Sunday, 22 November 2015


Now this has become an interesting journey. I wasn't sure what to expect by way of the model for this guy. The drawing provided looks a lot like a gorilla.

Broad shoulders and short nose, quite stocky with a short neck. But when the model arrived it just didn't feel that way to me. The model has a long nose and narrow face with narrow shoulders. I thought about it for a while and was struck by its similarity to the baboon.

The more I thought about it the more it seems to be the right direction for me to take.

I had great fun picking out the colours and now he is quite an imposing chap. There is one flaw in that he should have a long tail. But maybe he lost that in a game of Guild Ball ..... its those Butchers you know, always on hand with a sharp knife ;-)

Marbles - I welcome you to team Masons!

Saturday, 21 November 2015


I have been having some fun applying a little paint to my 'big guy', Brick. I love the model and he is coming along nicely.

He kinda reminds me of those old westerns where someone was nearly always called 'The Swed'. He would be built like the proverbial 'Brick S**t House'. Hence the blond look.

The model itself has great detail and it is a joy to handle. There are lots of little swirls on the armour and then there are the multitude of belts and buckles. Just a great piece of work. Hats off to the sculptor.

And Yes, he has got eyes. We learned from playing Blood Bowl that models just don't perform as well without eyes ;-)

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Assembling the team

Well the postman has been and as a result I finally have a Guild Ball team. All members of the Masons are now present and correct.

I have stepped away from the Games Workshop glue and am trying something different. So these are the first models that I have not pinned in quite some time and it will be interesting to see if they will be playable.

The new models are Brick (the big boy at the back), Marbles (the furry guy at the front), Chisel who is a season 2 addition (behind Marbles and looking particularly lovely), Flint (back left) and finally Tower (holding a very nice looking hammer).

So there will be some painting to do, rules to be read and tactics to be learned. All highly exciting!

Monday, 9 November 2015

Painting the Masons Starter Box

The paints have made a reappearance and I have been busy with the Masons starter box set. They are lovely to paint and there is a good level of detail. I am enjoying picking out little bits and pieces. The colour scheme is coming together and I think they will be a pleasure to field. I have added a chalk line on the bases just to make it feel like a pitch.

Mallet has that intense look to him. A man serious about success.

That weapon sure looks like he is going top cause problems for the opposition.

Friday, 6 November 2015

And then it happened - Guild Ball

My main playing partner has had a pretty hectic few months and hobby time has been at a premium. He is relishing a return and can light light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. A paint tray sits at the end. I suggested that he choose a 'project' he help get him restarted. Something exciting, interesting, know the kind of thing.

The Dark Templar launched himself into the new project yesterday. Guild Ball!!

Now you know that this propels me into action. Last year we were in the middle of our Batman games when Salute 2014 came along. We had so enjoyed Blood Bowl that Guild Ball caught my eye. The guys from Guild Ball had an amazing display at the event. Really persuasive.

The game looks fantastic! There are a small number of models all of whom have been lovingly sculpted. The game dynamics looks very interesting and the rules gave each team very different playing styles. What is not to love. I piled in a bought a couple of starter teams. One for me and one for the DT.

My choice was the Masons.

The starter box comes with three models.

It was the female models that drew me in. So dynamic.

Lets start with Mallet though. He is a cool model with great detail and a wonderful large two handed hammer. As with all things there were some assembly issues but a combination of pins, greenstuff and glue got me there.

Next comes Honour. Fabulous flowing movement in the pose.

And then finally we have Harmony. I just love this model. I think it is the hair. You can imagine her dropping to this low pose before sweeping in to undertake her action.

As luck would have it we didn't actually get to play any Guild Ball. Batman was still the main game at the time, then there was Zombicide. So many games so little time.

Sounds like Guild Ball could be the project that takes us to Christmas and beyond. Guess I will need to get the paints back out of the garage and make some purchases to fill out my team. The Dark Templar has even gone and switched teams. He started as the Morticians. Sounds like he has been doing some research. He has gone and bought The Butchers. Well he never was much of a salad guy!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Zombicide - Black Plague

I have settled down after the painting madness of Zomtober. Paints have been put away and the dining room is back as it should be. I am hoping to get a few games in next week - but we will see how that works out.

Last night I spent some time looking at the wonderfulness that is Black Plague, the next round of Zombicide. Anticipation is peaked.

I found a few good images and thought they would be worth sharing.

These are the new Survivors. I think that the models are fantastic.

These will be the zombies. And then there are the big boys.....

They have some impressive scale and should be marvellous fun to paint.

I am one of the $150 backers and below is a list of what you get for the money.

All kinds of loveliness. I guess the big question is when we can expect delivery? I so hope that it is before Christmas. He, he.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Zomtober 2015 - a big success!

Well there are not many days left in the month but what a month it has been. Zomtober 2015 has been a huge success and there are enough zombies in this household to cause considerable mayhem over the coming months.

I found this image online during one of my many trawls for inspiration and thought it was fun and worth sharing. Could it be Survivor Amy?

Anyway - last night I concluded the Orderly models from the VIP box set. Not huge variation to them but they are added to the hoard. Different colour shirts and hair but the blood splatter variation is probably the main difference.

There are 20 models in total for this set and one remains on the painting table. I have promised myself that I will finish him in the next couple of days. Will be be my 'Huggy Bear'? We will have to see.

Other than that, the zombies from the Zombicide box set have come along way.

We have the Abomination, 6 Fatties, 8 Runners and 16 Walkers. 31 models in total. (Just over half of the supplied models)

The Toxic Zombies have also done well, from the Toxic City Mall box set.

We have the Toxic Abomination, 2 Fatties, 4 Runners and 8 Walkers. 15 models in total (about half of the supplied models)

Add to this the painted Survivors of which there are 7 plus their corresponding Zombivors making a total of 14. It has been a very productive month.

Overall we a total of 80 models and at the start of the month 20 of these had some colour.

This was the the picture I took when I started to undercoat some of the models at the start of the venture.

It has been a journey and very worthwhile. I have enjoyed the painting and even learned a little along the way. The research into models has also been fun and I now have a cupboard with hotdogs and chilli awaiting a trail of the 'Texas Wiener'. The hidden upsides of our beautiful hobby.

Thanks for all your supportive comments and helpful suggestions. It has been a blast and long may it continue!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Toxic Walkers, coming to get ya!

These Toxic Wakers form Toxic City Mall are particularly fine models. You just have to hand it to the guys at CMON.

Once you get into the painting, the details come to life. I really am impressed with all the odd / broken angles, the skeletal detail along with the torn clothing, boils and spikes. To match all this the faces are superb, especially the eyes. They have real life in there begging to survive.

My first round of painting Toxic models saw me focus on the toxic element. I went for a green skin colour and if I am honest I was not that happy with it. The puddles on the bases worked well so I kept them.

When painting my lady of the night for Pimp Santa I reverted to more normal skin colours and was much happier with the outcome. I have followed that line of thinking for these guys and they are looking great. I particularly like the two guys.

I am learning to use really fine coats of paint. Getting a good even consistency seems to be trick. It can't be too watery or you lose the detail in the casting. It is working well for me.

I have also learned to turn the model in my left hand and offer the tiny pieces of detail to my right hand. I then balance my right hand against my left using the last two fingers while holding the brush between my thumb and first two fingers. I think this has come about since I started to use the magnifying glass. It works particularly well for eyes etc. I can press my right hand quite firmly against my left which creates a very stable platform and takes all the movement out of the tip of the brush.

I have struggled with these pieces of tiny detail for years. This technique has been a revelation. I get the eyes pretty much first time every time. I am so much more confident. It also works really well for the fine high light lines. With these I try to use the side of the brush where possible.

You guys may well be familiar with this technique but I share it for what it is worth. It has sure helped me.

I am down to my final four models from the planned multitudes at the start of the October. Very satisfying indeed.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Runner bases

In Zombicide Runners can properly mess you up. They move faster than Walkers and Fatties and can't be targeted if they are with other zombies, unless you have special equipment and/or skills. When the game is drawing to a close and it all hangs in the balance you need to be very aware of where each Runner is and factor them into your tactics. The dreaded 'All Runners get an extra move' has been the end of many a close game!

An issue for me is that they do not stand out from the other zombies. Well Fatties obviously do stand out but the Runners can just blend in with the mob. If you miss one, tucked away in a building or something, it can be a real problem.

I have been contemplating how to make them stand out. I had been working on a group of Runners for about a week now and then it struck me.

I could add a small yellow and black hazard strip to their bases. This could be used both with the normal Runners and the Toxic Runners, who also have their toxic green puddles. I changed the angles that the strip was applied so that it would have of an 'ad hoc' feeling. It is a very simple solution but definitely helps to draw the eye and will hopefully make them easier to identify 'in play'.

Happy hunting all you Survivors!

Monday, 26 October 2015

Santa's little helper

Following the recent line of thinking I went in search of a 'lady of the night' to match my recent pimped up Santa. The whole thing started with  my discovery of this image.

But then I kinda went in a different direction, after I got the block colours in place.

Anyway I thought to myself that one of the female Toxic Walker models might be just be what is needed. The aim was to paint her up in a 'sexy santa' outfit. Great fun. I added a little white edging to the red and it did the trick. I moved away from the green skin tones that I had been using which would have been inappropriate for this theme.

So we now have the 1970's zombie pimp Santa with his very own 'lady of the night'. A lovely couple.

Its just mad how this fine hobby can travel in very unpredictable directions. They will make a really fun addition to the game though.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Zomtober - week 3

Last night saw a change of direction. I am putting it down to the wine and a joyous feeling. I was painting up my next 1970's VIP. I was still in 'pimp' mode and had been planning a red coat with zebra black and white trim. I had even contemplated a green stuff trilby and maybe even a cane. I was in good form and looking forward to the challenge.


Well then, I just seemed to 'turn left'.  My imagination got the better of me.  I started to feel a little christmasy, if that can be considered to be a word.

The next thing I knew I was adding a beard and moustache, white hair and saying 'ho, ho, ho'. with a big smile on my face. Another comic addition to the growing hoard. To be fair, I do love him.

I still have a fair few models to go. I have no Toxic Runners completed and I need some more Toxic Walkers and some ordinary Runners. With a week to go I am on track to have the full selection of painted models available for the next game of Zombicide.

The Survivors are ready to rock and roll.

And the Zombivors are looking suitably ghoulish.

Yes indeed - Zomtober 2015 has made a big difference. I just need to keep the pedal to the metal and complete another good week. Focus now, focus.

In the lead up to Christmas I might slow down and add a couple more Survivors to the crew.

I had pledged to the Black Plague Kickstarter. It all seems to have gone quite on that front but I am anticipating a lot more zombies in 2017! Has anyone else involved themselves with Black Plague?

Thursday, 22 October 2015

John Travolta reborn

Last night I just couldn't wait to get stuck into my tribute to John Travolta. Oh Oh Oh Oh, staying alive..... well before he became a zombie, obviously. It had been playing on mind all day. White can be one of those colours that gets to me so I took my time and built up the layers slowly making sure not to swamp the model with paint and lose any of the definition.

It came together quite well.

I gave him a blue belt buckle and managed to get the belt painted and keep the white loops. This gives the model some central focus.

I could have given him a black shirt but I just thought that the white was better. I love the big old chain around his neck though.

The skin tomes benefited from my previous learning curve. He looks better in real life than in the picture. I will be humming Saturday Night Fever every time he takes to the board.

This was a really enjoyable painting exercise and a model that will bring me a touch of joy every time I play him.

Thanks for your suggestions concerning the third model. 'Pimpification' is the theme and having spent some time online looking at some of the images from the suggested movies I am left bewildered at what people passed off as fashion in the 70's. They were brave - I'll give them that. Still have my thinking cap on reviewing options.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

1970's inspiration - can you help?

I am looking at the remaining figures in the VIP lineup and in need of inspiration. I have the hospital orderly and the 1970's black guy to go. Lets start in the 70's.

The 1970's was all about big collars and flared trousers and some mad colour schemes. A hangover from the flower power 60's I guess. I have three remaining models to paint for the 1970's black guy.

I was really unhappy with my first attemptNeema went much better especially when it came to the skin tones. I need to get a good colour scheme combined with much better skin tones and a decent level of attention to detail.

Inspiration, 1970's, dancing, disco diva ..... It came to me.

Tony Manero - He has the suit, the waist coat, the big collar. All white baby, thats the way to go. If I can pull it off he will have genuine character.

With my thinking cap properly screwed on I got to thinking about any other 1970's characters that were iconic.

Well Huggy Bear from Starchy and Hutch would have to be up there and his dress sense was, well, unique. This man did like a coat.

So this leads to to the final model. Have you guys any thoughts? I would welcome your input.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

VIP Doctors

I am enjoying the Very Infected People box set. I started by painting one of each type.

I am now going through the 'painting by model type' phase. It is actually quite interesting and you get to learn a lot about the model when you paint the same one several times. Always searching for ways to make the models seem different. Colour is the obvious way to do this but also the position of gore and blood trails can help. The aim is to draw the eye to different places.

Most recently I am working on the female doctor set. Her bedside manner leaves a little something to be desired. She does look hungry to me.

There is quite a lot of detail when you look closely at the model. I like the face and then there are things that don't stand out straight away, the mouth guard, the stethoscope, the bow at the back of the neck even a small name badge over the left boob. All these disappear when the undercoat goes on on and then present themselves when the model is subjected to some close scrutiny.

Again I have gone for different uniform colours to separate the models.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Zomtober - week 3

I have promised myself not to start another model until I have finished the bulk of those that I have started so with this in mind I set about the painting table. I started with the Survivors.

At this stage I have quite a crew including a somewhat unplanned Neema. We have Chef Ramsay, Wanda, Doug, Neema, Phil, Josh and Elsa. Everyone now has faces and I have tidied up a lot of the detail. Elsa remains my favourite model although Neema, Phil and Josh are also looking good too.

Next I worked on the Zombivors for the same characters.

They are much more dramatic in their poses and all have clearly been in a rumble as they are dishevelled with torn clothing etc. I went for white on red for the eyes and added plenty of gore. Josh has a particularly 'hunted' feel to him.

I still need to get more of the Zombies to the table so I pushed myself and finished off four of the Runners.

I think it is the scale that is bothering me with these guys. They are too big and don't really feel like they belong with the other models. But I need to have some in order to have the complete set of models available.

My favourite model at the moment is the Rocker model from the Very Infected People (VIP's). This is somewhat unexpected as I didn't like him at all when he came out of the box but he has grown on me.

I debated what to do with colour schemes here and in the end kept the 'block' colour effect on all of them i.e. coat and pants the same. I just varied the t-shirt. I don't know what it is that has grabbed me about this guy. It could be the pain in his face or the placement of the hands or the coat itself maybe even the odd angle of his left leg but it just works.

And so to food. The suggestions for the final two 'hot-dog' men were: -
1. That that just off the BarBQ look by adding griddle burn marks
2. Go for the Texas Wiener look that is chilli and onions

I had to look this up and can share the following image with you.

I must say that looks kind of good. I may just have to delve into a recipe book and give it a try.

My four hot dog men do all look different which I did not really think would happen at the start. I am really happy with them and they are definitely fun. I still have a little tidying up to do and can't wait to try them in a game.

I finished the weeks work with a Fatty. The Zombicide Fatty is a great model I have enjoyed painting each one.

For this guy I went with a pink vest. I have found that adding a little white paint to my pink really improves the colour. I gave him a pair of yellow marigolds just to be a bit silly and I am loving the final look.

What a week it has been and I am very pleased with the output.