Bayou Gremlins: Som’er & The Gang

I started playing Malifaux in 2015, right around when the Crossroads book came out. My first kit was the Guild vs. Neverborn starter set, and then I quickly decided to also start Gremlins. And Outcasts. And Ressurectionists…

This Som’er crew started in 2016 after I picked up a bunch of the old 1st edition metal models from a clearance bin. I augmented them with some of the 2nd edition plastic minis. My goal was to get a full crew together in time for the “Breaching The Faux” tournament down in Bellingham.

These guys have been knocking around for years, so please excuse all the dust and fluff on the minis!

Som’er Teeth Jones & his Skeeters

The Som’er mini has tons of character (his hat and blunderbuss pistol really spoke to me). I wanted to push myself to make these minis really colourful and I’m relatively happy with the result.

The “skeeters” definitely look more like flies in these 1st edition versions. I imagined them more like massive horseflies that bite a chunk out and start lapping up the blood, which then fills their translucent bellies. I really enjoyed scratch-building the bases for this crew and I love how these skeeter bases came out.

Bayou Gremlins

Here are the amazing metal gremlin sculpts that came with the 1st edition Som’er box. I LOVE the guy with the banjo and the dude looking down the the barrel of his gun.

These are the plastic 2nd edition sculpts. They are also delightfully characterful, especially the pugilist. I love the fishing gremlin on this tall base and feel like the reeds balance the miniature nicely. I remember being really proud and excited with the ember I managed to paint in the end of the pipe-smoker’s pipe (contrast!)

Burt Jebsen

This guy is a Big Trouble in Little China Jack Burton reference. He has a mullet and a big gun. I was never that crazy about him, but I think he was popular in the meta at the time (this was before I realized I was too trash at competitive play to care about the top tier meta.)

Trixiebelle

Another “must-have” in the meta at the time. A bayou siren to bring all the boyz to the yard. I’m particularly proud of the base on this one.

Lightning Bug

I love the movement and fun in this mini. It might have been a mistake to make the robes and magic blast pretty much the same colour, but there are 3 different lightning bug sculpts and I imagined I was gonna paint the other two in red and yellow so that they would be a set.

Slop Haulers

The hauler with the buckets of octopus offal might hold the top spot as my favourite Malifaux mini of all time. I love the overbite and the toque and the general “balance” of the sculpt. The other guy is pretty swell too. Love that hipster orange beanie.

Lenny

If we had a John Carpenter pulp reference in Burt Jebsen, here’s where we get real literate with a “Of Mice and Men” joke. Poor dumb Lenny just wants to hug and squeeze ya. It’s not his fault if he doesn’t know his own strength. I’m pretty sure this is the first gremlin I painted in the bunch and I really like how it turned out. His backwards pants and top-blown-out Yosemite Sam hat just fill me will joy every time I see them.

Piglets

There was a game reason why I wanted these piglets that I’ve now forgotten. I was never crazy about the minis, but the pink flesh was a nice switch from green. They do tie in nicely with Lenny and the War Pig…

War Pig

This beastie was another old metal sculpt I dug outta the bargain big. I love the little dude trying in vain to control this porker. I have a vague traumatic memory of these pieces fitting together exceptionally poorly and having to sculpt a lot of new pig hair out of green stuff.

Rooster Rider

My fave of the various plastic rooster rider sculpts (with their wildly varying sizes). For the colour scheme, I was inspired by the memory of a black rooster apron my parents brought back from a trip to Italy.

McTavish

One of the rare human denizens of the Bayou. I prefer this metal version over the later plastic sculpt. This mini was a breakthrough for me in the painting of weathered leather. Todd of Toad Painting recommended a recipe using coal black for the shadows and cream for the highlights that I use to this day.

Lessons Learned

Almost immediately after I finished this crew, their bases started falling apart. The Air-Dry Crayola clay I used for the bases cracked badly. Maybe it was too much moisture in the glue I used to attach the coffee grounds, dirt, etc… or perhaps the paint or modpodge “water”. Who knows? It was exacerbated by the choice to magnetize the bases for transport. The extra pressure required to remove the minis from their trays further cracked the bases. I decided to never use that stuff again! I’ve touched up the cracks for these photos, but I can see them coming back already!

Breaching the Faux 2017

We drove down to compete in the tournament as the Canadian contingent. I remember playing abysmally, but having a great time in a fun game store. One of the guys that went down with me ended up winning the Top General award (I came in 2nd last), and I won Best Painted! It was a huge surprise since they were judging based on your diorama display board plus the crew minis and I didn’t manage to get one built before the tournament… I suspect the judges were also fans of the fun old metal minis. My first (and currently only) award-winning crew!

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