Saturday 28 October 2023

Zomtober: Leading From The Back

As my final Zomtober post of this year I present my final group of Walking Dead: All Out War miniatures.

who should be somewhat more recognisable than much of my recent work as most of them high profile leaders in the comics and the TV series...and one of them is a tiger.

The also represent the last of my backlog for the game, meaning that I've met my main target for the month and cleared a good chunk of miniatures, meaning that getting back into Zomtober has been a roaring success.

First up, and perhaps most familiar is Negan, the big bad of The Walking Dead, leader of the Saviours and played with scenery-chewing gusto by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

As this model is based on the comic version of the character, it's lacking the more familiar moustache and red scarf, but is still weidling the viscous 'Lucille', Negan's barbed-wire wrapped baseball bat.

Interestingly, Negan is to some extent the reason why I gave up on both the TV show and the comics as he represents the point when it stops really being about surviving the zombie apocalypse and becomes about people being vile to one another.

Your mileage may vary but the infamous scene where Negan is introduced was the moment the story lost me. I struggled through one more season of Negan being an indestructible end of level boss.

It's a personal taste thing, but I'm just not keen on cruelty as entertainment.

Next up is the arguably equally famous Michonne, Wandering ronin of the apocalypse and head of the Dora Milaje in Wakanda.

This model is not actually from Mantic Games but is actually a metal sculpt from Hasslefree Miniatures. This is because I got a free game card with Tabletop Gaming Magazine and buying Michonne separately worked out cheaper.

Abraham is the larger than life leader of a small group on a misguided mission that join Rick's group between the prison and Atlanta. In the comics he takes on Tyreese's role as Rick's right-hand man and the group's muscle.

In the TV show he was one of the victims of the introduction of Negan, even though that isn't his fate in the comics, doubling the horror of that scene.

Abraham and Began were available through Mantic Points and so I used bits of card cut off other boxes to send off for them for only the price of postage. I really like the Mantic Points system, it reminds me of how I got the Star Wars figures for Dengar and Nien Nunb when I was a kid.

This is the version of Maggie, eventual leader of the Hilltop Colony, at the prison after she's cut her hair (due to cleanliness) and used prison garb to make clothing.

She's actually the only character I have from the prison releases of the game and so she's less likely to get used than most of the figures unless I start hunting down OOP miniatures for the rest of the game.

I think I have her because she was bought as a gift 

Finally we have Ezekiel, leader of the Kingdom, and his tiger Shiva.

I think Ezekiel might have been part of the same release as Maggie. I'm not sure why he was released so early in the wave schedule well before the character appeared in the narrative, but I suspect it was due to the character turning up on the TV show around that time.

Ezekiel was probably one of my favourite miniatures to paint in the range as it's a very clean and simple sculpt with good definition. I enjoyed adding the stars to his waistcoat.

Shiva was a bit more tricky. Tiger stripes are hard at the best of times but most of this model is smooth with no fur texture to work with. However, one of the benefits of tiger stripes is that they are quite good at camouflaging things (I shouldn't really be surprised at that) and so ultimately it's worked out fine.

So that's Zomtober and another project done. I'm really pleased that I was promoted to rejoin the annual event as it has really given me motivation to get some other projects wrapped up.

Acquired: 90
Painted: 254
Lead Mountain: 437

Sunday 22 October 2023

Zomtober: It's not easy being Greenes

Zomtober continues to push me to complete the remaining unpainted miniatures I have for The Walking Dead: All Out War from Mantic Games.

Most of these miniatures relate to the Miles Behind Us expansion, which focuses on the adventures of Rick's group of survivors after they leave Atlanta but before they get to the prison.

Last week I focused on Tyreese and his family who joined the group before their ill-fated arrival at Wiltshire Estates. This week we encounter another group of survivors: the Greene family.

Prior to the arrival of the Atlanta survivors, the inhabitants of the Greene Family Farm seem to be coping with the apocalypse fairly well. Admittedly, Shawn Greene (who you get to meet in the Tell Tale Games mobile game, which is really good) had been bitten and was currently locked in the barn with other passing zombies, but the Greenes had a system and were surviving.

Until Rick and friends arrive...

Lacey and Arnold Greene are the eldest children of the family and are both sceptical about the wisdom of letting Rick's group stay and are fairly hostile to the Atlanta survivors.

This hostility seems to be justified as the accidental release of the zombies in the barn, caused by the Atlanta groups target practice, cost both of them their lives.

Otis and Patricia are farmhands who sought refuge with the Greenes and turn out to be problematic characters.

Otis accidentally shoots Carl, which is how the group find the farm, and turns out to be more than a little racist. However, he is also the cause of Michonne joining the group.

Patricia, Otis's ex, seems to have a thing for prisoners and ends up siding with them twice, once in really bizarre circumstances where she releases a known killer who has BEHEADED members of the group (more on that later) to stop the group from killing him.

Neither Otis nor Patricia survive the fight with the Woodbury militia when the Governor attacks the prison.

Billy, Rachel and Susie are the youngest members of the family and like Otis and Patricia, meet their ends in the prison, although in very different manners.

Billy turns out to be a very useful and helpful member of the group. He's a very good shot and acts as a sniper in the battle with the Governor, where he is killed.

Susie and Rachel are fairly ancillary to the story until their deaths. You remember I mentioned some members of the group being beheaded?


The decision by Mantic to make them into one model is an interesting one. They are never seen apart in the comic and it seems a good way to include them for completeness without wasting two sculpts on characters who can't do much. It does, however, prevent them being used in many other games.

Maggie and Herschel are they two best known characters from the Greene family.

Herschel is a vet and so has medical knowledge that proves essential in saving Carl's life. He also presents an interesting ideological counter to Rick and the Atlanta group's philosophy. I preferred the version of him in the TV show, but neither version makes it out of the prison, both killed by the Governor.

Maggie is the true survivor of the group and was still alive when I gave up on both the comic and the TV show. She has a genuine character arc and I think qualifies as one of the most significant characters in the franchise.

Now that I've painted the Greenes, I think I might go back to the Miles Behind Us scenarios and play through them as The Walking Dead: All Out War is one of the best solo games I've played.

I've not mentioned how I painted them as it's all pretty much contrast and washes doing the work. Not my best work but I'm just pleased to be getting through a good chunk this week - especially as I've been buying stuff for the next leg of the Quest of the Ringbearer campaign.

Acquired: 86
Painted: 248
Lead Mountain: 439

Saturday 14 October 2023

Zomtober: Survivors?

Given that I'm now out of zombies...erm...I mean 'walkers' for The Walking Dead and turn my attention to some characters who can only loosely be described as survivors: Tyreese, Julie and Chris.

In the comics, Tyreese, his daughter Julie and her boyfriend Chris meet the main group of survivors on their way out of Atlanta and stay with them...well...for the rest of their lives.

SPOILER ALERT: To put it bluntly, the rest of their lives isn't that long as they've all popped their clogs by the time the group leaves the prison.

I've kept all three models quite simple when it comes to painting due to the fact that they are based on the comic books rather than the TV show and so respond quite well to a simple approach.

Julie's death will not be too much of a surprise for those that read my last blog entry given the fact that it featured a zombie version of her.

She dies when whilst alone with her boyfriend, Chris, he shoots prematurely...

...his gun, he shoots his gun you filthy animals.

It's a suicide pact that goes wrong and after killing Julie, Chris then has to shoot her again when she reanimates.

I found painting Julie awkward as there's not really much to get hold of. The way she's clutching her coat made painting her jumper a bit tricky to and her features lack definition. I prefer her as a zombie.

Chris' doesn't last long after the double murder of his girlfriend. Tyreese had never liked the arrogant young man and when he kills Julie twice, Tyreese snaps and strangles Chris to death.

I like this miniature as it has character. The glasses offer a clear difference with most of the other characters and I like the detail that he's still wearing a tie after the world has ended.

Unfortunately, I don't get to paint him twice as there isn't a zombie version of Chris. This is because after being strangled to death, the zombified version of him is brutally mutilated by Tyreese before it can get up and then burned.

Tyreese is a much more significant character and becomes one of the leaders of the survivor group and close friend of Rick. Unfortunately he is beheaded by the Governor's men just before their attack on the prison.

The model seems a bit weirdly bulked out but this is because Tyreese is an ex-NFL Linebacker and is wearing his pads under his coat.

In the TV show Tyreese, who arrives with his sister rather than his daughter, lasts significantly longer than his comic counterpart. However, Tyreese's bravery and capability were significantly downplayed and he was part of the much criticised  one-in-one-out approach the show seemed to have to black male characters.

With Tyreese's group added to my list of short term survivors, I'm going to turn my attention to the next group of soon-to-be-walkers Rick meets, the Greene family.

Acquired: 83
Painted: 241
Lead Mountain: 444

Sunday 8 October 2023

Zomtober: Proper Zombies

 ...well, actually they're 'walkers', apparently.

One of the many reasons I decided to take part in Zomtober again was to make some inroads into the remaining Walking Dead miniatures I have lying around.

Much as The Walking Dead: All Out War is a really good game with a really good miniature line, I fell out of love with the franchise when it became more about people fighting people rather than survival. As such I never really got past wave two of the game and ended up dropping it before Mantic did. 

And so I still have a bunch of wave two miniatures to paint. It's mainly the Greene family and some other notable characters from the series. However, I thought I'd begin with the last few walkers.

This one is actually a named zombie, and the name is Julie.

What do you mean, "who?"

Julie is Tyreese's daughter in the comic and as you can probably guess, doesn't make it. She didn't make it into the TV series either, possibly because of some of the themes surrounding her death being a bit much even for The Walking Dead.

One of the things I really like about the range of zombies for this game is that they are all unique sculpts...except this one.

Mantic had a period of giving out miniatures for this game at events and there were usually only two sculpts available, a male and a female walker.

I've ended up with three of the female zombies and so even though I've made sure they have different skin, hair and clothes, I just need to ensure they never stand together.

The final member of this trip is this gruesome chap. There's not much to say other than I do enjoy slopping the best named paint in the world about: Blood for the Blood God.

I think following this much of my focus for the rest of Zomtober will be on survivors, and given that I've already done dead Julie I think I'll start with Tyreese, Julie and her boyfriend Chris.

Acquired: 83
Painted: 238
Lead Mountain: 447

Thursday 5 October 2023

Zomtober: A Zombie By Any Other Name...

As I mentioned in the last post, I'm returning to participating in the annual Zomtober blogging event in which participants paint at least on zombie or survivor each week during the month of October.

I'm hoping to do more that just a single model or even single post each week if I can and so this might just be my first submission of the week.

I've been known to stretch the definition of what qualifies as a zombie previously and so I thought that this year I'd back up my claims  with the Oxford English Dictionary, which reads thusly:

noun: zombie; plural noun: zombies

  • a corpse said to be revived by witchcraft, especially in certain African and Caribbean religions.
  • (in popular fiction) a person or reanimated corpse that has been turned into a creature capable of movement but not of rational thought, which feeds on human flesh."a world overrun by zombies"
  • a person who is or appears lifeless, apathetic, or completely unresponsive to their surroundings.
  • a hypothetical being that responds to stimulus as a person would but that does not experience consciousness.
  • a computer controlled by another person without the owner's knowledge and used for sending spam or other illegal or illicit activities.
  • a cocktail consisting of several kinds of rum, liqueur, and fruit juice.
As you can see, there's a fairly large amount of leeway on what exactly constitutes a zombie. So let's get on with the excuses.

So you'll have noticed that this large bat-like creature is a vampire, not a zombie. However, I would argue that a vampire qualifies as "a reanimated corpse that has been turned into a creature...which feeds on human [blood]."


Okay, this one isn't a zombie, even though he's dead.

The miniature is from Crooked Dice and is one of the villainous co-stars in the Vlad's Army feature pack, which I'm going to get round to playing at some point, I think I have almost everything I need, although I might need to rebase some bats.

In terms of painting I kept things incredibly simple, just using Wyldwood contrast paint over Grey Seer and then giving it a gentle drybrush to highlight.

You might notice that the base is a little Venetian for the English countryside, and that's because I intend to give him a second life in my procured strigoi force in Carnevale as a monstrous Stryzga, which I believe is a vampire that has been fed only on lunatics and other vampires.

These next miniatures have been cobbled together using bits from various Frostgrave sprues after it dawned on me that I could use the sprues I had to create a few more models for my Freedom Force project.

I'm quite pleased with my ingenuity to be honest.

They were painted simply with Kantor Blue or Emperor's Children drybrushed over a black base and the skin was done simply with Skeleton Horde contrast paint.

They are actually my attempt at Dark Men, the mind controlled and disfigured minions of Shadow. The come in two varieties, Purple and Blue. Purple Dark Men have the power to disappear and attack from the shadows whilst Blue Dark Men add lightning bolts to the mix.

Do they count as zombies?

Well, due to being mind controlled they are not capable of rational thought; their shambling gait and pallid skin makes them appear lifeless; the attack as a horde and they live amidst a subterranean ruined (almost apocalyptic) version of Patriot City created by Shadow.

So they are sort of zombies. Metaphorical zombies? Zombie-like?

Well, they at least look enough like zombies to be used as such, so I'm saying they count.

I still might try to get a proper zombie done before the weekend as insurance. Not that the zombie police will be round if I don't.

Acquired: 83
Painted: 235
Lead Mountain: 450

Sunday 1 October 2023

Zomtober: The Time of Terror

It's that time of year that people who massively overplay the significance of Halloween annoyingly refer to as 'Spooky Season' which the rest of us call October.

It's also the time of Zomtober, a small annual event involving a few miniature gaming blogger (blogger who focus on miniature gaming, not gaming blogger who are very small) painting something zombie related each week.

I've not participated since 2019 (not sure why) and the event has dwindled a bit, however, long time Zomtoberer Blax Kleric has decided to... er...reanimate the event and I thought I'd go along for the ride.

Okay, I know, they're not zombies, well one of them could be, possibly, or is at least zombie-adjacent.

However, I only saw the post about Zomtober yesterday and these were what I'd finished. Also, long time readers will know that I have a habit of stretching the boundaries of what counts as a zombie somewhat.

So let's start there...

This is the Hessian, a Supers Unlimited miniature from Kitbash Games that I picked up from a small Kickstarter last year (?). It was actually the only miniature I got from the Kickstarter as I wanted to support the company but couldn't see an immediate use for the rest of the releases.

However, should I change my mind, Kitbash Games have an Esty site where their range can be bought.

It's a really cool miniature with a really nice sculpt that only required a minimal amount of cleaning up. The hands come separately and interestingly mine came with two left hands holding swords, which I assume is insurance against such a thing piece snapping in transit.

Does the Hessian count as a zombie? Possibly. The model clearly draws influence from the legend of Sleepy Hollow (although he's more horseless than headless), but this puts him in ghost territory which is arguably in the right ball park.

As to how I'll use the Hessian, there are a number of options. Firstly, all Supers Unlimited models come with game cards for both Super Mission Force and Pulp City. Unfortunately he isn't aligned to any of my villain teams for Pulp City, but I can still use him.

Alternatively, the Hessian joins my surprisingly large collection of miniature scarecrows, and although he won't be hitting the streets of Gotham, he could definitely join the Children of the Fields for folk horror games of 7TV.

Also in terms of 7TV, he also makes for an ideal villain for Scooby Doo and chums to unmask as a disgruntled janitor, although this certainly takes him out of zombie territory.

This is not a zombie.

It's Dr Red, orangutan and chief scientist of the Ape Revolutionary Committee, a primate socialist collective determined to work for better treatment of simians in Pulp City. And when I say 'work for' I mean 'blow things up until they get it.

Dr Red has sat part painted in my queue for about three years. He's part of an ARC job lot I bought off eBay. He was missing his bionic arm and so I've replace it with the spare arm I got with my Trapjaw miniature.

I'm not sure why I stopped painting him half way through, but I suspect it had something to do with the white coat and the fact that the more you look at orangutans, the more you realise that they aren't the colour you think they are.

Fortunately the recent Kickstarter I backed from Kitbash Games took my head into Pulp City (via Freedom Force) and in the search for something to do I finally got the urge to finish him off.

I definitely have enough members of the ARC to play a game but the original models from Pulp City aren't easy to get your hands on at the moment (although there are rumblings that this could change fairly soon) and so I'm unlike to expand the Revolution in the immediate future.

However, I might use another manufacturer to add some minions to the force (as at least two of these give should get minions for free) as most of the game cards are available to download on the Citizens of Pulp City Facebook group (or at least they were the last time I checked.

A SCAREcrow and a TERRORist. How very Spooky-Seasonal.

Acquired: 83 
Painted: 231
Lead Mountain: 454