Not too long ago, I was looking at some renders for models we had coming out in an upcoming Patreon Month bundle. And amongst those renders I saw a model that IMMEDIATELY made me think of a really cool idea for a mini diorama I could build up and paint and have on my hobby desk.
As a big fan of the Fallout® video game franchise by Bethesda when I was younger I straight away pictured “Dogmeat” standing with one of our Exo Lords, models in our range that can look very Fallout® inspired depending on how you build them, and got straight to work trying to figure out all the pieces I would need to pull off the image in my head !
Going through our cast resin range, I managed to get the selection of parts down to this:
Exo-lord Character Pose Legs
Ranger Upgrade Torso
Ranger Mixed Arms
Longbow Missile Launcher
On top of those resin parts, I also needed from our Digital Forge:
Sitting down Dog
Exo-lord Dieselpunk unhelmeted head & heavy shoulder pad
Once I had gathered all of these parts, the craziness began !
Building the base character model was the simplest part of the diorama, it was just putting together the pieces from our resin range like a regular model and voila, I have my “survivor”. I made the interesting choice of putting the Heavy shoulder pads on upside down so they laid flat and longer, because the look it gave the model once they were on was VERY reminiscent of Power Armour from Fallout which is what I wanted to get as close to as possible. The next part took a little bit of clever kitbashing and converting to pull off, the survivor’s trusty Laser Rifle !
For this part, I started with the stock body of the gun, which I achieved simply by using a Longbow Missile Launcher and gluing on its front cap backwards to create a small indent at the front. Once that was done, I cut off a small piece of rounded resin and carefully glued it into the indent to create the “charge site” for shots to come out.
Now the weird part ! The underside of the rifle is quite iconic, and to achieve it as best I could I got the weirdest idea to cut down a Regiments Bayonet to look like the attachment point, and then use a piece of plastic rod to create the rail. I then took the Exorcist Carbine and chopped off the front grip area and glued it on underneath to add a grip to the body. The end result of my weird thought process left me with I thought a pretty cool looking “Laser Sniper Rifle”
I realised once I got to this point, there was a lip on the side that should totally have a power cell attached to it, and I found one of our Grenades was the perfect piece to just glue onto the side to achieve that look.
With that, the only thing left to do was build the banner I could imagine him waving high as he approached his enemies, and then the base he would be standing on. For the original banner idea, I used some brass rod and one of our Ragged Banners, but this part of the model changed after I had finished the build ( Which you will see in the later photos )
And for the base, the survivor 100% had to be standing on a dusty highway because that is 100% the environment that he would be standing tall in. For that, I used a combination of sandpaper for the road surface, and some Vallejo Earth Texture paint to create the sandy desert offroad. And from there I added some little scatter pieces found on our Regiments leg sprues, as well as a piece of sprue bar to create a metal sign post and a stop sign I cut off from our or Renegade Command Arms sprue, and some Glass Bottles.
And with that ….. “The Survivor” was built
Now it was time to paint !!
As I started to paint the model, I began to feel like the banner wasn't “heroic” enough for him to bring into battle. So I asked fellow Staffer Attilla if they could design me a banner inspired by the Brotherhood of Steel© one but using our Logo in its place. Then after printing it up and using some PVA glue to turn it into a banner that looked like it had motion to it ….. The Brotherhood of the Forge Survivor was complete .
Fallout® and all associated terms are Trademark and Copyright Bethesda Softworks LLC.
Comparisons and images are used to provide examples of possible conversions to inspire hobbyists own modelling projects. This feature is not associated with Bethesda Softworks LLC in any way.
Just like Liam, I was also inspired by our most recent Patreon release - but by more than just the attack dogs, pretty much the whole release, in its entirety! (this might have something to do with the fact that I sculpted the weapons for these models!)
It's been a while since I've done anything for Zona Alfa, and this was the perfect opportunity to revisit the Zone and bring back the weapons I used before, but this time as full digital sculpts rather than conversions.
As my faction I decided to go with Independents, as I imagine my crew as an ex-military unit that broke off and decided to try their luck on their own, freelancing in the Zone. As my starting crew, I hired my Veteran leader, another Veteran, two Hardened and two Rookie characters.
The core build
I can't really leave anything unconverted, and looking at artwork for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.® games gave me some good ideas. I knew this would be a mostly digital kitbash, so I loaded up Blender and started adding gear on top of our Gorka Suit bodies.
Most parts were more or less straightforward, just moving them into place and overlapping with the bodies, with the exception of the mask and the hoses.
The mask came from Undercover Operatives, but it had the headset attached, so I cut the back portion off using a cylinder and Boolean Difference, then cut the rest of the mask in half, and mirrored it to get rid of the microphone.
The hoses were part of the Biohazard Containment team - they didn't line up properly with the mask, so I had to use a creative combination of scaling, and the Grab Tool in sculpt mode to get them into place. Then I mirrored them and repeated the process for the other side. This was something I had to do individually for each body, as I did not want the combination to be in the exact same place on all the models.
The rest of the digital parts came from various sets: A head, holster and the crosses on the first aid packs from Undercover Operatives, the oxygen tank from Biohazard Containment, the scabbard from Jungle Fighters, the machete and flask from Wasteland Raiders.
With the digital part of the work complete, I adjusted some supports for the modified parts and printed everything.
The Veterans - Leader and Sniper
To keep the crew uniform, I used my modified bodies with the Gorka Suit arms on all the models. This somewhat limited my posing options, but I could get around it by getting creative.
I opted not to represent any grenades on these models, as they can just be hidden in pouches or pockets. I wanted to model him with his weapon slung, binocular in hand, looking off into the distance. One of the open wrist arms worked for this pose, but it needed a hand, so I took a fitting one from the Tactical Hand Gestures sprue, glued it to the weapon and then to the arm. After I attached the arm to the body I finished the pose with adding a plasticard sling. His binocular came from the General in the D-Day bundle, mirrored.
More or less a straightforward build, the sneaky crouch-walk pose works great with the idea of a sniper stalking her prey. I usually try to go for a hooded head for my snipers, this time one from the Female Modern Hoodie heads sprue.
The Hardened - Machine Gunner & Medic
This model uses the PKM from the Booster Pack, but split from the original body and moved to a different pose. Only minor adjustments were needed for the supports. I finished this model with a resin Watch Cap head.
She's almost entirely a digital build, the only "meat space" part was adding her printed arms to the body. Her head comes from the Undercover Operative Sergeant, and I made sure to add two of the first aid pouches representing her two Med-Kits.
I imagine the newest members of the crew wouldn't be equipped with the "modern" Val or Vintorez, so I had to look for alternatives. I also wanted to keep the loadout to Eastern Bloc weapons, luckily our resin range offers a fair few of these!
Her Skorpion is from Modern SMGs, and the machete held in a backwards grip is on the Scrap Melee Weapons sprue. I wanted to get a cool female head I never used before, that's when I realised that I have a leftover from my previous PMC Operative One conversion. When I was in the planning stage I decided that she'd be wielding her machete, so I did not add it into the scabbard when I was doing the digital build.
I wanted someone armed with something other than an Assault Rifle. I could've obviously used a regular AK-47, but why not go all the way? As I was researching Soviet era battle rifles for something I could add without designing a new weapon, I came across the Zastava M77 B1. It's a battle rifle, a modification of the AK, and something I could convert relatively easily, great! I cut the magazine and the front of the muzzle, added the mag and muzzle brake from a M16, removed the wire stock from the arm and glued the weapon on. With a little bit of work, I managed to make something closely resembling the real world weapon!
The Scientist & Attack Dog
These two models are not technically part of the crew, but they fit right in!
I wanted to convey an abandoned, overgrown urban decay feel with these bases, and the 25mm ones just don't give me enough space to really work on that, so I opted for 32mm bases. On top of these I added sidewalk pieces cut from the Modern Road bases, a few tree stumps, a fence made with aluminium mesh, a concrete bench from Urban Scatter with a piece of broken balsa wood as a slat, some broken bottles and even two rats.
Something was still missing, so I designed some radiation warning and town signs from the Chornobyl area. These are now available in the Post-Apocalypse 2 booster pack for everyone to print!
Prior to painting, I added Vallejo Brown Earth texture to all the open spaces. I was too excited to continue working on these, so I couldn't wait to get unpainted photos taken! After painting, I finished the bases with tufts and spiky shrubs from Gamers Grass, and Leaf Litter and Tall Shrubbery from Greenstuff World.
The crew is now finished and ready for gaming if we ever get around to run a Zona Alfa campaign! I'll leave you with some painted photos - that's it for now, see y'all later!