Monday, April 26, 2010


Well, finally I've stopped resisting the urge to buy some superheroes minis. As far as I remember, I've always been a fan of superheroes' comics (I traditionally belonged to the Marvel "sect", although more recently I've become fond of DC goodness too). And lately there are two companies that are releasing some amazing sculpts of superhero minis: Pulp City, and Reaper Minis in its Chronoscope range.
The Pulp City minis have a coherent look to them, that can be easily compared with the modern and realistic designs of the Ultimate line from Marvel comics. The superheroes from Chronoscope are more diverse (as is always the case with Reaper minis), and lean more towards the old style of four-colour heroes. From these manufacturers I've selected some 15-20 minis that will be added to my collection. To these I'll add a conversion for a superhero player character I envisioned some years ago (a Devil's Child alter-ego).

Here are just some for your viewing pleasure (original studio paintjobs):

Nuclear Jones
Stoner Hawk
Kitty Chesire

What will I do with these? Honestly, I'm not sure yet. I have limited myself to keep minis only for their use to represent PCs in roleplaying games. So in theory I should create a Supers RPG just to justify the minis! But I'm not sure if the common ruleset I'll be using (remember, that which adapts the Dragon Age RPG with my previous Arcade rules) is able to cope with the special powers that superheroes have. The most sensible course of action seems to be equating super powers to the special powers the PCs in the Ajsalium setting have. After all, their powers are not all that different to magic. Alternatively to the rpg, a Heroclix-like skirmish wargame would be a possibility, too. What is for certain is that those minis will look gorgeous in my display cabinet!

Friday, April 16, 2010


After watching "2001: Space Odyssey" and having a look at the science fiction works by Arthur C. Clarke, I had the somewhat weird idea of an adventure based solely on the difficulties of life in space, instead of action and conflict. It's going to take place on the system of Stoicheyon, in the volcanic planet of Pyros. The surface of this planet is inhospitable, but that has been solved building a huge ring (a torus actually) around and above the equator, that receives just enough heat from the planet and light from the sun. But due to budget cuts and poor quality of materials a whole area has collapsed; logically, the contract with the building company is cancelled and a new one takes over the work. The PCs will be a group of engineers from said company, and they'll have to study the structure to guarantee its soundness before resuming the works; all the while trying to prove false the accusations of sabotage from the original company. To top that, a comet impacting on a nearby moon will shutter it, causing a cloud of asteroids to slowly drive towards Pyros attracted by its gravity, posing a serious danger to the ring. It's up to the PCs to devise a plan to avert that, if it is at all possible. No action, no shootings, no chases, no aliens... I know this adventure is a serious risk, but I hope to be able to make it interesting if I focus on the high stress of political, economical and technical problems each interfering and aggravating the rest. We'll see.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Lately, I've been up to paper models. I was randomly browsing the web when I came across the site of Topo Solitario (worth having a look, just click). Among other things, I found a very nice looking paper model of a dropship, named UD-12 Chickenhawk. I decided to build one for fun and also as a test to my own manual dexterity. Here you can see the result (minis shown for size reference):

It doesn't look bad from a distance, but once you get a closer look... ouch! Nonetheless I'm satisfied with it as it was printed on standard thin paper, instead of the heavyweight paper recommended for these models (not only does it make the model stronger, it also allows for an easier assembly).

As I like the model, I plan to use it as a prop in the Galaxtar adventure "Collateral Damage"; I'll personalize the model giving it the same colour scheme as the protagonists wear (khaki camo) and some logos of the company involved (Union Aerospace Corporation). Customization is easy because Topo offers the model as a UCM download, a little (and free) program that makes changing colour schemes a matter of a few clicks.
And a bigger plan is developing my own paper model based on this, the UD-13 Ironhawk, a little intrastellar ship (or perhaps an overpriced shuttle?). The idea is making it 50% bigger just by printing it in Din A3 paper instead of the usual Din A4, and probably giving it two extra engines, ans a dome for the black hole generator that would convert it into a interstellar ship. That ship, with a neutral grey colour, will be named "Winged Horse" and I'll use it as the prop for the spaceship of the group of scifi smugglers and criminals (Reaper's Sascha Dubois & Rosie and Heresy's Vincent B. Ruddock & Painless Joe).

And why this sudden urge for paper models? Well, their utility in rpg's is similar to that of minis (which I talked about here). Of course, they won't ever have the same level of detail; but they have the advantage that they don't need to be painted. In my opinion there are a couple (or three) of good uses for them:
· Counters / paper minis for combat encounters, as they are a very cheap alternative for minis, that can be printed on demand, thus saving storage space too.
· Props, for some elements of an adventure you want to give some extra importance to (as is the case with the dropship model I've shown you above).
· Also, for people with no storage problems, or very laborious, as scenery. Paper scenery is becoming very popular nowadays, and there are quite a bunch of companies selling very good looking packs. I can recommend World Works Games, which offers medieval, modern and futuristic buildings, sceneries and models.

So, to get you started, apart from the two sites linked above, here you have four more (thanks go to McFonz at the Forum of Doom for pointing me towards the first three):
Jay's Box of Sci-Fi CardToys
Fantasy Cutouts
Paper Model Directory
Ebbles Miniatures