Saturday, 31 December 2011

Vampifan's Views 18 My Monthly Musings part 5

A Vampirella sketch by Joe Jusko, my favourite Vampi artist
It's New Year's Eve and that means it's time for my Monthly Musings, which this time, will also take in a look back at 2011 and look forward to 2012. For me, 2011 will be indelibly etched into my brain as the year my father died. R.I.P. dad. He was one my most ardent supporters of my blog and his praise and encouragement for what I do meant a lot to me.
On the hobby front, this has been a very good year for me. Robert/Cherno's incredibly generous gift to me (reviewed in my previous post) was the outstanding moment of 2011 for me.
A special mention must also go to one of my other followers, Joe, aka Zabadak, who contacted me in July to praise me for my blog. Since then we have become very close fiends and I really treasure Joe's friendship and enthusiasm for all things zombie. We're in contact with one another via e-mail almost every day. It's great to have someone like that to bounce ideas off. Hopefully, 2012 will see Joe starting his own gaming blog. I wish him all the best.
My figure buying has slowed down as I came to the realisation that I must paint more figures per month than what I buy in a month. Otherwise, my pile (mountain?) of unpainted figures is just going to grow and grow and grow. Fortunately, I have been able to maintain that balance and hope to keep it up in 2012. I won't stop buying figures - that would just be impossible to do, but I'll try to be more selective about what I buy. Incidentally, my horde of 28mm scale zombies currently stands at 611 painted figures and 111 unpainted figures. That gives me a horde of 722 zombies! 100 of the unpainted ones are from the Victory Force Mega Horde that I bought last year. I really must get them painted as soon as possible. That'll make a huge dent in my pile of unpainted figures. Two questions I'm often asked are "do you aim to collect 1,000 zombies?" and "if so, will you stop at 1,000?" The answers are, yes, I would love to collect 1,000 zombies. I plan on collecting them just as long as the figure companies make them. So, no, I wouldn't stop collecting when I reach 1,000. Be afraid, my friends, be very afraid!
I have recently painted 12 Recreational Conlict 28mm scale civilians and 8 Recreational Conflict survivors. Photos to follow soon. Currently on my desk are 12 Black Cat Bases 28mm scale African American Gangers (5 males, 5 females and 2 dogs); 4 more Recreational Conflict 28mm scale survivors and 2 Battle Bunker 28mm scale zombies.
Work on my WWG Mayhem City Police Station is progressing well. I recently finished furnishing another two rooms (the evidence locker room and a set of public toilets). I also added a ladder to the exterior to allow access to the rooftop helipad. I only have six rooms to furnish and four of them (the detectives' offices) are identical. I plan on furnishing those four offices next. The end is getting closer, I'm happy to say. I can't wait to get it finished now. It has been such a long drawn out project.
2011 will be noted for me purchasing lots of 28mm scale card buildings from companies other than WWG or Mel Ebbles (who has now shut up his shop to work for WWG). Dave's Models, Fat Dragon Games, Finger and Toe Models and Microtactix all produce some very nice contemporary models and hopefully, I'll be able to show you some of my new stuff next year as and when I make it. I haven't gone off WWG. Indeed, just before Christmas I bought all of their new Swift Scenics models. It's nice to have such a large library of models to chose from and to mix and match elements from the assorted companies. My enthusiasm for card modelling remains high. My number one priority for 2012 is to finish making my police station.
I'm still going to be limited to the number of ATZ scenarios I can play next year but when I do get the dining room to myself, I will be able to play on a larger board than in previous years. A full sized 6' by 4' gaming board is now a possibilty but I'll need to have a very special scenario planned before I go that big. I have two 4' by 3' wooden boards that I can lay on top of the table but I think that most times, I'll just use the one board. I have plans in my head for a new base for Team Vampifan. Making it is going to be the big sticking point for when they can move.
December has been a good month for reading zombie related books. I read two novels - Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry and Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux. I'm a big fan of Jonathan and I've enjoyed all of his books that I've read so far, but Dead of Night did not impress me at all. The back story to how the zombie virus came about and its effect on its victims left me underwhelmed. It was no more than average, in my opinion. However, Allison Hewitt is Trapped was so good that it warrants a post of its own. Look out for a full review early in 2012. Two non-fiction zombie books that I read this month were The Walking Dead Chronicles by Paul Ruditis and Zombie Science 1Z by Dr. Austin. The Walking Dead Chronicles takes a very detailed look at series one of the TV series and I found it a fascinating book. It's another book that warrants a full review and it'll probably be my first post of 2012. Zombie Science 1Z is a semi-humourous and semi-serious look at the science of zombies; how they are created, what they can do and how to deal with them. I'd have enjoyed it a lot more if it hadn't been so poorly proofread. The author should really know that "rogue" is not spelt "rouge." On one page that word is mis-spelt three times! I've mentioned before that I once studied proofreading and bad spelling and grammar stands out like a sore thumb to me whenever  I see it in a book. It's bad enough in a novel but in a book that purports to be a serious study of zombieism it's unforgivable.
I have just started reading Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, the final part of the Twilight series. At 700 pages long, it is a real door-stopper of a book. I'll let you know what I think of it at the end of January in my next Monthly Musings post. I haven't seen the new Breaking Dawn film and I'm not too bothered that I haven't, even though I've seen the other three films in the series. How I view the novel will determine whether I buy it on DVD or not.
On the blogging front, expect things to remain pretty much the same, i.e. more figure reviews, more book reviews and possibly film reviews, and of course, the one thing you seem to enjoy the most, more ATZ batreps. The next one should appear in March.
Well that's a wrap. I'd just like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year. Take care, folks!
PS. If you're interested in zombies and you haven't done so already, join the Board of the Living Dead forum, where you're guaranteed a warm welcome and some interesting discussions about everything to do with zombies. You can find it here 
Tell them Vampifan sent you!


  1. Happy New Year Vampifan. Long may you keep blogging and the Zombie Mob continues to grow. Looking forward to following you through 2012 and beyond.

  2. Thanks, Phil. I'll be closely following your own blog and watching to see what mischief you get up to in 2012.

  3. Hope you get a happy new year. It has been a pleasure to follow your blog, and your blog is the reason that I made a blog.

    It is your fault! Hehe...

  4. Guilty as charged, Johnny! I've certainly enjoyed reading your own blog and I shall continue to support you next year and for as long as you continue blogging. I'll continue to produce more of the same on my own blog. Bloggers of the world unite!

  5. Hey Big Guy I follow Lord Siwocs remarks, I blog 'cause of your amazing bateps. Your Dad will always support and follow you, but not in this room. Keep up the GREAT work. All the best for the New Year to you and your Mum. All the best and thanks for all you've done to enrich my life (seriously).

  6. Happy New Year to you Bryan.

    I'm Looking for to Vamipfan's and Big Sil's escapades in Mayhem City. I'm sure your 600+ Zombies will find plenty of space to roam on your 6 x 4 table.

    Perhaps re-enact the Battle of Yonkers as a one off.


  7. Happy new year, Vampifan. And thank you for your blog. You've been a massive inspiration and it's largely down to you that I'm working on a small-to-middling horde of zeds... even though (don't tell anyone this) I've never really been a big fan of zombies!

  8. @Irqan. Many thanks, my friend. Your kind words mean a lot to me. I feel very honoured that my blog has inspired you so much. Comments like yours make my blogging so worthwhile.

    @Simon. All the best to you too! Recreating the Battle for Yonkers but renaming it the Battle for Mayhem City is something very high on my wish list. I just need to build a few APCs and possibly some more Humvees and I'll be ready to go. I certainly would need a 6' by 4' board for that.. and as many zombies as possible!

    @Dr Vesuvius. Don't worry, your secret is safe with me. To be honest, I much prefer vampires to zombies but I just can't escape them.

  9. Happy New Year - I look forward to your posts in 2012.

    oh, and thanks for plugging the forum ;-)

  10. Happy New Year, Vampifan. I'm looking forward to more excellent reading and following.

  11. Yo man, Happy New Year! Its been fun reading and following your blog through out 2011, I look forward to reading what you have planned in 2012, stay safe for now.

  12. @Shelldrake. Hey, I want the forum to succeed and to grow just as much as you. It's a fun place to hang out.

    @Luckyjoe. Happy New Year to you, too, Joe. Keep up the good work throughout 2012.

    @The Extraordinarii. Thanks and the same to you. Keep up the good work on your own blog and happy gaming.

  13. Thank you for the kind words Bryan; like so many of your followers I blame you for my own Zombie madness.
    I do indeed intend to start a blog this year (your fault again), hopefully in the very near future, when the whole story of our blossoming friendship will be revealed, in all its sordid detail.

    Happy New Year to you !

  14. Sordid detail, Joe? LOL! That ought to pull in the punters! Anyway, on a more serious note, I really do appreciate having someone on the same wavelength as me, for whom I can bounce ideas off and reply in kind when you want help and advice.

    A very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to you.

  15. I love anything zombies. I spend a lot of my free time watching indie zombie films. I would love to be part of the zombie forums :)

  16. Welcome aboard, BragonDorn. If you love zombies you've come to the right place. As for forums click on the link at the bottom of this post and enrol with the Board of the Living Dead. That should satisfy all your zombie needs.

  17. Thanks so much for the awesome compliment!


  18. Joe, I have always admired your work, but especially your paintings of Vampirella. "Dark Wings of Destiny" is still my all-time favourite painting of Vampi. I really appreciate that you have found the time to leave a comment here. I'm going to be walking on Cloud Nine for the rest of this month!

    All the best to you for the new year!

  19. A credit to the blogging world sir as always, have a good one.....

  20. And all the very best to you too, Fran.

  21. Hey Bryan, I have to go along with the other comments - you inspired me to join the zombie madness and to create my own blog. I try not to think of it as a pale imitation of your own fine work, but as a homage to Vampifan the Great, king of zombie bloggers!

    I hope that this coming year brings only good things for you.

    And remember, if you don't have a mountain of unpainted lead then you are not a REAL wargamer, just a dabbling amateur ... at least that's what I try to convince myself!

  22. Happy new year Bryan. Like so many others, you are the inspiration that helped me take the leap into Zombie gaming.
    Your blog is the best, and a great starting point for so many. Thank you for all the effort you put into it.

  23. @Colin. It is so gratifying to hear that I helped to inspire so many others to start their own blogs. It has always been my philosophy to help others whenever I can and that will never change.

    As for the lead mountain, I suppose I should call it the lead and plastic mountain because I have far too many unpainted plastic figures as well. But then, I guess we all do, huh?

    @Adam. Happy New Year to you too, and thank you so much for the kind words. It has been my experience that zombie and post-apocalypse gamers are the friendliest bunch of people in our hobby.

  24. Happy New year Bryan. All the best for 2012.

    You truly are an inspiration. Thank you!

  25. Many thanks, Adam. I hope you have a very successful and profitable New Year with the Zombie Shop!