Friday, December 27, 2013

My Axis and Allies War at Sea Aircraft and Fleet

Haguro: Nachi-class Heavy Cruiser, (Imperial Japanese Navy), commissioned 1929

The Haguro played a major role in the conquest of the East Indies and in the Battle of the Java Sea, where she helped defeat the combined fleet of American, British and Dutch navies.

Terutsuki: Akitsuki-class Destroyer, (Imperial Japanese Navy), commissioned 1942

Terutsuki led a short and eventful life. The Terutsuki fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal was sunk by the US PT boat in the same year.

I-25: BI-class submarine, (Imperial Japanese Navy), commissioned 1941

The B1-class submarine was large enough to carry a seaplane in a small hanger on its deck. A B1-class submarine was dispatched to the Oregon coast during WWII to drop incendiary bombs on an Oregon forest.

G4MI “Betty”, Mitsubishi , (Imperial Japanese Navy), introduced 1941

The G4MI was the Japanese Navy, primary land-based, naval attack plane. G4MI “Betties” took part in the attack on Clark filed in the Philippians. Later the Betty was used for torpedo attacks at Guadalcanal.

USS Montpelier (CL57) Clevland-Class Light Cruiser, commissioned 1943

The USS Montpelier served as the flagship of CruDiv under Rear Admiral A. S. Merril. The Montpelier saw action in the battle of Solomon Islands.

USS Taylor (DD 468) Fletcher-class Destroyer, commissioned 1942

The USS Taylor also saw action during the battle of Solomon Island. The USS Taylor went on to sink three enemy submarines and earned sixteen battle stars during WWII.

HMAS Nizam
N-Class Destroyer (Australia),commissioned 1941

HMAS Nizam was paid for by Ali Osman Khan, the ruler of Indian state of Hyberabad.  Although the HMAS Nizam saw some action in the Pacific, she saw most of her action in the Mediterranean.

TBF-I Avenger (US) introduced 1942

The Grumman TBF-I Avenger served as a torpedo bomber and saw action in the Eastern Solomon’s. TBF-I Avengers were credited in the sinking of the Japanese light carrier Ryujo.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

How to Make Arrows for War-Gaming Miniatures

This 4 ½ minute video will instruct you on how to scratch build small arrows that you can stick into the armor, shields, and the ground around your miniature figures. The materials used for the arrows are readily available and the process is very simple.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Two Tutorials on How to Paint a Horse

The Aspen Modeling Company is offering a tutorial on painting one of their S gauge Cowboys(S-23). The 15 page PDF will walk you through the process of painting of their highly detailed resin casting.

The second tutorial “How to Paint a Brown Horse” gives you a step by step instructions on how to paint a 1/72 Zvezda French horse. There a many images showing the transition from a highly detailed plastic casting into a work of art.

Excuse me, but I have go see man about a horse.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dozens of Resources for the Pirates of the Spanish Main and other Versions of this Pirate Game

The Board Game Geek has seven pages of what amounts to dozens of resources, including alternative scenarios, and rules, reference and tracking sheets, wind and compass add-on's, cannon range finders, check lists, and guides, ship and crew cards, keyword lists, ETC.

There so many resources here that will make your game, regardless of what version you are playing, more challenging and interesting.

Terrain Pieces for Pirates of Dave Jones Curse and Mysterious Islands

Although I don’t know when these terrain pieces were first introduced or whether they are still available I thought I would include this related link anyway. These terrain pieces from Dungeon Terrain are cast in resin and include six islands and several palm trees. The palm trees will need to be assembled and attached to the islands. The islands, unlike those supplied with the game, are three dimensional and are highly detailed.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pirates of Davy Jones Curse-Terrain Pieces

The Pirates of Davy Jones Curse game includes three terrain types: Fog Banks, Reefs, and Sargasso Sea. Each terrain type brings with it a set of attributes.

Fog Banks

When any part of a ship touches the fog bank the whole ship must be placed on the fog bank and ships turn ends. Once in the fog bank the ship is considered lost, it cannot fire cannon, be shot at, ram, pin, be boarded or board other ships. A fog bank has the numbers 1 through 6 printed around its edges. On the ships next turn the player must roll a die and exit from the number on the side of the card that matches the roll die.

Using situation cards, I have other ideas for this terrain piece, like being able to enter a fog bank if being pursued by or being fired at by an enemy ship.

Sargasso Sea

This is another terrain piece that will need to be worked into the game, with a situation card. Depending on the roll of the die the player could become entangled in the Sargasso Sea and lose her ability to move or become detangled allowing the ship to continue to make her move action.


When any part of a ship touches any part of a reef, the player must roll a die. The result is the reefs rating until the end of your turn. Compare the result of the die against the amount of masts the ship had when it was constructed. If the reef rating is lower than the number of masts, the ship loses that many masts.

If the ship sustains more damage than she has masts she is wrecked and stays on the reef as a wreck. I am not really sure I will work this terrain piece into the game, yet. Perhaps I could create a situation card for this piece.

Friday, December 20, 2013

12 Weapons That Changed Everything

“History is shaped by technological innovations”. “12 Weapons That Changed Everything” is slide show with some accompanying materials that define twelve weapons that revolutionized warfare in their day. From The Greek Phalanx to the modern day tank, man has looked for ways to perfect his ability to exterminate his enemies (so much like an insect under foot)…so much for the maxim - proximos ama sicut te ipsum.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Vintage Card Reference-Pirates of the Spanish Main Check List

Vintage Card Reference features an interesting page entitled: “Allen & Ginter Pirates of the Spanish Main Checklist”. The article describes a set of 50 collectable pirates’ cards that have become even more of a collector’s item, having been published back in 1888. I thought the article warranted a mention and have added the link to my Pirates of the Spanish Main label. Each card is numbered and has a picture of a pirate and a brief biography of the pirate on the back of the card.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Axis and Allies-War at Sea-General Scenario-How to Win

The first player to accumulate 150 points wins. You can score points in three ways:

  • When you destroy an enemy unit, you score points equal to the cost of the destroyed unit
  • Seizing an objective sector gets you 50 points (There are there 3 objective sector markers on the map)
  • You also score point points when the enemy has no ships remaining, other than Torpedo Boats. (Submarines and Aircraft don’t count)-You get a onetime bonus of 50 points

Check your points at the end of every turn. If both players archive there 150 points at the same time, the first player to obtain the highest score wins.

If, at any time, your opponent has no unit left at the end of phase, the game ends.

Taken and adapted from the Axis and Allies Naval Miniatures Rulebook.

Axis and Allies War at Sea Sequence of Play

The game is played in turns, player 1 and then player two. Here are the following phases:

  1. Initiative Phase
  2. Roll two die and add the result to your best Flagship bonus. The highest score gets the imitative and goes second. This is beneficial because after watching the other player make their move you know where they might be heading.
  3. Sea Movement Phase
  4. You can move ship and submarine the number of sectors equal to its speed.
  5. Air Mission Phase
  6. Place you aircraft squadrons in any sector on the map. Both players can move their aircraft into one sector each turn.
  7. Air Defense Phase
  8. If aircraft enter a sector where a ship resides, the ship may use its antiaircraft guns to attack the aircraft in that sector
  9. Air Attack Phase
  10. Use available Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Bomb, Gunnery, or Torpedoes to make attacks on Ships and Submarines
  11. Surface Attack Phase
  12. Attack enemy ships and submarines using either ASW, Gunnery (each particular, when within range), Torpedo or all three.
  13. Submarine Attack Phase
  14. Attack enemy submarines with torpedo attacks.
  15. Air Return Phase
  16. Return you aircraft to land base or aircraft carrier.
  17. End of Turn
  18. Claim victory markers and check victory points.

Taken and adapted from the Axis and Allies Naval Miniatures Rulebook.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Is 1-250 Scale Impossible Small or Just Fascinating?

Recently, while performing some research I came across the following 1/250 models made entirely out of paper. These are micro-sized models that are a bit smaller than the 1/285. I find these micro-sized models are so fascinating to me.

Seven WW2 Legendary Tanks Paper Models

You will find a whole set of WWII models here.

Sport Fishing Boat

I am particularly interested in this model; I appreciate its lines and study build.

Moon Base

This model might be a start of a Science Fiction diorama. C in C has a line of 1/285 scale SCIFI vehicles that might work well with these paper models.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Artizan Designs' Painting Guides

I recently purchased a copy of Zvezda’s British Machine Gun w/Crew 1939-42. This set includes four 1/72 miniatures, three British soldiers and one machine gun. I have been searching for painting guides for British army figures and came across Artizan Designs' WWII Painting & Camo Guides. Each guide is cross referenced with a general colors and a Vallejo Model paints color.

Friday, December 13, 2013

WTJ Naval Store a Source of Pre-dreadnought Battleships

Not really caring for the quality of Pre-dreadnought battleships found on Shapeways, I recently came across a new source for Pre-dreadnought battleships. WTJ cares a full line of plastic and pewter Pre-dreadnought battleships. WTJ offers ships in the following sizes 1/3000, 1/2400, 1/1800, and 1/1500. Pre-dreadnoughts battleships from various nations are available.

The Steel on Sand Blog wrote extensively on these WTJ Pre-dreadnought's.

Zane Grey

I recently downloaded the following titles to my Android tablet: The Rainbow Trail, The Call of the Canyon, Desert Gold, Riders of the Purple Sage, and the Young Forester, by Zane Grey. These titles will be fodder for my winters reading. It has been a while since I have read anything of Zane Grey, but I do remember reading Grey’s work sometime ago.

Grey brings the imagery of the frontier to your imagination and keeps you interested with his characters and plots. “A hundred miles of desert travel, with its mistakes and lessons and intimations, had not prepared him for what he now saw. He beheld what seemed a world that knew only magnitude. Wonder and awe fixed his gaze, and thought remained aloof.” (The Rainbow Trail)

Grey was a prolific writer and many of his titles were put to film. Zane Grey stands up there with the likes of Louis Amour as great writer of westerns. Project Gutenberg and Feed Books both feature numerous titles by Zane Grey. These titles will transport you back to a time where the American west was still rustic and raw.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Tallman Smokehouse – A HO Gauge Building from Paper

I have wanted to build some type of structure out of paper for some time. Looking through my collection of plans I came across plans for the Tallman Smokehouse. Smoke houses were once common on most farms as they provided a way for the occupants to cure and store their meat products.

The Tallman Smokehouse is a two story structure, and as you can see, is built primarily from stone. Thomas and Hanna Tallman built this smokehouse in 1757 for their homestead in Moorsetown, New Jersey.

Looking through my collection of materials I noticed that I have a couple sheets of embossed paper stone sheets. I also have several different types of paper shingles. The elements, such as hardware and trim could be manufactured from paper. I will use card board for the sub walls and a few pieces of strip wood to give the structure some rigidity.

Materials for Construction.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Several New 1/76 Models Available from Milicast Models

Milicast is purveyor of highly detailed model kits that are cast in resin. Milicast has added several new 1/76 scale models to their line of products. You really must see the detail of these models to truly appreciate their quality.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Big Bear Hunter

Imagine that you are out bear hunting and you have to make a pit stop to relieve yourself and just at the right moment the hunted comes out to see what all fuss is all about. I suppose you can reach for your gun, which is just out of reach, pray, or just hope the bear doesn’t care for the current state of affairs and vacates the premises.

Woodland Scenics manufacturers many fine products in N, HO, and O gauges, including figures, detail pieces, structures, and terrain and scenery supplies. I own quite a few of Woodland Scenics metal detail parts and structures.

The Bear Hunter is one such detail piece that helps the model railroader to complete a scene. Just add the three pieces to an empty turfed area on your layout. In the back ground, add a tree or two and let your visitors admire your “bear hunter” (“snicker, snicker, snicker, ahum!”).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Santa and His Helpers

The Magic of Christmas

There is small little train that makes its way around Santa's magic ball. Santa is checking his lists and checking them twice to see if you were naughty or nice.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Pirates of Mysterious Islands Situation Cards, Version 1

I have often thought how I could make Pirates of Mysterious Islands more challenging and came up with the idea of creating situation cards. There are, if you remember three unique actions, a move, shoot, and explore actions.

I created situation actions for explore, and move actions. There are thirteen actions each, for the explore and move actions. I will divide the cards up into red and black desks and tie each situation to numbered card. Ace through 10, the Jack card is 11, the Queen is 12, and so on

There good and bad situation cards for each action. Some situations require a roll of a die or point to the rules for certain game pieces. The cards will be read at the beginning of your turn for these actions and the situations implemented during that action.

Explore Action

  1. You meet the inhabitants of the island and they are die hard cannibals. You lose one crewmember. Burp!
  2. You search is in vain and you find no treasure on this island.
  3. You can dock and explore as a free action.
  4. The inhabitants of this island attack your ship and you are unable to explore for treasure on this turn. If you should decide to stay roll die on your next turn. If you roll a four or six you your crew triumphs over the inhabitants, you can now explore the island. If you roll anything else you lose a crewmember to the fighting, but you still can explore and pick-up treasure.
  5. There are several crewmembers that have come down with the scurvy; you must stay on this island for another turn in order to nurse your crew back to health.
  6. You have fine weather upon arrival, but a storm keeps you from departing until your second turn on this island.
  7. You and your crew have no problems. Explore as you would normally.
  8. You may choose as many treasure pieces as your ships capacity will allow you. (Turn over twice your ships capacity in gold pieces and choose the highest rated pieces).
  9. No impediments here
  10. This island has the necessary materials for repairs; you may repair one mast per turn on this island.
  11. Upon approaching the island you accidently run aground. Roll a die, if you roll a 3 your ship wrecked and you and your crew are marooned on this island. Anything other than a 3, you sustain some damage (remove a mast), but your ship is still operational.
  12. It takes you two full explore actions to discover treasure
  13. You can dock and explore as a free action.

Move Action

  1. You enter a fog bank. Follow the fog bank rules for your next action
  2. You crew mutinies-do a 180’ turn.
  3. You are driving into the wind you lose half your default movement
  4. You have favorable winds and seas add a Short to your default movement
  5. You encounter a strong storm you make no headway at all (do not make your basic movements)
  6. Lightning strikes and splinters one of your masts (remove a mast)
  7. Because of a storm you find that your drinking water has been contaminated. Travel back to the last island you visited and refill your water barrels.
  8. You encounter a sea monster, roll a die and follow the rules for this monster to see what the outcome is.
  9. One of your crew hooks a large sea creature while fishing, add a Long to your basic movement
  10. One of your crew hooks a large sea creature while fishing, the creature takes you back the way you came. Do a 180’.
  11. You are becalmed. You movement is reduced by half.
  12. The captain becomes delirious and has the ship going in circles. Turn your ship 180’.
  13. You have favorable winds and seas add a Short and a Long to your default movement.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Two Interesting Resources for the WWII Naval Historian and War-gamer

British and Commonwealth Navies at the Beginning and End of World War II

As the “British and Commonwealth Navies at the Beginning and End of World War II“ title indicates the page lists the size and vessel types of the British and Commonwealth counties at the beginning of the war. The page goes on to list the losses by the Royal Navy by the hands of the axis navies and visa averse, it lists loses of the axis navies by the hand of the Royal Navy.

Pacific Naval Battles in World War II

War in the Pacific saw some of the largest naval conflicts in history. Across the huge expanses of the Pacific, “two of the most powerful navies in the world found themselves locked in a death struggle.” Battles were fought in the air, on the sea and on many specs of land. Some of the more memorable battles were the battles of Guadalcanal, Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway.

The site breaks the conflicts down by campaigns. Each battle within the campaign is listed along with its history.

Both sites are educational and interesting. They might add insight and historical relevance to the war-gamer.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Suppliers of 1/87 Scale Horse Drawn Wagon Kits

Although Preiser does manufacturer horse drawn wagons, the wagons are of European prototypes and are prebuilt and are not buildable kits. Here is list of the available buildable horse drawn wagon kits of American prototypes that I am aware of. If you know of other sources please feel free to let us know of their existence.

Jordon Highway Miniatures
1/87 Scale Information

Jordon produces the following styrene kits. These kits’s usually consist of a spruce or two of some very fine machine injected parts, which can be very delicate, so be careful when removing them from the spruce. These models are finely detailed and run in the $5.00-9.00 range.

  • Farm Wagon - With 2-Horse Team & Driver
  • Buggy w/Horse & Driver
  • Buckboard – With 1-Horse & Barrel Load(2)
  • Horse-Drawn Hearse
  • Standard Delivery Wagon
  • Light Delivery Wagon
  • Brougham (Closed Coach)
  • 1912 Popcorn Wagon w/Team
  • Old West Stagecoach w/6 Horse Team
  • Beer Delivery Wagon w/Teamsters & 8-Horse Team

Musket Miniatures

Musket Miniatures offers a nice collection of wagon kits that are manufactured in white metal. Some wagons can be purchased with a horse, mule, or oxen teams. These kits usually come with a horse or horses (2), driver, and load. (Will be indicated in the list).These kite range in price from $5.00-28.00. Most can be purchased for under $10.00.

  • Covered wagon (horse team)
  • Covered wagon (mule team)
  • Covered wagon (oxen team)
  • Open wagon (horse team)
  • Open wagon (mule team)
  • Open wagon (oxen team)
  • Open wagon (horse team)
  • Open wagon (horse team)
  • Buckboard (1 horse, man, woman, and load)
  • Buckboard (2 horse team , man, woman, and load)
  • Farmers loading hay wagon (load and two figures)
  • Wagon loaded with hay bales
  • Settlers wagon (2 horse team, household supplies)
  • Dr. Shockley’s medicine wagon (with "snake oil" pitchman)
  • Delivery wagon with signs(2 horse team, driver)
  • Photography wagon (1 horse; Canvas-sided. With photographer, camera)
  • Wagon loaded with milk cans (2 horse team, 2 figures)
  • Brewery wagon(2 horse team, driver, 9 beer barrels)
  • Lumber wagon (2 horse team, driver, lumber load(resin))
  • Coal wagon (2 horse team, driver, coal load(resin), shovel)
  • Timber wagon (2 horse team, driver, timber load(resin))
  • Stagecoach - walking horses
  • Two Wheel Cart (1 horse)

Selley (A division of Bowser Products)

Bowser-Selley offers a few white metal wagon kits. These kits are in the $6.00 to 10.00 range.

  • Farm Wagon
  • Surrey with Horse
  • Surrey with no horse
  • Buggy with horse
  • Buggy with no horse

Monday, December 2, 2013

Horse-Drawn Commercial Vehicles

Horse-Drawn Commercial Vehicles is a Dover publication, part of their pictorial archive series. The book measures slightly better than eight wide by eleven inches. Inside the covers there are 255 illustrations and black and white images of all sorts of horse drawn wagons.

There is a three page introduction, a wagon glossary, and 148 pages of horse drawn wagons of every description. Another book in this series that I will review sometime is Dover’s Horsecars, cablecars and omnibuses. Both books give you a fabulous glimpse in the past and into the nineteenth century’s stagecoaches, delivery wagons, fire engines, farm wagons, ETC.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Billy’s Place

Billy’s Place is a HO gauge Main Street Heritage model cast in resin. I have also built Main Street Heritage’s The Weekly Record. These kits are easy to build and are highly detailed. They are not priced so badly either. The prototype for this model is in Norton's Landing and has seen many diverse businesses come and go. I have re-purposed mine to represent a neighborhood Bistro. The model measures 2.1"W x 3.5"D. If you are wondering about the two holes above the door, there is a sign that will applied above the main entrance.

Friday, November 29, 2013

War at Sea Quick Start Scenario

Set Up:

Use both maps and setup along the long sides. Place one Objective counters in the middle sectors on the center row. Axis ships start at one end while the allies start at the other end. Unless there are aircraft carriers, aircraft start on the off-map air base.

Initiation and Turn Sequence:

Each player rolls two die. The allies get a +1 added to their die roll because the USS Montpelier is flag ship. Add up the die outcomes. The player with the highest outcome gets the initiative and goes second. Going second is desirable in that you can see where your opponent is heading.


Aircraft attacking from off-map airfields and then returning to their airfield can only attack on every other turn. However, some aircraft have special abilities that might affect this rule.

Winning the Quick Start Battle:

The first player to accumulate 3 victory points wins. Points can be earned by achieving the following:

  • Earn 1 victory point for each enemy unit you destroy
  • Earn 1 victory point if you claim the Objective marker
  • Check victory points totals at the end of each turn. If a tie, the player who claims the Objective marker wins, otherwise the game is a tie.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Axis Allies War at Sea, a Review

Axis and Allies War at Sea is a two person game that contains 8 miniatures (four allies and four axis miniatures), 4 die, 2 double sided playing mats, stat cards, a damage counter sheet, and rule book. The game includes several scenarios, full or short game scenarios, which pit two fleets against one another.

Each miniature comes with a set of statistics that holds the miniatures gunnery, amour, and basic movement stats for each of the miniatures. Although each miniature has its pros and cons the axis and allies piece statistics are balanced to provide fair and realistic battles.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Are Elvish, Klingon, Dothraki and Na'vi Real Languages?

Are Elvish, Klingon, Dothraki and Na'vi Real Languages; is a short video that explains that proceeding “languages” not real languages, but are what we call conlangs. It is interesting to note that J. R. R. Tolkien’s, elvish has about two thousand word vocabulary, and Na'vi has a fifteen hundred word vocabulary. The Na'vi are a race of extraterrestrial humanoids who inhabit the jungle moon of Pandora. The Na'vi are characters found in James Cameron's Avatar.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pirates of the Caribbean: Mischief and Danger that Threatens Kingdoms

For those you might want to immerse themselves in pirate myths and lore before playing the likes of Pirates of the Spanish Main or some other Whizkids pirate variant, The Pirates of the Caribbean: Mischief and Danger that Threatens Kingdoms site offers pages on the history of piracy, pirate specifics (Piece of Eight, Doubloons and the Jolly Rodger), tools of the trade (A Pirate Arsenal-Weapons-Ships), and a reference section.

There is a wealth of information here on all sorts of pirate myths and lore. The site is definitely worth a visit or two and will get you in the mood for some pirate related mischief. Arrr!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Build your own Stubby Paper Rocket!

I have so many links to material that I thought I would like to make posts; so many links that they have a tendency to get lost in the shuffle. This is my first Rockets and Rocket Men post, a topic I hope to expound on in the upcoming months. The TOR HMS Stubbin has somewhat of a history and there are even a few desktop wallpapers for your computer.

The paper-craft model doesn’t look all that difficult to assemble. There are two files to download, that is the model itself and the illustrated instructions (both files are PDF’s).

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Crew of the Flying Dutchman

Last month I made a post on the Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki-Davy Jones, where I mentioned that Davy Jones was the captain of the Flying Dutchman, a mystical ship that first appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean’s Dead Man's Chest.

Recently I came upon this gallery of the Crew of the Flying Dutchman where it describes some of the crew of this infamous ship. If the persona of Davy Jones wasn’t enough to give you the creeps the rest the crew is sure to push you over the edge.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Frank Reade Jr. Indian Hunter

It has been reported that before Frank Jr. participated in his jaunts in the Caribbean, Frank Jr. took part in the Indian wars of Abobe Walls, and Geronimo.

  • Second Battle of Adobe Walls (1874): A battle over a spot of land in the Texas panhandle that once held an adobe build that served as a trading post.
  • Geronimo (1885-86): A venerated war chief of the Apaches. His warring parties took part in raids on Mexico and US territories.

As was the case of his Caribbean affairs, Frank Jr. and his crew provided cover for US troops from his air and land ships.

The American Indian never really had a chance and were outnumbered and out gunned from the start. They might have been called savages because of some of their barbarous ways, but who were the real savages in these conflicts?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Four HO Gauge Structures for my Layout

I have been unpacking my structures to make sure they are all in one piece before I place them out on my HOn30 model train layout. Only a few, so far, needed some minor repairs and other adjustments. These structures are for the little town of Gotham.

Dirty and Grimy Industrial Storage Shed or Shop

A plastic kit from Con-Cor, I believe.

Wimpy's Tackle Shop

A Campbell’s repurposed bunk house kit is a simple wood sheet kit. You will find these small and weathered buildings next to boat docks and wharfs. You can purchase tackle, bait, ice, snacks, and drinks from these little businesses. This building is in pretty good shape compared to some I have seen.

Hobby Shop

This kit was built from preformed wood sheet walls and metal door and window castings. I don't remember the manufacturer of this kit.

Stone Bank Building

I am not sure, but this kit could be from Design Preservation This is a Main Street Heritage model. (Perhaps not, I couldn’t find one of these kits in their current catalogs. Anyone know where this kit originates?) It is a resin kit. These resin kits are easy to assemble and have a lot of detail built into the casting.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lost Inca Gold—Ransom, Riches, and Riddles

This is my second Lost Treasure post. Whether this article is fact or fiction it does seem to provide some evidence that suggests that there might have been a huge treasure trove of thousands of articles that had been squirreled away by the ancient Incas after being double crossed by the Spaniards.

The mystery is; does it still exist? This story might be a great scenario for a role playing or miniatures game. What do you think?

There are Inca miniatures, and treasure piece miniatures, and I am sure we can find miniatures suited for the other players in this adventure game.

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Current Reading List

I am in the middle of reading several books, two of which are technical in nature, for a certification I am studying for and the following texts are for fun.

The Other Log of Phileas Fogg

The Other Log of Phileas Fogg (Wold Newton) (Wold Newton Novels), by Philip Jose Farmer is a story about the legendary character of Phileas Fogg. This novel, my first go of the author Philip Jose Farmer, is the third instance of this character I have come upon. Interesting! (more about Phileas Fogg in an upcoming post).

Captain Nemo by Kevin J. Anderson

I have just finished reading this novel in concurrence to a series of posts I would like to make on Captain Nemo. Captain Nemo by Kevin J. Anderson is a story about Nemo in his formative years. (I am writing a review about this book and will be making a post as soon as possible. The story, a deconstruction of the original Captain Nemo, looks at a different aspect of this infamous character.)

Axis and Allies War at Sea, Rulebook

I am in process of reading through this rulebook for this two player game. The rules seems to be relatively easy to understand, not to burdensome, and the game should keep our attention. A full review of this game will follow.

The Lost World, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Lost World novel was on my winters reading list and was read on an Android tablet. The Lost World, a novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was first released in 1912, is a story about an expedition to an Amazonian plateau where prehistoric animals and other creatures somehow still survive. The novel provided a very spirited story, where four men battled ape like creatures and prehistoric animals to survive. The four were left to explore the plateau on their own after being double crossed by their native guides.

The four characters that were left to explore consisted of two professors, a big-game hunter, and a reporter.  The four captured by war like apes and are ultimately rescued by the help of a tribe of humans. Along the way the big-gamer hunter finds a location where diamonds are abundant and collects a small bag full of these stones.

Eventually the four find their way off the plateau through a series of tunnels and make it back to England where the two professors are reluctantly given credit for their discoveries.  It is not until the professor releases a Pterodactyl , creating quite a stir, where the scientific committee finely gives the professors the full acclaim they richly deserve.

I would greatly appreciate any help finding appropriate miniatures and game rules for this genre. I had found some miniatures that were created with this story in mind, but have since lost the link.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Pirates of Mysterious Island Crew Members

The following crew attributes are from Whizkids crew cards. Typically each pack contains at least two and sometimes three crewmembers. Out of the seven packs of the pirates game that I have purchased I have collected sixteen crewmembers. The crewmembers listed are from three different versions, and from six different nations.

Crew Type
Linked To

Once per turn, one of this ships cannon’s may shoot again if it misses.
Firepot Specialist

Once per turn this ship, given a shoot action may shoot a firepot at a target within a Short of her. You must declare which cannon is being used for this purpose before rolling a die. If it hits the controller of the stricken ship replaces one of her masts with a fire mast. Thereafter, at the beginning of every turn they must roll a die. If they roll a 6, they remove the fire mast, but upon rolling a 1-3, another fire mast is added. This continues until all her masts are fire masts, at which time the ship must be scuttled.

Upon reaching her home island or a fort she may remove all the fire masts as a free action.
Firepot Specialist

Once per turn this ship, given a shoot action may shoot a firepot at a target within a Short of her. You must declare which cannon is being used for this purpose before rolling a die.

The target need not be another ship. Simply place the center of a fog bank within a SHORT of her. The fog bank cannot touch an island or any ship that is docked at a island. Remove the fog bank at the beginning or your next turn.

This ship may dock and explore a wild island using the same move action.

Carbon Charlie
Known to most as Charles Southwyn. Carbon Charlie makes some of the finest firearms in the world.

Powder Pete
When Powder Pete and Carbon Charlie are serving on the same ship the ship gets a +1 cargo space
When this ship is docked at your home island, you may eliminate one treasure. The treasure becomes a #3-Long cannon that can be eliminated only when the ship sinks.
Commander Spencer Portland

Once per turn, before giving this ship a action roll one die. On a 5 or a 6 this ship may be given the same action twice.

This ship’s crew cannot be eliminated, except if the ship sinks.
Jean Desailly
Le Rich

Give this ship a move action, but do not move her, instead roll a die. If the result is a 5 or 6 move an enemy ship on LONG in any direction.
Black Mark. (The black mark indicates that the crew member belongs to the cursed nation, instead of the nation of their origin.)


If derelict, this ship gains a base move of a Short. This crew-member does not take-up a cargo space.

Nikos Chelios
Ex-patriot. Once per turn this ship may take two treasure pieces from any ship she touches.

This ship may repair at sea or at any island.

Firepot Specialist

Once per turn this ship, given a shoot action may shoot a firepot at a target within a Short of her. You must declare which cannon is being used for this purpose before rolling a die. If it hits the controller of the stricken ship replaces one of her masts with a fire mast. Thereafter, at the beginning of every turn they must roll a die. If they roll a 6, they remove the fire mast, but upon rolling a 1-3, another fire mast is added. This continues until all her masts are fire masts, at which time the ship must be scuttled.

Upon reaching her home island or a fort she may remove all the fire masts as a free action.
Biancos Haulers
Master  Bianco

When  Biancos Haulers and the Master  Bianco are on the same ship, the ship gets +1 cargo space
This ship may unload cargo at your home island is she is within a Short of it.

This ships gains one #3 Long cannon. The cannon cannot have its cannon range increased. It can shoot from any mast, even an eliminated mast.
Fernando Sanchez
Nemesion Diaz

When Fernando Sanchez and Nemesion Diaz are on the same ship the ship gets +1 cargo spaces.

This ship may dock at an enemy’s home island and load one treasure, if she is able. The ship must leave on your next turn.


If derelict, this ship gains a base move of a Short. This crew-member does not take-up a cargo space.


If derelict, this ship gains a base move of a Short. This crew-member does not take-up a cargo space.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pirates of the …Ships-Getting them Built

I have found a method of prepping the slot that receives the sail tabs. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. Before attempting to insert the tabs into their slots, I take a small file and carefully clean and ever so slightly enlarge these slots. Since I have started to perform this operation I have not broken another sail tab.

Some of the tabs seem a bit too short and there isn’t enough of the tab inserted in the slot to hold the mast securely. In this case I put a drop of cyanoacrylate glue on the bottom of the piece that received the tabs. Cyanoacrylate can also be used to tabs that might have gotten a bit too much pressure inserting them into their slots. This can be avoided by using my fist method filing.

Ships and a Sea Monster from Pirates of Davy Jones Curse

I have added three new ships and one sea monster to my ever growing collection of sailing ships. Here are the specs for the four new pieces:

Name:  Jormungandr
Points:  17
Flag/Nation:  Cursed
Masts:  4
Hold Capacity:  4
Basic Movement:  Long
Cannon:  3 Short (2, 3, and a 3); 1 Long (4)

Jörmungandr taken from Norse mythology is a giant serpent like beast that is sometimes called the Midgard serpent or snake. The Jormungandr is my first sea monster.

Although Sea monsters act just like a ship, with the exception of being able to carry crew, their coils are treated like masts and can fire cannon from each of its coils. In addition they can carry treasure. The treasures are obtained from pinning and boarding a ship and not from explore action on a wild island. If the sea monster succeeds at a boarding party, it also eliminates one mast.

Instead of using this unit in its traditional mode I am thinking about using Jormungandr in response to some situation card that is picked by a player. There will be cards for two of the three basic actions. I am thinking about adding situation cards to the Move and Explore actions. More to follow…

Name:  La Richelieu
Points:  10
Flag/Nation:   French
Masts:  3
Hold Capacity:  4
Basic Movement:  Long
Cannon:  2 Short (3, and a 3); 1 Long (3)

This is my second French flagged vessel. This ships gets +1 to here cannon rolls against the Cursed. This ship is linked to the Jean Desailly crewmember. Desailly brings some unique characteristics and abilities to the ship in which he is on…

Name:  HMS Caradoc
Points:  13
Flag/Nation:  England
Masts:  4
Hold Capacity:  4
Basic Movement:  Short + Long
Cannon:  3 Short (4, 3, and a 3); 1 Long (4)

The HMS Caradoc is a schooner. Once per turn this ship may reroll any die you roll for the ship. As a free action this ship type can rotate her stern in any direction after she completes a move action.

Name:  HMS Seaham
Points:  9
Flag/Nation:  England
Masts:  2
Hold Capacity:  2
Basic Movement:  Short + Short
Cannon:  2 Short (3 and a 3)

This ship gets +1 her boarding rolls and gets +2 added if her opponent is a sea monster.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Frank Reade - An Adventure in the Age of Invention - The Last of the Conquerors

There are lot of links in this post. This is a post that I had written some time ago and somehow had forgotten to make the post.

Frank Reade: An Adventure in the Age of Invention is a superb book with many wonderful illustrations, many of them in color. Frank Reade is a fictional character, but the authors of this volume have you wondering is Frank Reade a fictional or a nonfictional character.

Josiah Harlan is reported as being Frank Reade’s favorite historical character and Frank is said to have been inspired by this character. All of the following are real characters from the past and are mentioned briefly in the text.

James Brooke (1803-1868)

James Brooke was a British East India Company mercenary that eventually started his own business. He was made the Rajah of Sarawak, by the Sultan of Brunei, for his part in putting down a rebellion against the Sultan.

Francis Burton (1821-1890)

"Sir Richard Francis Burton was an English geographer, explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer and diplomat." Burton was another former British East India Company mercenary. Sir Francis Burton spoke twenty-nine languages, was a noted fencer and hypnotist.

Josiah Harlan (1799-1871)

Josiah Harlan was another British East India Company mercenary. Harlan was an American adventurer and mercenary who traveled to Afghanistan with the intent on making himself king”. Harlan eventually became the Prince of Ghor and was the inspiration to Rudyard Kipling when writing his “The Man Who Would Be King”.

Percy Fawcett (1867-1925)

Percy Fawcett was one of many who disappeared looking for the famed city of gold El Dorado. Myths still exist about this famed city, but to this day no city of gold has been discovered.

Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902)

Cecil Rhodes was a South Africa mining magnate that amassed more than a half a million square miles of land by obtaining mineral concessions from African Chieftains. After two Matabele wars this area was renamed Rhodesia and now makes up the country of Zambia.

William Walker (1824-1860)

The life of William Walker is an interesting one. I remember doing research and writing a paper on this very flamboyant character while in university. William Walker was an American adventurer, and a filibuster. Filibusters formulate revolutions in order to topple governments. Walker, who briefly installed himself the president of Nicaragua, took part in several attempted revolutions in Central American countries. William Walker was shot by a firing squad for his part of one such attempt in Honduras.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Axis and Allies-War at Sea-HMS Saumarez

The HMS Saumarez was an S-class destroyer that was commissioned in 1943. The Saumarez saw action in the Atlantic and earned the following battle honors for the following campaigns: Arctic 1943-44, North Cape 1943, and Normandy 1944. During operations in the Pacific the Saumarez earned the following battle honors: Malaya 1945 and Burma 1945.

As part of the East Indian Fleet the Saumarez together with four other destroyers intercepted the Imperial Japanese cruiser Haguro and sank her with torpedoes, this fight being the last surface action of the war.
Some of the Axis and Allies-War at Sea statistics for this vessel are:
  • Speed (Movement): 2
  • Armor: 2
  • Vital Armor: 7
  • Hull Points: 2
  • Rarity: common

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Another Source for 1/1800 Scale Ships

I have been searching for other sources of 1/1800 scale ships without avail until I hit upon the offerings at Shapeways. Shapeways offers a large collection 1/1800 scale, modern, WWII, and one my current interests 1890 Pre-dreadnought battleships. These models are on the expensive side though, usually in the $5.00 to $10.00 range. The 1890 Pre-dreadnought and other battleships can be had for considerably less in smaller scales.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Axis and Allies-War at Sea-Nagato-Class Battelship

Two Nagato class dreadnought battleships were built for the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War I, although they were not completed until after the end of the war. The Nagato, served as the flag ship for Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Although Nagato saw action in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Nagato did not use her guns on an enemy ship until October 1944, during the battle of Leyte Gulf.
Some basic statistics for the Nagato-Class Battleships are:
Displacement:39,130 t (38,510 long tons)
Length:224.94 m (738 ft 0 in)
Beam:34.6 m (113 ft 6 in)
Draft:9.49 m (31 ft 2 in)
Speed:26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph)
Range:5,500 nmi (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
4 × twin 41 cm guns
20 × single 14 cm guns
4 × single 76 mm AA guns
8 × 533 mm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes

Some of the Axis and Allies-War at Sea statistics for this vessel are:
  • Speed (Movement): 2
  • Armor: 8
  • Vital Armor: 14
  • Hull Points: 5
  • Rarity: rare