Here are a pair of Steelhead Gunners, solos for my Mercenary force in Warmachine. Apart from their scoring utility as cheap solos, their main purpose is to support the artillery pieces in the Soldiers of Fortune theme which in my case would mainly be my Steelhead Cannons. But actually I have to say that I’ve not really found even having one of these little chaps is a very effective use of points; they improve the damage and accuracy of the Cannons but in general I’m looking to use the Cannons to knock down low-defence pieces anyway and I just don’t need more support bloat in my forces.
The sculpts for the Gunners are identical but helpfully the helmet is a separate piece and the unhelmeted head looks like just a bald head anyway so that helps them to look a bit different. The colour scheme was the same green and yellow coats as for my other Steelheads and I was pleased to gets the Gunners painted up nice and quickly. As an aside, it looks like they were sculpted by someone who has never seen a moustache up close (or maybe it’s just that, as Rhulfolk, their facial hair doesn’t grow like humans) since their moustaches grow up the sides of their noses rather than across their upper lips.
Next on the painting table: Deffkilla Wartrike.
Here is Shuri, another character for Marvel Crisis Protocol. She’s an interesting character in the game in that she’s almost purely support in a game where only each team might only have 4 or 5 per side, but I feel that her input is still very useful. Shuri brings two main things to the game. Firstly, she has a very long range attack from her Panther Gauntlets that does very little damage but pushes away anyone hit by it which is great for board control. Secondly Shuri can use her own power (which she can end up with a lot of, especially in A-Force) to grant friendly characters re-rolls in a pretty big area. So she is well suited to standing in a backfield role, helping the rest of her team and pushing the other team around into inconvenient spots.
As with the other Crisis Protocol miniatures I have chosen to go with the card art for Shuri’s colour scheme. I’m not a huge fan of the way it looks; mainly I think that I needed to put a bit more work into highlighting the blue to make it pop out more from the black. But I wanted her finished to go to a MCP gaming day out and while I theoretically could go back and do more on Shuri, the reality is that I probably never will. Shuri’s comic art seems to have some facial tattoos too, but I didn’t even attempt them; too much risk of making a mess of the work I’d already done. Like Okoye, I didn’t really know anything about Shuri until I watched Black Panther but she’s an interesting and engaging character so maybe I will pick up a run of comics if anyone can recommend a series that features her.
Next on the painting table: Steelhead Gunners.
This is a Megatrakk Scrapjet, yet another buggy to go in my Ork army for Warhammer 40,000. Unlike most of the other buggies this one is actually competent in melee, presumably due to the giant drill on the front. However, it is also fairly competent when shooting as it’s loaded down with machine guns and rockets; although of course being an Ork vehicle it’s pretty unlikely to actually hit anything at range.
The Megatrakk Scrapjet is my favourite sculpt out of the Ork buggies; it’s literally a plane with the wings knocked off and some wheels and tracks added. I really enjoyed working on the whole thing; it’s just such fun kit to build and paint. There is actually supposed to be a Gretchin in the back firing the rear guns but I realised while I was assembling it that 1) it would be impossible to paint while assembled and 2) it’s not actually possible to see the little chap anyway through that tiny little window. As a result, this is the only buggy with just a single crewmember.
But! What a crewmember! It’s Biggles, but as an Ork. Words cannot express how amusing I find this sculpt; it’s just perfect in every way.
Next on the painting table: Shuri.
This is Okoye for Marvel Crisis Protocol. She’s in the Wakanda and A-Force affiliations at the moment which are two of my favourites but one of the many great things about MCP is that any character can got in any team. Since Okoye is one of the cheapest characters in the game at two threat, it’s really easy to find a space for her either in or out of affiliation. Okoye brings a nice Bodyguard utility to keep more expensive heroes alive longer, or perhaps more importantly to stop them from suffering any debilitating status conditions. However, she’s just a normal human in a game full of wizards, gods and super-soldiers so she’s not especially hard to deal with.
I enjoyed painting Okoye a lot. I’m not familiar with the Blank Panther comics at all so my main knowledge of the character comes from the MCU films. My poor photography doesn’t really show it but her face is a perfect match for the actor playing her in the films and I can’t tell if this is because the miniature is sculpted based on the actor or if the casting in the film is perfect. Either way, I kept Okoye in her canon colours of red and bronze and I’m really happy with the outcome.
As an aside, long term readers might recall that I expressed that I wasn’t really satisfied with the way that I’d painted some of the earlier MCP minis, notably Iron Man and Vision. Now that some time has passed, and more importantly that I’ve actually had a chance to play with them on the tabletop where they’re several feet away rather than being held up close to my face, I’ve come around on the results and am really happy with the way that they look in the game. I’m still privileged to play in an area where my minis are usually the least well painted (anyone less good than me just doesn’t bother to paint at all but rather plays with bare plastic) but the satisfaction that I get from putting down a painted army/crew/team is well worth the effort put into the painting.
Next on the painting table: Megatrakk Scrapjet.
Here is a Shokkjump Dragsta, another part of the Kult of Speed I’m slowly creating for Orks in Warhammer 40K. First, a little background. In the lore (and rules, of course) of 40K, the Orks are experts at forcefields and teleportation technology. They have long had a weapon called a Shokk Attack Gun which works by teleporting critters inside of armour, tanks etc. So the Shokkjump Dragsta is basically a Formula 1 car with a built in teleporter that randomly causes it to blink across the battlefield. To say that it’s entertaining is a bit of an understatement.
I kept the general painting style of the Shokkjump Dragsta the same as the other buggies, so mainly blue on the chassis with some white sections for contrast. In that sense it’s a classic Death Skulls colour-scheme, though that’s just a coincidence; I just felt like painting these blue.
The driver and crew are a bit of different aesthetic from the hillbilly style of the previous two buggies; they look like proper racing car drivers and I deliberately gave them matching costumes to make it seem more like the uniform of a team.
Next on the painting table: Okoye.
This is Gamora, the Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy and also a hero in Marvel Crisis Protocol. Needless to say, Gamora is dedicated melee combatant in MCP; unlike her sister Nebula she can also actually do things to score points so she isn’t a completely one-trick pony. I haven’t managed to put her on the table yet so it remains to be seen whether she’s worth her fairly steep 4 point cost but I’m looking forward to trying her out. I like Gamora in the few comic book appearances I’ve read but I’ve felt that she gets a pretty raw deal in the MCU films where she’s pretty much relegated to being a sidekick in the Star-Lord show. Somewhere out there, someone must be planning a Gamora and Nebula mini-series.
Painting Gamora was somehow a very easy and pleasant task. The contrast between the black base armour and the white raised plates makes it really simple to get a good tabletop job going on here and her green hair and skin breaks up the monochrome look nicely.
Next on the painting table: Shokkjump Dragsta.
This is a Kustom Boosta-Blasta, another of the Wacky Races buggies for my Warhammer 40K Orks. It’s one of the cheapest buggies available and therefore another one that I foresee sitting on objectives and plinking away at stuff. On the other hand, it does have a D2 main gun in the unlikely event that it can hit anything with it which I imagine could be useful for knocking over a couple of Space Marines. It also has a ram to do a few wounds if it charges in, though it is otherwise so useless in melee that it seems a bit unlikely that I’d be doing that other than in an emergency.
Just like the Boomdakka Snazzwagon, the Kustom Boosta-Blasta was a joy to paint. It’s covered all over with cute little details like the cyborg (cybork?) arm on the driver which seems to be attached directly and permanently to the gearstick. I feel that something is somehow missing in the middle though, as there is a big metal/black section of engine in between the colour bits at the front and the main chassis. I think if I were to paint another one of these (and spoiler alert, there is another one in the queue) I would find a way to liven that up a bit.
This Gretchen is presumably supposed to be doing a job as a mechanic. It’s pretty hard to see inside due to the construction of the buggy (and my photography skills) but he’s working away in there with a spanner as big as he is.
I really enjoy these little Gretchin hanging on the buggies; in this case quite literally. He looks like he’s having a pretty good time back there.
The gunner has gone full cyborg, and doesn’t seem to even have any legs. Getting permanently wired into a gun turret on top of a ramshackle buggy seems about as Orky as one can be.
Next on the painting table: Gamora.
This is a Librarian, my first HQ choice for my Space Marine (Adeptus Astartes) force in Warhammer 40,000. Librarians in Warhammer 40,000 are more interested in exploding fools using the power of their minds rather than collecting late fees, though I imagine that someone out there has modified one to be doing the ‘shush’ finger pose. Now that I think of it, Space Marine wizards have been called Librarians for as long as I can recall and I don’t think I ever got to the bottom of why that is the joke. If anyone out there can illuminate me I’ll be very interested to find out what it is.
The Librarian has a classic pose, using the ‘reaching out to zap with magic from my fingers’ look beloved of wizard miniatures everywhere, and I absolutely loved painting her. The bulk of the armour is, of course, in the same style as my other Space Marines but I enjoyed the extra bling she’s carrying such as the locked book and associated key hanging off her belt. I went for anime-style pink hair after a bit of discussion with my son as it tied in nicely with the pink on the tubes (what are they even for?) hanging off the Librarian’s armour. For the record, he though it looked silly and felt that I should give her brown hair.
Next on the painting table: Kustom Boosta-Blasta.
Here is Nebula, another superhero (antihero, villain?) for Marvel Crisis Protocol. Perhaps not completely surprisingly, Nebula is highly focussed on stabbing people in the game. Indeed, she comes quite cheap as she has a rule preventing her from interacting with scenario elements. In some ways this is quite liberating as I never have to worry about whether she should stop stabbing and do more to score points; on the other hand, scoring points is how one goes about winning the game. Testing is definitely needed! I feel like I never really saw much of Nebula in the comics I read; she’s always been just a punching bag for other baddies (notably Thanos in one of the Infinity War runs) and doesn’t get to showcase her own powers. Presumably there is a sequence somewhere that really centres on her so please feel free to direct me to any good comics. I do really like her in the MCU films; for someone who pretty much only exists to fight people she gets a lot of good lines.
I greatly enjoyed painting Nebula. Those who read this blog regularly will know that I do love a dynamic sculpt and she certainly has that, literally attached to the ‘tactical crashed spaceship’ by only the side of her foot. Somehow in Nebula’s case painting a comic-style colour scheme felt easy and just ‘worked’, which is a bit of a contrast to some other heroes I’ve worked on, most notably Vision. I went with the card art rather than the (slightly) less crazy colours of the film version and I’m extremely pleased with the end result.
Next on the painting table: Primaris Librarian.
This is a unit of Steelhead Halberdiers for my Warmachine Mercenaries army. They’re about the most bargain-basement of all units in the game, with almost no fancy rules and a price point to match. Luckily this fits well with how I use them in game: mainly to take up space and waste incoming attacks, with a side order of giving me corpse and/or soul tokens in the process. They have stats that make them slightly irritating to kill for a few popular unit types but in general I find that there has been considerable power-creep of attack stats since the Halberdiers got their rules and I am generally not disappointed when I expect them to die in droves.
The sculpt quality for these Steelhead Halberdiers is really poor and it isn’t helped by the nasty resin/plastic hybrid that Privateer Press used for this kit. As a result, these poor folk got a ‘good enough for tabletop’ paint job as I just couldn’t face spending more time on them than necessary. In that sense the painting process for the Halberdiers was quite liberating as I just ploughed through one section at a time. I’ll also admit that it felt extremely satisfying when I got the final stages of painting them, safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to do it again since my other unit of Halberdiers is the older metal kit acquired in a trade with Joe for ancient GW Tau miniatures.
Next on the painting table: Nebula.