Friday, 15 November 2013

Base Urges.

This guy's spotted the chopper...
but where is he?
The zombie apocalypse will take place in our urban centres, the city streets will witness the mass transition of humanity into undeath...

With this in mind I've been scouring the growing selection of urban style resin bases on the market.
There's an excellent selection of many common urban paving styles that should work together with a uniform paint job.

I want to achieve a generic modern urban look as the overall base theme with contemporary street furniture; paving, kerbs, grills etc. Add to this a dash of urban disrepair and damage to tie into the post-apocalyptic feel. Humanities initial resistance of tanks and nukes legitimately opens up the world of 'war torn' bases; at least that's my excuse!

I'd also like to achieve a variety of suggested environments from suburbia to the high street, car parks, play grounds, motorways and shopping centres, covering both the freshly abandoned and the utterly decimated.

Looking beyond the urban base there are numerous scrap yard and rubble themed bases that could provide a cool urban waste land counter point to all that regular paving. There are some cool industrial / sci-fi ones out there that could also spice things up. There's always the grave yard option of course, I don't think I'll be able to resist picking up or making a few!!

The themed basing could be used to visually define different groups within the horde, kind of like factions / units with their own specific environments. A minor subtlety but the horde would look pretty cool displayed with the zombies sprawling across a detailed and characterful landscape.

I'm looking for round bases in a good variety of sizes from 25 - 120mm + to have a composite horde of individuals, small groups and seething mobs.

Of the many manufacturers available, the following sites offer products that immediately fit the brief.

Antenocitis Workshop have a great selection including some generic modern paving slab 25mm bases in 3 slab sizes both flat and with assorted kerbs, grills and covers.

616 designs have a small square cobble size paving with damage that complements the smaller size Anenocitis paving .

Micro Arts Studio produce some excellent near future bases with litter and street paraphernalia.

Escenorama have a cool contemporary urban range in 25,40 and 60mm with lots of nice litter and detailing.

Tiny Worlds have an excellent damaged tar mac set in 25, 40 and 60mm.

Dragon Forge have the best selection of larger urban bases, 25, 40, 60, 80 & 120!! Really nice bases with great detail.

Anvil Industries have a City Rubble range in 25, 40 and 60mm.

To add to the theme of urban squalor Black Cat Bases have some street litter, wheelie bins and bin bags and a couple of rats! They also have some nice tools, (axe, hammer, wrenches etc) as props for bases, abandoned in terror or dropped perhaps in a valiant last stand. There are some nice zombie mechanic miniatures out there too and a tool of their trade, discarded at their feet would be a narrative touch. Thinking about it, a work tool could make a decent replacement for the scythes and fantasy weapons on various miniatures that I need to convert.

As an old skool zombie 'purist' I don't want these zombies to retain enough intelligence to use any tool or weapon meaningfully. I'll accept a severed limb (most manufacturers offer one) inadvertently used as a blugeon or an item they used to defend themselves with before turning and still clutch onto in rigor mortis!!

Anyhow the time has come to consider basing some of these rotters up so a point and click shopping trip is on the cards.

Any suggestions or ideas on themes, ranges and manufacturers would be totally appreciated.

Time to hit the streets!!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Fresh Meat... of the taxonomic by-products of the Apocalypse Survivors kit. These are the 'freshly turned', the most recent victims of the epidemic, still gripped by rigour mortis and relatively clean, fresh and intact (except for Bob here who was crying out for a mild evisceration).

The great majority of zombie miniatures are by convention and necessity monstrous, rotted and demonic caricatures. This is after all what we're paying for however the horde would certainly contain a good few who had died from a scratch, heart attack or other invisible cause and turned before they could be eaten.Get Adobe Flash player
 Some of the Apocalypse Survivor 'average Joe' heads are well detailed and quite characterful and fit nicely on the Studio Minis plastic torso, giving you a relatively healthy looking specimen.
A range of sickly pallors should prevent these guys from looking too buff.

The normality of these characters should help to dilute the fantasy aesthetic a little while lending the more 'horrific' sculpts some context and credibility. Also, easy bonus zombies!!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

No Survivors...

As soon as I set eyes on the Wargames Factory kit Apocalypse Survivors: The Men  the blatant potential for contemporary zombie fodder was irresistible.

You get 30 minis per box, 10 per sprue including 8 one part torso/legs, 1 leg with separate torso and a one part juvenile torso/legs (addressing a definite gap in the undead market).

The combined stances of the torsos and legs cover a broad range of dynamics to accommodate the wielding of cricket bats and assault rifles. These same stances out of context provide some fabulous and unique zombie gaits with the simple addition of suitable arms (Studio Miniatures provide an excellent match and fit) and heads (the Mantic ones are pretty much spot on). The Puppets War and MaxMini heads really bring out the zombie potential of this kit; the Rastafarian heads by Basiks also make for pretty menacing undead.
Oddly enough Basiks have zombified versions of these heads but they seem a little 'forced', I'll probably pick some up though.
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There's a good variety of body shapes and the clothing gives a solid cross section of contemporary fashion from professional to sports/casual. The sculpts are fantastic with convincing posing and crisp detail, certainly a quantum leap from their zombies kit. In fact I would say that this kit (in combination with Studio Mini's arms and your zombie heads of choice) arguably produces some of the best modern zombies available on the market!! Oh the irony...

The only issue for me were the arms. They are very smooth skinned and sculpted in specific open handed poses that don't immediately lend  themselves to a convincing zombification. The arms from the Studio Minis zombies are an excellent match however and all my spares got munched by this kit!

These guys were a joy to put together, a minimum of flash, nice big flat joints for gluing / pinning and good big flat feet that will make basing a breeze. Perfect zombie fodder.
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As a bonus the weapons sprue provides an arsenal of modern weaponry that can be left strewn on bases or assembled into abandoned caches. After all, there are no survivors...

Now to pick up some  'Apocalypse Survivors: The Women' to help level out the gender inequality in the horde so far. Hopefully they don't all have the 'just stepped out of the salon' look to them that curses the otherwise excellent Zombie Vixens!! I'm guessing that arms will be a problem here too, maybe the Zombie Vixens will lend a hand...