Thursday, March 22, 2018

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bobs Bicycles

Just happened to stumble upon these beautiful before and after shots of what looks like a larger scale model structure. I cannot say whether it was a scratch build or started off as a craftsmen kit. Truly inspirational!

Sweet Yellow Wine - Journey into the Unknown

But for me the captain poured into a little glass some heavy yellow wine from a small jar which he kept apart among his sacred things. Thick and sweet it was, even like honey, yet there was in its heart a mighty, ardent fire which had authority over souls of men. It was made, the captain told me, with great subtlety by the secret craft of a family of six who lived in a hut on the mountains of Hian Min. Once in these mountains, he said, he followed the spoor of a bear, and he came suddenly on a man of that family who had hunted the same bear, and he was at the end of a narrow way with precipice all about him, and his spear was sticking in the bear, and the wound not fatal, and he had no other weapon. And the bear was walking towards the man, very slowly because his wound irked him—yet he was now very close. And what the captain did he would not say, but every year as soon as the snows are hard, and travelling is easy on the Hian Min, that man comes down to the market in the plains, and always leaves for the captain in the gate of fair Belzoond a vessel of that priceless secret wine.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


I found an interesting how-to article on how to make terrain pieces for your next war-game. The author used commonly available materials that are typically found around your home or shop.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Journey into the Unknown -Astahahn and it's Strange and Wonderful Creatures

"And now we were approaching the wide court of Astahahn, which opens upon the river. Strange boats of antique design were chained there to the steps. As we neared it we saw the open marble court, on three sides of which stood the city fronting on colonnades. And in the court and along the colonnades the people of that city walked with solemnity and care according to the rites of ancient ceremony. All in that city was of ancient device; the carving on the houses, which, when age had broken it remained unrepaired, was of the remotest times, and everywhere were represented in stone beasts that have long since passed away from Earth—the dragon, the griffin, and the hippogriffin, and the different species of gargoyle. Nothing was to be found, whether material or custom, that was new in Astahahn. Now they took no notice at all of us as we went by, but continued their processions and ceremonies in the ancient city, and the sailors, knowing their custom, took no notice of them. But I called, as we came near, to one who stood beside the water's edge, asking him what men did in Astahahn and what their merchandise was, and with whom they traded. He said, 'Here we have fettered and manacled Time, who would otherwise slay the gods.'"

Tales of Three Hemispheres, Lord Dunsany

Phantasmagoria - Journey into the Unknown

“And the butterflies sung of strange and painted things, of purple orchids and of lost pink cities and the monstrous colours of the jungle's decay. And they, too, were among those whose voices are not discernible by human ears. And as they floated above the river, going from forest to forest, their splendour was matched by the inimical beauty of the birds who darted out to pursue them. Or sometimes they settled on the white and wax-like blooms of the plant that creeps and clambers about the trees of the forest; and their purple wings flashed out on the great blossoms as, when the caravans go from Nurl to Thace, the gleaming silks flash out upon the snow, where the crafty merchants spread them one by one to astonish the mountaineers of the Hills of Noor.”

Tales of Three Hemispheres, Lord Dunsany

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Scratch Built HO Gauge Shanty-Shack #10

The shanty measures scale ten-foot square. It is constructed entirely out of paper. For the left and right walls, I used some soft corrugated paper I found wrapped around individual light-bulbs. These were painted and weathered to mimic corrugated sheets. I used the same material for the front wall, except I painted this section to represent board and batten. I used rock embellished paper for the back wall. The roof was fashioned from a piece of corrugated cardboard.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Ghosts of Shipwrecked Mariners

“And now the evening began to gather in. A thick white mist had appeared over the river, and was softly rising higher. It clutched at the trees with long impalpable arms, it rose higher and higher, chilling the air; and white shapes moved away into the jungle as though the ghosts of shipwrecked mariners were searching stealthily in the darkness for the spirits of evil that long ago had wrecked them on the Yan."

Tales of Three Hemispheres, Lord Dunsany

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

What’s on my Work Bench?

I have three 1/76 plastic huts/shed buildings on my bench all in different levels of completion. One out of three, the Ratio #524 (Pico) Weighbridge and stone Hut is complete except for the window material and the painting of the weigh-bridge.

The other two structures are:

Wills SS12 Station Garage

This model consists of two identical buildings with twin wooden doors. I want to change the front of the first building to one single door and a window. To accomplish this I am going to cut out a new wall section out of some clapboard sheet and add a new door and window castings.

Wills SS31 Village Forge

I have had some trouble with warping on this model which is making getting the two slate roof sections to fit squarely a nightmare. I have, after doing some shoring up on the interior, added two sections of polystyrene sub-roofing and will affix some scale corrugated sheets atop of the sub-roofing.

Monday, March 5, 2018

A Random Quote from a Random Book

After the invasion of the raven, books from Norrels library were strewn everywhere. Strange picked one up randomly, a book titled Seven Doors and Forty-Two Keys, by Piers Russinol. Strange opened the book and started to read a random selection of text:

…and there you will find a strange country like a chessboard, where alternates barren rock with fruitful orchards, wastes of thorns with fields of bearded corn, water meadows with deserts. And in this country, the god of magicians, Thrice-Great Hermes, has set a guard upon every gate and every bridge: in one place a ram, in another place a serpent…”

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell-Final Thoughts

I have finely completed my reading of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I haven’t been reading as much as I normally do and most of my winter’s reading list will be moved to my spring reading.

The book, the first by Susanna Clarke, was over 1000 pages with some very fine print.

The book is divided into three volumes:

Volume 1: Mr. Norrell: I found the first volume interesting and good reading.

Volume 2: Jonathan Strange: it started off interesting, but got bogged down with a lot trifling details, or was it I who got bogged down?

Volume 3: John Uskglass: the last and most interesting and I found myself reading through this section at a good clip. It was hard to put the book down at this point.

Overall the book was interesting and a very good read. You might have noticed I made many posts from this text. (I still a few more posts to make, just need to get them transcribed).

Having seen the BBC TV series and as frequently is the case, the book provided more detail and gave me a more intimate understanding of its characters.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Malta Convoy, a Free Solo Dice Game

Roll the dice for the make-up of your convoy, length of trip, and many other attributes. All you need to supply are one or two 6D dice and pencil and paper (Or use the included map). Roll for your beginning attributes and as you progress you will be rolling for possible enemy contacts. See the second page for complete rules.

An alternative game that is a bit more sophisticated that uses ship miniatures can be downloaded from GHQ.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

So Many Ridiculously Miniature Layouts

I have always been fascinated with miniature things, especially miniature trains and model train layouts. You will find many ridiculously miniature model train layouts on this Pinterest page.

Odds & Ends #14

Alternative Rules for Axis and Allies

The one thing I always liked about the original Axis and Allies were it alternative technologies that could be purchased, if you rolled a six. These technology enhancements included long range aircraft, ships, and tanks. There were advancements for every country and they would often give you an edge over your component. I recently found an updated rule book and although it does not include any of those old alternative rules, it does offer several optional rules for each country.

Twenty Must Read Steampunk Books

I haven’t read many of these titles, but the Twenty Must Read Steampunk Books – An Introduction to the Genre list will get us started.

Why Nikola Tesla was the Greatest Geek Who Ever Lived

Why Nikola Tesla was the Greatest Geek Who Ever Lived is an informative comic (of sorts). I do find Tesla an interesting inventor.