Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Vampifan's Views 13 My Monthly Musings part 2

Vampirella and the evil Lilith by Joe Jusko
As we approach the end of another month it's time for my second monthly musing. On the figure painting front, I finished the 20 assorted figures I mentioned last time and I have another 20 on the go - 18 Wargames Foundry 28mm scale Street Violence Misfits and Outcasts and two extremely rare Cold War Miniatures' 28mm scale corpses that were sculpted for their The Dead Will Walk range but never got put into production. The idea was to make corpse figures of their five survivors. The two I have are of the priest and the redneck in baseball cap, holding a metal club. How I got hold of them is down to two people. My very good friend Roger, aka Rogzombie, wrote to CWM on my behalf. He knew about these ultra rare figures and knowing how much I'd like them, plus as a thank you for the good work I do with my blog, put in a request to Richard of CWM that he let me have a set if there were any still available. I am truly indebted to both Roger and Richard for their kind gesture. I was deeply moved when the parcel arrived containing the two minis. I've mentioned the kindness of bloggers before and here's another example of that.
Another piece of good news, well at least on a personal note, is that I have bought no miniature figures this month. This has given me a great opportunity to make a dent in my mountain of unpainted metal and plastic figures. As long as I paint more figures than I buy I will eventually get on top of it. It'll never happen but I can dream!
I may not have spent anything on miniature figures this past month but the same most certainly does not apply to card models. I've ordered and downloaded quite a few from the Interweb. From WWG I bought three of their new TLX sets - Mayhem Services (I mainly wanted the ground tiles from it - they are excellent!), Shellendrak Manor West Wing and Shellendrak Props. I don't like the West Wing set as much as the original set, although the main staircase is better designed. I already have most of the props and I just bought the new set because I'm such a completist. My loyalty to WWG will never die but it has been severely tested this month as I have discovered some cracking good sets from other sources.
First up is a company called Fat Dragon Games, who mainly produce fantasy models. They have two contemporary sets - Capital City and McDoom's Restaurant. Capital City is a collection of five assorted buildings along with various outdoor props. McDoom's is a single storey fast food restaurant. What I like about both sets is that they come with assorted layers for their textures that you can choose from. This gives you a lot of freedom to texture the building how you want it to look - brand new, or grubby and dirty. The major negative point of both sets is that they lack interior detail and furniture. This isn't a major obstacle for an experienced modeller like me but it may put some folks off.
Next, I discovered a company called Finger and Toe Models (because card modelling need not cost an arm and a leg - groan!). They produce a lot of fantasy and sci-fi models with just a smattering of contemporary models. Four of the five contemporary models I bought - factory, small warehouse, multi-level warehouse and Slum City do come with interior detail but no furnishing. The fifth set that I bought was the Quonset Hut, which I'm currently making and mine will have interior detailing and furnishing. These models, like WWG's, do not come with layered textures. Even so, they are nicely textured and will add variety to my Mayhem City layout.
Finally, quite by accident, I stumbled across another card building website - Dave's Games run by Dave Graffam. His catalogue of models is filled almost exclusively with fantasy buildings, which don't interest me. However, he also makes numerous ruined buildings, which are ideal for most genres and time periods. Even better was the fact that a bundle set of all 17 ruined buildings was on sale for roughly £25.00. That's one heck of a bargain. More so, when you see that most models come with multiple texture layers, giving you oodles of choice in how the buildings will look. You could make millions of these and have no two look alike, such are the number of combinations possible. I was absolutely delighted with this particular purchase. These buildings do come with interior detail and in some cases, with furniture and props.
I was thinking, how likely is it that ruined buildings will appear in a zombie apocalypse and I think they will be inevitable in any large population centre. Gas explosions and fires will be the cause of many. If the military react with extreme firepower against the zombie hordes that will create a lot more carnage. I've already included a few ruined buildings in some of my batreps. You can be sure that more will follow. Now, I just need the time to get all of this new stuff built.
For those of you who told me to get my WWG Mayhem Police Station completed, have no fear, I am working on it. In this past month I got three more rooms furnished, leaving me with just eight more before its finished. To prevent burnout, I've taken a short break to make my Quonset Hut. This is what I'll continue to do - make a few rooms then switch to another simple project. The work in progress photo that I took with my new Black Hawk helicopter model ought to give you some idea of how big the police station will be. It certainly has the largest footprint of any building I have made so far for Mayhem City.
I managed to catch three films at the cinema this month, all on the same day. What a great day out that was! I've already reviewed the excellent remake of Fright Night. The other two films I saw were The Inbetweeners Movie, which was very rude and very funny and Columbiana, a highly enjoyable and fast paced action movie with Zoe Saldano being most impressive as a hitwoman seeking revenge for the death of her parents.
On the reading front, I completed The First Days by Rhiannon Frater. It was excellent and you can expect a review very soon. I am currently reading Rise Again by Ben Tripp, yet another zombie novel that was recommended to me by one of my followers. Thanks, Colin, I'm thoroughly enjoying it!
Well, I have wittered on for far longer than I intended so I'll sign off now. Thanks for reading. Oh, note the new background picture for my blog - Vampirella, of course!


  1. Great round up and no miniature purchases (I'll have to try that), nice work and prose as always my friend.

  2. Thanks for posting Bryan, there is a lot of good information in there.

    Regardiny WWG buildings, do you prefer the TLX versions or the standard version? Myself, I think I prefer the standard version, even if it takes up more space and limits your variety a little, I like the complete structure. I think it's a shame they're doing away with the standard versions.

    Would love to see a full review of Mayhem Services.

  3. @Fran. Want to know the secret to not buying miniatures? Willpower! Believe me, I almost succumbed on a few occasions, usually weekends when I go surfing the Interweb. I also figured that if I'm spending so much on card models at least I'm still contributing to my hobby, so that kind of offsets the lack of figure buying.

  4. @Adam. Damn, just missed your post by one minute. Regarding the WWG TLX models and their old stuff, I much prefer the old stuff. TLX is designed for modellers who want to take their models apart and store them flat. I'm not like that. I like models that are permanently put together. I've never built a TLX model and I'm not in any hurry to. I totally agree with your sentiments, Adam.

    For me, Mayhem Services is a mixed bag. I absolutely love the ground tiles and the transition tiles between grassland and concrete are what I've been waiting for ever since Streets of Legend was launched. As for the other stuff - the chainlink fence lacks the option for printing on transparency paper as the old set did. The petrol station adds one new company for a choice of three owners now but could have been a lot better with more design options, especially the option for making a much larger entity with multiple petrol pums.

  5. Sounds like a pretty good month. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with especially with he Police Station.

  6. I notice that you achieve a lot in a month, I am very envious of this, you read books, watch movies, make paper terrain and paint minis, I am lucky to get one of these things complete, well done Vampifan.

  7. Yes can't wait to see more of that Police Station. No new mini's though!!!

    Sounds like you have an extensive pile to get through and paint though!

    I need to knuckle down myself with my own leadpile.

  8. @The Extraordinarii. Although I do get a lot done in a month, I always wish I could have done more. We just have to make the best use of the time allotted to us, but it doesn't always work out that way, especially when real life intrudes on our hobbies.

    @Brummie. No figures bought this month and just 10 bought last month. That's quite an achievement for me! Yeah, I still have loads to paint. Just for starters there are 100 Victory Force zombies screaming out "Paint me!" Sigh!

  9. I'm glad I'm not the only one whose lead mountain contiues to grow.
    You may have not bought may figures this month, but your potential card mountain increase !
    Like many here looking forward to seeing your Police Stion in its final form. When you review (show off)the quonset hut(nissan hut to us Brits), I hope you explain how you built the interior walls.

  10. Haha, and I was being intimidated by the 50 Victory Force Zombies taking up space on my table.

  11. @Joe. Incredibly my lead mountain is shrinking . But,my card mountain has grown enormously. I thought it'd take me two or three years to catch up on my backlog of WWG models but adding this lot to mix God alone knows when I'll get them all made. So much to do, so little time!

    The police station draws closer to completion but I'm not putting an end date on it. It'd be nice to get it finished this year but we'll just have to wait and see. I will spill the beans on how I made my Quonset Hut when I get round to reviewing it next month.

    @Adam. Lucky man! Only 50 VF zombies to paint!

  12. great post, im looking forward to the police station. Thanks for the heads up on the paper model sites, i like the mc dooms resterant, and the two story warehouse would make a great fire station,ive been looking to build one

  13. A month without buying miniatures?

    Oh. My. God.

    Well, I try to paint some miniature before buying another, but seldom have success... :D

  14. @Shintokamikaze. It certainly pays to look around and see just what's out there. I like your idea of converting the multi-storey warehouse into a fire station. I'd love to see your conversion of that when you finish it.

    @Zerloon. As I said to Fran, it's sheer willpower!

  15. yeh, i like the wargames vault stuff,i orderd Checkpoint Kilo, multistory warehouse, Warehouse. they worked out less than 10 dollars, the check point will work well for a fortified base or army base

  16. I had to come back today for another quick look at "Vampirella and the evil Lilith". That's a great pic. I'd like that as a mural in my man cave. :)

  17. @Shintokamekazi. Wargames Vault and RPGNow are good sites for searching for alternative models to the WWG stuff. I'm very impressed with what I've found. The Checkpoint Kilo is a nice model and it would fit in well with a contemporary army base.

    @Luckyjoe. Feel free to pop back as often as you like. In case you don't know, Lilith was Vampirella's mother. Lilith was the original vampire on Earth. Vampirella kills her.

  18. Thanks, Damon. Nice to have you along.

  19. Really excited about the Police station sir, and seeing the chopper in action!