|'Come back and finish me off!'|
Nestled amidst the carnage and existential angst lies the genres brutal ace, cannibalism. It's harsh enough dealing with the anarchy and lack of resources but it's the reality of being eaten alive that really pushes the survivors tattered sanity over the edge.
Most miniature ranges address the zombies culinary preference with an obligatory leg or arm clutching option but it seems a zombie in the actual act of anthropophagy is a rare thing. Despite trawling the net for zombie miniatures I've only come across 'Zombie Moe', and a zombie cop eating a leg from King Zombie, there must be others out there...
The flip side of the zombie diet is that what you eat will soon enough get up and join the party unless its brain is consumed. Consequently the vast majority of zombies should display the evidence of at least partial cannibalism. To address this logic (?) I wanted to include a decent number of light, medium and especially heavily munched specimens. Sure there are plenty of miniatures with exposed flesh, missing limbs and trailing entrails (Eureka Miniatures zombies are unsurpassed for visceral carnage) but what about those caught by the mob and stripped to the bone?
As a base kit to construct these zombie snacks I picked up the re-tooled Wargames Factory Skeletons. They're very delicate but accurately proportioned and crisply detailed.
The skulls fit well on the Studio Miniatures and Wargames Factory zombies as well as the Zombie Vixens. With a little green stuff and a cocktail stick they can be given rotting, peeling flesh; leaving the skeletal face exposed for instant horror.For the nibbled on I simply removed limbs and replaced them with their equivalent from the skeleton sprue. Scale wise Studio Miniatures torsos and WF Zombie Vixens are an excellent match to the skeleton's anatomy.
The Skeleton kit provides a wealth of weaponless arms (a possible part solution to this projects general lack of right arms). They're mostly closed handed so suffer a little from 'action figure grip' but I'm writing it off as rigor mortis!
For the slightly more chewed another simple conversion is to cut a wedge out of a torso and replace it with a slice of rib cage. A roll of green stuff can be attached to the edge of the torso and folded back to look like hanging flesh or clothing. This was another great opportunity to sculpt copious coils of guts and have them trailing like tinsel! :)
For the half eaten I chose zombie torsos with a cleanly defined waist and cut them in half, gluing both halves to their skeleton's counter parts. Fringes of green stuff torn flesh were added to define the boundary of the un/eaten halves.
Hornby modelling putty (the white stuff) is slightly wetter than liquid green stuff and can be teased along skeletal arms and legs to form exposed musculature or built up and dragged with a cocktail stick for torn flesh and skin.
For the most heavily cannibalised zombies I used a full WF skeleton body with a Mantic zombie head. A 'neck' can be cut from a sprue (cut at an angle to tilt the position of the head) and glued to the torso before attaching the head.
Liquid green stuff was stippled onto the skeletons to create quick, easy and effective torn flesh with extra muscles and viscera modelled in green stuff putty.
The full skeleton bodies are quite delicate with no obvious option for pinning to a resin base so I glued the first batch to their plastic bases, I'll paint these up as asphalt.
I'm guessing that a couple of these lack the musculature for basic locomotion but the stripped down skeleton looks cool and should read nicely in the crowd.
These ravaged cadavers should be fun to paint up in their butchered glory and add another layer of stark horror to the horde.
These guys are making me think about having a large base of massed zombies that has just been shelled, using a blast damage style base with limbless cadavers and crawlers at the centre and tattered but relentless zombies on the outside. Gratuitous mayhem ahoy!!