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

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Street (4)

Another week and another problem, the photograph on the right shows it better than I can explain.
As I'd measure and re-measured (I always do) the dimensions for the internal floors for the three buildings, I was pretty confident that when I cut the paper pieces out for the floors, they would fit with ease and would require no more than a trim.
It seems however that printers have 'settings' which if not attended to, makes them feel unloved and so they f*ck you over by printing within their pre-set margins rather than to their maximum and can also reduce the size "to fit".
Double Aargghh !
This has happened for both the end buildings' upper floors (see left) and no matter which way I fiddled with them, neither would fit the other.
Rather than bodge the job, which would have been very unsatisfactory I've put this particular job on hold until I can get a re-print of the flooring.

Boring corner pieces
Frustrated by the flooring (or rather the lack thereof), I decided to move onto the roofs, a straight-forward enough job as the roofs are merely drop-in sheets of foam-board, cut to size.
Attaching the corner supports, using my widget.
I cut out four triangular corner supports for each of the four roofs from scraps of foam-board, more or less right angled (Foam-board is great for pressing into whatever it is your gluing it too, so it doesn't have to be 100% accurate). 

I also made a widget out of another scrap of card, this time with a fairly accurate ninety degrees cut into it. This would be used to get all the heights of the four corner bits the same.
The widget had to be cut slightly different for each of the three buildings as they varied slightly, not in height, but in what internal details I had included (or not as in the case of the third building).

Add caption

 Prior to cutting the actual foam-board I made some rough and ready templates from cereal boxes, which allowing for mistakes was far cheaper than doing the same with foam-board.
It wasn't just a matter of  measuring and cutting out four rectangles as I've mentioned previously the three building in my street were anything but 'rectangles'.


The third building's roof had the extra problem I mentioned previously, when I'd designed (read slapped together) this I omitted to include the roof parapet pattern on all four internal walls - You can probably imagine my displeasure on realising this and such words as "Oh bother" and "Deary me" were obviously bandied about.
 The slight gap you can see between the corner support and the roof parapet would be covered by the thickness of the foam-board used for the roof - just in case you were wondering.
Rear view of the roofs in place.
Having cut the templates out for the roofs, fitting the foam-board versions was a lot easier and they came together quite quickly, though possibly they'll be too tight a fit once the printout for the roof is added (they may also be coloured by hand as I haven't decided yet) and once more I'll be awaiting these being printed.
The roof will also need to have some roof furniture added, if for nothing else other than to have something to hold on to take the roofs off !
There's still quite a lot of work to be done on this model, the rear staircase (another tail of yet another disaster), the rear roller-door to the first building (on the right in the above photograph) and of course all the internal detailing (aarghh) and as I've already got some of the internal detailing "ready to go" this is what I'll be posting next week.

So, until next week, that's it and if you're reading this I hope you've found something of interest. this week,

If you wish to find out what I've been up to on my Gladiator blog you can find out HERE.


Monday, 16 November 2015

The Street (3)

The upper floor's floor
Having completed all the walls and glued the ground floor walls together it was time to take a look at how at how the upper floor's floor would fit atop the ground floor.
I used a single sheet of foam-board for this purpose with two rabbets cut into it to accommodate the dividing walls of the ground floor. It would of course have been a much easier task to have just cut the ground floor walls by a centimetre in the first place, but it was another one of those problems that was par for the course for this build.
The rabbets "Highlighted" with black marker
 The roof with its two rabbets cut into it was a very floppy piece of foam-board and was handled very carefully to avoid tears. (both the rips and the water variety of tear).
All but two edges of this floor also had rabbets cut into them so that the floor would sit on the ground floor walls and the foam would sit inside.
The reason the two sides were left uncut this way was that two walls of the left-moist building had slight extensions to the outside portions of their walls and would act ans an 'anchor' point for the whole of the upper floor.
Once the upper floor walls were carefully aligned with the ground floor ones (and where necessary cut  to size) they were all glued in place.
The front view.

The resulting structure can be seen in the photograph on the right
The most interesting thing that can be said about this model, so far  is that you can see through the downstairs windows (bottom right)
I don't particularly like the basic 'box' shapes of most model buildings and therefore I off-set the right-hand building by about an inch.
The rear view (fairly interesting imo)
I did have other ulterior motives too, which  I explain next time.
The rear also had to be a bit more interesting than just an plain back wall too, so as can be seen from the photograph the off-set building also juts out further than the others, whilst the centre building is much smaller than the other two with a walkway connecting all three.
There will of course be a stairway up to the second floor!
It wouldn't be typical of one of my builds if there wasn't some major alignment troubles along the way too.
As can be see in the photograph  two of the upper walls on the off-set building's rear didn't align at all and a minor bit of modelling was in order.

And relax....
It should be obvious from this photograph just how much out of alignment the two wall were!


"Ooooh look , doors and stuff"
If I manage to shake the lurgy I caught whilst on my southern sojourn I'll show what I managed to do with this:  -->

Concrete and wood -- luverly
And this: -->

More "thrilling" instalments of this marathon build next week and I hope anyone reading this is enjoying it a lot more than I did building it !

My other blog (HERE) features more gladiators for the arena, this time a w.i.p. on my Velites.

Monday, 9 November 2015

The Street (2)

Wonky walls fitted.
Not much progress to show (again) this week, but at least this time it's not because I spent most of the time searching for the building pieces I'd already made.
After the various unfinished walls had been finished - involving yet more windows to cut out, I had decisions to make concerning the doors.
No great improvement once the floors had been added.
I originally started this model with the full intention of having  opening doors, but this causes problems with floor height as the door has to clear the floor  when open and leaves and obvious 'step', up into the building. I don't particularly like this idea and instead opted for an internal floor that left the doors flush with tabletop and none-opening.  In-game I see no great advantage to having opening doors even if it does give a bit more 'realism' and they've seldom been a major factor in the games I've played so far.
For the floors I've used the same artist board as I have for the walls, covered in prints from various WorldWorksGames buildings.
The right-most building, which I'm surer many of you will recognise has had a dividing wall added, about 1cm shorter than the other wallas  to accommodate a foamboard roof for the second floor. It has also had  the flimsy doors replaced with a more substantial one from another model. The door don't open and merely butt onto the floor, the internal door is however open able as I'd made this way back at the start of this three years ago!
The two other buildings in 'the street' also had their problems, the centre one was meant to have a doorway, leading into the building. This door went awol and I improvised a make-shift one from other pieces.
In the  picture the internal front wall of the left-most building was printed back to front and was cut very carefully into three parts and re-glued onto the front wall. The two cuts can easily be seen in the picture despite my attempt at hiding them.

This week's post has been a bit rushed as I've been away for the week-end and not in the best of health either, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for next week as I'll have a lot more time and will be showing the progress I'll have made on the 'upstairs'.

I've also gained a couple of followers I'd like to welcome "Monkey Lite" (for whom I can't find a blog and  da Gobbo Grotto at Dagobbosgrotto - don't miss his excellent current build

My other blog HERE  features Roman legionaries this week.

Monday, 2 November 2015

The Street (1)

The bits, some finished most not.
I decided to try and finish off a project that I started three years ago (for the first mention of it see here), I think the major reason why it was never finished was that the material I was using was art board rather than the foamboard I use now for nearly all my buildings.
It took me almost a week to find the relevant pieces, cunningly hidden in plain view for the most part.
The "street" was intended to be  a block of three shops and it still is despite my misgivings now about the whole thing. I didn't want to actually 'waste' all the effort I'd gone through to get this far on this project all those years ago.
At the time I  started this I was taking about thirty tablets a day for breakfast alone and miscellaneous other medications throughout the rest of the day too.
The two photographs above and to the left will testify to the fact that I was the equivalent of being under the influence when I'd started this.
There are whole walls cut out and not glued to here counter-parts, windows panes still needing to be cut into card and doors still needed fitting (and finding in one case).
I also didn't have my original sketches of how I wanted to fit the whole thing together, which definitely would required another search. The basis of the whole build were buildings from "Tommy Gun" and two MicroTactix (all freebies).
I did photoshop a lot of each model to get to my final versions and also to enable some internal detailing for each of the 'shops'.
A sketch of the third building.
I did find the sketches I'd made of all three 'shops' and even some of their internal detailing.
The next thing to do was to complete all the walls; there are a total of 16 external wall forming the perimeter of the block and four internal walls that were the dividers between the three premises on two  levels.
A quick sort through of what I actually had, was made and some priorities were established, namely completing the final walls, door windows etc. that still needed doing.
This task of course was not going to be any easier as upon inspection of the pieces I did have, one wall had bee printed back to front), whilst another's front and back didn't match and was about half an inch out.
The task had suddenly gotten a lot more difficult than I'd imagined.
Trying to get some semblance of order into the build.
I did eventually get some order into the various parts .
The picture on the left is missing a mere four walls, all of which had to be completed before much further progress could be made and the whole thing assembled.
Assembling of course was going to bring a whole new set of problems.
The whole of the second story (it''s a two-story block) had to lift off to reveal the ground floor AND sit tightly on it; there has to be a floor on the ground floor and the upper floor as well as fitting a roof.

As this was started with Art-board  it would really have to finished using the same materials too, which again brings on a yet another complication - fitting the corners ! With foamboard one wall would have a rabbet cut into it whilst the other butted into it -  but this artist board stuff ?
Floors always cause problems too, you can either glue the walls around the floor or on top of it, both having their own advantages and disadvantages.
Whilst I haven't set a deadline for completion of this build I'll be working on it no more than an hour or so four times a week and I reckon it'll take about four weeks to get some semblance of a building  at the end of it.

That's it for this week, next week I'll be posting more about this wip.

In other news I seem to be gaining and losing a single follower on a regular basis, which is odd, but probably par for the course for "Blogger" and it's not anyone I can actually pin down !

Over on my other blog HERE, you can see my attempt at painting a statue

Monday, 26 October 2015

"Stand To" (Games and Trains)

Trains, with the venue in the background.
I attended yet another wargame show, "Stand To", setting a record for me of two in one year and three overall in about five year, prior to which wargaming had been placed on a back-burner for at least another five years.
I had convinced my ever-patient wife to drive myself, my son and grandson to the event and after an early Sunday morning start we arrived at the venue by a bit of a magical mystery route (I was "navigating") we eventually arrived.
View from near the efront of the building and  the cafe
The venue was the large "Locomotion" the National Railway Museum Shildon, a large 'shed' of a hall containing trains and games,
Strangely,  whilst the presence of the trains was obvious, the presence of any organisers wasn't!
That's not to say the event wasn't organised, there were very helpful people on car park duty  and as entrance was free, no one stopped you at the door. The organisers "Wear Valley Gamers" seemingly had little to do whilst the show was underway and most likely their work was mostly before the show opened to Joe-public and the clear-up afterwards. Whether due to a lack of manpower or whatever I did think that there should have been some form of display put on by WWG, even if it was just a static display.
Main Street Bonita (sp?)
There were three games present at the show, nearest the entrance was a western game put on by a sole chap from Consett (apologies for forgetting your name)
I'd seen this set-up at the Border Reiver show and was still impressed by it. A simple enough set up, but with lots of eye candy to gratify my card-terrain needs.
The buildings were mostly made from the models from "Finger and Toe" (I think there was at least one scratch-build) and I think the rules used were "Dead Man's Hand".
View of main street

Whilst the lighting in the hall was amongst the best I've encountered at a wargame show, I still had to 'photoshop' my photographs to lighten their dull appearance. It may have been just my lack of skill at photography that was at fault of course or that my auto-flash camera function wasn't playing nice, but I'd bet on the former.
The western genre of game  has always appealed to me from my early days with the original 3-step "Western gunfight rules" and I would have liked to taken part in this participation game, but with limited time and a two year old toddler in tow, it wasn't going to be.
Pleasing enough game.
The second game I headed towards was a game put on by Redcar Iron Beards War gaming club.
 It was some form of fantasy  game and whilst I don't wish to be disrespectful of the genre, this GW style fantasy gaming doesn't really appeal to me.
The people running the game were very friendly and chatty although I did tell them I felt let down that not one of them had a beard despite their club's name, which they took in good spirit (especially the lady)!
General view of the huge table
The third  and last game on my tour of the games on offer was a vast 28mm Renaissance  game put on by "The Independent Wargmames Group" who have been putting on games at shows from way back when. You can see Robbie's take on "Stand To" (and far better piccies of his figures) HERE
The Blurry Cavalry of one side...
Pleasing enough the game was being played throughout the time I was there with Robbie having little time to participate as he seemed to be constantly chatting to all and sundry who came to take a peek. 
...versus the Blurry cavalry of the other side.

My photographs do very little justice to quality of brush-work on the figures, (from a wide range of manufacturers), but this period has to be one of the most colourful  to wargame in and was a clash between the Venetians  and Turks in one of the Venetian colonies.

"Where's the loot?" I hear you ask. Well, despite free entry and the numerous traders (can recall at least a dozen or more), I left with no more than two packs of square MDF bases (for a print'n'play boardgame)  and a packet of four Collie dogs form the very friendly Colonel Bill's establishment of fine repute and I reckon you live without seeing more unpainted lead,

The trains were a nice diversion from the traders and games (my highlight being a restored "Wagon Lit s" second-class carriage of the Orient Express type).
The venue was great, the footfall from both wargamers and public was at best moderate and the show could do with a lot more of both. The traders were as ever very friendly, including those staffing the museum shop (with a very large range of train models, buildings accessories etc. and once more all could have probably done with a more punters spending cash.
Finally, the cafe was of typical museum expense and quality (probably a bit understaffed too).

"Where's the loot?" I hear you ask. Well, despite free entry and the numerous traders (can recall at least a dozen or more), I left with no more than two packs of square MDF bases (for a print'n'play boardgame)  and a packet of four Collie dogs form the very friendly Colonel Bill's establishment of fine repute and I reckon you live without seeing more unpainted lead,

It was a great day out and I chatted to many old friends, unfortunately though I didn't have the time to say cheerio, for after two hours  or so and my pocket money all spent, the wife and toddler were bored and I was informed we were departing  - something about slides and swings outside.
 I'm hoping that this small, friendly, show (now entering it's third year ?) does continue and grows in support next year.

That's it for this week, next week I'll be posting about my trial in tribulations of my new building project that started about  two and a half years ago!

Progress on my other project has been a bit quite of late but you can read what I've been up to HERE

Monday, 19 October 2015

Escape to the Country (3)

Jerome and Washinton in the foreground 
Last week we left Jerome and what was left of his gang heading up the centre street towards the RV. Jerome and Washington (aka  Bjorn) continued on towards their objective of the RV leaving Chuckles and Bubba being (they'd become separated and couldn't keep up with the others due to their low fitness)

Bubba the obvious target of a stray zombie.

 No new zombies were generated but a lone one homed in on Bubba and Chuckles, leaving Bubba no option but to open fire on the zed as it tried to close in on Bubba.
Even though Bubba managed to riddle the zed with bullets (three hits!) he only managed to knock the zombie down; Chuckles however came to the rescue and stomped down on the prone zombie, killing it once and for all.

Another one bites the dust (white counters are noise)
One zombie v two of the gang - seems fair

Meantime Jerome and Bjorn (aka Washington), continued jogging towards the RV despite the attention they were now getting from the solitary zombies ahead of them. However three more zombies were generated, two to Jerome's right and another ahead of him, which when added to the others slowly encroaching upon him and Washington, made things a little more hairy.

Bubba and Chuckles sauntering up the street
  Things did start to look up a for the lead pair as the SP5 was depleted, leaving only two to generate future zombies. Jerome split from Washington to head straight for the RV, leaving Washington cover him whilst he did so.
The zombies close in
The next turn saw Jerome and Washington dithering (no activation), and consequently becoming slightly concerned as the zombies continued their advance towards making them a happy meal.
Further down the street, Bubba and Chuckles also stopped to gaze around at the growing zombie menace.
The penultimate spawn point (#4) and closest remaining one to the gang was also depleted, so at least the gang had something going in their favour,
"There's only three'''"
Jerome nearly at the RV, whilst Washington 'holds the fort'
 Luckily the gang's indolence didn't last long; Jerome sprang into action and headed straight for the RV; Washington shot at the two closest zombies to himself, luckily killing them both  outright.

Chuckles and Bubba
Down the street Chuckles and Bubba also decide to make a run for it (finally), with Chuckles taking the lead.
(Black counter on the RV represents Jerome's position)

Jerome tested the door lock to the RV (half a chance it was unlocked) and finding it locked smashed the window to gain entry.
Washington, drops a single zombie and manages to knock another down, meantime Bubba and Chuckles continue their marathon race towards the rest of the gang.

The zombies were seemingly stunned by all this new noise and stood watching their fellow undead dropping around them.

Elsewhere the stream of zombies from the last remaining spawn point were also brought to a standstill.

Washington's view of the carnage
As Jerome started the engine up (100% chance because of his attribute) Washington slowly walked across the car-park towards the RV shooting at anything that looked remotely dangerous, swiftly joined by Chuckles and Bubba spraying bullets from his smg.
All was at last looking good for the gang!

Bubba's shooting, looking pretty effective.
Washington nails another zombie
In the car-park Washington roaming zombie whilst Bubba managed to knock another down, Jerome reverses the RV, narrowly missing a zombie hidden from by the wrecked vehicle.
Gunfire attracts more zombies but they're too far away to bother the gang.

The gang's chance of escape is made a little easier with an event lowered the ER.
My interpretation of the card was that the ER drops by one as my ER is linked directly to zombie generation.
 Washington heads to the passenger door, opened by Jerome whilst Bubba and Chuckles head towards the RV. With just a couple of  zombies in their immediate area there is little immediate threat, but elsewhere the zombies are streaming towards the noise of the RV.

The Zombies heading for the noise....

...and forming a zombie conga line...

...some less successfully as others !
RV beginning to pull out the car-park
With Bubba and Chuckles making it safely into the RV the game was all but over. The remaining few turns of the game saw the zombies having little impact upon the gang's intentions as they closed in on the noise their RV was making.
The RV's movement of course, would have the zombies going one way then the other as the RV sped passed them.
With Jerome at the wheel the RV would attempt to avoid colliding with zombies on the road as it gained speed (I allow an increase of 6" in speed each turn) 

On the final home stretch.
Escape to the country!
 There wasn't many things that cold rally go awry with the escape once all the gang were on board, an event, inaction  or an unintentional collision with any zombies on the road would possibly have some effect.
Zombies in the RV's wake
 When the player did become inactive a zombie on the road ahead couldn't be avoided, even if the gang could get initiative. When the gang did regain initiative Washington leaned out the passenger window shooting him dead and simultaneously running out of ammo!

With that final zombie casualty and the gang easily clearing the table, effecting their escape, the game was called.

Two dozen or so zombies had been killed whilst two dozen more were left wondering where their next meal was coming from.

That's it for this week, it was a very enjoyable scenario took several hours to play out over two session but took even longer to write-up!

I've updated my other blog this week showing a couple of minor conversions I've done and it can be found HERE