First two Freebooter Amazons to be painted will be one of the Atl-Atl pair, and Occepa; today I’ll be focusing on the former. I expect Occepa’s crocodile armour will take a bit more time and energy and I wanted to get one of these finished for this month’s Paint the Thunder painting competition, so Atl-Atl #1 will be painted first.
Initially I was thinking I’d work on them simultaneously, so the base flesh coat can be seen here on both of them.
I’m making use of Vallejo’s Red Leather quite a bit for the armour on this one; I’m a big fan of the colour and use it a lot, which I like to think has the unintended side-effect of bringing my warbands together. Like they all shop at the same armourer, haha. My minor focus on Frostgrave over the last year or so has resulted in me having more varieties of blue than in most other colours, so I’ll be making use of those as well. I also just really like using the blues; they generally look pretty good on most models, and seem like a colour set that’s not impossible in a fantasy setting. Of course, in a fantasy setting, I suppose *any* colour is reasonable… you just need to tailor the setting to provide the dyes. Grin. Still…
Skin tone is a Vallejo Medium Flesh (it generally feels darker to me than the Dark Flesh does, but maybe that’s just me), with Vallejo Charcoal grey for the hair. I’ve been liking it as an alternative to black, because it darkens well with a wash, while still retaining some depth, which avoids me having to try and build depth with drybrushing and/or highlights, which I don’t feel very strong at (especially where hair is concerned).
My initial washing effort involved a Vallejo Skin Wash, which seemed insanely dark. I always think I’m going to like it, and maybe if I did a lot more highlighting as part of my process I would, but it was just so much darker than expected. Even then, it would probably have worked just fine, but it’s also redder than I think I expected. I might try it with one of my other Amazons – like I said, I feel like it should work for them – but it just looked too much like the Red Leather (oh, that left foot!), which sort of muddled the entire paint scheme. Ended up going with the old standby, Citadel Reikland Fleshshade, and I feel good about the result. I did make use of the Skin Wash for the armour, and I really liked the result I got there. The Vallejo washes are significantly more intense, and I’m never quite prepared for what I get when brush first hits model. What I probably really need to do is just sit down with some miniatures I *don’t* care so much about and get in some practice.
The base is Citadel Stormvermin Grey, I think, washed with Citadel Agrax Earthshade and drybrushed with Citadel Flayed One Flesh. I used some Vallejo Dark Green (I think?) wash to add a bit of colour and depth afterward.
Close enough for my first Freebooter Amazon, I think. I’m not very good at taking pictures of the process, am I? Once I get painting I just don’t really think about it, and there are way better painters than me out there providing tutorials. Ha. Nonetheless, I am writing a blog so I’m trying to provide a little more detail in case something I’ve done actually does grab you. No reason to make it impossible to suss out. Next time: Occepa!
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!
The very day I was leaving town to visit a friend of mine, what should arrive in the mail? My Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago Nickstarter, courtesy of Bad Squiddo Games. F:GA will make a larger appearance in some future posts, no doubt, but the reason I went with Bad Squiddo was to add in a few additional miniatures, including a couple of Statuesque miniatures for use with my very unofficial Escher gang.
Rosa the machinegunner was first to get built upon my return to the frozen North, and of course I opted to do some pinning. Her joints varied from a light ball/socket treatment to flat pairs, and I don’t like to take chances. Plus I generally enjoy pinning. That said, Rosa is not a big model (Statuesque is a true scale sort of deal), so we went with staples. Having a smaller bit has been wonderful in terms of being able to pin truescale miniatures without putting them at huge risk (some of my Infinity miniatures are almost more pin than model at some joints).
Fortunately the staples have some give to them (just like the copper wire I use for bigger pinning jobs) so the opposed angles of the arm and wrist didn’t prevent this from working at all. That said, I was definitely wishing I’d thought the angles through a little more before starting.
I’m definitely pleased with the end result. Rosa is a mini I looked at ages ago when I first started looking into Necromunda, but looking at only a couple of miniatures direct from Statuesque meant shipping was going to hurt a little too much too justify. Not that it was outrageously high, but split across only a couple of minis it just didn’t go far enough for me.
I also picked up a second Statuesque mini for use as an Escher juve:
I’ve got lots of gangers and quite a number of heavy options, but I’m pretty short on appropriate juve miniatures, so I’m looking to increase my options there. I also picked a up a couple of girls hauling guns and teddy bears from Hasslefree, but no doubt they’ll make an appearance later.
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.