Thursday 14 March 2024

The Gang's All Here

In the summer of 2012, I wrote this post, apologising for an extended period (over 2 months in fact) with no updates to this blog. It was a silly little piece of creative writing which I quite enjoyed putting together, and I was of course immediately accused of having plagiarised it. Such is life.

Can't think what put that into my head. Please don't check the date of the post before this one.

Anyhoo. I've decided to take this whole affair in a slightly new direction. Rather than rushing to the laptop every time the paint dries on whatever I've been doing most recently (often I didn't even wait that long, you can probably spot a fair bit of wet PVA on old photos of bases if you're the sort of person inclined to look), I'm going to hang on until I have something a little more substantial. 

The uncharitable might point out that in this instance, that appears to have taken me two and a half years. Ignore these naysayers.

So, in recent times, I've been involved in a fair amount of looking backwards - mostly this has been through older versions of Warhammer and 40k, but now it's time to move into the nightmare undercity. It's time to Necro like it's 1995! Or something.

To allow this nostalgia-fest, I've got the Biostrip out, and repainted my original Orlock gang. 

Also a weird clock thing

To the left...

To the right...
Now back left...

This is a contrast paint job, and to tie the gang together I've used some repeating colours:

Skin - Guilliman Flesh

Boots and jackets - Black Templar

Bandanas and Sashes - Gryph-Hound Orange

Weapon casings - Space Wolves Grey

I also decided to do some light converting. For some reason, even though there were four sculpts for juves, and juves used to come in packs of four, 90's Games Workshop decided that what we really needed was two each of two of these sculpts. (It's possible I've misremembered, and none of the foregoing sentence is true. In that case, meh.)

And back right

Since that's quite irritating, especially in a skirmish game where it's important to know exactly who is who, I never used the "spares" back in the day. But I've decided to rectify that, and having rummaged through the equally old spare weapons I had lying around, I now have a juve with a bolt pistol and another with a hand flamer. Both weapons are far too expensive to give to a juve, so that will almost certainly turn out to be an enormous tactical error.

So there you have it. More of this sort of thing to come, either "eventually" or "when I remember again". Keep holding your breath!

Saturday 18 September 2021

Stig Makes Friends

EXTERIOR. DAY. The ARMOURED LAMBORGHINI is speeding through the wasteland.

JAMES (V.O.): As you've seen, our modified vehicles give us an edge in surviving the day-to-day adventures of finding food and fuel in the brave new world. However, we're still a little short handed, and that can leave us a bit... vulnerable. 

Several RAMSHACKLE RAIDER VEHICLES power toward the AMOURED LAMBORGHINI, firing their weapons at it.

JAMES (V.O.): So it seemed sensible for us to beef up our numbers a bit. 

The STIG WAGON drives into frame, full of STIGLETS. They team up with STIG and the ARMOURED LAMBORGHINI to destroy the RAMSHACKLE RAIDER VEHICLES. STIG and his crew keep rolling through the wasteland.

CUT TO: The STIG faction, the AMOURED LAMBORGHINI, and the STIG WAGON. JEZZA walks into frame.

JEZZA (TO CAMERA): Friendly looking bunch, aren't they? 

Alright, I've been away for months, et cetera. I got a bit carried away with finishing one of my planned 7TV Apocalypse casts, and that took a while, so this post ended up waiting until it was done. Anyway.

The idea is to turn my Grand Top Gear Tour cast from the 7TV Apocalypse day into four complete casts, one for each of the main characters. I decided to give each of them a unit and a co-star, and I have a long-term plan of creating some specific scenarios for them.

I already had the Stig himself (who I'm counting as a Terminal Crazy) and last time I finished his Lambo (which fairly obviously counts as a Racer).

I had the idea that Stig would amass followers that are in awe of his inhuman driving skills and general fearsomeness, so they'd try to be more like him. From there I came up with the Stiglets:

The idea here is that they've shaved their heads and painted themselves and their clothes to look like Stig in his racing gear. I think I've had varying degrees of success with the models, but at least I know what's going on. These all count as Joyriders in 7TV terms.

Branching out from these a little, I added in Stig Backley (a Petrolhead, so he throws a javelin...) and the Mechanic (who counts as a Mechanic).

Stig's Lambo has a rear-facing machine gun, which has to be fired by a passenger. So, I wanted a gunner, and since there's not a lot of space in the back of the Lambo, it seemed sensible for it to be a child. Therefore, we get Lucy.

Lucy, counts as a Gunner, and since she's a child, she's accompanied by a "responsible" adult in the form of her mum, (a Bad Lieutenant). 

Lucy's mum isn't as thoroughly bought in to the cult of Stig as her daughter, so hasn't gone for the black and white outfit - to show willing she has a Stig helmet patch on her sleeve.

To go along with all of these, I wanted some transport, so it was time to get back to sticking stuff to toy cars again. Or in this case, a highway maintenance truck.

It's plastered with Crooked Dice armour plating and weapons, and I took some of the more obvious toy-looking bits off.

The big Stig flag on the back covers up another obvious toy section that I couldn't remove easily.

As it's a pretty hefty model I count this as a Big Rig, and I've tried to allow as many models as possible to actually fit on it. 

I now just need to repeat all this another three times to make the other casts! So that might take a little while...

Oh, also, I've carried on with Bolt Action painting alongside this too, so here are another 8 Japanese and 8 German infantry.

Having done all of that, it's time to update the numbers again...

Painted: 70

Acquired: 41

Lead Pile Reduction: 29

Saturday 8 May 2021

Our Not-So-Tame Racing Driver

EXTERIOR. DAY. A montage of dead traffic lights, rusting road signs, and broken tarmac from the wasteland.

JEZZA (V.O.): You've seen our cars, and will have noted the excellent modifications I've made and the pointless tinkering from those two simpletons. But of course, our convoy has a fourth wheelman. Some say he caused the apocalypse with tremendous amounts of understeer, and that if he was bitten by a zombie, the zombie would turn into him. All we know is, he's called the Stig.

CUT TO: THE STIG looks directly into camera, arms folded. He does not move.

JEZZA walks into shot next to THE STIG. 

JEZZA (TO CAMERA): After we retrieved Stiggy here from the wreckage of the BBC, he told us that he also wanted to modify a vehicle to take out into the wastes and seek his fortune.

CUT TO: JAMES is walking, the camera pans with him. 

JAMES (TO CAMERA): That's right. Initially, one of the producers told him to take one of the many abandoned vehicles that are readily to hand these days, and work with that. 

CUT TO: HAMSTER, walking in the opposite direction, the camera panning with him.

HAMSTER (TO CAMERA): After the ensuing... debate, the surviving producers thought a bit more, and found this Lamborghini Gallardo.

CUT TO: The ARMOURED LAMBORGHINI. JEZZA is already examining it. JAMES and HAMSTER walk into shot.

JAMES: Did he really attack a producer?

HAMSTER: Very much so.

(JEZZA nods approvingly)

JEZZA: So, this is, somehow, a Lamborghini Gallardo. As you can see, the Stig has added some extra plating around the windows and doors, including something fairly hefty to cover the windscreen.

HAMSTER: He's only left a little window to see out of, look. He did tell us that he only needs to see things that won't get out of the way, though.

JAMES: He's added this oil dropper thing to the back, which can cause havoc for anything else on the road. But more worrying than that is the machine gun mounted to fire out of the back window.

JEZZA: There's not exactly a lot of space to fire that. Whoever he's got using it must be tiny!

HAMSTER: Don't look at me, I've got my mini to drive!

JAMES: Notice both his weapons work backwards? I think the theory is that anyone driving around the Stig is going to be behind him...

THE STIG walks into frame.

JEZZA (to THE STIG): Ah, Stig, do you want to show us around your car? We were just...

THE STIG gets into the ARMOURED LAMBORGHINI. The engine starts, wheels spin, and the ARMOURED LAMBORGHINI sets off in a racing start.

HAMSTER: Right. Shall we get on then?

Once again, the above presumably makes it obvious that I'm still amusing myself with my Grand Top Gear Tour post-apocalypse nonsense for 7TV. This is another die-cast car that I've glued things to and then painted, which I'm still finding a lot of fun. I've been trying to add enough details onto these to make it look like they've been repeatedly modified over time - but I figured that beyond making sure he isn't killed, the Stig wouldn't want to add too much to his ride as more weight means less speed!

There's still more to come of that stuff, but of course we're nearing the time when I'll be able to resume actually playing games with other people, so I might unfortunately get distracted into something more sensible. We shall see. 

I have also stuck to my own rule of continuing work on my Bolt Action Japanese as I go, so here's another 13 of those...

So, crucially, it's score time:

Painted: 44
Acquired: 31
Lead Pile Reduction: 13

Finally, the numbers have started to move in the right direction! Need to keep that up then...

Saturday 10 April 2021

Hamster's Wheels

EXTERIOR. DAY. HAMSTER is walking through the wasteland.

HAMSTER (TO CAMERA): So, you've seen the orangutan's Jag, and been mightily underwhelmed by Captain Slow's taxi... tank... thing. Now let me show you how to approach the world after the end with a little more finesse.

CUT TO roads clogged with burnt out cars, rubble, and craters.

HAMSTER (VO): You see, with their big, lumbering vehicles, those two are bound to get bogged down and fall easy prey to cannibals or mutant hedgehogs or whatever we're going to have to deal with this week.

No, this situation calls for agility, so my first thought was, of course, a bike.

(A motorcycle picks through the debris. We can't identify the rider.)

HAMSTER (VO): That has some problems though.

(A machine gun opens fire on the motorcycle, hitting it and the rider several times. The bike crashes in a fireball.)

CUT TO the OVERLOADED MINI. HAMSTER walks around it.

HAMSTER (To camera): So here's my solution - a 1991 Mini Cooper, with a few modifications. 

The aim is combine agility with enough protection to see me through life outside the settlements. The Mini is small enough to make its way through the obstacles in the way, and I've been able to attach armour plating in a few key places.

I've also fitted a roof rack, and filled it with fuel, ammo and provisions.

I'll need the ammo for the machine gun mounted on the bonnet - so I can deal with any problems that I can't drive around by shooting them. Shooting them a lot.

JEZZA and JAMES arrive.

HAMSTER: It's good, isn't it?

JEZZA: It's absurd. Can it even move under that weight?

HAMSTER: Of course it can! Remember the one I had in India? This thing's a warhorse.

JAMES: "Mini masher"? Is it a kitchen implement?

JEZZA: Your machine gun is mounted on the bonnet. 

HAMSTER: Yeah. I can shoot it from inside, it goes through the windscreen, look.

JEZZA: So when it breaks down, you can't actually service it?

JAMES: Not without disarming yourself, anyway...

HAMSTER: You two don't understand great design. Let's get on the road!

As you'll have gathered, I'm still mucking about with toy cars, and working on my frankly nonsensical 7TV Apocalypse project. It's amazing the things you find time for when you can't actually play any games.

Hamster's mini is definitely my favourite of these so far, but I've still got more to come. 

In the same vein, I've also painted a cameraman!

I have a profile card for him that Karl from Crooked Dice kindly gave me a while ago. I've got a vague idea of having crew as a separate cast, or as things that move automatically, or... something.

Anyway! I'm also keeping up the plan of working on my Bolt Action Japanese at the same time, so here's the latest on those:

Right then, numbers time. 

Painted: 28

Acquired: 31

Lead pile reduction: -3

I'm almost back at where I was at the start of the year!

Wednesday 10 March 2021

Flames May

EXTERIOR. DAY. The camera tracks across the wasteland, past several burnt out vehicles.

JAMES (V.O.): The last time we were out in the wasteland, we'd been reduced to travelling together in Jezza's Jag, and even then we only made it through because of the timely arrival of Dave from the AA. Nice bloke, Dave.

After hardly any time at all, this became quite tedious. So, at the first opportunity, we scavenged some more vehicles, and set to work modifying them.

Pan to the HEAVILY MODIFIED DEATH TAXI, parked in the wasteland. JAMES stands by it.

JAMES: As you'd expect, I've done things properly. My base vehicle was an LTC TX4. It has a 2.5 litre diesel engine, and a very tight turning circle. It's also spacious enough inside to enable me to carry supplies, ammo, or any extra friends I might make along the way.

JAMES: I've looked to give myself some extra protection with the addition of some scrap metal and timber in strategic locations. 

JAMES: I've got hold of some tools, to sort myself out should I become stuck, or imperilled by zombies. 

JAMES: Most importantly of all, I've managed to build a turret and fit a flamethrower. This might compromise fuel efficiency, but it does have the benefit of enabling me to burn things. 

Right then, let's get out there!

Yep, I'm back on The Grand Top Gear Tour for 7TV Apocalypse - I've been meaning to do more for this for ages, and I have other things planned so I'm sure everyone is excited for that.

Of course, I still have to crack on with my Bolt Action Japanese, so here you go:

These will all be assistants for various HQ units. 

And of course, back to the scores:

Painted: 20
Acquired: 31
Lead Pile Reduction: -11

Thursday 18 February 2021

Video Nasty

I've developed a cunning plan.

I have a variety of projects that I'd like to crack on with, but I also have lots of Japanese infantry that I'd like to get done to add to the Bolt Action army I painted during an earlier phase of interminable pandemic-related lockdown.

Basically, I'm going to do both together. I figure that just banging through dozens of very similar Japanese models with contrast paint will be effective, but also deeply tedious both for me and you, my valued and numerous audience.

So, you should find that each time I post for the foreseeable, I'll have some "new" thing, and then some number of Japanese bits that I've added to the pile.

Here we go then. New bit!

That's the McGuffin marker from the 7TV Apocalypse set. I'd like to claim it's part of some master plan that I've painted it now, but really it was just on my desk already so it was readily to hand as something to do.

Like all Crooked Dice models it's really well made with lots of details that all show up well. So that's nice.

Japanese bits!

Yep, there they are

These are the models I need to bring two of the squads I have up to full 15-man strength. So that's also nice.

Right, there you go. Six models painted, quick post written, job done. Have some scores.

Painted: 15
Acquired: 31
Lead Pile Reduction: -16


Tuesday 2 February 2021

Black Hawk Down

Not much else to say about this! I've painted a big chunk of resin, in the form of this crashed UH-60 Black Hawk.

Time to swap insurance details with whoever fired that RPG

This comes from Britannia Miniatures, as part of their Mogadishu range. For me, though, it's going to be featuring in a variety of post-apocalypse setups - I've got plans to do more of that sort of thing this year as it's a genre I really like and I have various little projects that would fit. A side effect of endless Coronavirus lockdowns is that I've built up a few painted things that have either never seen a table yet, or have only been out once or twice, so I've no particular need to rush other stuff through and I can muck about with stuff like this for a while. 

Thankfully this wall broke its fall

It's a hefty chunk of resin, I'll give it that. Nice and cleanly done, too, although for my purposes the stone wall the helicopter is lying against is mildly irritating. Still, I'm happy to live with it and I don't think it was expensive (I've had it lying around for years) so overall I rate this model as "fine".

It's that kind of top-notch consumer advice that keeps people coming back here, I'm sure.

Anyway. Since the last post on here, I realised I'd not accounted for some models I got on the front of a magazine, so my scores are actually getting worse at the moment:

Painted: 9

Acquired: 31

Lead Pile Reduction: -22

Still, no further purchases planned at the moment and none of the shows are on, so things should start moving in the right direction again soon.