Sunday 31 May 2015

Something Wicked This Way Comes

The Iron Painter goes on and I'm still in. The theme of round three was "Something Wicked This Way Comes". It immediately made me think of one peculiar character from the world of Malifaux - Widow Weaver. She is a mysterious creature that wanders the world of dreams and is inexplicably drawn to the threads of fate. Legend has it that she visits children at night and feeds on their nightmares. Once she's had her fill of child's fears, she goes away to continue her seemingly pointless journey. What she happens to these negative emotions is not known, but the horrors she summons to her aid give an indication of what she does with them. 

Currently it's impossible to buy a model of Widow Weaver. She hasn't been released in plastic yet so the only way to play her is to use (now extremely rare) old metal version, or to make a conversion. Wyrd's release schedule hints at a chance of getting a plastic version of this model this summer but it's impossible to tell for sure with such things as Wyrd changes them often. I chose to make my own version of her. A couple of months ago I bought two blister packs, Freebooter's Queen of Shadows and WARMACHINE's Mortenebra with her Skarlock. You can see how these models look like painted in the picture below.

I thought that these three would give me enough parts to create a spider-like elegant Victorian lady. I used the body of Queen of Shadows, added some bits from Mortenebra and Skarlock and used some other plastic bits from Through the Breach male and female kits. I also did some sculpting on her face as I wanted to make it similar to the original model. The initial result looked like that:

I had an idea to present her from two angles. The first one would show an elegant lady walking along a path in the forest and the second would reveal her true nature. That meant I had to create trees, something I haven't done before. I had to make them from scratch so I looked online for some tutorials. I found some that showed how to make trees using thin metal wires. After reading a few I cut open a cable for my old mobile charger and, with a lot of Green Stuff, created something like that.

It still looked messy at that point but I had some way to go. I even added one Waldgeist as I thought it would help bring out the atmosphere of mystical forest better.After that it was a matter of combining the two pieces together, painting and choosing static grass/autumn flock to finish things off.

I started by painting the trees and the forest path. I used dry pigments for the latter. For the trees I used Gale Force nine Autumn flock that I glued onto the branches. I also mixed up standard bright green static grass with a darker one to create something that would look like early Autumn grass with some traces of Summer still visible.

The first shot shows an elegant lady walking along a path in the forest. I gave two small indications that something is wrong. The first one is a Waldgeist who wakes up to the presence of something wicked coming his way. You can see that by looking at his bright green eyes. Other than that, he is painted the same way the trees are and lends in with them. The second thing is the pattern on the umbrella. I wanted to paint something that would faintly resemble a cobweb. Cobwebs are easily associated with Widow Weaver but I wanted some subtlety here so I painted the pattern using bright shade of pink.

I also wanted to make sure I'd be able to use the model for playing Malifaux so I prepared  40 mm base for her (the bear pelt orphanage base insert). She's definitely going to come in handy for my slowly growing Dreamer crew. 

Her main job is to drop Web Markers, which she does as a (0) action. They lower enemy's Wp by 1 and stack if there are more markers. They also help with her ranged attacks, as they're resisted with WP. With an extra 2ss upgrade, she's capable of summoning a Teddy, which can be a game changer in later turns. She is Terrifying 11 to all, which can help but even with that she can go down fairly quickly if opponent really focuses on her

This project was a big challenge to finish for me as I now have a newborn baby at home. It meant that it was hard for me to find more than 20 minutes at a stretch to sit down and work on it. If I'd had more time, I would have probably done things differently but I'm pretty happy with the result anyway.

Friday 8 May 2015

Malifaux video battle report

Check out this video battle report prepared by WarGamerGirl. It's not only very well done but also informative (especially for those who are new to the game).

In other Wyrd- related news, a May release schedule has been released:

Available in store May 15th
Available in store May 29th

Wednesday 6 May 2015

The End of the World, as we Know it

Well, I've made it to the second round of Wyrd's Iron Painter competition. It wasn't easy but here I am, trying to go at least one round more than I did last time. The theme for round 2 is "The End of the World, as we Know it". It took me a while to come up with an idea. I didn't want to buy minis especially for this entry so I made use of what I had. I ended up buying some extra bits but those are for sure not elements typically used in the hobby ;)

Very early stage
I got a small picture frame and three Christmas ornaments with LEDs inside. I then cut the "trees" away so that I only had the basic parts. Those were white LEDs so I painted them using red and yellow inks. As you can see, I've also dug out some very old LoTR plastic ruins from the bottom of my bits box.
I knew from the start which miniatures I'd be using for the diorama. Few things in (and I mean it in a good way). They combine ruined human bodies with various metal elements. wires and other random bits. These are one of the best models that Wyrd has released in plastic so far. The design is absolutely amazing, they look grotesque and barely even human with all those random elements protruding from the tormented bodies. While working on this project I painted four of them separately. I used Wyrd Morgue Base inserts as I thought these tie in nicely with the nasty look of Abominations.

The only problem I had with them was pinning as their feet are so thin it's hard to drill through them without doing damage. With the spider one it is actually impossible so instead I just drilled small holes in the base and stuck him in. The chainsaw one had fragments of plastic sprue left below his feet and they served as pins for gluing him to the base. The four used on the diorama were painted in the same way.

Iron Painter is a good opportunity to try something new. You need this extra bit to get more points for the judges. I decided to try creating a smoke/explosion effect. I used some cotton wool, shaped it slightly and then sprayed matt varnish on it. I wanted to preserve the shape I formed and make sure it doesn't disappear later on when I sprayed some black over it. In the end I stuck the LEDs into inside.

The children occupy a center place in this diorama so I wanted to make sure they stand out from the environment and used bright, vivid colors. I also glued a patch of bright static grass around them and mixed it slightly with scorched one around the edges, following by adding a little bit of black. This part of the diorama is supposed to represent "the (...) World, as we know it" part of the theme. "The End" part is everything around and the explosion and smoke was created to reinforce this element. U also used two weathering techniques for that; dry pigments and some glazes of dark colors. The colors of the ruins are generally kept dark but at the same time bright enough to contrast with the weathering I've added to them.

There can really be no other song to go with this post...

Tuesday 5 May 2015

From a Buick 8

From a Buick 8 is the second of King's "car novels". While it shares the idea of a vehicle that is supernatural, there are more differences than similarities between this novel and Christine

Narration is structured in a completely different way. The story of Buick is told by members of state police force. After the death of a well-liked member (Curtis Wilcox) is killed by a drunk driver, his young son, Ned, begins visiting the barracks. He is liked by the troops. After hanging around the barracks and doing various different small jobs, he decided to spend his summer with the troops. One day, they gather together to tell the boy a tale of Buick 8. Sandy Dearborn, the current chief of the force, is the main narrator, but other people take turns to add their own point of view to the fascinating, but also unsettling tale. The narration switches between past events and present situation with the troops reflecting on old events. Ned is an inquisitive boy and often asks questions to learn more about those events and feels very frustrated when he doesn't get the complete answers he expects.

The story revolves around a car that was found during a routine patrol. It looks like a a Buick Roadmaster, but the steering wheel doesn't move, the engine has no parts that can move, and the wires seem to go nowhere. What is even more unusual, the car appears to be resistant to dirt and debris, and it actually heals itself from scratches and dents. The troops put it inside a storage shed and forget about it for some time. After a while, the Buick gives off the first of its "lightquakes". The car gives flashes of purple light and when the troops check in on the vehicle, they learn that it "gave birth" to some otherworldly plants. In the following years, the phenomenon happens with some regularity, each time resulting in weird creatures or substances being brought into the shed.

The story is full of tension. Each time the "lightquake" happens, members of the police force can't really predict what to expect, especially after one of them mysteriously disappears in the shed. Also, each of the events brings them close to something big, mysterious, and something that they slowly come to realize can never be fully explained. Young Ned shares his late father's fascination with the car and refuses to accept that. As a result, the novel doesn't simply finish with the ending of the old story...

I liked the way the story was told in the novel. The variety of narrators and switching from past to present makes it possible to see the story from different points of view. I have to admit though, some of the elements were highly disturbing. The novel deals with a difficult theme that King touches on in some of his other works (Pet Sementary, Revival). Trying to find is there is "another" world and what happens on the other side are important themes in these novels.. Some of the existential questions can never be answered. What's more, they should probably not even be asked as we might not like to know the answers...

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