Sunday, May 1, 2016

If there's something strange, In your neighborhood, Who you gonna call?


Obviously. But I guess these weirdos can probably fill in if he's too busy.

So yeah, I picked up the Ghostbusters board game, and immediately set about painting the hard-working heroes. It was just under three weeks from start to finish, which is pretty good for me, especially considering how much else I had going on in the meantime. I based the colour scheme on the box art more than on the movies, and other than the warmer colour on the jumpsuits I think I got fairly close:

In deference to the fact that they are board-game pieces, I painted the outsides of their bases in their in-game representative colour, to make them easier to pick out over the course of a game. I imagine it a little bit like a selection ring in a strategy computer game.

The models were less detailed than I had hoped, but I don't hold it against them since they are just plastic board-game pieces. I do think some parts could have looked better if I'd had a bit more to work with, especially some of the faces; I'm actually quite happy with how well the faces turned out considering the models themselves are fairly featureless. Incidentally, this was my first time painting non-Caucasian skin, it took me a few tries to find something that I figured was good enough. Which turned out to be simple Doombull Brown washed with Badab Black, with a light drybrush of Doombull Brown again to finish it off. Not bad I think, but I'm open to suggestions for better recipes.

I had some trouble removing all the mold lines, which is kinda par for the course for me, but in the end I think I got most of the troublesome ones. I did have to make some compromises because of the models themselves; like giving them armbands (which are not present in the movies or in the box art, but were molded in to the figures), and giving Stantz and Zeddemore giant cummerbund-like straps across their midsections instead of the belt and proton-pack waist strap that they are supposed to have and that the Venkman and Spengler models actually do have.

I had been planning to do some highlighting, but after the base-coats and washes, I kinda couldn't be bothered: they looked good enough, and to be honest I wasn't sure that my highlighting would actually make them look better. They matched the cartoony look that I had in my head (or rather that was on the box), so I decided that was good enough and moved on.

I did try to add a few small decorative details; I thought the logo on their arms was important so I tried to make those look good despite the small size. I made sure to paint on their name patches even though only one model actually had it molded in. There were a few props to add interest as well.

I wanted to paint their proton guns to look a bit more interesting, so I thought of trying to give them a glow in the colours of a proton beam. However, it turns out proton beams look something like this:

In other words, to represent all the majors colours I would need to go from blue, through purple, red, and orange, up to yellow. Well, I gave it a shot, drybrushing between layers to smooth the transitions, and this is how they turned out:

Not amazing, but not bad. I considered dropping the blues and just sticking to the oranges and reds, perhaps even starting on a purple, but ultimately decided that this was a bit more visually interesting than just more orange glows, which I was already using for their proton packs.

So overall I figure they're good enough. I haven't actually played the game itself yet, but I've read the rules. It basically has some of the simplest "move/perform action/attack" rules I've seen, but despite the simplicity the combat rules sound to me like they do a good job of capturing the frantic ghost-hunting of the movies; you need to chase the ghosts and pin them down long enough to capture them, but their movements are random and they pass right through obstacles; they could move out of your range and escape your proton beams, or they might move over you and cover you in slime. You can team-up to put down a single ghost more quickly, but a single ghostbuster can deal with a single ghost with good rolls or enough time, so it might be better to split up and cover more ground. I'm not sure how long it will continue to hold a group's interest though. Hopefully I'll get to give it a go in the coming weeks.

I've been thinking about doing a bit of work to the ghosts in order to better differentiate them. I was originally planning to give them different washes to help the details stand out and make it easier to tell at a glance what the different types of ghosts are, but after trying a couple of washes I'm not sure it will look good.
From left: untouched, matt-varnish, heavily watered-down Thrakka green, lightly watered-down Thrakka green.

So what I'm thinking of doing is just painting their bases in the same way as the Ghostbusters, with different coloured rims denoting the different classes. The only question in that case is whether to apply the matt varnish as a primer, or use a brush-on primer directly on the base. In the photo the varnished model looks better, in real life I'm not sure.

Hmm, I should probably get back to painting Khador and Mercs, shouldn't I. Eh, we'll see what happens. The whole hobby seems to be "on hold" a little bit in anticipation of MkIII, so it's kinda hard to get motivated.

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