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

Monday, 24 November 2014

Doll Houses (2)

So having posted last week about the first of the two doll houses I converted last week, here's the second one alongside the first.
The actual process of converting the second was identical to the first, more or less to the first though I had learned some lessons with what to cut and what not to.
Front of house #2
Here's house#2 alongside the original model. The front of this building is the back of the other and vice-verse. This house would have a picket fence surrounding it on three sides rather than having to add a larger base as I did in house#1.

This side of the building was flush with the base so required no fencing, but the obvious disparity between the two walls had to be fixed with a small piece of card, it was then covered in filler and the planking was scribed to it - not as complete a success as I would have liked but nevertheless sufficient for my purposes.
Rear of house #2 (front of house#1), with added fences

The fence that came with the model was a tad twee so I added my own, stuck straight to the base and then it had a "base" of a filler added for strength and aesthetic reasons. (the fence would otherwise have looked far too huge)

Side with "garden"
The final side of the house had the same problem of aligning the walls, but with the added complication of the arched window, again a thin piece of card sorted the problem.
The side "path" was unusable to place figures on once the picket fencing was in place, even for my slim 20mm bases, so I put a few bits of vegetation in to deter players from attempting to place figures there.
Notice the absence of any chimneys on this one.
Boring close up shot.
 A couple of very old hedge pieces and some sisal topped off with two variations of flock I thought was sufficient to complete this bit.
 The picket fencing is of course coffee stirrers which I had already made some time ago, though it should be obvious that I didn't take too much care with the heights of the individual pieces.

Moving on to the internals then, here's the top floor of house#1 .
There isn't a lot of space to really do anything here other than the basics so it's very minimalist.
The floor is "lift out", but the few bits that are there are all glued in place.
I did take care not to block the window areas (even those in the bathroom that were integral to the roof) so as to allow figures to 'use' them.
The internal doors of both models don't open and are in fact the centre of a triple layer of thin card with frames attached.
I used two pieces that came with the original models for the bathroom fixtures, but I did raise the toilet onto a small bit of scrap plastic tubing, nothing fancy really.
The stairwell and corridor is made up of scraps of card whilst a piece of bamboo skewer served as a the top of the rail.
Door handles are slivers off coffee stirrers.
 With so little space to get much detail in I  opted just for the bed on the wall (but note that it's not immediately up against the wall, to allow for the floor to be removed).
View of downstairs
Downstairs can be seen the general layout the both houses follow, kitchen to one side and living room type area on the other.
 The staircase has by necessity had to be places in the centre of the building, the eaves of the roof and window placing allowing little place else to go.
Living area
The sofa came from my 'stock' of scratchbuilt ones , whilst the bookshelf came with the models.
The carpet is paper and the only other additions are a book and a newspaper, both scratch-built additions.

You will have no doubt noticed the many flecks of white all over these models, caused by paint constantly flaking off the walls.
It doesn't bother me that much and I reckon it's just something I can put up.

Half the kitchen
Other half, with oven
 Two views of the kitchen area 'halves', I did two very similar models for the two houses at the same time.
Two pieces of foamboard and thin card, topped with slivers of wood for the handles.
I could have gone for a lot more detail but didn't think it worth the effort.
The floor tiles are a paper sheet coloured with a wash of paint (like the bathroom. 

Top floor of house#2
The second house, as can be seen, follows almost the exact design of the first.
I have added a washbasin to the bathroom and the bath is a scratchbuilt one I made  from foamboard.
Boring Bathroom

All details for the bathroom follow the exact lines of the first build.

Upstairs landing

The downstairs of house#2 follows the same lines as the first, but with even less furniture.
The telephone by the front door came from one of the original models, as did the long side table, whilst the single armchair and kitchen area were all scrathbuilt as above.
The carpet is of course paper.

Living room area
Telephone detail and opening door !


Kitchen area
 General view of the kitchen area and note the copious amounts of stray flock on the stairs (I'm thinking that there may be a static element to the plastic attracting the flock)
And that as they say is that, but I would like you to leave with this photograph of my £2 house alongside the commercial "American farmstead" that cost me £15.

The footprint of the dolls houses, excluding the surrounding base is about 6" x 4.5" (150mm x 115mm), about the same as the farmstead; the height to the roof ridge is about 4'5"

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

Monday, 17 November 2014

Doll Houses (1)

Front of house #2, (rear of house #1)
Earlier this year I bought six doll houses from Poundlandworld as I posted about here, the photograph shows the two different versions hinged together (notice the hinge).
There are two quite distinct versions, this one with the chimneys and the other one without, the latter was the version I would use for the 'front' of the first house.
The first task was of course taking the thing apart, filing off the hinge and removing the awful decals that were everywhere on the blessed things and stuck down with the most powerful glue known to man. I actually ended up using a scraper to remove them (a bit of one can just be seen as 'paving' in the photo).
Gutted interior
The next stage was gutting the two buildings, removing the fencing I wasn't going to use etc. I used a craft knife to score lines on the floors and then snipped off bits using a pair of pliers (not unlike nibbling at tiles). The many lugs that kept the roof securely screwed in place had to go and were also eventually cut off.
The small curved bits near the apex were to hold the rood in place but were eventually removed .
The whole model was of course filed down so that the ragged bits were less so .
The 'corners' of the upper floor were left to support a 'lift-out' upper floor that I'd make for each house. All the windows were easily pressed out as I didn't want them present when I was spray undercoating the model.

The roof deserves a bit of a mention here, as the two halves had to be secured together (there's nothing worse than a lift-off roof that falls into two halves when you remove it). The roof ridge was reinforced with a strip of plastic (both the top and underside) whilst the chimneys had their fourth side built up from bits and pieces, The roof ridge finally had a bamboo skewer glued along its length for aesthetic purposes , but it probably also helps the rigidity of the roof. 
the two houses have very distinct features, the wall of one have a facade of brickwork whilst the other is timber planking.
To make the two houses I would be building out of four of the kits as different as I could, I would one as a stone=clad house and the second as a timber house.
House#1 spray painted
The house was sprayed with a "stone finish" type can of stuff I've had lying around for ages, it disguised the planking very nicely as I hadn't completely filed it all off.
The extended base was card covered in filler , the card extending under the original model for extra strength, by snipping off bits of the models base.
 When I'd got to this stage of the first house build I decided to start the second, which would be a completely planked version.

Rear of house #2
I used card and filler on the walls then scribed the planking onto the shell of the building.
The chimneys for this house were removed and the holes filled in with filler, ( to later have tiles scribed onto them).
The side walls on both houses were also a pain as the didn't quite match up so inserts of card were the order of the day to match them up.

Front of house #2

Front of House #1 alongside the originals 
Side of house#1 compared to originals
You can see on the photograph to the left (side view of house #1 
House #1compared to original) how different the two original models are and what I did to alleviate the problem (card and filler).

House #1 'window side' compared the originals.
 Similarly with the other side 'window' where the differences were just as noticeable.

 Outside landscaping was of course flock. (quite possibly homemade, but the origins of it are lost to the annals of time - not that my memory is fading or anything)

Rear of house #1

I was pretty pleased with  how both these houses turned out and next week I'll show all the outside views of house #2 and relate the trials and tribulations I had making the internal bits.

Bonus rubbish picture

So that's it for another week, as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated and here's a bonus picture showing detail of the pile of rubbish at the side of the house that some of you may have noticed.

Monday, 10 November 2014


These are the final figures from my paint-tray - a biker gang and what a well armed bunch they all are.
They are of course from Black Cat Bases, bought over two years ago and finally painted up save for their accompanying dog who joins all the other mutts I'm slowly collecting.
They aren't "named" like so many other ranges of figures, but the second chap from the right looks remarkably like Paul Teutul Snr. from "Orange County Choppers (and was painted up on BCB's site as such).
They're comparatively as poorly armed as the the other gangers I've recently featured, with pump-action shotgun, Bfg 9mms, a chain and an  J7-Omg - machine pistol. They're wearing typical biker gear of denim, vests and not much more of course, with red bandanas for those that have them.

Their Nemesis, the Perdition PD is lead by this chap on the right whom I am sure probably started life out as an Army general or something like that. His providence eludes me as he was a gift from #1 son, who new I was looking for a figure to represent the Chief of Police (or equivalent) With the usual skill shown by my photographer (poor at best), it's quite difficult to make out his row of medal ribbons above his left chest pocket and I've painted his hands as wearing brown leather gloves, (as can be seen in the Boring Rear View ©).
I really do like this figure a lot and as I painted him up he started to look very much as I remember my dad strangely enough, down to the row of medal ribbons and even the figure's facial features, though the "chicken guts" on the cap peak did elude him.
This batch, like the two previous just need to be varnished before they are stored away.

With my painting table all but clear now I've all but completed my two dolls' houses and I've started on another fence building project, it's been a long time since I put my ample supply of coffee stirrers to use.
 My gaming table is out of commission until it's tidied up, a job that at least I've began to start on, but hopefully next week will see my first post on the houses I've been working on.
I have one new follower to welcome Hunterpest whom I'm sure many of your will already know. He runs the Project Zeke line of miniatures, which are well worth a look.

 That's it then for another week and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated, after all, I'm sure they're what keeps most of us blogging

Monday, 3 November 2014

Los Chicos

Here's the male counterpart to Los Chicas of my last post.
Once more they are from the now unavailable gangster range from Obelisk Miniatures that I got from Black Cat Bases and all that's missing from the complete set is the accompanying dog.

I like these figures a lot and hardly do justice to them with my inept painting skills

They do loosely follow some form of gang colours, dependent upon what clothese they are portrayed as wearing.
He's probably the best armed of the lot with some form of machine pistol.

The "knife-fighter" is the least well-armed of all this set and has only the barest gang-related "colours".
With his jeans and vest he could just about be employed as a bandito in a western game.

Trainers, loose fitting shirt over a vest, cargo-pants (?), and bandana, in my mind typifies an urban ganger. (I do think though that I've probably been influenced unduly by TV and Hollywood.
He carrying the archetypical urban heavy weapon an ID 10 T pump-action shotgun.

Another figure that hardly bears any resemblance to the rest of the gang save for him wearing a white vest and opting for black "sweats" rather then the pants of the others.
He too is relatively lightly armed, with a baseball bat, but I'm sure he is meant to be holding another weapon such as a pistol behind his back. Unfortunately the poor molding coupled with my crap attention to detail meant he never did get a second weapon.
For some reason the photographer (who is on a last warning) missed taking a frontal single photograph of the final figure in the group.
The reason he is in such a strange pose is that he's the one meant to be holding the dog at bay (it's either a Mexican Spitz or a Bitzer) - the dog does actually come with an attachable leash too !
He is armed with a pistol and rounds of the relative light and diverse firepower of these chaps.

Next week I'll be once more showing another gang of five from this range - the Bikers, so that's it then once more except to say, as always, that your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.