Friday, 31 March 2017

Bust out the paints

So anyone who follows me on any type of social media, or even anyone I passed in the street will probably know what I've been working on lately, but for the couple of you that don't I thought I'd give you a quick run down on my current project / obsession.

Inspired by all the amazing work I'd seen on various sites along with reading Figure Painter Magazine (well worth checking out for painting type stuff). I've been itching to paint a bust for a while, and I must of made this clear as my amazing and long suffering wife surprised me with a a couple for my birthday recently.

Image may contain: 2 peopleThe two I got were both from Model Display Products and produced by War Griffon Miniatures. Now as I know nothing about busts she couldn't ask me for advice so instead just chose sculpts that she liked (always the best way to choose).

The busts I got were the "evil warrior" and "flower princess" both looked really fun to paint and amazing quality so they jumped straight to the top of my painting queue.

Minimal clean up was needed out side of a quick wash and brush, then they were primed and ready to go.

I started with the warrior as he seemed the simpler of the two and being around 30mm high he was closer to what I'd normally paint. The first thing that struck me was that despite be small for a bust the amount of space I had to work with was amazing compared to the miniatures that I'm used to. While I was planning out what I wanted to with him I put a thin wash of red over the flesh and black over the armour, this was just to help pick out the detail and help me decide what to do.

Image may contain: 1 personI decided to keep him simple when it came to colours and try to focus more on my light and shade to add character. Starting on the skin I tried to work from very dark in low left up to light in high right. I tried to take my time and really map out how I wanted the shades as I wanted a clear transition between the sides of his face as the light would fall.
The plan was to have four or five shades of the skin with the darkest being to left shadow, the lightest colour from the left would then be the darkest from the right and up to lightest for right highlights.

This process to a fair amount of trial and error to make it look natural but I'm please with the final result. I found it helpful to refer back to a photo of the bust right next to my light to help me see how the shadows sat.

Image may contain: 1 personNext step was the armour. I'd be practising NMM for a while and while I can get it passable on a small area larger surfaces need a lot more thought to get right. As with the skin I tried to uses four or five shades of one colour to get the effect. The blending on the armour should be neater and also some clearer highlight would have help define areas more but I'm happy that I think it looks like metal enough to work.

Overall I have to say that my first trial at painting a bust was really fun and it's defiantly something that will become a regular part of my hobby time (Wyrd if you want to start selling Malifaux busts so I can combined my hobby project that would be appreciated). I learnt loads about painting faces from having so much detail to work with and would recommend to everyone to give it a try.

The finish work is now sitting on my bookshelf looking cross with all who pass.
 Image may contain: 1 person

I've also started the Flower princess, wife and sprog have "helped" me decide on a colour scheme for her and she's coming along well I'll do a follow up post in a few years when the hair is finally finished...

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Out of commission? Definitely not!

So I've been "gently" reminded by the others that I'm like....contractually obliged to write blog posts or something something eternal damnation playing against Pandora.....I forget the fine print. As it's been a bit quiet on the gaming front for me recently (I went to Snowdown, it was fun and I didn't get the spoon!) I thought I'd share with you guys what I've been doing instead of playing games.

You may or may not be aware of this but I only really started hobbying about 3 years ago at the relatively late age of <mumble mumble>. While I definitely enjoy many different aspects of the hobby, by far and away my favourite part of the hobby is painting. I love seeing a model come together via paint job, trying new things and seeing improvements in the things I paint. It does lead to the problem that my painting pile is getting a *little* excessive, however this doesn't stop me from painting things for other people! I actually really enjoy this, I get to paint models that I otherwise might not be able to and other people tend to pay me for doing it. Usually payment takes the form of shiny toys, thus making everyone happy.

So here is a short roundup of some of the commission projects that I've been doing for other people.

1 - Miscellaneous Ressers, Outcasts & 10 Thunders for Chris

One of our teammates, BadLuck&Blood, has had his hobby time reduced recently due to various circumstances. So I offered to help out by painting a bunch of random models that needed some paint. There was a nice mixture of Outcasts, Ressurectionists and a few 10 Thunders models. There's a long standing joke in our group that Chris is a big fan of pink - so I tried to include that in some of the models where it worked. I also got to try a new technique of making stringy gore using Uhu glue and Tamiya Clear Red paint. This was a bit tricky but I think the end result looked cool. These have been handed back to Chris and I'm looking forward to seeing how he gets on with them.

2. Teeny Fairies for Tim

Something a bit different this time - a fellow blogger, Tim (find his blog at as a trade for some Bretonnian transfers I needed for a future project he sent me some teeny tiny fairies to make a couple of little dioramas. This was definitely a first, the figures were smaller than any I've painted so far and so getting detail on some of them proved to be a huge challenge. Also, it was the first time I'd had a proper go at basing multiple figures on one base, definitely a unique challenge that was a lot of fun!

3. Batman Miniatures for Pete

My friend Pete is a big fan of the Batman Miniatures Game for Knight Models. While I've got a fairly sizable Penguin crew and a smaller Ivy crew, it's not something I've had much of a chance to play (plus I also have a bunch of Avengers for the sadly now-defunct Marvel version of this game), I do like the figures a lot. So Pete has been sending batches of Batman miniatures down to me quite regularly for a while now, to the point where I've actually lost count of how many versions of Batman I've painted. Part of me wishes he'd play villain crews, at least it'd be a change from black and very dark grey palette choices!

The latest batch have included the Sons of Batmen, a second version of Batfleck and Aaron Cash with his quick response team. Probably my favourite of this bunch to paint though was the armoured Batman from Batman vs Superman, just a really nice mini to paint. Kind of hoping that Wonder Woman from the same set might get sent down here at some point <puppy dog eyes>

 4. Malifaux Titania Crew for Graeme

I think out of all the projects I've done recently, I think this is the one I was most pleased with the results. When the artwork for the Titania crew came out from Wyrd last year I was really taken with the models - they looked so cool. But they're Neverborn and I really couldn't justify buying a crew that I knew there was a high chance I wouldn't play. After a chat with Graeme after an event at Wayland we agreed that I'd paint the crew for him and then we could work out some sort of compensation we were both happy with.

The theme for Titania is that she is the Autumn Queen with 3 Knights and a Henchman - 1 for each of the seasons and most of the amazing paint jobs I'd seen on the crew tended to reflect that. However, Graeme and I did a bit of brainstorming and came up with something that, while still keeping the theme, was a little different. While each model was clearly representing it's own season, the colours all tied into an overall autumnal theme - no light greens for spring as an example. For her totem, a fairly massive snake, I suggested to Graeme that I take some inspiration from Disney and paint him like Jafar's snake form from Aladdin (please no sue Mickey!). It was half in jest, but as things turned out, Graeme is a big fan of Disney and loved the idea!

The Gorar
I finally got to hand the crew back to Graeme at the last Warzone event and I was quite pleased to see when I put it on the table along with the best painted entries (I didn't enter it but we decided to have a bit of a joke with Graeme) that it didn't look totally out of place from the lovely entries.


Upcoming projects!

Currently on my painting table I have a Kaeris crew for Ben "Panzer" Harris, which is going to involve me making a wet palette to have a proper go at blending the colour for the flame effects. This is something I've not tried before but have been keen to have a go at for a while so we'll see how it goes.


From there it's a bit less certain what I'll be given to paint in the future - I can imagine there'll be more Batman minis from Pete and there was a tentative discussion about me painting a bunch of the upcoming Harry Potter miniatures from Knight Models, which totally hasn't made me squeak with excitement.

If you'd like to keep up with my painting adventures then you can follow me on Twitter (@Elessarion30) as that's where the majority of my work in progress pictures - and don't be afraid to ask me about taking on a small commission, I'm usually happy to help! Although I don't paint Space Marines ;)

Monday, 20 March 2017

Filthy Ramble

It's been a while since I had a proper rant, and I don't think anything has drawn enough hate from me recently to ignite one (I was involved in an expletive filled exchange on a popular fb page but I'll skip past that). But I do have a few rambles that have been bubbling away, so in want of a decent post you get a few odd thoughts strung together. Lucky you.

Firstly I thought I'd take a few minutes to chat about the bogeyman, now with 'Faux there's always a very real chance that this could be an actual character but what I'm talking about are those certain models, crews, or factions that you think you just can't beat.

We all have them, Pain-dora is a common one where people just get an instant "I've lost" mentality as soon as they see her across the table. It's not restricted to masters though, I always seem to have a huge problem dealing with terror tots (I once threw Seamus, a necro, and Sybelle against one and still didn't kill it) it's not that terror tots are that amazing it just becomes a sort of jinx after a while, and you find the old "bad luck follows a bad attitude" idea coming into play.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Molly goes to Hockley

2016 was not a great year of gaming for me. I managed to play at Warboar towards the beginning of the year and maybe a handful of games the rest of the year. This was mostly due to real life and work getting in the way. The plan is for 2017 to be more productive on the gaming front.

So I signed up for a few events, discovered a fellow resser that lives pretty close to me and scored a lift to Snowdown in Hockley. Here begins the recap of my first tournament for 2017.

The morning began with two of the Croydon lot arriving to give me a lift. The driver, Grant has set his satnav to speak like Mortimer. A rather thematic beginning to the day. We arrived with plenty of time to spare and picked up some breakfast at the Sainsbury's. Then the general greetings as all the folk started shuffling into the venue and complaining about being awake so early on a Sunday.

Game 1 - George (McCabe)

George admitted that this was his tournament with Guild as he was normally an Arcanist player and apologised upfront about needing to repeatedly read his cards. I assured him that this was not a problem as I was pretty rusty myself. So that set the scene for a game that was always going to be laid back in attitude from both of us.

The board had little rivers and bridges everywhere and a few buildings, trees and ruins. We decided to make the rivers hazardous.

George dropped McCabe, Francisco, a lawyer, executioner, Lunar and a million dogs.

I ran:

  • Molly with her spirit upgrage, take back the night. 
  • Sybelle and bleeding tongue
  • Izamu and decaying aura
  • Datsue and my little helper
  • Phil and my little helper
  • Dead doxey

Turn 1 Molly and Sybelle were near the centre with a dog. Izamu had been pushed up by his friends and he charged in and murdered the executioner. 3 points for me and 2 for George (Quick Murder and Frame for Murder). Phil was cycling cards at the back. Datsue was heading for my right stash marker.

The lawyer was a real pain this game and kept paralysing Izamu. I think my hyper aggressive Izamu fooled George into thinking he was framed for murder - he wasn't. George was brave and ran a sword wielding Lunar into Datsue to try remove my right marker. Datsue survived and turned Lunar into a Gaki. This through George's plans for scoring claim jump as his corner dogs were now mostly useless.

This was a fantastic game with each of us doing our best to delay activations to try figure out what the other was up to. Although I started with less I managed to remove a few of his early making it much closer. Final activation of the game (in round 3 or 4 - we were slow) I had one marker down for the trap. I attempt to summon a drowned with Molly to leave another with finish the job (this would have bumped it to a 3 VP scheme) and I flip the black joker. Meaning I only scored 1. Bollocks. This left the game at a 5 all draw. Which I was still pleased with. Fun game. Great opponent.

Round 2 - Joe Wood (Collodi)

Typical. In 3 of my last 4 tournaments I have faced Joe.

I can't actually remember the fifth scheme, but no one would have picked last stand so it works.

This game had 2 ponds either side of the centre and we elected to make them hazardous. I had some windmill thing in front of me in the centre. Joe had a bunch of crates in a similar position on his side. I hate playing against Collodi. Joe had Collodi with things, Widow weaver, 3 stitched, an insidious madness and a bunch of the marionettes.

I ran:
  • Molly with her spirit upgrage, take back the night. 
  • Sybelle and bleeding tongue
  • Izamu and unnerving aura
  • Datsue and my little helper
  • Phil and my little helper
  • Dead doxey
  • Grave spirit
This was quite a bloody game in the middle. I cycled cards with phil and pushed Izamu forward with Datsue and the doxey. Sybelle took Molly for a lift. His marionnettes wasted time. Izamu wiped a stitched off the board and then got hit multiple times and flipping  a bloody 7 with gamble your life. Bye Izamu.

Second turn Collodi and the stitched and thrown more damage around. But I managed to wipe the last two stitched from the board. Joe started dropping claim jump markers but I managed to engage a marionette with Datsue to stop him scoring. I picked up some points for hunting party, but think Sybelle went down. All the dead stitched and models had dropped enough scrap and corpses for the weaver to bring out a Teddy.

Turn 3 is when it really started turning against me. I was running out of enough models to really prevent Joe's plans. In the end it went 9-4 to Joe. I had picked up a few points for claim jump and hunting party. I managed to block at least one of the accusation points (would've been two if I had won initative on the last turn).

All in all it was still a fun game.

Round 3 - Grant - my lift home (Nicodem)

I can't remember the fifth scheme on this one either so chose one at random.

I was a little nervous going into this game. Interference is not my favourite, Molly is ok at blocking it, but not so great at scoring it.

Grant ran Nicodem with the card draw upgrade and the muhahahaha one. He had a carrion emissary (MLH), phil, Mortimer (MLH), necropunk and a nurse.

I ran:
  • Molly with her spirit upgrage, take back the night.
  • Sybelle and bleeding tongue
  • Izamu and decaying aura
  • Phil and my little helper
  • Dead doxey
  • 2 crooligans
The board had a few forestsand big buildings and some ruin thing in the middle.

I decided that I would try hide some crooligans for claim jump and take a sneaky show of force as I thought it would go uncontested.

I hid my crooligans behind a building. His nurse and emissary ran down the flank towards my right. And the rest stayed in the corner feeding Nico cards and corpses. I sent Izamu, Sybelle and Molly towards the emissary. Phil and the doxey did some card draw shenanigans. Turn 1 I brought out a hanged and knocked some wounds off both the emissary and the nurse. Nico then summoned a hanged and a shikome.

Turn 2 Grant went first and using MLH managed to toss up a massive wall to block Molly from seeing him and killed the hanged. I could see the shikome aiming for my crooligans. So I activated Molly she used her (0) to give Izamu a walk and then he charged across and murdered the shikome. Izamu never left that spot. Grant kept bringing out punk zombies to harass him. I think must have murdered three over the course of the game. He was also in the 6" bubble and not scoring interference but he did net me 3 for show of force all on his own.

At this point the vulture moved into the middle and gave Nico huge range and he created a massive amount of zombies and a few punk zombies.

Molly was basically pinned into that corner for the rest of the game and fended off quite a few rounds of zombies and hanged. But ultimately her and sybelle went down. Both annoyingly to paralyse and being eaten by a flesh construct. I wont forget that one. That gave Grant 3 points for Eliminate the Leadership, we both thought it was less for being after round 3, but we were out of date on our schemes.

Phil quickly removed the vulture with his shooting action from that (0) upgrade he desperately needed! This forced Nico to venture forth from the corner and waste valuable AP. At one point Grant tried to drop schemes in my half for leave your mark, but Phil turned those into corpses. I wasn't sure if that was a good idea against Nico, but figured he wasn't short of corpse markers so what the hell.

In the end we both picked up 3 for the strategy. I netted a full 6 on my schemes and he could not get any for leave your mark. So 9-6 and a potential walk home. Another great game.It had been a while since I had played against Nico...MLH and the emissary have been fantastic for him.

I was happy with the day. My opponents were all great. I finished middle of the pack. George went on to pick up best Guild player, Joe picked up best Neverborn and 4th overall. So the games where I dropped points were against strong players. Looking forward to the next tournament, which for me will be 1 April in Croydon.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Do you wanna build a snow witch...

To kick off Arc'17 I focused on one of the most iconic Masters in Malifaux and the true force behind the Arcanists Rasputina. So far I've played ten games with her, seven of them being in tournaments so I thought I share a few of the things I've learnt.

Firstly with 'tina herself. Positioning seems to be the key with her, she works like a turret dishing out angry snowballs. I try to find a place to set her up with good line of sight and within range of where the enemy needs to go.
 One focused attack with a stone dropped for a mask to hit again is better than two normal attacks. The plus to damage makes her scarier on that first attack and the free attack can clean up. The third ap is usually either a pot shot or more likely throwing up ice pillars. 
Ice pillars are great they mean you can protect your crew, or block off theirs. Plus throwing a low tome for the card draw is a great bonus.

I tend to run Raspi with cold nights , armour of December and seize the day. This is because Ice pillars are amazing , a push is better than a walk, and getting initiative negates (slightly) what ever stupid position I left myself in at the end of the last turn.

The rest of the crew hasn't seen too much experimentation yet but I'll go through the models I've used and try and explain why (or pretend I know why)

Firstly is the wendigo, cheap, tough, and can throw up a second lot of ice pillars. He's also a minion so counts for plenty of strats and schemes.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Asami: managing the cards

So, I've been having another of my enforced breaks from Malifaux. But a brief ray of sunlight broke through the clouds and I got to have a game against Insidiously Mad.

This year I'm going back to Ten Thunders for a bit to try out some models I've picked up, but not used yet. Top of the list is Asami. The TT summoning master. I'm not going into much detail about the game, except to illustrate my thoughts on Asami and her she can be run. This post is about her and her crew mechanics. Is she a summoning daemon, or should she being a buffing tool box?