Captain Darling's extraordinary exploits and fearless feats of daring do during the Victorian Era of colonial expansion are legendary!
This blog interweaves his fantastic tales of adventure in an alternate late Victorian history with 28mm table top gaming.
Last year I purchased a very nice Laser Cut 'Flying Machine Stand' but now with 8 flyers requiring stands I decided rather than spend $'s on more stands (the money would be better budgeted to figures) I would build the stands from 'bits and pieces'!
These stands are approximately 55mm square and are very stable I have used them several times now.
Okay so the parts required: Some left over ABS plastic Wire coat hangers Glue Green 'Rattle Can' spray paint Some flocking material
I cut two squares of ABS plastic, one 55mm square the other 30mm square I drilled the centre of each to tightly take a length of Coat Hanger wire. I then glues the three parts together I used a double thickness of the ABS for stability.
I then masked the wire and sprayed the base green.
I then flocked the base and inserted a VSF flyer contraption.
I repeated this 7 times for my TOBSEN77 flyers, the Laser Cut 'Flying Machine Stand' won't be wasted I'll use that for my new scratch built flyer which hopefully will be ready for my VSF Wings of war game that's coming up soon...
My VSF Avionic Conveyances are continually growing in number and I'm planning a 'Steam Battle in the Sky' soon. I am actually just going to use WoG/WoW to run this. I'll match each of my flyers with a set of cards from these rules and go for it nice and easy...the VSF 'Zeppelin' Bomber will use the cards from one of the bombers but using only the two MGs it has on board! Anyway without any further ado onto the 1/56 VSF 'Zeppelin' Bomber Build.
This is my take on on VSF Airship Bomber, I have used Renaissance Miniatures Santos Dumont Airship #9 kit as a basis for it. I picked the kit up at an okay price through a Kickstarter. Having the kit has saved me a lot of work as I was considering building something similar from scratch but the wonders of laser cutting and a few bucks has saved me a lot of man hours.
The kit itself is good, cut from plywood rather than MDF as the other laser cutting companies seem to use. You get fabric to cover the balloon/envelope and wire for rigging in addition to the plywood parts. If I was actually building the Santos Dumont Airship #9 I would still be making some improvements to the kit (i.e. Adding a base to the basket, using a bit of dowel for the fuel tank, make a one piece engine block with better details using the kit radiator etc). Anyway a good kit not cheap and not for the feint hearted.
Anyway I have now completed the gondola and yes you now know what my simple steam engine was for!
I used the main fuselage from the kit and added some sewing pin
rivet detail. I built the simple steam engine. I replaced the kit propeller
with a Lego one and used a plastic round tube for the drive shaft. I added to
the existing ballast struts a bomb rack on each side (TOBSEN77 bombs) and a bit
of coat hanger wire to connect them, why because it looked pretty good to me! I
capped the wire ends with goggle eyes painted black. I may paint the wire brass
but as I said I think it looks cool as is. The last this I did was build the
crew cabin and this was made with sheet styrene, the MGs are again from
TOBSEN77 and the cockpit edging it natural Yellow Milliput. The pilots are
TOBSEN77 (I must order more down to my last two).
I didn't take may WIP
pictures of this build as you can see the Santos Dumont Airship #9 instructions
for those parts and the only other build bits were the cabin and steam engine
and there is already a post on that.
The crew cabin built from flat styrene sheets, Captain Smith seems to be hanging around this build!
The crew cabin with MGs and of course Captain Smith next to the Gondala for a size comparison...
The underside of the Gondola showing the eight bombs in place...
The Gondola complete the crew are painted and in place, their cockpit padding has been added to...
Here's the balloon/envelope frame completed exactly as pr the kit instructions. Part Two of this build will be about my adventures of revisiting my youth as I try to cover a frame with tissue and dope...oh yeah there were many tears then and I suspect there'll be more to come! I know it's an old fashion way to do this but I think it will give a better finish than using the kit supplied fabric.
This Yule Themed Scenario has had two plays
now and these pictures and summary are from the second one...I hope you enjoy!
Some 'period' photographs of the action...
Captain Darling in his Sopwith Steam Blimp targets Prussian Armoured Steam Wagons!
the way to the children of Big Tinkle in on Sea...
The Prussian Armoured Steam Wagons are in disarray..
Steam Traction Engine and Battle Wagon Mk I Combination makes a dash while the HMLS Clueless keeps the enemy occupied!
England, Christmas Eve 1878
1878 on day 55 of the siege of Big Tinkle in on Sea the
British relief force sallied forth just after morning tea. It broke through the
enemy’s entrenchments with ease! While the men of the 1st
Naval Brigade and local British Militia tied down the Russian and Prussian infantry the steam powered
units of the relief column made their dash for the Port.
With Brigadier Gout
aboard the Landship HMLS Clueless the armoured assemblage powered ahead at a
majestic 8 miles an hour! At this rate Gout thought to himself they would be in
the town square for a spot of lunch with the Mayor! Oh yes and be in time to give
the rug rats their Christmas gifts…
He deployed his Landship away from the Armoured
Steam Traction Engine and Battle Wagon Mk I Combination to draw any counter attack away from it while Captain Darling and his Wingmen of 266 Blimp Squadron offered the Steam Tractor close support.
It was with only a mile to go to the Ports defence perimeter that the Russian and Prussian intervention forces came into Brigadier Gout's view! These vehicles
under the command of Colonel Fullovshtzhy and Major Von Bung-Fritz were determined to stop the relief column.
Using the range advantage of its big guns the HMLS Clueless's forward turret belched forth smoke and flame and soon after the mighty shells crashed down on the lead Armoured Steam Wagon of the Prussian force, it was immobilised with several injured crewmen.
The Evil Empires vehicles quickly closed the range on their foes so their lighter guns could hit the Brirtish Landship and they opened fire with a devastating effect. Shot and shell rained down on the HMLS Clueless as the Steam Wagons found its range. One of the first casualties of the hits was Brigadier Gout, it was said his dying words to the Landship's First Mate, Lieutenant Fred Hardy were, "Care for a Pash Hardy?"...it was thought these words may well have been misheard! Several other men were struck down and a fire broke out near the magazine which was manfully extinguished in sort order! The stoic Landship continued erratic fire back at the swarm of Steam Wagons keeping them occupied.
While the British Landship struggled forward Captain Darling led his flight into action against the Prussian vehicles. The results were spectacular as their bombs scored direct hits destroying two of the three fully functional Steam Wagons and disabled the remaining one.
Engineer Smith used the cover of the HMLS Clueless and Steam Blimps to strike east unnoticed by his foes.
The Prussian commander Major Von Bung-Fritz had survived the explosion that had immobilised his Steam Wagon and he signalled to the Russians to redeploy as the British supply Tractor was moving rapidly east and would soon be out of his grasp!
Colonel Fullovshtzhy recieved the Prussian Major's request as his machines salvoes finally silenced the HMLS Clueless and reacted promptly ordering all of his vehicles to redeploy immediately. The now silent British Landship was still structurally sound but its crew were down and the damage to its systems was extensive. As the Russian Steam Wagons veered to chase the British Steam Tractor Driver 1st Class, Cheez Kransky accidently engaged top gear before changing direction and this resulted in a collision with the two Russian Fast Armoured Steam Wagons coming together and the ensuing explosion wrecked both. This halved the Russian strength in a single blow.
Fullovshtzhy's own Steam Wagon was the only Russian one that was able to add the fire from its guns to those of the Prussian in the barrage that followed after the 'fast' disappearing Armoured Steam Traction Engine and Battle Wagon Mk I Combination.
Their fire was ineffective and Engineer Smith was able to get the contents of his valuable trailer through to the Port of Big Tinkle in on Sea. Victory was secured for Queen and Country!
In the days after the great battle of Christmas Eve that ended the 55 day siege of Big Tinkle in on Sea the British Press trumpeted the Victory while the British Government distributed awards aplenty to the survivors of the relief column. The men of the 266 Blimp Squadron already heroes in the eyes of the citizenry were singled out for many of the decorations.
In the words of the British Prime Minister as he addressed Parliament regarding the action of the handful of men who had been involved in the relief action, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few..."
British move with the Steam Blimps
covering the tractor and trailer on the road while the landship HMLS Clueless
entered centrally to cover any Russian or Prussian counter moves.
The Russian and Prussian armoured
forces enter the battlefield making the best of the terrain for cover. The HMLS
Clueless fires its forward turret targeting the Prussians, the result an
immobilised Prussian ASW with 3 out of 4 crew casualties!
Clueless fails its activation! Every Prussian and Russian ASW targets the
hapless Landship hitting it several times leaving it with a light gun out of
action, a fire on board, asteering hit, two speed hits and six crew casualties. The Steam Blimps manoeuvre
toward the Prussians as they are nearest to the tractor and trailer.
Two Blimps of 266 Squadron get close
enough to the Prussians to carry out a bomb runs leaving both the targeted ASW
out of action, not a good day to be a Prussian! Meanwhile every other ASW
targets the Landship raining hits on it inflicting 4 more crew hits and
steering damage. The Clueless used its activation to put out the fires on
surviving Russian and Prussian ASWs score more hits on the HMLS Clueless but
none do any severe damage the surging crew man the guns and return fire albeit
ineffectively. The third Blimp carried out its bombing run and immobilised the
last Prussian ASW reducing its crew to two.
Landship is finally incapacitated. A hail of hits broke its steering, severely
damages its engines, scored a kill hit but importantly disabled the remaining
crewmen. So not destroyed but out of action which now allows the Russians and
Prussians to turn on the Tractor and Trailer. This had meanwhile veered around
the ruined Prussian force and was now speeding toward the Port covered by the
Steam Blimps which carried out MG attacks on the ASWs without any tangible
keeps heading east and the immobilised Prussian ASW score hits causing some
steering damage and injuring crewman. The Russia s are now completely out of
position and frantically try to catch up with their quarry! The Blimps
continue their ineffective strafing attacks.
Prussians reload their guns one of the Russian ASW gets a shot in at the
Tractor scoring no damage. Then disaster for the Tsars vehicles, one loses
control and collides with another taking both out of the fray. Really this had
little effect on the game’s outcome as they were too far from the Tractor to
have any effect still not a good result! The Blimps continued their ineffective
Uh oh a Breakdown Roll results in an armoured steam wagon surging forward straight into the back of another Armoured steam Wagon...
The outcome two wrecked vehicles!
initiative and a successful activation roll the British Armoured Steam
Traction Engine and Battle Wagon Mk I Combination exit the east edge of the
battlefield clinching a victory!
A great game!
Next Time: Getting a move on with my Kickstarter kit...that Steam engine needs a home!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! (Well here in Oz it is already)...
I had a side project related to my VSF stuff bubbling ney simmering along thanks to a Kickstarter I followed in late 2015!
Anyway I had a look at it when rain was interuting the Boxing isn't VSF enough for me..." so I decided to build a suitable steam engine...
* Plastic tube
* Styrene plastic
* Applicator thingee off an old glue tube
* Sewing pins
* Paper clip
* Glue, black and brassy paint...
A few minutes later after a bit of sanding, cutting and gluing...
Half an hour later after painting...
Lastly a 28mm figure looking suspiciously like Captain Smith inspecting the finished product...
Now I could easily have detailed the hell out of this engine; a couple of styrene bands around it for reinforcing and some parts like a furnace box or big round goggle eye at the ends for completeness but the space this fits into on the kit covers both end of it so such details would be wasted...I'll do that on another occassion...