Monday, 11 January 2021

A look into the Explorer's Society

New Year, new faction - time to dive into the hobby side of the Explorer's Society. I will be painting two sets of the Apex keyword (neither for myself though) in the next couple of weeks. The bases were made with Milliput and I added texture by pressing other pre-cast sand/rocky themed resin bases into the putty.

Let's start with what's inside Lord Cooper's box. First off the man himself. Fairly easy to assemble and despite rather static pose there's a lot of detail on this miniature. He looks like a steampunk version of Safari hunter and I plan to use various shades of brown while working on him.
Model 9, his henchman, is probably the most flimsy one of the whole batch. The main issue are his throwing knives. The hilts are so this that it's too easy to actually break them while cutting away from the plastic sprue they're attached to. I'd recommend placing a few tissues or something fairly thick and soft below them while gently cutting the pieces out with a hobby knife by gradually applying pressure from above. The skull on its base is not part of the box.
The Hunting dogs - Ullr and Artemis. Nothing complex about them, the pieces go together pretty well and they aren't complicated at all.

Three runaways, Cooper's totems. These guys want to get out from the field or die trying. Both options are great for the player controlling this crew. Having read his background story, I expected a bit more variety here, maybe some dapper dandy type unfortunate enough to make a "once in a lifetime" deal with Cooper's minions, but I'm overall rather pleased with the quality of the trio. They all look like they've had enough of their host's hospitality and will do anything they can to survive and the sculpts capture this very well.
On the hunt is a box that offers some valuable expansions into Cooper's core crew. The Vatagi Huntsmen have to be my favorites of the whole lot. So full of character, these nasty guys coming from cold Russia look really imposing and the detail level is top-notch.

Crypsis Corps, Cooper's expert snipers, are the other two minis from that box. They certainly have a unique look, nothing like these two in the whole Malifaux range. Thick cloaks and imposing rifles make them look quite menacing.

Overall, I must admit the level of quality of Wyrd models continues to improve over the years (and I have been observing that from 1st edition when they were cast in pewter ). There is pretty much no need to use Green stuff or any other putty as the pieces fit together perfectly. The only places where I felt an extra layer of putty would help keep the texture coherent were the coats and some parts of hounds. Other than that they're all pretty much ready for painting right after assembly.

My only issue (and not a big one) with these are the bases. Wyrd has switched to using the ones with deeper indentation in the middle (on the left in the picture below). These used to be flat. It causes two problems.


First of all, the plastic base inserts don't fit very well as they're too small. As you can see in the picture below, there is some space around the inserts. Yes, it can be filled with any type of modelling putty and no, you don't have to use the inserts (one for Cooper, one for the sniper) as they can easily bo put on any kind of base. However, if there is an option to use them, it would be great if they added at least one old base with flat top, as the inserts fit perfectly there (pic on the right below).
The other issue I have is that I typically glue small neodymium magnets below the base as I store and transport my minis in my old trusted metal A-Case. The new versions of Wyrd bases don't have enough space below them for a magnet so I will need to buy some extra round 30mm magnetic stickers wo work around that.




Please note that neither of the "problems" above is a serious one and both come from my personal hobby preferences. I can strongly recommend these minis to all who enjoy collecting/playing Malifaux or want to start doing so (both from the gaming and the hobby perspective). 

 

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Finishing the Nightmare keyword

 With these my nightmare models for Malifaux are pretty much complete. 

Insidious Madness are like some twisted and complex 3D puzzles. Assembling them is a real challenge but it feels very satisfying once they’re put together. I’ve started using bright base coats recently and the final effect is definitely affected by this choice as the colors are way more vibrant.





Lord Chompy Bits has always been one of my favorite characters. Ancient Tyrant who has a very unusual relationship with a boy from Earthside. I wanted to make him look like stuff of nightmares so I used numerous shades of purple for different washes and glazes.



This old avatar model is a consequence of my earlier choice - using Dreamer miniature as a single 30 mm miniature. As a result I needed to use the M2E version to accompany Chompy as he walks out from a portal.


Now I will be focusing on some Explorers, starting with the Apex keyword - watch this space :) 

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Widow Weaver, Stitched, and a surprise Bayou guest

Those will likely be my last minis painted in 2020. With Stitched Tigether and Widow Weaver, my Nightmare keyword is almost complete - only Madnesses left. Don't think I will be painting Teddy as there seem to be better alternatives to him in the keyword.

 






Somer - Avatar of Opulence, eating his life away on the back of Peaches. What a fun mini to paint, although assembling it was a bit complicated...



Three little Gupps - old metal versions back from M1E just to add some variety to my collection.


And an odd model from the Ressurectionists faction, painted for a buddy.



Sunday, 13 December 2020

Expanding the Nightmare keyword

 

Getting slowly into full Nightmare keyword with these recent additions. Old Chompy Bits - metal model from the first edition + my take on Dreamer using arm from new Chubby bits (M3E) and Dreamer avatar model.







Thursday, 26 November 2020

More Nightmares

 Finally working on my own stuff, some minis from the Nightmare keyword, more to follow soon.








Monday, 23 November 2020

Nightmarish WIP

 


My hobby plans for 2020 remain ambitious - the picture above shows what I plan to paint before the end of year. This is actually the 8th Dreamer crew I will be painting. I plan to stick to my swamp theme I have in the Neverborn but to make this keyword stand out a bit more I will be using resin skull bases from Micro Art Studio for the most part.
I will start with Alps as I really like the new plastic sculpts and plan to use dark purple + worn out red on the robes to make them pop more.

I've been into watching some Vassal reports and can give a big shoutout to James Dyson who regularly provides quality content on youtube. As they are not too dynamic, they can work well as background video while I paint minis - can't really do that with bat reps that show actual minis and have different camera angles.

And speaking of youtube, here's a new video from one of my favorite bands.



Saturday, 14 November 2020

Colorul Ladies and new approach to taking pictures

A few weeks ago some cables in my old trusty Foldio lightbox snapped and I was no longer able to take decent pictures. I bought a new , smaller one from Green Stuff World and started experimenting with different backgrounds. My initial goal was to start taking pictures with black background but... well, that will take some time to master. I have, however learnt that you can easily adjust exposure while taking pics with iphone (duh! should have started doing that long time ago!). 

What it means in a nutshell is that I can adjust the focus on miniature(s) so that the background becomes pure, bright white. A good friend who is a professional photographer has once told me that the less work you do with editing pictures, the better. In the samples below there is no edition and no filters needed to be used.

Let's start with Cassandra and Arcane Effigy.


Followed by Baritone Lola - really great sculpt and I had some fun working on the skin tone with oil paints.


The last one is the most interesting example. Hinamatsuri, also called Doll's Day or Girls' Day, is an annual festival in Japan. Celebrated on 3 March of each year, platforms covered with a red carpet-material are used to display a set of ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period (info from Wiki). Hinamatsu is a Doll that made it to the world of Malifaux. It took some considerable effort to buy it as it's been unavailable in pretty much all stores worldwide for months. I managed to get it on eBay from the US with a bundle of other M2E boxes.

In game it is one of the most efficient pieces. Armored, can deal damage that ignores armor, has a lure and good mobility. I can't wait to try it in game!







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