I like the figures for two reasons: one, most of them have nice sculpted detail hiding under the basic pre-paint appearance. Two: because it's a 'collectible' game, it means that figures are priced by rarity rather than size or quality - so commonly found figures can be bought on places like ebay for just $1.80, while 'rarer' tough models might only be three or four dollars! Compared to other games where a hero ranges from $10 to $40, the Mage Knight figures are a cheap source of fun, and no assembly required :)
Wall of Text or Just Watch
I'll also blab on about painting, as usual, and so forth, but you are welcome to just scroll through the pictures and ignore my droning voice :) I'm not a professional painter, but I try to say what I did as I go, in case it helps anyone else out with their painting.
The 'pre-painted' quality is not often that great, and so much detail in the sculpt is invisible unless you shine a light on it to make the shapes highlight. There is not even a basic wash on the most figures, so a face or a hand for example is just a blob of pink. If you hold it so a light is above it, then shadows cast onto the model show that the sculpt has a fair bit of detail. Repainting, washing and highlighting the figures can bring out all that detail and make it visible.
It's also lots of fun :)
Troll and Shade
The Troll was the 'Troll Artillerist' or something. It had a crossbow but I cut it off because I just wanted a brawler thug. I'm not sure what the Shade was, but I'm using it as a ghost creature with an armour penetrating death touch that bypasses armour and reduces HP directly.
The shade was all black, with white blobs of hands.
I want to point out first, that the 'detail' visible in the BEFORE shot of the Troll does not actually exist - it is sculpted detail, not painted detail, so when you see the face in the picture above, for example, in the BEFORE shot, it is only visible because of a top-down light casting shadows onto the model. In the AFTER shot, the face and clothing detail is not light-cast shadows, but is actually painted on now. Most of the apparent 'shading' in BEFORE shot models of Mage Knight figures is just light reflecting off the slightly shiny rubbery plastic, so I just wanted to point out the difference that in repaints, all lighting and shading is actually painted on :)
Troll and Shade
I repainted the troll in bright colours - the shade in four different shades of grey. The wash then darkens the whole model, while making all the details stand out. I then used the same colours again on the Troll to drybrush and highlight all raised surfaces, and the face, to make them stand out more, and I drybrushed all up-facing sides of the shade in bright grey again, and the tops of the bony hands in white.
The BEFORE was just black, with some white and red drybrushed loosely in a few areas. As you can see, the skull head is a bit of a visual mess.
Before washing a model, paint it up in bright colours as the wash darkens the whole model while adding and accentuating all the physical details of the sculpt.
The washed model just needs the paint colours from the previous step to re-brush or drybrush onto any up-facing raised surface, to highlight the model 'from above'. Other than that, the wash does its job of bringing out all of the sculpts details and now the head looks a lot more like a skull than in the original prepainted figure look.
AFTER:Can now make out all the bones and rags!
SKELETON FRIENDS :)
PALADIN AND IMP
The paladin has some nice lighting on it - but again, this is because it is a shiny plastic model, so the shadows and highlights are a light reflecting off the model. There's even some flesh face paint on the person's leather helmet.
All the sculpt detail in the wings of the imp is virtually invisible in its pre-painted color.
The 'metal' armour of the paladin is just different shades of grey paint, with a wash over it - so the appearance of bright on top and shadow underneath is not metallic paint, but just bright and dark grey painted onto different facings of the model :) I'm painting all the Mage Knight figures in flat colours so they are always visible and light doesn't reflect off of them, so no metallic paints, just shades of greys.
I went with purple for the imp, and once the wash went over it, now all the wing and face details can be seen at last! I then painted the purple back onto up-facing parts of the model to highlight them.
Here's my MONSTER ROUNDUP for today :) Feel free to click any images on the blog for a larger view.