Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Shotgun House Take 2

   Front and side (obviously )
So this is the second of my two shotgun houses from 4Ground, bought earlier this year.
In preparation for this build and building on my experiences with the first kit, I files all the tabs, slots and fitting a small amount so that the fitting together was made much easier. In addition, not having slightly warped wall certainly helped the assembly process.
Rear of building
Despite all this I did have a couple of problems, some slight breakages (but nothing too serious) and on the whole it all went together very smoothly. Once more I added some perspex window-glass to the building, inserted between the inner and outer walls and although not completely satisfactory (the window frame is only on one side), I've found that without 'glass' a lot of buildings look ghost-like and it's such a simple fix that it hardly worth NOT doing it.
The 'glass' can just about be made out in the photograph to the left)
Boring other side
As always, the roof looks unfinished and despite my careful assembly doesn't seem to fit as well as I'd want. The photographs of the front porch below show the gap between the roof and the porch lintel.
If I thought it worth the effort I'd have a go at making the roof fit better, but as these are really only for my own use (they won't be at any show), I think it not worth the time fixing it.
After touch up on the left), before on the right.
As per the last build, I also went over the unpainted bits from this 'painted' model, a quick fix but getting a matching colour is a bit of a pain.
The photograph on the left shows the before and after touch 'ups'.
There's really not much difference but it was a quick fix.
View from above with roof removed

The major internal difference with this model and the previous one is that this is more of a 'Shotgun House', with three rooms, rather than a 'Shotgun Shack', but other than the extra room they're both very similar.
Obligatory boring picture of a door

In a fit of short lived enthusiasm, I even touched up the bits of the doors that would be seen when open.

So the verdict on these kits ?
I think the jury is still out, they fitted together well (probably too well); the painted surfaces are adequate (but need touching up); the roofs are awful (those tabs and the roof ridge -aargghh!); they are a good size and well in scale for "28mm" figures and as a basis for modelling a decent house they do the job.
I didn't bother to put any furniture in this one to take advantage of another photo-opportunity  to pad this post out - saving you, the reader from falling asleep from boredom.

From my point of view, the sad thing is that once more, these will be stored away, probably never
to see the light of day on my games table (currently unusable) as my enthusiasm for this hobby is rapidly waining.

As always many thanks for taking the time to visit and your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Shotgun House

The finished model, with Fred for scale, as Sid has gone AWOL!
In the last week my hobby output has once again been zero (if you don't count thinking about the hobby). The previous week however, I managed to drum up enough enthusiasm to have a go at another MDF build, this time, as can seen in the photograph to the right, one of 4-Grounds "Shotgun" Houses - more correctly a "Shotgun Shack", as it has only the two rooms, whereas it was expected that the "Shotgun Houses" were normally bigger.
Once more MDF models have left me on the fence as to whether I like them or not.
The ready painted ones are certainly an up-grade to the more frequently sold unpainted versions for about double the cash!
Redundant paint tray, put to use as my games table undergoes a change.
 Preparations for this build were as normal for  me, large space, plenty of clips and vast quantities of tea on hand.
I use un-watered PVA applied with a cocktail stick. MDF is like a sponge when it comes to applying anything liquid. As the walls and thin fiddly bits are all 2mm MDF the sponge-like qualities of MDF makes them very easy to break - not a good thing if, like me, you have chipolatas for fingers and the joins are as precise as something NASA would build.
You can't have too many clips
 It may come as no surprise that it didn't take me long to realise that following the instructions were a must, but also that dry-fitting can lead to problems due to the tight fit of the components.
The first two walls go up
The front wall and patio caused many, many problems for me
I did add clear plastic to the windows to act as glass, ass all the walls are double thickness - the slight warping did not help in the construction either! These ready painted models, may well be a boon to many , but only on assembly do you realise that they're not really completely painted and they will need a touch up when completed. I personally went off these models when they first came on the scene, seeing the roof tabs blatantly left unpainted/disguised.
The broken front right porch upright, is hardly noticeable
Front door - nearly thrown in the bin!
The front door, front wall and porch gave me no end of problems, breakages were frequent and I had to disguise my errors with scrap.
All of my problems were generally the tight fit of many of the components, so with my next build (another shotgun shack), I'll be filing all the tags down a bit and their location holes a little larger.
Front door, from the front (duh!)
Finished at last, though roof needs work done on it!
Front door, but notice the painted railing tops
Right side and rear porch
The left side and rear
Left side and front(ish)
Internal view from above, showing all the doors open
Obligatory boring picture of rook (needs a lot of work imo)
Front door, looking decidedly dodgy
And the back door/room (not quite so dodgy)
I thought it would be fun to put a bit of furniture in the building to give it a little life.
Two pieces of furniture and the room is full!
Front room with stove, cabinet, a table and two chairs
I put the smallest amount of furniture into each room, as I tend to do, just to get an impression of what the room's purpose is. With a figure or two in the rooms, they will look very crowded indeed and I use 20mm bases. Those of you who use the gross (imo) 25mm bases will find that  even a minimalist approach with furniture may leave very little room for figures.

That's it then for this week, thanks for taking the tine to visit; I hope you've found something of interest.

As always your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Cartington goes Forth - Conclusion

   The column moves on
Without further ado, here from the Journal of Frederick Cartington is the conclusion of his latest venture into Jimland.

From the Journal of Frederick Cartington:

"Having  achieved our initial objective of finding the outlet to the river, we proceed North-Eastwards towards our second objective which surprisingly was a swamp."
"Our Scout Ebor, (unsurprisingly) failed to notice the Tribals within its confines. We soon convinced these hostiles that attacking us was foolhardy. in the extreme."
Natives to the fore and flank
They close in...slowly
Those that can move, head for safety or form a firing line
Some impressive shooting drops two natives
The natives struggle to move in the Swamp
Four guns against a slow moving target, just doesn't seem fair somehow
He's dropped, with shots to spare for his friend
It's all over, as some make a slow escape to safety and a flanking fire is formed
"We proceeded Northeast to the river and the trail towards our final objective, where we crossed the river without incident. The now familiar Drums caused no consternation and our soldiery merely laughed at the tales that Askari fled at the sound."
"We encountered some natives that we plied with trade goods to enable us to purchase three loads of food to replace the two we had found had gone bad, probably due to the conditions in the swamp".
It was probably the same Natives too that had rummaged around in our camp the next night, looking for trade goods, but they had had the last of them"
"Wandering from the jungle, three Askari asked to join our expedition and as we had sufficient food I complied with their request, thinking the extra firepower would be useful."
The column, with Askari bringing up the rear
"Our next encounter was with yet more Tribals, surprising us whilst once more, crossing a rather wide stream."
"They attacked from our front, attempting to use the cover of the jungle, but to no avail."
The small force of Natives take advantage of the cover
The natives close...
... and the column makes its usual preparations

The natives break cover and close with the expedition
With formidable firepower the result is as expected, the two remaining flee.
"After this minor action, we once more headed NE to our expedition's objective but again finding two more loads of food that had gone bad and coupled with this was a torrential rainstorm impeding any further exploration."
"With our food dwindling fast I reluctantly decided to head back to Jim's Landing which was a lucky decision, in that the very next day after the rain, the remainder of our food was ruined"
"Unfortunately our route home south was blocked by a lake, rather than another branch of the river, enforcing a slight detour"
The column and casualties
We crossed the river once more towards Jim's Landing without food and my hunting skills failed, to the detriment of Doc, Ebor two soldiers and a bearer all of whom were carried by bearers, now relieved of their loads"
"On the last day of the expedition, a soldier foolishly followed the Askari's lead and ate a plant that killed him, whilst two Askari survived this foolish attempt at sustenance".
"Finally arriving at Jim's Landing. fresh food, water and rest would soon return Doc and Ebor to our ranks"
"A personal note:"
"As I wait for the Doc and our Scout to recover I have written to my good friend Edward Burlington Bt., inviting him to lead our next expedition.  I am tiring of the responsibility of leading these very dangerous ventures into Jimland, but will of course volunteer my services as hunter."

Thus ended the last expedition where Frederick would take the lead, as the expedition had made enough cash ($378) to outfit  a new expedition and pay for a leader with a skill ! (Ned will be an Archaeologist).
It was an interesting adventure that had shown my simple river crossing rules worked imo in the style of the Jimland rules and here's the map of the expedition's exploration:
The expedition's route in red (bit obvious really)
The Natives' deployment and tactics are very stunted given that I dice for their deployment, whether or not they split their force and so on, Without an opponent I don't know how to combat this and trying to defeat myself seems futile.

Even so I have played another two adventures, featuring Ned Burlington as leader and will post these in due course.

Thanks for taking the time to visit, hopefully you have found something of interest and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Cartington Goes Forth

The Explorers
Yes, this is yet another of my adventures in Jimland, played several weeks ago and took only about two to three hours playing time. I had to have an intermission halfway through playing as I realised that there were no river crossing rules in "Jimland" (probably because they played no part in the tactical games). I wished to remedy this and took a few nights thought and referred to other rules to come up with a quick and (imho) elegant solution that wouldn't slow down play.
The Soldiers
Once more the expedition was at the fully permitted strength of thirty, including twenty bearers (the maximum number allowed).
In the photograph above from left to right are Ebor (scout), Frederick (Hunter, Leader and self proclaimed hero); Dr. Albert Cleghorn (Doctor -duh!) and finally Horatio Mundella (Interpreter).

So without further ado, once more:

From the the Journal of Frederick Cartington:

The column in its entirety
"With the exceptional success  of my previous expedition, despite some losses, I was able to to gather enough resources to fully equip a new expedition"
"Doctor Albert Cleghorn, Ebor a Scout of unknown origin, Horatio Mundella acting as Interpreter, myself and six soldiers joined me in my latest escapade."
The plan with its three objectives
"The plan was to explore both unknown  branches of the river we had discovered in a previous expedition, the soldiers and myself keeping safe our valuable newcomers. In addition I would take along eight loads of trade goods to pacify any unco-operative natives and we would supplement our food supply by purchasing food at any friendly villages we encountered, thus we only set off with 12 days' worth of food, but with money aplenty to purchase more"
The column prior to spotting the ambush
"Travelling SW on a very familiar route we once more encountered some slavers, that surprised our fellows, but we saw them off with only a single soldier wounded in the process. Luckily, I guess, we had one load of bad food and ate through another to furnish the requisite unemployed bearers necessary to carry our wounded comrade (kept alive by the prompt action of our MD."
Slavers attacking the flanks of the un-surprised column
Their riflemen head for cover
Doc and Frederick head for cover...
...whilst the soldiers drop a slaver...
and the Doc and Frederick flanks the melee armed slavers
The slavers' shooting attract a water buffalo
...that immediately attack them, savaging one!
The carnage continues as Frederic bags another slaver.
Our shooting attracts a lioness and the buffalo turn its attention on us.

The lioness attacks the slavers, eager to flee, whilst the buffalo is wounded
The buffalo is dispatched but wounds a soldier
The lioness flees after a quick slaver snack
"With the demise of the beasts and what was left of the slavers we proceeded onwards towards the river along our previously forged track, losing a careless bearer, carrying a valuable load of trade goods, to one of the deadly native traps we encounter so frequently. A village is encountered and the inhabitants are more than pleased to accept our presence and two trade goods to make up for the ineptitude of our interpreter, he may speak like a native,  just not  native of Jimland it seems."
"We pick up the track of the river encountering some pygmies who are more than content to leave us alone with the help of a single load of trade goods."
The depleted column
"Eventually we found the outlet of the river to the sea, having endured bad water (causing two soldiers to fall foul of bad water), using up two more loads of trade gifts to pacify another village, excessive heat, (from which I was nearly overcome) and losing a soldier to its effects,( which the doc was unable to do anything about it). "
"Having found the mouth of the river we headed Northeast towards the unknown area that intrigued me"
 "An encounter with another  friendly village (despite our interpreter best efforts to insult them), enabled us to buy three loads of food"
Four Natives to the expedition's front and three to its flank
"With three able soldiers,  four explorers, a casualty and about 11 days of rations, I determined to carry on toward the mystery blank space in our map, of course nothing is simple as we waded into the swamp that it was and were immediately ambushed by seven spear-armed tribal warriors"
The natives immediately close, avoiding the sticky swamp mud
Those that can make for safety, or form a firing line
The bigger view
Opening fire,  Frederick and Ebor each bag a native.
The natives try to free themselves from the effects of the swamp, but...
...three out of the five remaining are stuck however.
With the loss of another Native into the swamp depths, they flee!

"With the action brief, but thankfully only deadly to the Natives we made camp in the swamp, ate a good supper and I planned for the next week"

 My plans (rather than Frederick's) was to protect the four explorers as much as the dice and event cards would allow me, to enable them to progress. Horatio, the interpreter has only a hand to hand weapon and a large save roll, whilst Ebor the Hunter  and the Doc are a little more average, with fairly good save rolls (14 and 16  respectively ) but poor  shooting (5,4) and melee skills (4,3).
Following a river gleans a lot of points (cash) and I need 100 to increase a single skill point for an explorer, so I was looking for 400+ points in this adventure!

Next week will see the conclusion of this adventure and if you've read through this far, I hope you've found something of interest (did you notice the bits of plastic scatter in the swamp ?)

That's it then until next week and as always you comments are both welcomed and appreciated.