Monday, 22 April 2013

Malifaux: Nicodem crew

I've been feeling the draw of the grave recently, i.e. I've been thinking about playing Nicodem again for a bit. I've added a few models to the crew since I last played it, which is getting on for a year ago, and the Avatar is still sat on my "to be painted" shelf forlornly.

Anyway, I found this photo from last time I played Nicodem, it's kind of a crew summary picture which was taken for a club league last year:

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Malifaux: First Blood

I wanted to add an addendum to my Viktoria tactics article and talk a little about the Viks specific scheme First Blood.  Here's what it says:

This scheme must be announced.

If the first two models killed during the encounter were models in enemy Crews, you score 2 VP.

The first thing to notice about this scheme is nowhere does it mention that you have to kill those first two models.  The second thing to notice is that it says killed, as opposed to sacrificed.  Third thing is that those 2VP are locked in and can't be taken away from you.  I always prefer schemes like that (such as Kill Protege) rather than one's that arrive at the end of the game (such as Stake a Claim).

This is a scheme I will always save to use against certain masters.  Here's some examples where you can use this scheme to pick up some easy and early VP:

-Ressurectionist masters.  Alot of times your Rezzer opponent is going to sit back and cut up dogs, desperate mercs etc in that first turn to get body parts, corpse counters etc.  Either they're going to carry on doing that and gift you the VP, or they're not going to do it in which case, they're now playing your game and not theirs.
-A popular trick with Kirai is the dog/desperate mercenary cut up in order to get Gaki/Onryo/Seishin between Kirai and Datsue-Ba.  That's two VP's for you, or they wasted the points buying those two models.
-Hamelin.  Those rats die easily, go for the rats for the two easy kills.
-Leviticus.  The classic Levi list is to take the Canine Remains, kill it first turn and turn it into a second Hollow Waif.  That's one half of your scheme done.  The second kill comes in when Levi inevitably kills himself, ideally at the end of the first turn.

Whoever you take this scheme against, always make sure you're looking for those easy kills early doors, but remember not to risk your key pieces like Swordmistress Viktoria to get them.  Von Schill is good for this as he can move about the board very quickly and pick off vulnerable models easily with his clockwork seeker.

As an example of this, have a listen to the Bayou Broadcast episode 20.  Craig talks about his last game at Vapnartak tournament where he used Von Schill to move around and pick off those easy kills from Joel's Dreamer crew (Daydreams in that case).  Craig was using Ten Thunders for that game, but it's a good example of using the speed and ranged punch of Von Schill to get early kills.  That can easily be extended into your Viks crew.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Hobby: Making tiled floor bases

Following on from my last post on Sim29, I thought I'd do a simple tutorial on making tiled floor bases which is what I've done on my McMourning crew.

I've refined the lab base technique I originally trialled with the original McMourning who now really looks like he needs rebasing in comparison to Sim29 and Miss Pack (which I've now done, see below).  The technique is very simple to do and looks pretty good I think.  Here's how I did it.

1-  Fill in the slot in the base with GS, Milliput or whatever.  You're going to be applying pressure to this later, so you don't want to be pushing your green stuff through the slot.  Let this dry before moving on to the next stage:

2 - Cover the base in green stuff.  I think I used Milliput on my original McMourning, but that doesn't work nearly as well as GS.

3- Smooth out the green stuff with your preferred sculpting tool to roughly spread it over the base:

4- Use something smooth and cylindrical (thank you, titter ye not) to roll the GS flat, even and smooth on the base.  I use the plastic tube that my green stuff comes in.  It'll end up nice and smooth like this:

5- Smooth out any bit where there are fingerprints showing or it's a bit uneven.  If necessary, roll it out again.  I don't get too hung up over slight imperfections here, as I figure that McMourning's lab floor is pretty far from perfect.

6- Score lines over the GS in your preferred tile pattern.  I use a fairly blunt hobby knife to do it with.  I usually start with a cross in the middle like this:

This cross then guides the rest of the lines.  Try and push down with this rather than dragging as you don't want to be moving the GS about on the base.  You could use a ruler or something to get straight lines, but I just do it by eye.  You should end up with something like this:

You might end up with the odd wonky line or slight bend (I've got a couple here), so just run up and down any lines again taking care to press rather than drag where possible.

7- Leave to dry then mount the model on it.  Ideally you'll want to pin it to the base.

Here's a finished example, minus the miniature:

As I'd made this, I decided I might as well rebase McMourning with it, so here he is:

There's a Flesh Construct still to come to finish off this McMourning specific part of the crew.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Malifaux: Little and Large

More models done, this time for my McMourning crew:  Zombie Chihuahua and Simulacrum-29.

If you haven't seen Sim29 in the flesh, then this thing is huge.  That's a 50mm base he's stood on to give you an idea of the scale.

Painting wise Sim29 was actually pretty quick to get done.  The whole thing was painted in several thin layers of VMC Flat Flesh before a several washes of various hues, some purple, some flesh etc and then drybrushed highlights.  Once I'd drybrushed the highlights I went back over several areas of the model with a thin paint layer of the same colour in order to smooth out the highlight.

I'm in the process of writing up a quick tutorial on how I did the bases, so stay tuned for that.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Painting: Blood Strings Effects

Following on from my last post on using Tamiya Clear Red to make blood effects, you can use the same stuff (and a couple of other things) to make blood strings.  This is the kind of effect we want, shown here on Kirai's shears:

This is really easy to achieve, and here's what you need for it:

-Some cocktail sticks, bits of sprue or something you don't mind getting ruined.
-Some Tamiya Clear Red
-Paint or ink to darken the Clear Red, for example brown or black
-Some UHU All purpose clear glue.  This stuff:

This cost me about a pound for a massive tube.  It's very, very stringy which you will notice as soon as you squeeze any of it out.  Of course, stringy is exactly what we want for this effect.  UHU glue holds a special place for me since back in the very late 80's it was the same glue I used to stick together my first ever plastic miniature kit:  Skeleton Army.  As I re-call it pretty much sucked for that, but it's good for blood strings!

Step 1:
Squeeze some glue out on to a suitable surface and quickly mix into it whatever paint or inks you want to use to tint the glue:

This was a mix of Clear Red and Vallejo Charred Brown.  Having tried it with both brown and black, I think I prefer the black/clear red mix.

Step 2:
Grab a cocktail stick, scoop up some glue and apply it to the model where you want it.  You'll need to work very quickly here as the glue starts to set fast, literally you have less than a minute to do this.  Make sure you draw the glue between which ever surfaces you need to have the blood strings between.  You should end up with something like this:

Step 3:
Leave it to set and you're done.

These strings are very thin, so it goes without saying you're going to need to be careful if you're going to be handling this model alot.  You may also want to do this after you've varnished the model, since I can't tell you what effect varnish will have on it (probably none but test it first).

Of course, you don't have to use Clear Red for this, you can use any colour you want to get different effects like slime, drool etc.  Here's some examples of where I've used the technique:

This is a zombie from Studio Miniatures, which I use as a Mindless Zombie in Malifaux.  Make's his insides look like they're about to drop out.

A ghostly Malifaux Drowned.  This one is slimy rather than bloody, as she's just crawled out of the water.  In this one I mixed the UHU with green ink to tint it green.

I've also tried the effect to simulate saliva on my Rogue Necromancy but it's quite small so I couldn't get a decent photo of it.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Painting: Blood effects

A club mate put me on to this stuff, and it is really nice for making blood effects:

Tamiya Clear Red X27. I got mine in Model Zone which is a UK high street model shop for about £2 or something.

It says on the side it acrylic paint, but it's weird stuff not like GW or Vallejo acrylic. Just use a brush you don't care about on it.  It also reeks so use it in a well ventilated area.

It's quite a bright red, so mixing it with brown or black paint (just normal acrylic paint works) makes it a bit more gory. Once you've mixed it, then stippling it on the area you want gory, poke it with a brush. I like to use an old tooth brush to flick blood over the area as well, but you might need to water it down a bit to do that.  If you take a look at good ol' Avatar Seamus' fists here, this is an example of effect we're looking for:

One thing, the clear red has a gloss effect, so either you want to do this post varnish or go over it after using gloss varnish.

Clear Red is also going to be useful when you're making blood and gore strings which I'll cover in the next post which should be up over the coming weekend.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Malifaux: Kirai crew so far

I've put in some work recently on the Kirai models that I got for Christmas.  I've got a couple of Gaki done which are kind of meh (not a fan of the models, therefore didn't do a very good paint job).  I've also got the chaff part of the crew done, all the Seishin and Lost Love:

As you can see, I've decided to go with bright colours with this crew.  That's something that I don't paint very often at all, so it's more of a  challenge.  The models above are mostly done with Vallejo Model Colour Blue Green which is rapidly becoming a favourite of mine (see my Seamus and aSeamus for example).

Having got those done, I went to do Kirai next and I'm very happy with how she came out:

Again, I've gone with the bright colour scheme for Kirai.  The sash is the blue green again, and the purple is done using VGC Warlord Purple (I forget the exact name) which is the Vallejo equivalent of GW's Liche Purple, another favourite colour of mine.  For the face makeup I've gone for Geisha style makeup which was different and challenging.  This was started from a pale grey base and built up from there to white.

You can't see it that well on the picture above but I've added some blood strings between the shears here.  I've had more of a play with this since I took the photo and I've got it to look a bit better so I'll probably try and get a tutorial done for that at some point.

Since Kirai was done, and I'd had so much enjoyment in painting her, I decided to get Ikiryo done next.  Here they are together:

As you can see Ikiryo is in a similar colour scheme to Kirai.  I did this as Ikiryo is Kirai's vengeance and anger embodied so I wanted it to look like an extension of Kirai herself hence the similar colour scheme.  Rather than go with the exact same tone, I went for a more muted, washed out tone with Ikiryo and carried on the grey theme into her face and skin.  This was achieved by mixing the blue green and purple base coats with a mid grey (VMC London Grey in my case, but Codex Grey would do it as well).  Highlights were done by adding more and more VMC Light Sand (like Bleached Bone) to that basic mix and then layering them on.

Bases for crew are metal inserts from Black Cat bases.  All my Kirai crew and Izamu are on the same bases, and I suspect any future Misaki or Yan Lo crews will go the same way.

*I'm aware I've used old name for GW paints here, I don't know and can't be arsed to find out what stupid name they've got now.  I'm still pissed off they've got rid of the names Skull White and Chaos Black.  Anyway as you may have detected, I'm also moving to Vallejo paints away from GW.