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.
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.
We’re running a miniature league right now. Basically, each session is a single ITS mission, we escalate the points a little each time, and at the end of the sessions we score it like a tournament. It just takes us three months is all, grin. So far it seems like a good option for us, providing the time to get in proper matches while fitting into our Sunday evening availability.
Our most recent Infinity night saw us playing out session 2 of 3, and the ITS scenario assigned to the evening was Rescue. Group consensus? Once was plenty, let’s never play Rescue again.
Rescue felt like one of those overly complicated ITS scenarios where you keep losing track of what you’re supposed to do. Not as fiddly ss some, but still a lot of extra stuff to keep track of. We had two games running (only 4 of us that night), and we finished with scores of 0-0 and 6-0. Almost nobody was able to get effectively through the massive difficult-terrain exclusion zone.
I had the 6pts, and even that pretty much hinged on the fact that I brought Uxia with me and managed to drop her into Pan-O’s dead zone, halving the distance she’d need to travel. If she’d failed her deployment, I’d have done significantly worse.
I was out sick for week 4,but back in action for week 5, up against an unofficial wood elves list. As one might guess, my dwarves had a rough go of it. I think I could have done better with the benefit of hindsight, but winning this one would have been a long shot any day of the week.
I deployed in two melee groups (plus a couple of thunderers up high in a central third area with good sightlines), but this was a straight skirmish with no loot, so I’d have been better off bulking all the melee into one clump. I could have focused my limited strengths a lot better.
Eventually I was spread really thin with terrible lines on everybody (too close as the crow flies to run, but too far by usable routes to close the gap). Especially at dwarf speed. I will certainly be hoping to avoid elves during the final few sessions.
Nonetheless, had a lot of fun, and it was my first time playing this particular player; it was nice to finally face off after chatting so many times. I did well of my Wyrdstone rolls, too, so I’m still doing pretty well overall. I think the wood elves are winning, but I’m surprisingly close behind the leaders for somebody that’s almost exclusively lost. Grin.
This weekend the Tall Order faced off against some Beastmen Raiders, and it could have gone better. It started well, but was a pretty weird confrontation. They had no ranged attacks but huge charge ranges. I got a few shots in early, but forgot my noble’s BS5 and then had some trouble in close combat. Before long my noble, pit fighter, dog, and the beardlings were all either out or down. A lot more down than out when my turn started, so I opted to retreat.
After my disappointing retreat (I usually push things far beyond any reasonable point), we crunched the numbers and levelled our warbands. It came to our attention that the Beastmen Raiders were almost double my own rating, which made me feel a bit better. Hayl Stormcannon, my engineer, got Eagle Eyes so he should be more effective at shooting in the future, and Shank (my lone surviving Clansman) became a Hero.
Herring, one of my two beardlings, was killed.