Reaper Bone 3 Delivers

Reaper Bone 3 Delivers

Kickstarter – After some minor delays the Reaper Bones 3 Kickstarter arrived. I didn't go whole hog on this one as I don't play D&D I don't really need a boatload of Fantasy models, even if it's an amazing deal. While this was running my group was playing quite a bit of Frostgrave however, so I did pick up the Graveyard set to fill out my board.

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On the painting table ... See you at the Crossroads

Malifaux – Man that song brings me back to high school, its a shame that group didn't last long after Eazy-E passed on. Enough about that today I'm talking about another band, the Crossroads Seven from Malifaux. I've been out of touch with this game since the change to second edition but it appears to be a band made up of a member of every faction.

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I need a drink ... Burn In Designs El Tarasco

I need a drink ... Burn In Designs El Tarasco

Terrain Review – Awhile back I picked up the El Tarasco Bar from Burn In Designs. This is a cool laser cut MDF kit that is part of his Old West Rock Ridge line. I'm not going to be using it for that but will rather use it as part of my desert board as a random back water outpost. 

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101 Things to Do with Craters #2

101 Things to Do with Craters #2

Terrain Making – I finally had a chance to get back to the series I started a few weeks ago. As I mentioned then I have a mold I made for craters back when they were a thing needed for Warhammer 40K. As such i don't want it to go to waste so I'm working on various terrain sets that use some or all of the crater to create unique items from a common mold.

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On a Steel Horse I Ride ... painting finished

Malifaux – I was able to wrap up a seal the few Malifaux models I've been working on and am really happy with how they turned out. The models are pretty dynamic and the blue color really pops of the metallic parts.

101 Things To Do With Craters ... Terrain Thoughts

101 Things To Do With Craters ... Terrain Thoughts

Terrain Building – So back in sixth edition 40K I made a crater and created a mold of it so I'd have something to represent all the exploded rhinos and other vehicles on the table top. Now seventh edition doesn't leave a crater when vehicles explode so I have to figure out something to do with all the plaster casts I made of my crater. Perhaps I can do a "101 Things to Do with Craters" series of articles.

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On the painting table ... The Show Must Go On

Malifaux – Collete and her crew just danced their way onto my paiting table. This set of models is for the same client that I recently painted up a Rasputina crew for. With these i had to clean up assemble and base them all prior to priming and putting down some paint. I really enjoy painting Malifaux models and wish I had time to play the game more often. So little time so many games I guess ...

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On the painting table ... Nurse

Malifaux – The final portion of my trip back through the breach is to paint up two nurses for a McMorning crew. These are pretty simple models that are easy to assemble as they are one piece sculpts. And while I like them they do look a little manish and I'd be keen to take a look at the 2E plastic versions if I every got back into playing the game.

I did sculpt and cast a pair of tile bases for these which is nice to have another 30mm round lip base set available that will fit into multiple systems. 

Sealing the Deal - Malifaux Models Wrapped Up

Sealing the Deal - Malifaux Models Wrapped Up

Malifaux – The weather finally broke and I was able to get all of my recent Malifaux commission sealed. My client requested GW Purity Seal for the finish so I have to be very careful about the humidity levels when I'm sealing these models. (and with young children in the house I can't just spray in the basement like I used to).

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Malifaux 2.0 Public Beta Live

Malifaux – Well June is here and Wyrd as promised has released the public beta for Malifaux 2.0. The new look of the game is interesting and I'm glad to see everything is starting to tie together with a similar look and feel. While it loses a bit of the charm the mismash of the original release, solid art direction wins with the new look.

Justin and Mack (new developers for Wyrd) have been making the rounds on all the podcasts that cover Malifaux to hype the new edition and ease fears that they ruined the game. Also in the latest Wyrd Chronicles their are several articles about the new direction.

To be honest Malifaux has fallen from my regular rotation as of late, I just haven't had time to run demos and getting up to the game store when there is yardwork and whatnot to be done on the weekends has severely limited my playtime. And what games I have been able to get in have been super secret because of my NDA, and play testing has really burned me out (I've been doing it since Book 2). 

The new edition is different and ultimately I think the game will benefit from the simplified rules. The change to an upgrade system is a great way to avoid the glut of FAQ's they had to release every time a broken interaction reared its ugly head, (although to be fair some of the knee jerk FAQs caused more issues than they solved ... still gotta love that Wyrd pays attention) and most likely we'll see a banned list for any broken interactions and supplements in the Chronicles if models start to feel weak or overpowered.

From the public beta I can sum up Malifaux 2.0 as "less is more" there is definitely be less text on the cards which means more time spent playing and less time trying to figure out what you should do. I'm looking forward to the release of the new book and faction decks although I'm not sure I'll be investing in new models for the ones I already have unless the sculpts are utterly mind blowing.

Most of my playgroup (that actually still plays Malifaux) is split 50/50 about the new edition. Some of the guys are pissed that their broken combos are "gone" or that the lack of walls of text on the cards means there's no tactical depth. The rest of us are excited to see what the final product will be and look forward to being able to enjoy a fun setting again. (hopefully leaving the baggage of the last edition behind and looking to the future)

Malifaux Second Edition ... Media Blitz

Malifaux – Wyrd has taken a different approach with the announcement of Malifaux Second Edition, it seems the developers have been making the rounds on the various Malifaux Podcasts and releasing snippets of information to the public with this media blitz. I for one can't wait until May 31st for the public beta to see where they plan on taking the game.

While I haven't been playing as much Malifaux as I'd like to this still remains one of my favorite games and I try to make a point to demo the game as often as time permits. Malifaux has a ton of unique things going on that you don't see in anything else on the market right now. The insane mass-up of genres within the game world as well as the card duel mechanic are just the icing on the cake.

As with many upstart games Malifaux has been a victim of its own success. The game as it stands now has grown unwieldy with the amount of knowledge needed to play. A series of FAQ's that contradict the wording on stat cards coupled with several versions of the same stat cards in circulation means you may or may not have the most current rule set when playing against an opponent. Not really a huge deal for casual players but unpleasant when that same casual player runs into a forum dweller with the most up to date info from an obscure Rules Marshall reply after 10 pages of trolling arguments about rules intent.

I remember back when I played Warmachine prior to Mark II and would run into the same issues any time I went out to play the game at a store. Eventually I just stopped going to the stores and played with my friends in my basement. It's amazing how much enjoyable games are when you have a great group of guys and only use the rules are written in the books and cards you bought. If something made for sucky games house rule or ban it problem solved. My group never made the jump to Mark II and eventually we just quit playing as the system evolved beyond what I found interesting.

To be fair from what I've seen of the ruleset for Warmachine and Hordes it does seem to be much cleaner and quick to play. (Hell half the time I see guys set up and pack up their stuff before the Malifaux players have finished picking schemes and crews.) It also seems that the game continues to grow an thrive in multiple arenas.

Malifaux is now on that same cusp after 4 books and a 1.5 Errata of the core rule book the game needs to be cleaned up. Rules need to be consistent, models need to be balanced against each other point costs need to be revisited etc. From what I can gather on the press releases and media blitz that is the plan with 2.0.

I'm excited to see where it goes, I imagine it can go one of two ways:

Best Case Scenario: The rules get cleaned up and simplified, models are all useful again and the game continues to grow to new levels of play and getting a pick up game at any game store on any given night is easy. New sculpts for everything so the range once again feels cohesive and all the metal models I own are considered retro and command a huge mark up on the secondary market if I ever decide to part with my beloved models. The success leads to mass market paperback sales so you'll be able to read novels about your favorite characters ala Black Library.

Worse Case Scenario: The game is over simplified loses it flavor; feeling much like any other game in the market today. The entire story so far gets ret coned into some weird new story arc ignoring everything that came before. The existing player base leaves in droves because the game is no longer unique and is instead a master kill/points held/kill them all victory system. Ultimately leading to a glut of cheap unwanted models on the secondary market making it easy to pick up anything you want for very little.

Most likely it will be some combination of the two. With any re-write things are going to go away to make things more streamlined. Making a game play smoothly and intuitively should be the goal of any game designer. Wyrd has put out quality (if not rules/FAQ heavy) product in the past so it's unlikely they'll release a stinker to the public now. 

I'll wait until the end of the month before I start shouting, "DOOOM!" or "Brilliant".



On the painting table ... Born on the Bayou

Malifaux – I've made pretty swift progress on the gremlin models. It helps that they share quite a few common elements throughout the range so painting them assembly line style made it easy to accomplish quite a bit in a short period of time.

After putting down a foundation base coat to block in all the colors I went back in and began adding highlights. For the Gremlin skin I used the edge highlight I mixed up for the Dark Angels project followed by a lime green final highlight to help bring it all together and smooth the transitions I applied a Biel-tan Green wash to all the skin elements. I'm really happy with how bright the green turned out as it's going to pop against the brown murky water bases and vegetation I plan on adding after painting is finished.

For the pigs I blocked in a Cadian Flesh base coat and washed that with earthshade. I then applied highlights of elf flesh and washed it with Ogryun Flesh wash. I think this has given them a fleshy pink feel without being the bright pink I usually associate with pigs. 

To get the earthy brown color on the base I started with a light brown base, followed by an earthshade wash. Once the wash had dried I used a light dry brush to bring out the detail in the base. A wash of brown ink then filled in the color and brought out the rich earthy look I was trying to accomplish.

After adding some grass tuffs and course green brush I sealed these up to prepare for the water effects. I use Envirotex light for my water effects as it's simple to mix and easy to apply. I mixed up a small batch and added some green and brown ink to create the murky water. Then using a small stir stick I carefully covered the depressions in the Hell Bases, being careful to not apply to much. Envirotext is self leveling so it will flow into the gaps and create a nice smooth surface.

While I enjouyed painting these models and love the level of character they have, they don't really fit my playstyle and as such I don't feel the need to hold onto them. If you'd like to own this crew with all the limited edition goodies check out the auction here.

Weird Plastic - More Malifaux Madness

Malifaux – I've been spending some time going through my box of unassembled models and realized I own a ton of Malifaux. Most of my Malifaux gaming as of late has been more of the demo variety which means I'm not using some of the cooler models available to me. I've decided to make an effort to get these models built. Even if I'm not using them having them assembled and painted near my demo table set-up draws more attention.

Before I continue I just want to say I find the new plastics to be easy to work with and much more dynamic than anything else out there. Reproducing the artwork so faithfully is a really amazing feat. As I put together more of these kits I continue to be impressed.

That said whoever designed the cuts for these models should be tarred, feathered and strung up. Good lord putting together the Masters of the Path set was an excercise in frustration. Yan Lo's goatee caused no end to the pain of having fat fingers, even with tweezers it was had to manipulate. And really WTF is up with having to glue together a tiny spear shaft, putting tiny ribbons in the nieces hair etc. Once you get it together and don't lose any of the tiny parts they look amazing but getting there, well it's something.

In addition to the Res/Thunder box I put together McCabe and his band of ruffins, not quite as annoying as Yan Lo's box but still a bunch of tiny parts. Same with the Orian and Riflemen.

Malifaux models have always been fiddly but the plastics take this to a whole new level. No longer can you work at a messy hobby table with a pile of parts to put together and have any hope of making the final thing look like the photo (or render in this case ... which is annoying I miss the well painted photos of finished models). 

Instead I'm working on a clean mat with a tray and towel to catch anything I might drop. Trust me take some extra time with these and work in a pristine space if you drop one of the tiny bits in a pile of plastic shavings you're never gonna find it.

Once you get over the assembly process the models are amazing. One concern I have is transportation of then. With the dynamic sculpts they're not fitting in my Battlefoam case with standard cuts. I fear I may have to shell out for some additional trays and might even need to do the custom cut option to protect the thin parts that extend beyond the base. 


On the painting table ... Cowboy Up

Malifaux – Another Guild commission finds its way to my table this week. This time around is a basic 35 Soulstone crew led by Lady Justice. My client picked up and assembled a Lady Justice crew box, Alt. Executioner, and Sam Hopkins with the Ghost Town base inserts. The nice thing about have the models provided assembled and "cleaned up" means I can solely focus on the paint job and get it done farily quickly. 

It seems that The Guild is the go to faction of choice for most new players. Which honestly makes alot of sense they're very straight forward, have fairly high damage output and a minimal amount of "tricks." The fact that most of the demos I run feature Guild vs. Ressurectionists probably also comes into play. 

With this crew I was asked to stick with a black/brown color scheme. It feels very dark and brooding to me. To paint the gray/black I used a dark gray base and built up the color using a black wash which creates a nice effect for black cloth. I broke down and picked up a few more of the new brown colors from GW's line as it's nice to be able to grab two pots and have your base and highlight spelled out for you. I usually mix my own colors but the new GW color system has its own merits (namely being able to replicate colors at a later date with very little trial and error).

I went with a deep red on Justice's hair this time around and am very happy with the result. Again I'm finding the GW paint system to be convient with the variety of premixed reds that allow you to build up the highlights quickly and easily.

All that's left on these is to apply some gras tuffs and clean up the eyes. Once they're sealed I'll go back in and add some gloss varnish to the water troughs.