Ever since we returned from our holidays, I have had some problems finding my mojo. So I have been all over the place… painting WWII British riflemen (half way through!), assembling 4Ground buildings and doing some more Warzone stuff. Now those Warzone minis are two Meka suits for Mishima, which is based on Japanese culture. Strangely enough I had a vision for them while walking up Ben Lomond in Scotland last year. My initial plan had been to them (and the third one) in a dragon scale pattern, with classic Asian Dragons painted on.
Now when the rules arrived I re-thought this. These suits are rare and precious. Passed on from generation to generation within a unit, house or family. It is a matter of pride to keep them in good condition and great dishonor to lose one in battle or let it become unserviceable. All suits are individual and some even acquire great fame. So I felt that each of my suits needed an individual character as well.
Up first is “Cherry-blossom”. In Japanese culture, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It’s a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but also of its tragical shortness. With the pure evil of the Dark Legion around with all their undead and worse minion, I felt this would be a great theme. A Meka suits is a bulwark that stands in the middle of combat, if you will the perfect line of defense of life against destruction. So I felt is fitting that the Warrior who pilots this suit would paint a cherry tree in bloom on its armour to remind him of what he defends and what the price of his or her failure would be.
The suit was painted black with grey highlights. The cherry tree is freehand. Otherwise I just painted the weapons, moving parts and reactor ports in metal and the pressure hoses as … well rubber hoses. At one point I also painted the cockpit, but felt it looked wrong, so I “assumed” the pilot would see his surroundings via camera feeds and returned that to black and design. The Mishima logo on the shoulder is freehand. At first I finished it off with a coat of flat varnish, but somehow it did not look right so it got three coats of automobile high gloss varnish (each polished before the next to make it shinier in the end).
Up next is “Azure Dragon”. In the Japanese culture the Azure Dragon is one of the guarding spirits. It guards Kyoto from the east (three more guards the other directions and “Yellow Dragon” the centre). I think I will pick this idea up with suit number three as well and when Prodos release the model for the rocket launcher armed version, with them as well.
Now this one was airbrushed with the dragon scale effect. It started off with a base coat of light blue metallic with silver mixed in. Then it got a highlight coat with yet more silver. This would later form the outline of the scales. I airbrushed the highlight coat on from top to bottom, which leads to interesting effect when moved in the light. Up next were the scales in gunmetal blue with metallic black mixed in. This was airbrushed on bottom to top to play with this changing effect one more. Some highlights in gold and otherwise it got the same treatment is “Cherry-blossom”. I had originally planned to paint a free hand Dragon on ( as mentioned earlier), but I already loved the looks as they were. Not classic Japanese, but rather a modern “The Fast and the Furious” interpretation of a dragon.
Up next is a first for this blog… a video I created on my own. I wanted to show the effect the metallic particles take when the mini is turned in the light. It does not look as good as it does in real life, but it should give an idea.
As suggested by some people I gave the bases a cave style look. Mishimas main holding is Mercury and especially its caves. So this is what I went for. Rocks in greys and light browns with moss and lichen, both dried up and life. Some people suggested stalagmites, but I decided against it. I often feel it looks strange when you have such large minis in moving positions on the bases and even worse on the small infantry bases. I might pick it up for the (flying) Dragon Riders though, maybe even Stalagtites.