Thursday, 15 March 2018

Zombicide Season 1 Campaign - Boomtown!

I have decided to play out the Zombicide Season 1 Campaign Boomtown.  This is a 7 part campaign.  After playing the first scenario - 01 Evac and only just pulling off a victory this sure is going to be a tough one!  This campaign is contained in Zombicide Compendium 1 or available for download.  I am playing the Campaign rules as stated for this one and not tweaking them or house ruling.  They are slightly weak in my opinion as there is no real level of progression, you cant retain level or equipment, you can only negate wounds with Food and Water.

The campaign states that killed survivors must be Zombivores (if you have them) if not the campaign is over or will end when the Zombivore dies.  Lucky for me I have the Zombivores and now they must be painted! As I have never played with Zombivores and seeing how close I came to losing an "easy" mission I have a feeling I will be relying on them!

The objective of the Boom Town campaign is to pretty much blow up the town and rescue any survivors.  Mission 01 Evac is "easy" and you have to escort 9 survivors to safety.

The game had many highlights for this and its best off done with pictures:

The Survivors enter Boom Town to rescue other survivors

Using the Black Plague Dash Boards, the equipment was handed out

The table, the Red and Black X marks a survivor and is worth 5 XP.
I needed to round up all 9 survivors and end their escorts turn on the Exit
Zone indicated in the top right.

I split the groups, North Sector and South Sector - here South Sector loots a
police car and lures a Zombie

North Sector poorly equipped took 5 swings at a Zombie and a Runner missing all 5!
They took 3 wounds equally distributed! Nearly game over so early!

North Sector frantically runs for the survivors to get much needed XP
and level up, looting on the way. South Sector already has their survivors
and is geared up to the max!

An Abomination spawns North! Not looking good!

South Sector escorting their survivors rushes North to help out, Amy
has one of the components for a Molotov, Phil the other.

Phil Mixes the Molotov Cocktail and engulfs the Abomination and a Zombie
and snags himself a much needed 6 XP making him Level 2

South Sector Clears the path for North Sector to escape!
Wanda is poorly positioned here, if I got a double activation for runners
which was a strong possibility death would of greeted her.

The survivors escort all 9 survivors to the exit, winning the scenario.

All the survivors minus Doug took 1 wound each.  If you take 2 wounds in S1 its
lights out for that survivor making S1 brutally hard at times!  Food and water
was distributed negating the 5 wounds in preparation for next round.

Well that was a lot tougher than I expected.  I have learnt from my mistakes and aim to play scenario 2 hopefully soon!  It was a tremendously fun yet stressful at times experience, I literally sweated a few times when I was drawing those Zombie Spawn cards... stay tuned.

Monday, 12 March 2018

First Squad of Winter Germans Complete

Its been a while since I painted my Winter Test German.  I thought it best I finish off the squad and thanks to the Analogue Hobbies Painting challenge I have done so.  The test figure is hiding in the back of the group photo and I painted up the remaining 9.  This brings my tally of total figures painted for March to 53!

These are the Warlord Games German Grenadier Squad (Winter).  These are fantastic 28mm Metal Miniatures.  I have another box of these to do and will try and make them different to this squad. 

I am quite pleased with the result and they have a real winter feel to them.

28mm Winter German Grenadiers
28mm WW2 Winter German Grenadiers by Warlord Games

28mm WW2 Winter Germans
My favorite 3 poses

NCO with MP40, Assault Rifle, Rifle and Panzerfaust (Note... it is not left handed)
Panzerfaust with rifle, MG42 Team.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

A Monstrous Batch Paint - Black Plague Zombies

As you know, I am participating in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

To get me a much needed points boost and to get me over the line of my 750 points goal, I decided to paint up the remaining zombies in my Zombicide Black Plague Box Set.  There was 44 to do in total and these would be entered into the Monstrous Themed Round, it was indeed a monstrous effort and took me just over a week to do!

You will see my tally on the table for 2018 miniatures painted it has had a much needed +44 boost!

I primed them with Vallejo IJA Tsuchi-Kusa-IRO Vallejo 74.611.  The zombies were given a quick and easy rubbish base coat, dry brushed with Zombie Flesh, then the brilliant Army Painter Quick Shade was applied!  I love this stuff as it makes the zombies look amazing! I then use a flat mat varnish to tone down the gloss effect, then add eyes and blood... done!

I am going to paint up lots of my board game NPCs this way and pay more attention to the player characters.

The Horde Painted - All 44 of them!

Primed with  IJA Tsuchi-Kusa-IRO Vallejo 74.611

Base Coats Going on

Base Coated and Dry Brushed

Zombicide Black Plague Painted
The Final Result

Zombicide Black Plague Painted Fatties

Zombicide Black Plague Painted Runners

Monday, 5 March 2018

Some Terrain for the Table

My terrain building has really slowed down recently and I am getting back into it.  First up I decided to assemble and paint the "Ruined Hamlet" by Warlord Games.  This came in the Band of Brothers starter box set for Bolt Action Version 2.

I based it on some spare plasticard and decided to go with a Winter Theme for my Winter WW2 engagements and for Frostgrave.  Winter terrain looks really unique and gives a great theme to any table.

Based on a couple of old bits of plasticard

Warlord Games ruined Hamlet
Ruined Hamlet by Warlord Games

how to make winter terrain

wargame winter terrain

woodland scenics soft flake snow

Its interesting that this kit from Warlord Games is actually a re-branded 1/72 kit from Italeri.  My formula for snow and winter effects is as follows:

  • Woodland Scenics Flex Paste
  • Wilder Snow Effects
  • GW Valhallen Blizzard
  • Woodland Scenics Soft Snow Flake
  • Various Winter tufts
This gives a very frosted wintery feel and looks lovely on the table :)

Pimping the Ebay Trees

Next up we have a base for my Ebay pimped trees.  The trees look a little bland on the table and now they have a cool base for them.  I used some Plasticard and cut it in an interesting shape then I designed some "rings" to hold them in using Tinkercad.  They are 61mm for 60mm bases but after painting and weathering I need to make the next lot 62mm.

I am such a talented designer

I glued the rings onto plasticard then filled with some caulk.  I then flocked it up and the results are rather splendid.  I can even place a team weapon where the trees sit.

Plasticard cut out with a scribing tool

Looking the business

ebay wargame trees
Looks great with the Ebay Trees added

Sub out a tree for a German PAK 36

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Walking Dead All Out War

As a massive fan of Robert Kirkman's Comic The Walking Dead and to a lesser extent AMC's The Walking Dead Television show it was natural that I back the Kickstarter for the Walking Dead All Out War by Mantic Games.  For the record I liked the first season of Fear the Walking Dead but it got bad, really fast and I no longer watch it.

No spoilers here but the Comic book is VERY different to the TV Series and I prefer the story in the comics.    The game Walking Dead All Out War follows the story line and characters in the Comic.

I have only painted a few figures for this game system so far however played a fair bit of it solo and in versus play.  It is a very simple and fast game to play.  In addition to the Kickstarter I have got the Retail Exclusives and the Prelude to Woodbury for solo play.  I have painted the Prelude to Woodbury set, including the terrain however the terrain will be for a future post.

The figures a single piece plastics and are lovely.  I have had most of these painted for about a year now.

The Walking Dead All Out War Painted
Carl, The Governor (Prelude to Woodbury), Patrick

Prelude to Woodbury Walkers Painted
Prelude to Woodbury Walkers

Friday, 16 February 2018

How To Paint WW2 Polish Airborne Paratroopers

Polish Airborne Painting Guide

Warlord Games recently released their WW2 plastic multi-part British/Polish Airborne Miniatures in 28mm.  The box set gives you the option to create either British Airborne, Polish Airborne or both.  These miniatures are ideal for their excellent Bolt Action supplement Campaign Market Garden.

This guide uses simple techniques for maximum effect.  This guide can also be adapted to paint British Airborne as the modeled uniform is essentially the same with the exception of the beret.

Vallejo products are majority used however you can look up conversion charts to suppliment what paint range you have.  It does not matter if you are a shade or two off.

I break this guide up into the following steps:

1. Preparation
2. Base Coating
3. Quickshade
4. Highlighting
5. Painting the Face and Flesh
6. Advanced Highlighting
7. Finishing touches
8. Varnishing and Basing

Step 1 - Preparation

There are many guides available on how to prepare multi-part plastic miniatures for painting.  I simply, clip, glue, remove flash lines, then attach to the base  I add some sand and small stones for a nice ground effect.  I use Vallejo Black Surface Primer to Prime the miniatures.  I like to give the primer a good 12 or so hours to dry for maximum adhesion.  You can use an airbrush or brush to prime the miniatures.

Polish Airborne Painting Tutorial
Vallejo 74.602 Black Surface Primer

Step 2 - Base Coating

Base coating is the longest process I have found in painting miniatures.  It is also the most easiest as you can easily fix mistakes.  This process is also known as "blocking in" meaning we get all the colours for the miniature down before we apply washes and highlights.  The miniatures look pretty dull and bland during this step of the painting, don't worry if they look dull... they will look better as we proceed.

Smock - Vallejo 70.882 Middlestone

Webbing/Pouches/Rifle Straps/Gators - Vallejo 70.988 Khaki

Airborne Paratrooper Painting
Skin - AK Interactive 3012 Light Skin

Trousers/Mug/Water Bottle - Vallejo 70.921 English Uniform

Helmet/Helmet Straps/Gas Canister/Water Bottle frame - Vallejo 70.924 Russian Uniform WW2
After Russian Uniform WW2 is applied I pick out the camo on the helmet with some Khaki.

How to paint Paratrooper
Beret - Vallejo 70.816 Luftwaffe Uniform WW2

Rifle Wood/Equipment Handles/Denison Smock Patch - Vallejo 70.984 Flat Brown

Denison Smock Patch - Vallejo 70.979 German Cam Dark Green

Toggle Rope - Vallejo 70.819 Iraqi Sand
With all the colours blocked in I proceeded to paint the base.  I used the left over Flat Brown to cover the entire base.  I used some Vallejo 70.867 Dark Blue Grey to paint the stones.  I paint the rim of the base with Vallejo 70.873 US Field Drab.

WW2 Painting Tutorial Polish Airborne
The blocked in miniatures.  Rather bland looking.

Step 3 - Quickshade

After blocking in, give the paint a good hour or more to cure.  Once this is done we use The Army Painter Quickshade.  I use Strong Tone.  I can't recommend this stuff enough.  It protects the miniature with a hard coat of glossy varnish whilst shading the figure.

I use a brush to apply it.  Use an old thick brush.  I am most generous when I apply it.  I let it sit on the miniature for about a minute or two and then I dab off the pooling areas with a the same brush.

Alternately you can use the Army Painter Strong Tone ink or a similar product by another manufacturer.

Painting Tutorial Polish Airborne
The Army Painter - Quickshade Strong Tone

You can see in the above photo the miniatures are very glossy.  This glossiness is not ideal to move onto our next step.  Please allow a minimum of 48 hours for the quickshade to cure! I wait 3 days.

Once the quickshade is cured, I use a Matt Varnish to dull out the gloss and give a better surface for highlighting.

Painting Guide Polish Airborne
Use Matt Varnish once the quickshade is dry - Vallejo 26.518 
Step 4 - Highlighting

Now the fun begins.  What I do here is reuse all the same colours I used to block in with a couple of exceptions.  I use different colours for the Denison Smock Patches which I will show below. I do not bother highlighting anything black - eg the boots as the quickshade gives them a nice worn effect.

The trick to highlighting is to really thin your paints to that nice milky consistency and just apply small translucent layers until you achieve the look you want.

Once we have highlighted what we have blocked in, we can move on.

WW2 Polish Airborne Painting Guide
Denison Smock Patches - Vallejo 70.826 German Cam Brown and 70.894 Cam Olive Green

How to paint Polish Airborne
Beret - Vallejo 70.964 Field Blue
Step 5 - Painting The Face and Flesh

Painting a 28mm miniature's face is easy to learn but difficult to master.  The way I approach it is as follows:

1. Block the eyes in with a thick black line
2. Draw a white line slightly smaller over this black line with white or ivory
3. Draw a small line downwards through the centre of the eye with black.
4. Use a dark flesh colour to reduce the area of the black around the eyes.
5. Highlight the skin (there are lots of good guides out there on how to do this)
6. I use a deep red for the lips.

Practice Makes Perfect!  Skip the eyes if you want.

How to paint miniature eyes faces
Don't worry about the Panda Eye Effect initially

how to paint miniature skin
Reduce the Panda Eye Effect and Highlight the Skin

miniature skin flesh tutorial
Flesh Tones - AK Interactive 3011 Base Flesh, 3012 Light Flesh, 3013 Highlight Flesh, 3014 Shadow Flesh (for lips)

Step 6 - Advanced Highlighting

Here we take it to the next level.  You can skip this step if you like however it does not take long.  What we want to do here is thin our paint even more and introduce a lighter shade to the colours we used in Step 4.  I use Vallejo 70.918 Ivory to do this.  You could use a similar shade, I find it is much better than plain white.  

We want to highlight the trousers, and khaki predominantly.  I didnt bother with the Denison Smock at this stage as it may look "too busy" at this scale. However saying this a slight highlight of Khaki on the Denison Smock looks very nice. We take the wooden components up another highlight.

how to paint British Airborne
Pick out small details with Ivory mixed into our highlight colours

British Airborne Painting Guide
Rifle Wood Grain, Wooden Handles - Vallejo 70.981 Orange Brown
Step 7 - Finishing Touches

Black lining is an advanced technique that really makes things pop.  To black line I thin black paint and use a very fine brush.  I draw a slight edge or line underneath or around an object.  I like to black line where the uniform meets another part of the model - eg hands, pants etc and the khaki straps.  I also black line the bottom of the toggle rope and black off the metal parts of the rifle.

On the Sub Machine gun pouches I like to add little buttons.  First I do a small blob of black topped with an even smaller blob of ivory or white.  I slightly black line the spaces in between the pouches.

Black Lining and weapons - Vallejo 70.950 Black - note the ammo pouch buttons

After this I then go over the rim of the base with US Field Drab to make it look nice and clean.

Polish British Airborne Tutorial Guide
Base Rim - Vallejo 70.873 US Field Drab
The last thing we want to paint is metallic highlights on metal surfaces, the beret badge and weapons.  Two key points here.  Firstly, less is more and secondly use this paint last as it will contaminate your brush and water with metallic flakes. To do the beret badge I first paint it black then pick out the detail with Gunmetal.

Paints for British Airborne Polish Airborne
Less is more! Beret Badge, Metal bits, Weapon Highlights - Vallejo 70.863 Gunmetal

Step 8 - Varnishing and Basing

I use a rather different way when it comes to this.  The first thing I do is spray or brush on a thin coat of Gloss Varnish over everything.  Gloss Varnish is super tough and will protect all those nice highlights.

Once this is dry, usually after about 2 hours I will add basing material.  This can be whatever theme you are going for.  I used white flowers with some flock and some clump foliage I made.

Once this is dry I then spray or brush on a Matt Varnish to get rid of the gloss varnish and to seal the basing materials in...

... and finally I use AK Interactive Ultimate Matte Varnish.  This product is exceptionally good and will give you a very flat and smooth finish.  The miniatures look and feel lovely!

How to paint WW2 British Paratroopers
Gloss Varnish Vallejo 26.517, basing materials, Matt Varnish Vallejo 26.518 then finish with AK 183 

British Paratrooper Guide
The finished Product

Polish Paratroopers 
How to paint WW2 Polish British Paratroopers
So there you have it! Some great looking miniatures in 8 simple steps.  I found this is the most efficient way of painting miniatures for the table top that really stand out from the rest.  With practice you can get to a standard you are happy with.  Don't be disheartened if you are not entirely satisfied with what you produce.  Just remember that it is one less figure to paint and it certainly beats an unpainted figure!

Thanks for taking the time to read this guide.  Hopefully you will have a Paratrooper force painted up in no time! Any questions you can reach me here on on twitter.

Polish Paratrooper WW2
28mm Polish Airborne by Warlord Games