Below are a few of the models I have been painting for the fantasy skirmish game Anima: Tactics.
For people unfamiliar with the game, it is set in the world of Gaia, which may or may not be a future Earth. A world in which advanced technology once existed, but has largely been lost except for recovered artifacts referred to as 'lost loggia.'
The game is very small scale, each miniature acts independently and, so far, all miniatures represent individual, unique, name characters (a range of more generic 'agents' are on the way, but essentially each miniature is an individual). Characters have levels rather than points, but it works much the same way with characters so far varying from 35 to 80 levels. 200 - 300 is a rough scale for the game, so most games use no more than half a dozen models at most.
This is definitely a strength, because the models are quite pricey for what you get. An average model come individually packed in a blister for about £7. For that you get the model, some counters and a two cards, one with the rules for the character and the other with either additional rules or an 'artifact' or team card. You can also get larger models in boxes for £12 to £25, but other than the size you still get the same cards and counters. Size does not, incidentally, correspond to levels.
Fortunately, the game works very well at the small scale demanded. Characters have action points, represented by counters. They recover a certain number each turn (usually 3), and can carry a maximum number (4 or 5). Action points not used can be carried over from turn to turn, meaning this is essentially a game or resource management. When a character activates they can use their points to perform basic actions, walking, running, attacking, etc, or special actions listed on their card. They can also perform 'reactive action' in response to the enemy, such as dodging, so it pays to hold back a few points.
It's all very tactical, as you work out good action combos to use, and plays pretty quickly. The unique models are also fun. The game has a manga-ish style to it which gives additional appeal to me.
Anyway, on to the models. I don't claim to be a great painter. Good enough for the table is my goal. That said, I have improved a great deal over the years and these models probably represent some of the best I have, personally, painted. That they are all individuals helps as I can focus a lot of time and effort in each one and treat it as a seperate 'unit.' When painting for larger scale games such as Warhammer I have to adopt a more 'production line' approach.
These are my models from the Empire faction. From the left Janus Faith, Daniella Meris, Lord General Yuri Olsen, Duncan Reid and Claire Adelheid. Since I took this picture I have added Vayl and Griever to my collection but haven't gotten around to photographing them yet.
The Empire are a former great power in decline who have been revived, somewhat, by the young Empress Elisabetta. They are a pretty straightforward bunch. They are tough, do quite a bit of damage, but don't have a lot of support powers and don't rely much on special tricks.
Models in Anima can belong to factions or be 'wanderers' with no faction. All characters have an alignment: light, dark or neutral. When choosing a force you can select models by alignment (no mixing light and dark) or faction, in which case you can add one 'mercenary' wanderer. The Empire is mostly a light faction, with two dark and one neutral so far, suggesting they are, crudely, the good guys.
Janus Faith was the first Anima model I painted, I am not particularly proud of the job I did on his face, I have gotten a lot better at that, but am pleased with the armour detail. I think it stands out rather well and gives him quite a striking look.
Lord General Yuri Olsen is a leader level character. You can only have one leader in a 300 level game. The armour follows the same style is Janus and helps to give a consistent look to the Empire. I am quite proud of the cloak, even though when examined up close the pattern is a little shaky.
The Samael faction here. From the left Dark Cheshire, Shinigami Ayl, Konosuke, Kairos and Bael.
The Samael are a mixed faction of supernatural and fantasy beings. They seem to have a role similar to the mutants in marvel comics. They divide pretty neatly into light and dark. The Dark Samel, represented by the miniatures above seek to overthrow humanity and are lead by the fallen Angel Ophiel, who I think of as Magneto. The Light Samael are lead by fallen Angel Dinah and are closer to the X-Men, seeking to live in harmony with humans. Of course that's often easier said than done.
They are fiddly faction, fast and hard hitting but with weak armour and little staying power (with the exception of the monstrous Konosuke at the back, though he can't dodge which weakens him a bit).
The aforementioned fallen Angel Dinah here, accompanied by her spirit guardians Lucera and Umbra. I am very pleased with the white colours on these models. I picked up two cheap pots of white and white-ish paint from Private Press and they work wonderfully for this ivory effect. The alternative would have been a kind of gray which I don't think would have suited Dinah as well.
I am very proud of the effect of this model of Dark Cheshire. I always try and paint my models in the style they appear on their character cards. On his card Cheshire is stepping out of the shadows and most of his body is silhouetted. I tried to recreate this effect and was quite please with the result. I tried photographing against a black backdrop, but the effect was no very successful with too much reflection. I will have to work on my photography before trying again.
I am including this picture of Bael because I am quite pleased with both the skin tones and the light effects on her latex boots, which was done with a simple line of light grey paint. I think she looks rather striking with the combination of feathers and latex.
Since taking these pictures I have painted a few more models and will post more pictures when I get the chance. I also have a couple of scenario ideas and a battle report to upload, so stay tuned for more Anima stuff.