Saturday 31 October 2015

And so it ends...

Zomtober 2015 - final post
Officially 'Zomtober 2015' drew to a close last weekend, but I feel there is always a case to extend the event, where necessary, until 'All Hallows' Eve'.  Before we go any further I would just like to extend my thanks to Rob Bresnen of 'Four Colour Super Minis', Pulp Citizen of 'Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer', and Simon 'Brummie' Quinton of 'Brummie's Wargaming Blog' for all their tireless work in  co-ordinating the event, which continues to go from strength to strength.  This is my third year of contributing to the lead legions of undead* and I am delighted to see more and more like minded chaps taking part, producing some truly eye catching work - well done one and all! 
*Plastic undead are more than welcome too! 

My final submission for this month is another survivor from the 'Studio Miniatures' Kickstarter simply titled, the Father.  Fans of the hugely successful 'The Walking Dead' will notice an uncanny similarity between this sculpt and a certain Hershel Greene, Rick Grimes' moral compass.
Another fabulous and unusual sculpt, this one actually comes with the option of having the leg attached or not!  Inspiration for the colour palette came directly from the character's appearance in the said television program and it was lovely to discover little details like the different coloured buttons on his shirt, very much in keeping with his make do and mend mentality. 
Looking back over the month, I am delighted with my productivity, admittedly not all were completed during the official parameters of 'Zomtober', but all were new postings to this humble weblog and so I am happy to have them represented in the now customary end of season group shot.  
Speaking of group shots a certain Bob Kinneer Esq. of 'Bob's Zombie Apocalypse in 28mm' has posted his latest 'Horde' shot today, a magnificent sight of two hundred lost souls, shuffling ominously towards the table's edge.  I last assembled my paltry collection for a competition hosted by 'RSquared Studios' back in May last year, but seeing Bob's collection, and safe in the knowledge that the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' was out of the house for a couple of hours, I felt inspired to do the same so without further ado I present 'Horde#2', a staggering sixty one miniatures!

As the horde shuffles onto Main Street, one last photograph is broadcasted to the nation before the helicopter crashes to the ground in a ball of flame...

Happy Halloween everyone! 

Sunday 25 October 2015

Better late than never.

Zomtober 2015 - post#7
And relax!  The half term break couldn't have come quickly enough, but having safely arrived it has given me the opportunity to finish off this fabulous sculpt, a survivor this week.  The 'Fat Veteran' is from 'Black Cat Bases' and I am thrilled to see him here.   
This gun toting, cigar chewing veteran was part of an order that was made back in March 2014.  I had heard rumour that things were not great over at 'Black Cat Bases' due to severe family health issues, but felt reassured by the fact that their website was showing monthly updates and so went ahead with order and waited... and waited... and waited.  Nothing happened, I sent emails, but no response, all the time the website continued to show updates enticing new customers in.  I eventually gave in, mine wasn't the largest order in the world, but it wasn't the smallest either and I felt that the feeling of continued frustration simply wasn't worth - there was something obviously very wrong.  Imagine my surprise when my completed order suddenly arrived in September of this year; over a year and half later!  I immediately wrote to thank the company and to apologise if my frustration had spilled over into my email correspondence with - I was reassured to hear that it hadn't.  By its very nature nobody knows when a family crisis will beset us, but honouring an order eighteen months later displays considerable courage and dedication in my boot, well done 'Black Cat Bases' and I hope you have calmer waters to navigate now.
Back to the miniature, who is a wonderfully characterful sculpt, a little on the large side but hugely enjoyable to paint.  I couldn't resist having some fun with the dressing gown and some dribbling tobacco stains down his shirt.  I have become rather fond of him, perhaps due to our shared economy of hair growth and overhanging girth, after all come the zombie apocalypse who's going to care if you go out in your flip flops and dressing gown?

So officially this weekend marks the end of 'Zomtober', but I'm going to keep on painting and finish off one final miniature, presenting a group shot on all Hallows' eve.  Finally then, a quick reminder that 'Dinovember' is almost upon us, an opportunity for some self indulgent nonsense in my birthday month, after all,
  "Everything is better with Dinosaurs".

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Victorian Zombies

Zomtober 2015 - post#6
Just the very briefest of posts to document a couple more addition's to this year's tally.  These are from theWestwind, 'Empire of the Dead' range and have been sitting around for far too long.

I've been trying to tone down my zombie skin palette, which seemed to be drifting to a very bright blue/green.  Based on more resin loveliness from 'Fenris Games'.  Looking for to the end of the week and half term when I hope to get a group shot done.

Sunday 18 October 2015

So do you have any regrets?

...Garfield, maybe.
Zomtober 2015 - post#5

There's always a danger that a particular genre of filmmaking can become swamped with tired storytelling and over used clichés, zombie films particularly are prone to this, but every so often one stubs a toe on a gem of celluloid creativity, something that looks at things a bit differently, I would like to offer up Zombieland as one such example.

This is essentially a road movie, as our band of survivors, following a list of survival rules, make their way toward a rumoured safe haven in Los Angeles.  There a plenty of laugh out loud moments sandwiched between the inevitable gratuitous violence and gore, but a particular highlight is when our band of plucky survivors seeks shelter in a Hollywood mansion belonging to no less a celebrity than Bill Murray himself.  What follows is a wonderfully absurd sequence that sees the untimely demise of Mr. Murray due to a case of mistaken identity.

Imagine my delight then, when I saw this splendid two piece casting*, simply known as the 'Celebrity', but a sculpt that could so easily be mistaken for a certain B. Murray Esq.; another stretch goal from the successful 'Studio Miniatures' Z-Clipz: Outbreak Kickstarter.  This was too good an opportunity to pass up and when it came to applying paint, I was keen to play homage to the man. Initially I was worried about the pattern on his Pringle golfing sweater, but after much concentration and the occasional blue word this soon became my favourite area.

*The left arm a separate piece

When it came to basing I was keen to hint at the Hollywood mansion, where the character meets his untimely demise.  Unsure how to proceed I stumbled across some wooden floor bases from  'Fenris Games'* in my bits box and then inspiration struck!  I remembered that Furt had kindly resized some rugs that he was going to use for his games set in the exotic Indostan.  A quick visit to the always inspiring 'Adventures in Lead' and I had a veritable bazar at my disposal, the rugs available as part of an "over stocked, half priced, closing down, clearance, end of financial year, camel soiled sale" were simply downloaded, with a section snipped off one corner and pasted onto the painted base.  Once assembled the miniature was drilled and pinned on top.

*That said, I don't seem to be able to find them anymore on their webstore.

So what next?  Well, I'm hoping to finish off some Victorian undead for a sneaky mid week post and then, if all goes to plan, I have another 'Studio Miniatures' survivor for the final run in to the finish line of 'Zomtober 2015'.

Bill Murray: [dying] Is that you say hello where you come from?
Columbus: Oh, my God. Oh, my God, I can't believe I shot Bill Murray.
Tallahassee: Mr. Murray?
Bill Murray: I'm just Bill, I think, now.
Tallahassee: Bill?
Bill Murray: Yeah?
Tallahassee: [pokes at Bill's wound] I don't think we're gonna be able to stitch this.
Bill Murray: Ah. That's still tender.
Tallahassee: You think you might pull through?
Bill Murray: No.
Columbus: If it means anything now, I am so sorry. It was just instinctive.
Bill Murray: It was my bad. I was never a very good practical joker.
Little Rock: So do you have any regrets?
Bill Murray: "Garfield," maybe.

Wednesday 14 October 2015

"No women, no kids"

When it came to the final, themed bonus round of last year's 'Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' I found myself submitting a more modest entry than previous rounds; I was determined to find something suitable having discarded my original idea which was proving far too elaborate.  Instead, I  looked to the silversrceen for inspiration and particularly the often overlooked gem that, in my humble opinion, is one of Monsieur Besson's finest films - Leon.  

The unlikely story of the relationship between a professional assassin and an orphaned twelve year old girl, Leon boasts an all star cast with stand out performances from Jean Reno in the title role ably supported by a young Natalie Portman with a particularly menacing turn from Gary Oldman as the corrupt D.E.A. agent, Stansfield.  The story, primarily one of revenge, see us comfortably take sides with the trained assassin as he looks to right the wrongs that have befallen his young protégé - surely the epitome of an anti-hero?

When it came to finding miniatures to represent Leon and Mathilda, I had to look no further than the rather splendid 'Rogue Miniatures' who do a 'Master and Apprentice' that were just perfect for the job in hand.  28mm scale and well cast, these were very quickly prepared with the addition of some rubble on the base, as I see them forming part of my ever growing band of survivors after the challenge.  

Those that know the film will understand the significance of the plant on Leon's base*, a reminder of the importance he holds in not having roots, something his relationship with Mathilda sees him question during the course of the film.  In the recent Zombicide Kickstarter, 'Rue Morgue', Leon was given the 'not' treatment in the shape of Lucius, so happy to have my proxy already for the fray. 

*It actually comes with the apprentice miniature, but couldn't resist adding to the Master's base.

Sunday 11 October 2015

Mr. Tambourine Man

Zomtober 2015 - post#3

Week two of Zomtober already, where does the time go?  It has been wonderful to see many new contributors to this year's autumnal anarchy; for a full list do pop along to Simon Quinton's, 'Brummie's Wargaming Blog'.  A work commitment on Saturday has meant that I haven't had as much time this weekend to finish this post off as well as I would have liked.  That said it has been great to work on another of my 'Studio Miniatures' Kickstarter models, this week a Hare Krishna zombie.

Perhaps not as strange as it sounds as devotees of Mr. Romero's 1978 masterpiece, 'Dawn of the Dead', will not doubt recognise 'Studio Miniatures' homage to one of the legion of undead stars.  Interestingly, I had initially painted this one in more natural skin tones, but then watching the scene again decided to try an match the bluish tinge that the makeup department had lavished on this poor unfortunate - I may have slightly overdone it!

A wonderfully original sculpt to work on and one more to the tally, so off now to see what everyone else has managed to get down today, but not before I set up my generic satellite receiving hard disk to record Season 6 of the Walking Dead that starts tomorrow here in Old Blighty!

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Zombicide Girls

Zomtober 2015 - post#2

A sneaky mid-week 'Zomtober' post and given that these were technically completed before the start of the month probably illegible to count in the final tally.  Unmistakably Zombicide miniatures, I thoroughly enjoyed painting these two up, although if I insist on lavishing this much attention on each miniature, I'll never get through the box! 

I seem to be favouring a rather ghoulish green for the skin of these undead vixens, that I'm not sure that I like.  It has just rather sneaked in as the default palette and I might need to adjust the recipe a little to give a bit more variation to the ever growing hoard. 

What I love about painting these miniatures is the previously undiscovered amounts of detail that they have.  It isn't until you start painting them that you realise just how much time and effort went into the sculpts, perhaps one of the reasons that I am happy to give them that extra bit of time on the painting table. 

Sunday 4 October 2015

The Beginning.

Zomtober 2015 - post#1

And so it begins - 'Zomtober 2015' and what better place to begin than the opening scene of the hugely successful, 'Walking Dead' television series that first aired in the UK back in 2010.  Although late to this zombie phenomena, the opening scene involving our reluctant hero, police officer Rick Grimes and a shuffling zombie child is emblazoned on my mind.  That poor unfortunate child has now been recreated as a Kickstarter Exclusive 'not' character thanks to 'Studio Miniatures' recently successful crowd funding venture.  

With the series about to start its sixth season later this month, the band of survivors is still looking for answers, not to mention a safe place to call home!  Some may argue that it is not a patch on the original comic series created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore, some may also suggest that it is running out of ideas and lacks the punch of those early groundbreaking episodes, but I shall be there glued to the television for my weekly dose of undead mayhem. 

As unnerving as this miniature was to work on, the sculpt was amazing with fabulous details to tantalise the brush.  So week one of 'Zomtober' complete and the first deadline met, now to see what the rest of the contributors have managed.

Saturday 3 October 2015

Paint Table Saturday#100!

Not very much to show this morning as I'm putting the finishing touches to my first entry for 'Zomtober 2015', which I hope to share tomorrow.  That said, I didn't want to let today go by unmarked as it is the 100 edition of 'Paint Table Saturday'.  This was such a lovely idea that saw a community of likeminded hobbyists share what was currently on their painting tables.  Sofie, it's founder, should be immensely proud of her achievement as the community has gone from strength to strength.

For those of us with a natural curiosity it is such a treat to see what others are up to and I know that when I was particularly distracted by 'real life' issues, just sharing what I was doing on a weekly basis was such a boon and helped keep my interests alive.  So what of my paint table today?  Perhaps not unsurprisingly, masses of undead, with a liberal sprinkling of survivor!  The recent 'Studio Miniatures' Kickstarter has given me plenty of scope, so I will need to spend some time this morning sifting through my options.

With regards to 'Zomtober' there is still time to get involved and I would politely direct you the following blog posts to glean the full details, including a list of those taking part this year.  It is great to see the list slowly growing and I'm looking forward to seeing the results of everyone's labours slowly shuffling off the painting tables.

So here's to many more 'Paint Table Saturdays', don't forget to visit the rest of the community here and once again a big thank you to Sophie for her inspiration in setting it all up!

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