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

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 !


  1. Looking pretty good! Love the japanese castle!

    I have not yet tried my hand at woldworks, but Vampifan should be able to give you a little guide there.

    Seems you got a presinct already! Next building have to be a donut shop!

    1. Thanks for the comments; I'm in touch with Bryan on a regular basis and he's got a lot to answer for...opening doors indeed.

      Donut shop ? Well my next build to be completed should be a diner, will that do ?

  2. I love the Troy citadel. What a great build. And the Japanese Castle is fantastic. I would have gone with red rooves, too. It just looks so striking. Both really show years of modeling experience and talent. You're setting the bar pretty high for your modern project by showing these first. :)

    You're off to a great start on your Modern board. Lots of nice details in the buildings. I love the way you added raised lintels for the windows on the Cheap Hotel, and doors that open and close are just a wonderful addition. The Convenience store doors and interior are excellent.

    That looks like a great assortment of Cops. I'm unable to see them well because of the glare, though. It kind of sucks to be a modern hobbyist. You can be a great scratchbuilder, painter, and modeler, but that's not enough. We also have to be digital photographers and computer whizzes, too. :)

    You may be able to combat the glare problem with the use of a light box, though. I have a 16x16 inch one my wife got me a few Christmases ago, and a small one I made from a plastic coffee can. There are lots of guides on the interweb on making one yourself. Might be worth googling.

    Great post, I'm looking forward to seeing more. I hope you continue to recover and can spend more time on the hobby and less time in the hospital.

    1. Thanks Joe, unfortunately a lot of what I've built in the past is spread to the four winds, though I do occasionaly see a photo of one at a wargames show here in the UK.

      You're right about us having to extend our talents into all sorts of areas we'd never thought of ! My last photographs were too dark, so I moved location, it'll get better no doubt !

  3. Top stuff on the new and the old building.

    Lots of Cops to this is shaping up rather nicely

    1. Thanks Brummie, it was really difficult getting back into painting figures again (thank goodness they're 28mm and not 6mm, but I suppose more is now expected of 28mm !) especially after a 3-5 year lay-off, a lack of a current eye-test and a drug induced haze, but I'm trying.

  4. You've got some fantastic terrain there. I have no skill like that at all, and am currently trying to do a cheap job involving things around the house, and flipped over baskets as buildings.

    1. Thanks Adam, I've seen some great looking scenery made from crates and really odd objects I'd have never thought of your couls try "plan view" terrain too.

  5. The first thing that struck me, Joe, was... sliding doors! Hey, you're aiming high! I don't have any sliding doors in any of my card models so you're way ahead of me! Is this a case of the pupil outclassing the master?

    Congratulations all round. Your old wargaming models are just fabulous and after all the work you put into your samurai castle it's such a shame it has never seen any action. Imagine the fun you could have using it in your zombie campaign if you made it part of a theme park! It'd make a fantastic HQ for a group of survivors to defend.

    The garage store looks great and for a first attempt the hotel has come out very well. Don't worry too much about its lack of furniture. That can come later.

    Your street cops look fine from what I can see of them and I was able to pick out your conversions. Photography can be something of a bugbear for most gamers and modellers, especially if they're just starting out with their camera. The best advice I can give is the more you practice the better you'll get.

    Seriously, there is much to admire here. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Bryan for the comments, I wouldn't have come this far without your encouragement, enthusiasm, help and advice.
      I love the idea of a Theme Park, "Samurai Sam's Sushi Store" eh ?
      Cameras and I don't mix it seems;gone are the days when we could point and click and get a decent enough photo. I've got the manual, now all I need is the time. I'll keep at it though.

  6. The Samurai castle is really nice, but that citadel...thats simply fabolous. The colours are really nicely picked.

    And as I am just from my blog, you mind me asking how big is the gas pump store? It seems so small but you got it all in, the sliding doors are great idea.

    Maybe evena review of the streets if you find yourself out of ideas about what to post, seems pretty nice.

    1. Thank's Mathyoo for the commentsand welcome to my board.
      The store is approximately 8 1/2" (21cm) x 4" (10cm) and is about 3" (7.5cm) tall. The smallest room is about 2" x 2"(5cm x 5cm) which is the smallest size of room advised by Vampifan (Bryan). I may have an advantage here though as I'm basing all my figures on 2cm bases rather than 2.5cm which most others seem to go for.