06 July, 2020

28mm Zombies and Contrast Paint Test


I am a long-time zombie movie fan, ever since I saw Night of the Living Dead, the sequels and Return of the Living Dead on cable tv in my youth.  However I only have two painted zombies which doesn't seem right for post-apoc games.

In late April ago I ordered some gaming supplies from Recreational Conflict to take advantage of their free shipping offer.  While browsing their website I came across the zombies in their Lead Bones range.  I had bought a pack of their clerks in the past and was happy with them.  Two of the zombie packs really caught my eye and I added them to my order.  After a quick delivery I cleaned, based and primed them.  The Lead Bones zombies have a lot of character without having too many small details to paint; things such as partially-exposed skulls, bite marks, etc.  To this group I added 6 plastic zombies from Warlord (originally Wargames Factory).  I bought several sprues for $1 each during one of their sales a few years ago, had put a few together in early 2019, and neglected them since.

Part of my motivation to paint this batch was to try out the jars of Games Workshop contrast paint I had bought in February 2020.  I wanted to try them out on figures that I didn't need for a particular project in case the results weren't good.  I watched several videos to get some tips on how to use them.

I think that my experiment was a success.  I used contrast paints for all the skin, most of the hair, shoes and belts and some of the clothing and thought they shaded well.  There seems to be a little more definition than using a normal wash.  For exposed bone I found the Skeleton Horde contrast to be too dark on the raised areas so I highlighted with Army Painter Skeleton Bone.  I didn't have any problems using both contrast and normal paints on the same models.  Doing a large group allowed things to dry quickly to minimize wait time.  Best of all, I finished all 14 miniatures in 24 hours, starting them Saturday morning and finishing Sunday morning.  I'm not sure about the total time spent painting, but it was low.  They are not my best work, but I don't need that for zombies and I would be happy to use them in a game.

Lead Bones pack 1 (l-r):
Civilian: contrast paints except for the pants.
Priest impaled with cross.  The cross came as a separate piece I superglued in, you could substitute something else easily.  All contrast except the collar and cross.  Reminds me of the priest from the movie Dead Alive.
Police officer: I used normal paints on the uniform to test out a possible color scheme for the unpainted police miniatures I have.
Biker: contrast on skin, belt, shoes and hair.  I want to add a decal on the back of his jacket, but I couldn't find the leftover decals from my biker gang I painted in 2019.  I'll keep looking.
 

 Lead Bones pack 2 (l-r):
Surfer: I love this miniature.  Contrast except for the hair, intestines and surfboard.  There is a nice bite pattern in the surfboard, which comes as a separate piece.  The question I have is was he bitten by a shark after becoming a zombie or was he bitten by a zombie shark?
Nun: contrast except for the white and the rosary beads
Altar Boy: contrast except for the white
Punk: contrast except for the leather jacket and mohawk.  This mini reminded me of the first victim in the movie Return of the Living Dead.
The priest, nun and altar boy will go well with the church model I have.
 

Warlord zombies: contrast paints except for (l) jeans, red shoes, (c)dress and apron and (r) gun, shirt and tie
 

More Warlord Zombies: hospital worker, visitor and patient.  Contrast except for anything white, brains and the visitor's pants.
 

A bonus terrain piece.  While I was painting these minis, I dropped a brush which fell down the back of the armoire I use as a painting station.  It landed on one of the bottom shelves and when I was moving things around to get it out, I found this set of resin barrels.  I have no memory of ever buying it so it was a nice surprise.  The resin seemed different from Acheson which is who I get most of my resin terrain from so an unknown manufacturer.

The full zombie horde.  Run!


02 June, 2020

28mm Post-Apocalypse

Back with more 28mm post-apocalypse miniatures from my collection.  I had to skip my intended post for this week due to some picture issues, luckily I had already taken these earlier in May.  All of these were painted in early 2019 for my games using the rules sets 7TV: Apocalypse and Across the Dead Earth.

(l) A friendly neighborhood doctor from Brigade Games.  Based on his expression and what he is holding in his right hand the nickname "Sawbones" seems more than appropriate.  An apple a day might be a better option than his treatment.
(r) One of my favorite miniatures, from Hasslefree.  This ski-mask-wearing, axe- and machete-wielding terror is perfect for leading a crazed band of wasteland marauders.  The model comes with two heads, but the other one doesn't have a mask so why would you use it?
 

(l) Robot gunslinger from Crooked Dice.  In my games I have used him as a creation of the Engineers Guild who work to preserve the knowledge of the old days.  The Engineers are lightly-armed so this gives them some muscle.
(r) Elvis from Studio Miniatures.  Is he the real thing or an imposter?  I have used him in several scenarios as the leader of the Cult of the King, with numerous hooded minions obeying his every command.  For my oil rig game at Historicon 2019 I painted a white and red boat named Hound Dog to ferry his troops.  This post wouldn't be complete without a link to Mojo Nixon's song Elvis is Everywhere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_3eQBMycfA
 

This father-son duo definitely have a Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome vibe; from Crooked Dice.
 

Two more Mad Max inspired models from Crooked Dice; (l) Road Warrior marauder and (r) Fury Road's Imperator Furiosa.  I couldn't get her face to look right with the black facepaint from the movie so I gave up but it still doesn't look right to me.  I may try to repaint it black again someday.
 

(l) Hacker with a small body but a giant brain and (r) scout with sniper rifle from Crooked Dice.
 

(l) Town marshal keeping law and order and (r) a heavy gunner in case of trouble; from Crooked Dice.
 

Gas Mask Girl from Worlds End, who make the This Is Not A Test P-A rules and an associated range of miniatures.  The arms and weapons bag come separately and include another right arm holding an assault rifle.
 

The obligatory group shot.



13 May, 2020

28mm Hazmat Team

Back in early 2019, I painted a group of nine Hazmat troopers for my post-apocalypse games.  Eight of them are from Hasslefree, sold in two sets of four as Hazmat Teams Alpha and Beta.  The ninth is a character miniature from Crooked Dice which is a bit taller but since it is the leader I don't mind.

When I was thinking about how to paint these I knew I wanted the suits to be yellow.  Yellow is not a color I enjoy highlighting, so I decided to use the Army Painter method of a colored primer.  This was the first, and so far only, time I have used that method.  I wanted to try it out on a uniformed group without too many details that I would have to repaint in different colors.  Also, I happened to have another use for the yellow primer as part of my oil rig project.  So I gave it a try.  After spraying the Demonic Yellow primer, I touched up the spots where the spray did not reach with a bottle of the same color.  After painting the minimal details (weapons, air tanks, visors, etc.) I gave them a quick wash of dark brown and sealed them with Testors Dullcote.  I think they turned out fine for my purposes.  It was a quick way to paint miniatures that are predominantly one color but not a method I would use often.


The one in the middle is from Crooked Dice.  Unlike the other troopers, his suit contains his deadly powers inside, as evidenced by his glowing hand.  I have had this miniature for years and finally painted it as part of this group.

They are ready to purify the unclean.  Beware zombies!

08 May, 2020

28mm Terrain - Barricades, Bins and a Boat


While working at home during COVID-19 quarantine I have been trying to use the time saved from not commuting to work on some small gaming projects.

I'm always on the lookout for more small terrain pieces to add to my post-apocalypse layouts.  When I was at Siege of Augusta in January 2020, I rummaged through the containers of $2 resin pieces from Acheson Creations.  I am a fan of their terrain for both variety, quality and price.  They had some new pieces and they made it my painting queue last week.  There is one piece that hasn't progressed past priming, a sort of post-apocalypse totem pole.  I am not sure what I am going to do with it yet.

I started with my usual method of a gentle wash in the dishwasher to remove any mold residue, followed by spraying everything black and a quick once-over with thinned black paint to cover any spots that were missed.  After painting everything received some Testors Dullcote for protection.

There are two different barricade pieces; I got two of each.  The tires were drybrushed with Vallejo Black Gray and the barrels with different colors of craft paints.  The 28mm miniatures show the scale.  The male mini on the left is from Studio Miniatures and the female on the right is from Hasslefree.


A defensive position with more barrels and sandbags painted with Howard Hues Colonial Khaki and Russian WWI Uniform.


A collection of trash bins, useful for any game set in an urban area.  I painted them green since that is the color they are in my city.


This beached boat caught my eye, I think it is a nice model.  I painted it with successive drybrush coats of Howard Hues Wood, HH Colonial Khaki and Iron Wind Gray, then a coat of Army Painter Soft Tone ink.



Everything together.  The three stacks of barrels and the weapons cache in the back were painted back in 2017.  I got them out to add some static grass so they all matched.


28 February, 2020

28mm Medieval Church



This week I finally completed a medieval church that I bought back in 2018.  It is made by Wild Land Store, who have a Facebook page with their products.  I posted the ruined Cathedral I bought at the same time back in June 2018:

https://mirosgames.blogspot.com/2018/06/ruined-cathedral.html

Wild Land are located in Ukraine and were very easy to do business with.  The church is made of MDF and is very sturdy.  Each wall consists of an outer and inner piece and all the joins were easy to fit together.  The detail is deep and easy to paint.  I sprayed it black, then brushed on a thin coat of black to even out the coverage.  After drybrushing the exterior walls a dark grey I let is sit from October until mid-February.

When I finally got back around to finishing it I must have been temporarily insane, because I decided to paint each stone individually.  When I regained my senses it was too late to turn back!  I used three different tones of grey to make it more interesting.  I used a lighter grey to drybrush the interior and then painted the front door and the trapdoor inside the tower a darker and lighter shade of wood and the metal fittings gunmetal.  I painted the roof dark brown then drybrushed two coats of a red-brown.  At the end I painted the ground earth brown, added a coat of glue then applied static grass and various bushes.  I am pleased with how it turned out and even more pleased that I finally finished it.  


The pictures have 28mm miniatures from Black Cat and Crooked Dice to show scale.  The base is 7" wide x 11" long; the peak of the tower's roof is 12" high.  Both of the roof pieces come off to allow access to the inside.


 
  


05 September, 2019

Current & Future Projects

Post-Historicon I have been pondering what projects I will be working on for the rest of 2019 and into 2020.  After spending most of the last couple years on 7TV spy-fi and post-apocalypse, I have decided to return to mainly historical projects.  I have been thinking about this for some time as my interests have been moving back in that direction.  For instance, I bought 2 painted ECW armies at Historicon and have been researching rules options.  I plan on expanding the armies with the large amount of unpainted lead that came as part of the purchase.

A large part of my time will be allocated to painting armies for SAGA.  I am already painting my own Romano-British army, currently on the 3rd of 4 foot units and the mounted are primed.

My friend Steve in Ohio was selling his SAGA stuff recently and last week I picked up another set of Romano-British and a set of Saxons from him.  Each is a 4-point box with some additional unit packs.  I am going to paint both of these with the intention of selling them when completed.  I am going to do the Britons first as I am already in Briton-mode.

Also arriving last Wednesday were miniatures for 2 longer-term projects.  I backed a Kickstarter in May for a set of post-apocalypse miniatures based on the 1980s RPG Aftermath.  I don't remember ever playing it, but my group did play Gamma World in that long-ago time.  I got 7 giant mutated rats with guns, a couple of rat swarms and 4 humans.  As I wrote earlier, I am taking a break from painting post-apoc so they will go into storage for now.  The bag on the left of the picture is a set of 12 Earth Force Infantry from Rebel Minis.  They were having a sale and I have been looking for some humans that I could use as the garrison of an off-world base for a future Doctor Who scenario.  Apparently they are modified versions of the mobile infantry from the old Starship Troopers miniatures game from Mongoose.  I never played that game but they will do nicely for my purposes.  Quick service from Rebel, I ordered them late Sunday night and had them on Wednesday.

25 July, 2019

Historicon 2019 Report

Last week I made my annual trek to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for Historicon.  This year was the first time it was held at the Lancaster County Convention Center (LCC) in downtown Lancaster.  I stayed at the Holiday Inn a few blocks away.  It was what you would expect from a Holiday Inn, and was a short 5-6 minute walk from the LCC.  The drive from South Carolina was the best it has been for ages with light traffic and no accidents or bad weather.  I took I-95 on the way up and I-81 through the Shenandoah Valley on the way back.  My usual friends from Ohio couldn't make it this year, but I fortunately managed to find a roommate: another Columbus wargamer who I first met back in the late 1980s, hadn't seen in many years and who was a great substitute.

I arrived at the LCC around 2:45 PM (my thoughts on the location are at the end) and spent a few hours wandering the dealer hall before my first game at 7:00, the English Civil War "Battle of Soggy Bottom" using the For King & Parliament rules.  I have been interested in starting to play the ECW again and wanted to try out these rules, which use a gridded board and playing cards instead of dice.  I ran the Parliament left center infantry command.  There were 4 commands on each side.  I kept the Royalists out of the town at the cost of most of my forces.  I enjoyed the game and rules and am considering ordering them.  Afterwards I browsed through the Thursday night flea market.

The Battle of Soggy Bottom (Parliament on the left, the King on the Right)

 My foot were defending the town for Parliament

The Royalist foot advancing towards my position as we exchange musket fire

 Action on our right flank


Friday morning following a quick, good breakfast at the Holiday Inn I headed to the early flea market and made my big purchase for the convention, two painted 15mm English Civil War armies (Royalist and Scots Covenanter).  They came with a huge amount of unpainted lead, some of which I will use to fill out the armies; the rest may be sold on at a future date.  I sold my ECW collection at least 10 years ago and I have wanted to get back into the period for a while.  It looks like I will get my wish!

The Friday game I played was a western, "Have Gun Will Travel".  It used an old 1959 boardgame as the basis for your gunfighter to travel to the area your randomly-selected outlaw was located, then you moved to the main board, which was fantastic.  It included all the western stereotypes such as a town, fort, native american encampment, graveyard, mining camp and mine.  It was lots of fun to move around on the board, locate your villain, and have a shootout.  I successfully hunted down one outlaw in the church and was killed by a second in Rosa's Bar..
 
 
 
 


Friday night I ran the first session of my game, "Battle of Montrose Platform".  It was a post-apocalyptic fight between 2 groups attempting to salvage a North Sea oil rig.  Two teams of three players moved on the table in boats, boarded the platform and a wrecked ship and fought it out.  I used the 7TV:Apocalypse rules.  I ran it again Saturday morning.  If you are interested in more details or pictures of the games, they are in a separate post here:
https://mirosgames.blogspot.com/2019/07/historicon-2019-games-i-ran.html
 
 
 

Saturday afternoon I got the chance to try out Frostgrave for the first time in the game "Island Towers of the Terror Folk".  It was a fun game with some nice terrain.  I managed to get on of my crew to the top of the tallest cliff on the last turn, only to be tossed over the side by the winged inhabitants.
 
 

  My crew

 My Heritor claiming a treasure marker


Saturday's final game was "Return to Lower Uncton", a 1st-edition SAGA game with four warbands of 4 points each fighting for possession of a village.  I brought along my Scots and fought against Welsh, Vikings and Anglo-Danes.  I haven't played SAGA for some time but it came back quickly.  I won the second-place prize for killing the most enemies, which was a set of Norman SAGA dice.

My Scots advancing

Anglo-Danes in the foreground, Scots in the background

My Scots from the front

Fighting the Viking Warlord.  It took a few tries but we eventually cut him down.

My kills


So what did I buy this year other than the ECW armies?

Two ECW scenario books from On Military Matters and two OGRE counter sheets in the flea market


(Clockwise from top left) The free WWII jungle convention miniature from Warlord; some pin vice bits and two dice from Harmony House; 12 Gripping Beast plastic archers for my Romano-British SAGA army and a GB Pict warlord in a chariot for my Pict SAGA army from Badger Games; two Reaper Bones giant rats for 7TV from Windsword Hobbies; a set of SAGA Norman dice won in a game; 3 packs of Essex 15mm ECW; and a great surprise from fellow 7TV player Wayne, a large bag of 28mm miniatures for 7TV, many of which are OOP.



Not pictured are a rocky terrain piece from the flea market, a bottle of superglue and an Xacto knife I needed to make a minor repair for one of the terrain pieces for my game.

My first Historicon was back in 1995, so I have experienced many of the venues over the years.  I was very happy with the new location.  The LCC is a great building, fully carpeted with nice chairs and icewater stations at every room.  I played or ran games in each of the different rooms on three levels, and while it was loud at times, it was not worse than Fredericksburg or the Host in my opinion.  The large number of nearby restaurants is great and the Central Market has a variety of bakeries and lunch vendors; everything I got there was delicious.  I have heard and read some complaints about parking.  My experience was:
Thursday at 2:45 PM I got one of the last spots.  I wanted to see where I would have to unload everything for my game on Friday.
Friday at 8:15 AM it was full
Friday at 2:00 PM there were open spots on the top two levels
Saturday at 8:00 AM there were open spots on the top two levels

If I hadn't been running a game with the associated unloading/loading I would have left my car at the Holiday Inn all weekend, it was a nice walk at all times from early in the morning to late evening.  I would encourage anyone who stayed home this year to attend in 2020.

 Some other games I found interesting:
 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 A Riverboat game with multiple levels