Sunday, 31 October 2010

Studio Miniatures Survivors 02

These three 28mm scale survivor figures were recently released by Studio Miniatures. From left to right they are Memphis, Ohio and Hawk. These are the names chosen by the Studio team, presumably to get round copyright problems. However, I believe in calling a spade a spade so I'll say what we all know to be the truth - they are from left to right, Tallahassee and Columbus from Zombieland and Snake Plisken from Escape to New York.
Anyone looking for a well armed survivor for their zombie apocalypse game would be well advised to check out the Memphis/Tallahassee figure, so memorably played by Woody Harrelson in what in my opinion is his best movie role to date. This figure is armed to the teeth with a pair of Mini-Uzi machine pistols in his hands, two pump-action shotguns strapped to his back and a pair of holstered pistols. With that amount of weaponry, he doesn't need to worry about running out of ammo. If he does, he can just draw a new firearm. He is very well sculpted and the sculptor has achieved a good likeness of Woody, thankfully without making his head too big, which was a failing with the cast of Scrubs in the boxed set of Studio's zombie medical staff.
Much as I love the sculpt of Memphis/Tallahassee, I think the figure of Ohio/Columbus is even better. That is because the sculptor has perfectly captured Jesse Eisenberg's look, from his face to his scrawny teenage body. Even if you don't use him as Columbus, this figure will still make a great sidekick. He is armed with a double-barelled shotgun, which looks to be as long as he is tall. These two figures are sold together, which I think is only fair.
Next up, is the Hawk/Snake Plisken figure. He is armed with an Ingram MAC 10 machine pistol fitted with silencer and scopesight. A nice combo! He has a pair of pearl-handled pistols strapped to his hips for back-up.Again, the sculptor was captured the iconic look of Kurt Russell very well, although the head is just a tad too large. I suppose there will be those comparing this figure with Hasslefree's Cobra (their version of Snake) from their adventurers range. To be honest, I think the Hasslefree version is better than the Studio version. It is certainly more animated. But I'm not knocking the Studio version for being a poor figure. Far from it. What may be a deciding factor for those of you on a limited budget is the fact that the white metal Studio version of Snake is 51 pence cheaper than the Hasslefree version, which retails at £4.50.
Moving on, these five figures come from a boxed set called Dorothy and the Gang. It is clear where the inspiration for these survivors came from - The Wizard of Oz. At the far left of my two photos above is Toto the dog. On the Studio website, this has been painted as an Alsatian. I already heve a few other figures of Alsatians, so I wanted to paint mine as a different breed. What I don't have in my dog collection are any Border Collies, a breed I particularly like, even though I'm more of a cat person than a dog person. So I Googled pictures of Border Collies and painted the figure you see above. I'm especially happy with how he came out. Prior to the release of I, Zombie, the only dogs in ATZ were the ones found in random encounters being chased by 1d6 zombies. Now, however, you can include dogs as part of your group.
Standing next to Toto is Dorothy, who looks like she knows how to handle herself in a fight. She is armed with a pair of pistols, and is aiming with one, whilst keeping the other by her side. She is quite small in comparison to the male characters from this set. If you wanted a pair of teenage siblings for your party team up Dorothy here with the Ohio/Columbus figure shown earlier. Looking at them side by side they really do complement each other very well.
In the centre of this group is the scarecrow character. I suspect he is just a tramp who has teamed up with Dorothy. He wields a pitchfork in his hands, which going by its condition, looks to have seen better days. I added a lot of muddy affects to him by drybrushing Citadel Tausept Ochre and Citadel Graveyard Earth after I'd finished painting his clothes. You want him to look scruffy.
Next in line, is the tinman, who has come up with some imaginative ideas for his armour. The most obvious one is the dust bin, with holes cut out for his head and arms. I added a rusty girder to his base just to emphasise his metallic nature. He wields a large two-handed axe.
Finally, we come to what has to be the most striking figure out of the bunch - the cowardly lion. The sculptor has used great imagination to transform the lion into a mascot for a football team or some other sports team. It is a concept that works amazingly well. He is very tall - from the soles of his feet to the top of his head he is 47mm tall. I suspect that he sees out of the lion's mouth as there is no way he could see out of the lion head's eyes. Like his two male companions, he is armed with a two-handed melee weapon, in this case, a hockey stick. I'm sure that's classed as an improvised weapon in ATZ.
This is a very unusual theme to adopt for a group of survivors and is not a one that I would have thought of. However, the concept works and I salute Studio for coming up with something so far from outside the box. Their originality is to be applauded.
As for the first three survivors that I reviewed here, all I want to say is, can we have figures of Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) from Zombieland? I appreciate Studio making Memphis/Tallahassee and Ohio/Columbus but they're only half of the team. So, pretty please, can we have the female half of the team?
Okay, let's look at prices. The white metal versions of Memphis and Ohio cost £7.99, whilst the resin versions cost £9.99. The white metal version of Hawk costs £3.99, whilst the resin version costs £4.99. Finally, the boxed set of Dorothy and the Gang costs £15.99 for the white metal version and £24.99 for the resin version. If anyone has bought the resin version of any of the Studio Miniatures range, please let me know.
Finally, if anyone hasn't seen the Hasslefree version of Snake Plisken and they can't be arsed to check out their website, don't worry. I plan on doing a review of him, and a few other Hasslefree adventurers, soon. That way you'll be able to compare the two.


  1. Trick or Treat.

    I will take some Miniatures instead of candy, please and thank you.

    Nice figures, I like them. Was looking at the Dorthy and Gang set, figured if i get the set, I could use the Lion painted up as the Detroit Lions mascot (the NFL football team here in Michigan, which if you ask me has to be the worst team in the NFL).

    Can't wait to see your next unveiling, and yes I will be nice and let you keep all your figures, this time, LOL.

  2. I guess the resin ones might have less mould lines, it would be interesting to know...

  3. @Doug. Trick or treat? Definitely treat! I should have done something Halloween related for today's post. Ah well, too late now!

    How appropriate that you have a football team who use a lion mascot on your own doorstep. I take it you aren't a big fan of the Detroit Lions, then, Doug?

    I haven't decided what I'll be reviewing in my next post. I have a few options that I could go for... or I might take some new photos tomorrow and post some of them. And hey, you're all heart letting me keep my figures, LOL!

    @Dave. Given that the resin figures are a good deal more expensive than the white metal figures I would expect them to be of a higher quality. But without having seen one, I couldn't say for sure. I am very curious about them.

  4. Theres something about the weight of a metal figure I have never seemed to have gotten over that, If a resin figure is cast properly I am lead to believe they are very accurate with almost no mould lines...

    I think I might pick up a few zombs I haven't painted any for years, since the Citadel range that is now out of production...

  5. I know what you mean about the weight and feel of a metal figure. I bought some resin cast WW2 German zombies from Spyglass Miniatures before they went belly up. They're okay but they do feel different. Quality wise, I couldn't see much difference between them and the metal versions. What was curious, however, was that Spyglass sold them as a cheaper alternative to the metal versions. This makes me wonder why Studio's resin figures are so expensive?

  6. Very nice! I loved Zombieland. Those are some sweet minis for gaming.

  7. Bryan,

    Typically Resin figures seem to be a little more then Metal for a couple reasons, 1) more unusable casts due to air bubbles and such (thing of when using something like the Hirst Arts molds with plaster, resin like plaster is thicker then the liquid metal when pouring into the molds, or at least this is how it was explained to me) 2) the molds dont last as long as when used with metal, and 3) Resin allows for finer details to be included in the figure so companies charge for the extra details.

    Now the disadvantages of Resin vs Metal are that 1) Resin is lighter then the Metal and 2) Resin is more fragile then metal and chips easier where metal will bend and dent before it breaks.

    As for the Detroit Lions, they are one of the worst teams in the NFL, they routinely seem to lose more games then they win, the last time they made it to a championship game was the year before the AFC (American Football Conference) and NFC (National Football Conference) merged to form the NFL and established the Super Bowl (45 years ago). Last year the Detroit Lions were ranked 31st out of 32, 2008 season they were ranked 32nd.

    Then again I am not really a fan of any of the pro teams from Michigan, nor am really a fan of any pro sports team, not a big sports person, would rather read a book then watch sports.

    It would be amusing to have more "Mascot" Survivors like the Lion, and "Mascot" Zombies like the Chicken. They would really add some character to your games. I can see it now if you have a bunch of "Mascots" on the table, you can easily say that there was a Mascot Convention in town for Pro Sports, College Sports, Corporate Mascots, etc... when the outbreak started.

  8. Nice, have ordered the Tallahasse and Columbus figures

  9. @Luckyjoe and Angry Lurker. I love Zombieland, so I was delighted to see Studio release their versions of Tallahassee and Columbus.

    @Doug. I'm beginning to wonder if you're a clone of me! The more I learn about you the more I see how much we have in common. Your views on sport echo mine. I'd much rather read a book or watch a film or do any of a hundred other things than watch sport.

    There are a few zombie mascot figures available. Victory Force make two and Studio and Black Orc Games both make one. I like your idea of a Mascots' Convention.

    You make some excellent points about the metal vs resin debate. There's not much I can add to your comments.

  10. A heavy miniature is a better miniature! Simple.
    Great minis Bryan, I am simply going to have to stop messing around and start on my studio collection. Tallahassee would make a good second LTL Dad character because we are both insane maniacs from Texas that quest for munchies with unstoppable passion. One of these days I will have to tell you about the "Slushie Incident". Maybe LTL Mom will tell the story, it is funnier when she does.

  11. Hey Bryan! Nice figs and better painting - again! ;) My daughter has an inset (sp?) day so I still have her around. Will email you tomotrrow, will be back at work - much easier to get on the net then!

  12. @Willy. Now I am intrigued. The "Slushie Incident?" Put LTL Mom online and let's hear the story!

    You know, with the Memphis/Tallahassee figure, it wouldn't be too difficult to lose the machine pistols and replace them with your own choice of weaponry.

    @Colin. Thanks for the kind words. You don't ever have to apologise for family coming first. As far as I'm concerned it's a given. Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you soon now that you have my e-mail address.

  13. I have to second what Willy said about a heavier Minis is a better mini, to an extent. Logically you dont want a solid metal Rhino or Leman Russ Tank if you play 40K, in this case Resin or Plastic is better, if it was solid metal your chiropractor would be loving you, LOL.

    Now for Minis themselves I can see Resin if, and only if, it was 1) the only available option, or 2) if metal is available, you get the Resin version for a Static Display (Diorama) or if you are entering the finished painted product in a competition like GW's Golden Demon, since the Resin actually takes more details from the mold when its cast properly, though one woudl think Metal woudl due to it flowing better when in the molten (liquid) state then resin when in the liquid (uncured) state.

    @Colin- I am guessing Inset Day is either a late start day or a scheduled no school day so the Teachers can get caught up on their grading and possibly attend faculty meetings, similar to the Teacher Inservice Days from when I was in school (Kids had day off but teachers were at the school for the faculty meetings and then to catch up on grading homework, tests, working out the lesson plan for the following month or so).

  14. I am tempted to get hold of some resin cast ones just to take a look, I have a friend who casts his own 1/72 scale resin stuff and he saids it is both time consuming and difficult...

  15. Uh-oh Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!

    For me there is one strange thing about the "Wizard of Oz" set. The Stars of my campaign (The Whitefaces) where existing in my head before this set had been announced / released although I started my campaign later. Somehow I had thought of Mr. Whiteface as Oz Whiteface for a long time (maybe I wanted a name that starts with an "O"), Dotty was pretty obvious but I had to think hard before I called Mrs. Whiteface North (the good witch of the north) which didn't catch on.
    So, is there some natural connection between The Wizard of Oz and Zombies?

    Good review, but I think Memphis / Ohio / Hawk suffer from the balloon head problem. Hawk's head is just ridiculous. The Oz set is technically perfect, but maybe a bit...err...special.
    Maybe the scarecrow can be converted into a smart zed...

    Whiteface / Oliver

  16. @Doug. Yet more good points about resin cast figures. Yes, I prefer white metal to resin when it comes to figures but for vehicles plastic works best and is, as you say, far lighter. You didn't mention that resin is used by some companies for making buildings. Definitely not for me! I'm happy enough with my card models.

    @Dave. If you do get some of the resin minis please let me know how they compare. I'm still curious to know.

    @Oliver. I'm still trying to find a connection between the Wizard of Oz and zombies. I only have the Judy Garland film to go on. I haven't read the novel but I know that Frank L. Baum wrote a whole series of Oz novels, so maybe there's a connection in one of them, although I wouldn't bet on it.

    I'm afraid your connection between your Whiteface family and the Wizard of Oz story simply flew over my head. Sorry! Still, why not call Mr. Whiteface Oz? The TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" featured a character called Oz (as played by Seth Green) so it's not unreasonable. I also think Dotty, or some derivative, would work well for Mrs Whiteface.

    The heads on Memphis and Ohio are fine but on Hawk, it is oversized. A shame! I agree that the Oz set is well sculpted but I'm uncertain if I'll use them. I totally agree that the scarecrow would make a fine smart zombie with no work required other painting his flesh differently.

  17. Oh, my Whiteface / Oz connection was existing mainly inside my mind. I mentioned the name Oz just once in August when I introduced the family for the first time. I didn't expect (or intended for )someone to notice this connection. And North was a pretty stupid name for the missus...but Glinda would have been worse.

    As a result of this review I may even buy the Wizard of Oz set. The scarecrow as a smarty and unexpectedly my dislike for the lion changed into "kinda cool" and Dotty - eh, Dorothy - is a nice female survivor. Still don't like the trash man.

    So, if now someone would be so kind to enlighten me about this number "3" thing from Zombieland. I've heard there may be some insane maniacs from Texas regularly visiting this place ;o)

  18. Fair comment, Oliver. I didn't mention it, but my two favourite figures out of the Dorothy set are Dorothy herself, followed closely by Toto. I agree that the tinman is the weakest out of the bunch.

    I'm really not sure about the number "3" thing in Zombieland. I know that Tallahassee painted a "3" on his SUV but I'm not sure why or indeed if it is a place. I hope Willy's reading this. As a Texan, he ought to know.

  19. This is just me being unclear: With "this place" I referred to your blog ;o)

  20. Ah well then, in that case, Willy certainly qualifies as our resident insane Texan.

  21. You came to the right place baby! #3 was the number for Dale Earnhardt's race car. He was a legendary nascar driver from Texas who was very popular down here. He died while racing a few years ago and his son is still at it.
    You might have noticed a redneck looking guy in one of my batreps wearing a T-shirt with number three on it.

  22. Wow! Willy, you are the man! Thanks for clearing that up. I had noticed the figure you mention but I just didn't get the significance of the "3." Now I know.

  23. I had noticed the miniature with the "3" on his T-shirt. That's why I thought there might be a good chance to get this question answered. Pardon my ignorance, but NASCAR isn't very popular in this part of the world. Maybe because driving at breakneck speed without any safety distance is such a common sight on our autobahns ;o)

    Thank you!

  24. QUOTE: "Driving at such breakneck speed without safety distance is such a common sight on our autobahns ;o)"

    Very funny but true!

  25. Hey Guys, I asked Studio Miniatures about the resin and heres what they said:

    Hi Dave

    Resin offers better detail and is generally used by painters/collectors
    but is more brittle than metal, metal is generally used by gamers as it is
    more durable. The metal and resin versions come from different moulds.
    Hope this helps and we look forward to your order.

    Studio Miniatures

  26. Thanks, Dave. that's really much appreciated and certainly explains the differences in the prices.