Friday, 30 April 2010


Vector used to be human, one of New Port's many low lives until the job that changed his life. A mysterious contractor paid him for stealing a bit of the C.O.R.E.'s code. Even though he succeeded against all odds, Heavy Metal leader's programming was so powerful that it morphed the thug into what is now known as Vector.

An unaligned Hero/Villain, Vector can pretty much fit into any force, and has a strong argument for inclusion in unaligned teams led by Dead Eye and/or Mysterious Man.

I played my first game with him today and he was great fun to use as he has some funky rules thanks to his exclusive resource (Pixels - the only free resource in the game so far).

The paint scheme was a simple one, the two-colour palette influenced by the Matrix. Pulp City may be a game set in the 1980's, but the films had such a great use of colour around the scenes within the Matrix that it was an obvious if not wholly direct influence for me. I started and finished him yesterday - probably the quickest turnaround since I painted Xenobi.

April Painting Summary

Less diversions this month so hopefully more done? Well you have seen two painted minis so far, and last month I painted four in total...

Well to answer a question that may or may not have arisen: yes, it was a better month!

This month I painted:
- Stoner Hawk
- Mysterious Man
- Vigilantes (2 Minions)
- Vector
- Dead Eye

I also got a little bit more done on Acorn, so she should be finished soon. Well soon-ish. Maybe.

I'll post up on each newly finished mini over the next day or so, but I need to rephotograph Dead Eye as his individual pictures came out blurry.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Salute 2010

I had a great day at Salute 2010. I went with my main gaming buddy Rob and we both found lots to look at and buy.

My highlight was definitely that I had 30 minutes of chat with Maciej (the driving force behind Pulp Monsters/Pulp City) which I hope to get published as an interview article sometime soon - I'll post more when I know what is happening with that. It was great to meet him in person, a friendly guy who was generous with his time. Thanks Maciej.

I also managed to pick up the new release wave of Pulp City minis (see photo above): Sanguine & Draku, Super-Zed, Kitty Cheshire, and Vector. I will try to paint Vector this week, time permitting.

I also took a couple of pics of an as-yet unreleased Pulp City minis: Tritonius (see second and third photos).

As for Salute in general? It was my first and I really enjoyed it, so much so that I would like to go again. Traders and demonstrators were friendly and helpful, and so I got to see and learn about a lot of games that I don't really know.

Things that really caught my eye:
- a Star Wars Lego tabletop battle game: brilliant idea! Forgot to take photos alas.
- Alkemy: there were a lot of things about the rules that sound novel and cool; the feline-race minis really took the eye of Rob and me, and the models on the whole look fantastic.
- Tablescape doing laser-cut wood terrain; cheap and effective looking; nothing really suitable for Pulp City yet, but who knows in time?
- some great tables and scenery sets.
- the difference between Privateer and GW: Privateer looked to have won out in effort, having demo games, a painting area as well as the retail stand; GW seemed to be there just for presence and sales - not the most positive attitude I feel.

Stuff I picked up, besides the PC stuff:
- Maxmini: some pieces (crates and barrels) to throw around the table.
- Hasslefree: Mutants Grant and Joe; they will be used as Minions no doubt.
- the Salute mini: robot and space girl; the robot will be a Minion for sure.
- Heresy: Van Halfling and a not-Orko (from not-MotU I guess); just because they look fun.
- Atenociti's some windows and doors for a cottage building (probably for Confrontation) and the new GoT police officer (male) and Fembot (the latter a certain Minion).
- Black Cat: some minis that will probbaly end up as Minions; but unfortunately one piece is miscast.
- Confrontation: of course I am getting into C3 years after it went away, so bargain bin hunting (Got a Devourers Flesh Eaters box, some Mid Nor packs, some Cynwall, and Aberration Prime and did a swap of some other minis to get Worg and an L.E. Wolfen).

And as for the image at the bottom of this post: That is June Summers in resin, a special Minion for Pulp City, available as part of an offer last year. And I have some plans for at least one of these. Keep watching the blog...

Friday, 23 April 2010

Salute 2010 - tomorrow

I am pretty excited about going - it is my first Salute; I look forwards to hopefully seeing stuff I haven't seen before; hopefully snagging some bargains; hopefully finding some particular OOP Rackham Confrontation minis; and perhaps most of all getting to talk to some manufacturers, especially Maciej, the guy behind Pulp City.

I have a colour-coded shopping list ready (really!), and will be equipped with camera and will be going with my main gaming buddy - we are both pretty excited; which may be unseemly for thirty-somethings.

Keep an eye out - I will probably be around the MaxMini stand for some of the time.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

A Little Slow Down

I have been working a lot in the past week, so haven't painted much (I prefer to paint during daylight hours for the usual reasons), the limits of time compounded by other factors.

So I have a couple of nearly complete Vigilantes (Minions) and a half-done Dead Eye, all of which I'd like to get done by next Thursday - time to get a move on, methinks!

While I prefer to paint during daylight hours, other hobby activities can be safely conducted outside of that time-frame (insert obvious innuendo here!). Like any 'good' miniatures hobbyist I have far more minis than just those that are painted or in various stages of painting...

So it was I came across some Rackham Confrontation figures (Devourers of Vile-Tis - nasty wolf-humanoids basically), which got me to thinking about getting them painted up one day - yet more distractions of course....

Thursday, 15 April 2010

100th Post

A bit of summing up really, as 100 blog posts seems like a mini-milestone (no pun intended...well maybe a little...).

I have been blogging away here for roughly 4 months and I have to admit I am enjoying it a lot. It has helped me think about my hobbies a lot more, which is a good thing. Take the minis side: in January I had 'painters block' - that has happened before, however in the past it has taken a lot to get past it (when the thoughts of painting dozens of models seemed pretty overwhelming), yet the change in direction of my painting meant it was fairly short-lived. I think the blog gave me some impetus as well.

On the other side of my hobbies, I have been thinking a lot about what comics I buy, whether I really enjoy all of them, and what regular purchases I will drop - being judicious is a good thing in my view.

Lastly, my starting to blog was inspired by my best mate (Rob) and his own blog (Four Colour Super Minis: check it out here), and starting it has in turn led me to find some fun and informative blogs that are out there.

So for me, so far, so good; I am enjoying my time, and I am chuffed to see a growing number of followers - thanks to all for being aboard - so let's see where the next 100 posts go.

Salute 2010

In just over a week (Saturday 24th April), I am heading to Salute 2010, the first time I will have attended this particular show, and I am really looking forwards to it. There will be lots of manufacturers with minis etc on show, much of it available for the first time at the show. There are a number of items that I would like to pick up, and in addition there will be minis that I will get to see and learn about that otherwise I may not have known about.

For many years my involvement in the minis and tabletop gaming hobby was Games Workshop-centric, and later Superfigs added to that. Moving away from that position has caused me to embrace picking up cool models from all sorts of different manufacturers, and has also caused me to approach and try different things with my minis: before starting my self-imposed Pulp City Painting Challenge, I had not looked at using scenic bases (I love the stuff I have picked up from Dragon Forge and Fenris, two great manufacturers - both offer helpful and friendly service); before the challenge I had not tried Object Source Lighting (OSL; still working on this technique); before the challenge I had not tried to create a non-metallic metallic effect (NMM; also still working on this technique). It has stretched my enjoyment of the minis hobby since it has stretched me as a hobbyist. Going to Salute will maybe offer me some more new things to consider.

A bonus of going to Salute is that hopefully I will be able to catch up the creator and primary driving force behind Pulp City; head to the MaxMini stand to catch up with Morf/Maciej.

So I am going to Salute, along with my long-time gaming buddy, and we have a lot to look forwards to; and of course I will post about it when I get back.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Stoner Hawk

Stoner Hawk's powers come from communion with the Earth, as he is able to call on the powers of stone and shape it in different forms and reinforce his body with its durability. His skin becomes covered with the sandstone and his hands turn into deadly weapons. There is a peril, though, as in the stone dwell all sorts of malicious spirits that beg him to stay inside and lull him into the sleep that never ends: the stoner slumber.

I seem to be on a run of finishing painting James van Schaik sculpts recently - no bad thing, because as I have said previously, he is among my favourites.

Stoner Hawk was a model I was a little wary of painting at first. Nothing to do with the quality of the sculpting, but instead that visually he didn't fit anything terribly familiar.

Take the Mysterious Man mini for example; even though he is a Villain, the hood and coat evokes Bruce Willis' character from the movie Unbreakable. So the obvious route is to paint that coat green (I didn't of course, but there were very specific reasons for not doing so). With the 'spandex-y' models in the range (Solar, Nuclear Jones, Harrier, Sister Bedlam etc), well the wealth of inspirations is near limitless for a comics geek like me. For a model like this, even though there is an 'studio' version painted up, until I could get my head around what I was going to do I was a bit stuck.

I settled on the grey stone rather than sandstone (from the background) simply to better fit the basing I have been doing. The red and the blue was to tie into the main colour themes of my Heroes (believe it or not, I do plan these things!), and after I realised those two choices were made, then things were clearer and it was quite quick to get painted. I just need to work on some rock formation markers to match the model.

Mysterious Man

Being bad is good. Being good is bad.

Another James van Schaik sculpt, the simplicity of the Mysterious Man model belies that he is a very potent character in the game. One of only a handful of Level 3 Supremes, Mysterious Man is the first of these I have completed (I am working on Dead Eye and his Vigilante Minions right now). Just as Level 2's are noticeably more potent than Level 1's, so Level 3's are more potent than Level 2's; in addition all Level 3's offer some team-based bonuses depending on what other models comprise the team.

I am trying to tie my Villains more and more together visually. To that end I have settled on trying to work some purple in to their colour schemes where possible. I knew straight off that Terrordon X (the flying dino-thing on his shoulder) would be purple - inspired by a character from a certain marvelous comic book stable. With that in mind I didn't think a green coat would work (the 'official' Pulp City version is in green), so that had to be brown. I liked the idea of using greens and browns and so the rest of the palette stemmed from there. All because of the first decision. One of the few times the planning and execution went fairly closely together in my painting.

Sunday, 11 April 2010


Another welcome aboard is extended - this time to Mykal, who I surmise is a fellow comic-book fan; great to have you stop by and follow the blog. I hope that whether your interest is in comics, minis, or both, that you get something worthwhile from stopping by.

Writing that welcome reminds me that I have been thinking a lot about comics recently. More specifically I have been thinking about my own comic book collecting. I have mentioned my dissatisfaction with the status quo at the big two (possibly more so with DC), that they are not broadly producing enough comic books that can really cater to 'all-ages'. DC have a line of books aimed at kids (probably read by a lot of adults, but targeted at kids), while Marvel do a number of all-ages type books, none of which are really positioned within the mainstream Marvel universe. The point is that that kind of all-ages accessibility is what I want in a lot of my purchases at almost 37 years of age.

For those books that don't offer that basic approach, I want sufficient quality and verve to overcome that preference (Kick-Ass is a great example of a book that does just that; GI Joe: Cobra from IDW last year was another; Powers is a book I am reading in collected editions and I am really enjoying - even if it is without doubt for mature readers; you get the idea). The point of this rambling is that now I am taking stock, and maybe I need to be much more judicious in my comics buying.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Kick-Ass (the movie)

So having shared my thoughts about the comic book serialisation/graphic novel of Kick-Ass recently, I went to see the movie with a few friends last night; and boy, was I impressed. In fact, we all five of us were thoroughly impressed.

The film was amazing. I laughed so much at the sheer gratuitous spectacle and gratuitous dialogue. I went in expecting ultra-violence and profanity, and got exactly that. However such ingredients are no guarantee of quality, yet this was a quality movie through and through in my view. Easily one of the best super-hero movies I have seen I feel, and I have seen a lot.

Recent years have seen a number of movies change the stakes when it comes to the super-hero genre, so much so that I think many movies are transcending the boundaries of the genre (the Dark Knight is a thriller at heart; Watchmen and V For Vendetta play on politics; etc). In other words maybe the super-hero movie is no longer a genre in of itself. Kick-Ass is one of those movies, upending the established super-hero movie tropes, and doing so with verve and commitment to the story and characters. It is an unflinching tour-de-force that could have been terrible exploitative rubbish, instead I was carried along in a story I was already familiar with. Great stuff.

And as for the star of the film - Hit Girl. Easily. The coolest 10-year-old girl in comics or cinema for my money, no contest. Setting aside the ethics or morality of such a character creation (there is a clear argument to say that she effectively suffered abuse given her dedicated upbringing), the actress playing Mindy/Hit Girl was simply brilliant and perfectly cast. To bring in any moral or ethical judgement on the character is to surely miss the point, however. As Mindy/Hit Girl, Chloë Moretz stole every scene she was in except possibly those with Nicholas Cage who was just madly-brilliant. Every member of the cast was great; I can't fault the choices.

As for the deviations from the source material, well that is inevitable when translating 8 evenly paced (page wise) episodes into a 3 act model. I wish I had blogged that before listening to Mark Millar this afternoon, as he said the same thing, but it is true nonetheless.

A great, great film in my view. This deserves to be critically considered outside of the controversy that understandably accompanies it.


A second welcome today, this time to Cheetahmaster who has been an enjoyable commentator through the brief existence of this blog; so thanks for formally joining the ranks, Paul. :)

It is rewarding for me to have a sense that others may be taking something from the blog, so any time anyone clicks in or better yet joins the followers list, it gives me a small boost, so cheers and thanks to all who are on-board.

Now enough gushing, more painting!


The newest signed-up follower is Mordenkainen, so a big welcome aboard. As always, I hope anyone stopping by finds something to take away from the blog, but also feel free to add comments, criticism, advice - anything - different perspectives are always useful.

Mordenkainen's avatar seems familiar, so a hearty welcome once again if it is who I think it is.

As for today? Hoping to get Mysterious Man finished, and I plan to post my thoughts about Kick-ass the movie, which I saw with my gaming group last night.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Quarterly Update (1)

I was thinking of doing something like this a few days ago, but neglected to follow up on it. Then a post I put together on the Pulp City Forum made me think about it again. As well as monthly summaries of painting, I thought I'd construct a quarterly update showing what is and what isn't painted on my challenge.

Here is the current list of available Pulp City minis, organised by sub faction; the ones that I have painted already are in italics:

Heavy Metal
Chronin (L1)
Androida (L1)
Iron Train (L2)
Nuclear Jones (L2)
Dr. Mercury (L2)
C.O.R.E. (L3)

Blood Watch
Red Riding Hoodoo (L1) and Zombie Wolf (Minion)
Blood Rose (L1)
Six Feet Under (L2)
Sgt. Bale (L2)

Unaligned Heroes
Ace of Wraiths (L2)
Deadeye (L3)
Vigilantes (Minions; x2)
Solar (L2)
Harrier (L1)
Trail (L2)
Stoner Hawk (L2)

Dr. Red (L2)
Virus (L1)
Apebot (L2)
Chimp Chi (l1)
Guerilla (L2)
Howler (L1)

Unaligned Hero/Villains
Acorn (L1)
Father Oak (L2)

Rook (L2)
Twilight (L1)
Francis Gator (L1)

Dr. Tenebrous (L3)
Mourn (L1)
Necro GI's (Minions; x2)

Boreas (L2)
Hellsmith (L2)

Unaligned Villains
Mysterious Man (L3)
Xenobi (L1)
Gentleman (L1)
Gentleman with sniper rifle (L1)
Nuke (L2)
Tangent (L2)
Seabolt (L2)
Sister Bedlam (L1)

Sentry Bots/Advanced Sentry Bot (Minions)
June Summers (Minion; currently not widely available)
Herald (L?)

Next Wave (coming soon)
Looks to be:
Kitty Cheshire (H/V; Otherside - new sub faction; L1?)
Vector (V; L1?)
Super Zed aka Supreme Zed (V; Necroplane; L2?)
Sanguine (V; Necroplane; L1/2?) and Draku (Minion?)

The delays in recent releases has given me a bit of leeway in completing my self-appointed challenge, on the downside it also reduces the choices of minis available to paint, and if I experience any kind or 'painters block' like I did in January, that could hurt my challenge.

As for what is being hit with the hairy stick at my painting station? Mysterious Man is coming on okay; Acorn keeps getting smidgeon more of paint from time to time; Chronin has been put to one side after a very small amount of paint attention; Iron Train has had the main base colour applied.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Recent Games

I thought I'd share some pictures taken of a couple of recent Pulp City games by my main gaming opponent. As always we had fun, and we keep mixing things up by swapping over as Heroes and Villains players. That said, I am sure the Villains are doing better on the whole.

We had two games that day - we tend to warm up with a 'smaller' game (Encounter level 6 this time; 2 each of Level 1 and 2 Supremes per side) before we play a bigger one.

In the smaller game we used the Agendas rules, but for the second (Encounter Level 11; 3 Level 1 Supremes and 4 Level 2 Supremes per side) we settled for a straight-up, drag-out, knock-down slug-fest! Both were great fun against a great opponent.

Thursday, 1 April 2010


What can I say? Cresting the wave of my mid-thirties into my later-thirties I have found my comic book sensibilities now are probably closer to where they were 25-30 years ago than say 15 years ago. Life is funny that way, isn't it? These days I want heroic heroes, and villainous villains. I generally don't want an unrelenting grim and gritty mixing of the two. I don't seek for gratuitous violence, sex or profanity in my comic books. I generally want to read comic books that I could show my six or ten year old self. Most of the time with modern comic books, it just isn't the case.

So of course in this situation, wanting cleaner, simpler comic books on the whole, Kick-Ass places me in a dichotomous situation: it is filthy, ultra-violent and in very bad taste. And I love it for that. Hats off to Mark Millar (writer; also Ultimates and Wanted) and John Romita Jr. (artists; too many Marvel comic books too count).

The movie version has been described as Superbad meets Watchmen, and I get that kind of short-hand description. The comic book would equally well wear it. I love Kick-Ass in that it set out to be something and was clear about it from the start. No pretences. This is violence and profanity cranked up to 11 ('one higher, because where do you go when you reach 10?' to paraphrase Nigel Tufnel). The book is honest about that, which I am cool with - what I am not cool with is the silver-age resurgence elsewhere dressed up with shock-tactic story-telling (which is happening in far too many comic books that I read), but that isn't an issue with Kick-Ass.

The book is funny, and it is a well-crafted read, with decent structure starting as it does in media res while entertaining with the back story of how a hapless teen becomes an Internet and cultural sensation while suffering all manner of violent incident. The structural strengths were more apparent on re-reading, as I originally read it episodically and the series met with a few delays as it progressed, disrupting the flow.

Kick-Ass does not present the real-world as some super-hero comics would like to attempt to do (and usually fail for trying), or even deconstruct the genre in the same way that a book like Watchmen did. No this is something else. Kick-Ass is about a big simple idea, which is used to look at the rise of a phenomenon, and it is the story of an awkward teen who finds his own niche through all of that. It is the story of the coolest 10 year old girl ever. It is the story of people wearing costumes for all the wrong reasons. And it is a great read, even if not a read suitable to my six or ten year old self. I so look forwards to seeing the movie.

Image copyright © Mark Millar and John S. Romita, published by Marvel Comics

March Painting Summary

The third month of the challenge. I felt February was particularly successful, but knew that due to getting married in March that time for painting would be limited in some ways. So I kind of expected a drop-off in completion from the month before. And of course I was right, but still better than January's output (where I had a bit of 'painters block' I feel).

This month I painted:
- Nuclear Jones
- Androida
- Sgt. Bale
- Seabolt

I have very nearly finished painting Stoner Hawk, staying up late to try and finish him in March, but not quite getting there, which is why this post is coming today rather than the last day of the month as is my preference.
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