Monday, 30 July 2012

Slightly off Topic: Dark Age Warfare. Hidden Merseyside.

I've no real reason for posting this, just that I know many of you out there are into your Dark Age warfare and you may interested.

Like most big Metro Areas most people just think of the cities. However just on the other side of a sandstone ridge from the Mersey is a fairly rural part of the Wirral. Ten minutes from where I live, so the Viscountess, youngest heir and I went for a walk. So what? You say.

Well, in 973 AD one of the largest battles ever fought on British soil occurred in a place called Brunanburgh. Wherein the Vikings were driven from the mainland. The exact site of the battle is not known, for sure and a scholarly debate still rages as to its exact location.

This is our claim. I won't go into all the reasons save for this area is called Brombourgh. The photo is taken from what is believed to be the Saxon lines across the field to the Viking lines on a place called 'red hill'. The view from the other side of the field is (militarily) more impressive as a battle field, however it is difficult to get as the best position to see it is in the middle of the M53.

If you want to know anything more about the site let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do. (NB there is no sign nor visitors centre or anything like that. You need to know someone that is keen on the local history).


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Forest Building, Bin Diving and a Cautionary Tale

Nothing great this week in Castle PZ.

Forest Building

I've pushed on with developing my forest project with five more stands.

Bin Diving

With the governmental cuts there are all sorts of offices and stations closing down there is skip loads of 'stuff' all over the place. In passing one I saw this.

It felt too rude not to acquire it. If a modeller can't make something UFOish out of this, well they do not deserve the title!

How this ended up in police station bin I know not. But as my FT 17 tank project crashed and burnt, the models were too small and weak. I needed a replacement. So an armoured car conversion is in the offing. So this was quiet a find.

Cautionary Tale.

I popped into a local model shop 'The Miniathurium' ( and purchased some sticks. Doing the man thing I wanted to use them straight away.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Well I ended up with this abomination!

Take care out there.

All the best.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Forest Terrain Project- The Final Part

The Final Part

Washed the Trunks with Black Ink

Sprayed with a Cheap can of Spray Glue from £land

LuckyJoe suggested a cheap hairspray as being a good substitute for varnish. Now sadly I got his comment too late but it is defiantley one for the future.

Undercoated New Characters for scale

Same again

This project was so easy to do and I found it fairly relaxing. Not exhibition standard but certainly OK for gaming purposes. The height is also good, more by accident then design. The foliage is thick and that needs thinning and the trees are a bit homogeneous. But as a Mark 1 its fair. Varying lengths of twists and twist concentration should give the further Marks a more varied shape. Now to build the rest of the forest.

Thanks for viewing. Enjoy the rest of your week.


PS I've been lax in responding on your posts. Sorry, but when I catch up with them, during the week, the security processes on the computer I use won't let me post on some of your blogs, and I don't get much time in the evening.  I still think that this community is as good and as friendly as anything. Take care out there.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Forest Project Terrain: Parts 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7.

Thanks for all you comments they are very well received. Got back from work a bit early so I had some time to myself before the gang came came home. In my solitude I pushed on.


Tools: PVA glue, various spray paints, scatter, tea.

Spray with undercoat



Spray 'Foilage' with a suitable coloured spray (garden green here)

Tea Time

Using 'Loose Leaf' Tea scatter over Wet Foliage.
(I used a £ pack of tea but I'm sure dried teabag tea would work too.) 


Coat Base in 'slighty' diluted PVA glue & scatter, well, with scatter. 

Paint Trunks

Leaving to dry overnight. Then a bit of ink washing (?) and sealing. I'm using straight forward clear varnish. Any other suggestions?

Thanks for reading. Keep safe all out there.


Sunday, 22 July 2012

Forest Terrain Project. Parts 1 & 2.

Well, back in the hobby saddle again. As I'm trying to engage in a 'Muskets & Zombies' project with  thought to develop into 'Muskets and Mohawk' campaign. I therefore need to build a forest. So here is the start of my forest building project.

Garden wire, pincers, craft knife, masking tape, pan scourers, useless CD, various glues, scissors, filler paste & a pint of cider.


Cut garden wire to about 18" lengths. 3 per tree

Fold single strand in half and twist. Leaving 1" free

Do this 3 times per tree

Twist 2 strands together and then the third.

The skeleton tree.

Make 3 trees and check for fit.

Cut masking tape into strips.

Wrap around skeleton.

Do this 3 times and check for fit.


A quick trip to £land.
Dodging zeds in local town (you think I'm joking!).

Looking for that 'cider moment' of inspiration.
(NB There's a bloody tree on the glass!) 

Rip up the scourers into small pieces.

& glue to trunks & branches.

A bit of topiary.

Hot glue to CD.

Cover base in filler paste.

Now we'll leave it dry and see what happens.

Thanks for reading. Happy 'whichever'day you read this on.


Thursday, 19 July 2012

A Leter from Home (weekly Blog & Backstory with a question!)

Camp Unsworth,
Moor City,
North Carolina.

Dear May,

I hope this finds you well. Just a short note to let you know that I am OK.

I can't tell you much of what is going on here. However, I am pretty scared. We went on a couple of patrols last week and Gunny saved our bacon. Things got a bit sticky.

By now you may know that Vinny Fragetti is not in a good way. He got separated from the platoon and when we found him he had lost his mind. He will be coming home soon.  Mickey Quinoness is also struggling. He managed to get Vinny back to base before he started to loose it. We're lucky, Gunny Highway's seenit all before and is taking good care of us. I don't mean he's reading us a story and giving us a goodnight kiss (Lord I'm begining to sound like him). 

Mario 'bought the farm' and the his Father Sergeant Major Choozo is pretty cut up about it. It does mean that Webster is now Acting Segreant Major,which ain't so good for us. We are getting the rough end of all the duties and we have a whole week of quarentine duty starting this weekend. Swede Johanson and Jay Hicks are no longer with us. Please send my condolences to Old Mrs Johanson and I know you were close to Jay's sister Jane and Helga Johanson also. They died well doing their duty.

Love to all.

Your beau,
Stitch. XXX

PS. Thankyou for the photograph of you and your sisters, I keep it close to my heart.

Jane, May, Helga. Spring 193*


Spring 2012. Which era would YOU like to live in?

Spring 2012

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Patrol: Part 3 (Finale): ATZ, Batrep, AAR

Turn 11 (1-5-3)

“Quinoness, protect our rear! Profile, fix bayonets. Charge!” commanded Highway. Quinoness turned his back on the Gunny and levelled his rifle down the trail. Highway and his PFC thundered into the backs of two zeds that were advancing on Jones. The sergeant waved his thanks and crashed the butt of his weapon into the slavering zed advancing on him from Johanson’s corpse.

Ernest Carver, squeezed the trigger of his shotgun. It roared to life and obliterated yet another zed.

“Gunny?” squeaked Quinoness, “you’d better come and see this.”

Out of the darkness of the Donkey Drive shantytown emerged a group of figures. All male, all armed. At the head a larger then life figure in a tight fitting brown suite smoking a cigar that matched his physic.

A fast move got Highway and his section back to Stitch, passing a 2d6 ‘to charge test’ easily attacking the zeds from behind dispatched them. Freeing up Jones to off the zed that did for Swede. The PEF resolutions revealed only two to be of anything substantial both being revealed as gangers 10 in number. 1 zed created.

Turn 12 (6-6-4)

Highway hefted his Springfield to the ready position. And advanced on the group. With Quinoness to his left Profile to his right.

“Jones how you doing back there?”

The Donkey Drive Gang come to the Fight
Jones checked out Carver, “I’m OK Gunny. But I think Ernie is beginning to crack.”

“OK soldier. Hold it together protect our six and retire slowly to us.”

“Howdy,” Highway addressed the cigar smoker.

With no move for anything but the military Highway takes the opportunity to parley with the gangers. He wins by 1d6, making the gangers join Highway’s group for the game. 1 PEF created behind the cage in which Fragetti is.

Turn 13 (1-2-6)

“Evening. I’m going to cut to the chase. What you soldier-boys doing in my town, disturbing the sick and upsetting the residents?”

“Looking for one of my boys, we get him, we go.”

“Little Mo’s the name, and if we get your boy for you, you’ll just leave?”

“My word on it.”
“Deal. Tony! Take one of these lads to the soldier we found.”

“Doc,” Highway addressed Quinoness.

Highway and Lil Mo barter, Highway gets the upper hand and Mo agrees to trade something of value. This was Fragetti for Highway’s withdrawal from the shanty. There is a PEF moving slowly towards them.

Turn 14 (3-6-6)

The Clancy twins pushed and shoved their way through a copse. They were never separated in life and in half death they’d maintained that bond. Now they shuffled and lurched to the sound of life. At one time they would never have been seen dead in the company of John Oxford, a rotting hobo from the wrong side of Purgatory, but in death, they had but one goal, to feed, to devour warm living flesh.

Ernie Carver slotted another two shells into his side-by-side, “you see that Sergeant?”

“Sure do. Just stand your ground feller we’ll be fine.”

Carver and Jones await their fate.

With only the zeds able to move, they closed into sight of Carver and Jones.

Turn 15 (1-4-3)

Ernie pulled back the hammers on his shotgun. Lorna Clancy opened her mouth and emitted a roar that came from the depths of hell, where her soul lay in torment. Ernie’s nerve broke he turned and fled.

Carver flees

Lil Mo proffered a cigar to Highway.

“Obliged, mind if I smoke it later when we get out of here?”

Mo shrugged.

“You ain’t goin’ nowhere without us General.”

Highway and Mo turned to face the voice. They were confronted by a mob of Purgatory’s residents.

“What the…..” muttered Highway.

Survivors Ahoy

Shoving his way past crates and cast off furniture Doc Quinoness was led to a simpering body dressed in Army green.

“Vincent, it’s me Doc. Come on feller, come on I’m here to take you home.”

Vincent Fragetti rose and moved to his friend, “I’m frightened Doc.”

“Sure you are, we all are. Gunny’s here to take you back,” Doc put his arm about the shoulders of Fragetti and escorted him from the cage.

Fragetti is found
“Aw crap!” exclaimed Jones as the civilian guide disappeared behind him. The Clancy twins turned to face him. John Oxford pitched closer. Sergeant ‘Stitch’ Jones hefted the remains of the ‘Swede’ onto his shoulder, turned and fled towards the safety of the remaining Guardsmens’ guns.

“That’s right general,” went on the spokesman of the group, “you can’t leave us here and we ain’t goin’ to let you go with out us.”

Highway weighed up his options, there was a score of them, some had firearms others improvised weapons. Quinoness was leading a shattered Guardsman out of the cage. His Sergeant was retreating to his position, the scout had fled and he was unsure of how his newly found ally would react if it came to a shooting match with his people.

“Get fell in on the road,” he sighed.

Carver failed his ‘being charged’ test 02d6. Jones decided that discretion was the better part of valour and retreated. Quinoness rallied Fragetti who was too broken to help. The PEF was resolved as a group of survivors + 1 more then the players, as they had allied with the Mo’s gangers this meant 14 (!) survivors. Highway won the interaction, PEF was only rep 2, and they agreed to join the party.

Turn 16 (2-6)

Jones Retires.
Stitch had underestimated the weight of his colleague’s remains. He could hear the scraping footfalls of the beasts closing in on him. The crack of Profile’s rifle focused the Sergeant’s attention. He heard the round ‘slap’ into one of the zeds. He knew there were three left, “forgive me friend,” he whispered to Johanson’s corpse as he dropped him to the ground.

Swede save Stitch

Zeds close in on Jones who fails his ‘being charged’ test. Stitch  drops poor old Swede who is then set upon by the zeds, Profile passes an ‘insight’ test and offs a zed. Highway rounds up the survivors onto the roadway.

Turn 17 (6-5)

The spokesman for the residents cajoled and ushered the survivors into a double file on the path.
“You OK, Jones?” asked Highway, slipping round into the breach of his Springfield.

“Sure Gunny. I had to leave…”

Gunny Highway raised his hand to silence the sergeant,” no time for that now. There are three of them bastards between home and us. Get ready.”



“Bayonet them, the sick seem to be attracted by noise.”

“Jones, Profile en garde!” commanded the Gunnery Sergeant adopting the classic stance for bayonet practise. His men followed suite.

“One each. CHARGE!”

The three guardsmen crossed the distance between the sick and themselves in seconds. Three blades thrust into putrefying flesh, they twisted, tore up, they were withdrawn. Their targets reeled. In unison all three thrust for the head and three of the undead collapsed.

“Just like you taught us Gunny,” said Profile stabbing down into the hobo’s body.

“You did well Profile, but it don’t mean I’ll be buying you flowers and taking you to the movies.”

No zed move, Highway gathers his forces bayonets fixed they all pass the ‘to charge’ test 2d6 and dispatch the remaining zeds with ease. Mo’s gang disperse into the shanty. No photo for this move as it was too unfocused.

Turn 18 (3-6)

Highway turned to see the column of survivors advance up the path.

“Jones, Profile! Take point!”

The two Guardsmen did as commanded.

Lil Mo waved a cigar at the Gunny, ”be seeing you,” he called out as his men filtered away into the town.

Highway gave him a mock salute and took up his position at the head of the column.
Highway Leads the way

Mo says Goodbye

"They'll never allow 'em out," said Lil Mo as the group faded into the night, they'll be back and out for revenge. A state of affairs that can only be to our benefit. Haaaaaaa."

He strolled unworried back to his shebeen.


Highway leads the survivors to the police barricade at the end of Donkey Drive. However, the Moor City officials refuse to allow them to leave. This leads, in a bizarre twist of fate, quiet nicely to the next scenario of the Haven campaign which is the second riot in which the 'guard are involved.

The increasing PEF formation became a bit of a monster. I think that in future I'll split doubles between PEFs and events. I missed those experiences that event creation makes. Once again 'the game' surprised me. It could have gone horribly wrong with the ganger and the survivors. But the benefits of having a high Rep leader is invaluable. Saying that it has led this scenario seamlessly into the next one on the Haven list which is another riot. As I feel would be the outcome of the survivors being turned away at the checkpoint.
Thanks for reading. I hope that you enjoyed it, any feedback gratefully received.

Good luck out there.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Patrol: Episode 2: ATZ, Batrep, AAR

Turn 5 (6-6-1) (6-1-1)

“Christ Mickey, get yourself back here,” yell Choozo at his colleague’s retreating back.

Hearing the scream Gunny Highway moved to the shack’s front in time to see Qunioness disappearing into the tip.

Inside the remaining zed threw himself at Choozo. The guardsman lunged with his rifle the blade of his bayonet slicing into a rotten chest. The creature hesitated and brought his right arm down across the Springfield’s barrel knocking it from the young Choozo’s grip. It clattered to the floor and a sweeping left hook shattered Choozo’s jaw. The soldier collapsed. He felt no pain as the beast fell upon his unconscious body. 

Brian Malarkey had no idea where he was. In fact he had no idea who he was. The sounds of gunfire brought him too. He raised himself from his slumbers and lurched n the general direction of the sound. The figure of a living being appeared in his range, he knew not why but he had the unerring urge to sink his teeth into the vibrant flesh. A second figure, what was once Alice Jones, walked next to him, but of this he had no interest, that was engaged with the other flesh. Swede Johanson had no comprehension of what bore down upon him.

Highway takes on a Zed

Highway burst into the shanty and a bloodied head rose from it’s feasting. He would have laughed as the zed’s eyes tried to separately focus on the 12 inches of US steel that cleaved its forehead, had it not been for the fact that its last meal had been the son of a friend.

Turn 6 (6-5-4)

Highway returned to what remained of his platoon, “Jones, sitrep?”

“Were all OK Gunny. The others?”

“Quinoness is hiding in the tip at the back of this place. Choozo’s bought the farm. Stay here and hold this position. The rest of you follow me, where going to get Q. Indian file.”

Highway Reassesses his Options
Only Military movement Highway decides to consolidate his position and reassess the options.
Turn 7 (2-2-1) Rep 1 PEF in 6 (3-4-1)

“Move Out!” Highway jogged into the shantytown Profile and Carver falling in behind him.

As they disappeared what the corpse Brian Malarkey and Alice Jones pitched into view. Both Jones and Johanson held their nerve. Alice was dispatched by Jones’ round but Brian kept coming only slowed by a bullet that ripped off his lower left arm.

Indian File

Turn 9 (3-6-1)

Snapping off a round Stitch Jones reduces the number of zeds. Johanson takes a second sight on Malarkey this time his bullet shatters the creature’s brain casing. Half lowering his rifle to admire his marksmanship the big Swede felt a hand slip around his neck from behind. He tried to spin to bring his rifle to bear but the hold was too strong a second hand gripped his jaw. Swede Johanson felt his head being jerked savagely around, he heard the vertebrae in his neck snap, but not the skin being ripped from his muscle.

Jones swallowed. He felt his knees wobble and he clutched tighter to his rifle. He pumped another round into the breach.

Johanson offed one zed as did Jones but the number of zeds was too great and the former was ‘attacked from the rear’ unable to defend himself (R1;3/2:R2;1/4) he succumbed. Jones had to take the ‘see the feast’ test and passed 2d6. 3 more zeds.


More Damn Zeds

Turn 10 (4-5-6)

The zed opposite Jones belched, stretched and left the, mutilated, Swedish corpse. Directing its attention at the Sergeant. The moaning of undead echoed around the shacks. Jones braced himself.

Highway gripped Quinoness and yanked him to his feet. He stared hard into his eyes. He saw a spark, not the blank lifeless look that was so common in the aftermath of Belleau Wood.

“Quinoness! You owe the Guards and me. Big time! Are you going to fall in or do I leave you here?”

The young soldier gazed about his situation. Colour came to his face and a glimmer of recognition appeared and he began to shake, “Gunny, I’m sorry.”

“No time for that now. Grab your rifle and lets get back to Jones. From the sound of it he’s in need of help. Where’s the civvi?”

“He went back when he heard the shooting Gunny,” answered Profile.

“Come on, move out!”

“Gunny,” Quinoness stammered, “thanks Gunny.”

“Quinoness, this don’t mean we’re going skinny dipping together,” replied Highway as he jogged off.

Swede Falls, Ernest falls back to help.

The zed that finished off Swede finished his turns of feasting. Unable to move the military just consolidated their positions. The PEF rolls either led to them moving towards themselves or not moving. The luck of rolling low rep PEFs.
Highway has  a rallied one Guardsman. Stitch & Carver are facing multiple zeds and the PEFs have yet to be resolved.  I'm going to leave it there and write another episode to finish this off later in the week, not that I don't want to it's just that matters get a bit complicated and my notes need sorting out to match the photos which weren't that good. The excitement I suppose.
Take care out there.