Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Welcome to the West That Never Was

Hey everyone, I'm baaaack!

So it's only been what, nine months since I posted anything on the blog? Bah, what's nine months between friends! Seriously though, things have been happening the whole time and some of you might have seen the other blogs that I had been working on, but I decided it is time to bring back the Dispatch. I am still going to go for a looser format instead of the old issue format, but it will be good to get back into writing again. So with that, let's dive right in!

"Go West Young Man..."
Taking a Closer Look at Malifaux

I recently listened to a podcast review of the skirmish miniature game Malifaux and was instantly intrigued by their description of the game. Every since I saw my first game of Gutshot! being played I have been interested in looking into this genre more, but beyond buy a few minis I never got very far. Seems like something of a hard sell. "Hey guys! Wanna play cowboys?" Still, after having the itch for this long I decided it was time to scratch it.

In addition to the genre, the scale of the game really caught my eye. After playing my fair share of four hours games of Warmachine and Hordes, I was really interested in something a bit faster and Malifaux sounded like it would fit the bill. In fact the typical game sounded like it centered around a most half a dozen models on each side, much fewer than I'm accustomed to especially since the changes in Warmachine that really increased the scale of the game. With all of this in mind, it was time to hit the Wyrd website to take a look at the minis.

Since this is a minis game it is important to like the minis. Not only are you going to be playing with them in the game but also painting them so it's always best to make sure you like them. After looking around their online store, I must admit that some of the minis didn't do that much for me but most of them interested me enough to decide to buy the rulebook and give it a more serious look.

Building Torment's Reach
The Malifaux Terrain Project

While I was waiting for the book to arrive, I decided I might as well start working on some terrain to pass the time since I don't have any western themed terrain floating around. Might as well have something to fight over, right?

When I usually start a new project like this, I tend to try to jump right into the deep and do something overly elaborate that I never finish... like my wasteland building. Mounted on a 20"x20" MDF base with interiors and some balconies... well it will when I actually finish it but back to the old west. For Malifaux, I decided to start with something smaller to get my feet wet and practice some new techniques. To this end, I started work on generic western building #1! Impressive name, eh? And with such a grand introduction, why don't we take a look at it?

Front and back view of generic western building #1 with Black Scorpion 32mm cowboy for scale

As you can see, it is not finished yet but it was only really meant to be a working structure so that I could try some different techniques to see what would work and what doesn't. Overall, it's not a bad little building but I did learn a few lessons that I will carry forward in the future for this project.

One of the most glaring is the lack of a boardwalk on the front of the building. This was a staple of the frontier towns and though I could attach one to the building in its current form, it would potentially be pretty easy to break off. In the future, I decided to incorporate the boardwalk into the footprint of the building to make it that much stronger structurally and much better looking visually.

The next flaw is the windows. After doing a little more digging around, I noticed that most of the windows from that time tended to very tall and narrow while the windows I had put into my building were very wide. A minor thing but still something that I plan to correct in the future.

The last thing that really stuck out for me had to do with the construct of the model. With this first one, I had built the shell of the house and then added the boards onto the outside. The worked well enough but since I'm thinking about leaving the interior accessible, it will make it hard to add the boards onto the interior. For the next one, I'm going to detail the each wall before I glue it all together which should make it much easier to do.

Overall, it was definitely a learning process but I'm glad that built this one first instead of jumping into a larger project. Of course that means that now it's time to start on the larger project but more on that later.

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