Saturday, November 9, 2019

Invasion of the Pod People

Somehow I like the Russian DVD cover
more than the cover of the domestic version.

The doppelgänger is often described as a supernatural double that heralds some sort of misfortune for the person whose form it takes. In this context, the doppelgänger does not necessarily have a physical body, and is often only a vision or spirit.

The D&D monster is rather different in that it is more like an evil twin that seeks to steal your identity for its own nefarious purposes (NSFW). In this respect, they are very similar to the pod people from the Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

In fact, when I first saw the miniature of the Horrorclix Pod People (Nightmares #019), I thought that it would be perfect as a D&D doppelgänger.

Even though the monster is entirely too big for use with 1/72 scale figures, I picked up a few of the models just for the pods.

The pods are much larger that the ones depicted in the movies, but that's fine, since I'm not really concerned about having doppelgängers be identical to pod people.

Doppelgängers haven't been particularly well characterized, so capitalizing on their similarities with the pod people allows me to give them a relatable background with a provenance from pop culture.

One of the clix pods I had was broken, so I turned it into an overturned pod. The ground cover looks pretty sad, so I'll need to do some Google image searching to do a better job of representing forest detrius.

I also have some Kubrick ovomorphs which can be used as seed pods. They have a pebbly texture to the surface rather than the veined leafy appearance of the clix pods, but they could pass as an alternate type of seed pod.

I think that Minimates also makes some similarly sized ovomorphs, but they don't look very good. I'm pretty sure that they are hollow with an open bottom, and made of soft rubbery plastic.

Now that I have the pods, I'll probably need to create some doppelgängers. I'm not sure what I'd use as a base figure though, so that's another project for the back burner.


Saturday, October 12, 2019

New Dark Alliance Figures

I just received the latest figures from the Dark Alliance line, consisting of one set of Mummies and two sets of Corsairs.

The Mummies are the first set of Egyptian undead in plastic that are actually the size of average humans.

The figures are well sculpted, with nice thin limbs and emaciated faces. Unfortunately, several figures had weapons that were short shot. In any event, the figures can easily be used as other types of undead like [well coordinated] zombies, skeletons, or Mrur.

I'm sure these will be a welcome addition for those who play Warhammer in 1/72 scale and have been waiting to assemble a Tomb Kings army.

The next two sets of figures are what I assume to be Corsairs of Umbar from The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien is said to have modeled the Corsairs after the Barbary corsairs of the 16th century. In the lore of Middle Earth, they are the descendants of Númenóreans who were corrupted after Sauron played on the hubris of their kings.

The Corsairs in the Peter Jackson adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy look (to me) like a cross between OG and TNG Klingons from Star Trek.

Corsairs of Umbar

Klingons: TOS

Klingons: TNG

The Dark Alliance Corsairs are clearly modeled after the designs from the movie. Set 1 consists of melee weapon troops, which include corsairs armed with swords, axes and polearms, and nautical themed weapons.

Set 2 consists of missile weapon troops. The first image is of archers, with a Haradrim archer from the War of the Rings boardgame thrown in at the far right for comparison.

The next image is of crossbowmen, with the last two figures on the right being the crew of the ballistas included with the set.

If you don't do Middle Earth or fantasy gaming, I think that the figures (outside of the archers and the swordsman with the weird shield) could easily be used as generic 16th-17th century pirates if you are not too picky.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Calling Dick Tracy!

The heyday of Dick Tracy was before my time, but I was aware of the character from the comic strips, and I get the feeling that I may have actually seen the cartoon series in syndication though my memory about it is rather unclear.


The 1990 movie didn't do much to increase my interest in the franchise, though I did like the highly stylized art design of the movie itself.

What I didn't know back then, was that the merchandising associated with the movie would provide us with a 1/72 scale 1936 Ford Model 68 V8 Fordor sedan.

The Dick Tracy logo across the boot of the car detracts from it's appearance, but luckily, diecast car collectors have come up with a number of ways to get rid of unwanted tampos. The method that I used to get rid of the branding is shown in the following YouTube video.

The method works pretty well, though at certain angles, I can still see a faint outline of the Dick Tracy logo.

There are three other cars in the series, including a 1937 Studebaker Dictator, 1936 Ford V8 De Luxe, and a 1939 Chevrolet Master De Luxe, but they are all overscale. There is also a micro size set of four cars that can sometimes be confused with the larger ones.

Another interesting item from the Dick Tracy franchise, was the Space Coupe. I don't know what space travel had to do with a detective series, but I guess it was the late 60s, right in the middle of the Cold War Space Race, so the subject of space travel was popular.

A model of the Space Coupe was manufactured by Aurora, and various sources have suggested that the model is 1/72 scale. Since the vintage Aurora kits are always pretty expensive, I never bothered buying one to see if the rumors were true, but a while back I managed to pick up an inexpensive Polar Lights re-issue kit.

The kit includes four figures consisting of Dick Tracy, Moon Maid, Junior, and Diet Smith.

The figures are sculpted in a cartoony style that befits comic strip characters, but I don't think Moon Maid is a very good likeness.

Moon Maid wearing a hat to blend in with the natives.

I'm undecided about whether I really want to build this kit, but an amazing build was done over at Hobby Talk.

An image of Aurora Station, which is being touted as the first luxury hotel in space turned up during my Google search for the Aurora Space Coupe model. The center module of the station looks remarkably similar to the hull of the Space Coupe.

In the event that I don't want to build the kit as the Space Coupe, I was thinking about using it as the base for an Aurora Station conversion.