sobota 27. srpna 2016

Bauhaus Hussars

After my short flirt with Warzone Ressurection's Cybertronic faction, I've finally decided to work on a proper army force - so I've got the Bauhaus starter set with some extras. How much sense does it make? Not much, but so doesn't life, right? Actually, the aristocratic, retro-futuristic Bauhaus Corporation has been my favorite faction of the Mutant Chronicles universe for a long time; the Kickstarter line of models did put me off though. Luckily enough, the updated version of Bauhaus looks great!

The HQ of Bauhaus is on planet Venus, which has been terraformed into a jungle world. Paradoxically enough, some of the most iconic artwork displays Venus in a snow setting, which has confused a great many of fans in the past, me included. Luckily enough, fluffwise the polar caps of Venus are a neverending battlefield against the Dark legion, so everything makes sense after all.

In fact, winter setting suits Bauhaus very well, as the corporation has been usually painted in blue or white colors. While I knew I was going to do winter basing, I've decided to go with a black-and-white scheme instead of the more traditional cyan blue. I believe the black color helps to contrast the models against the snow-covered bases. However, since blue and gold colors are connected to Bauhaus, I've used them on various small details, such as on the shoulderpads.

The bases were my first try at modelling snow, and it took a few tries to do it right. I went with the cheap option of using sodium bicarbonate (or baking soda) mixed with PVA glue and water. While my first try lead into the creation of an alien, bubblegum-like substance, after adding a good amount of water I got much better results. Still, doing this can be a horrible mess, so I'm considering getting proper modelling snow.

As you can see on the picture below, I've also tried to put the snow on the legs of the miniatures, especially on the clothing. I think the result has a nice, wet look which really helps to bring more action to the miniatures.

I really like the miniatures themselves. While the leg-body poses are defined by the kit, hands with weapons are a separate part, so there is some space for posing. The miniatures are full of small details - sometimes too small, perhaps, so one has to be very careful to thin down paints as to not overpaint any of the tiny folds on the shoulders or helmets.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post! Ow, and sorry for the difference in picture quality, had to use a different camera this time.

úterý 31. května 2016

Hivefleet Leviathan Carnifex

Carnifex is certainly one of the most iconic monsters of the 40K universe. Last decade or so, the Tyranid miniature range has been expanded quite a bit, though only few of the new kits match the 4th edition Carnifex box set in its modularity, style and general coolness. Obviously, this kit is a must-have for any self-respecting bug lover!

 I've decided to go with a multi-role Carnifex so I've armed it with talons, devourers and bioplasma. Note I've built the kit before the 6th edition update; my original intention was to go with crushing claws, though these sucked in the 5th edition codex, so I went with the talons. After the 6th edition update, I've learned a lesson: with GW's randomness of updates, it's for the best to just ignore the rules and go with the look you want. Though the talons are pretty cool as well, so no regrets there.

 I've worked on this little bugger for way too long; took me several months to finish it (working on and off, ofcourse). Notice the orange details on carapace. The idea was that the vents there are glowing with the bioplasma produced inside the Carnifex, though I'm not sure whether I've succeeded in that or not - even if it doesn't look 100% energetic though, it gives a cool organic feel to the creature.

One of the kit's problems is that there's not really much options for posing - except turning the head and arms, ofcourse. The bug's legs and spine are almost fixed, though. I didn't feel like experimenting here, so I tried to make a simple "advancing" pose, with the head slightly turned to give it a menacing look.

One of the coolest things about the kit is the large selection of heads. In the end, I went with the bioplasma head, though I was tempted to go with some of the others - especially the "enhanced senses" one. I wonder how hard it would be to combine the heads together in a conversion (like, giving the enhanced senses head a bioplasma jaw). Food for thought...

I've used both gloss and matte varnish on the model. Gloss varnish was used for the weapon biomorphs (talon blades, bioplasma maw and devourers) to give them a wet, slimy look and to differentiate them from the rest of the model, making them more visible. Matte was used on the carapace mostly, to enhance the chitinous look. By the way, note the devourers are not painted in red as other biomorphs, but in a mixture of grey and green - fluffwise, these biomorphs are actually worm nests consisting of rotten flesh afterall. Makes me wonder whether it would be worth it to model few worms out of green stuff here and there to make them look even more repulsive...


I've assembled the model on its base so I didn't have much space to experiment there. I settled on a jungle basings for my tyranids, though I didn't want to overdo it here and take away too much attention from the model itself. The plants feel good there though since they help in making the creature look like it's lumbering through the jungle... Maybe I should have used more. I've also added one of those genestealer markers on the base, to show that the tyranid infestation has already begun.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the post and the miniature. I gotta admit - I totally love it, and can't wait to get another Tyranid monstrosity! These models are so much fun to both assemble and paint. And it seems like I already got plenty of ideas for a second 'fex...

středa 17. února 2016

Space Crusade of Prodos Games

It's been a long time since my last post - for some reason, finishing studies and moving out takes away a lot of hobby time! Anyway, no new miniatures to show off yet, just a short opinion piece regarding Prodos Games' newest creation, and the community reaction to it.

So what's the fuss all about? Just few days ago, Prodos Games (the company behind Warzone Resurrection and Alien vs Predator) released Space Crusade, a new line of "sexy" miniatures accompanied with a tabletop game.

From my point of view, there are several problematic points with this release:

Plagiarism. Original Space Crusade is a classic boardgame set in the familiar setting of Warhammer 40.000. I'm sure many fans would welcome the boardgame to return in a new edition, as they did with Space Hulk and would with Necromunda and other classic Games Workshop products. We don't know much about the Prodos' Space Crusade setting - apart of the fact that it's filled with cheap scantily-clad female clones of Games Workshop Space Marines and Daemons. This is not just cheap and unoriginal, but also unethical and bordering on plagiarism. Or is this supposed to be a parody? If it is, I guess I'm just missing the humor.

Objectification of women. Sexual objectification involves "a woman being viewed primarily as an object of male sexual desire, rather than as a whole person." In short, objectification reduces women to a sexualized object of desire. Just look at that picture above and tell me there's nothing wrong with it. The comically dougnut-shaped breasts and extra wide hips accompanying a wasp waist, the stripperiffic armour used just to visually emphasize the unrealistically sexualized body parts, the flirteous pose. The side picture even gives us an emphasized male gaze perspective, focusing on the sexualized body while ignoring the face of the model.

All of the game's models are like this or worse - basically, the whole miniature line is based on titilation and fan service. So what's the problem with this? Well, alienation of the female public for start. Reproduction of harmful stereotypes to continue. And of course, there are many negative stereotypes about geek subculture and wargamers in particular regarding their attitude to women and this is just going to reinforce these.

Funnily enough, it seems like the whole world of Space Crusade consists only of women; there are no male models available so far. Which is probably for the good.

 Feedback and Prodos' reaction to it. Space Crusade has induced an explosive reaction on the internet. On Facebook, many wargamers voiced their negative opinion, only to get called censors or "SJWs" by Prodos apologetics (or "white knights", if we join the name-calling game). Similarly, on Dakkadakka, the reaction was mostly negative since the very beginning. Prodos' reaction to early criticism was the announcement of a PG-13 version of the game, though the negative reaction continued. Why? Well, I guess that when you alienate a significant portion of your customers, it takes some time to heal the scars. Also, the PG-13 version doesn't really deal with the problem itself - it's mostly just a way for Prodos to cash more on this while they retain the original product, which is the real subject of criticism.

Meanwhile, the discussion turned into a flame war. On Facebook, the person behind Prodos Games account actually tried to dig up dirt on one of the more vocal critics, only to delete most of the discussion afterwards, when that turned out - surprise - to actually worsen the situation. On Dakkadakka, Prodos representative engaged in an amusing argument with Artemis Black from Hasslefree Miniatures over whose miniatures are more sexist, threatened the mods with leaving the forum, and resorted to the normalizing apology of "everyone does it, so do we". I understand Prodos' frustration over the community reaction, but could they get any less professional? Feels like it would show them off in better light if they wouldn't react at all. Sometimes less is more - and not only when it comes to women's attire, Prodos.

This isn't the first time with Prodos. I remember a similar discussion about unnecessary sexualization regarding some of the first Warzone Resurrection miniatures such as Laura Vestal and Valkyries. Back then, Prodos made a rather schizophrenic statement that they will continue to release both realistic and "sexy" female miniatures. Thankfully, they went with the more realistic route since then, though we still get silly g-string armor on some minis.

Note that I consider myself a Prodos Games fan - I liked most of their work so far, especially the Warzone Resurrection line, which I am a customer of. But that doesn't stop me from voicing my opinion on something which I find unethical and harmful. It's a shame Prodos Games went the easy route this time - cashing on cheap plagiarism and sexualization - instead of offering us a a more elaborate product, such as, I don't know, a Warzone Resurrection board game.

As usual, any comments are welcome! What's your opinion on Space Crusade and all the fuss about it?