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Creating wedding cake toppers offers me a lot of artistic variety. There are a lot of different things that people want to put on their cakes, and it always impresses me that after almost ten years of doing this, I can still be surprised at some of the awesome ideas I get to make into reality.
Here is one of those concepts that really got me. This is Cthulhu and his Mermaid bride. I had him put a hand around her waist to help support her, and overall I really think this couple turned out well.
I wonder if someone will have me create a topper where bride and groom are both mer-folk sometime.
Hereâ€™s a couple that had a very clear idea for me to work with. Heâ€™s a painter, and her occupation involves wine- and here they are in their glorious combat pose.
This pose is more â€˜three dimensionalâ€™ than most that I do. The design suits a cake that is displayed in the center of a room, rather than to one side. As such, they need several angles to really show them off.
By Jordan Peacock
Zombie Horde Base - Work in Progress:
(Figures: Reaper Bones 77014 - "Zombies" (pack of 3) -- http://www.reapermin...ie/latest/77014)
(Base: War Cast Studios resin "industrial" 60mm base -- http://www.warcastst...l&product_id=46)
Grr. These are nowhere being near finished painting, but I didn't even SEE the mold lines until I took this picture. Ah well: WORK IN PROGRESS!
Anyway, to explain what's going on here, I have more than plenty plastic zombie minis for my zombie horde. (Reaper, Bag o' Zombies!!!, Wargames Factory Zombie Box, HorrorClix, Mage Knight, Doom Board Game, Warhammer Fantasy Battle zombies, Zombicide, and more.) The trouble is, it takes a while to MOVE them all when I want to make it clear that the horde is advancing upon our intrepid heroes and they'd really better carefully consider whether they should take their chances looting, or pack it up and RUN. The natural solution seemed to be to borrow a cue from my Warhammer Fantasy days and put zombies on a "movement tray," but that wouldn't necessarily pack them in quite the way I'd hoped -- I've got a lot of terrain to maneuver and squeeze the horde through.
My partial solution (a work in progress) is to try making a "horde base" with several zombies on it, pinned to the base in the usual manner -- except that the pin is not actually glued to the hole in the base. I still have a lot of painting detail work to do on the zombies and on the base (and I have plenty of room to cram more zombies in there), but here's a picture of the basic idea (with an overlay circle to highlight the piece of wire used as a "pin" inserted into the foot of one of the shamblers).
Savage Worlds Usage:
I was originally thinking of treating this as a Savage Worlds "swarm," except that, unlike the typical "swarm" of biting insects or rats, there should be a fairly finite number of zombies in here, and it seems unfair to treat it as if normal concentrated weapons fire hasn't even a chance of whittling it down.
Instead, I'm thinking of just treating this as a stand in for several individual zombies in a tight cluster, "spawning" individual zombies that break off from the horde to pursue the heroes down a tight corridor, etc. -- in which case I remove one "pinned" zombie from the base, and dig through my "box o' zombies" to put a self-standing model on the board to represent the straggler. If someone directs fire at the horde and succeeds at taking out one or more zombies, I can represent the casualties by simply removing figures from the base.
I think that one "special effect" of the horde base is that Shaken results will be inconsequential unless you have some area-effect means of Shaking the ENTIRE horde. An individual zombie that staggers for a moment under gunfire is just going to be shoved along by the rest of the pack.
As for the base, I plan to give it a good dose of rust, caution stripes and distressed, flaking paint (plus the obligatory "zombie ick" splats and streaks) before this is done. I just base-coated it grey and gave it a black wash so it wouldn't look like a featureless grey blob for the photo.
If this works well, I'll probably make a few such bases. Scenarios that call for a large onslaught of zombies will have one or more of these bases to represent the tightly-packed horde with some of my more repetitive and less-detailed (and generally cheaper) zombie figures. My Doom and Zombicide minis will remain on their own bases (so I can use them for their respective board games), as will any "special" zombies (bloaters, zombie cops, "big bads," more carefully-painted novelty zombies, etc.). The Bones "zombie" pack works especially well as a cheap-but-still-close-to-32mm-scale source for the horde.
As lamented about before, I'll need to go back and trim off those mold lines. Fortunately, that's pretty easy with a hobby knife and the Bones plastic.
I also want some variety, so they're not all in the same wacky "Hi there!" wave pose. Unlike pewter, I can't just bend the arms into new positions and expect them to stick. I may experiment with using wire to force them to new positions, or just cut and re-attach (or dig through the "bitz box" for replacement arms).
In addition to Reaper zombies, my Wargames Factory zombies are likely candidates for joining the horde. Wargames Factory plastic zombies (the original ones, that is, not the newer and larger female zombies) have very shallow features, and are also a bit on the shrimpy side compared to 32mm. When I'm putting a horde on the table, they're pretty much my last resort to add to the numbers. ;) I think they'll bulk out the horde bases a bit better, where it's mostly about numbers, not how tall or well-detailed they are.
I also look forward to the new Bones zombie ("George") being released, so I'll have another option. I'd thought of the Reaper Bones skeletons (very SKINNY zombies?) but it's a bit too much work, especially since removing the shields means ending up with part of the ribcage missing, and having to replace the left arms. Fortunately, I'm not exactly short on candidates at this point.
Since this is the REAPER forum, however, I'll focus on progress on my REAPER zombies. ;)
Ok, I do a lot of these cake toppers. And that gives me more hope for the world.
I mean, just think of how many people there are who will stand by one another through the zombie apocalypse (one of my client's actually added that to their vows).
Anyway, here are a few of them... I have loads more to post, so I might put up a few more pretty soon.
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