Friday, 31 August 2007

New Nefs and the Balance of Power

Well its the first day of Spring here in the colonies, so as part of my Spring cleaning, I got all my lovely nefs out and catalogued them. That was a rather scary experience as you can see from this pile of lead!


Unearthing the motherlode, this hasnt been out of the box since moving house in Jan


[BTW I made a deliberate point of not working out what the total cost would be to buy them, please dont work it out and tell me either OK?)


Apart from reams of information on numbers and classes etc, I calculated the force structures, which actually became rather interesting. ( I have also just spent a few weeks studying naval armament conferences such as the Washington Treaty so that put me in the right frame of mind).


Using traditional categories of ship types (Capital Ships : Cruiser Force : Escorts), I determined I have the following distribution of aero-naval strength amongst the great powers:


  • Great Britain 4 : 1 : 11 Note: 1 Capital Ship is a Carrier
  • France 2 : 5 : 5 Note: both Capital Ships are Carriers
  • Russia 0 : 4(+1) : 12 Note: not including Aerial forts
  • Germany 1 : 2: 10 Note: all dirigibles
  • Austro-Hungary 1 : 1 : 8
  • Turkey 2 : 2 : 15 Note: not including War Balloons
  • Japan 0 : 0 : 6
  • Pirate/Anarchist 0 : 1 : 3
  • Minor Powers (combined) 0 : 4 : 2

So based on this distribution, Great Britain is in trouble and needs more cruisers and the assistance of her Japanese Allies, the Russians need more battleships, a Franco-German Alliance would do well and Turkey should rule the Air! (those Turkish 'Nefs are so nice, obviously I cant help myself).


Maybe some redistribution is required....or maybe some more purchases!


Coincidentally, I also received today some 'nefs in the mail as part of a trade (thanks Jon!) - an British Audacious Class Battlecruiser and Argus Class Carrier (not shown), and a small Russian Squadron with 3 Destroyers and a Seaplane tender. Its always nice to have them show up ready for action...just have to get the rest of the fleets to the same stage!




Here they are here, click as usual for bigger pics. The Fleets continue to grow....


Thursday, 30 August 2007

Cavorite Spheres!

Oh yes, its time for more Astronef goodness!

Cavorite Sphere by Larson designs
Medium: Resin
Diameter: 3.5"

"Based on the H.G. Wells' classic 1901 novel, 1964's movie "First Men in the Moon" told the story of British inventor Dr. Joseph Cavor who, along with his handsome young neighbor and his comely girlfriend, flew to the moon in 1899 aboard a metal sphere coated with an anti-gravity paste dubbed "Cavorite."
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[Note that in the movie the 1890s expedition claim the Moon for Queen Victoria, Huzzah! - Tas]
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As depicted in the film, the "sphere" was a multi-sided bathosphere-like contraption studded with rail car bumpers that allowed it to make a "hard" landing on the moon and roll safely to a stop. It was "steered" by opening the closing strategically placed Cavorite-coated panels like Venetian blinds, thus "repelling" the craft from either the Earth or its closest satellite.
The sphere's heavy geometry and rivet-covered surface beautifully evoked the simple functionality of Victorian-era technology.


The kit consists of upper and lower body halves, plus individual rail car bumper and eight portholes."
http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/Cavorite_Sphere_Page.htm


There are some nice pics of a very similar model on this french site here: http://modelbox.free.fr/analyses/MS2002_10AP/XPLUS_Moon/index.html


or this Union Class dropship for Battletech (by IronWind Metals) would make a great Cavorite Sphere too! (thanks to master converter Vanvlak for the suggestion)
http://ironwindmetals.com/catalog/popup_image.php?pID=4025


BTW the font of all knowledge (Wikipedia) defines Cavorite as:

"Cavorite is impervious to gravity and can shield other materials from its effects. It is used to shield a craft from Earth's pull, allowing easy flight. It was named after its discoverer, Dr Cavor, who used its levitational properties to travel to the Moon.

It also coats Martian flying machines, although, it is referred to as a "gravity- blocking substance", and not Cavorite."

New Nef stats charts from Brigade Models

That stirling chap Tony from Brigade Models has posted stat cards for the latest Russian Aeronef releases.

You can fnd the Strashchini DD here:
http://www.brigademodels.co.uk/Gaming/VAN/VAN-512.gif

the Raevski Aerial Redoubt here:
http://www.brigademodels.co.uk/Gaming/VAN/VAN-510.gif

and the Shevardino Aerial Battery here (20 guns...ouch!): http://www.brigademodels.co.uk/Gaming/VAN/VAN-511.gif

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

IronStars vessel unveiled

I recently realized that Vanvlak completed as Astronef in 2005, but it hadnt been posted here before. Its from the VSF space game IronStars (game by Majestic 12 Games, Model by Brigade Models). Here she is (in his words at the time):

"After a long delay, I completed the first ship from my Russian Ironstars squadron - the Morozko class Uragan, a rocket-armed ships.

Review - a very nice and clean model, with very little by way of mould lines. It comes in 5 parts - hull + 4 sails, as well as the black base. I stuck the sails in an incorrect manner - they should form a diagonal, rather than a vertical-horizontal X, but I liked them this way, and consider this my very first conversion for this game - as well as my very first model for Ironstars. The solar sails are a bit fiddly to fit (at least, in my configuration), but otherwise the model offered no problems, and is a very nice, quite well detailed and unusual little beastie. Anyone not interested in the game but playing BFG would find these - and other models from the range - useful too."


Well, we are looking forward to seeing the rest of your Russan Ether Squadron Vanvlak! BTW are those Solar Sails or Aether sails? :-D

You can find the Morozko class sloops at Brigade Models' website here:
http://www.brigademodels.co.uk/Frames/IS/Items/IS-505.html

This picture of Russian Ironstars vessels comes from the Brigade Models Page. I think they look cracking!




Here is a description of the Ironstars game from the Majestic 12 Games website:

"Iron Stars is a game of space combat in an age of steam and steel. Set in a fictional universe based loosely on the writings of H. G. Wells and other fantasists, it provides a back story and ship designs from an alternate history in which the Martian Invasion actually happened, the ether is all-pervasive, and Cavorite is a reality. But, as with Starmada and other Majestic Twelve Games products, the focus is on players' imaginations; a clear and concise ship construction system is provided so you can pit your own space dreadnoughts against the likes of the Royal Navy Ether Squadron or the German Äthermarine."

http://www.mj12games.com/ironstars/

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

The Airship Destroyer

I heard out about this movie and did some online digging. Sadly though I havent been able to find a copy...yet!

The Airship Destroyer
(sometimes called Battle in the Clouds or The Aerial Torpedo),


Less than 10 minutes long and produced in 1909 by Charles Urban, an American pioneer of cinematic special effects working in Britain. It’s pretty prophetic stuff: airships bombing cities and railways, fighters intercepting them, radio-guided SAMs, even an armoured car thrown in for good measure. I would guess it was inspired in part by the phantom airship scare which took place earlier that year.

The following synopsis is taken from the Moving Picture World magazine:

Section 1. - preparation.
The Aero camp -Loading supplies - Start of the airships - The inventor of the airship destroyer - His love story - The parting - The alarm - The aero fleet in full flight - The aerial torpedo and its inventor.

Section 2. Attack.

In the clouds - Dropping like shells from the firing deck of an airship - the chase - High angle firing from a gun on an armored motor car - Total destruction of the car - Railway wrecked by the aerial fleet - Shelling the signal box - The heroic operator meets death at this post - The fight in the air - Airship versus aeroplane - Wreck of the aeroplane - The burning of a town by the aerial fleet - Thrilling rescue of his sweetheart by the inventor.

Section 3. Defense.

The inventor with the assistance of his sweetheart sends his airship destroyer on its mission of vengeance. The torpedo, steered through the air by wireless telegraphy - One flash and the airship is doomed - It falls, a mass of scorching fire, into the waters of a lake.

Sounds good eh?

There are also two sequels called: "The Aerial Anarchists" and "Pirates of 1920", both made in 1911, and I havent been able to find either of them. Let me know if you do!

Royal Greenwich Observatory photographs total Lunar Eclipse

Astronomy was a popular and important part of Victorian science, and British astronomers carried telescopes and spectroscopes to remote areas of India, the Great Plains of North America, and islands in the Caribbean and Pacific to watch the sun eclipsed by the moon. Of course escorting these puffed up windbags was an onerous task of any Officer, but it did at least provide an excuse to fish about for a bit of exotic skirt eh?!
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Take this chap for instance, a Frog named Jules Janssen. Professor of Science at the University of Paris, and an enthusiastic observer of eclipses. Between his lecturers and his in-depth research in the field of chronophotography, he could be a bit dry.
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Fortunately, Lunar Eclipses are far more convenient and extensive travel is not necessary. Thus we didnt get stuck with the likes of cranky old Janssen today.
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Indeed this very evening this image was taken from one's own front yard whilst sipping a fine cognac. Appropriate give this week's focus on Astronefs and "Le Voyage dans la Lune"


I looked carefully, but didnt see any Green flashes....

Monday, 27 August 2007

Digs, Nefs and News

I recently met and have enjoyed correspondance with a wonderful chap named Yuri over at the brassgoggles steampunk forum.


Like me, he is a bit of a vintage airship fanatic and has kindly sent me a stack of wonderful old photos, such as these.


Thanks very much Yuri, most appreciated!




In other news, today it is two weeks since I added the sitemeter counter, and have continued to be astonished with the number of hits I have received.



In that time have been honoured with 1,200 hits, so thank goos Sirs and Madames, for your continued patronage!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Zeppelin vs Pterodactyls


It started with this concept poster art, but sadly (...and despite the vast potential this wonderful vision has) it didn't come to fruition. Until now that is....



A brilliant amateur filmaker has concocted this wonderous story of zeppelins, powered air-fighting craft, brave heroes and pterodactyls.

Watch and be amazed!




Saturday, 25 August 2007

The tales of Jasper Morello

Back from Astro'neffing in Aether-space, I have discovered this wonderful Steampunk movie made in Australia!:

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello

The First Voyage - Jasper Morello and the Lost Airship

This Being the First Voyage of Jasper Morello, Aeronaut of the 3rd Royal Cartographers, and his Journal Recording of the Mysterous Predicament Involving the Lost Airship, Hieronymous. Set in a world of iron dirigibles and steam powered computers, this gothic horror mystery tells the story of Jasper Morello, a disgraced aerial navigator who flees his Plague-ridden home on a desperate voyage to redeem himself. The chance discovery of an abandoned dirigible leads Jasper through unchartered waters to an island on which lives a terrifying creature that may be the cure for the Plague. The journey back to civilization is filled with horrors but in a shocking climax, Jasper discovers that the greatest horror of all lies within man himself.

Who is Mr. Jasper Morello?
(from the official website)

Navigator, 3rd Royal Cartographers, Difference Engine Operator 2nd Class. Morello’s career was in some doubt after the collision at Weather Station 2C41 in the Lawrencian quarter, and the subsequent loss of a crew member. Re-instated to the Resolution, after pressure was applied by his wife, Mrs. Amelia Morello [surviving daughter of Rear Admiral Balthazar Fortinbras of the Royal Navy] and her society connections. Protest by Captain Griswald has been duly noted.


Read more about Jasper here:
http://www.jaspermorello.com/gazette/

You can order an official copy of movie and support the IP of the movie team here:
http://www.madman.com.au/actions/catalogue.do?releaseId=6023&method=view

Or watch it on YouTube here:

Friday, 24 August 2007

A Honeymoon in Space

To continue this week's Astronef theme, I thought I would bring to your attention a wonderful story of adventure of a newly wed couple as they explore th solar system in the first man-made extraplanetary vehicle. Volcanoes, monsters and thrills await you in this classic story by George Griffith, whom you may recall wrote the fantastic 'Angel of the Revolution'. Also with some very fine illustrations, a few of which I can included here.



A Honeymoon in Space
by George Griffith

Published 1901.
Approx 300 pages









Enjoy an online version here:
http://gutenberg.com/eBooks/BlackMask_Online/honeymoonspace.htm

Or if you prefer a hardcopy:
http://astore.amazon.com/spacearchaeology-20/detail/0966892631/

Around the World in 80 days?

Unlike Fineas Fogg (who took 80 days), it seems that people have enjoyed visiting the old White Wine Sauce from around the globe in the last 2 weeks.

To that end I have added a CustrMap which records the origin of visitors and makes for intriguing perusal. You can find it at the bottom of the left hand frame, but here is another direct link to it. It gets updated every so often depending on the rate of visitors here.

http://www3.clustrmaps.com/counter/maps.php?url=http://pauljamesog.blogspot.com/

Anyway, have a look and compare the map to the other places in the furthest flung corners of the Empire you may have visited, accompanied by a glass of the regionally brewed heart starter and a local lovely!

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Le Voyage dans la Lune

For those who saw yesterday's entry, but have never seen the 1902 movie "Le Voyage dans la Lune", here is a version on Youtube which has an English voice over.

Incidentally, its been rated as one of the 101 movies you should see before you die.
(Not that I'm trying to help you on your way of course...)

And moving pictures is a White Wine 1st also - ahhh the marvels of modern science!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Astronef!

This entry is dedicated to Ogrefencer, who I know will be frothing at the mouth in anticipation of the next VSF installment: Astronef!



I found this beauty online today, a model of the spacecraft from the classic 1902 movie "Le Voyage dans la lune" ("A Trip to the Moon")



SCALE: 1/32
MEDIUM: Resin

ABOUT THE DESIGN
In 1902, French magician/filmmaker Georges Melies stunned the world with the world's first major science-fiction film, "La Voyage dans la Lune" ("A Trip to the Moon"). Based on Jules Vernes' classic 1865 novel "From the Earth to the Moon," the fanciful film featured as its centerpiece a manned shell (named "Columbia" in the original Vernes novel) that was literally fired at the moon from a giant cannon (based in Paris in the movie instead of the novel's original Florida launch site.) The shell/spacecraft striking the "Man in the Moon" in the eye is one of the cinema's most famous images.



ABOUT THE KIT

This Herb Deeks all-resin kit consisted of just two pieces: the solid resin "Columbia" shell and the textured "moon base." Both the kit and the nameplate incorrectly date the source film as 1903 instead of 1902. (The box also calls this a "Moon Rocket" although, having no independent means of propulsion, there's nothing "rocket"-like about it.) This model was built from an original issue.



More info here:
http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/ATripToTheMoonPage.htm
(All images of the astronef were sourced from this webpage)

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Dr Phineas Waldolf Steel

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Previous visitors may recall information posted here about evil geniuses and how to develop the necessary skills in one's spare time:
http://pauljamesog.blogspot.com/2006/05/evil-scientists-subscribe-here_03.html

Here is a man who may have read this article and taken it a little too much to heart - the website of Dr Phineas Waldolf Steel widely proclaims both his insanity and his unashamed desire to become World Emperor:

Hello, my name is Dr. Phineas Waldolf Steel and I'm crazy. At least that's what they tell me. It's a real load off of my mind too. I mean you can get away with pretty much anything if you're bonkers. It really relieves a lot of pressure and responsibility for me.

What I've noticed about being insane is the fact that most people really don't want to acknowledge insanity. You can walk down the street talking to yourself (or little dancing bears that no one else sees) and people violently avoid eye contact. "Keep walking, don't look at the crazy guy. Act like you don't see him." You become invisible because people just don't want to deal with what they don't understand. Life is too busy to try and stop someone from having a conversation with a fire hydrant. And being crazy isn't illegal. You won't even be placed into an insane asylum unless you try to hurt yourself or others (note: that also includes trying to burn down your ex-employers toy company).


There are a lot of things I like about being crazy, but one of my favorites things has to be the fact that I don't have to be anything that the world expects me to be. If I feel like crawling around on the floor and barking during a business meeting, so be it. I'm nuts. If I feel like spouting off conspiracy theories involving the Alien Illuminati or that I will one day become World Emperor, then that's just to be expected. After all, I'm complete wacko. and it's rather convenient.

But really, we shouldn't be too critical of this character. Its wackos like him who construct vast armadas of armoured aero-mobiles crewed by brainwashed morons, which naturally provides heroic adventurers like ourselves opportunities for glory, excitement, medals and seducing beautiful women. So do your career a favour and like the good doctor's website suggests:

Support Dr. Steel's plans for world domination today!

Monday, 20 August 2007

New Turkish Nef sighted!

Maltese intelligence operatives, in the pay of Mssr Betts (naturally), have detected a new threat to the Knights in their Maltese bastion. This latest terror of Johnny Turk Esq comes not from his usual Germanic allies, however, and is sourced from the self proclaimed land of Liberty.


Mssr Betts says: "Perfectly simple explanation. After the kidnapping of Mrs. Pericardis /Sheikh Rajzuli incident in North Africa which led to the US Marines landing in Tripoli, Sheikh Rajzuli , who turned out to be a hero and a Scotsman, was appointed War Minister to the Ottoman Emperor, and promptly went about using Mrs. Pericardis' (by now Mrs. Rajzuli) influence with her cousin, Josiah Woodward Rockfeller, to get a modern American Aeronef donated to the Ottoman Navy in a bid to outdo the Germans, who were in the meantime harangued by the German knights into withholding military aid for the Ottomans. All very clear, see, and I didn't even have to mention Sheikh Rajzuli's booming tartan fez industry."

Well, thats as clear as I think it will get for the next little while anyway...!


Deeper delving into the intracies of the Turkish Admiralty indicate that this new Nef is to be commissioned as the Hasan Osman, after an Ottoman Captain of an Anatolian galleass of the left wing at the Battle of Lepanto.


You certainly are very industrious lately V, I'm envious :-P

Book of Etiquette & Manual of Politeness


"A complete guide for a Gentleman's conduct in all his relations in Society". By Cecil B. Hartley ("from the best French, British and Ameircan Authorities") and published in 1873. This would seem to imply that there are American authorities on Etiquette...an intriguing concept indeed!

This book may be of particular usefulness for the traveller abroad for extended periods and returning to London having temporarily forgotton one's Ps and Qs.

Also highly recommended for those, ahem gentlemen, from Colonial regions of the Empire and whose ballroom behaviour may involve slightly more brandy, combustion and removal of trousers than is normally acceptable in more civilised company.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Rebel Submarine Battery

Found this great page which has online archive of our collection of original Harper's Weekly newspapers (Harper's weekly was the most important source of news during the US Civil War)


"M. OLIVIER DE JALIN sends to the French Le Monde Illustre drawings of a submarine vessel which we reproduce on this page, abridging his description. There has just been finished, he says, at Mobile a very curious little vessel, designed by Mr. Anstilt, which seems capable of destroying any ship in the world.



It is of iron, 23 yards long. The interior is divided longitudinally by a partition into two portions: in the upper one are the machinery, armament, rudders, and reservoirs of compressed air; in the lower are chambers to hold air or water, as the case may demand, coal-bunkers, provision-lockers, and the like. On the deck, which is hermetically closed, are pipes for discharging air and steam, a smoke-stack, and a look-out, the upper part of which is of thick glass. The motive-power is a screw, worked either by steam or by electricity"

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1864/january/rebel-submarine.htm

Saturday, 18 August 2007

As busy as Portsmouth harbour!

I must say that I have been rather stunned to have over 400 hits in less than a week.
I never realised that my humble little White Wine Sauce blog generated that much attention!

One feature of sitemeter allows you to see where your visiotrs are in the world. This week, not only have I had visits from expected nations such as US (including Hawaii, Guam and the Marshall Islands) and Great Britain and her colonies of Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but also farther afield from Ireland, Spain, Germany, France, Holland, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Malta, Japan, Iran, Egypt and Argentina (please excuse me if I missed your country- it only saves data from the last 100 visits).

So once again thank you for your patronage, and I'll endeavour to post the same amusing rubbish to keep you entertained. To celebrate I have given the 'ol White Wine Sauce a bit of a facelift - lemme know what you think.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Steampunk Forum

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One of the nifty features of the new Sitemeter, is that one can see which webpages refer your vistors to your web paqe. This naturally leads to further exploration and discovery of new VSF goodness, like the Steampunk Forum. Enjoy!

Link here:
http://www.brassgoggles.co.uk/bg-forum/index.php

Gents With Good Taste!

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I found these stout chaps this morning while out for a stroll:
http://vsf15mm.blogspot.com/

It would seem that these dapper gents may have dropped by this club on the odd occasion too, as our calling card is at their place of residence.

Most indebted, good Sirs!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

The Kraken


Quickly following up their latest release, Vanvlak Industries has revealed the second model in their Heavy Dig Bomber line.


This dig complements the previous model by providing dedciated rearward gunnery - operate them in formations to provide a complete arc of fire from those pesky Interceptors!




This steroscopic image of the protype model, shows a crate from the German Langue of the Knights of Malta.


Well done again Mssr Betts!

Good Heavens... over a Hundred Visitors in only a few days

Thanks very much for the patronage chaps!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Vanvlak's patented Heavy Dig Bomber

Vanvlak Industries has done it again - this time with a Heavy Dig bomber for the discerning would-be Aero-Fleet Admiral!


"A high speed bomber dirigible which is unfortunately poorly manoeuverable (small tail, see?), and has has a quad gun turret added fore to prevent Aeronefs at higher altitudes from attacking the vulnerable fore top quarter. Unfortunately, this has reduced the design's speed drastically....

There are much smaller Maxim guns dotted around the hull.... but the forward area was particularly vulnerable to diving Nefs, something which has now been countered by the quads. Of course all the Nef has to do is attack from the rear. But here's the catch - the formation of dirigibles will protect each other, flying a box formation (are we sure these aren't B-17s we're talking about? ). As for the rear ship, ah, that's a special design which has rearward firing guns as well. "

Mssr Betts reliably informs me that he constructed this dig from an Aeroplane recce pod, and got the canvas look from "white undrcoat and the standard flesh wash over everything - this time heavily watered down to make it look like one big tea-stain. "

Great work again John!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Tripods!

Luis, a stout chap I know from the Club, sent me this great news:
Detailed models of those confounded Martian Contraptions!



"Retrokit are primarily known for their armor and artillery models. This model of H.G. Wells (in)famous Martian Tripod is their first science fictional offering. It's based on the illustrations of Alvim Correa in a 1906 French edition of the novel, drawings that Wells said were very close to his own vision of the fighting machines."
http://www.starshipmodeler.com/was/jl_retrokit.htm


More can be seen at the manufacturer's site here: http://www.retrokit.net/79.html

Smashing!

Name Sir?

Added a site counter to see how many chaps attned this Club and its premises
Chin-Chin!

Sunday, 12 August 2007

MALTA: DEFENDING THE CROSSROADS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN




WHILST VISITING THE ISLAND OF MALTA ON A DIPLOMATIC MISSION AT THE BEHEST OF THE GOVERNMENT I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO MEET WITH MR. J. BETTS (ALSO KNOWN AS VANVLAK) TO DISCUSS MANY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FIELDS OF BOTH AERIAL AND SUBAQAUATIC CONVEYANCES. WE ALSO DISCUSSED AT LENGTH THE IMPENDING THREAT CAUSED BY THE BELLICOSE ATITUDE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SUBLIME PORTE. AFTER TAKING COFFEE AT ONE OF THE ISLANDS PREMIER EATERIES IT WAS RECOMMENDED TO MYSELF THAT PERHAPS A TOUR OF THE DEFENCES OF THE ISLAND WOULD SERVE TO ALLAY ANY FEARS HER MAJESTIES GOVERNMENT MAY HAVE. AFTER AN EXCHANGE OF GIFTS AND MUCH TECHNOLOGICAL INFORMATION CONCERNING CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES OF BOTH AERIAL AND SUBAQUATIC CONVEYANCES I PROCEEDED TO ACCEPT THIS VERY KIND AND IMPROMPTU INVITATION. SADLY, AFFAIRS OF STATE DID NOT PERMIT MR.BETTS TO ACCOMPANY MYSELF ON THIS TOUR WHICH WAS DEEPLY DISAPPOINTING AS HIS INFORMATIVE AND CHARMING MANNER WOULD HAVE BEEN MOST WELCOME.


IN THE COMPANY OF MY FAMILY AND A SMALL DETACHMENT OF THE ROYAL MALTA REGIMENT I PROCEEDED TO INSPECT A FEW OF THE MANY FORTIFICATIONS ON THE ISLAND - CONCENTRATING MAINLY ON THAT MOST STRATEGIC OF POSITIONS - THE GRAND HARBOUR. THE EQUIPMENT IS OF THE MOST MODERN VARIETY WITH A BEWILDERING ARRAY OF GUNS LARGE AND SMALL AS EVIDENCED IN THE ATTACHED DAGUERRETYPES. THE HARBOUR HAS A BATTERY OF 32 PDRS MANNED BY THE MEN THE ROYAL MALTESE ARTILLERY - A FINE, UPSTANDING REGIMENT OF MEN, RESPLENDENT IN THEIR SERVICE DRESS. THE COLOUR OF THEIR UNIFORMS INCIDENTLY, IS A PERFECT MATCH WITH THE LIMESTONE THAT IS THE ISLANDS PRINCIPLE BUILDING MATERIAL. DURING TIMES OF PEACE THIS BATTERY IS USED FOR A NOONDAY SALUTE AND SO FIRES EACH DAY AT THIS TIME. DUE TO CONSTRAINTS OF TIME WE WERE SADLY UNABLE TO VISIT FORT RINELLA WHERE THE BATTERY OF 100TON ARMSTRONG MECHANICAL CANNONS ARE LOCATED. THESE MONSTER GUNS ARE CAPABLE OF HURLING A 1 TON SHELL THE DISTANCE OF 8 MILES AND ABLE TO PENETRATE 21 INCHES OF STEEL ARMOUR! THE RATE OF FIRE OF THESE LEVIATHANS IS AN INCREDIBLE 1 ROUND EVERY 6 MINUTES! AS WELL AS THE GARRISON FORMED FROM COMPANIES OF THE ROYAL MALTA GARRISON ARTILLERY THERE ARE SEVERAL INDEPENDENT BATTERIES OF 8" HOWITZERS.


SHOULD THE TURK ATTEMPT TO ARRIVE BY SEA THEN HE WILL BE IN FOR A VERY HOT RECEPTION - THE MEN AND EQUIPMENT OF THE MALTESE FORCES, TOGETHER WITH THAT OF THE KNIGHTS OF ST.JOHN, FORM A FORMIDABLE COMBINATION, ABLE TO DEAL WITH THREATS FROM LAND, SEA AND SKY.


ALAS THE VISIT TO THE ISLAND WAS OVER ALL TOO QUICKLY BUT A FINAL SURPRISE CAME FROM THE CHARMING MR.BETTS HIMSELF. AN ABANDONED DESIGN FOR A SMALL AQUANEF ORIGINATING FROM THE RAYLEIGH FACTORIUM (DETAILS OF WHICH WERE PROVIDED AS A PART OF THE TECHNOLOGY EXCHANGE ALLUDED TO EARLIER IN THIS COLUMN) WAS AMENDED AND ENHANCED BY THIS INTREPID ENGINEER AND IS NOW PROVIDING A SUBMERSIBLE PATROL COVERING THE APPROACHES TO THE GRAND HARBOUR.


IT WAS A FIRST CLASS VISIT AND A VERY REWARDING ONE AND I AM QUITE SURE THAT WHATEVER THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR THIS GALLANT AND PLUCKY ISLAND THAT ANY AGGRESSORS WILL BE IN FOR A HOT RECEPTION.


J.TURK ESQ HAD BEST TAKE NOTE - 'ST.ELMOS PAY' WILL BE THE ONLY THING THEY BRING AWAY FROM THE ISLAND!!

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Strange Aquanef sighted at Malta Conference


My agents have reported that secret bilateral discussions were held this week between the Knights of St John and a shadowy European envoy this week.

Meeting in an undisclosed location on the small Mediterranean Isle, nefarious agreements were no doubt made and undermining plots hatched. Rumours of Anarchist participation also persist. All that is known is that shortly afterwards, this never before seen submersible was seen close offshore. Despite attempts to the prevent it, the negatives were delivered to our representatives in Geneva yesterday.

What secret deals have been made? Have the Knights taken possession of some new technical marvel to help fight off the Turks? And if so, who built it and are there more?


Co-Modelled by Vanvlak and Ogrefencer - the guys had a get together this week in Valetta. Have your luck gents!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!