Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Rise of the Tod-truppen!

Zomtober 2014 - post#3

My word these Sunday posts come around a bit quickly, but I'm delighted to report that I've made the deadline again - albeit just!  Regular followers of this most humble weblog will have, by now, realised that I have the attention span of a small child in a very large toy shop - picking up and discarding projects with apparent gay abandon.  One such project was, 'In Her Majesty's Name' a steampunk, skirmish, wargaming rule set that was launched, a couple of years ago now, with some rather splendid miniatures available through 'Northstar Military Figures'.  Suffice to say, I bought heavily into this and having picked up my swag at 'Salute 2013' it has subsequently laid, unmolested, on the hobby shelf behind my corner of the dining room table.

Now getting to the point*, I was adamant that this year 'Zomtober' wasn't to add to the lead  pile, instead all offerings had to be pre-bought, one likes a challenge!  So whilst excavating the undead from the deepest strata of the mighty mountain of lead, I came across these chaps - the abominable Tod-truppen.
*Yes finally!

To quote from 'Northstar's own page:
The Tod-truppen are basically zombies. The Society’s J├Ągers go into battle psychically pre-conditioned and fitted with electro-chemical devices that re-animate them pretty much immediately after they go down, called a Revivifier. Provided, as noted above, that they are within the field of an Arc generator. In this animated condition they lose their human memories and skills but, in typical zombie fashion, are very difficult to stop with conventional weapons. A side-effect of the reanimation process is that the Tod-truppen decay much more rapidly than normal corpses, hence their grotesque appearance. This also means that they are rarely good for more than one battle. 
Splendid, thinks I, not only a legitimate 'Zomtober' entry, but one that makes a small dent in Mount Lead to boot.  Having only just rediscovered the thrill of wielding the paintbrush after my September break, these proved the perfect choice and hugely enjoyable to paint - just what was required.  In fact, I was quite surprised just how quickly I got on with them to the point where, depending how much time I'm allowed at the table this afternoon, I might be able to sneak in a mid week post as well - oh how I spoil you!

Finally, in other news, I received my 'Across the Dead Earth' Kickstarter through the post yesterday.**   I had recently been lamenting my involvement in Kickstarter - the world's largest funding platform for creative projects, particularly as my first pledge, 'Mars Attacks', where I allowed myself to get carried away with the moment and invested hugely, still hasn't materialised nigh on year later!  Yet receiving my rules and miniatures from Rich Chappell has rather restored my faith in the process.***   The whole package was really well presented, signed by Rich himself, who had even gone to the trouble of printing out a set of the event cards and tokens that are actually available as a download.  I'm not sure when the miniatures will ever see a coat of paint, but if you are interested in reading more about the rules then I would strongly advise you to head over to Simon Quinton's wonderful 'Brummie's Wargaming Blog'.  Simon, was heavily involved in the play testing of the rules and is certainly who I'm blaming for my involvement in the Kickstarter, not that I could ever hold that against him.    Coincidentally, Simon is also coordinating the myriad of entries in this year's 'Zomtober', which rather neatly draws this post to a close.

**Yes I know, another distraction.
***Just as well really as I have subsequently gone on to help fund Zombicide: Season 3 and Studio Miniatures latest additions to their Z-Clipz: Outbreak,;yes I know I'm weak!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Imperial War Museum 2014

Every so often, I am persuaded to leave the perceived safety of my classroom and venture out into the real world and last week saw me lend my services to an outing to the recently refurbished Imperial War Museum.  Now I have to confess that I have always enjoyed this museum with lasting memories of the trench and blitz experiences, both with their tinned recordings, sound effects and mannequins, but all that has gone!

With the makeover complete we were treated to a fresher, more interactive experience with education at its heart.  Many of the old favourite static displays are still prominent, but there has been a great deal of thought given to the display of specific artefacts that help to illustrate the various conflicts in a chronological order.  I am sure that critics will bewail the almost superficial experience, but to me this still rates as one of the best museum in the country.  Certainly their education department and the gentlemen that took the session on First World War film making was superb.

It is clear that the face lift is not to everyone's tastes, I have certainly heard mixed reviews and even among the staff present there was a feeling that perhaps the Museum had moved too far away from the preservation of artefacts and was embracing the interactive experience at the expense of display and lets not talk about the ridiculous amount of souvenir shops they now have!

Gripes aside, I don't think I did the museum justice and will have to return before long, but perhaps without the seventy children who needed constant supervision!  Still what I did see has left a favourable impression and the museum is certainly continuing to flourish - it is simply too good not to.

For those of you who haven't seen the level of refurbishment, then do have a look at the official time lapse photography of the transformation - it really is quite amazing.  Back to report writing for me so that I can free up some painting time at the weekend.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Mirliton Miniatures undead

Zomtober 2014 - post#2

Another hectic week at work had me worrying that I wouldn't get these three done in time, in fact as I post this the gore is still a little fresh!  Still, finished they are and just in time - I present three more additions to the horde in the shape of these 'Mirliton Miniatures'.  Not a company, I am particularly familiar with, these were in fact a generous addition to lead pile from that splendid chap and good friend, the 'Provost Marshal'.

They have a wonderful old school feel to them and were beautifully cast, requiring very little preparation at all.  The nondescript and tattered clothing gives them an aged look and coupled with their emancipated torsos they certainly look as if they were some of the first to be infected.  Because of this, I'm thing that I might be able to double their usefulness and have them as part of the seemingly ill-fated 'Withfinder General' project.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Let the games begin!

During my period of self imposed exile from our cosy corner of the blogosphere, the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' and myself took advantage of a particularly pleasant end to summer by indulging in some days out and about.  One such venture saw us travel into the Sunshine Coast's mighty metropolis to take in some gladiatorial games.  Yes, as strange at it might sound, Eastbourne played host to a re-enactment group, known as Britannia and on a lovely sunny, Sunday morning we were treated to a series of gruesome bouts at the Redoubt Fortress.  This really was an unexpected delight, with many of the group veterans of Ridley Scott's triumphant,  'Gladiator' and more recently the wonderfully entertaining, 'Horrible Histories'.

Although carefully choreographed there was a real sense of drama and excitement to the bouts, not to mention a fair bit of gore!  Throughout the morning each style of gladiator was introduced with potted histories to further educate the masses.  After the 'show' we were encouraged to ask questions and get hands on with some of the equipment, in fact I was quite alarmed at just how quickly the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' leapt up try on one of the helmets! 

All in all a fabulous morning and a great opportunity to blow away some cobwebs from the night before.  There was something rather magical about the setting in the Redoubt, but the only shame was that is wasn't better attended, but we were most definitely entertained!

The next generation hones their skills for the future.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Off to a shuffling start.

Zomtober 2014 - post#1

And we're off!  My first entry for this year's Zomtober event saw these fine Victorian undead casts hit the painting table.  There are part of the 'Empire of the Dead' range from 'Westwind Productions' and were bought so long ago that I can't remember when!  Although they come in a boxed set of ten, I had decided that I would only ever manage to get five done, but as the days rolled by this has become a paltry three!  I was reading a post by Herbert West's over at 'Critical Failure' where he eloquently described getting back into painting:

Some things never leave you. Drybrushing, for example: it doesn't matter how long it's been since your last session, once you've got it, you've got it. It annoys me that you have to learn brush control all over again; it's like the fine motor control has slipped out of your muscle memory.
I couldn't agree more Herbert!  (If you get a chance do pop over to Herbert's blog, he likes Victorian soldiery and dinosaurs too!)  Still by the end, I was getting what I wanted and with the final application of gore a multitude of mistakes were duly disguised!  I just love these poses and although they required a bit of cleaning up they were certainly worth it. 

I've assembled quite an eclectic bunch for this year's soiree into all things undead and whilst, I'm relatively confident about getting next week's entry completed in time I'm not so sure how things will pan out from there on in, still it should be fun trying.

Finally, having already mentioned Herbert's 'Critical Failure' I would also like to shout out one more fine weblog that I've stumbled across recently and that's 'Mike's Random Wargame Meanderings'.  Mike has some wonderful ideas on show including, you've guessed it, dinosaurs! 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Euro Militaire 2014

As a tentative first post after my self imposed exile, I thought I would share some of these amazing examples of model painting that the 'Provost Marshall' and I witnessed at this Year's Euro Militaire.  By tradition, this is an event that leaves me humbled and inspired in equal measure and this year was no different.

This has to be the work of our very own Mr. Lee, of Mr. Lee's Painting Emporium fame.

Things continue to be incredibly busy at work, but I am determined to get back into my hobby routine and what better way than to launch oneself into 'Zomtober 2014'.  For full details and rules, such as they are head over to 'Brummie's Wargaming Blog' and register your interest.

Finally, I would just like to say a huge thank you for all the kinds words of support - it's great to be back!

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