Monday, December 23, 2013

A Malifaux Showcase: Taelor

I took a break from commissions this weekend to give myself an early Christmas present.  I bought the Viktorias starter, Hired Swords, and sat down to paint the relic hammer wielding, beer chugging, insult slinging mercenary warrioress Taelor.  The Taelor mini comes in nine CAD rendered plastic cast pieces which are amazingly detailed.  Her pose transmits ideas of playfulness, power, and the far end of post adolescent awkwardness.  I love it.

Let's take a look at the finished painted piece!

Taelor is going to be a guest-star in my Rasputina force, and as such, she got the same wet snow basing that I really like.  There's something attractive about the scantily clad Viktoria band questing through the winter snow, dealing out death with winks and smiles.

Taelor is one hard working gal, wearing her mechanic duds complete with dangling suspender straps.

Where Rasputina was painted with the Reaper fair skin triad, Taelor's skin was painted with the rosy flesh triad.  She's definitely on the hot-blooded end of the personality spectrum and I imagine her becoming flush in the cold, steam rising off her while she swings away with her relic hammer, laying waste to her boss's enemies.

Each Malifaux model is CAD rendered from an illustrative artists concept, no hand sculpting is used.  I both like this and loath this concept because the models are of superb quality, but the time-honored relationship between tabletop games and their sculptors is potentially going to the wayside.  I have mixed feelings that the future of hobby lies with a computer mouse rather than sculpting tool.  Still, if anything, the quality of the minis speak for themselves, and I'll admit I'm a fan.

I would have preferred Taelor's mouth to be open in a sneer or yell instead of stoically pursed.  Still, her heart-shaped face is still wonderfully done, and has great potential for expression.

And that's it, Taelor is ready to battle it out for Rasputina's crew in my next Malifaux game!  Thanks for stopping by and checking out my work.  From me and Taelor, Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Showcase: Black Legion Oath-Broken

The Oath-Broken have been unleashed!  This week I finished painting a conversion commission I received from David. D., a unit of chosen for his Black Legion army.  The Oath-Broken were a ton of fun to paint, each having his own unique personality, and all of them being rough-and-tumble misfits looking for redemption.

Let's dive in and take a look at the painted minis!

Marius Titus leads the band of Oath-Broken, a veteran of many campaigns, looking to regain his position of prominence within the Legion.

I wanted three contrast points to stand out on the finished model: his power swords, plasma pistol, and banner.  

Once you get the hang of it, painting glow effects is a great way to add a visual "thrum" of power emanating from a weapon.  Of course, his power sword and plasma pistol emit such a glow.. his helmet's eyepieces do too!

That banner has seen some serious carnage, blood crusted to its front and back.  I'm willing to bet Marius picked it up off a fallen standard bearer and strapped it to his back so that he would be more visible to those he wished to impress on the battlefield.

Here's the two in the squad shooting one-handed, fully painted!  Where each O.B. has taken combat damage on his armor the recently painted (in the last 10,000 years or so) black has chipped away to show the original sea-green of the Sons of Horus.

You might have noticed that each of the two above has a lens that is not emitting a glow.  Both have sustained damage to their helmets, disabling the higher uses of one eyepiece (I imagine they can still see through them, but they don't get battlefield specs, etc.).

When going full-auto on your bolter, only two hands will do, and that's exactly what these three are doing.

Now that they're painted, a lot of the cool conversions that went into each model are clearly visible; like the bionic right arm on the marine in the upper left.

The middle O.B. scavenged a backpack off of a loyalist marine... probably an Ultramarine by the looks of things.

And now for the close combat fanatics!  These two are a couple of my favorites, especially the one with two axes.

The dual axe-wielder has had his eye put out, and it's still oozing.  Check out the scars radiating out from his eye socket!  

Judging by the weapons of these two, they've really been thrashing their opponents in melee combat.

Many of the O.B. have hastily patched up wounds, like the marine on the right.  

Check out the rust marring the bare metal portions of this guy's face plate.

And with one last look at the whole squad, that's it!  Thank you for stopping by and checking out my latest project here at the Monster Lab.

Come back next time to see more!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What's on My Desk: Black Legion Oath-Broken

This week I'm working on another Black Legion project for David D.'s 40k army.  In October I did a twelve-hour paint on his Abaddon, the centerpiece for his army.  David has a really great theme to his army, and wanted to have a squad that complemented his Abaddon.  After doing some digging, he came up with the idea to use the story of the Oath-Broken, a group of Black Legionnaires who are trying to return to their master's favor.  As the story goes, a member of the Oath-Broken failed Abaddon in some task or exhibited a lack of loyalty and was cast out for their crime.  Being the kind-hearted and forgiving person he is, Abaddon is uncompromisingly unforgiving in his view towards them.  No Oath-Broken receives any support from the Legion, but is allowed to act on the fringe, taking the most dangerous roles, desperately hoping to regain their master's favor.  They probably won't, but that won't keep them from trying...

This was the fiction I was tasked with bringing to life, and with all due haste I dove right in!

Above is a member of the squad (who will ironically represent a unit of Chosen on the table top) about 95% completed.  My goal with each completed model was to depict the iconic nature of the Oath-Broken: vicious, pragmatic, and on the ragged edge.  Many of the members' armor is sparse, lacking lots of horns or trophies, but all are packing as much heat as possible for both ranged and melee combat.  

You may be wondering what's going on with the armor of the model above, why is it green in some places?  Each Oath-Broken still wears the original armor of their legion, The Sons of Horus.  Chipped away by chainsword cuts, bullet wounds, and ricochets, the original sea-green paint of their birth legion can be seen beneath the more current layers of black and without legion support and fresh coats of paint their old colors are starting to show through!

There's still more painting to be done on the rest of the squd, and I'll go deeper into those details later, so in the meantime, let's take a look at the converted models!

The Squad is ten strong, led by a champion wielding a plasma pistol, power sword, and one heck of a bad attitude.

This guy is eager to regain Abaddon's favor and totes around a banner for the Black Legion wherever he goes.  It makes sure his dark exploits are in full view of those he's trying to impress, but it also makes him one hell of a target on the battlefield.  No guts, no chaos glory.

Three distinct kits went into the Oath-Broken conversions: chaos tactical marines, Necron warriors, and fantasy chaos warriors.  The chaos warrior box kit is great for adding a rugged look to the space marines, where gauntlets were damaged they've been replaced with simple leather gloves and fur lined capes supplement for just a little more meager protection.  The champion here has seen better days, and his bionic leg (from the Necron warrior kit) proves it.

Going back to the chaos warrior bitz box, I used the lower half of one to convert a cool striding pose on the model above left.  Both of these guys are firing their bolters one-handed, and a simple weapon swap on a couple of pistol wielding arms gave me the extended arms I needed to pull it off.

Having the marines firing one-handed also allowed me to put a combat weapon in their off-hand.  You can tell by the battle-scarring on this OB's chainsword above that he's not afraid to get in the thick of things!

Like all Oath-Broken, these two have taken some punishment on the battlefield.  The marine on the left has fared a bit better than his counterpart on the right, only losing an exhaust vent from his backpack and having to salvage a basic steel helm in place of his ceramite one.

His buddy has done the best he could to bandage up his bum right leg, a bandage I'll be sure to paint as blood-soaked!

These three were all of the same shoot-from-the-hip style, a great look for marines laying down a hail of gunfire.

One member has the torso of a chaos warrior and a bionic right arm, his fellow on the far right has even fashioned a crude bayonet to his bolter.

Sometimes an Oath-Broken gets lucky and is able to scavenge from a fallen loyalist marine, as the one in the center certainly has, though the backpack he found is a little worse for wear.

These final two Oath-Broken are the hot headed members of the bunch, rushing headlong into the thick of melee combat.  Obviously such rash tactics haven't served the one on the left so well, and he's paid the price with an eye!

The other one has some serious battle-scarring on his helmet, chest, and shoulders (not to mention a bionic leg), a testament that he's taken it as well as he's given it out!

That's it for this week and a look at what's on my desk.  Come back next time to see the painted and finished members of David's Oath-Broken squad!

Until then, happy hobbying and good gaming!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

December is Coming: A Malifaux Showcase

It certainly is.  Here in the Midwest temperatures have dropped down into the twenties and have hovered below freezing.  I can't think of a more suitable force to be painting in the winter chill than Wyrd Miniatures's Malifaux box set: the Children of December.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the steampunk/fantasy/western skirmish game called Malifaux, it's what you might expect, but with a twist.  When playing a game of Malifaux you can leave your dice bag at home, all "dice rolls" are determined by the flipping of cards from a poker deck (and a few you might cheat from a hand of six).  There was some buzz around my local game store about the second edition of the game and its new plastic minis.  I was pretty blown away by the Arcanist faction, and most specifically Rasputina's starter force.

Let's take a look at the painted models!

The Fist of December is one bad mamma-jamma.  This was a model I was looking forward to painting and relished the opportunity to bust out the airbrush to build broad shading.

Secret Weapon's realistic water/crushed glass combo makes for a wonderful wet snow.  IF YOU USE THIS PRODUCT BE SURE TO WEAR FACE PROTECTION AND A MASK!  The glass dust is very unpleasant if inhaled..

A bit of cross-hatching to create a ice shine effect was done with Ice Blue, a 1:1 mix of Ice Blue and white, and a top highlight of pure white.

You might remember seeing this guy on the blog before, it's a model I converted from the GW Varghulf kit.  The original concept was a "counts as" varghulf (which was awesome, it performed spectacularly each game).  I never did put paint on the model when I used it in my Vampire Counts army, but now was the time since it was being added to my Malifaux force as a counts as Sabertooth Cerberus.

Almost seven years later Cerberus got the paint job he was due!

The leader of the crew is Rasputina, a woman in-tune with the chill of winter.

A bit of heavy eye-liner really made her frozen eyes pop against her alabster skin.

I really like the model's pose, the winter wind blowing through her parka, her stoically looking on as she ponders the next move in her dire strategy.

Rasputina's totem is a wendigo.  The model came stock with a cowboy that he was strangling, but I didn't like it.  Instead I went with a simple tree trunk and resculpted his foot and hand to fit.

I'm pleased with the finished look: nice, clean, and simple.

The Ice Gamin are a bit of mischievous comic relief for the crew, silly little buggers that will stab you in the back when you're attention is elsewhere.

The look of the gamin is perfect for their size, capricious.

That's it for this week, thanks for stopping by and checking out my new Malifaux crew!

Until next time, good gaming and happy hobbying, and happy Thanksgiving!

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