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

Monday, 16 January 2017

The Cursed House (and palms)

Front view - ground floor
I have made some progress to my "Cursed House" build (otherwise known as Stoetzel's Federal House) this week with the usual loss of a wall or similar occurrence. Work this week was however mainly held up by a bout of sneezing, coughing and bring up phlegm, as I developed a very heavy cold, all of which was not conducive to modelling, or my keyboard. Thankfully several packets of Lem-sips and hours of rest and I'm all but recovered.
Oblique rear view
First floor outside walls with internal prints
It should be fairly obvious that I've fitted the internal ground floor walls despite the model's best attempts to thwart me Why a single internal wall should be divided into three parts (the one from the front door to the back door) is divided into three .parts, escapes me - its' not as if it's too large for an A4 sheet, being only about 9" long!.
I also managed to cut and glue the internal wall prints to the external first floor walls (second floor if you're American) even managing to miss cutting out a pain of windows, before being laid low.
Left original, right 'worked on'
Succumbing to my current lurgy and not wishing to press my luck any further with the "cursed house" build it wasn't until Sunday I looked around for something else to do - something I couldn't easily f*ck up with a sneeze !
I decided to have a quick experimental trial at my palms.
Firstly let me say that palm trunks come in every shade of brown, grey and sandy-cream colours imaginable.
Secondly I now have a fairly large number of trees to 'spruce up' (no tree- pun intended) so whatever I do has to be quick!
Again, original on the left - not so effective as the previous one imo

Forgetting that as these are fairly soft plastic and should probably be washed in some luke-warm
soapy water I gave the leaves (fronds ?) a quick wash with Tamiya clear Green; the trunks were washed in some dark brown ink I've had for about twenty years and finally a bit of milky-coffee-coloured dry-brushing. IMO for the minute or so that it took I thought it was quite effective for a trial run.

Bottle palm - very happy with this
Imo, another success
Its a monster sized tree
 So the results are a bit varied with a few variations to the colours, brown greys or whatever, then I'm sure they'll look good en-masse. I'll also add a few yellowing leaves with some yellow ochre or similar washes. In the meantime here's a picture of one of my largest and most expensive tree at about 7" tall (175mm).
Also a late arrival to the jungle terrain were more plastic bits for my 'jungle', they're described as "flowering plants" om ebay and came form the same source as all my flora, namely "Model railway collectibles" -
They come in packs of either fifty or a hundred plants and either all of one colour or in five colours  (like my own)
I'm still awaiting three more packs to arrive - bamboo and two types of "grass" (in reality green bushes) 
It's hard to know what to do to 'improve' the looks of these flowering  plants, so maybe they'll be left as is (always my preferred option)

"Flowing plants"
The problems of not having a working laptop continue and  the proper space to use my desktop (I'm currently typing at 90 degree to my computer screen with my own shadow over the keyboard)  continue unabated but on the good news front I have the first of a half dozen or so shelves now erected in my wargames room, It's in the door alcove  and is now occupied by my Playmobil coliseum  of some 30"+ diameter. It's the first  step to clearing my table off and setting it up for a game!

That's it then for this week thanks for visiting and as always, your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 9 January 2017


'Copter, all but finished.
Despite having little opportunity to find the space, let alone the time to progress either of my current
projects added to my my laptop deciding to finally give up the ghost no matter how much gaff I applied I've still managed to make some progress, be it slim. 
Other than the blades on the helicopter needing attention the Poundbargainworld Helicopter buy is all but finished. It'll not win any painting competitions, but is very usable imo.
Not a great deal different to the original toy
The Stoetzel card build still progresses, even though the model still continues to throw spanners in the works such as the walls that have the wrong marking on them:

The curtain 'problme'
The curtains depicted on some of the walls are all well and good too , save if yo want to add perspex 'glass',  as I eventually discovered (and there is also no provision for the reveres of the curtain as the inside corresponding wall has none).

I had thought that I could colour the reverse of the 'outside' curtain, but this was before I'd thought of the 'glass' anomaly.

Front view
No matter all the problems I've had with this building (now nicknamed the cursed building) I've finished the outside walls (save for a bit of trimming and edging) and the three internal walls too, but these latter walls have yet to be added.
Rear view
The small central one is about 4" tall
I've also added a lot more palm trees to my collection and I'm awaiting several more bags of greenery too.
I've selected as many different types of palm as I could find to accompany my core collection of 80.
The small ones are slightly taller than a figure.
Today's latest arrival - Travellers Palms
That's all for this week, thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 2 January 2017

"Pirate Ship"

Happy New Year to you all that visit or follow this blog.
Over the holiday period I managed to make almost no progress in any f my current projects and was mostly frustrated in anything I did attempt. I did however manage to take apart my recent "pirate Ship" purchase, so here's the results of that exercise.
It'll be obvious to most that the two figures included in the set are oversized for the ship but there are are a lot of bits within the set that are otherwise suitable for use with 28mm figures.
Basic ship, straight out of the box.

Aerial view( note the ties on the croc and the cannon
The cannon and the crocodile were affixed with ties (the white bits), but were easily removed.
The wheels would have to be removed (fairly easy), mainly because they looked silly. There were half a dozen or so screws to remove to get to the wheels and it also allowed me to inspect the cabin area.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say, so here are the pics, with a brief commentary.
The wheels, with ties that secured it to the box.
More ties on the croc and cannon.

Giant figure with minute boat.

One of the two figures, but with additional boat, something I hadn't initially noticed. 

Giant-sized chest (useful for keeping the screw in), along with a group of three barrels.

A raft !
The longboat
Longboat with figures

A lot of the 'bit's are usable; here's the pics:
The longboat can just about hold three figures (mostly because my bases are 20mm square.

The cannon - best forgotten about
Raft with figures
The barrels - one of them may be a bit large!

Useful crates
A very big shark - but could still  be useful.
The Croc - very big - maybe a bit too big ?

28mm figures don't look out of scale on the shape though.

Plenty room on the deck for cannon on each broadside.

Lots of room for crew too.
Another deck view

The ship is obviously a toy and not meant for wargaming, but there is a lot going for it imo and most of the obvious 'problems' can be overlooked -  and besides it was only £10 !

That's i then for this week, I did make the conscience decision not to post the various photographs I took as I disassembled the model, but thought photographs with figures for scale would be of more interest.

Thanks for taking the time to look and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Good, Bad, Ugly 2016

It has long been a tradition to briefly review events that myself and friends have attended, to categorise them under the heading of good, bad and ugly and I thought it could a suitable way to also review my take on 2016, so, here goes, some of my more notable GBU things of 2016 :

The Good
I once more attended a couple of wargame shows and despite there being only two, from the potential four (at least), local shows, I did  enjoy them immensely. In my hey-day of attending shows I’d have also attended Durham Wargames Open day, Border Reiver and Stockton. (Shildon btw is not really that local to me and fairly new).
It was a pleasure meeting Roy Williamson at Shildon, a fellow blogger (link) and a truly gifted miniature painter, he also introduced me to Dave Docherty (another blogger).  Whilst I haven’t met that many fellow bloggers (a handful at most) those I have met have always been very friendly.
Having the wherewithal to purchase items for projects, whilst not in the same league as other gamers, my purchases have been modest, but in comparison to the almost nil purchases I’ve made over the last few years was a step forward.
One of the things I particularly like doing is tinkering with rules, whether my own or those of others and my recent correspondences with another blogger to polish up his rules where necessary, make suggestions to content and wording etc. – I know this probably sounds more like work than pleasure, but to me it beats the heck out of painting figures or modelling!

The Bad
 Not playing a single table-top game over the entire year, has to be the #1 bad thing on the list.  I find it quite depressing having a fairly good set-up imo (my own wargaming room, permanent table and so on).
The explosion of “Boutique” games, (which I call games in a box). In case you don’t know what I’m talking about think of the many games played on a 3 foot square “board” (or smaller) with just a couple of dozen figures, some shiny (expensive) rules, lots of cardboard and so on. To me this is not wargaming, but is a form of step-up from boardgame to tabletop with all the inherent advantages and disadvantages they entail. I can see all the enjoyment from these types of games though and good luck to those that play them, but they’re not wargames to me!
I’m also under the impression that many new sets of rules have been dumbed down –but that’s just a feeling.
Not having a regular opponent, despite a couple of false starts and realising that my historical interests can’t compete with Orks, Space Marines and all things plasticky. Solo gaming just isn’t for me!

The Ugly
The use of the term “28mm Scale” has always bugged be and imo it’s a way manufacturers can get away with not having figures made to an actual scale. I know that many refer 28mm as 1/56th scale which would make a figure representing a six foot tall man at about 32mm – so why 28mm ?
Seeing models of grey rocks, castles and walls still annoys me, though I’ve grown to having to accept them - I guess. (I still feel the same shudder seeing ‘eyes’ painted on miniatures less than 72mm tall too).
I find I can’t keep up with the multitude of blogs I follow. It’s so easy to miss someone’s latest blog
Post and I seem to be forever playing catch-up.
A Zombie Forum that I’m a member of has slowly been dying a death for the last year or so; it had such potential but the many interests of the members outside of the Zombie gaming genre is another nail in its coffin, sadly. I haven’t posted in over a year, which probably hasn’t helped, but then again neither did the moderators giving out offencive comments.  

Whilst my enthusiasm for this hobby is up and down  like a Bride's nightie most of the time I am looking forward to 2017 and getting my Wargaming room back !

Have a happy and pious New Year one and all and here's to 2017!

Monday, 19 December 2016

Merry Mithrasmas

So another year and another seasonal post, this year though I've purposely avoided using the usual "merry Xmas" or "Happy Holidays" in an attempt too avoid the usual artificially inflated page-view figures, after all we have the Russian spam-bots for that sort of thing,
It's been an interesting year on blog, one I've,  at times, struggled to get out a post to the dozen or so followers who regularly comment (for which I'm very grateful). I also can't recollect when I gained any new followers either, despite losing several earlier in the year when blogger had some sort of update.
I'll be looking at the past year in next week's post but for now the purpose of this is merely to wish you all a very Yule,  Mithrasmas, Saturnalia  or any other pagan holiday or religious festival you follow at this  time.

As always, your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 12 December 2016

A Ship (and more)

As real-life continues to deploy obstacles in my path to foil most of my attempts to do anything
significant on the hobby-front but I thought I'd show a vignette painted and assembled by a good friend that died earlier this year. Thanks to his spouse I've come into possession of a large number of his models (mostly 54mm), mostly painted, but some requiring assembly and paint. They include a fair number of the old 54mm Airfix figures and a large number of Historex figures. My favourite amongst all of them is a 7YW Austrian (currently packed away with his chums), but this particular vignette has been on semi-permanent display. and was thus easily accessible for posting about!
I can't tell you much about the two figures represented, but no doubt the more knowledgeable will know!
I can't foresee any time when I'll assemble (let alone paint) the large amount of figures and sadly haven't found a single one of my acquaintances that is interested in obtaining any of them .
Anyone that is interested, please get in touch!
(As usual, sorry for the poor quality photographs, but I'm still unable to replace the photographer)

Front of box
In other news I purchase a toy "pirate ship", for the princely sum of £10 from "The Works". I'd scouted this model but couldn't decide if it was a good enough size, so armed with a tape measure I went off and ended up buying one (now regretting not buying at least one more).
There's a fair amount of usable 'accessories'  including a 'longboat' (should have been called a shortboat) that wasn't apparent at first inspection.
Of course the figures are huge (about 60mm) and their weaponry and other things are completely unusable , but the model still has a lot to offer. I'm currently taking is apart, removing bit and pieces and deciding how I'll  progress with it.
Rear of box
My daughter's temporary residence within our household has had a very pleasant side-effect of her
My new paint station
being disgusted at the state of my paint-table and design to do something about it. I've ended up with a very pleasing set of drawers as the table (hiding and sorting just about everything I'd want hidden and sorted)  and with the additional bonus of being on casters, means it can be easily moved about, keeping my scalpels away from the inquisitive hands of my granddaughter (seemingly the two are not a good mix).
The helicopter that is prominent in the foreground is the only physical object I've been working on this last week and I've manged to make a little progress on the paintjob on it).
Most of my hobby-related progress has been using paintshop to design eight 'shops', (mostly originals) for a project I've been thinking of for a few years now.

And that's it, little to nothing done, but even a little is bonus to me atm!

Thanks for taking the time to visit and peruse what I'm up to and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated! 

Monday, 5 December 2016

Spinning Plates

Ground floor and first floor of the new build.
This week has seen a major upheaval in my household as we have my daughter and her family living
The outcome of this is that we have a lot let space and a lot of my own projects etc have had to be stored in my wargames room (now very crowded), but there are is also the more important tidying up to do after any hobby-related things I do - no more leaving things out until tomorrow!  It seems that scalpel blades and 3 year-olds are not compatible!
with us (and all that that entails) as she has had to vacate her own place and has to wait for her new home - probably sometime early next year.
Some of the ground floor walls
I am still managing to get a few things done though!
I've made some progress on my new build (The Federal House from Stoetzels) but wasn't that inspired reading through the initial instructions that it could take some two hours or more to build. The initial cutting out of the ground and first floor floors walls etc. (and edging them too)  took at least that amount of time! (and there's an attic too).
A very "wrong" wall
My wry smile took  a down-turn as a worked my way through the model and realised that one wall was mistakenly labelled and there ere also a host of other minor (very minor) 'problems' with the model. I'll talk about these though later, but as an example, one of the walls, (shown right) has a major 'problem' with it (though easily fixed), as it's an internal corner but allows for a wall attached to it (the blue rectangle).
Further work on this model had to be halted as I ran out of glue and when I came back to the build, after tidying up I'd accidentally stuck  a scrap of foamboard to two walls - duh!
I couldn't repair the damage and now I have to await the re-printing of these two walls (luckily though they're on the same page - so just one copy needed.)

Undercoated chopper, with Sid for scale
I did manage to grab the chance of a clear day to undercoat my helicopter, so that's coming along slowly but surely - though I'm not entirely sure why I used #2 son's gloss black instead of my own matte black as an undercoat !

My solitary palm tree

 In other news I have started to try and accumulate some scenery for my pirate project as I didn't think my single (rather pathetic) palm tree would hack it.
Evil- bay was my friend in this and I found some very reasonably priced palm trees for about  £4.50 (including p&p) for 2o of he. - each approximately 13cm (about 5").
The most surprising thing was that they were from an English supplier (from Basildon IIRC) and cheaper than some very similar models from China , so I went ahead, splashed the cash and bought two bags of them!

40 Palm trees - woohoo!

Sid and the Palm trees
I guess for the price, you get what you pay for, they're bright, very plasticcy and have a shed-load of flash on them, but they'll do the job just fine imo.
I'm as yet undecided as to how to base them and will be considering all the various options carefully an will also be awaiting further varieties of palms sometime next year. (who knew that there were so many different varies and models of palm trees ?
It also turn out that plastic palm trees can be waved bout with great abandon and glee, though whether as fairy wands or dolly feather dusters, you'd have to ask my grand-daughter
(they're in a safe place now though).

So, progress then, and although little has been made, in the quieter moments I've been working on my abstract ship-to-ship rules -something which I enjoy but is made difficult without having a friend as a 'sounding board' for my ideas and checking the rules generally.
 I also been busy designing some builds for a project I (and probably every other Zombie gamer) has sought since I started  down this track, but more of this as I make some proper progress and have something tangible to show!

That's it then for this week - things can only get better - right ?

Thanks for reading through or at least for visiting and looking at the piccies and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated!