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

Monday 30 September 2013

Mystery Vehicles

"Who ordered these then ?"
After yet another hospital trip which turned out to be my last eyesight check, I visited, what my wife has called my favourite shop, namely Poundland !
"Taxi for posh folk ?"
Along with all the normal goodies I buy (namely UHU, undercoat spray and sweets) I came across these vehicles. Now, they really aren't anything new and have actually been around quite a while but I never seemed to be able to catch them on sale when I had cold hard cash in my hands!  I did however find them tucked away in a box adjacent to, but not in the toy section. It was explained to me at the cash desk that these weren't toys but models  and the cashier could only sell them to me if they weren't going to be used as toys ! The whole thing was quite a palaver which I've thankfully never experienced previously.
The first picture shows two models which I've sought after for over a year now, namely yellow cabs.
I was very pleased with these and took both I could find, but there was another smaller
"Some sort of van for a toy-shop ? "
different cab/taxi style vehicle that I passed on. The next vehicle was yet another vehicle with checks down its side that could easily be a taxi, but it had no light on the top. At some time in the future I'll be trying to remove the checks.
The next vehicle is a van of some description and gives away the origin of these models as the lettering on the side (and on all their bases) is distinctly Cyrillic and probably Russian in origin. Alas I can't read Russian and their makes and models elude me. 
"Second hand cop vehicle anyone?"
The white vehicle suffered from an broken rear wheel that I couldn't repair, but I did replace.
Even if the vehicles had had English script on their bases I would still have had to read them to find out what they were.
My fourth vehicle, shown here is another van, larger than the first and does actually have some small insignia on it, but it's far too small to be made out. Again , unfortunately it too had a broken rear wheel (it's a double wheeled rear axle), but that glued on fairly easily.
I did think it would make an excellent police van  or swat vehicle but for the two go-faster stripes on the front.
The next vehicle is yet another large van, more like an RV, but does have two orange hazard-type lights on the rear.
Again I have really now idea as to what purpose this vehicle is for, but I'll be using it as a general purpose RV type thing.
"I'm stumped too"
Given the very small windows on either side of the body it does tend to look more like a security van than anything else ! The second view of the other side also shows the side door for the vehicle, looking ever more like a security vehicle.
"Vote for whom?"
The vehicles I got seemed to just get more and more peculiar and the next was no exception.
It's obvious as to what type of vehicle it is but it does have an intriguing slogan down the red strip on the side of the vehicle.
I did think immediately that it looked like something from the forties or fifties and wouldn't look out of place in a VCBW setting except of course it has a left hand drive- like all these all of these models.

Whilst the vehicles bodies are a soft metal all the fittings on them are a very soft, delicate  plastic. and there are quite a few of them ! I can't really envisage the windscreen wipers or especially the wing mirrors lasting that long and I already know that the plastic wheels are suspect to wear and tear.
  As I said above they did get stranger and this red fire-department "thing" is no exception.
It's hard to make out from the photograph, but there is a central ladder on the black canopy flanked by a pair of very solid looking hoses or pipes.
It's easy enough to recognise that there is some kind of device on the door, but what exactly it's meant to be is a mystery and will probably remain so. The insignia does look like a vehicle with flames above it though and the lettering underneath I suspect may say "Fire!"
  From this second photo the inside detail can be seen, two bench seat in the rear and a search-light can be seen on the drivers side.
I did think that I may have problems removing the roof but it actually just fell off so no problems there, probably the reverse will be the case and I'll probably have difficulties keeping the damn thing on, unless it's glued in place.

"Wtf ?"
And the weirdest (imo) I've kept until last.
I bought this thinking it was an alternative to a very similar van I spotted (one that Postman Pat would have been proud of) but  it didn't have the prominent lettering on the side that put me off the first, so I snapped it up !.
It wasn't until I returned home and unpacked everything that I discovered that this was no ordinary van. (I blame the ongoing effects of the eye-drops I'd had)
I think the first thing to give it away was the plough on the front, closely followed by the strange roller underneath.

This view shows the underneath of the vehicle and clearly shows the plough at thefront and the roller set at an angle.
Both these features are plastic and would have been easily removed had I not had second thoughts on retaining them.
I thinks it's probably some form of gravel spreading and compacting vehicle (I'd already ruled out it use in snow) and you would have it wheels going over freshly laid tar either.
So it's actual use remains a mystery

There were several other vehicles in the box (including a military looking one with blue light on the top) which looked interesting, but alas my pocket money was all spent up.
The price I paid for these was obviously £1, but a model shop less than 50 yards from where I bought them was selling identical models for upwards of £4.99, so I was satisfactorily smug with my purchases.
Other than this recent purchasing foray, I've manged to clear my table and set up and played a game which I'll be relating next time.

And that's it for this week, as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday 23 September 2013

Demolition Site

This is not truly a demolition site, but does sound a bit more up-market than the classic title of "ruins"
The model has a footprint of about 10" square (25cm) and at the highest point is about 4 " (10cm).
The materials used in the making of this model were the usual mix of foamboard, polystyrene, cork (for the loose bricks) and of course the ubiquitous coffee stirrers !
The model was based on my Tenements flats
This shot gives a view of how the model looked after I'd arrived back from holiday (3rd Sept) whilst the photo on finished model above was dated 8th September and as I'd worked on this and my construction site for no more than an hour out of each day, you can understand when I say just how easy a build it was.
Scoring the walls and cutting out rough wall shapes took about another hour whilst gluing them to the base (a soft plastic) took about another hour. 
The foamcard walls were all scored to give the impression of bricks using a sharp pencil and a very blunt craft blade. I then painted it that horrible puke yellowy-green colour for the underlying mortar colour of the bricks.
    I used polystyrene to bulk out the rubble on the interior and then all the non-brick surfaces were covered in a filler mixed with sand as I was using smooth finish filler. Once dried the whole of the now gunk-covered bottom layer of rubble was painted.
The two photographs above and to the left show well the polystyrene bits used, (basically all the brown lumps and bumps that aren't bricks !).
Coffee stirrers where lightly sprayed in black and grey and either bent and snapped before spraying or in some cases afterwards to represent floorboards etc.and then glued in place around, over and in the polystyrene "rubble", always with a mind that figures will need a  place to stand  in the building too.
After the wooden bits were added I then proceeded to put bricks on the model which I'd made as an off-shoot from building my streets.
 Again, the bricks weren't placed completely randomly as I always had it in my mind that the resulting ruin had to accommodate figures, something I'm always aware of in all the models I make.
Amongst the rubble I did place a few detail bits that are quite hard to spot, such as a book (just behind Sid's head in the photo to the right), a newspaper (of course) and I also used the now redundant wooden back door from the construction site (the eagle-eyed amongst you may just be able to make out the green corner of it in the bottom centre).
View of the front and left side of the building.
Rear view of model
Internally I placed two walls back to back down the length of the building (you can clearly see this in the above photo) to represent the divide between the two tenements.
The right side of the building
General plan view
To finish off the general ruined feeling, I carefully "powdered" the whole model using filler powder (unmixed obviously) and gently shook off any excess.
Another general view.
You may also have noticed that the inside front of the model has painted walls one in light green and the other blue, representing the inside ground floors of the two buildings.
In real terms this building took about 8 hours to make, but as I waited between each stage for the various bits to dry in place  it still took about a week to complete. I was only working on this in-between drying times for my construction site and seemed like a bonus when finished, as it was actually complete before  the construction site !

And that's it for another week, I'm now doing the great after build clean-up and setting my table out for my next scenario.

Finally let me welcome my latest follower Dave Cooke, who has an excellent blog here , some of you may also know him by his alter ego of Maxshadow.

Thanks for taking the time to read (or at least look at the pictures) and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday 16 September 2013

Construction Site Complete

"Construction Site Complete" - or at least it's as complete as it's every going to be.
There are several things I'd do differently  now with hindsight and there's a lot more little bits an pieces I'd have liked to add. For all that it's still a very usable model  for gaming purposes. The model has a fairly big footprint, measuring about 16" square (400mm) on a side and the height to the top of the fence is about 2" (50mm).
The whole thing was at a point where I could have said it was finished six days ago, but I still kept adding bits to it, like the large notice board by the front gate.
It's meant to represent some sort of notice board of what will be built on the site. It's made from card and coffee stirrers (for the frame) and is in fact detachable, as I'm not completely happy with it.
The small sign by the front gate is one of many warning signs and posters that I've put on the model
Here's a view of the side of the building (clockwise from the front gate).
The "Ace Hardware" sign is one of the last minute things I added, along with some additional graffiti.
Couple of close ups  of the signage :

 General view of the rear of the building showing the "new" rear gate . The original one was wood but after replacing the front wooden gates with a mesh one I decided to replace the back gate in a similar fashion and again using a bit of sprue for the frame. The posters came from  one of the "Twilight Streets" sets  (I think) .
Two close-up shots of the back wall "decoration"
Final side wall 
I finally decided to add some wire mesh to the viewing port on this wall (the front wall also had it added too)
A bit of graffiti  and a warning poster put the finishing touches to this side. Photo on right shows a close up of the graffiti.

A few photos of some of the internal details that I've added, starting with the door to the site hut and moving clockwise around the inside. 
(The hut still isn't glued into position)

The rubbish just behind the hut and the store of "stuff".
The ablutions, such as they are and a late addition of  a stack of breeze block type bricks.
Piece of a digger I found in the street (another late addition) on the inside of the back wall.
 The corner opposite the front gate, the sign reads "No Smoking, unless you're on fire !
The palette stack in the front corner, with additional random palettes and whilst the two palettes, with sacks on, are glued in situ, the others aren't.
Final shot of the two extra girders I'd made and they're not actually glued in place either. You can also just see the very last addition I'd made in the bottom left of the photo - it's a safety equipment  storage box and first aid station.

So, once more that's it for another week and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday 9 September 2013

We Interupt this Blog...

To bring you some good news and some sad news...

The good news will almost certainly be known throughout the blogosphere that Bryan/Vampifan of Vampifan's World of the Undead is finally out of hospital and free of his subsequent sojourn in a respite home. His hospital stay and recuperation has been a long three months for him and it'll be some time before he's managed to catch up on everyone's blogs that he's missed, let alone do anything hobby-wise even though he has still managed to write an entry on his own blog!
 He's been a great miss for myself especially as we regularly emailed one-another two or three times a week to mainly discuss Zombie-related things as well as shooting the breeze generally.

The photo on the right shows Bryan (left) and a very dodgy looking suspect that I came across in Newcastle way back in April. To me it looks very much like they're about to pull a heist, but you can add your own caption for amusement.

The very sad news I gleaned from around the blogosphere is that Donald F. Featherstone has died recently.
I came across his book "War Games" some time in the 60's in our local library and my life was changed forever as I would be no longer be influenced by "Little Wars" (by H.G. Wells and available in full here ) and shooting matchsticks at my toys.
In my opinion Don Featherstone probably did more than any other single person in this country to promote the wargames hobby to become what it is today.
I was lucky enough to meet the great man himself some time in the 60's (and he was indeed the gentleman that I always thought he was) and even played a game with him in the then mecca of wargames in Southampton.
He was also a very prolific writer and authored far more books that I was aware of. A full list of his books can be found on the Wiki page here . I have many of  his wargames books and have read each of them multiple times, but his book "War Game Campaigns is probably my favourite and the most thumbed through and not just because it is signed by Don to me.
I was pleased to find out from the Wiki page that several of his book have been recently re-printed.

In other news

After my brief excursion to darkest Wiltshire and the subsequent loss of hobby time I thought that by this week I would have finished by Construction/Building site but alas over the last week I have been struck down by a debilitating lurgy which has further delayed the completion. 
Despite set-backs, I have managed to do a lot on the model, even if only in short bursts, like hanging the gate and doing a complete re-paint on a lot of the main structure.
I've also been adding the bits I featured last week into their assigned places, but whilst my mind was willing even my best efforts haven't enabled me to finish it.
As I've said in the past (and most probably like many of you reading this) I rarely have only one thing going on at a time and just before I left for the deep south I started on yet another building seen here on the right.
Yep, although it was not much to look at when I started this, (which by the photo time stamp was 23rd August) I can state that as of yesterday the 8th September it was at a stage where I was happy enough to say it was finished.
It wasn't the most difficult model to make, but seems to me to have taken a long time. I only worked on it whilst waiting for either paint or to glue to dry on the building site project and similarly in turn there was long periods when I was waiting on this model. I won't reveal what the completed model is yet - I do need something to blog about in future posts!
Next week I should have my construction site completed, at least to the stage where I can say I've had enough and I'm finished with it.

And that's it for another week !

As always, I'll finish off by welcoming my latest follower "John Smith" (Gran Turismo Driver) and by saying that of course your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

(And just in case you haven't noticed I've started to update my "Favourites Links List" on the right)

Monday 2 September 2013

Building Site Bits

I haven't managed much in the last week as I've had a few days holiday in deepest Wiltshire, so this week I've decided to show some of the bits that I had made before vacationing. They're all made with the Construction/Building site in mind and although not yet glued into position, I do have an idea of where they'll fit onto the model.
First up is a couple of piles of sacks (cement ?), purposely designed to enable a figure to stand on. They'll be placed in a corner of the site (and will probably serve as guard towers for survivors).
Both the palettes and the sacks I've made before and whilst these sacks  were made specifically for this model, the palettes were from ones I'd previously made and I've painted them green.
The two sack piles on the palettes will be glued in place on the model whilst the four other palettes will be left loose, for use on this and other models.
The palettes can easily be used to made a tall platform, barricades or some-such.

The peculiar looking object to the right is meant to represent a large pile of something like sand, but hasn't yet been fully painted.
The cut-outs in the supporting side walls are to enable this to fit onto the inside of the perimeter wall of the site. Originally the two side panels were  made as the front gates for the sites, but didn't look right.
The pile of "sand is polystyrene covered in gunge, whilst the side supports are of course coffee stirrers. The top of the pile just allows for a single figure to stand.

No prizes for guessing what this is meant to be.
If you're thinking "Is that what I think it is ?" then you're probably right and it probably is.
It's not quite finished, yet. along with most of the other things for this model, but it doesn't need a lot more done to it.
Before I left for sunnier climes I also started yet another building, but I hadn't made that much progress.
I tend to have a couple of things on-going to allow for drying times etc.

And that's it for this week, I'm endeavouring to catch up on the multitude of blogs I've missed and I have to also welcome my latest follower "Ray Hepburn".

As always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.