Friday, January 30, 2015

Zombie of the Month- January 2015- Plague Zombies by Mantic Games

   Well, a new year, a new batch of snarling undead. If you think the ZOM class picture was scary last year, wait 'till you see what I intend to get on the table by the end of THIS year. I have some insane ideas planned out for zombie entertainment. But alas, the big crazy stuff will have to wait until after our double-campaign schedule lightens up.
   In the meantime, though, I still have plenty of assorted zombies, either already in my possession, or still coming at me via Kickstarters. I'm going to start off with one that our regular readers may have already caught a glimpse of in Zomtober. Even though they have already had their picture online, you know I like to give every zombie his spotlight. So, here it is:

The Zombie of the Month- January 2015- Deadzone Plague Zombies by Mantic Games

   What’s so great about these Zombies? The fact that they took the plague route. Zombie-ism caused by a plague is also classic, and it doesn't get as much attention as your standard works of necromancy. With plague zombies you get the opportunity to walk on that bridge between the decaying undead look and the mutant look, so you can get some really nasty looking stuff, and of course, spikey bits. If there's anything better than zombies, it's zombies with spikey bits. I mean, come on.
   There are definitely some fun things going on in these models. They have some really twisted poses, as though they are all writhing, enhanced by the versatility of being multi-part models. There are boney spikes growing right through their clothes, as if they are mutating in front of your eyes. And then there's the guy with serious Jacob Marley syndrome- that mouth is so open it takes up half his body. And it's filled with... you don't want to know.
   So, these guys will definitely add some character to your horde. The only thing I wished Mantic had paid a little more attention to was proportions. There is something really awkward about the limbs. No, I don't mean zombie awkward. I mean that there are one or two torsos that look like they should be female, but none of the arms look any smaller. The legs don't either, but they are wearing pants, and that can be excused. The arms and hands, though, are rather massive to put on female figures- and this is coming from a female weightlifter. Second Class Elitist couldn't even tell which head was supposed to be the female one.
   So, yeah, there are a few rendering shortcomings. But, overall, I'd say it's worth grabbing a box for what can end up being 20 unique zombies. Happy Hunting!

The Basics:

Scale- The Deadzone game itself is kind of a gateway drug to Mantic's full sized sci-fi wargame Warpath, so it shares the same 28mm scale.

Genre- Deadzone is officially Sci-fi, but I think you could get away with using them for modern, too, if you painted them up to look like astronauts and SWAT team figures.

Material- Hard Plastic, which means you can use standard super glue or plastic glue.

Parts ‘N’ Bits- A box designed to make 20 zombies comes with 4 matching sprues, each of which comes with 5 pairs of legs, 7 torsos, 10 arms, and faces, helmets, and full heads that can form a total of 5 heads. Each piece on a sprue is unique, and the numbers of each component are approximate due to the way Jacob Marley is assembled. But that means you have enough variety to make far more than 5 unique figures per box. It also means that, if you don't want to make all 20, you'll have some nice body parts for your bitz box.

Assembly- They have this unique ball-and-socket assembly for pretty much everything, which allows you to change the angle of attachment of various body parts, allowing for more design possibilities. Sure, that means none of the joints are ever perfectly natural, but they're, you know, zombies.

Bases- Mantic bases. What can I say about Mantic bases? Well, they're Mantic bases. They're a little weird, with their flat top and indent on the back. If you have a particular need or use for them, well, there they are. Otherwise, think of them as flat bases- not slotted, not bevelled, not lipped.


Sculpt- 3 brains out of 5- I had a hard time rating these, because the sculpts are fairly decent, aside from a few glaring oddities, mainly pertaining to the proportion issues I mentioned. When every figure, guy or girl, has arms and hands as big as their legs and feet, it's a little distracting. Overall, though, fairly decent poses, and they blend in well to the zombie crowd. If you do not need sci-fi, you might find there to be a few too many "astronauts", though.

Affordability- 4 brains out of 5- Twenty zombies for 15 pounds, or for us American folk, around $25 before shipping. So, buck and a quarter, buck and a half per zombie, depending? Not bad at all, considering there are no total repeats.

Value- 4 brains out of 5- I considered giving these guys a 3 for value, but they got a bump for two things. One, that you could paint them to fit in for either modern or sci-fi, making them fairly versatile. Two, since they are multipart figures, you can almost entirely avoid having exact duplicates. For me, identical poses really stick out in a crowd, so they gain a lot of value for avoiding that.

Availability- 3 brains out of 5- I wouldn't say that you'll be able to find them all over the internet, but you won't have trouble finding them, either. You can probably snag a pack on Amazon (as is true with most things), or large online gaming stores like Miniature Market.

Pros: Fairly inexpensive box set with multiple possible pose variations and usable in more than one genre

Cons: Have to buy a whole box of 20, some repetition of pretty specific costumes, and a few awkward sculpting elements

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