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Ish

Assembling Avengers (Marvel: Crisis Protocol)

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Well, if Tony Stark can build a suit of Iron Man armor... in a cave! With a BOX OF SCRAPS! Then I should be able to handle it too. 

I’ll have more photos later, hopefully with better lighting, but I was eager to share with the rest of you nerds. These models are very detailed, with a lot of undercuts, hidden joins, and all those other wonderful things that modern computer-aided sculpting allows... On the other hand, it makes them rather fiddly to build. Tony Stark starts out as sixteen (16!) separate pieces... and he’s one of the easier ones.

Models are 1:48 scale and true to scale. Iron Man stands a hair’s breadth shy of 40 mm boot to head, which works out to 1.92 m... His canonical height in the comics is 1.98 m. Black Widow is 35 mm tall, which works out to be 1.68 m... She’s 1.7 m tall in the comics (and Scarlet Johansen is 1.64 m tall). Proportions aren’t GW “Heroic” either, I mean, there’s no mistaking Captain America for anything less than a superior physical specimen and Crossbones is an absolute beast... But they look like the sculptors are actually familiar with human anatomy. 

(Although guys like the Hulk, Venom, and M.O.D.O.K. all revel in their silly comic book glory... I don’t have them yet. But I will.)

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“Allow me to introduce myself, Herr Kapitän. My name is der Rote Schädel...” 

The Red Skull has one of the simplest poses of the ten figures in the Core Set. He’s just standing there, in a  almost “parade rest” posture, admiring the glow of the Cosmic Cube and sneering with malevolent evil... and honestly, it’s the perfect pose for him. 

Although it’s a fantastic mini, I have one or two quibbles. I’d have like to see an alternate sculpt that replaced the Cosmic Cube in his right hand with a P38... Maybe even an entire alternative right arm posed in the Hitlergruß salute. But that would probably make it illegal to sell in Germany. No doubt that’s why he has HYDRA patches on both sleeves and not a swastika arm band. (The MCU filmmakers left the swastika off his costume for the same reason.) On the other hand, if I was truly motivated, I could convert him and/or greenstuff sculpt replacements... 

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I’ll never get used to calling her Captain Marvel. That’s always going to be Billy Bateson to me, I’ve always been more of a DC guy than a Marvel guy... Plus, she only became Captain Marvel in 2012. She was Ms. Marvel first, she was Binary for the vast majority of her career (include the decades I first started reading comics), and then Warbird for quite a while after that... Oh well. 

Captain Marvel is probably my least favorite sculpt out of the characters in the Core Set. Her sash doesn’t match the positioning of her body (she flying up, but it’s blowing sideways) and her downcast gaze doesn’t match the “powerful” posture (she should be looking up, up, and away)... It’d also have been nice to have her “Kree Helmet” mask as an alternate head.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great miniature overall. It’s just my least favorite out of ten... Somebody’s gotta be in last place.

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Crossbones has a brutally simple pose that matches his characterization in the comics and his abilities in game perfectly: charging forward and punching $#¡+€ in the face. 

It’s simple, but surprisingly effective. Hard to really capture properly giving my limited photography skills, it’s a really dynamic pose that works best when seen in the flesh (or plastic in this case).

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With great miniatures must come lousy photographs... Spidey is actually the easiest to assemble mini in the set, his sculpt has the fewest pieces out of all of them. Two halves to his torso, four single piece limbs, a head, and the two part pile of debris he’s standing on. The average Tactical Marine has more bitz! 

I’m really looking forward to the challenge of painting him.

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Overall height of the figures is close; the typical Primaris Marine is about 4.0 cm, the typical Tactical Marine is about 3.3 cm, the typical Imperial Guardsman is about 3.0 cm... But they all have massively deformed hands and swollen heads heroic proportions. The tallest character, so far, in  Marvel Crisis Protocol is the Hulk, who stands 7.0 cm tall and the shortest character, so far, Black Widow, is 3.5 cm tall. (Rocket Raccoon is due out soon and will be shorter). The key difference is that the Marvel characters (with obvious exceptions like the Hulk and M.O.D.O.K.) all have realistic proportions... 

They should look okay when paired with terrain designed for WH40k, Infinity, or The Walking Dead but it will depend a bit on the individual terrain pieces in question. But I'm going to be building and buying some proper O Scale buildings to work with them, since it's things like doors, windows, tables and chairs that are the real "scale markers" to the human eye. 

Atomic Mass Games has a helpful Battlefield Setup blog post with suggestions for the amount of terrain for a standard 36" x 36" table. The Marvel Crisis Protocol Core Set comes with two light poles, two traffic lights, and a trash bin (Size 1); two compact cars and two dumpsters (Size 2); and one newstand (Size 3)... 

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Currently, I'm working on building some road tiles from Fat Dragon Games that have 4.5" wide roads. At 1:48 scale, that works out to 18' from curb to curb... which is too small for a two lane road which is typically closer to 18' (U.S. Interstate Highway System use a 12-foot standard lane width, but roads are frequently narrower). I think it should work out okay, but if I'm unhappy with them they shouldn't be too hard to reprint at 130% to get 6" wide roads. I'm also going to build one small building (Size 4) and one large building (Size 5) from the Fat Dragon Games set, to tide me over until I can get my hands on some of these beauties from Menards.

I also have started daydreaming about buying some plexiglass, a circular saw, and a metric ton of LED lighting and building a 3' tall replica of Avenger's Tower... 

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An object that's 3' tall in the real world would be 144' tall at 1:48 scale; which wouldn't match the giant skyscraper seen in the MCU which is well over 600' tall, but would still look dang impressive on the gaming table. 

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56 minutes ago, Ish said:

An object that's 3' tall in the real world would be 144' tall at 1:48 scale; which wouldn't match the giant skyscraper seen in the MCU which is well over 600' tall, but would still look dang impressive on the gaming table. 

 For sure.

 

Maybe have it get smaller towards the top, smaller floors, too. 

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Menards One Police Plaza is modeled after the NYPD’s real One Police Plaza, but it only has four stories (five if you count the control room on the roof) compared to the real one’s fourteen stories.

The Menard’s model is 13 1/8” tall, which works out to be approximately 72’ in scale. So it’s more like a local precinct house than the city’s central headquarters... But it’s still a big, beefy building considering your only playing on a 36” x 36” map and it’s basically a 12” cube of solid plastic. (It’s also got working lights and spinning rotors on the ‘chopper!)


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The World Headquarters building from Menards stands a mighty 23.5” tall which is 94’ at scale... So not exactly a “skyscraper,” but it’s certainly big enough that it’ll look impressive when Spider-Man is duking it out with Green Goblin on the roof. It’s a full 1.5” taller than Forge World’s Warlord Titan and wide enough to hide one too. Plus, it’s got a Starbucks in the lobby... 

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Bot also retail for under $100.00

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Playing around in Sketchup, I mocked up a three-foot tall version of Four Freedoms Plaza, the headquarters of the Fantastic Four from 1986 to 1998. It's not quite as famous as the Baxter Building or Avengers Mansion and not quite as eye-catching as the MCU version of Avengers Tower... But it certainly looks undeniably "comic book" and could probably be made by me without too much difficulty. 

Officially, Four Freedoms Plaza stands one-hundred stories above ground and 1,500' tall... So, obviously, this would be a great deal smaller than that. 

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I’m thinking 1/4” or 1/5” PVC foam board for the lower 24” sections and 1” insulation foam board for the large 4’s on top. With internal corner “posts” made up of extra insulation foam. Some textured PVC or plexiglass sheets for the windows. 

Maybe bribe someone with a 3D printer to print me some detail bitz like the street level doors and a rooftop hatch / landing pad for the Fantasticar... 

But I really should slap some paint on the figures that I have and get some games played.

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The larger scale (1:48) of the models really lets the sculptors do a lot of great detail work. My mediocre painting skills (and Contrast paint and washes) make them all look pretty good, the stuff some of the top-tier painters can do with these models is amazing.

If (hopefully, when) they release the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom, I might have to treat myself to having a commission painter do them for me.

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Many of the Marvel Crisis Protocol miniatures have tiny bitz and intricate details. But Valkyrie is by far the worst (best?) of the lot so far... 

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Her legs are five pieces! Her forearms join just below her elbows with connection points that are less than a millimeter wide! Her head comes in three separate pieces! HER HEAD!

 

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Valkyrie is finished, although I need to do some clean-up on her base and I might go back and touch up her swords:

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Loki is nearly done, just waiting for the first layers on his base to dry before I go back and finish them off. His horns need some touch-up too that I just noticed:

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This leaves Hela as the only remaining Asgardian. She’s assembled, but I haven’t started painting her yet.

I hope Atomic Mass Games eventually adds more Asgardians to the game, Lady Sif and the Warriors Three seem like natural choices. So does the Enchantress and her Exectioner. We’ll probably get a Thor (Jane Foster) when her movie comes out... 

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On 7/6/2020 at 8:06 PM, Ish said:

Work in Progress shot of Brunhilde, with Thor and a Space Marine for scale. 

The points where her arms join is smaller than the barrel of the boltgun. Her head is smaller than his helmet and was made up of three pieces. SMH.

 

Reminds of Celestine the Living Saint and her bodyguards.  They at least had half their head attached to the front torso and half to the back, but I did have to apply the hair separate.

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Brunhilde’s face and neck are one piece, the left and right halves of her hair are two additional pieces... and even all assembled they are smaller than GW’s human-sized heads.

The finished models are great, don’t get me wrong, but they do require a greater degree of concentration during assembly than most GW models 

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