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.
You can visit the Wargames Factory website here at- http://www.wargamesfactory.com/_product_16676/Zombie_Horde 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 modelsforsale.com 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.