Thursday, 8 June 2017

John Carter of Mars Heroes 01

When Dave Stone recently visited me, he discussed how his sci-fi gladiators game, Death Match, originated. It was whilst watching the 2012 film, John Carter, where John is fighting in an arena, that Dave thought how cool it would be to create a sci-fi gladiators game. Despite the film getting panned by many critics, Dave and I are both fans of the film. So from that germ of an idea, the game was developed. Anyway, what I forgot to tell Dave was that I had a small selection of 28mm scale John Carter figures. They are produced by Tin Man Miniatures and I bought them at the beginning of this year when TMM had a 30% discount sale. Funnily enough, they are also offering this same discount this month up until the 18th. Dave's comments about John Carter got me to thinking about how perfect these figures would be for his Death Match game. Currently, he only has one human gladiator (a female) for sale in his webstore. More will be available later.
From left to right are John Carter, Dejah Thoris and Woola. Most likely for copyright reasons, Tin Man Miniatures have renamed them as Jack Carson, Princess Dari and Moola. Jack Carson/John Carter is available as shown above or in a nude version. He is armed with a cavalry sabre and a pistol and he would be right at home in a game of Death Match. I won't go into any details about who John Carter is, as I'm sure most, if not all of you, are familiar with him. If not, check him out on Google or Wikipedia... or get the book the film is based on, A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Princess Dari/Dejah Thoris is a native of Mars (called Barsoom by the inhabitants of Mars) who falls in love with Carter. I am quite familiar with Dejah from the comic book series by Dynamite. Indeed, she once teamed up with Vampirella and Red Sonja in the epic Swords of Sorrow series as one of the three wielders of the aforementioned swords. Once again, Tin Man offers a clothed and nude version of this figure. This time, I opted for the nude version, although as you can see, she isn't totally nude, just topless. Whilst she is a very good fighter in the books, comics and film, I don't think she'd fare well in Death Match. Her lack of armour and single weapon puts her at a big disadvantage. At least Carter has a pistol to deal with opponents at a distance, even he is also lacking in protection.
Moola/Woola is described as a "Calot" - a large creature that resembles an amphibian and behaves like a loyal dog. He becomes devoted to Carter and is rarely far from his side. He has ten legs and thus is very fast.
I bought these figures because, A) I liked the film, B) I'm a big fan of Dejah from her comics and C) because they were on offer at the time. I can certainly find uses for all three figures in some of the games I play. I'm undecided about buying more figures from this range to recreate a Barsoomian skirmish game. I received very good service from TMM, who are based in America. They quite often have these sales, so it is well worth waiting for one to come along if you want to place an order with them.

28 comments:

  1. I could see myself getting into this thanks to you. Curses another new project starting... I must resist. must resi... is futile to resist.

    Great job mate. (But at least this week I will resist)

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    1. The resistance is strong with this one !

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    2. Many thanks, Clint. I've made a start with the three figures but I'm putting off getting any more simply because I have so many other projects on the go. But the temptation to buy a lot more from this range is there... especially when they offer such generous discounts in their frequent sales.

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  2. Great idea on the figures Bryan, and great paint job too. As we discussed on my visit, if people want to use alternative models with the game, we have no problem with that, as it will inspire people in different ways.

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    1. Indeed, Dave. The four armed Tharks from the series would make excellent gladiators in "Death Match". I've been thinking of trying out a few games with two gladiators per side as well as games with only human gladiators (seeing as I have so many of them). Really, there is a lot you can do with this game if you use your imagination.

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    2. That was the idea for the game, to be flexible to the individual gamer, for instance as there is rules for obstacles, what's to say you can't put alien made pillars or walls in the arena and change the whole dynamics and tactics required.

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    3. Absolutely! White Dwarf magazine once gave a way a free Dark Eldar gladiatorial arena game. What made that game particularly deadly was the walls were covered with spikes and there were spiked columns dotted around the arena. Imagine suffering a knock-back into a spiked wall. Ouch!

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    4. That could get very messy, or how about dodging an attack, this would not be such a good move with large spikey pillars in the way

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    5. So true. Another less deadly option would be to keep the walls blank, as is, but to add four or six spiked columns inside the arena. As you said, Dave, this game is eminently expandable.

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  3. Marvellous posting Bryan, as I'm a huge fan of the 2012 "John Carter" and was very frustrated by the critical review it got. I totally get it isn't quite the novel but both have their strengths imho.

    I've also read Dave's splendid rule-set and entirely see just how useful this range of minis could be for it; and I'm delighted the game came about from such a corking film - perhaps I should paint my Kong white, Dave? ;-)

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    1. He might take up most of the arena Simon, might want a couple of extra arms too ! LOL

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    2. It is good to know that "John Carter" has its fans. i found much to admire in this film and like you, I don't think it deserved all the negative reviews it received.

      "Death Match" is a very enjoyable little game, and you'll be seeing a lot more of it on my blog. Putting Kong in the arena smacks of overkill, methinks! :-)

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    3. "I found much to admire in this film and like you, I don't think it deserved all the negative reviews it received." - Yep, "World War Z" is an absolute must-buy for zombies fans Bryan... eh, you were talking about "World War Z", right? ;-)

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    4. Shakes head in disbelief and bewilderment! Someone get the men in white coats to cart this fool away!

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  4. Not my favorite movie, but it certainly had some good bits (unfortunately not Dejah's). I should watch it again with my now old enough kids.

    Barsoom generally seems well suited to a scifi gladiator game, as fighting nobly for crowd appeal seems to be the default setting of most conflicts.

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    1. Indeed it is very much worth re-watching, LGP. I totally agree that Barsoom is well suited for "Death Match" and vice versa. Thanks for your comments.

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  5. I too am a fan of the movie and have read a few of the books too, (I actually didn't mind the low budget rip-off version "Princess of Mars), with Traci Lords as a rather old Dejah). And I also bought a load of Tin Mans figs in a sale last year, though not these three strangely enough, I mainly want the lovely cave girl fig, but ended up (as always) buy a load of other figs too. Great painting by the way, as you say they would be perfect gladiators.

    For more Hi-tech gladiators check out "Excaliber Miniatures" Fearless range..

    http://www.excalibur-miniatures.com/miniaturen/miniaturen.html#

    There are a few robots and things in there perfect for Judge Dredd too.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thanks, Roger. I haven't seen the low budget rip off but I do well remember Traci Lords from some of her earlier adult films. I'll say no more!

      Argh! I kind of wish you hadn't sent me that link for "Excaliber Miniatures"! There is so much good stuff they have. How come I have never heard of them before? It could be because they are a German firm, but I don't hold that against them. I, too, was thinking of Judge Dredd when I trawled through their sci-fi stuff.

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    2. "I do well remember Traci Lords from some of her earlier adult films. I'll say no more!"

      Ahh you refer of course to "Not of this Earth", "Cry baby" and "Blade", a fantastic body............of work.

      ;-) Cheers Roger.

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    3. Yes... amongst others, Roger. ;-)

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  6. The martian series was one of my favorites as a kid. Second only to Conan! Nice paint work there mate!. ;)

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    1. Hey, Tom, I was also a big fan of Conan when I was growing up. The old Marvel comics were classics.

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    2. Those were great. I have a bunch from my dad that he had in the 60's then I have most of the 90's Marvels till it ended. I had a healthy dose of Robert E Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Excellent inspiration for wargaming. ;)

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    3. QUOTE - "Excellent inspiration for wargaming."
      Hell, yes!

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  7. Love the Calot Bryan. Great figure and paint job.

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  8. Fab job on them all Bryan. I do love the stories and enjoyed the recent remake though it wasn't totally sticking to the books. Looking forward to seeing more of this project.

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    1. Thanks, Simon. There is certainly much more to come for this project. Keep watching.

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