Category Archives: Horror

What the actual fuck.

This was supposed to be a post about miniatures. Really. But, well…that was some fucked-up shit yesterday, wasn’t it?

Several years ago, I watched a movie starring Gerard Butler called “Olympus Has Fallen.” The plot is simple: North Korean terrorists take control of the White House, hold the President and his Cabinet hostage, and threaten the world with America’s nuclear weapons. Gerard Butler is a secret service agent who single-handedly saves the President and restores order to the world. The first ten minutes of the movie show how the terrorists get control of the White House: they basically crash a plane into it, and drive vans up onto the lawn and storm the front door. All the secret service agents who are not Gerard Butler try to stop them; but they’re only armed with 9mm pistols, so it doesn’t go their way, and the North Koreans soon have complete control of the United States government and its nuclear arsenal.

I remember laughing so hard I started tearing up at the sheer absurdity of this premise; but believe it or not, it wasn’t the stupidest part of the movie. That would come later, when President Aaron Eckhardt freely surrenders the nuclear launch codes because he doesn’t want to see the VP or Secretary of State get shot. (I forget which one, but she was female, of course, and therefore needed to be saved.)

Then yesterday happened, and I wasn’t laughing, because I realized that things get a lot easier for terrorists (in this case: white supremacist fascists, not North Koreans) when “security” opens the fucking door for them and waves them in. then lets them just fucking leave after they’ve trashed the place.

As an American, I am humiliated and more than a little concerned. I’d say this isn’t who we are, but it sure seems like it IS who we are now, at least a disturbing percentage of us.

Yesterday was the first time in our country’s history that the Confederate flag flew in the Capitol building. (The Confederate flag is recognized by everyone who isn’t an unrepentant or ignorant racist as a symbol of unrepentant and ignorant racism.) The people responsible for yesterday’s attack on their own country are either easily-led, racist homophobic morons who are too fucking stupid to understand they’re attempting to destroy Democracy and install an idiot king in its place, which is frightening; or they’re not stupid at all, this is exactly what they want, which is much more frightening. What is crystal clear is that they were incited by an unhinged egomaniac who has been enabled by his own party for the last four years; a party all too willing to either ignore or tacitly endorse his racist, misogynistic, nationalistic, deplorable and often blatantly criminal conduct in order to remain in power at all costs, and who now is desperately trying to backpedal and deflect blame.

But make no mistake: we are here because of you fucking assholes. What happened yesterday is humiliating, but sadly, it’s not surprising. This has been coming for a long time. And isn’t it always convenient that it’s “time to move on; no need to assign blame” when you’re clearly the fucking one to blame? Fuck you.

Anyone, Democrat or Republican (but let’s be honest, it won’t be a Democrat) who does not think this is a reason to invoke the 25th Amendment should be publicly condemned. The president should be removed from office immediately. Although there have been many (literally thousands) of instances over the last four years (and over the course of his life prior to that) that demonstrate his unfitness for office, none is more glaring than this. This was an insurrection attempt by a sitting president. There need to be consequences.

Every security officer and official who stood by, who took selfies, who opened barricades, who willfully understaffed Capitol security knowing this could happen; every asshole who is on video breaking a window and was too stupid to wear a mask to hide his/her face; every shithead who broke into the offices of elected officials and subverted the Democratic process; every prick who vandalized public property and who is now bragging about it on social media…should be charged with domestic terrorism. Their actions disrupted the Democratic process and were undertaken with that specific goal. They are not patriots, and not (merely) vandals. They are terrorists and should be charged as such.

They won’t be, of course. And he’ll stay in office for another two weeks.

Because that’s who we are now. Or a disturbing percentage of us, anyway.

A Vamp for Vampifan Part 2: The Red Duke

Well, it took me long enough, but I finally finished my vampire miniature painted this month in honor of Bryan Scott, a.k.a. Vampifan; a gamer who sadly passed on earlier this year. I chose The Red Duke from Games Workshop, a classic Vampire Counts miniature that I have had since its release in the late 90’s. Had I known Vampifan better (or at all), I probably would have chose something different, i.e. one that looked a bit more like Ingrid Pitt rather than Christopher Lee.

No one tells me anything. I blame Roger.

Anyway, once I got him positioned how I wanted, I gave him another coat of Vallejo black surface primer and did a quick drybrush of Citadel Celestra Grey to underpaint the model and highlight everything I needed to see in order to paint (my eyes ain’t what they used to be). Then I got to work.

Behold the results of my efforts. I have to say, since I started using Instagram and was forced to begin using my iPhone to take pictures, I have noticed that pictures taken with my actual camera really suck in comparison to anything I take with my phone. For some reason, if I try to load my iPhone pictures into WordPress, it doesn’t work. Normally I would blame Roger for this (and everything else); but it’s far more likely that WordPress is to blame.

Please forgive the shitty quality of these pictures, is what I’m saying.

I followed Duncan Rhodes Jr’s GW recipe for vampire skin: Rakarth Flesh base; followed by an Agrax Earthshade wash; highlight with Flayed One Flesh and finally with Pallid Wych Flesh. Of course, the only skin the Duke is showing is his face; but I think it looks suitably vampiric. The armor is a mix of four or five red washes and paints from different manufacturers (please don’t ask me what I used), as well as the same number of gold metallics. The one thing I’m unsure of is the purple…the more I look at it, the more I think it should be black. But I wanted to add a bit of color to the Duke besides red. What do you think?

Speaking of purple, THIS happened while I was in the midst of painting: I spilled my Druchii Violet wash all over the place, because I accidentally swatted the shitty GW flip-top bottle cap and knocked the whole pot over. Fuck you, GW. Between your paints that dry up far too quickly and your fucking stubborn resistance to dropper bottles, I’ve about fucking had it with your planned obsolescence business model. Know what I’ve never accidentally spilled? ANY PAINT IN A FUCKING DROPPER BOTTLE. Like Vallejo. Or Army Painter. Or Reaper. Or any cheap-ass craft paint I can buy at Wal-Mart. All these paints seem to last a hell of a lot longer, too. Coincidence? DOUBT IT.

Sorry. I’ve been drinking.

One thing I am really happy about is using the cape from the Heroclix Hobgoblin. I did this out of necessity, because I somehow lost the Red Duke’s own cape over the years. (Very unlike me. I’m sure it will turn up somewhere.) I think it looks a lot better than his “official” cape would look; and it adds a bit of realism to the motion of the rearing skeletal steed. (Also, it turns out I didn’t need to sculpt any reins, so…yaay me!)

As a small bonus, I also repainted this Horrorclix Nosferatu. Unlike the Red Duke, it took me about 30 minutes in total to rebase and repaint him, so it’s hardly a huge accomplishment. Still, I thought I’d include him in my Vampifan tribute.

True to form, I waited until the last possible minute to post these miniatures. I hope Vampifan would have liked them. It’s Halloween, and if there wasn’t a pandemic, I’d be expecting trick-or-treaters at my door in a few hours; but it’s looking like it’s going to be a quiet night.

Perfect night, in fact, for a vampire movie…

In a hole in the ground there lived a piper…

It’s not exactly a hobbit-hole, but it’s comfy enough. That’s where I’ve been spending my time lately. Every time I come out I can’t seem to get back down there fast enough.

Obviously I haven’t been here at the Tavern in a while. I’m just not motivated. Not for hobby stuff; I’ve been doing plenty of that. In fact it’s about the only thing that’s keeping me sane. I’m just not motivated to write about anything lately. I think the state of the world and of my country in particular is finally getting to me.

My country, in case anyone doesn’t know, is Bizarro World. Everything is fucking upside-down and backwards, and has been for four years and counting. But don’t worry. I’m pretty sure it’ll be over in a month if not sooner, when my country completely fucking explodes. I’ve never been happier about not having any children.

Dead Dick’s Tavern is generally a politics-free zone. No one comes here for my opinions on why science is a good thing; why putting children in cages is a bad thing; why deploying secret police on peaceful protesters is a bad thing; why endorsing overtly racist supremacist groups are a bad thing, why health care for everyone is a good thing; why shooting unarmed people in their own homes is a bad thing; and why arguing about wearing a mask when over 200,000 people and counting in my country alone are dead from a virulent, airborne plague is the supreme height of fucking stupidity.

That debate…what a fucking fiasco. Jesus.

So, I will stay in my basement, I guess. It has my miniatures, my video games, my gaming table. (I’ve had a solo game set up and ready to go for a month, but thus far haven’t felt the urge.) Unlike an actual hobbit-hole, it doesn’t have a bedroom, a kitchen or a bathroom. So I will have to ascend from time to time.

As I said, I am still painting miniatures. I post them on my Instagram page, because not every one is worthy of a blog post. Check it out if you like; there’s a link in the sidebar.

I’ll probably play that game at some point. Then I will post an After Action Report. I’m also planning on running a game of Slasher Flick before Halloween. Perhaps I’ll write about that, too.

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy, everyone.

The Coming of…Rrrraaaaaang!!!!!

Beware! Despair! Rrrraaaaaang is upon us!!!  Rrrraaaaaang, Destroyer of Worlds! Rrrraaaaaang, Bringer of Doom! Rrrraaaaaang, Devourer of Civilizations! Rrrraaaaaang! Rrrraaaaaang! RRRRAAAAAANG!!!!!!!

A bit of background: when I was in college, I spent a fair amount of time in the Fine Arts building, as one of my best friends was an illustration major. One day, I noticed something odd affixed to a wall in the main lounge. It was an orange. Someone had drawn a mean face on the peel and stuck it on a hook. They put a small, open box below the orange. It contained several coins of varying denominations. This, proclaimed a nearby sign, was Rrrraaaaaang, and he was a fearful god. Only through donations could Rrrraaaaaang be appeased.

Well, Rrrraaaaaang remained on his hook throughout the entire school year, long past when he became a withered, hardened husk of an orange with a sunken, glaring face. I think the custodians must have had a sense of humor; either that or, like the art students, they feared Rrrraaaaaang’s wrath should his physical body be molested in any way. I think there may have been about $2.00 in coins in that box by the end of the year, which is pretty impressive, considering college students are notoriously poor, and many are not above stealing change to raid a vending machine. Even so, none dared to defile the offerings to Rrrraaaaaang and risk his displeasure.

Rrrraaaaaang did not return the next semester. He vanished into the ether, as gods often do. He offered no explanation to those of us he left behind. I firmly believe Rrrraaaaaang will return one day, to visit divine retribution upon us all.

Until that time, I bring you my version of the great and terrible Rrrraaaaaang. My Rrrraaaaaang is an early Reaper miniature, Conjunctivus, the eye beast. He is a versatile monster, able to bring death and destruction in a variety of game settings.

They said nothing could make the Galacteers and the Imperials put aside their hostilities…but both fear Rrrraaaaaang!
Foolish mortals! Now you face Rrrraaaaaang!
“By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, Wong! My wards have failed! Rrrraaaaaang is upon us!
On Planet X, Biff Banning and Sheila Starr unwittingly awaken…Rrrraaaaaang!!!!

This miniature has been awaiting completion for years. In fact, I began composing a Rrrraaaaaang post in April of 2018, and he already had a basecoat on him back then. I’m glad he’s finally done, and I hope I can get to some other long-incomplete projects before the end of Monster Month.

Check out all the other participants in Monster Month. Dave Stone converted an awesome Kroot beast for Warhammer 40K, then did an amazing paint job on an Oriental Dragon he sculpted himself! That’s two submissions, one more than me so far, and I’m the guy HOSTING the challenge! Way to go, Dave! Coyotepunc completed a Reaper Frost Giant and it looks great! Matt painted a Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath named Tracy. (Really!) Carrion Crow plans on painting some miniatures sculpted by Dick Garrison himself, another participant! Visit everyone’s blog and see what they’re up to!

Blogroll

Roger, aka Dick Garrison, from Rantings From Under the Wargames Table

Dave Stone from Wargames Terrain Workshop

Matt from PMPainting

Coyotepunc from Coyotepunc’s Creativity

Ken from Blue Moose Arts

Jeremy, aka Carrion Crow, from Carrion Crow’s Buffet

Harry from War Across the Ages

You can find links to all these blogs (and others) in the sidebar as well!

Back to the painting table!

May is Monster Month (Again)!

For the past couple of years I’ve been trying to establish a loose routine with regards to my painting: I take part in Forgotten Heroes every June, try to clean up the “side-pile” every December, and occasionally, I host a painting challenge like Dwarvember, WizarDecember, or TerrainTime. This year I’ve decided to open up Monster Month to the world!

The “rules”, such as they are, are quite simple. Paint at least one monster in the month of May. The miniature can be any scale or from any genre or game system. The only restriction is that it has to be a MONSTER, not a humanoid. So don’t paint an orc or a zombie. Set your sights higher!

So what qualifies as a monster? Pretty much anything non-humanoid from classic Dungeons and Dragons. Dragons, Giants, Elementals…you name it. Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures and Reaper Bones have put out a lot of these miniatures at ridiculously affordable prices.

You’re by no means restricted to Fantasy miniatures, though. Got some Call of Cthulhu or Pulp creatures? Or how about that Tyranid Carnifex or that nightmarish Malifaux monster you’ve been putting off? Maybe a giant super-villain like Fin Fang Foom or Titano. If it’s a monster, it’s fair game!

If you want to take part, just drop me a comment here or email me at angrypiper@angrypiper.com. I’ll include your blog on the blogroll!

Happy painting!

Zombtober Week 4: Repaints and a Classic!

Zombtober comes to an end, and I present my final submission: a group of repaints and a classic Ral Partha miniature!

First up are the repaints: two Horrorclix zombies and two Indy Heroclix miniatures, repainted and rebased for use in the apocalypse. From L-R, a Horrorclix Zombie Patient, a Cheerleader Zombie, an Indy Clix Abbey Chase, and an Indy Clix Tiger Lily.

I like the patient zombie a lot, but the cheerleader is kind of silly. She’s using fistfuls of guts for pom-poms. I am not familiar with Tiger Lily or Abbey Chase, so I had no misgivings about repainting them completely for use as modern survivors. The Abbey Chase miniature could also work for a pulp heroine. Tiger Lily looks like Peter Criss without the armor. Repainting her face was easy, but what was kind of annoying was her T-Shirt. It has some design on it that I couldn’t make out, so I just painted the broken heart over it and I think it looks ok.

But Zombtober isn’t about REPAINTING zombies; it’s about painting zombies. Thus I present some old-school love: a classic Ral Partha zombie I’ve had since the mid 1980’s. He has never seen paint until now, so if nothing else, Zombtober has enabled me to get some long-overdue painting done!

 

Here’s the blogroll  of all the participants in Zombtober 2018!

Brummie, our Zombtober Host!- Brummie’s Wargaming Blog
Pulp Citizen- Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer
Rob Bresnen- Four Colour Super Minis
Kieron-Cheaphammer!!!
Terry Silverthorn- Miniature Mayhem
Ivor Evan- Saturday Mornings
Bryan Scott aka Vampifan- Vampifan’s World of the Undead
Colgar6- Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers
Clint- Anything But a One!
Phil Curran- Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera
Dai- The Lost and the Damned and the Stunted
The Wargames Addict- The Wargame Addict
Dick Garrison- Rantings from Under the Wargames table
myincubliss –Dead Lead Project

 

Insanity Pile Progress

 Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 43

Miniatures Purchased: 13

Total: +30

Zombtober Week 3: Don’t be such a Killjoy…

Week three of Zombtober is upon us, and I present my submission: Killjoy, from the Wyrd Miniatures Malifaux line.

This miniature is the original metal version of Killjoy, a large-size character from the Resurrectionist faction. I don’t play Malifaux, but I love some of their miniatures. Killjoy has since been resculpted in plastic. I prefer this version, but YMMV.

Anyway, Killjoy is supposedly a zombie, but to me he looks more like a Barker-esque cenobite or perhaps a murder-golem. (Is that a thing? It is now.) He’s definitely a killing machine, and his corpulent size implies he eats what he kills. So I decorated his 40mm base with some appropriate bodies and body parts. I even “sculpted” some entrails and viscera out of green stuff and piled them at his feet. Gross, huh?

He was pretty fun to paint. His base is GW Rakarth Flesh, highlighted with some Ivory and washed with Nuln Oil, Agrax Earthshade and some Athonian Camoshade. Then I used a heapin helpin’ of Blood for the Blood God and Nurgle’s Rot, two technical paints that enhance the gore quite nicely.

Since I don’t play Malifaux, I guess I could use him as a “boss” zombie, perhaps the focus of an entire game, once I decide which zombie rule set I like best. I’ve tried All Things Zombie, but it wasn’t my thing. I enjoyed No More Room in Hell, and even wrote a three-part After Action Report on this blog; but now I’m looking for something a little more “realistic”. I bought Osprey’s Last Days, but I’m reading some not-so-great reviews, so who knows?

Here’s the blogroll  of all the participants in Zombtober 2018!

Brummie, our Zombtober Host!- Brummie’s Wargaming Blog
Pulp Citizen- Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer
Rob Bresnen- Four Colour Super Minis
Kieron-Cheaphammer!!!
Terry Silverthorn- Miniature Mayhem
Ivor Evan- Saturday Mornings
Bryan Scott aka Vampifan- Vampifan’s World of the Undead
Colgar6- Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers
Clint- Anything But a One!
Phil Curran- Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera
Dai- The Lost and the Damned and the Stunted
The Wargames Addict- The Wargame Addict
Dick Garrison- Rantings from Under the Wargames table
myincubliss –Dead Lead Project

 

Insanity Pile Progress

 Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 42

Miniatures Purchased: 13

Total: +29

(The Progress Queue took a slight hit this month as I gave in to weakness. More on that in an upcoming post.)

Zombtober 2018 Week 2: Felicity meets the zombies!

It’s Zombtober, and I’m getting a late start. I missed the first week. Therefore, I worked twice as hard this week to get my submissions in. I decided to do a bunch of zombies and a survivor to catch up.

These zombies are from Reaper’s Bones line. You get all 5 in a pack for 7 bucks! They’re all pretty good sculpts, I’m particularly fond of the second one from the left and the one all the way on the right. These were the first miniatures I ever underpainted after priming; meaning I gave them all a light drybrush of white over the black primer before adding the colors. It was a technique I was unfamiliar with, but now that I’ve tried it, I can say it works terrific at picking out the detail on models, allowing me to easily see where clothes end and skin begins. It even picked out the wounds and bite marks the zombies have, making painting them easier. I’ll be using it again. My eyes aren’t getting any better with age, so any help is a good thing.

What do you do when you’re outnumbered five to one? Have the right tool for the job. This minigun should be just what the doctor ordered… This is Felicity, from Hasslefree. She’s one of the “not-Mystery Machine crew”; basically she’s Daphne from Scooby-Doo with a minigun. As cool as that is, I decided to paint her differently and not stick to her regular colors.

Here’s a quick shot of Felicity in action.

Next Sunday is my next Zombtober submission. Hopefully I’ll get some other stuff done before then, though, so watch this space!

 

Insanity Pile Progress

 Miniatures Painted Thus Far: 40

Miniatures Purchased: 1

Total: +39

 

Here’s the blogroll  of all the participants in Zombtober 2018!

Brummie, our Zombtober Host!- Brummie’s Wargaming Blog
Pulp Citizen- Eclectic Gentleman Tabletop Gamer
Rob Bresnen- Four Colour Super Minis
Kieron-Cheaphammer!!!
Terry Silverthorn- Miniature Mayhem
Ivor Evan- Saturday Mornings
Bryan Scott aka Vampifan- Vampifan’s World of the Undead
Colgar6- Colgar6 and the Infinite Legion of Toy Soldiers
Clint- Anything But a One!
Phil Curran- Dizbusters Gaming Ephemera
Dai- The Lost and the Damned and the Stunted
The Wargames Addict- The Wargame Addict
Dick Garrison- Rantings from Under the Wargames table
myincubliss –Dead Lead Project

Zombie Strippers!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Well, these lovelies have been languishing on my desk for almost a year. In fact, I was planning on painting them for ZeDecember last year, but I got distracted by life. All I can say is “better late than never”. And anyway, it’s not like these girls are in a hurry for anything anymore. They’ll be making an appearance in my No More Room in Hell games.

These are Reaper’s Zombie Strippers, from their Chronoscope line. The bases are from Armorcast. I especially love the gal on the left holding the customer’s hand, still clutching some dollar bills.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The strip club (a better view of it above) is a paper building from TommyGun over at Model Paper World. You can find it here. And it’s FREEEEEE!

The Soul Survivors: A No More Room in Hell AAR Part 3

Well, I thought I had more pictures of the end of the game, but I guess we got pretty caught up in the excitement and forgot to take them. So, rather than go turn by turn, I’ll try to remember the general narrative for the rest of the game. First, Spartacus and Foxxy had a harrowing turn as the zombies swarmed the vehicle. But the windows withdtood their assault and Spartacus managed to get the Hummer started the second time around. He roared away, plowing though a group of three zombies on their way to the convenience store. The Anti-zombie rating isn’t very high on a vehicle ( I guess because zombies can easily survive being hit by a truck, as trauma isn’t much of an issue when you’re dead.) Despite this, Spartacus ran one zombie down and Foxxy shot another in the brain-pan as they drove by. They got to the convenience store, but couldn’t do anything else.

Honey Velvet, Ramses Magnum and Lorenzo fought their way through the zombie horde on the side of the gun shop, but poor Lorenzo’s shotgun picked a critical moment to run out of ammo and he was pulled down screaming.

Mr. Wisdom, Lady Chardonnay and the girls were pretty much free to act, as Mr. Wisdom had removed the threat of the spawn points in their immediate vicinity. They began to move towards their side of the board in search of more SURVIVE locations.

Braaaaaaaiiiiinnnnsssss.......

Meanwhile, with Spartacus and Foxxy gone, the big horde of zombies in the middle of the board now turned their attention towards Honey Velvet and Ramses Magnum, as they were the closest survivors. Honey Velvet ran across the street to a boarded-up diner and made her way inside, where she found a Lumberjack’s Chainsaw just lying on the table. Ramses Magnum stayed behind to cover her and fired off a few shots at an approaching zombie, killing it for good.

Mr. Wisdom and his crew fought off a few more zombies, continuing to move towards their table edge.

Spartacus Jones and Foxxy Dynamite jumped out of the Hummer. Spartacus ran into the convenience store and looted it for 5 Units of Food! Foxxy stayed outside to cover him as the zombies began to approach…

On their activation, the zombies all moved towards the closest survivors. Three of them followed Honey Velvet into the diner, but that was a mistake. Honey fired up her new toy, and the lumberjack’s chainsaw decapitated all three rotters just before it ran out of gas! Whew!

 

"Get back in the truck, Foxxy!"

The horde swarmed Foxxy Dynamite before she could get back in the truck. She fought poorly and ultimately went down beneath a mass of rotting zombie bodies.

 

Foxxxxyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Spartacus Jones jumped in the Hummer through the sun roof and took off, leaving Foxxy to her fate. He sped towards Ramses Magnum and Honey Velvet, intent on picking them up. With only 7 survivors left, they had fulfilled the victory conditions of the scenario: we had one unit of food for each survivor. Time to get the FUNK out of here!

Ramses and Honey were able to enter the Hummer on their activation, and Mr. Wisdom and his crew were able to safely walk off their edge of the board, since no zombies were anywhere near them. The next turn, the Hummer sped off the board. Victory for the survivors!

My friends all expressed interest in campaigning NMRIH using these same characters, so there’s a chance you may see more adventures of the Soul Survivors in future posts! Stay tuned!