|Vampirella and Dracula by Dan Brereton
|Mars Attacks scenery items - so cool!
|Components from the Mars Attacks boxed set. Note that everything comes unpainted.
In most other months, this would be my big news story, but not this month. For the past six years my over-riding passion has been for zombie gaming. The vast majority of my hobby time has been spent collecting, making and painting figures and scenery to use in zombie apocalypse games. Some of you have asked me, do I not fancy a change? My stock answer has always been, no, I'm very happy concentrating on zombie gaming. I do have other interests that have tempted me away from zombie gaming. Judge Dredd and Wild West skirmish gaming immediately spring to mind. Something happened at the start of this month that has changed my life in a most unexpected fashion. I have indeed, diversified away from zombie gaming, but not in the way I could ever have envisaged. My new passion is for Super Dungeon Explore (hereafter to be referred as SDE) by Soda Pop Miniatures.
|Vampifan with Super Dungeon Explore and the Von Drakk Manor expansion set.
I have been a fan of fantasy gaming all of my adult life but in the 1990's I became disillusioned with the genre (Games Workshop had a LOT to do with my disillusionment) and so my interest in fantasy gaming has lain dormant. Gone but not forgotten. What brought about this seismic change in me was a conversation with my good friend, Steve Gilbert. I had introduced him to Zombicide, for which he was eternally grateful. He, in turn, introduced me to SDE. He suspected I might like it and he was right. I might have passed on the game if I hadn't seen the expansion sets for it. One in particular caught my attention - Von Drakk Manor. Vampires and undead - oh joy! - how could I resist?
This month I have fully immersed myself in painting the figures from the basic boxed set. It comes with fifty 28mm scale figures consisting of 9 Heroes, 1 Dragon (very impressive!), 2 Kobold Ogres (huge), 2 Dragon Wyrmlings, 2 Dragon Whelps, 4 Dragon Hatchlings (2 per base), 22 Kobolds, 2 Boo Booty Treasure Monsters, 5 Treasure Chests and 5 Spawning Point Models. The figures will appeal to some of you, whilst others will hate them. They are based on Japanese Chibi characters. Chibi is Japanese for a short or diminutive person but amongst anime fans it means a person with a small body and a large head. They also have big eyes and small mouths. If you prefer characters who look realistic then you will not like these figures. I don't mind the anime style and I actually have a few Manga films in my DVD collection, along with some Manga graphic novels. What I have discovered with these Chibi miniatures is that because the heads take up roughly half the size of the figure, I can put a lot more detail into painting them than on a normal realistically scaled 28mm scale figure.
For far too long I have resisted the urge to diversify but I now realise that was a mistake. I needed this change. Because I am doing something SO different to anything I have ever done in my life before, my enthusiasm for this project is sky high. I also think the paint jobs I'm doing are the best I have ever done. This has been like a breath of fresh air for me and I'm fully embracing it. But best of all, I am fully enjoying painting these new figures. Not that I wasn't enjoying painting zombies and survivors - far from it. What better reason can there be for collecting and painting figures because we like them?
SDE is different to anything I've done before. It harks back to the old days of Dungeons and Dragons but has been given a modern twist. It is a simple fight between good and evil but most of all, it is fun. The game is meant to be played with 2 to 6 players but I know it can be played solo just as well. I haven't played it yet because I hate playing any game with unpainted minis. I'm roughly two thirds of the way through painting the 50 figures from the basic set. Expect lots of SDE related reviews and posts in 2015.If you think my zombie gaming has come to an end, think again. I'm going to concentrate on SDE for the next couple of months but in the new year I will return to zombie gaming with a vengeance and with renewed enthusiasm. This is just a short break for me, albeit a most welcome and well earned break. After six years of painting hordes of zombies and survivors, I needed this break, so don't judge me too harshly.
Despite me saying I needed this break I haven't completely abandoned my zombie gaming. Remember I showed you some Stoelzel's SUVs I had recently made? I made one as a yellow SUV in honour of the heroes' vehicle from the film, Zombieland. Quite frankly, I was embarrassed by it. It was badly painted and fell far below my usual high standards. Well, I'm pleased to say it has had a major overhaul. I have converted it so it is now an almost exact copy of the Zombieland SUV. It has had a new paint job, which is much neater and it looks great! I'll post pics of it soon.