Thursday, July 31, 2014

End of the Month, and Moar Xombeez

Since my last post I've been quite busy hacking minis apart, drilling holes, and putting in pins. Every last join on these minis, save those that already had tabs, has a pin in it. I've gone through many a paper clip in this endeavor, and I must say that most of the minis are looking pretty slick at this point. I'll post some closeups once I get some paint on these fellas, but for now you'll have to live with the WIP shot to the right. What's really nifty about this conversion kit is that the zombie and ghoul torsos fit right into the top of the Enforcer legs, making for some excellent kitbash opportunities. Of course the Marines, being at first single-piece leg/torso combination parts needed a bit of sawing, clipping, and filing (as well as a fair bit of gap filling) but all-in-all this project has been a blast! I'm the sort of fellow who loves hacking minis apart and putting them back together in new and strange configurations, as will be shown by this project. Plus, zombies.

The process of sawing minis apart for conversion is not easy, and would be impossible without my trusty jeweler's saw. The accuracy of cuts it produces is amazing, and once complete the resultant product requires little cleanup. Then pinning, gluing, and gap filling, and voila! A new Zombie Marine. The challenge of bringing two unrelated minis not intended to go together into a coherent whole is a great time, and to those so inclined I would suggest this kit highly. Yes, there is quite a bit of "restic" involved, but it's not as horrible to work with as I had been led to believe.

I've put quite a dent into the project, finishing Mortis (gaps, basing, and all), 25 Enforcers (with four rocket launchers taken from left over Dust "Bot Hunters") 3 snipers (whom I regret not showing the process of converting their rifles), 2 Marine officers (made from regular minis plus random oddbits I had lying around) and ten Marines.

What has started to irk me is that I still have not heard or received anything from Mantic as far as the missing Marine minis are concerned, and I really don't want to have to shoot off an angry email to get the items I paid for. I have heard that Mantic has pretty good customer service, but regrettably I have yet to see it.

Primer was applied yesterday, as well as some of the paint on the first batch of zombie Enforcers. I'll have pictures of the first completed squad up soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Yep, my order from Mantic arrived, and now it's time to get crackin'. I first opened the box and found a bunch of loose frames. Ghouls and zombies to fuel my conversion fever, and a good many of them too.

I was of course thrilled at this, as I have been waiting for a couple of weeks to get my hands on these bits. The ghoul sprues (the little ones on the right) are old hat to me, consisting of parts I have seen before when Mantic sent out promotional minis to those who asked. I got one, slapped the fellows together, and promptly lost them.

What interested me much more were the zombies (center). I gleefully looked at the frames, checking out all the different pieces- especially the heads as I have been spending my time looking around the internet at unboxing articles, and both the Enforcers as well as the Marines come with their heads separate. Because of this I wanted to figure out how to put the minis together as best I could. I determined that the best route to go would be to drill holes in the arms and neck, insert some wire, glue the extremities to the pins, and use green stuff to fill any resulting gaps. The heads in particular would be challenging as the zombie and ghoul heads attach entirely differently than the Warpath minis. On the Kings of War stuff the neck is attached to the torso, whereas on the Warpath items the neck is attached to the head. I'll show pictures of this in my next post on this subject.

Next I pulled out the bases (above image on the left) and eyeballed them. Interesting enough they were, but not the focus of my attention.

Mortis was the next out of the box. I took him out of the baggie he came in and began counting and dry-fitting parts. It was immediately apparent that he was just covered in mold release agent, as he was slick to the touch. I tossed him into a screen colander I have just for washing minis and stuck my hand back into the packing peanuts. One, two, three, four, five baggies of Enforcers, all with five minis inside. Twenty five, exactly as expected.

It was then that I stuck my hand back in the box. I didn't feel a single thing. NOTHING. I flipped the box over, spilling styrofoam all over my floor. No sign of any more minis. I began rooting around, and found two baggies underneath one of the flaps. Two baggies seemed a touch ambitious to fit 70 minis into. Very ambitious. I ripped open the baggies and... Sure enough, only twenty Marine miniatures.

That seemed a bit off. The website claims (as above) that there are 70 zombie Marines to be made. Twenty Marines' worth of parts is a bit much to want to spread across 70 models.

I have an inquiry in with Mantic, as I'm pretty sure that this is just some shipping error on the part of a picker, or at least I hope so.

As you can see I have pulled out my converting tools and gotten ready to go to town on some minis. As I'm a pretty experienced kitbasher I should have no problem getting there minis to look fairly slick. Keep an eye on this space for some pictures.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Deafening Sound Of Silence

Annoyed Etna is annoyed.
Yep, I've been a bad blogger. I have not been posting any updates. Honestly, the reason for this is simple:

I have not done anything of note wargaming related since my last update. Nothing. Sure there have been the occasional X-Wing skirmishes with Demitra (who has also fallen off of the face of the earth in terms of blogging), and we tried out the new Dust Battlefield rules (which are awful), but no real progress. I guess I've hit a spell of the "gaming doldrums", which every gamer has a run-in with from time to time, and that's ground my progress to a halt. I can't paint Malifaux right now (I promised my wife I'd paint with her), and I've pretty much hit the wall in terms of Super Dungeon Explore.

All is not lost though! A week ago I placed an order for Mantic's "Zombie Apokalypse" deal. Normally it's 96 minis for $99, but after the US got eliminated from the World Cup Mantic ran a 25% off sale, and 96 mans for $75 was just too good a deal to pass up. Now the minis are winging their way over from Jolly Old England, and they should be waiting for me in a week or two.

 I ordered this army for two reasons. First, the above deal reasoning, but secondly because this army is a conversion project from A to Z. Lots of chopping up bits and building up minis- kitbashing galore!

I have been chatting with Demitra, and as he wants nothing to do with 40k at this time, I've been trying to convince him to play a game of Warpath (Mantic's answer to 40k) with me. Once my Corporation zombie horde is completed I hope to convince him to try the ruleset out using his Orks as Orx.

My army list is long, and does not belong in this post, but the list of minis I'll be making go here just fine. First there is of course Mortis, who I won't mess with at all. Next the Marines. Sixty, with one Energy Gauntlet and one Tactical Flame Unit for every ten. I will be giving them two of the actual TFUs and then two each of the various other weapons supplied on the special weapons frame. My other four troopers will have the other two weapons supplied on the frame. My Enforcers will consist of two Strike teams with a TFU each, and three suppression teams. Two will be armed with a pair of rocket launchers, and one team will have four burst lasers. For those who don't know, four Burst Lasers cranks out twenty shots per turn! Finally I will be making two Marine officers and three snipers. It has been pointed out to me that zombie snipers "don't make sense", but wait until they're done. They'll be a mass of wires and scopes, making them more than adequate at range.

I'll be left with five marines, and I'm really not sure what I'll do with them, so they'll be bits box fodder for the time being. I also have some ideas as to some "counts as" models (a Panzer IV D as a close assault gun toting battle tank, some Ogres converted into big hulking zombies with tiny little heads for Striders, etc.) so this should work as hobby fodder for the time being.

I promise I'll do an unboxing when they arrive, so bear with me for another week or two. Until then, I'll try to find worthwhile content, but I'm not going to muck up this blog with nonsensical ramblings if I can at all help it.