Kingdom Death: Monster is a horror themed boardgame that is rather unique – it seems to play like a cross between the post-game dice rolling of Necromunda and boss fights from World of Warcraft, two of my favourite things. I haven’t played it much yet but the sheer quantity of cards and things to fill in and roll up is overwhelming, I haven’t seen anything else like it.
I felt that the miniatures would look best in monochrome, even the best paint jobs I have seen have looked too colourful. I wanted to make the figures look like an expensive gothic chess set, maybe as if they had been carved from narwhal horns or jackalope skulls. I like most of the miniatures that come with the game, but to my mind the four starter survivors, the lion and the phoenix are the standouts, really quite beautiful. The multipart survivor models (which I have not assembled) are not very good, and would require a lot of converting to make them fit in with the standard of the other figure. I think I am happy to use the starter survivor figures to represent all survivors, rather than attempt to accurately model new survivors.
I think the details of the sculpts are quite soft, particularly on the survivors, perhaps they would look better in resin – I am not particularly keen on plastic these days. I used liquid greenstuff and crackle paint to increase the detail and texture on the models. Initially I wanted to try and make them look as if they were a sort of bone or quartz, but the white I used was too opaque and a lot of the previous layers were covered up (I used a lot of metallics to try and emulate the slight sparkle in quartz, and a lot of dark splatter to represent the flaws and shadows found in bone). I’ll figure out how to do this one day, I think I need some better translucent white. Instead I ended up with something similar to my Stormcast, a sort of porcelain effect, which is OK.
The black and white scheme also reminds me of the manga artwork of Berserk, this is probably the main thing that drew me to Kingdom Death: Monster as, like Dark Souls, it is very much influenced by Berserk. Lots of great details like the teeth on the lion or the exposed brain on the Hand are lifted from the Berserk manga.
I was ultimately persuaded to give Kingdom Death: Monster a go by the guys at Between the Bolter and Me who have done some great posts about the game, but who also pointed out to me that the pinup range of Kingdom Death are not part of the Monster game, the main thing that was putting me off. I find the pinup range largely an embarrassment, and though I can understand why Poots (the guy who invented Kingdom Death) has continued making pinups – they seem to sellout immediately for insane prices, and I suspect the revenue they made has largely enabled him to produce Monster – I wish he would stop. They are exploitative and the association with Monster makes it feel sleazy. This sort of thing does the noble hobby of wargaming no favours with perception by the wider world.