|Vampirella by David Michael Beck|
As this is a time of reflection, I'd like to mention five of my heroes of 2012. First up is Ed Teixeira of Two Hour Wargames, who released Final Fade Out - the ultimate version of All Things Zombie, my favourite zombie skirmish game a few months ago. I was honoured to be asked to play test the rules, but even if I hadn't, Ed would still have been one of my heroes just for consistently releasing great skirmish games that can be played with opponents or solo. This latter point is hugely important to me since my gaming group disbanded and scattered to the four winds shortly after 2001. THW has been an absolute godsend to me, allowing me to participate in gaming without an opponent.
2012 saw the emergence of a new card scenery company - Stoelzel's Structures. As followers of my blog will know, I am a huge fan of card scenery, especially the work done by World Works Games. It took me a while to take the plunge and make one of Carl Stoelzel's models (it was the Cottage) but I was well aware from the outset that Carl was going to be a serious rival to WWG. As I got to know Carl through his forum and comments on various blogs, including mine, I realised what a great guy he is. He listens to criticisms and suggestions and acts upon them. I now have no hesitation in saying his card models are the best on the market.
Another newcomer called Carl is Carl Sutherland (aka Rovanite) of Grekwood Miniatures. He also set up shop in 2012 and he is just as friendly as Mr. Stoelzel. I was friends with Carl's brother, Gareth, on the Forum of Doom and was very saddened by his death at a tragically young age. Carl set up his miniature figures company to honour Gareth and I am very heartened to support Carl in this noble venture. The fact that most of Carl's figures are zombie related is a huge plus for me.
One figure company who have been going strong since 2009 is Studio Miniatures. I have said time and time again on my blog that they make the best zombie figures on the market. Earlier this year, they teamed up with Indiegogo to produce a range of plastic zombie miniatures. I was one of the first people to pledge financial support to this project. It easily surpassed its financial target and their plastic zombies are every bit as good as their metal zombies. I received my parcel of 176 plastic zombies, plus extras about a month ago. You can well imagine my surprise when I received a second parcel of 40 plastic zombies plus extras a few weeks later. Stuart, the head of Studio Minis, included a note with the parcel, thanking me for all the positive reviews I had given his company on my blog. This parcel was a thank you gift in appreciation of my kind words. So, I have no hesitation in nominating Stuart as another of my heroes.
A close contender to Studio Miniatures for the title of best zombie miniatures maker is Tengu Models. Their range of zombie figures is much smaller than that of Studio but they are all very high quality. A couple of months ago, Iain at Tengu released a load of new zombie figures, including zombie dogs and zombie aliens. He kindly sent me a few free samples, again for the work I do on my blog. I am currently painting his new stuff now, so expect a full review very soon. Iain gets the nod as my fourth hero of the year.
Last but by no means least is the author Max Brallier. Max wrote the novel Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? a Fighting Fantasy style novel. I loved the book, which I reviewed in March of this year. Max really earned his hero nomination when he suggested I run a competition on my blog so that five of my lucky followers could win a copy of his novel. This was an extremely generous offer of Max's and the competition was a huge success with a large number of entries.
With the new year rapidly approaching this is a good time for making plans and resolutions. However, I have never been a one for making resolutions. As for my plans for 2013, they are the same as my plans for 2012 - paint more figures, make more card scenery, buildings and vehicles and continue my ATZ-FFO campaign. Now that I have finished making my Stoelzel's Warehouse (review coming up early next year) I am undecided on what building to start next. Possibilities include making my Blue Dragon Chinese Restaurant with the exterior based on the Stoelzel's M.U.C.K. set, although I may wait until Carl releases M.U.C.K. 2. I definitely want to make the Stoelzel's Circus for my Killer Klowns. Sunny is demanding I make it next! There are a lot of other Stoelzel's models that I want to make but the big problem is finding the time to make them.
The only film that I have seen at the cinema in December was Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2. Well, I had seen the other four, so I had to see the finale. Actually, it wasn't too bad. Bella (Kirsten Stewart) had annoyed the hell out of me in the previous films for her whiney attitude actually came good in the end, but only because she had been transformed into a vampire. Bella the human = thumbs down. Bella the vampire = thumbs up. I am currently reading The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson. This is part two of the Millennium trilogy. Volume 1, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was very slow to get started but really picked up after about 200 pages and got a lot better as it went on. The same is true of Volume 2. I am going to read all three novels before I buy the DVDs.
I hope you all had a great Christmas. As you will have seen from my last post, I certainly did. My Sideshow Collectibles 1/4 scale Vampirella statue is just awesome! The only other undead related stuff that I got were my 2013 calendars for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and True Blood. I'll sign off by wishing you all the very best for 2013. Happy New Year everyone!