Sunday, October 23, 2011

1/43 scale cars, trucks and helicopters for Zombie gaming

I have been haphazardly collecting 1/43 scale vehicles and helicopters in preparation for 28mm ATZ zombie gaming for the past couple of years. Things were just a little bit disorganized as a result, so I decided it was time to see what I had on hand. I have managed so far to only buy one duplicate truck,  a telephone/power type with cherry picker, which is good. I may try and convert that to something post-apoc'ish - more likely just return it to Toys-R-Us.

 I have cars dating from the 1950's up to current year models, and have tried to get as large a variety of styles and makes as possible. Vast majority are 1/43 scale but I have the odd one here and there that is bigger or smaller, or in some cases unmarked. If it looks close, I'll buy it. Most are diecast, but there's a few plastic mixed in. The desert camo HMMWVs are plastic toys, but so close to scale and so cheap I had to get them.

I have police, emergency, construction, sport utility, and commercial, as well as the typical passenger types. I plan to take some and do some crash damage, and have another dozen convertibles that I plan to wreck and stack for a junk yard set. Currently all the vehicles are in the condition I bought them. I'm debating on whether to try and do any weathering. Without an airbrush, I'm hesitant to try and do it by hand. I am comfortable in weathering WW2 AFVs, but typical modern / commercial road wear would be a stretch.

Vehicles have been bought from a variety of sources - the usual toy, discount, hobby and department stores, but also flea markets (Georgia and Indiana), thrift/Goodwill stores, convenience stores (Florida), and museums (Germany). Traveling as much as I do for work gives me the opportunity to find new places to scrounge stuff.

My goal is to be able to populate anything from rural (all the farm machinery) to big city environments. I also want to be able to do a truck stop scenario, thus all the big rigs. The trucks range in scale from 1/43 to 1/50. I am still looking for a 1/50 scale Greyhound style passenger bus. There's usually some on eBay but prices are more than I want to pay.

"Get to da chopper!!"

I have been fortunate to obtain a couple of diecast 1/43 scale Bell Ranger choppers, painted and decaled in LAPD livery. I decided I had to have a SWAT or Government "Night Chopper" ( Blue Thunder? - oh yeah, go to whisper mode), so I disassembled one and spray painted it matte black. Turned out pretty nice, although it was a real pain to get some of the pieces separated.

I also have another 1/43 scale chopper in US Coast Guard scheme not pictured. I still have to assemble it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

28mm Card and Paper Buildings - WIP

Recently I have been trying my hand at making some card/paper buildings to populate my eventual zombie apocalypse...

My plan is to use printed paper "skins", and attach the graphics to a variety of hard shells. I visited the local craft stores (Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Walmart, etc.) hunting for suitable boxes (hopefully with lids).

I had good luck at Hobby Lobby, and using my trusty 40% coupons, and the 50% off weekly ads, I scored some nice raw materials. HL stock a set of about a dozen nested boxes with lids - bought for $6.00 ( after the 40% coupon). Nested boxes are way cool, cause I can minimize storage needed. HL also sells paper-mache boxes that nest, but are sold separately.  I found some raw wood boxes (open top/nested and kleenex/tissue sized) at Walmart.  Most card/mache boxes have averaged out to less than a couple bucks each, while the wood have been more expensive at about $3-$7 each.

I spent some time perusing images and textures on the 'net, looking for suitable samples. I then set up some templates in Visio, after taking careful measurements of exterior & interior sides, and interior floors. 

Next is to decide what type of building, then select walls, windows and doors, and any trim details. My templates are scaled so it is easy to size, scale, and tweak to fit ~28mm scale figs. I am using lots of sources - raw images, tiles, textures, and then use selective cropping, resizing, and image manipulation/editing to get the piece/parts I need. Initial efforts were slow and crude,but I am getting the hang of it and setting up layers and shortcuts to make the builds go quicker.

Here are some of my initial efforts...

I have a bout three dozen boxes now, ranging form a couple inches square, up to about a foot square, and both single and multiple stories. I hae several of the larger (6"-8") cube style paper-mache boxes that I will cut down to give me more variety in height.

I have no roofs done (other than the shanty iron ones shown) at this time. I am considering a couple of options, as I want to keep a) the lids/roofs removable,  b) have a rim around the edge that eliminates any sliding, and c) retain the nesting capability. More to follow as I progress.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

28mm Studio Miniatures Zombies

Finished a few more 28mm zombies from Studio Miniatures today.


28mm Redneck Zombie Survivors

Finished a couple of 28mm zombie survivors today. Can't remember who makes them. I had already replaced their SciFi weapons with modern ones. Left the teddy bear and frying pan, he he...


Blue Moon Miniatures 28mm Zombie Conversions

I picked up two more boxes of Blue Moon Miniatures 28mm zombies a couple months ago. This box has two part figures, basically split at the waist with a ball and socket type joint.

These are very nice figs, with many variations in pose. Figs have good detail and anatomy, and nice wound effects. Included are 10 female and 10 male torsos. Most of the male torsos are bare chested.The lower pieces are fairly generic - a mix of some kind of fluted skirt, ragged "loin cloth", and some droopy cloth around the legs at ankle height. There is also a marked gap where torsos' "ball" fit into legs' "socket".

All in all, marginal as purely modern zeds - they look more medieval or fantasy to me. So, I got a wild hair and decided to see what I could do with some green stuff, exacto knife, and diagonal cutters.

After deciding which top to go with which bottom, I super glued the pieces and then got out the clippers and knife.Since my sculpting skills are fairly elementary, I decided to go with a ragged effect, as if this batch of zombies was pretty worked over, or had been lumbering around for quite a while.

I added ragged sleeves, torn shirts, pants, and shorts where it made sense based on pose and existing clothing/rags. I really don't like the fluted skirt effect these figs have, so tried to minimize that by chopping out the fabric under the buttocks and between the legs. (Most modern (western) males wear pants, right? I also tried to minimize the visual effect of the torso joint, so added GS to mask that, and make the upper clothing meld into the lower, or drape over to hide the joint.

I did several where the sleeves or pants legs have been torn loose, and have settled at wrist or ankle. Happy with how that came out. Also did some hanging/tattered pieces off arms, or connected from arms to torso. The two pics above and below show the results after greennstuff applied.

So next thing of course is to get them painted!

I used some new schemas this time - added some blue, green and purple washes to my usual reds/browns. My intent is to show zombies that are in later stages of decomposition. Happy with the effort so far. I may decide to go back and dirty up the clothing a little more.

 I have one box of Blue Moon Zombies left to work on. This is the box set that has medieval/fantasy looking armed zombies. I'll have to do some serious hacking to get these guys into the 20th / 21st Century. Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Studio Miniatures Zombies

Ok, have about 60 or so zeds in the works. Ordered the big zombie horde from Studio Miniatures last winter. Finally worked my way through the lead pile to get to these guys. Really happy with how they are turning out.

Flea Market Find of the Year

Was out cruising an indoor flea market in Georgia while on travel a few weeks ago. Found this little gem in mint condition for $22.00. It is a replica of one the earliest 1950's McDonalds. Perfect size for 28mm zombie gaming. Also pictured are a few 1/43 scale vehicles I picked up at an outdoor flea market the day prior, and some WIP 28mm zeds looking for the "dollar menu".

Made by Danbury Mint. A/c powered analog clock on sign in front of building. Fully detailed/painted interior, with two skylights in ceiling so small light bulbs mounted above can shine through. Trying to decide what to do about the clock face - not sure if I want to keep it or replace it with some signage or hide with some bushes.

 Roof comes off as separate piece, and the interior ceiling is hinged for access, as shown above. There is room for standard 1" bases to fit around the center island, so I'll be able to have figures inside while gaming. Way cool!

View of the lighted interior. Super Size me!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

More survivors WIP

Here are some more of my survivors and gangers. These are just about done, or finished except for final basing and coating...