Friday, January 31, 2014

20mm Goodness

These tweets are in reverse chronological order:

:: I hope to get to some painting this weekend and paint the fur on my Splintered Light otter.

:: I have been extraordinarily busy lately and I haven’t been able to get to my work bench all that much this week.

:: I am still not all that happy with the previously mentioned color combination; it seems a bit too light. I might try dry brushing the swords on the three miniatures and see how that works out.

:: I am not too happy with the results and I am going to try using equals parts of the silver and grey, but leave the speck of black out.

:: I have been experimenting with different color combinations for my miniature’s swords. One combination that I came up with is to use equals parts of silver and light grey and just a squirt of black to represent an iron sword. To gain some knowledge of shields I visited the Shields: Terminology and History site.

:: All five of my miniatures have received some paint. I like painting sets of miniatures, in that it gives you something to do while the paint dries on the current miniature.

:: The painting of the first set of 20mm Splintered Light Miniatures is under way, and their size has not been an issue, as long as I have my spectacles and there is plenty of light. However, I don’t see myself painting anything much smaller.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Classic Monopoly Game Refills

I haven't made a post on this topic for some time. However, after having played Monopoly a few times I have noticed that we have continually ran short of houses. Here is a source for refills for Monopoly money, tokens, houses, and hotels.

The Patriarchal Natty Bumppo

About a week ago I made a post on James Fenimore Cooper’s Leather Stocking series of novels that feature the protagonist, Natty Bumppo. I mentioned that I had read a few of the novels out of historical sequence.

After reading The Deerslayer, The First War Path I am glad for this unintentional breach. I am afraid if I had I started with The Deerslayer I may not have decided to continue to my readings in this series.

In the novels that following the Deerslayer, Natty Bumppo is circumspective, but laid back. Natty Bumppo was a character that I could live with; however in the Dearslayer I found the character of Natty Bumppo to patriarchal for his age. Natty Bumppo is young here, this is his first war path, but he seems to have wisdom beyond his years.

He is ready to return to the Huron’s camp to be to be tortured and you find him giving advice to all of his compatriots. This is the point where the character of Natty Bumppo takes a turn and no longer seems convincing.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Captain Nemo's 'Seafood & Saltwater Salvage Rail Road

According to Chris Walas Captain Nemo has survived, got to some deserted island and is now the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Nemo's 'Seafood & Saltwater Salvage Rail Road.

The engine is a refit of Nemo’s Nautilus. There is tank car with sea monsters, a flat car with the catch of the day, a gondola filled with refuge that looks like it might have come from the Nautilus. Bringing up the rear, in the barrel, is a catch of a lifetime, a mermaid in all of her glory.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Maps of Fictional Places

I have always fancied maps and charts, especially old maps. I have studied cartography, have a couple books in my library about maps and have a small collection of maps and charts.

By viewing old maps you see how people envisioned their world back then. Some of the oldest maps indicate sea monsters and ships actually falling off the side of the earth. They actually believed the world to be flat.

Viewing the maps that accompany a novel has always fascinated me, maybe even more than the story itself. I believe a map makes the story even more believable. Over the years I have encountered several maps of fictional places. Here is a short list of maps I have encountered through my readings.

I read what, was then a trilogy, of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea fantasy novels during my late teens. The location for the novel takes place on a vast archipelago of hundreds of islands surrounded by uncharted ocean. The islands are peopled by a few different cultures that use weapons created out of wood and iron. There are dragons, peoples, cultures, and wizards with their magic spells.

The Hobbit

Middle-earth is the fictional universe created by the author J. R. R. Tolkien for his fantasy writings of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction action film directed by Steven Spielberg. The movie is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. Jurassic Park was the much publicized theme park that never was. You must watch those disgruntled hackers.

The Lost World

The Lost World is another novel written by Michael Crichton. The Lost World is a sequel to his Jurassic Park. Isla Sorna is an island that is purported as being the location for the manufacture of the beasts found in Jurassic Park. Jurassic Park has been abandoned and something has went terribly wrong.

The Land that Time Forgot

Caspak Island is a fictional island used in Edgar Rice Burroughs's Caspak trilogy, including The Land That Time Forgot, The People That Time Forgot, and Out of Time's Abyss. Caspak is described as a land mass near Antarctica that through its unique geology is much like a tropical island.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Finding a purpose for my Splintered Light Miniatures-2

While I am waiting for my Redwall and The Chronicles of Narnia books to arrive I have decided to look elsewhere for ideas on how to use my Splintered Light Miniatures in either a war game or a RPG.

Recently I started to read The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. I have just started to read this book, but have already come upon one event in chapter titled Kaa's Hunting that might make for a good skirmish.

The chapter tells of an old deserted city, lost and buried deep in the jungle that is called Cold Lairs by the monkey people. There is a battle here between hundreds of monkeys and three of friends of Mowgli; a thirty foot python, a bear and a panther.

Conversions of 20mm (1/72) Plastic Figures

The Little Soldiers 20mm (1/72) Plastic Figures page discusses several simple conversions to plastic soldiers and the construction of a Vickers Machine gun and a Mortar.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Leatherstocking Series

The Leatherstocking Tales is a series of five novels written by James Fenimore Cooper. Each features the main hero of Natty Bumppo, which is known by European settlers as Leatherstocking, The Pathfinder, and the trapper. He is also known by Native Americans as "Deerslayer," "La Longue Carabine" and "Hawkeye".

It seems that I have read these novels out of sequence for I have read The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, The Inland Sea, and am just now reading “The Deerslayer, The First War Path”. The first three of Fenimore’s novels depict the French and Indian Wars era. The correct historic sequence of these novels is:

Story Dates



The Deerslayer, The First War Path


The Last of the Mohicans, A Narrative of 1757


The Pathfinder, The Inland Sea


The Pioneers, The Sources of the Susquehanna; A Descriptive Tale


The Prairie, A Tale

All three novels that I have read include very spirited stories with encounters with antagonist Indians and, in some cases, an interesting view of the North American frontier. Natty Bumppo, the protagonist, having grown up with a tribe of Delaware Indians is companied by his Mohican "brother" Chingachgook or Big Serpent. These two protagonists either fight or outwit their enemies in these novels.

I just finished the “The Pathfinder, The Inland Sea” not too long ago and the story still pretty fresh in my mind, however I read the “The Last of the Mohicans” sometime ago. I am thinking on picking up The Last of the Mohicans again after I have finished reading “The Deerslayer”. After rereading the “Last of the Mohicans” I will pick-up the sequence again with “The Pioneers and The Prairie”.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fantasy Map Love

“Tripping over Books”-what an interesting name for a website. That reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “When I have money I buy books and if there is anything left I buy food and clothes”- Desiderius Erasmus.

Fantasy Map Love features several maps from some of the most loved fantasy books. There is Winnie the Pooh’ s 100 Acre Wood, the map from the Chronicles of Narnia, and for the Harry Potter fans, there is the map of Hogwarts, to name just a few.

This is post 300. I am trying to keep the spammers happy. Keep your visits coming..

What is on Your Workbench?

I am glad you asked. “Way too much.” I am hoping to get organized and to get something accomplished this year. Here is a list of projects I hope to complete during the winter:

  1. One set of five 20mm Faithful Hero’s from Splintered Light Miniatures. Need to be painted.
  2. A Model Power 1/87 scale supply shed with details. Needs to be assembled, painted, detailed, and based.
  3. A Zelda four figure 1/72 British WWII machine gun crew. Needs to be assembled and painted.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Finding a Purpose for my Splintered Light Miniatures

Back in July of last year I pondered what miniatures might be appropriate for Experimental Playground’s Mutants and Machine-Guns’ RPG. At that time I was considering on using Splintered Lights 20mm animal figures for the RPG’s Evolved Animals.

Since then I have been thinking on how I could expand the use of these miniatures. Could the Redwall series by Brian Jacques or The Chronicles of Narnia be an answer? Both series make use of animated and demonstrative animal characters. Could these plots be woven into their own RPG or war/adventure game?

Inspiration for my Splintered Light Miniatures

I recently found a page that features some painted Splintered Light miniatures. Some of the painted miniatures are of those that I had recently ordered (scroll down a bit and look for the review for the village personalities).

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Splintered Light Miniatures-Faithful Heroes 2

My miniatures from Splintered Light are beautiful. They are full of detail, but boy are they small. I had the notion that 20mm would be a bit larger than these are. I have worked with 25mm miniatures before and presumed that 20mm couldn’t be all that much smaller, but alas they are.

Here is a primed set of Splintered Light’s Faithful Heroes 2. The figures include an otter, a badger, a hare, and 2 mice. All are armed and presumed dangerous. I look forward to working with them.

Two Sources for Resin and Metal Model Kits

Although these suppliers may be known to some of you they are new to me. I am always looking for something unique to build and these two sites provide a lot fodder.

S & S Model Shop

S & S Model Shop features resin models that include some cast pewter parts in 1/72 (25mm) and 1/60 (28mm) scale/sizes. There is 1/60, 28mm Universal Carrier that caught my eye. I have been looking for a Universal Carrier in this scale for a diorama I am planning. The scene would include this carrier and a set of 28mm miniatures (Big Joe and Company) from Artizan Designs Thrilling Tales series.

SHQ Miniatures

SHQ Miniatures offers a full line of 20 and 25mm miniatures, from multiple eras and ranges. All SHQ Miniatures are cast in pewter. SHQ Miniatures offers miniatures and many WWII vehicles. I was especially draw to their 20mm range of obscure WWII fighting vehicles from countries like Italy and Poland. SHQ also supplies a few sets of Italian infantry in 20mm that would be a great complement to their Carro Armato L6/40 Light Tank.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Another Source of Maps of Middle Earth

This source was found on the Tolkien Gateway and features ten specific locations in Middle Earth with links to dozens of variations of these specific locations.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


This image has been reduced, the game fits on a 8-1/2 x 11" page with game rules on the bottom of the page

My father and I used to play Battleship quite often. "You've sunk my battleship". Dad being the brilliant strategist that he was often won, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to play again. I know longer have this game and it wouldn’t be something I would consider purchasing today, however I did come upon a Print and Play version of this game that might be fun to play from time to time when find myself with nothing else to do. The game does take two to play and I found two versions of this pen and paper game that can be downloaded for free.

1/72 Zvezda British Machine Gun w/Crew

A screenshot of the original image was taken here.

The four figures and Vickers machine gun do not require any glue to assemble. I did not notice any flash on any of the components and the parting lines if they exist are minimal. The kit includes two spruces with the four figures, bases (2), and machine gun being divided between the two spruces.

The 1/72 scale is a rather a small scale and some of the pieces are very small and delicate. Care should be taken when removing these from their spruces. The detail of the figures is better than some I have seen and the poses are functional and realistic. Whether a machine gun crew would set-up without any cover is question that will have to addressed when deciding what details should be added to base.

1/72 Zvezda British Machine Gun w/Crew Spruce

I will be using the following two resources when deciding how I should detail the machine gun.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Splintered Light Miniatures Have Arrived

My Splintered Light Miniatures have arrived and I cannot wait to get home to take a look at them. I will need to clear an area on my bench for these miniatures. It is far past the time for my workbench to get a good cleaning and to be reorganized anyway. My workbench is a mess. I have so many projects in different levels of completion that are taking up most of my workbench.

One of my goals this year is to get to more assembly and painting accomplished. That is the assembly of some plastic kits and now that I have replenished the few of colors that I was lacking, to paint several of my sets of 28mm miniatures.

I have already have set out some of my paints out for these Splintered Light Miniatures; browns of every description and a few shades of black. Let’s not forget the greys and few metallic colors for the creature’s armor and weapons. I will also need some reds for sashes and perhaps some greens for their mantles.

Two Horse Drawn Wagons I Would like Build in 2014

The two horse drawn wagons are scaled at 1/72 and represent two unique periods of history. There is ancient Roman Nobelman's Chariot and a WWI Field Wagon.

The Roman Nobleman’s Chariot comes with a chariot, 2 horses and 2 figures. The two figures represent the nobles man and servant rider. The chariot is an elaborate affair, at least for that period. The manufacturer is Ykreol. This will be my second model that I will build from Ykreol, a French company. The model has been reviewed by the Plastic Soldier Review.

This is my first piece from this period. I am not all that interested in this period of history, but thought the model would be a nice addition to my collection of horse drawn wagons.

For supplemental miniatures Linear-B Roman Port set could be used to add to the scene. This set has 48 figures in twelve poses.

The WWI Field Wagon is a product of Hat Industries Figures. This kit includes three complete wagons, with two riders and two horses each.

WWI is one of my favorite periods. I like this eras mechanized and armored vehicles. These vehicle, still in their infancy, used some very singular designs.

Supplements for this set is a set of Airfix Models’ WWI German infantry. This would give me several soldiers walking carrying their guns. They would play the part as guards.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What’s New for 2014?

20mm Miniatures

Although I have had my eyes on these miniatures for some time, this size of miniatures is new to me. I thought these fantasy miniatures might be fun to paint and made use of in some war game or RPG.

I recently ordered the following from Splintered Light Miniatures: “Faithful Heroes 2” which includes five of the following figures an otter, a badger, a hare, and 2 mice. In addition I also ordered Splintered Light’s “Villager Personalities” which includes the following six figures: a rabbit gentleman and his muskrat lady housemaid, a crazy toad, a distinguished badger, rat and mole. I already have something in mind for the rabbit gentleman.

I will eventually have to order a set of their Rebels, which are the counterparts of their Faithful Heroes.

1/72 Scale Models and Dioramas

I made a brief post about some of the goodies I received as gifts (via gift certificates). I am planning on creating some dioramas this year and ordered several 1/72 scale kits for this purpose. I became inspired to do so by viewing the fabulous work of Sam Wise.

Pre-Dreadnought Battleships

WTJ Naval Store offers a large collection of Pre-dreadnought Battleships. I made a post on this topic last year. This era 1890, the era in which these battleships were introduced, has some significance to me, but as of yet I could not tell you exactly why I am being drawn to this era.

I was thinking about going with the 1/1800 scale, however this scale miniatures are quite on the expansive side, so I am contemplating on ordering a smaller scale.

WTJ does offer some free rules for era of ships, so I would like to order enough of these miniatures to allow me to play some type war game with these Pre-Dreadnought ships.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Another Map of Middle-Earth

Although it is not an interactive map like the last map of Middle Earth that I had made a post this map the "Complete Map of Middle-Earth" is another map of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. (The author has made a point of mentioning that the map is a work in progress. The map has seen two updates) This printable map can be used as a resource in a war-game or RPG.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pirates of Mysterious Islands-Battle Report

Two players controlled ten ships in the race to collect more gold pieces than their contestant. The nations and other combatants that took part in this battle were the United States, Great Britain, France, Spain, and Pirates.

While the gold was plentiful and the crews were able to fill their ships holds there were no contests, however when the gold became scarce the players turned their cannon on each other. Three ships made their way to Dave Jones Locker.

In the end one player had gained 69 gold points, but lost two ships, while the other player won by gaining 99 gold points and had only lost one ship.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Visit and Interact with a Map of Middle Earth

Although this site seems to be have been around for some time, I am just finding out about it. Visit and interact with Hobbits, Dwarves & Dragons on a map of Middle Earth. This site is best viewed using Google Chrome, but can be visited using Firefox. Very cool!

Old Pictures of the Day-Horse Drawn Wagons

Old Picture of the Day is featuring some beautiful black and white images of horse drawn wagons from bygone days.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Three LibriVox audio books by Jules Verne

There have been some books that I haven’t been able to get through while reading them. Sometimes having them read to you seems to gets you through those tough spots. I addition sometimes listing to a story can be very relaxing. You can be sitting in your study or out in nature listing to the story unfold with nature all around you.

Although I haven’t ever had a hard time getting through any works of Jules Verne’s, here are three audio books by Verne that I recently came across:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

HO Scale Figure Suppliers

Here is a short list of HO gauge figure suppliers.

Woodland Scenic’s

Supply HO gauge people and wildlife figures. Figures can be used for multiple eras from 1940’s up until the present.Woodland Scenic’s provides painted figures, but does offer a few figures that are unpainted. The figures are those that accompany some of their metal kits.

Fun & Games

Supplies HO gauge people and some wildlife figures. Figures can be used to depict people in rural areas from early twenties through early forties.Fun & Games figures are unpainted.

Musket Miniatures, Llc

Offers a large collection of scale people and wildlife. Figures could be used from eras from 1890’s through the early 1940’s. Musket Miniatures come unpainted.

Preiser Kg

Preiser supplies figures that are mostly modeled after modern counterparts, but does provide some period figures (1890’s, 1940’s military, and American Civil War). Also provide many wildlife figures, and horse drawn wagons of European origin. Preiser’s figures are painted very finely. These figures come in sets and are on the expensive side.

Rusty Rail

Rusty Rail offers three sets of figures that depict characters from 1880’s through 1940’s. These figures are unpainted and although they are cast in some unique poses they are not highly detailed.


Browser-Selly provides a few figure and wildlife sets. Selly figures could be used to depict figures from the twenties through the early fifties.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year-My Second Iteration

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you a happy and prosperous new year

With the start of a new year come plans and ideas for upcoming posts. I received several 1/72 scale diorama kits, paints, and several HO gauge kits for Christmas. I will be reviewing these kits in upcoming posts. The 1/72 scale seems to have caught my attention and I have plans on creating several 1/72 scale dioramas in the upcoming months