Alternative Zombie Miniatures
Selected by the White Knight
If you're asking me, zombies have had all the bad PR. Sure, they look ugly as hell and you can probably smell them coming a mile away, but being dead kind of does that to you. But what is the constant reminder that zombies are supposed to be braindead about? I mean, look at skeletons, they've got air for brains, surely that must be a far greater inconvenience then a few worms wiggling their way through your cerebral tissue? But anyway, I'm trailing off. What you have here before you is the Zombie Showcase, a tribute to all things rotten in the 28-or-thereabout-mm-scale.
Zombies are usually pictured as slow moving and cannibalistic, with a gastronomic preference for fresh human brains. Various explanations have been given as to their origins, be it Voodoo witchcraft, necromancy or a mad scientist's reanimation experiment gone wrong. Lately the tendency has also moved towards treating it as a disease, a virus that is often transmitted through wounds inflicted by zombies. Whatever it is, once you've joined their ranks there is no way back and the only cure usually comes down to the unwilling separation of the zombie and his rotting brain. In other words, blow their brains out...
The purpose of this document, as with all the Army Showcases, is to offer some exposure to the different ranges that are out there- as we know some people are unwittingly restricted to one or two high profile manufacturers which shall not be named. All comments are of course only opinions, but are based on personal experience with the respective companies. And so, on to the manufacturers- in no particular order of preference...
The renowned French manufacturer of Confrontation figures has ventured in the world of rotting flesh and bad breath. And as always, they do it with style and and, in this case, the right amount of gore.
They naturally produce some rank & file human zombies, be it with or without armour, but they don't stop there. Take a look at the splendid Wolfen zombies (three different models) or, in general fantasy terms, zombie wherewolves...
The highlight of what they have to offer, is this splendid model of a charming fellow who's decomposing in more than one sense. I'm not sure whether you get two miniatures for the price of one or just one for the price of two. But this is Rackham, so who cares. Only available from Rackham directly.
2. Fenryll Miniatures
French manufacturer of a large range of unusual resin miniatures. The material, resin, is more brittle than you'll be used to and makes the minis a bit delicate, but also allows to cram in all sorts of fine detail you just can't get with metal. Although many of their minis look a bit strange when you look a the pictures, the unpainted ones will often surprise you when you see them in the flesh (resin). The site just doesn't do them justice. They have 3 packs of 3 zombies (codes FM06, FM22, FM41)and one Zombie Troll (not shown).
3. i-Kore Celtos
I-Kore manufactures and distributes fantasy miniatures for the Celtos game. Their undead figures are called the Fir Bolg and count more than one zombie among their ranks.
The first of the lot is a special character called Mordred "The Damned", whose healthy complexion leaves no doubt as to his condition. He does not come alone however and next up are some decent rank & file handweapon zombies and zombie spearmen (2 sets). The putrification process seems to be in the early stages and although battlescarred, their skin tissue seems more or less intact. These are the newly dead and when compared to their older kin, they are relatively fresh.
4. West Wind Productions
This relatively new company keeps surprising us with new ranges: Gothic Horror, Samurai Wars, Cowboy Wars, Gladiator Wars, Cobalt, etc..., and now a full-blown fantasy range, Dwarf Wars. While this latter range does not yet have undead miniatures, the Gothic Horror line carries more than a few to keep us happy. First there is the "Zombie" line keeping the Voodoo tradition in honor and including a pack with 10 zombies, which would fit in anywhere. The "Bad Moon over Memphis" line offers a pack of 4 Zombie Rock Fans and by "rock" I mean the music genre, not the large stones. And who knows what more they'll come up with...
5. Excelsior miniatures
The company that now owns Warzone and Chronopia, the latter being another source for zombie miniatures. Chronopia miniatures are in general well sculpted miniatures and come with round slotted bases. Their stuff is a bit less generic than some other companies but well worth checking out.
The zombies in this range are comparable to the i-Kore ones, with a minimum of gore. The line to look for would normally be the "Devout", which are somewhat of a cross between chaos and undead armies. You won't find the zombies there however. For some reason those are part of the "Sons of Kronos" (barbarians) army. They are simply called "the unliving" but they're clearly a type of zombies.
6. Black Tree Design
Aka Icon Miniatures aka Harlequin Miniatures. One day the founding fathers of this company must have woken up and said: "If you can't beat them, join them." Or at the very least imitate them as best you can, but at lower cost. Their ranges went to a great deal of effort to closely mirror those of that other giant of fantasy miniatures that will remain nameless for the purpose of this showcase. Given this strategy, there were bound to be some zombies in the range.
More zombies can be found in the "Harlequin Fantasy" range. These are wearing remnants of military equipment, with some scraps of (probably rusty) armour. Basically they look like medieval footsoldiers. But zombies. Some have handweapons, other carry twohanded weapons, spears, halberds or even crossbows.
7. Grenadier/EM-4 Miniatures
The old Grenadier "Fantasy Warrior" range, distributed for a while by Nemo miniatures, to be re-re-released in the near future by eM-4 Miniatures, includes models for an undead army. And if you see "undead", then what do you think? Well, mostly skeletons, I guess... But zombies too!
Mostly known, for their smaller scale hordes, Kallistra also manufactures some 28mm figures: High Elves, Wood Elves, Orcs, Pygmies and, last but not least, Zombies. These are the "raised from the grave"-type of zombies and some of them still carry their tombstone around. For sentimental reasons or just to smack you over the head with, who knows what goes on in those decomposing brains of theirs?
9. Ral Partha
The classic miniatures manufacturer. Dead, but not necessarily gone. A large proportion of the old Ral Partha ranges are still available through Ral Partha Europe, for us Old Worlders, or Iron Wind Metals, in the US. If you can't find the mini you're looking for in the one catalog, then go over the other and you may be lucky. And if you're wondering, yes, they have some zombies, mainly in the "Crucible" range...
Another one of the Golden Oldies. Well, some are great anyway. They have revamped their website a while back and though we're still waiting for some of the pictures, it's been a vast improvement. You should have no problem browsing through the ranges to find that putrified walking corpse of your dreams... err... you know what I mean...
Look under "The Lich Masters" for zombie slaves and "Demons of Darkness" for an 'undead troll' (picture) and a 'plague troll'.
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If you're looking for other undead allies to fight alongside or to command your zombies, then take a look at the excellent All Things Bony, Tombs of the Pharoahs and All Things Bloody showcases.
If you want to use these minis in the excellent "Zombies" boardgames, take a look at our very own UnclEvl's optional rules.
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