Well, it took a month for these figures to arrive from Obelisk Miniatures in Germany but it was definitely worth the wait! I should have known better as humble old New Zealand Post tends to get overloaded around Xmas time and I suspect some of that time was spent sitting in local storage prior to sorting. I always swear not to place overseas orders late November/early December but sometimes I just can’t help myself.
Ordering and Packaging
Obelisk released the Zombie Baluchi Desert Tribesmen earlier this year, and they featured in the end of year ‘Reader’s Choice’ awards over at Tabletop Gaming News. On first seeing them I knew I simply had to have some, so I ordered two of the mounted Zombie riders (DAFLC 001 and DAFLC 003) and a single blister of six Baluchi Zombies on foot (DAFLC 004).
The figures arrived in blisters well packed into a box. Nothing was damaged during transit and only a single sword required minor straightening after unpacking. As I ordered single figures from a couple of Obelisk’s mounted ranges, the figures supplied were random picks. I did consider requesting specific figures but in the end decided to let the fates (or box packers) decide, and am perfectly happy with the two mounted riders I received.
I also exchanged several emails with Josef Ochmann, the owner of Obelisk, while ordering these figures and he was very nice to deal with. I was pleasantly surprised when he offered to send me a second batch of figures at no extra cost when I informed him the original order hadn’t arrived after almost a month. Given the small margins independent manufacturers operate on I thought it was a generous offer. Fortunately I didn’t have to take him up on it as the package arrived several days later.
Casting and Clean Up
All of the figures are single piece casts except the mounted Baluchi with Sabre (DAFL 003) whose sabre arm is separate, and supplied with two choices of arm. One suitable for a relaxed, ‘at ready’ pose and one more suited for waving over the rider’s head. Round plastic bases were also supplied for all figures, six normal slotta bases for the on foot Zombies and two large round bases for the mounted figures.
All of the figures are well cast and the mold lines are acceptable, with several of the zombies on foot requiring only seconds to clean up. The mold lines are also well placed, with none running across the faces of figures which is always a bonus. The camels did have some more obvious mold lines on their legs which required a moderate amount of fiddly filing to remove.
In terms of flash the camels also came off worst, with a thin sheet of flash between the front legs of both figures. A number of the figures also had quite large flash bars and spikes to clean up. Two of the Zombies on foot had thick bars running from the bottom of their round shields to the molded base which was difficult to remove without damaging the rolled edge of the shield. Most of the swords also had flash spikes hanging from the pommels.
Sculpting and Scale
Here’s a shot of one of the Obelisk mounted Zombies next to an Ebob Miniatures camel and I’m pleased with how well they match in scale. The Obelisk camel obviously comes with a molded base, and I wonder if Ebob would have been better off molding on a base too, considering I had a few issues pinning their camel through its small feet.
The sculpting on all the Obelisk figures is excellent and they certainly look like a villainous bunch of dessicated zombies, with dry bone exposed through holes in their tattered flesh. They’re dressed in a mix of ragged desert clothing with several sporting turbans and all of the figures wearing long beards, except for the poor chap who’s lost his jawbone.
In fact the first time I visited the Obelisk site I was immediately reminded of Richard Corben’s graphic novel, The Last Voyage of Sinbad. I don’t know if that comic inspired the sculptor at all, but now I have these figures in hand they definitely look like the doomed members of Sinbad’s party.
The zombies on foot come with a nice mix of generally dynamic poses which will make them ideal for .45 Pulp Adventure gaming. While most of the figures have their swords at the ready, I think the ratio of brandishing versus striking figures is agreeable.
Here’s another comparison shot, this time with a couple of Obelisk zombies and an Artizan Designs “Thrilling Tales” figure. The Obelisk zombies are a little slighter than my Artizan figures, but that’s not too surprising considering they’re wasted undead and many are dressed in only trousers or loin cloths.
Comparing height, faces and hand sizes they’re a fine match for my existing 28mm Pulp collection which is a mixture of figures from Artizan Designs, Copplestone Castings and Games Workshop. I suspect they’ll first see use in a twisted ‘Seven Samurai’ style Pulp .45 Adventure scenario, with the plucky adventurers defending a town of helpless villagers from terrifying raiders that ride in on a desert storm…
The Final Word
I’m very pleased with these Obelisk Miniatures figures and would happily recommend them to anybody looking for some more unusual zombies. They’ll certainly work well with my 1930’s-1940’s Pulp figures and would be excellent for any Arabian Nights/Middle Eastern inspired Fantasy setting. They’ve only been in my garage for a couple of days and I’ve already based them ready for priming and I’m looking forward to painting them which is the sure sign of a great figure purchase imho.
Obelisk themselves were a pleasure to deal with, promptly answering several of my email queries from the other side of the world. Incidently as an English speaker I’m always embarrassed to discover how well Europeans read and write my language, considering my appalling knowledge of their native tounges! I would happily deal with Obelisk again and have added them to the link bar to the left for future reference.
Addendum: The comic art that appears in this post is (c) Copyright Richard Corben and Jan Strnad. If you appreciate it, I recommend checking out Richard Corben’s official site or simply buying some of his excellent graphic novels.