Those of you familiar with the output from Black Hat Miniatures will realise two things - first, I reviewed their range of zombies last week and secondly, these are their range of Skeletal Marines. So what gives? But, look closer. These are converted Skeletal Marines. Now they are Zombie Marines! To be honest, I had very little work to do to make them zombified. They are quite chunky to begin with so their bones that are showing could just as easily be flesh. So let's take a closer look at what I did.
Starting with the three figures in the two photos above, at the far left is MM300 Skeletal Marine 1. I added two very small balls of modelling putty to his empty eye sockets to give him eyes. I also added a small amount of modelling putty to his midriff to indicate some of his remaining internal organs. This guy had suffered a massive stomach wound. His uniform is torn and ragged, especially his trousers and he has lost both of his boots. I have no idea what make his assault rifle is, although I suspect it is something invented by the sculptor of these figures. If it is based on a real firearm and you can identify it, please let me know what it is.
In the centre of this group is MM303 Skeletal Marine 4. His conversion comprised of three stages, First, I added some modelling putty to the left side of his face and added an eye to the empty socket. This gave the impression that half of the flesh had been stripped from his face. Second, I added hair to his head and thirdly, I added a spool of intestines spilling from his stomach. He has a couple of bullet wounds to his back and a big tear in his trousers, revealing his right kneecap.
The third figure in this trio is MM302 Skeletal Marine 3. Once again, I added eyeballs to his empty sockets. I extended the sleeve of his right arm to his wrist and added an elbow pad to the same arm. Finally, I added a pair of boots to him as I thought too many of these soldiers had lost their footwear. Painting the skulls on his bandana was quite a challenge but I'm quite pleased with the result. His wounds are not as severe as the previous two marines. He has a minor cut to his left arm and a nasty looking hole in his left thigh.
Moving on to the next batch of figures is MM304 Skeletal Marine 5 at the far left of the group. Instead of placing his eyeballs in their sockets I placed his right eye just dangling out of the socket. I added a small amount of modelling putty around his right elbow to give the jacket sleeve a ragged look. I extended the sleeve on his left arm to his wrist but I added a hole to it where his elbow is. He has quite a few bullet and bite wounds to his legs and he has lost his left boot. Also of note, is a bullet wound to the left side of his helmet. I'm guessing it didn't penetrate all the way through!
In the centre of this second group is MM301 Skeletal Marine 2. I did very little conversion work to him. Apart from adding his eyes, I left him alone. I decided to paint him up as an African-American zombie just to add some variety to the squad. I deliberately left the parts of his ribcage that are exposed untouched, thus indicating he has suffered a massive middle body wound that has virtually stripped away all the flesh there. He has three wounds to his legs and he too, has lost a boot, this time to the right foot.
Finally, at the far right of the group is MM305 Skeletal Marine 6. He also has had minimal conversion work done to him. I added a few strips of hair to his skull. I decided to have most of the flesh stripped from his face and so left the eye sockets empty for once. He has holes on either side of his head, which would suggest a bullet has gone all the way through his skull. Maybe it did but failed to kill him properly. It is possible, but very rare, for people to survive gunshots to the head. I love how his upper left leg is in tatters, both flesh and cloth. This zombie sports more wounds than any of the others. His arms, legs, body and head all show varying wounds.
For me, the hardest part of painting military types is deciding on a colour scheme. For these, I went with the US Army "Desert Storm" camouflage scheme. I was influenced in choosing this colour scheme after reading the ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction mini-series of comics written by Kevin Grevioux of Underworld fame. They were fun to read.
These six figures cost £2.00 each and they are sold separately. Be warned, scale purists, that although they are advertised as being 28mm scale, they are closer to 32 or 33mm in height. Whether you'd want to buy these to convert as I have is open to debate but nevertheless, I thought I'd share my work with you.