Saturday, August 6, 2011

41. The Quick and the Dead...Quickly

Following on from my last post, regarding my success with "dipping" my Arabs, I mentioned that I was going for a change of pace and would try dipping some 28mm Zombies.

Here are the final results.
"Huurrrr," shamble, shamble, shuffle, "Braaiins."
I did 25 Zombies from Victory Force miniatures in 7 hours!  For me, that's an all-time painting speed record.  Granted, all I did was a very simple one-color coat, then dipped, then drybrushed some highlights back on.  But even so, it was extremely fast; faster even than the Arabs (10 hours for 20 figures).

The preparation time was relatively minimal:  some filing was necessary but not extreme.  The most difficult part was getting the feet tab to fit into the slot on the base:  they required quite a bit of hard filing to get them narrow enough.
And as I mentioned last post, while I don't really like zombies, these are nice sculpts.  They are fairly benign insofar as the "that's disgusting" factor is concerned, and really just look like ordinary people who ended up on the wrong side of the zombie apocalypse.  There are also a couple of famous persons who have been zombified (you can see them in the pictures below).

Just click on all photos to enlarge them, assuming you can stand to look that closely at rotting walking human beings.

The following pictures show the progression of painting, starting with the flat single coat before dipping.  All I did was "stay within the lines," and even with the many different colors used it was still pretty fast.
Zombies 1 - 5.  You may have had Names in Life, but now you're just a Number....
Zombies 6 - 10
Zombies 11 - 15
Zombies 16 - 20
Zombie 21 - 25.  The lovey Ladies.
These next pictures show the final results after dipping, highlighting and finishing the bases.  One crucial difference between these dips and the Arab dips is that I used the Classic Black Minwax water-based wood stain for the dipping (and NOT the Coffee color Minwax water-based wood stain which I used on the Arabs).  (I have a more in-depth explanation of that process a couple of posts back).  I felt the black was more in keeping with urban undead than a brown would be.
Zombies 1 - 5
Zombies 6 - 10.  The Famous Zombies:  Jughead, Hitler, Jim Henson (that's a Kermit the Frog on his shirt, hand-painted), and either Elvis or Evel Knievel; and some not-famous lady to make it 5 figures).
A closer look at the three big famous-ies:  Hitler (I realized his uniform's color is probably not historically accurate, but I felt the need for artistic license:  he's a frikkin zombie, for crying out loud); Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets and Kermit the Frog; and either Elvis Presley or Evel Knievel the daredevil motorcycle stuntman).  I don't really know if Victory Force intended these guys to be who they are, but that's who they looked like to me, so that's how I painted 'em.
Zombies 11 - 15.  As I was painting this group, I realized I had unintentionally painted the second-from-left zombie as Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek:  The Next Generation.  His shirt was originally a plain maroon, but when I realized what I had done, I added the black stripes on his shoulders to match the TV uniform.  The only trouble is the figure is quite obviously wearing tennis shoes, so maybe he is a Trekkie convention-goer.
Zombies 16 - 20
Zombies 21 - 25.  The Ladies of Zombie.
The square shapes on the bases are pieces of masking tape.  I had to cover the holes on either side of the feet where the miniature's tab fit into the slotta base, and I had originally intended to use my usual technique of gluing sand on the base to cover those pieces of tape.  But after thinking about it, I didn't feel green grass was entirely appropriate for the walking dead, so I painted the bases a "sidewalk grey" and I think the random squares help add to that perception.

Now the next thing I need to do is paint some Survivors.  They will necessarily require a bit more personal attention than the hordes of shambling undead, so my dipping days are at a (temporary) end.  Except for the fact that I want to go back to my Arabs and knock out some more squads for The Sword and the Flame; my French Foreign Legion is spoiling for a fight!  I am becoming addicted to getting units painted and ready for the table.  This is not a feeling to which I am accustomed....

My next big challenge is actually getting to be home long enough to paint something at all.  My job keeps me away for long periods, but it also allows me to buy new toys so I guess it's a marginally fair trade.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Superb. I wahs I could pull off a feat like that. Like what you did wiht the bases too, very effective.

  2. Great paintjob on good minis;
    Now -in order to have 'your own' minis reflecting your creativity- what about "zombifying" normal minis? Movie zombies are normal humans with a few prosthesis and a good make up.
    The first -tears on clothes and skin, scars, pustules, deepened eye-sockets, mutilation of lips...- can be done with pincers, nail clippers, needle points: that was basically what Hinterland Minis did to 'zombify' some of their 'Hussarettes'.
    The second is a matter of fittingly 'disgusting' painting. And of 'weathering' (I got satisfying results by 'inking' with filtered smashed prunes, though the main objective was to 'weather' buildings)...

    Such 'pimp my mini' 'light' conversions allow to have zombies in period costume -generally not available commercially- but also to enrich the diversity of your Z packs ('packs'? Seems to fit better vampires and werewolves?) and personalize them.