Sunday, 20 June 2010

Black Orc Games Zombies 01

Black Orc Games are a miniatures company that offers amateur sculptors a chance to sell their wares, a policy that I fully applaud. Their figures tend to be very cheaply priced but do not confuse cheapness with poor quality. Far from it. Whilst it is true that their range of figures is a mixed bag, there are some gems to be had. Naturally enough, I am going to concentrate on their zombie figures, so let's get on with the review.
The five figures shown in the two photos above were all sculpted by Mario Zecca. At the far left is a zombie asylum orderly. It has to be said about Mario's figures that they could all be used as humans or zombies. There is not a bite or scratch on any of them. If you wanted to, you could buy two of each for the before and after versions. Not surprising, I have painted all of mine as zombies and I went over the top with the blood on this figure. I figured he'd be at the frontline of the action once the outbreak began and having to deal with so many wounded and infected patients he was bound to get covered with their blood. Be aware that this figure is about 32mm tall. He's not the best of sculpts but for what he is, he isn't too bad and I can live with him being taller than most 28mm scale figures. He is priced at $1.25
Next up is the hunchback nurse, who probably works at the same asylum as the orderly. It is unusual to see a hunchback figure, nevermind a hunchback nurse. She is a perfect size for any 28mm scale range of figures you may be using. A white costume just cries out to splattered with blood, so I assumed she'd been recently feeding and blood had spilt down her chin onto her pristine uniform. I also smeared blood over right hand where she'd been holding her "food.". This nicely sculpted figure costs just $1.00.
In the centre of the group is a figure described as a zombie WW2 war veteran. I'm sorry, but when I looked at him I didn't see war veteran - I saw either an ice cream salesman or a fast food server. In the end, I went with the fast food server and made him an employee of the Southern Fried Chicken (SFC) chain of outlets. He must have been a good worker as he has four gold stars on his jacket! I drilled a small hole in the right side of his belly, indicating a bullet or knife wound. His hands and face were smeared with blood. As a war veteran I don't like him at all. As a fast food salesman, I like him a lot. He is quite small, roughly 25mm in scale, but he is very fat and his hat adds about 3mm to his height. He costs $1.50.
Next up is the zombie skinman. His coat has been fashioned from the skins of human victims. The website picture of him shows him wearing a flesh mask in a style reminiscent of Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre films. I decided to leave his head bare to better show off that he is a zombie. He is a most unusual figure and he retails at just $1.00.
The fifth and final figure in this group is listed as Cool Zombie, supposedly because of his slight resemblance to the Fonz. To me, however, he will always be known as Rogzombie, simply because my friend Roger O'Dell uses a portrait of him for his online avatar. He is roughly the same height as the asylum orderly but once again, that didn't bother me. I like to see diversity in the heights of my figures. I painted a small patch of blood on his T-shirt, hinting at a much larger wound that is hidden by his leather jacket. He costs $1.25.
These six zombies shown in the two photos were sculpted by three more amateur sculptors, with each one sculpting two figures. First up, at far left is Jerry the Jogging Zombie as sculpted by Mikko Merlainen. Those of you who follow the Dawn of the Lead blog-site will certainly know who Mikko is and I was thrilled to receive both his sculpts for free when he made a generous offer on his blog last year. Jerry was an overweight slob who clearly needed to exercise. Given his absence of bite wounds perhaps he died of a heart attack whilst running from a zombie horde. Columbus in Zombieland was right - Rule One: Cardio! I like this dude, simply because there aren't enough fat or overweight zombies available. He is 28mm in scale and costs $1.25.
Mikko's second sculpted zombie is Zeek the One-Armed Zombie. It does what it says on the tin - it's a zombie who has had his left arm ripped off at the shoulder. He is much more badly injured than Jerry. Part of his face has been bitten and his rib cage shows through a huge gaping wound to his left side. Before being zombified he looked like he was a surfer dude from his clothing and long ponytail. I think he deserved his fate just for having such a ridiculous ponytail! I like him but not as much as I like Jerry. He too, is 28mm in scale and only costs $1.00.
The two figures in the centre of the group were sculpted by Gerald Evans and first up is what has to be the most comical zombie I have ever seen - Toilet Seat Ned. With his trousers at half mast and a toilet seat wrapped around his neck, this guy had never heard of Columbus's third rule - Beware of Bathrooms! There are no wounds visible on the figure so, perhaps, he died of a heart attack as well... or maybe he got bashed over the head with a toilet seat! The figure is absolutely beautifully sculpted and he just brings a smile to my face every time I see him. He is worth far more than the $1.00 Black Orc Games are asking for him!
Next to him is a figure called Zombie Bob From Accounts. Clearly he is an office worker who succumbed to the zombie plague. A large chunk has been taken out of his lower left leg, which may explain the way he is dragging his left foot. I painted him as an African-American as I have far too few ethnic zombies. He is slightly smaller than 28mm and he too, costs a mere $1.00. I think he is underpriced as well but why complain when there are so many figures that are vastly overpriced?
Juan Montano is the sculptor of the last two figures in the photos above. The lady in the crimson dress is Zombie Lizzy. I see her as being a former psychopath whose lust for slaying men has not diminished despite her joining the ranks of the undead. She holds a long, blood-stained knife in her left hand, which she is trying to hide behind her. A large bite has been taken out her lower left arm and right knee. Her right hand is smeared with blood as it reaches out for her next victim. The sculpting of her is a bit on the crude side, making her possibly the weakest figure I've reviewed today. She costs $1.25.
For the last figure of this review let me quote from the Black Orc Games' website - "Fred, the Colonel´s favorite employee, was working on a popular restaurant of chicken when the holocaust happened, unable to flee in his costume, Fred was an easy prey of the first zombies. Now he has discovered the Fan-tasty flavor of the human meat and … it taste like chicken!" This amusing zombie figure is called Kentucky Fred Zombie and I think he's great! From the soles of his feet to his eyeline he is 28mm, but his costume makes him look a lot taller. The zombies did quite a number on him when they caught him. His most obvious wound is that to his belly as his intestines spill out. There is a large wound to his lower right arm and a much smaller one further up the arm. There is a deep cut to his upper left arm as well. For the amount of metal you are getting with this figure I feel he is underpriced at $1.50.
This range may not appeal to everyone as some of the figures may appear too crude and/or lacking in detail and quality but I disagree. They have considerable merit for me and what must not be forgotten is that these were sculpted by amateurs. Show them your support. It's the least they deserve. And you certainly can't complain about the price of them.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for the favourable review, Bryan! I think I should crank out a few more zombies. Available for free to loyal customers, naturally!

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  2. Nice to hear from you, Mikko. I hope my review will generate some more sales for you. If you're thinking of sculpting some more zombies, I only have one thing to say - go for it!

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  3. Nice review Bryan, thanks for the pimpage, too.
    Unfortunately my fig doesnt look a thing like me but was me 20 years ago to a tee, lol. The Black Orc stuff is a real treat at those prices, and level of sculpting or not the figs are very characterful and a blast to paint.

    BTW I dont remember the guy in the restaurant outfit, get him on the site so I can buy him :)

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  4. Hi, Roger. The zombie that I painted up as a fast food server is not listed as such on the Black Orc Games' website. They have him listed as a war veteran and the picture they have of him shows him in a green uniform. If you look under Mario Zecca's range of figures you'll see him listed about half way down. I hope that helps you to find him. He's not the best of figures but as a fast food seller, I think he's ideal. I just can't see him as a WW2 war veteran.

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  5. Ah, so that is why, thanks. I like him as a zed!

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  6. My favorite is the jogger, closely followed by the chicken mascot. You have a truly enviable Zombie collection!

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  7. Thank you so much. I find it truly heartwarming that so many people across the globe like what I'm doing here.

    @LTL Dad. The horde just keeps on growing, Willy. You know how relentless zombies are - they just keep on coming and coming. I'm still on target for reaching 500 fully painted zombies by the end of the year.

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  8. I really should be ashamed of myself. I have games where I really need a ton of Zombies but I keep letting myself get sidetracked on other nonsense. I need to start getting my priorities straight! LTL Mom says "Fat Chance!"

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  9. V,

    Great stuff as always. I am working on a similar project but in 15mm -

    http://cityofthedead-gaming.blogspot.com/

    Any chance of a shout/link???

    Matt

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  10. Matt, sorry to take so long to get back to you. I've added your site to my list of favourite blogs and I've become a follower of it myself. Good luck with your blog!

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