Wednesday 31 July 2013

Late night WIP

I'm finishing off the second batch of Hunter Orcs, at this point I'm just adding static grass and other types of flock. These take a while to paint as there are plenty of shades of brown to use and getting them to work together is time-consuming and tiring. Fortunately I could count on some help.

 Also, Bolg was a big challenge. He is so much different from other miniatures in this range... I will take some pictures in good lighting tomorrow so stay tuned.

Monday 29 July 2013

Turn the page

Way too hot to paint today, the paint dries immediately after it's put on a palette. The temperature is supposed to drop tomorrow so I should be able to make some progress then. The heat is unforgiving and these two pics of how my cats have spent 90% of the day show it well.

In the meantime I'm really beginning to look forward to season 6 of Sons of Anarchy so here's one from the soundtrack.

Thursday 25 July 2013

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Malifaux 2E - a hobbyist's perspective

As anyone who follows this blog know, I'm more of a painter than a gamer. The release of new edition of my favorite tabletop game (and also my favorite range of miniatures) has caused widespread discussion. While there are many people who are generally in favor of this, many still feel hesitant. Needless to say, these have not really been my main concerns as I'm mostly happy about the fact that we'll get to see old crews re-released along with some entirely new ones. So here are the key elements that I personally think are essential when talking about the plastics.
New challenges
As I've written before, I'm a big fan of Wyrd plastics.Don't get me wrong - I love the old, classic minis and they were the main reason I became interested in Malifaux. However, the new plastic models opened a wealth of opportunities to work on painting skills for me.
Different aesthetics
First of all, the plastic sculpts are different than the metal ones.The way I see it, they are less bulky and look like they have more finesse to them. They are significantly smaller and their limbs are thinner. I'm not saying that the older metal versions were too static. By no means, DM and Witchling stalkers are two obvious examples that immediately come to my mind. What I mean is that what was the feature of some of the metal sculpts has become a tendency with the new plastic ones.
Another thing I really like about the plastics is their durability. It may seem like metal is the best material to cast them as it ensures that they remain intact. I don't think it's the case. As I've written at the beginning, I'm not much of a gamer but each of the few times I transported my minis (using a very solid Battlefoam carrying case) has meant a need to retouch the models I used for games. Paint gets rubbed off easily from protruding elements like weapons/horns while taking the model out of the foam and it chips off easily when the minis I use for gaming get knocked down (not necessarily as far as from table to the floor). I use basecoat in spray and apply two protective layers of varnish (brush-on and in spray) but it's either my bad luck or it is simply all too easy to damage painted minis. I've never had such problems with plastic minis.
Digital sculpting
One more thing that I really enjoy while working with plastics is putting the miniatures together. Digital sculpting makes it possible to cast the model in several separate parts that fit together perfectly. No need for pinning as good glue softens the plastic, even melts it slightly to ensure stronger link. And the plastic that Wyrd minis are cast from is of the strong type that doesn't break easily. I read somewhere that it's pretty much the same stuff LEGOs are made of and after seeing my minis fly from desk to the floor and remain perfectly intact, I can believe that.
The overall smoothness and larger flat surfaces are what some may see as a problem of plastic Wyrd minis. And I can agree with that - there is definitely less texture on them. This is particularly noticeable on areas such as trousers, shirts and faces. However, what many see as a problem is a challenge that I really enjoy dealing with. This forces me to pay more attention to thin down my paints when applying layers to these areas, something which I felt I was able to neglect while working on metal minis without cutting too many corners.
New art
And last but definitely not least, let's talk a little about the new artwork. It's significantly different than in books 1-3 and while it took me a while to get used to it, I have to admit that I came to really like it. With the technology that Wyrd uses, the 3D renders are very similar to the concept art and the cast are also pretty close, without a significant loss of character and detail. What's more, the new artwork seems to reflect changes that take place in the narrative that is a significant of the whole Malifaux phenomenon. At this point I'd like to talk a little more about the new artwork. It's been available since the release of beta rules so it's nothing really new. I've recently came across this nice gallery put together from new card graphics by Nix from The Dead Tau Project and I thought I'd write a few words about it here too.

The Gremlins look... awesome. 
Apprentice Wesley
Moon Shinobi

Pere Ravage
With the addition of new crew, the greenskins are ready to start our as a separate faction. The Brewmaster and his minions have a nice oriental feel to them. The combination of elements such as ninja, bayou, madness and... whiskey is bound to make for an interesting crew.
Ophelia'c crew looks much more serious, especially the master. She looks like she means business. Pere lost his Elvis suit but... his pig got goggles. If a pig wearing sticks of dynamite and goggles isn't cool than I don't know what is.
Other than that they look a bit different than the old metal sculpts. Somehow thinner and maybe a bit taller but that's probably just their overall thinness. The clothes that they were wearing to make them similar and as powerful as humans looks more worn out and this just adds even more character to gremlins. I really like the artwork here, the quality is amazing but it also seems to be reflecting some process of growth in these characters.

Here are some other artworks that stand out the most to me:

Copycat Killer
Madame Sybelle

Punk Zombie
Steampunk Abomination
 I think that Ressurectionists have benefited a lot from the new art. The look much more serious and gory. Rather than creatures from a cheap horror they now gained a more realistic look while still looking grotesque enough not to be mistaken for humans. Madame Sybelle is a very good example.She looks like a humanoid but her large legs and muscular arms make her look like a monster. Sebastian may look like a friendly simpleton at first glance but the impression doesn't last long. His head is oversized, his body twisted and bulky and the saw he's holding is enormous.
I put Bishop here as he reminds me of one of my favorite movie characters - Eric Draven from the Crow.If I ever have a chance to work on this miniature I'd try to put it on a larger base resembling rooftop and use black colors for clothes with white makeup on the face.

Those are the ones that immediately caught my attention. There were also some that I didn't really like that much...
Viktoria of Blood
December Acolyte
Desolation Engine



Rusty Alice

Viktoria of Ashes

Student of Conflict

I'm not really sure about the design of Viktorias. The look like a rat tag group of mercenaries who have been there and done that and that's cool. What I don't care for much are the hairstyles as they look a bit too neat and clean. Rusty Alice has a completely new look that I also don't really like, she looks... too elegant. Student of Conflict has weird proportions (or maybe it's just the position she's in). The same goes for Myranda. There's something about the pose of December Acolyte that I don't like. She seems both static and dynamic at the same time. Killjoy and Desolation Engine are both huge monsters that fail to look serious with their round shapes. Joss also doesn't seem to benefit from the new art style as he's lost his Indian look in favor of a utility worker. While this goes nicely with the fluff (he had his arm ripped of by Rasputina as a message to Ramos), I'm still not sure about the new look of Joss.

And last but not least a few words and some pics of my favorite faction - the Guild.

Death Marshal
Enslaved Nephilim 
Francisco Ortega
Governor's proxy
Lady Justice
Lone Marshal
Nino Ortega
Papa Loco

Perdita Ortega
Samael Hopkins
Santiago Ortega
Scales of Justice
Sonnia Criid
The Judge
Witchling Stalker

I had initially only thought about getting LJ crew during this year's Gencon but after looking at the art I think I'll get all the starter boxes. I really like most of these with some strong favorites that have gained a new, more serious and generally better look in comparison to previous artwork. I love the look of all Ortegas, their characteristic features have been nicely emphasized. Only Perdita is a slight disappointment but them her original model is by far one of the best in the range. Samael is a huge improvement, really like his angry cowboy look. The flaming skulls on Death Marshals are something that I'll have to get used to but I really like the dynamic poses.
The only one I'm not happy about at this point is Lady Justice. She somehow looks much younger and it seems her measurements have changed significantly (particularly in the upper half of the body ;) Still, I'm reserving my final judgement until I've seen the actual model or at least some better pictures of the miniature.
And that would end my ramblings on the hobby aspect of M2E. Be sure to chek out Nix's blog and his gallery (links at the beginning). Congrats if you've read that far and if you haven't, well, at least you got to see some cool artwork.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

New plastic LJ crew spotted

EricJ has posted a picture of new LJ starter box on his twitter account. This is how it looks like:

I'm a big fan of the Death Marshalls and this is the first crew I bought and painted for Malifaux. I really like the new dynamic poses. Scales of Justice and the Judge are a big improvement in my opinion. They look somehow much more serious. The Death Marshals are even more dynamic than the original metal versions and I really like what I'm seeing there. I'm not sold on LJ as she looks tiny but I'll wait until I've seen the model in real life (pr at least until better, more detailed pics are shown).
I'm definitely going to order the box once it's available.  I'm a big fan of plastic miniatures released by Wyrd. When I look at my collection I think that they really push my to stretch my painting skills and actually help me improve them.

Monday 15 July 2013

New Hobbit stuff

Yesterday I picked up some new Hobbit stuff at GW store. Grim Hammers look great - just like heavily armored dwarf warriors should (only with the right proportions, not like dwarves in WFB with their exaggerated features). The Great Eagles are cast in a few seperate pieces that should be easy to assemble. What I liked in particular is that the transparent stems which hold them up come in two different heights. That would make it possible to add varying heights and make them look more dynamic when placed next to each other. Their bases are also transparent and unlike any other sizes of bases from the range so it's not possible to place them on a cavalry movement tray.
Putting together Radagast on sleigh will probably drive me nuts as there are so many pieces that putting the whole thing together will be tricky. It may even be worse if the elements don't fit together well and need some more bending into shape. I haven't checked which case it is yet. I'll worry about it when I start working on the model.

Overall, I'm really happy with the minis. GW is constantly improving the quality of their sculpts, both the plastic ones and finecast in particular. Those are a HUGE improvement compared to the first miniatures cast in this material.
However, there are no roses without thorns and here are a few examples.

Thror's sword was wrapped around his wrist, I needed to put it in hot water and bend back it to its proper shape. It's still not perfect and needs more work. It's time consuming as the sword is very thin and fragile so it would be easy to break it, especially if you plan to use the miniature for gaming.
Other than that the sculpt is fantastic. The armor is very well detailed and the emblem on the shield - that's just amazing. In general the details look really sharp and it really looks like finecast might be beginning to live up to the initial expectations.

 When I first looked at this sprue I was angry. If you look closely you'll notice that mounted Azog's prosthetic arm doesn't end in a hook. Like it or hate it, it was one of his most characteristic features in the movie and resculpting the ending would be very challenging. Fortunately, the hook is cast in the Warg's mane.
Azog's a big one. He's much taller than an average orc and the base of mounted version is also bigger than a regular cavalry one (but still smaller than that of a Mordor troll).

Grim Hammer's captain is another example of how much finecast minis have improved in quality. The facial features are very well defined and his armor looks fantastic too. The only problem is that the handle of his axe is very uneven and bending it back to proper shape will take some extra time. What's more, thin and protruding elements like that are bound to snap sooner or later and that might be very frustrating if you're a gamer and transport your minis to tournaments regularly.

Friday 12 July 2013

Evil Babies painted

These three were a lot of fun to work with. I think Wyrd did a great job designing them as they capture the spirit of Evil Babies from their card game. Their oversized heads with exaggerated features together with disproportionate bodies make them look over the top (in a good way)..

Painting them was a good exercise. The minis are very small but they also have some larger, flat surfaces (heads in particular). Placing highlights there was a bit challenging.

As far as color scheme is concerned, I followed the original artwork as I really like the vivid shades used there. I tend to paint using rather dark paints so it felt refreshing to paint something more lively for a change. I added the chest, cask and streetlight as I thought that these minis alone would look less interesting.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...