A new year is a time for new beginnings: lifestyle choices, dining habits and, of course, personal projects. Personal projects like all the hobby-related activities I’ve been neglecting for some time.
Infinity is a game I haven’t been playing much lately but I do still admire the models for their aesthetic, which is what prompted me to pick up a Pan Oceania stater set and Squalo TAG back in first edition, years ago. Since then, while I have admired many of the minis, I wasn’t ever sure of what to do with them, myself. Thankfully, thanks to a certain Christmas gift, I’ve had a new wave of inspiration for painting which I may actually adhere to, this time.
I was given an artbook, Dreaming in Mech, featuring works by the artist Nivanh Chanthara which showcases a wide variety of cyborgs of varying styles: from near-future military hardware to ronin-esque machines, full of personality, wandering a dystopian hellscape. Some of these cyborgs look dirty and worn, others bright and vibrant yet still dangerous. The sharp angles of the headgear and armour of some of these cyborgs brought to mind a few units from Infinity.
The faction which immediately sprang to mind was the Yu Jing, the more recent sculpts for which has units of medium/heavy infantry with powerful, visually-impressive armour which I think, in battle, would be as intimidating as it is functional, particularly with the right paintjob. Secondly, I thought of the Yadu units for ALEPH who have headgear very similar to Chanthara’s cyborgs plus the loose, draped clothing which the Yu Jing lack.
Another aesthetic style which I would love to evoke is the work of manga artsit Tsutomu Nihei, particularly his BLAME! and Biomega series – it’s an idea I’ve toyed with for some time yet never acted upon. Nihei’s cyborgs are more organic looking, often being the result of advanced nanotechnology, but while more immediately humanoid in shape compared to Chanthara’s they do still project a very powerful demeanour, often frightening due to the use of colour giving them a more deathly appearance. The problem here has been which units could be painted to this style, or at least a very close approximation.
Now, in the dawn of 2020, I feel the time has come to finally act! First off I have assembled a Daoying Sniper for Yu Jing’s Invincible Army which I intend to paint in the Chanthara style. Assembly of the body was simple enough since there were only 2 parts but fixing it to the base proved to be slightly troublesome. I normally try to make any tags on a model’s feet fit into the slot down the middle of the typical 25mm base, but in the Daoying’s case this would result in an unstable position – the mini would likely topple forwards if you so much as breathe in its direction – so I drilled some holes just behind the slot, relative to the model’s facing, and carved myself a hole for the tag to fit. I probably should have chosen a spot closer to the base’s edge so the body would be more central, but I glued some scrap pieces of metal sprue to the underside of the base to add a little bit of weight and help with balance (the same effect can be achieved with lumps of greenstuff).
I have some other models waiting in the wings but first thing’s first! Next time, I should have the Daoying Sniper based and sprayed, ready for basecoating. Watch this space for my progress!