Monday, 31 May 2010

June Summers - a contest!

Okay, to set the scene; last year Pulp Monsters ran a special offer allowing customers to claim the as-yet not generally released June Summers miniature (see grainy picture right); follow this link (here) to an excellent example painted by the incredibly talented Nomic (and be sure to check his blog). The Pulp Citizen ended up with 3 of these models.

I recently became a Pulp City Herald and so I thought it would be cool to run a small contest to win one of those extra June Summers minis that I have. This contest is not linked with Pulp Monsters, just something I wanted to do to try and get a copy of this model into hands that may not be able to get hold of it at this time. The contest is a simple creative writing one, with blind judging - a few other Heralds have agreed to judge the contest, and the entries will be given to them without indications of who created them.

So look at the rules below and get your entries in to me if you want a chance to win!

Contest Rules
- Prize: an unpainted June Summers miniature.
- The judging panel will judge the entries blind, and I will only be involved in case of a tie (or possibly a nominated other in my place).
- The contest is open to any member of the blog or Forum; entries must include blog Follower name or Forum member name. Entries without at least one of these will be disqualified and rejected - no exceptions.
- Judges are not permitted to enter the contest, and Heralds have been discouraged from entering.
- Entries should be an original text piece describing or featuring a location or non-Supreme character in Pulp City: a diner or coffee shop, haunted street corner, famous nightclub, etc...; or a non-Supreme Celebrity or person of interest: like June Summers, famous snitch, fortune teller or the like. The focus of the entry can be an existing feature or character, or something brand-new. Entries using Intellectual Property belonging to any entity other than Pulp Monsters will be disqualified and rejected. Descriptive and narrative entries are both welcome.
- Entries must be between 100 and 500 words in length, excluding a title. Any entries outside of these lengths will be penalized.
- Only one entry per person.
- In entering the contest entrants are agreeing that their entries may be published with full authority on the Pulp City Forum and/or the Pulp Citizen blog.
- Entries published outside of the contest before the results are determined will be disqualified and rejected.
- Entries should be sent to and subject marked ‘June Summers Contest’; emails without this subject will be ignored.
- I may add a runner-up prize if more entries than expected are received.
- The final deadline for entries is 23:59 GMT on June 21st. Entries received after this will be disqualified and rejected.

Entries should be sent to and subject marked ‘June Summers Contest’.

For inspiration check out the Pulp City ABC section (here) and the Heroes and Villains section (here).
There you are; I hope we get to see some really fun and interesting entries.

May Painting Summary

Another month over, I didn't finish Apebot in the end, but the mini is further along than it was before, that is for sure. I managed to clear some 'backlog' minis that had been part-done, which was pleasing, even if the outcome in one case wasn't wholly satisfying.

Not finishing Apebot was impacted by other diversions, including 'real-life' obligations. One or two diversions have been very much Pulp City related. One I cannot say anything about at this time really, except to suggest checking in each week to the Pulp City Forums for some updates from Morf. The other is hopefully going to result in something very cool: I have been transcribing an interview I did at Salute with Maciej Żylewicz. The interview should form part of a larger article. More on that if and when it reaches publication.

This month I painted:
- Sanguine & Draku
- Kitty Cheshire
- Acorn
- Supreme Zed
- Sentry Bots (the second pair of these I have painted; to be photographed soon)

That means all of the Salute releases are done; some extra Minions (which I am not counting for my Painting Challenge; 5 cards worth of 'official' Minions done); I have finally finished Acorn months after finishing her partner Father Oak; and I managed to get a lot more done on Apebot than had been done previously. In all, a pleasing month for my challenge. Bring on June.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Sentinels (vol. 1): When Strikes the Warlord

Sentinels: When Strikes the Warlord is a superhero novel, the first book in a series of six so far (five novels by one author and a collaborative anthology). The primary author is Van Allen Plexico, who has I believe intimated his intent to eventual create a series or twenty or so books - quite an ambition, and in terms of supers-themed fiction, the only rival to that volume of publication within a specific continuity would be the Wild Cards series (a great read in my opinion), yet that was the work of many hands. If he achieves his ambition, Plexico will have put together a mammoth continuity of superhero and villain adventures. I wish him well in trying to attain this goal.

I enjoyed When Strikes the Warlord. It is far-removed from books like the sprawling Wild Cards series, eschewing any sense of real-world verisimilitude in favour of evoking a distinctly comic-book superheroes-flavoured and influenced prose. The novel involves a gathering of heroes; the closest parallel would be the Avengers I feel - we see a disparate bunch (the vaguely Tony Stark-esque Esro Brachis; superhuman amnesiac All-American Ultraa; alien super-robot Vanadium; cocky Swordsman or Hawkeye-type the Cavalier; and newcomer Pulsar), with wildly differing levels of power, come together for a common good. In this the heroes rise to face the threat of the Warlord, a villain cut from the kind of cloth we have seen with characters from the fertile era from the late 1960's to the early 1980's - think along the lines of Kang, Thanos, Darkseid or any of those big-hitter types. The Warlord inevitably raises the spectre of a threat that causes our heroes to have to act to try to stop him. Of course there is more to the novel than this, but this is the main plot-line through the book.

The main characters can recognisably be traced to certain archetypes, yet do not slavishly ape them and the characters have their own quirks and characteristics, so please just take the parallels I draw as a guide only.

The book is fast-paced and fairly straightforward with a largely linear narrative, each chapter taken from from of the different core character viewpoints. There are sub-plots that are developed and then left, presumably for return in later works. The cast is largely superhuman or at least of the costumed adventurer variety, so as a result most of the plot and action centres on superhuman exploits. This is no radical deconstruction of a genre. Instead, I found it to be a fast-paced and quick-read action adventure story, which is what I expected - so no disappointments there. And essentially I enjoyed the book, and could find no real faults based on my expectations. I found it to be no heavyweight fayre, but a satisfying adventure story with a spandex-clad cast. In fact I enjoyed it so much I have invested in the rest of the series and hope to read them all soon.

Fans of superhero prose, and fans of silver age comic books like the Avengers and Justice League of America may find a lot to enjoy in this series, especially the former (not surprising given that the author has been involved in writing about the Avengers in the books Assembled and Assembled 2). I am one of those types, and the Sentinels series looks like it could fill a spot amid my reading of superhero prose. Knowing one of the key events that occurs in the first book, it looks like Van Allen Plexico intends to create a dynamic series where change will happen and characters will come and go, just the kind of thing that has always happened in those classic team comic books, and just the kind of thing I like in an ongoing series.

Cover © Van Allen Plexico and White Rocket Books


The latest welcome aboard goes out to the Acrobatic Flea; great moniker by the way. I see the Acrobatic Flea is a super-hero gamer, and I guess we have both probably enjoyed many of the same kinds of super-hero games. I hope I can repay the Acrobatic Flea for stopping by.

For me, my early super-hero gaming was bound up in the available choices: in no specific order, superhero rpgs of the 1980's such as Champions, V & V, Heroes Unlimited, Golden Heroes, DC Heroes (I still think the MEGS AP system is one of the most elegant designs of all time), Marvel Super Heroes (TSR); Superworld; as well as stuff like the Fighting Fantasy book Appointment With F.E.A.R..

At the same time I was picking up little lead men from time to time. For a superhero gamer like me that really meant the offerings from GW (Golden Heroes minis) and Grenadier (licensed minis such as Champions, DC and Marvel). I even attempted to use the Rogue Trader: Warhammer 40,000 rules (I think, rather than WFB 2nd edition) to create a tabletop superhero game - that didn't work out. In the past decade I have gained access to more superhero and supervillain minis from more manufacturers than ever before. I guess we have the Internet, paypal and the like to thank for that. For me it is a 'golden age' of tabletop superhero gaming, yet despite that it is a niche hobby within a niche (to paraphrase Maciej - creator of Pulp City following a recent interview). Still, happy times.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Shadowman (VALIANT Comics)

VALIANT (all capitals, all the time) was a publisher that achieved success and some arguable notoriety in the early 90's as it rose and fell amid the speculator boom that destabilised much of the comic book industry. The superhero line it started under the guidance of luminaries such as Jim Shooter, Barry Windsor Smith, Bob Layton and many others - a mix of veteran and new talents alike - took a quite different approach to their major competitors.

The books read differently - the timeline was in real time so characters were aging in real time and they looked different, with a painted colour approach that only one other notable publisher had anything similar to (Milestone - a subject of future posts no doubt). The books were rooted in an initially defined pseudo-science. In all, they were not Marvel, DC or Image (the latter the young upstarts of the era). And of course I overlooked them. By the time I was aware of VALIANT, their back issues were going for vastly inflated prices (that speculator boom), which of course settled down after their demise as a business. The properties have since been acquired by VALIANT Entertainment Inc., but only 3 collections of recoloured old material (with some new supplementary material) have appeared - none of them Shadowman.

Cut to a few years ago and I chanced on a very cheap VALIANT back issue. Intrigued I picked up more and more, and in time discovered some real gems, the greatest revelation for me being Shadowman, the series about the travails of Jack Boniface as he faces up to the responsibilities and challenges that come with his acquired power. This is not the Shadowman of the later video-game; that was a connected character but a different take in many ways.

The initial art by David Lapham suited the book, and the stories I found intriguing, and certainly not typical superhero fayre. Reading that early stuff though made me feel that those responsible for the book knew they had a solid idea but didn't quite know what to do with it. That feeling was compounded for me by the myriad writers the book had. Between issues 1 and 6 there are 9 people given story or writing credits. Not the best way to find a 'voice'. To me the voice of a comic book is the tone, the rhythm of the storytelling, the dialogue, the pacing - all those things combined.

With the arrival of Bob Hall I think the book found it's voice. When Bob took on the art (especially with Tom Ryder's inking), the book takes off for me in terms of direction, story focus, character development, seeing the world(s) that Shadowman and Jack Boniface inhabit and so on. The cast grew and grew, with seemingly minor characters coming back time and again. A larger picture developed, but as it did so the style of the book changed subtly, as did the look of the titular hero going from a fairly straight spandex look to something more rooted in the 'real world' in some ways.

Pick an issue in the late teens and compare the art to the early 40's issues. The art becomes more expressive in the time between. The story increasingly highlights that Shadowman and Jack Boniface may share the one body, but they are not one and the same.

As the book progresses Shadowman (the character) becomes wilder, increasingly atavistic. We are guided through a nightmarish world of his fictionalised New Orleans with crazy voodoo mixing with vigilantism and Jack Boniface's gradually splintering and fragmenting sense of himself and his alter ego. It is a great, dark, ride. Silly at times, yes. Removed from the pseudo-science of the majority of the rest of the VALIANT line? Undoubtedly. But it feels true to the creative vision behind it, although I felt a sense of self-parody towards the end as issues hurtle along at break-neck pace until we are left with an amazing and unresolved cliffhanger.

I am still wondering what Bob Hall intended with this - to leave the audience wanting more? To send a message to the owners regarding the changes that had occurred at VALIANT? Had he written himself into a corner he felt unable to get out of? Was he poking fun at the '1999 prophecy' (whereby the title hero looked to have his days numbered) which effectively acted to limit any real sense of peril for the character? Was he trying to communicate an essential truth of the character of Jack Boniface as he (Hall) perceived him? To be honest, I don't know. All I can say is that it was an exhilarating ride. One which I can't wait to take again.

To anyone who likes to hunt out back issues of comics, you could do worse than give Shadowman a try, a series from one of my favourite Dead Universes, and most especially the Bob Hall tenure.

Characters and images are ™ , ® and © Valiant Entertainment

Another Micro Update

The month end is looming, and oddly and very unexpectedly, this may turn out to be my most successful month yet.

Yesterday I finished a couple more Sentry Bots, simply because I need more Minions for the table. They were 'quick paint jobs' that I am fairly pleased with (much in the way the first batch were). They have been done in a colour scheme to tie in to my Villains, and should be photographed when I have something else done, which may be sooner than later.

The 'muse' is a funny thing. I don't know whether the Muse of painting (I guess she would be the eleventh or twelfth Muse for you classicists!), that elusive entity for some of us, has been at play, but yesterday finishing the new Sentry Bots gave me a plan for painting Apebot, a mini I have been putting off finishing for a few months. A sudden insight led to laying down some more paint and some washes and it is starting to shape up in a manner I am happy with. Suddenly the list of minis in stages of partial painting has been reduced in the past 2-3 weeks.

The upshot is that I have already finished 5 minis this month for the self-imposed challenge (the additional Sentry Bots don't count as they are duplicates), and may have another done before the end of the month, meaning 7-8 minis for the month - a good and pleasing outcome.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Project Superpowers

In the past few days I have been doing a lot of re-reading of stories from a fairly new comic book universe: Project Superpowers from Dynamite Entertainment. The line kicked off in 2008.

The line is still young, and the publisher is not averse to controversy, especially as much of its business model is founded on collectiblity with variant covers, but nonetheless I really like what is happening in the stories of this emerging universe. I say emerging, as there is more to it than that.

In a nutshell the premise is that almost all of the Golden Age superheroes were trapped beyond time and place and released into the modern day; they emerge into a world that is changed with the US and the world being policed by technologies that owe a great deal to the first generation of superheroes. And all of those heroes who emerge have been changed in some way great or small. Amid all of this it emerges that a cabal - the Supremacy - is a hidden power, with self-interests on a vast scale.

The primary architect of Project Superpowers is Alex Ross - one of my all-time favourite artists. Fans of comic book movies but not so much comic books themselves may recognise his work from the title sequence of Spider-man 2; he did the 15 paintings recapping events from the first movie. Ross is credited as co-plotter on every issue and provides a cover for each issue (most if not all have variants as well). His main collaborator has been writer Jim Krueger, and others have helped with this ongoing project.

I described Project Superpowers as an emerging comic book universe earlier. In some ways this is both true and untrue. The Project Superpowers Universe (PSU) has been founded on characters freely available for use as they have fallen into the 'public domain' with no individual copyright holder. Ross has gathered together a great swathe of such characters - with names such as the Black Terror, Death Defying 'Devil (originally Daredevil), the Ghost, Masquerade (formerly Miss Masque), Samson, the Green Lama, the Twister, the Target, and dozens more besides. The cast is huge. But that is one of the things I really like about the PSU.

The line has featured a number of interlocking series. The spine of the PSU are the various 'chapters' of Project Superpowers. Chapter 1 comprised 8 issues (0-7) and has been collected in hardcover (top image) and softcover editions. Chapter 2 is still being told, and the first half has been collected. Parallel to these are series focusing on particular characters, although each features a plethora of guest stars from the main series and background, lending the feel of a real tapestry being woven.

Chapter 1 sees the return of these time-lost heroes, altered by the time and place in which they have been gone. The heroes are scattered and slowly begin to gather in factions, trying to make sense of a new world. Lines are drawn and some of the heroes rise to face a grave threat in the Middle East as secret powers (the Supremacy) deploy resources to achieve their aims.

The Black Terror is the PSU's righteous-angry-man. Bullet-proof and strong and powerful, the Black terror is like Douglas Fairbanks with superpowers (not an allusion I can claim as my own). His first story concerns his search for his former sidekick Tim/Kid Terror, and sets him on a collision course of conflict with the US authorities. There is a lot of action and the character is great in that he is both flawed and recognises his major flaw, and highlights the effects of the metaphysical interment the Black Terror suffered in the preceding decades. There are great plays on the imagery of the pirate which is evident from the costume (a great glowing-ethereal skull and crossbones effect), and a good few surprises along the way. I really enjoyed some cracking adventure scenes as well as the more thoughtful moments, and so think it is a great compliment to the main series. Issues 1-4 are collected in a trade paperback (cover right), and more issues are due for collection soon.

Death Defying 'Devil is the renamed Daredevil (probably done to avoid any possible legal hassle from Marvel Comics); it is an interesting series as we learn nothing factual about the hero, whether he is who he purports to be (an antagonist thinks not), or indeed what his motivations are. Athletic and acrobatic, the 'Devil in action is all about action, and has a great costume that has inspired others in later years (Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt from Charlton, who in turn was the template for Ozymandias from Watchmen - see how these things work?). The plot is basically a prelude in my view: setting the stage for the real emergence of a big threat at a later time. This series worked less successfully than Black Terror for me, and his co-stars Silver Streak and the Ghost arguably steal the show, as the 'Devil simply gets entwined in a very specific personally-orientated plot. Not as strong or well-rounded a series as Black Terror.

Masquerade is another collected series of 4 issues; focusing on the heroine formerly known as Miss Masque; the updated look works really well, giving a real 40's look. The story is very fragmented, intentionally so without doubt, as the titular hero is herself a rather fragmented personality. She has gained the power to possess others but is losing sight of herself in the mean-time, and is also able to reflect on her past experiences to guide her present actions. While I can see what the creators were aiming for, the story takes too long to get any real direction as Masquerade tries to connect her past with her present. It is in essence an origin story, yet as such could have benefited with a stronger narrative pull, and focus, and threat in the present. That said, in the comic book medium, and particularly the super-hero genre, it is a story that has a more literary narrative than most works, so is pretty sophisticated fayre in that regard.

Meet the Bad Guys is a markedly different series to the others. Each issue (except the last) show-cases a brand new villainous threat, pitting them against one of the stars of the PSU with whom they have a connection: the Revolutionary is a somewhat rebellious and destructive - possibly even anarchic - individual whose path intersects with the Fighting Yank; Bloodlust is a beautiful and bloodthirsty revenge-driven woman (no surprise given that code-name) who collides with the meditative Green Lama - the Bloodlust character seems very much a pastiche of 90's comic book bad girl cliches which I am sure was the plan; Dagon is an ancient evil returned to plague mankind (well a part of the US coastline at any rate), and is met by the mighty Samson; and most intriguingly for the wider plot-line of the PSU, in the final part The Supremacy, and particularly the Black Baron, face the Scarab in an indirect confrontation - a great chapter showing the politics behind the superhumans of the PSU. Each chapter of Meet the Bad Guys is a self-contained story, and I would highly recommend it to anyone trying the main series.

If anyone is intrigued enough to try dipping a metaphorical toe into the PSU waters, the core recommendations I would make are the main series collections, Black Terror and Meet the Bad Guys. Each series can be enjoyed alone, but more is gained by reading everything.

Cover images © Dynamite Entertainment

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Terrain and Scenery Blog

Still feeling sombre, but going on.

One of the joys of blogging for me is finding other blogs - sources of inspiration and information that I would not have otherwise seen. Through Sho3box I linked through to this blog that looks at terrain and scenery. Well worth a visit due to the eclectic range of items featured.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Rest in Peace Matt Randy

Matt was a guy I had come to know through the Pulp City Forum; on the forum he was known (as he was elsewhere) as Invader Larb.

Matt was a Herald for the game, as well as being a Press Ganger for Privateer. Matt was definitely a gamer. Matt's posts were always well-thought out and friendly, which I feel was testament to the man. I liked Matt and had been honoured to be doing some stuff in conjunction with him and those responsible for the Pulp City game. What became clear was that Matt supported gaming with a love of the games he played, so much so that he was well immersed in the culture of gaming.

Matt took his own life in between Wednesday and today (Friday). My deepest condolences go to all of Matt's family, especially his wife Casey, and his brother Michael (also a forum member) who passed on the tragic news. It is terribly sad and no words can undo what has taken place. Matt's family have my utmost sympathies in this time of their loss.

Matt Randy, rest in peace my friend. You will be missed.

Supreme Zed

First field test is over. Partial success, the subject, now codenamed Supreme Zed, got beheaded but that didn’t stop it from destroying two tanks. We had to evacuate the hit team as after VH’s blade mangled the subject, the odds seemed low.
Can’t even think how powerful the subject will be in a couple of weeks. And it already hates Blood Watch…

I loved this mini the first time I saw it. Sculpted by the supremely talented James van Schaik, Supreme Zed combines spandex-ness with the growing trend for zombie minis out there in a tremendous way, I think. The mini in-game offers a very durable undead Villain, although I have yet to game with Supreme Zed to see how truly nasty he is on the table.

It is the last of the Pulp City minis I collected at Salute 2010, and I knew early on how I wanted to tackle the colour scheme. Superman, that super-hero icon of icons, uses a palette of the three primary colours: red, blue and yellow (the latter on his emblems and belt). So I settled on going with a palette using only the secondary colours of the colour circle for Supreme Zed's costume. I wanted a grubby look to him, since he won't be concerned with dry-cleaning, but stopped short of trying to add dried blood since I didn't feel confident on achieving a satisfactory result.

Monday, 17 May 2010


A bit of a post 'dump' yesterday, with my recent completed minis (and Dead Eye) all uploaded and blogged. I was really glad to see Acorn done, not because I am happy with how the model turned out, but simply that it isn't hanging over me anymore. Unlike in January when I had some kind of 'painter's block', this time it was the mini itself that I just couldn't get to grips with finishing. And that annoyed the hell out of me every time I picked it up, did a little, then put it down again. Cranking out a few other figures really helped.

What it means is that I currently have 15 minis (plus some duplicates) to paint; and I think I will accept that I have left a lot of stuff to the end that I either have no real plan for or minis that will be technically hard to do for whatever reasons (2 are all 'metal' in design; since I am still learning with Non-Metallic Metallics -NMM, they will be tricky indeed). I could probably do with another release wave or something very special soon to drag me on.

As for the stuff I consider special on the work-station: Supreme Zed is coming on - special because he is new; I have an undercoated June Summers in the painting queue; and there is a very special mini I have been striving to obtain. This last one I don't have yet, but I am working on it...

Sunday, 16 May 2010


18 months after Father Oak first appeared in Pulp City the Heartwood tree called to him once more. Following the voice again the great tree yielded up to him a small child. This was Acorn the daughter of Father Oak and the tree, or so he claims.

This has been the longest time I have taken on my a single mini in my self-imposed challenge from start to finish (thus far). I started Acorn at the same time as I started Father Oak. But whereas I really got into painting Father Oak, every time I picked up Acorn, I would tickle the mini with a dab of paint using the hairy stick, but just couldn't get around to doing a great deal. I don't think it is a bad model, it just hasn't engaged me and I found it awkward to paint in places.

The colour scheme was intended to complement that used with Father Oak (particularly the wood parts, the greenery, the green medallions, the tunics). I will try to photograph both together soon.

In game terms Father Oak and Acorn are very much intended to work together; Acorn can be fragile but can offer some destructive capability in her own way.

The mini was sculpted by Sergio Alonso Leon, who also crafted Father Oak.

Kitty Cheshire

Kitty Cheshire, a woman or a demon? Or both? The first one to cross the edge of the Silver Mirror on the Twilight Hills, Kitty is making her comeback to Pulp City after the years in the limbo of the Otherside.

Sculpted by James van Schaik, I think Kitty Cheshire is a very cool execution of a great idea. I love the way that the model has been rendered to make it appear that Kitty is phasing in and out of reality.

Kitty is the first Supreme belonging to a brand-new sub faction - the Otherside. No other models or concepts have been released for the Otherside yet, but I believe that whatever does come next will probably be very imaginative indeed.

The colour scheme is another simple one, but with very good reason. I have been using red and blue on many Heroes, and purple in some way on many of my Villains, so I decided to place all 3 colours into the scheme. It may not be my best effort, but I am reasonably satisfied with the outcome.

Sanguine and Draku

Guillaume Sanguine, the French entrepreneur, whose blood thirst extends far beyond just the business, visits Pulp City.

I really enjoyed painting Sanguine and Draku - opting for simple colour schemes (including the flashes of purple to tie them in with many of my other Villains); the net result was that they were painted pretty quickly having obtained them from Maciej at Salute 2010.

Sanguine offers quite a few team-building options: he can be fielded as either level 1 or Level 2 (and the Level 1 option can potentially upgrade mid-game!), and he has the Necroplane allegiance, which he can drop thanks to the nifty new Freelancer skill. Basically that means he can work in either currently available level 3-led Villain sub faction - unaligned (Mysterious Man) or Necroplane (Dr. Tenebrous).

The minis are sculpted by James van Schaik, and I think he did a superb job on both. The posing is really suitable for a vampire, and the costume has arguable nods to comic-book characters like the Crow. James has sculpted a lot of the line and I think his work has been of a superb standard.

Draku offers a Minion that can hang around the game with decent HP (for a Minion) as well as having HP recovery, and to cap it all, if he is taken out, Sanguine gets mad and adds a bonus to all of his Action Rolls. Add to that that I think the model is incredibly cute, and perhaps best of all is that it is modeled on and named for the dog belonging to Maciej, the game's originator.
I believe the art on his Minion card is taken from a picture of the real-life Draku.

As a Pulp City SE update, Sanguine is a Support Supreme and Draku is a Tank Minion; a great little combination.

Dead Eye

Dead Eye is the driving force behind most of the unregistered crime fighting in Pulp City.

Heavy Metal may be the media darlings of the Supreme Hero set; Blood Watch may protect the citizenry against things that lurk in the dark places; but there are many unaffiliated Heroes, and Dead Eye is pre-eminent amongst them.

This is my second attempt to photograph Dead Eye; the first pictures came out unfocused unfortuantely.

Another Pulp City mini sculpted by James van Schaik, Dead Eye is a tough Level 3 Supreme who comes in a pack with the Vigilantes. Originally I intended to paint him in the colours of my old American Football team, the Chester Romans, and give him my old number (22 - I played corner back), but that would have been an 'ineligible number' for a quarterback, so I settled for number 1 for two reasons: 1) painting one freehand number twice is easier than painting 2! 2) his number reflects that he is the daddy. The colours were changed to simply try and tie him in with the Vigilantes, so in all it made sense to follow a US-flag themed colour scheme.

Playing him recently showed that in-game as a character he offers some finesse as well as a heck of a lot of durability and stopping power: in other words he was great fun to use.

Latest Completed Mini

I have finally finished painting Acorn, months after starting painting the figure. I started painting Acorn at the same time as I started Father Oak (the two are really intended to be used as a duo), but have struggled to get the mini finished, starting and finishing loads more in the interim.

I think it has been a mini that I just couldn't get to grips with in terms of executing a clear colour scheme or and really have not had a great deal of enthusiasm for.

I hope to get several minis photographed this afternoon for further posting today.

I note that we have lost a follower (abhorsen950) - hopefully I can encourage them to return.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Iron Man 2 (movie)

I went to see this today, and I must say I really enjoyed it. The first had some great moments for me (and a fantastic first half), only falling flat with the climactic battle. Thankfully the sequel had a more even tone, even if it did not quite recapture the dizzying and perhaps unorthodox (by superhero movie standards) tone that was set in the origin sequence within the first movie.

The casting was great and no-one felt out of place. I liked the interplay between all the leads and the supporting actors, and Don Cheadle was an improvement over Terrence Howard in my opinion. Probably the most enjoyable performance for me was that of Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer, basically a Tony Stark-wannabe who is at once pathetic and would-be Machiavelli; a great performance throughout, and hopefully Hammer will be back along with promised appearance of the Mandarin in Iron Man 3.

It isn't high art. It doesn't push the boundaries of the genre in the way that movies such as Dark Knight, Watchmen and Kick-Ass have arguably done, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless, and this time the all-action climax which was always going to be part of the movie felt more tense and fitted better with the progression of the various story-lines.

And to anyone who hasn't been to seen it yet; consider staying for the end credit scene. My friend Wayne was a little indifferent to that scene when he reflected on it to me, and my wife was much more so when she did so after we left the cinema (the only two in the audience who did stay to watch it mind you), but I really got a kick out of it being a fan of comics, comic book movies, and especially the idea of an interconnected superhero movie universe that Marvel is building. No spoilers, but it is one of the longest waits through credits I have sat through for a 'bonus' scene.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Pulp City Team Builder Application

Created by Totengraber from the Pulp City Forum, the Pulp City Team Builder is a great little application available on-line.

I have yet to use this regularly, but it offers functional overviews of each available character, including Exclusive Actions, as well as Resources etc. What that means is that it offers a handy look-up option when cards are not to hand.

It can get stuck at times, but that may just be me. Well worth a look for interested parties.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Darkened Mirror - scenario

While uploading the Deathly Abyss mini-campaign pdf, I remembered that other scenarios are languishing on my hard-drive.

So here you are: the Darkened Mirror; the link allows access to the free pdf download.

The scenario is recognisably inspired by stories such as the Star Trek Mirror-Universe stuff, as well as their comic-book analogues (DC Comics' Earth 3 and Anti-Matter universe tales; Marvel's Squadron Sinister and Mutant X universes).

The Deathly Abyss - campaign scenarios

I knocked this out over a couple of days of thinking and writing. It is for Pulp City and pits Heroes against Villains in a battle that could protect or endanger the Earth depending on who is victorious. No pressure there, then!

There are 3 linked Encounters which are pretty straight-forward with a few special rules for each.

For anyone interested in playing through them, here is the PDF document link: The Deathly Abyss.

Monday, 10 May 2010


The title suggests it all, really. Finished another model today (Sanguine - to be photographed soon; well soon-ish...maybe), yet I have currently 18 minis to go (plus whatever is released between now and the end of the year) in my self-imposed painting challenge.

Many of my minis stay in various states of painting for far, far too long, while others seem to get done relatively quickly (recently Vector and Sanguine have been completed in what for me is a fairly rapid time-frame - others may scoff at my generous definition of 'rapid'...).

Now I know that blogging about painting takes time away from the actual painting; but as I have observed before (possibly) - I am easily distracted! But the point is I know I currently have in various stages of painting:
Draku - Sanguine's pooch; base colour applied a week or so ago.
Iron Train - base colour applied; that was probably over a month ago.
Gentleman with Sniper Rifle - two (!) count 'em two with base colours applied; one has been in that same state for ahem, a few months.
Chronin - two base colours applied, then relegated to the back of the queue; she was started a couple of months ago.
Acorn - there are occasional moves forward, and her base is at least finished; sadly the miniature has been in various stages of painting for about 5 months at a guess.
Supreme Zed - he had some paint slapped on at the week-end; I hope I can at least keep some momentum with that one!
Apebot - base colour applied months ago!

So when I say it is a 'challenge', I think I can stand by that statement - simply of my own distracted creation!

Ooh look, the postman has brought me more shiny stuff...

Paper Terrain (papercraft scenery) 3

Just a quick update.

Germy, who I linked to in the first of the paper-craft terrain posts, has updated his site very recently. It can be found here: It is nice and easy to navigate, and the 25mm section (most applicable for Pulp City of other modern/near future miniatures games) is neatly laid out under the 'Paper Models' tab. Worth a look and the paper models are free to download for personal use.

Not free but maybe offering an interesting future proposition is Taylor & Smith. They are starting at 15mm and 20mm scales, but when I briefly spoke to them at Salute they made it very clear they are open to suggestions regarding future products.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Time's Shadow (short story)

I completed writing a first fan-fiction short story (Respect - link ) a while ago. I have been writing a few things both Pulp City and non-Pulp City related, and most of the early stuff is to try out a few things and see what works and what doesn't.

The latest effort is Time's Shadow, an action-adventure piece focusing on Chronin, a member of the Heavy Metal team.

It can be accessed through this link: here.

Comments and criticism welcome.

Thursday, 6 May 2010


The latest one goes out to Duck Sauce - great name; I'd love to know the story of that one. It looks like Duck Sauce is another minis fan, so hopefully they will find something to satiate their appetite for the same here (couldn't resist a food-based pun there...).

It is always nice to see more people stop by, so thanks to everyone who has done so and those who continue to do so - a big 'Cheers!' to you all.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


The latest 'welcome' goes out to Steven: thanks for joining. It looks like Steven is a fellow enthusiast for minis so hopefully I can repay the decision to follow the blog with some occasionally interesting of useful posts. In the meantime, once again a really hearty welcome aboard.

I don't know if Steven is also Steve (aka abhorsen950), but the latter has provoked a thought or two in me. I am familiar with Steve/abhorsen from Lead Adventure Forum (link here), and I have to say it is one of the friendliest and most helpful non-dedicated minis-based forums around. If you haven't checked it out, please do so.

Steve also mentioned using my minis with Supersystem. I have the first couple of editions of that fine game in my collection (the third edition was recently released). I have tried a number of Supersystem games and the game has a pretty dedicated following. It is as near-universal a tabletop game system as I have come across in terms of creating characters with the abilities you want them to have. I have heard some really good stuff about using it in place of other game engines (for example, I have heard of WH40K-based games using the Supersystem rules instead of the normal WH40K set).

Supersystem is very much a 'can do' system. But at this time it isn't for me. I prefer the core resolution mechanic in Pulp City: single die roll (with occasional Power Up or other dice added/rolled alongside) versus a goal-counting resolution (from Supersystem). In system terms Pulp City wins for me for that resolution mechanic, while Supersytem wins for flexibility. Since what I am aiming to do is to try and paint everything from the specific line, then Pulp City makes obvious sense to use, as well as the fact that I like how it plays in terms of resource management etc. But for those who like a different flavour of game, there are rule sets like Supersystem in which you could drop your Pulp City models (or indeed any models) with no real difficulty.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


With the most recent shocking Supreme-caused crimes, citizens of Pulp City look up to the greatest heroes and take the justice in their own hands.

Sculpted by Wojtek Flis, the Vigilantes are Level 2 Hero Minions who come with Dead Eye. They are not exclusive to Dead Eye, but become more potent when fielded alongside that particular hero of Pulp City - becoming Level 1 Supremes, which don't count towards the number of Supremes selected! Instead even with dead Eye they are purchased as Resources.

I had my first games with them yesterday and found them to be fun and effective - not game winners, but a nice addition to the range of Resource options.

The minis were painted along with Dead Eye to give a cohesive feel, hopefully making them look like a combined 'unit' as may be the case in some other games.

Originally I had a different colour scheme in mind for Dead Eye, but when I settled on the US-patriot theme for the Vigilantes his colour scheme changed to something resembling his 'official' scheme to fit more nicely with them. I am probably most pleased with the wood-grain effect on the baseball bat - not too readily visible here (however try clicking on the top image for a larger image view), but it is there I assure you!
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