Friday, 11 September 2009
This is the Artizan Agent Lake figure (and what a very nice figure it is). The problem I have with these Pulp figures is how to base them. Is grass appropriate for a girl in high heeled red shoes? More likely it should be something representing a night club floor but, there we go. A very nice figure to paint and demonstrates why I cannot join the chorus of approval for Bob Murch's Pulp Miniatures range: his women are ugly! Look at that cute little retroussé nose!
I watched the film The Shadow this weekend, starring Alec Baldwin an actor who at that time had almost no charisma whatsoever but has now matured into a fine comic actor (see 30 Rock). It also stars Penelope Ann Miller, more of whom later. It was based on an old radio show rather than a comic strip as compared to The Rocketeer, which I also watched recently which was a modern but retro looking comic.
Both films look rather good, set as they are in the late thirties, but, as someone once said, you don't come out of a movie whistling the sets. On balance I would give the nod to The Rocketeer for catching the look of late thirties Hollywood so well. The nightclub set is a wonder to behold and so is the clever pastiche of the set of The Adventures of Robin Hood. Interestingly, The Phantom also has a nightclub scene (it is set in new York rather than Los Angeles) but the design is not so memorable, although some of the other sets are quite striking. Three years extra development in the world of digital effects is apparent in The Phantom as well; some of The Rocketeer effects are a bit ropey now. Musically, although The Phantom has a score by Jerry Goldsmith, it is very much one of his by the numbers jobs and doesn't hold a candle to one of James Horner's best early (aren't all his early scores his best ones?) scores for The Rocketeer.
The whole point about Sky Pirates is that they have to have some aerial capabilities! I was thinking about a plane to use for some of the scenarios and having recently watched The Phantom on DVD realised that we had to be talking about float planes of some sort. A quick search on eBay for 1/48 scale sea planes came up with this from a Japanese Anime film called Porco Rosso. Now, I am not particularly interested in Japanese Anime but this one does sound rather intriguing so I may have to pick up the DVD.
I just thought this was a superb model of a pulp seaplane. It's even red! So I bought it on eBay and it arrived today. It looks completely splendid and I can't wait to build it. It even has a female pilot figure who looks very much like the female Sky Pirate! Key things for wargaming are that the hull is flat enough that I won't have to make it a waterline model and, indeed, it comes with a little cart to hold it when on the shore.
The box claims that it is based on the Savoia S21, a Schneider Trophy plane from the twenties. However it doesn't look much like one (see above for the S21, which is a pusher for a start).
A bit of further research showed that the man who drew it for the cartoon based it on his recollection of a plane which he thought was the S21. In fact, he had been thinking about the Macchi M33 from 1925.
I even kept the lightning bolt symbol although, again, I thought about using the "Z" symbol of the Zombites from the Thunderbirds episode The Uninvited. This was, however, too much of a baddies symbol (at least for me) and I want the Sky Pirates to be goodies.
I have now undercoated and based all of the 12 Artizan figures I bought last month but now they have just come up with a great set of Russian type characters and I can see that I am going to have to get these too.
I am still thinking about scenarios and am looking forward to the imminent (I hope) arrival of The Virtual Archair General's Astounding Adventures scenarios. I have been very pleased with everything that I have bought from TVAG lately (Sudan flags and sourcebooks) and have no reason to believe that this is any different. Anyway, it has such a great cover who could resist!
I might try and finish my first Nacht Jaeger this week..
I have based and undercoated one of each figure tonight and will see if I can finish them at the weekend. This may be difficult as I am going away for a few days at the end of the week and may be out the next two evenings as well.
I have downloaded the .45 Adventure rules which only seem to need a few figures each. I have got five of each type of figure so will see what I can mock up with them.
Ultimately, I see the Nachtjaeger as evil Germans and the Sky Pirates (despite their name) as good guys. But equally they could both be bad guys and have to fight it out with armed archaeologists or what have you. Certainly the figures call for some sort of airship scenario and I have downloaded an airship interior.