Friday, 27 February 2015

ToMB 2015 Month 1b - Advice Pig says hello

I was going to start this off by writing some blurb about whether McMourning is actually a Coroner, or whether his job is better described as a Forensic Pathologist. But you don't care about that, do you? No, you want to see pictures! 

So here it is, my first batch of models for the Tale of Malifaux Bloggers! Needless to say I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. The whole thing involved me branching out a little and learning some alternative paint schemes, namely undead gremlin flesh and how best to do gremlin blood. I also went for some slightly different basing with these guys as well - having replaced my usual green flock with a combination of static grass and tea leaves.

Anyway, enough chatter. Here are the models;

Dr Douglas McMourning, Bayou Doctor

It was perhaps inevitable that the good Doctor's double life as a Guild Forensic Pathologist/Resurrectionist would come to light. With his secret labs burnt to the ground and the guild hot on his tale, McMourning made his escape to one of the few places the long arm of the law would not find him - the Bayou.

Sebastian II

The arrival of a human, self-styled doctor was a cause for great concern among the local gremlin tribes. Initial attempts to eat him proved more difficult than anticipated so it didn't take long for most gremlins to accept their new neighbor, albeit with a healthy dose of fear. 

Of course as is typical of gremlins, a number of them took to admiring and eventually emulating their new Bayou Doctor. With his former lab assistant out of action McMourning was all to happy to accept new apprentices. Almost all inevitably became his test subjects, although one particularly bright fellow proved more useful alive than dead. Though he almost definitely had a name of his own, McMourning either never remembered it or was incapable of realising the gremlin was not his lab assistant from before. Nowadays, almost all the local gremlins have come to accept his new name - Sebastian. 

The Student of Sinew (with Advice Pig)

So what happened to the original Sebastian? Well he was somewhat less fortunate during his master's escape from the guild, and by the time they'd eluded capture Sebastian was left without the use of his...well... everything. Fortunately he was in the company of the self-described best surgeon this side of the Breach. So with a replacement part from the local fauna and some impressive needlework, Sebastian I's life was saved! 

McMourning has since moved on with his new lab assistant. So instead, Sebastian I has become the constant companion and teacher for one of the good Doctor's first test subjects - the very gremlin who first tried to eat McMourning. His undead "student" has proven quite receptive to the directions he gives and has become a lethal addition to McMourning's personal army. Sebastian I refuses to talk to McMourning, despite nevertheless following orders. However McMourning himself seems to have completely forgotten Sebastian I's origins and has now given him a new name - Advice Pig.

The Bayou Autopsies

If nothing else, moving his lab to the Bayou has given McMourning a near inexhaustible supply of bodies. Initially the gremlins had proven unwilling to move within reach of him, resulting in the Bayou Doctor spending almost as much time capturing the Gremlins as he did experimenting on them. However as his experiments proved fruitful and his reputation grew, he found himself with both a steady stream of willing "assistants", and a growing army of undead minions to capture the less willing participants for him. 

The Bayou Belle

When McMourning completed his work on the Bayou Belle he'd thought nothing more of it than any of his other creations. Somehow though, this particular subject retained one skill it was almost legendary for during it's pre-undead existance - fishing. It's skill with the rod has proven extremely useful to McMournings expeditions to acquire more test subjects, and has been repsonsible for luring in more than a few unwilling targets. 

The Zombie Chihuahua
It broke McMourning's heart to leave his first creation, the Zombie Chihuahua, behind when he made his hasty escape into the Bayou. For weeks he assumed the tiny dog had been incinerated along with all the rest of his beloved creations. So it was with some surprise that McMourning found him at the door of his new lab, tail wagging excitedly and gripping the hand of some hapless gremlin in his teeth.

One month down, 3 more to go...

So with Month 1 finished I suppose the hardest part is over - I've painted up a 35SS crew and worked out what techniques I'll be using to get the effects I wanted. I've yet to play a game with these guys (hopefully I'll fix that in the weeks to come) but I know what I want to add next - flesh constructs!

Unfortunately I've also hit a bit of a snag with my Flesh Construct plans. The standard flesh construct is a Ht 2, 40mm based model. However the Warpig I was planning to proxy it with is a Ht 3, 50mm based model. Wyrd has never been that consistent about the Ht of their models (the flesh construct is as tall as the new plastic warpig), but it still doesn't sit right with me. Besides, if I use something else for my Flesh construct then I could use the Warpig as a base for my Rogue Necromancy! So I'm wondering what I could use for a flesh construct instead? If anyone has any ideas on that front, I'd like to hear them! 

Until next time,


Saturday, 7 February 2015

ToMB 2015 Month 1 - The Bayou Doctor is born

Welcome back to my Tale of Malifaux Bloggers!
I last left you with an exciting (kinda...) cliffhanger – having told you I’m starting McMourning, my first purchase was to be… So’mer’s starter box?!?! I guess it’s time to explain the method to my madness.

Like I alluded in my last ToMB article I really wanted to be building a crew to a unique and interesting theme. I had already committed to Ressers for the year and considering the my dissatisfaction with some of my Resser crew models (well, McMourning and Yan Lo), I really needed something that I could both justify building to replace my existing crew, and would keep me interested for the length of the challenge.

I can’t remember exactly how it happened, but somehow I came across my unopened plastic Born on the Bayou box and linked it up with the idea of building a McMourning crew from it.  It didn’t take me too long to nut out potential in-theme proxies that would work for the crew and before I knew it, I had a plan for the ToMB! I am to build a Bayou-themed McMourning crew, complete with conversions across both factions to create something, well, kind of bizarre I guess.  

So the theme behind the crew is simple enough. McMourning is finally exposed as a dirty Resser and has to escape quick-smart to the one place he believes the Guild won’t follow – the Bayou. Forced to start his work afresh, he “convinces” the local gremlin tribes to work for him, both as his assistants and his test subjects (they probably don’t know the difference). Stuff happens, hijinks occur and the stage is set for the newest Bayou Doc to terrorise the locals with his undead creations from the most readily available resources - gremlins & pigs. :D

Month 1 Purchases

For my first month of purchases I needed both McMourning’s and So’mer’s starter boxes. With only £40 to spend that would put me way over my limit, so I decided to reduce the cost by “selling off" the parts of McMourning’s box I didn’t need. I’ve put the sell price at 2/3rds what it would cost retail, mainly because that’s always been my rule of thumb when buying or selling models second hand.

I was originally going to convert the monthly allowance to Australian dollars (ie. ~ AU$77 for Month 1) and work out purchases according to a local retailer called the Combat Company. But as it turns out, the Australian online retailers regularly discount their Malifaux to what their cost would be if the Australian dollar was on parity with the US currency (it’s not). The end result meant I would have gotten a massive discount on my purchases compared to ToMB participants in the UK and US. It felt pretty unfair - it translated to about an extra US$18 just for the first month! So instead I’m calculating my allowance in £UK and through the UK website Element Games. This way I still get a discount, but not a ridiculous one. ;)

Anyway, enough of the boring details, here’s my purchases for Month 1;

The Bayou Boss:         £25.49
Body of Evidence:            £25.50
Sell 1x Canine Remains: -£2.26
Sell 2x Nurses:                   -£5.67
Sell Flesh Construct:        -£5.67
TOTAL for Month 1:        £37.39

Left over for next month: £2.61

So with the models purchased it was time to assemble! I’m using all the models from my purchases (minus the ones I “sold”, of course), with one exception – the Skeeters. I have plans for them, but won’t be able to enact on those plans until later on in the challenge. So for now I’m putting them aside. At the time of writing this I’ve now assembled everything for this month, so here’s what I’ve got;


If Dr Doug is going to set up shop in the Bayou then at the absolute least, he needs a hat. Fortunately the Bayou Box comes with quite a few hats that are easily separated from it’s owners. Being the flashiest by far, So’mers hat was the one I decided on and with a bit of a haircut, managed to fit onto McMourning’s head with minimal trouble.

The rest of McMourning was more or less unchanged. I was thinking of adding some of the spare liquor bottles to McMourning’s tray instead of the usual zombie head, but instead went for the more Bayou-suitable frog & hollowed out gremlin head.

Sebastian II

So’mer converted into Sebastian II so easily that I’m starting to think that this must have been his true purpose in life. Seb’s saw, back pack and even the tubing fit onto So’mer with a minimum of fuss – at worst I shaved down some pegs so they’d fit right, pinned the saw onto So’mers arm and drilled two holes for the tubing to glue into. The final product even looks scarily like Sebastian, or at least how you’d expect a Gremlin version of him to look.

My only gripe is with how ill-fitting some of So’mers regular pieces where during assembly. More that a few required a bit of converting, but the worst offender was the chain around the left side of his waist (pictured above). It required both shaving down and a good chunk of modelling putty to fit properly.  Overall though, this is the model I’m most proud of thus far.

Flesh Construct/Student of Sinew (with Advice Pig)

Before writing this up I posted a pic of this model on Facebook as a sort of preview. While the feedback was positive (always encouraging!) I was really surprised by how freaked out some people were by the model! I can only assume it’s because I’ve put Sebastians head on the piglet (henceforth known as Advice Pig), which I can’t really fault people for. Advice Pig was actually a last minute conversion when I realised Seb’s head was about as large as the piglets. It was too good to resist, so Undead Lenny has a helpful Advice Pig to tell him what to hit.

I originally planned to use the model as a Student of Sinew, but at least while I’m lacking my planned models for Flesh Constructs (Warpigs), Lenny & Advice Pig will happily sub in as a Flesh Construct

“Bayou” Autopsies

With the muscle sorted, Bayou McMourning needed some numbers to round out his starting crew. The Bayou Gremlins don’t really seem to fit as Canine Remains. But with their crappy guns, poor hygiene and fragile physique, they’re near-perfect proxies for Guild Autopsies!

The conversions for these guys were pretty simple. As is becoming standard for undead models in this crew I drilled out the eyes and carved in the odd cut to ensure they didn’t look TOO pristine to be undead minions. Pipe Gremlin was looking a little too sophisticated, so his head had to go. As for fighting Gremlin, severing a few limbs gave me a look I was satisfied with.

Rotten (fish) Belle

Originally intended for use as a 4th Guild Autopsy, this Gremlin instead became a Rotten Belle once I realised s/he could literally use that fishing rod to Lure models in. ;) Her(?) hair took a bit of time, but for better or worse it’s probably my greatest ever achievement with modelling putty. :P


I wasn’t initially planning to use the original Chihuahua model for this crew. The sculpt itself is a pain to build (4 parts…4 PARTS?!?!) and I thought a puppet piglet would fit better into the crew. But being on a budget, it seemed like a waste not to use a model I paid good money for. Besides, the puppet piglet might be mistaken for a canine remains (who will be proxied using undead pigs). In any case, now that he’s standing on a gremlin hat I think he’ll fit in with the rest of the crew just fine. :)

The Future

If you know anything about how Resser McMourning works, you’ll probably realise that I’m running short on a few of his “essential” minions. Mainly Flesh Constructs and Canine remains but also the likes of Rafkin, Nurses and probably some other stuff too! I’m planning to fill those holes in subsequent months, of course, but they’ll need to be in theme. So at least for the moment, here’s what I’m thinking;

Canine Remains: Piglets (modelled/painted as undead)

Flesh Constructs: Warpigs (as above, plus mounted on a 40mm base)

Rafkin: Gremlin Taxidermist (I just hope the model comes out soon!)

Nurse: Gremlinette (Ltd ed model so while I have one, it’s not ideal)

Necropunks: Skeeters (converted somehow…I’m still very sketchy on this)

So as above I’m not entirely happy with the options for the Nurse and Necropunks. I’d also like to find something suitable for a Rogue Necromancy, Lawyer and maybe the Shikome, but the jury is still out on those as well. Of course if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Anyway, that’s it for now. All in all I now have 8 models to undercoat and paint for the challenge, totalling 34SS without upgrades (assuming my math isn’t off). So hopefully I’ll have something to show you before the month is out!

Until next time,