Monday, 31 January 2011

Equal Opportunity Apocalypse

Over the weekend I went back to the first batch of Zombies, that I wasn't entirely happy with, with the intention to fix them.

After a quick bit of brush chewing I realised that I'd been a bit cavalier with the clothing and details using quick fixes rather than painting them properly. So that's what I did, showing them due respect and doing the job properly.

Another ten PPs in the bag to start the first month of 2011 bang on target!

Whilst doing so I decided to paint a couple of the torn hands that a couple of them were waving around as a dark flesh, primarily for contrast reasons. This then lead onto the thought that a proportion of my zombies should be something other than caucasian So, the group on the left have been washed with Thrakka Green, the group on the right with Baal Red. Both have then been dry-higlighted back to Dwarf Flesh with a mere tinkling of Elf. Centre rear are the "Soul-less Brothers" who've been brushed up from Dark Flesh with Bestial, Sankebite and the merest hint of Vomit before an Ogryn wash (mental image!).

Bizarrely it's worked out that none of my gentlemen of colour are toting anyone else's limbs. So if you're from the Deep South you've no need to worry!

Once again I've based before finishing the detail just so that I can get the balance right. I can't remember if i've mentioned it previously (probably) but they're all on pennies. The scale seemed right and it means they can really horde in around any tuppence based food sources. It also means that the Oni GI Enhanced Super-Zombies will look all that much bigger.

More overly dark / vaguely blury photos:

Thursday, 27 January 2011

When Men were MEN

Do you remember back in the old old days of GW when a single genetically enhanced "brother" could psycopathically scythe his way through an entire platoon of standard PDF without even breaking a sweat or scratching his century old paintwork? I do.

These days T4 and a 3+ save doesn't even begin to do the job! I know it's all about the practicalities of game balance and all that but somedays don't you want your supermen to be, well..... SUPER!!

Should you so wish then I'd suggest a look at some of the many other rulesets out there, including Two Hour Wargames' 5150.

This bad-ass shaded dude is Rich J's leader or STAR. He's equipped with a full set of exo-armour, with jet pack, a hand cannon of a laser pistol and some form of super-sword probably involving the phrase "mono-filament". All this costs some serious pointage but he's what a Space Marine is supposed to be.

I know this as my lot poured an awful lot of fire into him and simply succeeded in dumping him on his arse a few time. He even took a hit in the chest from an RPG to simply bounce through the wall of the house behind him and then get back up again.

This was mainly due to a STAR's ability to "Big Man" any one round of damage and ignore it. Unfortunately I only had the one RPG shot, DOH!, and assualt rifle fire simply patters off of exo-armour. I also wasn't helped by the "traits" that my chaps randomly recieved, most of them being rather negative, STAR's choose by the way.

Despite all that it was still a good game where I gave almost as good as I got. It was the first live round of the club's 5150 campaign and having re-mastered the rules we moved on to the more eclectic subject of tactics and luck!

To be honest I probably should have concentrated more on Rich's other troopers but there you are. In my second game Ian just happened to roll whatever dice his lads needed and my attack onto the table into his prepared position went all one way pretty quick!

I then remembered my people's "tough" special rule so we re-played for a much tighter game, effectively drawn only due to both of us being beaten by the clock.

So, a good nights game which reminded me of various things;
- the limits of slug throwers against decent body armour and the value of single shot lasers
- the excellent "grit" of 5150 and the need to employ proper tactics (cover, LoS etc)
- know your strengths and play to them, bring MORE rockets!
- how much I CAN enjoy my hobby :)

Monday, 24 January 2011

Vive La Diff-er-ence

On Sunday I made another pilgrimage to Adams Park to scream bloody murder whilst Wasps took on Toulose in the Heineken Cup. Unfortunately results previous in the day meant we couldn't go through to the quarters but a good result would see us into the Amlin.

For a translation and a match report I suggest you try BBC Sport as that isn't the point of this post. The point is to give all possible credit to the Toulose fans.Now I can be a liitle bit Al Murray as far as Europe is concerned, all tounge in cheek I promise, and on the train up I was surrounded by French. Slightly intimidated I was impressed as to how many were making the trip and it all added to the build up to an excellent hard fought game.

Sat next to a big block of French I was really impressed how well they made themselves heard and how they went out of thier way to get on with the Wasps fans. Plenty had bought hats and scarves from the club shop as a memento of the trip and happily sat wearing them.

There was plenty of "banter" throughout and after a shaky first quarter Wasps settled down to a good, hard performance and we won it with a try in the last minute. Lots of handshakes all round and applause for both sides. A few of thier guys had even brought a banner thanking Serge Betsen, now a Wasp, for his years in French Rugby and he was pretty much mobbed when he went over to them.

On the trip home thier fans were still singing and surrounded by them for a second time I couldn't stop grinning. Best away fans I've ever met!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Comms check..... 1,2,3

Overall it's been a pretty good gaming week even if a little on the fly, which is no bad thing.

Tuesday night at the club, Enfield Gamers, Rich set-up a big mutliplayer game of 5150. Originally planned as a zombie encounter a late night viewing of Starship Troopers inspired a modern day Afghanistan bug-hunt.

I ran the command squad and we made quick progress up the 8 foot table, the rest of the boys ignoring my orders for a cautious advance. To be honest it was more a case of just keeping up with the Afghan squad who weren't waiting for anything or anyone.Once in the settlement the bugs, randomly deployed, struck hard chewing heavily on C section whilst I repeatedly failed to set up the radio and call in a medi-vac.

By the time I got through the request had turned into a full emergency extraction, briefly delayed by a bug hole erupting next to the heli-pad. Thankfully a couple f UGL rounds and he Minimis clear a path and a everyone piled into the Chinook, many being carried!Last night's D&D was postponed yet again due to work commitments and my failure to send the usual reminder text! Doh!

So instead we cracked out Martians!!, a variant on Zombies!! that you CAN play co-operatively. We didn't and as such completely failed to even vaguely trouble the mother-ship you're supposed to destroy.

So instead we demolished the biscuits and set about being the first to kill 30 martians and such win the game. It was a fun game so Rob won. Those is the rules!
More usefully, I recently picked up an AT-43 starter set a la E-Bay for 40 of one's earth pounds. I've been keeping a lookout for the restart of the Star Wars RPG and for the amount you get, just in terms of scenery, it's an absolute steal.

The troopers and the Fire-Toad i'll repaint to match the security dudes and the Therians will make some suitably brooding potential "aquaintances".

Meanwhile I've been block-rushing zombies in between stints with Fable III. If only I didn't have to got to work so often......

Monday, 17 January 2011

Purple Haze

I've spent the vast majority of the weekend shambling about the house through a Beechams induced haze in an attempt, thankfully successful, to shift the LURGY that has plagued me.

Concentration has only been achieved in fits and starts, much like Wasps' performance yesterday, but an amount of progress has been made, unlike Wasps :(

My main achievement has been test painting five of my zombie horde-ette which has proved far easier and quicker than I thought it might be, alomost worryingly so.

Given a base spray of Ogre Flesh I moist brushed up to Tallarn Flesh and a drybrush of Dwarf (flesh). I went for solid blocks of darker colour for their rags assuming that this would have been thier burial suit, picked out details and applied the magic of Devlan Mud.

A quick drybrush highlight of Dwarf followed and I sorted the bases out to get a proper look at thier finish. Scarily, they seem to be almost there.
Admittedly these photos aren't the best but for such a quick job they're well on thier way. I don't want to stop here, and won't, feeling that's its now a case of final detail to get the job done.

I am however a little unsure as to what these might be! Red eyes don't say Zombie to me but might be nice on a few of them. A little bit more work on the skin and clothes and maybe a bit of strategic red wash? I really want these guys to be properly manky.

Answers on a comment please!

Rounding out the weekend I finally cracked the cellophane on Fable III, which was from Santa, and tried it out. I spent some of the new year finally finishing off Fable II and so have really noticed the immediate differences.

The graphics are finer, the progression system more creative and they've obviously had the time and budget to lavish a little. Good stuff.

During the load breaks I notice that it gives comparisons to where you are compared to your online friends. Undead Jon has a significant head-start on me, due to time played, being loaded, married (twice!), and having travelled MILES further.

Most entertaining was the "STD caught" count. A gentleman never tells though......... :)

Saturday, 15 January 2011

A Man's World?

I'm sat at home with the Ick at the moment. Nothing too terrible but just enough to feel a bit BLEURGH. Some might call it man-flu but that's not a theory I subscribe to!

Tuesday was a club night and a last run through with 5150 before the campaign starts. Just as well really as I needed the practice and we'd all managed a slightly different take on the level that we were aiming at.

Answer: squad level. So my 21 strong force was a bit unbalanced and unwieldy to track traits and limb specific wounds! As such I've spent the morning re-working my force. Wanting to use my Rogue Troopers the Xeog just about fit the bill as genetically built light infantry.

They come in two skin-tones, green and light blue, with the latter often going rogue...RESULT! The only fly is that they're all female, or at least males have never been reported. I'll assume that no-one's ever survived to make such a report.
Not using any armour I've had to go super-elite to keep thier numbers down to 12. They fight in groups of three so this is how i'll deploy them with all female leadership.

One really nice thing about 5150 is that each race is given a flavour through a subtle variation in thier own specific reaction table. The Xeog are classic light troop, fleet of foot and hand thier clone status makes pretty hardy but staying power in a brawl isn't thier thing. Hug the cover boys and girls!

Moving on I'm going to try out a couple of ideas to get the Zombies on thier way. I currently feel quite in tune with them!!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Down, down on the farm...

A relatively quiet weekend at home has seen some decent progress with Zombie Farm / Village.I've always enjoyed scenery making, a major highlight of my time with GW, and this is already a project that i'm enjoying massively.
Two WIP shots of the farmhouse. I used a new technique here, pre shading with sprays that i'm very pleased with. I always intended to work from white, dirtying up with washes prior to drybrushed highlights, but fate intervened.

Basically I wasn't thinking and simply sprayed black, as I do 99.5% of the time, before remembering THE PLAN. As such I then drifted on various coats of white to leave recessed areas as a misty grey. It then occurred to me that this was a techniques the Jon had brought to my attention that I wanted to try. Subliminal?? All the fencing was done the same way.

For some reason I can't stay away from red rooves! I prefer to think of them as shingles. I was tempted to fit in a confederate flag somewhere but will have to settle for this being a detail piece later on.
The pig sty was drybrushed up through the browns, more "traditionally" as I wanted to give the impression of fresher, darker areas of mud without resorting to any gloss effects.
I still wanted whitewashed wood externally, though dirtier for a better overall fit.

So, the basics of the farm are in place and 10 PPs for the lot (4 for each building and 2 for fences) seems a fair trade.

Live (and dead) stock need to be done but I feel a need to start in on the zombies. With 40 to do, inc counters, batch painting is a neccessity and ome other little bits to slot in between will stop me becoming too BRAIN-DEAD..... :)

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Tales from the Crypt!!

So, significantly quicker than I expected the Mantic Minions are built. Even the missus had a go and stuck four of them together, as doing all the clipping and trimming was far too boring a task. I don't know which of us was the most scared!

In general I really like these guys. They're all 3 or 4 part and don't have as many posing options as I'm used to, especially compared to GW's zombies. In some ways this is a big bonus as it forces you to fully explore the potential poses to make the best of them!Thier posing and true scaling mean that they have a really classic, properly twisted look to them that is just about unique. I'm not so keen on the couple of "spines on legs" that I've built but it's allowed me a few "bursters" freshly uneathing themselves that are well worth the sacrifice.As well as the 30 zombo's advertised on the box I've also made up 10 counters, including my "bursters" to use as reinforcement / deployment markers. Zombie "blips" if you will!

So all in all i'm well pleased. Tonight will be the joyous PVA fun of basing everything, including various farm bits and maybe even a bit of black spray.

Living the (Zombie Village) DREAM baby!!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

All Things ZOMBIE!!

So with the new year come new projects and in a staggering display of pre-planning all of mine for the next little while will have something of a rather corrupt air about them.

I've spent the new year to date building the basics of Zombie Farm and feel well pleased with my efforts.

The plan remains for it to be multi era / genre and I remain confident that this will work well all the way from French Indian to mid West survivalists.

It's definately going to be whitewash all round so i'm not so sure about full on Sci-Fi but I'll definately give it a go. The devil will be in the detail i'm sure

I've also had a quick browse at the sprues of Mantic zombies that I picked up and am impressed by thier quality of both sculpt and production.

With 30 to get through I feel sure that I will get to know them particuarly well!!