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On This Date / Re: November (2017)
« Last post by Vermin King on November 17, 2017, 10:55:43 AM »
November 17, 1558 Elizabethan Age Begins

Queen Mary I, the monarch of England and Ireland since 1553, dies and is succeeded by her 25-year-old half-sister, Elizabeth.

The two half-sisters, both daughters of King Henry VIII, had a stormy relationship during Mary’s five-year reign. Mary, who was brought up as a Catholic, enacted pro-Catholic legislation and made efforts to restore the pope to supremacy in England. A Protestant rebellion ensued, and Queen Mary imprisoned Elizabeth, a Protestant, in the Tower of London on suspicion of complicity. After Mary’s death, Elizabeth survived several Catholic plots against her; though her ascension was greeted with approval by most of England’s lords, who were largely Protestant and hoped for greater religious tolerance under a Protestant queen. Under the early guidance of Secretary of State Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth repealed Mary’s pro-Catholic legislation, established a permanent Protestant Church of England, and encouraged the Calvinist reformers in Scotland.

In foreign affairs, Elizabeth practiced a policy of strengthening England’s Protestant allies and dividing her foes. Elizabeth was opposed by the pope, who refused to recognize her legitimacy, and by Spain, a Catholic nation that was at the height of its power. In 1588, English-Spanish rivalry led to an abortive Spanish invasion of England in which the Spanish Armada, the greatest naval force in the world at the time, was destroyed by storms and a determined English navy.

With increasing English domination at sea, Elizabeth encouraged voyages of discovery, such as Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the world and Sir Walter Raleigh’s expeditions to the North American coast.

The long reign of Elizabeth, who became known as the “Virgin Queen” for her reluctance to endanger her authority through marriage, coincided with the flowering of the English Renaissance, associated with such renowned authors as William Shakespeare. By her death in 1603, England had become a major world power in every respect, and Queen Elizabeth I passed into history as one of England’s greatest monarchs.

For the model I'm going to use Canon's Tower of London,  Not only had she been imprisoned there, but she used it as the Royal Residence until just prior to her coronation.  As most of her residences no longer exist, and have not been guessed at by paper model designers, this is as close to her residence as possible, to my knowledge.

On January 15, 1559, Elizabeth I was crowned Queen by Owen Oglethorpe, bishop of Carlisle at Westminster Abbey, a little less than two months after the death of Mary I. The total cost of the celebrations, excluding the coronation banquet was £16,741, which according to one calculation would equal about £3.5 million today. Like her predecessors, Elizabeth knew the importance of a good show, especially for a new monarch who needed to re-affirm her right to her crown.

Three days earlier, Elizabeth resided at the Tower of London and on the 14th made the procession to Westminster. Along the way were various displays and pageants for Elizabeth's entertainment. On the night of the 14th, she spent the night at the Palace of Westminster, which was just a short walking distance from the Westminster Abbey. The next day, the 15th, Elizabeth walked in procession to the Abbey for the coronation on the date chosen by Dr. John Dee, who besides being a mathematician and Greek scholar, was also an astrologer. For the procession, Elizabeth walked on a blue carpet that ran from the palace to the abbey, which was torn up by souvenir seekers after the Queen walked past. The ceremony of the coronation was much as it had been for Elizabeth’s predecessors, but with a few significant alterations to the religious aspects of the service. The coronation mass now included readings in English and Latin for the Epistle and Gospel and she retreated to a curtained area in St. Edward’s Chapel during the elevation of the host. After the coronation, Elizabeth walked from the Abbey to Westminster Hall for the traditional coronation banquet, a custom that ended with the coronation of George IV in 1821.
On This Date / Re: November (2017)
« Last post by Vermin King on November 16, 2017, 11:35:34 AM »
November 16, 1821 Becknell Opens Trade on Santa Fe Trail

On this day, Missouri Indian trader William Becknell arrives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, sells his goods at an enormous profit, and makes plans to return the next year over the route that will become known as the Santa Fe Trail.

Pure luck made Becknell the first businessman to revive the American trade with Santa Fe. Fearing American domination of the region, the Spanish had closed their Southwest holdings to foreigners following the Pike expedition more than a decade earlier. They threw the few traders who violated the policy into prison and confiscated their goods. However, Becknell and other merchants continued to trade with the Indians on the American-controlled eastern slope of the southern Rockies. While on such an expedition in the fall of 1821, Becknell encountered a troop of Mexican soldiers. They informed Becknell that they had recently won their independence in a war with Spain, and the region was again open to American traders. Becknell immediately sped to Santa Fe, where he found a lucrative market for his goods, and his saddlebags were heavy with Mexican silver when he returned to his base in Franklin, Missouri.

The next summer Becknell traveled to Santa Fe again, this time with three wagonloads of goods. Instead of following the old route that passed over a dangerous high pass, however, Becknell blazed a shorter and easier cutoff across the Cimarron Desert. Thus, while much of the route he followed had been used by Mexican traders for decades, Becknell’s role in reopening the trail and laying out the short-cut earned him the title of “Father of the Santa Fe Trail.” It became one of the most important and lucrative of the Old West trading routes; merchants and other travelers continued to follow the trail blazed by Becknell until the arrival of trains in the late 1870s.

For the model, I'm going with Fiddlers Green's Freight Wagon,

I'm still ticked off at the city of Independence.  The Weston Wagon Shop & Blacksmith building was still standing on Kansas Avenue in the 1970's, but they tore it down to make a larger parking lot for the Farmer's Market.  The wagons would 'head out' down Kansas Avenue heading west.  That goes for all three trails:  Santa Fe, California and Oregon.  Various estimates have the Weston Shop supplying between 40% and 55% of the wagons used on the westward migration on the trails.  That's pretty significant historically.  Shoot, they could have turned it into restrooms or an office or something.  Since then, the Farmer's Market has been moved to a different location, and all that's left is a parking lot with a bronze plaque telling about the historic building they tore down
Builds in Progress / Re: Zoe's Christmas Playset
« Last post by Vermin King on November 16, 2017, 09:45:14 AM »
I think she will have fun with it until the dogs eat Santa
Builds in Progress / Re: Zoe's Christmas Playset
« Last post by Dave Winfield on November 16, 2017, 09:26:24 AM »
The icicles hanging from the eaves really add a lot to each building.
if anything, I would lengthen and enlarge the icicles.
Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.
The characters look great!
Builds in Progress / Zoe's Christmas Playset
« Last post by Vermin King on November 15, 2017, 09:06:19 PM »
We have quite a few old, old, old Christmas decorations from when my son was little and even from my childhood, and my step-granddaughter Zoe wondered if we had anything she could play with.

Enter Grandpa with all sorts of nonsense on my hard drive

The defunct Disney Spoonful site had a Christmas Village which fits the bill, sort of.

A really bizarre thing. It's a backdrop for the Christmas Village Characters. It's actually one building. Not sure why they would make the two outer buildings low profile, but have the middle building extend back almost as far as the whole thing is wide.  So not exactly a backdrop

I built it, just to see how awful it was.


It is clever in a way, but could be a lot better.

Started by enlarging Santa's Workshop

Successful enough to proceed. Now the characters were gigantic, so I reduced the reindeer to 65% and the other characters to 57% to be closer to the scale of the doors on the buildings. They also needed stouter bases. So, in the next photo, I've got the original building with the reduced characters


But I'm guessing she would rather play with this


The trees are from the Cardboard Warriors Christmas Hoard of 2012. The figure bases are from Kev's Lounge (repainted). The two smaller buildings actually fit inside the larger building, with room for the trees and figures, allowing for less storage space throughout the year
On This Date / Re: November (2017)
« Last post by Vermin King on November 15, 2017, 01:00:11 PM »
November 15, 1859 Final Installment of Tale of Two Cities

On this day in 1859, Charles Dickens’ serialized novel, A Tale of Two Cities, comes to a close, as the final chapter is published in Dickens’ circular, All the Year Round.

Dickens was born in 1812 and attended school in Portsmouth. His father, a clerk in the navy pay office, was thrown in debtors’ prison in 1824, and 12-year-old Charles was sent to work in a factory. The miserable treatment of children and the institution of the debtors’ jail became topics of several of Dickens’ novels.

In his late teens, Dickens became a reporter and started publishing humorous short stories when he was 21. In 1836, a collection of his stories,  Sketches by Boz, was published. The same year, he married Catherine Hogarth, with whom he would have nine children.

The success of Dicken’s first work of fiction, Sketches by Boz, later known as The Pickwick Papers was soon reproduced with Oliver Twist (1838) and Nicholas Nickleby (1839). In 1841, Dickens published two more novels, then spent five months in the United States, where he was welcomed as a literary hero. Dickens never lost momentum as a writer, churning out major novels every year or two, often in serial form. Among his most important works are David Copperfield(1850), Great Expectations (1861), and A Tale of Two Cities (1859).

Beginning in 1850, he published his own weekly circular of fiction, poetry, and essays called  Household Words. He folded the circular in 1859 and launched another, All the Year Round, which included the first chapter of A Tale of Two Cities. In 1858, Dickens separated from his wife and began a long association with a young actress. He gave frequent readings, which became immensely popular. He died in 1870 at the age of 58, with his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, still unfinished.

Spoilers!  For the model, let's go with Tektonten's guillotine,

As if anyone out of 8th grade hasn't had to read the book...
On This Date / Re: November (2017)
« Last post by Vermin King on November 14, 2017, 12:03:45 PM »
November 14, 1994 1st Trains for Public Run in English Channel Tunnel

Tunnelling commenced in 1988, and the tunnel began operating in 1994.  A two-inch (50-mm) diameter pilot hole allowed the service tunnel to break through without ceremony on 30 October 1990.  Eurotunnel completed the tunnel on time, and the tunnel was officially opened one year later than originally planned by Queen Elizabeth II and the French president, François Mitterrand, in a ceremony held in Calais on 6 May 1994.

You can find the model of the Shuttle in original livery at
Well, you can see a photo of the model in the original livery, but he changed the model to the le Shuttle livery.  Darn
Member Introductions and Information / Re: Hello from Henderson, Nevada!
« Last post by Dave Winfield on November 13, 2017, 05:33:19 PM »
yup, feel free to share builds, chat, ask questions, or whatever.

Member Introductions and Information / Re: Hello from Henderson, Nevada!
« Last post by Burning Beard on November 13, 2017, 03:04:42 PM »
This is a great place to hang out, make sure you check the On this date thread.

On This Date / Re: November (2017)
« Last post by Vermin King on November 13, 2017, 01:51:42 PM »
November 13, 1971 Mariner 9 Orbits Mars

Mariner 9 became the first spacecraft to orbit another planet.  It sent photos back to Earth for over a year before it was turned off.

During her one-year mission, Mariner 9 took over seven thousand images, covering 100% of the Martian surface, and unveiling never-before-seen features on the red planet, including Olympus Mons (the largest volcano in the Solar System), and Valles Marineris, which was named after the Spacecraft in its honor.

Forty years after launch, Mariner 9 remains in Mars orbit, her fuel having long run out. She will continue to orbit the red planet until sometime after 2022, when she is expected to burn up in atmosphere or smash into the Martian surface.
... Bryan Tan
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