Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Forward Progress With the 'Faux

So I've been working on my Malifaux minis like a madman. Toshiro is done, Ama no Zako has been finished, and Shang is ready to go.

At least nearly so.

The weather here in NoVA has not cooperated with me, and I have yet to varnish a single mini. This makes me afraid to touch them (too much) as I don't want to mess up my work. I hate handling unvarnished minis. Once the humidity breaks (I type as a thunderstorm rages outside) I'll start spraying, but it's not looking too promising according to my weather app. I have my first second edition Malifaux game Friday against the Ortegas,  and I'd really enjoy moving my little kung-fu mans around without worrying about the oils on my hands damaging my paintjob.

Here's the latest shot of my crew. I'm going to use the schoolgirl to represent the lone swordsman, one because the card appears to be awesome,  and two because it finally allows me to paint her after four or so years.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Above is the start to my wife's and my new Malifaux stuff. Mostly the Ten Thunders I have amassed on the left, but you can see the bases she's making on the right. I may have gone a bit overboard on my own bases, but you can judge for yourself.

First up is Yin the Penangalan. I was attracted to this model because she is so disturbing. The camera was acting up when I took this photo, so it's more than a little out of focus, but you get the idea. She's basically a floating mass of viscera, and she uses her horrifying appearance to paralyze enemy models. I still need to varnish her (first matte, then gloss on all the organs), but again you get the idea.

Next are my minions. I painted up my Ashigaru and Chiaki in a misty kind of green color. Their armor got a gold base, followed by a green shade, then a brush of the original gold followed by a brighter shade of the same. I wanted them to look like they were magically animated. They have pink eyes for an evil glow that offsets the green. For the purple I stopped by GW to grab a pair of purples and a purple wash. it made painting the back banners and ribbons a breeze.

Finally, Yan Lo and his Soul Porter. I painted the casting hand the same green as the magically animated minis to show he's casting a spell. The skin was my usual three stage method, similar to the one used on my Chaos Space Marines, just without the rosy flesh step to keep him more pallid and old looking. The Soul Porter was straight forward, what you see is what you get.

My wife has dived headlong into her minis- she hasn't put anything other that the Soulstone Miner together, but her bases look slick. I can't wait to see what colors she chooses for her crew.

Next up is Ama no Zako. I haven't decided how to paint his clothing yet. I guess I'll let my brush decide.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dusthammer 40,000

This is a short one.

Demitra, having jumped ship on 40k, has proposed something. We like Dust's rules, we like 40k's fluff and minis, so why not put 'em together? This has led to a bit of an experiment: let's apply the rules of Dust to 40k. He has settled on Orks, and I have chosen my usual Chaos Space Marines. He has gone with a horde of Soldier 2 minis, and I have decided that my troops should pretty much all be Soldier 3. I wouldn't have it any other way. So, off to the Dust Warfare force builder. I decided what counted as what and started plugging stuff into the program. Turns out I really couldn't fit in any cultists (just the sorcerer's command section) but I think you'll agree, it has that CSM flavor to it. Since I don't have my "counts as" list in front of me right now I won't list what's what at this point. I will however if this experiment lasts more than a single game. Any way, here's what I'll be running:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Going Back to a Wyrd Place

So, now that my Warmachine career is over I need something to replace it. With 7th edition 40k looming, and me being wary of it and Demitra having sworn off the game (as far as I can tell) that's a no-go. Then a miracle. My wife asked me "what about Malifaux?". Why would she ask? She knows the game is played in stores on days I'm stuck at work until 11:00 at night...

Turns out she really likes the background and minis. Hmmmm... I took a gamble and asked if she was interested in learning the game. The answer was yes! She has been interested in learning how to paint minis for quite a while now, and it's been a while since Monsterpocalypse or Battle Lore hit the table, so I seized on the opportunity. I took the PayPal money I had earned from selling off all my Warmachine stuff and went to the Miniature Market. First up, my crew.

I chose the Ten Thunders. I love their Asian look, and who doesn't like kung-fu and ninjas (pirate fans can go scratch)? Plus their underground mafia theme and the fact that all of their masters have infiltrated all of the other factions is a great bit if fluff as well. The fact that the models look dynamic and super slick was a big selling point too.

My wife loves steampunk, so I turned her straight toward Ramos. It was love at first sight (read?). All his constructs, in particular his arachnids, resonated with her. Super cool, we had picked out our forces.

I, having read the rules and figured out how the various crews interact, placed the order. About a week later most of our stuff had arrived. I say almost since my FLGS somehow had a Misaki crew in stock, and with the second edition cards! This is an almost miraculous find, as no online retailers I know of have them. I snatched them up, unaware of the trials the box would contain. More on that later.

My crew consisted of the aforementioned Misaki box, a set of archers, some Oiran, and Yamaziko. I figured this would give me a solid core from which to expand. My wife received Ramos' box, an arachnid swarm, and some metal gamin. Again, I figured that this would be a solid place to start. I made a couple of oopsies with that order. First, apparently Oiran are all but useless. Sad face as the minis are gorgeous. Second, Ramos needs many, many arachnids as one of his strategies is to go around making more and more of the things from the scrap markers as the initial ones get destroyed.
Time for a second order.

With my part of the money I got the Masters of the Path box, with some nice undead samurai to tag along. My wife got more arachnids as well as a Soulstone Miner and the Mechanical Rider. The Soulstone Miner was purchased because it looks cool, and the Rider because according to a few podcasts he just wins games.

Now that I had my stuff either in hand or in the mail (due to arrive two days from now), I decided to slap together the minis I had in hand. First basing, which I decided to do with a sort of ruined city street look. I started with using green stuff to lay down cobblestones, followed by laying some slate pieces over them to look like crumbled walls. I haven't gotten to laying down the ballast yet, but as soon as this post is finished that's next on the list. Now that the bases were ready it was time for the minis. I started with what I thought would be the easiest, Yamaziko. She went together like a breeze, and I glued her to her base. No sweat! The Internet legends of these being some of the toughest minis to assemble on the market were obviously posted by amateurs. Then I popped open Misaki's box.

What a nightmare.

I'm being helpful.
The parts were thin and fiddly. This I was prepared for. There were no instructions and the parts were randomly numbered. This was bad. Off to the Internet I scurried. I looked for an assembly guide on the Wyrd site. No such luck. To Google! Nope. So I started reading Malifaux blogs with Ten Thunders articles. Eventually I hit pay dirt. A color coded diagram. Not instructions, but the next best thing. From there I struggled through putting the nightmarish little things together. I struggled with Ototo, but I was able to noodle through the rest of them.

The Oiran went together easily enough, but then to the archers. Every last arrow, every single one, came snapped in half. I was going to have to get creative here, because they were all the same diameter as paper clips. Not good at all. Again, I was able to bodge the models together, but there are some arrows that are obviously bent and to mu eye you can still tell they were broken at one point. I am a bit more than displeased with these models. Maybe they'll look better painted, but I'd give it a 50% chance that they won't.

In the end the minis did go together, but not at all smoothly. Because of this, unless you are an experienced modeler and have lots of patience, steer clear of this faction. I'll give Ramos and friends a review when my wife puts them together, but as you can actually find instructions online I would give these a much higher chance of being doable than my faction.
That's enough text for now. Here, have some pictures of my finished minis:
Oiran. Useless, but easy to assemble.
Torakage. Middle of the road once you get the color-coded diagram. Still, those chains are fiddly and delicate.
Archers. Putting them together is the biggest exercise in patience in my modeling career
The Henchmen. Yamiziki is easy, Ototo is a pain.
Misaki and Shang. I would figure out later that I had assembled Shang's tail wrong, but it's not really noticable.