Friday 2 March 2018

Captain Darling’s Grand Tour & Some WIP Stuff

Greetings! It's been a bit of ‘All Quiet On the VSF Front’ here on the bally Blog for while ain't it...well a couple of reasons for that; firstly I’ve been concentrating most of my spare time on The Great Antipodean Adventure project recently and second; my partner and I have been planning Captain Darling’s Grand Tour a five week whirlwind tour of certain bits of Europe! My other half hitherto known as Kathryn is rather excited about the latter and decidedly unexcited about the former 😊!

I don’t usually like putting up WIP stuff on the Blog but just to show I’m still plodding along with my various VSF interests here’s some stuff I’ve been tinkering away on...

Buildings: Thanks to a small windfall from my mum at Christmas I picked up several Sarissa buildings which will work well not only with my VSF gaming but for my WW II and TGAA stuff. I got several dwellings, the double fronted shop, the end of row cafe, a third floor for an existing town house I had and the Victorian Pub. All go together well and with a bit of paint look the part. You could really go to town on these and really make them hum but they’re for gaming so I’ve kept it simple, I can always go back and detail them later...

The Derailer Tank: I was given this baby by a devotee and plan on turning it into Doktor Von Hades Super Steam Powered Armoured Fighting Vehicle...

Scratch builds: I’m getting back to my British answer to the French Santos Dumont  airship, here's the current status of the Daley Brothers Steam Powered Armoured Balloon MK III...added a 28mm figure for size...

Now onto the Grand Tour: We've locked everything a few trips and ANZAC Day stuff but most of this trip will be off the cuff roaming once we arrive at each destination. Thanks to overnight trains most of the travel will be relegated to nights to maximise our 'touristing' during daylight hours.

An image of Captain Darling arriving in Rome during his Grand Tour dazzling the ladies...
Sourced online didn't see any copywrite...

Kathryn and I arrive in Rome on Easter Monday and then its on! Most places I've been to before, Vienna being the major exception but this is only Kathryn's second European trip so lots of new sites for her! Here’s a brief summary...

  • 2nd April, Rome four days
  • 6th April, Florence three days
  • 10th April, Vienna four days
  • 14th April, Berlin four days
  • 18th April, Brussels two days
  • 20th April, Ypres four days
  • 24th April, Amiens four days
  • 28th April, London/South East England seven days
  • 5th May, Back in sunny Adelaide!

So lots of train travel and general tourist things but I have include some Captain Darling bits of interest, mind you this has cost me some trade offs in other locations but is worth it...

  • ANZAC Dawn Service at Villiers-Bretonneux & visit to new Sir John Monash Centre
  • Waterloo battlefield walk (second visit for me but first since the new visitor centre) and brewery at Mont-Saint-Jean Farm hic!
  • Some WW I battlefield sight seeing
  • Take in some The Third Man movie locations and Dinner on the Vienna Ferris Wheel as its one of my all time favourite movies
  • The Vienna Military Museum
  • Some Cold War sight seeing in Berlin

Luckily I've done a lot of the other military museums on previous trips so I can skip them, though Kathryn has shown an interest in seeing one of my favourite spots, the Russian Room at the Royal Museum of Armed Forces in Brussels.

Now if any of you know a must see ‘sights’ that fall within the itinerary please let me know I’ll add it to Kathryn’s list! Also any must visit eateries or drinking establishments!

Things will remain a bit quiet here for a couple more months but then normal transmissions will resume!


  1. Have a great trip!

    Driving around the WWI battle fields is a truly sobering experience. As you come round a corner, especially around the Somme, you are almost guaranteed to spot a small cemetery in a field, just off the road. Then there's another round the next corner, and another, and so on. And then there are the REALLY big ones!

    Don't miss the German memorials either. They're more difficult to find, but at one I walked up to a sea of dark iron crosses rippling across a hillside - such a very different sight from the white headstones of Commonwealth graves. However the crosses were interspersed with many blockier markers, seemingly at random, which looked odd from a distance. On closer inspection they all displayed the Star of David; Gentiles and Jews, comrades in life, and resting together in death having fallen for their Fatherland.

    The huge commonwealth cemeteries are striking and thought-provoking, monstrous and comforting, but that German one was heart-breaking.

    1. Cheers Clive!
      Thanks for the advice.
      I have budgeted a few extra days in Ypres and Amiens for exactly this sort of cruising, the one ‘small’ cemetery which is a definite for us is Vaulx Hill one of Kathryn’s Great Uncles is burried there two others are on the Menin Gate, her family lost three out of four who served. My Grandfather and two of his brothers ‘answered the call’ all three made it back funny how things work...

  2. Sounds like a great trip Captain, if you could get yourself to Newark on the 28th April you might even be able to sneak in a game or two at Hammerhead. Enjoy yourselves.

    1. Cheers Stu!
      Invite tempting but getting there on the 28th will be a stretch...
      Next year if I get tickets to the Lords Test Match in the ‘loteery’ I plan to be in the UK for four weeks and would love to take up your offer then!!!

  3. Have a great trip Captain. The Vienna military museum is great. Lots of other places to see there as well - the treasury is awesome. Lovely city and easy to get around. Don't forget to get a "There are no Kangaroos in Austria" T-shirt. :)

    An armoured balloon looks like a worthy project. Not to many rivets I hope.

    1. Cheers Ben!
      Thanks, Vienna Treasury with Habsburg Crown Jewels are on Kathryn’s list 😊...lots to see there!
      I shall be wearing a baggy green cap (copy of course) for the duration as a subtle stamp of my heritage, it’ll only be recognised by other Aussies and once I’m in England I suspect