Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Beginning of the Beginning; some Shepards arrive and a Miranda WIP

Well, time to turn this thing on I guess.

Quick intro - welcome to my blog, where I will attempt to waste your time with posts about me painting various 28mm miniatures. I collect a huge variety of models, some for wargames, others just to paint. That painting tends to be pretty sporadic, but hopefully having a blog will give me some reason to keep a more consistent schedule.
A fair portion of this blog will probably be devoted to one project that is near to my heart - creating a 28mm skirmish game set in the Mass Effect universe. As a huge fan of the video games, about a year ago I first started tossing ideas around for a way to bring it into my favourite hobby medium. Those plans were initially very modest, but have slowly developed into a pretty massive undertaking.
Along the way I discovered I was not alone in having this idea, and two other bloggers (Collegia Titanica and All things Fett) provided plenty of inspiration with their efforts.Some of my ideas coincided with theirs regarding suitable models, others were directly inspired by their efforts (I will make note of any ideas I steal :P). Fortunately, while I've been working out what models to use, a heap of new options have appeared over the last year, which has greatly broadened the potential scope of this project. Currently as it stands, my ambition is to source, convert and paint models to represent every race and faction in Mass Effect, as well as plenty of the characters from the series.
And since there is not much point having so many models if you can't use them, I've also been developing a ruleset for Mass Effect. It's been heavily revised and expanded in detail several times, but I think I'm beginning to find a balance between complexity and playability. More on this when I start playtesting in earnest.

This first post has been brought about because finally, after a year of planning, my most ambitious hobby project has really begun in earnest with the arrival of the Shepards!. I figured this deserved more than just a thread on WAU, so I stopped procrastinating and signed up to this newfangled blogging thing (bear with me as I figure it out).

Here's what arrived in the mail today, all the way from Ukraine no less:

Produced by North Star Models, these absolutely-definitely-not Mass Effect/Skyrim miniatures are innocently titled 'Dragon slayer', 'Saviour of the Galaxy' and 'Alien girl'. I ordered them a few weeks ago and am super thrilled with them now that they have arrived.

The top row consists of Liara, femShep and Shep all in 54mm scale. You'll have to excuse my horrible lack of photography skills, but here are some pics of the contents:
Liara:
FemShep:
Shepard:

All three are fantastic figures, very nicely cast from my initial inspection and perfect representations of the characters. Liara is armed with an M4 Shuriken, while the Shepards both come with the option of either an M8 Avenger or an M96 Mattock. Given that they're the same base weapon, it would be pretty easy to convert the Mattocks into either Harriers or Argus. Both Shepards also come with helmeted and bare heads, in the case of FemShep there are two  bare heads, one 'default' and one oriental.
Here's a blurry closeup of Liara, which hopefully gives some sense of the detail and accuracy:

Next up are the two 28mm versions of Shepard and FemShep - these are simply downsized versions of the above, but despite the small scale they've kept their detail and quality. They come with same weapon an head options, though they also come with an extra holstered weapon, which is nice.
FemShep:
Shepard:
Closeup of FemShep in 28mm:

As you can see from that last photo, 28mm FemShep's foot broke off at the ankle while in transit between the Ukraine and Australia. Luckily the break is a clean one, and once pinned back together should barely be noticeable.

I'm incredibly pleased with these minis, and in the absence of any genuine BioWare licensed ME miniatures, hopefully North Star will expand the range with a few more space-faring heroes...

Also, in anticipation of this parcel's arrival, a couple days ago I picked up the brush for the first time since finding work two months ago (yay for money, boo for no longer being a lazy arts student), and started painting this lady:

This is Emilia Foxwell from Statuesque Miniatures, and she makes a rather splendid Miranda. She's not perfect, her hair is a little short and she's wearing a small backpack, but all things considered I'm very happy with how she's turning out. I didn't even have to modify her gun, since it makes a very passable Hurricane.

Anyway, that's enough for now. I'll try to post regularly with updates, either more WIP pictures or just general thoughts on wargames and miniatures in general. Feel free to leave a comment, since my ego feeds off attention I appreciate feedback.

-Alex/Magos Kasen

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