First off I just want to say that a zombie is a zombie, we all understand that it’s a dead being that walks so calling them Deadwalker Zombies is an unnecessary tautology. Okay, now with that off my chest I feel ready to talk about the living dead. The plastic zombies that comes with Cursed City are clearly civilians, by the looks of things they have been contaminated with some sort of plant based zombie curse. Not unlike a certain virus featured in a somewhat successful young adult franchise… Citadel did produce a host of wonderful civilians back in the day, but I didn’t have the heart to cut up the ones I own. Especially since Citadel made such wonderful zombies that I could use. So let’s take a look at my various replacements.
The tombstone concept is a fun idea, but putting one on every zombie is too gimmicky for my taste. There are a couple of C serie zombies that has a similar theme, Pek-Gregri comes to mind, but I felt it would be more fun to use different miniatures. I will probably collect more zombies as one can never have too many of them.
So in-game my zombies aren’t undead civilians, instead they are the last members of the Sylvanian militia to fall to the predations of the vampiric aristocracy. Unlike the elite Ulfenwatch the militia was a ragtag collection of watchmen, given an impossible task and punished because of the inevitable failure. This pair is from the early 90’s, sculpted by the unmistakable Gary Morley. They aren’t exactly subtle sculpts, but I kind of like them because of that and it also made them really fun and easy to paint. I did do some minor modifications to them, the one with the gong (what’s the deal with regiments carrying around gongs??) got a new head and right foot and his flag waving pal received a banner as well as a small cut to the helmet. The shield is from the plastic Snotling Blood Bowl team and I had this idea that whoever raised him nailed the shield to his chest (through the arm of course) to make him look more like a threat. The undead are rather poor opponents and more often used to scare villagers than hunters.
This pair is a bit of an odd combination, the zombie with the polearm is a Deadman from Dunharrow from the Middle-Earth range. Please allow me to get a little sidetracked here, back in 1985 Grenadier Miniatures lost the license to produce Lord of the Rings miniatures to Citadel and for a brief and glorious moment Citadel produced a flurry of fantastic miniatures. I absolutely love this range for reasons I am not quite sure about as I am not really that into the books or movies and I don’t care too much for the modern LotR miniatures. It’s just something about the clunky sculpts that speak to me. Anyway, Citadel in turn lost the license to Mithril Miniatures and it resulted in a rather strange range of miniatures with various characters receiving multiple sculpts while some received none. Did we really need two variants of Sauron and none of Lobelia Sackville-Baggins? So after Citadel lost the rights some of the miniatures were incorporated into various fantasy armies, for example you can find the Witch-King and a Nazgul hiding among the human wizards, but with heads and arms visible. In the same way the Deadmen were turned into skeletons. I kind of like the hustle mentality displayed here, it shows you can’t keep down a good skeleton. Anyway, the deadman also has a shield nailed to his arm, he probably isn’t going to be very effective with that polearm. His comrade is a drummer from Pirazzo’s Lost Legion from the Dogs of War army. I would love to write more about the Dogs of War, but that will have to wait till a future post as this one is already quite long. Sufficient to say, I like the drummer boy, but since I didn’t have a head I had to sculpt one myself. Fortunately zombies don’t need to be pretty so I had some fun giving him a rotting head. He might have been a hunter before he was killed as he is clearly displaying a pair of vampire teeth.
The next two zombies are also armed with pole arms, but they missed out on shields. They are both from the early Bretonnia / Feudal / Fighters range. The happy chap on the left was once Sir Piece de Resistance and the one on the left was a simple billman. Obviously they weren’t zombies! But that was easily fixed with a simple cut, much to the horror of my friend Kari, but once he recovered from the shock he was kind enough to sculpt new heads for them. That’s why you should always have some friends in the hobby I guess.
I wanted the zombies to be divided into two groups, one with pole arms and one with swords. This would make it easier to keep track of them when playing. The billhook zombie is, I believe, Holbert from the Men at Arms by the Perry twins, a lovely little miniature with a new head from a Nurgle kit. The militia sergeant got a new head, sword and shield (again nailed to his chest) to hide his origins as an other, possibly nameless, Man at Arms.
And finally we come to the last two zombies, unlike the earlier these are definitely walking cadavers, gruesome in a way that Citadel never recaptured. On the left we have Kand-Meet and on the right we have Brainboner, both from the magnificent C series. There is something adorable and slightly baffling about the fact that Citadel named almost every sculpt they made in the 80’s, all the zombies have individual name, like a macabre Ikea. And there are so many of them, you could make a decently sized zombie horde without having a single duplicate, that it must have been a pleasure to collect them back in the day.
I hope you enjoyed today’s look at Cursed City, I had a lot of fun writing it. Next post will most likely focus on the inhuman heroes from the game.