I’ve now been playing Infinity for just about a year. I’m still absolutely in love with the game and kicking all kinds of ass with my Space Catholics, but I’ve had a hankering lately to expand my horizons a bit, and this has led me to put some time into assembling a new force: The NeoCanadian Courtesy Division.
I picked up most of the models for this army about eight months ago, but I’ve avoided playing them until I could field a mostly painted force. Mechanically, the army plays under the Neoterran Capitaline Army sectorial rules, but I’m going to be extensively converting models within the force to represent the military might of Space Canada.
Hey, stop laughing.
Canada totally has military might.
We’ve got those two boats and everything!
I will eventually be creating a whole bunch of specialized elite troops for the army, but since I have trouble motivating myself to paint, I decided to get the most awful part of the project out of the way at the start: the grunt infantry.
NeoTerra has two basic troop types: Fusiliers, who are cheap and fairly competent; and NeoTerra Bolts, which are twice the cost for essentially the exact same stats and equipment as Fusiliers. Bolts are a much-derided model on The Interwebs, and not without reason– there is very little reason to field them in any competitive force.
However, they do have one thing going for them: way, WAY nicer-looking models (especially when I made my purchases last year, as the Fusilier resculpt hadn’t been announced yet). 🙂
And so it came to pass that I bought myself a mighty cadre of ten Bolts (way more than should be necessary in any collection). However, given the theme of the army, it would not be acceptable to simply paint them up as-is. No sir: for my brave Space Canadians, only one force could be trusted to hold the center of my formations in a competent and courteous fashion:
The Mother****ing Royal Canadian Mounted Police, legendary as the only elite force capable of reining in the rampaging invasion of Hammond of Texas.
I’m trying to strike a bit a comedic balance with this army: yes, it’s kind of silly to be modeling Space Canadians. Yes, it’s even sillier to make Space Mounties. That level of slight absurdity will repeat itself throughout this project, but that’s where I’m hoping to have the silly feeling end; aside from a few goofy costume details, I want to treat the concepts fairly straight, so that as weird as some of my invented military units will sound, they’ll all still look like total badasses.
It remains to be seen if I can walk that line between funny and badass; my past projects have nearly all tended to fall completely on the silly side, so it’ll be interesting to me to see if I can rein in my instinct to maximize the absurdity of everything I work on for this particular project without losing the fun overall feel.
The Bolt models would largely do fine to stand in for Space Mounties, but one modification would obviously be necessary: you can’t be a Mountie without their signature stetson hat. I figured that these would be fairly simple to whip up, which is good since I have no idea where I’d even begin looking for bulk quantities of 30mm scale Mountie hats.
Step one was to figure out how big to make them. I did this mostly by gut feeling– I traced the width of a Bolt’s head onto a spare surface, and then using pictures of various Mounties as reference, drew a circle that seemed to look right for that size of head.
I then measured that circle and transferred the measurement a few times to a popscicle stick.
Each hat was sculpted from Fimo, but as always, Fimo requires some assistance to stick to anything, so each hat is begun with a small dot of Green Stuff.
Then, a ball of fimo is flattened over the putty. I use clayshapers to smooth the top and the edges.
Another ball of fimo is pressed into the center; clayshapers are again used to blend the edges down into the brim.
Once that’s done, I add details– I press out the hat band with an angle chisel clayshaper, and add the top dimples with the back of a fat paintbrush.
Happy with the first hat, I proceed to duplicate it.
They were pretty fast to make– probably about 30 minutes each from start to finish.
Once the hats were baked, it was time to attach them to the models. I used a pair of hobby clippers to cut off the crown of each model’s head. I neglected to get pictures of this next part, but in order to help the hat and head stick together, I used a 1/8″ drill bit to dig a shallow hole into each side of the joint. This would give the putty joint something to bit into on each side; here I’ve applied the blob into the head hole…
…and then the hat is squished down onto it. Excess putty is trimmed away with metal tools and then everything gets smoothed with clayshapers.
One of the hats required some modifications in order to fit. I had to cut out one side of this one’s brim…
…to get it to fit next to the huge missile launcher its wearer is pressing against her head. The brim is then re-sculpted slightly smaller with green stuff.
Rinse and repeat for all ten Bolts.
Only six showed up for this photo because the other four were in line for coffee.
And then began three weeks of agonizing assembly line painting. I f***ing hate painting squads, but as I said at the start, I was just trying to get this misery out of the way.
For now I’ve only painted seven of the ten because I couldn’t stand to do any more; I’ll likely do one more in the near-ish future because he’s holding a weapon that I tend to use a lot in my lists, but the other two will require a long rest period before I’ll be able to stomach painting them. 🙁
For the army’s basing, I went with something simple and iconic: snow.
My preferred snow recipe is to combine baking powder, water, Weld Bond glue, and white paint. Mix lots of powder with a bit of water, and then let it sit until the bubbles dissipate. Then, mix in some glue and some paint.
Try to be sparing with the liquids so that the ensuing mush retains volume when applied to the models’ bases.
Once that goop was applied around their feet, the Space Mounties found themselves on familiar ground, and thus were unleashed on an uncouth and discourteous galaxy.
Fun fact: these dudes represent the first large-scale deployment of the techniques I picked up at Meg Maples’ painting class in December. The models are entirely done with two-brush blending, which I think made them come out really nicely. 🙂
So, yeah– Space Mounties. Kinda funny, but still badass.
So far, so good. 🙂