Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

A belated Merry Christmas to you, dear readers.  I spent most of the holiday away in a mountain cabin, safe from shopping hordes and TV.  We played a couple of games of five player Settlers, and a ton of the new Mario for Wii U.

This year I got only a few gaming/modeling related items, although they were pretty great ones!

First, I got "The First Heretic" from my wife's cousins.  This is the next book for me in the Horus Heresy series, although at this point I believe that the series has devolved into more of a category, rather than a linear progression.  Looking forward to reading this one after I finish Embassytown.

Second, I got the AD&D dungeon master's guide from my wife, which was very cool and surprising.  I read this book for the first time last year, as you no doubt read here.  The particular copy that I got is in very good condition, was printed in 1979, and has a $10 price sticker on it from Toys R Us, clearly from the glory days when RPGs were stocked in what is now mostly a diaper and video game store.

The third modeling item I got is a Revell Republic Star Destroyer (Venator) from my sister and her family.  A kit I have long lusted over is at last mine!   Thank you Amazon lists!   At some point in the near future, I will have finally finished building the Baneblade, and will be able to move on to this kit as my "main" build. (Since the Baneblade took three years, I expect that this might take a while too).  I think that I will go big on this one, and try some super detailing, photo etch, and after market kit add-ons... maybe even light it!   So very excited about this, and expect to see more in the future.

Here is a pile of inspirational links for later:
Floating display base, not mine.

Monday, December 10, 2012

For the traveling DM

If you are a DM on the go, like analogue vs. digital products, and have a problem with losing dice, this may be a kickstarter that you are interested in...

Dice rings.  The outer ring spins around the inner ring, and then the number "rolled" is indicated by the arrow marks. 

$15 for the kickstarter buys you one "die", $90 to get a full D&D set, which is obviously a bit pricy.  However, a d100 ring is useful for quite a number of games, and also for making up statistics...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Heeresgeschichtliches Museum Wien

While in Vienna a few months back, we had the opportunity to stop in and visit the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum.  Located in the Arsenal complex south of the Altstadt, this museum has much of the ephemera of the Austrian Imperial Army from the last couple hundred years, as well as items from the Navy and some items from earlier periods.

The building complex itself is beautiful, and while it is currently a bit hard to get to, the train station nearby is being massively expanded, so I expect that it will be easier in the future.

Here are some pictures from the museum.

Outer building of the Arsenal complex

FG 42

Adversaries: American bomb and 88

Volkssturm arm band

Cool display of the whole Imperial navy in miniature

Naval Pistols

FN model 1910s... belonging to the Black Hand 

The car that Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand was riding in when shot

Coat he was wearing when shot

The building is richly decorated, particularly the upper galleries

Regimental facings under Maria Teresa
Since we were in Vienna before Austrian National day, they were also setting up for a large army display in the Heldenplatz.  Most of the displays were not finished, but the soldiers were drilling, and some of the heavier equipment was set up already.

Vienna was about 1/3 destroyed in the war, and sometimes you can see remnants of that era, such as this flak tower now used as an aquarium:
It is always nice when you can make those you defeat in battle erect monuments to your fallen soldiers like this one:

Anyway, Vienna was a great city, and I would like to go back sometime when I have more time to get out into the countryside and see Wagram and other nearby battlefields.