Lego Blog: Illustrating Flash Pulp episode FP0022

If you go down to the woods today…

I’ve had the pictures for this build for a while now, but failed to find the time to crop and select them. My shaky hands demand editing! I’ve been keenly anticipating another Thomas Blackhall tale – he’s one of my favourite Flash Pulp characters – the forest settings and era are very appealing to me.


Read and Listen To The Story

You have to do this now:

Here’s the full story: The Charivari


Illustrating The Story

Hedge wizard Thomas Blackhall emerges from the deep forests and finds himself at the edge of the village of Bigelow. He is welcomed into The Loyalist inn by its proprietor and freshens up before being dragged into local scandal and mob unrulery. It’s a three-part story and there is much more to it! I’d love to come back to the setting of the final part of the yarn – maybe one day…

Strictly speaking I’ve illustrated a single exchange from the story: the greeting of Blackhall by the moustachioed Morton Van Rijn. Of course he has an axe – he’s Canadian.

What’s In A Road?

I was carried off by the notion of an inn by the water on a neatly paved road. Naturally the details of the road occupied a startling amount of time. I’d seen a cool way to curve Lego plates in Blocks magazine but hadn’t had a moment to play with the idea. What better time? The road is made up of long strips of 2×2 plates overlaid with 2×2 tiles – once laid on edge you can bend them quite a long way. Pinning them in place with other bricks resulted in much brick spaffing across the room… The results are pretty! I’m looking forwards to refining the technique further.

The water is several plates deep, allowing for much dotting of transparent blue and white circular plates which has produced a nice illusion of depth. Then I had fun building up the shore too. Finally I got to the pesky business of the inn itself.

Running Out of Space

I’d figured a 32×32 base plate would be adequate for my purposes, but I’d clearly used up waaaay too much space on the road and shoreline. Plus I wanted to offset the inn, and well, there was no room left. So I ‘neatly’ added a chunky corner at the back. Looks great, right? It gave me the extra space I needed!

It took several abortive efforts to get the size of The Loyalist right – walls are always thicker than I think, and since I’m a terrible planner I need to leave more space than I think I’ll need. There’s not a great deal in there, but you can safely assume there’s an outhouse somewhere, and a washroom, and a kitchen… and everything else. But it looks nice.

   

The door is massive. I’m very happy with how the slightly patchy, made out of local materials look I’ve given it. The careful patchiness is something I really admire in Lego’s official sets – there’s an aesthetic balance which they absolutely nail. I can only aim for it. I also really dig the shutters: the windows are too small to put proper glass windows in and this was surprisingly effective.

I made a roof that fits! Well, more or less. I felt obliged to put a chimney on it, but as you’ll note from the interior shots, there is no space for a fireplace. It’s a decorative chimney. Like they that back in the olden days.

It’s What’s On The Inside That Matters

Since I had limited floorspace, I focussed on the important aspects of an inn: the bar, and the bedroom. I have once more made something that is almost impossible to see inside of, let alone photograph. The bunk beds are actually quite neat, but you’ll have to take my word for it…

 

Final Reflections

Super observant fans of Flash Pulp will notice that although this is a rather jolly little inn, it is wrong in almost all possible details. The Loyalist is a mostly white painted building, considerably larger than this one and should really be surrounded with other buildings and more of a crossroads than a wiggly road. Ho hum. It’s the spirit of the story, alright?!

There are a load more pictures of the details here, on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eric_the_bewildered_weasel/sets/72157668298142972

 

Lego Blog: Illustrating Flash Pulp episode FP0015

Spaceship, spaceship, spaceship!

Knowing that there is a science fiction thread hidden away in the Flash Pulp universe has been tweaking my Lego gland for a while. Actually, there are several sci-fi threads now, but for ages Joe Monk was the only one. I refuse to look ahead through the programme, so it came as a lovely surprise when it turned Monkish on me. Tragically there aren’t many stories in this thread so I’ll have to go nuts over whatever I find.


Read and Listen To The Story

You have to do this now:

Here’s the full story: Joe Monk Emperor of Space – The Music Library


Illustrating The Story

Joe Monk – the last surviving human being – flies through space in the vessel that has been his home since he was but an infant. Little entertainment has been laid in the poor lad and as he hits his twenties he’s increasingly aware of it. There’s only 200 hours of recorded music in the Music Room, and when he locks it for what he thinks is just six months he’s forced to bury himself in the microfilm room instead.

It’s Cold Inside…

I’ve only worried about the interior for this build, though I do have some thoughts about what it might look like from outside too. One of things I like about the story is that the future is rather archaic and retro – microfilm! It made me think of pale greys and beige moulded computer housings. Rather than just make everything grey and cornery I’ve gone for curves and whirly bits.

Everyone loves a good corridor, right? I’ve put transparent panels in the walls to allow a little more light to get around and to break up the very, very greyness of it all. I’ve always loved the Blacktron yellow control panel tiles from when I were but tiny and I’m happy to find a home for them.

Even the dullest corridor is better with colourful helper bots! These guys don’t feature in the story at all, but I couldn’t imagine having the ship being entirely unpopulated. These little dudes were very pleasing to build. I envisage them having extendable necks and retractable legs (parts conservation and availability has limited what’s on show!) and them bumbling around the ship fixing things.

What Lies Beyond Yon Door?

Although the story covers three rooms – the music, movie and microfilm rooms, it was the last of the three that snagged my imagination. I’d love to do all three, but the walls have been rather parts intensive; I’d need a lot more to expand it fully. The doors themselves are a slight cheat – they only have one side as I couldn’t think of a way to make a door the same on both sides without using at least four plate widths. And that’s just cray cray.

This is the microfilm room where Joe spends a distressing amount of time. I’ve added a nice rack of microfilm reels (using the huhcaps/cores from wheels). I also needed a microfilm reader, so I’ve gone for a rather massive, steampunky device. It fits together quite neatly and I’m pleased with it, as I am the chair Joe’s using.

What’s a reading room without a view?

I’m very pleased to have found a use for one of Cinderella’s carriage’s wheel, and all those transparent 1×2 bricks I picked up.

Finding The Minifigures

As usual, assembling a suitable character figure took quite a while. Most of his bits are Ninjago originally, dug out of the Build-a-Figure bins at the Lego Shop. His hair is one of those nice rubbery bits, also Ninjago from one of the ‘free with the shame of buying The Daily Mail’ last year. I’m quite chuffed with the drink he has – using a chemistry flask is space 101, and the straw is a Galaxy Squad alien antenna. I’ve possibly pitched his face at slightly too young, but I have very many similar ones for future stories.

The little helper bots are also one of my favourite things in this build. They’re dead simple to build, using just a Star Wars soldier droid body, a few clips, studs and eye tiles. I wanted to make hundreds, but the colour scheme using the body to set the rest has limited my options a bit. I think they’re really cute. I’ve got just a handful of Plate, Modified 1 x 1 with Clip Light – Thin Ring rather than Thick Ring, which is the only way I’ve got the little blue and white dude’s eyes to join up in the middle. On the rest it looks like a mouth, possibly.


Wrap Up and Spin Around

This might be my favourite build for ages. I’m really happy with the rounded finish to the walls. I had to order some extra bits because I was missing just one corner piece (devastating, obviously). It’s a neat T-shape, with an odd symmetry that appeals to my eyes. It also contains far more bricks than I thought it would.

I can’t wait to come across the next Joe Monk tale in the series!

Oh – I almost forgot – here’s a very badly done turntable view of the whole thing:
FP 015: Joe Monk - Emperor of Space//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

There are a load more pictures of the details here, on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eric_the_bewildered_weasel/sets/72157668298142972

 

Pulp Pirate 21 – FC 96 Fish Ships Out

Flash Cast 96 – Fish Ships Out

Boom, three in a row. That rounds off my three parter with Alex Trepan in ‘Midnight Shopping’  – Jam & The Maiden.  I don’t think it’s the best of the chapters I’ve recorded. For some reason there seems to be more echo and stuff in the track. Annoying. Never mind! People have said nice things about the series, for which I’m grateful (thanks Rich!) I shall have to record some more.

This week has much of the usual fun banter between the Skinner Co execs as well as another great comic review from Hugh at the Way of The Buffalo podcast and one of Jay’s multiple personality audio book reviews. There’s also the last Three Day Fish film review for a while as Fish is joining the infantry. I don’t really understand why, and he seems less than thrilled, but I hope he battles through (no pun intended) and gets satisfaction from it.

Listen to it now: 

FC96http://flashpulp.com/
http://skinner.libsyn.com/rss
http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/flash-pulp/id367726315

FC94 – including Alex Trepan in Midnight Shopping part 1
FC95 – including Alex Trepan in Midnight Shopping  part 2

Pulp Pirate 20 – FC 95 Rich’s Chocolate Moon Pie

Flash Cast 95 – Rich’s Chocolate Moon Pie

Back again! I’m glad the Flash Pulp mob are getting back on track – so much so that I’m already a week or more behind in listening! Goddamn it don’t you hate it when purveyors of fine content keep on producing the stuff. Bastards.

So, apart from entertaining true crime stories and geeky pulp anxiety I’m pretty much alone with my little segment in this podcast. It’s part two of Alex Trepan in ‘Midnight Shopping’  – Prawn Ring this week (guess what comes up next week…) Since it’s a series and offers no explanation of the previous events Jrd’s added a ‘last time on Alex Trepan’: marvellous! I’ve received some nice feedback on the story and my reading of it, which is really lovely and provides a much needed boost. I’m getting used to hearing my real voice with this series. It seems to be okay…

Listen to it now: 
image

http://flashpulp.com/
http://skinner.libsyn.com/rss
http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/flash-pulp/id367726315

Pulp Pirate 19 – FC 94 Road Couch

Flash Cast 94 – Road Couch

Wow, this is a beast of a podcast. Weighing in at just over two hours (!) this is the Flash Pulp gang catching up after a busy pre-Christmas period. Listen in for slices of Horrible Histories, a Doc Blue seasonal story as well as pulp crime jabber and podcast and audiobook reviews!

Flash Pulp remains the only podcast I listen to every single episode of. Oh, and there’s the first part of Alex Trepan in ‘Midnight Shopping’. Jrd and co. have sweetly agreed to it being serialised, well, for the next three podcasts it will take to tell out the tale. It’s cool! They also read a long letter from Captain Pigheart and say nice things. It made me happy. I had some fun recording the three-parter as well. I haven’t read a story in my own voice before (no Pigheart or de Gashe growling at all). I was quite pleased at how it plays back. My stuff starts at 1hr 16m but really should listen from the beginning – it’s worth it!

Listen to it now: 

FC94

http://flashpulp.com/
http://skinner.libsyn.com/rss
http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/flash-pulp/id367726315

Stuff in the Post: Skinner Co Pendant!

Look What I Got In The Post!

I like getting post, as long as it isn’t just bills and statements: they mostly go straight in the shredder. Sometimes I even open them first. It’s also the joyous season of the catalogue so we’re getting some quality gazing-at-tat time too. Today I got a lovely scuffed envelope from far off Canadia. With no explanation or note I found it held a magical pendant with a mystical symbol. It called to me from beyond the envelope of time and our universe; a voice without crooning to me in my mind; the metallic weight in my palm drawing me down into the unbridled madness of occult lore…

SkinnerCo Pendant_SM

The Magic Of Flash Pulp

It is of course the dashing new logo for Skinner Co, that unfeasibly prolific, dynamic and creative force operating from the dark heart of Canada. Between Jessica May, Opoponax and JRD Skinner they produce the only podcast in which I listen to every episode – Flash Pulp. There they present tales of pulp fiction – mystery, crime, zombie horror and more, all weaving into one complex tale that’s now over 340 episodes long!

If you haven’t indulged in their realm of wonder you’re a fool, or simply didn’t know about it, in which case you’re a fool for not sensing it psychically through the void. Can you not hear their whispers?

They have also spawned a delightful network of fans and associates, The Flash Mob. I’ve been very happy to contribute to the weekly FlashCasts with the odd story or two. I’ve been away for a little while with too much work and improv business and I’m gagging to get back in with the mob.

This was a lovely reminder that I’m still in the Mob! Thank you guys!

Things you should go to now:

http://flashpulp.com/

http://www.skinner.fm/

http://twitter.com/SkinnerCo

Even Merly is faintly interested in my post:

Merly Cuddle Bundle_SM