Welcome To Lazarus

Instead of a "BANG", humanity is passing away with the shuffling of dead feet, and hungry moans. Desperate men and women fight against the rising tide for the newly risen dead.Sometimes, though, the undead are not he most dangerous things out there. Civilization has failed the test; the only thing left is survival.

Lazarus is just one of many places where humanity holds on by a thread, and life and death come as easily as a roll of the dice.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Acheson ATZ Minis - Pt 1

Searching for inexpensive 28mm Survivor types, I found Acheson Creations "All Things Zombie" figures.  The line is made in conjunction with Two Hour Wargames ATZ.  They are reasonably priced at $7.50 plus shipping for 4 figures.  There are 9 set; although only 6 of them have pics in the online catalog.  I bought three set in order to see what they were like.  I'm going to do a set of quick reviews of these minis as I ready them for the table.  I bought the following packs:

Clown and Cultists
This set comes with(from L to R) a bearded knife and shotgun armed homeless looking man.  A chainsaw wielding clown.  A figure armed with a silenced pistol and machete who's mug bears an uncanny resemblance to Ed from THW.  The final figure is a pot-bellied man, with a scoped rifle.  As you can see, three of the four figs are rather large; much larger than the forth figure.  These three figs will fit in well with my burgeoning "clicky" zombies.  The detail on all the figures is good, and they had very little flash on them, which is the same across the sets I got.  

Males Crazies and Cultists #1
This set contains (from L to R) an individual with what looks an old field jacket and bull-pup style AR.  I can't tell if his outstretched hand is miscast, or just poorly sculpted.  Next is a man in a jump suit armed with an M-79 grenade launcher.  Third is a bio-suited flame-thrower operator and finally a youngster, or maybe a dwarf, wielding an M-60 machine gun.  The figures are equal in scale to the pot-bellied man from the set above.  These figs have some character; even if the youngster/dwarf leaves me a little flat.

Militia Set #1
The final set I purchased has 4 figs kitted out in paramilitary gear.  Three are bare headed, while the fourth has a patrol style cap on.  All have headsets and mikes on.  They are armed (from L to R) with a nondescript SMG, another bull-pup AR, and scoped rifle and a combat shotgun.  These guys would make good survivalists, or guards.

As you can see from the pictures, with the exception of the first three figs, the minis fall well within the 25/28mm range.  While the details aren't the best in the world, they do look like they were worth the price of admission.  We'll see how they paint up as I work on them in the coming weeks.  I will be honest. I am not impressed with the paint jobs these minis got on Acheson site.  I think these minis can look way better than they do in their online catalog.

Hmm, I'll be able to squeeze at least 3 more posts out of these minis.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and GAAAAHHHHGG!!"

Santa made his rounds last night, and his last stop was the city of Lazarus.  It's not that his night's work was done.  He just ran into some troubles that kept hm from completing his rounds.  No photos of the jolly old fat man have turned up.  We were able to snap one of his eight tiny reindeer, though.

OH MY!!! I certainly hope he made it to your house before he stopped in Lazarus.
All joking aside, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mantic Zombies - The Start Of A 28mm Horde

I made the decision to game the Zombie Apocalypse in 15mm several years ago.  For some reason, though, recently I've had the itch to start collecting minis to game it in 28mm.  There are just so many excellent minis for the genre now, I can't fight it.  To that end, I went out and got a Mantic Zombie Regiment box set, containing 30 plastic zombies.

You get 10 identical sprues, with 3 torsos, 3 legs, several left arms variants, and 5 heads.  The only problem I see with the set has is that the right arms are attached to the torsos; not separate, like the left ones. This does lead to a limited amount of poses you can make.  Still, the figs paint up quiet nicely, with lots of character, and despite the fact that they are meant for use in a fantasy setting, they will work quite well in a modern Zombie Apocalypse.  In my opinion, these are the best plastic zombies on the market, and some of the best in general; plastic or metal.

On these figures I used what I call "The Dip Plus" method.  That is blocking in the base colors, using "The Dip" method, then going back and heavily highlighting the figs.  It is a bit more involved than a basic Dip, and not as much work as doing a "proper" paint job on them.  I based them on the 25mm square bases that come with the set.  You could just as easily base them on other style/size bases, though.  I will use them to fill out the coming horde; sprinkling in modern looking metal ones.  Here are a couple of my favorite figs from the batch:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Big John and the Zombies

Big John and the Zombies...heh, sounds like a rock band, of some sorts.  Actually, they are a Foundry Street Violence figure and a couple of re based/modified/painted Horrorclix figs.  It's a strange combination for a post, I know.  If you'll bear with me for a minute you'll see the connection.

First we have "Big John"  He's a slightly modified Foundry figure I had floating around.  He originally had a big semi-auto in his had.  I used it on another mini, so I replaced the gun, hand and all, with a revolver from one of the Reaper Chronoscope weapons sprues.  It works well.  With the cheap looking grey suit, he has that haggard low rent Dick look to him...at least I think so:

The next couple of figs are re based, re painted Horrorclix figs.  The one on the left is the "Hard Hat Zombie"  He's a straight re base/ re paint.  The other is the "Human Fly" figure, with the head and arms replaced with  Mantic Zombie ones.  I like the way it turned out:

Here's a group photo with the other Horrorclix zombies I painted up a while ago:

Now on to why I lumped this all together.  If you hadn't caught on by now by reading this blog, I am some what of a stickler about scale; specifically between minis and vehicles on the table.  I do not like it when they are too far out of scale with each other.  With that said, the "Big John" figure is a giant, even compared with other Foundry figs.  Here it is with Foundry and Black Cat Bases figs for comparison:
The guy looks like Andre the Giant to me.  The same can be said for the Horrorclix figs,as well:

They are all just a tad to big for my tastes, when put with my other figs.  Here's the good news that wraps this all up in a tidy little ball.  When put together, Big John and the Horrorclix figs are perfect match:
In fact, they are such a good match that I was moved to start a side project to beef up the number of Horrorclix zombies in my collection, via E-Bay, and also have found a home for 3 more survivor type figs I have kicking about that are too big for my tastes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MIBs and Gunmen; more from The Scene

As I stated last week, I have another group of figs from the British company called The Scene.  This time it's a group of government agents, aka MIBs and gunmen.  Again, these are great miniatures; filled with loads of details:

As with the other batch, these minis are on the large size:

The up side of them being larger is that HO scale vehicles, which there are many to choose from, scale with them much better, than they do with true 15mm figs.  Real HO vehicles tend to be a bit large side by side with 15mm figs, IMO.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

On The Workbench - 12/11

Here's this month's "On the Workbench" post.  Despite my best efforts, I ended up adding more stuff to the pile of unpainted minis.  My finished items and new items offset each other, a bit.  Still, not a bad month's output for November.

The new items and projects that I added stuff to are denoted by an * next to them.

On the Workbench for December 2011:
(This is all stuff that is partially finished; in no particular order)

15 28mm PA Survivors* - 3, 5 man packs from Lead Adventure Miniatures
20 Clicky Zombies* - Beefing up the amount of clicky Zeds I have.
20 Mantic Ghouls* - Mantic Ghoul Regiment
20 28mm Zombies - Wargames Factory Plastic Zombies
6 28mm Survivors - Obelisck Nighthawk gang 
6 28mm Vampires - Pontoonier Wierd West vampires for Two Hour Wargames.  Unfinished commission work that needs to be done ASAP, as I've really let Ed down on this.  I have a feeling that I am just going to finish the project gratis
12 28mm Survivors* - Atcheson Creations ATZ figs.  I will be doing a review and size comparison on them, soon.
28mm Post Apoc Ruins Project - Ruins made from Gamecraft's Foamcore 6 story building.  This one is half done.
10mm Ruins Project - Foamcore ruins for a BTech style game using Mechwarrior figs; another half finished project.
28mm River Barge - Post Apoc watercraft
28mm Vehicles* - 6-8 vehicles for my survivor; added another vehicle in November
15mm Suburbia - Paper/foamcore houses for suburban Lazarus. 
50 20mm WWII Russians - Minis for a semi defunct NUTS! East Front project I planned
2 T-34/85s - Same As Above
Various Fantasy/Sci Fi minis* - I have a box of old minis I use to try out techniques and hone my skills.  I have quite a few half painted figs that I'd like to finish

November's Finished Projects/Minis 
 (I will be posting these up through out the monthr, as I get photos and such)

15mm Armor - USMC LAV-25 and a US Army M2 Bradley
30 28mm Zombies - Mantic Zombie Regiment Box (Look for this post over at Welcome To Lazarus in the future)
2 "Clicky" Zombies - (Look for this post in the future) 
1 Foundry Street Violence Figure (Look for this post in the future)
6 man 28mm Post Apoc gang - Junior's Salvage Crew
10 15mm Survivors -You can see the first half of the "Here"
15mm Suburban House Test - Test house for modeling a suburan area for Lazarus
1 "Clicky" Scarecrow Conversion - Not sure where this one will show up, yet.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

15mm Survivors from The Scene

This week I have the first of 2 offering from a company called The Scene.  The first group of minis are some survivors.  They are listed as 15mm; they are very large, though.  They tower above most 15mm mini I have.  They are closer to true HO or 18mm, than 15mm.  With that said, they are, in my opinion, some of best sculpted 15mms out there.  Huge amounts of detail packed into a small figure.  They paint up very well:

Here is a comparison with some of the larger Rebel Mini zombies:

If scale and size differences don't matter to you, then any Rebel zombies will work on the table top.  If they do matter to you, then you will have to weed out some of the smaller zombies.  Still, there are enough in all three of the Rebel Mini packs that you will find more than you need to fill the table with zombies that fit these survivors.

Next week, I'll have a group of Government Agents and Gunmen from The Scene.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Quarantine - ATZ Campaign Day 6

I decided for Day 6, I'd play the "Quarantine" scenario from the ATZ: Haven book.  I played it straight by the rules, so some of the humans were bumped up to Rep 4, including our old friend Officer Baccus.  Can he redeem himself on this night?

After the very violent, and widely televised, attack on the Wilson campaign rally, city officials decided that something had to be done.  A quarantine order was signed, as it was obvious that some disease or pathogen was causing people to become murderous animals.  The words "terrorist attack" was even bandied about by the talking heads, in am attempt to make sense of it all.  Starting at midnight, every available law enforcement officer would be used to create a cordon around the area where the attacks were taking place.  In two man teams, they would let no one in or out, until 8 AM.  In the morning daylight, people would be checked for symptoms and aid would be rendered to those who needed it.

Officer Paine was not happy.  He had been partnered up with Baccus, who had become some what of a pariah over the last few days.  He had lost two partners; rumor was that he had left them high and dry in a deadly situation.  To top it off, many thought he was losing it.  At the precinct, he spoke of the dead coming back to life and zombies.  If it weren't for the fact that every man was needed, his superiors would have relived him by now.  As it was, Paine just prayed that Baccus didn't flake out on him and get him killed during the night.

Special Rules
(Per scenario description in ATZ-Haven book)
  • Anytime Doubles are rolled for activation there is an encounter; roll on Quarantine Encounter table.
  • Whenever the Police and a Civilian come face to face (6 inches and in sight) roll Rep d6 and consult the “Halt Quarantined” table.
  • All forces start with weapons holstered. It takes on activation to draw your weapon and you may only snap fire on the same activation it is drawn.  The shotgun takes one activation to unlock and access so it may not be fired on the same activation
  • All forces are subject to Zed or No Zed rule on page 33 of ATZ rule book.(exception: Baccuss and SWAT team in Lazarus world have already taken test and passed)
  • Zombies cannot be generated by gunfire or similar noises, but those that enter may still be attracted by it.
The board shows a section of the quarantine line.  There are two police cruisers (Patrols 1 and 13) blocking intersections leading out of the quarantine area.  Officer Baccus and Paine are on foot patrol, between the 2 cruisers.  Building 1-10 are in the quarantine area.

Turn 1 (Police 4, Civilians No Move)
Police Move: Officers Baccus and Paine begin their patrol.
Turn 2 (Double 6s)
(Encounter) An adult male comes out of building 4 and approaches foot patrol.  He says his girlfriend is sick and needs an ambulance.  He called for one but it hasn't arrived, he begs for help.  Officer Baccus says he will call for one and tells the man to go back inside to wait.
Turn 3 (Police 4, Civilians 2)
Police Move: The foot patrol waits for the man to go back inside
Civilian Move: The man retreats nervously back into the building.

Turn 4 (Civilians 2, Police No Move)
Civilian Move: The man returns and approaches the foot patrol again.  Before the officers can say anything, the man draws a pistol and fires (+1 Civilian success Halt Quarantined (HQ) roll).  The bullet barley misses Baccus's head.  Both officers duck back into cover and begin to draw their side arms (seems logical they would start drawing once fired on, even if not activated this turn).  The officers down the street strain to see what is going, but do nothing.
Turn 5 (Civilians 4, Police 2)
Civilian Move: The crazed man advances on the foot patrol, firing two more shots.  The bullets clang into the dumpster the officers are using for cover. 
Police Move: Both officers have their side arms drawn by now and fire at the man.  Three bullets strike the man.  He drops to the ground seriously wounded and "Out Of the Fight".  One officer from each patrol car comes to investigate.  The officers call for an ambulance.  Dispatch informs them that a police van will arrive shortly (3 turns), because there are no ambulances available.
Turn 6 (Police 4, Civilians No Move)
Police Move: The police administer first aid, and keep the man alive (pass 2, Modified Recovery test).

Turn 7 (Police 2, Civilians 1)
Police Move: The police continue life saving steps on the man.
Civilian Move: The man regains conciseness long enough to mumble about his sick girl friend.

Turn 8 (Double 4s)
(Encounter) Someone screams "FIRE!".  The officers look up to see black smoke pouring out of building 2.  The officers call it in and fire truck will arrive in 5 turns. 
Police Move:  The police van arrives.  They load the injured man into it and it pulls away, to take him to the hospital.
Civilian Move: A lone civilian runs from the building and heads towards the open part of town.  The police tell her to not cross the quarantine line.  Seeing the 4 policemen standing there, she turns around and runs into the night (+3 police success, HQ roll).

Turn 9 (Civilians 4, Police 1)
Civilian Move:  Another civilian exits the building, this time from the rear exit.  The lone officer by the Patrol 1 tells her to halt.  Suddenly the woman bolts across the quarantine line (+2 Civilian success, HQ roll).  She crosses the line and moves down the street.
Police Move: The police officer chases after the woman.  He easily catches up to her, telling her to halt again.  Once again she ignores his instructions and charges down the street (+1 Civilian success, HQ Roll).  The police officer's partner comes around the corner, just in time to see the woman running into the darkness (the fig made it off the board on its last HQ win).  All police officers who haven’t moved return to their posts.

Turn  10 (Police 1, Civilians No Move)
Police Move:  Patrol 1 sees 2 people exit the back of the burning building.  They mill about, confused.  The police watch them closely, but they do nothing.

Turn 11 (Double 1s)
(Encounter) Patrol 13 sees a group of 7 people moving up the street towards them under  the dim street lamps. 
Police Move: Patrol 13 gets ready to turn the advancing group back.  Patrol 1 tells the two people by the burning building to halt and to not cross the quarantine line.   Both civilians comply (+1 Police success HQ roll) and move across the street to an all night gas station and watch the building burn.
Civilian Move:  The civvies continue to watch their building burn.

Turn 12 (Zombies 4, Police 3, Civilians No Move)
Zombie Move:  The group of people in front of Patrol 13 continues to move towards it.  The police officers tell the crowd to halt.  Suddenly, the group charges the police officers (+3 Zombie successes, HQ roll).  As they come near, the police officers see that they are bloodied, and grotesquely disfigured.  The police officers are completely overwhelmed by the rushing horde; unable to even draw their weapons (Zombie Surprise total 13 to 7). The first officer goes down screaming as he is torn to pieces by the first zombie to reach him. The second officer manages to kill one of his attackers, before being dragged down, as well.  The attackers begin feasting on the bodies for 4 turns.
Police Move: Baccus and Paine hear the screams down the block.  Under a distant street light, they can see their companions being eaten alive.  Baccus nervously mutters, "It's them" and draws his weapon as he calls for help on his radio (A SWAT Team will arrive in 3 turns).  Paine, realizing that Baccus isn’t crazy and steeled by his demeanor draws his sidearm as well.  A fire engine arrives and begins to battle the fire in the burning building.
Civilian Move: Still complying with instructions, the civilian from the building stand aside and let the fireman do their work.

Turn 13 (Double 6s, Zombies 1)
(Encounter) Baccus and Paine hear a barking dog in the distance.  They look across the small park in front of them and see a dog running towards them.  Following not far behind is a group of bloodied figures.  Baccus nods his head in their direction, "more of them, get ready".
(Encounter; part of the "Fire" encounter from turn 8) Down the street, there is a “POP”.  Sparks and chunks of asphalt fly as a bullet ricochets off the pavement.  Someone yells "SNIPER!" as Patrol 1 draws their weapons scanning the area for the shooter.  The firemen and civilians duck for cover.  One of the officers retrieves the shotgun from the cruiser.
Zombie Move: The zombies follow the barking dog.

Turn 14 (Civilians 4, Police 2, Zombies 1)
Civilian Move: The civilians decide that they need to leave the area and head for the quarantine line.  Patrol 1 orders them to stop, emphasizing things with their drawn weapons.  The civilians turn on their heels and head the opposite direction (+3 Police success, HQ roll) , while the firemen resume battling the fire.
Police Move: Baccus and Paine stand their ground watching both groups of zombies.  Patrol 1 continues to man its road block, as well.
Zombie Move:  The barking dog easily out paces the shambling zombies.  It makes no difference, though, as the zombies have spotted the humans to their front.  They advance towards them, through a small park, as the zombies at the corner continue to feast.

Turn 15 (Police 3, Zombies No Move)
Police Move: A SWAT van turns the corner and heads towards the downed officers of Patrol 13.  As it screeches to a halt, heavily armed SWAT members rush from the van.  Without hesitation, they begin to pour fire into the zombies feasting on human flesh.  They easily dispatch the pre-occupied zombies.  Baccus and Paine fire at the advancing zombies as they pass through the small park.  Baccus drops 2 of them, while Paine misses.

Turn 16 (Police 4, Zombies 1)
Police Move: Baccus and Paine fire again.  Baccus drops another zombie while one of Paine’s bullets passes through the chest of another.  The SWAT team advances to the sound of the gunfire and takes out the last 2 zombies.

Despite their best efforts there were too many incidents like down fall of Patrol 13.  Large gaps developed in the quarantined line, and there were not enough officers to plug them.  More and more people started to exit the quarantine zone, many of them sporting wounds from rampaging attackers.  Faster and faster things spiraled out of control.

Game Note:  I will be honest, I wasn't sure how this one was going to go.  By the scenario rules in the ATZ - Haven book the game lasts 16 turns. minimum.  Since nothing happens unless doubles come up on activation rolls every turn, you could potentially have a game 16 turns long where nothing happens.  Needless to say, with 4 encounters taking place, that wasn't a problem this time around. The game turned out quite enjoyable, as I didn't have any idea what was going to happen next.

Also, Officer Baccus finally redeemed himself.  I was beginning to worry that I might have to just relegate him to zombie fodder, if he didn't shape up.  I think he gets to keep his 4 Rep, and will see more acion in the days to come.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A question of scale..."Why 15mm?"

Mathyoo's question on the previous thread of "Why 15mm" was a very valid one.  I wrestled with it when I decided to start my ATZ project.  I'd be interested to hear why others went with the scale they did.

To recap my reasons, they were:
1) Economy of cost: 15mm is way cheaper than the other scales.
2) Economy of scale: I can put a lot more "stuff" on the table. Plus, I would need a 10x10 table, minimum, to host what do on a 3x3. It takes up a lot less storage space, too.
3) Economy of time: It takes a lot less time to get 15mm stuff ready for the table; especially when I have a one off thing I need, quickly.

I think hearing how multiple others went about deciding on what scale to go with would be of benefit for any aspiring gamers, too.   So, if you'd like to chime in, feel free to do so...it's several days before the next scheduled post, so fire away!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Suburban Test House

Soon, my Lazarus campaign will move into the suburbs of the city.  I have nothing built, as far as terrain goes, for that setting.  I have about 5-6 different style paper house I can build, to give my neighborhoods some variety.  So, that's not a problem.  The issue I have is capturing the real feel of a US suburb.I could just plop my houses down on a green table top, but that would just look weird.  Drive ways are the answer.  How do I model them in an  easy and durable manner that, though?  I searched the web and found what I think is a great solution; roofing shingles!

I took a shingle, left over from my house being re-roofed.  I traced out the shape I wanted and cut it out.  Use a cheap utility knife, as these things will ruin an Xacto blade in a heart beat.  I then used wood glue to affix the paper and foam board house to the BACK SIDE of the shingle.  I painted the area around the edge brown and glued static grass to it.  I dry-brushed the areas that would be concrete grey and then painted in expansion joints.  I used green scratch pads for hedges and even made a little flower bed.  Here's the results
Here's an action shot with minis and vehicles for scale:
Going forward, here is what changes I am making to the process:
  1. The driveways need to be longer, so two vehicles can be parked tail to nose in them.
  2. Add back patios to the bases
  3. I am going to lightly over-spray the base with grey primer, so I won't have to dry brush.  That'll lighten the color up, as well.
  4. Paint the edges brown BEFORE gluing the houses on.
  5. Find, or build AC units, satellite dishes, etc to add detail
  6. I am going to use shingles for my suburban roads, as well.

Friday, November 11, 2011

15mm Heavy Metal

My 15mm military forces got a littl extra fire power this week.  I finished a couple of Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs)  They are done up in colors for the mid-east.  They can, and will, just as easily fit into the middle of a US city.  I don't really like basing my vehicles.  The way these things went together, though, I really didn't have a choice, unless I wanted the tracks popping off every time they hit the table.

The M2 Bradley (foreground) is from a company that I can't recall and the LAV-25 is from QRF Models.  The photos below show them with some Peter Pig US Marines.  Honestly, they are little on the small side.  Still they are nice models and look good on the table.

This armor will make good back up, for my Irish Serb HMMVs.  I replaced the resin .50Cal on the HMMV on the right with a metal one from Peter Pig.  It looks much better.  The Irish Serb HMMVs are the best on the market, IMO, and well worth the price.

The turrets on both vehicles are removable,  so I took an extra one and modeled it as manned.  I used the kneeling Peter Pig Marine .50 Cal gunner; hacked off at the waist, and card for the hatch doors.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Los Surenos - 28mm Survivors

"Hey, esse, end of the world, or not, this barrio is our home.  Mi madre, mi padre, all my brothers and sisters; the pinche dead got them.  These vatos are the only ones I have left; mi familia.  You understand homes?"

Los Surenos are another gang living in the remnants of Southern California.  They rule the barrios keeping all outsiders away; dead or alive.

Los Surenos







This is another set of Gangstars from Obelisk Miniatures; sold at Black Cat Bases. These are from the same line as the minis in my "Las Chicas" gang. Excellent minis, and I highly recommend them to the 28mm gamer/painter/collector.

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