Saturday, May 24, 2014

Myranda proxy for Malifaux

Myranda is ready for some primal fury. 

The model is from the Tharn Bloodtracker unit by Privateer Press, repurposed for Marcus' crew in Malifaux.

Now that she's painted, maybe I won't set her up to be killed off, like I did at last Monday night's game!

And for those folks who play Malifaux, here's a battle report from that game:

I tried my hand at learning Marcus again, this game being my third try. My opponent played The Guild, with Lady Justice.  We brought enough building terrain to make an interesting village center, and we borrowed one of the new stumps to place in the middle, which we decided served as the village stage.  In addition to hosting village plays on the massive stump, the platform is used to entertain the village crowds in equal measure as a gallows, fitting for last night’s participation of The Executioner.
The Guild prepared themselves as a shooting crew, with 2 Austringers, 2 Guild Riflemen, and 2 Guardsmen (?), along with Lady Justice, The Executioner, and The Judge.  I was already nervous, having brought a melee crew, with all of the objectives laid out in the middle in the open, where my guys would be exposed to the shooters.  I had Marcus, his pet Jackalope, his mate, Myranda, the Sabertooth Cerberus, 2 Razorspine Rattlers, 3 Molemen, and 1 Canine Remains.
Marcus, heeding the call of his wild, independent spirit, set up his mate, Myranda, and chose for one of his schemes, Frame for Murder.  Lady Justice took the bait and, flipping a Red Joker, decisively clove Myranda in twain with her Greatsword.  This little cat-fight gave me a cozy 3-point lead in Victory Points, on Turn 2!
The Rattlers took to the flanks to intercept the shooters who were setting up perches.  The Rattlers were effective to reach their targets quickly and neutralize the shooting threat, tying up the closely grouped shooters.  The Austringers were still in the backfield, however, and despite good efforts by the Jackalope to cross the board and rip out their lungs, he was unfortunately intercepted by a Guardsman.  The Austringers spent the game Delivering Orders to great effect, enabling the remainder of the crew to double their Scheme-laying capacity.  Damn Austringers!  Is there nothing they can’t do?!  Grrr.
The Sabertooth Cerberus finally laid down some pain for the first time, instead of being killed straight-off.  However, the combats for the most part stalemated, while attention shifted more towards competing for enough activations to place and/or destroy Scheme Markers and Squat Counters.  Amidst the confusion of a myriad of tactical options, I bungled optimizing two of Marcus’ activations, which enabled the Guild team to close the gap on Victory Points and tie the game right at the end of Turn 5.
We had a very interesting game that featured a lot of maneuver and hard tactical choices.  I learned some hard lessons about Marcus and the difficulty for setting up combos among his crew.  But I did pull off a tough combo that allowed me to take control of Lady Justice, and I thought I used that pretty well to move her out of position and wreak some havoc against her own crew. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

WIP - Malifaux Molemen

 I'm working on my Marcus crew, slowly, here and there.  Here was the first session for expanding my existing posse of 3 Molemen with another whole set.  The star-nosed mole is one that I scavenged from a Reaper blister, before I found a source for the real deal, albeit an hour-drive away.  The Moleman on the far right is one from my original set, which I painted 3 or 4 years ago.  I tried to match the colors, but I was surprised how hard it is to do!

Here's a later session.  I still need to base them, but I'm going to call the Molemen done, other than the basing.

I enjoyed painting these simpler models, after the intense work I did preparing for Crystal Brush.  But I was still surprised how much more involved it was to paint these models, compared to painting the same versions 3 or 4 years ago.  It's like I'm pining for a simpler time, back when all I knew how to do was washes!

Of course, the irony is that after all the trouble I went through to expand my Moleman forces (I only needed a fourth), I'm probably going to trade the extra Moleman for a Canine Remains in my crew.  After playing Marcus twice, I don't think I need all 4 Molemen to work Schemes.  And a Canine Remains can turn enemy models into Beasts to help out Marcus and also work some Poison in tandem with Myranda.

The boardwalks in the photo are a new acquisition, made by 4Ground.  Very nice and fast to put together, and ready to throw on the tabletop.  I could certainly paint them, but the natural wood color does a good job making it look like, well yeah, wood.  These will be perfect for Malifaux, for either the Western theme or the bayou theme.  I can also use them as wharfs and piers for my canal district that I'm working on.

Speaking of acquisitions, here's another recent one.  I'm not keen on the game-rules for Godslayer, but the models look fantastic.  I have no immediate use for these models in a game, but I find myself itching to work on them! 

To scratch that itch, I cleaned up one of the minotaurs.  The cast is excellent.  Nary a mold line to be found.  And the detail on both sets is very nice.  Really fine models.

I considered using the Kinswords for Saga, but, unfortunately, they're a tad larger-scale than the Gripping Beast models that my buddy is using.  Too bad.  The Kinswords would be perfect for Saga.  Such great poses.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

MFCA 2014

I spent Saturday at the annual art show held by the Miniature Figure Collectors of America.  It's almost a 3-hour drive from Alexandria, Virginia to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (just west of Philadelphia), but it's worth it to see the top-tier figure-painting there.  This year is the second time I attended, and the show is hands-down the best show in my limited circuit.

MFCA is unique, in that local law firms contribute stipends in order to bring over a good number of European artists.  For example, I had the pleasure to spend much time chatting with the very gentlemanly Ben Komets.  But I forgot to have my picture taken with him, darn it!

But I'll start out my gallery of favorites with a few of his pieces.  Naturally, one of my favorites are Rackham figures...

A rare Rackham bust.  The toad has a lot of subtle coloring.  It was pretty spectacular.

On to other artists.  This sculpt was a limited production run, based off "Jack" by Brom.  I considered buying a copy, but I decided I couldn't come up with anything more interesting than what the top-tier artists were doing with it, and I would just enjoy their renditions.  Case in point!

I love the coloring on this.

Very convincing weight and movement.

The next two were at the show last year, but it was nice to see them again.

A new one to expand on the theme of the Mad Hatter.  This one earned a gold.

Here's the sculpt that Jeremie Bonamant Taboul painted for Crystal Brush.

Generally, I'm tired of seeing Space Marines, but this one is exceptional, because the freehand is just insane.

Some incredible freehand on his shoulder.  This tattoo was miniscule.
This was a really cool concept.

This won Best in Show in Fantasy.

The road sign is hilarious.

Here are some gaming figures by John Meeks, a fella from New Jersey who I hope to see enter his work at the Capital Palette competition for the NOVA Open.  I really like his use of color.  Very chromatic, without going overboard.  I never noticed the gypsy style of the character on the right, until I saw his rendition.

John and I were the only folks showing gaming figures, so it was nice to have some company!

Of course, my interests are predominantly in the Fantasy category, but I really enjoyed the Historical category, too, which is really the dominant part of the MFCA show.  Here are some of my faves.

This is on the cover of Scale Model Handbook #1.
Neat display.
Tiny freehand!

And finally, here is what my humble display looked like, in the midst of all this finery.

A quick little story.  I noticed a group of folks at my display, and one of them was handling my figures, picking them up and turning them around and what-not -- a big no-no for a show like this!  I approached them and requested that the gentleman not handle the miniatures.  He looked at me like I was out-of-line, so I explained that the figures were mine.  He then informed me that his group were the show judges, and they were in the process of judging my figures!

In spite of that embarrassing misstep, I am proud to say that I earned a Silver.  The judges pick what they consider to be the strongest piece from each artists' display.  For mine they picked Sapo, the frog-guy bust on the right.

Wendy, one of the judges I know, informed me later that it was a toss-up between Sapo and the Rat Fiend on the left.  That was satisfying to hear, because I'm pretty pleased with that figure, and this is the first competition I've entered him in.  Same for Sapo.  I couldn't enter them in the Crystal Brush, because they've appeared in on-line challenges.  But earning a Silver at MFCA is as much the honor it would have been to earn a Silver at Crystal Brush -- really, more, given the level and volume of competition at MFCA.