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.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Anyone for a 'Hot dog'? Name your poison.

You see this hobby of ours can take some unusual direction changes. This summer I really got into my BarBQ. Don't get me wrong I have always loved to BBQ but this summer we moved house and there is an artisan butcher called Marchants less than a mile from the house. Their food is to die for and I have been working my way through their counter with much helpful advice along the way.

Anyway as part of this journey I got into burgers in a huge way. All kinds of burgers with all kinds of toppings and sauces. Different type of buns. I have even moved into mini burgers so that people can have more than one or two. I have progressed and made my own burgers trying different combinations of herbs etc.

I have really enjoyed the ride.

What I have noticed is that we just don't get 'hotdogs' in the UK. When I was a student I spent some time in New York working as a doorman. It was great fun and about as different from my West of Ireland upbringing as you can get. I explored American culture and tried every kind of food and needless to say the Hotdog was high on that list.

The reason for all this rambling is that the Very Infected People box set have four 'hot dog men' that need painting up. I have completed the first. A light coloured bun with a simple stripe of mustard for this guy.

This lead me to some research to see what other options I might have for colour schemes. I entered the world of unlimited hot dog options.

My painting tray is like these basic dogs just waiting on the 'treatment'. What wonders await?

Well for my second attempt I thought I would go for a seeded bun and then a mustard and ketchup zigzag with an undercoat of green stuff (maybe lettuce, maybe spring onion - who knows)

This leaves me with two to go. I have them based with the basic colours ready for some filling. 

Anyone got any thoughts on what way I should go? I would love your input.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Zombicide painting projects ongoing for week 3 of Zomtober 2015

Its been one of those weeks where I just keep being distracted and moving from one interesting project to the next.

I started at the weekend by getting stuck into the Survivors. After the last couple of weeks, this was a reward. I had some block colours on the minis but they needed a lot of additional work and facial detail. As I was doing this I figured it would be a good time to commence the Zombivors. I am loving these models. The colours had to match and this seemed to make sense. I really enjoyed painting them. It proved quite hard to match the colours. This is what happens with lots of highlights and washes. I am enjoying picking out the details.

Then I said to myself that I really needed to complete the zombie sets. I had no Runners and therefore started a set of eight (on the right) and some Toxic Runners (on the left). Once these are done I will have some of every zombie type painted. But they were not so much fun. I am not keen on the models themselves.

Then I figured I should add in some more of the Toxic Walkers so I started them (4 at the back right). I do like these models. I also added a Fatty for some reason, he was undercoated and lying around.

Then Zombivor Neema called to me so I gave her a little attention.

And then I was reading up on the VIP's and decided that they really needed to be included. I will need to have all 20 painted to use the new weapons and cards. I started to look up different hot dog types, as you do ..... seeded buns, mustard and ketchup with sides .....

The result is bedlam!

By the end of last evening I was looking at the table saying to myself - 'what are you doing, finish something you idiot'.

Now this is why Zomtober is such a good thing. I want to have something to show for Sunday morning and as such feel the need to FOCUS! Finish something! Get it done!

Thank you Zomtober. Is it any wonder that my garage is a magnificant collection of unfinished models?

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Very Infected People (VIP's)

I had a look at the rules for playing the VIP's and at first I just didn't get it. There were loads of cards in the box in lots of different languages and it was a bit beyond me to figure out, or was that red wine? Who is to know.

Anyway I had a second read last evening (minus the red wine) and it all became clear. First off I split out the English cards. We were down to a manageable pile. These cards spawn VIP models. They are to be mixed into the normal spawning deck.

Random VIP models spawn. The idea is to kill different model types. As the models are killed the Survivor retains the model instead of returning it to the zombie discard pile. Five models, one of each type, can be exchanged for a top level weapon. There are 5 different types of VIP and 4 of each type making 20 in total. You just know they are all going to 'need' painting. I like the idea. Its like big game hunting.

There are 3 new weapons available.

These are combined with the top level weapons from the various rules sets to form a 'pimpmobile deck'. For example the original game has Ma's Shotgun and the Evil Twins. The Survivor may choose a weapon from this deck when handing in 5 VIP models.

Overall I think this is a rather cool addition to the game and I look forward to giving it a try.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Zomtober 2015 after two weeks

It has been a great couple of weeks and the painting has gone really well. I have spent most evening at the painting table doing something and I have managed to get through a impressive load of models. I am conscious that the number of zombies required is quite high and therefore I started with them. Its like having a deal with yourself in that you only get to paint the Survivors if you crack out a load of zombies first.

This has always been my philosophy especially when painting 40k armies. I had to paint up some units first and then I would reward myself with a few characters. It is a good mindset I think. You get to try colour schemes on the basic models and then you are ready to do something better for the characters.

So I started Zomtober with 13 painted zombies and and the hoard is growing.

I have now painted both Abominations, a load of Walkers including some of the Very Infected People, some Fatties, some Toxic Walkers, some Toxic Fatties, the two Elsa's and Neema.

It has been enjoyable and the standard of my paining is improving little by little.

Next week should see some Runners, some Toxic Runners and needless to say the Survivors and  their Zombivors.

Zomtober, we love ya :-).

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Survivor Neema - painting

I was determined to have another bash at painting black skin. I was very disappointed with my first attempt so last night I moved on to the Survivors and Neema. I had some fun researching Neema when I first unboxed Toxic City Mall.

She is a great model and this became more apparent as the painting began.

The skin colouring has worked much better this time around. I was much bolder in my approach and layered from dark through 3-4 highlights before knocking everything back with a dark wash. I then returned to the model and picked out some more of the top edges. I am much happier with the outcome. There is still some work to do but I think that we are going in the right direction.

I may even consider including Neema in the 6 man Survivor crew. She does seem to be unique in her play style. Emmmmm ........ but who to drop, more pondering ahead.

This whole Zomtober idea is great. It provides a real focus and as a result there is lots of painting going on. I got more done this week than in the many previous months.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Very Infected People

Last night saw some progress on the first batch of Very Infected People. I have box set number 1. I started with a single model of each type and they are good fun to paint. Very different characters.

In the box we have have a 1970'ies black guy, some kind of rocker dude, a hospital Orderly, a female surgeon doctor and of course hotdog man.

They are coming along nicely. I have kept them to the original paint spec (not the Toxic Green Zombies). We are not playing their special rules as yet so I be treating them as normal walkers. They add a nice bit of variety to the growing hoard.

I gave 'hot dog man' a big yellow mustard stripe.  I might try to zig, zag it on the next one.

There are five models of each type so it is going to be interesting to see how different I can get them looking.

This has been my first attempt at painting black skin and I am chalking it up as a fail! Well at least a learning event. I have learned how not to paint it. The trouble is you get one or two attempts on a model before it becomes swamped with paint. I have decided to try again but on a new model.

The plan this time will be to put in a base dark brown colour and then take that up through a series of highlights before knocking it all back with washes. This worked really well for painting black generally. In fact I am getting quite confident with it at this stage.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Toxic Abomination, painting

"Ah look at that, its a furry bunny wabbit, how cute"

He, he.

I am just loving these miniatures, they have so much detail that you find yourself being regularly amazed. I discovered these slippers last night, as I continue to work up the detail.

It is just a stunning piece. 'Coolminiornot' have outdone themselves. A true joy to paint.  

I have gone mad with spikes and boils and gore and guts and puss and, and, and ..... Its a proper Abomination!!

I could be playing with it for days yet, picking out this little detail or emphasising another part of the miniature. It will also stand out on the field of battle, which is exactly what you want from the most powerful character that we have played so far.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Zomtober week 2 - working progress

I have been busy on the painting table working on the Toxic Zombies. I have enjoyed the fact that the models are quite a bit different in terms of sculpt. They are much more decayed with bones showing through, lots of boils and spikes and are are posed with more awkward angles. They stand out. I still wanted to paint them differently though and used a rotting green / blue for the skin with green washes. I also placed green toxic puddles on the ground.

Beware the 'Toxic Spray' if you get too close.

Here they are lined up beside the zombies for the original box set. We have both Abombinations, both Fatties and some Walkers.

Survivor Crew Assembley

I am still working on filling the final two slots for the Survivor Crew.

There I was going through each of the characters, reading the various rules and thinking about which way I would go. There of lots of different combinations that would work and be complimentary. Maybe even some that would suit particular scenarios. Then I came across it .....

"AMBIDEXTROUS - The Survivor treats all Melee and Ranged weapons as if they had the dual symbol"

Now you just know that is going to appeal to an Ork player. My mind raced .... that could be two Chainsaws, one in each hand or or or or .......

Just think of the pain and the hurt that could be inflicted.

I really like the sound of Josh and Doug both of whom benefit from this skill in Zombivor form.

Doug will be great because he has Matching Set and also gets a Free Search which can be combined with +1 die: Ranged and then the Ambidextrous skill. So he is great at getting tooled up and Ranged is the way to go.

Josh on the other hand is Melee. He gets Slippery, +1 free Melee Action, +1 re-roll per turn and Ambidextrous.

Handfuls of dice - Joy, bliss - my crew is complete!