Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Bishops

Alternate Bishop used to be one of the rarest and most valuable miniatures from the Malifaux range. I managed to get him in a trade with another gamer from the US. Soon after that the mini appeared in Black Friday sale for $25... Oh well, at least I was finally able to paint him.
The model is based on a character from DC universe called Lobo. I'm not really familiar with it so after quick research I learned that he is some kind of badass alien bounty hunter. What I liked about him immediately were clearly distinctive features, style, and unusual colors. I decided to paint my miniature in a similar way and used this opportunity to simultaneously paint old plastic version of Bishop. I never cared much for that version of this model but it grew on me as I started working on it.


Bishop is a 10ss mercenary who is a versatile beater. He can choose a suit at the beginning of his activation and add it to all his duel totals until the end of his activation. Bishop can also choose whether he wants his opponent to resist his attacks with Wp or Df. His Ml value is a standard 6 with 4 different triggers that allow him to put slow on the target, push it 3' in any direction, deal one extra damage (not too bad on a 2/3/4 spread), or ignore Armor, Hard to Kill, and Incorporeal. The last one seems particularly nice. The only problems are Wk4 and his short range of only 1'. Still, he is swift and can flurry so a lot of damage can be caused as long as he is close to his target. His other Ml attack has a high value of 7, costs 2 AP, deals no damage but puts Paralyzed on the target.
His Df and Wp are solid 6 and if he wins a defensive duel in Ml, he can punch back for some extra damage.


#21/2017 Sleeping Beauties


I am a big fan of King's work and I consider myself a Constant Reader. So, whenever there's a new novel by him, I feel obligated to read it. Sleeping Beauties had been heavily advertised before its release. It also had an intriguing story of all women on Earth falling asleep. King has dealt with this type of post-apocalyptic scenarios in some of his other books (The Cell, The Stand, to name two off the top of my head) and it has worked out really well. Before starting this one I felt it was bound to be another solid piece from him. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed.
There's a plethora of characters and none of them are well developed. I also didn't identify with any of them. The language they use seems rather primitive, relations between them are superficial. I'm used to King's characters being more elaborate (teachers, businessmen, etc.). Having a narrator like that has always worked in favor of his work. In case of Sleeping Beauties they mostly seemed annoying (especially the "main" one - Eve Black). 
Apart from that I had an issue with the pace and how the plot developed. There are numerous short chapters. It seems like the story is cut into many shorter segments to avoid having to work on coherent plot, segues between events. I was even considering giving up and stopping after about 20% but forced myself to keep at it, hoping that it may get better in the second half. Well, it didn't. 
At the end of the audiobook there's an interview with Stephen and Owen King. It offers some nice insights into their work styles and family life but more than anything it gave me some food for thought on why the novel is so bad. They had been initially working on a script for a TV series and then decided to turn it into a novel. They were taking turns editing and modifying each other's chapters so that it would be hard to tell who wrote which section. Unfortunately, it didn't work at all. It's probably the worst novel by King I've ever read, even Desperation or Firestarter (terrible as they are), are outstanding in comparison.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

True Mother(s)




I've been after this model for a while now and finally managed to buy her last month. Metal version of Nekima has always appealed to me. The sculpt is dynamic and full of character. The level of detail is impressive too. 
There is one major problem with this version though. It's a heavy model and it is attached to base only at one point. This means that it is bound to break at some point, probably sooner than later. Bearing this in mind I cut the leg at this spot and added a long pin to bring extra stability to the link there. It is not a perfect solution by far and I'm still a bit worried it may not last very long but it is better than the original solution anyway. I also slightly repositioned her wings. Nothing fancy, just a minor change that I thought would add more dynamism.
Painting both was rather tricky as they're large models with a lot of details and large wings that make it harder to access some areas.





The plastic alternative version is one of my least favorite miniatures from the range. I initially bought it to use instead of the original plastic one (which is very nice but much too small) but the model seems to be wrongly scaled. Her head and limbs are just too large. Hair on top of her head looks like it's going under her horns and her wings are not in a position they should be during a charge. I could live with these, the thing that really put me off was her sword that looks like a Christmas tree. I immediately replaced a blade using old WFB bits.

Here are two pictures that compare all three versions. Old metal one is by far my favorite, followed by undersized plastic one, and the latest alternative. I'm going to stick with the metal one as it should  be safe during transport in my A-Case.





I haven't been very active on the blog recently and here's why. Together with my three brothers we decided to take part in Runmageddon. Nothing too extreme, 6 km with 30+ obstacles, but it still meant I had to prepare for the event and spent many evening running and working out instead of painting. It was worth it as we managed to complete the race together. It meant a lot to me as I'd had two knee surgeries and really struggled to get back into shape after the second one. For a while I even gave running up but long months of rehabilitation allowed me to return to mu favorite sport. And being able to complete Runmageddon with my brothers was the icing on the cake. Oh well, enough rambling, just one more picture that summarizes the whole thing to me (I'm the one in the front with outstretched arms).


#20/2017 Mississippi Blood


The final part of  Greg Iles' Natchez trilogy takes place mainly in the court as the trial of Tom Cage finally begins. It is an excellent conclusion to the series as the description of the courtroom proceedings are some of the most dynamic and dramatic Iles has produced so far. Everything is shown through the eyes of his son, Penn, whose frantic attempts to understand what seems like self-destructive drive of  his father and his lawyer. As new witnesses present their testimonies, the atmosphere thickens and becomes unbearable for the family. Two lengthy novels have left so many questions unanswered that being able to finally understand the motivations of main characters is very rewarding in itself. The author takes his time and presents them gradually. Despite this, I was still surprised by the final revelation of who was directly responsible for the death of Viola Turner, which set stage for the whole thing.
The author also reflects on the nature of relationship between races as the trial shows that much of  hatred and rage kept in check for years still exists. All of this played a huge part in what motivated the protagonists to act in a certain way.
I found the descriptions of what happened in court truly captivating and many unexpected twists of plot kept it dynamic. However, I was a bit disappointed with final action segments. These seemed too chaotic and didn't make too much sense. 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Bishop!



I haven't been painting a lot recently as work's been crazy. Despite that I consider acquiring this model a major success. I don't know whether I'll use him much in game but that's one of the best alternative sculpts in the range and I can't wait to start painting him! Hardly any hobby progress but at least there's a collector's achievement to talk about :) 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Mama Z


I found this old version of Zoraida a while ago on ebay. As with many Wyrd pewter models, this one has very well defined details. It is especially visible on her face, which has a malicious expression that nicely goes with the character of old hag. However, the model still suffers from the flat syndrome that was common for models from the first edition of the game. In the last picture you can see what I mean. Of course, it is connected with different casting technique and becomes apparent only when you look at the model from a certain angle, but still...


Just like all other old models, this one comes with a mini book, I mean a card... Introducing upgrade system for masters gave Malifaux much more flexibility and made life of players so much easier. However, the Hex skill could be an interesting addition to M2E Zoraida.


I typically play Zoraida as a support master, not very offensively, and I generally keep her in the back. I made the base for her out of balsa and cork as I wanted this part to somehow reflect this approach - ancient crone sitting at a safe spot, twisting the threads of fate from distance. After pinning her and making sure she stood firmly, I attached the voodoo dolls. I used tones similar to the ones on plastic Zoraida. You can see them both in the picture. I think I will stick to the metal one from now on as she has more character to the sculpt.
I haven't yet played her after wave 5 upgrades, but I look forward to giving them a go. The combination of Raven Form and Powerful Control seems like it might be effective.


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