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.
Took my Dwarf Treasure Hunters out for another spin last night, and the dice were on *my* side this time around. Faced off against some Middenheimers in a Wyrdstone Hunt and had much better luck, although there’s no ignoring that 3″ movement. The combats certainly went better this time (a lot of whiffing for both of us, but I was able to land a few at least). I grabbed a couple of the closest Wyrdstone shards, but couldn’t beat the Middenheimers to anything in the middle. I caught a couple of them in combat near the middle, but they’d already spirited the Wyrdstone away.
I didn’t lose anybody this time, which made a tremendous difference in the final Wyrdstone search, so I should be able to hire an extra dwarf or two. I still need to flip through the rules again and get a better feel for the various spending options. Until then!
A year or so ago, I wrote about playing Gorkamorka. It went well, and I ended up winning a very awesome Mordheim warband as a prize. Last year, try as I might, I was unable to make it out to the Mordheim portion of the Wayback, but this year is already better! The first session was Saturday, and I was there with bells on, for two full games; a Skirmish with J’s Sisters of Sigmar and a Wyrdstone Hunt with D’s Cult of the Possessed. And you know what I’ve learned so far?
Dwarves are *hard*. As I may have written about previously, my one-time regular gaming group and I tried Mordheim on our own a few years back, and I fielded Skaven since that’s what I play in Fantasy (so I have lots of minis already). They were faster than most factions… Dwarf Treasure Hunters are not fast. They are super slow. A full run only nets 6 inches, which means it’s hard to get to the Wyrdstone, it’s almost impossible to effectively set up charges, and I can’t outrun *anything*.
Also, my dice *hated* me, so maybe I have a skewed sense of the difficulty involved. I’m looking forward to next time, but after 2 full games I’m in no better shape than I started (although a little more experienced). The game against the Possessed was particularly rough. I was down a Slayer (healing from a Deep Wound received during my first battle) so I only had six Dwarfs going in. 5 got taken out, 3 died. It was a rough session. Fortunately the Engineer that *didn’t* get dropped made it out with multiple Wyrdstone markers, so I at least managed to replace the dead, more or less…
Until next time!
Fired up a Thaw of the Lich Lord campaign at Thunder Games and Gifts the last week. ‘Total Eclipse’ was a blast, with a pair of necromancers going head to head.
Guile Malmortus and his Death Defiers had barely begun their most recent foray into the frozen ruins of Felstad when Damnation Allie’s HeartTakers arrived from the north. Guile had his soldiers dig in and prepare for a fight, but Allie’s soldiers were particularly aggressive today and surged across the battered cobblestones to engage their competitors. Multiple zombie trolls burst onto the western edge of the battlefield, interfering with Guile Malmortus and his personal cohort, and while Guile managed to lead his men in vanquishing the zombie trolls, the Death-Defiers had rougher luck in their dealings with the HeartTakers, struggling against the savage onslaught. Striking terror into the hearts of her enemies, an infantryman named Ursa led the bloody charge, cleaving both air and foe alike with her deadly axe and advancing so quickly that only the hounds could keep up.
By the time the total eclipse occurred, the battle was largely over, with the HeartTakers grabbing anything that looked to be of value and the Death Defiers hauling their wounded from the scene of the confrontation. Spike was the only member of the HeartTakers (one of two warhounds) knocked down during the fight, and he fully recovered. The Death Defiers recovered their luck, and all 8 injured parties made full recoveries! They truly earned their name on this day!
Battle on the River is next, and is scheduled for Thursday November 24th!
We played Hunger Games last weekend. There were four of us, 2 Nomads, a Haqqislam, and my Ariadna . One of the Nomads is pretty new to the game, and Hunger Games made a nice light introduction for him, since he only needed a few miniatures put together for it. I brought Van Zant, an SAS, and a volunteer; the volunteer was the only model that wasn’t new to me.
I won, but that was as much luck as anything else. I fielded the SAS poorly and he wound up facing off against Trevor’s Nomad sniper before my turn even rolled around. With a chain rifle and an assault pistol, he didn’t last long. I also lost the volunteer during the first round, but she took out 2/3 of Tyler’s Nomad force with her light grenade launcher before getting shot, so I’m calling that a win. It was a very quick and violent game, and by the time Van Zant arrived in turn two there were only a couple of soldiers left and everybody was charging around whooped up on their metachemistry rolls.
The other thing I’ve done hobby-wise is put together a desperado.
Lots of pinning, of course . Most of the major bike parts, plus a few in the desperado himself, and one linking the two together . That one’s not fully glued yet; I’m thinking I’ll paint first and then combine them afterward (there are a *lot* of contact points between the rider and the bike and I feel like painting them afterward would be a nightmare).