Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Ubonga

Askari types  (I do need another half a dozen)
Generic Explorer types
Ubonga was the fictional African setting for a campaign game for use with the Sword and the Flame rules on the "By Jingo" site (sadly, mostly now defunct, but you can see what's left here: By Jingo , which I first played way back in the early 2000's and it was  also the first place I discovered Jimland. On a recent visit to the site I also came across the rules The Black Amazons In King Solomon's Lost City Of The Diamond Mines In The Elephant's Graveyard At The Source Of The Nile", which I'd completely forgotten about, but are as relevant now as they were then.
"
Some  obvious types
"What has this to do with my current post ?" , I hear you ask (you did ask right ?), well nothing save to save that after a week of being  disillusioned ,depressed and generally being in a funk it cheered me up and I made up for doing nothing all week and getting stuck into some hobby stuff!
 The current batch of the figures are just about finished and although I'm not too happy with the current basing on them it'll do for the moment.
I've also managed to clean what little flash there was on my latest purchases and based and undercoated them all. 
Basing (using old credit cards,  store cards etc.
The futures bright!
Spot the trope types
Finally I've still working  on jungle and making slow progress (it's all the drying time for glue and filler!), whilst the urge to sing "The lion sleeps tonight" is only a whim away, a whim away, a whim away....

I'll get my coat...

That's it then for this week I do hope you've found something of interest and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Melting

The bearer, now ready to trek through Jimland
After the monsoon season in which I visited the Durham Show (see last week's blog) , I've been melting here in the Saharan heatwave, which is really not that conducive to getting anything done hobby-wise.  In addition, after the aforementioned show I was left feeling a bit 'flat', unenthusiastic and decidedly unmotivated. Despite all this I have managed to make a small dent in my jungle terrain and have painted the errant bearer for 'Jimland. Nothing spectacular and it did take me the biggest of efforts to sit and do an hour's- worth of hobby related stuff each day and I also managed to find a couple more animals!
Here's the results of my paltry efforts over the last week or so.





40 to 60 Palms ready to base up


Basing up palms etc. (not the ones above!)
I've been basing up palms and came across the snag of the larger ones having a metal wirer running through them. No problem you might think, however whereas previously I've stuck the extra long 'stalks' though the base and slice it off with a craft knife, this didn't work with those that had the steel wire insert.
Cutting the wire before basing them up was a frustrating experience as the damn palms refused to stay vertical long enough to glue in place..    

Clips, making a quick and dirty fix!
As can be seen in the photograph above and in more detail on the photograph to the right my solution was to use clips to act as supports holding the larger trees on place whilst the glue and filler did their jobs.
When finished the jungle bases in the above photograph will approximately double the amount of jungle I'll have, but the photograph below shows that I have at least as many bases more still to to - though I doubt I'll run out of plants and palms to fill them all out.




Even more bases; note the pile of them bottom right
Here's the animals I sorted, previously purposed for duty in the arena (54mm gladiator).
Previously shown rhino on the left, new on the right
 The new rhino is larger (possibly too large?) than the one I've previously shown, but possibly not so large as to be unusable.
Hippos (new one on the left|)
I now have three hippos, all probably usable, but I'm not completely convinced!

And that's it for this completely lacklustre week, I really am finding it difficult to drum up any enthusiasm hobby-wise - could be a very difficult blog post to write next time!

Thanks for taking the time to look and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Durham Show

The main hall.
So on Saturday I ventured south to Durham Wargames Group Open Day despite it being the monsoon season here in God's country. My travel arrangements were such that I could only spend at most 2 hours at the show, but little did I know that I would need less than an hour!
I've attended many DWG shows over the years, both as a member of DWG and as a punter, though not in the last couple of years.
The other hall
As you'd expect there were games (four !) and many, many sellers of Wargaming delights (and some rubbish probably).
For once, the show seemed busy, but as I'd left well before lunch time, I can't even guess what it was like after lunch, traditionally the time when the show died a long slow death.
"Don't Panic"
Of the four games that were on display, one was a joy to watch, two were meh, and the Durham group's  own game had little more than I'd expect from a good club game, despite the terrain being built by a former member.
In the main hall, squeezed in between the numerous traders (nine or ten) were two games, "Don't Panic" by Redcar Iron beards may have been a participation game and event though well-presented, it left me cold.
The photograph to the right shows the entirety of the game.
The second game in the main hall was slightly larger and although I did take note of what it was all abut I can't for the sake of me remember any of it!
By the pikemen and flags depicted it was set some 50 years either side of 1600 bce. A good looking game I guess, but one I couldn't really say was particularly absorbing.
Please note that the old 'problem' of debris and detritus on the tables, I've mostly photo-shopped out, but it was present on every game, to one degree or another. 
The Tantobie lads' game  - war of the Roses iirc.
By far the most impressive game was situated in the smaller hall with about six participants, all of whom were more than willing to chat to Joe Public (my alter ego) and was put on by a small group from Tantobie (in Durham).
The game was a feast for the eyes, 40mm War of the Roses figures with some old commercial buildings alongside some scratch-build models too.
Though it seemed it would be a slow boiler, they were rolling dice from the get-go and it had progressed fairly quickly, even during the little time I was at the show. (I spent more time around this game than doing anything else)
The figures - superbly painted 40mms
More of the same (various painters too iirc)
Another view of the village
The Union 'end'
Outside the main venue, one had to brave the monsoon to take a brief walk to the Bowling green hut for both the Bring and Buy (busy) and the Durham group's own game - a 28mm American Civil War action set in the Shenadoah valley.
The ACW is one of my favourite periods and given the chance, I would have gladly participated in this game, had it not been a dsiplay game; it lacked a certain 'something' that I can't quite put my finger on. The rules and players I know well  'Johnny Reb' and old Durham Wargame group members) that I have played many games with using my own 15mm ACW armies.
The Confederate 'end' of the table 

The Bring & Buy
Charlie with Northumbria games closing down sale!
There were many prominent traders present, Dave Thomas, selling mostly Perry, Colonel Bill, Irregular Miniatures, Pendraken to name but a few. I think the trade stands outnumbered the games by at least  four or five to one.
I did take a few pics of the traders too...
...mostly for nostalgia, I guess.
I'm a sucker for Irregular minis and have bought many kilos of them after the liquid lunch at many a Durham Wargames show, but his time around I simply didn't have anything on my shopping list , despite poring over their catalogue the previous evening!
Charlie at Northumbria games is a very old friend and it was a bit sad to see he was giving up trading.
Ian at Irregular Minis
The few purchase I made were from Colonel Bill's ( a pack of 17c villagers and a pack of Explorers) and Andy, from 'Old Glory UK', who was the brains behind the Tantobie Boys' game brought me a selection of Africa/ Lost world Natives and a pack of the "Village Mob" from their Pirates range.
I ended up with two packs of masked natives even though I was sorely tempted by the others packs offered up.
Jungle - wip
So spent up, more or less, soaked through by the walk to and from the pavilion and fairly bored by the whole show I headed homeward. I reckon I had been at the show for little more than an hour!

In other news...
Even though I have not been at 100% capacity for anything over the last week, I've still been making inroads into getting more jungle terrain completed, but more of that next time.
I also managed to paint the bearer that had somehow got separated from the others and with just his base to finish, that's another victim member to add to any expedition into ''JImland"

That's it then for this week, as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.


Monday, 5 June 2017

Jimland


During the upheaval that was my daughter's family moving into our house and her subsequent departure I came across a set of rules that I'd obviously had for a very long time (except for page 8 !) as the original date on them was 2003.
It would have been about the time that I was playing "The Sword and the Flame" rules in Umbongo from the very excellent "By Jingo" site along with my friend and fellow blogger Colin from "Carryings on up the Dale" .
Having also discovered some figures that were destined for Umbongo the task was on to see if I could regenerate this long-forgotten project.
The first task was to get a complete set of rules!
A google search eventually turned up the necessary (free) PDFs that were needed to play the game, namely a complete set of rules; the various cards that were needed, a terrain chart and playchart.
 The game itself is very reminiscent of the old Avalon Hill game "Source of the Nile" and borrows many of its ideas from said game.
As is the way with these things the game has been commercialised by Minden Games and is available for purchase in an all new glossy format  and to some extent by other various similarly themed games - Darkest Africa and Congo spring to mind.
Why I was so happy to rediscover this set of rules was two-fold - one as an offshoot of  my Pirate project - jungles! Secondly as I hold out little hope of getting any of my potential opponents interested in my pirate project this was one of the few games that can be played solo with perhaps as much fun as with an opponent from my perspective.


 The next order of business was to see what figures were necessary to play the game (now that I had the rules). Firstly a jungle column - I'm sure you all know the drill - Whitemen explorers, native guides, askari, soldiers, bearers, pack animals, blonde white woman etc.
The card driven "opposition"  are of course natives (which in this game  can have firearms), the tribal natives (no firearms), pygmies (poisoned blowpipes), native villages, ruined lost cites etc. and the local fauna and flora.

So what could I muster  from what I already had ?
A surprising amount it turns out....
Zulus - basing to be finished. (Irregular minis iirc)
 Jungle - Check - underway - but probably enough already for a game that uses a playing area of 30" x 30" !.
Explorers etc.- I have a dozen or so Old Glory ones in the process of being painted up 
 Natives - a dozen of so (again Old Glory), but easily supplemented by my Zulu forces. These can double as both tribal forces too for the moment.
Pygmies!
I could need  up to a dozen or so blowpipe armed pygmies, but luckily I just happened to have built up a small force of these guys too!
About 100 pygmies should  do it!
A tub of cheap plastic animals (boring huh?)
The flora is well underway, and rooting around for wildlife turned up the following beasts from tub of cheap figures (about £2.50) that I'd bought, foolishly thinking they'd be good for my 54mm Gladiators 
The tub contained about a dozen different animals with four identical models of each.
The lions from the tub are a pretty good size...
...the others less so
Whilst some of the animals are virtually useless there are still a fair few that can be used in an imaginary setting, though the camels are pretty much resigned to the tub.
It seems like a bear and an elk are also safari animals!
Along with the tub of animals I've also come upon a cache of animals collected over the years
A hippopotamus alongside a "tub" one.
A different lion along side a tub one again.
A Britain's baby elephant alongside the tub version
Another elephant alongside the various other animals.
Jimland may be the place "where anything can happen", but it is also the place where you need to have all the suggested animal opponents. the animals are card driven too so only using cards for the animals you have is a great aid in playing. I won't be rushing about trying to purchase giant wasps, ants, scorpions etc ( but then again, if I do happen to come across any...) nor will I be going out of my way to get dinosaurs, terror birds or any other similar prehistoric animals - though all all catered for in this fantasy game.
Some useful Indian mutiny personnel
Finally I remembered that I had a water buffalo in my Indian mutiny collection of figures, some of whom would also be suitable for play
I'm sure that they'll make great slavers and there's a couple more bearers there too!
I found the water buffalo along with an errant bearer who will join the others, no doubt  in their march to doom in the jungles of my version of Jimland
Bearer and buffalo.
Another bounty from the Indian mutiny was this chap mounted on a 20mm square base for reference
Not quite Kong, but quite large nonetheless
I've also been working on my terrain boards (again), but my star fort has little done to it save for an entrance being cut through one of the walls, more on that maybe next week if I don't get to Durham Show!

That's it then for this week, here's hoping you found something of interest and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Star Fort

Not a star fort
This last week saw me completely dissatisfied with my new terrain boards, the finish just wasn't what I was after, so I've decided to re-do them using more filler to hide the linear streaks that had appeared.


Above board covered in filler (still not a star fort)



















As  I leave the filler to dry overnight and wanted to crack on with this project I cut out my template for the proposed star fort. It had to be fairly small, unlike the two I've made previously - a five bastion one needing about a 5 foot square to set up and a six bastion one needing a slightly bigger area.
Here's the boring steps:
The template (pretty boring huh?)

The top "layer" (only slightly less boring)
The lower layer (60mm blue foam stuff)
Top layer cut out (this will form the parapet)
The two layers with the middle cut out!
I used the top layer as a template for the central hole , the standing part of the parapet is about  50mm wide, the parapet itself is 25mm high and 15mm wide,
You'll notice the fort isn't at all square, this was intentional and leaves a little extra  internal space to fit some sort of building in it, but it'll still be tight.
I glued on the top layer and again used it as a template for the bottom blue foam piece (the foam fell off the back of a wagon - honest guv!), leaving about a 1cm 'sicking out' , this was then sawed down to an angle, with the parapet
losing about 5mm from it's 15mm thickness. The blue foam stuff I found fairly hard to work with, having never used it before but I got there in the end  and filler will cover up all the mistakes!
Start of the harbour board
I also started on another board, that will be used as a harbour, cutting two triangles into it and using the pieces cut out as extensions to the board.
 










And glued in place (Evo Stick PVA)
 I also did that to both ends and cut out the middle bit giving a bit of a bay.; here's the result
Here's the result (again ! - *yawn!)
"Lift that barge, tote that bale" - bear with me... 
I also managed to finish off and varnish (more or less) some of the figures I've been painting over the last, though I'm not happy with the basin, though they're not for the pirate project and not will they be seen in a Zombie game!
Yup, it's another 10-15 year old project being resurrected  (Clint does not have the monopoly) 
Monkey Island anyone ?
Lastly, I've also being digging about for other 'useful' for the new (ahem) project and came up with this  model I'd started all those years ago.
It's a plastic baboon/monkey from goodness knows where and that had a bit of  filler on it (it was also on a 5mm piece of foam with a screw through the base ?)
The base has been cut down and the model painted up a bit, though I've  yet to add a bit of jungle greenery!



 So I've had a frustrating week, especially with the boards, bought more filler and realised I can't tell the difference between 'Burnt Sienna' and 'Burnt Umber', but I've made some progress (- namely the boring bits - sorry).

That's it then for this week, thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and very much appreciated.