Hello and welcome to my first review of a Mantic Games product! Returning to the undead theme, let's have a look at their Zombie Regiment boxed set!
The box comes in a regular size and shape (In theory at least. More on this later), made of thin cardboard. The design is of the typical Mantic school of presentation. Very clear. It's got the Kings of War logo and a big picture of one of the zombies from the box along with a pointer that the box contains 30 zombies.
This actually is my first Kings of War product I ever bought apart from a bunch of these sample sprues Mantic gave out when Kings of War was first released and of which I had very mixed impressions (in very short - Dwarves: Really not fond of the design, extremely simplistic models. Elves: Bizarre design choice overall, I'm not a fan, static poses. Ghouls: I won't spoil a thing as those are next on my review list!)
The back of the box gives us some basic background knowledge on Zombies along with some advertisment for the contents. ("The Finest Plastic Wargame Miniatures", etc.)
I bet you're wondering what the heck I did to this box. Well, I ordered these zombies on the 6th of October last yearso I'd have them by Halloween. At the end of November I got the package and I rarely had seen a ghastlier sight. One side of it was squashed and the whole thing was very moist. At first I thought that it may have cought a bit of that typical November dampness but when I opened it and saw the boxes I realized that this must have been wet through and through and was just dried a little. Now I won't blame the retailer (only maybe for being a bit slow but that's probably a problem on the supplier's side), I guess the problem was on the mailing service's side.
So these zombies arrived pretty wet. Never mind, it was just quite irritating as you can surely imagine.
Now, to get back on topic, let's have a look at those sprues.
Each zombie sprue has three leg pairs with ragged loincloth or trousers, three torsos (all male, barechested) of which one has both hands attached and two have the left arm attached. There are three single right arms on the sprue to choose from for these two torsos: one outstreched arm with open hand, one arm holding a severed head in its hand and one with a severed hand in its hand (I'm getting the impression that this is an incredibly popular choice amongst sculptors of zombies. Every single zombie box I did so far had this. "Holding hands, bwahaha", they think to themselves I'm sure.)
I really like that these models, other than GW's, don't hold weapons in their hands. Zombies shouldn't have to use weapons and despite (or because?) I've seen Nightmare City, I don't think that zombies should use weapons. In the box you get 10 copies of the Zombie sprue and three sprues containing ten 20mm square bases. Nothing remarkable about the bases. If you're used to GW bases you will find that these have straight edges, not sloped ones.
There are also six different heads to choose from. Now the kicker, which also seems to be a popular choice for zombie sprues, is that there is a fourth possible zombie leg option on the sprue - a zombie emerging from the ground or with its legs torn from the torso, dragging a few guts behind it, so very similar to the "creeper" Zombie Vixen from Wargames' Factory's box. Add to this the additional "bonus" torso which is only a bunch of guts with a spinal cord sticking out and which you can use in place of any other torso on the sprue and you actually got 40 zombies in total. You will have to get 10 more square bases if you go for this option though and of course half your zombies will be short (lacking either his upper body or his legs).
In this picture you can see what you can make from one sprue:
In the second one you can also see a dead man chasing his own hinder. Something don't see every day. As you can see, the poses are very much leaned forward, indicating more aggressive zombies than the kind that shambles aimlessly. They have a rather decayed look and the loinclothes add to the impression of them having risen from the grave rather than being the kind of zombie that was just bitten and "turned". One thing that gets very appearant as soon as you start building the second sprue worth of zombies is that there is a clear lack of right arm options. One out of three zombies will always hold a severed head in his hand and another one will always hold a severed hand in his hand. This is not convenient and you will have to convert a little to get rid of that.
The parts fit very well thanks to ball joints rather than flat ones and the chins and lower jaws of the heads overlapping a bit with the necks. There are only minimal mould lines. Casting quality is really good, details are plentiful and really crisp which pays off on the faces especially. What some of you may find irritating is that there is some weird bit of pseudo-texture molded onto the bases between the zombies' feet so if you prefer custom bases, bought resin bases or want to use very plain grounds (like pavement or something) that will have to be filed off or the zombies to be removed from the bases first.
Now one reason why I got these models was for trying to combine them with the Wargames Factory zombies.
From left to right: The first fella got a Mantic torso, the other parts are from the WGF kit. The second zombie is basically the other way around with Mantic legs and head and a WGF torso and arms. I like how he looks pretty neckless, especially from the front, which gives him a very squatted look. The third guy from the left also got a WGF torso on Mantic Legs and a Mantic head. From the back his neck looks pretty weird at the moment but I'll sculpt some of the hair that starts on his skull to go down his neck which should make things look more believable. The guy in the far right got WGF legs.
You can see that it works technically, however the Mantic zombies clearly are more "heroic 28mm" scale than the true 28mm" scale of the WGF zombies which shows on the size of the heads and hands especially. You can not combine the arms from the two different kits on the same model, however torsos and legs fit pretty well (with some filing and gap filling required of course). The same goes for heads even though some of the WGF heads will look pretty small on most of the Mantic torsos and some of the Mantic heads might look a bit like the guy is wearing a full rubber mask over his head when used with some of the weedier WGF torsos. When using Mantic heads on WGF torsos you will have to sculpt some necks too.
Once they are all painted I'm sure that the look of the single models will be much more coherent so all in all I would say that combining those two kits works reasonably well and gives some much needed variety to two kits which by themselves lack a bit in variation.
Here we got the fellas painted now:
So here we got six fellas now built from the box, so one more zombie than you get out of one sprue. The arm holding a severed hand is not present (because got rather bored with the concept). All leg, head and torso options are present. I put them on 25mm round bases rather than the square ones you get with the box though so they would fit with the rest of my horde.
As you can see, I like going a bit crazy with varying skin tones on zombies and you can add a lot of variety to these models which aren't too exciting in terms of individuality. The faces are very expressive and monstrous, featuring the guy with half of his face torn off and the cryptkeeper. I like the very dim look on the face of the zombie in the right.
The models paint up as easy or hard as you like but that's the kind of model you can get pretty far on with just a drybrush and a wash. I think i'm the only person silly enough to paint zombies with a rather high grade of individuality.
Now on to the painted kitbashed models:
I added a few more kitbashed models and I have to say that the two zombie kits compliment each other rather well. The fact that the Mantic zombies all come with only loincloth and the WFG zombies are all fully clothed, the scale, the varying states of rotten-ness and the very different faces are only a few of the points in which these two kits are on different ends of the scale. This is why you get very interesting new models out of combining the two. I like that.
The next point to consider is size in relation to other 28mm models.
Most of the models are placed on some coins so they're on the same level as Miss Securitate Infinity Model with her high custom base.
Considering all those Mantic Zombies are more or less bent over or crouching in a way, they are huge. Imagine the guy standing straight up. He would end up at least on eye level with a Space Marine. You can also see directly how different the Mantic zombies are proportioned compared to Wargames Factory's zombies. However, being all hunched over gives the Mantic zombies kind of a flexibility in terms of what scale they go well with.
So what's the verdict? This kit is mostly made for people who play undead armies in either Kings of War or Warhammer Fantasy Battles. This is the crowd Mantic caters to. That being said, these models are designed in a way that they fit for almost any setting. As far as medieval/fantasy gaming goes, they are perfectly regular undead. Pretty vanilla, pretty spooky, interesting poses for zombies, casting and detail are nice.
In the case of modern-day/sci-fi, I'll just call them the corpses of deceased from longer ago or for a kind of different breed of zombie because their stances are more dynamic so they might work well as "ragers" or "fast zombies".
In any case, these much more monstrous and more feral looking zombies by Mantic games are a very good way to bolster the ranks of your undead horde, especially if you kitbash them with WGF or GW zombies or even just regular plastic models they are a very good investment at £20.00 for 30 zombies (plus 10 if you use the severed leg/torso variants). Just be careful when assembling the models if you plan to rank them up!
This closes off my review of Mantic's zombies. I hope that you enjoyed the review and found it useful or even entertaining. If you have any questions, maybe review requests, suggestions or ideas feel free to use the comments section below or just contact me via e-mail or Battle Brush Studios' Facebook page. The same goes of course for commission requests. See you soon! :-)