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"Future Noir: The Department meets Blade Runner" Topic

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2,594 hits since 24 Sep 2012
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Cherno24 Sep 2012 4:40 a.m. PST

Horse D!ck! You are the Blade… Blade Runner.
- Gaff


Time for another cardboard project.

After quite humble beginnings
I somehow got bit by the Blade Runner bug and decided to combine both projects. This meant completely scrapping the narrow-focused 40s Film Noir-approach with only the most basic scenery and going full-out for a glorious near-future city with buildings, vehicles, pedestrians and whatnot. All in cardboard, of course.

I decided early on that I would keep two things: The Pure black & white look and the Standees I already made. As for rules, I ordered a copy of "The Department"
a game that pretty much is Blade Runner without stepping into intellectual property infringement territory (try saying that three times in a row); Replicants are Fabricants, it's not 2019 but rather the 2070s (I think), and the role of artificial beings is different: While Replicants are designed solely for off-world use in colonies and such, Fabricants are more like humanoid androids that threaten to replace all human workers because of their cheapness and reliability.


What I needed was an urban landscape with lots of buildings and vehicles for cover, as well as lots of Standees for simulating crowds of random people on the streets.

I had to decide between two different ground tile styles: The normal modern look from World Works Games "Streets Of Legend" set
as seen here:


And a more "noisy" look from "Streets Of Titan"
with details like water puddles, parking spaces and weird "NO VTOL ZONE" markings. Because I knew I had to convert every single image manually to black & white, having all that detail meant that it would just show up as random shapes instead of anything recognizeable after desaturation. I ultimatively went for the future look because, you know… It's Blade Runner!

For buildings, I discovered (well, I knew the before, but never considered making them) WWG's excellent line of SwiftScenic structures, boxy buildings that are easy to cut and glue and that fold flat for storage. Never being one that is satisfied with the vanilla options, I heavily modified the files so I wouldn't be restricted to 6x6 inch buildings. Now I'm able to create structures that have walls of 3, 6 or 9 inches length, a big improvement when trying to achieve a non-uniform look.

In the middle of churning out SwiftScenic buildings I thought to myself "Gee, high office blocks sure look nice in a downtown setting, but what about actualy playing the game?!?" The problem with high buildings is that they block player's line of sights, it soon becomes awkward having to stand up and bend over the table to see the action. Moving figures in narrow alleyways also becomes next to impossible without bumping against the scenery. In the end, I limited myself to one-story buildings, just imagining that most of them are actually higher. If you have ever played X-Com, you will probably have "cut off" all uper levels as well when in BattleScape view.

Next stop: Vehicles. there aren't too many choices of slightly futuristic civilian vehicles available in paper, but again, World Works Games got what I need. Paper model designer Mel Ebbles created a nice range of paper vehicles for WWG, and I pretty much used everything that didn't look too militaristic. I also got hold of two cool paper model trucks from other sources. Again, everything had to be converted to black & white, which in the case of the Ebbles / WWG vehicles meant editing every detail like headlights, windshields, bumpers etc. seperately.

On a side note, doing everything in black & white meant I wouldn't have to worry about edging anything because white paper showing through could just be counted as further details or outlines. This fact helped speed up the build process.

The Standees where again made from the vast archive of suitable 28mm miniature photos I have assembled so far, with (among others) miniature images from Arkham Horror and Vampifan's
collection re-purposed for my future noirish needs.

That sums up the basic project overview, In the coming days I will go into further detail concerning the buildings, vehicles and Standees.


P.S.: Things I learned from this project: Future motorists apparently need to be reminded every 10 meters that they are in a NO VTOL ZONE.







A table full of TLX tiles


SwiftScenic Buildings


Standees examples


Joep123 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member24 Sep 2012 6:58 a.m. PST

Wow…that is excellent!
I have The Department rules, but haven't played it yet.
Please post some AARs when you have them.

Cherno24 Sep 2012 7:02 a.m. PST

Thanks :) I hope I can get some games going soon :)

Eclectic Wave24 Sep 2012 9:01 a.m. PST

You need blood markers – but color them RED. The effect should be quite striking on the B & W backgrounds, and give a Sin City look/feel.

Cherno24 Sep 2012 9:46 a.m. PST

Do you mean chalk outlines? I have made one counter but I forgot to add a puddle of red blood :[

Cherno24 Sep 2012 3:28 p.m. PST

Future Noir part II: Vehicles

TMP link

Redroom Inactive Member25 Sep 2012 8:20 a.m. PST

The board and figures look very Frank Miller/Sin City – very nice!

Cherno25 Sep 2012 9:16 a.m. PST

Thanks :) That was what I was trying to achieve, Sin city combined with Blade Runner :)

Cherno25 Sep 2012 12:45 p.m. PST

Future Noir part III: Standees

TMP link

Cherno30 Sep 2012 10:09 a.m. PST

Future Noir part IV: Street Props

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Lesack Inactive Member04 Oct 2012 1:15 p.m. PST

Those are fantastic, and I'm happy to see one of my designs in your pictures!

Cherno04 Oct 2012 2:56 p.m. PST

Thanks, which is your design? :)

Edit: Ah I see, the Mehari. Great model :)

Future Noir part V: Magnets, how do they work?!?

TMP link

Cherno04 Nov 2012 8:46 a.m. PST

Future Noir: Part VI

First game pics & review

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