Sunday, November 30, 2014

Malifaux: Building the Whiskey Golem and Miss Ery

A clash of titans!

Although the the last month has been an incredibly busy one, I am happy to say that it was not completely bereft of modeling time.  Admittedly, I am still assembling Ophelia’s crew of gunslinging gremlins, but as I worked on them, my eyes kept being drawn to the shiny box containing the Whiskey Golem. Who would not be excited about a ramshackle walking cask of strong alcohol?  Eventually, the urge became too intense, and I put the gremlin that I had been working on aside and pulled open the whiskey golem box.  I convinced myself that it was the right thing to do. After all, any self-respecting gremlin needs his malt liquor, right?

The golem comes on a single, large sprue with many tiny pieces.  None of these are labeled, nor is there a set of instructions included.  Thankfully, Wyrd has a pdf detailing assembly instructions on their website.  And while this is extremely helpful, even it does not have an image of the completed model, forcing you to reference the illustration on the front of the box (from which the model was rendered).  Although ultimately the assembly is not very difficult, there are a few instances where some pieces could be interchanged (particularly on the barrels that comprise its feet) if you are are in a hurry.  One or two reference images would largely remove these issues; GMorts Chaotica has a nice post with a lot of images showing one assembled which came in handy throughout the process.

The Whiskey Golem sprue is filled with tiny unlabeled parts.

The golem itself went together quite quickly, with much of the body simply separated into two large halves.  Although I probably could have left the seams alone, citing that they are where two boards coming together, I could not help but do a little green stuff work.  The legs and arms, while a lot of parts, were quite straightforward to assemble also.  You do need to be carefully to ensure all the pieces to each leg/arm assembly are paired properly (all the left arm pieces are together, all the right arm pieces are together, etc.), as some of the pieces look very similar.  Each is crafted to only fit flush in one particular way, which is appreciated, but with a little force, you could likely get them together incorrectly.

While the golem goes together pretty quickly, you need to spend as much or more time adding little details, most importantly the inebriated gremlins!  Similar to the other gremlin models in the plastic Malifaux range, these ones are cut into many tiny pieces.  Even the one lounging in a hammock, in a drunken slumber, requires you to attach his head, an arm clutching a bottle, and each of his feet individually.  All of them were child’s play compared to the gremlin sitting on the swing held in the golem’s right hand.  This one is comprised of 10 pieces, each with no guide to exactly what angle they should be attached.  The real problem, however, is that the rope for the swing is incredibly thin.  From reading other peoples’ experiences assembling him, I knew that the rope often breaks when being removed from the sprue, so i went about removing it with extra care.  Despite applying no conceivable pressure or twisting, it still broke in half.  And since his hands are attached to the rope, they need to be angled just right to fit on the tiny arms, which then need to be attached to the body.  But with it in two pieces, the internal reference the rope provided was gone, so I set about attaching the arms to the body first.  Thankfully, the arms are cut so that they largely only fit one way (they are so small, with contact points so tiny, there is some wiggle room, which is not good, considering they need to be perfect for the wrists to fit flush).  After adding these, I was able to add the legs and finally attach the seat.  With the seat attached, I could attach the ropes and connect their wrists.  With careful positioning, I was finally able to get it all to line up properly and the broken rope pieces to come together.  The wrists did not connect perfectly, but a little green stuff was able to fix this.  The whole process was tedious and frustrating, and only possible because I used Tamiya Thin cement, which allowed me to adjust the position of the many tiny pieces without the glue completely setting.

This little gremlin was hands down the most difficult aspect of the model.  Between all the tiny parts and the rope breaking, it was a nightmare.

I am a bit uncertain if I want to add all of the gremlins.  Ultimately, I think I might add the one riding on top.  I decided to not add the one drinking from beneath, however, because I felt it would make basing the golem more difficult.  Without adding him, putting the golem on a base was quite simple, just pinning one of the feet to a Dragon Forge base.

The final Whiskey Golem is an impressive and characterful model, well worth the frustration assembling the swinging gremlin.

In addition to the Whiskey Golem, I also assembled this year’s ‘Miss’ model, Miss Ery.  Each year at GenCon they release a limited edition model that you receive for free if you buy $100 worth of stuff from their store.  Each of the models are alternative representations of characters in the game and are their names are a play on words featuring ‘Miss’.  Some in the past have been Miss Demeanor, Miss Terious, and Miss Step.  This year’s was a variant of the Neverborn’s Teddy, a gigantic daemonically animated stuffed bear with razor claws and teeth.  I admit that the idea of a malevolent killer teddy bear is not the coolest concept Malifaux has explored, but I think this version is the best they have produced.  The model was extremely simple to assemble, primarily gluing two halves together, after which you added the two arms and feet.  Due to the patchwork nature of the animated teddy bear, the seams created from gluing the halves together are not nearly as unsightly.  I did use some green stuff to fill in a few places, notably around the feet due to how they attach (slide in perpendicular to the rest of the model).  After putting it on a base, the model was complete, finished in less time than the swinging gremlin on the golem, ha ha.

This daemonic stuffed bear went together extremely quickly, and looks far more sinister then the previous incarnation of Teddy. 

Aside from perhaps the frustration of trying to repair and assemble the swinging gremlin on the golem, both the whiskey golem and Miss Ery were fun, straightforward projects.  Now I just need to finish the rest of Ophelia’s crew, so that I can send them off to battle, fighting for justice, hats, and some strong whiskey!

-Eric Wier


  1. Why don't you magnetize the swing to the arm so you can get the gremlin to swing? It should be simple (!) enough.

    Kidding aside, I'm sorry to hear you had such trouble with assembling the piece as it looks detailed and beautiful. And the absence of the assembly manual? I guess I'd go crazy.

    The highlight of this post I think is the killer Teddy though. That would look pretty cool with a color scheme that resembles the Scarecrow from the Batman video game series. Looking forward to your work with it.

    1. Ha ha, the way you attach the swinging gremlin, he actually is free to swing. Ultimately I decided to add a little glue to fix him in place (I did not want him to have too much fun!).

      The Teddy is pretty cool, far superior to the previous versions. The color scheme idea is a good one; I really should try to get into painting...

  2. Wow...the bitz on that golem. That is an intimidating set of sprues! I'm glad Gmorts is around or I wouldn't know where to begin on some of these kits. Thanks for the photos! Jeff's bases look great with these guys!

    1. He was rather intimidating at first, but going a piece at a time, dry fitting each to ensure all was as it should be, it was not too bad. Wyrd's lack of pictures of any of their models is a shame and a headache at times, so I am really glad people like Gmort are around. Just looking at the 3d renders often loses a lot of the models' depth.