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

Monday, 20 January 2020

WIPs

OK, so not a very exciting title but having failed, once more, to complete anything this last week, despite my best efforts (I blame real life, various illnesses, Isis, Brexit and ageing) . I did stick to my regime of at least one hour's painting each day and even managed two or more on some days,
but horses, bloody horses are a pain and other than camels are the bane of my painting efforts.
So over the Xmas period, I had to 'put away' - (read get out of sight) all the pieces that were on my various paint trays.
I've now remedied this and got all the various models out once more in an effort to complete them over the coming weeks, so for this post, here are my current WIOs' progress.
The Egyptian infantry - all 90 of them (shown above) require their bases to be completed, some shading.
British foot
My British infantry have the least done on them, bases, straps and rifle, shading  all still to be done.

Nearly two dozen effing horse, nearly finished
 The Egyptian Cavalry - horse- just need their tack finished and then the riders finished and mounted on them !
Mahdist effing Camels, still not finished after 20 years ! (but close)
The camels are currently mounted on magnetic paper on credit-card type bases  as an experiment in moving the single figures around more quickly.
Single figure removed from base, showing magnetic paper on both base and figure.
The camels are more of a pain than even horses, despite being great figures. 

So in a week where I made progress, I was still thwarted at the final hurdle !
Next week I'll be holidaying in the wilds of Cumbria, but I have still a "Jimland" adventure in reserve to write-up which I've been keeping up my sleeve for just this type of occasion.

Thanks for taking the time to visit and though there's not much here, maybe there is something you found interesting  ?

That;s it then for this week and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 13 January 2020

A Tale of Two Tails (and a Box!)


OK so over the last week, once more, I haven't managed much, but I have managed to base of fifty models and undercoat them. I tend to take more time that is absolutely necessary when basing as I like to leave a lot of time between 'drying' stages.So after cleaning off what little flash there was I cut bases from plastic credit cards, store cards, phone cards etc. Next step is glueing figures to the plastic bases using either super-glue (Lok-tite gel -from Poundland). Then after a long drying period they were 'gunged up' using Poundland filler (of course) and again left to dry over night. Final stage, before spray -undercoating was to apply PVA glue (undiluted) onto the base and sprinkle them liberally with sand.. The undercoat was applied after yet another fairly lengthy drying time.
I also had a bit of repair work to do as two of my OG horses had lost their tails and being the well-organised person that I;m not I quickly lost one of the tails !
I carved a new tail from a lump of lead acting as a sprue for some Sudanese Dervish.
The result of the drilling and gluing of tails is shown on the photograph to the left, with the 'home-made' tail on the left-hand horse.

The now suitably based, gunged and undercoated now tailed horses
Home-made lances now attached with 'Perry' Mahdist Standard pole for comparison.
Half a dozen adventurers for Jimland were also prepped.
In the "Pulp Figures" 'Amazon Adventurers' pack was a figure with a pistol that I cut 2mm from the barrel of his pistol (he's the figure second from the left in the photograph above), which to scale represented anywhere between 4 and 6 inches and it's still a big pistol too as is evident in the photo !

A "Loom" box with removable and re-positional partitions.
Sometime during one of the many drying periods I decided to have a go at my 'Loom' box, which for the uninitiated is a box intended to keep elastic bands that was a children's fad and consisted a]of elastic bands,. Once used, the boxes found their way  into my hands (I now have three). This particular one I'd earmarked to keep all my "Congo" card, tokens and measuring sticks in, once the various partitions have been glued in place as the tokens tend to slip under the various partitions.
the sticker on the front was a pain in the proverbial to remove. I used  a scape, water and 'White spirit' in copious amounts over several days.
The "loom" box re-purposed with a few sample "Congo"
Even though it was a struggle getting back into the regime of at least an hour a day on productive Hobby time, I did manage it  and although it doesn't appear that I accomplished much, I was pleased with what I did achieve.

That's it then for another week, over the next week I'll hopefully  be daubing paint on a lot of the above (not the box) .

Thanks for taking the time to visit, as always I hope you've found something of interest and of course your comments are both welcomed and truly appreciated.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Filler

No this post isn't about filler,  but is rather a filler, as I haven't done a thing hobby-wise in the last two weeks, or managed to view several blogs (my own included - due to intermittent Interweb problems) this post is a bit of a filler, until and if I get back to posting ! As always, when I break routine, I find it very difficult to get back into the swing of things !
#So for this week's post here's a pack of garden wires I picked up at either "The Range" or "Poundland" before Christmas.
The pack label (shown below) is self- explanatory - 12, plastic coated 1mm thick wire pieces, each 30cm long.
I picked these up specifically to convert into lances for my lance-less Egyptians. I do have 'steel' spear/lances/pikes, but they are very thin (and expensive). For my Mahdists, I converted a lot of paper clips into lances and spears and using the same process made a dozen or so more from this wire stuff.




I use a 2lb hammer (masonry hammer) as an improvised anvil and flattened the end of the wire with another 'normal' hammer, finishing of the point with a quick file job to make a slightly rounded point. (health and safety would be proud). The next step was cutting the piece to length, I used 50mm lengths representing a spear or lance at somewhere around 10 to 12 foot long. IIRC lances were around 14 foot long, so they probably should be a little longer.





Finished 'lances'
Obvious close-up of pointy end.

I'll be trying to get back into my regime of at least an hour's hobby-related work a day over the next week, even if all that happens is that I glue some of my recently purchased to my already cut bases and add gunge, sand etc.

So that;s it then for another week, thanks for taking the time to visit and any comments will of course be both surprising and welcomed.

Monday, 30 December 2019

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone, I hope like myself you have had an enjoyable break.
As usual, I'll probably a most pious New Year's celebration and once more will probably be unable to remember most of the modest celebrations with family and friends.













2019 saw my hobby-related activities very limited to less than a handful of games and a mere seventy to eighty figures seeing paint sploshed over them, a half a dozen buildings scratch-built and a few 'clay' pots made. I'll be reflecting on what I'll be attempting during 2020 over the next week or so too.
It's been well over a week since I did anything hobby-related (other than posting last week's blog and finding a purpose in continuing anything for this hobby is becoming more difficult as time passes.

On a lighter note, I'll be going on a week-long break soon with the promise of a lot of board-gaming and  February 2020 will see me entering my 9th year in blogging, an experience I've mostly enjoyed, even given the amount of time I spend on it!

Once more Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, 23 December 2019

Merry Mithrasmas

It's that time of year again, when we once more celebrate the midwinter equinox and attach various festivals to it, whether it be the Pagan festival of Yule, the birth of Mithras (25th December), Bacchus and Saturnalia  and others. The 25th Decenber was probably also adopted by the Christian faith as the date for the Birth of Christ and hence Christmas! (Yay)








  Whatever your beliefs, enjoy the holiday season doing whatever it is you do to celebrate or relax  relax etc.

















I'll be back next week with another post 'padding out' the rest of the year as I'm more or less banned from painting, building models and most everything else hobby-related. It turns out that I have to enjoy the break !















So from me, to all the visitors to my blog, whether you're a regular, occasional or new: 

Io Saturnalia ! Dress up, drink to excess and exchange gifts as the Romans did.

or Celebrate Mithras , slaughter a Bull and drinks its blood

Just do  whatever you do !

(or just have a Merry Xmas as I intend to do !)


Monday, 16 December 2019

"Congo" - Rules Review

Having scan-read through my recently purchased "Congo" rules by "Studio Tomahawk", I'm now in a position to give my initial thoughts on these rules, but near in mind that I haven't actually played a game even though I have read many great AARs of the scenarios I do wonder if I'll ever get the chance to play one as I see no way in which the game can be played solo ! 
The rules come in hard-back a little over 100 full colour glossy pages and include four double-sided separate sheets of scenarios, giving 8 scenarios. Additionally there is a sheet of die-cut counters and playing aids, plus a pack of cards that make up four separate decks.
One of the many beautiful double page spreads
It all makes for a wonderfully colourful set of rules with excellently painted figures, terrain etc. for the reader to drool over.
This bounty of coloured photographs is a two edged sword imo with more than a dozen two-page spreads and probably as many full single pages of photographs, it doesn't half bulk-out the page count. 
Even within the rules themselves there are additional photographs alongside those that illustrate the rules in question.
Single page photographs throughout ! (no boat rules that I could find!)

The rules themselves are well laid  out in a way that I could easily relate to - Intro showing turn order, the use of the many decks and counters etc (all to be explained in detail later) ; Movement; shooting; melee; morale (though it's called stress/ terror etc.) and various sections explaining the effects of a whole gamut of other things such as terrain, animals, buildings and so on.
The rules are simple enough and they use D8s and D10s alongside the mode familiar D6s, which imo is a good thing !


Clearly laid out examples, plus bonus superfluous photo
The rule explanations are mostly unambiguous and aren't affected unduly by the occasional obvious typo. The table size is originally described as being 72" x 48" though from reading the scenarios it was obvious that this was a major error, as given the movement distance there were some little chance of antagonists coming into contact! A quick trip to "Studio Tomahawk's" forums solved the 'problem', the playing area is a mere 48" x 36"!
I don't know whether I like the 'humour' in the rules or not (they're harmless enough), but do, at times, seem to treat the reader as a small child (but maybe that's just me being old and grumpy)






One of the smaller of four decks of cards

The game itself is a skirmish game, on a small playing area with two dozen figures or so on each side, limited turns and a lot of cardboard (be it counters or cards).  This is a format that has become very familiar over the last few years - not one I'm particularly fond of, but I can see the attraction of the cross-over between miniature games and boardgames as being a successful format.



Part of one of the Army lists
As has become the norm in many of this 'style of game' there has to be a points system and a force listing for each of the protagonists to choose their forces from, whether they be a single figure or a small group (ranging anywhere between three to six figures). The small groups always irk me, whether it be vikings, natives or whatever - why do I have to have three groups of four Askari rather than being able to group them into a single unit of a dozen ? It is of course a game mechanic, but not one I can say I fully understand.
 The forces are called, (appropriate solely for the white men's expedition) "Columns" rather than "Leagues, Gangs, Casts, Posses or whatever but why they never seem to be in columns in indeed a mystery!



Thematically, these rules imo aren't strong, as the forces involves could just as easily be Indians versus settlers in Canada, replacing the Jungle with Forest, Savannah with grassland, gorillas with Bears and Lions with Cougars and there are probably many other examples too. I was disappointed (just a bit) that I could only spot three possible examples of animal encounters, Gorillas, Lions and Crocodiles ! What about Hippos, Rhinos, Elephants, Wild Boars and all the other rather dangerous beasts ?
As for the rules themselves, there are many 'interesting' mechanics - movement uses 4" sticks, measuring from the front of a figure to the back of a figure! It also seems that one cannot move less than four this four inch move, which I reckon could leads to some peculiar situations ("Damn, I cant reach that blocking terrain - it's too close". Overall though  I can see no problems with playing against an opponent without argument or a different interpretation of the rules.

I was disappointed in just a few areas, other than the lack of varied fauna mentioned above. firstly there being no "campaign" element though this may well be rectified with the additional campaign book “MUNGO MAH LOBEH” using the experiences of Mary Kingsley's adventures in Africa (I'd accept one going spare, but will probably have to wait for my birthday money to buy one !)

Overall there is a lot going for this book, with many good features I haven't mentioned and little to really complain about (save for the price), the rules are simple but do have an element of skill with your card use alongside the usual placement of forces  etc.

If you've found amusement in any one of the other many 'fun' skirmish games (and there are a lot out there) , with a dining table sized playing area, few figures and over in an hour or two,  then you'll probably find this is probably your cup of tea too !

From my viewpoint, it certainly is a game that I'd love to play even without it's lack of a strong thematic element it can still be played in true Victorian Adventurer fashion by Gentlemen (and the fairer sex) against the Noble Savage (ahem).

As I've been collecting a lot of suitable figures for "Jimland", I do have enough figures to field a "Column" or two but I now have the excuse to buy some Zanzibaris, Askaris, Ruga Ruga, Bakuchis, Ngonis etc. etc.

In other News I've been sploshing paint on my Egyptians and British, bound for the Sudan, as much as time light and real-life has allowed. My hospital visit resulted in another course of tablets (take one a day for the next six months when we'll see you again) and another day's paining lost! It also seemed that time must be put aside to stock up on three weeks' of food for the upcoming holiday when  shops will be shut for a whole day ! Plus, it seems I am obliged to buy presents, which means yet another day lost to shopping !

That's it then for yet another week I hope that there was something of interest in my ramblings about Congo and I'll try to answer any questions or queries of my views on these rules, so as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Battleground Loot

In an effort to give me time to finish and post something relevant to my current Sudan project, here's my modest haul of loot from Battleground 2019. I should thank Dave Thomas (Perry Minis) that he didn't have the other seven or eight pack of figures that were on my list  as I spent well over my budget !
Though it may look like quite a lot, there is only a smattering of figures - a mere 19 !
Congo rules its (now almost obligatory) cards and cardboard
From the pic above, probably the most obvious item is the "Congo" rules, which I've been interested in for quite a while and are now available in its second print.






They do look good imho
From Dave Thomas, a few additions for my Sudan project, Mounted Officers and a Dervish Cavalry Command group - the latter's   horsemen that I'd wanted were unfortunately (fortunately ?), as were the four packs of Bengal Lancers...





More figures bound for the Sudan !
Market accessories...
From the wonderful folk at Iron-Gate Scenery I managed to fill all my list:










...and more market accessories
...and a couple of market stalls too !
Not on the list - first impulse buy of the day...
...though it was touch and go whether it was on the list !
Even more market stuff... (can you guess where it's all bound for ?)
Pulp Figures that I will no doubt find use for  in the Sudan
Explorer on the left was not on the list !
From Ironwind I got a couple of Explorers for duties in "Jimland" and two deck guns and crew (yep, I too was surprised when I found these on a mostly "steampunk" stall!








One of the two deck h=guns and crew (on the list !)


Can;t remember where I bought this can of spray matt varnish from, but as it was a couple of quid cheaper than I'd seen previously it went in the bag under the label of impulse buy, along with yet another pot of white (the search for a decent white continues apace)
White paint (who'd have thought ?














That concludes the loot count from an excellent (and expensive) day out Battleground. The relative small number of figures bought  does mean that they may even get painted, though the cavalry will not be at the top of the queue!

In other News, I've managed to get in about 15 hours of painting my Egyptians and British foot, bound for the Sudan, but they still have a long way to go. I did lose a day of painting due to Xmas shopping (keeping Swmbo sweet) and this week will see yet another day lost to yet another Hospital visit ! This was an unexpected appointment and hopefully they will find nothing wrong this time - fingers crossed !

That's it then for this week, I wish I'd had something more interesting to post about, but as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated !