Sunday, 14 June 2009

EM4 Zombie Rockers

This review is a little out of the ordinary as the figures you see above are not available to buy as I've shown them. You see, each one is a conversion. I can't claim credit for coming up with the idea of converting these six EM4 28mm scale figures. That accolade must go to another zombie fan who went by the name Pappa Midnight. Sadly, his website is no longer active. I saw what he'd done with this group, and being a good modeller and a fair sculptor myself, I thought I'd copy what he'd done. The results came out remarkably well, I hope you'll agree. The idea of a zombie rock band certainly appeals to me. Just imagine if these were "intelligent" zombies what kind of a following they could attract!
All but one of the figures comes from EM4's Rockers range of Future Warriors. Going through each one in turn and starting at the far left is 0063 Guitarist with Machine Pistol. The first thing I did was remove his machine pistol from his right hand. All of the rockers are armed and I did not want any of them carrying firearms. The idea of armed rockers might be okay for a Cyberpunk or near future game but not for a zombie band. Gore effects were created by making cuts with a craft knife (be very careful if you do this), drilling holes for small bites and/or adding modelling putty, in this case to his right arm and smoothing the putty flat then scooping out a big chunk of it with a cocktail stick. This gives the impression of a large bite with ragged edges of flesh surrounding the wound. A simple but effective technique! I also bent his left foot inwards with a pair of pliers and added another bite wound to his left lower leg. Obviously I had to cut the foot away from the slotta-tab before bending it.
Next in line is 0059 Bass Player with Machine Pistol. Again, I removed his machine pistol then I remodelled his right hand to make it look as if he is trying to grab someone. I smeared his hand and mouth with blood to give the impression that he'd feasted on some body part.
The third guitarist of the group, 0060 Guitarist with Machine Pistol, held his weapon in his left hand. After clipping off the gun I bent his arm at the elbow so his fist faced forward. I added a small amount of modelling putty to the top of his hand so it didn't look smooth. With a craft knife and small file I removed a large part of his left side, then replaced it with modelling putty. I sculpted his exposed ribcage and a few internal organs to show how this rocker met his demise.
The rips in his jeans were already in place. I just added a few gore effects to them.
Figure 0062 Singer with Heavy pistol lost both of his hands and I remodelled them in a similar manner to the bass player. I suppose I could have left the microphone in his left hand but again, I wanted it to appear as if he is trying to grab someone. A small hole drilled into his heart by a pin-vice revealed that he was shot dead. Perhaps he got too uppity with a trigger-happy cop or nutter with a gun. When Z-Day arrives there'll be plenty of both about!
The fifth member of the group is 0061 Drummer with Two Pistols. His pistols were holstered at his sides and he stands in a classic gunfighter pose about to draw them. I cut both holsters off and because the space I'd created was too smoth I added a small amount of modelling putty to bulk out his sides. I did a lot of work on his arms to make them look badly chewed; you can see bone showing through on his right arm. I also gouged out a chunk of his left cheek. All three wounds involved the use of modelling putty to make the edges of the wounds show up and to show the bone beneath the flesh.
The sixth and final figure in the group is 0080 Unarmed Thug from the Street People range. Technically speaking, he isn't unarmed - he has a knuckleduster in his right hand. And I suppose the spanner in his back pocket could be used as a club. Anyway, he is the group's roadie, as indicated by his staff T-shirt and doesn't he look the part? With use of a pin-vice and more modelling putty I gave him a neck wound to show how he died. I also added cuts to his arms and a few holes to his clothing.
This was a fun project to do and I hope that Pappa Midnight (wherever he may be) appreciates that his work lives on. The conversions are not too difficult to pull off and if you fancy a go I hope you succeed. As I said, I have had experience in this kind of work, but if you've never tried converting figures before you might think that this is a step too far to take. All six figures cost £1.25 from the EM4 website. I've dealt with them on many occasion and generally get whatever I've ordered from them within two days.


  1. Flat out brilliant work, here Vamp! Great idea for a project and really well-done conversions. That's something I wish I had more of a talent for, but I have enough trouble with simple pinning jobs.

    I second your endorsement of em-4. I just got my first order from them and got prompt service, even across the pond. They actually answer e-mails as well, which I consider a mark of distinction.

  2. Wow, thanks, John. Very kind of you to say so. Regarding EM4, I have found them to be totally reliable and efficient. I won't buy my slottabases from anyone else but them and believe me, I've bought a lot of slottabases. A few years ago I decided that all of my 28-35mm scale figures should be based on circular plastic slottabases, unless they needed square bases like my Warhammer armies. It was a huge project but I'm pleased to say that it's done.