Gisby's Gaming Blog

SPACE 1889: A German walker

I am a big fan of the SPACE 1889 rules and setting. They had role-playing rules, tabletop battle rules, plus aerial and naval rules. They combined Victorian and Barsoomian elements well, and deserved to be far more popular than they were. Even now, 20 years later they still have a following.

I’ll admit, in places the rules weren’t great, but in others they were teriffic.

Where they shone, was in background. The rules themselves were followed by a bunch of reasonably priced sourcebooks, each with background material a-plenty and a really crappy scenario.

REALLY crappy. They were interesting, but totally channeled: Nothing the players did could make a difference.

If they caught all the villains, another villain would blow up the ship.; If they jumped ship before then, they could successfully evade capture for up to 7 days, then they WOULD be captured.

There was always only one route to take, and one solution. But I digress….

‘Soldier’s Companion’ (the battle rules) had great photos of battles between British and German troops, and of course between Europeans and Martians. And of course there were ‘Land Ironclads’ and ‘Walkers’.

This is my attempt at a walker.

The cab is made from Lego blocks, assembled and turned upside down, with a plastic roof added.

Doors and hatches are also plastic card, with hinges & handles made from wire. The ventilator on the roof is a the head of a 2-part rivet.

Round ports and frames were done with hole punches, and the front window frame was plastic strip from the model shop.

Rivets were punched from plastic with a leather stitching punch, and glued in place one at a time.

NB: Lego are not made from styrene, so model cement does not work on them. All the parts were crazy-glued in place.

The housing below the cab, and on the rear are just different Lego pieces. (so I didn’t have to worry about making anything square) The machine-gun and smoke stack are plastic sprue & wire.

The housing is glued to a sandwich made of several (detestable) slotta-bases. (So I’ve found a use for 3)

The wheels on the side were rolling wheels from a Lindberg snap-together Iosef Stalin III kit. They are on a coat-hanger wire axle, also glued to the underside of the housing. On the right hand side in front of the wheels is the base of a 2-part rivet, just to add interest.

The legs are made from coat-hanger wire, bent at the ‘knee’ and glued into the slotta-base sandwich. The bends, and the joint are disguised by sections of plastic tube, with sprue sticking out of the ends.

The ‘knee’ actually has a slot in the side, and was forced down onto the bend: The bit sticking up is NOT the leg below..

The ‘feet’ are SPACE 1889 flying bases with rivets added. The peg is rounded at the top, and has plastic disks cut with hole punches covering the join.

I painted it grey, added some lettering & weathering, and put it on a shelf. sigh…..

If we ignore the fact that a three-legged vehicle just doesn’t work, it’s a fearsome piece of German technology.



  1. […] Where they shone, was in background. The rules themselves were followed by a bunch of reasonably priced sourcebooks, each with background material a-plenty and a really crappy scenario. More… […]

    Pingback by SPACE 1889: A German walker « Gisby’s Gaming Blog — December 1, 2008 @ 21:16

  2. I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it.
    I’ve got you book marked to check out new stuff you post…

    Comment by yoga Class Manchester — October 9, 2012 @ 14:16

  3. Very nice work, Gisbs! I’m just a bit jealous. : )

    Comment by Keith — July 9, 2015 @ 12:54

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