Saturday, March 31, 2012


I found some old 25mm trenches that I had built using Frank's instructions in Soldier's Companion. These will prove useful for the Great War on Mars scenario.

Pics of the before and after refit soon!

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Conversion pics for the Ironclad Minis Steam Walker

These photies could probably have gone with the previous Tripod post, however, I don't get to post as often as I like, so whey-hay, here we go:

Here's the original front/bow of the crew compartment - as mentioned, I've decided this will be the rear/aft of the walker.  

The piece of 1/4 inch dowel that has been cut for to serve as a firebox can be seen.  The silver sliver is an HO scale railway smokestack.  There is a larger, white metal, smokestack supplied with the model which is fine - I just preferred the look of the smaller stack.

Below is the "new" front/bow.  The stack housing has been milliput-ed over and some styrene card glued on to simulate the gunners position.

Here is the assembled smokebox, stack and water/oil tank. I really do think the reversed cab looks better this way! More praise and glory to Ironclad for designing a model that is easily kit-bashed!

Below, atop the three legs, is the 25/28mm Sci-Fi console base, used for the running gear box - the top (not shown) looks a bit like a TARDIS column.  I will need to figure out where to get more of these if I want to make another tripod...

Joining the legs was simpler than I thought it would be - I used some two-part epoxy to fasten the legs to a fender washer.  Once dry (and I had  to hold the legs down with my thumb for 10 minutes while watching the Game of Thrones) the washer and legs were easily epoxied to the gearbox.

The model needs a base, if only to protect the legs from catching on something and snapping off. I have 2" diameter sheet steel bases that were too small to fit the "feet", and a large 3" fender washer that I decided was too heavy.  Finally, the model was epoxied to a styrene-sheet base (actually two pieces, stuck together). This provides a nice stable base without making the model too heavy.

Vorwards!  Nach Paris!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

L' Ancre Embrouillée

Troupe de Marine symbol
L' Ancre Embrouillée
The French Ministry of Marine Establishment on Mars

As given on page 161 of Soldier’s Companion, the French Colonial Establishment on Mars contravenes the French Constitution, which prohibited the deployment of “Metropolitan” troops (i.e. those in the regular French Army) from being deployed out of France.  

French political thought in the years from 1872 to the run up for the Great War was dominated by “Revanche” – the recovery of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine from the German Empire, and the punishment of the Germans for occupying the same.

This meant that, in the mind of the government, the sole purpose of the French Army was to fight Germany in the Next War.

Running concurrently and in opposition to the dominant policy of Revanche was the Colonialists' notion that for France to reclaim her status as a power, lost in the disasters of the Franco-Prussian war, she would need colonies. Occasional Colonialist political victories against the Revanchists would result in France controlling an empire second only to Great Britain’s in size and scope.

The Army’s hands were essentially tied, and the Ministry of the Marine controlled the French colonial military until 1893. Thus in 1889 the bulk of French Troops on Mars should be Marine Infantry, reinforced by native levies and penal battalions (les Joyeux), stiffened by the Foreign Legion and the occasional sprinkling of Fusilier Marines (Sailors) near the landing zones.

The list should be amended to something rather like this:

The French Colonial Establishment on Mars – Idæs Fons Colony
2nd Foreign Legion Infantry                         E2
3rd Marine Infantry                                       V1
7th Marine Infantry                                       X1
1st Btn Tirailleurs Martien                            T2
5th Btn African Light Infantry (penal)            X1
1st Foreign Legion Gashant Corps             V1                 
Martian Indigenous Irregular Cavalry           X2

Martian Irregular Cavalty Goumiers
Following the limited success of using native Arab horsemen to track and raid troublesome desert tribes, the French have begun to enlist Hill Martians as native "Goumiers". Thus far, the practise appears to be working well, due to the superior warlike qualities of the Hill Martian riders.

To be continued:...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Happiness is a Warm Tripod

I am invariably stymied at the general lethargy of some miniature casters.  This latest pronouncement of mine comes after a particularly long search for a proper German War Tripod for Space 1889. 

The Atelier de la Charrett, who have in the past made a Really Good Steam Walker, seems to be "souffrance de la caffard", in that they are in no hurry to re-release their Parroom Station Steam Tripod. Most of the other older sources also appear to have dried up.

You would think, in the general stampede to board the Steampunk Bandwagon, that someone would be interested in getting it right?

After much internet searching, speculating and hand-wringing, I've finally purchased some vehicles from Ironclad Miniatures. Including their Steam Walker.

Even though the Ironclad model is a four-footed walker, it is easily modified to a tripod. I should have done this years ago. Lovely detail, excellent workmanship, and I had friendly service from John L. at Ironclad.

The kit comes with four legs, crew compartment, stack and gun, and a mounting platform. My initial hesitation was due to not knowing if I could easily remove the crew compartment from the gear box. I needn't have worried. Praise and glory be to Ironclad for casting the crew compartment separately from the gearbox/mounting platform. Platform and one leg have been placed in the bits box while a washer and cast-off sci-fi TARDIS column base serve to convert to a tripod with gearbox.

I've also reversed the crew compartment to look more like a turret, again to keep inline with the Chadwick design. This meant puttying over the stack aperture. This was a small pity because one can see the thought that went into the design, including a molded ring to secure the stack.  Nice!

A touch of styrene card as a gun-port cover, an external firebox for the experimental coal-oil engine, and viola!

                               Panzerkampfdreifus Storch!

Now to work on some "Trample" rules for Soldier's Companion. Mwahahaaaaa.

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