Thursday, 20 October 2016

Book Review#22. - Phil Watts, Zombie Killer

A very brief post today just to log the most recent addition to the ‘Awdry Towers’ library of frivolous and ridiculous literature.  David Allen's 'Phil Watts, Zombie Killer' is an appropriate title given that we are in 'Zomtober', but this is really only to be read by those with an unhealthy interest in all things undead.  

Quoting from the official blurb:

Imagine one day you are a paramedic trying to bring people back from the dead, and the next day they are coming back from the dead by themselves, then trying to bite you. This is what has happened to Phil Watts. Now he is holed up in a looted superstore, besieged by thousands of zombies. Knowing he is probably going to die Phil writes his Last Will and Testament although the only possessions he has are the clothes he is wearing, a Glock pistol with two rounds of ammunition and two blow up sex dolls he has promised to rescue.

This is a mercifully short edition, but it does have some genuinely funny moments particularly if, like me, you have any prior knowledge of Plymouth.*  The unusual premise of contacting the emergency services, in Phil Watt’s case the Ambulance Service, to dispatch any shambling, undead menace in your neighbourhood is novel, but the situation gets decidedly more complicated for our hero as events unfold in an often brutal and bloody manner.  Silly, cheap and quick to read.
*I spent a thoroughly enjoyable year there in my dim and distant past.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

if a job's worth Dylan!

Zomtober 2016 - post#4
It's been another one of those weeks at work and there is now a real sense that winter is drawing in with shorter days and a noticeable drop in the temperature.*  So as the nights draw in and thoughts start to turn to 'The Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' there is still the small matter of completing 'Zomtober 2016'.  To that end allow me to present my latest offerings who are, one in the same, Dylan the Handywoman.  
*Thank you to all my Antipodean Blogging friends that have been posting pictures of BBQs and even parrots in the garden!
Dylan is a Zombicide, Paolo Parente, Special Guest Expansion Pack and comes in both Survivor and Zombivor, a zombified survivor, variants.  This was another one of those 'moment of weakness' purchases and has been idly gathering dust since the pledge arrived.  It was a fun exercise trying to keep a sense that these two were, in fact, the same person and in the end it was just a simple matter of painting each corresponding area using the same colours across the two miniatures.  As with all Zombicide characters, Dylan comes with a back story and hers, lifted directly from the 'Guillotine Games' official site, reads as follows:
“Measure twice, cut once!”
Dylan was working as the on-stage assistant for a popular home improvement show sponsored by a major power-tool company. Mainly on the set for eye-candy, she was, in fact, handier than both the star and his bearded assistant. When the zombie apocalypse hit, she was on stage, watching the star do his usual grunting comedy routine while trying to keep him from losing a finger by mishandling a circular saw. By the end of the first day of zombie apocalypse, she discovered fighting off coworkers’ grabby-hands with power-tools had been perfect training for battling against groping undead hordes. Now she roams the streets using her construction skills to help other survivors. She is still always thrilled to meet a fan, provided they keep their hands to themselves!
Taking inspiration for the colour palette from the original character cards all was progressing nicely until it came to the checked shirt, which I'm afraid I bottled; the eyes and the unsteady hands were just not up to the job on this occasion.
The Zombivor version is just ridiculously good fun and in this putrid state, Dylan has ditched her cordless drill for something a whole lot more industrial!  Once again favouring the decaying green skin option the pair were completed with a little addition to the bases to give that 'oh so apocalyptic' feel.  
So two more additions to the good and with half term, thankfully, looming into sight we are hopeful that we might safely negotiate to end of another themed month.  More zombies next week and then a couple of survivors to see out the challenge.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Where are you, you spongy, yellow, delicious b@st@rds?

Zomtober 2016 - post#3
With two zombies to the good already, I thought it was time to even up the sides with a couple of survivors. Memphis & Ohio, from ‘Studio Miniatures’ would surely make wonderful proxies for Tallahassee, played by Woody Harrelson and Columbus, Jesse Eisenberg, both from the hugely enjoyable Zombieland. I have touched on this little gem of zombie movie in a previous post, 'So do you have any regrets?' and so it was inevitable that these two characters would eventually see the brush.
Both perfectly serviceable sculpts, although the shotgun toting Ohio feels a little awkward in his stance, which I suppose does reflect his film version's character.  The dual Uzi wielding Memphis is much more substantial miniature and when it came to painting, I simply referenced the film for the colour palette, although felt that Tallahassee's snakeskin jacket was a little beyond my abilities.   
Whilst preparing and painting these two it was inevitable that my mind would wonder to their respective scenes in the film and for some reason I became fixated with Tallahassee's search for Twinkies.  Now I was familiar with this particular brand of American confectionary from other celluloid outings, Die Hard and Ghostbusters to name but two, but had never tried one myself - so began my own search for the last Twinkie!  As luck would have it, I didn't need to battle the legions of undead as a very nice man dropped of a box with our next grocery delivery - God bless online supermarket shopping!
Now I have to tell you that these are strangely addictive, in a ghastly sort of way; cloying sponge cake filled with a synthetic cream, what's not to like?  So before the last Twinkie vanished from 'Awdry Towers' I managed to gather together my other 'not' Zombieland characters for a quick photoshoot, not that I needed an excuse to get the toys out! 

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Looking for Love in Alderaan Places.

Zomtober 2016 - post#2
'Zomtober 2016' is off to a flying start with some wonderful examples already posted across the many splendid blogs of my fellow contributors.  Having progressed a little further along with my first post that I thought I would last weekend, I am now in the fortunate position of being able to submit a sneaky midweek post - how I spoil you!  This, then, is a Zombicide Kickstarter exclusive V.I.P.*,  a Princess Leia cosplayer.  
*Very Infected Person
Being somewhat of a Star Wars geek devotee, this cracking little plastic miniature got bumped up the painting queue, but was a little more challenging than I had initially thought.  Although the plastic was reassuringly firm, not too flexible, some of the detail seemed to be lost around the face.  I couldn’t decide if this was intentional, as a wound, or just poor casting?  In the end, some liberally applied gore helped to cover my uncertainty and the final result was pretty close to what I had hoped for.
With the Princess slowly shuffling off the table, chain clanking as she goes, I am hopeful that I will have a couple of survivors, again inspired by the silver screen, to join the fray at the weekend.  Until then I just had to share this image by Joe Wight from the 'Graphic Lab'; not only a fabulous Return of the Jedi pun, but a timely reminder that The Walking Dead will return to our television screens on the 24th October here in the United Kingdom - Oh Lucille, what have you done? 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Hasslefree Weeping Willow

The first weekend of 'Zomtober 2016' has left little time to submit the first offering, but fortunately I had this rather splendid sculpt, from 'Hasslefree Miniatures', already prepared and base coated.  Weeping Willow had been intended to be part of my 'Are you Lonesome tonight' vignette, another female zombie vying for the attention of my Elvis tribute act, Bubba.  Although I ran out of time then, I was able to complete the job here to give me my first contribution to this madcap, monster month that we call 'Zomtober'.
Requiring almost nothing in the way of preparation, Willow was pinned on a 'Fenris Games' resin base, before resorting to a fairly familiar palette for her decaying skin.  The mutated hands were given several thin washes of gore, which was later added to her feet having stumbled on some reference that suggested the sculpt may have been inspired by a witch character from the Left 4 Dead computer game franchise. 
So week one safely negotiated and I have managed to get more done today than I had planned so I might be in a position for a sneaky midweek post, time will tell.  In the interim do pop over to Leon's wonderful 'Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer' blog for a recap of the rules, such as they are, and a list of all the other likeminded souls that a trying to rid their workstations of shuffling hordes of undead lead and plastic. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Colonel Burnaby and a thank you.

Just time to squeeze in one more, loosely themed Victorian post before we embark on all things undead and usher in ‘Zomtober 2016’.  Perhaps not too surprisingly the heroic actions of Frederick Gustavus Burnaby Esq. have been reported here at ‘28mm Victorian Warfare’ before in both ‘Burnaby & Fiends’ (sic.) and ‘The Man, the Legend, the Title Banner!’
This latest incarnation comes courtesy of my good friend and fellow Blogger Stefan* who packaged up the illustrious Victorian hero and sent him over to dear old Blighty.  I understand that he was a special edition miniature that accompanied 'Warlord Games' 'Blood on the Nile' Black Powder supplement, when purchased through the ‘Perry Miniatures’ site. 
*A.K.A. Monty of the splendid ‘Monty’s Caravan’ blog.
Obviously I was thrilled to have this miniature to add to my collection, but somewhat embarrassed that it has taken me so long to get around to painting him, nonetheless thank you Stefan!  Just for comparison I have photographed him with my other version and then it just seemed churlish not to invite some old friends along to the shoot!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Flash Harry

Fabulous gaming day yesterday, although Southern Rail conspired to make the journey there and back harder than it needed to be!  We managed a solitary game of Black Plague, by way of an introduction to new players, but it ended up taking over four hours to complete; a lot of fun and a lot of laughs were had by all.  Although no report from me, I thought that I would continue with another Victorian themed post and share my efforts on a rather splendid miniature from 'Wargames Illustrated'.
This is one of their Giants in Miniature, a limited edition miniature loosely entitled, 'Flash' Harry.  Quoting directly from the company's website: "‘Flash’ Harry is depicted here in the uniform of an officer from the East India Company on service during the First Anglo-Afghan War but he could equally be found at the Charge of the Light Brigade, out in the American West or amongst European nobility. Considered a hero across the British Empire, he is happy to cultivate this image whilst retaining the ability to flee from battle as often as not. He is known as a fine proponent of the sword and rides very well, in more ways than one. When cornered, he will fight to preserve his life but much prefers the art of fast talking and faster running. As a man, he is a rake and a cad. As a symbol, he is the man others wish to be."
Another one of those 'must have' purchases, 'Flash' Harry seemed another fitting post in a week dominated by the release of Daniel Mersey's Colonial skirmish rules, 'The Men Who Would Be Kings'.

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