Sunday, 11 October 2009

Cold War Miniatures Zombies 02

Continuing on from last week's review of sets 1 and 2 of Cold War Miniatures' 28mm scale zombies I'm going to take a look at sets 3 and 4, Street Walkers and Horror Hospital respectively. I'll begin with set 3 - Street Walkers. At the far left of the group above is a limp-wristed gentleman, whose clothes have been badly torn. His left elbow has been gnawed through to the bone and he has been bitten in both lower legs. From the way his head has been sculpted, he looks to be advancing in years. Despite the torn state of his clothes he is still smartly dressed.
However, the next gentleman in line will beat most people when it comes to smart dressing. He is very clearly a city gent with the essential accoutrements of bowler hat, black suit and tie and brolly and a rolled up newspaper. If he was a Brit the newspaper would be the Financial Times. I have no idea what the American equivalent is. Perhaps someone can enlighten me? There are three holes in the front of his jacket which look more like bullet holes than bite wounds. There is also a hole in his bowler hat. If that was made by a bullet it must have missed his brain, otherwise he would not have reanimated as a zombie!
When I see the phrase "street walker" I immediately think of prostitutes, and I'm sure most other people will as well. This lady was obviously from the world's oldest profession. I've painted her up almost exactly as she appears on the Cold War website (as I have for most of these figures as it is far easier to copy someone else's colour scheme than devise one of your own!) but I had to give her blonde hair not black. However, look closely and you can see she isn't a natural blonde as her roots are showing. From behind and/or from the neck down she is still quite a looker. But her face... is a mess! Her right eye dangles down her cheek from an empty socket. Her mouth is fixed in a rictus grin. I can't see her getting many takers. I was going to say "any takers" but there are some sick people out there who would take up her offer of "having a good time!"
There is something about the young lad standing next to her that I find disturbing. He just looks evil. It is his facial expression that I find creepy. This is an outstanding sculpt! Zombie kids are exceptionally rare but there is nothing cute about this boy or indeed anything to illicit pity for his plight. His stance is that of the surly youth - hands in pockets, shoulders slouched and head down. To make matters worse, he wears a hoodie, although thankfully with the hood kept down. He has been shot once in the torso and his right leg has been badly chewed up.
The final figure in this group is a vagrant, a tramp, one of the homeless. I was not too happy with the way his coat clung to his legs, particularly his left leg, so I took a small piece of modelling putty and bulked it out on his left side. It was a simple conversion but one that in my eyes, makes the figure look right. His long coat is full of holes. I have blood showing through the holes in his elbows and centre of his back. That last one could be the entry wound for a bullet as there is a large exit (?) wound in his stomach. I put a question mark there as it could just as easily be a bite wound and the hole in his back may not be a wound at all. You decide.

The sculptor has had quite a bit of fun with set 4 - Horror Hospital and I think this is a great set of figures. When you think about it, a hospital will be a fertile breeding ground for zombies once the apocalypse kicks off. Starting with the figure at the far left he is one of three figures in this set who came with separate arms. I glued his in place with a two-part epoxy resin. Then I smoothed and strengthened the joints further with a dab of modelling putty. This guy's left leg is covered in bandages, which explains why he has the crutch. I think that that is such a neat touch and something you rarely ever see. It looks like someone has shot him in the stomach. I could quite easily see a cop or a soldier mistaking him for a zombie and shooting him... just to make sure!
Next up is someone who looks like he has just risen from the operating table. Dressed in his hospital gown (why do they never close properly at the back?) he has brought his blood bag on wheeled stand with him. It is this feature alone that makes this such an outstanding figure! He has no obvious wounds but I have painted him as if he has just fed on a victim, so his mouth has blood dribbling down his front and his right hand is smeared in blood.
I have read some criticisms of Cold War Miniatures being too thin. It is not a view that I share. This figure of a doctor is quite chunky. His arms are joined together and fit into a slot that runs across his shoulders. There are a few figures in this range that employ this mechanism and I think it is an innovative way of fitting arms to a body. Once in place, I used a small strip of modelling putty to hide the joint. No doubt, when he was human, this handsome chap was lusted after by most of the female staff and patients. But, as he has found out the hard way, good looks are no defence against flesh-eating zombies. The wounds in his chest and back line up, suggesting a bullet might have killed him. I've smeared blood all over his right hand.
To his left is one of his colleagues - a middle-aged nurse. Her pose is slightly off-centre as she shuffles forward in search of fresh blood. Her right foot is bent inward and she keeps her right arm close to her body. She reaches out with a blood smeared left hand. I have splattered blood in patches across the front of her tunic. Having a white uniform really does show up blood stains extremely well!
If the second figure in this group came from the operating table then this chap has clearly come from the morgue. He is totally naked and the autopsy cut from neck to groin is clearly visible. Like the doctor that I mentioned above, his arms are separate but fit to his body via a slot across his shoulders. I have hidden the joint by applying a small amount of modelling putty to his shoulder blades. Other than his autopsy cut, he has an extremely large bite wound to the back of his left thigh.
As usual, prices for these two sets are £7.00 each or you can purchase the figures individually for £1.75. I do think the name for set 3 - Street Walkers is a bit misleading, although technically they are all folk you could find walking on a street. Still, you know what I mean. Only one of them is a prostitute, not all of them. I think a set of three or four whores, their pimp and possibly a client would have been a good set to make. However, despite my misgivings over the name, this is still a very good set and well worth buying. The hooker and the kid are quite outstanding. As for set 4 - Horror Hospital, this is one of the best sets in the whole range. Highly recommended.


  1. Excellent work with these zombies!! The sculptor had fun with these sets, but for sure that you had not less fun with TCR!

  2. Fer, mate, you are absolutely right. Whenever I paint zombies I always leave the gore effects until last. But, it is without doubt, the most fun part of painting zeds. By the way, anyone who doesn't know what TCR is - it's Tamiya Clear Red, a zombie painter's best friend!

  3. Yes I like the cold war figs, even if they're a bit skinny, deffo want the British ones.

    I've been painting some today, and likewise leave the gore until last.

    What's so good about TCR?

  4. Phil, if you're setting your campaign in the UK, you'll definitely want Cold War set 11 - Undead in London. I don't know of anyone else who makes zombie Morris dancers or zombie Coldstream Guardsmen! I'm painting mine up at the moment.

    TCR gives the best gore effects, without any shadow of a doubt. You just have to read some of the comments on the miniature figure forums to see how popular it is. Once I started using it, I was hooked. It is, as its name suggests very clear. It dries glossy, which is great for wet blood. Mix it with a trace of Chaos Black and/or Citadel Scab Red for dark blood. I can't say enough good things about it!

  5. Well I'll look out for it, I have a nearby stockist.

    Sounds boring I know but any chance you might do a step-by-step painting a zombie post? I'd really like to see how you do it. Sure I'm not alone.

    BTW I've mentioned my new zombie project on my blog, expect some figures up in the next couple of days. You get a glowing mention... ;-)

  6. Phil, I've just come back from your own blog-site and left a comment for you. Once again, thanks so much for the kind words. It is very appreciated.

    A step-by-step painting tutorial is something I have considered. You're the first person to ask for one but I do agree with you that there is sure to be interest in it. I can't see it happening this year as I have enough material for my blog to last me until Christmas and beyond. I'll definitely make it happen early next year. If I can fit it in sooner, I will.

  7. Great site, and great models. I just recently discovered the great world of Zed gaming and you inspire me. I was playing Nuts! from THW and saw so much action about ATZ in the forum it got me interested and now I'm hooked.