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Argentbadger

Argentbadger's Malifaux Miniatures

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These are the first Malifaux Gremlin miniatures I got round to painting. I used Rooster Riders a lot during my brief time playing Gremlins, but I won't write much about them here because the rules have changed since I last did so. Gremlins as a faction just didn't really excite me after a dozen games or so and since then I've moved on to a different faction for my gaming pleasure.

Rooster Riders are an absolutely lovely concept and I really enjoyed the idea of crazed Gremlins frantically clinging onto the back of the giant chickens and just hoping for the best while steering them in roughly the correct direction. I've seen a lot of vividly coloured Roosters but I preferred to keep a rather darker tone for the mount in order to make the green of the Gremlin skin stand out more.

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It's been a long time since I picked up a paintbrush. But here we are again with some Stitched Together from the Neverborn faction. Many of their abilities have a penalty for failure, and presumably due to this risk element, are therefore rather strong when they actually work. I've mainly tested them with the master Collodi, with whom they share the Puppet keyword and they seem to work pretty well with it. In particular, they combine with the Threads of Fate upgrade on Collodi (allowing them to go Fast at the cost of two wounds) and Fear Not The Sword from the Brutal Effigy shared via the Fated upgrade (also on Collodi). Due to the high risk nature of their attack I'm much more likely to cheat to win the duel so it is more often that they will be able to heal. And 3 AP on a Stitched Together can be rather nasty. Stitched Together can also generate an aura of soft cover which can be very useful in certain match-ups.

Stitched Together are pretty obviously meant to be Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas, which makes me happy. I painted them in dull sack-cloth browns as it seemed fitting for their inspiration. I was also looking for something very simple to paint so that I could get back into the feel of it, and it doesn't get much simpler than almost entirely brown miniatures.

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These little chaps are Terror Tots for my Neverborn crews. They have the Nephilim keyword and synergise with some other Nephilim to be able to grow into larger and scarier forms, specifically the Young Nephilim which are still in my painting queue. In this form, they are fast scheme runners with a fairly dire attack; the main defense for a Tot (apart from its stats, which are not terrible for the cost) is that they will damage nearby models with Black Blood when wounded so in desperate times I have used them as small bombs to finish off wounded enemies.

I picked white skin mainly because I'd used it previously for the Enslaved Nephilim, and because I think it looks quite reasonable at tabletop distance. The clothes are purple mainly for contrast, though it is also the case that purple is the 'official' colour for Neverborn. I'm not sure if I'll use it across all models in the faction.

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Here is Lilith's totem, the Cherub. I love this little chap and would happily take it with other masters if only I could. It is highly mobile thanks to flight and has some small utility to help other miniatures with interact actions if they are nearby. Occasionally this ability can be critical, though it often leaves the Cherub in a vulnerable position. Even better than that, it has a reasonably effective ranged attack with does fairly trivial damage but also causes Slow and pushes things around. Against melee crews in particular this can be really amazing, allowing you to push their fighters away and stop them charging back in again.

The paint scheme is really simple, matching the other Nephilim I did already or have in the works. I had originally planned to go with white wings but they made the Cherub look a bit too monotone with the white skin too, so I made them a creamier colour instead. My nice new lightbox shows off the many flaws in my painting to a depressing extent.

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Here is Kade (formerly known as Baby Kade for obvious reasons) for the Neverborn faction. Kade is the ultimate 'glass cannon' in that he can hit ridiculously hard with that knife, reaching minimum damage 5 in some cases, but has few wounds or defences. He's pretty fast considering his short legs and seems to principally have two roles. Firstly, to go in and shank something that the other crew would rather didn't die, then take a few resources to be killed in return. Alternatively, to use his Pounce ability to have things pushed into him and stab them without even needing to activate. Actually I have very little experience with Kade, not because I think he's bad but rather because there always seems to be something else that I'd put in the crew first.

Painting Kade was very simple as he is mostly bare skin (and not much of that really) plus a nappy and a knife. He got to the front of the painting queue on the grounds that he represents something of a 'low-hanging fruit' for me to move from the 'to be painted' pile. That's a 30mm base, in case you're interested in scale.

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Thanks Viruk.  I've seen Kade used quite effectively in a list with the First Mate and a Rougarou; since the First Mate weirdly has a different wording for Pounce compared to every other model in the game he can use his Menacing Croak off the push generated by a previous Menacing Croak, thereby allowing both Kade and the Rougarou to take an endless series of free Pounce attacks (at least, until the Menacing Croak itself fails to work).

Here are some iconic Wyrd miniatures to go in my Neverborn crews. Wicked Dolls have the Puppet keyword and hence have some slight synergy with their master, Collodi, who can also summon them. But I have to admit that I have been unable to get much value out of mine, so if anyone has any clever idea about what to do with the cute little dolls then I'd be happy to read it. They are a cheap activation, but they're in the same cost bracket as the Effigies, Terror Tots and Gupps who I've had much more success with. Indeed, if I only wanted cheap activations (and was playing Collodi) I'd probably take Marionettes as they are even cheaper.

For painting I wanted a sack-cloth look with brighter point colours. So these Wicked Dolls have mainly ended up brown and purple, with their cute button eyes picked out in primary colours for more contrast. They were quick to paint (even for me) and it's nice to get them out of the queue, even if I am not really sure how best to utilise them.

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6 hours ago, Argentbadger said:

I've seen Kade used quite effectively in a list with the First Mate and a Rougarou; since the First Mate weirdly has a different wording for Pounce compared to every other model in the game he can use his Menacing Croak off the push generated by a previous Menacing Croak, thereby allowing both Kade and the Rougarou to take an endless series of free Pounce attacks (at least, until the Menacing Croak itself fails to work).

Sounds interesting, now if only I could find First Mate sold separately ;) 

I like the dolls, nice paintobs on these tiny guys. I remember when I was painting them, all those stitches were driving me crazy :)I know a guy who uses one in a Zoraida shooty list for outside of activation (obey) attacks. I may give it a go one day.

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Good advice Viruk.  I guess that the same approach could work with Collodi too.

Here is the Black Blood Shaman, part of the Neverborn faction. Arguably more than most pieces in Malifaux, the Black Blood Shaman has a fairly narrow niche. It supports models with Black Blood, gives them Black Blood and has some synergy with the Nephilim tag (almost all of whom have Black Blood). Luckily, I also love all these things, so I take this beaky chap fairly often. Most obviously, it makes a nice support piece in a Nephilim-heavy crew, allowing some un-resisted damage to be splashed on anyone standing near your Black Blood models. More than that, being able to hand out Black Blood for a tiny damage cost can be hilarious for options that can heal themselves. Wise scholars have often asked 'what is more annoying to deal with than an Illuminated?' To which the answer is surely 'an Illuminated with Black Blood.' Similarly, I really enjoy giving Collodi Black Blood (this also allows the use of the Run Away Home trigger to move the Puppet around), then making the Shaman its Personal Puppet. So when Collodi takes damage, it can push up to the most annoying position possible, then make the Shaman hit it with Black Blood Pustule for some area damage and a possible heal or buff for Collodi itself (living the dream, you could also theorise that the Shaman is itself engaged with something and bleeding profusely over it in the process, but I've never actually had this happen).

The miniature was somewhat fiddly to assemble and paint. The former is due to the rather spindly arms and the tiny contact points at both wrist and shoulder, though this is rather standard fare for Malifaux. The latter is because of the folds of the wings making it a bit tricky to maneuver the paint brush around the model. Nonetheless, I like the miniature's pose and did find it fun to colour. The scheme was a simple copy of all the other Nephilim, pale blue skin and purple clothing; the beak (I assume; for all I know it's meant to be a mask) allowed a bit of divergence from the norm.

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This is Barbaros, one of the Nephilim Henchmen for the Neverborn faction. Unlike Nekima (more on her later), Barbaros is a tanking and control piece. His main ability, at least for me, is to make enemy models take a fairly tricky willpower check if they are near him and target someone else with an action, otherwise they fail. Ideally they'll be in a position where actually attacking Barbaros is impossible or undesirable so they would need to take the test all the time. Helpfully, it even affects things like healing friends. Naturally, passing one willpower duel is easy (notwithstanding the Black Joker, of course) but with some clever positioning I've had opponents taking more than a dozen in a single turn. Eventually, they start to fail and have run out of good cards to cheat in. Even when Barbaros is attacked he has armour, Black Blood and a tasty (if rare) defensive trigger to keep him in the game. Overall, Barbaros is one of my favourite pieces in the faction.

I stuck with the same Nephilim skin tones as before, pale blue all over for skin and purple hair. At least Barbaros is wearing more than one item of clothing so I was able to mix up the colours a bit with his armour. I like the pose, though I've knocked his left arm off quite a few times now (the spikes on his weapon keep sticking in the foam of my carry-case). The only frustrating thing is that the miniature has wings but the rules of the game don't give him flight. It took me quite a few games to get that correct, especially as the Young Nephilim have almost identical wings but can fly.

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Here are Waldgeists for my Neverborn in Malifaux. They're quite agnostic about which Master they play in, bringing some simple but effective abilities to a crew. On the defensive side, Waldgeists have high armour to make them likely to suffer only 1 damage per attack (though it means that they really hate anything that ignores armour) and are hard to attack from range before they activate. Their attack does nothing exciting in terms of damage but has triggers to either Slow their victims or stop them walking. Waldgeists can also create little patches of cover for themselves and when sitting in them (or any other terrain) get a massive 4" melee range. All this combines to make Waldgeists highly effective speed-bumps that are hard to ignore or remove. I particularly like playing them with Bad Juju (more on that later) so that even when the Waldgeists finally die they unbury the big compost heap right in the most annoying place I can find.

I deliberately kept the colours simple and naturalistic on the Waldgeists, as seemed appropriate since they are walking trees. Brown for the bark, creamy grey for the fungus and some green for moss.

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Here are the Young Nephilim, the next up in the chain started by Terror Tots for my Neverborn. They're pretty reasonable generalists in their own right, being mobile (due to Flight) and punching somewhat above their weight class but are pitifully easy to kill. They do make for acceptable scheme runners for this reason as they can usually put up a creditable fight against any enemies sent for that purpose as well as being able to mostly get where they are needed. I rarely hire them, preferring to hire Terror Tots (cheaper and at least as good for laying scheme markers) and something with the Rapid Growth upgrade which allows the Tots to grow into Young, then eventually in Mature Nephilim. In practice, I don't even succeed in doing this some games for various reasons but have found the threat of this occurring to be worth cost of the upgrade.

The miniatures are really nice looking 'teenage devil' styled sculpts. The one standing up was assembled as intended, but the flying one is supposed to be holding a skull which is attached to the ground only by a bit of dangling spine. Reasoning that the chance of that staying attached to the base for long was rather slim I did some minor work with putty to make it look like it is vaulting this pillar. Hardly perfect, but good enough for my purposes. The painting was intentionally the same as the other Nephilim: white/blue skin and purple clothes and hair. Simple but effective on the table.

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This big chap is a Mature Nephilim for my Neverborn. As you can probably tell from the appearance, Mature Nephilim are unsubtle murder machines best suited for use as some kind of linebreakers. They're fast on the charge and can fly so my most effective use of them has been simply throwing them into enemy crews and letting them get on with it while the rest of my crew goes about scoring points. They can grow from Terror Tots and Young Nephilim and I find it far more amusing to try to do that rather than hiring these guys right from the start. Even if it never happens, players get careful when there is a possibility that a wounded Young Nephilim could suddenly turn into a fully-healed bruiser like the Mature Nephilim.

I like the aesthetic of the Mature Nephilim, being a straightforward demon amalgamated from many familiar sources, though I would state that it looks bit squat. Probably that is a good thing; with that wingspan it is quite hard to fit neatly into my case anyway. Painting it was quite dull though since almost the whole model is skin. I could have livened it up with tattoos or a variable skin tone but they didn't really fit with the way that I'd painted the other Nephilim so I just left it.

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This is the Doppelganger for my Neverborn crews. She has a number of useful toolbox abilities such as Ill Omens allowing one to cheat initiative and particularly the always-valuable Don't Mind Me to enable interactions even when engaged. Her basic attacks are terrible but she can copy the attacks of nearby models so depending on what is nearby she can sometimes turn out to have something impressive like Nekima's sword hidden under her sheet. Reading the forums one might think that the Doppelganger should be the first option taken in all crews and that Ill Omens is so powerful as to overshadow other options. I certainly like to play the Doppelganger in some crews but generally find that in few cases would the cost of a high card be worth it to cheat and win initiative; I prefer to set up so that I can play my turns whether I win or lose the flip.

The Doppelganger is a really nice sculpt and I like the story it tells with the skin and exposed muscle as if it is half-way through a change of forms. I used red ink (rather than wash) to give a shiny wet look to the muscles.

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These cute little chaps are Gupps, part of my Neverborn crews. They hold the Swampfiend keyword and are therefore arguable thematically linked with Zoraida; however she doesn't interest me and I'm not really a big fluff player anyway. They come three to a base and while I could have split them up further to get more bases of Gupps, I have never found that I wanted more than three at a time. Their main attraction is being cheap and have a Leap which will work on any mask card, both qualities which make them suitable a scheme runners. Even at the low price, I realised that with the combination of a Spawn Mother and Will O The Wisp I could summon as many Gupps as I would ever require and therefore stopped hiring them (and actually I find Terror Tots more entertaining at the same cost).

For such simple pieces, I kept a deliberately simple colour scheme; two tones of green for the body, yellow eyes and then ended by picking out the teeth. The Gupps are tiny, and although they're very cute, they are also a bit of a pain to get into more detail for painting. I did enjoy getting to the final result swiftly though.

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Here is Collodi, Neverborn master for Malifaux. It is the model that made me want to start playing Neverborn in the first place. For me, Collodi really encapsulates the Neverborn experience: mainly control with a side order of support and damage, and highly rewarding of close positional play. I could write tomes about my enjoyment of playing Collodi but since this is a painting post I will stick to generalities. Collodi's main use for AP in my opinion is applying Slow or other, even more amusing, conditions to the other crew, thereby dictating what they can do to stop my plans. It also allows some sharing of AP with various minions or Puppets in your own crew. This meant that, despite the nice theme available of playing 'the puppet crew', Collodi actually plays very effectively with pretty much anything you like in Neverborn. For example, I enjoy using it with a Nephilim grow crew, not because of some supreme synergy but rather because it was highly entertaining; it also turned out to be quite effective on the tabletop.

For painting I decided that Collodi looked like a Redcoat and applied colours accordingly. The wood effect for the puppet parts (i.e. the 'skin') ended up being a bit of an experiment in using dark brown as a base then a much lighter one over the top and tying it all back together with medium brown wash. I am pleased with the overall effect.

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Here is Hannah, Chief Freikorps Archivist for Malifaux. She's strictly part of the Outcast faction and I originally bought her when I was playing them, but as a Mercenary can appear in any crew. I really enjoy playing Hannah. She brings Arcane Reservoir to the crew which is pretty much always awesome, and also has a huge base and melee range. Her main trick is being able to Make A New Entry to copy Cast actions from nearby miniatures which opens up all sorts of entertaining options. In Neverborn she can partner up with Lazarus to copy the latter's Assimilate action which itself can be then used to make Collodi take a sixth (!) AP with My Will. In practice, I never really got much value out of that approach (too costly in terms of cards and positioning) but it is funny. In Resurrectionists I've been having fun using Hannah with her sister, Anna Lovelace, who brings two excellent Cast actions in addition to being wonderful in her own right. Presumably this means that Hannah's surname is also Lovelace though that isn't explicit that I've ever seen.

I painted Hannah in the same colour scheme of grey with pink trimmings that decked the rest of my Freikorps crew. My brushwork looks even less adequate on these large curved surfaces than normal, but nonetheless I did enjoy finishing her off after a long delay. This particular version of Hannah is not the standard release; I actually spent extra money to source the limited edition Through The Breach kickstarter version. I'm not normally bothered with limited editions, but this miniature is so much better then the normal version that I considered it worthwhile.

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As a final aside, Hannah is the name of my younger child. She doesn't wear a giant robot suit though... yet.

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Here is (or are?) Philip and the Nanny for my Resurrectionists in Malifaux; they are part of the thematic Molly crew. Philip is the surprisingly talkative disembodied head who now has the indignity to be pushed about the streets of Malifaux by a zombie Nanny. The pair seem to be a highly popular inclusion in Ressurectionist crews I see, and I can certainly agree that they have a lot going for them. Of note, Philip can discard a nearby scheme marker to draw two cards and discard one which is obviously an excellent card engine. While some top players get a lot of mileage from this approach I find it quite dull to have Philip (and whatever I'm using for the scheme markers) just messing about in my own deployment zone for much of the game and have moved on to more aggressive pieces. Philip can also activate Chatty which is situationally superb and has surprisingly good defenses for a head in a pram. They do have both the Spirit and Horror keywords which give them some interesting utility with Molly and Kirai; indeed I've had most success using them with Kirai as she's more defensive than Molly and is a good way to get the Take Back The Night upgrade into an otherwise Horror-less crew.

I picked a deliberately muted colour scheme here with mostly blacks and whites; this is the look that the miniature immediately suggested when I assembled it. The zombie flesh was not a success as I had hoped though. I wanted to have a slightly greying, green-tinged look to their skin but I just couldn't seem to get the colour balance right and grey has dominated far more than I had intended. More work is needed there I think, though I have hope as I'm finally starting to feel satisfied by the more healthy skin tone I've achieved for other miniatures lately.

I don't think that Philip is supposed to have a giant head, so I assume that this is another of Wyrd's famous scale inconsistencies (in this case it does make the painting a bit more straightforward).

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This is Asura Roten, a henchman for the Resurrectionists. Asura's main trick is to create Mindless Zombies and let them (and other nearby Undead) use her actions rather than their own terrible attacks. I've found it quite hard to decide how much work she can get done, since a lot of the benefit she brings is filtered through other pieces. Still, she has generally made the cut if I'm looking to bring the Maniacal Laugh upgrade on my master (which summons even more Mindless Zombies) so I guess I must be getting some use out of her. In practice this means that she's mainly been useful for Kirai, as I can use the Mindless Zombies as wound pools to summon other, more effective, Spirits out of. My experience with Reva is limited at this point, but she certainly does appreciate more corpse markers on the board so Asura is definitely still on the list for consideration.

I kept the painting simple, with at least slightly realistic colours on Asura. I switch between painting and not painting the pupils of miniatures' eyes, but in this case it was a deliberate choice to suggest her magic powers over the undead. The kits comes with a pair of zombies flanking Asura but they got left off and will eventually appear as Mindless Zombies in their own right.

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Think your painting has really improved since I was last around. The photographs certainly have :P

I'd say the Gupps are my favourite. Lovely simple scheme, executed well. Was going to suggest adding a pupil to the eyes, but I'm not sure if I prefer them without.

What's your method for painting your Nephilim skin-tone?

 

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Thanks very much LusciousMcCabe.  I'd love to say that my painting has improved but I think that it is just the lightbox I got a while ago.  I'm still trying to get good photos though, since in addition to being an average painter I'm a decidedly below-average photographer.

The Nephilim skin is very simple (like everything I do with a paintbrush): white, then an all-over wash with blue ink, then hit almost the whole area again with a thin white covering again.  It should leave the blue mainly in the recesses but with a tinge in all but the highest areas.

These chaps are the Hanged for the Resurrectionists faction. They're helpfully Spirits among other keywords so can be summoned by both Kirai and Molly. I found them rather less effective as hired models rather than summoned since they're such high priority to kill and so annoying when not killed that they're almost always dropped at range by the other crew if at all possible. Their abilities mostly revolve around making the other crew take more Horror duels than usual, but the main draw is the Whispers From Beyond action that knocks half wounds off their target and stops it from being healed. Overall, they're amazing when I use them and amazingly annoying when I face them. Being able to summon them into place with Molly and splash Black Blood on your hapless foes is probably the most satisfying way to use Hanged.

I decided to paint the skin tone for the Hanged as if they are freshly dropped through the gallows rather than greying zombie flesh. I see them as more like ghosts rather than the corpses of the condemned (the game rules slightly support this with their Incorporeal rule).

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Here are my Shikome. They're Spirits and so I got them to pair with Molly and Kirai as they both have uses for that keyword. Flying options with a situational minimum damage 3 attack is quite tasty, and they recently were errata-ed to be cheaper which makes them even more appealing. In practice, I rarely summon Shikome with Molly as they're the same cost as Goryo which fit her needs better. Kirai loves them on the other hand; they can get Adversary very easily (which turns on almost all their cool tricks) and have an even number of wounds (relevant when you take half damage from summoning). The most amusing thing I ever do with them is to charge miniatures who like to bring their own Poison around (McMourning, Shenlong et al) since they can do so for a (1) action.

I'm not really familiar with the mythology of Shikome so I didn't spend any time making them look like any kind of traditional representation of them; if anything, I ended up going more for the route of Greek harpies. I used these Shikome as a bit of a 'palette cleanser' between brightly coloured projects and painted them with more naturalistic colours. The one standing tall got glues on directly to the little pillar ruin on the resin base so that her contact point with the base was more than a single talon of one foot. If anyone can explain why scary vengeance ghosts wear no clothes at all but modestly cover their nipples with a saucer then I'll be happy to hear about it.

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Here are a pair of Dead Doxies for my Resurrectionist crews. I love these little ladies on the table and rarely leave home without one. The main draw is the (0) action to push things around; being able to hussle your master an extra walk up the table before they activate can be really useful in turn one. Since Malifaux is principally a game of positioning, anything that gives more control over this is helpful. They're surprisingly good at fighting too, which is handy since mine often find themselves in harm's way after repositioning something through the middle of the board.

For the painting I still couldn't quite get the rotting skin tone to work as it looks in my mind. The one in the red dress is a bit better than previous efforts but the one in green just doesn't really look very zombie-like at all. More work is required, but these are good enough to count as finished for now.

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Here is Molly Squidpiddge; she's a summoner with a side order of crippling enemies. Molly's way of summoning is quite inventive, bringing in models with a number of wounds equal to the number of nearby enemies when they appear; in addition she grants Black Blood to nearby friendly models with the appropriate keyword. This, combined with the short range on the summoning action, indicates a highly aggressive playstyle that I very much enjoy. In terms of builds, Molly has two competing upgrades which align her either with the Spirit or Horror keywords. When I picked up the Resurrectionists for the first time I was drawn by the entertaining prospect of having ghosts that bleed over the other crew and I was highly gratified that this is an effective approach.

Molly is technically undead, but after my unsatisfactory attempts at zombie flesh painting I decided to do more of a living skin tone instead. I'm quite pleased by the look here as her skin tone works rather nicely with the red and white dress. I sort of feel like she needed to be leaning forward a little more but without some modifications around that ankle (that I wasn't keen to try considering how slender it is) I couldn't quite get it to work.

As an aside, I'm delighted that Molly was first introduced to the lore of Malifaux via the highly-talented hand of my friend Sholto (as he is known on these forums).

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These unhappy looking chaps are Onryo, more Spirits to go in my Resurrectionist crews. They're cheap minions who don't really do too much exciting except pass on fairly minor conditions when hurt. Still, they pack a surprising punch when needed and more importantly are quite mobile thanks to Incorporeal. I mainly use them as Black Blood bombs with Molly if I need to stack damage onto high defense enemies, or just send them off scheme running. Onryo are cheap enough that I don't mind too much if they get killed (which will happen if anything actually seriously has a go at them since their defensive stats are terrible).

I hadn't actually intended to paint the Onryo to match Molly's colour scheme but now that it has happened I think it looks quite nice. As befits their status I kept a limited palette without any needless flourish. I've seen Onryo out there with amazing freehand work on the kimonos but that would be way beyond me even for a master, never mind doing it on a minion.

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