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

Monday, 31 August 2015

More HVACs

Basic box HVAC
I did scratch-build some HVACs and made some card ones for roof furniture quite a while ago, but as my city has grown the need for more has of course been quite apparent as the roofs of my buildings are almost devoid of anything vaguely interesting.Over time I've also accumulated more card buildings from various sources.


Most of them the HVAC units are of the basic cuboid box shape (as shown above) and hence are fairly easy 'builds', even if I do tend to make them look like they've been built by a five-year-old!
Some however do have interesting shapes to them giving a bit of variety.
The one shown on the right is fairly recognisable as a typical air, one which would be equally at home  on the side of a building as well as the roof. In the photograph Sid is having to hold up the vent as it's top heavy and not stuck down. The angles nature of this model made it quite difficult to pack out with foamboard for strength (Damn you sausage fingers!)
The un-remarkable other side
Great Cover
The two HVACs on the left could just as easily be electrical cupboards too, but basically they're just more roof furniture (and cover).
These once more have at least a semblance of an intersting shape to them, even if it's just an extra angled bit tagged onto them.
I do reckon that they'd be fairly easy to make from scratch as they're basically just boxes, but adding the detailing is a pain. For my purposes they're fine as they are, didn't take too long to build and besides I've got another batch already printed out.


Another view, showing the 'boring end'


I'm sure that there are many manufactures who make much better resin versions of these, but alas as in many things their cost to me is prohibitive.

 When I showed my Hospital build I'd omitted
a vital piece(shown left). When playing games, unless buildings are bolted down to the table they always seem to 'drift' around during play.
With the larger 'combination' building that I'd made, the effect would be multiplied as the component parts drifted apart. As I did with my yards. a couple of pies of scrap foamboard (about 1cm apart) glued to a black sheet enables two buildings to be slotted alongside one-another into the gap so at least the entire building will drift and not just one of its component parts.

Next week I'll hopefully have some more boring exciting card boxes to post about, but that's it then for this week, thanks for taking the time to read.

My other blog continues to trundle on, you can read the latest installment HERE
THIS IS A TEST

Monday, 24 August 2015

New Build Finale - finally!

The Front of the 'Annex'
After the problems of wrong sized walls, roof etc. I did have a few print-outs left over as well as some pieces from the 'wing' with the 'four' window strip pieces (rather than all the others with three windows strips). Rather than bin these bits,  I've glued them together to make yet another building to add to the grey complex, be it university, med-research lab or its original intended purpose as a hospital.
The cobbled-together roof
Even this build from the scrap bits came with its own problems - namely the roof. Yet again,  I needed another print-out of a roof but unfortunately, once more, it came out the wrong size! (Who'd have thought ?)  Getting rather bored of these shenanigans I cobbled together a roof from the two undersized roof pieces, which fittingly matched the roof made from a couple of bits of scrap foamboard.
The centre strip was covered with a shaped piece of foamboard covered with another scrap of roof print (of a slightly different colour).
So here's another view of the finished piece,; its footprint is about eleven inches square and is about 5 inches in height.








As a bonus, whilst waiting for glue to dry, prints to arrive and so on, I got to work on some more roof exits for my tenements.
They're nothing to 'write home about' really as they're just boxes packed with a bit of foamboard with a card roof added; I did manage to make another seven giving me a grand total of eight - halfway to what I need to give each tenement
one - so there will be no more camouflaged roof hatches in the future!
Boring roof-top view (try and spot Sid to relieve the boredom)
 Here's a view of several of them on the terrain used in my last scenario.
Hopefully you can see that I have managed to vary the colours slightly.
Another view - slightly more boring than the last
In other news, I'll be continuing to make HVAC type things for more roof-top furniture for next week and I've managed to pick up a paint-brush and paint a couple of figures (though not zombie related - they're not even human!) as I've been feeling a lot better lately, despite some more unexpected, very minor surgery - These are the first figures I attempted since March (and my painting hasn't improved any). They're for my other on-going gladiator project and can be seen on my other blog HERE

I'll also take this opportunity to welcome another follower  Gordon Richards who has the very interesting blog "I have wrought my simple plan".

That's it then for this week, thanks for taking the time to read.










Monday, 17 August 2015

Roof exit take two

My new build roof exit, was exactly what I had wanted, planned and built, but unfortunately looked was completely wrong!
For gaming purposes I could easily get away with having a building so close to a helipad , but I also didn't want the building to be abutting onto the front wall, which it would have to been to avoid encroaching any further onto the helipad.
 The solution was to make a smaller roof exit, which I did from some of the 'extra' bits and pieces left over from the original big build.The front wall of the exit has had four different bits glued together to make it, but is none the worse for that - it'll do as a stop-gap measure for the moment.
 The photograph below shows my preferred positioning for the exit site, giving all around access and not encroaching on the helipad (I should have been an estate agent).
 

The rear and side for completeness:
Free bonus picture
The 'new build' wasn't the only building that I needed roof exits from, as my tenements have also needed them (and would have been quite useful in the last couple of scenarios I played|),
This photograph shows the original roof exit that came with the Twiliglt Street set, but note how small it is compared to my own one above! 
The positioning of it is of course pants as there would be no space for stairs up to it in that orientation and it'll be reversed for gameplay purposes, again with sufficient space to place a figure anywhere around it.

"Yawn"
Another view, just to show the other side and another orientation that wouldn't make sense for the same reasons as above.
I just need to make another 15 of these and my roof-top exits for my tenements will be complete! These don't take that long to make though, they're a single folded piece of paper mounted onto foamboard walls, whilst the roof is just paper, reinforced with some thin card (cereal packet).
I did vary the colour of the doors a little to give a little more variation, but they are a bit boring.
I've also been experimenting with some more HVAC units (seems to be all the rage atm) to add to my roof-top furnishings and I'll post about those next time.
That's all for this week  except to remind you that my other blog has also been updated and can be viewed HERE, showing for the first time painted figures! (one even human)

Monday, 10 August 2015

New Build (2)

The whole building
Fighting through the pain barrier (ably assisted by copious amounts of drugs I might add), I have managed to all but finish this new build. Other than some touching up of various 'white spots' overlooked in the 'edging' process and all the roof furniture and fittings still to do, the bulk of this box building exercise has been completed with the results shown in the photograph on the right.
The extra bit
Essentially the original vision of the building is as shown, but of course once this build was started other ideas came to mind.
The major change was that rather than a single building in three parts, I made three separate, but similar, buildings that could be joined to make the one shown.
Of course this entailed getting an additional print of an extra wall I would need to complete one of the three buildings (as luck would have it I did have extra copies of most everything else).
Whilst it may not look it from the photographs, the walls are vertical and don't actually slope off in a multitude of angles.
I was aware of this problem from the start of this build and have often thought about how the height of the model (at about 15 inches) could easily be out of 'true'; consequently I was checking with my trusty set-square constantly!
The main, central building




The roof of the main building had to have a helipad, it was just crying out for one, but the 'problem' came with the addition of the access from the building to the pad itself.
Unfortunately the roof-top access as I had envisaged it (shown below) just looked out of place alongside the helipad, crowding the whole of the roof unnecessarily- it just looked wrong.
Consequently I will be designing and making another roof-top access,
Roof-top access
Rear of the main, central, building
The rear and sides of the main, central  building have nothing of real interest, save possibly for the fire exit door on the ground floor with its two adjacent windowless pieces of wall.
The one regret I do have about this whole central building though is the lazy way I duplicated the original sheet of three floors and merely pasted it above another copy, leaving the darkened band of windows half way up the building, rather than have lighter windows, as in the 'extra bit' shown at the top.
This can be readily seen in the shot below of the obligatory boring side of the main building.
 The central building measure about 11"wide by  15" deep and about 18" high.





Obligatory boring side bit
The 'Left-hand' building.
The left hand building isn't remarkable , but has a bit of variation, in as much as it has a rear pair of fire exit doors in the centre of the long wall and it also has entrances at either end (on the short walls), although originally only one would have been necessary as the other would have been up against the central building). This building is about 15" wide, by 9" deep and about 9" high.
The 'Right-hand' building.
 


The final part of this build, the right hand building was built at five stories high, more for aesthetic reasons than for any other. I just liked the idea of varying roof heights on this model. The one thing that did come about though was that I  'lost' the middle band of darkened windows, as only the upper part of the extra sheets were used. The building looks much 'cleaner; not having the darkened band n and is far more pleasing to the eye in my opinion.
Again this building wasn't meant to have two entrances, just a pair of fire-escape doors at one end, but with the buildings all being made to be used as separately too a pair of 'front' doors added.
This building is about 11" wide, 9" deep and 15" high.
So, what was the going to be  original purpose for this building ?
Perhaps some university campus building ?
Or maybe the start of some inter-city projects ?
Maybe even a high-tech offices featuring labs (Offices of the CDC for example) or some Interweb.com establishment set in pleasant suburbia ?
The only clue I'll give you is the photograph on the right, featuring Sid wondering what the hell a toilet is doing on the roof-top. (It's a TV reference which I'm sure many of you will get).

 I've another scratchbuild project in mind (rather than another box-build) but that will have to wait until my last planned scenario is played (oh for someone to throw dice with) and my game-board is cleared. In the meantime though I have roof-accesses to make and air conditioning vents and HVACs to make, so that's it then for this week.

My other blog, which shows my (almost) completed arena for my Gladiator project and can be found HERE

Monday, 3 August 2015

New Build

BOM Downtown Office.
You may think the title should read new building (I've no doubt you've looked through the photographs first and seen 'a building'),  but as I worked on this it started to take on a life of its own. The idea did start off as a single building, but I realised that it could be viewed as three building 'stuck together'.
The picture on the right shown the original two sheets of the WorldWorksGames BOM (Bits of Mayhem) Downtown Office which was the start of this build.
It could of course had been a straight-forward build with little effort, four walls and a door would have been adequate enough for a reasonable sized building (the two sheets shown above fit easily onto an A3 sheet for example).
Main building
On the other hand a little bit of jiggery-pokery with photoshop makes for a far more interesting (and larger) building.
Most wargame building are smaller than I prefer and couple that with the size of bases most gamers seem to opt for it makes them look even smaller.
I decided to enlarge the buildings using the original two WWG sheets.
The changes to what would be the front of the building can be seen in the bottom right of picture on the left.
I've increased the width of the building by two windows and added a vertical strip at each edge, rather than having the neatly cut edge of the original.
Similarly, what would be the rear of the building has been modified so that the ground floor now as a pair of doors marked 'Fire Exit' (seen in the top right), the remaining portion of the ground floor rear wall being 'blanked of with panels, cut and
 pasted from other bits of the original sheets.
 The second part of this build was originally intended to be an annex to the main building above and was given a few similar features.
The walls all have similar additions of extra windows; in this case 'blocks' of three windows instead of the two-three-two arrangement of the original and the 'front' door windows are not of the dark variety, but have been cut and pasted from the lighter ones.
This was originally intended as an add-on to the original main block and the second main entrance was an afterthought (more of which later).
The Fire Exit doors were also  added, but this time in the centre of the longer building  side , as can easily be seen in the photograph to the right.
Working from just two very similar sheets proved to be quite a difficult task making any significant variations. The fire doors came either from another WWG set or possibly from a Fat Dragon model, but I can't remember which.
Second 'Wing'
A second annex, or probably more accurately, wing to the building was also always going to be added, but what started out as a duplicate of the one above grew a life of its own when I discovered that I had far more pieces of one type than I did of another. This error of mine was due mainly to the time lapsed between being able to work on this build and getting the printing done.
I put it down mainly to my complete confusion as to what pieces I had asked for, which ones I needed and which ones I had got.
The most notable feature of this 'wing' is that the longer sides are based on the main building's front and rear  pieces (count the windows on each floor), whilst the front has to be re-designed to fit the main building - if this hadn't been done I would have had walls abutting directly onto windows, which would have looked complete pants.
Bonus building made from left-overs
You may have noticed that the photograph above shows only four sides, again this is a as a result of the confusion of what I had printed and what I needed printing, leaving me needing one more building side, which will be rectified this week (hopefully). The result of all this was that I had several bits left over from the various mistakes I'd made (including the very first cut I made being in the wrong place). However, I realised that these various left- overs could be utilised into making yet another building! (Shown in the photograph on the right).
Roof Trim and roof-top building
Luckily (?) I'd also managed to print off an extra sheet of roofing which should fit the 'extra' unplanned building.
The remaining pieces needed were the roof-trim  for the inside of the roof 'balcony'.
The roof trims available from the WWG set weren't adequate for the job and I designed some, once more, from the original two sheets as well as a small roof -rop building that would act as a roof entrance/ exit.
Of the actual flat-top roof bits, three are plain grey concrete monstrosities  but the one for the main building has a helipad.
The most interesting of the roofs
Over the last week I only managed to really snag two  days during which I could work on this, but I did manage to buy glue (and I've already gone through three of the five tubes already), to glue down the  various print-outs (after black edging them) to foamboard (of which I've used three A1 sheets so far) and cut them all out. Considering this was done despite two hospital visits, some minor surgery (and the constant administering of painkillers over the weekend as a result), I think this has made some inroads into my inactivity of late.

That's it for this week and with a bit of luck I'll get the last print-out that I need this week and get started on assembling all the bits together - fingers crossed.

I've also updated my other blog, which can be seen here. 



Monday, 27 July 2015

Inactivty

Photocopies for my next building.
Another week of inactivity effectively, whilst I reflected on the last game I played and whilst I may not have much to show for it, I  have had a chance to reflect on my version of the ATZ rules I use and hone them into something that is consistent and without contradictions.
The one thing that I did come to a conclusion about was that I really didn't enjoy playing solo! It took me four sessions over three weeks to conclude and not just because of all the note-taking and photographs  - though I guess that  particular part doesn't help.
Sid inspecting the ventilation stack
something I was tinkering with quite a while ago was roof-top furniture and after seeing the caps from various bottled juices etc. I came up with this idea for ventilation outlets.
It was also a chance to try out my newly acquired hot glue gun (birthday present).
A piece of tubing or dowel cut to length and a dab of hot glue into the bottle cap and in my eyes I had a ventilation thingy.
I do know that the paint-job needs looking at, but as a concept I thought it was OK and worth pursuing .
"What the heck?"

One thing that is worth noting is that all caps are not created equal as can be seen on the photograph to the right (a bit gunged up with my overenthusiastic use of my new glue-gun). The caps come in different shapes and sizes, which is not a bad thing, but I do prefer the look of the one above to the one shown on the right, so much so that the second type hasn't had more than an undercoat added to it. I used the same sized tube for each but the larger one could really have done with a slightly longer one I think.




My next project has been a long time in the planning, and can now be started as the final printing has now been done. I've used World Work Games' Downtown Office 'flats' with some additional photo-shopping and. Hopefully it'll be started this weekend after a trip to Poundlandworld to purchase copious amounts of UHU, blowing all this week's pocket money as I reckon on using at least three tubes of the stuff.

That's it then for this week, short and maybe not so sweet, but I do have some more minor surgery to look forward to!

(For those few that are following my other project on Gladiators the latest update can be found here)

Monday, 20 July 2015

Back to Normal

Do you know this man? Phone Crimestoppers NOW!
Towards the end of June I was host for a week or so to a fellow blogger, whom a few of you may recognise from the photo.
He was here mainly for some work experience at a week-long archaeological dig in County Durham, but no doubt he'll be telling you something about that on his own blog sometime in the near future (but don't hold your breath as the rumour is that he may have a job.
You can find his blog here



Fish and chips in Berwick
I was duly restricted in my blogging activities (but just a tad) due to his occupying the bedroom wherein my desk-top pc resides and that I use to write my blog, edit photographs and update my post-game rule amendments and so on. He was of course most enjoyable company and a welcome chance to talk about wargaming and most anything else we could think of. We also had a great day out into Northumberland; visiting Berwick upon Tweed and walking around the town's Vauban-style walls as well as attempting to find some WWII bunkers (pillboxes) on the coast near Dunstanburgh.

10 feet away from this one and 'Hawkeye' (pictured) couldn't spot it!
After a lunch and a walk around in Berwick we set off to find finding the bunkers that were shown on maps indicated in a small booklet he had received. This turned out to be harder than  it should have been considering there were many maps indicating their relative positions. However we may have just as well been following a blank map with 'Xs' randomly placed on it as the maps bore little resemblance to where we eventually found the bunkers.


In the little village of Embleton there were three such bunkers, the one above carefully camouflaged by the ravages of time, too half an hour to find, despite us parked less than fifty yards away from it.
The second was again overgrown but nevertheless accessible .
Having now got our 'eye' in so to speak we proceeded to wander in circles looking for the third bunker in the village.




The third bunker proved to be quite elusive, as it wasn't actually in the village at all but was on the outskirts of the village facing the sea and an obvious landing spot.
This was on farm land and we didn't try our luck proceeding further.
The view the above bunker commanded.
#1 son readying a grenade to throw into the bunker

We then  proceeded down to the coast to the last bunker I visited, which even Blind Pugh could spot.
This was on the edge of a hillside to the right of the bay above.





The valiant 'defender'

The intrepid defender of said bunker decided that retreat was the better part of valour and duly retreated towards Dubstanburgh castle to explore several more bunkers en-route solo.
My son and I also retreated, to the very friendly Golf club-house to indulge ourselves in some well deserved beverages.





During my house-guest's sojourn, surprisingly enough we actually did little in the way of playing games, though we did indulge in a brief affair with SAGA (my #1 son's latest 'flavour-of-the-month' fad) which was very enjoyable and I could easily be swayed in to assembling a small army of Anglo-Saxons or Vikings (all contributions welcome). we also played several games of Space Hulk (of the the original Ed.1variety) and despite many many a cock-up with the rules we did have a good laugh. I'd forgotten just how much I enjoyed Space Hulk!

 I have been quite busy (for a change) on the hobby front, but that's it for this week,
(My other blog's post this week is on Arenas and can be found here.)