Last year I started painting the zombies that came in Zombicide Black Plague with the intention of using them for my other fantasy games. In the same vein I want to use the player models from the game as well as they fill a few niches that I don't think are particularly well represented in my current figure collection.
I've been a huge fan of fantasy fiction and fantasy gaming for years but there has traditionally been a fairly significant disconnect in the depiction of characters in books or movie and the depiction of similar characters in miniature form.
For starters although "knights in shinning armour" is certainly an accepted archetype in fantasy fiction when you actually read books or watch TV shows or movies the heroes of these types of stories are rarely the armoured tanks we represent them as in miniature largely for the practical reasons that it would be borderline impossible to function in most situations in full plate armour coupled with the fact that even if the wearer was in peak physical condition they would be fatigued in minutes. So over the next few weeks I'm going to be adding some more lightly armoured (picture the Starks from Game Of Thrones) fighter types to my collection.
My next (personal) frustration with fantasy figures is the idea that most intellectual characters (wizards, priests, etc) are old. I covered this subject a year or two ago but my quest for young adult academically inclined miniatures continues. Thankfully the Frostgrave line of miniatures which includes apprentices with all their wizards seems to be going a long way towards scratching that itch for me.
The final group is probably the most contentious in the hobby gaming community but has been less urgent for me personally (because I usually either paint my own characters, or monsters when I DM) but is one that I need to address; female-non-cheesecake-models. Its long been an issue that the depiction of female characters in fantasy art and models are ludicrously over-sexualized. Historically I had never given the subject much thought (sorry, honestly I just hadn't) but when I have female players in my gaming groups or have to get a human female NPC model I feel like the personal challenge I'm facing is whether or not I'm participating in a respectable hobby or just something totally juvenile. At the end of the day everyone is more than entitled to enjoy their games anyway they choose but for me I think I need to evolve past the chainmail-bikinis and go with depictions I'm more comfortable with.
So, back to Zombicide! One of the things that really appealed to me about the initial heroes released with Zombicide Black Plague is that for the most part they looked like heroic ideals of fantasy adventurers who none-the-less looked like they could actually move and fight in their gear. For my current Ravenloft game I need a female figure who is a competent fighter and an active participant in combat but who is not a professional warrior by trade. Say hello to Nelly.
One of the cool things about Zombicide Black Plague is that it retains some of the original Zombicide survival vibe by not only including full-time professional soldiers and survivalists but also including civilian types who have taken up arms and are the smart and/or tough enough portions of the populace to survive the outbreak.
I'm looking forward to painting more of these characters and hopefully also getting more of the zombies and other critters done to use across multiple game systems.