THE RAMBLINGS OF A FRENCH CANADIAN WARGAMER

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

80s Military and Sci-Fi Pulp...aka American Hero

Hello, my name is Iannick Martin, and I'm a nostalgia junkie. 

I was born in 1979, and I'm really into everything from the 80s: cartoons, movies, comics, action figures, RPGs, and everything Oldhammer. The 1980s were the heydays of action figures, before the dark days, before the advent of Playstations and other Xboxes. I was obviously a big fan. Star Wars, Gi Joes, Master of the Universe...so many others. My father would often surprise me on friday nights with a new figure, especially a new GI Joe or Star Wars, which were smaller figures and very affordable. The packaging art was awesome, and each figure came with a "File Card" explaining the background of the trooper, his specialty, etc. Great fun for any young boy! GI Joe went on to become a very successful Marvel Comic, and a license franchise spanning movies, lunchboxes, and pretty much anything and everything. I still collect the action figures, yes I'm a geek and proud of it!




GI Joe's action figures from the early 80s
For those who don't know anything about the franchise, it was mainly about the covert war between GI Joe, an elite USA squad force, and Cobra, a terrorist organization bent on world domination with an obsession for snake emblems. It was very much a product of it's time, and you can smell the Reagan era a mile away. Not that my 7 year old self noticed, or cared about that anyways...

So not surprisingly, I was recently attracted by a small privately funded project by a friend of mine, recreating the GI Joe world in miniatures. It may seem silly at first, but the GI Joe world actually works extremely well as a wargaming setting, and offers tons of possibilities. It's a great setting for modern skirmishes, and lends itself well with the Pulp genre and rulesets. The black and white, i.e. the good guys and the bad guys, also makes for great fun in this bleak grey 21st century of ours.

This blog has been very quiet for some time, as I've been really involved with Sci-Fi and Fantasy (Oldhammer). But I've also been working on this "80s Military & Sci-fi Pulp" project for many months now, and I've yet to show pictures of it in my blog(s). I figure the project is a great excuse to make this blog more active! So apologies to the historical only crowd, but you're about to get a heavy dose of Pulp, with a most 80s of flavour. The 80s kids however should love what's coming next!

Here, let's finish this post with some 80s cheesy nostalgia goodness. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

We don't have enough ammunition to shoot them all in the head. The time to have done that would have been in the beginning. No, we let them overrun us. We are in the minority now, something like 400,000 to one by my calculation.

An entry coming out of left field today, with 6 figures from the original Zombicide board game. Zombicide is the only miniature board or wargame that my girlfriend actually enjoys. I think the cooperative nature of the game appeals to her more than the competition style of traditional wargames. It's also much simple. It's quite funny as she really gets into it and becomes a nervous wreck when the Zombies approach us from all sides! So she's been bugging me to paint the miniatures for the game, and I figured I'd give it a go in between batches of other miniatures. They are really nice figures, it's just that I have so many projects to do! 

Anyways, I painted these during the last Analogue painting challenge, but didn't post them on here.

For board game game pieces they are lovely figures, even though the face details are a bit soft. I'm also not a huge fan of the semi-soft plastic used, but having said that I'm quite pleased with how they came out.




You will notice none of them follow the art from the game. I just don't like being told what colours to use, unless it's historical or accepted canon! 




While obviously their main use is Zombicide, I based them the same as my Pulp project (more on this soon), and I can certainly use some of them, the police officer especially, in my Pulp games.

Now, I just have to paint all the Zombies from the game...next challenge, maybe?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hail to the King, baby

Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my BOOMSTICK! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?

When I was maybe 11, I saw late at night a horror movie called Evil dead. It terrified me. So of course I watched Evil Dead II not long after and was also terrified, again. The "humour" in the movie escaped me, and the fact the main hero, Ash, spends a good half of the movie alone, tormented by evil demonic forces really made a number on me. But the worst part was the movie's ending, in which our hero gets propelled back in medieval times, not the happy ending you want for your horror movie.

Lady, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ask you to leave the store.
And who the hell are you?
Name's Ash. [cocks rifle] 
Housewares.


Two years later, I saw a commercial for Army of Darkness, and I realized it was the sequel to Evil Dead! Finally I would knew what happened to Ash! As I was 13, and the movie was PG-13, I went to see it in the theater. I quickly realized that the sequel was much more lighthearted than the original, and while for a moment it disappointed me I rapidly fell for it's humour, and laughed for 90 minutes straight. 

You found me beautiful once...
Honey, you got reeeal ugly!

To this day, Army of Darkness is one of the movies I've seen the most often, and I can recite most of the movie lines by heart. And they're so many classic quotes in that movie! 

It's a trick. Get an axe.

Good. Bad. I'm the guy with the gun.
I got this Hasslefree miniatures a while back, because obviously as a die hard fan of the serie I needed it, and obviously when I saw the last bonus round theme (TV or movie character) I knew what I had to do! At first I wanted to do a diorama, but after painting the figure the wargamer in me whispered to my ear "you'll want to play with him, are you sure a diorama is a good idea?" That combined with lack of time as I've been working really hard on that Pulp duel with Sander made me decide he would be enough. And who am I kidding? Of course, Ash is enough! 

I intend to use him in Pulp games, and also of course Zombicide! It's a great figure, and I'm really happy with my painting.

Sure, I could have stayed in the past. I could have even been king. But in my own way, I *am* king.
Hail to the king, baby.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Chicago Mobsters (West theme entry for the Analogue Challenge)

So I had to improvise a little (a lot) for the West entry, submitted for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. I had what I thought was a very good concept for the Challenge (the Wicked Witch of the West), but unfortunately the world's posts and/or Canada customs conspired to ruin my plans! Indeed, the order I made specifically for this bonus theme round apparently got lost in the mail somewhere, and I was left with nothing! I actually waited until yesterday, hoping it might miraculously show up at the last minute but alas it was not meant to be. I woke up this morning a bit frustrated at the whole situation resigned that I would miss this bonus theme round. But then by mid-afternoon I shook myself up, and since I always join the bonus round (terrain excepted), I figured I had to come with something!

So I frantically went digging into my lead pile. Now, I remembered I had a lone Far West Cowboy figure left, but that didn't excite me, as it seemed an easy way out. I figure a few of the entries would be Far West (nothing wrong with that) and I wanted to do something different than a single Cowboy.

And then by pure luck I stumbled unto two Gangsters figures. They were the remnants of a pack of Copplestone Miniatures gangsters I bought many years ago to paint as a gift to Laurie (she's into everything 1930s, especially the cinema and Film Noir). And my brain started working a little and making associations...gangsters, mobsters, 1920s Chicago, Chicago the Midwest city, often referred as the Jewel of the Midwest...ha! Got it! I'm pretty sure no one does Midwest for this theme! 

It was a bit of a hectic day after that; they needed to be cleaned, primed, based and painted by midnight. 

And success!! 

So my entry is Dean O'Banion and Bugs Moran, the famous leaders of the North Side Gang, the Chicago Irish Mobsters and main rivals of Al Capone's Chicago outfit who fought in the 1920s and 1930s in what is now known as “The Bootleg Battle of the Marne.” 

Dean O'Banion and Bugs Moran

I went with classic Mobsters suits colours of Navy blue and "shiny" grey, and really i'm just happy I managed to not only finish them but making them look decent with very limited time. I won't win this challenge but I'm really proud I managed to sneak in this entry! They will be added to Laurie's Gangsters collection as I really have no gaming use for them.

60 extra points for the challenge (10 for the two figures, 50 for the Bonus round entry)