Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

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As I alluded to in my last post, I’ve finally been making a little bit of progress on painting my Infinity miniatures. This is a (for me) new miniature wargame set in the not-quite-unrecognizable future, and heavily influenced by both cyberpunk (like Bladerunner), manga (especially Ghost in the Shell) and a miscellany of other stuff (Tron, for one). For those who haven’t the faintest of what this implies, basically you buy some unassembled metal soldiers half the size of your thumb, assemble and paint them and then proceed to move them around a big board according to rulesets that vary for each game. Based on your strategic movements and the luck of your dice you’ll win the game by (often) achieving some predetermined objective or (more often) killing all the other guy’s soldiers.

I’ve always been more of a player than a painter, but it really isn’t the same playing with unpainted, half-assembled miniatures. So just as I did when I started playing Warmachine, I promised myself to buy only a minimal force, get it all painted and then paint each new acquisition before expanding further (to avoid adding to the cases of unpainted Warhammer ministures in the attic). The crucial difference is that in this case I haven’t failed in doing so (yet). While this has meant getting rather few games in since I started, it certainly provides a sense of accomplishment. And with Infinity being a small scale game (8-12 soldiers on each side), my 6-man starter box shouldn’t take THAT long to get through.

The factions in Infinity are mostly large multinational unions struggling for supremacy. Somewhat predictably I went for the mighty Yu Jing StateEmpire, representing a China that has engulfed the rest of East Asia. Among other things, this means that I get to play with cyber-samurai, Akira-style bikers and of course ninjas. The guy pictured below is a Shàng Jí Invincible, an elite soldier wearing a powered exoskeleton.

After much vacillating as to whether I should focus on futuristic MegaCorporations or Chinese/Asian mythology for my paint scheme, I eventually decided that it would be both feasible and gratifying to incorporate both. So all the high-tech stuff will be produced/sponsored by big corporations, but stylized with e.g. Daoist imagery. For example, my heavy infantry will represent the animals of the Chinese zodiac, in this case the tiger. But at the same time they will have little corporate logos giving around their commercial ties; this guy’s armor is courtesy of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, and I did my best to paint their logo on his left calf below.

He’s not quite done: I still need to give him his tiger stripes, plus there’s obviously the issue of his missing arm and gun (not yet attached to avoid obstructions as I painted him). But so far I’m rather pleased with him. It was my first time doing both non-metallic metals, i.e. painting his joint-cables to look like metal without using actual metallic paint. It was also my first time doing object-source lighting: creating the illusion of light emanating from parts of the model itself, in this case the glowing interior of his armor. While there’s certainly room for improvement in both areas, both succeeded well enough to save the guy from an acetone bath and subsequent retry.


Written by Martin

2012/09/08 at 14:58

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