Print, Paint, Exterminate!

I’ve been on a bit of a quest to paint up as many Daleks as I can recently. No idea why (although catching up with loads of old Doctor Who on Britbox may have something to do with this).

From a gaming perspective Daleks are pretty easy to come by nowadays due to the release of Warlord Games Into the Time Vortex range of miniatures and supporting Exterminate boxed game a few years ago. I’ve recently written about painting up some of these models.

Warlord Games Davros (metal), Special Weapons Dalek (metal), Dalek (plastic)

More recently I’ve also been painting up some of the redesigned ‘new paradigm’ Daleks. This radical new design of Dalek is now believe it or not ten years old, and while the TV series went back to the classic design quite quickly I managed to buy up quite a lot of the cheap plastic models that were given away on the front of magazines at the time. Just coincidentally these are also the perfect scale for 28mm gaming.

The one thing I have been really missing is a proper old school classic design of Dalek for the tabletop. Here’s where the wonderful world of 3D printing comes to the rescue. There are loads of designs for Daleks uploaded to Thingiverse of varying quality and accuracy, but I eventually settled on trying the files by Stryker123.

These look to be designed to be printed at a much larger scale than the 28mm tabletop standard. The design files are split into components, but there is also a completed (assembled) version in the files. By chance this defaults to a near perfect size for the tabletop (although in the end after some trial and error in printing I scaled them by 105%).

Printed on my resin printer (an AnyCubic Photon) these have come out well, albeit with some problems printing the sucker arms and gun sticks (that are just that bit too fine for the resolution I am printing at).

This particular batch were printed in clear resin, which made for quite a spectacle working on them in the summer sun!

In the end following further test prints I ended up printing the sucker arms and guns seperately and sticking them on to the ‘completed’ models on which the majority of these features had not come out. In fact the gun stick was so fine I just ended up using trimmed bits of scaffold to represent them in the end.

Based and ready for painting

Stryker123 has provided incredicbly accurate Dalek designs covering all the 1960s variants. While to the non-geek eye many of these look very similar I was delighted to see the effort that had been put in here.

I have concentrated mainly on the models from the very first Dalek story and also from the classic ‘Evil of the Daleks’. My painting has also followed these stories. However for the very first Daleks I went with the colour scheme that this model was given when appearing in more recent ‘Nu-Who’ story a few years back.

For my ‘original Skaro Daleks’ I went for the colour scheme shown here.

The models were given a black undercoat and this was followed by a complete coverage of silver. Both colours were car paints from spray cans obtained from the local Poundland.

I painted the ‘grills’ (between body and dome) in this case using Black Templar contrast paint from Citadel. This provided a nice deep shading will keeping the grills hightlighted in silver. Nodules and for the banding on the original Daleks without shoulder slats was acheived using a light blue. The nodules or domes on Dalek models are very definitely not one of my favourite things to paint!

A couple of the ‘Evil’ versions were painted with black domes to indicate that they were part of the Emperor Dalek’s guard. In addition to the standard silver models I undercoated a handful of others using Citadel Wraith Bone with the intention of painting these in red and gold liveries.

Not canon in terms of Dalek colouring, but a nice contrast to the silver hordes.

Finally I left one of the black undecoated models as it was in order to paint up a Dalek Supreme to command my new forces. These are all still work in progress.

I’m currently working on some profiles for the Daleks for 7TV and will cover them in a future article.

Ainsty Castings OOP resin scenery piece shown alongside a couple of troops.

Pulp Painting Update

In between everything else I am finishing off at the moment I got the chance to put the final touches to a few Pulp themed miniatures (some of which I have had on the painting desk for a long time).

First up a trio of ‘bad ‘uns’ from Warlord Games. A BUF section leader and two blackshirt goons. Ostensibly for the ‘Very British Civil War’ or ‘Operation Sealion’ settings, I’ll be using these guys in my games of 7TV Pulp. Always good to have a few fascists to give a damn good thrashing to.

Extensive use of contrast paints on these chaps.

Next, more evil! This time a tommy gun armed cultist from the CMON board game, Cthuhlu Death May Die. Just slightly bigger than 28mm this lady owes her allegience to Hastur and is from that same expansion set.

Combination of airbrush base coat of light green with a yellow wash.

Next up, another rotter! This time a Crooked Dice 7TV Pulp era gangster. The base for this no good scoundrel was aquired from a set of Batman Miniatures Game figures I have not yet done anything with.

I used flock and a Modelmates mould effect to cover the slotta base and add some character to the flagstone base.

This next guy could sit in any number of settings or factions. I have had this figure for years (it is in fact from some of the left over stock I had when I ran the shop). He’s a Kung Fu master from the Ral Partha Europe Pulp Adventure range.

With the advent of contrast paints, I’m not longer actively avoiding painting white

Finally for now, some space based adventure. Here is one of the macguffin markers from the recent 7TV Pulp Science Fiction Kickstarter. Wouldn’t look out of place inside an Imperial palace on a far off world.

Warp Lightening green contrast paint over a silver base coat, highlighted with a dry brush of silver.

It is joined by some ‘Alien Legionaries‘ in an alternative blue garb (as opposed to their movie inspiration red).

I love these minis, but have really struggled to paint them to my satisfaction. Switching from red to blue has strangely helped.

“Fire in that direction!”

Reich Busters Vril Panzer

I recently got a rather large box in the post all the way from France.  Inside, my Reichbusters Kickstarter pledge rewards.  I am a bit of a sucker for Weird War settings and games and from what I saw when the campaign was running, the game looked right up my street too.

However it was really the miniatures I was after.  I fully intend to play the game, but like many things in my collection the thought ‘I could always use this for 7TV‘ is never far from my mind.

Now, there are a LOT of figures here.  The scale is somewhat larger than standard 28mm and probably sits somewhere between 35 and 40mm.  Fine on there own in any game, but might look a little odd alongside other parts of my collection.  Where this isn’t really a problem is with the ones that immediately caught my attention when opening the boxes for the first time.  The ‘Vrill Panzers’ – basically big stompy (piloted) robots.

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Vrill Panzer top right (more on the big chap in a bit…..)

There are two of these in the set of boxes I received, they are (like all the miniatures) one piece casts in a very hard PVC style material.  Absolutely no sign of warping or bending weapon syndrome from what I have seen so far.  The Vrill Panzers are chunky, really nicely detailed and heavy; however they are by no means the biggest models in the set (more on that later).

So in terms of getting the Vrill Panzers painted up I thought I would go for a ‘late war’ dunkelgelb, by really weather it up.  With there being two in the set I could afford to experiment a bit on this first one.

First step was a wash in warm soapy water.  This is something I never used to do on any models, but now religiously do whether I am painting PVC, hard plastic, resin or metal.

Once dry I undercoated with a can of black primer and followed this with a base coat of dunkelgelb (from Plastic Soldier Company – again in a can).

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Once dry I applied decals.  There were none provided with the game, but I have a huge stash of World War II and Dust Tactics decal sheets that I have amassed over time, so I had plenty of choice.  My usual approach, which I used here, is to paint the area I am going to apply the waterslide decal to with gloss varnish first.  Once dry I applied the decal itself and again let it dry before another coat of gloss.  I placed a few markings strategically then moved on to the weathering.

The first stage was to stipple using an old bit of sponge both dark brown and then silver across the most worn areas of the model.  Next it was time to dirty it all up. My plan here was to paint on Army Painter Quickshade Dark Tone.  I have had some success in the past with a fairly light coat of this brushed on to models.  It leaves them very shiny, but protected and I always apply matt varnish as the final step in these cases.

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Ready for Quickshade

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It’s all about to go wrong

The problem I hit here was my can of Quickshade was quite old and hadn’t been sealed properly the last time I used it.  As such I had to remove a thick skin from the surface of the shade within the tin before application to the model.  This is where the alarm bells should have run, however I proceeded to ‘slap in on’.  It was at this stage I noticed how thick and gloopy it was.  I stirred it up as usual but once applied it became obvius that something was wrong.  Rather than apply the subtle shading I was after, and rather than immediately receeding into the contours and crevises of the model it just sat there like some vile dark slime.

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Bit much?

Through excessive mopping up with a brush I was able to dave things to some degree, but the weathering has ended up being much, much heavier than I intended.  Once the matt varnish (Testors Dullcote) was applied things looked a lot better, although I had made some of the decals rather difficult to make out.

The final weathering stage was to add some rust (it seemed apt with how heavy beat up the mech now looked).  I drybrushed on some Citadel Dry Ryza Rust and in the end I think this turned out OK.

The base was in part basecoated in silver and then painted over with Citadel Basilicanum Grey (a contrast paint, this is my new favourite way of painting a gun metal effect).  All the bases in the game have a metal gantry / walkway look to them, so this fitted quite well especially when finished up with some more drybrushed rust.  The areas that looked more stone like were done in greys.

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The finished article

All in all I think I managed to rescue it.  Apart from the Quickshade incident it was an enjoyable model to paint.  As I have another one in reserve I might go with a different, cleaner, more fresh of the production line look.

In addition to the Vrill Panzer I also painted a couple of the ‘troop’ models from the game to test out some colours and techniques.

I’ve also started on the monstrous Projekt X mech.  Remember when I said the Vrill Panzers weren’t the biggest model, well this fella is truly gigantic (and actually quite difficult to lift).  He is still work in progress and I’ll cover this in another article.

Otherworldly Heroes and Villains

I’m actually in danger of finishing something!  For a while now I have been working through the pile of lovely metal I obtained from Crooked Dice as a result of their ‘Pulp Science Fiction’ Kickstarter.  With only a handful of figures left to paint, I’ve been supplementing these with some of the excellent Princes of the Universe range from Cold War Miniatures (all with an eye to playing games of 7TV Pulp).

So first up we have a Hawkman prince from Cold War.  This was a resin miniature that was a bit fiddly to glue together but was relatively straight forward to paint.  The scale of this range is slightly bigger than the Crooked Dice figures at about 32mm scale, but they don’t look too out of place together.  Anyhow the character on which this miniature takes it’s inspiration is somewhat larger than life!

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Dive!

Back to the Crooked Dice figures, I had not yet given the ‘spider queen’ a lick of paint.  Looking somewhat like a good girl gone bad (perhaps Dale succumbed to Ming’s charms), I decided to go for a white colour scheme to contrast with the darker tones of some of my other villains.

 

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Dale Arden or Empress of the Known Universe?

 

 

I’d added some additional Otherworldly Guards miniatures to my base Kickstarter rewards in order to have a plentiful supply of expendable minions.  I’ve been trying various colour schemes on these with intention of being able to use them as either good guys or the hordes of the Emperor Ming.

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Otherworldly Guards

While recently tidying up my hobby area I came across a set of Scale 75 coloured metallic paints that I had previously stocked when trading but never really used.  Many of these were the usual golds, silvers, bronzes and coppers you get across similar ranges, but there were a few primary and secondary colours in here too.  One in particular, Ruby Alchemy, caught my eye as being ideal for a slightly camp set of space soldiers.

With some additional details picked out with Emerald Alchemy from the same range, I am quite pleased with how these came out.  Depth was added using Army Painter washes and the metallics were picked out with a standard Citadel gold.  Unlike most of my recent painting there was very little in the way of Citadel Contrast paints used here, with only skin tones applied in this way.

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Tough and fabulous

The final addition to this little troupe is a 3D print from Bombshell Miniatures.  Printed on my AnyCubic Photon resin printer this was a free sample model that was made available to promote their recent Bikes and Bots Kickstarter.

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M4R14

All in all I’ve really enjoyed the variety and freedom of palette painting these style of miniatures.

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Space Adventure!

While I only have a few of the 7TV Crooked Dice Miniatures left to paint, this months’ set of printable files from Bombshell Miniatures have recently landed via their monthly Patreon and the theme is similar.

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An Imperial Princess and rugged Space Ace by Bombshell Miniatures (freshly printed)

The Legions of Mongo continue to grow…..

Mark III Travel Machines Conquer and Destroy!

Like most folk in these interesting times I find myself with a lot more hobby time than usual at the moment.  Despite having a number of different projects on the go at the moment (including a recent delivery of my Reichbusters Kickstarter rewards) as per usual nothing ever stops me getting distracted.

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New distractions

I’ve always been a big Doctor Who fan, and so when Warlord Games released their range a few years ago I dove in and bought the Exterminate boxed game.  I played the game a few times, but it didn’t really do anything much for me (and I defaulted back to my standard approach of ‘oh well, at least I can use the figures for 7TV’).

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And therein came the problem.  As you may be aware the Warlord Into the Time Vortex range was scaled at about 38mm and so most of the figures are much bigger than standard wargaming minis and so don’t really ‘play well with others’.  The exception to this in my opinion are the plastic multi-part Daleks that came in the core game (and also released seperately with Davros).

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But to base or not to base the muderous pepper pots?  Logic states that to minimise any scale discrepancies when mixing these with others, then leaving the Daleks unbased would be the way to go.  However logic is for Cybermen!  Also the only real option being to place them on 28 or 30mm bases, and that just looked, well, odd.

Any how having filed my painted (unbased) Daleks away in their very own Genesis Ark (i.e. a box in the cellar) I forgot about them for a few years.  That is until I was tidying up the other day and came across a set of basecoated but otherwise unpainted squad of Daleks.

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The ultimate figure case

Having previously almost exlusively painted these guys so far in a bronze scheme as per the new series, I opted to go with a more classic series feel for these guys.  One of the more obscure Daleks is the so called ‘red top’.  Real creator of the Daleks, Terry Nation (not Davros), had a small collection of full sized props and when interviewed for Doctor Who’s 10th anniversary back in 1973 one of these appeared in the photoshoot.

Red top Dalek

A combination of props from the TV series and the sixties films, ‘red top’ had well, a red top (while the rest of the body was the standard silver and blue).  There’s something quite retro about this look that puts me in mind of the crazy sorts of random livery that the Daleks often had in comic strips.

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I used a combination of standard and contrast paints for these guys.  I also remembered why I hadn’t painted any in a few years….  Those blasted globes on the bodies – I very nearly gave up (due to a combination of boredom and cramp).

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In addition to the standard plastic ‘drones’, I also had a couple of half finished metal models, the Supreme Dalek and the Special Weapons Dalek.  Not too happy with the former, but think the latter came out OK.

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So what’s all this waffle about basing then?  Well since then Primaris Space Marines have happened.

Eh?

Well they introduced the 32mm circular base.

Just the perfect size for a Mark III Travel Machine!

 

Go Flash go – A Legions of Mongo update

(Or – How much Ming is too much Ming?)

More work on the pulp sci fi project, and further in roads into the big pile of Crooked Dice goodies I received from the last Kickstarter.

First up we have the hero himself, that chap who will save every one of us.  The inspiration for this model is very clearly the original (and possibly the best) Flash of them all, Larry ‘Buster’ Crabbe.  This is a lovely sculpt that perfectly captures that old school retro science fiction look.

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Stands for everyone of us.

Also a pleasure to paint, I went for a fairly traditional colour scheme here based on the original comic strips.  Citadel contrast was used for the majority of this model.

Following on from our lead, we have an ally and co-star in the form of the ‘Renegade Royal’.  This is one of two variations of this sculpt I received and has a passing resemblance to a certain James Bond from the eighties.  Again all painted in contrast, not so keen on the green here, maybe a bit too rich, but all the same a suitable shade for a prince of Arboria.

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To go along with the Prince I tried out another colour scheme on one of the ‘Otherworldy Guards’, this time as a tree man to accompany Barin. 

Finally for this update we have a slight diversion to the excellent Princes of the Universe range by Cold War Miniatures.  I’ve previously written about this excellent set of figures, and a few months ago picked up some of their then new ‘space Mongols’ range.  So yes, it is yet another Ming, but a bit more kitted out for action and leading the Legions of Mongo on the frontlines.

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This resin miniature is probably slightly bigger in scale than the Crooked Dice range, but it is close enough for me.

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Just as an addendum, I also completed one of the ‘macguffin’ tokens/models from the 7TV set.

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“You’ve saved your Earth. Have a nice day!”

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Next up some more expendable Mongo minions…..

Legions of Mongo – Hail Ming!

Having recently taken delivery of a big bag of ‘lead’ from Crooked Dice making up the recent Pulp Sci-fi Kickstarter I’ve gone back to my ‘Legions of Mongo’ project.

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First up we have ‘Klytus’ and ‘General Kala’ of the Imperial Secret Police.  Both fantastic sculpts and with inspiration clearly taken from the 1980 Flash Gordon movie (also known as the best film ever).

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Kala – great at dispatching war rockets

This pair were painted mainly using Citadel contrast paints.  I’ve found I can get fairly pleasing results using Black Templar over a white undercoat.

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Are you bored?  Klytus can help.

Similarly inspired from the same source are these ‘Alien Legionnaires’.  These are quite iconic and one of my favourite designs from the movie, as such I went a bit overboard and ended up with quite a lot of these to paint (including two heavy weapons teams).

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Also bought in bulk were the ‘Otherworldly Guards’.  I’ve seen these painted up as both allies (Treemen) and enemies (Ming’s guards).  I’ve gone for a similar colour scheme here to Klytus and Kala, this guy being a grunt in the secret police.

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Finally in this first batch of Crooked Dice miniatures I’ve painted is the big dog himself, the Emperor Ming.  The styling of this sculpt is more of an ode to the classic comic strips and Buster Crabbe serials of the 1930s than the movie.  In fact there is a touch of Defenders of the Earth about this Ming, so the big question was whether to go ‘green skin’ or not.  In the end I decided on a more human look, but in contrast to the blacks and reds I had themed most of the previous figures on I decided to go mainly white and ‘royal’ purple.  Again I used contrast paints for this (in the past I would never even of attempted this much white on a figure, which makes me wish contrast had come out back when I was painting a lot of Star Wars Stormtroopers for Legion).

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Emperor of the Known Universe (easily bored).

Talking of Star Wars (which was of course inspired by Flash Gordon) I recently printed some ‘Battle Droids’ that I’d found files for freely available online.  I had no intention of adding them to the Legions of Mongo until I got hold of the other figures, but I kind of think the aesthetic of them fits in nicely.

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This also gave me the chance to break out the airbrush after a long hiatus and I subesequently went with what I am now referring to as a ‘Mongo Military’ red and gold colour scheme.  I don’t think a galactic despot can really have enough robots when it comes to it!

Next up I’ve got some of the good guys to paint, including the ‘saviour of the universe’ himself.

Pulp Painting Progress

Recently I’ve been catching up with some ‘Pulp’ painting, finishing off a group of figures I didn’t get round to for the 7TV game at Hammerhead and also completing a number of half painted minis that have been on the table (in some cases for years).

First up are my ‘Sky Pirates’. A mix of figures I have been planning for us with some of the lovely looking 3D printed airships I’ve been working on recently.  The red headed heroine is an out of production mini from Statuesque Miniatures from their Pulp Alley line.  Talking of Pulp Alley, her team mates are from some Pulp Figures packs I picked up over Christmas.

Next up we have a really characterful figure from Artizan Designs.  This chap has been sat undercoated on my workbench for quite a few years now, so it was great to be able to finally get round to finishing him.  Kind of has the look of either a dependable sidekick, a guide or perhaps even an evil henchman?

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Shifting forward about a decade to more 1940s style aesthetic we have a Warlord Games ‘female agent’ style figure who wouldn’t look out of place next to a certain WW2 era star spangled Captain.

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Next we have a dastardly German office from the Thrilling Tales range of figures from Artizan Designs.

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Finally here is a set of security guards from Crooked Dice for 7TV Pulp.

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Across all of these I’ve used a mix of normal acrylic paints from the likes of Vallejo, Army Painter, Citadel, Coat d’Arms, Reaper and Andrea Colour, as well as contrast paints from Games Workshop.

I’m beginning to learn which contrast paints suit my painting style the best, with black, white and red being particular favourites.  I’m sure this is going to prove handy as I have started on the Pulp Sci Fi rewards from the latest Crooked Dice 7TV Kickstarter.

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The Doom of Stahl Mask

So, the other weekend, when the real world was a bit more normal, I had the pleasure of running a participation game of 7TV at the Hammerhead show in Newark.

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I’ve already written about the preparation and background to this game in a previous post.  However I wanted to give an update on how things went, especially as this was my first time doing this sort of thing at a show.

First off, many thanks to Karl at Crooked Dice for asking me to help out and run a game alongside his trade stand on the day.  As many may know Hammerhead is quite unique in the wargaming calendar in being a show that is 100% based around participation games.  No ‘just watching’ here; it’s all about having a go.

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The setup on the day

I therefore wanted to make it as easy as possible for folk to play and to that end I had a set of pre-built casts ready to go.

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The opening crawl…

I stuck mostly with the format and setup I had trialled at the club a few weeks earlier, with some minor changes to the bad guys in particular (as I had finished painting a squad of Pulp Figures Jet Troopen that I really wanted to field).

I also made a few changes to the scenario, dropping the peril cards but utilising the ‘Ark of the Convenant’ macguffin card.  I fleshed out a bit of the background and set the game up as the last part of a 12 part cinema serial called ‘The Doom of Stahl Mask’.  Stahl Mask was the titular villian and another great mini from Pulp Figures.

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The evil Stahl Mask

In addition to the ‘opening crawl’ I also dug out some quick reference sheets I’d picked up at a previous event and made sure each player had easy access to a plentiful supply of tokens for plot points and that dice and tape measures were close to hand.

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Setup and ready to go

I arrived in plenty of time to setup and having done a test setup of the table earlier in the week was able to set out the game fairly quickly.

Despite a bit of waiting around after the doors opened I soon had my first punters.  A chap and his teenage son who had played the game before (at Hammerhead the previous year) and who were keen to give the new Pulp rules a go.  This game was a joy to run as they both really got into the spirit (and ridiculousness) of the game and plot.  I am terrible at remembering the details of games, but this went pretty much down to the last ‘cliffhanger’ card.

Almost immediately I had another set of players keen to give the game a go.  Another father and son duo with previous experience, this was again a fun game to run through and at times attracted quite a crowd (viewing figures were high!)

And then straight into yet another game!  This time with a pair of novices.  Now this was a bit more of a challenge, partly because I had to spend longer on laying out the rules and helping out with some decision making; but mostly because my players were also trying to keep a couple of young ones from getting too board while they were playing.

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Henry Indiana adventuring archaeologist (renamed Ohio Smith by one of the players!)

All of a sudden it was 3.30pm and the show was nearly over!  Just like that!  I’d done three full back-to-back games without much of a break in between.  I managed to get a very quick look round the show and was able to pick up a few goodies from Karl (as well as a set of command cards for Iron Cross from the Great Escape Games stand).

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A Crooked Dice pre-release I was able to pickup on the day,  I expect he will be cameoing in many games moving forward!

I packed up utterly exhausted, but really pleased I had been able to run the game without too much of a hiccup and almost constantly throughout the day.  This was my first visit to Hammerhead (and the Newark Showground venue) in any capacity (I never managed to get in when I was trading).  I obviously didn’t get too much chance to look around, but it seemed quite busy (I think a lot of people realised that this might be their last chance to get out to a show for a while) and the venue was light and airy (albeit a bit chilly too).

I really look forward to the opportunity to do the same again sometime.  Sadly with the current global situation all shows (including planned games at Chillcon Sheffield and the next 7TV day at Dales Wargames) are now on hold, but I see this as an opportunity to plan out some new episodes and maybe get that ‘secret’ base finally finished!

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A new secret base WIP

Oh and of course I mustn’t forget the fact that I was able to pickup my 7TV Pulp Sci Fi pledge on the day…..

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“Klytus, I’m bored…..”

7TV Pulp Weird War Game

On Saturday March 14th I will be running a participation game of 7TV Pulp at Hammerhead.  Karl from Crooked Dice kindly offered me some space on his stand to run a game and I have been preparing for this for a few weeks now.

Originally I was going to run a game based around the original core set of 7TV and make it a ‘spy-fi’ adventure.  I had a hankering to build a secret base and although I started the project (and will finish it at some point), I soon switched my focus to doing something based on the lastest Pulp setting and rules.

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Secret base project – currently on hold

Part of this change of plan was the amount of time I had available to prepare.  The day job is kind of hectic at the moment, and so I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew with respect to the table build.  Also I’m aware that there are a few Pulp releases up coming and I wanted to help Karl promote the most up-to-date range.

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Today’s episode filmed on location

To that end I looked at re-purposing the V2/flying saucer table I had taken to both the last Wargames Illustrated 7TV day and the recent event at Board in Brum.  Other than some hybrid games using casts and cards from across the 7TV sets I had not played a game solely using the Pulp rules and was keen to try out some of the new profiles and features (such as peril cards).

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My idea was to base the game on one of the classic cinema pulp serials of the 1930s, but move it forward a decade and give it a bit of a Weird War spin.  I’d picked up a nice lot of miniatures from Pulp Figures (via North Star Military Figures) over Christmas and also wanted to incorporate the excellent Danger 5 lizard men from Crooked Dice themselves.

So a couple of Sundays ago I went through a test game at our monthly Dales Wargames meeting.  Playing against my friend Darren and his son, I wanted to use to game to get a handle on some of the new rules introduced in Pulp, check out the use of peril cards to enhance the episodes and check the table layout and casting.

Having never run a game at a show before I wanted to also make sure that I made setup and play as straightforward as possible for new players and to enable folk to easily drop in and out of play.  I decided to this end to preset the placement of objectives and choose the defenders based on the ‘plot of the episode I was going to film’.

To that end, my bad guys (Stahl Mask and his evil sect of third reich fanatics) would be the defenders and my heroic adventuring archeologist and his team of allied misfits would be the attackers.  I preset also the starting positions of the the majority of the figures, only allowing the players to place their spy models.

We played a straight ‘Battle’ episode from the Producers Guide but with the addition of the macguffin using one of the new Pulp macguffin cards.  In this case, ‘The Ark of the Covenant’.  We also used a peril card to enable two pieces of scenery to be secretly (by the defender) be marked as booby trapped.

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The casts were set at 40 points each, but for narrative purposes I slightly bent the rules on one third extras for the heroes (they were under by a couple of ratings points).  I hadn’t yet finished painting the majority of the extras for Stahl Mask’s lot, so ended up proxying in some ‘Moon Nazis’ in place of Jet Troopers and Lizard Men.

On the heroes side I used a mix of models, including some of the Crooked Dice releases for Pulp, as well as a really old Peter Cushing Dr.Who as my eccentric inventor (a Harlequin miniatures release from back in the day).  In addition I added in a selection of other figures from Crooked Dice (including Danger 5) as well as some Artizan Designs and Statuesque miniatures.  These covered most of the main archetypes I wanted to use from the Pulp profiles, including my spies, a Gadgeteer, a Soldier of Fortune and others.

The main man, my archeologist, was from the Cthulhu Death May Die board game by CMON.  There are some excellent figures in here that fit the period, they are slightly larger than standard 28mm scale, but don’t look too out of place.

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Doctor Harrison Jones

Talking of larger figures, on the bad guys side I proxied in a few figures including an SA officer from the Mantic Hellboy game.  Now this fella was a bit too big – although I guess he could fit in in terms of being some sort of ‘super soldier’.

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For those of you who are interested here is the make up of the casts in terms of the 7TV Pulp cards used:

The Good Guys:

  • Intrepid Adventurer (Star, 10 ratings)
  • Eccentric Inventor (Co-star, 6 ratings)
  • Rugged Veteran (Co-star, 6 ratings)
  • Gadgeteer (Co-star, 6 ratings)
  • Spy (1) (Extra, 4 ratings)
  • Spy (2) (Extra, 4 ratings)
  • Soldier of Fortune (Extra, 4 ratings)
  • 40 ratings total, 6 gadgets, 7 plot points per turn (full cast), 7 figures

The Bad Guys:

  • Heartless Warmonger (Star, 10 ratings)
  • Hulking Henchman (Co-star, 6 ratings)
  • Ruthless Leuitenant (Co-star, 6 ratings)
  • Shocktrooper Commander (Extra, 3 ratings)
  • Shocktrooper Sergeant (Extra, 2 ratings)
  • Shocktrooper x 3 (Extras, 6 ratings)
  • Mechanical Man (Extra, 5 ratings)
  • Scientist (Extra, 2 ratings)
  • 40 ratings total, 3 gadgets, 8 plot points per turn (full cast), 10 figures

The game itself flowed well, back and forth, with some epically bad dice rolling on both sides.  The basic conceit of the episode was that as the third reich was falling and the red army closely in, our villain Stahl Mask is making a last ditch effort to escape with his collected treasures and weird technologies in his protoype flying saucer.  Would he escape to the safety of the secret Antarctic base and then perhaps on to Luna, or would Professor Harrison Jones and his gang finally catch up with him put him to justice and save the sacred artefact?

We ended up making into the finale act of the episode with neither cast being axed, although Stahl Mask was mightly bruised and was lucky he had his mask as there was a bit of an ‘open the ark face melting incident’.

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A stand in Ark of the Covenant – this didn’t end well for Stahl Mask

All in all I think the game is setup well for the upcoming shows.  In addition to Hammerhead I’ll also be taking the game to Chillcon in Sheffield at the end of the month.

It was also good to get a proper game of 7TV Pulp in for the first time too.  Although not a big fan of the newly introduced ‘one melee action’ per activation rule, I can see why this has been done as some of the new card special effects and star qualities key off this.  Another comment was the brutality of the cliffhanger deck.  These seemed to be weighted more towards bad stuff happening that the original 7TV countdown card deck, although that could of course been down the deck of cards we dealt on the day.

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I also really liked the macguffin and peril cards.  For the purposes of the show games I will probably only use the former, so there is not too much to remember, especially for new players.

Since the game at Dales I have managed to borrow some of the clubs scenery to flesh out the board and have also nearly finished painting some additional miniatures which will enable me to both tweak the casts slightly and just give me some more options……