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

Sunday 26 February 2012

Horsemans Diner - a WIP

I was hoping that this week’s blog would be showing a completed model, but alas things have conspired to delaying the finishing of this particular project, so it has unfortunately become yet another work in progress !  I was also hoping to get this blog out yesterday (I’m trying to make a Saturday my target posting day), but again real-life and she-who-must-be-obeyed held sway on that idea.

Some of you will no doubt recognise the signage of my Diner, being very similar to the free “Horseman’s Deli” (from “Microtactix” - http://www.microtactix.com/) that can be found on the internet.  A bit of jiggery-pokery on Photoshop and the “Horsemans Deli” became the “Horsemans Diner”. 
I always liked the look of this building but I wanted something a bit different from everyone else’s Deli; you have no further to look than Vampifan's rendition of the Deli to see what the original was intended to look like.

Parking is at a premium in these parts.

The first photograph shows the general overall view of the diner with some of my latest vehicle acquisitions (picked up today for 10p each !). The overall footprint of the Diner is 9” x 9”  (22.5cm x 22.5cm approx) , with a height of 3” (7.5cm) to the top of the rooftop parapet which is approximately ½”  (1.25 cm) tall.

Notice the glaring mistake ?

This photograph is merely a close-up of the front of the Diner, I had to redo the front doors and enlarge the door frames to make a better “hinge”; all the doors in the Diner are openable.

Notice that my photography skills haven't improved and I'm still getting glare on the windows. 

The boring back which needs trash cans posters etc.

This picture is of the back of the Diner, nothing spectacular here,  but note that the inside floor of the diner still has to be removed from the outside ! 


The next two views show the inside of the diner from the front. The fixtures and fittings in the model are only a temporary measure and aren’t glued in place or necessarily what will appear in the finished model.  They’re there just to illustrate what the final product may look like, if and when I ever get it finished, most of the fittings are from World Works Games. I have posters, menus, tables, more benches and other fittings to put into the model, along with a couple of posters for the outside walls to bring the model to life so to speak.
Overall view, the toilet is in the dark top right corner

Close up of counter, seating and kitchen
The last two views are from the back of the diner, showing the kitchen area, nothing spectacular here.
I need twice the bench seating shown and tables !

Kitchen area, a few more fittings still needed here

Saturday 18 February 2012

Buildings, Books and Book'em

First of all let me extend a welcome to anyone I haven’t already thanked for looking at my blog,  As I get to grips with my new camera (a birthday present to myself) I’m afraid you’ll have to put up with the poor quality of photographs.  I’ve been unable to use some of the photographs as the glare on them is truly awful.


     I’ve been scratch building model buildings for over forty years now (yes I am that old), they have ranged from Pele Towers to small medieval villages and castles (I think I’ve built four or five castles in all)
For one of Durham Wargame Shows I built a Troy-type citadel which took several weeks and weekends to make; not the largest model I’ve made but one of them.  I’m not that good at colour coordination so I took advice on the painting of it and had some help with that, but the model itself was probably 95% all my own work.  I haven’t any of my own photographs of it, so here’s a borrowed one.

This photo of my Japanese castle was taken with an old digital camera a while ago, so add that factor to my ineptitude with a camera and you have a more rubbish photo than ever !  The castle was made from thick cardboard over a two week Easter holiday sometime around 15-20 years ago.(I was bored) and it wasn’t until sometime later that I discovered that Japanese castles never had red roofs but in fact were always blue to the best of my knowledge.  The two figures on the approach ramp are Foundry figures from the Indian Mutiny range, so it should give you an idea of the size of it.  All the roofs lift of to enable figures to shoot out of the windows and the main doors do open.  Even though I have quite a collection of Samurai figures, this particular model has never seen the light of day in a wargame.

     For my Zombie game, which is set in the contemporary era it was obvious that I needed some suitable modern buildings.  Using what is free on the interweb and a few purchases from World Works Games   (http://www.worldworksgames.com/store/) I’ve cobbled together two buildings.   The first is intended as a convenience store for a petrol station and the second is representing a cheap hotel.

The convenience store has “sliding doors” at the front and three other doors, all of which were a pain to incorporate into the model.  The bits and pieces inside the store were either form World Works or gleaned off the interweb  The roof is a temporary one quickly put together for this piece. The two cop cars out front are almost identical save that the one on the left is plastic with a silver interior (three for £1 in Poundland) whilst the one on the right (sans roof light (is a die-cast mode, probably used by the former manufacturers to rip of their version).

Front of store showing sliding doors
Store area plus added glare
Store, storeroom, toilet and more glare
The Cheap Hotel (™) , I’m quite disappointed with overall, but as it’s one of my first models I’ve attempted in years and was constructed whilst under the influence of masses of drugs, I shouldn’t really be that concerned, they can only get better (I’m still on drugs but not such a high dosage that I think everything I do is wonderful).
The other views of the model show the top floor and the middle floor and even though there are no internal fixtures in place yet, I have made them all ready to put in place.  The ground floor has no internal detail yet, save for the staircase to the middle floor and the front and back doors, both of which can be  opened, as can all the doors in this building..
Top Floor
Middle floor

     I’ve finished reading “Dying to Live – Life Sentence” by Kim Paffenroth the sequel to “Dying to Live”, all a bit formulaic and even predictable in parts.  The ending could easily be construed as being set up for a third book in the series, "Dying to Live - Last Rites" which I’d probably get and read for completeness, but it won’t be at the top of my reading list.
I’ve also added a “What’s on the shelf” section to my book reviews page. I tend to have one e-book that I’m reading and one hard-copy book on the go at the same time.  The e-book reading is reserved for those interminable waits that I must regularly endure in hospital, whilst  the hard-copy books I read at my leisure, what little leisure time there is with the demands of this project and real-life.


      The photo should explain all; these are my nearly completed police force to stem the apocalypse in the early days.  I say nearly complete as I keep finding little details that I’ve missed, that need attention. They are mostly Foundry figures, with the addition of the six Black Cat Bases’ cops, which I really like (wristwatches !). You may just be able to make out the four Foundry conversions I’ve done, to make four more individual figures , I’ve placed them adjacent to one-another for ease.  They  have had shotguns, nightsticks and a BA$$ pistol added, one has had his arm repositioned too add of course they come with added glare !

Saturday 11 February 2012

More History !

First of all let me welcome those who are now following my blog and whom I haven’t already welcomed in reply to any comment you may have made.
Secondly let me thank all of you who have come back, and those who are viewing this for this first time welcome !
I’ve added some of my own photographs to this page, but as I’m no great shakes with a camera (or any technology for that matter) I can only hope that the results will improve with time.

More History Part 2.

With so much time on my hands whilst in hospital last year I took in every manufacturer of Zombie figures that I could find, Vampifan’s well laid out blog page, showing many manufacturers that I hadn’t even heard of  was a great help with this.

The variation between manufacturers’ ranges and scope for figures for Zombie wargaming was as diverse as the number of manufacturers .  Some had a range of maybe 8 figures, whilst others had more than 60 or so individuals in their ranges.  Knowing what I did about  Zombies (which at the time was next to nothing ) , I new I needed a horde !   I guessed about 250 individual figures would make a suitable sized horde and I would have to have  to pick and choose from several manufacturers.

The manufacturers I chose, for various reasons, were Old Glory UK (60 figures in 3 packs); Zombie Smith’s “Zombacalypse” deal  (28 figures in one deal); Cold War Minis (70 figures in another great deal, including some of my first survivors); Wargames Factory (30 figures in plastic – multipart assembly) and Mega Minis (48 figures in 6 pack deals).
My "Horde"

So I easily made my target of 250 without even blinking, admittedly a few of these were from the USA and I’m reluctant to order much from across the pond, (customs charges, postage [shipping] all tend to put me off, but I by-passed this problem by getting them sent to my sister in Canada, who delivered them to me in person in November!

There are many, many other ranges of Zombie figures out there and as I read more about the game and the Zombie genre in general, I knew I’d need a lot more figures other than just Zombies !

Here’s the ever growing list of what I would like to either add to my collection or that I’ve already got in my collection:

Civilians are a  priority, to me at least, both of the unarmed variety (Zombie fodder) and the armed Survivor variety – I’ve got quite a few of both of these  types, but you can never have enough it seems.  A lot of my civilian figures have come from Black Cat Bases and include cops, gangers, shoppers, clowns etc.

The Authorities, not just the men in suits, but the Police, Swat, the Army Reserve and even emergency services are all on my list too!  I’ve accumulated a lot of “suits”, a good sized uniformed police force and a large  SWAT unit, but alas still no Army types, regulars or otherwise. Wargames Foundry’s “Street Violence” range has a diverse mix of survivors, SWAT, Police, Suits  and others of which I have a fir few packs.  I already know which figures I’d like for my regular army types, but that’s for a date in the future as I can’t justify adding to my current, ever-growing, lead mountain.

Themed Gangs, there are a lot of themed gangs out there too,  from “Boyz in the Hood” to “Killer Klowns”,  add in Bikers, Self-appointed Militias, Cannibals, Rockers, Cultists etc. and you have a whole new facet to add to the game, and even though not essential, I already have the basis of four of these gangs.

I haven’t given out any links to the figure manufactures I’ve mentioned but I have added a new page on figures (just click the tab at the top of the page) which gives the manufacturers web page and a quick view of their ranges.

As well as populating the streets I realised I needed to "populate" the roads too, so I've been buying and acquiring the odd vehicle, here and there, so here are some of my recent acquisitions:

SUV with Wargames Foundry miniature (£1Poundland)
Convertibles with accessories ! (£1 each -Poundland)
3 vehicles for £1 (Poundland) !
Ariticulated lorry of unknown origin
 As you may have gathered from the quality of these shots I'm no great shakes as a photographer.
 The model building in the background is my first attempt at a building for my zombie campaign and is intended as the fourcourt shop for a petrol station.  The roof is a temporary one and the interior is all but done, it just needs a counter and a till to complete it.  I'll attempt more photographs when its complete.

The lorry is a typical heavy goods vehicle, which with some weathering will be a good addition to my set-up.  Where it came from nobody knows ! 

Saturday 4 February 2012

Introduction, a bit of history

    Hi everyone (anyone?) and welcome to my blog and first post.   I thought I’d start by giving a little bit of background of how I’ve ended up writing this in the first place and getting into Zombie wargaming – a bit dry I know but hopefully future posts will be better.

Sarissa City Block Residential
    In July 2011 I decided to resume my wargaming interests after a lull of three to five years and started again on my 1920’s gangster project by looking around for suitable buildings.  I came across the fine range of buildings by Sarissa (   http://www.sarissa-precision.co.uk/store/cityblock28/) and ordered one straight away.     
    About a week after it had arrived I was admitted into hospital, August 2011, since when I have been in and out of hospital on a regular basis.  During my time in hospital I was still looking for suitable additions to my 1920’s buildings and came across the website “Vampifan’s World of the Undead”, via Zombietown  (http://www.skankgame.com/zombietown.html}, a great site.

     With more time on my hands than I knew what to do with whilst in hospital, I read through Vampifan’s entire site  from his very first posts in March 2009 to the present.  To my delight he used the “Two Hour Wargaming Rules”; I too was going to use the Gangster supplement from these rules for my gangster games and I was unaware that there was a Zombie supplement.   It wasn’t long after going through Vampifan’s site that I contacted Vampifan by email, though what my drug-induced missives looked like then I dread to think!
       The rest they say is history, I was infected by the Zombie bug, I planned my project all the time I was in hospital, what figures I would buy, what buildings I would make what rules I would use and a myriad of other things.  I haven’t forgotten my gangsters though and I still have an eye out to add to their number.

    There isn’t a community on the web that I’ve come across that is as friendly or as supportive of each other as the Zombie Wargaming community and its great to be a part of it.