This time round the focus was Pulp and the newly released 7TV Pulp boxed set. As per usual Mr. 7TV himself, Karl Perroton was in attendance. Also there was Peter Wright from Edge Hill University and some of his students who had worked on the rules in collobaration with Crooked Dice.
As a change this year attendees were invited to bring along a board or table setup. The 7TV community is well known for really pushing the boat out when it comes to scenery and terrain and there were some excellent setups in attendance. The gaming area was spread across the Foundry shop, marquee and also a spare stable!
Abandoned Antartic Base (a Cthulhu Mythos themed board)
One of the Foundry tables
Gaming in the shop
Mike Strong’s excellent Venice table
More Venice docks
Matthew Wildsmith’s amazing two level museum table
For those who don’t know, Wargames Foundry has for a few years now been based in the stable block at Stoke Hall. The stable block is a circular building with a central exterior courtyard in which is based a semi-permanent hospitality tent. The shop itself is large and filled with a huge number of blisters containing just about every type of 28mm scale metal wargames figures you could imagine. Even more exciting for a man of my age, there are cabinets full of beautifully painted ‘old skool’ miniatures. Many of these are old Citadel Miniatures sculpts from the 1980s that once graced the pages of White Dwarf back in the day (Bryan Ansell who owns Foundry is the former head of Games Workshop). Any how, more on the cabinets in another blog!
The day was split up into three games and we were organised into two groups. The ‘baddie’ casts were fighting for the sinister Hydra organisation, while the ‘goodies’ were on the side of the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR). A general theme running throughout the day saw the games oriented around the scouting out and collecting of parts for a sinister super weapon, with the final game being a battle to ultimately control these doomsday devices.
Attendees were also encouraged to model and bring along their own super weapon. I’ve already documented my adventures in putting together my big stompy robot for this purpose, and there were a wide variety of ‘devices’ on show (including a mysterious pyramid, various mechanical men and a plank of wood with some nails in). My favourite however had to be a television set – symbolising the rise of TV in the home and the death of the cinema serial!
Casts were many and varied (according to Wayne from Wargames Illustrated this is by far the most popular event they put on) and in total there were about twenty four attendees playing. Although there was the overarching Hydra versus SSR theme, this did not mean a restiction in the types of casts fielded. There were mobsters, adventurers, Lovecraftian horrors, space aliens from beyond the stars, rocketeers and many more.
My first game was against Peter James and his Rocketeers and was played on the Nazi flying saucer / V2 launch site table I had quickly put together for the event. This was my first ever game using the Pulp variant of the rules and it was interesting to see how a few little things here and there had been tweaked. The new countdown deck (now called the cliffhanger deck) provided a suitably ‘pulpy flavour’ to proceedings. My cast from Mongo didn’t fair too well here, with Emperor Ming and his cronies being axed only just as we entered Act 2!
This gave me a bit of extra time to have a browse round the Foundry shop and discover that despite not being aware of it at the beginning of the day, I suddenly really needed to start an Elf army for Saga Age of Magic!
Lunch followed including a question and answer session with Karl and the gang from EHU. A few tasty titbits of info on upcoming activities and 7TV releases were forthcoming. As you can probably guess I was particularly excited by the upcoming ‘classic sci-fi’ range of figures which are coming to Kickstarter soon.
The afternoon’s games soon came round. First up I was up against Simon Clarke and his excellent ‘North Pole’ cast, which included a heavily armed Father Christmas as well as a particularly violent red nosed reindeer! Two highlights in this game for me. First off Princess Aura being gored off the top of a building by Rudolf. Second (having survived and ultimately being the only cast member I had left), Aura attempting to seduce Santa in the last act of the game. Needless to say my run of luck continued and the invaders from Mongo were once again banished (surely Hydra must have been offshoring to Mongo by now).
Aura prior to the fall!
One of my exploding robots, summoned by Ming’s unearthly powers!
He knows if you’ve been naughty or nice
The final game of the day was against an old adversary, Kieron Mulholland. I’d previously played Kieron at the Dales 7TV event earlier in the summer and got roundly spanked after about three turns when Skeletor and his crew totally decimated my cast of orange jumpsuited fascist space lizards. Surely history couldn’t repeat itself?
While it wasn’t quite as short a game this time, my dice luck and tactical choices were similary awful and I was axed during act 2 as I valiantly tried to defend my stompy robot from Captain America, Bucky and pals. All in all though another excellent game and a reminder (not that it’s needed) how much fun 7TV is to play.
Gaming tables tucked away everywhere!
After all the results were totted up and points allocated, stunningly (although in keeping with the cliffhanger nature of the pulp serials) it was a dead heat between the forces of Hydra and the SSR. A number of prizes were allocated and a few freebies given out. It was a fantastic day all in all. Great to catch up with old faces and meet new ones.
A special mention for Sam ‘Downorder’s’ table
Abandoned Antartic Base (a Cthulhu Mythos themed board)
What monstrosity lurks below
Sam had put a lot of effort into special rules to match the table and theme
A massive thanks to Wayne at Wargames Illustrated and the staff at Foundry for the organisation. A big shout out to all the attendees and their brilliant casts and tables, and an especially loud ‘pip pip’ to Karl, Peter and the brilliant student team from EHU for crafting a fantastic new version of our favourite game. Looking forward to next year already.
I’ve now finished the ‘super weapon’ that attendees were invited to bring along for the final game of the day. Not quite sure how these are going to work in game and looking across the posts on the 7TV Productions Facebook page there is quite a variety of stuff being worked on by attendees.
I settled on finally painting the Mantic Mars Attacks robot that I have had for years and have now finished this off with the addition of a pilot and some suitable basing to tie it into the rest of my cast.
I’ve spoken a little about the background to the Pulp boxed set before. A collaboration between Crooked Dice and Edge Hill University Press, development of the game gave the opportunity to get involved to students and we punters are now able to reap the benefits of their hard work.
Back to the theme, having booked in for the day quite a while ago, but before the game was publicly released there was a bit of a dilemma as to what sort of cast to go for. I kid of course, there was never any doubt I’d be going down the Flash Gordon route! The only question really was I going to do Flash and chums, or turn to the villainy of Mongo?
I have fond memories of watching the Larry ‘Buster’ Crabbe serials in the early eighties when they were often repeated daily during the school summer holidays. However my number one love is the 1980 camp spectacular that is the Mike Hodges film. Having already decided on the excellent Princes of the Universe range from Cold War Miniatures to form the core of my cast I then needed to decide which version of Flash I was therefore going to go for. The range is very much based on the old black and white serials in terms of style and I did start down that route in terms of colour schemes (yes that is a weird thing to say about a black and white set of films, but really I was also taking inspiration from the aesthetic of the original Alex Raymond comic strips).
However at the point at which I started to paint up my 3D printed rocket ship I knew that going with the over the top awesomeness of the later film was the way to go. It was also at this point that I settled on the bad guys as the cast I would be taking to the campaign day.
The main bulk of my force is made up of ‘Imperial Fleet Troopers’ from the Cold War Miniatures range. Finding a Ming the Merciless figure was a bit problematic as they don’t really do one. I settled on Hydra Miniatures to fill this gap, although I had to source the figure I wanted from the US as I couldn’t at the time find it closer to home.
With only 30 ratings to work with for the campaign day I was somewhat limited to what additional characters from Flash lore I could bring in. I really, really wanted a Klytus, but again couldn’t find a suitable figure. Long term I am probably going to look at converting a Marvel Heroclix Doctor Doom, or keep my fingers crossed that Karl at Crooked Dice has this on his radar for a future release. Therefore I decided to go with Princess Aura instead. There is a great ‘Renegade Royal’ miniature in the 7TV Pulp kickstarter, but unfortunately this didn’t arrive in time, so I ended up using the ‘Dale’ from Cold War in this role.
While I’ve hit my ratings limit I have also carried on expanding the cast to include some robots, utilising the ever flexible range of 54mm scale plastics from Tehnolog.
The schedule for the campaign day gives the option for attendees to bring along a super weapon for folk to fight over in the last game of the day. Having scoured the internet for something suitably retro to 3D print I then remembered the ‘giant stompy robot’ I’ve got from Mantic Games now defunct Mars Attacks range. I had started to prime this in the thought that it would go into a German ‘weird war’ force, but a quick airbrush job later and Ming has a new threat to bring to those pathetic Earthlings.
I’ve gone similar colours to the rocketship, trying to keep that red/gold/black theme that pervades in the movie. For a pilot I’ll be using a seated Fleet Trooper from Cold War which fits just about perfectly (although being quite a chunky bit of metal on top of a plastic model might mean some weight has to be added to the base).
So apart from a few finishing touches I am raring to go and looking forward to what promises to be an excellent day next Saturday.
I’m still stalwartly ploughing through the (possibly radioactive) lead pile that is the 7TV Apocalypse Kickstarter.
Recently I have completed the first of the two Hazmat Troopers from the set. I have deliberately gone with a bright colour scheme for these guys and based them in such a way that suggests they might be ‘lost’ on a mysterious island somewhere, perhaps doing some work for a scientific ‘initiative’.
For the first time in a while I went with the technique of blocking in the base colours and then painting on Army Painter Quickshade dark tone dip. This can be an effective way of shading miniatures providing you are careful to ensure that the dip is mixed well to start with, doesn’t pool too much and spend some time re-highlighting up afterwards.
Next up are the ‘Mutant Hill Mob’, a small band of ‘wacky racing’ wasteland warriors. A lot of skin on display here, which always puts me off a bit, however utilising the wonder that is Citadel Reikland Fleshshade over a dark skintone base and then dry brushing and highlighting up with a lighter tone worked OK.
I also felt that these guys would really benefit from spending the time to properly paint the eyes. A very steady hand was required to varying levels of success.
For the first time I also had a go at using the Citadel ‘blood effects’ technical paint – Blood for the Blood God! This provided a nice glossy and gloopy effect that I used both on some of their weapons and also on their ‘skin conditions’.
I’ve also finished my favourite figure from the entire release, the SLR armed traffic warden attempting to hold the ‘threads’ of society together in post-nuclear Sheffield. I felt like this deserved a scenic base.
Next up I’ll be completely the ‘Road Warrior’, and then possibly dipping into some of the marauders, savages and militia.
The model was provided in parts to print up, clean and assemble. It features a detailed interior with a removable roof and the option to model with steps up or down. Once put together this would provide me with a great centre piece to go with my Flash Gordon cast for 7TV Pulp.
The print time was fairly long across all the different components. I didn’t track it exactly, but when adding everything together I’d suggest that it probably took well over twenty four hours.
I printed the parts a few weeks ago when I was still tweaking the settings on my printer, overall however they came out with the need for minimal cleanup. I used a bit of plastic putty in some areas to smooth over rough parts of the print. As there are quite a few curved surfaces I also spent some time sanding.
Once I’d cleaned up the parts, assembly was straight forward. Superglue was used to assemble the components, all of which were printed using PLA filament. The roof is designed to sit loose on the model to allow miniatures to be placed inside and I also chose not to permanently attach the steps so these could be swapped out with the ‘ramps down’ version in future.
In terms of painting the plan was to go full on chrome and silver, however right at the last moment I changed my mind and went for a striking red and gold colour scheme. Although retro-styled to the 1930s pulp serials (as is the majority of the Princes of the Universe range); I wanted at least a nod to the classic 1980 Flash Gordon movie and this colour scheme fitted in well.
To further minimise print lines on the body of the ship I tended towards over spraying both when undercoating and base coating. I also wanted a glossy look to the paint job and just so happened to have a can of Humbrol Red Gloss acrylic lying around. By spraying closer to the surface that I would normally I was able to get a smooth finish on the (albeit not too course) surface of the print.
Other block colours were done using a variety of bright metallics in order to maintain the shininess. Black was used to pick out the windows and fine details.
In the second part of this article I’ll detail the interior and look at other similar models that are available for 3D printing.
At the recent 7TV campaign day I fielded my Visitors cast from V. You know V, the one about the fascist space lizards who came in peace but really just wanted to eat us (and as many rodents as they could get their hands on). Oh yeah and I’m not referring to the 21st Century remake (which frighteningly is around ten years old now).
I’m a big fan of V and quite rightly the original mini series is held in high regard, as is the slightly more action packed sequel, The Final Battle. However I personally have a soft spot for the really quite terrible TV series that followed.
Possibly because this was my first exposure to the series as a teenager when Sky repeated it in the UK in the early nineties. While (I think) the series starts off well with the whole concept of Los Angeles as an open city after the second alien invasion it quickly goes downhill and degenerates into ‘space Dynasty’ by the end. For me the ‘jumping the shark’ moment was the exit of (the frankly excellent in anything) Michael Ironside from the main cast; for others I suspect this downward spiral came much earlier.
Anyhow, the point of this is that when considering a cast for my alien visitors I have included possibly an unexpected bias to some of those characters from the TV series.
Crooked Dice Alien Invaders
I based these guys using left over bases from the old Sedition Wars game
My approach has been to base these on the base 7TV second edition profiles rather than use the alien cards from the recent Apocalypse edition of the game. Following the (not too subtle) allegory of the rise of Nazism that the original mini-series followed I felt that using base profiles such as ‘Despotic Dictator’ and the various types of ‘Minion’ was a better fit.
The excellent recent releases from Crooked Dice
Supreme Commander John
Fifth Columnist Martin
The one profile that has proven tricky to get right is the iconic Visitor shock trooper. I based these guys originally on ‘Minions’ but once the advanced alien weaponry was added they felt overpowered for the number of ratings they cost. In the end I have aligned these more with the X-Commando profile from the Department X programme guide.
Visitor Shock Trooper
These guys proved challenging to build a profile for
I roughly followed the guidelines for modifying profiles which you will find in the Producers Guide of the second edition rules. In many cases this was just a case of changing the names of existing special abilities to make then fit thematically. One good example being Diana’s ‘Conversion Process’ which is simply ‘Alien Duplicate’ from the Otherworldy Invader renamed.