Friday, June 23, 2017

League of Mediocre Heroes

These are the ten heroes I've painted up to be pre-generated characters, for anyone who doesn't feel like inventing a superhero from scratch. Some supers are off-limits for being too powerful (e.g. Plastic-Man, Wonder-Woman), and others are in the right power bracket, but I want to reserve them for plot-important NPCs (e.g Captain America, Batman). So here's what's left:

Phantom Lady, The Atom, Mr. Terrific, Blue Beetle, Green Arrow

Hawkman, The Bulleteer, Aquaman, Hawkgirl, the Crimson Avenger

About half are full repaints, with the other half just being washed and touched-up.

PS. Green Arrow is the only interesting story here... the only golden-age version I could find was Starro-possessed, so I bought another one just to steal its head. I do have plans for the briefly-headless silver age Green Arrow mini though.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Heroclix touch-up test

I won't be doing a complete repaint of every clix mini I get. Some of the pre-paint jobs already look pretty good, and many have decals or other fine detail work that I would rather preserve than try to replicate. So I took a few non-essential minis* and just added some shading with washes, and follow-up highlighting where needed.

They need some additional touch-ups, but overall I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out, so I took the same approach with a character that actually does matter.

*by "non-essential", I mean that these characters are not strictly from the "Golden Age of Comics", nor are they required for the plot of my campaign, but they are thematically relevant enough that I may shoehorn them in somewhere anyway, depending on what specific subplots develop.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Heroclix civilians and cops

Most of the non-super miniatures will be from metals from Pulp Figures, but I've picked up a few "supporting characters" from heroclix bins as well. Also, purse lady is a model railroad accessory.

Friday, June 9, 2017

First Heroclix Repaints - Mad Science!

After a lengthy hiatus, I've made a bit of progress on this project. Here are the first of at least a couple dozen heroclix minis I'll be repainting to at least some degree. I wanted to start off pretty simple, so here are my four mad scientists.

The repainting isn't because I think I'm any better than the original factory painters. I just want the minis to match the rest of my collection. Honestly, these probably look worse now, not the least because I may have left them in the acetone a bit too long. Oh well, live and learn.

I do think the varying proportions through the heroclix line are pretty remarkable. Also, why are mad scientists always bald? I don't even have the Ultra-Humanite or Lex Luthor here!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

To Kill a Superhero

When Superman debuted in June 1938, we were informed that "nothing less than a bursting shell could penetrate his skin". While his powers of resistance grew substantially over the next few years, even his initial description put him at the pinnacle of superheroic toughness in that point in time.

So lets say you're a dastardly villain, looking to protect your "legitimate business" or "diplomatic investigations" from some meddling do-gooder. Maybe it's not even Superman, maybe it's the Blue Beetle with his bullet-resistant mesh costume. Maybe it's Wonder Woman or Namor or Captain America with his annoying shield. What are your options?

Well, outside of mad-science death rays or superpowers of your own, they're surprisingly limited. American military research seems to have stagnated pretty hard in the 1930s. A bunch of America's iconic World War 2 weapons were only developed when we entered the war, or maybe a year earlier. Bazookas, Sherman tanks, flamethrowers, dedicated antitank guns... none of those existed in the United States in 1938. So let's see what was around.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Things I Am Learning About The 1930s

One aspect of this project that I am very much enjoying is the research. I've been learning as much as I can about the era, because period detail is a great way to add atmosphere to a game. Additionally, I'm starting to work on some miniature buildings and scenery, and I want them to be reasonably accurate.

Neon signage was common, having been around for decades.

Radios were present in about 80% of households.

Refrigerators either did not have freezers, or only very small ones for ice cube trays.

Parking meters had just been invented in the middle of the decade.

Air-conditioning existed, but window-mounted units did not.

Schlitz was the most popular American beer.

One of my likely players mentioned feeling that he knows less about the 1930s than he does about some fictional worlds he's gamed in. So a bunch of these everyday factoids, and a timeline of 1930s "current events", will eventually get compiled into a little handout to act as a sort of primer for the era.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Raw Materials

The title of this post must naturally be taken with a certain amount of poetic licence. The products I discuss below are the highly finished products of an industrialized civilization that spans the globe, and it is only with a profound (even excessive) sense of narcissism that I designate them as raw materials to my own hobbyist endeavors.

The core of this project is, of course, superheroes. Second-hand heroclix minis run from 0.25 to 2 dollars apiece at basically every gaming store, so I anticipate using them for every NPC that is a preexisting hero, and also for some other NPCs, and perhaps a few might be recolored to represent original player characters too. Most of these will be repainted, or at least touched up or shaded, and all will be liberated from their awful ungainly "clix" bases. 20mm square bases are my preferred for 28mm humans, I need to get some more of them.

Heroes are not much fun without stuff to throw around and hide behind, so I have also started accumulating O-Scale scenery and vehicles. It takes some poking around to find affordable 1930s cars in the scale, but they exist. By the numbers, I think O-scale is supposed to be bigger than 28mm miniatures, but in practice the difference is pretty much negligible. Once I move, I will start looking into buying/building 28mm/O-Scale buildings.

The final ingredient is research. I have a reasonably good basic knowledge of early superhero comics and international politics of the era, but I have no real sense of the more down-to-earth cultural and domestic stuff. I grabbed a few library books that are helping (even if most of them focus more on Europe).