Sunday, 30 April 2017

A (Solo) `Spin-off` Pulp Adventure Campaign:


Steve`s Narrative Wargame 
and Role Playing Game:


______________




A (Solo) Pulp Adventure Campaign:


A Quest To Find The Legendary Tomb Of Qui Chi Men.

 
Part 1
 
For at least the last nine or ten years or so, I have had a keen interest in wanting to create a dedicated ongoing `living` miniatures campaign journal, covering the ongoing exploits of a small group of intrepid explorers, adventurers, and heroes; following their trials and tribulations as they journey deep into the unknown in search of... perhaps just a legend. Yet their goal will be to uncover the truth (if any exists) surrounding the semi mythical Qui Chi Men... the last God King of the Orient and his fabled lost tomb.

Perhaps the plot will one day grow beyond this tale into, as of yet, unknown exploits way beyond this introductory adventure. Who knows. Maybe one day we will find out!
What I do know for sure (as it is already intricately worked out and planned in my head) is that this all links and ties in with, would you believe, the Gotham `supers` campaign I am running at the same time; and one day it will all become clear how this marriage works. For now I will just say three things, in way of a massive hint: time lines, reality streams, and `gates`.

My first mention of Qui Chi Men was briefly touched upon in an early chapter of the Carlotta Wynn story:  yet the story was never properly fleshed out, and was left hanging and unfinished (during one of the many adventures of my fictional hero `Dr. Justin Fabian  Johannes`**).  But I had to take time away from the project and from gaming in general as real life got in the way for a while,  which meant that every time I let my mind wander to thoughts of finishing the tale... something would always crop up and I would have to push aside any creative ideas floating around in my mind at the time.

** which can be found here on the blog by searching back through earlier pages and campaign articles written here - throughout 2016. I have not linked these for you to find, they are (a) too numerous and (b) meh, I actually want people to go back and manually search anyway.. along the way it may encourage some to find and read other really cool stuff as well {winks}. I figure if you are interested, you will take the time to do this. If not, no amount of hyper linking will make much difference anyway haha.

However, now that I finally have the time to enjoy myself with this mini solo campaign, I find that too much `real time` had passed for me simply to pick up the trail of Qui Chi Men from the point at which I left the Carlotta Wynn campaign; and that would be a stale starting point anyway, as the Carlotta`s story follows an entirely different story arc of its own in any case. No... if I am going to do this, I will do it from scratch, with a new starting point.
Incidentally I WILL be going back to finish the Carlotta story – completely. That campaign was fully played out to its conclusion by the players and myself. I now just have to go back and write it all up. And this will be done sooner than later: almost definitely over the coming month. In fact I can faithfully promise that ALL these story threads, from Dungeons and Dragons, Weird World War II, Zombie-fied  17th Century, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, Weird Napoleonics and Caribbean Pirates, Gotham, Cursed Earth, and all the rest... it will all one day unify into one big seamless multi facetted campaign, and in fact that was always the intension. It`s just getting it all there is the hard part. In a comic book that has twenty, thirty, or more years of issues to tell its story: things can evolve and develop naturally with time. Now, unless you want to sit in The Game Cupboard for that long, I would assume you would like to see my story evolve just a little bit quicker than that haha.
So bear with me, I am getting there. When you have so many toys to play with, it’s not always easy to focus on just one thing to the absolute exclusion of everything else.

Meanwhile, I have no idea where this campaign might go (that`s one of the delightful beauties of solo campaigning, using rules engines such as “Mythic” or in this case, using my own humble solo system), other than a vague notion that my main characters will (hopefully) pick up and follow the trail to the lost tomb. But other than that... I have a fair idea what will transpire along the way, but nothing written in stone; and indeed, if they even get to the lost tomb, the ensuing culmination `dungeon crawl` should be highly intriguing. But what happens from there on in, I guess only time will tell.

I simply adore playing games like this on my own... solitaire style: and this will be a chance for me to run my rules through their paces, and play it all out employing my intense love for typical (and atypical) Pulp Noir style and finesse, no matter what the genre.. from Bogart to Spencer Tracy, Indiana Jones, Sky Captain and Sin City: to the beautiful imagery of The Dark Knight trilogy, all the way through to HBO`s series Gotham, on DVD.

Sooooo, its time to pull out my `troops` and get things moving. My highly treasured Pulp figures have been taken out of their boxes and put back into my glass cabinets alongside my lovely ex-Clix figs: and now stand proudly on the (newly Polished) main shelves. To these I have added quite a lot of my Victorian/Colonial minis, especially the less quirky Pax Limpopo stuff; as many of these fit nicely alongside the black and white style Pulp era collection. Some of the less likely Star Wars minis have been dusted off and added to the mix, and my treasured collection of scale miniature cars and vehicular contraptions sit resplendent and shiny, waiting to rev their gas chugging engines and enter the imaginary fields of play.
 
The Journey Begins:

When Lady Jane Emileen returned home to Pax Angel City, having recently been rescued (by the brave and eminent explorer, Dr. Justin Fabian Johannes) from the clutches of the sinister Baron Luger Von Kiel. Her tales of the discovery of a temple complex deep in the Yangzi Jungle somewhere north of Wuhan... yet south of Xi`an, filled Sir Milo with wanderlust; and he quickly became fixated on the idea of returning to Shanghai discover this place for himself. The idea formulated in his mind (through long conversation with Lady Emileen) that this just possibly might be the fabled lost palace and tomb of the last Tian God King. Indeed, Lady Emileen had been exploring the area with the same notion when, unfortunately, she fell into the hands of Von Kiel... who was also hot on the same trail.

Sir Milo lost little time contacting Dr. Johannes with the dual purpose of questioning him on his own discoveries and to ask if he would care to accompany himself and Lady Emileen on a fresh quest of discovery? Sadly the Doctor was forced to decline, as he was currently involved with other pressing commitments; but he was able to help Sir Piecrust considerably, concerning the probable location of the ruins. 

Dr. Johannes also warned that the evil adventurer and treasure hunter Baron Luger Von Kiel was very close to finding the entrance to the tomb, and would stop at nothing to ensure he was the first to discover (and plunder) the find.

With Lady Jane Emileen`s sketchy memory of the journey through the Yangzi Jungle (all her papers and maps were taken from her by Von Kiel) and with all the help Dr. Johannes was able to provide at the other end of the phone line: Sir Milo Piecrust speedily set about arranging a legal government sanctioned expedition.

He first turned to his old friend and former archaeological student Jonathan Miles Parker, a highly skilled, handsome, and somewhat flamboyant New Yorker. Sir Milo was sure that Jonathan`s brains and brawn would be invaluable to the expedition before the end was reached. When Jonathan`s old mentor rang him and explained everything to him... Jonathan was quick to accept to invitation to join Sir Milo and his ward, Lady Emileen, on their proposed adventure; and was, in fact on a plane to P.A. within a few hours of putting the phone down.

Sir Milo`s next choice of companion on the adventure was another old friend; the somewhat strange and eccentric recluse, Pew Bartholomew Milktoast. Professor Milktoast was a famous Entomologist (indeed his knowledge Lepidoptery had earned him his scholarship at Harvard, Cambridge Massachusetts). What Pew didn`t know about `staying alive` in the jungle probably wasn`t worth knowing. After some considerable persuasion on the phone to him at his family retreat in Boston, Sir Milo finally persuaded the shy and unassuming crackpot professor to join their private expedition. Mainly due to the fact that Baron Luger Von Kiel was lurking about the area. The Professor had an old score to settle with that evil man, and was eager for the chance, finally, to `set things right`.

The only irksome set back to their plans was the insistence by the British Embassy in Shanghai, that the expedition should be accompanied by a platoon of Territorial Infantry... part of the 2nd Gloucestershire Shanghai Defence Force.

This military presence (under the command of Captain Endeavour Bluregard) would ensure the expedition remained free from  harmful interference from the Tian River Gangs, and Nippon Yakuza Opium Pirates, plus any indigenous others who might molest the party on their dangerous journey up the treacherous Yangtze. No amount of arguing with the Embassy would deter them from their decision, and in the end Sir Milo had no other choice but to accept the Military presence being `offered` to him.
Lady Jane Emileen: the ward of the renowned archaeologist, 


adventurer and Big Game Hunter, Sir Milo Piecrust

... exert from the personal Diary pages of Lady Jane Emileen:

... everyone all met for the first time, to began our journey, at the agreed rendezvous point down by the Me`Ping harbour front; where our tramp steamer (Little Hellcat) was roped tightly alongside the wharf. The little island dock wallipers were already hard at work carrying our baggage aboard the boat and stowing it away in every nook and cranny that could be found.

But I was first struck, not by the industrious nature of the workers, but by the seemingly poor condition of our vessel. She sat low in the water, all creaking metal, wood and rust... like... like an ugly duckling. Yes, that was it. She looked like some grotesque unnatural creature bobbing there in the water.
She was stripped totally of her hull paint, and exuded an unsavory aura of blue, rusty matt dullness. I was told by the captain, when I later inquired about the poor condition of the Little Hellcat, that she had in fact just undergone a full refit, which included a complete stripping down of her coat; and she was simply waiting to be restored to her former glory... as soon as we reached our first port of call (a small naval shipyard situated at the port of Me`Peu).

Little Hellcat... she looked more like a sad, dejected little pussy cat. But I would reserve proper judgement until she had a chance to prove herself in open waters. For the short journey from the island of Me`Ping to Me`Peu was a day and a half`s stretch across the open sea and some pretty bumpy, choppy ocean.
 



 
 
The loading of the baggage proceeded fairly slowly, despite the speed with which the workers laboured to and from the boat. But I suspect this was due largely to the cargo of Printers Ink being stowed away below in the hold. A truck bearing the name "Los Angeles Times" sat near to the loading ramps, and workers moved like ants to unload the heavy crates and carry them deftly aboard the Little Hellcat. It seemed strange to me to see an American Newspaper wagon so far away from home. I suppose it never occurred to me to wonder before, where the ink for so much printing was originally made. Doubtless, the plants from which the ink was extracted was harvested from the myriad of heavily forested islands, then manufactured (also locally), and shipped to the main office (via Me`Peu merchant shipping) back in Los Angeles for proper consumer distribution. 
As I stood and watched the loading taking place, I noticed a carriage pull up alongside the  boat and two well dressed people... a couple obviously... alighted and  prepared to board the Little Hellcat. I was somewhat surprised, because the woman was no other than Lady Amelia Maxine Fairchild, wife of Lord Arthur Winston Fairchild (of Fairchilds` Merchant Banking Inc); she was a somewhat notorious figure in... `certain` circles.... back home in PA, while Arthur was a sweetheart, if a little dull company at social functions. They both boarded the Little Hellcat and vanished from my view. I mused over this with myself, that at least I would have some interesting company for the first leg of our journey.

The first of our company to arrive was my dear Uncle Milo and his strange looking friend, Professor Milktoast. They were deep in conversation and hardly seemed to notice the hustle and bustle taking place around them at all. Dear Uncle Milo; it was good to see him looking so animated and happy. I also noticed he was carrying his hunting rifles over his shoulder and this caused me to smile even more. Dear old Uncle Milo. I wondered if he would miss up on the opportunity to `bag` a few prizes for his large wall collection back home. Hehe, of course not!

Following behind the pair was a handsome looking man. Judging by his face he looked to be in his late twenties; solid looking, with barely concealed muscles bristling tightly under his well fitting loose shirt. I remembered the photo I had seen in Uncle`s study of our other companion, and quickly surmised this tall stranger must be none other than Jonathan Miles Parker. I was immediately impressed by his physical presence and the confidence which positively  oozed from him as he marched erectly through the crowd (I fancy, a head taller than anyone else).
(left to right) Professor Pew Bartholomew Milktoast, Jonathan Miles Parker, Sir Milo Piecrust, & Lady Jane Emileen

Mr Woo bids a fond farewell to his daughter, Hu`San Yan.
(above) a quiet, shy, unassuming Belgian gentleman I was later to discover was called Hercule Poirot. He was a passenger aboard the Little Hellcat, and a wonderfully charming dinner companion.
Captain Thomas Malone overseeing safe storage of the cargo aboard his vessel.
 
Los Angeles Times...The press that never sleeps!

A beggar and his bowl, silently watches everything.

 
 
Much more to come... but hold on for a little while, due to other projects needing to come first... another bonus of hobbying for fun, there are nooooooo deadlines yeeeey :)
                                                                        
_____  )o(  ______


Bonus Material:
Picked up once again, in an ongoing saga to be told over many, many months (and years) to come. Please be prepared to be delighted and thrilled by the newly restored archive material {{discovered recently in an old vault}} * Penny Dreadful tales, The Chi Chi Men Expedition, and "The Adventures of the League".

*discovered resting for nearly a century, at the bottom of some long forgotten packing crates, on old reels of decaying cellulose tape, alongside a series of aging and yellowing private journals; and previously thought to have been lost to the relentless ravages of time. This new material speaks to us from the past, revealing events, thought to have been forgotten for all eternity.
The Ripper is Back!

Please, check back here regularly, to see the tale continue.



Meanwhile.....


..... sometime in the ________  at a secret location somewhere in Londeus:


Part 2

Penny Dreadful Tales:
 "Please, do come in, Miss Poppins" a rather neat, pretty little woman with an ageless face, rose from her chair and welcomed her guest, with impeccable politeness and courtesy.

"It`s Ms Poppins, actually."  The new arrival informed, with equally polite, yet rather prickly lack of friendliness in her tone. Her eyes were narrow, unwavering pinpricks of intensity as she stared at the small woman who looked back at her from across a tidy writing desk, near the unlit fireplace.

With barely more than an imperceptible tightening of her shoulders, Miss Murray gestured for her guest to take a seat.
"As you wish."

Ms Poppins smiled slightly, remained standing, and continued to survey the Mistress of Fothrington Hall from across the vast divide of the intervening desk. Ms Poppins was not an unhandsome woman herself. Perhaps, in her mid thirties; her stoic face could most certainly sink many a ship, should her disposition incline itself to that feminine pursuit. Her clothing was gentile, yet held a timeless quality to it. Certainly not a woman to follow current fashion... might have been another.. kinder way of putting it. Though there was, indeed, nothing kindly about this urban, Amazonian fightress.

The two women remained standing.

"Well, then." Miss Murray intoned... and the mutual truce was silently declared. Neither woman was ever going to like the other very much, but business was business. The guns were put away, and a more balanced accommodation for communication was reached. All this with barely a word spoken. Both of these indomitable woman had taken the measure of each other with begrudging inclination to professional respect.
 
.... yet each of the other knew. They would henceforth become staunch, loyal allies.
 

"Why have you asked to see me Miss Murray. Is it about the Ripper? Surely he has not returned... he`d be an old man now, surely? "

Miss Murray raised her hand a moment:
"Actually, you may called me.... `M`.

Ms Poppins snuffed peevishly, then continued with her salvo.

"This kind of thing is not really my... forte. As I`m sure you are aware, I am currently engaged in the tutelage and correction of a pair of very wayward twin sisters up in Perthshire. Without my guidance.... well, there is simply no knowing what mischief this twain may get themselves into."
Miss Murray held up her hand, gently to placate and to avert Ms Poppins from her pre-emptive barrage.

"I can assure you, I have not called you here to deal with such matters."

Miss Murray considered for a moment before volunteering:


"Besides, such matters are already being looked into by another field team... no, I have another task for you. One which, rest assured, will require your most accomplished and, dare I say it.... your most devoted attentions."

Miss Murray leaned forward and leant lightly on the desk....  emphasising her words as she spoke. "Actually, I need you to exorcise the Devil." 


Stay tuned to discover more.........
 
 
 
_____  )o(  ______
 
 

Picture WIP:



Turning a Sylvanian Families Toy Canal Boat

into a 28mm Victorian/Pulp Naval Steamboat.

 

I have wanted a steamboat in my games for a very long time; actually, ever since I spotted a really inspirational wargame blog depicting semi fantasy Victorian battle report, lavishly illustrated with photographs and miniatures. The game featured a couple of platoons of British red coats landing on the jungle covered shore line of some unnamed island to investigate this strange temple structure. Suddenly they were attacked by wave upon wave of giant (plastic) spiders, and had to make a terrifying fighting retreat back to their steamship. The whole thing felt like something from HP Lovecraft and could easily have fitted into the Cthulhu mythos. I was drawn in by the whole storyline and by the lavish photography throughout... but most inspiring of all (to me) was the home made steam boat which dominated the plot.

Since then, over the last few years, I have tentatively looked around on game show stands, or on line at various model kits, and I have read a few tutorials on making a steam boat for myself; but always I have been dissuaded, either by the cost or the difficulty involved.


... until now.


Having never truly strayed far from my love of all things Victorian: from colonial skirmish wargaming, whimsical role playing storylines, to full on hardcore Steampunk, I suppose it was only natural that my interest would one day be stirred at the idea of making a vessel for my games.


And so I finally decided to take the bull by the horns and make a start.


As it happens, I was in Bantry some time back, and spotted a plastic toy boat in the shop window, and suddenly my mind went into overdrive... careening with enthused ideas. As I stood staring like an idiot, I didn't see a child`s toy in the window. I saw a converted military naval vessel bristling with guns and Victorian marines, rolling up to the shore line and preparing to engage imaginary fantasy world natives hiding elusively at the edge of the jungle tree-line.


The price tag on the model boat was rather nice and reasonable (old shop stock), but I just had to have it. It was a "Sylvanian Families" toy: very collectible, and at one time.. the top notch end of the children`s toy range. But I have an amazing partner, who knows (and tolerates) my passion for DIY hobby projects, who suggested she buy it for me as a non-Birthday present.


I could hardly suppress my enthusiasm as we walked in to the shop to buy it. The lady behind the counter (actually a friend of Hillers) was almost apologetic as she told us the price tag... but my partner was quick to let the woman know "its a birthday present" I think more to stop me blurting out that the boat was for me as much as to reassure the woman that we didn`t mind and understood it was alright she could not just give it to us.


When I got home and unpacked the toy, I was immediately struck just how lovingly made it was.  Amazingly well packaged, and the attention to detail on the thing was incredible. It actually made me feel guilty that I was about to take the whole bloody thing apart... smash it to bits, saw and hack through walls, and generally vandalize this magnificent toy beyond all previous usable recognition.
 
 



The first thing I was going to have to do was change the scale of the boat to make it suitable for 28mm. I think the original toy was about the 45mm mark, so I was going to have to fool the eye into perceiving it differently than a small canal boat.
 
What a Mucking Fuddle!

Oh my goodness, it looked terrible at this stage; and my lovely partner (who had always wanted to collect "Sylvanian Families" toys) was almost appalled at my desecration of this fine crafted collectible.

 The photo above shows what`s left after I pulled everything apart and re glued and pinned things where I needed them to be; and generally added bits of bottle tops, metal screws and bathroom odds and ends to the mix.

Finally, I was able to begin painting.



Ah, that`s better.


Next, I need to add the gun decks (fore and aft) and the hand rails. Then I can start to add the fine details.
 
 
Can`t wait to start adding the boat minutia.
 
 


40`s Navy Blue (Ooo little Sand Pebble eat your heart out). Makes a nice striking statement.
 
 

The end is in sight, and I am beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel at this stage.

I have to finish the thing as it already stars as "Little Hellcat" in the ongoing mini campaign I`ve started.

 Oh the pain we suffer for our art ^^  
 
 
 
Articles By Steve
 




 




 
 

 

16 comments:

  1. Well, you gone torn it this time! You`re gone and excelled yourself. How you even going to do another article like this one?

    Well done love, its amazing. You should be proud of this xxx

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    1. Awwww thanks a lot Hils, that's nice of you. In truth I`m just having fun playing around with my lovely toys. Moving pieces on the board/table, creating living stories, playing games; to me its what this is all about. Besides, the more you do it, the more smoothly you can make the results seem fun hehe.

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  2. Cor blimey Guvnor, where you pull this one from. Your noggin must be busier than a money lender`s note book. Blimey Steve, this is fantastic stuff. Great material and consistent too. Like, do you make ALL this stuff up out your own head? Do you ever sleep >>chuckles<<

    Seriously mate, this is top notch stuff. Well done. I love that bloody boat, in fact I`m gonna sneak round while you`re asleep and `nick` it - oh, you never sleep do you. Never mind. Makes me want to go and watch Steve Mc Queen in The Sand Pebbles all over again now. All that`s missing here is the Thuggee Cult, then away you go. Oh I bet you got those lined up too, right, LOL.

    This looks set and promises to be a hell of a side spin. So what is this, is a tie in (spin off) to the noir Gotham thing, yeah? But done solo, for your, lonesome, to indulge in without the others, a bit of self time? Don’t blame you mate. No matter how much and often I love group participation and the camaraderie of getting together with my mates, sometimes you just can`t whack locking the man cave door and sitting down to a good solitaire game or five. I do it all the time when I get the chance.

    Nice start and interesting characters. That Lady Emileen looks a feisty sort. I notice she lost no time sussing out the local male talent did she. Mind you, on the trip they look about to undertake, probably not a bad idea. I bags play that Jonathan Miles Parker geezer.

    Ten out of ten mate. Keep it up.

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    1. Really glad you enjoyed it and got something positive out of it mate. If what I do can inspire even one other person to `ave a go` for themselves, then I am a happy contented man. That`s the difference I think between slavishly following someone else`s ideas (i.e. let`s play Batman, let`s play Spiderman, let`s play scenes from the Lord of the Rings movies, etc) and making it up for yourself.

      Even if I follow someone else`s creation (like a comic book) I still like to make it feel mine: like its coming from my own mind and not just going through lines of a screen play written by someone else. That`s why I normally like doing genres more than solid things like Batman and Dredd. With a genre you have scope to mess about with the field of lay: gangsters, black and white Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney movies, Romans Legions in Britain, and especially whole wars like the three English Civil Wars... these all give scope for creativity because you are not pidgin holed into having to follow what is written down and has gone before; because you are simply following a tone and a style, not so much a script - film noir, or Pike and Shotte. Whereas, you try and follow say, Spiderman or the Hulk, you are confined largely within a framework of what is and what isn't acceptable, all based on what has been... the written word thus becomes cannon.

      This has been a nightmare for me with Gotham and Cursed Earth... especially the latter for me. Gotham at least has varying `restarts` as DC comics literally rewrote the story several times over the last 50 odd years (same with Marvel), allowing a gamer to pick and choose the bits he/she wants to include in their games... and this same multi `rebooting` of the stories also allows a lot more freedom of creativity as it allows the game world creator to pick bits he/she likes from across those reboots, and inject several “What If`s” into the whole thing. Cursed Earth on the other hand has an integral consistency which makes deviation away from the norm.. that little bit harder to manage.

      Once the whole of what I am doing with my version of this supers world starts to come more clear, you will see what I am doing to stamp my own unique brand mark on the `genre` :)

      Why... `cos can lol

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    2. If you take the premise that Wargaming (i.e. playing games on the table top – or the floor with miniature representations of soldiers and what not) is a gentlemen`s (and ladies) pursuit of reliving our childhood, a celebration of the innocent joys of make belief and “let`s pretend,” back to a time of innocence when as children, out blocks of yellow Lego might have been the Pirates and the Blue blocks might have been the good guys trying to stop them and save the `vastly over-scaled` Barbie doll before little Sister burst into tears and demanded her back. Then it is also stands to reason, following that same logic that you can do what the bloody hell you want with your toys. Just in the same way that, as a kid we might have come away from watching “War of the Worlds” and immediately pulled out all our Airfix toys, but somehow got a bit mixed up with the film “Colditz” we just watched from the week before, so had all our Aliens shouting “Achtung Schweinehund” instead of “OOOoolaaaaaaa!!”

      So it stands to reason really. Why worry so much about getting it wrong? If your Judge Dredd miniature toys sport pink and green spandex, use the catch phrase “Do you feel lucky, punk? Make my day!” and like to hang about with Commissioner Gordon at Bruce Wayne manor, I defy ANYONE who would try tell you that`s wrong (and probably earn a bop on the nose from me at the same time).

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    3. LOL the older I get, the more I find I steer away from mainstream, the more I find there are always those who will tell (sometimes subtly sometimes blatantly) you what you can and can`t do, so the more I find I (sometimes) almost wish back to the days before computers, when you could just wallow in ignorant bliss, and the only thing you ever had to worry about was your own sense of right and wrong, and perhaps the opinion of your small group of game buddies.

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  3. Oh my...Hils mentioned there was a new article up, so I popped over and began to read. And Just as I'd got to the bottom of what I thought was the article...there was another bit...and another.

    Absolutely brilliant stuff, mate. And the fact thst it interweaves with previous posts, even peripherally, just makes it even better!

    Love the use of HeroScape terrain and the repurposing of the Sylvanian Families canal boat is inspired. I've been eyeing up some of the Playmobil stuff sitting in the loft and speculating whether it could be 'appropriated' for gaming use.

    This is why this blog is my absolute favourite and why I was so glad when it came back.

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    1. Cheers Jez mate, I`m so glad you liked it. hehe, you spotted the HeroScape terrain then ^^ I followed that game for years up to and including wave 8 I think it was. I rarely use it nowadays, and anyway I gave most of it away to a friend, long ago (I have none of the figures left anyway, more`s the pity. I really miss the whole game). But the terrain is very useful at times isn't it?

      Using the Sylvanian Families was, I think, one of my better ideas, and I can`t but think that Playmobil wouldn`t work just as well. Great idea that, if you have it - use it. But these ideas by themselves are no good, become too sterile and still.. like a desert. If you make this stuff, you HAVE to play with it... game game game, that's my motto. play play play. Its the only way the hobby truly lives. I couldn't even wait to finish my boat before I simply had to put it in its first game. Desperate or what hahaha. See, no patience, me. **grins**

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    2. {{This is why this blog is my absolute favourite and why I was so glad when it came back.}}

      Awwww you are sweet.

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  4. one of your best I think. Stunningly rich with character and intensity. And I simply adore the converted steam boat. When you see things like this coming together, it makes you realise just how much more rewarding it must be to make your own accessory items to go with the miniatures: instead of just handing over money to own them (nothing wrong with that either though). Terrain, vehicles, and now I see - boats too, absolutely make a game don't they? Just figures alone, however nicely you paint them, without the supporting scenics, just look empty and somehow lacking purpose.

    O oo Oooh I adored your portrayal of Mary Poppins, you got her perfectly in character. And to put her as a member of.. what.. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? That's just inspired. And to see Mina Murray was a delightful treat. Hmmmm, Penny Dreadful version or Bram Stoker`s Dracula version I wonder, hehe?

    I like the timelessness of it all too. Sort of Victorian-esque, yet at the same time would not feel out of place alongside Dick Tracy or Sean Penn and Madonna's "Shanghai Surprise."

    Thank you for such a treat. It was so lovely to sit down and enjoy such an epic read.

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    1. I loved that movie: "Shanghai Surprise." I KNOW it was lame, dreadful, and a vehicle to promote Madonna in her musical heyday career (and that dreadful short lived marriage with Penn). But I dunno, there`s just something about it appeals to me. Maybe its just `cos I fancy Madonna rotten hahaha (LOVED her in Dick Tracy as "Breathless Mahoney").

      As for Mina Murrey, all three versions of course *grins*** Bram Stoker, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Penny Dreadful... but with a salt and pepper dash of my own creation thrown in :)

      Poppins, well she simply wrote herself really lol. Such a cool icon to work with.

      I`m delighted you enjoyed the article hun.

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  5. I want to see you bring more classic, iconic characters into your games: like Indiana Jones, Baron and Baroness Bomburst of Rudavia, and Brit Noir`s Detective Inspector Jericho Strange and Becky Darke.

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  6. Indiana Jones exist in the form of my very own.. South African gentleman who goes by the name of Dr. Justin Fabian Johannes, hehe. The Bombursts.... I will leave to Hillers to do hahaha, as that's her baby: and Strange and Darke are well in hand, bear with me on that one. ^^

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  7. Speechless(ish) Steve, great post. The pulp adventure is set to be a corker and the range of figures is amazing as well as your excellently repurposed toy boat. I clocked the heroscape terrain, very useful and landed the table an easy and effective aesthetic. I would liked to have seen more of how you converted the boat mate tbf as it looks stunning and I can't quite see how you got it there, but the pics DO show a competent build with a great finish. Top notch stuff mate.

    Ps if you pop back to Simon's fantorical for a reply to your comment in there, I've got a miniature I can send you.

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  8. Hi Andy, hey I`m glad you enjoyed it.

    Yeah the minis are sweet aren`t they. Years back when I was Editor for Wargames Journal and working with Spartan Games on their world background `blurb` just as a diversion at the time, I got heavily into Pulp era skirmish gaming (I even wrote a set of rules called Pulp Action which I believe are still available out there on Pete Jones site as a free download: if not I have a PDF copy you can have). Anyway I got friendly with Patrick Wilson and Bob Murch at the time, and as well as doing a few interviews, I got quite deeply involved in collecting the figures. As a result I have quite a veritable heap of them now... and what`s more and better still, almost all of them are fully painted woohoo!!

    OMGGggggggg that Salute mini "Nimue" is crazy goodness. I saw the you tube video you advised me to go watch and I am now even more in love with the model. The fact you have spare you can let me have is just fantastic mate. THANK you so much. Let me know if you receive my addy (sending you my home address on Hotmail now).

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  9. oh yeah, the reason I never gave a true tutorial on making the boat was two fold really. 1) I hadn`t a clue what I was doing and literally just blindly felt my way as I went about doing it... practically closed my eyes and hoped for the best. and 2) I never really thought anyone would be that interested to be honest, so never thought to catalogue how I did it at the time.

    But how I did it pretty much was.... destroy the roof, break and pull apart the walls, saw away the deck railings, and what was left was a sad and sorry pile of plastic, screws and nuts. I then sort of re-assembled most of it (using 5 minute Araldide) in interesting ways to create the shape I wanted. The hard bit was getting the roof to fit, as I had to make the hull side pillars (walls) in j-u-s-t the right places to rest the roof braces on, having utterly destroyed the original ones that came on the toy.. My reference was to freeze frame the Steve McQueen movie "The Sand Pebbles" and the same with Charlton Heston`s "Khartoum" simply freezing the film on the tramp steamer and taking mental notes what the real thing should look like.

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