Sunday, 16 January 2011

Hasslefree Psycho Killers 01

This is the first of many reviews of Hasslefree Miniatures' excellent range of 28mm scale adventurers that I have planned. I'm starting of with their psycho killers, simply because it ties in with my last figure review of Foundry's The Family.
Starting at the left of the two photos is HFA013 Mad Dog, armed with a fireman's axe and dressed in fireman's helmet, short cape, stout boots and a pair of Y-fronts. The HF website describes him as a "suave and sophisticated zombie hunter who unfortunately got caught 'with his trousers down'." I doubt if I'd agree with that statement. I think he's more likely someone who's escaped from a lunatic asylum. Anyway, you can have fun making up your own back story for who he is. He is, as always, beautifully sculpted by Kevin White. Just check out the expression on his face.
Next in line is HFW103 Bob. There is no doubt at all that Bob is a psycho killer. That's an evil grin he has if ever I saw one! Please note that this figure was sculpted by Michael Brand and not Kev, who sculpts the vast majority of Hasslefree figures. By a strange coincidence, Michael has decided to dress him in Y-fronts as well. He is armed with a large butcher's knife, which won't help him at all if he goes up against anyone armed with a firearm. Still, I expect he prefers sneaking up on his victims and catching them unawares.
Moving on, here is the first of the two female psycho killers and this one is HFA028 Bunny Boiler Alice. She really doesn't like bunnies! The toy bunny she's carrying has been shot between the eyes and its stuffing is spilling out of the huge exit wound in the back of its head. I certainly wouldn't want to mess with a crazy lady armed with a .44 Magnum! When I came to painting her dress, I wanted to paint it so that it appeared transparent, as if the dress had been soaked in water. Having seen a similar paintjob on the Forum of Doom, I'm happy with the result. Note that there is a second version of this figure available - HFA029 FU-UK Alice. The only difference between them is that the second version is wearing Doc Marten boots. I preferred the more feminine footwear worn by the figure shown above.
The last figure of this particular group is HFA027 Problem Child Alice. Given that she is also called Alice, I think it's a fair bet that this a younger version of Bunny Boiler Alice. Again, my paint scheme for her was inspired by a version I saw on the Forum of Doom. I wanted her to look as different as possible to Bunny Boiler Alice as I'd like to use both figures together in a game, so I didn't want them to appear to be related. This Alice is a sulky, young teenager holding a bloody kitchen knife. Her apron is spattered with blood, although I'm not too happy with how it's come out. She is very similar in looks to HFA030 Alyx, probably because both figures are based on the same armature.
The prices for these figures are £3.50 each for Mad Dog, Bunny Boiler Alice (and FU-UK Alice) and Problem Child Alice. Bob costs just £2.50. These are all very nicely sculpted figures, who'd fit in well as Gangers or Survivors in ATZ. As psycho killers, they are nowhere near as scary looking as the evil quintet of Foundry's Viscera Family. Nevertheless, if any one of them approached your party in a post apocalypse game, how far would you trust them?


  1. Very nicely done! I especially like the transparent effect on the dress. That is some seriously skilled painting!

  2. Thanks, PDoid. This was the first and to date, only time I have tried such a technique. It actually looks even better in real life, which sometimes happens when you're taking photos.

  3. Very good painting there my friend, excellent stuff, I only have problem child alice myself.

  4. Ok, now these are disturbing! Compliments to the painter!

  5. @The Angry Lurker. Thanks for the compliment. I'd like very much to see how you've painted Problem Child Alice. Perhaps such could be the subject of a future blog post for you?

    @Willy. Yep, pardner, they surely are disturbing. Hasslefree figures are such a joy to paint as they are full of character and amazing detail.

  6. Great job as always Bryan. Glad to see the Bunny Boiler Alice experiment worked for you. Keep up the good work.

    Still cant wait to see the next adventures of Vampi and Co.

  7. Really nice Bryan! Keep up the good work! I have just got Bob myself having been inspired by the end sequence of the 'Quarantine' movie.

  8. @Doug. Mate, I'd love to do more adventures of Team Vampifan but it looks like it won't happen for another couple of months. The only upside to this is that it gives me more time to make scenery and more buildings. All I can say at the moment is that I have some big plans in the pipeline for Team Vampifan.

    @Colin. I enjoyed "Quarantine." As a Hollywood remake, it wasn't too bad. However, I much preferred the original film "Rec" which seemed to lean for a more supernatural explanation to the events, whereas, "Quarantine" tried for a scientific reasoning. By the way, "Rec 2" was a huge disappointment. One to avoid!

  9. Bryan, Thanks for the tip! When I watched Quarantine I didn't know it was a remake, so will have to get Rec at some point.

    Watched quite a few zed films recently, including 'Last of the Living', 'Autumn', 'Carriers', 'Flight of the Living Dead', a film that was SO awful I date not type its name and the remake of 'Night of the Living Dead', which IMO was much better than the original ... guess I'll have to post reviews at some point!

  10. Colin, "Rec" is a Spanish film. If you don't mind subtitles I'd recommend watching it in Spanish. For the most part, "Quarantine" is a shot for shot copy, but as I said before they do differ in certain aspects.

    I'm not as well up on zombie movies as I should be. I hadn't heard of a lot of the films you've just mentioned. FotLD and NotLD were the only ones I knew. The remake of NotLD is a better film than the original in many ways (special effects, obviously) but let's not forget, without the original the whole zombie genre might never have existed. As gamers of the zombie apocalypse we owe George A Romero a huge debt of gratitude for making the original NotLD. A review of the zombie films sounds like a great idea. I'd certainly like to learn more about them.

  11. Great review Bryan, thanks. I really like your blood splatter on Alice.

    Rec is probably the best recent Zombie movies I have seen IMO, a very pleasant surprise indeed. Not seen Quarantine, but not expecting it to be as good.

    The book of Autumn is well worth a read, a very well considered slant on the zombie apocalypse.

  12. Thanks, Adam. I agree that "Rec" is a worthy contender for best zombie movie of recent years. It is certainly the scariest movie I've seen in a long time.

    Thanks for pointing out "Autumn" to me. Anyone who has good books and/or movies about the undead, please don't hesitate to mention them, either as a comment to one of my posts or on your own blog if you're a blogger. I'd very much like to increase my library of vampire/zombie books and DVDs. I'm going to check out "Autumn" on Amazon right now and word of mouth is always the best recommendation for buying anything so I'll almost certainly buy it.

  13. Bryan- The NotLD remake was done by Tom Savini one of Romero's friends who did the effects for Dawn and Day. Then again from some of the stuff I have read Romero was also there on the set helping with the directing. Now theres also another NotLD remake NotLD 3D which has Sid Haig (Capt. Spaulding form House of 1000 Corpses and Devils Rejects).

    Colin is Autumn based on the David Moody book series of the same name? if so I am going to have to either find a copy or see if I can watch it online.

  14. Hey Bryan, I should have said before - I agree with Zombie Ad about the spatter on Alice. There's enough to be noticable and not so much to make it look like she's been eating people - IMO it's come out very well

  15. @Doug. Wow, I had no idea that there was a NotLD3! Dr. Spaulding was a superb character in both films you mentioned. I thought "House of 1000 Corpses" was okay, although it looked to me that Rob Zombie and the crew were stoned out of their minds when they made it! "Devil's Rejects" on the other hand was an absolute blast from start to finish! One of my all-time favourite horror films!

    @Colin. For Alice's spatter effect I painted each dot separately! I should have got a stiff haired brush and literally spattered the paint on. I'm sure it would have looked more realistic. Maybe I'm just being too harsh on myself but most painters are their harshest critics.

  16. Bryan, You are. It looks good as it is. Besides, if you tried the stiff brush technique on that small an area, I'm fairly certain it would have either
    a) taken about 10 goes to get right
    b) looked worse than what you have now

    So stop worrying about it and write another batrep!

  17. Ha ha, thanks, Colin! That's put me in my place! A new batrep will appear as soon as I get the house to myself, which just can't come soon enough for me!