The Caribbean’s Hidden Paradise!

costa guano poster
Visit the Caribbean's Hidden Paradise, Costa Guano! (View Larger on Flickr by clicking the image)
[M]ore pulp graphic lunacy via Inkscape and the peculiar inside of my skull. This time it’s a travel poster to that oft-forgotten tropical hellhole paradise, The Republic of Costa Guano, which with it’s various neighbours will, eventually, form the background for some pulp/Banana Wars games and pulp adventure lunacy.

“Costa Guano” is, I think, a name originally used in a Joseph Conrad novel I haven’t actually read, but it’s too good a joke to pass up. Pulp steamers and their adventuring crews on the swampy coasts; exiled gangsters and foreign agents skulking in the fetid, dangerous capital Montón De Guano; Lost Worlds in the unmapped jungle-shrouded interior; Banana Wars and uprisings… all these and more are possibly taking place right now in exciting Costa Guano. Book your zeppelin ticket from Miami (with stopover in Havana) today!

45A 2nd Edition Demo out!

[R]attrap Productions has just released the demo PDF of .45 Adventures 2nd Edition!

There’s a 22 page set of demo rules which include the full movement, combat, wound, vehicle, explosive and flying rules, as well as enough Archetypes to build some characters and teams to test the new shiny out.

There’s also a draft copy of the 2nd Edition Special Abilities PDF, with a good selection of the skills & special abilities that’ll be available in 2nd Ed.

More later perhaps when I’ve had a chance to look it over properly and build a character or two! Short version is that I like what I see, lots of streamlining and good tweaks to an already great system.

Full release of the rules is pencilled in for mid-March, apparently.

Shoreline or River Bank Terrain Pieces

shoreline june 2009
Two feet of riverbank/shoreline, the original two from summer 2009. On the right, a 28mm hunter and a 28mm sabre-tooth tiger on a 20mm by 40mm base. Click for full-size image.
These riverbanks or shorelines made from picture-framing board (mattboard). I did the first set back in 2009 and another batch in the winter of 2010. They’re designed to form one edge of a playing board, especially on the 2’x2′ playing areas common to .45 Adventures. One of the really nice things about games like 45A that encourage smaller playing areas is that terrain projects become a whole lot more managable — no more having to crank out eight feet of river just to have enough to be usable on the table!
Each segment is 12″ (1 foot) long and 5″ deep, 4″ of river and 1″ of banks. The banks are the same mattboard as the rest, to keep them as low-profile as possible. The painting is black and two colours of blue, damp-blended right on the card. I tried to keep the edges mostly matched while painting the pieces. The water portions then got about six or so coats of acrylic gloss varnish so they looked like water. If I was going to paint them again, I’d do the water areas a greener shade with less black, as is often seen in murky jungle rivers.
Continue reading Shoreline or River Bank Terrain Pieces

Gallery: Shipyard Photos for Inspiration

Another revival from the old Brian’s Wargame Pages version of the site, and one that I should have brought forward ages ago! You can see the Esquimalt Drydock on Google Maps for a sense of scale that wasn’t available ten years ago when I first posted the photos. — Brian, 22 Feb 2011

In the summer of 2001 I was roommates with a guy who worked in the drydock here in town. He turned into a real asshole after being laid off, but while he was still working he gave me a tour of the yard. I brought my camera, and these pics should inspire people looking for new industrial modern or SF scenery projects!

One thing that would be very difficult to reproduce on the gaming table, except maybe in 6mm, would be the sheer scale of the place. I didn’t have my wide-angle lens with me, so I didn’t even try for some real area photos. The drydock itself is 1100 feet long; the two big cranes pictured below are several hundred feet tall. There were two fair-sized ships in the drydock when I was there, and they could have accomodated a third with no difficulty. And this isn’t even that big a drydock, by maritime engineering standards. The ones that can accomodate nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are even bigger…

Wargamers interested in industrial scenery or future-tech industrial landscapes (Necromunda style) should find plenty of inspiration here! Even if you can’t reproduce the scale, the clutter, details and fixtures should provide some ideas.

Click any image below for a (slightly) larger view. Keep in mind these are refugees from the Old Web, when 600px wide was a Big Image.

1920’s Egypt in colour

A woman sits with her fruits for sale. Photo Credit: Gervais Courtellemont and W. Robert Moore for National Geographic
A woman sits with her fruits for sale. Photo Credit: Gervais Courtellemont and W. Robert Moore for National Geographic

Egypt, much in the news today as it was in the 1920s when these pictures were taken, is the focus of this photo collection: Egypt in the 1920’s in colour (from How to be a Retronaut). in 1919 a major revolution had occurred, which led to a unilateral declaration of Egyptian independence in 1922 by the British government, which in turn led to the successive revolutions of 1952 and 2011. Actions begetting actions. Despite that, the Egypt of these pictures appears little changed by the millenia of history that have washed over it.

Once you are done, I suggest you see SatNav c. 1930 and the wonderfully-human Australian criminals of the 1920s. Lastly, have a wander through their entire 20s and 30s sections for glimpses at a past gone.

Sci-fi Signage

Note: These signs are Brian’s work from the old Warbard. One day they may be recreated in Inkscape and SVG — Corey

This zip file contains two very detailed, 1200dpi images in Adobe Photoshop PSD format, with lots of varied industrial & safety signs to decorate your industrial scenery and buildings.

Continue reading Sci-fi Signage

Pulp Design Tools & Resources, Part Three: Inspiration

Infection Is Avoided...
A 1930s WPA job-safety poster. Via x-ray_delta_one on Flickr.

A necessarily brief, personal and idiosyncratic tour through some websites with noteworthy archives of 1920s/30s posters, postcards, luggage tags and other graphics. Some photos, some stuff that’s technically outside our chosen era but still cool, and far too short, but enjoy, be inspired, and get a feel for the graphics of the pulp era!

Part One of this series introduced Inkscape. Part Two talked about design, typography & fonts.

The American Library of Congress WPA Posters collection, part of their American Memory project, is huge but not that easy to navigate. Start with the Collection Highlights tour, then just start hitting random keywords or subjects to find gems like Yellowstone Park posters, injunctions to clean up your trash, and even hippos. The WPA was the Works Progress Administration, part of the whole New Deal aimed at keeping Americans employed and maintaining national morale during the Great Depression. There was a whole wing of the WPA dedicated to encouraging the arts, including the graphic arts. Hence the really cool posters.
Continue reading Pulp Design Tools & Resources, Part Three: Inspiration