Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Vampifans Views 112 - Monthly Musings 82

Halloween greetings to you all. I start with yet another beautiful Vampirella painting by the talented Sanjulian, whom I've been featuring all of this year. It is unusual to see Vampi wearing robes but I do like her look.

So what have I been up to this past month? For the first time ever I entered the Zomtober challenge and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Initially, I decided to paint the 38 figures from the top layer of the Mantic Games Kickstarter wave 1 boxed set of The Walking Dead. Having completed that task in just three weeks I then decided to carry on and finish painting all of the figures from wave 1, which included 8 more zombie figures in the above boxed set, booster packs featuring, Rick on horseback, Morgan and his son Duane, more zombies and the 6 figures from the Prelude to Woodbury starter set, which consisted of Brian "The Governor" Blake and 5 more zombies. I know I should be calling the zombies, "walkers" when referring to The Walking Dead but I much prefer to call them zombies. So far, I have shown 34 of the 38 figures I've finished painting so far. The remaining four will be featured in my next post, followed by all the rest of the wave 1 figures. Zomtober morphs into Zomvember! I'm having so much fun painting these figures that I want to carry on. I have all of the wave 2, 3, 4 and 5 figures and I have pre-ordered the Here's Negan stand alone boxed game, which goes on sale on 19th of November. Just to prove that I have painted all of the figures from the top layer of the Kickstarter wave 1 boxed set, here's a photo of them all. Impressive, huh?
In other news, the Judge Dredd and the Worlds of 2000AD Kickstarter came to a close a few days ago and was phenomenally successful. 2,004 backers pledged £148,802 of the £7,500 needed to fund it. Within a few hours of the project closing I had received PDF copies of the rulebook, The Robot Wars supplement, the Games Master's screen and the counter tokens to use in place of miniature figures. Physical copies of these products are due to be shipped in January 2019, which isn't too long to wait. I'll do a full review of them after I receive them. I must admit that after browsing through the PDFs I am extremely impressed by the high quality and production values of these items. I have read the character generation rules for creating Judges and I have just finished designing my own character record sheet to use for the many Judges, Perps and Citizens I'll be creating. This was based on my own designs for my N.E.W. and N.O.W. character record sheets with just a bit of tweaking. I am in the process of transferring the stats of the four pre-generated Judges found at the back of the rulebook to my CRS's. Then I'll start work on creating my own Judge characters to use in the campaign that I'll start playing early next year.
EN Publishing have announced plans for some of the next products that will be appearing from this range next year. These include two supplements for Judge Dredd - Luna-1 and The Cursed Earth. Rogue Trooper and Strontium Dogs will be the next two rulebooks but note that these will only cover the characters, careers, equipment and settings for these stories. For the basic gameplay rules you will need the Judge Dredd and the Worlds of 2000AD rulebook. Morrus, the head honcho of EN Publishing, has announced that he already has a full manuscript for one more product and is half way through another, both of which should be released in 2019, so exciting times!
Comparing this version of the Judge Dredd role-playing game to others from the past I can definitely say that it beats all others hands down. It is just a brilliant product and I am mega excited about getting back to playing Judge Dredd again.

For my WOIN blog, I have been busy painting more sci-fi figures and I have increased my cast of St. Trinian's staff and schoolgirls. I am still working on creating Character Record Sheets for them all - there are about 40 in total, so it's a big cast and each one is unique. I have also been painting scenery items and furniture to use in my next The Ace of Spades Campaign scenario and my first St. Trinian's Campaign scenario, which will be my first game using the N.O.W. rules.

It's Halloween night tonight and I love Halloween. I'm stocked up on treats for the kids and I'm looking forward to seeing their costumes. Last year I had 15 trick or treaters and they all put a lot of effort into their costumes. I'm hoping this year will be just as good. Happy Halloween everyone.
The trick or treater I most want to meet tonight! It looks like she's trying to smuggle a couple of pumpkins out under her dress!

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Zomtober 2018 part 5 - The Walking Dead Survivors

Here are another seven assorted survivors and gangers from the wave 1 boxed set of The Walking Dead skirmish game by Mantic Games. As usual, these are hard plastic 32mm scale figures.
 I start off with the Harrison sisters, Amy and Andrea at the far left. These were part of the group of Atlanta survivors that Lori and Carl Grimes joined when the zombie apocalypse kicked off. Amy, who is unarmed, did not survive long as she got bitten by a zombie that was part of a horde that attacked their camp. Andrea had to kill her once Amy reanimated as a zombie.
Andrea then went on to be a superb sniper and was one of the longest lasting survivors in the comic series. Inexplicably, she was killed off at the end of series 3 of the TV series, a decision that rankled a lot of fans, including me. This pose of Andrea has her firing a 9mm pistol, which she sensibly holds in a two-handed grip. I should mention that Andrea is my favourite character in the comic series.
Two more of the Atlanta group of survivors are Carol Peletier and her daughter, Sophia. In the comic series, Carol becomes increasingly unstable and eventually commits suicide. However, in the TV series, she becomes a hardened survivor and to date, she is still going strong. She is shown here armed with a knife.
As for Sophia, she would appear to have victim written all over her. She becomes close friends with Rick's son, Carl, and in the comic series, when Carol dies, she is looked after by Maggie and Glenn. She is the longest surviving female member of the comic series. In the TV series, Sophia gets separated from the rest of the group in series 2 and is killed by a wandering zombie. Note that Mantic's game is based on the comic series, not the TV series, so the events portrayed within them should be regarded as canon.
Moving on, at the far left is Deputy Sheriff Shane Walsh, who was the partner of Rick Grimes, before Rick was shot and hospitalised. Believing Rick to be dead, Shane and Lori begin a romantic relationship, resulting in Lori becoming pregnant. When Rick showed up, there was much friction between the two cops and when Shane attempted to murder Rick it was Rick who prevailed and he killed the psychotic Shane. The figure of Shane is armed with a 9mm pistol.
Finally are a pair of gangers who are part of the crew led by Derek, whom I showed in a previous post. Mantic Games have called them Craig and Reggie respectively, but I added their surnames. Craig Gehring is a thug armed with a knife, not the best weapon to use when fighting zombies but better than nothing.
Reggie Sobel is much better armed, carrying a pump-action shotgun, making him, by far, the most dangerous member of Derek's gang.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Zomtober 2018 part 4 - The Walking Dead Zombies

Here are another eight 32mm scale zombie figures from the wave 1 boxed starter set of The Walking Dead by Mantic Games that I painted up for the Zomtober 2018 challenge.
First up is the zombie crawler that Rick Grimes encountered in episode #1 of series #1 of the TV series. This zombie has been ripped in half and has lost the flesh from the left half of his body.
Next in line is the zombie version of Deputy Sheriff Shane Walsh, the former partner of Rick Grimes. The two had a major falling out which resulted in Rick killing Shane by stabbing him in the stomach. When Shane came back to life as a zombie, Carl Grimes shot him in the head, finally laying him to rest. Shane was a major arsehole and deserved to die.
The third zombie in line closely resembles Reggie, one of the gangers from Atlanta. I don't know if this was intentional or not by Mantic Games, but I painted him in the same colour scheme as Reggie, whom I'll show in my next post. Zombie Reggie has a massive stomach wound from which his intestines are spilling out.
Last in line is a female zombie who has fed recently as her hands and chin are coated in fresh blood. Tamiya Clear Red is the perfect paint for fresh blood.
At the far left of this next group is a former business woman wearing a two-piece suit and shirt. She has suffered numerous cuts and bullet wounds.
The guy standing next to her has long dreadlocks, so I painted his skin tones darker to suggest he was from Jamaica, where Rastafarianism is popular. I didn't want him to have a plain coloured T-shirt, so I painted the Smiley face on it, which I copied from a photo I'd seen. His left arm has been torn off and his right foot is only just attached to his leg by a few slivers of flesh and muscle.
The male zombie, second from the right has been shot in the right side of his chest and the bullet has left a huge exit wound in the centre of his back.
Finally is an elderly gentleman who has been shot repeatedly in the body and legs.
I had so much fun painting these and I'm pleased to announce that I completed my mission to paint all of the figures from the top tray of the starter boxed set of The Walking Dead. That's 38 figures painted in just over three weeks! I'm very pleased with that result. I'll show the rest of the figures in my next few posts.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Zomtober 2018 part 3 - The Grimes Family

For week 3 of the Zomtober 2018 challenge I present the heroes of The Walking Dead stories in both the comics and the TV series - the Grimes family. Here are three more 32mm scale survivor figures from The Walking Dead skirmish game wave 1 starter boxed set, produced by Mantic Games.
At the far left is Rick Grimes, a deputy sheriff who, at the start of the story, is shot whilst attempting to arrest a fleeing criminal. He wakes up from a coma to find a world very different to what he remembered. The zombie apocalypse has begun and nothing will ever be the same again. He seeks out his wife and son and finds them with a group  of other survivors on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. His figure is armed with a hand axe and a police issue 9mm pistol. He can be used as either a Marksman or a Tactician in the game and he is the leader of any group he is in.
In the centre of the group is Rick's wife, Lori, who was forced to flee when the zombie outbreak began, believing her husband to be lost or dead. Lori is not armed and is classed as a Support member of any group she is in.
At the far right is Rick and Lori's son, Carl. Although his figure is shown armed with a 9mm pistol, he is also classed as a Support member of his group.
As the story progressed new figures for Rick, Lori and Carl were introduced but these are the three figures starting players of the game will use the most, especially Rick. As with all of this range, they are superbly well sculpted, full of detail and an absolute joy to paint.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Ral Partha Lakota Sioux

The Sioux are groups of Native American tribes and First Nations peoples in North America. The term can refer to any group within the Great Sioux Nation or to any of the nation's many language dialects. The Sioux comprise three major divisions based on language divisions - the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota. The Dakota reside in the extreme east of the Dakotas, Minnesota and northern Iowa. The Nakota are considered to be the middle Sioux and they mainly reside in Minnesota, Montana as well as Western Canada. The Lakota, also known as the Teton Sioux, are the westernmost tribe, and are known for their hunting and warrior culture. In any of the three main dialects, Lakota or Dakota translates to mean "friend" or "ally", referring to the alliance that once bound the Great Sioux Nation.
The Lakota Sioux took part in numerous wars including Red Cloud's War (1866-68), the Great Sioux War of 1876, which included amongst others, the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.
I have slowly been building up a collection of Plains Indians from numerous companies but the four 28mm scale figures I'm showcasing here were bought many years ago in the 1990's and were actually created for the near future Shadowrun game. That said, they are sculpted in such a way that they fit in perfectly in an Old West setting of the late 19th century.
At the far left is White Eagle, a Lakota tribal chief, who is wearing a buffalo skin head dress and cloak. He is armed with a coup stick and a knife. He is Jackson Ryder's adoptive father. He is a quiet, thoughtful man with a stoic exterior, although in recent years he has become more relaxed. He became leader early in his life, and now, not even 50, he has led the band for more than 15 years. Although a fine warrior and hunter, he is anticipating the toll that age will take on him and has been looking for a worthy successor. Against all the odds, he believes he has found one in his adoptive son, Splits Arrow. He worries that because he is white, the tribe will not accept Jackson as chief.
Next up, is Jackson Ryder, aka Splits Arrow, a white man who was raised by White Eagle when Jackson was orphaned as a child. Ryder is a character from GURPS Robin Hood, who is a reincarnation of Robin. In this supplement you can play Robin Hood in one of five alternative settings - 17th century Scotland, the Old West, a contemporary setting with superheroes, a cyberpunk world and a far future sci-fi setting, as well as the traditional Sherwood Forest setting. Jackson is now fully integrated into his adoptive tribe and regards them as his family. His skill at bow and arrow is legendary. He is also armed with a knife and a tomahawk. His efforts on the part of the Lakota have earned him a great reputation among the Sioux, whilst his reputation among whites as a renegade has grown; there is talk of hanging him as soon as he is captured.
Jackson's closest friend in the tribe is Lone Tree on the Plains. In the supplement, he was a male ally but I decided to change his sex, to match that of the figure. She is the daughter of White Eagle and is glad that her father is grooming Splits Arrow to take over the leadership of the tribe. She views Jackson as a brother and the two work well together. She is armed with a bow, arrows, knife and tomahawk.
Finally is Looks at Fire, the tribe's medicine man and shaman. He is respected and honoured for his wisdom and experience, and is consulted on every important matter undertaken by the band or a member. His love of children extended to the young Jackson, whose interest in tribal lore and ceremony Looks at Fire encouraged. Note that his figure was produced by Grenadier Miniatures, as part of their own Shadowrun range.
These are four superb sculpts and they fit in so perfectly with the GURPS Robin Hood characters that I had to use them as such. I do have plans for using them in a Six Gun Sound setting, so that is something to look out for.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Zomtober 2018 part 2 - The Walking Dead Survivors

In the Zomtober challenge you must paint at least one zombie or survivor figure per week. I have already shown eight zombies in my first post. Now I turn my attention to the survivors. These figures are all from the wave 1 boxed set of The Walking Dead skirmish game by Mantic Games. There are two very different groups here. First up are four of the Atlanta survivors who Rick Grimes teams up with when he goes searching for his wife and son. The second group are a gang of miscreants who are opposed to them. Most of these are only known by their first names in the comics and game but I have given all of them full names for use in my own games.
First up at the far left is Allen Lomax, who is a bruiser. His figure is armed with a bolt-action rifle.
Dale Horvath is the lookout and marksman of the Atlanta group. He is armed with a sniper rifle with fitted scope-sight.
Second from the right is Donna Bell, an unarmed support member of the group.
Finally, is Jim Rothenburg, another support member and a mechanic. He is armed with a 9mm pistol.
Leader of the gangers is Derek Prescott, who is classed as a tactician and a heartless mercenary. This brutal skinhead is armed with a 9mm pistol.
Next in line is Patrick Singleton, a bruiser armed with a baseball bat.
The weak link of the gang is Liam White, who is an unarmed support member.
Last of all is Sandra Vega, who is the gang's runner and she is armed with a knife.
These hard plastic figures are incredibly well sculpted, full of character and an absolute joy to paint. By the way, this weekend is the 15th anniversary of the launch of The Walking Dead comic, and to mark the occasion, Mantic Games have a 15% discount offer on all of their The Walking Dead products. I made use of it by placing an order for the Greene family farm scenery set and the prone bodies set. The barn, fences and hay bales that come with the farm set will also work well for my Wild West games and dead bodies are always useful.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Zomtober 2018 part 1 - The Walking Dead Zombies

This post is a bit late but that's only to be expected when I'm painting two batches of 20 figures this month for the annual Zomtober challenge. I've just finished painting the first batch and am about to start the second, so I'm way ahead of schedule. I am working on getting all of the figures completed from the Kickstarter wave 1 box of Mantic Games' The Walking Dead skirmish game. What better a way to start than with a bunch of zombies? It has been such a long time since I have painted any contemporary zombie figures, so it was nice to return to them as I always enjoy painting them.
At the far left is a severely wounded old man. His chest bears a pair of large cuts forming a cross and his stomach has been ripped open.
Next to him is a young punk with a Mohican haircut. He sports numerous cuts and wounds.
Second from the right is a young female whose left arm has been bitten off or ripped off.
At the far left is a police patrol-woman who has been shot, stabbed and bitten. The blood on her hands is still fresh, so most likely came from a victim she has recently fed upon.
In this next batch is a young man in a baseball cap who has lost his left arm just above the elbow. There is also a gaping hole in his stomach. The zombies fed well on him!
The guy in the yellow T-shirt appears to have died from a single gunshot to the heart. The entry wound is in his back and the exit wound in his chest. A nice clean kill... for a human!
The skinny-looking female second from the right has had half of her face bitten off.
The female at the far right appears to have been a shop assistant, judging by her clothing. She has been shot just below her right breast and there is a massive exit wound in her back. Also, her left arm has been broken and hangs at an odd angle, with bone showing through.
These were an absolute joy to paint. They were the first figures I've painted from this range and I like that they are made of hard plastic and that they are superbly detailed. I don't know why it's taken me so long to get round to painting them but I'm glad I've made a start on them. Lots more to follow!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Black Scorpion Townsfolk 02

Following on from my last post here are the rest of my Black Scorpion 32mm scale townsfolk from their Tombstone range of figures. I haven't got round to naming any of these yet but it's just a matter of time before I do.
These five figures come from the Civilians 03 set. At the far left is a dog, which I was pleasantly surprised to see included. Another useful figure is the little boy holding a poster. Figures of Wild West children are extremely rare, so once again, I was mighty pleased that he's included in the set.
In the centre of the group is a banjo player. Note his holstered pistol on his right hip. Next in line is a farmer or homesteader with a 12 Gauge Double-Barrelled Shotgun.
Finally, is a drunken cowboy who is having difficulty walking in a straight line. He has his revolver drawn but the chances of him hitting anything with it must be very remote.
This set of five figures cost £9.60 from Black Scorpion's webstore.
This next set of figures are the Town Watch, the brave folk who volunteer to join a sheriff's posse or defend their town from bandits and outlaws. They are a mixed bunch, that's for sure. At the far left is an elderly bespectacled gentleman armed with a .45 Colt Army Revolver and a 12 Gauge Double-Barrelled Shotgun.
Next up is another old timer who also wields a 12 Gauge Double-Barrelled Shotgun.
Not as old as the previous two, but still getting on in years as denoted by his greying hair, the gent second from the right is left-handed and is firing a .45 Colt Army Revolver.
Last in line is a spunky lady who means business as she wields a 12 Gauge Sawn-Off Double-Barrelled Shotgun. This set of four figure also costs £9.60.
As always, the sculpting of these resin-cast figures is just superb. They were very crisp and a pleasure to paint. They are also so full of character - each one looks like he or she has a story to tell - and I love that in a figure.
Note that my next posts will concentrate on my Zomtober challenge. Progress is going really well.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Black Scorpion Townsfolk 01

In this, the first of two posts, I'm reviewing a couple of sets of Black Scorpion 32mm scale Townsfolk from their Tombstone range of resin cast figures.
The four figures to the left are the Civilians 1 set, consisting of a miner/prospector, a store owner with broom, an elderly fat gentleman and a young lady with umbrella. I haven't named any of these yet. This set costs £9.60 for the four figures.
At the far right is a rambler and Humphrey the dog. I named the rambler as Russell Tucker, or as most folk call him, "Ole Man Tucker." He and Humphrey are inseparable, which is rather appropriate given that they are a one-piece casting. Together, they cost £4.50.
Next up are Civilians 2, which also consists of four figures -  a blacksmith, a bartender, a doctor and a middle-aged lady. This set also costs £9.60.
All of these figures are crisply sculpted and were a joy to paint. I will be using them in my Six Gun Sound games and I will name them all and give them character record cards.