Sunday, 29 May 2011

Corpses 03

Well, it has certainly been an interesting week. I was all ready to post this review on Wednesday of last week when I found I had three nominations for a Stylish Blogger Award. I couuldn't possibly ignore them and had to respond. I think I ended up with seven nominations, which is just so heart-warming and gratifying. It's not only been a rewarding week for me, but also for a lot of other zombie fan bloggers. Well done to everyone.  My friend, Mikko, who runs the Dawn of the Lead blog responded to a comment that I left on his site "New blogs have sprung up like crazy, and blogs like yours and mine are already starting to feel like established, old-timer affairs. How crazy is that!"  I know the feeling! Here I am, in my third year of blogging, and already I feel like one of the founding members. Crazy, indeed!
Anyway, back to normal now with my third look of figures of corpses. I was recently digging through my collection of swaps of Horrorclix 35mm figures when I spotted a bunch of figures just ripe for converting into corpses. My first lot of Horrorclix corpses came from the original set. These five that I'm reviewing today are from the Freakshow expansion set.
At the far left of the photo above is a dead fire-eater. I cut off the flame coming out of his mouth and the jar he held in his right hand. By holding the figure over a lighted match, I was able to bend his limbs slightly so that he lay flat. I gave the flesh parts of his body a liberal wash of Citadel Baal Red ink wash to indicate he is a burns victim. He was a very easy conversion to do.
Next line is the zombie ventriloquist. He was also a very easy conversion. I cut off his right arm holding his dummy and remodelled the arm with Milliput modelling putty so that it appeared he was clutching his stomach. You don't have to be a good sculptor to do this, as most of his arm is hidden from view due to his position. I twisted his feet slightly using the matchstick method. You just need to hold the figure over the flame at the point you want changing (in this case, his ankles) for a couple of seconds for the heat to soften the plastic. I drilled a small hole in his forehead and a much larger hole in the back of his head. You can't beat a head shot for killing zombies!
In the centre of this group is a vampire roustabout aka the circus strongman. He was a much tougher conversion. It took me a while to decide if he worked best as a corpse lying facedown or on his back. In the end, I went for lying on his back. First thing I did was remove the hammer from his hands. Then I had to make a V-cut where his left leg met the hip to bend his left leg back. The V-shaped groove was filled with Milliput. I made a number of similar cuts on his arms and neck. I cut parts of his denim jacket away and added Milliput to the small of his back to help him lie flat but I was still having trouble with his arms and head. I had a sudden "lightbulb moment" when I realised if his head and arms were resting on something, like for example, a paving stone he'd lie flat. So I cut off a small piece of plastic sprue from some model I had close at hand and stuck it in place behind his head and arms at the elbow joints. Perfect! It worked a treat and he now lies flat without any gaps showing beneath him. A job well done! I finished him off by drilling a small hole just to the side of his left eye.
Fourth in line is Carny. He held a big lollipop in his left hand, as if offering it to someone, but he held an even bigger knife in his right hand, which he hid behind his back. I removed the knife and the lollipop. I made a few V-cuts in his legs at the knee joints and hip joints to get his legs lying flat. His arms were repositioned by slightly heating them. I used the same method to twist his head to one side. Unfortunately, you can't see my favourite bit of his conversion. I sculpted on spools of intestines spilling from a massive stomach wound. From the angle I have photographed him, which is how he'll appear in most situations, he looks like he could just be sleeping. Anyone turning him over is going to get one hell of a shock!
Finally, is the corpse of a circus knife thrower. He needed quite a bit of work done to get him to lie flat. I had to cut a large V shape out of his upper right leg at the hip joint. I completely cut of his right arm. I removed the hatchet he was holding in his left hand and almost cut off the knife in his right hand. The reason that I didn't is that by leaving it in place it gave me two anchor points to attach his arm to the body - at the right shoulder and right knee. This gave his arm a stronger bond when glued in place. He was another figure to have a small hole drilled in his forehead followed by a larger hole in the back of his head.
It took me a day to convert them and they were a lot of fun to do. Next time I play an ATZ scenario I'll be sure to include them on the gaming board. I have a window of opportunity for the next chapter of my ATZ campaign in the middle of June, which isn't that far away, so look out for another batrep soon.


  1. An odd observation for you, make of it what you will. Casualties found face down tend to have died more or less instantly (by which I mean true instant kills as well as those who died from wounds without ever regaining consciousness).

    On the other hand, casualties who remained (or regained) consciousness after being wounded but who later succumbed to their injuries tend to be found face up.

  2. Nice work Bryan!
    As you know I really like to convert the clix but I don't like to use live fire to soften the miniatures ( I've got an "oddly" shaped wastebasket in my room to remind me to don't play with fire anymore.. And a garden table too.. and a plastic chair.. but I digress ;P ) and I've learned that the best technique to bend (or straighten) them is to dump the miniature in hot (very hot) water for about ten seconds, reposition it and dump it in cold (very cold) water, the miniature will keep the new shape... Obviously I'm talking of soft plastic miniatures like the clics and star wars ones. For a real conversion however, the techniques you used for the rustabout are the best imho... :)
    Hope this helps..
    Talking about corpses, I'm looking for a Ripper victim, I just loved how you painted yours! :)

  3. Great stuff, well done on all the nominations by the way!!

  4. @Dangerous Brian. That really is fascinating! I'm not sure either how useful it will be knowing that but a great piece of knowledge, and thanks for sharing.

    @Gnotta. For heating up soft plastic figures, like the Clix ones, I often used to hold them over the flame of a candle and I can honestly say I have never had any accidents of any kind, i.e. leaving a figure under the flame too long or letting it get too close to the flame, or Heaven forbid, setting light to something.
    A good tip, is to keep a cup of water nearby, As soon as I have twisted the figure into the shape I want, I immediately dunk it into a cup of cold water. This helps harden it instantly. Sometimes, after I had repositioned a limb or whatever over the flame it sprang back to its original position before it had a chance to cool down. All I'd say is, if you're working with fire then be extra vigilant and careful. For these conversions, because they were so minimal, I stuck a match in a piece of Blu-Tac so I could use one hand to hold the figure and the other to reposition it. i only needed the flame to burn for about three seconds.
    Finding a suitable victim for a Ripper victim is going to be more of a struggle as I'm not very familiar with what's available for a Victorian setting. I am, of course, assuming you are talking about the original Jack the Ripper.

    @Ray. Many thanks, my friend.

  5. Good ideas on these. I really need to do some dead bodies lying around like this.

    New blogs popping up all the time. Yes...let us see for how long... To have maintained a blog for over 3 years is quite an achivement! (Which I hope to do as well)

  6. Ohhh, I definitely need some corpse! :D

    Like them, just the second from left, the feet are a bit odd... but maybe is just the photo! :D

  7. @Johnny. Well, it is all thanks to you that these five got made!

    As for new blogs popping up - I'm all for it, but will they have the staying power? I've noticed a few newcomers who arrived with good intentions but who have now fallen by the wayside. I do hope that both our blogs are around for a lot longer than 3 more years. Then I really will feel like an old man!

    @Zerloon. I'm sure that you and gnotta could come up with something mutually beneficial. Hmmm, maybe the zombie ventriloquist twisted his ankle(s) before he was put down for good. To be honest, he looks okay in real life.

  8. Brian, nice conversions, I especially like the second one from the left who looks like he is riddled with bullet holes, and the cherry on the cake would have to be the bullet lobotomy he recieved from some survivor, outstanding.

    @Dangerous Brian - Strangely enough I knew these facts, after having played so many shoot'em ups (pc game)this is a common occurance ingame, nice facts.

  9. @The Extraordinarii. Thanks. That zombie ventriloquist you mentioned is riddled with holes. It's how he was sculpted. I simply added an extra one to show he'd been head shot.

  10. Nicely mashed up. Hey have you checked out the comp on 'Tell Us About Your Character' (in 400 words or less). It's a cute diversion. Mine's on 'Plastic Zombie'

  11. @Irqan. I hadn't seen that comp but I have read your entry on your blog. Best of luck in the comp. You'll find I've joined your list of followers and I've added a link to your site as well. We zombie bloggers have to stick together. There's safety in numbers!

  12. Safety in numbers against Zombies....
    I don't need to run faster than zombies, only need to run faster than you... ;P
    eh eh eh...

  13. And given how unfit and how out of shape I am you want have to try very hard! LOL! Basically... I'm screwed!

  14. Gnotta - That's all well and good until round 2 - in which there is +1 zombie, and it's your buddy!

    Awesome work Bryan - To me you absolutely are a one of the founding fathers of Zombie gaming.

    Following Irqan now too, thanks for pointing it out.

  15. Hi, I have the same character HorrorClix (The Circus Strongman), and not to do with him because he has bent the handle of the hammer and he is very ugly, I like you are falling bodies, I hope to see on the streets in a report to do, Greetings from Argentina!

  16. @Adam. Good point. I go down, I come back as a zombie! I couldn't possibly see me coming back as a Rager - I'm too slow for them, they'd kick me out and relegate me to the slow moving shamblers. LOL!
    I certainly feel like one of the founding fathers. I think Mikko and LTL Dad might have been here before me but I'm not bothered who was first. I'm just here to have some fun and to share my love of the hobby.
    I like to promote new talent so I'm glad you're following Irqan now. Others take note. There's a newbie on the block so let's show him some support.

    @Jhon Sebastian. Greetings to you. I'm glad you told me you hail from Argentina as I was wondering what nationality you were. This is what i love about the internet - like-minded people from across the globe coming together to share a common interest.

  17. Thank you very much for the comment, here in Argentina are a few guys that we played, we have various rules and we adapt all the games so there is more interesting. once a month we get together at a club in Buenos Aires to play. It is comforting to see people so dedicated to the hobby and like you inspire me to continue because there is so much to invent and is great fun, in my blog I have several photos of what I am painting and making daily.

  18. @Pool Fool. Welcome to my blog and thanks. Cool name, by the way!

    @Jhon Sebastian. That is excellent. I love all of the THW games because they cater for the solo gamer, like me, but I'd far rather play with a bunch of friends. It's good to hear that you are part of a gaming group. I wish I was!

  19. Hay buddy,

    Long time no speak as you know lol

    As you know real life has got in the way of my own blog for ages now, let along having the time to follow other peoples blogs. But as you can see ive got a rare moment to check out your blog. And WoW... so glad i did, Greeeeat stuff my friend!!! Loving the dead zombies!!! Just had to stop and say how great they are.

    Keep up they great work!


  20. @Steve. It's so nice to hear fom you again. Real life can be a total bitch, but don't worry, I understand how it is. I'm glad you liked my latest batch of corpses. I have plans for more so keep watching.