Thursday, August 28, 2014

Once Upon a Gilsonite Mine . . .

Welcome back, space fans. Let's recap the first take of the pilot episode of our Pulp Alley campaign . . . Showdown at the Graceful Ghost:

The scenario pitted two rival crews against one another. Some might call them smugglers, or even pirates, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt and simply call them independent merchants specializing in "small, high-value parcel" acquisition and delivery. In the left corner was the opponent, Goldberg Street, with his trusted crew: Otto, Sturgis, Goldberg Street himself, Legs, the Beard, Lawrence (or Lawry), and Gunner.

In the right corner we had the Lacerock Band: "Shorty" McMaster, Kara "Stone" Mason, Kitty Luong, Jackie Chu, Musetta, Lorita McMaster, and van Erickson.

To their mutual chagrin they were joined by Squiggycap with his Mystic Crewe of Bashus: "Lumber" Jack, Four Arms the Wonder Twin, Fritz, and to the right Deuce and a Half (who closely resembles a truck in the right light.)

Also appearing in this episode were Doc Hobble and Mr. Burn with their Delightful Dreadlies and dis-orderlies.

Sabryin Owlfeather's Lace Rock Gang entered from the southeast corner of the table. (Assuming that the Graceful Ghost sign is south.) Goldberg Street entered from the northwest. Glodberg Street's boys immediately vaulted the fence and took up positions behind the large hill in the middle of the mine complex. Jackie Chu's gang fanned out behind the several buildings immediately inside the gate, with Shorty McMster heading the long way 'round the machine shed.

The first couple of turns were uneventful, but by turn three a large firefight had broken out in the center of the complex with the dwarves essentially pinned behind the ridgeline and the (mostly) humans spread out in the entry yard.

The first casualty was Kitty Luong, whom you see behind the cylindrical white shed. She took the fall on about turn four. (She's a very talented girl, but small and slightly breakable. Oops.) On turn five or six Shorty McMaster came around the back and outflanked the pirates. At that point several of them ran for cover inside the mine and found the loot. They took the crates closest to the door.

A turn or two later, after the dwarves vacated with their booty, Shorty entered the mine and found the Graceful Ghost . . .

only to be possessed and start shooting like a slightly mad elf at everyone nearby. Maybe he thought his dear shepherdess Lorita had run off with some other clown. On the positive side, given the outflanking maneuver, all nearby clowns were as dwarfish as Shorty and twice as piratical.

At this point Chu's gang began charging up the middle of the site, hoping to stop Goldberg Street from getting all the darned loot. This lead to an interesting mele on the hill and some smaller fights over by the fence at the northwest corner, where the dwarves were trying to make a break for it. Ultimately by turn seven The Beard, Otto, Lawry, Shorty, and Lorita had each taken loot and begun to make a run for it.

On turn eight, things got a bit more sticky. Cap'n Squiggycap must have heard the funfire (gunshots to Orky ears) and decided there was a party over at the old mine. He and his boys showed up. Of course he came in on the east side of the site. Must have been camped out there in the wilderness somewhere. And on turn nine things got even more interesting when Doc Hobble and Mr. Burn showed up too with their collaborative moving sculpture project. (Angry repurposed junkpiles complete with large weapons and a desire to shoot . . . everyone. Think of it as an ensemble performance piece.)

The dreadful dreadnaughts saw no need to jump the fence. They just knocked it down and began dispensing their Christmas crackers. It's a party. Everyone should play! While Squiggycap was madly enlivening, or should I say endeadening the soiree on the hillside the dreadfuls broke up the dances down by the fence. And heroes great and small began to drop under the pressure of bullets from three or four directions and axeheads the size of snowshovels. (Though doubtless weighing much more.)  Hary went down. Kara Stone took a fall. Even Chu lost his footing and let Lawry get away. Of course Shorty "Klick" McMasters, brother Lawry, and Otto were spreading the typical dwarven love for their friends the orks, but no matter how many fell there always seemed to be more.

At the end of the night we ran out of time. Chu and Kara were pretty much surrounded by hostile green. Van Erikson was down in a bad place and Musetta was likely to be following shortly after. The dwarves were mostly suddenly in a position to bolt and escape, though it was doubtless going to be a little harry for Goldberg Street, Legs, and Gunner on the hilltop. I figure in the end the rest of both gangs probably got away. Chu's just too tough for that bunch of greenskins. But where did Kitty end up? Why didn't she show up at the rendevous? Maybe it's time for Goldberg Street and Chu to call a truce and figure a few things out.

Tune in next time as Chu and the rest of the gang attempt a good old fashioned snatch-and-grab in Hello Kitty on a Hot Tin Roof.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hunting the Hunters

Lately I've talked a lot about Viking Forge and Seabattles. This is in part a side effect of my own comparatively recent discovery of their offerings and also a result of the number of unique and interesting models in their catalog. The bulk of my collection is Panzerschiffe: they clearly offer the most ship for the money in 1/2400. Viking Forge is still a distant second, but now that they've assumed that slot I can't imaging anyone else will threaten it. Their merchant ships and ASW escorts are, in my opinion, the finest in the scale. Along with Panzerschiffe, they are quite unusual in offering small boats from multiple nations. Where most suppliers are content to stop at fleet destroyers and perhaps a version of the ubiquitous Flower class, Viking Forge offers several flower variants, generic sloops and trawlers, various US Coast Guard cutters, and even some Japanese ASW escorts. I've talked about some of these (along with some Panzerschiffe minesweepers, torpedo boats, and tugs that did ASW duty) in other posts. These I will leave aside for now, instead singling out my recent builds.

First, the Coast Guard:

During WWII the US Coast Guard operated as a part of the Navy Department. Coast Guard cutters performed quite a variety of duties in weather and ice patrols, as convoy escorts, and even transporting troops and supplies in combat areas. Among the newest ships in Coast Guard service at the outset of hostilities were a group of "high endurance" cutters known alternately as the "Secretary" or "Treasury" class. Each was named after a secretary of the US Treasury department, which controlled the Coast Guard during peacetime. Following USN convention they should most properly be known as the Campbell class, since WPG-32 Campbell appears to have been the first one ordered.

The two ships above are USCGC Campbell and Taney. Campbell, on the left, is interesting as she was one of the first US ships fitted with HFDF equipment for sub hunting. On the right, Taney was present in Oahu during the Pearl Harbor raid.  She's now a museum ship in Baltimore and bears the distinction of being the last vessel present at the battle still afloat. Campbell is wearing a variant of a camouflage scheme called the "Thayer" system in the United States. Taney is depicted in the MS-1 grey she was wearing at Pearl Harbor and, so far as I can ascertain, retained into mid 1942.

These two models are both Viking Forge castings of Seabattles originals with considerable modification. As bought the models are great depictions of the cutters in their peacetime guise. I took the liberty of militarizing them, adding guns, radar, enlarging islands, and otherwise lightly detailing them in the usual fashion.

In some significant ways the Treasuries were more the exception than the rule. Most Coast Guard cutters appear to have been humbler, homelier looking boats. Where the Treasuries were purpose built light warships, typical cutters were much more closely based on civilian designs. Below are three vessels that better reflect this norm. Where Campbell and her sisters feel almost like small destroyers, Tallapoosa,  Haida, and Algonquin look like tugs and trawlers.

Tallapoosa, on the left and wearing MS-3 light grey, is the oldest cutter of the three. She was built in 1915 to replace a revenue cutter named Winona and ultimately served in both wars. Among other duties, she patrolled as a convoy escort. By the Second World War her age limited her utility somewhat and she ended the war observing blackout conditions. Haida, in the center and wearing MS-12 mod, was part of the four unit Tampa class built by Union Construction Company of Oakland in the early 1920s. These ships played diverse roles, serving on ice and fisheries patrols, search and rescue duty, and enforcing prohibition. Leftmost in Thayer patter camouflage, Algonquin is the newest of the three, in spite of her diminutive size. Her design was apparently based on the earlier Tampa class (explaining the resemblance). Throughout the war she served in the Atlantic escorting local convoys. (Tallapoosa and Haida histories taken from Wikipedia. Algonquin from

These three cutters were bought as part of the USCGC "party pack." They're absolutely wonderful additions to an ASW force, though it's a bit of a chore figuring out what the models depict, given the random "blister pack" style assortments without the helpful information cards of more casual games. I initially dug through Jane's, wikipedia, Conway, and maybe one or two other encyclopedic resources I can't immediately recall. While this wasn't quite completely conclusive (the models, after all, seemed generally peacetime while the texts showed mostly wartime appearances) I was able to later confirm them against a Seabattles catalog and to fill in the one or two remaining questions by process of elimination. All are lovely little models and required only light detailing and militarization. In general they were not updated quite as heavily as their larger counterparts since they didn't have the legs for deep-ocean escort.

Of course if you want the ubiquitous Flowers, rest assured that Viking Forge can oblige. Below are three models bought in a package of six. VF sells three types of Flower. Given the size and duration of the production run it's not surprising that there was considerable variation in armament and even general arrangement. Sheer lines were changed to improve sea-keeping. Stores were altered. Armament was updated as new developments allowed. In many ways it's a little deceptive to think of one Flower class. Thus it's quite nice that VF has three options that differ somewhat from other suppliers. The trio below are probably the earliest of the three varieties on offer. Depicted are Gladiolus, Nasturtium, and Aubretia.

It is unbelievably difficult to get good information on the appearance of such modest ships when one lives a thousand miles from the nearest ocean, and thus from the nearest repository of such art, but once in a while one gets lucky and finds good things on the internet. Aubretia is such a case. I first saw the checkerboard pattern on a website called Thomas Schröder appears to be the man behind some of the loveliest ship models and dioramas I've seen, and the challenge of doing a very small part of what he does in half the size was intriguing. I was able to find photographs confirming the checkerboard, though I have no explanation of its significance. Reproducing it accurately was impossible given my modest talents and materials, but I could at least suggest it in a simplified form, which I have done.

Below you can see the Viking Forge "Begonia class" flower next to the GHQ model. The differences in sheer between Aubretia and Dianthus are fairly obvious. Also apparent are variations in the islands, stacks, and armament. Both castings had minor flaws: the Viking Forge casting had a small void that needed to be filled and the GHQ casting was somewhat misaligned, requiring considerable filing to make it straight. In the end both turned out well, but neither was easy.

Yet another interesting Viking Forge offering is the French trawler below: La Nantaise.

La Nantaise is sold as a La Toulonaise class armed trawler. These turn out to be British merchant trawlers taken over by the RN and then handed off to the French. As such it wouldn't be at all out of place to use them as the British fishing trawlers pressed into ASW service by the hundreds. Similarly, there is a generic trawler in the WWI line that could also make a great improvised escort, but that's a project for another day. The only one I have painted up depicts a civilian without benefit of any armament.

I'll close up with a last picture of Aubretia. I am incredibly pleased with how well this little model came out.

As always, thank you for reading.

The Composer

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Showdown at the Graceful Ghost

Regular readers are no doubt aware that I've been working on a Pulp Alley campaign set ambiguously on the fringes of a partucular far distant future. Below is the result: "Showdown at the Graceful Ghost."

The Lace-Rock Boys (and Girls) landed on Moab Saturday night to retrieve their cache of weapons and money only to be jumped by the not-so-helful spaceport dicks. Early Sunday morning they narrowly escaped with their skin and crept out to the abandoned Graceful Ghost Mine to grab their loot and bail from this withered dustbowl of a forgotten moon . . .  

Whom should they spy cresting the last butte? The pirate Jesse "Goldberg Street."

The bastard must have known they were coming and bribed spaceport security so he could surreptitiously follow them to the pickup. What else could possibly go wrong? 

Who is the mysterious man in blue with the curiously over-armed simian friend?

Your job? Get the loot and get out before that lutz Goldberg Street can clean your chronometers. Easy, right? Best keep a sharp lookout and a ready pistol.

. . .

Tune in next week to find out what went down at the Graceful Ghost. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Light Industry for Heavier Metals

In just under a week I'm planning to run a game of Pulp Alley. For the uninitiated, PA is a fast-paced miniature gaming system designed to produce fun and cinematic adventures. Players create "leagues" of perhaps a half dozen characters. The conflict is developed and detailed with card-driven-events which are resolved with several different kinds of dice against a target number of four. (Thus more and bigger dice are both better.)

Not only do I have to learn the system in a hurry . . . I also need to finish some episode specific sets. (But for the fact that I've decided that everything about this game must be in film-industry speak I'd probably call this terrain.) Specifically, I need to finish a machine shed and a mine. You've seen hints of the shed in an A Place Worth the Fight. Bear with me as I re-use two photographs to get this started.

One day at work I found a nice plastic packing piece for a box of something or other. I thought this something really looked like a factory roof, so I pulled it out of the trash, put it in my trunk, and took it home . . .

But what do you do with that? Factories aren't just a roof. They also need walls and equipment. And people to run them, or in this case shoot in and at them and maybe break stuff there. But let's leave the people out of it for now and concentrate on walls and stuff. The walls (and floor) were easy enough. I used blue foam cut to resemble rough concrete and put flatter part of the plastic sheet on one side. A piece of cardstock works for a floor and some balsa-beams hold it all together nicely. (You have to actually think about structure when you do this stuff? Who knew?)

All of this appeared in our last installment . . . so on to the new. Previously I said I wanted to add catwalks and pipes and panels and things. In a very odd and sideways fashion I work in the construction trade (the entertainment part of it, if you can believe such a thing.) And so I've spent a fair amount of time on jobsites lately. I now have a pocket jobsite in my basement. And while this building doesn't really need to be sprinkled or have HVAC or any of that closed flamable building in a world with a building code stuff, it does need electricity and access. Thus I give you . . . catwalks and conduit:

I have to thank a Chicago area gaming group I stumbled across for turning me on to the idea of using this needelpoint grid material for catwalks. It looks great for the purpose and vast quantities of it are fairly cheap. It does need a little (balsa) support. (Which is fine. It would look darned odd just sitting up there on the beams.)

Next we have a ladder made from more balsa wood with some of my favorite cylindrical styrene stock. The little gate at the bottom was an interesting challenge. While this isn't strictly required on a desert world with no functional government, maybe the mine owner wanted to keep his granddaughter from climbing into the attic without permission. (Which is another way of saying I'd already glued the ladder to the back and I needed a good excuse for this.) The materials and techniques should be self evident. The gate works quite well and is plenty tall enough to keep most would be interlopers out. Judicious placement of the hasp even provides enough friction to keep the thing closed.

With attic access covered, I needed power. My conduit runs are not going to win any beauty contests, but they would all work, and this is the backside of nowhere. It was probably hard to get good union electricians out here. There's not even an IBEW local in the quadrant. So crooked conduit it is . . .

Above you can see the feed from the main panel (part of the island from a 1/2400 WWI USS Vestal) to the lighting. In retrospect, that's too much conduit for the job, but if you've ever had to make a three hundred foot pull by hand, better too much than too little.

Here's the lighting and the materials I used to make it. The fixtures themselves are acrylic sparklies of the vejazzling sort. (Don't look that up at work, folks. Wait until you're safely at home.)  The blue pole provided cookies that make great circular boxes to hang my crooked lights in my crooked shed. Apart from that pole (a fishing toy, I think) the rest of the bits are standard Michaels issue.

Here you can see two of the lights hung and the conduit run out to them. Applied to the face of the center beam is another conduit run. This will be the control run for a chain hoist. Power for the hoist is on the opposite side . . . 

. . . and hanging very awkwardly below the beam. Will someone get me a new electrical contractor? These clowns can't find their plum-bob from their . . . or hang a box stright, or well . . . @#%! . . . Geeze people!

Here's the same talbleau with the catwalk and ladder set in place. I don't plan to attach them until ex-post-paint, but maybe they can remain as removable as the roof. More flexible that way. They do need railings, though. Well, not technically, but without railings they're what Pulp Alley calls a "peril" and I'd feel bad if I made the mad Ramshackle scientist who commissioned this ramshackle mess face too many all at once.

After adding the light fixtures, I promptly removed them. Putting up conduit with hands forty feet wide is a little difficult, and light fixtures are delicate.

Like I said, no beauty contests, but it should work, were it real. You can now see where the power from the transformer feeds into the bottom of the main panel. Now there are five (hideously ugly) conduit runs in assorted sizes coming from said panel. Much more respectable for a factory. And there's a variety of (presumably high voltage) outlet boxes scattered around the shed floor. You can see three of them here and a conduit run heading off across to more on the other side.

Here's an unpainted bug-man in an incomplete factory to give scale.

"Master! The door opens and we can climb the ladder. What shall we do master? What shall we do? Do you wants us to climb up and rain death on the horrible beakies?"

Next time, we put the appliances back. First up, manufacturing a chain hoist from blue leftovers from a random mecha kit . . . 

As always, thank you for reading. Hope this provides you as much inspiration as it provides me.

The Composer

No Draught-Dodgers in the Merchant Marine

There could be several reasons for this: Maybe you can't just "comb the wakes" of requisition orders. Guided missiles, those. Maybe it's the desire to avoid grounding and subsequent loss of pay. Or perhaps it has something to do with the ale-lager-porter-pilsner-stout house. I've yet to meet the sailor who could pass up a decent beer. (With the definition of decent enjoying significant regional variation, of course, but sailors, by-and-in-large, seem a flexible lot on that point.)

Anyway . . . after that terrible bit of nonsense we shall get back to small ships.

Some weeks back I implied that there were more ships waiting to be posted. Below you will find a variety of different merchantmen conscripted into military service. (Or built for it, but with an eye on a civilian life after the war.)

In this first picture we have, from front to back, Dodd line steamer SS King Edgar, US Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien, French transport Golo,  and finaly Canadian pulp and paper carrier SS Corner Brook. The first model is a C in C "Doxford." It's a nice size ship that adds a little variety, but the casting is a little flat for my taste. The next two ships are Viking Forge castings of Seabattles originals; both quite excellent. Finally in the back is a casting I've not yet managed to identify. It came as part of job-lot. It feels rather like a nicer C in C ship, but I can't find one matching it in their catalog. No matter the original, it's a decent fit for Corner Brook. (Please do remember my merchant and auxiliary ships are often much more approximate than my warships. I research them and attempt accuracy, but there are times all I can find is dimensions or even just registry tonnage. My depictions should not be misconstrued as fact. They are gaming models to which I attempt to impart character through research and detailing.) Here's a closer shot of Corner Brook. If anyone can positively identify the model I would be grateful.

Below is a much loved Texaco ship, SS Ohio.

This model represents a rather more extensive conversion of a C in C T2 tanker. I had intended to show in progress photographs of this ship, but I seem to have inadvertently deleted them, so I will do my best to describe the process. I began by removing the catwalks, thinking Ohio had none. I later regretted this, as I found a good model that I believe to be accurate with a catwalk aft, thus I was obliged to fabricate a new one. Fortunately, this isn't a particularly difficult task.

The most interesting part of the conversion was the quite obvious maze of piping forward of the island. Ohio was outfitted with pumping equipment so that she could offload at unimproved ports. I suspect much of this piping represents that equipment. For this I used .010" styrene rod, which is rather small and quite flexible. I cut an approximate length and immediately glued the forward end to the deck just aft of the fo'c'sle, securing it in place. Next I made each 90 of the expansion loop and tacked that down as well. Finally, I trimmed the excess rod off and glued down the aft end. This could be a little imprecise, as this end would be covered with even more pipes later. By this method I was able to create a simplified approximation of the pipework on the larger model. (I've not yet found a photograph of Ohio from above, so I can only assume the model is essentially correct.) Once all of that was in place I added the second layer of piping just forward of the bridge and a few large pipes aft. Since these were all straight there was no particular difficulty. Finally, I finished her off with the usual masts and spars and painted her up making what I believe, if you'll pardon my presumption, might well be the finest 1/2400 model of Ohio on the net. (She's the only one I've seen with roughly correct deck detail.)

Lastly, since I don't have art of the above conversion, I'll discuss my conversion of AO-1 USS Kanawha, which was similarly extensive. This ship began life as a Viking Forge model depicting her approximately as she appeared in WWI. Like most other ships that served in both wars she'd been extensively updated in the interim, so I stripped her almost down to the deck. I started by removing the aft portion of the catwalks and forward island, since these had both been replaced between the wars. I saved the island for re-use. It became the core of an enlarged amidships island. Next I built up the platform deck aft of this island. Since this is a rather rough casting without terribly much detail I elected not to completely strip the paint. In retrospect this was probably a mistake, but I can live with it.

Next I added masts, platforms, AA weapons, a searchlight, and anchor chain. I've attempted to use the stern gun as a pattern for a new mold, but I haven't been completely happy with the resulting castings, so I suspect I'll continue building up large caliber DP weapons for a while yet. The second mount aft of the bow and the second to the last forward of the stern are two of the much maligned "Chicago pipe-organ" quad 1.1s. I still don't have a decent master of that either, so these too I built up. (For those unfamiliar, I squash cast dual and quad 40s and plan to cast more details as I manage to make decent molds.) 

Lastly I added spars, radar, ventilators, ship's boats, and crow's nest. (Yes indeed, it would appear Kanawha had radar by mid 1942. That or there was a program to lash bed-springs to the mast of every ship in the Navy to fool enemy observers . . . who were generally too far away to see that kind of detail . . . or maybe GE and Westinghouse and friends just cranked out that many sets.)

Here's how she eventually turned out. Not perfect, but not at all bad.

As always, thank you for reading.

The Composer

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Place Worth the Fight

There are several ironclad laws to my gaming. I believe them and believe other people should adhere to them as much as I . . .

No game is complete without scenery.
I am a cheapskate (large collections of miniatures notwithstanding).

On the surface of them, this might seem a contradiction in terms, but just beneath this tumultuous upper layer the sea is a deep and tranquil calm. For starters. the scenery for naval games consists mostly of one or another blue bedsheet. Added to this, random found objects make GREAT sci-fi terrain. 

Some of that is construction debris. My supervisor calls them "robot parts" and a coworker refers to them as "bunkers." Both look at me a little funny when I take home obvious collections of dumpster worthy junk, while both being terrible pack-rats themselves. (With barns and storage units to prove it. Actual barns, not the model kind. Filled with real debris. Suddenly I have a modeling idea. Farmer Kurtis . . . ?) But most of us will have some of that or something similar to it. Anyone who has read the original Rogue Trader or old White Dwarf will remember a similar pile of debris depicted in the modeling section. They'll also be well familiar with the classic "butter-tub bunker" and probably also the "deodorant-stick skimmer."

Obviously the skimmer has seen better days, but it's nothing that can't be fixed with a little time and patience . . . 

Well, in that vein here's some of my more recent scenery made partially or primarily from found objects and leftovers . . . 

This little chemical terminal is made from several found objects. One of them is probably recognizable to the ordinary layman. The other two might be more of a stretch unless you're a specialist. The tank is, of course, an empty aspirin bottle. (Or perhaps technically ibuprofin. I can't quite remember as a certainty. A "pill bottle" anyway. There's a cardboard inspection hatch atop it to cover the recycling number. (2, I think?) Less recognizable are some theatrical leftovers. The pumping gizmo on the side is the remains of a male XLR connector (microphone cable for the layman) that I destroyed in a failed soldering attempt at work. (Chris, I swear to god I don't do this on purpose to create spare parts. It was, after all, one out of thirty or so.) The building itself was at one time one half of a surface mount box for another mic jack. (Long since demolished. No failures on my part this time. The rest of the box and the jacks themselves are visible in earlier buildings.)

This next guy is somewhat more "leftover" than "found."

The bulk of this structure was a raffle prize at a railfans convention I atended. Suffice it to say it was a raffle prize because no self-respecting railfan would buy a kit that poorly made. (It's supposed to be a "precast concrete" station, but it's a resin kit with so many voids and such a rough texture that it could just as easily depict a wattle and daub hut. I've gone for a sort of compromise, raising it's undersized HO proportions a few millimeters so the freight door can admit a normal height 30ish mm individual. Assuming 30mm is 6 feet (a good rule of thumb for 28 mm "heroics" who are all the same 30mm height) the freight door would be about 9 feet, though the usable opening is only about 7. In any case, this little Wabash pre-fab makes a nice security shack in 30, er 28 mm.

The next building is not as yet complete, but makes fair use of both found bits, raw materials, and leftovers.

The interior walls and roof of this factory/barn/warehouse are the plastic packing materials that surrounded some . . . CDs? Puzzle boxes? 

Something small and squarish we were selling at a pharmacy where I worked for a while. The walls of course are the ubiquitous blue insulating construction foam and the beams added thus far are balsa wood. The machinery inside is a packing carton from some small model aircraft and two worn out faucet cartridges. This one is still ongoing, of course. The shed could use some lighting and a good coat of paint. (Or a bad coat, as the case may well be.) Maybe a catwalk and a chain hoist or two. The machinery needs some applied details. (Hoese, controls . . . stuff.) But it's starting to take shape.

More models are of course needed for my settlement slowly emerging from the desert rocks, but things are looking better every day. All in all I am fairly pleased. Hopefully this will give you a little inspiration to go out and find the interest in your own household debris, but maybe you'll find a better way to organize it than I.

So that'll do for now. As always, thank you for reading and may everyone have a wonder-filled game.

The Composer.