This is MODOK, short for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing; a character for use in Marvel Crisis Protocol. I was only vaguely aware of MODOK from my comic-reading days and I feel like he’s a bit of an anachronism now since his backstory is basically ‘I became ugly, therefore I became a baddie’. Still, he’s quite amusing in Crisis Protocol and can unleash a lot of damage from a fair distance while being fairly resilient to counter-punches; in my experience he doesn’t like being controlled very much though. I probably wouldn’t have bought him for nostalgia or gaming reasons alone but I got a good deal and don’t regret it.
I absolutely loved painting MODOK. Although the sculpt is pretty simple – big head, small arms, ridiculous chair – it all comes together so cleanly that I just wanted to make the most of the big guy when he was on the painting table. MODOK’s face was a joy to paint, which I suppose is good since that’s pretty much half of the model.
I dedicate this paintjob to the wonderful Ann’sSummer Solstice Painting Challenge. As the aim is to be best you can be, I doubt that I’ll do better work than MODOK’s handsome grimacing face anytime soon.
Here are five Incursors for my Space Marine (Adeptus Astartes) force in Warhammer 40,000. These soldiers are wearing Phobos armour which is always described as being lighter in order to facilitate sneakiness but is actually exactly as effective as everyone else’s power armour in the game. The Incursors are weighed down with a variety of cameras and lenses, apparently to represent their use of technology to further their excellence in genocide. Actually I have to admit that I rather preferred the original depictions of Space Marines in the setting of the early 90s; they were always described as unhinged liabilities best pointed in the right direction and given a wide berth thereafter. The later (and modern) version of them as only mildly crazed warrior monks is somehow just less amusing.
The Incursors received the same white, black and green colours of the other Space Marines, but I did enjoy adding a bit of red and blue onto the various lenses they’re carrying. The decals on the shoulder pads are courtesy of Chapter Creator and I had forgotten how much of a pain it is to put a 2D decal onto a 3D surface like a pauldron. Luckily the mess isn’t too noticeable at tabletop range, though it does grate a bit in these photos.
Here are a squad of Intercessors, part of a Space Marine (or Adeptus Astartes if we’re being posh) army for Warhammer 40,000. They’re basic troops and, while still elite by most standards, aren’t really laden down too much with silly rules. These ones are armed with auto bolt rifles (you can tell by the box magazine) which gives them more shots at a reduced power. When I originally purchased these I had it in my head to play them as the Deathwatch, in which case these would be the first members of a Fortis kill team.
I deliberately didn’t paint the Intercessors in any specific Chapter’s heraldry on the basis that it would be less confusing if I later want to move them to represent any other Chapter in the game. As it happens, they ended up looking a bit like the Mentor Legion but I’m not aiming for that look specifically. Originally I just tried the combination of white and black for the armour colour but, perhaps not surprisingly, that looked rather dull and monotone so I’ve added green kneepads and pauldron rims. The heads are a mix of Statuesque and Shapeways, though I think that this particular batch are all from Statuesque. It’s been quite fun painting up something as iconic in modern wargaming as a Space Marine; I think that the last ones I did came from Space Crusade.
Here is Drake MacBain, a Warcaster for Mercenaries in Warmachine. I’ve actually never played him in the game yet; I picked the miniature up as part of a second hand lot a long time ago and just finally got the inspiration to put some paint on him. I feel like his spells would allow him to fit well into the Llaelese Resistance theme force, but actually building lists there continues to be an exercise in frustration for me.
MacBain isn’t, strictly speaking, a Steelhead. But he’s always depicted as a hard-bitten professional mercenary so I decided that he’d go nicely in the green colours that I’ve been favouring for the Steelheads anyway. I’m not a fan of the ludicrously oversized sword but the posing in general feels suitable for the action hero that he so clearly is. I also have to admit that I love the cigar-chomping sculpt of his face; it just tells such a story.
This is a second Ghordson Basher for my Warmachine Mercenaries. There isn’t really much more to say than I wrote when I painted the previous Basher – it’s a cheap and cheerful Warjack that specialises in slam attacks.
I stuck with basically the same paint scheme for this Basher as the previous one as I wanted to keep them as clearly part of the same force. I’ve slightly mixed up which parts are cream vs green, and also those which are silver vs brass to keep them slightly unique but my vision for these Rhulic Warjacks is that they look to be part of the same force.
This is Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire, also known as Alexia2. She’s a solo for the Mercenaries faction in Warmachine and I use her in my Soldiers of Fortune theme force. In the storyline, Alexia is the end-boss of an old RPG (specifically, The Witchfire Trilogy) in which she is possessed by the magic sword Witchfire; this iteration of her is presumably set after those events and she is now in control of the sword rather than the other way round. In game she can collect soul tokens from living models that die nearby and use them for a variety of purposes, my favourite of which is to summon Thrall Warriors. This is a key part of the recycling engine that my army is based around: Steelhead Halberdier die, giving Alexia souls to turn into Thrall Warriors while Sergeant Verendrye brings them back as reinforcements. Being able to summon Thrall Warriors is, of course, invaluable for scenario play so I generally try to keep Alexia safe from harm in the early stages of the game and only commit her in the late game.
I loved to paint Alexia; she has a very dynamic pose that I find really evocative of a rider in full flight. I deliberately didn’t stick with the green and yellow scheme of the Steelheads, instead going for a nice bright Red Riding Hood look which I think works quite nicely. The horse is meant to be some kind of undead beastie but after a bit of experimentation I couldn’t make the skin look the way I wanted so in the end it’s more like part-normal-horse and part-skeleton-horse.
Here are a pair of Tharn Ravager Chieftains, unit attachments for Tharn Ravagers in my Circle Orboros army in Hordes. They’re pretty much a sure addition to any unit of Ravagers, being a possible free card in Devourer’s Host and giving exactly the abilities that Ravagers want to see. Specifically, they grant Vengeance to allow an out-of-activation attack if the unit took damage in the previous turn; a likely (even somewhat desirable) event considering that the unit natively has Tough and a form of healing. They also have a minifeat to allow Overtake, allowing one turn of going really wild with corpse tokens and leveraging that large reach on their axes.
The Chieftains were considerably more enjoyable to paint than their units (here and here). Being metal rather than the horrible resin/plastic material that PP used for the actual Ravagers really helps, and the details were nice and clean. In addition, I’d bought these second hand and the paint stripping process seems to work considerably better with the metal miniatures. I used the same colour schemes at their assigned units so that was an easy choice. With the completion of the Tharn Ravager Chieftains, I’ve now painted all the miniatures I own for Circle Orboros. Sadly this doesn’t actually add up to a legal force in the game but if I come back to this army then I would only need to pick up a few extra pieces.
Next on the painting table: Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire.
Here is a second Steelhead Cannon Crew to join my Warmachine Mercenaries army. They’re FA2 so this is as many as I can field in a normal game, though I can’t think of a reason I would take a third anyway as there are only a finite number of suitable targets that I might expect to see across the table from me. There isn’t much more to say about them in the game than I said for the other crew.
I stuck with essentially the same paint scheme as the first Cannon Crew on the basis that they’re supposed to represent a professional army. I painted the shoulder pads different to make it possible to tell them apart in game when face-to-face gaming becomes possible again.
Next on the painting table: Tharn Ravager Chieftains.
Here are Lady Aiyana and Master Holt, a unit for my Warmachine Mercenaries. They’re quite interesting mechanically as they feel to me rather more like a pair of solos who have to stay near each other rather than a unit. Lady Aiyana is a spell caster whose main ability is to increase the damage done by other friendlies to a chosen victim. Master Holt is thematically her bodyguard and has some tasty gunslinger rules. I have to admit that I have never used them on the tabletop (I got the pair as part of a secondhand lot) but Joe uses them against me to great effect quite often.
I really enjoyed painting Lady Aiyana and Master Holt. I kept a single scheme of predominantly blue and yellow to tie them together visually, but gave Lady Aiyana some brightly coloured hair to emphasise her status both as unit leader in the rules and exotic adventurer in the stories. Considering the age of these sculpts they still look the part.
I dedicate this post (or at least Lady Aiyana’s part of it) to Fembruary which is being run by Alex on the excellent LeadBalloony blog.
Next on the painting table: Steelhead Cannon Crew.
Here is the Warcaster Fiona the Black. She’s part of my Mercenaries force for Warmachine; I’ve used her mainly in the Soldiers of Fortune theme force, though she fits in plenty of others. As a Warcaster she’s the most important piece in the game for me; the vulnerabilities of a chess King but with the powers of a Queen. I’ve had a lot of fun with Fiona; she can Arc spells through friendly cultists which allows her to keep her easily-killed self far away from nasty threats and her Feat is really annoying for melee armies to deal with.
I struggled to get a paintjob that I like on Fiona. She’s depicted in the Privateer Press artwork with flaming red hair so I stuck with that approach. But her clothing tends to be shown as very dark (presumably at least in part due to her epithet) and I found it hard to bring her to life in a way that would look good at tabletop range. In the end, I kept the dark colours of her ‘normal’ clothes and went with a bright yellow on Fiona’s cloak to make her stand out well. In the end I’m not totally satisfied with the result but it’s good enough to move her out of the ‘to do’ pile.
Next on the painting table: Lady Aiyana and Master Holt.