Friday, February 21, 2014

flashback friday: malifaux: the body thieves

I recently found myself rummaging through pictures of several old and/or incomplete projects and thought it might be nice to try and put them all in one place. To this end, I'll try to dredge up an old project once a week to share with the world and reminisce. Next up, my McMourning crew for Malifaux!

In May of 2010 I was riding a painting high from all the classes I took at Adepticon. One of my favorites was taught by James Wappel and his wife, who were among the nicest people I've ever met. They were enthusiastic and encouraging to all of our efforts, even though our marble and tile bases were like finger paintings compared to their work. Having recently purchased a McMourning crew during the initial Malifaux hype, I saw a happy convergence of newfound knowledge with desire to paint - put the mortician and his crew on tiled morgue bases!

I purchased some clay, a craft pasta machine for flattening it out, and a scribing tool for making the tiles. With the right tools, crafting the tiles was quick and easy. The hardest part was digging a hole in McMourning's base and crafting a making a convincing drain cover from plasticard. Painting the tiles was also pretty quick, as I did it before I applied the figures.

With the figures, I tried several new-to-me techniques. The first of which was painting white. I'm still not great at it, but the clothing on McMourning, Sebastian and the nurses came out better than I had any right to expect at the time.

This is also the first time I tried focused washes designed to do more than just make areas darker. I purposefully used purple and blue washes on the resurrected dogs and flesh construct to try and simulate pooled, deoxygenated blood. I think it worked particularly well on the pug. The chihuahua got markings to match my wife's own yappy-dog, Chili.

The flesh construct was a failure of the same washing technique. Using the same blue/purple washes over pale flesh tone didn't look re-animated dead, or even sickly, it just looked bad. I refused to strip the model, so tried to cover it up with some pale blues. It doesn't work, as it's poorly executed and you can see bits of the original flesh through it, but it does look better than it had.

I learned to push myself and my painting, and that it's okay to miss the mark as long as you learn and improve on where you were before. At the time I painted them, these were the level-best I'd ever done and I was pretty proud of 'em. Not only because it was the first field-able "army" I ever finished, but because I think I carried out a well-developed, cohesive color scheme that identifies the individuals as part of a whole.

Like most of my small-batch, painted miniatures, they're on the display shelf in my room. I never did get to field them. Malifaux was a flash-in-the-pan locally and while I was busy painting them, the gaming group had found the "most broken" combos and dismissed the game.

I'm looking forward to checking out Malifaux 2.0, and perhaps getting them to the table then. If not, I'll always have fun looking at this little guy...

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