Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Summoned Terrain Tokens

Black Swamp and Nuclear Waste, both roughly 6 inches in diameter
Pulp City has always had a few concepts that were not ordered in exact terminology, and one of the things that is happening with the rules revision is catching some of those generic ideas and codifying how the rules operate for them. That in turn should make the game more accessible which is the plan at any rate!

Among those ideas were things we are now going to be calling Summoned Terrain; stuff like the old Black Swamp from the Albino Gator's Curse for Francis Gator, and the old Nuclear Leak for Nuclear Jones.

I showed the WiP's of these a couple of weeks ago, and here they are finished, with poured Magic Water to complete them (which took about twice as long as advertised to set by the way!).

My really big Tokens; Summoned Terrain.


Another 'welcome' post, this one a shout-out to Tom Grimshaw.

I always like to welcome every new Follower of the blog aboard the good ship Pulp Citizen, and so Tom is no exception.

As ever, a big thank you to everyone who stops by.

On the hobby front, well no painting in the past few days. On the 'other' front, we continue to press ahead in revising each and every one of those Supremes in readiness for the open beta launch either at the end of the year or beginning of next. Also, fans of the game and its background keep an peeled on the new website as new fluff will be posted there weekly, and some times more frequently than that for new updates (we will strive to ensure we sneak the odd new item through from time to time, like Captain Hadron last week).

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Mini Trade: Ninjas! [Ninja Body Wanted]

I am looking to swap a Ninja body for another Ninja body.

My next batch of Ninjas will be five in total and I want four to have a strong sense of uniformity, so really would like to exchange like for like.

I have a body like the one on the top picture that I would like to exchange for a body like the one in the bottom picture, preferably with someone based in the UK, if not I will consider an overseas exchange.

I don't need heads or weapons, but have some spares of heads and weapons/arms that can sweeten the deal if you like!

If you can help, comment on this post and we will work something out.


Friday, 21 September 2012

Ninjas! (Way Of the Fist & Blade)

A loooong while since I posted some newly painted minis, so I was glad to get these done, even if my painting skills were more than a little rusty in completing them.

Hadron has hit a back-burner yet again, but not because of these Ninjas, rather I hit yet another painting block. Therefore I wanted to 'get something done', and these were to hand, so without much further ado I cracked into them. Well I say 'without much further ado', but I did change two of the heads mid-way through.

Ninja Sensei
They were assembled a few weeks ago but inevitably got put to one side. The sculpts are by the brilliant James Van Schaik and are four piece models (head, two arms, body) with two body variations.

When I decided to get stuck into them I had plans for these to represent two rank and file Ninjas and their Sensei, but part-way through I changed my mind as to which model should represent the Sensei, so heads were swapped around a bit and one taken out (bare-head for the Sensei, swapped for a wraparound goggles head and a different goggles head was put onto one of the other Ninjas).

These guys are intended to be some 'good guy' Ninjas, therefore probably linked to the loose collection of Supremes known as the Way of the Fist & Blade. Since the pivotal figure in that collective is Crimson Oni, I wanted a colour scheme to match him. Highlighting the dark body-suit was challenging and probably shows off my current painting rustiness most of all. Still they are done and that is the main thing for me.

Way of the Fist & Blade Ninjas with Crimson Oni
I will be doing more Ninjas and Sensei in the future (for the Jade Cult), and they will have the more traditional masks and probably bare heads for Sensei. They will look a little more uniform in that respect I expect. And there should be many more them...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Another 'welcome to the blog' post; this one going out to Artur Pendragon. I wonder with a name like that if he would like some details on a planed Blood Watch Supreme with some links to Camelot...? (Alas my lips are sealed on that Supreme for now!).

It could go without saying that I am very pleased whenever anyone signs up - it could go without saying - but I will say it anyway, and thanks to Artur and everyone else! Cheers guys.

On the hobby front I have been painting some Ninjas and a Ninja Sensei; they are in colours to complement Crimson Oni and they should be finished within the next couple of days. The big terrain Tokens are almost done, just waiting for the Magic Water to set. I am just about to start writing up a special Encounter scenario and rules for this year's Hallowe'en Madness; I have also been prepping some terrain to match that particular game. Soon have to start thinking about Christmas Madness 2012!

Thanks again to Artur for signing up and everyone for checking by; cheers guys!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Hendybadger's 'Paint the City Pink' - Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser

Click the logo for link!
Can I suggest checking out this fund-raiser for charity?

Hendybadger (of Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher) has launched a fund-raising project in aid of Cancer Research UK.

The premise is simple and details can be found in the Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher post here.

I hope Hendybadger does not mind me appropriating Dr Warlock's logo for the event!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Supreme Alliance Teaser On The New Website

Following on from the new website post (here), there is a new teaser for the Supreme Alliance on the new Pulp City/Pulp Monsters website.

The Supreme Alliance teaser can be found here.

The Supreme Alliance are the original US Supreme Team.

New Pulp City/Pulp Monsters Website Is Go!

The new Pulp City website is live here.

Note that although Pulp Monsters refers to the imminent rules for big guys trashing the city, it is also the brand under which Pulp City is produced.

There is new fluff for the Heroes and Villains of Pulp City, glimpses of the upcoming Reaver Lords, and hints of tumultuous and pivotal times ahead for the future of Pulp City. If you look closely you can also see the relative powers and weaknesses of the Pulp Monsters team!

Momentum is certainly building around Pulp City with new sneak peeks of stuff recently (like the Supreme Alliance here on the Forum, and here), and the new release schedule soon to drop into place; initial releases will be pairs of blisters, 2 per month, from the following list although the order is yet to be confirmed:

  • V.H. and Blacksmith (Blood Watch Leader and L2)
  • Green Emperor and Terror Cotta Warriors (Jade Cult Leader and special L2)
  • Papa Zombie and Comte Vendredi (The Coven Leader and L2)
  • Red Bella and Primates of Power (ARC Level 2 and Avatars of the Ape Spirit)

The website will be regularly updated (now made easier with the change of platform), which will see a rolling program of fluff updates as well as previews of new minis (such as Comte Vendredi) and new Supreme, Minion and Monster concepts, and of course any special announcements relating to the game including the upcoming Supreme Edition. The site will also be the source of Reaver Lords news so even more reason to check in.  So keep checking the new Pulp City/Pulp Monsters website for updates.


This post is a shout out to the 114th Follower of the Pulp Citizen blog (by the current totals - I think I lost one along the way several months ago...) - elquintodestino.

As always I am both flattered and encouraged by anyone taking the time to sign up so a big thanks to elquintodestino and as ever to everyone who stops by.

On the Pulp City front I have started painting some Ninjas and a Sensei to accompany them; I also have taken receipt of my Magic Water to finish off those giant Tokens I previewed. I have at least one more interview tentatively lined up as well. We continue to play-test the existing line of Supremes as they are updated for the upcoming revised rules. There are more and more new Supremes on the horizon which sees the current rules continuing to be supported with new releases. Good times.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

WiP Tokens

Nuclear Waste
I don't normally do WiP's of Tokens because a) Tokens are not as cool as minis and b) they are a basic gaming commodity, but because I needed to get back into making stuff to play the game I thought blogging about these would help; well help me get kick-started (yet again!) at the very least.

While fixing some gaps on some Ninjas and Sensei, and while realizing there are plan that I have had unfulfilled for my Pulp City gaming possibly even longer than the Hadron project, it was time to get some stuff done.

Black Swamp
So on to a couple of Tokens. Now it may not be immediately apparent, but these are pretty big - 150mm or around 6 inches!

The Nuclear Waste Token is to accompany new rules for Nuclear Jones, while the Black Swamp Token is something I wanted to do a long time ago for Francis Gator; I had cut some discs to do the Black Swamp Tokens a long while back, but they just did not look right. So some time last year I picked up these huge blank bases from Fenris and finally have decided to put them into use.

I have ordered a product called Magic Water which can be mixed with acrylic paint to add some pigmentation, so that will be a stage completed as soon as possible so that I can try these out next week. There will be a green hue for the Nuclear Waste and a brown sludge like colour for the Black Swamp.

Hopefully finished pics next week. The pics below show the associated minis for scale reference:

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Interview With James Van Schaik

Doc Cosmos - private commission by James

Ye Pulp Citizen very recently had the great pleasure of interviewing sculptor (and industry all-rounder!) James Van Schaik. As well as working on Pulp City, James has sculpted extensively for Heroclix, and has had minis produced by Wyrd, Reaper, RAFM among others.

Hi James thanks for your time!
Pup Citizen: I know of you as a freelance sculptor; is that a fair description? Anything you want to add to that? Or have I undersold your interests?
James Van Schaik: No, sounds about right.  I am a freelance sculptor but I do offer other services and advice to companies I work with.  Actually, I have worked as a consultant for gaming businesses many times and while you can say that I work for a company, since I provide a service for them, many times, I am more of a collaborating sculptor and consultant.

PC: So I did undersell your work then! Apologies! I would like to ask about the consultancy later, but for now a lot of your work I associate with the supers/superheroes genre: with your Heroclix work, Pulp City and Chronoscope; are you a big fan of superheroes?
JVS: Yes, huge comic geek.  I bought my first X-Men comic when I was 8 years old.  Grew up reading comics so, yeah, you could say so.  Hahaha.

PC: So do you still read comic books? (From one comic geek to another)
JVS: Not as much as I would like to but I get the occasional one in.  I tend to read graphic novel collections now because I don't have the time to keep up with regular issues.  I do get to all the movies though.

PC: Outside of supers, are there other genres that you find particularly interesting?
JVS: Yeah, there are tons.  I like sci-fi, World War II, historical, fantasy and modern horror as well.  As far as sculpting goes, I like many different genres and usually go by the rule of cool.

A JVS sculpt - Crimson Oni painted by Pulp Citizen
PC: So is it important that your imagination is fired or captured by a genre?
JVS: No but it helps.  It is easier for me because I like all fantasy and sci-fi genres.  What matters sculpt wise is that you like what you are doing; it is not something that is specific to a genre so much as the concept.  If it is well thought out, interesting and you think it is cool, naturally it will turn out better.  If you aren't interested in something that much, the creative juices aren't flowing as well as they should.  As a professional, I try to stick to the art as much as I can whether the creative juices are flowing or not.  It is a skill I have developed over the last 15 years.

PC: And are there any genres that you like but have not yet really worked in?
JVS: World War II is the biggest one.  I have done a few pieces for that genre but not enough in my opinion.  I find there are not as many companies looking for sculptors in the larger scale WWII genre.

PC: Can you explain a little about how the consultancy process [mentioned earlier] works?
JVS: I have done mold making, manufacturing, game design, etc. so I offer all of this knowledge to the gaming companies I work with.  I have a unique perspective since I grew up in the gaming industry.  My dad owns RAFM Miniatures, which is one of the founding miniature companies.

PC: Can you talk us through the creative process you have for sculpting a new mini for a commercial commission? What kinds of stages does the process go through?
JVS: Sure, that is a great question.  I am actually covering that on my blog right now.  I do a lot of behind the scenes things on the blog and will be doing a lot more of it in the near future.  To give you some idea, I basically get the concept from the client.  From there we often (but not always) have a phone conversation, which is important to me because it enables me to be 100% sure of what the client wants.  We discuss the scale, where changes can be made and I discuss how the pose will affect production.  Once I am there, it is simply a matter of sitting down and sculpting. Again, I go into this in much more depth on my blog.  It is a little too hard to describe in one interview, you would have to make it a 10-parter.  Hahaha.

PC: We will have to look out for that in-depth study then! Are there any differences you would briefly highlight in the process with private commissions?
JVS: No, because I treat private commissions with the same amount of professionalism as I would a business client.  I am always making sure that the client gets exactly what they want no matter if it is commercial or private.  Private commissions often have less considerations when it comes to production so the figures themselves are usually more dynamic as there are less restraints.

PC: Do you ever get any kind or ‘artists block or ‘concept block’ when tackling a new project?
JVS: No, not artist block as the client is usually providing me with everything.  You do; however, run into difficulty with staying on task, especially in the summer when my kids are home and not in school.  That is a challenge for most home based businesses, though.

Red Hulk - HeroClix
PC: I had not considered those kinds of time-eating perils.
Moving on, do you have a miniatures sculpt, from any range, that you are most proud of?
Ultimate Hulk - HeroClix
JVS: It would be hard to say.  I could give you a list of ones that I was happy with the end result but I am constantly learning new things and improving my skills, which I think is very important if you want to stay viable as an artist.  Pieces I was proud of five years ago were done at a different skill level than pieces I did yesterday.  I am very critical of my work so I look at a piece and think of ways that I could improve.  I'm proud of a lot of the comic characters that I did for WizKids because the challenge there was to do justice to my favorite comic heroes and the artists that created them.  I received a lot of feedback from the actual artists on how well they were done.  The World's Finest for HeroClix is one of them as it was really validating for me when Ed McGuinness, whose art that piece was based off of, sent me an email saying how great he thought the piece was.  It is always inspiring when your own heroes and role models from when you were a kid contact you and praise you.  Another example of this was when Len Wein sent a similar email about the Explosion set that WizKids did, being a huge Wolverine and X-Men fan, it was a highlight of my career.  Also, the HeroClix fans were always great with making me feel proud of my figures; they have always been supportive with praise over the years.  In the non-gaming industry, I was really proud when I created the Harry Potter figure, Kreacher, for a toy company. It really gave me a lot of knowledge into sculpting to likenesses.

PC: Following that, I have to share an anecdote – at Salute 2010 I approached Kev White [Hasslefree etc.] and asked him if he would be doing any supers minis any time soon. His reply was essentially that with the high standard of your own work, he name-checked you specifically, he could not see himself doing so. Just thought I should share that with you.
JVS: Thanks.

Nuclear Jones - studio paint
PC: Since the [Pulp Citizen] blog is primarily about Pulp City, I was wondering is there a particular PC mini you have sculpted that you have found most satisfying, or is again a case of constantly developing yourself?
JVS: There is the case of always wanting to improve as I said, but Nuke Jones is one of my favorite.  It is one of those figures that had great concept art.  It was so easy and enjoyable to sculpt because it just came together so perfectly.

PC: It is a great sculpt. Can you tell us how you came to be working with Maciej and Pulp Monsters?
JVS: I was taking a break from working with WizKids and decided to look for other companies doing superhero lines.  Pulp Monsters was the only other company around that was doing superheroes so I sent him an email.  My first piece for him was Sister Bedlam and he's been a great client ever since.

PC: If I had to guess, I would have thought you were ‘around’ before Sister Bedlam – that is how strongly I associate your work with the line as a fan! Pulp City is a game with some diverse visual touchstones, and you are probably the most prolific sculptor for Pulp City; do you find the diversity useful? Is it ever a hindrance?
JVS: Diversity is always good because you don't get bored with one thing. There is always something new to work on.  I have run into the lack of diversity with other companies.  You end up working on the same thing or same type of thing over and over again and it hinders your creativity.  Maciej has done a great job of providing the diversity you expect with superheroes.

Diorama by Adam Huenecke
PC: Do you ever look back to things you have sculpted, to see what painters have done with them? Or is a case of “next project, please”?
JVS: I love seeing what painters do with the sculpts I have done.  It is great to see what the fans are doing with my art and what they have done with painting.  I have a picture of a Wyrd set on my Facebook page that is amazing.  The painter, Adam Huenecke, took my figures to the next level.  What made the piece by Adam Huenecke better is that he did it for himself and it is amazing how much time and effort he put into it.  It is one thing to see that level of commitment for box art when they are being paid but it is really great to see people putting that commitment into it simply because my work inspired it in them.  That is what this hobby is all about; providing high quality miniatures for people who want to paint and game with them so I find it exciting to see them using my figures.  I also love getting feedback from fans and have started to really try to connect more with my fans.  I have a few events in the planning stages, which will be posted on my blog, so fans can have the opportunity to ask me about the sculpting process.  In the meantime, I am always open to being sent pictures of figures they have painted and I often check forums to see what people have done.

PC: That is a great insight James, thanks! Following on, do you have any particular influences you would highlight in the arena of miniatures sculpting?
JVS: Yeah, my influences go back to the old school sculptors from Ral Partha.  I trained with them back when I started working with Wizkids so I learned a lot from them.  Stephen Koo, who was a staff sculptor at RAFM when I was growing up, got me started in sculpting.  From there, Sandy Garrity was one of the first professional sculptors who reached out and taught me a lot.  This was back before there were tutorials and sculpting was a very closed profession.  The staff sculptors at the Cincinnati studio, who I apprenticed with, really helped me become a full time sculptor.  They were James Carter, Dave Summer, Jeff Grace, Steve Saunders and Jeff Willhelm.  Tommy Meier is probably the top of my list for all-time best miniature sculptors out there.  I am always looking at his work and striving to reach that level of ability.

PC: An impressive list of talents there. What about influences outside of the gaming/miniatures world?
JVS: There are tons. Bernini [Italian Baroque sculptor and architect – PC] for one is absolutely amazing.  Burne Hogarth [a cartoonist who illustrated Tarzan strips and wrote Dynamic Anatomy – PC] also heavily influences my anatomy and the way I do drapery.  Randy Bowen [contemporary commercial sculptor – PC] is another influential sculptor that has influenced me.  Many of the comic artists have influenced my work, of course;  Jim Lee, Ed McGuinness, Leinil Francis Yu, and many others from the superhero genre.  My interest in historical and WWII was inspired and influenced by a close family friend who fought in Vietnam.  I could on but it would take a while.

PC: I appreciate the time taken to answer the question. Any as-yet unmet ambitions in the field of sculpting for you?
JVS: Yes, there are many.  I would love to work on larger pieces and on pieces for toy companies.  I would love to branch out and do more pieces for movies.  It is a really good question because one thing I have realized is that sometimes, you are not going to get paid to do a subject matter that you want to do.  One of these was that I had an ambition to work for Games Workshop. I had the opportunity to interview with them and do a sample piece but in the end, the company was not the right fit for me.  Having that experience helped me realize that in order to cross those ambitions or dream jobs off the bucket list, I would need to do things on my own as a personal project.  That is the main reason why I am focusing on my blog.  I am going to be working on my dream pieces, such as possibly doing a Fastball Special with Wolverine, which I have wanted to do for years. Not for resale or to make a profit but because I want to see what I can do with the concept. The pieces that I finish, and feature on my blog, may be sitting on my shelf for years or they may go to a lucky fan as a prize.  Who knows.  In addition, I have decided it is time to really branch out into new mediums with sculpting.  I have always been a traditional sculptor, and will continue to offer traditional sculpting services to clients, but I am also learning digital sculpting right now and will be offering that additional sculpting in the near future.  Again, I will be looking at the difference between the two on my blog in the upcoming months.

Sovereign sculpt by JVS - painted by Pulp Citizen
PC: A couple of final questions, if I may. Do you paint miniatures or play skirmish games yourself? And what miniatures or games are you involved in?
JVS: Yeah, I do. I love to paint miniatures and play games but I don't get as much time as I would like.  I have several 40K armies (and most of them have been painted) and I play WWII (Warhammer WWII) about once a month.  We use a home grown version of 40K, which works really well.  Since I have been in the gaming industry for so long and have created several game systems for RAFM, I make up the occasional rule system for certain genres, especially with zombie games.

PC: A hobbyist of many interests then! Finally, in addition to the blog project(s) are there any upcoming projects you would like to highlight, James?
JVS: There are many I would love to highlight but I have NDA's to consider.  I am working with a bunch of great new companies that have exciting products.  As they release the projects, I will be updating my blog so I don't ruin the companies' surprise.  I have realized over the last few years that I have worked behind the scenes with helping other companies develop their brand.  It has been great and I will continue working in this capacity but I am also taking the time to develop my relationships with the fans who have followed me from company to company.  I am also working on expanding the services that I offer companies with consulting and with the digital sculpting.    Another part of my blog is to help aspiring artists and maybe even start training an apprentice.  There are a number of things like that on the horizon but right now they are at the think tank stage so people will have to watch and see where I am going over the next few months.

PC: Thank you very much for your time James, it has been a pleasure!

Some links for James and his work: 

James' blog (where he plans to reveal some tutorials in the future)



Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Name the Supreme!

As my good buddy Hendybadger blogged about it, so will I! I want to get the word out after all!

From the Pulp City Facebook page there is this 'contest with no prize':

"Contest with no prizes: We struggle with finding the right name for this agent babe. She works closely with Spybreaker, the leader of the Supreme Alliance, probably the first (chronologically) team in Pulp City and is highly trained in espionage, martial arts and firearms. She spent a lot of time as a double agent working for Soviet intel in 60's but her heart always beats to the sound of the Star Spangled Banner. Her other team-mates are Battlesuit 7, A-Beast, Coldfire, Aquanaut and ... Perun. The concept by multi-talented Sergus."

Yes, the Supreme Alliance is coming, and yes YOU can name one of the Supremes in that Team, if only for the glory of doing so.


This latest 'welcome to the blog' goes to Styx, who I am familiar with through the great forum Lead Adventure Forum (we both frequent the superhero adventures section!) and also his own blog Dice of Legends. Styx also runs two other blogs: Army of the Week and Strange Aeons Adventures, both of which I will be Following.

Thanks a lot to Styx for taking the time to sign up, I really appreciate it.

On the Pulp City front, we now have 32 of the current range of Supremes (roughly 75-80 Supremes with some additional profile variations) in closed beta play-test and each one to two weeks will be seeing more added to that total, so hopefully before the end of October all current Supremes will be into closed beta.

What this mean is that the open beta will follow some time after that - which to me is a very good and exciting thing: moving to a position where the fruits of the past year of labour between Maciej, Devon, Melvin and me reaches fruition.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...