This is Durgen Madhammer, the third and currently final Rhulic Warcaster for my Warmachine Mercenaries. Thematically, Durgen is all about explosions – he carries a miniature artillery piece, his spells cause blasts and his Feat gives friendly AoE weapons more damage. He even makes his Warjacks cause fire with their ranged attacks. Durgen’s story is that he is so much of a dangerous lunatic that his own people ‘encouraged’ him to become a mercenary so that he would travel and fight people far away from their own country. I really, really want to like Durgen. Unfortunately, his rules are a frustrating mess of anti-synergies and playing him is an exercise in frustration. For example, one of Durgen’s main spells is Primed, which makes a unit hit harder at the cost of their armour, plus they explode when killed; he wants cheap, low armour (i.e. high defence) infantry. In the Rhulic theme, the only infantry are slow, expensive and rely on their armour to keep them alive; casting Primed on Forge Guard will just have them shot and exploding before they do anything useful. In Soldiers of Fortune (my current favourite) Steelhead Halberdiers would be perfect being cheap, fast and having such terrible armour anyway that a penalty from Primed has no actual impact. Unfortunately, they have a great recursion mechanism which is disabled by casting Primed on them.
I painted Durgen with roughly the same scheme as Ossrum and Gorten, i.e. mostly green with cream contrast. I quite like the stoic pose and could imagine Durgen bracing himself as he fires high explosive shells around the battlefield, cackling like a madman all the while.
I assembled Durgen with his visor up, even though that would be a terrible approach for him to take on a battlefield. I like his crazed face and it saddens me a little that it’s pretty much invisible from the normal tabletop angle. It was also a really pain to get paint on due to the tight angle needed on the brush!
Next on the painting table: Winter Soldier.
I am Iron Man! Here’s another super hero for Marvel Crisis Protocol. Prior to the MCU movies I never really considered Iron Man as a particularly significant super hero but now he appears to be everywhere. In game Iron Man is, perhaps quite predictably, a fairly resilient character with a focus on ranged attacks. I’ve tried him once sitting on an objective shooting people and it seemed to work fairly well. He can also fly which obviously gives good mobility and I imagine that the key to getting the best out of him will be to know when to sit and shoot, and when to move around.
I painted Iron Man based on the character card in the game which is more red and less yellow focussed that I’ve sometimes seen him in comics. In the end, I’m not sure how I feel about the results of this; I’m wondering if the final look is a bit too one-tone. Still, he’ll do for gaming purposes.
Next on the painting table: Durgen Madhammer.
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.
Here’s Ultron from Marvel Crisis Protocol. Ultron’s a bit different from the other characters because not only can he be used in the normal game play but also there is a special mission where Ultron fights alone against a full crew of Supers; there is even an AI checklist so that two real players can team up against him. We haven’t actually tried that though.
The miniature has a nice pose but is slightly boring to paint since Ultron is pretty much all one colour. In this case my son had done about half of the work before losing interest and handing him back so I just tidied up, added the red flashes and sorted out the base. Quick and easy.
Next on the painting table: Geishas.
These are a pair of Grundback Blasters to go in my Warmachine Mercenaries army. They’re basically just Grundback Gunners with a different weapon, in this case a machine gun that fires a spray template. This combined with their Powerful Attack ability makes them very good for clearing out jamming infantry. Blasters are tough enough to be resilient to small arms fire but they don’t last long if something serious gets launched at them; luckily they’re cheap and self-sufficient so I’m never too worried if something wrecks them.
Like the Gunners, I wanted to give the Blasters a fairly standard, factory-made look so I’ve kept a simple and consistent colour scheme which matches the other Rhulic Warjacks. I’ve just acquired another few of these little cuties so I might have to start adding in some more variations with the next batch.
Next on the painting table: Ultron.
This is the ever-youthful and iconic Spider-Man for Marvel Crisis Protocol. In the core box he’s ‘just’ another hero but I know that there is a forthcoming ‘Web Warriors’ affiliation that he is presumably part of. This particular one is Peter Parker and I’m not sure if the leader of the Web Warriors will be him or Miles Morales. Or, for that matter, one of the numerous other linked heroes / anti-heroes from the comics; my preference would be Madame Web.
It felt good to paint Spider-Man; he (along with the X-Men) was my Saturday morning cartoon of choice way back in the dim and distant past and I feel like he’s come out of the various films since then quite well. The paint scheme itself was quite easily selected; despite the many alternate costumes Spider-Man has had, there is only one classic to use. As with the other Crisis Protocol miniatures, I’ve kept a bright, primary colour-heavy style to fit in with the comics and cartoons.
Next on the painting table: Grundback Blasters.
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.
Here is Baron Zemo, one of the baddies from Marvel Crisis Protocol. I wasn’t really aware of Zemo until the MCU film in which he appears, and even with that I didn’t really link him to the comic book character presented in Crisis Protocol. I think that is partly because of the relative lack of popularity of Captain America (and hence his associated baddies) here during my youth, or maybe it was just a timing thing; I know that my uncles had a lot of those comics.
Being unfamiliar with the character I went with a direct copy of Zemo’s costume as presented on the stat card for the game. I have no idea why he wears a purple flannel and crown combo over his head but sometimes supervillains just like to set their own styles. It was quite nice to paint the contrast between the normal jacket, trousers and boots and then the purple stuff he wears over his skin. I read once that Marvel in particular tended to use red and blue for the goodies and green and purple for the baddies to make it easier to tell who was on which side, so perhaps that it part of the explanation.
Next on the painting table: Hinamatsu.
These are Black Ogrun Iron Mongers for my Warmachine Cryx force. They’re basically very tough mechanics within the Scourge of the Broken Coast theme force but as a small unit they would certainly have a place scoring circular zones in the late game too. I have to admit that I’ve never played them or even really thought much about doing so; I got this unit as part of a second hand lot and painted them up as I have plenty of time on my hands in the evenings during this pandemic.
I really enjoyed painting the Iron Mongers; they’re a very characterful unit and I quite like the modest poses to go with their relatively unassuming role in the game. The boys have fish hanging from their belts and that’s the kind of little detail that can bring a miniature to life for me. The leader is my favourite though; I love the nonchalant way that she’s chewing on that cigar. She in particular would make a good Shadowrun character. The gas-masked Iron Monger is using a spare head from Hutchuk; the original head rolled out of sight during assembly and I swapped Hutchuk’s in before I eventually found the proper one. Somehow I find it fitting in Warmachine that a welder would go bare-chested but don a full gas-mask.
Next on the painting table: Baron Zemo.
Here is Underchief Mire, a lesser Warlock in my Minions army for Hordes. I really love Mire on the table as he brings so many extra options to the table. For a start, it means I can bring Blindwater Warbeasts into an army led by a Farrow Warlock, for example the Blackhide Wrastler and its delicious Rage animus into a Dr Arkadius force. Not only that but Mire can also cast one animus for free each turn, so in theory I could put out four sets of the spell… at least if I didn’t mind him dying immediately to even the slightest return fire.
I had a lot of fun painting the Underchief. Initially I had all of his skin the same green but decided it looked a bit boring and added those creamy stripes to his throat-sac. I’m still not entirely sure that they work but it’s a bit more interesting than flat green. I love that the ‘armour’ Mire is wearing is all shells and bones from animals, for example the elbow-pads are turtle shells and the pauldrons are Bog Trogs (another unit with the Blindwater tag that I just don’t own yet).
Here is Mire with his favourite Warbeast; a Blackhide Wrastler.
Next on the painting table: Black Ogrun Ironmongers.