Monday, November 29, 2010

Stuffmart Finis!

Well, it's finished.  Such as it is.  A project like this is always a bit of a frustration to me.  I start with this vision of what I want to accomplish and then end up having to make compromises along the way.  Still, I think this didn't turn out too badly.  It will be featured in my next battle report.  The pics are pretty poor.  Too much light.  I need to figure out how to take better pics.
The 'STUFFMART' letters are foam stickers I got from Hobby Lobby.  I just stuck them on without modification.  I suppose one could paint and drybrush them but I think they look fine as is.
That's pretty much my entire collection of survivors and zeds.  I have four more zeds nearly finished and I also just got the EM4 Thugz.  I bought the whole collection and have four gangers cleaned, based and undercoated.  I'll post them when they're finished.  Next I'll be getting some military and police, but not until I've painted what I've already bought...
A street level view.  The finish on the building is American Accents 'Stone' textured spray paint.  I undercoated with Krylon gray primer.  Then I masked off the sidewalk sections and gave the walls a quick spritz with the stone.  After that dried I added a drybrush of light gray, mostly to accent the edges.  I also painted the sidewalks with the same light gray and highlighted with white.  The window and door frames are card and clear plastic from a sheet protector.  I painted the frames black and highlighted with gunmetal.  I used a light blue marker to scribble on the inside of the plastic to give the windows some 'substance.'  It looks better in person than what these pics show.
View from the other side of the table.  I still need to finish my parking lot.  I'm experimenting with the best way to put white lines on 'pavement'.  So far the best way seems to use a stencil but it is time consuming and the lines can turn out blobby.  It is a pain to go back and touch up the edges with a marker.  That's probably the technique I'll have to use though since nothing else seems to look right.  Even paint markers were a 'fail'.
That's all.  Considering we were traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, I think I did OK to get this much done!

Until next time, peace.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stuffmart progress...

Here are some more pics of progress on the Big Box store modular set I'm making.

I also placed my entire collection of painted minis for scale and just for fun!  I actually spent a little time moving the zeds around and going 'errrrggg....arrrgh......brrrrraaaaiiiiinnnnnsssss'...  I'm such a dork!
The survivors are in a tight spot!  Best to retreat into the store and barricade the doors...
Oh yeah!  What doors?!  Obviously I need to paint and detail everything.  I've painted the edges of the foamcore board with black acrylic paint to keep the spray paint from melting the foam.
I've also added bits of cardstock to the corners to cover the edges of the foamcore and for more texture.  Here you can see the outside corner piece I slapped together to add options to the layout.  You can also see that the entrance has doors on the side as well as the front.
I think it will look pretty cool when it is finished...
nothing spectacular but it will add a lot of character to my board...
And here it is in pieces to give you an idea of the system I've come up with.  Next time I should have a finished product to show you!  Until then...peace.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Big Box Store

I started working on a big box store model.  I think I'll call it 'Stuff Mart'.  It can be anything from a Lowe's to a supermarket to a Walmart.  It is a simple enough project using foamcore, hot glue, a sharp knife and a couple of speed squares.  I need to paint and detail it but so far so good, I think...

I've built it with an integral sidewalk, about 8 scale feet wide.  Seems right to me.
The figures are there to give you an idea of scale.
Surprise!  No roof.  With it being such a big model I figured I wouldn't need a giant roof to take on and off.  Besides, the inside of the store would be a complete game table in itself - assuming a 3x3 or even 4x4 table.  Most likely I'll use these along a table edge to set a scene or establish an objective.
Second surprise!  It is modular.  Another reason not to have a roof!  I built the walls in 12" sections with a small overlapping 'support' piece to hide the crack.  This way I can use these in a variety of ways.  I'm working on an entrance section - I'll post about that as I make progress.  Once I build some corner pieces this modular big box set could be very versatile.

This next shot gives you a closer look at a section.  Very simple.
That's it for now.  I'll post more pics as I make progress.  I'm also working on some parking lot pieces using ideas from Whiteface's road sections.  I'll let you know how that turns out.  Until next time...peace.

Monday, November 8, 2010

More Zombies...

I just completed eight more zeds for my games.  That brings me to twenty.  Four more are on the workbench and twenty-four are still in the box.  These are all Wargames Factory zeds.  I didn't do much with these but did make a couple minor modifications.  I also experimented with some blue skin tones.  I think they turned out OK though the pics are not the best.  Mostly I just wanted to get these done to bolster my zed population...

Left to right here.  I experimented with some black lining on the first one.  It does help to bring the detail out on these figures but it is a pain.  I'll reserve that technique for 'feature zeds'.  Next is just a zed in a red tank and black shorts.  Next is an example of blue skin on a business exec zed.  I changed the foot he is eating to an arm.  For the skin tone I started with a grayish blue (Citadel Spacewolves gray) and then highlighted with a mix of that and my own dead flesh mix.  Looks OK, I think.  Next is another zed in a tank.  He's wearing scarlet and gray.  Seems he's a fan of The Ohio State University...

Again, left to right.  The first is wearing pajama bottoms.  I think he's the best of this lot.  The very simple white stripes down his pants legs makes him stand out.  Next is another soldier zed, this time with blue skin.  Next is an attempt at a jogger zed.  I changed his arm and leg to give him a leaning forward, stumbling towards you effect.  Finally is another soldier, maybe he used to be in charge - he seems to be giving an order to advance...
OK.  That's it.  Nothing earth shattering.  I'm still working on my big box storefront.  Should be done soon and then I'll post part 2 of Day One.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day One: A New Beginning...

Since my characters all got killed playing Day One the first time, I'm starting over again.  This time though we're sticking together and shortening up the plan for the day.  The plan is to collect Doc (location 1), stop at Lowe's for supplies to barricade the house (location 2), get gas and groceries (location 3 - it's a one stop shopping center) and head home to hole up and wait this thing out (location 4).  Let's see how it turns out...

Location 1:  Collecting Doc
This takes place in an urban setting but it will count as suburban for generating zombies as per the Day One rules.  The objective is to get to Doc's house, get him and his stuff and return to the car to go to the next location.  Making the trip are:
PDoid - Rep 4 Civilian; Attributes: Athlete and Fencer (house rule - see previous posts); Weapons: Shotgun and Cricket Bat
Sweetpea - Rep 3 Civilian; Attributes:  Slow; Weapons:  2 BA Pistols
Monkeyboy - Rep 3 Civilian; Attributes: Athlete; Weapons:  Pistol and Hockey Stick
Doc, if we find him, is a Rep 3 Civilian with no attributes and armed with a shotgun and an axe.

I'm going to take a shot at making this batrep more narrative in style so I won't be mentioning any rules or dice rolls.  Feel free to ask rules questions about the situations you read about if you want to know the gaming details.  Here goes...
We couldn't believe what was happening.  The news sounded like something out of a movie, a movie we were all too familiar with.  Zombies?!  Really?!  We'd always fantasized about what we'd do in this situation, but when faced with it in real life we were just like everyone else:  terrified.  I called my buddy, Doc, and together we decided to hole up at my place.  We thought it'd be better to travel in groups.  Rather than him coming to us alone, we decided to go pick him up and bring him to our house.  Besides, we needed to stop for supplies if we were going to see this thing through.
We arrived at Doc's street without incident.  A lot of crazies were on the road but we managed to avoid getting tangled up with them.  Unfortunately, at the entrance to Doc's neighborhood, someone had set up a couple of cars to block the street.  I don't know if they were planning to defend the neighborhood or what but we had to go the rest of the way on foot.  I tried to call Doc's cell to let him know we were close but there was no service.
It wasn't far so we started jogging along the street.  The neighborhood was quiet.  It was eerie.  There was no one around.  We could hear traffic noise from the main street and what sounded like gunshots in the distance but otherwise it was very calm.  In other circumstances it might have been a beautiful, sunny, fall day.  Nothing moved except a slight breeze stirring the trees.
We passed between some parked cars, sticking to the middle of the road, spreading out a bit to keep an eye on things around us.  I was proud of my wife and son.  They didn't protest or argue anything I told them.  We all knew this was life and death.  I looked over at Sweetpea and smiled as we jogged along, thinking we might be able to pull this off without a hitch.  Huh!  Famous last words, right?
Suddenly, from the house on the right, we heard the bang of a door slamming open and a group of terrified people poured into the street, heading right for us.  They were out of their minds and barreled right into us.  I was taken by surprise and knocked off my feet.  It all happened so fast!  I think I must have blacked out or got hit on the head or something because I don't remember what happened next.
I came too with Sweetpea kneeling over me and Monkeyboy standing nearby shouting curses at a mob of crazies running up the street.  Thank God for Sweetpea's medical training or that would have been the end of the day for me.  I staggered to my feet and watched the terrified civvies running towards my car.  I checked my pants and felt the keys safely stowed in my pocket.  'It's locked,' I said to no one in particular, 'they won't be able to take it.'  We turned and headed again towards Doc's house.

We reached Doc's front door without further incident.  I was still a little shaken and I felt nauseous but otherwise I was fine.  I went to the door and knocked, calling for Doc.  Sweetpea and Monkeyboy moved to cover my rear, each facing away from the house to be sure no one sneaked up on us.  We weren't going to let anymore terrified mobs surprise us.
While we waited for Doc to answer, not sure if he was even home, all hell broke loose!  'There's a bunch of people across the street,' Sweetpea said, 'at least I think they're people.'  'Ummmm...Dad?' said Monkeyboy, 'I think we need to get inside.'  I looked over my shoulder and saw the crowd moving between the cars across the street.  They seemed to be moving in an odd way.  Hmmmm, would I say they were 'shambling'?
Doc opened the door as the crowd began to make it's way towards the house.  There was a steady sort of hum coming from the group.  Were they moaning?  Really?!  It seemed a bit cliche but they obviously were.
One of them came very close to Sweetpea.  She seemed transfixed with horror.  We all knew what these things were but none of us wanted to say the word.  As the nearest one closed on Sweetpea, we were helpless to do anything about it.  The zombie lunged while she just stood there, mouth agap, arms hanging lifelessly at her sides.
Then, through some primal instinct for survival, just as the creature reached for her throat, Sweetpea swept her right arm up and brought her big pistol down.  The blow was fueled by pure animal aggression with no conscious thought from Sweetpea.  The butt of the pistol crashed into the zombie's skull and we all heard a sharp 'crack' as the bone gave way.  The zed dropped at Sweetpea's feet and did not move again.  Sweetpea stood screaming obscenities over her fallen foe.
And then the mob was on us.  They swarmed towards Sweetpea and in a berserker's frenzy she fired twice with her pistol, knocking one of the zombies off its feet.  But as soon as it hit the ground, two more were grappling with her.  I watched in helpless horror as she fought for her life...and failed.  In a matter of moments her throat was torn out and the two demons fell upon her body.  She lay in a pool of expanding blood as the zombies tore chunks of flesh from her and gorged themselves.  Just like that, she was gone.
With a silence that was more terrifying than any scream he could have uttered, Monkeyboy bolted from the scene, his eyes rolling wide with horror.  He pushed past me into the house and I followed right behind him, slamming the door.  He sat upon the couch in the corner, wide eyes staring blindly, transfixed by what he'd just seen.  A single tear rolled down his 13 year old cheek.

The smacking, wet sounds of feasting were all that was heard as I went to my boy.  I sat next to him on the couch and held him, but still he made no sound.  I didn't know what to do next.  I barely noticed Doc come back into the living room with a shotgun and a small backpack over his shoulder.  'We need to get out of here,' he said gently.  'We can go out the window in back.'  I started to pick Monkeyboy up to carry him.  'No!' he said, 'I can walk.'
As quietly as we could we made our way to the back of the house and climbed out the window.  We could no longer hear the sounds of the zombies feasting but none of us mentioned it.  I don't think any of us wanted to even think about it.  We turned to head across the back yards and make our way to the car.
Just as we cleared the first fence to get into the neighbor's yard, we heard the slam of Doc's front door being smashed in.  I looked over my shoulder and was horrified to see more zombies moving through Doc's backyard.  How had they gotten through the house so quickly?  Or was this a new group of the undead?  Regardless of where they'd come from they were hot on our heals.
As we rounded the neighbor's house, sprinting for our lives, another zed popped up in front of us.  'Keep moving,' I yelled, 'just get to the car!'  Doc and Monkeyboy needed no encouragement from me.
We sprinted up the side yard, making our way back to the street.  If we could just make it to the car!  There would be time for mourning later.
And then it happened.  God, it was like something out of a bad movie!  Just as we came around the bushes between the coffee shop and the last house on Doc's street, a cop stepped out from between two cars.  He must have seen our guns and the way we were running because without hesitation he drew his pistol and shouted, 'Halt!  Drop your weapons!'  Doc must have thought he was another zed because without even thinking he leveled his shotgun and fired on the officer.  There was a deafening roar as the 12 gauge barked it's defiance at the cop.  Through the smoke all I saw was the policeman lifted off his feet and slammed onto the ground.  'You killed him!' I shouted.  'You killed a cop!'  I couldn't believe how much my world had changed in the few short hours since I'd awakened that morning.
There was nothing else for us to do but get to the car, but as I ran I noticed the cop was moving.  We could have just left him, but I knew that was certain death.  Whatever humanity was left to me made me pause to help him.  He was struggling to get to his feet, pistol still in hand.  I was amazed that he was even alive.  He was in pain and he was pissed, to say the least, but even as he brought his pistol up to bear on me he must have seen the hoard of zeds on my tail.  That, and the shotgun I held leveled at his belly.  When our eyes met a swift, silent dialog transpired between us.  Then, without preamble he said, 'Let's get the hell out of here.'
The gunfire must have attracted every zed within a mile because in a moment we were surrounded by the shuffling, moaning monsters.  They were closing on the car and if we didn't get to it first we were going to be cut off.
We all started firing and running towards the car in unison.  I know we hit several of them but I don't if we 'killed' any.  There was smoke and noise all around and the steady moan of the zeds as they closed for the kill.  With no rhyme nor reason we piled into the car and I fumbled for the keys.  One of the creatures was pounding on the driver's window, blood and slobber smearing on the glass.  Taking a deep breath, I managed to get the keys in the ignition, despite my shaking hands and rattled nerves.  The car turned over and fired into life without hesitation.  It was as if it too just wanted to be away from there as quickly as possible.

I slammed the car into reverse and with a squeal of tires we turned around and headed to anyplace but that street...
In the rear view mirror I saw a few zeds trying to keep up with us, but they were far too slow.  We drove about a mile in stunned silence before the cop said, 'Let me out here.'  Without a word I stopped and he got out.  Without so much as a look back he walked away from the car and headed up a side street.  I noticed he dropped his badge in the street as he went.  As I pulled out once again I said, 'we still need to stop at Lowe's.'  Doc looked at me from the passenger seat like I'd just grown another arm out the top of my head.  But then with a sigh he said, 'Yeah, I suppose you're right.'  Coming from the back seat, Monkeyboy's only response was the sound of a pistol's slide chambering a fresh round...