The Thugee’s Bronze

This sculpted bas-relief is by Bob Murch of Pulp Figures fame, and is included in his Mad Guru set of Thugee. I own most (possibly all, I’ve lost track) of the PF Thugee packs; they’re among my favourite figures from Mr. Murch and regularly appear in our Pulp Alley games. (Thugee previously on the Warbard here and here!)

kali

A bronze bas-relief of Kali, Hindu goddess of death, change and rebirth. Click for larger, as usual.

The bronze relief, though, has sat around unpainted and ignored for at least a year until it fell into the current round of “clear off the painting bench” mania! The main colour is GW Dwarf Bronze over a grey primer, then a coat of GW Gryphonne Sepia wash/ink. A very, very thinned green ink over that for a bit of verdigris here and there, and finally a few highlights back with straight Dwarf Bronze. (Note that all my GW paints & washes are from the previous range, not the current GW paint/wash range, and I’m afraid I have no idea what the current equivalents of these colours are!)

The base is just a scrap of plastic sheet and a bit of Milliput with some flagstones scratched into the putty to tie it in with the flagstones already on the pewter. The whole thing has come out very nicely, and really shows off the incredible details of the piece, with the six-armed Kali with her necklace of skulls, skirt of human hands and forearms, and one foot on the body of her consort Shiva. (Good stuff on this Wikipedia article about Kali, btw.) Mr. Murch did his homework!

The Workbench This Week, 29 May 2014

Quick overhead snapshot of the painting bench recently. As you might have guessed from recent posts, I’ve been in a “clear the decks” sort of mood, finally finishing off a number of smallish projects that have sat around ignored and dusty for too long, some of them over a year…

workbench

The workbench this week. Lots of stuff going on, see text for details!

Clockwise from the top left we have (deep breath…) a batch of nine Pulp Figures thugs, two-bit crooks and menacing bystanders; a quartet of Baby Crocs for fantasy football from Impact Miniatures; a lady in a blue dress obviously being held captive by a gang of terrifying savages (Pulp Figures again); three twisted and disturbing stone monoliths intended as markers for a friend’s Chaos team in Blood Bowl (previously); Phantom Ace, Pulp Girl and little Lillie Poots from Statuesque Miniatures; some extra bases I whipped up with Milliput and pennies, one of which has an unprimed cobra in a basket on it from Pulp Figures…

Central to the whole assembly in their hospital-green robes, we have six Frothing Lunatics from Statuesque. (previously…)

Across the foreground from bottom right, we have a really, really massive Warg from Reaper Miniatures, being painted up as a quasi-supernatural Terror to inflict on people in games of Pulp Alley; a dino skull and some bones being done up as Blood Bowl markers for my Lizardman/Crocodilian team; the previously-mentioned finally completed pulp-era luggage and the Kali bronze; a quartet of light deck guns from Pulp Figures suitable to arm all manner of vessel or vehicle; three more Blood Bowl markers made of Renedra plastic barrels intended for my brother’s Scotling team.

Finally, last but not least, clipped into the two wooden clothspins (useful things to keep around a hobby bench!) there’s a pair of spiked footballs from Impact Miniatures. Blood Bowl again, obviously.

This assembly is only slightly tarted up and organized for the photo, everything here really is in progress or was recently finished and it really has been getting that crowded on my painting bench the last while. It’ll be satisfying to get more stuff completely finished, into storage and more importantly, onto the table and into use!

Lost Luggage Turns Up!

More months ago than I care to admit, I bought some really neat pulp-era 28mm luggage in resin from Slug Industries. I prepped and primed the first batch of the stuff, got some paint on it, then it sat around the edges of my painting bench for the next… thirteen months or so until just this week I finally finished it, as part of a badly-needed get stuff off the bench session!

luggage

Pulp luggage! Click for larger, as usual.

Several of the smaller pieces I’ve based together; the bases are pennies with a thin smear of Milliput on them that I’ve roughly sculpted into flagstones or cobbles. The larger trunks I’ve left as-is; they’re big enough not to be particularly fussy scenery pieces. Scale provided by a pair of Pulp Figures 28mm reporters in the above photo; the grid on the cutting matt is 1/4″.

There’s also some fun stuff in the background, but more on that soon enough!

I’ve got another two full sets of this luggage in my bin o’ bits, having ordered three sets from Phil last March. I might have to pull another set out sometime soon and get started on it… and hopefully it’ll take me less than thirteen months to finish the next batch…

Lizards & Lunatics

Had two small orders come in last week. I have been saving money for an epic bike vacation to Europe in a few months (Vienna, Austria to Nantes, France over six weeks!) and not ordering much new stuff for wargaming the last few months, which is one of several reasons it’s been quiet around here. Nevertheless, some new stuff comes in every so often!

The first order was from Impact Miniatures, all Blood Bowl/fantasy football related stuff. A set of three block dice, two of their football markers, and eight more Baby Crocs – Skinks, basically, for their Sarcos Crocodile team, which I bought last year.

The footballs are neat. I haven’t confirmed with Impact, but I’m pretty sure they’re 3D-printed – they’re a slightly flexible resin-like stuff, with a large spike-adorned football and a ring/loop so you can hang the football of a figure’s arm or around their neck or shoulder when they’re carrying the ball. Imagine the sort of cheap charm ring you get in Christmas crackers, except in white resin and with a spiked football instead of a fake jewel. It’s a great idea for Blood Bowl or other fantasy football games and a much easier way to show which figure has the ball than the freestanding individual balls, which can be awkward to balance on some figure bases.

I already have eight Baby Crocs, so why double the local population? So I can proxy Baby Crocs as Halflings and field a BB team of Croclings, mostly! I’ve heard that Halflings are a challenging team to use and don’t expect them to win much, but what the heck, they’ll be entertaining. Corey also has a team of Impact’s Scotlings (Halfings in kilts with cabers) so a Scotling-vs-Crocling matchup should be entertaining.

I’ll also be using a few of the extra Baby Crocs as auxiliary figures for my existing Sarcos team. Cheer-crocs with greenstuff pompoms added to their hands, maybe an apothecary-croc with a barrel of go-juice to get injured players back on the pitch, that sort of thing – the fun, oddball sideline figures that round out a BB team.

Oh, and for the Treemen on the Croclings team, I’ll probably pick up a pair of these Reaper Bones Spirit of the Forest figures and convert them a bit as swamp-flavoured Treemen. Like the Impact Trollcast resin figures, the Reaper Bones plastic resin figures are a great thing, nice figures in easy-to-convert material for a very good price!

The other order is from Statuesque Miniatures in the UK, and as oddball as the Impact order was, this order was definitely crazier. Crazed, in fact, and lunatic, as it included six Frothing Loonies, a small girl, and a pulp hero & heroine! All part of a special introductory bundle deal Statuesque had put on back in the first week of March.

4apr

Lunatics & Heroes. 28mm figures from Statuesque. Head sprues for the lunatics at the bottom, headless lunatic bodies, then (L to R at top) Lillie, Pulp Girl & Phantom Ace. Click for larger, as always.

The six loonies have three different bodies and a sprue of six heads. Because I got two packs of three figures each, I have two of each body and two full sprues of heads, so I have half a dozen spare lunatic heads now – fodder for converting other figures, perhaps! The bodies are in hospital robes (yes, they’re all partially open at the back, in proper hospital robe style…) and have shackles on their wrists. The heads look suitably lunatic, and most have obvious scars across their shaved heads where diabolical, insanity-causing surgery was undoubtedly been performed by mad doctors!

The small girl is Lillie Poots, who wanders the world curious and unafraid, her path lit by the large lantern she holds up in one hand.

The pulp hero is Phantom Ace, a large man in flying leathers, helmet and goggles, with a pair of automatic pistols, one in each hand. Pulp Girl, his crimefighting companion, is a slender teenage girl with some sort of mystical or weird-science apparatus on one wrist and hand.

All the Statuesque figures are very cleanly sculpted and beautifully cast, with hardly a mold line or casting vent mark to be seen. The adult figures are bulky 28mm, sized to go with Pulp Figures, Copplestone and other common pulp lines. The only downside to them is they’re all designed to fit on slottabases, which I strongly dislike – my Blood Bowl teams are the only figures I own that I mount on slottas. I’ll be snipping the mounting bars off all of these figures and putting them on pennies or other flat bases to match my existing pulp collection. That aside, they’re lovely figures and I’ll be keeping an eye on Statuesque in the future as they expand their pulp ranges – I believe they’re going to be adding asylum staff and other asylum denizens at some point.

A Motor Yacht, Part Four

Just to prove that there really is progress being made around here, despite the relative quiet on the blogging front, here’s a fairly bad late night photo of the motor yacht, with it’s second coat of white paint applied!

boat

Motor yacht, with paint on it! Click for full size.

Because of the board expanses of plain, untextured surfaces on this thing, and the tendency of those broad expanses to show brush strokes really well, I’m using very diluted paint, pretty much just using layers of washes to get colour onto the thing. It means a couple of coats to get a good colour, but also no visible brush strokes!

I’m going to do the bow and rear decks dark, glossy wood, and then pick out the railings and other details either in white or in brass — haven’t decided which yet.

A Motor Yacht, Part Three

Slow but steady progress on the 28mm pulp motor yacht. I hit it with a light coat of grey primer, to better show the seams and bits that needed additional putty and sanding work — that sort of thing shows up so much better under a thin coat of primer than it does in the blindingly-white bare plastic!

I’ve re-done the edge of the bow deck around the curve of the bow, and several areas on the cabin roof and around the flying bridge. Here’s a pair of low-res after dark images showing the boat in it’s current state.

boat1

Easier to take photos of now it’s not blinding white, too. Low quality image, but click for larger.

The cabin roof/flying bridge assembly is still removable, and I glued a 1.25″ washer to the roof then skinned over it with another layer of styrene plastic. With that ballast and reinforcement, the roof is a lot more solid and stays in place much more easily. It also visually makes the boat seem more solid, somehow.

boat2

Stern quarter view. Low quality image but click for slightly larger.

The rear view shows the cabin door and the ladder up to the flying bridge. The three round windows started out with a hand-spun drill bit, then got carefully and slowly reamed out with a sharp Xacto blade. I thought about doing window frames or something around them, but ultimately decided the boat would have to manage without in the interests of my own sanity!

Second, proper coat of primer tonight, then paint later this week. The paint scheme is going to be pretty simple — white hull and walls, glossy wooden decking — so it should be fairly quick to paint up.

A Motor Yacht, Part Two

Part One is here, for those of you just joining in. The project is a small 28mm motor yacht for pulp gaming, based loosely on real motor yachts from early in the 20th C and built entirely out of styrene plastic sheet, because I have a lot of it hanging around!

I finally got the hull sides done this weekend, using one long strip of .020″ styrene plastic per side. To accommodate the slight rake of the hull side and the curve of the bow, I cut the strips slightly too wide and wider toward the bow of the boat. After gluing one side at a time, I trimmed the thin plastic down with knife and sandpaper to match the actual lines of the boat.

boat1

Adding the hull sides. Right-hand side glued all the way to the bow but not trimmed; left side glued along the stern and cabin. Click for larger.

The stern and cabin area was simpler, except for being careful where the curve was placed that fits the higher bow deck into the hull side. Initial glue was quick-acting Plastruct Bondene solvent; after that set up I used superglue along the bottom seam to strengthen it.

boat2

Boat from the stern quarter, with cabin roof in place. Door frame and ladder in progress. Click for larger.

I’ve also gotten panelling into the cabin (see the first photo), door frames on either side of the door at the rear of the cabin, and started in on the ladder up to the flying bridge on the cabin roof.

boat3

Boat from bow quarter. Lots of putty work and detailing to do, but it’s structurally complete! Click for larger.

There’s a large amount of cleanup and detailing needed with Milliput and modelling putty to get everything cleaned up and smoothed out, a bunch more details to add, then the first spraycoat of primer to show up any glitches and things that still need to be fixed. The cabin roof needs some weight on it to get it to sit properly on the cabin walls; the seams all need cleaning up, especially around the bow deck and the bow itself; and I might yet put another layer of styrene down on the bow deck, as the single layer there currently is quite thin and I worry about it standing up to the wear and tear of gaming and transport.

Still, it’s great to have the major structural parts of the boat complete!

A Long-Neglected Project Gets Dusted Off

Back in the long-lost days of mid-2009 (OK, four years back…) a contest called “Build Something” was held over on the excellent Lead Adventure Forum, with the contest theme of “Transportation”. I decided to build a small motor yacht/large powerboat sort of boat for pulp gaming, taking inspiration from and got as far as cutting the base of the hull, the cabin walls and the sides of the stern out of styrene plastic before inspiration fled and I moved on to other projects.

boat plan

The now-lost original plan, from October 2009. Click for larger.

Lots of other projects, in the intervening years, but I never actually threw out the barely-started boat, it just gathered dust and got used as an impromptu container for scrap wood and other bits. Late last week I finally got around to cleaning up my long-neglected hobby bench, didn’t feel like painting, and decided to dust off the motor yacht instead of starting an entirely new project. I still have a large amount of styrene plastic (plastic card) hanging around, so it was still the material of choice for this project.

I’ve added frames to the bow and a deck, then added a removable roof to the cabin and a flying bridge on top of that.

boat1

The boat restarted, October 2013. Click for larger.

The hull sides will be the next big step. I’m planning on doing each side with a single long strip of styrene, and then use putty up at the bow to properly form the actual point of the bow.

After that there’s still a lot of detail work and cleanup to do. Door and window frames, a ladder up to the flying bridge, and a lot of putty to smooth things out and hide seams.

boat2

From the stern quarter. Scale provided by 28mm Pulp Figures reporters. Click for larger.

This last photo shows the curves in the aft end of the boat quite nicely. I’m going to use steel wire for railings on the sides and back of the flying bridge, and might put a removable canopy over the rear deck. Also need to come up with a name, to be painted across the stern in large gold letters!

The Dread Thuggee, A Pulp Alley League!

First, on a quick administrative note, the Warbard was offline for part of last week due to an attempted attack on the WordPress installation that runs this site. I was able to work with the my webspace providers and get everything sorted and up and running, I’ve made some behinds-the-scenes changes and tweaks, and hopefully that will be the first and last time I have to worry about crap like that! No content was lost and we’re fully back up and running, at least!

On a happier note, I’ve been very gradually upgrading our pencil-marked handwritten Pulp Alley League sheets to spiffy-looking word processor documents. This also gives me the ability to share them more widely, of course, so here’s the Dread Thuggee stranglers for Pulp Alley (PDF, 80Kb) for everyone’s enjoyment.

Adding Thuggee stranglers to a pulp universe is obvious enough, and was actually something I started thinking about in relation to the pulp-horror game Strange Aeons. There was a thread I started over on Lead Adventure, to which several people contributed excellent links, both to miniatures suitable for India and other related resources. The Thuggee figures are from Pulp Figures. The first of mine appeared way back in LPL5, a more recent batch appeared in LPL7, and I still have a few left to paint to round out the cult and add some variety.

In Pulp Alley, the stranglers re-use and re-brand the useful and flexible Animal skill to show their lack of firepower and dedication to strangling and other brawling skills. The Stealthy Agents perk lets the whole League skulk in the shadows more effectively, but does mean it’s a small League at merely four stranglers. They’re good at what they do, though, and have had a fair bit of success in our games, especially in tight terrain or limited visibility where they can really put their melee skills to use!

Blank League Roster for Pulp Alley

As a followup to last week’s posting of four of our Pulp Alley Leagues, here’s the blank PDF version of the roster I created. Pulp Alley is of course © Pulp Alley; this roster sheet is my own work but anyone can print or modify it for personal use. Enjoy!

There’s a very nice blank roster in the Pulp Alley rulebook, but being able to type one out and print copies as needed is also useful!

We’re probably getting back to some Russian Civil War action this Sunday at gaming; I’ll probably try to get some photos and get a game report of some sort up here to help compensate for the tragic shortage of activity on the Warbard recently…