Saturday, December 29, 2012

Zombie Vixens! which I give a realistic look at Wargames Factory's "new" zombie girls, know as Zombie Vixens!

One gripe I have heard in a couple of places is that they are Barbies.  I have a daughter, and 2 sisters, who have 3 daughters between, and one of the daughters has a daughter.  All have or had Barbies.  These figures ain't Barbies.  They are nowhere so developed, nor do they have ultra-tiny waists, incredibly long legs and gigantic heads.  They are all pretty well formed females.

First, let me explain how my zombies are painted.  They are primed in the cheapest grey primer I can get. They get skin painted in Reaper Pro Paint Ghoul grey.  Any exposed bones and teeth are painted in Ceramcoat Ivory.  Clothes are block painted.  Then they are washed with undiluted Windsor Newton Nut Brown ink.  When dry, the eyes are painted a soft yellow. They are dull-coated because the ink is shiny. I have over 100 zombies, and that's how they are all painted.

Why?  Zombies could be replaced in any game with coins, markers, what have you.  They are the mindless enemy; they are all the same, and want only one thing: to tear apart living humans apart, and Braaaiinns!

Now, on to pictures of the creatures themselves.
Here are the first six from the front.  We have the torso (and this head resembles Andrea from The Walking Dead) Suzy Homemaker, the cheerleader, the party girl, the executive, and the waitress.
And from the rear.
And more girls.
Here we have the bridesmaid, the surfer, the crawler, the crawler upright, the slip girl, and the jogger.
The crawler and the crawler upright are the same torso.
And here's the last torso, the one-footed girl.
Now you get 12 torsos per sprue, more heads than you can use, and lots of arms, and partial arms.

What do I like about these figures?  First, of course, the price.  They are well cast, and designed.  You can do a bit of difference by changing the arms and heads, like the following 2 photos.
Their poses are quite dynamic, and the faces are really good.  They come with 10 25mm bases per sprue, so you have to choose who you want to use.  They are not slotted bases.  You glue the feet to the base.  Patience.  The arms are quite thin.  I don't know how they will stand up to hard use.  Some of the arms and torsos and tiny joining areas.  There are a couple of purses (both the same) and 2 arms with shopping bags, and 2 with briefcases.

What don't I like about these figures?  The poses are so dynamic that it is difficult to make 3 figures different enough.  Since the minimum offer is 3 sprues, it could lead to problems.The evening dressed girl can only be a bridesmaid.  Why else would 3 girls be wearing the same strapless gown (lots of fun to watch catching the bouquet!).  By the by, that's why mine have that unflattering color of gown  The girl in the suit has limited applicable arms.
The surfer can be done as a girl in panties and bra; just don't use the arm with the floatie attached.  I would have preferred to have them made like the male zombies that were released a while back; with separate torsos and lower trunks.  I don't like the large bases, necessitated by the wide stance.  I have to use expensive Litko flexible steel bases to add them to my magnetic bases (all of my zombies are mounted on 3/4" washers).

So, overall, what do I think?  They are a good bargain at the price, but limited in their application.  Because I have so many zombies, I can disperse them in the crowd, so their sameness won't be apparent.  And with the same dress, different arms and heads, the bridesmaids can hunt like a pack!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

...And a skirmish building!

I play mostly skirmish games, and it occured to me that the rectangular buildings I've been making don't have any nooks and crannies to give cover or concealment.  I mean, you can hide behind a rectangular building and shoot around the corner, but you can't advance from cover to cover.

I was getting gas in Conroe, TX, a few weeks ago, and saw a small office building that gave me an inspiration.

So I delved into Model Builder and came up with a building with a few extra angles.  This was done completely in Model Builder, and any evident mistakes are the fault of this arcitech.

It's a bit larger than I intended, having a footprint of 11" x 9".  It's made of  110 lb (199 g/m) index card, laid over black foamcore.  Black foamcore is much less likely to gouge out at the edges than white foamcore.

Here's an overall shot with a Star Wars miniature for scale (28mm)
The roof is just a piece of flat foamcore with a metal pattern on the top.  The ends are sandwiches of card and foamcore.  The entry overhangs were designed in Model Builder, and wanting to save ink (fool!) I made white squares where the overhangs were to be glued to the front of the building.
Here's a shot from a little higher angle showing the roof.  The ground is a speckled matt board that my wife found, and keeps concrete from being totally boring.
Look!  A little protection from incoming fire!
And around back, the cheap manufacturing of the building becomes apparent.  That's either an elevator shaft or an emergency staircase, and gives yet another bit of cover to shoot around.
And the roof has some cover, thanks to the elevated ends and the elevator shaft.

The interior is spartan, basically the bottom floor has just enough to hold up the second floor, and the second floor has a notch to indicate stairs, and an "X" of foamcore walls in the center to give you a lifting handle.  The roof just lays on the top of the building.

It's a little bit bigger than I intended, and the rush job is a bit apparent, but I plan on doing more buildings with nooks and crannies.  Sure, the rectangular buildings are fast and give cover.  But you just can't sneak up along the 8" rear of a flush wall!

As always, click on the pictures for larger shots, so you can see my mistakes better, and not repeat them yourselves.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hey, it's been a long time!

Well, It's been way too long since a post, but that's been because of long days, lots of rain, and having a cold.  Enough excuses?

All I have to show are a few painted figures.  I finally finished my 42 Gunga Din highlanders.  21 were finished a while ago, and I just up and finished the rest so they could get off my painting table.  I added a piper who has no use whatsoever in the game, but hey!  The Gunga Din is one I painted a while back.  All figures are Ral Partha.

I also have a creature that I bought on sale from FRPGames.  It was called "Nightmare Beast", and reminded me of a poem I wrote during my college days that got published in the UNO yearly poetry book.  The poem was written to make fun of a friend who always had doom and gloom poems.I added male genatalia, because he just didn't seem nasty enough.  It's an Elmore Masterworks "Nightmare Beast"
Nest is a Chronoscope mechanic who I painted up sweaty and dirty.  I have the same figure to paint to use the assault gun that also came in the pack.
And lastly, a Pinnacle figure that I converted, adding his rifle, for a Deadlands game for my character, also a while back.

Currently I am working on a group of nude and semi-nude figures, NWS, that I hope to finish soon.  Unfortunately, having time to paint or play means work is slow, which it will be with the upcoming holidays.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Newly and oldly painted

I was lucky to get a run to Houston on the past Monday evening, so I spent 2 & 1/2 days with my sister and brother-in-law, avoiding what would have been for us the minor inconvenience of Isaac.  Among other places, we went to Nan's Comics, and I picked up eM-4's prepainted Recce Group, 5 figures that were formally painted as security.  They are not badly painted for the price.  I had received Hasslefree's 4 female soldiers for my birthday, and decided to try to come close to the eM-4 paint jobs.  The only thing I did to the eM-4 figures was texture the bases a little, hit them with dullcoat, and repaint the guns (which were silver) with black and charcoal.

I then painted the girls and Grant in similar camo and equipment.  The Hasslefree figures are in the center on the first two pics.

I also painted Hasslefree's Grant in a matching color scheme.
They came out pretty close, though I couldn't bring myself to be as heavy handed as eM-4.
I really don't like to do camo, not so much because it's difficult as because it hides well done figures.
Here are some Dadi & Piombo French modern figures, beautifully sculpted, hidden by camo.  That's a Solido VAB in the background.  I also have a VBL, and 2 AML-90's.  There are 3 4-man fire teams.
And some Black Watch, by I don't remember who.
I've been painting up figures for Two Hour Wargames "Muskets & Mohawks"  First, and poorly focused are the Front Rank British on campaign figures.  I have a full platoon painted, and another to paint, making the only full company I will have.
And two officers.

Why on campaign?  Because I'm too lazy to paint the regular uniforms.  The paints are all craft store, with metallics from p3.

The basic unit in M&M is 10 men.  A formed line is base to base, one rank deep.  So I made some new magnetic moving trays.  I made them to hold 5 figures, and some smaller ones to hold 4 figures, because Old Glory bags come with 30 figures.
The rules say that a mob can be 2 ranks deep or more, like so.  I already have a large quantity of these bases, so my mobs won't get any deeper. By the by, by removing every other figure, these bases will also do for Unformed.
Just for looks, I made some mob bases out of 3" circles.
That's it.  I haven't been able to do any games with recovering from Bayou Wars and Heat of Battle.  I did play 2 small games with Chris, but that was a while ago, and he will be busy repairing his office in LaPlace for a while.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Spear Chuckers

Here are lesser luminaries in the Dark Ages.  The unarmored spear chuckers.  This is all 16 of them, but 12 are Varangian(?), and 4 are definitely Saxon lesser fyrd.
First the Varangians:
And next the Saxon lesser fyrd:
I decided that these guys were unable to pay for painted shields, but a few scribbled some designs on theirs. The helmets, spear points, and shield bosses were painted in P3 Pig Iron with no over coating of silver.  I figured that their stuff would be of lesser quality.  The spear hafts were painted lighter than the shieldwall guys, to represent them being throwaways, so not finished.

Here are two fyrd from the sides:
And two of the tossers from the side.  First pose:
And the second pose.
Here's one with a shieldwall guy.  I was hoping to show the difference in their metals, but it didn't photograph in that way.
I'm leaving early tomorrow morning for Pelicon II, where I will be putting on a 5150 Star Army game, and playing in as many as I can get into!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mounted Dark Ages figures

I got all 13 mounted figures painted over the 4th of July.  A day off without pay when you're an independent contractor.
The first pictures are of the 12 figures with kite shields.  I primed the knights black, drybrushed the chainmail with P3 Pig Iron, and then painted the rest of the figure.  It got the chainmail I wanted, but I'm still no fan of black priming.  I don't paint the GW way.

The horses were primed grey, sprayed dark brown or tan.  The dark brown were drybrushed with a dark brown craft paint.  All the horse furniture was painted with P3 Bootstrap Leather.  The tan horses had a wash of FW Sienna airbrush ink, and didn't come out as well as I hoped.  After their horse furniture was also painted, all horses received a wash of my brown wash and were dull-coated.

The shields were spray painted, dull coated, and added after the figures were mounted and all bright metal was painted.

Here are two facing off to show both sides of the figure.
I also realized that they are true 25's, which will make it difficult to add to the figures.  I got out a Newline Design Norman knight I have to compare, and he towered over them, even without the Litko base.  Here's a pic with a Ral Partha post 1889 British lancer, true 25, and on the other side, an Old Glory 3rd Crusade knight.  Pretty small, though a hair larger than the Ral Partha.
Boy, are these guys boring from the back!
And here's the only mounted figure that fits with the spearmen I posted earlier.  Obviously a chieftan, by all the falderal on his horse furniture.

That's it so far.  And now Two Hour Wargames announced that the next publication will be Colonial Adventures!  I should be painting up more pathans, or replacing my 80 missing anszrs!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Dark Ages figures

I've started painting a bunch of Dark Age figures I was given a few years back.  The manufacturer is no longer in business, so I was told, and is unknown.  Any ideas?  They appear to be mostly Varangian Guard.  The numbers under the bases are VA-1, 2, etc.

It's quite a large group of figures .There are:
10 mounted lancers in full chainmail with kite shields, but without a boss on them.
2 banner carriers, ditto.
1 mounted with spear, full chainmail, round shield.

The foot:
Round shields:
22 spears in chain.
26 axeman with axes raised over their heads, in chain
12 unarmored spears.
6 swordmen in chain.
Kite shields:
5 armored axemen with the leather hollow square common to Normans on their chest, chain.
4 unarmored spears.
16 in chain.
10 in leather or quilted armor.
10 unarmored.
And 3 command figures, all in chain.
All banners are the three-tailed type.

Here are pictures of the 16 armored spearmen I have completed.  I'm waiting on slow old Litko for the rest of the bases.
I painted them in my standard "line them up and paint the first file trousers in one color, and the rest of the files in a color each, then paint the ranks with a different color tunic per rank, etc."  I did vary it a bit by using different shades of the color on each figure.  The shields were painted with spray paint, washed, and then had the metal added.  I'm using P3 Pig Iron for most of the metal with the helmets and spear points painted with P3 Silver.  They are then washed with P3 Armor wash.  Very happy with all three!
Here two square off at practice.  Really just to show the figures from right and left.
And here they are from the rear, really the only way we should our own figures.  Isn't it weird how much time we spend on the front of our figures, when we only see that view when they're retreating?  I am a bit lazy, and refuse to believe that every guy had his shield painted by the equivalent of Titian!  Yeah, that's the ticket!

I already had bases for my mounted, so they are on the priming treys as this is beginning typed.

These figures were started because of a friendly challenge from Ed.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Doing things I shouldn't be, with Bayou Wars only 3 days away!

Here are a few more painted figures.
First up is Jake Cutter and Mighty Joe Young.  Jake is a Reaper mini, and MJY came in a box of lead, so I don't know who the maker is.  Jake was painted a while back (yeah, I'm a Tales of the Gold Monkey fan), and is included to give the size of MJY!

And here we have a GW orc with a Gobbo shield upside down, Auggie, and a Shadowforge hoplite.
Auggie is the Bayou Wars Mascot.  I finally assembled and painted him because Ed of Two Hour Wargames will be putting on Red Sun Black Moon games at Bayou Wars.  The ShadowForge hoplite is, alas, fully clothed, and therefore BORING!  However, she's there to give an idea of the size of Auggie.

That's all for now.  Hopefully, I'll remember to take enough pictures to do a good report on Bayou Wars.  I'm really looking forward to seeing a lot of friends, and getting some gaming in!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Cromak steps into the ring again, but his fame precedes him!  This time his opponent is from neighboring Mirish, a leather-armored spearman.
Bellon is a Savvy 5, Strength 4, Speed 3, warrior with a two-handed spear, and leather armor.  His extra Signature is Rage which give him +1d6 on Maneuver and Attack, but only so long as he still has 1/2 or more of his bonus dice.  His points are 6, equal to Cromak.

Almost immediately, Bellon scores a scratch on Cromak's belly with his spear (-1 Strength point).

Cromak and Bellon are pretty evenly matched, and have a hard time finding an opening on one another.  Both turns 3 and 4 result in no openings for either gladiator.  

Turn 5 goes to 6 rounds of retake attack, until Cromak finds an opening and scores a bleeder on Bellon's right arm.  Bellon is only Strength 4, so he only has 1 wound left on his right arm, and no Bonus Dice.

Bellon goes first on turn 6, and loses use of his right arm.  He then catches his breath, and regains a Bonus Die.

The next turn, Cromak advances, but can find no opening, and Bellon catches his breath.  He is fighting a losing battle, because he loses his Bonus Die as fast as he can earn them.

And then, Bellon moves in, seriously hampered by using his spear in his left hand, and being a bleeder.  He fails, and Cromak becomes the attacker, and gives Bellon a serious wound to the belly, another bleeder, knocking him down.

And in Cromak's half of the turn, he realizes that Bellon is about to bleed out, and so moves in and does a tremendous blow, again to the belly, with 8 successes!  So he cuts Bellon in half!

Cromak is getting quite a reputation for going for the soft belly on his opponents!  (Ah, the dice gods!)  He won his bet, but the odds were even, so he gains nothing.  He gets 100 talos for winning the match, and only 1 fame point, since he didn't dispatch Bellon in the center.  He uses one of his fame points to up his speed, to no avail.  At least he didn't get a "1".  He has a total of 7 fame points, but only 6 useable.

His toady is happy, and not noticing so quickly when his daughter slips off to "check on the cow!"

It really is amazing how this campaign is going.  Who would have thought that every kill will be caused by a belly wound, and that Cromak would get off so lightly each time?  I'm sure he will soon get his come-upetance soon.  And maybe his next opponent won't be so easy.  That "6" for "special" opponent must fall sooner or later.