Tag Archives: pulp

Links of Interest, 4 November 2013

Just a few links to start the new month off. Hope everyone had a safe and excellent Halloween, for those of you who live where it’s a thing.

Black Army Productions are a company with a small but interesting selection of things, including a few WW1/Interwar armoured cars. The fantastically pulpy-looking Romfell is certainly eye-catching; my pulp-flavoured German FreiKorp might need one of those… They’re having a fall sale until November 15th, so there might be a Romfell and a few other bits enroute to me after next payday…

Just a week or so left in this, but the excellent J & M Miniatures is having a (Canadian) Thanksgiving Sale, 15% until 10th November (so it lasts until the Yanks have their late Thanksgiving too, how about that?). You put the code “Thanksgiving2013” in during checkout to get the discount on everything they stock. Which reminds me, it’s been a long while since I fired some money at J & M, perhaps it’s time to have a look at their catalog again…

Acheson Creations is another one of those interesting companies that’s got a wide range of interesting bits and pieces, mostly resin scenery and such for a wide range of eras & locations. Their Primeval Designs line includes a bunch of unique 28mm & 15mm dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts. They’re also running a Kickstarter to fund creation of some new, larger pieces, including a big ape who looks just right for transporting from some Lost World to the nearest skyscraper! The Kickstarter is about halfway to it’s modest funding goal and runs until November 20th, so hopefully this one funds!

Finally, via Paleofuture, this 1929 American air travel map over at the awesome David Rumsey Historical Map Collection — apparently flying across country in the late 20s actually meant spending most nights on a train…

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.

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.

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!

Links of Interest, 6 October 2013

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!

Someone in Hungary has digitized a huge collection of 1910 Austro-Hungarian maps of Central Europe in 1:200,000 scale. It covers the entire Austro-Hungarian Empire and nearby portions of neighbouring states, so the whole thing covers from Istanbul in the lower right up to southern/central Germany (around Cologne) in the top left. The quality of the scans is very good, and the relevance for World War One or Russian Civil War gamers should be obvious!

In a pulpier vein, via the always-awesome Propnomicon, this 1885 map of Chinatown in San Fransisco. I’ve linked to both Propnomicon and the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection websites before, but they’re both well worth exploring!

Links of Interest, 3 September 2013

Quiet around here recently; I’ve been gaming regularly through the summer but not doing a whole lot of painting, scenery building or much of anything else!

Here’s a few cool links to share, though. They’re all, mostly by coincidence, on that perennial Warbard theme, zeppelins! First off, some notes, sketches and other cool stuff from Kevin Conran, the lead designer of the movie Sky Captain.

Over on Dark Roasted Blend, there’s Airship Dreams, Part One and Airship Dreams, Part Two which both, especially Part Two, have some awesome photographs of real and imagined airships & zepps.

Actual substantial blog posts soon, I promise…

A Pulp Alley Game

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!

Russians & others crowd around a Plot Point Marker in a backwoods jungle hamlet! Click to view larger over on Flickr.

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!

First Game of Pulp Alley

I picked up a copy of the recently published pulp skirmish rules Pulp Alley sometime last month, and we finally got a game of it in today.

Pulp Alley is published by the father & daughter team of Dave & Mila Phipps; the $10 45-page PDF has all the basic rules for pulp mayhem, designed around teams (“Leagues” in PA) of about 5-8 Heroes, Sidekicks, Allies and Followers. I’ll likely do a full review of PA soon, but the basic rules are well-written and well-edited, with nice pulpy graphic touches throughout.

For this game I copied the sample League provided in the book, hacked together a second League quickly, then assembled two more Leagues by getting players to play mix-and-match between the two existing Leagues. This left a lot of rules and features unexplored, but as a quick-and-dirty method of assembling four not-quite-identical teams it worked OK. We got out my underused tropical buildings and a few bits of jungle terrain and got to it.

Early in the game. Air Pirates in the foreground, Sailors barely visible bottom-right, Russians in a clump top-right. Cultists are off-camera top-left. Click to view on Flickr.

Fairly late in the game. My Air Pirates are mostly down, the Cultists have forted up in the lefthand building, and the Russians and Sailors are brawling in the street to the right. Click to view on Flickr.

I’ll be writing up a proper review of Pulp Alley sometime soon, probably in a few weeks after we have another couple of games. The initiative system is different and interesting, with initiative changing hands based on winning fights or capturing objectives. The Fortune Card deck is a great idea and added quite a lot to the game, especially a few turns into the scenario when we were all a bit more comfortable with the rules. The combat system is elegant, although I can tell I need to stop at my FLGS to get a few more d8s before our next game. Before next weeks game I want to properly build several Leagues to get a better idea of the character and League creation rules; there’s also several questions I’ll need to ask over on the Pulp Alley forums, mostly to do with wounding and recovery from wounding, which we got slightly confused by!

It was great to get back to pulp gaming again, and I’m looking forward to getting more familiar with the Pulp Alley rules.

GottaCon 2013, Friday

Spent the morning doing a few bits of last minute prep for my Russian Civil War game, mostly putting the finishing touches on the field gun and crew. Headed up to the convention site a few hours before it opened so I could get my pass ahead of time and avoid the 45 minute wait at the official doors time, then loitered in a coffee shop until just before the doors opened.

Going to the will-call pre-con ticketing turned out to be a good plan, as the lines were fairly long at the ticket door!

The evening session was taken up with a fairly quick, highly entertaining game of pulp racing run by Corey; the rules are super light, less than a page, and consist mostly of “roll something and make sh*t up, then everyone crashes!”. Scatter dice, FUDGE dice, card-based activation and possibly averaging dice are involved. Corey claims to have been sober when he wrote the rules, but I have my doubts. I ran over a skunk, an escaped circus elephant narrowly avoided being very large roadkill, one or two sheep weren’t so fortunate, and ultimately Our Hero crashed, his car nudged from behind by a Comically Evil Henchperson, and was unable to prevent the Dastardly Villain from marrying the Tragically Brainwashed Heroine. Pulp silliness ensued, in other words.

I even remembered to take photos, and one or two of them even turned out OK!

Early in the pulp racing game. The oncoming lane is blocked, there’s sheep in the middle of the road, a fuel truck has just pulled out to try to get around the obstacle, and here we come, driving idiotically fast! Standard pulp nonsense, in other words!

See the full GottaCon 2013 photo set on Flickr.

Pulp-era Aviatrixes

“Aviatrix” is the feminine version of “aviator”, but of course you knew that already. This fabulous pair is courtesy Kemon’s Flickr stream, which has a huge array of mostly aviation-related stuff, a lot of it from the interwar pulp era!

Dorothy Sebastian learns to fly.

Dorothy Sebastian (Wikipedia link) was apparently an early Hollywood actress.

Joan Blondell, another 1930s movie starlet.

Joan Blondell (Wikipedia again) was also a Hollywood actress, active from the 30s right through to post-WW2.

Need inspiration for a pulp-era glamorous female aviator? Here you go!

US Marines in Interwar China

Dusting off my sadly-neglected blog this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend to post a link to a very cool trio of old movies shot in the early 1930s by the US Marine Corp in China. The US (as well as the British, French and a few other Western powers) maintained military forces in China right up into the Second World War, including aviation forces.

I can’t seem to embed the videos, but head over to Leatherneck Magazine’s USMC Aviators in China article to find all three short, silent movie clips.

If you were looking for scenery inspiration, a lot of this footage is at fairly low level, and while it isn’t hugely detailed you could get useful inspiration for Chinese buildings and compounds by peering past the airplanes!

Hope any Canucks reading this are having an excellent Thanksgiving weekend. I’m trying to get back into the gaming thing after a summer and early fall of practically zero activity, so more content soon, hopefully!

Pulp Atmosphere

Urban pulp is often about the dark alleyways, the gritty industrial districts, the shadowy corners, the threatening figures in fedoras and trenchcoats lurking in the misty dark… so here’s a pair of photos from Shorpy that just ooze that sort of atmosphere!

Via the always excellent Shorpy, a very atmospheric streetscene in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Noir over on Shorpy, just in case the hotlink doesn’t work. (Sometimes Shorpy links work beautifully. Sometimes they don’t work at all…)

More noir-ish images from Pittsburgh, via Shorpy. Sure, they’re from 1907, which is technically early for the sort of pulpish goings-on that interest us here at Warbard, but close enough, and awesomely atmospheric!

And again, Shadowland over on Shorpy.

Having just been away for a week, and July having been awfully slow on the wargaming front around here, I hope to resume more regular posts soon, as I get back into gaming regularly. Still, that seductive summer heat will keep luring me out outdoors (you know, the bright room with the blue ceiling and lousy wifi reception…) so the summer doldrums might last a bit longer. We shall see. In the meantime, go explore Shorpy, there’s a huge amount of great stuff on that site!