Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Vampifan's Views 57 - Monthly Musings 35

Vampirella by Michael Kaluta
October has been yet another busy month for me. Without doubt, the best news of the month was I had my second operation to remove the cataracts from my right eye. As before, it was a complete success and I now have damn near perfect vision in both eyes. One minor hiccup is that my close in vision is just a bit blurry. For everyday life this is of no concern. Where it does affect me the most is when it comes to painting figures. When I paint my figures I like to hold them up close to my eyes. Anyway, I was told by the surgeon that this might happen. I may have to get a pair of reading glasses. In the meantime, I have bought myself a pair of magnifying glasses, which I wear just like normal glasses. They have 4x magnification and are superb for focusing in on close up things like a miniature figure in my hand. For anything else they are worse than useless. They only cost me £4 from Amazon and at that price I really can't complain.

Speaking of painting figures, I have a mixed bag of figures currently on my painting table. They consist of 6 Recreational Conflict Hazmat Troopers, 3 Crooked Dice Doctor Who female companions, 3 Shadowforge assorted females (a US Army medic, a vampire and a sci-fi cop), a Black Scorpion female US Army medic and Ken the Zombie.
Let me tell you about Ken the Zombie. He is, apparently, a limited edition figure made by Partizan. I learnt that one was up for grabs on e-Bay. I made a bid of £3.80 for him, never expecting to win. This was a day before bidding closed and I felt certain I'd get outbid at the last minute. That has happened before far too many times. Indeed, I have never ever won a bid on e-Bay. I have bought things on e-Bay before but only if the buyer has the "Buy Now" option. Imagine my complete and utter surprise when I was informed that my bid was successful. I couldn't believe it! I am very happy to have him in my collection and soon he will join the ranks of my painted horde.

Coming soon - six new original films
On the card modelling front I have just finished making a Stoelzel's Structures Barn. Expect a review of it very soon. I am tempted to make the Farmhouse next, to go with my Barn, but Carl has just released a new set which has me very interested. Actually, to be honest, ALL of his sets have me interested. But this one is unique as I don't know of anyone else who has produced a card model of a cinema complex. The Colossus Cineplex is a two screen cinema with a large car park surrounding it. Carl ran a competition on his new forum to come up with the names of fictitious film titles. I suggested quite a few and he chose four of my titles, which appear as film posters for the model. I've included a picture of the six winning entries, which Carl has expertly illustrated. My suggestions that were chosen were Nun But The Brave (a thriller about a vigilante nun), The Scarlet Chronicles (a Vampirella film. In the Vampirella comics, the Crimson Chronicles are often mentioned but seeing as that name is copyrighted, I changed it to the Scarlet Chronicles), and Brummies vs Zombies and Geordies vs Zombies (both sequels to the film, Cockneys vs. Zombies). The other two film titles were suggested by my friend and fellow blogger, Colin Nash. It was a fun contest and the thrill of seeing four of my titles appearing in the set was reward enough for me. You can check out and buy this model from here -

Finally, I want to pimp a new blog-site run by my good friend, Stephen Gilbert, called Zombie Goths and Anime Candy. You can find it here- I persuaded Steve that it would be a good thing to buy the Zombicide board-game and he persuaded me to buy the Super Dungeon Explore board-game. We are both equally enthusiastic about these games. My interest in fantasy gaming has lain dormant for many years now - gone but not forgotten. I'm very excited about getting back into fantasy gaming after such a long absence.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Zombicide Zombies - Season 1 Male Walkers 03

And so I come to the last four figures of my Zombicide season 1 male Walker zombies. All four have been converted to give me more variety amongst the poses. These are dressed much more casually than the shirt and tie guys I reviewed last time.
Starting at the far left is a very simple conversion. I just gave this Walker longer hair with a bit of Milliput modelling putty. You can see much better from the rear just how long his hair is.
For the next figure in line I converted his vest into a T-shirt with a bit of Milliput and repositioned his left arm so that it hung by his side.
The third Walker in line also had his left arm repositioned. But even more noticeable are the intestines spilling out of his stomach. These were added on with thin "sausages" of Milliput that were twisted into shape. It looks like he is trying to stop his guts from spilling out but he's fighting a losing battle. It does beg the question of why he's doing it? After all, zombies do not feel pain and he doesn't really need his intestines. Perhaps he is reacting out of pure instinct as some long forgotten memory triggers in his brain.
For the Walker at the far right I repositioned his head slightly so that it is facing forward instead of to the left. I also drilled a hole all the way through his stomach to show the entry and exit wounds of a gunshot. Finally, I gave him the skin tones of an African/American to further emphasise his difference.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Zombicide Zombies - Season 1 Male Walkers 02

In my last two posts I reviewed the Zombicide season 1 female Walker zombies I had recently converted. Now it is time to show the first of my converted male Walkers. Remember that in Zombicide, a Walker is your basic slow-moving, easy-to-kill, generic zombie. Individually, they are weak but when in a group they become more powerful as the group grows in numbers.
There are only three figures in this group because I converted another Walker into my zombified Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy fame. The zombie at the far left of this group has had the bottom of his shirt added to with |Milliput so that the whole of his shirt lies outside of his trousers all around. It's a simple conversion that could easily be overlooked. Note how the other two have been sculpted with their shirts half in and half out of their trousers. It's more noticeable in the back views of them.
As I was thinking up ideas of how to convert these figures I had a sudden flash of inspiration - why not sculpt some with their guts hanging out of their stomachs? I make no apologies about being a gore hound and this conversion had real appeal to me. I smeared a very small blob of Milliput over the guy's stomach and groin to give the intestines something to adhere to. The intestines were just thin rolls of Milliput twisted into shape and placed over his stomach. Two or three "sausages" were enough to give the impression of his intestines spilling out. I painted his intestines with a mix of Tamiya Clear Red and Foundry White. The white helps give it that pale colour and the TCR makes it glisten wetly.
The Walker at the far right has had his arms repositioned so that they thrust forward more. This was done by briefly holding the figure over the flame of a candle then immediately dunking it into a mug of cold water once I'd repositioned the arms.
There is an interesting story to tell about the Walker zombie at the far left of these photos directly above and below. I decided to reposition his left arm so that he was clutching his stomach with his left hand. All went well with the flame and cold water technique... or so I thought! A closer inspection showed that the flame had melted a hole in his lower back. I looked at it and thought, cool! I can make that into a big wound. Serendipity in action! That gaping hole looks quite disgusting (in a good way) and makes for a unique wound. Note that I also added Milliput to his head to give him more hair.
I was much more careful when I repositioned the left arm of the second Walker in line. His arm is reaching out as if to grab someone.
Having done one zombie with his guts hanging out I had to do more. The walker in the tan-coloured suit had his intestines sculpted and painted in exactly the same manner as before.
The Walker at the far right had his left arm cut off near the shoulder. I added Milliput around the stump to make it a ragged cut and to show a bit of bone. In addition, I added Milliput to his head to cover up his bald patch. Finally, I painted his skin as an African/American by adding a Citadel Agrax Earthshade ink wash to my normal zombie flesh tones.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Zombicide Zombies - Season 1 Female Walkers 03

Here are my second batch of converted female Zombie walkers from season 1 of the Zombicide board-game. As with my previous four that I reviewed last time, I have a named zombie character here, although this one is far more famous than Alex Polizzi.
The Walker at the far left of my photos has had her arms repositioned in the same way as I straightened Alex Polizzi's arms last time - by holding her over a candle flame, repositioning the arms, then immediately dunking the figure in cold water to freeze the limbs in place. It is one of the simplest conversions you can do. Some folk soften the plastic by dipping the figure in hot water. Either way, do take care.
The second figure in line has had her hair slightly lengthened with Milliput. I also filled in the hole at the back of her dress, thus covering up her bare bum and panties. It was not done for any sense of decency on my part but simply because it is so unlikely for so many woman to suffer exactly the same wardrobe malfunction.
Moving on, the walker in the grey outfit has had the most work done to her. I made her hair much longer and I covered up the big hole in the back of her skirt. In addition, I repositioned her arms so that they were spread out more.
The female Walker at the far right is my named zombie and she is, of course, Tina Turner. Okay, I admit, not an obvious choice for a zombie and I certainly did not set out with the intention of making a zombified Tina. However, I did decide to totally alter her hairstyle and as soon as I came up with this hairstyle I had a mental image of Tina Turner flash into my brain. A quick Google search of images of Tina confirmed my initial thought. This is Tina from the 1980's. Okay, so more than likely it is just a Tina Turner lookalike and not the real deal but what the heck? To me she is Tina Turner - Zombie Walker.
This is Tina as I modeled her, not as she looks now, but as she looked back in 1984, when she released her fifth album, Private Dancer. It was all down to the hair! Incidentally, I am not a big fan of Tina's music. I don't dislike her either, but instead I feel rather ambivalent about her. Having said that, I did enjoy her acting performance in Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Zombicide Zombies - Season 1 Female Walkers 02

So far, in recent posts, I have reviewed my converted Fatties and Runners from the original Zombicide boxed set. That just leaves the Walker zombies to show. I'll start by showing you four of my female Walkers, which, very unusually for me, includes a named zombie.
I shall start with that named zombie. At the far left of my two photos is a zombified version of Alex Polizzi. Some of you (especially my foreign followers) must be wondering "who the hell is Alex Polizzi?" She is a business guru known as the Fixer and she helps revive ailing businesses in a series of documentary programmes shown on BBC2 called, appropriately enough Alex Polizzi: the Fixer. As I was about to paint these four figures a trailer for Alex's show kept airing on TV and I was struck at how closely she resembled one of these Zombicide females. I did not watch the shows but my interest in her was piqued. My conversion of the figure was very simple. I repositioned her arms by briefly holding the figure over the flame of a lit candle. Once the arms were repositioned I immediately dunked the figure into a glass of cold water, which froze the limbs in place. This is a simple conversion technique that works very well with plastic figures.
For the next three figures I decided to make them look different by use of Milliput modelling putty. You can instantly see what I've done with the blonde-haired woman. Her hair has been considerably lengthened and restyled. Her black roots show she is not a natural blonde.
It seemed odd to me that eight women would have their skirts torn in exactly the same way so I went with a couple of conversions that should satisfy the more prudish followers of my blog. I restored the skirts of both women to their former glory. They are intact and the only thing marring their skirts now are the splashes of blood. Their skirts are not quite identical. The woman at the far right has a slightly shorter skirt than her friend.
Here is a photo of Alex Polizzi showing her in the trailer that caught my eye. It is strange how inspiration can hit you. Until I saw her on that trailer I would never have thought of making a zombified version of her.
Look out for more female Walkers next time, including another named character, whom I'm sure you'll all know.