Post-Great War War Crimes Trials

The Guardian’s Pictures From The Past feature for Jan. 23 (yesterday) featured a photo of the former German Kaiser with his family in his well-known post-Great War Dutch exile — along with the note that “On 23 January 1920, the government of the Netherlands refused to extradite the former Kaiser of Germany, Wilhelm II. His aggressive foreign policy and support for Austro-Hungary in 1914 led to the first world war. After the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, he was charged with “a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties” and the allies demanded his extradition. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands refused and granted him political asylum.”

I hadn’t realized until then that, just like the much more famous post-WW2 Nuremberg Trials in Germany and similar trails in the Far East against Japan, there was an attempt at similar trials post-Great War – the Leipzig War Crimes Trials (Wikipedia link). The Dutch refusal to violate their neutrality and allow the extradition of the ex-Kaiser was part and parcel with the generally dismal performance of these trials – see all the details at the Wikipedia article.

I love finding new details about the post-Great War/Interwar era like this. Too many people (and textbooks…) rush straight through Great War/Versailles Treaty/Hitler/boom WW2 and ignore all the oddities of this fascinating era.

Why yes, the bachelor’s degree I never finished was probably going to be in History. Does it show much?

Smoke & Flame!

Doing some shopping last week, I found a batch of LED tea candles for sale, 6 for $5.95. I’ve been meaning to pick some up to play with them for ages, as I’ve seen some neat stuff done with flickering LEDs on the tabletop!

The first thing I whipped up was a pair of large fire & smoke markers, big ones suitable for a building fire or big bonfire! The LED tea lights are about 1.5″ across, 5/8ths of an inch high at the base, and 1.5″ to the top of the “flame”, which on these ones is just a white bit roughly flame-shaped.

The bases contain the LED, battery and switch and unscrew easily from the upper part of the base, and the flame pops easily out of the upper part. I eventually want to get my soldering iron out and do various sorts of more advanced work with the flickering LEDs, but for now I just used the stock base and setup.

Using hot glue, I glued a doubled-over length of soft iron hobby wire around the rim of the base and up past the flame to support the smoke plume. The smoke plume is just cotton batting I salvaged from a pillow I was throwing away – waste not, etc!

Fire & smoke markers in progress, and complete LED tea light to the left. Click for larger, as usual.

I speared the cotton batting on the wire, then used more small beads of hot glue around the LED base to fasten the batting down. I added more hot glue on the wire, then pushed the batting up against the wire to secure it. As I pushed the batting against the wire, I gave the whole piece of batting a twist with my hand, to make the smoke plume more interesting.

Spraypainted smoke plumes with LED bases. Click for larger, as usual.

The plumes got grey then black spraypaint, and might get a second coat of spraypaint – I’ll see what they look like after they dry. The LED lights still work (the switches are on the underside) and if I ever need to replace the battery, it’ll be easy to tug the batting aside and then fix things after with a bit of hot glue.

The whole project only took a couple of minutes, and should look good on the tabletop in the ruins of a building or as a bonfire. Here’s a short (11 second long) out-of-focus phone camera vid of the two smoke plumes and one original, unmodified tea light all flickering away.

Blood Bowl Pitch, Part II

Finally got a can of green spraypaint at the local hardware place and laid my fabric BB pitch out to blotch green across it, just to break up the brown fabric. It looks a lot better with green on it now, and the dot grid that lays out the field is still visible.

My 40mm BB pitch, laid out on garbage bags on the porch to spray with green for a turf effect.

I’ve got an Amazon BB team on the painting table right now, as well.

Happy (Belated!) New Year!

Been fairly quiet around here lately – blame all the usual holiday business – but the holiday season was a good one for gaming around here, too.

Early December saw my long-promised Russian Civil War game over in Vancouver at the Trumpeter Club’s gaming night finally happen, about eighteen months after we first discussed doing it. I never did write that battle up here on the Warbard, but it was good to get the Russians out again after a long break, run a long-promised game, and spend a weekend over in Vancouver – even if that weekend was the coldest of the year, with daytime highs around -5 C!

We’ve also had our first two games of Blood Bowl, now that my Sarcos croc team is finished and Sean’s humans are assembled and mostly painted. Unfortunately for him, both games have been fairly resounding wins for my big reptiles, 3:1 and 4:0 respectively. Better luck for the humans in upcoming games!

Crocs (Lizardmen) vs Humans Blood Bowl game – Sean tries to figure out how to keep my Skinks from scoring yet again, while a wall of big green crocodiles stomp his humans!

My home-brew Blood Bowl pitch is coming along slowly, although it’s in a playable and usable state now. That’s the fabric field under the figures in the photo above; it needs a lot of work to look good (I want it to look like a muddy, weedy patch of jungle) but is thoroughly usable in it’s current form!

Onward and upward in 2014! I’ve got a mountain of pulp figures to paint, another BB team that’ll get primed this week, and some Russian Civil War bits to fill in on that project! Then there’s always the unexpected new stuff, or the old projects that capture your interest again… it should be a good year, in any case.