Monday, 31 January 2011

Another one of those 'excuses' posts...

... real life has been getting in the way a bit. Some of it good, like my friend's 3-day stag party. Some of it less good. Some of it interesting, but very time consuming (step forward essays on re-evaluating excavations of The Breiddin hillfort, and concepts behind Anglo-Saxon memorials; and an exam into various aspects of the Iron Age). Some of it time consuming and very dull.

About the most exciting thing I've done hobby-wise in the lasy few weeks is buy some liquid poly.

Anyway, the Aetherines should be soon joining the ranks, if not of fully-paid-up soldiers of the Queen, at least of chaps in training and being kitted out. I'm determined I'm going to do something with them this week!

Oh, and the GW Sentinel that is I hope soon to become an Armoured Lancer has at least moved from the loft to the living room carpet. I really must do something about that...

Friday, 21 January 2011

This is not my picture, I wish it were. It's from Bjorn Hurri's concept work for a Steampunk Starwars project, though bizarrely it doesn't appear on his website, I found it elsewhere. Anyway, it's a great alternative representation of Leia, and also is something like how I imagine Whimsy, which is my excuse for posting it here.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Steam Devices - now in pictures!

As I said I was going to raid Orc Junior's Space Marine army for some Steam Technology (or at least temporary proxies thereof), I thought I'd share the photos:

First up is a Steam Walker, the 'Goliath', which is an experimental 2-man contraption being field-tested by the Aetherines.

Next is a Steam Tank, the 'Victorious', also being trialed by the Aetherines. I'm working on preparing stats for GASLIGHT for these, ably helped by the lovely Bullshott over at Lead Adventure Forum, as I'm hoping to actually get round to some VSF gaming this year...

Apart from the 'field trials' I hope that I'll also be able to tidy up the paintjobs on these and maybe base the Dreadnaught properly.

Yes, well, we'll see how that goes!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

The 43rd (Prince Rupert's) Regiment of Horse

Not quite sure what my thinking is here, but the co-incidence of Captain Cadman serving with the above regiment is giving me ideas.

As I live in Leicester (where Prince Rupert of the Rhine led the seige in the English Civil War) and my kids are in the 43rd Leicester Scouts, the 'Fighting' 43rd (Prince Rupert's) Regiment has a certain resonance. And my kids like horse riding.

Add to that the fact that the only other noted Rupert (we'll leave Rupert Bear out of it) is Rupert of Hentzau (also a skillful rider and dashing though impetuous soldier, born near Prague, and almost certainly modelled on Rupert of the Rhine), so Prince Rupert already has a certain connection with VSF musings.

Prince Rupert's armorial bearings include a gold lion rampant on black. The 43rd Leicester Scouts have red and pale blue. I'm going to have to work on this.

Friday, 14 January 2011

2011 has begun...

...officially, with my first dose of lead of the new year.

I have received a small Ironclad order, consisting of Ironcladman, Captain Nemo, Agents H and L, and 4 Evil Henchmen.

Ironcladman will serve for the moment in Her Majesty's Royal Aeronautical Corps, as an Aetherine hero in an experimental Battle Suit.

Agent H and Agent L will be attached to the Torchwood project, seconded there from the Ministerial Investigation Bureau - no, Board is a better word for a Victorian institution I think (a secret government department tasked with overseeing paranormal investigations, known by field agents such as Torchwood as the 'Ministry of Interfering Busybodies', or sometimes something even less polite; 'Mostly, Irritating Bores' and 'Magically Incompetent Blockheads' are two other versions - I've been thinking about what 'MIB' could stand for all afternoon...).

The Captain Nemo figure (with his Evil Henchmen) will serve as an enemy of Rivets and Whimsy... damned sky-pirates. The Henchmen look like they'll also see action as Ruritanian terrorists and general fin de siecle bad guys.

And I've also snagged a copy of 'The Heart of Princess Osra', the prequel to 'The Prisoner of Zenda' - revelations about Ruritanian history will no doubt follow.

All pictures taken direct from the Ironclad site at Ironclad Miniatures

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Long-lost info on my Line Infantry

I know I've posted that picture before, but it's a good one (not taken by me). It's also relevant.

Having just come across this on LAF:

Thus, they (my line infantry) will remain a Line Infantry regiment, from England as that seems easier, and almost certainly to start with, from Trumptonshire (which is more or less where Wiltshire is I think). So they will for the time being, be the Trumptonshire Regiment, following the merger under the Childers reforms of the North Trumptonshire Volunteer Regiment and the Duke of Melchester's Own Regiment of Foot...

I thought I'd post it here to keep it with the rest of the info on them. Their officer is Major Smith, for want of any concrete information on the officer's rank. I still plan to use Alfrik's suggesation of either changeable flag-bearers or just changeable flags, so I suppose I need an Ensign in Home Service kit.

And some flags.

Walkers a go-go

There have been several projects over the last few weeks and months involving steam-walkers - Alfrik over at Armored Ink (link in 'Blogs I'm Following' to the left) has a gorgeous battle report involving Skrapwelder's three lovely French walkers converted from GW Sentinel kits; also featured are Alfrik's own conversions of Star Wars walkers (check in 'Miniatures Update' on Armored Ink for more detailed pics), and some walkers made from an 'Incredibles' toy (well, four actually).

Meanwhile, over at Lead Adventurers, Black Cavalier has rivetted up a Star Wars AT-ST to produce a VSF scout walker in this thread here; and Conquistador, in this thread here, is discussing the possibility of using a Wild Wild West toy as a walker.

Inspired by all this leggy goodness, and the fact that I'm reading a book at the moment about an alternate-history WWI in which the Austro-Hungarian and German 'Clankers' (mechanical technologists) are fighting the British, French and Russian 'Darwinists' (bio-technologists), which co-incidently features an Austrian 5-man armoured walker, a 'Stormwalker' no less, I've been musing on walkers.

Imagine my surprise, on looking at Skrapwelder's French walkers, that I had one of them (in bits, unpainted and as yet unconverted) in a box upstairs. I'd completely forgotten it in the hectic maelstrom of... well, my head. I decided it would make a very nice command vehicle, and somewhat after the manner King Henry V in Skrapwelder's 'Aginclank' project - many more details here - my British commander will get to hang out in it I hope. Of course, if I get some more, they'll probably become a unit of Lancers...

Then I remembered that Orc Junior has a GW Imperial Dreadnaught, which I think will make a very fine walker for VSF, and it's a very fetching blue colour (he has an Ultramarine army that I keep forgetting is his not mine, ho hum). Anyroadup, my Aetherines will also be in blue jackets, and for that reason alone, blue seems to be a very good colour for an Aetherine walker. My idea is that it can be a one-man 'heavy support' armoured walker, armed with a Titanic Fist and a Portable Luciferium (or, a Dreadnaught Close Combat Weapon and a Multi-Melta). Given the size of the thing, I reckon it probably doesn't actually travel with the Aetherines - it's probably dropped from its own airship.

Pictures of some, all or fewer of these super-weapons (including I hope the airships) will be shortly forthcoming...

Monday, 10 January 2011

New links added

Thinking about my 'Aetherines' project, particularly the face-mask/'brass lung' idea has also got me considering Mars. That reminded me that I hadn't included the odd link so I've added a new link at least partitally concerning Mars, as it's to notes on 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 2'.

There's also a new Ruritania link, to a site with a fascinating (and truth to tell quite funny too) take on the lost 20th century history of Ruritania. It doesn't match my own take on Ruritanian history, but never mind, it's a jolly good read.

A grand piece of Victorian engineering can be found in the 'London Hydraulic Network' link. The site also contains hundreds of other pieces about underground buildings and tunnels, as well as site location maps and cave, tunnel and bunker plans and photos.

Staying underground, I've also added a link to a story about Lizards living in caves under LA, which is found on the quite amazing BLDGBLG. BLDGBLG has a host of stories and links for the discerning VSF gamer; many are connected to caves, others to buildings and urban spaces. A strange treasure trove.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Aetherine equipment part I

The main thing that a force of airship-troopers needs (beyond uniforms, weapons and ammo) I would think would be some sort of breathing apparatus. I'm thinking something like a small aqualung, that could function (for gaming purposes at least) at high altitudes on Earth or as an aid to breathing in the rarified airs of the Martian Highlands (guess where I'm thinking of going next?)

A facemask, tubes and a small cylinder sounds do-able, but I'd need something that can be replicated many times over. After all if I'm going to have a squad or two of these chaps I'm going to need 10-20 of these Brass Lungs.

Now tubes made from guitar strings shouldn't present too much problem, and I may be able to find enough circular sprue to make the cylinders, but I really don't know what to do about the facemasks.

Time for a ponder and a poke about in the bits box I think...

Thursday, 6 January 2011

My new project...

Right, the slow business of amassing the Soldiers of the Queen continues. OK, so I haven't painted my pith-helmet Dwarves yet, but... I really have to have some 'Aetherines' - like Marines, but they abseil from airships rather than jump out of boats.

They will be members of the Royal Aeronautical Corps, founded in 1862 after the British Government realised that superiority in balloons and aeronefs was one of the main areas where the Confederate States were leading their Unionist opponents in the First American Civil War.

The Royal Aeronautical Corps wears standard Army uniforms, though jackets are blue rather than the regulation Army red. Pith helmets are worn even by Aetherines on Home Service, as Home Service Pickelhaube-style helmets and gasbag balloons are not a good mix.

The ensign of the Royal Aeronautical Corps is a Blue Ensign, defaced with a globe, surrounded by a laurel wreath, and surmounted by a silver gryphon rampant, to symbolise the Corps' dual aerial and terrestrial role and its triumph over all enemies. The Corps' motto is 'Maxima Virtute' (I think, I'm not entirely happy with that but then again...)

I have in mind some Wargames Factory plastics as the basis of my Aetherines - if all goes to plan, the squad will be 10-strong, and consist of 9 riflemen and a sergeant with some sort of weird-tech VSF weapon. How does one build a Galvanic Lance do you reckon...?

Monday, 3 January 2011

New picture of the 1930s investigators

Improvements in the sensitivity of the Aetheric Tempograph enabled this slightly better shot to be taken of the 1930s paranormal investigators... however, the background has become very strange, they appear to be standing in a gigantic library which includes some books that haven't been written yet (in the 1930s).

Curiouser and curiouser...