Brushwork – Friday 14th April

Yuan Yuan (work in progress) - click to enlarge

Regular readers may have been wondering why all the Infinity content on my blog has dried up recently (well, I mean, ALL content had dried up in recent months, but I digress…). In terms of Infinity it’s been on the back burner with me for a while now for various reasons, although I do want to get back to playing it this year.

When I look back over the last couple of years, the amount of Infinity I played was a heck of a lot – I think I pretty much played it exclusively. On top of that, attending tournaments became the norm for many of us in our group. Not a bad thing, in itself, but I believe that’s where things started to go wrong for me.

As time rumbled on, I became trapped in a bit of a downward spiral with the game. I found myself placing (admittedly artificial and personal) pressure on myself to perform well at tournaments. However, with this pressure on, coupled with seemingly an inability to learn from my mistakes or purchase new models to make a better, more harmonious list with better synergy between units meant that I was losing far more games than I was winning. As a result of this I was beginning to fall out of love with the game. The story-driven/narrative-based missions that I played with Mike and Craig mid-way through last year did help rekindle my enthusiasm a bit, but ultimately I’d been soured by the (again, perceived) ‘seriousness’ of tournaments.

While many players can happily play at tournaments all day long regardless of winning or losing, I just find that when I’m placed in that kind of environment I become too focussed on caring about who wins, which is not like me at all – I’m not a competitive person by nature, and so being placed in a competitive environment just doesn’t gel with me. This ultimately sucks my sense of enjoyment out of a game. Of course, plenty of people love tournaments, and more power to them I say, but for me, it’s something I’ll probably not do again for the forseeable future. As much as I like the community that forms around them, especially the UK Infinity scene, playing in them just isn’t for me.

I’m trying not to buy any more Infinity models until the ones in my current collection have all been painted up – 47 models according to the pile of shame. Well, 48 if you include the Manga pre-order model which I’m waiting to be delivered! I’ve set myself a restriction that I can’t buy any more until all of these are painted. That’s too many unpainted in my opinion (and some of them have sat at the undercoat stage for far too long, such as the Operation Icestorm models, which I picked up at the time of its release back at the end of 2014)! You can see the full list of unpainted models on my Pile of Shame spreadsheet.

Recently I’ve been working on The Unknown Ranger and my Yuan Yuan from the Red Veil pre-order. I’ve been enjoying painting these two quite a lot – if there’s one thing I do love, it’s working on an Infinity miniature – they’re just so fun to build and paint.

I find Infinity models are really good for encouraging me to up my painting game little by little as time goes on. I’d never bothered doing things like using a wet pallette, trying NMM techniques etc before painting these figures, but I’m happy to say I have since and the end results have been worth it!

Yuan Yuan (work in progress) - click to enlarge
Yuan Yuan (work in progress) – click to enlarge
Yuan Yuan (work in progress) - click to enlarge
Yuan Yuan (work in progress) – click to enlarge

The Yuan Yuan was painted with Iyanden Darksun washed with Reikland Fleshshade. I’ve worked these up towards Ushabti bone highlights.The white areas were painted with Celestra Grey and highlighted with Ceramite White.

I’ve also been working on the GenCon version of the Unknown Ranger which I picked up last year thanks to Peter over on Lead Rising.

The Unknown Ranger (work in progress) - click to enlarge
The Unknown Ranger (work in progress) – click to enlarge
The Unknown Ranger (work in progress) - click to enlarge
The Unknown Ranger (work in progress) – click to enlarge

The Unknown Ranger is still in the early stages, but he’s my usual USAriadna colours. I’ll add some proper highlights to his shield when his fatigues are done – I don’t normally highlight black to any great extent but I’ll try to do something with this one as it’s a large, standout piece of the model.

With the recent Infinity news coming out at various events in the US, it’s certainly rekindled my interest a fair bit, although I’ll be playing narrative scenarios over more standard ITS fare, I think. I’ll likely have a bit of an Infinity model binge later this year and pick up some more Tohaa, Aleph and Yu Jing units.

Also fuelling this rekindled interest are my Antenociti’s Workshop decals, which I received in the post a couple of weeks ago. I was quite keen to jump on board with that Kickstarter at the tail end of last year, and I’ve got Tohaa, Mercenary, Aleph and Yu Jing decal sheets.

After application, I’m happy to say they really set off my models nicely! They’re extremely small, but they are super durable – far more so than any waterslide transfers I’ve used in the past. They really add a nice bit of additional detail to the models, and I have a feeling I’m going to end up buying more of these before the year is out, as they’re just too good not to apply to my models! I’ve done a select few from various factions, but I’ll start adding them across all of my Tohaa and Aleph as time goes on.

First off, some Yu Jing:

Yuriko Oda - click to enlarge
Yuriko Oda – click to enlarge
Yuriko Oda - click to enlarge
Yuriko Oda – click to enlarge
Tiger Soldier - click to enlarge
Tiger Soldier – click to enlarge
Tiger Soldier - click to enlarge
Tiger Soldier – click to enlarge
Hac Tao - click to enlarge
Hac Tao – click to enlarge
Hac Tao - click to enlarge
Hac Tao – click to enlarge
Guilang - click to enlarge
Guilang – click to enlarge
Guilang - click to enlarge
Guilang – click to enlarge

Next are a couple of Mercenaries:

Armand Le Muet decal detail - click to enlarge
Armand Le Muet decal detail – click to enlarge
Bounty Hunter - click to enlarge
Bounty Hunter – click to enlarge

One Aleph model:

Thorakitai - click to enlarge
Thorakitai – click to enlarge
Thorakitai - click to enlarge
Thorakitai – click to enlarge

And of course, a bunch of Tohaa:

Clipsos - click to enlarge
Clipsos – click to enlarge
Clipsos - click to enlarge
Clipsos – click to enlarge
Clipsos - click to enlarge
Clipsos – click to enlarge
Clipsos - click to enlarge
Clipsos – click to enlarge
Chaksa - click to enlarge
Chaksa – click to enlarge
Chaksa - click to enlarge
Chaksa – click to enlarge
Chaksa - click to enlarge
Chaksa – click to enlarge
Chaksa - click to enlarge
Chaksa – click to enlarge

I’ve been using some Vallejo decal softener which has really been useful in getting these things on and to help them conform to less flat surfaces. I then apply a coat of a brush-on acrylic matt varnish I picked up in a local model railway shop. After being burned in the past with spray varnish, I think I’ll be sticking with brush-on stuff for the forseeable future. Granted, it’s not as hard-wearing, but it’ll do the job for me.

I’ve already used it on Penthesilea to dull down the gloss finish I’d originally used on her. I’ve not done it on the bike bodywork yet, but I may leave that glossy as I quite like the idea of a shiny paintjob on the vehicle.

Penthesilea - click to enlarge
Penthesilea – click to enlarge
Penthesilea - click to enlarge
Penthesilea – click to enlarge

*phew*! Long post! Thanks for reading – I’ll be back soon with a post about all the Star Wars gaming I’ve been doing, and hopefully with a finished Yuan Yuan and Unknown Ranger!

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6 thoughts on “Brushwork – Friday 14th April

  1. redheadhobbies says:

    That Yuan Yuan looks amazing! I set myself the same target of getting all my unpainted stuff finished and I’ve managed to get my to-do pile down to 4 models [well, 7 if you count the Fat Yuan Yuan and Knauff!] Completely understand about the competitive environment. I’ve only played in one proper tournament and, while I had loads of fun [despite coming second from bottom], it was a pretty gruelling day. Have you tried the mini-tournaments? They still count towards ITS but are for 4 players only – perfect for beer fuelled gaming with a few mates but still keeping a competitive edge. We all chipped in for an ITS winners box and shared it out at the end! I’ve also really enjoyed the narrative based missions that CB have been putting out lately – there’s the TAGline mini-campaign, as well as the Fat Yuan Yuan missions. I’ve played the first missions from each and they were the most enjoyable games of Infinity I’ve ever played! Keep the painted minis coming, they look superb.

    1. Lee says:

      Thank you!
      I’ve done some of the mini-tournaments within my group of friends, and again, the word ‘tournament’ becomes a bit of a stigma to me, so I found I didn’t enjoy them as much, despite the ‘loot’ we earned from splitting a tournament pack.
      I’ve not tried any of the TAGline/Fat Yuan Yuan missions yet, perhaps they’re something I should take a look at!

  2. Peter Acs says:

    All your stuff looks cracking and the Yuan Yuan is good inspiration for getting my Red Veil Yu Jing troops painted at last! I dread to even contemplate the vastness of my own pile of shame though. I’ll also have to check out these transfers as it appears to be something I entirely missed out on.

    It would be good to see you for a game sometime. What do you think about doing some narrative events for Wotan? πŸ™‚

    1. Lee says:

      Thanks! I’d definitely recommend those decals – Antenociti’s Workshop have excelled themselves there!
      I’ve been contemplating doing some of the Wotan stuff – I did enjoy the couple of Flamestrike missions I played and recorded!

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