Thursday, January 24, 2019

Pulp Denizens - 'Val' Sakura, Remi Choppinet and Carson Sinclair

I thought it high time to get a little pulp adventure going, so here are a few figures that I've added to my collection of all things noir, eldritch and slightly odd.

Yoshio 'Val' Sakura - 'The Kamikaze Grifter'

1949 San Francisco. Val is a fixer, private eye and grifter operating out of San Francisco's Chinatown. He 'immigrated' to the United States in 1945 via Kamikaze attack, being a pilot of a Aichi D3A 'Val' dive bomber which was splashed just short of his target off Okinawa. (It was in this crash that he lost his leg.)  Picked up and taken prisoner by a US destroyer, he spent the rest of the war in San Francisco.  Oddly he decided to stay after Japan surrendered, not wanting to face the stigma of being a failed Kamikaze in an all but destroyed country.  Haunted, hard-bitten, but also fair, Val has inadvertently made connections to the local Japanese Yakuza, Chinese Triads and other even more nefarious organisations along the US Pacific seaboard.

The figure is from Eureka's very characterful 'A Right Bloody Mess' range. As soon as I started working on his face I went, 'Hey, this guy's definitely Japanese', and the imagination went from there. His tough-guy pose just cried out for a cigarette so got out some micro-thin plastic rod and happily obliged.

Remi Choppinet - 'The Bistro Keeper'

1942 France. Remi runs a popular harbour bistro in Biarritz, but he is also head of the local Maquis (and runs a profitable contraband operation across the Pyrenees between France and Spain). Many of Remi's closest friends and confidants are the outlaws and outcasts of occupied France: downed Allied pilots, Jews, gipsies and Spanish Republicans. He likes his food, wine and other comforts, but under this soft exterior is a hard-nosed businessman with the heart of a patriot.

This figure is from the well-loved Artizan Designs 'Thrilling Tales' range. He has such a great, ''Allo 'Allo!' look about him.

Carson Sinclair - 'The Butler'

1928 Arkham. Carson Sinclair is a character from the 'Mansions of Madness' boardgame from Fantasy Flight Games.  

Carson still often thinks back to that fateful night when his friend and employer, one Mr. Hercule Webb, was swallowed up by a dimensional tear, never to be seen again. With Mr. Webb's disappearance, the Webb estate fell into the hands of the Webb's duplicitous business manager, a man by the name of Dupuis. As the sole provider for the Webb children, Carson has devoted himself to proving Dupuis's involvement in the events of Hercule's disappearance and to restoring the children as the rightful heirs to the Webb fortune.

The figure that came with the game was a little uninspiring, so I picked up this fella from Bob Murch's 'Pulp Adventure' figures. Bob's sculpts are so amazingly evocative that you just want to book a flight to Bombay on a Catalina seaplane, pillage forgotten temples in dark jungles and match wits with arch villians with whacky names. That, or pour a finely mixed drink while fighting off eldritch terrors from another time and space. No matter, it's all good fun.