Hobby: Justin Shearer, building my next army- part 3

Justin Shearer of the Freeborn Shard Podcast continues talking us through his thought processes when starting a new army for Beyond the Gates of Antares – if you missed the first instalments, take a look here:

View Part 1 – Choices

View Part 2 – The army list

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Justin: Last time I was in the process of finalising a 500 point Scouting Force list for my Algoryn army. Before I go on, however, there are a couple of very important hobby considerations to make.

 

The first, of course, is how they’re going to be painted. My Concord force is very clean and bright – I imagine the Concord as keeping their equipment in perfect shape between battles and so I’ve kept everything pristine, save for a bit of dust and dirt on the feet and legs of the infantry. The Algoryn, on the other hand, are presented as being a much more militaristic society, constantly under threat. With that in mind, I picture their fighting units as seeing a lot more action and being far more concerned with function over form. I still want to paint a fairly bright army (this is a sci-fi game, after all!), but I’ll opt for something much more traditional. I want my Algoryns to look like they’ve been in the field for a long time.

Justin Shearer Concord

I recently painted some models for another sci-fi game. Overall, I was happy with how the scheme turned out, but there were a few things I’d change – and this is the perfect opportunity to make those changes. In that case the models had a lot of pouches and some cloth – I introduced a dark brown and a mauve to the palette and, frankly, I think it just took away from the white. I’m going to stick to white and the reds and browns introduced by the weathering. Some lights, lenses, metal highlights and soot should give some other details some life, but hopefully not take away too much from the basic white.

 

It is also very important to make sure that I keep the time per model down so I can keep my motivation and put an army on the table. I used to hate painting white, but actually I have a very simple technique that I’m pretty happy with for doing whole models in white. I’m not exactly the world’s best painter, but I think the method works well, especially for the time involved. I start with a black spray, then a cover almost all of the black with a grey spray paint. From there, I use a white spray at a slight angle to cover up most of the grey; I try and focus the direction of the white spray so that the top of the model is brightest. Beyond that, I give it a rough drybrush (again, concentrating on the top half of the model) with a true white and then use that same white to paint some edge highlights in. And finally, I take a very thin brush and paint black back into any of the deep recesses in the armour. Overall, it is a very fast technique that suits batch painting – and works particularly well painting models with blocky sci-fi armour.

 

The weathering on that white is also incredibly easy. I mix up a “damage” colour based on black, orange and a reddy-brown. I tear off a tiny piece of sponge from a blister pack and dab it in. As if you were dry-brushing, remove most of the paint from the sponge and then just dab it onto the edges of the model where chipping would accrue. The most damaged areas then get a little teeny-tiny dab of metallic paint in the middle of the chip and I also get an orange-brown colour, water it down (seriously, 90% water) and then streak it down the model from the damage.

 

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I’m pretty confident that I can keep all the above steps down to just a few minutes per model when I do put them on the production line. Including the detailing, I’m fairly hopeful that I can get an average time of about 20-30 minutes start to finish per infantry model. Even quicker than my Concord!

 

The next challenge is determining how they’ll be based. I did consider mimicking the same style as on my Concord force to somehow tie them together (as allies or enemies), but I think given the muted colour palette these guys need something a little brighter and more colourful. I’ve opted for something very green and have included some flower tufts to tie the bases to the colour scheme.

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What type of bases to use, however, actually has some impact on gameplay, so it is an important consideration. My favourite bases are the round-lipped options that have become standard in a great many games. I quite like the look of the “border” the base provides each model. The bases that come standard with Antares models is, essentially, the furthest one could possibly go from the round-lipped options: they’re smaller and have a very low profile. But, I’ll concede, they do look great when they’re used.

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Next we’ll discuss some of my experiences from my test games at 500 points. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my test scheme model. Feel free to drop me a line at freebornshard@gmail.com with any comments or questions.

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