Firefly "TallCard" cards

Kaylee

Well-Known Member
Inspired perhaps by the "Coins of the 'verse" thread, I got to wondering about the playing cards that were also pictured in the "Envy" picture, here:



Looking at Mutant Enemy's photobucket acct (posted on another of these threads, not sure where) I found what looks like another from the same set --



Which bears a suspicious similarity to these and other cards on eBay (search for "amulet card")



The "amulet cards" all have various Chinese figures on them, usually with plenty of kanji, and all seem to be gold plated. (And relatively cheap.).. I'm wondering though -- what might the history of these things be? I'm betting the Firefly folks found some older versions of these things or (less likely) weathered some of these modern plated ones.

Anyone got any ideas?
 

JediLip

Well-Known Member
Very interesting find. I saw these on ebay with a size of 3.25" X 2" which would seem just right when you scale it to the 1.5" coins pictured in the "Envy thread".

Do you think the screen-used cards were made of metal? I was hoping they were paper and I could just print them out on heavy card stock.

Still, I'd love to pick up some metal ones and weather them up nicely. :D
 

franz bolo

Sr Member
Close but no cigar.

The writing is the same but the pose is different. It's the Goddess Quan Yin.

The above card looks like a negative version of an original. I doubt you would find one like that.

FB
 

Darth Brass

Sr Member
Aren't the backsides of the Firefly props a printed design? I wonder what it would cost to do a run of one sided metal cards with that design (cleaned up, of course) and then do printed graphics for the back?
 

Darth Brass

Sr Member
I found a place that does photoetched business cards in various metals. For aluminum, it's $100 setup, then $1.80 a piece with a minimum of 100.

They do copper and brass also - I'm going to send a quote and ask how much it would be for 100 in each metal at the appropriate size, which I've figured to be 5cm by 8cm. They also have a patina process - I'll see how much that is.

More when I have more info...
 

RedTwoX

Sr Member
Nice catch Kaylee. From the pics and links provided, it's definitly a Buddist Amulet Card. Given the uniformity of the weathering on that stack of cards from the "Envy" pic, I'm guessing that the prop department just bought a stack of these things and dirtied them up. That is, of course, only a guess.

Finding the same one (or ones, I can only make out the image on the top card... no telling if the rest are the same or different) as the pic displays might be a "needle in a hay stack" situation. At least we now what type of needle we are looking for :p
 

franz bolo

Sr Member
The text at the bottom is wrong.

The drawing style is off and the lotus is really different.

It's not really that close. Same goddess wrong card.

Like I mentioned earlier, I think the original might have been scanned and the image was inverted.



FB
 

gnrlotto

Sr Member
Could be a weathered card, though. Just not one of these.

The reason I say so, is because it would be easy to find a five-charactered card, and get rid of the fore and aft characters in the row. Look at the bottom corner weathering on the show cards. I bet theirs originally had five characters too.
 

dropshipbob

Sr Member
Originally posted by Darth Brass@Jan 23 2006, 05:49 AM
Anyone think they have the skill/time/desire to do a high-res b/w lineart of the card?
[snapback]1165724[/snapback]​
I could if I were supplied with a good enough image to work from. But then there's the question about my art rates (I'm a graphic designer).
 

Kaylee

Well-Known Member
I'm thinking that given the production budget and schedule, they wouldn't have had anything made.. most likely seems to me they took something readily available and roughed it up a bit -- good catch on the sanded spots.

Tell y'all what, next payday I'll order one of these things and take a sander to it. If it comes out looking right, I'll post a scan and a "how it works out" post. If not, I'll do an EPS trace of it and post that.

Kewl?

-K

(though if anyone wants to PM me a link to what they think is the "best guess" I'd be appreciative. :) )
 

franz bolo

Sr Member
Originally posted by gnrlotto@Jan 23 2006, 04:48 AM
it would be easy to find a five-charactered card, and get rid of the fore and aft characters in the row.  Look at the bottom corner weathering on the show cards.  I bet theirs originally had five characters too.
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No, I didn't think it did have 5 characters. The 5 character cards have the same 3 characters as the 3 character card, but they are at the end. If the outer characters were weathered off or edited out, you would have a different set of 3 characters.

Look at the link in the post I made #4, and the top photo.

Those 3 characters are used by themselves on other cards, so It's unlikely that they edited the characters.

FB
 

gnrlotto

Sr Member
Originally posted by Kaylee@Jan 23 2006, 08:57 AM
I'm thinking that given the production budget and schedule, they wouldn't have had anything made.. most likely seems to me they took something readily available and roughed it up a bit -- good catch on the sanded spots.

Tell y'all what, next payday I'll order one of these things and take a sander to it. If it comes out looking right, I'll post a scan and a "how it works out" post. If not, I'll do an EPS trace of it and post that.

Kewl?

-K

(though if anyone wants to PM me a link to what they think is the "best guess" I'd be appreciative. :) )
[snapback]1165916[/snapback]​
I'm thinking try lightly sanding one corner, see how it works, and maybe try some sort of scraping (with a coin, let's say) and maybe some kind of painting technique (be it using spray paint, shoe black, etc.), heck, maybe even do a light controlled burn to blacken a corner, and then try the scraping again and see. There will be eight corners after all, quite a lot to play with.

But, being as it's your purchase, you should do what you think is best.
 

Kaylee

Well-Known Member
Good idea, I'll try that. I'll order it in a day or so, so look for pictures within the week.

If anyone is thinking of having some made, it seems it would make sense to make "idealized" versions. Pretend the Goddess here is a face card, add say 1-10 (in Chinese characters and pips, mayhaps??) and ... jeez, suits.

I don't suppose there's any "canon" so far as the suits go, other than "plums?" I know benderbot on ebay did a set, but used "blades" and.. some other weapon I can't recall -- doesn't seem quite right. I'm thinking perhaps -- borrow from MahJong or the like?

I'd be happy to make up some .eps files for a tile/card set.

-K


Originally posted by gnrlotto+Jan 23 2006, 06:20 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(gnrlotto @ Jan 23 2006, 06:20 PM)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Kaylee
@Jan 23 2006, 08:57 AM
I'm thinking that given the production budget and schedule, they wouldn't have had anything made.. most likely seems to me they took something readily available and roughed it up a bit -- good catch on the sanded spots.

Tell y'all what, next payday I'll order one of these things and take a sander to it. If it comes out looking right, I'll post a scan and a "how it works out" post. If not, I'll do an EPS trace of it and post that.

Kewl?

-K

(though if anyone wants to PM me a link to what they think is the "best guess" I'd be appreciative. :) )
[snapback]1165916[/snapback]​
I'm thinking try lightly sanding one corner, see how it works, and maybe try some sort of scraping (with a coin, let's say) and maybe some kind of painting technique (be it using spray paint, shoe black, etc.), heck, maybe even do a light controlled burn to blacken a corner, and then try the scraping again and see. There will be eight corners after all, quite a lot to play with.

But, being as it's your purchase, you should do what you think is best.
[snapback]1166194[/snapback]​
[/b]
 

Kaylee

Well-Known Member
Oh yes, as to suits.. a little web research says mahjong has the following for the "flower" suits in mahjong:

1. Plum ( méi) -- East
2. Orchid ( lán) -- South
3. Chrysanthemum ( jü') -- West
4. Bamboo ( zhú) -- North

Seems just sticking with those four counterposed with western spades/hearts/diamonds/clubs might be the most straightforward solution.. certainly easier than adding seasons, dragons, winds, numbers, sticks, and wheels... eesh.

Also, it seems there's only a few "tall cards" in the set, from this shot -

http://still-flying.net/images/shindig/ind...=shindig165.jpg
(Am I the only one who thinks the tallcards were coasters? :p )
But anyhow, you can see the "amulet" cards there as well.. metal indeed, safe to say I think.

(And as bonus -- here's that peaches can we saw on propstore of london a couple weeks back -- http://still-flying.net/images/shindig/ind...shindig170.jpg)
 

dr_slurpee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There was someone that actually either made up rules for tall card or found rules. I will try and find my links. They had also made a downloadable tall card deck I think, but it wasn't exactly great.
 
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