28mm VSF: Professor Johnstone I Presume….


June 16, 2017 by wargamerchris


I’ve loved 25/28mm Victorian Science Fiction since my youth – growing up around GDW and the initial development of Space 1889 and the Soldier’s Companion miniatures games that pitted colonial troops against martians and other evil and corrupt forces…  great stuff.  (I don’t remember how the Zanzibaris seized the submarine above, but I know they didn’t start the game with it!)

Below the German crew ran afoul of a band of headhunters (NNC standing in, I had just sold off my tribesmen, now safely back in my collection!)



A view from above the middle of the table – the French steamer approaching the dock – Johnstone’s laboratory is the ruined church in the upper right quadrant….



I don’t remember why the British captain had a goat….

Another game for the kids – this one was another 10 player, coalition based game where each played got a faction of one character, one bodyman and a unit of soldiers/ sailors/ agents to help them achieve unique objectives.  Additionally I spread ‘encounter’ crystals around the jungle, so that when a unit touched it, they rolled on a random table of 30 events – leading to treasure, or occasionally to a terribly vicious encounter with wild creatures – like giant spiders, raptors, or headhunters… good fun.

This was a search for Professor Johnstone (a recurrent character in our games now for many years) who has been conducting research at a jungle laboratory far from the governments who are looking for him…

I didn’t get a great shot of the table – a river runs down the middle with several improbable craft on it, and other factions entered from the jungle sides….

It turned out to be a hilariously confused and entertaining game for everyone – these figures are the core of my 25/28mm VSF collection – mostly historical still, though I have a large box of RAFM Space 1889 Martians to paint up somehow.  We didn’t use any real rules- just hits/ saves etc.  The crew were mostly 10-11 years  old, though I’m confident this would work as a great convention game as well….



One thought on “28mm VSF: Professor Johnstone I Presume….

  1. Splendid figures and set up my good man!
    Good show having a central character you can base scenarios around.
    Very inspirational I must give my VSF figures a run…

    Liked by 1 person

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Small Soldiers

I’m a father, soldier, wargamer and traveler. This site is for my kids and to share my work over half a lifetime musing on the history of warriors and the portrayal of their efforts in miniature.  I’ve never really known why I do this

Wargame Rules

Rules I’m gaming with now:

Lions Rampant/ Dragons Rampant
Black Powder
Age of Eagles/ Age of Valor/ Fire and Fury
Force on Force/ Ambush Alley/ Ambush Z!
Hail Caesar
Command Decision: Test of Battle
Battles for Empire 2
Pride of Lions
The Sword and the Flame

Rules I’m Considering:

Sword and Spear/ Sword and Spear Fantasy
Regimental Fire and Fury
Open Combat
Chain of Command
Sharpe Practice 2
Wilderness Wars
Test of Honour
Field of Battle
Pike and Shotte (Warlord)
General de Armee (TFL)
Flames of War – Vietnamese/ WW2

Rules I still need to find to make my life better:

15mm Napoleonic mass battles rules (holy grail)
15mm War of the Spanish Succession mass battle rules
15mm Zombie mass battle rules


Command Decision Test of Battle Forum:


Din of Battle:


Henry Hyde’s Site:


Dan Mersey – author of a couple of rules sets we like:


Miniature Addiction:


Wasatch Front HMGS (Journals):




Big Force on Force (Great modern gaming)


Last Stand Dan:



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