I have been putting together a collection of Weird War figures for sometime (more or less an extension of my Pulp plans). As such, when Mantic Games released their German Zombie mash-up kit (combining Mantic Zombies with Warlord Games German Infantry) a couple of years ago I was sorely tempted. This year when they put them out again as their Halloween special I couldn’t resist.
I was quite keen to see how easy it would be to combine the two different companies figures and achieve a decent result. As it turned out the design of the zombies and the German infantry is not exactly compatible. The zombies are cut in half at the waist, to offer a good range of pose-ability, whereas the German figures from Warlord come as torsos with the legs attached and just separate arms and heads so as to give a better look to the German troops tunics.
However as both sets are produced in hard plastic it was not too much work to cut them where necessary to create the desired effect. The set claims to offer enough parts to produce ten German Zombie figures. This would actually leave quite a few spare bits and as I had just bought the Miniature Wargames magazine’s Sci-fi and fantasy special, Darker Horizons, I also had a single sprue of 2 Mantic Ghouls. So, combining all the pieces together and adding a fair bit of greenstuff I managed to get 19 zombies out of it!
My main plan for these zombie figures was that I would pretty much hack them together, I didn’t plan to spend too long on each figure. As I was doing a small horde of figures and also as they were zombies and should look quite rough anyway, I didn’t feel that I wanted to spend more time than absolutely necessary on them!
Tools wise I used a pair of clippers (to snip armes and waists etc), a scalpel (for rough trimming) and a 1mm drill (for the three bullet hole through one of the figures). That was it except for a bottle of Revell plastic adhesive.
Once I had done a rough hack job putting them together I added a little greenstuff to hide joints and to add some torn uniform parts to some of the figures (oh, and some dangling intestines to one lucky chap).
These are some of the figures after assembly and greenstuff work:-
As far as painting went, again I wanted to do it as quickly as possible, but still achieve a half decent result.
I undercoated with grey, which seemed most appropriate as most of the uniforms would be grey anyway, and also the skin tone would probably have something of a grey cast to it.
I used a mix of different paints for this project. Mainly Vallejo, but also some old Scotia Grendel Leviathan paints (what can I say, I don’t chuck any paints away until they dry up…).
I used Leviathan Elf Flesh as the basic skin tone as it is very pale. Then used Vallejo German Grey for the uniforms. I added some metallics for the guns and some browns and blacks for belts, gun butts etc. Then I brushed on a layer of Army Painter Dip to add some tonal depth. I like to work into my figures after I have added the dip. so I gave them a coat of matt varnish, left them for a couple of days and then did some more work on them. Some more washes on the skin tones, both greens and purples to bring out the dead flesh. Then did some highlights on the uniforms and also on the exposed skin.
I sat down to finish these guys off in the evening on New Years Eve, my wife was at work and the kids were in bed. I had picked up Dead Snow on DVD for £3 a couple of days before and thought it would make suitable viewing as I added the final badges and insignia. Can I just say, Dead Snow was perfect subject matter for painting these German Zombies, but don’t try to watch a subtitled film while figure painting, you either end up watching the film, or painting, you can’t do both…
Once I was happy with the paint job I prepared the bases. I wanted a ruined rubble style basing, reminiscent of well fought over cityscapes. I built up the base texture with tiling grout and cut some plasticard strips to make bricks, some girders, and a little plasticard pipe.
Once the grout had dried I added some fine sand (play-pit sand is really fine and cheap, in big bags from DIY stores). I painted the bases with Vallejo beige brown, then washed it with some watered down Windsor and Newton Peat Brown ink. Finally I added a little Gale Force Nine dark green scatter material and some Ash Wastes scatter.
All I need to do now is tidy up the edges of the bases, either with a black or a mid to dark grey…
Anyway, here are some of the photos:-
Overall I am very happy with how they have turned out. There are a couple that look a little odd (the kneeling figure with the submachine gun obviously picked up a helmet that was way to small…) but mostly I think there are a nice interesting variety of zombies.
I don’t know if I will need anymore zombies to fill out the ranks, 19 does seem like a reasonable, if small infestation. However, if I want to add to them I will either pick up some of Studio Miniatures Plastic German Zombies or West Wind’s German Zombie Hordes. I have had enough of converting German Zombies now, so buying them ready to paint seems like the way to go if I expand the horde…