Thursday, June 13, 2013

Opening the box - Mierce Miniatures Kickstarter

When I got home yesterday, to my joy, was a big box from Mierce Miniatures. I've always been a fan of their models - I think they are some of the best in the business - so it immediately became a battle of wills for me to not open the box.
It sat there. I played with my kids. I put my daughter to bed. I looked over at the Vampire Counts models that I really should be painting. I looked at the box again.
Oh, look! Somehow it got opened! I guess now there's nothing left to do but begin to go through it.
Unfortunately, time did not permit me to do anything more than lay the contents out and do a quick inventory. That "anything more" consisted of looking at certain models over and over again, chuckle to myself in a way that alarmed my wife, and think of color schemes.
Each model is individually wrapped in a ziplock bag. For the kickstarter faction army deals, the individual models are also grouped into a larger bag, to keep everything together. The bases are in the bag with the individual models, if they fit (Magnir's didn't), or in the larger bag if part of the factions. The contents of the box were wrapped in bubble wrap, but the box was so full that there wasn't a lot of room for movement. Mierce has chosen to ship the kickstarter stuff without the normal commercial packaging (boxes and blisters). I think it's a great move for a couple of reasons: it deters people from trying to flip the deals on eBay, it makes it much easier to ship (less wasted space than you'd have with blisters or boxes), and it encourages people to put stuff together! I have a ton of Mierce stuff still sitting in the boxes, but the Kickstarter items will probably be unpacked and assembled before I start diving into those boxes, because the models are right in front of me.
I'll do detailed model reviews as I start building them, but the quality on these guys is amazing. The sculpts look fantastic. At least one model looked like it had a ton of resin flashing, but it looked like the paper-thin kind that just wipes off. I saw no broken pieces or warping on the initial inspection, which reassured me as well - resin models don't always hold up well sitting in a metal mailbox in the Texas summer!
Here's a final shot of the contents of this box all spread out and labeled.
I can't wait to start gluing!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Defender of the Brew

So I thought I'd share one of my older models this week: The Defender of the Brew.
I won this Empire character at Alamo in 2009 and never planned to use it for anything. On a whim I decided to paint it up for then-BoLS con in 2010. I was still only just figuring out painting; I was using Wal-Mart brushes instead of the Winsor-Newton Series 7s I use now, and I had no idea how to highlight red without it turning pink. The only skill I felt confident in showing off was non-metallic metal, which I slathered across every surface I could. This was also the year I said I wasn't going to bother with basing, so he just has flock glued there. I painted it in a hotel room while on the road for business, just using the paints I had brought along. 
To give the model some kind of narrative, when I got home I carved a hillside out of foam and put some barrels on top of it. I did this almost as an afterthought, knowing the model was only going to be judged on its own and the display didn't matter, but I loved the result. The seeds for my 2013 Orc army - and the name of this blog - were planted in this model.

Looking back at it, this model goes to what I'd call my tabletop standard now. The red needs another highlight or two, he has lazy eye syndrome, and the sash should have been some kind of neat freehand tartan effect. The NMM is solid - not spectacular, but solid - and the barrels are only half highlighted compared to what I do now. The basing makes me shudder. Another few hours of work really would have helped this guy out.
Still, it was a fun concept, and I thought it worth sharing. Enjoy!