Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Toy Soldiers: 28mm Pulp Sci-Fi Gaming

I have had one of those projects on the go for several years that has always been just below the surface. I have worked on it intermittently slowly building up scenic items, part painting figures and picking up a set of rules, but I have never managed to get it to a stage where I was ready to really push it.
Hydra Valkeeri 1
Well I think I have finally reach a peek of enthusiasm, and 28mm Pulp Sci-Fi skirmish is settling in to be my alternate system to the 15mm Sci-Fi that I am using for larger battles at the moment. I am still slowly planning a Steampunk skirmish game as well, but the Pulp Sci-Fi has reached a point where I can actually start running games.
I recently received a small order from Hydra Miniatures, filling out my collection with the few figures from the Retro Raygun range that I didn’t already have. Now, on top of the figures I had ordered, Matt Beauchamp also include three pre-release figures from the forthcoming (previews at Gen Con Indy – actual release towards the end of August) Valkeeri range.
Hydra Valkeeri 2
These ladies come from a race that will be familiar to anyone who plays Hydra Miniatures space combat game War Rocket (I must give it a try, the space ships are gorgeous).
Hydra Valkeeri 3
There are six figures in the first release of which, as I said,  I received three. Leader 2 ( with the cape) and two troopers with rather vicious looking ray guns!
Valkeeri Leader AValkeeri Leader BValkeeri Troopers
The guns on the troopers come separate, as does the clock on the leader figure. The joints on the two troopers are very small (joined at the wrist), far too thin to pin them, so I am a little worried about how well the guns will stay glued on. However, I used an epoxy rather than superglue, so they should be OK. The cape fits well onto the back of the shoulders of the leader, and there is a reasonable are for the glue to grab, so I used superglue for that, just for speed.
The figures are sculpted by John Winter of TinMan Miniatures, who happens to do his own small range of pulp sci-fi figures, clearly inspired by Edgar Rice Burrough’s Barsoom books! He has done a wonderful job with these figures, making them very “retro sexy” i.e. fully covered but showing all the curves a guy could wish for…Also, as was pointed out by Verminous Fang on the Table Top Gaming News site, the posing is perfect retro Sci-Fi, from the dipped pointing wrist of the leader figure, to the slightly awkward way that some of the troopers hold their ray guns (surely just a curvy starlet who has been squeezed into a tight outfit and told to stand at the back holding her raygun up).
Hydra Miniatures are promising more releases in the Valkeeri range, so lets hope they come along sooner rather than later, and I also would like to see the frequency of releases increase from them.
As for my pulp gaming plans, As well as Hydra Miniatures range I am always on the look out for suitable figure. I have picked up three sets of the Salute giveaway figures from last year, the robot and pulp girl.
Salute Pulp Girl and Robot  picture borrowed from
I wont be using the supplied base and I am planning on converting two of each to give a variety of poses.
I have also had a look at Wargames Supply Dump’s Dick Garrison range, which looks really nice, however I prefer the proportions that Hydra Miniatures use. I don’t seem to be able to find a working link to the Wargames Supply Dump website, however you can see photos of them on Bob Olley’s site.
I have also been working up some scenics and vehicles etc. These include the Habitation Dome, which I am presently finishing off. I will post more about those in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime here are a couple of teaser photos.
Pulp rocket engine 1Crystal Towers terrain piece

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