Friday, September 13, 2013

Mansions of Madness - Cultists

It took me longer than I had wanted to get this first “official” production post up, but I felt like I needed to really have a good think about how I was going to approach the workload of painting all of my board game miniatures in a way that made sense.

On the one hand, I could just plow through one game at a time until all of the respective figures were painted. This would be good for keeping the continuity of the posts, and for keeping my head in the painting mindset of each game’s individual style, but the downside is that it could be dreadfully boring for me to only paint one style of figure for that long, and I could get mired in a rut and not enjoy myself.

On the flipside, I don’t want to jump from game to game, style to style, and have my painting be erratic and disjointed within an individual game—an inconsistent look between miniatures wouldn’t satisfy me either.

So, I think I’ve decided to do a bit of a combo approach to the blog; I’m going to focus on one game at a time to try and keep things on schedule and on style, but if I need a break from painting mice, or skeletons, or horrors from beyond time and space, I’ll allow myself that much of a break to do something else.

One thing I’ve learned over 25+ years of gaming, and a couple of blogs that started well and ended with a fizzle, is that you have to keep yourself interested in what you’re doing—otherwise a hobby stops being a hobby, and starts being a weight around your neck.

Now, with that out of the way, I give you the first of the Mansions of Madness figures, the Cultists…

Here we have the latest in fashion for the cultist on the go—the classic black occult robe is given flair for the dramatic with stylish blue panels, and white trim that says, “Yes, I’m a member of Shub-Niggurath’s inner sect—deal with it!” Perfect for midnight skulks through the woods, bringing about the end of mankind, or a somber night around the altar pondering the impossible geometries of the Outer Gods.

I wanted to paint the cultists first so I could use the repetition of painting an identical group to get myself used to the level of detail and the type of plastic of the MoM figures. I’ve primarily played with and painted Games Workshop figures for most of my gaming life, and switching to figures that are of a non-heroic scale is always an adjustment.

First off, let me say that the MoM figures are good figures—right out of the box, they’re perfect for a casual board game setting. Good detail, good sculpts…they look great. But, things get tricky when painting is brought into the picture.

The plastic that the figures are made of is soft. Really soft. Because of this softness, clean up of mold lines and flashing required a different approach than the hard plastics of other ranges. Where you might normally use a hobby knife to scrape the mold lines away on another company’s figures, for the MoM miniatures you actually need to cut them away with a very sharp blade to avoid burring the plastic—and forget about filing; it will just rip the surface up.

I suspect that the type of plastic also had some effect on the level of detail on the cultists, where it looked as if some of the finer details had gotten lost in the molding process, and the same details between “identical” figures was often varied in how they looked. Of course, I’ve seen some stellar paintjobs of the MoM figures online, so maybe I just need more practice, but I felt like I couldn’t get clean lines on the figures because the details themselves were a bit indistinct.

Honestly though, these are some minor quibbles from a casual painter—I REALLY love these figures! They all have a ton of character, and really set the mood when playing a game. I’m looking forward to painting more!

No comments:

Post a Comment