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!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

French Foreign Legion Freelancers

You will recall, from 1999's 'The Mummy', that Rick O'Connell and Beni Gabor were the only FFL survivors from the Battle of Hamunaptra. Not so. Not only does a mounted officer escape, possibly, the debacle, so did three other members of the column; one officer and two Legionnaires. They were lucky enough to be on patrol at the rear of Hamunaptra looking for water and an entrance to the fabled treasure chamber they were sure lay within.

The mounted officer galloped past yelling 'Sauve qui peut!' and, being alert to their futures they did so. Mounting some baggage camels and setting off away from the shooting and yelling coming from their front. They were observed by the Medjai who decided to leave them to their collective fates. A thirsty, sandy death probably. Again, not so. They made it to Cairo, losing contact with the mounted officer along the way.......

Once in Cairo they knew there was no way back to The Legion, only punishment and disgrace waited for them there. Thus they elected to become freebooting guns-for-hire. The Pulp Universe allowed them to retain their uniforms and most of their kit; which was lucky.

From LtoR
Caporal Rincon-Grande
Capitaine D'Aramitz
Sergent Hartmann

Capitaine D'Aramitz joined la Légion Etrangere after graduating from military college. He served with distinction even giving up half an arm and one eye pour La Gloire de La Belle France. He is still deadly with a pistol though. He felt he was destined to become a Marshal of France. That was until he met the criminal adventuring dilettante - Rick O'Connell. He allowed M. O'Connell to seduce him with tales of spectacular wealth in some sand-swallowed hell hole called Hamunaptra. We know what happened. Capitaine D'Aramitz is a friend of Capitaine le Petit Filou who you will remember is serving with distinction with the Tarbooshian Army of Cultural Intervention in Anahuaco.

Sergent Hartmann is, according to his enlistment papers, a German. This may not be so but who are we to argue or question? He joined to escape unemployment and some vicious creditors and thus, he too fell under the spell of Hamunaptra. Seven years of unblemished service up in smoke. Still has his rifle with which he is pretty deadly.

Caporal Rincon-Grande. Possibly a Spaniard. Definitely a friend of Beni Gabor's and also the originator of the phrase 'You'll get yours, Beni!' Handy with a pistol and an aficianado of local clothing hence the fez, or tarboosh, gold armlets and native sandals.

None of them know that O'Connell and Gabor survived the massacre. Not yet anyway.........

PS Hello to new blog member Brian English. Thanks for following :-)

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Friday Night Social

I went Swing-Dancing in Selly Oak (a district of Brum) last night. It was great fun, fairly well attended, including a big bunch of my friends, and the dancing was good. The music selection was, however, mostly shite. I also forgot to take my camera or other recording equipment so you'll have to take my word for it.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Book Review - 'Uncharitable Mischief'

'Uncharitable Mischief: Barbarity & Excess In The British Civil Wars' by Charles Singleton

The author of this fine booklet has achieved something quite brilliant. Firstly he makes it clear that the British Civil War was, like all other civil wars, extremely brutal. Given the Victorian mythology which has been caked over the War this is no mean feat. Singleton uses referenced case studies to show how, after the initial enthusiasm waned post Edgehill, several areas of the country became the victims of soldiers who were no more than gangsters.

The second part of the book looks at the New Model Army's campaign in Ireland. Again this part of the War is layered with myth and controversy. Singleton does an excellent job of showing us how the NMA actually operated and that Oliver was a real person and not a bloodthirsty mass-murderer. It is often, conveniently, forgotten that Cromwell was under the orders of The Parliament and worked within the existing Laws of War.

A well referenced and extremely readable work. I recommend this book as an excellent introduction to the truth about the BCW.

PS I discovered that this book is also available on The Pike & Shot Society sales page. About half way down.

Link to the original review page. 


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Pulp Terrain Items #2

Here's some more stuff with Pulp potential I came across on my travels.

Resin Box with potential as an altar. It's made of resin but coloured as shiny marble.
I am particularly impressed with the filigree work around the sides. 
Very nice and just £1.99 from a local charity shop!

End view with filigree work and figure for scale comparison.

It has a removable lid!
Traders of the Lost Park of The Doves and Ants, anyone?!

Now, what self-respecting Pulpist can resist having some dinosaurs to run away from? Not me that's for sure! I scored these behemoths from Wilko's Shop of Everything for just £2 each. They come pre-painted in a nice hard plastic. I might re-paint them, especially the T-Rex (at least I think it's a T-Rex). 

This is a Brachiosaur. 
I thought it was a Diplodicus but my youngest daughter, 
who is about to go to Liverpool University to read Anthropology, 
informed me I was incorrect. She is wise.

Look at Tony the T-Rex's joy as Baron Brasneki 
informs him his claim for Disability Living Allowance has been successful!

Weird looking 'pre-historic' fish-tank plants stalk the Earth.

Ludmilla the Killer poses in front of a Big Giant Head.
I shall be painting this wooden ornament a nice stoney weathered grey.
£1 from a local CS. Bargainsome!

More Big Giant Head action.

Got these maniacal looking statues from
a fish-tank emporium up the road from my house.
They're hollow, made of resin and are hilarious.

Symion Shetsov finds a soul-mate......

......or two.

Updates as they happen!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Pulp Terrain Items #1

First in a short series on terrain items I have acquired over the last couple of weeks. Once again charity shops have provided a fair chunk of the stuff. Aquarium supply shops are also pretty goldminey but you have to be careful. Prices can induce temporary blindness. I found a supplier on a site named after a large river in Brazil that sells aquarium stuff with potential at reasonable prices: EllieBo.

Since I've mentioned aquaria a lot I'll start the series with this rather fine and imposing piece of Pulp Terrain. You will notice from the photographs that it has two holes in its structure. Apparently this is to give the fish and way in and out which they love. For me I saw entrances to underground caverns filled with (enter name of bad guys of choice here) GOLD!

You will also noticed the green stuff with which the piece is bedecked. This is because anything is possible in Pulp; especially abandoned Egyptian colonies in America (Central &/or South). The piece came fully painted, weathered and with its plant life attached. It's resin and hollow on the inside making it sturdy but light. It measures L 21.5cm x W 10.5cm x h 14.5cm. It has flat surfaces that figures can stand upon easily plus the two holes already mentioned. All for £7.05!

The pictures:

Front Elevation

 LH Side Elevation

RH Side Elevation With Figures

Rear Elevation With Adventure Hole

LH Side Elevation With Figures & Adventure Hole

Updates as they happen!