Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pulp Alley Terrain - Building a Mayan Pyramid

Pulp Alley has become a popular game at our club. It's game based on the stories found in the pulp stories of the 1930's. The stories are often outragous and filled with action, adventure, wierd artefacts, glorified colonialism and hostile locals. What not to like? Think Indiana Jones and you get the picture!

We plan to run the Perilious Island campaign. This campaign starts at an archeological dig somewhere in Mexico. This led us to the conclution that we needed a Mayan pyramid. There was was one at the local game shop( a piece do terrain from the manufacturer Ziterdes). Unfortunatly I failed to buy it in time and someone bought the one before I finally got to the shop. What to do in this situation? Well I decided to build one.....

So how to do this?

You need a piece insulation polystyrene foam.(Also known as pink foam). You also need some foam core as a base. 

Tools needed are

A) a foam cutter
B) a scapel
C) a bread knife or a model saw
D) a pen

Stage One

Cut the shapes out of the pink foam using the foam cutter. The breadknife is used to cut out smaller pieces or pieces that needs sharp angles. The structure consist of three pieces/levels. Each level a bit smaller the higher you go in order to create a pyramid. The top level is hollow, since this level will hold the ceremonial chamber. Finally a roof piece is created. This is a fairly large slab. The roof will not be glued to the top level since I wish it to be detachable.

The cut out pieces 

Stage Two

The pen is used to etch a stone structure to the exterior of the pyramid. Press fairly hard. You need deep groves. Otherwise the paint will cover stone structure.

I used the pen to outline the stone structure

Stage three

Each piece is glued together. I used pvc glue.

Stage  Four

Once the pyramid is glued together I will will create ground structure and and add some irregularities to the pyramid by adding some model gravel or aquarium sand.

Stage Five

Once the glue is dry it is time to apply a base coat. I use black acryllic paint. 

Stage Six

The base coat is now dry. I will dry brush green paint on the entire model in order to give a Moss effect to it all.

Stage Seven 

Time to give to do the main painting. The pyramid is painted with dry acryllic paint. I use three 
shades of grey with a bit of brown and green added to each shade.  The groundstructure is painted 
with burned umber, raw sienna and ivory white.

Stage Eight

Time to paint some details. I added some fake Mayan script to the stairs and some panels.
I googled Mayan script on the net in order to get a feel for it.

A close up of the stairs with the scripts

Stage Nine

I added some static grass on the ground as well as on the pyramid. This is after all supposed to be a long forgotten structure.  I added some model plastic fibers in order to create some vines. Finally added some plastic bushes. These plastic aquarium vegetation.

The finished pyramid....

Now it's finally matter of putting in on the game board and set the campaign in motion.
If you wish to know about our club's previously exploits in the world of pulp I suggest you check out the follow blog by our fellow club member Joakim Ström. He has been recording our latest game sessions in a number of AARs.  My legue is usually refered to as"The Belgians".  I have not been that succesfull, but I have had good time thus far.


  1. That thing looks amazing, great work on highlighting and texture - now all we need is a woman in a cocktail dress chained while waiting to be sacrificed and the obligatory giant monster Gorilla!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I would prefer Cthulhu doing the monster part. Otherwise a great idea!

  2. Looking great and will be so fun to see in the flesh (in the foam...?) on Wednesday.
    Correction: your league is usually referred to as "the evil Belgians" :-)

    1. Correction
      On Tuesday I mean...
      but they are still Evil.

    2. They are the good guys! They are fighting of the one true cause. Enlightment of mankind and the expansion of the Belgian empire.

    3. hmmm
      do we have any even remotely classical Good leagues in our game...?
      I start to wonder about the sanity of this gaming group... :-)

    4. Sanity? Nope never heard of it. Good and evil is a matter of perspective.

  3. Great tutorial Jesper! The pyramid looks great.

  4. Well Thanks Jonas, now it's time for you to build your own pyramid ;)

  5. Brilliant model - thanks for sharing the process :)