Tuesday, 25 February 2014

ToMB Month 1: Opening Wounds

And so the tale begins... For month one (rules here and here) we are allocated a budget of $60. With Hamelin this gets you a rather large collection of fairly small models. For the sum of $58.50 I’ve bought the Hamelin starter box (as this seems a sensible starting point) and a blister of Rat Catchers (to give me some much needed minions). This leaves me with a starting crew comprising of Hamelin, Nix, 3 Stolen, 3 Malifaux Rats and 2 Rat Catchers. As these models are all metal, and most single piece, construction of this starting crew was straightforward, although I am looking forward to the future plastic boxed set. Without including upgrades my month 1 purchases sum to a grand total of 32 soulstones, so I can comfortably play some 30-40 soulstone games (helped by Hamelin’s low cache and generally expensive upgrades). Looking at the way the rules for this crew (available to download here until the wave 2 cards are released) I am fairly certain that for the first few months of this project I will need to use blank bases in place of any extra Malifaux Rats and rat-kings that I am required to summon, although this will (hopefully) give me a good idea of how many Malifaux Rats I will eventually need.

For this crew I am trying a new (to me) basing method: building deep bases. I know that these bases are commercially available, but I have decided to make them myself. To create these bases I have carefully removed the inner section of some lipped round bases, glued the outer edge to a piece of plasticard, trimmed this down and then filed it smooth. The end result is a deep base that can be filled with a reasonable amount of scrap and detritus without raising the miniatures too high. My plan is to paint these bases as if they are part of a sewer system and to fill this deep base with resin water effects.

Completing my first miniature in this crew I came across my first problem with this basing method: A bottle of resin water is rather large (more designed for filling large areas such as lakes and pools) and 30mm bases are rather small - with a model sat in the middle there isn’t much space left to access the inner portion of the base. Looking around my flat for a solution to this (Hobby syringe, funnel, spoon?) I saw what I thought would be perfect – a travel bottle for shampoo/body wash etc. These re-useable bottles are cheap (I think this one came in a pack of 6 or so for £1), will store the resin water until I need it, and has a small enough nozzle that I can be much more precise with my application. I have now completed the base of the first model, and as it was my first time using resin water I learned a lot (such as the amount of resin water needed to fill one small base!).

My other outcast crew (Von Schill and the Freikorps) are predominantly orange and purple with accents of red. I want to carry these colours into the Hamelin crew a little where possible, if only because I am now fairly comfortable with painting these colours! I’m also hoping to improve on my skin tones with this crew – something I seem to be struggling with lately. 
I’m hoping to post blog updates with painting progress throughout the coming month and maybe a battle report or two – I’ll leave initial thoughts on roles and rules of my month one purchases until the next months Tale when I should have a better understanding of what each models does and what I am currently lacking in my model selection. Currently, I don’t think that I will ever need more than 9 Malifaux Rats, but with the cost of the current metal models an extra 6 rats costs $24 (on full months budget!). In addition to more rats I will want to purchase the Obedient Wretch and, outside of the ‘core’ Hamelin models, I can see benefit in Crooligans and Canine Remains (as significant minions and objective runners) and Lazarus or Killjoy as heavy hitters for the crew. Baby Kade and Candy would make a nice addition, but for this project there is an overall limited budget, and I’m not sure that I’ll manage to fit them in within the 6 months (especially as I’d like the beautiful new plastic versions from the Pandora boxed set)....

I’ll end now with a photo of the first completed crew member: A lonesome Malifaux Rat.

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