Saturday, December 31, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Brood Mother

The Brood Mother and its brood are one of my favorite abominations as far as how they operate.  The concept of the Brood Mother getting close and then spawning a flood of little ones is pretty neat.  We've used this abomination in a couple games early on before anything was painted and we gave it a lot of attention and got rid of it before it ever had a chance to release its spawn.  

I'm not exactly sure what creature(s) from what games/movies this is similar to, but it reminds me a bit of Halo where I recall dozens of little creatures coming out of larger beasts.

The first step in processing these models was to chop off the unsightly posts that help them stay on the bases.  I'm sure one or more of them will eventually come off the base, but so far, I've only had one leg of the Brood Mother come off during painting.  The little ones have four legs glued to the bases so I think they'll be ok, but the Brood Mother itself only has three legs glued down and has two magnets to hold it in the storage.  I may take one of the magnets off just so it won't take so much force to pull it out of the box.

This is the first group of models that I've painted using primarily an airbrush.  There is still some fine-tuning and improving to do on this tool, but they turned out fairly well I believe.  The spawn models are almost 100% painted with the airbrush with only a touch of edge highlighting to finish them up.  The Brood Mother itself was entirely base-coated with the airbrush, but I did incorporate several techniques to finish it off including some spot washes (primarily some dark tone to give the shells on the back of the Brood Mother some more definition as well as the back tentacles), dry-brushing, and edge highlighting.  

I received the Vajello Model Air and Game Air paint sets for Christmas which inspired the use of the airbrush on these.  The paints are very nice and I look forward to using them on some more models!

They turned out to be a decent representation of the reference art and I'm fairly happy with that.

Paints used on this model:

Next up on the workbench:

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Buddy Bot


Continuing with the orange color scheme, the Buddy Bot seemed like a good follow-on to the Orphans Gang.  Since most of the orphans are tech-savvy, adding another bot for them to control should be an interesting addition.  They'll have to stay clear of it of course, but the advantage of using it may prevent them from just destroying it as soon as it gets in their way.

Buddy Bot looks to be a homage to "Claptrap" from the Borderlands video game.  I've never played the game, but there are several similarites including the mono-wheel, color scheme including vertical white stripe instead of horizontal, and the blue camrea 'eye'.

We shall see if this 'abomination bot' adds an interesting aspect to the game or if it is just irritating due to instant character death caused by a couple extra abomination activations.

Paints used on this model:

Next up on the workbench:

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Goliath


Beyond Goliath's large appearance, his skills confirm him as a combat tank.  He is indeed a melee master and probably the most powerful of all the characters I've seen so far.  After taking Super Strength at Orange level, he literally could take out two Abominations in one attack with a single Cattle Prod by rolling a pair of 4+.  Oh, and he is one of the elite few that can withstand a hit from an Abomination without any additional armor.

Given Goliath's massive combat effectiveness and his 'bodyguard protocols', it would seem fitting to add a house rule that Goliath can at no time be further than 2 zones from Jennie if at all possible.  That would both be very thematic as well as put a minor limitation on this otherwise melee juggernaut.  Since CMON felt it appropriate to not even create a separate web page for the two of them, it seems the intent is clearly for them to stick together.

With Goliath done, the Orphans Gang is complete!  Here is a group photo:
This gang definitely feels like the most overpowered group of characters just due to all of them having the Unstoppable skill at blue.  They can basically speed-run many missions with minimal resistance.  I'm sure I'll use them all together at least a time or two, but likely one or two will be picked to join another 'normal' group that still has the possibility of getting 'stuck' with Xenos.  

Another observation after playing with four of these characters on a mission that includes Xenomoths - the orphans are basically impervious to them.  Since the moths either move or attack and the orphans can just move out of their zone, they can basically just be ignored except for some perhaps strange edge cases.  Over-powered, but really neat-looking models!

Paints used on this model:

Next up on the workbench:

Friday, December 23, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Ink


Ink is apparently the least tech-savvy of the gang (other than Goliath) and only gets any sort of machine-oriented skills at Red.  Of course, it is Remote Control All rather than fiddling with a single Bot or Turret.  Again, we see 'Zero-G Run' as a skill on a character that has Unstoppable.  It appears Zero-G Run may be slightly less flexible than a Free Movement Action since Zero-G Run requires moving two zones at once.

Paints used on this model:
Next up on the workbench:

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Jennie


Jennie followed suit and was a fun-to-paint model.  The boots are a common theme to this gang and they are really neat looking.  They look like ski boots and the orange/white contrast really makes them stand out.  Generally, the feet are kind of ignored with the 'faces and bases' approach of many hobbyists.  Clearly, I don't spend a lot of time on the bases, so I'm happy to see the extra details on the boots.

Brothers-in-arms skills are always a nice attribute as it not only gives some sort of bonus (+1 Die Ranged in this case), but also encourages the group to stay together.  As with any sci-fi, D&D, or horror movie, splitting the party usually doesn't end well.  

Paints used on this model:

Next up on the workbench:

Friday, December 16, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Wizard


The Wizard was another fun model to paint.  Zenithal highlighting was definitely helpful to add natural variation in color to the blue jeans and jacket.  The only issue I had to deal with is that the yellow looked a bit green going over the darker areas.  This may not have been too big of an issue if the primary color of the jacket wasn't green.  As it was, it looked like paint from the jacket had spilled onto the underside of the arms of the jacket.  The problem was solved by mixing a little brown into the yellow and selectively layering the shaded parts.  I definitely wanted to avoid using any sort of brown wash on the sleeves of the jacket as that lesson has been learned several just makes it look 'dirty'.  

Taking a break between base-coating and highlighting & touch-ups seemed to work a bit better.  At the very least, it didn't feel as tiring to paint a character start-to-finish in one sitting.  Completing The Wizard marks the halfway point of the Orphans Gang.  I'm enjoying painting them thus far and will miss painting their over-the-top orange and white flight suits/armor once all are complete.

As with most of the rest of the gang, The Wizard is heavy into machine control plus some extra movement opportunities.  Although, Zero-G Run at Yellow for a character who already is 'Unstoppable' does not seem to make much sense other than being just a nerfed Free Movement action.  A Free Movement Action is a Red-option for him though so he can really zip around at red.

Paints used on this model:

Next up on the workbench:

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Clops

Clops is the second member of the Orphan Gang.  He turned out ok in my opinion, but I learned that it is probably better to work on these over two shorter evenings rather than painting a character in a single night.  I felt that I rushed him a bit and this paint job is definitely not as clean as Baby was.  Base-coating one evening and highlighting the next may be the better approach.  

Clops follows along with the scavenge theme that Baby has and will enjoy a free search as the blue skill. Generally, this skill becomes less useful halfway through most missions and actually can make things more difficult since the temptation to search late in the game for 'free' can generate some unfortunate spawns.

He does, however, gain Remote Control: All in orange which could make up for it.  I initially thought the Remote Control: All was a bit out of character and steps on the skills of more specialized characters, but Clops does have a cybernetic eye so maybe there is some Bot/Turret-UI built into it...

Similar to Baby, Clops is a well-modeled miniature and I really enjoy seeing weapons that have some better detail than some of the previous examples.  The armor did feel a little more ambiguous to me which made it a little more difficult to know what color to paint the various bits and to know where one stops and the next begins.

Paints used on this model:
Next up on the workbench:

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Zombicide Invader - Baby

Somebody (Karl Kopinski & Patrick Massonreally took their time designing and sculpting the Orphans Gang.  While most of the characters in Invader do have a lot of detail and 'character', the Orphans Gang is a notch above.  I really enjoyed painting the first of the gang, Baby.  Combined with the easy-to-use AK Interactive paints, the highlights of the various bits were easy and effective.  I would consider Baby's face the best I've been able to do up to this point - certainly assisted by the crisp sculpting.

The Orphans Gang has a second default blue skill 'Unstoppable' meaning they can escape from zones with Xenos without having to spend extra actions.  I've never actually played a character with this skill, but it seems like it could be fairly powerful - perhaps a bit too powerful to be balanced.  Not every character is intended to be perfectly balanced with every other character in this game so it really isn't a huge issue.  Most of the gang has search and machine-related actions which in many circumstances are less high-powered so maybe the balance is not too far off.

During the Kickstarter, the Orphans Gang was not added to my list of purchases.  At the time I thought these did not fit the theme very well and I just didn't like the thought of a bunch of 'Unstoppable' kids running around.  Well, I never thought I'd be painting all of the characters for this game nor did I think this would be my favorite of the Zombicide line...  The completionist in me was able to win and found the gang for sale on eBay.  In hindsight, I should have waited until the Game Steward sale where I could have picked them up for $7.99!

Paints used on this model:

Next up on the workbench: