Why have I started down this road? Well, it's several peoples fault* really. As I've already aluded Herge is my primary motivator for all of this, as his stories are the ones that truly stuck with me. As I grew older I dabbled in the world of historical reenactment (to various degrees of accuracy). However, I hit upon a few problems...very basic problems: "accuracy versus creativity" and "politics".
Politics is an easy one to explain really. I don't feel comfortable hanging about with folks who feel comfortable dressing up in an SS uniform...simple as that. Since I'm a historian by nature and training I know why folks who got all pumped up dressing as Templers gave me that same odd feeling.
The other issue is ever so slightly more complicated I think...perhaps not, but it seems so to me. The groups that can document every aspect of their impression are, I think, amazing. However, at times this rigidity can stifle creative expression. not that that is a major problem if the groups purpose is education, and logically an accurate display trumps these other concerns. One option, for those of us with a creative bent is to reenact an under-researched pre-industrial era...loads of creative freedom there. But, that bothered me greatly when the public was concerned...they don't understand that we are speculating, and take things at face value.
So what was needed was a fictional setting in which I could be creative and "reenact" without misleading anyone...but place like this don't exist do they?
At about this time I came across several sites that would in time inspire me greatly. The first was Berget and that got me curious...but I'm not that excited by airsoft and strikes me that some of the folks who are (especially those into military simulations) are a bit "Waltish". The "Inquisitiontrupp 23" was anther group that I ran across around that time. Aside from being not a huge fan of GW I still think that this is a fantastic group and I'm impressed with what they have created. More photos of their work is available here.
The real problem with all of this was the time frame...Berget was roughly contemporary and the Inquisitiontrupp was science fiction. Neither of these are eras that really grabbed my interest. It was about then that I uncovered Despatches from Syldavia and remembered my earlier interest in Herge's work.
Hopefully in time I will create something that can inspire others...and hopefully it will be a fun trip.
*fault being the wrong word here...inspiration is better I suspect.