Saturday, March 9, 2013

Repainting the Heroclix Drax miniature

Repainting the Heroclix Drax miniature

Our upcoming Pulp 1936 game is going to be heavy on the gangsters and all American heroes.  But role playing wouldn’t be role playing without the odd unusual character.  Whether it’s the thief with a fear of small spaces or the Mighty Paladin who just happens to be a female Gnome with a serious chip on her shoulder these characters often generate incredibly memorable role playing moments.

Malifaux's Kang (Not painted by me)
It’s therefore with some anticipation that I’m looking forward to this game.  I’ll be playing a masked crime fighter similar to The Shadow and his (fairly) trusty sidekick will be a nearly seven foot tall black mechanic from the deep south with a body of an African Apollo called Jericho.

You can imagine the challenge in finding an appropriate miniature!

My first step was of course Google Images.  I searched for 28mm Black Engineers, miniature mechanics and half a dozen other search terms and got a few results.  The first was Kang from the Malifaux Rail Crew box set, he would have been suitable as he’s quite tall and the hammer could have been changed to a crowbar (Jericho’s signature weapon), but it would have been too expensive to buy the box set for a single miniature when I couldn't use the others in the set.
Superfigs John Henry (Not painted by me)

Next I found the John Henry miniature from Superfigs.  Not only is he black he was wearing overalls and again the hammer could be swapped for a crowbar quite easily.  But unfortunately he’s out of production and only available at quite a high cost from the U.S.  He also looks a bit short.
So by chance I stumbled on the Drax figure by Heroclix.  Now I normally stay well away from these pre-painted figures as they aren't the right scale and the sculpting is often not particularly good.

But as the Drax figure was available in the UK (on Ebay) for just £2 I thought I’d give it a try.  And I was most pleased with the results.

Under the ham-fisted paint job the miniature has been sculpted really well, the musculature was nicely defined without  being bulky and the face, despite my first concerns, did have enough detail to work as a character model.  

The last worry I had was would he be too big?  Heroclix models are roughly 1/48th scale and the ones I use are closer to 1/56 scale.  

Heroclix Drax & Pulp Miniatures Carson Smith
I cut away the Heroclix base (which is very deep), pinned his feet and fitted him to one of the lower profile scenic bases I got from Tiny Worlds, standing him next to another of the 1936 character models he looks like a giant but appropriately does look about 7 feet tall.

I cut away his silvery blaster and knife, smoothed over the marks and fitted a crowbar I made from a paperclip.  As this was mostly a test and he already had a coat of paint I didn't bother to prime him and painted straight over the green and red skin with a mixture of dark brown and khaki.  

After I’d applied several light washes of Agrax Earthshade and lots of highlights with progressively lighter skin tones I was happy with the result.

I repainted the boots as they were really shiny but the jeans looked fine as did the belt so I left them.  

The final touch, which should have been the first in hindsight, was the eyes.  I wasn't confident that this figure would actually be usable so jumped straight in with the skin rather than doing the eyes first and had to backtrack a bit when it became apparent that it was going to work out well.

Heroclix miniatures might not work well in all situations but for this character I think he’s just right.  

What do you think?  Have you had any luck with re-painting Heroclix miniatures before? 

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