Saturday 29 January 2011

Tobsen77 Miniatures

A German company that makes great looking VSF and Pulp vehicles in 28mm scale.  Check out these examples:

Find them here:

Thursday 27 January 2011

IronGrip: The Oppression

This is a nice screen grab from a Half Life 2 Mod


Tuesday 25 January 2011

Happy Birthday Australia!

Huzzah for Australia Day!

Saturday 22 January 2011

'With some Guts behind it!"

Today is the anniversary of the conclusion of the Battle for Rourke's Drift, 1879.  The battle started the previous day when around 4,500 Zulus under the command of Prince Dabulamanzi kaMapande (the King's brother) attacked the station after the main impi annihilated the main British column at Isandlwana.

Lieutenant Chard directs the Defence of the station, from the movie 'Zulu'
The post was held by some 139 men, (mostly of the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment) but only 104 men were fit to fight. The command of the post had passed to Lieutenant Chard of the Royal Engineers, when Major Henry Spalding of the 104th Regiment left on the morning of the 22nd January. Commanding a company-strength infantry force was Lieutenant Bromhead of the 24th Regiment. James Langley Dalton, a volunteer serving as an Acting Assistant Commissary and a former Staff Sergeant, ordered the construction of barricades connecting the two buildings with sacks of corn, and an inner barricade with biscuit boxes.   

When the Zulus attacked, wielding their short stabbing assegais, they were unable to reach the men behind the barricades and they were blasted by rifle fire at point blank range. Most of those who did mount the breastwork were repulsed by the bayonets of the defenders. Some of the Zulus were armed with rifles, purchased from unscrupulous traders, but they were not trained marksmen and the British soldiers were able to pick them off at long range.

The hospital at the western end of the fortifications became the focus for the fighting. Set on fire and stormed by the Zulus, it became untenable. As many men were extracted as possible, the remaining patients perishing in the flames. Privates John Williams, Henry Hook, William Jones, Frederick Hitch and Corporal William Allen all fighting with bayonets once their ammunition was expended, as they contested every room with the attacking warriors.

The fighting now concentrated on the wall of biscuit barrels linking the mission house with the mealie wall. As night fell the British withdrew to the centre of the station where a final bastion had been hastily assembled. The light from the burning hospital assisted the British in their fire.

Both sides fought with desperate courage. A patient from the hospital, a Swiss born adventurer Christian Ferdnand Schiess, stabbed three Zulus in quick succession after he had clambered over the breastwork. In the yard Surgeon James Henry Reynolds tended to the wounded, oblivious to the life and death struggle going on all around him. Those too badly hurt to shoot propped themselves up as best they could and reloaded the guns, and re-supplied ammunition to those who were still on their feet.

The savage Zulu attacks were resisted until around midnight when unexpectedly the ferocity of the assault fell away. Firing continued until around 4am when the Zulus drew off taking their wounded with them and leaving at least 351 dead around the barricades. By then the British held only the area around the storehouse.  

At 7am a body of Zulus appeared on the hill, but no attack followed. It became apparent that the Zulus could see Lord Chelmsford’s column approaching from the direction of Isandlwana to relive the garrison. The Zulus turned and left.  Soon afterwards the column arrived at the drift and crossed the Tugela, marching up to the mission station. Chelmsford’s delight at finding the garrison alive and still resisting was heavily tempered by his despair at finding that no survivors from Isandlwana had escaped to Rorke’s Drift.

Lieutenants Chard and Bromhead were both awarded the Victoria Cross, as were the redoubtable privates Alfred Hook, Frederick Hitch, Robert Jones, William Jones, Corporal Allen, James Langley Dalton and Pte. John Williams. Surgeon Reynolds got the Cross for tending the wounded under fire; and the Swiss volunteer Christian Schiess - the first to a soldier serving with South Africa forces.  This was is the highest number of VCs to be awarded in a single action.

So this last bit of the movie Zulu might be a bit ahistorical but its top-draw stirring stuff none-theless!

Friday 21 January 2011

Zulus Sir - thousands of them!

"March slowly, attack at dawn and eat up the red soldiers."
 - Zulu King Cetshwayo's order to the 24,000 strong main Zulu impi

Painting of the Battle by Charles Fripp - I have a print of this in my Dining Room.

Today is the Anniversary of the Battle of Isandlwana, in 1879.  This battle rocked Victorian Britain when the Zulus wiped out a substantial British force including the 1st Battalion, 24th Foot.

Lt. Colonel Pulleine was in command of 1774 British troops encamped on the eastern slope of Isandlwana. By 10am Pulleine had received a dispatch from Lt. Gen. Lord Chelmsford to break camp and move the entire contingent to Chelmsford’s location 13 miles southeast of Isandlwana mountain. Tents were being struck, oxen hitched to wagons.

At 12 o’clock the camp was attacked by 24-25 000 Zulu warriors, using the tactics of the horns of the buffalo. The Zulus totally surrounded the camp annihilating 1 329 British soldiers.   Lt. Melvill gallantly attempted to save the Queen’s colour and was helped by Lt. Coghill whilst trying to cross the Buffalo river. Lt's. Melvill and Coghill died in their attempt to save the colour and the honour of the regiment.

Thou great and mighty chief!
Thou who has an army
The red soldiers came:
We destroyed them.
The mounted soldiers came:
We destroyed them.
The mounted police came:
We destroyed them
When will they dare
To repeat their attack?

Zulu Victory Song, sung after the Battle of Isandlwana 

The Zulus then went on to surround and attack the British outpost at the small mission of Rourke's Drift, but that had a very different outcome...

(Don't tell her, but I remember my Mum's birthday because its the same day!)

Wednesday 19 January 2011


This is an interesting collection of 14 short-stories covering a broad range of VSF themes. 

All the stories are by different authors and this collection includes contributions by Michael Stackpole and William Dietz.

Lots of rousing, steam turbine powered stuff and definately worth a read (with a good claret and a stilton, by the fire of course!)

Monday 10 January 2011

Imperial Steam Walker


Imperial Moon

A clever chap has dressed up a 1/6 "Action Man" style figure as a Victorian Astronaught and concocted this background to go with him - bravo!

In 1899, Britain added the Moon to it's Empire. The mission was the result of decades of work by the Empire's greatest engineers, scientists and mathematicians and culminated with Captain William Harland (Royal Navy) planting the British flag on the lunar surface.

Over the following week, he explored the area around his landing site - collecting samples of rock and dust (to study back in his spacecraft) and making observations of the nearby highlands.

Like every good Victorian Explorer, he took a rifle with him in case he found something to shoot! In this case the rifle is air powered and can fire 20 shots before needing reloading (such a rifle was used for real by Lewis and Clark on their Expedition in the early 1800's).


Unfortunately, there was no plan for getting him back to Earth, and after transmitting his final findings back to Earth by wireless, he was never heard of again...
Personally, I dont think we've heard the last of dashing Captain Harland!

Friday 7 January 2011

When the Navy Walked

Now has a new website here and starts with this smashing intro:

On the shores of a sleepy island in the Mediterranean
Miklos hunkered down in the trench just in front of the tree line. The crashing waves were in front of him and his fellow Crispo's - and riding in on them were the landing boats from the Spanish naval ships sitting off the coast.
'Yes, come you dogs.'He thought. 'Our land forces will give you one hell of a fight!'

He knew that the costal defense ships had been beaten back by the incoming fleet - he only hoped the navy had given as well as it got.

He glimpsed to his right and he could see the precious Gatling gun that the Crispan government had bought from the Confederate States of America. That, along with a few boxes of rifles and a few old cannons was all that stood between the freedom of his home island and the domination of the Spanish conquistadors.

As the boats made the breakers, the cannons behind his position and the Gatling gun opened up, and he could see the Spaniards making for the beach. The hellfire of the gatling cut down many of the attackers before they could even get out of the water.

logo.gif (11337 bytes)For a moment, Miklos allowed himself a glimmer of hope that if they could push back strongly enough the Spaniards would be forced to reconsider their desire to make the island one of their territories.
With a loud blast that glimmer was gone as suddenly the bunker where the Gatling gun was became an inferno. Loud whistles, followed cannon blasts behind him, suggested that the cannons were also under a barrage of fire.
It was now, as the fight become more fierce, that Miklos noticed a ship which had come in closer than the others. The thought of it broken on the shallows almost made him smile.

Until ever so slowly the ship began to rise up out of the water on enormous metal wheels affixed to the hull below the water line. The ungainly and clumsy craft raised itself up above the water and began to advance onto the beach itself. The landship rained down a hellfire of artillery from its heavier guns, as well as sheets of lead from troopers inside the beast firing from the side port holes.

All around him, Miklos could see his compatriots. The fear was evident on their faces as many dropped their rifles and ran away from the mechanical monstrosity. Elsewhere, the dead lay with the same fearful expression permanently affixed.

In his heart, Miklos wanted to take up his rifle and fight for his freedom, for his nations very existence.
 His head knew better and he took to flight with the others.
The battle, like the Island of Crispo's sovereignty, was at an end.
A new Era among the superpowers had begun.


Thursday 6 January 2011

More action on the Red Planet

I found this blog recently, which amongst other things has some lovely VSF action from Fall-In! this year - air and land action goodness on the Red Planet.

I hope those damned savages didnt damage the drinks cabinet - its a long way back to restock ones' claret and brandy supplies you know!

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Citistates Of Mars

Recently popped into the Services Club for a bit of tiffin with Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond who had just returned from a stint in Khalabar and we started reminiscing about the funny things the local Burpas tried against our valiant troops including of all things an exploding goat!

Funny thing was looking it up on the old Babbage machine back home on the estate I found a bunch of colonials across the pond have set up an enterprise called Exploding Goat Games. Now I couldn't find any games about exploding goats in their telephoescopic catalogue but they appear to be working on a Little Wars type endeavour called Citistates of Mars.

They say it is full of "martian escapades of the Hero of Mars. Four-armed green Martians, red-skinned Martian princesses, strange beasts… its all here", which sounds a bit like the adventures that Yankee freebooter that Burroughs chappie chronicled.

Whatever, it sounds promising and could be a valuable aid for young officers about to embark on colonial service on the red planet (even if it doesn't include an exploding goat).

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

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