Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Zombie of the Month- June 2015- USX Modern Day Heroes: Zombie Horde by RAFM Miniatures

Apparently, even Lovecraft fanatics need some zombies every once in a while…

   What’s so great about these Zombies? I'll be honest, I mainly picked them up because they were on decent clearance at FRP. However, once I opened the box I was delighted to discover that there were some characters in there that you are not likely to run into anywhere else. You've got a skateboarder, a kid with a Mohawk and boombox, a crossing guard, and what looks to be the butler with a cleaver. If you don't like your zombies holding things, you might not like how often that happens in this box, but if you don't mind that, it gives you some interesting figures. Oh, and, by the way, the crossing guard is holding something… he's holding his other arm which is still holding the stop sign. Pretty cool.
   There are a couple of weird things about this box, but they are probably not deal breakers for most people. First, there are some duplicates. No, I mean some. Not all. In the box of 12 I got 2 skateboarders, 2 "preppy" kids, and 7 other uniques. Okay, no big deal.
   Also, they don't look like they were all sculpted by the same person, which doesn’t really matter when you're building a horde, but I figured I'd mention it. I read somewhere that they were sculpted by James Van Schaik, but I'm not sure they ALL were. It looks like this was actually several different groups of zombies originally sold separately, then put together into a bigger box. For the record, according to my research, I think the Von Schaik set is the kid with a backpack, the dead hooker (yay, more dead hookers!), the crossing guard, and the guy I painted like a disco dancer. While they may look like they may be earlier pieces in terms of the sculpts themselves, they certainly show Mr. Von Schaik's ability to present interesting personalities. They also are the most obviously undead, each having some pretty grievous injuries. Some of the other sculpts you might want to paint in a really undead flesh tone and add some blood dripping from their mouths, because they could get mistaken for lethargic living folk. Or, you could just take a couple of them and paint them as living civilians, if you're into that sort of thing.


The Basics: 

Scale- I've seen them listed as both 28mm and 32mm. The reason is again that it's a composite of different models.  Some are as small as 26mm to the eye, some are as big as 31mm to the eye (28mm to 33mm overall height).

Genre- Modern, unless they had school crossing guards and skateboards in the middle ages.

Material- White Metal

Parts ‘N’ Bits- None… well, none that aren't part of the miniatures. I mean, there are definitely
some extra body parts on the models, 'cause, zombies.

Assembly- These are all one-piece minis, which is only a shame because there are duplicates in
the box, and them being one piece leaves you no easy way to make them different.

Bases- Yeah, about that… they come on, uh, assorted bases? Some are square slotted, some
round. Some have those small, sculpted, integrated bases. Just more evidence that they were not
originally intended to be released together in one box set.


Sculpt- 3 brains out of 5- I couldn't find an official release date on the big box or any of the smaller
boxes that these figures must have originally come in, but I get the feeling that these figures are a few years old. They are certainly decent sculpts and fun to work with, but nothing mind-blowing (aside from the crossing guard holding his own arm holding the stop sign- can you tell I love that?)

Affordability- 3 brains out of 5- If you're lucky, this might come in at a 4. I have seen this box sell for anything from $12.99 - $35, for 12 figures. So, at 1 to 3 dollars plus shipping, they are never a bad price, and sometimes a really good one.

Value- 3 brains out of 5- Decent sculpts plus decent price equals decent value, plain and simple.

Availability- 3 brains out of 5- These guys aren't rampantly oozing out of the internet, but you shouldn't have any trouble finding them. You also might find smaller boxes of some of the figures in the set, if you look around.

Pros: Some nice unique characters at a decent price

Cons: Disjointed sculpts and bases, not all of the figures are classic, unarmed, decaying zombies

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