martian Empires figs released

Black Hat Miniatures' latest offerings in 18mm VSF are out:

EMP304 - Martian Ghost Archers
EMP376 - Imperial Martian Thought Projector


Wednesday 5 March 2008

Tony's Update

German steam powered land-ironclad squad – Chapter One
Progress has been very slow, following the surprising dismissal of the German project leader, Herr Trotter caused by a blazing argument between the Special Projects Commissioner, Chancellor Sachs and Herr Trotter over the best way forward and who should be chosen as the lead designer.

The mild mannered Austrian, the good Herr Dr. Lacher – a proven manager and visionary was given the job of ‘pulling the project back on track’. He has employed the very special talents of the gifted Italian designer A. Angellon to design the land-tanks and Krupp’s the German engineering company to supply the weapons and specialised equipment. The Initial designs have been supplemented by some additional design blueprints that were ‘acquired’* from the American tractor company Holts! While a Scottish engineer called Professor Souter has been working with Angellon on the mechanical problems associated with the steam walker.

Mechanically all is moving forward and although slightly behind plan the 80 day deadline is still very achievable.

One issue that is beyond the control of the project team is the lack of steel plating that will be needed for the armoured compartments of each of the fighting turrets, the German Navy has placed a ban on all non-essential requests for armour platting and something will have to be done soon to make sure that this project is ready on time and up-holds the fine reputation of the German Army.

* ‘acquired’ is a euphemism for the black arts of international espionage!

The Fenian Airship (Toucan) – Chapter One
Fenian revolutionary forces on Mars have through the very generous contributions of American sympathisers been able to buy and re-equip two Martian Hullcutter; ‘The Fenian Ram’ and ‘The Irish Folly’. However the inability to procure any other ‘liftwood’ vessels has led the leaders to look elsewhere.

The Fenian engineer O’Driscall has managed to produce the envelope and gas bags for his first dirigible ‘Ireland One’, based on the French ‘Clement-Bayard airship No1,’ and is now looking to American fund raising to supply additional money to allow O’Driscall to continue with his ground breaking attempts to produce the first ever home-grown Irish airship, a bomber!

Some critics are dismayed that O’Driscall has stooped to the level he has in accepting a form of sponsorship from a well know producer of alcoholic beverages and produced the envelope in the company colours of black and cream, a quick witted worker at the factory has volunteer to paint a golden harp motif on each side of the gas-bag! And the airship has acquired the nick-name ‘Toucan’ in reference to an advertising logo used by the brewery.

The construction is proceeding to plans and should, provided that the funding is forthcoming, be proven and flying for the planned celebrations in 80 days time.


The comments above were copied from;http://dampfpanzerwagon.blogspot.com/

Tuesday 4 March 2008

Khedive commits to Arms Race!

Mssr Hooper (of the lovely Aeronef site http://web.mac.com/phooper/Aeronef/Aeronef_Menu.html) sent me an ethergram today:

His most Royal Highness the Khedive of Egypt has commanded me to inform you that he has commissioned a new fleet of Digs and Aeronefs to be built at the shipyards of Broome and Co of Great Yarmouth in the county of Norfolk UK. These ships will be built and launched within the next 75 days as the Khedive has determined that the small Turkish fleet can no longer be relied upon to defend Egypt and all her treasures. Interim reports will be issued every seven days.

My Goodness - another threat unleashed upon the unsuspecting Med...renewed pressure upon Malta is certain. We shall look forward to the weekly updates with great interest!

Monday 3 March 2008

New releases from Brigade

Hungary's contribution to the Imperial war effort - a new battleship class
based on the hull of the Ferdinand Max but with heavier main armament.

Brigade have announced their latest releases:

It's been a while ... but we have one or two new items for you.

There are two new Aeronef models. First is the Hungarian Szent Istvan battleship - this is based on the same hull as the Ferdinand Max but with a new, more heavily armed superstructure. The other new model is the Chilean Esmerelda class destroyer which means that the Santiago finally has something to escort it.

The arrival of the Szent Istvan has allowed us to produce a second Austro-Hungarian fleet pack featuring the SI plus a Budapest and supporting vessels, as well as an Austro-Hungarian Grand Fleet pack which is excellent value at around 20% off when compared to buying the models seperately. Finally, there's an A-H Escort Flotilla pack

We've released a Argentinian-Brazilian starter pack - we've been selling this off the stand at shows for a while and have decided to make it available off the website. There's also a new British Merchant Convoy pack with six assorted merchant vessels plus escorts.

We're continuing to add seperate turrets as an aid to scratchbuilding and conversions - this time we have the twin-gun barbette from the Russian Petrapavlovsk and Archangelsk Nef, and there's also a brand-new single barrelled version of the same barbette.

Finally, we have one of those products that seems rather dull but in fact turns out to be very useful. We've made a metal weight that fits inside the base of our standard plastic flying stands and makes larger models much more stable and less prone to tipping over. Available in packs of five from the Accessories page.

Our primary focus for Salute will be on the release of Land Ironclads - more news on this shortly, plus some details on a demo' game we're helping to put on at the show.


Esmeralda class Destroyer




A spokesman for the Rayleigh Reform Club issued the following communique:

"In response to the challenge issued to complete a construction project within the 80 day timespan I am instructed to inform all persons present and their associates that Lord Royston of Rayleigh has kindly agreed to place the construction and design facility of the Rayleigh Factorium at the disposal of the Honorable East India Company of Leadenhall Street, London for the avowed intention of constructing a new squadron of merchant vessels suitable for use in time of strife and unrest by the addition of defensive apparatus. This new squadron will be sent, post haste, to the Indian Sub Continent where they will be deployed on the Calcutta station. Full details will be made available in due course as to the composition and types of the vessels in question as well as full technical specifications.

Lord Royston has long been a champion of scientific and technological endeavour and this gesture, so nobly and unstintingly given, further adds gravitas to his avowed intention of ensuring that this great Empire remains at the forefront of such undertakings".

His Lordship hopes to be at the controls of the first vessel to be completed as he has a long planned visit to the company offices in Bengal for the Tiger shooting season in June of this year.

Three cheers for Lord Royston of Rayleigh and for Fair India, truly the Jewel in the Crown!! HUZZAH!! HUZZAH!! HUZZAH!!

Competitor Pegboard

At the top of the left-hand side, esteemed Guests shall notice the "Around the World in 80 Models" pegboard, displaying the entrants, their chosen VSF madness and their declared progress (if any)

But to keep everyone in suspense, no pictographs will be displayed until the allocated 80 Days are up!

Good luck Chaps!

Sunday 2 March 2008

Tas enters the Fray...

The Declaration of the Competition sates:

Entrants should record their preferred contribution within this august journal in order that an indication of what delights will await in 80 days time.

In order to comply with this statement, I Grand Duke Tas the Mad of Menzies on the Mingesm do hereby declare that my entry in the Competition will be an aerial Fleet of the White Russians!

And for those naysaysers who might suggets that theRussian Revolution comes around 1917 and is therefore not even of the Victorian era I say Nay! The erudite gentlemen schooled in alterative history knows that the Russian Revolution has its origins in the Russo-German war of 1899 which led to the invasion of England. Thus shall be coined my White Russian Fleet, scourage of the Bolshevik curse, which as I understand it shall also be the first one in Aeronef terms!

79 days and counting by my chronoscope...

Saturday 1 March 2008

Around the World in 80 Models!




My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen!

In celebration of a glorious two years of this august journal - Huzzah! - a meritorious and magnificent test of modelling mastery is hereby announced.

"To all sportsmen and personages of rank and title, notice is hereby given of the grand Yours In a White Wine Sauce Eighty Day Modelling Challenge!"

Simply put, in Eighty days from today (May 19th 2008) those gentlemen that wish to partake must undertake to complete a VSF themed model or models. The choice of model can be anything VSF related but certain conditions are of course appropriate. For example, an Aeronef fleet should consist of a minimum of 12 models - 6 escort, 4 cruiser and 2 capital. Other forces should be of a similar size.

There is no hard and fast rules per se (other than the restiction referred to) and neither is a deposit of £20,000 at Barings Bank available to the winner. This is merely an excuse to ensure that those projects that never seem to get off the ground will have an opportunity of seeing the light of day in the spirit of friendly and gentlemanly competition.

Entrants should record their preferred contribution within this august journal in order that an indication of what delights will await in 80 days time.

That doyen of the modellers craft - Vanvlak - first suggested this flight of whimsy and it has been heartily endorsed by both Commander Tas and Lord Royston of Rayleigh.

His Lordship was quoted as saying, " Dashed good wheeze and all that! That Vanvlak chappie has really thrown down the gauntlet and only a complete cad or boundah would refuse to take it up! Jolly good show I say, now where is my Madeira.....?"

Commander Tas was oveheard in the corner on his club mumbling over a ridiculously large Cognac:"....of course I shall pariticipate, the Honour of the Colonies is at stake.......but I freely admit, I was very, very drunk!"

Smoke has already been observed coming from the stacks inside Vanvlak Industries secret factorium.

So there you have it, Around the World in 80 models........
Gentlemen, the chronometer is ticking!

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

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