Forgotten Heroes 2023

June is here, which can only mean one thing…

It’s Forgotten Heroes Month! This annual challenge, now in it’s 8th year, gives you the opportunity to indulge your creative side and produce a figure of a character that either has not had an official or unofficial miniature produced for it or, if it has, you’re doing your own version.

Anyone can take part – all you need to do is let me know you want to in the comments or by other means of contact and I will add you to the roster.

The rules, such as they are, are simple. During the month of June, you must a produce a fully painted figure of a character who has yet to have an official or unofficial figure produced of them or, if they have, you want your own version (which no doubt will be better). Any scale is allowed, so no restrictions there. The only real restriction is that you can’t use a figure that is an unofficial version of the character you want to produce, so repainting a Heroclix Blue Beetle as Goldbug is allowed, but using a Copplestone Castings “American Adventurer” as Indiana Jones is a no-no. I mean, if the figure you’re using is a representation of the character with the name filed off, where’s the actual challenge? Your first post should also include a picture of the character you are attempting to create, so we can see what you’re aiming for.

As Real Life has got in the way for some of our normal participants, only those below have confirmed they will be taking part this year so far.

Dave Stone of Wargamesculptor Blog, who will be creating D.R. & Quinch, along with Crazy Chrissy from 2000AD, which is pretty awesome, as they are depicted by my favourite comic book artist of all time, Alan Davis.

Keith, over at Dead Dick’s Tavern & Temporary Lodging, who has described Forgotten Heroes as “Only the single greatest painting challenge ever created,” will no doubt be pulling out an obscure comic book character or two, that no-one has ever heard of.

And joining us this year is Sabrina from Uthwulfminis, and she will posting on her Instagram feed – because here at the Buffet, we embrace ALL social media platforms, because we is L££t, whatever that means…

As for myself, I’ve dug deep into the obscure archives of ancient British superheroes and uncovered this character:

This is The Tornado, who appeared in Oh Boy! Comics published by Paget Publications in 1948. Apparently, the Tornado is Steve Storm, the 13th member of the Storm family, which meant that he was the first to escape the Curse of Grosta after 500 years. As a result, “the mighty force of the Storms thundered into the soul of Steve, that this young hero might, at will, transform into the giant superman of justice, whirlwind prince of the storms – Tornado!” He has superhuman strength and speed and, for some reason, the ability to breathe underwater.

So, a fairly cheesy origin, but he does look quite cool, as most of his appearances were illustrated by Mick Anglo. However, more interestingly, he was created by a teenager by the name of Bob Monkhouse…

Yes, THAT Bob Monkhouse, which is also pretty cool.

Anyway, I shall be using the below Heroclix Signalman figure as the basis for my Tornado conversion:

However, as this particular figure is not armed with Tornado’s pistol and has no holster, there will be some conversion work needed. And possibly some other cosmetic sculpting of boots and gloves. Not sure whether I’m going to go with the pink cape, however, but we’ll see.

So, stay tuned for more Forgotten Heroes madness and be sure to check out the other participants. And it’s not too late to throw your hat into the ring, if you want to join the craziness…

It’s All Golden…

Looking back over my previous posts, there have been times where I have started a project with the intention of seeing it through to its completion, only to falter and end up doing something else instead. In other words, sometimes I’m a bit crap.

However, today is not one of those days. The Golden Heroes Players Book is now complete and you can download the PDF of this now!

The majority of the text is as per the original rules, but I have taken the opportunity to tidy it up a bit, as there were a few errors in the published game that obviously were missed at the proofreading stage. I have also added supplementary information gathered from other official and unofficial sources, mainly in regards to additional options for existing powers that were published after the main rules came out.

The spot illustrations used in the rules are, for the most part, from officially published Golden Heroes articles or supplements, but there are a few that I have slipped in which I thought suited the rules and were of obscure comic book characters that only the most well-read comic book aficionado would recognise.

As I’m not one to appropriate others’ work and claim it for my own, I have credited everyone’s work, which was simple in regards to the writing, but not so simple in regards to the artwork, as whilst White Dwarf did credit its artists, unless they had initialled or signed the relevant piece of art, it wasn’t always easy to work out who did what.

The current download is JUST the Players Book, so only contains those rules that the players would need to use, but does cover character generation, superpowers and the majority of the combat rules. However, you will need the Supervisors Book in order to actually run a game, which is in the process of being put together as we speak. The Players Books does not yet have a cover, as I am intending on doing a new one for it, but does have a contents page and index. There may be a few typos, and if you spot one, let me know, as sometimes these things slip through the net.

I am open to any feedback or questions, but for now, enjoy!

Long-Forgotten Heroes

If you’ve come her expecting to see monsters, I’m afraid you will be disappointed. Whilst I DID (with the best intentions) say I’d be taking part in Keith’s annual Monster May(hem) challenge, here we are, 22 days into May, with absolutely nothing to show.

To be honest, whilst I do have a lot of unpainted figures (as do we all), not a great deal of them are ‘monsters’, so trying to find something suitable to paint proved somewhat problematic. As my eldest has just bought his first house and I’ve been drafted in to provide my minimal DIY skills, quite a lot of my ‘free’ time has been spent stripping walls, sawing wood and chiselling out cavities for new sockets, so whilst I have been doing some manual stuff, no paint brushes have touched my hands in months.

Now, there may be some out there who may be concerned that this may impact on me hosting and taking part in the annual Forgotten Heroes challenge, but rest assured, I WILL still be doing this next month.

For new readers, Forgotten Heroes is a challenge that started way back in 2016 and has, without fail, taken place every June for the last 7 years. It’s a relatively straight-forward challenge and is open to anyone who wishes to take part – all you have to do is state in the comments that you want to be involved and provide details of where you will be showcasing your work and I’ll add you to the blogroll.

The rules, such as they are, are pretty simple – during the month of June, you must produce a figure of a hero (or villain) that either has not yet had an official or unofficial figure made for it yet or, if it has, you are making your own version. This may be as simple as repainting an existing figure, such as a Heroclix Blue Beetle as Goldbug, an pretty obscure Spider-Man villain, to converting an existing figure to a completely different character or, if you talents lie in that area, sculpting a figure from scratch. If the base figure you are using is an unofficial version of the character, such as the myriad versions of Indiana Jones that exist out there, then you can’t use it. The same applies to those 3D printed figures that are obviously Marvel or DC characters, just with the names changed to prevent the big two from sending the boys round to have a word…

Other than that, you can choose whatever scale you want and whatever subject, be it a comic book hero or villain or a costumed character from a TV show or movie. Your first post should provide an image of the character you are seeking to create, with a bit of background on them, and a picture of the base figure you are intending on using, so we all know what you’re aiming for.

Over the last seven years, I’ve produced my versions of Stegron the Dinosaur Man, Rom, M.O.D.O.K. and the Spot from Marvel Comics, Super-Soldier from Amalgam Comics, Bananaman from the Dandy, the ‘Quantum Quartet’ of Mystery Incorporated from Image Comics and the 8th Doctor from Doctor Who.

I will naturally be doing another costumed superhero and as I love those obscure characters that no-one has ever heard of, I have got a character than I can almost guarantee no-one has heard of.

Now, whilst I may not have touched a paintbrush or figure for a while, this doesn’t mean that I haven’t had the opportunity to some hobby stuff.

Those who’ve been following my recent series of posts will know that I’ve been working on republishing the Golden Heroes RPG back from 1984 on a non-professional, non-profit basis – mainly for my own use, but also to allow anyone else who may be interested in trying out these rules.

Now, the game was designed to be fairly generic initially, so that it could be used for any superhero setting, but certain published scenarios for the game do add snippets of background for the ‘Golden Heroes Universe’, so whilst working on the Supervisors Book, I’ve collated as much of this information as possible to try and provide an overall coherent backstory/framework for this universe.

However, sometimes the information provided is a little sketchy, so I’ve been using my knowledge of comic books to fill in the gaps. Case in point is American Eagle. The only reference to him is the following from the scenario The American Dream – “belonged to the WWII hero American Eagle. Since his death in Korea, no one has been able to make the sceptre manifest its power.” Other than a later description of what the sceptre is capable of, that it requires a traumatic experience to ‘attune’ to it and the below picture in the hands of its current wielder Miss America/Renegade, that’s all you get:

If American Eagle is a renowned hero of WWII, then we surely should have a bit more information about him, right? And at least an image of him…

So, I got a little creative.

There have been several published heroes with the name American Eagle, including one from Marvel Comics, but the interesting one, as far as I’m concerned, is the one that appeared in America’s Best Comics #2 in September 1942, because he kind of falls into a grey area in regards to ownership. According to the Public Domain Super Heroes website, although he has been used by a number of different publishers without lawsuits from Warner Brothers, who sort of ‘own’ the rights to the character, this kind of means that anyone is free to use the character and it’s original likeness without issue.

As I can’t imagine that Warner Brothers will be coming after me, I’ve used the image below for the Golden Heroes version of American Eagle, along with the revised background below:

“In 1942, Tom Standish was assisting Dr Wolfe’s experiments with a strange device that had been recovered from the wreckage of ‘something’ shot down during the Battle of Los Angeles earlier that year. Whilst conducting a series of tests on the metallic rod, Standish realised that it appeared to have some kind of advanced (for the time) circuitry built into it and went to find Dr Wolfe to advise him of this. However, he discovered that Dr Wolfe was a fifth columnist with Nazi sympathies, who was intending on harnessing whatever properties of the rod to undermine America from within. Tearing the rod from its stand, he fled into the night, chased by Wolfe and his conspirators. The Nazis cornered Standish and opened fire. However, the trauma of the event somehow formed a mental link with the rod, allowing him to harness some of its powers. The resultant energy blast levelled the laboratory, killing everyone. However, Standish later discovered that Wolfe had survived and was continuing in his nefarious plots. Realising that Wolfe would recognise both him and the ‘star sceptre,’ Standish fashioned a patriotic costume and disguised the rod, and thus was born the American Eagle.

After fighting fifth columnists at home, the American Eagle was asked by his country to join the fight abroad, and was seen alongside the Patriot, John Bull, and Howitzer in Europe. As Standish was not formerly a soldier, unlike his allies, he was less effective in the field. However, his ego refused to recognise this, and he jumped at the chance to prove himself when the United States took part in the Korean War. Unfortunately, his overconfidence was his downfall and during the Battle of Osan, the American Eagle, along with 180 other American soldiers, was killed. While his body and eagle sceptre were recovered, no one had been able to make the sceptre manifest its power, until it was claimed by Susan Martin, who now goes by the name of Renegade.”

So, this gives a brief taste of what’s in store when the ‘new’ version of Golden Heroes is finally released.

As always, I will continue to shine a (Golden) light on those four-colour heroes lost, overlooked and forgotten. If you want to join me in this endeavour, Forgotten Heroes 2023 will launch on 1st June.

The Names Have Been Changed…

As my last few posts have detailed, I am currently typing up a revised version of the Golden Heroes superhero RPG rules. This was something I had planned on doing for a while, mainly because I like things complete – probably an OCD thing. However, it also occurred to me that as it’s a good system, it might be worthwhile to present this to a new generation or to those who missed out on the game the first time around.

Now, I’m not the first to think this was a worthwhile exercise. However, the chap who launched a Kickstarter back in January 2015 to create a sourcebook based on the Golden Heroes universe for use with Squadron UK (the game which replaced Golden Heroes, as GW still retain the rights to the name and system) as well as the Icons RPG has apparently failed to deliver this as yet. I mean, it’s only been 8 years…

Having looked at the drafts he HAS released on the Updates page of the Kickstarter, I’m not… enamoured with some of his decisions, so feel completely justified in doing my own version. As I’m not intending on or seeking to make any money from this project – I suppose you could call it a vanity project – I don’t feel that I’m stepping on anyone’s toes regarding this, so hopefully no-one will come knocking on my door telling me to stop or throw their toys out the pram.

Anyway, the reason for this post, as hinted at by the title of this post, is to do with the names assigned to both the example characters and those that appeared in the rogue’s gallery and published scenarios.

Whilst we have to bear in mind that the main rules and the articles and scenarios were published in the mid-eighties, and I am intending on preserving the default setting in the same decade, I am one of those people who believes in internal consistency within a game setting. I appreciate that the author’s selected names that they felt were appropriate at the time, but if you have a Native American hero whose backstory does state that he fights for the rights of his people, as well as combatting super-powered crime, would he really take the moniker ‘Redskin?’ I think not.

So, as this is effectively MY version of these rules, I have made some minor adjustments to a few of the character’s names, as I felt they did not reflect the backstory’s presented for the characters. If you’re a highly intelligent super-scientist, who has developed a cybernetic implant containing the skills and abilities of an Olympic gymnast and a prize-winning boxer, would you really name yourself ‘Fistfighter?’ I very much doubt it.

These represent very minor tweaks, not through any form of ‘political correctness’ or censorship (which I object to if it’s unnecessary – the recent spate of ‘updates’ to various authors works, such as P.G. Wodehouse, Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming being a good example of this), but to maintain internal consistency within the setting.

If Marvel Comics can change a villain’s name from ‘Paste-Pot Peter’ to ‘The Trapster’ (for an internally justified reason), then there’s nothing to stop me doing the same.

Now, as we are in the month of May, that does mean that Monster May(hem) has started, hosted by Keith over at Dead Dick’s Tavern and Temporary Lodging, this does mean that the next few posts will probably be my attempts to complete the necessary monster before the end of the month. This will require a rummage, as I don’t currently have a subject for this challenge, so watch this space…

Brazen Heroes

Those of you who read my last post on the 40-year old superhero RPG, Golden Heroes, especially those of you who reside in countries other than the UK, may be wondering why you’d be interested in a game which purports to be a British superhero RPG. If the game is Anglo-centric, it would be of limited use AND interest to anyone hailing from somewhere other than the UK, surely?

Well, having reviewed every article and scenario that was publicly released for the game AND having run several games using this ruleset, I can confidently state that this is not the case. The main rules (other than referring to the currency used in the game as ‘Golden Pounds’) do not assume that your game is set in the UK. And whilst some of the sample villains have backgrounds that suggest a UK origin, this can be easily tweaked so that the villains hail from other shores.

The same applies to the scenario included with the main rules and most of those published in White Dwarf. The settings are generic enough that they could take place in ANY city in any part of the World, as long as they have the necessary locations (such as a park, street, secret base of a multinational intelligence agency, isolated research facility, etc). As all of these adventures were written and published in the 1980s – the ‘Modern’ day at that time – they also would need a few tweaks to reflect the improvements in technology, if they were to be set in the present.

The two main exceptions are the adventures that were directly published by GW as supplements to the game. The first, Legacy of EAGLES, deals with the reason behind the disappearance of a superhero team of the 1950s/1960s, who haven’t been heard of since 1964. The background suggests that this was the pre-eminent team of this era who operated Worldwide, but were based in Britain and made up of British heroes. However, as the final location of this adventure is the ‘lost’ undersea base of this team, the location of which is never specified, background details can be altered to reflect wherever you wish to place the events of this scenario.

The second adventure, Queen Victoria and the Holy Grail, however is firmly set in the UK. This scenario assumes the player’s are a team operating out of Britain and are predominantly British. The hook for the adventure relates to the British Royal family and mines deep into the folklore of Britain, and even though the team take a brief trip to New York in the middle of the scenario, the locations for the rest of the adventure are quintessentially British and the finale takes place in a well-known London landmark. It could be revised for an alternative non-British setting, but this would take a lot of work and would take away the heart of the adventure, in my opinion.

Simon Burley, the main author of the rules, has always given the advice that you should use your own town or city as the setting for your superhero adventures, as this familiarity with the setting allows for a more immersive experience. If you live in Chicago, for example, your players are more likely to jump at the chance to fight Doctor Anarchy if he is threatening to blow up the Willis Tower (which was called the Sears Tower when I visited many moons ago) because they know it.

One of the games I ran using these rules was set in Reading, Berkshire, which is where I live. As the players were all locals, I didn’t need to describe the locations in any great detail, as everyone was from Reading and knew where the Butts Centre was, that there were railway arches off Portman Avenue and that the Atomic Weapons Establishment was just south of Reading in Aldermaston, which was where the main villain of that particular scenario was heading in his giant robot to acquire some nuclear weapons.

They did succeed, but the results of their final battle closed the eastbound M$ motorway for several days, as the authorities cleared up the wreckage.

I also ran a campaign set in the world of Marshal Law, which underlines the flexibility of this set of rules.

For those of you not familiar with this character, Marshal Law started off as a parody of superheroic conventions and was written by Pat Mills and illustrated by Kev O’Neill, in 1987. He was an American ex-supersolider, genetically engineered by the government to fight in “The Zone”, an unstable area of South America filled with Communist insurgents. Once this conflict was over, he and all the other super-soldiers created to fight in this war, returned to the USA. However, whilst the procedures used to create these super-soldiers gave them incredible powers, the majority of them returned mentally scarred by the war and formed super-powered gangs in San Futuro, the semi-wrecked remains of San Francisco after ‘The Big One.’ Which is where Marshal Law comes in. He is a government-sanctioned hero-hunter, a super-powered ‘cop’ whose job is to protect the normal folk from the excesses of these super-powered surplus heroes, sometimes with lethal force.

The series was characterised by extreme graphic violence and nudity, which may seem commonplace now, what with series such as The Boys, etc. delving into super-powered folk who appear to be heroes, but are anything but, but was new and edgy back in 1987.

As some of the ‘heroes’ in this world were explicitly over-sexualised, I gave my players carte blanche to create whatever characters they wanted, as long as they ‘fit’ into this World. I ended up with; Blitzkreig, a superstrong, flying Marshal Law wannabe; The Dribbler, who manifested cosmic mucus which he could use in a number of ways; Major Organ, who could increase his size and strength and carried a throwing baton which he dubbed his ‘love truncheon’; his kid sidekick, Private Parts; who had detachable exploding testicles and Gravity Girl, who could fly, manipulate gravity fields and, as she herself stated every time she introduced herself, “my breasts defy gravity.” (NB: The last was played by a woman, so no sexism here).

As you might gather, my players did commit to the setting and although the game may sound less than serious, it did involve these disparate heroes attempting to discover who had been murdering the members of the pre-eminent team of the time, The Justice Squad, before they too were targeted by the same shadowy foe. Not all of them survived.

So, if I can use the Golden Heroes rules to run a game in a dystopian future overrun by less-than-super heroes, without any great additional work on my part, I think that proves that these rules can be used to run a superhero game in whatever setting you want.

I’m currently working my way through all the material I have and will be making the three final ‘books’ available to any who want them. There will be a Players Book, a Supervisors Book and an Adventure Book. The default setting will be the Golden Heroes Universe, and I will expand on the ‘official’ background to explain why the UK seems to have the greatest amount of super-powered folk, rather than the US. The underlining reason makes sense and is based on real-World events, but I’ll say no more at this point.

However, you will be free to disregard this setting and use it for whatever type of superhero game you want to run. Remember, the best sets of rules are the ones that inspire you to make them your own.

Golden Heroes

When I first started posting online, under my original blog ‘Carrion Crow’s Battlefield Buffet’, way back in February 2014, the main content was related to superhero skirmish gaming, as that’s what my focus was back then. The content still exists on there, all 7 posts, and is worth a look, as some of the stuff is still relevant today.

As I was having issues with Blogger, I switched to WordPress and thus Carrion Crow’s Buffet arose from the ashes of the original blog and here we are, 8 years later, with rather more than 7 posts on the newer iteration.

However, I want to take you back in time a bit further than 2014, back to 1984, and the first original RPG that Games Workshop ever released – Golden Heroes.

Golden Heroes has written by Simon Birley and Pete Haines and was originally released in an amateur way in 1982 by these two Birmingham-based games designers. However, Games Workshop were in the process of licencing various properties to release in the UK and were speaking to Marvel Comics, in order to release a RPG based on their characters. Whilst these talks were ongoing, they contacted Burly and Haines, looking to use their rules for this proposed game. However, TSR managed to secure the licence and this resulted in the Marvel Super Heroes RPG game being released by them in 1984, followed by the Advanced game two years later.

However, rather than binning off the work that had already been done, GW decided to release the rules as stand-alone anglocentric superhero RPG and thus Golden Heroes was born. It was also released in 1984, hitting the shelves a week after TSR’s MSHRPG, but due to being focused on British heroes and villians and having limited release in the US, did not fare so well on the other side of the pond.

Which was a shame, as it was and still is, a solid superhero RPG. I’m not going to do a full review of the game here, as there exist several decent ones online, but will go into the parts of the game that I feel bear finer scrutiny.

Now, as I was only 15 in 1984, I didn’t really appreciate some of the innovative aspects of the rules at the time. The four main stats that define characters in GH are Strength, Vigour, Dexterity and Ego, so no Intelligence stat. Having come to GH from 1st edition AD&D, I was slightly confused by this, as how could your character know stuff if they had no Int stat? The idea here was that it was down to the Player to come up with ideas, rather than relying on a randomly generated statistic to work out whether they had noticed an essential clue, etc. Basically, writing into the rules what players actually did anyway.

And whilst Combat was in Rounds, these were divided into Frames, representing a set number of actions that a character could take. Most PC heroes and major villains received 4 Frames per round, whereas minor villains only received 3 Frames and ordinary folk received only 2 Frames per round. This was the first game to limit supporting cast and minor villains, making them less capable in Combat than the heroes themselves, thus reflecting the comic books that the game was based upon.

However, these were relatively minor aspects of the rules. One of the major innovations and also one of the most fun aspects of the game was the Rationale phase. Powers for you hero were generated randomly by rolling percentile dice on a table. This included the powers you would expect, such as superstrength, flight, invisibility and energy attacks, to such things as having an advanatageous background meaning you were rich, or heightened senses of various types. However, once you had all your powers, you had to provide a plausible rationale as to how your character gained these powers and the GM (in GH known as the Script Supervisor) would then assess your rationale and any that he deemed were inconsistent with your rationale would be discarded.

The rules give an example of this, generating 7 random powers and then giving 8 separate rationales to explain how these powers were gained, each of them very different. This process encouraged the player to come up with the origin story for their character to justify their powers, forcing them to think about who and what their character was before play even began, thus providing a built-in background for the character. As most roleplayers were coming from fantasy RPGs, where their main motivation was to accumulate treasure and kill ‘monsters’, this was little different to what they were used to.

Another interesting and innovative part of the rules was the Campaign Ratings. These were a set of ratings that determined how the hero was perceived by the public (Public Status), how effective the hero was at gathering information (Detective Points) and the general mindset of the hero themselves (Personal Status). If you were running a long-term campaign, rather than a one-shot slugfest, these would fluctuate with the actions of the heroes. If they had been publicly defeated at the hands of a superior foe, then their Public Status would go down, whereas a successful romance in the hero’s civilian identity could potentially increase their Personal Status. This also reflected those parts of the source material that were absent from a lot of the other Superhero RPGs available at the time. If we take Spider-Man as an example, whilst he was an effective crimefighter, he was still considered a vigilante most of the time, with J Jonah Jameson vilifying him in the pages of the Daily Bugle. Furthermore, Peter Parker regularly worried about his elderly Aunt May and initially was not particularly successful in romance. All of these aspects could be reflected in the character’s Campaign Ratings and they could actively seek to increase these by taking part in activities that boosted their scores.

The final real difference from other superhero games of the time was the background. It was solidly set in Britain, with the provided rogue’s gallery being British villains and no real look beyond the shores of the Sceptred Isle. However, this did not really impinge on the actual rules themselves, so there was nothing to stop you from using the rules for superhero games in any country.

Only three supplements were released for the game – the Supervisor’s Kit, which provided a GM screen and full-colour quick reference cards for the rogues gallery; Legacy of Eagles, an adventure where the player’s discovered the final fate of a previous team of British heroes who went missing in 1964 (with a beautiful cover by Brian Bolland) and Queen Victoria and the Holy Grail, an adventure where the heroes are tasked by the ghost of Queen Victoria to retrieve the Holy Grail from a supervillain before it is used for dire purposes. A third adventure – The Lancelot Caper – was planned, but never released and apparently exists in some form out there in the world, but I’ve bben unable to locate a copy online, so have no idea what the plot was.

To support the game, several articles and short scenarios were published between 1984 and 1987 in White Dwarf, when it was still a gaming mag, rather than figure catalogue, which I own all of. A further scenario outline was published in Imagine magazine, but whilst I managed to get the text of this, I couldn’t find out which issue this came from, so don’t know if I have the full details. Some of these expanded the world beyond the confines of the British Isles, introducing American and Canadian heroes, villains and teams.

Simon Burley, one of the original authors, released a revised version of the rules which he renamed Squadron UK, until GW sent him a cease and desist, stating that they still owned the copyright for these rules. He re-released Squadron UK with a different set of rules to get around this, essentially making it a completely different game.

Now, the original rules ARE available to download online, as well as the two released scenarios and, if you don’t physically own those copies of White Dwarf with GH content, you can locate a PDF that collates all these article/scenarios in one – if you have my level of Web Fu.

However, a while ago I was toying with the idea of collating ALL this material (or at least all the material I had) into a single document, tidying it all up and expanding on it where necessary, and I have finally made a start on this. It will retain the 1980’s setting, reflecting the era in which it was written and when comics were a LOT less complicated, and may incorporate scenarios that were not originally written for these rules, but fit this world. I will make these available to anyone who’s interested.

So, rather than looking rosy, the future’s looking Golden…

“Spider on the Spot!”

Bearing in mind that I only had to paint a single figure white, then add spots to it, you’d think it wouldn’t take very long…

Au contraire, mes amis! I failed to take into account the consistency of my white paint, which needed several coats to give a suitable solid base of white. I initially painted the whole figure and supplementary stand with GW Corax White, which as I’ve mentioned several times in the past, is actually a pale grey. I then went over the Spot’s body and disembodied fist with Docrafts Blanc and the floating “spots” with Docrafts Noir.

And then a further coat of white… and another… and another.

Once I’d finally managed to get a level of whiteness I was happy with, I then gave the white parts a wash of Corax White, to define the musculature of the figure, which wasn’t quite as successful as I’d hoped. However, it did give me a base on which to start adding spots, as shown below:

Now, there are various different interpretations of how the spots appear on the Spot, including a relatively popular version which has a single ‘spot’ in the middle of his face. However, this makes him look like the Marvel character A.D.A.M. Unit Zero, a character associated with Cable, so I decided to go with the original version from the Spot’s first appearance in Spectacular Spider-Man.

Now, you may think that adding spots of varying sizes would be slightly tedious, but it was actually quite cathartic. Although it did take slightly longer than I’d anticipated…

However, I think the time was well-spent, so I can now present my finished Spot conversion;

I have to admit, I am pretty happy with how he’s turned out and therefore decided to take several pictures of him, showing both his front, as above, and his back, as below;

And because I was particularly pleased with the expression I managed to get on his face, here’s a view of it;

The base was textured using a ball of kitchen foil, to give the look of concrete and then painted with several cost of my own mid-grey mix, which although does take several coats, does allow for a graduation of grey, which is quite handy. The white residue in the clear column is due to it being partially hollow, so when I filed the top down, it gathered in this hollow and wouldn’t bloody shift. Oh well…

Looks like Spidey has fallen afoul of the Spot;

Anyway, that’s my entry finished. As for the others;

Roger from Rantings from Under the Wargames Table has completed Captain Kremmen, Carla and Dr Gitfinger from Kenny Everett’s radio and TV shows and very good they are too.

Simon from Fantorical has used the HeroForge site to create character’s from his own Time’s Rambler graphic novels.

Keith from Dead Dick’s Tavern has completed both the obscure character Rainbow Boy and the Spidey villain Hypno-Hustler in all his 70’s Disco glory.

Dave from Wargame Sculptors Blog is working through the cast of that 80’s classic “Battle Beyond the Stars” and now has over half of these sculpted AND painted.

Matt from PM Painting has not yet posted his entry, having had to consign two attempts to the bin, but he’s still got time before the event finishes and if it’s anything like last year’s entry, it will be worth the wait.

So, another successful year of Forgotten Heroes! And you know it’ll be back next year, so you’ve got eleven months to come up with something…

Maybe 2023 will be the year of the Big Wheel…

X Marks… the Spot

So, having had to revise my initial plans, how far have I got turning this;

…into this?

Well, the initial part was lopping off limbs, so that was pretty simple. But how to replicate the Spot’s ability to throw a punch through another dimension?

My original idea was to take the plastic from a blister pack and using a hole punch, make two identical circles, then glue these to the stump on the Silver Surfer figure and the fist from the Hydra figure.

Whilst I did do this, creating a stand for the ‘floating’ fist proved somewhat challenging, so I had a bit of a rethink.

So, I had some transparent shafts from flight stands, but in order for it to be the right length so the fist was at the right height, this needed to be cut down. I then glued this to a 1 pence piece, then filed a groove in the top of the shaft.

The  reason for this was that I’d decided to replace my initial plastic discs with two small black buttons from the sewing box. I glued the spare fist to one of these, then glued it into the groove.

It was then just a case of adding Milliput to the base, texturing this and then filling in the holes in the button.

So we ended up with this;

The Silver Surfer was cut from his flying stand, then cut from his board. I then reduced the part he was standing on to two platforms under his feet. After filing these down, the figure was glued to a 2 pence piece and the base built up using Milliput.

After texturing the bases, the second button was glued to his forearm and the holes in the button filled.

And this is how this part turned out;

So, the idea is that the Spot punches through one of his ‘spots’ and his fist comes out of another one, which as this  on a separate base, means I can position this wherever I like – like so;

Obviously, I didn’t realise the button attached to the main body was at an angle until I’d put them together. However, it doesn’t bother me too much.

Once these are painted up in the matching colours, it should be more obvious that they are part of the same figure.

I think it works, but until it’s done, we won’t know for sure.

So, that’s my current progress. Be sure to check out the other participants;

Roger at Rantings from Under the Wargames Table is doing Captain Kremmen and crew, Simon at Fantorical is doing character’s from his own Time’s Rambler graphic novels, Keith at Dead Dick’s Tavern has completed Rainbow Boy and is intending on doing a further character, whilst Dave is working on the cast of that 80’s classic “Battle Beyond the Stars” and Matt has yet to post anything, but is beavering away behind the scenes on his entry.

That’s all for this time, but join me next time when hopefully you’ll have spits before your eyes…

Redo From Start…

Sometimes, the best laid plans go awry…

I’d set aside some time Saturday night to crack on with my entry for this year’s Forgotten Heroes challenge, prepared all the bits I needed, with only my donor figure needing stripping of the various layers of paint that had been applied.

This did not go well. Having attacked the figure with various cleaning agents and tools, after an hour or so scrubbing the little git, I was left with a figure still caked with so much paint that you could hardly see any of the detail. So, after much cursing, I consigned him to the bin and then spent another hour or so searching through every box that possibly contained donor figures, which meant a visit to my garage and clambering around in the Aladdin’s Cave of Crap that I call my loft.

I could only find two figures which had possibilities, the first of which is this;

A 30mm figure of a “Steampunk female” from a game called Kaosball, which I bought a couple of years ago from Tritex Games at Salute. This is my “back-up” figure, which should my other cunning plan not work, will be painted up as Harley Quinn, as the outfit does resemble the one she wore in the Arkham Knight video game.

However, Harley is a little too… cool for Forgotten Heroes, as I generally try to do obscure (i.e. crap) characters.

The only other full donor figure I had was spare HeroScape Silver Surfer, as who needs two?

So, if we clip him off his flying stand and reduce his board down so that it fits on a 25 mm base, what can we do with him? If you ignore the coloring, he’s a generic, bald-headed chap in form-fitting costume.

My initial thought was to add some putty to his face to smooth it down a bit and make him into Lightmaster;

But, given what those who’ve posted this year so far have done AND taking into account that I did a blinding M.O.D.O.K. last year, I needed something a bit… more.

So, my revised entry will be the obscure Marvel supervillain, the Spot:

First appearing in Spectacular Spider-Man #97, Dr Jonathan Ohnn did not become the Spot until the following issue. He was attempting to replicate Cloak’s powers on behalf of the Kingpin, but ended up being able to generate “spots” that traversed another dimension, enabling him to attack at distance, as shown in the image above.

Now, rather than just repaint my spare Silver Surfer as the Spot, I’m going to attempt to replicate his ability to punch at a distance, by lopping off his right forearm and creating a separate base with his fist coming out of a “spot.”

Now, as the Silver Surfer is not actually punching, I needed a clenched fist, so I elected to take this from the figure below;

“Cut off a limb, and two more shall take its place!”

As he’s Hydra, it will supposedly grow back – not sure the Hydra goons actually believe that, of course.

Anyway, that’s my new plan.

regarding the others taking part, Roger at Rantings From Under the Wargames Table has made serious inroads into Captain Kremmen and his crew, Keith at Dead Dick’s Tavern & Temporary Lodging has posted his first creation, Rainbow Boy, with more to come and Simon at Fantorical will be painting up some 3D-printed versions of his own creations from his Time’s Rambler graphic novels. Matt from PM Painting and Dave from Wargame Sculptors Blog are taking part this year too and I’m sure we’ll see something from them soon.

I mean, I can hardly talk – all I’ve done is tell you what I’m going to do. All because of fucking stubborn paint that won’t come off… *sigh*

Forgotten Heroes 2022

I can’t quite believe that this is the seventh year running that I have hosted this month-long “community art project”, but it’s back again this year, giving you all the opportunity to create that unique figure of a character who has been overlooked by the manufacturers.

That’s right, it’s time for Forgotten Heroes!

For those of you new to Forgotten Heroes, here are the rules, such as they are…

During the month of June, you need to produce a figure of a character who has yet to have either an official or unofficial character made of them yet or create your own version of character that matches your  vision of what that character should look like. Any scale, any genre, the choice is yours.

This can as simple as repainting an existing figure as a different character, such as repainting a Heroclix Blue Beetle as the obscure Marvel villain Goldbug, or converting an existing figure into something new, like re-purposing a Games Workshop Imperial Commissar as Marshal Law. Alternatively, you could create a figure from scratch, if your sculpting skills are up to it.

If you wish to take part, all you need do is comment on this post, stating you’d like to take part and providing a link to your blog or wherever you’ll be posting your progress. Your first post should inform us of the character you will be attempting to create, preferably with reference photos, so we know what you’ll be aiming for.

I’ll create a blogroll here, so we know who’s taking part and what they’ll be working towards.

So far, Simon from Fantorical Wargaming has thrown his hat into the ring, along with Roger from Rantings from Under the Wargames Table and Dave from Wargamesculptors Blog.

But as it’s literally just been launched, there’s still time to join in, so let me know if you want to join us and I’ll add your blog to the list.

Now, not being as organised as previous years, I had to rummage through my box of figures to see what I had that could be repurposed for this year’s challenge. Luckily, I had a figure that had previously been rebased and painted, but didn’t really work for me, so got put to one side. However, I now have an idea and a purpose for this figure, so he will be stripped of his crappy paint-job and converted.

The base figure is the Dreamblade Knight of Tomorrow:

And the character I am intending on converting this in to? The Marvel hero/villain (depending on your point of view)… The Crimson Dynamo!

The Crimson Dynamo was Russia’s answer to Iron Man, and first appeared in Tale of Suspense #46 in October 1963, created by Stan Lee and Don Heck.

Over the years, just with the various iterations of the Iron Man armour, there have been 12 different suits, the only unifying feature being the name and that it’s mainly red in coloration.

So, that gives me free rein to create my own version, taking elements from all the previous versions and hopefully creating something that is familiar enough that people will realise who it’s supposed to represent.

My initial thoughts regarding my base figure is that he requires a head swap, removal of his staff and ridged shoulder pads, similar to the picture above. I’m also contemplating adding a chest piece in the shape of a star, similar to the version below:

We shall have to see how successful I am.

Forgotten Heroes Assemble!