This project is short and sweet. A squad of Necromunda figures with an Ambot for backup.
I have only played a couple of games of Necromunda, and while I enjoyed it I found it overly complicated. And there were a couple of spoofs that players could pull that massively wreck the fun factor, so I won’t be playing again since I already know what any opponent will be fielding. Take out the glue guns, and maybe I’ll think it over again!
Still, the minis are incredible and full of character, and will work really well with Stargrave, Core Space, and Zone Raiders, so this probably won’t be the last Necromunda set that I pick up!
The squad was painted primarily with Citadel Contrast Paints over a zenithal primer coat. Highlights were then layered in to punch of the details, then a diluted wash of Agrax Earthshade was given to tie everything together.
My favorite little detail in the Cawdor kit is the candles a lot of these goofballs have just jutting out of their armor, with the dude with the giant crossbow dealing with dripping wax all over his visor! Great little details that tell their own story. Love it!
I’m still grappling with my near fanboyish love of Core Space. The miniatures are absolutely not the best on the market, but there is something about them that makes my little heart go pitter-patter. I’m also really intrigued by the mechanics of the game, and love the aesthetic.
I’m working my way through all of the minis, and figured after having a crew painted up it would probably be a good idea to get some of the NPCs together. So, here’s the first batch, most of which are from the Shootout at Zed’s expansion from Battle Sytems.
I still need to finish the rest of Zed’s gang, as well as Zed himself. This part of the box has me pretty happy already, though!
I have literally too many miniatures, more than any rational human being should consider having about their home. And yet, I keep buying more.
It’s not a collection, since (in my mind) having a collection of something is kind of useless if you don’t display it or do something with it. I have miniatures just sitting in boxes in my garage. That’s not really fun, hobby wise.
So, I have launched a challenge to myself for 2021. I’m not buying any more minis until I have either painted or given away my backlog. And I am trying to make sure that I paint everything, even if I plan on giving it away.
I am exempting anything I was gifted, because I end up being the guy that gets all the stuff when someone bails on the hobby. If I bought it, I will need to paint it before I buy something else.
This is going to be really hard. I love buying miniatures more than just about anything, but I’m pretty sure I have close to 500 unpainted minis choking off the house!
Now, here’s the first mini out of the way as the Great Shame Project of 2021 kicks off!
We’ll see how this goes. As long as I don’t look at the internet or go to game sites, I should be okay! Hahahahhaahahah!!!
Believe it or not, I get a whole lot of questions about miniatures. It might be because I run a miniature blog, or because I spent several years of my life as a freelance miniature painter. It might be because I spend so much time nerding out about miniatures. I have no idea. But, being as how I absolutely love miniatures, I though a series of educational posts covering the full spectrum of the hobby might be handy.
First up, we’ll be covering SCALE.
Exactly what is scale? Really, it’s just a way to make sure that your toy soldiers don’t look too ridiculous when you have them going pew-pew at each other. By collecting miniatures in a similar scale, you can avoid the terrible shame showing up with Micro Machines when all anybody wants to play with is Matchbox cars.
That’s really the nuts and bolts of scale. Your six inch tall Star Wars: Black Series action figures are going to look a little funky if you’re facing off against normal three-and-three quarter inch figures. Scale is a just a handy way to make sure you’re in the right sandbox.
Most miniature games stick to a general range of scale between 28mm and 40mm. But even then, there is a massive amount of variation, even when the scales supposedly match!
Scale normally measures the height of an average (assumedly male from a production standpoint) miniature from the base of its foot to its eye level. Unfortunately, some companies measure from the base of the figure’s foot to the top of its scalp, which means two companies can say they produce 28mm miniatures that can still end up having a pretty sizable difference in height.
Once one of the most common scales produced in miniatures, 28mm standard miniatures tended towards smaller details in their sculpts, with heads and hands that were more realistically proportioned to their bodies.
You can see this example illustrated with the miniatures below. Both are considered 28mm figures, yet the Core Space mini is definitively smaller than the miniature from Corvus Belli‘s Infinity on the right.
There are still plenty of miniatures being produced in this scale, with some fantastic multi-part kits being produced by Osprey Games for the Frostgrave family of wargames.
Games Workshop has largely disrupted that over the last few decades, with the advent (and proliferation) of what is commonly referred to as “heroic scale”.
Supposedly, heroic scale figures are the same scale as 28mm standard, but their larger heads, hands, and feet make them look more like comic book characters (hence heroic). There has also been very little attention paid to keeping the scale of most 28mm heroic figures consistent, which has led to a fair amount of “scale creep” over the last 20 years or so. Just compare a Warhammer 40k Space Marine from 1999 to one produced in the last few years, and you can see a huge difference in their size.
And yes, I know Primaris Marines are bigger. I’m talking about your standard marine. And I have Imperial Guard from 20 years back that are a bit smaller than newer figs.
On the plus side, though, larger minis make for more possibilities for detail, which leads us right to what is becoming the industry standard for miniature scale.
Malifaux, Zombicide, Kings of War, Runewars, and a fare amount of independent sculptors have settled on the 32mm scale range for their miniatures, which has some definite perks; the larger size allows for crisper details, which can lead to more dynamic or expressive characters.
It’s also close enough to 28mm, especially Heroic 28mm, that most people won’t care much about the size difference.
There’s really very few games producing minis in 35mm, notably Wild West Exodus and other figures from Warcradle Studios. Everything that we said about larger size is even more apparent at this larger scale, but they’re also much larger than 28mm figures when presented on the same table!
Atomic Mass Games produces Marvel Crisis Protocol at 40mm, and at this point they’re one of the few miniature lines at this scale. The miniatures are so large that they are much easier to paint, which is nice, but forget putting your Iron Man on the table against someone’s Frostgrave minis. He’ll look like he’s attacking students from that school model in Zoolander.
Other Common Scales for Wargame Miniatures
Quite a few wargames rely on much smaller scales, and this is purely due to economics of space. If you’re going to re-create Waterloo, you’re going to need a lot of miniatures to pull that off!
That’s where 15mm comes in, which is the standard scale for historical wargames. The average figure is pretty small, which means that a whole lot more of them can fit on a table!
Gaslands has been taking off lately, which uses customized 1/72 scale Matchbox and Hot-Wheels cars. This works out to 20mm scale for miniatures, which there is not a lot produced for, but some enterprising sculptors on Etsy and Patreon have been filling that niche beautifully.
Another semi-common scale is used primarily for giant robot games, but it varies wildly between 3mm and 6mm. At this point, human sized characters are about the size of a Nerds candy, and the real stars of the game are the monsters or robots that the game focuses on.
Of course, there are even smaller scales for starship battles, but even those tend to exaggerate scale to produce evenly sized ships. Star Wars: Armada, I’m looking at you…
Why does any of this matter? That’s a pretty good point, and one that some people won’t even care about. Some folks are just fine facing off with any scale miniature that strikes their fancy, and there is absolutely fine!
There are others, myself included, who get caught up in the scale trap because of the immersive quality of a good miniature game. I like to bring a nicely painted group of figures to play on a table with nicely built and painted terrain, and I tend to get lost in the story that plays out in a game. Differences in scale can be a little jarring, but it’s not a deal breaker for me.
Mostly, this comes from the types of games I like to play. Most of the game systems I like are setting agnostic, which means they don’t have an established universe set up for them. So, you can bring whatever miniatures you want to the party. I have a ton of 28 and 32mm minis, so I tend to collect miniatures in that scale to use in the games I like to play.
If Marvel Crisis Protocol was the only game I played, or I wasn’t really keen on throwing Wolverine at a Genestealer, this wouldn’t be a problem at all!
I also tend to display my painted miniatures, and I like seeing minis that are similar scale displayed together. It might be a little fussy, but that’s my preference!
If you have questions about scale, or miniatures in general, drop a comment below!
Seeing as how my friends from my local gaming group can’t get together during the pandemic, we decided to do a miniature painting based Secret Santa project.
I was chosen to paint up a Mercenary from Infinity for my friend Brock. Infinity minis are a blast to paint, and the merc he submitted is one of the best figs in the game, so I was really happy to get to work!
I have to admit to a certain crutch with Infinity models, though! I tend to want their boots and gauntlets to look like they were made from high-grade plastics or ceramics, so I often paint them white. I wanted to do something a little different with this merc, since she has a lot of earth tones, so I went with a yellow scheme with Menoth White highlights.
The red tones were Citadel Contrast paints, which were then highlighted up to a warm orange. The reds help balance out the tones established by the yellows and browns, and also contrast her hair.
The hair started out with a turquoise glaze, which was then highlighted up to near white through some soft blue tones. The turquoise base is a pretty good contrast to the red tones. Normally, I would go more green on a project like this, but just happen to live in a country where red and green are considered Christmas colors. And no-one wants a Christmas themed mercenary!
At least no-one I know directly! Who knows, maybe there’s a market for that somewhere out there?
Here we are, looking anxiously at the ground, trying not to make eye contact with 2020 as it packs its bags and gets ready to head off to that farm up north, where it can run and play with the other years.
Some might try to hurry it out the door, I say let it take its time. 2020 has a fickle temper, and I don’t want to tempt fate. And with a pandemic still raging around the world and climate disasters on the rise, I don’t want to embolden 2021. You know how years get competitive with each other sometimes, right?
Still, this last year hasn’t been all terrible. Sure, we had earthquakes here in Utah to add a little mid-Spring panic to the year, and our sewer line exploded at our house, but my wife and I both had exceptional years in our professional endeavors, which is an odd thing to be able to say since we both work in the healthcare industry. Still, a win is a win.
Hobby wise, things are going great. I just need to re-focus my energies, which tend to be chaotic at the best of times. I have some ideas for 2021 that could be a lot of fun, but again… chaotic brain. Let’s break it down a little:
First, I have a pretty solid line-up of content planned for this here blog. The first step was executed last night when I went ahead and made this a real live Big Boy Blog with the domain name Grimmleigh dot com. Such a cool domain, honestly. I’m happy to have it running finally! I plan on releasing content AT LEAST twice a week, with Mondays and Wednesdays being my target days. Bonus content could possibly show up on Fridays, too!
Second, I am planning on recording some tutorial videos once a week that will be posted to YouTube and shared here. My whole emphasis on these videos will be on helping the beginner tackle the miniature gaming hobby, whether it’s building terrain or painting miniatures. So many people get involved in the hobby and get thrown into the deep end of the pool. That can be intimidating as hell, so I want to help folks dip their toes into the shallow end, where things can be a lot more relaxing.
Third, I’ll be working on VS RPG more assertively. This is a project I have been tinkering with for years, and as it stands it’s the most Frankensteined thing I have ever seen. But it’s mine, and I love it! What’s the end goal here? There isn’t one. It’s a bucket list project, just something I want to tinker with and daydream about. If people end up playing it and having fun, that’s great!
If you have questions or suggestions about upcoming content, please drop a comment below, and here’s to 2020! May we never see her like again! Take care, everyone! See you next year!
Core Space is one of those games that checks all of the boxes when I’m looking for a game: cool setting, great minis, and terrain? Well, Core Space is from Battle Systems, so the terrain is kind of a given.
I still haven’t played a game of Core Space, and anyone who knows me is probably having a pretty good chuckle at my expense. Yes, there is a pretty good chance that I’ll never play a game of Core Space. I collect and paint miniatures with the assumption that some day I’ll play them, but I know that I’ll just buy more minis to paint.
That’s why there’s four boxes of Runewars minis showing up tomorrow, by the way.
One of the great things about Core Space is the crew boxes, which give you a crew of space traders all ready to go. Sure, you can recruit NPCs, and even put together a crew from other crew sets, too. But getting a box with a crew set to go, and fiction behind them? That’s cooooool.
Jonathan Weaver is the captain, and he’s heading down a dark path. He wants to make it big, and the jobs are getting harder to pull off. He’s running guns and fencing goods, and that’s making his crew feel a bit at odds.
Marlowe Chibueze is Weaver’s conscience, but he also has to be careful because he’s an augmented human, and potentially a living weapon.
Faye Millicent is the rookie, and learning her way through the universe. She’s wondering if maybe she should have thought things through a little before signing on to the Skylark.
MAC is a contracted mercenary, who is using his earnings to continuously upgrade his gear, but no one knows what his end game is.
This is the fist crew I have finished up, but I pretty much bought everything there is for the game, so there’s a ton more to come!
The second part of the Nighthaunt project is this pair of ponies, which turned out waaaay better than I was hoping for!
I used my airbrush to blend a nice earth tone brown into an eerie green, then pulled out some ethereal highlights with a light blue gray. Then some rust effects for the metal, and I’m calling them good to go!
Next up, I’ll share the leader of this motley group! I have a ton more Nighthaunt I should finish up, they really are a lot of fun!
I’m not a huge fan of Games Workshop these days, but I do have a weakness for about a third of the catalogue. The spin flier, weirder, and more far fetched the figure, the more likely that they’ll end up on my paint bench.
The Chainrasp Horrors weren’t the first Nighthuant models that I bought, but the were the first I finished! I employed a unique (to me) color scheme, and really had a lot of fun painting.
The weapons all got some fun rust effects, and a little dark glaze pulled the paint together! The bases were from a Patreon that I support, and the end result put a smile on my face!
One of the cooler aspects of owning a 3D printer is seeing something you love from a great sculptor, buying the file, and several gooey hours later, holding your new mini in your hot little hands.
One of my favorite companies out there right now is Artisan Guild. The sculpts are gorgeous, with tons of character and expression. The Ogres and Dwarves are neck and neck in my heart right now, but Gronk Boomshot here pushes things over the top.
Peg leg? Check. Bandana? Check. Loincloth barely covering his booty? Checkity check. He’s the whole package.
I also wanted to play with skin tones here, so there is a bit of blue in the shading, and a lot of pinks and reds on his facial skin. A true delight to print AND paint!