Friday, 20 January 2017

Doktor Von Hades Life And Structure Eliminating Ray [LASER] Machine!

October 1876, the British Empire’s SOE (Stealthy Overseas Executive) Agent Edward Bigger became aware of an extraordinarily large Electric Bill that had been issued to a small nondescript installation on the Channel Coast near the sleepy town of Rooty Hill. Spurred on by this information and discretely disguised as a vagrant travelling organ grinder with monkey Bigger travelled to the outskirts of Rooty Hill. What confronted him confirmed his worst fears this facility was indeed he work of Doktor Von Hades!

Nonchalantly Bigger sidled closer to the facility with a sketch book upon his organ and a camera secreted in the hat of his monkey! The daunting looking guards who appeared to be from the Dark Continent paid the vagrant travelling organ grinder no heed allowing Bigger to fulfil his task safely.

This is believed to be an actual picture of Edward Bigger in his discrete vagrant travelling organ grinder with monkey disguise...

picture source Wikipedia

With details of this mysterious facility recorded Bigger engaged in  a brief conversation with a couple of the Doktors henchmen who could not dectect any note of English in the organ grinders thick eastern European mutterings. A master of guile and cajolery Bigger had in no time discovered this evil looking machine was Doktor Von hades latest invention and was known as the Life And Structure Eliminating Ray, the LASER for short! He also gleaned from them that a test of the weapon involving the destruction of a whole town was anon so prompt action was required by the forces of good!

Bigger decamped for SOE Headquarters with alacrity and also sixpence in his alms tin!

SOE Agent Edward Biggers photographs...

Doktor Von Hades taking air beside his Life And Structure Eliminating Ray facility accompanied by his closest henchmen, Steel Balls and Nobby Johnson.

Doktor Von Hades fierce and loyal African Native Body Guard was on hand.

Von Hades uruly mob of Henchmen guards, a collection of dregs of society but each one dangerous and not to be trifled with!

Later that same day in the office of the second in command of SOE known as Number Two Edward Bigger shared his sketch and photographs with Number Twos(!). The perils this instrument of terror threatened the world with triggered an immediate response. It was promptly decided that Captain Darling was to personally lead a military attack on Doktor Von Hades facility forthwith! Darling's inclusion in the operation was deemed neccessary as with Von Hades known to be on site there was no better man Captain Darling to apprehend him!

Number Twos dismissed Bigger and had his private Secretary summon Captain Darling...

Next Time, an AAR of the game based on the raid on Doktor Von Hades LASER facility, The Battle of Rooty Hill!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Home Made 'Flying Machine Stands'

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
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 glued 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...

Next time...back to that airship!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

1/56 VSF 'Zeppelin' Bomber Build - Part One

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.

Next time...errr I'm not sure...

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

55 Days at Big Tinkle on Sea - FUBAR VSF AAR

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!

 Presents on the way to the children of Big Tinkle in on Sea...

 The Prussian Armoured Steam Wagons are in disarray..

The Armoured Steam Traction Engine and Battle Wagon Mk I Combination makes a dash while the HMLS Clueless keeps the enemy occupied!

The History:
England, Christmas Eve 1878

December 24 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?" 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..."

The AAR:

Turn One
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.

Turn Two
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!

Turn Three
The HMLS 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, a steering hit, two speed hits and six crew casualties. The Steam Blimps manoeuvre toward the Prussians as they are nearest to the tractor and trailer.

Turn Four
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 board.

Turn Five
The 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.

Turn Six
The British 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 results.

Turn Seven
The Tractor 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.

Turn Eight
While the 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 MG attacks. 

Uh oh a Breakdown Roll results in aRussian Armoured Steam Wagon surging forward straight into the back of another Armoured Steam Wagon... 

The outcome two wrecked vehicles!

Turn Nine
With the 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!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Building A Simple 1/56 Steam Engine...

Hey All!
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...
Parts required
* Plastic tube
* Styrene plastic
* Applicator thingee off an old glue tube
* Sewing pins
* Paper clip
* Glue, black and brassy paint...

The bits...

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...

Next time: back to that VSF Christmas game AAR...