Monday, September 29, 2014

The Horde Assembles: building Malifaux Gremlins

The gremlins are some of the most lively and characterful models in the Malifaux range.

Over the last few weeks, following up on the excitement over Wyrd’s new releases at Gencon, I have primarily been working on assembling gremlin models.  Although most of the recent effort has been focused on Ophelia’s crew,  I also made significant headway on Som’er Teeth’s gremlins, as well.  I thought I would show you some pictures of those models that I have assembled and talk a bit about a small skirmish they got into against the Judge!
If any of you have assembled plastic Malifaux models in the past, you will know that the level of detail and complexity that many of the models feature is noteworthy. To achieve the likeness of the illustrations and concept art of the game, the models often need to be cut into 6-14 pieces on the plastic sprues. This is no exception with the gremlins, most of which have at least 10 components (some of which are dangerously small…).  Despite this, I have found that if you take your time, they are not too difficult to assemble and most of the pieces fit into place nicely without too much wiggle room.  Because of all of the cut points, if you really want the models to look their best, you need to do at least a little green stuff work.

When getting Ophelia’s crew, I could not help myself from pulling out the gunslinger Fancois LaCroix to assemble first.  As far as a gremlin is concerned, he is true grit embodied.  With a ragged poncho framing his outstretched hands, his stance poised to draw his single-action revolvers, his low riding hat nearly hiding his determined eyes, and the cheap cigar in his lips, he really looks like he is trying to imitate Clint Eastwood as the “Man with No Name.”  The model was quite straight forward to assemble, with the the pieces fitting flushly.  The poncho fits overtop of his shoulders covering any seems from attaching his arms.  Like many of the gremlins in the box, you had to slot his face into the rest of his head, and then fit that down into the poncho.  The only aspect of the model that really needed green stuff work was his legs, where the seams created when attaching his feet to his legs at the ankles needed to be filled in.  Lastly, I put him on a Dragon Forge base, making sure to use a desert one, fitting with the theme that he was in the middle of a duel, at high noon with tumbleweed passing through.


Next, I assembled the maniacal Raphael LaCroix.  All you really need to know about Raphael can be gleaned by just looking at his face, that crazed toothy grin full of malicious intent.  Although he remembered his rifle when he went to battle, that is about all he remembered other than a pair of trousers, fitting with his mercurial personality!  He proved just as simple to assemble as Francois, only requiring a little green stuff to remove the very noticeable seams created by gluing his legs together and attaching his rifle arm.

I am quite fond of Raphael's rifle; it reminds me of all the old western lever action rifles.

Having assembled two of Ophelia’s crew, I realized I should really assemble the  cunning gal herself!  Her pose is reminiscent of Francois: a broad, careful stance as she intently stares down a victim, revolver drawn.  Her hat (possibly one of Perdita’s that she snatched after a daring raid?), hangs at her back dramatically, forgotten in her determination.  I am probably beginning to to sound like a broken record when I tell you that aside from green stuffing her ankles and shoulders (and a little around the seam created when slotting her face into her hair), she went together without issue.  The only aspect that had me pause for a moment was where to attach her hat.  With it held at her back/blowing off her head, there was no defined point of attachment.  I ultimately used the flat of her shoulder blade as the contact point, which I believe was Wyrd’s intent.

Although she may be smaller, Ophelia is every bit as intimidating as Perdita Ortega.

Although most of Ophelia’s crew were quite  straightforward and simple to assemble, the same cannot be said about the bayou gremlins from Som’er Teeth’s crew.  Even though most of the gremlins are a bit smaller than the ones in Ophelia’s crew, they tended to be in 8-12 tiny pieces.  So small were some of the pieces that it was, at times, difficult to align some of them properly.  They are still brimming with character, however, from a dignified top hat wearing, pipe smoking gremlin, to a pugnacious yet stumbling drunk fistfighter, to one swinging a makeshift fishing rod.  Probably my favorite of the group is the monstrously large gremlin Lenny. He towers over the other gremlins, carrying a tree trunk in one arm and a mischievous looking pig in the other.  Unfortunately, he needed quite extensive green stuff work because many of the parts did not fit together very well (particularly his pig...).

This gremlin considers his next actions while smoking a pipe. What is he scheming?

Not quite sure why he would be carrying a fishing pole into battle, but no matter! Look at the size of that hook!

This gremlin lifts his fists in a drunken protest, losing his last shoe in the process!

With a wide, pointy toothed grin, this goblin scans the horizon for his next target!

My first game against the gremlins was a Shoot-Out between the enigmatic Judge and a cadre of Death Marshals and the reckless Francois with a rag-tag group of Bayou gremlins.  The Marshals’ superior training looked like it would take the day initially, as they inflicted heavy damage with their immaculately maintained Peacebringers.  But as the game progressed, slowly the tides started to shift.  At only 3 soulstones per gremlin, they really have numbers on their side, and each one that is not put down is another rifle (boomstick) that is going to be trained at your models and make you test Fate again.  And as we all know, in Malifaux, bad things happen.  Despite the Judge’s iron will and discipline, the Death Marshals started to fall, one to rifle fire, the next pulled down in a desperate melee of broken bottles and smashed banjos as he was surrounded.  The Judge was able to bring down the lumbering giant Lenny, but not without taking grievous wounds.  Finally, Francois took a point of damage to trigger his reckless ability for an additional AP and used it to introduce the Judge to the pointy end of his Dueling Sword.  The kill satisfied both of his schemes, Murder Protege and Assassinate, resulting in a resounding victory to the plucky, if not a little drunken, gremlins!

There will be blood!

I have now assembled quite a few gremlins from two separate crews (Ophelia and Som’er Teeth), and have had an excellent time seeing so many eccentric characters come to life!  Like all of the plastic Malifaux models, they tend to have a lot of parts and can be tricky at times to assemble, but always end up being worth that extra effort.  Even with just a limited selection of gremlin models assembled, they were still able to form an effective fighting force (or enough to beat down some Death Marshals!), which excites me more to assemble the rest of them and see how they fare in the dusty streets of Malifaux!

- Eric Wier

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