Friday, 29 May 2015

Limited Edition Miniatures: Nightshade

Back in the days of Void 1.0, i-Kore games did a few offers of limited edition miniatures. In this first post on this series on these limited releases, I thought I would introduce you to Lieutenant Nightshade. Nightshade is a Viridian Strike Commando special character. This miniature was free when you bought 3 blisters, 2 boxes, or one book, which was the kind of offer that many of these limited releases were given as.

To what extend she was actually limited could be of some debate, as there seems to be a few sources online that may still sell this mini, one of which is here, but beware, I have not tried to purchase from this site, and I don't know if it is still in business. One thing is of interest is that they have a pretty full stock of old Void minis, and as a catalogue for us old skool gamers and collectors, may be of some interest (as is the Scotia Grendel site of course).

The miniature itself may not be limited, but her use under the published rules was. Lieutenant Nightshade, or Pamela Carole to her friends, had rules that were only made available on the original Void forums, but were never published otherwise. If you want them, and the scenario and story that goes with her, just click here to download the pdf. Are we good to you or what?

The Strike Commandos were, like most of the original releases from i-Kore, were sculpted in a very minimalist style. I believe this was a reaction to the GW of the time, who's minis had moved into an age where they were over embellished with nick-nacks, and the preponderance of skulls for which their games have become known. The 90's and early 2000's were a dark time indeed IHMO for 25mm miniatures.

When these minis came out, they were to my eye, something in a very different style, which is why I jumped on the original Shock Marines and other releases for early Void. Nightshade is no exception to this. The photo at the start of this post is the state that Nightshade has lived in for the past 15 years or so, but this month, I dug her out and finished her off. In some ways I'm glad to have waited for so long, as my painting has certainly improved since the last Void minis I painted

I am not aware of who the sculptor for these old Void minis was. If there's anyone out there who knows this, I would be very interested to find out?

Thursday, 28 May 2015

VASA: Major Kali

There are some Void miniatures that are only known to Void/Urban War gamers. And there are some that managed to break out of the limitations of the game itself, and into the consciousness of gamers and mini collectors in general. Of these minis, a lot of them are from the second wave of releases. I think this has to do with the simplicity of the sculpts, as well as the fact that they are so well modelled. One example of this is the Archangels for VASA. If you head on over to James Wappel's blog, you can easily find multiple incarnations of these he has painted, either for use in 40K, or just for fun. I won't go into the Archangels too much, but save that for another post.
Another of the minis for Void that you see around in various places is the VASA character mini, Major Kali. Indeed, she has seen release as a mini for Void, Urban War and Metropolis incarnations of the rules. A quick google search will pull out a host of beautifully painted versions of this mini. Go here, here, here and here, for just a few.
I for one fell in love with VASA as a faction, partly due to Kali. However, I was always too scared to paint her up, as my skills at the time I bought her meant I knew I would not do her justice.
Skip ahead 15 years or so, and I finally have the confidence to paint this wonderful little mini. I chose a scheme in-keeping with the standard VASA purple, which I intend to use for the rest of her marine squad when I get on to them.

At first I thought the pink hair clashed too much, but it seems to have worked out not too bad after all.

I don't often paint up multiples of the same mini for fun, as I have a huge lead mountain to get through, but for Kali, there were so many ways I wanted to try to paint her, I could be very easily persuaded.

Monday, 4 May 2015

My First Void Miniatures

Now the introductions are over with, I thought I should go on with a more traditional "I'll show you mine" type of post. I decided to go with my first Void miniatures. When the game was released, I fell in love with the Viridian Shock Marines, especially the ones painted in white on the cover of the rules themselves (by Luca Zontini, who has gone on to do a bunch of art in the gaming industry, including for magic). Inside Battles with Miniatures issue 2, there was a squad of these guys painted by Andy Leask, that was also inspired by this image which also fed my imagination.

The studio colour for Viridian marines was to settle on blue, but these white ones are still rather iconic of the early days.

Andy Leask's white Shock Marines
With these images propped up in front of me at my painting desk, I got stuck in to painting my own box. I did learn one thing when painting these guys, and that's that painting pure white is a pain in the undercarriage.

I think the transfers, which were also released by I-Kore, were a later addition. Another little detail that made me love this game. There are a great many decals for modern games I wish existed for those of us that are what you could call "freehand challenged".

Of course, I couldn't just field these guys my themselves, as one unit does not an army make. So I bought a box of the generic marines, which of course I could field with anyone else, if and when I bought more minis.

As you can see, half the unit, including the sergeant, are female. None of whom are clad any more scantily than their male counterparts. If only some modern companies could be so forward thinking.
I can't remember if the box came with the specialists below, or if I bought them separately, but they were all bought and painted at the same time. Here we have a heavy weapons specialist and a sniper.
These sculpts would go on to be Viridian marines later in the story of the game, but for now, they were generic. as discussed in my last post. This was to be a factor in which models I collected next, as apart from the Shock Marines, I wasn't all that sold on the Viridian models, which is why I went on to be a VASA man. But that's a story for a different post.