Sunday, October 22, 2017


I found these four owls on eBay. You never know when you might need a wise owl around. They stand one and half inch’s high and are made of solid resin. They are full of detail and are rather cute and were rather reasonable priced I might add.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Captain Lawton's Song!

Captain Lawton sings a song honoring Elizabeth Flanagan.

"Now push the mug, my jolly boys,
And live, while live we can;
To-morrow's sun may end your joys,
For brief's the hour of man.
And he who bravely meets the foe
His lease of life can never know.
Old mother Flanagan
Come and fill the can again!
For you can fill, and we can swill,
Good Betty Flanagan.

If love of life pervades your breast,
Or love of ease your frame,
Quit honor's path for peaceful rest,
And bear a coward's name;
For soon and late, we danger know,
And fearless on the saddle go.
Old mother, etc.

When foreign foes invade the land,
And wives and sweethearts call,
In freedom's cause we'll bravely stand
Or will as bravely fall;
In this fair home the fates have given
We'll live as lords, or live in heaven.
Old mother, etc."

Chapter XVI, The Spy, James Fenimore Cooper

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Enemies of the Raven King

“In the mid-thirteenth century several of the Raven King’s enemies were attempting to form an alliance against him. Most of its members were known to him: the King of France was one, the King of Scotland another, and there were several disaffected fairies who gave themselves grandiose titles and who may or may not, have governed the vast territories they claimed. There were also other personages more mysterious, but even greater. The Raven King had, for the most of his reign, been on good terms with most angles and demons, but now it was rumored that he had quarreled with two: Zadkiel who governed mercy and Alrinach who governed shipwrecks.”

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke

There is a new Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell wiki, which I have linked above. Once I have completed my first reading of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, I would like to go back and pick out all the references of the Raven King and add them to the wiki.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Elizabeth Flanagan-A Host of Characters

And though amidst the calm of thought entire,
Some high and haughty features might betray
A soul impetuous once—'twas earthly fire
That fled composure's intellectual ray,
As Etna's fires grow dim before the rising day.

Gertrude of Wyoming

Elizabeth Flanagan is a character found in James Fenimore Cooper the Spy. The story tells of a revolutionary era spy. Although not the only uncouth individual mentioned within the text she is the first female character with this attribute.

‘Elizabeth Flanagan, her hotel," an ebullition of the wit of some of the idle wags of the corps. The matron, whose name had thus been exalted to an office of such unexpected dignity, ordinarily discharged the duties of a female sutler, washerwoman, and, to use the language of Katy Haynes, petticoat doctor to the troops. She was the widow of a soldier who had been killed in the service, and who, like herself, was a native of a distant island, and had early tried his fortune in the colonies of North America. She constantly migrated with the troops; and it was seldom that they became stationary for two days at a time but the little cart of the bustling woman was seen driving into the encampment loaded with such articles as she conceived would make her presence most welcome. With a celerity that seemed almost supernatural, Betty took up her ground and commenced her occupation. Sometimes the cart itself was her shop; at others the soldiers made her a rude shelter of such materials as offered; but on the present occasion she had seized on a vacant building, and, by dint of stuffing the dirty breeches and half-dried linen of the troopers into the broken windows, to exclude the cold, which had now become severe, she formed what she herself had pronounced to be "most illigant lodgings." The men were quartered in the adjacent barns, and the officers collected in the "Hotel Flanagan," as they facetiously called headquarters. Betty was well known to every trooper in the corps, could call each by his Christian or nickname, as best suited her fancy; and, although absolutely intolerable to all whom habit had not made familiar with her virtues, was a general favorite with these partisan warriors. Her faults were, a trifling love of liquor, excessive filthiness, and a total disregard of all the decencies of language; her virtues, an unbounded love for her adopted country, perfect honesty when dealing on certain known principles with the soldiery, and great good nature. Added to these, Betty had the merit of being the inventor of that beverage which is so well known, at the present hour, to all the patriots who make a winter's march between the commercial and political capitals of this great state, and which is distinguished by the name of "cocktail." Elizabeth Flanagan was peculiarly well qualified, by education and circumstances, to perfect this improvement in liquors, having been literally brought up on its principal ingredient, and having acquired from her Virginian customers the use of mint, from its flavor in a julep to its height of renown in the article in question. Such, then, was the mistress of the mansion, who, reckless of the cold northern blasts, showed her blooming face from the door of the building to welcome the arrival of her favorite, Captain Lawton, and his companion, her master in matters of surgery.’

The Spy, James Fenimore Cooper

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tichy Train HO Details

Tichy Train Group produces many detail parts and structures in O, HO, N, and S gauges all molded in polystyrene. This kit includes two sets of different types of fencing and railing. These include delicately molded picket, board, lumber fences and welded pipe railing.

Another of Tichy Train’s polystyrene kits is there Jib Crane. Jib cranes are used on loading docks where heavy loads must be shifted.

Another delicately molded kit. Includes a length of small-scaled chain for the chain-falls and winch.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Book Murder

“Why did Vinculus hate his father? Why did he rejoice when his father was hanged? Robert Findhelm was quite sure that the book was destroyed-that is plain. Nan1 told me Clegg2 had been hung for stealing a book, but Robert Findhelm had brought the charge of book-murder against Clegg. Clegg was the last man in England to be hanged for book-murder3.”

January-February 1812

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

1Nan was one of Vinculus’s ex-wife’s
2Clegg was Vinculus’s biological father.
3Book-murder was a late addition to English magical law. The willful destruction of a book of magic merited the same punishment as a murder of a Christian.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Magical Books from the Duke of Roxburghe Library

"When an auction of the Dukes books was announced there were seven texts dealing with magic among his collection. Mr. Norrel and Arabella, Jonathan’s Strange’s wife were both interested. Norrel to add to his collection and Arabella meant to surprise her husband with a volume or two of magical texts. Mr. Norrel out-bid everyone to obtain all seven texts, one in which, he paid the princely sum of 2000 guineas.

Rosa et Fons was a mystical meditation upon magic by an unknown fourteenth century magician.

Thomas de Dundelle was a text describing the life of the Raven Kings first human servant, Thomas Dundelle.

The Book of Loveday Ingham was a day-to-day account of the fifteenth century magician of Cambridge.

The History of Seven: although the text was rather muddled and was written in English, Latin, and an unknown fairy language. The text told of the city in Faerie named Seven. The text was quite jumbled. The author would often leave off his narration of Seven and make numerous accusations against some person that had did him some harm.

The Parliament of Woman: was a sixteenth centaury allegorical account of the wisdom and magic that belongs particularity to woman.

Exerciatatio Magica Nobilissima:  was a seventeenth centaury attempt to describe all English magic.

Two last text were snapped by Norrel on the last day of the auction.

The Mirrorir of the Lyf of Ralph Stokesie:  was a volume that Mr. Norrel was totally ignorant about of its existence. This was the wonderful book that Norrel paid the 2000 guineas for. In addition, Norrel also purchased the Decameron."

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel, Suzanne Clarke

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fictional Military Maps

“To be weak is to invite war: to be strong is to prevent it.”

The Invasion by William Le Queux

While reading The Invasion by William Le Queux I came across the series of maps that Le Queux created for his text. This is my second reading of a story that envisions Britain being invaded by Germany. My first text was The Battle of Dorking, first published in 1871.

Germany's Points of Embarkation
Battle of Royston, Sunday Sept. 9th
Position on the Evening of September 11 for the Battle of Chelmsford
Battle of Harlow; 1st Phase, about 5 A. M. Sept. 13th
Battle of Harlow Final Phase
German Attack on the Lines of London
The Bombardment and Defenses of London on Sept. 20th & 21st
London after the Bombardment
The Defenses of South London on Sept 26th

The full text and all the maps of The Invasion by William Le Queux can be found here:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Saint Serlo’s Blessing- Journey into the Unknown

Jonathan Strange and his servant Jeremy Johns sailed up the Tagus on the British ship, St. Serlo’s Blessing. 1 The pair landed at the Black-horse square in the middle of the city of Lisbon.

January – March 1811

1 “Saint Serlo’s Blessing was the name of one of the four magical woods which surrounded and protected the Raven Kings capital city of Newcastle.”

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel, Suzanne Clarke

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Grossery Gang

Grossery Gang, Series 1

The Grossery Gang, brought to you by Moose Enterprises, brings you 150 Gag worthy rubber like miniatures. The figures stand approximately anywhere for a half to one inch tall. Each blind package contains one Grossery Gang figure, twelve regular collectible cards and two special cards that could be a puzzle piece, sticker, touch ‘n’ feel, heat ‘n’ reveal or a silver holographic card.

From left to right:

  • Stinky Snacks -Cruddy Chip-common
  • Barfroom Supplies-Grotty Soap-rare
  • Stinky Snacks-Oozy Muesli Bar-common
  • Awful Sauces-Snot ‘N’ Pepper-common

Sunday, October 8, 2017

International Hobbies Corporation HO Gauge Product Line

Part # Desription
602 Interlocking Tower
707 Endoline's Funeral Home
708 Store Front, Apartment Building
712 Old Time Gas Station
804 Colonial Church
805 County Court House
806 Herald Star Newspaper
810 Lulgi's Restraurant
3509 Service Station
3510 Freight Station
4100 Country Barn
4101 Rural Freight & Passenger Station
4102 Switch Tower
3500 Two Stall Engine House
3501 Railroad Yard Buildinga
3502 Mainline Station
3503 Factory w/Loading Silos
3504 Grocery Store & Auto Repair
3505 Freight Station w/Loading Platform
3506 Sand and Fuel Depot
3507 Ice Cream Polar & Boarding House
3508 General Store & Billard Parlor
4103 Locomotive Maintainses Building
4101  School House
4105 Country Church
4106 Two Suburban Houses

This is not an in exhaustive list of IHC’s HO gauge structures. The list, are those that were listed, on the side of the couple IHC kits that I own. Most of these kits were at one time available from IHC. They don’t seem to have a full line of products as they once had.

These are most of the kits parts companying IHC’s School House and Barn and were purchased for a kit-bash project.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Magic Preformed by J. Strange and Mr. Norrel

“Among the feats of magic that Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel performed in 1810 are: causing an area of the Bay of Biscay to silt up and having a vast wood of monstrous trees spring up and destroy twenty French war ships; causing unusual tides and winds to baffle French ships and destroy French crops and livestock; the fashioning of rain into fleets of ships, walled cities, gigantic figures, flights of angels, etc., etc., in order to frighten, confuse, or charm French soldiers and sailors.”

De Generibus Artuim Magicarum Anglrum, Francis Sutton-Grove

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel, Susana Clarke

Friday, October 6, 2017

1:72 Bum Far West Town

Very Nice Art Work on Box

This is my second BUM model kit and perhaps my last. I purchased this kit for war-gaming. As you can see from the second image the kit includes twelve figures and two structures. The structures are made from some very flimsy and shiny plastic. The kit is supposed to be in 1/72 scale, but the figures and the building look like they could pass for 1/87 scale. There are two horses with two riders. The mix includes six cowboys and six Indians.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Norrel’s Books

It is well known that Mr. Norrel has an extraordinary library made up his books on magic. Although I have probably missed other mentions of specific books that are found in Norrel’s library this title was mentioned in my recent reading.

Curiose Observations upon the Anatonie Faeries, Holgarth and Pickle

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Suzanna Clarke

The Magicians Wife (December 1809-January 1810)

“The bells sounded very sad and far-away and it brought before Arabella imagination all sorts of melancholy scenes:

…bleak, wind-swept fens and moors; empty fields with broken walls and gates hanging of their hinges; a black ruined church; an open grave; a suicide buried at a lonely crossroads; a fire of bones blazing in the twilit snow; a gallows with a man swinging from its arm; another man crucified upon a wheel; an ancient spear plunged into the mud with a strange talisman, like a little leather finger, hanging from it; a scarecrow whose black rags blew about so violently in the wind that he seemed about to leap into the grey air and fly towards you on vast black wings…"

The Magicians Wife, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel, Susanne Clarke

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Four Rusty Rail Resin Castings

These four Rusty Rail castings come in two separate Rusty Rail packages that seem to be out of print, at this time. The castings are cast from a cream colored resin and measure from one inch to a little over an inch long by about a half-inch wide.

The castings, from left to right are a rack full of pipes, a grounded skid with a couple of barrels, a coal bin, and a wooden storage box.

So far I have only gotten to painting one of the castings. I am sorry about the blurry picture.

Wooden Storage Box: could be used for wood for the fireplace or coal for the stove?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Recent Pronouncement of Sir Edward Grey

"Only as recently as March 29, 1909, Sir Edward Grey, replying to Mr. Balfour's vote of censure in the House of Commons, was compelled to admit that— "A new situation is created by the German programme. When it is completed, Germany, a great country close to our own shores, will have a fleet of thirty-three Dreadnoughts, and that fleet will be the most powerful which the world has ever yet seen. It imposes upon us the necessity of rebuilding the whole of our fleet. That is the situation."

The Spies of the Kaiser: Plotting the Downfall of England, William Le Queux

The Startling Truth

“Nobody here dreams the truth-a truth that will be found as startling as it is strange.”

The Spies of the Kaiser: Plotting the Downfall of England, William Le Queux

Monday, October 2, 2017

Rbbots Capsule Toys

Rbbots are plastic robot capsule toys. They come in five different colors. Each color represents a unique robot. Once assembled the robot mechanized unit stands approximately two inches high. Each capsule comes with a round sprue with the mech’s parts, and a small instruction sheet. They might become useful in some SCIFI melee.

Red Mechanical Unit- Solpugid