Circus of Paint – 2015 in Review

As seems customary for miniature painting and gaming blogs at the moment, I’d thought I would do a quick and simple look back at what I’ve managed to complete this year. When I say this year, what I actually mean is since I started Circus of Paint back in June this year – more a 6 month review than anything!

On the gaming side of things, I started playing Malifaux this winter. I’ve only played four games thus far – two demo games and next thing you know I’m in the local Shifting Loyalties campaign with another two games under my metaphorical belt.

Miniatures-wise, I’ve completed a total of 24 various Skaven models as shown below. You may notice there are only 19 Clanrats, one of them has escaped my clutches much to my dismay! 😦

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Ah well, I’ve got another 15 – 20 left to do to bolster their ratty ranks. Once the second Rat Ogor is finished, there’s lots of fun monsters to paint like the Brood Horror and Cockatrice, as characters like Tretch Craventail and the plastic Plague Priest.

As if all that plus my Malifaux Ressurectionists weren’t enough to work on well into 2016, clearly a third project just had to be started. Unsurprisingly enough, it’s another attempt at Batman Miniatures Game – this time a Two-Face gang but with newer models. As disclosure, I do own the Two-Face starter set but the big guy himself has been through the paint stripper too much and the casts of his unique Arkham City thugs were both rough and difficult to assemble.

 

The lumps of metal on the left is Clayface and the primed model on the right is Copperhead. I’d also be interested in a gang for the newly-released Spider-man Miniatures Game if Knight Models gets their act together and distributes it properly instead of being exclusive to their webstore. I’ll be keeping a close eye on how the Hydra and Goblin Cult factions will grow for sure! I like to think between the myriad of comic book source material for both games, they’ll be more BMG and maybe even SMG Idea Time posts in the future. 🙂

Anyway this was supposed to a short look back, so I’ll finish up.

Many thanks to all those who followed, commentated and supported Circus of Paint in its infancy. I think 2016 is going to be great for this blog!

Feral / Daniel

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New Releases: BMG July 2015

Huzzah, new Batman models! I’ve got my initial thoughts and opinions on each and so let’s get started.

Batman (Arkham Knight) 

 

Kicking off this month’s releases is Batman himself! First thought is its a great pose, even though the large gargoyle may not be to people’s tastes. However for those that picture the Dark Knight perched high up on a skyscraper at midnight, I think the pose works well. Aside from that and the nice balance of smooth surfaces to gadget details, a solid model overall and probably the first Batman I would buy if I ever ventured towards the good side.

Would I buy this model? If I ever started a Batman gang, very likely!

Robin (Arkham Knight)

  

Following up the main man is Robin, the sidekick and one of the playable characters of Batman: Arkham Knight. Out of all these months releases I feel this one is the weakest of the sculpts. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a good sculpt but my perceived fragility of the Bo Staffs and the overstretched pose are aspects that turn me away from the model. On the plus side, this version of Tim Drake has his hood down and the open action is a good contrast to the Batman: Arkham City version of the character. 

Personally, before I saw this image above I conjected that this Robin release would in fact be Jason Todd in his earlier and cheerier days. Shame that it wasn’t because as of now there is just the comic version of Red Hood as a model and I much prefer the Batman: Arkham Knight DLC look.

Would I buy this model? Unlikely, I prefer the other version!

Killer Frost

  

Now to the Free Agent release of this month, and not a character I was expecting! I think this is a great model, and quite similar in a few aspects to the comic Poison Ivy and I love that model. Interestingly enough, Killer Frost is both a Free Agent and a Sidekick for what was up to now the Mr. Freeze gang which now officially has its first proper release. You can now take Killer Frost and a number of unaffiliated Henchmen to officially kickstart your Mr. Freeze gang until we get Victor Fries as a Leader.

One thing has does puzzle me is exactly what version of the character this model is inspired by. I was expecting something like the character in the Assault on Arkham animation. I’m pretty sure though that this model is based on the Caitlin Snow version that is upcoming in the Flash TV show. Hard to say though, as the only screenshot I can find of the character is really blurry and out-of-focus!

~EDIT~ I’ve since been informed that this version of Killer Frost is actually based off the Injustice: Gods Among Us game.

Would I buy this model? Probably! It looks like great fun to paint although I would do her in paler skin tones and darker blue clothes.

Harley Quinn & Crew (Arkham Knight)

  

For the big release of the month we get our third version of Harley Quinn as well as a trio of new thugs. Whilst we have had comic and Batman: Arkham City versions of the character, now we have her as in Batman: Arkham Knight as well as her newly-rebranded Joker thugs from the Harley Quinn’s Revenge DLC

Whilst I think these are all brilliant models (especially the thugs) there was a bit of discontent at having another Harley Quinn over a new gang starter for Scarecrow and the Arkham Knight, which was the main focus of the console / PC game. Another point of criticism was having even more unique Joker models when are several gangs which literally can’t be played as they have no official models for them yet (but luckily not Freeze gangs anymore!)

To sort of combat this problem of too many choices for some gangs and far too few for others, an idea I’ve been playing with and have briefly mentioned in the Arkham City Limits group. This idea was inspired by the Corrupt special rule which easily opens up gang model choices for particular gangs, and something that I think could work well applied to particular other villains. I’ll probably delve into this in another post to stop sidetracking but basically I would of wanted this version of Harley Quinn to be able to be selected as a Free Agent in Poison Ivy gangs. It also would of been great to be able to take the Harley Thugs in that gang as well, as long as you take her as well.

Would I buy this set? Yes, if I wanted to start a third faction. After all, I still have a Titan Henchman to paint and this would be the perfect excuse to do so!

Arkham Asylum Inmates

  

This last release was a complete wildcard but probably the most for me to look forward to, as I’ve long clamoured for more unaffiliated Henchmen so the more gang options for everyone the better! I really like these models, even though ironically these are actually technically Blackgate Prisoners!  The look of these models is taken from concept art for the Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate handheld game, also noticing that a lot of the prisoners early on in Batman: Arkahm Asylum have been temporarily transferred to Arkham Asylum – hence why they wear grey overalls and not the orange / red of the residentual asylum inmates.

From a marketing / retail perspective though I’d like to think that this pack is named as such to distinguish it from the 4-model Henchmen packs, even though both types of models are based off the same batches of concept art!

Will I buy this pack? Yes! I’d really like some for my slowly growing Penguin gang. In fact, as part of my research to find colour schemes for painting, I have used the same concept art these models were based off for just that!

Aside from textured bases, that concludes July’s releases for Batman Minatures Game! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and I’ll see you for another look at new releases in August!

Idea Time: Great White Shark [Organised Crime]

Hello! Welcome back to another article on possible ways to make the Organised Crime list more interesting! Whilst both the Arkhamverse games and Knight Model’s own Batman Miniature Games have covered a number of the big mob bosses (Black Mask, Penguin, Two-Face etc) there are still a number of equally memorable and distinctive mob characters that could easily lead their own crime gangs on the tabletop.

One of my personal favourites and someone whom has been on the fringes of the Arkhamverse games is the Great White Shark.

 

To summarise, Warren White was introduced in 2003’s Arkham Asylum: Living Hell as a corrupt CEO whom has been caught and tried for his crimes of exertion, money laundering and other such big financial no-nos. He attempts to plead insanity but in Gotham that’s a big mistake as he ends up in Arkham Asylum.

  
This leads to a series of events where White is considered “the new fish” and subjected to a number of physical and cruel psychological assaults. He ends up locked in Mr Freeze’s cold cell and loses a number of fingers and other extremities from frostbite, completing his transforming into the albino-skinned Great White Shark. White has since kept on the outskirts of the various mob wars but still continues to run his illegimate businesses and projects, sometimes even from the confines of his Arkham cell!

  

In terms of the Batman Miniatures Game, White would make a fantastic and unique Leader option for Organised Crime. I imagine whilst stat-wise he wouldn’t be particularly impressive (CEOs in my mind don’t tend to be particularly strong or tough, even ones with pointy teeth!), White would certainly have access to a number of existing special traits that define him as the clever, conniving mob boss that he is.

First off and most importantly to give him some edge over the competion, I would give the Great White Shark the ever useful Lord of Business perk. Even before his villainous transformation, White White was filthy rich from all the money he swindled out of many of Gotham’s civilians. 

 

I would also give our shark-faced fiend the Elite Boss: Gangsters rule to represent the large number of old-timey hitmen he commands. Imagine the Boris and Dirty Tom type of mobsters, Pinstripe suits, moustaches and Tommy guns! 

Finishing off with something to represent White’s bribery and mob traits with something like Mob, Criminal and Persuasive (1SC + 1AC) would cleanly round off what could a great new character to the game!

That’s all for now, let me know what you think in the comments below! 

Idea Time: The Thugs and Henchmen of Batman: Arkham Knight [Part 1]

A week has past since the release of Batman: Arkham Knight, and I’ve got 100% on the main story so now’s a good time to take a break to see how some of the new stuff from the game could be added to the miniature game.

Personally I’m always been a fan of faction-based thugs and henchmen and how they amend their fatigues and uniforms to match their particular supervillain leader. So far there has been 8 Blackgate Prisoner models and 3 Arkham Lunatics released of which with a little imagination can be converted and painted to match the look of the villain they follow, whether it be Penguin, Joker, Two-Face etc.

Lets have a look at sone of the low-level thugs and criminals whom roam the streets of Gotham and the potential for new miniature releases and how they’d fit into the respective gangs.

 
Rioters – the most common thugs found roaming the streets. I would imagine they would be quite similar in stats and purpose to Blackgate Prisoners. The only thing these guys all have in common other than access to basic weaponry like bats, knifes and the occasional gun is that they all wear basic body armour. Therefore I would like to think Rioters would have average stat but with a slight boost to their defense stat for their body armour. I would price them at the 20 – 25 point mark and would be avaliable to all gangs except Batman, Green Arrow and Law bands.

Penguin Thugs – Despite a more unique American look with their emphasise on red and blue, as well as lots of body tassles and some full-head gas masks, these thugs otherwise are normal Rioters, but without the armour. 

In the Arkham Knight game they are numerous but poorly equipped so I think they would fit the 10 – 20 point range.

At first thought I would naturally just lump them into the Penguin faction but I also feel that these guys are generic enough to fit into the Organised Crime list if you left off the Penguin insignia. Stat-wise I would put them in the same area as the cheaper Blackgate Prisoners

Two-Face Thugs – In a big change from the half-burnt prisoner suits and presidential full-head masks from Arkham City, Dent’s thugs this time around are well equipped with machine guns and other firepower. I also like the distinctive Halloween masks they wear over their gas masks, and the crude half-cream half-burnt crimson paint job they have. 

Miniature-wise, I see these thugs as more expensive and well-armed versions of their Arkham City brethren. Thompsons and Machine Guns would be the weapons of choices here with a hefty $200 – $300 Reputation tag to go alongside with the gas-masks conferring some defense against Poison at around the 20 – 25 point mark.

Atlhough Two-Face already has access to six Henchmen unique to him, the only other fairly-unique option he has is Brandon, to access corrupt GCPD elements (also avaliable to Black Mask and Organised Crime). Therefore I feel even just a handful of new henchmen exclusive to his gang would give players more options when it comes to gang building. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a few more models to be able to synergise with Attorney’s Allegation!

The Arkham Knight’s Personal Guard as well as the Harley Thugs pictured above I will return to another time as they currently wouldn’t be able to slot into any particular current gangs nicely at the moment.

Feel free to leave comments and suggestions! Next time I’ll be covering some of the more specialised and more dangerous thugs!

Idea Time: Enigma [Law / Organised Crime / Riddler]

 
Let’s face it, the Gotham City Police Department is fairly corrupt to the bone, which forms a pretty vital part of the Arkham Origins story. I found it fascinating to experience and discover the shady side of the law – through Commissioner Loeb and his SWAT lackey Branden.

Fortunately for us, we’ve got an entirely new gang to represent such individuals – the Organised Crime list. Therefore I’ve thrown together a few suggestions of some pre-existing characters from the games to expand the faction list(s).

Due to my nature to waffle one, I’ll divide this post up into a couple of parts to keep my thumbs from not getting sore from typing on my phone for too long!

Anyway…

  

Before his transformation into the Riddler, the man known as Edward “Enigma” Nashton, was part of the GCPD Cybercrime Division, but spent a large proportion of his time extorting and blackmailing people with their sensitive information.

Whilst Enigma would technically work for the Law (faction), he would also slot in well in both Organised Crime and Riddler gangs (no surprises for that last one!)

From a design perspective, Enigma would work best as either a Free Agent or a Sidekick in both Law and Organised Crime. At present I don’t have the firmest grasp of the rules but a budget version of the Riddler to a less extent would be great.

In a Riddler gang however I’d actually want him as an alternative Leader option. Whilst he may be cheaper and less efficient than his more famous identity – the addition of the Corrupt rule would add a new theme and options to the gang – a couple of otherwise-inaccessible Law henchmen, which in this case would perfectly represent officials and lawmen being blackmailed by Enigma!

 
Having said that, the way he would work within Riddler gangs is still open to change, because at current the faction is technically unplayable (no Leader or Sidekick options!). After the eventual release of something for that faction, it might change how I’d like Enigma to stand as an option. My current guess is that we’ll get an Arkham Knight era Riddler with accompanied robots as a starter set.

That’s all for now, see you soon for Part 2!

Intro

  
Ladies and gentlemen, roll up, roll up and welcome to the Circus of Paint!

Feast your eyes on what will eventually become a treasure trove of painting, converting and discussion goodness for the Batman Miniatures Game as well as Warhammer: Age of Sigmar.

I imagine if you are here, you knew all of that already and you’re here for the hobby goodness! Patience, for I’ll be documenting my various painting progresses. I’ll also be spewing out all the ideas and concepts I’d like to get introduced into BMG, whether how to expand and diversify gangs, suggestions and brainstorms on incorporating existing characters from the games / comics / films through to conversion and painting ideas for pre-existing models and factions.

After all, I’m both a big Batman fan and an experienced miniature painter (I believe I started way back in 1998!) so this will be the place to vent my hobby ideas and adventures!

See you again soon!