Zombicide Invader: The Next Chapter


In the latest chapter of Zombicide Invader painting, we've got a dozen.. uhm... they're...

Ok at some point I'm going to look at the rules and see what all of this stuff is called. "The bad guys from the Dark Side expansion" is the best name they're going to get right now.

Back to the painting, as this was a time more of seeing what I could salvage. I was first trying for a "meaty" exposed muscle look. A red base coat was too dark, and I quickly abandoned it. A pink base coat was better, but too pink. Adding red/crimson wash helped - but it somehow skewed the pink basecoat to purple. A thinned down Blood of the Blood God helped to ease the purple into a little more of the red zone. By this point I knew it wasn't going to get any better, so I just stuck with what I had.

I found a pic of armor that I liked - black with a dark blue drybrush, and then some metallic highlights on top. You know, seeing a picture doesn't mean I can do what's in the picture. The first time my blue drybrush was WAY too bright. Then a 2nd attempt managed a lot more coverage than I meant with my drybrushing. I went back to a safer approach with grey + metal drybrushing, as I saw this going the route of the red-purple meaty bits of frustration.

There is 1 special mini that thinks he's Iron Man. The main reason this one is different is he's got 3 coats of primer after being the unfortunate test subject for all of these failed color attempts. Even the Iron Man scheme is a failed approach, but honestly at this point all of the details on the mini were starting to get covered up and I decided to just go with whatever happened. Since the meaty bits were redder than the rest of the troop, I decided this would be the special stand out of the troop and get some different armor. I tried some yellow contrast (on white primer) and then hit it with some metallic drybrush, but the yellow wasn't even enough. Gold drybrush for all of those yellow bits! Ok, the gold was way too... gold. Clashingly gold. The old standby of hosing it down in Nuln Oil helped.

There's still 40 or 50 common fodder minis from the expansion left to paint - the remainder of my bulk-priming party from the last post. I don't really have high hopes for how they'll turn out. I think I'm just a human(oid) painter, and all of these alien zombo monsters are giving me fits.

gaming miniatures Zombicide Invader

Zombicide Chapter Three!


These 10 wrap up the baddies from the Zombicide Invader Core Set. I think the previous 55 minis tempered my expectations on the paint job for these, but to be honest the final paint job here turned out a little better than I expected.

And I think I'm just going to leave it at that for now.

gaming miniatures Zombicide Invader

Zombicide Aliens - Chapter Two


After the (disappointing) introduction to painting Zombicide Invader, round 2 was less dark alien based and a little more classic monster. There were only 3 of the base level alien zombies left that got the black/flesh contrast paint treatment, and those 3 went a little smoother this time. There were a duo of the bigger beasts, and I did a better job on the tentacles and flesh that didn't look as much like rock and too-red appendages. There were still some spots I colored wrong because I just didn't realize what body parts they were supposed to be when I came across them.

The bulk of the batch was the mid-level runners, which I still kind find a natural place to break up colors. The tentacles on the bigger beasts above had a better meaty-look, which I thought would look good on the runners. It looks better than what I ended up with in the first batch, but it's still not quite right. I couldn't think of anything to improve on what I got, so instead of (probably) messing things up more I just went more minimalist and stopped with the paint + a wash.

There's 10 more of the bigger beasts like the duo left in the basic set, which I'll work on next. I picked out some building/terrain to work on this last time but didn't manage to get it out of the shrinkwrap. Maybe this week?

gaming miniatures Zombicide Invader

Zombicide Aliens - The Beginning


Now that the ground floor of the Potham Mall is open for business, it was time to do something completely different.

A few months ago I ran across some pics from Zombicide Invader when Amazon decided one of the expansions would suddenly be 80% off. The original Zombicide was one of those games I really wanted to like, but the primary game mechanic seemed to be "run as fast as you can before the zombies that spawn every turn overwhelm you." In the umpteen variations that have been released since then, that game mechanic doesn't seem to be as prevalent in the rules any more and actually seemed like it might be worth trying out on a game night with Keith and Jer.

Of course, I've discovered the game a couple of years after its release during the supply chain issues of Uncertain Times. Even worse, the completionist in me wanted to track down the expansions. That 80% off expansion caught my eye enough to see how the market for the base game and expansions was, and it wasn't too bad.

While it was the pics of some painted alien zombies, or xenomorphs as the rules like to call them, they weren't paint jobs I thought I could pull off as most featured lots of blending. But that was ok, as I was thinking of trying more (1979) movie Alien inspired. Plus, I'd also gotten a lot of minis for the Alien game from GF9 so that in my Expanded Gaming Universe, maybe all of these aliens are related?

With the base set and expansions, there are at least 130 variations of alien zombie to paint. I've never really given speed painting a shot. I'm also not too good at non-human figures. With that in mind, I found a YouTube series that showed some good speed painting basics on the Invader minis and decided to try out that route.

I didn't know how far out of my comfort zone I was going to get when I started. Step 1 was not using my normal, go-to primer of Tamiya Extra Fine White Primer and instead went with the Citadel Wraith Bone that the speed painting videos used. I'm not sure how much I can blame whatever the humidity was, but the Citadel primer went on thicker, which didn't stick as well and seemed to run a little. Maybe I wasn't holding the can far enough away? I got better at priming after the first 10 I started on, but I never got to the point where I felt like I really knew what I was doing.

The next step was adding contrast paint on top of the Wraith Bone primer. First thing I learned here is that Wraith Bone isn't white, or at least it's not Tamiya Extra Fine White. Going back to the speed painting video, they were using Contrast Fireslayer Flesh for flesh color, which I've also been doing for people minis over the past year. The biggest mini is a Spoiler Abomination, which the video painted with flesh and guts. My flesh (Firelayer Flech atop Wraith Bone) looked more like dirty rocks than flesh. I went this route with a couple of other flesh-oriented minis (Hunters and Tanks) and got the same results. The generic, rank and file alien zombies were just going to get a dark grey contrast color, the brand name of which I can't remember. Here's where I run into a long time problem with how contrast paints work for me - they don't go on evenly. I know, somehow, I've got too much on the brush or I'm smearing around too much, but I always end up with a little more paint in recesses. While normally this works well to give an air of shading, it was making my alien zombies look blotchy.

Post contrast paint base color, everything was looking like crap.
Crap continued as I started painting tentacles. Everything's got tentacles, and nothing in the speed painting videos used colors I liked. Tentacles should be meaty (I guess), so I went with too-dark a red. Now everything had crappy tentacles to go along with crappy contrast base color. This speed painting excursion wasn't going well. I had primed 10 rank and file alien zombies, a bit Abomination, and 2 each of the Tanks and Workers. There were plenty more to paint, but I really needed to figure out something that was going to work for my abilities.

For the rank and file, I wanted them to be more uniform in color instead of splotchy. I went back with some German Grey and essentially heavy-drybrushed them. That got more of the color I wanted, and a Nuln Oil wash gave the mini a little depth. Faces were Fireslayer Flesh, so the normal Earthshade wash on top of that helped lessen the rockiness. That wash went on everything else that was supposed to be flesh colored. I tried some different color washes on the tentacles to try and lighten them up, and while some worked better then others none really yelled "use me, I'm the one you want". I'm going to have to go track down a good tentacle color on the internet, which is what I should have done to begin with.

Everything got some small details accentuated from this point, which was very not-speed-painting. Each of the beasts looks to have pockmarked sores, so I picked some different colors to fill them in/highlight and give them a more alien feel. For the 2 Runners, instead of sticking to Earthshade washes, I gave one an Orange-based wash while the other got Purple. Both colors came out nicely subdued. I don't know the logic for orange and purple skinned baddies, but with another dozen-ish of these to paint an excuse to add a little color doesn't really have to make sense.

Over the course of the past month I got 37 of these critters painted. While I don't think that qualifies as speed painting, I know I spent half the time trying to figure out what color/how much to use, which was promptly followed by disappointment. Honestly, I wasn't satisfied (that halfway point between happy and disappointed) until I had added some texture to the bases and drybrushed highlights on.

There's another 24 alien zombies in the core set. I've got a better idea of how to handle overall painting them, although I've still got to figure out the tentacle color. I think I may slip in some generic town scenery while painting these, just to give me something easy that I don't have to think about too hard.

gaming miniatures Zombicide Invader

Food Court


The 4Ground Mall now has a food court! No tables to eat at, but there's a food court!

Now that the actual building (of buildings?) for the mall is nearing the end, the food court got details included during the build instead of just walls and windows. This worked out well, as my meaty man fingers would have had a lot more problems gluing signs in kitchen areas once the walls were glued together.

In keeping with "things I remember from malls" motif, the 3-kitchen food court features Chick Fil A, a food court staple around here. A Sbarro, which I only recently learned also exists outside of malls. Burger King made the cut because I still end up going there when I go to Opry Mills. I haven't been to Opry Mills since Feb, 2020 but I'm pretty sure BK is still doling out double cheeseburgers without me.

I tried to have a little fun with the entrance sign. The obviously-Googled "Food Court" logo is printed on vellum and glued (around the edges) to a wooden nickel, courtesy of Hobby Lobby. I was trying to see how much of the wood would show through the vellum, and I think it's "just enough" to make it interesting.

I left the columns and support beams in the dining area un-glued. Thinking again of my meaty man hands, when time comes to play it would be a lot easier to just move that stuff out of the way. The slots they fit in are tight enough for support and to keep things from falling over.

The one thing, or things, left for later are the dining area table and chairs. From past experience I know the 4Ground table and chairs, and furniture in general, requires patience. With 4-7 tables, and 4 chairs per table, to glue together, I need to save up some patience before I start.

The lone remaining mall building to make is the bathrooms. That one may get finished by the end of the year, but realistically I'm in no rush to get it all done. My Black Friday order of extra stairs/elevator/walkway bridges arrived too.

And then there's all of those stores that are in need of some clutter to sell...

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