It’s no secret I’ve been fascinated with the STALKER game setting since ‘Shadow of Chernobyl’ released back in 2007. 30 sq km around the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor site reproduced for a single-player, first person shooter/survival/horror sandbox game, S:SoC was quirky and buggy as hell but it was also moody, atmospheric, smoldering, dangerous, and downright different than any other PC game I’d ever played. When that first bank of clouds shadowed across the open field with the dogs barking in the distance, I was hooked. I confess I lost days of productivity wandering around the Exclusion Zone.
As a miniature war gamer for over 40 years, I immediately wanted to translate that to the table top and my first thought was where to find appropriate figures. What company makes modern Russians in foul-weather uniforms with motley body armor and haz-mat gear?
After my first attempt with RAFM Terrorists, I shifted to modifying The Assault Group’s Modern Russians and Viet Cong with Pig Iron Production’s excellent gas mask heads. Much better. I ended up making squads for the major game factions.
Add abandoned buildings and derelict light industrial terrain, and I had a reasonable facsimile for the gaming table. Then along came Lead Adventure Miniatures ‘Last Project’ range and the mini-wargamer in me near fainted from joy.
Sculptor Igor Karpov absolutely nailed the gritty aesthetic for both the STALKER and METRO 2033 settings. I snatched up the entire line and set to painting.
You’d think I’d be content now, right?
Thing was, there were more Modern Russians lines from different manufacturers and the Pig Iron Productions head sprues being perfect for modifications, I had to keep experimenting. Eureka, Empress, and Pig Iron miniatures all got ‘recapitated’ at some point or another.
I add in bits from GW’s Necromunda gangs and put them on 32mm MDF bases. (More scenics and easier to pick up.)
One of the ZONA ALFA game factions is a military division tasked with Zone security, (patrolling the Cordon, protecting scientists and official researchers, smuggling goods, artifacts, and weapons, assisting illegal excursions, etc…) To that end, I backed a Radio DishDash Publishing Kickstarter for some very nice Modern Russians to act as my Zone Enforcement Troops.
There’s more in the pipeline too. I’ve got a nice box of Footsore Miniatures Ukrainian Conflict figs and some Tiny Terrain Chechen War (both sculpted by Igor K) that I suspect will end up signing on to crews risking the Zone.
That’s it for now. Game on and have an excellent day.
ps. if you need any spare heads…