Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My HO Guage Horse Collection

This is not all of my 1/87 horses; I do own about a dozen, to what I believe are “Life Like” horses like the white horse on the left. All of them look exactly alike and will need to be varied a bit with a spot of paint or two. The others are from various sources, some plastic, while others are in white metal. Most of the collection still needs to be painted or at the least, some will need a little touch up.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Phantom Ship

In Mather's Magnalia Christi,
Of the old colonial time,
May be found in prose the legend
That is here set down in rhyme.
A ship sailed from New Haven,
And the keen and frosty airs,
That filled her sails at parting,
Were heavy with good men's prayers.
"O Lord! if it be thy pleasure"--
Thus prayed the old divine--
"To bury our friends in the ocean,
Take them, for they are thine!"
But Master Lamberton muttered,
And under his breath said he,
"This ship is so crank and walty
I fear our grave she will be!"
And the ships that came from England,
When the winter months were gone,
Brought no tidings of this vessel
Nor of Master Lamberton.
This put the people to praying
That the Lord would let them hear
What in his greater wisdom
He had done with friends so dear.
And at last their prayers were answered:--
It was in the month of June,
An hour before the sunset
Of a windy afternoon,
When, steadily steering landward,
A ship was seen below,
And they knew it was Lamberton, Master,
Who sailed so long ago.
On she came, with a cloud of canvas,
Right against the wind that blew,
Until the eye could distinguish
The faces of the crew.
Then fell her straining topmasts,
Hanging tangled in the shrouds,
And her sails were loosened and lifted,
And blown away like clouds.
And the masts, with all their rigging,
Fell slowly, one by one,
And the hulk dilated and vanished,
As a sea-mist in the sun!
And the people who saw this marvel
Each said unto his friend,
That this was the mould of their vessel,
And thus her tragic end.
And the pastor of the village
Gave thanks to God in prayer,
That, to quiet their troubled spirits,
He had sent this Ship of Air.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, March 28, 2016

Zombies at War


Package Art

Secret service agencies on both sides of the Atlantic new the German high command were working on zombie warriors as early as 39, but having experience of their own with large segments of their population becoming zombie like through the use Gin and Opium the British high command ruled out the development of Zombie armies. However, the American industrial complex saw their way to making large profits from their development. Industry lobbyists quickly and effectively persuaded American elected officials, who apparently, did not have the same scruples as their counterparts across the pond, to pass a bill to allow them to develop two zombie battalions.

It is a battle to the second death. There are thirty five plastic soldiers in ten unique poses. These figures stand about two inches tall and come in US Army green and German grey. There is a surprising amount of detail on these dense plastic figures.




Some other reporting on the zombies at war




Saturday, March 26, 2016

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…


“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?”

Five Man Electrical Band

I have collected these scale signs from a verity of sources. The back of kit boxes or sometimes the kit includes an insert sheet with signs. Others have come from product cartons and sales flyers; while others from suppliers of such. There are many different sized signs, most are better suited for 1/87, but many would work for 1/48.

Although it might not be evident, there are quite a few vintage signs in this mix, which I will need to feature in an upcoming post

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Host of Characters-The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu

Dr. Fu-Manchu is another memorable character I have added to my list of characters I would like to emulate during game play. Pulp Figures use to carry a set 28mm characters that would be perfect candidates for a Dr. Fu-Manchu and his minions. Alas, I will need to look around for some suitable miniatures to fill this spot.

'...To continue: This man, whether a fanatic or a duly appointed agent, is, unquestionably, the most malign and formidable personality existing in the known world today. He is a linguist who speaks with almost equal facility in any of the civilized languages, and in most of the barbaric. He is an adept in all the arts and sciences which a great university could teach him. He also is an adept in certain obscure arts and sciences which no university of to-day can teach. He has the brains of any three men of genius. Petrie, he is a mental giant."...

"Imagine a person, tall, lean and feline, high-shouldered, with a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan, a close-shaven skull, and long, magnetic eyes of the true cat-green. Invest him with all the cruel cunning of an entire Eastern race, accumulated in one giant intellect, with all the resources of science past and present, with all the resources, if you will, of a wealthy government—which, however, already has denied all knowledge of his existence. Imagine that awful being, and you have a mental picture of Dr. Fu-Manchu, the yellow peril incarnate in one man…"

The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu, Chapter 2

Thursday, March 24, 2016

S.L.U.G. Zombies

Extra Crispy
Previously employed as a chicken farmer and entrepreneur.

The Deadlifter
Formally held the title of Mr. Galaxy

Squeamy Sashimi
Previously employed as a Sushi Chef.

Base Hit Bones
Previously employed as a “super slugger” for the Red Sox organization.

Louie Fingers
Previously employed by the mob.

Singer Mortis
Previously a Los Vegas entertainer and hair-stylist.

The Towering Terror
Pro wrestler.

Tragic Magic
Magician; watch the body disappear.

Jeet Kune Dead
Martial Arts Master

Zero Hero
Cape wearing video store clerk

All of the miniatures have a fair amount of detail on their faces. To make use of these miniatures I am working on a simple board game that will pit the two zombie hunters against the hoard of these zombies.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Mystical Roc


The original full sized Wikipedia image can be found here

The Roc creature was mentioned within the text of Sinbad the Sailor and was accepted by Europeans throughout the 16th century as being a genuine creature. Although today the creature is thought as  a mystical creature and the stuff of legends. However, In 1604 Michael Drayton wrote a rather fanciful poem envisaging the roc being taken aboard the Ark:

All feathered things yet ever knowne to men,
From the huge Rucke, unto the little Wren;
From Forrest, Fields, from Rivers and from Pons,
All that have webs, or cloven-footed ones;
To the Grand Arke, together friendly came,
Whose severall species were too long to name.



Another ROC resource

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Series 3 S.L.U.G. Zombies

S.L.U.G. stands for Scary Little Ugly Guys. There are, from what I gather, five sets in all. Series 1 through 4 can be had in 12 packs. The package shaped like a coffin contains 10 various zombies and 2 zombie hunters. The miniatures are about 2 inches tall. The zombies are molded in a bright green, while the zombie hunters are flesh colored.

The box contains the following figures:

Extra Crispy
Johnny Tow-Guns (hunter)
The Deadlifter
Squeamy Sashimi
Base Hit Bones
Louie Fingers
Singer Mortis
The Towering Terror
Double-Barrel Carol (hunter)
Tragic Magic
Jeet Kune Dead
Zero Hero

These are the first zombies that I have added to my collection. Through the support of a generous benefactor these and other zombies will be added to our newly built Zombie wing.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Flea Market Finds

While rummaging through several plastic bins at a Flea Market I was hoping to find some “Monsters in my Pocket” or M.U.S.C.L.E. specimens. I didn’t find either, but I did find these two blokes. They stand between 2.75 and 3 inches tall. Both of the figures came partially painted and have a fair amount of detail.

Viking with Battle Axe


The battle axe extends down to the axe head itself which terminates into a square block of plastic giving some bulk to this miniature.

Medieval or Viking Warrior


Although he is missing a pike or a spear, the battle implement can easily be fashioned from a piece of styrene.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Encounters of Captain Singleton-The Giant Serpent

“On several occasions while travelling in the wetlands around the lake the adventures were pursued by a kind of snake or serpent. It was venomous, very large, deformed and quite ugly. When struck or when hit by some thrown object, it would raise itself up and hiss so loud that it might be heard a great way off. It made the men believe that it was Satan himself. ”

The Life, Adventures, and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton, Daniel Defoe

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End

Bursting out from the sea, the Flying Dutchman would catch those opposed to the realm by surprise.

The Dutchman’s guns would be wheeled out and ready to fire with minutes after the ship broke the surface.

Although I didn’t catch a snapshot of the scene, the Flying Dutchman included a three barrel cannon that rotated after each shot.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Encounters of Captain Singleton-The Elephant Grave Yard

An idea for a perfect game scenario.

“It had taken the adventures three days to pass the lake. Six to seven days march after it, the ground was scattered with elephant tusks in ‘such numbers as is incredible’. Some had lain there for hundreds of years. There were some that so large and heavy that even the strongest man among them could not lift them. As to the number of tusks; there was enough to load a thousand of the biggest ships in the world. The weight of just one tusk there was estimated to weigh three hundredweight, a fabulous treasure in its self.”

The Life, Adventures, and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton, Daniel Defoe.

Monday, March 14, 2016

1/72 Scale Zulu War British Infantry Soldiers

“The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom.” Although the British would at first, suffer a major defeat, they would eventually triumph over the Zulu.

The front cover and a painting illustration on the back demonstrate how these miniatures should be painted.
   

There are fifty soldiers in several different poses on two half's of a sprue. The detail is good, but there is some flash and at this size will make preparation a bit of a challenge.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Final Sighting of the Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman rising from the depths. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World End.

'“There—there!” shouted the sailors, pointing to the beam of the vessel. Every eye looked over the gunnel to witness what had occasioned such exclamations. Philip, Schriften, and the captain, were side by side. On the beam of the ship, not more than two cables’ length distant, they beheld slowly rising out of the water the tapering masthead and spars of another vessel. She rose, and rose, gradually; her topmasts and topsail yards, with the sails set, next made their appearance; higher and higher she rose up from the element. Her lower masts and rigging, and, lastly, her hull showed itself above the surface. Still she rose up, till her ports, with her guns, and at last the whole of her floatage was above water and there she remained close to them, with her main yard squared, and hove-to.

“Holy Virgin!” exclaimed the captain, breathless; “I have known ships to go down, but never to come up before. Now will I give one thousand candles, of ten ounces each, to the shrine of the Virgin, to save us in this trouble. One thousand wax candles! Hear me, blessed lady, ten ounces each! Gentlemen,” cried the captain to the passengers, who stood aghast; “why don’t you promise?—promise, I say; promise, at all events.”

“The Phantom Ship—the Flying Dutchman,” shrieked Schriften; “I told you so, Philip Vanderdecken; there is your father—he, he!” '

The Phantom Ship, by Frederick Marrya

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Age of Mythology Mythical Pieces: Egyptian















From left to right

Wadjet: Cobra goddess of Lower Egypt; Sphinx: a winged monster of Thebes. It has a woman’s head and a lion’s body; Anubite: God of Ancient Egypt. Had a body of a man with the head of a jackal; Scorpion-Man: Head, torso of a man and body of a scorpion; Mummy: is a human whose skin has been preserved using herbs and portions and wrapped with ribbons of cloth; Phoenix: an eternal bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn; Son of Osiris: god of the afterlife, the underworld, and the dead.

It seems that the ancient Egyptians were the most imaginative when it came to their mythical entities. Was it something they smoked or was it the hot desert sun?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Age of Mythology Mythical Pieces: Greek

From left to right

Cyclops: a one eyed giant; Medusa: a winged human female with a hideous face and living venomous snakes instead of hair; Minotaur: had a head of a bull and body of a human; Manticore: body of red lion with a human head, shark like teeth, and bat-like wings; Centaur: upper body of a human and the lower, the body of a horse; Hydra: hugh creature with multiple snake like heads.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Age of Mythology Mythical Pieces: Norse

From left to right

Nidhogg: Dragon; Frost Giant: Very large humanoid creature; Dwarf: Short stocky creature; Troll: Live in isolated locations and are usually antagonistic to humans; Valkyrie: female figure who chooses who will live or die during battle. (Don’t spurn this one)

I don’t know how these soft plastic castings will take to paint, but I am going to give one of the Trolls and Frost Giants a try.

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Ghost Ship Passes Through the Utrecht

The crew of the Utrecht has a harrowing experience with the Flying Dutchman.

'“Ship on the weather beam close aboard of us,” cried one of the men.

Krantz and Philip sprang upon the gunwale, and beheld the large ship bearing right down upon them, not three cables’ length distant.

“Helm up! she does not see us, and she will be aboard of us!” cried Philip. “Helm up, I say, hard up, quick!”

The helm was put up, as the men, perceiving their imminent danger, climbed upon the guns to look if the vessel altered her course; but no—down she came, and the head-sails of the Utrecht having been carried away, to their horror they perceived that she would not answer her helm, and pay off as they required.

“Ship ahoy!” roared Philip through his trumpet—but the gale drove the sound back.

“Ship ahoy!” cried Krantz on the gunwale, waving his hat. It was useless—down she came, with the waters foaming under her bows, and was now within pistol-shot of the Utrecht.

“Ship ahoy!” roared all the sailors, with a shout that must have been heard: it was not attended to: down came the vessel upon them, and now her cutwater was within ten yards of the Utrecht. The men of the Utrecht, who expected that their vessel would be severed in half by the concussion, climbed upon the weather gunwale, all ready to catch at the ropes of the other vessel, and climb on board of her. Amine, who had been surprised at the noise on deck, had come out, and had taken Philip by the arm.

“Trust to me—the shock—,” said Philip. He said no more; the cutwater of the stranger touched their sides; one general cry was raised by the sailors of the Utrecht,—they sprang to catch at the rigging of the other vessel’s bowsprit, which was now pointed between their masts—they caught at nothing—nothing—there was no shock—no concussion of the two vessels—the stranger appeared to cleave through them—her hull passed along in silence—no cracking of timbers—no falling of masts—the foreyard passed through their mainsail, yet the canvas was unrent—the whole vessel appeared to cut through the Utrecht, yet left no trace of injury—not fast, but slowly, as if she were really sawing through her by the heaving and tossing of the sea with her sharp prow. The stranger’s forechains had passed their gunwale before Philip could recover himself. “Amine,” cried he at last, “the Phantom Ship!—my father!” '

The Phantom Ship, by Frederick Marryat

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Properties for Histrofigs Beast #3

This is the last of my HistoriFigs monsters.



Intelligence:

3

Dexterity:

4

Movement:

1 if on its legs, 2 if flying.

Stealth:

This beast is not all that stealth-full.Unless you are preoccupied or are standing next to a water fall you would probably hear this creature flapping of its wings or hear it as it shuffles along on its feet.

Methods of Attack:

This creature has a set of sharp teeth and claws which could incapacitate its victim.



Friday, March 4, 2016

A Host of Characters-The Encounters of Captain Singleton

I have found another character to add to my “Host of Characters” list. The Life, Adventures, and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton, was an absorbing story and besides Captain Singleton included other interesting characters. One such character was William, the ships surgeon. William was a Quaker who had been dragged off another ship by force by the pirates. (He wasn’t really forced he just acted as though he was.) William had secretly wanted to become a pirate in order to accumulate some wealth. William was to become Captain Singleton trusted advisory and faithful comrade.

Slave, servant, adventurer, pirate, and now captain of a pirate ship Captain Singleton has had many encounters with natives of foreign lands. Some of these encounters were friendly and beneficial, while others like the one I am about to describe were fraught with difficulties.

While visiting an island in the Indian Ocean Captain Singleton and some of his crew encountered the natives. The natives, not taking their visit too kindly fired arrows and threw spears at Captain Singleton and his crew. One of the crew was killed and several were injured. When the crew returned fire with their muskets the Indians retired to a large hollowed out tree that acted like their fortress. The Indians continued their assault on the invaders from the safety of their tree fortress.

Captain Singleton and his crew tried to blast the attackers out with their muskets and then with some ships cannon; to no avail, the tree like a true fortress withstood all of these attacks. Next the ships crew tried to smoke out the inhabitants of the fortress, but they didn’t realize that the tree sat on top of a cave. Not only was the cave used for the combatants to escape these assaults, but the cave was connected to another cave further out. The cave was only discovered after Captain Singleton and his crew applied several barrels of gun-powder to the tree. The powder did the trick and the tree and all that were beneath the tree was destroyed. It was a beastly sight!

The Life, Adventures, and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton, Daniel Defoe.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

And the Eyes Have it

The combined crew from the Chinese junk and Black Pearl went ashore for water and found a dead giant sea monster that had been washed up on shore. See the reflection of the sailor in the creature’s eye.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End

One of the first scenes from the fourth edition of Jurassic Park; a hatchling finding its way into its world.

The Indominus rex awaits its prey.

Another look from the hybrid Indominus rex. Another reflection in an eye. “Better to see you with, my dear.”

Jurassic Park 4

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dr Jekyll’s Potion

We really do not know the true nature of Dr. Jekll’s portion, but we do know of its results. Dr. Jekll’s portion allowed the doctor transform in to his alter-ego which he, Dr. Jekll’s named Mr. Hyde. As Dr. Jekyll was a refined, friendly and effectual individual, Mr. Hyde was reserved, ineffective and sadistic.

The potion consisted of the following components: a few minims of a red tincture, and a small chemical envelope of powders. When first mixed the mixture was first of a red hue and as the crystals melted the color brightened in color and threw off small fumes of vapors. The ebullition ceased and the compound changed to a dark purple and then more slowly to a watery green. It was not until thus that the portion could be taken.

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Game Pieces of the Age of Mythology

My Age of Mythology game pieces arrived the other day from Eagle Games and I have plenty to report on my newly acquired miniatures. I thought I would start out with the basics. There are three fractions included in the game, including Egypt, Greek, and Norse combatants.

Listed below are the colors I chose followed by the colors that are available for each one of plastic sprue.

Egypt Pieces [Color:Brown], Dark Brown
Greek Pieces [Color:Light Green]. Green
Norse Pieces [Color:Medium Blue], Dark Blue, Light Blue

There are roughly 145 parts on the three plastic runners. I have included a link to a Plastic Soldier review of each set.



Norse Pieces
Jarl
Throwing Axeman
Villager
Huskarl
Classical Norse Hero
Heroic Norse Hero
Mythic Norse Hero
Troll
Frost Giant
Dwarf
Valkyrie
Nidhogg





Greek Pieces
Villager
Toxotes
Hoplite
Hippokon
Mythical Greek Heros
Classical Greek Hero
Heroic Greek Hero
Manticore
Medusa
Centaur
Cyclops
Minotaur
Hydra





Egyptian Pieces
Chariot Archer
Spearman
Priest
Pharaoh
Villager
Elephant
Phoenix
Mummy
Anubite
Sphinx
Son of Osiris
Scorpion-Man
Wadjet