A scientific expedition into the depths of terror, whereby alien and exotic creatures may be subjected to the closest scrutiny at great risk and peril- Compiled by Jakar Nilson
No indeed! We are not strong,
But we know Peoples that are.
Yes, and we'll guide them along
To smash and destroy you in War!
We shall be slaves just the same?
Yes, we have always been slaves,
But you--you will die of the shame,
And then we shall dance on your graves!
- Kipling, A Pict song
There they all stood on the Syrtis plateau, and there they waited. Ranks of scarlet, blue, grey, khaki and all dug in around the landing site. They knew how many they were, but they knew not what they would face and how many would survive. Yet, they stayed. They knew the Black Smoke would not affect them as long as they wore their rebreathers. They knew that they would not be helpless thanks to the Landships and Colossi and Electrical Cannons and every other knickknack that they had brought along. They knew they would not fall back, for they had nowhere to run to. But they had plenty to charge at, and with the commanders they had, they could not fail. They would have the revenge for all the blood spilled since Woking Station.
Then at once, one could spot queer tall things moving towards them. These strode effortlessly over the Martian landscape. One could now also see a carpet of dust rising around them, clearly not the Black Smoke.
“The Celaphids seem to have allies with them,” said General Baden-Powell as he handed the binoculars to Lord Woking. “Thousands of the little buggers, and they seem to look more like us than those damned Tripods”.
“Indeed,” replied Kitchener as he took the binoculars from the master scout. “They look like perfect devils. Why, some even seem to have four arms and tusks. Oh well, if we beat the Mahdi, we can surely teach Johnny Offworlder a lesson…”.
This is an attempt to list and show all the different aliens, hybrids, faeries, and wotnot creatures that could be encountered when gaming 28mm Victorian Science Fiction. Note that we are aware that we have not included the Evil Empire, but that is because of their and our policies (they don’t like other people posting pictures of their products, for which reason we scorn them as enemies of enterprise).
Do not feel that battling as Johnny Offworlder is in any unpatriotic, as your opponent must test his mettle against someone! Plus if you can get into the mind of the martian, what an asset you will be to the Intelligence Corps!
|Coming straight from a country that was colonized during the lifetime of Queen Vicky herself, creatures from even more exotic and mysterious lands.|
Martians, Martians, Martians! Be they Invaders, City Dwellers, or creatures that highly resemble Tharks. Like all the rest of the Parroom Station miniatures, they are full of character, style and good craftsmanship.
|Here is one of the jackpots. RAFM makes the official Space 1889 miniatures (so there are plenty of City Dweller Martians).|
One of the most distinguished firms of our esteemed hobby, now produced by two companies either side of the Atlantic. Within their Crucible range, one can encounter some elfish beings that bear a striking resemblance to the creatures that Francis Chadwick’s describes in his account of the 1889 Mars expedition.
Formerly known as Icon, and Harlequin before that. They make a Doctor Who range- not in itself Victorian SciFi but it contains a great many figures that sit well in a VSF theme. From Ice Warriors to the Masters, there are plenty of mysterious beings to choose from. And since most of the creatures from the show were designed on a budget, they easily seem to fit in the penny dreadful…
The sculpting, being of higher quality than the stuff from BBC’s prop department, is passable, though note that the packs tend to match Foundry prices for some reason. You’ll also have to browse to find the figure you’re looking for, as well as four others you might have not wanted…
|A relatively new company that wishes to push the creative boundaries of Sci-Fi/Fantasy miniatures, mainly by not having a fixed system. The subjects and styles vary quite a lot, but for our needs, let us say that they offer a few variations of Martians, from LGM, Tharks, Invaders and whatever else you fancy. All the miniatures are loaded with character.|
|Long-time makers of Aether Marines and resin landships. The only non-human life forms they make are the dreaded Selenites, but that is reason enough to list them!|
In the future eras when Men travel faster than a speeding bullet, invasions from beyond our Earth happen on an almost weekly basis. Who can claim that this does not also happen in our Age of Progress and Industrialisation? And if these Johnny offworlders wish to invade London, they’ll have to face the Thin Red Line first.
|A recent company that mostly makes generic armatures to sculpt over, they happen to be working on a 28mm scaled four armed green Martian. Looks good so far.|
These brave beings from fable have a cunning and fighting ability that makes them ideal allies in a sticky hole, and they are quick to get to grips with our technological devices. Don't invite them to society events though, and certainly do not present them to the ladies.
|They’ve just jumped on the bandwagon and released a blister of colonial dwarves. What shall be next?|
|A new German manufacturer, they carry a few Industrial age Dwarves, including this Burgermeister…|
From the age of black powder to the Guns of the West (trivia: this was the working title of Harry Turtledove’s How Few Remain), where else can you find those races of High Fantasy indulging in the arts of the Industrial Age? And if you find them too ugly and too big, you can always use them as brutish hillbilly cousins or relatives of Dr. Henry and Mr. Edward…
|Andy Foster decided he wanted to sculpt and market his own line of figs, and by looking at them, who in their right mind would say no? Most of his stuff is fantasy, but he does do a Dwarven miner/engineer packing enough ammo to bust any bank on the American frontier. This multipart mini lets you create a miner, inventor or gun-toting maniac. Or maybe an inventive gun-toting manic miner.|
Warmachine, where Steam meets Fantasy, and made 12’ tall robots called ‘Jack. If you’re looking for Goblins, ogres and trolls that have converted themselves to the progress of the Industrial Revolution, then look no further. Bags of character, great sculpts, but watch out or they’ll steal your latest inventions! The trollkin also make good colonial levies from those other planets…
|A Fantasy company from France, they don’t make much that’s relevant here save for a good Richard Gatling “coffee grinder” (toss the Dwarf, keep the Gatling)|
|More fun from RAFM, a range of Prussian Dwarves (with some influence of the Roman Empire and WWII Germany for good measure).|
|The makers of 28mm resin vehicles and terrain have also come out with Dwarf Britannia,where the Thin Red Line is only four feet tall and the Light Brigade rides on boars! It’s fun for everyone!|
|Tired of buying bland Home Guard models? (D*** no! but do carry on…) Among all the crazy ranges, one can find hounds in Home Guard uniforms.|
|From the maker of Aeronef (the game of VSF airship combat), will soon come Darke Lands, a fantasy Colonial game. Orcs from Albion in scarlet tunics and Martini Henrys, Halfling impi, Prussian Dwarves, and whatever Steve Blease figures the Elves will be…|
|Known for the card-dealing Weird Wild West game Deadlands, where magic runs wild through the North American frontier- not just mad science but zombie gunfighters too. The miniatures have character, and lots have weird things onto them, but they are a tad oversize compared to everyone else.|
|Not known for producing creatures that are inhuman (save for those Orcs and Elves that cost them the Perries), they do have some, um, “resistant” gunfighters that, um, never seem to quit… They look bally good, but remember: shoot the brain! Kill the brain, you kill the ghoul…|
Herein the results of desparate experiments upon humans and other terrestrials, which succeed against the Will of God in producing the most terrifying creatures!
If your vision of Victorian SF encompasses Artificial creatures from the Modern Prometheus then you should be well pleased with West Wind's Gothic Horror set - all your weird science needs (except Kelly LeBrock).
Eureka indeed! Now what might happen if Dr. Moreau and the Wicked Witch of the West put their strengths together? Shudder at the thought of flying monkeys, dromedary recruits of the Légion Étrangère, or gorillas doing the Highland fling. For the love of God, no!
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Background by Doc, figure adapted from 3D mesh by D. Proctor (The Movie Mesh Site)