Thursday 27 October 2016

Zomtober: The Invasion

I'm getting my final Zomtober post in early as I won't be able to get anything done over the weekend, and as promised, after a run of survivors, I'll finish with zombies...

...well, zombie.

This is the last of the Wargames Factory plastic zombies I swapped for a sprue of Zombie Vixens and frankly, it's awful. But he was hiding at the bottom of a drawer, so it seemed a waste to leave him there. I'm not so worried about him being rubbish, as they're all part of the horde.

Anyway, that's me done for Zomtober 2016, and although I've not done loads, the project has got me motivated again, and both painting and gaming have picked up, with hopefully more to come. So, all that remains is to finish with a group shot of the official Zomtober 2016 gang:

What do you mean? Why doesn't it count as an invasion? I know the survivors will easily deal with the two of them, but they might be just the beginning of an invasion...

Oh, all right. I also revisited the rest of my zombies, This year, I've started to use a GW paint called 'Blood for the Blood God' (yes, they do need to get out more) which is a 'wet-look' red used for painting, fairly obviously, blood. And so, having used it on this year's zombies, I thought I'd splatter it about on the rest. It also occurred to me to use it on the bases, to give a bit of a gory look.

Yes, I know that blood wouldn't still be red and glistening, but, a) I want that b-movie 'too-much-blood' look, b) the blood give me a handy way of distinguishing zombies and survivors at a distance, and, c) are you really going to try to argue 'realism' about zombies? Any, here's the real invasion...

Finally, sticking with the invasion theme, I've finished my cruiser for my Dropzone Commander Scourge fleet. This is an Ifrit class cruiser which is armed with two 'burnthrough lasers' which can cause exponentially increasing damage when they hit; which sounds fun.

I've again stuck with washes over silver for the most part, and I'm quite happy with it. It's certainly good enough for the tabletop amongst another dozen or so ships. So that's my 'fleet' done...

...until my Kickstarter delivery arrives...

Wednesday 26 October 2016

7TV - Soul Survivor: The Series

After last weekend's Zomtober post, I was determined to not let a perfectly good post title go to waste, and so with Matt coming round for a refresher game of 7TV, I set up a small 20 ratings battle using one of the basic scenarios in the 7TV Producer's Handbook.

The heroic cast would be trying to protect an important witness who had decided to turn informant and rat out the mob. The villains would be attempting to silence the snitch and an ambush on an abandoned street corner.

The Set

The casts were as follows:

Heroic Cast
Action Hero - Horace 'Action' Jackson
Security Commander
3 Security Guards
Administrator - Father Price
VIP - The Informant
'Action' Jackson & Friends

Villainous Cast
Underworld Boss - Stephanie 'Lazy' Town
Thug Bruiser
2 Thugs
Steph and the Boys

Rather than doing 7TV reports bow-by-blow, I thought I'd return to something a little more narrative...

 The final score was 5-3 to the villains. The first two Countdown Cards drawn really mucked up both of our plans. 'Script Editing' switched Jackson for Stephanie and meant that the villains were struggling to activate as I couldn't use her Leader ability, whereas the 'Hit Your Mark' had the Informant present himself on a plate to the hit squad. The heroes did a good job of grabbing objectives, but couldn't hit the side of a bus and when their cast was axed the only way back into the game was some really optimistic long range shooting in the final turns.

7TV remains a fun and completely versatile rules set, and seventies action is what it's designed for. This isn't the last you've seen of Horace 'Action' Jackson.

Sunday 23 October 2016

Zomtober: Double Trouble

This weeks survivors are miniatures I picked up at the Derby World Wargames Show a couple of weeks ago. After deciding to sell my Wargames Factory Female Survivors, I decided to pick up a few female models for my zombie games. Naturally, I headed straight for Bad Squiddo Games (formerly the Dice Bag Lady) and her eclectic range of sensibly dressed female miniatures, and picked up these two.

They are a pair of twin mercenaries from Across the Dead Earth, a post-apocalyptic game, apparently called Aysha and Nisha (not sure which is which). I'm not usually a fan of post-apocalyptic miniatures, with their mohicans, propensity for fur and lack of trousers. However, these two are reasonably attired for a more realistic (ignoring the zombies) setting. They are perhaps more experienced survivors, but not beyond the realms of believability for games set across the pond.

Aysha (or Nisha) is sporting a pump action shotgun and a sidearm at her waist. I really like how both of these models are clearly female, without the usual wargaming habit of overdoing the 'curves'. It's something that works fine on comic book characters, but is a little out of place in a zombie apocalypse (unless you're in an animated Japanese high school). I also like the little details on the model, like the carabiner on the belt.

Nisha (or Aysha) is packing an AK-47 and is ready for action. As these two are meant to be twins, I tried to keep the colours I used similar, without making them too uniform. I think I've succeeded in this and the two of them look good together. I'm not sure what 7TV profiles I will used for them, but they should work as Survivalists without too much trouble.

Next up is a model I was originally going to post on his own, under the heading, 'Soul Survivor'...

...however, unless the apocalypse has been going on since the seventies, he doesn't really fit the Zomtober theme properly, and I promised to be sensible this year.

The model is the Bones version of Horace 'Action' Jackson from Reaper; another model I picked up at Derby. I found that due to the plastic used in the Bones miniatures, I had to put a bit more effort into highlighting than I usually do, as the washes I use had a tendency to pool quite badly on the model. I chose the yellow and blue colour scheme as a nod to the original costume of the Marvel character Luke Cage, as I'd just finished watching the latest Netflix series when I painted him.

He's got 'Flamboyant Agent' written all over him for Spy-Fi games of 7TV, however, I'm also rather tempted to use him as the beginning of a villain cast and make the Disco Boys from the film 'Mystery Men'.

Finally, returning to the theme of the post title, I've finally got my hands on some Dropfleet Commander models. Although my Kickstarter delivery hasn't arrived, Wes recieved his early, and as we'd planned to swap bonus sprues, he kindly gave me some Scourge ships to get working on whilst I wait.

The ship on the left is a Gargoyle Class Strike Carrier, which is apparently for dropping troops on important locations, whilst the one on the right is a Harpy Class Frigate, which seems to be the bog-standard Scourge frigate for supporting  the bigger cruisers. As I'm due to receive an entire armada of ships fairly soon, I've kept the painting really simple, using washes over silver in a scheme I've flagrantly nicked from someone on the internet.

I'm really happy with how theyve come out, and I'm fairly sure I'll be able to replicate this scheme fairly quickly to get the fleet done at a decent pace. I've actually painted a second one of each of the ships, but I don't have any more of the connector widgets at the moment. Expect to see many more similar ships soon.

Zomtober is drawing to a close, which means two things. Firstly, our traditional Halloween Weekend zombie game is in the offing, and we're planning something a bit more complex than usual. Secondly, I should probably do some zombies!

Sunday 16 October 2016

Zomtober: Lone Survivor

It's been a busy week, what with one thing and another, and so I've only managed to crank out a solitary survivor.

This is another of the Wargames Factory models, and this one has the low tech survivor vibe that I like in my Zombie apocalypses. There are far too many automatic weapons knocking around these days, I like a good dollop of sporting goods based improvisation. I'm not overly keen on the head, but that's a running gripe that I have with the set, this one at least has an expression that somewhat matches the action. Overall, he'll do.

I also managed to get Black Panther finished for the Marvel Universe Miniature Game last weekend after I'd blogged. Given the nature of the outfit, I put a deal more effort into painting black than I usually do, simply to gain some definition on the model. However, the black on black outfit, combined with increasingly poor light conditions, due to the nights drawing in, has made him rather tricky to photograph.

I'm happy with the simplicity of this model, something Knight models fought against by inexplicably making both arms separate. I don't pretend to be an expert on casting processes, but their scultping decisions seem very odd and quite a bit annoying at times.

However, he's turned out well, taking my Avengers line-up to seven models. It might be a while before I need to pick up another as purchasing is on hold on the lead in to Christmas.

Saturday 8 October 2016

Zomtober: "It's quiet round here..."

"Remind me, Padre. Why did you volunteer us to search the refinery at night?"

Week two of Zomtober, and although there are no zombies in sight, I've knocked out a couple of survivors using the Wargames Factory Male Survivors sprues. Despite my reservations about these kits, I had these models put together already, so it seemed sensible to get them done.

One of the things I like about this set is that there are a couple of unusual torsos, such as this rather heavy set chap. It creates a bit more character than the standard athletic build most miniatures are sculpted with. I've not done anything fancy with the painting, but I'm happy enough with him.

A  little bit more effort went into the priest. There are very few unarmed hands in the set and so I needed to a bot of cutting to put this guy together. The head is also from another manufacturer, Nexus Miniatures, as I really don't like most of the heads on the sprues as they lack any real definition. This head (which came with my not-Magneto) has an air of Vincent Price or Dick Van Dyke about it, which adds character.

Not sure how much he meets the definition of being a survivor though, given that his determined to face the zombie apocalypse armed only with a Bible.

Finally, I've also managed to finish off another Batman miniature. This time it's Hush, a.k.a. Tommy Elliot, Bruce Wayne's childhood friend who is determined to ruin Bruce's life. A very simple paint scheme, which has turned out well enough, although I'm not overly keen on the head as the detail is very soft and it's not entirely clear that his head is wrapped in bandages. Every so often, Knight Models sculpts seem to have this problem with the faces and heads. Given the detail on the rest of the models, this is a bit of a disappointment.

So far, it seems that Zomtober is having the required effect of getting me painting again. Hopefully the pace will pick up.

Saturday 1 October 2016

It Begins...Zomtober 2016

It's that time of year again, and following my frankly abject performance in last year's Zomtober, I've decided to actually try and do it properly this year.

The idea is that during the month of October you paint something relating to zombie wargaming - zombie, survivor, terrain, etc. - each week and post it on your blog. Feel free to join in, proceedings are organised on Brummie's Wargaming Blog.

So to get things off to a quick start, I've done these chaps...

A zombie and a survivor seemed like an appropriate way to start the month, and they make for reasonable additions to the collection, and in fact make for a decent 'diorama'.

The zombie is a Studio Miniatures plastic zombie, and unlike the previous ones I've done, I went to the effort of chopping him off his chunky base, which now makes me want to do the same with the others I've done. The Studio zombies are, in my opinion, the best of the (male) plastic zombies currently available, although they are somewhat samey, and a whole box would get dull without starting to convert them. It was nice to remind myself of my zombie 'method' and I've added the detail of using a 'wet' paint (GW - Blood for the Blood God) for the blood, which although biologically inaccurate (the blood would surely have dried on a corpse that colour), looks good, and frankly realism isn't really on the agenda when painting zombies.

The mechanic (let's call him 'Mike') is from the Wargames Factory (now Warlord Games) Male Survivors sprue. Despite the options apparently available in this set, there is distinctly less flexibilit than you'd hope for in a plastic set. The heads are also a bit of a disappointment and lack detail, this is one of the better ones. Looking at the picture, I need to go back and re-highlight the flame on the Molotov cocktail. I'm not sure why he has that, as setting fire to a zombie simply means that you then have to kill a burning zombie, and when your armed with a crowbar, that makes the zombie more dangerous.

Mind you, I think the zombie is the least of his problems...

I'm hoping that Zomtober can get my painting mojo going again. These two are okay, but were really just a case of me scrabbling through my bits box to find something and doing a quick and dirty paint job in order to meet the first deadline. I've really gone off painting plastic models as I find the detail really lacking and I'm hoping to pick up a few interesting metal survivor models at the Derby wargames show tomorrow.

Tune in next week to see how I got one.