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Fixer Upper

I found this model in a box in my mancave last week.  I had almost completely forgotten about it, even though the nondescript box that it lives in has been staring me in the face for seventeen years,

Obviously its a fantasy building of indeterminate sort.  Its quite large as these things go, so its probably an inn or coaching house.

I put it together from scratch in 1995 as a project for a course that I was doing.  The scale is a little off for 28/30mm figs, but its close enough.

The privvy is cute. I am absolutely astonished that it has survived intact for so long. Its 100% balsa construction makes it a bit like a city built on rock and roll: structurally unsound.

The piece isnt undamaged though.  Note that the circular window at the top of the photo above has fallen in to the structure.  The paint on the tiles is coming off in places in a disconcerting fashion too, as can be seen below along with the missing second chimney pot.  But all in all its in pretty good nick.

The chimney is made from air hardening clay applied in an effort to look like stone work.  The “stones” are a bit soft looking, but intact.

I am planning to fix some of the damaged areas and to add some light weathering.  I also plan to add a few posters to the walls plus a sign declaring the building a coach house or inn for use in Malifaux games.

I havent fully decided on a name for the establishment yet.  Considering the goofy steampunkhorrorvictorianwestern nature of Malifaux I am seriously considering naming it The Cowboy and Necrophiliac.  Thats what I have been calling Malifaux at home recently anyway (as in “Im off to play cowboys and necrophiliacs honey.  Dont wait up” or “I cant wait to get finished with this sexy nurse so that I can play cowboys and necrophiliacs with her on Tuesday when the lads come over”).

Admittedly The Cowboy and Necrophiliac is a bit of a mouthful, but it should make for funny signage.  Anyone have any better name ideas?

 

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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.

Malifaux: Judge

Judge

The very first Malifaux figure that I am posting up is this guy, Judge.

Judge is a member of the Guild, who are the less than benevolent authoritarian figures in the setting.  He hangs around with Lady Justice and the Death Marshals, who all specialise in taking out Resurrectionists (essentially Necromancers).

As far as I am aware Judge has suffered some severe damage to the lower portion of his face, which is why he wears that bandana… I think.  It doesnt matter anyway as it looks pretty cool I reckon.

Judges Long Arm blade has a pistol built into the hilt, which in game terms allows him to do all sorts of Matrix-y combination gunfire and dismemberment moves in game.

Check out the pistol hilt.

Another figure from the Lady Justice box set goes up tomorrow.

 

Comments and criticisms on this guy are very welcome 🙂

 

 

Malifaux Project

I have started yet another project.  Its Malifaux this time.

Malifaux is a skirmish miniatures game set in a steampunk Western dystopia with horror elements.   It appears to me that this odd mashup occurred because Wyrd Miniatures produced an eclectic range of figures before the game was even conceived and then decided to shoehorn the lot in to the game.

Despite how dodgy this sounds, Wyrd did manage to create a game world that feels unique and pretty coherent.  The fact that the majority of Wyrds miniature output is really very nice also helps.

There are a number of reasons why I have decided to add yet another project to my already ludicrously big list for 2012:

The first and most important reason is driven mainly by the fact that I have found a local miniature gaming opponent and he and I are trying to get a regular Mancave mandate going.   For this to work it will involve a little give and take regarding what games to play and paint miniatures for.  My opponent (hereby known as COM) has a number of Malifaux forces painted up, as well as all of the necessary rulebooks and the like.  Therefore painting up 5-10 figures for the game is an easy buy-in for me.

Secondly I already own a Malifaux starter box of five figures.  I bought them back in ’09 because I liked the look of them and without any plans to play Malifaux.  Because of their cowboy aesthetic I had planned to use them in post-apocalyptic games.  I had not got any further than priming the figures so this gave me an opportunity to return to an old project and get some closure.

Thirdly my post apocalyptic terrain, in particular the Standard Falls stuff  is well suited to the setting.  It is visible in some of the photos of games shown in this post.  It lacks some of the more steampunk elements from the Malifaux setting but a few features that resonate with Victorian sci-fi are easy to add at a later date.

Lastly, it is a very small project and quite easy to achieve.  At the time of writing I have five figures painted with work beginning on others.

Those five figures from my Lady Justice/Death Marshals set will be going up daily here, starting in a minute and continuing daily until Sunday.

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