Firefly "TallCard" cards

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Kaylee, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. Kaylee

    Kaylee Well-Known Member

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    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 --

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    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?
     
  2. JediLip

    JediLip Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  3. Darth Brass

    Darth Brass Sr Member

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  4. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    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
     
  5. Darth Brass

    Darth Brass Sr Member

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    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?
     
  6. jedilos

    jedilos Well-Known Member

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    this would be cool to add to the 'verse stash
     
  7. Darth Brass

    Darth Brass Sr Member

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    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...
     
  8. Darth Brass

    Darth Brass Sr Member

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    Anyone think they have the skill/time/desire to do a high-res b/w lineart of the card?
     
  9. RedTwoX

    RedTwoX Sr Member

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    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
     
  10. Darth Brass

    Darth Brass Sr Member

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    Eh? Pretty darn close.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    FB
     
  12. Darth Brass

    Darth Brass Sr Member

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    EDIT: Curse you franz bolo and your ninja edits.
     
  13. gnrlotto

    gnrlotto Sr Member

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    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.
     
  14. dropshipbob

    dropshipbob Sr Member

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    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).
     
  15. Kaylee

    Kaylee Well-Known Member

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    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. :) )
     
  16. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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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
     
  17. gnrlotto

    gnrlotto Sr Member

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    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.
     
  18. Kaylee

    Kaylee Well-Known Member

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    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


     
  19. Kaylee

    Kaylee Well-Known Member

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    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 -
    [​IMG]
    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)
     
  20. dr_slurpee

    dr_slurpee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
     
  21. dr_slurpee

    dr_slurpee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think the "coasters" are not actually the "tall cards" I think they are used to determine which suit is "tall", kinda like trump suit in euker.
     
  22. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I assumed that the Buddhist image we see was the back of the cards — wouldn't do much good to show everyone your hand, would it?

    As far as Mah Jong similarities go, there are MJ 'cards'; instead of the tiles...

    http://www.mahjongmuseum.com/cardsets.htm


    -Mike
     
  23. gnrlotto

    gnrlotto Sr Member

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    Is it just me, or do these cards seem to have nothing on the back? No Buddha, nothing.
     
  24. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great find :thumbsup

    It looks like there were several variations used--note the definite squareish area on a couple of the cards compared to the circular spot on the far left one.

    I'm guessing that in "real life", the cards are all supposed to have the same backs, maybe that's part of why they're so heavily weathered (to hide the details?).

    From what I can tell of the cap showing the reverse side, it doesn't look like the prop dept did anything to it. The "flashes" of light could be the lines of text seen on the backside of the amulet cards....if I squint real hard :lol
     
  25. gnrlotto

    gnrlotto Sr Member

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    Also, for the "Plum" cards, I'm thinking circles of black craft foam with stickers on one side. Anyone else? At least for a replica?
     
  26. fried mon calamari

    fried mon calamari Well-Known Member

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    I found this version...

    [​IMG]

    Same text, pose, etc, but not exactly the same.

    Gotta find this baby. Its the only piece I'm missing from the "beauty" shot.
     
  27. dr_slurpee

    dr_slurpee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So, any updates on this?
     
  28. Kaylee

    Kaylee Well-Known Member

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    mine are on the way.. pics "pre-butchered" and sanded by midweek mostlike. :)
    I didn't order the Quan Yin one yet (haven't found that exact one at a price I want to pay) but a couple other "face card" looking ones.

    Say.. were I to use these as a base to make up the graphics for a full idealized deck, would anyone be interested in a metal etched run like Darth Brass was talking about?




     
  29. Darth Brass

    Darth Brass Sr Member

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    Still haven't heard back from them yet - will keep everyone posted.
     
  30. Miniaturizer Ray

    Miniaturizer Ray Well-Known Member

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    This one (fourth down on the left) looks like it has the right artwork, but the border's different and the writing at the top's missing.
     
  31. F-N-S

    F-N-S Well-Known Member

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    I found this card. The writing one the bottom is wrong, but other than that it looks pretty close

    [​IMG]
     
  32. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Finally got the last of mine in today. None of them are 100% accurate, and neither seller would give me any info on the correct ones :rolleyes (I even asked nice and said "please")

    These are very shiny (literally :D ) and difficult to photograph/scan--this was the best I could get :unsure

    On a side note, the border around the bottom 3 is made up of swastikas, and several of the ones I looked at had it prominently placed on the card. Yeah, it's an ancient symbol of luck before the Nazis adopted it, etc, etc, but some people have real issues about it, so it's just something to note when buying ;)

    [​IMG]
    Thanks to Fried Mon Calamari for pic hosting. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  33. Kaylee

    Kaylee Well-Known Member

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    I got mine the other day as well.. they are copper or something similar underneath, and sand down to look very much like the mutant enemy pic, so I'm pretty sure these are them (pictures soon).

    They are thinner than I thought, about the thickness (and pliability) of a credit card.


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  34. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sounds about right--I knew they were "gold" plated, so I'm not surprised they're copper underneath. Is there a way to remove plating that might leave the metal looking "smoked" & dirty?
     
  35. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Copper will tarnish with handling over time.

    You could reverse-electroplate the cards, stripping the gold finish; then try just handling them. Or give them a black oil wash & then rub them on your jeans to add the highlights.


    -Mike
     
  36. fried mon calamari

    fried mon calamari Well-Known Member

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    I think I probably got the same ones as Kaylee, but here's the closest I've found so far.

    They look spot on except for the characters at the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    Still working on the "rubbing" down of the black. :unsure
     
  37. Darth Brass

    Darth Brass Sr Member

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    Oooooooooooh, cool. I can't wait until I pick a few up.
     
  38. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great find Chris--they look fantastic. :thumbsup
     
  39. jedilos

    jedilos Well-Known Member

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    does anyone know what the 3 symbolsmean, maybe they where re done in photoshop because of the meaning?
     
  40. kapow

    kapow Well-Known Member

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    They could probably be done through a printer relatively cheap. I know of a few print houses that do up coasters for businesses.
     
  41. clanger68

    clanger68 Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I was very lucky recently and obtained a screen used tall card from Firefly.

    Does this view of what's on the back help?

    If you want scan of the front let me know.

    [​IMG]

    Thank you to wackychimp.

    Hopefully many more interesting Firefly revelations will come to light at our upcoming event in March. :)

    EXEWING STAR WARS DAY

    Cheers,

    Andy.
     
  42. dr_slurpee

    dr_slurpee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hmm, that is screen used? Looks like they didn't use all the same ones. Very interesting. Higher res scans would be awesome. :)
     
  43. Osmotic

    Osmotic Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey nice acquisition. :D
     
  44. clanger68

    clanger68 Well-Known Member

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    [/QUOTE]Hey nice acquisition.
     
  45. clanger68

    clanger68 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    The image I posted first is from the back of the card, the front, as you can see, is the same as those shown previously.

    I've lightened it quite a bit in photoshop.
     
  46. jedilos

    jedilos Well-Known Member

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    wow thats great, so are they also metal or card board? a high res scan will be awesome.
     
  47. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That must be one of the ones with a 'square' area on the back visible in the caps.

    Nice score :)


    -Mike
     
  48. dr_slurpee

    dr_slurpee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    bumpity bump...anyone get further on finding some more accurate cards?
     
  49. FETTCLONE

    FETTCLONE Well-Known Member

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    Not really further with more accurate, but I did pick up these today. I haven't seen one with a goat on the back yet, but these six have a tiger, rat, horse, dragon, and rabbit. This leads me to believe that the backs have the chinese zodiac on them. There were a few other "face" images (buddha, etc.?), but I thought I'd start with these. Sorry about size and flash in the pics, but they're so shiny it was difficult to get a good pic. Inverted for clarity.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The cards are a heavy metal about the thickness of a credit card, and plated. Pretty accurate except the letters on the bottom are the same as Fried Mon Cal's. The last three letters match, but another 2 are jammed in front. Also scored 9 accurate coins today in the first spot I looked. :D More searching next weekend.
     
  50. Hellclaw 01

    Hellclaw 01 Well-Known Member

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    Fettclone, I sent you a PM :)
     

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