(Kept in Memory of Spyros Koumousis)
Since before your Sun burned hot in Space, Richard Houston, has been playing with--and making--war
games figures and models. For some thirty years, he produced miniatures of weapons, vehicles, and especially artillery. However, like the Sorcerer's Apprentice,
once he gets started on something, he just won't stop!
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Hand-built, fully finished ship models for gaming and collecting.
Boilers And Breechloaders, riverine and coastal naval warfare rules to accompany these Gunboat
and other models, is now available from TVAG in its FOURTH Edition, and in both Print and PDF formats. War gamers now have
a definitive game system for rating and using any Gunboat models in their Colonial era games. Further, these rules are perfectly
compatible with the classic The Sword And The Flame 20th Anniversary Edition, and the Colonial Campaign rules,
The Sun Never Sets, also available on TVAG's "Rules" Page.
Richard has produced many Gunboats specifically designed for war gaming over the years, but finally went
into full scale production almost 40 years ago, having sold any number of his creations to collectors and gamers who sought
him out and are now proud to have an original "Houston" on their mantles or in their collection of
war game accessories.
All Houston's Gunboats are waterline models built on thick pine hulls. Superstructures are basswood and
foam board, with metal fittings, sometimes printed card stock textures, and fully painted. Most ships come with weapons, and
some with complete crews. These are heavily built and with reasonable care will last a lifetime of gaming. Indeed, upon
"retirement" each could proudly move to the display case or mantle.
The models are "one of a kind," built with gaming in mind, having removable decks, roofs and other details
for easy access to interior play-spaces.
Richard has finally decided it's time to close up the
Commission side of his ship building career. At 84, he fears he's becoming too slow and has to rework too many
details to be able to deliver the same quality workmanship in the same good speed as he has for so many years.
However, modeling so much a part of his life, he can't allow himself to lie about idly--his hands won't
stand for it!
Consequently, he is still making models constantly, but now they're
projects that strike his own fancy,
ships that he wants to build without having to look over his shoulder either at the clock or the calendar. And when he's
satisfied, and ready to move on to the next, his handiwork will still go up for sale here, and at the same sort
of prices as before. He's paid his bills, he doesn't do this to feed Mary, the dog, cat, or his relations, so it's what he
thinks fair and depends on the nature of the model--which is to say, not all that different from the way he's
always done things!
So, if you didn't get around to asking for that gunboat to beat up the Irrawaddy to romp with
the dacoits, I'm afraid you're own your own so far as Richard Houston is concerned.
Of course if he turns one out that still fills your bill, then dive on it while you can!
And, allowing for our current embarrassment concerning our temporary loss of our work
space for the Casting Suite (see the FYI on the Home Page) we do still have
"Houston's Naval Guns and Ship Fittings" exclusively available from TVAG. These have always made
scratch building your vessels far easier, anyway, and perhaps now you may find it more likely in the future.
The Models Currently Available
54mm Steam Launch
Another change of pace project, this one aimed at collectors
and war gamers who appreciate the joys of the original Toy
Soldiers, those in 1:32 scale, or 54mm.
While this model does not include the Britain's Gun and
Soldiers (included here to help establish size), the photo
clearly shows it will accommodate similar armament and
crew/passengers. Perfect for some up-river business in Africa or Asia, this
model can be utilized in several ways. In games like Funny
Little Wars , such a steam launch (or "Pinnace") can be used
for towing barges of troops crossing broad waters, or landing
on enemy shores.
The hull is made of pine and basswood, while the boiler is
partly metal, has a tall brass funnel, with wheel and anchor also
metal. Though the flagstaff flies British Colors, practically any
flag can be requested at the buyer's choice and supplied
printed in the same 1:32 scale at no extra charge.
If this model stirs up enough interest, Richard might make
other models in the same "Collector's" scale, but still within
a War Gamer's budget!
Richard Houston personally guarantees to refund the purchase price
(minus postage) if anyone is not satisfied with his product and returns it in saleable condition.
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All text, photos, and artwork are COPYRIGHT©2003 by Patrick Wilson.
They may not be used without written permission.
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