February 20, 2013

Judge Dredd Miniature Game: Zombie Horde Review

Sitting around on a quiet Sunday evening is one of the few times of the week that I actually have to myself. Often I'll just sit and watch some TV and try to decompress a bit before Monday morning responsibility thunders back into view. Last Sunday I didn't even watch what was on the TV, I merely listened while I put together some more models from my ever-growing mountain of lead and plastic!

The Zombie Horde pack is, to my knowledge, the only Judge Dredd set that comes with plastic components. Interestingly enough, the plastic parts in this kit are zombie sprues by Mantic Games. The pack contains a zombie mistress, a zombie judge, a sprue of metal heads and two sprues of metal shoulder/elbow/knee pads, a few pouches, six identical metal torsos, eight bases and two sprues of Mantic zombies.

I received this pack as part of my Council of Judges pledge on Kickstarter from before Christmas, so they arrived without retail packaging. That said, I'm uncertain if this is exactly what you would receive when purchasing in store or directly from Mongoose Publishing.

The number of parts included is really good and provides a lot of options to customize your shambling horde of flesh-eating undead. I tried to make good use of all the bits and mix up the metal and plastic parts as much as possible. In fact, if you were to throw in a few more bases one could squeeze a few more completed figures out of the parts included.

I have a few very minor complaints about the zombie pack. Keep in mind...these are definitely minor issues:
  1. There aren't anywhere near enough lower bodies provided to make use of all the heads and upper bodies. With some additional parts from your bits box, or a little sculpting handiwork, that could quite easily be remedied. If not then you're simply left with some extra zombie parts. 
  2. All of the included metal torsos are exactly the same. I didn't consider it to be a large issue, as the left arm is fairly easy to reposition and thus squeeze slightly different poses out of.
  3. The bottom base of the mantic zombies are designed to go in...Mantic bases. You'll need to use lots of ballast or some green stuff to make them not look funny on the provided 25mm bases. As it is, they'll stand pretty tall compared to similarly scaled models if you don't trim those off.
  4. There are no female zombies included, just the horde mistress. Maybe the women of Mega-City One can all run faster than the men...?

I really like the look of the zombie mistress. She definitely has a necromancer / witch vibe to her, but with a few little touches like the metal finger-cap gloves that say she could be a resident or exile from Mega-City One.

There isn't much to say about the zombie judge, he's just plain cool.

I posted a few shots of Harold the Cit-Def zombie some weeks ago, but here he is with the rest of the horde (third from the right). As you can see I've tried out some different colours as a basis for their flesh tones. I tried to get a good cross-section of paint lines and colours that I thought might work well for undead flesh. From left to right I've used: Army Painter Necrotic Flesh, P3 Thrall Flesh, Army Painter Skeleton Bone, P3 Jack Bone, GW Kommando Khaki and GW Bleached Bone. I've definitely noticed that the P3 paints have the best coverage over black, only requiring two coats where the others all needed three or even four.

I really do like the colour of the Necrotic Flesh, but I think it's a little bit too green for how I feel my zombies should look. Thrall Flesh or Skeleton bone is probably a little closer, and might work nicely using the necrotic flesh as a shading colour underneath it. I'm not going to repaint any of these. I plan to complete them all with the flesh colour they have, to see which one turns out closest to my mental image. Which one do you folks think looks best?

And here's the whole flesh-munching family!

I took my own advice and created a few more zombies from the remaining parts. All that I need will be two extra bases to glue them to.

And finally...I mentioned that the hands on the metal torsos are easily repositioned. I simply couldn't resist creating a Johnny Cash-style 'ef you' zombie! The focal length on my camera didn't cooperate, which is probably good, because now I don't have to blur out his hand!

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