Friday, 21 December 2012

Female Zombies

Well, I couldn't leave things hanging now, could I?  Apologies for the photos.  I've been trying to improve my pictures with a couple of tips from the ole interwebs.  I think the images are looking sharper, but a bit washed out and pastel-like compared to real life.  Still, to my mind at least, they do seem to have something going for them that I like.

First up, three WF zombie vixens.  The one on the left uses the extra handbag accessory.  I've tried to give the impression that she was a housewife, and so have used neutral colours like beige, brown and white to keep her from standing out too much in a crowd.  The middle zombie is wearing some sort of ball gown, and because her posture doesn't scream "zombie", I used a more skeletal head to give some sort of balance to the model.  She is the latest addition to the horde, so her base hasn't been finished off yet.  Finally, we come to a businesswoman who has seen better days.  I've used a few of the severed arms with splinters of bone protruding in building my zombie vixens, but tried not to go overboard with them.  Less is more, as they say.

This next selection was fun.  There's not a lot you can do with the waitress body.  I may make something like a french maid or cleaner, maybe, with the others, but this time out, I decided to just go with the flow.  A lot of stick seems to be received because of the "gotta pee" pose, but I think a zombie in high heels is probably likely to end up in that pose at some point as it tries to move around.  In the middle is my zombie trailer trash chick.  Note the gimpy, shrivelled arm.  There are a few such pieces on the sprue.  I love 'em!  Little touches like that can really help creep you out on a subtle "somethin' ain't right" level without resorting to gallons of gore.  On the right is Murgatroyd, my first female zombie.  I converted her some time ago by simply slapping a pair of green stuff boobs on a Mantic zombie body (from which I removed an arm for extra gross factor).  I'm glad she has some company now.

And, just because I wanted a change of pace, here's a fatty from the Zombicide board game which I finished off.  Zombicide is a great game, by the way.  Looking forward to getting the whole set of minis painted up.  This guy will also serve as a tank zombie in other games.

No surviors yet, but this is a work in progress of what I'm terming a Z-Tac team.  Corporate/Government (haven't decided which yet) zombie hunters with specialized weaponry, and body armour, designed to protect against hostile survivors, but also designed with panels that will tear off in case a zombie grabs them.  Z-Tac team members always go into combat bare-headed to allow their team-mates a clean kill shot if they get bitten.  I'll think more on the back story as I go along.

The model is an EM-4 plastic sci-fi trooper with a few GW bits added on.  In retrospect, I'd have used more realistic weapons, but I had plenty of spare GW plastic weapons lying around, and it seemed a shame not to use them.  Still, that gun certainly makes the sarge look like he means business!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

2012 on it's way out already?

Well, let's face it, I've done a pretty poor job at this blogging malarkey.  Probably due in no small part to what can only be described as an addiction to playing the Blood Bowl computer game.

I will try to do better in 2013.  Speaking of which, My good friend Deke will be joining me on creating a joint blog, in which we will set challenges and report on our progress in the hobby.  I reckon having someone else for moral support will help keep things a little more regular, and may provide more fodder for this benighted corner of the interwebs.

Since my wife and I will be spending this xmas apart, we had our own mini-xmas on Sunday.  I was excited to receive a box of Wargames Factory Zombie Vixens.  These are soooo much better than their original offerings.  Maybe not the best of the best models out there, but still really good.  Poses are pretty stiff and awkward looking, as befits zombies, and they really fulfill a need in my predominantly male zombie horde.  Further, it wouldn't take much imagination to convert one or two of the bodies into unarmed civilians or survivors - use the components on the sprue that do not display bite/claw marks, and half the job is done.  All that's left is to make the pose look a bit more natural and 'alive'.  There are plenty of extra accessories, like handbags, that can really help to add some narrative to a model, and I've assembled 4 and painted 2 (and a half, I guess - One came off it's base during painting, so it has been re-glued and put to one side for a day to give the glue plenty of curing time) already.  If I get the opportunity, I'll add some pictures before I disappear for the winter festivities.

Anyway, I guess I'd better put up some eye candy.  So here are some of the Star Wars Fighter Pod models that I've repainted and/or converted to use in sci fi games (as you can see, all of them are WIP, but I'm pretty pleased with them so far):

So it finally remains for me to wish anyone who is reading this post a merry christmas and a happy new year in 2013.  See you soon!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Just to prove I'm still alive here...

Couldn't quite get into the swing of painting anything last night, so I dug out some aquarium Tiki statues that I bought in Pets at Home last year.  Only took a few minutes to paint up and base, and I at least got to feel like I achieved something.  Take a look...

Now I just have to try and figure out how to fit them in with my existing terrain/what games I can use them with.  I'm guessing that there isn't a Crash Bandicoot wargame out there, so I guess some sort of pulp game might be in order.  #Sigh.# I'll add it to the list of impulse projects.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Monsters attack Shieldsville!

Okay then, here's my first Battle Report.  Hope the format is okay.  I've just copied the report across from my club's blog.

"Monster Island is a misnomer," began Slick Evans, the realtor, "It's actually an archipelago.  That's why house prices are so low..."  Looking at the recently repaired apartment building, he hoped these buyers wouldn't figure out the real reason.  The smarmy grin slipped from his face as he turned to look out to sea.

'Talk about bad timing..."  He thought as he watched the blue monster, Chuffy emerge from the waves.  Slick wasted no time in climbing into his flash sports car, sparing not a moment's thought for his clients.  As Eggbert the giant green monster stomped onto the road, bellowing a challenge, Slick stood on the accelerator pedal and began to consider a change of career.

Kim and I played this, our second game of Mighty Monsters, this afternoon.  She took control of Chuffy, while I played Eggbert.  The two monsters have identical stats, but their skills and abilities have been tailored differently.  Chuffy has a number of attacking options, including atomic fire breath, fangs, and a potentially deadly claw attack.  Eggbert specializes in defence, with a protective shell.  His preferred attack methods are a slam attack (shoulder charge), head butts and kicking.  But he has no real ranged attack, and is reliant on closing the distance to fight.


Both monsters began at diagonal opposite corners of the board.  Eggbert won the initiative roll, and chose to go first.

Turn 1:

Eggbert started by attempting a sprint (triple move) to try and get to grips with Chuffy immediately.  He was only able to make a double move, so decided to stop behind two buildings.  A head-butt was attempted against one building, in hopes of creating some rubble to throw at Chuffy.  But Eggbert was unable to bring one down (he rolled two failures to activate).

Chuffy, hearing the commotion, raced towards the shaking buildings, and immediately bathed Eggbert in atomic fire.  When the smoke cleared, Eggbert still stood unscathed.

Turn 2:

Chuffy could only look on in confusion as Eggbert came charging through the glowing embers left on the street, intent on barging him to the floor.  Chuffy proved the stronger in this clash, however, knocking Eggbert to the floor.  Not a good place to be.

Wasting no time, Chuffy pounces on the recumbent Eggbert, attempting to savage him with his wicked claws.  Unable to angle his shell to deflect the attack, Eggbert is sent skidding along the street.  Chuffy runs forward and continues his assault, with a vicious bite.  Eggbert roars in pain as Chuffy's teeth sink into the soft flesh of his underbelly.

The Prof Says:

In this picture we can see the dice showing the monsters' relative health.  Unhurt monsters roll all green dice.  A yellow dice indicates a wound.  If a yellow dice is rolled and scores a 1, bad things happen.  If a monster continues to take damage, the yellow dice will be replaced with red dice.  If a red dice rolls any failure...  well, let's just say you're in a world of trouble.

Turn 3:

Eggbert begins by climbing to his feet and aiming a kick at Chuffy's body.  The kick caused no damage, but created enough space for Eggbert to regain his footing properly.

Chuffy, enraged by this show of defiance, snaps at Eggbert with his fangs.  Although Eggbert again fails to shield himself with the shell, Chuffy's attack was telegraphed, and Eggbert bats Chuffy's slavering jaws to the side.  Likewise, Chuffy's claws fail to strike home.

Chuffy emits a growl of frustration, and plants a hefty kick to Eggbert's midsection, wounding him again.  He follows up with a tail sweep, hoping to knock Eggbert to the floor again, but his foe recoils away from him in the nick of time.  Things don't seem to be going well for the injured monster, but Chuffy is having trouble capitalising on his attacks.

Turn 4:

Eggbert, the pain of his wounds goading him on, goes into a berserk frenzy (the prof will explain more on this later), the surge of adrenaline allowing him to ignore some of his injuries, and charges into Chuffy at speed.

Although he is rocked onto his heels by this sudden onslaught, Chuffy manages to keep his footing.  Eggbert lets loose with a flurry of punches, now causing serious damage because of his berserk state, and follows up with a vicious headbutt, causing further serious injury.  Suddenly, the tables have turned, and Chuffy is on the defensive.

Not accustomed to defence, Chuffy elects to attack instead.  Shaking off his grogginess, Chuffy attempts to bite Eggbert.  There is a resounding crack, as fangs meet shell, and Chuffy pulls away, trying to ignore his broken tooth.  Chuffy makes a pathetic swipe with his claws, and it suddenly becomes clear that something is wrong (Kim rolled a 1 on a yellow dice!).  Eggbert easily deflects the clumsy attack, and counterattacks with a punch.  The punch has no effect.  However, the pain of his injuries appears to be telling on Chuffy, and he falls to the ground.

The Prof Says:

Once per game a monster can go Berserk.  It will heal damage on one dice by one level (i.e. a red dice can be turned yellow, or a yellow turned green), allows one body part to automatically pass three activation rolls (allowing a very powerful attack), and doubles any damage the monster causes for a turn.  This is a very powerful ability, and timing is critical to make the best use of it.

Turn 5:

Eggbert levels a kick at Chuffy, while his opponent is down, but fails to cause any damage.  Clasping his paws together above his head, Eggbert now drops a hammerblow on Chuffy, causing a further wound.  While he is in close proximity, he attempts a bite on Chuffy, and tears a chunk of flesh from his opponent, leaving him with all red dice, and close to destruction.

But Chuffy is not about to give up the fight yet!  The plucky blue pugilist lets out an earth-shattering roar and goes berserk.  Chuffy leaps to his feet, ignoring one of his grievous wounds, and bites Eggbert with all his remaining might, causing two wounds.  An attempt to disembowel Eggbert goes horribly wrong (another 1 on a yellow dice!), and Chuffy ends up cradling his crippled paws to his chest.  He will no longer be able to make claw attacks.  In an attempt to try and buy himself some breathing space, Chuffy swings into another tail sweep, and manages to push Eggbert back.  Unfortunately for him, Eggbert retains his footing.

Turn 6:

Eggbert again tries to slam into his opponent.  But the battle is telling on both monsters, and they end up rebounding from each other.  A kick to Chuffy's body causes another wound, and although Eggbert's tail sweep proves completely ineffective, Chuffy is in a critical state.

Chuffy rears up to take a bite out of Eggbert, and then starts to sway.  Moments later, his eyes glaze over, and he collapses to the floor, unable to continue fighting (You guessed it - a failed activation roll, followed by the worst possible result on the injury table).

Battered, but unbowed, Eggbert climbs shakily to the roof of one of Slick's apartment buildings and roars his victory to the heavens.

I fear that by including this picture, I may have won the game, but lost a wife....

Biting off more than I can chew

It looks really bad that I haven't kept up my regular proposed updates.  You know that real life thing?  Overrated in my opinion.  Anyway, I guess from now on I'll just commit to updates as and when I get the chance.  Coming up, my first battle report from a game of Mighty Monsters that I played with my wife, Kim...

Monday, 13 February 2012

Taking Stock: ITEN

Oh, my poor blog.  How quickly I neglected to update you!  Still, I think the next step on this path of righteousness is to take a look at how far I've gotten with this year's projects and see how much further I have to go with them.  First up, ITEN (In The Emperor's Name).

This is probably the best update to start with, since I only have this week to complete my Harlequin Troupé before travelling to Glasgow to put them to the test.  I have worked out that in 200pts, I can include 3 characters and 1 basic Harlequin.  So, with that in mind, I decided to make the entire cast of characters (Troupé Leader, Death Jester, Shadowseer and Solitaire).

Here's how the troupé looks so far:

Left to right: Solitaire, Death Jester, Troupé Leader and Shadowseer.  Still working on the Solitaire head.  The wings are just for decoration, by the way.  I figured that playing the part of Slaanesh in performances would entail something to make her look daemonic.  Closer looks next:

The Shadowseer is a combination of Dark Eldar Wych and Kabalite Warrior parts, in order to get the back-mounted grenade launchers.  Note, as with most of these guys, the Space Marine plasma pistol.  It just works, and was easier to get hold of than Eldar weapons.  The base is a marker from the old Warhammer Skull Pass set.  Just a lick of paint and this model is ready to go.

The Solitaire.  I converted the blast pistol into a Harlquin's Kiss by cutting it away from the original hand, and mounting it on the wrist of another arm.  The wings are from a Dark Eldar Scourge, and I wish  had known beforehand that they need a Scourge torso front.  Still, a little work with a scalpel sorted out that problem.  Base decoration is again from Skull Pass, and I'm working on a converted head to complete the daemonic imagery.  Should be completed in time for Friday, maybe not painted, though :(

The Troupé Leader.  Pretty basic.  Based on a Dark Eldar Wych, with the Sybarite back banner.  The mohawk is a transplant from the Avatars of War Dwarf Berserkers set.  Everything else is sculpted with green stuff.  On the advice of my friend, Deke, I'm considering cutting away the hook on the shoulder pad, which is a little bit too Dark Eldar, on reflection.  As you can see, he's undercoated, ready for painting.  I should at least get a base coat laid down before the weekend.

And finally, the Death Jester.  Not too much fancy dan work on him.  I wanted to avoid the maxim that having a heavy weapon means standing still all the time, so I used a set of dynamic Wych legs and another Skull Pass marker to make it look like he is constantly spraying bursts of fire from the shrieker cannon at people and moving on before they can return fire.  The head is from the Vampire Counts skeleton regiment (I specifically wanted a skull that seemed to be laughing maniacally.  The top knot has again been donated by an AoW Dwarf berserker.

So, what next?  That's my set of characters well underway.  All I need now is a less glamourous member of the chorus to join them.  While I may, at best, be able to get a base coat on the warband, I'm confident that this project, at least, will be completed by the end of the year.  Probably jinxed myself now...

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Projects for 2012

Okay, after much deliberation, I've decided on my projects for the year.  I broke them down into rough genres so that there will be room for a bit of variety in painting/gaming.

  •   Blood Bowl Teams (Pro Elf, Goblin, Human, Vampire) - All in the process of being converted.  The aim is to complete the conversion and painting on at least two of these this year.  Really want to get to a tournament or two this year, but the timing for the local tournaments has been bad for me so far.  I may have to go for the NAF championship in May.
  • Song of Blades and Heroes warbands in 15mm (Dungers, Barbarians).  The Dungers will be a case of completing what I have, and rounding out the selection, whilst the Barbarians will be started from scratch using the excellent 15mm models from Copplestone Castings.  One or two of the Barbarians will probably find themselves doing adventuring duty in my dungeon games, and the Dungers will also likely find themselves in games of 5150 or as big wandering dungeon monsters.  So, good value for money/time spent with these guys, I think!
  • 15mm Dungeon Crawl - Don't know whether I'll use Song of Gold and Darkness or a different set of rules for this (open to recommendations if anyone would like to put any forward), but this is going to be quite a mixed bag.  This is something I've never done before, so my current thinking is 15-20 of each of the basic dungeon gribblies like Goblins/Skeletons etc., and 3-5 of the Ogre/Troll/Minotaur types.
  • In The Emperor's Name (or ITEN as we started calling it) - Planning to build and paint Eldar Harlequin, Squat and Ork retinues for this. Harlequins will probably br first, since they need the least number of models painted, although they will require a lot of detail, which will slow down the painting.
  • 5150 - I know I love my 15mm Greys, but it's probably time to stop now.  You know you have too many models painted already when you've started converting Greys into Star Trek characters.  So, I'll look at some opposition for them, and build a Star Army force, and maybe some suitably retro tanks/support or something for the Greys if I find anything on my travels.
  • Zombie Apocalypse - Nuff said, really.  The usual stuff, scenery, survivors, npcs and an ongoing zombie horde.  My initial target will be 3 survivors, 4-5 npcs, 20-30 zombies and enough scenics to fill one 3' x 3' board.  Going to be trying out a number of different rule sets.  Initially, Dead Walk again and ATZ, but Undead States of America will also get an outing when things get really thick on the ground.  This is going to be a huge project, so it will be covered in it's own blog.
  • Warmachine/Hordes - Got me the start of a Cygnar force, which will be the main focus of my Warmachine efforts, but I also want to add the battle box man-o-war models to my existing Khador force.  If I go with Hordes, I'll be looking at a Tharn-heavy Circle force.

  • Warmaster Ancients - Sassanid (or Sassanian?  I prefer 'nid to 'ian) Persian army in 6mm.  My other choice of army would be Sumerian, but (correct me if I'm wrong here) I don't think they would be as colourful and interesting to paint.
  • AK47 - Just need to get my backside in gear with this.  Love reading the rulebook, but just seem to lack the commitment to getting any models on the table.
  • WOTR Mordheim - Great game, and some great Perry plastics donated to me by my good friend Deke.  It would be a sin not to get them painted up.

Basically, I'm aware that this is a lot to put on my plate, so these projects are "on standby".  If, for any reason, I should have to abandon any of the above projects, or I miraculously finish them all, I'll work on these:

  • 7TV
  • Warhammer ECW Montrose Scots
  • Dystopian Wars
Okay.  Next step will be sorting out what I already have, and figuring out what I will need.  See you next time!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Here Goes....

Hi there, and welcome to my blog!  This is the first time I've tried making my own blog, so bear with me if things seem a little rough around the edges at first.

I figure that my first post ought to be something of a mission statement, so you can decide if this blog is something you're going to want to keep reading or not.

It all began toward the end of 2011, as I stared at my many boxes of wargaming models, collected over the past 23 years.  I was shocked by the sheer variety of models that I had purchased on impulse over the years, and even more shocked by the minute percentage that had been painted.  It was then  realised just how deserved my reputation as a wargaming butterfly really was.  So, I decided that 2012 would be a good time to apply a little discipline to my hobby.  I have identified the following goals (whether I can stick to them or not only time will tell):

  1. Pick a few projects each year to work on (part of this is also to move from 28mm to 15mm and smaller models for all games other than skirmish games/specific tournament armies).
  2. Finish what I start
  3. Identify projects that will never be taken on/finished, and sell the models on to fund current projects.
  4. Keep a record of what I have painted throughout the year
  5. And, on a personal note: Attend more tournaments.
Any lessons/tips I learn, I'll share with you on this blog.  Likewise, if you have any useful tips to share with me, just feel free to make comments in the appropriate posts.

I'm going to go away and have a think now about which projects to work on in 2012.  They'll form the core of my next post, and I'll try to update the blog every Monday evening, real world events permitting.

 As a little taster of what is to come, here's the last model I painted in 2011, for the Frothers Unite UK forum's inaugural painting competition.  It's a Dunger from Ramshackle Games.  I've named it a King Dunger , as I wanted it to be a leader for my Dunger packs.  Some green stuff was used to bulk out the fur around the head and shoulders to make a lion-like mane.  Dungers are one of the projects I'm intending to run with this year, and there's a little back story to them .  I'll save that for a later post.

Thanks for sticking with me thus far.  I hope you'll enjoy this blog and will follow it from these humble beginnings for some time.