To complete my Malifaux starter crew, here is Sonnia Criid. As the Master, she has a huge number of powers, principally revolving around fire and / or magic in her case. She can throw fireballs around pretty effectively, and (as mentioned before) turn models into Witchling Stalkers. She’s no slouch with that enormous rune blade either, although I’ve found so far that she’s rather more useful out of close combat if possible. Her anti-magic capabilities are great as she can choose to discard a card from her control hand to stop a particularly nasty spell going off.
She was a pleasure to paint. The sculpting and the pose made the miniature a joy to get to work on, and I’m very happy with the results. As ever, there are a few things I can see now that I have the giant magnified picture available, but that’s always the case when you’re as clumsy at painting as I am. In particular the smudge around the lips (chocolate?) is literally not visible to the naked eye.
And here’s the crew in all their glory. Next on the painting table: the Irongut command group.
Continuing on from Samael Hopkins, here are the next three members of my Malifaux crew, Witchling Stalkers. In the fluff, these are ‘illegal’ (remember, the Guild is a brutal oppressor) magic users who’ve been subjugated into serving the Guild. They’re not terrible at shooting, but they are best up close and personal since they can cause problems for spell casters, are pretty handy with their shattered rune blades, and most importantly, the blow up when they die. Yes, Malifaux is that kind of game. Actually, that’s probably the second most important thing about them. The most important thing about them is that Sonnia Criid (the Master of this crew) can kill people and turn them into more Witchling Stalkers. In fact you can even do that to your own guys if necessary, leading to a situation where you get a Witchling Stalker to stab someone a bit, then kill it off with Sonnia Criid, causing an explosion and generating a fresh minion to use. In practice, it’s not quite as easy as I make it seem, but it’s still a lot of fun.
I stuck with the same brown and cream coloured scheme I used on Samael Hopkins, as it’s easy to apply and looks fairly nice. I tried to suggest the magic nature of their shattered rune blades with a green ink wash, but it hasn’t really come out very well. I think that the green thread on the back of this one is a bit of static grass from the Ogresses; it’s not stuck on.
Mainly in the interests of livening up the colour scheme a little I made the neckerchief / face mask red and gave them (slightly) glowing green eyes. I’m fairly happy with how the eyes turned out, though the miniatures are rather downward looking so it’s not all that obvious thanks to their cowls.
Here’s one where the green ink on the shattered rune blade stood out a bit better. It kind of looks mouldy rather than magical, so perhaps it’s for the best that it didn’t come out too strongly. The photo here seems to have suffered particularly badly from the infestation of static grass.
I love these little guys. They look good and they’re great on the table top. Next on the painting table: Sonnia Criid.
So as previously mentioned, Aramoro, Forkbanger, Justinmatters and I have bought into Malifaux. As none of us really know much about the game, the choice of first purchase came down to which miniatures I liked most. I’m a bit of a fanboy in this regard, and I could easily have selected any one of a dozen crews (as they’re called). The final selection ended up being the Witch Hunters box set, led by Sonnia Criid (more about her later). This is part of the Guild faction, which in fluff terms is either the force holding the society of Malifaux together or the brutally oppressive overlords; naturally it just depends on how you look at it. Anyway, here’s my first Malifaux miniature, Samael Hopkins. The Guild have got a sort of cowboy style thing going on, as will be evident from the pictures below. The miniature was lovely to paint with detail all over it; I chose to paint these in more muted colours after the primary colour-fest of my Ogresses. In Malifaux, a full crew so far only consists of 5 models or so; I felt that I could afford to give this chap a bit of attention.
This also represents my first foray into scenic basing. Apart from the pain in the neck that was getting him pinned to the base, I’d say that the improvement in looks is probably worth it. The bases are expensive enough that I wouldn’t consider it for a large scale game, but for such a small number of miniatures I think I’m happy with the results.
In game terms, he’s pretty good at shooting, but costs a lot to hire, and to be honest I haven’t really found him to be too amazing so far. He’s not too hard to kill, and he costs as much as two Witchling Stalkers (again, watch this space) who are awesome. We’re branching out into proxying a bit, and he’s been the first one to be benched.
Next on the painting table: Witchling Stalkers.
Painting the command group for the Bulls (or Ogres as they’re now known) of the Little Death tribe means that finally I have actually completed a unit for this army as I use it on the table top (if you exclude the Ironblaster, a unit of one). I might end up expanding them later as they haven’t been amazing for me at six-strong, but they give me options in the Watchtower scenario [edit: I can’t read. You can’t start monstrous infantry in a Watchtower]. Anyway, I’d need to buy some more miniatures for that.
The Crusher looks a bit funny since the Mournfang Cavalry head adorning her is looking right for some reason. I like to think she’s bitching to the musician about something the standard bearer said.
In my experience, white, black and yellow are the three hardest colours to paint and get to look good. It’s been a while since I tried, and (surprise) nothing has changed since then. The yellow clothes on the musician still look just as dire at they would have done 20-odd years ago when I first started painting. What is it about yellow that makes it so hard to get decent coverage? I did this over a base of light brown to help, which I think makes something of a difference. I’ve even tried looking at some tutorials on-line, but they all involve either hundreds of steps to achieve a passable result, or require some actual talent on the part of the painter. Anyway, it passes the ‘table top test’ which is what matters to me.
Regular readers of this blog will not have failed to notice that I am very bad at painting freehand on banners. Luckily, my two chosen armies (Beastmen and Ogre Kingdoms) are both primitive, artless cultures. So my lack of talent can be passed off as a conscientious following of the army fluff. Originally, I was just going to do the Maw symbol on the banner, but I made it ridiculously small so I’ve tried to turn it into an Ogre-style depiction of the comet that becomes the Maw, just before it devastates the Ogre Kingdoms forever.
Next on the painting table: some Malifaux stuff. In the meantime, here’s the whole unit in all its glory.
Here are the first two Mournfang Cavalry for the Little Death Ogre tribe. In game terms they are supposed to be highly effective, but my own use of them leaves something to be desired so far. The miniatures are excellent (like the rest of the Ogre Kingdom range), and there is something highly entertaining about the idea of fat ladies riding into battle on the backs of hilarious tusked bear / cats / whatever. Painting the fur of the Mournfangs themselves was a particular treat as it takes well to the simple techniques I like to use.
I took the photos on a rare sunny day here and it makes the high parry on this one look like she’s shielding her eyes from the sun.
There has been much made of the (admittedly highly impractical-looking) high saddle on the Mournfangs. I quite like it as it presents the Ogress rider as the focal point for the miniature, while a lower saddle would leave the rider obscured behind the massive fore-quarters of the mount. I’ve been painting the clothes of the Ogresses in bright colours, and so I chose to keep the Mournfangs themselves in darker tones for contrast.
Next on the table: Bulls command group.
This post is a little bit of house-keeping for the Little Death tribe. As I’ve slowly been pottering my way through these mighty Ogresses, I’ve had a couple of really useful suggestions from readers. Both Simonster and Iggykoopa30 suggested to put a bit of static grass to liven up the bases from their grey gravel, and so I duly borrowed Furycat‘s static grass and set to. Sadly, I’m almost as dreadful specifically at applying said static grass to the bases as I am generally at making bases. Therefore, the result is less the marvellous grassy tufts that I’d dreamed of, and more piles of green fuzz dotted around the feet of each Ogress. Actually, it doesn’t look too bad at table top distance, and it is definitely an improvement. Thanks to all concerned.
Iggkoopa30 also suggested putting a little bit of white on the tips of the flames on my Leadbelchers. Even in this hugely magnified photo it’s pretty hard to see, but again I think there is a bit of an improvement. And I can hardly complain about the amount of work I had to put in.
I even added some static grass to the Ironblaster, but the contraption is so enormous that I could only find one spot on the whole base where it was feasible to get any down.
Right then, back to painting. Next on the painting table: Mournfang Cavalry.