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Reaper / Studio 2 Deadlands Hell on Earth Minis

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My miniatures from the "Deadlands: Hell on Earth" Kickstarter arrived!




Somewhat surprisingly, the figures come with SQUARE 25mm slotted bases, rather than rounds. I was expecting that, like the Reaper Savage Worlds miniatures line, we'd see them on 30mm lipped bases, but considering that I was planning on re-basing them anyway, it's no big deal for me either way. However, now that I see the squares, I find myself with a minor conundrum. I was planning on re-basing these figures on War Cast Studios "industrial" 25mm round resin bases, and painting them up with rusty effects, inspired by:




I figured that would convey a nice "post-apocalyptic" feel pretty quickly. I've gone ahead and based the three "Iron Alliance" bonus figures on 25mm resin rounds and applied a smattering of rust and grunge to the bases just to experiment and see what they look like. (Photos of those later. I really need to check my pictures to see which ones turned out and which ones are blurry blobs and in need of being retaken BEFORE I start uploading them.)


One thing I'm experimenting with for a "grungier" look to my figures -- rather than going for bright and colorful -- is that I base-coated the figures in grey, then dry-brushed in lighter grey, and then went over them again with lighter dry-brushing in white. I suppose I could call this a grisaille technique? In any case, it seems to help me when I lay down the base colors, as they immediately have a suggestion of shadows and lighter areas -- whereas if I were to apply base colors first and THEN apply washes or highlight dry-brushing, the wash and dry-brushing would inevitably get out of the intended areas and I'd have to spend even more time on clean-up.




Anyway, since I don't have a bunch of WIP pictures of the figures to show as examples YET (because of general incompetence on my part), I might as well at least explain what's up with the figures.




A while back, there was a Kickstarter for the Savage Worlds "Deadlands: Hell on Earth" setting book -- basically updating the older "Deadlands: Hell on Earth" game books for the newer Savage Worlds setting vs. the "classic" Deadlands rules. It is a post-apocalyptic setting set in the future of the "Deadlands" universe, meaning that it's got a whole lot of weirdness packed into the "Wasted West." The miniatures selection is mostly focused on PC types. While there was a pack of "wormlings" (a rather unique sort of HoE style post-apocalyptic horror), and another with "mutants" (with optional arm attachments), the rest were mostly male and female versions of various common archetypes to the setting.


Oddly enough, I think the ones that interested me most were those figures that came into being solely because of "vanity" pledges by certain backers. At the "Iron Alliance" pledge level, a pledger could have a custom mini made to represent his or her ideal character -- and best of all, those minis were added as options that I could buy as part of MY pledge. Some of this I did as a leap of faith: The "concept art" was particularly cartoony and not very representative of what the final figure would look like. Fortunately, partway into the Kickstarter, names were revealed of the sculptors who'd be working on these minis (Julie Guthrie and Bob Ridolfi), and we got to see a few sample greens.


The Iron Alliance "Witch" mini is a real Deadlands HoE classic, as far as I'm concerned. While the concept art looked painfully contorted, the figure is a great sculpt, distinctive for having a "flaming skull" in one hand, exemplifying probably the most distinctive attack style of this character type. I figured I had to put this up first, since it gives me an excuse to paint "false lighting" effects, thanks to the "eldritch flame."


The Iron Alliance "Dora the Post-Apocalyptic Explorer" mini (I just made that up) looks more honestly like what I'd expect a post-apocalyptic scavenger to look like, complete with backpack. A nice touch is that the figure's left arm is a separate piece, and a sprue comes with alternates: one is holding a flashlight (and that's what I'm going with), while the other is holding an upraised knife.


The last Iron Alliance figure is ... a guy in a hoodie, with a katana. He's kind of bland, as vanity figures go, but versatile. If only I'd gotten this figure back when I was still running my zombie apocalypse campaign, he would have doubled nicely as a zombie-fighting hero. Anyway, the hoodie jacket has a lot of bare space on it, which tempts me with the possibility of painting some sort of DESIGN on the back, rather than just leaving it a flat color. I suppose I could go with something simple like a radioactive or biohazard symbol, but perhaps I can do better than that.


One thing I'm really looking forward to working with would be the weapons pack, which contains such lovely post-apocalyptic weapons as a "sharpened hubcap," a "stop sign polearm," "scrap metal boomerangs," a "reverse crossbow," and so forth. I'm thinking of converting a few of the fantasy figures from my Reaper Bones into post-apocalyptic characters -- either as fellow survivors, or perhaps mutants, or perhaps some "toxic zombies." I've already stuck a "power-axe" on Goldar the Barbarian. Hmm. Some giant bugs and radioactive scorpions should fit nicely, too. (I definitely need to work in some radioactive giant scorpions. When I actually run my "Hell on Earth" campaign, I'm planning on using the HoE rules, but drawing my setting inspiration heavily from the Fallout series of computer games.)





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Ooh, nice.


Yeah, it took 'em a bit to start gettng out information to really push the minis. Jim Searcy (the head of Studio 2 adn the guy actually running the project) was very tight with any information, even stuff that would have helped them get people pledging faster. I actually like Cheyenne Wright's art style, but it does not translate very well for concept art.

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Work in progress on some miniatures for post-apocalyptic "Wasted West" mayhem. Reaper/Studio 2 "Deadlands: Hell on Earth" minis from the "Iron Alliance" vanity pledge levels: an explorer with flashlight on the left, "witch" with gauntlet and "flaming skull" in center, and hoodie-guy with katana on the right. Based with three-tone monochrome grey, and some "splatter" on the resin War Cast Studios bases.




I don't know the back-story, but I think I shall blatantly rip off the paint scheme from Jodo Kast's post above.



Also added: A plastic "Goldar the Barbarian" Bones miniature from the Reaper Kickstarter, but with a Warhammer 40K "power axe" replacing his original weapon, and some pouches added on. Stance is too wide to fit on one of the 25mm rounds, but fits diagonally on a 25mm square base just fine; I might have to go with that. I started this guy with the three-tone grey underpainting, which I think gave the flesh tone a little bit of depth even without drybrushing/washes, but it's not quite as much contrast as I'd hoped for. I've only gotten so far as to put down some very rough coloration, and then took a photo to serve as a check on whether it was really working or not.


I might have to go for a bit more variance in the range. (Still experimenting/learning.)


I plan on using some printed 600dpi "license plate" and "street sign" sections to glue down onto the shoulder pad section and certain other areas to give him an appearance of wearing "scrap armor."

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It shows how easy they are to be used for different genres.


Yes indeed!  There are a few Reaper fantasy minis that have worked great for pirate-era adventures, some that fit in quite nicely with pulp retro-sci-fi, and even the occasional "modern horror," depending on the cut of the clothing and so forth.  Bones might have the same sculpt as the pewter, and yet it seems to me to invite such conversions/re-purposing even more because the plastic cuts so easily, thus making it that much easier to do prop-swaps.


In this case, one extra step I took was to shave down the "fur loincloth" to give more of a FLAT surface that worked better with my idea of having "scrap metal plate" instead.  That would have been far less casual of a modification to make with pewter.  So, the fact that this is a Bones model rather than the original "Goldar" actually did figure into making this possible.

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What were the signs printed on?


The stop sign is on cardstock for the extra thickness.  The armor pieces are on ordinary copy paper, to be as thin and flexible as could be managed.  I painted the figure first before applying the "signage" pieces, but then went back and did additional touch-up work, including painting any exposed paper edges to minimize the "white edge" factor, and also just to break up some of the "shine" of the printed paper with a bit of grunge.

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Hey, I realize this is from an old post, but does anyone happen to know the name of the character depicted in the cartoon clipping posted above (by Jodo Kast) of the "witch" character in green with the black-and-white hair and oversized gauntlet?  I've gotten back to working on these figures again (after a hiatus spent catching up on Super Dungeon Explore expansions) and I thought it'd be nice to know what the name of the design-inspiring character is.  Thanks!

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