|A Vampirella sketch by Joe Jusko, my favourite Vampi artist|
On the hobby front, this has been a very good year for me. Robert/Cherno's incredibly generous gift to me (reviewed in my previous post) was the outstanding moment of 2011 for me.
A special mention must also go to one of my other followers, Joe, aka Zabadak, who contacted me in July to praise me for my blog. Since then we have become very close fiends and I really treasure Joe's friendship and enthusiasm for all things zombie. We're in contact with one another via e-mail almost every day. It's great to have someone like that to bounce ideas off. Hopefully, 2012 will see Joe starting his own gaming blog. I wish him all the best.
My figure buying has slowed down as I came to the realisation that I must paint more figures per month than what I buy in a month. Otherwise, my pile (mountain?) of unpainted figures is just going to grow and grow and grow. Fortunately, I have been able to maintain that balance and hope to keep it up in 2012. I won't stop buying figures - that would just be impossible to do, but I'll try to be more selective about what I buy. Incidentally, my horde of 28mm scale zombies currently stands at 611 painted figures and 111 unpainted figures. That gives me a horde of 722 zombies! 100 of the unpainted ones are from the Victory Force Mega Horde that I bought last year. I really must get them painted as soon as possible. That'll make a huge dent in my pile of unpainted figures. Two questions I'm often asked are "do you aim to collect 1,000 zombies?" and "if so, will you stop at 1,000?" The answers are, yes, I would love to collect 1,000 zombies. I plan on collecting them just as long as the figure companies make them. So, no, I wouldn't stop collecting when I reach 1,000. Be afraid, my friends, be very afraid!
I have recently painted 12 Recreational Conlict 28mm scale civilians and 8 Recreational Conflict survivors. Photos to follow soon. Currently on my desk are 12 Black Cat Bases 28mm scale African American Gangers (5 males, 5 females and 2 dogs); 4 more Recreational Conflict 28mm scale survivors and 2 Battle Bunker 28mm scale zombies.
Work on my WWG Mayhem City Police Station is progressing well. I recently finished furnishing another two rooms (the evidence locker room and a set of public toilets). I also added a ladder to the exterior to allow access to the rooftop helipad. I only have six rooms to furnish and four of them (the detectives' offices) are identical. I plan on furnishing those four offices next. The end is getting closer, I'm happy to say. I can't wait to get it finished now. It has been such a long drawn out project.
2011 will be noted for me purchasing lots of 28mm scale card buildings from companies other than WWG or Mel Ebbles (who has now shut up his shop to work for WWG). Dave's Models, Fat Dragon Games, Finger and Toe Models and Microtactix all produce some very nice contemporary models and hopefully, I'll be able to show you some of my new stuff next year as and when I make it. I haven't gone off WWG. Indeed, just before Christmas I bought all of their new Swift Scenics models. It's nice to have such a large library of models to chose from and to mix and match elements from the assorted companies. My enthusiasm for card modelling remains high. My number one priority for 2012 is to finish making my police station.
I'm still going to be limited to the number of ATZ scenarios I can play next year but when I do get the dining room to myself, I will be able to play on a larger board than in previous years. A full sized 6' by 4' gaming board is now a possibilty but I'll need to have a very special scenario planned before I go that big. I have two 4' by 3' wooden boards that I can lay on top of the table but I think that most times, I'll just use the one board. I have plans in my head for a new base for Team Vampifan. Making it is going to be the big sticking point for when they can move.
December has been a good month for reading zombie related books. I read two novels - Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry and Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux. I'm a big fan of Jonathan and I've enjoyed all of his books that I've read so far, but Dead of Night did not impress me at all. The back story to how the zombie virus came about and its effect on its victims left me underwhelmed. It was no more than average, in my opinion. However, Allison Hewitt is Trapped was so good that it warrants a post of its own. Look out for a full review early in 2012. Two non-fiction zombie books that I read this month were The Walking Dead Chronicles by Paul Ruditis and Zombie Science 1Z by Dr. Austin. The Walking Dead Chronicles takes a very detailed look at series one of the TV series and I found it a fascinating book. It's another book that warrants a full review and it'll probably be my first post of 2012. Zombie Science 1Z is a semi-humourous and semi-serious look at the science of zombies; how they are created, what they can do and how to deal with them. I'd have enjoyed it a lot more if it hadn't been so poorly proofread. The author should really know that "rogue" is not spelt "rouge." On one page that word is mis-spelt three times! I've mentioned before that I once studied proofreading and bad spelling and grammar stands out like a sore thumb to me whenever I see it in a book. It's bad enough in a novel but in a book that purports to be a serious study of zombieism it's unforgivable.
I have just started reading Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, the final part of the Twilight series. At 700 pages long, it is a real door-stopper of a book. I'll let you know what I think of it at the end of January in my next Monthly Musings post. I haven't seen the new Breaking Dawn film and I'm not too bothered that I haven't, even though I've seen the other three films in the series. How I view the novel will determine whether I buy it on DVD or not.
On the blogging front, expect things to remain pretty much the same, i.e. more figure reviews, more book reviews and possibly film reviews, and of course, the one thing you seem to enjoy the most, more ATZ batreps. The next one should appear in March.
Well that's a wrap. I'd just like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year. Take care, folks!
PS. If you're interested in zombies and you haven't done so already, join the Board of the Living Dead forum, where you're guaranteed a warm welcome and some interesting discussions about everything to do with zombies. You can find it here http://boardofthelivinglead.proboards.com/index.cgi
Tell them Vampifan sent you!