Tag: robots

Tabletop Combat with Hydra Miniatures

Tabletop Combat with Hydra Miniatures

I think it was Wes Herbst who brought this to my attention some time ago, but I see that quite recently, Hydra Miniatures has come to British shores. So, in the hopes of making up for lost time, I thought I’d draw interested eyes towards this growing tabletop collection.

Hydra Miniatures is a US-based producer of pulp-inspired wargames sets, with ranges including spaceships and prehistoric monsters. To quote their website:

We feel the market is flooded with Tolkienesque fantasy miniatures—orcs, dwarves, and elves. The same goes for sci-fi bodybuilder commandoes in power armor fighting H.R. Giger-inspired xenomorphs. Frankly, we’re sick of it. And who needs yet another miniatures company creating the same thing you’ve seen a hundred times? Our mission is to break away from these clichés and create never before seen figures that no one else is doing. Figures that fire your imagination and inspire you to new gaming possibilities.

All their sets have an element of pulp to them, but raypunk tastes draw us to the Retro Raygun and War Rocket sets. Without having bought or seen any of these pieces myself, I can’t actually speak for how the game plays, but one of the joy of tabletop lays in simply appreciating the figures:

Hydra’s president and chief sculptor is Matt Beauchamp, with Scott Francek contributing to the product sculptures. Theirs is a US-based, online retail venture, but as I’ve mentioned, Hydra Miniatures are now stocked in Britain too, at Wargames Emporium of Sheffield and Mansfield.

Individual figures start at around £3/$4 each for Retro Raygun, and £5/$6.95 for War Rocket. There’s also a rule book for War Rocket, priced at £18, though curiously none listed for the infantry series, which are $18 direct from Hydra.

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Kickstarter: The Lair of the Clockwork Book

Kickstarter: The Lair of the Clockwork Book

Imagine a future in which everyone’s lifetime events, passions and slip-ups are recorded in a great book, by a machine which is capable of recalling these at will to anyone who asks. All it asks in return is a story of your own.

This is the premise of Bradley W. Schenck’s most recent project – a series of illustrations which is due to conclude in April. In non-raypunk space, we can wave aside fear of the Facebooks and Twitters, and look instead to another type of lasting contribution, as The Lair of the Clockwork Book has been put up on Kickstarter.

For those unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it is a US-based crowdfunding website for creative projects. If you decide to back a project financially, you can make a contribution and usually receive some sort of reward in return, on top of knowing that you helped make that project happen. Mr. Schenck’s goal is to see The Lair of the Clockwork Book printed on archival paper, in hardback with a lush dust jacket. This would be a step up for his Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, as these are usually printed in paperback. One could only imagine that if things work out for The Clockwork Book, the future will look bright for the rest of Schenck’s Thrilling Tales series.

For a plot preview, details of the pledge rewards and an introduction by the artist himself, here’s the video from Mr. Schenck’s Kickstarter page:

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Fraley’s Robot Repair Shop

Fraley’s Robot Repair Shop

The shop door sign reads: "Away on Vacation!"

News came via IO9 of a delightful art display by Philadelphian artist, Toby Atticus Fraley. This sculptor of highly-regarded robots has taken over a former entrance to the Pittsburgh Art Institute, with a year-long installation which is set to change throughout its duration.

To quote the website’s own summary:

The shop depicts what seems to be a robot repair shop where the owners have left for vacation, leaving robots in various stages of repair, including one peering through the store windows longing for life in the outside world. The scene appears to be set in the future, where robot ownership is commonplace, with a 1950’s aesthetic.

The project seeks to dovetail recent investments in downtown by revitalizing and occupying vacant storefronts, making for a more attractive, safe and vibrant downtown corridor while adding to local economy.

There is, of course, a selection of photographs available on the project’s website. Other examples of Fraley’s work can be found at his own domain. As well as some more charming robot sculptures, his work includes a number of jet-set style paintings, raypunk clock sculptures and souped-up teapots.