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

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Tooth and Nail

Two of my fellow bloggers, Fran and Ray are participating in Broadside  2012 along with their fellow Rejects (the name of their group), but the organisers of said show have hit a snag.

It seems that certain magazines have let them down and failed to put the advertisements for the show into print in time for the show. When I attended a wargames group in Durham many years ago we had similar problems, so I know how frustrating it is.

The cry went out for help in advertising the show and although I doubt gettting the message out to my thirty or so followers (and any others that peruse m,y page) will have any effect, at least I can say I tried.

If you have been watching my blog page closely you will have gathered that I don't change my "Currently Reading" sidebar that often and there's a good reason why that is.

Zombie novels rarely "grip" me and generally speaking I'm not that into reading novels (of any genre); however there have been occassions when I've been truly surprised and engrossed by a book.

I think the last zombie novel that had a similar effect on me was probably "Feed" by Mira Grant, a book that I couldn't put down and didn't want to end.

"Tooth and Nail"  by Craig DiLouie had a similar effect on me, I read a couple of the initial chapters (setting the scene, introducing the main characters etc.) and my initial thoughts were that "This is promising".

Once I got through the fairly brief initial part of the book the pace of the story seemed to quicken and with each new element introduced the need to find out what happens next increased.

Now normally I'll read a chapter or two of a novel, leave it for a while and come back to it, but with this book I really couldn't.  I'd read the inital couple of chapters or so in two days and the rest of the book in a day, I'd found it that engrossing.

The story of how the apocalypse itself came about is not particularly original, but the background detail is believable, as are the characters.  All the action takes place in New York, on Manhattan island and the author's style of writing creates the huge metropolis and the inherent problems it creates during the crisis.

"Tooth and Nail" doesn't suffer from the pitfalls that many other zombie novels do, that of poor editing, proof reading and such (which at best can detract from a read and at worst really destroy it).

As such this book rates highly on my list as one of the best novels I've read and I don't hesitate to recommend it - Its definitely a 5/5 !

In other news, I haven't been slack on the painting front either with another dozen figures finished and a similar number almost completed, but they will have to wait until next week  !

Thanks, once more for looking; all comments are of course welcome and appreciated.

Finally to any new followers that I haven't already welcomed  - "Welcome !"

Saturday, 19 May 2012


Before I start on the subject matter of this week's blog let me just say a big thank you to all those that have decided to follow my blog and especially to those that comment upon the content, it truly is appreciated. When I started blogging some four months ago I didn't think I'd get more than a dozen followers, but it is very gratifying to have so many in so short a time.
I do try and update my links and other pages as often as I can remember to do so and to this end I'll direct you to the Film/DVD page (click the tab at the top of the page) as I've added a few more comments on what I've viewed lately.
My reading matter lately has been concentrated on the All Things Zombie rules and trying to keep up with all the blogs I try and follow (you'll have to look at my profile for a full list), but for a change of pace I've started to read the novel "Tooth and Nail" by Craig DiLouie. Although I'm not that far into it yet, it's got off to a very promising start and an interesting easy read. 

Well, I'm pleased to say that I've managed to finish off my first survivors, they're a mix of  "Offensive Miniatures", ""Cold Wars" and "Hasselfree".

These three on the right are from "Offensive Minis" Near Future range and are three of their terrorists.

I think that these are really well proportioned figures and are quite animated.

Whilst they may have started out life labelled as terrorists they are destined to become survivors in my zombie apocalypse and I think they fit the bill admirably.
The three girls are also from the same set as above and are as equally well sculpted and animated.

They are also as lightly armed as the men.
The men have two pump-action shotguns, a pistol and a radio !), whilst the girls have a pump-action shotgun, paired pistols and what appears to be an UZI and holdall, with not a hand-bag in sight !

Two of these figures, I believe, are bonus figures (I don't know which two), if you buy the entire hostage set

The final three figure this week are from "Hasselfree" (Gramps, on the left) and "Cold Wars".

There is a good reason why the woman appears so tall, it's because she is and she doesn't just tower over these guys either, but she does fit in overall.

My attempts at a check shirt and plaid jacket aren't that good, I know, but they look OK at arms length (if you squint, and have low lighting) and pass my "can you tell what they are at 2 foot" test.

Needless to say if my photography is getting any better, it's not noticeable.

Thanks for looking, all comments are of course welcomed and appreciated and If I haven't already welcomed you,  then - "Welcome"

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Bits & Pieces

As reported by Brian (Vampifan) in his monthly musings last month, we did indeed meet up in Newcastle City Centre to spend a very pleasant lunch and tea, interspersed with some shopping.

Much to my delight and embarrassment he gave me  a present of  a "mystery machine", a model from Armor Cast in the USA : 

 Its probably not to be confused to be confused with the "Mystery Machine" of a certain children's cartoon series as it's labelled "Clue Contraption Hippie Van".

 The photographs really do not do it justice; it really is a superb model.

What is more remarkable about this gift and what left me truly gobsmacked, was that Bryan had also painted it for me. 

Other than the two side panel signs which I believe were done by magic (or possibly photoshop) the rest is a Vampifan special paintjob!

Now all that remains to be done is to collect the "crew" for it and whad'ya know there is an all-ready- made gang available from "Hasselfree" :
Obviously this is not the gang from the cartoon series (for one thing, their names are different), but they'll obviously do the job.  Hasselfree are also in the process of duplicating the "Not the gang" figures as armed survivors of some horrific apocalypse or other.

 Just to show that I haven't been idle with my own painting, here is another attempt at the Lead Mountain. These are all "MegaMinis", mostly civilians, but there are some zombies amongst them - those civilians that have a "zombie double".
Probably most easily spotted are the two figures in red to the top left of the screen (even though the zombie one is slightly cut off. There are also a civilian delivery-type guy and his zombie duplicate to the front left of the mass - (they appear very yellow).

 Also on my work-in-progress (sub-division painting section) are this little group of figures.

Amongst these figures are Hasselfree, Black Cat Bases, MegaMinis, Offensive Miniatures, Cold War and a plastic Zombie from you know who.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will also spot the five figures that make up the "Devils Rejects".

Again apologies for my lack of any but the basic photography skills; I was trying to show the compatability of "Offensive Miniatures" with other Manufacturers, but that can wait for another day.

 That's it for this week, once I get this little lot finished off it'll be back to building offices, shops and homes for the zombie horde to destroy.

Thanks for taking a look, all comments are of course welcome and if I haven't already welcomed you to my blog-site  then "Welcome", stay a while and don't be shy, for as we say here in God's Country "Shy bairns get nowt !"

Saturday, 5 May 2012


Finished at last, with only one disaster involving varnish; the photographs are of course up to my usual low standard !

All these figures are all from "Offensive Miniatures": http://www.offensiveminiatures.com/
from their "Near Future" range.  I can't really comment on the customer service as I bought them off e-bay (at half price).

The first Photo shows what I assume to be the Command Team (as they're not wearing helmets), but they are missing one other who appears in a later photo.

Sniper, plus observer (female !)
There are two packs available, both with eight SWAT guys , but should you buy "the deal" of both SWAT teams and the Terrorists (consisiting of 5 terrorists and 3 hostages) then you get an extra  two SWAT figures thrown in. 

The chap I bought them from on e-bay had obviously done this, as I had the extra two figures when they arrived (plus an extra two terrorists!)

I would say that all but one of the terrorists in "the deal" are ideally suited as suvivors for a zombie campaign.

This  photograph shows another three members of the team, the middle guy holds the thing for bashing in doors (I haven't a clue what it's really called) and it's possible that the left most figure is one of the "freebies", but don't quote me on it.

From "Offensive Minis" web site the figures appear to be very diminuative, but this is an illusion caused, I suspect, from their fine sculpted proportions.  They really do fit in well with other miniiatures, from various manufacturers; on the web site gallery there is a comparison of figure sizes too. 

Three squaddies, only slightly out of focus !

All the figures in this set are armed identically, (for the most part) with a side-arm and what looks to me like an MP5, but I'm willing to stand corrected!

Some of the officer/negotiator types have only the sidearm, whilt the sniper has a sniper's rifle (surprisingly enough), though I couldn't possible  tell you what it would be, but I can tell that it's a sniper rifle because it has a telescopic sight !(The sum of my modern sniping knowledge has now been passed on).

Final squaddies, no idea what the third from left is holding.

As can been seen from the photgraphs, headgear is fairly varied; though the standard Kevlar helmet is much in evidence, there are also gas-masks and caps present, and the female observer is without headgear, as are one or two others.

There is a large amount of detail on the figures, which is great if you enjoy that sort of thing (I don't), but I refuse to even try to put the lettering of "POLICE" on the panel allowed for on the figures (approximately 4.5mm x 1.5mm), even "SWAT", attractive as it may seem with two less letters is well beyond my capabilities.  Should I ever get around to it, I may well copy "Lucky Joes" excellent SWAT teams and his use of transfer lettering, after all we can't all be Vampifan with his superhuman eyesight !

This photo shows the building I've used as a backdrop .

I've had this building for maybe 20 years now and I haven't a clue about where it came from, who  made it or anything else about it!

The building is made from very thin card and was probably assembled by me, (though I can't remember doing that either) and to the best of my memory I've  never used it on a wargames table

   Finally a group shot of the whole ensemble.
I was initially undecided as to what colour scheme to go with; blue would clash with (though possibly also compliment) the police, ditto green and the army.  So I settled on this bluey, green grey, which coincidentally is the colour scheme used by the SWAT types on the TV program "Flashpoint"

"Offensive Minis" also do a great bunch of rioters and riot police too, available as two seperate deals or one big deal, with the added incentive of a free news crew (something I haven't got - yet), I'll have to wait a while to get those though as I'm not buying any more figures until my current lead mountain becomes a hillock !

That's all for now, comments, as always, are welcomed and appreciated.

If you're new to my blog and I haven't already welcomed you, then "Welcome".