Ten Thunders Qi and Gong crew

Here is a group photo of all the Qi and Gong keyword miniatures I’ve painted up for my Malifaux Ten Thunders over the past few months.  There are slightly too many of them here to play all at the same time in a standard sized game so any tabletop crew would only feature a subset of these.  However, M3E appears to more strongly encourage staying within keyword (compared to M2E basically not doing it at all) so perhaps these would eventually form the bulk of any crew I might actually play.  They were a joy to paint and I really relished the opportunity to use so many vibrant colours while still keeping a general sense of theme for the Qi and Gong crew.

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Painted Yuoko Hamasaki

This is Yuoko Hamasaki, the master of the Qi and Gong crew in the Ten Thunders faction of Malifaux. Hamasaki seems to play a rather control-based game rather than pure damage, and this is a style that I’ve historically been pretty poor at playing. Unfortunately the combination of COVID-19 and the existence of many, many other good wargames has pushed Malifaux far down the priority list to play and I’m not sure that I see the latter changing in the short term. Perhaps by the time face-to-face gaming opens up again my hobby butterfly will once again alight on the bright flower of Malifaux.

As a Master, I should perhaps have made Hamasaki an wild, stand-out centrepiece miniature but somehow that seemed rather unfitting for one who manipulates from the shadows. Instead I deliberately made her look like one of the Geishas as I felt that she should fit in rather than take the limelight. I really like the pose of Hamasaki drawing a concealed katana from her parasol and I think that it captures her character very nicely.  The facial details are rather soft and, while this certainly doesn’t bother me on the tabletop, I don’t love the way it looks in these photos; admittedly my painting skills are not helping the situation either.

Next on the painting table: Sgt Nicolas Verendrye.

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Painted Chiyo Hamasaki

This is Chiyo Hamasaki, a part of the Ten Thunders faction in Malifaux. Chiyo is the totem for the leader of Qi and Gong: Yuoko Hamasaki (about whom more later) and consequently can only be taken in a crew that includes her master. I think that in M3E this extends to making her free but I’ve only played one game of the net-very-new edition and even simple things aren’t really familiar yet.

Painting Chiyo was a very swift and enjoyable bit of work. I like the understated pose and the difference between cute child from the front and scary ninja from the back. The clothes ended up looking a bit dirtier than I had planned but in the end I think that I’m pleased with the result and maybe they’re quite fitting for someone who evidently doesn’t mind getting into scrapes.

Next on the painting table: Chaos Knight Despoiler.

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Painted Bill Algren

Here is Bill Algren, a part of my Ten Thunders for Malifaux. Like the other Malifaux miniatures I’ve been painting recently Bill has the Qi and Gong keywords. He’s a bodyguard with a fairly tasty damage track on his big stick, and doesn’t appear to be particularly tricksy otherwise.

I wanted bright colours on Bill Algren to keep him in with the general gaudiness of the crew so I went with an eye-catching yellow for his robes, which I think accentuates the brown armour plating he’s carting around quite nicely. As with Durgen Madhammer, photography of Bill’s face was quite annoying as his hat gets in the way of the light. He’s got quite a dapper line in facial hair though, which I hope stands out well enough here since it’ll probably never be seen on the tabletop.

Next on the painting table: Vision.

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Painted Geishas

These are Geishas, cheap minions in the Ten Thunders faction for Malifaux. Like all the recent Malifaux models I’ve worked on, these bear the Qi and Gong keyword. I still haven’t played more than a trivial amount of Malifaux so I haven’t a clue how effective they are, but given that Malifaux is an objective-based game I’m sure that they can contribute even it’s just by being cheap bodies to interact with the scenario elements.

I painted the Geishas in bright primary colours as they’re all about getting attention and distracting the other crew from their duties. The sculpts were very nice to paint and I got them done quickly. Like many miniatures without obvious weapons, the Geishas would be right at home as civilians in a variety of settings; perhaps a crowd scene in an RPG or as evacuees in a superhero game.

Next on the painting table: Iron Man.

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Painted Hinamatsu

This is Hinamatsu, a Henchman for my long-neglected Malifaux collection. It is strictly a part of the Neverborn faction but has a keyword that allows it to join an Qi ang Gong crew in Ten Thunders which is where I am aiming for now. However, I haven’t actually played any meaningful amount of Malifaux lately so I’m not sure how Hinamatsu fits into the wider game. In M2E it was a hilarious blending machine with those four katanas so I’m hoping that M3E has been similarly kind.

I absolutely love the sculpt for Hinamatsu; it just oozes grace without being over-stated. I deliberately kept a straightforward colour scheme with the greens for clothing and brown for the mannequin as I just felt that this was the kind of character that should be classy and avoid ostentation attire. Hinamatsu was a joy to paint and came out just the way I was hoping.

I dedicate this post to Azazel‘s Jewel of July blogging challenge. As a leader of a crew (or Henchman in most cases), Hinamatsu fits as a jewel of my collection. Thanks, as always, to Azazel for organising these blogging challenges.

Next on the painting table: Spider-Man.

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Painted Charm Warders

This curious pair are Charm Warders, part of the Ten Thunders faction in Malifaux. It’s been a very long time since I painted anything for Malifaux, and even longer since I did Ten Thunders, but there is a new edition out so I wanted to go back to this faction. As it happens, life rather got in the way and I’ve only played about two games of M3E but so far it seems quite fun. Charm Warders have specific abilities against summoning but seem pretty fun in general, having attacks that work close-in and at range and not being super-easy to kill.

I imagine that somewhere in the world there must be some kind of fairy tale or folklore which involves magic people riding around on giant space hoppers, but I have never seen it. Perhaps the inspiration for Charm Warders is an original idea from the Wyrd team after all. Regardless of their origins, I really love the wacky design of the Charm Warders. I think that the space hoppers are meant to be lanterns so I painted them accordingly, then made the robes alternately green and white to tie the pair together without making it look like a uniform. I’m quite satisfied.

Next on the painting table: Jussika Bloodtongue.

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Painted Seishin

These are a full set of five Seishin for Malifaux. They’re part of the Resurrectionists faction and thematically linked with Kirai Ankoku. I understand that in the brave new world of Malifaux’s third edition that themes are going to be rather important so I guess that they might never see the table now without Kirai. In the past they’ve provided tiny support abilities to friendly models, usually at the cost of Sacrificing the Seishin. Luckily they tend to be summoned incidentally all over the place anyway so their sacrifice was not a big deal.

When I originally bought these, I had all sort of ideas for cool painting of these as various dragons and so on. Eventually they got put away in the case and forgotten about, and anyway as probably the cheapest models in the game they’re easy to justify overlooking. In the end I got a hankering to put some colour on the Seishin simply to clear them from my backlog and realised that, since they’re supposed to be some kind of ghosts, I could just paint them accordingly. Hence, they got the simplest of paint schemes: white, then a green wash, then more white over the top. Simples.

I dedicate this post to Azazel‘s Gender-Ambiguous Model Painting Challenge for March. These are clearly not specifically male or female so I consider them a perfect fit.

Since the miniatures themselves are not super-interesting (and anyway are all the same colour) I thought I’d share pictures of them on various different coloured backgrounds that came with my lightbox. I still prefer the white background though.

Next on the painting table: Jarl Skuld, Devil of the Thornwood.

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Malifaux tournament report: Autumn’s End 2018 (50SS); 22Sep2018

After a bit of a break, I attended another of Kai’s Malifaux tournaments at Common Ground Games in Stirling. There has been a long period this year where I haven’t been very enthusiastic about Malifaux but lately I’ve been missing it and was very glad to have the opportunity to get back into the saddle. I borrowed some Horrors from Gareth so that I could test out how I fare with Forgotten Life on Molly with a plan to use a more-or-less fixed crew for all three rounds. I hadn’t actually tried the crew before so it would be a learning experience all the way.

Game 1: Resurrectionists (me) vs Ten Thunders (Michael Arnott)

Strategy: Ours, Standard Deployment

Pool: Guarded Treasure, Dig Their Graves, Set Up, Take Prisoner, Public Demonstration
Resurrectionists: Guarded Treasure, Dig Their Graves
Ten Thunders: Set Up (Yin the Penangalan), Public Demonstration (one Illuminated, Ten Thunders Brother, Wandering River Monk)

Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Life, Take Back The Night), The Valedictorian, Necrotic Machine, Rogue Necromancy, Yin the Penangalan, Kentauroi, 2 Guild Autopsies
Ten Thunders: Jakob Lynch (Wanna See A Trick, Woke Up With A Hand, Endless Hunger), Hungering Darkness (Smoke Grenades, Endless Hunger), 2 Katanaka Snipers, 2 Illuminated, Ten Thunders Brother, Wandering River Monk

My first round opponent is Michael; funnily enough we’d been messaging each other on the way to Stirling and he had hoped to face me again to make up for forgetting how to play the strategy during our last match-up. So he got his wish in round one. With Ours as the Strategy, I intended to use the Kentauroi to fire Molly forward and gum up the Ten Thunders crew as far back as possible and force them to spend their AP dealing inefficiently with my summons. This should allow me to use the Guild Autopsies to stand just in my two quarters and either twiddle their thumbs while scoring (they’re only 4SS each, after all) or take shots of opportunity as needed. I took the other three big Horrors in the Valedictorian, Rogue Necromancy and Yin simply because they’re cool and I could possibly do some tricks with Molly’s (0) action. Also, Black Blood makes me happy… at least as long as it is on my models. Nothing in the scheme pool looked very promising so I took Dig Their Graves (I’m going to try to kill things anyway, and in a pinch I can summon Drowned to get the scheme markers out) and Guarded Treasure. The requirements for Guarded Treasure are needlessly restrictive, but my hope was to use the Autopsies to move around and drop scheme markers near enough to my heavy hitting pieces on the assumption that the line of engagement would be somewhere close enough to the centreline.

Turn 1: The Snipers get started by putting some wounds into the Necrotic Machine and the Rogue Necromancy. Much of the turn is spent moving to position; Hungering Darkness uses Heed My Voice to make the Valedictorian walk directly back toward my board edge; so much for my threat ranges. Eventually the Kentauroi pulls Molly forward enough that she can summon a Punk Zombie, a Kentauroi and a Drowned right in the middle of the biggest group of Ten Thunders. Sadly this cost me enough cards that they don’t actually achieve anything of note when they arrive. Still, they should take a bit of time to put down.

Turn 2: Hungering Darkness flails at Molly. She doesn’t take much damage after Masterful Dead and Soulstone use, but frustratingly I flip the Black Joker on her Horror duel from Consume Brilliance. Amusingly, this costs Michael enough cards that the nearby Illuminated also fails his Horror duel; still, I think that I’ve come out worse in the trade here. The Kentauroi charges into the Ten Thunder Brother but misses twice. Lynch comes forward and drops a four ace 52-Card Pick Up on Molly, she ends up on a single wound remaining. Ouch! That’s a good way to get round her defensive trigger, though I don’t think I had any cards left anyway by that point. Yin pushes in to engage the Ten Thunder Brother and gives him Gnawing Fear. The Drowned gets Lynch down to a single wound and then a Kentauroi charges an Illuminated, landing close enough to Lynch that the Black Blood will kill him. Meanwhile the Guild Autopsies position to be just inside my quarters and drop scheme markers for the Rogue Necromancy and the Valedictorian to rather sheepishly stand on top of. I score for Ours and Guarded Treasure and Michael declares Public Demonstration for the full three VPs.

Turn 3: Molly summons a Drowned then kills Hungering Darkness herself, makes the Punk Zombie kill an Illuminated and chain activates the Kentauroi to drop the Wandering River Monk. These activations pretty much break the back of Michael’s crew and my attrition advantage is so big now that I’m pretty much certain to close out the game; of course, we still need to decide the margin. The Punk Zombie takes out the other Illuminated to score Dig Their Graves and a Drowned finally finishes the Ten Thunder Brother. I score for the strategy and Guarded Treasure and Michael announces Set Up on Yin to score two VP.

Turn 4: The Drowned puts down a scheme marker and Yin kills the Sniper on the left for Dig Their Graves. I’m ready to call it here but Michael helpfully moves the other Sniper closer to me to get a shot off at Molly so I send all I have left toward him in case I can pick up the final point for Dig Their Graves. I score Guarded Treasure and Ours again.

Turn 5: The Sniper flees into his own corner but the Kentauroi carries the Drowned toward him so he can drop a scheme marker. Molly finishes the Sniper off for the final points. Resurrectionists win 10 – 5 (full score for me; 3 for Public Demonstration and 2 for Set Up for Michael).

That went pretty much according to plan. As ever it is a pleasure to play Michael and we both took our good cards and bad with smiles. I hadn’t understood quite how deep I could pin Michael’s crew so in the end the Valedictorian and Rogue Necromancy were pretty much reduced to standing around scoring for Guarded Treasure (the latter contributed a few long range shots with Acid Breath). On the other hand they did guarantee me seven VPs for Guarded Treasure and Ours, so perhaps I shouldn’t overlook their contribution.

Game 2: Resurrectionists (me) vs Gremlins (Ross McGinness)

Strategy: Public Executions, Flank Deployment

Pool: Eliminate the Leadership, Hold Up Their Forces, Undercover Entourage, Search the Ruins, Vendetta
Resurrectionists: Undercover Entourage (Asura Roten), Search the Ruins
Gremlins: Eliminate the Leadership, Undercover Entourage (Zipp)

Resurrectionists: Reva (Decaying Aura, Maniacal Laugh, Beyond Death), Asura Roten, Anna Lovelace, Carrion Emissary (Carrion Conflux), Dead Doxy, 2 Shieldbearers
Gremlins: Zipp (Dread Pirate Zipp, Gift of the Gab, Stilts), Burt Jebsen (Dirty Cheater), Raphael LaCroix (Dirty Cheater), Iron Skeeter (Hovering Airship), Lightning Bug, 4 Bayou Gremlins, Student of Conflict

For this round I had originally intended to stick with Molly but I got paired up with Ross. We played a very similar game in the Scottish GT and he beat my Spirit Molly crew with some clever Zipp plays. Over lunch I decided that it was likely that Ross would play Zipp again, and that it might be more effective to mix things up a little. So I took a Reva crew which is probably a better fit for Public Executions anyway (long ranged damage versus summoning in disposable minions seems like the better strategy to score points and deny them). The combination of Reva herself, Maniacal Laugh, Anna and the Emissary should ensure that there are good number of Mindless Zombies in play (not to mention Corpse Candles) so I decided to take Asura so that they would have something useful to do. Asura is a pretty good pick for Undercover Entourage since she’s a low priority target who can easily spare some AP to move in the late game. I picked Search The Ruins as my other scheme mainly because my general ‘kill them all and ask if anyone has any questions later’ approach fits in well with a scheme that I can score in turn 5 and partly because I didn’t expect the Gremlins to contest the centre unless Ross took the same scheme (and in that case, I would aim to kill everything, then drop scheme markers).

Turn 1: The Student makes Zipp Fast and the Doxy pushes Reva forward. After a few timewasting activations on both sides (Bayou Gremlins doing nothing much, most of my crew moving forward) Zipp goes in for Reva. I’m hoping that the combination of Ht 3 for Reva and the presence of Anna’s auras will mitigate the damage here but Ross helpfully top decks 13s for Zipp’s first two attacks and sends Reva way back from my intended angle of attack. He then turns into a Bayou Gremlin. Reva summons a Corpse Candle and places next to it. She charges the Lightning Bug and kills the Iron Skeeter (this also ensures that the Bug will die to Burning at the end of the turn). Burt stabs Reva and Raphael takes a pot shot at Reva but misses.

Turn 2: Burt swings at Reva and flips the Red Joker on damage; Ross announces Eliminate The Leadership. Reva kills him in return and charges away from the action to kill off a Bayou Gremlin on the left. Despite this distance, Zipp’s mobility allows him to get over to Reva and throw her back toward the rest of the Gremlin crew before turning into a Bayou Gremlin again. The Emissary kills this new Gremlin and then a random Bayou Gremlin kills off Reva to wrap up the points for Eliminate The Leadership. I’m out of cards so my attempt to get the Doxy to Take The Lead with Anna into range to contribute doesn’t work; she’s obliged to walk up. A Shieldbearer puts down another Bayou Gremlin but she’s out of sight of any other Gremlins so we draw on the strategy.

Turn 3: For the third time, the Student of Conflict makes Zipp Fast. The Carrion Emissary hurts Raphael but I Black Joker the damage flip that would have killed the Gremlin. Asura puts Grasping Hands on the Student but even so the nearby Mindless Zombie can’t land a hit. Raphael hurts the Carrion Emissary and then the Dead Doxy succeeds and pushes Anna Lovelace close enough to the Bayou Gremlin at the top of the board to kill the little chap. I score for Public Executions.

Turn 4: Zipp looks at the board state and decides to triple walk to hide in my deployment zone. The Carrion Emissary finally gets Raphael and I move Asura into Ross’s deployment zone. My Shieldbearers finish laying scheme markers round the centre of the board. It’s clear that we’re not going to be doing anything in turn 5 so we call it there. Resurrectionists win 8 – 6 (2 for Public Executions, 3 for Search The Ruins and 3 for Undercover Entourage for me; 3 for Eliminate The Leadership and 3 for Undercover Entourage for Ross).

I love to play Malifaux with Ross. His style of cagey hit and run attacks is very much in contrast to my ‘go for the throat’ approach and his positional play with Zipp in particular is really good. This game was very tight and could have gone either way. Burt’s Red Joker against Reva on turn 2 made quite a big difference as it really affected how I played Reva that turn; I had to be a bit more careful and hope to survive by distance (though of course, it didn’t help) rather than taking the initiative and making Ross react to my plays. I was quite glad that my choice of schemes paid off as this has been one area of my game that I feel has especially suffered from lack of practice. Asura as Undercover Entourage target is quite risky as she hasn’t really got any defenses apart from being surrounded by more important targets. I was quite close to taking Eliminate The Leadership instead and was glad I didn’t since Zipp is so hard to make damage stick on.

Game 3: Resurrectionists (me) vs Gremlins (Jamie Gemmell)

Strategy: Interference, Close Deployment

Pool: Punish the Weak, Covert Breakthrough, Set Up, Inescapable Trap, Show of Force
Resurrectionists: Punish the Weak, Covert Breakthrough
Gremlins: Punish the Weak, Covert Breakthrough

Resurrectionists: Molly Squidpiddge (Forgotten Life, Take Back The Night), The Valedictorian, Necrotic Machine, Rogue Necromancy, Yin the Penangalan, Kentauroi, 2 Guild Autopsies
Gremlins: Mah Tucket (Know The Terrain, Manifest Destiny, Liquid Bravery), Sammy LaCroix, Francois LaCroix (Dirty Cheater, Stilts), Trixibelle, Gremlin Taxidermist, 2 Survivors, Slop Hauler

With Interference as the Strategy, this is really Molly’s area of expertise so it’s a really easy choice to go back to plan A and use the Horror Molly crew again. In particular, with close deployment I can unleash Molly in a single activation if there is an inviting cluster of models to summon from (though I don’t expect Jamie to give me anything so easy as he’s quite experienced). Looking at Jamie’s crew I decide that Punish The Weak is a good option as I’ll want to deal with the three Minions anyway and even if I don’t get them with Molly or the Valedictorian I can probably do it before the end of turn 3 to wrap up all the points. My crew will give up Punish The Weak quite easily but that’s just something I have to accept and play round. Covert Breakthrough is quite easy to score in close deployment and, like Search The Ruins from round 2, can be scored entirely in turn 5 when I have hopefully killed off all the other models. I did consider putting Unnerving Aura on the Valedictorian and/or Yin to pick up Show of Force instead but it doesn’t really work well with Interference and I’m happy enough with my two chosen schemes.

Turn 1: Mah pushes up, walks and swings ineffectively at Yin before going disguised. The Necrotic Machine pokes her back for just as little impact before Trixibelle pulls Mah back to relative safety. The Kentauroi moves up and pulls Molly forward and she summons two new Kentauroi in places where Black Blood will be most annoying. The Taxidermist hurts one of them and drops a corpse marker; it immediately eats the marker to undo the Taxidermists work and pokes Mah gently. Yin charges Francois and puts Gnawing Fear on him; he obligingly fails his Horror duel to attack back. The Slop Hauler is rather braver and knocks a good chunk of Yin’s wounds off despite Mass of Viscera; Black Blood is not kind to the little Gremlin though. The last Kentauroi gets the Rear Up trigger off Rotting Hooves and kills both the Slop Hauler and the Survivor on the left. Meanwhile, the rest of our crews slowly converge on this scrum with the exception of the right side Guild Autopsy who is content to find a spot where he can claim my quarter and not get killed too easily.

Turn 2: Trixibelle cheats the initiative flip. Mah charges in and kills Yin (I have to say I don’t think that I’ve ever lost Yin so easily) and chain activates Francois who kills one of my summoned Kentauroi. Molly kills Francois in return and summons a fresh Kentauroi, thus restoring the natural order of the universe. Sammy Jinxes the Rogue Necromancy to stop it from moving and Molly to make her scary for friendlies. The Rogue Necromancy reminds Sammy that it is not only a melee beatstick by showering her in Acid Breath and killing the Taxidermist with the blasts. Trixibelle pushes a Kentauroi around and Slows it. The Valedictorian puts a rather disappointing number of wounds on the surviving Survivor. I score for Interference and Jamie scores Punish The Weak.

Turn 3: Sammy Jinxes Molly to stop her from declaring triggers (uh oh!) and makes her scary to her friends again. In return, Molly kills Sammy. How do you like that de-buff, Sammy? She then chain activates a Kentauroi that totally fails to even hit Trixibelle. Mah kills the Necrotic Machine and the Rogue Necromancy shows the Valedictorian how things are done by eating the Survivor. Trixibelle kills another Kentauroi and Slows the one while incidentally putting about 20 Poison on it. I score for the strategy and we both score Punish The Weak.

Turn 4: Trixibelle kills a Kentauroi and Molly kills her. Mah makes it to my board edge and starts dropping scheme markers. It’s clear that the game is done now so we just agree that we can drop the required number of scheme markers for Covert Breakthrough. Resurrectionists win 10 – 6 (full score for me, 3 for Covert Breakthrough and 3 for Punish The Weak for Jamie).

Jamie is a really fun opponent and I had a great time playing with him. I think that he got too bogged down in the scrum caused by Molly and her summons to have a chance of scoring for Interference; of course, that was my intention but he didn’t seem to have any plan to break out of it. I was quite surprised by his choice of victim for Mah’s first turn attack; she could easily have killed the Necrotic Machine or Guild Autopsy just to control my activation count whereas she was highly unlikely to do anything substantial to Yin. From my side the game went quite nicely to plan. The Valedictorian was a bit disappointing in that the only time I threw her into combat the cards didn’t fall my way. However, she was on the far side of the board from most of the action so perhaps I’d have been better loading the centre during deployment rather than spreading out (I had to deploy first so I couldn’t react to Jamie’s positioning).

Once the scores are in I have done well enough to take second place, somewhat behind the mighty Lewis on VP difference. I was very glad to get out to this event and I feel like I’m perhaps out of my ‘Malifaux funk’ now. Thanks to Kai for his hard work running the event, and to Michael, Ross and Jamie for three very fun games of Malifaux. I will be back!

Categories: Battle reports, Malifaux, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Painted Datsue Ba

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.

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