29 Apr 2012

Altering Mantic zombies

Well, Mantic's zombies are okay. They're cheap, plastic, come in big boxes and nicely detailed. I, to be honest, prefer Wargames factory zombies, because they're modern and not as big (mantic's are heroic, probably to fit with GW's style). But WGF's are not nearly as nice.

As you can read in my review, you get 10 (or in my case, 11) sprues, 3 (or 4) zeds per sprue. That surely allows you for MILLIONS of combinations, with different arm (yes, only one), torso, legs, head, different angles etc etc. But the cruel reality is, they still look all the same. Rougly one third has arms stretched out, chasing things, 1/3 has one arm lift up, pointing left, like signalising, 33.3% are bowed forward like they're puking or at least saying hello to Japan. You can make some crawlers, but those are all the same, too. And making a crawler leaves you with torsoless legs, which isn't too zombific. I mean, no brains = no walking dead. And what you get there is a walking spine. I made one and won't do it anymore. I did more crawlers, which leaves me with spare legs.  Again, keep in mind I like mantic and keep in mind that even as I prefer WGF zombies, story is the same. Plastic zeds are anyways more or less meant for bulking the horde and if you are a beginner, as myself, buy 1 box of each, add a box of mantic ghouls and youre at 80 zombies or more, all for, what...a bit over 50 pounds? It is a good way to get you started. That was my point.
   So, to cut the chatter, and show some pic, what have I done so far?

I went by the book (NMRIH) and I've decided to make some special zombies that I could use in my game. Ladies (any ladies out there? At all?) and gents, I present you....

The howler:
The howler is a zombie that...well, howls, and was actually made by mistake. I was sick of my zombies being bent forward, so I cut the torso on two pieces. Then I picked the smaller piece and reversed it (front is at back). I glued on the rest and Bob is someone's uncle :P. I filled the little gaps that appeared with some green stuff. I even put his head in this position totally unawared. So, he will be played as zed, as rager, or, if I, master of his soul, decide that way, a howler.

The tongue guy:

The tongue is a zed that grabs you with a tongue and beats you up...or something. I haven't played the game (Left for dead, if Im correct?), so this was a new kind of zombie to me, but as it was a question of cutting his lower jaw, putting a wire in his mouth, coating it in putty and shaping the cut jaw ( I saved his original one but lost it before I managed to finish the tongue. Plus I think I wouldn't use it as it would end up awkward. Thats all what it is to this zombie. So, few minutes of work and voila, you got yourself a special zed!

The shambler:

The shambler isn't a special zed by himself...but the thing is, all Mantic zeds look way too...hmm...active? So, what I did was I took the both-hands-in-the-air zed and I've cut them. Yes, sir, just chopped'em right off! I cut them so they could be positioned at different angle, and here he is, a sad zed. I even put his head looking down...it is a hard life with no friends around :(.

Here is another pic, so you can see he really is sad...or confused. It depends on level of your humanity:

The crawlers:

You are correct! The crawlers crawl. I build one with repositioned arm and showed him few posts back. Hes nothing special so I haven't included him here. This one is different. I was thinking...I don't want him to hold head nor hand, so I chopped his hand. Then I figured, he's a crawler, he had to get thorn apart, no? So I've chopped his jaw (tongue test!) and added some extra guts. The tongue would probably get ripped off, but it looks cooler that way, hehe.

The second guy is a WIP and a more complicated. The idea was, I'd sculpt him legs, so we could say he got hit by a car or fell from the roof or something, and broken them. I used miliput to see how it is like and I am not satisfied. Miliput gets dusty, kinda like DAS putty, while greenstuff is more stretchy. I had it mixed so I've made the basis for extra work from it. I will use the rest to sculpt some random scenery. As you can, hopefuly, see from the pic, it's a failed concept. And idea that got smashed by my skills, etc etc. His torso was so highly angled, it actually looks weird. his legs came out short. I made him a bit..."heavier" and after few layers of GS, I hope he will look a bit more decent, because I really liked the idea, lol. Well, more sculpting practice!

I also went on and tried to sculpt a T-shirt on one of mantic zeds, to get him dressed up, too many chest showing around. But well...I am not sure I will do that too many, and will jsut keep them fantasy-styled. Maybe called them patients :D

As it goes for other "special" zeds, I am missing (out of top of my head), a brute, a fat zombie and a smart one. First two will probably come from Tengu's models, but I will probably give it a try at sculpting, too. Brute is just bulkied zed and fatty is my extra legs I was talking about + blob of putty. Sounds easy, just like the crawler from the last pic :P.  I still have no plans for making the smart zed, but might do it when I get struck by an idea. 

Well, thanks again for looking, thanks for 2 thousand views and feel free to comment.


  1. This is looking pretty good!

    2k views is pretty good going mate!!!

  2. Congrats on the 2k views. They tongue zed is my favorite from this bunch

  3. Those conversions have come out well for the most part (not keen on that last crawler, though). Have you looked at Studio Minis' Only The Dead Are Left set of zombies? They are exactly what you're looking for and are beautifully sculpted. I'll be reviewing them on my blog very soon, so t you can get a closer look then.

  4. @ Siwoc Thanks!
    @ Brummie Thanks. Mine too, but I don't like his rules, to be honest...I think I'll stay with ordinary zeds for a while, hehe
    @ Vampifan Totally forgot about Studio miniatures, will check them out! Review will come handy, hehe. And I agree, last one was a miss, but will try to fix him as best as I can :)

  5. You did some excellent work there. I like the sad zombie best. He will really stand out from the crowd. You did a really good job on the crawler with his tongue hanging out. These are great conversions.

  6. That's the one really good thing about the plastics and that is that they are easy to convert and you've done a very good job converting yours Mathyoo

  7. @Joe Thanks! Heh, I guess he really will, with all other Mantic zeds being so agressive :P

    @Zabadak Thank you. And I agree, when I bought them I was looking forward to cut some...I did it less when it came to doing it, but still, I have fun :D

  8. Replies
    1. Thank you! Moving on steadily :)

  9. Nice work, I liked them for use as fast zeds or ragers!

  10. I had a play about with these when I got some last year. I like the idea of crawlers as a seperate type of zombie. They reminded me of the one Rick talked to at the end of the first episode of Walking Dead. I put some entrails being dragged behind one. I also combined some bits with the Wargames Factory Zombies.

  11. @ Lurker Oh, hey, welcome :D. I agree, they don't look too "shambly" :(
    @ Fred I was thinking of using crawlers when a grenade (or similar blast weapon) or .50 cal would hit the zeds but not kill them. It would rip them appart, so you'd get crawler...but I am afraid 3 won't be enough in that case, hehe. Mix them with WGF as using mantic torso and WGF legs? I saw those, but I don't like the result...prefer to keep them as they are. I am thinking how I could get rid of their robes, tho. Its disturbing, not too modern :P