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

Sunday 29 July 2012

A Mixed Bag

Well, I finished reading "Among the Living", by Timothy W. Long and what a good read it was.  Even though it only dealt with the first three days of the "outbreak" leading to the apocalypse, the various ways by which the four diverse main characters deal with it in their own ways is interesting enough in itself.
The cause of the outbreak was a bit of a disappointment though and is only passingly mentioned towards the end of the novel; however the snowball effect of both the outbreak and within the actual story-telling makes up for it. The stories of the various main characters build throughout the telling of their individual episodes until the dramatic final few chapters when what had been a quite leisurely pop-corn type read became a real page turner !
Whilst this style of story may not appeal to everyone, as each of the main characters get a chapter then the story moves on to the next, I felt it made for a refreshing change to the "concentrate on the main character throughout" style.  I was kept wondering if any of them would ever cross paths.   I'll let you wonder about that too.
Suffice to say that I was impressed with this novel sufficiently so that I' looking out for the next one - "Among the Dead". I rate it as a "Well worth a read" and scored it on my 1-5 scale with a 4 !
Whilst I haven't  managed any major progress worthy of mentioning recently I did experiment with printing out a vehicle in black and white onto card rather than using my coloured printer  (I was basically idling on the "wrong" computer). I don't think that the final effect of what is basically a painted card photocopy isn't that bad and it's probably worked out a bit cheaper too. I won't be rushing to do anything similar in the near future though.
The figure in the photographs is one of the two dozen or so MegaMini Zombies that I've also managed to finally finish off, as can be seen in the photograph on the left..
I have taken the new-wave photography approach of having the picture slightly blurred and out of focus.
This style of photo seems to make the figures appear far better painted than they really are and suits me fine and has nothing to do with me rushing to get substance to this week's blog ! I'll try and get some better photographs of them in the near future. The right-hand photo is of yet another three MegaMini civilians and in my opinion, three of their more "interesting" ones. The first two figures are obvious enough, whilst the third is , as far as I can tell, the archetypical "Spiv".
"Psst -  Mister. Wanna buy a watch ?"
My final offering is another another of the Humvee wannabees that  I featured last week, though not quite finished, it's close enough and looks good if you squint.
it may not look it, but it has actually got wheels ! It was originally left to one side whilst I did the majority of the others as this one was a bit damaged.
 Let me finish off by telling you what I have actually been concentrating my efforts on:
I've been slowly building terrain boards for streets. I've got eight 600mm square boards that will fill my new table and a couple of 1200 x 600mm that will also be utilised, though I'm concentrating on the square boards first.  These will feature in a future blog of course, when I've made some real progress on them.

As "Looney Tunes" says, "That's all Folks".

As always, thanks for taking a look here, all comments are of course appreciated and if you're new to my blog and I haven't already welcomed you then "Welcome", I hope you've found something of interest here.

Saturday 21 July 2012

Humvees ? (ish)

A week or so ago I purchased these vehicles from a nearby "Poundworld" store (easily confused with Poundland, but virtually identical.)As always I was a bit dubious as to their scale, but using my  "Rule of Thumb" (- a large Foundry Street Violence  figure is about the size of my thumb from joint to tip), I thought they measured up quite well, so I took the risk and splashed out £1 (approximately $1.50) and bought a set. I figured that even if they were complete and utter pants then at least I'd have sixteen usable wheel and tyres. The photograph on the right shows that they scale in very well with foundry figures.
As can be seen from the next two photographs they are cheap rubbish.  They're made of  a soft(ish) type of polyethylene, but whilst for the most part they're malleable, they can also be surprisingly brittle and one or two of mine have minor breaks.
The stickers on them  were easily removed using a scalpel to lift up an edge.  Had they been transfers (decals) then I was well prepared with a bottle of acetate (from the same store), but they lifted off easily enough. I had no real reason to try and hold on to the stickers so they were binned.
Here's a photo of the model, reduced to its component parts. The internal silver seating etc. obviously had to go (I thought even a re-paint wouldn't be enough to save it.  The pull back and let go motor part would have to be left as the rear axle uses it .The solution for the internal detail would have to be the same as any solid model, there wouldn't be any ! The right hand photo shows the blank card I used to fill out the window spaces. The template resembled a box, but with angled corners.  I tried using superglue to fix the card in place (and to repair some of the breaks), but it seems that the plastic doesn't like it, so I resorted to UHU glue, which seemed to work just fine and hold the card in place.
I painted the first couple of vehicles using some old Humbrol enamels  thinking that the plastic wouldn't take kindly to acrylics. As I only have black and white glosses in enamels and I wanted more  of a  civilian-style colour, I experimented with a gloss acrylic red and it worked out just fine as can be seen in the photo. There really is not a lot of detail  on these models, so there is not a lot to pick out, which suits me fine. I've also never painted windows on a vehicle before, although I've seen it done and even though it looks pretty poor on close inspection, I'm quite pleased with the overall effect.
As a footnote, I was so pleased with these and knowing that I'd need a few Humvees for an ATZ scenario, a couple of days after purchasing my first set of four I went out and blew all my pocket money on another  3
sets.  Here's the results so far:

Next week's blog may well be delayed as my eldest son is getting married and it seems I'm obliged to attend. It means another 5-6 hours drive down south for the weekend, but on the plus side I may well be able to finish reading another zombie novel !

As always thanks for taking the time to look, all comments are of course appreciated and welcome and if you're new to this blog and I haven't already welcomed you, then "Welcome! ", I hope you enjoy your stay and find something to interest you.

Saturday 14 July 2012

Zees and C's Part 2

Here's the second part of my matching up the obvious civilians from the MegaMinis ranges, with their zombie counterparts.
This week I'm concentrating on the children.
One of the children that I've omitted (even though it's a very nice figure) is that of a child-ballerina, the zombie version of her is an excellent crawling figure though the human form has her in a full-on typical ballerina pose, which I though was less usable.
First off then is this rendition of a US boy scout, a quick look through Google gave me some vague idea of the colour of his uniform but in the end I went with what I felt like !
Next is the all American icon of a "football" player.
Don't ask me what's going on with his eyes (in his human form) because I haven't a clue, as always I'll blame the drugs and my poor photography skills.

It'll no doubt be obvious from just these two figures (and some from last week) that very little has been done to the human figure to "zombify"  them.

Most have merely had a limb or extremity lopped off and a few hacks made at maybe the torso or head.

Whilst this is really no bad thing if you want to instantly recognise one figure in its other form it does seem as if little effort has been made.

Again you can see that the human figure has had his folded arms removed. I think I'd have preferred it if the zombie figure had had the classic zombie  outstretched arms.  The figure is probably a skateboarder or BMX biker.
The human version has a few paint overrun problems, (especially his thighs), which I didn't notice until taking these pictures, I blame my failing eyesight (as well as drugs and lack of photography skills). The zombie figure doesn't fare any better, his apparently naked lower legs now seem to have grey socks ! Oh well...
 A roller blader who at least has two very different poses, although the zombie version (again) has no arms - not one of my favourite traits in zombie figures.
I really don't like missing limbs, after all I can easily hack them off myself.  It's the same with those zombie figures that have a hole through them, they don't do anything for me at all.
Given two identical zombie figures with arms, I can lop the arm (or arms) off one making it distinct from the other 

One of my favourite figures next, a paperboy.
He's a t least got all his limbs and he's in a sufficiently different pose to be interesting.

Again the human version of him has some paint run on his leg (I must have been  having a bad day the day I painted these).

Of course those figures with their paint problems  have all been re-assigned to the painting department, having failed quality control.

Again a little variation in the poses makes the zombie version a much more acceptable figure.

Whilst in human form she's carrying a box of some sort, in her zombie form she's carrying the predictable zombie fodder - a brain !

When compared to the efforts of other manufacturers' "before and after" figures these really are quite poor, but taken as individuals they're not really that bad.

Possibly the worst zombie figure in the whole of this group, is this girl, carrying her lunchbox.
If you can't make out the facial features on the zombie version, there's a good reason, I couldn't find any !
The human figure is a nice enough figure, but the zombie version leaves me cold and I put little effort into finishing it off - it'll be relegated to the back of any horde no doubt.

My final offering for this week is a skateboarder again in two versions, but I'll be obvious from the photo that we have in fact two figures here,  which although very close in appearance are not exact duplicates.
The zombie version is actually wearing a hat whilst his  human form doesn't have one.
I like this "version" of the skateboarder, though I'm sure they're not meant to be duplicates of one-another.
On reflection, whilst it's fairly amusing to be able to show "before and after" versions of figures in games, there really doesn't seem much point to me as the transition to zombie normally takes place "off camera", after the game.
With this in mind I won't be going out of my way to make any further "before and after" versions of my civilians.
Currently I'm going through the remainder of my Mega-Mini zombies (about thirty or so) and I have found a couple more possible zombie versions of civilians that I've already painted, but I won't be attempting to paint them as their supposed civilian counterparts.

That's all for this week, the civilian population grows, with another fifty plus on their way, coupled with the aforesaid zombies, my paint table is fairly overloaded, but at least I'm about three-quarters the way through painting them ! Couple that workload with the three shops I'm making (slowly), books to read, films to watch, blog to keep updated (and others to read) and no doubt you'll empathise with me that there
really just isn't enough time in the day.  Did I mention real-life keeps interrupting too ?

All comments are of course welcomed and appreciated as always and if I haven't welcomed you to my blog already, then "Welcome".

Saturday 7 July 2012

Zees & Cs

The title of this week's blog may seem a bit enigmatic  but it really only refers to Zombies and their Civilian counterparts from my MegaMini collection.

I've finished off another dozen civilians including seven children (they'll probably be shown  next week) and matched up their obvious zombie counterparts. They all come from either the Modern Civilian Range or as in the photograph to the right, their Thugs set.
The thug shown here is one of my favourites from the Thug set, even though he suffers slightly from the large head syndrome of a few MegaMinis.
As can be seen, in his "normal" mode, he's wielding a baseball bat, whereas in his Zombie mode, he's wielding an arm, although it's not very apparent from my photograph.  
 Next up is a female jogger.
Her Zombie counterpart is really not that inspiring, because I prefer the classic shambling zombie.
Like many of these figures, little has really been done to alter the figure  dramatically from its civilian appearance to its zombie format.
I suppose though, that too dramatic a change  and there is the chance that the figure wouldn't be recognised from one form to another.

I think this is the third or fourth jogger that I have and one can easily conjure up a scenario for them all to take part in (read "become zombie fodder in").

Another one of the Thugs and his zombie counterpart and once again little effort shown in the stance of the figure.
The clump of whatever in this zombie left hand is indefinable, so I just painted it up as some form of flesh, which hasn't actually come out that bad in my opinion.
He also suffers from having a slightly large head, but it's not that obvious because of his helmet and beard.

Last up from this particular batch is another of  my favourites in her civilian form, but I'm not that taken with her in zombie form. 
 The human version of her is actually eating a hot dog, a feature which I quite like (I have quite a few figures now, eating various forms of fast foods  - which will do them no good whatsoever come the apocalypse).  The other feature I like about this figure is the height and size of the figure, she's taller than some of the men featured here (though not by much) and she's obviously slightly overweight (all that fast food).
Her zombie equivalent however is not that  impressive.  The arm in her right hand is acceptable enough, but the missing left arm has seemingly had little thought applied to it other than to lop it off. I think I would have preferred an actual arm there in the classic "reaching out"  zombie stance.

These last two figures are both from Black Cat Bases and I've attempted to paint them up as identically as possible.
They will be used to represent the same person before and after the start of the apocalypse. The deadly clipboard making way for a more practical pump action shotgun as soon as possible.

The figure is of course meant to represent my alter-ego in my ATZ campaign, The shotgun, though not my weapon of choice, would be more practical than my preferred choice of an AK for me, as I'm not too bad a shot with one in real-life and I've never fired an automatic weapon in my life ! (Come the apocalypse though I'll soon learn).

I think my persistence in Photography 101 is slowly paying off as I've now found how to crop photographs! I hope its apparent from the photographs in this blog that I have indeed improved (at least a little).
Next lesson perhaps  - "How to avoid those unsightly shadows" !

Once more thanks for taking the time to look and of course all comments are appreciated.

Fiinally, as always, if I haven't already welcomed you then "Welcome", I hope there is something here to interest you.