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

Saturday 28 April 2012

The Big Con

     When I started wargaming some forty plus years ago, the only figures that I could afford were soft plastic ones, namely  "Airfix". They came in a box, normally of  "48 pieces" for what in current money would be about 7 1/2 p, with about 36  of the 48  pieces generally being usable, the  others less so. When a new box was released it was always a time for great excitement of course, from civilians to confederate infantry, Germans, Foreign Legion etc.  However, I think every Wargamers dream was to own metal "lead" figures, but they were (comparitvely speaking) very expensive.  There were few suppliers and virtually no shops supplying them, outside of London and for those in the provinces (me) it was a very difficult task indeed to obtain them.  The "obstacles" of course were eventually surmounted and purchases of Hinchcliffe figures and Miniature Figurines  were eventually made. 
It was a slow and expensive business building up a wargames army in lead.

      Nowadays though we seem to have reverted to some form of inverted snobbery, where we're being brain-washed into believing that plastic figures (be they the new "hard" plastic rather than the soft polyethylene Airfix type) are superior in some way to lead miniatures.  My firm belief is that the only reason the "major" players in the figure manufacturing business have taken the step down the plastic path is money.  I haven't got a problem with firms making money, after all, it's what they are in business for, but when 5 plastic figures could knock me back £25 I draw the line. 

      There are plastic figures on the market that are excellent and fairly reasonably priced too, but equally there are many, many ranges of figures produced in lead/white metal that are on a par for cost per figure.
       Oversized plastic figures, which tend to be mainly, but not exclusively,  in the fantasy market have great detail on them, making them easier to paint - which is hardly surprising though when a shoulder strap 1 mm thick is possibly up to 2 inches thick in scale !  This in itself would warrant another rant, but it is another feature of the plastic market, that finer details cannot always be had the way they can on a metal figure and detail comes at a price.

     The photo above  shows the "waste" from a few sprues of plastic figures (6 figures to a sprue and assemble them yourself), I really can't imagine the same waste from metal figures not being re-used.

     In case you're wondering, yes I do have plastic figures of the modern "hard" plastic variety but I haven't come across anyone that prefers them to an equally sized metal figure.  Randomly looking through the interweb I came across 16 plastic men-at-arms for £20 or £1.25 a figure, which seems fairly reasonable (if you're prepared to put up with the bunches of bananas they have for hands) and a similar pack of 30 figures in metal for £24 or £0.80 per figure !

     Plastics are not always cheaper - its a Big Con !

For some reason (probably my ineptitude) last week's blog was missing the group shot that I took of my entire Gangstas collection., so here they are.

The basing "problem" has still yet to be resolved, but I'm getting there - you'll no doubt have noticed that my photography skills are still pretty dismal.

The building in the background is basically a large length of thin card wrapped around a polystyrene block and was used in many Indian Mutiny games, though it wouldn't look out of place in New Mexico, Spain or the Middle East either.

Next week's blog should feature my "Offensive Miniatures" SWAT figures as there are only a few minor details to finish off (barring any catastrophes with varnish, as happened with the Gangstas !).

Thanks for looking and all comments, are of course appreciated and if I haven't already welcomed you to my site "Welcome", I hope you find something of interest here.

Saturday 21 April 2012


After a great many trials and tribulations with this particular group of figures I've finally got to the stage where I can say that "I've finished them", or more correctly "I'm finished with them".

Some of the girls.

They are a mix of Bobby Jackson's "Thugz" and "The Dawgs" from Black Cat Bases.

They mix in so well in size and style that unless you know the figures well I doubt you'd be able to tell them apart.

The major difference with the two sets is that "The Dawgs" are on slotta  bases.  I find that the slotta bases are not to my liking (and that's being very polite) and so I've mounted those figures on 20mm washers, whilst the "Thugz" are on pennies.

Another girl with an eye in the boys

I fully intended to try and paint these in gang colours, but found that deciding what exactly would be gang colours was too difficult, so instead I opted for little to no reds within the group.

What I thought would be quite a straight-forward paint job  (to my standards at least) turned out to be quite a tricky affair as the more you get into painting these figures the more you find to paint. 

They have watches, necklaces, buckles, earrings, baubles bangles and bling aplenty !  For those who like painting that sort of detail, you'll have a field day with these !
Another girl (?) and three more guys
   Not one of my best photographic efforts this one, but I've never claimed to be a David Bailey.

The figure on the left, though not entirely apparent is, I've decided, a female; although she's quite butch and bald, her facial features I decided were female enough to qualify.  Above her left eye is a piercing with what in scale would be a curtain ring - luckily I didn't file this off when I was cleaning the figures up ready for their undercoat.

My three wannabe Rastas

Another one of my photos which should be marked "FAIL", but as I know how long it takes me just to get to this standard I'm afraid it has to do for the moment.

Not immediately apparent is that the dude on the left is wielding a machine-pistol, a Mac10 probably or similar, the guy in the centre has two pistols, whilst the jolly good chap on the right has but a single pistol.

One of the things that I really liked about all of these figures is that they are not blessed with huge amounts of firepower.
The boss (in the centre) and two of his homies

Of the twelve "Thugz" the heaviest firepower they have is a single shotgun, whilst the "Dawgs" come with a variety of sidearms including, revolvers, automatics, machine pistols, and shotguns, (pump action and double barrelled).

Not that I'm an expert on inner-city gangs but it does seem to be the typical type of armament that they could get their hands on.

My "Boss" of this little family I tried to give a Caribeean look to, hence my efforts to give him a bright flowery shirt and his pistol (in his left hand) is also gold, just to make him stand out a little more.
Two more guys.
More girls and child.

I tend not to name my figures, but the chap in the dark red hoody is named Mickey after one of my friends, who he reminds me of and will be used as his character in any zombie games we play.

The other character in the photo  was lost to me for over a month, but luckily I found him hiding within a group of zombies in time for him to be painted alongside the rest of the gang.

 This gang I think may feature quite heavily in my run-up to the start of the zombie campaign proper.

I intend to start making up the background stroy about a year ahead (in game time) of the actual apocalypse, which in my game will occur on 21st December 2012 (or possibly 23rd).

In real time I need a few practise games too, so gang-related games will fit the bill nicely.

Now all I need are more gangs (Chicanos are on the list), which means more painting....


As always, thanks for looking, any and all comments are of course welcome.

And if I haven't already welcomed you to my site "Welcome",  I hope you find something here that interest you.

Saturday 14 April 2012


I was hoping to get my “gangstas” finished this week as they were intended to be the subject of this week’s blog.  Real-life events however conspired against me and I lost a day’s painting to a hospital visit.  It does however give me the opportunity to show off some more of my pal Dog’s artwork.  This particular one being dedicated by me to Bryan (Vampifan), who’s first love, as many of you will know, is for Vampires, with Zombies, Werewolves and generally things that go bump in the night a close second.

The title of the piece "Vampiric Babe" gives it away a bit.

I've added Zombie Shop to my list of favourite links, although I've only ordered books from once from Zombie Shop, the service was first rate.

I’ve managed to watch a couple of films recently, the first of which owes me one and a half hours of my life back, whilst the second was a well produced enjoyable watch and highly recommended.

 The first “Target Earth” was described as “There’s an alien invasion coming and only little Tommy knows when.  Zombies hunt the kid, while a sheriff teams up with the desert Hippies to save the world” (1998).  The film had nothing to do with zombies and was a pretty humdrum affair despite some well known faces amongst the cast (probably before they were well known.  Whilst not a complete waste of my viewing time it was still pretty dire and not what I was expecting; on my scoring system it would appear as a 2.  I’d recommend giving this a miss unless you’re desperate.

 (For "Scrubs" fans out there, yes, that really is Dr. Cox in the centre of the three chaps on the right)


The next film I watched was “The Crazies”, the very title of which filled me with apprehension, but the TV description of “A virus turns the inhabitants of a town into murderous maniacs” suggested that I was in familiar territory.  Strictly speaking though this film was a horror film rather than a zombie film, but of course it had all the elements of a zombie film, with overall good make-up and special effects.  Whilst it may well have been a low-budget film, it certainly didn’t appear so.  If you replace the murderous near-humans with zombies then it would have been a great zombie film with all the key elements you would expect.  I thoroughly enjoyed this film and had it been scored on my zombie film scale I’d have given it a whopping 5 ! 

It should have come as no surprise really that when the credits rolled at the end the producer was George C. Romero! 

Recommended viewing for all zombie fans, I doubt that you’ll be disappointed.

Next week I’ll be presenting my first gang for my zombie campaign, unless real-life events thwart me yet again; I also have a secret assignation that I may or may not spill the beans about (but it will include a shopping trip to the ubiquitous "Poundland").

Thanks for looking, all comments welcome and if I haven’t already welcomed you to my site then, “Welcome !”

Saturday 7 April 2012


First off, let me say that I will try and update this site's links etc. as  and when I can, but there are just too many demands upon one's time, as I'm sure many of you will empathise with, real-life has a way of interfering with our hobby big-time !

 First off are three of my twelve civilians from Warm Acre Miniatures, although I bought them off e-bay at about half price !

Perhaps not too noticeable in the photograph is that the guy on the left has actually got a weapon, in the form of a baseball bat and even though the hooligan in the middle has a spray can, I can't see it being much use against zombies in the coming apocalypse.

The guy on the right is armed with a tinny and a burger  !

 Next up are three more from the set whom I have labelled as "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", although you'll have to make up your mind as to which is which.

I've  attempted to paint up all these figures as being from the seedier, seamy side of town. 

As stated above only one figure in the entire set has anything resembling a weapon, hence these are "Civilians" rather than "Survivors", although "cannon-fodder" or "vicitms" may seem more appropriate

Here's the "puffa-jacket" twins and another female; it is not a very well known fact that people "and miniatures" in such attire always appear slightly out of focus.

One of the features of the Warm-Acre miniatures is their "double" bases, which I was completely unsure about and so I scrapped the plastic bit and replaced it with a penny.  I'm pleased to say that you can hardly see the join on most of them.

 The final three in the set; the chap on the left could easily be mistaken for a "suit" except that he's not obviously armed, unless you count his hot-dog!

The bruiser in the middle has actually got his right hand in a fist, but is also suffering form the effects of having seen too many puffa jackets.  He should really have "H.A.T.E" tattooed on his fingers but I'll justimagine that they're there.   The lad on the right is obviouisly up to no good, as he has a hoody and a backpack ! (Whadya mean typecast ?)

 Just in case anyone was wondering what structure all the figures were standing in front of, here's a snap that should explain all.

I build this models probably about ten ago for a friend's Chinese Opium wars scenario and I kept it to use in my Boxer rebellion games.

It was made from thick cardboard, dowel and what I know as plastic canvas (doors, windows, decorations and balcony rail)

The vehicles are sports cars that I picked up a while ago from (you've guessed it) Poundland !

At first I thought they looked a little on the small side, but I decided I'd go with them anyway.

I don't think that they look that bad really, considering that the figures are on thicker than normal bases (my normal).  The door open on them and they vary between left and right hand drives.  I'm not too keen on the red  head-lights though, I can see those being painted out at some future date.

If I haven't already welcomed you to my site, then "Welcome",  I hope you'll find something here to enjoy.