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

Monday, 8 February 2016

Stairs (2)

Stairway side that will affix to the model.
After copious amounts of superglue and polystyrene cement I finally managed to get the staircase to the back of my 'street' finished and even though it still feels a little brittle and delicate, I reckon it is strong enough to withstand the rigours of wargaming.
Additional bracing shown by arrows.
To the original structure I added four extra pieces, giving some well needed bracing and stability to the model.
The pieces used were not fitted flush with the main structure, but were interwoven with it, using the holed in the mesh to key the bits used.
The protruding ends  were of course cut off .
Railings added.





















Next step was cutting and fitting some sort of railing to the staircase.
I used a short piece of wire  mesh for this purpose, but had to cut the horizontal pieces to enable me to angle the railing for the stairs whilst keeping the vertical bits vertical (well almost vertical).
Undercoated














 A spray undercoat (Bargain Buys' 'Satin' car spray  - £1) gave a very good undercoat for the 'rusting' and "wear and tear" look I wanted and also gives yet another bonding effect on the whole build.
Painted and finished 








A quick wash of various typical  rust colours (yellow ochre, dark and 'redish' browns more or less gave the effect I was looking for as can be seen in the photograph at the top of the page and on the right, but may be returned to for 'touching up;/

And that's it the rear staircase to 'the Street' is completed and all that remains is to affix it to the actual model ,









That's it then for this week, thanks for taking an interest.


Monday, 1 February 2016

Stairs

I managed to drum up enough enthusiasm this week to proceed a little further with my "Street" and
First set cut out
started on the back-stairs giving access to the upper floors.
This could have been a very simple job if I'd gone for solid concrete steps or had won the lottery and bought some of the wonderful MDF ones available from various manufacturers.
I however decided to make my own using the ever versatile plastic canvas. The problem I've a;ways had with this stuff is gluing it - either to itself or to just about anything else.
second set cut-out with added supports
This part of the build was no exception this regard as I used Loctite superglue  (Whose name begets a lie) and although it eventually did form some type of bond, I'm thinking of backing the result with thin card for stability.That is, of course, if I can get the card to stick to the damn stuff as the superglue only really did what it does best and that's to stick one's own fingers together!


How many steps ?
After the initial steps support was cut, I realised how flimsy the thing was so I cut the second with a vertical and horizontal support to make it a little more rigid. The first had also had to have its support and this of course came from the piece I'd already cut (doh!). This of course is yet another example of thinking a problem through thoroughly before cutting and gluing !  
The other bits were duly cut, ready for the final assemably (made even more awkward due to the nature of the material being used).
I added a cross piece to fit between the two step supports (and now of course realise two more wouldn't come amiss) and the final piece being the top landing.
The landing is sufficiently large enough to easily get a figure on it (and maybe two at a push) as its about 30mm x 35mm.
'Finished' stairs   (the blue was an aid memoir not to cut !)
The steps are about 35mm wide by about 10mm deep and although they would be more to scale (yet still overly large) at half those dimensions I felt that both the drop and size of each individual step didn't look too out of place, I'm not a big fan of the large 'building block' steps that I frequently see.used for the obvious reason that figures sit nicely on them.
No, mine are looking at steps, not using steps!






The landing was left loose to enable the final fitting to the building to be a little easier. There still
Different, but boring view
a little more to do on this before I can truly say it's finished (other than the obvious one of attaching it to the building).
I'll be re-gluing all the joins (again), adding two more crosspieces to act as braces, double undercoating (for extra strength-fingers crossed), adding a hand-rail (even though haven't completely figured out how I'll do this  yet)  and finally painting it a suitable metallic looking weathered and rusted effect.
Some or even all of the above may well have been finished this week and the reasons.excuses why they haven't  are explained on my other blog (ZabGladsWorld).

That's it for this week, as usual thanks for looking in.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Roller Shutter

OK, so it's not really a roller shutter as it doesn't roll and it's removed to show when it's opened.
it's the final gap in my model of "the street" I'd been working on which came to a grinding halt not just because of Xmas but also because of a backlog of printing that I needed doing.
Nearly four years ago (yes, four years!), when this model was started I did have all the external walls and fittings printed but with the passage of time several bits went missing.
The two errant door sides
Over the holiday period at least these two pieces have come to light and whilst they may be slightly curled, they have retained their original colour and are very usable.
A this would be an easy fix I set about installing the new finds into the model
It was a very easy job that I still managed  somehow to make more difficult for myself.
All the essential bits
The gap between the outer and inner walls was far slimmer than I would have liked and the gaps at either side of the door where the door would 'drop' in were a bit too narrow too. It left about 5mm either side of the door and would need a very thin piece of card.

The mainstay of many a conversion, the cereal box was used for the door itself and was carefully cut to size until if fitted snugly into the gap of the main building.
Once I was happy with the fit I edged the card with blue felt-tip as there would undoubtedly be some of it showing in when the two door sides were fitted to it.
having edged it with felt tip it made the marking on the card (to centre the door) almost impossible to read, but nevertheless it was done. 
Inner side of completed door
 
Outer facing side of door
Carefully lining up to the inner and outer faces of the door was a bit of pain but the final effect was well worth it as very little of the blue edging showed through.
Slotting in the door is a bit tight, as I wanted, but not so tight as to scrape the outer or inner printed pieces when this was done. (vast amounts of glue and burnishing may well have helped).
And that was it, in all it only took about an hour to fix the new roller shutter to the back of the "Blue Sun" general store excluding glue drying time and door "flattening" time.



The door in place.

That's it then for this week, not much I know, but nevertheless something.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Castle Greyscale

Airfix Castle
This post has pretty much  nothing really whatsoever to do with Castles or grey-scales (whatever they are) but rather for want of a better title I thought  I'd give my opinions on what I'm actually not looking forward to on the blogging front this year and the title seemed to fit.
I wince every time I see someone's pride and joy, a newly finished castle in their perfect painted grey - Normally that blue-ish grey that looks so effective. I should know I used to do the same thing when I built castles!
"But castles are grey aren't they ?" I hear you ask.
Well they may be, but for the sake of me I can't find one that is, though I'm sure you, the reader will no doubt have stronger google-fu than me and find one to prove some point or other. 

Raglan Castle
Case in hand:
This is a picture of Raglan Castle which I retrieved from google after searching for "Grey Castles" in images
OK, it's a bit lighter than some wargames castles I've seen, but matches well with the Airfix castle above.
What's wrong with that then ? Some granites are grey, yes, but granite takes an inordinate amount of time and effort to cut into blocks and other stone is far more suitable for ease (e.g. sandstone) 


To illustrate my point further, here's a second picture of Raglan Castle, but this time when it was not overcast and grey, but is rather bright and sunny (must have had a high speed camera to catch such a shot in Wales).
It illustrates perfectly imo the colour of the castle as it currently is. When it was new it would have none of the speckled brown effect due to ageing but would have had a pristine look about it.
So before you start sending links of a "grey" castle, please do a little more digging.

My Son's left eye with ruler.
The next  winge comment I'd like to make is concerning eyes.

I've always had a thing about those that paint eyes onto figures, because generally speaking they shouldn't be able to (I can't, so I don't even try).
The human eye is not quite a sphere, but has a 'width' of  appromately 24mm with a variance of about 2mm in adults (childrens' eyes are much smaller).
So What ?
Well follow the numbers with me for a second, 24mm is approximately an inch (25.4mm) a man six foot tall has a height of 72". Therefore if our figures were 72mm tall you would have to paint the eyes on them 1mm wide (and about half a mm  in height .
Same eye, opened as wide as he could.
What no gasping or drawing of breath ?  
The picture on the left shows the same eye, opened as wide as my Son could but is still only about 12mm of eye showing (half an inch)
which in the example above would be half a millimetre .
I certainly can't paint half a millimetre, but I'm sure there are some of you out there that can.
However can you paint eyes  on a figure that is 36mm tall  (bottom of foot to top of head) 's using the above numbers, if you can then you would be paintomg the eyes half a mm wide  and a quarter of a mm tall !

 Oh, and obviously the smaller the figures, the more difficult it will be to get anywhere near a correct effect. One problem of course is that extra ball of putty the figure manufacturers slap into the socket, making the figure look like Marty Feldman (look it up you youngsters), which is mostly unnecessary for anything less than a 54mm figure. That ball represent the eye complete with all it's surrounding, top and bottom eye-lids and the bit of the face below the eyebrows too, but those that paint eyes will include it all.
Before I get hate mail from those that paint perfectly good eyes on figures  (that are not squinting or cock-eyed in the least). I think that the problem is not with the painters, but rather with the size and proportions of the figures.
All constructive criticism accepted of course and I still do love seeing all your lovely figures with their eyes, (even if  my own eyes are disproportionally small compared to a figure's).

That's all for this week, please don't take offence at any of the above, it's written with humour in mind and just for food for thought and I hope it's been an eye=opener.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Blogging

Whilst I don't normally take much notice of 'hits' (page views) or the number of followers I have I blog.
was surprised to fnd that with this post I'd hit 200 posts, a number I never thought I'd reach when I started in February 2012. A lot of blogs seem to have a shelf-life of about three years as the initial enthusiasm for then wanes.
 I too reached this flagging stage of enthusiasm last year, but after a two month absence due to bout of illness (thanks to all who enquired as to my absence) I found some renewed energy to continue blogging and even managed a new project and blog merely as a record of it.
I was "advised" that it was better to post on a regular basis, be it once a week, a month or whatever - this is probably the best advice I took to heart as I found that working to a deadline was definitely
beneficial to my output - I've tried to maintain this even though the output has declined somewhat !
(the original adviser now doesn't btw)
When I started the whole blogging thing there was no instruction manual, no rules of etiquette nor any blog format - by which I mean what is acceptable content. All new bloggers seem to have to re-invent the wheel when starting save for any "useful" advice that we may get from a fellow blogger.
Over the years, (which seems strange to be able to say that now  as I still consider myself 'new') I have made my own rules about blogs and blogging.
Firstly on my own blog I try to present it as best I can, foremost being checking spelling and  layout (though the latter doesn't always pan out). I don''t post what I  think others wish to see but post about what I hope will be of interest. I've found writing reports on games I've played can be really tricky as I've found found that if they're too long I get bored and as I can't write prose, I avoid the flowery bits ("Andy watched with glee as the enemy walked straight into his carefully set trap").

"Pitchers"....oops
I do try and vary the content as many other blogs do because I feel there is no point in posting the same things week after week - I've made the same building about five times and think it would be silly to pst the same thing five times ! 
But I think it is important to include pictures in any blog post (hence the random ones on here)as they not only break up tedious screeds of text but also add colour !
I've conscientiously avoided post titles that would avoid a flood of "hits" from sources other than the audience that this blog was originally aimed at. If you like to improve your own 'hits' then trying putting the word 'Boobs' into a post about all the errors you've made in something you've done !
The one thing that has kept me blogging is the considered comments that followers of my blog have made over the years (still can't get used to thinking I've been at this for four years now). I'm not talking about the "That's nice" type of comment but rather the considered sentece or two querying what I've posted about or suggesting an alternate view (whether or not I'd agree with it. Consequently I also try to comment in a similar fashion on the blogs I follow with more than a bland statement of a word or two, though sometimes it is all that can be said!




So a big thank you to all that have entertained and interested me with your own blogs, commented on my blog and kept me blogging, all of which has helped me to continue to blog and further my own projects.

And that's it for this week, hopefully I'll have somethibng else to write about next week!

Monday, 4 January 2016

2016 - Happy New Year

I wonder what's on the other dice faces
Nothing much this week as I've taken a complete break from anything hobby  related over the holidays save for to make some very tentative plans for my intentions over the next year.







First though, on the left,  here's a photograph of all my hobby-related Xmas goodies.
Yes, it's a hobby-knife, not quite the box of scalpel blades that I would have liked, but the handle on this particular knife is a lot thicker than the ones I've used in the past, which will aid me greatly. I did make a lot of what I refer to as 'box buildings' in 2015 ( they have no interiors) and went through a lot of both scalpels and A1 sheets of foam-board. Luckily my stock of A1 foam-board has also been replenished with another ten sheets and I intend to make more buildings this year.
On the scratch-building front, I have three models I wish to make. The first I've been planning for a long time and will use a lot of the bits and pieces I've been retaining  for several years now to use for it. The second is a standard card building, but will be all my own work, but based on a TV show.. The third build is for an idea I've had that I've never seen elsewhere and is also still in the planning stage.
Having lost a friend last year whom I thought would be a  regular opponent in my Zombie games, it's been quite a struggle to find new opponents, but I'm still hoping to play a few games too this year and maybe attend one or two local shows again.
My other project (Gladiators) is nearing completion and consequently posts on my other blog will be reined in somewhat.

That's it for this week other than to thank you all for your kind comments or for just dropping by and to all have a happy and prosperous New Year.

Monday, 28 December 2015

2015 - Where did it go ?

Water Tower
Well, 2015 came and went in a flash and although I didn't manage to put any  paint on any figures this last year I still feel that I did manage to a few things done.

In January, I finished off this Water Tower,

 and "Bonerippers"

 and a random Downtown building

 I managed to play games in February and March, which was a welcome break  from fiddling about with bits of scrap, foamboard and paper printouts.








Bonerippers


Downtown building






















Office building
For nearly all of April and May I was ill and was unable to blog, but eventually was recovered enough to continue blogging in June with another downtown office building built from foamboard (no interior).
I did also manage to fit in another game in June too, which was a bonus.









July and August were mostly taken up  with minor scenic bits (mostly roof-top furniture) and a large composite model made from foamboard,  that had originally been intended for use as a Hospital.

Largest model to date
Container Office
 September saw me complete one of the smaller models I built during 2015, a container office 
 I'd also managed to make lots of containers at about the same time too.
I managed to fit another game in during October and built up enough enthusiasm to continue with a build I had started in 2012 - The Stree. This latter build has had to take a back seat for the moment as I await printouts for the interior walls and floors 0 and a back staircase still needs to be built.



"The Street"

And other than a few minor bits and pieces, that was it for me in 2015, which on reflection turned out much better than I thought it would. For 2016, I hope that a can maintain my waning enthusiasm to at least that of 2015.

That's ot then for this week (and for this year too), I hope you all have had an enjoyable seasonal break and are all looking forward to a prosperous and industrious New Year.