Monday, May 23, 2011

Those Wonderful Toys

When I think of Steampunk, I often remember Jack Nicholson (as the Joker) in the original Batman. I don't suggest the film was Steampunk, of course, but when Nicholson looks at Batman and says, "Where does he get those wonderful toys?" he is asking the same question I always find myself wondering in the face of good Steampunk.

Where do they get those wonderful toys?

I know, Steampunk is more than just that. Steampunk addresses the conflict inherent between progress and safety. It lets us explore how technology and society bump up against each other by looking at technologies that never were and societies which maybe shouldn't have taken that right turn at Albuquerque. It is also about why hope is superior to despair, and resistance superior to surrender.

But if it doesn't have wonderful toys, it just doesn't work.

Yesterday I pointed you toward Alan Patrick’s webpage, who has some wonderful toys from the Space: 1889 universe. Today I've got an even bigger treat. Alan did his ships for a big Cloudships game put on by the South London Warlords at Salute in the United Kingdom. Here is the web page with all of the ships used in the game, as well as pictures from the event. It's so well done I'm adding it as a permanent link. The Hullcutter screw galley at the top of this page is one example, and a damned fine one, too -- exactly the sort of sinister menace I always imagined.



  1. These guys have been an inspiration for many. Just unbelievably good stuff they have created.

    I actually tried to get over to the UK for Salute this year. Just to play in one of these games. Yeah, you could say I am impressed.

  2. Inspiration indeed,seeing the ships come off the page is something to really get you into the Space 1889 spirit.Great site hope we will see some new ones soon.

  3. Frank,
    If someone was interested in licensing 28mm models of your ships, how might they go about contacting you?

  4. That's a wonderful page, and it was one of the things that inspired me to make some of my own ships. This page has 1/600 scale model works from myself and three other artists;

    The Sky Galleons of Mars Yahoo group also has some great photo galleries of Damfpanzerwagon's 1/300 scale Sky Galleon model creations.


  5. I have been trying to contact you Frank about an email ide we had a few years ago to reproduce metal, resin miniatures for Cloudships in 1/300th but to no avail. Any chance we could have a chat?

    John Treadaway - builder and photographer of the 28mm ships by the South London Warlords images you have on this blog.

  6. For licensing queries, you can contact me via email at I get a flood of emails some days, and it's easy for things to fall through the cracks, so please put "Space 1889 Licensing" in the email title. Thanks for the interest.

  7. Something really weird happened to me. I had the world's longest dream last night. I still haven't figured it all out. I was in this very, very old home...more like a mansion. It was no longer
    inhabited. I was with a team of treasure-hunters. We finally did find it, when I realized the clues were saying that it was up and not down. Anyway, in this dream I also met a man named Frank Chadwick, and he even looked like you. He was actually a ghost, and I had to pull some strings with some magic chick to make him live again. Sure wish I had the brains to write all the details down. I just love my entertaining dreams!

  8. Cheryl,
    If you're going to have really long dreams, they may as well be inhabited by ghosts with rugged good looks. :^)

  9. I wanna know too where he get those wonderful toys. This is making me so curious about it. I rarely see those kind of toys in the market.

  10. Playmobile Pirate, welcome. I have a fair collection of playmobile pirate ships myself, almost certainly the greatest toy pirate ship ever made -- both versions.

    All the ships in the photos were scratch built by the club members. Spectacular work!