Here is the Black Blood Shaman, part of the Malifaux Neverborn faction. Arguably more than most pieces in Malifaux, the Black Blood Shaman has a fairly narrow niche. It supports models with Black Blood, gives them Black Blood and has some synergy with the Nephilim tag (almost all of whom have Black Blood). Luckily, I also love all these things, so I take this beaky chap fairly often. Most obviously, it makes a nice support piece in a Nephilim-heavy crew, allowing some un-resisted damage to be splashed on anyone standing near your Black Blood models. More than that, being able to hand out Black Blood for a tiny damage cost can be hilarious for options that can heal themselves. Wise scholars have often asked ‘what is more annoying to deal with than an Illuminated?’ To which the answer is surely ‘an Illuminated with Black Blood.’ Similarly, I really enjoy giving Collodi Black Blood (this also allows the use of the Run Away Home trigger to move the Puppet around), then making the Shaman its Personal Puppet. So when Collodi takes damage, it can push up to the most annoying position possible, then make the Shaman hit it with Black Blood Pustule for some area damage and a possible heal or buff for Collodi itself (living the dream, you could also theorise that the Shaman is itself engaged with something and bleeding profusely over it in the process, but I’ve never actually had this happen).
The miniature was somewhat fiddly to assemble and paint. The former is due to the rather spindly arms and the tiny contact points at both wrist and shoulder, though this is rather standard fare for Malifaux. The latter is because of the folds of the wings making it a bit tricky to maneuver the paint brush around the model. Nonetheless, I like the miniature’s pose and did find it fun to colour. The scheme was a simple copy of all the other Nephilim, pale blue skin and purple clothing; the beak (I assume; for all I know it’s meant to be a mask) allowed a bit of divergence from the norm.
Next on the painting table: Barbaros.
Here are some iconic Wyrd miniatures to go in my Malifaux Neverborn crews. Wicked Dolls have the Puppet keyword and hence have some slight synergy with their master, Collodi, who can also summon them. But I have to admit that I have been unable to get much value out of mine, so if anyone has any clever idea about what to do with the cute little dolls then I’d be happy to read it. They are a cheap activation, but they’re in the same cost bracket as the Effigies, Terror Tots and Gupps who I’ve had much more success with. Indeed, if I only wanted cheap activations (and was playing Collodi) I’d probably take Marionettes as they are even cheaper.
For painting I wanted a sack-cloth look with brighter point colours. So these Wicked Dolls have mainly ended up brown and purple, with their cute button eyes picked out in primary colours for more contrast. They were quick to paint (even for me) and it’s nice to get them out of the queue, even if I am not really sure how best to utilise them.
Next on the painting table: Black Blood Shaman
Here is Kade (formerly known as Baby Kade for obvious reasons) for the Malifaux Neverborn faction. Kade is the ultimate ‘glass cannon’ in that he can hit ridiculously hard with that knife, reaching minimum damage 5 in some cases, but has few wounds or defences. He’s pretty fast considering his short legs and seems to principally have two roles. Firstly, to go in and shank something that the other crew would rather didn’t die, then take a few resources to be killed in return. Alternatively, to use his Pounce ability to have things pushed into him and stab them without even needing to activate. Actually I have very little experience with Kade, not because I think he’s bad but rather because there always seems to be something else that I’d put in the crew first.
Painting Kade was very simple as he is mostly bare skin (and not much of that really) plus a nappy and a knife. He got to the front of the painting queue on the grounds that he represents something of a ‘low-hanging fruit’ for me to move from the ‘to be painted’ pile. That’s a 30mm base, in case you’re interested in scale.
Next on the painting table: Wicked Dolls.
Here is Lilith’s totem for the Malifaux Neverborn faction, the Cherub. I love this little chap and would happily take it with other masters if only I could. It is highly mobile thanks to flight and has some small utility to help other miniatures with interact actions if they are nearby. Occasionally this ability can be critical, though it often leaves the Cherub in a vulnerable position. Even better than that, it has a reasonably effective ranged attack with does fairly trivial damage but also causes Slow and pushes things around. Against melee crews in particular this can be really amazing, allowing you to push their fighters away and stop them charging back in again.
The paint scheme is really simple, matching the other Nephilim I did already or have in the works. I had originally planned to go with white wings but they made the Cherub look a bit too monotone with the white skin too, so I made them a creamier colour instead. My nice new lightbox shows off the many flaws in my painting to a depressing extent.
Next on the painting table: Kade.
These little chaps are Terror Tots for my Malifaux Neverborn crews. They have the Nephilim keyword and synergise with some other Nephilim to be able to grow into larger and scarier forms, specifically the Young Nephilim which are still in my painting queue. In this form, they are fast scheme runners with a fairly dire attack; the main defense for a Tot (apart from its stats, which are not terrible for the cost) is that they will damage nearby models with Black Blood when wounded so in desperate times I have used them as small bombs to finish off wounded enemies.
I picked white skin mainly because I’d used it previously for the Enslaved Nephilim, and because I think it looks quite reasonable at tabletop distance. The clothes are purple mainly for contrast, though it is also the case that purple is the ‘official’ colour for Neverborn. I’m not sure if I’ll use it across all models in the faction.
Next on the painting table: Cherub
It’s been a long time since I picked up a paintbrush. But here we are again with some Stitched Together from the Neverborn faction of Malifaux. Many of their abilities have a penalty for failure, and presumably due to this risk element, are therefore rather strong when they actually work. I’ve mainly tested them with the master Collodi, with whom they share the Puppet keyword and they seem to work pretty well with it. In particular, they combine with the Threads of Fate upgrade on Collodi (allowing them to go Fast at the cost of two wounds) and Fear Not The Sword from the Brutal Effigy shared via the Fated upgrade (also on Collodi). Due to the high risk nature of their attack I’m much more likely to cheat to win the duel so it is more often that they will be able to heal. And 3 AP on a Stitched Together can be rather nasty. Stitched Together can also generate an aura of soft cover which can be very useful in certain match-ups.
Stitched Together are pretty obviously meant to be Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas, which makes me happy. I painted them in dull sack-cloth browns as it seemed fitting for their inspiration. I was also looking for something very simple to paint so that I could get back into the feel of it, and it doesn’t get much simpler than almost entirely brown miniatures.
Next on the painting table: Terror Tots.
These are the first Malifaux Gremlin miniatures I got round to painting. I used Rooster Riders a lot during my brief time playing Gremlins, but I won’t write much about them here because the rules have changed since I last did so. Gremlins as a faction just didn’t really excite me after a dozen games or so and since then I’ve moved on to a different faction for my gaming pleasure.
Rooster Riders are an absolutely lovely concept and I really enjoyed the idea of crazed Gremlins frantically clinging onto the back of the giant chickens and just hoping for the best while steering them in roughly the correct direction. I’ve seen a lot of vividly coloured Roosters but I preferred to keep a rather darker tone for the mount in order to make the green of the Gremlin skin stand out more.
Next on the painting table: Viktoria of Blood.
Here’s another painted master for my Malifaux Outcasts; this time it is the tormented spirit Jack Daw. Jack is mainly a control master, handing out the Tormented condition by various methods and using it to push friendlies and enemies alike around as seen fit. Enemies who get the Tormented condition by means of Jack’s not-really-an-upgrade cards also have penalties when they try to take certain actions. His main defense is that all attack actions against him are at negative flips; for this reason Jack Daw really hates anyone with a built-in positive flip, or any player who remembers to use the Focus action. In particular there are a lot of these in Ten Thunders and I find him a really risky pick against that faction. I love to play Jack Daw in Headhunter where his ability to push friendly models around is great for picking up heads. He is also pretty nice in any scenario where pieces need to be in particular spots around the centre (for example in Extraction) as it this allows him to keep his own crew within his control auras while disrupting the other crew.
Jack Daw was a bit fiddly to paint as I had to work around the rope coiled about him. But overall I found the miniature to be rather satisfying to paint and not only characterful but a good representation of his appearance in the stories. There isn’t a lot of scope for complex paint schemes with these large blocks of unbroken texture (i.e. skin, shirt, hood and trousers) which would probably have been highly frustrating for a skilled painter; luckily I do not have that problem. Many have pointed out that he looks like he’s playing air guitar, and you can see a (much better painted) version by the highly skilled Maria taken to the next level here.
Next on the painting table: Rooster Riders.
This is Taelor, the iconic Outcast henchman (henchwoman?) from Malifaux. She wields a massive hammer with great effect, and can activate an ability that lets her charge any summoned models in range. Not only that, be she is also extremely difficult to get rid of, having both hard to wound and hard to kill abilities. Taelor’s main weakness is that she is extremely slow; and spending so many points on a model that will probably spend her first few turns walking is occasionally quite frustrating. Still, Taelor brings a lot to the table, as long as all you really want is for things (especially constructs) to be hammered into the ground like tent-pegs.
The miniature is very nice and dynamic, posed partway into smashing her hammer down. I’ve seen one particularly nice conversion where she is astride Lazarus applying the hammer to his head. The observant might note that her pony tail is on upside-down as I knocked it off while gaming and reasoned that this way round was less likely to catch on things. I like the contrast of the light shirt and dark skin. Her hair is pink partly because I’ve put some pink on all of my Outcasts and partly because I like the way it ties her in with Rusty Alyce with whom she’s often competing for space.
Next on the painting table: Jack Daw.
Here is Montresor, the thematic Henchman for the Outcast master Jack Daw in Malifaux. On the table, I’ve really struggled to get much use out of the big chap since his abilities all revolve around bringing pieces in close to him and keeping them there, but do nothing to stop them from simply killing him once they arrive. He can occasionally get a cheeky Paralyse off on non-Soulstone users but overall the opportunity cost for using Montresor is really high. For a single additional soulstone I could use Taelor, Rusty Alyce or Bishop, all of which I rate much higher than Montresor even with the cost difference. That said, Montresor does have a new free upgrade (i.e. functionally an errata fix) to improve him. I haven’t used it so I can’t comment on how effective it has been.
In contrast to how lacklustre Montresor is on the gaming table, the miniature is really nice. I think he’s meant to be part of the Hammer Horror style canon of creepy hangmen, but to me I can’t help but think of Lurch from the Addams Family. Despite his ragged appearance I deliberately kept the painting tidy as I think he looks a lot better that way. As usual for my Outcasts Montresor sports some pink attire; his tie in this case.
Next on the painting table: Taelor.