Saturday 23 September 2023

Out of the Shadows

I'm usually not really sure how or why my inconstant focus flits from one project to another. It remains a mystery why one week I'm fully focused on battles in the 31st Millennium and the next I'm considering which Scooby Doo villain Old Man Withers is dressed up as.

However, this time I know exactly what I've returned to the streets of Patriot City and my intermittent nostalgic fixation on the retro superhero PC game Freedom Force to paint up my version of the mysterious villainess, Shadow.

It's all the fault of a short-run Kickstarter I backed last week run by Kitbash Games which, totally by coincidence, has a few miniatures that will be able to be converted into versions of characters from Freedom Force.

And even though the Kickstarter won't ship until next year, it's taken my mind back to the game and reminded me that there are still plenty of characters I can work on if I can find the right miniatures to base them on.

Shadow is a villain in one of the game's many bizarre story arcs in which she mind controls a character (who later becomes a hero) called the Ant to get his army of, you guessed it, giant ants to abduct people (and buildings) and bring them to her underground city to join Shadow's hypnotised cult of ugly people.

The twist is that the Shadow isn't ugly herself, she's a model who got a tiny scar on her cheek and now believes herself to be hideous and in need of hiding away forever in the darkness.

There's not actually a lot too Shadow's costume and it's really quite a conventional superhero look, unlike many of the characters in the game.

Furthermore she bears more than a passin resemblance to the character Spoilers from the Batman comics. Even more fortunately, I happened to have a spare Heroclix Spoiler still knocking about.

This is actually the third time I've painted this model, not this specific one, but this sculpt. Heroclix models used to have three levels of power (determined by a coloured ring on the base) and so I had three version of some characters for this reason. One was repainted more neatly as Spoiler, one went into my kitbashed Guildball team (and may find its way onto the streets of Venice as a proxy in Carnevale, and the third is now the Shadow.

There's not a lot to say about the painting. Black undercoat with a heavy drybrush of Kantor Blue, a highlight of Caledor Sky and a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade did most of the work.

Although the character in the game has very small leather pouches on her hip, I have played this up to make use of the details on the model and add some much needed visual variation. The silver bits on the belt serve as a nod to her range of throwing weapons.

The cloak is too neat, but I didn't fancy chopping it up as that seemed like a lot of work for something that might look terrible and would render the model unusable. None of my Freedom Force models are exactly right anyway.

So I've added another villain the currently rather slim rogues gallery of Pinstripe, Nuclear Winter an some Dinosaurs. In terms of henchmen, I need som cultist-types to paint up as Shadow's Dark Men and although the model I'll be using as the Ant is in the Kitbash Kickstarter, I already have some of the excellent Crooked Dice giant ants to be in her thrall.

Acquired: 83
Painted: 228
Lead Mountain: 457

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