Thursday, March 15, 2018

Painted miniatures for the Fallout board game

Hello fellow Vault Dwellers! I've finished painting the five characters for the Fallout board game. We have the Mutant, the Ghoul, the Vault Dweller, the Scavenger and the Brotherhood Exile. Each survivor is roughly 30mm in scale and modeled out of the semi-satisfactory plastic that thrives in board games published by Fantasy Flight Games.

Like anyone who was old enough to left-click on a mouse in 1997, I fell in love with the original Fallout computer game. There was the splendid isometric (or trimetric?) graphics, the wide sand-box of a world, the deep character development. This was all splendid but if that was all was offering, it would perhaps have been overshadowed just one year later by Black Isle Studio's other flagship game, Baldur's Gate (1998). But what made Fallout truly special was its sense of humor.

For a post-apocalyptic world, it wasn't merely Mad-Max or The Omega Man. It was (in the surprisingly accurate words of Wikipedia)  an "atompunk retrofuturistic setting and artwork are influenced by the post-war culture of 1950s America". Like the best work of David Lynch, Fallout makes you see two images at the same time: the picture perfect American dream of wholesome progress, and the self-destructive amorality seething beneath the Norman Rockwell facade. But unlike David Lynch (or Norman Rockwell), Fallout has gatling lasers.

If you haven't played fallout and don't know exactly what I mean, all of this is encapsulated into the excellent little introduction video to the original Fallout (or, for that matter, the introduction video to Fallout 2). It's all there: the sappy music (Ink Spots, Satchmo, Bing Crosby), the cheery visage of the "Vault Boy", the consumerism, and -- of course -- the desolation. I never got around to playing the more recent versions of the computer games, but when I heard that there was a board game coming, I jumped to buy it.

I'm happy to report that the game is a worthy scion of its mighty ancestors. It might not quite have as mordant a sense of humor, but it makes up for it by creating a story-driven game with cascading moral choices, criss-crossing plots and a real sense of setting. As an added bonus, it plays just as well solo as it does with three or four players. And it's the only game I know of where you're character gets addicted to drugs. So let's look at the five survivors...

Painted miniature of the Vault Dweller, Fallout Board Game

First up is the Vault Dweller... one of the lucky few who survived the nuclear holocaust unscathed by hiding in a self-sustaining bomb shelter. Thus he wears the distinctive blue and yellow Vault Suit. However, it appears he's been wandering above ground for a little while, because over his jumpsuit are fragments of more primitive armour: metal plates, leather straps and rivets. I also like his beaten up rifle (or is it a Red Ryder BB Gun?).

Painted miniature of the Ghoul, Fallout Board Game

Next we have the Ghoul. In the world of Fallout, Ghouls are not so much undead as they are undying. They're humans that were so ravaged by radiation that even though their skin and flesh was flayed away, their metabolism mutated in such a way as to not only keep them alive but to greatly extend their lifespan. This miniature nicely encapsulates the tragedy of Ghouldom. The natty suit indicates a concern for civilized niceties, but the nightmarish face is sure to be shunned by all.

Painted miniature of the Mutant, Fallout Board Game

And then there's the Mutant. I wanted to make him look truly freakish, so I painted his skin the colour of a blue Freezie.

Painted miniature of the Brotherhood Exile, Fallout Board Game

Above is the Brotherhood Exile. He wears the distinctive power armour of the Brotherhood of Steel, a sort of religio-technical community of templar wannabes. I tried to give his armour a slightly worn feeling without going rust crazy.

Painted miniature of the Scavenger, Fallout Board Game

And finally, we have the Scavenger. She is, by far, my favourite: I like her insouciant pose, the expression on her face, and the details in her model. I wanted to really bring out the motley in her outfit, so the first thing I did was give her a pink poodle skirt of the kind that was popular in the 1950's. To this I added woolen work socks, a denim vest and a camouflage head-scarf. I'm happy with how it turned out. It's a strange day when a man says to himself, "Yes! I finally nailed that poodle skirt!"

Painted miniatures for Fallout Board Game FFG

Thanks for dropping by!


  1. Awesome work in your own style! love all of them !

  2. lovely bright paint jobs as usual!! well done

  3. My favourite sculpt is the power armour, but my favourite paintjob is the 'blue freezie' mutant. He looks positively refreshing. Perhaps I'll have the honour of checking this out with you sometime.

  4. Old school painting style only works in old school miniatures.
    In other models, this technique does not make them look good.

  5. Love them all. Really dig the free hand poodle and the pin stripes on the ghouls pants. You obviously have a fine post apoc fashion sense. Perhaps a post crash habberdashery is in your future.

    1. Yeah those pants are amazing. Great work on these! :O

  6. I'm not into Fallout, so I know nothing; but I can recognise a job well done when I see it (oh, that skirt!). Fabulous!

  7. Lovely poodle! Semi-satisfactory all round! ;)

  8. I'm a fan of the original games too Matthew. They're great! I hadn't heard of this board-game version before, but you've piqued my interest with the description you gave. If your interested in seeing another movie that inspired them for the game, check out "A boy and his dog" from 1957. It's a twisted film, but it's quite good IMHO.

    Great paint jobs on the minis too :)

    1. I remember that movie. The short story is better, but the movie is pretty credible.

  9. Goodness Matt! These are lovely. Really cool looking and look every bit "Fallout-y" from my limited experience of the franchise.

    My rpg group are huge fans of Fallout, one bloke even going so far as to design his own Fallout rpg (dice'n'paper) rules and campaign. (Very fun, even if I have no idea what is going on or being talked about half the time..) I'm going to send them a link of this post so they can get all excited and decide to by the game/minis, only for me to let them know I already have far too much on my paint queue to even consider painting up anything for them, for a game I have no interest in! :P

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