Sunday, 23 January 2011

Hasslefree Survivor Males 01

I was asked if I could review more survivor figures to use in zombie apocalypse games and it is something I am happy to do. One company in particular has a reputation for making some of the finest adventurers on the market and that company is Hasslefree Miniatures. Over the next few weeks I'm going to take a close look at their 28mm scale Adventurers range. I'll start by reviewing some of their male characters.
 These five figures in the two photos above are all armed with melee weapons. Although, the figure at the far left, HFA007 Ray, totes a double barrelled sawn-off shotgun as well. Okay, is there anyone who doesn't know that Ray is based on Simon Pegg's eponymous hero from the film, Shaun of the Dead? I thought not. He is a very good likeness for Shaun and so I have painted him up as such, complete with the "bit of red" on his shirt. In the film, it's red ink, by the way. I've bloodied the cricket bat to show it has been used to bash in the skulls of any zombies who got too close. If you ignore his movie origins, this would make a great figure for a survivor hero or follower.
The next figure, HFA052 Dynamic Ray, is Ray in a, well, more dynamic pose.This figure is extremely well animated and beautifully sculpted by Kevin White, who sculpts most of the Hasslefree figures. The sense of movement and action here is just superb. I did not want him to look too similar to the original Ray figure, so I opted for a very different paint scheme. I set my ATZ campaign in America and I have no idea how easy it is to get hold of cricket bats over there. Perhaps one of my American followers could let me know if cricket bats are easy to buy in sports shops? Anyway, he is a fantastic figure.
Moving on, but staying with the Shaun of the Dead film, is HFA026 Tony, aka Ed as played by Nick Frost, Shaun's best friend. Once again, the likeness is just spot on. In the film, Ed wore a T-shirt with the slogan "I Got Wood," so I've replicated that on my figure even though it is partially obscured by his left hand texting on his mobile phone. Tony/Ed is armed with a golf club, which may be what the T-shirt slogan is refering to. However, I rather suspect it might have a more sexual meaning! Tony is a good figure for a sidekick.
Fourth in line is HFA045 Joe, a punk with a baseball bat. Originally, this was going to be a 1960's version of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series prior to him killing Nikki the Vampire Slayer and stealing her leather coat, which he wears all the time now. Lose the Mohican haircut and he still could be Spike but Kev has just sculpted the definitive Spike figure in the afore-mentioned leather coat. When I came to painting this figure I was going to give him a multi-coloured Mohican but I've done that on so many other figures. So, I thought painting it white would not only be something different but quite striking in its own right. This figure would work well for a Survivor or a Ganger.
Last in line, is HFA051 Zombie Hunter Kev, which is based on Kevin White himself. The figure comes with a choice of three weapons - a fire axe (shown here), a katana or a pistol (see below). The figure does appear to be smaller than others in the range, but bear in mind, Kev is forever being mocked for his lack of height on a few forums so this is just a case of Kevin accurately portraying himself and well done, I say, for not making him heroic scale.
This next batch of figures are all armed with pistols and/or sub-machine guns. First in line is HFA003 Grant, who does look a bit like hardman Grant Mitchell from TV soap opera, Eastenders. No, I do not watch it as I can't stand any soap operas! Grant is well armed with an SMG and four pistols in holsters. I see Grant as ex-special forces, so I've painted him in olive green combat pants and a black T-shirt. This guy has hero written all over him.
A while ago, I reviewed Studio Miniatures' figure of Hawk aka a not-Snake Plisken figure. I mentioned at the time that Hasslefree also made a not-Snake Plisken figure and here he is, HFA050 Cobra. He is instantly recognisable as Kurt Russell's heroic character from Escape From New York and Escape From L.A. Of course, for copyright reasons, neither company could call their figures Snake Plisken but that doesn't matter because we know who they are meant to be. Of the two figures I think Kev's version is the better sculpted figure. His pose is much more dynamic and not as flat as the Studio version. He makes a great partner for Grant.
Third in line, is HFA058 Tony (b), which tells you this a variant of the Tony figure shown above. This version sees Tony sporting a pair of SMGs and he is festooned with ammo clips, ten of which are strapped to his chest. I often wear a baseball cap, but I have never worn it with the peak pointing backwards. Whilst it is not something I'd do, it works well for Tony. I painted THW just above the peak of his cap as a nod to Two Hours Wargaming, producers of All Things Zombie. If I didn't already have such a good figure for Vampifan this would be an excellent second choice for me. So, this figure gets a big thumbs up from me.
And finally, I come to another version of HFA051 Zombie Hunter Kev. I bought two of this figure so that I could use two of the weapon options with him. I may get a third figure sometime and give him the katana. For this figure I gave him the pistol option. In order to make him look as different as possible as the fire axe armed version I painted this figure up as an African-American. He looks like he could belong to a group of gangstas to me. Once again, he could be used as a Survivor or a Ganger. You decide.
These are all excellent figures but I should point out that they are not the only male adventurers available from this range. The cop types will get their own post, as will the military types. Others, like for example, Oakley, are stuck in my lead mountain, waiting to get painted. So, I will revisit this topic in the future. I might even have bought and painted the katana wielding version of Zombie Hunter Kev by then.
Finally, let's have a look at prices. At present, Ray, Tony, Joe and Grant cost £3.50 each. Tony (b) costs £4.00. Cobra and Zombie Hunter Kev cost £4.50 apiece. There are those who say that Hasslefree's figures are too expensive. I disagree and I'd say that what you're paying for is quality! Next time, I'll review the female survivors.


  1. Bryan- I havent fully read all the post, but I have yet to see cricket bats in any sporting goods stores here. What we do have are Baseball Bats, Golf Clubs and Hockey Sticks galore. If I had some of the Black Walnut wood from the tree my Brother had cut down and a wood workshop, I would make my own cricket bat, just to have one.

  2. Did a little research right after my post above on Cricket bats, seems they are traditionally made from Willow, the quick research didn't tell me what type of willow though. If we take the weeping willow tree in the back yard down, I might try to save some of the wood to make into a Cricket bat or two.

  3. Thanks for that info, Doug. I know that cricket has never taken off in America, which is why I was wondering whether you guys could easily get hold of a cricket bat. I'm guessing not, which would make the two Rays better suited for a UK-based campaign (or anywhere else where cricket is a national sport).

  4. These are nicely done mate, paint jobs look excellent, I especially like the dude with the golf club, and the 'I've got wood' t shirt, classic !

  5. You have to smile at Ed's choice of T-shirt in the film. I thought it was just too good not to use.

  6. Great review once again Bryan. It's really good to see these painted up. Love the Hasselfree minis and hope to add more to my collection in future. Tempted to get Dynamic Ray and replace the cricket bat with a baseball bat, for variety. Or perhaps just add some skates to create a 'Crickate', a la 'You've Got Dead on You'?

  7. Good idea to replace the cricket bat on Dynamic Ray. I'd like to see him with a baseball bat. I saw a conversion of him on the Forum of Doom where the cricket bat had been replaced with a katana. Very nice!

  8. Brayn- Cricket bats are available over here in the States, but they are more of a specialty item, I believe some of the universities here in the states might have a cricket team. A quick price search does find there are companies in the US that cary cricket equipment and looks that bats start around $60 for a budget Kashmir Willow Bat and go up to a couple hundred for "high" grade willow bats.

    Now as always nice work on the figures. I wish that Hasslefree figures where more readily available here in the US, I would be getting me some right now, though as it is I will have to place an overseas order more then likely to Hasslefree for the figures I want.

  9. Doug, you are a star, my friend! I'm very grateful for the info you've provided. That's great as it means I can use both figures of Ray in my ATZ campaign without them appearing anachronistic.

    Regarding ordering from Hasslefree Central if you're worried about postal charges just drop me an e-mail at vampifan(dot)talktalk(dot)net and I'll work something out for you.

  10. Nicely done Bryan as always! Regarding the heathen americans not playing cricket - proof of their decadence as if any were needed! - I seem to recall hearing that it is played in New England, those people even play rugby!

    Also regarding Hasslefree generally; in an order I got a couple of days ago on the ususal information sheet they include, there were a couple of items of note:

    1, It seems that Mantic Games are going to produce sets of 4/5 HF adventurer's - box art piccies were on the sheet. The rest of Mantic's stuff is plastic, but it wasn't mentioned if the HF sets will be ...

    2, HF will become VAT registered in the UK shortly ... so this will mean their prices will be going up.

  11. Thanks, Colin. I can answer both your questions about Hasslefree.

    1. The HF/Mantic boxed set figures will be white metal. The figures are available separately from HF but one figure in each boxed set will be converted slightly to create a unique figure. I already have them all so I doubt if this would persuade me to buy any of the boxed sets.

    2. It has been mentioned on the Forum of Doom that HF will be increasing their prices soon. I don't blame them, as they are only a small company and their prices have not changed for years. Whatever they charge I will still support themnd I recommend as many of you readers do as well.

  12. We'll just call him Snake..

    The first big Tony is my favorite of the bunch. I love this sculpt because he looks so static and relaxed, but we all know this big dude could explode into menacing action in a sec.

  13. "You won't like me when I'm angry!"
    Big Tony about to get all Hulk on some poor zombie dude! Thanks, Willy.