Malifaux: Guild Austringer

“My arm is tired”


A man walks into a bar with a gigantic, unusually coloured raptor on his arm.  

The barman says “Where the hell did you get that?”.  

“I won him in a raffle” replies the bird.


Austringers are effective in Malifaux games.  The bird does all of the heavy lifting, attacking foes, distributing orders to friends, capturing small mammals in its talons, regurgitating food into the mouths of its young, making loud “Raaaawk!” sounds, that sort of thing.  The guy in the coat just stands around looking grumpy.

Just like the Executioner shown a few weeks ago, this guy was painted in the run up to the Malifaux competition that I played in a while back.  I decided to attend the competition late and so some decisions regarding colours used for this figure were based on how quickly they could be applied, rather than necessarily on colour theory or inspiring movies recently watched or whatever.

The “Bayou Raptor” was initially painted the same way that I would paint a crow or raven (just like the guys that feature on parts of my graveyard terrain).  That approach was fine if a little drab, but perfectly good enough for use in games, which I did.

A few days later I decided that I wanted to make the bird look a little less dull.  What I came up with is shown above.  The bird is a little goofier looking than I had intended, partly due to the rather Muppet like sculpt and partly because the pattern of plumage that I tried to paint looks rather  fake I think, despite doing a bit of research into real bird of prey patterning.  Ho hum.

My lack of enthusiasm for the plumage plus the somewhat one-sided nature of the handlers relationship with the raptor has me considering using a more… esoteric scheme on my second Austringer miniature.  Maybe.  Im not sure that adding that level of goofiness to my Guild crew is desirable but it might be a laugh.


Malifaux: Scales of Justice

“Please… kill… me”.

In Malifaux each crew is led by a Master.  Nearly all Masters have a Totem that is theirs alone: some form of manifestation of an aspect of a Masters psyche made flesh due to the magic forces that Malifaux is saturated in.  The figure above is the Scales of Justice, the Totem of Lady Justice.

I dont know what is supposed to be going on in Lady J’s head, but seeing as this unhappy looking guy represents those thoughts given form, I am probably better off.

The concept of the figure doesnt really do anything for me.  The blind justice thing is already amply displayed by the Lady J figure and it was unnecessary to ladle it on here I think.

Maybe its just me, but the strong visual links to crucifiction looks to me  like the original figure concept sprung from the mind of someone heavily weighed down by Catholic guilt.  As someone who is not weighed down by same but who happens to live in a country with a large percentage of fruit loops who are, the figure design is a bit of a turn off.  I bought the Totem simply because it is an easy fit into the game, but I think that perhaps I should have come up with a proxy miniature more to my liking instead.

The sculpting on the figure is good and it was easy enough to paint.  The casting was acceptable, but like many Wyrd products it could be better.

Wyrds casting quality is extra disappointing considering that it comes from a company that started as a manufacturer of collectors figures for display.  I hear rumours that their production will switch entirely to “sprueless plastic” soon, which might help.  I hope that it does.


A note on basing: since I started the Malifaux project I have begun adding more and more bits and pieces to the large, flat 30mm slot bases that I have been using.  The Malifaux rules tend to be generous regarding base size, so the simple (and most importantly fast) basing technique that I have been using for a couple of years just looked too plain.  As the Malifaux project has progressed I have begun adding more and more bits to the bases, although years ago I promised myself that I was done with that sort of thing.  It turns out that I was wrong.

The cactus visible above is a symbol of this malady.  Like the grass tufts that I started adding after I painted Santiago Ortega I liked the look so much that I went back and added cacti of various shapes and sizes to every Malifaux figure that I have finished so far.  I imagine that tiny cacti will feature on every vaguely cowboy looking figure that I paint in future.  They are cute though.

Robosheriff / Malifaux: Guardian

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This rather crudely sculpted cowboy robot makes me smile every time that I look at it

Its part of the weird but oddly appealing range of Golgo Island miniatures that I picked up from East Riding Miniatures.  I bought the figure with plans to use it in post-apocalyptic/sci-fi western games where it would form the strong arm of the law in the Standard Falls Sheriffs department.

While that use remains valid, Robosheriff  will also serve well as a proxy Guardian robot in Malifaux games.  Thats why the figure got bumped to the top of the painting queue recently, seeing as Malifaux is the new black at Chateau Sho3box.

The sculpting on the figure really is pretty crude, which made painting it a little less enjoyable than I would have liked.  Therefore I went for a simple and quick drybrushed metal effect rather than doing anything too fancy, as I figured that it wouldnt be worth the effort.

Sculpting aside, the rigid pose is quite suitable for an obviously not-very-bright robot and the clunky design and lovable dopey expression make it a fun figure to put on the table: it always gets a laugh.  That definitely counts for something.

This is how the rather tall figure scales up with some rootin’ tootin’ Mali-folk.  L to R is The Judge, Robosheriff, Santiago Ortega.  The boys are on 30mm bases and the Robosheriff is on a 40mm.  Would I watch a movie that had the above image as a poster?  Damn straight I would.

Edit: a helpful Malifaux player knocked this card up for me so that I can use the figure as a proxy Guardian with minimum fuss.  Very kind.

Malifaux: Guild Executioner

This large gent is part of my Malifaux Guild faction.  I painted this figure plus one other in preparation for my first Malifaux tournament just over a week ago.  I got the figure finished on time, but I had to go back to it subsequently to tidy up a couple of areas that I wasnt happy with.  A couple of other parts of the paint job could maybe do with some more work, but at this stage I will likely leave the figure as is.

The blacks came out funny in the photo: the highlights on the black are not as harsh as that.  Something funny happened with the contrast :/

The design of the figure is a bit mad, somewhere between a hangman, executioner and some sort of S&M cyborg.  Rather than simply paint the figure in black all over (a rubberised or high gloss PVC look could be fun) I decided to try painting leopardskin trousers on the figure.  I thought that it might be funny and that it would play on the S&M look a bit.

I consulted the notes that I made while painting Dr.Leghorn and attempted to replicate that.  Largely it worked, although there are a couple of spots in particular that I am not happy with.  A learning experience.

L to R: Copplestone, Malifaux, Foundry (including metal base stuck to the slotted base), Hasslefree.

Also of note is that the figure is quite large (thats a 40mm diameter base).  Unfortunately due to my poor choice of miniatures for comparison purposes, the Executioner doesnt look that big in the photo above at all.  Oh well.

This guy has turned out to be quite a fun figure to field in Malifaux games.  He also serves a couple of purposes in my current Lady Justice crew line up whch has led to a more satisfying experience when playing games featuring Lady J: he has helped to make smaller games fall into place.  I havent got this much fun out of a 250lb semi-naked, masked man in leopardskin trousers for months.

Busy, busy, busy. And Malifaux.

COMs new Kaeris crew face off against my newly reinforced Lady Justice force in the midst of my almost completed graveyard terrain (just a few more gravestones to add)

Todays slightly-later-than-usual post is a bit wordy.  Even though this week I have managed to get a couple of cool miniatures painted up and the graveyard terrain set has advanced to near completion, I haven’t had an opportunity to take any proper photos yet.  The phone photo of my regular game with COM shown above is all that I could manage visually this week.

Largely this is because I played a lot of games over the last few days, by my standards at least.  Saturday was a day long boardgame session featuring four games (Marvel Heroes, King of Tokyo, Nexus Ops and WizWar).  It was a good laugh and it was fun to again play with some people that I dont get to game with as often as I once did.

I then played in my first Malifaux tournament on Monday.  Despite making a number of noob errors my luck managed to hold at crucial points throughout the day, resulting in me winning the tournament, which was both unexpected and nice.  For my troubles I won a limited edition figure, which I have cleaned, filled and primed so it should show up finished around here sometime soon.

In addition to this I also got my weekly game with COM in on Tuesday.  All of this gaming plus the painting time spent making sure that I had another couple of figure options available for my Malifaux crew made the last week jam packed by my standards.  And thats before I even mention real life stuff, which is more tempestuous than usual too, but thats not a subject for around here.

So, not much time for photography.  I did manage to liberate some of the photos taken by the organisers though (my thanks to the Cork Games Guild for that).

I strike an album cover pose in anticipation of the first game. Thats my “I am hungover and totally unprepared for this.  How the hell does this game even work again?” face.

Regarding the tournament (my first of any kind for a while and my first toy soldier/tape measure tournament for many years), part of the reason that I signed up was so that I would be forced to tackle a couple of Malifaux figures that I had not got around to painting yet.  This enforced deadline worked a treat, and I managed to get a pair of fun figures for my Guild crew finished on time for the tournament.  Even better, my finished crew also won a prize for painting.  Go me.

Two of my Death Marshals and my Convict Gunslinger (a proxy using my rebased Dr Leghorn) quake at the approach of bizarro-Lady Justice.

The green clad gent (me) attempts to decipher what horrible things that a Zoraida crew might be able to do to him, as his opponent applys a cold can of beer to his overheating thought centre.  This game was the most tense and close fought (and therefore most fun) of my day.

All in all, this means that enthusiasm for Malifaux is back up again around here and that the Ursa Miners will be taking a back seat for a while.  This is fine with me as I have been trying to vary my painting subjects this year in an effort to avoid the burnout that hit me last year (and to a lesser extent in 2010).

My Guild Executioner will likely be the next finished figure to get posted up.

Malifaux: Santiago Ortega

Santiago Ortega

The first Ortega that I finished is this tough looking hombre.  Santiago is the Ortega clan beefcake.

The paint job came out fine, better than the Death Marshals, but not as well as either the Judge or Lady Justice.  The figure is quite cool looking but a bit fiddly to paint for a couple of reasons.

The first reason is one that is common with the majority of Wyrd miniatures that I have come across so far: its multi-part.

Multi-part miniatures can often avoid that somewhat flat, two dimensional look by adding an arm or gun or wing or whatever on an axis that the casting process does not allow.  Despite this, I generally prefer my human sized figures to be single piece as it makes them more durable and it makes painting easier.  Trying to paint Santiagos face behind his big ol’ right arm was a hassle, and it shows in the painting quality.

Santiagos duster came out better than those of the Death Marshals a few weeks ago.

Fiddly reason two is also a feature of the Wyrd style.  The figures are moderately heavily detailed (which is nice) but the detail itself while crisp, is very fine.  When painted well they look fantastic, but I find that miniatures with heavily cut detail suit my painting style (and my patience levels) better.

But I should stop moaning.  Santiago looks like a pretty cool alt-cowboy type and the paint job came out pretty solid anyway.

Lastly, here is a picture of Santiago with part of my next terrain sub-project.

Malifaux: Lady Justice

Lady Justice

Lady Justice is in charge of the Death Marshal elements of the Guild in Malifaux.  She is a blind, Buffy the Vampire Slayer type cowgirl who, judging by that massive hairdo, moonlights as an eighties rock star…

I bought my Death Marshals box before I had any interest in playing Malifaux.  I bought it because of the cowboy aesthetic that the other figures in the box have.  The Lady Justice figure was not originally a draw for me.

The sculpting is very nice technically but the subject matter and design initially left me cold.  In particular the massive amount of hair on the figure, which spreads left and right to span the length of her sword gives the figure a lozenge shaped silhouette, which doesnt really appeal.  From behind the miniature looks a little like Cousin Itt.

Click for image credit.

Lady Justices voluminous barnet also obscures her scabbard, the strap suspending her scabbard, bits of her fingers and elements of her pistols and holsters in a confusing way.  And I dont just mean confusing to paint (which it was).  I mean confusing in the sense that depending on how the figure is painted and the colours used it can be very hard to see whats going on.

This view is pretty much all that I ever see when I play games with Lady J.

And yet, despite my apathy towards the figure initially,  as I painted Lady J it all started to make sense.  To start with I had difficulty imagining what colours to use as I wanted to make sure that the elements somewhat lost in the hair would be visible and identifiable.  I also wanted the figures palette to tie in with the other figures in the crew but without making the figure too gaudy.

But, as I decided to embrace the (as I see it) eighties rock vibe I found the figure easier to work on.  As I painted my original attitude turned around 180 degrees.  I went for the vaguely Dick Turpin, somewhat Adam Ant and definitely Meat-Loaf-one-minute-into-the-video-shown-below look shown and ended up quite happy with it.

By the time that I finished painting the figure I was really quite pleased with both how it turned out and with the design of the figure overall.  I dont remember my opinion of any miniature altering so drastically during painting before now, but in this case it did.  And it all turned out pretty well I think.

Here is a group shot of my first completed Malifaux faction, the Lady Justice crew.

Lady Justice Crew

Incidentally, the three gravestones were prepped for use in the game when the Death Marshals “bury” opponents in those magic coffins that they lug around.  I dont know if they will be of any use when playing, but they were fun to make anyway.

Comments and criticisms all gratefully received.

Malifaux: Death Marshal 3

My third Death Marshal.

I had a big painting slump last year and it impacted on my painting standard quite badly.  Although I am again starting to remember some of the things that were second nature last year, I seem to have forgotten some others.

This is visible in by comparing the coat on this figure and that of Judge.

I painted the Marshals before I painted the Judge and my treatment of the large smooth areas on their coats differed quite a bit.  I suppose it shows progress at least: the slow process of relearning what I have unlearned seems to be progressing.

The odd spirit flames in the coffin came out at an acceptable level, but after my more successful treatment of Judge Fire recently I had hoped for a better result.

Another issue with this area of the figure is that I was reluctant to try object source lighting techniques when painting it: I am afraid that the apprentice period required to get the technique to a decent level will result in significantly poorer miniatures in the interim.  Well executed OSL may have helped the painting on this figure, but I wasnt prepared to risk it this time.

The final figure from my first Malifaux crew is up tomorrow.  Its the Master of the group, Lady Justice in all her eighties rock glory.

Malifaux: Death Marshal 2

My second Death Marshal.

These guys are quasi-undead, corrupted by the power that they wield.  I went with a blueish skin tone (like I might use for a ghoul, vampire or zombie) to emphasise that these guys are not truly human.

This figure is supplied with his hat unattached.  I stupidly glued it on before painting the figure, which made the face very hard to paint.  Not that it really matters that much, as the figures face will never really be seen.  I wont make that error with future cowboy hat attachment though.

The Marshal figures were the main reason that bought the Lady Justice starter set.  At the time I had no definite intention of playing Malifaux, but the Death Marshals looked like just the thing for my post-apocalyptic, Cursed Earth cowboy terrain and figures.  The poses are fun too, dynamic and comic book-y.

Another Lady Justice figure goes up tomorrow.

Malifaux: Death Marshal 1

Death Marshals are Malifaux law enforcers that have particular issues with the undead and practicers of necromancy.  In order to deal with this threat they have learned enough about the dark arts to become capable of banishing zombies and the like.

This knowledge in turn has warped them into ghoulish characters themselves.  The most worrying evidence of these quasi-dead cowboys altered mental state is that they deem it practical to carry a coffin on or about their person at all times.

“Impractical!” you cry.  “Absurd!” you scream. “Why do they do that?” you utter.  “Meh, whatever.  Its kinda funny.” I mumble.

My Death Marshal paint jobs turned out ok, but not as nice as I would have liked.  Problems included:

Browns: as my miniatures tastes tend to be of the science fiction variety I have rarely painted that much brown over the years.  Brown isnt a sci-fi uniform colour as far as I am concerned, so I have tended not to paint that many things in brown tones.  These guys are covered in browns so getting the right highlight mixes and the like took a bit more trial and error than I would like.  This in turn impacted on my patience and the corresponding paint job quality.  Its alright, but could be better.

Coffin-dodging: I rushed through painting the coffins, and it shows.

Clumsiness: these are heavily detailed, fragile, skinny, multipart miniatures.  I didnt manage to break any of the smaller parts off the figure while painting, but they did make painting the various areas awkward.  The guy above was more of a pain in the ass to paint than one might expect.

Some more Guild figures go up over the next three days.  In the meantime I encourage you to comment or criticise please.

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