Monday 29 March 2010


A hearty welcome aboard to James, the latest follower of this little blog. James seems to be favouring superhero mini blogs at the moment, so hopefully I can repay him for looking in. Welcome once again, James.

Once again, I really do appreciate commentary and discussion, so to anyone visiting or following, feel free to post comments, tips, advice, questions - anything clean is fair game!

Sunday 28 March 2010

More Street Furniture (2)

A handful of street furniture models and a couple of cash bags useful as objective markers.

(Left/centre) - trash cans, mail box, concrete bench; all Megaminis
(Left) - cash bags; bonus bits courtesy Pulp Monsters (not in current production)
(Middle) - blue newspaper vending machines; RAFM USX Moderns range
(Centre/Right) - mail boxes, fire hydrants; Black Cat

Of the Megaminis, RAFM and Black Cat stuff, the Megaminis is easily best for quality of sculpt and casting, and does well for value also, so I highly recommend them. RAFM suffered for mould slippage and lack of surface detailing, while the Black Cat stuff was all badly cast (the mail boxes are resin, the fire hydrants are metal).

See the small image (left) for scaling of the Megaminis stuff alongside a couple of Pulp City minis.


Crazy Australian surfer? No, wait, he learnt how to ride the waves in Hawaii! Is he truly a water elemental? Why is he evil? Is he evil?

Another James Van Schaik sculpt - and as I have posted before, Mr. Van Schaik is certainly one of my very favourite sculptors (more on that at a future date). Seabolt is yet another great creation from him, and was certainly a fun model to paint.

Due to the way the model is sculpted, I needed to select a base to fit easily. Most of my villains are on rubble/urban debris type bases, which wouldn't work to mount Seabolt, so he ended up using a base sold by Maxmini and aimed for use with the Solar mini.

Seabolt formed the basis for one of the Supreme Genesis competitions - entrants had to create their own version of his his background and origin. I didn't win, but I really enjoyed that the competition took place.

In game play Seabolt is pretty devastating, and can cause some havoc to an unprepared opponent (my main gaming buddy used him very effectively against me in our most recent game!).

Sgt. Bale

Bale is a stone cold supernatural hunter. Not only he sets the otherworldly freaks on fire with his burning fist and flaming bullets, but also makes sure they stay dead.

Not Sgt. Bale Extreme of course (that remains a future painting project), but I finished Sgt. Bale this week. A very cool mini in my view, I have mixed feelings about the final paint-job - while not totally enamoured of it, I feel better about the outcome a few days after finishing the model.

On the field of battle Sgt. Bale is pretty devastating, and even has the potential to become more powerful during the game if he successfully takes out a designated target.

Pulp City Painting Challenge - update

Just a quick post to show the minis I have yet to paint in my personal Pulp City Painting Challenge. I finished two more minis this week (Seabolt and Sgt. Bale).

Forgive the high brightness and contrast, that was done so you can vaguely make out the black undercoated minis.

Still quite a few to go, let alone future releases...

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Street Violence/Zombie Buildings Blog

I stumbled across this blog (here) today, and I am glad I did. The guy's stuff is great to look at and in time I hope to be able to emulate some of his work for my own modern urban gaming.

For anyone interested in such gaming buildings, it will hopefully be a good blog to follow.

The same blogger has a separate blog centered on his Old West-style buildings, which is more comprehensive and just as inspirational in its own right (link here).

A Thousand Faces #0

I recently ordered #'s 0 and 1 of A Thousand Faces, 'the quarterly journal of superhuman fiction' (link). They have released 12 volumes in all, so they must be doing something right, I am sure.

I finished reading #0 this morning, and I have to say that I was impressed with the content. I have been reading quite a lot of short-form superhero, supervillain, and superhuman fiction of late, enough to recognise that quality and execution can vary quite a lot. For me, all of the stories in A Thousand Faces #0 were of a decent standard, which is more than I would say about some more high-profile collections (I am thinking of Who Can Save Us Now? in particular here). That was a pleasant surprise. What was also surprising was the diversity of the pick of stories. Character pieces jostle with action-oriented stuff, alongside comedy, horror and more besides. A pretty eclectic collection, then. And in each case, the writers have written to the format, offering stories that work within the short-form.

After reading #0 I can confidently say I am going to pick up each every volume as it becomes available, and to fans of superhero prose featuring original characters, then I suggest you could do worse than check it out. As I understand things, the latest issue will always be available free to download (#11 as I write this). So for those who are interested, perhaps follow the link above or to the side - you may find that you are glad you did so.

And for non-comic book fans wondering about the '#0' rather than starting with #1? Well for a couple of decades now comics have frequently employed using #0 issues to present origin stories, and since this was the start of a new venture laying down the template for the journal, then that seems quite fitting.

Saturday 20 March 2010

Gladiator - novel

The Pulp Citizen returns, folks. Nuptials and honeymoon are over now, but while I was away I managed to dip into a few books.

Among those, I finally finished reading Gladiator by Philip Wylie, arguably a pulp classic that in some ways should perhaps be better known to the wider comics/superhero fan-base.

Published in 1930, the protagonist of Gladiator is Hugo Danner, a man of tremendous physical strength, resilience and speed far beyond that of normal mankind. Sound familiar? Well Gladiator predates publication of Superman by some 8 years.

The plot begins with the circumstances behind the birth of this remarkable man, circumstances engineered by his scientist father - another superhero trope that has been seen many, many times since. The book then goes on to detail Hugo Danner's life as he tries to make a mark on the world whilst hiding the truth of his unique gifts.

What we see is a man who is at odds with the world and in some ways with himself, for the very reason that he is special. It is the story of a man who cannot find a place in his own world where he truly feels comfortable.

I think this a classic, a great book. Because of the time of its publication (the pulp era) and its subject matter, I doubt it will ever feature on many reading curricula, but perhaps it should. The book echoes many themes that would be seen in decades to come in comic books. It isn't the story of a vigilante-hero, and so is not a superhero novel. Instead it is about a superhuman man and his strengths and failings. In that regard it predated the fashion for superhero deconstruction that emerged with force in the 1980's through works such as the Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen.

Gladiator is a tremendous novel in my view. It does start slowly, and has a pretty uneven structure in terms of chapter length, but it is worth persevering with the book, and it ends in a way that that poses one final question from the protagonist and so possibly the author himself. The arc of the story makes sense and in Hugo Danner Philip Wylie created a great tragic-protagonist. A real gem, and highly recommended. Why this hasn't had serious movie treatment post-Hancock I cannot say.

Image copyright © Bison Books.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

The Pulp Citizen Will Return

Just a note to any visitors, watchers and followers that the Pulp Citizen will be on temporary hiatus (I expect about nine to ten days) due to a 'significant life event'. More ramblings on my return, I promise.

I have been working on a few more minis, all are at varying stages of completion (Seabolt - closest to completion; Acorn - companion to Father Oak; Sgt. Bale - the unconverted version), so hopefully before the end of the month there will be some more minis posted.

Monday 8 March 2010

A Thousand Faces

A Thousand Faces (link) is a quarterly journal (available online and via Print On Demand - POD - through Lulu), and something I have only just happened to learn about. They describe themselves thus:

A Thousand Faces is the quarterly journal of superhuman fiction. Published four times a year simultaneously online and in print, A Thousand Faces is the next step in the evolution of the superhero genre. There's no four color artwork here; the stories in A Thousand Faces owe more to the pulp roots of the superhero than to the comics that would later make them famous.

I look forwards to trying out the back issues, and will comment as and when I do. I thought I would post the link for interested parties.

Sunday 7 March 2010

Nuclear Jones

Once upon a time, in the darkest alleys of Newport, two brothers led the sinful life of crime and terror. Such were their feats that the watching eye of the Mysterious Man turned their way and he nominated them the ambassadors of his evil empire in Pulp City. The goons became his trusted lieutenants, but when Heavy Metal invaded Kodo Island, the kingpin didn't hesitate and unleashed the brothers, side by side with his monstrous creations. The rampaging dinosaur, tore the goons to pieces before the might of C.O.R.E. stopped him. One of the brothers was beyond help, but the other still lived, and the heroes retrieved him from the island. To sustain his life, his body was rebuilt upon the small atomic reactor, the nuclear heart. Thus Nuclear Jones was born, half-man, half-machine, with a debt of returned life to be paid off.

Sculpted by James van Schaik, Nuclear Jones is the heroic antithesis of Nuke. On opposing sides, neither is really able to harm the other so they can cancel each other out, yet both are very dangerous in their own right.

I really enjoy James van Schaik's sculpting, and this mini is no exception. I am glad he has more upcoming Pulp City projects (Kitty Cheshire for example), and with minis such as Nuclear Jones it is increasingly possible to aim for a more 'spandex-y' looking team. One of the great things about the range is the eclectic nature, so much so that various themes are available to hobbyists.

I may re-photograph this model at some point as the lighting makes it appear darker than I would like, but that said I was fairly pleased with the painting, particularly on the NMM (Non Metallic Metallics) parts of the mini, as well as the OSL (Object Source Lighting). I have not yet perfected either technique, but I hope I am improving.


In Heavy Metal, Androida acts often as a public relations person, while on battlefield she employs her tremendous speed and cunning mind.

I am still working on my Non Metallic Metallics (NMM) techniques, and tried them out on this mini (sculpted, I believe by Gael Goumon). It is an approach I never tried before last year, and with my self-imposed painting challenge I am trying out techniques such as this that I have never used before. In other words, I still have quite a way to go, but I can see small incremental improvements.

This was the second version of Androida that I painted. The first was painted very quickly with regular metallic painting (see below), and even with the limitations of my meagre ability with the NMM approach, I think the NMM version is simply nicer to look at.

In game play Androida can be very quick, but also potentially very fragile, so she needs to be used cautiously. One approach some gamers take is as a resource delivery system (basically a super-courier!), carrying items like Force Field, First Aid Kit or Spare Parts. It may be something I try out soon. She can also be used to grab/contest objectives in agenda play.

Sentry Bots

After the first Ulthar invasion in the early 70s, inquisitive minds in Pulp City embarked on a project of fighting Ulthar fire with fire! The first of the reprogrammed bots fought alongside Nuke in a short and violent battle in a radioactive waste dump in Mexico.

Sculpted by Jarek Smolka the Sentry Bots are a universal Minion resource. Intended to be very 'pulp sci-fi' in their depiction and styling, I think they look just the job. A few options are available in terms of heads arms, and backpack to make the Advanced Sentry Bot version.

No guesses as to what the source of my colour scheme inspiration was. That however isn't the full story. A fellow Pulp City hobbyist (Undead Jon) painted Rook in a manner inspired by Iron Man also, and I thought his idea was so good that I should...ahem...borrow it. Well imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, isn't it?

The second picture contains the Sentry Bots with the Advanced Sentry Bot I also completed last month.

Advanced Sentry Bot

Androida of Heavy Metal managed to build on the frame of the Ulthar Bot a new technically advanced version that possessed a higher AI and a very efficient and fast tactical computer built in.

Built using the extra backpack component form the Sentry Bots pack, Advanced Sentry Bots are exclusively available to the Heavy Metal team and just that little better than 'normal' Sentry Bots. The Sentry Bots/Advanced Sentry Bots are sculpted Jarek Smolka.

I painted this one at the same time as Androida, but opted for less sharp highlighting. I think it came out okay, and I am not unhappy with the result, but I am still working on the techniques I used, so hopefully there remains room for improvement.


Hellsmith is the minor Greek deity of forges, his true name long lost in the sands of time.

Sculpted by Edgar Skomorowski (Degra Miniatures), this is actually the second Hellsmith I started, but the first (and so far only) one I finished. The other version is painted in more 'human' skin tones. When the alternative version is finally done, I will try to remember to post images of that one also. Despite this version being finished with an aim to quick completion, I am pretty pleased with the results.

This was a nice quick mini to get painted, especially as I had stalled on the other version. I do find it satisfying to get minis completed, not least due to painting challenge I have set myself.

The model was completed along with several others in February, but camera issues (as you may have read about in other posts) have prevented me from taking any pictures of models until today.

In game terms a big, bad bruising villain. Brutal and effective - so therefore fun to play with!

Saturday 6 March 2010

Camera Problems Now Over?

I picked up a new camera today, and I hope it will be sufficient for my miniatures photographing needs (although that may not be the purpose that it was specifically bought for...).

If I figure it out, and it takes adequate quality of pictures, either today or tomorrow I will hopefully photograph the 4 remaining minis from last month (Hellsmith, 2 Sentry Bots, and an Advanced Sentry Bot) and the two I have painted so far this month (Nuclear Jones and Androida).

Wednesday 3 March 2010


My latest welcome aboard goes to the tenth Pulp City follower, Lee.
As always I hope I can repay the kind soul who joined by posting something of interest from time to time.
Really, I offer thanks for anyone joining, and to everyone who happens by, I really appreciate it.
There are a few who have joined now, and as ever I am glad to have feedback or commentary.
I would also remind anyone visting that there are some great, weird and wonderful blogs out there that may be worth a look from time to time (my list keeps the most recently updated examples that I follow).
Now, back to painting and writing I hope!
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