Saturday, July 6, 2013

Painting Iron Fang Pikemen Part 1

There are a couple of miniature units I have a really hard time scraping together the money for; those few cases in which I actually stop for a while and realize how insanely much I’m paying for insanely little. It’s usually not a huge concern for me, seeing as how I’ve likely spent way over a 1000 dollars on this hobby, but when I see such packed regiments as the Blood Knights from Warhammer Fantasy, I cringe. It’s way too much money for such a little thing.

And then there is the rare exception to the already uncommon rule - some models are just so immensely good-looking that the struggle has ended well in advance. I might put up my hesitant, grown up fa├žade and put it down, but they know I’ll return and leave - this time with an empty wallet.

The Khador Iron Fang Pikemen comes to mind in this regard - actually, a lot of Warmachine minis do, which is partly why I love the game so much. I’ve had my eye on this unit since I began playing Khador, along with the Man O Wars, and this Monday I finally went for it. Not that I could really afford it that much; but that’s that. Some of you out there probably know what I mean.

With such an expensive unit, I decided to make something really special out of it. I’ve heard very differentiating opinions about them, some saying the assassins are way better (and frankly, I can see what they mean) but the assassins look way inferior miniature-wise. So I’d rather lose a battle while looking good than the visa versa. Besides, some have defended the pikemen, saying they can indeed do serious damage once paired up with the new Kovnik and attachments. We’ll just have to see.

There might be some assembly required before that, however. In a practical perspective, a lot of people have complained about their pikes being too soft and not durable enough. And let me tell you, there’s something about it. These models are made of metal which gives them that really nice, heavy feeling - especially because they’re quite sturdy already.

So I decided to replace their spears from the start, buying 10 sewing needles about the same size of the spears (50mm). Then I drilled out their hands and removed the spears, glued on the needles and the original parts on each end of it and made it stick in their hands.

(It sounds so easy, right? It isn’t. It’s messy, it’s a lot of drilling and you have to be careful in order to make it look good. I tried out the Army Painter Magic Superglue Activator - something I’ve had for some time but never got around trying. I can honestly say that I’m not that big of a fan. While having the glue stick and dry almost instantly is damn sweet, it’s my experience that when it comes to metal at least, you sacrifice durability for speed. I’ve did some accidental bumps with some of the models that would usually be no biggie, but shattered some of the glue-points outright with the Super Activator. So I recommend drilling everything into place and letting it dry the old fashion way. If you have the patience, that is. It took me well more than a whole night to do this.)

From there on it’s the same pattern as painting my other Khadors. They aren’t hard to paint and I imagine you have a lot of options if you want to take a less conventional route than I. For now, I’ve tried out my skills on the first three of them and can say that I’m very pleased.
I’ll be back later with more pictures as I get to paint the rest, along with comments on how. But, I really just followed the same way I painted Sorcha and Irusk.

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