Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Aetherium Model Showcase

In a couple of the recent posts I mentioned both the new game Aetherium and my enjoyment returning to painting including the models for this game. Aetherium has two factions with models to assemble and paint, which I have nearly completed all of. The models are broken down into three different types of units, Avatar's, Functions, and Subroutines. Functions are further separated between "regular" functions and "omni" functions, with the omni's being much larger models.

I have collected nearly all the models available at launch for the game, choosing to not pick up the Axiom Slavhacs, Nanomei Rabble, and the Defector Militia. All of the remaining models fill in the available slots in the battlefoam which I bought for the inside of the Aetherium box. This point's to not picking up those remaining subroutines as I won't have room to hold them safely in my foam.

My wife has commented several times over the years that she likes the glossy look of my models with the clear-coat sealer on them. I typically seal my models with a generous amount of clear-cost and once that's dry spray them down again with a dull-coat sealer to bring the model back to a non-glossy state. I do this to provide some protection for handling the models while playing. During the sealing process for Aetherium I decided to leave them glossy based on my wife's feedback. It's a bit different from the typical table top look of my painting, and I admit I'm still getting used to the look. It's not bad per se, but it's different enough from my typical routine that they look a little off to me.


I decided to use a fairly straight forward paint scheme for my Axiom, taking inspiration and the majority of the scheme directly from the Aetherium rulebook and art book. This scheme uses whites for the leaders, accenting the models with black and orange. The bulk of the remaining models in the faction use a heavy black and orange color scheme. There are a few key models that I chose to use white as the predominant color instead of an accent, as they worked well in the overall aesthetic. Overall the Axiom have been a joy to paint, partly due to the simple color scheme creating an eye catching coherent look for the faction while maintaining a fitting air of intimidation.


Here we take a closer look at the three Axiom avatars. Avatars fill the role of faction leader in a game of Aetherium, allowing on a single avatar when you assemble your collective. The three Axiom avatars (in order) are Pontifex Neuholm, Commandant Spyder, and Lady Mastrona. I'm happy with the way they came out, aiming for a less stark white on the Commandant as he is an Avatar but also has ties to the military side of the Axiom. The Lady and Pontifex are both rooted in the religious side of the faction, guiding the choice for a starker white on their clothes.


Functions are solo-activating programs in the game, providing an individual activation that tends to be more powerful than a subroutine but not to the level of the Avatars.  Here we take a closer look at the Axiom Subroutines, not including the Ombi. After painting up the models I realized it may have been better to use a white robe for the Adept (second in) as he is on the religious side of the faction. Despite that I find his black robed look to have come out very nicely. I have a second adept model so may try the white color scheme in the future. Here we see (in order) the Grenadier, Adapt, Agent, and Long Shot. The Long Short model is the Kickstarter exclusive model which I really like.

Also in the Function group we have the Pacifier Omni program. Omni's are larger models which take up 4x the space of a regular model. They tend to be on par with the power of an avatar, and are limited to one per collective.  I kept with the Axiom military scheme of black with orange accents, a color scheme that works particularly well on this model.


Subroutines are the units in the game, consisting of 2, 3, and 5 models. I think the Axiom scheme comes across as particularly intimidating with the subroutines, as they are primarily military models. Here we see the Praetorians (bottom center), Triumvirate (top left), Alpha & Omega (top center), and the Venari (Top right). Although I like the look of all the models I am particularly fond of the Triumvirate and Venari.


I had a tougher time making decisions on a paint scheme for the Nanomei. I ended up using fairly direct color choices and schemes from the Aetherium art book for the models. In the end I am happy with the scheme, realizing it ended up making strong use of red throughout the scheme. Even my purples are shaded more to the red than blue. Overall this is fitting for a game faction that represents anarchists.


I only had two of the Nanomei avatars painted at the time of this blog posting. I still have the third (the puppeteer) on my paint tray waiting for some color. The two avatars we do have (in order) are the White Rabbit and the Mask. Both of these were a lot of fun to paint and came together well. After completing them the only part I am unhappy with is the White Rabbit's mask, which I would do differently in the future.


The Nanomei functions are a mixed bag to paint overall. There is a wide variety styles across the models which are constrained in only a couple different textures (cloth and skin). The four functions we see here (in order) are Tov, Tinder, Hacktivist, and CyberBomber.

In line with the Axiom, the Nanomei also have an Omni Function they can put in play. The Nanomei Omni is the Goliath, a massive brute of a program who moves around the board to beat down the opposition. Goliath was a lot of fun to paint, with large slabs of skim textured with a lot of muscle. This sculpt took paint and washes nicely, allowing from some decent depth on the model without requiring a lot of advanced technique.  It was also nice to see 4 different head options to choose from.


I ended up with a challenge in regards to the Nanomei subroutines as two of the three are 5 model units. This made spacing them for the pictures a bit tougher, especially for the faction picture (at the top of this section). Here we see the Riot Girlz on the top center, with the Rioters bottom left and Pyromanatics bottom right. The Pyro's were the most fun to paint of this lot, having a ton of character and one dude who's simply on fire.

There you have it, my painted Aetherium set (minus 1 model).
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