Monday, August 15, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Miles


Miles is member number 4 out of 6 in the Green Squad.  Past the halfway mark on this green armored crew which is good because I'm getting a little tired out from trying to layer the armor.  I'm not sure if I just don't have the right color mix for it to layer nicely or if I just don't have the patience to properly mix & apply so many layers.

What I am enjoying more and more are the faces.  I feel this one turned out better than those before it and is becoming easier to do.  I ditched the gloss medium tip as the layers seemed to look a lot thicker when the gloss was added.  The AK Interactive paints along with a little thinner medium seem to be doing the trick.  The paints were mixed a bit better this time so perhaps that was the issue a few faces ago.

Paints used on this model:

Next up on the workbench (I did clean up the terrible mold line cutting horizontally across the gun/chest/arm a bit after noticing it in this photo)...

Friday, August 12, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Reese


Reese is another member of the Zombicide Dark Side "Green Squad".  The green armor went a little faster this time as I used a larger brush and slightly less thinned paint than I've previously used on the base layer.  I lost a little momentum on this one as the layering still took a long time and didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped given the time put in.  It may have been worthwhile to experiment with spraying on the base layer with an airbrush, but I'll keep driving forward to finish up the squad.  They are halfway completed and keeping them consistent is more important than saving a little time.  

I found a tip online to reduce the chalkiness of the face.  Mixing in a little gloss medium did indeed help to provide a more smooth finish, however, I rushed the layering a bit.  The head still looks pretty good from a naked eye view so I feel I'm still making forward progress in the skin department.

The chain sword decal worked a little better this time.  Having the yellow/black stripes thinner probably would still have looked a little better, but these will work.  The symbols mostly match the location they are in the game art - the kneepad, right shoulder, belt buckle, and side of the rifle.  They are easier to paint than I thought they would be.  

Paints used on this model:

Next up on the workbench...

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Drake

"Drake" is the 'heavy' member of the Dark Side Green Squad.  Many of the same techniques used on Miranda were used here as well including layering the armor.  I found the helmet sculpt/cast a bit 'messy' making it tough to paint and actually missed painting a face. 

Learning from the previous model, I started with the Angel Green less thinned down.  This led to establishing a 'base' coat much more quickly.  I was a bit confused on the back of the legs and didn't really do much with layering there and since it is all curved, there wasn't anything to do with edge highlights either.  I probably could have spent more time with the armor, but it definitely has the 'good enough' look to it.  

Paints used on this model:

Next up on the workbench:

Monday, August 8, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Miranda


Miranda is the first (in mold sequence number) of the 'Green Squad' in the Zombicide Dark Side game.

The face turned out fairly well using the AK Interactive flesh-tone paints, although it is slightly chalky under very close inspection.  The chalkiness is really a nit to pick as I'm really happy with how the overall model came out.  I couldn't find the flesh-tone set at a local Game Kastle hobby shop, but they did have all of the paints contained in the set as separate bottles.  

The green was a bit concerning in the beginning as I started with the Angel Green thinned down a bit too much as it is already a very translucent paint.  It took way too many layers to form the 'first' coat upon which to build layers.  

This is the first model in which I used green without using a green wash or dry brushing.  It took a relatively long time, but it turned out fairly well.  Nothing wrong with either washes or dry brushing, but I wanted to challenge myself into using a layering technique that has intimidated me in the past.

The tiny emblems were a bit tricky, but turned out ok for the most part.  Generally that type of thing I'd skip, but I was feeling adventurous and gave them a shot.

The chain sword did not turn out as well as I'd hoped.  In hindsight, I should have used thinner stripes, but I thought it might be difficult to discern them from a distance and went with the wider option. The stripes are actually decals that I designed and printed as I was having a lot of trouble with correct spacing and consistent width.  I did go over the decals with some touch-up paint so some inconsistencies are still present.  I was able to make and print the decals faster than I could have painted one side of the chain sword so it will pay dividends as most others in this crew have some sort of caution-strip-chain-sword as part of their person.

Paints used on this model (lots of bottles, but mostly tiny amounts used for face and a handful of washes and mediums):

Next up on the workbench:

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Sci-Fi Windows and Airlocks


The Zombicide Invader game includes what look like 'airlocks' that characters and aliens can just 'walk through'.  To implement this idea in 3D, I decided to use SirayaTech Blu clear resin tinted with blue alcohol-based dye.  The O2 water tanks were printed with the same resin, but included more blue dye as these came out a bit too translucent.  The airlocks slot into a 4-inch wall section and consume the middle two inches.  Game-wise, I'm considering these as clear-blue 'force fields' that can be walked through as they are able to detect objects that are intentionally trying to move from inside to out or vice versa.  The force fields hold back gasses, dust, and other small bits from passing through.

The right side is the post-cure piece and the left side is after a gloss clear-coat.  I kind of like the look of both, but opted to go for the more transparent version as it felt more like a 'force field' to me.

In an effort to break up the mundane endless hallways flanked by solid walls, these window sections came to mind.  Again, I consider them to be some sort of 'force field' with a more aggressive algorithm in place to prevent anything from passing through from either direction.  The same SirayaTech Blu resin was used, this time tinted with a reddish-orange which I think contrasts nicely with the blueish paint scheme of the walls.

I was able to print all of the windows I wanted for this project in one printing on the Elegoo Saturn.  Everything stuck very well to the WhamBam FlexPlate along with the tips from Jan Mr├ízek's work in his Blog Post regarding bed adhesion and elephant foot prevention.

The windows got the same gloss clear-coat treatment as the airlock doors.  

All of the 3d models for the walls, doors, windows, and items are freely available on my Thingiverse page.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Zombicide Invader - House Rules

For the most part, the Zombicide Invader rules are fairly well laid out and make sense.  Guillotine Games has had many years to refine the rules through the generations of the Zombicide franchise so it isn't surprising that things are pretty streamlined by now.  There are, however, some new concepts in their new SciFi universe that don't make a lot of sense as well as an old irritating rule that they still have around...  Nothing a few house rules can't fix!

Shooting into Zones with Survivors

"Only misses on Attack rolls of '1' hit Survivors standing in the target Zone."

The rulebook states that ANY misses when shooting into a zone containing survivors automatically hit the survivors and are allocated accordingly.  This means that when shooting into a zone containing survivors and Xenos, it is impossible to have a result that misses completely - you either hit your friends or the enemy.  In many cases, it is also easier to hit your friends than a towering Abomination.  This just seems ridiculous to me and thus, House Rule #1 amends this rule to only hitting friends on rolls of '1'.  There is still some risk of hitting your friends, but just seems more reasonable than the standard rules.  This has been an annoyance to me since the very first version of Zombicide and I really wish they'd fix it or give some reasonable explanation for why they keep it the way it is.  Does this make the game a little easier?  Technically yes, but for me, even the risk of rolling a '1' is enough to deter me from shooting into a friendly-occupied zone unless there really is no other choice...

Exterior Zone Weapon Limitation

"Bullet-based weapons are allowed to fire in both interior and exterior zones."

Either these futuristic/SciFi weapons are inferior to our modern-day firearms or this planet has some very strange chemistry/physics in play.  Gunpowder in modern-day firearm cartridges contains its own oxidizer and is not dependent on oxygen in the atmosphere in which it burns.  Firearms can be fired in space.  Unless I hear some other reason that makes any sense, the artificial limitation on weapons firing in exterior zones is nixed.  Does this make the game a little easier?  Yes, but the inability to have any sort of logical explanation for the limitation other than to 'balance' things is too difficult for my mind to overcome.  The flamethrower and other fire-based weapons seem to make some sense to limit their outdoor usage though so the indoors-only rule for 'hellfire' still stands.

Search Limitations

"Searching by Soldiers AND Civilians can ONLY be performed in the red security rooms."

The rules state that Soldier characters may only search in the red security rooms.  I can't figure out why they wouldn't be able to pick up a weapon from a table in any given room just as easily as a Civilian could.  The only thing I can come up with is that it is an attempt to 'balance' the Soldier class out by nerfing their ability to search or just an attempt to add some more variety to the game.  Nerfing isn't needed as the Soldiers are generally not much more powerful than Civilians - one more armor point?  So they can withstand a single tank attack instead of dying after one hit.  Everybody (except Magnus) dies from a single Abomination extra armor point isn't really that big of an advantage.  The starting skill is usually the differentiator between a 'good' character and a 'not as good' character and the skills have no Soldier/Civilian boundary.

One option would be just to treat the red rooms like every other room and anyone can search anywhere.  I do, however, think acquiring items is a bit too easy in this game and since the game gets a little easier with the previous two house rules, I figured making it harder might be something fun to try.  So...both Civilians and Soldiers can ONLY search in red rooms.  When using the walls/floors I made, the security rooms are signified by the red 'item vending machines' so it is somewhat thematic as all sorts of good stuff can be stored there and they are fairly easily accessible.  This may totally not work out in some scenarios and is sort of a prototype house rule that I'm not sure I'll keep going forward.

The exception to this house rule is that any character with the Free Search Action ability may use that action to search in any type of room.  This allows the 'search-oriented' characters to not take a big hit on their primary ability.  

Bot/Turret Activation Limit

"Each Bot and Turret may only be activated a total of 4 times per Player Phase via the remote."

No more 'passing the remote'.  The bots and turrets are fairly powerful assets and can easily be abused by all the characters sitting in a room and passing the remote around giving the bot a dozen or more actions in a given turn.  The Character's actions can be thought of as semi-simultaneous and serializing the actions by passing the remote around while the Characters down the line just sit there and 'wait' just kind of breaks the mental picture and intent of the game.

Note that this only applies to the remote control token and not to Characters with the "Remote Control: Bot/Turret" skill nor Characters standing in the same zone as the Bot/Turret.  'Free' machine actions and 'extra activations' (such as from Born Leader) do not apply to the activation limit and can always be used to activate a machine.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Scientist Companions

Olive Hayes, Lukas Pavlis, and Dr. Markus de Vries

I decided to take a detour from painting the characters for Zombicde Invader for two reasons.  First, I wanted to get some more practice with skin/faces to hopefully improve the quality of the character faces going forward.  Second, there are a few missions in the core set that involve rescuing(M4) or evacuating(M9) scientists, and having actual miniatures instead of colored cardboard markers seemed more immersive.  Who wants to rescue cardboard tokens anyway?

These specific 'companions' are tailored for a set of expansion missions as well as being useful as general stand-ins in the core missions.  Here are the profiles and character art from the Zombicide Invader Operation Persephone mission rule book:

I do like how the rules work for the Zombicide companions.  By bestowing some sort of free action to the character they are 'following', it is a very lightweight way to add some more variety.  Giving the companion their own turn and ability to move around on their own would have caused the player's turn to take longer and just be more complex.  One more free action aligns with a character leveling up and is very streamlined.

I'm finally fairly satisfied with how a character's face turned out.  Olive's is still far from what I'd consider 'great', but to me, it at least has some 'character' and doesn't look overly blotchy and just wrong.  Olive's face is better sculpted than some of the other characters so it made it a lot easier to paint.  It is probably a combination of having more practice and better-sculpted features that lead to painting this one taking much less time than the others.

Dr. Markus' face turned out decently enough. Fortunately, each face turned out better than the previous as I worked on them in the order presented here.  Hopefully, my skills keep progressing with each subsequent model.

All three of these models have a very fair complexion in the game art...I guess they are busy in the labs and don't get much sun.  

Lukas' face is very pale and a bit 'pasty' as it was my first attempt using the Vallejo Air series to paint skin.  These paints worked a lot better than the old paints I was using, but are a little too thin out of the bottle, and controlling the flow was a bit of a challenge.  His face does look better in person though - still pale, but from the naked eye, it looks decent.

I've acquired some AK Interactive flesh tones and will give them a shot on the next model on the workbench: