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Mean Sets


"Dice, Figures... ACTION!"

“Mean Sets” provide inexpensive but highly practical interiors in which fans of role-playing games of the first half of the 20th Century may place and move their 25/28mm scale alter egos. These Sets complement TVAG's line of 25/28mm scale City Blocks, "Mean Streets," but not designed to fit inside the buildings themselves.

Though very expensive resin models of entire buildings and even some interiors are available, the plain fact is that they do not lend themselves to the filmic nature of "Pulp Fiction" games. Even if there is room to physically reach down into the model to move figures, no one can see the action except from above: Fine miniatures, beautifully painted, but only whose heads/hats/shoulders are visible to players who can only look directly down on them!

The obvious solution was to draw a lesson from the Hollywood that inspires so much of the hobby’s imagery. That is, place the action on classic movie “Sets”: Rooms without ceilings and only two or three walls so that the characters can be seen as they move and interact. During games, it now is possible not only to do this, but players can have the fun of actually seeing the action at eye-level!

Each Set comes with decorations, furniture and/or other accessories including rugs, period art, posters, advertising, etc, that complement its purpose.

Some "props" are not practical in paper, so links are provided to other vendors of everything else you might need to dress your Sets, establishing the mood and period of your games. Candlestick telephones, cash registers, desks, chairs, beds, lamps, and even pull chain toilets (like the one that proved very useful in a certain classic Gangster film of some fame) are available.

More "Mean Sets" are in the works—and, "Yes!," your suggestions are welcome!

Each "Mean Set" is available as a PDF for $10.00 .

The "Special Deal": Buy 5 or more Sets and receive #6 ("Miscellaneous Furniture & Accessories"), for FREE!

Buy 5 or more Sets at once, and take a 6th one of your choice for FREE . Buy 10 and take 2 more free, by all 22 currently offered and pay only for 16. Please remember to ask for your free Sets by E-mail so this Old Fossil will remember!


Mean Sets

The P.I.'s Office

Mean Set #1

The P.I.'s Office

Special Bonus Offer! Send me the name of your own Private Investigator Character, and it will appear in his Office window! Both "Sam Spade" and "Phillip Marlowe" are already provided.

PDF $10.00


The Cheap Hotel

Mean Set #2

The Cheap Hotel

Three sleazy rooms, and an even sleazier bathroom at the end of the hall. A great place to lay low when the heat's on, or to heal up without benefit of hospital!

Don't let the bedbugs bite!

PDF Edition: $10.00


The Italian Restaurant

Mean Set #3

The Italian Restaurant

Decorated with images of Sunny Italy, this is the perfect place for that meeting with The Turk, or just that "last good meal" before getting/giving the bacci de morto. (The tables, chairs, and other items come from another vendor.)

PDF Edition: $10.00


The Garage

Mean Set #4

The Garage

A great place to store your bootleg inventory, but even better for making a little noise for Valentine's Day.

PDF Edition: $10.00


From Al's Heart To Yours. Model assembled with some details added, props, figures, and photography by Mr. Nick Buxey of the UK. You're alright, Kid!


The Speakeasy/Bar

Mean Set #5

The Speakeasy/Bar

Just give the password through the door, and come on in for some alky and polite conversation with folks from all strata of society. Rich or poor, everyone get's thirsty!

PDF Edition: $10.00


Furniture & Accessories

Mean Set #6

Miscellaneous Furniture & Accessories

Now expanded to a 5 sheet collection of self assembly furniture and accessories (desks, chairs, filing cabinets, safes, radios, wall clocks, book cases, etc). One sheet is specifically for The P.I.'s Office, and another for The Cheap Hotel, though all will work at least in part with the other Sets.

PDF Edition: $10.00


The P.I.'s Apartment

Mean Set #7

The P.I.'s Apartment

Closely modeled on Sam Spade's flat in The Maltese Falcon, it's a place for your P.I. to hang his hat--but keep his Roscoe in the Ice Box. Comes with a complete Art Deco kitchen.

PDF Edition: $10.00


The Illegal Brewery

Mean Set #8

The Illegal Brewery

One of the two largest Sets in area currently available, measuring some 23" in length and 8" in depth and height.

PDF Edition: $10.00


The Small Town Bank

Mean Set #9

The Small Town Bank

Not to be confused with the "First National Bank" in a Big City, this more modest enterprise is less likely to have a Rockefeller coming through its front doors than Bonnie and Clyde! This updated model now has an exterior front wall and sidewalk.

PDF Edition: $10.00


Model & Photo courtesy of Mr. Brian Foust

Mean Set #10

The Night Club

Recently redesigned, the "new" Night Club has put on the Art Deco "Ritz," with an extended floor plan for more backstage action. The stage has been enlarged to accommodate the newly released "Dream Jazz Band" from Eureka Miniatures, and the dance floor is ready for the Charleston Dancers and "Flappers!" The most ornate "Mean Sets" interior to date!

PDF Edition: $10.00


The Casino

Mean Set #11

The Casino

Also completely redecorated in Art Deco, this Set still fits right alongside the Night Club, with adjoining doors. Just flash the high sign--or maybe a Jackson--and "members" may discretely enter and play games of chance (that actually are probably not). There's even an office for the Owner/ Manager, with a convenient side door to the Night Club's back stage--and the Star's Dressing Room.

PDF Edition: $10.00


The Big Shot's Drawing Room

Mean Set #12

The Big Shot's Drawing Room

Sooner or later, your P.I. will find himself paying a visit on the top floor of society, be they retired politicians, industrialists, or just old time Big Shots who've made it. But since the shamus will never actually be a guest in this mansion, he doesn't need anything more than the front door, entry hall, and a  room for him to wait in where he can cool his heels, surrounded by (ill gotten?) opulence while waiting to ask some dangerous questions....

PDF Edition: $10.00


"Big Jim" Is No Longer The Boss. Model of the Drawing Room, props, figures, and photography by Mr. Nick Buxey of the UK.

Mille grazzie, Paisan!


The Old Farm House

Mean Set #13

The Old Farm House

The Old Farm House is the first Set to provide all Exterior Walls and a Roof so that the entire building can be besieged by Lawmen on all four sides, but still have a fully detailed interior. When assembling this model, use all four exterior walls, or leave one out, as you prefer--it's your call!

PDF Edition: $10.00


The Warehouse

Mean Set #14

The Warehouse

The other largest Set currently available, also measuring 23" in length and 8" in depth and height.

PDF Edition: $10.00


The Drug Store & Barbershop

Mean Set #15

The Barbershop & Drug Store

The first dual "Mean Set": Nitti's Pharmacy and the Garibaldi Brother's Barbershop. Occupying two parallel spaces in the same block, both come not only with their counters, shelves, a Public Phone Booth, shaving mug racks, signage and products, but they have an exterior front wall with sidewalk. Both also have back doors--which can lead to the alley, but also The Secret Room (below) or the Speakeasy/Bar.

PDF Edition: $10.00


The Secret Room Holding the Mastermind's 
Evil Machine

Mean Set #16

The Secret Room

What Evil Mastermind doesn't have at least one hidden room where the BIG SECRET is kept? This comparatively small Set is just over 6" by 4", but comes with three different types of entry door (Vault type shown), with props and furniture to allow it to serve as The Mad Scientist Operating Room, or the site of his Electron-Dissing- Explodateriating-Krebulator, or perhaps the Cult Leader's Secret Library of arcane volumes, or even just a place to lie low. And in the best Saturday Serials tradition, 10 framed portraits of "Fearless Leaders" and Evil Masterminds are included to hang on the wall, from Hitler to Tojo to Lenin--and one last too horrific even to whisper!

PDF Edition: $10.00


The Opium Den

Mean Set #17

The Opium Den

In Chinatown--or just where you least expect it!--there is bound to be one of these, if you know where to look! With authentic Mandarin signage and other "decorations" to contemplate while inhaling the narcotic fumes, this will be one scary place to wake up in!

PDF Edition: $10.00


<i> El Barraka </i>, the Middle Eastern 
Cafe/Bar

Mean Set #18

The Middle Eastern Cafe/Bar

For the first time (but not the last!) a "Mean Set" positively takes you to Cairo/Port Said/Damascus/Casablanca or other seat of adventure and intrigue. This Set also has an exterior front and street section. El Barraka, is the place to go for strong coffee, discreet alcohol, or to dally with Jasmine, the dancing girl. But it's also where you can hire a guide before setting off into the desert, bribe officials to look the other way, or just to avoid the odd flying dagger, swinging garrote, or muffled gunshot! Comes with tables as shown, authentic Arabic signage, as well as other decor to inspire your scenes!

PDF Edition: $10.00


Schofield Florist

Deanie's Bad Sale --Model assembled, props, figures, and photography by Mr. Nick Buxey of the UK. Thank you, Sir!)

Mean Set #19

Schofield's Flower Shop

The scene of the Capone Southside Mob's "hit" of Charles Dean "Deanie" O'Banion in 1924 which touched off the full blown "Beer Wars" in Chicago that did not end until the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Recreated in exacting detail from contemporary photos and crime scene photos and drawings, this model provides a variety of uses for your Gangster/P.I. and other Role Playing Games. Another easily assembled "Mean Set," the Flower Shop requires only a short time to cut out and assemble, and if using the recommended standard foam board or 5mm MDF, it will be permanent for years of play.

PDF Edition: $10.00


33rd Precinct Police Station Tell it to the Desk Sergeant

Mean Set #20

The 33rd Precinct Police Station

Well, at last Law & Order come to "Mean Sets!"

The latest addition to the ever growing collection of Role Playing Game building interiors is the 33rd Precinct Police Station. Now it is possible for Games Masters and Players actually to "run in" their characters when it takes the Cops to sort out the mess they've gotten themselves into. With a waiting area in front of the Desk Sergeant, characters can now attempt to explain why it should be no concern to him why they were picked up just before Midnight climbing to the top of the Chrysler Building with an ancient book, 1000 feet of copper wire, a can of luminous paint, and an organ grinder's monkey.

After that's out of the way, Characters can be released, but somehow seem more likely to be sent into the Detectives' Office to speak with one of them. Or perhaps they'll be escorted into the Watch Commander's Office, from which they can be taken into the "Interrogation" room for some physical culture--if they won't come up with a better story PDQ! And, just to cap off a fabulous evening, the whole party can be moved into quieter quarters back in the direction of the Cell Block. And, not to worry, but your female members of the party will be given over to the kind attentions of "Miss Manners," the Matron for the Ladies' Cells.

The Precinct Station comes with card models of the visible desks, file cabinets, all items shown on the walls, and even the Cathedral Radio. (All other chairs, telephones, radiators, typewriters, and the row of seats, with "guest" are from various vendors, all of whom are listed below. The Police Flivver out front, with driver, is from Lledo's 1:64 range of "Days Gone By" die cast models. The Desk Sergeant, Police Matron, Beat Cop with Drunk and Hooker are all courtesy of Mr. Bob Murch's "Pulp Fiction, Gangland Justice" range of figures. Don't be confused when you find this set named "The 16th Precinct!"

Bob has his Precinct, and I have mine.

PDF Edition: $10.00


The Pulp Submarine

Mean Set #21

The Pulp Submarine

What villainous Pulp Mastermind doesn't have his own Submarine Boat on which to plot his latest plot to conquer the world--or at least a very effective means of escape after The Heroes dash his plans? And what better way to discover that Lost World of the Antarctic, or visit Skull Island without concern for Indian Ocean storms--though battling the odd sea monster on the surface might still be an issue!

Though not meant to be any particular actual Submarine design, this waterline model is perfectly representative of those of the Pulp era. However, there is no reason this model couldn't be used in more nearly historical war games, particularly with similarly scaled Tramp Steamers and other likely vessels.

This unique addition to "Mean Sets" is no more difficult to assemble than any, and easier than some. When finished, this model is fully 20" long, 4" wide, and 3.25" to the top of the Conning Tower gunwales. Like all other Sets, this one requires no painting, and only the usual range of recommended materials.

(Please note that the weapons and crews shown are for illustration only. Credit to Mr. Glen Allison for the display model, all photos, painted Brigade Miniatures U-Boat Crew figures and weapons from Houston's Naval Guns and Ship Fittings .

PDF Edition: $10.00


The Pulp Submarine Interior

Mean Set #22

The Pulp Submarine Interior

So, you have your waterline Submarine model for surface actions and encounters of all Pulp varieties, but... what if the Heroes are taken prisoner by the Evil Mastermind? He could leave them on deck, but wouldn't it be better to bring then below, to wonder at the power of his invention, and to share a fine meal while he gives them every detail of his Master Plan? Well, you don't need to wish for it any longer now that the central interior of most of the Submarine provides spaces where the action can continue.

Ten inches wide, providing cut-away access to the Conning Tower, 1st and 2nd Decks, the fully assembled model, with all levels stacked upon each other, stands 6.75" high. However, all three levels are stand alone sets, accessible from top and sides for maximum enjoyment of the action.

The Conning Tower has the obligatory periscope, instrument panel, and the Weapons Control station, operating whatever terror weapon the Evil Mastermind is using today.

The 1st Deck includes the Mastermind's private cabin, with plush appointments, a comfortable bed, private book shelf, and plank deck with Oriental carpet. The central control room has more instrument panels and the navigation station with maps, books, and charts on the desk top. The third compartment can serve any purpose, or carry any cargo the scenario may call for.

The 2nd Deck has a similar compartment forward--which would do nicely for the boat's brig and a place for the Heroes to plot their brilliant scheme to escape and take over. The central compartment has a "moon pool" allowing easy egress for the Mastermind's divers to perform their part in his plans. The aft compartment houses the boat's engines for surface running, and batteries for when submerged.

Open hatches on the Decks' front edges indicate passage from one to the other.

(Please note that the figures shown are for illustration only. Credit to Mr. Glen Allison for the display model, all photos, painted miniatures, bulkhead hatches and other fittings from Houston's Naval Guns and Ship Fittings .

PDF Edition: $10.00


Click here to find the "Mean Sets" Assembly Instructions


Sources for Miniature Accessories To Complete Your "Mean Sets"

All the items available from these vendors are nominally 1/48 scale (1" = 48"), but are in fact perfectly scaled for 25/28mm figures. All are remarkably inexpensive (some items less than a dollar) and many of these items appear in the photos of finished Sets on the Photos Page. The only things in "O Gauge/1;48" that will not be of use are human figures. Far too large, and generally much cruder than what war gamers are accustomed to!

TVAG has no affiliation with any of these companies, but has happily done business with all.

Microform Models, Inc.
I have only recently bought from this source, but have extremely pleased with their business and products. This link leads to their 1:48 Scale Catalog, but the company produces a plethora of architectural and other models in more scales than might be imagined. The "Theater Seats" in the Police Station are perfectly compatible with "28mm figures" and available here. Items for city streets and other uses may also be found here. And while their products may at first appear to be plastic, everything I have received so far are sharply cast in white metal. Go and enjoy!

Miniatures.Com
At this page you can get very reasonably priced plastic furniture set (Eastlake Victorian), including that pull-chain toilet! Look at the rest of their 1:48 scale items for a 16 piece collection of musical instruments (Violins, Bases, and a Grand Piano).

Oakridge Hobbies & Toys
The largest list of all types of accessories, from park benches and grand pianos, to candlestick phones and typewriters.  Go to the "O Gauge" (1:48 scale) listings.

Berkshire Valley, Inc.
Complete ranges of 1:48 Detail pieces, especially shop counters, shelving, pop machines, bottles, tools, etc. They even have a Soda Fountain set, complete with stools, counter, cash register, plates, and more, for just $12.00! VERY fast Service!

Bowser
Extensive list of 1:48 (and other scale) Detail pieces, particularly safes, office desks and chairs, traffic lights, street signs, "modern" sinks, toilets, etc.

Valley Model Trains
O Grandt 1:48 Scale architectural, railroad, and industrial pieces, but also the only Barber Chairs I've ever found! (Use their Search Engine for instant gratification on these!)

Scenic Express
Excellent source for trees, shrubberies, potted plants, and more for exterior and interior decoration. This link is to their 1:48 Topiaries, just the thing for filling out The Flower Shop, the Big Shot's Drawing Room, and other Sets.


FAVORITE LINKS
to war game and history sites on the web

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