I recently got a commission to paint up a crew of Malifaux models, which was my first foray into anything produced by Wyrd Games. I don’t know much of anything about the game itself, but I have to say, the models were a delight. The plastic is really great, cleaned up easily, and has some really impressive detail quality. As I understand it, the group I got are Outcasts, led by Hamelin, and made up of a combination of “The Plague Cometh” and “Brotherhood of the Rat” box sets. All that was asked of me was to paint them close to the studio scheme, and leave basing to my client. The interesting thing about Malifaux, though, is that they don’t currently seem to have studio painted models for their plastics. There wasn’t a physical model to copy, so I had to turn to their graphic images for inspiration and guidance.
When I go about starting any project where the models are going to end up as a cohesive group, I find it critical to stop and think about what it is that’s going to tie them all together. Color and basing are always good choices for this, but when the models themselves are more individual, it can be more difficult to get a single color to unify everything. So for this project I chose to go a more thematic route. It seemed like all of the models were meant to be people on the fringes, living rough on the streets or in the sewers. It made sense in my brain that they should all have muted colors, and a mostly subtle, limited palette.
Let’s start with Hamelin! Here’s a nice clear picture of his official studio illustration, followed by my interpretation in miniature form.
The Obedient Wretch was probably my favorite model out of the group. She’s sweet and creepy, and even though she’s a very simple figure, it feels like she has a story. Unfortunately, I couldn’t even find much in the way of a studio illustration, just this one image from a Malifaux page that appears to be in Cyrillic. It’s still a great imspiration and starting place for my model.
The color choices on the other models were largely guided by the images from the art on their box sets above, though I couldn’t resist putting the little girl eating a rat in a pink dress. The dichotomy of what she’s doing and the innocent, childish color just felt too right.
And you can’t forget the rats! Of course I see plenty of real life references for those in my city alleyways… Eek!