Saturday, October 13, 2018

Zomtober Week Two - Atlanta Survivors



This week I decided to stay away from the undead and get some survivors completed.


Five survivors from the early days of Atlanta got put onto their new bases an immediately placed on Main Street :)



And a close up of the horde about to overrun them!


Here is Lori, Morgan, Jim, Carol, and Liam.


Jim is my favorite figure of the lot. The sculpt really captures the terror of being in a zombie apocalypse.


The Liam sculpt is another favorite. I like figures that aren't armed to the teeth so a majority of this group falls under that heading. What I really like is that this particular sculpt captures a moment when Liam was clearly caught off guard.


Carol.


Morgan.


And last, Lori.


I also worked on one of the trucks from the All Out War scenery set. It's a great set and highly recommended if you don't have it.


I decided to think way outside the box and went with red as my color choice for the truck.


I think the weathering turned out ok, definitely need more practice with it though. And I didn't realize the lights on the roof looked that bad until I started to put this post together. Oh well, I have another truck to hopefully improve on.


And to wrap this post up, I was able to snag last years event exclusive set from Mantic off Ebay for the bargain basement price of $27.00 - which included the shipping! Can't wait to start on this one :)

Until next time, thanks for looking!
Ivor

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Two More Kickstarter Arrivals


The Kickstarter's are arriving fast and furious lately. Two more arrived over the last few weeks.


The first was from Cigar Box Battle Mats. I have a couple of their older mats (and actually sold about four I think as well) and I do like them for throwing something down quickly.


I decided to back this project because they have improved their mats by leaps and bounds in my opinion. This is the new Grasslands mat.


And an up close photo. It's amazing how good it looks, the photos don't do any of the mats justice.


The Barren Lands mat. Perfect for a desert like setting.


This new version just blows away the older Open Desert version.


The third mat I decided on was the Tundra mat. I've got a couple ideas swirling around inside the 'ol bean about some adventures in the snow and cold weather.


Unfortunately this photo is pretty bad in attempting to show the detail of the mat, but again, I'm incredibly impresses by it.


The last one I picked up was the Caribbean Waters mat. This one I really liked because of the lighter blue and white tones. This will be perfect for Blood & Plunder, Age of Sail, or any other water based game.


Again, detail wise this one is top notch.

This KS funded on July 16th and had an estimated delivery of September. So an A+ to Cigar Box Battle Mats, delivery was as promised and the quality is beyond what I had hoped for. Highly recommended if you are looking for something to throw down on the table quickly and still give yourself a great looking table. One other really nice selling point is these things literally fold right up to about the size of a folded towel, so storage and transport is really easy. They measure in at approximately 60"x80", so plenty of overlay for a 6x4 table.



The other KS that arrived was from Sally 4th. This was the Classic Movie Miniature Episode 2. Episode 1 featured figures from some of my favorite movies of all time - The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca! There were a total of  36 figures in my pledge and below are some of my favorites.


I missed the first KS and what was great about Episode 2 was that there was a pledge level that you were able to go all in on - catching up on the first one, as well as getting everything from the new one. Here are a few of the Casablanca figures from the first KS.


Episode 1 also had figures from an old television show called 'Tales of the Gold Monkey'. It was really piggybacking the popularity of Indiana Jones at the time, but it did have some fun aspects to it - for me it the awesome airplane, a white and red Grumman Goose (if I can find one of those in 28mm Ivor would be one happy boy!), and Jack the dog, who wore an eye patch. Jack had a fake eye which was an opal, and why he wore the eyepatch. Jake lost the eye in a poker game and a running joke through the series was how Jack never lets Jake forget that. Anyway, good pulpy fun, and someplace to find some gaming ideas, despite the show really not holding up to time all that well lol.


The Maltese Falcon set. Just brilliant! And even better is that I now have multiple figures of Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre. That's just the coolest thing ever for a classic movie guy like myself.


One of the new sets from Episode 2 is a take on the old Miss Marple film Murder at the Gallop. I absolutely love this series of old Marple movies as well. I think a lot of it is because Margaret Rutherford reminds me a bit of my grandmother with that white hair.


But here is the piece de resistance of the set - the Howling Commandos from the first Captain America movie. What was crazy about this set is that it was made at my suggestion. Madness really lol! Chris Abbey, who owns Sally 4th, has all the backers of the Kickstarter vote on what the next set of figures will be. It occurred to me that no one to date has done a Howling Commandos set - and it was the one major thing I was missing from last year's Agent Carter game that I took down to Historicon.


It was super frustrating because I was changing the narrative of my story because I didn't have the right figures for what I wanted to do. Well, I suggested the commandos and they won the vote by a landslide! So now I have a Dum Dum Dugan figure and I couldn't be more chuffed!!!


As well as the first version of Captain America, with the original badge shield. I can't wait to get some paint on these guys. But more importantly, I'm hoping that now having these figures in hand that this can be the push I need to get our favorite SSR agent back onto the tabletop and fighting the evil forces of Hydra :)


I was already paying for shipping across the pond so I figured I may as pick a bunch of the really neat Sally 4th accessory pieces. I've had my eye on these for quite a while now and jumped at the chance to grab them at a KS discounted price. This is the museum set, with all kinds of great bits and bobs to throw around inside a building.


And the market place set. I can't wait to get these painted up.


The Museum of Antiquities set has a bunch of these awesome glass cases that should really look the business when built up. I got several other little accessories as well that should make the table a whole lot more interesting to look at too.

This KS funded on July 30th, with an estimated delivery date of December of this year. Well, Chris and everyone at Sally 4th absolutely knocked this Kickstarter out of the park!! I had my full pledge in my hands at the end of September - and what makes that even more amazing is that the entire Howling Commandos set was sculpted from scratch after it won the vote on July 30th!?!? Mark Fuller - Tin Shed Gamer on the LAF - did an absolutely amazing job on these figures, and he deserves a huge shout out for the effort. I've heard on LAF that he's already started work on four more Howling Commandos (I'm sure Bucky will make it in that set) for Chris' next movie KS :)


But because of this Kickstarter, now the wheels are turning in Ivor's little head - I'll be jumping in on the next one and 100% putting up Jonny Quest as the vote in set of figures! The hurdle will be that the Quest gang just isn't known in England, which is an absolute shame because it's a cartoon that easily hold up almost 60 years later - giving you everything you could ever want in a spy-fi pulpy globe trotting adventure series. Quest is easily my favorite cartoon of all time, and if you've never heard of Jonny Quest I can't recommend looking it up enough. I absolutely guarantee that you will not be disappointed if you like the kind of stuff I described above - just make sure to watch the original from the 1960's. And if this does actually happen by some miracle, it will mean I can get rid of my proxy Quest team. Please oh please oh please let this happen!!! And then after that I can suggest a Goonies set of figures lol!!


I'll leave you with what could be the most important photo I've ever put up on the blog. This is work being done across the street to FINALLY get Internet access to the farm. It's just mad to think we've been without Internet/wifi access since moving out to the farm five years ago. Everything I do on the blog is either on my phone (which is easily the most frustrating thing ever) or piggybacking off my wife's portable Jetpack from Verizon, which is supposed to be used for work, so it's worthless. It has absolutely sucked to say the least. So here's to Ivor getting back into the 21st Century :)

I also want to send a quick shout out and thanks to Michal K. and Phil C. for following along with the blog, cheers guys!

Until next time, thanks for looking!
Ivor

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Zomtober 2018 Week One


So begins another Zomtober October - and it's a nice coincidence that it is on the same day as the season premier of The Walking Dead! I figured I may as well go with a money shot right off the bat with the 11 walkers I painted this week along with everything from last year.


And a bit of a zoom in on the photo gives the horde a much more impressive feel, especially with Rick all by himself on the other side of the police car. I am currently sitting at 44 painted and based zombies.


I decided to go ahead and prime the remainder of all my Mantic walkers for this month's challenge.


Well, what I thought were the remainder of all my walkers - I've found about 6 more that will need to see the priming can.


I've struggled with the "right" skin tone - in my eyes anyway - on Zombies since my very first one over a year ago. After trying something completely different this time around - many layers and actually starting with a flesh base - I think I've finally found the right recipe.


And the first 11 for this go around, on the new and improved clear bases. I've decided not to go overboard with the blood this time around as well. The casualty figure is from TT Combat - I wanted to try to paint up one to see how it would look. I think they will add a lot to the narrative of a board. I do have two boxes of Mantic's prone figures, so I hope to get those done this month as those are much more detailed and look much better overall.


This close up shows the new skin tones. The model on the left is literally a beast and quite menacing. The one on the right I thought I'd paint up like Shaggy from Scooby Doo just for fun.



I went back and pulled all the Litko clear bases off of last years completed walkers and changed them to the new thin clear bases. I threw them all on the mall tile for their glamour shot. It's just amazing what a difference the new bases make.

Here is the blog list for this years Zomtober Challenge - hopefully I've got everyone, if I've missed you just comment below and I'll add you in.

Simon - Brummies Wargaming Blog
Pulp Citizen - Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer
Rob Bresnen - Four Colour Super Minis
Kieron - Cheaphammer!!
Terry Silverthorn - Miniature Mayhem
Bryan Scott aka Vampifan - Vampifan's WOIN Blog
Colgar6 - Colgar6 And The Infinite Legion Of Toy Soldiers
Clint - Anything But A One
Phil Curran - Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera
Dai - The Lost And The Damned And The Stunted
Myincubliss - Dead Lead Project
Greg - The Wargaming Addict

The rules for the challenge are simple - to take part you just need to paint one zombie or survivor (or more!) each week in any scale you like, posting it to your blog by that week's Sunday. So that means posting each week on or before the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th this year.

Until next time, thanks for looking!
Ivor

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Breaking Ground On The Twin Peaks Mall From 4Ground



As I mentioned in the last post, I've been wanting to build something, anything, for quite a while now. So why not try something easy like the entrance to the 4Ground Twin Peaks Mall? Excuse the paper sign for now, a 3D printed sign is going to be an absolute must in the future.


For probably the last year and a half I have slowly been picking up kits from the Twin Peaks line. Taking full advantage of sales and discounts because they are definitely on the expensive side. All told I can safely say that everything that I've bought (which is the monster starter box in front, and then the two stacks immediately behind it) so far was at 40 to 50% off. Yeah, I know, madness lol!


I actually have a total of three entrances. Again, yeah, I know! But if you're building a mall, go big or go home I say - and why I have those two huge stacks of kits. Thinking that the entrance would be really simple was pretty dumb - mostly because I never make anything simple as you'll see below.


I'm not sure why the doors weren't painted in a metal color, so I did that myself.


I love 4Ground, but a few things that really bother me about their kits is the "flatness" of the buildings and a lot of the "sameyness".


While the kits to create this entrance definitely didn't suffer from any "sameyness", I did feel it definitely suffered from that "flatness" I mentioned.


I decided to use some old Evergreen strip styrene I had in a box to try to make the entrance frame not seem so flat. These were square tubes, measuring at 3/16" or 4.8mm. In hindsight I wish they weren't tubes because I had to fill in those holes, but it was what I had on hand. I won't use them on the next build.


I definitely think that something like this was needed, I only wonder if I should have used a smaller size. I'm thinking yes. And that I also need to add a few more pieces to the corners and ends.


What's nice is that for a post apocalypse setting, a lot of the burn marks on the parts that I usually have to clean up from the laser can be left to give a more distressed look. The above shows an example of a cleaned up piece (right side) compared to the untouched piece (left side). A huge difference.

I also put together one of the expansion roof and floor kits. The "glass" on all these kits is a real challenge - even being incredibly careful you're sure to get a few finger prints on them and it's super annoying for someone who has OCD!


I added some "Welcome" signs to either side of the front doors. I found the signs online and resized them to fit in the space. I also glued them onto tin foil to give the an improved look.


A simple addition, but I think it makes a big improvement to the entrance.


Looking from the inside of the entrance.


I thought it would be fun to have product banners hanging from the rafters. Being a zombie apocalypse I figured that a skin care product sign would be hilarious. Searching online I found the perfect one and by using this cream, you too can look 10 years younger in just four weeks!


I added some thread to act as the wire to hold the sign. I think having a lot of different rafter signs will add a lot of fun tongue in cheek laughs to the layout.


I also put together a couple of the 4Ground planters and added two ferns. I'm really impressed with how good these look. I still need to add some rocks or dirt to the inside of the planters, but just plopping the ferns in them really makes them pop.


One rabbit hole I did go down was actually painting the tiles on the floor. I think it's a night and day difference and I'm really happy with the end result, but oh my word!


It took a really long time and the thought of doing this throughout the entire mall has me reaching for the nearest sharp knife lol! Here is a normal floor tile.


And here are a few figures in the new entrance - and it shows why I'm all about this new thin clear base, the figures just blend right into the floor. I'm going to wait to do any kind of weathering because I'm not sure if I'm going to make this early days of the apocalypse or much later into it.

So a fun little start, but I don't see the mall being any kind of a focus. There are way too many things I need to sort out design and layout-wise. The biggest being the roof. I'll be totally honest here, I think 4ground really missed a huge opportunity here. The roof could have essentially been a whole other level for game play, but instead you've got a pitched roof. It's a real head scratcher for me. That absolutely has to change, and I'm not sure if I can do it. I totally redesigned the roof to 4Grounds warehouse kit here, but this is totally different. There are other issues too - all the stores are essentially "shoe boxes", where are my corner shops? Why there isn't a hallways expansion set has me shaking my head as well. And where is the movie plex??!! Oh well :)

Moving into October I've got some more Walking Dead figures lined up to finish.

Also a quick shout out to a couple of new followers - Stewart, Gerardo,  Staz Matt - and I don't think I ever acknowledged Jason F, Millsy and Joe - thanks a lot for following guys, I really appreciate it!

Until next time, thanks for looking!

Ivor