Sunday, 28 March 2010

Wargames Factory Zombies 01

Anyone looking for cheap 28mm scale zombie miniatures to flesh out their horde should seriously consider this offering from Wargames Factory, an American company, who specialises in cheap plastic wargaming figures. Given how popular zombies are at the moment I was not surprised to see this set released. I held off buying them for a long time. My plan was to wait until they released the female zombies set and purchase them both together. However, when Phil, one of my blog followers, sent me a few sampler figures my resolve disintegrated and I promptly bought a set last November. These are multi-part models. You get four sprues per pack and each sprue has enough parts to make six zombies. I'll air my opinions of them at the end of the review. For now, let's look at the figures.
The two photos above show six zeds that I created. I mention this because the following photos show zombies in poses and colour schemes that I copied from the Wargames Factory website. At far left is a zombie medic/scientist, whom I painted as an African American to distinguish him from the other doctor/scientist that I made. This is the only figure whose legs and torso come as a single piece, which given his long coat makes sense. Every figure has his left arm moulded to his torso, but the right arms are separate and you have a choice of eight to choose from. Their are nine separate heads, so you have loads of options for variety. This particular zombie has had his throat ripped open.
Next in line is a zed dressed in combat pants, heavy boots and a leather waistcoat. I see him as a street gang member who came to a sticky end. He has been shot between the shoulder blades and there is a large exit wound in his throat. I made the exit wound out of modelling putty. He has also been bitten in both arms.
I did a bit of sculpting and converting on the next zombie in line - the dude in the light blue shirt and blue shorts. His right arm was one of the short-sleeved options, which did not match his long-sleeved left arm. No matter. Because his right arm was horribly chewed up (so badly that you can see bone showing through the gore) I added a small amount of modelling putty to make his right sleeve appear torn and ripped. I also bulked out his hair with modelling putty to make it longer and bulkier. The conversion I did was to cut off the foot in the lower leg he's holding in his left hand and replace it with a spare hand. Now he's holding a lower arm and hand. A dead simple conversion that anyone could do if you don't want lots of zeds holding lower legs.
The fourth figure from the left is my fat slob zombie, Wayne. The torso has a noticable paunch to it. I glued his right arm tight to his body to mirror his left arm, which has been slightly altered so that it is closer to his body. He has a diagonal cut to his right breast that runs to his left collarbone, as well as wounds to his upper right arm, lower back and the back of his right leg.
The zombie in the orange shirt is my version of a shop assistant. That's why I painted a name tag on him just above his left breast pocket. He has an orange shirt because of an unfortunate incident I had in a local Games Workshop store. I went in to buy a pot of Citadel Blazing Orange paint for the simple reason that I'd almost ran out of it. The shop assistant asked what I was painting (why do they always do that?). I replied, zombies. "Oh!" he exclaimed, "I've never heard of zombies being painted orange before!" How stupid are GW staff? No don't answer - we all know they don't get hired for having a high IQ. I could not believe how he could A) assume I was going to use the paint on my zombies just because I said I was painting zombies (couldn't I have another reason for buying it?) and B) that I would be using it for their flesh tones! What a muppet! So at least one of my zombies had to have an item of orange clothing. This bald-headed zed has had a bite taken out of his right check, been shot in the back and has lost a great deal of flesh from his lower right leg. His left foot was bare but I added a shoe to it out of modelling putty.
The zombie at the far right of the photo is my attempt at making a crawler. I used the bare-chested torso as the basis for the sculpt. I repositioned his left hand so that it lay flat on the ground to support his weight. His right arm is stretched out, grasping at someone. His entrails surrounding his lower torso were, of course, made out of modelling putty. It was another easy conversion. The fun part was painting his entrails. 
As I mentioned earlier, I took my inspiration for these six figures from the Wargames Factory website. I must admit that the twelve figures that they were showcasing are painted to the very highest standard by Andrew Taylor. However, having just visited the website, I note with sadness that these six are no longer up for view. I'm glad I saved the pics of them when I did! I have used a very similar paint scheme on my own figures but my execution is not to the same standard. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with the way that I paint. I paint my figures for use on the gaming table not for winning competitions or being stuck in a display cabinet.
I won't dwell too long on each figure shown in the two photos above.
From left to right we begin with the first of two zombies wearing short trousers. Next up is a bald-headed and bare-footed zed carrying a severed lower leg. To his left is a zed in camouflage pants and black vest (some sort of military type?). Then comes the second doctor/scientist of the horde. Note the bearded head. The zombie dressed all in blue could have been a cop or more likely, a security guard. Finally, is the second of the zeds wearing shorts in this particular batch. He is naked from the waist up and wears a cool pair of sunglasses.
The poses and colour schemes for these final six zombies were also copied directly from those that appear on the Wargames Factory website. These are the six figures painted by Andrew Taylor that are currently on the WF website. Once again, I'll just briefly describe each figure in the two photos above. At far left is another possible streetgang member. Next to him is a rare zombie wearing glasses. Nice to have that option! Next up are a pair of zeds dressed in short trousers. The zombie wearing nothing more that his pyjama trousers is quite cool. I like him just because he stands out from the crowd. And finally, I love the fact that the zed in the long coat looks like he's stepped out of an old hardware shop. Just ask him if he sells fork handles! (Fans of The Two Ronnies will get that joke straight away.)
You can visit the Wargames Factory website here at- A set of 24 zombies costs $17.95 and additional sprues can be bought for $5.00 per sprue. Instead of purchasing them direct I searched the Interweb for a UK-based retailer and found one at where they cost me just £11.57. That works out at less than 50p per figure, which really is terrific value. With so many possible poses you can build a large zombie horde in no time at all.
On the whole, I like these figures. I've made and painted 18 out of the 24. I'm holding the rest back for possible conversions. They go together very well and scale-wise they will fit in well with most other 28mm scale zombie miniatures. However, I do have a few niggles with them, but nothing major. First up, surface detail could be stronger. It takes a good paintjob to make these chaps come to life. Be aware, if you slap your paint on too thickly you'll obscure the detail totally! Second up, I wish the left arms were separate from the torsos to give even more options for poses. Yes, I know that being plastic, it is easy enough to cut the left arms off with a sharp craftknife but I'd still have liked to have seen them with separate left arms. Note that the figures come with integral bases but I reckon that most people will want to rebase them. I stuck mine onto 25mm diameter slottabases so that they fit in with my other figures. Now I'm eagerly awaiting the release of their female zombies. I'll be buying them as soon as they go on sale.


  1. I have these guys myself. These were one of the first products from Wargames Factory, and their detail has gotten better with later products. The facial detail is really lacking, sadly.

  2. Thanks for the great review - glad you like them! Like WQRobb mentioned - these were one of our very first sets and we've been working hard to continue to push the envelope on our all digital workflow. We've really trail blazed this process and we keep figuring out better ways to do things. The detail on the figures get better, crisper, deeper with every set we do - and we hope that you will really like the new stuff coming out!

    Thanks again!

    Tony Reidy
    Wargames Factory

  3. I have to agree with WQRobb that these figures are lacking facial detail. However, it is heartening to learn that WF have taken that criticism on board and are rectifying it. I thank you both for your comments, and be assured, Tony, I'm desperate to see how your female zombies come out. I'm all for more female zeds!

  4. Bryan these came out fantastic. Kudos!

  5. I love the grey skin. All done with citadel colours?
    How big is your zombie horde now? Last thing I've read (FoD) was 332 zombies, but that was three months ago?

  6. Our mutual friend Willy (Veloci) recommend that I visit your blog for reviews of all the zombie minis ever made. Have you seen or heard of the board game "Last Night on Earth"? The game comes with miniatures: 8 heroes and 14 zombies (3 individual poses) and have since come out with a few expansions. You may want to check out and review the Zombies with Grave Weapons Miniature set. You can check 'em out on this link:

    The pix look pretty good and even though they're soft plastic they paint up pretty nice. I need to do an entry on my blog for my painted heroes and zombies of this game that I finished solely for playing in Veloci's ATZ games.