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

Monday, 20 March 2017


View from the pointy end
This is my attempt at creating a larger model, from the toy pirate ship, to represent a Brig.
|It's not as good as I hoped it would have turned out, but is still perfectly acceptable as a wargaming piece as far as I'm concerned.
It won't win any prizes for painting either, I think I must have painted over the hull half a dozen times as I couldn't quite get the effect I wanted.
In addition to the extra inserted piece of hull section, I also added a few hatches and a door, all made by my fiend Captain Jack.
Being top-heavy because of the masts would make the model usable, but once I added the six home-cast cannon (lead/tin mix) isn't not that bad and wights a lot more!
In the photographs I  think there are a dozen figures on board and whilst to me it looks busy, it doesn't look that crowded.
Broadside view.
Blunt end

Close-up view showing Captain Jack's hatches
View from the other side
Door - another Captain Jack addition
Another view of the pointy end (bored yet?)
Obligatory boring view from above
So, the model finished as far as  I'm concerned and with two down, there's only one to go, which should be finished in a fortnight or so; in the meantime I'm working on making some 'jungle' terrain, which I'll probably be posting about next week.

That's it then for this week, thanks for taking the time to look and I hope you found something of interest; as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 13 March 2017

The Church

Front(ish) view.
I've used the last week to finish off the church,  especially the internal detailing, using the bits and pieces I've been making over the last few weeks.
The 'yard' had an undercoat of a dark brown, highlighted by a lighter brown and finally another highlight of a sandy colour.
The photograph to the right shows the front facade with a figure (of unknown origin) that is the closest I can find to some sort of of clerical chap.
He's a bit diminutive compared to the more usual "28mm" figures, but fir for purpose imo.
The tower is about 13.5inches tall (35cm) and the footprint is about 9"x20" (22.5cm x 50cm). The height to the ridge of the church proper is about 6" (15cm) above the courtyard which in turn is two layers of foamboard above table level.
The top two levels of the tower are not glued in place (for ease of storage).
Side view
View of the other side (before I remembered to add the tower)
Rear view (again, sans tower!)
From my original ideas, I've added a lean-to to the rear of the main building and dome flora to brighten up the churchyard. In addition I' made a couple of benches (one is just visible below the lean-to's window.
Close up of lean-to - foundry figure to the right
Some flora (boring uh?)
View of tower., with added menace

The top of the tower
Bird's-eye view

lots of space for figures despite all the 'bits'.
Moving on to the inside, the photograph on the right shows the overall interior of the main building.
The only scenic piece that I'd previously made that wasn't included was a confessional.
Despite a confessional being an integral  part of any Catholic church I omitted simply because of space, but I did manage to get in a few pews (all cardboard); a font (foamboard and bbq skewers); a lectern (matchsticks and card); an altar ( foamboard and tissue); and a pulpit, foaboard, cardboard and bbq skewers). The large cross was made of thin plastic.
Front door and font
Altar end
Altar and lectern close-up

Pic showing a figure can be placed between the pews (just)
View of the Priest's quarters
The pic on the right shows the lean-to''s interior, which I decided would be the spars living quarters for the priest. Scratch build bits include a table, with book and candle  (no bell), a be and a cross (of sorts) on the wall. The floor is covered with 'stuff' (used, I believe. as lining for flower pots); it's a tighter space than I would have wanted but it's sufficient for my purposes.
Lurking with intent (though actually in bushes)

Finally here's the 'flora' from the courtyard, made not only for 'colour' and variety  but also as a test piece for my jungle terrain (which even now is under production).
Base coloured to match courtyard.
Yes, there's probably a lot more that I could o this model, some more detail, some extra highlighting etc., but as far as I'm concerned , it's finished!

That's it then for another week (it's back to the ships for me next week), I hope you've found something of interest and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 6 March 2017


Good enough imo
I've had another busy week (busy for me at least) and my wips have spread out from my restricted space to cover about a square metre of our living room floor (with few complaints so far).
I've manged to get one of the three ships as finished as it's going to be, that is to say it's finished enough for a wargame at home though by no means up to show standard. There comes a time with the detailing on all builds I do, that I say, enough is enough.
Here's a few pics of the model, with some crew too
Busy deck
The right-hand side (technical ship term)
 When I started to fill the decks with figures, I did find out that I hadn't considered the height of the figures fitting under the front and rear spars, so the helmsman and anyone on the main deck has to be wary !
Front view (pointy end for the non-techies)
Rear view (blunt end)
View from above (who'd have thought ?)
Another one...(boring huh?)
Close-up vie (only slightly less boring)
Cannons - as finished as they're ever going to be!
In addition to finishing off one ship, I've been doing bits and pieces towards finishing off the church, mostly painting but also some of the internal detail that I wanted.
The extra cannons that I'll need if I ever have all six of my ships on my table (an unlikely prospect) have been completed but as I have 14 gun-ports on the current three models I'm working on and only a dozen extras completed I'm going to have to have a proper audit of how many cannon I have and how many more I'll need (especially as I'm also contemplating building a fort).
Not as bright in reality as it appears in the pic.
Obligatory boring pic.
The photo on the left shows the various bits I've scratch-built for the church. There's a half a dozen pews, an altar (with two pieces for a cross to sit on it), a bed and a table and chair, along with two benches intended for outside. They're all mostly painted now and just need to be glued into place once I've decided on the internal layout.
The confessional I made, a while ago, will probably not be used due to the restricted space - such is life. 
Another pic, just in case you're not bored enough
So that's the first of my three £10 ships finished and  over the next week I should finish the church off, barring any new real life crisis preventing me doing so,

That's it then for another week and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Church (take 2)

Awkward, skewed angle !
Taking a rest from all things nautical I've made another assault on my church build and sundry other minor bits and pieces, all connected to my pirate project.
The last time I had done anything to this model was quite a while ago and then it was merely bare foamboard
As can be seen from the photo on the right, it's come a long way towards being finished.
The ridge tiles from on the main building and those on the tower have both been added as has a small building abutted on to the rear wall of the church, though not visible in this photograph..

Photo showing the extension

The whole model was liberally covered in filler, using a very watery mix to give some texture to the otherwise smooth walls.
This would be later sanded down and leaves a very nice surface, though not smooth.
This filling procedure also helps to fill in all the minor cracks and joins that develop in any scratch-build model that I make!

The front, all gunged up with filler.
Side view (doh!), showing initial roof undercoat.
 The roofs were all given a coat of thinned filler and allowed to dry before any paint was added.
When the filler was dried, a dark brown was used as a base coat/primer to which I gradually dry-brushed lighter and varied colours, A dark red, a slightly lighter red, some yellow ochre,  a light brick red and finally some terracotta tile colour. (All £1 emulsion tester pots)
Initial wall colours
The body of the church is also painted with using another £1 tester pot tester pot and I'd forgotten just how long it takes to paint models!
The bits that weren't painted in he creamy yellow colour would be undercoated in grey and highlighted in white. Door colours are yet to be decided!
Another view of the progress so far.
Spot the error
Other than the church I've started on the cannons needed for the three new ships. To fill all the gun ports I'd need 14 cannon, so I'll have to take a stock-take of what I have, but in addition I added the cannon seen on the right  and although I haven't a photograph I've undercoated and painted them up, with just some final highlighting and tidying up to do on them.
Four spools of garden twine from Poundworldbargainland I reckon gave me an almost lifetime supply of ropes, lines and cables that I'll ever need. Even though dark green twine is included it's easily made into a black tattered rope too (and of course there's always jungle vines too).
Ropes coiled and tidied in ship-shape fashion
Finally in a burst of unparallelled enthusiasm I quickly  finished off the three rowing boats that came with the three ships in less than an hour (I know, it shows)
They're not the best models , but are usable and having looked at the prices of similar sized  resin ones I'm pleased enough with these.

The plan for the next week is to finish off the church, at least one ship and  a dozen cannon, all whilst I plan the necessary terrain boards (so far, a beach, a harbour, a rock (yeah I know) and a fort. In addition to which I'll also be planning a village to accompany the church and in a similar style.

That's it then for this week, I hope you've found something of interest and as always your comments , good bad or indifferent are always welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Ship Ahoy

Ship, newly undercoated with grey spray and a little paint
Yes, it is a bit of a twee title, but it gets the point across that I've managed to get some work done on my 'pirate' ships this last week, despite some real-life family crises.
It's not much really, all three ships have been undercoated  and had some paint added to them in varying amounts and styles.
Having to paint with the  models on my lap and my failing appreciation of colours (not just the poor light or my lack of painting skills) has met with some  unusual (to say the least) colour combos - must try not to paint in the evenings!
I've tried many colours, washes, highlights etc. but am still experimenting!
Deck of the above, showing hatch.

The back end (technical term "blunt end")
Hatch on the front sloping (?) bit.
Crows nest - a figure now sits in comfortably (20mm square base)
Another view of the deck (bored yet?)
Add caption
To relieve the boredom of the above ship. here's the ship converted to a sloop -style, single masted vessel.
It's the most 'finished of all three and I'm fairly happy with  the overall paint effect - so far, there's still a lot more  paint to slap on.
I'd forgotten just how much painting (and time) that these models take to complete.

View showing the "horns" of the original toy around the gunports
Third vessel, clearly showing the pointy end.
The third vessel (the one with the extra hull piece added) I decided to paint in much darker colour *to hide the joins). Unfortunately thought it turned out looking  a bit too dark,  so it was brightened  here and there without losing it's darker look. The masts, spars etc. have has a least three different colour schemes but they're still not finalised.

You can't see the join if you turn the lights low and squint
Another boring crow's nest
The crows nests were converted in two different ways. The first, abandoned idea, saw me cut a notch out of one and the let it rest on a small platform.already on the model. The second method had me cut s hole though the two remaining ones and the the upper mast was pushed through and located in a hole in the mast below. All three has a couple of rails removed from the rear to allow for the filing flat of the crow's nest floor.

Obligatory really boring picture
The current state of my gaming table.
As mentioned above this last week hasn't all been plain sailing (I can hear the groans), my gaming table, now turned being used as a large storage shelf has had to be moved around whilst I've had #2 son put some shelves up. It turns out that although this is not one of the top priorities in his busy schedule (work, eating etc. seem to take preference) I have had two more shelves constructed and with just two more planned they could be finished soon enough.
If I wasn't so useless with DIY things, I'd have done them myself, but illnesses, uselessness (I recently levelled up) etc. all work me - and I should be up ladders etc nor be near to power tools!.
The two new shelves (about seven foot up)
"Jablite", eight bits, 4 x1.5 ft - enough to cover 4ft x 12ft for under £15
I'm also planning the terrain I'll need for my pirate games, do new terrain boards are in order, it seems pirates rarely fought on modern urban roads (even Somalis it seems)- sad I know. To this end I've been to B&Q and bought some "Jablite" polystyrene block; they're a bit tougher than the more well-known polystyrene ceiling tiles but much less tough than the blue or orange foam more commonly used for terrain these days.  They're 4 foot by 1.5 foot, yes they're an awkward size, but I'm working around the problem.
Plans for one of the boards.
So that's it then for another week, it may seem that I've done quite a lot, but it doesn't feel that way!

I hope you've found something of interest and as always, your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.