Archive for October, 2009

Dead Eyed

October 16, 2009

DSCF2485smHere’s another pair of figures from Blue Moon, they’re well posed and good looking zombies, and fun to paint once you get the hang of them. Expect another sixteen of these to come, the only problem I’m having is more photographic ones. There’s certainly a knack to them which I hope to develop soon. The Tamiya Clear Red works well, and at the moment I’m using it sparingly, almost as a wound highlighter. It’s not that evident where I’m using it in the photos, but as per usual the photo image and what something looks like in real life are eons apart.

Nice couple

October 13, 2009

DSCF2466smHere’s the first pair of finished figures from Blue Moon Manufacturing’s second box of zombies. Due to aging eyes I’ve not painted a 6mm figure for absolutely ages, so it was interesting and fun to have a bash even if it was on massive 28mm ones. It was also my first chance to use TCR or Tamiya Clear Red, as recommended by Vampifan via his blog. It’s a translucent red which dries with a high gloss and so looks like wet blood when dried. Charming stuff and one of the oddest paints I’ve ever used. You might be able to spot where I’ve used it on the miniatures above.

The entrails being devoured by the zombie on the right are an addition, a quick mix of general purpose glue and pink paint, glued into place when dry, and then liberally highlighted with the TCR. A reasonable finished figure I think.

Blight New Project

October 11, 2009

Zombie_Garden2After just over a year’s effort I’m happy to say my late WW2 project is nearing completion, and although there’s a good few bits and bobs still underway, along with a pile of forthcoming game reports to entertain you over the coming months I have been digging around for my next project for a month now. Now I know I bang on about how wonderful the web is for researching but for a middle-aged bloke who grew up gaming it really is an epihany, not least in how much window shopping you can enjoy.

Briefly I did consider 6mm moderns with an eye on Iraq and Afghanistan, but as I already have a pile of buildings suitable from my colonial collection and rate scratch building as my fave part of the hobby I thought better of it. My actual choice came about more coincidently…

dotl0I was wandering around looking for trailers for the recently released film “Zombieland” when I discovered the rather wonderful blog  Dawn of the Lead where Mikko Meriläinen rather handily collects film trailers together if they fit into the zombie or apocalyptic genre. I’ve been an avid viewer of zombie movies since I first saw “Dawn of the Dead” in ’78, which I found hilarious then as I still do – the mix of schlock horror and increasingly inventive ways of slaughtering zombies, or zeds as the kids call them now, tickles my funny bone.

Of course serving up trailers isn’t all Mikko offers, if it begins with a Z, ends with an E, and has ombi in the middle he’s mentioned it including an amusing range of miniatures and links to other zombie plague infected folk which I followed to discover the following two sites.

screamingalpha0The all-singing, all-dancing Screaming Alpha is a well laid out and attractive site which although covering gaming as a whole is obsessed with Zombie miniatures. Even though they’re all 28mm, and therefore heathen, there’s a mouth watering array from a wealth of manufacturers all reviewed in no small detail by John Price as part of his Master Zombie Database. This form of obsession verging on lunacy is exactly what modern gamers enjoy, personally I admire the underlying tone of insanity it’s a true beacon of dedication which words alone can’t express.

vampifans0Last but most definately by no means least, from Dawn of the Lead I clicked on a link to Vampifan’s World of the Undead, very much a gamer’s personal blog packed with great articles, photos, figure reviews and a handy pile of links collected together by Bryan Scott. There’s no shortage of wordage here, revealing not only enthusiasm but also a communicative and sharing nature. This along with photos aplenty is what makes an outstanding blog as I see it.

6mmZombiesNow the astute amongst you may have spotted which direction my new project will be taking, I’m going to do a small Zombie project. This will be shared with the boy Slug, who has become rather sharp with his brush on his 1/76th scale figures. However we’re not overly impressed with the range available for 6mm, the best being Steel Crown Productions’ Edenite Zombie Hoarde above, with some folk also using civilians from Irregular Miniatures. Combined with a distinct lack of modern vehicles and props 6mm rather sadly doesn’t cut it for a zombie project, and I must admit a certain surprise at the lack of manufacturers having a bash at the genre, especially when it’s become quite massive in other gaming scales as well as in popular culture as a whole.

zm001Instead we’ll be sneaking down the road to the stone ring of the 28mm heathens and using miniatures like those produced by the terminally brilliant Studio Miniatures above. I did consider starting an alternative blog to cover this project but there’s little point and it’d just be a distraction from the game in hand.

Sniper’s Nest

October 9, 2009

DSCF0844Sadly table top gaming shops have become a rarity across the UK, mainly because of the web but also because so much gaming is now console based. Swimming against this current is Sniper’s Nest in Ramsgate and rather successfully so. Unfortunately it doesn’t carry any 6mm stock at all, but it does have a reasonable range of what you might expect to find with a heavy emphasis on 28mm and Flames of War plus all the accessories every gamer needs such as paints and brushes etc. It’s run by Mike an affable chap of the gaming old-school and so perfect for running such a shop and worthy of your custom.

DSCF0846Every inch of wall and counter is festooned with goodies, plus at the rear is an area specialising in movie collectables, but the final string to Mike’s bow lies in the basement. There’s two small-ish, but perfectly formed game tables in seperate rooms. Rather obviously these allow for plenty of playing but unlike a table set up in the sales area they also mean that when a game gets juicy and time is running out it can be left to be resumed at a later date – a nice touch.

Visitors would do well to phone ahead of a visit on 01843 607080 as I’m unsure of his exact hours, plus he’s taking a three day break next week – a much needed luxury for an independent retailer. Another point to bear in mind is how much of the web, including google maps, lists him as being in Harbour Street. He isn’t and hasn’t been for well over a year now. The actual address is 1 Chatham Street, Ramsgate, CT11 7PP, he’s worth paying a visit, tell him I sent you.

Things have changed since this entry was written for all the updates please read

Could do Better

October 9, 2009

DSCF2351Well finally here it is, my very first game report and to be totally honest with you if it were to be marked it wouldn’t be a pass and as the title suggests there’d be a personal message in red at the bottom. It started all rather well, the pictures of the table worked fine but by the time it came to play two elements came into town in recording the game. Firstly under the andrenalin fuelled pressure of playing Uncle Focus buggered right off and Auntie Blurred decided to visit for the weekend, and latterly as taking the photos slowed the play the need to take photos waned a little as did the already questionable quality. I apologise in advance for this, it’s left me scratching my head as to just how other folk manage it.

The game itself was a very simple contact scenario in a town with two bridges, the British aiming to take control of at least one bridge while the Germans were to deny them this. The Bridges had been guarded by very poor German troops who had decided to desert after a visit from the RAF, and German reenforcements had been delayed by supply difficulties, so it really was a very open scenario from the start.

DSCF2352The Germans would be starting from the town side, and would be guaranteed good cover for all of their forces.

DSCF2363As they were to have the first turn there was a more than reasonable chance they’d be able to reach the main bridge before the British arrived, and would enjoy plenty of cover in defending it.

DSCF2374The nearby pontoon bridge would be more difficult to reach, but getting it in sight and preventing anyone from crossing it would be quite simple.

DSCF2379The Germans began their push towards the pontoon bridge, getting a pair of Panzer IVs lined up on it, HMG and Mortar teams racing towards position when disaster struck as the commander failed his second command roll. Desperate to gain ground he pushed on aiming to get into the church tower in the following turn.

DSCF2384Unfortunately things got worst on the other side as the commander failed his first command roll with a blunder. This left both armour and infantry units sitting watching as the HQ led just a small armour element forward, with a Puma leading the only Tiger into the town.

DSCF2387HQ then succeeded in getting some of the stalled infantry on the move, with a Stug taking point.

DSCF2388German HQ then failed a command roll but made the most of it by taking a well covered position and hoped to rectify a rather poor deployment on the second turn.

DSCF2389The British arrive and push on and on, a recon element reaches the pontoon bridge in good time and helps in surpressing the pair of Tiger IVs apparently parked up behind a distant hedge.

DSCF2399Meanwhile at the main bridge a scout car and a Cromwell decide to slowly cross the bridge towards what they think is a Puma but is actually a Stug. Hoping to knock it out proves only enough to surpress it.

DSCF2405One of the Puma has actually made a mad dash into a forward position, covered from fire but able to surpress anything trying to cross the pontoon bridge.

DSCF2406While the other has mounted the hill to cover the bridge in support of the stug, while Germany infantry dashes into the cover of buildings all over the town. The Brits dither but do manage to get a powerful group at one end of the bridge.


Suddenly all hell breaks lose. One German command makes it to the church tower and is able to target mortar fire onto the attempted crossing of the pontoon, only to attract tons of fire in return destroying it and leaving the German left flank without command. The Brits on the road bridge advance at a crawl but eventually manage to take out the Stug facing them. The advance Puma in the centre enjoys a number of potshots at various enemy targets, while the Tiger moves through the square towards a supporting position with a Panzer IV following it. With crafty maneuvering the Brits manage to bring guns to bear on the advance Puma and knock it out. Having reduced the British advance to a mix of crawl and traffic jam the Tiger is unsure which way to go and so plays it safe in trying to find a defensive position behing the statue in the square.

DSCF2414Massed on the bridge the Brits decide to test the water by pushing forward with recon, only to lose it as soon as it leaves the bridge while German infantry pours surpressing fire onto the bridge itself from the safety of various buildings. The British infantry at the rear decide to brew-up.

DSCF2423The Brits at the pontoon bridge fare better, managing to take out one of the uncommanded Panzer IVs and sweep towards the square where a Panzer IV has re-enforced the Tiger’s position. Every gun fires at the Tiger, the smoke clears and it is only pinned. Plenty of shots are exchanged without loss, while the German HQ makes a dash to bring the offscreen Panzer IV into play. Just as he manages it there’s a massive explosion as the Tiger is eventually destroyed.

DSCF2435The Germans realise their flank has been turned and despite a brave effort it’s not long before they’re totally outgunned and face the danger of being surrounded and start withdrawing. As the smell of fresh tea spreads across the town the British do not pursue them, choosing to search for biscuits instead.