Painting the Smoke & Mirrors Box Set
The Colette Crew - Malifaux figures from Wyrd Games
One L, two T's...Colette and the Smoke and Mirrors box set, is the final Master to round out my Malifaux Arcanist colecttion (see what I did there?).
There is lots more of this stuff on my Malifaux pages
Colette and her crew are all Showgirls, which means they can do some really mind-bending (core rules bending) stuff with movement and with scheme markers. That will make learning them somewhat of a challenge, but many experts seem to regard them as one of the better crews in the game for most schemes as a result.
Currently most of the painted examples I can find online are of the old metal crew, so this may be one of the first walk-throughs of the plastic set online?
The figures, as usual, go together fairly well but the number of tiny pieces, most of which are such that it is difficult to understand why they were separate, is a tad frustrating. This is Cassandra in the bare plastic. To tie this crew in with all of my other crews I have adopted the same basic basing (black painted sand, with drybrush highlights) but all of the girls will be based on a patch of "stage floorboards", which I have cut out of the Renedra bases that came with my Perry 28mm Medievals. The Rendra bases are easy to cut and score (which is where the "floorboard" effect comes from) and also have a little texture on one side which helps make them take a drybrushing better.
This then is the whole set (apart from the birds - more of them later) in the plastic - I also bought a pair of Coryphee to paint up at the same time. Once assembled there was a bit of filling to do, especially around the neck and arm joints of Cassandra and Colette herself - you can just about make out where the filler has been added in this photo. All are glued to the bases with poly liquid cement - I used a brush-on bottle from Humbrol. This welds the figures to the plastic flooring bases, although in the case of the standing Coryphee I added a few blocks of plastic (cut from the sprue) behind her so her skirt rested on two more anchor points, as otherwise the one-legged stance and one thin ankle looked to me to be a very dainty and breakable spot on quite a hefty model that needed to be used in a tabletop game. It also has been magnetized - again more later...
In order to be able to use the Coryphee Duet ability (putting both Coryphee on a single bigger base) without forking out another £11 for 2 models I planned to take advantage of the wooden plank basing and do some clever mini magnet stuff.
As you can see here, before gluing the models to the bases, both bases have had a bit scraped out of their undersides, into which has been superglued a tiny (1mm thick by 3mm across!) magnet that I got on eBay so that it is pretty much flush with the base, but more importantly, was level. Once this was dry (and firmly in place) I placed a small sheet of paper or thin card over the magnet, then attached another magnet to the first one through the paper, put a dab of superglue onto this new magnet then positioned the whole thing where I wanted the flooring base to go on the 40mm Coryphee bases and held it there until it the glue was stuck. Hey Presto - a paired magnet that is in the right place on the 40mm base to magnetize the model to the base. This then got repeated for the Duet 50mm base, with the magnets glued in place such that the two pieces of flooring fitted together.
I'm not 100% sure the extra layer of card made much difference, but it did prevent the 2 magnets getting accidentally glued together if the glue ran, and also made it slightly easier to lift the model and its flooring base off of the actual base.
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Here are the Mechanical Dove bases - I cut the flooring bases into two pieces, alllowing me to cut out a space big enough for the base of the clear plastic flight stand to sit into, then glued them back together and filled the space around the base of the flight stand. The rest of the crew were undercoated in light grey (my white had run out) then drybrushed in white as I have a suspicion that this helps a bit with highlighting any thin colours that go on top.
And here is everyone, all primed and ready to go. The flooring bases have not been stuck down onto the main bases as yet, but they have all been prepared with glued-in sand, a black undercoat and drybrushing of grey and pale stone. Here the Coryphee are together on their 50mm base, but you can see a 40mm base that has also had a couple of "metal bars" added to it similar to the ones holding up the standing Coryphee's skirt - so that the ones on the base holding her up will not look so out of place as there will be more on the rest of the base anyway.
You can buy this stuff for yourself on one of my eBay Auction pages
Here is the Duet, together (back to back seemed the best way to position them) and also their 40mm bases. The magnet has been overpainted, but you can see the round, light grey face of it on the base in the foreground. I ended up with the two magnets in opposing polarity, meaning that there is only one way of fitting the two Coryphee together on the shared base, which is actually quite helpful in practice - I can't say I planned this though, but if you copy this idea you may wish to!
And here they are separated. The magnets create a good enough "lock" that you can pick up the single models and the Duet just by the handling the model.
And here are the girls mid-paint. I paired the two sets of Showgirls and Mannequins with similar colour schemes, and used rich reds and purples for Cassandra and Colette.
The Wild West !
This is the basic 'vibe' I was aiming for.....
The boards are undercoated in black, but are still not glued to the bases - thats the last part - but I have added some grass to the parts of the bases that might show under the boards to maintain consistency with my other models and crews
Here the boards have been drybrushed in a couple of woody colours, and the whoel crew apart from the doves has been given a coat of ArmyPainter Medium tone to give them depth, and a final coat of Testors Dullcote
This Performer has come out pretty well with highlighting and the effect of the ink. Her head was a bit too small, and her hair fell too closely around her face for me to have any confidence in painting in eyes though.
The Doves - a simple drybrush in gunmetal over a black undercoat, with some highlights picked out in brass. Their feet are a bit of a nightmare to get on, and hopefully they will stay glued to the flight bases in play. It's important to remember not to spray-varnish the flight bases, as Dullcote will send clear plastic an opaque cloudy grey. I have also added a few watch parts to the bases as mechanical detritus
The Blue Showgirl and Mannequin, Cassandra and Colette - Cassies leading leg seems to have not survived multiple layers of paint particularly well, and is rather lumpy at this resolution but in play its not too noticable. I left her red boots un-Dullcoted to give a patent leather effect. Colette is clearly a bold lady when it comes to fashion, being brave enough to combine a mostly red outfit with her ginger hair...
The whole crew are together here - I used relatively few colours overall making them more consistent as a crew
The Duet - this shot makes me wonder if I should have done more to fill the joints of the arms and shoulders, but as mechanicals this may be an OK look. I also clearly need to go and drybrush on some laces onto the green boots of the seated Coryphee...
The Purple standing Coryphee - there is no real logic for the pile of grey stuff behind her, but on table its not too intrusive and doesn't look wildly out of place. Securing this model - with its quite thick plastic skirts - on one ankle would have been an accident waiting to happen.
Cassie and her lumpy legs... I gave her lips, but again the eyes were too difficult for me to attempt.
The Blue Showgirl - I have a sneaking suspicion that I could have painted her more modestly, with her corset covering her bust up to her neck, but the rest of the crew would probably have objected. Her face is wide and open enough for me to have a stab at the eyes and eyebrows fairly succesfully.
That's the end - so why not go back to my Malifaux pages and look for some more stuff ?