Hobby Highlight: Alternative Coaching Assistant tutorial

The Greatest Sport in the Galaxy has a cast of colorful characters.  Thirty distinct teams have spent time on the DreadBall pitch, throwing strikes and taking slams.  It’s a randy rainbow.  It’s majestic mayhem.

But the sidelines cannot be forgotten.  Cheerleaders rally the crowd, Elmer and Dobbs call out Events, and the Eye-In-The-Sky surveils.  All in colorful chaos.  Also present?  Assistant coaches!

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DreadBall has a deep field of unique assistant coaching models.  However, adding additional staff is very easy and inexpensive.

I fancy some relatively bizarre things.  So I found their miniature equivalent and turned them into coaching assistants!

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Would BreadDoll readers like to create their own?  It can be accomplished in short order.  A step-by-step tutorial below:

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Step 1. Find your coaches! DreadBall is a science fiction game and fortunately, there are a lot of appropriately themed models available. However, even non sci-fi models can be a joy to see on a sideline. The various Clix models shown were purchased for less than 1 USD a piece.
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Step 1 continued… Star Wars miniatures. STAR WARS for life!  Again, all models were purchased for less than 1 USD a piece.
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Step 2. Basing. Plopping a miniature from another game onto the DreadBall pitch is not acceptable, and BreadDoll readers are no rubes. Grab your hexes! Official Mantic hexes may need filler for models to properly stand. Save time using Gale Force Nine masonite hexes.
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Step 3. Prime baby, PRIME! Army Painter Matt Black conveniently matches their drop bottle color. Convenience is a time saver, and saving time is saving money.
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Step 4. “Cut me Mick!” Get a fresh blade on the hobby knife to prepare for slicing. For this tutorial, a “Moon Tactics Broker” and “Dr. Harleen Quinzel” are going under the scalpel.
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Step 5. Low and slow, cut the model at the bottom with the blade flush against the base. Depending on the material, several small cuts may be necessary. When in doubt, it’s best to cut into the base with the anticipation of cleaning off excess after the figure is detached.
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Step 6. Clean off any excess material from the bottom of the model and make certain it can rest level on the hex base.
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Step 7. Prior to mounting, score the bottom of the model with a cross hatching pattern. These marks will help the adhesive.
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Step 8. Glue. Regardless of adhesive, less is more! Small amounts will suffice. Large amounts will look sloppy.
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Step 9. Touch-ups.  If any areas at the base need attention, the Army Painter Matt Black can be used to cover over areas of glue fogging and/or raw material.

Finished!  Easy, inexpensive, and most important – FUN.

Would any BreadDoll readers like to receive an alternative assistant coach?  Subscribe to our BreadDoll blog between 7/31/18 and 8/6/18.  We’ll randomly select someone, and mail a mini after we return from Gen Con.

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Tournament Time: Nova CTS Cup

The next big tournament coming up is the General Control Cup at GenCon. But since I won’t be there I want to look just a bit further forward to the Nova CTS Cup.

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WHEN: Saturday August 18th

WHERE: Evolution Games – 6323 W Saginaw Hwy, Lansing, MI 48917, USA

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Evolution Games in Lansing Michigan

TIME: Registration:  12:00 12:30
Game 1:           12:30   2:00
Game 2:             2:00   3:30
Break:                3:30   4:15
Game 3:             4:15   5:45
Game 4:             5:45   7:15
Awards:             7:15   7:30

COST: $10

The Nova CTS Cup is part of an entire Mantic Weekend. Friday night there will be Kings of War (FOR FREE). It will be 1000pts to play and learn and have fun. On Sunday there will be a 200pt Deadzone tournament ($15) kicking off the Outbreak summer event!

Each event (Kow, DreadBall, Deadzone) you participate in will earn you some raffle tickets for a chance at a big Mantic prize!

The Nova CTS Cup is an official NADC ranked qualifier DreadBall tournament. The final results of the tournament will be submitted to Mantic and incorporated into the global ranks at dreadball.com.

NADC Tournament Rules Pack 2018

The winner of the tournament in addition to any other prizes will win free admission to the Adepticorp Cup at Adepticon (Chicago) in March 2019. This is the largest event of the year and the de facto North American Championship event.

The Nova CTS Cup is also a BreadDoll sponsored event. As such:

  • counts towards BD30
  • all participants will get Nova CTS Cup themed fan check cards
  • BreadDoll donated prize support (a custom pitch or custom dice for the winner and second place finishers)
  • a BreadDoll for last place
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Fan Check Cards
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Sweet BreadDoll Dice
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Custom BreadDoll DreadBall Pitch

The Mantic Weekend is being organised by the exceptional Mantic Pathfinder: Richard Hall

The Nova CTS Cup Tournament Organizer (TO) is newly minted Mantic Pathfinder: Bryan Novak

There is word on the street that the Mantic Community Manager Pat “Chopper” Lewis will even be in attendance.

Also, I’ll be there. 😉

 

 

Pitch Protocols: Famous Formations—The Press

Famous Formations: The Press

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Wonder what they’re up to?

The Press is a series of variant offensive formations where at least half of the teams players are situated on the launch line at the start of the match. However, The Press can also be combined with other formations, depending upon the match up in question to provide some defense, and then becomes more a “tactic” than purely a formation. Either way, it tends to be utilized by more aggressive teams, or simply by teams that are Home. It would also be possible to use the five across variant as a sort of Forward Screen for a Visiting team looking to mix it up, but that takes careful consideration of positioning and matchup to keep from getting exploited by your opponent.

Advantages

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The Press allows the Forge Fathers ample slamming opportunities and gives them the range to go deep on Strike attempts.

There are many viable variations of The Press, but there Advantages are fairly similar across the board. Firstly, it allows a Bashy team to get as many bodies as possible close to the action to start laying down the hurt. Secondly, it positions slower teams to have greater “reach” with their actions, being positioned to get into the opponents half of the pitch on their first move. It can also be psychologically beneficial when setting up as the Home team, as it often can force your opponent into a more defensive formation to try and counter your slamming game….thereby minimizing their own first rush opportunities.

Disadvantages

One of the main draw backs is usually defensive orientation. Committing so many players to attack tends to leave your own end of the pitch open to counter strikes. However, if you start to win the war of attrition, this can be increasingly less of an issue. Also, it kind of tips your hand as to what your going to do and can allow the opponent to minimize the damage you intend to cause them with their own setup. This would, in turn, be a good time to counter with a Sucker Draw and slow ball them with an attrition game if you have a decided advantage in slamming. The main key is to not get so caught up in slamming that you win the battle, but lose the war…..pay attention to that scoreboard!

Variations

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The Press is often as much about how you use it, as how you set up for it. This screams Sucker Draw and Slowball attrition.

The Press doesn’t have to be all the players, all the time. You could combine a Press with a Three Pillars for instance, the only difference really being intent of how you plan to utilize it. As mentioned, while typically a Home formation, it can be used defensively as a Screen, or even to exploit Run Interference trickery.

You’ve got a lot of options Coach, make ‘em count!

Hobby Highlight: Miniature Superlatives

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December 26,2012 > June 11, 2018

I am DONE.  I have painted everything for DreadBall.  And then some…

My gaming club (CORT) went “all-in” for the first two DreadBall Kickstarter campaigns, and I grabbed the 2nd Edition Kickstarter bundle.  As part of our acquisition program, I made a commitment to my mates that I would paint the entire lot.

I initially anticipated twelve teams, a few giants, and a handful of MVPs.   That was an ambitious, but manageable oath.  Then, there was another set of teams, giants, and MVPs.  Not to mention a new game.  Then, there was a second edition.  Not to mention new, second edition components.  My commitment had serious “mission creep.”

Every team, MVP, Giant, Staff, Accessory…  Done.  600 plus models.  It was a hell of a project, and now I’m going to go drink a beer. Maybe more.

[returning to the keyboard after two pints]

In the five and a half years it took to paint these little galactic athletes, I learned a lot.  Miniature painting is a peculiar past time that affords moments of clarity on various topics; health, wellness, legacy, relationships, endurance, persistence, and dedication to name a few.  Practically, I did learn a bit about pushing wet pigment around on toys.

Below lies my assessment of DreadBall miniatures.  I call the proceedings my “DreadBall Superlatives.”  Fourteen Rushes, fourteen categories.  These opinions are mine and mine alone.  All of this took longer that I’ll ever admit.  Please share your opinions on my purely subjective distinctions in the comments.

Bur first, there are preambles!

I.  I chose very early to mimic the color (ahem, colour) schemes of Mantic’s production photos.  In part because I wanted to challenge myself, and also because I thought it would be a soft promotional tactic when fielding the teams in public spaces.

II.  I used Army Painter primer and paints.  I used a combination of Army Painter and Citadel tones/washes.

III.  I chose very early to strive for “table top standard.”  My gaming club plays games.  We don’t paint games.  We’re middle aged men with eye glasses to see, and pint glasses to drink beer.  None of us are scrutinizing the level of miniature detail from 30″ away.  Also, time.  With several hundred miniatures to paint,  aiming for “TTS” quality helped move the process along.

[Lengthy diatribe] Despite being a professional artist, I only began painting miniatures in 2010 with Games Workshop’s 3rd edition of Space Hulk.  This relatively new past time has been an interesting diversion from my normal studio practice of painting larger works on canvas.  In one way, painting a miniature is instant gratification.  I can finish a “TTS” miniature within a day, whereas a canvas may sometimes take three months.  In another way, painting a miniature is like a glorified coloring book.  I’m slapping paint onto a fully realized image that happens to be three-dimensional.  The process is fun, but it’s technique driven and strictly complementary/secondary to the work of the illustrator & sculptor.  As such, it’s no where near as rewarding or fulfilling for me as creating unique works from conception to final execution.

SUPERLATIVE CRITERIA

Form follows function.  In Dreadball, this refers to a) the physical game, and b) the theme.

a) [Lengthier diatribe] DreadBall is a board game.  It just happens to be a board game published by a miniatures gaming company.  Consequently, DreadBall has many miniature game trappings.  Nonetheless, there is a cardinal rule that must be observed in board gaming – FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION.  If Coaches are not familiar with this concept, it’s a phrase coined by the exemplary American architect Louis Sullivan.  DreadBall is a tactical sport, and positioning is a vital concept for game mastery.  Positioning is based on a hex (pun not intended).  The hex is tantamount.  The hex is the alpha and the omega.  A DreadBall miniature merely rests on top of the hex.  The miniature must be subservient to the hex in order for the game to function.  If a miniature crosses the plain of it’s own hex, it disrupts adjacent hexes and the miniatures that rest upon them.  An illustrator and a sculptor must be cognizant of this fact.  Often they are not.  It does not matter how clever/unique/original a player design may appear.  If the physical sculpture breaks the hex plain – it sucks.  Creativity must materialize within the parameters of game play.  The parameter is the hex.  Break the hex, and the miniature is broke.  If that conceit reads broken to any Coaches – go play a war game with a ruler.

b) DreadBall is the greatest sport in the galaxy.  It’s science fiction.  The miniatures need to aesthetically complement the setting.  Sculptors and illustrators have a wide berth in this case with only two requirements: science fiction and sports.  Nonetheless, some DreadBall miniatures look like they belong in entirely different genres.

Also, humor.  DreadBall is dealing with an absurd premise.  Intergalactic warring factions of outrageously different species are competing in an organized and sanctioned sport.  It’s preposterous.  If illustrators and sculptors (and game designers and flavor writers) can embrace the ludicrous theme – so much the better.  In my opinion, games that are heavily miniaturized need more levity.  Coaches, check yourself and lighten up.  We’re playing Space Jam.

Without further ado, here’s are Prof Wojo’s DreadBall Miniature Superlatives!

1.  BEST TEAM SCLUPT = Marauders

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One of the first two teams onto the pitch, the Orx and Goblins perfectly embody the theme of DreadBall. Criticism can be laid on their similarity to other sports titles as well as a 1/3 of the positions missing (Strikers). Still, these sculpts are varied, unique, and charmingly reflective of the greatest sport in the galaxy.

WORST TEAM SCLUPT = Koris

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In what will become multiple appearances on this superlative list, the Koris are my biggest disappointment. Their illustrations were so rich and their gimmicky game design is so much fun. But never has a team fallen so short from conception to execution. The Koris details are soft and/or absent, the mold lines are legion, and the scale is woefully small.

2.  BEST TEAM CAPTAIN SCULPT = Reek Rolat and Raiden (TIE)

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Once a former MVP, Reek ‘Payback’ Rolat was transitioned into a Team Captain for the second edition.  He belongs with his Veer-myn.  A super sized, crunchy Guard with the armor and “Mantic Straps” all-over.  Raiden is the best embodiment of the Team Captain sculpt: distinct but recognizable.  How do you improve on a team of mean green sumo lizards?  Put some ceremonial armor on him.

WORST TEAM CAPTAIN SCULPT = Kal Terza and Supreme Leader (TIE)

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Are these truly the “worst” Team Captain sculpts?  No.  But they are the laziest.  In the transition between editions, TWO teams were left without a Team Captain sculpt; the Hobgoblins and the Teratons. The Hobgoblins got a unique sculpt for their Team Captain. The Teratons? Not so much. It’s just a Teraton Keeper.  A nice model, if only a subtle modification from a Guard.  But it’s no Team Captain.  The Martians Supreme Leader… Oh where to start… Never mind that the Supreme Leader would never disgrace himself on a DreadBall pitch.  These superlatives are about the hobby.  No, this Team Captain is the worst because it’s miniature is from an entirely different game with no modifications to allow it function on a DreadBall pitch.

3.  BEST MVP SCULPT = Buzzcut

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Dashing pose. Dynamic armor. Deadly snarl. Buzzcut can ram through Morg n’ Thorg any day. This miniature is the embodiment of a Most Valued Player.

WORST MVP SCLUPT = ORABB1

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What could have been! ORABB1 is a rogue medi-bot. That’s a fascinating premise to build upon. Unfortunately, this build is horrible. A five piece metal horror show that can barely withstand game play regardless of adhesive. But the most egregious part is the robot’s scale.
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A DreadBall model LITERALLY comes up short. To the left, an excellent model of a medi-bot. To the right, a catastrophe.

4.  BEST SUPPORT STAFF SCULPT = Fergus (Mercury)

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DreadBall has so many incredible, and incredibly funny, coaches. Fergus steals the show. Bling, blabber, and boast. 100% perfect.

WORST SUPPORT TEAM SCLUPT = Cheerleaders

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Get woke. Seriously. You’re telling me that in a game system about galactic conflict, all cheerleaders are scantily clad female humans? Listen, this writer is a cisgender heterosexual male who loves female homosapiens with hourglass figures. But this is ridiculous. The gaming industry can do better. Lets get some Judwan cheerleaders. Lets get some Matsudan cheerleaders.

5.  BEST PRONE SCLUPT = Teraton

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Prone models are awesome, and they help make DreadBall unique.  If a coach doesn’t use a prone model for a fallen player – they are committing an atrocity worse than drowning kittens. Laying your model on the pitch?  Go play another sports game.  A prone model abides by the law. The law of ‘form follows function.’  It just so happens that the prone model for the Teratons is LOL.

WORST PRONE SCULPT? = Nameless

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I’m no longer convinced this is the worst prone sculpt.  Honestly, there is no bad prone sculpt in the DreadBall line.  Perhaps the Hobgoblins, only because their pose is too dramatic.  But the Nameless get the nod here for… squishiness.

6.  BEST GIANT SCULPT = Brank ‘Boom-Fist’

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He commands attentions.  Big, bold, and battle armored.  Giant design space is awkward, filling into a three-hex base.  Brank is not totally in the clear in these regards, but he’s less egregious than others.

WORST GIANT SCLUPT = Karadon

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I love Karadon.  I hate Karadon.  It what should be the coolest and funniest model in the DreadBall line, Coaches are left with a model best suited for Team Captain.
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Karadon is truly, the “littiest giant.” For shame.  To the left, MVP (NON Giant) Grak.  To the right, MVP (NON Giant) Buzzcut.

7.  BEST IP (Intellectual Property) SCULPT = Hector Weiss

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I support various IPs entering the DreadBall pitch.  In science fiction, anything goes!  For those fantasy nuts still reading, just say, “A wizard did it!”  Hector Weiss is a clever nod to what I believe is a often over/under looked inspiration – Speedball 2.  I hope we’ll see second edition stats for him in the future.

WORST IP SCLUPT = Judge Dredd

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An active NPC model of the pitch?  DreadBall ticks off another mark for originality.  Referees are awesome, albeit completely ridiculous from a thematic point of view.  Alternative referees?  Yes please!  And so there is Judge Dredd.  Perfect fit, with witty rules to boot.  Except…
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The cast for Judge Dredd is tragic.  Underneath Dredd’s right epilate, is a gapping hole.  It’s not just my one sculpt.  It’s every one of my EIGHT Dredd sculpts (I once hosted a Judge Dredd DreadBall tournament).  This never should have happened.

8.  BEST COMPONENT SCULPT = Eye in the Sky

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What an upgrade!  Again with the absurdities; an anthropomorphic eye-in-the-sky is decidedly backward thinking when it comes to science fiction.  It’s almost charming its so naive.  But it’s funny and flavorful.  I’ll take more please.

WORST COMPONENT SCULPT = DreadBall & Base(s) (2nd edition)

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Cool idea.  Crummy execution.  The miniature bases are not compatible with first edition models, and the ball peg’s fit into either base is unreliable.  Sad Coach.

9.  BEST TROPHY = Azure Forest

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Originally, I thought the idea of DreadBall miniature trophies was daft.  No longer!  They’re great!  Not only are the fun and easy to paint, they look great on the pitch as Score counters.  The Azure forest trophy beautifully complements the lush illustrations of it’s jungle pitch.  DreadBall NEEDS more of this.  MORE planetary pitches!  MORE custom trophies!

WORST TROPHY = DreadBall “Grid”

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And then there’s this.  It’s not rubbish, but it’s not a ruby either.  I just don’t understand the cropped pitch.  It’s not a strike zone.  It’s not a sin bin.  It’s not a launch lane.  It’s just a bunch of hexes.

10.  EASIEST TEAM TO PAINT = Ada Lorana

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Great team with great sculpts!  Painting them wasn’t exactly effortless, but it wasn’t a chore. Spray Matt. Paint highlight. Wash. Drybrush and detail highlights again. Spray gloss. Hand paint base in Matt finish. DONE!

HARDEST TEAM TO PAINT = Crystallan

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Great team with great sculpts!  These rocky rollers were a total bear to beautify.  Picking out the translucent blue plastic was an essay in patience and/or insanity.

11.  EASIEST MVP TO PAINT = Slalaran Vesh

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Wet-on-wet, wash-on-wash, and a bit of highlighting. DONE!

HARDEST MVP TO PAINT = Grak

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Fun bits to paint, but wow is there a lot of ’em.

12.  EASIEST TEAM CAPTAIN TO PAINT = Graggot

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Beautiful resin casts are also beautiful to paint. It’s a pretty simple equation. Good data in = good data out. For Graggot, it was only four colors followed by a wash and a bit of drybrushing.

HARDEST TEAM CAPTAIN TO PAINT = Kryphos

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The Koris. Again! Same complaints as before, now applied to painting. Kryphos is too small and too soft. With no dynamic relief, there’s less to work with and that leaves a painter up to their own devices.  A challenge for some.  But for me?  Nope.  I prefer painting better models.

13.  WTF (Where the F***) AWARD = Koris Portal Tokens

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In order for a component rule to function, you need the component. With great mystery then do we have a team with a very clever gimmick missing the very component needed to function! Truly, WTF.  If there are any Koris Coaches out there, I would love to see how you created your portal tokens.

14.  FUNNIEST AWARD = Drake

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Wrapping up on a high note – Drake!  Drake takes the cake.  This model is positively gonzo.  A human boy riding an armored miniature dinosaur.  There’s accompanying flavor text which may or may not confirm the boy is a hologram.  It doesn’t matter.  This physical sculpt is bloody hysterical and it’s a prime example of why I love DreadBall.

Agree, or disagree below.  Long live DreadBall. Long live CORT.

Hobby Highlight: More Crystallans

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So in the wake of my last article where I talked about how I painted my Crystallan team, I now find myself painting MORE Crystallans.

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“Paint Us!”

For the previous article I pulled out a brand new bag of Crystallans so I could take a picture of what the unpainted translucent blue minis look like. And then they sat on my desk. Normally I’d have grabbed a baggie and shove the minis in it and put them away. But I’m moving in a month so a lot of my supplies (such as baggies) have been packed away already. Thus the Crystallan minis sat on my desk. Staring at me, whispering “paint us”, “paint us”. So… I decided to paint them. 😛

I thought about painting the new Crystallans to match the original ones I’d already done, bolster the team and give myself more options. After some consideration I thought it would be more fun to paint these minis up in a different theme and make them a separate team of Crystallans.

Step 1, deciding what colors to do them. Using Photoshop as shown in a previous article I mocked up a few color schemes. Ultimately I decided on a dark grey/black rock, red crystals, and golden armor.

 

 

 

Step 2 is assembling the minis. While the Crystallan DreadBall minis come assembled, I use my own custom base system (see this article), so I need to cut off and replace the bases the minis come on. I also wanted to change the look of the minis a bit so I did a few arm swaps, cutting off the arms of some of the minis and re-positioning and switching the arms between them.

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Arms swapped and re-positioned, primed, ready for painting.

So far I’ve only primed these new Crystallans, but in the next article I do, I will show you the finished minis as well as the how-to-paint instructions for how I painted them.