Monday, May 2, 2016

Need some new Drones?

Do you need some alternate drones to storm the Gates? Most of our bots are also "scale neutral" and would be completely suitable for many 15mm scaled games as well. All of them are 20% off this month so now may be a good time to try them out. See the entire selection here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

KritterKins on Kickstarter April 25th

On April 25th we expect to launch our next project which will be for KritterKins™. This is a collection of anthropomorphic animal character miniatures designed by Vicky and sculpted by me. They have a slight chibi feel to them but should sit well with several other animal character minis currently available. Production on these will be handled in-house and will be run in high quality pressure-cast urethane resin.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Counterblast Review

Gordon Richards of "I have wrought my simple plan . . . " Wargames blog has a terrific "unboxing" of all things Counterblast. We certainly appreciate Gordon's enthusiasm for the game and really look forward to additional coverage of his battle reports and narratives!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Hobby Hangout - Sculpting

Patrick Keith - the Sculptdude - will be hosting a Google Hangout session all about sculpting tonight at 7pm CST. Get your tools, putty, and questions ready! Join the FB Group to get the link when it's live.

Monday, April 11, 2016

April "T" Time Sale

April is usually all about Taxes but we have a different "T" in mind. Various merchandize beginning with the letter "T" will be 20% off regular price until the end of April. View the complete selection at the April "T Time" category! Some supplies are limited.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Bombshell Minis at AdeptiCon

SISTER VASHA FANE - Promo Miniature

Through a special arrangement with AdeptiCon, Bombshell Miniatures will have a limited quantity of the Sister Vasha Fane miniature for sale in the web storethroughout the weekend of the show March 31 - April 3 2016.

Bombshell Miniatures will be attending AdeptiCon next weekend. If you are coming to the show, drop by our booth sandwiched between Secret Weapon Miniatures and Forge World to say hi and maybe catch a demo game of Counterblast DLX.

Monday, March 7, 2016



You can download the free COUNTERBLAST DLX Beta v1.3 rules PDF here.

For the past several months we here at the Bombshell Factory have been slaving deep into the night concocting new rules and upgrades to the existing Counterblast game. You can now download the complete rules as a Beta test version before the new book is published later this year.

What initially began as rules clarifications in the form of a free Addendum PDF to answer questions and make corrections, we planned the publication of the Mission Directive supplement to add new content to the existing game. However, as we developed more material, rather than publish a separate book, we decided it would be better to take the original, expand it with the new material, upsize the book to a proper format and give it some brand new color art! 

So what makes this version deluxe? It includes an all new Hero Builder system allowing players to make fully customizable characters for their games. Converting this system to vehicles, we have also created a Vehicle Builder allowing you to field some of your favorite sci-fi and Weird War hardware in your encounters, with expanded rules for vehicle combat. New weapons, gear, and psionic powers, have been added along with environmental hazards and new expanded campaign features. This will not be a new edition of the game since the basic structure and core mechanics all remain the same. It's more like a "version 1.5" re-organized, streamlined and easier to learn. The new book will be restructured to make finding the rules faster and easier during gameplay.

Thanks to the up-sized format, we will now have enough real estate to include some fantastic setting detail, background, and narrative, concerning the setting and all of the fantastic alien cultures present in the Outer Reaches. Vicky has been writing expanded source material for all of the present alien cultures like the Illyrians, Shrinaar, and Alanti, species along with more material on the origins of the Mekkus, the ruling houses of the Neiran Empire, and the strange ecology of the cephalopod Edo.

Over the coming months we will be posting details of the development of the project leading up to our new Kickstarter campaign this summer for COUNTERBLAST DLX which will include an all new full-sized color rulebook, printed statcard sets, and new Faction Crew Sets for all the represented factions.

Please vist our Bombshell Minis Facebook Group to get the latest details and offer your feedback and suggestions on this updated version of Counterblast.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

March Madness

We have weathered the winter and now march forth into spring. Those of us at the Bombshell factory have been toiling away these winter months working on bringing forward some exciting new things for 2016. To celebrate the thaw we are offering a "Mad Hatter" spring cleaning. All Bombshell minis with hats (or other covers) are 15% off throughout March in our web store.

Coming in April will be our Kickstarter project for a new range of critter characters cast in high quality urethane resin. More news soon!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

COUNTERBLAST Hero Builder Beta v.1

COUNTERBLAST Adventure Battle Game is a pulp sci-fi skirmish wargame for miniatures. It's focus is on cinematic-styled encounters between Hero archetypes like you have seen in classic novels and adventure serials.

Over the past several months we have been working hard to bring you the Hero Builder rules so you can create your own classic heroes for your games of COUNTERBLAST  This version is the Beta test where we welcome your feedback on the system before it goes into the upcoming deluxe edition of the rulebook later this year. Please post your comments and suggestions here or on the Bombshell Facebook Group.

You can download a free copy of the Hero Builder rules PDF here.

Not familiar with Counterblast? Now is a good time to jump into the Outer Reaches as all of the rules are half price for a limited time. You can visit the web store here for print and PDF copies of the Counterblast Core Rulebook print and PDF versions. You can also get the PDF version on our Wargame Vault page.

Friday, January 1, 2016

What is Pulp Sci-Fi?


It’s why we like what we like. It’s why we like the music we do, and whether (Heaven forbid) we like that painting that matches the upholstery. Even your favorite ice cream is a type of aesthetic that is appealing to your own tastes. This article is an attempt to delineate what I like to call “pulp sci-fi”, a heading that encompasses the sub-genres of space opera, retrofuturism and dieselpunk.

Although the term “pulp” refers to the cheap paper on which many early fiction tales were printed, it is much, much more than that. These tales, while reviled by their contemporary literary critics, provided a foundation, toolbox, and set of tropes that all modern pop-culture science fiction must pay homage. It is so significant, in fact, there is a movement to preserve the heritage of these stories at sites like The Pulp Magazines Project.

The Vintage Library cites the defining factors of what can be considered pulp and includes fantastic, escapist fiction for the general entertainment of the mass audiences. Pulps allowed its readers to experience people, places, and action they normally would not have access to. Bigger-than-life heroes, pretty girls, exotic places, strange and mysterious villains all stalked the pages of the many issues available to the general public on the magazine stands.

I liken this to the “Dukes of Hazzard Effect”. While you can never predict what the general populace will latch onto, regardless of its merits, you must eventually concede it is a thing. In his book Redneck Boy in the Promised Land, Ben Jones recounts how CBS founder and chairman William Paley despised “cornpone” humor and after returning from an extended vacation in Europe was aghast at the success of the television series. It was such a success, in fact, it would be years before he could cancel the thing.

While the significance of The Dukes of Hazzard beyond just puerile entertainment remains to be seen, pulp adventure in general has grown into a thriving acceptable part of pop-culture at large from its lurid and seedy origins. It could even be argued that the ham-fisted morality plays of the Duke Boys are a derivative offshoot of this early hero pulp fiction. It is clear, however, that the pulp ideologies have had a direct and lasting influence on contemporary science fiction in all mediums. Mai Ly Degnan cites many examples in the essay Pulp Magazines and their Influence on Entertainment Today.
“Needless to say, pulp magazines paved and shaped the way for many of our creative thinkers today. Even though it has been decades, these same themes have crossed over into every form of entertainment. From television to comics, much of our entertainment has been influenced in some way by pulp magazines.”
As for Science Fiction in particular, a little over a hundred years ago, books were either classed as fiction or non-fiction. It wasn’t until the mid-century that more and more categories began to crop up.

Now the following may seem like a severely long-winded exercise in semantics, years of retail has instilled in me the value of categorizing content to make it easy for your target audience to locate what they are looking for. It’s the reason record shops and book stores (ancient retail outlets) grouped like things with like things.

While surfing through a few of my favorite film listings on various streaming services I began to notice duplicate categories where many of the titles were listed. It seems a particular film can be simultaneously a drama and a comedy, many are also listed in multiple other genre categories. So is the case with Science Fiction and for me “pulp sci-fi” encompasses these distinct, and sometimes overlapping, sub-genres.

Space opera is adventure science fiction set mainly or entirely in outer space or on multiple (sometimes distant) planets. The conflict is heroic, and typically on a large scale. This particular brand of SF has become popularized in modern culture by the Foundation series (1942–99) by Isaac Asimov. An early notable space opera film series was Flash Gordon (1936–present) created by Alex Raymond. In the late 1970s, the Star Wars franchise (1977–present) created by George Lucas brought a great deal of attention to the genre. We won’t spend any time on this one.

Retrofuturism is characterized by a blend of old-fashioned "retro" styles with futuristic technology, retrofuturism explores the themes of tension between past and future, and between the alienating and empowering effects of technology. Huh?

The article What is retro futurism? by Annalee Newitz also tries to loosely impress what characterizes retrofuturism.

What should be mentioned is that retrofuturism is primarily defined by the aesthetic of a true historical “futuristic” style. Where it is the most obvious is in intentionally depicting “futuristic concepts” as they would likely have been presented in a prior period.

For example, if the television series Star Trek: Enterprise, while set in the timeline prior to the original series, had been designed to intentionally look like it was actually produced in the mid-sixties, it would likely qualify as retrofuturism. This is even more evident in the Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribble-ations.” This episode was produced in 1996, thirty years after the original Star Trek aired, but was styled to match the look of the original series. So in essence, regardless if the medium is television, comics, or literature, the defining characteristics of retrofuturism are dependent on the period they are produced in comparison to the period they depict.

Blade Runner (1982) likely could be another example of retrofuturism since the story, set in 2019, is intentionally designed to be evocative of 1940s noir-styled cinema. It falls a bit short in other areas such as the vehicles and some of the environment design since those reflect a more modern futuristic aesthetic.

So, if Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was set in any future period than the 1930s it would count as retrofuturism. But the styling is reminiscent of the aesthetics of the 30s and it is not attempting to “predict” what the future may look like from a 30s point of view. Therefore this settles into another sub-genre known as dieselpunk.

Dieselpunk takes over where Steampunk leaves off. These are stories that take over as we usher in the machine-heavy eras of WWI and WWII. The use of diesel-powered machines plays heavily. In this (like its steam counterpart), the focus is on the technology. This somewhat newer offshoot incorporates fantastical elements (sci-fi, supernatural, arcane magic) into what would otherwise be considered historical fiction of a specific period.

In the article Discovering Dieselpunk (2008), authors Ottens and Piecraft seek to put this specific flavor of sci-fi into context. Ostensibly they cite the origins of the concepts but also detail the specifics that separate this sub-genre from its predecessors. They even go so far as to break down various outlooks within the sub-genre itself. While the article provides a fairly comprehensive list of source material that illustrates the various styles of dieselpunk discussed, the film Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) is probably the best textbook example of dieselpunk in recent history. Where it differentiates from retrofuturism is it makes no effort to predict what it thinks things will look like beyond it’s own period setting. Costumes, weapons, and characters are all grounded firmly in the 1940s although many sci-fi elements like the Tesseract and vita-rays are present.

But “pulp sci-fi” is more than these particular sub-genres, too. It envelops a sense of raw, unadulterated, adventure devoid of placing too much emphasis on how things work over telling a fun and thrilling story. Films such as Alien or Prometheus are great examples of pulp sci-fi with a modern veneer. Although Superman as both a character and a story has origins firmly rooted in pulp, the 2013 film Man of Steel takes great pains to ramp up the pulp sci-fi feel. This is also evident in 2011’s Thor where the design and backstory of Asgard is portrayed as an ancient alien culture as opposed to the more traditional religious roots in Scandinavian mythology.

As time has gone on, and I have researched more and more about the origins of my favorite forms of literature, I have developed a taste for specific stories and have wondered what made them stand apart.

I have a much greater appreciation now for films like Raiders of the Lost Ark than I did when I originally saw it on opening day in 1981 when I was only 13. After seeing the influences that inspired this film it is clear that the intentions of the original source material can be expanded and introduced to all new audiences in a slick new package. The same is true for the serials and movies that inspired Star Wars.

Is it really important to delineate these various flavors of sci-fi? Sure. Because I dig chocolate ice cream, but it’s even better with crushed almonds mixed in. I will choose it over vanilla, or the horror of mint chocolate chip any time. It’s always good to know what’s in the carton before checkout.

-- Patrick (The Sculptdude)