Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Where Are All the Zombies?

The Nazi-zombie menace from the popular video game, Call of Duty: Black Ops

The fourth season of The Walking Dead premiered this past Sunday and I couldn't wait to watch it. Aside from spending time with the family, only two other things have the potential to distract me from the workbench - hockey and zombies. So, Sunday night I didn't get much work done. Instead, I planted myself firmly on the couch and tuned in to my favorite television series, uninterrupted. At the very least, the show provides some instruction on how to survive the impending zombie apocalypse, and teaches us that people with eye patches can't be trusted.
Any way, the show got me thinking about how well represented the genre is in our hobby. Eventually, I would love to create a diorama depicting the zombie hoards over running a band of hapless survivors, but unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the industry is behind me.

Let's see what we got...

In order to survive the apocalypse and navigate the cruel world that has grown out of it, you'll need a vehicle and resources. Fortunately, with some imagination, any Revell 1/25 scale car or truck kit can be converted with a little effort into a prime zombie killing machine. If you've got a lick of scratch building skills, this conversion shouldn't be too difficult and you can wind up with some pretty killer machines like what you see here...

Click to see more zombie killing Z-28

Perhaps a car isn't your preferred mode of transportation. No problem there, there are numerous truck options available from Revell that can leave you with an impressive undead dominator like this one...

Click to view more Ford pickup Zombie Truck

You can see that this truck has a handy tool for fighting off the relentless waves of infected individuals looking to munch on your brains. The mini gun and goodies in the truck bed are provided by aftermarket company Dark World Creations who provide a modest, but useful amount of vehicle accessories to compliment your ride.
Of course, this is all in 1/24 or 1/25 scale. While they look good as stand alone models, its nice to contextualize your build with figures and a story line. This is where the industry falls short. Dark World Creations does sell figures, both of living and the undead variety, that match the vehicle's scale but they do not market enough of them to really inspire a compelling diorama.

Well, what about 1/35 scale? Sorry, but this is no better. The world of 1/35 is dominated by military subjects and are built by modelers who I would guess have little interest in the world populated by zombies. It shouldn't take much imagination to figure out how to employ a Humvee or Deuce and a Half as the central piece to an apocalyptic vignette, and there are plenty of figures on the market to use as survivors. Even if you didn't want to use a military style vehicle, Meng Models makes a nice pick up truck that can be converted to suit your purposes. With the amount of aftermarket stowage available in this scale, you could turn this into a great all-terrain zombie killing machine in no time.

Click to see more Meng Model's Zombie Truck
But what about zombies?
Ah, that's where things get real difficult. Unfortunately, I have not come across a company yet that manufactures the undead in 1/35 scale. This is highly disappointing as you are now required to sculpt your own figures, which is no easy task, making the idea of a diorama slightly more daunting.
Zombies are available in almost every other figure range, like collectibles, busts, action figures, and toys but not plastic kits. The closest thing I've seen is an interesting set of plastic zombies that would go well against your son's collection of green army men...
Otherwise, you're left to your own devices. Without a figure line available, you'll have to rely on your own creativity, like this guy did in recreating an actual scene from The Walking Dead...

Diorama of Rick Grimes leaving the hospital in The Walking Dead (click for more)
But without proper zombie figures, its difficult to go much further than that. 

Never the less, one can remain hopeful. There are always aftermarket companies springing up all the time. With the popularity of the genre, perhaps some one will attempt to capitalize on it, and at which point I will tell them...

Thanks for reading!


  1. How freakishly coincidental that you write this post. I'm in the middle of making the 'don't open - dead inside' scene for a Halloween post on my blog. I LOVE The Walking Dead.
    The only non-military 1:35 I've seen are on here Sorry, no zombies. I think you're going to have to bite the bullet and cannibalize something for body parts =0(

    1. I would love to see that once you are finished!
      Industria Mechanika makes some great figures and vehicles for those who want some more industrial/steampunk/fantasy like subjects. Been following their work for a while now. If they made a line of zombie-apocalypse related figures, that would be awesome. But yeah, in the mean time I'm stuck. Nice word play there at the end too.

  2. Hey, Jon, cool post! Never been into zombies myself, apart from WWII one I suppose, but post apocalyptic vehicles - they look cool! Just an idea, but maybe sometime we could have a Union Group Build?

    1. This is genius in the making! My only concern there is that there are several members who dabble only in wargaming material so finding a topic that would appeal to all of us might be tricky! But good idea to keep in mind! I have designed a T-shirt though......

  3. Good read at just after 6 in the morning. It certainly seems our fait is to be fighting Zombies in the near future. I appreciate the tips on vehicle survival....
    I like your idea and it would look great to see a diorama of some soldiers battling the on slaught

    1. Thanks Shayne! One of these days, when I get some time, I may try to sculpt some zombies for a scene like this. One of these days...

  4. Great blog post. I am loving the vehicles. From a Wargaming perspective 28mm (1/56) has lots of zombies available and you can find vehicles in the right scale that can be easily converted into zombie killing machines.

    1. Hmmm I'll have to look into this and see if anything piques my interest. Really, anything at this point is better than what's in 1/35 (which is not much)

  5. John, you could always buy some 1/35 figures and build them your own way; distort the limbs, paint the face appropriately, and then have them being taken on by an up-armoured truck or something. Quite do-able for a man of your creativity.

  6. New company dealing with 1/35 scale survivors and zombies....more are coming