With the zombies all painted up, I found myself reaching for something hobby related to work on. Sure, I could work on some models that I’ve been neglecting for years in preparation for an upcoming Apocalypse game, but where’s the fun in that? One thing that I could work on, but I really shouldn’t, is painting up the heroes for Zombicide.
Some might argue that it’s more important to have the heroes painted up than the villians, but I contend the opposite: when you play the game, you’re only using a small subset of the available heroes, but theoretically all of the zombies can make an appearance. At any given time, there will be–at a maximum–six or so characters, but there could be more than a hundred zombies on the table, so they’re certainly going to catch your eye. That doesn’t even factor in the fact that zombies are color coded, so need to be in a simply enough scheme to know at a glance what color they are so they’re necessarily more plain in coloring and therefore easier to paint.
Characters need to be more recognizable for who they are and are something that players are going to identify with, so one should really spend a little more time painting them up. Sure, there are roughly 500% more zombies in the box, but for these reasons, I opted to paint the zombies first. When they were finished, I really contemplated calling it a day, but some wild hair caused me to reach into the box and try my hand at painting a few heroes as well.
For the first go-around, I opted to filter through the cards to find those people that had more black in their scheme than others. I figured that would make them far easier to paint, since I basically undercoat everything in black anyway.
The first of the characters on the chopping block turned out to be Dan, the firefighter. I chose him because he was dressed essentially in black from head to toe. With this model, I was basically setting a standard that I was hoping to paint all of the others figures to. The goal was to get them to look like the character on the card, but not to spend a ridiculous amount of time on any figure. I wound up painting Dan, his Zombivor (which is probably supposed to be pronounced like “survivor”, but I pronounce more like ‘Zomb-a-vore’), along with the next two models (and their zombivors) in a single afternoon. In total, that meant I was spending probably between 30-60 minutes per figure and coming up with something that was a relatively good resemblance of the card photo. Sure, if you look closely, you’ll notice lack of detail (eyes, shoelaces, etc.), but I suspect you’d have a hard time mistaking him for another character from the game.
After Dan, I worked on “M. Phal,” who comes from the Gaming Night Kit #4 and is apparently based upon a French character from films. If I understand correctly, he’s roughly akin to Mr. Bean, and is just generally annoying (hence the “Taunt” ability on his player card). I wound up buying him on ebay for $10 shipped, because why not? He’s in even more black than Dan, but the reason I didn’t work on him first is that his card has subtle pin-striping on his suit and I wasn’t sure how to pull that off. What I wound up doing was doing the pin-striping on the model over the black base-coat and then applying a few layers of black wash over the top of it. The end result isn’t perfect, but it works at this level of quality: a subtle striping within the suit.
Grindlock was the third model I worked on and the special tweak on this figure is definitely the tattoos. My friend, who also wound up painting up his copy of Zombicide, said he didn’t even bother with the tats. The thing is that they’re really not that hard: just use a micron pen. It takes a somewhat steady hand, but since I’m not trying to great work, it’s easy to pull off. I’ve used this technique before on my Grey Knights, but you can also see quite a bit of scrollwork on my bastion.
So, after knocking out three characters (six figures total), I have to say that I no longer consider it impossible–or even overwhelming–to think that I could paint them all up. I’m not going to say that I’ll do it anytime soon, but if I were to be able to keep this pace, I would be done with them within a month’s time. More realistically, I’ll be done by 2018…