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Miniatures Of The Month August 2023

Miniatures - Exosuits

We’re back for another month of miniatures, with a simpler name. Miniatures of the Month (MOTM). Rolls off the tongue…or at least is less of a mouthful. The idea hasn’t changed, we want to highlight some of the great models our bloggers are using, building and painting, although if a model is awesome enough it may sneak in unpainted (lets face it, the most awesome models take forever to paint, and we just can’t wait). Without further ado, let’s dive into this month's miniatures!

Exosuits (Anachrony) by Lee Underwood

I don’t get to play Anachrony often enough, every time I wonder why it doesn’t get out more. I’ve owned the game for a couple of years and after dithering for most of this time, I finally took the plunge earlier this year and bought the Exosuits expansion. These miniatures are completely unessential, providing no additional gameplay features or functionality at all so they are very much a luxury...but they look awesome, especially painted, and who wouldn’t want to pay for that? There are six exosuits per playable faction (plus another set for solo play) and each comes with very different models. They all look fantastic, but one model was my favourite from the moment I opened the box: The Octopods.

I’ve now finished painting the four main faction Exosuits and have pretty much stuck to the suggested colour schemes for most of them, but I went off script for the Octopods. There is just something Alien and ever so slightly sinister about these models; maybe something of a War of the Worlds type vibe, that really captured my imagination. I also felt that there was an insectoid feel to them and I wanted to highlight this aspect in the paint scheme as much as possible.

As with most of my painting, the paints themselves have done most of the heavy lifting here-I’m a hobbyist not an artist. I’ve used a combination of Army Painter Speed paints, metallics and the Vallejo Shifters while just trying to be as neat as possible. The painting took me far longer than it ought to, as getting even coverage with the Shifters can be a little tricky, but I was enjoying it so didn’t mind too much. I was trying to get all factions finished to a similar “tabletop standard” so I didn’t do too much in the way of detail or highlights and I think they are all the better for it. I have a tendency to try and fuss too much and end up making a mess of things so the self-imposed time limit has really helped. I think I’ve done these bad boys justice though.

Leviathan Siege Dreadnought (40k) by Pete Bartlam

“I will crush those who stand before me”

“Leviathan”, “Siege”, “Dreadnought”. If you’re looking in the thesaurus you could say “Big”, “Big”, “Big” and whilst we’re not talking Questoris Knight massive this is as big as an ordinary foot soldier goes. (I hope the slumbering remnants of the Marine incarcerated in his monolithic Dreadnought tomb shell didn’t hear me call him an ordinary foot soldier!).

The Leviathan Pattern Dreadnought was specifically designed for siege warfare. More massive than its fellow Dreadnoughts, it is armed with mighty Leviathan Siege Drills housing built-in Meltaguns designed to rip through Ceramite Armour and reinforced fortifications alike, whilst its Leviathan Siege Claws with built-in Meltaguns will rip them apart. They also have a pretty detrimental effect on flesh and bone! This siege Dreadnought is the close combat version with claw and drill weapons.

There is a different version available with long-range weaponry. I’ve taken the picture in front of some of my ruins of Stalingrad. These are for Flames of War and are at a scale of 1/100 i.e. roughly half-size for GW so this makes the Dreadnought look impressively massive.

“I am ready to serve, again”

A bit of a confession here is that I built this last summer and I don’t remember a lot of detail about how I painted it. I do know that I chose the XIXth Corvus Corax’s Raven Guard for it to serve mainly because it had an all black colour scheme which would be easy to paint! Frankly I’m more interested in it’s impressive combat potential and this is a fairly basic paint job. I am steadily learning, however, and I hope to show off some of my more recent work at a later date.

I do like a good base, mind, and for those who are interested I finished it off with bits from my garden, my spares box and sand and grit from good old Bognor beach!

Assault Intercessors (40k) by Sam de Smith

This month I've been painting something I would almost never touch: 40k. Like many of us, I started with Warhammer, but it has come and gone in my affections. I have a fairly large Nurgle force for both sides of the coin, but I don't really have the desire to play: Firefight meets my needs for larger scale, and I prefer supers or quirky fantasy at smaller scales. But I've started a Warhammer Alliance club in my school, so to get them playing I've put together a couple of Kill Teams.

I was concerned that the new kits are not sufficiently modular for my tastes, but I was pleasantly surprised. Rummaging through my bits box, I found a set of White Scars shoulder pads so of course I stupidly thought, sure, White's fine to paint... I certainly wouldn't want to do a full army of it though.

My white process is actually pretty quick. I like to start with a Bone Primer - TT Combat's Cryptbone is my go-to, but GW Wraithbone is much the same. All the recesses and weapons were blocked in with Vallejo Model Air Black brushed on - a very thin, fast flowing paint so it leaves the raised surfaces slightly paler. Then, all washed with GW nuln oil (ah, the magic stuff), apart from the chest and leathers. The model was then drybrushed Vallejo Model colour Deck Tan, which is the single most useful paint I own, and highlighted with Vallejo game color arctic white. Incidentally, Game Color paints are marginally thinner, with lower pigment density, than Model Colour, so are great for blending and highlighting; Arctic white gives a lovely smooth finish to whites, and can then be spot highlighted with pure Game Color white if needed.

The other colours are similarly straightforward. For reds, Game Color Scarlet with a little GC Blood Red for highlight. Very quick, I didn't even use my normal highlight trick of a little flesh (avoids the pink problem). Green is simply VGC Livery Green, glorious radioactive stuff that it is, with a little Deck Tan blended in for highlights.

As for the brown, big fan of Army painter Dark wood speed paint. It's a step darker than my usual go-to, which is Vallejo Model Air Mahogany, but I didn't want the red tones that has; Dark Wood has green tones it which contrast nicely, but subtly, with the Reds.

Male Half-Elf Bard (D&D) by Neil Parker

One of the reasons I’ve got back into painting is to paint the type of adventurer figure I can use to represent one of my own PCs or general NPCs. Some time back I played a half-elf bard and I enjoyed it, so I set out to paint one for potential future use and I came across this figure in the Nolzur’s range.

As I get back into painting, I’m learning more about how to bring out features, use shading and highlights. This figure was a little tricky, but I want to bring out a weather-stained canvas look.

The paints I’m using are mostly Citadel – Eldar and Kislev Flesh, Straken Green, Agrellan Earth as well as shades for flesh, earth, camoshade and a little Nuln oil. I’ve also used Vallejo paints for the metal and gold – although bards typically favour leather armour, I thought I would make this look a little fancy and went for a metal breastplate and gold trim.

Shading was fairly straightforward and I wanted to bring to focus some of the detail on the bedroll and cord (at the back) and worn clothing in the front. One of the key features here is the lute and I tried to work with the wood grain and different shades of brown. I then looked at some highlights and focussed on face, lute and clothing using either slightly light shades of green, but also adding a little white for some parts of the hair to merge with the yellow. Overall, I’ve achieved what I wanted which is a figure to help immerse myself in the roleplay.

A Witcher & Legendary Hunt Cyclops (Witcher: Old World) by Henry Aarvold

These are two miniatures from The Witcher: Old World that I painted recently as I work through the 100 or so in the deluxe version (and expansions) of the game. The core game features five Witchers from different schools, each player selects one as they attempt to earn trophies and earn the title of “greatest Witcher”. This Witcher is from the School of the Cat and I chose to paint him first simple because of the dynamic pose.

The monster is from the Legendary Hunt expansion and in case it wasn’t obvious, it is the cyclops. This expansion includes 7 impressive (large) miniatures and adds an extra challenge to the game along with alternative win conditions.

For both, I drew heavily on the wonderful character art in the game, selecting colours to match. For the Cyclops I began with oil paints to establish an interesting blend of skin tones and shadows. Details were added with acrylic paints. The Legendary Monsters are my favourites in the game and I intend to work on the Golem next!