Sunday, 25 July 2010

Vampifan's Views 06 No More Spammers

Hi, all! It's been a while since I had an editorial so bear with me whilst I witter on about what's coming and what I'm working on. But first some serious news. I've noticed that my blog is attracting some comments from Asian readers in their own language(s). I'm a very tolerant person and I'll accept followers and comments from whoever or wherever you live in the world. But, and it's a big but, if you must leave a comment, please type it in English and not your native tongue if you are a foreigner. I find comments left here in a foreign language disrespectful to me and the majority of my followers. I've put up with foreign comments for quite a while now but when I receive complaints about them from other English speaking followers then it is time for action. So, as of now, all comments that are not written in English will be deleted. I have numerous foreign followers, particularly from Europe for whom English is not their native tongue and yet we are able to communicate with each other just fine. I will not criticise any one for poor language skills or spelling. I respect anyone who makes the effort to leave a comment in English and more so if that person is a foreigner. So please, guys, by all means leave a comment, good or bad, but think of the majority of the people who read this blog and think of me, especially if you want a reply. Not only is English my native language, it is the only language I know!

Okay, serious mode off now! What's occuring? Until a few weeks ago my big project was the construction of the World Works Games Mayhem Police Station. The exterior has been completed and I began work on making furniture for all the rooms - a task that I find especially tedious! It's a necessary evil, I know, and it's my own fault for making my buildings so detailed but when it comes to filling offices with furniture I find the task becomes more of a chore than a labour of love. It's odd, but I only feel that way about offices. Other rooms, like the police armoury, for example, were a lot of fun to furnish. The upshot of my whining here is that I got distracted and made some other stuff that I'd planned on making much later in the year. First up were some military vehicles from Ebbles Miniatures, another cardstock firm that I can highly recommend. They tend to concentrate on near future and sci-fi models. I made two of their military-style SUVs and a Kirchner main battle tank, which I'll review shortly. The Kirchner is a massive beast and a very impressive model. Work on the police station hasn't stopped, it's just slowed down!
I've had the new WWG Terrainlinx (TLX) sets since they first came out and I knew that I wanted to remake my ground tiles, which are currently 23" by 23" square boards using the pre-TLX system, i.e. printed ground tiles glued atop a sheet of foamboard. Why the remake? Well, for a number of reasons. Firstly and most importantly, the new TLX system offers a far greater range of tiles and options. The picture above, taken from the WWG website, shows the complete range of tiles in clean, dirty and apocalyptic versions. That is a huge plus in my book. Any zombie fan is of course, going to be attracted to the apocalypse tiles. I'm going to mainly use the dirty tiles, along with a few clean and a few apocalypse tiles. I'm going for a gritty, rundown look to my Mayhem City. As my ATZ campaign progresses the dirty tiles will slowly be replaced by the apocalypse tiles.
The second reason for switching to TLX is that these tiles slot together. My old tiles don't but I wish they did as a few of them are warping and don't lie flat. The warping isn't too bad (only one or two millimeters) but it is noticable on a few of my boards. Because of the smaller size of these TLX tiles and the way that I'm making them, (foamboard sandwiched between mounting card and thin card with the ground tile itself wrapped around them) warping will not be a problem. I'd love to have enough tiles made for my next ATZ batreps (coming soon) but I suspect I won't. The one major drawback to the TLX system is that making a tile is VERY labour intensive. This is a project to be taken only if you have LOTS of spare time. I'm fortunate in that I do but even so, I'm still finding there just aren't enough hours in a day! When I get enough tiles made I'll type in a review. With WWG investing so much in this new system it is obvious that TLX is the way forward and so it makes sense for me to adapt to it sooner rather than later.

On the painting front, I'm still inundated with zombies. I recently bought 60 Blue Moon 28mm scale zombies and once I get those painted my horde will easily surpass the 500 mark. At the moment it's standing at 456. But first I must finish painting my 11 Tengu Models 28mm scale zombies - a lovely set of figures from a new company. I noticed that Studio Miniatures mentioned on the TMP forum that they were planning on releasing another 20 zombies soon. Oh, yes! Bring 'em on!

I'll be reviewing a lot of West Wind's Road Kill range of figures over the coming weeks. I made a start with their rage zombies, last week. My next review will feature zombie hunters and vampire hunters. Look out for that in the next few days.Next month will see me playing more games of ATZ for my ongoing campaign. Vampifan and co. are going to try to break out from the centre of Mayhem City. Wish 'em luck! They'll need it! I'm looking forward to continuing the campaign. If you're still here, thanks for sticking around and if you do feel inclined to leave a comment, by all means, do so... but PLEASE, PLEASE make it in English!


  1. Domo arrigato, ehm, I mean thank you for your great crazy (in a good way!) blog.
    Love the idea to replace your street tiles as the campaign goes on. When is the next part?
    500 Zombies!!! I'd love to see hordes of them walking through your city table. Bet those would be some nice pics.

  2. Wish you show the complete horde too. And waiting for the next Vampifan adventure.

  3. @brutpaul. Heartfelt thanks, man. I'll have the last weekend in August free to myself, so that's when I'll be playing lots of ATZ. However, I'm hoping to get a game in next weekend. Keep your fingers crossed!
    I think my first post of 2010 showed my zombie horde in its entirety. It was about 350+ back then. I plan on doing the same again next year, so I'll photograph the complete horde for my first post of 2011. Now that's thinking ahead!

    @Ulu. I direct you to my previous answer. And once again, many thanks for your support.

  4. You've really been cranking out the zeds, haven't you? A very productive year and all the great scenery and vehicles as well. Congrats!

  5. 456! You are crazy...admirable crazy! :o)

    So this is post obsolete, I guess:
    Hmm, do you have any clue how far your two main competitors are with their hordes?

  6. @Roger. Yep, I have been cranking them out! I hadn't realised I'd painted so many until I did a head count recently! No doubt about it, this has been a very productive year for me!

    @Oliver. That post is just sooooooooo, like yesterday, man! Lol! As for my two rivals, I have no idea what their scores are although I seem to remember Akula saying he'd topped the 400 mark as well. Crazy, me? Guilty as charged, m'lud!

  7. Yeppers, you're going to have to do another group photo soon!
    For any of you guys out there who might be thinking "what the heck would someone need 500 Zeds for?" I can tell you from experience that it is entirely possible to use 500 Zeds in a game! I'm soooooo jealous!
    I just recently started playing Nuts! WW2 skirmish games with Nazi Zeds and I can see right off that we are going to need about a kazillion of them. In a military setting with all those MG's and explosions to attract Zeds it gets out of control REALLY fast.
    Having the Zeds roaming the table during the games is really cool. It keeps the timid players from sitting on their arses and keeps the games really exciting. I'm thinking I will not want to play WW2 without Zeds ever again.

  8. You do realize that most (if not all) of those Asian comments (Chinese, BTW) are spam, right? They're rampant on Blogger pages, probably being placed there by bots. The ellipses in said comments are linked to Asian porn sites...

  9. @Willy. You are so right. I can think of numerous ways to use 500 zombies in a game of ATZ. I totally agree that if you bring the military into the equation then you're soon going to find that 500 isn't enough!
    I mentioned in the post above that I've made some Ebbles military vehicles. I want to add a few IFVs that Ebbles makes to them. I have about three dozen contemporary US Army soldiers (by Black Scorpion) and it is a dream of mine to recreate something like the Battle of Yonkers from World War Z but base it in Mayhem City. Can you imagine what that'll look like? I might not be able to do it this year, but next year? I suspect it will happen!

    @Christopher. I suspected they might be spam, but being the tolerant guy I am I gave them the benefit of the doubt. BUT NOT ANYMORE! I've been through my past posts and deleted every Asian comment from the blog.

  10. Aren't the Black Scorpion soldier too big? Black Scorpion has gorgeous miniatures, but I can't see myself using them next to cold war zombies, hasslefree stars and I guess zeds from mega miniatures are not that big either.

  11. Black Scorpion figures are roughly 33mm in scale. The manufacturers you listed all produce figures that are 28mm in scale. But here's where we differ, Oliver, I don't mind mixing scales. To me, it's more realistic as in real life, people vary in sizes quite considerably. Still, I do agree with you that Black Scorpion's figures are gorgeous!

  12. And their Pirates, oh their Pirates...

    I do have BS Wild West miniatures and they are way larger than my other Wild West minis (Artizan and something else), but I did just search for a comparison on FoD and the BS soldiers don't look that much larger than Hasslefree minis. There is more scale difference in a single blister of Foundry miniatures. And most of my minis are larger than Hasslefree.

    The Marines from Eureka are my military favourites, but they are specialists, not the regular soldiers you would use for road blocks, guarding refugee camps, fighting hordes...

    My buildings are Plasticville (not exactly in scale), my vehicles are 1/43 (too big), so I guess being pedantic about exact scale is a bit silly.

  13. Oliver, Pirates and Wild West are two genres I'd love to get into. But I have so much to do for my contemporary setting I just haven't got the time to add to my workload, although, I assure you, my willpower is slowly weakening as I see more and more "shiny toys" I want to play with! THW are planning a zombie supplement for their Wild West game "Six Gun Sound" and I know that once it gets released I'll buy it. That'll probably be the straw that breaks the camel's back metaphorically speaking. Plus, WWG are planning a range of Wild West buildings and there is no way I could resist them!

    I've seen the Eureka Marines and they are nice but not what I was looking for. As you said, the soldiers I want are bog standard troops for manning road blocks, guarding refugee camps and fighting zombie hordes. Black Scorpion filled that need for me very nicely.

    I do admire your honesty in admitting your own buildings and vehicles are out of scale with your figures. I guess in the end we just make do with what we've got. To me, having fun with the stuff I've got is more important than worrying about whether all my figures are the same height.

  14. I am definately a fan of mixing scales and not worrying about it. I do however have a heartbreaking problem with mismatched adventurers. My big bald tough Alpha male
    ex special ops is smaller than some of the teen girls :( this just wont do, lol.

    I am having the same trouble with my raider cannibal militia I am building, the issue of size gets a little ridiculous with a small party of humans. Although the rednecks I guess are all half inbred and screwed up so size differences probably make sense.

    When GW went to slots, then Reaper came along everything was very cool. Other groups turned up and still everything was good. Then somewhere for some reason someone decided they would separate their 'superior' brand from the rest by changing the scale and its been going to hell ever since.

    I'll never refuse a fig on scale(aside from those monstrous zombies Reaper put out) But I understand how it can be bothersome in some cases. Of course once you start getting normal
    people up around 35mm it starts to get weird.
    There has to be some sense to it but I think that can encompass a wide range of different makes and how they format their stuff.

    As far as zombies I can think of a dozen reasons why a mixed batch is better than a completely uniform one.

    Lastly, I am so sadly far behind on my zeds that I am almost ashamed to show my face here, lol. But I have been piling them up for the day when the Zombie Armeggedon hits my basement!

  15. Mixing scales? Oh my, then I am a real heathen! We even mix legos into our games and frequently mix complete periods to boot. I feel like if the figures are cool, and it is fun, then up and at it!

  16. @Roger. I wouldn't worry too much about your big bad alpha male being smaller than some of your teenage girls. In real life, a lot of shall we say, "vertically challenged" men overcompensate for their shortcomings by acting tough.
    I know you paint a lot of figures for clients so it must be hard to find the time to paint your own stuff. Never feel ashamed to show your face here - you're always welcome, my friend.

    @Willy. You win the gold medal for the scale debate. How can you possibly argue with someone who uses Lego figures in their games? Willy's not kidding when he says he mixes periods as well! Check out his latest batrep set on the Eastern Front in WW2. Germans vs Russians. All is going as you'd expect when right out of the blue, a Predator turns up! Sheer lunacy but inspired lunacy!