February brought me my new Saga books along with some viking dice, wire spears, and a couple of new units. The wire spears meant I finally finished assembling all of my previous units (I’d been holding out, avoiding those soft metal spears they came with).
All of this also got me jazzed to paint something for the local shop’s historical miniature painting contest, so I picked out a hearthguard that was already prepped and primed and got cracking.
You’ll notice I’m also using my citadel painting handle for the first time. I picked it up a little while ago, but I’ve only painted cars for gaslands since then so this was my first real opportunity to try it out; colour me impressed. Even using the non – beveled Renedra base, it kept a good grip throughout the project.
Flat Earth for the ground, Red Leather for the helmet, Golden Yellow for the hair/beard, and a Game Colour orange for the tunic. It was a very bright orange (I think I’ve previously just used it for Escher gangers), and I had doubts right up until the final clear coat.
The pants are a Heavy Opaque Blue (I love the coverage the heavy Game Colours provide) and mostly Gory Red on the shield.
Oily steel for the metals, and I mixed some of my Red Ochre pigment into my gore to get it a bit chunkier and I liked the results; I’ll definitely do that again.
And that’s my first Viking Hirdman, all painted up and waiting for me to paint up some fitting compatriots.
In anticipation of Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago, I’ve been browsing around for fun and appropriate miniatures I wouldn’t generally have a use for. Freebooter’s Fate came up in one of my searches; I was leaning pretty hard into the Amazons. Shipping them was going to be a pricey option and the shop I’m at doesn’t have any easier access than I do, so I did some research and lined up a couple destinations to hit up while I was in Toronto a couple weeks ago. They had most of what appealed to me in stock, so I spent some moneydollars and got me some Amazons.
First off, they come with interesting bases. Square plastic bases with a recess that holds a molded metal piece. I was originally planning to put these minis on round bases, but these looked interesting enough that I decided to give them a shot. Annoyingly, they stick out significantly as is, as they’re a little taller and wider than really fits in the recess. This might be intentional (I suppose I could have glued them in place and then used green stuff to bevel/fill the base edges), but I opted to trim and file them until they fit in nicely, generating a little more of a defined edge.
The first one I put together was Canita, who stands on one leg and has a sizable headdress of sorts. The mounting hole in the molded metal base piece was a little on the large side, so I had to green stuff her into place. Unfortunately she’s pretty top heavy, so I had to get creative to keep her aligned (she kept falling over when left vertical).
Next up was a paired set which went pretty smoothly. I pinned the limbs (most of these Amazons are pretty slender, so the majority of these minis were pinned with staples) and the feet fit much more snugly into the base piece. Chicomeh and Matqueh complete.
The Atl-Atl pair is what things got frustrating again. The miniatures themselves are very clean, super minimal moldlines and almost zero flash. Unfortunately, every time a piece is attached to the ‘sprue’, it’s attached at a joint (you can see this in the initial Canita image as well). This means a whole mess of garbage metal in all the spots you desperately need to fit together cleanly. By the time I’d trimmed, filed, and cleaned a given part, I was left with some annoying gaps.
Given how many parts these are (Occepa is a *7 piece* miniature), this got old fast. Fortunately a lot of the pieces were arms, hair, and other forgiving joints, but it would have been far nicer to see the flash/sprue on the actual part, where I can clean and file it without obliterating crucial surfaces.
The end results generally looked great, but required a little more work to make fit properly than I think they should have. The arms had bumps and divots at the joints to allow for solid non-pinned connections, but then there’d be so much garbage metal burying the ‘bumps’ that it served zero real purpose anyway. I always ended up filing and pinning anyway.
Occepa is my personal favourite. She’s big and powerful, and wears armour made from a crocodile. But 7 pieces! Arrgh! Torso/legs, left arm (shield), right arm (hand weapon), hair, upper croc jaw, lower croc jaw, and croc tail.
Part of me was pretty tempted to paint some parts before assembling, but I ended up deciding that with this many finicky parts, I’d be better off putting everything together first, so I could be a little rougher during the process.
Painting is going to be a pain, but I’ll figure it out, no doubt. Lots of the trouble spots are going to be pretty hard to see, anyway. The tail and loincloth covers a lot, and the shield blocks much of her left side. Frustrating as I expect all aspects of this to be, though, I am super excited about it. I never realized I needed this miniature until I put it together, and now I want a dozen like it. It’s going to look great!
This guy consists of some *very* big chunks of metal. There is definitely some pinning involved in this, and i’m leaving some parts off for now.There are front and back armour ‘plates’ that will get added later but i’m holding off as there are some large paintable details on the back side of those. I’m sure this thing will be awkward enough to paint as it is. That right arm with the guns is big enough that I can barely place that back armour plate as it is.
The pieces for this desperado were trimmed and cleaned up about the same time as the other one; he’s just been sitting in a box waiting for me to be in the mood. That finally happened the last week. A while back, my youngest son found his way into my workspace, and managed to knock a whole bunch of prepped and cleaned – but unassembled – infinity miniatures onto the floor. 2 grunts, this desperado, the dismounted maverick, and a couple others. Between one of those mottled rugs that hide everything you spill on them, loose hardwood flooring with very wide cracks, and the space just generally being overpacked with random hobby stuff, it took me a long while to find everything… almost everything. One Grunt arm stayed missing. This was probably a year or more ago now.
Recently I was tidying up some of the random pile of hobby junk, and decided to really search every square inch of the space in the hopes of turning up that arm. At one point I reached into a bag of Atari cartridges and similar stuff and pulled out a plastic bag full of 72-pin connectors and other loose NES parts. I emptied the bag, but didn’t see anything. This is the part where my desperation really began to show; I reached in and pushed out the corners of the bag, and broke out my flashlight… and there it was! The missing arm!
The downside of this discovery is that I promptly abandoned by cleaning efforts, but I was also overcome with the desire to build infinity models so I’m calling it an overall win (and thus began sudden burst of assembling unbuilt models).
There’s a fair but of pinning in this one, although less than my previous Desperado (I’m giving the gorilla glue a little more credit these days, now that I’ve got more use under my belt). The big example is the exhaust. I have no idea how anybody thinks that thing will stay on without some serious help, so it’s pinned at the tire edge. Pretty sure I also pinned that little crosspiece that runs through the bottom of the bike (little footpedal things? I’m obviously a real bike expert…); it seems like something that shouldn’t need pinning, but it’s just a little too loose in that hole and doesn’t want to stay where it belongs. I had the same experience with the first one, months ago.
There’s also a pin in his butt, that’s not currently glued into the seat, so that I can more easily paint him separately and attach him later.
Some of these are less in focus than others, but there you have it. My first Infinity building blast in a while, including my Outrage sniper whose name starts with a K. Can I just say I really enjoy how Infinity miniature generally piece together really well? I think I take it for granted sometimes, but the whole process just goes so much smoother than with some other stuff. More on that when I eventually get around to telling you about my recent Freebooter pickups.
Ugh. I like these minis, but the slottas are hot garbage. I wish I’d thought to take a picture. Awkward shapes and sizes, some of them were more like thick flash or chunks of bad sprues. I’ve almost never used green stuff for bases, but I used it for every single one of these. Gross. Don’t know when I’ll get around to painting any of these (I haven’t enough free time to actually try/play Judge Dredd these days, so right now they’re more of a curiosity than something I’ll actually make use of).
Spent a couple evenings just cleaning and assembling Vikings (plus a couple random Hasslefree minis).
Started just thinking I’d get a couple prepped for future Historical-themed painting contests, then got into the swing of it and did a bunch. Even then I was still planning to leave the spear wielders until later (I’m going to be ordering some wire spears as soon as Gripping Beast have their Viking dice back in stock), but just kept going.
‘Twas a strange mood for me, but I figured I’d take advantage while I was feeling it.
I’ll have to post the whole lot of them at some point, but this’ll have to do for now…
Finally, my third September miniature, and my entry into the SciFi/Modern painting competition at ThunderCon.
This one was never likely to make the top 3; SciFi/Modern is our toughest competition, but I often like to use these competitions just get some cool miniatures into peoples’ faces.
It’s a pretty simple miniature – not a lot of bells and whistles – but it looks really good. Another brilliant miniature from Hasslefree.
I did have one unfortunate disaster. I was basically done with Shaggy and was working on Qadira when I spilled about a half bottle of Reikland Fleshshade. Shaggy took the brunt of it, and wound up soaked to about the knee.
I used a paper towel to stop the pool from spreading and ran Shaggy down to the bathroom for a quick rinse, which as you might expect did a number on some of the previously applied washes. The figure I just touched up, but the base had been basically finished and I didn’t want to mess up the lower portion of the figure any further, so I didn’t do much recovery on the base. Most of the paint held okay, but I lost some of the deepest shades.
Regardless, I’m endlessly entertained by this miniature, and it got a lot of comments and attention (even if it didn’t win anything). It generated less of discussion, and that’s really the most I can generally hope for is some conversation and newly-sparked interest.
This miniature has been sitting on the shelf for a while now, waiting for me to be ready for it.
Each arm was a separate piece, with the join being just under the bangle – looking item on each upper arm. I knew I was going to want to pin them in place, but I’ve never had a small enough drill bit for the task. I’ve used a coworker’s on occasion, but I wanted to be able to work on this one at home. A while back my last micro bit finally broke, and I found myself ordering more. I bought a whole pile of them at once, and when they finally arrived a few months later (ah, international shipping), I decided it was finally time to tackle this model.
I used a 0.6mm bit and a piece of a staple for the task, and I’m very happy with the results.
I painted this one at the same time as I was working on the viking Bondi and Shaggy. I was originally planning to base it for use in regular Frostgrave, but in the end I decided that was probably pushing the ‘insufficiently dressed for the weather’ thing a bit too far (I already have a bunch of those, haha), and decided she’d make a pretty great Heritor or Warden for F:GA.
I definitely ran into some hiccups applying the washes, and had to repaint/rewash a couple of flesh areas, but came out pretty decently. Used a lot of different shades on this one, which is something I’ve been making an effort to do; I used to just wash the whole miniature in a single shade, and with a few exceptions, this is well worth the effort.
The water ended up drying a little further (and hence more clear), but I definitely should have kept the matte clear coat off of it. Something to keep in mind for next time.