Going into the Exclusion Zone

Zona Alfa is a tabletop miniature skirmish game in which you have a party going into “The Zone” to look for loot to sell, complete mission objectives, etc., all while fighting off other Stalkers, raiders, mutants, wild beasts, and other Zone Hostiles. The Zona Alfa rule book by Patrick Todoroff has come out just this month. I think it actually releases on the 31st of January, but some pre-orders shipped early. I was one of the lucky few and found mine in the mail box a couple of weeks ago!

I stumbled across Mr. Todoroff’s blog Stalker7.com, while looking for wargaming blogs on WordPress and I was instantly hooked. I then saw that his ruleset was going to be published soon. I almost immediately pre-ordered it, bought S.T.A.L.K.E.R. for PC on GOG.com and have been somewhat obsessed with the Zone for the last couple of months. The game is heavily inspired by the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro 2033 pc games.

There are a few reviews out there on some blogs and a few flip-throughs on YouTube. I highly recommend checking out this game. It is a very solid ruleset.

With that, I had to take a break from finishing my German Grenadiers for Bolt Action to whip up this terrain piece for the Zona Alpha/Stalker7 Facebook Group’s terrain contest. Lastly, although I told myself I wasn’t going to paint any other minis until the Germans were finished, I thought the terrain piece needed a suitable mini to pose with it, so I painted up a Soviet in and NBC suit by Eureka Miniatures.

Here is the beginning concept. I found the black piece at work. It was a cover for a panel system’s electrical whip. We’ve had it sitting back there for years and had no use for it, really. So, I threw it in my box and took it home. After looking everything over, I decided to create a power generator. It could be used as a mission objective. The base is 2.5″ x 6″.
The white “smoke stack” is from a bic pen. The fencing is from some old HO train sets along with the little thing on top next to the smoke stack (which didn’t make the final cut).
The fuel tank is from a Dollar Tree toy that came with a matchbox-car-sized AA tank. Here’s a 28mm mini next to it for scale.
The final concept, glued together. I put together the light with a piece of sprue and a street light from the HO train stuff. I drilled a hole in the sprue with the pin-vise and glued it in. The chain, wheel, and orange metal thing (I think it was part of a toy car) were all found with my metal detector on various hunts. Finally found a use for the junk I found!
I searched different images of control panels on google, found one I liked and put it in Paint. I re-scaled it several different sizes until I found the right one, printing, cut, glued, and finally modge-podged over it.
Sand and base coat applied.
And……a big skip head to the final product! The weathering on everything was really a huge trial and error. The Cyrillic letters, what looks like a large lowercase “r”EH 4, are the first three letters in the Russian word for “GENERATOR”. So, this is Generator 4 and this Russian needs to turn it on. Here he is pushing buttons!
Reference I used for painting my Soviet in the NBC suit. I tried to match up the guy in the middle with the bluish-green suit.

That’s all for now. Please check out Stalker7.com and the Facebook group as well if you have any questions. Patrick Todoroff has been very courteous and accessible for questions on the rules, where to get suitable minis, etc.

Also, if you’re looking for more inspiration for the genre, check out Roadside Picnic, the novel that really started it all, and Stalker the movie, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky.

Stay alive comrades. Good hunting, Stalkers.

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