Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Books on Magic by Peter Watershippe

The Faire Withering, published in 1444, is a remarkable book that features a detailed account on how English magic declined after John Uskglass left England. Although the text contains many precise accounts of spells, many reviewers consider this text to be an angry book, but not so as Watershippe’s two other books:

A Defense of my Deeds while Wrongfully Imprisoned by my Enemies in Newark, 1459-60
Crimes of the Faire King, 1461?"

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke

Interesting Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell entry on Board Game Geek

I cannot say I know what to make of the "The History and Practice of English Magic" page other than it is some sort of game based off Susanna Clarke's novel; an interesting find, at any rate...seems to be a complete list of all the texts mentioned within the Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell novel.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Ghost Snake

Another horrid creature called out of the forest by Zogar Sag to do his bidding. Like the saber-tooth tiger, the ghost snake new Jhebbal Sag and the the ancient language, the language that all creatures spoke in ancient times.

“Again Balthus recognized the monster from ancient legends. He saw and knew the ancient and evil serpent which swayed there, its wedge-shaped head, huge as that of a horse, as high as a tall man's head, and its palely gleaming barrel rippling out behind it. A forked tongue darted in and out, and the firelight glittered on bared fangs.

Balthus became incapable of emotion. The horror of his fate paralyzed him. That was the reptile that the ancients called Ghost Snake, the pale, abominable terror that of old glided into huts by night to devour whole families. Like the python it crushed its victim, but unlike other constrictors its fangs bore venom that carried madness and death. It too had long been considered extinct. But Valannus had spoken truly. No white man knew what shapes haunted the great forests beyond Black River.

It came on silently rippling over the ground, its hideous head on the same level, its neck curving back slightly for the stroke. Balthus gazed with glazed, hypnotized stare into that loathsome gullet down which he would soon be engulfed, and he was aware of no sensation except a vague nausea."

Chapter 4: The Beasts of Zogar Sag, Beyond the Black River, Robert E. Howard.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Dollar Zombies

This is kind of a late blog entry. I had wanted to make this post last month; a more fitting time period, with Halloween and all. At any rate, here are some of the lovelies; the only few that were photogenic. It was very hard to keep them contained and they were always wandering off.

The package includes fourteen plastic miniatures that stand approximately two inches tall. My package included thirteen unique miniatures including two tombstones and two different dogs. The miniatures feature some nice detail.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Deities and Demi-gods of the Hyborian Age, in Robert E. Howard's tales

I found a list of the "Deities and Demi-gods of the Hyborian Age" in the tales Robert E. Howard. Robert E. Howard is the creator of the character Conan, which I have featured in my a few of my posts. Conan is a worth-while character and shouldn't be over-looked when picking characters for your pule era games.

Although this list is not as extensiveness as one you might find for H. P. Lovecraft, but the list still impressive, like someone would actually take the time and effort to compile one in the first place.

The Saber-Tooth Tiger

"The village held its breath. Zogar Sag stood still as a statue, his plumes trembling faintly about him. But suddenly the gate was no longer empty.

A shuddering gasp swept over the village and men crowded hastily back, jamming one another between the huts. Balthus felt the short hair stir on his scalp. The creature that stood in the gate was like the embodiment of nightmare legend. Its color was of a curious pale quality which made it seem ghostly and unreal in the dim light. But there was nothing unreal about the low-hung savage head, and the great curved fangs that glistened in the firelight. On noiseless padded feet it approached like a phantom out of the past. It was a survival of an older, grimmer age, the ogre of many an ancient legend—a saber-tooth tiger. No Hyborian hunter had looked upon one of those primordial brutes for centuries. Immemorial myths lent the creatures a supernatural quality, induced by their ghostly color and their fiendish ferocity."

Chapter 4 The Beasts of Zogar Sag, Beyond the Black River, Robert E. Howard.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Swamp Demon

"Balthus felt his scalp prickle. Neither man nor any beast that he had ever seen could have left that strange, monstrous three-toed print, that was curiously combined of the bird and the reptile, yet a true type of neither. He spread his fingers above the print, careful not to touch it, and grunted explosively. He could not span the mark.

'What is it?' he whispered. 'I never saw a beast that left a spoor like that.'

'Nor any other sane man,' answered Conan grimly. 'It's a swamp demon—they're thick as bats in the swamps beyond Black River. You can hear them howling like damned souls when the wind blows strong from the south on hot nights.'"

Chapter 1 Conan Loses His Ax, Beyond the Black River, Robert E. Howard

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How To Make Bayou Swamp Terrain

This forty-two minute video will show you how the author created a bayou swamp scene diorama. Although this type of project is way out of my league the process toward completion is completely awe inspiring. You never know if the techniques presented here may be handy some day.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Proxie Models 15-20mm Building Ruins

These polystyrene castings are purported to be compatible with 15-20mm miniatures, but I believe they would work for 25mm miniatures as well.

Proxie Models produces a whole line of products for the war-gamer in sizes from 15mm to 28mm. Proxie Models feature: vehicles, terrain pieces, and bases for your miniatures.

So far I have ordered two of their selections. Both structure ruins are cast in a hard polystyrene plastic and look like they will very easy to assemble.

Ruined brick building; package contains 2 spruces.

Ruined brick corner building; package contains 2 spruces, with second floor section.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Raven Kings Contract with the Forests

“Strange took a clean sheet of paper and began rapidly scribbling notes upon it. ‘Oak trees can be befriended and will aid you against your enemies if they think your cause is just, Birch woods are well known for providing doors into Faerie. Ash-trees will never cease to mourn until, the Raven King comes home again.1

Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susana Clarke

1'The ivy promises to bind England’s enemies; Briars and thorns promised to whip them; The Hawthorn said he would answer any questions; The Birch said he would make doors to other countries; The yew brought us weapons; The raven punished our enemies; The oak watched the distant hills; The rain washed away all sorrow.’

This traditional English saying supposedly, lists the various contracts which the Raven King made on England’s behalf with the forests.”

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Several Image Galleries for your Viewing Pleasure

I was looking for inspiration the other day and came across these sites.

Indian Summer: Scenes from the Frontier
French and Indian war diorama.

Golden Demon Award Winners Website
A huge handful of beautifully painted horror and fantasy miniatures.

Miniatures Scenes
A small collection of ‘N’ or ‘Z’ gauge (?) miniatures arranged in some very distinctive ways.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Walls and Barricades War-gamming Scenery

I recently watch this short video how-to. This video features the creation of four simple scenery pieces all made from materials that are readily available .

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland

This time of the year gets me to thinking about model railroading. The Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland railroad is an On30 gauge railroad. The ‘On30’ means that there is thirty inches between the rails, making it a narrow gauge railroad. On30 runs on HO gauge track.

The Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland blog chronicles the authors ten year odyssey of building and then upgrading his whimsical railroad. There are many automated scenes including working geysers, shuddering rock towers and rutting caribou.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

'Did you ever hear of a Pictish wizard called Zogar Sag?'

"'Did you ever hear of a Pictish wizard called Zogar Sag?'

Balthus shook his head uneasily.

'He dwells in Gwawela, the nearest village across the river. Three months ago he hid beside this road and stole a string of pack-mules from a pack-train bound for the fort—drugged their drivers, somehow. The mules belonged to this man'—Conan casually indicated the corpse with his foot—'Tiberias, a merchant of Velitrium. They were loaded with ale-kegs, and old Zogar stopped to guzzle before he got across the river. A woodsman named Soractus trailed him, and led Valannus and three soldiers to where he lay dead drunk in a thicket. At the importunities of Tiberias, Valannus threw Zogar Sag into a cell, which is the worst insult you can give a Pict. He managed to kill his guard and escape, and sent back word that he meant to kill Tiberias and the five men who captured him in a way that would make Aquilonians shudder for centuries to come.

'Well, Soractus and the soldiers are dead. Soractus was killed on the river, the soldiers in the very shadow of the fort. And now Tiberias is dead. No Pict killed any of them. Each victim—except Tiberias, as you see—lacked his head—which no doubt is now ornamenting the altar of Zogar Sag's particular god.'

Conan pointed to the corpse of the merchant.

'You think that was done with a knife or a sword? Look closer and you'll see that only a talon could have made a gash like that. The flesh is ripped, not cut.'

'A man from the Tauran couldn't mistake the mark of a panther's claws. No. It's a forest devil summoned by Zogar Sag to carry out his revenge. Tiberias was a fool to start for Velitrium alone, and so close to dusk. But each one of the victims seemed to be smitten with madness just before doom overtook him.'"


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Beyond The Black River

Beyond The Black River is another text in Robert E. Howard’s Conan series. In this text Conan is fighting the Pict’s and the forces of hell recently released by the Pictish wizard, Zogar Sag.

“Then Balthus forgot his exasperation as his ears were outraged by the most frightful cry he had ever heard. It was not human, this one; it was a demoniacal caterwauling of hideous triumph that seemed to exult over fallen humanity and find echo in black gulfs beyond human ken.”

Chapter 1: Conan Loses His Ax, Beyond the Black River, Robert E. Howard

Hot Wheels, Hot Wheel Customs & Hot Wheel Resources

Recently I was searching for information on scratch building and I came across an article on how to scratch build parts for 1/64 scale; the scale that Mettel's's Hot wheels are supposing manufactured, out of polystyrene and epoxy. Although I don’t have a large collection of these vehicles the article was interesting and inspirational.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Two More Manuscripts on Magic

Revelations of Thirty Six Other Worlds, Ormskirk

Among the other topics there is reference to a kingdom that lies behind mirrors, a kingdom which is apparently full of the most convenient roads from one place to another.

Another text mentioned was Francis Pevensy’s Eighteen Wonders to be Found in the House of Albion. Pevensy was a sixteenth-century magician who was purported to have been trained by Martin Pale.1

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

1Dr Martin Pale (1485-1567) was the son of a Warwick leather-tanner. He was the last of the Aureate or Golden Age magicians.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Central Valley 1/87 Scale Steps and Ladders

These finely cast polystyrene kit bashing parts come on three sprue that measure approximately 4.5 by 6.5 inches. These steps, railing, and ladders are delicate and care must be taken when removing them from their sprue. Use them for detail parts, kit-bashing or scratch building.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Mr. Norrell Instructs Strange on Fairies

Mr. Norrell was narrating what one author, named Chasting, had said about fairies. “Fairies do not make a strong distinction between the animate and the inanimate. Fairies believe that stones, doors, trees, fire, clouds and so forth all have souls and desires, and are either masculine or feminine.”

Mr. Norrel & Jonathan Strange, Suzanne Clerke

Friday, November 3, 2017

Jib Crane Sprue

Here is that Jib Crane Sprue. Cast from polystyrene and very delicately removed from sprue. I used a sharp hobby knife for the smaller parts.

Jib Crane image from Tichy Trains HO catalog.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Spell to Dispel Illusions and Correct Wrong Ideas

This is a spell Jonathan Strange used on the King of Britain to try to cure the Kings insanity.

“Place the moon at his eyes and her whiteness shall devour the false sights the deceiver has placed there.

Place a swarm of bees at his ears. Bees love truth and will destroy the deceiver's lies.

Place salt in his mouth lest the deceiver attempt to delight him with the taste of honey or disgust him with the taste of ashes.

Nail his hand with an iron so that he shall not raise it to do the deceivers bidding.

Place his heart in a secret place so that all his desires shall be to his own and the deceivers shall find no hold there.

A Note: The color red may be found beneficial.

Revelations of Thirty-Six Other Worlds, Ormskirk”

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Suzanne Clarke

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

My Thoughts on my Reading of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

I am roughly half way through with my reading of this masterfully told story. There are just so many bits from this story that I see myself reading through it a second time. In my second reading I would like to focus in on all of the characters that are mentioned, those that are prominent and those characters that are known in cameo only. Although I have tried I am sure that I have missed several titles of the many books that had been mentioned within the text. Lastly, I would like to do a study on the Raven King, which is to focus in on all the mentions of this character.

No Enemy to Fear

"There is now no enemy to fear, but the one that resides within. By accustoming ourselves to regard even the people as erring beings, and by using the restraints that wisdom has adduced from experience, there is much reason to hope that the same Providence which has so well aided us in our infancy, may continue to smile on our manhood."

The Spy, James Fenimore Cooper