Here is a unit of Trollkin Warders for my long neglected Trollbloods army in Warmachine / Hordes (the last things I painted for this force was these Fennblades way back in 2013). WarmaHordes has had a bit of a resurgence among my gaming friends lately and it’s got me the enthusiasm to paint these up along with some Cryx models again. The Warders are a defensive unit; their main ability is being able to catch bullets aimed at more important pieces. In my case, this is mainly whichever Warlock I’m using but in particular if it is Calandra Truthsayer (about whom more eventually) since she’s pitifully easy to kill.
Like almost all Privateer Press plastic miniatures the Warders are a real pain to clean up with mold lines and flash all over them. The mold lines also tend to run across important details such as faces. I cleaned these up as well as I could but I admit that I find the process quite frustrating, especially coming from assembling hard plastic miniatures from Wyrd and Games Workshop. Once I got done with that part the painting was really enjoyable and these got bumped up the queue because I realised that I had a great opportunity to stretch myself. Longtime readers will have noticed that yellow almost never appears on my miniatures. This is because I find it really hard to get it to look right, and perhaps in part because when I started painting many years ago that yellow paints tended to have relatively little pigment. I was inspired first by my daughter painting an Age Of Sigmar Spider in bright yellow and then by Docbungle’s excellent Stardrake. My yellow is a very light brown base, then yellow all over the top of that. I hit it all with a sepia wash (this is because I want a slightly dirty look) then finally hit the highlights with another thin coat of yellow. I am very proud of the result.
I dedicate this post to Azazel’s Technical August challenge. Painting yellow is no big deal for most of the contributors to these challenges, but it is a monkey that has been on my back for almost thirty years.
As is normal for Privateer Press units, there are sets of duplicates included; I assume that this makes the casting process much cheaper. I’ve tried to differentiate the twins by slightly varying the colours used for each piece, so in some cases I’ve used a different brown for belts or copper instead of iron for a particular bit of metal. I suspect that I’m the only one who’ll ever notice the difference but it felt worth the tiny extra effort.
I noticed when starting on these Warders that I almost always paint non-humans with identical skin tones. This seems odd considering that people come in all sorts of cool colours (indeed, far more than I’ve ever managed to capture at 28mm scale to my satisfaction). So I made an effort to do slight variations in the blue I’ve used for the Trollbloods skin. Contrast this to the decatuplets represented by the Fennblades linked above to see what I mean. Again, it is a small thing but it felt nice to put that small amount of additional work in considering the improved result.
The leader is identical in game terms to the rest, but all others need to remain within range of him to count as being in formation. So for that reason he gets a unique sculpt. I’m not a fan of the way he’s leaning forward so much but otherwise I like the miniature; the face is particularly expressive.
Next on the painting table: Valerya Gromoz (for real this time).
These are the Witch Coven of Garlghast and Egregore, part of the Cryx faction for Warmachine. They’re Warcasters (i.e. the leaders of your army) but since there are three Witches in addition to the Egregore they break loads of the basic rules of the game. Not least is that in Warmachine a caster kill is an immediate defeat so having three Witches makes it a bit harder to suffer this (though in fairness, they are individually pitifully easy to kill so I guess it works out well-balanced). I’m not familiar with the Warmachine stories so I have to admit to having no idea who the Witches are, where/what Garlghast is, nor why they are being followed around by a big spiky ball. I suppose that they must have some kind of flair for stealth though, since most of their spells involve hiding your own forces or turning various things into ghosts so that they can run through terrain or other models. Overall I have found them highly amusing to play though I probably should have followed the general advice I received when picking them up – don’t use them to learn the game.
I very much like the models, even considering the rather silly cheesecake poses, and had a terrific time painting them. I went for pink armour and white cloth because I consider it entertaining to have these people from the baddie faction dressed accordingly. The skin tone is darker to get nicer contrast with the white hoods in particular. As for Egregore, I decided eventually to keep things simple and did it black with highlights in matching pink to link it with the Witches. I did consider giving it some brass banding but an early test didn’t look too good so I went back to black all over.
The Witches have names, although in game terms they are all identical. In case you’re wondering which Witch is which, you can tell them apart by the number of hand on their (somewhat comical) weapons:
No hands on dagger: Helleana
One hand on dagger: Selene
Both hands on dagger: Morgaen
Next on the painting table: Valerya Gromoz.
This is Datsue Ba, another part of my Malifaux Resurrectionist crews. Like many I’ve painted recently, Datsue Ba has the Spirit keyword giving her some nice synergy with both Molly (when taking the Forgotten Path upgrade) and Kirai. I’ve mainly used her as a bully of opposing scheme runners as she can get additional free attacks on a trigger to her melee option and more amusingly can summon ghosts from those she kills with her spells. Picking the right target at the right time can give a very useful attrition swing as the other crew loses a member while I gain one. Datsue Ba has few wounds but is often inefficient to attack considering that she is both Terrifying and Incorporeal; she certainly doesn’t want to be in the thick of the action but seems to work best floating on the edges of an engagement picking off the weak stragglers and turning them into my own Onryo and Gaki.
I chose to make Datsue Ba’s skin look ghostly rather than rotting and in retrospect I should have chosen a different colour for her dress as there is too much green in the end. I realised after I finished the paintwork that she looks like Yamaziko has died and become a vengeful spirit. Overall not the most inspiring miniature I’ve worked on but I’m really glad to get her out of the queue and into the crew (not that I have any qualms about playing with unpainted miniatures).
I think that Datsue Ba is based on some actual Japanese folklore, but I’ve never yet had a satisfactory explanation of why she has an octopus on her lantern.
Next on the painting table: Witch Coven of Garlghast and the Egregore.
I finally got down to business and polished off this pair of Skyweavers for my Warhammer 40K Harlequins. As usual, I don’t play enough to know any deep tactical tricks so I just tend to have them zooming around taking shots of opportunity at anything that I think they can take down with Shuriken Cannons. They are fast enough that usually I can get them into range to shoot anything I want, though most things in Warhammer 40K seem to have such enourmous gun ranges that unless we played in a squash court there would always be a viable target.
The riders got the same treatment as my Harlequin Troupe, with black and white undersuits and red coats. I struggled quite a bit with the jetbikes themselves as I didn’t want them to be the main attraction, rather I hoped that they’d be a little bit muted and have attention drawn to the crew. Obviously ‘muted’ is a relative term in the case of Harlequins. In the end I was very happy with the results and the dynamism of the riders was really part of what drew me to pick up Harlequins in the first place. I have only a Starweaver left to paint now from my initial buy-in but I did promise my son that I’d match his Necron purchases in order to have similarly sized armies so maybe there is more coming after that.
Here are two bonus images with a different lighting to show the close-up of the riders.
Next on the painting table: Datsue Ba.
Here is a second sculpt for a Druze Shock Team carrying a Combi Rifle and DEP in Infinity. I’m not sure why this particular loadout needed two different sculpts but perhaps this was just an opportunity for the team to stretch their creativity. At least this one is visibly carrying the DEP, which I assume is that tube over the shoulder.
I enjoyed painting this Druze as it seems quite a realistic pose compared to some I’ve seen of people firing giant death cannons one-handed etc. I’ve got a few other parts of the Druze Bayram Security in the queue so probably I’ll set up a family photo once they’re all done.
Next on the painting table: Harlequin Skyweavers.
Here’s the Graveyard Spirit, a totem available to all Resurrectionist Masters in Malifaux. It pretty much does one thing only, which is to provide armour to friendly models in base contact. Notwithstanding the huge number of things in the game that totally ignore armour, this is quite good at making your crew last longer. Surprisingly, no-one ever seems to bother attacking the Graveyard Spirit directly. It works quite nicely as a totem for spirit Molly since she gives it Black Blood and conveniently won’t bleed all over it. In a pinch, you can therefore use the Graveyard Spirit as a sort of Black Blood bomb by moving it to an annoying position then hurting it yourself in order to damage nearby enemies.
I didn’t do anything clever with the painting. The ghost part is white with a faint green wash and the gravestone is just boring grey. An easy but effective paint job for a cheap model; I’m rather pleased with the result.
[Edit] WordPress also informed me that today is the 8th anniversary of my first post. Eight years is not a bad age for a blog about a niche part of a niche hobby, and I think that I’ve managed to post at least once per month on some hobby topic or another since then.
Next on the painting table: Druze Shock Team with combi rifle and DEP (but a different sculpt)
Here is the third Druze Shock Team. This one is carrying an underslung Light Grenade Launcher, which in theory means that he could catch multiple foes in the blast if using that fire mode (i.e. not just using the Combi Rifle or Viral Pistol to shoot them) except that it doesn’t actually come with any damaging grenade types. This Druze can choose between Nimbus, which creates a low visibility zone to cover my advance, or E/M to knock out robots and heavy infantry in powered armour (it also has effects on the communications of other troop types so it’s not useless against a lightly armed foe). I suspect that getting the most out of this Druze profile, and particularly when to select which of his arsenal to use at any time, will take me a lot of practice.
A bit of a boring pose on this Druze, but I suppose it’s more likely to be realistic for someone in the Space-SAS rather than all the running about that most of my preferred sculpts have from other game systems. The colours are exactly the same as the previous Druze I’ve posted and [spoiler alert] they come in a pack of four so there’s another one coming when I get round to it.
Next on the painting table: Graveyard Spirit
Here another Druze Shock Team for my DBS army in Infinity. The one has the standard weapon load-out (combie-rifle, viral pistol and knife) and a couple of tools that I never remember to use like d-charges. The main difference though is that this Druze is a hacker. As before, our pitiful skills at Infinity mean that the impact of this has been minimal, mainly limited to tuning up some of my remotes. However, I think that there are some very cool tricks that one could potentially use against enemy remotes or TAGs. In addition, some of the missions have scenario elements for which being a hacker has a bonus to the chance of success and therefore scoring. The way hackers are implemented in Infinity rules puts me in mind of wizards in other gaming systems.
The painting was the same as the previous Druze; green and white with the former predominantly for armour and the latter for cloth. Then black for straps and weapons. I tried to put a greyer tone for the weapons and bluer for the straps to suggest metal and leather respectively, but as usual my lack of photo skills doesn’t really show it up very clearly (or maybe the painting is just not done well enough).
Next on the painting table: Druze Shock Team with combi rifle and light grenade launcher.