Monday 31 March 2014

Vampifan's Views 48 - Happy 5th Birthday

Oh. My. God! My blog is five years old. I almost missed my blog's birthday. I began this blog on 18th March 2009. I should have mentioned this in my last Monthly Musings post but for some reason I thought its birthday was in April. It is only when I checked the dates I realised my terrible blunder. So. a belated happy birthday to Vampifan's World of the Undead.
In the past five years I have received 9,033 comments, have gathered 373 followers and have received just short of half a million hits. This will be my 473rd post. The five most popular posts of all time are as follows -
My Zombie Horde part 1
30 Dec 2009, 11 comments, 5959 views

23 Oct 2011, 20 comment, 2175 views

2 Jun 2013, 137 comments, 2060 views

14 Oct 2012, 32 comments, 1541 views

11 Sep 2011, 23 comments, 1495 views
That my zombie horde post still remains the most popular does not surprise me. I really must get round to showing it again as it slowly approaches the 1,000 mark. The reason why the Foundry Yakuza Gangers post was so popular is that it coincided with my long stay in hospital last year and most people were checking it out for progress reports and to leave messages of sympathy.
It is not often (if ever) that I have posted twice in two days but I'm sure you'll agree, this is a special cause for celebration. I wanted to post this in March, the month when I began blogging.
If you were to ask me why I think my blog has been so successful I could list a number of reasons for its popularity. First up, is my unfaltering enthusiasm for all things undead. My enthusiasm for my blog is as high now as when I first started out. I have so many ideas for future posts that I can't ever see me stopping my blog.
Secondly, I post regularly. This ensures continuity and followers now expect to see my blog every Wednesday and every Sunday. Okay, so there was a horrible blip last year when I was away in hospital for four months, but even so, my brother still kept it going with updates on my progress.
Thirdly, I seem to have hit upon a  winning combination of reviews and battle reports. My batreps are always hugely popular and it saddens me that I can't do more as I have so many ideas and plans running around in my head. Being a miniature figure collector since the 1970's I have a vast collection of figures I can review. You've seen a lot of them but there are still many that remain unseen. This is great fodder for the future. Plus, I am always buying new figures despite my halfhearted efforts to cut down on figure purchases.
Fourthly, another source of great joy to me is my card modelling, which help to make my games come to life in a way I could never have imagined before my blogging days. Once I discovered the world of card-modelling there was no turning back.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, my blog succeeds because of its enthusiastic and faithful followers, many of whom have become very close friends of mine. Even if you have never left a comment, by viewing my blog, you have helped to make it the success it is today. I'd like to thank each and every one of my followers and casual viewers. Without your continued support, kindness and generosity this blog would have died at birth. I salute you all. God bless you!

Sunday 30 March 2014

Vampifan's Views 47 - Monthly Musings 28

Bomb Queen and friends having a sexy pillow fight. Oh boy!
I always start my Monthly Musings posts with an illustration of Vampirella. But this month. in recognition of the St, Trinian's Pillow Fight scenario I recently posted I give you this stunning piece of artwork by Jimmie Robinson, showing his most infamous and totally evil supervillain, Bomb Queen. Bomb Queen is the in the foreground wearing the visor and holding a pillow filled with various explosive devices. I imagine very few, if any, of you have even heard of Bomb Queen. Her comics are published by Image Shadowline and this particular picture appeared as a piece of bonus material in the Bomb Queen: Gang Bang graphic novel. This is how I imagine pillow fights should look like, which speaks volumes about my warped mind! I was going to open with a pillow fight scene that Bob/Irqan sent me (many thanks, Bob) but despite featuring scantily-clad young ladies, it just paled beside this illustration! I know that the St. Trinian's Pillow Fight scenario surprised all of you, and that was my intention. I had wanted to run it for ages now but just needed a good excuse to play the game. My St. Trinian's project was such an obvious choice as I'm sure it's something the girls would get up to. Future St. Trinian's scenarios should be more traditional skirmish war-gaming affairs... but you never know.
Currently on my painting table are 12 Gripping Beast 28mm civilian figures, which I bought recently following a recommendation from Hugh/Colgar6. He pointed out that the school master set of 4 figures included a suitable nurse I may be interested in. Having looked at her, she is very close to what I was after for my St. Trinian's school nurse, or Matron, as she is called. The other three, a teacher and two posh schoolboys, will come from a rival boys' school. The other two sets I got were the Squire and his family (wife, daughter and maid) and a sci-fi family (husband, wife, son and daughter). I have plans for all of them and I hope to review them before the end of April. I have made three more St. Trinian's schoolgirls by converting three of the Wargames Factory plastic female survivors. I made a first former with a tennis racket, Andrea the Emo with a hockey stick and Chloe the Posh Totty with some sticks of dynamite. The first former was simple conversion but the two older girls were much more complex conversions, involving a lot of work. A review will appear just as soon as I paint them.
I have another secret project on the go, that involves Team Vampifan but it is far too early to give away any more details. I'll tell you more about it in my next Monthly Musings.
I have only just started reading The Tale of the Vampire Bride by Rhiannon Frater, one of my favourite authors. The book is about 600 pages long and as soon as I finish it I'll be reading the first sequel, The Vengeance of the Vampire Bride. The second sequel, The Lament of the Vampire Bride is on my shopping list. These will keep me very happy for the rest of April.
I am still making my Stoelzel's Structures' Brummie's Burgers fast food restaurant. Work has slowed down on it because I am making lots of furniture items to add indoors, and they are always fiddly to make and time-consuming. Still, at least progress is being made.
Look out for some very cool figure reviews next month, including a two-parter on the best zombie apocalypse figures currently on the market. The best, you say? Who can they be by? Keep on reading!
Finally, today is Mothers' Day, so a big thank you from me to mums everywhere. God bless them!

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Project Zeke Miniatures 01

Simon Hunter, the sculptor and man behind Project Zeke Miniatures kindly sent me the first five figures that his new company had produced so that I could review them on my blog, and hopefully generate more sales for him. I promised him I'd do a review as soon as I finished them and last week I did finish painting them. So here they are.
 First up is William, a grizzled veteran Survivor. I liked the way that Simon had painted his version of William but decided not to copy it. Instead I opted for a more military look with a camouflage jacket and army style trousers. He carries a backpack, no doubt full of essential supplies and he is armed with a Bolt-Action Rifle with scope-sight and a makeshift bayonet, which is actually a kitchen knife taped to the gun barrel. I like that bayonet. I can well imagine it is just the sort of thing a post apocalypse survivor would do.
Next up is Young Eddie. This is a limited edition figure. Once he is sold out he will be replaced by Older Eddie, sporting a mustache. I have pretty much copied Simon's colour scheme for Young Eddie. He is armed with a street-sweeper automatic shotgun, a great weapon for taking out lots of zombies... just as long as he doesn't run out of ammo.
The next three figures are security guards for the Prosperity Corporation, hence their PC logos on their right shoulders. The Prosperity Corporation are the bad guys in the ATZ-FFO scenario, High Rise to Hell, a supplement I can highly recommend. There's not much I can say about these guys. Their colour scheme was a no-brainer. Black always works well for security guards dressed like this. They are all armed with Assault Rifles but I must admit that I do not recognise the design of them. They also have holstered pistols on their right hips. Their poses are very similar but I'm okay with that. Their faces are hidden behind balaclavas, to make them look more intimidating. They wear body armour, helmets and protective knee-pads and sturdy boots. I think these are a great set of figures and I hope Simon makes more of them. A leader type would be an obvious choice.
These figures are on the large size for 28mm scale figures. To counter this I stuck them to some of the flat plastic bases I got with the Studio Minis plastic male zombies, rather than on my normal circular slotta-bases. Young Eddie and William cost £2.50 each and the security guards costs £5.50 per set of three. Remember, if you order them before the end of March you get a 10% discount off the price of them. Oh, and one more thing, if you order them all, Simon throws in a set of four assorted backpacks for free. I haven't used mine yet but I'm sure I will.

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Pillow Fight at St. Trinian's 01

I have been promising you a St. Trinian's Schoolgirls' scenario for some time now. Well, it's time to deliver and here it is. This scenario is based on a simple set of rules (they are only two A4 sized pages long) called Pillow-a-go-go that I downloaded from the internet a few years ago. I never thought that I'd get to play it but once my St. Trinian's project took off, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to give this game a try. Note that in Pillow-a-go-go playing cards numbering ace to six are used in place of dice, a needless and unnecessary method of randomly generating numbers, in my opinion. I have opted for the tried and tested method of using six-sided dice.
The objective of the game is that whoever controls the Supra-King-Sized Bed at the end of the scenario is the winner. This is achieved by knocking your opponents off the bed. The bed measures 6" by 6" and movement on the bed is 3". Movement on the floor is 4" but that never came into play during this scenario. Combatants may make 1 move followed by 1 attack each turn. An attack must beat an opponent's defence score to succeed. If the scores are tied or the defender wins, the attack misses, is dodged or is absorbed. Combatants are forced off the bed by blows from their opponents. When a combatant is hit they are knocked back 1" directly away from their attacker. Any modifiers for Pillows, Special Attacks or Dirty Tricks that override  the basic rules takes precedence.
Combatants have three attributes;
Attack: the ability to deliver a blow to your enemy.
Defence: the ability to avoid or absorb blows.
Agility: the ability to move around the bed.
Each combatant has three points that may be allocated against any of their attributes however they wish.
Posh Totty (from top to bottom in the photo above and below)
April - Attack +0, Defence +2, Agility +1.
Chelsea - Attack +1, Defence +1, Agility +1.
Rachel - Attack +2, Defence +0, Agility +1.
First Formers (from top to bottom in the photo above and below)
Tania - Attack +2, Defence +1. Agility +0.
Tara - Attack +2, Defence +1, Agility +0.
Rosie - Attack +1, Defence +2, Agility +0
Each combatant randomly draws one Pillow token from a cup and places it beside their figure.
April drew a Deluxe Goose Down Pillow, granting her a +1 bonus to hit.
Chelsea drew Twin Pillows, granting her 2 attacks per turn.
Rachel drew a Standard Feather Pillow, offering no bonuses or penalties.
Tania drew a Standard Feather Pillow as well.
Tara drew a Big Bolster, which knocks opponents back 2" instead of 1".
Rosie also drew a Standard Feather Pillow.
To pick up a dropped pillow, the combatant forfeits either her movement or her attack (player's choice). They must be in base contact with the pillow. They then drop their own pillow and replace it with the new one.
TURN 1. Initiative - First Formers = 2, Posh Totty = 3.
Both sides roll 1d6 each to determine who moves first. In the event of a tie, re-roll until there is a clear winner. The first player activates one of their combatants, carrying out all movement and any other actions. Once that combatant's activation ends, activation moves to the next player in initiative order who then activates one of their combatants. This pattern continues until all players have had the opportunity to activate all of their combatants. When this occurs the turn has ended. Note that for all results shown, the First Formers' score comes first, followed by the Posh Totty score.
As leader of the Posh Totty tribe, Chelsea chose to activate first. She moved next to Tara, hoping to take out the most dangerous opponent of the First Formers. She launched a twin attack with her two pillows. The first attack was defended (5-3) but the second attack struck home (3-4). Poor little Tara was knocked 1" back and fell off the bed, dropping her Big Bolster Pillow as she fell. First blood to the Posh Totty and a major blow to the First Formers.
Tania forfeited her movement to pick up her twin sister's dropped Big Bolster. She dropped her own Standard Feather Pillow and whilst crouching down made a Dirty Tricks attack against Chelsea. She grabbed hold of Chelsea's favourite Kelly Brook designer panties and pulled them down around Chelsea's ankles (7-4). Chelsea's face turned red with embarrassment. From the sidelines the other first formers cheered. This tactic meant that Chelsea must forfeit her next movement to comport herself.
This outrage only served to anger April and she charged across the bed to attack Tania.
April swung her Deluxe Goose Down Pillow at Tania's head and scored an emphatic hit (2-7) that sent Tania cartwheeling off the bed to join her twin sister on the floor. Ouch!
Young Rosie skipped past Chelsea to deal vengeance upon April. First Formers rarely fight fair and so Rosie attempted another Dirty Trick - the Broken Nail ruse. Rosie squealed in mock pain and held out her left hand digit finger to April.
"I've broken a nail, " she sobbed.
She had to roll 1d6 and if the result was an odd number, the ruse would work, allowing her a free attack which must be defended against with a -2 penalty. However, if she rolled an even number, the ruse would fail, giving April a free attack against Rosie. Sadly, Rosie rolled a 2. However, it turned out okay in the end as April's attack tied with Rosie's defence (4-4).
Finally, Rachel charges at Rosie.
Rachel's +2 to attack is nullified by Rosie's +2 to defence, but even so, she still goes for it. Rachel wins (5-6) and the First Former is knocked back 1", placing her right on the edge of the bed. This ends Turn 1.
TURN 2. Initiative - First Formers = 5, Posh Totty = 2.
Rosie forfeits her movement to launch a Special Attack against April - a Round House blow. She suffers a -1 penalty to hit but if she succeeds, April will be knocked sideways 2" and off the bed. It is well worth the gamble, but alas, it doesn't pay off. April defends well (3-5) and it looks curtains for the First Formers.
Sure enough, April swats Rosie with contemptuous ease (winning 3-6) and the last of the First Formers goes crashing off the bed. In the end, it was a comfortable victory for the Posh Totty tribe.
That was such a lot of fun and made a pleasant change from battling zombies. When this game was first introduced I can remember some folk on such forums as The Miniatures' Page decrying it as sexist nonsense. However, some fathers praised it for being a child-friendly game that helped introduce their daughters to the overly masculine world of war-gaming. For my own part, I see it as a harmless piece of fun. It is quick to play and easy to learn. This game took just over an hour to play but would have been over much quicker if I wasn't taking photos of the action and making notes for my blog.
In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I want to play it again!
Pillow-a-go-go was originally published by Australian company, Fiendish Fabrications but has vanished from their webstore. Fortunately, I still have the game saved on my computer. I can send you the rules as a 3-page PDF if you want a copy, (just send me an e-mail) or if there is enough interest I'll rewrite the rules in the near future, with references to d6s instead of playing cards.
Finally, please note that I'll be taking a short break this coming weekend, so hopefully, I'll see you next Wednesday.

Sunday 16 March 2014

Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie

In my last Monthly Musings post I told you that I had been contacted by horror author Craig DiLouie to review his new vampire novel Suffer the Children. I finished reading it last week and now I am able to give it a full review. But first, what is it about? Here's Craig's description of the novel -
One day, the children die. Three days later, they come back.
And ask for blood.
With blood, they stop being dead. They become the children they once were.
But only for a short time.
Too soon, they die again. And need more blood to live ...
The average body holds ten pints of blood.
How far would you go for someone you love?

This is essentially a vampire novel, but it is a vampire novel unlike any other I have ever read. I normally prefer my vampire novels to feature strong, sexy female vampires, like Vampirella, Selene, Durham Red, Sonja Blue or Amaliya Vezorak. This could have made me an unsuitable critic to review a book like this, that is so far removed from my normal comfort zone. But here's the rub. Good fiction is good fiction irrespective of the genre and this is extremely well written. Despite the fact that I prefer more action-packed yarns, I can still appreciate a good cerebral thriller. It's not all blood and guts and action with me! This is a novel that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. It involves a small group of people, all related to each other, either through family ties or more often than not because they are friends and neighbours. Some have children of their own, some like the doctor and nurse do not, but because of their profession they are closely tied to those families with children. The decisions that all must take during the event known as the Herod Syndrome has deep and lasting effects on them all. As Craig rightly asks, how far would you, as a parent, go to keep your child alive? This is the core concept of the novel. I have no intention of giving away the ending but the deeper I got into the novel, the more I kept thinking that it couldn't possibly have a happy ending. If you want to find out if I was right, then I can highly recommend you read this outstanding novel. Sorry, no clues or spoilers from me about the ending.
Author Craig DiLouie - a friend & a good bloke
Craig (that's him to the right of here) supplied me with a number of quotes from a few notable horror authors who have also read this novel -
"Not for the faint of heart." -Jonathan Maberry, author, Extinction Machine
"A stark, brutal and chilling vision of the end of days." -David Moody, author, Hater
"It will shake you to the core." -Joe McKinney, author, The Savage Dead
"Tense enough so that you can almost hear the clock ticking." -Jack Ketchum, author, The Girl Next Door
"The most disturbing book I've ever read." -Peter Clines, author, Ex-Heroes
"Chilling, compelling and convincing." -John Dixon, author, Phoenix Island
"A relentless burn of a novel." -Jason Bovberg, author, Under the Skin
"Rips out your heart and leaves you hanging on every word." -Jackie Druga, author, The Flu
"Brutal, painfully realistic and absolutely horrifying." -Eloise J. Knapp, author, The Undead Situation
"Will haunt you long after you finish reading." -Gareth Wood, author, Rise.

I can vouch for their reviews as I agree with every one of their comments. If you are of the opinion that vampire novels are not for you, this just might make you be think again. Forget all you think you know about vampires. This is a vampire tale for grown-ups but aware, it is not for the fainthearted. Even though it is not very graphic, it is, unquestionably, horrific and I have no hesitation in giving it a 9 out of 10 review.  The book is not available yet, but will be published as a joint venture between Simon and Schuster and Permuted Press on May 20, 2014. The novel will be published in trade paperback, popular eBook and audiobook formats.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Assorted St. Trinian's Staff 02

Following on from my last post where I introduced the first of the staff members of St. Trinian's Girls School here are another four staff members - the school secretary and three teachers, although one of them is not what she appears to be. Curious? Then read on.
 First up is Beverly Whittaker, the school secretary, a ditzy blonde, played by Jodie Whittaker in St. Trinian's and St. Trinian's 2. Beverly is not the sharpest tool in the box. She spends most of her time listening to pop music on her iPod. She seems to have a large stash of dodgy drugs - uppers and downers, or red pills and blue pills, which she'll happily dole out to anyone she thinks deserves one, like for example, Stephen Fry in St. Trinian's. Beverly is a 28mm scale civilian figure from Turnkey Miniatures, where she is known as Teen Girl on Cell Phone (price $1.89). If you were wondering what she's holding in her left hand it is of course, a cell phone.
Next in line is Miss Dickinson, the English teacher as played by Lena Headey. It is Miss Dickinson who persuades the school to enter the TV quiz show School Challenge competition, thus gaining them entry to the National Gallery, providing they reach the final which, of course, they do. She is yet another woman talking on her mobile phone. She carries her briefcase in her other hand. This figure came from Black Cat Bases civilian and townsfolk range and is Female Civilian (price £2.00). I added Milliput to her hair to make it longer.
The third figure in line is not a real teacher but is actually an undercover police woman on assignment to gather evidence of wrongdoing at St. Trinian's. She is, of course, WPC Ruby Gates, as played by Joyce Grenfell to great effect in the first three St. Trinian's films. This is a more up to date version of Ruby and is my vision of her as a 21st century character as opposed to a 1950's woman. Perhaps this is the original Ruby's grand-daughter. This figure is another Turnkey Miniatures civilian and is their Business Woman on Cell Phone (price $1.89). I liked the figure but I had no idea what to do with her until I remembered a comment by Clint, who said I must include a figure of WPC Ruby Gates in my collection. Okay, so she doesn't look too much like Joyce Grenfell (see photo below) but instead she is a re-imagining of a popular old school character. Once again, the figure is posed talking on her mobile phone. She also carries a small handbag. My thanks go to Clint for his most excellent suggestion. Do you have any ideas for which subject Ruby should teach? I'm thinking computer studies.
Finally, we come to the sultry Miss Maupassant, the foreign languages teacher as played by Caterina Murino in St. Trinian's. Finding a suitable figure for her proved surprisingly easy. I remembered that Black Cat Bases made a figure of Miss Scarlet (price £3.00), one of the suspects from the popular board-game Cluedo, or if you live in America, Clue. She was just perfect. The figure comes with a choice of six right hands, all holding one of the six weapons featured in the board-game - dagger, iron pipe, revolver, rope, spanner and torch. I decided a dagger would best suit her and so she hides it behind her back. In her other hand she holds a cigarette in a cigarette holder, which just adds to her elegant poise.
I leave with photos of the four characters as they appeared on screen. There is more to come for this project, but not for a while yet. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten the St. Trinian's scenario I promised you all. It will appear soon.
Beverly Whittaker, the school secretary and archetypal blonde airhead. "Would you like an upper or a downer, love?" She speaks with a broad Yorkshire accent.
Miss Dickinson the English teacher arrives at St. Trinian's on her first day, full of enthusiasm and bright ideas. She's in for a rude awakening once she steps inside!
WPC Ruby Gates, or Gatesy as she is often referred to, in civilian clothing. A rare early photo of her in colour. I do have a suitable figure of her in her police uniform but you'll see her in a future post. (Sorry, Clint, you're just going to have to wait a bit longer.)
Miss Maupassant the sexy foreign languages teacher teaching French to her attentive class. If my French teacher looked like her I'm sure I'd have taken more attention in class. Yes, I flunked my French "O" level.

Sunday 9 March 2014

Assorted St. Trinian's Staff 01

Up until now I have been building up a large collection of St. Trinian's schoolgirls, which currently stands at 23 with more on the way. But as we all know, a school cannot run without any staff. So last month I rectified that problem as I actively sought out suitable figures to use as staff members. Once again, I am mainly concentrating on the two most recent St. Trinian's films, with one notable exception - the character of Flash Harry. In St. Trinian's Flash Harry was played by Russell Brand, a person whose face I could never tire of hitting with a baseball bat! He was easily the worst character in the film. No, for me, there can only ever be one Flash Harry and that is George Cole's version from the first four films. On this occasion, old school is better than new school.
At the far left of my two photos is undoubtedly the most important staff member, Camilla Fritton the headmistress. In the first and second St. Trinian's films (The Belles of St. Trinian's and Blue Murder at St. Trinian's), headmistress, Millicent Fritton (a relative of Camilla) was played by Alistair Sim, a male actor. For the two more recent films, the producers kept this concept alive and chose Rupert Everett to play Camilla, and yes, she does look remarkably like her namesake, Camilla, wife of Prince Charles. After much Internet searching I found the perfect figure to represent Camilla Fritton. She is Black Cat Bases old fashioned sleuth, Agatha Rutherford. What I particularly liked about this figure is that she came with a choice of four items in her right hand. The one that best suited Camilla was the umbrella. The other three items were a knife, a pistol and a torch. What I love about this character is that she is totally loyal to her girls and supports them 100%. For example, in St. Trinian's, when the girls are discussing how best to blow up the sewer gates beneath the National Gallery, it is Camilla who suggests the best type of explosives to use. Every headmistress should be like Camilla!
I mentioned Flash Harry above in my introduction and this is my version of Harry Edwards, a spiv and one of the few adults trusted by the schoolgirls. This figure is one of the Turnkey Miniature's civilians - Teenage Thief. I had to lose his long hair and I added the trilby hat to him, which totally transformed him into the lovable rogue, Flash Harry. I wish he'd been a bit taller but even so, I think he's a good find. You're probably asking what's he got in his inside coat pocket? It could be a set of tools or it could be a silver cutlery set. Who knows?
At the far right of this group is Miss Cleaver the sports teacher, as played by Fenella Woolgar in St. Trinian's. Miss Cleaver is a gung-ho teacher with a very aggressive manner. She is based on one of the Wargames Factory plastic female survivors and this was the first time I had made one of these remarkably versatile figures. The head was the female head wearing a stetson but I cut off the sides and back of the hat and filled in the top with Milliput to make a baseball cap. I also lengthened and bulked out her hair with Milliput. The arms came from the plastic male survivors set as I wanted her armed with a baseball bat and an Uzi Sub-Machine Gun. Yes, she does use an Uzi. In the St. Trinian's film she is seen in one scene teaching a fourth form class anger management skills as she blasts away at full auto from her Uzi at a row of plastic ducks. Miss Cleaver would probably be more at home teaching army recruits. Somehow I don't think that a zombie apocalypse will faze her.
Agatha Rutherford can be found in the Cthulhu Investigators section of BCB's webstore and she costs £3.00. Be aware that BCB are being incredibly slow in dispatching orders. I placed an order with them over a month ago and I'm still waiting for it to arrive. TKM's Teenage Thief costs just $1.89, and even though TKM are an American-based company they were very quick to send out my order.
As part of my new improved service, I leave with photos of the three characters featured in this review. Next time I'll review more staff members.
 Headmistress Camilla Fritton, played to perfection by Rupert Everett.
The original and still the best, Flash Harry. The unforgettable and much missed George Cole.
Miss Cleaver, with baseball bat, shouts instructions to her hockey team from the sidelines.

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Assorted St. Trinian's Schoolgirls 02

My work on my St. Trinian's project continues at a brisk pace and I have another four 28mm schoolgirls to show. The first two are named characters from the two most recent St. Trinian's films and the second pair are characters I have invented.
Regarding the figure at the far left, if you are thinking "hang on, I've seen her before," you'd be absolutely right. She is new girl, Annabelle Fritton from St. Trinian's and the head girl in St. Trinian's 2. Annabelle was played by the gorgeous Tallulah Riley. This particular figure was a sculpt from Copplestone Castings Future Wars set FW46 Corporate Babes 2 and I reviewed her not so long ago. She was originally armed with a katana and she wore white socks. The idea of Annabelle with a katana just didn't sit right with me. It looked uber-cool but it was not in keeping with her character. In St. Trinian's, it was revealed that Annabelle was an excellent hockey player. So, I cut off her katana, drilled a hole in her right hand and inserted one of my Hasslefree hockey sticks. I also wasn't happy with her white socks. They had to go. I filed them down, which wasn't very easy and I painted on a lovely pair of stockings held up by a suspender belt. Now she looked perfect. This is a much more accurate representation of Annabelle and I'm delighted at how well she's turned out. If you check out the two photos of Annabelle below you can see I've missed out her waistcoat but that's no big deal in my opinion.
Next to Annabelle is Roxy as played by singer Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud. The group appeared at  the close of St. Trinian's but in St. Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold, Sarah got an acting part as a young rock star who enrolls at St. T's. I'd have liked to have seen more of her character in the film as I felt she was underused. I'm afraid my mind has gone blank when it comes to identifying who made this figure. I bought her ages ago as a Goth Girl. When I was searching through my collection of Goth Girls for suitable Emos to use with my St. T's girls I was struck by just how similar this figure resembled Roxy, With a few additions like her tie and waistcoat and a new paintjob she is a very close match to Roxy. Check out my photo of Roxy below and see for yourself.
I needed someone to represent the Emo tribe of girls. By the way, don't mistake them for Goths. They may look alike but they are Emos. I'm still looking for an Andrea from St. Trinian's and a Zoe from St. Trinian's 2. This figure is Emily De'ath, available from Turnkey Miniatures. She was originally from the Mega Miniatures range of civilians but when they folded, TKM acquired a lot of their moulds. I'm glad these figures are still being produced. Emily is dressed all in black with leather jacket, T-shirt, combat pants and boots. Her hair is in a Mohican cut, coloured red and black.
Finally is a first former called Rosie Langston and she is produced by Black Cat Bases, where you'll find her amongst their civilian and townsfolk figures. She is using her school tie as a belt and is nicely posed running with arms in the air. In her right hand she holds a silver ball. It could be a stink bomb, or a metal ball or heaven forbid, an actual hand grenade!
Emily is called Girl Punk on the TKM webstore and she costs $1.89. Rosie is known as Floating Girl on the BCB webstore and she costs £1.50. 
I leave with four more of my St. Trinian's photos so that you may compare my figure conversions with the actual actresses in their roles.
Annabelle Fritton with her hockey stick - sexy and dangerous! What a combination.

Annabelle in black stockings and suspender belt - drool! Be still my beating heart. My all time favourite St. Trinian's girl. She is stunningly beautiful.
Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud as Roxy. Since when did schoolgirls wear black leather hot pants? Not that I'm complaining! You don't see many women wearing hot pants these days.
Hubba, hubba, hubba, a spanking I will go! Note the packet of cigarettes in her back pocket if you can tear your eyes away from that peachy arse. Oh, and that's Annabelle she's standing next to.

Sunday 2 March 2014

Hasslefree Miniatures St. Trinian's Schoolgirls 01

It seems such a long time since I last reviewed any Hasslefree Miniatures 28mm scale figures. I recently sent away to them for four of their young ladies to convert into named characters from the 2007 film - St. Trinian's. This is my favourite St. Trinian's film and I'm striving to make as many named girls from the film as I can.
At the far left is Chelsea Parker, the head of the Posh Totty tribe. Chelsea was played by Tamsin Egerton in both St. Trinian's and St. Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold. This figure is a conversion of HFH029  Beach Babe Libby, who wore nothing but a very skimpy bikini and her hat. I had to do a lot of converting to get her to look like this. It seemed such a shame to cover up such a perfect body but it had to be done. I sculpted her dress, blouse and tie out of Milliput and I made her hair longer and curlier. This pose is perfect for Chelsea. At first, I was going to add a hockey stick to Chelsea's left hand but upon reflection it seemed inappropriate for her to have one. She was never a member of the school hockey team and was not noted for being a combatant. She used her sex appeal to get her way and this figure just oozes sex appeal.
Next in line is Taylor the Chav as played by Kathryn Drysdale in the St. Trinian's film. She did not appear in the sequel. Taylor was not given a surname so I used the actress's surname and called her Taylor Drysdale. Taylor, along with Andrea the Emo and Kelly the head girl were the trio who stole The Girl With A Pearl Earring painting from the National Gallery in London. This figure was an easy conversion. She is based on the figure of HFA025 Suzi (b) with a katana and I simply replaced her katana with a hockey stick. Hasslefree sell a sprue of five hockey sticks (HFL007) which I ordered at the same time as these girls.
The two characters I most wanted in my collection were Tania and Tara, the terrible first form twins played by real life twins Cloe and Holly Mackie. These two are evil! They are keen demolition experts and very good drivers. In St. Trinian's they drive the school bus to London when the girls visit the National Gallery and at the start of St. Trinian's 2 they are seen driving a classic Mini Cooper whilst being pursued by the police! The twins were converted from the ubiquitous HFA030 Alyx, which is available in three versions. For Tania I gave her the left arm holding the teddy bear but I cut off the bear. It looks like she is holding a hockey ball, which works well for me. I remade her right arm and added the hockey stick so that it was resting on her shoulder. For Tara I gave her the right arm with index and pinkie fingers pointing up. Her left arm was the one holding the baseball bat, which I cut off and replaced with a hockey stick. Note that Tania has purple bootlaces and Tara has red bootlaces. They are probably a tad too tall for their age, but I'm not too bothered about that as they are fantastic sculpts. Once again, I used the actresses surnames for the characters, so they are now called Tania Mackie and Tara Mackie.
I thoroughly enjoyed making these conversions. I thought I'd end with a few photos of these four girls from the films. I'm building up a large folder of photos related to St. Trinian's for research purposes.
Chelsea Parker leads her Posh Totty cohorts, Peaches (left) and Chloe (right) on a trip to London's National Gallery. She's so sexy!
Taylor, the head of the Chav tribe of girls at St. Trinian's. Don't mess with her - she's got a lot of attitude!
This is a great photo of Tania and Tara that helped me immensely with my conversions. Note the different coloured shoelaces!
Tania and Tara again. Just look at them. You'd think butter wouldn't melt in their mouths. How cute and innocent they look. I love this photo!