Thursday 31 December 2009

Paper Terrain (papercraft scenery)

While building up both my minis as well as the stuff I need to populate my tabletop, I have happened on some examples of papercraft terrain that is available. Some of this stuff is free and so may be useful to gamers needing to fill out a modern 'urban' battlefield.

Here are some of the main suppliers of useful modern-urban downloadable models that I have found so far, and a couple do some freebies.

Basic Urban Terrain

Fat Dragon Games - under the 'Free Stuff' tab are a few download links. Of particular note amongst these is the January 2008: Gridless streets and rooftops for E-Z Heroes, which includes a straight, t-junction and crossroads with road markings. Fat Dragon also do a pack called E-Z Heroes for $9.99; the description reads:
EZ-HEROES lets you convert any box into a 3D map for your click base hero miniature game. You get full color 300dpi pages of various brick and wall styles, numerous windows and doors, automobiles, business signs, roof access structures, fire barriers, smoke barriers and plenty of 1.5" gridded ground textures like concrete and streets to make your city. Set includes over twenty five pages of models and a full color instruction manual.

Microtactix - offer 3 free sample buildings, which can be found by looking through their products on offer via the catalogue links (the buildings are a deli, pizza shop and TV and Radio store); one of these (TV shop) can easily be modified from two-storeys to become 3 or more storeys. In addition, the deli features a small roof access and air conditioning unit which can possibly be used to modify the other two buildings. Thus, with the three free buildings a few small footprint buildings can be created with some variation of height. The catalogue is less clear than Fat Dragon's offer, but there are currently 3 packs of buildings for Twilight Street. Fans of more abstracted building may prefer the Dirt Cheep Cityscape that is available. This is the blurb for one of the Twilight Street sets:
Twilight Street Heroic Scale has seven big and beautiful new building kits (eight, counting the free preview set) plus billboards, awnings, water tower, street lights, and three full pages of custom signs! Also included is a complete set of customizable street tiles with the standard 1 1/2 inch square grid used in most click-base games! Now your superheroes can work the dark, grim side of the city with Twilight Street Heroic Scale!

The good news is that with just the free stuff available, a printer and enough materials (paper, and optionally card and/or foam card), it is relatively easy to assemble a small cityscape. If buying a pack, many more options are opned up, and in this the Fat Dragon offer seems better organised and probably better value than Microtactix.

World Works Games - Modern ranges; a selection of sub ranges. There looks to be some very cleverly designed products offering more than just simple boxes. There are also 'kitbashes' devised by product users.

The Virtual Armchair General - Mean Streets range; can be bought ready printed or as PDFs. Very 1920's/1930's era feel to the models. They do some sets of buildings so a good look around the site may be of help.

Canon: craftown - some potentially useful buildings and vehicles here. They may be a little too pristine and clean for some tastes, as well as being very basic, but a nice if small selection of vehicles is on offer for free.

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency: build your own Main Street - some HO scale downloads that could possibly be scaled up in printing to be of suitable scale.

Street Furniture/Small Scenic Pieces

MegaMiniatures - Megaminis offers some pretty inexpensive pdf's via the link, including 5 different vehicles kits, as well as crates, dumpsters and vending machines.

Tommygun - this link leads to Warseer, an independent Games Workshop oriented site. In amongst the various threads is one by Tommygun. This is his blurb:
The purpose of this log is to distribute free printable terrain items for use on terrain boards or on models.
Items like boxes, posters and anything you can use as props.

Have a good look through his stuff, you may be surprised at the sheer quantity of items he has created. It will mean working through a few pages of the thread, but it should be worth it for gamers looking for modern papercraft terrain.

GermsWorld - does some basic 25mm urban building PDFs in a 'shoebox' style (with lift off lids), as well as a street furniture PDF.

Jim's printable Minis - offers a variety of decorative items for interiors (everything from offie supplies to home entertainment, as well as pizza boxes etc), as well as some US road signs. - offers some ISO-style containers (sci-fi influenced), as well as a warning signs pdf.

RavensBlight Toy Shop - a couple of spooky buildings, as well as a car PDF which should be suitable if printed at about 50% size I think.

I have not so far used papercraft terrain, but for various reasons I may soon do so, so in searching for good stuff, and in doing so trying to keep costs as low as possible, the above links are the best of what I found. If anyone has experience with any of these creations, or has links of their own, please comment offering your insights - it may help another gamer who happens by.

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Pulp City - a little about the game

Pulp City is a tabletop superhero action game. The Pulp City game is intended to be played with forces comprising two or more miniatures, with the only restriction being the Encounter Level which in turn determines how many Supremes (characters, not the 60's girl-group) of specific levels (1-3; Level 3 Supremes may only be used at Encounter level 12 and above games) may be taken in a team.

In my view (and opinions are always subjective, aren't they?) the game and setting has a number of influences. The titular Pulp City is the 1980's West Coast battleground for conflicts between the forces of good and evil, personified by superhuman Supremes and their henchmen and helpers (Minions) on either side. There are two factions - Hero and Villain (with some characters playing both sides of the fence), and a number of subfactions (Allegiances) - models can be mixed beyond these sub-factions; they are premissive rather than restrictive.
The main influences that I see in the game are: comic book superheroes and supervillains (naturally); pulp stories (a given with that title); horror; science fiction; fantasy; Wuxia (probably in the more modern sense); 80's action TV shows and movies; mysticism; intelligent primates (a past comic book staple as well as Planet of the Apes of course); and lots more I probably haven't recognised yet. It is a melting pot setting yet it works well in my view - but then as noted I love the game and models.

Basic Game Concepts
Faction - Supremes are Hero or Villain (or both - Hero/Villain - playable by either side); teams are always good guys (Heroes) or bad guys (Villains)
Action Pool - the mechanism limiting actions through a game round
AP Allowance - the individual limit for a character
Origins - there are three: Mystery, Nature, Science, and each has an edge over the next in that sequential order (with Science edging Mystery)
Traits - 6 attributes that are paired and that govern action use
Trump Traits - the personal areas of special capablity of a character; they allow re-rolls
Opposed Rolls - these match two specified Traits, usually as an action (see below)
Damage - how much harm a model can withstand after rolls are made
Movement - there are a number of movement modes, actions and effects
Allegiance - many Supremes are aligned to a specific team; they can be used outside of these teams, but can sometimes gain bonuses if used with other team members
Actions - generic actions that most or all models can take in the right circumstances
Team Powers - bonuses (and occasional restrictions) that apply at all times; every character has a Team Power
Special Abilities - exclusive actions (unique to a given Supreme or Minion), trump actions (based on trump traits) and skills (standard bonuses and penalties that apply in particular circumstances)


Nuke is a powerful Supreme. Despite his appearances, Nuke is not a blaster, but still has a destructive presence on the battlefield.

Scuplted by Jonas Deimel, Nuke is a Level 2 Villain, aligned to no particular sub-faction. I knew early on that I wanted a red-green contrast. Red because of an old comic book nuclear/atomic hero called Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom, and green because it echoed the 'official' Pulp City Nuke (plus a certain radiation enhanced behemoth from Marvel is green doesn't hurt). Colours opposed on the colour circle can work together (red-green, blue-orange, yellow-purple), by exploiting the discord created, but only if used in the 'right way'. More learned people than me can expound upon what is the 'right way', but the way I view it is that in purposefully using the discord of opposed colours, then the effect should be controlled. to that end I don't feel using multiple red with green would work, or vice versa. Thus settle on the two main colours with a cohesive plan. Variation exists in shading of course, but that works in the overall effect.

With Nuke I am not too happy with the way the skull head came out, so would like another crack at the mini. After the painting challenge of course.


Rook - take 2

These are just to show that hopefully my photography is improving.

Francis Gator

Gator is the nefarious half-man, half-reptile in the ranks of the Coven. He sticks out from the rest of the strike team, but he is so useful nobody will ever question his presence on the payroll.

It seems as though I am posting more Villains than Heroes. Well the balance of painting is not quite so - I pretty much paint a Hero and a Villain at the same time to keep the numbers even. That said, I need to repaint a Hero and for some reason many Hero pictures haven't turned out quite as well as the Villain ones. Oh well, time and perseverence will tell. I hope.

On to the mini. As ususal I had a plan in mind before starting painting. Of course things didn't work out quite right. The waist-coat originally was a 'flatter' brown which just visually looked as though it merged with the skin colour I had chosen. Not good. Hence the more orangey brown. I wanted the cap and jeans to be blue and red, and the rest to have more earthy tones (the lizard excepted), so even though it creates quite a dull effect, it was what I wanted. Still, I may do another one day to see if I can do a better job second time around.


I'd like to welcome Molotov who has added themselves as another follower. Thanks for taking a look at the blog.

On with the blog goal (Pulp City Painting Challenge) - I have a major non-hobby event planned in March that will take up valuable painting time. That means that I probably need to get ahead with my painting in January and Febuary to accomodate that event. With full time work and other projects, the target I set sounds manageable if a little daunting. I feel it has become a little more so as that realisation struck me the other day.

I am currently working on two of the larger models in the range (Six Feet Under - hell-wracked gravedigger; Hellsmith - demonic warrior artisan), although neither is as big as Father Oak. That said, they may be more complex in other ways (lots of skin on both, trying out non-metallic metals techniques. So no quick paintjobs with those two then.

Sunday 27 December 2009

Red Riding Hoodoo and Zombie Wolf

A member of the Blood Watch - a heroic alliance of mysterious supremes. These guys are...creepy!

Sculpted by Jerzy Montwill, I really like the Red Riding Hoodoo mini and her companion (an exclusive Minion - in other words only usuable with Red Riding Hoodoo), which is a Zombie Wolf (which may be the undead form of a former villain in thrall to the power of this Creole practioner of the esoteric arts).

I still struggle with skin tones, so found it quite a challenge to paint Red Riding Hoodoo. Further, I should have probably painted her bandages a lighter grey. That aside, I am reasonably happy with the end result.


Mourn is the Screaming Death, an agent of the Necroplane forces.

Sculpted by Jarek Smolka. Going in to painting Mourn I had a clear plan - and of course that went quickly the way of many failed endeavours. I wanted to emulate the colours of the Spectre from comic books (green gloves, boots, trunks and cape, white bodysuit/skin), but due to the cape melding with the bodysuit on the Mourn model, there was no clear line along which to use such a two colour scheme. Instead I focused on trying to get an overall colour I could be satisfied with.

I enjoy the mini immensely, and plan to paint another sometime in the future. It is without doubt one of my favourites, and not only within the Pulp City range. I wasn't wholly satisfied with the results, but I think it is reasonably effective. the next one will probably have a purple-hued colour scheme, but time will tell, as plans often change, don't they?

On the plus-side, I think my photography of my minis is improving a little.


In the labels list you may notice some names. Each is one of the sculptors of the Pulp City range, including James van Schaik, Jarek Smolka, Jerzy Montwill, Jonas Deimel, Gael Goumon, Wojtek Flis, Mohand, Paul Muller, Sergio Alonso Leon, Steve Saunders, and Edgar Skomorowski. I just thought it would offer a handy resource for readers interested in such things.

31.08.2010 - added Christian Danckworth to the list of labels, having painted up one of his first Pulp City sculpts (Hulking Grimm).

09.09.2011 - Erick Redling added (with Loup Garou II), and Israel Gonzalez Mojarro (Ulthar contributions).

Blog goal

I hope every one who celebrates Christamas or the festive period had a good time.

No images in this post, but I just wanted to take a moment to explain something I plan to try to achieve over the next year or so. There are currently 38 or so character models (Supremes) for Pulp City, as well as sundry henchmen (Minions). There are also a couple of limited availability models. Pulp Monsters releases new miniatures at a rate of 4 roughly every two months.

I have so far painted 16 Supremes and 1 exclusive Minion (an exclusive Minion can only be used by a named character Supreme), although I want to do a new version of 1 of these. Given the rate of relase I plan to give myself a challenge - to have painted at least one version of every commonly available Supreme before the end of 2010. To do so if the rate of release stays constant I will need to paint almost 4 miniatures per month (47 over 12 months). If I include the unpainted Minions I would like to do that becomes 53 models (maybe more if additional exclusive Minions come out next year). If I further add the limited availability stuff (so far) - if I can get them - then I am looking at almost 5 miniatures per month (56 models at current estimate)! I'll post new images as photographs are taken to show how I am getting along. I'll even group the posts describing my progress, trails and presumed tribulations under an accessible label.

I have painted units and tabletop armies before - that simply requires persistance, organisation, discipline, and a lot more persistance. This time very few models will use matched colour schemes, meaning I will approach each model individually for the most part, which is more time-consuming than unit painting of course. And that does not even factor in time for side projects...

If I achieve my aim I would have painted examples of every miniature from a manufacturer range which could be the kind of deadline I need to focus my painting. It would be a first for me, and one of the few times I may ever be able to try such a thing with a moderately sized range. Feel free to check in on my progress.

Thursday 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

Just to wish a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays (depending on your particular observances) to anyone reading the blog.

I hope all goes well for everyone, and hopefully there will be more posts next week.

Wednesday 23 December 2009


To honour the fallen...

This is something I built as a scenic piece. The plinth and base is from a company called Grand Manner, and is cast in resin. I ordered several of these a while ago (and so there will be more statues to come), and it is from their 28mm WWII range (code WWII-28-25). The mini atop it is from Black Hat minis from their Mutants and Madmen range. Both are UK manufacturers.

The statue can be placed just as well in a 'town square' area, a section of parkland, or even in a graveyard or memorial garden.

I like my scenery functional and able to be used as widely as possible, hence there is no base other than what comes with the resin kit.

The base and plinth could easily be used for any era including modern and sci-fi I feel. I will probably do at least one more super-themed statue, possibly more, otherwise they will become sci-fi terrain pieces. A set of four appeals to me. That kind of set can be used to create nicely restricted lines of sight without resorting to masses of large scenery depending on placement.


Mutant Supreme determined to exact revenge on the mysterious Sanguine. Harrier has been known to be turned by the lure of money...

Sculpted by Steve Saunders, I painted Harrier quite early on in terms of what I have been painting for Pulp City. I set out to try and do something that is seen occasionally in comics - a character with flesh and costume of different hues of the same colour (Radioactive Man from Marvel is the clasic example with light green skin and darker green costume).
Of course what works on the printed page doesn't neccessarily work as well on a small sculpture, especially as definition in a comic book is usually provided by black ink lines. I could have 'black-lined' the model, but I really don't like the appearance of black-lining - it just looks wrong to my eye. So I resorted to adding the white trim to some of the costume edges to help define the different areas of the mini, since some similarities were inevitable between the colour gradations on flesh and costume when shading and highlighting.

Harrier is a Hero, but since she has the Greed skill she can be included in Villain teams - at a cost. I personally feel her Greed cost is a little too high to consider using her in this way, since some Villains may be able to cover what she can offer to a limited extent, but it does open up some options to do use her in this way.


Trail doesn't have a single damage dealing Exclusive Action. His Traits on balance may be described as mediocre. Neither of those is the issue when it comes to taking him in a Hero team. He can take over enemy Supremes, bump the team's Action Pool and deceive enemies in more than one way.

I loved this mini from the moment I first glimpsed it. Why? The big cape. A big cape done well is a rare thing in my view, even in the supers miniatures genre. The Pulp City range has a couple of real contenders, and Trail is among them. James van Schaik did a tremendous sculpting job on Trail in my view.

I love the mix of spandex allusions (cape and mask) with regular clothes. I knew early on what I wanted to do colourwise, basing the palette across a spectrum of red-purple-blue which I think work nicely as a trio, while hopefully suggesting some mystery and possibly even menace through the colour selection. And yes, this is a good guy!

Trail is one of my favourite Hero models from the game, from concept and background through to sculpting. The model is a great little 'canvas' allowing for some real creativity. I have seen some very inventive versions of the model painted by other hobbyists, so maybe pop by the Pulp City forums to see some other great examples.

Chimp Chi

Chimp Chi is a member of Ape Revolution Committee (ARC). He is possibly the sneakiest character in Pulp City and capable of dealing some serious hurt.

The sculpt comes from Jarek Smolka, and was a mini painted quickly, in just a few hours (off and on - spread over a couple of days). I wanted something 'done quickly' because it helps me feel my painting is moving along.

There are times I feel bogged down by painting, so I find it satisfying to try to do something quickly that hopefully looks reasonably effective. To that end I chose a vaguely ninja-esque look for the colour scheme, with some red and brown to break up the dark grey-'black' costume. I am still working on my NMM, so the blade didn't quite work as well as hoped. Time and persistence will hopefully improve that particular skill.

Being a Hero/Villain, Chimp Chi can be used by either side since at present there are only two sides (factions) in the Pulp City games - heroes and Villains. Each of these comprises smaller sub-factions (allegiances), and ARC is just one of those.


Boreas is new to Pulp City and his bloodlust and hatred of people high as never.
Fortunately for humanity, he is still weak and can’t support his material body for a long time.

I finished painting this model yesterday. Sculpted by Jarek Smolka, it was one I was looking forwards to a lot from when I first saw a preview of a painted example on the Pulp City site. What grabbed my attention most was the spectral-looking creature drifting out of the poor unfortunate host's body. In evitably that became the focus of my attention, both in painting but probably more importantly in trying to think what kind of colour palette to work with.
I settled on a very green-focused theme, from the pale greens of the creature to the suit worn by the host. I chose this theme as I associate green with ghostly stuff, and since the creature is the real focus I wanted it to have a ghostly hue. As a consequence contrast was needed, hence the red tie and red eyes of the creature, and the use of thin washes of purple on the host's skin.
In all I am a lot more satisfied with the creature than the host, but one learns as one goes I guess.
In game terms Boreas is pretty potent, a member of the villainous Forgotten, as he manipulates one of the four classical elements (air in this case), which allows him to open up some extra options in terms of actions.

Tuesday 22 December 2009


A heartfelt welcome to the first two people following this humble blog, Rob and Larkin Vain. One of them is an old friend with whom I have enjoyed many a miniatures game, the other an acquaintance from the Pulp City Forum. Any and all who stop by or join the Followers list are more than welcome, so please feel free to sign up.

While I am waiting...

I am awaiting some new Pulp City minis to arrive, hopefully soon, depending on the vagaries of both the Polish and UK postal services. I have plenty I could be painting, but glancing over my right shoulder to my figure cabinet reveals a small horde of unpainted models...

Never one to actually keep on top of my miniature painting, I tend to drift from model to model somewhat, finishing models sometimes months after starting them. Other times I will try to paint something quickly just to 'get it done'. I imagine I am not the only one - or do I hope that I am not the only one? I accept more modelling discipline could be 'a good thing'.

Anyhow, a package arrived this morning from the US. Inside were some 'street furniture' type models I had ordered a few weeks ago from Megaminis in the US. For my Pulp City games I have been trying to gather more and more scenery that fits the street furniture label (fire hydrants, trash cans, lamp-posts, mail boxes, newspaper vending machines, payphones etc). To this end I have tried a few manufacturers and here are my thoughts on those I have sourced from:

Megaminis: ostensibly 25mm; nicely cast and sculpted for what they are, with just enough surface detail. I ordered lamp-posts, and a mixed pack (fire hydrants, bench, payphones, trash cans, mail box, newspaper vending machines). Almost everything scales well and looks 'right' for my needs. The biggest weakness may be the hydrants which look small, however it could be that those from other manufacturers are in fact oversized. Megaminis appears to have a pretty comprehensive range, and for those who are interested their lamp-posts measure 85-90 mm approximately (3 1/4 to 3 1/2"). Highly recommended. Their shop is on ebay, but other stockists may be able to help I think. White metal. USA.
RAFM: in their USX Modern Heroes range (under USX miniatures) there are a variety of pieces (including newspaper vending machines, US and Canadian mail boxes, kerb blocks). Not as well cast as Megaminis but nice enough to get some pieces if ordering from them anyway. White metal. Canada.
Fenris Games: a small operation producing mainly resin pieces with a growing range of items useful for modern gaming. I have bought a lot of their sceneic bases which are highly recommended, but the fire hydrants I also bought recently are slightly marred by air bubble holes and some miscasting. Nonetheless a nice company to order from in my experience. They use an ebay shop primarily to sell their products I believe. Resin (mainly). UK.
Old Crow Models: in their Ainsty (under Vacant Lot) line they have all sorts of modern themed resin pieces. Pieces that I have bought and found very useful are the drinks/candy vending machines and a roof-top water tower. I plan to buy more bits from them - and maybe even do the rooftop set-up I have thought about since first seeing their stuff. They do masses of modern orientated pieces including building fronts. Generally well cast and sculpted, and well worth a look. Recommended. Resin. UK.
Black Cat Bases: cheap and cheerful, and really friendly service. However quality of sculpting seems variable, and quality of casting is not very good I am sorry to say. That said, they are relatively inexpensive so they may be worth a look, and they do some pieces I haven't found elsewhere (telephone booths), so it may be worth examining at what they have to offer. Resin and white metal. UK

Friday 18 December 2009

Father Oak

I really love this mini. I say 'mini', but that seems an incongruous description - the model is big! That said, it was harder to paint (and photograph) than I originally expected. The Father Oak sculpt is by Sergio Alonso Leon.

Father Oak is a quite literal force of nature, with no particular allegiance (he is a Hero/Villain in Pulp City terms). The model is excellent, and a superb take on a treeman. The concept was half of a winning entry into a contest run by Pulp Monsters (the people behind Pulp City).

Generally with big models that have large(er) surfaces that are not simply flat, I think they tend to be more manageable for painting. What I found with Father Oak was that I had to try to refine certain skills that I have relied on for years. I am not the world's greatest painter, but I like to think my technique is 'adequate bordering on effective' (ie you can 'tell what it is'), but I honestly found Father Oak to be more of a challenge than expected.

Not due to size, but instead due to the textures that are represented (bark, vines and robes), as well as the pallette to use. Trees are rarely just brown as such, even though we often think of them that way, which makes painting a tree or even treeman in a satisfying way something that is worth thinking about. I don't know if I am fully satisfied by the end result, but what I did was use grey as a highlight before using brown washes.

To get things started...Rook

This was an early photograph I took (I only started doing so a few months ago), so hopefully it shows a little of where I was before we get to where I am now. Rook is a big, bad bruiser of a Villain. The game pits Heroes versus Villains in the streets of Pulp City, and Rook is certainly one of my favourite models from the game. The model was sculpted by James van Schaik, who is rapidly becoming one of my favourite sculptors. Rook serves darker and more powerful forces than he (as he works for the Coven), and on the tabletop he does it pretty well.

Rook can spend all of his APs to go crazy with the Tremor Halberd or go defensive and protect any Supreme he is guarding. It takes some time to learn how to use him, but after that - Jason King (Rook) is the boss.

Welcome to the Pulp Citizen

Welcome to the first post on my Pulp Citizen blog. It is my first attempt at blogging even though the medium has been around for ages of course, so to anyone who follows - please bear with me.

I hope to use the blog primarily to talk about my favourite game (Pulp City - see below), the miniatures that accompany it, and anything that tangentially relates to both my hobby and enjoyment of the game, and that others may (hopefully!) find useful or interesting. Because of that you may see from time to time comments about books, music, movies, comics, miniatures, general 'stuff', or indeed anything that may remotely link into what is probably my favourite tabletop game, or that I just generally enjoy for its own sake but may be of interest. You may notice that I am starting out in learning to photograph those wee little models from time to time, so hopefully we may see a little learning (and maybe even improvement) along the way in that area.

I expect to go on a meander through a variety of my hobbies and pass-times that you may have noted above. To anyone who starts to follow the blog, I welcome you aboard in advance, and I am going to try to commit to a weekly update at least (holidays away from home excepted of course) - let us see how I get on!

And for those that do not know, Pulp City is a tabletop miniatures game that draws a variety of influences from comics book heroes, sci-fi, horror, pulp (of course!), action movies and lots more besides. It is a fun game, easy to learn (with layers of additional complexity around individual characters), and can be played with just a handful of miniatures.
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