Sometimes, in the chaos of colours and amongst plethora of shiny new things we miss stuff.

I am as guilty as anyone.
I started this blog back in January as an incentive to get my Outbreak City project completed. I'm actually a pretty slow working hobbyist and, to promote one of the most positive benefits of blogging, this is the first project I have taken from concept to play-ready in just a few short months. Why? Mostly likely because...when you commit to something in writing, you have a greater propensity to follow it through.

In my eagerness to get the project completed I hadn't quite picked up on some of the blogging etiquette norms. Slowly and surely, it all made sense. I have been nominated twice now for a Stylish Blogger Award and it is only the second time around that I 'got' it.

It is nice to think someone enjoys what you're doing enough to. let other people know about it. Highlighting and sharing our efforts - after all, that is really what this is all about.

So, in keeping up with the ettiquette, the 'rules' are.

  1. A thank you and link back to the nominating blog.
  2. Share seven things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award on to 10 or so other deserving blogs.
  4. Let them know of your nominating them for the award.

Thank You

My thank you goes to both The Angry Lurker, who originally nominated me for this a while back, cheers Fran, and DocStout who did so very recently. Both great blogs that are well worth checking out.

Seven Things About Me

1. Although my blog is about the zombie apocalypse in 28mm, I have all sorts of gaming projects  either finished or on the go - 20mm Vietnam, 1/35 WW2, 15mm Modern, 28mm Cowboys, 40K, LOTR. 20mm WW2, Dystopian Wars, Star Wars Miniatures, 28mm Modern to name a few.

2. I co-hosted Episode 64 'A British Hope' of the Minis Mayham <sic> podcast on the D20 Radio Network. The show is dedicated to the now defunct Wizards of The Coast game - Star Wars Miniatures. The D20 network is a fantastic podcasting network with loads of high quality gaming podcasts - check it out. My competition winning Star Wars MIniatures scenario 'Rat's Mayham' is available for free download here.

3. I held a county powerlifting record when I was at college. I pulled a 195Kg deadlift at a bodyweight of 65Kg

4. I love music and was a full-time musician for 10 years. I played rock, folk, metal, Drum 'n' Bass and Hip Hop.

5. I can't get past level 7 on Call of The Dead - It's hard.

6. I performed motion capture for some Guitar Hero dlc. Fittingly - the track was 'Astro Zombies' by the Misfits.

7. When I'm not gaming, blogging or otherwise getting my geek on. I am an active Crossfitter. What is Crossfit?  I just a few words - Constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity across broad time and model domains. It is THE workout of choice for the Zombie Survivalist. Rule no. 1 = Cardio.

10 Deserving Blogs

1. Too Much Unpainted Lead - It was Matt that started me off on this blog adventure in the first place. You 'Rock' dude! :)

2. Vampifan's World of The Undead - Bryan's is undisputably THE go-to Zombie gaming blog. Superb blog and a great guy.

3. Doug's Land of The Dead - Doug's campaign backstory is awesome, not to be missed.

4. Bunker Hill - Christopher's painting and basing is something to behold.

5. Brains and Guts - Lord Siwoc's Zombie Apocalypse adventures are coming on strong, great ideas and innovations.

6. Chez Gnotta - Fantastic modelling, paintingand basing from Gnotta. Superb attention to detail.

7. Zed Storm Rising - Darrell's modelling work is amazing and his work on re-creating his own house is incredible.

8. Obviously Zed - Whiteface's superb Zombie Batreps pull me in every time.

9. Tactical Miniatures Gaming - I like to think of LTL Dad as one of the founding fathers of Zombie Batreps, there's plenty more cool gaming stuff here too.

10. The Historical Miniaturist - I followed Herrodadog's blog on the basis of his 3D Incursion board alone, and stayed for everything else.

All fantastic blogs and apologies to anyone else who has not been included.

Share the love Zombiephiles.

'till next time - Choose your weapon, aim for the head, DO NOT MISS!!!

Zombies, Zombies - Everywhere!

I was recently asked, by DocStout, how many zombies I could put on the table before I ‘ran out’ and up until the point I answer his question I hadn’t actually bothered to count.

"They're coming to get you Barbara."

For my first batch of zombies for ATZ I adopted a classic gamer made-do-and-mend, using whatever I happened to have in my unfinished projects bitz-box. I had a couple of packs of Games Workshop Warhammer zombies from which I selected the least medieval looking and based on 25mm round bases. I used my 'normal' style of basing painted in an urban style.

Games Workshop Zombies - What big hands you have.

I also had set of Copplestone Plague Zombies, a couple of modern zombies which I think are from Ral Partha or Grenadier and one old GW metal zombie.

Copplestone Plague Zombies - Standing the test of time.

Ral Partha or Grenadier and Games Workshop Zombies

The first batch turned out ok and it was great to be able to crack on with a project without actually buying anything but at the same time I was, pun intended, chomping at the bit for some modern looking zombies.

Zombie Hunger
After trawling the interwebs and studying as many blogs with zombie miniatures in as I could, I settled on Studio Miniatures for my first batch of ‘real’ zed-heads. I ordered the Horde 1 pack because I couldn’t resist the exclusive George A. Romero model.

Studio Miniatures Zombies
What can I say? The sculpts are superb, they come in a cool retro video case with a very cool cover and they have the perfect balance of character and Every-day-Joe feel to them. My only criticism is that de-flashing is difficult. Not because there is lots of flash, on the contrary there is very little, it’s just the models are so highly detailed I was simply worried about ‘blurring’ out detail, such as flods in clothing, as went.

Inspired by the Studio Miniatures promotion pictures and by the superb work of Christopher (aka Axebreaker) and Gnotta I modelled Miliput bases and picked up some Army Painter 'tufts' to help with the look I was after.

Studio Miniatures Zombies - Dawn of The Dead (2004)?

Studio Miniatures Zombies - Roadkill!

Studio Miniatures Zombies - Flesh-munchingly good

How many zombies does one need?

In answer to Doc Stout’s original question, I have just 40 zombies. It doesn’t sound like much of a horde but believe me, once the flesh-chomping little blighters are on the table it’s more than enough. That said I’d like the collection to grow. My current target is 60 zombies and I haven’t yet painted the Mr Romero model - I want to give him a little one-on-one time. 60 zombies would seem to be about the right number of zombies for most zombie miniatures games, allowing for a little recycling here and there.
Seeing the release of Studio Miniatures' latest offering, Zombie Mob 008, reminded me how much I love their models and I’ll definitely be adding another one of their Hordes to the collection soon.

Studio Miniatures Zombie Horde 008 - "Need!"

Enough is Enough?

I have just one question...will 60 zombies be enough?

Midnight Munchies Run: An All Things Zombie Batrep

On the weekend of Salute 2011 I was fortunate enough to be joined by Matt from Too Much Unpainted Lead and long-term gaming buddy Jim. After the joys of Salute and Incursion on Saturday, we played two zombie miniatures games on Sunday.
Here's what happened in the second of the two games we played. We used the All Things Zombie ruleset by Two Hour Wargames. A particular event in the game we played prior to this lead me to post this one first, call it creative licence – but after what transpired, the story had to be told in this order.

Outbreak City: Nightfall

Outbreak City - Sundown
As the sun set over Outbreak City the magnitude of the catastrophe became apparent. Fires burned out of control and sirens wailed in the night. From the top floor of a small office building on the east side of town a small band of survivors watched the world crumble as every semblance of the Outbreak City they knew vanished, block by block, in an overwhelming tide of destruction. The hum of a generator filled an otherwise uneasy silence and the stutter of emergency lights took the edge off the rapidly darkening interior.

Oytbreak City - All Things Zombie 4'' by 4'' set-up

“This can’t be happening.” said a middle aged woman in a blood-smeared suit.
“It just did.” Replied a muscular man in a police officer’s uniform, his dark skin glowing in the radiance of a blaze across the block.
“Officer Foree - what do we do now?” asked the woman.
Ken stared unblinking into the hellish night.
“Get some rest, and have something to eat.” He replied. A tall woman in a splattered singlet put her hand on Ken’s shoulder.
“There is nothing to eat Ken. Ray found a refill for the water cooler in a storeroom but other than a few cans of soda and a pack of pop-tarts, this place is empty.”
He turned to face her. “We need to get out of here Lara.”
We need to rest, and they need something to eat.” she replied, gesturing to the shell-shocked faces around the room.

“I’ll go.” said an athletic looking man leaning on a gunk-smeared cricket bat. Ray had proven himself when those things first tried to get in to the office block.
“Me too.” chirped Suzi, a petite Chinese girl with a sub-machine gun.
A tough looking guy with a hunting jacket and shotgun joined the conversation. “Jed.” he said, tapping his chest to himself with a sealed pack solid-shot. “You ain’t goin’ alone. Me and my brother Emmet’ll provide some support. Besides, I’m, starving.”
“I’m in.” said Roger, one of the Hazmat troopers. He gestured to a woman in similar get-up. “Bunny?”
Her face was grim determination, she yanked the charging handle on her assault rifle.
“I need chocolate.”

They pulled up a couple of blocks from Jiffy Jack’s, the small corner store where they were headed, there had to be something to eat in there. It was quiet, suspiciously so, and they cut the engine and advanced down main street towards a roadblock.

The survivors advanced towards the roadblock

Roger waved them on. “Let’s go, the store’s not far.”
“Why don’t we just go in here?” asked Emmet. Pointing to a pizza joint across the street.
“You’re kidding right?” replied Ray. “The power’s out. What exactly do you think will still be fresh?” He pointed to the pizza boxes and garbage strewn across the road. “Can’t you smell that?”

A series of low moans accompanied the fetid stench. “That’s not the garbage. MOVE!” yelled Bunny as the streets filled with ranks of walking corpses.

The streets filled with ranks of walking corpses

Ray and Suzi darted off up the road, as Roger and Bunny their retreat. Jed and Emmett followed more cautiously. Suzi made a run for it and Ray blasted one of the creatures blocking their path. They both paused, only briefly, but for too long.

Ray blasted one of the creatures

From across the road and out of the side streets the leaders of the decaying mob rushed on. They both responded with jumpy trigger fingers. They dispatched their assailants and Ray spared a glance back towards the others. Roger shot him a disapproving look - it was clear they’d made too much noise.

"We'll cover the side street."

“We’ll cover the side street.” said Roger as he and Bunny fired on the creatures in the alleyway. Both shamblers dropped immediately.

“Still think we should just go in...” slurred Emmett, as he pointed back at the pizza place, then stopped. A shambling tide lurched out of the shadows, there had to be at least twenty of them.

A shambling tide lurched out of the shadows

Jed shoved his brother “Dammit Em’, move!”

Suzi and Ray reached the corner of the block followed closely by Roger and Bunny. As Ray turned the corner a bloody figure startled him and he brought his shotgun to bear just in time.

He brought his shotgun to bear just in time

“Damn they’re fast!” cried Emmett. Firing into the oncoming horde.
“Come on!” yelled Jed, hot-footing it into the alleyway, away from the oncoming rush. “Quick!” he shouted back at his brother.

At the end of the alleyway he fired both barrels into one of the walkers as it rounded the corner and turned back to Jed. Jed was firing away with a semi-automatic rifle, dropping dead-heads with every shot, but they were so close, moving so fast, surrounding him.

Blood-drenched hands and teeth grabbed, clawed and bit

“Em!” It was too late. Blood-drenched hands and teeth grabbed, clawed and bit at his brother. The scream pierced the night and stripped Jed’s core.

It was too late

Suzi pushed one of the shamblers off of her and opened up with her sub-machine gun, the 9mm rounds made mincemeat of its face and dropped it to the tarmac. Ray batted one away, hitting it squarely on the side of the head to the accompaniment of a resonant splat. Suzi followed Roger and Ray as they sprinted across the street towards the supermarket. Bunny followed closely behind provided covering fire at the rear.

“Where’s Jed and Emmettt?” she called.

"Where's Jed and Emmett?"

“Keep moving.” ordered Roger. Suzi shot Ray a look that said ‘don’t leave me behind’, but he looked away. She knew in her heart if she didn’t keep up, it was curtains. For once in her life, daddy’s insistence that she run track finally meant something.

Jed sprinted down the alleyway

Jed sprinted down the alleyway, into the darkness, tears streamed down his face. He rounded the block and scooted into the front doors of an office building, hiding himself away in the shadows. As he caught his breath he noticed that he wasn’t the only one in the building’s main lobby. A bloated corpse in caretaker’s overalls lunged at him from the dark, he was almost on top of Jed when he fired, filling the lobby with a pink mist as the ex-handyman keeled over like a rag doll.

Ray stopped at the front doors to Jiffy Jack’s, peering through the glass as he shadowed his eyes with his hand in order to get a better look.

Ray peered through the glass to get a better look

Roger kicked in the door to the supermarket and they all swept into the store as fast as they could, Bunny and Roger brought arms to bear on a couple of dead-heads that rushed at them, they didn’t last long. It was good to have shooters on the team thought Ray. Suzi grabbed a belt off a clothes rack and looped it through the push-bars on the entrance doors, knotting it as tight as she could behind them. The store was mostly trashed, looters, but in a back room they found a couple of cans of fuel. They would come in handy when they needed to head out of town.

Back in the office a quick search of the lobby found it almost empty, a courier bag spilled paperwork across the light marble floor and in the shadows stood a vending machine, powered down but full to the brim. Jed wiped his eyes. Despite everything he hadn’t forgotten why they came here. He yanked the courier bag off the reception desk and emptied its contents on the floor. He threw it a reception chair solidly into the face of the vending machine, the glass gave in immediately and he packed the bag with sodas, chips and candy. When he couldn’t fit any more in he piled the rest into the various compartments of his shooting jacket and the pockets of his pants. He sprinted out of the doors and raced across the street towards the supermarket at full speed, just in time, as one of those things was hot on his heels.

One of the things was hot on Jed's heels

He ran towards the corner store but spotted Ray, Suzi, Roger and Bunny disappearing off into an alleyway on the far side of the joint. They must have headed out the back way. He followed them, fast.

Headed out the back way

“Wait up!” yelled Jed. “They got Emmett!”

"Wait up!" yelled Jed. "They got Emmett!"

The response was a hail of gunfire, it zipped past him, snapped around his head like firecrackers and he ducked to a crouch for fear of his life. Out of the corner of his eye he saw shapes stumbling towards him, he turned to view a widening crowd of rage-filled hate and death swarming across the boulevard, there were dozens of them.

The walking dead - there were dozens of them

“Run!” shouted Suzi as she joined the duck-shoot and let loose on full auto.

Jed sprinted faster than he knew his legs could carry him, right past the others. One of the things reached out at Ray but he hit it hard, snapping its neck and stopping it dead.

Jed ran right past the others

They turned and ran off into the night as fast as they could. Jed eventually slowed and the others caught up with him. His eyes were red-raw.

“You ok?” asked Bunny. She thought the words moot even as they left her lips.
“Let’s take this back to the others.” He replied. Gesturing to the bag slung across his shoulder. “I don’t want this ending up a wasted trip.”

We had some terrible luck rolling for zombies at the start of the game, we scored just shy of the maximum number of zombies right off the bat, oops. Fortunately for most, the combat rolls fell in favour of the survivors and there were only a few times when reaction rolls meant things didn’t go exactly as planned. The survivors did get some food, even if we did rule that it was only the contents of the vending machine and the fuel would come in handy in the next scenario, the one we actually played before this. Stay tuned 'til next time.

Outbreak City: 12:45 am

Airbrushing Wargame Terrain: Dispelling the Myths

As stated in my previous post I used an airbrush to help with the look of my Outbreak City roads. The roads were the second attempt at using an airbrush. Here is my first.
Generic 28mm Ruins - Made for 40K, LOTR & Zombies
Every Day is a School Day
When I joined the blogosphere at the beginning of this year it was clear how much incredible talent there was around and how much we can learn from all the gamers, painters, modellers, customizers and bloggers in the community.
A big part of starting this blog was to develop new skills under the watchful eyes of a discerning audience. We all like to look at the shiny things we see in magazines and on commercial websites, but what does it really take to achieve the look and feel of those pieces for ourselves?
A school friend of mine, Jude, recently became interested in the hobby again after an absence of around 20 years. His ability to pick up his hobby tools and leap into the fray again at such a high standard is, quite frankly, astounding. Here’s an example of some of his recent work. Once again, consider the 20 year absence from the hobby. Jealous, me? Well, just a little.
Jude's ForgeWorld Demon Prince - Superb.
Why an Airbrush?
During a recent get-together we talked about making custom terrain to pro-modelling standards. He immediately asked “Do you have an airbrush?” My answer was no. After all, it’s one of those expensive gadgets that only people with subscriptions to military modelling know how to use, they take ages to set up and clean, mixing paint is a nightmare and you need a huge compressor which is really noisy, certainly no use when the kids have gone to bed. All myths! Whilst that might have been true 10-15 years ago. Today it is a very different story.
Five minutes later he’d set his one up, given a quick demo and I was having a go. What can I say? I was hooked from my first ‘pfffshhhht’. “Where can I get one?” I asked.
2 days later my first airbrush arrived. I picked up the cheapest bundle I could find which included 2 airbrushes and a compressor. The verdict?
The cheapest Airbrush I could get on e(vil)Bay. £80 all in.

The Verdict
For anyone who makes war games terrain (quite a few of us), buildings or vehicles it is a highly recommended investment. The airbrush is simple to use, easy to clean, quick to set up or dismantle and the compressor is actually quite quiet and only runs when it needs to, stop spraying for a few seconds and it stops running.  I’ve purchased a little acrylic mixing medium and some ionised water for cleaning (you shouldn't use tap water) and that’s that.

The Result
Here’s the rest of those generic 28mm ruins that I recently gave the airbrush treatment to. It was my first attempt at using the airbrush and after initially spending so much time on these (they were dry-brushed copiously to before I started) I was pretty nervous. I’m pleased with how they turned out and can’t wait to use the airbrush on future projects.
Put acrylic mixing medium in the cup.

Add umber acrylic paint.
Mix in some black. Spray slowly and evenly.

Increase the paint slowly by pulling the lever back.
More Airbrushing Tips
Matt from Too Much Unpainted Lead discovered this little gem from RubbishInRubbishOut in which Viv shows us, with the right medium, you can even put house-paint through your airbrush. It is an awesome channel from one of the Battle Bunker TV guys and well worth checking out, if you've not already done so, and you make, or want to, make your own terrain.