Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Vampifan's Views 12 Start of my Monthly Editorials

Vampirella by Joe Jusko
I recently received a very interesting suggestion from Joe (aka Zabadak), one of my followers, who wrote -
"On the subject of your blog could I encourage you to add one more post a month?  I’d like to “hear” your thoughts,  ideas and viewpoints as well as your reviews on film, figures, books, etc. You’ve done a few like that in the past, and I’m sure many of your other followers appreciate learning how your thought processes are working, what plans you are making or abandoning.  From other blogs I’ve read, you do seem to be the Guru of the Undead in many people’s eyes. Your  name and site crop up everywhere.  So how about it, on the first or last  day of the month in addition to the normal blogging schedule, a paragraph (or two) on Vampifan’s thoughts?"
My immediate reaction to this was, what a brilliant idea, closely followed by, how come I haven't thought of doing this? So, every month, I will post an editorial on exactly what Joe has suggested.
I'll kick off with what's currently on my painting table and it's a real eclectic ( I love that word!) mix. I cleared the decks yesterday so this lot are what I have chosen to get painted next - 6 Black Cat Bases 28mm scale Screaming Nighthawks bikers (all on foot and includes their pet Alsatian), 4 Eureka Miniatures 28mm scale zombies in barrels (a present from Fran aka the Angry Lurker), 4 Foundry 28mm scale vampires, 3 Reaper 28mm scale geeks (a present from Roger aka Rogzombie), 2 Hasslefree 28mm scale adventurers (Scooby Doo and Spike the vampire or as HF call them, Hamlet and William) and finally, a RAFM 28mm scale businessman (another present from Fran). I like to paint no more than 20 figures at a time and that's exactly how many I have to paint here. I prefer to base my figures before I paint them and this lot are waiting to get based. Basing for me means adding sand and pieces of Fuller's Earth cat litter to my bases with PVA glue, then coating the base with watered down PVA glue to help seal it. Hopefully, I'll have them finished before my next editorial. A batch like this would normally take me about three weeks to paint.
On the card modelling front I plan on making some vehicles next. As it has been such a while since I last made any vehicles I'm going to start with something easy and make the two fast food vans from the WWG TLX Mayhem Under Construction set. These vans sell hamburgers, ice cream and other snacks and are based on the design for the ambulance, police van and gold bullion van that I've already made. Once I've made them, which shouldn't take more than a day or two, I'll restart my work on my Mayhem Police Station. I have 11 rooms that need furnishing out of a total of 25. If I do them one room at a time and take a break to build something else, like another vehicle, in between each room, I should avoid burning out again. Of course, the closer I get to finishing it, the quicker I'll want to finish it. Building it has been a marathon but hopefully, I'll finish with a sprint. I may do something I've never done with any building before and that's let you see some work in progress photos. Any takers? Yes, I thought as much!
Moving on, I've just made a rather expensive purchase. For years now I have been after a 1/48th scale U.S. Black Hawk helicopter, preferably die-cast instead of a plastic model. Whilst surfing the Internet on Monday I came across one for sale from a UK model store. Alas, it had a price tag of about £52. Yep, very pricey but I really wanted it. Purely on a whim I decided to see if my good friend, were selling it. Yes, they were. Their price was £42, still expensive but it was £10 cheaper. So, I've ordered it from Amazon. Its made by Forces of Valor, who are a good firm. The main reason that I want it is to use in my ATZ campaign. Sometime in the future you will see it in action. I have a number of plans for it, not least of which is that encounter on P.52 of the Random Events table of Better Dead Than Zed "Black chopper flies overhead and pulls zombies 12" away from any survivor."
Actually, the Black Hawk is just about the only gaming-related item I've bought this month. I bought and downloaded a few new models from WWG (Mayhem Corporate set, Mayhem Props, Mayhem Traffic and the Podtel building). As for figures, I bought 10 new Hasslefree 28mm scale adventurers, including the two now on my painting table. I'm making a real effort to spend less on miniature figures until my lead mountain is reduced considerably. I simply have far too many figures waiting to get painted.
The book I'm currently reading is The First Days by Rhiannon Frater, a zombie novel that interestingly has two females as its main heroines. It's part one of a trilogy, so if I do like it, which I think I will, I'm going to have to wait for parts two and three. Oh, well!
I've noticed that in recent years my trips to the cinema have become less and less frequent. From a high of once a week not too long ago I now average about one trip per month. Am I becoming more selective or are there just too few decent films being made? I dunno. I haven't seen any undead related films this year. I did see two films this month, which was a bonus. First up was Captain America: First Avenger, which was quite good and not as bad as I feared it might be. I'm more interested in Marvel superheroes than those from DC. Next, was a serious contender for my film of the year, The Guard, starring Brendan Gleason. What a powerhouse performance he gives, as he is in practically every scene. He is so funny and incredibly politically incorrect. This low budget Irish film was about a Garda policeman (Gleason) who helps an FBI Agent (Don Cheadle) to hunt down a gang of drug smugglers. An absolute joy and so different from the Hollywood blockbusters that so often fail to deliver. It just goes to show that if you have a good script you don't need megabucks to make a good movie.
As you all know, I've just completed another ATZ scenario and I'll post part one this coming Sunday and part two next Wednesday. It did not pan out as I thought it might but then again, no scenario ever does, thanks to the randomness of dice rolling.
I usually add a zombie picture or photo to my editorials. I was thinking that I don't have a lot of zed photos in My Pictures folders. Should I scour the Interweb for more? At which point, a light bulb flashed on above me. Don't be daft, I thought, use some of your Vampirella pictures. After all, I am Vampifan and I have loads of pictures of my favourite vampire. So, I'm going to illustrate these editorials with pictures of Vampirella, starting off with some of the works of my favourite Vampirella artist, Joe Jusko.
Well, I've waffled on for far too long so I'll close now. Thanks for reading this far and I hope I haven't bored you too much!


  1. Sounds great I can't wait to see your Screaming Nighthawks they are on my list to get

  2. They're very good figures, Brummie. The biker who is smoking a cigarette is an absolute gem!

  3. Just what the doctor ordered !
    With added teasers too for Sunday (and future, builds etc.)
    A good chance to exhibit some varied artwork too !

  4. What a great post, thank you. It's great to hear whats on your plate as you tend to be the voice of undead gaming on the internet. Can't wait for that battle report.


  5. This looks/sounds promising indeed!

  6. Awesome post. Battle reports are always fun to read :) A couple days ago, you recommended i try 2d paper miniatures. I think i found some zombie ones online, however i can't find any human, survivors, gangers. I was wondering if you new of any somewhere on the web. I checked out the WWG ones, but I don' think they had any.... unless i missed something.


  7. @Joe. I thought this might cheer you up, especially as it was your suggestion that I post this. I hope you got your laptop fixed, mate.

    @Adam. Thank you for the compliment. You won't have long to wait for that batrep.

    @Johnny. That's the idea, my friend.

    @Zing. WWG used to do some great zombie and survivors with the free games that came with the two Shellendrak Manor sets but they've been withdrawn now. A number of people on the WWG forum have asked for them to be reinstated and I think they will be. In the meantime, I suggest doing a Google search for 2D standees. I know that Steve Jackson Games do some nice modern day stuff that would be usable in ATZ.

  8. Vampi... YOU ARE THE MAN! Looking forward for your miniatures and for the police station... About the picture for your editorials, I would have been disappointed if you had not used Vampirella!! ;)

  9. Great post!! and a great idea too!! Looking forward to seeing the finished articles, especially Scooby!!

  10. Fantastic post,im looking foreward to everything, i cant wait to see what you did with the WWG cop shop. i think you are right about the Guard, its a deadley movie, every one over here is talking about it

  11. This is a NO-Bore zone :D

    Can't wait fr the Battle Report too, as well other terrain project... Go for it! .D

  12. I always enjoy your batreps, reviews, pictures of figures and terrain...but I'm a little depressed have more figures in your painting queue than I get done in a year! I feel so lazy now... Anyway, hope you post pics of your figures when done.

  13. By the positive Feedback Bryan, you have triumphed yet again !

    As Gnotta said, good opportunity to showcase your Vampirella collection of piccies too

  14. @Gnotta. The miniatures will get photographed and reviewed once they're painted. I'm going to post some work in progress shots of the police station, so you can see how that's coming along. As for using Vampirella to illustrate my editorials it was a no-brainer.

    @Ray. Thanks, mate. I've had the Scooby Gang painted ages ago but I've held back on reviewing them until I got Scooby himself. Scooby/Hamlet is a fantastic sculpt from Kevin and it shouldn't take long to get him painted.

    @Shintokamikaze. I'm glad I'm not the only one who liked "The Guard" - it is a fantastic film!

  15. @Zerloon. I'm glad you think this is a No-Bore zone. I was a bit apprehensive about how well my waffling would go down, but with followers like you, I needn't have worried. Thanks!

    @Confused Dad. I enjoy painting, which is why I don't mind painting so many in one go. Don't worry, I will post pictures and reviews of them once they get finished.

    @Joe. This has certainly been a successful post and I think the future of my monthly musings is secure. As for showcasing my pictures of Vampirella, that too, is a good idea and I need never worry about running out of pictures of her.

  16. Maybe you'll find them to smal (1/60) but New Ray has some black hawk (sea hawk, black hawk,medevac and white hawk). If I knew you were after a FoV Bh, i'd give mine (bought in a lot of mini on eaby) but to big for my taste, he's got the tail wheel broken though (and maybe tiny details too, not watched). If any interest, drop me a comment, it'll be yours for postage price only (to restore the balance of the Force you disturbed with your give away of Dadi & Piombo)

  17. @Ulu. 1/60 is too small to use with 28mm scale figures. I find that 1/48 is a good match up. That's a very generous offer you've made and I'll gladly take you up on it. I still have your e-mail address from when I sent you the Dadi & Piombo mag. I'm with Paypal, so hopefully I'll be able to reimburse you via them. I'll send you an e-mail with my home address. The Force is very definitely balanced in your favour now, young padawan!

  18. Hey Bryan, You got a bargain with your Blackhawk - I went to Addlestone Model Shop during my lunch hour and the only 1/48th helicopter they had was a Chinook. I was sorely tempted until I saw the price - £39.99!! I think £3 extra for a smaller diecast chopper is well worth it, and I might just have to copy you!

  19. @Colin. Amazon is my friend! It is amazing the amount of stuff I have bought from them. If they sold miniature figures I think I'd give them all my money! LOL! Actually, I'd pay £39.99 for that Chinook you mentioned, but it's not something I have a need for. Shame.

  20. I like the editorial alot. For one thing we are curious as to what you are working on. Secondly the human element, really helps people feel at ease with working on stuff themselves. I remember when I started out with GW stuff I was so intimidated by the 'eavy metal paint jobs and great ideas people came up with that I took forever to paint my first army. This is something everyone can do and an editorial like this helps bring it home.

    Nice job Bryan, looking forward to the next one.

  21. Its a bit late. I was in Toy R us today they do a range Of 1/55 helicopters they have the eurocopter and apache and various civilian helicopters the range is called Teamsters and priced at £9.99. Its not a blackhawk but they are all diecast.

  22. Good post buddy, looking forward to seeing that Blackhawk in action, as far as the movie thing goes .... most movies that come out these days are pretty much rubbish.... your not missing much, Walking Dead Season 2 is nearly upon us, world wide release is what there planning.

  23. @Roger. That's very kind of you to say so. I agree with you about the human element. I try to be as friendly as I can on my blog, and offer advice wherever I can. Rest assured, that part of me won't change.

    @Brummie. I'd be very interested in having a look at them. I just wish my nearest Toys R Us store was closer to home. Thanks for the heads up, though.

    @The Extraordinarii. I'm now looking forward to seeing BOTH Black Hawks in action, having taken up Ulu's generous offer.
    I agree with you about the movie industry. Too much dross is being made these days. Please don't remind me of The Walking Dead series 2. I won't get to see it until the DVD boxed set comes out. Wail!

  24. A great idea. Thanks for sharing, and seeing as I am catching up so late, I know that many of these things are ready for me to read about! :)