FG's Mini review

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Modern day zombies

Modern day zombies

I've always thought that a modern zombie horde would be dead cool! (ahem... sorry). So I've picked up a bit of zombies everytime I came across some. But it was not until I saw the before and after Ashlee zombie by Hasslefree that gave me the inspiration to start the project. A brief shopping spree later, I ended up with a whole bunch of rotting miniatures. With the huge number of variants in the market, there is really no need to buy more than one of any of the miniatures! I love variants and so that is perfect. Most of the figures I bought in wave 1 are done now, and when I gather more funds, the unpainted side will grow again.

Note that the following are my personal opinions. Your own experiences may vary.

Anyway, here are some manufacturers that make zombies suitable for modern day apocalypes.

You can see this page translated into Polish at figurki.net.

Click here to see updates made to this page.

Click here to go to the index.

Cold War Miniatures
Probably the largest range of modern zombies on the market, and the easiest way to jam your table with maximum number of different zombies.

I'm not quite sure who the sculptor for this range is but it's pretty safe to bet he is a fan of zombies! I don't have the entire range, so only a few posted here. There are many many more sets available, each sold in a group of 5.

These figures comes with a peg on their leg, and also included are pre-textured bases with a corresponding hole for the peg. The bases are all pretty nice depicting sidewalks with road, pavement, tiles, and what not, some of which also have some rubbish like a drink can (I did not use them because I wanted them to have the same basing as my other zombies). The miniatures are approximately 28mm from sole to eye.


Sculpting: I've read some complaints on the sculpting for these online but I don't mind them much. They are a bit on the thin (and flat) side so if you don't like that, best to avoid or at least try with one or two packs first. Some of the details are also a bit rough. But I personally quite like the more realistic proportions which makes the horror ones more horror and the funny ones more funny. But the best things about these sculpts is the very strong genre feel. It doesn't get much more modern zombie survival then these folks.

Casting: Castings are good but you have to be careful with a few of the more fragile ones (due to the thin sculpt). Some of the bases were a bit mangled (the sides) and a few of the pegs aren't particularly good fit.

Whats nice: The sheer number of variants makes this one a winner! And all the speciality packs are very cool as well, like the hopital or the religion ones for example.


An affordable source of zombies to add a lot of variants and interesting poses to the tabletop. The earlier multipart zombies (which no longer seem available) were not so nice, but the second range of 20 zombies by Drew Williams are much better.

These figures uses slotted bases and the miniatures are approximately 30mm from sole to eye.

zombiesmith 1

Shown here are the twenty zombies that form their Zombie Horde by Drew Williams. In addition to this Drew also made 3 before and after zombie-fication set. The three sets are a preacher, a hick with a shotgun and a homemaker.

zombiesmith 2

Zombiesmith KidsThis set of zombie kids to the left was sculpted Alan Dyck and they are quite lovely! The kind folks at Zombiesmith threw them in free of charge when I ordered the 20 zombie pack.

Sculpting: A rather wide range in sculpting quality among the zombies here. Some are real gems, while others are a bit crudely sculpted. Don't let that put you off though as they are the minority. Damage are nice and interesting, with exposed internal stuff like bones, brains, guts, etc....

Casting: The casting is pretty sharp for most of these. Nothing stood out in my memory while cleaning them so thats always a good sign. One or two of the minis have a bit of rounded details, but I'm not sure if its caused by the sculpting, an overused old mould or poor casting.

Whats nice: The number of variants is a definite strong point with these. Its not just 20 different zombies, but 20 very different zombies. Each one is quite individual and different. Particularly fun are the celebrity zombies!

Eureka Miniatures
One of my favourite manufacters is this Australian shop that turns out some of the most interesting miniatures on the market. This range of zombies are sculpted by Kosta Heristanidis and designed to be without any bits that tie it to a time period so you can use them for any game (mostly)

These figures are mounted on integral bases and are approximately 29mm from sole to eye.

Eureka Zombies

Sculpting: The overall sculpting is a bit simple, esp obvious on some of the faces, but the surface detail is amazing. Its a bit gross overall but they are very lovely sculpts.

Casting: The last thing that I worry about when I buy from Eureka is the casting. Nic is a top mould maker and caster and all my Eureka lead comes crisp with minimal casting imprefections. And a good thing too, with all that gribbly surface detail...

Whats nice: A fantastic part about the super rich surface detail is that they are really easy to paint and you can get them to look reasonably good really really fast. These ten figures are probably the fastest to paint of all my zombies.

Copplestone Castings
Initially a star sculptor of Foundry, Mark Copplestone left and started his own shop, and thats how this tiny powerhouse started.

These zombies are part of his future wars line which is updated from his old Grenadier line. I think these zombies are totally new though. There is another set of 5 zombies in trooper uniforms which I don't have.

These figures are mounted on integral bases and are approximately 30mm from sole to eye.

Copplestone Zombies

Sculpting: Mark's strong point is the ability to sculpt the bare minimum to produce the maximum goods. All his sculpts are highly simplified and yet don't look it. Although they are only 5 variants, they are very well conceptualised. The poses are well done and the cartoony *uuagghhh* faces are great. His simple sculpting style makes painting them a dream as well, with both subtle blends and harsh contrasts working equally well.

Casting: These minis in particular were ok. I've had a few issues (misaligned casts, obliverated details) with Copplestone's casting with some of their other minis but they were a minority.

Hasslefree Miniatures
Anyone immersed in the hobby that knows me knows I'm a huge fan of Hasslefree Miniatures. This boutique manufacturer run by sculptor Kev White and wife Sally has been consistently putting out top quality and interesting product ever since it opened for business. And for a brief period, everyone went a bit zombie mad, and they produced zombie versions of two of their modern miniatures, Ashlee and Ray. I hope they do more!

HasslefreeThese figures uses slotted bases and are approximately 27-28mm from sole to eye.

Sculpting: As I have already said, I'm a huge fan and the top quality sculpts are a big part of that. The basic sculpt is great, anatomy spot on, the pose is very zombie and the damage is well done, from the exposed rib cage on Ashlee to the torn face on Ray.

Casting: Hasslefree mini's casting are tip top. I haven't had cause to complain about any of the many figures I have gotten.

Whats nice: The best part about these minis are the equipment. The cricket bat alone makes Ray a winner. And while the zombie Ashlee does not have a chainsaw, her living twin does, and thats cool too. Of course, they have many more modern living figures so check out their range!

Latest news is that a third adventurer is slated to be zombified, with a maybe release date of Jan 07. Can't wait! (the grey of zombie suzi is up. check it out on the forum of doom!)

Chris FitzPatrick
Not quite sure what the official stance of these miniatures is, but there have been rumours about on the net that Crocodile Games are selling a pack of zombies at their trade stands in conventions sculpted by Chris FitzPatrick. So when a friend wanted to purchase some miniatures direct from them, I sent an email and got myself a pack (they go for $9.95 USD for the three). They use slotted bases and stand about 28mm tall.

fitzzombSculpting: These are really beautiful stuff. Some of the best modern zombies in the market, really gorgeous sculpts. They are exactly what I want my zombie miniatures to be style-wise and the technical skill is very high, so yeah, I like them! Esp the two male faces, lovely. The details are nice, sharp, and abundant (without being overwhelming) and they have just the right amount of cartoony. Shame there is only three!

Casting: Nothing beyond the usual irritants, mould line across fingers and hair. About the casting quality you can expect from good manufacturers such as GW.

Whats nice: Great choice of subjects given the small number of them! :) Sigh, everything about them is nice!

Latest news, these three and another set of three (which are conversions off these) well be released soon on their website soon!

Long time mini manufacturer, RAFM is still famous as the producer of Bob Murch's Call of Cthulhu line among others. Recently they added a modern figures line of miniatures, named USX, Modern Day Heroes.

rafmAmong the various characters released was a pack of four zombies sculpted by James Van Schaik, which came into my possession as a gift from Capt Arjun. The figures are huge at about 33mm sole to eye, and uses slotted bases.

Sculpting: The slightly larger scale was not wasted as the sculptor did a lot of really nice and fine work on it. I especially liked the fine anatomical detail like the bone on the girl's knee, the many folds in the figures clothes. Also the face of the flannel guy is very cool too. Some of the anatomy did seem a bit odd but it was not too bad. One point of dissappointment was the way the area between the legs of the construction worker was done.

Casting: Unfortunately a slightly misaligned casting on the construction worker made it a nightmare to clean up as all that fine detail is a bit out of wack! Plus it did one of those most irritating miscast things where the middle part was indented creating a drain like depression where the mould line is. The rest was pretty alright but there it did take longer than normal to clean up.

Games Workshop PLC
Here is a manufacturer that needs no introduction. GW has produced a box of multi-part plastic zombies for their fantasy line. With a bit of work, they are be modernised. You can click here to see a photo of the minis before I primed them, so you can see where the alterations were made (the green parts!).

GW zombiesThere were 5 different types of legs and torso I think but the 5th one required a lot more hacking and sculpting so I didn't convert it. Not too sure which of the GW stable of sculptors made the masters for these zombie multiparts.

These figures have no integral bases nor a slot for the slotted bases. Like several of their other plastic sets, they just come with big feet for you to stick onto whatever you want, preferably plastic so you can use the plastic cement. They are approximately 28mm from sole to eye. I regret sticking them onto square bases, I really should have used round ones :S

Thanks to a few reminders, I should also point out that the plague zombies for their Necronumda game makes great modern zombies as well. There are a few details and assesories that are out of place but they will still sit in the shambling crowd nicely.

Sculpting: The OTT cartoony bits are quite fun and these figures paint up exceptionally well. Even the absurbly huge paws are a bit charming. I didn't like the lidless eyes so I fixed that. I added more hair on them too as too many of them were bald! And like all of their multipart plastics with naked shoulders, the joints are very ugly so I had to putty over them as well. Also, if I had noticed all of them having no noses, I would have added one or two back. Still all in all, they came out quite nicely.

Casting: Pretty much standard plastic casting from GW.

Reaper Miniatures
A top tier long time American mini manufacturer that targets the RPG market, here are another bunch of fantasy zombies pressed into modern service. They have more zombies but these by Stefan Niehues are particularly good for modern since two of them are in rags and the third's clothes look modern enough.

Reaper ZombiesThis pack is from their Warlords range and hence are designed for use with a slotted base and are a bit on the big side at about 30mm sole to eye.

Sculpting: These are great sculpts, I've always found Stefan's anatomy sculpting a bit ropey (in a good way) and it also makes for an excellent zombie sculptor! The musculature is well defined and beautiful, and all the bones and individual teeth are nicely and precisely sculpted. I esp like the exposed spine on the one with a shirt (which you can't see in the photo).

Casting: I seem to get a fair number bad castings from reaper. While most are good, I've gotten a few misaligned castings. For this pack the girl zombie had a missing hand. I initially didn't notice (her being a zombie and all) but while cleaning the mini, the tell tale rounded blob gave it away. But as I said, she is a zombie, so paint the thing red and no more problems!

Misc minis
Here we have a few misc zombies.

Misc ZombiesFirst from the left is a convention mini that Pockets2020 sent to me free of charge (thanks again mate!) It is Ken the Zombie which was given away at the Fantasy Partizan some time ago. I don't know a whole lot more about that mini. It comes with an integral base.

Next up, the cute zombie in the middle is sculpted by Steve Buddle and is sold under his Spyglass line of miniatures. As far as I know, the only place to get this is from Heresy Miniatures. Check out all the other lovely stuff Andy has there while you are there! This mini uses a slotted base.

On the right is another Steve Buddle sculpt, a really old one for Kenzer and Co, who has since then shut down their miniatures division so this is now OOP. This also uses a slotted base. They also sell a miniatures box game called Final Days which contains several zombies, all the same pose. Thanks to grumpypainter for pointing that out.

More Manufacturers!
Some miniatures that I have not painted yet.

Mega Miniatures has a real cheap pack of 20 modern zombies. Nice that unlike the other modern packs they sell, all 20 of the ones in this pack are different. Discount hobby sell them individually so I picked up the nicer looking ones. Another set that I totally forgot about is this limited edition one by Bob Olley. All the clothes (and much more besides...) are rotted off so it will happily populate your modern table. Thanks to TheAuldGrump for reminding me of them.

West Wind Productions has a pack of zombie rock fans in their gothic horror line which I picked up recently, Have not removed them from the blister for a closer look but they look like they could be punk zombies. They also have a modern rage virus zombies pack in their Road Kill line and the period zombies in the gothic horror line can also be used in modern setting without much difficulty. I think they are sculpted by Andy Cooper but not very sure.

And some more miniatures that I have not gotten yet.

Brigade Games have a great pack of Haitian Zombies sculpted by Faron Betchley in their Caribbean Empires line. The period is pre-WW2 I think but they look modern enough. Definitely on my buy list next time I order from Brigade.

Fortress Figures has a pretty wacky Zombies Plague line of miniatures. You can bulk up your collection with cheap resin or add some interest with some nasty characters in metal.

Alpha Forge Games have a few weird mutated zombies released. These are not your regular zombies! And all the more cool for that. There are plans for survivors and maybe more zombies too.

Victory Force Miniatures has got zombie mascots in their creatures line! Brilliant!

Deadland/Great Rail Wars miniatures has got two packs of zombi-ish looking figures, the Faminites and the Deadbeat Band. Thanks to smokeyrone over at the Worldworks forum for pointing them out to me.

Golgo Island (East Riding Miniatures) has got two packs of 5 zombies. Quite fun looking! Check out some of the other miniatures as well, really bizzare (in a good way!) humour! haha!

Heresy has two packs of 4 zombies and an excellent halfling sculpted by Paul Muller. Some of the equipment is rather medieval but a few are naked and perfect for modern. They are really cool looking though and may be worth the effort to convert the rest! Gorgeous stuff!

Kallistra also has a fantasy range whose zombies can easily be used in the modern era.

Outcast Miniatures also seem to have some fantasy zombies that look very interesting. Some might be usable as is, others might need some work. The faces and poses are really nice though.

Warg Miniatures has got a pack of two zombies. The website seems to be dead at the moment, but looks like Rattlehead Games has got them.

Apparently Ral Partha had a set of 3 zombies named 11-115 Zombie Lord and Lackeys in their old Ravenloft line. I discovered them on this page. Now out of production

S1ND3X of Seraphon Castings put some zombies up for sale sometime ago on ebay. Latest news reguarding them is that the masteres are being tweaked for an eventual sale with reproduction rights.

Finally, for those of you who like to convert, you might try out West Wind's Seperate Head System zombie heads.

Big stuff
Graven Images by Jim Bowen has got a lot of gorgeous miniatures, a fair few are zombies. The modern ones can be found in the Cliffhanger and Dystopia ranges. These miniatures are 1/48 scale and a fair bit bigger than your average "28mm" figures. Join and visit their Yahoo group to get updated pics as the website isn't updated often. You should also take a look at the From Beyond range sculpted by Kev Adams, more gorgeous zombies there!

The Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company (HLBS) is another manufacturer that sells 1/48 scale zombies in their Dead Reckoning line.

Olley's Armies also has a range of zombies in their Hellsbile Undeads line. They are measured on the website at 33-35mm tall so would be quite big. Beautiful miniatures though.

On the horizon, Harbinger has a bunch of really beautiful zombies held up somewhere. Eagerly awaiting their eventual release as they could very well end up being the best range in the market from the pics I have seen.

And alas, a promising New Evolution Studio had some really cool looking zombie greens on show at their website but no updates in a long time and then suddenly the website died. I hope it gets to the market some point in the near future as they looked really nice. Latest news is that the sculptor is gone with some of the greens. Damn! Best of luck getting the project back on track Robert!

It seems as if Musketeer Miniatures is planing on releasing some zombies in the future

A bunch of zombies coming about march from Aberrant games.

Other games
Moving slightly away, Wizkids, manufacturer of pre-painted soft plastic started a Horrorclix range which has a bunch of zombies in it. I picked up some of them as singles which are relatively cheap online. Even with the blobby soft plastic and detail obscuring gunky factory paint, they are still decent. The poses are nice but dunno how much details in under the paint. Pick of the lot would be the police one. They are big boys though coming in the 33mm region.

A popular source of really cheap zombies is Twilight Creations's Bag o' Zombies for their Zombies!!! game. There is also a Bag o' Glowing Zombies with glow in the dark ones and also a new sculpt for a female zombie, in their Bag o' Babes, which came in the second edition of the game. These are slightly smaller than most miniatures. They also have a new game ZombieTown.

Another board game, Mall of Horror by Asmodee Editions also comes with zombie miniatures. I'm not sure about the size but I had a brief look at the store it seemed to be about 28mm. They are unfortunately not available seperately like the Zombies!!! ones are as far as I know.

Also, the Doom boardgame by Fantasy Flight Games comes with some zombie plastic miniatures.

WoTC's Dreamblade range of collectable (prepainted soft plastics) has a zombie looking fella called walking worms in the Baxars War expansion set. At least it looks like one from the front. Never know with the bizarre Dreamblade figures. The human sized figures from the set that I have seen tend to be on the larger side of scale, but as mentioned, I have not see the walking worms figure in real life so I don't know its actual size.

More pre-painted stuff, Heroscape by Hasbro has a pack of zombies. The underpants looks more period fantasy but it might not bother some people, esp if you manage to find one on sale! Thanks to Fl0ydski at the Worldworks forum for pointing that out.

Zombie comparison pictures
Here are some pictures I took comparing zombies from various manufacturers.

Zombie Comparison 1

Zombie Comparison 2

Zombie Comparison 3

Some interesting zombie links
A lot of the initial leg work when I started my zombie hunt was made so much easier thanks to White Knight of Frothers Unite when he put together All Things Rotten, part IV of the undead showcases, which was focused on zombies. While it has been a while since the showcase is updated, it is still a fantastic read. It also has a broader scope than here, useful for those of you who are looking for non-modern zombies.

To me, Matakishi is one of the most inspirational figures in the wargaming world. It is not that he seem to have similiar tastes in genre as me, or that his work is done to a fairly high level, but the fact that he finishes project after project that amazes me. As a lover of all things chinese, I first took notice of his work for the boxers rebellion, but it was his inner city project that really captured my imagination. And what does one do with a whole lot of modern inner city terrain? Well, fill it with zombies of course! Here is a link to his zombie page, but you should do yourself a huge favour and look around his awesome website and feel the need to start something new!

One of my favourite painters to keep an eye on is Pappa Midnight. The link takes you to his zombie gallery at Displaced Miniatures. His zombies are beautifully gory but do go look around at his other stuff. Some really nice work in there. In particular I love his conversions turning everyday folk into the walking dead. Nothing is safe, from eM-4 gangers, to 4 colour fig civilians. He has got some real nice terrain too!

Sometime ago, I kept a list of zombie table-top games, I was going to write a short review as I play each game but never got round to playing most of them as you can see. Also I left out most of the rpgs otherwise it would probably take over the whole list. But I did list a few of those with miniature skirmish support. I need to update this list at some point.

Finally, there has been so far, 3 zombie invasions at our local gaming group. The second one is the most well documented one, and here is a link to a battle report for Zombie Invasion 2. Have a look as some of the above zombie in action, trying their best to get some good munchies. The ruleset we used was a very simplified version of Street Fight (available for download at the foundry website) with some add-ons. In fact, it got more and more simplified in each of the 3 games we played. For game two, the goal was to move into the centre of the table, and rescue as many of the football babes there as you can from a horrible death by zombies. Zombie Invasion 1 was documented in our group gallery which is off having a massage at the moment. Some pics of Zombie Invasion 3 was put up by fellow Napnut Boone.


Great feature, I really like the GW conversions, almost makes me want to buy another box of them.

The only one missing from your list that I can think of are the various dark legion zombies from the now defunt warzone line. I'm painting some now, email me if you'd like pictures.
thanks for your kind words.

And thanks for pointing out the warzone minis. While I have heard of them before, I never really took too close a look at them. A brief search of their undead line shows a few really nice sculpts but they seem too sci fi (and too intelligent!) to me.

They might be a great way to augment the sci fi zombies from Hasslefree though....
Excellent work on listing all of the miniatures you've come across.

I'm not a gamer, due to lack of nearby gamers, but I am a hardcore zombie fan, and I've always had a thing for miniature figurines.

Keep up the excellent work.
Thanks! I'm a fan of zombies as well, but maybe not "hardcore"! :)
What basing technique did you use for your zombies?

(Nice site BTW. I've put a link to it from my blog!)
Thanks! I love your asessment of my work for Zombiesmith, and I love the way you've presented them with all the others. Bravo! Consider it a compliment that I ended up turning to YOUR page here as inspiration for pos doing MORE zombies... again! Drew Williams
@ Dave: thanks! No idea where is you blog though!

The bases are made with a wood filler, its a pastey sort of thing that is used to fill holes and gaps in wood. You should be able to find them in hardware/DIY stores. Just smear them onto and much with them a bit.

@ Drew: Thanks! Hope you bite the bullet (or neck) and knock out some more walking dead! I'm sure you have improved since then!
Thank you for putting this review up...I have come back to it several times over the past few months when deciding which zombies to purchase for the zombie board game I am making. Now I am faced with the task of painting. Do you have any recommendations on paint brands and colors for someone who's kind of starting out but would like to achieve a high quality finished product? Thanks again.
Hi Fat Goblin,

Thanks for the truly cool post!

If you ever get interested in 6mm zombies, I've posted several times about them here:


excellent zombie comparison. tehre is a nice little 15 mm line over at www.rebelminis.com
there is a nice little 15 mm line of zombies over at www.reblminis.com at some point tehre will be a special ops vs zombie wargame released.
Awesome. I really enjoyed the comprehensive list of zombie miniatures.
Do you have any advice for painting them? I have some zombie figures I had painted for me... but I'm thinking about trying my hand at painting them myself.
New zombies have been released by East Riding Miniatures. These are from the "Golgo Island" range by Sylvain Boudeele :

Theres also the figures from the game Last Night on Earth by flying Frog Productions. They have a set of 21 figures (there are 3 different sculpts and you will get a random assortment of the figures with 7 of them being green, 7 of them brown, and 7 of them red). http://stores.homestead.com/FlyingFrogProductions/Detail.bok?no=13

They also have a pack of 12 heroes (8 from the core game and 4 from the expansion) http://stores.homestead.com/FlyingFrogProductions/Detail.bok?no=15
Thank you for taking the time to write this blog! You saved me many hours of my life! For that i am very thankful.
I love this site. I've managed to get almost all of the figures, too.

I wanted to let you know that I am also starting a project to make 2 different sets of zombies.

You can see the first prototype picture at http://kingzombie.com . More pictures will be added as things progress.
Hi, FatGoblin. I just wanted to say that your project here has inspired me to start my own set of zombie reviews over at my site, The Screaming Alpha. So far I have reviews of zeds from Mega Minis, Cold War, West Wind, ZombieSmith, and newcomer Mississinewa Miniatures, with more being added each Friday. I would invite you and any other zombie fans to come check it out.
Modern Day Zombies has become a collecting bible to me. The great images and reviews have been very helpful to me in getting started collecting.
Incredibly handy feature, makes shopping for zeds a doddle. I've already ordered a few from the US, which is something I wouldn't usually do.
Check out Studio Miniatures if you haven't, they recently released a lot of unique 28mm Zombies. I haven't seen them in the flesh, but I learned about them from Tabletop Gaming News.


Great webpage by the way, consider it linked to.
Brilliant work- really inspiring. I really want to see a huge picture of all your zombies together!
I just wanted to let you and your readers know our company just came out with a series of 28mm zombie miniatures. You can see them at http://kingzombie.com or just pics at http://fur.ly/gt9/

Thanks for looking!!
What a great article this is. I've been out of the hobby for many years but after reading this I've ordered some figures from Hasslefree and I can't wait to get painting :)
I am actually looking from your list of featured modern day zombies the various dark legion zombies from now defunct warzone line. Though you post it wonderfully. Share some techniques, I love to try it out one for my personal collection. I am a fan of zombies maniature.
I am interested in buying a few of these zombies already painted to put on my wedding cake..can you help??

Thanks! :)
Wow.. This is great! I can say that this zombie collectible figures are wicked... I love it! Because the figure is very detailed. Anyway, thanks for sharing and I definitely visit here more often.
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