I made a promise to myself on the way back home that I’d capitalise on the motivation from the boot camp to immediately crack on and get the starter set painted and game ready. This is the first stage of keeping that promise and is all about laying down the basics.
The Zhanshi are the line troops for the Yu Jing and three of them are included in the set I received. As these were the first troops I learned the game with it seemed appropriate that they also be the first on the painting table. Before I get too deeply into that though there’s some pre-preparation that needs to be addressed. The boot camp was a great event for getting them cleaned up, built and in game unpainted, but it wasn’t quite the same as if I’d done the assembling at home where I’ve access to a few more materials. Much to my surprise (really), all of the miniatures including the TAG actually survived airport security and the journey home intact. The Beasts of War guys and Army Painter had provided a really good range of tools for the event and I’d augmented this with my own brass brush and nail buffer so there really wasn’t any re-work required. I drilled out the gun barrels and tidied up any seam lines or flash I’d missed the first time. I also took the opportunity to re-seat one of the Guijia’s rear blades to reinforce the join.
The final step was to add ground work to the bases. I’d toyed with the idea of re-basing them onto resin bases, but I’d done such a good job of fitting them to the slot bases provided it really wasn’t needed. Instead I mixed up some texture materials and added that along with a few fragments of stone sealing it in with MiG Sand and Stone Fixative. Previously I would have just added PVA to the bases and dipped in a mix of talus, however for Infinity the proportion and scale of the miniatures is nowhere near as overemphasised as Games Workshop and I felt they worked better with a finer granularity on the base.
Infinity being a skirmish game has very little in the way of mass painting required; most figures (even the line troops) are pretty individual. The faction palettes are also rich and saturated so really benefit from a light base to work from. With that in mind I gave the Zhanshi an initial priming with Scale 75 Black built up over three light layers. I then applied a general zenithal pre-light in Vallejo light grey primer leaving the underside of equipment or the figure black to create shadows. Finally I used Scale 75’s white primer to create selected highlights on the top of the head, shoulders and pants where they caught the most light.
By creating a kind of monochrome base to work from and using thin paint the pre-highlighting and shading does a lot of the initial work for me so I can concentrate on just adding the definition and boosting the shadows and highlights. The extra time invested during the priming stage will hopefully return time plus interest when I get to the actual painting.
As the Zhanshi don’t have any large surface areas of armour I stick to the brush and start with the skin tones. These begin with a base of VGC Scrofulous Brown into which I mixed VMC Sunny Fleshtones and VGA Bone White. The flesh tones are VMC Orange Brown mixed with a little Cavalry Brown. Once the flesh was done I mixed 50/50 Brown Violet with German Camo Bright Green for the fatigues. This is where I think the priming pays off as the colour and tone of the green was exactly what I was looking for and involved hardly any effort and not a drop of wash in sight.
The next stage was to add the lighter undershirt. This was a thinned mix of the fatigues colour added to turquoise and as much white again to create a de-saturated green/blue. I also painted the flexible panels on the trousers and boots this colour. To boost the shadows I then mixed roughly three parts of the fatigues green with one part black and thinned into a glaze. This I used to re-profile all of the boundaries and seam lines as well as deepen any shadows.
To highlight both the fatigues and undershirt I added Sunny Skintone to the respective mixes. Into the final colour now, the Yu Jing’s trademark orange armour.
This was a base of VMC Orange Brown highlighted with VGC Scrofulous Brown and White. For the shading I thinned Cavalry Brown into a glaze.
The last of the main colours was the combi-rifle which was a simple wash of thinned black + GW Dark Reaper. I also gave the base a wash of thinned Sepia and Flesh shades. Similar to the armour the high contrast from the primers helps do a lot of the work for you so there is no need to go nuts with lots of base painting and overbrushing. I’ll finish with a very light drybrush at the end.
It’s always in the final details that the miniature comes to life I find, so for the Zhanshi I sharpened up/corrected a few of the transitions in the armour before picking out the rest of the unpainted details including the pistol and holster, knife, wrist data pad, headset and the combi-rifle muzzle. The last task before varnishing was to give the base a final light dry brush in light grey, tidy up the edges with black and add a weathering glaze of GW Mournfang brown to the boots.
Now I have the first three of my light infantry line troops ready for action.
Of course no game of Infinity would be complete without a good selection of terrain to break up the line of sight, so in parallel I’ve been working on a selection of buildings from Micro Art Studio. The first one is the Guard Tower and it’s at the basic stage with initial painting and assembly done. From this point I’ll add weathering, details and a few “themed” touches to better bring it to life as part of the Infinity universe. That can be for another day and another post though as I’m going to wrap this one up now.
Next time: Adding a Shang Ji Lieutenant.