Thursday, December 18, 2014

Malifaux Madness!

[This was my first entry for the Fifth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, reposted here for folks not following that blog.]

Well, it took me a little bit to get up to speed, but I've got a good rhythm going now and am ready to present my first-ever submission.

Earlier this year, I finally got a chance to get into Malifaux and got bit by the bug pretty hard. I had put together a crew using the Hired Swords boxed set, and was quite happy with what I had mechanically, but wasn't totally happy with a few of the figures. So my first priority was sourcing some alternative sculpts for my Hired Swords.

Having been bitten, however, I realized that just one crew wasn't going to cut it. So I picked up the Latigo Posse boxed set, and once again found several of the figures to be lacking in my regard. Don't get me wrong, all of these figures are high-quality sculpts, the usual intricate plastic kits that are part of the 2E Malifaux range. It was more that the poses didn't really work for me on an aesthetic level. So I sourced some alternatives there as well.

Here are the results...

First up, there are the "Alternate Viktorias" from Malifaux's old 1E range. They're much more cartoony than the current versions, but then I like my 28mm figures a bit on the cartoony side.

I painted Viktoria of Blood's outfit to look like it was repurposed army surplus from some sort of cavalry regiment.

With the current plastic Viktoria of Ashes, it's not really clear that she's armed with double katanas. This older sculpt leaves nothing in doubt!

The other figure I wanted to replace was Taelor. She's a true power-hitter, armed with a massive "rune hammer" and she knows how to use it. So I wanted to find a figure that exuded that sort of power and confidence, and I found it in "Alice Tinkerly" from MicroArt Studios.

That may not be a rune hammer on her shoulder, but I'm sure it'll be just as effective! Plus she has the same industrial coveralls as the original Taelor figure - it was meant to be!

I also added a new figure in the form of Vanessa, Viktoria's "real" sister. This was another new plastic figure, and was pretty nice save for the head, which seemed oddly puny. So I swapped in the head of "Steampunk Zara Craft, Relic Hunter" from Guild of Harmony. Much better!

I also made my first foray into Object Source Lighting with Vanessa's "treasure detector" thingy. Needless to say, I've got a lot to learn about OSL, but we've all got to start somewhere. I need to pick up some glazes, I think...

And, for completeness' sake, here's the whole Hired Guns crew together, including the figures I painted before the Challenge - you can get a good idea of how the plastics and metals go together.

Now on to the Latigo Posse. I only ended up using three plastics from the original boxed set. Everyone else is either the 1E metal versions or sourced from third-parties.

I tried and tried to find the original 1E Perdita metal figure, but she's obviously quite popular and could not be found for love or money. However, I found a great alternative in the form of Valeria Alvaro, an Iron Kingdoms figure.

I swapped out her more fantasy-styled pistol for a proper six-shooter, but other than that I didn't need to make any changes. She's a great Perdita!

I made an attempt at giving her snakeskin boots - I think the effect worked out okay.

The plastics consist of los hermanos NiƱo and Francisco, and Ortega clan patriarch "Papa Loco".

The Malifaux plastics remind me of the sort of "true scale" sculpting one generally sees with 1/72 scale plastics - guns are more realistically scaled, heads and hands more proportional, etc.

Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn't. In these cases, however, I was quite happy.

Oops - need to do a bit of touch-up on that foot!
We're still waiting on a plastic version of Abuela Ortega, but in the meantime we've got this fantastic little 1E metal piece.

As much as I love the piece, I have to chuckle over the figure's extreme two-dimensionalality compared to how dynamic and "3D" the new plastics are - her pipe is molded to the side of her head!

I supplemented the Ortegas with some Guild members, namely two Austringers and a Hound.

The Austringers also proved difficult to source, as they're old 1E figures. The kneeling "cowboy" figure, in particular, was quite hard to find. Hopefully we'll see some plastics soon, but I was very pleased with these figures once I finally got them.

"You keep a horse in the basement!?"
Lastly, the Hound. I had to go with Hasslefree's "not-Scooby" Great Dane. A great figure, although I have to dock the Ortegas a couple points for not neutering their pet!


  1. Anonymous2:36 PM

    I don't think that pet population control is the same sort of thing in a world full of monsters that presumably -eat- them. How else would you explain all of the zombie pets available to some of the factions?

    The models look great, and it's impressive how far afield you're willing to go to get a look you like. I've always had a more Universal Studios Frankenstein approach, where I'm cobbling pieces at hand to create the thing I want. With Malifaux, though, it'd honestly not occurred to me to do much converting--I figured it for a system with pretty stringent modeling requirements. Is that not the case, or are you just planning on friendly local play?

    1. Yeah, I find hunting for the "perfect" figure to be more satisfying than messing around with pin vice drills and green stuff, but my hat's off to you and all the other convert-a-holics, for sure.

      I am just planning on friendly local play, but even if I were going to a tournament I don't think it would be that big a deal to bring in "off-brand" figures. In Malifaux, it's all about the bases. LoS, AoE, it's all determined by the edge of the base. And as for WYSIWYG, it doesn't really exist--it's about what's on the card, not the model.

      (Don't tell anyone, but you could easily pick up a couple Arsenal Decks and play Malifaux with counters to learn the game.)

      I was actually kind of shocked playing Warmachine/Hordes when I discovered that the miniature's physical size and shape is used for things like cover and LoS. Weird! ;)

    2. Anonymous4:48 AM

      That's the way in Warhammer too, especially with fliers, so I'm usually deep in the trenches with a ruler and such when making my conversions (neither of my flying machines are remotely "stock," but I tried to ensure both fit the general dimensions expected from the base models). As for a pin vice drill, screw that! My wife tasked my brother with buying me a dremel with pistol-grip attachment, and I picked up a couple wee bits at a local hobby joint. I do everything with science and lots of bleeding.

      Warmachine was somewhat frustrating in terms of models coming into contact, though, since any attempt at dynamic posing seemed to create problems in terms of the space between models on the board. Our local interest in Warmachine/Hordes was thoroughly abortive, however, so I never really finished painting my models, let alone trying them out on the board. We're back to all Warhammer all the time unless I hop into Malifaux or Wild West Exodus.

    3. I really need a dremel... :-/

    4. Anonymous2:09 AM

      Man, with you I figured the absence of one was purely choice-based. Email me your address because we legit have a (potentially low-quality) secondary Drem due to pumpkin-related things, and could be that I could send it your way. You'll want a couple of attachments, which I can ask my brother for the names of--he and my wife caused me to possess one. I just this very night employed a tiny bit (which I got at Hobby Town) to quasi-pin a rack of skulls to the hand of a gnoblar standing on a gnoblar standing on a gnoblar standing on a gnoblar for the purpose of counts-as an Ogre Firebelly. The Drem makes that happen.


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