Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Painting Log: Malakov

I am by no means a fantastic painter. On my good days, I'd say I paint to a "high tabletop" standard (i.e. a little nicer than just slapping 3 colors on the model and calling it done.) I enjoy having painted models, so I try to paint everything I use with any frequency, and over the years I've even painted up plenty of things that now make sure my case won't blow away in the wind.

One of the ways I've been able to manage painting all of my stuff is to keep a log in Excel of what I need to paint. It allows me to organize my painting projects in an order that will probably keep me sane (probably) and it allows me the small psychological victory of checking things off a list when I get them done, along with watching a list dwindle down as I make my way through it. It also gives me a location to centralize any alternate paint schemes I come up with, though those have been relatively rare so far.

I also find that painting hinges on momentum, at least for me. The absolute worst part of any painting project is beginning; everything is still in front of me which makes it more daunting. This goes double for larger projects such as units or Huge based models. During this part it's not uncommon for me to paint sporadically, get easily distracted, and generally take any chance I can to step away after painting for a brief period.

As the layers and colors begin to come together, the finish line appears on the horizon. The more I paint, the more I can see what the final model will look like, and the more excited I become to finish the model. Where I find excuses to stop painting at the start of a project, I find that towards the end I become much more focused on finishing the model(s). The trick is getting the momentum built up.

This works on a macro level as well, and that's where the painting log comes in. As I finish models, I'm much more inclined to move on to another project so I can grow my list of painted models (ironically, I don't have such a list.) If I stop painting between projects it becomes way more difficult for me to start; likewise if I don't have anything queued up.

As a partner to that painting log, I figure it can't hurt to also post up what I've painted after I'm done. At the very least I can look at everything I've painted and feel good about the work I've done, which will hopefully keep me moving forward when I run into my next willbreaker painting project.

With that primer out of the way (har har,) here's the limited edition version of Kovnik Andrei Malakov:

LE Kovnik Andrei Malakov, Front

LE Kovnik Andrei Malakov, Back

This is probably the time I should point out that my photography tech is very basic: phone camera, nearby light, go. Also, it's funny that one of the only two pots of GW paint I own somehow made it into the photos.

As I (regrettably) backed the Warmachine: Tactics Kickstarter, I own the Limited Edition (LE) version of Malakov. Truth be told, that was one of my main drivers in backing the Kickstarter; after reading the rules, I knew I'd want this model as soon as possible. I was also still working on Retribution at the time, so I also picked up Elara, though her rules were much less impressive.

Cut to many months later and the standard edition (SE) of Malakov's model is readily available for retail, I just now finished painting the LE version I got in April (I try to not use unpainted models to keep me motivated to continue painting,) and I haven't even really tried him in many lists. And Retribution ended up being transmuted into Convergence, so the LE Elara is gone too. Add onto that the fact that I have zero interest in Warmachine: Tactics as a game, and I'm a little bitter about that Kickstarter, though part of that is my own damn fault.

All that aside, I do feel like I got my money's worth out of the LE version of Malakov. When I was looking at the display photos put up by PP, I felt like the LE and SE versions were pretty close. After painting the LE version, I think I like it more than the SE version.

It comes down to little details. The face on the LE version feels like it conveys more of a sense of command and smug authority. The posing of the arms feels more like something a self-assured, confident, slightly dickish officer would do. And I think the openness of the model - chest out, head up high - portrays the character more effectively than the SE version, which feels a little more balled up.

I think both models are very good, and I certainly wouldn't be sad if I had the SE model (it damn sure would have been cheaper.) But I do quite like the LE model, and I'm pleased to have it. I'm happy to finally have it painted so I can start putting it on the table.

The bad news: I don't have any lists with Malakov in them. The good news: he's very, very easy to fit into a list (at least in terms of capability and output,) so it shouldn't be too hard to find some places to take him for a spin. I'm looking forward to doing so, and I'll be sure to share impressions of how he does on the tabletop when that happens.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

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