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Properties, Models, & Miniatures

Employing a variety of properties can enhance the Terra Incognita role–playing experience, from fabricating convincing handouts to using miniature figures to represent you character. The following links lead to selected resources, with a particular eye to low cost and free products. Please e-mail any relevant sites and the Snoops will add them to the collection.

Properties, Models, & Miniatures

The ABoyd Company specializes in myriad oddball models and toys that you never knew you needed.

Alienstar Figures — Paper figures for free download. Fantasy, mediaeval, and ancient figures only. Great for those atavistic recursions that do tend to crop up now and again. While Alienstar is reorganizing, the free paper miniatures will be available at Patrick’s site.

An amazing resource for all Gadgeteers, American Science & Surplus is an online clearinghouse of odds and ends — who knows what one could build!

Antique Hardware — For those seeking to bring their game world into everyday life, the NAGS Society recommends Antique Hardware, the online store for buying retro hardware and tchotchkis for the perfect steampunk home.

If you’re really serious about your gaming props, visit and bring home a bit of the past…. A nice crocodile amulet from the 5th century B.C. for $3000 US, for example.

Aztec Temple — If you’re in the market for an Aztec temple and can’t afford real stone, David Kuijt comes to the rescue with his webpage Making an Aztec Step Pyramid.

Marcus Rowland has posted pictures of the Balaclava, a 25mm scale æronef he scratch-built from odds and ends. While intended for Victorian science fiction, such a craft could easily be the latest secret weapon from the NAGS Society.

Best of the West — Minifigs has just released a line of 15mm old west figures, including US cavalry, plains indians, gunfighters, accessories such as stagecoach and buffalo, and free rules, Bite the Bullet. Read the announcement on the Miniature Page for more information. As usual, I find the Minifigs US website confusing; I can’t find any mention of the minis or rules, but perhaps an email to Tom Dye will reveal where those varmints are hiding. [Until the rules are up on the website, email Tom and he’ll send them to you via email].

Brian Broocks’ Victorian Science Fiction page features some impressive scratch-built vehicles.

Brigade Games GASLIGHT figures — The figures support an alternate American Civil War scenario and are thoroughly customizable. Victoria Hawkes, for example, includes 1 open right hand (empty), 1 open left hand (empty), 1 telescope, 1 open book, 1 ray gun rifle, 1 sword, 1 rifle, 1 raygun, 1 umbrella, and 1 Luger with rifle stock. They also sell a steam boiler, levers and gauges for vehicles, as well as tractor wheels and turrets for creating your own vehicles. Brigade Games also features a new line of 15mm GASLIGHT figures. The adventurers character pack includes:

    • Victoria Hawkes [the star of the Journals of Victoria Hawkes, American Civil War Scenarios for GASLIGHT] in Adventuring outfit (boots, jodhpurs, shirt, wide brimmed hat, rifle)
    • Victoria Hawkes in ACW Zouave outfit
    • Indiana Jones type adventurer. (Long coat, famous hat, pistol, bullwhip)
    • Colonel type adventurer - a shotgun, a pistol on each hip, ammo belts over each shoulder, suspenders, baggy white shirt, jodhpurs and windswept heroic hair
    • Evil Military Officer Character (trench coat, officers hat, pistol)
    • Arab Henchman leader (Fez, eyepatch, pistol, Monkey on shoulder)
    • 2 x Arab Henchmen (baggy pants, vests, one fez, one turban, scimitars)

Buffalo Chip — Studio 33 and the Virtual Armchair General bring you a cardstock cowtown: Buffalo Chip (click on the banner). As with the previously mentioned B’hoy’s Towne, this one comes preprinted rather than as a downloadable pdf. And like B’hoy’s Towne, it looks great but will break the bank ($180.00!! for the whole enchilada).

By Jingo! is a first rate British colonial history and wargames page. You’ll find numerous links to historical resources, wargames rules (free and otherwise), information about Nineteenth century weapons, &c., &c. Have at it!

Cairo Moon — Cumberland Games & Diversions has released a new set of Sparks paper miniatures in the form of a font: the pulpy Cairo Moon. As with all the Sparks sets, S. John Ross provides enough character hooks for you to create your own campaign—just add rules (Fudge will do nicely!)

Canvas Eagles is a free set of rules for WWI dogfights using 1:72 scale aircraft models, compiled by Eric Hotz. The neat part is that you equip your little biplane with a telescoping antenna and zoom it up or down to indicate elevation. The pictures on the website tell the whole story.

Cardboard Heroes by Steve Jackson Games — An affordable alternative to lead miniatures, Cardboard Heroes can be combined with the cardstock scenery mentioned below to help you imagine your Terra Incognita adventures. So far, the best bet for appropriate Heroes are those available in the Horror GM's screen and the Haunted House Floorplans.

Those in the market for some 18mm Boxer Rebellion figures might have a look at Cellmate Miniatures. You’ll find all the major factions — Americans, Europeans, Russians, and, of course, the Chinese. A number of civilians represented as well, including a Chinese butcher with a big, mean cleaver and a parson with bible and pistol.

The Colonial Angle is a website devoted to miniature wargames (my new passion). It contains a photographic battle report of The Demise of Professor Prufrock, a tale of supernatural mystery and desert intrigue. Though presented as a wargame scenario, just add Nags and you have a perfect TI adventure.

It’s the closest thing to the enormous "wish books" put out in the ’70s from the major department stores at Christmas time — Eureka Miniatures’ Compendium Magnificum. The catalogue of Eureka’s extensive line of miniatures, along with those they cast under license (including my beloved Irregular Miniatures), is now available on CD. The invaluable component of the catalogue is that nearly all of the miniatures are photographed at their actual size, so you can see exactly what you’ll get. You’ll have to print the pages out yourself, but since I imagine most folks concentrate on specific periods or scales, this shouldn’t be too cumbersome. And, if you purchased the 8th edition of the Compendium on paper, Eureka will send you the CD for free. I inquired last night, and Nic Robson got back to me within hours.

Copplestone Castings features two lines of miniatures appropriate for Terra Incognita: Return to Darkest Africa and The Back of Beyond: Daredevil Adventure in the 1920s. The latter’s “Armed Archeologists” are particularly evocative.

Dinosaur Collector is a roundup of the available crop of dinosaur models, thoroughly useful for bringing the lost world to life.

Eureka Minis — Wide range of minis. The Pax Limpopo line is Victorian Science Fiction and might work well for some Terra Incognita campaigns. But, they also have Apes with Guns!

Explorer Chic — I’ve previously Dispatched the link to the Foundry’s article on Explorer Chic. Well, Al and his Rivets & Steam website can help you get into the act yourself with brass Girl Genius goggles from Studio Foglio (a steal at $16 US) and an obligatory pith helmet in khaki or white from the Village Hat Shop.

Felix’s Gaming Pages are a joy to behold. The emphasis is clearly on miniatures, as well as good resources for Space:1889 and a particularly good essay on roleplaying in the world of the Difference Engine. The site promises some 1930’s era rules called Tally Ho! (I’m not sure if they’re still in the offing or not) and some great pulpy miniatures photos. Great Stuff!

Fiddlers Green has some beautiful, color paper models available for purchase: aircraft (WWI and II) and buildings (old English, American west, and modern). The free downloads page just has a comical shark; but poke around, and you might find some freebies to try.

Flagship Games — Sells miniatures (check under the pirates section for some excellent submersibles) as well as wargaming rules.

Foundry — The Foundry has a wide range of figures. The Darkest Africa and Old West lines are particularly a propos to Terra Incognita.

GASLIGHT — Possibly the best acronym in gaming: Glorious Adventures in Science Loosely Involving Generally Historical Times. Concise yet satisfying miniature rules for VSF. Now includes a role-playing supplement entitled Adventures and Expeditions by GASLIGHT.

Germ’s Floor Plans — Print these pdf files on cardstock, cut and fold, and you have extremely attractive (and entirely free) scenery for using miniatures. As with Microtactix’s products (below), the choices are fantasy and science fiction.

Gisby’s Victorian Adventure Gaming page — offers some suggestions for constructing terrain, notes on Space: 1889 campaigns, and sundry musings.

Gothic Horror from West Wind — For those outré occasions. They have figures of the creatures on the Island of Dr. Moreau. For me, that’s enough said.

Gothic Realms — WorldWorks Games recent release might interest TI players: Gothic Realms. This new cardstock dungeon can be used to create church interiors, catacombs, sewers, and other spooky gothic settings. See the website for an enticing Flash introduction.

GURPS Miniatures by Steve Jackson Games — Lead miniatures (or whatever it is they make them out of these days) based on illustrations from GURPS Steampunk. Combine with OGRE figures for a Wild Wild West type campaign.

Hirst Arts makes some wonderful rubber molds for casting your own building components in plaster or resin. Mold #46, for example, can be used to create a spooky Gothic Graveyard, in which the aforementioned Sir Robert meets his end. And even if you don’t want to delve into the world of self-casting, the website offers a plethora of Tips and Tricks for scratchbuilding that are sure to come in handy.

Ingenious Engines & Clockwork Enigmas, being in the main a utile and eclectic compendium of information and resources for simulating the fantastical adventures and speculative conflicts using vigorous imagination, miniature figurines, and scenics cunningly crafted, is my own humble contribution to the online cataloguing of useful VSF resources.

JR Miniatures has released a line of resin Steampunk buildings — houses, a bridge, a mining rig, and more, all festooned with rivets and gears. Perfect for gaming the Etherscopic Metropolis, perhaps?

Landships — One of the martial innovations introduced in World War I was the landship, commonly called the tank. Peter Kempf has put together Landships — a wonderful website devoted to modeling WWI tanks.

Le Grand Cirque — “Once again, global tensions are exacerbated. The world is on the brink. There’s only one solution; drive silly, dangerous conveyances in a race held in some dangerous, remote location —and winner take all.” From the genius mind of Walt O’Hara comes Le Grand Cirque, a comic take on Victorian science fiction. The site now contains all the rules you need to run a race, free for the download. Have a look at this detailed report of Le Grand Cirque du Yucatan for a taste of the madness.

Lloyd’s Modelling Tips website offers some useful guidance for constructing a variety of tabletop terrain.

Worldworks has released the Maiden of the High Seas, a cardstock vessel worthy of the saltiest sea dogs. Multiple levels for below decks battles and notice the ratlines — printed on transparency stock! (Thanks to Dave Crowell for the tip.)

Major General Tremorden Rederring's Colonial-era Wargames Page — An incredible resource for miniatures war gaming. [Submitted by Peter McDonald]

Mammoth Miniatures — A source for miniatures of prehistoric beasties and extremely cool Victorian Science Fiction Dirigibles. [Submitted by David Crowell].

Mexican Adventure — Tim “Gisby” Peterson has been updating his webpage devoted to the Mexican Adventure, when the Austrian Maximilian sat on the Mexican throne.

Microtactix — A pioneer in download–only RPG games and accoutrements. As the number of relevant products offered by Microtactix is so large, I'll provide the link to the site and you can look around. The Dirt Cheap series includes outdoor scenics (including a western town and a train), building interiors (including a Dark Crypt with occupied coffins and a Grand Staircase with cool hieroglyphics), and cardboard miniature figures. While the genres at this point consist of fantasy, science fiction, and old west, the ingenious game master can mix and match to create the perfect Terra Incognita encounter.

These days, miniatures come in a plethora of scales: 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 28mm, &c. In golden days of yore they were all one size: BIG! See the Michigan Toy Soldier Co. website for the modern version of these classic miniatures. Britains, the soldiers with which H.G. Wells played with his sons, are still for sale. [Suggested by Dirk Collins.]

Miniature World Maker has a large line of terrain in several scales—great for creating the perfect Lost World.

Model steam engine — Ed Bertschy has created this 1:20 scale model of a late Nineteenth Century steam engine. If you’re a careful builder, all of the parts actually move!

Monolith Designs features a wide range of 25mm resin buildings: spooky ruins, Egyptian tombs, Aztec temples, African huts, even WWII bunkers.

Moonlight Miniatures has release a new line of pulpish themed miniatures in the novel 34mm scale. Here’s the blurb: “Set in the 1930’s on an uncharted chain of islands near the Caribbean, daring adventurers and dastardly villains battle vile creatures, horrible abominations and each other as they search for their destinies amid the Islands of Blood.” The minis themselves have a cartoony quality that is bound to attract some and put off others. Nice paint jobs, though.

The Nap Nuts Singapore Wargamers Group has posted some battle reports of their recent forays into the wilds of Victorian science fiction using GASLIGHT.

The Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Learning Center hosts this paper model of Nemo’s Nautilus. The webpage is bare-bones (the link to download the model is at the bottom of the first page) but it does provide images to guide you through the entire construction process.

Old Glory Miniatures — Historical miniatures, primarily military.

If you can’t afford a trip to the Mysterious East to load up on precious supplies, try the next best thing — The Oriental Trading Company. From plastic gold coins to glass bottles to a single shot cork gun, you can claim to buy stuff for the kids (or nieces and nephews or neighborhood urchins) but you know who’ll play with it!

Over the Wire Games has several interesting lines of skirmish rules and accompanying miniatures. England Invaded, for example, is an alternate fin-de-síecle scenario involving a German invasion of England. The 28mm miniatures are worth a look — lots of desperate looking chaps brandishing clockwork pistols.

Paper Mansions — It’s almost enough to revive my mania for cardstock. Worldworks has released a fabulous new cardstock creation — Shellendrak Manor — a mansion with decorated interior rooms. Notice the moose head trophy in one room! Reviresco has a Victorian Mansion for $15 that you can download now or a free, downloadable version of the Disney Haunted Mansion, neither of which have interior rooms, however.

Paper Worlds — Anyone who shares my Victorian enthusiasm for paper miniatures will be glad to see this new online resource: Paper Worlds is devoted to modeling and gaming with cardstock miniatures, buildings, and terrain. The site features news, reviews, links, and a growing library of free downloads.

P.M.C. Games features some incredible steampunk miniature vehicles in their Victoriana at War line. I particularly like the Aeronefs (see VFV04--light framed bomber); check out the sporty exhaust pipes for the steam boilers! They also sell various ships, armored tanks, and Victorian figures.

B.C. O’Leary’s Ponape website, featuring “Victorian Piracy and Adventure in the South Pacific”, is pure inspirational eye candy. Have a look at the rest of his website for more about building a whole world from polystyrene.

Propping up the Mythos — A site devoted to making props for Call of Cthulhu games. Make your own Mythos Tome!

Supplementing the Matakishi-style pulp cityscape is this wonderful collection of Prohibition Era Buildings made by Jim Dirmaier.

Pulp Figures — A growing line of pulpy goodness by Bob Murch.

Pass a gloomy afternoon printing and assembling these free cardstock toys from Ravensblight, including a haunted mansion, graveyard, original boardgames, and Necronomicon Notebooks.

Have a look at RavensForge Miniatures for your tabletop TI needs. I especially like the bipedal triceratops. And, straight from an advert on the back of the new Dragon magazine, come the Dunwich Detectives, a set of prepainted 28mm pewter 1920s detective figures from Crystal Caste. They are apparently too new to be available in the US, but those in Europe can get them at [Suggested by Dirk Collins of]

Reviresco — A source for miniatures. Note especially the Victorian Science Fiction Submarine. [Submitted by David Crowell].

Rivets & Steam is a new website devoted to Victorian Science Fiction in general and the GASLIGHT skirmish rules in particular. The pictures are inspiring, you’ll find some house rules for GASLIGHT, and a nice collection of links.

Savage and Soldier Online is the internet archives of Savage and Soldier magazine, a periodical devoted to colonial miniature wargaming published since 1965. The website features a lengthy article titled The Dark Continent by Howard Whitehouse, “Being a survey of the East African interior regions made in the year 1889 for the purposes of providing information to the intrepid traveler, together with gaming ideas and divers rules, for players of Space 1889 and other systems of role-playing and wargaming, by an Old Africa Hand”. The article is interesting and detailed, originally intended to be published as a Space:1889 supplement.

Scheltrum Miniatures have just released several new miniatures in their excellent Ironclad Empires 28mm Victorian science fiction line. From the “Jules Verne” Class French Aerial Torpedo Destroyer to the Self Contained Gas Crystal Super Weapon to Dr. Octopus’s Squid Pirates, Scheltrum can bring your Victorian imagination to life.

The Second Battle of Lake Wittelsbach — Have a look at this exciting retelling of the famous Second Battle of Lake Wittelsbach, pitting our hero, Lieut. James Bigglesworth, Royal Flying Corps, against General Von Hanneken. Good fun and great photos of some nice wargame scratchbuilds.

Seven Wonders of the Ancient WorldDelta 7 Studios features an impressive collection of cardstock models available for purchase on CD. Of particular interest to explorers of Terra Incognita is the series Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The celebrated Hanging Gardens of Babylon is available for free download, with the other six Wonders to follow. The upcoming White House and Nautical Legacy of Robert Fulton models will interest some, while the Space Pulp crowd will delight in Rosie Retrorocket. This series includes several great pulpy spacecraft as well as the Jules Verne Projectile Coach (the original of which, by the bye, was lent by the NAGS Society to the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., though it is cleverly labelled a model).

Shifting Lands is a website with fabulous examples of scratchbuilt wargames terrain. I’ve attempted my own Pirates of the Spanish Main table and 3D islands based on his excellent examples. The Tips & Tricks are useful for modeling any genre.

For a nicely done colonial wargames page with loads of great ideas to steal, have a look at Sir Rand McNally’s Colonial page.

SpaceStation42 free paper toys page — links to a plethora of card model boats, buildings, planes, &c. Many of the sites are non-English (resulting in a lot of question marks in my browser) but one can sort out how to build the models.

Sparks by Cumberland Games (aka S. John Ross) — Paper miniatures as fonts rather than images, allowing you to scale them as you desire. Click on “Downloads” for a free version to try. Again, fantasy, science fiction, and western are the order of the day.

Rob Beattie’s The Steam and the Flame is a cross between Space: 1889 and The Sword and the Flame. The site is inspirational for Victorian science fiction of all stripes.

Reviresco has done it again with another fabulous cardstock creation for VSF: a steam crab. ($10 US for the downloadable pdf.)

Those in the market for animal (modern and prehistoric) and gangster miniatures should check out Steve Barber Models. The 25mm line includes a wonderful collection of fearsome beasties as well as figures from Greek mythology (including a cool hydra and cyclops), gladiators, Mongols, Zulus, and scads of gangsters, cops, and molls in 1920’s attire.

Stone House Miniatures makes a glorious set of Meso-American pyramids for use with 15 or 25mm figures. Next time your Nags are hacking their way through the dense South American jungle, you can really show them what they find.

Tales from GHQ is David Bickley’s online collection of vignettes from various periods of gaming with miniatures. Both the Pulp Adventure and the Nineteenth Century Galleries are inspirational.

Scott Matthews’ Tales of Zimdar site is a particularly useful colonial wargames site, with ideas to borrow, scenarios to adapt, painting advice to follow, and so on.

Tamerthya 25mm Floorplan Gallery features some extremely attractive tiles that can serve as maps for miniatures. Dirk Collins emailed me a list of some of his previous floorplans that might be useful to the Terra Incognita GM: “The dirigible for example, floorplans for the cab of a Hindenberg style passenger balloon, and the vintage cars and trucks... The undersea tiles, the research sub, the sailing ships, the speed boats, the jet skis, the underwater research lab, and two internal floorplan sets for a DC-3 airplane to name a few...” Not to mention various upcoming ruined temples. $9.95 seems extremely fair for a CD chock full of such goodness.

Brett Abbot’s Tanzanica (a colonial campaign using Games Workshop’s Mordheim rules) has a nice section on finding Miniatures for Darkest Africa Gaming. The African History and Culture Resources are also useful.

Gary James’ Terragenesis has long been a scratch-builder’s wonderland of inspirational images and tutorials. He has now allied with the Model Makers Resource to add a store to the website featuring professionally-made scenics as well as tools and materials to build your own.

Terrain Pak 1 — Fields of War — Penguin Labs’ Paper Playground has released Terrain Pak 1—The Fields of War. The $9.00 download gets you a variety of hills, fields, rivers, roads, bridges, hedges, shrubs, fences, walls, and small trees. Create your own world of cardstock.

Timecast produces fabulous buildings for roleplaying with miniatures, wargames, or collectors. The wesite even features a great page of tips for adding details to scenes. carries a wealth of plastic miniatures, from Romans to vikings to pirates. While nothing falls within the TI timeline, strictly speaking, figures like these are great for pickup games or for introducing young folks to wargaming and roleplaying.

Trevor Brabyn’s Colonial Wargaming Page is a treasure trove of expertly-painted figures, house rules based on the Sword and the Flame, and gripping battle reports.

Travel to Afriboria! Rudi Geudens’ Universal General website is a wonderful source of ideas for gaming in the world’s mysterious and exciting corners.

US Toy Company is an online sources for the random necessities that you just know you need.

An answer to all your nefarious needs:! Here you’ll find everything you need to set up shop as a wold-dominating evil mastermind.

VSF in 2mm — Those who like to look at the “big picture” of VSF might be interested in Paul O’Grady’s growing collection of 2mm Victorian science fiction contraptions. Down towards the bottom of the page (at least as I write this) there are also some images from a War of the Worlds game and some great shots of æronefs amongst the Martian pyramids.

War Factory is, quite simply, one of the best sites I have seen for advice on painting miniatures and scratchbuilding scenery.

Wargods of Ægyptus features a prepainted, 28mm scale resin sphinx, a steal at $75.

Whitewash City by Eric Hotz — A detailed, 28mm cut and fold western town based on actual Nineteenth century buildings in Canada. Consists of numerous buildings (bank, saloon, general store, &c.). I built the entire thing and highly recommend it!

World Works produces downloadable pdf cardstock buildings. All fantasy themed, of course — castle, dungeon, village, and cave — but an enterprising GM can always find a use for them. The website has really cool Flash “trailers” for the sets (big downloads but worth the wait, I think).

Richard Johnson and Rattrap Productions have released a free, downloadable cardstock model of a zeppelin gondola interior, designed by Lee Rawcliffe. When one doesn’t worry about modeling the gasbag (and therefore compressing it to fit on a reasonably sized gaming table) it’s amazing to see just how roomy a zeppelin was.

ZombieSmith — If you’re shopping for undead, try ZombieSmith. You’ll find a pleasing assortment of rotting, shambling zombies in friendly 28mm scale.