There’s nothing like handling a beautiful bust.

😀

Meeplemart was one of the vendors at HotLead 2013, and they had a copy of Relic by Fantasy Flight Games – Steve said it had *just* arrived the previous day but he didnt know much about it.

I had seen a couple previews of the game – me being me I didnt pay much attention to the rules (skimming through the rulebook, it looks at least partially inspired by Talisman) but I was immediately drawn to the game pieces: each one is a small bust of one of the 10 characters in the game.

I had wanted to start painting larger models and busts for a while, and this game seemed like a *perfect* way to get some practice painting in the larger scale. 10 plastic busts for $50? Sold!

This sat on my shelf for about a year – which is the usual length of time something tends to sit before I paint it… I guess I like my models to ferment, or acclimate to the conditions in my studio before I do anything with them… I dont know, it just always seems to work out that way.

I had taken a prolonged break from painting through the winter – and also seemed to be sidelined by various illnesses more than usual – when I regained my inspiration (or mojo, as David puts it 🙂 ) I wanted to do 5 of the 10 busts as my first project.

For any multi-week project I always tend to work on models I like the least, or are the least important, first. That way any efficiencies I find, or new ways of doing things – or just knocking the rust off, as evidenced by the recent Zombicide models – will culminate with the models I am most looking forward to paint. Also, leaving the ones I really want to do towards the end helps motivate me to get through the ones I am so-so with. It was hard choosing models for the first wave – even though they are simple plastic, they are actually quite nice and characterful – so there were only 2 I didnt really want to do: the Psyker and the Rogue Trader (the Trader is a really nice model, but for some reason it just didnt grab me as much as the others, like the Space Marine, Battle Sister, Assassin, Commissar, and Ogryn). I knew I wanted to do the  Assassin, Inquisitor, Battle Sister and Space Marine in the second batch, so I just randomly picked 3 models out of the remaining 4.

So… photos! Presented in the order they were painted. 🙂

Rogue Trader

Rogue Trader

Ogryn

Ogryn

Psyker

Psyker

Commissar

Commissar

Tech Priest

Tech Priest

Once I got back into the swing of things these became a *ton* of fun to do. The Rogue Trader took me a few weeks to do – I was adjusting to the new scale as well as picking and poking at the Zombicide Survivors on my table (I also took a week-and-a-bit off to do some awesome stuff for the Orion’s Cup… which, sadly, I never made it out to 😦 )… and I messed up the yellow piping and braiding, and had to repaint it a couple of times. Honestly, I’m still not 100% happy with the result, but, the *primary* purpose of these is practice, so I just decided to say ‘That’s it, it’s done.”

(As an aside, one of my biggest problems is over-working and fussing with my stuff too much… I need to learn to say ‘It’s done.’ alot more frequently than I do.)

I loved painting the Ogryn and Commissar so much, that I ended up doing the last 4 models in about 2 weeks… I had anticipated taking a week for each one, I was surprised by how fast I worked once I had the proper motivation.

Another issue I faced was the basing: the bases that came with the models are simply little posts (picture below) in 4 different colours… and, there are only 4 in the game! The intended way to play is to choose your character, choose your colour, then put the bust onto the peg.

ffg_bust2

There is no way in hell my paintjobs would survive more than a few of such violations, so I needed to find a permanent solution for each model. The most logical solution would be to buy a bunch of extra pegs directly from FFG, so I contacted them. Unfortunately, they dont sell individual parts. 😦

Much sadness.

I explored a number of options: the first option I explored was to order plinth bases from model companies… I did manage to find some nice ones, but they were all too large, and prohibitively expensive ($10-$15 each in some cases).

Watts gave me the suggestion to create 3D models and print them – which I thought was absolutely brilliant! In practice, though, it didnt end up working out: the process was taking too long… and while I’ve been considering exploring 3D modeling, it’s not on my radar right now, so I am not willing to invest in any new software. Once I managed to find a free application that works on the Mac (with my older system software) the learning curve was waaay too steep… after 3 days of frustration I finally cut my losses. (I had even drawn a very nice profile in Illustrator – I thought it would be easy to simply import the wire frame and revolve it. Nope. *sigh* )

One of my earlier thoughts, that I had abandoned to explore other options, was to purchase some chess pieces and cut the heads off. With all my other efforts stymied, I revisited this idea.

I ordered some individual standard sized pawns, and did a quick test once they arrived:

pedestal_test

Exactly the look I had wanted, but too big. 😦

My search continued and I discovered a smaller size of chess piece – ‘Analysis’ chess pieces  – from House of Staunton. Sadly, they didnt really offer an inexpensive shipping option to Canada, but after I confirmed the base diameter, I did a digital mockup with my Photoshop awesomeness. They looked perfect. To reduce my cost per unit, after factoring in the steep shipping, I order 48 pawns. (It took a bit of explaining why I wanted so many pawns, when entire chess sets would have been cheaper.) 😀

Here is a shot of an unmolested pawn, next to one as the full expression of pedestal:

pedestalsI prepared enough pedestals for all 10 pieces in the base set so they all matched (there is one expansion for Relic, with 4 more busts, so I was considering doing 14 at once… but, when I get the expansion, it will work basing them on a different coloured marble pedestal).

I sawed the top of each piece off with my razor saw, *packed* the hollow neck with Pro Create, and removed all the mold lines. They were then primed white and given a green marble faux finish.

So, to anyone else who is thinking of painting larger scale pieces, Relic is excellent value… you cant beat $5 a bust. You will just need to figure out how to do your own basing. 🙂

Cbag out!

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~ by Chris on May 31, 2014.

2 Responses to “There’s nothing like handling a beautiful bust.”

  1. […] it dawned on me that I’ve never painted anything in a larger scale before (other than the Relic busts, of course). Luckily, I had just finished the Greebo painting contest entries, so I felt it would […]

  2. […] finished the last of the Relic busts in 2015, but never got around to photographing them until […]

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