Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Vampifan's Views 34 - Monthly Musings 18

Vampirella by Buzz
Since my last Monthly Musings post my blog has achieved two notable landmarks. My number of followers (well, those who have signed up here) has passed the 300 mark. Secondly, the number of page views for my blog has now passed the 300,000 mark. Yay, me! Onwards and upwards, I say!
Having been a prisoner in my own home for two weeks of this month, simply because of the amount of snow that fell in my home village, I am now delighted to say that all of the horrible white stuff has gone. Man, I HATE snow! If I never see another flake of snow it will be too soon. Okay, rant over.
I have been very busy this month on the hobby front. I have finished painting 9 Reaper 28mm scale zombies, 10 Tengu 28mm scale zombies and 3 Tengu 28mm scale zombie dogs. I also painted a Black Cat Bases fly-tipping pile of rubbish. I am not saying what is currently on my painting desk. It's a surprise!
I added a few extra pieces to the interior of my Stoelzel's Structures Warehouse and now it is finished. I also made an RV (Recreational Vehicle) that I found for free on the Internet. I also made 3 Fat Dragon Games Sedan Cars, one of which is a taxi. Just yesterday I made a couple of WWG shopping trolleys from their Mayhem Mega Mall set. These will play a major part in my new ATZ-FFO campaign as they are going to be used by Team Vampifan for collecting supplies. Check out the rules on p.54 of FFO under the heading "What Can I Carry?" and you'll see that a shopping cart can hold 24 items. Ideal if your party is planning a scavenger hunt.
February is going to be card model month on my blog as I plan on reviewing all of my recently made card models plus some that I made a while back but never got round to reviewing. Any new figure reviews won't appear until the end of February or possibly the beginning of March. I always like to plan ahead for what's coming up on my blog.
There is one brand new card model set that has just been released that has me very excited and that is the Stoelzel's Undeveloped Real Estate (URE) set. Basically, this is a collection of 28mm scale ground tiles that can be used in contemporary rural or urban settings. Here is a picture of one or the urban tiles with the littered road option. Isn't that just perfect for a zombie apocalypse?
I am planning on making this set my default set of ground tiles for my FFO campaign. I'm still keeping my WWG ground tiles as I've invested a lot of time in making them but seeing as I am falling out of favour with WWG and since I have become such a huge fan of Carl Stoelzel's entire catalogue of work, the URE set will take preference for my gaming boards.
I should mention that these new tiles measure 7.5" by 7.5". The roads are 4.5" wide and there is either a pavement or a grass verge measuring 1.5" on either side of the road. This means that they are not compatible with the WWG tiles. That's no big deal to me. I'll do a much more detailed review of the set once I have made a few tiles. One big advantage with these tiles is that they are a lot easier and quicker to make than the WWG TLX tiles. With Carl's tiles all you need do is stick the tile to a piece of foamboard and you're done. There is an option for raising the pavements. The choice provided is for gluing the pavement sections to another piece of foamboard. I'm not very happy with this option as I think it will raise the pavements too high. Instead, I will be gluing my pavements to mounting card, which is roughly a quarter of the height of foamboard.
Finally, this set includes a lot of extras that aren't road tiles. There are tiles for a car park, river sections, grassland, a graveyard (make sure you check out the gravestones for Vampifan and a few other zombie bloggers), a basketball court, tennis court and lots more. Props include road signs, speed bumps, street lights, litter bins, telephone booths (US and UK versions) and many others. Speaking of US and UK versions, I must mention that the road tiles come in two flavours for those who drive on the left and those who drive on the right. Cool! For those of you who are interested in purchasing this set you can buy it from here - http://www.wargamevault.com/product/109799/Undeveloped-Real-Estate?filters=0_0_0_0&manufacturers_id=4244
Two other pieces of undead related news has me very excited. Whilst browsing the GURPS website I noticed that the latest supplement that is in production is GURPS Zombies. For me that will be the most eagerly anticipated book of the year. Secondly, I see that series five of Being Human begins on BBC3 next Sunday. The story of a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf living together continues with an all new cast taking over from the original cast of the first few series. Bring it on!
And on that high note I shall sign off. Thanks for reading.

39 comments:

  1. Cool i cant wait for the ware house, im gonna post my fire station later today, and the big box next week as im still working on it. The snow passed us by in Eire, i saw on the news that the UK got it bad

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    1. You won't have long to wait for my Warehouse review, SK. It is definitely a big beast! I actually quite fancy making the Big Box soon, but I think I'll make the Auto Park buildings first.

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    2. Yeh, the Auto park is high on my list, but i want to make a video rental store(food market)and some houses first.

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    3. I look forward to seeing what you do with them. There is so much that i want to make. It's just a question of prioritising.

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  2. I am in the eye as it were. The last batch melted away in a thunderstorm, but a cold front is moving in to paste my AO in a foot plus of white stuff! My kids had no school last week, so on the off days we used GURPS to play Supers. We only have the basic set from the 80's, I never did buy any of the supplements.
    I was inspired by your boards to use WWG. I just missed the warehouse/industrial set, but I did get the finger and toe sets of warehouses, factory, pipelines, and refinery. I was also looking at Carl's stuff, but I haven't tried any of the sets yet....the MUCK set looks like a winner though.
    I look forward to your reviews of the cardstock pieces....makes me wonder why I scratch built so much over the years! ;)

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    1. I played a lot of GURPS Supers games, Dave. Want to take a guess who my player character was? Congratulations if you said Vampirella! What? Predictable, me?

      WWG made a lot of really great stuff in the past. Finger and Toe Models are also a good firm and I have all of their contemporary models, including the ones you mentioned. But for me, Carl's stuff knocks everyone else out of the water. MUCK is a great set and MUCK 2 could well be Carl's next release. He says it is 90% completed. There is nothing wrong with scratch-building, my friend. But if someone else has already produced what you want then why not use it?

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  3. The new road tiles look like a must for zombie games! Now you'll have a road set for both pre, and post outbreak!

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  4. I like Snow! It's really great while it's soft and fluffy. But when it torns to ice and slush then I'm not a fan. That's when I hate it. But while its falling and covering all the landscape in a big white cloak I do like it.

    So maybe we'll have to agree to disagree on this.

    elsewhere in your musings you seem to have managed to paint a fair ammout and knowing you to a very high standard. I lookforward to seeing more and more.

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    1. Hey, Clint, you're more than welcome to have all the snow that falls where I live. Heck, you can have it for free! Take it and keep it well away from me! :)

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    2. Will you cover the shipping costs?

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    3. Ha, ha, ha! No, but I'll have a word with God!

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  5. I dislike the traffic disruption when it snows, having to drive around for a living it is a pain the arse. I did manage to get some sledging done with the kids which was loads of fun :D.

    Look forward to seeing some more of the zeds you've painted and the buildings your going to make throughout February. These New ground tiles you are going to use really look the part.

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    1. I don't drive, Simon, and neither does my mum, so we have to rely on public transport or taxis to get about. Even so, I agree that it is a pain in the arse driving in snow and ice.

      Yes, the new ground tiles have got me really stoked up.

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  6. I saw the ground tiles the other day on Wargame Vault, and seriously got excited. I didn't think he was going to do them for quite some time, so this was awesome news. It seems as though he's getting MORE productive, which I am blown away by. His quality, I feel, is also getting better. He learns SO quickly, and it's showing.

    I admit, I still really like WWG's products, mostly TerraClips. They work really well for games like Malifaux (one of my favorites).

    Friends out in southern California are complaining of 29F weather, which I admit is incredibly unusual. Here, we've had winter storms, then two days later been in the 60'sF. Crazy, crazy world.

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    1. It's a lovely compliment, thank you very much for that. -Carl

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    2. Carl is indeed improving and it is a pleasure to follow his progress.

      I don't have any WWG TerraClips so I can't really comment on them They are aimed at the fantasy gamer and that is one genre that does not interest me.

      Crazy weather? Oh, yes! Having endured the wettest year for decades I'd agree with that.

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    3. Yeah, a friend that lives south of you was quite excited about the snow. I'm always a bit dubious of people being happy about it, so.... well, I dunno really. She's a wonderful lady, so I give her some leeway.

      Carl-My pleasure sir! I just wish I had a break in my schedule to build more of your designs. I think I'm going to have to make myself carve out the time!

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  7. Great post. I'm very interested in the Stoezels Structures and will probably get them soon. For his road tiles, is there any mechanism for keeping the tiles from sliding apart? Or do you just line them up and hope for the best?

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    1. Adam, it depends on how much work you want to invest in the tiles. Come around the Stoelzel's Structures forum and I'd be happy to help discuss ideas for your build situation.

      One of the ideas I pitched on the forum was to raise the tiles up by putting 1/2, 1 or 2 inch high sides of foamcore, and making small boxes that went next to each other. Yes, means more storage space, and lots more work. But, if you notch out the inside of the walls at regular points, you could clip them together from underneath with simple paper clips.

      The other idea off the top of my head, mount them on foamcore. Flip them other and draw half of an irregular shape (hourglass perhaps) along the middle of each edge. Cut the card and foam out from this shape leaving the reverse side intact. Make a bunch of hour glass shaped clips to fill and connect from the back side. Similar to a puzzle piece terrain set, except the shapes of the puzzle pieces still look square from above.

      Again, visit the forum and I'd be happy to discuss further.

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    2. As you can see, Adam, Carl has answered your question far better than I could. Thanks, Carl. I'd just like to add that Carl's forum is well worth joining.

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    3. Prit make a product, i cant remember the name, its like blue tac but its white, they stock it in Tescos. I just put a few small balls in each corner an push down, it removes easy without damage and can be reused

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  8. You've been very busy of late and like many others I'm really looking forward to seeing your new builds.
    As for those who like the snow they obviously don't get enough of it !



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    1. Being stuck in the house for so long this month has given me a lot more time for my hobby, Joe. Possibly the one and only upside to the snow!

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  9. Looking forward to seeing it all Bryan! Bring it on!

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  10. Thanks for the lovely plug Bryan. Sorry that the tiles are not compatible with WWG, but obviously I wanted to distance these a bit from their lovely offerings a bit, and made certain to NOT make any measurements from their stuff. Had my URE lined up with theirs, I can only imagine their response.

    The idea of mounting the sidewalks on something like a 2mm thick mounting board is pretty cool. Should work well by just wrapping the and tucking the sides under the bottom of the MB. Just enough to given a little shadow and edge, will look really nice.

    And boy... I used to love GURPs.

    The US version of Being Human started two weeks ago. I've watched and like both, they each have their merits over the other. I just wish the UK version had another season of semi "normal" living with the original cast before things got really really depressing.

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    1. Carl, there's no need to apologise about your tiles not being compatible with the WWG tiles. I fully understand the reasons.

      When I made my first set of WWG ground tiles (in the pre-TLX days) I made all of my pavements out of mounting board and they worked just fine. So, I already know that it is a technique that will work.

      GURPS Is still my all-time favourite RPG, despite the fact that I haven't played it in years. That's one of the drawbacks of being a solo gamer.

      I am aware of the US version of "Being Human" but I haven't seen any. Perhaps I should buy the boxed set from Amazon to compare the two versions. I do know that series 5 of BH is upping the humour quotient, which I think is a good thing. In series 4, there was an episode where Tom the werewolf met and fell in love with a young geeky female werewolf. It was one of the funniest episodes of any show I have ever seen!

      Finally, a big thank you for your input on for this post. It is much appreciated.

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    2. BH-US season 1 follows pretty much the same basic story line as BH-UK season 1. Mostly minus any sense of humor. There are enough departures as to not feel stale (I watched the UK version first). Seasons 2 and 3 are a complete departure. I find the actors as likeable, but it still feels like a different beast than the UK. Lacks those surreal moments like a vampire and a werewolf running a greasy spoon together.

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    3. One of the reasons that I love Being Human so much is that it captures many emotions. It can be downright dark, moody and scary and yet it can also be very funny, romantic and moving. Losing the three leads could kill many a show but the fact that the new leads gel together so well is a testament to the quality of the writing.

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  11. Good to see you made the most of your un-planned incarseration.

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    1. There was little else to do, so a nice positive outcome.

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  12. Good read as always Bryan and damn good production!!

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  13. Congrats on the success of your blog Bryan, of course I'm sure you know by now theres nothing like it! :)

    Thanks for the heads up on Carl's scenery. I may have to change my plans for my game board as this looks perfect :)

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    1. Yes, my blog has been a huge success, but it still surprises me, Roger.

      You should definitely check out all of Carl's scenery, not just the ground tiles, although they are a good place to start.

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    2. Thanks, I certainly will. I know what you mean Bryan. I am still amazed that people pay me to paint minis ;)

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    3. Long may it continue, Roger.

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