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Lego Blog: Illustrating Flash Pulp episode FP001

Where Are All My Ideas?

I don’t need them, I’ve got Skinner Co’s instead! It’s been simply ages since I’ve babbled uncontrollably about my love of Lego, and of Flash Pulp: one Canadian family’s insane commitment to writing, illustrating and podcasting a monstrous 600 part flash fiction series. Good god, they’re crazy.

In April, I found a new focus for Lego building. I’d done a one off version of an illustration by Opopanax as a secret Kar’mas (Santa – it’s complicated, you should listen to the stories really) gift – Lego Flash Pulp Kar’Mas 2015 which went down really well (happy hugs!) as you can see in their unboxing video below:


Super simple building instructions too! Merry KarMas Assembly Instructions

I’d long toyed with the idea of illustrating more stuff –  has one a bunch of iconic illustrations which I really want to recreate in Lego form – but there’s also the 400+ story episodes cruelly without Lego interpretation. I started with episode 1.

Flash Pulp episode 1 – Mulligan Smith and The Runner

Mulligan is one of the core characters of the Flash Pulp universe, and has possibly the most clearly defined appearance in the stories. I knew I had to get him right. I’m grateful to The Lego Movie for many  things, not least giving us a black (with purple inner) hoodie hood; without it Mulligan would probably be impossible.

I enjoyed making him so much that I compiled a parts guide on Pinterest (which is unfortunately turning out to suck as a site if you don’t have an account). Some of the bits might be fairly rare and were just in my box of body parts.

For ‘the Runner’ I get a good description to work with:

Bernard Thompson, 53, the man in baggy grey pants, stumbled as he crossed the rusted siding and fell to one knee. The impact nearly caused his moist right hand to lose hold of the pistol, but it hastily re-found its grip, unwilling to surrender its last hope.

Bernard was a balding man, and yet somehow the remainder of his sweat-clumped hair insisted on finding its way into his eyes, forcing him to brush aside the rogue strands with his free hand while a salty trickle of yard dust rolled into his lolling mouth.

Lovely details but potentially a devil to render in Lego!

The Runner, and Mulligan on the right

Illustrating The Story

I think Jrd’s got a good balance in the story of giving enough description to help you imagine the space without wasting too many of his <1000 words on something other than character and story. It’s a tough balance to be sure. It’s also perfect for me. I get the sense of the space and then get to play!

For episode 1 I get the following for place description:

Projecting from the towering central building that dominated the scrubby clearing, a dual row of rail tracks ran a smooth curve to the edge of the yard to be cut short by the iron fence and the street’s modern re-paving.


Since I’m trying to do the whole story in a single build, flash fiction is great for providing a clear dramatic point!


Endless Building Choices

Lacking any railway line parts I had to make my own, which look suitably scruffy and run-down. I have since purchased some bits of track and rebuilt the base, but it doesn’t look as good as this – well I don’t think so anyway. It’s too big for my build:

I’m pretty chuffed with the chainlink fences and battered building – it gave me a chance to do some sideways windows and play with texture some more.

I also got to build things off the grid – off-setting the line of the building is quite satisfying:

The light is from LiteUpBlock whose stuff is excellent quality and very cheap (same supplier I used for the Kar’Mas gift) and it looks quite pretty all lit up. A bugger to photograph though, obviously.

Now Read and Listen To The Story!


Here’s the full story: Mulligan Smith and the Runner

There are a handful more pictures here, on Flickr:

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