The Road to Hell – 28mm Roads for Modern (Zombie) Wargames

Can you build a modern road for tabletop zombie games in just a few days?
As stated in my previous post, 4 days prior to our Salute-n-zombie-table-top-gamingathon weekend I foolishly decided that I needed a road for ‘On The Road’ scenario for our play-test game of Iron Ivan Games ‘No More Room In Hell.’ As if I didn’t have enough to do already.
The scenario features a road running the length of a 4’ by 4’ table, jammed packed with, to quote the book ‘as much rubble and destroyed cars as your toy box can provide.’ I didn’t have the rubble but that wasn't what I pictured in my head and I had a shed-load of cars. I just needed the road.
Kinda like this? Image from
The Idea
The concept was to build, as quickly as possible, a road that could be laid over any gaming surface (city, woodland or desert) that ran the width of the table and looked as much like the World Works Games roads as possible. I really like the WWG roads, however, having got increasingly interested in the hobby side of things I wanted to try and replicate that look as much as possible with a 3D road. Challenging, but seeing the superb standards that many bloggers are showing in their modern basing I thought it was a simple matter of translating the skills to a bigger scale. i.e. treat the roads like bases - long, thing, giant bases.
The Sketch
No sketches actually, but plenty of scribbled calculations. After a few tweaks and adjustments I settled on making the roads approximately 4 inches wide with 12 inch and 24 inch section lengths. To allow for a double width road across a 4’ by 4’ table. I made 10 feet all in all, giving a little extra for creating other city-wide layouts.
The Realisation
6mm MDF was the material of choice. It is about the thinnest I find I can make terrain pieces and keep warping within reasonable limits.
I cut four 24 inch and two 12 inch sections. I covered one side in PVA glue, brushing in the direction of the road, then added sand, sprinkled through a sieve. Note: It is recommended that you don't use the sieve from your kitchen. I did. I had to buy a new one right away.  Whoops - Dog-house!

Sand covered road sections - Pink undersheet optional

Once the PVA was dry I sprayed the roads with Halfords Matt Black Acrylic undercoat. I used a relatively light coat to help fix the sand.
Spray-painting underway.
When the spray paint dried I painted the whole thing with a coat of diluted black house paint, about 1:4 mix of paint to water. This was to fully seal the sand and soak into any parts that regular painting wouldn’t reach.
Dry-brushing followed with a ½ inch brush with long bristles using Games Workshop Fortress Grey and Space Wolves Grey. I then air-brushed patches, tyre marks and a darkened centre-line on each section using Miniatures Paints #86 - Umber.
Airbrushed centre-lines.
Yellow edging and white centre-lines were added by hand using various acrylic paints, using a ruler as a guide. Then came a few oil stains added with Windsor and Newton Nut Brown Ink.

Someone needs a top-up.
Next, small cracks were painted and highlighted using acrylic paint.

That'll need some attention before the frost hits.

A coat of acrylic spray varnish was added and, once that was dry, flock and a few Army Painter grass tufts and static grass were added to finish off the look.

Army Painter - Grass Tufts
The Result
I am pretty pleased with the final result, especially considering the relatively short time it took to finish. In conclusion, yes, you can build a modern road for tabletop zombie games in just a few days.

The finshed road - 4 days flat.
I didn’t add the flock or the tufts until after the game it was made for (I only bought the tufts at Salute, the day before we played the scenario - The battle report is to follow). There was a small amount of warping in the 24 inch pieces, tolerable but I’d like to find a way to fix it if I can. The airbrush helped considerably with the ‘grubby’ feel. It’s a new purchase and I have been pleasantly surprised by how easy it has been to use. More on the airbrush next time.

Pedal to the Metal!

Epic post for an epic week. Far too much hobby giddiness ensued this week, always a good thing, except for the bank balance.
Jim and Matt from Too Much Unpainted Lead and I attended Salute at the Excel Centre in London this Saturday. Even though I’ve been a war-gamer for more years than I care to recall I’d never been to Salute. Shame on me. It was far bigger than I imagined, not necessarily in scale, but in the huge variety of traders, products and display games that were crammed into the show. After an embarrassing detour we finally arrived at around 11:00 and after our first circuit, where we only looked at traders, it had already gone 14:00. Far too many cool things to mention in just one post, maybe next time.
As we had a few games planned for the Salute weekend I was busy trying to get enough stuff ready to play the scenarios we were running. Two zombie games were planned as well as any other board games we could fit it. A trial of No More Room in Hell from Iron Ivan Games and All Things Zombie from THW filled the miniatures slots and Incursion and Pandemic made up the board game quota.

Outbreak City: 'Midnight Munchies Run' teaser.
I have played Incursion from Grindhouse Games a few times now and it is a pretty darn good game. It has had similar comparisons but describing it as Space-Hulk-Nazi-zombie-diesel-punk fits the bill! Incursion components made up the majority of my show purchases and, inspired by the awesome work of Herrodadog, a full 3D board and play-set is in the works.
Incursion from Grindhouse Games
Pandemic is a fantastic cooperative board game from Z-Man Games where the players do everything they can to stop the spread of deadly contagions and stem the outbreaks as they engulf the world. Although it is not a zombie game, it fit the theme of the weekend superbly. We played twice and lost both times, but only just, perfect.
Pandemic from Z-Man Games
As we were set to play ‘The Road’ scenario for No More Room In Hell I picked up a quite a few new 1/43 scale vehicles. I picked up a few from Sainsburys and recognised a few from Colin’s blog. I also popped into a local collector’s store and found a number of old cars for just £1.99 each. As I’d stated in a previous post, I needed some more generic saloons (most of what I have is fire engines and working vehicles). I have no idea what a Lancia Lybra is, but these 1/43 models from Majorette fit the bill perfectly. To avoid the ‘I wish I had bought those’ problem, I bought one in each colour they had.
It's the doors, you just have to!



Wilkinsons Bus: 1/50 but it works for me.


Genuine 'apocalyptic' reason for sale

"May I present the Lancia...erm, what is it again?"
Once the collection of cars was amassed I quickly made a classic gamer-gaff. Come on, we all do it. 4 days before the weekend, whilst happily finish off my zombies, I confidently decided that I needed to make a new road specifically for the scenario too. The game calls for a road spanning the length of a 4’ by 4’ table...hmmm...idea, sketch, realisation...quick!!!! Expect more on that in a future post.

Slavering Maws; A Tamiya Clear Red Discovery.

Whilst cracking on my first Studio Miniatures Zombie Horde in preparation for playing more games of All Things Zombie, I discovered a remarkable feature of the fabled TCR - Tamiya Clear Red. Just when we thought that the crimson nectar of zombie apocalyptic gaming could not possibly be any cooler that it already is, this happened.

Studio Miniatures Zombie - WIP
"Dude, your girlfriend doesn't look so good."
How? I'd left the lid of for a while as I touched up the blood splatters on a group of a few zombies. The paint in the lid had congealed (Tamiya paints are apparently well known for this) and, rather fittingly as I removed the brush, the paint strung out like putrified drool.

I have long wondered how this kind of effect might be achieved on a 28mm model and, as if my magic, the shopkeeper appeared. I have no idea how long the lid needs to be off for this to happen, or if I'll even be able to re-create the effect again, but you can bet I'll be trying.

"To The Man-Cave!"

In the spirit of a few other blogger's recent posts I thought I'd share a couple of shots of the man-cave.

The man-cave.

It isn't always this tidy.
When we originally viewed the house some 7 years ago the vendor showed us into a back room as she stated "...and this is the games room." Within seconds I'd re-decorated and was figuring out how to fit in two 6' by 4's. There's a room just off this with a sink, and storage area and a seperate washroom. A kettle was added to the ante-room for our last gaming weekend and once a beer fridge is installed (planned for later this year) we can dissapear into the realm of battle without surfacing in the rest of the house for weeks at a time.

Outbreak City's Aftermath
Whenever I play a game I have been planning and working on for some time two things happen:

1) I breathe a huge sigh of relief, content in the warm glow of gaming geekery
2) I get giddy about new projects and start something fresh for the playset.

New projects include: more vehicles for my 40K Orks, some 15mm moderns, the completion of some Star Wars Miniatures 3d terrain and a stupidly ambitious 1/35th scale WW2 skirmish set. All good stuff, but what about the undead for All Things Zombie?

I recently spent a long session basing my Studio Miniatures Zombie Horde 1 hjust before the big game, but didn't get a chance to paint them all. I used the miliput method and, for the most part, copied the examples of the Studio Miniatures marketing shots as reference. It was only the 3rd time I've used miliput. This week's lesson covered mixing only the amount you can work with before it cures. Whoops.

Base Monkey Mafia. SM Horde plus Hasslefree WIP.

I couldn't wait to get some paint on them and so (after the Hazmats were finished) started right away. I've almost finished the first few. The rest should follow shortly.

Studio Miiniatures - WIP (+an old GW mini on the right)

I picked up a couple of new 1/43 scale cars to add to the collection.

Alpha Romeo - Tourer
New York Checker Cab

I am particularly pleased with the New York taxi. I assume it is only supposed to be seen in New York (perhaps someone can confirm if they are found elsewhere) but they are so iconic - let's just say Outbreak City has yellow checker cabs too.

My first battle report was run using the 2005 All Thing Zombie rules and I felt that an upgrade was long overdue.  I picked up ATZ- Better Dead than Zed from Two Hour Wargmes last week. I experienced superb customer service from Ed at THW. I placed my order for the pdf. version on a Sunday and I was reading the rules just a few hours later. Thank you Ed. They look great so far. We have a couple of games planned for the weekend of Salute, in addition to a trip to the show. One using ATZ - BDTZ and one using No More Room in Hell. I'm looking forward to our Undeadathon.

I ordered some Litko THW token sets (here and here) and eagerly await their arrival. One of the reasons I wrote the batrep in a narrative style was that when I looked back at the pictures I simply couldn't remember at what point in each turn I had taken them (there were over 50 taken in the end). I found it surprisingly difficult to explain what is happening in game mechanic terms and tell the story at the same time. I am interested to see if the Litko tokens help make it a little easier to translate what is going on. My hat goes off to anyone who has written batreps. Writing my own has made me appreciate what goes into them all the more.

Boyle, Howard and Romero's love child?

I've spent a huge amount of hobby time on just one project this week. It all started with an inspirational lightbulb moment featuring a deadly melting pot of the 28 Days Later 'Rage' virus and the increasing popularity of the pulp genre in gaming. When I consider that, as a long time fan of Robert E. Howard, giant apes were a staple of my formative years it seemed obvious to take things to their logical conclusion.

Behold - Hanumombie - zombie ape god!
Containment was to proove...problematic.
We're doomed I tell you, doomed!

Now that would make for a cool All Things Zombie scenario.