Wednesday 30 March 2011

Hasslefree and RAFM Elvis Impersonators

This is another set of figures that I've been meaning to review for months now. I'm glad I held back because when I was recently looking at the RAFM website, I saw that they had added an Elvis with a katana to the range. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Team Elvis!
Leading this group of Elvis impersonators is a Hasslefree Miniatures 28mm scale adventurer - HFA038 Bubba. Bubba is a lot fatter than the other guys in the group, so he's obviously basing his looks on Elvis in his latter years. The figure comes in three parts with the two arms separate castings. According to the Hasslefree website he is armed with a .357 Magnum revolver and a deadly guitar! Well, I suppose he could smash the guitar over someone's head! As always, Kevin White has done a superb job in sculpting this figure. I decided to paint him in a white suit with blue suede shoes. There is a lot of detail on his shirt and guitar. Even though the RAFM figures are well sculpted, I think Bubba just edges them for quality and that is why I've made him the leader of this group.
Next in line is the first of the four RAFM 28mm scale Elvis impersonators from their Modern Day Heroes USX range. This is RAF02831 the Pretender 3. He is armed with a Colt .45 pistol. His blue suit is adorned with gold patterns and he wears a gold belt, white silk scarf and white shoes. He's not a great figure but he helps make the numbers up.
I mentioned last time that I'd bought five new figures from RAFM. This is the figure that I didn't show you. He has only just been added to the range and he is RAF02861 Samurai Elvis. I'm not too sure about the samurai bit but he is armed with a samurai sword aka a katana. I just had to have this figure to complete my collection of Elvis impersonators. At first, I thought he was a conversion of the next figure in line but upon closer inspection I saw that he is an original sculpt. He's an Elvis impersonator with a katana - what more can I say?
Fourth in line is RAF02830 the Pretender 2. This red-suited gent is armed with a 5.56mm M16 assault rifle, giving the group some serious firepower. There is some writing on the back of his cape, which are probably the lines from one of Elvis's songs, although they are far too small to read in this scale. I don't know enough about the work of Elvis to hazard a guess at what song might be portrayed here.
Finally, is RAF02827 the Pretender, whom I would have made the leader if I didn't own the Hasslefree Bubba figure. He is armed with a pair of 9mm TEC-9 machine pistols with the 30-round ammo clips. I thought that painting his cape gold would make a nice contrast to his white suit. Like all of the other figures, his belt is gold-plated and his suit is very ornate with gold designs on the top and trousers.
These would make for a very interesting group of Gangers or Survivors in a game of ATZ. I have a scenario in mind that I'd love to try out sometime. Cold War Minis make a zombie Elvis. See my review here - I was thinking, what if the zombie Elvis was the real Elvis? This group of Elvis impersonators may have heard that "the King" has returned and are on a quest to find him. Perhaps they enlist the help of your group of heroes to find him. I thought I'd call the scenario "The Return of the King!" If anyone else wants to run this scenario, please feel free to do so. I'd love to read about it.
Just for the record, I am not a fan of Elvis or his music. However, I can see a lot of fun to be had from this group and I'm sure it is only a matter of time before Team Vampifan encounters them. Prices of the figures are £4.50 for Hasslefree's Bubba and $4.95 for each of the RAFM Elvis impersonators.

Sunday 27 March 2011

RAFM Survivors 02

In January of this year I reviewed four RAFM 28mm scale survivor figures from their Modern Day Heroes USX range. Since then I have ordered another five figures from them and here, I showcase four of them. The fifth one will be reviewed next time, and when you see him you'll know why I kept him separate from this lot.
At the far left is RAF02860 Action Jackson. I can remember watching a movie called Action Jackson in the 1980's that starred Carl Weathers in the title role. This figure looks nothing like Carl's character but he is still one cool looking dude. I gave him a powder blue suit, white, open-necked shirt and white shoes. He is armed with a Big Ass Pistol, which seems appropriate. He could work as a pimp, or as a private detective. I see him as a heroic character and he should be more than capable of holding his own in a zombie apocalypse. It's always nice to see an African/American hero figure, as there aren't many about.
Next up is RAF02847 Kali, my favourite figure from the entire Modern Day Heroes USX range. As soon as I saw her, I knew I wanted her and she was the sole reason for my latest order to RAFM. She is one sexy looking female, with her tiny shorts and severely cropped top exposing a lot of flesh. She does, however, wear sensible combat boots and leather gloves. She has a pistol in a holster on her left hip but it is her sniper's rifle that really impresses me. This is a Barrett .50 M82A1 "light Fifty" sniper rifle. This is a truly formidable firearm, designed to take out soft-skinned vehicles. A fifty calibre bullet will make a bloody mess of any human target! Kali is also equipped with night sight goggles on her head, so she can operate at any time of day. She is top of the list of figures that I want to recruit to Team Vampifan. I think she is an awesome figure. By the way, Kali was the name of the Hindu god of destruction. Appropriate, huh?
Third in line is RAF02835 Gloria with Uzis. RAFM also do a Gloria with kukri knives, which I don't have. RAFM may call her Gloria but we all know she is Alice, as played by Milla Jovovich, from the Resident Evil: Extinction film. In fact, this figure looks like it has been directly copied from the front cover of the DVD as she is in the exact same pose and costume. Studio Miniatures also make a not-Alice figure (she's armed with a pair of kukris bur wears a long overcoat) and I'm undecided which version I like best. If using her in a game of ATZ then the RAFM version with the Uzis would be the best choice. You are far better off shooting zombies than fighting them in melee combat, even if you are as adept as Alice. This figure comes in three parts, with the arms holding the Uzis separate castings.
Finally, is RAF02852 Fallout Girl. From her name, she is clearly a post-apocalyptic survivor. She is extremely well-armed and totes twin pistols in holsters on her hips, a machine pistol in her right hand, a single-barrelled sawn-off shotgun in her left hand and a sword slung on her back. The machine pistol, shotgun and sword are moulded separately and have to be glued in place. She appears to be wearing a flak jacket, so she's well protected from small arms fire. She is one tough cookie and when I showed her to Gap, he said that she looks slightly deranged. That may explain why she's a survivor. I think she'd make an excellent Star or Grunt in ATZ and she's someone else that Team Vampifan would like to recruit.
All four figures are beautifully sculpted but I don't think the same person sculpted them all. Kali, for example, is a lot slimmer than Gloria and Action Jackson is a rather chunky figure. I like these a lot and would very happily recruit all four to Team Vampifan.
Each figure costs $4.95 from the RAFM website. Be aware if you are ordering from the UK or Europe, this package of five figures took between five and six weeks to arrive. RAFM are notoriously slow in sending out figures, which in this day and age is inexcusable. The previous time I ordered from them, I had to wait six weeks and I got stung with customs charges. This time I deliberately kept my order small so customs didn't bother me. I'd be grateful if anyone in America has ordered from RAFM could let me know how they got on with them. Is it just us European customers who suffer or does everyone have to wait for their order to arrive?

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Tengu Models Zombies 03

Tengu Models are one of my favourite miniatures companies for making 28mm scale zombies. I've been wanting to show Zlinko and Zopov for some time now but I've held back. I'm glad I did as Tengu have just recently added a third zombie clown called Bubo.
At the far left of these two photos is BH08A Zlinko. He comes in four parts - body, legs and left arm along with separate pieces for his head, right arm and bow-tie. I think it's nice that Iain Colwell, who runs Tengu Models, has named all of the clowns. It's not often you see named zombies and it is something I approve of. His wounds are numerous. Starting from the top and working down, he has a cut to the forehead, a small hole in his right shoulder, a big bullet wound in his back, a bite taken out of his lower left arm as well as a bite to his lower left leg. In addition, I have smeared his hands in gore. All in all, he is a quite frightful sight.
In the centre of the group is BH08B Zopov. He is very similar to Zlinko in that both figures share the same body. However, his head and right arm are different and he comes with a big kipper tie rather than a bow-tie. I must admit that there was a temptation to paint this guy up as Ronald McDonald as there is a passing resemblance but instead I copied Iain's colour scheme. Obviously, sharing the same body as Zlinko many of his wounds are similar. However, his head is unmarked and a bite has been taken out of his right arm. He carries a severed right arm in his right hand.
The newest figure to Tengu's range of zombies is this obese monstosity, HB09 Bubo the Clown. He comes in two parts. The lower left arm and trumpet are a separate piece. I pinned this piece in place before gluing to give it a stronger bond. What makes this zombie truly disgusting are the amount of festering pustules scattered all over his body. He only has one visible wound - a large bite to his lower right leg. I have added blood dribbling from the corners of his mouth. Note how the sole is coming away from his left shoe. This guy is the stuff of nightmares!
A lot of people find clowns to be scary. So what could be even more frightening than zombie clowns? These aren't the first zombie clowns to be sculpted in this scale (I've already reviewed one by Mega Miniatures) but in my opinion, they are the best. Although Zlinko and Zopov share the same body with the separate components and different paint jobs they don't look alike at all. Bubo is my favourite out of the three because he looks so gross.
Prices for these zeds are £3.50 each for Zlinko and Zopov and £5.00 for Bubo the Clown. They are well worth adding to anyone's zombie horde.

Sunday 20 March 2011

Vampifan's Views 09 Happy 2nd Birthday

Vampifan's World of the Undead celebrates its second birthday this week. It's hard to believe that I've been working on this blog for two years now but it has been the most amazing fun. When my blog celebrated its first birthday I noted that it had 48 followers and had received about 30,000 hits. A year later, those figures have risen to 132 followers and 85,000 hits, proving that it is becoming more and more popular. So, I'd like to offer a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has popped by to look at my humble efforts to popularise the undead. Without any shadow of a doubt, what I have most enjoyed about writing this blog are all the friends I have made across the globe. There are people who follow my blog whom I would class as close friends and as a solo gamer that means a great deal to me. If any of you visit the North East of England you're more than welcome to drop in for a chat or better still, a game of All Things Zombie. Anyone wanting to stay longer, there's a spare bedroom that is never used and I wouldn't dream of charging anyone if they did want to stay.

Speaking of ATZ, I've had numerous comments asking when my next batrep will be? I'm afraid I can't give a definitive answer. I might get a game in over the Easter holidays, which is late this year, but that doesn't mean I will. A lot depends on the health of my parents. I live at home with them and spend a lot of time looking after them. My father is disabled, having lost his left leg ten years ago and my mother is getting on and not in the best of health. Both are in their 80's so they rely on me a lot to look after them. However, they like to go away on holiday for long weekend breaks about four times a year. Those are the times I get to play ATZ because then I can commandeer the dining room and set up Mayhem City (or at least a part of it) on the dining room table. Unfortunately due to ill health my parents have had to cancel two holidays in the past four months. In fact, my father has just returned home from a week long stay in hospital. They have three holidays booked over the summer months so I'm hoping they can get away, as much for them getting a break away from home, which they deserve,  as for my own selfish purposes for playing ATZ. What is really frustrating about not being able to play is that I have loads of ideas for scenarios. On the plus side, the delay allows me to get more scenery made. One project that I am working on is building a headquarters that Team Vampifan can operate from. If they are going to stay in Mayhem City (and they will) than they need to find somewhere they can call home. Fortunately World Works Games cover what I need. My secondary goal for Team Vampifan is to recruit more survivors. I have some very specific figures in mind that I want to add to the group but it's up to the dice gods if they want to join Team Vampifan. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

On the figure painting/collecting front I easily achieved my goal of collecting 500 zombie miniatures and painting them. The current total is about 660 fully painted zombies. I suppose my next goal should be to amass 1,000 zombie miniatures and I'll do my best to achieve that target but I'm not setting a time limit. As long as the figure companies keep on making zombie miniatures I'll keep on collecting and painting them. At the moment I have 20 Blue Moon 28mm scale zombies on my painting table and more waiting in the waiting to get painted queue. I've given up buying any more miniatures for Lent just to give me a chance to catch up on all the figures waiting to get painted. Mind you, after Lent all bets are off and I'll succumb to temptation to buy more nice new shiny toys very easily.

For me, the highlight of the past year so far has to be the publication of Dadi e Piombo magazine number 44 with my article on zombies seeing print. I was glad that the six copies I gave away for free all found good homes. I'm only sorry I didn't have more to offer. It certainly helped to raise the profile of zombie gaming to a much wider audience, which can only be a good thing.

I know that many gamers are not interested in this part of the hobby but those who have expressed an interest quickly discover just how friendly and enthusiastic we are. To us weirdos, having fun is the number one goal of gaming. To be honest, this has always been my goal in any game I've played. I have no time for rules lawyers or munchkins who want to win at all costs. I've also noticed how many new blogs dedicated to zombie gaming have sprung up this past year. My attitude to them has always been to help, encourage and support them whenever I can. I don't see any one as a rival but as a friend. You may not have noticed in My Blog List to the left of this post, a new blog has just emerged, called Nothing But Zeds! It's run by Steve Simpson, who's new to our hobby. I've offered him a lot of advice via e-mails we've shared and if you're interested in supporting him pop over to his site and say hello. To anyone else out there who is thinking of starting their own blog my advice would be - go for it! What I love about our corner of the blogging community is that everyone is so friendly and only too happy to offer help and advice.

So, let's raise a glass of whatever your favourite tipple is to VWotU's second anniversary. If year three is anywhere near as successful as the first two years I'll be a very happy bunny. I plan on sticking around for a long time, so expect more of the same for year three and hopefully some nice surprises as well. Thanks everyone for reading and for your kind support.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

EM4 Gangsta Thugz

EM4 are just one firm to sell this range of twelve 28mm scale Gangsta Thugz as sculpted by Bobby Jackson. I've seen this range reviewed on other blog-sites, most notably on Ancient Warriors by The Extraordinarii and by The Angry Lurker However, neither of them showed the complete range. That's not meant as a criticism of their reviews in any way, both of which are worth checking out. I've been itching to review these for a long time now, so here all twelve figures from the range. Note that unlike the Foundry figures I've been reviewing recently, these are not named. However, to aid in identification I've named them all. Feel free to steal any of my names if you like them.
Starting with the two photos above, at far left is Levi DeFreitas, a teenager in baggy T-shirt, shorts, trainers and a reversed baseball cap. I frequently wear a baseball cap but have never worn it back to front. I just don't see the point of it. To me, wearing a baseball cap back to front just looks silly. He is armed with what looks like a 9mm Beretta M92 pistol. As you'd expect to see on a group of L.A. gangstas, a lot of "bling" is being worn. This thug is showing off a gold medallion, gold bracelet, gold wristwatch and a few gold rings. Real gold or fake gold? You decide.
Next to him is the only gangsta out of the group to be armed with something more lethal than a pistol or machine pistol. This is Delroy Washington and his double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun. His only visible bling is his gold medallion. His hair has been styled into corn-rows.
Each of the three sets contains three males and one female. I have called the sassy female in this group Missy Maxwell. She carries a very small pistol, which shouldn't be under-estimated as they can pack a powerful punch. I'd guess it is a .38 AMT Back Up pistol. Her hair has been fitted with red extensions. She seems very aware of her sex appeal with her tight jeans and cropped vest showing off her shapely figure.
The final figure of this group is full of attitude. Actually, I think it's fair to say that every one of the twelve figures is full of attitude. I named this thug, Isaiah Delmont. Note how he's grabbing his crotch with one hand and how he has twisted his other hand to hold his "nine mil" in a sideways pose. It's a classic gangsta pose! The clothing and dollar sign medallion are just perfect and you have to admit that Bobby Jackson knows his subject matter very well.
The second batch of four figures is fronted by Spoonie Forbes with his 1970's style afro hairdo making him look like an extra from Shaft. His weapon is one that is very popular with gang members - a 9mm Intratec TEC9 "assault pistol." He looks like he has the shorter 20-round magazine fitted, rather than the normal 30-round magazine. His bling compromises the obligatory gold medallion, gold bracelet and gold wristwatch.
From loads of hair to no hair at all, meet bald-headed Ezekiel Taylor. He is also holding his 9mm Beretta pistol sideways on as he strikes a pose. This guy sure is a poser as he is bare-chested to better show off his toned body. His combat pants hang low to reveal his designer label underpants. You can guarantee that his Y-fronts will be designer label! For some reason he is wearing two wrist-watches. I painted one silver and the other gold. A large silver cross hangs around his neck.
The female of this set is a cracking good figure, whom I named Lulu Merrygold because she looks like a Lulu to me. She is the only figure of the group who is unarmed but just look at her. I'd hate to get on the wrong side of her. Pity the poor fool who calls her fat! My old mate Big Sil used to have a thing for "big black mommas" and she is just the sort of person he'd fall in lust with! All I'll say is it takes all sorts!
At the far right of this group is Leroy Watts. Come on, I had to have a Leroy in the group! Like many of this group, he is armed with a 9mm pistol. His bandana has been painted red and could be part of his gang colours. He wears mirrorshade glasses and once again, we see the gold medallion being worn around his neck. His clothing is typical urban streetwear.
Starting at the far left of this last pair of photos we have Marvin "Fat Boy" Williams. The huge hood of his coat practically obscures his face. He is armed with a pair of small sized pistols, which are too small for me to identify. To me, it looks like he has problems in finding the right sized clothes. His vest is too small, his shorts too long and his coat far too big. Still, he probably thinks he looks fashionable!
Next to him is a more athletic-looking figure, Alonzo Tate. He looks like he's ready for a game of basketball, assuming 9mm pistols are an essential tool for playing the game! I suppose it gives a new meaning to the phrase "shooting the hoops!" With sweatbands on his head and wrists, he's ready for a good workout.
Looking at the female in this set, my first thought was "I bet she's a single mother." This is Lakeesha Benjamin who has dropped out of high school to bring up her baby, whom she holds in her right arm. Rather unusually, she is not armed with a pistol, but a snub-nosed revolver, probably a .38 calibre. The small child has been beautifully sculpted, as have all the figures. I suspect that Lakeesha would fight like a tiger to protect her child.
Finally, we come to a guy who has been watching too many John Woo films. This is Floyd Hatton doing his best Chow Yun Fat impression by holding his twin nine mils in a sideways grip. Note that he is wearing a baseball cap (reversed, of course) over his red bandana. He also wears his baggy trousers hanging low to flash the waistband of his Calvin Klein Y-fronts. His obligatory gold bling is in place, so he fits in well with the others.
Verdict? Outstanding miniatures! The best way to describe them is to say that they are all full of attitude and character. There's not a bad sculpt amongst them and they are brilliantly posed. If you want an African-American street gang then these should be your number one choice. I've already used some of these gangstas in my ATZ campaign (they did not fare well against Team Vampifan!) and I'm certain to use them again. 
I bought my three sets of figures from the EM4 website quite a few years ago, which lists them as costing £8.15 per pack of four figures. However, when I checked on their prices today I noticed that two of the sets were out of stock. Fear not if you want them right now, as a few other companies sell them. I did a Google search for them (just type in Bobby Jackson's Thugz) and found that Armorcast in America advertises them.

Sunday 13 March 2011

Foundry Yardie Gangstas

Sticking with the the theme of Gangers to use in your zombie apocalypse games here's a look at two packs of Yardie Gangstas from Wargames Foundry 28mm scale Street Violence range - SV051 Doc Friday's Yardies and SV027 Garfield's Yardies.
At the far left of the two photos above is the leader of this gang, Doctor Reuben Friday. He's a tall dude (he measures 38mm from the sole of his feet to the top of his hat) and he is clearly some sort of voodoo priest. I didn't know much about voodoo, other than what I'd seen in films and TV series until I bought GURPS Voodoo. I bought it for completeness at the time but when I read it, it became one of my favourite supplements for GURPS and I even played an FBI agent who practiced Santera  in my GURPS X-Files campaign. Anyhow, that's all by the by. Doc Friday is not a nice man and he is definitely a practioner of the dark arts. If you want a supernatural explanation for why the dead are returning to life, consider voodoo magic. He could be the big bad behind the apocalypse. Whatever your uses for this figure are, I think he's a great sculpt who just oozes evil intent.
Now we come to his entourage, starting with his most trusted lieutenant, Eugene Mayfield. Eugene is armed with a pump-action shotgun with underslung torch and has a 5.56mm Colt Commando assault rifle slung over his right shoulder. He wears a long leather coat that trails all the way down to the ground. I made him Doc Friday's second in command because he has an alert look about him, plus he is exceptionally well armed.
In the centre of the group is Curtis "Chucky" Brown. He is also armed with a 5.56mm Colt Commando assault rifle. He is dressed in a combination of combat pants and casual clothing and it seems unlikely that he'll ever rise above the rank of foot soldier.
Gideon Downie is the name of the tall guy dressed in faded denims. Just check out the length of his dreadlocks, which run all the way down his back! He is armed with one of my favourite assault rifles - the 7.62mm Heckler and Koch G3. I'm a fan of most Heckler and Koch firearms. Slung over his right shoulder is a disposable rocket launcher, so he's toting some serious firepower!
The only female in this group of figures is called Sharelle Lawrence. I should point out that the names of these Yardie Gangstas are a combination of those given to them by Foundry (either a first name or surname or in the case of Chucky, a nickname) and those that I have added to them. Sharelle, wearing a long leather overcoat and a massive hat is armed with some kind of sniper's rifle fitted with scopesight. I'm afraid I can't identify what make the rifle is as I'm not too knowledgable about sniper rifles. She also has a pistol sticking out of the left side pocket of her overcoat.
At the far left of these next two photos is Garfield Brooks, a muscular brute, who is very heavily armed. Garfield's Yardies could be a rival gang to Doc Reuben Friday's gang but I prefer to use them as all part of the Doc's gang. Garfield's main weapon is a Squad Automatic Weapon and he has plenty of ammo for it draped over his chest and back. His sidearm is a 9mm Heckler and Koch MP5KA5 machine pistol. In addition, he has a dagger tucked into a sheath on his right boot and he has a couple of hand grenades hanging from the back of his belt. He's a one-man army who ought to be able to wipe out a horde of zeds on his own.
Next up is Winston Taylor, a standard foot soldier armed with just a 9mm Heckler and Koch MP5 sub-machine gun. He has a pair of headphones, which are plugged into a large "boom box" that is slung over his right shoulder. At least he has the good sense to listen to his music through his headphones.
Such is not the case with the next Yardie in line, "Jammin' Trevor" Warren. His "boom box" is much bigger than Winston's and he has hoisted it up to his shoulder. His weapon of choice is a variant of the 5.56mm Steyr AUG assault rifle. Note that his dreadlocks are as long as than those on "Chucky." He wears denim dungarees and a denim jacket. His sunglasses have been shoved up to his hairline, presumably to make him look cool.
Delilah Griffiths, the first of two females in this group, was painted as a blonde-haired Caucasian woman on the Foundry website. Not for me, I thought. She has to be a native, dark-skinned Jamaican, just like the rest of the gang. She stands in a relaxing pose, holding a 9mm Heckler and Koch MP5 sub-machine gun. Note that she also has a pistol in a holster strapped to her right thigh. Her fishnet tights are as badly holed as those worn by the Scabies Punks that I reviewed last time and were "painted" using the same method.
Finally, is Rosemary Climbie, a hard-faced woman who is primed ready for action. She holds a katana in her right hand and a 9mm Heckler and Koch MP5KA5 machine pistol in her left hand. You can tell she means business because she has rolled up the sleeves of her long leather coat. Her thigh length leather boots and cropped catsuit are a kinky addition to her wardrobe. I wouldn't want to mess with her!
Each set of five figures costs £10.00 from the Wargame Foundry website. I must admit that I don't know how big a threat the Yardies are in America. Certainly, they are prevalent in the UK, especially in London. Whatever the truth is, I will certainly use them as one of the gangs of Mayhem City in my own ATZ campaign. I'd question whether these are true 28mm scale figures, as they all seem larger than that but they are not too oversized and are well worth checking out.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Foundry Scabies Street Punks

I thought I'd take a look at some more figures who you'd class as Gangers. This bunch of five reprobates are from Wargame Foundry's 28mm scale Street Violence range and are listed as SV013 Scabies Punks.
In most of the Street Violence packs there will usually be one figure much bigger than the others - the brick of the group. This pack is no different and at the far left of my photos is Mongo Smash, who is all muscle and brawn. He is armed with a pair of Desert Eagle pistols, probably in .50 calibre going off the size of them. These are definitely Big Ass Pistols! I'm not sure if you can tell from my photos but he has a small length of chain running from his right ear to his right nostril. It's a nice touch for a punk. He has plenty of spare ammo clips in pouches on his shoulder harness. This guy would not look out of place in a Goliath's gang for Games Workshop's Necromunda sci-fi skirmish game.
The kilt-wearing punk standing next to him is called Rab. I gave him the surname MacDonald because it's a nice Scottish sounding name. He is primarily armed with a sniper's rifle with scopesight. He has a length of heavy chain slung over one shoulder and from it hangs two differnt types of hand grenade and a small teddy bear! Painting the tartan pattern on his kilt was a real pain in the ass but I'm happy with the results even if it isn't an authentic Scottish tartan (which it most probably isn't!).
In the centre of the group is Dougie Judd, whom I have designated as leader of this group. He is armed with the most powerful weapon of the group - a belt-fed Squad Automatic Weapon. He wears a T-shirt with the legend "SCABIES," the name of his gang. His bright green boots look like they could glow in the dark! He looks a lot like Keith Flint, lead singer of the Prodigy.
Next up is the first of the two females of the group - Slash. This stern-looking but shapely young lady is armed with a Heckler and Koch 9mm MP5 sub-machine gun, which is fitted with a shoulder strap. A useful tip for painting fishnet tights is not to paint them but draw them on with a technical drawing pen. I used a Rotring Isograph with a 0.18 nib. The ink dried slightly glossy so when dry I gave her legs a coat of matt varnish. My painting skills are good but there is no way I could have painted the lines of her tights that thin and that consistently.
Finally, is Kat Tyler, who looks to be the youngest of the group. She is also armed with an H&K MP5 SMG, but it appears to be a different variant to that used by Slash. I know that there are a lot of variants of this popular firearm, so that comes as no surprise. Her fishnet tights were done in the same manner as Slash's. I'm not sure if she's wearing that eyepatch as a fashion accessory or if because she has lost her right eye.
These make a nice bunch of well armed punks, who would not be out of place in a game like All Things Zombie. They could possibly work as Survivors but I'm sure most of you would agree that these are Gangers and should be treated as such. This set of five figures costs £10.00 from the Foundry website.

Sunday 6 March 2011

Recreational Conflict Zombies 02

Without further ado here is part two of my review of the Recreational Conflict 28mm scale zombie figures, looking this time at streetpunks, a cop and the clergy.
First in line is a badly chewed up surfer dude zombie. Has he suffered a massive shark bite which has bitten off his left arm and half of his torso or did zombies cause those wounds? You get to decide, folks. My opinion is a combination of the two. I'd say he was bitten by a shark but managed to make it back ashore only to be attacked by a small zombie horde. I like the fact that his surfboard is tied to his left ankle. It could have been smashed in two as he tried to defend himself from the undead or perhaps it was bitten in two by a great white shark. The logo that I painted on says "NO FEAR" or rather would have if the board was intact. A superb figure who would make a great partner for the Hasslefree zombie surfer. Note that he is a two-part casting with the surfboard a separate piece to the body, allowing you to glue it wherever you want.
Next in line is a motor bike ganger who has suffered numerous wounds at the hands and teeth of the living dead. A large chunk of flesh has bitten off the left side of his face. His left hand has been bitten off along with part of his lower left arm. A piece of bone is all that remains of his lower arm. There is a deep wound in his stomach, which has bled profusely. I smeared his right hand in blood as if he made a vain attempt to stem the massive blood flow. Finally, he has lost his right boot, although I see no wounds on his legs.
To his left is another zombie biker, sporting an impressive beard and moustache and a German WW1 army helmet - a pickelhaube, I believe it is called. I couldn't find any visible wounds on this figure, so maybe he died of natural causes. Even so, I couldn't resist adding some blood to him so I smeared his right hand in TCR (Tamiya Clear Red), which you should know by now is my favourite paint for gore effects.
The last of this group is called Thin Lizzie on the Recreational Conflict website, which is a great name for her. She really is one of the skinniest zombies I've ever seen. It may look like she has no hands but she has. If you look at her from below, you can just see her fingers clenched beneath the coat sleeves. It gives the impression she is wearing a leather jacket taken from or given to her by a much bigger male colleague. It's a great touch. Her one wound is an horrific one to her right leg. Much of the flesh has been stripped away from the front of her leg to reveal the bones. Her face is almost skeleton like, with the skin pulled tight over the skull. She is a very striking zombie.
At the far left of the two photos above is a female sheriff zombie and I'm pleased that sculptor Brian Cooke has made her female. She looks quite small standing next to the priest, or maybe he's just tall. This is one of the things that I like about Recreational Conflict's figures. Not every adult is the same height, which is as it should be. This is another zombie with no visible wounds but I have smeared blood around her mouth, which has dribbled down her chin and neck. Also, I have smeared her hands in blood to show that she has been feasting on some poor victim(s). You could just as easily use her as a zombie security guard.
Now we come to the clergy and first up is the priest, who comes as a two part casting. The large cross that he has been impaled upon is a separate piece. You have the choice to stab him in the chest or in the back. The photo on RC's website shows him stabbed in the back. For me, I wanted him stabbed in the chest. The cross is a tight fit in the hole provided and I had to do a bit of filing to get it fitting perfectly. It is a very unusual concept for a figure, but one that I like a lot. Full marks to Mr. Cooke for originality. There are no other wounds to be found on him. Any figure that tells a story intrigues me and this figure clearly has a story to tell. Namely, why was he stabbed with a large metal cross? Was he stabbed before or after he turned undead?
And so we come to the zombie nun. Zombie nuns have been done before - both Cold War Miniatures and Griffin Miniatures have made them. This one, however, stands out purely for the wound she has suffered. Her right breast has been bitten off. You can see part of her ribcage where her breast should have been. Also, half of her left breast is exposed, showing that she was amply endowed. Some wounds are more horrific than others and this one comes close to topping the gross out chart. As if that wasn't bad enough she has also been bitten in the left leg. R.I.P. poor nun!
Finally, we are treated to another sacrilegious offering - a zombie choirboy. Figures of zombie children are very rare as a lot of sculptors won't sculpt them. I'm glad to see Mr. Cooke has no such scruples. What could be more pure than a young choirboy? Some might argue that to defile something so pure and innocent will ensure that the perpetrator will burn in Hell. So what does that say about me, when I think this is a great miniature that I'm glad to have in my horde. Yeah, I know - I'm a sick puppy! Zombie choirboy has had his right arm ripped off just above the elbow. Such a wound, if done when he was alive, which I assumed he was, would produce a very heavy blood loss, so I have covered vrtually all of his right side in blood. It's clearly visible on his white top but less so on his red under robe.
These are eight more excellent figures that can be bought along with the eight figures I reviewed in my last post for just $36.00. Alternatively, you can buy each figure separately for $2.50 from the Recreational Conflict website. I have held back on buying these for a long time. I wish I hadn't as they are amongst my favourite zombie miniatures. Plus, it has been a real pleasure dealing with Richard Brooks, who runs Recreational Conflict. He is surely one of the good guys in the gaming industry.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Recreational Conflict Zombies 01

It's March already and I haven't reviewed any zombie figures this year. To set this oversight to rights I'm going to review a bunch of zombies from a company that I've not mentioned before - Recreational Conflict, a US based company who produce a fine range of 28mm scale horror figures (zombies, werewolves, civilians, survivors and zombie hunters). To start with, I'm going to look at eight of their hospital zombies, i.e. doctors, nurses and patients.
At the far left of my first two photos is a zombie doctor with a rather unnerving and maniacal grin. I ask myself, what's he got to be so cheerful about? It is so rare to see a zombie smiling so perhaps it is a rictus grin, caused when he died. With his balding head and grey hair he was probably a surgeon or senior consultant. He has a massive hole in the right side of his stomach, so it is abundantly clear how he died.
Next up is probably my favourite zombie out of this batch, the almost headless nurse. Someone has tried to hack her head off but hasn't quite succeeded. Her head is still attached to her neck by a few sinews and a scrap of flesh. She has also lost her right arm, possibly to the same assailant. In the film Land of the Dead, George Romero proved that such a near headless zombie could still pose a viable threat! Because medical staff would be in the front line when the zombie apocalypse kicks off, I have assumed she was attacked whilst she was still human, so such wounds would produce a mass of blood to be spilled, hence I went over the top with the gore on her uniform.
Third in line is the first of two porters. This chunky looking female has what looks more like a headband than a bandage around her head. She has been bitten in the throat and has a hole where her right knee is. I covered her hands in blood as if she made some attempt to stem the blood flow from her neck wound. She is no beauty, despite her wounds but so what? Zombies have no respect for age, beauty or race; they're just after one thing - fresh meat.
Last in line for the hospital workers is a male porter zombie. He has a mid-sized hole in the right side of his torso, which has bled profusely. So again, I assumed he received the wound prior to him becoming another member of the undead. He is tall and lean, the very opposite of his female colleague. It's great to see such a disparity of heights amongst the figures as this truly reflects real life.
Next up are the zombie patients, starting at the far left with the only male patient in the group. By the way, that last photo with all four of them baring their backsides loses any sense of eroticism due to the amount of blood and missing limbs amongst them! Anyway, back to the male, and he has been bitten in the left side of his face and has puncture wounds to his right hip and lower right thigh. More than likely they are all bite wounds. He wears a pair of fluffy slippers, which I painted green.
Second in line is the first of three female patients. I had to look closely to see if she was visibly wounded at all and I found a small bite on her left leg. She, too, wears fluffy slippers, which this time I painted bright orange. They almost look fluorescent!
I had no such problems with determining the wounds of the next zombie in line. Her left arm has been bitten off, leaving a piece of bone clearly visible. She also has a diagonal wound running from her right hip to her left shoulder from which a length of her intestines is dangling. Nasty! She is a very shapely and attractive female and she also wears a headband. Her feet are bare. I like her best of all out of the zombie patients.
Lastly we come to a zombie with an extraordinary sense of balance. By all rights, she should be lying on the ground, trying to drag herself forward with her chin. Her right arm has been bitten off at the elbow; her left arm has been severed at the shoulder and her left leg has been chewed off at the hip. I suppose it is possible that she could stand, if she had some help, but I think I'd have prefered to see her as a zombie crawler, which would have made a lot more sense. I have no complaints against the sculpting of the figure, it is merely the logic of such a pose that I question.
These are a great set of zombie figures and from a scale perspective will fit in well with zombie ranges by the likes of Cold War, Hasslefree and/or Studio. I applaud their decision to make hospital related zombies. More than any other type of building, hospitals will spawn the most amount of zombies as soon as the infection starts to spread and in the early days of the outbreak will only get worse as more victims arrive there, only to succumb to the zombie plague.
You can buy the figures singly at a price of $2.50 each from the Recreational Conflict website or alternatively, you can do what I did and buy a multipack of 16 zombie figures (A Crate of Zombies is what the pack is called) for just $36.00, saving you $4.00 over buying them individually. All 16 figures in the pack are different. Next time on my blog, I'll review the other eight zombies that are available from this range.
On a personal note, I'd like to thank Richard Brooks of Recreational Conflict for keeping in touch with me about the orders and in the speedy delivery of the orders. I received my last parcel of Recreational Conflict figures within six days of ordering them. This was the first time I have ever received a parcel from the USA within a week. Outstanding service and I can only say that it has been a pleasure dealing with Richard. Oh, and the fact that he has visited my neck of the woods just last year earns him massive brownie points from me!