Thursday, June 26, 2014

Malifaux Crew - Complete!

Holy Christmas, it's been a while! I need to start doing that whole Painting Table Saturday thing to encourage me to make a little progress every week, as well as break my reluctance to post WIP shots.

I have finally completed work on my Malifaux crew, which consists primarily of figures from the "Hired Swords" boxed set. This has been an unusual experience in a couple ways, actually.

First of all, I believe this is the first time, or at least the first time since I was just getting started painting minis some 25 years ago, that I've painted up a set of miniatures prior to knowing anything about the game I'm intending on using them with. I don't even have the Malifaux core rules, let alone read them. I did use the online Crew Creator to give me an idea of what to buy, but that was it.

Secondly - and this is the reason it took me so long, I think - I can't remember the last time I had a painting project that was this varied. That is to say, apart from laying in flesh tones, there was no uniform approach to painting the figures, no way to do "assembly line" style painting. I had to approach each figure as a unique entity. Each figure required me to figure out a new color palette, a new look. While this was a fun change from the usual (particularly in terms of painting WWII figures), it was also strangely enervating. Having to come up with a fresh look killed my momentum each time. But I persevered and, if just to get the figures off my painting table if nothing else, finished everything off in a big push last week.

A quick word on the sculpts: Malifaux figures are quite spindly and delicate by 28mm standards. You'll find no GW-style bulkiness here, particularly in the latest plastic ranges. One figure had separately-molded suspenders. Yes, that's right. Suspenders. Strangely, though, for all their delicacy, I often found the plastics lacking in depth of definition. Depressions and indentations were universally shallow on the plastic figures, which did nothing to add to my ease of painting. It wasn't anything terrible, but it did somewhat surprise me. And yes, some of the figures were a real bear to assemble.

At the end of the day, though, I'm really pleased with how everything turned out (well, except the photographs, but what can you do?):

The whole Crew (L-R): three Ronin, Hans, the Viktorias, Desperate Mercenary, Student of Conflict, Taelor.
For all my bitching about the plastics, I love the new sculpts compared to the 1E metals.
The Ronin. I gave them kabuki-style face makeup to tie them together on some level at least.
The Desperate Mercenary and Hans are the only two metal figures in the crew, and were also a joy to paint.
On a final note, you'll have noticed the clear acrylic bases (as well as the fact that I need to dust my photobox!). I'm really pleased with how they turned out. Viewed side-on, as in these pictures, they're fairly visible, but from the average "table-top" vantage point they really do disappear. I don't know if I'll wholly convert to clear bases, but they're definitely a new arrow in my quiver, as it were.
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