Just over a week until our local convention, GottaCon 2015 starts! I’ve got a ticket already, and I’m doing something I’ve never done before, which is enter a tournament – namely the Blood Bowl tourney with my Crocs. The BB Tourney is morning & afternoon both Saturday & Sunday, so I have Friday evening and Saturday evening free from the rigours of having my ambulatory handbags pounded into the pitch by other teams.
Friday evening I’ve put in to run a Pulp Alley pulp adventure skirmish game. We really haven’t been doing much pulp gaming lately but PA is a nice system and easy to introduce people to.
Saturday evening I’ve put in to run a Chain of Command/Mud & Blood Russian Civil War game. This one is going to require the most prep this weekend and over next week, as I need a batch of new Quick Reference cards for CoC/M&B hybrid and some other gaming aids that I’ve been putting off, mostly because I’ve been distracted by Infinity recently.
I’ll run a fairly simple scenario, and my RCW project is at a nice mature point where it doesn’t really need any new scenery or figures to work as a good-looking convention game. That said, I’m thinking of bashing another Russian-flavoured building or two together after GottaCon to show off at Trumpeter Salute 2015 over in Vancouver at the end of March, which is always the high point of my personal gaming calendar each year.
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!
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Far too quiet around here lately, a post a month or so for far too long! I do apologize; I’m still gaming regularly but my painting has dwindled to a terrible ZERO figures finished since May of this year and since I finished the buildings in August I’ve done no scenery work, either!
I’m going to get the painting desk dusted off and back in production fairly soon; I’d hoped for this weekend but real life and work got in the way. I’ve also got a pile of small and medium-sized partially-finished scenery projects to complete, so I might re-start the whole process by clearing some of them up.
In the meantime, here’s a pair of links, both map related!
We’ve been playing a lot of Pulp Alley recently; this photo is actually from ten days ago, not our most recent game, but it’s better than any of my snapshots from the more recent game!
I’ve whipped up half a dozen teams (Pulp Alley refers to them as Leagues) that we’re swapping back and forth between actual players as the spirit moves us. Being pulp, we’re well off into stereotypes, I’m afraid! There’s the stiff-upper-lip Sir Charles, who denies being an agent of the British Crown; the Teutonic schemer Stahlmaske, as dangerous to his underlings as he is to his enemies; the sinister but intoxicated General Vodkanovich, White Russian exile; the mercenary Captain B., and various other gangs of pulpish skulkers.
I’ve even brought back crowd favourite Red Lily, International Women of Mystery, although she and her crew haven’t yet appeared in a game.
We’re having a lot of fun with Pulp Alley, as should be obvious. The printed, softcover book has just been published, along with the Fortune/Challenge cards in playing-card style. I’ve got copies of both enroute, and I’ll do a proper review here on the Warbard of both when they arrive!