Preparing Deadzone: Part 1

I’d rather not spend the rest of this winter TIED TO THIS F**KING COUCH!

As promised, today sees the start of a new video series all about preparing the miniatures and buildings from Deadzone by Mantic Games.

Preparing and construction miniatures is certainly not my favourite part of the gaming hobby, especially the bit where you have to slice plastic mould lines off around excruciatingly small detail on teeny-tiny plastic men. But it has to be done, and if it has to be done, a stormy day is the best day on which to do it. So next time you’re stuck inside and feel the hankering for some hobbying, here are some tips and tricks for building the Enforcer and Plague miniatures that are thrown into bags in your Deadzone box.

Mantic Games haven’t made the process easier in any way by just chucking the bits in the box and assuming you have twenty years hobby experience. There are no instructions, the pictures on the box don’t perfectly match the miniatures you get, they’re using ‘restic’, an annoying but cheaper plastic/resin compund that is time-consuming to clean up, and in general I was cursing their names (and the names of their ancestors) roundly by the time I’d finished constructing these miniatures. But once they’re painted up and on the gaming table I’m sure they’ll look great.

I’m getting more and more frustrated with miniature army men technology of late. Surely it’s about time someone came up with a process and material that made miniatures affordable, free of casting errors, and—I know it’s difficult but there must be a way—free of mould lines. Perhaps we’ll have to wait until 3D printing technology can reproduce the finest of details before it’s possible. I for one am eagerly anticipating that day!

Anyway, the forces are built and cleaned up and ready for the next video in this series. If you have any questions feel free to let me know and I’ll cover them in the next video. Watch those fingers!

Note: I started using plastic glue but switched to super glue for reasons explained in the video. Be sure to use super glue to put these particular miniatures together!


  • Ben says:

    Yes Deadzone has to be the worst game I’ve ever bought for assembly problems. From the terrible restic sculps, mold lines down the middle of models faces! And the bags and bags of bits. Nothing matches the photos online and don’t get me started on the scenery, and those damn connectors! Every single one needs filing to fit. Their promise of modular terrain is pretty much a lie, you’ll have to glue most of it together if you want to stay sane

  • Ben says:

    I’m never going near a Mantic game after this.

    • Universal Head says:

      I can understand your frustration Ben (I edited out a few more rants!), and I must admit I can’t understand some of Mantic’s decisions. Despite practical problems with the plastic itself, the least they could do is provide some accurate photos to help guide the construction process, or even a B&W A4 sheet giving the buyer some basic instructions on how to build the minis and terrain.

      I guess it’s a company that previously has just made boxes of miniatures now crossing over into the game world, and not realising the expectations of a new audience.

      Anyway, I’ll reserve my final judgement until I play the game. If it’s a really fun game, then I won’t begrudge the effort it takes to prepare it (too much). But I hope Mantic learn some lessons for next time.

  • Axebaneblade says:

    Great video, and I actually learned something about super glue usage: storing them vertically with the tip up. I try to keep the clean, but I never thought about storage and inevitably they end up horizontal, or even upside down in a box of supplies. So thanks for the tip!

    Also, I’m the guy who tweeted you about my own 3d printed miniatures game, and I can tell you from my first test prints, that the quality and level of detail is not quite as good as high quality plastic miniatures, and the surface is slightly grainy instead of smooth, but details as small as 1/64th of an inch came out perfect. Keep in mind though, that they were printed on a very expensive (I believe they cost about $400,000) Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) type of 3D printer. Most home printers (although the technology is changing rapidly) don’t produce miniatures quite as detailed.

    Anyway, it’s true that 3D printed miniatures obviously have no mold lines, and the ones I’ve designed, have very few “sprue” bits to keep the material costs low, but there are small connections (about 1/16th of an inch thick) between figures/weapons that have to be cut away. Each figure will come fully assembled, aside from the bits that are designed to be removable/interchangeable, like the special weapons, armor plates, mech heads, etc.

    Oh, and those interchangeable weapons were all designed with a 3/16th of an inch slot that fits a slot of the same width on the miniatures and every weapon and model I had printed in the first batch fit perfectly with out any sanding/filing. In fact, they fit so snugly that I’ve tweaked the slot to be just a hair wider on the miniature to make it easier to slide the weapons on and off.

    So yes, 3D printing could be poised to change the miniatures market, primarily for small start-ups like my own, using “print on demand” instead of spending thousands of dollars to set up a production line for injection molding for every new miniature. I’ve already completed 14 designs in 3D, and the only cost to me is the printing cost to test the design. This will allow me to add new designs as frequently as I wish! Anyway, I’ve rambled enough, just one last thing: Keep an eye on your email over the next few months, because I would love to send you a promo copy of my game once I have the first ones ready. (You are literally the first person I thought of to send one too!)

    • Universal Head says:

      That’s fascinating info, thanks Axebaneblade. Considering the speed of change when it comes to technology becoming cheaper and more accessible, perhaps it won’t be too long before we’re buying plans online and printing out our own miniatures. No mould lines—oh happy day…!

What do you think?