Monday, 3 July 2023

Captain Darling's 2023 Grand Tour is Announced!

Captain Darling's planned expedition of 2020 was forestalled due to a great blight that ravaged all corners of the Earth but showing his truly determined and rugged yet gentlemanly manner he has finally overcame this obstacle and is soon to set off on his aptly named 2023 Grand Tour!

Captain Darling has sourced the latest Cartographers Map for his Grand Tour of Europe...
Map from Pinterest!

The good Captain and his partner Mrs Darling (also known as She Who Must Be Obeyed) are soon to depart the Antipodes and journey north for several weeks! Travelling light on this occasion, yes not a single Porter or even his trusty Batman will be in attendance as he plans to follow the exceptionally hazardous route laid out below!

Captain Darling's 2023 Grand Tour!

Manchester Ol' Blighty is his first port of call and his arrival coincides with the Fourth Test Match of Ashes Series. Time has been allocated for him to engage in viewing the Cricket at Old Trafford and it is naturally assumed that he will take time swap stories of his cricket career with the current players if not roll his arm over and wield the willow if required. He and Mrs Darling will also take a day Safari to Liverpool to investigate the Beatles Plague they have been suffering from since the early 1960s!

Hiking south the plucky party of two will stop in Birmingham, there they plan to seek the source of all the Birmingham Hallmarked Silver they continually spy on the 'Bargain Hunt' Television Series. While visiting the environs of the City he may take time to hunt out some local big game otherwise known as 'George the Stourbridge Station Cat'.

Travelling quickly south on board a modern locomotive the Darlings will make an appearance in London for a time. There plans have been formulated for darling to attend more Cricket at the Fifth Ashes Test Match at the Oval, after which he hope to catch up with fellow explorers at the Reform Club before taking Mrs Darling out on the town to take in some shows!

The expedition then journeys to the Continent and after a trip on a newfangled 'fast train' called the Eurostar a more sedate rail journey will take the party to Bayeux. At Bayeux several days will be sent investigating Normandy's beaches, the eateries, drinking establishments and then mimicking a fellow explorer Indiana he will visit a the local Museum and announce "I am here to see the tapestry!".

Rail transport will then be employed as the small group delves eastward into Europe, the intrepid Captain and partner will take up residence in Amsterdam! Here there will be many sojourns discovering all manner of locales including everything from Windmills to Breweries! Also there are rumours of herbs that are very relaxing and exotic substances that broaden the mind which need to be explored!

Next stopover on the trek east is Munster Germany, no not the big one with Cathedrals and Centuries of coveted history bit the small one in Lower Saxony which is home to the German Tank Museum! Here the Captain will indulge while Mrs Darling will partake of shopping and imbibing, basically anything that distances herself from exploring a multitude of man made machinations that Darling will be immersing himself in!

Passage will then be sought to the distant east with a mind of visiting Warsaw. There the dynamic duo will bivouac and excursions will be made to this fabled city's precincts where time will be well spent exploring its treasures in depth.

From Warsaw our fearless band will transverses the wilds of the Polish countryside to a visit a Krakow home of famous King Solomon's Mine, ah hold on we have just been informed it is actually the home of the famous Salt Mines, Bugger!

The final destination of this endeavour will see the Darlings in the exotic City of Budapest, where they hope to be caught up in the magic of the history of the great twin Cities of Buda and Pest or at least have a look around and take a tour or two!

As can be seen Mrs Darling is travelling very light...
picture thanks to

Returning to the Antipodes in late August 2023 Captain Darling will if the events in his busy life settle down attempt to bring his Blog up to date, thanks to all out there! You never know you may even cross paths with the Captain on his travels!

Next Time; Probably something to do with the Grand Tour!

Sunday, 25 December 2022

The Great Tibetan Expedition and A Christmas Message...

Captain Darling's adventures encompassed the length and breadth of the Globe and one of his lesser known exploits was his Expedition into the Himalayas, a treacherous mountain range that separated the Indian Subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. For this venture the good Captain travelled light and was accompanied by just 3 stout fellow Officers from his old Regiment and a single Sherpa named Bob. The plan was to cross from the great mountain range from North to South mapping a traversable route whilst keeping one eye peeled for the fabled land, Shangri-La. The band laboured for several months and arrived in the Indian Subcontinent ragged  and exhausted yet successful, yes they had mapped a route for future travellers a very good result. Rumours abounded about whether they had located Shangri-La but the entire company remained tight lipped on that fact. Fanciful stories also circulated of a terrible creature that roamed the high ground preying on the local fauna. Captain Darling laughed these tales off mentioning they meet nothing more that the 'Abominable Snow-Mouse' a friendly super sized rodent! The successful explorers left India from Bombay on a tramp steamer and headed to Africa with plans to indulge in more feats of daring do before returning to Ol' Blighty for tea and scones!

A faked photograph of Captain Darling and his purported meeting with the Abominable Snow-Mouse high in the Mountains of the Himalayas, this was a jovial aside he mentioned when questioned on the Expedition's discoveries which many took to be a distraction to cover up the actual findings made by them!

I do not usually pass on Yuletide Messages but this year with the World opening up after the ravages of Covid I thought I'd take this opportunity to thank those who take the time to read my musings and to wish them all a Happy Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

Next Time; The Violent Night Game OOBs and AAR!

Sunday, 18 December 2022

The Battle of Salisbury Plain AKA Violent Night - A FUBAR VSF Tale

Dear Reader after a lengthy hiatus I again have the time to sit at my bureau, flip open the silver capstan ink well, charge my pen and recommence writing the chronicles of Captain Darling. It is with great excitement that I again put ink to parchment and transcribe a tale that has been to now lost to the ages but I have recovered from the good Captains own diaries. I will leave you in anticipation no longer…

Captains Darling and Scott at the S.O.E. Moon Expedition Research Facility Salisbury Plains, top English Space Scientist Professor Dingleberry can be seen with them. The Interplanetary Travel Pod by which they stand is ready to to loaded into the JVMG MkII Moon Cannon!

Twas December 24 1888, a wintery Christmas eve and a blanket of white covers the countryside of the counties of England. On this day the Boffins of Great Britain's S.O.E. (Stealthy Overseas Executive) where busy preparing to launch Englishmen to the Moon. Yes thanks to the JVMG Mk II Projectile Accelerator this feat was to be recognised! The date was significant the English Scientific Community wished this feat of daring do to be their Christmas Present to their major patron Queen Victoria!  The Travel Pod's two handpicked crewmen, Captains Darling and Scott accompanied by one of Her Most Imperial Majesty's Hunting Dogs were prepared for the Safari of a lifetime, a journey into the heavens! Their Expedition included the most important of items believed by the top scientists to be required for such an adventure; Sun Helmets and Eye Shades, a brace of Elephant Guns, a fully loaded Tea Caddy and several days supplies of Cucumber Sandwiches were amongst the plethora of supplies which also boasted Scott's Manservant Jeeves!

All was prepared for a breakfast launch on Christmas Day and after the Travel Pod arrived on the Lunar surface the crew would have time to enjoy a hearty morning tea before they would ignite flares that Her Most Imperial Majesty could view while dining on her sumptuous Christmas Repast. A most glorious adventure indeed, what could go wrong???


What indeed! Well the leading countries of the European Tri-Covenant had heard via their Intelligence Services of the British Moon Plan and viewed it with suspicion. They believed the British had weaponised their Moon Cannon and under the cover of an Safari to the Moon were looking at launching dangerous projectiles at important sites across the Continent in a prelude to an attempt to conquer the Mainland! The partners of this devilish coalition planned their own pre-emptive strike! France, Germany and their uncomfortable bed fellow Russia combined forces to create a raiding party that would strike at the eleventh hour, Christmas Eve. The Leaders of these three countries believed these impudent British and their Queen must be given a resounding rebuke!



So it is we find ourselves on Salisbury Plain home of the British Moon Expedition research facility on Christmas Eve 1888. All is quiet and tranquil as the sun slowly begins to set...then all hell breaks loose as the Raiding Force from across the Channel looms from over the horizon...there'll be no silent night tonight!

Captain Darling can be seen in the far left in the photograph next to the Interplanetary Travel Pod dressed in the special Garb for Moon walking, very protective: note the brimmed hat to protect the face from the Suns rays, heavy duty gloves and shin protection, the choice of white was to allow the Explorers to easily spot any injuries that may draw blood while negotiating the alien Lunar landscape!

I am hoping 2023 will be a year without ripples and I can catch up on my VSF/Alternate History stuff from 2022 and cover Captain Darling's new adventures as they unfold through 2023! I actually have several AAR's for the TSOG Blog to do as well but don't tell the other Guys that! 

Next Time; a full report with OOB covering this Violent Night, hopefully this is all worth the wait!

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Blog Update - Seven Years & 100,000 Views!

I'll start this post dear reader with a Hearty "Thank You!" on the behalf of Captain Darling!

Who would have thought just over seven years ago the Blog I created would ever reach 100,000 views...yeah I know most are bots etc having a nosey but still I'm pretty chuffed!

This excerpt is from a front page story from the 'Adelaide Reporter' date unknown;
"It has been reported that on hearing the news of reaching 100,000 views on his Blog Captain Darling immediately celebrated, he; bought a new Lagonda Drophead Coupe to motor the streets of Adelaide in, and he visited the Duck & Weave Hotel, a very reputable establishment where engaged himself in consuming a large medium rare steak with vegetables and gravy washed own by a mighty number of frothy beverages!

Captain Darling outside of the Duck & Weave Hotel inspecting his new Lagonda Drophead Coupe motor vehicle, you'll notice his trusted hound Maximillian is christening one of the tyres as he does so!

This Blog was started to share my Victorian Science Fiction Stuff and record my hypothetical 1879 Imperial Russian Invasion of the Colony of South Australia, even though such an invasion was very unlikely at several times during the later part of Nineteenth Century the Leaders of some of the Australian Colonies were convinced one was imminent! I believe it has been very successful in featuring my VSF foibles and following my customisation of the FUBAR VSF ruleset I use but despite finishing the 'historical' background to 'The Russians Are Coming' Campaign and the listing the miniatures to be used I have not completed the series of seven games that were planned! "That's a bit disappointing!" I hear you say well here's a big statement, in 2022 I will complete games six and seven of the 'The Russians Are Coming' Campaign and get them posted up on the Blog...this will not mean that the scenarios featuring South Australian Militia gainfully fighting the Imperial Russian Army will not reappear as there is plenty of scope for more independent scenarios including perhaps a river battle on the mighty Torrens!

Overall content has slipped over the last few years but I expected that. Initially there were many posts regarding VSF and 'The Russians are Coming' Campaign miniatures and all the whacky VSF contraptions I built or scratch made and these boosted the post numbers. Due to space limitations I have stopped adding to these collections so now only games and their related details are going up! I foresee maintaining the current level of posts on the topics this Blog concentrates on in the future (remember as all my other gaming related posts are on the Toy Soldiers for Old Gits (TSOG) Blog). I also want to get back to core Victorian Science Fiction stuff so the Pulp games that have diverted me recently will give way to fleets of steam vehicles supported by colourful infantry, robots and flyers having at each other with aplomb!

I hope you'll keep up your patronage of Captain Darlings Miniatures Emporium and continue enjoy what you see and read! I hope you enjoy the Yule Tide Holidays and have a very Happy New Year!

Oh and a Merry Christmas from Captain Darling!

Next Time; the Land of the Lost AAR?