Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Choose Your Fate

It's almost New Years, and with it, something a bit different!

Wyrd is hosting a contest for a new Fate deck, and with that meaning restrictions are lifted, it's time to resurrect my deck design! Aside from some cleaning up, it's mostly the same deck you've seen before, but I've made sure to revise the face cards to suit the Malifaux world a bit more.

The explanation of the deck is this:

Many of the Fate decks already in existence are what I'd call "out of world" decks - The Puppet Wars deck, the very snazzy decks including artwork from concept sketches of various characters, etc.

There's only one "In-world" deck I know of, and that's Xander's Retro deck. It's a beautifully designed deck, and it very much 'fits' the word. The only problem I have is that it's old, beaten up, and made to look (I think) like they found it when they reopened the breach, sitting on a table somewhere, and thought no ill of picking it up and starting to use it. What I'm going for is different. I want to make the "Modern Malifaux" deck. I want one where any random trader, card shark, or bored kid could go into a shop in Malifaux (or Earthside - currently the city of origin is listed as my own, Toronto!) and pick up a deck much like this and play with it.

Many of the designs are held over from the previous two posts (linked above) so in this entry I'll mostly focus on the differences.

First, the jokers are mostly the same, but they're the least "busy", so they'll show off the background well. Whereas the old one was whatever I could find from the internet to convey the feeling, it was too yellow, and too 'not mine'. I have since revised it with a texture pulled from paper I purchased, photographed, and edited.

More importantly you'll notice a refined and cleaned up back. These are far closer to the fancy designs so often found and admired on poker decks, and the prominent, not-too-fancy M in the middle is a strong reminder of what game it is!

And now the big change: face cards! You can see the damage indicators still in the corner, the large symbols for each suit on the aces, and most importantly, customized designs! The Aces are all going to have large symbols in the middle, to keep Crows from being too fancy, and the biggest modification to this set of royals is the Queen; While I did try to limit the number of in-world characters, I figure someone like Lady Justice is both well-liked and well-known enough to gain card immortalization. The cards feature very bright red cloth, as red is considered the faction colour of the Guild.

Next up are the Tomes. Tomes represent Arcanists, and while they may make a sneaky deck with hidden clues to them, this is not that deck. They were chosen of the face cards because they have large discs, coloured in this to represent soulstones. They have less gold than their Guild counterparts (except the king) but they are coloured varying shades of blue. From the bright cyan in their eyes and the soulstones, to the more muted cyan and royal blue of their cloth, they hold to the Arcanist blue.

The Masks (or Masques) represent the Neverborn. Their colour scheme is made to echo that of the Guild, with a colder, more sinister set of purples (Neverborn's colour) trying to keep somewhat the feel of the Guild reds. The masks on each are made to look both like the suit icon, and also the one worn by the Guild's Secretary, who many suspect to be a Neverborn!

If I do win the contest, and am asked to, I considered snaking some subtle colour inflection through their robes to look like tentacles, but the darts on the King's sleeves kind of work that effect, and keeps the overall look subtle.

Finally, the Crows. This was a difficult one. Traditionally, Spades are the 'highest' suit, but in the world of Malifaux, it represents the Resurrectionists, who are perhaps the most hated faction in the game. As a result, I had to juggle the primacy of one with the hatred of the other, and so decided to go subtle. The ace, as mentioned, keeps the 'tariff has been payed' look, and each of the royals is made to be subtly creepy and undead. All three have sunken cheeks. The Jack has blank eyes, the Queen empty pits, and the King small eerie dots as though the irises have blanched. Their clothes are primarily green (the Resurrectionist colour) and brown (for the earth), with a minimum of gold effects.

It was nice to go through and clean up the royals, since it let me really think on the designs overall. I hope you like them!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Continuing on the theme of Icestorm models I've finally photographed, we have the Grenzers!

The one on the left wields the default sniper rifle, all lefty-style, while the one on the right brandishes a weapons combination I doubt CB will be quick to put out in box or blister: The Combi-Rifle.

The paintscheme for this pair was relatively close to their 'official' scheme, with my usual blue glow, really highlighted with a bunch of black clothing. The black itself is mostly an edge highlight method, and the red is the same as on the Alguaciles, to make it a bit muted. While they end up kind of looking uniform black, the blue and red elements help break up that feel, and why shouldn't they be black? They're snipers that sit on a rooftop!

I'm also trying out a theme overall across the Nomads: Anything Corregidor is themed with more red elements, anything Tunguska is given more black, and anything Bakunin gets more white. The drab tan will be used on any frontline mooks heavily, and placed where I feel it'll fit the scheme well.

In case you're wondering, the other set of arms is taken from the Spektr, and it's a testament to how well the poses are set that even with an arm swap from a Spektr, the pose still works! The flowing cape is cool looking, with enough detail lines on it that you can decide to paint it in a wide variety of ways.

Next time I'll have Spektrs, but in the meantime happy holidays and keep gaming!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Mobile Brigada

After a long hiatus, I finally have photos of my Mobile Brigada. Currently, they have a gloss coat on them, but I may overlay that with a matte varnish, at least on the armour. I like them shiny, but I'm not certain I like them quite so shiny.

First up is the converted Mobile Brigada with Combi-Rifle. For the sake of Ice Storm, he has this weapon for most of the time, so I figured I might as well convert him with one. It's also convenient that there's a profile of this with tinbot, who I'll have fun converting in a little while.

His look, since the red-paint blog post, now has select white shin guards, a unique number (which I intend to carry across the entire cluster of them), and white detailing on either shoulder pad, as well as on the mask. There's multiple layers of faceplate, and I wanted to make each one distinct. The gun's a basic matte black, and the glowy vents are my usual light turquoise over white. Much like the Geckos, my figuring is the Mobile Brigada are meant to take heat from enemies, letting lighter armed infantry get away with minimal shots, so they're bright red, rather than a typical combat-subtle drab.

Next up is the converted Multi-Rifle armed Brigada. I didn't want to just do same pose different weapon, so this guy's been converted to actually be holding his gun. It was an interesting conversion to make, and was done before the box was announced with an HMG pose almost identical. The shoulderpads' insignia is the usual Nomad symbol, combined with the one for Corregidor. The upper right arm is scratch-built in essence, attempting to mimic the armour plating already there, and the head reposition was remarkably easy, needing minimal puttying.

Those guys aside, let's talk for a second about the new Mobile Brigada box...

(Taken from the Corvus Belli store page)

First, I love the look of the HMG and Boarding Shotgun versions. Very aggressive, very combat-but-not-shooting.

Then there's the female models. I don't mind the Missile Launcher's pose, but why. Why are there boob-plates? They're so ineffective, and unlike light armour, where you could argue they need to not be massively clunky, heavy armour has no similar problems!

That, and why is the hacker variant directing traffic? Why is she armed with a pistol? I think this could have been a time for CB to make really interesting combat-pose models, distinctively female without boobplates, and a hacker who is first and foremost a heavy infantry with a big scary gun, and a hacker second. I would love for them to take more influence from Ghost in the Shell, and less from Minority Report!

Also, final issue, and this is a big one, for the Mobile Brigada hacker: she doesn't have a backpack. Somehow, unlike every single other MB soldier, she has no power plant, no heavier weapon I guess, and if you ask CB, they can't even send one as a backup. Heck, they couldn't even send a fourth in the box and let me decide whether I want it or not. We've seen such an increasing standard from Corvus Belli over the last while, and this seems a step back in an annoying way.

Anyway, next time I shall have Grenzers or Spektrs, (or both, I guess) almost rounding out the Icestorm adventure!