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!