Sunday, 5 July 2015

Zombicide Zombies - Season 2 Toxic Runners 02

Here are the second 8 of my 16 Toxic Zombies from Guillotine Games' Zombicide. Two were freebies I got for backing Zombicide Season 2 on Kickstarter and the rest came from the Box of Zombies - Set #2: Toxic Crowd.
The Runner at the far left of the two photos above and below has not been altered in any way. I even kept the peg below his left foot intact, although I have obscured it with bits of rubble (sand and cat litter).
The second Runner in line has had his peg under his left foot removed and I cut off his left hand. That was such a simple conversion.
For the third Runner in line I removed the peg under his left foot and I drilled three holes in his chest with a pin vice to show he had been shot by someone who didn't realise you have to aim for the head! Once again, this was a very simple conversion. Note that the holes did not go all the way through the body, so from the back he looks unharmed.
For the Runner at the far right of this group I left his support peg on. I bent his right arm at the elbow using the flame from a candle to soften his arm, bending it in shape then dunking the figure in a glass of cold water so that the arm stays in its new position.
Moving on to the second batch of Runners, once again, the first Runner in line has not been modified in any way. The peg under his left foot was coated in sand to make it less smooth looking.
The next Runner in line did have his support peg cut off, as well as his right arm at the elbow. I added a very small piece of Milliput to the stump and used a cocktail stick to draw a circle in the centre of the stump. The inner circle was painted white to represent bone and the rest of the wound was given a coating of Tamiya Clear Red mixed with a drop of Acrylic Black.
The third Runner in line was converted in the same way as the second Runner in line in my first two photos, i.e. his support peg was removed and I cut off his left hand.
For the Runner at the far right I left his support peg under his left foot intact. I bent his right arm so that it is pointing forward instead of down, using the flame and cold water technique described above.
I hope the conversion techniques I have described above shows that converting figures can be easy and can be done by anyone with the minimum of skill. After all, how hard can it be to cut a limb off or drill some holes into a plastic figure? The flame and cold water technique is harder to achieve as it is so easy to get the figure too close to the flame or heat it up for too long. But if the worst comes to the worst, just cut the limb off. These are zombies after all!
Next up - Toxic Walkers.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Zombicide Zombies - Season 2 Toxic Runners 01

Zombies Runners in Zombicide are always a scary proposition because they get to activate twice in a Turn. Toxic Runners are even more scary because if killed in melee combat they explode and their Toxic Spray causes one Wound to their assailant. Here are the first eight of my 16 Toxic Runners.
The first thing I did to all of these figures was to remove the supporting peg beneath their left feet. They are made of hard enough plastic that they don't need it. That was the only modification I made to the two Runners at the far left the photos above and below.
The two Runners at the far right of the two photos above have had body and leg swaps. The bodies are the same as those shown to the far left but the legs are different, as you can easily tell if you notice their bare feet. Body and leg swaps are quite an easy conversion to do. The hardest part is cutting the figure in half. Even though the figures are made of plastic and can be cut with a craft knife, it does take a bit of effort to cut through that much plastic. Once the figures are cut in half I drill a hole in the centre of both parts. I use a small piece of a paperclip cut to size to pin the body to the legs, along with a spot of superglue. It is a simple but effective conversion. Note that I have also cut off their baseball hats that were hanging from their belts. It seemed illogical to keep them when they were already wearing baseball caps on their heads.
Here again, the two Runners at the far left are straight from the box sculpts with just the removal of the peg under their left feet my only modification. I wouldn't call it a conversion.
The two Runners at the far right have had their legs and bodies swapped with the two Runners I showed above in the first two photos.
There is a great sense of movement in the way these figures have been sculpted and you can tell at a glance that they are Runners and not Walkers. I like them.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Vampifan's Views 65 - Monthly Musings 43

Miss Vampirella June 2015 - Kitana Baker
I start this month's musings with another of my favourite Vampirella models - Kitana Baker. She was born in 1977 as Christi Michell Josenhans in Anaheim, California. Keen to get into show business, Kitana began working as a showgirl in local clubs, eventually winning Local Showgirl of the Year 1998 and National Showgirl of the Year 1999 awards along the way. She also began modeling, posing for various magazines and web sites, and caught the attention of Playboy magazine in February 2001. Playboy hired Kitana to work on their network, and she has been a feature of the Playboy empire ever since. She was hired by Harris Comics in 2003 and appeared on the cover of numerous Vampirella magazines between 2003 and 2004. She certainly fills Vampirella's red costume magnificently, which I'm pleased to see that Harris have altered for the better. The costume is perfect and whilst I have absolutely nothing against the gorgeous Kitana, she is just far too busty to be Vampirella. That does not mean that I don't lust after her! She's welcome at my home any time!

This month's gaming news is exciting... well, it is to me! First, I have backed the Zombicide: Black Plague Kickstarter project. That was a no-brainer, obviously. There is still over a week for it to run and it most definitely is going from strength to strength with nearly $2.5 million already pledged. Will it reach $3 million? I hope so.
My second piece of gaming news is that a few days ago I received a small parcel from Studio Miniatures, containing the Survivor and Zombie figures I ordered in their Z-Clipz: Outbreak Kickstarter project. Obviously, with these being Studio Miniatures, they are superbly sculpted. I received about 50 figures and a resin cast wrecked car. The figures are primarily based on characters from popular films and TV series, especially The Walking Dead and George A. Romero's classic zombie film, Dawn of the Dead. Ever since I first saw Dawn of the Dead way back in 1979, I have been waiting for someone to make the four heroes of the film. My patience was finally rewarded when this Kickstarter was launched. Sorry I have no preview photos to show you of the figures I received but they are high on my painting list and I hope to review them soon.
I have been adding to my collection of Zombicide Season 3 stuff by buying a few sets I missed out when I made my initial pledge last year. First up is this boxed set of a Murder of Crowz. It contains 15 stands with each stand containing 6 zombie crows. Anyone who has seen the film, Resident Evil: Extinction will know about zombie crows! I must admit that these figures will be an absolute doddle to paint. Although I received a few of these Crowz with my Kickstarter package, I didn't get any rules or spawn cards for them. Now I do have  them.
I bought all of the Special Guest Sculptor boxed sets of figures that were offered in the Season 3 Kickstarter launch except one. That one was the set you see here to the left. It features four characters from John Kovalic's popular Dork Tower comic series. This series has been running since 1997 and features a group of nerdish gamers whom most of us will recognise from our own gaming groups. I passed on this set because the figures are so cartoonish. I didn't see how I could use them in any realistic game, especially one as dark in tone as Zombicide. But the more I looked at them, the more I realised I wanted them. Yes, I am a Zombicide fanboy. I admit it! It did bug me that I was missing a set. So, when I saw them on offer on eBay with the Buy Now option my willpower collapsed and I bought them. I am now a happy bunny. I already have a few scenarios in mind that should be ideal for them. I see no reason not to inject a bit of fun into the game.
Now some of you might be thinking I bought them because they look like Chibi miniatures. Wrong! They may be cartoon characters but they most definitely are NOT Chibi characters. John Kovalic has placed a huge backlog of Dork Tower cartoon strips on his website here - http://www.dorktower.com/ which I have thoroughly enjoyed going through. Yep, I read them all... although not in one sitting! I happen to know that John does a lot of work for Steve Jackson Games so I did a search to see just exactly what he had done. I saw that there was a Dork Tower boardgame, which didn't interest me, and set of 28mm scale metal figures to go with the game, which did interest me. Sadly, the figures were out of stock and out of production, but a quick search on eBay revealed a seller living just a couple of miles away from where I live with a set for sale at the ridiculously low price of £6.95. What a bargain! I leapt on it. This time the characters are dressed in fantasy garb and I plan to use them in an offbeat game of Zombicide: Black Plague sometime in 2016. As soon as I get both sets painted up I'll review them.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Zombicide Zombies - Season 2 Toxic Fatties 02

Following on from my last post, here are the rest of my Zombicide Toxic Fatties. The first three, going from left to right, came from the Box of Zombies - Set #2: Toxic Crowd. The other two were freebies I received for backing Zombicide Season 2 on Kickstarter. Please note that four of these are different sculpts to the sculpts found in the Toxic City Mall expansion set.
The first four Fatties in my photos are the new sculpts. They look very similar to the original sculpts and you can do a comparison with the Fatty at the far right. A closer look reveals that their T-shirts are not as badly torn, they lack spikes on their shoulders and they carry a bottle in their right hands. The two at the far left are unconverted. For the one in the middle I bent his left arm at the elbow so that it points forward instead of to the side. This was done using the flame and cold water technique I described last time. For the Fatty standing second from the right, I chopped his right hand off and added a small piece of Milliput to the stump to show a bone poking through the wound and to create a jagged edge to the wound, indicating his hand had been bitten off not sliced off.
The Fatty at the far right had a hole drilled into his neck to represent a gunshot wound. It's not an obvious conversion and if you didn't know it was there you could easily overlook it. This gives me a total of nine Toxic Fatties, which is quite a frightening amount. As I said last time, I had a lot of fun painting these obese monsters.
By the way, Box of Zombies - Set #2: Toxic Crowd also contains new sculpts of a couple of Walkers and comes with 24 figures plus 6 Toxic Zombie Spawn cards. You can still purchase this set. I've just checked and Amazon UK have it in stock for £15.52 instead of the RRP of £19.99.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Zombicide Zombies - Season 2 Toxic Fatties 01

This is the 600th post of my blog, which is quite an amazing achievement. Yay! :-)
I suppose it should be marked in some special way but I'm not going to. Sorry! :-(
Instead, I'm going to showcase some of my Toxic Fatties from the Zombicide Season 2 expansion set, Toxic City Mall.
Toxic Zombies are disgusting creatures and are easily recognisable by their multiple spikes and profusion of boils that cover their bodies. The first three Fatties in my photos are straight out of the box figures. Only my paintwork distinguishes them from one another.
For the Fatty at the far right of my photos I bent his right arm at the elbow by briefly holding the arm over the flame from a candle. Whilst it was pliant I bent it into a new position and then immediately dunked the figure into a glass of cold water. This set the arm in its new position. He now looks like he is clutching his stomach. It is a very simple conversion. Just be careful not to hold the figure too close to the flame and for no longer than ten seconds.
I really like these figures. They are beautifully sculpted and very detailed, which made them a lot of fun to paint. For the most part they were painted with the Army Painter Zombicide paints from the Zombie Core Paint Set and the Zombie Toxic/Prison Paint Set. I like these paints a lot but not quite as much as my Foundry paints. For the gore effects I used a mix of the Zombicide Glistening Blood with a smidgeon of Zombicide Dead Black (any acrylic black paint would do) and a lot of Tamiya Clear Red (the best paint on the market for doing gore effects). Painting gore is always the last thing I paint on my figures and I must admit, it is the part I enjoy the most!