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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

GW Trees!

Now for something different... Trees!

I had gotten this terrain a while back, even started it a few months ago. I never finished it until last night. I got a bug to finish a few items here and there and though it wouldn't take long to finish this puppy out.

I like the piece, when I first saw it years ago I thought it looked silly with the leaves. It made me think of the Lion King for some reason. But without the leaves it looks awesome, it gives a haunted woods look. I painted it in browns and khakis so that it would fit in with a green table but not look corny. It also fits in with brown and gray tables as well.

I like how the trees can be taken out and used as individual pieces, unfortunately they'd be the only ones that look similar as I do not plan on purchasing more sets of this. But it can work regardless.

I have a lot of other GW terrain that I've purchased that I want to finish as well, including the Garden of Morr and Dreadstone Blight. They made some amazing kits for terrain for Fantasy, too bad they discontinued a lot of it rather quickly. I'd give a lot for the old Tower that is just huge or the house they used to make. I guess it wasn't selling fast enough for them. They made a new set for Age of Sigmar that looks incredible, with the floating stairs and the Orb looking thing. It's a tad rich for my blood being at around $50 each, but one day when I have the disposable income and when all my other terrain is painted I may pick one up.

I got a bug to place some terrain on a mat for some reason and got this:

That's not even everything I have! I want to eventually replace the hills with ruin looking terrain so that it looks a bit better. The Morr terrain is so versatile and works very well with games, providing cover and LOS blockers without much of a footprint and gives a good flavor. I got aquarium ruins for quick footprints as well and they were pretty cheap. I've also got Cathedrals from Pegasus that need roofs, but they should be fairly simple to get done, it's just a lot of area to paint. Thank goodness I have an airbrush and pigments!

Anyway, just a quick update on work I've done lately.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Yamaziko Complete!

Boy, did I struggle with this one!

First of all, please try to ignore the giant seam in the front, with an ill attempt of sculpting in the gap. It looked perfectly fine when I was filling in the gap, but then once I primed her it looked awful. Lemonade from lemons...

Secondly she has a lot of smooth textures, and it's very hard to shade it right to create contrast - at least it was for me. A lot of what the final product became was me putting down the brush and just giving up. It definitely was much harder than I thought it would be.

I don't know what came over me when I was just inspired to start painting her. I thought she'd be so much easier. It definitely was not what I was picturing in my head.

Overall it was a great learning experience, but I was so ready to be done with her that I didn't put my heart into it and ended up just painting her very fast to be done with her.

I'm not saying I think she's bad, I just was not into it after a while. She turned out great in my eyes, but I didn't have fun with her. Oh well, another one down!

In Malifaux I've been using her a lot more lately. I've teamed her up with Misaki as an Outcast crew to try out new things. I haven't had much success with the crew, but it's got a lot to do with using a different style, and my crews turn out small since I use a lot of elite models when I need to find more 4-6 point models to fill out the gaps. I need to figure out how to utilize minions in a better capacity rather than thinking my 10 point models will do all the work.

Yamaziko does a very good job at being mobile. She has a free AP for movement with a 3" melee range, so she's very good at placing markers and schemes like Deliver a Message. She's also good for Power Ritual, Squatter's Rights, etc. She also has a minimum damage of 3, so she can stack on consistent damage without a lot of resources.

Her Brace Yari ability is extremely powerful. Being that it's a 0 action there's no reason not to use it every turn. The condition doesn't go away until she moves again, so Strategies like Turf War really make her shine. If you weaken models before they get into charge range the ability can be really crippling in terms of enemy options. So far of all my new additions to the crew she's been the most successful. My only weakness when using her is her upgrades. Picking some of them turn her from budget Henchman to Elite quickly, and she doesn't necessarily need them.

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Malifaux Child

Here's my latest work, the Malifaux Child!

I actually painted this one quickly since he's such a small model. I used the same NMM technique as before on his knives. I airbrushed his pants (although I didn't realize that it would look lost against the base colors I usually do) and painted the rest by hand. I tried a different recipe for his skin, this time using GW Tallarn Flesh as the base coat rather than GW Dwarf Flesh, then did my usually gradation adding GW Elf Flesh and Vallejo White. I used GW Nuln Oil wash around the eye sockets and then painted his eyes using grey, bone and white. I tried to recreate the original colors from the portrait since it's so striking and haunting. I then used the same technique I've done before with his hair by mixing GW The Fang with Black, then gradually getting up to GW Fenrisian Gray. The other new technique I tried were on the shoes using the tutorial that came with the Vallejo leather and wood set. In the end it turned out okay but it's definitely a technique that is going to need practice.

Overall he was a rather easy model to paint and pretty fun to finish.

In the game he is handy on paper, but I find it hard to use him. He's only 2SS. He has a heal, but his main ability is being able to copy any 1AP CA action from his Master. I originally got him to substitute for the Student of Conflict for the Viktorias, but after several games I may be rethinking him. I thought that he'd be more efficient for the Viks, but really he's still only saving Ashes 1AP with a chance of failing the CA for either Sisters of Fury/Battle. Granted, he's only half the cost so that's great utility for essentially making Viks more efficient, but with the Student you get another model that can use Sisters in Spirit to teleport - something the Child cannot do. Also the Student is a Sister model, which synergizes much more with Vik of Ashes and can get an extra attack from her. The Student can also give Fast out, which may be situational but it can be very important. I do prefer the Child model over the Student. I think overall it was much easier to use the Student over the Child in game.

Since my last post I've played two games. My game using the Viks against Lilith was pretty awful. Deployment mistakes along with overly-cautious play resulted in a staggering loss. Being that I was going against a very mobile master who hits like a truck much like the Viks was intimidating, especially when in the hands of a much more experienced player. I won't go into much more detail other than I got my butt handed to me.

I also played a game today trying out Misaki as an Outcast Master. It was also the first time I tried Yamaziko, Desperate Mercenary and Hannah. Overall there were a lot of misunderstandings on my part when it came to their abilities. It resulted in a 3-6 loss for me against Colette but I learned a few things. For one I like Misaki as a hit and run Master. I chose Stalking Bisento, Oathkeeper and Untouchable for her upgrades. I liked the Bisento upgrade as her limited. Disguise is a good choice for the keep away game but I think I prefer the positive flips for attacks as to assist her with avoiding that 2 weak damage and dispose of minions efficiently. Oathkeeper really helps out for an alpha strike, or utilizing AP for schemes like distract, or even putting a hurt sandwich on a model or two. Untouchable may be the one I switch out depending on the situation, as the aura didn't do much for the crew as she was moving around so darn much and she has a decent WP already. Against Ressers or Neverborn it may be the go to upgrade, but for the most part Scramble would have been put to better use for her when WP isn't in question.

Yamaziko had Oathkeeper on her. I was hoping to use her ability to drop cards from opponent's hands along with Hanna copying it to aid with Misaki's assassination triggers, but he revealed both schemes making it useless. I'm thinking maybe Scramble is a better one for her as she's already very mobile with Nimble, adding that one speed will make her very very fast and unimpeded may help her with avoiding attacks. She also has a weak damage of 3 making her not too bad against models without soaking up too many cards. I didn't use her properly at all this game and threw her to the wolves.

Lastly Hanna. Man, she is awesome. Her ability to copy CA actions is amazing, especially since she can use it on enemies! Her pool of utility is always handy. Although it turned out I didn't have much from my crew she could copy the opponent put plenty out there for me to utilize. I didn't get to use her Void ability though, and I put Scramble on her. I may shave off points since she already has a Walk 5 and doesn't need the 1 speed to be effective.

Here's yet another project I'm working on. I'm doing a commission for a friend and will paint his Dreamer boxed set for him. I'd already start on it, but I'm stuck as to what colors I want to use for them. Plus painting Lord Chompy Bits is very intimidating! He also has a metric ton of gaps I need to fill and I absolutely hate doing gap filling. Oh well, it will get done eventually!

That's all for now!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Completed Johana!

Here's my latest work, the exclusive Johana!

(For some strange reason this last one is my favorite angle, even though it shows a bad gap)

I love this model, and I knocked it out pretty quickly considering my usual fare. I had some issues with the pants and repainted them several times as I couldn't quite get the shading down, and the result was me just sighing and saying I'm done. I also repainted the blue and am still not quite happy with it, but again, I'm done. My recent breakthrough with skin tones for softer features really shines through, as she has very strong features for her face like her cheeks and jaw, but you don't want to make her lose her femininity or age her with too much shading. I like how her eyes turned out as well. Overall it works as her light skin contrasts with the blue, which contrasts the khaki. I just wish I took more care with the shirt than I did. I've also gotten my leathers working a bit better now. After I finished it my new Vallejo set for leathers came in, so we'll see if that gives me any improvement. I also like that this model isn't overtly sexualized like some of their other models are (Viktoria of Blood comes to mind). I'm not a prude by any means, but sometimes it can take away from the model. I'd have much preferred a more dynamic pose for Viktoria of Blood than her stripper pole position. Being that she's an absolute beast in the game I wish they had a pose representing her Whirlwind ability. Instead I'm stuck with a model that doesn't exactly boast intimidation. Johana, however, reminds me of Rosie the Riveter. She's got a strong pose that's still attracting without being blatantly promiscuous. Also her face is the most unique of the Malifaux women I've seen. It's a very square face, which is hard to pull off for female models since they're usually sculpted with a thin frame. I think that this model is a step in the right direction for them and how they portray their women, as women in this setting are very strong characters and are half of the plot that shape its history.

Onto her in-game impressions...

So far since I've built her I've included her in all my Viktoria lists. She's a budget enforcer at 6 points. I mean, a Ronin is the same price. But with Johana you get a good melee threat range, condition removal, and the good ol' construct and tyrant threat takedown. Her heal is not used with my crew as she's the only M&SU model. Her only drawback is her slow speed of 4, which for 2 points you can make into a 5 to keep up - but that takes her from budget to pricey. But for 1 point you can get the Oathkeeper upgrade, which is perfect for her. Giving her fast for that one crucial activation can be devastating, as she has flurry, or a 9 inch threat range. That speed of 4 will shock someone as you can have a 13" threat the turn she uses it. Or if you're already in a scrum you can walk 4 and flurry. With a 3" melee she can lock down models in combat, complete deliver a message, or just threaten a huge area for turf war. With this game using 360 model facing it opens up a huge avenue of use for her, all at 6 points base! I find it hard not bringing her, and on occasion I've used her without upgrades for a budget melee model. Did I mention finish the job and hard to kill? Excellent! I wish I had more healing in my Outcasts right now, because you can have a whole lot of models with Hard to Kill, and healing exponentially increases their duration. One day I plan on utilizing a Friekorp Librarian, but for now it seems to work fine.

Another point to make is her trigger Knock Back. Interesting thing to keep in mind with things like black blood: First you damage, then you knock back, then black blood triggers and you're out of range. This saved her once as she got down to one wound from Hard to Kill (awesome) when he ran out of attacks. When the counter hit came he banked on black blood killing her, but the push happened first and so it wasn't in range. Another thing to keep in mind is that most models have a 1-2" melee range, pushing them 3" away may just keep them out of range of attacks while still engaging them, so they'll have to waste an AP just to get back in range. It's a neat bag of tricks for a 6 point model. Not to mention the amount of models that are Constructs in the game taking a world of hurt from her.

With this model I am almost at a completely painted crew! Five out of seven ain't bad, and the Malifaux child should be a breeze to paint. After that the Freikorpmann and it's one crew down! Maybe then I can start practicing on my Misaki Outcast crew!