Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Chronin still keeps the Shadow Mask’s finely crafted blade. She is fully aware that in the Green Emperor’s court, there is always a Shadow Mask and one day, he or she will come to reclaim the sword along with Yuriko’s life. But she will be more than ready.

Sculpted by the talented James van Schaik, Chronin is a mini that has confounded me - and again, and again.

This is actually my third attempt at finishing the mini. I started one and didn't like it. I assembled another, started it, and again was not happy. I then stripped the first one and started yet again, and this is the result. there are elements I am content with, but it has simply been a mini that has proven frustrating to paint. Which is nothing to do with quality, rather my limitations as a painter. The Pulp Monsters version is stunning, which proves that the mini is good and decent for painting. And yes, i know that the scabbard is on the wrong way - I am not touching that now, I can tell you.

After photographing the mini, I will touch up a couple of places, but it is largely done, and that is what I am focusing on. Maybe one day I will paint a more satisfying version of this mini, but until then this is the Chronin I have.

Chronin herself is a level 1 who neatly side-steps one of the core game concepts; normally a model is Activated to perform one or two Actions. Chronin can begin her Activation by performing whichever suitable and available Actions that she has, and then continuing performing more actions as her AP Allowance and the AP Pool permits, without need to declare them all. Her Actions run a mix of offensive and defensive, as well as offering a counter to Trump Rolls and Lucky.

In-game & Scale Pictures Of The Ziterdes Apartment

As I don't yet have the Ziterdes Townhouse, and following a request from Andy, here are some shots to hopefully show scale (Pulp City minis are mostly 32-35 mm to the top of the head for a tyical human; the bases are 30 mm and 40 mm).

Gemini Y

Master Caste - Gemini: Twisted and broken. Gemini X and Y are Ulthar's only known psychics.

They [the Ulthar] embody every damn stereotype of an alien we had before: green, funny language, high pitched voices. Even their ships look like flying saucers!

The other half of the Gemini pair, Gemini Y was painted at the same time as Gemini X for obvious reasons. As I suggested in the Gemini X post, I hope to maintain the regal purple theme, and will see if I can incorporate the yellow elements as well to really draw the minis of the Ulthar together as they are finished in good time - I currently have 2 more Ulthar to paint, as well as one of their subjugated species (a Taurus; still counts as Ulthar Sub-faction).

As with Gemini X, I did find my painting of this mini difficult; the results are satisfactory for gaming, and I accept the final results since I am far from being a perfectionist, but sometimes one wishes that something was just simply better in its execution.

As an aside, the bases I am using for all my Ulthar are from Dragon Forge. They are from the Lost Empires range, painted to match the colours I use for my urban bases. I just thought it would add to the alien-ness of the minis to have a distinct set of bases. I ordered them months ago in anticipation of painting the Ulthar, and was pleased I did so.

Gemini Y offers Actions that concentrate on limiting enemy capability, in contrast to the focus on battlefield control that Gemini X has. In this regard, if pushed to suggest which is 'better', then if playing in a more aggressive style I would probably go with Gemini Y, whereas if playing in a more defensive style Gemini X may offer better value. of course in an ideal situation it may be better to take them both and maximise their capabilities.

Gemini X

The Ulthar are a warlike race of aliens travelling to Earth through Quantum Holes.

Master Caste - Gemini: Twisted and broken. Gemini X and Y are Ulthar's only known psychics.

One of a pair (along with Gemini Y), Gemini X is a Level 1 Villain from the newly emerged Ulthar Sub-faction. The Geminis can be used together or separately, but really benefit from synergistic rules that each has. Gemini X offers a healing Action, Actions for battlefield control, as well as synergies with Gemini Y.

The Ulthar offer something quite different in Pulp City, in that most of the Sub-faction Supremes have a Nature Origin, giving a different slant on Team construction. The other villain Sub-factions have thus far been dominated by Mystery Origins, resulting in a slight disadvantage against Science Teams (such as Heavy Metal).

I struggled a little with the mini, as I have been with my painting in general in the last couple of months (except for the Hulking Grimm which was nice and simple to paint). The purple colour used for the robes will hopefully feature on each Ulthar mini I do, and I will try and maintain similar flesh-tones across the Ulthar (although not all Ulthar Supremes are of that species...) to try to tie them together.


Grimm invasions. First, a hole in the city center opens, cars fall in, people scream, then hordes of biped humanoids burst out and pursue their current agenda.

Sculpted by Christian Danckworth, this is the first of three (thus far) Grimm Under Empire minis.

The Grimm are under-dwellers that terrorize Pulp City from time to time. This model represents a Hulking Grimm; a powerful member of this strange species.

Grimm are numerous creatures, each different from the rest. Under the direction of John Gimmsham they have become a formidable force.

I really enjoyed painting this model; probably one of two I have enjoyed painting most this year. It was nice and straightforwards and I am pleased with the final results. It may not be award-winning standard, but I am happy with how it turned out, and look forwards to painting more Grimm as I can.

August Summary

A better month this month than the last one in my personal Pulp City Painting Challenge. I managed to complete 5 minis to the 2 of the previous month, and put some more paint on a few others.

50 models down, 23 to go. And rising...

Monday, 30 August 2010

Ziterdes - Apartment & Townhouse

I have had some of these Ziterdes Apartment buildings (left) for some time, and find them very useful in my Pulp City games. I think they were originally intended for use with Heroclix, but I feel they work well on a Pulp City board, which of course means they should work equally well for pretty much any superhero and supervillain tabletop gaming, or any tabletop gaming in a late 19 th Century urban milieu onwards. They come as two products - a base and roof and an optional upper floor extension. What this means is that as many levels as desired can be added to create buildings of a suitable height.

The pre-paint isn't great, but I guess they will take paint well enough. They are constructed from a hard-foam, and they have a few defects, but nothing particularly distracting for me. The range has now had the addition of a Victorian Townhouse (see image right), which even if it was available before, is new to me at least. The Townhouse is available with a couple of different roof options, and can be stacked in the same way as the Apartment, but has a larger footprint on the tabletop.

I have ordered the Victorian Townhouse, so I think I know what to expect when this arrives. The bottom image shows a version that has had some attention with someone's hairy sticks. I hope to eventually paint up some or even all of my Apartment buildings to create some colour variations on the tabletop, and maybe the Townhouse as well.

These are not the cheapest terrain option, but I like them, and given the dearth of non-paper craft modern Western (North America and Europe esepcially) urban terrain, they are well worth a look.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Mini Update

Connectivity issues now seem to be resolved, and I have the new desktop wired up, despite the 'help' of my broadband provider (hey - it has only taken them 25 days to deliver a router; following approximately 12 phone calls and additional emails on top of that...).

This month I have managed to paint (pictures in the next few days):
- Chronin (only at the 3rd attempt; not perfect, but done)
- Hulking Grimm (really enjoyable to paint)
- Gemini X
- Gemini Y
- Tritonious (already shown previously)

So thus far, a far more successful month than last month, and there is a loot more stuff in the 'almost-done' stages.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Interview with Maciej Żylewicz (part 2)

Part 2 of the interview that I conducted with Maciej in April, at Salute in London.

I cannot thank Maciej enough for graciously giving me his time, both on the day and with some follow up questions, and for supplying a couple of cool images to accompany the interview. For me it was great to get a sense of how things work for a manufacturer.

Left: Master Sagittarius, Ulthar

Pulp Citizen: Pulp City is a game about heroes and villains, so who are your heroes in the gaming world?
Maciej Żylewicz: I would definitely have to stress the people that I have a great co-operation with. Rob from Darkson Designs – what an amazing guy; we know each other’s pains and we know each other’s successes. So he has given me a lot of support, he is definitely my hero. Other heroes – Stewart Griffin, the best caster in the world; the kind of guy you can rely on. And you know, when I have heard only spectacular things about him, I thought there was some British bias towards him, “He is one of ours so we have to support him”, but you know he is just unbelievable, he is not a craftsman, he is an artist. And then I have to mention Przemek from MaxMini. You know you sometimes just call these guys and talk about the things that have happened. It makes you feel as though you have gone to therapy [laughs]. Those are my heroes. I’ll keep my villains hidden [more laughter].

PC: it seems quite a modern and recent phenomenon in war gaming, but in the last decade or so we have seen a lot of other manufacturers come through.
MZ: I think it looks very simple to do, especially from the outside. And if you have got the sculptor on your team, it looks like a perfect investment; not that many costs and a lot of income, but that is half true because you can reach the garage level, and then when you try to go out of it you either succeed or you fail. And as you look at some of the skirmish games that have been around for quite a while, they have not disappeared, but they are sort of in the recess.

PC: Within that context – you see Pulp City as growing – you don’t want it to get to that stagnation?
MZ: Definitely. That’s the death of the game, let’s face it. The next step is you can go all direct sales and sort of fold yourself up back to your little comfort zone. So I don’t want to do that.

PC: So in that, where would you like to see the game in twelve months?
MZ: What’s going to happen? My plan is to have the printed rule-book around Gencon time in August- September. It is extremely difficult, especially when you start your journey; there is twenty volunteers- begging to do something for the book. And then suddenly your contact list on Facebook or on your email suddenly grows short as those people suddenly stop replying to your emails. So I got over it easily. It is always a little frustrating – I can understand real-life taking over, but I cannot understand why people would switch off, suddenly hiding somewhere and not replying to your emails.
Some people need the printed book validation to say ‘this is the game I want to commit myself to’; it is always an easier start once you have a reference source. And after having some hiccups with the sculpting process, I do have a lot of sculpts lined up, and each is really good quality. Yes, I am really happy about how they turned out, and also how much fun they will provide people game-wise and hobby-wise.

PC: You’re a business man, you have other interests, but knowing you are a business man you probably work in short, medium and long-term plans – so what do your plan for the medium term?
MZ: For me the medium-term plan is August, Gencon, and being able to deliver the game launch supported by something that will happen for the first time on a bigger scale which is tournaments, have a bigger event, and have at the same time introduction of all great rule changes in the book. Now this should be followed up closely by my sales guy raising the awareness of the game, and those are the things you cannot build overnight. He has actually been in the industry for a couple of years and knows exactly which people are responsible for what, and knows how to make the game go around. So I am putting a lot of hope on that.
That will be my medium-term plan, as for the long-term plan? The result of those combined works will answer the basic questions: can we keep up the same production volume? Can we keep up the same new releases volume? Or should we step up in a bit, or slow down in a bit? It is all going to be verified by the market.
I do have some other plans, but they are absolutely not Pulp City related, they are Pulp Monsters related.

PC: So is the Pulp Monsters stuff further down the line? Much further?
MZ: I won’t answer that, I honestly don’t know.

PC: Do you get time for your hobby at all?
MZ: No. Recently absolutely no hobby time. I recently managed to get time to paint a crew for Darkson Design’s game, AE-Bounty, but that required me to get three models painted to enjoy the game. I am lowering my expectations each year because I used to claim that I am not able to play games that require ten or more painted models, now about five models I guess. So Pulp City fits the bill.
I am actually pretty fast [as a painter] and people are amazed how fast I get those minis painted. It is about a lack of time, or you come back and you feel so mentally strained that picking up the brush...it used to be about relaxation for me, but recently not, I don’t know why, but I do enjoy other activities as my free-time, more.

PC: One final question - any other scoop or revelation for anyone who may read this?
MZ: Okay. Let’s see. Some people may already know this, but around August there will be a whole bunch of new Supremes that are aliens, and these guys will introduce some interesting synergies in the game, being the invaders, making Heroes stand side-by-side with Villains, and taking on the new challenge.
You will also see some different sculptors featured. I know there is a lot of demand for the fan-favourites – they will still be there, but you will see a lot of new sculptors. And this time again I am extremely happy to say that I didn’t have to step back in terms of settling for quality because these guys are my personal heroes in terms of sculpting.
There’s going to be one more thing that everyone might find surprising at Gencon. You have got to look for the preview of something, but I am not saying much more about it. I am looking for new avenues of artistic production, so I have been experimenting a lot with 3-D sculpting, and as much as it is a pretty common tool when you deal with mass combat games and you deal with a huge budget, in the skirmish world I guess 3-D sculpting is still not the most obvious choice. So, the results that you see sometimes online of other sculpts, while I admit that I love some of them (like the Kingdom Death stuff, it is really amazingly well in some cases digitally sculpted), I am aiming at this level or higher.
I am looking forwards to as well, that 3-D sculpting allows you the amazing ability to sculpt bigger miniatures for relatively the same cost as you would end up paying for a regular human-sized miniature, because the designer does not have to spend more time.

PC: Thank you very much.
MZ: Thank you so much, good to meet you.

Images © Pulp Monsters 2010


Another 'welcome', this time going out to two new Followers. I just hope I can reward sdrozzell and Bob Nolan for joining up. I guess sdrozzell is a minis fan, and I know Bob through his involvement in various ways in relation to Pulp City, both as fellow fan, fellow Herald, and also behind the scenes with our contributions to development.

Thanks to both of you for joining, and I hope you find stuff on the blog you can enjoy.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Interview with Maciej Żylewicz (part 1)

The Pulp Citizen recently had time to meet and chat with Maciej Żylewicz, the man behind Pulp Monsters and therefore Pulp City, at Salute 2010. We discussed all things Pulp City - the tabletop superhero and villains skirmish game - as well as his thoughts about the gaming industry. Part 1 posted today, part 2 will follow tomorrow.

Left: Libra Sensei, Ulthar

Pulp Citizen: So this is your first Salute?
Maciej Żylewicz: Yeah. I am planning on coming back with a more organised thing, this was very spontaneous, basically to come over and help out the guys at MaxMini, and have some stuff with me as well. If you want to do the show you have got to do it properly, otherwise it is a waste of effort.

PC: I was going to ask about the partnerships you have with the likes of MaxMini.
MZ: Oh we’re just friends. We used to be painters in the same city, we used to get together and talk ideas. Then I started my enterprise and and Przemek followed, and they are doing amazing.

PC: Is that helping you formulate what you would like to do next time?
MZ: I am fine with what I do at Gencon, but Gencon is a formula, you need to spend at least a couple of months preparing for that, so you need to add more stuff. At my first Gencon when I went pretty much by myself and only had my friend take care of the sales. I was so wasted, I had to sleep for a week after. Gencon is more straining because it is four days.
But last year it was great, I got a lot of support from the people that like the game and are willing to do things for the game, so the demo team last year was just unbelievable.

PC: so maybe demos next year for Salute?
MZ: yeah, that’s the only way you can do it.

PC: Can we talk a little bit about how Pulp City came about?
MZ: I guess it starts pretty much the same with everybody. I don’t know any people who start this as a business venture meant to bring you millions. It is mostly fans. Half the way you can go professional or you quit. I am pretty good at pursuing the cause, so I decided to go more professional.
So I had the idea. I knew there definitely was a group of people that both love comic books and love the idea of miniature gaming, there was absolutely nothing on the market in terms of the quality you want to provide people with. It starts with a very idealistic approach and then you have to start verifying certain assumptions you have made along the way. So you think it is easy to find a sculptor – no it’s not. I believe there are about twenty sculptors in the world who can deliver a certain level of quality. This is the level of quality I want. Half measures don’t work here. People will buy ‘half measure’ miniatures only if they are very cheap and have a lot of auxiliary uses. As much as I would like it, you cannot use Pulp City miniatures to play Warhammer, there is not that much crossover as there would be with other games. I guess the same thing applies to Wyrd Games. They do have their specific miniatures that end up being very good in their own environment and very odd in the others.
So you have to climb the barrier and start with the sculptors. There are two approaches. One is to fire a price which will knock you down and see if we are willing to follow, and the other is to build up the interest of your sculptor in your project. I have been fortunate to work with some good people along the way, but you learn a lot.
The first stage of me working with artists is that it was not easy for me to say “Look, I don’t like the way it looks. Please change it”. So you gain a lot of assertiveness, but it’s rarely something you get from the very start.

PC: So how was it the first time you had to deal with that?
MZ: When you take the basic starters [starter sets], there are a couple of things I’d like to improve over time. I said there are no half measures, but you also have to settle for some deadlines, and striving for perfection would mean that everything would be delayed another couple of months or years and we couldn’t afford that. At some point you get to a breaking point where you have invested so much money, that you would really like to start having some returns.
And you come across some really good co-operators. It usually lasts for a long time once you see that the co-operation is going well. Then there are times you think something is going to be good but it is not. Or somebody provides you something excellent in their portfolio and then it fails. I don’t like doing test pieces where people ask you “I’ll do something for you for free”, and if you like it you’ll buy it. So I usually try to have the sculptors and the artists that I really do like to work on our projects. Of course then you have to find the balance between the price of the artist and the quality he or she provides.

PC: For a long time, sculptors and creative collaborators aside, you [Pulp Monsters] have been a one man show, haven’t you?
MZ: It is actually still a one-man show. I had some co-operators but the people I worked with – and I honestly don’t blame them – were not able to focus on the long-term goals, so the interest died at early stages. But at the same time I came across some people that as I changed to them, it clicked and is working perfectly now.
Right now I am more of a two-man show, as soon as my sales manager takes over the entire business part. Again you cannot forget that I am being supported by a group of people that are willing to commit to a lot of things and help you out.
Now one thing is that they will commit to it and the real-life issues will sometimes show up, but there is always somebody to step in their place and take over. So it is comforting to know that you are not left with certain thoughts unverified by the others; that is super-important for the creative process.

PC: Now you are able to step a little bit away from the business side, where do you see your role heading?
MZ: You know I always wanted to be ‘Creative Director’. I seem to have a lot of talents, but never very well developed; I do draw but never good enough to provide the pieces for my own game. I do paint but not as good as I would like my miniatures painted, and you suddenly find out that that you find a lot of enjoyment in seeing other people do that. You just stand there and feed them with ideas.

PC: Something that’s evident with Pulp City, and you have talked about quality all along, is the high production values - packaging, painting, sculpting especially.
MZ: It is not like it is a golden solution that provides you with all of the answers. There are different ways of manufacturers appealing to customers. It is equally important to appeal to your retailers. Some people choose the easy way, and go direct. This way they can sell the miniatures at extremely low prices and still make some profit. While remembering that if you go retail and distribution you lose fifty-sixty per cent of the final price of the miniatures. So if you add in that it is a niche amount of product produced, you end up with high maintenance costs. So some people say “Get over it, if it’s going to sell it’s going to sell in blisters with unified card backs printed”.
I didn’t do it [go with unified blisters]; I keep going back and forth, to see how it works out. So far it is working okay, but again the next level of commitment has to happen for the game to step up.

PC: When you say about stepping up, do you mean for the game itself, or for the brand?
MZ: I think for market penetration. Being recognisable in many more places than we are right now. And I know it sounds hard, but take a look at the US distribution. We do have a lot of distributors. But not much effort to push the game.
You are just basically waiting for the retail to ask you “Hey, do you have that game?; okay we can sell you that”.
Now look at the French market. It is unbelievable what one man with a team of other people can do (Antre du Blup). The game in the French market is thriving, and I sometimes feel guilty that I am not dedicating enough effort to keep it promoted over there, but it also shows in not only the retail sales we get over there, but also the individual sales.

PC: If a market like France is very hungry for a game like Pulp City, and the US is perhaps a little more resistant, what would you put that down to?
MZ: I guess it’s about determination of retail or distribution, to get the game at low cost, because that is what Pulp City is about. You can get the game at really low cost without having to stock tons and tons of products.
One of the downfalls of Confrontation [here referring to Confrontation up to third edition] was that you had to support about 15 different armies, and in each of them you need at least 10 blisters to create a reasonable army. With Pulp City this is not a problem because you can stock ten products, and still be able to offer your customers a very game-able army. So I guess the game should be easy to promote, also with its production values, but again we are talking about the niche. It is easier at the same effort to push many more board games than it is to push a skirmish game.

PC: So when you say a niche do mean within war-gaming specifically or gaming as a whole?
MZ: I think that war gaming is a niche. If you think about the turnover of two major companies that is still going to be low compared to the production of socks or bottle caps, so we are not talking those volumes. But then within the niche, there is another niche which is not post-Tolkienist fantasy or non-classic sci-fi, and so we are in that niche. But as you see some other games get a lot of success on the way, but they are also niche games. There is a lot about the determination of the manufacturer.
I really admire Nathan from Wyrd Games, and how Malifaux is becoming more and more recognised throughout the world. I guess he set a new standard that there is for niche companies.

Image © Pulp Monsters, used with permission

Superhero Novels Blog

As you may have noticed, I am a fan of superheroes. As well as that little earth-shattering fact, I also enjoy superhero prose, that strange ghetto-genre that seems to be rising above it's earliest offerings some 40-plus years ago.

And it seems I am not the only one. There seems to be more and more superhero prose fiction out there, and not all of it is simply other media incarnations of the characters of the big two comic book publishers (DC and Marvel). That non-DC and non-Marvel stuff is what I enjoy most in the genre.

Anyhow, here is a blog that is dedicated to that very genre: Superhero Novels (click for link). Worth checking out for other fans of this peculiar little genre.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


Another new Follower to this humble blog, and therefore another glad (by me) 'welcome aboard'. This one goes to Steven who joined yesterday. Thanks a lot for joining - I really appreciate it.

On the painting front: since finishing off Tritonious, I have since painted Gemini X, Gemini Y and a Hulking Grimm. The Geminis are Ulthar, a new Sub-faction of alien (E.T.) Villains. The Hulking Grimm is one of the first three Grimm minis - a strange under-dwelling culture; the Grimm can be taken as Minions or as boosting Resources. Hopefully pictures in the next few days.

That makes 49 discrete minis (51 in total) painted as part of my self-imposed Pulp City Painting Challenge; currently just 24 more to go!

I have also slapped some base colours on a few other minis, started my third (really!; I started one, grew dissatisfied and abandoned it, started another, again was not happy, stripped the first, and started re-painting that...) attempt to at Chronin, and done a small amount of extra work on Iron Train.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Sentinels (vol. 2): A Distant Star

I have just finished reading the second volume of Van Allen Plexico's Sentinels series - A Distant Star. Picking up shortly after the events of the first novel, A Distant star brings back much the same cast as survived the first book.

The Sentinels is a prose superhero series with a growing cast set in a world and wider universe that feels to me tonally like Marvel in the late 1960's and 1970's. In that context, the Sentinels - Ultraa, Esro Brachis, Pulsar, Vanadium and newcomer Mondrian - face threats to the earth both new and old.

As ever I won't give away too much detail about the plot, but in essence new threats emerge in the form of a giant adapting robot, and other forces taking heightened interest in Earth. This robot threat (the Xorex) has been recognised by an interstellar civilisation that has problems of their own; and this civilisation (the Kur Bai) are prepared to take any measures necessary to end the danger that the Xorex poses. At the same time on Earth, shadowy government officials are squeezing out the Sentinels while building their own more malleable superhuman resources. And behind all of these events we see the first signs of great cosmic powers that have taken interest in the Earth. There is much, much more going on, but that hopefully gives a taster.

I really enjoyed the first book, especially as it was so quick to read, and the prose was nicely written. This second book I found more difficult. Compared to the previous volume it felt like it sagged or plodded in the middle, after a vibrant start. I put this down to splitting up the characters too early into the book; the use of time displacement; leaving plot strands untouched or undeveloped for extended passages; while focusing heavily on the adventures of just two characters (Brachis and Mondrian). Basically there is probably too much going on, and in that the various separated groups of characters are too much independent of one another. This is compounded because the author is clearly writing in arcs or multiple books, therefore sowing some sub-plots for development in later volumes. When Brachis and Mondrian reach Earth in a more stable manner, things pick up again and I found the book much more enjoyable from that point onwards.

If you asked me to liken this series to any one comic book franchise, I would suggest Marvel's Avengers. There are elements that while not copies of Marvel in the 1970's, just have a similar or recognisable vibe. For Marvel fans of a certain age, think about the Avengers under Roy Thomas, stuff like the Kree-Skrull War, and also work by Jim Starlin (Adam Warlock's cosmic tone). I think any fan of Marvel's Avengers, and their cosmic tales as well as superhero prose, would do well to pick up A Distant Star.

On the whole I enjoyed A Distant Star, but not as much as the first novel. That said, I have already cracked open the next volume and await to see how that turns out.

Cover image, characters and names © Van Allen Plexico and White Rocket Books

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Wanted: the Red Baron!

Alas, within the Pulp City range, there are three pretty rare minis: June Summers (got a couple; gave one away as a prize of course), the Herald (exclusive for Heralds as a reward for promoting the game - working on getting that one!), and the Red Baron, which was a limited release convention-only exclusive from a couple of years ago.

Now I don't have the Red Baron, and if I am to complete the Pulp City Painting Challenge that I have set for myself, then I may have to consider it incomplete if I don't obtain and paint one of those.

So a quick plea - if you have a spare unpainted one of these, and are willing to part with it, please let me know and I am prepared to offer a very good price or whatever trades I can offer, thanks.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Meanwhile: Pulp City Game Guide

This image was recently shown on the Pulp City Forum as the cover for the upcoming printed Game Guide. I am one of those gamers that prefers to have a printed rule-book to an electronic version. I guess over the transition of a generation of hobbyists we will see greater favour emerge for pdf rule-books, but some Luddites like me still like to have a book to read and pore over. Add in the new book smell (yep, I like that particular odour) and the tactile element of holding a book and turning pages, and it is my preferred medium for game rules.

I am excited to see the book when it arrives, hopefully within the next 2 months. I have been a hobbyist for years, a gamer first and modeller/painter second in general. There have been ranges of minis that have captivated my attention to a greater or lesser degree since I began to step away from my position whereby my hobby was GW-centric. However, Pulp City is the single range that has grabbed me most for it's breadth and quality, which is why I embarked on my Pulp City Painting Challenge (currently at 46 painted minis of 73 possibilities).

Participating to a small extent in the development of the rules has been rewarding. But that is not the reason why I look forwards to getting that rulebook. Talking previously with Maciej, he recognises that for many hobbyists having a printed book 'validates' a game/range. That is something I recognise, but more than that, with the production values that I see in the Pulp City stuff and the regularity of new products, I have a sense of this being a game I can choose to invest in both as customer and hobbyist and know that it will continue to build - which is just the kind of thing I want at this stage of my hobby life.

Characters and images are © 2010 Pulp Monsters.


The latest 'welcome aboard' message goes to photographer, the hobbyist behind the Double O Sven blog (link here; great title!). I noticed photographer's minis from a project log on Warseer (one of favoured minis games forums), and so stumbled on to his blog as a consequence. there are tons of images and posts on Double O Sven, and it is very worthwhile to have a look, especially for fans of Mark Copplestone.

Thanks again for joining, photographer.

Meanwhile: Tabletop Superhero Games

This post was sparked by some debate on TMP (The Miniatures Page) around the state of the superhero tabletop miniatures hobby.

I am a huge fan of Pulp City, and also involved in a small way in development, so I am declaring that as an interest to anyone reading on.

Right now there are a couple of dedicated options (Pulp City, and Supersystem - now in it's third edition), and Heroclix - which I think of as more of a board game due to the grid structure of play.

Monkeyden Productions are also working on a game called Superhuman, which is presented to be a miniatures battle game. Meanwhile, Ganesha Games state they are developing Power Legion (based on their Song of Blades system). Add to that with current lines of superhero and super villain minis such as Pulp City, Superfigs (primarily intended for Supersystem; unfortunately with no new releases for some time), Reaper's handful of supers in their Chronoscope range, Heroclix as straight-up minis or conversion fodder, then there are superhero minis available in some abundance out there.

Add in the various 'generic' tabletop systems, and there are a number of options either available or in development.

I think each game will offer its own Unique Selling Point(s), and stand or fail accordingly. Having a small part in the development of Pulp City, I know the collective intention of those involved is to make it a great, fluid, accessible game for those who want to play it. Add in a great line of minis with regular support and growth, and I think Pulp City has a number of USP's.

What success for any single game system may boil down to is 'take-up' by gamers, and a minis line alongside a game is important in that in my view. Talking with Maciej Zylewicz (the guy behind Pulp Monsters/Pulp City), he identifies miniatures gaming as a niche hobby, and superheroes as a smaller niche within that hobby. Thus realistic expectations of success are probably necessary. Simply put, sci-fi and fantasy war gaming are strong elements within the non-historical hobby – everything else is in smaller niches.

I think it is best to consider superhero gaming relative to genres such as pulp, old west, VSF etc, rather than as contenders to the big 2 'genres' (sci-fi and fantasy; which are in themselves massively diverse).

What all this means to my mind is that Pulp City offers an emerging game and range, but of course there is plenty of alternate choice for those wanting their superhero fix; it may be just a case of looking around.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Gentleman (Sniper)

Gentleman is not utterly evil, he considers moral standards more or less a matter of individual taste. Just as you may like a Prada suit, so you may like being a hitman.

A long time coming getting a Gentleman Sniper finished - this was not the first version I started (there is another that I will get finished one day that will have a cream suit. In the interim this was painted simply to get a model done amidst my latest bout of painters block. I had hoped to use an alternative sniper rifle from RAFM, but it was too big to fit adequately; I may try and fit it to the other currently-abandoned version.

Unfortunately when I painted up the model, I came across some pitting on the face that I hadn't really seen during clean-up; by that point it was too late so a case of having to accept the situation or abandon this one as well - that was not going to happen.

I rate Gentleman very highly as a utility Supreme for pretty much any Team; his combination of Merc and Greed 1 makes him a great option to fill a gap in any selection. Even after the release of over 50 Supremes so far, he still offers promise in numerous circumstances. One consideration I may look at his using him with an atypical Resource - the Silencer gun usually used with Twilight. It would require a mainly coven Team, but would allow Gentleman increased stealth-and-shoot capability.


Less is known about the origins of Twilight than any other Pulp City Supreme, and not much more is known about the group she represents. Twilight is a mistress of avoiding detection and cheating death.

One of the first minis released for Pulp City, I only finished Twilight last month. Overall, I am fairly pleased with the results - not a perfect paint-job, but then I am not a 'perfect painter'; instead I aim for what I think of as a 'pleasing tabletop style'. When I say pleasing, that is all relative and it is on a very-much personal level as to what I feel is pleasing. I don't have the talent, skill or time to try and paint to a better level, so I accept my painting for what it is - mostly - imperfections and all, and ultimately intended to be used in games since at heart I am a gamer first.

Twilight was ultimately fairly nice to paint as a model; more so than I initially anticipated. Nonetheless I had put off painting Twilight for quite some time as I hadn't wanted to go with the colour scheme I used. However since I could think of no other, it was the one I used, despite the similarity to the 'official' scheme. I like the colour combo - it is reminiscent of that used for a favourite character of mine from Malibu Comics' Ultraverse (Solitaire) - I just wanted to do something more original. Oh well, maybe if they ever re-do the mini I'll get the chance.

In game terms, Twilight is best used for harassment, stealth and hit and run attacks. I look forwards to using her in a future game.


"Tritonious, they treat you like a monster, a freak even without knowing the monster your father is. How can you be still pretending you’re a part of this?"

One of the newest releases, Tritonious was in the bundle of minis that arrived at the beginning of the week. Having recently finished Twilight and Gentleman Sniper, two of the earliest sculpts in the Pulp City line-up. I quickly had an idea for a colour scheme and so he was finished pretty quickly for me. His belt still needs a wash, but other than that I will probably leave the mini 'as-is'. Not perfect, but finished enough for my purposes, especially as I have had another painting block of sorts lately.

The colours are different to those for the 'official' version; I chose the green and turquoise to evoke a water/nature feel. I elected not to pick out the piping in a different colour because the two options I tried just didn't work for me.

In game terms Tritonious is a Level 1 Supreme suited to Close Combat as well as having Water-based synergies and control thanks to his Exclusive Actions.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Mini Update

Still no new modem, so still using the reconstructed old PC to go on-line.

On the upside; yesterday I reclaimed my painting area from all of the boxes that the new desktop came in, so hopefully those Necro GI's will see conclusion soon.

Even better - I have been able to see some of the pages of the upcoming Pulp City Guide - the rules section at least. It looks great to my eye, and I can't wait to get my hands on the real thing - that will hopefully be next month. I understand that visitors to Gencon will have had access to a similar preview. The Guide will be out as a hard cover book, and I understand the plan remains that the rules content (sans background/'fluff') will be still available as a free download for players. Best of both worlds in those options in my view.

Lastly, and maybe best of all, a package arrived today all the way from Poland to the Pulp Citizen's humble abode; and the contents have re-fired my enthusiasm - metal, lots of white metal! Time to get cleaning up some brand new minis and slapping them around with the hairy sticks!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Upgrading Downtime

After many years the trusty desktop has been replaced with a new desktop, with new bells and whistles, and inevitably completely incompatible with the old modem set-up I have.

The upshot is that the Pulp Citizen won't see much updating until I have a new modem sorted out, as I am typing this missive with my hastily reconstructed old desktop.

Hopefully not too long for my own sake, but I can't guarantee how long it will take. See you soon guys.
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