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

Monday, 27 August 2012

Urban Terrain Boards - Part One

This was my first venture into making terrain boards for myself and I took my time planning it.
The first criteria was that the boards had to fit on my table top of 8' x 4' (approx 2440mm x 1220mm), with no overlap. The second criteria was that all the boards had to tessellate to enable varying board layouts.
Terrain board and tiles
6mm MDF was chosen for the bases of the individual boards and these were to be overlaid using 300mm x 5mm cork tiles. Both cork and  MDF are fairly easily cut using sharp craft knives.
The sheets of  MDF come in are the same size of the base board that I have and were able to be cut to a standard 600 x 600mm square.
The cork tiles come in 300mm squares in a pack of 9 tiles. The decision to use cork tiles was made a lot easier by the fact that I already had several !

The tiles were either going to be used whole or in 50mm wide strips (for pavements), 150mm squares or half tiles (150mm x 300mm).

I had determined early on that I wouldn't have roads running down the middle of the terrain boards as I'd found this very restrictive when making river terrain, although these being roads suitable for the USA it may not have been that important.  The photograph to the left shows the various basic pieces. The short strips were off-cuts from another project  of many years ago.

The photograph to the right shows the basic idea for format of the boards.

This black are is  here the actual roads will be and the raised areas are the cork pavements etc.

This board is a basic T-junction and uses 1 whole tile, 2 half tiles, 3 300mm x 50mm strips and a 150mm x 50mm strip.

All in all then this particular board would use the best part of 3 whole tiles.

These two photographs show  of all the boards with their tile overlays in place.

Having determined which bits went with which boards and in which orientation (taking advantage of the manufactured straight edges wherever possible) I then beveled off all the edges of the pavements.

This in itself was a tedious boring task, b ut one I felt that had to be done.
In the top-right of the photograph you may be able to make out my rough working-outs  of the eight boards.

This next photograph shows the same layout as above with all the cork overlays glued into position.

From this photograph you can see that I also needed some 50mm x 50mm squares for some corners of various boards. This was pre-planned and they came from the smaller off-cuts that I had around.
It should also be noted that I'm one board short of my original eight. This came about because I wanted to make a curving 90 deg. bend rather than  a standard right angled one, and I was one cork tile short !

These  next four photographs are all of the same board configuration.

The coloured board, whilst it may look a bit blue, is in fact a fairly dark grey (I'm going to sack that cameraman one of these days).
The blue/grey board was an experiment  to see if a spray tin would suffice to colour in the board.
It took far too long and too much spray, so that idea was abandoned.

Filler was used on the pavement for additional texture and to seal the join between pavement and road.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Just another week

Another week and my enthusiasm has once again been lifted thanks mainly to the encouragement of others in the zombie community.
This week I finished off the novel "White Flag of the Dead" and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The book is not going to win any prizes for literature nor is the story particularly groundbreaking but it is a very easy read.  The story itself follows a central character through the outbreak and his building up of a community around him and reminds me very much of Sean T. Pages "War Against the Walking Dead",
The writer uses little in the way of what I'd call "fluff"; he sticks to the action and what could be considered the more interesting stuff, so time can pass quite quickly if for example there are days when all that would happen is a repeat of say foraging for supplies then this may well only merit a single line - which I quite like.
The book does suffer slightly from poor proof-reading but unlike some other novels I've read it doesn't seem to detract from either the story or the pace of the book.  This is one of those books that you'd label a page turner or "Just one more chapter then I'll turn in for the night" type of books.
I've enjoyed the read so much that as soon as I'd finished it I'd bought and started the second in the series "Taking it Back" and I'm now about half-way through that one too ! There are at least five books in the series of "White Flag of the Dead" and as long as the standard of these first two is continued I'll end up reading them all.
(The first book cost me less than £2 and I believe all the others are under £4 from Amazon Kindle)

 Following on from last week's post here's another look at the figures I featured as a group.
They are of course all Wargames Foundry figures, with the three photographs being split into roughly civilians, suits and survivors for no real reason.
I'm still considering what to do with my basing and whether or not to flock them (I'm experimenting with various flock techniques at the moment, including making my own, but I'm still undecided.
The photographs of course are still up to my usual standard of naff, but keeping them small and a little out of focus means less errors in painting can be seen (Zabadak's photography hint #23)

I'm well on my way to getting my urban terrain boards to the point where they're usable. I'm currently concentrating on centre road-markings and junction markings using masking tape as an aid.
Next week's blog should feature the making of my urban terrain boards, from start to finish.

That's all for this week, thanks all for taking the time to look and  of course if you feel like commenting, feel free to do so; all comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Ramblings (2)

No great accomplishments this weeks this week but I have had time to reflect on the fact that it's been just over a year since I was taken into hospital and and whilst there, I started on this Zombie project.  My thoughts at the time were very jumbled (drugs) but I knew that a totally new venture would take a long time to get underway.  I think that at the time I said it would take about a year and that I would be in full swing by Xmas 2012. Over the last year I have had many, many nice surprises and made very many friends in the Zombie Wargaming Community, all of whom have been encouraging and helpful.
At the time, starting a new project from scratch was a daunting task but bit by bit I've made steady progress, so much so that I even managed my first practise game, using the All Things Zombie rules but without the zombies !  I had two friends actually playing the game whilst I tried to keep them to the rules.  It worked well, with only a few minor problems, no photographs were taken (to protect the innocent), but we're already planning our next game - with Zombies !

Efforts to advance my Zombie project over the last week has mainly been concentrated on further work on my urban terrain boards, however continued problems with my back haven't helped the cause. I'll be writing up a complete blog about the boards when they're nearer completion.
The photograph to the right shows the initial stages in the making of the terrain boards, but due to the cameraman's myopia doesn't really show that much.
The bases board (the large sheet of MDF with the bar-code showing in the bottom right hand corner)
measures 8ft x 4ft (2400mm x 1200mm) and one of the boards that will go on top can just be made out on the left hand side of the photo.
To fill the streets with rush hour traffic even more another trip to Poundland/World garnered me four more SUV type civilian vehicles.  I had thought that a quick going over in Acetone would remove the transfers (decals), but I soon discovered that they were actually a part of the overall paintwork.
They have the same garish silver interior as the last set of Military style Humvees/SUV's and are basically the same design, lacking the pull-back and let go motors.
They'll all be getting their windows blanked out and will all end up with a new paint job.

I've also been plodding away at some  of my Wargames Foundry figures and have managed to finish off these nine.

They're the usual mix of suits, survivors and civilians most of whom will be in most people's collections no doubt.
As you've probably gathered, I'm pretty much bored painting figures and really need to turn my attentions to making some building to fill my Urban Terrain as well as reading rules, planning my campaign, getting a few practice games in, reading blogs, commenting on blogs, reading forums, watching for new figure releases etc. etc. etc.

There just isn't enough time in the week !

That's it though for this week and as always, all comments are welcomed and appreciated.

I don't think I've gained any followers in the last week or so, but if you're lurking out there, "Welcome to my blog", I hope you find something to amuse or interest you.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Surviving the Dead

Well the shenanigans of the weekend are over and I still managed to get some reading in on the journeys to and from the wedding of my eldest.
There are currently two books in the series "Surviving the Dead", the first "No Easy Hope" was a decent enough read with plenty of action.  I don't normally like the main characters being almost super humans but it probably makes sense that those better trained would be the more likely to survive an apocalypse. Mike, the central character may not be one of those superhuman  types, but he comes close (and his buddy Gabriel is almost certainly super human).   The story follows the more or less normal formula of a lot of zombie novels but that doesn't detract from its worth.
What does detract from the story is the apparent lack of editing and proof-reading  that runs throughout the book; what should have been an excellent read became a bit of a chore in parts.  The characters however were interesting and well presented enough that I wanted to follow their story so I've also read the sequel "This Shattered Land".   I wasn't to be disappointed by the sequel, but again the book suffered from editing and proof-reading.
"This Shattered Land" is set two years after the outbreak and again is a decent enough read, so much so that I'm looking forward to a third book in the series.  Whilst the first book has the objective of Mike getting to his friend Gabriel the second book has them together at the outset.  The second book's ending has been obviously set up for a third volume in the series.  Both books score a 4/5 on my scale but they both border on the lower end due to their poor proof-reading.

What was left of my week has mostly been taken up with being ill, so that all I managed to do was a little more work on my urban terrain boards, which will feature in this blog in the near future.
With the two dozen zombies that featured briefly in last week's blog my zombies have now officially reached horde status as there are now over one hundred of them.
Here are some individual shots from the group that featured last week, all are MegaMinis.

The girl in the centre of the group of females has a kitchen knife hidden behind her back - smart zombie or what ?

The three zombies in this next photo are nothing remarkable but the left-hand one is quite animated in trying to rip his clothing off .

These three are among my favourites out of this batch even though they are all carrying weapons (maybe that's why they're my favourites?).

Two hippies and a cop - sounds like the title to some cheap Aerican sit-com.  The cop is a poor figure, his nightstick looking more like a black salami sausage.
The hippy on the right is actually holding a leg in his left hand though due to the expertise of the camerman this is snot completely evident.
The hippy with sun-glasses on the left however is holding a brain and has obviously been  type-cast as a typical zombie.  It may have been more amusing to paint him with a white stick and to claim he was blind !

"Zombie line dancing at its best" could be the caption for these three.

There really is nothing much to be said about these except that they're no very good figures, but they will do to bulk the horde out.

We now come to the good, the bad and the ugly, but as to which is which I'll let you the reader decide.

The zombie ninja is amusing if nothing else, as is the farmer.

The centre zombie though is another one of my favourites - there's plenty of detail on the figure and he has a certain character  about him.

These three again are nothing really special, but does the briefcase on the third figure count as a weapon ?

The central zombie is another of those that could be the zombie version of one of the MegaMini civilians, although I didn't realise it at the time of painiting the civilian version of him.
 The final three figures in this motley crew are all females.  The third figure on the right did have a huge pair of scissors in her right had but these suffered during the cleaning up process, I didn't particularly like them in any event as they were grossly over-scaled and were more akin to garden shears.
The crawling figure I do like and would really like to see a lot more "crawlers" - in case you're wondering why the figure is crawling, her left leg is missing from below her knee (unlike the footless zombie jogger I featured a while ago)

On a final note, I realised that as I come closer to starting up my own zombie campaign the games will probably be being played out on a Saturday, leaving me little to no time to complete a blog on a Saturday as I have been endeavouring to do.
Consequently my future blogs will be published on a Monday, easing the pressure somewhat.

Well that's all this week and as always, thanks for looking, all comments are welcomed and appreciated and
if I haven't already welcomed you then "Welcome", I hope you find something here to interest you.