Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Weekly Update - Sunday, May 29th - 2016: Flyers, Floaters, Aircars, And Cheap Toys

An afternoon's worth of work; bases are 30mm
I've had yet another very nice week, as my vacation slowly winds down. I got one of my nieces married off yesterday, and got a lot of stuff tossed out and recycled earlier in the week as I get more and more of my little workshop reclaimed. The big desktop is still ailing, but the Missus is working on it. I am monitoring my e-mails through her computer, so I am still reachable this way.

It's been raining all this past week, which meant that I did a lot of indoor projects. The photo shows the Work-In-Progress result of one such project, a batch of air skiffs for my Barsoomian warriors to perform mighty deeds of derring-do with, on, and off. I wanted something that would provide monility and altitude on the game table, and while able to carry figures, they also had to be small enough to look good on the table. One of the bigger Barsoomian flyers, such as the one in the "John Carter" movie, scales out to be about three feet long, and this is just too big for anything buy a convention-sized floor game. These little models are supposed to represent the ship's boats I would think that the large ships would carry - a means for landing parties to get down to the surface for exploration or adventures.

The basis for these are laser-cut plywood from the crafts store, and all of them cost me a whopping $4.00 in total. The curved brackets (also laser-cut) for the railings are from a project that never really got off the ground; I have over 1500 of them, and while I will use them in a project that I have going, I do have a few spares. The railings themselves are brass rod, left over from a project that the Missus did for Prince a while ago. All the rest, control stations and weapons mounts, are from the parts bins. I keep a lot of raw materials on hand, so little projects like this are very easy for me to do.

No seats; normally, Barsoomians simply clip their harnesses to the rails, and hang on. These are short-range, slow, and simple, and I wanted room for the figures on them. These are, more or less, 'movement stands' writ large. Open deck space was thus the big factor, so these will do nicely.

I can also use these as Tekumelyani air cars, if needed, but I think I'd like to do something a little more in the 'Art Deco Streamline Moderne' style that Phil favored for the Lords of Humanspace and their machines. I'll get some more of the little ovals, but then build up waist-high sides; I'll have to use the larger ovals, as there will have to be seats, but I will also use some of the tiny rare-earth magnets I have (from the marvelous local surplus dealer, of course!) and make them removable for any needs in game play.

I do have some very nice Tekumelyani 'scout ships', which are some sort of plastic device we picked up on clearence, and which have that look to them. The hatch to get in is in the nose, and several dauntless adventuers can get into the little ships and fly around - if they can figure out the controls, of course. These even have light-up repulsor pods to get them off the ground, and they make noise and wobble around like the players are trying to figure out what button does what.

One question - grappling hooks. Do I need to make winches with lines and grapping hooks? They would seem to be a useful accessory, along with the volley guns and ray projectors...


  1. Nice scratchbuilds. To answer your question, I think you should add something that could proxy as a projectile weapon, beamer, or grappling hook launcher, depending on the game. It doesn't have to be too detailed, just something that looks shooty mounted on a post.

    1. Thank you! I really enjoyed doing these; the flagstaffs are also done, at this point.

      I have done some small 'boat gun' types of weapons on posts, as you mentioned, and left them loose so that they can be both traversed and swapped out for other things. These are not ship-toship weapons, but something to deal with the Great White Apes should they happen by.

      What I am thinking is that there is going to be a time in a game where a player is going to be dealing with said ape while having to rescue somebody, so my thought is to model small winches with some line and a grappling hook and mount the unit on a steel pad so that a magnet will hold the unit to the deck. I dunno; I do like your idea, though...