Zombicide: Black Plague – Walkers

Finished the first set of Walkers, a set of 7 female zombies.  I had posted before that I rather liked the “dirt” effect the wash applied, although it did not look all that great with a couple of color combinations.  Fortunately, after a bit of dry brushing, the colors recovered quite a bit, and I like the overall look a lot better now.  Those that were strong previously are just as strong, but the weaker ones recovered quite a bit.

Unfortunately, the highlighting did not do much for the rest of the sculpts, except for the faces – where the lighter color brings out the basic facial features much better.  Beyond that, hair, skin, and miscellaneous did not really improve much.

However, once applying a bit of gore and blood, the contrast became more apparent.  For some, the colors are complimentary, and the model works well.  Unfortunately, for a few (dark blue and red in particular), the contrast works against the design and looks strange.  Arguably realistic (again, you generally don’t color coordinate your clothes before becoming a zombie), but distracts a bit from the figures themselves.

Zombicide: Black Plague – Abomination

I finished the highlighting and cosmetics on the Abomination, and rather like the figure.  I am not that happy with the pants/shorts – the suggested green ended up becoming rather muddy and really fades into the skin tone of the zombie giant himself, but the rest is nice.  The highlighting and shading really makes the huge muscles stand out, and the blood effects give it the expected gore value.  Overall a rather plain and simple figure to paint (lots of green), but the sculpt itself is dynamic.

Zombicide: Black Plague – Walkers

As part of the zombie horde, I started with the seven Walker “ladies” from the set, in an effort to batch out the figures.  This approach worked well, though I did vary the colors a bit for some variety.

Some of the final combinations worked, some did not.  Not a big fan of the pink dresses, but only because I am not a fan of pink.  And the dark blue dress didn’t really work well with the shading – perhaps after highlighting it will be better.  On the other hand, I am always a sucker for a red dress, and the white shirts and dress turned out sufficiently dirty for the setting.  The blue-grey dress in particular turned out very well, with a nice combination of dirt and aging, mixing with the proper shades.

Although the batch process worked well to finish numerous models, the one challenge I am thinking about is that if anything, the variety is a bit too busy.  Realistically, a town obviously would not all be dressed the same when they become zombies, but for game play, it also I suspect will make it harder to pick out specific zombie types as needed.  Though the board will certainly end up rather colorful.

Zombicide: Black Plague – Abomination

Working on the next round of Zombicide figure painting, wrapping up the unique characters and starting the bulk of the zombie hordes.  First up is the Abomination, base coated and washed, ready for highlighting and cosmetics tonight.  I was concerned initially by the base coat, it appeared rather flat, but the wash effect worked pretty well for this one.

Webserver troubles

It may have been noticed, but my website was offline for most of the night yesterday.  I have been reconfiguring my home theatre system, which runs partially on the same system.  In my solution, I have a FreeNAS server, which holds a pair of Ubuntu virtual machines, each of which run pieces of the overall solution.  In an attempt to improve performance, enable updates, and generally improve efficiency, I have been moving some of the pieces off of the FreeNAS base system and onto one of the two VMs.  For the most part, everything was working fine, and actually improving the environment.  And then yesterday, I ran into an issue.  Basically, the VMs were running out of memory, due to large processing of files.  So I made a swap from SABnzbd to NZBget (supposedly a much smaller memory footprint) – but this ended up actually making it worse.

Of course in all of this, I have to travel for work, so my administration is being done remotely.  So when I needed to reboot the FreeNAS box itself, to resolve another lockup, the server ended up offline since it was a) past the wife’s bedtime, and b) unable to restart cleanly on its own.  A short call in the morning with the wife to properly hard-reset the server, and everything was back online.

And with a bit more focused troubleshooting, I discovered that the NZBget configuration was wrong – I was confusing umask with chmod settings.  This was causing all activity to be created with 000 permissions (no rights) instead of 777 permissions (full rights), which in turn was causing the various servers to thrash over the inaccessible files multiple times per second.  And in turn, cause performance problems and lockups on the system.

With that issue corrected, suddenly memory and cpu usage dropped significantly, the servers became responsive, and my expectation is that the environment is fully operational again.  For now…

MtG Tournament results

Congratulations to George, and his dominating Red deck, who managed to win the first annual Thanksgiving Magic the Gathering competition.  We ended up with 14 participants, which resulted in 4 rounds of games.  Many of the players were brand new to the game, so it was rather educational for many, and I believe we have more than a few new converts to the game.  It makes me encouraged for a similar event next year, though hopefully with a bit more preparation and advertising.