Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
Although I model US prototypes I have purchased several Ratio kits. These plastic kits are of European prototypes and have been purchased for dioramas, while other kits have been purchased for small trackside or industrial buildings. With some minor modifications these kits will easily pass for American prototypes.
Ratio is now an affiliate of Peco, but still offers the majority of the listed models I found listed on the back of packaging from one of these kits. I will be posting more information about these kits and my plans for a diorama in upcoming posts.
Ratio HO-Gauge Trackside Buildings
|500||G.W.R. Signal Box|
|501||Grounded Coach Body|
|503||Platform/Ground Level Signal Box|
|507||Grounded Van Body|
|508||Pump House/Boiler House|
|513||Provender (Goods) Store|
|514||Pack of Assorted Pallets, Sacks, Barrels|
|516||Station Valancing, Notice Boards|
|518||Concrete Platelayer's Hunt (2)|
Sunday, February 22, 2015
My wife and I played our first game of Eight Minute Empire last night and contrary to the inference of the games title, it took us around thirty minutes to complete the game. Although the game is card driven you get to choose the card from the six cards that are always available. Cards indicate a good, a move action, acquiring or removing (your opponents) armies. Points are gained by controlling regions, continents, and goods. Our scores were close 17 to 19. I won by strategically acquiring goods cards that were worth a bit more than the others.
This is a simple and quick game to play and is quite enjoyable. It is nice just to get to play an enjoyable game without having to reed through pages of complicated rules and scenarios. Good job Red Raven Games.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
- Long, whiskery feelers
- Stag like horns
- Five toes on each claw
- Large scales
- Feathery tail
- Fire breather
- Females carry their egg, usually in its fore claw
Friday, February 20, 2015
I have read three books that mention books. These are not ordinary books. These books provide the reader with special abilities. The three titles that I have read that mention these special books are The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson, The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis, and The Book of Dragons, which is written by Edith Nesbit.
These titles were read in the in the order in which they were mentioned. I will start with my current reading, the mention of the book in The Book of Dragons.
Lionel, the boy King had wandered in a library that was full of books, not realizing that all the books in this library were his (Lionel had just became king). These books were purchased by his great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, grandfather. His ministers insisted that he not touch or read any the books in this library in that they supposed the books to be magic in some way.
Lionel insisted that he wouldn’t touch any of the books in the library, except one he had spied his eyes upon. It was a great brown book that lay on the study table. “It had gold patterns on brown leather, and gold clasps with turquoises and rubies in the twists of them, and gold corners, so that the leather should not wear too quickly.”
The book was entitled “The Book of Beasts” and inside the book were images of all types of creatures. Some of the creatures were common creatures like the butterfly with its “many-colored wings on the yellow old page of the book”, or the shining bird with its blue feathers; while others were creatures that might have been found in some fantasy story, like the red dragon, the Manticora the sworn enemy of the dragon, and the Hippogrith with its pure white mane and kindly eyes.
This book was special and held magical qualities. As one opened the book to these creatures the creatures would become animated and alive and fly out of the book to cause delight as was the case of the blue bird, butterfly, and the Hippogrith; or as with the red dragon and Manticora trouble and desolation.
I shall like to know of other books that mention books.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Although Eight Minute Empire is a simple game and quick game to play it is fun. Since my first experience with Red Raven Games was positive I wondered what other games they had published. I came up with the following three games from Red Raven Games that looked interesting.
Eight-Minute Empire: Legends is a sequel stand alone game to Red Raven’s Eight Minute Empire. Instead of the goods that Eight Minute Empire featured the games cards now give the holder special abilities. These special abilities give the player unique advantages and ways for the player to bend the rules for their benefit.
Eight-Minute Empire: Legends make use of a modular game board for more verity, instead of Eight Minute Empire’s two sided board.
Eight-Minute Empire: Lost Lands is an expansion for Eight-Minute Empire: Legends. This expansion adds components for a fifth player, a new two-sided island board, new playing mechanics, a “lost” faction, and new heroes. The last time I checked retailers were taking
This is another stand-alone game where players take turns sending citizens to attack titans. The game board is quite large and includes some very nice art work. The game also includes a rule book, two sets of double-sided cardboard game pieces, a set of special dice, two sets of cards, and several other player aids.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The contradictions between the two descriptions of these creatures stems from the fact, that while protagonist of this story was doing some preliminary investigation into sightings of these creatures he had read the descriptions from multiple sources and locations.
“The creatures were sort of huge, light-red and crab like with many pairs of legs and with two great bats like wings in the middle of the back. They sometimes walked on all of their legs, and sometimes on the hindmost pair only, using the others to convey large objects of indeterminate nature.”
Chapter 1 Whisperer in Darkness, H.P. Lovecraft
Here is another description of Lovecraft’s freakish and garish creatures. These as the rest of his monsters would be best to have been found on a shelve and in some specimen bottle, at least in part, and not upon a page of a book or otherwise.
“They were pinkish things about five feet long, with crustacean bodies bearing vast pairs of dorsal fins or membranous wings and several sets of articulated limbs, and with a sort of convoluted ellipsoid, covered with multitudes of very short antennae, where a head should be.”
Chapter 1 Whisperer in Darkness, H.P. Lovecraft
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Here are few reviews and other sites that offer a description of the Eight Minute Empire game.
Before I make a purchase Boardgame Geek is always the first place I go to read-up on a game. You will find all sorts of information about a game, including reviews, prices, images of game and its components, related forums, fan created files, like alternative game boards, card sleeves,
This is the home page of Red Raven Games where you can find information about the Eight Minute Empire and the other games and expansions created by Red Raven Games. Many of these games look pretty interesting and deserve some more research.
Nice review of Eight Minute Empire, its components, and basic play instructions.
This is another nice review of the game. I especially liked the two videos at the bottom of the page. One of the videos walks you through a round of the game between the author and his son. It is nice to see fathers doing something constructive with their sons.
Monday, February 16, 2015
The Asian Lung can be found in Eastern China and throughout South East Asia. The Asian Lung can also be found in the coastal regions of NE Australia. These dragons are most often found near rivers, streams and lakes were they like to hide there lairs in underwater caves or grotto’s.
The Asian Lung can reach sizes between 12 and 15 feet high and up to 40 feet long. They are similar in appearance to the Tibetan dragon in that they sport a set of whiskers and a set of horns on the top of their heads. The Asian Lung also has four feet, but depending on the subspecies may have four or five toes on each foot.
The Asian Lung can be found in the following coloration: black, blue, white, red or yellow. And like the Chinese Lung the females carry their eggs for safety's sake. These eggs have often been mistaken for huge pearls.
Friday, February 13, 2015
As you know I have made more than a few posts on maps. I love maps, especially old maps and those of made-up places. In the previous post I reviewed Red Raven Games, Eight Minute Empire were I mentioned that the game board is double-sided and depicts two fantasy worlds. These maps are beautiful in their own right, but I wondered what could be done to give them a more ancient look and feel. Here is the outcome of my experimentation with various processes and solutions.
Eight-Minute Empire, published by Red Raven Games, is a beautifully simple game. It comes in a 6 x 9 inch box with some very nice box art on the cover. Inside the sturdy box you will find five sets of 14 small wooden cubes and wooden disks, 1 double-sided board, 42 cards, 44 coin tokens, 10 goods tokens and the rule book. All the components of the game, including the cardboard ones are of good quality.
The board folds out to 10.5 by 8.5 inch map of two fantasy lands. Like was mentioned above the map is double sided so you can try your hand at controlling two separate worlds. There is a third map, a map of Europe that can be downloaded from Board Game Geek for even more verity.
The title of the game is a bit misleading, unless the authors meant that you could read through the rulebook in about eight minutes, which seems about right. One round of the game will take you between twenty and thirty minutes and for longer play, it is recommended that you play through the game three times and add up your “victory” points from each round.
The game is card driven. Cards are chosen by the player form the six cards, placed at the top of the game board and are always available. Once one is chosen by a player the remaining cards are shifted toward the left and a new card is added to those that are available. Cards are chose by each player according to what they are willing to pay or the player’s individual needs or strategies.
The object of the game is too tally-up as many victory points by the end of the game. A game is ended when player‘s accumulate a set of cards, that depending on the number of players that are playing. For a two player that is 13 cards. You gain victory points by the number of continents, territories, and goods you control by the play of the thirteenth card.
It looks like it should be fun game to play and I hope to get a try at it over the weekend.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
"The Kraken" (1830)
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Lindworms can be found on the empty steppes of central Asia. Lindworms can grow up to 30 feet long and up to 8 and 10 feet tall. The Lindworm has two feet towards the top of its body, and a set of scales that runs down the middle of its slender body from its head terminating to an arrow head shaped and pointed tail. Lindworms are often found in shades of green, pale orange or a sandy yellow.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Quite stars of sweet enchantments,
That are seen In Life's lost distances…"
The World of Dreams
"All along the port rails there was a queer, undulating grayness that moved downward inboard, and spread over the desks. As I looked, I found that I saw more clearly, in a most extraordinary way. And, suddenly, all the moving grayness resolved into hundreds of strange men. In the half-light, they looked unreal and impossible, as though there had come upon us the inhabitants of some fantastic dream-world. They swarmed in upon us in great wave of murderous, living shadows."
Chapter 16: The Ghost Pirates; The Ghost Pirates, William Hope Hodgson
This quote was found in the last of a trilogy by William Hope Hodgson’s, The Ghost Pirates. All three of Hodgson’s set were fabulous, but I did prefer the first and the last in the series best; their being sea yarns.
Monday, February 9, 2015
There are four distinct species of eastern dragons; they are the Tibetan, Lindworms, Asian Lung, and the Chinese Lung. The first I will be reporting on is the Tibetan Dragon.
The Tibetan Dragon was found in higher elevations of central Asia. The Tibetan Dragons are mostly red in color and can grow up to ten to twelve feet high and up to forty feet long. They are long slender creatures with scales running down the length of their backs. They have four feet and with five toes. Each toe includes a razor sharp claw. They have what seems like whiskers around their mouths and sport a set of horns on the top of their heads. Their main pray is the Himalayan Yeti a large ape like creature that also abides in higher elevations of the Himalayan Mountains.
“After all, the strangest and maddest of myths are often merely symbols or allegories based upon truth.”
H.P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth
Blogger’s web editor can be quirky at times. In order to have consistent look I have taken the original post down and have hand-coded the post.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
This aberration is part man and part fish. Is it a freak of nature or a genetics experiment gone badly? Whatever the case, I would not want to meet up with this creature while out scuba diving. This 25mm miniature is from Reaper Miniatures Aquatic Familiars II pack. This was one of the miniatures on my January Projects list.
There is one more from this collection that I need to complete, but I cannot find a paint scheme that I am happy with.
Friday, February 6, 2015
"A peculiar secret cult had gained force here (in Innsmouth) and had engulfed all the orthodox churches. It was called the 'The Esoteric Order of Dagon' and was undoubtedly a debased quasi-pagan thing imported from the East a century before."
Thursday, February 5, 2015
The four adventurers set off to a distant land, a land full of darkness, and contend with one melee after another with all types of creatures. The Astonishing Adventurers of the Handlers is a 26 page graphic novel. The publication is available through Drive-Thru-Comics for .50, that’s right, a half a dollar.
The novel is formatted as a PDF with printing and copy and paste disabled. The novel includes fine graphics and a story that kept my interest.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
- It may snatch a crew member from the ship
- It may attempt to destroy the spars, rigging, or superstructure of the ship
- Snatch a crew member from the ship- 1.
- Destroy the spars, rigging, or superstructure of the ship (one per turn) 3 or a 6. Any damage to the ship will hinder the ship from moving her basic movement action.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
“Although it resembled a pig at first glance it had a most grotesquely human mouth and jaw, but with no chin to speak of. Its nose was prolonged into a snout and it had little eyes and queer ears which gave the creature an extra ordinary swine-like appearance. It had a very little forehead and its whole face was an unwholesome white colour. It eyes seem to glow at times with a horribly human intelligence. And its mouth jabbered inanely, and once emitted a half-swine like grunt.”
Chapter 5, The House on the Borderland, William Hope Hodgson.
After reading Hodgson’s The House on the Borderland I got to wondering whether there were any pig-demon miniatures available for purchase. So far I have come up with two pages of posts from a TMP discussion board that made a slight mention of the creatures mentioned in the House on the Borderland. Some have suggested using Orcs for these creatures. Anyone out there know of any miniatures similar to those mentioned in this novel?
Monday, February 2, 2015
Another distinctive and horrid characteristic of these creatures was their sickening and repulsive smell, they smelled of rotting fish. These odors surrounded them and permeated the surrounding spaces in which they frequent.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Tomorrow marks my blogs second year and starts my third iteration.I have been struggling with upper respiratory issues for the last two weeks and did not complete all that I had wanted to last month, thus the project under Old Projects.
The Bombshell Winged Monkey will be a stretch for me. I haven't done anything like this before.
I did complete several pieces out of the Basing Kit last month and would like to complete a few more of these. I will be displaying these as a completed set.
- Warhammer Orc Arachnarok Spider - Trees
- Bombshell Miniatures Belphegor Winged Monkey
Elements from Ristuls Market Halloween Basing Kit
Bombshell Miniatures Pumpkin Pal
Reaper Miniatures #03608: Aquatic Familiars II
Sea Monster (Aberration)
Graveyard - Leech Wyrm