Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Stalk This Way

I'm a fan of the 'Eastern European Apocalypse' settings of video games such as S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and Metro 2033 (not to mention the Pripyat level in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - perhaps the single finest game level ever made!), and the original inspirations for them - Boris and Arkady Strugatsky's Roadside Picnic (set in Canada, mind you) and Dimitry Glukhovsky's Metro 2033 novels.

I do love the Lead Adventure minis designed for these kinds of settings, but I much prefer to work with plastic than with metal. So, when I was mucking around with some spare sprues recently, enjoying a bit of kitbashing for kitbashing's sake, I started slotting together some Warlord Bolt Action WWII and modern plastics (from their zombie range) to make some modern-ish figures. Pleased with the fit of the pieces, I decided to take a little break from Fantasy and indulge my interest by building some Stalkers.
There is a clip in that AK... honest!

I started off with what I had lying around - Warlord USMC and Airborne (acquired as part of a half-arsed attempt to build a Crimson Skies-style 'fractured USA in the 30s' force. Unfortunately, these guys didn't have the cold-weather feel that I really wanted, so I bought some Winter Soviets, giving me a ready supply of greatcoats and fur hats.I also grabbed some modern special forces as a source for weapons and less old-fashioned-looking kit.

This guy, then, is my first completed Stalker, and incorporates parts from pretty much all of my source kits: greatcoated body, satchel, and spade from the Soviet infantry, rifle arm from the special forces, head and backpack from the USMC, and left arm from the Airborne. All goes together nicely, though my one real gripe is that the neck joint is a bit on the tight side for the USMC heads. The special forces arms are a little more slender than the WWII stuff, but not so much that it's glaringly obvious.

Painting was a doddle - my wash-heavy style isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and it suits post-apocalyptic figures more than it would some (F&IW French, for example...). I wanted something civilian, but vaguely military (military surplus, really!) with the kitbash, and carried this through to the painting - mismatched gear, a military-looking green poncho on top of the rucksack, civilian cap etc.

Just noticed the mote of dust on top of his hat... Curses!

The only real bugbear was weathering the boots and the bottom of the greatcoat to look grubby - easy enough to apply, but it took a couple of attempts to stop it looking as though he'd been wading through a river of mud!

All told, I'm really happy with him. The mix of modern and WWII parts worked out to give the overall effect I was after and I'm pleased that I trusted to my gut and added a few more pouches (much like a Rob Liefield character design, you can never go wrong with more pouches) to lend a feel of being seriously prepared. Mixed in with the other couple of Stalkers I have under way, he's going to look like a real grizzled survivor of the Zone.

I'm now starting to doubt that there is actually a clip in that rifle...

Disclaimer: All links to third-party sites are solely for the purposes of sourcing the models/components I have used or discussed, if anyone is so inclined. I have simply linked to the original manufacturer (but feel free to shop around!) and make no money from people clicking through.


  1. That’s really good! I enjoyed cobbling survivors together using the old Wargames Factory kits but this is a very nice build. Food for thought indeed :)

  2. Very nice maty. IM Also a fan of eastern europe post-apocalyptic settings.