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?

Tuesday 14 December 2021

Jungle Cuisine, Explorer Broth - Scratch Building an Explorer in a Cooking Pot!

The final preparation work for the Land of the Lost game is done. The scenario needed one more specialty plot piece that required scratch building, 'the lost explorer in a Native Cooking Pot! Surprisingly I couldn't find a commercial one available but I don't mind pottering (pun haha) around anyway and putting something together myself. Here's the result...

Anyone for Wayward White Explorer Broth?

Explorer Broth ingredients;
Sheet styrene
An old figure, preferably with a sun helmet

Again I just created this on the go so here's the steps I followed!

1. Mix up a large blob of Milliput.
2. Roll most of this blob it into a ball, then elongate the ball rolling it so you get a cylinder with rounded ends, flatten one end, this will bulge that end and this will be the bottom of the pot, put your thumb into the other end and with a wet finger slowly work a lip between your thumb and finger, once flared and thinned and it looks like the top of a cooking pot smooth the surfaces and set aside.
3. Cut about a 35mm piece of sheet styrene and with the rest of the Milliput create a donut bigger than the pot diameter, flatten it and then add broken twigs to it to represent fire logs.
4. Push the cooking pot carefully onto the bases 'logs' to form an indent in it so it will sit level on the base later.
5. Form a piece of wire into a handle, at each end bend the wire at right angles and press into the cooking pot, let the pot set a bit first so you don't deform it. You could let it dry completely and drill small holes for the wire to fit into, I did it while it was still soft to save drilling.
6. When dry glue the cooking pot to the base and paint as desired.
7. Create a torso to fit in the cooking pot. I used a Warlord German Tank Commander and cut the head off as a base for the explorer, I then added a sun helmeted head left over from an Empress Miniatures vehicle. Add paint as desired!
8. When the cooking pot and figure are dry pour superglue into the cooking pot creating a pool and fit the torso into the centre of the 'puddle', I would recommend test fitting the torso and get it set up right to be level before pouring the superglue! There you're done!

This is the only 'in progress picture' I took, this is the end of step 6 above...

Dr Livingston on the boil!

A view from above, the liquid effect was simply done by creating a puddle...okay pool as it sounds cooler of superglue and then plunging Dr Livingston's torso into it!

Dr Livingston 'in the pot' and 'saved by the explorers'...hmmm not an exact match as he's grown a moustache to twirl out of the pot! Never fear dear reader it won't matter on the night!

Next Time; Most probably the land of the Lost AAR!

Sunday 12 December 2021

Scenery - Rope Bridges & A How to Scratch Build Them!

The upcoming Land of the Lost game requires several ubiquitous bits of specific Jungle Terrain the most iconic being 'rope bridges'! I need three for the game so how to make these suckers? I just went ahead and started making the first one and worked it out as I went.

The 'How To'...

I didn't take pictures as I went  (DOH!) so added what I have where they're relevant!

1. Cut from sheet styrene two anchor points, make them the width of your bridge and them around twice the width measurement again for the depth.
2. Strip some electrical wire to bare the copper strands.
3. Cut 4 bits of the copper wire to the length required, i.e. the span of the bridge (allow for some sag) plus about an extra  centimetre extra.
4. Twist the lengths into two pairs.
5 Superglue the lengths to you bridge supports from step 1.

This picture shows the rope bridge at the end of step 5 and in the foreground are the roughly cut slats from step 6!

6. Cut out uneven slats for your bridge and the superglue them onto your 'ropes', I used pop sticks, ice cream stick, coffee stirrers whatever they're called in your neck of the woods.
7. From a wood coffee skewer cut four lengths, drill a 0.5mm hole in each just down from the top and glue them onto your bridge supports from step 1 in line and near the end of your main ropes/slats. I drilled a hole into the support base and glued them into there for extra strength.

This picture shows my first attempt at the supports I cut the hand guide rope too short though as it should feed through the skewer uprights and then anchor onto the support base, a later pic will show that!

8. Cut two long lengths of the copper wire for the hand guide rope, feed them between the skewer support posts and anchor them at the back edge of the support base with superglue.

See here the hand guide ropes should look, sorry painting has already started.

9 Paint as desired and you're done!

Looks great (even if I do say so myself)!

For game purposes, as you would expect there is a chance these rope bridges will break causing the Scenario Characters on said bridge to fall into the crocodile infested river at the bottom of the deep ravine I had to make a broken bridge. It used the same basic process as above...

So there you go advanced rope bridge making covered, hope it may be of help!

Next Time; Explorer Broth!

Tuesday 7 December 2021

The Land of the Lost - The Historical Background and Scenario Details - A Pulp Action Game

I learned a lot running the Pulp Terror on Skull Island game last year and this year with updates to the gaming system and still using adapted FUBAR VSF rules we're all set to go again, welcome to A Bad Day in the Land of the Lost! Here is the Scenario Background and information on the Teams involved!

Best not to be a wayward Explorer in the Land of the Lost...
you may end up on the locals menu!

Historical Background:

Captain Darling’s daring 1885 Darkest African Expedition came back to haunt the him and others during the Great War that ravaged the World! Darling had naturally answered the call of King and Country as soon as the conflict kicked off and his service found him engaged in all manner of outstanding adventures in which he carried out multiple feats of derring-do. The particular operation involving Darling that interests us this time dear reader sees him carrying out a Top Secret mission for British Military Intelligence in the Middle East during August 1917!  The assignment called for Darling and three associates to plan a route for the Entente’s imminent offensive targeting Southern Russia! They were the vanguard of Dunsterforce and their task would be complete once they met a British contact in Baku! Naturally under Darling’s command the path was quickly scouted successfully. They arrived in Baku just hours before the scheduled meeting with their contact allowing them time for tea and biscuits. The ‘contact’ turned out to be no other than S.O.E. Agent and long time friend of Darling’s Edward Bigger, the two men quickly finished their business and were retiring for an evening repast when things suddenly unravelled! They were ambushed by Cheka agents with Bolshevik military support! Darling and Bigger easily evaded capture and with their revolvers blazing they decamped with their accomplices leaving their Bolshie assailants confounded!

The next morning Captain Darling noticed two pages from his dairy were missing, they must have slipped from the volume during his escape from the Bolshies, Bigger quickly discerned Darling's misgivings regrading the loss of the pages. Overhearing Darling muttering to himself he may have unlocked the ‘Doorway to Hell’, he announced to his stoic companion he would recover the missing sheets for him forthwith! With that the two parted company Darling heading south and Bigger vanishing into the shadows which he consistently inhabited.

Our story then takes us forward three weeks to the headquarters of the Cheka in the bowels of Kremlin in the heart of Moscow. A top level meeting including representatives from the Politburo had taken place with the discussion revolving around two crumpled scraps of paper which lay before them on the table. The Head Cheka Agent summarised their conversation saying, “so Comrades it appears that the Evil Capitalist’s Great Land Grab in Africa has not been as complete as they believe, there is a void they are not aware of that we can fill and in which we can create a new Soviet State, there our egalitarian ideals can gain a foothold right under their big fat noses!” The statement was followed by murmurs of agreement and polite applause after which the attendees of the meeting adjourned for a celebratory round of vodka. As the Bolsheviks revelled none of them noticed the ornate Faberge Heirloom Credenza in the meeting room move slowly from the corner over to the same table at which they had gathered. Once there a wiry hand appeared from one of its drawers and snatched the crucial papers! The Credenza then edged silently back to where it first stood! Crack S.O.E. Agent Edward Bigger had come up trumps again, disguised as the Credenza in question not only had he recovered his best friends missing dairy pages but he had thumbed his own nose at the Bolshies!

Unfortunately for Bigger the contents of these pages had been perused and copied. They contained the location of the long lost plateau in central Africa that Darling had explored all those years ago. The 'Genie was out of the Bottle' and even though the Bolsheviks were embarrassed at losing the valuable original documentation they had all they required to send group of their own explorers to investigate (and conquer) this new land!

Two years later in 1919 the Russians were at last ready to mount their expedition to uncover the secrets and riches of the Land of the Lost...

The Teams...

From Great Britain! - The Fine British Explorers

British Military Intelligence supplied with S.O.E. Agent Edward Bigger’s comprehensive report on the Land of the Lost wasted no time in planning a mission to ensure the Pinko Bolshevik Horde could not spread their poisonous doctrine outside of their borders! A retired Guards Officer, Major Burke was tasked with organising a company to thwart the Reds! Naturally Major Burke found all the stout chaps he would require from his ‘Club’! So, funded by the British taxpayers and well supplied with tea and biscuits this stout band of Explorers set off to lands unknown ready encounter any dangers while beating the Bolsheviks to their objective, the Land of the Lost...

Major Burke (twice retired!) - Hero Type - Revolver
Sir Sterling Silver - Hero Type - Revolver
Prof Thaddeus Bracegirdle -Trusty Chap - Revolver
Steel Balls - Trusty Chap - Shotgun
Dick Bonefat - Average Bloke – Elephant Gun
Watson Later - Average Bloke – Elephant Gun

From the Middle East - The Jihadist Rabble

With the Great War ending the Western Powers began carving up the Middle East in what they believed would be best for its inhabitants. Eager to prove their worth many locals fired up with the spirit of Jihad resisted the Entente, it was time to strike a blow against these arrogant foreigners. Sultan Habib Hafiz while plotting his own Jihad learned about two Expeditions that were travelling into central Africa in search of great treasure, excited at the opportunity to hack these men into pieces whilst lining his voluminous baggy pants pockets with gold he gathered around him his most rabid followers. Once organised they travelled to the centre of the Dark Continent and followed the drums towards the Land of the Lost...

Sultan Habib Hafiz - Hero Type – Revolver & Sword
He-Is Afakir - Hero Type - Revolver & Sword
Boghus Fakir - Trusty chap – Revolver & sword
Alibaba the ‘Sheik’ - Trusty Chap - Bolt Action Rifle & Sword
Putta Inbin- Average Bloke - Repeater Rifle & Big Knife
Abu Nasal - Average Bloke – Repeater Rifle & Big Knife

From the Gutters of Society - The Evil Villain’s Minions

The seedy backstreet of London’s poorer districts were always abounding with rumour, gossip and scandal and a loose lipped British Civil Servant in search of dubious activities added to the mix! Whilst drinking in a dodgy establishment he let slip about Major Burke’s undertaking! It was not long before the evil mastermind Doctor Badlove came to hear of Burke’s mission and naturally his curiosity was peaked! He contacted an ex-Etonian known as Professor Omega and the two of them quickly organised their own Expedition made up of the dregs of society to beat the Governments official party to Africa. Well equipped they promptly departed Ol' Blighty helped by British Military Intelligence’s documentation, their destination the Land of the Lost...

Doctor Badlove - Hero Type - Revolver
Professor Omega- Hero Type - Revolver & Sword Cane
The Strangler of Edbury Hill -Trusty Chap – Revolver & Club
Jack the Knife- Trusty Chap - Shotgun
Fred Bedlam - Average Bloke - Bolt Action Rifle
The Moors Stalker - Average Bloke – Bolt Action Rifle

From The Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic - The Bolshevik Expedition

The Cheka furnished with information on a wonderous lost land from Captain Darling’s Diary pages were quick to realise they could use the information to gain the Marxist Revolution of the Proletariat a foothold on the Dark Continent! Advised of the details of the Cheka’s discovery the Politburo hungry for Prestige (and possible riches!) selected their two best Bolshevik diehards to lead an expedition to Africa. These two Commissars, Boris and Natasha were given support from the Cheka and the Red Army to complete their mission. It took time to organise but by 1919 they were ready. Two Junkers F-13 aircraft were secretly acquired to transport the Expedition members and their equipment on their glorious ‘crusade’ against the Capitalist West, they were headed to the Land of the Lost...

Commissar Boris – Anti-Hero Type – Mauser C96 Automatic Pistol
Commissar Natasha – Anti-Hero Type – Nagant M1895 Revolver
Cheka Agent Yuri - Evil Chap – Nagant M1895 Revolver
Private Sasha - Evil Chap - Rifle
Private Anatole - Average Bolshevik - Rifle
Private Pavel - Average Bolshevik - Rifle

Here is a sample of the Player Sheet which each Team gets, this is the Bolshie one...

And the updated for Pulp Gaming one page FUBAR VSF Rules we'll be using...

Here's the The Land of the Lost table ready to go, all the Event driven terrain has been removed and the silver Event Marker discs are now discretely hidden by jungle looking lichen!

Next Time: the Land of the Lost AAR!
Well maybe not as we're not playing for three of weeks!