Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Just a quick post to say "Happy New Year!"

Looking back on 2013 I can't say I posted all that often or that I really did much painting or modeling.  I had a fair number of game nights with the family but we played board games - mostly Settlers of Catan - which is fine but not exactly tabletop gaming.  I got some new games this year, though, which was great fun.  We especially enjoyed Zombicide and Pandemic.

Learning Zombicide...
Kids loved it!
The kids bought me a new game for Christmas.  We haven't tried it yet but it looks like fun.

Still in the shrink wrap but we'll unbox it probably New Year's Day.
Aaaannnd I bought myself a treat for my birthday...
"BIG" does not begin to describe it!
Ogre was my first war-game so this was a mandatory purchase.  Wish I could have gotten in on the Kickstarter but I'm happy with the retail version.  Looking forward to playing this one soon also.

Not much of a year model-wise, but in all other aspects of living it's been good...

Barney got a sweater...
Oscar took some naps...
Elizabeth and I made a baby...
(Due January 17)
The kids had some good times...

Caught the puck at his brother's hockey game.
A new crazy-cool hat!
Dalek socks and Dr. Who book!
...and all is well.

I'm hopeful that 2014 will bring more hobby stuff from this blog.  Meanwhile, I wish you and yours the very best for the New Year and look forward to ongoing gaming, building, painting and blogging in 2014.

Peace to all!  Carry on...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Blond with a BIG gun!

I painted another survivor this week.  She too has sat on my desk for a looonnnggg time.  But with my success in finishing the cops last week I was motivated to finish her too.  Maybe my "painter's block" has been broken.

This figure is Suzi from Hasselfree Miniatures.  According to the website she is supposed to be a Japanese school girl with a MAC10.  I decided to paint her as blond haired and blue eyed for no other reason than I wanted to.  I think she turned out great, if I do say so myself.

The gun is ridiculously huge.  It almost looks like a boltgun from WH40K but I suppose it's about right for a petite woman like her.  She was great to paint and, as with all of Hasselfree's figures, a supreme sculpt.  I may pick up her twin with a katana and paint that version up as a true Japanese school girl.  There's also a zombiefied version here.  Could be fun to get both.  We'll see.

Thanks for reading.  Until next time, carry on.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Officers of the Central District Station

As I shared in my last post I've finished some cops for my ATZ games.  As I was painting them characterizations began to emerge.  What follows are some NPC stats and a bit of background for each of the figures.  I've used attributes from ATZ:FFO and After the Horseman.

Lucy Watkins
Lucy is the youngest of the five officers shown here.  She only just graduated (with honors) from the police academy last summer.  She is a fierce woman, eager to prove she is at least the equal of any male on the force.  Lucy is single and plans to keep it that way, at least for a while.  She is focused on her career.  In a fight she believes she would be decisive and effective but she has not yet been tested under fire.  Though, having been raised with three older brothers, Lucy is tough and knows how to dish it out.  Fight like a girl?  You bet!  And kick your ass doing it!

REP 4, Brawler, BA pistol and Shotgun.

Vince Lewandowski
Vince is an asshole.  Just ask him.  He'll tell you.  Born and raised in South Toledo, the son of an ironworker, Vince knows what he knows and doesn't give a sh*t for what he doesn't know.  He's the kind of man who will tell you just what he thinks and never apologize.  Vince has had girlfriends off and on but his womanizing attitude prevents him from settling down.  He has no children "as far as he knows".  It seems the only "person" Vince loves is his dog, a Beagle-Bulldog mix named Barney.  None of his co-workers would ever guess that Vince, the stereotypical, hard-edged, ass of a "bad cop", would be a softy when it comes to Barney.

REP 4, Loner, BA Pistol and Shotgun

Reuben Wilson
Reuben is the oldest of the five officers shown here.  His father died in a gang related shooting when Reuben was 6 years old.  Reuben's mom never remarried and did all she could to raise her son as best she could.  She was determined that her only child would not fall into the street life that had killed her husband.  Reuben grew up in East Toledo and despite the many barriers, managed to claw his way through school and become a police officer.  He's worked hard his whole life and always at a disadvantage to the more privileged.  His hard work has been rewarding however, as Reuben is one of the most respected of the officers in the Central District.  He has been on the force for 12 years and can honestly say he loves Toledo and his job.  Reuben is married to a beautiful woman, Dafina, and they are raising 3 children, 2 boys and a girl.  Reuben's youngest, his baby girl, is the apple of his eye.

REP 5, Born Leader, BA Pistol

Thanh Gardner
Thanh is the son of a Vietnamese woman and an American man.  His parents met while his father was stationed in Saigon during the war.  Thanh, born in 1970, came to police work as a second career.  His parents moved around the USA a lot while Thanh was growing up with his two younger sisters.  His dad, a career Army Colonel, was often transferred so Thanh never went to the same school for more than two years in a row.  Thanh came to Toledo as a college student to study engineering at the University of Toledo and never left.  He met his wife, Cindy, while he was in college and since her whole family was in Toledo they settled there.  Cindy and Thanh have 2 children.  The oldest is a student at The Ohio State University in Columbus and the youngest is a senior at St. John's Jesuit high school.  Thanh worked as a mechanical engineer for several years before deciding to commit his life to making Toledo a better town.  He became an officer 8 years ago and has enjoyed the work, though he is not fond of working 3rd shift.

REP 4, Logical, BA Pistol

Kevin Cunningham
Kevin has always wanted to be a cop.  His father was a cop.  His grandfather was a cop.  It's the "family business" Kevin has been known to say.  Kevin is fairly new to the force but because of his family connections he is well known.  He has still yet to prove himself on his own but his father's reputation is sometimes enough to open doors for Kevin and give him advantages the other officers might not enjoy.  Kevin is not married but he does have a long time girlfriend, Angela.  His mother thinks Kevin should settle down and marry the girl but Kevin isn't sure he's ready for that.  Kevin is generally a likable person, if a bit nondescript.  He's the kind of person that blends in easily, which makes him ideal for undercover work.  But Kevin's great love and his career goal is to be assigned to the Toledo SWAT team.

REP 3, Friendly, BA Pistol and Assault Rifle

So there are some of my musings on some figures that inspired some characters.  I hope you've enjoyed the read.  Until next time...carry on.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Watcha Gonna Do?!

Finally finished these guys!

These minis have been sitting on my desk for I don't even want to know how many months.  I started them...got distracted...had Real Life issues intervene...numerous times...got discouraged...worked on them a bit...wasn't happy with how they were going...painted some other models...Real Life again...more discouragement...bla...bla...bla...   Maybe some of you know how this goes.  But, finally, here they are all finished and ready for my zombie games.

These are Big City PD from Tactical Miniatures.  You can find them here.  They are great sculpts and perfect for depicting the Toledo police department.  They've armed themselves for a firefight as 2 of them are carrying shotguns and 1 has an M-16 assault rifle.  The 2 with pistols make excellent beat cops.  In all, I think they are well prepared for the apocalypse.

Once I got going I enjoyed painting these models and each began to develop a character or persona as I painted them.  I will write up some character profiles in a future blog post.  These heroic officers will feature in some zombie gaming sometime soon.

Front View

Right Side

Rear View

Left Side
Thanks for reading.  Until next time, carry on.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


I finally bought Zombicide a few weeks back and we broke it out for family game night last night.  We only played the tutorial (Mission 00) but we all had fun.  We would have played Mission 01 but we ran out of time.

This is a great game!  Once you get a grasp of the rules it flows quickly and smoothly.  There is a good sense of tension as things start off relatively in control and then quickly escalate.  The turns move quickly enough that no one got bored and the cooperative nature of the game was a fun way for us to bond as family.  The game even inspired my "Princess" daughter to roller skate her character into a room full of zombies, swinging a fire axe.  Her wicked laugh was priceless!  Of course, she almost got eaten, but her brother came to her rescue.  Was great fun!  We look forward to playing more soon.

Yours truly figuring out the rules early in the game.

"Princess" about to boldly go where she probably shouldn't!

The kids (age 11 and 9) loved it.  The wife (age classified) loved it.  I got to do what I love:  spend time with family and play games with zombies.  A win-win-win!

For more info on the game click here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Paneuropean Infantry

Finished the last of my Ogre minis.  This is a group of Paneuropean infantry.  They are meant to be the same shade of blue as the tanks of my Quebecois force.  Unfortunately, I spray coated them with matte spray.  It was a new can and I must not have shaken the can well enough.  I ended up with a mist on them.  After some panicky online searching I came across a suggestion that washing the minis repeatedly with a soft brush and clean water can help.  I was skeptical but having nothing to lose I tried it.  I'll be damned if it didn't help!  They still have some hazy bits but they look LOTS better than they did.  I don't claim to understand the physics of how that works but I'll take it for what it is - a solution.

As a reference for scale, the squares on the mat are 1 inch.

I've got some more projects from the lead pile I'm working on.  I also broke down and bought a new Ogre Mk IV and an Ogre Mk VI.  Couldn't resist the urge to buy some of these great minis now that they are available again.  Will post soon.  Until then....peace.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ogre Lead Pile Reduction

I've been working on finishing off a bunch of Ogre Miniatures I bought years ago.  I've always loved this game and the imagery from it and these models are fun.  I'm delighted to see Warehouse 23 has begun selling these again!  I have enough models to field moderately sized Combine and Paneuropean forces but I will probably buy some more.  I would especially like to get an Ogre in each of the various classes.  Currently I only have a couple Mark IIs, a Mark III and a Mark V.  Anyway, on to the pics...

Light GEVs (front)
Light GEVs (rear)
Light Tanks (Front)
Light Tanks (Rear)
These are all for my Paneuropean Quebecois force.  The Light Tanks look brighter and shinier because I used a different clearcoat finish on them.  I will have to redo them with a matte finish.  For size reference, the squares on the green mat are 1 inch.

Thanks for looking!  Maybe I'll get some zombie stuff up here soon.  I'm planning to buy Wargames Factory's male and female survivors sets once I reduce the pile a bit more...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Bit of Painting...not Zombies.

I did some painting today and finished several models I started years ago as part of an OGRE/GEV project.  I've been clearing out, cleaning up, and reorganizing my hobby life and came upon these.  I don't play OGRE much, though occasionally my kids and I will drag it out.  Still, I'm too nostalgic to just get rid of these models.  OGRE was my first wargame when I was a middle-schooler back in the late 70s.  So, I've decided to finish this lot of Paneuropean forces.  With these finished I will have the core of two armies - both Paneuropean and Combine - completed.  I also have a few OGREs - 2 MK IIs, a MK III and a MK V.

I've gone with a blue and white paint scheme as these are to be part of a Quebecois regiment.  I don't have much experience painting in this scale (6mm or 1/285, I believe) so they look a bit bodgy up close.  They look fine from arm's length though, which is perfect for the tabletop.

First up are two Howitzers.  

And then 6 GEVs.

I bought these years ago with the plan of having large Paneuropean and Combine forces - enough to do most of the scenarios in the rules and have plenty to choose from.  I initially bought enough to do the Icepick Scenario in the OGRE Book as well as the basic scenario.  Unfortunately, they don't make these minis any longer.  I'm hopeful though that with the new Designer's Edition of OGRE coming out, maybe Steve Jackson will do another run of this mini line.  They are great figures and I'd like to bulk out my forces.

It is always fun what one stumbles across when going through old projects.  Often I have my interest renewed.  OGRE has long been a favorite of mine and the rules for OGRE Miniatures are an excellent set for battles in this scale.  Maybe I'll set up a table and have a go!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Old School Warhammer 40K

My oldest son and I have been playing some 5th edition Warhammer 40000 lately.  A few weeks back we dusted off my Tyranid and Ultramarines armies and had at it.  We've had fun taking photos of the games and then printing them to hang in his bedroom.  I thought some of you might enjoy seeing the pics. All the models and terrain are from my collection and were built and painted by me anywhere from 10 to 20 years ago.

My eldest and youngest and Oscar from Central Command.
The table set up for battle.

UM captain with Terminators in support.

Old School Carnifex.

I love the Landspeeders. My son and I particularly liked this pic. It is framed and hanging on his wall.

Newer edition Hormagaunts.

UM deployment zone. The Landraider is scratch built from foam core, card stock and bits.

Genestealers swarm through cover supported by a Zoanthrope and the Hive Tyrant.

The speeders meet their doom!
Unfortunately my Tyranid army is not completely painted...

The Lictor leaps upon the Terminators!
All old school models.

Another shot my son liked and we put on his wall.
The Razorback moves to a good firing position supported by Tactical Marines.

The hoard is about to overwhelm the Ultramarine defense.

My old school Tyranids stomp through the carnage.
We had a great day and have played some other battles since then. It's got me thinking I'd like to update my Tyranid army. The newer models are very cool! I have lots of other projects in various stages of completion though so...we'll see.

Anyway, cheers to all!