Sunday 28 December 2014

Making different Zombies Part 2

My second converted Zombie (last seen here) was a conversion of Studio Miniatures parts, meeting a Wargames Factory survivor body. All in my quest to have variety in my zombie horde!

So here he is:

In case you are wondering, yes this is Rick, the former mall cop. And here he is, united with his one time buddy, Kevin...

Don't they just look like old friends? Give him a big hug Kevin....

In case you are wondering, I have been continuing to work on more of these converted Zombies. Here is the next one, Zombie Annie!

Made again from a Wargames Factory survivor body, Wargames Factory Vixen head, Some survivor arms too. The hands in this case come from the Vixens box as well, the Studio Miniatures hands were too big. While I think her head might be a bit out of proportion, I think it has the effect! After all the ads I have seen for the latest film version of Annie, I couldn't help myself and had to have a Z version....

Oh and the rest of the horde? Well it is growing steadily...

The next wave is made up of another set of Studio Miniatures Zeds, plus more conversions. But more on those when I get them painted!

I had better get back to the painting table (as much as I can while on holiday), don't forget to come back Friday for the next survivor!


Thursday 25 December 2014

Fourth Survivor- Kevin

Merry Christmas to you all, hopefully you have eaten too much, had too much fun and are all suffering (like I am) from far too much festivities. And now are all ready to do it again on Boxing Day!

Any who, gotta keep meeting the challenge of a survivor per week! So here is the fourth survivor, and first male survivor, Kevin!

.. The radio crackled Red... c....

Did you hear that? Rick asked his partner Kevin. The two men were sitting in the break room, bitching about the pay over a crappy cup of instant coffee.

The men were security guards, mall cops. Code Red was used when there had been an attack- violence against a store owner, customer or staff. The mall the two of the worked at was the biggest around, and had more than a few security staff.

The radio crackled again...ll sta...code....der attack....

Did that just say attack? At that, the two men jumped up, fumbling at the weapons on their belts.

The two men rushed outside, exiting the staff only corridor. As they reached the food court, the scene was pandemonium. Shoppers were running at top speed in a heaving mass of people, panic stricken and with no regard for those around them. Whatever had happened must have been terrifying to cause this reaction. Rick and Kevin skirted the edge of the fleeing mass, for fear of being trampled.

It was then that they spotted a second group of people, they were half running, half shambling after them. Kevin immediately recognized some as being security, others as retailers or shoppers. Kevin was about to yell out to the group, but stopped himself when he saw the blood dripping down their faces, and their cold, dead eyes.

A woman had fallen, her 3" stiletto heels unable to support her feeble attempts at speed. She lay in the path of the second group, they quickly set upon her, people Kevin had known for years tearing the poor woman apart.

While Kevin stared in horror, Rick acted. He drew his sidearm, ran forward and fired into the feasting mass. Kevin wanted to follow him. He wanted to. But his legs wouldn't work. His mind couldn't comprehend, couldn't understand.

He turned around and ran for the door, to get anywhere but here....

Kevin comes from Hasslefree Miniatures, another from their excellent Modern Adventurers range. I am not totally sure what made me paint him up as a mall cop, but once I had decided that, it was an easy choice for name (Kevin, from Kevin James who had the Mall Cop movie).

He must have gotten a little bit braver since his story in the pose, perhaps it is just him trying to clear the hallways, to get to the outside?
Like outside is any better....

At any rate, I don't think this is the last time we see Rick....


Monday 22 December 2014

Second set of Zeds

My first zombies are joined by another four Zombies from Studio Miniatures. These are again built straight out of the box, with no real modifications. I think after my next set of four, I might have to start getting a bit creative with what I am doing with them, for fear of becoming a bit bored with them....

Anyway, on to the miniatures. Including such Zombie favourites as "purple shirt guy", this is the second wave of Zeds!

Note the attempted wings on the former-biker zed. 100% inspired by the jacket Daryl has on the Walking Dead TV series!

And some close ups to show them off! One of the studio miniatures heads is just a mess of gore- the Zed apocalypse never did say it would be nice....

Felicity facing off against the growing horde.

So the Zed count increases up to 9 finished, but I can promise that the third wave is underway, and it will make the horde of Zombies even bigger.

I have headed away for a couple of weeks, but updates will continue, I have deadlines to meet after all! Merry Christmas to all, hope that the holidays are rewarding, relaxing and restful. I for one plan to do sod all for the time (so long as my young son lets me!), luckily I have the survivors sorted for the next two weeks!


Saturday 20 December 2014

Third Survivor- Felicity Updated!

As so very accurately pointed out by Vampifan, I had neglected one part of Felicity! Turns out that thing on her foot is not part of her ripped pants, but it is instead a severed Zombie hand!

Now, after he pointed it out it was so glaringly obvious that I couldn't bring myself to ignore it.

And so, a repaint was in order:

Much better!

More Zeds on the paint table this week.


Thursday 18 December 2014

Third Survivor- Felicity

It's Friday (for me at least), so here is the third survivor of my Zed Apocalypse, Felicity!

Felicity had always been an average kid, growing up in a small town. Typical tom-boy, she was far more at home tinkering with her dad than she was playing with dolls. Working a dead end job at the local sporting goods store wasn't much, but it sure beat being at home with no money.

That was, till the Zees came along.

Felicity hid under the counter as her dad and some other men from the town ran into the store, knocking over the displays, rushing straight to the back section of the store to collect all the guns and ammo they could carry. She stayed hiding as she heard a low moan echo across the store, followed by shots and screams of terror.

She willed herself to poke her head around the corner of the counter, only to watch as her father was brought to the ground and torn apart by what used to be her teacher, her sister and her boss. She couldn't stop herself from sobbing at the sight.

One of the zombies heard the sound and turned to her. While the others were distracted, feasting on what was once her father, her former teacher stood up, blood staining the hideous beige cardigan that her teacher had always worn. The zombie moved towards Felicity, eyes dull and lifeless, mouth snapping open and closed.

Felicity looked around, for something, anything that would get her out of this situation. Her eyes rested on the bright orange Stihl chaninsaw. Now all she would need was some gas.....

Felicity comes from Reaper Miniatures' Chronoscope range. She has sat in the lead pile for far too long, so it was nice to get her fully painted. I have to say I do love the figure, the pose is nice and the chainsaw suitably dramatic looking! As to how effective it would be in combat, well...

Her name came about because I asked my wife what she should be called (and she says modeling time isn't quality time together), along with the key parts of her back story.

In case you are wondering, yes, the bases still connect...

And this is the group of survivors so far...

Anyway, more Zeds and Survivors to paint and more terrain to make!


Tuesday 16 December 2014

Making Different Zombies Part 1

Earlier in the week, I showed off my first four Studio Miniatures Zombies that I have completed. While I do really like the miniatures- they are cheap (which is awesome) and are still characterful and interesting. They have a heap of bits on the sprues (8 heads for 4 models, plus 5 or 6 sets of arms) which is the thing about plastic kits that I love (aside from being cheap).

However, there are only four sculpts. And while I have had a lot of fun with the first four, and the next four (which should be finished soon!), I am aware that by the time I get to Studio Miniatures plastics Zombie #37 I am very aware that I will become a bit bored, and will want some variety in my Zombie horde.

I had a bolt of inspiration when I remembered that I have boxes of the Wargames Factory Zombies and Survivors, which I could combine together to add some variety into my Zombie hordes. So with that in mind, I set about making my first couple of "special" Zombies:

The Male Zombie on the left has his body from the Wargames Factory male survivor boxed set, and arms and head from my spares from Studio Miniatures.

The Female Zombie on the right has her body from the Wargames Factory female survivor boxed set, arms from the my spare Studio Miniatures sprues and a head from the Wargames Factory Zombie Vixens boxed set.

I chose to use the Studio Miniatures Zombies for parts because I think that they are more detailed than the Wargames Factory models, as well as being a bit bulkier- the Wargames Factory Zeds (especially the Vixens) must have been malnourished before they turned- their arms are tiny! Or maybe it is just because I am just so used to more "heroic scale" miniatures. And actually, they fit really well with the Wargames Factory bodies- I had to do a minimum of cutting, and no green stuff work. Although not all the survivors will be as neat, it should be a reasonably easy conversion for most of them.

Anyway, this is how the first of the two special Zombies came out:

I am particularly happy with how the female zombie looks, I think my biggest critique of the Wargames Factory Zombie Vixens (other than the spindly-ness) is that they are a bit... stereotypical B-movie-type women. While that isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I like to think some women would be turned into Z's wearing something other than bikinis and evening gowns! This Zombie is dressed oh so practically, which clearly didn't help when a zombie bit her in the head.


This is the size comparison between the Studio Miniatures zombies and my converted zombie:

The male one is on the painting table now, along side the next batch of 4 Studio Miniatures Zeds. I have decided that Friday will be the day to post the new Survivor, so check back for her then! (Yes the next one is another girl). I have just ordered some more survivors from Crooked Dice too, so I will definitely need more Zombies for them to fight!


Sunday 14 December 2014

First Zeds

Back at the first post, this started with assembling four Studio Miniatures plastic zombies whilewatching The Walking Dead.

I have to say, I quite like the Studio Miniatures models. The Zeds are suitably shambling, with a nice mix of heads, grabbing arms and rotting flesh, very suitable for Zeds. Plus, they are cheap, which is always a bonus when you want lots of them!

A little annoyingly tho, their bases are so different to the ones from Hasslefree, which are the traditional GW slottabase. Now, it might seem like a small thing to critique, but if I want to use the Studio Miniatures zeds with say.... Wargames Factory zeds, their bases will be different. At any rate, their bases are already different to my survivors!

Do I care enough to change them? Not at the moment. Maybe all my zeds will be on different bases and my OCD will just have to stick it out. We will see how well that goes....

Anyway, on to the Zeds themselves.

This is what they looked like with an undercoat:

And this is what they look like fully painted!

Here they are, the assembled group of four! Built straight from the box with no modification, they have come up quite well I think. It is a tough debate how much time to spend painting zombies, after all they are just going to become one of many. I have seen people do monochrome which looks phenomenal as a horde, but not that neat as single figures. My hope is to find the middle ground between the two. The pictures are a little out of focus, sorry about that. I will make a better job of it with my next ones!

And as for making more Zee's? Well I have more than a few ideas.... But I will share that once I start the next set of four...


Thursday 11 December 2014

Second Survivor- Selene

Here is the second survivor of the Zed Apocalypse, Selene.

"...yea, sure, picking up the arrows afterwards is a bit of a pain, but not having every Zee in the surrounding neighborhood knowing exactly where I am every time I shoot? That is well worth the time.

You know, I have seen plenty of guys like you, big gun, small brain, dead before too long. I mean, good for you, you have put down what, a thousand Zees with that thing? Whoopdi-do. I bet you only needed to kill ten of those, and it was the big gun of yours that meant you had to shoot the other 990 Zees, with everytime you shoot it bringing more and more Zees. Do you see what I am getting at here? Or is your brain really that small?

And anyway. You know what they say about guys with big guns, isn't that right Carol?"

Selene is from Hasslefree Miniatures, dressed for survival and armed with a recurve bow. I would be very surprised if she wasn't inspired by the Hunger Games books and movie, but it has come together in a really nice miniature, a female model sensibly dressed, surely not! I went with a bastardisation of German Flecktarn camo on her pants, combined with a very sensible looking jacket and sensible shoes. Both things missing from Carol!

Her name is a slightly convoluted story.

So, Selene sounds like Selina. Which comes from Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. Catwoman starts with "cat", so does Katniss, which is the name of the hero of the Hunger Games, which I am oh so sure this model is based on. Does that make sense?

Anyway, here is Selene with her buddy Carol, showing how their bases link together. Am I that anal retentive that I checked that? Yes.

And hiding behind one of the Jersey Barriers I finished recently, just to show how big they are.

So, two down. Back to working on next week's survivor. I probably should make some Zeds too....


Sunday 7 December 2014

Terrain- Concrete Barriers 1

I do love a good apocalypse destroyed city. I admit it.

Between the derelict buildings, rusted cars and empty streets, it just screams apocalypse for me. So when I started planning a table of terrain for me to play Zombie on, it was natural that I would chose to replicate a city. The Walking Dead has been a great source for this- its view of the sprawling desolation that is Atlanta in Season One, as well as in the most recent season has been awesome to get my mind thinking on just what I want to have as part of the table.

While my plans might be big, for my first set of terrain I started small, with five of these:

These are Jersey Barriers, from Wikipedia they are "A Jersey barrier or Jersey wall is a modular concrete or plastic barrier employed to separate lanes of traffic. It is designed to minimize vehicle damage in cases of incidental contact while still preventing the crossover case of a head-on collision. Jersey barriers are also used to reroute traffic and protect pedestrians during highway construction, as well as temporary and semi-permanent protections against landborne attack such as suicide vehicle bombs.".

The models come from Secret Weapon Miniatures. I have only got the destroyed set so far, I definitely intend to pick up a set or two of the (relatively) undamaged ones, to make some form of abandoned army defensive positions on my ruined city streets.

Painting them was pretty simple. First, give them a soak then a scrub in warm soapy water. Resin needs releasing agents so that it doesn't stick to the mould, which leaves an oily residue that paint won't stick to. I'm sure most of you know this already, but if you forget to do it, it will ruin your lovely resin models!

Next step, give it an undercoat of black spray paint.

Then, I painted the whole model with Vallejo Medium Sea Grey, but you are welcome to choose whatever grey you want. I went with a lighter one, because it looked sortof like the real one I showed earlier.

To give the barrier some depth, and to show off the damaged parts, I gave it a liberal coating of Games Workshop's Nuln Oil. Once leaving that to dry, I then drybrushed the barriers again with Medium Sea Grey.

And that is enough to complete the barrier. Nice and simple, and will look effective on the tabletop.

I however have been reading the excellent DMZ comics again recently, which has some wonderful imagery of NYC as the middle of a new Civil War. One of the standout things which I love about the artwork in that comic is the amount of graffiti over everything- which made me think I wanted the same for my Jersey Barriers. So off to Google I went, my thanks to those Graffiti Artists who's work I shamelessly copied- they are far more creative at their craft than I could ever dream of being, so it made more sense for me to copy their work!

This is how my 5 barriers ended up.....

I used a couple of coats of the bright colour, to make sure that the colours were really bright. I then made a mix of Vallejo Hull Red and German Grey, and gave a light dry brush over the damaged areas, and some other parts of the barrier to give the impression that the Zed Apocalypse has not been kind to these poor concrete barriers.

Anyway, back to painting the next survivor!


Wednesday 3 December 2014

First Survivor- Carol

Here is the first contribution to my Survivors of the Zombie Apocalypse, Carol!

"... so there I was, flying F-15's over Iraq. Nothing beats the feeling of power of flying one of those. Dropping bombs was a bonus, the afterburners were the real kick, the bombs were just the icing on the cake."

Calmly, this six foot something blonde woman, wearing the most impractical knee high boots and a well worn USAF top removed the clip from her M16, inserted a fresh magazine and began resuming her work of thinning the herd. Looking at her you would call her a liar, she couldn't be who she says she was. Except that she had all the stories to back her up, and there was no way anyone would argue with how good she was with a rifle.

"... you wanna to talk about tragedy? The saddest god damn day of my life was the day they said there wasn't any fuel left, my poor Eagle was left sitting in a hangar at Wright Patterson AFB. She'll probably never fly again. Now that is the real damn tragedy here...."

Another empty mag, another calm reload and the disciplined fire resumes...

Carol comes from the Hasslefree Sculpting Competition which I entered a few years ago. Before you ask, no it is not my entry- although I plan to paint mine later on! I don't know if Hasslefree ever plan to release her, but for now, here she is, looking badass. While the figure is kind of over the top, with the big boots and big gun, she makes a perfect first survivor for my Zed Apocalypse.

For those wondering about the USAF shirt and back story, I was inspired by one of the stories out of World War Z or a former USAF pilot who went down over Z lines, and had to get her way back.

As for the name, it comes from this Carol:

(Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel is property of Marvel Comics, not of me. Image taken from Google)

Which also works so well with her USAF background too!

So there you have it, the first survivor! Now, off to work on next weeks, who is a little more practically dressed....


Monday 1 December 2014

Beginnings and welcomes

First off, welcome!

Like probably everyone, I have been aware of the Zombie genre for some time. I remember watching the Romero movies when I was growing up, and I remember them freak me out! It didn't help that I watched them when I was probably a bit too young- I can thank my older brother for that I suppose!

Over time I moved away from fantasy and sci-fi, ending up focusing very much on historicals, especially World War Two.

And like that I kept muddling along.

It wasn't until I found Max Brooks' World War Z that I remembered just how much I liked the concept of the Zombie. Which naturally meant I started reading a whole lot of Walking Dead comics, catching up on the Zed movies I had missed, such as 28 Days Later, and reacquainting myself with the mythos of the Zombie. And rereading World War Z again and again.

So why the blog then?

Well, I have decided to start gaming the Z apocalypse in 28mm. It has taken me a while to get out of Historicals, but I have decided to make the jump, and start my own Zombie apocalypse.

So, the plan is to paint a single survivor each week, and share them on here. That will be in addition to musings and other such thinking around all things Z, you never quite know where it will end up!

So as a way of a start, last night while watching the Walking Dead mid season finale, I assembled some Studio Miniatures Zeds...

Believe it or not, I didn't have to pause. It was actually just fortuitous timing!

And this is what they looked like in the light of day, fully assembled.

But more on them in the future once they are painted- they have now been undercoated.

As for this weeks survivor, she will be up later this week!