Painting and modelling

Painted Black Orc Blockers

These nice chaps are Black Orc Blockers for Blood Bowl. In honour of their name I used a darker green for their skin tone; I’m not completely happy with the way it ended up but maybe I needed to do an intermediate highlight or something on it. If I was actually playing Blood Bowl properly I’d probably aim to start with the full four of the Black Orc Blockers since their high strength is so useful. They’re terrible at actually going anywhere or doing anything with the ball though.

Next on the painting table: Orc Blitzers.

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Painted Orc Throwers

Following on my usual slow style, here are the Throwers for my Blood Bowl Orcs. There isn’t too much more to say about them than the Linemen, so I’ll let these pictures speak one thousand words each on my behalf (mostly they’re saying ‘you should spend longer getting good at painting, you slacker’).

Next on the painting table: Black Orc Blockers

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Painted Orc Linemen

My son and I picked up a Blood Bowl team each. We don’t seem to have played more than a few turns of actual Blood Bowl, but we’ve been enjoying painting the miniatures. I’m really impressed with the quality of these kits considering that they come in two pieces per miniature.

I find myself constrained a bit when painting Orcs since the green skin rather excludes green from the colour choices for the rest of the mini. In the end I went for purple armour and white cloth, though there are a few bits where I’ve painted something the wrong way round (and notably on one of them I thought that the jaw was part of the helmet and painted it purple too). Nothing too hard or detailed, but good enough to feel good about putting them out for a game.

Next on the painting table: Orc Throwers

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Painted Collodi

Here is Collodi, Neverborn master for Malifaux. It is the model that made me want to start playing Neverborn in the first place. For me, Collodi really encapsulates the Neverborn experience: mainly control with a side order of support and damage, and highly rewarding of close positional play. I could write tomes about my enjoyment of playing Collodi but since this is a painting post I will stick to generalities. Collodi’s main use for AP in my opinion is applying Slow or other, even more amusing, conditions to the other crew, thereby dictating what they can do to stop my plans. It also allows some sharing of AP with various minions or Puppets in your own crew. This meant that, despite the nice theme available of playing ‘the puppet crew’, Collodi actually plays very effectively with pretty much anything you like in Neverborn. For example, I enjoy using it with a Nephilim grow crew, not because of some supreme synergy but rather because it was highly entertaining; it also turned out to be quite effective on the tabletop.

For painting I decided that Collodi looked like a Redcoat and applied colours accordingly. The wood effect for the puppet parts (i.e. the ‘skin’) ended up being a bit of an experiment in using dark brown as a base then a much lighter one over the top and tying it all back together with medium brown wash.  I am pleased with the overall effect.

Next on the painting table: Orc Linemen.

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Painted Gupps

These cute little chaps are Gupps, part of my Malifaux Neverborn crews. They hold the Swampfiend keyword and are therefore arguable thematically linked with Zoraida; however she doesn’t interest me and I’m not really a big fluff player anyway. They come three to a base and while I could have split them up further to get more bases of Gupps, I have never found that I wanted more than three at a time. Their main attraction is being cheap and have a Leap which will work on any mask card, both qualities which make them suitable a scheme runners. Even at the low price, I realised that with the combination of a Spawn Mother and Will O The Wisp I could summon as many Gupps as I would ever require and therefore stopped hiring them (and actually I find Terror Tots more entertaining at the same cost).

For such simple pieces, I kept a deliberately simple colour scheme; two tones of green for the body, yellow eyes and then ended by picking out the teeth. The Gupps are tiny, and although they’re very cute, they are also a bit of a pain to get into more detail for painting. I did enjoy getting to the final result swiftly though.

Next on the painting table: Collodi

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Painted Doppelganger

This is the Doppelganger for my Malifaux Neverborn crews. She has a number of useful toolbox abilities such as Ill Omens allowing one to cheat initiative and particularly the always-valuable Don’t Mind Me to enable interactions even when engaged. Her basic attacks are terrible but she can copy the attacks of nearby models so depending on what is nearby she can sometimes turn out to have something impressive like Nekima’s sword hidden under her sheet. Reading the forums one might think that the Doppelganger should be the first option taken in all crews and that Ill Omens is so powerful as to overshadow other options. I certainly like to play the Doppelganger in some crews but generally find that in few cases would the cost of a high card be worth it to cheat and win initiative; I prefer to set up so that I can play my turns whether I win or lose the flip.

The Doppelganger is a really nice sculpt and I like the story it tells with the skin and exposed muscle as if it is half-way through a change of forms. I used red ink (rather than wash) to give a shiny wet look to the muscles.

Next on the painting table: Gupps

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Painted Mature Nephilim

This big chap is a Mature Nephilim for my Malifaux Neverborn. As you can probably tell from the appearance, Mature Nephilim are unsubtle murder machines best suited for use as some kind of linebreakers. They’re fast on the charge and can fly so my most effective use of them has been simply throwing them into enemy crews and letting them get on with it while the rest of my crew goes about scoring points. They can grow from Terror Tots and Young Nephilim and I find it far more amusing to try to do that rather than hiring these guys right from the start. Even if it never happens, players get careful when there is a possibility that a wounded Young Nephilim could suddenly turn into a fully-healed bruiser like the Mature Nephilim.

I like the aesthetic of the Mature Nephilim, being a straightforward demon amalgamated from many familiar sources, though I would state that it looks bit squat. Probably that is a good thing; with that wingspan it is quite hard to fit neatly into my case anyway. Painting it was quite dull though since almost the whole model is skin. I could have livened it up with tattoos or a variable skin tone but they didn’t really fit with the way that I’d painted the other Nephilim so I just left it.

Next on the painting table: Doppelganger.

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Painted Young Nephilim

Here are the Young Nephilim, the next up in the chain started by Terror Tots for my Malifaux Neverborn. They’re pretty reasonable generalists in their own right, being mobile (due to Flight) and punching somewhat above their weight class but are pitifully easy to kill. They do make for acceptable scheme runners for this reason as they can usually put up a creditable fight against any enemies sent for that purpose as well as being able to mostly get where they are needed. I rarely hire them, preferring to hire Terror Tots (cheaper and at least as good for laying scheme markers) and something with the Rapid Growth upgrade which allows the Tots to grow into Young, then eventually in Mature Nephilim. In practice, I don’t even succeed in doing this some games for various reasons but have found the threat of this occurring to be worth cost of the upgrade.

The miniatures are really nice looking ‘teenage devil’ styled sculpts. The one standing up was assembled as intended, but the flying one is supposed to be holding a skull which is attached to the ground only by a bit of dangling spine. Reasoning that the chance of that staying attached to the base for long was rather slim I did some minor work with putty to make it look like it is vaulting this pillar. Hardly perfect, but good enough for my purposes. The painting was intentionally the same as the other Nephilim: white/blue skin and purple clothes and hair. Simple but effective on the table.

Next on the painting table: Mature Nephilim

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Painted Waldgeists

Here are Waldgeists for my Neverborn in Malifaux. They’re quite agnostic about which Master they play in, bringing some simple but effective abilities to a crew. On the defensive side, Waldgeists have high armour to make them likely to suffer only 1 damage per attack (though it means that they really hate anything that ignores armour) and are hard to attack from range before they activate. Their attack does nothing exciting in terms of damage but has triggers to either Slow their victims or stop them walking. Waldgeists can also create little patches of cover for themselves and when sitting in them (or any other terrain) get a massive 4″ melee range. All this combines to make Waldgeists highly effective speed-bumps that are hard to ignore or remove. I particularly like playing them with Bad Juju (more on that later) so that even when the Waldgeists finally die they unbury the big compost heap right in the most annoying place I can find.

I deliberately kept the colours simple and naturalistic on the Waldgeists, as seemed appropriate since they are walking trees. Brown for the bark, creamy grey for the fungus and some green for moss.

Next on the painting table: Young Nephilim.

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Painted Barbaros

This is Barbaros, one of the Nephilim Henchmen for the Neverborn faction in Malifaux. Unlike Nekima (more on her later), Barbaros is a tanking and control piece. His main ability, at least for me, is to make enemy models take a fairly tricky willpower check if they are near him and target someone else with an action, otherwise they fail. Ideally they’ll be in a position where actually attacking Barbaros is impossible or undesirable so they would need to take the test all the time. Helpfully, it even affects things like healing friends. Naturally, passing one willpower duel is easy (notwithstanding the Black Joker, of course) but with some clever positioning I’ve had opponents taking more than a dozen in a single turn. Eventually, they start to fail and have run out of good cards to cheat in. Even when Barbaros is attacked he has armour, Black Blood and a tasty (if rare) defensive trigger to keep him in the game. Overall, Barbaros is one of my favourite pieces in the faction.

I stuck with the same Nephilim skin tones as before, pale blue all over for skin and purple hair. At least Barbaros is wearing more than one item of clothing so I was able to mix up the colours a bit with his armour. I like the pose, though I’ve knocked his left arm off quite a few times now (the spikes on his weapon keep sticking in the foam of my carry-case). The only frustrating thing is that the miniature has wings but the rules of the game don’t give him flight. It took me quite a few games to get that correct, especially as the Young Nephilim have almost identical wings but can fly.

Next on the painting table: Waldgeists.

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