I mentioned in my previous post that I've been experiencing a bit of a painting block. In terms of the Batman Miniatures Game, this painting block has been even longer than with other projects, and I think that the reason has been these three models...
Harley Quinn, Deadshot and Katana, the remaning members of my Suicide Squad set. Each one individually had it's own reasons making me reticent to approach painting them, and the combination of all three, along with less troublesome models being available, has meant that it's been a long time since I last painted models for BMG.
The issues with Harley Quinn were a combination of the fact that there are LOTS of fiddly details in her costume, such as lettering, cuffs and tattoos, which are easy to get wrong, along with the fact that she is wearing tights that I didn't know how to do effectively.
When it came to it, I decided to simply leave out some of the details, such as her tattoos (as they's be too small to see properly) and the 'Daddy's Lil Monster' logo on her shirt, which would never have been good enough and would have been a focal point on the model. An added bonus of this approach has been that areas I really happy with (the make up and the white on the shirt), come more to the fore.
For the tights, I went for simplicity, and simply did a black wash over the the flesh on her legs. As ever, the photo makes things look worse than they appear to my eyes, and despite some of the smears on the photo, I'm happy with how the model looks in real life. In fact, I think I'm as happy as I could be with what I though was going to be a very tricky model to paint.
Deadshot (or Willshot, as he's known in game) was causing me different issues in that I couldn't decide on how to approach it, as I couldn't find a clear image of his costume in the movie - it's all that darkness. In the end I just went for a simply approach of painting the whole model (except the head) dark grey, picking out the red and silver bits and throwing a black wash over the whole thing. A few highlights later, and I was happy with the result. So much so that painting Deadshot so simply and quickly is what broke me out of my rut.
As a quick point, I decided to go with the masked head on the basis that much like Judge Dredd, Deadshot always wears a mask when he works. I appreciate that when you've paid excessively for Will Smith (or Sylvester Stallone for that matter) to appear in your movie, you want people to actually see him, but in my games, Mr Smith can put his mask back on. However, this will not stop me singing "Boom! Shake the room!" whenever I use him.
Katana, is the single most, mind-bogglingly, fucking irritating piece of shit-twatty model I've ever has the misfortune to assemble.
Apologies for the bad language, but it was that bad. Really.
Basically, this one model comes in five (count 'em, five!) pieces. The main body, the ribbon, the scabbards, the right arm (minus hand) and the left arm and eponymous katana (with both hands attached). The major issue stemmed from the fact that some bright spark decided to sculpt a tiny gap between the two hands on the hilt of the sword (leaving a really weak point), and then decided to have that piece join the metal sprue in two places. This meant that as soon as you try to remove the sword arm from the sprue, the hilt snaps and you're left with trying to simultaneously attach the two arms to the body, and to each other, and position the hand in contact with both arms, all the while tying to achieve a pose which looks vaguely possible for human anatomy to achieve.
This is tricky.
To say the least.
It should be pointed out that there are some who say that there is no problem with the design of the model, and that the fault lies in those who foolishly choose to use clippers rather than side cutters.
Nevertheless, I'd suggest that the fact that pretty much everybody who has assembled this model has complained about it, and I've yet to see anybody who doesn't have a vested interest in promoting Knight Models speak positively of the experience of assembling it, indicates that there might possibly be a problem.
At the very least, a model which needs a very specific (and not particularly common) tool to assemble without breaking being placed in a BLOODY STARTER SET, might not be the cleverest or well thought through idea in the world!
In short, it took me about six months to calm down about this model before I could paint her. As it happens, I think the model looks really good and I really enjoyed painting it.
In game terms, Deadshot is likely to see most use, as his rules are, quite frankly, filth. Katana offers me options for assembling a Birds of Prey team, which might see them used again soon. Harley, is less likely to appear as there is lots of competition for space in my Joker crews, and I am quite attached to AC Harley. However, it is fairly certain that I'll be giving the Suicide Squad a run out at a forthcoming event.
Anyway, the logjam has been cleared and there's a whole host of models that I've built up in my backlog over the last eight months that are now ready to be painted.