Sunday 10 July 2016

Skirmish OUTBREAK - Survivors Kickstarter

So check us out on Kickstarter:

Survivor Kickstarter

Dishdash Games and the Phalanx Consortium believe there has never been a better time for gamers to fight the zombie apocalypse than now. And there is no better system to use than Skirmish OUTBREAK, at least that what those of you who have been playing this great game have been telling us.

Since we launched Skirmish Outbreak it at GENCON 2015 it has gone from strength to strength. So for all our loyal players and the Zombie player community as a whole, we want your help in producing our first set of Survivors. Lets face it you can never have too many survivors right!

This is our first set of 10 metal miniatures and each miniature comes with a full skirmish OUTBREAK backstory and downloadable character card (PDF).

The ten individually sculpted survivor miniatures, of which you can see some samples here, will all be lovingly sculpted and developed by our team to help add character to your Zed apocalypse. Each survivor has a unique backstory and backstory pdf specifically designed for you to play these characters in Skirmish Outbreak or they give you background for zombie game of choice.

Also everyone who pledges will get a free PDF copy of the Skirmish Outbreak rulebook, a 96 page full colour book, that contains all the rules of the game.

Here is a review from Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

"The opportunity to have almost free reign is I feel ‘Skirmish Outbreak’s greatest strength. The book provides campaign rules where your characters can expand their knowledge, and several scenarios but outside of this the book gives you the scope to do the Zombie apocalypse exactly as you want to do it. I massively enjoyed this book, the narrative is dark but fun and the rules beautifully flexible. I think ‘Skirmish Outbreak’ is more than capable of holding its own and well worth the cover price."

Skirmish OUTBREAK recently won:

D-Infinity Independent Games Award 2016 - Miniature Game of the Year

So check us out on Kickstarter:

Monday 13 June 2016

Warlord Games Special Operations Troops- Review

Well, I am back. Who knows for how long, but enjoy it for as long as it happens!

I recently purchased the box of Special Operations troops from Warlord Games, one of their Project Z boxes.

 Looking at Project Z, it seemed to be that Warlord had just acquired the Wargames Factory kits, repackaged/rebranded them to sell.

And here is the first, easy critique to make is that there is 8 models in the pack, for what was the same price as three times that many in a Wargames Factory box. This change has also had flow on effects for the kit, but lets have a look at what is inside anyway!

I am off to the land of pedantry for the next bit, so I apologise in advance...
Ok, so the above image is the sprue you get. On it, are 8 sets of legs, 8 torsos, a variety of heads, three "groups" of weapons- M16, AK and SA80 plus derivatives. There is also an RPG, and an AT-4. Those familiar with other Wargames Factory kits will know the overscaled versions of their weapons (thick barrels etc), but that is a known quantity, and isn't a big issue.
The weapons themselves have a variety of variants, including the LSW version of the SA80, which is nice. The sets do come with underslung grenade launchers, weirdly the M16's UGL is not the common M203, but rather the AG36. Curious choice.
Weapon wise, the kit is lacking in a Light Machine Gun, a minimi/M249/PKM would be great to provide a "proper" fireteam.
For my set of 8, I decided to make a full squad of the "Not Russian" Green Men from the Ukraine conflict. This meant that I would have a squad of 7, equipped with AKs, except for 1 with an RPK and another with a RPG. I gave them all balaclavas over their faces with green stuff too.

The whole squad
 Assembly on most of the figures was fine, for those familiar with the Wargames Factory kits, these assemble basically the same as every other one of those you have ever built. Each torso has a letter, each left arm has a letter, and each right arm has a letter too.

The issue which presents here, is that there are only 8 left arms. Want to use the "A" right arm more than once? You can't, you don't have a left arm for it. And even worse, there are two arms which are specifically for the rocket launchers. So don't want an RPG? Too bad! Get your converting tools out!

And most crucially, there are two bodies marked with the letter A. But only one A left arm. So even if you are being a good boy scout, building exactly what they want you to build, you can't.

Plus they are all in the "standard" Wargames factory pose:

Pictured: A good pose, but not for all 8 men
Similar poses....
The RPG gunner is lovely tho

So, I had to convert. This is where I got to with my guys:

NCO, note the left arm used to be the one holding the AT-4, but with a new hand provided from another plastic kit.

A repose, so they won't all be looking in the same direction

So none of that is a big issue, I mean, I love converting and would have probably converted them anyway. I think, in the initial planned release of these models from Wargames Factory would have been like their other boxed sets, 3 sprues of men, plus an additional sprue of "cool bits". I think that last sprue would have had all of the extra things I dream of (more left arms, LMGs, Sniper Rifles etc).
But we will never know now....
So how do they paint up?

 Overall, I am pretty happy how they ended up, the detail on the models are consistent with the quality I expect from the Wargames Factory plastics, so from that perspective, I am happy.

So, would I buy them again? No, I don't think I would. Why? Well, I am a stickler for Modern combat and equipment (See Skirmish Sangin!), so would prefer probably to buy from others and get accurate modern combat teams.

But, if you want a pan-country modern military unit, perhaps some form of Expendables/A-team type unit, then these guys would probably be a good fit for you!

Lastly, I had a spare man from the unit, so converted a version of the Punisher, from his latest comic incarnation:


Converted (same issue with arms)
Painted front
Painted back
Thanks for reading!


Sunday 20 March 2016

Survivors- Tallahassee and Columbus

But wait, there are more survivors from Studio Miniatures painted!

These two are the very iconic characters from Zombieland, Tallahassee and Columbus! Both excellent sculpts from Studio Miniatures, and I have painted them up in the style of their movie characters.

And of course, they need a way to get around, this time provided by a cheap diecast car I found on the internet, with the only addition being a hand painted number on the door- true to original!
Gotta love rednecks....
So there you have it, another couple of survivors done, back to the painting desk!

Will my run of more regular posts continue? Hopefully!


Tuesday 15 March 2016

Walking Dead Wednesday- The Governor!

When I was checking out the Studio Miniatures range at the start of the year, I noticed that I had missed a figure for the Walking Dead Wednesdays- the Governor himself!

Not a part of the Kickstarter which Studio Miniatures ran last year, I have finally got around to buying him and painting him. A pretty simple paint job, a combination of dark browns and blacks leaves for a menacing figure- perfectly suited to his comic book origins!

Another excellent sculpt from Studio Miniatures, plus I do have a soft spot for the Steyr rifle!

Trying to get back to more regular postings, here is hoping!


Monday 7 March 2016

Hollywood Havoc Kickstarter is live!

Well, I am back all! I will do a proper update later in the week.

For now, all I want to say is Studio Miniatures' next kickstarter, Hollywood Havoc is live, and would you look at that- it even comes with it's own special little rulebook AND discounts on Skirmish Outbreak!
Oooooh yes!

And of course with Studio Miniatures- there are some amazingly characterful figures, plus zombie versions!

I for one am hoping that Jeanie gets unlocked.....

The kickstarter is HERE, so get on board!


Thursday 11 February 2016

February's Painting- It begins!

Well, January's zombie painting amounted to a grand total of.... 1 figure.

Part of that, was a parcel from Studio Miniatures going missing in the postal service. Thankfully for me, they were able to sort it all out (excellent customer service!) and then this arrived in the post yesterday!

Lovely, lovely collection of lead, now to get basing!


Monday 8 February 2016

The Boat- Salt Weathering

The boat is done, and I have had a few questions about how I did it. As I said earlier, I decided to have a go at salt chip weathering, a technique I had seen done numerous times on the internet. It was always that one that I went wow, that is so cool, but I have no airbrush so I can't do it.

Well, I didn't buy an airbrush, but I have a fair bit of creativity, which is sometimes enough!

At this point, I will offer a disclaimer for following the tutorial that this technique has entirely been stolen from other people, and I am no means an expert and I accept no responsibility for my own actions, let along being responsible for yours.

This is just a log for my (possibly awful) method of doing it, feel free to copy and improve it for your own creations.

Right, so lets have a look at how to do the technique!

Step One
Undercoat the whole container in a dark red. I used a test pot of housepaint for this, as I knew I was going to be painting a whole darn boat with it!

I matt varnished the boat once the paint was dried also.

Step Two
Using a paint brush, paint water on the areas which you would like the rust to show through. Once the water is on, then sprinkle salt on top. I used normal, everyday salt for this.

I found a bit of trial and error here, working out how much water to put on before salting, how much salt etc. You will find the salt will adhere by itself, giving a really strange look:

Salty container
Salty ship!

Close up on the salty ship!
Step Three
Once the salt had been given time in the sun to dry, it was time for the next layer of paint. Ideally, this would be done via an airbrush, to give a nice thin, even layer of paint.

Being cheap, I bought enough spray cans from the local hardware store to make any graffiti artist jealous, and gave all of the pieces and even coat of colour.

I call this colour "Fallout Blue"

My high-tech spray painting facilities....

Step four
The fourth step is to get rid of all the salt! The how to guides I read recommended that I used a paintbrush, and brush the paint off. Now, I am sure that will work excellently when you use an airbrush, and a thin coating of paint.

Not so much out of a cheap spraycan!

So, once the paintbrush wasn't working well enough, I used a more forceful method of scraping using the side edge of a metal ruler (highly effective) and adding water to the paintbrush (to dissolve the salt).

One trick with the salt is that it will dissolve, then return to a solid when the water evaporates, meaning that like me, you may end up with a white salty covering of your nicely weathered model. More cleaning gets rid of it of course, it is salt after all!

Containers and ship decking
Step Five
Paint the details on the containers- the lettering and any other details. And then give it all another matt varnish.

You would think the alliance could afford a repaint....

Step Six
I was really happy with how it was looking, except the colours were still too bright. So I took some Army Painter strong tone, and heavily diluted it with Tamiya thinners (or turpentine, whatever you have handy) and washed the entire boat with the mix. I paid careful attention to not let the wash pool, the last thing I wanted was big drips and puddles on my hard work!

And once that had dried, it was time for the FINAL matt varnish, and the whole beast was done!

Hmmm. I wonder who this black container marked Bale Industrial might be shipping goods for....

Well, there you have it. My attempt at a how to guide for a process which I (at least in part) made up.

Overall, I am really happy with how it finally came out. If I was to do it again, I really would use an airbrush, it would have a much, much better effect. I am not sure what I will next use the technique on however, so I have a bit of time to work out what I am going to do!

Back soon with February's project, and I need to get on to my other challenges too!


Friday 5 February 2016

January's terrain project- Boat Completed!

Well, apologies for the delay here, work has been getting on top of me, meaning that when I get home, the last thing I feel like doing was using a computer!

Luckily, I find painting relaxing, regardless of how busy I am. And that has resulted in a finished terrain project!

The boat came together really well, I will post up a how to for my method for salt weathering over the weekend, but for now, enjoy some pictures of the boat, and some pictures from a local convention where the MSV Canem (known colloquially as the SS Pooch-Boat) had it's debut!

Back over the weekend with a bit of a "how-to" for the salting, and of course, February's project!


Sunday 17 January 2016

January's Terrain Project- A boat!

Since showing off the unopened parcel back in my planning for 2016 post, I have been very busy, not just painting Daisy, but also assembling this:

The lower hull, and also showing the flat pack MDF sheets ready to be punched out

And assembled!

It is the MSV Ironsides from TT Combat, and it is an absolute beast!

With a full complement of containers, a two story bridge, stairs and other cool laser cut details, this was simply too cool for me not to buy.

With a 28mm soldier for scale

All the pieces assembled

And when placed in situ

Assembly wise, the kit was not too bad- I have assembled far worse! I used both superglue and PVA to assemble the kit, and recommend a degree of patience while assembling the larger parts- for example the container deck is two pieces and getting them to sit right, as well as their side railings was a little challenging! Assembling it late at night probably wasn't helping that either.

Regardless, it has been built now, and has even got a coat of paint!

I am planning on trying out the salt weathering method on it, to give it a rusted hulk kind of look. Should be good I think!

More on this as I progress....