You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Zombicide: Some survivors and some storage

Here are the first of the survivors from my acquisition of Season 1. They were pretty straight forward to paint. I also ordered some Battlefoam. It won't be nearly enough to hold all of my zombies, but it'll be plenty to hold my survivors from the previous two seasons and probably the third season.

For priming, I'm using Testors Flat Black (1249,) and it must have been formulated specifically for the kind of plastic used for Zombicide: It's about the most durable combination I've experienced. I gave it the old "finger nail" scratch test, and that primer just won't come off!

This is the smaller Toxic City Mall box. Walkers in the
sections along the bottom, and "bigs" and "fasts" in the
upper sections. Plenty of space for more!
OK, it will come off, but it takes some serious scratching, much more than will be encountered on the casual game board. This is just the Flat Black I'm using as primer; the paint is not AS durable, but it's still much better than anything else I have on the shelf. I kind of wish all my figures were molded in this type of plastic now.

So what does this mean? Well, I'm still going to drop my survivors into the Battlefoam for added (and pretty much redundant) protection, but the zombies get to be dropped straight into an extra box! No more searching for expensive options to house 300 zombies. The primer and paint will hold, and if it doesn't, well, these are a breeze to paint. I'm good to go.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Zombicide hordes completed!

Here  are all my zombies painted with a simplified monochromatic technique (mostly just drybrushing the three or four colors.) Simplifying the process allowed me to paint all of these figures in a total of about six hours.

I guess I should add an asterisk: I still have to paint the zombies I just recently acquired from Jeff. These that are painted represent at least those from my original collection. All of Jeff's are standard (gray) zombies; They'll get painted for sure, eventually.

Yes, I'll play some Zombicide with these figures, but it's also nice to know that I have a good reserve of zombies should I want to play any other zombie game (of the skirmish variety.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The growing hordes

I finished the rest of my normal zombies, picked up some more from my friend Jeff, primed my toxic zombies and finished all of my berserkers. The picture above represents about 4 hours painting total. I'm thinking the toxic zombies, once primed, will take another two hours. The process is easy- just a couple layers of drybrushing, and a couple layers of lightening up the skin.

I'm holding off for now on painting the new zombies I picked up today from Jeff. Since I have a glut of them, I may use the new bunch for a few conversions; I may do something as simple as take a few apart so I can have crawling torsos and shambling legs if only to darken the landscape a little more. Or I may just pant them up so that everything is done (and I can get ready for samurai.)

And yes, those are some dogs painted in berserker colors.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

More Zombicide painting: Black and White

While I await some brand-spanking new samurai, I've returned to painting some of my Zombicide zombies. I painted my latest bunch (30-40 figures) in about two hours. I simplified my process to three greys and white for white clothing, which helped keep the painting time down. I have some runners, dogs and fatties yet to do for the standard zombies. (Though, I'm also buying a copy of the Season 1 box, so I'll have all the standard zombies I'll ever need.)

I'm hoping to get all my zombies painted before the next Kickstarter (or at least the standard zombies done before the new samurai arrive). I also still have plenty of zombivors to paint.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ginger SNAP!

I had been looking for a copy of this (Reaper Bones) figure since I painted one for Jeff; I wanted my own to use when playing Zombicide.

The figure doesn't have a lot of detail, so he was easy and fun to paint. Instead of the cliche Afro-American pimp, I decided to go in a slightly different direction with the palette. I still gave him a pimp name, though:
Ginger Snap.

He'll also be nice to use in Zed or Alive (hint, hint)

He's based on a Proxie Models 25mm round, which I've filled in with a little bit of green stuff.

Zed or Alive

My friends the Rust Devils have began their Kickstarter campaign for a zombie skirmish game (using the lovely Savage Worlds Showdown rules.) So head over and check out their Zed or Alive Kickstarter!

And how do I know the Rust Devils? They took my Mutie Beauty concept and made it awesome.

This is the one I built. Watch the video to see the one the Rust Devils built:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Random Photos Post!

I usually don't go this long without a post, so for your enjoyment, here are a few random photos from my collection:

Random barbarians from various manufacturers.
Fairy Meat figures made using Rackham Fiannas and Reaper wings pack.

Random randoms (yep, twice.)

42mm samurai from Steve Barber, waking up to the morning sun.

Reaper Highlanders.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Spear of Akai

Locals had stopped travelling the Mountain Road because some had been found cut down near the ruins of the old castle. Eleven bodies had been found in three weeks. The harvest was approaching, and the road would be needed to get rice to the merchants on the coast, so a request for help was sent to the magistrate, and he sent one samurai: Akai, spear fighter.

After a brief investigation, Akai focused on two local troublemakers, Date, a ronin and gambler, and his hanger-on, Nenji, the son of a merchant. Akai could easily take them in single combat, but the pair were rarely apart, so he would have to fight them together.

Akai confronted the pair near the castle ruins. "I am Akai Natsumoto, first student of the Tenshin Shoden School. Ready yourselves."
Date and Nenji did not oblige proper introductions and simply drew their katanas.

Akai quickly moved to one side of a rocky area that would only allow one fighter at a time to pass, effectively dividing Akai's foes. Nenji began to move around the rocks. If he could move fast enough, he would be able to flank Akai. As Nenji made his way, Date moved to attack Akai, but Date couldn't find an opening and was forced back.

Date moved back in and was able to attack, but Akai parried and counter-attacked with his spear, leaving Date knocked down with a serious wound to his chest. Date was down, but not yet out of the fight. Akai turned and shifted to meet Nenji's advance. Akai attacked, but Nenji, despite his lack of skill, was able to parry and counter. The two exchanged another round of blows before Akai was able to land a well aimed spear thrust that opened Nenji's belly, spilling his insides all over the Mountain Road.

With Nenji dead, Akai could focus his attention back against Date. The wounded Date was able to get up from the ground, but with his strength greatly reduced, he was no match for Akai who quickly dispatched the gambler.

After the deaths of Date and Nenji, bodies stopped appearing on the Mountain Road. The harvest came, and the road again became a peaceful thoroughfare.

Game notes: I played this duel using "Red Sand Black Moon" by Two Hour Wargames, along with some homebrew Japanese weapon stats. When the fighters are all unarmored, these fights tend to go quite fast. This duel lasted only a couple turns. I think without armor slowing down the bloodletting, quite a few more fighters could be added to the mix. Though, at some point, it would be better to switch to a more suitable skirmish system (I would use Chain Reaction: Swordplay, also by Two Hour Wargames.)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Why I prefer 42mm

40-42mm seems to be a traditional toy soldier scale, but has been overwhelmingly overtaken by 28mm, which takes up less of a footprint in large battle games. Lately, skirmish games have made somewhat of a resurgence. Even still, 28mm (and the more "heroic" 33-35mm) figures are here to stay and will probably remain popular for years to come. So why do I prefer 42mm?

Mostly because they're just damn pretty. When I started this hobby, I did it to paint. The game was Warhammer (of course,) and my friends and I played many games. But we spent more hours painting than we did playing. And, in any case, I'm an artist first (I have a bachelor's degree in medical/scientific illustration,) so I'm going to always prefer the art side of the game. So the painter took over, and the gamer took a break.

Miniatures companies produce some beautiful 28mm figures, many of which I still paint, but I prefer a larger canvas, and 42mm figures provide that. Being easier to paint adds to a more relaxing experience. The larger size also allows me to try out some sculpting conversions, and scenic base ideas that would have otherwise been too fiddly or difficult at a smaller scale. I've improved, and I've ported over some of those conversion skills to my 28mm stuff, but it might never have happened if I hadn't tried it out on my 42mm (and 54mm) figures first.

In the end, being more relaxed, I'm producing better figures than if I had stayed at a smaller scale. My samurai (by Steve Barber Models) are officially my favorite figures in my entire collection now. Part of it is because they are pretty figures, made prettier with paint. Another part is because I'm a big samurai film fan. And yet another part is because I'm getting back into gaming.

My friends aren't the biggest fans of minis game (they prefer the board variety,) but after discovering Two Hour Wargames (and an excellent solo game in the "Red Sands" series,) the samurai are great to play skirmish games with. And when they are on the table with large trees and rocks and other terrain, they are -- just like I said -- just damn pretty!

How about some Pros and Cons for 40-42mm figures

-- Easy to paint
-- Easy to convert
-- Look gorgeous on the table (especially at conventions if you're trying to woo new players)
-- Larger scale does not come with a larger price; some 42s cost just as much per figure as 28s.
-- A good selection of figures across time periods (Ancients, Samurai, Medieval, Vikings, European wars, Pirates, AWI, Civil War, Old West, Moderns come to mind right away)
-- Great for skirmish games

-- Need extra space for large battles
-- Few players use 40mm for mainstream games/Difficult to find opponents
-- Many periods are represented, but ranges are limited (due to limited popularity)
-- Limited available terrain on the market (especially buildings)

Final word: If you like skirmish games and don't have an extensive collection of 28s yet to play, I recommend you check out what's out there for 40-42mm figures. Or if you have some shelf space, try out a few 42mm figures just to paint for fun. You can use the more relaxing experience as sort of a mental cleanser from painting smaller figures, and a few 42s will look nice (and will be noticeable from a distance) in a living room or library.

(I didn't include 54mm figures, because most are much too expensive to buy enough for a game, though, there are plenty of 54mm plastic figures out there. Bronze Age Miniatures does put out a few that are not too costly. And yes, I do love my 54mm post-apocalypse figures, too.)