9 April 2020

Ana Polanscak miniatures

If I had a dollar for every new miniature Kickstarter I've missed out on I'd have about $4. When I stumbled across the Kickstarter for these figures in June last year, I thought about pledging and then realised I'd missed the cutoff point by two weeks. Classic me.

These minis are designed by Ana Polanscak, who runs the Gardens of Hecate blog, which has been going since 2012 and is about documenting her "art/gaming project". It's a fascinating read, contains photos of fantastically well painted and converted minis and showcases Ana's awesomely twisted and dark imagination. To give an idea of its popularity, the Kickstarter had a goal of CA$800 to cast and manufacture a bunch of wonderfully creepy minis. In a month it raised CA$11,165. I was gutted that I'd missed out on the figures as they're original and frankly make my skin crawl.

The Kickstarter was run by Wally Harwood, who owns Harwood Hobbies in Canada. I've bought several of his figures, and when I was checking out his site back in February and saw that he was selling Ana's minis I couldn't reach for my credit card fast enough and bought four. I've painted three.

The Blood Fiend was the first one to catch my eye when I checked out the Kickstarter. Thinking about it, "catch my eye" is an understatement. It was more a case of, "What the hell is that and where can I get one?" I have no idea what it's supposed to be — demon? ghost? the ravings of someone who's scared of horses? — but it's insanely good. The only downside was the mould line down the left side of its face, which I should really have done a better job of filing off.

It was a pretty simple paint job: Vallejo Red plastered with Black Wash and a subtle highlight with Flat Red. I didn't want to do the skull in the usual bone so I painted it Off-White and splashed on layers of Sepia and Umber washes until I got the effect I wanted. Its mane is Dark Grey. I thought about touching up its teeth with white but decided to leave them. Some Stormy Grey for its hooves and it was done.

The base is the usual Liquitex Modelling Paste painted with WWII Japanese Army Uniform, shaded with Umber Wash and highlighted with English Uniform. To finish it off I added an Army Painter wasteland tuft.

This is the Custodian Wraith. It's so gloriously creepy: what is it? It's like a walking nightmare wearing a ruff-topped robe. On the Gardens of Hecate blog it's described as a ghost. What I do know is it's the sort of thing you hope to never see in the corner of your room at 4am. Or maybe you do; I don't know how weird you are.

The wraith's robe is Vallejo Black with layers of Reaper Nightshade Purple and Army Painter Purple Tone to give it some colour. After than it got a light drybrush with Off-White and another couple of coats of purple wash to tone down the highlights it a bit. The ruff is Off-White shaded with Grey Wash and given a quick drybrush with Off-White.

I didn't bother to paint over the primer on the skull and instead just daubed on some Vallejo Umber Wash until I got the urge to scream in terror. The base is modelling paste topped with a sprinkling of sand, and is painted in Dark Grey tinted with more purple wash.

This sign was another must-have. While not as out-and-out terror-inducing like the others, it's still nicely creepy for an inanimate object. It's the middle one of three, but as it's the only one to come with a little house of skulls it had to be the one I got.

I've said somewhere before that I'm not too keen on painting browns as I can never seem to get them right. But since I shelled out on the Vallejo Face/Skin paint set I've got better at them, mainly because now I don't only own browns that can mainly be described as "Christ that's boring". After being primed with white, the whole mini got a once-over with Vallejo WWII Japanese Army Uniform followed by several washes of umber and sepia to bring out the shading. After that it was a case of building up the highlights with layers of WWII Japanese Army Uniform and Dark Flesh. The skulls are Army Painter Skeleton Bone and the roof is Vallejo Burnt Red highlighted with Black Red.

The base is the usual modelling paste and sand. It's painted with Chocolate Brown, shaded with Umber Wash and highlighted with Khaki. I added a small stone and another wasteland tuft, which I cut in half. The "leaves" are just bits of dried chillis glued in place.

I'm probably definitely going to get some more of Ana's minis in the future.

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