Monday, May 25, 2015

Zombicide - Vehicles!

In preparation for the Zombicide 3D terrain I have planned, I tried to round up some vehicles that were close to the right scale.  I first looked around at the local train store since the Zombicide figures are close to O-Scale, but the selection was limited and what they did have was very high priced.  I was, however, able to find several options on eBay:

1/42 scale Police Car
The Police car is a little too big for the figures, but definitely close enough to look good on the board. The front doors open which is a nice touch.  The only issue is that it has a pull-back-release mechanism inside that works a little too well.  It is cool to blast through unpainted plastic, but I wouldn't want it running all over the board banging into painted minis and eventually buildings.  Nothing a drop of super-glue won't fix...

1/42 scale Helicopter
Although the scale is the same as the police car, the helicopter looks closer to the right size for the game.  Both large and small side doors open which is pretty cool.  This isn't exactly the same type of helicopter that is in Zombicide - this one is intended to hold more passengers.  I like that though because the whole team can fit and arrive on the scene of various scenarios.  The Helicopter also comes with a plastic stand that it sticks onto which should allow it to "fly" though the streets.

1/43 scale Passenger Van
While not an official Zombicide vehicle with a cardboard template, I wanted something that could hold more characters for some custom scenarios.  I really like the look of the van and it will look even better with some gore hanging out of the grill.  Only the back doors open, but it is a little small to actually stuff the figures in.

1/48 scale FedEx truck

I thought this truck would work great in a couple scenarios I have in mind.  The plan is to run this game at a local gaming convention and I think the players would get a kick out of running around the board in a FedEx truck.  The scale is pretty close and it still fits in a single road section.  The back door opens and figures can fit inside, but I plan to make a cardboard template to keep on the side of the board for characters to 'sit' in.

I received the vehicles below off of eBay.  Compared to the police car, van, and FedEx truck they look a little small.  Alone with a character miniature they do look acceptable.  The beetle looks a little larger than the scale the other two cars are, but again, looks ok with just a figure.

1/50th scale VW Beetle (Hippie Mobile)

1/50th scale Cadillac Coupe (Pimp Mobile)

1/50th scale Dodge Challender (Muscle Car)

No idea if any doors open on any of these, but the scale should be good.  As with all of the vehicles, I plan to keep the cardboard templates that come with the game off the board (probably in front of the player who is the driver) to keep track of who is where.  Unfortunately magnets don't stick to Die Cast metal so the characters (and Zombies) can't just be stuck to the tops & sides of the vehicles...

I do not really care for the official vehicle rules so I took the encouragement from Guillotine Games and made up some house rules.  Here is a link to the PDF if you are interested.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Zombicide - Storage

After deciding to paint the original Zombicide game, Prison Outbreak, Toxic City Mall, Rue Morgue, and a couple Zombie box expansions, I thought to myself "How am I going to store all of these painted figures?"...  Throwing them in a ZipLoc bag isn't going to be good on the 'ol paint job and storing them in the original formed plastic containers just takes too long to put back in - not to mention half of them wouldn't fit anymore due to modifications I've made to them.

All of the miniatures I've painted prior to these are metal and there are far fewer of them so I had just bought hard-case foam like this.  I would have needed at least six hard cases plus something special for larger figures such as abominations.  After spending so much on the figures and paints already, I really didn't want to spend another couple hundred on foam cases.  I also looked into BattleFoam and other foam tray solutions, but they aren't cheap either.

Fortunately, a friend of mine who is extremely organized in everything he does showed me his solution for the various games he plays.  He buys jewelry trays from Gems On Display as well as a case which holds six of the trays stacked on top of each other.  Six trays and the case - including shipping - turned out to be $36.69 - close to the same price as a single hard foam case!  Make sure to verify the title of the product page for the trays is "Plastic Stackable Jewelry Tray-Full Size-2".  The "Leatherette" wrapped wooden trays do NOT work well as they do not lock together and slide all over...I learned the hard way...

The trays then needed to be lined with metal.  You can buy "Flex Iron/Steel" metal sheets that perfectly fit at Dave's Baggage Train, but since I was trying to do it on the cheap, I went to Home Depot and picked up a 24"x36" sheet of galvanized steel for under $10.  To cut it, I needed a tin snips anyway so I'm not counting that as a dedicated cost to the project... ;)  The metal was cut to fit nicely inside the tray and glued in with Liquid Nails caulk.  Another important lesson learned was to apply the Liquid Nails in lines and do not spread it out all over the bottom of the tray.  Apparently the adhesive softens the plastic of the trays a bit and causes them to sag...  You can really apply the adhesive fairly sparingly as it won't take much to keep it in place.

The third components are tiny magnets 1/8"x1/16" (3mm x 1.5mm) to put in each figure's base.  I already had a Dremel, but needed a 1/8 in. Shank High Speed Multipurpose Cutting Bit.  It is special compared to a regular 1/8" bit due to not having a large taper on the front which would have cut through the base before making the hole deep enough.  Thank you very much to Magnus Rydin for the great tutorial over on Board Game Geek!

To avoid losing my mind trying to cut the proper depth, I made a jig using the depth guide on my Dremel combined with a piece of wood with a hole drilled out about twice the diameter of the bit.  I was then able to extend the bit through the board to the right depth.  It was then just a matter of visually aligning the miniature's base and pushing down the base flush with the board.  It resulted in a perfect-every-time hole that only occasionally required an Exacto Knife to clean out a stubborn piece of plastic.

I then placed several magnets on a scrap piece of sheet metal.  A small drop of Loctite Gel Control super glue was then applied to the hole in the base (a bottle of that stuff is good for hundreds of miniatures).  One of the magnets was then slid near the edge of the metal and the miniature's base can be pressed onto it.  Now, the metal can just be set on top of a paper towel covering some scrap wood and the miniature can be slid off of onto the paper towel with magnet embedded.  The paper towel did a good job of wiping off the excess, but I still laid the miniature on its side until the glue had plenty of time to dry.  Slide the next magnet over to the edge and repeat the process.
Rare Earth Magnet counter-sunk into the plastic Zombicide base.

This whole process may sound a bit confusing and complicated, but it was really simple once it got going.  I did about 300 of them in about an hour once I got the process down.  If anyone is interested in more details, comment below and I'd be happy to go back and add a few more photos and describe anything else in detail.  For now, I'm just recording what I did as an outline so I can remember the steps I did after a few months pass.

Here are the current trays filled with all the Zombicide figures I have thus far:

Not counting pre-existing tool purchases, this is a very economical and compact technique to store a large number of miniatures.  It is super-quick to access and put away the miniatures which really relieves the drudgery of setup and tear-down of the game.

The figures stick very well to the metal allowing the trays to be turned upside down and tapped on without any figures falling off.  Even fatties and abominations have no trouble with moving around or falling off.  Only the A-Bomb from Rue Morgue posed a problem - it is taller than the 2" tray depth.  Thanks to the flexible nature of this solution, I just used some Liquid Nails and glued a small piece of tin on one of the vertical sides of the box.  Now the A-Bomb sticks to the wall like Spider Man.  Out of paranoia, I did put three magnets in its base, but that was total overkill.  You can see the A-Bomb clinging to the wall in the bottom left tray in the picture above.

Each tray is capable of holding 96 miniatures which means the six-tray case can hold a whopping 576 figures!  That might not be enough to hold every single miniature included in all of the base games, expansions, and Kickstarter exclusive content, but by my calculations it will hold everything I hope to buy at some least until Zombicide: Black Plague comes out!

Zombicide - Painting

As with the Toxic Zombies in the previous post, I used another of Sorastro's tutorials to paint the regular Zombies.  For primer I again used Necrotic Flesh and then Army Painter paints for the bulk of the painting.  I painted a few highlights of Necrotic Flesh mixed with white before washing the skin with Strong Tone.

For the clothing I generally used Citadel's Delvian Mud which has unfortunately been they tend to do with many of their colors every few years...  Fortunately, I still had a pot left from a couple years ago which was still in good condition.  Strong Tone is close, but the magical Mud still seems to give a slightly different look.

This time lets start with the 'family photo':

Here are some shots from within the crowd:

Nothing left in the FedEx truck to eat...

I like this guy's lamb chops.

This lady got a purse I made from two-part epoxy.  That should help her stand out among the rest of her sculpt mates.

I opted to cut the plastic off of each runner's foot/knee to give a more realistic look.  I saw someone use a newspaper that was lifting up under the foot in the air which looked nice, but I didn't want to spend the time making fancy bases.  The plastic is plenty strong and one foot should be plenty to keep the figure on the base.

Fancy hair style with a fancy suit. 
I used a Dremel to dig out a portion of this guy's belly before stuffing in some two-part epoxy intestines I sculpted.
Looks like this guy is caught red handed as the perpetrator of the hole in the guy above's belly... 
To get the sweat effect, I watered down some sepia (or Soft Tone) and let a drop of it sit on the white base-coated shirt.  After a few seconds, I used a brush to suck up the drop of wash.  The edges start to dry before the middle which lets the edge of the stain become more prominent.
This guy had an unfortunate accident with the chainsaw...  I didn't really care for the gloves and was looking for a way to mix it up a bit.

Here is a picture of each grouped in its original pose:

Fatty males - adding hair is the biggest addition to break up the monotony.
The jumpsuits can get a little boring if the inside isn't painted a different shade than the rest.  Thank you very much to Teri Litorco for pointing out this simple tip in her YouTube tutorial!

Fatty females.  Even though there are a couple different original sculpts here, it would have been nice if the originals were wearing different clothing styles.  The nightgown/dress just doesn't give them enough of a distinct look.

The abominations turned out pretty well, but probably could use a little gore.  I'll probably go back later and add some blood effects on all the figures.  I'm not sure what sculpter decided it would be cute to add a 'well positioned' thermos hanging between the legs of the abomination on the left...I took the liberty of trimming it off so I could look at the model and see it as a fear inspiring beast that it should be.

Here are the runners.  Lots of arm position changes and hair styles were needed to break up the few unique sculpts.

There are still a lot of female Zombies to paint - most of which have some bit of underwear showing.  I don't mind a couple of them with their skivvies hanging out, but with so few sculpts it just looked a bit odd to have all their dresses blowing open at the same time.  In any case, I did quite a bit of work on all of them with two-part epoxy adding pants, skirts, and dresses.

These were fun (and quick) to paint - I guess that is why there are so many of this sculpt painted.  These also best retained the hot water treatment to alter their poses.  I think it is because I really heated them up and bent them in extreme positions.  Hopefully they don't decide to revert, but they've been like this for a couple months at least...I'll not leave them in a hot vehicle though... ;)

For some reason I only painted one of the sculpts on the far left so I threw him in with these so he wasn't lonely.

Dreadlocks give this guy a distinct look compared to his bald original sculpt.

These guys had minimal hair work and no arm modifications...they are in sync enough to be dancing in Thriller.  I'll have to be sure to do a few more mods to the others of the same sculpt before painting them.

Took off the hat and added hair to one of these guys.  Their arms are basically fused to their bodies making it a bit difficult to do much more with the pose.

I don't mind painting Zombies as they go pretty quick and really add a lot to the game over gray plastic... Hopefully I'll be able to get up enough ambition (and skill) to paint the Survivors.