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

Monday, 27 January 2014

Painting again !

Well the title tells it all really, I've actually picked my brushes up and started painting figures again, this after a hiatus of nearly a year (due to my then rapidly failing eyesight).
I did manage to paint scenery and model buildings though so I haven't been completely idle, though in the last two months I've done little to nothing hobby-related.
To ease back into the painting habit and my regime of doing something towards my zombie project I started with these EM-4 plastic (and some metal parts) sci-fi troopers. They're cheap and cheerful multi-part figures (£2.55 for 5 !) and will serve as the military forces in my campaign.
I chose these first mostly because they're uniformed, which makes painting a lot easier than my horde of other civilian and zombie figures.
Like many others I have a host of figures in various stages of completion.
In this photo I have zombies, civilians, a hazmat crew and packages of various figures.
Most figures of the figures shown have been undercoated and based, whilst the figures in the bottom right are finished save for their bases.
These were an unexpected gift from a fellow blogger whose name of Bryan must remain anonymous. (He also supplied the Heroclix clown)
The boxes in the back contain a lot of figures mostly from  Black Cat Bases, which I intend for gangster games.On the same shelf to the right of the above are more figures which were again in various stages of completion (some very nearly finished) which I'd been painting before my eyesight gave out.
Also on the back-burner are my small collection of clowns, once again based and undercoated ready to go. Once more several of these were gifted to me from an anonymous benefactor.
They're a mix of Eureka, Black Cat Bases and two or three of whom I can't recall the origin of. I do have an idea how these will be used in my campaign at some point, but not as the "Evil Killer Clowns" we're used to. (As an aside: Is it just me or does anyone else think that there's a strange propensity for clowns to be shown armed with meat cleavers ?)

That's it for another week other than to welcome my latest follower "Chris Stoesen" and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Film Reviews

I've taken this lull in my productivity to review and compare three films that I watched last year within a day or two.
As qualifiers to these reviews, let me state that I'm not a fan of horror films at all and I find zombie films to be mostly in the "B" category and I score these in my reviews allowing for this view.
Neither am I a fan of comedy films, I find most to be trite or the comedy is contrived or forced.
So I present here my view on three films, a standard "horror", a zombie comedy and an apocalyptic tale, categorised as a horror film.
The film "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974), caused a great stir in the UK when it was first released after, I believe, much difficulty.
Having now seen the original, I can't see what all the fuss was about, probably due to there being much worse gore-fest  available nowadays.
I won't go into the actual plot, such as there is as it's all on the poster, suffice to say it's weak and although it may have once been shocking it isn't now - far worse can be found on You Tube.
I was recommended this film over a year ago and originally only managed to take in the 2003 remake, which is probably a slightly better film.
 I'm sorry to say that neither of these "classic" horror films has warmed me to the genre.
The second film "Dance of the Dead" (2008) is described as a "Comic high school terror", which in my book is never a good start.
The film is a zombie comedy so what could possibly be wrong with that ? To re-iterate, I don't like comedies particularly; there are zombies rising, nay springing from graves; the zombies once risen are a mix of shufflers and of the abhorrent (in my view) fast variety; the main characters are teens (the middle class, US boy/girl next door types) and there's an archetypical old survivalist/apoaclypse prepper.
The main characters are a drop-out, a bully, nerds, the prom queen and a cheerleader as well as the aforementioned survivour.
Well for all the wrong reasons I actually enjoyed this film and even managed more than a wry smile at times.
There are scenes in a funeral home (of course), the high school prom dance hall  (dancing zombies !) and a storyline that I could probably have written. But for all that I would still recommend this as a film to watch, if you can. It's not one that I would go out of my way to find, but it's good enough to pass away an hour or so.
The acters are all unknown to me but put in good performances and I've given this film a 4/5 on my zombie film review scale.
 "Carriers" (2009) is not actually a zombie film, but is actually a post apocalytic tale of four survivors fleeing the spread of a lethal viral pandemic.
The storyline is simple enough, four friends are trying to get from wherever it is they started from to a remote shoreline destination of a happier time in their childhood.
The virus seems to be spread similarly to flu and hence facemasks are appropriate when dealing with others that may or may not be infected.
Those that are infected show bodily bubos and eventually will turn into livng corpses of their formal selves who look uncannily what would easily pass as zombies. These zombie-like forms seem to possess little if any motor skills ( I can't recollect any of them moving) but pose a great threat of infection.
In my opinion this is a great apocalyptic film, dark and  full of pathos and tragedy along the lines of "The Road", but without the budget of the latter.
Once more the central characters are unknowns and give believable performances and again this is well worthlooking out for. I have included this is my zombie film list and I've given it a 4/5 ("The Road" would get a 5/5).

And that it for another week save to welcome my latest follower "Barks" and as always to welcome your comments.

Monday, 13 January 2014

New Toys

At the beginning of December whilst on a one of my regular hospital visits, I took the opportunity to visit Poundland, on the way there (and back) and I spotted a couple of fire-fighting vehicles.
The first vehicle, shown on the right,  was one I'd seen several months before but didn't get and had regretted it ever since.

I've made amends now and have actually bought two !
 The second one I have plans to convert at some stage.
The model is nothing remarkable but it does look about the right scale and size against this foundry figure (Sid seems to be off on a holiday break)
The second vehicle I'd never seen before but I was delighted with it and its extending cherry-picker type platform.
You can see on the photographs that the front cabs and the chassis of the vehicles are identical, which to me is a plus.

And just in case you were wondering, the platform does extend and also rotates. The platform cage itself will hold two figures on  20mm bases (just) but is far to narrow for any bigger base size.
There is a slight problem with the joints in the platform as they are very loose and any lead figure sitting in it will cause it to droop, but tightening it up a bit shouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility. 
The final vehicle I picked up was probably the weakest looking of the three as it's just a plain white box with no details on it whatsoever other than the transfers (decals) on the sides and rear.
It wasn't on display on my first visit, but luckily was there on my return.
When I saw it, I didn't have much enthusiasm for it as part of the fire service, but did think it would be useful for something, quite what yet I don't really know, as it will need some work on the rear "box" to make it look useable in some form or other.

After I'd purchased these my thoughts did turn to the fact that I can't find any 28mm sized models of any firefighters although I'm, sure that there are some out there; the only ones I'm aware of is the dire Mega-minis  set. - so along with paramedics there is a gap in the market there.

That's all for this week and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 6 January 2014


I tend not to make New Year resolutions  and this year will be no exception, because after becoming ill in 2011, by 2012 I wasn't making any plans that I ever came to fruition. 
I do hope though that I'll get in some gaming and manage a few more building projects ( I have one in mind concerning a tin of bouillon and another with a plastic chocolate box insert.). When I get out of the current regime of over-indulging and sleeping I may even get around to some painting.
Buying figures is again not on the  list of things to-do this year (it was last year too) and yet I still managed to accumulate another fifty or so. I did buy some figures last year (less than a dozen) - some dogs and a cat spring to mind and although I still would like a dozen more of the former I'm in no rush. Long on my wanted list has been the plastic Survivors, both men and women but there again I really can't justify getting them as much I'd like some.

In case you're wondering about the picture, these are the main tools I use when I make any of my models. The ruler has a groove to protect fingers and a back edge that doubles as a very useful right angle and is about 5mm tall; it's single sided and has an anti-slip pad on the underside; it's one of my most recent purchases (less than 20 years old). The 9" bastard file I use for just about everything I need to file, I only use smaller files in areas where this won't reach. The Stanley type knife is used on thick card, but for most everything else I use Scalpels. I have three scalpels at hand and go through a lot of blades, hence the essential 100 blade pack (and the multiple scars on my hands). The saw I've always referred to as a Jewelers saw, but I believe these days it's called a razor saw. I've had it for a very long time and its shows on its blade. The adjustable set square is a must for anyone making large models in my opinion though I tend not to use it for very small bits as I can judge a right angle fairly well.
I haven't a clue what to call the red handled cutter thing, but again I've used this for more years than I care to remember. I use it for cutting most anything including the inevitable stirrers, but it can also cut through quarter inch garden canes. I do of course have many other tools that rarely see the light of day, cheap craft knives, small files etc. Hopefully this year this set will again see action.

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