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

Monday, 18 September 2017

Hong Kong King Kong?

Hong Kong King Kong?
I continue to be in the unfortunate position of not being able to sit, lie, or stand comfortably for anything greater than 15 minutes at a time progress on anything has been negligible to say the least.
Whilst I normally have a regime of forcing myself into doing something hobby-wise for at least an hour a day this has had to be reined back to fifteen minutes a day!
Nevertheless two weeks ago having been "cheesed off" at the price of a gorilla at Border Reiver I decided to see what else was available on the interwebs market.
The result can be seen in the photograph to the right:
Its a very solid piece of hard(ish) plastic and with just a slightly noticeable mold line running down it's face and back.
It's probably not the best I found (there were also at least two other very good  ones), but for the lowly price of £2.76 , including postage, it'll be more than enough for my purposes.
Whilst it's not mandatory fauna in "Adventures in Jimland", but what  Lost Worlds game would be complete without one ?
Below are another few photographs of the piece:

The rear view  - for those that like that sort of thing.

With 28mm explorer for scale
My meagre Border Reiver loot.
  I was asked to show off my loot from the Border Reiver show and as it wouldn't require much time at the keyboard here it is in all its glory (ahem)
 Just the four lots,, the fourth being what they're all 'sitting' on.

Mule train for Jimlannd and for pirates to plunder
Some assembly required !
d20s @ 25p each - a bargain !
I knew I needed some d20's for Jimland so I purchased a quids -worth (£1 for anyone not getting the lingo). But I also forgot that I need a direction die (one of those things with arrows on them), the results of me searching for the direction die when I returned home, can be seen below:

A few more d20s and not a direction die in sight - DOH!
More foam trays !
I bought some KR foam trays knowing that I'd need them for my African/Jimland stuff and have already just about filled two of them.
I dispensed with the generous offer of buying a cardboard box to keep them in , as I'll be sticking to my cheap (as in free) plastic vegetable trays,.
I get three foam trays in one of the veggie trays and they stack too! 
"Get yer 'at's 'ere"

This  last offering was also my first purchase of the show as I visited Col. Bill's gievn an offer I couldn't refuse from that slick talking salesman Roy! 
I was assured that luggage, especially with hatboxes was the very thing I was looking for and was all the rage too!

Lots of resin goodies
Whilst the above may have been my only purchases from Border Reiver they weren't the only items I left with, as my mate Stu had cast me a lot of resin stuff , boxes windows, shutters and a loo!
All of which were very well received
The loo is of the out-door type and will have to be assembled, but that expected these days I guess.

The loo in its constituent parts.
Another view of the bits, with seat in situ
So yet another post that I hadn't anticipated writing but I'm pleased to say that it does mean I still have another two (nearly three) posts on stand-by, a luxury I can't ever remember having.

That's it then for this week, time for more meds and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Bed-Ridden/Zombie-Ridden films

The Zed films I've watched recently (ish)
So after my last post this last week has seen me become incapacitated as the week went on resulting in a trip to the Doctor's and thence to a clinic for X-rays. Nothing too serious but I am still awaiting the results! Averaging about 2 hours a night sleep due to pain despite many, many painkillers I have been unable to make any progress with any of my current wargaming projects but I have managed to take in a few zombie films  as this activity require little movement and if I did fall asleep during them, then it was a bonus!
I've also recorded all my scores and view on these on the DVD film and media page too.
In no particular order here they are
"Rec (3) Genesis" (2012) 
A couple's wedding day turns horrific as some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness.
The film is setting is the wedding of our two heroes  and you just know it's all going to go to shit when the Uncle (there;s always one of 'those' uncles at any wedding right?), with a bandage around his wrist and complaining about a dog bite. As well as 'the uncle'  it has many of the tropes we've come to expect in zed films. like the chainsaw wielded by the bride in the poster to the right.
"Spanish with Subtitles" - Despite the subtitles and not having seen the first two in the series  (this purports to explain much of the first two films' mysteries) I enjoyed this and it did have a good surprising (imo) ending)
 Score: 3/5

"The Rezort" (2015)  The ReZort, a safari park, offers paying guests the opportunity to kill as many zombies as they please following an outbreak.
A dozen or so guests of various dispositions (from students to obvious hunter types) are given the chance to use the weapons they wish and after some training are taken out on a Zombie Safari, protected by electric fences etc. at night. what could possibly go wrong?
I did wonder how they maintained a zombie population from an earth otherwise clear of zeds, but all is answered.
An above average film and well worth a look just for the idea of a world after the zombie outbreak.has all but concluded.
Score: 4/5

 "Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse" (2016)  Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak.
I watched this film well over a year ago, but never managed to write it up so to speak, though It was well received on the now-defunct Board of the Living Lead/
Though presented/portrayed as a zombie 'comedy',  (a theme  which I don't normally like) it was much more and well above average. The few comedy elements were well done and suited the nature of the film overall.
Maybe a tad low on budget little low budget it did what it said on the tin (kinda)
 Score: 4/5 

"What we become" (2015)  A family of four is quarantined in their home as a virulent strand of the flu spreads into town and they are forced to the extreme to escape alive.
If you're looking for ideas for the start of a zed campaign then this film has some great ideas. It's Danish with subtitles but doesn't suffer one bit because of it.
The story-line has a typical family stuck in their house during the inital stages of an "outbreak", but with a new neighborhood family giving a love interest to the boy of the first family and another neighbour with a rifle, it all makes for a n interesting and believable scenario.  
Possibly the best of  my recent viewings with all the elements I like in a zed Film - little humour, slow zombies and survivors that aren't superhumans.
 Score: 5/5
 "The Girl with All the Gifts" (2016)  A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.
The dystopian future is seemingly not to distant as London is easily recognisable as are weapons and vehicles'  
 Possibly one of the biggest budget films I seen since "Zombieland". It gets off to a slow start put picks up the pace quickly before the initial setting becomes overly boring and repetitive.
There are some good surprises in this film and some great acting by both Gemma Christina Arterton and the sublime, Glenn Close  and a surprisingly fresh take on the zombie genre. Well above average production values.
 Score: 5/5

"Survival of the Dead" (2009) On an island off the coast of North America, local residents simultaneously fight a zombie epidemic while hoping for a cure to return their un-dead relatives back to their human state.
Just the title of the film probably labels it as Romero film and is the usual fare you'd expect from a George Romero film.
I've had this particular film under wraps for several years and was sure I'd already seen and reviewed it.
It's a fairly typical of a low-budget zed film that can be ground out relatively quickly imo with a somewhat unnecessarily (imo) contrived plot line and no more than average acting (though with one or two exceptions) - and the Irish accents grated on me after a while. too.
Nevertheless it was good fun  and definitely good pop-corn material for those rainy days.  
Score: 3/5

"Daylight’s End" (2016) Years after a mysterious plague has devastated the planet and turned most of humanity into blood-hungry creatures, a rogue drifter on a vengeful hunt stumbles across a band of survivors in an abandoned police station and reluctantly agrees to try to help them defend themselves and escape to the sanctuary they so desperately need.
This film has a slim but almost believable plot line  but given the situation of the survivors I'm sure a small bunch of zombie gamers could do a better job than the current incumbents in their role.
The film has an interesting take on their zombie, one which took me a while to figure but also one that varied wildly from the 'canon'. I doubt if any gamers would their version of zombie, but they're interesting nevertheless.
Fairly fast paced with lots of action with an interesting twist or two along the way.  
Score: 4/5

I also accidentally watched this post-apocalyptic film called "Dead End" (2016) though in the IMDB is labelled as "Drifter" (strange choice I though as there are two main protagonists).
The story is weak and what action there is is mostly predicable and ponderous tending towards the horror elements rather than any PA element.
I'm mostly biased though against PA films (I'm probably one of the few who have NOT liked a single Mad Max film) so don't take my word for it.
I'd score it as 1/5 if I scored PA films, but I don't, so i won't (oops) and I resent that it's 90 minutes out of my life I won't get back!

That's it for this week and I haven't forgotten  the promise I made to show the meagre Border reiver loot, but that'll have to wait until another time as I'm now in  need of yet more meds!

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

Monday, 4 September 2017

Border Reiver 2017

Early morning bustle
Not one of the posts that I have pre-planned, Border Reiver sort of crept up on me even though I was fully aware of it!.
I hopped on our local subway train (the metro)  to find that the venue at Gateshead Stadium was a five minute walk from the station,, so ten to fifteen minutes later I arrived to find a queue to get in. a phenomena unknown to myself!
Swiftly moving on,  there was quite a number of punters there and a more than ample number of traders willing to take your cash.
In no particular order and an almost complete lack of credits for many of the games, here's some of my better (ahem) photos of the event.
 The usual lighting problems, despite my limited photoshop ability, have resulted in many of the photographs still having a yellowish tinge to them. (that's what I'm blaming anyway).

Rapid Death Fire game
 I  didn't find a single trader that had a copy of the well overpriced Congo Rules  to sell to me, whereas two years ago everyone had them!

Busy Napoleonic  (I think) table
Same game, from the away supporters end
The English are in the foreground, protecting the Newburn crossing
The Battle of Newburn 1640, was a participation game by South east Scotland Wargames Club.
I had a good chat with the guys who were running it and they seemed to be busy for the few hours I was there too, which is always a good sign.
They were using "Baroque" rules.

Excellent Italian Wars era game, beautiful figures and terrain

Leonardo's 'tank' took me aback though!
Whitby's WW2 had a very busy table too especially when...
...compared to the rather sparse participation gladiator game 
The only sci-fi/fantasy game I encountered
Streets littered with the dead and dying - again!
Andrew Wiley 's western game seems to be a regular feature of every show within driving distance of Newcastle and I love it!
His card buildings  may not to be everyone's tastes but his enthusiasm for the game (he uses Dead Mans Hand rules iirc) is inspiring and I seem to find something new every time I see his game.

Happy shoppers and traders everywhere.

Trojan Wars game by the Tyneside Wargames Club (I think)
I had a good day out overall, met many friends, some I haven't see for at least twenty years plus, including a now established author (Osprey and Frontline) as well as sculptor for many wargames lines. I did make a few purchase, but really nothing that warranted a photo or posting about. - four d20s, three mules, a small amount of baggage and some more foam figures trays. I nearly bought a large gorilla from Crooked Dice but I baulked at the fact that it was £8 and resin (ie. plastic by another name), if it had been metal I'm sure I would have ended up buying it.

"How many times do I have to tell you?"

 As I did my round of goodbyes before departing, Roy of the blog  "Never mind the jankers" 
receiving instructing from Col. Bill as his new skivvy as the photograph to the right shows.
 The photograph below shows the result, though whether or not that was the intent of the instruction remains unknown.
For more knowledgeable info (and better photographs) on Border Reiver  I'd look at some of the other blogs around that feature it!

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

Monday, 28 August 2017

Treasure Chest ?

Treasure Chest ?
I'd been looking for something, (though for the life of me I can't remember what - it's an age thing) and decided to have a clear-out of the old (Ikea iirc) 'chest' that has sat above my desk for quite a few number of years (I'm guessing about ten). I had used it to store my paints in, the deep drawers being big enough for the large bottles of acrylic I tend to use.
What started as a clean out though, turned into something of a treasure trove !
So starting from the bottom drawer and working my way up here's the results of my treasure hunt:
The bottom Drawer

As expected a jumble of empty, dried out pot of paints and little else, or so I thought.

The usable meagre (very) contents
 Checking through the contents for anything that could be salvaged the photograph on the right shows the results.
Two tins of old Humbrol paints, a Foliage Factory clear orangey-red and a bottle of GW dark-brown wash - all still very much usable - score!
The small plastic rhino was equally usable (there are pygmy rhino's right ?) and the marker pen worked fine too.!
Now if only I can find the rest of the pair of compasses for the ink 'arm' !
The two centre drawers, looking better
So, moving on, the two centre drawers looked a little more promising.

Not much this time in the way of paint, but two bottles with life left  in them sufficient  to justify their rescue - a GW Beaten Copper and an Anita dark green.
The negative found I haven't a clue about (yet); the card bases were a strange size (not being my usual 20mm square, but rather a rather larger 20mm x 25mm); the paint-brush  was still in fair shape; a die - always useful but the  blister of figures looked a  lot more promising!
  The blister was indeed a tad more than promising, it was stuffed to the gunwales with all manner of goodies, as you can probably see from the photograph to the left.
Five pirates  (two cursed with 'chest-foot'), fully painted; a capstan; a ships wheel; spears, swords and shields (all looking very ancient-ty), a small pile of skulls and a ships figurehead of a mermaid!
The five pirates brings my solely pirate  figure collection to over 400!
The reason for the larger bases also  became apparent

The three disappointing-looking top drawers
I didn't think the three top drawers could come anywhere near the 'treasure' I had found in the centre drawers, but once more I was pleasantly surprised at what I found therein, and delighted to find out just how wrong I was.

The usable content of the top-left drawer

The left-most drawer had six bottles of paint (four unopened!) another die and a draft horse (I think for a 15mm ACW limber).

The centre drawer's usable contents
The centre drawer was slightly underwhelming but still contained three GW ink washes and  a bottle of "Brazen Brass; four new Stanley-style blades, a metal 'puzzle' and a random plastic bottle.
The right-hand drawer, with all the plastic bags in it though looked a lot more promising

The top right-hand  drawer.
The last drawer contained all sorts of goodies.
The two gladiators came as a complete surprise to me as I can't remember purchasing them or acquiring them at all  - or more importantly - why! They look like 54mm figures and will no doubt fit in with my collection of gladiators and gives me reason to write another post on my other blog, that has sadly become stagnant.
Contents of one plastic bag !
One of the seven swivel guns 'found'.
As well as the cocktail sticks, saw blades, card bases, various swords, a spear  and yet another shield, I had seven bags each containing a swivel gun (probably either from Redoubt or Irregular miniatures)
They'll probably get used at some time in the future and I now realise why I have so many pirate figures that seem to be just washing their hands - they're to man these swivel guns.
In addition to the swivel guns there was also a ships cannon (or as I would say it's like a ship's cannon, only smaller)

The ship's cannon. It may not look that small here....

...but compared ot one of my home-made ones.
The final haul
 So to round off I give you a picture of the final 'haul', not bad imo and probably better than some 'loot' I've ended up with after many wargame shows and I think I'm also right in the title for this post "Treasure Chest".

As I intimated in last week's  post, this was the first of three pre-planned posts, but don't expect another treasure chest!
I in other  news I'm finishing the last of terrain boards that'll be used for both "Adventures in Jimland" and pirating; when finished I'm sure it'll be fodder for another post as will my first sortie into Jimland, which is imminent!

That's it then for another week, thanks for taking the time to visit, even just to look at the eye-candy (such as it is) and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.