Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Review of 2014

This month was productive with a wide range of projects, some even got completed. The most popular post in January with 552 views was this:

A much slower month but with an emphasis on Megablitz Italians. They were also the most popular with 257 views:

Nothing to see here. Move along to April please.

April was definitely the month of the Megablitz Italians. All manner of Italian units being produced but the most popular post was, with 383 views, this:

The fifth month was barely alive with only three posts. The most viewed (77!!!), and also a FLW job being this:

Flaming June was a complete mystery to me, well the viewing figures were at any rate. I'm going to post the most and second most popular posts here. I am doing this because the positions defy reason:

1st (917 views)

2nd (637 views)

A reasonably productive month with some good work done with HOTT & FLW . By far the most popular post, with 537 views, being:

Pulp Adventures became popular with me and this is reflected both in work done and views. The most viewed post, 264 times, in August was:

The Pulp Adventures theme continued into September with a good number of posts and also some satisfying work being completed. The most popular was, however, a book review! 279 views in total: 

The tenth month was reasonably productive. Pulp Adventures dominated but Swing Dance also figured. This month also marked the start of my slide into depression which had me in its grip for all of November and part of December. The various Pulp Adventures posts were well viewed this month with the following post seen the most at 367 times:

Closed for (self) maintenance.

Two posts only in December, including this one. It was nice to finish the year on an upbeat. Things are much more positive now and I am looking forward to next year with renewed confidence and vigour. 

Thank you everyone who joined the site this year and for everyone's supporting comments on my posts. I do appreciate what you say and the time you take to write them. 2015! Let's GO!    

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Nightmare With A Happy Ending

Bloody hell! What a game I've had trying to get back into the blog. I solved the problem quite easily in the end, wrong accounts, wrong log-in details BAH!

Anyways I had a rather splendid Crimbo and Santa brought me all kinds of top grade loot. Including, but not limited too, a proper storage box for all the Pulp Adventures figures I've painted to date. I'm actually painting another pair of them at the moment too. I also scored a box set of the Bogart & Bacall movies plus a copy of 'The Rocketeer'!

Joyful & Triumphant

I feel properly re-energised and am anticipating some reasonably good things for 2015. I say reasonably so I don't overreach myself and end up in a hole again like I did back in November for, well, reasons.

All the best to you and yours for Christmas and the future!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Mojo Gojo Gongon

That fickle creature 'The Muse' has deserted me in the last 10 days or so. Believe me when I say that i'd like to paint some figures but I cannot summon the enthusiasm but it's just not there. I also know, from bitter experience, that trying to force myself to do some work will only result in a disaster for the figures and myself. I can feel the minx returning so normal service should be resumed soonish but, as we all know, these things cannot be rushed. Merely coaxed.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Charity Shops Are Goldmines #1

I had some stuff to donate so, after the drop-off, I perused the shelves. Now, as many will know, I have an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time as far as CS are concerned. Yesterday was no exception. Cars and palm trees galore!

Here are some pictures of the haul

Not bad for 50p the lot, eh?
The figure's for scale and is not for sale.

I shall paint over the address to make the truck more generic.
But that's not the best bit.

OPENING rear doors!
I envisage possibilities here.

The best truck in the world?
No, it's got a side-lamp missing but it'll do a trip.

Quite pleased with this little lot and good value at £3.50!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


I love Balboa. As a Swing-Dance it is quite possibly my favourite and, given that I adore Lindy-Hop, that is quite a thing. I haven't been able to attend the latest bloc of classes due to a scheduling clash with my Spanish class. This week is, however, half-term so I was able to trot along to class last night. I had a brilliant time and did both Beginner and Improver classes.

Balboa comes in two forms: Pure Balboa and Bal-Swing. In Pure Bal the Lead and Follow maintain a close hold for the whole of the dance. In Bal-Swing the Lead and Follow will seperate to do turns, throw-outs, come arounds and the like. The Dream is a Bal-Swing move also.

We learned a move called 'The Dream' in Beginners and a Contra-Body move in Improvers. Contra-Body is best summarised as: your top half moves one way while your bottom half goes in the opposite direction. My back-ache this morning bore witness to this!

Updates as they happen!

PS Welcome to new blog follower Edwin King. He runs a smashing blog page and has a presence on Facebook. Go and have a look; you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Amazonian Hide & Seek

Here's a film set I constructed to, basically, show off some of the figures and jungle terrain pieces I have painted and/or created recently. (Gosh! Don't I sound like Orson Welles!?!?)

I'd best get around to playing out some Pulp Adventures really hadn't I?

Is that an Evil Cultist lurking near the statue?
What IS he doing?

Are those Indian archers defending the Evil Cultist?
And if so....WHY?

It appears the Evil Cultist has the Indians on-side.
(Who am I kidding? Of course he has!)
But for what nefarious purposes???

Updates as they happen!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Everything You Wanted To Know About Stringing Bows But Were Afraid To Ask

I am indebted to Paul of Paul's Bods for this idea. I'm not going to write out the method though; you can read the how-to-do-it right here.

What I will say is that you must do the stringing in a calm and quiet environment. Also expect to make mistakes but do not worry, practice makes, if not perfect, then certainly presentable. Plus you'll be super chuffed with how your archer types look once you've finished.

You can see some of my feeble attempts here , here and here

Finally a picture of my bow-stringing kit:

 High End Tech


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Out, Demons, OUT!

I've been dreadfully ill with some kind of flu for the past two weeks. What's been annoying and depressing is that it has prevented me from going to dance lessons and social dances. This is simply not acceptable and last night my body decided enough was enough. I went to bed quite early but could not settle. At around 3am my body began to heat up, I became quite delirious in fact. I felt absolutely wretched.

Now, living alone as I do and this sort of thing happens it's a worry. Luckily, even in a delirious state I was able to take some paracetamol; get a homemade honey/lemon drink down me; open some windows and make it to the sofa in the living room; where I passed out until 11am this morning.

When I awoke I felt considerably better than I had a few hours before. So much so that I was able to cook myself some food: a sausage and fried egg sandwich and a mug of tea which raised my morale 100%. I then rested for the remainder of the day. Later I felt strong enough to go to dance class tonight and I am glad I did. It was a real boost to see all my friends and our teachers. And even though I was only about 90% fit I hacked the class.

We've started to learn a routine for a public display in November which includes the following Lindy-Hop moves:

2 x Basic 8-Count Triple Steps

1 x Double Turn Tuck Turn

2 x He-Goes-She-Goes

2 x Lindy Turns

1 x Bring In

2 x Frankie Manning Circles

1 x Normal Circle

1 x Travelling Jockey

We do that twice.

Then we do:

2 x Basic 8-Count Triple Steps

1 x Boost Jump

2 x Outside Turns

1 x Short Whip

1 x Bring In

1 x Long Whip

1 x Bring In

We do that once, maybe twice.

Quite a workout but superb for improving low mood or depression and it also seems to have killed off the last of the flu terrorists.

I can now probably get my annual flu vaccination. I'll ask my GP who I'm seeing tomorrow.

All the best!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Tribesmen of The Amazon

As you may have noticed I've been building up a collection of vaguely South American type scenery of late. Strange plants, stranger statues etc. Well, it's time for some human involvement in the shape of these Copplestone 'Amazon Indians' (C41 High Adventure) figures.

They're not wearing much in the way of clothing; some sort of cloth cod-piece is about it.It was the skin tone I was concerned about. In the end I went with a mix of Vallejo 'Mahogany Brown' & 'Buff'. I experimented by adding small amounts of the lighter colour to the darker until I had what looked about right to me. I used watered down GW Brown Ink in crevices to try and bring out the muscle definition without going full-on Arnie. Black hair high-lighted a bit with a light gray.

The figures are all armed with bows. Two figures have clearly just loosed shots, one is getting an arrow ready and two are ready to shoot. None of the figures was strung so I used a simple technique, which I'll cover in a later post, to provide bow-strings. The arrows are simply cut down dress-maker's pins.

I then based them all in the usual manner with the addition of some grassy tufts.



Updates as they happen!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Everybody loves Cultists. Right? Well, this figure isn't strictly an 'official' cultist but he does have a hooded cloak and a large book of horrid incantations and summonings. He's from Gripping Beast and came as a pair with a bishop figure. The bishop is now a Magician in The Army of The Privilege. As for his erstwhile buddy I gave him a mask made from greenstuff which left only his eyes and nose exposed. I think red is a fine colour and a most effective way of showing that Cultists are Evil Incarnate. As I'm sure you will agree.

Note Big Book of Evil Intent

(And Dagger)


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Pulp Faction (Update)

I've done character mini-biogs for each of the current members of The Band of Baron Brasneki

Paris Police Files on White Emigré Groups

Baron Boris Brasneki
PPF/001/001/M Baron Brasneki
A White Russian emigré. Allegedly involved in numerous plots to restore the Romanovs to the throne of Russia. Never seems to be short of personal funds. Likes his medals and is a known 2-pistol man. Dangerous and fanatical. Knows of the limitations of Shetsov's loyalty.
Ludmilla Brasneki
PPF/002/023/F Ludmilla Brasneki
Baron Brasneki's only daughter and only child. Known as 'Ludmilla the Killer'. Extremely dangerous and highly skilled with firearms. Adept in unarmed combat and knows how to construct a honey trap.Excellent fund-raiser. Believes implicitly in a Romanov restoration. Was spirited out of Russia by her mother who then disappeared. Secretly in love with Ardaaz Nayals.

 Symeon Shetsov
PPF/045/239/M Symeon Shetsov
Baron Brasneki's chief of staff. He is also in charge of Intelligence Gathering and Assassination. Fearless and deadly with all weapons and in unarmed combat. Loyal to a point but will always put himself first. Escaped from Russia following the collapse of The Whites. The Baron found him in Paris working for gangsters. He persuaded him his interests and destiny lay elsewhere. Interestingly several known gangsters were found dead around the city following this offer.

Ardaaz Nayals 
PPF/010/035/M Ardaaz Nayals 
Baron Brasneki's bodyguard. Physical culture enthusiast: incredibly strong. VERY loyal to the Brasnekis. Secretly in love with the Baron's daughter, Ludmilla. He served in Brasneki's regiment and carried a wounded and exhausted Baron over the border to safety following the collapse of The Whites.

From the office of Inspector Clouless.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Desert Briefing

Here's some desert terrain I've knocked up over the last day or two. The palm trees I bought at Salute last year so they've been incorporated pretty rapidly. The statue is a charity shop find. I based them all on coasters and based same with a mix of paint, sand and grit. The statue was canted at an angle using card off-cuts and then the sand was built up in layers. Painted with a dark ochre green and then dry brushed for high lights. The well is scratch-built with small pebbles from the garden path.Again painted a darkish brown and dry brushed to death.

You can see part of my collection of books on the Spanish Civil War in the background.

Dr. Jim Trueman & Ripcord O'Reilly
in earnest discussion.

A Desert Well
Entrance To Underground Caverns?

Statue Sunk Into The Sand
Something More Sinister?

Trueman & O'Reilly

Dr. Jim Trueman
Head of Paleontology, and with more than a passing interest in Archaeology, at Axtell College. He has led a large number of successful expeditions. Successful meaning that no more than 10% of the expedition staff died. He is noted amongst the undergraduates as an educator who always grades papers and provides appropriate feedback.

He spent some time in the US Marines but it is not certain what his nationality actually is. His service in the Marines means he is handy with most firearms including all small arms, machine guns, grenades and demolition. He favours an ivory-handled { ;-) } pistol and, a large knife.He is also handy with his fists should wrong-doers require percussion adjustment of their attitude.

He can speak a number of languages and is comfortable in all social situations. He puts this down to being able to tie a bow-tie without assistance.

Ripcord O'Reilly
Is a pilot par excellence. There's nothing with wings he can't get into the air. His landings, however, can be a little interesting hence his nickname. He has served in numerous wars and revolutions but has decided lately that passenger and freight services will not only make him rich but also allow him to enjoy his gains by simply surviving.

He is also good with a gun and his fists. And knows he looks good in his leather flying gear.

Updates as they happen!

Friday, 3 October 2014


I watched The Naked Jungle tonight. It is a strange film. Border-line racist at times it also contains a large number of belly laughs. Some of which, maybe all, were completely unintentional I'm sure; for example Charlton Heston appears to be 8 feet wide in some scenes. The laughs are contained in the first half of the movie. They stop when the word 'Marabunta' is uttered by Robert Conrad's Commissioner character. Marabunta being a vast army of soldier ants heading their way after a 27 year kip.

It's then that the film becomes of interest to Pulp Adventurers. They travel upriver by canoe; battle the jungle a bit; encounter ant scouts and, see the enormous ant army scoffing its way across the land. The final scenes reminded me of a more apocalyptic defence of The Alamo. All of these action points could be developed further to produce a rollicking adventure.

As for characters it has it all. A brooding anti-hero, a stalwart and feisty woman,  two brave and loyal  side-kicks, a human villain with a shark's grin, expendable extras and a cast of, literally, millions of 'bad guys'. (They're not really bad, of course, they're behaving in a perfectly normal way which humans object to).

As well as the posh plantation house there also a very charming steam river boat with a red and white awning. A jungle camp, canoes, water dams and some spectacular scenery. The film makers also provide a plan of the plantation which is very helpful of them. All of which is of interest to model makers and scratchbuilders.

Updates as they happen!

PS Welcome to new blog member ColKillgore. Thank you for following!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A Grand Day Out

Went on an adventure with General Charles today. We had to pick some wargame figure moulds from a foundry in Yardley Birmingham and then deliver them to a manufacturer in Nottingham. We had great fun navigating our way over to Yardley and only got lost twice. The second time we consulted the A-Z and fixed our position which was, to be fair, only a few minutes drive away from the foundry. So, onto the A45 heading into the City Centre and there we were. Easy really.

We loaded the six boxes, fairly heavy too, into the motor and then back onto the A45 for the jaunt to Nottingham. Which we found quite easily by comparison. Luckily General Charles had been to the figure makers before. It's in an industrial unit complex just to the rear of the old Raleigh bikes factory in Lenton. This factory is now also home to a well known wargames figure manufacturer. In fact the place we delivered to is also pretty famous (NOT GW)

Lenton Business Centre Reception (there's a big clue!)

The staff were really nice and helpful and gave us a guided tour of their products including the new Osprey medieval skirmish rules. Which, at £12, are a bargain. Full of lovely Osprey plates of various medieval soldiers, knights and what-have-you. Also contains some army lists for the small forces you will need to have a game.

To be honest I was entranced by the volume of lovely figures they had in the unit. So much so that I bought some Pulp figures off them. After a drink and chat we set off back to Brum without getting lost. On the way back we had an in-depth discussion on the Battle of Naseby and why the 'Last Stand' of Rupert's Blew Coats didn't, couldn't, have happened. To find out why you'll have to wait for General Charles's new book.

All in all a grand day out!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Voyage en Egypte

Is the title of a book I picked up from a charity shop yesterday. It's in French and is a sort of coffee table paperback book. It is a record of David Roberts's journey around Egypt in 1839 (at least that's what my schoolboy French has worked out).

The book is full colour and comprises 92 pages. 46 pages are given over to Roberts's paintings of Egyptian antiquities with each having a facing page of description/explanation. It is frankly superb and is choc full of ideas for games buildings. Not bad for the princely sum of £1.50!

Its ISBN is 9782878300291.

Here's a selection of the images I photographed:

 Front Cover

The Sphinx

Tombs of Béni Hassan

Portico of the Temple of Denderah

Temple of Medinet Habou

Updates as they happen, chumrades!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Real Versus Fake


1943 Norman Rockwell painting of a war-winning female worker. The model this image was based on wasn't even a manual worker. However, the image portrayed here smacks of realism. she looks like she's been working hard to produce equipment for the front and could handle that riveting gun with skill. It suggests, no, shouts, female empowerment. Also look at the buttons on her denims. First Aider, Volunteer Fire Warden and union buttons. The picture is fake but looks real.


This is the popular image of Rosie. It isn't, never was meant to be anything other than a generic female worker. But look at the full face of make-up and neatly done hair. Now compare it to the image of Rosie above. This picture is basically anti-union, paternalistic and sexist. The only button she is wearing is a Westinghouse Corporation one.

In conclusion both pictures are fakes. Both are wartime propaganda. But one states that women are skilled, capable and intelligent while the other suggests quite the opposite.

This picture is of Ruby Loftus. A British munitions worker seen here milling the breech ring of a Bofors Gun. An incredibly difficult job worked to fine tolerances.


Rosie the Riveter

We Can Do It!

Ruby Loftus


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Pulp Terrain Items #4

Small dino graveyard. These are the dino fossils that come with Copplestone Castings Back of beyond Set BC8. You may recognise the man with box in the set photo......

It will make an interesting, if perilous place, for intrepid Adventurers, Explorers and Villains to investigate and traverse.

I arranged the fossils to try and tell a story. From top RH corner we have a predator's skull, ribcage/spine, fore-claw, leg-bone and tail. In the top LH corner are the eggs the predator was after. Bottom LH corner is the fossil of a flying reptile whose eggs they were. Both dinos died trying and became fossilised in this place.

I used another thick card coaster as the base. Undercoated in an earth colour. I glued the fossils in place and then painted them up using a base coat, dry brushing and washes to get the effect I wanted. I then sealed them in with a mix of Vallejo Green-Brown, PVA and sand/grit mix. Dry brushed with Vallejo Beige. Some tufts of modelling grass glued into pre-drilled holes. Varnished matt.

Updates as they happen!

PS Hello to new blog members Kevin Holland & Michael T Murphy who also runs a rather splendid blog. Welcome aboard, Chaps!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Pulp Terrain Items #3

From this...

 ...And this...

...To this...
I sanded down the original wooden ornament with a light grade paper. I then used a 6"/150mm steel ruler and a pencil to mark joins where the 'stone blocks' had been fitted together. Following that I used some needle files to, mostly, carefully gouge into the wood along the pre-marked lines.

Once I felt that the grooves looked wide and old enough I washed the head in warm soapy water to get all residues off the wood. After it had dried I undercoated the head with matt black Plastikote ensuring that the paint had gone into all of the head's nooks and crannies.

I used a pot of Flntstone Grey emulsion to get the basic stone effect. It took about three coats to get the finish I wanted. Also I was careful not to let grey paint run into the stone cuts as much as possible. Once the emulsion was dry I used a selection of lighter greys and eventually white (Vallejo Paints) to achieve a weathered effect upon the stonework. To pick out the joints I used watered down Army Painter Soft Tone Ink which did the trick. I also stippled some bright green into corners and other sheltered areas to try and recreate that mossy stuff that grows in these areas.

 ...And finally this.
I based the head upon a piece of, pre-painted,thick card, some kind of coaster. I then used a mix of PVA, Vallejo Green-Brown and budgie sand & gravel around the perimeter. Dry brushed with Vallejo Beige. I used modelling grass in corner areas and sheltered areas of the head. To finish I glued moss around corners and outcrops. I sealed the piece with matt varnish which went a little shiney but that's ok.
Updates as they happen!

PS Hello and welcome to new blog follower The Composer. Thank you for following :)

Thursday, 18 September 2014

At Work With No-Nose McGee

He wasn't always known as No-Nose McGee. He had a nose once, quite a nice one. It wasn't distinguished like those aquiline ones some people sport. No, his was just a nice nose. That was until he started hanging around juke joints and down-at-heel bars where the Low Men congregate to do Low Men stuff. No-Nose liked the look of all this: easy money, fast cars, beautiful women and power.

He got a job as an enforcer, he was good at it. Always got what was due to his boss and he never sliced a piece off for himself. He started to get better at It and then, one day, decided he wanted It all. His boss, quite naturally, objected to this attempted coup against him.

Normally upstarts like McGee would find themselves fitted with concrete boots and a one way swimming lesson. Not this time, this time his boss sent him, all alone, to collect an outstanding debt from an outrageous hoodlum with the name of Mock the Knife.

As you may have already guessed McGee had been set up for a savage beating during which he had his schnozz smashed completely flat and acquired an impressive duelling scar on his left cheek. Mind you, Mock the Knife came off worse......FAR worse and McGee got the money too. His boss was more than a little surprised that McGee had survived the encounter. He did, however, do the decent thing of spiriting McGee away to a 'medical facility' out of town. Once he recovered McGee got a message to leave and never come back.

Since then No-Nose has found a job at Nathan & Co as a warehouse worker. Because of what happened he keeps his head down and is thought of as a mook by his workmates. He lets them think what they like. He isn't a schmo, he's waiting, planning, scheming and will soon become available for a Pulp Adventure or two. Whether he's a reformed good guy, an unrepentant bad guy or a mix of the two remains to be seen.

Nathan & Co.'s Yard

No-Nose McGee Does His Job

Green Crossley Truck

Blue Crossley Truck

No-Nose McGee

Updates as they happen!