Friday, 30 January 2015

Survivor Week 9- Bridget!

An update today chaps- this weeks survivor is Bridget!

I haven't had enough time to get a story written for her, but it is safe to say that Bridget likes her teddy bear, playing field hockey and punk music. If she could update her Facebook status with her zombie kills, she would. Pity that the Internet went down, and her phone ran out of batteries to take selfies with. However, with her no nonsense boots, and with her typical rebellious take on her school uniform, she is taking the fight back to them living dead.

Smacking Zeds has been great therapy to get out her anger issues tho....

Bridget comes from Crooked Dice miniatures, and is an absolutely lovely figure. I have tried to get a good mix between the more formal colours of the uniform, with the more out there colours of her hair, her bracelets and her hockey stick. I hope to do her justice with a good story, but I just haven't had the time this week to get it done. To maintain my schedule I had to get the pictures of her up on the blog (which I have now done), so hopefully over the weekend, I will be able to share her story with you, along with some better pictures I think!


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Eighth Survivor- Coop Part 2!

The story follows on from here, the story goes that a Marine Recon team is about to storm a building, to get someone out from the inside...

... There were people on the streets, some running, some seemed to be just wandering about. There wasn't time to think about them as we got to the door. It was unlocked, opened easily in my hands.

Weapon up, I entered the room, with the rest of the team following. The hallway we entered into was empty, there was rubbish strewn about the hallway, some doors were open, windows were smashed, and one of the lights swung free from the roof.

There was blood on the floor.

Not a little. A lot. You know how in all the cop shows, the smart cop says stuff like "there are signs of a struggle"? Let me tell you, there were signs of a big damn struggle in here.

We entered the hallway, two by two. Munch was with me, skinny for a recon marine, but he worked hard and was a likeable kid. We moved slowly down the hallway, finding nothing. We entered rooms, nothing. No signs of life, just rubbish strewn everywhere, signs of panic, and blood.

At the other end of the hallway was some stairs.

One set lead up, one set lead down. Munch and me headed up, the other two headed down. I don't know if it would have gone down any different if we hadn't split up. Can't think like that you know? It was about then that the comms died. Whatever we were bouncing our signals off had stopped working. We got to the top of the stairs, I swept left, Munch right. Nothing there so we moved out. We got around a corner when Munch started whispering "Coop... what the f..."

I turned and saw what he had seen, a single figure, standing in front of a doorway. She couldn't have been more than thirty, sensible clothes, sensible shoes, glasses.

Munch had his gun up, pointed directly at the figure. I called out to it, and the figure turned towards us. Behind it's glasses were two white eyes, no colour. Blood ran down her chin, ran down a wound in her arm.

The figure started to move. Its mouth opened and it let for a moan, quiet at first, but it somehow cuts you to the core. It is a sound that I still hear in my nightmares. She started to move towards us.

The figure moaned again.

Then there was a loud bang from the closed door next to us. By this time my gun is up too.

"Coop...." Munch pleads.

I had only turned around to look at the door for a second, when I hear Munch's M16 fire. Two rounds have hit the female figure directly in centre mass, two shots into the sternum. The figure drops.

I punch him in the back, "what the f.. man?", he doesn't respond, just staring down the sights at the figure on the ground.

It moved.

An arm first. Then both. Pushing itself up to it's feet.

Another figure came around the corner, just past the doorway she had been starting at. He started moving towards us too. Crappy suit, balding. a moustache Tom Selleck would be proud of. If it weren't for the blood stuck in it. It has the same staring white eyes as the female, locked intently onto us.

The banging on the door next to us continued.

The two figures start into a sort of a run, not an aimless walk like before, they head straight for us.

Bang, Bang, Munch's M16 fires again, hitting the figure again. This time they don't even slow. Overpenetration. Too much energy, goes straight through. I remember some History channel docco on it about why it made the AK so much better. Big, slow bullet makes for real dead corpses. Or at least, it used to.

Another figure appeared, and then another. I brought up my weapon, the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. It fired the same round as Munch's M16, but it sure fired a whole lot more of them. Munch was reloading as I opened up, cutting the first one clean in half and peppering the others with rounds. Short, disciplined bursts of fire. Just like we were taught. Just like every other time firing on the ranges, or in the 'stan. Except this time they got up. Even the woman who was clean in half. She dragged herself forward, glasses askew. Her dead eyes met mine, and if I had needed a piss before, I didn't now.

Munch lost it, it was too much. He stood up and ran. I hope he made it. I really do. All I know is that I never came across him again. If I didn't see him on my way out, that's a good sign, right?

Just me, with these shapes coming towards me. And then the box on my SAW runs dry. 200 round belt, gone like that (snaps his fingers).

No time to reload, so I pull my pistol, and begin shooting. I am trying to move away, trying to get downstairs.

The door next to me bursts open, a little girl crashes through. Her blue dress is stained with blood, bright orange hair and cold, dead white eyes. She was on top of me in a flash, trying to claw, trying to bite me. My pistol had gone skating across the floor, and I couldn't break her hold.

Automatic weapons fire returned- but not Munch's M16. This was less controlled, faster bursts.

The little girl's head exploded as she tried to bite me. Thank god I had my mouth closed.

I tossed the remains off me, and looked up to my savior. She was four foot nothing, wearing a bright yellow sun dress and holding a smoking Uzi sub machinegun. On her head was a Kevlar helmet, complete with peace sign and US flag.

"Are you here to rescue me?" She asked in a timid voice. Like meeting a stranger for the first time, or when ordering at McDonalds.

"Something like that" was the best I could do in response. "Sasha right? Where did you get the gun?" I asked.

"Yea.... it was from my friend.... he was here to protect me". The pauses in her speech were long and painful. She pointed at one of the bodies, a tall man, wearing a black suit with a shoulder holster. a radio earpiece hung loosely around his ear.

"OK Sasha, my name is Coop, and it is time we got you to your dad..."

We headed downstairs to find the rest of the team...

I apologies that this has taken so long in coming, I have been absolutely swamped with work, so sitting down on a computer to type was the last thing I wanted to do! It did however mean I got some good painting done, so there will be a whole heap of new Zees ready to go next week.

The bonus survivor is Sasha, the person who Coop is meant to be rescuing. Points to you if you know who she is, and where her name comes from. I don't think I made it very hard at all! The figure is a Wargames Factory plastic one (see I can use them for things other than Zombies, honest!), and is probably one of my favorite ones from their sets. I am sure I will wax lyrical about the Wargames Factory stuff in the future, so I will leave my comments on them until then.

In case you are wondering, this is how Zomb-Annie finally goes down...

Are Coop and Sasha safe? Well...

New Survivor Friday, see you then!


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Eighth Survivor- LCpl Sean Coop Cooper- Part 1

This week's Survivor is part one of a two part story...

A tall man in what was once an expensive suit knelt on the floor, trying to will his friend back to life. He beat on his chest, hitting it harder and harder. But there was no response. There were eight men in the large, round room. Five wore dark suits, Uzi submachineguns in their hands, fully loaded clips. All of the guns were pointed at entrances, doors and windows. The final man wore body armour and camouflage fatigues, standing beside the man attempting to save his friend's life.

One of the black suited men ran forward, speaking to the man. "Sir?.... Sir?... He has gone Sir, I need to get you out of here now, Sir?..."

No response from him, his attempts at life saving continued. He wasn't like the soldier, or the other suited men. He wasn't used to death. But who could be used to this much death?

A rasping sound came from the supposedly dead man on the floor. A "dead" arm moved to grab it's one time friend.

The soldier moved immediately. Drawing his pistol, he forcibly pulled the man off the "dead" man he was trying so desperately to save.

The single shot brought the suited man to his senses. Seeing his friend, his co-worker, his ally, someone he had worked with long hours, through good and bad times get shot in the head brought it all back to reality. Who could be used to death? There were a few people. But who could be used to this? He sat, leaning against the heavy wooden table.

With a groan, he stood up, his voice spoke slowly, trembling "...get her. Please get her.... then you can save me"

The soldier turned, holstered his pistol and said matter of fact, "Sir, yes sir. The team has already been sent"

Or that is at least what I imagine happened. I wasn't there. I was in a briefing, me and every other Special Forces Soldier this side of Baghdad. Every single one of us got packed into whatever bird they could get in the air to save this person or that person. No one could predict how fast the cities would fall, how many there would be, how ineffective our preventative measures would be. So they sent us in, the "best of the best" and all that on these suicide missions to save some five star general or some politician who couldn't get out of town fast enough.

So I'm there, taking a briefing on the lawn, all the while I can see and hear the reservists setting perimeters, getting guns ready and squaring themselves away. I have nothing but respect for those reservists, man if I had a family? no way in hell I would be here, I would have nicked off the first chance I got. Would have taken my rifle and all the bullets I could carry too. But they were there, they were the biggest god damn heroes that day if you ask me.

Our tasking was somewhere across town. Should still be still in the main building. Should. If there was a main building left. We had better intel on what is happening on Pluto than we do about the streets between us and them.

Our ride for that day was the Channel 7 News Copter, it was landed nearby, so we grabbed their pilot and hopped in. Pity the weather girl wasn't part of the deal. She was sitting there with her head in her hands. She wasn't crying, her tears had run out long ago. Lucky for her she didn't come for a ride along, she was safer with the reservists. The bird is in the air two minutes later, it didn't exactly take long to share our zero intel at the briefing. At least we knew the name of the building I guess.

Out on the street, the city is burning.

It doesn't take long to get there. The chopper lands on the nearest piece of flat land, and my team moves out. The door ahead of us is still closed, there is no movement anywhere near us. The chopper takes off again, and it seems quiet. It isn't, alarms and sirens scream, fires burn and engines roar. Somehow, in all that noise, it feels quiet. It just doesn't feel right.

Our four man team stacks up at the door, guns up, with no idea what we will find on the inside....

LCpl Cooper comes from Eureka Miniatures, from their SEAL Team Six pack. I really like the set of figures, they are characterful and well sculpted. You can be sure that the rest of them will make an appearance here soon too! I decided that Cooper was a Recon Marine, so his camo is woodland MARPAT (Marine Pattern). I also gave him a big pack, taken from one of the 1/48th scale Airfix soldiers. After all, you have to have a place to keep all your supplies! The join between the was filled using greenstuff, and some pack straps added too. I resisted the urge to put a camo pattern on the pack, fearing that it would make the model too "busy".

I quite liked painting the camo actually, it makes me want to do more of them! One of the big drivers for me starting this project was to paint something OTHER than camo, and here I am, right back on the wagon. It is possible I have some form of addiction....

Anyway, there you have it, "Coop", with his M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, ready to go. And as for part two, seems a bit cruel to make you wait a whole week until next Friday. So I think Part 2 will be up Monday, as a bonus survivor. Sound good?


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Painting Zombie skin- a quick little tutorial

It was a long weekend last weekend, so I spent much of it (too much according to some!) building and painting zombies, survivors and a little bit more terrain.

I thought I would just put down a quick look at how I paint Zombie skin. Mainly so that I can remember what colours I have used in painting them! To assist with that, I have called on Dave, the Zombie.

Meet Dave. He is another of my Wargames Factory Survivor/Studio Miniatures Zombie conversions. Step One is of course to assemble the miniature, and then I use Tamiya Light Sand texture paint for the bases. It just provides a bit of texture, just enough to represent a bit of concrete! Then the miniature gets an all over coat of Nuln Oil from Games Workshop. I prefer to do it this way, rather than a spray undercoat simply so that I can see the details better. Plus because I tend to use washes and dry brushing as my main techniques (lazy as I am), the thinner the coat the better, because you are relying on those layers to show up the detail in the washes/drybrushing.

So after undercoating, the next step is the first layer of skin. I use Games Workshops Ogryn Camo colour. Using a green base means that when you layer the colours on the top, there will always be a bit of green showing through. Remember that this is a zombie, not a healthy human, so we do need to reinforce the point! I have just painted it pretty liberally over the skin, don't worry if it goes into the cracks and crevices on the skin, it is a good thing. The drybrushing will leave it behind, making your zed look even deader.

The next step is to do the first drybrush of Vallejo Medium Sea Grey. Why that colour? Well, it is a blue-y grey, and I like it. Which is what it really comes down to, I use the paint colours I like! The key here is to have very little paint on the brush. Too thick a layer here and you might as well have not bothered about the green undercoat, but too thin a layer and you will have green zombies (maybe not a bad thing?). Inevitably, I always end up going a bit thicker than I should with this coat. It isn't a big deal at this stage, but it is nice to have a few bits which are still sortof green.

Still a bit green, but not all green!

The next step from here is to paint the skin with Games Workshop's Drakenhof Nightshade (?). It is a lovely purple blue colour, which just goes really well with the grey and the green. Sick, cold and dead flesh? This is where it really starts looking like it. Avoid letting the ink pool on the model, make sure it is an even coat. You don't want to ruin your hard work by making a big purple splodge do you?

And then we are on to the second drybrush. Again using Medium Sea Grey, and this time you will have to use a very light drybrush over the skin areas. The key here is to have all the layers you have built up show through, and also to have a very thin layer of the grey as a highlight. It is much easier to do very small amounts, than to put on too much. Although, if you do put on too much, just ink it with the Nightshade again, and have another go (I have done that once or twice. Or a lot...)

And with that the skin is done!

Now I have two important details which I add to my Zombies. The first, is eyes. I know that most people don't paint eyes (I am generally one of them, this is the first project where I have ever done them), but there is just something haunting about having the zombies all have those staring white eyes.

Painting them can be a pain, but bear with me.

I use Games Workshop's Ulthuran White. Why? Because it has good pigment, which means you only have to paint the eye once. Last thing you want to do is to have to paint something as fiddly as an eye twice. I am sure master painters do, but I am not one of those, so I take the lazy route. Anyway. Eyes. I find it easiest to go from side on, so that it is a single line, up and down. If you go over the edge, make sure that you have covered the part you want to be the eye, and then touch it up with grey. If it stands out too much, put a Nightshade ink over it.

For Humans, I use the same technique. Except that I then use a 0.05mm pen to draw on the iris- if I try to paint them all I get is goofy expressions and bug eyes. I have found I get much better control with a pen.

The second important detail is the blood and gore. These are zombies, so they will need to have blood etc over their skin and clothes. The gore is the last step in the process for me, I paint the skin, clothes and base, and then I do the blood.

The blood is a single paint colour, Vallejo Hull Red. My technique is to paint a bit on where I want the blood to go, say a hand, then wipe it with my thumb. This has two results. One, my thumb becomes painted red. And two, you end up with a streaky finish to the gore, some of the original colours show through. You can do as many layers as you want, sometimes I will go over it a couple of times to show off wounds, others will be more subtle. On the Zombies, I focus the blood on logical areas such as open wounds, the hands, the mouth, spilled down their front etc. I also put some blood spots on all my bases, just to break up the dull grey concrete, and to remind about the whole Zombie Apocalypse thing!

So, this is Dave the Zombie in all his finished glory:

These photos attempting to show off the eyes and blood smears. I will get some proper followers once the rest of his zed buddies are completed!

Come back Friday for the next survivor, and I have even more of these conversions in the works. I am hoping to complete them over the weekend, so should be up here early next week.


Thursday, 15 January 2015

Seventh Survivor- Jacob

It's Friday, so it is time for the seventh survivor! This time it is the narrator of the stories, Jacob.

Our story follows on from this one....

...we rode in the pick up a while, just far enough to get away from the horde, but close enough that I could still see the town.

It was clear that the Amazon chick was in charge, and you could tell by her tone of voice she had to be ex-military. When the truck stopped, she flex cuffed me to a tree and started asking questions.

It started out nicely. Asking me about my crew, how many were there, how many guns did we have, how much food did we have, where were we holed up. All those questions. I must not have given very good answers, I kept asking if they had seen Han, asking for food, asking for water.

Apparently that wasn't what she was wanting to discuss, so she got less nice. She had this way of speaking that made you fell like you were ten god-damn inches tall. Don't get me wrong, I have had my ass chewed out more times than I have had hot meals, but there is something about how she did it that was so much worse than dad hitting me with his belt, the gunny screaming in my face or the shit kicking I got from my squad leader when I set off that flashbang in a night op.

Even when I told the truth she didn't like it. Maybe she was hoping that we had something to trade, some food, ammo or even some useful people. Instead, we had no food, no guns, and probably the most useful person we had was Han, because at least his crappy jokes kept us entertained. Now Han was out there on his own, or worse....

I figured out why we had stopped for so long when just as the sun was heading down, a lone figure walked in down the road. He strode in to the makeshift camp, guitar slung over his shoulder, pistol safely in it's holster. He arrived at the amazon and me.

"Hey there, little lady.."

"Don't call me that. Were you followed?" Her response was short, factual. A CO's request for an after action report.

"Ain't no way little lady, me and pearl here (he gestured to his gun) kept em off our trail"

"God damn it Bubba, you aren't Elvis, so don't call me that. You had better be right, or I am throwing your jumpsuited ass to the Zees" She was yelling now, getting in his face.

"Sure thing, little lady" He said quietly, and with that, he strode off, humming softly to himself.

It was nice to know she didn't just hate me, it seemed to be that she hated everyone. I could have done without her taking out her frustrations on me with her boot....

Yet another survivor from Hasslefree Miniatures. Anyone would think that I have just bought their entire range (I wish!). Interestingly, this is actually the second, or even third time I have painted this figure, he got given some very poor paint jobs two or three years ago, so bad that I had to strip him right back and start again!

As it is, I am much, much happier with his bright red jumper and drab coloured pants. I also added one of the graffiti designs I found online while searching for stuff to paint on the sides of my jersey barriers- I quite like the stylistic look, so it will definitely be a recurring image I think. Perhaps Jacob is the one who did the graffiti in the first place? Or maybe he just found the hoodie.... Maybe I will talk about it in a future story. At least he still has the fire axe he looted from the fire station.....

Still waiting on more Zeds, so the horde is stalled just for the moment. More survivors on the painting table, and I am planning on finishing the building this weekend.

Let's see how that goes.....


Sunday, 11 January 2015

Third set of Zeds

I shared Zomb-Annie last week, but while I was finishing her, I was also finishing a further seven Zombies!

Firstly, we have a set of 4 more Studio Miniatures Zombies. These are more, assembled straight off the sprue. The only change was using a set of arms from the studio miniatures zombies on one model. That zed also got some sweet shoes- just for some variety!

The first converted Zombie is one of the Studio Miniatures WW2 Zombies, with a head swap to make him look less like a Panzergrenadier! I opted for the head in a cap from the Studio Miniatures Zombie sprue, and painted him up like a former hunter.

The second is another of my conversions using the Wargames Factory survivor bodies, studio miniatures arms and a Zombie Vixen head. I also repositioned her foot to make her more shambling. While she may have had the right outfit, her cardio clearly wasn't up to it and she got bitten!

The final converted zombie is again another conversion using Wargames Factory and Studio Miniatures parts. The arms this time come from the WW2 Zombie sprue, again for variety. I painted her in sensible clothes, not that they helped.

That brings the whole horde up to a total of 18, and means I have now run out of Studio Miniatures Zombies, and out of bases. Luckily, the chaps at Studio Miniatures are sending me more of them! And to think, all I had to do was give them some money....

No zeds means I have time to focus on getting more terrain built. Or I will get distracted.

Distracted like having Bubba face off against the horde....

Oh, and the building? The building is progressing well. Should have an update with the next survivor, which will be Friday!


Thursday, 8 January 2015

Sixth Survivor- Bubba

It's Friday, and you know what that means... The next survivor!

This is Bubba, another cracking sculpt from Hasslefree.

... We were told Memphis was a safe zone, by the time we had reached the outskirts it was pretty damn obvious that Memphis was no safe zone- unless you were dead of course.

So my crew and I headed north, Got a couple of miles north of Jackson before our car crapped out. No fuel, no spare parts, no way to fix the damn thing. So we made camp out of town, off the main roads. Away from the prying eyes of the dead, or from wandering bands of the living. We didn't have much you know, but someone sure as hell would have taken it and left us for dead. A few stragglers joined us, before long we had a little community.

We had enough food to last us days, a week or two maybe, but there was never going to be enough to go around for long. The only solution was to start scavenging, start raiding the nearby areas. We knew that Jackson would have been overrun pretty damn quick by the dead walking out of Memphis so we had avoided it. But once the nearby areas were tapped out, we didn't have any other choice. First raid in was quick, we only went to the outskirts. Played it safe, played it cool. Avoided anyone, dead or alive. But, supplies got rare. So we had to go further in. Started seeing more Zees.

Me and this little Asian kid, Han or something like that, were on a run right in to Jackson. One of the locals had pointed out a few likely spots for good scrounging on a map for us. We took it easy, slowly, carefully. We had just raided the first spot- the fire station. The local had been a firefighter before the fall, there was this emergency supply cupboard that "no one would have found".


Guess the fireman forgot how desperate people are. Whole place was stripped clean, hell I am pretty sure that they would have stolen the damn bricks if they could figure out a way to eat 'em.

Anyway. We were just about to leave, totally empty handed save for a fire axe I found upstairs. And, like the world's greatest 10 year-old jackass I am about to slide down the fire pole. I just jumped out on the pole, looked down and saw that my landing was not going to be a good one. Turns out we hadn't been as quiet as we thought. Guess they had been following us, it took them a while, but it looked like they had filled the whole damn first floor. I ran to the stairwell to see Han, see whether he was still guarding the stairs. But Han wasn't there.

I don't know if the kid legged it, or was part of that horde downstairs. Either way? I was screwed.

So I grabbed my gear, and ran up to the roof, bolting the door behind me. Smart. Oh, except I had barely any food, barely any water, and I had bolted my only means of escape shut, with the dead on the other side.

As I said, jackass.

Zeds never left the door. Always scratching, always waiting outside for me. After those few days, I had attracted a whole damn horde of them. Guess they had put the call out that fresh meat was on the menu, if only they could get to me.

By the afternoon of the fourth day I was losing it. No water left, no food. I must have been sun touched, because next thing I know, I hear the sound of an engine, and then this guitar start playing. The guitar starts out soft, faint, but then gets louder. I look out, and there is, I swear, god damn Elvis standing on the roof of this upturned semi. There he is, with this red guitar plain as day. And then he starts playing it again. Starts out as this slow, blues song. Then gets fast, guitar howling. The zees lose their minds, trying to rush the semi. This whole damn horde runs out of the fire station, and tries to get at Elvis. Soon the zeds started to get close, then he paused his song, took out a revolver, calmly shot the offending zed and carried on playing. I should have run, but when was the last time anyone heard Elvis play? We hadn't had music in weeks.

I forced myself to get up and move, took one last look at Elvis, before opening the door, my looted fire axe at the ready. No zeds there. I crept downstairs, no zeds there. The whole pack of them were out clawing at Elvis, they had totally forgotten about me. When I got out the back, I was greeted by the barrel of an M16 in my face.

"You bit?" the a female voice asked. "No" I replied. She pushed me roughly to the ground, and checked me over. "He's clean" was all she said. The woman, this six foot tall amazon of a chick helped me into the back of the waiting pick up. Another girl was at the wheel, and once I was in the back we took off.

"But, what about Elvis" I yelled at the amazon sitting opposite me.

"Elvis? That ain't Elvis, that's Bubba. And Bubba is going to be just fine....

A much longer story today. I would blame me going back to work for that, too much time to think of stories! The story will continue on next week.

Bubba is another excellent figure from the Hasslefree Modern Adventurers range. It is not hard at all to see the inspiration for this figure, he is a lovely sculpt and I hope that I have done him justice! The white jumpsuit is just so different when compared to the dark and bloodied zombies, I love it. Temptation was to go a bit wild with the paint job, but I tried to keep it pretty simple, tried to keep him as clean as possible to really make him look out of place in the apocalypse. Heck, maybe it is Elvis back from the dead to save us all!

Oh, and the building has been undercoated, hoping to get it done at the weekend.

Anyway, musings aside, six weeks, six survivors. Will next week be another from Hasslefree? Probably :)


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

First Building- update 1 and Zomb-Annie

Work has continued on my first building for my small town. It began with a box that looked like this:

Step one was to cut the top of it off. I want to be able to go inside the buildings in my town, so a removable roof is key. Once I have cut the roof out, I flipped the now hollow wall structure over, so that I had a nice neat edge at the top. By adding some joists from spare MDF rod, I have the bones of the structure. The whole structure was glued down onto a 3mm MDF board to help give the walls structure, making up for removing the roof piece from the box.

The roof required a bit of trimming to make it fit neatly, and importantly, be able to be removed easily. I added a air conditioning unit from Laser Cut Card (get yours here) to both give the roof some variety, and to also give me something to grab on to when I want to remove the roof.

Next step was to do some detailing. First step was obviously windows and doors, which I cut using my trusty scalpel (with a fresh, sharp blade) and my equally trusty metal ruler. I added some internal walls using 3mm MDF, to create a small back room in the building. Once the MDF was cut to the same size as the building, the last job was to use some permafill to smooth the joins between the MDF and the cardboard.

And this is how it looks so far:

Front of the building, with Zombies and Survivors for scale

Rear of the building, showing the Laser Cut Card ladder (you have to be able to access the air-con unit somehow!)

And the inside, showing off the small room

So that is as far as it has gotten so far on the building. I have already worked out what it will be, and will be astounded if you guess right!

But wait, that is not all for today, I also finished Zomb-Annie yesterday, and couldn't wait to share her with you! You will recall that she is a mismatch of parts between the Wargames Factory Survivor Women box and the Wargames Factory Zombie Vixens box. I think she has come out very well!

A hard knock life indeed!

Back Friday for the next survivor,


Sunday, 4 January 2015

Terrain- Laser Cut Card Containers

So, I am back with more terrain, this time with some containers.

I am a big fan of the humble container, because they are all about efficiency. The container was a complete revolution to shipping goods, so much so that it is actually difficult to imagine how we got by without them. So naturally, my apocalypse needed more than a few containers. I would love to be able to have a container yard, or even a whole port worth of containers!

My containers come from a company out of South Africa, called Laser Cut Card (website is here). I had gotten in touch with them before, to pick up one of their vehicles out of sheer curiosity. Now, in the world of 3mm MDF laser cutting, cardboard is a little... odd. I was skeptical at first about spending my hard earned cash on something which I thought would be so fragile!

I was so impressed with the vehicle, that I bit the bullet and ordered a fair bit of terrain from them. Lots of containers, some odds and sods and conversion bits. But for this project, I have started small, with a pack of 3 containers. So bear with me here, because I think they are pretty cool.

When they arrived, the container pack looks like this:

Which when you opened it, it comes out as a few thin, flimsy (albeit detailed) sheets of card:

However, as with the vehicle, I got over my prejudices really fast when I realized how solid they are once assembled. The card is folded into a rectangle, the ends glued on and additional parts glued on top of them. I used superglue for the assembly, and despite a few stuck fingers, they have come out really nicely I think!

And with Selene for scale:

I kept the detailing pretty simple, just a few pieces of information on the ends of the containers. So while I have only completed three so far, I have enough kits for a fair few more (lots more!). I think some of the next few will have to have graffiti like the Jersey Barriers. But before I can do that, I need to actually build them!

I must be about due to start making some more terrain- 3 containers and some Jersey barriers just isn't going to be enough is it? I was struck by a flash inspiration when I was unpacking my Christmas presents once we got home from our holiday. Taking Zabadak's lead of posting a mystery box which will soon be turned into terrain, here is the first box which I have started construction on...

Bet you can't guess what it will turn in to!

Anyway, back to painting, gotta finish this week's survivor. And the third wave of zeds (Zomb-annie!). And terrain. And this building. And now I am back at work......


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Fifth Survivor- Elizabeth

So the new year us upon us, and it is time for the fifth survivor, Elizabeth!

We had been out in the countryside for days. When the food had run out we took to the woods, hunting we thought would be the solution to our woes.

Plenty of rabbits in the woods we thought. There were always plenty of rabbits in the woods, hadn't there always been stories about how they were a pest? Too many, eating all the crops. Jim swore he had seen it in the news, swore he could make a snare that never failed.

Pity he couldn't remember how to load his damn rifle. Then he might still have a head.

As I was saying. It had been days since we had last eaten a proper meal. You can only live so long on moss and twigs you know?

So there we were, half starved. And then we come across this farm- first thing I spot is the chickens. Chickens! I hadn't seen one of those in a year, hell I couldn't remember when I last saw anything move other than my small group, or the dead.

There were only a few left in our group now. One of them ran out, Carl I think, and chased the damn chicken. We fell on the ground laughing, this 200 pound, six foot six brute of a man, chasing this tiny white bird.

I stopped laughing quick when I heard the shotgun barrel snap into place, loaded and ready to fire.

"Those are not your chickens". The voice said.

So firm, so proper. Like your grandmother smacking you on the hand with a spoon when you have it in the cookie jar for the fourth time this morning.

"Leave them alone". The voice said.

Carl raised his pistol threateningly. Not at the voice, at what he had decided was his dinner.

"Don't..." The voice began. But Carl was hungry, tired and most of all, desperate. His pistol cracked, scattering the feathers off the wing of some poor bird. Carl never could shoot, he was more a "smash it in the face" kind of guy.

The shotgun boomed. Carl dropped. Chickens scattered and we sure as hell ducked.

A shape emerged, a little old lady, sweet as your grandmother, calmly popped the shotgun open, shell casings dropped to the ground. she calmly put two more shells into the weapon.

"Now, will there be a problem here?" She asked. We didn't have time to answer, we were too busy running for our lives. The shotgun boomed again as we ran, I can only assume to make sure that Carl didn't return to bother her again

Elizabeth is another from the Hasslefree range (you would be right in thinking that I quite like them!). She is a hardened old lass, armed with a double barreled shotgun and a "seen-it-all" attitude.

I couldn't resist giving her a tartan, an attempt at the Black Watch tartan naturally. Her name, and a touch of her story, is based on another of my favorite stories from World War Z, the story told by an English interviewee, who was holed up in a castle (Windsor if I remember correctly) with Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II. Being the good colonial that I am, I liked the idea of Ol' Liz caving in a few Z skulls!

Anywho, another survivor done, the apocalypse rolls on. So I have completed 5 weeks so far, currently have 5 survivors done and 10 zombies. I do really need to increase both of those numbers before I can really call it an outbreak. And I need to get cracking on more terrain. Doing all that is the plan for the year!